Novigrad is not what I imagined. At least not anymore. Practically the entire Temple Isle is in ruins. I asked the ship captain what happened there. “Did you live under a rock?” he replied first. “Something of the sort,” I said. He told me that after Sigi Reuven and Whoreson Junior stopped opposing Nilfgaard and Radovid was dead, Emhyr invaded Novigrad. Reuven apparently died after a spat with some old acquaintance turned violent. Whoreson Jr “saw the light of the Eternal Fire”. Bedlam and Cleaver, the remaining two crime lords of Novigrad, executed a plan that blew up the Great Temple and burned the city fleet. No one has recovered the old city treasury since then. Many try to look for it and never return.
And it turns out the Zerrikanian I’m going to visit is quite a big fish – he’s one of the key figures in the city now.
There are rumors Bedlam, known as King of Beggars, is still alive and in hiding. I doubt anyone could survive a fire like that. Cleaver though, I’m told his head and upper chest were fished out of the bay two days later. He was right in the heart of the explosion. One badly burned corpse was identified as Bedlam, but no one can be certain. Anyway, I’m looking for the Zerrikanian now.
I’m waiting for the Zerrikanian to see me. He has not just monsters working for him, foreign people as well. There are three dark-skinned, flat-nosed halflings they’re calling pygmies. Apparently those live in Genera, beyond Ofir.
I could not believe it. The foreign merchant I came to do contract for? The same Zerrikanian alchemist who turned me into a witcher. Barrack Jabeir. I was tempted to kill him where he stood. But we agreed to put our past behind us, for the time being. The most interesting part of this meeting? The monster that escaped him was one we never had over here, in Nilfgaard or the north. It’s an ogroid from beyond the Korath Desert, from an island realm of Nihoku. They’re called “oni”. He gave me a Zerrikanian book on monsters from Nihoku. These oni are apparently sentient, but really hate humans. The ogroid should’ve killed that bastard. That would be a deserved end for bringing in exotic monsters for his own amusement. Anyway. I have a new book to check to prepare for this contract.
In Nihoku, there are friendly sentient relicts that look like halfling-sized raccoons… with giant testicles.
This oni does not look like it should be much more difficult to kill than a giant. Which is to say, very difficult. I bet the alchemist kept it with that giant club as well.
I should visit Novigrad town guard tomorrow. See about their witch hunter problem. I do not suppose the ogroid is in any rush.
I’m staying at an establishment called Rosemary and Thyme. It used to be owned by the famous Dandellion, a friend of Geralt of Rivia. Now it’s in the hands of the former crime lord, Cyprian Wiley, better known as Whoreson Jr. Strange man. He doesn’t seem at all like a crime boss. I know he supposedly saw the light of faith, but that hardly makes people more pleasant. And that strange scar… I would suspect a doppler if I could investigate more. No reason to do it.