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"Do you really wish to know?"
Spoilers from the books and/or games to follow!
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When I finish with 'em, there'll be nothin' left to bury.
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- Rience, Gwent: The Witcher Card Game
Audio version:
Rience voice line

Rience was a 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.

Biography Edit

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 marked on 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.

According to Codringher and Fenn, Rience's endeavors to seek out Ciri were all in an effort to prevent her from becoming a wife or mother, as such a fate would prove dangerous were she to fall under the wrong influence.

Rience dies while pursuing Ciri across the frozen surface of Tarn Mira. When the young sorcerer attacks his party his own spell misfires and breaks the ice beneath his feet. Almost submerged in the freezing water he clutches the ice for his very life when Ciri skates through his fingers, severing them and leaving him to drown in the lake (in a cruelly ironic retaliation for his previous threats about the things he would do to her "with these very fingers").