Encyclopaedia Maxima Mundi, created by Effenberg and Talbot, is a multi-volume work detailing many notable people and occurrences throughout the history of the continent and the world in general. Fragments of this fictional book are sometimes used as introductions to stories or chapters in Sapkowski's works. It was generally considered to be a piece of Nilfgaardian propaganda and the information in it is highly selective, subjective and not particularly scientifically rigourous. Those fragments have, so far, apparently featured the following:
Note that these excerpts have been inexpertly translated from the French translation of the original Polish!
- Congreve, Estella vel Stella, – The daughter of Otto of Congreve, married to the old Count Liddertal. Upon the death of the latter, rapidly recovered, managed her inheritance most judiciously, amassing for herself a not inconsiderable fortune. Enjoying the esteem of the emperor Emhyr var Emreis (sic), she was considered a person of great importance by the court. While she had no official duties, it was generally believed that the emperor was in the habit of paying considerable attention to her words and opinions. Because of her close personal relationship with the young Empress Cirilla Fiona (sic), whom she loved like her own daughter, she was jokingly referred to as the "Imperial mother-in-law". She outlived both the Emperor and the Empress, and died in 1331; as to her huge fortune, it fell to distant relatives on the Liddertal side of the family, called the Whites; being stupid and short-sighted, they squandered every bit of their inheritance.
- Delannoy, Flourens (1432–1510) – Linguist and historian. Born in Vicovaro, secretary and libraian to the imperial court from 1460 to 1475. Tireless researcher into legends and folklore, author of numerous important treasises considered to be seminal works of linguistic history and literature from the northern regions of the Empire. Among his most important works, one could cite: Myths and Legends of the Nordlings, Fairytales and Stories, Surprise or the Myth of Elder Blood, The Witcher Saga, as well as The Witcher and the Witcheress, or a search unending. Beginning in 1476, he officiates as professor at the academy of Castell Graupian where he dies in 1510.
- Evertsen, Peter, born in 1220, confidant of Emperor Emhyr Deithwen and one of the true architects of the power of the Empire. Sergent-in-chief of the army during the Nordling Wars; beginning in 1290. Grand Treasurer of the Crown. Elevated to the rank of co-adjudicator during the final period of the reign of Emhyr. Falsely accused of abuse of power during the reign of Emperor Morvran Voorhis; condemned and imprisoned. Died in 1301 at Winneburg Castle. Postumously rehabilitated in 1328 by emperor Jan Calveit.
- Houvenaghel, Dominik Bombastus (1239–1301) – Became rich in the province of Ebbing by conducting large-scale enterprises; set up business in Nilfgaard. Already respected by previous emperors, he was elevated to the rank of viscount and zupparius salis of Venendal by Jan Calveit; as reward for services rendered, the office of mayor was awarded. Faithful counsellor to the emperor, Houvenaghel benefitted from his full confidence and took part in many public affairs. Already in Ebbing, he had indulged in many charity ventures, spending considerable sums of money to support the needy and the poor and to build orphanages, hospitals and daycare facilites. A great lover of fine art and sports, he had a theatre and a stadium built in the capital, both of which bore his name. He was a model of propriety, honesty and respectability in mercantile circles.
- Mandrake (also called divergoton) : species of plant in the Solanaceae family including herbaceous, stemless tap roots bearing a certain resemblance to the human form; rosette leaves.
- Mandrake, autumnalis or officinialis, is cultivated in small quantities in Vicovaro, Rowan and Ymlac, and is rarely found in growing wild. It initially produces green berries which ripen to yellow, and which are eaten with vinegar and pepper; it's leaves are used in the dried form. The mandrake root, these days appreciated in medicine and pharmaceuticals, earlier played an important role in superstitions, especially among the Nordlings: the roots were sculpted into small human-shaped dolls (alrunes) which were kept as powerful talismans in homes. They were thought to protect against illness and to bring luck, ensuring fertility to the women and easy births. They were dressed in tiny oufits which were changed with each full moon. Mandrake roots, for which the price could reach seventy florins, were also used in commerce. The same for bryonia roots (sic). According to the superstitions, mandrake root was used in spells and magic philtres, but also for poisons. This belief resurfaced during the witch hunts. Notably, the unlawful use of mandrake was established during the trial of Lukrezia Vigo (sic).
- The legendary Filippa Alhard (sic) likely also used mandrake to fashion poisons.
- Itlina, en réalité Ithlinne Aegli, la fille d'Aevenien, la légendaire elfe guérisseuse, astrologue et devineresse, célèbre pour ses prédictions, divinations et prophéties dont la plus fameuse reste celle d'Aen Ithlinnespeath, dite la prophétie d'Itlina. Répertoriée à maintes reprises et transcrite sous des formes diverses, la prophétie a joui une grande popularité au cours de différentes périodes ; les commentaires, les clefs et les explications la concernamt s'adaptaient aux événements du moment, venant renforcer la convinction du grand don de seconde vue d'Itlina.
- On présuppose en particulier qu'Itlina avait prédit les Guerres nordiques (1239–1268), les Grandes Pestes (1268, 1272 et 1294), la guerre sanglante des Deux Licornes (1309–1318) et l'invasion des Haaki (1350). Elle aurait également annoncé les changements climatiques observés à partir de la fin du XIII e siècle (La Froidure blanche), que les superstitions populaires ont toujour associés au début de la fin du monde et à l'arrivée prophétique de la Destructrice (sic). Ce fragment de la prophétie d'Itlina fut le déclencheur des infâmes chasses aux magiciennes (1272–1276) et occasionna la mort de nombreuses femmes et de malheureuses jeunes filles, que l'on prenait pour l'incarnation de la Destructrice. Itlina est aujourd'hui considérée par nombre de chercheurs comme un figure légendaire, et ses “prophéties” comme un apocryphe contemporain fabriqué de toutes pièces, une ingénieuse supercherie littéraire.
- The witchmen, or witchers as the Nordlings call them, are a secret, elite caste of soldier-priests, likely an offshoot of the druids. Gifted, in the popular imagination, of magical powers and superhuman abilities, they were driven to take part in the struggle against evil spirits, monsters and all the dark forces. In reality, masters of weaponry, these witchemen were used by Northern sovereigns for tribal altercations to which the latter were prone. During combat, the witchmen entered trances, trances they themselves summoned, one would suppose through some sort of self-hypnosis or some method of intoxication. They fought with a blind energy, for they were completely impervious to pain or even serious injury, which attested to their supernatural strength. The theory that witchmen were the result of genetic mutation or engineering was never confirmed. The witchemen are the heroes of numerous Nordling legends (see F. Delannoy, Myths and Legends of the Nordlings).