The Witcher

The Story of a Lost Frying Pan. (LONG!)

TheWitcher11 - The Story of a Lost Frying Pan. (LONG!)
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So, this is a bit of a first for me. I have always wondered about the characters in stories that the protagonists interact with. what are things like from their perspective?

It's something that i've always wanted to explore and see what happens. So i have attempted to write about a side quest in the game from the quest givers perspective. Now, given that I am not the greatest at creative writing, given its such a rarity for me.

you don't have to go easy, though i would appreciate it if you do (assuming you want to give feedback, of course!)

NOTE: Given this is one of my favourite quests in the game, i have marked it as a spoiler, because i do not want to spoil it for those who haven't done, or found this quest before.

Also: Apologies for any bad formatting, I am still getting the hang of how this works!

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It was a relatively clear night, a light breeze blowing through the open window of the wooden hut, making the fire on the stove flicker gently as Agnes stood before it, preparing her evening meal. She mused over the days happenings while she cooked. “That man was right strange, I hope he don’t go causin’ trouble or bringin’ none neither.” she said to no one in particular, remembering how he had acted when soldiers from radovid’s army had ridden through to the war front.

Earlier that same day, she had seen a man acting strangely in the village, doing his best to set himself as a merchant but failing miserably. She had spoken to others in the village about him on occasion, who said that he spoke with a strange accent, and carried himself with the air of someone who was constantly looking over his shoulder. When they asked him about his past, he would get very quiet, and mumble something about coming from the city, but that would be all they could get from the man.

It was right then they heard the distinct sound of horses riding up to the village, Nilfgaardian colors emblazoned on their armor, and their horse tack. As they rode through, the strange man, who had initially been standing out on the main road, rather than standing off to the side to watch the spectacle and wonder aloud what must be happening on the front, like the other villages, ran and hid behind the huts upon seeing the captain riding through with the soldiers. Agnes had made a note to go and see if the man was okay, after the soldiers had been through, to see if the man was alright, but the man was no where to be found.

As she finished cooking her food and poured it into a handmade wooden bowl on her table, she heard a horse ride into the village. Still holding her pan, she opened the front door and stood in the doorway and peered out into the twilight.

A man was standing next to his horse, patting it on the neck with a gloved hand as he gazed around the village. He was dressed in a leather jacket, a collar that was turned outward and would have reached his ears had it been standing straight. The man was bald, the years starting to show in the wrinkles on his forehead. The man had striking green eyes, partially hidden behind the monocle he wore over his left eye.

The man noticed Agnes standing in her doorway and walked over. Agnes gripped her pan, ready to take a swing just in case. She was surprised when he asked politely “ Gran, got and birch bark, by chance? Lilac berries, or even a few coals?”. Agnes responded, being slightly relieved that the man didn’t seem intent on causing a scene, and annoyed that he had the audacity to bother people at night ”Nay! You must be right daft to pester folk at night with such foolery!”

The man clearly wasn’t listening, having spied her pan, which was black from years of use. She was surprised when he asked after the pan; “Lend it to me gran, I’ll give it back come morn”. A million questions began to come forward, but she pushed them aside, deciding to give the man the benefit of the doubt, as the man seemed to have not eaten in days, and was desperate for food, as she could not see any other reason to use a pan so late at night, she allowed the stranger to use the pan. He graciously accepted the pan from her, and started for a vacant hut by the river, it’s roof reaching to the top of the river bank, as she went back to her meal and headed to bed not long after.

In the early hours of the morning, she was stirred awake by the sound of another horse riding into town. Watching from her window, Agnes saw this new arrival head to the same hut the stranger had gone to, easily identifiable by the fire that was still burning within it. Not long after the man arrived and had entered the hut, she noticed the first stranger left in a hurry, making a point to lock the door to the hut before he rode away. Thinking this was unusual, Agnes went back to bed, deciding to investigate later in the day, when the sun was up.

Agnes figured she woke up somewhere in the midst of mid-morning, going from the sounds of life and the light emanating through her window. As she got ready, she wondered what could have happened that would cause the strange man leave so quickly, and not give back her pan. Maybe the newcomer had come with urgent news and he was going to bring her pan back when he returned?

All her hopes were dashed when she arrived at his hut when she found that the door was firmly locked, and something that smelt vaguely like burnt paper and a chamber pot that hadn’t been emptied. Just as she thought that the day couldn’t get any stranger, she was interrupted by a voice from behind her. “Lost your key, Ma’am”?

As she turned, she replied “No, not me key, me pan!”, stopping as she noticed the stranger for the first time, noting that he was even more strange than the man from the night before. The man was incredibly fit, clad in form fitting leather armour. Across his middle, she noted it had been reinforced with chainmail, and the chest piece had been made to accentuate the mans figure. He had leather panels on his shoulders, also reinforced with chainmail covering his shoulders, that were held on with belts that went under the opposite shoulders. The top of his arms were similarly armoured.

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He wore two toned leather gloves that came up to his elbows that had metal studs across his knuckles, with a light grey gambeson showing between the gloves and the armour on his arms. He was strange, she could plainly see, but what made him even stranger was the fact that while, yes, he carried swords, it was the manner he wore them. Rather than wearing them at the hip, like nearly every other person she had seen, this man wore them across his back, the hilts above his right shoulder. The swords were different, she could see, as the crossbar on the inside sword was straight, and the outer, it was bent forwards, toward the blade.

She could tell the man had been on the road for a long time too, his long hair was wild and scraggly, drawn roughly back from his forehead, and tied behind, to keep it out of his face. His beard was rough and unkempt, adding the illusion that was older than he perhaps was. She noticed that he had very strange eyes, that resembled a cat, wondering what it took to do that to a man, before realizing that this man must be a Witcher, and that this man would be perfect to get her pan back.

“It’s always sat there, empty, this hut. That is, till the night afore the battle. A man arrived, rode right in like ‘twere his own. Was standing at me window, peerin’ at the goin’s-on… he must’ve eyed me, ‘cause next I knew, there he was, comin’ my way!” she shuddered, remembering that night. She continued “So I gripped me pan, – for protection, see. But he just asks all polite, ‘Gran, got any birch back, by chance? Lilac berries, or even a few coals?’ Nay says I! And you must be right daft to pester folk at night with such foolery!”

“But I sees he ain’t listenin’. Just staring at me pan, like a magpie at a copper! ‘Lend it to me gran, I’ll give it back come morn.’ Was right baffled, for what’s he doin’ fryin’ in the dark? But I’ve got a soft ‘eart, so I gave it to ‘im”. She finished, stepping back from the man.

The mans brow furrowed with interest. “Interesting, What happened then?” he asked. “Afore dawn, another rode up to the hut. But come morn, only the first fellow left. Locked the door, hopped on his horse, and that were all I saw of him – and me pan!” she exclaimed. “ ‘Twere old, black with soot, not worth much I ‘spose – But I’ve no other!” she added. She pleaded with the strange witcher “Will you ‘elp me, dearie? Bring an ol’ widow her pan” I could never break down that door meself… And in truth, I’m afeared to go in anyroad. Such a stench waftin’ out. Methinks the other fellow… Well, that he’s lyin there.”

The man looked mildly amused, “never taken on a pan contract… Fine, I’ll go in, look around.”.

He walked up to the door, and made a strange shape with his left hand, and the door was blasted off its hinged into the hut. Agnes was shocked, she hadn’t seen anything like this before, though rather than question it, she let the man work, happy at the notion of her pan being returned to her. She watched as he entered the hut, confusion furrowing her brow as she watched him rummage through the chests and storage containers, making no effort to hide himself putting the useable items into his rucksack. He noticed her watching him and said with a wink “not enough money in witcher work, don’t tell!”.

The man got up and entered the other section of the house, out of her view. She could hear him talking quietly to himself as he investigated the scene “His throat – He was garroted. Then some old scars, kind a soldier might have”. Curious, Agnes called out to the man, “What’s that dearie?”. Not wanting to alarm her, the stranger hastily replied “Nothing, nothing to worry about” as he returned to searching for the womans pan. Commenting on the man talking to himself again “But when I gab to meself, they say I’M going barmy!”

The man ignored her comment and finished investigating what happened and returned to Agnes. He handed her what looked to be a brand new pan, this one didn’t have a single trace of the years of black soot and grime that had built up on it. “Here – Your frying pan.”. Agnes was shocked, “Mine?! But mine were black with soot! And I could see meself in this ‘un if I wanted. But them years’re past…”. The man replied, “It was the soot the man needed. He scraped it off to make ink. Must’ve had an urgent letter to write. Urgently burned other documents, too”. The entire ordeal was getting stranger by the minute, what could the man have possibly needed to communicate so quickly?

She then asked about the other man, the one she saw arrive just before dawn. “Dead” the man replied. “Round up a few boys and bury him outside the village. Deep, so the necrophages don’t dig him up. And take my advice. Don’t mention this to the nilfgaadians.”. She was both confused and worried at what happened, and what the man had said. As he turned to leave, she decided to reward him for his efforts. “Hang about! You’ve earned a token o’ thanks. Here, sonny. For the road.”. She handed him several bottles of apple juice, several baked apples, and enough bread for a few days on the road. He thanked her and leaving her with her freshly clean pan, got on his horse and rode away.

Still holding her pan, Agnes walked back into the village to organise some men to bury the dead man in the hut. After she had shown the group where the man was, and shared with them what the strange witcher had said, she left to take her pan home, and set about the rest of her day.

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