| ||The officer wasn't embarrassed at the sight of them, and didn't blush, gape or goggle, because the officer was a woman. A tall, slender woman with a thick, black plait and a sword at her side.|| |
|- pg. 86, Time of Contempt (UK edition)|
Rayla of Lyria, known first as Black Rayla and later as White Rayla, was a natural-born soldier and a veteran of the wars with Nilfgaard. She was a mercenary and later an officer of the special forces of King Demavend of Aedirn. While she was guarding the withdrawal of civilians from invaded Aedirn, her unit was wiped out by Scoia'tael commando. She survived the capture, but maimed and disfigured.
Early life Edit
Though Rayla was born in Lyria, she early became a mercenary and departed for adventures. At some point of her life she met Geralt of Rivia, witnessed his fighting skills and became impressed by them. She also visited Vengerberg few times meeting sorceress Yennefer.
She fought for Nordlings during the Northern War I. Later, she participated in gathering at Bleobheris where she watched Dandelion's performance and discussed with other spectators about the events described in his ballad.
Aedirnian special forces Edit
Some time later, Rayla joined the special forces formed by King Demavend. In June 1267, she was tasked with escorting Archmistress Tissaia de Vries to Gors Velen. There, Yennefer argued that Rayla, as a mercenary fighting for money, would not be able to sacrifice like soldiers who defend their own country and homes, while Margarita Laux-Antille defended the warioress.
Yennefer's predictions proved untrue. After the first battle of Aldersberg was won by Nilfgaardian Empire, Rayla's unit protected the civilians fleeing through the Pontar Valley to Temeria. When the rear guard was obliterated by Scoia'tael, she ordered her men to stay and became the rear guard theirselves, despite their reluctance. After a fierce battle, she was the last human to stand, surrounded by Scoia'tael. They asked her to drop her weapon, but she replied her sword was too expansive to drop it and if they wish to take it, they should break her fingers to do so.
White Rayla Edit
Rayla appears again in 1268 – not with broken fingers but without the whole hand, replaced by a steel hook. While survived, she apparently suffered much: even her hair turned white. Calling herself "White Rayla" now, she was full of rage and hatred towards Scoia'tael. After the Battle of Brenna she pursued Toruviel's commando.Meve, her sacrifice for civilians is not present. Instead, her hatred towards Scoia'tael is explained by fact that she is a half-elf and the human children accused her of Scoia'tael's crimes during her childhood.
The hunt for the free elves who had been resting near Murky Waters was led by White Rayla, a mercenary hired by the Order of the Flaming Rose. She had her right hand severed under sadistic torture when she was captured by the Scoia'tael trying to help villagers who were later judged to have been traitors. Her moral stance on the fate of the villagers of Murky Waters then comes as no surprise as she accused them of being traitors for harbouring the elves.
Later, Salamandra found her, close to death and subjected her to mutation. Rayla recuperated and, as a mutant, regained her full strength. In return for her second "more perfect" life, she served as a thrall to her new masters. Her few interjections during Azar Javed's speech to Geralt suggested that her intellectual faculties did not survive the mutation unscathed. Under the influence of Salamandra she attacked Geralt and was slain.
Depending on the path Geralt choose, White Rayla was one of three possible, but mutually exclusive, sexual partner Geralt can have in Chapter V. He slept with her if he choose the Order path. Their exchange just prior to their roll in the hay was quite amusing, making killing her, even mutated as she was, sadder than it might have been.
Associated quests Edit
- The hunt for the free elves who had been resting near Murky Waters was led by White Rayla, a mercenary hired by the Order. Rayla is a natural-born soldier and a veteran of the wars with Nilfgaard, during which she was maimed and disfigured. Rayla is used to discipline and has but one passion — she hates elves and hunts them with unwavering ruthlessness.
- Rayla surrounded Toruviel's elves in the village of Murky Waters, but the situation got out of control. A fight broke out between her soldiers and the elves.
- If Geralt does the Order path:
- I decided to help Rayla during the siege of Murky Waters, thus helping her to defeat Toruviel's elves.
- White Rayla returned to Vizima. She was slain by elven arrows as non-humans and knights of the Order clashed in the burning city.
- I met the mercenary again. Salamandra found her close to death and subjected her to mutation. Rayla recuperated and , as a mutant, regained her strength in no time. In return for her second life, she had to swear absolute loyalty to her new masters. She tried to stop me and I had to kill her. For good this time.
- After the end of the Second Nilfgaard War, White Rayla is described as heavily disfigured (with at least two big face scars), half of her right ear is missing and she has a brass hook in place of her left hand. In the game however, none of these afflictions are presented and, in fact, this even contradicts her own in-game journal entry, stating that "she was maimed and disfigured". Also, her hair at that point in the book is already all white (presumably the cause for her change of alias from "Black Rayla"), whereas in the game she is portrayed as still having black hair.