Sauron invades the world of The Witcher: a short story
Drawn to the power of the Elder Blood, a Dark Lord from another world invades The Continent
Sauron and his army of Uruk-Hai march on Beauclair, in the first days of the Great War, in the year 1333.
This short narrative is based on my Quora answer to the question: What would happen if Sauron and his nazgul (including the witch king ofc) and an army of Uruk Hai appeared in the Witcher universe? Would they be able to conquer the entire continent? Would they chase Ciri’s powers?
“There’s a time for words, and a time for action. We have one chance to stop Sauron, and that window is closing rapidly. Either we move now, or we are lost. Find Geralt of Rivia. Bring him to me.” — Empress Cirilla Fiona Elen Riannon, The White Flame Lighting the Way Through the Darkness
It is a time of great crisis, and desperation. An existential threat like nothing the Continent has ever seen.
Sauron’s arrival on The Continent
The sorcerers and sorceresses knew that a darkness was coming for a long time. The Lodge of Sorceresses amasses as much knowledge about it as they can. They advise the kings and consult with ancient peoples of the Continent. Some of the more intelligent beasts from the Conjunction of the Spheres have knowledge of Sauron from their worlds. They discover old prophecies, and even an ancient cult foretelling the arrival of a Dark Lord. They begin to prepare.
Sauron arrives on the Continent. The first battles begin. The Sorcerers and Sorceresses put up a good fight. There are battles that make Sodden look like a picnic, with magical devastation and thousands dead in innumerous ways.
But this isn’t a war ultimately won on the battlefield. Sauron conquers by corrupting minds. It is political. There is a split within the sorcerers and sorceresses between those that side with Sauron and those that side against him. And some think they can claim Sauron’s power for themselves, as Saruman did in Middle-Earth.
The sorcerers and sorceresses are the first to form the Council of the Great War — dedicated to coordinating the defence against Sauron and his forces, in the year 1334.
The Kingdoms of the Continent form an alliance
Very quickly Nilfgaard and the kingdoms of the North see that their only chance is to put aside their differences and join forces. As the scourge has not reached them yet, Skellige and the Jarls stay out of it, saying it’s not their fight…until the Witch King arrives on their shores. He unleashes his hordes. Entire clans are wiped out, legacies and hundreds of years of history destroyed in the blink of an eye. The An Crait dynasty decides it is time. They have no other choice but to join the North and Nilfgaard. The vidkaarls (men who turn into bears) charge the Uruk-Hai, baring claws and teeth, flinging twisted bodies everywhere.
The Great Council convenes
While Sauron and his Nazgul consolidate power the combined Nilfgaard and Northern prepares for war, sending emissaries around the continent to unify all the regions. A war council is formed, headed up by Empress Cirilla. It is much like the council of Elrond, with representatives from all peoples. However, there is endless arguing and fallings out. And some betrayals. Alliances are made, and broken; it is hard to forget old wounds. Cirilla, revered and respected by everyone, is all that holds it together. She struggles to live up to their expectations, and feels helpless. She longs for the days drinking and fighting in taverns with The Rats. She misses Mistle. Then one night she dons her old witcher gear, braids her hair, and under the cover of darkness, she slips away…
The combined standards of Nilfgaard and Temeria flutter in the wind, as the army of the Continent begins its final march to face the forces of Sauron, in the final days of The Great War. On a rock promontory overlooking the valley, General Morvran Voorhis, in his new colours, overlooks the scene and stoically says to himself, “Se’ege na tuvean” (“Victory or death”).
The Druids join the council
When the Uruk-Hai start burning the forests, the druids realise they are vastly outnumbered. They are forced to flee their ancestral homes like Brokilon. They understand that this crisis threatens their very survival and their only hope is to collaborate with the other races. They join the council. With their ancient knowledge they offer some of the greatest insights into ways to defeat the forces of Sauron.
The Scoia’tel come out of hiding
Being principally made up of elves and dwarves, the Scoia’tel are persecuted and hunted by the Orcs who become their new mortal enemies. The Uruk-Hai take great pleasure in dishing out unspeakable horror and cruelty to Elven and Dwarven families, especially children. As a result the Scoia’tel all but forget their enmity with humans and discover a deep hatred for Orcs — their new enemy.
“We will hit them from the trees, we will poison their supplies, we will stalk them during the day, we will hunt them at night, we will make them fear us. We will not rest until all Uruk-Hai scum are wiped out and then we shall dance over their dead bodies.” — Iorveth, speech to the Council of the Great War, on the day the Scoia’tel joined the Armies of the Continent in the year 1335.
As soon as the Scoia’tel realise the scope of the threat posed by Sauron, their leaders decide to come forth to offer their strength to the council. These elite guerrilla soldiers are able to use the land and vegetation of the Continent to launch devastating strikes on Sauron’s supply lines and outposts. They are principally used in fighting the Uruk-Hai, their stealthy, quick and ranged skill perfect against the stupidity and brute strength of the Orcs. However, their weakness is hand-to-hand combat, and when the Uruk-Hai do meet the Scoia’tel in open combat or discover their hideouts, it’s always a foregone conclusion. The outcome is horrific…the violence and cruelty of the Orcs to captured Scoia’tel knows no bounds.
The rebuilding of the Witcher schools
The Witchers are a formidable weapon; accustomed to fighting wraiths, they are the only non-magical parties who could stand against the Nazgul. Their Witcher Senses give them a big advantage. However, there is a problem — there are too few Witchers alive.
The council decides that they need to make new Witchers fast. They send men and resources to the remaining Witcher schools to rebuild the old fortresses like Kaer Morhen. Ciri offers her Elder Blood to produce more Witcher mutagen, but with too little time to wait for Witchers to train new children, they have to turn to adults. The Council puts out a call for adult volunteers to take the mutagen. All races, all walks of life. This is something that has never been tested before, and is considered by some to be a dangerous and unnecessary risk. Nevertheless, the plan goes ahead, and those who volunteer for the Trial of Grasses are revered and treated as heroes. Their families are given gold and land. Only 1 in 20 survive. The Witcher Schools accelerate their training program.
The Monsters of the Conjunction align themselves with Sauron
Once the Druids discovered that Sauron’s arrival was linked to the Conjunction of the Spheres, they began assisting the Lodge in locating the higher monsters who could tell them of the other worlds where the Dark Lord was known. One such monster was the witch known as The Deathless Mother. But reaching her would not be easy, for she had been banished back to her own world.
Sauron begins to recruit and influence the lower intelligence monsters from the Conjunction of the Spheres. That is a lot of monsters! For the first time in the history of the Continent these twisted nightmares of nature become aligned and unified in a single purpose — the conquest of the entire world. Werewolves, Bruxas, Drowners, Cursed Ones, Leshen… all loyal to The One Ring.
However, the Higher Vampires turn out to be extremely resistant to The Ring’s power, so Sauron attempts to recruit them by sending emissaries. Individually, he offers each one great power, in exchange for their loyalty. Some of them reject the offer. Some accept. Some, however, want the power of the One Ring for themselves.
The coming of The Wild Hunt
With its ability to travel between planes and its ethereal magic and knowledge of arcane law, the Wild Hunt poses a real threat to Sauron’s forces. There is a huge battle between them and the Nazgul. Eredin fights the Witch King.
“Your shiny bauble has no power over us, dark one. Your wraiths are puny adversaries. We are time itself. We shape worlds. You are nothing to us. Now…die!” — Eredin’s last words before being decapitated by Sauron
The Ancient Vampires awaken
The Ancient Vampires are at the top of the vampire pecking order. There are very few (one in each region), but they are so powerful that Sauron treats them with respect. Initially they kill the emissaries Sauron sends. They stay out of the conflict completely until Geralt and Regis persuade them to fight against Sauron. They finally accept that the Continent is their new home and they are part of it, as it is a part of them. At the very last moment, when all the odds are against the armies of the Continent, the Ancient Vampires unleash a swathe of unfathomable death and destruction through Sauron’s forces. Sauron retreats and is able to recuperate by drawing on the powers of the Ring.
Empress Cirilla Fiona Elen Riannon, The White Flame Lighting the Way Through the Darkness
“Ah, Geralt, what I wouldn’t give to be back in Corvo Bianco, right now. Do you think things will ever be the same?” — Empress Cirilla
Empress Cirilla of Nilfgaard is missing. With her ability to jump between time and worlds, she is more powerful than any of Sauron’s lackeys. She is the Continent’s last, best hope. But where is she? Geralt of Rivia is given the task of locating her. He starts his search in White Orchard, where he picks up the trail. He travels to Velen, Novigrad and finally Skellige, where he discovers Ciri, forlorn and depressed, drinking herself into a stupor in a tavern on Hindarsfjall. On seeing Geralt, she breaks down. Geralt is able to convince her to sober up, and she comes back with him to the Pontar, where the coalition forces are camped as they ready for the final battle.
During then final battle Ciri is able to open a gateway to a time far into the future, and unleash the White Frost into the lands Sauron has conquered. It devastates his army, but almost destroys Ciri in the process, allowing The Witch King to capture her and take her to Sauron.
In a final showdown between Ciri and Sauron, Ciri opens a portal and sacrifices herself to drag Sauron into the time of the White Frost.
The Continent rejoices. Old enmities are forgotten. Kings make amends with each other, marrying their sons and daughters to different kingdoms. Feasts and parties are held all over the land. And then the big rebuild gets underway. Things slowly go back to they way they were: sorceresses and sorcerers still manipulate kings for their own gain. Humans are still racist to Elves, Dwarves and Gnomes. And Witchers still get treated like monsters, even though they were heroes of the war and many humans owe their lives to them. In a cruel twist of fate, however, the death of so many monsters in Sauron’s armies means that even after The Great War, Witchers still struggle to find work. But for a time there is at least peace in the Continent.
Meanwhile, in a cold, empty, lifeless, artic dimension, far from everything he knows, and with no ability to get back, the dark lord Sauron broods, wallowing in bitterness.
He is stranded.