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"Do you really wish to know?"
Spoilers from the books and/or adaptations to follow!

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Temeria - that's what matters.
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- Vernon Roche to Geralt
Audio version: Media:Vernon Roche voice line.ogg

Vernon Roche was the commander of the Blue Stripes, special forces of the Temerian military. Being Temerian, he held his king, Foltest, in high regard. He was also a capable fighter.

Early life

Vernon Roche never met his father. He spent his childhood living in poverty. Having no money to live on, his mother was forced to work as a prostitute on the streets. Because of that, other children used to fling insults at him, calling him "whoreson"; since that time, Roche reacts aggressively to this particular insult.

Vernon admits that, if not for King Foltest, he would have ended up on the streets either as a vagabond or a drunkard.

Roche has served for four years with the Blue Stripes unit. For his devotion and efficiency he was decorated twice with the Order of Bravery.

According to Iorveth, he is responsible for the annihilation of many elves, women and children among them. Roche also led the "pacification" of Mahakam.

Because of his capability, he became Foltest's right hand man and had a great deal of power and influence in Vizima.

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings

In the prologue, he interrogates Geralt about Foltest's killer, and begins to believe that Geralt had nothing to do with the assassination of Foltest. An unnamed 'contact' later revealed as Dandelion provides information about the real Kingslayer's whereabouts.

At the start of Chapter I, Roche, Geralt and Triss encounter Iorveth, who attacks them due to the ongoing hostility between the Scoia'tael and the Blue Stripes. After saving Zoltan and Dandelion, Roche and his men occupy a building next to the inn. While Geralt is off performing tasks, Roche continues his hunt for Iorveth and the Kingslayer, culminating in a three-way battle between the Scoia'tael, the Blue Stripes, and Letho. During this battle, Geralt has the option of freeing Iorveth and returning his sword or siding with Vernon and the Blue Stripes. Failing to help him leads to Iorveth's capture by Roche. If you choose to side with Roche in Chapter I, you will lead an infiltration attempt to kill Flotsam's corrupt and treacherous Commandant.

In Chapter II, Roche is revealed to be behind a conspiracy against King Henselt. After the conspiracy is discovered, King Henselt on the advice of mage, Dethmold, orders the execution of the entire Blue Stripes, except for Ves, whom Henselt rapes. Geralt and Roche escape the Kaedweni camp to intercept Síle in Vergen, which is under siege by Henselt's Army. The Sorceress manages to escape the city but Henselt and his Royal Guard, who were also looking for her, are defeated by Geralt. Roche is then either convinced that killing Henselt would only aid the Kingslayers and make him just as much a murderer as they are or allowed by Geralt to kill Henselt in revenge for the execution of the Blue Stripes.

In Chapter III, Roche is one of the few remaining men still able to act in the interests of Temeria, and seeks to prevent the dissolution of his country at Loc Muinne. Vouching for Geralt, he manages to get the witcher access to the city, past the Order of the Flaming Rose even if Geralt sided against them.

Meeting with Radovid V, Roche discovers that Anaïs La Valette was captured by Dethmold and agrees to rescue her and deliver her to Radovid. If Geralt decides to aid him, Roche will either keep his word to Radovid and deliver Foltest's bastard child to him, in which case he dons the Redanian colors and declares he will serve Radovid as the latter turns Temeria into a protectorate believing it the best way to protect Foltest's legacy, or he will be persuaded by Geralt to send Anaïs to John Natalis, in which case he will do his best to protect her and Temeria will remain independent. Either way, Dethmold is brutally murdered by Roche.

Should Geralt decide to save Triss, then Roche will successfully rescue Anaïs on his own but will be unable to kill Dethmold, in which case Temeria will either be divided between Redania and Kaedwen, if Henselt remains alive, or fall into civil war.

Journal Entry

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There is a man like Vernon Roche in every monarch's retinue. Brave and determined, ready to execute any command, and thoroughly hated at court, he knows that only allegiance and service to the king keep him in his position. Roche was the leader of the Blue Stripes - King Foltest's special forces - renowned, among other things, for battling the Scoia'tael and quelling many a rebellious nonhuman community. It was under his command that the unit rose to fame. Vernon earned Foltest's favor and trust through his deeds. One word from the King and he would jump headlong into fire, asking only how long he was to stay there and hold his ground. That's the kind of man Vernon Roche was at the time.
Vernon proved to be perceptive when he refused to flatly believe Geralt's guilt. Too many things needed to be explained, and the Blue Stripes' commander decided risking cooperation with the suspect to get his hands on Foltest's real killer. Thus he remained loyal to his king even after his death.
Continuing his private investigation, Vernon headed for the Temerian-Aedernian border, where he expected to find clues the kingslayer's whereabouts. Thanks to his very best informant, Roche knew that the man could have been hiding among the Scoia'tael located in the vicinity of Flotsam, a trading post. Thus way the royal hound, Vernon Roche, was on the hunt once more...
The list of Vernon Roche's achievements and heroic deeds was almost as long as the list of the atrocities and depravities he had allegedly committed along the way. It is a fact that, as the scrawlings on the wall of the University of Oxenfurt say:"Pacifying nonhumans is like wallowing in mud – everyone gets dirty, generally with blood."
If Geralt chooses to help Roche in Ruined elven baths :
It is hard to please men such as Roche. However, capturing Iorveth had the Blue Stripes' commander practically beaming with joy.
If Geralt chooses to help Iorveth in elven ruins:
To put it mildly, Roche was irritated with Geralt's decision and his trust in the witcher did not grow.
If Geralt chooses Roche's path during the end of chapter I:
Vernon was a man of action. When he learned of Loredo's treason, he crafted a bold plan to remove him from office.
Roche achieved his goal, getting rid of the blackguard Bernard Loredo. The Blue Stripes' captain did not forget the witcher's help. From that moment on Geralt and Vernon became allies through thick and thin.
Roche was behind the conspiracy against Henselt. The plan to weaken the Kaedweni ruler's position had been formed back when Foltest was still alive, and Vernon was one of its architects. It placed him in a very risky position, but the captain of Temeria's Special Forces kept his cool.
After the conspiracy was revealed and his men massacred by Henselt, there was no turning back for Vernon – he had become a wanted criminal in Kaedwen. He decided to settle the score with Dethmold and Henselt no matter the cost – yet he did not forget his primary goal.
If Geralt chooses to let Roche kill Henselt during the end of Chapter II:
When Fate placed the king of Kaedwen in his hands, Vernon used them to kill Henselt. Thus he demonstrated the weight of his threats and the distance he would go in order to settle his scores.
If Geralt chooses to stop Roche from killing Henselt during the end of chapter II:
Fate placed the king of Kaedwen at his mercy, yet Vernon chose not to stoop to using the same tactics as the kingslayers. Though his hand itched, this cold professional knew how to keep his emotions at bay.
The Blue Stripes' captain wanted to settle scores with the kingslayer and Dethmold. Thus he left with Geralt for Loc Muinne to close the final chapter of this story.
If Geralt chooses to rescue Triss Merigold during Chapter III:
There they split up – Vernon left to square things with Dethmold. Taking into account the determination previously displayed by the commander of Foltest's Special Forces, I wouldn't have bet a wooden nickel on the magician. As it turned out, my instincts were right.
If Geralt chooses to rescue Anaïs La Valette during Chapter III:
Vernon Roche always settled his accounts – the Kaedweni king's pet sorcerer learned that the hard way. The Temerian captain made good on his promise and avenged the deaths of his men – now only the question of the kingslayer remained unanswered.
If Anaïs is handed over to Radovid V:
Vernon felt the burden of great responsibility when he freed Anaïs La Valette, the heir to the Temerian throne. He acknowledged Radovid's arguments and decided to serve his country's interests by supporting the Redanian king and placing the girl under his care.
If Geralt convinces Roche to hand Anaïs over to John Natalis:
Vernon felt the burden of great responsibility when he freed Anaïs La Valette, the heir to the Temerian throne. He felt, however, that the kingdom's interests required him to support John Natalis, so he placed the girl under his care. Thus he remained loyal to the Temerian crown.
If Geralt chooses Iorveth's path during the end of chapter I:
Because of his contacts with the Scoia'tael, Geralt lost the chance to work with Vernon Roche. Their ways parted.
Vernon's help was as unexpected as it was invaluable. Even though Geralt stood with his opponents, Roche helped the witcher, saving him from certain death. Furthermore, he did so out of kindness, thus proving that tales of his callousness are somewhat exaggerated.
Roche not only provided him with valuable information, but also risked his neck, helping him to acquire royal blood. Though Geralt had not sided with him fully earlier, Vernon trusted that the witcher would be able to get to Foltest's murderer. Though that meeting was to be their last, at least in this story, Geralt never forgot the debt he owed the Blue Stripes' captain.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

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In the immediate aftermath of the events at Loc Muinne, Vernon Roche raced out to the front line and joined the 2nd Temerian Army under Natalis' command where they held defensive positions on the Dol Blathanna - Mount Carbon line in preparation for the coming Nilfgaardian invasion. However, after three days, the Nilfgaardian soldiers smashed through their lines and the Temerians scattered. Upon hearing of King Radovid's call to arms near Novigrad and promises to fight for a free North, Roche took the remaining forces and fought through to the west, breaking into the Pontar Delta in the hopes of attracting Redanian support. Alas, to his despair, Radovid was no different from Emperor Emhyr and thus he turned to guerrilla warfare.

Still wanting to secure a free Temeria, he struck up an alliance with former Redanian spymaster Sigismund Dijkstra and former Temerian spymaster, Thaler. Realising that Radovid meant no hope for Temerian sovereignty, the group began plotting his assassination. In addition, Roche began contact with Nilfgaard, who promised to make Temeria an independent, vassal state to the empire in return for killing Radovid and stopping guerrilla attacks on its forces. Thus, Roche had his men undermine Redanian support in the area while not attacking Nilfgaardian troops. Likewise, Nilfgaardian troops were also ordered to leave the guerrilla soldiers be, supposedly under the pretext that they weren't much of a threat anymore.

When Geralt started looking for Whoreson Junior in the area, Dijkstra sent him to Roche, who was now camping out in a large cave near Oxenfurt. After conversing for a bit, Roche then informed Geralt he had some luck, as he was about to head out to speak to an informant who might know more about Whoreson Junior. In Oxenfurt, Roche showed that his informant was none other than King Radovid V. After a conversation with the king, Geralt and Roche then left, with Roche saying that Radovid was sinking further into insanity and asking for the witcher to drop by as he needed help with something.

Later, after the mages successfully escape Novigrad, Roche meets Geralt in the Passiflora with Dijkstra. They reveal their plan to assassinate Radovid, and that a contact of theirs who is essential to the plan hasn't reported back; this contact turns out to be Thaler, the former Head of Temerian Intelligence.

The personal matter that Roche needed assistance with turned out to be Ves, who was openly defying Roche's orders and attacking a Nilfgaardian encampment without his approval. If Geralt agrees to assist Roche, they find Ves about to ambush an execution of the citizens of Mulbrydale. After killing the Nilfgaardians and saving Ves, Roche and Ves get into an argument over her disobedience. Geralt can offer his opinion. While they argue, they find that a Nilfgaardian officer survived. The two argue over whether they execute him or not, and again, Geralt offers his input.

If you helped Roche with dealing with Ves, he can be recruited to assist in the battle at Kaer Morhen against the Wild Hunt. Roche agrees, and says he will head over immediately, once he gets some important matters taken care of.

When you return to Kaer Morhen with Ciri, you have the option to engage in dialogue with Roche and Ves about the keep, the status of the guerillas, and what they think the outcome of the war will be. If Letho of Gulet was brought to the battle, it will instead be triggered as an automatic cutscene. The conversation will proceed as normal, until Letho interrupts it, commenting he's found some "old friends". Roche and Ves are angry at Geralt for bringing the man who killed Foltest to the keep, and refuse to speak to him.

Later, when Geralt goes to retrieve Philippa Eilhart, if he does not break Djikstra's leg, he can optionally take part in the assassination, alongside Roche his guerillas.

If Radovid is not assassinated: Radovid's forces defeat Nilfgaard and all of the Northern Realms, including Temeria, are annexed by Redania. Roche's fate is unknown.

If Radovid is assassinated: When Radovid goes to retrieve Phillipa as part of a ruse, he sentences Geralt to death, saying his sarcasm and dry wit irritate him, and that he's killed people for much less. When the executioner asks Geralt for "any last words", a Temerian guerilla strikes the soldier in the back with an arrow, after which Roche and his men attack. They battle Radovid's men until they find the king banging on a door. Philippa then appears, blinds Radovid and stabs him in the back, shocking Roche.

They later meet at the theater, where they discuss their next steps. Thaler reveals the deal he had made with Nilfgaard to secure Temerian sovereignty, before Dijkstra arrives. Dijkstra reveals his betrayal, stating that the deal meant giving the rest of the Northern Realms to Emhyr and was unwise. He continues, angering Roche further by saying that he'll fight for the North and unite all the kingdoms under Redania after defeating the invader, as his henchmen surround the group. Relying on the Witcher's neutrality, Dijkstra persuades Geralt to leave.

If Geralt intervenes: Geralt refuses to allow Dijkstra to kill Roche, Ves and Thaler. The group defeat Dijkstra and his men, after which Roche tells Geralt that he'll be received with honours in Vizima for his help. As a result of this, the Northern Realms are left leaderless and the Nilfgaardian Empire win the Third Northern War. As promised, Temeria becomes an independent state, while the rest of the Northern Realms are conquered by Nilfgaard.
If Geralt does not intervene: Pledging neutrality, Geralt doesn't get involved and leaves the theatre. Roche and Ves and Thaler are subsequently killed by Dijkstra's men, and Dijkstra takes command of Redania's forces. In consequence, the Nilfgaardian Empire are defeated and Redania conquers the rest of the Northern Realms.

Journal Entry

As commander of Temerian Special Forces - an elite squadron known as the "Blue Stripes" - Vernon Roche had been one of King Foltest's most trusted subordinates. Time and time again Roche proved himself loyal, effective and a thorough professional. Few could match his skill at subduing revolves, fighting off Nilfgaardians or snuffing out bands of Scoia'tael.
At the start of our story, however, he had lost his king, his men and his homeland, and so had resorted to waging a guerilla war against the overwhelmingly occupying forces.
In his war of assassinations, ambushes and night raids, Roche depended on Redanian help, though it was clear he took no pleasure from working with Radovid.
Some time later it was revealed that Roche had took part in a conspiracy to assassinate Radovid. He had realized that once the war was over this mad king would offer no prospect of a free Temeria, making Roche himself a liability and a potential foe.
If Vernon takes part in the assassination:
Roche took part in the assassination personally. The king of Redania's death was to be a guarantee of Temerian independence. In order to achieve this, Roche was not afraid to strike a deal with the Nilfgaardians. This move played right into Dijkstra's hand.
If Geralt does not intervene, letting Dijkstra kill the others:
Geralt, refusing to get involved in their conflict, left them to work it out for themselves. As a result, Roche died at Dijkstra's orders.
If Geralt does intervene, killing Dijkstra:
Fortunately, Geralt intervened and Roche escaped from the co-conspirators' meeting-turned-bloodbath.
If Geralt asks Vernon for help fighting the Wild Hunt:
When asked to help defend Kaer Morhen Roche kept his word and went to the keep, lending his considerable martial prowess in the fight against the Wild Hunt.

Associated Quests

Trivia

  • Roche's headgear is known as a "chaperon".
  • In the Polish version, his last name is pronounced "Rosh".

Notes

  • The sword at Roche's side is usable in-game. It is an additional weapon, a Falchion.
  • Iorveth believes that no successor could ever equal Roche.
  • Vernon Roche's rivalry with Iorveth dates back to Roche's first mission as a commander of the Blue Stripes. Back then, Roche ambushed and destroyed a unit of Scoia'tael under Iorveth's command, and ever since then Iorveth has been more cautious.
  • There are many sayings about Vernon Roche:
    • If each of his enemies gave him an oren, he could buy Temeria together with its nearby lands, and if each of his friends came to bury him, Roche would have to do it himself. Apparently, it is enough to put a knife into his coffin and he will succeed.

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