The witcher once said that in his life he had met thieves who resembled city councilors, councilors who were like begging louts, harlots who behaved like princesses, princesses who smelled like pregnant cows and kings who looked like thieves. King Henselt did not look exactly like a thief, but, with all due respect, he was not far off. He owed this resemblance only partly to his bearded countenance, beady eyes and wandering, yet penetrating gaze. His annexation of Lormark, called Upper Aedirn by its natives, at a time when Aedirn was fighting off the Nilfgaardian hoard at its southern border, was also considered a theft. The now dead King Demavend judged this deed severely and communicated this in curt yet resonant words. Yet that was not the sole reason for King Henselt's reputation as an unpleasant person, much bolstered by the monarch's ambitions and quarrels with his neighbors, and by his ruthless policies towards nonhumans, whom he persecuted with a passion, squandering his realm's strength and funds.
The aging Henselt did not have a living heir, and the rumor was that he had found producing another son somewhat troublesome.
Henselt's virility may have lessened with age, but his ambition certainly had not. The king wanted to wage a war and reclaim Lormark, a province he had already given up once, no matter the cost.
The king reaped that which his deeds had sown years earlier, when he and Nilfgaard jointly partitioned Aedirn. Though he returned the stolen lands, there were many among the Kaedweni who considered Henselt's assault on an ally to have been dishonorable. These men created a conspiracy against their corrupt ruler, adding a new cause for concern to his pile of worries.
Kaedwen's king had been terribly cursed by the sorceress Sabrina Glevissig, whom he had condemned to death.