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Freixenet (or Frexinet) was once the Baron of Hamm, and later one of King Ervyll's governors in Verden. His sister, Eliza, was married to the king, making him Prince Kistrin's uncle by marriage.

Biography[edit | edit source]

The cormorant curse[edit | edit source]

Sometime prior to 1262, Freixenet had been the Baron of Hamm but after a falling out with one woman, he was cursed and turned into a cormorant. His sister tried several myths she'd heard, like putting on him a shirt made of nettles, but Freixenet remained a bird. Luckily, Geralt was passing through and Eliza's husband, King Ervyll, was willing to pay the witcher to lift the curse. While Freixenet successfully returned to normal, a preference for fish lingered from his time as a bird to the point he'd occasionally head down to the harbor and eat several fish straight from the cages.

In Ciri's rescue[edit | edit source]

In 1262, Freixenet, now working as one of King Ervyll's governors, took off with several of his men after Princess Ciri after he learned she'd run away as she didn't want to be married to Prince Kistrin. Unfortunately for both parties, they ended up in the Brokilon forest, a sacred area guarded over by dryads and who killed any intruders, whether they stumbled in by accident or not. Freixenet was badly wounded and near death when Geralt happened upon him, having been sent by King Venzlav to deliver a message to the dryads' queen, Eithné. After making contact with the nearby dryads, the witcher was able to get them to save Freixenet but couldn't do anything else for him as he was then ordered to follow a dryad to Duén Canell, where Eithné lived.

Freixenet was transported to Duén Canell and several days later, while he hadn't quite recovered, he was well enough to sit up for a bit and talk when Geralt joined him once more, this time with Ciri in tow. However, on seeing the princess, he berated her and threatened to tan her hide for running away as it caused a political fiasco for Ervyll. He then revealed that even if he made it out alive, he wouldn't be able to go back to Verden's court as he'd been in charge of Ciri and, having failed that, all that awaited him back home was the gallows. Geralt then informed Freixenet that since he'd lifted the curse, news spread far and wide and was heavily embellished. Now, the former baron had 10 brothers and all of them were turned into swans, as cormorants weren't very romantic for story purposes, and Eliza's nettle shirt cured them.

Afterwards, Eithné entered and debated over what to do about Freixenet, erroneously believing he was a scalp-hunter, as Ervyll was paying people for every dryad scalp they brought in. After Geralt informed her that Freixenet wasn't one and he'd run into the forest to find Ciri, Eithné then asked the governor if he had children. Not realizing what she was getting at, he stated he wasn't married and the queen made her point clearer: if he'd ever fathered any children. After confirming he had, Eithné decided he would stay for a time after he healed and then allowed to go wherever he wished. After the queen left, he asked the witcher what that was all about and Geralt explained they hoped to use him to father a dryad or two. Not realizing this wasn't the same as human mating, Freixenet at first smiled at the idea until Geralt informed him it wasn't about pleasure: there wouldn't be any wooing or romance with the dryad he'd be paired with and she'd treat the matter very practically as she would only be using him to father a child.

Freixenet then asked Geralt what was to become of Ciri and after being told she'd be turned into a dryad, he made a vain attempt at asking if he could still rescue her, to which Geralt responded he wouldn't leave the forest alive if he tried.[2]

Further life[edit | edit source]

The following appears only in Something Ends, Something Begins short story, which has been declared non-canon by Andrzej Sapkowski.

Despite Geralt's warning, Freixenet ultimately developed an intimate relationship with the dryad who was chosen to father his children, Braenn, and married her. He continued to live in Brokilon as "Freixenet of Brokilon" and had five daughters: Morenn, Cirilla, Mona, Eithné, and Kashka. All of them, despite their father's hair being black and their mother's honey gold, were remarked to be fiery red-haired.

When the sixth child was on its way, about fifteen years after Morenn's birth, Freixenet and Braenn were invited to attend Geralt and Yennefer's wedding at Rozrog castle in Schwemmland. Upon arrival, Freixenet showed his confidency that the next child would be a son, but his daughters laughed and Braenn remarked that the "son" was going to be named "Melissa".

In the night before ceremony, while Geralt and Yen were taking care of each other, the guests threw a party, and Freixenet with family attended. Seeing that his immature daughters were causing a trouble, he asked Braenn to lock all the children in their rooms, and joined the drinking contest held by Mousesack's girlfriend Freya. He fought bravely alongside Crach an Craite and Caldemeyn but was forced to give up seeing that Freya's skill in drinking was incomparable.

In the morning, Freixenet and Agloval organized a hunt to supply the ceremony with venison, while the dryads filled kitchen with game.

For the the ceremony, which was to held about afternoon, the baron dressed in purple. Seeing that Herwig and Loki an Craite were missing at fishing, Braenn ordered Mona and Kashka to run at the lake to bring them in; they returned with Loki and were scared by a cinerea, which was fortunately slain by Ciri. When the ceremony finally started, Freixenet's daughters accompanied Dandelion's bard friends with singing. At the wedding reception Freixenet discussed politics with Agloval and Mousesack, ignoring a skeleton behind their backs. Kashka was sleeping under the table, lying on a dog. The baron's older daughters were loudly flirting with knights Yves, Sulivoy, Matholm and Devereux.[1]

End of Something Ends, Something Begins short story content.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Freixenet's curse is likely based on the German fairy tale, The Six Swans.
  • Freixenet is a Spanish producer of wine and cava (a sparkling wine from Catalonia).

References[edit | edit source]