By TheFoxBride, September 23, 2020
In honor of the release of "The Battle for the Bridge on the Yaruga" game board, Queen Meve avatar, and "Red Lobinden" title, FoxBride brings us a retelling of the lore behind that pivotal battle, as covered in the novel Baptism of Fire by Andrzej Sapkowski.
The Battle for the Bridge on the Yaruga
A funny thing happened on the way to Caed Dhu
The steady, rushing waters of the Yaruga River. There is scarcely a location on the continent better suited for a scenic ferry ride, unless you find yourself under attack from not one, but two armies.
The Battle for the Bridge on the Yaruga was a pivotal encounter during the Second Northern War, in which the army of Lyria and Rivia, led by Queen Meve, inflicted a massive defeat upon the 7th Daerlanian Brigade of the Empire of Nilfgaard. This was largely due to the aid of a soon to be “knight” and not so Nilfgaardian, Nilfgaardian.
Geralt’s Hansa (Dandelion, Regis, Milva, Cahir) were headed to find the druids at Caed Dhu and information about Ciri, when they found themselves caught on a ferry between the warring sides. Volley after volley of arrows rained down on them as the Northerners took aim at the floating piece of wood they desired. As soon the Hansa found themselves out of range of their archers, they were met by the Black Ones. Out of the frying pan and into the fire.
Milva loosed arrow after arrow with each one finding the flesh of an invader, driving them away. The dying screamed, writhing in agony as the dead lay silent in the blood soaked sand. Tragically, the fetus that grew inside Milva would be no more, as she would eventually suffer a miscarriage on the battlefield.
The group survived this encounter and floated long enough to get their hopes up, but it was not to be. Before them was the Red Lobinden Bridge where the struggle reached a crescendo. A symphony of clashing steel played above them as the Hansa tried to slip undetected beneath the bridge. They failed.
With Milva out of action and incapacitated, there was no choice but to stand and fight.
It is in these moments, where the fates of individuals, armies, kingdoms, and empires can hinge on the actions of a few. The only person who had led soldiers into battle was Cahir Mawr Dyffryn aep Ceallach. The same raptor helmed Black Knight from the Slaughter of Cintra who terrorized Ciri everytime she closed her eyes.
The man from Vicovoro shouted at the Northerners, but they were unconvinced. Even so, could he kill his own countrymen, soldiers he had fought side by side with? Geralt made it clear. “This is for Milva. You are either on our side, or with the Black Ones.” From that point on, Cahir was no Nilfgaardian.
The Northerners rallied around the duo as the witcher unleashed the fury of Sihil, his dwarven runed sword. Soon, the invaders were cast back into the forest from whence they came. The day had been won.
It was this action on the bridge that caused Queen Meve to knight the white haired mutant, but as her mouth was slashed open, she had her right hand man, the Purple Knight, Reynard Odo, recite the vows. The witcher rose as Geralt of Rivia, as he would be known hereafter.
Geralt and Cahir bonded that day in a way that can only come from the chaos, madness, and rage of war. As comrades, companions, and friends, they underwent a rite of passage that would forever link their fates together. A Baptism of Fire.
Source: Baptism of Fire Ch. 7 (book only, nothing from Thronebreaker)
Gwent cards in the story: Geralt, Sihil, Cahir, Milva, Regis, Dandelion, Meve, Reynard, Daerlan Soldier.
TheFoxBride is an American who has been playing Gwent since becoming obsessed with The Witcher universe, primarily the books. With a degree in history, it was a natural fit to fall in love with the medieval fantasy world that is brimming with subtlety. This led to starting multiple podcasts that cover the games, show, and books, all with an emphasis on insight you would not find anywhere else. Within the team, he aims to showcase the personalities of fellow teammates and give the audience an appreciation of the creator behind the content. Whenever he is not busy writing fantasy, working out, or watching/playing sports, you can catch weekly streams where he and his fiancee play Gwent, and talk way too much about Disney movies.