Original (pre-June 2019 patch) Homecoming's seasonal trees' entries. Note that even before this patch not all of the nodes were present in the trees.
January: Season of the Wolf
Season of the Wolf
- Scroll 1: Of all the witcher schools, the School of the Wolf is most widely recognized. Its notoriety is due largely to its most famous member, one Geralt of Rivia... Yet, is also due in part to Kaer Morhen's tragic past.
- Scroll 2: This fortress, situated at the edge of the world, tucked away in the mountains of Kaedwen, had served throughout the ages as the home for witchers of the Wolf School. At one time, dozens had lived there... Today, you could count its living members on the fingers of one hand.
- Scroll 3: For years upon years, witchers have been ostracized and vilified by humans. And yet, rather than quash false rumors and gossip, they bided their time, convinced their actions would speak louder than words. When, one fateful day, a frenzied mob assembled before their gate, they had realized their error. By then, however, it was already too late.
- Scroll 4: Today, the fortress of Kaer Morhen lies in ruin. Its towers are slowly crumbling, its walls are collapsing, the roofs have given way to rot. The Wolf School's last remaining witchers still try to keep their home intact – yet without any real conviction. They know their time has all but passed.
- Chest 1: Following a massacre from decades past, Kaer Morhen was besieged yet again – this time by Salamandra, a secretive and powerful criminal organization, which at these times shook the underworld of Temeria and Redania to its core. Although the witchers managed to defend their home, they failed to prevent the theft of their witcher mutagens. The consequences of their failure were evident before long...
- Chest 2: The Wolf School's obstacle course on which witchers-in-training honed their balance and endurance was commonly called "The Gauntlet." As you might surmise from its name, the exercises on this trail proved an extreme challenge. Ambitious, young witcher lads were made to perform pirouettes on a narrow beams, dodge massive, spiked logs, and duel with mobile sparring dummies... Oh, and while blindfolded.
- Chest 3: Every witcher from the School of the Wolf wears a silver medallion in that predator's image. Not only do they serve as an identifying marker of the school, but also as a protective amulet. The magic-imbued pendant vibrates and hums when its owner draws close to a Place of Power... Or a dangerous monster.
- Scroll 1: Does such a man truly need introduction? Well, for those living under a rock, I present to you Geralt of Rivia – witcher from the School of the Wolf, known to elves and dryads as Gwynbleidd, the greatest swordsman of the North. Behold the White Wolf – a true legend for the ages.
- Scroll 2: Geralt's list of feats seems to go on without end. It was he who lifted the curse that plagued Princess Adda of Temeria, expelled the djinn from the city of Rinde, and slew the King of the Wild Hunt. Yet was there anything from his life of which he was most proud?
- Scroll 3: Indeed, there was – being a good father to Ciri. He taught her everything he knew, surrounded her with love, and gave her support in their most difficult times. When Ciri's circumstances were most dire and she sought him out for help, Geralt never let her down.
- Scroll 4: For you see, though Geralt of Rivia had survived the Trial of the Grasses, possessed superhuman reflexes and catlike eyes, and was on first-name terms with kings, his desire in life was quite simple. He wished to be with people he loved – and to have all others leave him be.
- Chest 1: Did you know that Geralt of Rivia did not, in fact, hail from Rivia? Having been an orphan, he adopted the by-name in place of the surname he never had. Initially, the witcher had planned to dub himself Geralt Roger Eric du Haute-Bellegarde, but his mentor, Vesemir, in a few short yet sharp words, convinced him it might not be the best idea. And rightfully so!
- Chest 2: Geralt had the custom of giving all his horses the very same name – Roach – no matter whether stallion or mare. And every steed which bore the name was exceptionally well-mannered. One whistle and the horse would appear right at his side. That is, given that there weren't any obstacles in the way...
- Chest 3: At every opportunity – even if the situation hadn't called for it – Geralt expressed his hatred for portals. A perfectly reasonable attitude given that portals are not the safest means of transport, despite what mages would have you believe. It's not uncommon for a traveler to experience nausea and headaches after emerging from a portal – even to emerge in an entirely unexpected location. Or, indeed, fail to emerge at all.
February: Season of Love
Season of Love
- Scroll 1: It is often said that love knows no bounds. On the Continent, however, the truth is far less poetic. Everyone knows their place. Aristocrats are forbidden to consort with common folk, and humans likewise with elves. Though there is one notable exception to the rule... Belleteyn.
- Scroll 2: For one night, and one night only, when spring tilts into summer, conventions and taboos be damned. Anyone, regardless of age, race, or lineage, can take part in the revelry... To later steal away with their dance partners to a more secluded spot...
- Scroll 3: And what of the other three hundred sixty-four days? Sadly, not all are fortunate enough to spend their lives with those they love. Marriages are often arranged by parents, who place their own interests far above the destined-to-be-wed.
- Scroll 4: For most on the Continent, love is a short-lived, ephemeral dream. Perhaps for that reason, ballads about true love are particularly popular... Especially those featuring the witcher Geralt and the sorceress Yennefer.
- Chest 1: Each race possesses its own unique matrimonial customs. Humans scatter bread and salt before the betrothed, who then pledge fidelity to each other and exchange wedding bands. Elves weave one another garlands of wildflowers and float them atop water. And dwarves? Spit in the hand and deliver a high-five with all one's strength.
- Chest 2: Those who desired the pleasures of the flesh without the entanglements of emotion or commitment were warmly welcomed to Novigrad's esteemed "Passiflora." For the price of one crown-filled purse, they could experience a moment of purest ecstasy and intoxication in the arms of their chosen lover ...
- Chest 3: There's a saying among witchers: the greater the affection, the greater the affliction. Indeed, many monstrosities are born of love, in some manner at least. Curses cast by spurned lovers can possess incredible power and can bind the souls of their victims even after death, condemning them to roam the world of the living as wraiths...
- Scroll 1: Like most artists, Dandelion was deeply moved by beauty. He could be utterly carried away by the mosaic of dancing light on morning dew, the melodious trills of songbirds, and the soft rustling of reeds in a summer's breeze... Though what took his breath away most was that gentle curve leading from slim waist to firm derrière.
- Scroll 2: Dandelion had dozens, if not hundreds of lovers. Yet one must admit he was unusually egalitarian in his romantic pursuits. Whether revered duchess or humble washerwoman, Dandelion admired all womankind.
- Scroll 3: On numerous occasions, Dandelion was forced to flee from gentleman caught in a fury, their faces crimson and eyes burning with hatred. At sight of the bard running terrified through the streets, gracious townswomen opened their doors left and right, offering sanctuary... And thus the cycle began anew.
- Scroll 4: Eventually, Dandelion met his match. After years of flirts, romances, and affairs – with many a broken heart left in his wake – Dandelion discovered the love of his life... Priscilla – a trobairitz who boasts an equal, if not superior musical talent to the famed bard himself.
- Chest 1: Dandelion relished any opportunity to mention that he graduated from the prestigious Oxenfurt Academy. That said, he always failed to disclose that a three-year baccalaureate took him nearly a decade to complete due, in part, to three suspensions. What's more, toward the end of his studies, he was also ordered to remain at all times at least one hundred feet from the alchemy department – a rather lenient punishment considering his failed experiments nearly reduced it to cinders...
- Chest 2: Many who knew Dandelion considered him a licentious rake, among other things. Sigismund Dijkstra, former head of the Redanian intelligence service, once remarked that although the troubadour was aged over forty years, he looked like he was thirty, imagined he was twenty, and behaved like he was ten. To those who knew him best, however, it was apparent that the famous poet was shrewder that he often let on.
- Chest 3: Though Dandelion was most famous as a poet and a bard, he was quite the jack of all trades. He once owned a tavern in Novigrad, lectured at Oxenfurt, and even tried his hand as an informant. While inspired in small part by a patriotic sense of duty, he ultimately viewed espionage and intrigue as a way to enhance his repertoire of seductive charms. For a time, Dandelion sent reports to the Redanian intelligence service. Granted, their usefulness was questionable, and fact tended to blend with fiction. Contrary to his claims, Dandelion's contributions to intelligence and security proved greatly exaggerated.
March: Season of the Bear
Season of the Bear
- Scroll 1: The School of the Bear... Little is known about it, yet one look at their custom armor reveals telling details of the witchers who wear it. A hardy quilted gambeson, heavy mail extending to the knees, plate armor spaulders to protect the shoulders...
- Scroll 2: A witcher equipped in such gear would not leap from raking claws, nor sidestep a beast's gnashing fangs. There is no need, for he can endure the blows... And ensure a short distrance from which he can exact his revenge.
- Scroll 3: Unlike witchers from the Wolf School – who possess strong bonds of friendship and brotherhood – those from the Bear School prefer a solitary lifestyle, away from the company of other witchers. Should they encounter others on the path, however, rarely does it end without bloodshed.
- Scroll 4: Bear witchers often travel to the Skellige Isles – and this should come as no surprise. For the islands have no shortage of monsters and the witchers get along rather well with the similarly brash, bearded locals...
- Chest 1: Queen Meve of Lyria and Rivia once encountered a witcher from the School of the Bear. His name was Ivo. His dark complexion suggested he originally hailed from the warm climate of the Continent's southern regions. Whereas, the bluntness with which he responded to the queen's questions suggested he rarely conversed with heads of state...
- Chest 2: A witcher from the School of the Bear once ventured into Toussaint. Junod of Belhaven was his name – as big as a mountain, with a beard that would put a dwarf elder to shame. He accepted a contract to slay a monster that dwelled in the caverns beneath Marcescent Forest. Alas, he was never seen again...
- Chest 3: Just where is the School of the Bear? Some say hidden amidst the Slopes. Others argue it's found farther south, beyond the Amell Mountains. In fact, no one truly knows. And it's no surprise that Bear witchers have kept their whereabouts a secret, for the slaughter of the Wolf and Cat schools was known far and wide...
- Scroll 1: Jaw clenched, eyes narrowed, frayed chaperon atop his head. His name uttered by non-humans to frighten their naughty children. This is Vernon Roche, commander of the Blue Stripes elite special forces unit.
- Scroll 2: Considered by some a hero, by others a criminal, though perhaps Thaler put it best. "A bloody patriot and rotten..." Well... You get the idea.
- Scroll 3: Roche had the lives of countless enemies on his conscience. Many even who had raised their arms in surrender, no doubt. After all, the Blue Stripes take no prisoners...
- Scroll 4: Though Vernon Roche had locked swords with Kaedwenis, Aedirnians, and Redanians, he despised none more than the Scoia'tael... And the feeling was mutual.
- Chest 1: Vernon Roche never graduated the officers' academy, nor did ever bury his nose in the chronicles of bygone wars. He acquired his experience, rather, by drunken brawls in dark alleys and smokey taverns. Had Foltest never seen something in him and pulled him from the gutter, his fate may have turned out differently altogether.
- Chest 2: The Blue Stripes special forces unit was created to pacify the Scoia'tael prescence in Temeria. Its beginnings were difficult as few soldiers were eager to hunt elves in the forest. Rather than accept a slow stream of volunteers, Vernon decided to enlist prisoners – deserters, swindlers, and bandits included. Most perished quickly, pierced by the silent arrows of the Squirrels... Leaving only the most hardiest and craftiest whoresons in his ranks.
- Chest 3: Many claim they would do anything for their homeland, but when push comes to shove, these noble pledges often fall short. Vernon Roche proved a stark exception, willing to make any sacrifice for Temeria. Thus, when Nilfgaard occupied the kingdom, he refused to hang up his sword. And even though his squad numbered just a shade over twenty, the Temerian partisans were never extinguished.
April: Season of the Elf
Season of the Elves
- Scroll 1: The Aen Seidhe, the People of the Hills. Traces of their magnificence remain visible to this day. Palace ruins still hidden in dense forests, mysterious towers standing atop mountain peaks, sculptures carved from marble white as fresh snow. But the elves themselves? Their numbers continue to dwindle.
- Scroll 2: Their decline rests in the fact that, although the Aen Seidhe surpass humans in longevity, magical aptitude, and knowledge of the natural world, they are at a disadvantage in one important regard – fertility.
- Scroll 3: Although elves can live for centuries, they can only conceive children during their youngest years. Even then, only one out of every two or three couples will successfully bear a child. Humans, on the other hand – well... They seem to have mastered the process.
- Scroll 4: Consequently, though the elves had at first defeated the humans time and time again, they quickly realized that ultimate victory would prove impossible. For whenever they killed one man, another five stood ready to take his place.
- Chest 1: Elves have a unique aptitude for magic. In fact, it was the Aen Seidhe who created the first spells and helped humans to master them – a gesture of goodwill in the hopes of peaceful coexistence. The elven mages of greatest renown are known as the Aen Saevherne – known more simply as "sages." The world withholds few secrets from these elves, for in addition to magic, they are adept in the fields of alchemy, astronomy, and astrology... Why, even genetics.
- Chest 2: Many Nordlings believe that the roots of the Nilfgaardian people extend far back to an elven tribe sometimes referred to as the Black Seidhe. This would explain much. After all, their language is derived from Elder Speech, the Empire is far more developed than the North, and they treat non-humans with much less hostility... However, the truth behind such characteristics is rather different. Whereas the people of the south simply chose to adopt some of the elves' best traits, the people of the north opted for slaughter.
- Chest 3: Though elves are quick to paint themselves as victims of human expansion, their own consciences are far from clear. The foothills of the Blue Mountains and the shore of Loc Muinne are strewn with the ruins of ancient Vran cities. Underneath them lie caverns still littered with the bones of this intelligent reptilian race who had dwelled there well before the Aen Seidhe's arrival. Close inspection of their remains suggests that the Vrans were not wiped out by natural causes.
- Scroll 1: Today, It is commonly believed that the elven kingdom's demise was inevitable. Yet, who can know truly? If not for Aelirenn's intervention, history may have followed an altogether different path.
- Scroll 2: Humans and elves had agreed to a peace agreement approximately two hundred years ago. As result of the accord, the kingdom of elves – which had once stretched from the Great Sea to the Blue Mountains – was reduced to a mere scrap of land. Nevertheless... It persisted.
- Scroll 3: Then emerged Aelirenn. "No more truces, no more elves on bent knee," she would profess. "This is elven land. We will take back what was stolen! We shall drive the ape-men into the sea!"
- Scroll 4: The elders had warned that Aelirenn's plan would likely spell suicide. Despite their protestations, the realm's young and spirited refused to heed the elders' advice, choosing instead to follow Aelirenn's fiery rhetoric. As promised, her warriors would indeed find honor. Honor... And death.
- Chest 1: Although more than two hundred years have passed since Aelirenn's rebellion, her memory yet lives on. At the palace of Shaerrawedd, situated in the wilds of Kaedwen, Scoia'tael warriors continue to tend to Aelirenn's beloved garden – her treasured white roses in particular. On occasion, human travelers have inadvertently stumbled upon the hallowed grounds. Enchanted by the beauty of this ivy-strewn relic of the past, some took a rose for posterity – woefully unaware of the flower's cherished significance...
- Chest 2: Due to her petite and frail frame, Aelirenn never gained the reputation of legendary warrior. Rather, she is remembered for her ability to orate, to inspire in the face of common sense and better judgment. When she called for war, resistance from the elders proved futile to stop her. The last elven king and his advisers knew full well that defeat on the battlefield would herald the eventual destruction of their race. With tears in their eyes, they watched on from palace windows as the elven kingdom's last line of defense marched off to war in the face of impossible odds.
- Chest 3: Aelirenn's banner did not bear a coat of arms nor seal of the elven kingdom. She used but a simple circle, for this represented the globe and thus the scope of her ambitions. The other Elder Races – dwarves, halflings, and gnomes – looked upon the standard with a feeling of unease. They knew not the fate that would await them should the White Rose of Shaerawedd achieve victory... Humans, on the other hand, merely laughed at the sight of the Aelirenn's standard. Why? Because any fool with half a brain knows the world is flat...
May: Season of the Viper
Season of the Viper
- Scroll 1: It is oft said that witchers took on the characteristics of their schools' namesake creatures. Without a doubt, this was true of the Viper School. They were agile, quick, and frequently made use of deadly poisons.
- Scroll 2: As with the other witcher schools – the Wolves' Kaer Morhen as sole exception – none were aware of the Viper School's location. Only one detail ever became widely known... That it stood somewhere south of the Yaruga. In Nilfgaard.
- Scroll 3: Perhaps it's no wonder then that Vipers were less inclined to neutrality than other witchers. The Empire would never recognize such a stance. There is only obedient servant... Or mortal enemy.
- Scroll 4: For this reason, few in the North were surprised to learn that the assassin of King Demavend III of Aedirn and King Foltest of Temeria wore a viper-shaped medallion – and that soon thereafter Nilfgaard readied itself for war.
- Chest 1: The School of the Viper no longer exists, yet what exactly led to its demise is not precisely known. Most likely, it was closed by Emhyr var Emreis when he no longer found value in it. Knowing the emperor and his favored methods, one could reasonably suspect that the school's closure spelled a death sentence for every one of its members.
- Chest 2: Today, weapons and armor from the Viper School are collectors' items for Vedyminaica enthusiasts – those who occupy themselves with the literature and history of the witcher profession. The owner of the largest collection of such relics was the Countess Mignole of Oxenfurt. Yet what compelled a highborn lady to take such a keen interest in monster hunters? She alone holds the answer.
- Chest 3: Although witchers are hired to protect people from monsters, they are often repaid with distrust – even outright hostility. Kolgrim, a witcher from the Viper School, experienced such suspicion firsthand. While working on a contract in White Orchard, a local boy went missing. The villagers unanimously accused the witcher of abducting the child, and – ignoring his pleas of innocence – brought the witcher's life to a gruesome end. The townsfolk learned later that the boy had been killed by a drowner. Alas, it was too late for their judgment to be undone...
- Scroll 1: Witcher training places great importance on endurance and agility rather than strength alone. After all, what good can a hulking mountain of muscle do against the lightning-fast strikes of a bruxa or striga... Right?
- Scroll 2: Letho of Gulet was a witcher of the School of the Viper – an misleading association given his imposing stature. Though as large as a fiend and strong as a bull, his reflexes and agility rivaled those of other witchers... Making him an extremely formidable opponent.
- Scroll 3: His prowess in combat would, indeed, have a major impact on the people of the Continent., for he struck down not one, but two leaders in the North... Yet, what could have led Letho from his path as a monster slayer to that of an assassin of kings?
- Scroll 4: Letho was determined to reopen the fallen School of the Viper. To achieve his goal, he was prepared to enter any necessary alliance – the Empire included. Yet in the end, nothing came of his arrangement with Emhyr var Emreis, and fate showed once again that witchers should steer clear of politics...
- Chest 1: Witchers have many weapons in their arsenal: swords both silver and steel, chains, daggers, and throwing knives. Two-handed weapons are uncommon for one simple reason – weight. But for Letho of Gulet, that was never an issue. He swung a two-handed blade with the same ease and speed that others enjoy when wielding a dagger or rapier.
- Chest 2: The relationship between Letho and another legendary witcher, Geralt of Rivia, was rather... Complicated. At different points in time, each of them had both saved and threatened the other's life. But how did their odd story finally end? It depends on whom you ask. Some believe that Geralt killed Letho at the ruins of Loc Muinne, while others claim that the two had agreed to part ways in peace. Alas, the truth yet remains a mystery...
- Chest 3: Letho was always aware of the impression he had upon others. He never raised his voice nor made threats, for there was no need. He knew his very appearance was enough to make the even the fiercest bandits shake in their boots. Letho also knew that he appeared to others as a dull-witted thug. Yet, despite possessing a superior intelligence, he made no attempt to challenge this impression. He knew people could be careless with their words if they thought they were speaking to a dumb sack of potatoes.
June: Season of Magic
Season of Magic
- Scroll 1: What is magic at its core? Not even mages can come to agreement on the answer. Some see in it a curse, a chaotic and destructive force. Others perceive it as art. Others still view it as science. And every one of them is correct.
- Scroll 2: One's perspective depends the magic's user and their intent. A mage cannot be disentangled from his spells, nor can his intent from the result. Magic is but a prism – a mirror, if you will – through which we look upon ourselves and our world.
- Scroll 3: Magic is all around us. In the air, water, fire and earth. To make contact with it, to draw from it is no challenge at all. Yet, to maintain and control that power... This is an art form few can master.
- Scroll 4: It is these few who may become mages and sorceresses – that is, so long as they attend their respective academies. Masters of the arcane magical arts view the self-taught with disdain, and where possible, swiftly dispose of them.
- Chest 1: The largest institutions for magical training are the Aretuza Academy for young ladies on the Isle of Thanned and the Ban Ard Academy for boys, located in Kaedwen. Why this separation? Contrary to what some believe, it is not because of a difference in magical aptitude between the sexes. Indeed, any differences – should they even exist – are negligible. In fact, academy rectors and instructors simply realized that separating the young lads and lasses would help avoid... distractions.
- Chest 2: Some people are born with an exceptionally potent magical talent – one that often proves difficult to control. Rather than harness its power, they become the vessel for its spontaneous emergence. Through surges of intense emotion – terror, anger, joy – they explode with energy, wreaking havoc in every direction. Such individuals are known as Sources. In some regions of the Continent they are treated with deference and respect – in others, with fear and hatred.
- Chest 3: Mages and sorceresses are individuals with incredible power, knowledge.... And often ambition. Unfortunately, their ambitions are rarely limited to the forbidden and arcane magical arts. Mages indulge in political control through the monarchs they advise. For centuries, the most powerful court mages worked behind the scenes, exercising enormous influence on the Continent's political affairs. However, everything changed with the ascendance of King Radovid V the Stern of Redania. Schools of magic were closed. Countless scrolls were thrown into the flames, their contents forever lost to history...
- Scroll 1: Dressed in all black and white. The unmistakable scent of lilac and gooseberry. Violet eyes and a storm of black curls. A penetrating gaze that not even kings could withstand... That is Yennefer of Vengerberg.
- Scroll 2: Yennefer was an accomplished sorceress who followed no path but her own. She joined the Lodge of Sorceresses, though not altogether willingly. The kings she was to advise she instead treated as tools. And her lovers... She treated them as toys.
- Scroll 3: Yet everything changed when she met Geralt of Rivia, with whom her destiny became intertwined. He was the first man she ever loved... Though that didn't mean their relationship was always a perfect slice of paradise...
- Scroll 4: Geralt and Yennefer were known to argue – often. Hurling the nearest object at one another had become a bit of a pasttime. Sometimes, during Yennefer's more heated outbursts, the witcher even found himself teleported to the middle of a frozen lake. Yet in spite of it all, they always reunited – or perhaps precisely because of it?
- Chest 1: Many accused Yennefer of deceitful behavior. Admittedly, on a number of occasions the sorceress manipulated, twisted the truth, and made habit of quickly switching her allegiances. Yet in the end, it was revealed that she acted on behalf of a higher purpose. That is, on behalf of those she loved.
- Chest 2: Yennefer's childhood was never destined for happiness. The very fact that she was a quadroon – the daughter of a half-elf and a human – meant that she was surrounded with contempt. To make matters worse, Yennefer was born a hunchback, reason enough for her father to disown her – in his eyes, no different from a monster. Later, as a pupil of Aretuza, her aesthetic imperfections could at last be removed... Yet her memories would stay with her forever.
- Chest 3: Yennefer was a distinguished expert in the magical arts. Yet, unlike her colleagues, she didn't shy away from the darkest corners of magic. If one believes the rumors, Yennefer even dabbled in the strictly forbidden practice of necromancy. However, any criticism was met with a glowering stare and the same, cold reply: "The ends justify the means."
July: Season of the Dryad
Season of the Dryad
- Scroll 1: It is common knowledge that among dryads – known also as eerie wives – you will find only women. They require human men for reproduction, which begs the question... What are they really? What is their origin?
- Scroll 2: Many scholars contend that dryads do not comprise a unique race, like gnomes or vrans, but humans fundamentally altered by magic. If true, dryads would be considered cursed beings, not unlike werewolves...
- Scroll 3: Indeed, one legend tells that the first dryads were ordinary human women, enchanted by elves to support the Aen Seide in battle. Rather than fulfill their intended purpose, however, they took to the forest and have remained there ever since.
- Scroll 4: And what of the eerie wives themselves? Have they knowledge of their origin? One ambitious student from Oxenfurt ventured to Brokilon to find out. Unsurprisingly, he was never heard from again... Yet a dozen-odd years later, scholars from his department spotted several young dryads who bore a striking resemblance to their lost colleague...
- Chest 1: The number of dryads known by name can be counted on a single hand. One such dryad was Braenn, made famous by the ballads of Master Dandelion. Unlike most dryads, however, neither her eyes nor her skin were green – evidence she was once an ordinary human child, forever changed by the Waters of Brokilon. Under their influence, she forgot her past, even her true name. Despite her human past, she guarded borders of Brokilon with a ruthlessness equal to that of her dryad sisters.
- Chest 2: Contrary to common belief, dryads on rare occasion would permit humans into their forest. Among that privileged minority was Milva Barring, well-known human archer and guide. She was often contracted by enemies of Brokilon – unaware of her allegiances – to lead expeditions against the dryads... Every time leading her patrons into an ambush...
- Chest 3: Dryads can survive even the gravest of wounds. Their ability to heal via magic is unrivaled. In fact, it was they who saved Geralt of Rivia following his brush with death against Vilgefortz. His bones crushed, it seemed the witcher might never walk again. But under Eithné's care, the White Wolf recovered and soon returned to the Path.
- Scroll 1: Triss Merigold... Sensitive, modest, an empathetic heart. Traits rare in the Lodge of Sorceresses. She seemed the odd one out. That is... Until you took a closer look.
- Scroll 2: In truth, Triss also proved capable of deception, manipulation, and dishonesty. Yet, she acted with such grace and charm it was difficult to hold a grudge against her for long.
- Scroll 3: What's more, it was the very same sweet and amiable Triss who created one of history's most devastating spells. Her hailstorm once decimated the outskirts of Rivia... Claiming the lives of many who dwelled there.
- Scroll 4: Though it's worth mentioning she opened the skies for a worthy cause – to put an end to a bloody pogrom against non-humans. Triss always sought to do good. Even if it required sacrifice...
- Chest 1: Triss Merigold is sometimes called the Fourteenth of the Hill. The moniker refers to the Battle of Sodden at which many mages and sorceresses perished while fighting for the North. Struck to the ground with a powerful spell, it seemed Triss had shared the others' fate. Fortunately, it turned out news of her death was somewhat exaggerated...
- Chest 2: When King Radovid V began his hunt for mages, Triss – like many of her colleagues – sought refuge in Novigrad, a neutral city. In place of a haven, however, she and the others found themselves in a trap. Soon the bodies of mages and sorceresses began to pile up, their lives extinguished by the fanatical priests from the Church of the Eternal Fire. Those lucky enough to be spared a gruesome death owe their thanks to Triss... As well as a certain white-haired witcher.
- Chest 3: Triss had countless admirers, but only ever truly loved one – Geralt of Rivia, the White Wolf. The two have endured countless trials together. Salamandra's siege on Kaer Morhen, the putsch at Loc Muinne, the exodus of mages from Novigrad, the battle against the Wild Hunt... Yet, it wasn't all blood and tragedy. That being said, no chronicler of strong repute would dare detail their more... intimate... moments.
August: Season of the Draconid
Season of the Draconid
- Scroll 1: Green, red, black, white, gold... There are several dragon varieties. They differ in color, of course, but also in size, intelligence, and their abilities. So, in what way are they alike? Simple. They're all deadly.
- Scroll 2: Perhaps it is because of their deadliness that witchers do not accept contracts on dragons. They point to their mysterious witchers' code as the reason, yet it is rather apparent that even the famed monster slayers fear these particular draconids.
- Scroll 3: Because witchers refuse to slay dragons, the task falls to other would-be heroes. Sometimes, a knight-errant may vow to duel the winged beast. Other times, local peasants may seek to protect their village the best way they know how... By stuffing a sheep's carcass with poison.
- Scroll 4: Regardless of the method, however, most attempts at dragonslaying usually end poorly for the would-be slayers. Yet, if that's true, where are all the dragons? Well, according to legend, they have flown across the Great Sea, to lands as yet untainted by humankind.
- Chest 1: As surely as the sun rises with each day, people deathly afraid of dragons. That is... With exception of the Zerrikanians. Should you believe the tales of travelers returning from the Continent's far east, the folk of Zerrikania make sacrifices to the reptiles and erect temples in their honor. What's more, they consider dragons the embodiment of virtue and beauty. Any who raises sword or bow against one shall suffer punishment of the greatest severity. What truth can be found in such stories, however, is difficult to discern...
- Chest 2: Dragons are a rare sight on the Continent, yet accounts of destruction wrought by the beasts still widely circulates. When an expert arrives at the scene of an attack – a witcher, as is often the case – they often conclude it's not the work of a dragon. Far more commonly, a slyzard, forktail, or wyvern is the culprit. Rumor has it, golden dragons find such comparisons highly offensive...
- Chest 3: The most famous of dragons was likely Villentretenmerth – known in his human form as Borch Three Jackdaws. Unlike others of his species, he had sympathy for humans and enjoyed spending time with them. This was especially true in the comfort of taverns and inns, the tables heavy with hearty fare, in the company of troubadors and the fierce female warriors of Zerrikania...
- Scroll 1: Saskia held several monikers. Queen of the Pontar Valley, the Virgin of Aedirn, the Dragonslayer. Hmm, well... In retrospect, we know that at least two of these titles were undeserved.
- Scroll 2: For now, let us leave matters of the bedchamber left to unspoken speculation and focus on her title of "Dragonslayer." In fact, she had never slayed a dragon... Nor had she ever an intent to take her own life.
- Scroll 3: Yes, yes, you understood thta correctly. Saskia – or rather Saesenthessis, as that was her full name – was none other than a golden dragon, a being able to assume any form...
- Scroll 4: But that begs the question... Why assume human form? Why meddle in human affairs? In all likelihood, she inherited her fondness for people from her father, Villentretenmerth.
- Chest 1: The identity of Saskia's mother remains a mystery, though evidence suggests she was Myrgtabrakke – a dragon once the target of a hunting expedition led by King Niedamir of Caingorn. Who took part in the campaign to slay her? The question, rather, is who did not! The party included Yarpen Zigrin and his dwarves, Eyck of Denesle, Yennefer of Vengerberg, Dorregaray of Vole, the Crinfrid Reavers, and even the legendary Geralt of Rivia himself... And yet, somehow, Myrgtabrakke lived. How, you ask? It's unknown for certain, for none on the expedition ever wished to speak of it...
- Chest 2: It was Saskia's dream to establish a new kingdom in the Pontar Valley, at the junction of Kaedwen and Aedirn. All races – elves, dwarves, humans, halflings, and gnomes – were to live there in peace, free from prejudice and discrimination. A beautiful dream, indeed... Yet extremely difficult to realize.
- Chest 3: After reading Saskia's spirited, impassioned speeches, it's difficult to walk away without an impression that she was unusually... naive. Would an experienced politician believe that a peasant uprising could defeat King Henselt's army? That the Scoia'tael would abandon the forest in order to defend the lives of humans and dwarves? That the Lodge of Sorceresses would provide aid with no ulterior motive? And yet... Such dreamers are needed, for it is only they who can change the world for the better.
September: Season of the Warrior
Season of the Warrior
- Scroll 1: The arrival of spring is greeted with mixed feelings by inhabitants of the Continent. On the one hand, the melting snow spells an end to hunger, but on the other – it heralds the coming of yet more war.
- Scroll 2: War is an inherent factor of life on the Continent. Year after year, rulers attempt to extend their borders, raid lands unfamiliar. Yet with every battle, the number of their subjects dwindles more and more...
- Scroll 3: For generations, scholars, mages, and priests have called on leaders to lay down their arms and put an end to this cycle of slaughter. If they do not cease, these experts warn, the Continent will plunge into an era far darker and more terrible than the times following the Conjunction of the Spheres.
- Scroll 4: Alas, kings and queens refuse to take heed. Blinded by opportunities for quick and easy profit, they demonstrate an inability to look into the future beyond their next banquet to throw or courtesan to bed. In such circumstances, what fate awaits us? In her prophecy, Ithlinne has been quite clear...
- Chest 1: The Continent has endured countless conflicts, yet by far its most devastating war was between the fractured kingdoms of the North and united front of the Nilfgaardian Empire from the South. Although the North and South had already waged three wars against each other, laying waste to vast swathes of the Continent, their feud was far from settled. Once one side eventually succumbs to the other, the Pontar and the Yaruga will run red with blood.
- Chest 2: Still to this day, the Battle of Brenna during the Second Northern War was the largest battle in the Continent's history. More than forty thousand soldiers fought for both the Northern and Southern sides: light and heavy infantry, mercenaries, elven cavalry, dwarven shieldbearers... Yet it was one man who ultimately determined the battle's outcome – Lamarr Flaut, a Nilfgaardian officer who, during his reconnaissance, failed to notice thousands of infantrymen in the North's reserve. An oversight that proved Nilfgaard's demise.
- Chest 3: One of the Continent's most highly regarded war historians was a certain Jarre of Ellander. His descriptions of battles left no want for detail, yet spared superfluous embellishments and patriotic rhetoric. In his retellings, he does not describe war as a simple series of honorable skirmishes, but a savage and chaotic slaughter. Jarre's unique perspective might have something to do with his own military service, where he not only bore witness to the atrocities firsthand, but was personally marred by them – forever losing an arm.
- Scroll 1: The term "elven warrior" brings to mind a lithe, acrobatic swordsmaster in light armor, slicing surgically at arteries with the very tip of an elegant blade. Imlerith was a different sort of elven warrior...
- Scroll 2: Clad head to toe in hulking plate armor, this elf charged fearlessly into battle, pulverizing his foes into a bloody pulp with an immense two-handed mace. As bones cracked and blood splattered, a grotesque, twisted laugther could be heard from behind his helm.
- Scroll 3: Imlerith's fighting technique was far from subtle, but proved undeniably effective. The ferocious elf wreaked havoc on the battlefield, rarely encountering any who could stand as his equal.
- Scroll 4: Though in time, he would eventually meet his match in Geralt of Rivia, the White Wolf. Their duel was long and arduous, but in the end it was Imlerith who fell – his face scorched by the witcher's Igni Sign.
- Chest 1: While other officers of the Wild Hunt occupied their free time with pastimes of refined taste – such as Ge'els, who at every available opportunity put paint to canvas – Imlerith preferred the simple pleasures. Whenever the Red Riders halted their spectral raids, he set off for Bald Mountain to enjoy the company of the succubi who called it home...
- Chest 2: Imlerith was on intimate terms with the Crones from Crookback Bog. Through their magic he acquired tremendous strength. Each time he visited the Ladies of the Wood, they offered him acorns from the mountain's ancient oak, cooked for three days and nights in children's blood. It was this macabre nut that granted him great power... And twisted his mind.
- Chest 3: Imlerith had many lives on his conscience... If "conscience" is even the proper term. Among them was a certain witcher from the School of the Wolf, whose name I struggle to put to paper... The mere thought of his death at the hands of that Aen Elle barbarian boils my blood. The inquisitive reader can no doubt learn his identity from other sources...
October: Season of the Cat
Season of the Cat
- Scroll 1: Each witcher school holds a unique reputation. Bears - sulkers and firebrands. Wolves - traditionalists. And Cats? Prone to use steel swords more often than silver.
- Scroll 2: Unlike other witchers, those from the School of the Cat were not committed to a position of neutrality. As a result, they were often hired as spies and assassins. And it's no wonder – assassinating a nobleman usually paid better than slaying a drowner.
- Scroll 3: The ill repute of Feline witchers became increasingly notorious in royal circles. After a time, kings and queens began to fear in earnest for their lives. For the witchers, however, this came not as a point of pride, but one of concern, for rulers do not like to feel threatened...
- Scroll 4: One day, an army marched onto the grounds of the School of the Cat. For three days the blood-soaked slaughter persisted, but eventually every last defending witcher perished. As for those who were not present during the attack? They continue to roam the world's roads - embittered, hungry for vengeance, with nothing left to lose...
- Chest 1: Members of the School of the Cat are ill-famed due to their penchant for frenzy and bloodlust in the heat of battle. Even when their enemies capitulate, beg for mercy... They never stop killing. The inhabitants of Honorton learned this truth in the most brutal fashion. Instead of rewarding a Feline witcher for a contract fulfilled, they withheld their coin and skewered him with pitchfork instead. Gaetan – so was the monster slayer's name – survived the treacherous blow, yet the bloodshed did not stop there... The witcher slaughtered the entire village – men, women, children, the sick and feeble... It mattered not who had a hand in his betrayal. Only one survived the massacre, a young lass named Millie...
- Chest 2: What makes witchers from Cat school so cruel and impetuous? It is widely believed to be a side effect of their mutations. While emotions are suppressed in other witchers, the alchemical cocktail used in the School of the Cat had apparently intensified them. Before the error that tainted the formula could be corrected, it was already too late – a new generation of Feline witchers was born. A generation who would seize control of the School... And had no intention of changing the formula.
- Chest 3: Although Ciri trained at the School of the Wolf, she wore a Feline witcher's medallion. She had claimed it from the lifeless body of infamous bounty hunter Leo Bonhart. Bonhart had boasted that he was one of few to ever best a witcher in combat – and several at that – as evidenced by the three silver medallions fastened to his belt. The swordmaster never claimed a fourth, however, as Ciri spilled his blood over the cold cobblestones of Stygga Castle.
- Scroll 1: Cirilla Fiona Elen Riannon. The Lion Cub of Cintra, Swallow, Zirael, Falka, Child of the Elder Blood, the Lady of Time and Space. An impressive collection of monikers for an impressive woman.
- Scroll 2: Daughter to Pavetta and Duny, the young princess enjoyed an early childhood of royal splendor. But then everything changed... Cintra was engulfed in flames and violence, Ciri forced to flee from family and home...
- Scroll 3: Eventually, she found a new home in Kaer Morhen, a witchers' fortress and seat of the School of the Wolf. There, under the watchful eye of Geralt of Rivia, she began a grueling training regimen. And it's good that she did, because this peace of her stay there would not last forever... And it couldn't, for after all, the Elder Blood flowed through her veins.
- Scroll 4: Due to her lineage, Ciri was endowed with extraordinary gift - the ability to traverse time and space. However, she quickly began to see her ability not as a blessing, but as a curse. For many obsessively coveted her power and sought to exploit it at any cost...
- Chest 1: How was it that the fates of Geralt and Ciri – a witcher and a princess of Cintra – became forever intertwined? The Law of Surprise. After the witcher had lifted the curse afflicting Duny, the Urcheon of Erlenwald, he was asked what he desired as reward. Geralt replied, "That which you find at home, yet did not expect." Shortly thereafter, Duny would learn that his wife Pavetta was with child - Ciri. Though Geralt had no intention of encforcing the Law, it had simply become a matter of destiny...
- Chest 2: A dark period of Ciri's life came when she joined a bandit gang known as the "Rats." Constantly on the run, exhausted, Ciri had found a semblance of refuge among the young, cutthroat outlaws. At first, she refused to kill as they did, though her reluctance wouldn't last long. To her own horror, she enjoyed killing - and she was good at it. Eventually, however, her comrades were slaughtered to the last. Ciri barely survived and was nursed back from the brink of death under the care of a hermit, Vysogota of Corvo. Had events turned out differently, who knows... Perhaps Ciri would be known today not as a heroine, but as a villain.
- Chest 3: Before Cintra fell to ruin, as a young princess, Ciri would spend her holidays on the Skellige Isles at the family estate of Clan an Craite. It was there with the jarl's children that she learned to ice-skate. As fate would have it, this skill would later save her life when confronted by Nilfgaardian assassins on the frozen waters of Tarn Mira. In a dense, milky fog, the assailants could only hear the eerie scrape of her skates, coming from all directions... Followed swiftly by blood-chilling screams of surprise and pain as they fell one by one to her blade.
November: Season of Mahakam
Season of Mahakam
- Scroll 1: Mahakam is a land of contradictions. Red-hot forges hidden beneath ice and snow. The Continent's most advanced technology developed by its most conservative society...
- Scroll 2: Although wars on the Continent are almost a yearly occurrence, Mahakam maintains its constant neutrality at the crossroads of the borders – a position no kingdom dare challenge, for none wish to provoke the dwarves' ire. Besides, they must purchase their weapons from someone...
- Scroll 3: Merchants who travel to Mahakam typically witness but a mere fraction of the dwarven realm's enormity. Much like an iceberg, only a small part of Mahakam is visible above the surface. The real treasures and wonders are found underground, in caverns inaccessible to humans.
- Scroll 4: In Mahakam, the dwarves are safe... But not free. Every aspect of their lives is regulated by the Foredwarves' Codex, and every decision must be ratified by the council of clan elders. Unable to endure a life under strict control, many flee to live among humans and work as craftsmen. Others join the Scoia'tael...
- Chest 1: Many young dwarves dreamed of escaping Mahakam for a taste of freedom, in search of adventure. Elder-in-Chief Brouver Hoog was willing to compromise with the youngsters. After a dwarf's fiftieth birthday, he could leave Mahakam to experience human civilization for one year. However, should he not return before 365 days have elapsed, his name should be forever removed from the clan registry. When asked whether he feared that the realm's young dwarves would choose to never return, the Elder-in-Chief gave no response. He simply betrayed a knowing, yet bitter, smirk – for he knew how humans welcomed dwarves.
- Chest 2: The dwarves of Mahakam love to revel in song, though almost exclusively in groups. Solo performances are considered the pinnacle of poor manners, yet even they have their place in society. Rival clans often resolve conflicts with yodelling duels. They gather on the slopes of Mount Carbon and vie to out-sing one another with dwarven classics such "Moonshiner Miner" and "Mind the Beard, Long-eared." Unfortunately, such duels often result in avalanches...
- Chest 3: The sale of sihils and other fine blades for generations has Mahakam's vaults bursting with riches. Contrary to what most believe, however, ordinary dwarves do not have heavy pockets. Every coin earned from trade goes straight to Brouver Hoog – specifically, to a vault in the deepest levels beneath Mount Carbon. Dwarves receive all of life's necessities from their clan: robes, provisions, tools... Desire something more? Such an attitude won't get you far in Mahakam.
- Scroll 1: Mohawk, hearty laugh, fists like bread loaves, and – perched atop his shoulder – a uniquely foul-mouthed parrot. Zoltan Chivay was an adventurer, bouncer, and amateur bird trainer all in one. Truly, a dwarf like no other.
- Scroll 2: Zoltan felt a deep, burning desire to do good. However, sensible that dwarf he was, Zoltan knew that he alone could not change the world for the better. Instead, he chose to do good only for himself and his immediate surroundings.
- Scroll 3: Zoltan never hesitated to jump into the fire for his friends... Yet words such as "gods," "honor," and "fatherland" never made a strong impression on him or his motivations. To him they rang hollow, reminiscent of a mug drained of its ale.
- Scroll 4: Zoltan's position regarding the Scoia'tael could be considered ambivalent. The promise of a better, brighter tomorrow never quite convinced him. That said, he never passed on an opportunity to kick a racist arse or two.
- Chest 1: Though always itching for his next adventure, there was a time when Zoltan considered putting down roots. Unsurprisingly, a woman proved the cause – a lovely she-dwarf by name of Eudora Breckenriggs to be precise. It even went so far as a proposal, followed by a stormy engagement period... That is, until one day when Eudora's father served Zoltan a black stew, signifying an end to his hopes for marriage.
- Chest 2: Zoltan had an endless stream of novel ideas for enterprise: a foundry, a laundry, an inn, a jeweler's workshop... And one common thread connected them all – each ended with bankruptcy and a torrent of strongly worded letters from outraged investors. Yet no amount of fiascos could convince him to stop trying. Surely, his next venture would at last make him a wealthy dwarf...
- Chest 3: Zoltan's closest friend was a certain Julian Alfred Pankratz, Viscount of Lettenhove, more commonly known as Dandelion – a celebrated poet of the North. Together, they concocted elaborate business schemes and reveled in drunken debauchery for weeks at a time... Getting themselves into a good deal of trouble along the way.
December: Season of the Wild Hunt
Season of the Wild Hunt
- Scroll 1: The Aen Elle are elves who are convinced of their own racial superiority. They believed that the hard, filthy labor required on their vast estates was suited only for other, inferior races. For their wish to become reality, the Wild Hunt was born.
- Scroll 2: Riders of the Wild Hunt abducted individuals from all races: humans, dwarves, and even their cousins – the Aen Seidhe elves. Apparently, when work needs doing, one cannot afford to be picky...
- Scroll 3: Yet why all this newfound drive and effort to tend to their lands? Quite simply, the world of the Aen Elle was dying – growing ever colder and ever darker. For their increasingly frozen, barren land to bear fruit, it required the fertilization of sweat and blood.
- Scroll 4: And so the raids of the Wild Hunt raged on, the spectral cavalcade leaving deserted villages in its wake. The riders could never rest, for should their duty end, so too would their world.
- Chest 1: Like ice shards following in a comet's wake, the hounds of the Wild Hunt hurtle behind the Aen Elle riders. Reportedly, they sometimes lose their way and descend from the night sky, sowing death and destruction on the surface. No one truly knows just what the beasts are. Could they be as golems – insentient automatons composed of lifeless matter, blindly obedient to their creators? Or perhaps they existed even before the rise of the Wild Hunt, beings born of magic and eternal frost, trapped between dimensions?
- Chest 2: In rare instances, an unfortunate soul abducted by the Wild Hunt has found their way home. Yet the survivor comes to realize that centuries have passed since their disappearance – the graves of loved ones are weathered and covered in moss, their dwellings are derelict or long since destroyed. Driven mad from despair, physically and mentally broken from their murderous toil, they wander the Continent, reciting their tale of captivity to any who listens. Yet by what means did they escape? A secret passage between the worlds? Or, perhaps more likely, the Aen Elle allowed them to leave, to spread fear among the people of the Continent...
- Chest 3: Though the decision to create the Wild Hunt was ultimately made by the king of the Aen Elle, Auberon Muircetach, the architect behind the idea was an elven sage known as Avallac'h. It was he who began the genetic experiments that led to the birth of navigators – elves capable of creating safe passage between open dimensional gates – and he who developed the necessary spells. Then, when his work was finished and the Hunt took to the skies, Avallac'h realized he had created a monster.
- Scroll 1: Interdimensional travel is no simple feat: biting cold, twisting timelines, the folding and tangling fabrics of space. For these reasons, the Wild Hunt was in need of an exceptional navigator – one such as Caranthir Ar-Feiniel.
- Scroll 2: A small quantity of the Elder Blood flows through Caranthir's veins. Though not enough to open gates between worlds, he is able pry futher open what is already there...
- Scroll 3: Caranthir's birth was the result of intensive work spanning years. The creator of the Wild Hunt, Avallac'h, traced back through his family's lineage – parents, grandparents, great-grandparents... All for the sole purpose of locating long-dormant genes.
- Scroll 4: One could argue that Caranthir is the grand culmination of an extraordinary and ambitious project... Or, that he is a monstrosity and abomination – that his very existence is an affront to nature and the gods alike.
- Chest 1: Unlike other officers of the Wild Hunt, Caranthir never removed his helm. Some believe it was to create an aura of mystery, to emphasize his unique and important status. Others – that the genetic experiments from which he was bred left him with visible side effects – severe disfigurements he wished to conceal from all...
- Chest 2: Caranthir was a daunting opponent. Capable of bending time and space, he could disappear in a blink – only to suddenly reappear behind his opponent to deliver a swift, killing blow. Few have faced him and survived... And all of them wore witcher medallions round their necks.
- Chest 3: This elite navigator of the Wild Hunt rarely breaks his silence, yet when he does, he limits himself to a scant few words. But why? Perhaps because he views the world differently than other mortals. Countless times Caranthir has witnessed dimensions collide. He has heard the sound of time rushing by and the crunch of bending space. Our languages are likely incapable of describing such otherworldly experiences, and perhaps that is why he forsook them.
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