The Wild Hunt, or Wraiths of Mörhogg, as they are called in Skellige, was widely believed to be a group of specters galloping in the sky. They were described by common folk as a cavalcade of wraiths on undead horses galloping across the sky and serving as an omen of war. In fact, they are a group of Aen Elle elves from Tir ná Lia who also call themselves the Dearg Ruadhri in their native Elder Speech, meaning Red Riders. They are led by general, and later king Eredin Bréacc Glas, commonly known as the King of the Wild Hunt. Their true purpose was to find and capture slaves from other worlds, such as that of the Aen Seidhe, to serve the Alder Folk.
- Eredin - King of the Wild Hunt
- Imlerith - Commander of the Hunt
- Caranthir - Navigator of the Hunt
- Geralt (formerly)
- Ge'els (not actively part of the Hunt)
Origin of Red Riders Edit
During the Conjunction of the Spheres, part of the elves from the main world, later described as the Aen Seidhe world, left their kin and through portals came to a new world. They took the new world for their own and started to call themselves Aen Elle - the Alder folks. That world however was inhabited by two intelligent species - humans and unicorns. Elves started to wage war with both of them and eventually completely eradicated all the humans and their settlements.
For some time, everything was great for the elves and their civilization thrived. They built a beautiful palace known as Tir ná Lia that served as their capitol.However, after some time, the elves wanted servants or better yet, slaves. The only other sentient beings on their world were unicorns, who they constantly battled with, and unicorns were obviously not very well suited to be slaves. Around that time, the elves managed to force some of unicorns to open the Gate of the Worlds - Ard Gaeth, giving them access to all possible worlds to massacre as they pleased. Thus the elven king Auberon Muircetach ordered a creation of a cavalry unit with a single goal. They were tasked to invade alien worlds and capture young humanoids to serve as slaves. The cavalry was named Dearg Ruadhri which meant Red Riders - because of their red cloaks. The king appointed general Eredin Bréacc Glas as the leader of Red Riders for he was efficient and ruthless soldier with strong magical abilities. Thus the Red Riders started their invasions to other worlds. To intimidate the local people, they wore skeletal armor that made them look extremely threatening and they used exclusively black steeds. On some occasions, they also used a very long and powerful ship known as Naglfar, which is said to be able to float in sky. During their raids, they used a vision projections to appear more spectral. That is why people started to think that the group is made of wraiths and specters. However, after some time, Unicorns managed to take the Gate away from them and the elves lost their access to space time travel. They were only partially able to recover it in form of special mages known as the navigators. Their abilities to travel to different worlds were however severely limited as the navigators were only able to open portals for relatively small group of riders and thus they were able to secure only limited number of slaves. That is why in those times, riders started to use a different tactics. They enhanced their spectral projections to such a level, that they usually traveled only in the spectral form. In their true corporeal form, they raided only on some occasions when it was absolutely necessary. Yet even in their spectral form, they were still able to secure a decent number of slaves. Because their appearance to common people was so frightening and demonic, the Red Riders were given much more sinister name by humans - the Wild Hunt.
Wild Hunt Edit
For hundreds of years, the hunt periodically returned to different worlds but mainly to their original homeworld known as the world of Aen Seidhe. The reason for this was that in thousand years since their departure, the world was taken and completely controlled by humans and thus served as an ideal place to gather slaves. The Wild Hunt appeared mainly during winter, but not always. Their raids sometimes lasted for months and during those times, they literally traveled across the entire Continent.
They seldom traveled in their "corporeal" form on ground but rather as a spectral projection on sky. It was also said that their horses had six legs, yet that may have been just a part of their spectral visions for all the horses were in fact normal animals. Every raid was led by Eredin himself who people started to call the King of the Wild Hunt. They believed him to be an extremely powerful spectral king who steals the souls of his victims, and they feared him immensely. Every appearance of the Hunt was feared and considered to be a bad omen - an omen of war, just like a comet.
On Skellige islands, people witnessed both the riders, and their demonic ship Naglfar. That encounter had strong impact on their culture and traditions. The Hunt was there called the Wraiths of Morhogg and it was widely believed that they will return as an army during the end of the world - Ragh nar Roog. The Naglfar was, according to Skellige legends, made of nails of the dead. Thus they practiced a ceremonial removing of all nails to all their dead.
Strangely enough, the Hunt did not raise very strong curiosity amongst the inhabitants of the world. It was viewed as a sort of natural phenomenon like storms, or earthquakes, that cannot be helped with. Fortunately there were some exceptions. Over the years, a few mages studied the Hunt and its patterns and tried to figure out what they really were. In Nilfgaard, there was an entire school of witchers opened and dedicated to the mysteries of the Wild Hunt - the School of the Viper. This school contained a vast library full of texts and books concerning the Hunt, however the school later dissolved. Also, some of the individuals abducted by the Hunt managed to escape and returned to their home. Those however discovered that while they were gone, time moved forward very fast and everyone they ever knew was already dead or extremely old. Their stories about an elven world with unicorns was not believed and they were considered insane. Thus, the secret behind the Wild Hunt, its origin and purpose remain hidden to most.
Recent activity Edit
In 1267, princess Cirilla, commonly known as Ciri, escaped her mentor, sorceress Yennefer of Vengerberg, during their stay in Gors Velen and headed for a nearby village. She headed there because she knew that her father figure, witcher Geralt of Rivia, was there. She was quite soon followed by the sorceress, who caught up with her after some time. This was actually good thing since the girl was followed by the Hunt. Even though the girl was still very young and her powers were still in their lowest, the Hunt caught her scent and immediately recognised the potential the girl had. It was not a mere magic that interested the Hunt, but rather Ciri's Elder Blood. Though it looked bad for the girl, thanks to both Yennefer and Geralt, she escaped and they evaded the Hunt. This encounter was crucial for the little girl, because since that day, she became a primary target of the Hunt.
Some time later, Ciri was able to travel to different worlds. She met another Aen Elle elf named Avallac'h, who knew exactly who the girl was, and what her powers were. He lured her into the Aen Elle world. There, she became a sort of prisoner to both him and Eredin. Those two were de facto rulers of their world since the real king Auberon, became very distant and cared not for his subjects nor his world.
Avallac'h explained to her that she is a direct descendant of Lara Dorren, Auberon's daughter and carrier of the Elder Blood gene. That power of Elder Blood was indeed inherited by Ciri and thus, it would be passed on her children as well. They wanted her to mate with the king and give him a child that would reintroduce the Aen Elle to that power again. What's more, The Elder Blood would give them access to the Gate again.
Even though, she resisted at first, she eventually agreed. Auberon however was not so easily convinced. He understood the need for him to impregnate the girl, but she was human, something, he considered disgusting. In the eyes of Aen Elle, humans were considered little more than animals, thus the king was unable to perform - the little girl simply did not attract him at all. That is why Eredin came up with an idea to give the king an aphrodisiac. This was however a ruse since Eredin prepared an overdose of the substance. The king, who was the eldest of the elves, more than 650 elven years old, could not handle the dosage and died. There was some speculation whether or not Eredin intended to murder the king or if it was just an accident. Future shown that indeed Eredin committed regicide to elevate himself.
Just like he planned, he became a new king. His ultimate goal was to harness the power from Ciri and reopen the Gate. Ciri received help from her unicorn friend Ihuarraquax who helped her not only escape the palace, but the Aen Elle world itself. Eredin took his Red Riders and pursued her but eventually she evaded them. Thus they returned to their world empty handed.
New order Edit
When Eredin returned, he fully usurped the kingship over the Aen Elle. He appointed Ge'els as his viceroy because he still continued to lead the Red Riders and went with them almost every time. Thus Ge'els ruled in his stead. Also, amongst the Riders themselves, he appointed two elves as his generals - Caranthir, the golden child, as the chief navigator and Imlerith as his second in command. However Eredin was forced to carefully keep the secret regarding his ascension to the throne for Auberon was very loved by the elves. Only individual that was aware of Eredin's regicide was Avallac'h, though he kept the information for himself, for he had no proof. Instead, he left the world, and came on his own to find Ciri.
Around this time, the Aen Elle world faced a terrible danger. The White Frost, a legendary universe-wide destructive force, came and started to freeze the world. Though the most skillful mages tried to stop it, the best they managed was to slow the spread down. Thanks to the fight against the White Frost, those mages discovered some things about the phenomenon, that they managed to use as a weapon. They started to use the frost magic - using snow and freezing temperature in offensive way. They also started to use a special hounds as their first wave. After a while it became obvious, that the Aen Elle cannot save themselves. The only way to save them, was to posses the Elder Blood and thus, another hunt for Ciri, now more desperate then ever, begun.
Hunt for Ciri Edit
The easiest way for the Hunt to follow Ciri was to wait until she used her powers and exactly this happened during 1268 in the Aen Seidhe world in Rivia, where a pogrom occurred. During this pogrom, both Geralt and Yennefer died. Ciri could not bear the loss so with the help of her unicorn friend Ihuarraquax, they managed to resurrect them and then "moved" them to the legendary Avalon island.
Though Ciri left them and went on her journey, this was enough for the Hunt to catch her scent. They followed her ever since, sometimes being only a moment behind her. Around that time, Avallac'h came to contact with Ciri and eventually became her mentor and helped her control her powers of the Elder Blood.
Knowing, that they may never catch the girl again, Eredin came up with a new plan. He knew that she cares for both the witcher and the sorceress, thus he planned to have them captured to lure the girl out. Indeed, the Wild Hunt soon came to the island. Geralt fought bravely and managed to kill many "wraiths" only to discover that they are no wraiths at all. Eventually though, there were too many of them and the King of the Wild Hunt managed to capture Yennefer and ride off with her. Geralt managed to get back to the Aen Seidhe world and started his pursuit of the Hunt. On his way, he met and saved three fellow witchers. The three were Letho of Gulet, Serrit and Auckes, all three witchers from the School of the Viper. They decided to help him and joined his pursuit. Eventually they came to the Hanged man Tree deep in Nilfgaard. Here they fought the Hunt and managed to slay great many warriors of the Wild Hunt. In the end, they were only four and could not have hopped, they will be victorious. Thus Geralt made a proposition for the King. He offered his soul for Yennefer. Eredin agreed and released the sorceress. Geralt went with them and became a rider of the Wild Hunt. Letho and his companions took care of Yennefer, who suffered amnesia because of her time with the Hunt.
Geralt rode with the Hunt for some time and just like Eredin planned, Ciri discovered this and tried to save him. In 1270, she managed to do that and "placed" Geralt, now also with the amnesia, near the ruins of Kaer Morhen, where he was discovered by his fellow witchers. Ciri then escaped again, and the Hunt followed her, leaving Geralt to his fate. Though the Hunt left the world, Eredin maintained his spectral form in the Aen Seidhe world, and from time to time, hounded Geralt and hindered his quests. This culminated in a fight between the witcher, and the spectral form of the King of the Wild Hunts in the icy world already consumed by the White Frost. Geralt managed to defeat his enemy and for a time, Hunt did not return to the world.
In 1272 Ciri returned to her homeworld. Still learning from Avallac'h, her control over her powers was far better than before, though her training was far from over. The duo spent most of their time in Skellige, where Avallac'h had his laboratory. They were however again followed by the Hunt. Warriors of the Hunt attacked them in a forest on Ard Skellig. Using a very powerful spell, they created a giant magical explosion that killed many members of the Hunt. This event gave them opportunity to escape Skellige via portal, yet they separated. What's more, Avallac'h suffered a great loss for the Hunt cursed him with a very special and strong curse. Ciri ended in Velen, in Crookback Bog where she was captured by the Crones.
Those witches were servants of the Wild Hunt and summoned Imlerith yet the Elder Blood coursing in Ciri's veins was too tempting for the wicked trio and they wanted to taste it. That led to Ciri escape them and thus the Hunt. For a time, they lost her scent until she appeared again on Skellige, now on Hindarsfjall. They attacked the village and killed almost every grown men there. Ciri however managed to escape thanks to a certain boy named Skjall. Ciri managed to evade the Hunt and reunite with Avallac'h. He insisted on them leaving yet she wanted to help the villagers. Thus he was forced to knock her unconscious and hid her away on the Isle of Mists. Few moments later, he succumbed to the Curse and transformed into Uma, the ugliest man alive. Not long after that, The hunt came to Velen, to the village named Heatherton where they captured a Nilfgaardian spy named Hendrik, who they thought could lead them to Ciri's trail. They tortured the man and eventually killed him but they did not find his notes and thus learned nothing from him. Before they left, they destroyed the entire village leaving only one survivor.
Later, the Hunt discovered that Avallac'h had another hideout, this one in Velen, and they invaded the place in hopes they can find some clues where Ciri might be. They dispatched a warrior named Nithral to take control of the hideout. Unfortunately for him, Geralt, with a sorceress Keira Metz, entered the hideout as well and ultimately faced and killed the warrior.
Eventually, Geralt discovered, that Uma is indeed a person inflicting by a curse and possibly even Ciri Herself. That is why he decided to take him to Kaer Morhen and attempt to remove the curse. With the help of Yennefer and his fellow witchers, they were successful and changed Uma to his true self - that of the elf Avallac'h. Though he was barely alive and still in great danger, he told them where he hid Ciri and warned them, that once Ciri is taken from the island, the Hunt will know and follow. Witchers decided that they will use this to their advantage and lure the Wild Hunt to their keep and face them there. While, they stayed and prepared defenses of Kaer Morhen, Geralt went to every people he recently helped and ask them for the assistance in the upcoming battle. When he secured help of enough allies, he went to the Isle of Mist and indeed managed to find Ciri. The duo had only a short time for reunion as the Naglfar appeared. They had no choice but to teleport to Kaer Morhen.
Battle of Kaer Morhen Edit
Because they arrived to the keep via portal and not through conventional way, they alerted the Hunt to their presence, thus vastly shortening their time to prepare. However the defenders still managed to prepare decent defenses. Yennefer took a position on the roof of the keep to create a magical shield that would keep at bay the frost magic. Sorceress Triss Merigold was guarding a wall, ready to cast fireballs to any and all soldiers of the Hunt. Geralt with Lambert, and possibly even Letho, went on foot to hunt down as many warriors and hounds as possible. Ciri, against her wishes, had to stay in the keep to be safe from the Hunt.
The inner atrium was protected by another witcher, Eskel and the main entrance to the keep was guarded by the eldest of the witchers, Vesemir. When the preparations were done, the defenders could do nothing but wait. They did not have to wait long.
As the Wild Hunt appeared, they created the frost magic as their first line of attack. They were however unable to penetrate the shield Yennefer casted, thus this attack failed. That is why they created portals near the Kaer Morhen and sent the first wave of warriors and hounds. Witchers were however already waiting for them and killed them one by one and using Dimeritium bombs and Yrden signs, they managed to close all the portals. Their victory was short lived as many new portals opened and countless warriors emerged. Witchers fought fiercely yet they started to be desperate because they already sent a signal arrow that should tell Triss where to cast a fireball. Triss however did not do anything because she herself was attacked by the Hunt. Eventually Ciri decided not to stand by and went to help her. With her help, Triss killed all the warriors and thus was free to cast the fireball. Witchers noticed the spells and thanks to the Quen sign, they were able to survive. The warriors of the Hunt had no such luck. Unfortunately, as before, new portals opened. This time, the warriors were led by Imlerith himself. Geralt immediately recognized him and decided to retreat to the keep. There Vesemir was already under attack so Geralt had to help his mentor. What's more, Imlerith and his men were approaching and the gate was still open. Thus Vesemir tasked Geralt to close it. The witcher managed that barely in time and bought the defenders enough time to retreat to the second level.
However, with the gate closed, the defenders were trapped in the second level. Eskel, who guarded the gate still did not open it. It was because he himself was under attack. A group of warriors of the Hunt ambushed him and then, their general appeared, Caranthir, the golden child.
He dueled the witcher and even though Eskel managed to hold on, eventually using his abilities, Caranthir defeated him. When he prepared for the final blow, Ciri appeared and saved her old friend. She wanted to fight Caranthir but he was recalled away via a horn. Thus Ciri and Eskel fought only the warriors. They managed to defeat them rather quickly and then Ciri went to the gate to open it. She managed to do it and thus the defenders were able to retreat to the keep, there, they continued to fight bravely until Yennefer collapsed and her magical shield ceased to exist. Immediately the frost magic froze Geralt and the others. Ciri, along with Vesemir managed to evade the cold but they were caught off guard by the Hunt. This time, The King of the Wild Hunt himself led the attack. With his generals at his side, he advanced to them. Vesemir did everything he could to get Ciri to safety but he was caught by Imlerith as a hostage. Eredin used this situation and told Ciri that if she would come with them, they would let the old witcher live. Vesemir had however different plan in mind and tossed a hidden dagger and buried it deep into Imlerith's body. This did not kill the giant elf. Instead it angered him to such a degree, that he snapped Vesemir's neck, killing him instantly.
Ciri witnessed her beloved "uncle" Vesemir die and this caused in her such a schock and pain that she succumbed to the burst of raw Power, similar to one her mother Pavetta had during her courtship. This eruption of the Elder Blood power was so strong, that it started to kill the Hunt warriors and everything nearby. Eredin tried to reach her despite suffering greatly by it yet before he could, Caranthir decided to open portal and got his king into safety. Though the Hunt retreated, Ciri was unable to stop her cry. At the last instance, still weak Avallac'h appeared and thanks to his spells, managed to calm Ciri down and stop the outburst. Thus the Battle of Kaer Morhen ended with the Wild Hunt being more or less defeated, or at least repelled.
Regroup and final confrontation Edit
Though Eredin and his generals retreated safely, they lost countless warriors. Thus they needed time to regroup. This was good news for Imlerith who was invited by the Crones to Sabbath, a festival with human sacrifice. Ciri learned, that he will be present and decided she will go there to exact a revenge on him. Though hesitant, Geralt eventually agreed to go there with her. The duo arrived and eventually managed to enter the Bald Mountain. There, they decided to split up - Geralt went for Imlerith and Ciri for the Crones. Indeed, Geralt found Imlerith surrounded by Succubi. They quickly left as the two warriors prepared to fight. Imlerith used his great mace and shield yet Geralt, armed only with his silver sword, had speed and agility.
He eventually hurt him enough so Imlerith was forced to throw away the shield and instead use his teleportation ability. The fight went on for some time, and the witcher managed to hurt the elven general even more. Eventually though Imlerith got the upper hand and managed to grab Geralt in one crushing embrace. Before he could finish him off, Geralt used Igni sign and burnt his head inside his helmet. Defeated Imlerith fall on his knees and removed his helmet revealing his completely burnt face. Geralt took the general's mace and with one devastating blow cruched his head, thus avenging Vesimir. This was indeed a great loss for the Red Riders, since Imlerith was extremely efficient and skilled commander.
Later when Geralt and Ciri arrived in Novigrad, they rejoined others, including Avallac'h. He told Geralt about his plan to visit the Aen Elle world, or more precisely, Tir ná Lia, in hopes that they could reason with the viceroy Ge'els. Though Avallac'h still had no direct evidence of Eredin's regicide, he planned to bring Ge'els to Novigrad to certain Corinne Tilly, extremely skillful oneiromancer. The duo eventually got to the palace and found the viceroy in the gardens. after a brief conversation, he agreed to go with them. There, Corinne showed him in his dream, that Eredin indeed killed their beloved king. Ge'els was very disappointed by what he learned and in turn, gave Geralt and his friends advice. He told them not to engage Eredin and his riders in the Aen Elle world, but rather lure them into the Aen Seidhe world. He also told them about a certain artifact known as the Sunstone and that it is hidden on Skellige. This artifact was, according to him, able to summon the entire Hunt. And last, he promised them, that once the king call to the Aen Elle world for reinforcements, he shall receive none. With those words, he left them and returned to his world. Thus the defenders went to Skellige to find the Sunstone.
Thanks to the help of sorceress Philippa Eilhart, Geralt was able to find the artifact and give it to Avallac'h. Since the Nilfgaardian emperor Emhyr var Emreis and his invasion fleet were already on Skellige, Geralt visited him and bargained for release of sorceress Fringilla Vigo. Emhyr released her and also, learning about the plan to defeat the Wild Hunt, promised to help the witcher. And last, but not least, Jarl Crach an Craite, and his son Hjalmar agreed to commit their forces to help against the wraiths and to protect Ciri, with whom they shared long history. Thus eventually all the forces gathered on Undvik, where they made their last preparations before the battle. Avallac'h instructed all the sorceresses how to best position themselves and defend the forces of the Hunt. Geralt boarded one of the Nilfgaardian ships under the command of general Morvran Voorhis. Those ships were to attack the Naglfar once it appears. And finally Ciri was again forbade to participate and instead she was forced to stay behind in safety.
When everything was ready, Avallac'h used the Sunstone and summoned the Hunt. Not long after the frost magic appeared and decimated the Nilfgaardian fleet - freazing the sea and thus crushing the ships. Then the Naglfar appeared. Ciri knew, that they fell to trap laid by Eredin and decided to dissobey Avallac'h. She teleported near the crushed fleet witnessing Geralt leading survivors out of those ships only to be frozen by Caranthir. She did not hessitate and went for the general. They dueled using their abilities and their skills. Ciri knew that her primary target is not the mage himself, but rather his staff that was a source of the frost magic. Eventually she mannaged to hit the staff's crystal with her sword and destroy it. Resulting explosion was so large, that it knocked both the opponents out. First to come back to his senses was Caranthir. He went for Ciri and attempted to capture her but at the last instance, she recovered and teleported away. Since his saff was broken, there was nothing to keep the frost magic and not long after, Geralt managed to free himself. When he did, he immediately attacked the navgator general. Though Caranthir was not at his best, he managed to put up a decent fight but eventually he did not escape the witcher's sword. In his last attempt, he grabed the witcher by his leg and teleported both into depths of the ocean. Geralt was however able to free himself from his grasp and reach the surface in time. Thus, the second general of the Hunt perished.
Once on surface, Geralt witnessed barely standing Ciri being followed by Naglfar. Before the demonic longship could have reach her however, a Skellige ship set on fire rammed it and immobilized it. What's more, the flames set Naglfar ablaze. An Craite worriors including Crach and Hjalmar attacked the longship and batteled one warrior after another. Crach went so far as to board the demonic ship and face the King of the Wild Hunt himself. In the mean time, Geralt ran to the ship, witnessing brave Skelligers and after some time he managed to reach the ship. Unfortunately, he was too late and Eredin already killed the mighty Crach. Geralt could only avenge his friend and thus he attacked him. The two first engaged in a duel on the ship yet Geralt proved to be far more agile then Eredin and managed to give him several blows. Thus Eredin opened a portal and teleported them the icy plains where their fight continued. Eredin was using not only his sword but his frost magic as well. The witcher however evaded his attacks and after a while, managed to give the king a crushing blow. Eredin retreated via portal back to the ship yet Geralt followed him. There their fight continued but only briefly because Gerald stabbed the king into his body and gravely wounded Eredin fell down. In his dying breath, he told Geralt, that Avallac'h betrayed them both and took of with Cirilla. Then, Eredin, the King of the Wild Hunt, lord of the Alder Folks, died.
Immediately after Eredin died, his hounds surraunded the witcher intending to kill him. At the last instance, he was pulled through a portal created by Yennefer and thus escaping into safety. Without their king, the Wild Hunt was disoriented and Skelligers proved themselves to be formidable opponents. What's more, Ge'els kept his word and did not send any reinforcements at all. Thus the Hunt was defeated but the victory was short lived. Tor Gvalch'ca, a local elven tower activated and fired a beam of light to the sky.
This ment the gate between world is reopened. Geralt and Yennefer hasted towards the tower and eventually, only the witcher managed to reach it. It appeared Eredin told a truth since it was in fact Avallac'h standing in the middle of the tower, using his magic to keep the Gate open. What he did was as a matter of fact the second Conjunction of the Spheres. Geralt wanted to fight the elf but was stopped by Ciri. She explained to him, that Avallac'h opened the Gate for her in order to fight the White Frost. She said her farewells and left through the portal. Once she left, Avallac'h closed the Gate and thus the calamity ended.
What happened after, we do not know, but both Ge'els and Avallac'h survived so it is possible, they kept their positions and ruled the elves. The Wild Hunt however was no more.
- The Wild Hunt originates from European folklore and possibly myth. There are many legends of the Hunt, but notable among them is that the cavalcade is led by the god Odin.
- The Wild Hunt's horses have six legs. This is possibly a reference to Odin's horse Sleipnir, who is described having a similar physique.
- The medieval German hero Dietrich von Bern is said to have been carried off by the Hunt at the end of his life.
- To look upon the riders is perilous. It is also considered an omen of death, as the riders are the souls of the dead themselves.
- One of the earliest references to the Hunt appears in the writings of the 12th-century British writer Walter Map, who names the king as Herla.
- The appearance of the Wild Hunt is also an omen of war, and signifies the coming of war or tragedy.
- The abductions or disappearances affiliated with the Wild Hunt are most common during or before times of war.
Game Info Edit
The King of the Wild Hunt and his specters appear to Geralt over the course of The Witcher, taunting and twisting his memories.
The first glimpse of the King and its minions occur near Kaer Morhen in the Prologue. In Chapter I it appears again in the Outskirts along with the ghost of Leo. In Chapter IV, Geralt must avoid summoning him while completing a quest for the Hermit. These encounters culminate at the end of the game where Geralt must face another major dilemma.
- "The Wild Hunt is a horde of specters that roams the sky during storms and is an omen of disaster. The appearance of the Wild Hunt foreshadows war and woe, much as a comet does. The spectral Wild Hunt sometimes appears in nightmares of the cursed or those touched by Destiny.
- Signs and a silver sword are both effective after dispatching the King of the Wild Hunt.
- During the Prologue, Lambert may say that the Wild Hunt was present when Eskel and Vesemir found Geralt, and that Triss urged them to drive the specters away.
- Furthering the Dead Hand of the Past quest triggers an encounter with the King of the Wild Hunt.
- The Hermit initiates Hunting the Wild Hunt, describing it as "a group of crazed specters who traverse the heavens searching for souls like themselves. They are susceptible to magic, especially of the ritual kind."
- In the Epilogue, Geralt may again discuss the Hunt with the Hermit; this does not result in any new journal entries (not even a bestiary entry if you were missing it).
- If Geralt kills the King, he can loot Vapors of the Hunt with or without the associated journal entries.
A book can be purchased on the topic of the Wild Hunt. Reading the volume adds to the journal entry.
Journal Entry Edit
According to tradition and eye witness accounts, the Wild Hunt abducts people, forcing them to join its mad gallopade on the sky. It's harvest is especially rich just before or during a great war, like a few years ago in Novigrad, when over twenty people went missing without a trace after the Wild Hunt passed. Some of the abductees managed to escape the cavalcade back into the world of the living, but the stories they told were so extraordinary that they were always considered insane.
Stories of the Wild Hunt do not appear in the dwarven and elven cultures. It is quite interesting, for the Elder Races must have faced the Hunt long before humans did. As it seems, the dwarves ignore everything on mutual terms, while the elves are mysteriously silent on that subject.
Sorceress Yennefer of Vengerberg was abducted by the Wild Hunt, just like witcher Geralt of Rivia. Her fate remains unknown, though she certainly did not join the host of wraith horsemen, unlike her lover who was one of the Hunt's riders for some time. The motivation of the gallopades leader, the King of the Hunt, remains, as always, unknown.
According to the Nordlings, the Wild Hunt is a procession, or rather a cavalcade of skeletal horsemen. They rush across the sky on the bony remains of steeds. Clad in rusty remnants of armor, they wear jagged swords at their waists. Like comets, the Wild Hunt is an omen of war, which has been confirmed beyond all doubt. The spectral cavalcade ventures out in search of victims every several years, but its harvest was never as rich as just before the last war with Nilfgaard, when over twenty souls went missing in Novigrad alone after the Hunt passed through. Curiously, elven and dwarven legends make not the slightest mention of the Wild Hunt.
One of the insane asylum's patients claimed to have been abducted by the Wild Hunt and taken to a world where unicorns saunter about lush elven gardens. When he finally succeeded in escaping the Hunt's grasp, he returned to this world only to find that his children had aged and died, so many years had passed...
According to the notes of a sorcerer, who spent his entire life studying the phenomenon of the Hunt, there is a mysterious power behind the wraith host's incursions into the world.
Philippa Eilhart also has a theory about the origin, motivation and essence of the Wild Hunt. It is a surprisingly shallow theory for such a learned woman and not worthy of mention next to such illustrious deductions as the ones above.
Síle de Tansarville showed absolutely no interest in the spectral riders of the Hunt. This was puzzling to say the least given her reputation as a very learned sorceress.
There are more opinions about the Wild Hunt than there are stars in the sky. Some claim the Hunt is a retinue of the specters of knights who perished in various worlds. Others think the phantoms were created by a powerful force that sends them out into different worlds in search of slaves.
Astronomical observation can be used to calculate the frequency of the Wild Hunt's appearances. This seems to confirm the hypothesis that the spectral riders come from another world.
Mages remained silent about the Hunt, as if beset by a hoard of tongue-hungry cats. This silence from so many learned minds was as telling as words, but you'll not learn any more on this subject from me within this tale.
The poem "The Song of the Hunt" is a book as rare as hen's teeth, and a pile of rubbish about the Hunt at the same time. Experts on the subject are willing to kill for that item, but fortunately there are not many of them. The multilayered narration sends the reader into the world of the author's rich imagination where each verse equals another interpretation. Truth mingles with fantasy in that work, but there's nothing of interest there for one researching the Hunt.
No poem can remain vague when interpreted by a consummate poet. Master Dandelion thinks that "The Song of the Hunt" symbolically describes how the cavalcade enters our reality from another one. It means that the wraiths of the Hunt are the inhabitants of another world, not necessarily the world of shades, who use the primordial magic of chaos and entropy. The poem, however, fails to explains the reasons they might have for such journeys.
Aramil, an elf from a parallel world, was pursued by the spectral riders.
Notes & references Edit
- ↑ Time of Contempt
- ↑ The Lady of the Lake
- ↑ The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
- ↑ The Witcher (PC)
- ↑ The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt