Winter War was a small, short, and relatively bloodless conflict between Kaedwen and Redania in 1272. The crossing of Kestrel Mountains by the Redanian royal army began the conflict. The combatants of the conflict depend on choices made during chapter II of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings but the outcome is in Redania's favor under all circumstances.
Course of conflict
During the Third Northern War, Kaedwen was left weakened by Nilfgaard's initial assault on the Northern Realms, which saw the conquest of Temeria and Aedirn. When the Kaedweni pleaded with Radovid V, King of Redania, for aid, Radovid responded by attacking.
- If Geralt allows Roche to kill Henselt of Ard Carraigh (or tells Voorhis that he did) Kaedwen is weakened by the loss of their ruler and capitulates after a few lost skirmishes. With the exception of Ban Ard, conquered by Nilfgaard, Redania annexes all of Kaedwen.
If Geralt chooses to stop Roche from killing Henselt :
- In this case, Henselt and Radovid V lead their respective armies in battle. The battle ends with the Kaedweni king dead, and the victorious Redanian monarch subsequently declares himself lord of all Kaedweni territories. The Archduchy of Ban Ard, separated by the river Lixela from the bulk of Redania, is conquered by the Nilfgaardian army.
Short-term effect :
Although there are two possible courses, both lead to the same result - annexation of the realm. Nobility from Ard Carraighian court bent the knee to Radovid V to form a united front against Nilfgaard, with the promise that the Redanian king would restore the old borders once the war was won. This forced "union" lead down in history as Radovid's Realms, thanks to this dispute the Redanian monarchy remains the strongest one to defeat Emhyr.
Long-term effect :
Howsoever the Third Northern War ends, the Kingdom of Kaedwen later gains its (at the furthest in 1309) sovereignty back, leading to a bloody civil war known as the War of the Two Unicorns, that lasts for 9 years. Most likely between two princes of the Unicorn dynasty.
- Winter War - was a real world conflict in the 20th century between USSR and Finland, like Redania, Soviets to invade without declaring war.
- pg(s). 283, Baptism of Fire (UK edition)