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The Witcher: Notable Characters from the School of the Viper

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  • Posted on 08th Apr, 2022 22:40 PM
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Witchers from the Viper School are infamous for their royal assassinations in The Witcher, but their original goal was to defeat the Wild Hunt.

p>There are many types of Witchers in The Witcher universe, each coming from a different school and taught under different philosophies. The School of the Wolf is the most easily recognizable as this is where the likes of Geralt and Vesemir were taught. Another school, however, is the School of the Viper. Though the school was first established to eradicate the Wild Hunt, some Viper School Witchers abandoned this goal to instead attempt assassinations on the rulers of the Northern realms for the Nilfgaardian Empire.

The player can meet multiple Witchers from the School of the Viper across the Witcher games. Some appear in The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings and others are mentioned in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. It’s also worth noting that not all of the Viper School Witchers were royal assassins.

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Ivar Evil-Eye — Founder of the School of the Viper

Ivar Evil-Eye was once a Witcher from the School of the Bear. There, he adapted to his mutations extremely well, so the mages continued to experiment on him. Eventually, this led to him acquiring his “evil eye,” which could see into other worlds. With this ability, he was able to see the Wild Hunt, dashing across the sky, killing people as they flew across the Continent.

Seeing the devastation that the Wild Hunt caused, Ivar decided to pursue and kill them. Though he knew he couldn’t do this alone, so he and a band of Bear School Witchers attempted to take over the school by defeating its current leader, Arnaghad. They failed, however, and were exiled. Ivar and the former Bear School Witchers then traveled to Tir Tochair mountains, where they established the School of the Viper.

During Ivar’s time as leader of the Viper School of The Witcher, the group was able to amass a huge collection of books and other such texts about the Wild Hunt. The school also established unique Witcher training methods, such as requiring students to raise a personal pet and then slaughter it. However, Ivar was never able to defeat the Wild Hunt as he could never catch up to them as they flew across the sky. By the time Geralt defeated them, Ivar was already long dead.

Letho of Gulet — The Kingslayer of The Witcher 2

Letho is a Viper School Witcher who features prominently in The Witcher 2. After the School of the Viper fell into ruin, Letho went into hiding, taking on monster contracts and even wanted bounties to get by. At one point — before the events of the game series — he even cooperated with Geralt of Rivia as he went after the Wild Hunt to save the sorceress Yennefer.

Much later, Emperor Emhyr var Emreis of Nilfgaard approached him with a job: To kill the rulers of the North in exchange for the reestablishment of the School of the Viper. Letho accepted the job and planned to kill King Esterad Thyssen of Kovir and Poviss first. However, he was then commissioned by the sorceress Síle de Tansarville to kill King Demavend of Aedirn instead. After which, he forged an alliance with the Scoia’tael, who agreed to help him in his royal assassinations. This allowed him to kill King Foltest of Temeria in The Witcher 2, framing Geralt in the process.

This is where the events of The Witcher 2 pick up, wherein Geralt must find Letho, the Kingslayer, and clear his own name. Should the player spare Letho in their playthrough then load the save to The Witcher 3, Geralt can meet Letho again while the Viper School Witcher is on the run.

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Auckes and Serrit — Sibling Kingslayers

Auckes and Serrit are brothers who joined Letho in his quest to kill the rulers of the Northern realms. Little is known of their history before the events of The Witcher 2, though they were also present when Letho helped Geralt chase after the Wild Hunt. After King Foltest’s murder, they were tasked with assassinating King Henselt of Kaedwen.

In The Witcher 2, should Geralt choose Iorveth’s path and save Síle, she’ll go on to kill Serrit to create a scapegoat for the recent regicides, removing any suspicion from the Lodge of Sorceresses in The Witcher. As for Auckes, he’d be captured by Kaedweni soldiers after Serrit’s death. The Viper School Witcher is then imprisoned and tortured, forcing him to reveal Letho’s location before his demise.

Kolgrim — A Witcher Plagued by Bad Luck

Kolgrim is a Viper School Witcher that Geralt can hear about in The Witcher 3. He was a Witcher who was always plagued by bad luck, even before he took up the profession as a monster hunter. As a child, he was abducted by a monster known as a “weeper,” which then replaced Kolgrim with its own offspring. Luckily, an older Viper School Witcher slew the weeper and saved the young Kolgrim, only to be shunned by his mother, who believed the weeper’s offspring was her real son. With no other choice, the Witcher took Kolgrim to the School of the Viper.

After completing his training, Ivar Evil-Eye instructed Kolgrim to go out and find the lost weapon diagrams that had once belonged to their school. Kolgrim agreed, but, of course, bad luck followed him during his travels. In the town of White Orchard in The Witcher 3, the Witcher was accused of kidnapping the beekeeper’s son. The local nobility then called for Kolgrim’s torture to appease the angry peasant folk. However, Kolgrim, instead, requested a trial by ordeal, which was granted. He was then instructed to purge the local crypt of wraiths.

Official documents claim that Kolgrim perished at the hands of the ghosts. However, some believe that the local peasantry, wanting to take matters into their own hands, ambushed the Witcher before he could even enter the crypt. Regardless of what truly happened, Geralt can learn in The Witcher 3 that Kolgrim never kidnapped the beekeeper’s child. The boy was simply killed by drowners. Thus, Kolgrim never got back to the Viper School base, and Ivar never reacquired the lost weapon diagrams.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is available now on PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One.

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