|The nature does not have the knowledge of the philosophical thought, Geralt of Rivia. Us, mages, can and have to do whatever we can to comprehend its gentle threads... And then it shows us its power...|
|- Vilgefortz, Time of Contempt|
Vilgefortz of Roggeveen (d. 1268) was a mage and a member of the Chapter of Sorcerers, described by Yennefer as "young" (which, among mages, meant "up to one hundred years"), but "incredibly talented". He was also described as being very handsome, tall, well built and possessing a lovely voice.
As an infant he was abandoned by his parents and left to die in a gutter in Lan Exeter. He was found and raised by druids and only became a mage as an adult. During his stay at the druids, a mage visited them. He offered to take Vilgefortz and teach him, feeling his magical energy. Vilgefortz refused his offer. Later he left the druids, and traveled over the world. He served as a mercenary, and later as a spy. He himself recalled being ashamed of the things he has done, including robbing people and killing. At the end, he was running to the other end of the world from the executioner's axe. There, he met a woman. He had a short romance with her, yet later when she left him, he joined the mages.
In the Battle of Sodden Hill, he assumed command over the mages from the Northern Kingdoms. After the battle, he engineered the truce between the Northern Kingdoms and the Nilfgaardian Empire. At the time, he was de facto leader of the Chapter of Sorcerers.
In fact, he was not only incredibly ambitious and power-hungry, but also secretly in league with Emhyr var Emreis, the Emperor of Nilfgaard. This had begun many years before the wars, while Emhyr was still hiding under the alias of Duny. Vilgefortz's thirst for unlimited power brought him to the conclusion that he needed Ciri's, Duny's daughter's, blood in order to claim her powers because she is a descendant of Lara Dorren. Using intrigues and his genial intellect, he helped Emhyr rise to the throne. In exchange, Emhyr promised him the North, once it was taken over.
In the case of sorcerers, as Geralt knew, the term 'young' covered any age up to and including a hundred years. Vilgefortz looked thirty-five. He was tall and well-built, wore a short jerkin of a knightly cut - but without a coat of arms, naturally. He was also fiendishly handsome. It made a great impression...
On Thanedd Island, he (among others) was accused of treason and put in dimeritium shackles. However, due to actions of Tissaia de Vries (who was acting only in a manner she considered fair and impartial) he broke free and tried to capture Ciri. During his way, he encountered Geralt. Vilgefortz seemingly didn't use magic, instead he attacked Geralt with a staff. Vilgefortz easily defeated Geralt, leaving him alive for the beating to be taken as a 'lecture'. He continued tracing Ciri but she fled through the portal in Tor Lara, then the portal exploded and caused him a serious wound on his face (he lost one eye). Afterwards he hid in his castle, continuing his schemes to find and capture the girl, including hiring the bountyhunter Leo Bonhart. He planned to use Ciri's blood and use it on himself. During his search, the spy Dijkstra encountered the horrible experiments Vilgefortz has done on girls.
Later, he imprisoned Yennefer and tortured her to retrieve the location of Geralt and Ciri; he then applied dimeritium cuffs to Yennefer to prevent her from escaping and locked her in a cell.
During the attack at Stygga Castle he met and fought Geralt and Yennefer. Yennefer, who had just endured a period of intense torture, was no match for his magical abilities and was defeated by him. Then the vampire Regis attacked, scratching Vilgefortz just under his not working eye. Vilgefortz ignited the vampire, and engaged in a melee duel with Geralt. Vilgefortz was winning once again, until Geralt gained the upper hand thanks to the shock Vilgefortz suffered when the witcher dodged his attack with a high-level illusion (This illusion was not his doing, it was thanks to an amulet he received). Geralt promptly beheaded the sorcerer, putting an end to Vilgefortz for good.
- Vilgefortz is brought up a number of times in The Witcher.
- If Geralt fought Savolla, Triss can later remark on Azar Javed, stating "we might soon be facing another Vilgefortz".
- Zoltan mentions him during a conversation with Geralt in Chapter II.
- He's credited as writing the in game book, Elder Blood.
- At the end of Chapter V, Azar Javed states "This time you pissed into a tornado". This was a quote from Vilgefortz.
- In The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Geralt and Philippa discuss Vilgefortz's experiments to regain his lost eye, with Philippa cutting the Witcher off believing he was trying to imply a similarity between the two.
- In the Blood and Wine expansion, Regis asks Geralt about what happened to Vilgefortz.
- See the GWENT standalone game version card: Vilgefortz