The years after Rinde were a waste of Yennefer's time. As she searched for a way to restore her womb, she got more and more desperate. With every failed attempt she was reminded of what Tissaia has said in Rinde. Remembering her filled her with determination to keep looking, to prove her wrong. Everything had changed in Rinde. Before, she would often find herself thinking back on her time in Aretuza… with Tissaia.
She of course didn't miss that horrible place, only an idiot would miss a place filled with torture and pain. She didn't miss Tissaia either! That wretched hag is the reason she suffered so much, she was cruel and manipulative. The rectoress had always been breathing down Yennefer's neck when she was there. She would say horrible things to her, tell her that her life didn't matter, ridicule her at every turn, smile when she did something right… That doesn't matter! Tissaia was horrible and Yennefer hated her. End of story.
Yennefer still hates the Arch-mistress, and she's glad to be rid of her constant mental bombardment. On her travels though, she was faced with a new kind of intrusive presence. Geralt of Rivia, the Witcher that saved her from the Djinn. It's amazing to think that in her 3 lifetimes she had yet to run into a Witcher, but the first one she meets she can't seem to be rid of. Her thoughts of him aren't unpleasant, most of the time. He actually seems to make her feel some sort of happiness, or at least contentment. She can't help the nagging in the back of her head telling her that it's wrong though, something about she and him just doesn't sit right with her. So she never stays. He never bothered to stay the first time in Rinde, so why should she bother?
It wasn't until their last meeting that she finally understood. Borch, who she had later found out was a golden dragon, revealed Geralt's treachery. No, Gearalt hadn't just saved her from that cursed Djinn. He had her bound to him for the rest of their lives. It's oddly poetic really, Yennefer Of Vengerburg who belongs to no one gets leashed to a Witcher.
From that point on her goals changed, she is now in search of a way to undo what the white haired mutant had done. Over that time, she had found very few solutions, and bothered to try with fewer. So far, all that she had learned were two things. That she would need to find a Djinn, because only a Djinn can take back another's magic, and that only her true soulmate could undo the artificial bond. True love's kiss and all of that nonsense. Yennefer, being who she is, opted for the harder of the two at first, finding a Djinn. She was unsuccessful, mainly because every Djinn she had a lead on was either free from servitude and she couldn't find the seal to their urn, or they just didn't exist.
That is what brought Yennefer to Nazir, to Istredd of all people. Yennefer still bore some resentment towards him, but he was the first person who ever loved her for who she was. If she was to truly have a soulmate, it would have to be him, it just makes sense doesn't it? It's just utterly disappointing that when she kisses him, nothing happens. Well, Yennefer is shit out of luck, at least that's what she thinks to herself when Istredd leaves her. Good for him though, at least he knows what's good for him, apparently it's not all dust between his ears.
Things get really interesting after that little debacle though. Vilgefortz of Roggeveen has sat in front of her and practically dropped a solution into her lap. Tissaia De Vries needs her. Now, it would have been smart to have gone to the enchantress sooner. Despite Yennefer's many qualms with the woman she can't deny that she is brilliantly talented and competent. She will never admit as much out loud though, least in front of the cocky mage sitting before her. But with this new development, Yennefer has an excuse to ask for the Rectoress's help.
Tissaia would no doubt owe her for whatever it is she needs her for - Yennefer didn't have in her mind to care about anything else Vilgefortz was saying, it didn't really matter to her. It would be within all reason to have Yennefer call in the favor and have her help with this Djinn problem. It's all really just too perfect. Perhaps Destiny has decided to stop screwing her over, now that would be a lovely change. Onward to Aretuza, because gods forbid that she wastes an opportunity like this.
Tissaia knew better than to get her hopes up. No, Yennefer being in Aretuza could mean only one thing, she's here to struggle trouble. When Tissaia had heard that Yennefer of Vengerberg had waltzed into the building, she felt as if she was going to die right then and there. It has been around twelve years since they'd last seen each other, since Rinde. During that time Tissaia had been keeping a close eye on Yennefer's escapades. Finding out about what happened with the Djinn had been far too easy. You give a bard a good flirt and get them drunk, and it's as if the world is at your fingertips. Such a metaphor is ridiculous considering that Tissaia, in reality, does have some of the world at her beck and call.
This "Jaskier" fellow was very verbal about the many times his Witcher and her former student had… run into each other. (She had gotten more details than she really cared for) It didn't end wonderfully for the two though, much to Tissaia's satisfaction, Yennefer had found out from a golden dragon about Geralt's treachery. It's actually very disappointing, the Witcher could have told her and saved himself the trouble. But it's just like a man to think that what a woman doesn't know won't hurt her, regardless as to whether it's in her best interest or not.
The rest of Yennefer's no doubt chaotic venture are left to be told through whispers and rumors brought to her here in Aretuza. Not much is to be found in that regard, just whispers of a mage in search of a Djinn. Tissaia could have assumed that much, considering the situation. What shocks Tissaia is the sudden disappearance of three of her novices and word of the temperamental sorceress walking about her halls. Knowing Yennefer, Tissaia knows that she will be trying to taint and tarnish whatever reputation she has left. So Tissaia makes off to find as soon as possible, following the tell-tale chaos signature that she will never forget.
It's no secret that Yennefer is one of Tissaia's greatest failures, according to the Chapter. To Tissaia, despite the impulsive young woman not leading the life Tissaia wanted for her, Yennefer is the most capable of any sorceress she has ever taught. Philippa Elihart could stand to improve in comparison to Yennefer, and that is saying a lot considering Philippa is the most influential mage on the continent, and a master of polymorphy.
When she has finally found Yennefer, and her three missing students, they are at the pool of conduit eels. Of course Yennefer would bring them here. Tissaia waits a moment before interrupting, trying to time her entry perfectly. There is a saddening amount of truth in what Yennefer is saying, there is no guarantee that you will get what you want, no matter what you do. It's then that Tissaia decides to cut in.
"Enough!" All of their eyes are suddenly trained on her, the girls looking on in fear, and Yennefer looks at her in shock, standing abruptly. Her mouth is open just a bit, as if wanting to say something, or just simply gaping at her like some sort of codfish. It would be amusing to Tissaia, if the circumstances were different.
"Back to your rooms, girls." After saying this, the three girls retreat quickly up the stairs. Tissaia looks to the ground, taking a moment to ensure that the girls have actually listened, before looking up to meet Yennefer's eyes. Tissaia missed those eyes, though she loathes to admit it.
"You ruined one life. Stop there." Tissaia says, taking a breath and looking back to the floor. She gathers her skirts in her hands and turns, walking up the staircase from where she came. Tissaia, for the barest of moments, is unsure whether she had meant the ruining of her own life, or the young mage she had spoken too. It would be fair to say that Yennefer had ruined her life. Tissaia lost many things when Yennefer forced herself into Aedirn, when Yennefer abandoned her post at court, when Yennefer started her search for a cure, when Yennefer cursed her name and Aretuza, when Yennefer openly defied the will of the Brotherhood, and when Yennefer refused to see reason and return with her to Thanedd. Tissaia has lost a great many things because of her.
Her influence on the Chapter has waned, the funds provided to her school have been lessened, her respectability and ability to provide skilled and loyal mages for court were questioned. She now has to allow magic-less girls into her school because the chapter feels that more "noble" mages are needed. But those are only some of the many things Yennefer has ruined in Tissaia's life, the only ones that any other person will ever know. Tissaia knows though. That Yennefer has made her weak, has made her lose control, has made her ache in a way unknown to her for many years. It doesn't matter, because the woman in question is behind her, and she is speaking to her.
"I never wanted to come back here!" Tissaia stops in her tracks. Then why come back? She wants to say, but she will not. She turns to Yennefer and answers,
"Then you failed at that, too." Yennefer steps closer to her, a nearly smug smile on her face. It's barely there, but Tissaia could never miss that subtle grin, not after spending so long seeing it in her mind's eye.
"Look at this place, it's a joke. Letting in girls who can't even do magic" Yennefer says, and she isn't wrong, Aretuza has become a joke. Tissaia wishes desperately that she could disagree, but knows it's pointless. She also knows that despite this, she had no choice in the matter, she needed to survive. She has nothing else, so she had to adapt.
"Sometimes, you have to compromise in order to survive." Tissaia says quickly, fighting to keep her voice even. How pathetic, if her former rectoress could see her now she would be disappointed.
"You say I never took responsibility for the way my life turned out. What about you?" It's a fraction of a second, just long enough for Tissaia to feel a small tinge of guilt. She was thinking of a reply when an influx of mages walk through the doors, all heading in one direction. The conclave. She barely registers Yennefer's question about what's going on. Wasting no time, she walks briskly away before saying ore to herself than anyone else,
"It's happening." She knows her anxiousness has managed to seep into those words, but she doesn't care. Right now there are more pressing matters to attend to. Mages from all over the continent filter into the room, familiar faces all around. Many of these sorcerers and sorceresses she hasn't seen in well over 70 years.
Cintra and Nilfgard have been at odds for hundreds of years, and it's not for a lack of trying on Nilfgard's part, Cintra has always been too proud to get along with Nilfgard. Now the tension between the two kingdoms has reached a breaking point. War is on the horizon, and Nilfgard is out for blood. Despite Nilfgard's clear target for Cintra, Tissaia knows all too well that Cintra is not where the bloodshed will end. She's seen it hundreds of times, and even less so she has been able to stop it. Perhaps this once, with the threat of mages opposing the brotherhood, she may be able to do something.