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"Do you really wish to know?"
Spoilers from the books and/or adaptations to follow!
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Skellige and Cintra shall stand ever together!
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- Eist, Gwent: The Witcher Card Game
Audio version:
Eist Tuirseach voice line

Eist Tuirseach (d. 1263) was a Jarl of Skellige during the reign of his brother, King Bran, and Crach an Craite's uncle. He became the King of Cintra via his impromptu marriage to Queen Calanthe and, sometime later, he also gained the crown of Skellige. He ruled with his wife until 1263 when he was killed at the Battle of Marnadal during the Nilfgaardian invasion of Cintra.

He was described as being a sinewy warrior with a dark face, an aquiline nose, and white teeth. He was also, at least according to Queen Calanthe, noble, knightly, and classy.

Biography Edit

Early life Edit

Eist was born into Clan Tuirseach on the Skellige Isles and grew up with his brother, Bran, and at least one sister who later ended up giving birth to Crach an Craite.[1]

He was an excellent warrior and while his brother was crowned, Eist occupied the position of Jarl of Skellige, the main commander of the military forces.[2] He helped advise his brother, along with the druid Mousesack, and became a mentor figure for young Crach.

It's not quite clear how Eist met Queen Calanthe, but it must have happened after the death of her husband, King Roegner of Ebbing. They soon developed feelings for one another but Calanthe repeatedly refused the Jarl's proposals.[1]

Princess Pavetta's coming of age Edit

In 1252, Eist, Crach, Mousesack, the famous skald Draig Bon-Dhu, and 30 seamen traveled to Cintra as legation from the Isles, with the significant four of them allowed to enter the royal castle where the feast was held. The chief goal of the Islanders was to ensure Crach's wedding with Queen Calanthe's daughter and heiress, Pavetta, to strengthen the alliance between Skellige and Cintra. Many others suitors however participated in the banquet: Prince Windhalm of Attre and his guard (Rainfarn), Drogodar, who sat next to Queen Calanthe with his lute, Baron Eylembert of Tigg, Geralt of Rivia (under the alias of Ravix of Fourhorn), and many other vassals from Cintra and its surroundings.

During the feast, he couldn't help but notice Calanthe was conversing a lot with Geralt (not realizing they were discussing business) and started to look annoyed, which didn't go unnoticed by the queen. A short time later, the feast was interrupted by a knight who introduced himself as Duny, Urcheon of Erlenwald, and claimed Pavetta was his reward through the Law of Surprise for saving King Roegner's life many years ago. After it was revealed that he had a hedgehog-like head, Calanthe asked her daughter if she wanted to leave with such a monster, thinking she'd say no, but the princess answered yes. This outraged many guests and a fight broke out. Crach and Rainfarn grabbed their knives and tried to stub the monster, with the latter managing to hurt him. Eist, acknowledging that Duny was right, grabbed a chair and started striking the guards of the castle and Geralt, a witcher who was originally hired by Calanthe to kill the monster, took to protecting Duny as well. All the commotion upset Pavetta and The Force burst from her, sending furniture and suitors flying. In the middle of it all, Calanthe's throne, with the queen still sitting on it, went flying and smashed against the opposite wall, knocking the queen unconscious. Eist cried out to her and jumped on top of the queen to protect her from harm. At one point during all the commotion Eist, who'd once more professed his love for Calanthe, proposed to her. However, before she could respond, Geralt and Mousesack were able to bring Pavetta back to her senses and the queen demanded to talk to everyone involved.

After talking with her daughter and Duny, Calanthe realized her daughter was in love with the knight and she agreed to let them get married and, by doing so, unknowingly broke Duny's curse. However, she informed Duny he wouldn't become king of Cintra just yet and informed Eist that she accepted his proposal and soon there were two weddings.[1]

Reign over Cintra and Skellige Edit

Sometime later, Bran abdicated his throne to his brother and Eist became the Isles' king, although only in title as the actual power was held by Crach an Craite, who had ascended to the position of Jarl of Skellige after Eist's coronation. As the king of both Cintra and the Skellige Isles, Eist represented a personal union of both countries.[2]

Despite ruling over a vast realm, Eist had little interest in governing so his wife handled it instead. As such, while he reigned for 13 years, he never truly participated in political intrigues and laws. However, his marriage with Calanthe was regarded as happy but, due to their advanced age, they had no children together.[3]

Death and legacy Edit

Eist and Calanthe stood in charge of their military forces when the Nilfgaardian Army marched through Marnadal Stairs and towards Cintra. The Battle of Marnadal lasted a full day and night until an arrow struck through one of King Eist's eyes, instantly killing him. Calanthe then gathered her remaining troops and retreated to Cintra where she was defeated in what became known as the Slaughter of Cintra.[3]

Eist's body was later retrieved from the fields of Marnadal by his Skellige countrymen and brought back to the Isles. He was buried in a traditional stone tomb next to an empty, symbolic coffin for his wife as the queen's body was never found. Bran was then re-crowned as king[4] and the Islanders swore bloody vengeance on the Nilfgaardians, becoming their implacable foes.[5]

Gwent: The Witcher Card Game Edit

Eist is a leader in the Homecoming version.

Reward Tree entries Edit

Scroll 1: Eist looked different than the other islanders. His hair dark, his skin markedly aged and weathered by the sun – he stood out in a crowd. His appearance, it seemed, paralled a certain longing, for he often looked upon the horizon, his gaze distant, giving the sense that his thoughts were lost somewhere far beyond Skellige's shores...
Scroll 2: Eventually, Eist did leave his homeland to settle in Cintra at the side of the illustrious Queen Calanthe. They say one look from the swarthy pirate was enough to melt the queen's icy heart...
Scroll 3: Although Eist loved Calanthe beyond measure, he was never truly happy in Cintra. He could not shake the lingering feeling that catastrophe awaited him, that a tragic fate had been written for him in the stars...
Scroll 4: Indeed, several years following their wedding, Nilfgaard attacked Cintra. Eist fought the invaders with the fury of a sea devil, but eventually fell, pierced by an arrow. The Skellige Isles, his homeland, now serve as his final resting place. He lies there alone, for Calanthe's body was never found.
Chest 1: Eist Tuirseach and Calanthe never bore children. Some claimed that the Lioness of Cintra – for whom this was her second marriage – was incapable of granting an heir due to her advanced age. However, those closest to Eist knew better. The islander never wished to father a child – not after witnessing what power resided within Calanthe's daughter, Pavetta. In the veins of Cintrian royalty flowed the Elder Blood, which he believed would not mix well with the hot temper so characteristic of Skelligers.
Chest 2: Eist became renowned on the Isles for his skills as a sailor. He could maneuver a longship through Skellige's narrowest fjords on a moonless night, navigate the fiercest storms at full sail, and drive Nilfgaardian ships more than twice the size of his own onto the islands' jagged, rocky coastlines. Who knows what new and exotic lands he might have discovered had he not planted his roots in Cintra...
Chest 3: To ensure his ship never deviated from its course, Eist often closely observed the stars. Yet one night – lying on the deck of his longship, hands clasped behind his head – he eyed something more than just a map etched in sky. He saw something that turned the good-humored, carefree adventurer in him into a grim and somber man. Whenever asked what he saw in the stars that night, Eist merely replied... "The future."

Notes Edit

Gallery Edit

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 The Last Wish
  2. 2.0 2.1 Ciri's genealogy - Eist Tuirseach
  3. 3.0 3.1 Blood of Elves
  4. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  5. The World of the Witcher
  6. Leaked CD Projekt RED materials from 2014

External links Edit

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