|My folk have suffered much.|
|- Francesca about Aen Seidhe, Gwent: The Witcher Card Game|
Enid an Gleanna (Elder Speech: Daisy of the Valleys), also known as Francesca Findabair, was an elf, a sorceress, and was the queen (later duchess) of the elves of Dol Blathanna as decreed by Emperor Emhyr var Emreis. She was considered to be the most beautiful woman in the world by quite a margin. She was also a founding member of the Lodge of Sorceresses after the fall of the Brotherhood of Sorcerers.
Not much is known about her early years, though while she was relatively young during King Goidemar of Temeria's time, her father had already disowned her. However, as he'd been a Sage, she knew quite a bit about the Elder Blood, so when a team of mages were sent to figure out which of the Houtborg triplets was the king's and which was Falka's, she was added to the group. They soon deduced that Adela was the infamous woman's child, but to avoid the execution of a 2 year old, the mages hid the truth, stating they'd need more time to figure it out and Goidemar never bothered to ask them later.
In 1267, Francesca was a member of the Chapter of the Brotherhood of Sorcerers, making her one of the main leaders of the group. However, when Emperor Emhyr planned his second attempt to go to war with the North, he approached Francesca and offered her a deal: if she helped the other Nilfgaardian backers take out the opposing side during one of their conclaves, he'd give her the title of queen and be allowed to rule over Dol Blathanna, making it an elven state. She accepted the offer.
When a conclave was called on Thanedd Island, she worked with Vilgefortz and the other Nilfgaard supporters to plan a coup where they'd take out the Northern supporters during the meeting, which was to be held in a tower that blocked magic of any kind. As part of her plan, she snuck in some Scoia'tael beneath the hollowed island under the premise she'd let them through when it came time to strike. The night before the meeting, during the banquet, she talked for a bit with Yennefer before her fellow sorceress introduced her partner, Geralt.
Sometime before dawn though, the Northern supporters, having learned of the betrayal and set their own plans into motion, struck first and arrested Francesca and the rest of the Nilfgaard supporters. When the arch-mistress, Tissaia de Vries, saw they'd handcuffed the elf, she demanded they release her until Philippa explained she was a traitor, having sold out to become a ruler of an independent state. When asked if this was true, Francesca merely responded in Elder Speech that she had nothing to say to humans. She was then led to Garstang with the rest of the Nilfgaard supporters to be tried for treason and summarily executed. However, the coup went awry and the Nilfgaard supporters were freed and they began to fight the others. To add to the chaos, Francesca then opened the cellar doors, letting in the Scoia'tael. Despite siding with Nilfgaard though, she didn't agree with some of them and, knowing the mage Rience had a personal vendetta against Yennefer, found the sorceress and used artefact compression on her to smuggle her off the island.
Queen of the Free Elves
She managed to escape from Thanedd Island and, with the Brotherhood dissolved and the Northern rulers now distrustful of their mages, effectively completed her side of the deal. Emhyr, true to his word, made her Queen of Dol Blathanna but on the condition that she was to officially renounce the Scoia'tael and not help them in any way as he wanted them to continue causing problems for the Northern Kingdoms while he invaded. Now the queen of the Aen Seidhe, Filavandrel aén Fidháil met with her, stating they should now call all their fellow elves home until she explained the agreement that made her queen, effectively leaving the Scoia'tael stateless and without any support from their own kind.
Shortly after she became queen, she, along with other sorceresses, were sought out by Philippa Eilhart. She communicated via projection, and the sorceresses formed the Lodge, a secret society of sorceresses dedicated to ensuring the survival of magic. They agreed to meet later in person, and Francesca was permitted to bring two potential initiates with her to the next meeting.
Joining the Lodge
After meeting with the emperor's head of military intelligence, Vattier de Rideaux, she met with the elven Sage, Ida Emean, who'd been hiding in the room from Vattier's sight. After discussing their expectations of the Lodge, Francesca finally decompressed Yennefer a month and a half after the Thanedd coup and explained to the dark haired sorceress she intended to have her attend the Lodge's next meeting in a few hours. However, knowing Yennefer was irritated at the queen and had her own plans in mind, Francesca threatened to compress her once more if she attempted to run. Despite this, Yennefer refused to give her word that she wouldn't try anything and the trio teleported to Montecalvo to meet the other sorceresses.
They soon arrived at the meeting and eventually Philippa revealed her plans: to have a kingdom ruled by magic and the perfect way to do this was to find the lost princess of Cintra, Ciri, and groom her to marry Tankred Thyssen, heir of Kovir and Poviss. This led to Francesca, along with Ida, to explain what they knew about the Elder Blood and how they believed Ciri was the sole inheritor of the powerful gene. However, it was quickly pointed out they'd only followed the official lines they knew of: they didn't take into consideration hidden affairs and other such situations that could compromise who was a carrier of it.
Throughout the rest of the year she attended several more meetings with the Lodge, in particular to hear how Fringilla Vigo was doing on her end to keep Geralt busy in Toussaint so the women could continue looking for Vilgefortz and Ciri. By early January of 1268, Fringilla revealed to them the location Geralt learned was Vilgefortz's hideout, Rhys-Rhun Castle and on the day of the attack, Francesca watched through a magical image as the women they sent to retrieve Vilgefortz and Ciri started their approach. However, they soon realized it'd been a false location; they'd underestimated Geralt and now he was too far away to get the truth out of him.
The War's End
After the decisive Battle of Brenna that sent Nilfgaard retreating, all the kingdom's rulers met in Cintra to discuss the peace terms, with Francesca joining the Lodge in a room directly above the negotiations. When discussions turned to her and Dol Blathanna, King Demavend of Aedirn stated he would recognize its autonomy, not as a kingdom but as a duchy, and that it had to offer equal rights to both humans and elves while also paying him liege homage. For her part, Francesca agreed to all except paying him homage: instead, it'd be a freehold and she'd only give an oath of loyalty.
Several months later, on June 1, Francesca was once more in attendance with the rest of the Lodge, as Philippa had coerced Yennefer into having Ciri meet with them at last to try and use her for their, now slightly altered, plans. Despite this, Ciri proved she wasn't simply going to be ordered around and it was ultimately her decision that she had to think over. Before that, she needed to say goodbye to Geralt, having promised to meet him in several days. At this news, the women were apprehensive about letting Ciri run off to say goodbye and chose to vote on if they should let her go. Francesca chose to vote to let her, though she didn't give her reasons for why. However, while she was cordial enough to Ciri, she immediately showed hostility towards Yennefer, seeing the dark-haired sorceress' escape from the Lodge as her refusing to cooperate and therefore losing her rights to vote and must be sentenced appropriately at a later time. This sentencing never came to pass though, as Yennefer was caught in the Rivian Pogrom a few days later.
It's unknown what exactly happened to Francesca after the Lodge's fall. Sometime by the late 1300s though, she and the rest of the elves were gone from the world, with not so much as a painting of her left behind, as all portraits of her were taken by the elves when they departed through a Door and out of this realm.
- Though she does not appear in our story, the elf Francesca Findabair, known also as Enid an Gleanna or the Daisy of the Valley, certainly deserves mention. After the coup on Thanedd Island, during which she sided with the mages who had allied themselves with Nilfgaard, Francesca became the queen of Dol Blathanna, the state of the Free Elves created somewhat whimsically by Emperor Emhyr. Enid is widely considered the most beautiful woman in the world. This pureblood Aen Seidhe with dark gold hair and penetrating azure eyes is also a powerful sorceress, possessing a tremendous command of the famed elven magic.
Reward Tree Entries
- Scroll 1: Francesca Findabair, known also by her true name Enid an Gleanna, is widely regarded as the Continent's most beautiful woman – elf or otherwise. Yet she is also its saddest – all due to her dream fulfilled...
- Scroll 2: Francesca desired one thing above all – to reclaim Dol Blathanna, the Valley of Flowers, from human hands and rebuild the kingdom of elves. The North's war with Nilfgaard destroyed the old order and opened the door for her dream to be realized. The price to pay, however, was great indeed...
- Scroll 3: In order to regain Dol Blathanna, Francesca had no choice but to enter an alliance with Emperor Emhyr var Emreis of Nilfgaard. And when the time came for peace negotiations, she was to deliver captured Scoia'tael officers for punishment at the Imperial court.
- Scroll 4: Francesca had no doubt she made the right decision – dozens of soldiers in exchange for the fate of her people. The sheer number of lives at stake suggest she made the humane choice, yet solace cannot always be found in cold calculation.
- Chest 1: According to the provisions of the Cintrian peace agreement, sovereignty of Dol Blathanna would fall to the elves. However, the treaty did not specify in what condition. With this loophole kept well in mind, all those fleeing the valley carried what they could and burned the rest. In place of her beloved Valley of Flowers, Francesca Findabair inherited a Valley of Ashes.
- Chest 2: Francesca sought to return the Valley of Flowers to its former glory, though her aim would prove far more difficult than she had anticipated. Razed palaces can be rebuilt, scorched gardens can be recultivated. Yet after years of exile, the elves had forgotten many of their time-honored traditions and customs, instead soaking in human culture. It seemed Dol Blathanna would never regain its former identity.
- Chest 3: Francesca realized that one false move could once again bring ruin upon the Valley of Flowers. Thus, she patiently tolerated her neighbors' incessant provocation. However, were any to cross the border into Dol Blathanna, Francesca would stop at nothing to defend her realm and subjects.
- She is the only sorceress of the Lodge who has yet to appear in any of the Witcher video games, other than gwent cards.
- She's mentioned in passing in the games, and in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt she's the leader card for the Scoia'tael Gwent deck.
- See the GWENT standalone game version card: Francesca