An urgent summons

A ray of light slipped through the curtains as the sun began to rise, motes of dust spiraling through the beam. The orange, cat-like eyes of Geralt the Witcher snapped open, his reactions faster than any normal man, the familiar, raven-haired form of his lover Yennefer beside him. Geralt placed his feet on the floor, careful not to wake her. 

He walked across the rug of his Toussant home to the door, when he noticed a letter had been pushed underneath it. In one fluid motion, he bent down, picked it up and began to read:

"To my dear friend Geralt,

You must come to Kaer Morhen as soon as possible. As I write this, Ciri is lying in bed in a coma as she has lost a lot of blood. Lambert, Eskel and I are doing everything in our power to keep her alive. 

From Dandelion"

Geralt was now fully awake. Ciri's blood was of much more value than anyone's, so if someone had hurt his adoptive daughter, then they would not live to see the next sunrise. Quick as a flash, he placed on his padded Witcher armour and grabbed both his swords. Yennefer awoke, groggily.

"Geralt, what are you doing?" she said, "You know I don't like to be awoken-"

"Ciri's in Kaer Morhen," interrupted Geralt, "She's in danger."

Instantly, Yennfer's black and white robes appeared on her through the aid of magic. She leaped up from the bed and raised both her hands, causing a yellow portal to materialise out of thin air. Geralt braced himself, closed his eyes, then ran through the portal, and Yennefer followed close behind...

The freezing cold air hit Geralt's exposed face like fierce knives after the comforting warmth of his Toussant home. Yennefer and he were in the centre of a Castle's stone courtyard, situated in a valley surrounded by huge mountain peaks. The leaves in the pine forest below swayed from side to side, and a river ran all the way to a huge lake.

Geralt and Yennefer ran together into the main keep of the Castle, known as Kaer Morhen. Their footsteps echoed through the vast, empty interior, and up the stairs until they reached the bedroom.

As Geralt ascended the stairs, his superhuman sense of hearing, enhanced by mutations, picked up a conversation going on in the room. They were the voiced of Lambert and Eskel, two other Witchers, and the bard Dandelion, one of Geralt's oldest friends.

"I can't believe she would do this to herself!" Came the high pitched voice of Dandelion, "She could have died!"

"It's because she is obsessed with heroics," came the snide voice of Lambert, "As if we don't know where she got that side of her from."

"It was her decision," said the voice of Eskel, "I know we all remember her as that little girl who trained in Kaer Morhen, but she's a grown woman now."

Yennefer and Geralt burst into the bedroom. They saw the three men sitting in chairs, surrounded by tomes and books with titles like "The human body, a medic's guide" and "Supernaturals: Natural Remedies and Cure-alls". Ciri lay in bed, unconscious, her ashen hair around her face and her arm bandaged up with a dark red stain of blood. The room smelled strongly of alcohol; clearly, they had attempted to sterilise the wound.

Yennefer immediately pushed past the others and placed a hand on Ciri's forehead. After about a minute, Yennefer spoke : "She's lost about one and a half litres of blood," she explained, "Her condition isn't worsening, and so long as we keep her stable she should be able to recover."

Geralt breathed an inner sigh of relief.

"Now," said Yennefer, her voice suddenly cold as ice, "I want you three to tell me exactly how the Hell you let this happen."

Dandelion was the first to reply.

"A few days ago, Ciri approached me and told me that she had to go to Kaer Morhen," he explained, "I asked her to elaborate, and she said that she needed ingredients for some kind of potion or something. I asked if she wanted me to come with her, and she agreed, though she wouldn't reveal exactly what it was she was doing. So we rode here on horseback, which is where Eskel and Lambert met us. We spoke for a while, then Ciri went downstairs to find the room with the substances she came here for and locked herself in. I waited outside in case she needed help with anything, when suddenly I hear her screaming. At first, I tried to knock the door down, but when I couldn't manage, I had Eskel and Lambert knock the door down instead. They found Ciri lying there, blood pouring out of her arteries into a huge cauldron, filled with herbs and monster claws and all sorts of other things. We took her here right away and tried to treat her as best we could, and as this was all happening so fast a wrote a letter to Geralt."

"So she was trying to make some kind of potion using her blood," said Yennefer, "Taking into account the fact that she had to use her own blood, rather than someone else's, it is clear that she was not trying to make anything ordinary...she must have acquired the knowledge to make this potion from someone who knew a great deal about the magical properties of her blood..."

"Excellent deduction, Yennefer," came a calm and measured voice from behind them. Geralt swiveled around, caught off guard; he should have sensed there was someone behind him. He found himself staring into the face of the elf Avallac'h. 

"You!" Says Lambert, "You were behind this?"

Avallac'h was a mysterious elf who had, in the past, taken a great interest in Ciri's powerful blood. Ciri was a human, but she was also the descendent of an ancient and powerful elf, meaning her blood gave her a limited ability to travel between different parallel universes. Avallac'h had done experiments for centuries attempting to find out exactly how this power was used. It was clear to Geralt, at this point, that Ciri's current state had very much to do with Avallac'h's machinations. How did Geralt reply?