| ||The sun rocks the earth, grain falls from the stalk. Come away with me, wanderer, come away with the noonwraith.|| |
Noonwraith — These monsters appear in fields when the sun is at its highest. Swaying grains on a windless day announce their arrival. They dance in circles in the light of day and draw farmers in to join them. Since they are ghosts, no one who joins them leaves the circle alive.Geralt first meets noonwraiths in the seemingly idyllic fields surrounding the village of Murky Waters.
- Noonwraiths are born at high noon out of heat, sadness and the sweat of ploughmen. In the hot air above the fields, they gather to dance madly, creating air vortexes, but the specters dislike being watched. Those who peep are forced to dance with them.
- Noonwraiths stop their dance when the sun goes down, once the abducted mortal is long dead from fear and exhaustion.
- Specters, Wraiths, and the Damned
- Geralt can talk to a "Peasant" (stocky build, lighter hair, and clean shaven) around Murky Waters who will mention how the Noonwraiths keep them from working in the Fields. The conversation will unlock Noonwraiths and their alchemies in the journal.
Crops swaying in the fields on a windless day indicate that a noonwraith is nearby. These monsters kill humans who venture into the fields at noontime, thus, farmers return home or seek shelter in the shade at this time of the day.
Our noonwraith appears in picturesque location known simply as the Fields, where not a drop of rain has fallen in a very long time. We could not resist including this traditional Polish folk creature in our game, especially since a good part of the story plays out in rural areas. In a conceptual sketch, the noonwraith wields a sickle – a symbol of the harvest and of working in the fields.
The noonwraith is a sun-burned old woman. Clothed in a linen, she hovers just above the ground, her hair white from constant exposure to the sun. Streaks of light drift about her, and when necessary she uses these to blind her opponents. The noonwraith's frock and shoes suggest she once was a young girl, who venturing into the fields, joined in a spectral dance and thus entered the spirit world as a wraith.
The final illustration depicts a nightwraith, a creature that haunts the fields after dusk. The nightwraith resembles the noonwraith in many respects: she rules the Fields after dark and is associated with the moon. This creature is a dark reflection of the noonwraith, which is emphasized by colors chosen for the illustration.Of Sweat and Blood.
- Despite what is commonly thought, peasants do not interrupt their labors at midday to get out of the sun – they do it to avoid noonwraiths.
– Vlad Reymond, Peasants and Their Customs
- On particularly searing summer days, when the sun reaches its zenith, wraiths will at times appear, resembling sun-scorched women dressed in long, white robes. These are noonwraiths – the spirits of young women and girls who died violent deaths right before their weddings. Driven mad with pain and anger, they wander the fields searching for their unfaithful lovers or backstabbing rivals, though they will kill anyone who does not get out of their way in time. They are often held in this world by some object of intense emotional significance. That is why, if one ever finds a wedding ring or torn veil in the middle of a field, one should not pick it up, but instead back away as quickly as possible.
- Noonwraiths are only known to haunt rural places, and usually stay near the place of their deaths. They prey on peasants working in the fields or children playing nearby.
- Noonwraiths do not bleed and are for the most part immune to the effects of Witcher Signs. They can create mirror images of themselves which circle their victims in a kind of morbid parody of a dance. This ghastly ritual drains their victims' life energy while adding to their own strength. Noonwraiths are also able to manipulate the physical world to a limited degree, kicking up clouds of dust which temporarily blind and disorient their opponents.
- Noonwraiths can turn immaterial and are at such times very difficult to wound. In order to force a noonwraith to take corporeal form, one must first trap it with the Yrden Sign or strike it with a Moon Dust bomb. Once the monster has regained physical presence, one can mount a fast attack with a silver blade, preferably one coated in specter oil.
- Contrary to popular belief, noonwraiths can also be encountered at night, but are much weaker then than during the day.
Noonwraiths are similar in nature to nightwraiths, save for their preference of the sunlight, and a greater mastery of physical attacks. They can blind foes with dust they kick up.
Noonwraiths can also create copies of themselves when threatened, consuming the lifeforce of their victims until they are destroyed. Bombs and crossbow bolts can destroy noonwraith doppelgangers. Upon entering a cloud released by a Dimeritium Bomb, they will immediately dissolve. The Yrden sign or the Moon Dust bomb forces a noonwraith to become corporeal and vulnerable.
- In Polish folklore, the Południca, also called Lady Midday or the Noon Witch, is a female supernatural figure that roomed in the roamed field bounds, scaring away the children from ruining the crops. They are said to bring people to madness, and they were used to explain cases of heat stroke.