Saesenthessis, commonly known amongst people as Saskia the Dragonslayer or the Virgin of Aedirn, was a dragon with the ability to take on the form of a human. She was a key player in the battle of Vergen and depending on the outcome, queen of the independent realm of Upper Aedirn.
She was born when the famous Hunt for a Dragon occurred, in which a group consisting of various individuals tried to hunt down and kill her mother, a green dragon named Myrgtabrakke. The little hatchling was in grave danger after the group poisoned Myrgtabrakke until a golden dragon, Villentretenmerth, appeared and, with a little help, defeated the attackers. It turned out that the hatchling was the golden dragon's child and, after thanking those who helped him, he left with his newborn.
Villentretenmerth raised the little dragon and taught her everything he knew, including his views on various topics such as the equality of all life, justice, and honor. She was given the name Saesenthessis and she accepted her father's views as her own. Because she was a cross-breed, her mother being a Green dragon and father a Golden one, she inherited the skill of polymorphism, though in her case, it was extremely limited - she was only able to take one alternate form, that of a beautiful human maid.
However her "childhood" did not take a long time and soon her father left her on her own. Though that might sound harsh, it was actually a common practice among dragons. So young Saesenthessis began to travel the world alone.
Life as Saskia
On her travels, she met an Elven commander of a Scoia'tael unit, Iorveth. Not much is known about their meeting but they respected each other. It was Iorveth who gave her the idea about her fictional alias and thus she took a human form and adopted the name Saskia. They came up with her entire history - she was from Aedirn and there she fought and killed a dragon, giving her the moniker Saskia the Dragonslayer. She was active in the kingdom of Aedirn, where she attracted many folks of different race and stock. Her ideals about freedom and equality lured the oppressed from far away who soon started to call her the Virgin of Aedirn.
She eventually moved to the city of Vergen in the Pontar Valley. Here, she created quite a unique city where dwarves, men, and elves lived together as equals. Though things looked great initially, a tragic event soon occurred where King Demavend III, Lord of Aedirn, was assassinated. While the late king's son, Prince Stennis, was in place as Aedirn's heir, another king, Henselt of Kaedwen, decided to take advantage of the disarray and sent an invasive force to the Pontar Valley with the intention of annexing it. Thus the prince and his noblemen joined forces with the Dragonslayer and came to the city of Vergen.
Battle of Vergen
Around this time, a different conflict occurred. In Temeria, King Foltest laid siege on La Valette Castle. Saskia knew the young lord Aryan La Valette and agreed with his views on equality so she left Vergen and flew to the battlefield to help him. She attacked the invading forces of the king but after a while she was driven away, but not for long. She returned and attacked with wrath, almost burning alive the king himself. He was saved in the last moment by the witcher Geralt of Rivia, who pierced his silver sword into her maw. This injured her enough and she left the battlefield and returned to Vergen.
Not long after, she was invited along with Prince Stennis to negotiate with the invading Henselt. As expected, the negotiations were not easy and eventually ended up in a duel. This duel however was interrupted when the King killed a monk named Olcan and his blood activated a dormant curse.
During that moment, a duo entered the field - a witcher Geralt of Rivia and Scoia'tael commander Iorveth. They quickly came to help and fought all the spectral knights and a few draugirs but whenever they killed one of the spectral foe, other appeared. Fortunately, they received help from a magical owl that shielded them and safely guided the group through the spectral mist thus the dragon, the prince and both warriors came safely to the city of Vergen where it was revealed that the owl was none other that the famous sorceress Philippa Eilhart.
It was soon decided that a war council should assemble to deal with the curse and the coming of the Scoia'tael unit led by Iorveth. Though the members of the council were not happy to see Iorveth, whom they considered a mere bandit and murderer, an agreement was eventually reached. Unfortunately, when Saskia raised her chalice for a ceremonial toast, she fell down unconscious - poisoned. Philippa discovered that the poison was Thaumador, called also Magepain. This was very dangerous and Saskia's life hung by a thread. The sorceress took her into her care and prepared a list of various ingredients that could cure the Virgin of Aedirn. Thus the famous witcher started his quest to cure the Dragonslayer. Meanwhile, Iorveth decided to leave Vergen and find more elves to join the fight.
As always, Geralt was successful and eventually acquired all the necessary items needed for the cure, including the petal from a rose of remembrance. Philippa used all the items and was able to heal Saskia though for a time, she was very weak and had to rest. Around that time, the witcher also lifted the curse on the battlefield. With the cursed mist gone, nothing stood in the way of the invasion and Henselt did not want to waste any more time.
In the end, it turned out that it was Olcan who poisoned her.
When Geralt woke up from the deep sleep caused by the process of lifting the curse, Vergen was already prepared for a battle. Saskia told the witcher what should he do and where should he help so as always, he did. The defending forces fought bravely at the main gate and with the witcher's help killed many invaders but they were simply outnumbered. That is why they decided to use a burning oil to massacre the first wave and then they retreated to the second gate. Invaders soon regrouped and led by the sorcerer Dethmold, quickly advanced to the gate and beyond it.
Here, Saskia fought side by side with the witcher and they repelled one wave after another. However Saskia received information, that a group of Kaedweni soldiers and Dethmold found the way to the mines and wanted to use them to attack Vergen from behind. Thus Saskia decided to take Geralt and go to the mines. Here they were ambushed by Dethmold and his men. The duo was outmatched and was almost defeated. Saskia had no other choice so she changed to her true form. The dragon quickly defeated all the soldiers - excluding the sorcerer who fled via portal - thus saving the witcher. She told him the truth about her origin, and the need for the ruse with the whole Dragonslayer story. She also confirmed that it was indeed her, who fought at the La Valette castle and who was wounded by a witcher's sword. Geralt decided to keep her secret and they returned to the surface and rejoined the battle. With a return of Iorveth and his archers, the battle was won and invaders repelled. The king was brought before the Dragonslayer and the sorceress Philippa to hear the conditions of a surrender.
Saskia declared an independent kingdom of Pontar Valley with herself as its Queen and Philippa as her advisor. Henselt agreed that he would recognise the state and Saskia as its ruler and sweared that he will not invade again. After that Saskia demanded one additional thing - execution of the sorcerer Dethmold. Henselt had no choice but to consent and thus the mage was decapitated. After the execution, Saskia released the king and along with Philippa left for Loc Muinne where a great meeting of the northern kingdoms was taking place.
The execution of Dethmold however was not unnoticed by Saskia's people and especially Iorveth, who never thought she would take a life of a prisoner without due process. Iorveth believed that Saskia behaved strangely so he and the witcher decided to search Philippa's house for any evidence. They indeed find the recipe for the Thaumador poisoning that did not included the Rose of remembrance and discovered that by adding the petal, Philippa spell-bounded Saskia's will to her own. In essence, Saskia was controlled by Philippa.
That angered Iorveth who decided to travel to Loc Muinne and confront the sorceress. As usual, the witcher went with him.
In this version of events, Geralt arrived at the scene of the duel in a different company. That of the commander of Temerian special forces Blue Stripes, Vernon Roche. Together they joined the forces of king Henselt and with the sorcerer Deathmold, they managed to get through the spectral mist safely to the Kaedweni camp.
The witcher had to lift the curse with the same items and in order to do it, he had to visit the city of Vergen. During his pursuits, he was able to meet Saskia herself, who offered him a place at her side. Unfortunately, he was forced to reject her offer. When he managed to acquire all the items, he was able to lift the mist and thus opened a way for the king to finally attack the city.
After a series of events at Henselt's camp, Geralt and Roche joined the battle for Vergen on the side of the defenders. However, the defending forces were quickly outmatched and after a while, the battle was lost and Henselt emerged victorious. But he did not managed to capture either Saskia, or her advisor, sorceress Philippa Eilhart, as the duo fled to the Loc Muinne via portal.
Loc Muinne summit
Not long after arriving to the city of Loc Muinne, Phillipa was arrested by the king of Redania, Radovid V the stern. Saskia was not able to help her mistress and retreated with another sorceress, Síle de Tansarville, an ally of Philippa. Thanks to the spell, Saskia was very anxious and wanted nothing more than to help Philippa but Síle told her to wait and be ready for the Summit itself.
Iorveth and Geralt arrived to the city before the summit only to find out, that Philippa was arrested. They decided to find her and persuade her to lift the spell from Saskia. The witcher managed to discover, that she was kept in the dungeon under control of Redanian forces. The sorceress was interrogated there by the Radenian king himself and he let her eyes to be gouged out. Blinded Philippa was discovered by the Witcher, who quickly defeated all the guards and then turned to the sorceress herself.
If Geralt decides to help Philippa: Geralt decided to help the sorceress to get to her house with promise, that she would give him a magical dagger, that would lift the spell from Saskia. He managed to get her home, but as was expected, Philippa turned on him. The witcher not only ended up surviving, he also managed to aquire the promised dagger. Thus he was ready to join the Summit.
If Geralt decids not to help Philippa: Geralt argued with blinded Philippa, but ultimately, decided that saving his lover and friend Triss Merigold is more important and thus instead of Philippa, he captured a Nilfgaardian ambassador Shilard Fitz-Oesterlen. Philippa was left on her own and had to manage herself.During the summit, Saskia presented her proposal for the independent kingdom of Pontar Valley, and herself as its Queen. She was backed by king Henselt and the sorceress Síle. Eventually the summit consented and recognised both Saskia, and her realm. Not long after that, the summit was interrupted by the entrance of the knights of the Flaming Rose, who served on the summit as an independent army to secure peaceful negotiations. It was revealed, that Síle, Philippa and other sorceresses from the secret group known as the Lodge of Sorceresses, were responsible for the recent assassinations of northern kings. Síle, understanding that she has no other way of escape, summoned Saskia in her true form. dragon caused chaos and quickly recovered her ally and flew with her away from the blaze. They were however followed by the witcher Geralt. Geralt eventually stood against the dragon and after a long fight, he managed to mount her. Saesenthessis tried to throw away the witcher but to no avail. Geralt eventually managed to cause her to fall down and the dragon crashed and impaled herself on a broken tree. Though surviving, she was severely injured and unable to fight any more. The witcher was then faced with a big decision: let the dragon live, kill her or lift the curse.
If Geralt kills the dragon: The witcher decided that letting the dragon live was too dangerous thus, he ended her suffering with a powerful strike from his sword, ending the life of great Saesenthessis.
If Geralt spares the dragon: The witcher decided that he would stay by his code and will not kill such a magnificent creature as a dragon. He simply left her and returned to the city.
If Geralt lifts the curse: Geralt used the opportunity and decided to lift the curse. He stabbed the dragon with the magical dagger and caused it to transform to her human form. Saskia recovered from the spell as well as the wound she suffered and she thanked the witcher. She told him more things about herself, including the fact, that her father was none other then the Golden dragon Villentretenmerth, who Geralt met and befriended many years ago. The duo said their farewell and departed each to a different place, Geralt returned back to the Loc Muinne and Saskia to Vergen.
In this version, Geralt arrived at Loc Muinne in the company of Vernon Roche. He never discovered about Philippa nor had he met the Dragonslayer herself. That is, not until the summit itself in which Síle, after being exposed, summoned Saskia in her true form. The dragon caused chaos and quickly recovered her ally and flew with her away from the blaze. They were however followed by the witcher Geralt. Geralt eventually stood against the dragon and after a confrontation, was able to gain the upper hand, by anchoring himself to her with his steel sword. Saesenthessis attempted to throw the witcher but to no avail, the witcher eventually managing to send the dragon down to the ground, impaling herself on a broken tree. The witcher was then faced with another decision: to let the dragon live or not.
If Geralt kills the dragon: The witcher decided that letting the dragon live was too dangerous thus, he ended her suffering with a powerfull strike from his sword, ending the life of great Saesenthessis.
If Geralt spares the dragon: The witcher decided that he would stay by his code and will not kill such a magnificient creature as dragon. He simply left her and returned to the city.
The Third WarAfter the events at Loc Muinne, Saskia returned to Vergen and revealed that she was a dragon. As expected, Vergen's residents had mixed feelings towards her. Many abandoned the city and the others watched her actions closely.
Not fully recovered from Philippa Eilhart's spell, Saskia (while in dragon form) unintentionally killed a group of dwarfs during the first expedition against the Chelonodrake. Come morning, she, once again in human form, returned to Vergen and swore before all the inhabitants never again to transform into a dragon.
Three weeks later, Saskia and Yarpen Zigrin talked to Geralt about the Chelonodrake and convinced him to help them slay the monster. Five days later she, Geralt, Eggar, Maevarienn, and Yarpen created a plan to kill the monster.
Two days later, the group, accompanied by Barclay Els, went on the final expedition against the Chelonodrake. After defeating the monster, Saskia broke her promise and transformed in to a dragon to get the heavily wounded Barclay to the dwarven medics quicker. Unfortunately, she brought him in too late, and so she decided to leave Vergen.
Some time later, Saskia found Geralt in a jungle and they had a chat around a campfire and she ultimately decided to return to Vergen to help the residents fight off the incoming Nilfgaardian forces. However, during the beginning of the Third Northern War, the Nilfgaardian Army quickly conquered all the northern territories up to the Pontar river, including Upper Aedirn, and thus Saskia's independent realm met its end. While it was implied that Saskia never made it out of Vergen alive, she in fact retreated and, for the remainder of the war, stayed alive and well.
Saskia was one of the playable heroes in the now defunct MOBA.
- They don't call her Dragon Warrior for nothing! Saskia is a powerful melee fighter who can stun her opponents with a powerful shield bash, but she is also very able in the use of dragon flame magical attacks. Thanks to her unusual origin, she feels best when engulfed in fire. Her passive skill, Hidden Dragon, allows her to regenerate thrice as fast as usual when standing in flames. She is also pretty resistant which makes her a natural tank – a fighter who keeps enemies busy and can withstand a lot of damage.
- Shieldstrike – Saskia's main skill is a short charge which culminates with a shield bash, which stuns the enemy for a short while. The charge leaves a flaming trail that activates Saskia's passive skill and deals damage over time to everyone standing in it. Shieldstrike is an awesome ability to initiate fights, but it can also be used to escape from a tight situation.
- By Sword and Fire is a skillshot ability (i.e. one that has to be carefully aimed). Saskia prepares for a short while and then smashes the ground to create a wave of flame, that travels ahead dealing damage to everything on the way. The skill also leaves a flaming path on the ground, dealing damage over time.
- Dragon Soul – Saskia's special skill is a powerful area attack. The heroine explodes with fire, creating eight waves of flame that radially erupt from where she's standing. The waves work like By Sword and Fire and activate Saskia's passive ability, and deal damage both on impact and over time.
- She reveals to Geralt that when it comes to sexual preferences, she prefers dwarves.
- In The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Saesenthessis appears on a gwent card, as part of the Scoia'tael faction.
- In the third game, she's mentioned by the Redanian mage Theophile Maria Rosco during the Strangers in the Night quest.
- Saskia is featured in The Witcher: Matters of Conscience comic released with the Hearts of Stone expansion for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt on October 13, 2015. Events are set between the second and the third game in 1271.
- ↑ Sword of Destiny
- ↑ The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
- ↑ The Witcher: Matters of Conscience
- ↑ Marcin Momot: "They are live and well !"
- ↑ Saskia – hero presentation