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Stefan Skellen, known as Tawny Owl, was a Nilfgaardian coroner and member of the Imperial Secret Service. He was tasked with finding, capturing and bringing Ciri to Emperor Emhyr var Emreis. To achieve this, he formed a gang full of various mercenaries and also hired Leo Bonhart, a famous and noted bounty hunter.

However his plans were different : indeed, he wasn't fully convinced of a totalitarian regime in the empire and so, as a believer in a constitutional monarchy that could later evolve into a democracy, he took part in a conspiracy along with Joachim de Wett, Count d'Arvy, Berengar Leuvaarden, the Count of Broinne and Ardal aep Dahy to overthrow Emperor Emhyr var Emreis and he used his gang to kill Ciri instead of capturing her as Emhyr ordered.

Bonhart managed in the task of finding Ciri, who in the meantime joined the Rats, but he didn't keep the deal: indeed, instead of killing the girl, he captured her and bringed her in Claremont, where he forced her to fight in the arena of his cousin Houvenaghel.

Later Skellen, Bonhart and Rience had a meeting in Unicorn, where they discussed about Ciri's fate, who in the meantime was tied in the main square of the village. During their discussion however, Kenna and Neratin Ceka, freed Ciri who started running away.

During her escape, Skellen hit and left a permanent mark on the left of Ciri's face in the form of a scar using an Orion, his choice of weaponry.

After the death of Vilgefortz, the Impera Brigade captured him in Stygga castle. He was declared a traitor, tried, and sentenced to death by hanging on the Millennium Square, although Vattier de Rideaux tried to ask for mercy for him to Emhyr.

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