- "Warfare is mere sound and fury – diplomacy is what truly shapes history."
- —Shilard about history
Because of his extensive contacts with the intelligence community, he was accused of being a Nilfgaardian spy, pronounced persona non grata in Redania and dismissed from office by Dijkstra. Despite the prior accusations of spying, he was sent by the emperor Emhyr to conduct peace negotiations with the princes of the North leading to the Peace of Cintra.
Shilard Fitz-Oesterlen is a main character in The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings. Geralt meets him while he is talking to King Foltest, in the Camp of Foltest's army during the Prologue. We do not know what is the aim of the ambassador, neither do we know what are the interests of the Emperor of Nilfgaard he seems to represent. What is sure is that Geralt crosses Shilard's path many times, finding out how this sly man is involved in the political changes of the Northern Kingdoms and in the murders of kings.
If Geralt chooses to rescue Triss from the Nilfgaardians, he takes Shilard hostage. When they come before a company of soldiers, their leader trains a crossbow on Shilard, revealing that he was ordered by the capital to execute him and kills Shilard.
Comments about Shilard Fitz-Oesterlen from the CDPR developers Jan Bartkowicz (Story Writer), Artur Sliwinski, (Story Writer), Arkadiusz Borowik (Story Writer) and Jan Marek (Concept Artist) taken from the "Dev Diary 3:
- The Assassins of Kings
- By the King's Will
- The Dungeons of the La Valettes
- Where is Triss Merigold?
- For a Higher Cause!
- A Summit of Mages
- Many Northern kings appear in this story: rash and thoughtful, amorous and frigid, brave and cowardly. The reader should easily see that should their crowns be removed and a pitchfork, sword, a bunch of bills, or a goat's apple given in a scepter's stead, they would be as human as we are. The same, however, could not be said of the Emperor of Nilfgaard, the White Flame Dancing on the Barrows of His Enemies, whose shadow fell over all the events I written down. In this case, that shadow was represented by Shilard Fitz-Oesterlen, a consummate diplomat who started more than one war, only to end it accepting homage from the defeated.
- If Geralt chooses to kill Aryan during Prologue:
- It was difficult to guess the role of this black-clad Imperial emissary, yet even such an unskilled politician like Geralt could easily assume that nothing Fitz-Oesterlen did was done out of fancy or by chance. He also had reasons for giving a helping hand to the witcher and Marie Louise, yet these reasons were revealed only much, much later...
- If Geralt chooses Roche's path during the end of chapter I:
- We met Shilard again in King Henselt's camp, which was not surprising, since Fitz-Oesterlen always circled monarchs like an old vulture circles a carcass. The discussion he had with Geralt brought no hard facts, but a careful listener could take more from the questions the Imperial diplomat asked offhandedly, than from the answers he offered the witcher. He was interested in the situation in the north, the sorcerers and their summit in Loc Muinne, as well as in seemingly unimportant trifles. Either way, I already suspected back then that he was playing a game of the highest stakes.
- If Geralt chooses Iorveth's path during the end of chapter I:
- The meeting with Shilard during Geralt's visit to the camp was not as friendly as their previous ones. It turned out that Shilard's gambit saw the witcher as a pawn blocking the way to Triss Merigold. Shilard intended to use her in his political intrigues, and, since Geralt had become an inconvenience, the envoy ordered him killed without a second thought. Then he headed for Loc Muinne.
- I do not know the nature of the deals which linked Fitz-Oesterlen and Radovid V the Stern, but one could easily assume that they served the Empire's political interests first and foremost. Geralt had had enough of Shilard's political games, and began repaying the debts the ambassador had incurred with a delicate assault on the envoy's personal inviolability. Then came the smashing of his face.
- If Geralt chooses to rescue Anaïs La Valette or help Philippa Eilhart in chapter III:
- The Nilfgaardian emissary's speech caused more confusion at the Loc Muinne summit than an attack by the Emperor's "Impera " brigade would have. If sowing chaos was the Empire's goal, then Fitz-Oesterlen discharged his duties exquisitely.
- If Geralt chooses to rescue Triss in chapter III:
- Shilard was to be the witcher's trump in recovering Triss. Unfortunately he turned out to have less value than either he or Geralt thought, a fact they learned when Renuald aep Matsen shot his countryman in cold blood. If anyone was more surprised than Geralt, it was – for a moment, anyway – Shilard Fitz-Oesterlen.
In the third and final installment of the trilogy, there is a gwent card that bears his image and name.