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Η Τελευταία Ευχή (Διήγημα)

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Icon disambig.svg This article is about Διήγημα. For Sapkowski's first collection of short stories, see Η Τελευταία Ευχή. For the game item, see The Last Wish (in game).

"Η Τελευταία Ευχή" is a short story included in Η Τελευταία Ευχή collection. This story describes the circumstances of Γκέραλτ and Γιενέφερ's first meeting.

Summary[επεξεργασία | επεξεργασία κώδικα]

Spoiler warning: Significant plot details follow.

One morning, while trying to catch fish for breakfast, Νταντέλιον and Γκέραλτ instead haul up an ancient, sealed amphora. Νταντέλιον, in a fit of glee, and ignoring Γκέραλτ's explicit warnings, opens the vase and a large cloud of red mist escapes—a genie (or djinn, more accurately)! Γκέραλτ dives for cover, but Νταντέλιον feels he knows exactly what is happening and hold his ground, beginning to recite his list of three wishes. The genie doesn't fulfill even the first one of the bard's wishes (that his rival die of apoplexy), opting instead to strangle the bard.

Γκέραλτ rushes to his friend's rescue, and after seemingly a fruitless fight, decides to use some folk knowledge he had always considered to be nonsense. The witcher seizes the ampora seal which has fallen to the ground and shouts out an exorcism. The genie releases the bard and disappears across the river, but Νταντέλιον is far from well. It seems his throat and larynx have been seriously affected and he needs help desperately.

After a day's ride, they arrive at the gates of Rinde, but are told that no one may pass through the gates between dusk and dawn without a letter of safe conduct from the king or proof of nobility. The guard offers them the gatehouse until morning, pointing out that Νταντέλιον will fare better there than out of doors. Having no other option, the witcher agrees.

Waiting for the dawn to break, Γκέραλτ makes the acquaintance of two elves Chireadan and his cousin, Errdil and a Μισο-ξωτικό knight, Vratimir. They inform him that there heavy duties and penalties for spellcasting within the city, and the mages are boycotting Rinde in return. There is one though, who continues to work her magic within the city limits and generally flouts the law: the sorceress Γιενέφερ της Vengerberg, residing in the sanctuary provided by the Novigradian merchant-ambassabor, Beau Berrant.

When dawn breaks, Γκέραλτ enters the city to find the sorceress. Arriving at Beau Berrant's home, he is greeted by Cerberus, the doorman of sorts. After a fruitless discussion, Γκέραλτ decides that perhaps gold might open the door and knocks the oaf unconscious with his money purse. Once inside he drags Cerberus into an open room where one of the female staff is happily snoring away. The witcher then proceeds to the basement where he meets a very inebriated Berrant. The ambassador, it seems, is on a mission to get apple juice for his guest and asks Γκέραλτ for help. Γκέραλτ fetches the juice only to find Beau unconscious.

Noticing a staircase nearby, the witcher climbs up to what turns out to be Γιενέφερ's bedchamber. The sorceress is far from awake. Despite their rather explosive start, Γιενέφερ is willing to help Γκέραλτ and Νταντέλιον, right after a bath. While Γιενέφερ takes a bath, Γκέραλτ is amazed by her beauty, but also realizes that it is probably a spell, as most girls who become sorceresses are ugly or malformed by nature. He puts these thoughts aside, and decides to just enjoy her beauty, as they talk over Νταντέλιον's condition. Once dressed, Γιενέφερ opens a portal and the two set out for the tavern where Νταντέλιον is laid up.

Back at Errdil's inn, Chireadan and Γκέραλτ sit downstairs waiting to hear about the bard's condition and chatting a little about Γιενέφερ over a cup of herb tea. Chireadan tells Γκέραλτ in no uncertain terms that Γιενέφερ, while beautiful, is not to be trusted.

After a while, Γιενέφερ summons Γκέραλτ upstairs; Νταντέλιον is happily, safely asleep, and there remains only the question of price to be discussed. Γκέραλτ first wants to take Νταντέλιον to safety, and offers a price to guarantee his return. Γιενέφερ wants her price right away though, and reveals that she has in fact trapped Γκέραλτ in the room. The witcher is completely paralyzed. After a rather fruitless argument, Γκέραλτ passes out. When he regains conciousness, he find that he is sharing the cell with some 'honest thieves', an innocent old man and Chireadan.

The elf tells Γκέραλτ the reason for their presence there: under the influence of Γιενέφερ's spell, Γκέραλτ went rampaging through the town, punishing anyone who had ever insulted Γιενέφερ. The local apothecary Laurelnose was actually publicly spanked by the witcher for his "crimes". As the two men reflect on their situation, their musings are rudely interrupted by the entrance of three guards. One of them starts taunting Γκέραλτ while his friends hold the witcher still, then proceeds to repeatedly punch the witcher in the stomach. Seeking to get out with the least injuries possible, Γκέραλτ tries to goad the man into rendering him unconsicous. He expresses the wish that the man simply burst, and to everyone's surprise, the guard does so.

Later, the witcher and the elf are brought before the town's mayor, Neville and the priest Krepp. The mayor is not happy with the situation, but before he can reach a verdict, Νταντέλιον suddenly drops into the room from a magical portal which suddenly appears on the wall. The bard shouts with a fully restored voice that he wishes everyone present to believe that the witcher is innocent. He was instructed to do this by Γιενέφερ, who sent him through this portal, and wanted to clear Γκέραλτ's slate.

Νταντέλιον has hardly had time to explain himself, when a roaring commotion is heard outside, loud enough to be heard over the current thunderstorm. Rushing to the window, the group sees that Γιενέφερ has lured the genie to the town, and is trying to capture it to gain its amazing powers. The genie is much stronger then expected though, and despite Γιενέφερ's spells binding it to Errdil's inn, the genie is trashing the town.

Γκέραλτ ushers everyone else to safety, and asks Krepp to stabilize the trace of the portal Νταντέλιον just fell through. After a few protests, the priest obliges and the portal reappears. Γκέραλτ jumps through, intent on saving the sorceress. Γιενέφερ doesn't want to be saved though, she isn't finished trapping her genie and resists Γκέραλτ's help, even opening a portal to get rid of him. While he falls into the portal however, the Witcher grabs Γιενέφερ, and the sorceress is dragged into the portal with him. When they exit the portal, Γιενέφερ immediately shakes off Γκέραλτ and goes back through the portal, but Γκέραλτ follows her.

Outside, the people gathered are watching in terror as the genie continues to rampage through the city. After a scuffle between Γιενέφερ and Γκέραλτ, with waning powers, the sorceress traps Γκέραλτ. The witcher tries to talk some sense into her head, but she won't listen to him.

Then, Γκέραλτ realises something. It was not Νταντέλιον, but it was him that did the first wish, and thus the genie is still awaiting Γκέραλτ's third wish. Because the genie still has to fullfill his master's wish, he is not yet freed, and is thus not able to be captured by Γιενέφερ. While rethinking his possible last wish, he also realizes what Γιενέφερ looked like before she became a sorceress; she was a hunchback. Then, he decided upon his last wish.

The next moment, the genie tears free, the inn collapses and silence descends. Under the rubble, Γιενέφερ finds herself in Γκέραλτ's arms, close and intimate. Just moments later, Γιενέφερ and Γκέραλτ make love in the remains of what was the beginning of a stormy relationship.

Significant plot details end here.

Characters[επεξεργασία | επεξεργασία κώδικα]

Notes[επεξεργασία | επεξεργασία κώδικα]

Adaptations[επεξεργασία | επεξεργασία κώδικα]

Comics[επεξεργασία | επεξεργασία κώδικα]

The short story has been adapted as a Εικονογραφημένα μυθιστορήματα entitled "Ostatnie życzenie", written by Andrzej Sapkowski and Maciej Parowski, with art by Bogusław Polch.