| ||When I finish with 'em, there'll be nothin' left to bury.|| |
| - Rience, Gwent: The Witcher Card Game|
Rience (d. November 1267) was a Nilfgaardian mage of considerable skill who was instructed to find Ciri after she disappeared during the slaughter of Cintra. While powerful, he wasn't nearly as powerful as his master, Vilgefortz.
When he was tasked with finding Ciri, he set his eyes on the bard Dandelion, whose famous ballad about the lion cub of Cintra had drawn his attention, especially as it referred to Ciri being in a witcher's care. While Dandelion was visiting a brothel, Rience hired some thugs to capture and torture him for information but Yennefer interfered before they could get any information and threw a powerful fire spell through an open portal just before it closed, leaving a noticeable burned mark on the left side of Rience's face.
Later on, roughly two years after the slaughter of Cintra, Geralt took a contract on a barge for the Malatius and Grock Company with the intent of drawing Rience to him. It almost worked, but rather than get Geralt himself, the mage once more offered a reward and several rogue Temerian guards boarded the barge the witcher was on instead, planning to capture him for Rience. They almost succeeded until the monster that'd been plaguing the waters, an aeschna, attacked and all the rogue guards were subsequently killed.
Knowing Rience was close, Geralt then hid in Oxenfurt for a short while before being joined by Shani, Dandelion, and Philippa Eilhart. When Rience's name was mentioned, Shani suddenly asked if he had a badly burned mark on his face. She later revealed that when she was visiting a local, Myhrman, he was entertaining a guest he called "Master Rience" who had made unwanted advances towards her before being told to leave her be by Myhrman. The group then headed out to confront Myhrman to find Rience.
However, Rience had been expecting something like this would happen, having given out many amulets to message him directly in the hopes the witcher would find and use one. He hired the Michelet brothers to deal with Geralt, though he lied to them by saying it was just an ordinary man they needed to kill, not a highly skilled witcher. Rience showed up shortly at Myhrman's place, stating the witcher fell for his ruse and that after he finished with Geralt, he would personally hunt down Yennefer for the burn she gave him, but Geralt responded that Rience also fell for his plan, as he knew the mage would show up this time.
Rience then tried to throw a powerful spell at Geralt, who deflected it with ease. Suddenly scared, Rience had difficulties trying to cast more spells and took off, letting the four brothers deal with Geralt, but all four brothers were quickly cut down by the witcher who then chased after Rience. Rience was finally able to conjure up a portal, but Geralt caught him by his cloak before he could enter it and began to smash his face in, asking who he was working for. However, the witcher was momentarily distracted by the portal, thinking others were about to come through, and the mage was able to attack Geralt enough to make him get off. As Rience then crawled to the still open portal, Geralt moved to grab him back when he was suddenly paralyzed by Philippa, who held the witcher in place long enough to let Rience crawl through the portal and disappear.
Thanedd coup Edit
Sometime later, he learned that Geralt had been paying an investigative firm, Codringher and Fenn, to learn more about him. Realizing the deeper they dug for information the more likely he'd be exposed, he sent assassins to finish the partners off while he was smuggled onto Thanedd Island by Vilgefortz to try and capture Ciri during the mage's conclave. However, this meeting between the Brotherhood of Sorcerers' leaders was really going to be a takeover by the Nilfgaardian supporters but when the plan went awry, Rience got caught in the middle of the fighting as he tried to find Ciri.He almost succeeded when Ciri was running through the tower, trying to evade Scoia'tael and the hostile mages. Believing he had her cornered, she proceeded to go out of the nearby window and start moving along the ledge and thus sent one of the elves out to grab her. However, Ciri noted the narrow bridge far below and, using her training from Kaer Morhen, jumped and safely landed on it, escaping Rience once more.
Tor Zireael Edit
Now partnered up with Leo Bonhart and Stefan Skellen and his gang, and with his master communicating with the group through a xenogloss, they pursued Ciri from Dun Dare up to Mil Trachta, where she hoped to reach Tor Zireael, a mythical tower believed to house a portal she could use to escape them. However, the terrain and winter weather made it difficult to travel easily and Rience and the others were catching up as they crossed a frozen lake. Rience, having had no directions from his master for awhile, was adamant there was no way Ciri could flank them or escape, with her footprints getting more and more clear. However, just as they felt she was just a few feet in front of them, in the fog, her footprints suddenly disappeared.
The group quickly learned that Ciri had put on skates and tried to prepare but she quickly attacked, taking out a person, before disappearing in the fog, then returning to repeat the process. After killing or striking four of them, Skellen demanded Rience use his magic to stop her from skating but Rience, scared out of his wits, cast a spell that only half worked: instead of cracking the ice towards the sound of the skating it instead cut the ice horizontally, right where their group was standing. Rience fell into the freezing water but clung to the edges of the ice, calling for help from the others who got out. Ciri approached and braked, staring at him, as Rience, in a last ditch effort, offered to tell her where Yennefer was if she'd save him. Instead, Ciri mocked his statement from earlier that the fingers he was using now to keep from submerging were the same ones he threatened to hurt her with. She then skated off before returning at full speed, expertly skating just on the edge of the crack and slicing through those very fingers, severing them. Rience, now detached from the ice, proceeded to drown in the waters, too late to hear Vilgefortz's message.