Kaedwen (from Elder Speech Caed Gwen translated as White Forest) is the largest of the Northern Kingdoms (and the second largest country in the Continent, next to Nilfgaard). Its main cities are its capital, Ard Carraigh, and the city of Ban Ard, famous for its sorcery school. It is also known for its cold and unforgiving climate, along with the many forests within its borders.
King Henselt frequently quarreled with neighboring Aedirn, mostly over the ownership of the Pontar Valley which once belonged to the Kaedwenians. Kaedwen also shares borders with the kingdoms of Redania and Caingorn; and portions of the Fiery Mountains, the Kestrel Mountains and the Blue Mountains run through the kingdom. The witchers' fortress of Kaer Morhen is located amidst the peaks of the Blue Mountains, and further south lies the land of the Free Elves, an enclave established by elves seeking refuge from centuries of warring with humans.
In the far future, the weather changed enough that northern regions, like Talgar, Caingorn, and Kaedwen, are no longer suitable to grow certain types of produce due to the colder climate. In particular, Kaedwen no longer has the capability to grow grapevines and thus no longer has a wine industry.
During the reign of King Henselt, during the First Northern War in 1263, the Kaedwenian Army marched south to face the invading Nilfgaardian Army. While successful, many soldiers were lost in battle, and concurrently Kaedwen was left partially undefended to the newly established Scoia'tael, who constantly attacked Kaedwenian forts and regiments on the road, such as Beeches.
Coats of Arms
From time immemorial coat of arms of Kaedwen has been the Black Unicorn on Gold. The legend has it that when Viduka was wandering through the country he saw the unicorn which led him to the unusual rock where he would later found his capital.
For the main article on Kaedwenian kings, see Dynasty of the Unicorn.
For a complete list of known Kaedwenians, see Category:Kaedwenians.
Cities and Keeps
- Ard Carraigh
- Ban Ard
- Ban Gleán
- Fort Leyda
- Kaer Morhen
Regions and Landmarks
- Barefield (formerly)
- the Buina
- the Brista
- Caingorn (formerly)
- the Lixela
- Lormark (formerly)
- Malleore (formerly)
- Kaedwen Trail
- Out-of-the-way kingdom (probably)
- Vspaden or Vespaden
The Prologue is set in the grounds of Kaer Morhen, which is located in the northern kingdom of Kaedwen. Additionally, one of the types of beer available to Geralt throughout the game is Kaedwenian Stout.
The Price of Neutrality premium module
This premium module for the game is set in the surroundings of Kaer Morhen, which is located in the northern kingdom of Kaedwen.
- The largest of the Northern Kingdoms with its capital at Ard Carraigh, Kaedwen has a cold and unforgiving climate. Its ruler, Henselt, quarrels frequently with the monarch of neighboring Aedirn. Kaedwen also shares borders with the kingdoms of Redania and Caingorn and with the duchies of Vspaden and Creyden. Portions of the Fiery Mountains, the Kestrel Mountains and the Blue Mountains run through the kingdom. The witcher's fortress of Kaer Morhen is located amidst the peaks of the latter range. Further south lies the land of the Free Elves, an enclave established by elves seeking refuge from centuries of warring with humans. Kaedwen's main cities are its capital and the city of Ban Ard, famous for its sorcery school.
The above journal entry states that, Kaedwen borders the duchy of "Vspaden", which is an error based on a fan-made map from Andrzej Sapkowski Zone, even though CD PROJEKT RED created a more correct map of their own for the game, which does not include this error. The fan-made map includes the duchy based on a (misspelled) reference to Yspaden in "The Lesser Evil". According to Andrzej Sapkowski's own notes, which were released after the map was created, Yspaden is a city in Redania.
While the kingdom of Kaedwen does not itself feature in the game, its king, Henselt and a Kaedweni taskforce of 5,200 men do. They attempt to seize the Pontar Valley through negotiated terms at first, but are met with resistance from Prince Stennis and the Blood Curse of Sabrina Glevissig. Henselt is forced to take it through military action, but this is met with fierce resistance from Saskia and the Vergen militia. The outcome of the battle and fate of King Henselt can be influenced by the Geralt's actions. Kaedwen may end up controlliing both strategic lynchpins of the Valley, should Geralt allow Kaedwen to seize both Flotsam and Vergen.
- The formidable ranges of the Blue, Kestrel and Fiery mountains define the eastern and western boundaries of the densely forested, cold and harsh domain of Kaedwen, whose coat of arms is a black unicorn rearing on a golden field. The realm's capital at Ard Carraigh was the seat of power of King Henselt, a man known for having a violent temper and pursuing radical policies towards nonhumans. The latter could be attributed to the fact that Scoia'tael units consistently caused great injury to the wooded land and its inhabitants, launching many brutal guerilla attacks. The local human populace responded with massacres perpetrated on the assimilated elves and dwarves inhabiting the country's cities. And so hatred burned on and blood bred blood. Those who called for peace were accused of treason and often died at the hands of their kinfolk. Furthermore, Kaedwen was involved in an age-old feud with neighboring Aedirn over the territory of Lormark, and that conflict cast a pall over relations between the two countries. As you will clearly see, its echoes rang out in this story as well.
During a conversation with Imperial Ambassador var Attre in Vizima, Geralt is informed that while Nilfgaard's army settled in for the winter of 1271/2, Redania's forces crossed the Kestrel Mountains and conquered Kaedwen. If Henselt survived the events of Assassins of Kings, he was killed on the front lines. Redania absorbed Kaedwen's military, thereby presenting Nilfgaard with a much larger, united front to face during their invasion of the north.
- In Welsh, coed means "forest" while gwyn means "white". Therefore, the hypothetical place name Coedwyn could be translated as "white forest".
- it's unclear if there was only one Benda, or the name was used by several Kaedweni monarchs