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Saesenthessis, commonly known amongst people as Saskia the Dragonslayer, or the Virgin of Aedirn, was a dragon. She was a key player in the battle of Vergen and depending on the outcome, queen of the independent realm of Upper Aedirn.

She was the daughter of the famous golden dragon Villentretenmerth and the green dragon Myrgtabrakke. She revealed that she has taste in dwarves and prefers them.

Biography Edit

Early life Edit

She was born when the famous Hunt for a Dragon occurred, in which a group consisting of various individuals tried to hunt down and kill her mother, a green dragon named Myrgtabrakke. The little hatchling was in grave danger after the group poisoned Myrgtabrakke until a golden dragon, Villentretenmerth, appeared and, with a little help, defeated the attackers. It turned out that the hatchling was the golden dragon's child and, after thanking those who helped him, he left with his newborn.[1]

Villentretenmerth raised the little dragoness and taught her everything he knew, including his views on various topics such as the equality of all life, justice, and honor. She was given the name Saesenthessis and she accepted her father's views as her own. Because she was a cross-breed, her mother being a Green dragon and father a Golden one, she inherited the skill of polymorphism, though in her case, it was extremely limited - she was only able to take one alternate form, that of a beautiful human maid.

However her "childhood" did not take a long time and soon her father left her on her own. Though that might sound harsh, it was actually a common practice among dragons. So young Saesenthessis began to travel the world alone.

Life as Saskia Edit

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Saesenthessis in a form of human warrior, Saskia the Dragonslayer

On her travels, she met an Elven commander of a Scoia'tael unit, Iorveth. Not much is known about their meeting but they respected each other. It was Iorveth who gave her the idea about her fictional alias and thus she took a human form and adopted the name Saskia. They came up with her entire history - she was from Aedirn and there she fought and killed a dragon, giving her the moniker Saskia the Dragonslayer. She was active in the kingdom of Aedirn, where she attracted many folks of different race and stock. Her ideals about freedom and equality lured the oppressed from far away who soon started to call her the Virgin of Aedirn.

She eventually moved to the city of Vergen in the Pontar Valley. Here, she created quite a unique city where dwarves, men, and elves lived together as equals. Though things looked great initially, a tragic event soon occurred where King Demavend III, Lord of Aedirn, was assassinated. While the late king's son, Prince Stennis, was in place as Aedirn's heir, another king, Henselt of Kaedwen, decided to take advantage of the disarray and sent an invasive force to the Pontar Valley with the intention of annexing it. Thus the prince and his noblemen joined forces with the Dragonslayer and came to the city of Vergen.

Battle of Vergen Edit

Prelude Edit

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Saskia and Prince Stennis dealing with King Henselt

Around this time, a different conflict occurred. In Temeria, King Foltest laid siege on La Valette Castle. Saskia knew the young lord Aryan La Valette and agreed with his views on equality so she left Vergen and flew to the battlefield to help him. She attacked the invading forces of the king but after a while she was driven away, but not for long. She returned and attacked with wrath, almost burning alive the king himself. He was saved in the last moment by the witcher Geralt of Rivia, who pierced his silver sword into her maw. This injured her enough and she left the battlefield and returned to Vergen.

Not long after, she was invited along with Prince Stennis to negotiate with the invading Henselt. As expected, the negotiations were not easy and eventually ended up in a duel. This duel however was interrupted when the King killed a monk named Olcan and his blood activated a dormant curse.

Iorveth's path Edit

Preparations Edit

During that moment, a duo entered the field - a witcher Geralt of Rivia and Scoia'tael commander Iorveth. They quickly came to help and fought all the spectral knights and a few draugirs but whenever they killed one of the spectral foe, other appeared. Fortunately, they received help from a magical owl that shielded them and safely guided the group through the spectral mist thus the dragoness, the prince and both warriors came safely to the city of Vergen where it was revealed that the owl was none other that the famous sorceress Philippa Eilhart.

Tw2 Saskia cutscene

Saskia during The War Council, drinking from a dwarven ceremonial chalice, just a second before falling unconscious due to effects of Thaumador.

It was soon decided that a war council should assemble to deal with the curse and the coming of the Scoia'tael unit led by Iorveth. Though the members of the council were not happy to see Iorveth, whom they considered a mere bandit and murderer, an agreement was eventually reached. Unfortunately, when Saskia raised her chalice for a ceremonial toast, she fell down unconscious - poisoned. Philippa discovered that the poison was Thaumador, the magepain. This was very dangerous and Saskia's life hanged by a thread. The sorceress took her into her care and prepared a list of various ingredients that could cure the Virgin of Aedirn. Thus the famous witcher started his quest to cure the Dragonslayer. Meanwhile, Iorveth decided to leave Vergen and find more elves to join the fight.

As always, Geralt was successful and eventually acquired all the necessary items needed for the cure, including the petal from a rose of remembrance. Philippa used all the items and was able to heal Saskia though for a time, she was very weak and had to rest. Around that time, the witcher also lifted the curse on the battlefield. With the cursed mist gone, nothing stood in the way of the invasion and Henselt did not want to waste any more time.

The battle Edit

When Geralt woke up from the deep sleep caused by the process of lifting the curse, Vergen was already prepared for a battle. Saskia told the witcher what should he do and where should he help so as always, he did. The defending forces fought bravely at the main gate and with the witcher's help killed many invaders but they were simply outnumbered. That is why they decided to use a burning oil to massacre the first wave and then they retreated to the second gate. Invaders soon regrouped and led by the sorcerer Dethmold, quickly advanced to the gate and beyond it.

Here, Saskia fought side by side with the witcher and they repelled one wave after another. However Saskia received information, that a group of Kaedweni soldiers and Dethmold found the way to the mines and wanted to use them to attack Vergen from behind. Thus Saskia decided to take Geralt and go to the mines. Here they were ambushed by Dethmold and his men. The duo was outmatched and was almost defeated. Saskia had no other choice so she changed to her true form. The dragoness quickly defeated all the soldiers - excluding the sorcerer who fled via portal - and helped the witcher. She told him the truth about her origin, and the need for the ruse with the whole Dragonslayer story. She also confirmed that it was indeed her, who fought at the La Valette castle and who was wounded by a witcher's sword. Geralt decided to keep her secret and they returned to the surface and rejoined the battle. With a return of Iorveth and his archers, the battle was won and invaders repelled. The king was brought before the Dragonslayer and the sorceress Philippa to hear the conditions of a surrender.

Saskia declared an independent kingdom of Pontar Valley with herself as its Queen and Philippa as her advisor. Henselt agreed that he would recognise the state and Saskia as its ruler and sweared that he will not invade again. After that Saskia demanded one additional thing - execution of the sorcerer Dethmold. Henselt had no choice but to consent and thus the mage was decapitated. After the execution, Saskia released the king and along with Philippa left for Loc Muinne where a great meeting of the northern kingdoms was taking place.

The execution of Dethmold however was not unnoticed by Saskia's people and especially Iorveth, who never though she would so willingly take a life of a prisoner. Iorveth believed that Saskia behaved strangely so he and the witcher decided to search Philippa's house for any evidence. They indeed find the recipe for the Thaumador poisoning that did not included the Rose of remembrance and discovered that by adding the petal, Philippa spell-bounded Saskia´s will to her own. In essence, Saskia was controlled by Philippa.

That angered Iorveth who decided to travel to Loc Muinne and confront the sorceress. As usual, the witcher went with him.

Roche's path Edit

Preparations Edit

In this version of events, Geralt arrived at the scene of the duel in a different company. That of the commander of Temerian special forces Blue Stripes, Vernon Roche. Together they joined the forces of king Henselt and with the sorcerer Deathmold, they managed to get through the spectral mist savely to the Kaedweni camp.

The witcher had to lift the curse with the same items and in order to do it, he had to visit the city of Vergen. He nevertheless did not meet the Dragonslayer herself. When he managed to acquire all the items, he was able to lift the mist and thus opened a way for the king to finally attack the city.

The battle Edit

Fighting on the side of Kaedweni invaders, Geralt witnessed bravery from the dwarves that defended Vergen, They were however quickly outmatched and after a while, the battle was lost and Henselt emerged victorious. But he did not managed to capture either Saskia, or her advisor, sorceress Philippa Eilhart, because the duo fled to the Loc Muinne via portal.

Loc Muinne summit Edit

Not long after arriving to the city of Loc Muinne, Phillipa was arrested by the king of Redania, Radovid V the stern. Saskia was not able to help her mistress and retreated with another sorceress, Síle de Tansarville, an ally of Philippa. Thanks to the spell, Saskia was very anxious and wanted nothing more, then to help Philippa but Síle told her to wait and be ready for the Summit itself.

Iorveth's path Edit

Iorveth and Geralt arrived to the city before the summit only to find out, that Philippa was arrested. They decided to find her and persuade her to lift the spell from Saskia. The witcher managed to discover, that she was kept in the dungeon under control of Redanian forces. The sorceress was interogated there by the Radenian king himself and he let her eyes to be gouged out. Blinded Philippa was discovered by the Witcher, who quickly defeated all the guards and than turned to the sorceress herself.

If Geralt decided to help Philippa: Geralt decided to help the sorceress to get to her house with promise, that she would give him a magical dagger, that would lift the spell from Saskia. He managed to get her home, but as was expected, Philippa turned on him. The witcher not only ended up surviving, he also managed to aquire the promised dagger. Thus he was ready to join the Summit.

If Geralt decided not to help Philippa: Geralt argued with blinded Philippa, but ultimately, decided that saving his lover and friend Triss Merigold is more importand and thus instead of Philippa, he captured a Nilfgaardian ambasador Shilard Fitz-Oesterlen. Philippa was left on her own and had to manage herself.

During the summit, Saskia presented her proposal for the independent kingdom of Pontar Valley, and herself as its Queen. She was backed by king Henselt and the sorceress Síle. Eventually the summit consented and recognised both Saskia, and her realm. Not long after that, the summit was interrupted by the entrance of the knights of the Flaming Rose, who served on the summit as an independent army to secure peaceful negotiations. It was revealed, that Síle, Philippa and other sorceresses from the secret group known as the Lodge of Sorceresses, were responsible for the recent assassinations of northern kings. Síle, understanding that she has no other way of escape, summoned Saskia in her true form.
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Saesenthessis attacking the Loc Muinne Summit

Dragoness caused chaos and quickly recovered her ally and flew with her away from the blaze. They were however followed by the witcher Geralt. Geralt eventually stood against the dragoness and after a long fight, he managed to mount her. Saesenthessis tried to throw away the witcher but to no avail. Geralt eventually managed to cause her to fall down and the dragoness crashed and impaled herself on a broken tree. Though surviving, she was severely injured and unable to fight any more. The witcher was then faced with a big decision: let the dragon live, kill her or lift the curse.

If Geralt killed the Dragon: The witcher decided that letting the dragon live was too dangerous thus, he ended her suffering with a powerfull strike from his sword, ending the life of great Saesenthessis.

If Geralt spared the Dragon: The witcher decided that he would stay by his code and will not kill such a magnificient creature as dragon. He simply left her and returned to the city.

If Geralt lifted the curse: Geralt used the opportunity and decided to lift the curse. He stabed the dragon with the magical dagger and caused it to transform to her human form. Saskia recovered from the spell as well as the wound she suffered and she thanked the witcher. She told him more things about herself, including the fact, that her father was nonother then the Golden dragon Villentretenmerth, who Geralt met and befriended many yers ago. The duo said their farewell and departed each to a different place, Geralt returned back to the Loc Muinne and Saskia to Vergen.

Roche's path Edit

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The dragon´s attack on Loc Muinne

In this version, Geralt arrived to the Loc Muinne in company of Vernon Roche. He never discovered about Philippa nor have he met the Dragonslayer herself. That is, not until the summit itself in which Síle, after being exposed, summoned Saskia in her true form. Dragoness caused chaos and quickly recovered her ally and flew with her away from the blaze. They were however followed by the witcher Geralt. Geralt eventually stood against the dragoness and after a long fight, he managed to mount her. Saesenthessis tried to throw away the witcher but to no avail. Geralt eventually managed to cause her to fall down and the dragoness crashed and impaled herself on a broken tree. Though survived, she was severely injured and unable to fight any more. The witcher was then faced with a big decision: let the dragon live or kill her.

If Geralt killed the Dragon: The witcher decided that letting the dragon live was too dangerous thus, he ended her suffering with a powerfull strike from his sword, ending the life of great Saesenthessis.

If Geralt spared the Dragon: The witcher decided that he would stay by his code and will not kill such a magnificient creature as dragon. He simply left her and returned to the city.[2]

The Third War Edit

Matters of Conscience Saskia

Saskia in the comic book

After the events at Loc Muinne, Saskia returns to Vergen and reveals that she is a dragon. As expected, Vergen's residents have mixed feelings towards her. Many abandon the city and the others watch her actions closely.

Not fully recovered from Philippa Eilhart's spell, Saskia (while in dragon form) unintentionally kills a group of dwarfs during the first expedition against the Chelonodrake. Come morning, She, Once again in human form returns to Vergen and swears before all the inhabitants never again to transform into a dragon.

Three weeks later Saskia and Yarpen Zigrin talk to Geralt about the Chelonodrake and convince him to help them slay the monster, five days later she, Geralt, Eggar, Maevarienn and Yarpen create a plan to kill the monster.

Two days later the group accompanied by Barclay Els goes on the final expedition against the Chelonodrake. After defeating the monster, Saskia breaks her promise and transforms in to a dragon to get the heavily wounded Barclay to the dwarven medics fast, unfortunately it is already too late, she decides to leave Vergen.

Some time later Saskia finds Geralt in a jungle and they have a chat around a campfire. Ultimately she decides to return to Vergen to help the residents fight off the incoming Nilfgaardian forces. It is implied that she never makes it out of Vergen alive.[3]

During the beginning of the third of the Northern Wars, the Imperial army quickly conquered all the northern territories up to the Pontar river, including the Upper Aedirn. Saskia's independent realm thus did not live very long. She however retreated and, for the remainder of the war, stayed alive and well.[4]

Trivia Edit

GalleryEdit

References Edit

  1. The Bounds of Reason short story
  2. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
  3. The Witcher: Matters of Conscience comic book
  4. Marcin Momot: "They are live and well !"

External links Edit

  • Gwent icon See the GWENT standalone game version card: Saesenthessis
  • Gwent icon See the GWENT standalone game version card: Saskia