|“||I will teach you pain with these hands, with these fingers.||„|
|~ Rience threatening Ciri.|
Rience is a major antagonist in the Witcher book series. First appearing as the main antagonist in the third book, Blood of Elves, a minor antagonist in The Time of Contempt, and appearing as a major antagonist in The Tower of Swallows/The Tower of the Swallow. He served as Vilgefortz’s apprentice.
Rience is depicted differently. In the books, he is depicted as having moist eyes, a narrow nose, and hideously thin lips. While in the Gwent card game he is seen with a more handsome look. He wears a brown and dark grey tunic with silver colored chest armor, and silver gauntlets.
Not very much is known about Rience, however, he did attend Ban Ard Academy for two years, before getting expelled due to petty theft. Soon after, he was recruited by men from the Kaedwen Secret Service. Where they trained him to be a killer. Rience was later imprisoned by Queen Calanthe in Cintra, but his debts were paid off by Vilgefortz. He vanished without a trace then reappeared after the first Nilfgaardian war.
Blood of Elves
Rience was tasked in locating Ciri, he had set his eyes on Dandelion, a famous bard and good friend to Geralt of Rivia. Dandelion took refuge at brothel in Temeria. Rience approached the bard and introduced himself. He politely asked Dandelion what the song “The Ballad of the Lion,” but Dandelion refused. Becoming irritated, Rience asked what had happened to Ciri. Dandelion then gave the man a very vague answer, saying he wanted to excite his listeners and allow them to interpret what had happened. Not going as things had planned, Rience then threatened the poet.
Dandelion exploded at the mage telling him that if he didn’t get out of his sight he would call the bouncer and have Rience ejected from the brothel. A stiletto dagger produced in the mage’s hand. Dandelion saw the weapon and quickly ran from Rience, the mage quickly pursued after the bard. Rience used a binding spell on Dandelion, causing the bard to tumble down the steps and fall into a dirt room. Rience accompanied with two hired thugs proceeded to torture the bard. Before the men could get any answers, they were ambushed by Yennefer. Rience escaped via portal, but before the portal closed completely, Yennefer casted a power spell at Rience, burning the left side of his face.
Now with Geralt hunting him down, Rience stayed in the town of Oxenfurt. The mage hired a group of corrupted Tamerian guards to board the barge Geralt rode on, and to capture him. The men were nearly successful in completing the task, but were interrupted when an aeschna attacked the barge and subsequently killed all of the guards. Geralt arrived in Oxenfurt and hid for a while, he met up Dandelion and a sorceress named Philippa Eilhart whom received word that Rience was staying with one of the local’s, a man named Myhrman. The group confronted Myhrman about Rience’s whereabouts.
Rience hired the Michelet brothers as a means for protection and to kill Geralt, though he lied to the brothers, telling them Geralt was an ordinary human and not a Witcher. Eventually, Geralt and Rience met face to face. The mage began to boast, stating how the Witcher fell for his trap and after he was finished with Geralt, he would hunt down Yennefer for the burn she gave him. Geralt responded that Rience fell for his trap as well and that after making threats about Yennefer, he wouldn’t leave Oxenfurt alive.
Rience casted a spell at Geralt, but the Witcher deflected it. Rience suddenly took off running in the opposite direction. Just before Geralt could give chase, he was intercepted by the Michelet brothers whom were dispatched with the greatest of ease. Just before Rience could escape through another portal he had conjured up with the help of his master, Geralt caught up to the mage and began to beat him with an inch of his life. Geralt became distracted for a moment, thinking more people would emerge from the portal, Rience used the energy from the portal to transform his fingers into steel claws and began to counter attacked Geralt, just so the Witcher would get off of him. Rience began to crawl towards the portal, but Geralt attempted to grab the mage. Philippa casted a spell at Geralt, paralyzing him, and allowed Rience to escape justice once more.
The Time of Contempt
Geralt hired Codringher and Fenn to help him track down the whereabouts of Rience as well as find out who his employer was. However, before the two could find out who Rience was working for, the mage tasked Schirrú to find and kill the two, and to bring any important information to him. While Schirrú dispatched Codringher and Fenn, Rience took part in the Thanedd coup. He and a group of Scoia’tael were smuggled to Thanedd Island to help Vilgefortz capture Ciri. Tension between the Northern and the Nilfgaardian mages rose, soon a battle between the two ensued. Rience and the Scoia’tael troops were caught in the middle of the fight, but soon found Ciri. Thinking he had her, Ciri narrowly escaped him by jumping down onto a bridge.
After the coup, Rience and Schirrú rendezvoused at the Sly Fox Inn, there the half-elf gave the apprentice important information on a girl that looked just like Ciri. The two found the girl, took her against her will, and handed her off to Pitcairn.
The Tower of Swallows/The Tower of the Swallow
On a voyage to find Ciri, Yennefer and the crew she accompanied were caught in the middle of a storm. Little did she know, Vilgefortz was the one who conjured up the storm, and in actuality was a teleporter. Yennefer was the only survivor and was teleported to Stygga Castle. In Stygga Castle, Rience and Schirrú proceeded to beat Yennefer senseless, but Vilgefortz intervened just before Rience could beat her to death. Vilgefortz and Rience brought Yennefer over to a chair, they strapped her down and placed a variety of needles in her. Vilgefortz told her to start “scanning” for Ciri, but Yennefer refused. The sorcerer called upon his apprentice, who placed thumbscrews on her hands, and slowly began to tighten them. Yennefer, however, did give Geralt’s location away. Vilgefortz sent Schirrú to handle the Witcher, while Rience was tasked in locating the girl.
In Nilfgaard, Rience appeared as a teleprojection, and spoke with Vattier de Rideaux, Emreis’ spymaster. The two conversated for a while, Rience then told Vattier he would happily give him the head of Cahir in exchange for the whereabouts of Emreis’ imperial coroner, Stefan Skellen, and what he was planning.
Rience was successful in tracking Stefan Skellen and his gang down, using an invisibility spell, the apprentice stalked the group. What he did not know was that one of Skellen’s men was Joanna Selborne, a woman with telepathic abilities and Vattier’s spy. Skellen and his gang threw milk and flour at him, revealing the mage. They bounded him up and just before Skellen could torture Rience, the apprentice immediately revealed to him he was shadowing them so that he may find the location of Ciri. Before more could be said, Leo Bonhart arrived with Ciri. Putting on a smug and brave face, Rience promised the girl he would teach her pain, just as he did to Yennefer. Stefan, Bonhart, and Rience began to converse with Vilgefortz using a magical device called a xenogloss.
While the men conversated, Ciri broke out of her jail with the help of Neratin Ceka, another one of Vattier’s spies. Rience, Stefan, Bonhart, and Stefan’s gang chased after Ciri. They eventually found themselves on the frozen lake of Tarn Mira near Tor Zireael, the Tower of the Swallow. The xenogloss stopped communicating with the men. Skellen assumed that perhaps Vilgefortz had moved on to bigger and better things. Rience believed the imperial coroner and tried to contact his master, but the xenogloss remained silent. The men dismounted from their horses and followed on foot.
Joanna and several members retreated from the lake leaving Rience, Bonhart, Skellen, and the remainder of the gang. Soon Bonhart retreated from the lake leaving Skellen and Rience. The men traversed through heavy fog and followed Ciri’s footprints, the tracks became slits and they realized she had put on skates to escape them faster. What they didn’t know was that Ciri was going to kill them. Using the dense fog and the skates to her advantage, Ciri began to kill Skellen’s men, one by one.
Scared out of his wits, Rience casted a spell that would cause the ice to break out from underneath the sound of the skating, but his fingers were in the wrong position causing the ice to break from underneath him and Skellen’s gang. Majority of the men drowned in the icy water, Skellen was pulled out of the lake by Boreas Mun, while Rience desperately tried to climb out. In a last ditch effort to save himself, he offered to give Ciri the location of Yennefer. Ciri retorted by mocking the mage’s promise that he would teach her pain with his hands, with his fingers, the same ones he was using to cling to the ice with. Ciri sliced off all of Rience’s fingers with her skates, the mage was detached from the ice, and proceeded to drown. The xenogloss started working again, but Rience was too late to hear Vilgefortz’s message.
Rience was a sadistic, cowardly, sycophantic, arrogant, egotistical, foolish, and hypocritical kind of person. He had no regard for anyone but himself and his master, he did everything he could to get out of harm’s way when tensions rose. He was completely sycophantic to Vilgefortz, supporting everything the sorcerer did, and did everything Vilgefortz told him to do. Rience was also a massive hypocrite, taking sadistic pleasure in harming others or promising to do harm to his enemies, however, he would weasel his way out being tormented, and that included giving out important information. He was overconfident and very egotistical, boasting to both ally and enemy about how powerful he and Vilgefortz were.
The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt