Want you to hold me….. Actually choke me instead
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1st und/oder 2nd Level Support in München -50k
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me lámh le do lámh - Part IV
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They spent a few days in Oxenfurt, mostly for Jaskier’s benefit. The bard hadn’t been lying when he’d said he wasn’t prepared to head out. There was packing to be done, his rooms to see to, appointments to cancel with the university. Geralt was happy enough to wait. It wasn’t strictly a hardship to spend some time lounging in Jaskier’s rooms and wandering the university gardens during the day before following Jaskier to whatever tavern or hall he was to play at for the evening. Jaskier was away for the better part of most days, but Geralt moved his things to Jaskier’s rooms after the first night at the inn. Waking well before Jaskier in the same bed, he was greeted each morning to Jaskier’s arm slung across his chest, warm and comfortable in the predawn silence. His cheeks would be ruddy with sleep and their shared heat under the blankets, his hair flattened awkwardly to his skull where it had been pressed to the pillow.
He’d missed this. After months without Jaskier’s presence, it felt like he was drowning in it, shocked by the strength of his own reaction. With the golden light of the morning sun shining through Jaskier’s one window to fall softly across his brow and pick out the silver strands in his hair, Geralt wondered at how he could have ever misplaced this feeling in his chest. He loved him. He wanted to preserve each moment in fine amber, never to fade.
But finally Jaskier was finished making his arrangements, and they were able to set out from Oxenfurt towards their first destination. It would take them several weeks to collect the components that Ida had mentioned—weeks that Geralt would have to spend dancing around the subject of the ritual and its origins, as well as his traitorous heart. As he caught Jaskier’s bright smile from up ahead as they crossed the Oxenfurt bridge, he hoped that he wasn’t making a terrible mistake.
“So where, exactly, are these mysterious elven ruins?”
Geralt grunted, both in answer and in exertion as he swung his sword through another clump of heavy brush, clearing the path. Roach waited patiently behind him, and Jaskier less so. He turned to look back at them both, finding Jaskier giving him an unimpressed look. Geralt forced down the urge to grumble again. “They’re close,” he said, taking Roach’s reins to lead her through the cleared bushes. The path that they were following was barely a deer trail in places, clearly unused for decades. There had been no sign thus far that the area had once been populated aside from the occasional flash of white brickwork that told Geralt they were on the right track.
“Oh, really,” said Jaskier, who had likely not noticed the brickwork, based on Geralt’s past experience with his observation skills. “You know what I think, Geralt? I think we’re lost in the woods in the middle of nowhere, a day away from the nearest hamlet, and we’re just as likely to find a wyvern den as an elven temple out here.”
“Wyverns don’t populate the lowlands,” Geralt said automatically, kicking a large branch out of Roach’s path.
Jaskier made a strangled sound behind him that Geralt might call a growl if it had come from anyone else. “I know that, I was being hyperbolic, you ass. You’re avoiding the issue.”
“We’re on the right path.” Another glint of white stone caught his eye, this time the edge of an arch wrapped nearly over in vines and moss. Only fragments remained, large chunks blending in with the forest floor.
“As if you would admit it if you were lost,” Jaskier griped, shoving a branch out of his own way. “Remember that time near Spikeroog? We were lost in a boat for three days because you wouldn’t just admit that we went west for six hours—”
“Jaskier,” Geralt said, and pushed aside the last of the foliage.
Jaskier fell silent, and they both looked beyond the treeline into the clearing Geralt had revealed. Before them rose a silent, crumbling stone structure, pale as a ghost against the dark lines of the trees in the afternoon light. Much of its surface had been reclaimed already by the forest, but enough of it poked through to give a general sense of scale. It towered at least two stories above them, though the edges were uneven in a way that suggested it once may have been higher. The front facade rose in a flat wall before them, pierced by a line of arches, their edges decorated in fading but intricate reliefs. Here and there along the line of what had once been the path leading to the central arch, the occasional protrusion of a column could be seen. The path beyond the central arch was shadowed, too dark for even Geralt to see past after so long in the daylight.
Jaskier stepped forward into the narrow clearing, and Geralt followed. Wordlessly, Jaskier raised a hand to trail along the remnants of a low, circular stone wall, perhaps the remnants of an ancient well. When he looked up at Geralt, his eyes shone, two pieces of midday sky in the murky shade of the forest. “I stand corrected,” he said, offering Geralt a giddy grin.
Geralt shook his head with a small smile, drawing Roach further into the clearing. “Let’s set up camp here. You can explore when we have someplace to sleep.”
Jaskier agreed eagerly and they both launched into the process of setting up camp. They fell easily back into old patterns, Jaskier slotting seamlessly into Geralt’s routine. It was always easier to set up and break down camp when the bard was around, though Geralt thought it had very little to do with splitting the work halfway.
Within half an hour they had created a comfortable camp in the clearing and Geralt had Roach tended to, and they both stood before the dark archway into the ruins.
Jaskier hesitated over the threshold, his excitement over the history of the place apparently conceding to nerves. “Well, ah. After you, witcher,” he said, holding out an arm as if holding an imaginary door for Geralt to walk through.
Geralt rolled his eyes and stepped into the small hall beyond the archway, blinking a few times to let his eyes adjust to the gloom. “Come on, bard,” he called over his shoulder, amusement and affection swelling in his chest as he heard Jaskier mutter and quick footsteps follow after him.
The hall ended in a flight of stairs leading down, and they had to pause to light a torch when Jaskier ran directly into Geralt’s back and nearly knocked them both down it. A quick burst of igni had firelight dancing across the smooth white stones as they descended into the ruins.
Elves, Geralt had found, rarely built up. Though their cities had towered in ages past, their true magnificence had always lain below ground. The complex that they made their way down into was labyrinthian, huge open hallways with dozens of rooms and offshoots, archways that looked in on underground courtyards with pierced ceilings that let in the daylight, huge caverns expertly carved into cathedrals. Jaskier quickly brought out a bit of charcoal he often used for taking notes or sketching and began to mark their way with arrows pointing back the way they’d come, so they might not be hopelessly lost in the ruins. Geralt led them mostly by smell, at first; Triss had mentioned that any ritual chambers would likely be on the lower levels, as they were considered private and upper floors were generally public. He followed the cool, chalky scent of wet stone deeper into the ruins, down ramps and stairways until they were all but buried in the earth.
“I never knew the true breadth of them,” Jaskier breathed at one point, as they made their way down a winding spiral staircase that curved along what seemed like a natural cave shaft. “I’ve read, of course, about the scale of the old elven kingdoms, but it’s different to see it all. We’ve been walking for hours already and I feel as if there’s still miles to be seen.”
“Maybe not miles,” Geralt said, keeping one ear out for potential movement and one on Jaskier’s footsteps on the slick stone steps. “One’s I’ve been to before are usually somewhere around five and fifteen levels. We’re getting close to the bottom.”
Jaskier hummed in acknowledgment. “You could take an entire lifetime to study this place. Why hasn’t anyone surveyed it? How do you know the thing you're after for this ritual hasn’t already been taken?”
At that moment Geralt heard a gentle click, and he reached up just in time to pluck the arrow from the air as it hissed past his ear and towards Jaskier’s head. Slowly, he turned to look over his shoulder, finding Jaskier wide eyed behind him. Looking meaningfully down at Jaskier’s foot, he jerked his chin up.
Jaskier lifted up his foot, and the click of a pressure plate resetting filled the narrow space.
“That’s how,” Geralt said, tossing the arrow to the side.
“Of course,” Jaskier said weakly. “Of course the place is booby trapped.”
“And haunted probably,” Geralt agreed, continuing down the stairs. “Stay close. Wouldn’t want you to die before I can make you immortal.” The words were said as much in jest as he could make them, but he felt a brief strum of anxiety all the same.
Jaskier huffed in annoyance, but Geralt could feel him press even closer. He ignored the way that the air between them seemed to heat, the soothing warmth of Jaskier’s presence pressing back the dark more efficiently than any torch.
“Look,” Jaskier’s voice came from behind him. Geralt turned around to see Jaskier rubbing at a patch of the wall in the hall they were currently trekking through, the ancient slabs of stone crumbling a bit at his touch. “There’s writing here.”
Geralt stepped up next to him, feeling Jaskier’s warmth radiating along his side. Forcing himself to ignore the proximity, he leaned in to peer at the wall. “Elder, looks like. Can’t make it out.”
“It looks like one of the early northern dialects, closer to Laith aen Undod.” Jaskier scrambled in his small pack and pulled out his bit of charcoal and his notebook, handing the torch off to Geralt. Accepting the light, Geralt frowned at Jaskier as he made a few quick lines on the paper, referring back to the wall a few times. His tongue poked just barely out between his lips, as it always did when he was concentrating. After a moment he stood up straight, leaning towards the light to examine his own markings.
“Can you read that?” Geralt asked, genuinely surprised. He was fairly well versed in Elder, but his knowledge was more practical, learned from his interactions with the Scoia’tael and learning the Signs. The One Speech was well beyond his understanding, not to mention the various ancient dialects of Elder.
“Mm, I’m better at reading Elder than I am at speaking it, I’m afraid. Academic knowledge. Have to be able to translate the old poems and stories, after all.” He flashed Geralt a grin, the laugh lines deepening around his eyes. They sparkled in the light of the torch, turning the blue silver-gold. Geralt’s breath caught in his throat.
When Geralt didn’t respond quickly enough, Jaskier turned back to the notes he’d made on the paper. He muttered a few things to himself in Elder, the words sounding oddly musical—as if he’d learned to pronounce the language through song, which he probably had. Finally he scribbled a few notes in Common. “I think it’s a road sign, of sorts,” Jaskier said slowly. His tone took on the particular quality that Geralt had come to recognize as his “professor voice” over the years. He’d always found it rather amusing. “This complex must have been big enough to necessitate passage markers. See the sideways arrowhead under the top line? It says—well, I’m not sure, but I know the root has to do with the evening meal, so I’d guess it’s pointing to some kind of tavern or dining hall. And this one just says ‘sanctuary,’ I think. That’s a weird one, that symbol in more modern Elder just means ‘place’ but there’s a prefix here that adds a sort of defensive quality to it. Maybe ���protected place’?” Jaskier frowned down at his own work. Already he had somehow managed to smudge charcoal across his cheek.
“Might be right,” Geralt grunted, impressed. “Triss said it would be in a safe place. ‘Ionad chosanta.’”
Jaskier hummed thoughtfully. “Could be as good a translation as any.”
“Better than wandering around,” Geralt shrugged, and turned towards the hall the arrow pointed towards. Before stepping into the darkness, he paused, looking back at Jaskier. Without letting himself think too hard about it, he reached up and rubbed away the charcoal on Jaskier’s cheekbone. The sweep of his thumb pushed back the soot and revealed the pale skin underneath, still so soft even after so many years spent traveling out in the elements. That skin care regiment Jaskier was always going on about must be worth something, he thought faintly.
Jaskier was silent, staring at him with an expression that reminded Geralt of a hare staring down the point of an arrow. Clearing his throat briefly, Geralt let his hand fall and said, “Thanks. For the… You did good.”
Even in the dim light, Geralt could see the flush that lit up Jaskier’s face at that, spilling prettily over his cheekbones. He gaped at Geralt for a moment before his mouth snapped closed with a near audible clack. Geralt expected a witty rejoinder of some kind, perhaps a jab at his historical inability to offer praise. He knew he deserved it, even if Jaskier meant it in anger rather than jest. Raising Ciri had taught him the value of voicing his appreciation and affection for others, even if he still struggled for the right words to do so. Yennefer had painstakingly beat it into his head. Ciri hadn’t known that he cared unless he said so, and so he had no other alternatives. Looking at Jaskier gaping at him, he wondered how many times Jaskier had assumed that Geralt cared little for him for lack of a kind word. His chest hurt at the thought.
After long enough that the silence had grown heavy and awkward, Jaskier coughed lightly, ducking to hide his expression. The ribbing Geralt had prepared himself for did not come. “Not a problem,” was all Jaskier said, brushing past him. “Let’s get a move on, yes? Don’t want the torch to run low.”
Geralt stared after him for a moment before shaking his head and following.
The shrine, when they found it, was hidden behind a thick patch of rubble that Geralt had to blast out of the way with a few precise applications of aard. He slipped inside first, sliding through the small opening in the stone and landing lightly on the other side. His eyes adjusted quickly to the gloom, to his surprise, and he realized that there were several glowing crystals embedded in the walls around him at even intervals. There came the sound of cascading stones and a low curse from behind him, and he turned in time to catch Jaskier’s elbow before the bard fell flat on his face.
“Ah, thank you, dear witcher,” Jaskier huffed, reaching up to fruitlessly brush the dust from his jacket. Looking up, he halted in his motions, taking in the room around them in its soft, ethereal light. “Oh,” he breathed.
It was indeed beautiful, even in its decaying state. Like everything in the tunnels, the structures were unmistakably elven, but even so they appeared alien to Geralt’s eyes. The walls were covered in delicate mosaic work, in patterns that danced in the flickering light of their torch and that of the crystals. The center of the room was dominated by a blank circle of unmarked stone, with Elder runes engraved along the edge that Geralt could not even begin to decipher. The circle was framed by a delicate canopy of carved white stone, supported on four pillars of the same material. The carvings were so minute that for a moment Geralt thought the entire structure might be built not of stone, but of some sort of webbing or silk. It was delicate enough to be blown glass, but when he set his hand against one of the pillars it was as unforgiving as a mountainside.
Jaskier ran his fingers along one of the walls, tracing a twist in the tiny shards of colored glass. “It’s beautiful,” he said, voice pitched low.
“Triss said these places were sacred to the Aes Sidhe. They mark where the elves first arrived,” Geralt said. He found his own gaze drawn back to the center of the unmarked circle beneath the canopy. “Here.”
Set into the very center of the stone circle was a small depression, no larger than Geralt’s palm. He stepped into the circle and knelt down, peering at it. Within the shallow bowl formed by the carved out floor sat an oval stone, maybe three inches long at its widest point. Drawing out his trophy knife, Geralt set the edge of it against the lip of the facet and twisted it. It popped out surprisingly easily, as if it was meant to be removed by design.
Jaskier hovered behind him as Geralt picked up the gaes carraigh. It was cool against his fingers, made of a translucent white stone that became more opaque at the edges. The center was nearly see-through, and when Geralt held it up the light played oddly in its depths. His medallion hummed faintly against his chest, warning him of the presence of magic. “Is that it?” Jaskier asked, resting one of his hands on Geralt’s shoulder to lean in closer.
“Think so,” Geralt replied, trying to ignore the weight of Jaskier pressed against him.
“What exactly does it do?” Jaskier reached out his free hand to press a finger against the center of the stone, curious as always. Geralt allowed it, and forced himself not to flinch when their fingers brushed incidentally. He could feel his ears warm regardless.
“It… binds the words of the ritual, or something. I didn’t ask.”
“Gaes carraigh… promise rock?” Jaskier tried, dropping to lean his full elbow on Geralt’s shoulder, casually slotting their forms together. His fingers barely brushed against Geralt’s collarbone, and he took a slow breath to maintain control over his heartbeat. Suddenly the proximity was overwhelming. Here they were, in a sacred space where possibly dozens of couples had made their vows to each other, fingers both lingering over the stone that would bind their oaths. In another life, perhaps they could have had something like this—Jaskier resplendent in the light of the blue crystals, eyes shining, looking at Geralt with adoration as they made their promises to each other. He would want to dress up, like he always did for a big event, but this time it would be only for himself and Geralt. Would he dress in blue? Or perhaps black, a witcher’s color, his pale skin like moonlight against the night sky. Would he wear a crown of periwinkle and sage, as was the northern custom? He would lean in close, like he was now, and murmur his vows to Geralt in words that flowed as smooth as a song.
He hadn’t known it was possible to want something so badly it was like a physical ache. Geralt was a witcher; he did not allow himself to think on things he couldn’t have. But here in this place, with Jaskier so close and yet so far away, the force of his desire felt oppressive. Jaskier didn’t know what any of this meant, and Geralt had no right to it, no right to want it. It was just a ritual. The context didn’t mean anything, because Jaskier would never feel that way about him.
After all, Geralt thought, looking down at the oathstone in his palm, who would want to marry a witcher?
Jaskier was still talking, and Geralt wrenched himself out of his thoughts when the arm on his shoulder pulled back and Jaskier patted the empty space once, as if in parting. “—probably get going, don’t you think? I do not relish the idea of being stuck here overnight. Not that I am not entirely confident in your abilities, darling, but I feel it’s best not to tempt fate when it comes to ghosts of ancient elven sages. Do you think they would count this as stealing? Probably. Anyways, I don’t want to find out what angry centuries old spirits do to trespassers.”
Geralt grunted, still gathering himself. He felt sluggish under the weight of his own emotions, pushing himself to his feet laboriously. The oathstone was heavy in his hand, and he slipped it into his potions pouch in the hope that it would feel less burdensome there. Without a word, he stood and exited the chamber the way they’d come, Jaskier fumbling after him.
"She’s With Me”
Notes: A draft excerpt from a WIP Yennefer x Cahir AU where Jaskier was able to dodge Rience and so Yennefer remained on the ship with Cahir. En route to Cintra, a powerful tempest blows them off course, shipwrecking them on a mysterious isle west of Skellige. Here, they must learn to survive together, or die.
To be posted in full here and on AO3 when enough of it has been written.
To find the Outer God, you must sail a good boat west to the ocean’s furthest edge, where at each day’s end, the sun sinks into another world. From here, our moon also ascends, wet, pale, and shining over an island shrouded in an endless mist as thick as dragon’s breath after a fire.
You won’t be the first to seek the Outer God, nor will you be the last. Many sailors before you have attempted this perilous voyage; none have returned. There are rumours of sea serpents dragging ships into the deep; mariners seduced into their ruin by sirens, then torn apart and devoured; vessels swallowed whole by ravenous whirlpools or storms that rage for weeks, months. And even if you outwit such dangers and arrive at the sun disappearing into another universe entire — what then? The Outer God might be nowhere to be found.
For the Outer God is not of our realm; he comes and goes as he pleases. His island lingers at the edge of our maps, where cartographers shun it. Only the salt-blooded Skelligers are brave enough to ascribe a name to the place. Ytregud, they call it. It is old Skellige Jargon for the Outer God, for they consider the isle and the god to be the same.
But no Skelliger alive can tell you who or what lives upon the island. One is wont to suspect the usual array of sirens and sea serpents; roving bands of ice giants and ice trolls. But consider the alternative, that the isle might be home to an elven race that is neither Aen Elle nor Aen Seidhe, but the Aen Undod lost to time and history since the Conjunction of the Spheres.
Meanwhile, Redanian merchants believe that Ytregud is nothing more than a graveyard of shipwrecks and lost treasures from a thousand different worlds, jealously guarded by dragons. Indeed, it might be that Ytregud is neither elf, man, nor god, but a golden dragon that has existed since the dawn of time. Perhaps there are deadlier creatures still, more strange and mysterious than by any Witcher’s reckoning. For Nilfgaardians, the island is home to deserving souls who feast on wheat grown from endless sun-drenched fields; it is the paradise promised beyond death.
What we know is this — it has been many centuries since anyone has glimpsed that lonely, distant isle. Take its absence as a fortunate omen, my friends, for when Ytregud returns to our seas, it will be for one final time, at the end of the world.
“If only you could see the looks on your faces as I see them now,” the old boatswain said, her clear, rough voice carrying across the Mad Wyvern’s upper deck. She moved through the small knot of elves as she spoke, distributing generous portions of bread and cheese from the basket she carried. “I see faces drained of blood and eyes wet with fear. Good. It is good to fear mysterious lands that come and go in a fury of storms. It is good to be wary of gods. Yet I see faces that betray not wariness but disbelief. Amusement, even.”
Though the only light came from the distant sliver of a crescent moon, Orwena the Boatswain was wizened and grizzled and had the eyes of a cat. She could see keenly in the dark, throw a dagger at a rat scurrying across the deck without missing her mark, climb the length of the bowsprit to adjust the rigging without the help of a lantern. Some of the refugee elves had learned this the hard way on the first night of sailing, emerging from the lower deck with oil lamps that Orwena promptly doused with her bare, callused fingers, declaring that the barest lick of flame would blind the crewmembers assigned to the night watch. It was a waste of oil, besides. To evade further scrutiny by the guards prowling the docks, the Mad Wyvern’s crew made haste to sail from Oxenfurt, abandoning half a dozen barrels of the precious commodity on the pier in the process.
The boatswain stopped before the man and woman standing a little further away from the others. What a sight the pair of them made; they were the alternating faces of the same battered coin. He was bearded, scarred, and unkempt, dressed in a green cloak. The raven-haired woman wore a shade of deep purple that looked shit-stained in places. It was a miracle that her wild, ragged beauty still shone from beneath the layer of grime that coated her cheeks.
Both of them reeked faintly of sewage. However, it was not the stench that offended the boatswain who had smelled worse things out at sea. No, it was the curl of the man’s lip and the expression of defiant scepticism on the woman’s face.
“The nerve of both of you,” Orwena hissed softly. “You’re not even elven.”
Something sparked in the man’s blue eyes. “I am Cahir Mawr Dyffryn aep Ceallach, knight commander of the Nilfgaardian army, and I’ve never heard of this Outer God, nor this so-called paradise you speak of.”
Orwena clicked her tongue. “Tell that to the Nilfgaardian soldiers I shared a pint of beer with unscathed during my time in Maecht, which will never happen again, by the way. Shittiest beer I’ve ever had the misfortune to drink in my entire life.”
“Then it appears you didn’t meet a true Nilfgaardian,” the knight commander countered with a sneer. “Only liars and heretics would claim such nonsense; the only truth is the Great Sun and the White Flame.”
His voice rasped with contempt. Orwena tilted her grey head, tempted to unleash a scathing quip. Where are your forces, Knight Commander of Nilfgaard? Why do you reek of shit and piss? The questions danced on the tip of her tongue before she thought the better of them. Cahir Mawr Dyffryn aep Ceallach’s glare was knifelike and piercing even in the gloom; he was dry tinder ready to catch fire, and it was evident that his companion knew it.
Orwena watched with narrowed eyes as the woman’s hand rose from the folds of her cloak to rest upon Cahir’s bicep. Turning her face upwards, she whispered into his ear; he stilled at her touch and her voice, closing his eyes and exhaling deeply through his nose.
No, it wasn’t worth it to antagonize this one, arrogant and contemptuous though he was. Commander or not, Nilfgaardian or otherwise, Cahir was a refugee, like all the rest who had boarded the ship the previous night, escaping horrors that even a world-weary boatswain couldn’t begin to imagine.
“We’ll have to agree to disagree then, Ceallach,” Orwena said amiably, her expression softening somewhat. “But we’ll not be having any trouble on this deck. You may be the knight commander of all of Nilfgaard’s armies, but this ship’s got a competent crew that’ll throw you into the brig the moment I say so. All right?”
Grinning a gap-toothed grin, she held out to him a hunk of bread and cheese. With a show of reluctance that Orwena suspected was more performative than genuine, Cahir took the offering silently from her hands.
Then, to the boatswain’s astonishment, he passed the bread and cheese to the woman beside him.
“Melitele’s tits, you do realize I was going to give her some of that as well, don’t you?” Orwena shoved another portion of bread and cheese into Cahir’s hands. “There’s a time and place for chivalry, knight. This isn’t it. Now keep that and eat it.” Then, to the group of elves behind her, Orwena waved a hand to shoo them off. “That’s the same for you lot. Go. Stuff your faces, or I’ll personally throw you into the brig. And you, what’s your business? Are you this knight’s lady then?”
A look passed between Cahir and the black-haired woman, whose lips curled slightly; the question amused her. Yet, for all the boatswain’s preternatural, catlike sense of sight honed from years of darkness at sea, Orwena could not divine the thousand other meanings hidden in the gaze they shared. The woman’s hand was still resting on the knight’s arm, the gesture infuriatingly puzzling; Orwena felt as though she were being played. If the woman was not the knight’s lady, then who was she?
Like a stray ember sparking from a flame, Cahir’s gaze flicked upwards to meet the boatswain’s. “She’s with me. That’s all you need to know.” ■
I want cuddles that turn into lazy sex
#undod#couple#love#tattoos#gif #shibari #undod #angel-of-sad #undod#photo #angelandevill#asosyalbeyfendi#kemalistbiradam#lostonyoubabe#petricorsworld#uykusuzlukbelirtisi#visnelimeybuzz#olmazkanka#sarhoskedi#aforozedilmisrenk#raziyeez#rumll#angel of sad#j4a#mandalinalilahmacun#nightandwines#bokmutluyuzaqq#busonolsun#prachella#plaktaseninsesin
world building cause twn doesn't part 4: elves!
everyone loves elves! they're a fantasy genre mainstay, archery is so sexy, and they have those E A R S. plus, they play a pretty important part in the witcher universe!
colour code cause i fucking love colour codes - already happened/introduced, probably s2, important background info, stuff that might be in the prequel, extras
i'd recommend going through the last parts, or at least the tl;dr's first
elves arrived on the continent about 2000 years before humans, and are divided into 5 distinct cultures of varying importance: aen undod, aen elle, aen seidhe, black seidhe, and aen woedde
elves only came to the continent in one group, but not all of that group stayed. the different branches based on where they settled make up the different cultures
the main two languages in the witcher are common speech and elder speech (aka hen llinge), the former used by most humans and the latter used by the elder races
the aen undod are the oldest elven culture, having existed years before the conjunction of spheres
their home world faced some huge catastrophe, so the aen undod left in search of new worlds, leaving their descendants to become all the future elven cultures.
the aen undod spoke the oldest dialect of elder speech, laith aen undod, or one speech
the aen elle use a language derived from hen llinge called ellylon, in which their name means "of the alders"
they don't actually live on the continent, having abandoned it years ago for their own world.
however, when the aen elle arrived in this new world, it was already populated by humans and unicorns. unfortunately, these elves are notoriously ruthless and both the native species were eradicated.
the capital of the aen elle world is tir ná lia, and is described as stunningly beautiful, featuring open air buildings made of marble, alabaster, and malachite. here it is in the third witcher video game, by djkovrik on nexus. their screenshots are amazing btw.
[ID: screenshot from wild hunt showing tir ná lia. the city is built on cliffs above a sea, there are waterfalls falling from the cliffs and bridges connecting them. there are mountains in the background and the buildings are fairly small and out of focus, they seem to be in the gothic revival style with ornate windows and steeped roofs. end ID]
the ruler of the aen elle was auberon muircetach, king of the alders and aen saevherne (aen saevherne is the honorary title of an elven mage who has extensive knowledge of magic, geneology, history, and many other subjects). auberon was also ciri's 5 times great grandfather. this gwent card pretty much sums up his vibe: scary yet sexy.
[ID: illustration of elven man with long white hair on a brown horse. he has defined cheekbones and facial features and is wearing a gold crown and blue robes with a red sash, gold belt, and leather boots. he is holding a white unicorn head in one hand. the unicorn's horn is cut off, and is bloody around its neck and where its horn was. end ID]
auberon's consort was another aen elle named shiadhal, with whom he had one daughter, lara dorren. lara is so so so important for the witcher, as she is the beginning of the elder blood, or hen ichaer.
hen ichaer is a gene that carries incredibly powerful magic, and those who have it are usually sources. i talk more abt this in part 3.
for better or for worse, lara dorren fell in love with a human sorcerer, cregennan of lod, and left tir ná lia for him. auberon took this as cregennan "stealing" his daughter and therefore the hen ichaer, and developed a pretty hefty vengeance and dedication to "take back" what was his (yikes).
this also set a precedent of people "claiming" the lives of carriers of the hen ichaer
auberon also formed an elven cavalry known as the red riders or wild hunt (dearg ruadhri in ellylon) and he appointed eredin bréacc glas as their commander. the initial purpose of the wild hunt was to travel to different worlds and capture slaves for tir ná lia, although they later became auberon's tool to find and exploit carriers of hen ichaer.
the wild hunt also uses specially trained mages known as navigators to open portals to other worlds, the most notable of these navigators is caranthir ar-feiniel, who doubled as one of eredin's most trusted men.
the aen elle also live a pretty long time, average is around 650 years, so the timelines are kinda hard to keep track of.
notable aen elle include: auberon muircetach, shiadhal, lara dorren, eredin breácc glas, crevan espane aep caomhan macha (aka avallac'h, also an aen saevherne and lara dorren's ex), caranthir ar-feiniel (also avallac'h's foster son), ge'els (the viceroy of tir ná lia), and imlerith (general of the wild hunt)
put simply, the aen seidhe are the elves that did not leave when the aen elle did
the aen seidhe don't really have a society like the aen elle, they're pretty dispersed across the world. but, there are certain areas the aen seidhe have claimed as their own.
one of these little civilizations is dol blathanna, also known as the valley of flowers. unfortunately, it's not an independent state, as it was conquered by aedirn in the 1150s. however, then-king baldwin thyssen did allow the elves to retain a lot of their cultural identity and live in peace.
dol blathanna includes the village posada and the capital silver towers, which is where filavandrel aén findháil is from. he's that sexy man right there
[ID: photo of white elf man with blonde hair going to his shoulders. he is wearing tattered green robes and is looking slightly to the side with his lips pursed. end ID]
not that anyone cares, but here's him in the hexer. it's not important to the lore or twn it's just fuckin funny
￼[ID: old man with white frizzy wig. he is wearing a headband that appears to be rocks on a string. he has what looks like a potato sack tied around his shoulders over a green tunic. he is scowling. end ID]
outside of dol blathanna, there aren't really any places where elves can live with minimal human interaction, although the blue mountains are home to a few incredibly powerful elves
side note: dol blathanna is technically part of the blue mountains, but is in the far southern foothills so they're usually treated as separate entities.
the blue mountains are also a natural border dividing the northern kingdoms from the far east, and where filavandrel went to live after he got fed up with dol blathanna.
they're also the home of ida emean aep sivney, who's also an aen saevherne and future member of the lodge of sorceresses.
next season, we're going to meet the beautiful elven sorceress francesca findabair, also known as enid an gleanna (hen llinge for daisy of the valley)
here she is with fringilla vigo (nilfgaardian sorceress) in twn season 2. note that enid is preggers! that's very odd and i will go into detail on it later
[ID: photo of two women walking side by side. the one on the left is black and has black hair in braids going over one shoulder. she is wearing a silver dress with a similarly coloured floor length coat. the one on the right is biracial and has strawberry blonde hair in a braided updo. she is wearing a floor length blue gown with gold embroidery and a metallic brown cloak. she is pregnant. end ID]
enid is crazy interesting and important for the story of the witcher (and confirmed for season two!), so i won't go too in depth about her now
as i mentioned in part 2, nilfgaard tends to favour elves, leading to a lot of militaristic forces allied with nilfgaard. most notably, the scoia'tael, or squirrels. the scoia'tael are an incredibly ruthless and effective nonhuman guerilla force, generally divided into commandos, units that patrol a given area and eliminate the northern (or simply human) threat.
there are a lot of scoia'tael, so i'll just give you the commanders for now: angus bri cri, coinneach dá reo, iorveth, isengrim faoiltiarna, riordain, and toruviel.
you might remember toruviel as this sexy angry lady from twn, and she is possibly going to get a much bigger role later... pay attention to toruviel.
[ID: young elf woman with white skin and red hair tied over her shoulder. she has a bloody nose and is wearing a light green top with a dark brown leather studded belt. her belt is also around an olive green coat. she looks quite angry. end ID]
the scoia'tael were very well organized, but also quite dispersed, so when nilfgaard needed more specific tasks done, they would assemble specific military units (usually led by some of our favourite squirrels)
the vrihedd brigade was the most important of these units. they were especially notorious for their cruelty in the second northern war, so i'm sure we'll meet at least a few members next season.
their leader was colonel isengrim faoiltiarna (aka the iron wolf), and his officers coinneach, iorveth, riordain, and angus.
francesca findabair is not directly involved with either the scoia'tael or the vrihedd brigade, but she does work quite closely with them very often.
also important to note that not all scoia'tael are aen seidhe elves, most (including all higher ranking commanders and officers) are, but there are a number of nonhumans including dwarves and halflings.
unfortunately, the aen seidhe are slowly going extinct, both from years of genocide from humans and their slow reproductive cycles (elves live a Long time, but can only have children towards the beginning of their lives)
that's why it's so surprising to me that enid is preggers! we don't exactly know her age, but by my calculations she was over 150 in twn (pretty far past the age elves can have children).
because of this, elves are pretty divided between fighting against human rule and seeking coexistence. there are arguments for both camps, mainly that humans are colonizers and should not be trusted for the former, and that elves are dying out already and need to live with humans to survive for the latter.
the most prominent stand for the fight was in the 1060s when an aen seidhe named aelireen led an uprising against humans. most of the elders told her that it wouldn't end well, but she didn't listen and led hundreds of young elves into battle. it was an utter massacre, and basically all elves who could have children died.
unfortunately, the movement for coexistence was just as unsuccessful. it was led by our man cregennan of lod, lara dorren's husband. the poor simp just wanted to live in peace with his wife, but a lot of humans thought he was a traitor because he married an elf, and he and lara were murdered in 1137 in redania.
the last real push for independence was with the formation of the scoia'tael in the 1260s. I say 1260s because the very beginnings of the scoia'tael were right around 1262-1236 (the start of ciri's timeline) but they became majorly important around 1267. although, even the scoia'tael realized they needed humans to survive and began working with nilfgaard.
however, some scoia'tael are less keen on being nilfgaard's attack dogs, leading to further division amongst the aen seidhe.
remember the elves i talked about in part 2 as being the ancestors of the albans? this is them!
the black seidhe are native to the south, more particularly the valley around the alba river. they are practically extinct, but the nilfgaardians carry a lot of their cultural identity in the nilfgaardian language, a variation of hen llinge.
the wood elves, or aen woedde, is the elven culture we know the least about, they primarily live in the areas around nilfgaardian forests and speak hen llinge.
the only notable wood elf is aenyeweddien, or iskra, a member of the rats, a gang of semi violent youths in the northern realms. we'll learn more about the rats in future seasons.
tl;dr: elves, especially the aen seidhe and aen elle cultures, make up a large part of witcher lore. they are most notable for their long lifespans, magical and historical knowledge, and militaristic alliances with nilfgaard.
Noch ein dwh hc ask vielleicht: Wenn die Hühner undoder Pygmäen Hexenkräfte hätten, welche wären das?
Tbh das ist das dwh/bibi&tina crossover waiting to happen. Eines Tages - !!
Okay, ich stelle mir vor, sie hätten alle eine kleine, eher alltägliche magische Kraft, mit der sie nicht groß die Welt verändern können, es ist mehr so ein kleiner Quirk? Und das hier sind meine spontanen Gedanken:
Sprotte: Könnte mit genug Wut im Bauch dafür sorgen, dass Leuten ein kleines Missgeschick passiert. Dass Fred über seine Füße stolpert oder dass Titus auf einen von Lukis Legos tritt, wenn er mal wieder besonders fies zu Frieda war. Oder dass Torte einen Hustenanfall kriegt, wenn er was Fieses über Melanie sagen will. Oder dass der Klugscheißer ein Haar in seiner Suppe hat. Nur so Kleinigkeiten, die diesen Leuten den Tag ein wenig ruinieren.
Frieda: Könnte riechen, wenn jemand nicht die Wahrheit sagt. Was sie erst sehr schockiert, weil sich das doch sehr übergriffig anfühlt - Leute haben ja oft einen guten Grund, nicht die Wahrheit zu sagen, und Frieda geht das bestimmt gar nichts an! Aber sie setzt diese Kraft sehr verantwortungsvoll ein, gräbt fast nie nach, wenn sie eine Lüge riecht, sondern versucht einfach mehr, eine Atmosphäre zu schaffen, in der Leute sich wohl genug fühlen, um ehrlich zu sein.
Trude: Okay, das findet selbst sie ein bisschen kitschig und übertrieben, aber es ist ja nicht so, als hätte sie sich das ausgesucht - wenn Trude sehr starke Gefühle hat, dann beeinflusst das ihre Umgebung. Die Straßenlaternen leuchten wärmer, wenn sie glücklich ist, die Musik auf Zufallswiedergabe passt immer perfekt zu ihrer Stimmung, die Pflanzen in ihrer Wohnung lassen ihre Köpfe hängen, wenn sie Liebeskummer hat. Wenn jemand sie zum ersten Mal küsst, den sie ganz furchtbar mag, kann diese Person vielleicht sogar Musik von irgendwo aus der Ferne hören. Wie gesagt, kitschig, selbst für Trude.
Melanie: Ihr kalter Blick kann Leute wortwörtlich zum Verstummen bringen. Praktisch gegen Catcalls und furchtbare Schulhof-Gerüchte, aber nicht sehr hilfreich z.B. in einer Beziehung, wo ein Streit sich einfach nicht richtig ausgeglichen anfühlt, wenn die andere Person einfach nicht mehr zu Wort kommen kann. Melanie hat das lang genutzt, um sich zu schützen, hat aber irgendwann angefangen, sich mehr mit ihren eigenen Gefühlen auseinanderzusetzen und achtsamer damit umzugehen.
Wilma: Uff, schwierig. Ich denke an irgendwas Chameleon-artiges? Also sowas wie, sie kann sich so gut wie unsichtbar machen und kann dafür sorgen, dass Leute sie nicht beachten oder nicht so genau hinsehen. Sehr nützlich bei Spionage-Aufträgen oder mit ihrer Mutter. Aber ich glaube, sie lernt mit der Zeit, das anders einzusetzen und Menschen dazu zu bringen, sie zu sehen. Also, absichtlich, unter ihren eigenen Bedingungen.
Für die Pygmäen fällt mir grade nichts ein, vielleicht hast du ja Gedanken? :D
men go to battle. women wage war. *Sabrina
Kly was standing in the shadows of the ancient elven ruins. It was nothing like the architecture back home, but it was obvious that the Aen Seidhe had kept some of the stylistic forms of the Aen Undod from before the schism that separated them from the Aen Elle. She wasn’t there because she exactly wanted to be, but she was curious. A missive had been sent to her from some anonymous person warning her of a Kaedweni non-human extermination force coming to the town she resided in. It told her to meet them here, in these ruins which seemed a bit on the nose, but humans--and she assumed it was, in fact, a human--were never one for any sort of subtlety. She was more than a bit surprised to sense magic in the area. Certainly no elvish or Aen Elle magic. No, this was human magic. Rudimentary and bumbling. She spotted the human woman with a staff waiting there for her, her back turned. The magic was hers. Kly recoiled internally. Universe, save her from self-important human soreresses. The few interactions she’d had with them had been extremely unpleasant. They all constantly yipped like those ugly little Nilfgaardian lap dogs. Like they had teeth strong enough to take her on.
Then she spoke. Kly rolled her eyes at the typical human melodrama. “Humans,” she huffed, adding a few colorful adjectives in Ellylon. “If you aren’t starting a war, you’re smack in the middle of one.” They were little better than rabid animals. They thrived on the slaughter and misery of their own species because of some sort of regional xenophobia. If you’re from this slightly different plot of land but still a human, you’re an enemy of another plot of land. If one has an accent different from another’s, they’re an enemy. If one wears different clothes, speaks another language, believes in other things, has slightly different features, they're an enemy. Even though beneath all those superficial things both parties were still the same: human. Ridiculous. Chaotic. Idiotic. It was a miracle they hadn’t driven themselves to extinction. Then again, they bred and reproduced quicker than she could blink most times. Maybe it was some strange form of population control? “Your entire species thrives on it, male or female. Here, women may wage wars, but they don’t do it well. They certainly don’t do it for good reason. Men do just as poorly on the battlefield if the corpses littering the countryside are anything to go by. I assume you’re the one who sent the warning?”
Chapter 5: The start of a great migration
As the other three witchers waited for geralt to continue reading, Geralt took a dip breath and started to read on.
"'Our king has decided the we should migrate our people to a different land, but he also want us to split into two different groups. The first group will go to the continent, and the second will seek out a new land for us. Too many of us are dying and we must continue to live, or there will be none of us left. I am to go with second group and search for new healing techniques once we go to our knew home. In a few days time, we will say farewell to group one as they sail on their white ships. Hopefully they will be ok without me and that no harm will come to them. I will also have to start packing my belongings and make sure nothing breaks. For now, I must leave, but I will try to right. And one last thing, my dreams have been becoming more weirder by the day, but another topic for another day.'" Geralt finished reading the book and looked at the others witchers.
"It looks like our guest, if I heard correctly, is of the Aen Undod elves and they had to seperate. I wonder just how old she is, and how powerful. Well, a topic for tomorrow. You all get some rest, I will go look after our guest. " Vesimer said as he walked over to the woman and sat down by the cot. The others left one by one to their rooms and geralt took the journal with to keep it safe.
Vesimer decided to changed the woman's bandages and put more medicine on the wound. Once that was done, he looked at the woman and studied her features. The woman had long, pale blonde hair that went down to her ankles and she had a pale complexion. She also had freckles across her cheeks and nose. Overall, she had soft features. Vesimer decided to lean back and get some rest in the chair he was sitting on next to the woman.
What will happen in the morning will give Vesimer a bit of a fright...
A/N: I accidentally deleted this chapter so I had to start all over. Sorry if some if it doesn't make sense. Make sure to follow and request ^^
The veil and the conjunction of the spheres:
Magic is a primordial force in which universes are literally immersed. Each universe works as a prism reflecting the magic in its own unique way.
Ever since the veil was created, the world known as Thedas was less and less affected by conjunctions. The magical space allowing creatures of other worlds into Thedas was progressively sealed and the phenomenon forgotten. In modern days, creatures such as giant spiders, quillbacks, wyverns, lurkers, varterrals, dragons, and even NUGS are perceived as part of the natural fauna of Thedas.
In fact, those creatures are proof of a conjunction, the same that brought a forgotten branch of the Undod into Thedas. Slowly and through millennia the Elvhen culture flourished into a different people, with different customs and a different language.
The magic of Thedas and that of the Continent work weird if displaced from a world to the other. Still, magic is magic and in time it will adjust and work according to the laws of the world where it is performed.