The School of the Viper was a school of witchers headquartered in Gorthur Gvaed, a donjon somewhere in the deep chasms of Tir Tochair mountains.


One of the southernmost offshots of the witcher caste, it was probably the most alien and secretive.[4] The Vipers managed to collect an incredible collection of books and scrolls on the Wild Hunt, leading some of its members to speculate whether their school was founded for the very purpose of solving the riddle of the spectral riders. As a result, all Vipers were hugely knowledgable on the Wild Hunt.[1]

After the Usurper tried unsuccessfully to absorb the Vipers, the Nilfgaardian Army destroyed their keep.[4] Its students scattered throughout the Empire, banned from entering larger cities.


For more information, see Kingslayers.

In approximately 1270, soon after an encounter with the Wild Hunt at the Hanged Man's Tree, a group of Viper witchers accompanied by a sorceress with amnesia were arrested by the Nilfgaardian Secret Service. Emperor Emhyr var Emreis gave them a choice they could not refuse: assassination of a few kings in the Northern Realms in exchange for rebuilding the school to its former glory.

The group managed to assassinate Foltest of Temeria and Demavend of Aedirn.[1] The emperor, however, did not keep his promise and instead of rebuilding the school, he sent bounty hunters after its few remaining members to cut loose ends.[2]


The Vipers were trained on twin small blades and an assassination-based approach to killing monsters. Their fighting style featured sinuous, unpredictable movements using the two blades ("fangs").[4]


Gwent: The Witcher Card Game

Season of the Viper reward tree

This event allows to unlock the lore on this school and a cardback with the school's medallion.

Scroll 1: It is oft said that witchers took on the characteristics of their schools' namesake creatures. Without a doubt, this was true of the Viper School. They were agile, quick, and frequently made use of deadly poisons.
Scroll 2: As with the other witcher schools – the Wolves' Kaer Morhen as sole exception – none were aware of the Viper School's location. Only one detail ever became widely known... That it stood somewhere south of the Yaruga. In Nilfgaard.
Scroll 3: Perhaps it's no wonder then that Vipers were less inclined to neutrality than other witchers. The Empire would never recognize such a stance. There is only obedient servant... Or mortal enemy.
Scroll 4: For this reason, few in the North were surprised to learn that the assassin of King Demavend III of Aedirn and King Foltest of Temeria wore a viper-shaped medallion – and that soon thereafter Nilfgaard readied itself for war.
Chest 1: The School of the Viper no longer exists, yet what exactly led to its demise is not precisely known. Most likely, it was closed by Emhyr var Emreis when he no longer found value in it. Knowing the emperor and his favored methods, one could reasonably suspect that the school's closure spelled a death sentence for every one of its members.
Chest 2: Today, weapons and armor from the Viper School are collectors' items for Vedyminaica enthusiasts – those who occupy themselves with the literature and history of the witcher profession. The owner of the largest collection of such relics was the Countess Mignole of Oxenfurt. Yet what compelled a highborn lady to take such a keen interest in monster hunters? She alone holds the answer.
Chest 3: Although witchers are hired to protect people from monsters, they are often repaid with distrust – even outright hostility. Kolgrim, a witcher from the Viper School, experienced such suspicion firsthand. While working on a contract in White Orchard, a local boy went missing. The villagers unanimously accused the witcher of abducting the child, and – ignoring his pleas of innocence – brought the witcher's life to a gruesome end. The townsfolk learned later that the boy had been killed by a drowner. Alas, it was too late for their judgment to be undone...


  • According to dialogues cut from The Witcher 2, School of the Viper was to be located in Aedirn, and the original "fake reason" for Demavend's assassination was his decision to close the school. It has been completely changed in the final version however, which clearly denotes that the school was located in the modern-day Imperial territory.
    • Given the Nordling origin of witchers though, it is possible that founders of the school were of Aedirnian nationality. In this case, it would have been one of Demavend's ancestors who could have banished them.
  • The Hearts of Stone expansion adds more Viper School equipment: a full set of armor and a new pair of swords.
  • Aside from the kingslayers, Letho states that he knows of two other Viper witchers who were alive as of 1271.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  3. Gwent: The Witcher Card Game
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 The Witcher Role-Playing Game
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