The episode starts with a scene set in the future, showing a man (Geralt of Rivia) slaying a monster in swamp land. Returning to present times, an old witcher has come to reclaim a debt with some humans- in exchange for being saved from a werewolf attack by Thornwald, Korin must give up his newborn son to the man so that he can become a Witcher. Korin and Visenna resist but the child surrenders himself and is taken away. As they leave, Visenna casts magic of sorts and curses Geralt to never be able to become a true witcher.
Geralt and the old witcher travel to Kaer Morhen, with Geralt attempting to run away so many times that the old witcher ties him to his belt via a rope. Despite this, he is kind to the boy, stopping to rest and feeding him. Upon arrival, the boy is taken to rest within the caves while the council meet together and discuss the recent shortcomings of their witchers and a lack in numbers- renegades that require to be killed, the fact that 4 out of 5 children don't even survive the metamorphism and that though they were trained to fight monsters, more and more are dying in their profession leading to thoughts that they are not good enough anymore and lack adequate training. Many of the council oppose the comments made however, and are very opposed to the idea that the old way, the code of the witcher, is outdated and inadequate. They do agree on the fact that they are running out of witchers however, and this divide in the council starts different paths with how they decide to deal with such a situation.
Geralt is now seen back in the caves, chained to a table and undergoing the metamorphism to become a witcher. The elders comment that his body is resisting the change, and they are unsure if he will make it. Vesemir makes the call to pause the process and let the boy rest despite the wishes of Jarrow, conducting the metamorphism. Geralt later wakes up in the morning, struggling in his chains; he keeps seeing visions of his mother telling him to be strong and resist the changes. Vesemir and Jarrow discuss the issues that arose in the meeting the day before; the witchers are becoming outdated and refuse to adapt. Jarrow blames this on the fact that they cannot understand the situation as they do for they are deprived of higher feelings and deeper thought associations- they were merely created to kill. Vesemir admits that Gwidon was right in the meeting and that the fault with the witchers betraying or dying lies not in the training, but in the overall change process itself. If they are to change future witchers, they need to make the changes there. He goes on to comment that witchers can't be mindless killers alone, they need to be knights of honour, law and good deeds if the situation is to be rectified. Vesemir now asks for Jarrow's support, to expand the capabilities of witchers by granting them the ability to coexist with humans- to not be completely witcher but not human either. Jarrow agrees and the two keep the secret to themselves that Geralt will be the first of these new witchers.
Meanwhile, a witcher patrol is attacked by a renegade group of elves whilst travelling back to the fort with food and supplies. All the supplies were raided, and only one witcher survives, ingesting herbs to keep himself alive. Likewise, the metamorphism of Geralt continues with another intense session of poisons being applied. Things look bad and it seems like he is not going to make it; suddenly, he begins calling out to his mother to come and protect him. Shocked, the Chaplains and witchers present comment that he shouldn't be doing that at the stage he is up to, that he should have forgotten it all. Jarrow quickly replies that it is just "tissue memory", or ramblings of a dying person, and thinks the child won't make it. Having walked in the middle of the situation, Vesemir angrily orders everyone but Jarrow to leave. He comforts Geralt, who now has white hair and golden slit eyes, telling him to sleep but fight the call of death.
Gwidon is unconvinced that Geralt is going through the change properly and demands a test of dreams- Vesemir agrees and calls for a druid to come and perform the test the following day. He then moves on to question Gwidon's training tactics, pointing out that 2 students died recently under his care during a time when they're already low on numbers. Gwidon resists but Vesemir eventually forces him to change his tactics and be more gentle with the students by pointing out that his tactics go against the witcher code, much to Gwidon's dislike. Vesemir highlights that while times are hard, having to support themselves now rather than being supported by rulers, that they cannot take it out on each other. The following day during training, the lone witcher from the raid appears, explaining what happened. The other withcers question why he didn't stay to fight, and he presents them all with the heads of several elves before collapsing.
The druids begin their dream test on Geralt now. While in the induced trance, Geralt technically fails the test as he has visions of a face appear before him, but he cannot give details as to who's face it is. When the druid is questioned later by Vesemir as to whether the child's transformation was successful, the druid tells him and Gwidon that Geralt is "not a human, not a mutant or a monster"; he is both witcher and human. He has recollection of past memories but isn't able to associate them to anything in specific (seeing the face of his mother) and will be attracted to women despite not being fertile (it is unclear at this stage whether the associated asexuality of witchers is because they have never known what women are or if the asexuality is a repercussion of the mutagens). Gwidon again is unconvinced of Geralt's mutation and demands the trial of the mountain, where the child is to be left in the wilderness to fend for himself for 30 days to truly test that he is no longer human. Vesemir resists on the account that no one has survived the barbaric trial, but is compelled to do so anyway to prove Geralt is not human considering the druid's comments.
Gwidon is about to lead a party out to fetch food and supplies for the fort. Vesemir approaches him and gives him the last of the elder's money, forbidding him to take revenge on the elves and to instead buy what they need, for the elves also have nothing to eat. When questioned, Vesemir reveals that an elven messenger stopped by to tell them that the attacks were just mad elves part of the hunger hoard- Vesemir asks Gwidon to take pity on their plight and help maintain the peace, which makes Gwidon furious as he replies that witchers were made to fight, not maintain peace but bends to Vesemir's will anyway. Vesemir later calls upon the old witcher again to take Geralt up into the mountains. While there's nothing they can do about the situation, he points out to the old witcher that they can help Geralt by giving him useful advice on how to survive, and to leave him close to the road to Tes.
The old witcher and Geralt travel out into the wilderness, and the old witcher shares much advice with him in regards to survival in the wild. A pyramid of 4 skulls sit on a large boulder watch them- the skulls of those who did not survive the trial in the past. The old witcher tells him to forget about that and focus on the present, saying he will be back in 30 days and then leaving, giving Geralt a small array of weapons to defend himself with. The following morning, Geralt buries the skulls before trying his hand at hunting and fishing for food. By the river, he encounters a lone she-wolf who bares down on Geralt initially while protecting her den with cubs in it. Slowly, Geralt wins her favour by tending to her wounds and giving them some of his food, naming the wolf Fangtooth. Out exploring one day, Geralt gets too close to the road to Tes; a travelling caravan of people pass by and get angry with him, and begin to throw rocks at the boy. One woman alone asks them to stop doing so, but they continue until Geralt runs away. The travelling party is then attacked by Gwidon's party, with all the adults being killed and the caravan with children and supplies taken away to Kaer Morhen. Geralt witnesses this and after the attack is finished, goes down to the wreckage scene of what Gwidon's party left behind; a small cart and all the dead adults. He loots some items from them, and in particular feels sorry for the woman who previously defended him- he takes her necklace and wears it to remember her.
The caravan and Gwidon's party arrive back at Kaer Morhen, and he and his men tell the elders that what they found was merely what they rescued from an elven attack. The children were also taught the same lie as they comment the same thing- Vesemir is unconvinced but without any proof, let's them be. The following day, Geralt finds Adela and begins to nurse her back to health- she was left in the wild to die following the siege on the caravan the previous day. Meanwhile, Vesemir is trying to resolve the situation for a peaceful result- he sends a priest with a letter to the elves to tell them what happened in hopes of getting to the bottom of the situation, while the new children are kept in the caves under the false pretence of being diseased. Back in the forest, Geralt continues looking after the new girl, and she questions the necklace he is wearing as it belonged to her mother. Geralt inevitably has to explained what happened, and comforts the girl by telling her to be brave.
Some time passes and the old witcher returns for Geralt. He has a run in with Fangtooth but Geralt intervenes before anything happens. They get talking around a campfire and Geralt tells the wither what he saw regarding the attack on the road; the old witcher then takes both Geralt and Adela back to Kaer Morhen, with Geralt having to say goodbye to Fangtooth. Geralt comments to the old witcher that Fangtooth didn't want him to go because he was a wolf. The old witcher agrees, and says he is a white wolf. Upon arriving back, they go straight to Vesemir with the evidence of the attack and devastated as he is to find another renegade witcher, Vesemir calls for a final meeting to put an end to this. Holding a formal trial, Gwidon is officially accused of his crimes and is forced to relinquish his witcher artifacts, and is banished from the fort. Before leaving, he swears revenge on Geralt for bringing the evidence to them, and Geralt in return swears to kill him and tells Vesemir that he wishes to be a full witcher.
Cast and characters
- Maciej Łagodziński - Geralt of Rivia (as a boy)
- Wojciech Duryasz - Old Witcher
- Maciej Kozłowski - Gwidon
- Jerzy Nowak - Vesemir
- Magdalena Warzecha - Visenna, Geralt's mother
- Waldemar Kownacki - Geralt's father
- Lech Łotocki - chaplain Jarrow
- Natalia Chojecka - Adela
- Jacek Kadłubowski - witcher Osbert
- Andrzej Szenajch - Druid
- Jerzy Żydkiewicz - priest
- Rafał Walentowicz - master witcher
- Wojciech Kaźmierczak - witcher-instructor
- Tomasz Sobczak - witcher
- Marek Richter - witcher
- Wiesław Chmieliński - witcher
- Grzegorz Artman
- Janusz Nogal
- Marian Nowicki
- Robert Rożnowski
- Antoni Aleksandrowicz
- Jan Jarosławski