A Mysterious Herb - A Witcher Story

by: Just4n0th3rUs3r | Story In Progress | Last updated Jul 20, 2021


Geralt returns home to Corvo Bianco to find a surprise visit from Ciri. When Yennefer tells of an experiment she's been conducting, none could have imagined the consequences...


Chapter 1
Chapter 1

“How much you reckon the Duchess will pay for the Cockatrice’s?”

“Hm?” Geralt turned to his current partner, Eskel, after coming out of his daydreaming. 2 weeks on the path, specifically on the order of the Ducal Court, had him longing for a nice bottle wine by the fire in Corvo Bianco. Dare he say, he was feeling a little rusty after having gotten used to staying in bed with Yen till well after noon.

“Oh come on Geralt. We’re sent out to kill a Cyclops wandering the Sansretour and we find 4 nesting Cockatrice’s on the way back? That’s an infestation just asking to happen” Eskel said, taking a swig of some cheap wine he’d bought in a tavern.

“We weren’t contracted to kill any Cockatrice’s”

“Well sure we weren’t, but I can’t imagine we’d be let go completely empty handed?” Eskel passed the bottle over to Geralt. Maybe he had just gotten used to the taste of Est-Est and Erveluce because whatever piss this was, he could barely swallow it.

“If you want to ask her, be my guest” he said, handing the bottle back. Although the Duchess wasn’t usually one to turn down such a request, Anna Henrietta currently found herself nearly 9 months pregnant. Her recent mood swings were only tempered by Syanna’s more rational voice. Half the knights were afraid to say anything, let alone disagree with her.

Eskel took the bottle and laughed. “The only thing worse than moody, pregnant Royalty would be a moody sorceress” he said, downing the last of the piss wine. Geralt ignored the jab as the pair passed Lebioda’s gate on the south of the city.

“Where will you go now?” Geralt asked. Eskel shrugged, looking around at the people going about their day.

“Probably meet up with Lambert and Keira in Nazair in a few days” he said. The 2 pulled their horses reins as 3 knights strode up to them.

“Master Witcher’s, it is good to see that you’ve returned unharmed. Milady requires your presence immediately” Damien de la Tour said. It struck Geralt as odd that they would be greeted this far away from the palace.

“The Duchess that eager to see us? It wasn’t that big a job” he said.

“Her Grace is currently at the Nilfgaardian Embassy. Her midwife says she is only days away from giving birth, and she will not likely have much time for you otherwise. If you would follow me please” Damien said, not waiting for an answer.

Anna Henrietta certainly looked as Damien had described her. She was full to bursting. Geralt was no expert on babies, but he would hardly be surprised if she bore 2 or 3 children. It would certainly please the Court, who had insisted she have children before she was too old.

“I will not repeat myself again Aep Hydhall, Emperor Var Emreis can request as many barrels of Sangreal as he wishes, but he must come get them himself. I am not about to let the wine of the Ducal Court leave its cellar because some Emissary has claimed the Emperor wants it! And I’ll not hear anymore on the matter!”

And apparently just as moody as they’d expected. The Emissary looked rather shaken as he left the room, his tail firmly between his legs. “Didn’t think you’d guard wine so ferociously your Grace” Geralt said, detaching the Cyclops head from Roach’s saddle.

“My sister is just having a bad day Geralt, the sooner my little niece is born, the better” Syanna giggled, earning a sulking scowl from the Duchess. “I see your hunt was fruitful”

Geralt walked inside and carefully placed the Ogroid head on the table, not wanting to cause a mess with whatever blood might be left.

“Your efforts appear to have been more fruitful than had been asked of you” Anna Henrietta said, spying the Cockatrice heads on Eskels horse.

“Well, we encountered them on our way back… Thought it better to nip an infestation in the bud before it becomes a problem” Eskel shouted, retrieving the contract from his saddlebag outside.

Anarietta wrote something down on a piece of parchment and gestured for Damien to collect it. “See to it” she muttered. Damien read the letter and turned towards Geralt and Eskel.

“If the Master Witcher would please follow me to collect payment” he said, marching out the door. Eskel grabbed the Ogroid head and turned to follow.

“I’ll see you back at Corvo Bianco before I leave”

He closed the door behind him, leaving Geralt with Syanna and Anarietta. “I’m glad to see generosity is still within your repertoire Geralt” Anarietta said, letting out a sigh and loosening the lace around her neck.

Geralt shrugged. He’d insisted that the money go to Eskel when the contract was accepted. He hardly needed it with all the wine he’s been selling of late. “It’s been a profitable year already, Your Grace. Another 4 or 5 hundred crowns would go unnoticed” he said.

“Yes, I’ve heard of the popularity that ‘Butcher of Blaviken’ has garnered among even the knights of Beauclair. Although I must say I’m a little concerned by the name still” she said. It shouldn’t have been too hard to believe. Most simply wanted to say they sold wine made by the Witcher who saved Beauclair. Not many people hold the honour of ‘The Order of Vitis Vinifera’ and fewer still hold the honour and make a product for people to consume. Considering it was also named after a massacre, well it had practically sold itself.

Anarietta shakily stood with the help of her sister. “On a more personal matter…” she said as she waddled towards him. “Could you… do me a favour?”

“Well I suppose it would depend on the nature of the favour Your Grace” Geralt said, noticing the smirk on Syanna.

“My sister is convinced she’s having twin sons Geralt. I say she’s having a single daughter. We made a bet” Syanna said. Anarietta sighed. In the 5 years since Geralt had saved Syanna from Dettlaff, he had never known her to be subtle about anything.

“I’m not sure how I could help with this, Your Grace. I certainly can’t tell an unborn baby's gender and it can be difficult to tell if a heartbeat is 1 or 2 if they're in any way in sync” he said. Anarietta bit her lip and sighed.

“It was a long shot I suppose… Thank you Geralt. I hope to see you soon after I give birth” she said. Geralt gave a short bow.

“I look forward to it, Your Grace” he turned and left.

...

Arriving at Corvo Bianco, Geralt was immediately greeted by Eskel leaving. “Off so soon?” he asked. Eskel nodded.

“Don’t worry, I’ll be back in time for Ciri’s birthday. Wouldn’t want to miss the only time we all get together” he said. “I’ll be back in a couple weeks with Lambert and Keira” he said, waving goodbye.

Geralt sighed and pulled Roach up into her stable. That was probably the best workout she’d gotten in at least 3 years. “Looking a little tired girl” Geralt muttered, removing his gear from her. Hopefully Yen wouldn't be too busy. He could do with an early night.

He had started removing his gauntlets when the door opened. "Good evening sir. I trust you will be having dinner?" Barnabas-Basil asked. Geralt just nodded and walked into his and Yennefer's room. 

Maybe they should open a bottle of their Butcher of Blaviken wine. He usually only drank into his profits on special occasions but after 2 weeks hunting a Cyclops, he felt he could do with something a little stronger. 

His Grandmaster crafted Wolven armour had gotten caked in blood. That would mean a few days work at the armour table to get it in presentable order for its armour stand. He was just about to take his boots off when there was a knock on the door. 

"I hope I haven't just seen you trekking mud into our bedroom Geralt" Yennefer said behind the door. Geralt cursed and looked down at his boots. They were certainly dirty, but were dry as a bone.

“Before you get changed, would you mind coming into the cellar? I need a little help with something” Yen said, getting slightly quieter as she walked away from the door. Geralt sighed. At least he only had his gauntlets to put back on.

Doing so as he walked back out the front door, he stopped just before crossing the threshold. The door was wide open and Yen was standing outside. Grinning at him. Not her usual soft smirk, but full on grinning. He walked toward her but before he could say a word, he was startled.

“Surprise!” 

Geralt felt a pair of arms grab him from behind. Even if he hadn’t seen her hair in the corner of his eye, Geralt recognised her voice anywhere.

“Ciri? You weren’t supposed to arrive for another few days” he said, trying to not fall over with the extra weight.

“She’s already been here a week. She’s actually helping me with a new herb I’ve been experimenting with” Yen said, walking to the wine cellar.

It didn’t surprise Geralt that Yen would drag Ciri into her work. Every time Ciri had come around the last few years, Yen always made an excuse to spend more time with her. A life away from politics had freed up her time, and she was determined to spend it with Geralt and Ciri as much as possible. 

“So, how come you’re here so early?” Geralt asked, holding Ciri close in his arm as they walked a few paces behind Yen.

“Well I was originally going to stay in Skellige with Hjalmar and Cerys for another week. Do a few contracts here and there. But Cerys told me she was due to meet with Papa, so I had to leave rather unexpectedly”

Geralt nodded. Ciri had come across some rather close calls in the last year. Emhyr thought she was dead. It wouldn’t be ideal if he were to find out his daughter faked her own death just to stay away from him.

“Yennefer says you’ve been away with Eskel”

“Yeah, the Ducal Court put a price on a Cyclops head. Was wandering too close to Beauclair for their liking. Still took more than a week to find the thing” he said. They walked down into the cellar. The room behind a brick wall that Geralt once used for mutagens was now solely used by Yennefer for brewing. Vials and bottles filled with all sorts of coloured liquid lined the shelves on the walls.

Ciri walked over to Yen and grabbed one of the vials off the wall. Yen handed Ciri a beaker and gave Geralt a herb. "This is going to sound ridiculous, but I need you to chop this with your silver sword. I've already broken 2 knives trying to cut it" 

It just looked like any old herb, barely longer than his thumb. Maybe the stem was a bit firmer than he'd expect, but it surely didn't warrant a sword. 

Geralt decided to not argue with her and unsheathed his sword. He probably looked stupid, positioning the sword to cut a little plant on the table. Yet he found himself needing to put his weight into it to actually slice the damn thing. 

"What the hell is this thing Yen?" he asked, grunting as he made another cut. The air around him suddenly reeked of sweetness. He gagged as he made a third cut. 

"Something delivered to me by Triss. She asked me to study it. Said she bought it off a merchant in Kovir, who obtained it himself east of even Zerrikania" Yen said going back and forth between handing Ciri a beaker or vial to mixing them and taking the vial back. 

Geralt grunted and gagged again as he made a fourth cut. Even Yen and Ciri seemed to be able to smell the overly sweet odour now. "That should do it" Yen said, her nose wrinkling from the smell. 

She handed Ciri a vial and grabbed the chopped up herb, holding her breath as she shoved it down the glass tube. At first, nothing seemed to happen. Then Geralt heard the glass crack. He held his hands up to his face to shield himself. 

Before any of them could do anything, the vial burst, spraying its contents all over Ciri and Yen. Geralt felt a drop land on his chest. It burned slightly as it slipped straight down. He could also feel a bit hand landed in his hair. 

The burning ceased as soon as it had started, and they just stood there. Slightly damp, but otherwise fine. Ciri, having been the one holding the vial, saw most of the potion land on her. She even had some splash on her face. Yen fared better, only having a few wet patches on her clothing.

"Fucking!…" Yennefer shouted, doing her best to maintain composure. "What the fuck?!" 

Geralt grabbed a cloth and tossed it to Ciri and Yen. "Should check for any magical side effects" he said, drying his gloves in the cloth. 

Yen sighed and nodded. "That was the only one Triss gave me. I'll have to contact her later. She has the whole plant with her"

Ciri ran the cloth over her face and hair to dry off. "Why would a simple herb cause it to explode?" she asked. Yen scoffed. 

"If I knew that, I wouldn't have put it in to begin with… I can't see any side effects" 

Geralt wiped his sword down and sheathed it. "Well, I'm sure contacting Triss can wait until after we catch up over dinner and wine?" 

Yen nodded and walked out. "She's not been this worked up since we came across the Djinn in Skellige" Geralt said.

"She'll be fine Geralt. I'm sure a few glasses of wine will calm her down" Ciri said, tossing the cloth on the table.

Indeed, Ciri was right. Yen was back to laughing as Ciri recounted her tales over a fourth bottle of wine. Geralt never said a word, only sat there smiling. He couldn’t help but think that Vesemir would be proud of how she’s done for herself on the path. A Witcher, she was not. But she definitely made a good go at acting the part.

From the Forktail that killed An Craite warriors in Kaer Trolde, to a Bruxa that hunted the residents of a small village in occupied Temeria, Ciri had seemingly done it all. She was slightly tipsy in her chair when she turned to Geralt.

“I… I think I could nearly do with a break from it all. How the hell did you manage to do it for decades?” Ciri asked, nearly spilling the glass as she took another sip.

“Oh it’s no use asking him that. You know the answer will be something to do with mutations” Yen said, breaking down into a fit of giggles. Geralt just smiled and sipped his wine as both women had their drunken giggle fit. Out of the 4 bottles, he’d barely had half of one.

“Haha! If I drink anymore, I fear I shall black out! B.B. you wouldn’t mind helping me up the stairs would you? I think it’s time I get some rest after all this wine” Ciri shakily stood, holding onto Barnabas-Basil’s arm for support. Geralt took that as his cue. Standing up, he surprised Yennefer by picking her up bridal style.

“Geralt!” Yen shouted, still giggling in her drunken state.

“You’ll have a terrible headache tomorrow if you drink anymore. Goodnight Ciri” he said, walking off toward their bedroom. “Plus, I haven’t seen you in 2 whole weeks” he whispered. Yen giggled, then purred.

“Feels like even longer since we’ve used the unicorn” she said, twirling his hair between her fingers. Geralt chuckled. He still hated the thing, but Yen was far too persistent. Maybe he’d mellowed just a little too much in a sedentary life, because he couldn’t even find it in him to argue.

He found his armour vanished along with everything Yen had been wearing. He'd figure out where she put them later… 

 

Geralt groaned as he stirred awake. Something felt… Off. He sat up on his elbows in the bed. Yen was fast asleep, drooling quiet heavily on her pillow. He moved his hand to his leg and felt a dampness. Looking under the covers, he groaned as quietly as he could. 

Maybe he should have stopped Yen on the third bottle instead of letting her open a fourth. Her panties were soaked, along with the bedsheets under them. He pulled the duvet off himself, taking care not to rouse Yen from her sleep. Barnabas-Basil would have his work cut out for him today. 

Thankful that he hadn't bothered putting any underwear back on after sex, Geralt took a towel out of a drawer and dried the side of his leg down. He scratched his chest, trying to put his everyday clothes on without waking Yen. 

She'd be a right grouch when she woke up realising she's pissed the bed. Better for him to leave before she does. He closed the door quietly, seeing Ciri sitting at the table nursing her forehead with a damp cloth.

"Rough night?" Geralt asked. Ciri groaned, moving the cloth just enough to see him out under it.

"Rough would be an understatement. Had a damn leak in the bed" she said. Geralt chuckled. 

"You and Yen both then. How have I surrounded myself with women who can't hold their alcohol?" he said as he took a seat. From the smell, Marlene must have breakfast on. Definitely bacon. Maybe sausages as well. 

Ciri covered her eyes again. "Brilliant. Grumpy Yennefer in the morning. Just what a hangover needs" she muttered. Geralt thought to ask how long she'd been up. Her thumb on the hand holding the cloth up looked like it's been soaking for hours from how wet and wrinkled it was. But just as he went to speak, Marlene brought out plates piled with meat. 

"There's no better cure for a hangover than a good fatty breakfast dearie" she said, placing the plates in the middle of the table. 

Geralt could hear Yen cursing quietly as he filled his plate. "Sounds like she's up" he muttered. Ciri never took her hand off the cloth as she forced a slice of bacon down. 

He scratched at his chest again as Yen walked out. She sat down next to him and started grabbing food as well. 

"I assume that'll be the last drinking night for both of you for a while" Geralt said. Yen tapped her foot against his. "Already told her Yen. And Ciri's in the same boat too" 

Yennefer scowled. "No, I don't suppose we'll be drinking much for a bit" 

Geralt grabbed his plate and stood up. "I'll be outside if you need me" 

He walked outside, the vineyard workers already going about their work. He strolled around the house, eating and scratching his chest. Maybe he ought to look at it. Yennefer's potion might not have had any residual magical effect, but it was clearly irritating his skin. 

He reached up to scratch his head where the potion had landed. It felt softer than usual. Like it had just been washed. As he came out to the back of the house, he saw a clothesline hanging up laundry. "Seems B.B. already washed Ciri's sheets" he said. He almost looked away when something caught his eye. 

It wasn't a piece of clothing he could say he's seen before. Making sure nobody was watching him investigate, he approached the clothesline to get a closer look at it. 

They looked like underwear, but they were far too big and thick. He scratched his chest again, taking a few steps closer. "Is that a… diaper?" he muttered. 

It couldn't be. They surely didn't make diapers this large. Yen hadn't been wearing one definitely. And while Marlene might be getting on in her age, she never washed her clothes or dried them at his house. Which only left Ciri. 

"But when would she have started wearing them?... And why?" he said. Deciding against being caught staring at drying clothes, he opted to go back inside. 

Ciri had left Yen alone at the table. "I'm not exactly in the mood for conversation Geralt" she said as Geralt stood beside her. 

"This is important. In the bedroom when you're ready" he whispered. Yen frowned but followed him anyway. After shutting the door he turned to Yennefer. 

"Did you notice anything strange about Ciri this morning?" he asked. Yen shook her head no, lips pursed shut. "Because I just saw a diaper drying on the clothesline outside. One big enough for an adult" 

That got her attention. "But… What?!" she stared at him, now slack jawed. "Well… It can't be hers Geralt. People don’t just start wearing… diapers in the space of a day" 

"That's why I asked. It was hung up with her bedsheets. She told me she… That she leaked in the bed last night" he said, Ciri's choice of words suddenly dawning on him. 

"Are you sure you didn't mistake it for… I don't know a shirt? Panties? Geralt I know Ciri and I both wet the bed last night but we were both too drunk to stand up!" Yen whispered harshly. 

"Yen I know what I saw. Are you sure your potion didn't leave any magical residue? My chest has been itching all morning too" he said. 

"Positive!" Yen said. She sat down on the desk, grabbing a tattered book that lay on it. 

"Go make sure she's okay. I'm certain I haven't overlooked anything but I can't imagine why she'd be wearing a diaper" Yen said, shooing him out of the room. 

Geralt walked upstairs, but only found B.B. putting new sheets on Ciri's bed. "I think she said she was going for a stroll through the vineyard sir" B.B. said without looking up. 

Geralt thanked him and strode outside. Sure enough he could see Ciri strolling along the first row of grape vines in the field beside his greenhouse. 

He tried getting closer without letting her see him. He almost fell over when he saw her more clearly. Her thumb that had been wet this morning was firmly planted in her mouth. The workers around her didn't even seem to take notice of it. 

A grown woman sucking her thumb might as well have been a common sight. He could clearly make out a bulge around her crotch now that he saw her walking. She was definitely wearing a diaper.

He felt the itch in his chest flare up. He only looked down for a second to scratch it but when he looked back up, something had changed. Ciri now had a bright pink bow in her hair. And she appeared to be holding something she hadn't been before. Geralt couldn't quite make out what it was but if he gets any closer she'll surely see him. 

He quickly strides back into the bedroom to tell Yen what he'd seen. But as soon as he'd entered, she started having a panic attack. 

"Geralt I don't know how to say this but it's worse than you thought!" she whispered. Yen looked on the verge of tears. A look Geralt wasn't accustomed to seeing. 

"What's wrong?" he asked, not really wanting to hear an answer. Yen didn't say anything, but lifted her dress to reveal a similar diaper to the one Geralt had seen on the clothesline. 

His chest flared up again. He cut himself a few times just trying to get the itch to go away. Yen groaned and held her head in her hands. 

"What should we do?" he asked, genuinely unsure what course of action could help them. Yen bit her lip and looked at him. 

"I can maybe make a salve to stop your chest itching but…" she turned back to the book. First he saw her eyebrows furrow in confusion. Then they rose as high as she could make them. "Oh fuck… " she whispered, now shaking.

"What is it?" he asked. She didn't answer so he stood next to her, scanning the page for something to cause such a reaction. 

"Geralt… I can't fucking read this anymore!"

 


 

End Chapter 1

A Mysterious Herb - A Witcher Story

by: Just4n0th3rUs3r | Story In Progress | Last updated Jul 20, 2021

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