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Headscratchers / The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

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     Sacrifices for the Crones? 
  • During the Sabbath, multiple Velen citizens tell Geralt and Ciri that the three young people who go visit the Crones always return, in some way "better" than they were before. However, when you actually enter Bald Mountain the Crones are feasting on the few who were allowed to enter. What's going on here?

     Ciri not getting equipment in Kaer Morhen 
  • I can understand why Ciri is under equipped during the flashbacks, since she was running for her life. What I donít understand is why nobody in Kaer Morhen, including Ciri herself, thinks to equip her with a silver sword, some blade oils, & armor.
  • The Witchers themselves don't like wearing heavy armour, their standard gear is light armour so that they can maintain their graceful combat moves, and even that is likely only possible to achieve because of their enhanced mutations. Ciri doesn't have their enhancements so if she wore armour, she'd be slowed down significantly, essentially trading her strongest advantage (her speed) for better protection, which is counter to her training. Meanwhile, a Silver Sword and oils are somewhat unneeded for her, as her Elder Blood powers enhance her sword swinging enough that she can tear through most enemies even without those.

     Keira's fear of rats? 
  • During quests where you do her favors, she shows to have a great fear of rats. Yet at one point, after a little incident at a tower, she has 3 rats walking beside her before she uses magic on them. Is she only afraid of certain types of rats?
    • She uses mice for the transfiguration spell. Maybe she is afraid only of the rats proper.
    • There's a big difference between mice and rats; size, hygiene, behaviour, etc. Rats are large, carry disease, and aren't afraid of nibbling a living human, whereas mice are tiny, comparatively clean, and wouldn't dare bite a human outside of defence. Mice are also much nicer looking.

     Geralt in Novigrad 
  • So, they're dragging witches out of their homes and burning them alive for the crime of magic. They're also killing alchemists and nonhumans. Geralt uses magic, is an alchemist, and is an obvious mutant. Why, exactly, does he get a free pass?
    • Some Gameplay and Story Segregation, but another reason is that Radovid wants to make use of Geralt in hunting down Philippa Eilhart, and may be putting a pressure on the witch hunters to let Geralt get away with all but the most gross transgressions.
    • Also, in this dire times, having a witcher able to eliminate a monster can be useful, especially when the morale of the citizens is concerned. Especially given that most Witch Hunters employed by the church seems to be horribly incompetent when it comes to monster slaying.
    • Some NPCs will randomly say that Geralt is tough enough so most of the witch hunters are too frightened to try anything with him.
    • Depending on how certain sidequests progress, they will try to kill Geralt. Repeatedly. At which point(s) you can demonstrate exactly why trying to take on the most skilled Witcher in the world was a poor decision. By the end of the game it's possible to have killed the witch hunter's leaders, burned their headquarters to the ground, and slaughtered the majority of their members in personal combat.
    • It's outright stated that once the mages and non humans are taken care of, that witchers are next for the stake.
    • One of the reason mages are targeted, outside of pure Fantastic Racism, is the fact that they tend to own a lot of property. The Church sizes their estates and other valuables. Witchers tend to be poor, they are hard to take down without big casulties in manpower, provide useful monster removal services and at least in theory are politically neutral thus unlikely to take steps to directly oppose the Church. It's possible that for the time being they decided Geralt is harmless enough and not worth arresting. Yet at least.
    • Also, much of the current push to execute witches and sorceresses comes from Radovid's vendetta against the Lodge of Sorceresses, and in fact it seems those are the ones the Novigrad Witch Hunters are actively supposed to be hunting.

     Radovid's insanity 
  • So what was the reason for Radovid going from a reasonable, if witch-hating monster, to a complete lunatic who talks about killing chessmen and eating them?
    • Massive stress and paranoia does that to a man. He knows that he can be stabbed in the back at any time, that the most powerful magic users in the world are out to get him and he's waging a war against the mightiest empire in existence. Lesser things have driven a man over the edge.
    • Also consider the fact that he is kind of fundamentally broken. He lost his father at an early age to assassination, then he was sidelined by Dijkstra and Eilhart into the role of a puppet, witnessed his mother's mistreatment and gradual disintegration, and carefully cultivated a hatred of all things different - from his vision of the future, that is.
    • Books found in-game strongly suggest that the main factor behind his hatred towards magic was his humiliation by Philippa Eilhart.
    • He may also be drunk and/or drugged every time you meet him; note his slurred speech and difficulty focusing on objects. Prolonged substance abuse could have exacerbated an underlying mental condition.
    • Also royal bloodlines have had tendencies toward incipient mental illnesses in several real world cases. Inbreeding is sometimes blamed.
    • Exposure to toxic chemicals, genetic mutation, emotional upset, who knows? People in the real world develop mental illness for no clear reason all the time.
    • Obfuscating Insanity, so outsiders will end up underestimating him and eventually dropping their guard, which evidently works against even Dijkstra and Thaler, of all people, as seen in Reason of State. This may even be one of the reasons why he managed to unite the north in the first place.
  • Radovid's insanity is rather subtle. He is cruel and uncompromising, but still pretty rational. His hatred towards mages stems from the fact that the high-ranking sorcerers _did_ conspired against his father and himself and more than once performed coup d'etat. He also does not show ill will towards non-humans, he is simply indifferent to their plight and doesn't care what witch hunters do provided it doesn't increase the public unrest. He is not even paranoid - he simply knows that he is the king and possibly the only person capable of turning the tide of war and he has many very real and very dangerous enemies. So, it stands to reason that his cruel behaviour is precipitated by being sidelined by conspirators and hardships of waging a war in very unstable political millieu.

    Dandelion Easily Forgiven? 
  • Dandelion is being held in a dungeon pending brutal execution in Novigrad, and when you finally get him free it is by breaking him out during prisoner transport, killing multiple guards and witch hunters in the process. But what does Dandy do after that? He returns to the city immediately and opens a cabaret under his own name! And no soldiers come knocking on his door to drag him back in chains. This is a rather egregious plot hole in an otherwise excellent storyline, especially since there are many plot threads that could have led to him getting an amnesty, but no such thing is ever mentioned.
    • Dandelion is a master at Refuge in Audacity. It's one of his redeeming qualities. Menge is the person who ordered Dandelion arrested and is dead by the point Dandelion opens his cabaret. Everyone else involved in his arrest is on Temple Isle, which is pretty far away. He may be counting on the fact that no one would expect him to return.
    • Let's not forget Dandelion is staying in the same city as Sigi, who he ripped off of six tons of gold, as well. Dandelion really may just be Too Dumb to Live and a few weeks after the events of the game, he'll be on the run again. He is, after all, one of the classic examples of The Load and a Spoony Bard.
    • Don't forget that Dandelion and Sigismund Dijkstra have a lot of history together, and Dandelion was one of Dijkstra's most trusted agents back when he ran the Redanian spy network. What is a little swindle among friends?
    • There's also a distinct possibility that the others that Dandelion crossed might be dead or otherwise unable to prosecute their payback. Menge's dead, one way or the other; Wiley is either dead and being impersonated by a friend, or cast to the gutters; and Reuven can be killed as well for unrelated reasons.
    • It's not specified how many people actually knew that Bard Extraordinaire Dandelion (I prefer the Polish name, this one lacks the punch) was imprisoned and should remain there. Given just how much time you spend figuring out where the damnable fool is, it's likely it was known to only a few people - and the Church wouldn't be exactly keen on experiencing a huge PR disaster. People like their entertainment.
    • There's also nothing to indicate his arrest was ever legit. The charges against him were never specified but it's not s if he was arrested by an honest law enforcer, so it seems he was being detained without any legal precedent. With Menge and his cronies dead, even if what remains aren't honest they're not going to publicly arrest a beloved celebrity for non-existent charges.

     Radovid's Kaedwen Stratagem 
  • Radovid's strategy for defeating Nilfgaard is to invade his closest ally. While this makes a modicum of sense if Henselt is dead, it's kind of out of the blue if he's still alive and ruling over the largest country in the North. How the Flame did he convince the soldiers of Temeria, Kaedwin, and any other lands he's ruling over to rally behind him to fight the Nilfgaard when he's outright invading them?
    • Vesemir mentions Radovid is promising to restore the original borders of the North if he wins the war. It's a very comforting lie. Likewise, Henselt was an extremely difficult to control ally. As crazy as it sounds, also, there's a history of conquerors who invade lands then promptly recruit them to join in battle against enemies. Look at Saladin or Atilla the Hun.
    • Judging from the information sources in the game, it would appear that even if you didn't kill Henselt in TW2 he'll end up dying fighting against Nilfgaard. Being a frontline ruler has its downsides.
    • Actually, they state that he died in battle against Redania. One suspects that his death was a little more targeted than a battle usually permits though.
    • Bonus points for book readers: In the Second Northern War, Kaedwen was allied with the Empire in the first half of the war, jointly invading and partitioning the Kingdom of Aedirn. While Henselt later turned on Nilfgaard before the Empire pulled a Barbarossa on him (if it's unclear: Kaedwen is Fantasy Russia and Nilfgaard is Fantasy German Empire - the analogies aren't super exact), it did cause lasting strife - and given that Redania would face encirclement if Henselt pulled this stunt again, it's not exactly implausible for Radovid to portray his annexation of Kaedwen as a pre-emptive strike.

     Triss and Phillipa 
  • Triss is horrified at the prospect of Geralt working with Radovid to find Phillipa Eilhart. While this is understandable given the horrors they've been subjected to, the fact is Phillipa Eilhart was part of a massive secret conspiracy Triss testified against at Loch Muinne. One which was trying to take over the entirety of the North from behind the scenes, killed thousands, and tried to kill Geralt. Why in the world is she concerned about that psychopath?
    • The Lodge did not, in fact, kill thousands. They just let Sabrina Glevissig have free hands in how to solve the Kaedweni/Aedernian conflict with a reminder that she's personally responsible for the consequences of her actions. And Triss herself was a member of the Lodge for a long time and partook in many of their morally questionable activities. Although Triss eventually felt that Philippa had gone too far she still shares much of her opinions and values. And most of all, she has far more personal reasons to hate Radovid and doesn't think that any sorceress, no matter how rotten, deserves what Radovid has in store for them.
    • For me, it doesn't make any sense too. I mean, Triss was ready to testify against her and Sile at Loc Muinne. What the heel did she expect would happen, prison for a few years? They were accused of regicide, off course they would torture and kill her. And to the previous poster: They at least tried to burn hundreds of people by Saskia in Loc Muinne. It really bugs me that CD Project tries to make me sympathise with these 2 women, they are murderous scum.
    • Except, they... don't. Phillipa isn't presented in any positive light in Witcher 3; she comes off as exactly the scheming, manipulative, arrogant bitch that she's always been presented as. Sila was only sympathetic in the sense that she was put through immense torture for her crimes, well beyond what they warrant.

     You need an army 
  • Why was Geralt so adamant that Ciri needed to be brought to Kaer Morhen? The Wild Hunt is an organized army of elves with strong magic support. While the witchers, sorceresses, and their friends were powerful individually, there was little they could do against an entire army, and they were far too few to properly man the castle walls. Geralt himself admits that it was a miracle any of them survived. When Emhyr is offering a battalion commanded by a general, why would he refuse this? If Geralt didn't want them at Kaer Morhen (for example, the question of if they would ever leave), then it would have been far better to hold them at a prepared Nilfgaardian fortress alongside the witchers and magi. This forced our heroes into an inferior strategic position in the final battle. It seems that Geralt risked the fate of the world and all of his friends needlessly.
    • I can think of a few reasons why he might think Kaer Morhen is the best place:
      • 1) An army of Nilfgaardian soldiers might be good against an army of humans, but against an army of elves, mages, and supernatural creatures? They'd be fighting something they have little to no experience with, not to mention that they probably wouldn't be able to equip a full battalion with the right kind of weaponry.
      • 2) Geralt mentions several times that "We can't defend Ciri at location X because it puts civilians at risk of being attacked by the Wild Hunt." Kaer Morhen is isolated, and with such a small number of paths into the keep it would be much easier to defend than most of the military fortresses seen throughout the game (the gang's lack of warm bodies to actually guard those paths is still a mark against them, though, I'll fully admit).
      • 3) Depending on how you've played him throughout the story, Geralt doesn't trust Emhyr or the general that Emhyr insisted be in charge of the battalion. Placing Ciri under Nilfgaardian protection is just asking for them to drag her back to Emhyr to force her to become the new Empress.
    • Geralt is likely also thinking long-term. Taking her to Nilfgaard to protect her there would give them more advantage against the Wild Hunt, maybe, but in the chance they succeed, Ciri will then be seized by Emhyr himself. Emhyr might be a Lighter Shade Of Black who might be willing to go for an Enemy Mine situation, but he's still an enemy with his own desire for Ciri (especially if we take into account Geralt might recall Emhyr's Squicky plans for Ciri back in the books).

     Reasons of State 

  • Why is Dijkstra trying to kill Roche, Thaler, and Ves? The only difference is they know Nilfgaard can be beaten now. You'd think all three of them would be happy about continuing to prosecute the war.
    • Roche and company just want Temeria back and figure any concession is acceptable. Dijkstra, like Radovid, wants to unite the entire North under his banner and kick the Black Ones out, period.
    • Because the three don't care about Redania, they only care about Temeria, any Temeria at this point. Don't forget that it's a country that has lost its king, teetered on the brink of civil war, and then got invaded for the third time in less than twenty years.
    • What do you mean they know Nilfgaard can be beaten now? That wasn't guaranteed - in fact it was even less likely given Radovid was the only monarch remaining to hold the north together (well, there was Thyssen, but he hadn't committed to either side at this point, and so couldn't unify anybody).
    • Geralt more or less stated to Dijkstra that Emhyr doesn't have the funds to continue prosecuting the war indefinitely. All Redania and her allies have to do is hold out and Nilfgaard's invasion will fail. Which, as we see, is exactly what happens. Where GERALT learned this, I have no idea as I must have missed a cutscene.
    • It's mentioned a couple of times. Morvan Voorhis alludes to it in Novigrad and Emhyr briefly confirms it when Geralt goes to ask him for help against the Wild Hunt.
    • Djikstra wants them dead because he wants to keep fighting and ensure Redania survives, while Roche's peace treaty basically ensures Temeria's independence at the price of ceasing all hostilities. Since Djikstra's strategy boils down to holding the line and wasting Nilfgaard's money, and the Temerian partisans are a big part of those costs, them abandoning the fight and leaving Velen completely uncontested is going to make things much harder for Redania. Djikstra can't let that happen.
    • Temeria, along with Redania is one of the most powerful Northern Kingdoms. A truce with Nilfgaard would mean withdrawal from the war, heavily weakening the North to the point where it would be unable to defend against Nilfgaard. This is why Dijkstra says that Roche should understand him, because he 'is a patriot too'.

     The Ending. **SPOILERS, naturally** 
  • Everything from Eredin's death on is vague. Why is that tower important? Where does Ciri go? Is the Conjunction happening at that moment by coincidence or did Ciri cause it to happen? What does Ciri do in the unknown place she goes to?
    • The Tower of Falcon is a thematic continuation of the Towers of Gull and Swallow from the books. Each of them is a massively powerful portal nexus. Avallac'h's ritual using Ciri's power seems to be the cause behind this mini-Conjunction, most likely a side-effect of activating the tower's full power using the Elder Blood. Ciri goes to a world swallowed by the White Frost, an apocalyptic force that is destined to devour all the worlds, and what Eredin wanted to use Ciri for so that it would not take Tir ná Lia, to bring it to an end. How she does it and whether she succeeds are both left ambiguous. I agree that the game could have elaborated on the White Frost a bit more, especially how the Elder Blood is supposed to be used to stop its advance. As it is, the resolution of Ithilienne's Prophecy which has such a great significance in the novels ends up being kind of an anticlimax. "A seed that will not sprout but burst into flame" didn't really seem to come to pass.
    • Ciri lost her Source powers in the book, so she only has her Space/Time abilities to defeat the White Frost. I presume she can just teleport it into the Sun or something, since that's a good way of getting rid of something which can leap around the universe/Multiverse.
    • A point of clarification: she doesn't LOSE her power, she stops using it. A minor distinction, but an important one for Witcher 3.
    • Exactly what the Elder Blood is supposed to do in order to stop the White Frost is never specified. The precise powers of the Elder Blood were always left intentionally vague, as was the precise nature of the White Frost. Ciri effectively went on her own adventure and took on the White Frost and somehow destroyed it using the powers in her bloodline. As Ciri herself tells Geralt, "This is my story." Her tale intersected Geralt's repeatedly over the game, but in the end, she has her own tale to tell, while the game is focused on Geralt's part in her story.

     Silver Against The Wild Hunt 

  • Why is it that the Red Riders are supposed to be attacked with the silver sword? They're just elves after all. In the first game it made sense because they appeared as some kind of spectral projections but in this one they are physically present.
    • Because they are interdimensional invaders. Silver seems to be the thing to fight just about any post-Conjunction creatures, no matter what world they came from. Extrapolating from that, it would make sense that extensive interdimensional travel is what causes physiological changes over time that result in the silver allergy.
    • Weren't humans post-Conjuction creatures?
    • Yes, but humans don't actively and continuously travel between worlds. The Aen Seidhe also came from a different world originally, for that matter. The speculation I have is that dimensional travel is what brings on the silver allergy, but just taking one trip from a world to another doesn't do the trick, but constant shifting between the worlds, and that the monsters are descendants of beings that have been falling from a world to another for a very long time.
    • There might also be a reason gameplay-wise. Since you often fight the elves and their magic hounds at the same time, it might have been laborious to constantly having to switch between blades mid-combat.
    • It is stated that most of the Wild Hunt riders are Wraiths or more specifically atral prodjections into and that the elf rarely join the hunt in person. The riders acually joining the hunt in person and being fully flesh and blood is very rare and even then not every rider would be a flesh and blood elf.
  • The split of the Aen Undod may result in an allopatric speciation between the Aen Elle and Aen Seidhe elves, both groups could evolve different kinds of physiology to survive in their respective environments, which may explain why Aen Seidhe elves are weak to steel while the Aen Elle are weak to silver.

  • The games make a lot of references to the books. However, perhaps as part of their Lighter and Softer take on Nilfgaard, they neglect to mention that Ciri is from a land the Nilfgaard exterminated the majority of people in. Resulting in the grandmother who raised her being Driven to Suicide. You'd think that would come up when discussing whether to take Ciri to visit her biological father.
    • "Majority of the people" is a bit of an exaggeration. Emhyr was still planning on getting the Cintrans on his side willingly by raising Ciri to his side in the books, suggesting that they still had enough numbers for their opinion to matter politically, even though this was only the secondary objective — but his real one was a secret from anyone but himself. But in any case, Ciri has become so far removed from her royal origins that they probably feel like a completely different life for her, and barely register in her decision-making. And if it does affect anything, it may give her an extra motivation to take the reins in the Empire, in hopes of avoiding the fate of Cintra being repeated elsewhere and giving her old home country improved conditions.
    • It is actually mentioned in the books that Emhyr keeps a whole faction of Cintran nobles wined and dined on his dime to be loyal to him, which is a sign of that he's still willing to maintain at least an appearance of the kingdom's willing vassalitude, not to mention that he actually has a wholly legitimate claim on it through marriage. Maintaining appearances isn't a sign of the exterminating Evil Overlords, and moreover, Emhyr was shown both in the books and in the games as a Pragmatic Villain more interested in expanding The Empire's power and influence rather than in the senseless slaughter, so your claim of "exterminating a majority of the people" is quite an exagerration. Real Life Medieval imperialists didn't willingly exterminate the serfs that created their wealth, they only changed their overlords, any atrocity usually being just the sad side effect of the way warfare was waged in those times.
    • The actual situation in Cintra is a bit more complicated as Emhyr's control over Nilfgaard is weaker than it appears. Emhyr didn't order the Rape Pillage Burn of Cintra which occurred at the hands of Nilfgaard, that was done by his generals who acted without his consent. Cintra wasn't wiped out in the process like the OP claims or even subject to genocide but its main city was destroyed. Emhyr then promptly married a False Ciri and did his best to integrate the country into Nilfgaard.

     Dijstrka's Fighting Skills 
  • Why would Dijstrka try to fight Roche, Thaler, and Ves? When he said so himself that he's not good at fighting?
    • Because he was desperate. By the time he joins in, most of his men have been slaughtered. He gambled on Geralt not getting involved, and lost that gamble - his men are butchered and he knows that he's next. He joins the fight because even with a ruined ankle, its the best chance he has.
    • How was he desperate? He had everything going for him. All he needed to do was to tell his men to kill the party and then leave. There was no reason he should have stayed and why didn't he bring enough men to take on Geralt? if Geralt refuses he has enough men to kill the others. There was absolutely no reason for him to think that Geralt would leave quietly.
    • He was desperate because Geralt didn't walk away like he was expected to. Witchers have a code of neutrality, and the only reason Geralt was party to the assassination was because Radovid was a direct threat to Triss, Yennefer and potentially Ciri. Djikstra did not expect Geralt to side with Roche.
    • He could also be selling himself short. In the books it is mentioned that Isengrim Faoiltiarna, a freaking Elvish commando, was less then thrilled of the prospect of fighting Dijkstra and much preferred him to be friendly.
    • He wasn't good at fighting. This is why he brought many of his men, to make sure even battle-hardened guerillas like Roche and Ves will be defeated. Of course, they would prove no match to the Butcher of Blaviken, should he decides to intervene.

    Witch Hunters on Fyke Island 
  • So in the Forefather's Eve sidequest, the ritual gets interrupted by Witch Hunters who accuse the Peller and his flock of necromancy. The ritual itself takes place on Fyke Island. In Velen. Which is Nilfgaardian territory. Where the Church of the Eternal Fire has no jurisdiction. Erm...
    • Well first it's not like the Church actually cares where they have jurisdiction. Second, Velen is called No Man's Land for a reason - neither Nilfgaard nor Redania have any real presence there, the Bloody Baron notwithstanding.

    Why are Witchers so hated? 
  • My only exposure to this series is Wild Hunt so you'll have to forgive me if this is explained in one of the novels or previous games. Why are Witchers subject to such bigotry and hatred by normal humans? Ordinary townsfolk call Geralt a freak to his face, accuse him of various nefarious deeds, and even attempt to beat him to death. Then there's Kolgrim, that Viper School Witcher who was accused of stealing a child and nearly tortured to death by the townsfolk. Now granted, this sort of attitude makes perfect sense in Novigrad where you have the Church of the Eternal Fire stoking racism against non-humans and mages, but it even happens in Nilfgaard territories like White Orchard where the Church has no presence. Witchers are universally known as professional monster-slayers; the guys you call when your village is under threat from some man-eating abomination. By all rights they should be widely regarded as heroes, not scorned as mutant freaks. So what's the basis of this anti-Witcher racism? Is there some history here that I'm not aware of?
    • The short and simple of it is because they're different. Not different like the Elves and Dwarves, who are at least mildly tolerated, but completely different from anything most common folk know of. They're inhumanly strong and agile, they have cat eyes, they're extraordinarily pale, and they're capable of ingesting potions that would kill a normal man. In addition, they have a history of being selfish, greedy, decidedly amoral mercenaries who care only about profit, which has earned them a reputation of being "heartless thugs and mercenaries". It doesn't help that certain Witcher Schools began going from well intentioned monster hunting to outright villain (The School of the Cat became a ruthless assassin group, and the School of the Viper are Ax-Crazy nearly to a man). Finally, in the first game its explained that Geralt's school, the School of the Wolf, recently suffered massive losses due to an anti-Witcher riot orchestrated by Eternal Fire agents, so there's still a lot of bad blood in Temeria.
    • There are multitude factors that cause people to disdain witchers. Magic in general is a subject of superstition and religiously inspired hate, and witchers, who don't have the social status or contacts that sorcerers normally enjoy or the close ties to the peasantry that village witches have must face the worst of the discrimination head-on. Jealousy also plays a part, since witchers' mutations make them so much more capable than a normal human that people, even educated ones, reason that there has to be a payoff to balance the scales, that witchers must have become somehow subhuman to pay for their abilities, hence the idea that witchers have no capacity for higher emotions. And finally there is the basic fact that witchers live off from the suffering of others, demanding exorbitant payments for their services without showing sympathy to the plight of the common folk. That combination of superstition, jealousy, indirect competition with the clergy and their mercenary ways makes the witchers unwanted guests at best of times and subhuman monsters to be shunned or even hunted at the worst. A certain religious tract that has been circling around, accusing the witchers of being spawns of evil who practice all kinds of evil and demonic customs was just the last drop.
    • There's also other factors beside the above: In the books, it's mentioned that monsters are rarer than they used to be. Most people just don't need Witchers anymore. Nor will they ever. So the necessity of Witchers is far less present. Second there's the fact that Witchers' mutations make them more stoic and less emotional, which has earned them a reputation for lacking empathy and only caring about money - a witcher shows up, kills the monster, displays no fuck given about the suffering the monster caused, asks for his pay, and leaves. Also there's several instances of witcher schools abandoning their purpose. The school of the cat became assassins and were eliminated by the school of the wolf as a result, for example. This furthered people's vision of witchers as heartless and mercenaries. Lastly, witchers spend a lot of time on the road and around corpses and things that eat or collect corpses, which can make them seem unpleasant to be around smell-wise. Especially since while a witcher is immune tot he diseases dead bodies can bring, other people aren't.
    • Witchers are also very very good at killing, which disturbs people to no end. White Orchard ends with the friendly innkeeper calling Geralt a murderer for defending her—more specifically, for killing half a dozen men as easily and carelessly as shoving them aside in the street. Geralt and Vesimir probably could have handled it nonlethally, but the bad guys pulled out swords, and witchers are too pragmatic to do anything but draw swords in return. Priests of the Eternal Fire even refer to Geralt as "pain-giver," and insist that all witchers are good for is killing. The fact that witchers clearly and objectively save more lives than they take is rarely brought up.
    • Probably because it's kind of hard to prove a negative. Whether or not witchers over all directly save more people than they kill probably varies dramatically from one witcher to the next; I imagine Geralt especially is something of an outlier in terms of how many people he kills, and it does seem that he directly kills more people than he directly saves - but the number of people saved indirectly, by there not being monsters around to eat them, is both incalculable and unproveable. It's also an argument that can be countered with the question; how many people witchers let die because they don't have the coin to pay them, and because they often refuse to do anything about monsters until a contract is issued? While the debate over whether or not witchers are necessary would most likely end in favor of the witchers, it's a debate worth having, along with whether or not they should continue to operate as an independent mercenary guild with no oversight or supervision, as opposed to say, a state or joint-state funded organization.
    • In the books, there's a pamphlet titled ''Monstrum, or a Portrayal of Witchers". This work doesn't exactly portray witchers in any favourable light. I'll quote it in its entirety, it's not too long.
      • Truly, there's nothing more disgusting than these monsters, abominations to nature, called the witchers, since they are born through disgusting magicks and devilry. Scoundrels they are, without dignity, conscience and honour, true hell's spawn, skilled only in killing. There's no place among the dignified people for scum such as them. And their Caer Morhen, the nest of those dishonourables where they do their loathsome deeds, should be wiped off the face of the earth, and then this earth should be salted and saltpetred for good measure.
      • They wander the land, insolent and shameless, calling themselves evil-destroyers, werewolf-killers and ghoul-poisoners, demand money from the gullible, and after doing that, they move on to repeat their scam in another town. They can most easily enter the houses of fair, simple and ignorant folks who tend to ascribe all their woes and misfortunes to charms, unnatural creatures, and disgusting monsters, to actions of clouders, also known as evil spirits. Instead of praying to gods and donating richly to temples, those simpletons are ready to give their last shelongs to the dirty witcher, believing that the witcher, this godless degenerate, will make his lot better and avert their woes.
      • It is known that the witchers, as they cause torment, suffering and death to others, feel pleasure as great as a pious, normal man can only feel when he intercourses with his lawful wife, ibidum cum elaculatio. From this point of view, it's also obvious that the witcher is an abomination to nature, unnormal and disgusting degenerate from the deepest pits of hell blackest and foul-smelliest, since only a devil can take pleasure from tormenting and hunting others.
      • They wander many lands, but their attitudes and inclinations are identical everywhere. They do not acknowledge any power over themselves, neither humanly nor godly, they do not respect any laws or rules, they don't think it necessary to obey anyone and think of themselves as unpunishable. They are charlatans by nature, living off sortilege, with which they fool the common folk, serving as spies, selling fake amulets, false medications, drinks and drugs, and acting as pimps, that is, bringing whores for wicked pleasure of those who pay them. When they are in need, they are not ashamed to beg for money; they never steal, but only because they like cheating and conning more. They deceive the gullible, saying that they protect people, guarding their safety by killing monsters, but it's been proven long ago that they only do that for their own pleasure, since killing is their main form of entertainment. In preparation for their deeds, they engage in some kind of magical sorcery to beguile the watchers. The pious priests immediately expose all their tricks and handiwork and shame these devil's servants called witchers.
    • If this pamphlet is the commoners' main source of information about witchers, small wonder they usually hate them with a passion. And there's also the fact that witchers sometimes demand young boys as payment to bolster their numbers...

    Regarding Higher Vampires 
  • In Blood and Wine it is mentioned that only one higher vampire can kill another higher vampire. Except Geralt encounters at least two higher vampires during the course of the main game, and several bruxae and alps in DLC, who are also higher vampires. All of them he dispatches with no trouble. So what's the deal?
    • The Bruxae aren't actually higher vampires, they're teetering somewhere in the upper middle of the vampire power scale. But that aside, killing a higher vampire is difficult but perfectly doable for mortal humans; Regis was chopped to death by a band of common peasants when he was too blood-drunk to fight back. But higher vampires killed by normal means never stay dead, they regenerate over time and come back months, years or decades later. Only another higher vampire can kill them so that they stay dead for good. They explain this pretty plainly in the DLC, actually.
    • Although on the other side, Geralt does say that he only know one person who defeated a higher vampire (referencing Vilgefortz, presumably). So either he's suffering from another bout of amnesia, or he knowingly half-arsed the "Carnal Sins" quest.
    • Only a Higher Vampire can permanently kill another Higher Vampire (ie: With no hope of resurrection from another Higher Vampire, the way Regis was regenerated).
    • The guy in Carnal Sins was basically at Geralt's mercy by the end there. All Geralt had to do was burn the body and bury the ashes in several places and that Higher Vampire is not returning for likely thousands of years so he's effectively gone (especially since Regis suggest they are somewhat conscious during their time being "dead" so that long would probably leave him near comatose).
    • There's a difference between Higher Vampire, a distinct species in which Detlaff, Regis, and the Unseen Elder are members of, and higher vampire, a subset of vampires consists of several species of vampires with developed intelligence (such as Bruxae, Alps, and Higher Vampires) as opposed to the more basal and animalistic subset of vampires known as lesser vampires such as Ekimmarae or Garkains.
  • Tying in with the above point about how only a higher vampire can put another down for good, why would Regis need to paint a target on his back by actually killing Detlaff, considering they had a perfectly good vampire prison that they know still works right below them? The Doylist reason is that no ending can be absolutely perfect, but with that DLC rewarding looking for a third option and showing compassion, it seems out of place.

    Higher Vampires and "Blue Eyes" 
  • Even more confusing is the "Blue Eyes" quest from the first game (how I despise Wild Hunts complete inability to reference choices made in the first game). Geralt says he's never fought higher vampire and so never fought the Queen of the Night, but a letter found in the tourney grounds mentions Patrick z Weyze being alive. The two are mutually exclusive. And during "High Stakes" he makes reference to "Blue Eyes", so you can't even say he never accepted the contract.
    • The letter could predate his death. It's only been 2 years since the first game, it's not unthinkable a letter sent pre-mortem might have just arrived in a medieval setting.
    • Except the same letter said Roderick de Wett is dead. His death occurred after Geralt's encounter with de Weyze and the Queen of the Night.
    • Queen of the Night was a Bruxa, not a Higher Vampire, so there is no contradiction, there, either way.
    • I don't believe that the Queen of the Night was meant to be a bruxa any more than Concerned Citizen was meant to be a katakan. They strike me as too articulate, their plans well thought out to be lesser vampires. Remember that Geralt was surprised the bruxa of Corvo Blanco was able to talk - apparently that relatively simple skill is quite rare among bruxa.
    • Queen of the Night was specifically described as a Bruxa, as I recall — her comrades most definitely were. Geralt wasn't surprised that the Bruxa in Corvo Blanco having capability of speech, but that she was speaking in human language — the majority of the Bruxas are reclusive and without connections to the human world, and thus feeling no need to learn their tongue. A Bruxa seen in the original Witcher short stories was able to fall in love with a human man, but didn't share a common language, hampering their relationship, for example. There isn't a strict divide between "high" and "low" vampires, but a smooth transition from non-sapient animals to sapient but physically more limited Bruxa and Alps (possibly among other species, like Mulas and Nosferats that are mentioned but never described in detail) to finally the Higher Vampires, who defy easy classification even between individuals.
    • Also, Katakan's aren't lesser vampires, they are higher ones.
    • The games, at least, definitely portray Katakans as lesser vampires, animalistic and monstrous.
    • Higher Vampires can have a animalstic and monstrous side too, especially when they give in to their blood lust.
    • Besides which, if Katakans are higher vampires why does Geralt still say he's never fought a higher vampire despite potentially facing several Katakans earlier in the game?
    • Because even CD Project can't think of everything.
    • Katakans, Bruxae, Alps, etc. are higher vampires, meaning they're (generally) not just animals and are capable of reason. Regis and Dettlaff are Higher Vampires, an entirely separate species more powerful than all the others.

     How do these Witch Hunts even work? 
  • Now some third grade magic user I can see being apprehended by Witch Hunters, but how the hell did prime Sorceresses like Margarita Laux-Antille or Síle de Tansarville get into the hands of the Eternal Fire? This isn't Dragon Age, there are no Templars who can literally suck the magic energy out of them. Sure, they have Dimeritium Shackles, but those need to be put on first. As we have seen several times throughout the saga (like with Sabrina Glevissig in the second game), powerful magic users can literally incinerate entire armies, so how can some brutish goons with colorful uniforms even come close to apprehend such mighty individuals?
    • At least some of it is probably the sorceresses underestimating the witch hunters and their cruelty. Kiera Metz, for example, assumed she'd be able to trade the plague notes for amnesty; presumably Radovid had her clapped in shackles while she was distracted with negotiating. Large amounts of Dimeritium have also been shown to disrupt magic just by being nearby, so the witch hunters might be able to disrupt them long enough to clap the shackles on them.
    • Only very few magic users can repel the concentrated effort of a determined squad of trained soldiers. The Loc Muinne massacre, shown in The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, demonstrates how poorly mages do against a conventional army of soldiers trained to oppose magic on even ground. More destructive magic usually requires time and great effort to prepare, and even the greatest sorceresses have to eat and rest. The Witch Hunters also don't play fair; they go after their targets when they are at their most vulnerable.
    • You think Geralt's the only one toting dimiretium bombs? Toss one of those at a strong wizard and suddenly they're just a man in funny robes or a woman in a fancy dress. In addition, most mages need at least a bit of time to cast very strong spells; otherwise they're using ones that don't kill an armored human very quickly. Just look at how Triss fights in-game. A half-dozen witch hunters can easily get close to a wizard at close range like inside a building and tackle, pin, or stab them. Even in the books, Yennefer was physically overpowered by the dragon-hunters when they were able to get in close, grab her, and tie her up.
    • It's also worth noting that it's hardly one sided: several times we see or hear about the aftermath of Witch Hunters attacking mages and there's usually quite a high casualty rate among the Hunters.

     Doppler transformations & personality. 
  • Alright, so we're told and shown that a doppler impersonating another person doesn't just take on their appearance but also feels the weight of their personality influence their own. Dudu is very resistant to the idea of impersonating Menge specifically for this reason - becoming someone so cruel, hateful, and sadistic would be a traumatic experience for him. However, later on, we see that Dudu has taken on the identity of Whoreson Jr, of his own initiative, without telling anyone, and doesn't really seem any worse for wear from it, aside from being perhaps a bit raunchier and foul-mouthed, and in general has passed Jr. off as a changed, born again man dedicated to honest business and good works. But Wiley is at the very least, every bit as horrific as Menge if not significantly worse. This seems a little incongruous with the idea that someone's personality is so strong an influence on a doppler when they're impersonating them.
    • As with Menge, he probably only does it briefly, long enough to keep up the illusion, and then reverts back. Once he's back in his halfing form, Dudu seems perfectly okay. It might also help that he's pretending a spiritual awakening, so he's surrounded by people who want him to improve.
    • The biggest difference between Menge and Whoreson is that Menge, as disgusting as he is, is also very strong willed. When confronted by Triss he doesn't beg for his life (though does express shock and fear), he shows no fear in the face of Geralt, and is even willing to fight him. Whoreson Junior is a Smug Snake Dirty Coward who begs for his life when Geralt confronts him, and mostly invokes his brutal nature on those weak enough to not fight back (or that he believes he can bully, like Dudu, Dandelion, and Ciri). It's not clear how the personality mimicry works but its possible that Wiley's got such a weak will that Dudu can easily suppress his persona when mimicking him.

     Bloody Baron getting away with murder in peacetime. 
  • So, the Baron admitted that, years ago, he murdered the guy his wife eloped with. Presumably this didn't happen on the battlefield, and it doesn't seem like Temeria was lawless enough that the murder would go unnoticed by authorities. Not to mention that his wife would have a strong incentive to report it. So, how could he reasonably get away with it?
    • Medieval worlds are already iffy on the law, especially in the realm of noblemen, and Temeria's been through a great many wars, both civil and foreign. It's well within the realm of possibility that Strenger could kill a man, and if no one asked about it and his men kept quiet, no one of sufficient authority further up the chain of nobility would give enough of a shit to investigate. Law enforcement among feudal nobles in general involves nobles higher up the chain caring enough to intervene, and as long as Strenger didn't kill a family member or someone else important enough like a supremely wealthy merchant or a member of the clergy, no one with the authority to prosecute him would care. Another nobleman's business is that nobleman's business.
      • The trouble with that theory is that the Bloody Baron isn't a nobleman. His title is strictly self-declared, and at the time of the murder he was only a soldier. That said, there barely seems to be a justice system in place - look at how frequently Geralt is forced to judge others, even in places far removed from the war.
      • The Baron has a castle, he has men who obey his orders, and he rules over a section of land. That effectively makes him nobility, regardless of possessing a noble title. This sort of thing is even discussed in the Witcher books; whether or not you have a title means very little as long as you have enough sword arms and territory to hold whatever you're claiming.
    • The idea that the law is applied evenly and in all cases is a relatively new one. In most medieval societies what passed for a police force lacked anything like the resources to enforce law regularly outside the rich areas of big cities. So long as Anna's lover was no-one with powerful relatives to chase the murder up or someone popular enough for his murder to create a lynch mob likely it never came to the attention of the law.

     Redanian army resisting Nilfgaard. 
  • So, we learn in-game that Army Group Center has a huge camp in Velen with hundreds of tents, that they are only waiting for reinforcement to move over the Pontar, and that a different army is moving into Kaedwen further east. Meanwhile, what we see of the Redanian army is limited to the small garrison guarding the crossings over the Pontar and Oxenfurt, clearly nowhere near the number their opponent has. Yet if Radovid or Dijkstra controls these meager forces they are somehow capable of forcing Nilfgaard to retreat, and it seems unlikely that controlling Novigrad would make up for the difference in the short term. Even with the treasury and fleet in their hands, Nilfgaard's advantage seems overwhelming.
    • The majority of the Redanian army is elsewhere, fighting other battles. Keep in mind that the entire area we see in-game is pitifully tiny compared to the whole of Redania and Kaedwen. This map right here would give you a rough idea of the scale we're talking about here. You can see the utterly tiny area on the west coast that encompasses Novigrad, Oxenfurt, and the Velen region where the in-game fighting is happening, versus the immense borders of Redania and Kaedwen. This useful comparison map shows the holdings of Nilfgaard versus Redania, and we can see just how wide the front is, and Nilfgaard and Redania are fighing along this area. So, while Nilfgaard has local superiority in numbers around Velen, they don't necessarily have the same advantages across the board along the rest of the front with Redania. In addition, if Nilfgaard attacked Oxenfurt, the city is an island on a river, which is an extremely defensible location, and a siege would be a lengthy process, which would give Redania time to get reinforcements there to relieve the siege. Between those two defensive positions and the threat to burn Novigrad's fleets and disappear it's treasury if the Nilfgaardians cross the border, it's understandable why Army Group Center is holding their position while more intense fighting rages elsewhere. Finally, one of the biggest problems that the Nilfgaard army faces is domestic: the war is intensely unpopular back in the south and the Emperor has to deal with constant efforts to undermine the war and usurp his throne. It's one of the biggest contributing factors to his defeat if Djikstra or Radovid remain in power.
    • Novigrad itself is also, very technically, neutral territory. Redania has more influence there but it isn't technically being held by Redania and is still somewhat self ruled, though everyone seems to be aware that that is a very temporary state of affairs. Main thing is that both sides need Novigrad - it's a wealthy city and it has a huge fleet, and if either side attempts to take it by force, it's been made clear that the city - specifically the Big Four - will burn that fleet out of spite to make the resources expended in taking and holding the city a completely wasted effort. It's important to remember that neither force intends on stopping with what they have - Emhyr wants everything north of the Pontar and the Skellige Isles and he needs those ships to do that, and Radovid plans on taking back Temeria, and he'll need the fleet to do that.

     Nimue and Condwiramurs still feeling the White Frost 
  • If Ciri destroyed the White Frost at the end of the game, how come Nimue says it is still happening in Lady of the Lake, which takes place years later?
    • Ciri may have simply halted its advance rather than destroy it altogether. Just what she did at the end of the game is unclear.
    • Ciri was pretty clear that she was destroying it for good. Maybe Nimue's wrong. Or maybe there's some after effects but not the whole big thing. Or maybe there's a Timey-Wimey Ball involved; Ciri is the Lady of Space AND Time after all. Maybe she had to kill it slightly in the future rather than now. "Jaques" tried time travel to fight the White Frost. He failed but maybe Ciri succeeded.
    • Maybe also, by destroying it now, Ciri changes the future shown in Lady of the Lake? Nothing indicates there's a fixed timeline that can't be altered.
    • From the books (at least the English translation) it seems fairly explicit that The White Frost is meant to be a prophesied natural ice age, not a supernatural world-destroying entity. Nimue references the slow cooling of the climate in Kovir and Poviss as evidence for this claim and theorizes it will still take around 3,000 years from her era for The Continent to actually be covered by glaciers. Ciri's supposed ability to stop the White Frost is implied more to be her power over time allowing her to manipulate events such that this ice age is delayed or permanently halted (and the books imply she did not do this by Nimue's time). Whether that is the author's intent or just what people in Nimue's time have come to accept as the standard interpretation of the prophecy I can't say for sure (although I lean towards Sapkowski intending Nimue's theory to be correct). It appears that CDPR slightly changed the interpretation for the games so that the White Frost is an actual supernatural threat invading worlds across the multiverse, thus allowing Ciri to confront and defeat the White Frost and no longer being burdened with the Destiny that has haunted her her entire life. For what it's worth, the games also completely omit (with good reason) the prophecies that Ciri's offspring will be the most powerful mage ever born etc etc which is more generally why most people (including the Aen Elle and Emyhr) are chasing her the entire book series rather than because of her own specific powers. In truth, there's nothing that makes this change invalidate Nimue's timeline either. No one aside from a very small handful of people know that The White Frost entity existed, or that Ciri successfully stopped it. Thus, hundreds of years later it would be perfectly logical for people like Nimue to assign a natural explanation for a prophecy that, as far as she knows, was never fulfilled and is thus just sorta hanging out there waiting for an explanation.

     The ending and goodbyes 
  • In the Empress Ciri ending, both Geralt and Ciri both treat their goodbye as though they may never see each other again. Why? Leaving aside that Geralt likely ends up with a sorceress who can create hassle-free portals to anywhere, what's stopping Geralt from simply traveling to Nilfgaard's capital to visit her? Sure Ciri will be busy doing empress things, but that hardly seems like a justification to never see each other again.
    • They don't exactly treat it as a permanent goodbye, but that Ciri is doing something she doesn't really want but rather out of duty and necessity, rather than what she truly wants to do.
    • Seems CDPR were aware that it really didn't have to be a permanent goodbye either, since Ciri can appear at Corvo Bianco at the end of Blood and Wine as either a witcher or an empress-to-be, and in the latter case, she even says offhand that she's not willing to rule out the possibility of giving up the position anyway.
    • They're not going to be able to simply travel together again and their respective duties will make social visits difficult so it's enough of a goodbye to be emotional

     The Black Beauty 
  • Why did it destroy the village? I understood it that the adverse effects it had on the villagers were accidental, and the druidess was murdered by Crones, the villagers had nothing to do with it. I get it, it's a ghost, it's wild, and it's not supposed to be nice, but it just seems so random and pointless. After all, it did rescue the orphans so it couldn't have been totally evil, so what was up with suddenly murdering an entire village of innocent people? Was it just to make it a Sadistic Choice?
    • 2 reasons: 1. the village serve the Crones, 2. the village sent Geralt to kill it. Those might not be good reasons for a rational being but for a vengeful spirit it's enough.
    • I think she mainly saved the orphans as part of the deal with Geralt and maybe partly to hurt the crones, not out of the goodness of her heart at least.

     The baby surviving in the Possession quest 
  • Maybe I missed something but the ending of the "Possession" quest confuses me. You clearly see a live baby go into the oven and yet someone walks out later with the baby unharmed how?
    • He took the baby out from the other side. Geralt wasnít told about it so he would think he actually killed the baby and attract the hym.

     Olgierd von Everec's Heart of Stone 
  • Perhaps I've missed something, or some element of Polish culture or language that was originally there eludes me, but I fail to understand why it is that Olgierd von Everec was given a heart of stone by Gaunter O'Dimm. It seems to be implied that this was some twisted form of O'Dimm giving him "only what [he] wished for", like a Jerkass Genie, thereby leading to his life being ruined - but even as a complete jerkass, how does one twist a wish for immortality and riches into one which would turn a heart to stone? It would've been understandable if, as in some versions of the fairytale, Olgierd's heart would've been taken out of his body (thereby making him immortal, since he's no longer truly alive in the first place, yet also literally "heartless"), but he clearly still does have a heart. It's just calcified.

     Horst Borsodi 
  • Why did he keep his father's will around, instead of just destroying/forging the document?