"An age of men is upon us, heralded by the black sun rising in the south, setting itself upon the north. Unrest, malcontent, depravity and desolation, chaos rampant, an age of distrust. An era where the women weep and the babes are thrown to the wolves. For ending is the age of the elders, the dawn of mankind comes. Heralded by war, plague, and deprivation. For now is the season of the witch, the age of fire, and oppression." - "The Archgriffon Spoke" - Galileo of Cintra
What a wretched thing you are, Witcher's ilk, mutant, abomination, feared and hated by most living beings. A desperate and necessary evil, and the one check against chaos running riot. Your life began humbly, turned violently, and forged one of the greatest warriors to have ever lived. Your life is to waste, for you are loved by none, not even your peers, and held with distrust and disdain by the reputation your kind has deservedly earned through the centuries.
But, you were not always a disgusting mutant. Once, before the innocence was so cruelly stripped from you, before your mutations inured you to such human weaknesses as emotions, you were a child. Molded into a living weapon by the most rigorous and brutal training available. Stripped from the life you once knew, and cast into the mold of greatness, will you break the mold? Or will the mold break you?
With one week remaining in your training, before the trial of the grasses, the training has come full bore. Any holds that may once have been given are removed. Even the most gentle of your elders, Jerome, has become ruthless and hard. Taking no complaint as he pushes you to limits you had not previously known. But these limits, once broken, have become new plateaus of power.
A busy week has been planned, with it now being necessary to perform a ritual to cleanse the places of power, the elders becoming reserved and cryptic, tensions have run high. Jaskier is still missing, and the creatures of Chaos have been disturbed in the region. A comet hangs in the sky, blood red and pulsing angrily, a herald to death and war. The air in Kaer Y Seren has become oppressive, and bandits have made forays into the valley seeking easy gains.
But most importantly, winter has come. Traveling from the Castle, while normally heavily restricted, has become forbidden due to the disappearance of Jaskier. And the days stretch on long with little in the manner of entertainment or diversion to set the mind at ease as the temperatures fall.
The Witcher Leofric passing, and induction of the Sole Surviving bear into the ranks of the Gryphon's has brought to mind the question of why. With the loss of the school of the bear and neither Mira nor her Surprise Father having details, an unsettling fear has settled upon the brow of Caiphus, head of the order. Whatever had destroyed the bear, was merely a shallow sea away from the valley.