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Ciri - Her Complete Origin Story

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Jarett Burke
Geralt's adopted daughter Ciri didn't get much in terms of background in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, but, of course, she actually has a lot of depth to her backstory. How did Ciri become Geralt's daughter? How did Ciri become a Witcher? Join MojoPlays as we explore the story of Cirilla Fiona Elen Riannon.
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Origins of Ciri

The “Witcher” series is a long and epic story that spans novels, short stories, comic books, TV and, of course, games, so getting caught up on all the events and happenings of The Continent is a major undertaking. So, with that said, let’s take a closer look at the Origins of The Lion Cub of Cintra herself, Miss Cirilla Fiona Elen Riannon… or just Ciri for short.

Ciri was born sometime around 1253 in the Northern Kingdom of Cintra to Princess Pavetta Fiona Elen and Prince Duny, the Urcheon of Erlenwald. Her parents came to wed after Duny found Pavetta’s father, King Roegner, badly injured in a Cintran forest and saved the King’s life. As a reward for his actions, Duny was able to request anything from King Roegner and so the Future Prince invoked the Law of Surprise, claiming “that which the king found but did not expect when he returned home.” When The King returned home, he unexpectedly found his wife Calanthe was pregnant with Pavetta, which meant that Duny was destined to marry the child; and, so, fifteen years later on Pavetta’s 15th birthday, Duny returned to claim her as his wife. This information is important, seeing as it’s nearly identical to how Geralt became the ward and protector of Ciri many years later. Prince Duny was cursed as a child and took the hybrid form of half animal, half human. His appearance nearly stopped his being able to wed Pravetta, but Geralt was able to lift this curse to which Prince Duny – clearly overjoyed – offered him anything he wanted. And, you guessed it, Geralt too invoked the Law of Surprise (“that which the prince already had but did not know of”), and Duny later found out that Pavetta was pregnant with Ciri. Thus, Ciri and Geralt were linked together before she was even born, which was fortunate for the Young Lion Cub because her parents were lost at sea and presumed dead when she was still just a child.

What’s known of Ciri’s story picks up just after her parents are lost at sea when Geralt returns to Cintra to collect her, but, instead, he decides against even introducing himself and leaves her in the care of her grandmother and uncle. Ciri and Geralt eventually cross paths for the first time years later when he rescues her from Dryads in the Brokilon Forest, but he returns her home to the care of her family instead of becoming her sole caretaker. After the “Slaughter of Cintra,” however, when the Nilfgaardian Army sacked the city, Ciri is kidnapped by a knight named Cahir and stolen away from Cintra. She manages to escape shortly afterward though and is rescued by a merchant and his family. As fate would have it, Geralt was working for this very same merchant as a Witcher and is reunited with Ciri once more. This time, however, Geralt accepts his fate as her guardian and takes her back to Kaer Morhen where Ciri undergoes Witcher training under himself, Triss Merigold and Vesemir. Here it’s discovered that Ciri is a Source: a person born with an affinity of magical abilities, and so she’s sent for sorceress training inside the Temple of Melitele under Yennefer’s guidance in Ellander.

With war continuing to spread across The Continent, however, Ciri and Yennefer are forced to flee to Thanedd Island for safety where Ciri continues her magical training. But, she is nearly kidnapped by Cahir again, along with a mage named Vilgefortz. Using what little she knew of her powers at the time, Ciri summons a portal and barely escapes her two pursuers, but Yennefer is kidnapped and held by Vilgefortz. Having teleported to some far-away desert to escape danger, Ciri nearly dies from starvation and dehydration after a few days of wandering the hot sands before being rescued by a unicorn and taken to safety in the company of a gang known as The Rats. But, a bounty hunter named Leo Bonhart tracks her down and captures her while eradicating the entirety of The Rats. Ever the trickster though, The Young Lion Cub of Cintra escapes once more, this time through a hard-fought battle during which she’s given her famous scar. She’s later found half-dead by a hermit-philosopher named Vysogota of Corvo who heals her wounds and provides her safekeeping.

Upon healing, Ciri sets off to find the Tower of the Swallow in order to escape to another world and evade her pursuers for good. She lands in Aen Elle, the land of the elves, and meets Avallac’h who recognizes her as a descendant of the Elder Blood – a lineage with incredible magical powers – and hence the prophesized return of Lara Dorren: an elf of the Elder Blood who married into the human race long ago and took her magical abilities with her to the human world. Avallac’h wants Ciri to marry King Eredin and rejoin the Elder Blood with the Elven Race once more. Once Eredin finds out she’s arrived, however, he demands they marry and refuses to let her leave. Ciri escapes yet again with the help of some unicorns and, knowing there’s nowhere left to run, returns to her own world to confront her previous pursuers. She first sets off to free Yennefer from Vilgefortz but the mage captures her as well. Geralt ends up rescuing both Ciri and Yeneffer from Vilgefortz and helps Ciri kill the mage as well as the bounty hunter Leo Bonhart.

Still unable to find freedom, Ciri is soon after sought out by the Nilfgaardian Ruler Emhyr var Emreis who wanted to marry her in order to overtake the Cintran Throne. But, luckily, Geralt recognizes Emreis as Ciri’s real father – the presumed dead Prince Duny – and accepts the Ruler’s demand to speak with her. Emreis and Ciri reunite and he grants his daughter temporary freedom by marrying a mirror-image clone of Ciri in order to take over Cintra. The Young Lion Cub doesn’t get much rest though as King Eredin finds her soon after, and this time brings The Wild Hunt with him to help capture her. Avallac’h also returns, but this time it’s to help Ciri escape Eredin’s grasp, but his efforts don’t amount to much initially as he and Ciri are soon attacked and injured by The Wild Hunt. Having lost Avallac’h in the commotion, Ciri further survives run-ins with the Crones, monsters, the Temple Guard and finally The Wild Hunt again – each time barely escaping with her life – before reuniting with Geralt on the Isle of Mists where she was staying with a group of dwarves. Escaping The Hunt once more, Ciri teleports herself, Geralt and Avallac’h back to Kaer Morhen where they’re joined by Triss, Yennefer and Vesemir in a standoff against Eredin and The Wild Hunt. Ciri is almost kidnapped by Eredin, but Vesemir sacrifices himself to save her. Seeing Vesemir dead, Ciri’s rage triggers her powers which spiral out of control and nearly kill everyone involved in the battle, causing The Wild Hunt to flee.

Ciri wants to be more involved in the plans to take down Eredin’s Group, so she tracks down another member of The Hunt in Imlerith. Geralt manages to kill him while Ciri gets her revenge against the Crones. Ciri and Geralt then lure Eredin into a trap using a sacred Elven artifact and defeat The Wild Hunt for good. Before Eredin dies, however, he says that Avallac’h is the real enemy, which causes all but Ciri to lose faith in the Mysterious Elf. But, in a major plot twist, The White Frost suddenly reaches the Continent and threatens to destroy the world, so it doesn’t really matter who’s bad and who’s good anymore, as Ciri sets off to defeat The Frost or risk total annihilation. She successfully averts the end of the world, and depending on a number of choices the player must make throughout the game, she either assumes her place as Ruler of the Empire, becomes a full-fledged witcher, or never returns to the Human world at all, and is presumed to have died while saving the world.

Though born into royalty, Ciri can’t claim a leisurely life as she’s forced to run … and run and run some more… from all manner of pursuers who want to either take over her kingdom or control her magical powers. Having defeated her most powerful challenge yet in King Eredin and The Wild Hunt – with the help of Geralt, Triss and Yennefer – what waits in store for Ciri is beyond what we can tell you… we just hope there are more adventures in Ciri’s future.
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