Encyclopaedia Maxima Mundi, created by Effenberg and Talbot, is a multi-volume work detailing many notable people and occurrences throughout the history of the continent and the world in general. Fragments of this fictional book are sometimes used as introductions to stories or chapters in Sapkowski's works. It was generally considered to be a piece of Nilfgaardian propaganda and the information in it is highly selective, subjective and not particularly scientifically rigourous. Those fragments have, so far, apparently featured the following:
- Peter Evertsen
- Dominik Bombastus Houvenaghel
- Flourens Delannoy
- Stella Congreve
- City of Kerack
Note that these excerpts have been inexpertly translated from the French translation of the original Polish!
- Congreve, Estella vel Stella, – The daughter of Otto of Congreve, married to the old Count Liddertal. Upon the death of the latter, rapidly recovered, managed her inheritance most judiciously, amassing for herself a not inconsiderable fortune. Enjoying the esteem of the emperor Emhyr var Emreis (sic), she was considered a person of great importance by the court. While she had no official duties, it was generally believed that the emperor was in the habit of paying considerable attention to her words and opinions. Because of her close personal relationship with the young Empress Cirilla Fiona (sic), whom she loved like her own daughter, she was jokingly referred to as the "Imperial mother-in-law". She outlived both the Emperor and the Empress, and died in 1331; as to her huge fortune, it fell to distant relatives on the Liddertal side of the family, called the Whites; being stupid and short-sighted, they squandered every bit of their inheritance.
- Effenberg and Talbot
Encyclopaedia Maxima Mundi, tome III
- Delannoy, Flourens (1432–1510) – Linguist and historian. Born in Vicovaro, secretary and libraian to the imperial court from 1460 to 1475. Tireless researcher into legends and folklore, author of numerous important treasises considered to be seminal works of linguistic history and literature from the northern regions of the Empire. Among his most important works, one could cite: Myths and Legends of the Nordlings, Fairytales and Stories, Surprise or the Myth of Elder Blood, The Witcher Saga, as well as The Witcher and the Witcheress, or a search unending. Beginning in 1476, he officiates as professor at the academy of Castell Graupian where he dies in 1510.
- Effenberg and Talbot
Encyclopaedia Maxima Mundi, tome IV
|“|| Evertsen, Peter, b. 1234, confidant of Emperor Emhyr Deithwen and one of the true authors of the Empire's might. The chief chamberlain of the army during the time of the Northern Wars (q.v.), from 1290 imperial treasurer of the crown. In the final period of Emhyr's rule, he was raised to the rank of coadjutor of the Empire. During the rule of Emperor Morvran Voor he was falsely accused of misappropriation of funds, found guilty, imprisoned and died in 1301 in Winneburg Castle. Postumously rehabilitated by Emperor Jan Calveit in 1328.
Effenberg and Talbot, Encyclopaedia Maxima Mundi, Volume V
— pg(s). 199, Time of Contempt (UK edition)
- Houvenaghel, Dominik Bombastus (1239–1301) – Became rich in the province of Ebbing by conducting large-scale enterprises; set up business in Nilfgaard. Already respected by previous emperors, he was elevated to the rank of viscount and zupparius salis of Venendal by Jan Calveit; as reward for services rendered, the office of mayor was awarded. Faithful counsellor to the emperor, Houvenaghel benefitted from his full confidence and took part in many public affairs. Already in Ebbing, he had indulged in many charity ventures, spending considerable sums of money to support the needy and the poor and to build orphanages, hospitals and daycare facilites. A great lover of fine art and sports, he had a theatre and a stadium built in the capital, both of which bore his name. He was a model of propriety, honesty and respectability in mercantile circles.
- Effenberg and Talbot
Encyclopaedia Maxima Mundi, tome VII
|“|| Ithlina, actually Ithlinne Aegli: daughter of Aevenien, the legendary elven healer, astrologist and soothsayer, famous for her predictions and prophesies, of which Aen Ithlinnespeath, Ithlina'a Prophesy, is the best known. It has been written down many times and published in numerous forms. The prophesy enjoyed great popularity at certain moments, and the commentaries, clues and clarifications appended to it adapted the text to contemporary events, which strengthened convictions about its great clairvoyance. In particular, it is believed I. predicted the Northern Wars (1239–1268), the Great Plagues (1268, 1272 and 1294), the bloody War of the Two Unicorns (1309–1318) and the Haak Invasion (1350). I. was also supposed to have prophesied the climactic changes observed from the end of the thirteenth century, known as the Great Frost, which superstition always claimed was a sign of the end of the word and linked to the prophesied coming of the Destroyer (q.v.). This passage from I.'s Prophecy gave rise to the infamous witch hunts (1272–76) and contributed to the deaths of many women and unfortunate girls mistaken for the incarnation of the Destroyer. Today, I. is regarded by many scholars as a legendary figure and her 'prophesies' as very recently fabricated apocrypha, and a running literary fraud.
Effenberg and Talbot,
— pg(s). 283, Baptism of Fire (UK edition)
|“|| Mandrake, or Love Apple, is a class of plant from the Mandragora or nightshade family, a group including herbaceous, stemless plants with parsnip-like roots, in which a similarity to the human form may be observed; the leaves are arranged in a rosette. M.autumnalis or officinalis, is cultivated on a small scale in Vicovaro, Rowan and Ymlac, rarely found in the wild. Its berries, which are green and later turn yellow, are eaten with vinegar and pepper, while its leaves are consumed raw. The root of the m., which is a valued ingredient in medicine and herb lore, long ago had great import in superstitions, particularly among the Nordlings; human effigies (called alruniks or alrunes) were carved from it and kept in homes as revered talismans. They were believed to offer protection from illnesses, to bring good fortune during trials, and to ensure fertility and uncomplicated births. The effigies were clad in dresses which were changed at each new moon. M. roots were bought and sold, with prices reaching as much as sixty florins. Bryony roots (q.v.) were used as substitutes. According to superstition, m. was used for making spells, magical philtres and poisons. This belief returned during the period of the witch hunts. The charge of the criminal use of m. was made, for example, during the trial of Lucretia Vigo (q.v) . The legendary Philippa Alhard (q.v) was also said to have used m. as a poison.
Effenberg and Talbot,
— pg(s). 103, Baptism of Fire (UK edition)
|“|| Vedymins, called witchers among the Nordlings (q.v.), a mysterious and elite caste of warrior-priests, probably an offshoot of the druids (q.v.). In the folk consciousness, they are endowed with magical powers and superhuman abilities; v. were said to fight evil spirits, monsters and all manner of dark forces. In reality, since they were unparalleled in their ability to wield weapons, v. were used by the rules of the north in the tribal fighting they waged with each other. In combat v. fell into a trance, brought on, it is believed, by autohypnosis or intoxicating substances, and fought with pure energy, being utterly invulnerable to pain, or even grave wounds, which reinforced the superstitions about their superhuman powers. The theory, according to which v. were said to have been the products of mutation or genetic engineering, has not found confirmation. V. are the heroes of numerous Nordling tales (cf. F. Delannoy, Myths and Legends of the Nordlings).
Effenberg and Talbot
— pg(s). 1, Time of Contempt (UK edition)