The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf [Transcript]

Escaping from poverty to become a witcher, Vesemir slays monsters for coin and glory, but when a new menace rises, he must face the demons of his past.
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The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf

[boy] ♪ There once was a lord ♪

♪ In dark woods ♪

♪ Wearing a strange silver band ♪

♪ Around his hand ♪

[wheels rumble]

[horse neighs]

♪ The band was charmed With ore from stars ♪

♪ Bidding all monsters away ♪

♪ Away ♪

♪ On that quiet eve ♪

♪ Among these trees ♪

♪ A bandit slew the good lord ♪

♪ Stealing that band ♪

♪ Off a dead man’s hand ♪

♪ For the bandit also feared ♪

♪ Monsters ♪

Sugo, keep your eyes and ears open!

It’s frightening the girls.

[Sugo] They wouldn’t even be scared…

[grunts]

…if you hadn’t gotten lost.

Really, Papa, you grew up in Kaedwen.

King clearly dug new trails. [grunts]

[girl] Is it true, Papa?

Are bandits killing innocents along these trails?

[man] Oh, pumpkin.

There are no bandits. [grunts]

[girls screaming]

[neighing frantically]

No!

[all screaming]

Sister!

[limbs squelching]

[panting]

[sobbing]

[gasping]

[indistinct fluttering]

[Sugo yelps]

[Sugo] A witcher.

[ringing sound]

[creaking]

[witcher chuckles] Fancy look.

[snarling]

You must make a killing at druid festivals.

Don’t usually see your sorts around these parts.

[screeches]

Ha! I see.

[creature snarling]

You’re a trailblazer, flaunting the new fad.

Trendsetter, you.

[screeches]

Very bold! [grunts]

Whoa, there. People should get acquainted more, really.

[grunts] Converse, a little foreplay.

Especially when one’s about to kill the other.

Though you leshens don’t speak, so there’s the rub.

[screeches]

[grunting]

[grunts] Forest hobo or deadly, flapping swarm.

Let’s pick a look… [grunts]

…and stick with it.

Deadly, flapping swarm it is.

[grunts]

Away. It’s not dead.

So kill it. You’re a witcher.

There are several ways to kill a leshen.

Behead it, sacrifice a few of its furry pets, even a few old dryad spells will do.

Which will you…

[growls]

[screeches]

[leshen] Garean bhaedh aip me vhoelynath.

Garean bhaedh aip me vhoelynath.

Thought you said they don’t speak?

[hissing whisper] Garean bhaedh aip me vhoelynath.

They don’t.

[dramatic theme music playing]

[trinkets rustling]

Wait!

Wait. I’m noble blood.

You can’t leave me here.

What am I to do?

He said, “Practice your sad face, and maybe a passerby will offer you a ride.”

[woman] And what of your sisters?

The witcher said to use my sad face on the alderman too.

So he’d spare some men to…

gather the bodies.

Dry eyes, child.

I’ll see that your father and sisters are returned to you and laid to rest properly.

[woman] Sugo’s father was a treasured member of the Assembly and a loyal subject to our king.

My students and I resubmit our petition.

Seize the witcher home of Kaer Morhen and exile its occupants for crimes against Kaedwen’s people.

From what the boy told us, Your Highness, the witcher slew the leshen that was terrorizing our forests.

Lady Zerbst, since when have leshens prowled about Kaedwen, never mind with such hostility?

Eh?

Oh, you’re suggesting the witchers have been staging these forest attacks.

So scandalous, Madam Gilcrest.

Monster species have dwindled under their swords.

[murmuring]

They need coin.

Some have turned to mercenary work, others criminality.

One even took a bounty on a cheating husband’s head.

And you have evidence to prove your conspiracy?

Or are we to merely bank on your magical intuition?

It’s their natures, my lady.

Witchers are the offspring of foul sorcery.

Roaming our lands, voting themselves the stalkers of evil, extorting coin from the gullible.

Honest, simple peasants who ascribe all misfortune to spells and monsters.

Mages create the witcher.

Then presume it’s our duty to hold the bucket and mop up their brown mess.

[attendants laughing]

[king chuckles]

I’m with Lady Zerbst on this one.

The witchers remain at Kaer Morhen.

At least until such time as evidence is provided that supports your theory.

[attendants murmuring]

[upbeat folk music playing]

When a witcher inflicts pain, he experiences ecstasy.

[hooded figure] The creature’s words are Ellyon.

A dead elven dialect linked to darker times.

Few remember the ancient tongue. Fewer dare speak it.

But how a leshen would know it or be afraid of some den…

Never said it was afraid.

You speak Ellyon, don’t you, Filavandrel?

You witchers are desperate for coin.

Turning to elves for leads on work.

These pleasures do not pay for themselves. What did the leshen say?

“Beware the den of my dead.”

Hmm. Things you don’t wish to hear in a bath.

Did you notice anything else unusual?

There was an energy in the woods.

Some sort of magic, maybe.

Controlling the leshen, bewitching it.

What’s your face?

Over the last four summers, girls have been disappearing from our ranks.

Oh, God, no elf drama.

[Filavandrel] The first we feared were deserting us after the last cleansing.

But the disappearances haven’t stopped.

Tragic, really. Very terrible.

One of the first to vanish was a young mage, Kitsu.

She spoke Ellyon. We should return to these forests.

See, I’m a monster hunter, Fil, not an elf wrangler, not even the murderous ones, but good luck.

[Filavandrel] A favor to a friend, then?

[witcher] Favors and friends don’t pay bills.

Quite the opposite.

[Filavandrel] You’ve really no shame.

I have a reputation and a healthy estimation of my talent’s worth.

My apologies for trying to save you from a wasted winter at Kaer Morhen.

[laughs] Wasted?

Well, there’s drinking, eating, sleeping.

All free.

[Filavandrel] And the training of another greedy gang of young witchers.

I leave that to my peers.

[Filavandrel sighs]

Imagine if you witchers labored for more than just thrill and coin.

Imagine if you elves wielded your swords as well as you do guilt.

[cloak rustling]

[woman] Please! Get them!

[dog barking]

[man] Vesemir, get over here!

[woman muttering incoherently] Where do… Hey! They must go!

[wailing and giggling]

Now they’re nibbling. No! [giggles]

Licking. Ooh! They’re licking.

[laughing] Oh! Tongues!

[men grunting]

[woman] No! Aah!

Vesemir!

I told you, double knots!

I did, Father. Just as you showed.

[woman wailing]

Let’s see if the boy can handle fetching a wet cloth.

[woman screams]

A lesser man would sell your boy to another family.

[man] Yes, sir.

At least my son proves a measure of your generous character.

Head to the market. We will need blue gum to sedate our lady.

[woman] No!

Try not to cock it up.

[woman cackling madly]

Please stop! Please make it stop!

[man] No.

[woman] No!

[birds chirping]

[horse neighing]

Stop fidgeting!

[giggles]

[slap]

[neighs]

[grunts] Aah! Oh!

Oh!

[laughing]

Poor Illyana. I didn’t even have to take a shot.

Moron! You could’ve killed me.

Here to bother me?

The Lord insisted I look after you in the market.

Seemed rather pissed.

[Vesemir sighs]

We slave away all day long, getting shout at, and the only coin we get is when we’re sent to fetch them goods.

Just be happy you have a roof over your head and your belly’s not empty.

Barely a roof, barely not empty. Just enough to keep us here breathing.

[horse whines]

[Illyana] Fine.

There’s the world.

What would you buy if you had all its coin?

I would get the hell out of this village and travel the continent.

Adventure?

Of course.

Glory?

Oh, yes!

Girls?

[giggles]

I’d buy a gorgeous lake house.

My handsome husband and I would picnic and drink wine by the water as our children played jacks nearby.

You know what we should do?

We should take this coin and buy honey cake.

And how will our lady get her herbs?

[man] Yes, three more of those.

[woman] Fresh mixed grills!

[man] There you are, sir.

Stop! Thief!

Hey!

[child laughs]

This way!

[panting]

Oh!

[woman] Stop him!

[upbeat music playing]

[growls] Nutcase.

Mmm!

Save some for me!

See, it worked. [chuckles]

I knew it would.

[Illyana laughs]

[man] In Nilfgaard,

they’d cut your thieving hands right off.

Make you wear ’em round your neck for weeks.

Smart trick.

Odd loot.

Who you got who’s sick?

[chuckles]

Where…

Where’d a girl find balls like that in an alley wi’ a man like me?

I steal them from smelly cowards who try to bully young ladies.

[belches]

Who are you?

A humanitarian, whose well-meaning ears have heard of a local lady lost to madness and fever…

[gags]

…seeing horrors that aren’t really there.

That blue gum will certainly ease the affliction, but, uh… a sword would kill it.

Name’s Deglan.

And you’re gonna take me to your noblewoman.

Or I’m taking you two pests back to the market.

[woman groaning]

[Deglan] A demon plagues this woman.

A mahr.

Puts you down with horrid delusions and feeds off your madness.

Meteorite ore disrupts the demon’s magic, so it can be… removed.

Out. Now. All of you.

I’d like to remain.

Your boy’s likely seen a monster or two in his time, no?

[woman moaning]

Oof!

[Deglan] I’ll be casting the spell.

[grunts]

It’s on you to catch the critter.

But I thought a witcher slays monsters?

[Deglan] To slay a beast, you’ve first got to understand it.

[woman groaning]

Study it.

Find its weakness.

I want this sucker alive and kicking.

If possible.

[whispering in Elder Tongue]

[groans and screams]

Steady, young fella.

Uh…

[screeches]

[squeals]

[groans]

[groans]

[creature hisses]

[grunts]

[Deglan chuckles]

And he asked to stay.

[creature screeching]

[screeches]

[yells]

[Deglan] Never let ’em get in your head.

Better dead than fled.

There’ll always be another monster.

[woman] Vesemir.

Fetch warm water.

My head…

Oh, my head hurts wildly.

[coins jingling]

Nice weight, isn’t it?

How much you suppose the job cost that prick master of yours?

Fear and ignorance are good business.

For your service, young fella.

Take me with you.

Not many boys seek to be witchers.

Even fewer seek a life of fetching bedpans and water.

And the girl?

Your blue-eyed lass?

You hesitated back with the mahr too.

Witchers do not hesitate.

[contemplative music playing]

Stop!

Are you going to enjoy the day?

Or are you still too shook from your daring night of monster-slaying?

It was your first time, Vesemir.

Excuse me for wanting to be good at something other than serving.

Oh, I can see it now.

You, adorned in battle armor, steel and silver swords, saving the continent from kikamores, ghouls, and mad sorcerers.

Evil would tremble.

Stylish armor, by the way.

Imagine it however you like.

Only way people like us survive is to dream of ourselves as something else.

Who knows? Perhaps someday I’ll be a princess who commands the snow.

Uh!

[Illyana giggles]

Vesemir, I was only jesting.

You find our fates funny?

Why should I be meek and penniless like my father? Or you like your mother?

What’s got you so silly?

You wouldn’t understand.

Vesemir, out there, we’re nothing.

Less than nothing.

At least here, at the estate, we have station.

And if I could take care of you?

The coin that witcher made last night, you should’ve saw it.

I’d get you your lake house, all your wine.

Anything and everything.

Yours.

So trade my debt to a master I hate with a debt to one that I love?

Wait, Illyana! Stay!

You stay.

[door opens]

[man groaning]

[sighs]

[mutters]

[sighs]

[receding footsteps]

[contemplative music continues]

[dramatic music playing]

Lord Vesemir, my new best friend.

Crossed a leshen on my way here.

So we’ve heard.

Meanwhile, I barely made enough this year to score a night with a limp-pricked man-whore.

Your woes break me, Luka.

[Luka] Then we’ve got Sven here bringing back new recruits.

Bad enough we’re putting ourselves out of business with every monster we kill.

Now there’ll be even more of us.

[grunts] Not my fault people make more kids than coin.

Also, short a man-whore?

Go fuck yourself.

Aren’t you “short” everything?

Boys, monsters will fuck through the winter, then come spring, there’ll be jobs from here to Nazair.

Until then, I say we perk up, drink up, and you two focus on breaking these brats into the world of witchering.

[Vesemir] “Witchers are rogues without virtue.”

“True diabolical creatures, fit only for killing.”

“There is no place amidst honest men for them.”

My, my. How do you find this rubbish?

A few of the boys spotted ’em posted about towns on their way back.

“Tetra Gilcrest.” Sounds like a botanist.

[Deglan] A purist.

Rambles about being a descendant of the first human mage.

Would it have vexed you to bury that lad’s sisters?

You’re feeding fodder to arses like Gilcrest.

That’s a wyvern tooth, not a basilisk.

I’ll mix and match as I please.

[Vesemir] Look.

You know me and children.

Get over it, young fella.

‘Cause you’re teaching fencing to the recruits.

[Vesemir] Am I being punished?

I’m down two dozen witchers this winter.

Wimps found employ in other more lucrative nonsense.

So we’ll all be slogging more weight.

A wonderful winter of abandoned little tragedies.

Lovely.

[Deglan] Now, this leshen.

Tell me you’ve considered the thing was bewitched.

[scoffs] I’m not a dullard.

A croon could pull that feat.

A higher vampire, definitely.

Or it could be a new breed of leshen.

Actually, just elves airing their usual dirty trousers of victimhood.

[Deglan scoffs] Shame.

A few new beasts would be… good for business.

[man 1] Why’d the witcher not handle this?

[man 2] Lies and conspiracy.

[woman 1] Look away from the faces.

[flies buzzing]

[woman 2] I’d heard the leshen’d been killed.

[Tetra] A whiff of basilisk breath could snuff out ten strong men.

[Lady Zerbst] Did you find the creature’s body?

A witcher would need proof to collect his coin.

And yet…

At least help me persuade the king to send an envoy to Kaer Morhen to investigate, please.

Your acolytes have played to people’s fears well enough.

The mere act of sending an envoy would indict the witchers, whatever the truth.

Do you know what’s involved in making a witcher?

The horrors done to their recruits?

Boys no older than your orphans here.

[children laughing]

Your late husband would’ve understood this.

I was an ardent admirer of Lord Zerbst.

He was open-minded.

Forward-thinking.

Married you, after all.

Careful, Tetra.

Or be quiet.

Kaedwen’s laws grant a widow her husband’s seat at court.

The laws say nothing about erasing what she once was.

Well, how fortunate, my lady, that few have wished to press the issue.

[children grunting]

You ain’t fed us in days!

We ain’t given sleep, can barely stand up.

Now you got us playing with swords?

I don’t wish to be here any more than you do.

I’ll hazard a guess.

You all imagine there are better fates for you out there in the world.

But out there, you have nothing.

But here, we offer strength.

[boy grunts]

Purpose.

[yells]

Respect.

A chance at surviving the very horrors waiting out there.

If you don’t want that, then this… is wasted on you.

[boy] “And if you don’t want that, then this is wasted on ya.”

Ugh. That dorbel’s full of shit.

Master Deglan’s preparing us for the Path.

Better hardship here than out there.

[door opens]

[grunts]

Oh, there’s a freeze tonight.

[horses snorting]

[boy sobbing]

Shut up and steal what sleep you can.

Ah, don’t mind Tomas.

Law of Surprise.

Didn’t know he belonged to the witchers till one came knocking.

Law of Surprise?

[boy] Fancy name for when you can’t pay a witcher. Give ’em your kid.

[Vesemir] Were you sold, or did you volunteer?

[boy] Uh, my folks dumped me here. Like most.

Who chooses to be in this pigsty?

Don’t be so scared.

They’re…

They’re going to poison us.

Who?

[gasps] There are mages here.

Old ones.

Making witchers, they…

They’ll kill us. Then bring us back, but… we won’t be normal.

They call it…

The Trial of the Grasses. I know.

I get scared too.

Then I think, “Soon, I’ll be out on the Path, stronger than most anyone, wanting for nothing.”

I’ll never be scared again.

[chuckles]

You’ll come out the Trials better than normal, Tomas.

On my word.

[gasps]

[coughing]

What the…

[boy] It’s Vesemir!

[Vesemir groans] What’s happened? Where are we?

Quiet. My pa used to talk about this place.

It’s the Red Swamp.

It’s cursed.

It’s crawling with evil spirits and beasts.

Griffins.

This is a test.

Like all the others.

On the Path, a witcher’s first instinct is to survive.

It’s about wits, not swords.

We follow the moon until we’re clear.

If there’s a monster close, your medallion will…

[ringing]

Wraiths!

[Vesemir] Keep calm!

Stay together!

[screeching]

[yelps]

[wraiths screeching]

[ringing]

Huh?

[yells]

[roars]

[yelps]

[creature snarling]

[boy groans]

[sighs]

This way.

[creature snarling]

[high-pitched ringing]

[boys screaming]

Uh…

[Vesemir screaming]

[gasps]

[groans]

Oh…

[sighs]

[gasps]

[shudders]

[somber music playing]

[sobbing]

[weeping]

[ringing]

Oh!

[medallion pulsing]

[grunts]

[low droning]

The medallions sometimes sense the bestiary.

Especially when it’s full.

[Vesemir] You’re one of them.

The mages Tomas mentioned who make witchers.

You don’t look ancient.

Well, mages age quite slowly.

Witchers do too.

Gives us both decades to hone our respective skills.

The Trials are only part of my duty, though.

[snarling]

Don’t fear.

It’s merely a side effect of its hybrid genes.

Krallachs. [chuckles]

I’ve identified three different species in this specimen’s makeup.

[gasps]

It’s a nasty little crossbreed.

Master Deglan said monsters can’t mate with other species.

True. Though they can be engineered.

Imagine an army of beasts designed to wipe out the elves and the Old Races to secure land and food.

The alchemy was… inelegant, though.

Most crossbreeds died instantly.

[Vesemir] Mages made monsters, then made witchers to kill them?

[mage] Today, my mages and I guard the secrets to such mutagenic alchemy, preventing further abuse.

I’m Reidrich, by the way.

[Deglan] Are you daft, Reidrich?

A witcher deserves to understand its place in history.

A rider came while you were licking your wounds.

Left a letter for ya.

Did you know that Tomas and the others would die in the swamp?

It’s a numbers game, young fella.

[faint growling]

[Vesemir] How many survive these Trials?

Depends. How many are witchers?

Letter’s by your cot. Read it now, before I burn it.

[Illyana] “Vesemir.”

“Your thoughts are likely far from here, so I will be brief.”

“Your father is dead.”

“Kaedwen took our village and he was killed while helping the lord and lady escape, both of whom were also slain.”

[child yelling]

[wailing]

“Do not return home, Vesemir, if this were ever that to you.”

“I hope you have found warmth and comfort in this brittle world and that the world is being kind to you, and most of all, fair.”

“For me, a noble family from Kaedwen has claimed me theirs.”

“They are kinder masters.”

“They let me paint and show me how to read words, as well as write a few.”

“I am well-fed and at peace.”

“There was little to miss in our burnt-out town, and our snowball fights and alleyway desserts are heavy memories I now happily lay to rest.”

[echoing] “Find your rebirth, Vesemir, free of past burdens and hurts.”

“And yes, free of me.”

“It is best that way.”

“Live and love well.”

“Illyana.”

[dramatic music playing]

[howls]

[dramatic music continues]

[dramatic music continues]

[indistinct screaming]

Right. So, who wishes to ride and get blitzed somewhere nice and quiet?

[sighs] We stay and see who survives.

[scoffs] That could take days.

It’ll be Eskel, Lambert, maybe Remus.

Now, can we please go get right properly drunk?

[Luka] Oh, let them sulk.

We’ll drink.

[Vesemir laughing]

The midwife almost fainted when I came for my payment.

[woman giggling]

I looked an awful terror, red and sticky, but, you know, that’s the job.

[woman] And the striga? Was she cured?

[Vesemir] Yes. Yes, of course.

We need more before the next tale.

You know, that midwife should’ve hired a better savior.

A man of virtue and honor.

A real man.

Not a mutant.

Are knights being schooled in striga curses now?

Where’d that lesson fit? Between learning curtsy and joust?

We’re all here for a little drink and non-violent fun.

Ugh.

Is this the “your kind” bit?

You frighten these people.

As you frightened that midwife you swindled.

Best you leave.

Right now.

I’ve seen knights try to do our job.

Tidy up monsters.

Cautionary tales, all of you.

[snorts]

Especially the cute ones.

[growls]

The two witchers should be tried and executed. No questions asked.

[Lady Zerbst] Silly me.

Here I thought trials were all about questions.

These two killed two of your guard, Your Highness. You’d let that stand?

[Lady Zerbst] Sire, the barkeep claims your knights instigated the altercation.

These witchers were defending themselves.

The people’s faith in the monarchy already wavers due to the forest attacks.

Now they’ll hear the crown waxed idly as two monsters shed knighted blood.

So we should go to war with the witchers?

If only so you can make them what you fear?

They are deadly. On that, we agree, Tetra.

And such a battle would flood Kaedwen red.

[Tetra] The Assembly should remember the lady’s seat here is honorary.

[attendants murmuring]

Yet it is still my chair.

Earned by her body. Not by blood or title.

[groans] Gods, quiet!

I’ll have my knights kill you both for the sake of my ears.

Tetra’s right, actually, sire.

Your subjects expect action.

What if you act on two fronts with one move?

Clear out our forests while also avoiding war with the witchers?

[stone clinks]

[man groans]

Guard?

[guard grunts]

Aye?

Do you hear that?

It’s like this pinging noise.

Hey!

Are you eager for a beating, mutant?

I’d settle for a pot to piss in and some halfway decent bread, please.

Oof!

[door closes]

Ah. A bit generous, but…

[Lady Zerbst] No need to split this one.

Not like when we were younger.

[laughs]

I knew witchers aged differently, but, well, look at you!

Illyana!

No doubt you imagined me an old spinster by now, slaving away.

That is if you ever imagine me at all.

Uh… your letter.

You’d been sold to a new estate.

Yes.

The Zerbsts of Kaedwen.

They were kind enough, but it… it was their son who was truly fond of me, despite my station.

[sighs] It’s been an age. Did you ever get that lake house?

Lake house? Oh, my, the lake house!

No lake, no.

But a nice home.

Turned it into an orphanage after my husband passed.

We had children too. Girls.

Horrors, all three of them.

One just made me a grandmother. I begged her not to.

[chuckles] But they’re stubborn little needlers.

They often remind me of you…

Oh, gods.

I’m… rambling.

You’re bored.

No, no, no. You’re fine.

You’re good. Uh… this is unexpected, yes.

Little fresh. But, uh… also lovely.

You’ve had such a full…

You wish to kill my already-dead husband and burn the orphanage to the ground.

Not the precise words I’d use.

[laughs]

Lord Zerbst was kind to me.

By no means perfect, but… he’s someone you miss very much when they depart.

The tales I’ve heard of you, though.

The swashbuckling witcher for hire.

“The slayer Vesemir, priced only for the foulest of creatures.”

Well, not too long ago, you were stuffing my head full of those very notions.

Years do work differently for you.

[scoffs] What’s time, anyway?

Everything.

[door opens]

The king is willing to grant you and your friend amnesty for your crimes.

Then you are reminded that I carry the duties of my late husband, the noble Lord Zerbst, adviser to the throne.

Every deal has a price.

Kill whatever is murdering our people in the woods outside Ard Carraigh.

And my colleague, Luka?

He’ll have my care.

Reasonable terms.

You’ll take a chaperone too.

That, there, well… that’s a problem.

The Path’s quite perilous, and you are a lady, my lady.

Also, can’t have a noble such as you seen slumming about with the mutant likes of me.

Then you’ll no doubt be pleased to hear that I am not your chaperone.

I have no intention of playing guide or nurse to you, witch.

I don’t care who your great-great-whoever was.

On my word, I will slay this beast.

For you, Illyana.

[Vesemir] Might not be a monster at all, either.

The leshen that killed your man Carlisle was bewitched.

By an elf.

[Tetra groans]

“Why an elf?” Ah! Glad you asked.

See, another very old but very young-looking elf asked me to help him to find a group of misplaced girls.

Point is, witchering is a business.

You have to keep a brand.

Can’t score the big jobs if you’re known for swatting nymphs and helping out elves.

Isn’t fire magic forbidden by upstanding mages?

Only insofar as there are very few mages blessed with the skill to control the flames.

[chewing] Huh. You’re very special, clearly.

[burps and grunts]

I must seem silly to you.

But Chaos, it’s…

Well, words fail description.

Witchers are connected to Chaos too.

Only your connection is corrupted and corrosive.

And far less condemning.

There’s a story about a witcher who helped an ailing priest.

The monster-slayer believed the sickness was, in fact, a curse, and could be lifted by killing whoever placed it.

The priest quickly fingered a local sorceress, a stupid girl who always caused him trouble.

The witcher killed her, and was rightly paid in gems and jewels.

The priest obviously got better.

He did.

And then a few days later, he found a beautiful gem amid his cook’s belongings, identical to the one he’d given the clever witcher.

Ah. He had the cook poison the priest’s meals.

Cut him in on the take.

[exclaims] Smart con. Wish I’d thought of it.

As I said… corrupted.

Ah, lovely.

You’ve led us in a circle.

No.

I know these forests.

Hmm. So did Lord Carlisle.

At Aretuza, we used magic to cast pleasant illusions around unpleasant foods.

Made food tastier, yet the aftertaste of the illusion?

Bitter.

Chaos clear our hearts and minds. Let our eyes see right and true.

Lift the shroud that cloaks our mind.

[horse neighing]

Lift the shroud that cloaks our mind!

[booming]

That illusion was flawless.

The power needed to maintain such art…

[Vesemir] Could also bewitch a leshen.

[ringing]

Garean bhaedh aip me vhoelynath.

Kitsu?

Friend of yours?

Friend of a friend.

Garean bhaedh aip me vhoelynath!

Yes. I’ll need to know what and where your den is if I’m to avoid it, especially since you’re, you know, slaughtering people over it.

Witcher.

[roars]

I’ve never seen such a species of basilisk.

Another illusion?

We’ll no doubt find out shortly.

[dramatic music playing]

[screeching]

[grunts]

[screeches]

[beast grunts]

[roaring]

I know. She has that effect on everyone.

But still, manners.

[groans]

[screeches]

[creature trilling]

[coughs]

[growling]

[dramatic music continues]

[Vesemir grunts]

[screeching]

[hissing]

[sighs]

[Kitsu] No!

No! [sobs]

It was real.

Might have slightly underestimated you.

Slightly.

Ah.

[Kitsu crying]

Kitsu, this needn’t escalate.

[Kitsu sobbing]

[rumbling]

Uh…

[exclaims]

Oh!

[gasps]

Witcher!

[knife whistling]

[sighs]

Her powers of illusion are unnatural.

First monster I ever encountered was a mahr.

Made a woman see nightmares that weren’t really there. Illusions.

Kitsu’s an elf.

Then why does she smell like a mahr?

[Vesemir and Tetra panting]

[Tetra] An elven school.

They used to send their young here during high summer.

Before repurposing it as a garrison during your last cleansing spree.

No signs of blood.

I can still smell her, though.

Yes.

She was here.

Just before our fight.

Witcher!

I do have a name, you know.

[gasps] Ugh!

What was done to them?

[Vesemir] They’re all elves.

Girls.

[man] Over here.

Help.

Gods, not another favor.

Who’s this one?

[Vesemir] My aforementioned friend. He was searching for those girls.

And I could’ve saved some, had you set aside your love of coin and helped.

[Vesemir] Kitsu’s been kidnapping them.

Yes. Experimenting on the girls.

She’s using some strange alchemy to try to change them.

Change them to what?

Into whatever she’s become.

I tracked her here, tried stopping her, but… Kitsu’s power…

And she just let you live?

I understand if that’s a concept unfamiliar to your kind.

If Kitsu was using sorcery to try and mutate those girls, who mutated her?

Her genes were spliced with those of a mahr.

It explains her unnatural power.

She’s a crossbreed.

How is such a thing possible?

The same way he was made.

Mutagenic alchemy.

Its secrets known only to mages at Kaer Morhen.

You’re behind all this.

That’s ridiculous.

[grunts]

Hunting monsters for coin wasn’t enough?

Now you make them?

Witchers are struggling, yes, but…

Shame. A few new beasts would be… good for business.

[Tetra] More monsters, more jobs, more coin.

Another sharp con.

I swear, Fil, I didn’t…

[rustling]

Another monstrosity.

[grunts]

[shudders]

She’s still an elf.

[sighs]

You saw what these creatures can do.

Fil, if the girl has even half Kitsu’s power, she’s dangerous.

Doesn’t this witch say similar of you?

I will take her back to my people. She will be raised as an elf.

[Tetra] Charitable.

Though I imagine it won’t be too long before you sic her on us.

[Filavandrel] You won.

You beat us.

At least allow us the indignity of scavenging whatever’s left of our kind, mutant or otherwise.

As a favor to a friend.

Take the child and go. Now.

You have made a serious error.

Should that girl ever harm a single soul, Fil…

Then I will slay her.

Quietly welcome you and your sword.

I should’ve offered up some coin. Then you would’ve handled matters.

It was not a question of price.

Oh, the witcher’s found his morals?

You think you’re so pure, Tetra? Not a blemish?

Look outside. There’s your morality.

Rot and ruin all reeking of hate.

Tend to that filth, and I’ll tend to mine.

[dramatic music playing]

[dramatic music continues]

[Lady Zerbst] Nothing good can come of this.

[Vesemir] Fear and ignorance are good business.

That’s what Deglan said the first time we met.

Now look.

I need to know for certain.

[Lady Zerbst] I’d ask you to flee with me.

I know what you have to do.

And I won’t have you feeling as though you’ve abandoned me again.

[somber music playing]

[growling]

[Tetra] I tried to stop him.

[hisses]

But witchers, they never hesitate.

[king] Madam Gilcrest has given proof.

This one breeds monstrosities, terrorizes my kingdom, and swindles the people.

[grunting]

What the hell are you talking about?

Sire, not all witchers were aware of these crossbreeds.

Lady Zerbst, you are testament to the perils of trusting a servant.

Your Highness…

If it pleases, sire, might I ask where Madam Gilcrest is now?

[liquid bubbling]

[creature trilling]

[Deglan] Monsters were going extinct.

I had to protect our way of life.

Think of all the coin you stand to make, young fella.

Do not call me that.

Check your gratitude, boy.

You came to me.

I could’ve shipped you right back to those bedpans.

Don’t pretend you didn’t know exactly what you were doing when you threw me those coins.

You knew I would come.

We were created to kill creatures like these, not to make them.

I won’t weep for doing what needed doing.

I told you.

[Vesemir] A witcher never hesitates.

Oh, I know.

What about with the elf? Did you give Kitsu a choice before you mutated her?

No, I thought we’d killed her.

That mutation was unstable. Too much power.

Clearly, her death was one of her clever little illusions.

[Vesemir] All of this to line our pockets.

[Deglan laughs]

You were always too focused on the gold in your hand.

You never looked up to see who’s paying you. See their eyes.

We terrify ’em.

The only thing keeping men from hunting us are the scarier beasts we keep away.

Humans die quick, so they spend their lives fearing and hating.

Ask the dwarves or your elf friend.

Men will always need monsters.

Now, so do we.

We’re all orphans.

We’ve always looked to you to protect us.

You have to burn it to the ground… or I will.

[Deglan yelling]

I don’t want to fight you.

We’ve got to protect ourselves, Vesemir.

Got to protect you!

If you two would like to stop trying to kill each other, we have a visitor.

[Lady Zerbst] She’s coming.

[hooves drumming]

[mob yelling]

[mob clamoring]

[man] Away with all witchers!

Tetra wasted no time. Word spread quickly.

Not only of the crossbreeds, but of witchers protecting elves.

And Luka?

This is your two’s doing.

They were always gonna come, sooner or later.

[Vesemir] Well, maybe there was a way for us to die the better men.

My mages and I are the ones who know the secrets to mutagenic alchemy.

Tetra will want our heads most.

If we die, there can be no more witchers.

Seal yourselves in your labs.

The rest of us will rally and end her little cult.

Bitch won’t see dawn.

Underestimate Tetra and you’ll be the one who’s seen their last sunrise.

[Vesemir] Perhaps she’ll listen to reason.

He may be a bastard… but Deglan is right.

This was inevitable.

Why?

Because you’re different.

[mob yelling]

[Lady Zerbst] And killing is easier than tolerating.

I want you as far away from this place as possible.

There are children here.

They’ve been trained.

Children, Vesemir.

As you were when he took you.

I’ll guide them to the cellar until the battle’s won.

For once, I will decide my place.

You’ve always had too much fire.

And beauty.

Please… I’m nearly 70.

So am I.

[tranquil music playing]

[wind whistling]

[horse snorts]

[tense music playing]

Beautiful peaks. Too pure for war.

Scurry off and return with the body of the man you murdered, witch.

He was executed in the name of those your homemade beasts butchered.

There’ll be no more of them, Tetra.

Upon my word.

Well, witchers are experts in price.

What is the worth of your word, Vesemir?

Some things… are beyond cost.

And you?

Do you give me your word?

I give you nothing.

Save the chance to fill the valleys of our pretty peaks with your corpses.

We are an army of witchers.

You are human.

[wind sighing]

[ominous music playing]

[ringing]

[snarling]

[dramatic music playing]

[Vesemir] Kitsu.

[Tetra] She was gutted to hear how you sacked her den, destroyed her work, and murdered the girl, her only child.

Monsters to fight monsters.

How unlike your predecessors.

[Deglan] Rally! Rally!

Steel your nerves, lads. We charge!

[Vesemir] Swords away. Swords away!

We haven’t time to hesitate.

Just bloody trust me for once!

Please!

Witchers, on me!

[monsters growling and chittering]

Now!

[low booming]

[Lady Zerbst] Be calm. Be calm.

[low rumbling]

You’re safe.

[dramatic music playing]

[hissing]

[yells]

[monsters growling and chittering]

Witchers must be wiped from the surface of this Earth, and all traces strewn with salt and saltpeter.

[Deglan] She’s going for Reidrich!

Me and the others will hold the bridge. Use the drop to halve their numbers.

You two, stop her!

Can you forgive me long enough, young fella?

[sighs angrily]

[roaring]

[men screaming]

[monsters chittering]

[melancholy music playing]

[screaming]

[yelling]

[grunts]

[yelling]

[dramatic music playing]

[yells]

[yells]

[dramatic music continues]

If she gets Reidrich, it’s the end of us.

Find her!

Stop her!

[screaming]

[rumbling]

There’s a hatch in the grain hold.

It lets out on the back pathway.

How do you know this?

He was trying to run away!

Run as far away as possible.

All of you.

Rub the heel raw, to the bone, if you have to.

Don’t stop.

[Reidrich praying in Elven Tongue]

[Lady Zerbst] Lower your swords.

This is genocide, Tetra.

They bred those monsters because of you. There is no purity here.

Just fear and hatred.

Enough, please!

This servant betrays Kaedwen to the witchers.

Let her join them.

[Vesemir yelling] Tetra!

I can drop your men before their blades drop an inch.

[scoffs] Wishful thinking.

[whooshing]

Are you going to enjoy the day, or are you still too shook from another daring night of monster-slaying?

[chuckles] Pardon me for wanting to be something other than a churlish knave.

Look at you, though.

You’re a witcher.

You’re rich!

[coins clinking]

We’ll lack for nothing, and you’ll take care of me, Vesemir.

Much like you said. True to your word.

Look at me.

A lake house.

Wine. Food.

Imagine the seas of coin we’d wade in.

You never wanted that! You were always content.

No, no, no!

[man] Forty tons of sheep’s blood?

That poor midwife!

Oh, oh, tell ’em about the time you swindled the Redanian priest.

Had him thinking he was cursed!

How much did you take that fool for?

You can’t be here. We lost you.

What are you prattling about?

[cackles] Wake the barkeep, drain the barrels. Everyone drink!

Not a coin spared.

[man] Yeah!

[men cackling and cheering]

Enough! All of you!

Stop… stop cackling!

[Lady Zerbst] Vesemir, come look.

Be honest, now.

Well, don’t just stand there. Say it.

You hate it, don’t you?

[Vesemir] I… I was just weighing whether you’d done my dashing looks justice.

[laughs] Oh, gods. You frightened me.

Such a look in your eyes. So crestfallen and…

It’s perfect, Illyana.

Flawless.

Don’t dally. I’m thirsty.

Mama! Make Bojan stop!

He’s run away with my jacks!

What’s wrong, Papa? You’re making the sad face.

No, no…

This is wrong.

Enough mind games, Kitsu. No more fantasies.

[wind gusting]

But you swore you’d care for me, didn’t you?

That you’d protect me.

You’re not real.

Truth is no illusion. There’s no escaping it.

[gasps] Get away from me!

You left me here, darling.

Stranded in hopes and dreams abandoned.

And now you’re trying to leave me again.

Only this time, I won’t be buried in dresses and courts and titles.

[thunder rumbling]

I’ll be as you are. Lost and alone.

Unloved!

No, Illyana. I love you.

Coin’s your real lover.

More of her to pluck out there, isn’t there?

Stop it.

We can be whatever we imagine here, Vesemir.

We can be rich.

Together. Here, time is nothing.

[thunder rumbling]

Out there, I can save her.

That’s worth more.

Now, out of my head.

[epic music playing]

[yells]

[Tetra] I know you never asked for this.

You were only a child.

How were you to know?

[roars]

[Kitsu hisses]

[Lady Zerbst] Vesemir!

Stay back!

[yells]

You come at me with magic tricks?

[yelling]

[music slows]

[Kitsu grunts]

[gasps]

Oh, no… [gasps]

No! No!

No, no, no, no!

[panting]

[Lady Zerbst] Vesemir.

[Vesemir] Oh.

This… this isn’t real.

I didn’t know much about witchers when I was young.

I didn’t know you could smell better, hear better.

I didn’t know that the witcher sensed me in the cupboard, trembling, barely breathing, watching as he drove his sword through my mother.

The silly sorceress who’d crossed a gullible priest.

Monsters to kill monsters.

[gurgling]

Aye…

So…

[grunts]

Take her and go.

Sven? The others?

Dead.

All my boys.

Save you.

[Lady Zerbst] The young ones… escaped.

[Vesemir chuckles]

Keep your strength.

They’re your boys now, young fella.

Make ’em witchers.

Make ’em…

somethin’ more.

To better men.

[somber music playing]

She didn’t ask for this.

[somber music continues]

[ice cracking]

Where are we?

Beautiful. [sighs]

It doesn’t seem… real.

[crying]

[sobbing]

[grunts]

Huh?

Do we even know where we’re going?

[horse neighs]

This is the last time I allow any of you to ever hesitate.

Decide.

But they hate us.

There’ll always be another monster…

Geralt.

[epic music playing]

[woman] ♪ There once was a lord ♪

♪ In dark woods ♪

♪ Wearing a strange ♪

♪ Silver band ♪

♪ Around ♪

♪ His hand ♪

♪ For the bandit also ♪

♪ Feared ♪

♪ Monsters ♪

♪ Monsters ♪

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