| ||An utterly new, secret organisation should be founded which will exclusively serve matters of magic. Which will do everything to prevent a cataclysm. For if magic were to perish, our world would perish with it.|| |
|- Philippa Eilhart, pg.36 Baptism of Fire|
The Lodge of Sorceresses arose from the ruins of the Brotherhood of Sorcerers after the incident on Thanedd Island essentially killed the older order among mages. It was a secret organization composed entirely of female mages and even referred to as a sisterhood due to no men being invited, as the sorceresses saw men as too incompetent to handle governing areas of magic.
- Philippa Eilhart
- Margarita Laux-Antille
- Triss Merigold
- Keira Metz
- Sabrina Glevissig
- Sheala de Tancarville
- Francesca Findabair
- Assire var Anahid
- Fringilla Vigo (invited by Assire)
- Ida Emean aep Sivney (invited by Francesca)
- Yennefer ("invited" by Francesca)
Started by Philippa Eilhart several weeks after the coup, the first meeting was attended by Philippa, Triss Merigold, Keira Metz, and Margarita Laux-Antille with Sabrina Glevissig, Sheala de Tancarville, Francesca Findabair, and Assire var Anahid appearing as projections in Philippa's home, Montecalvo. Initially it started off rocky, as Francesca had helped out Nilfgaard during the Thanedd coup while the rest remained neutral or sided with the North, but after revealing that Francesca and Assire could be killed if Nilfgaard found out about the meetings the group banded together and collectively agreed to not invite any men and to remain politically independent when it came to the meetings, though outside of them they were free to side with whoever. Feeling there should be 12 total members, Philippa then stated they'd have a second meeting in a couple weeks where the latter 4 seats would be introduced by Assire, Francesca, and Philippa.
The second meeting at Montecalvo in Redania was in person. In addition to the original members, Assire brought Fringilla Vigo as a new member, and Francesca brought Ida Emean aep Sivney and Yennefer of Vengerberg (though the latter was brought to the meeting unwillingly). Yennefer was also less accepted as, unknown to most, she had been neutral during the Thanedd coup but her mistake of using Ciri's visions caused many, like Sabrina and Keira, to believe she'd sided with Nilfgaard.
Once all had arrived, Philippa re-affirmed that the Lodge's goals were to protect the interests of magic. She then announced her ultimate plan: to have one of magical ability on a royal throne to directly influence the world, specifically the kingdom of Kovir and Poviss. She then revealed who she wanted to fill the 12th, empty seat in the Lodge: Ciri, the sole heir and princess of Cintra and a carrier of the Elder Blood, and who Philippa hoped to wed to the prince and heir of Kovir, Tankred Thyssen. Philippa then had Yennefer tell them everything she knew of Ciri, from Geralt's role in the Law of Surprise that linked him to Ciri all the way to when Yennefer, on Tissaia's orders, had Ciri go into a trance at Garstang. The conversation then turned to discussing the Elder Blood at length and finally the crucial information that most of them already knew: Nilfgaard had a fake Ciri.
When the meeting stopped for a break, Yennefer tried to get some of the women to help her but they were either pulled away by others to keep from helping her or the conversation was controlled by another, preventing Yennefer from asking for help in escaping to find Ciri. Despite this, Fringilla approached her when she was alone, eating some of the oysters that were being served. While both didn't particularly fancy each other from being on opposing sides during the Battle of Sodden Hill, this made it easier for them to have a private conversation where Fringilla dropped a number of hints on getting around the magical blockade of the castle that prevented normal teleportation. With this in mind, Yennefer used one of the oyster shells to teleport herself away.
After Yennefer's escape, the Lodge focused on tracking down Vilgefortz as they felt he likely had Ciri following their disappearance during the Thanedd coup. At one point shortly after her escape, Yennefer contacted Triss via megascope but Philippa was also there. The Lodge's leader, none too pleased with the runaway sorceress, made it clear she had no intentions of helping Yennefer, believing that if she wasn't with the Lodge then she was against them, especially as she knew Yennefer wouldn't let them use Ciri for the Lodge's political agenda. Philippa then went as far as to decline to prove Yennefer's innocence to anyone if the sorceress should die as it was "not in the interests of the Lodge" and that, should Yennefer actually find Ciri, the Lodge would just snatch her away for themselves. Despite this, Yennefer left behind a few notes of what she found out in hopes that, should she die, another could pick it up and save Ciri.
Triss then headed to Bremervoord to try and gather information on Yennefer's whereabouts and stumbled upon a Skelliger woman mentioning that Yennefer had been in Skellige but died. By September, Triss made it to the isles and met with Crach an Craite who informed her that Yennefer had set sail 2 weeks ago into the Sedna Abyss, a place where ships tended to disappear without a trace, and never returned.
Meanwhile in October of that year in Toussaint, Fringilla Vigo seduced Geralt to find out what he knew about Vilgefortz' whereabouts, with the aim to keep him there in Beauclair until May. However, in January, Geralt overheard a conversation and learned exactly where Vilgefortz was hiding and headed out. Before he did though, Fringilla cornered him and got him to reveal the location. Believing they'd won, the Lodge sent Sabrina and Keira along with some mercenaries to sneak into Rhys-Rhun Castle and get Ciri. They soon realized though that Geralt was smarter than they realized: he'd given them a false location and was now outside their grasps to learn anything else from him.
A couple months later, they soon learned of the real location, Stygga Castle, too late, as both Geralt and Yennefer had been reunited with Ciri. To keep future generations from learning their mistake, as it wasn't in the interests of the Lodge, they proceeded to completely destroy Stygga Castle, wiping it completely off the map.
Later, as they debated amongst themselves in a room just above where the kings and queens were hashing out the Peace of Cintra on what to do about Cintra, suggesting everything from a trust territory to splitting it into zones, Assire var Anahid revealed another blow to their plans: Cintra's fate had already been decided by outside influence. Specifically, false Ciri was marrying Emperor Emhyr, not only keeping Cintra in one piece, but was now going to be made part of Nilfgaard and their plans to use the real Ciri to create a kingdom ruled by magic was now destroyed.
This didn't stop them from hatching another plan to use the real Ciri in other ways and in May 1268 the Lodge contacted Yennefer, with Philippa all but demanding she bring Ciri in to meet them. However, as Geralt and Ciri had just been reunited, Yennefer was able to get them agree that she'd bring Ciri to them June 1st while she'd go ahead to Monteclavo as a gesture of goodwill. When June 1st came around, as promised Ciri went to meet them with Yennefer by her side. Initially, Philippa once more showed her animosity towards Yennefer, trying to deny her a seat at the table, but when Ciri refused to sit unless her adoptive mother could as well, the other members spoke up and both were allowed, though they stated they still needed to sentence Yennefer later.
The group then chastised Ciri, claiming she was acting like a child and they weren't going to do the evil things that Vilgefortz had wanted to do (which was to impregnate Ciri with an inseminator) before revealing their plan: to have her become Tankred's lover to get pregnant so the Lodge could then raise the child in magic and train Ciri to get Tankred to fall hopelessly in love with her and make her queen at his side, thereby securing the child as the kingdom's future ruler, and all for the good of the world. Seeing through this, Ciri commented she had to think it over and first say goodbye to Geralt, who she'd promised to see in a few days, but in no part hiding her disdain for the Lodge, remarking how she'd have to explain to Geralt how the Lodge was different from Vilgefortz "even though Vilgefortz was concerned with the good of the world and you [the Lodge] are also concerned with the good of the world." Sheala, still claiming Ciri didn't know anything and was being a stubborn child, then expressed for the women to vote if Ciri should be allowed to even go say goodbye to Geralt. The vote ended up split evenly, with those opposed feeling it was too sentimental, something Ciri should get rid of entirely, while those for it felt she'd keep her word. The last vote came down to Philippa who, in a surprising maneuver, voted to let Ciri go say goodbye.
Unfortunately, Ciri was unable to return as promised as the day she was to meet Geralt, the Rivian Pogrom happened, killing the witcher, and thus had Triss deliver her decision to the Lodge while she whisked Geralt and Yennefer away somewhere peaceful.
It's unclear what caused their downfall, but the Lodge's fall from power was harsh. Several sorceresses were thrown into dungeons, tortured, and ultimately executed, their portraits destroyed (especially thorough in Nilfgaard) and chronicles manipulated. However, years later the "Great Lodge" and the "Grand Mistresses" were held in high esteem in the magical academies and some of the Lodge's members, like Philippa Eilhart, even gained the status of Saints and martyrs among the followers of the cult of the "Great Mother Goddess".
- The Lodge of Sorceresses
- The Lodge of Sorceresses was founded after the mutiny on Thanedd Island as a substitute for the Council of Sorcerers. The founders' aim was to bring the war between Nilfgaard and the Northern Kingdoms to a close while maintaining the mages' influence on the fate of the world. It is effectively an association of the most powerful female mages from both the northern and the southern realms. The Lodge has significant political influence, although its activities are not entirely understood by the public.
In The Witcher 2, the Lodge of Sorceresses has an important influence game narrative. Three years prior to the events of the game, Sabrina Glevissig has been executed by King Henselt for using magic during a battle of land dispute by raining down fire, causing losses of both opposing forces.
As in the novels they seek to create a country ruled by magic. So some members of the Lodge hire Letho to murder King Demavend and support a peasant revolt lead by Saskia in order to turn the Pontar Valley into a separate country under their control. However, relying on Letho became their downfall, as he was secretly working against them for Nilfgaard. He killed King Foltest, connecting the Lodge to a second king's death.
After freeing Triss from artefact compression, Assire var Anahid is killed by Shilard for her involvement with the Lodge. And depending on the player's choice, Síle de Tansarville could be ripped apart by a botched teleportation spell if a faulty diamond is not removed from the megascope by Geralt. Philippa Eilhart is imprisoned and blinded by King Radovid V, who charges her with treason. Yennefer of Vengerberg lost her memory and is in Nilfgaard. The entire Lodge is thus destroyed, but it is not known yet what will be the fate of sorceresses still alive, such as Triss Merigold, Fringilla Vigo and Francesca Findabair.
Ida and Keira go into hiding after the massacre at Loc Muinne, Francesca stays in Dol Blathanna and Fringilla Vigo is arrested in Nilfgaard. Keira hides out in Velen, and depending on Geralt's choices, either dies (by Geralt or Radovid), or relocates to Kaer Morhen. Margarita makes preparations to protect and relocate her students at Aretuza, but also begins to work with Philippa to reform the Lodge with the hope of recruiting surviving members. However, those plans were put on hold when Philippa is trapped as an owl with a dimeritium band locked on her by an ex-lover, and Margarita is captured by witch hunters.
After the battle at Kaer Morhen, Geralt and his allies agreed that they needed help from the surviving members of the Lodge. Ida and Francesca refused and, if Keira is still alive, she is out of their reach, traveling with Lambert.
Eventually, Philippa is obtained by Dijkstra, who unwittingly releases her from her dimeritium band and she turns back into human form, before she is recruited by Geralt against the Wild Hunt. Geralt and Yennefer break Margarita out of prison, where they may find Síle de Tansarville in the same cell, if she escaped Loc Muinne. If Síle is in the prison, she has suffered greatly at the hands of the witch hunters, and asks to be put out of her misery, which either Geralt or Yen grant. After they are reunited, Philippa and Rita continue their plan to reform the Lodge and, once again, extend an invitation to Ciri, this time promising her a place as an equal partner in the group, rather than as a puppet. Before leaving Novigrad, Yennefer informs the sorceresses that Emperor Emhyr would grant them amnesty if they help protect Ciri. This pardon was extended to Fringilla Vigo, who he had released to Geralt to aid the other sorceresses.
However, differences remain between the members of the Lodge: as Yennefer has become an advisor to Emhyr, Philippa fears that she will use her newfound influence to take control of the Lodge, and the elven Sage Avallac'h says at one point that the witches would start fighting among themselves if the Wild Hunt did not strike soon. The sorceresses use their magic to prevent the Wild Hunt from retreating through magical means in the final battle on Skellige.