EMIEL REGIS ROHELLEC TERZIEFF-GODEFROY
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As a young man, Regis had been a bit of a free spirit and overindulged in the drinking of blood. This lifestyle led to him being butchered by angry villagers. Regenerating from that took him fifty years – or nearly no time at all, for an immortal. When he was back in full health, he kicked the habit of blood drinking for good.
For years, we’d all thought he was gone forever. Yet there he was, standing in front of Geralt in that dockside warehouse.
As a high vampire, Regis is what is commonly known in the Witcher world as a Post-Conjunction creature. His species comes originally from an entirely different dimension which was pushed into this one during a cataclysmic event 1500 years ago called 'The Conjunction of the Spheres', which forced a large number of strange, unnatural monsters and creatures across and trapped them there, unable to return to their own world. Everything from the intelligent and emotionally sensitive high vampires to the monstrous and bestial necrophages came across in this event, and it is said by the elves that humans also appeared at this time, though they in fact did not appear on the Continent until many years later. It was during this time, too, that it is believed magic appeared in the world and was harnessed by humans for various purposes.
Little is known about the place these creatures came from, though Regis sadly describes the sensation of being away from it as being trapped in the most uncomfortable situation you can think of, forever. It doesn't hurt or cause physical distress, but the emotional impact is strong. Many less sentient creatures have long since been driven mad (and destroyed) since the Conjunction, but for a creature such as Regis there is only the constant resignation that he is unlikely to ever be able to return home.
Regis first met Geralt and his companions at the elven necropolis Fen Carn, where he was collecting mandrake plants. He is a talented brewer of 'mandrake hooch', which it is implied can get you very drunk indeed. He constantly wore a flask of fragrant herbs on the belt across his chest, causing a pleasant fragrance to follow him wherever he went and allowing his true nature to go unrealised for some time (as the herbal scent prevented the group's horses from being spooked by him). Described as a surprisingly intellectual man for the profession he chooses to follow - a barber-surgeon in the city of Dillingen - though pointedly ordinary, sporting greying hair, an 'impressively' crooked nose and shining black eyes, he conceals his sharp teeth behind small, brief smiles and gives nothing away in his calm demeanour that he might be anything more unusual than a common or garden tax collector.
Some time before he took up as Dilligen's barber-surgeon, he had led a somewhat more hedonistic and cruel lifestyle. While high vampires do not technically require blood to survive, the effect on them when drinking it is similar to the impact that large amount of alcohol might have on a human. Regis became addicted, and one night whilst 'flying drunk' attempted to attack a peasant girl only to be captured, decapitated, staked, and buried doused in holy water. The period that it took him to regenerate, he claims, gave him a lot of time to think and reflect on how he chose to live his life. Full regeneration took fifty years, and by then he had come to the conclusion that he no longer wished to live like a 'monster'. Echoing the opinions of an old friend, he views humans and elves alike as the 'hosts' of those who had come across in the Conjunction, and feels that they ought to be treated as such, rather than the cattle that some of his brethren see them as. Geralt describes him as having 'an overdeveloped sense of empathy' seen as somewhat unusual for his kind, but many things about Regis are not what humans have been taught to expect from high vampires. This, perhaps, is how he manages to integrate so well.
He accompanied Geralt's group on their journey to Stygga castle to rescue Ciri, and though they are initially wary of him once his true nature was revealed he quickly earned their trust and became a valued friend. He proved himself invaluable during their assault on the citadel itself, using his vampire tricks to gain them swift entry and making quick work of most of the guards they found immediately inside. He shapeshifted to offer reconnaissance and found Ciri in the lab of her captor Vilgefortz, killing his assistants and breaking his oath to never again drink blood. It becomes more difficult, in a room full of the scent of it, to resist giving in to the urge to drink and it is the only time that he is known to have done so. He returned to Geralt at Ciri's insistence, finding both he and Yennefer fighting against the sorcerer Vilgefortz. His appearance provided a distraction, but ended ultimately in Regis' gruesome demise, melted by a fireball as he protected Yennefer. He was reduced to little more than a smear on the ground and Geralt did not expect to ever see him again.
Thus, when the witcher found himself fighting a powerful high vampire in an old warehouse in the heart of Beauclair, he could not contain his surprise when the battle was interrupted by the arrival of none other than his old friend. Regis withstood a puncture straight through his chest by the clawed hand of the other vampire, who scolded him over his presence and left only when Regis asked him to, stating that Geralt was his friend. He quickly rallied and healed, warmly embracing the witcher and explaining how he still lived.
Not long after his supposed death at Stygga castle, he had been found by another high vampire called Dettlaff van der Eretein. Dettlaff had taken it upon himself to revive and restore his fellow vampire, resulting in a blood debt and connection between them that no human could possibly understand. It is this vampire that Geralt is hunting, having found him responsible for a number of violent murders in Beauclair, but Regis earnestly pleads with him and convinces him that Dettlaff would not be behaving this way unless something was very wrong. High vampires don't often involve themselves with humans and most of them prefer not to, and though Geralt would much rather have had a simple solution to the problem, he trusts in his friend and the two of them begin their investigations.
Regis invites Geralt back to the small home he has made inside a crypt in the local cemetery, and they discuss how Dettlaff might be located. Geralt produces a dismembered hand which Regis immediately identifies at Dettlaff's, by the ring on its middle finger. He removes it, stating that it belonged to him and came from their home dimension. Though clearly disturbed he states that the hand would suffice as part of a potion which would allow Geralt to relive events experienced by its owner that produced strong emotional responses. For this potion (poetically named 'Resonance') the other ingredient they need would both be difficult, though not impossible to find - a powerful hallucinogenic poison found only in distant, extinct or sentient creatures. Regis suggests employing some help, and outside the crypt speaks quietly to a raven, who flies away to seek out one of the creatures that they need.
The two of them share a drink as they wait, as well as some (mostly) candid and honest conversation. Regis does not quite manage to drop his habit of being talking around the question he actually wants to ask, but he views this as a test of intelligence. They discuss Regis' previous blood addiction, to which he wryly responds that he isn't willing to risk readdiction just to test a hypothesis about whether or not propensities carry over through corporeal regenerations. He admires human curiosity, though he tells Geralt that he does pity them for how quickly their lives can be taken away from them. A vampire, after all, can only be killed permanently by another high vampire. Regis has, however, experienced something close to what humans would understand as death. After his destruction at the hands of Vilgefortz, he felt nothing but a cold, consuming fear and very little else, something that he might have completely drowned in if not for Dettlaff.
When the raven returns, he informs Geralt that it has discovered a spotted wight not far from their location. Though the witcher is certain that spotted wights were hunted to extinction hundreds of years ago, he takes the vampire at his word and leaves to find it. Regis returns to the crypt and begins preparations, only informing Geralt when he returns that they will also need the blood of another of the same species in order to brew the concoction. They can't simply draw some of Regis' blood while he's in his 'tame', humanoid form as it will not work - vampires do not have a set solid form and exist in a state of flux - he must be entirely enraged and in a state in which he would be very likely to harm Geralt for the blood to be viable. He has already thought this through, and tells Geralt about Teshan Mutna, a place which had once been used as a torture chamber for a high vampire who had become so out of control that the local peasants had begun to hunt the vampires. Though the peasants couldn't kill them, they were bothersome, and the other vampires captured the rogue member of their species and trapped him in the chamber below the fortress, driving him to bloodlust again and again for over two hundred years.
Without revealing to Geralt what he is doing, Regis drinks a small amount of blood and tells the witcher that he has already ingested a stimulant that has enhanced his senses. He is already struggling to control himself as they leave the crypt, but holds himself together as they head to Teshan Mutna and down into the torture chamber. On the way down the spiral stairs, he expresses his regret of the torments that some of his kind had put humans through in the past, wishing that he could turn back time despite being assured that what is done is done. Geralt binds him in one of the cages there, and he can do little but watch as creatures are drawn into the chamber for the witcher to kill, flooding the floor with blood. He is quickly driven into a bloodthirsty rage which eventually frightens the creatures away, and Geralt lowers the cage. By then, Regis is bestial, violent and does not recognise his friend.
Without the cage between them, he could have easily launched at him and snapped his neck, but instead all he could do was roar as his blood was drawn.
Geralt waits while the blood dries and Regis regains his usual composure, and he is so weak when the door is finally opened that he can barely stand. Back at the cemetery, he rests while Geralt finishes Resonance. He had shocked the witcher with the amount of pain he had been willing to subject himself to, the man not having understood just how torturous it would have been to put himself through that until after it was done.
After Resonance has been used, Geralt relates what he saw to the vampire and Regis stays behind to rest while the witcher heads out into Beauclair. However, he quickly rejoins him and the two discover the location of Dettlaff's hideout. There, they discover that the high vampire is being blackmailed by someone who has kidnapped a human woman he has fallen in love with.
From there, things escalate quickly. Though Geralt takes on most of the following investigation for himself, Regis encounters him again while he is sharing a drink with Orianna and Anna Henrietta. This time, he has brought Dettlaff along with him, and though Geralt is initially angered by this, Regis assures him that Dettlaff believes he can find his beloved and bring her back safely, and he will not move to continue the murders.
Regis protects Dettlaff from rash acts time and time again, even as the other high vampire continues to push the tolerance of those trying to help him. When, after Dettlaff has unleashed a massive hoard of vampiric creatures upon Beauclair and killed hundreds, Geralt is finally forced to fight him one on one, Regis is there. He understands that his friend and saviour cannot understand this world any longer and will never be able to find his place in it, and he knows that it will take too long for him to emotionally recover from the situation he had been placed in. Telling Geralt to leave, he ends Dettlaff's life himself, knowing that for him to do it is the only way to ensure that it is permanent.
That isn't the end of troubles for Regis. Word travels quickly, and while collecting fresh mandrakes with Geralt he comes under attack from a pair of bruxae calling him a traitor. Though they are quickly dispatched, Regis knows then that he cannot stay in Toussaint (quoting 'out of sight, out of mind' as a second and equally arbitrary rule to the one he had already broken). He suggests to the witcher that he head to the north instead, where cultures have moved on to the point that they no longer believe in such things as vampires. It would be far easier to integrate into a society that doesn't believe something like him could possibly exist.
In parting, Regis doesn't blame Geralt for anything that happened. It was an inevitable end, and he made his own choice to be involved in it.
✘ Superhuman strength/speed/perception/agility
✘ High intelligence
✘ Turning into mist
✘ The ability to change into a 'bestial' form resembling a giant bat, far more suited for combat than his usual humanoid shape
✘ Resistant to sunlight/fire/silver/crosses/garlic/holy water
✘ Regeneration. Though it may take a long time, a higher vampire can recover from almost any wound
✘ Hypnotising gaze
✘ Able to touch hot metal with bare hands without injury
✘ Can brew lethal mandrake hooch
AGE: 450 by the human calendar
MIND READING: Y
KILLING: You can try
( efficio )