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"Do you really wish to know?"
Spoilers from the books and/or adaptations to follow!

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Ooh, I could be your barker, spreading the tales of Geralt of Rivia, the Butcher of Blaviken.
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- Jaskier to Geralt, Four Marks

Julian Alfred Pankratz, better known as Jaskier, was a bard and a close friend of Geralt of Rivia.

Biography

Captured by Elves

After getting booed during his performance at a local tavern, Jaskier approached Geralt of Rivia and insisted that he review his performance. Geralt told Jaskier that the creatures in his song didn't exist, and Jaskier realized that he was a witcher, which he announced to the bar. A patron named Nettly overheard and offered to pay Geralt 100 ducats if he killed the "devil" that was stealing their grain. Geralt agreed to kill the devil, and Jaskier invited himself along, during which time he offered to help improve Geralt's image, so that he was no longer seen as a monstrous killer.

While hunting this "devil", Jaskier and Geralt were attacked by a Sylvan named Torque. It threw a stone at Jaskier and knocked him out. It then charged at Geralt, knocking him to the ground. Torque charged for a second time, but this time Geralt grabbed him by the horns and slammed him to the ground. To his surprise, it could talk. Rather than killing Torque, Geralt showed mercy, allowing him to live, but only if he left. However, someone snuck up behind Geralt and knocked him out too.

Jaskier and Geralt woke up in a cave, tied back-to-back with each other and surrounded by elves. They were repeatedly hit by a sickly elf named Toruviel. Geralt waited until she got close enough, and headbutted her. They were joined by Torque and the elven monarch, Filavandrel. Torque had been stealing food and medicine for them ever since they were forced out of Dol Blathanna. Jaskier was shocked, as he was under the impression that the elves willingly left to return to their "golden palaces," when in reality they retreated to simple caves. Unfortunately, they couldn't allow Jaskier and Geralt to leave in fear that Posada would learn that they had been stealing, causing the humans to attack, which would undoubtedly result in casualties on both sides. In the efforts of self-preservation, Filavandrel knew he must kill them. Filavandrel's elders worked with humans and got robbed of all they had, and when they fought back, they were slaughtered in a battle that would come to be known as the "Great Cleansing." Bringing his people down from the mountains would mean bowing down to the humans, and would make them slaves. Geralt advised them to rebuild elsewhere and grow in numbers. Filavandrel had a change of heart and decided to let Jaskier and Geralt go.

Jaskier and Geralt left the mountains, having been released by Filavandrel. In return, Geralt gave them the 150 ducats he was paid to kill Torque. In this adventure, Jaskier had gained a newfound respect for Filavandrel. They survived the Great Cleansing once. Maybe they could do it again. Jaskier started to sing a tune while Geralt followed alongside.[1]

Royal Betrothal

Geralt entered a tavern after killing a selkiemore. He was riddled with a foul smell and covered in the guts of the monster he had just slain. Jaskier started to sing a tune in favor of Geralt and the people in the tavern joined in, celebrating Geralt's victorious battle against the beast. Jaskier then asked Geralt for a favor; in exchange for acting as his bodyguard for one night, Geralt would receive food, women, and wine.

Jaskier required protection while attending a royal betrothal as every lord, knight, and king would be present, many of which he had personally crossed, having had affairs with their lovers and even some of their mothers. Jaskier questioned what happened to witchers as they age and if they want any more from life beyond killing monsters. Geralt explained there is no after for witchers. They hunt until they get killed. And he wanted nothing more than that for himself.

Jaskier and Geralt arrived at the betrothal party for Princess Pavetta's hand in marriage. Geralt was immediately recognized by an old associate of his, Mousesack. Geralt came to Jaskier's defense as he was being interrogated by a nobleman, who suspected Jaskier was having an affair with his wife, demanding that Jaskier drop his trousers so that he could verify it. Geralt claimed that Jaskier was "kicked in the balls by an ox," so the man apologized and gave him a coin to "drown your sorrows." As the evening progressed, a knight by the name of Lord Urcheon of Erlenwald interrupted the ceremony. Queen Calanthe ordered to have him killed after discovering that he was a monster. However, Geralt came to his defense and together, they defeated her guards. Queen Calanthe took it upon herself to kill Urcheon even after discovering that he was in love with her daughter and had claim to her by the Law of Surprise. Calanthe pulled him close, whispered "there is no destiny," and pulled out a knife aimed at his throat. Pavetta screamed out and suddenly her abilities awoke, sending everyone flying across the room, Jaskier included. Pavetta and Duny then floated above the room until Geralt knocked them down. Realizing the error in her ways, Calanthe decided to honor the Law of Surprise. In honoring destiny, Calanthe freed Urcheon of his curse. He now wished to repay Geralt for saving his life, and Geralt choose the Law of Surprise just as Pavetta suddenly threw up, signifying that she was pregnant.[2]

A Djinn and Three Wishes

Jaskier reunited with Geralt at the river's edge after months, if not years apart. Geralt was fishing for a djinn that was buried at the bottom of the lake. He couldn't sleep, and Jaskier concluded that his sleeplessness was directly related to what Mousesack said to him about the Law of Surprise and claiming Princess Pavetta's child. Geralt pulled a bottle inscribed with a wizard's seal from the lake. The djinn was locked away inside. Jaskier wrestled with Geralt for control of the bottle, unintentionally releasing the djinn. Jaskier made two of the three available wishes before shattering the bottle on the ground. As Geralt gathered the shattered pieces, the djinn escaped, and Jaskier started coughing up blood.

Geralt took Jaskier to a nearby elf healer named Chireadan and discovered that his afflictions were magic based. His throat was being attacked and if the spell's action wasn't stopped as soon as possible, it's effects may have become irreversible, eventually resulting in death. The medicine provided by the healer would only give Jaskier few more hours. Chireadan advised that Geralt take Jaskier to another town for help as the only mage in close proximity was extremely dangerous. Geralt disregarded Chireadan's warning and set off in search of this malicious mage, said to be imprisoned in the mayor's house.

Jaskier and Geralt broke into the mayor's house to find him under some kind of trance. They stumbled upon a massive orgy, orchestrated by Yennefer of Vengerberg, the mage of Rinde. She deduced that he was a mutant, a witcher to be exact. The famous White Wolf, as she refered to him. She questioned just how powerful he is. Whatever the djinn did to Jaskier started to spread. Should Yennefer cure him, Geralt promised to indulge her curiosity. Yennefer agreed to his terms. She stated the phrase "ragamuffin," and the citizens of Rinde awoke from their trance, completely unaware of their actions.

Yennefer put Jaskier in a deep healing sleep. The following morning, as Yennefer prepared the spell, Jaskier awoke. She held him against the wall and ordered him to make a wish. Jaskier made his final wish, and Yennefer released him. She then started chanting to summon the djinn. Geralt returned, offering his help. He tried to stop Yennefer before the power consumed her, and she dies. Jaskier expressed his last wish, but the djinn only seemed to be getting stronger. That's because as Geralt explained, it was he who had the wishes. Jaskier and Chireadan watched from outside as the house collapsed. They initially presumed Geralt and Yennefer to be dead, but upon further examination, found the two having sex inside.[3]

Hunting a Dragon

Jaskier and Geralt were approached by Borch Three Jackdaws and his two Zerrikanian companions Téa and Véa. They sought Geralt out hoping to gain his assistance in slaying a green dragon that had landed across the border in King Niedamir's mountains. Locals spotted it and went after it in search of treasure. They succeeded only in wounding the creature and angering it so righteously that it swooped down from its lair and set half a hillside ablaze. The king was set to marry the princess of a rival kingdom, Malleore, and he's concerned with the creature's presence. So, he commissioned a hunt to kill it and four teams had signed on. The winner got the dragon's treasure board and the title of lord over one of King Niedamir's vassal states.

Geralt initially declined Borch's offer as he didn't kill dragons. However, Borch was in need of one final adventure, and he thought that killing a dragon would bring him that. With a witcher on his team, he'd be unstoppable. Joining them on the hunt were a group of dwarves and Reavers. With the introduction of Yennefer and Eyck of Denesle as the fourth team, Geralt agreed to join Borch on his hunt, much to Jaskier's disapproval.

Jaskier and Geralt spoke to Yennefer for the first time in year. She couldn't help but wonder why she kept running into Geralt despite walking the earth for decades prior and never meeting a single witcher. She explained that she was there to accompany Eyck as he was to slay the dragon.

While on the path to kill the dragon, Jaskier suddenly came face-to-face with a hirikka while picking berries for Tèa and Vèa. Geralt surmised that the creature was starving and of no danger to them. Eyck completely disregarded him and killed it. All four groups decided to settle down on the mountain side. Geralt, Jaskier, Borch, Tèa, Vèa, Yennefer, Eyck, Yarpen, the leader of the dwarves, and Boholt, the leader of the Reavers roasted the hirikka and feasted. Jaskier doubted the mere existence of dragons until Geralt assured them to be real, though their numbers were dwindling. Green dragons were the most common. Red dragons less so. Black dragons were the rarest. Borch added that gold dragons were in fact the rarest. Geralt retorted that they were a myth. Whether that be true or not, gold dragons met the same fate of any other dragon; they died out.

Yennefer awakened the following morning to find Eyck missing. Yarpen found him dead by a tree with his pants down and throat slit. Nevertheless, the hunt continued. Yarpen suspected that the Reavers killed Eyck, and so he knew of a short cut across the mountains that he only shared with Jaskier, Geralt, Borch, Tèa and Vèa. Proposing a truce until they reached the next peak. Yarpen and his men have guided Jaskier, Geralt, Yennefer, Borch, Tèa and Vèa to a fairly narrow path lined with wooden boards alongside the mountain. A tight squeeze for anyone larger than that of a dwarf. The board broke beneath Borch's feet and he falls, as does Tèa and Vèa. The only thing preventing them from plummeting to the ground was Geralt holding on to the other end of the chain. Borch told Geralt to let him go. When Geralt refused, Borch let go of the chain, shortly followed by Tèa and Vèa, and the three of them disappeared within the fog as they fell to the ground below.

Jaskier told Geralt that he did his best to save them. There wasn't much he could do. He suggested that they give up on hunt and provided Geralt give him another chance to prove himself as a worthy travel companion, they head for the coast.

Jaskier awakened at the camp site all alone the following morning. He called out to Geralt and the dwarves with no response. By the time he made his way to the cave, the entrance is littered with Reaver bodies and much to his surprise, Tèa and Vèa were very much still alive and defending the cave. Yarpen and the dwarves unfroze only to realize they missed the action.

Geralt grew angry after losing Yennefer's affection and blamed Jaskier for all his recent troubles. The Child Surprise. The djinn. All of it could be traced back to him. Geralt exclaimed that if life could give him one blessing, it would be to take Jaskier off his hands. With that being said, Jaskier - clearly hurt by Geralt - would get the story from the others to write his song and depart. [4]

References

  1. Season 1, Episode 02: Four Marks
  2. Season 1, Episode 04: Of Banquets, Bastards and Burials
  3. Season 1, Episode 05: Bottled Appetites
  4. Season 1, Episode 06: Rare Species
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