On December 16th Bandai Namco Games and CD Projekt RED revealed that The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will feature a second playable character, in addition to Geralt of Rivia – the gaming franchise’s headline star. That new character will be Ciri, the ashen-hair Surprise Child who was promised to Geralt by her father, Duny (future emperor of Nilfgaard). As you should already have figured out by now, Cirilla’s no random addition to the world of The Witcher, but a very important character in Geralt’s life as her existence is connected with Geralt’s by a powerful bond of fate and ancient laws. But who exactly is she?
Cirilla Fiona Elen Riannon (refered to as Ciri, ‘the Swallow’ or ‘the Lion Cub of Cintra’) was born around the year 1252 to Princess Pavetta of Cintra, and Duny – often called Urcheon of Erlenwald due to a curse put on him – the righteous and future emperor of Nilfgaard. Ciri was promised to Geralt of Rivia who called upon the ancient Law of Surprise when he freed Duny from a curse that turned the man into a hedgehog-like creature every night.
The Law of Surprise Andrzej Sapkowski wrote of provides that a saviour can demand something “which neither the saviour nor the saved knows the nature of, until the saved man returns home” in return for an important deed, such as sparing the saved person’s life. For Geralt of Rivia, the surprise he was to receive, was the child of Duny and Pavetta.
Ciri has always been an extraordinary character in Sapkowski’s prose. Touched by the Elder Blood and gifted with powerful magical abilities she actually can’t control, she has always posed political value to whoever was powerful and influential enough to include her in his plans. Suffice it to say – without dropping too many spoilers – the story of Ciri’s life is filled with plots, wandering and brushes with death. The events of her life and the things she has had to do to survive have developed her fighting and magical skills and shaped the mind, body and character of this woman, most recently seen seen in the art recently released by the CDP RED developers.
Ciri also holds a special place in Geralt’s life, as her fate is eternally bound with the story of the White Wolf. Her addition as a playable character should then be considered a very neat move by the developers, as it could – if done right – help make The Witcher III’s story more complete, giving us another perspective on the events we’ll be part of in Wild Hunt. Speaking as a life-long Sapkowski fan, I’m happy to say that my own conclusions pretty much follow what CD Projekt RED revealed last week about the way they’ll be using the Lion Cub of Cintra.
But there’s at least one more big reason for Ciri’s inclusion in The Witcher III. I won’t spoil it for you, but if you like connecting dots to form bigger pictures, feel free to grab the books and get a head-start. The long winter nights are perfect for reading…