|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 Kovirian mage and the de facto leader of the Chapter of the Gift and the Art, the highest ranked of the Brotherhood of Sorcerers. He also had a couple other personal apprentices in the form of Rience and Lydia van Bredevoort, with the latter acting as both his assistant and personal secretary.
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 of the Kovir Circle, and later during certain druidical rituals, his magical gifts were discovered. By accident, a mage visited them. He offered to take Vilgefortz and teach him, feeling his magical energy, though Vilgefortz refused his offer. Later he left the druids, and traveled over the world. He served as a mercenary, and later as a spy, leading him down a dark path as a marauder, robber, rapist, murderer, and finally fugitive fleeing the noose. In the end, he was running to the other end of the world, where he met a sorceress. He had a short romance with her, yet after he grew tired of her personality, he left her and joined the Brotherhood.
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 the blood of Duny's daughter, Ciri, in order to claim her powers because she was 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.
First Northern War
In 1263, during the First Northern War, Vilgefortz led the Brotherhood of Sorcerers in the Battle of Sodden Hill. After the battle, he engineered the truce between the Northern Kingdoms and the Nilfgaardian Empire.
In 1267, he heard news of the northern rulers secret meeting at Hagge. Later he was told again by Artaud Terranova, joined by Lydia van Bredevoort and Tissaia de Vries, who all met in the workshop where Vilgefortz proposed they hold a meeting of the court mages serving northern kings, in an attempt to stop a second war and protect the truce. While dealing with the subject of Yennefer of Vengerberg, Vilgefortz asked Tissaia to send her a personal letter, as the council believed Geralt was dead, or soon to be killed, and she was non-contactable via telepathy.
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...
During the meeting of the mages on Thanedd Island on the last night of June, he accompanied Francesca Findabair. Later, he and Lydia found Geralt, and they went for a walk through the Gallery of Glory, discussing history in a rather philosophical manner. After Lydia left the two, Vilgefortz proposed a truce; join the Nilfgaardian traitors or live on the run under their rule. The witcher remained calm and declined his offer due to his political neutrality.
During the night, 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.
Appearance and personality
Vilgefortz appeared young and very handsome, and was tall and well built. He possessed a sincere and honest voice, and was incredibly talented with magic.
After the portal in Tor Lara exploded, Vilgefortz got a big burn on his face and he lost his eye. In place of his eye, he used a precious stone which allowed him to see with the use of magic.
- 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