The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Gwent: A History

Gwent: for many a diverting game of cards, for others, a noble pursuit, for some – a crippling addiction which devours their every coin and every waking moment. These last can be found most frequently among the dwarves, the game's inventors and most passionate devotees. Their devotion extends to gwent's paraphernalia, its cards most of all, which they craft with great care and skill - in fact, cards painted by dwarven masters are often considered miniature works of art. In past times they devoted equal attention to whittling the clubs which contestants once kept at their sides, to bash each other about the head with in the case of an argument. As brawls grew less common, the clubs became implied threats more than used weapons, until eventually falling into disuse and near oblivion.

Today gwent players can be found almost everywhere, from the Skellige Isles (where the game was first introduced by the druid Ermion) to the Northern Realms and the Nilfgaardian Empire.

In gwent, the play of cards mimics the dueling of two armies. The playing field is divided into two parts, each split into three rows. Nearest to the center stand units who fight at close quarters, behind them, archers and other such ranged attackers, and furthest back, machines and creatures used for siege purposes. Both players wield decks made up of a minimum of 22 unit cards and a maximum of 10 special cards, and each must also contain a leader card. The players who wins the toss of a coin (originally: the dwarf whose wife has the longest beard) plays first. Each player draws at random 10 cards from his deck and then is allowed to redraw 2 of these before the laying of cards begins. Each round is won by the player who has played cards of the greatest value. The first to achieve 2 victorious rounds wins, meaning a maximum of 3 rounds are played. The winner's prize is agreed upon by the players before each match – most often, the wager is a bounty of coin or a rare card

The heart of the players' armies, the unit cards, come in three types:
close combat units,
ranged combat units,
siege units.

Each such card is assigned a strength rating and may additionally possess special abilities.
There are also special cards which have no strength rating but instead influence the course of the game in other ways.

Unit cards depicting famed heroes not only have unusually high strength ratings, but also have the added benefit of ignoring the workings of all special cards. These are the rarest and most coveted of gwent cards. Most frequently they must be won from top players or purchased at a great price from collectors.

The cards in classic gwent are divided into four factions:
The Northern Realms, leader: Foltest
The Nilfgaardian Empire, leader: Emhyr var Emreis
Monsters, leader: Eredin Bréacc Glas
The Scoia'tael, leader: Francesca Findabair

   

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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Geralt rejoins his long-lost lover, Yennefer, in the town of White Orchard. Yennefer tells him that Emperor Emhyr has summoned him to the city of Vizima. Emhyr tasks Geralt with finding Ciri, who has recently been seen in several places. Ciri is a Child of the Elder Blood, the daughter of the emperor and the last heir to an ancient elfish bloodline with the power to manipulate space and time. Geralt first hears that Ciri was in Velen at Crow's Perch, the Bloody Baron's fort. The baron refuses to help, but Geralt's acquaintance, the sorceress Keira Metz, tells him that an elfish mage was looking for Ciri. Keira directs Geralt to the Crones of Crookback Bog: malicious, ancient spirits living near Velen. The Crones say that they captured Ciri for the Wild Hunt before she escaped and have enslaved Anna, the baron's missing wife. Geralt returns to the baron, who tells him that Ciri went to Novigrad.

He discovers that the Church of the Eternal Fire, a militant religious organization, is purging mages in Novigrad. Meeting his former lover, Triss Merigold, Geralt learns that Ciri had contacted his friend Dandelion. Geralt navigates Novigrad's criminal underworld to rescue Dandelion, and learns that Ciri teleported to the Skellige archipelago. In Novigrad, Geralt may help Triss to free fugitive mages. He sails to Skellige and rejoins Yennefer, who has been investigating a magical explosion linked to Ciri. They track Ciri to the island of Lofoten, which has been attacked by the Wild Hunt. Geralt and Yennefer realise that Uma, a deformed, cursed creature at Crow's Perch, was present after Ciri's escape. Before leaving Skellige, Geralt can help determine who will rule Skellige after the king's death. Yennefer severs the magical bond between her and Geralt, giving him the option of affirming his love for her or ending their relationship.

Launch Year: 2015
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Cover

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