Νόμος της Έκπληξης, a custom as old as humanity itself, is the price a man who saves another can demand. It is a request for something which neither the saviour nor the saved knows the nature of, until the saved man saved returns home. Typically this ends up being a child born while the father was away and more often than not, a boy — though there were at least two girls, Pavetta and Ciri.
"the first thing that comes to greet you"
When requesting "the first thing that comes to greet you", the price could be the likes of a dog, a halberdier at the gate or "a mother-in-law impatient to holler at her son-in-law when he returns home".
"what you find at home yet don't expect"
When requesting "what you find at home yet don't expect", the price could be a lover in the wife's bed, but sometimes, a child.
Involving Γκέραλτ της Ρίβια
- King Roegner της Cintra, as a reward to Urcheon της Erlenwald, promised him "whatever he had left at home without knowing or expecting it". This was his daughter Pavetta, who he officially returned for 15 years later, although they had already met before that time.
>These events are told in the short story Η Ερώτηση της Τιμής.
- After curing him from his curse, Duny offered whatever Γκέραλτ της Ρίβια asked for. Γκέραλτ asked for "that which you already have but do not know": Pavetta and Duny's daughter Ciri.
- Γκέραλτ unknowingly names Ciri as his reward a second time when he saves the life of Yurga, for while the man was away, his wife took in the orphan girl.
- Γκέραλτ himself is a victim of the Νόμος της Έκπληξης. It was because of the Νόμος της Έκπληξης that Γκέραλτ was taken in as a Witcher.
From legends and tales
- As a child, the legendary hero Zatret Voruta was given to the dwarves because he was the first person his father met on his return.
- Mad Deï demanded a traveller give him what he left at home without knowing it. This was the famous Supree, who later liberated Mad Deï from the curse that weighed him down.
- Zivelina became the Queen of Metinna with the help of the gnome Rumplestelt, and in return promised her first-born. Zivelena didn't keep her promise when Rumplestelt came for his reward and, by using spells, she forced him to run away. Not long after that, both she and the child died of the plague.