“I leave this journal and the others bound with it, to set the ledger straight and make sure that the knowledge of the Witchers will be preserved.” -Erland of Larvik
As you might have heard, our upcoming Witcher TRPG supplement, A Witcher’s Journal, is a bestiary containing a plethora of new monsters, ranging from bears to rotfiends to high vampires!
We couldn’t stop there, though. Just slapping a bunch of stats and pretty pictures (and they are pretty!) seemed like the easy way out. We didn’t just want to add monsters to the world of the Witcher. We wanted to add to the world itself!
To that end, we worked with our partners at CD Projekt Red on an idea: what if our good friends Rodolf Kazmer (heh) and Brandon of Oxenfurt found a witcher’s journal containing all manner of monster lore and published it? And what it this journal wasn’t just from some random witcher but from one of the first witchers? One who went on to found a School?
Friends, meet Erland of Larvik.
Erland vs the Plague Maiden, art by Kit Ho and Jonathan Sheng of Bad Moon Studios
By way of introduction, Witcher TRPG lead developer Cody Pondsmith has written a brief summary of just who Erland is.
Erland of Larvik was the founder of the school we now know as the Griffin School of the Witcher. Born to a skellige raider and raised as a bastard-born shiphand, Erland was one of the first children to be successfully mutated by the Alzur, Cossimo, and the other mages in the halls of Kaer Morhen. With his brothers and sisters, he suffered through the trials of the witcher, as the mages perfected them. When he finished his trials, Erland was among the first group of witchers to ply their trade on the continent and despite the world’s hatred and fear of mutants, he always strived to uphold the knightly values that the first witchers were taught. It was these values that led Erland and a group of his closest allies to split off from the Order of Witchers as it began its decline. Under the banner of the Gryphon, Erland’s school taught not only monster hunting skills but chivalry. Even after Erland’s disappearance, the destruction of Kaer y Seren, and the near extinction of the Gryphon, the surviving Witchers of the Gryphon School (now the Griffin), still keep that fire burning.
Here’s a bit more of Erland. The next illustration is known as a “turn”. A type of character model which allows us to see Erland from multiple character angles. And yes, his arms are supposed to be missing in the side view!
Erland turn by Mikhail Palamarchuk
And, of course, what’s a witcher without his blades?
Erland will be the backbone of Witcher’s Journal. We’ll learn about his life, how he became a witcher, and about the monsters presented in the book through his eyes.
We’re pretty darn excited to share him and this peek into the golden age of witchers with you!