- Geralt of Rivia
- Tissaia de Vries
- Fringilla Vigo
- Triss Merigold
- Sabrina Glevissig
- Lytta Neyd
- Atlan Kerk
Geralt examines Ciri's room in the castle, remembering how he promised to find and protect her. He then leaves the destroyed city and makes his way through the forests, eventually coming across the encampment Ciri had briefly found before Nilfgaardian soldiers attacked it a week ago. There, a lone man, Yurga, is hopelessly trying to give all the deceased a proper burial after coming across them on his way home, but Geralt warns him he needs to leave quickly as possible as the rotting bodies have likely attracted necrophages. Yurga is still intent on helping though and asks Geralt to assist, but Geralt rides off to head back to Kaer Morhen.
As Yurga continues to drag the bodies into lines, necrophages suddenly appear out of the ground behind him and proceed to grab and drag him down but Geralt intervenes, killing the monsters. The witcher then tells Yurga once more to go home, but even despite the attack, Yurga still insists he can help the deceased but finally relents when Geralt demands that he leave. Geralt then strolls into the center of the camp, not waiting long before groups of necrophages start to attack and the witcher proceeds to kill them all off, but not before one bit him on his thigh, a certain death if not treated soon. Before he can get far, Geralt then collapses there in the camp from the wound.
The next day, a barely conscious Geralt is riding in the back of Yurga's wagon, who came back for the witcher after he fell. As he rides through Sodden to bring Geralt to his home, Yurga notes the heavy mist they're riding through isn't natural as Geralt shifts back and forth through hallucinations, at one point remembering his childhood with his mother, Visenna, and Villentretenmerth's remarks. The delirious witcher tries to sit up on the wagon but Yurga manages to stop him as they hear explosions going off in the distance, and Yurga correctly deduces it means Nilfgaard has made it to Sodden.
A bit more conscious, Geralt gets a potion out of his bags and drinks some and pours the rest on the bite, but notes he needs to get to the other side of the Blue Mountains where someone can heal him, but this is all the way on the other side of Sodden. He then has more flashback visions, this time as his mother drives a wagon before stopping and sending the young Geralt off to get some water for her. On returning to the road though, his mother and the wagon are gone and as he calls for her, another voice, Vesemir, notes he's been waiting for Geralt.
Now nighttime, Geralt wakes up to a woman healing him, who he originally hallucinates as Renfri then Yennefer before finally seeing the real sorceress, who's none other than Visenna and happened to be traveling through the area when she heard Yurga's call for help. The two go back and forth, dancing around what they really want to say, before Geralt finally confronts her, wanting to know if she at least knew or not that he could have died during the Trial of the Grasses. Instead of giving him an answer, Visenna tells him he needs to move on before making him fall asleep.
Geralt then wakes up to find her gone but Yurga's still there and quickly loads back into his wagon as Yurga notes he doesn't have anything to really offer the witcher for saving his life earlier, so offers the Law of Surprise, though Geralt tells him just an ale would suffice. In another dream like state, Geralt, now envisioning himself at the battle of Sodden Hill, tries to call out for Yennefer just after she set the forest on fire but can't find her.
By the next morning, Yurga finally arrives back home with Geralt, and sees that his wife, Zola, and the farm are all safe and sound. Geralt then overhears Zola tell Yurga she met a girl in the forest nearby, and the witcher remembers Renfri's prophetic words to him and he sets off, almost in a trance, into the woods. As he looks around, he turns to see Ciri running to him through the trees and the two embrace as he remarks on destiny before Ciri looks up at him and asks "Who is Yennefer?".
Deciding to help defend the North for Tissaia's sake, Yennefer and a number of other willing mages are sailing through the waters as Vilgefortz informs them they're headed for a keep on Sodden Hill, the only location that Nilfgaard will try to push through to continue further north. They've also gotten word Nilfgaard's army will likely arrive in two days time, as well as Temerian and Kaedwenian forces who got word from the mages and wish to help defend their lands from Nilfgaard.
On arriving at the keep, the mages quickly learn they won't just be trying to fortify the place, but also trying to protect all the refugees holed up there, as the owner of the keep believes they can still save it, with the mages' help. With that, the mages get to work, preparing and enchanting bottles with blue minerals, setting up arrows, and getting everyone inside the walls. As night falls, many of the people are getting in one last celebration before Nilfgaard arrives, but Yennefer finds a woman still working on setting things up, revealing she can't celebrate as she's already lost everything to Nilfgaard and therefore has no option but to fight back now. Yennefer then magically forms more feathers out of the single one left for the woman to use for fletching.
Yennefer then makes her way through the courtyard where Triss joins her and their conversation turns to Foltest, his daughter Adda's curse that was lifted, which then brings up Geralt, though Yennefer doesn't acknowledge she ever met him, only that his kind leads to disappointment. She then joins Tissaia and after some light teasing, Tissaia then asks Yennefer if she's ready to die who notes she is and that life has nothing else to give, but the rectress corrects her, noting the former pupil still has so much more left to give.
Several miles away, Cahir is adamant they have to push through Sodden Hill and could take Temeria without the extra men from Cintra as Fringilla walks in, informing them the Brotherhood is at Sodden Hill and therefore they must move now to try and take the keep, despite not knowing what type of magic they'll be facing. Getting reports that Ciri is likely already on the other side of the Yaruga, Cahir decides to move forward and have Fringilla test the Brotherhood's defenses.
Back at the keep, Yennefer and the rest have fallen asleep but Yennefer wakes up just in time to see a fireball coming right at them and manages to barely deflect it from hitting them. She then alerts everyone to get up and that Nilfgaard has started to attack. Meanwhile at the Nilfgaardian camp nearby, Fringilla then orders another fireball be thrown, resulting in another mage sacrificing their life to fuel one that's then catapulted once more at the keep and, once again, is deflected. At this, Fringilla then creates two objects in her hands: a small silver box and a small bag, handing off the box to another mage and orders him to draw the mages out while she pockets the bag.
At daybreak, the mages prepare for battle, though now there's only 22 of them, as many of the others fled after last night's attack. As they look out towards where the Nilfgaardian camp is, suddenly a dense fog starts to spread through the forest from the camp and heads straight for the keep, being caused by the male mage Fringilla gave the box to. Tissaia begins to order the mages to certain positions and sends Yennefer up to the tower to get an overview of the battlefield and to help direct the mages on their attacks, wanting Yennefer to reserve her magic.
From her perch, Yennefer sees a group of soldiers closing in and directs Tissaia, who gets Triss in position to cause mushrooms where the soldiers are marching to burst, releasing a fatal cloud of gas and killing the group off. Looking in another direction, Yennefer then directs Coral as more soldiers move on her position and stops them in their tracks as well. She then orders Sabrina and her group of archers to prepare their shots, and when told to fire, they release the glass bottles filled with the blue minerals before firing arrows to break them, raining explosions down on the Nilfgaardian troops below.
In another location, Yennefer lets Vilgefortz know it's time to strike and he teleports in and quickly takes out the few soldiers there, but Cahir dodges the mage's thrown sword as he draws his own blade while Vilgefortz uses his magic to have his sword re-appear in its sheathe to arm himself again. As the two square off, Cahir manages to make the mage lose his weapon again, who once more uses magic to make it appear at his side. Yennefer tries to tell Vilgefortz to slow down and reserve his magic, but he ignores this and repeatedly uses his magic to make his sword re-appear each time Cahir makes him lose it. However, Vilgefortz soon runs out of magic, leaving him defenseless, and Cahir kicks him down a hill where he crashes against several trees before getting knocked out.
In another section of the forest, Fringilla and a small group of Nilfgaardian archers prepare themselves, and the sorceress manages to use her magic to break open the barred keeps' gate before creating a portal in the forest which the archers then shoot into, just as the other end of the portal opens up in the keep's courtyard, sending the arrows through and wounding and killing several people there. The male mage with the box, near death himself, stumbles in through the destroyed gate, dying just as he drops the silver box.
Tissaia then finds Fringilla alone and tries to get her to see reason and stop the fighting, but Fringilla merely notes she's the reason the Skelligen ships didn't arrive to help Cintra, having caused a dense fog that sunk them all. She then throws the contents from the small bag at Tissaia, revealing it's dimeritium, and thus prevents the rectress from using magic, before Fringilla walks off. Back at the keep, the silver box then opens, releasing worm-like parasites.
With Nilfgaard closing in, Yennefer calls for all the mages to return to the keep, but several of them, like Coral and Atlan, are killed by the advancing soldiers, while Triss manages to create a living, vine-like barrier at the gate to hold them off for a time. However, the barrier is then attacked by a soldier with a torch, who manages to badly burn the sorceress. Inside the courtyard, Sabrina appears to act oddly and grabs two of the bottles with minerals before handing them off to two nearby children, and with merely a nod, the three appear to move to set destinations, with the two boys going to areas above where all the other bottles are while Sabrina makes her way up the tower to Yennefer and suddenly stabs her. Surprised at this, Yennefer sees a parasite coming out of Sabrina's ear just as the two boys, also with parasites, drop their bottles, causing massive explosions and casualties as they hit the rest of the bottles. Yennefer and Sabrina are thrown from the tower as a result, but Sabrina isn't able to protect herself and crashes into the ground. As Yennefer checks on her, Sabrina, now free from the parasite, apologizes for what happened.
Yennefer then heads off to try and find Tissaia, passing the carnage and dead mages as Fringilla telepathically notes Nilfgaard is the answer and could give Yennefer what she wants, a legacy by unlocking her potential, but Yennefer continues to try and find the rectress. Out in the forest, Vilgefortz comes to and finds a group of Nilfgaardians dead, having been killed by a wounded mage nearby. As the mage asks for help, Vilgefortz instead kills him and when Yennefer calls out if Vilgefortz is still alive, he ignores her.
With night falling, the injured Tissaia comes to while Nilfgaard continues to try and attack the remaining mages and Yennefer soon finds the still badly injured rectress, who informs her former pupil it's her turn to save everyone and the Continent, telling her to forget the lightning bottle and let her chaos explode. Yennefer then turns her gaze on the burning keep and absorbs all the fire, snuffing it out, before turning and releasing it on the hillside, setting the whole forest on fire and killing all the Nilfgaardian soldiers in its path, but disappears after she's done. As Tissaia hopelessly calls out for Yennefer, King Foltest arrives with his army to meet the Nilfgaardians.
Ciri wakes up in the field as Zola appears over her and gets her to sit up, though as Ciri looks around, she notices not only is the field's grass somehow mowed down, but the bodies of the four men and the horse are all dead, appearing to have been thrown and subsequently impaled by various trees nearby. As Zola asks what happened, Ciri responds that they came for her, to which Zola notes they got what they deserved then before taking Ciri back to her place.
Now nightfall, Zola's son, Nadbor, tries to get Ciri to talk as she quietly watches him groom a horse, going as far as questioning if she's dumb when his mother hears this and slaps him upside the head, remarking Ciri's been through hell and likely not ready to talk much right now. Right after, they hear rumbling and look outside to see a fireball flying through the night sky for a target in the distance and realize Nilfgaard is attacking Sodden.
As Ciri lays awake in bed, Zola tries to comfort Ciri as they hear the battle raging on in the distance, noting Nilfgaard has no reason to attack them as they're out of the way, but if the worst comes to pass, Zola remarks she's at peace with herself, having everything she had ever wanted: a husband, son, a roof over her head, and now a daughter in Ciri.
The next morning Ciri snaps out of her sleep, having been woken up by hearing Geralt's dream where he was calling for Yennefer, and remembers her grandmother telling her to find Geralt of Rivia. With that, she leaves Zola's home and sets off into the nearby forest. At one point she begins to run, sensing Geralt, and finds him a short time later and the two hug each other, while Geralt remarks on destiny. Looking up at him, Ciri then asks him "Who is Yennefer?".