Even in the healthy lands of marsh, fertile lands and cobble stone roads of the Northern and Southern Nations, from Gustfield in the north to Bold Mountain in the south, creatures of all walks of life scratch and claw for any scraps they can get as towns and cities encroach on their shrinking land. Beasts from every folklore you can think of; Wives-tales told to keep children behaving and stories only talked about in legends, none of which seem to be the stuff of lies anymore as even a Downer can be seen in every corner of the marsh lands.
From Cintra in the north to Nilfigaard in the south, the nation’s stone pillar cities hold their stand within this amalgamation of creatures, showing refuge for some or death and torture to others.
[spoiler]SPOILER ALERT FOR MOVIES AND GAMES[/spoiler]
Cintra: A very powerful kingdom to the north, ruled by Queen Calanthe before the Nilfgaarden wars and the kingdom became an independent state but actually ruled by Emperor Emhyr va Emreis of Nilfgaard. During Calanthe’s rule, she was known as the Lioness of Cintra and admired for her beauty and bravery in battle but met her end to the battle of Marnadal, where Cintra fell into Nilfgaarden rule. Canotaph’s were raised in her honour by Skillige and by Emperor Emhyr in the crypt of Cintra.
[dropshadow][/dropshadow]Aedirn: Ruled by King Demavend, Aedirn is a nation still trying to rebuild itself after the wars with Nilfgaard, being one of the southern-most kingdoms in the north, it was the first nation to be invaded by Nilfgaard in both wars. King Demavend cares little for his country or his people and only for his power and position, he is easily led but he is also proud. Aedirn has a sordid relationship with Non-humans due to being located so close to both Dol Blathana (an elven state) and Mahakam (Dwarven state). Since the rise of the Scoia'tael though relations have worsened and non-humans are now the subject of discrimination and in worst cases pogroms.
Kaedwen: Kaedwen is an interesting land for many reasons, firstly it is a steadfast nation that is very proud and has a strong military and economy. Secondly its nobility and King are absolute whoresons of the highest degree, during the second war with Nilfgaard, Kaedwen actually plotted with the Black Ones to take the northern portion of Aedirn for themselves. They are exploitative and willing to step on anyone in order to get what they want. Despite this though many Kaedweni's have a deep loyalty for their King Henselt and view him as a man who puts the needs of Kaedwen above all else, which from their perspective is probably true. They detest non-humans plain and simple, Scoia'tael most of all, and as a result most non-humans despise Kaedwen.
Redania: Redania is also an interesting nation however with far more nuance than Kaedwen. Currently ruled by King Radovid, son of the great King Visimir who was murdered during the Second War with Nilfgaard. Redania is a great nation with a strong military and economy as well as a fairly functional feudal system, in that the nobility actually seems to care about Redania and The North as a whole. But it is a nation of great political depth, with spies and agents around every corner trying to learn every secret about everyone they can. Redania is mainly considered one of the strongest Northern kingdoms due to this relative stability. Redania is like a spider, it makes a very nice and pretty web, but it covers a wide area and its many legs can feel everything that happens. Little in the way of politics ever occurs in the North without Redanian knowledge; and often influence. Their relationship with non-humans is neither better or worse than anywhere else.
Temeria: At the best of times resembles a whore house on fire, but a deep seeded patriotism and pride keeps the nation together. Oddly enough Temeria is ruled by its King alone more so than any other nation in the North. King Foltest is a passionate man who rules and leads with his heart, and not always with his brain. He has earned both the ire and admiration of most all the other nations in the north and the absolute loyalty of the majority of his people. Foltest is a harsh but usually fair man who is actually surprisingly forward thinking when it comes to non-humans, he neither likes them nor dislikes them, he does however detest the scoia'tael, but not for their race, but because they are terrorists. If anything were ever to happen to Foltest the country would likely crumble, that is how much this man means to his nation.
Nilfgaard: The final 'kingdom' if you can call it that is the Empire of Nilfgaard which consists of every nation and principality south of the great Yaruga river. The empire is vast with a military and economical might that dwarfs any northern nation individually, and likely most of them combined. It is a home of great culture and learning as well as civilization. However magic is controlled with an iron fist and any mages/sorceresses are kept of a very short leash. Non-humans are actually liked in Nilfgaard, at least no less than the humans, which is why the Scoia'tael allied with the empire during the second war, even if they were eventually betrayed in the name of peace. The Empire is ruled almost entirely by the great Emperor Emhyr Var Emreis, also know as the White Flame Dancing on the Barrows of his Enemies. He rules with complete control and assurance and every noble and commander trembles at the mere thought of him, he is a dictator is every possible sense.
Elves are one of the humanoid races that inhabit the Continent. Forming a major part of the Elder Races, those known as Aen Seidhe came to the Continent on their white ships much earlier than humans, but later than the other Elder Races. They live much longer than humans and are usually very attractive.
Elves are capable of interbreeding with humans (thus producing half-elves and quadroons) and dryads. Though elves are incredibly long lived, only young elves are fertile, thus elven populations tend to reproduce at a slower rate than humans.
Like other nonhumans, elves are often persecuted by Nordlings. Because of that, many elves were members of the Scoia'tael guerrillas allied with Nilfgaard during the empire's second invasion of the Northern Kingdoms. In return, Emperor Emhyr var Emreis gave the elves a state of their own in Dol Blathanna and made Enid an Gleanna its queen.
Elves believe that they were created, unlike humans, who evolved. For this reason, some elves consider humans to be little more than hairless apes. Aside from Aen Seidhe, there exists another group of elves called Aen Elle that inhabits another world.
Elder Races or Old Races is a collective name used by humans to describe those who preceded them on the Continent. The so-called old races include:
Humans are the dominant race on the Continent, forming the majority of inhabitants in both the Northern Kingdoms and the Nilfgaardian Empire. When humans first arrived on the already-populated Continent, they quickly set about conquering the lands already inhabited by Elder Races. The humans thus established themselves as the dominant race and so elves, dwarves, gnomes, werebbubbs, and halflings are now generally referred to as nonhumans.
Humans are not terribly dissimilar from Aen Seidhe elves in appearance and generally the same height. However, humans do not have pointed ears, delicate features and their teeth are slightly bigger. While elves tend to live far longer than humans, humans reproduce at a faster rate.
Monsters: (to list some)
Sorceress and sorcerers:
A mage, is a person skilled and educated in the use of magic. Only rare individuals have the potential to become mages and many of those with this potential are doomed to madness. Unless the individual in question learns to control their power quickly, he or she may end up a half-insane, slobbering oracle. That is why schools of sorcery were created, where talented children study for many years, acquiring knowledge and mastering magical skills. Because of their powers, mages age more slowly than ordinary people.
They can extract magical energy from the four elements, transport themselves long distances and heal, as well as kill, in the blink of an eye. They have extensive scientific and political knowledge; in the latter respect, many mages are the equals of rulers.
The Lodge of Sorceresses arose from the ruins of the Brotherhood of Sorcerers after the incident on Thanedd Island essentially killed the older order among mages. It was a secret organization composed entirely of female mages and even referred to as a sisterhood due to no men being invited, as the sorceresses saw men as too incompetent to handle governing areas of magic
Witcher’s and their schools
A Witcher is someone who has undergone extensive training, ruthless mental and physical conditioning, and mysterious rituals in preparation for becoming an monsterslayer for hire.
Taken in as children, witchers-to-be are subjected to intense alchemical processes, consumption of mutagenic compounds, and relentless physical and magical training to make them dangerous and highly versatile against their vast array of opponents, many of which possess superhuman speed, strength and/or other deadly powers.
The key permanent results of mutations shared by all witchers include:
-Cat-like eyes that grant very acute nightvision - witchers can constrict their pupils to see in blinding light or open them to see in near pitch darkness. Their entire sensory system is overall enhanced, allowing them to identify the species of animal from the scent of their blood, and detect nearby beings even when out of sight.
-Tremendous resistance to disease and a boosted immune system, allowing them to consume large quantities of potions that could prove easily deadly if consumed even in small amounts by a normal man.
-Exceptionally increased strength, speed, reflexes, and endurance, far beyond any normal or well-trained human, that allows them to swiftly end fights with minimal effort and perform physical feats non-witchers couldn't hope to match. A witcher's physical skills alone are sufficient to defeat most monsters single-handedly if combined with extensive training and proper weaponry, whereas regular men could only hope to accomplish this in large groups.
-Having the ability to perform simple yet incredibly versatile combat magic in the form of signs. They also develop a sixth sense that allows them to "feel" things around them, be it items of importance or people's immediate intentions. This explains their uncanny ability to track and hunt people and monsters.
-No capacity for emotion
-Accelerated healing granting quick recovery from injuries.
-Incredibly long lifespan and prolonged youth
-They cover proficiency in basically any weapon that comes to hand.
These swords are typically carried on the back. A steel blade used for more mundane beings, while a silver blade for beasts of the supernatural. Witchers are also frequent mixers and users of powerful potions, having developed an advanced tolerance to their inherent toxicity, but still limited to a few at a time. Finally, their formal magical training deals with signs.
School of the Wolf (The Advanced)
The school of the Wolf is the most recognised Witcher school with the highest reputation for their professionalism and reliable monster killing methods. The school of the Wolf or the order of the Witchers is the most advanced school due to their advanced technology of bombs and traps. They use medium strength and medium flexibility armour along with their two silver and steal swords.
School of the Crane (Ranged)
Those from the Crane school are skilled in both swords and early guns, proving to be the best for monsters by air or sea, which can be encountered on the long routes between cities. A Witcher from the school of the Crane prepares a long rope with one end to bind to the mast of a vessel and the other to a close-fitting protective suit covering their bodies. When not expecting to fight, they prefer to wear not significant armour.
School of the Manticore
Those from the Manticore wear medium armour and, light the school of the Wolf, are very skilled fighters with Steal and silver swords. The school of the Manticore have less members than the school of the Wolf does, due to either dying out or being attacked. The Manticore have stronger armour with more flexibly and less durable to wear but the sword skills of the Manticore school does not equal that of the Wolf; The members still being skilled fighters but not as strong as those from the Wolf.
School of the Viper (Knowledgeable assassins)
The most secretive of the schools. The Vipers manage to collect an incredible collection of books and scrolls. The school of the Viper was said to have been created to figure out what the wild hunt is and fight it, by their extensive knowledge from books and scrolls They are trained on twin small blades and an assassination-based approach to killing monsters. Their fighting style features sinuous, unpredictable movements using the two blades.
School of the Griffin (Mages)
The school of the witchers headquarters and are known as one of the known ssplinter fractions of the order. The Griffins, with their high social etiquette, are considered to be knightly and have nothing against killing dragons. Some say they earned their name by exterminating nearly all of the griffins of the Koviri mountains while others say the Griffin banner was choosing by the schools founder. The griffins school equipment is of medium weight and amplifies the intensity of the wearer’s signs, so much so that the school specializes in the use of magic.
School of the Bear (Tanks)
The School of the Bear was one of five known witcher schools. By 1272, it had long disappeared into the annals of history. The witcher Gerd was the few known member of the school.
Witchers of the Bear School wore heavier gear: "Ursine" armor. Along with the Cat School, they are the only know Witcher schools to use crossbows in their hunt.
School of the Cat (Assassins)
School of the Cat is a "school" of ragtag witchers whose current headquaters are located in the travelling Dyn Marv Caravan. The Cats (or Felines) were witchers who developed fighting styles focusing on speed, precision, and agility. As a result, witchers using them do not deal a lot of raw damage but can inflict deadly critical hits. By extension, their gear was designed to maximize flexibility and provide the greatest possible range of motion.
Unfortunately, members of the school proved as flexible in terms of morals and politics as their armor. Over time, they became pariahs even among other witchers, due to their proclivity for assassinations, murder, and other activities not part of the witcher curriculum. One of the possible reasons for that was the mutation process, which tended to create an abnormal number of psychotic witchers. Regardless of the reasons, they are known to have betrayed the Wolf School which led to the massacre during the tournament. Curiously, it appears the Cats were the only school to accept women as witcher candidates.