The School of the Cat is one of the most notorious in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. The player can learn of the feline Witchers and their actions through Geralt’s conversations with the likes of Lambert and Vesemir. There are also a number of opportunities to come across Witchers from the School of the Cat, though not all such encounters end peacefully.
The School of the Cat has been around in The Witcher world for a long time, and there’s a good reason why Witchers from other schools dislike their methods. From using unstable mutagens for their rituals to taking on assassination contracts, the infamy surrounding the Cat School is, to a certain extent, justified.
The Origins of the School of the Cat in The Witcher
The School of the Cat was a Witcher school created after a group of around 15 to 20 people broke away from the Order of Witchers. They were the third splinter group to form after the Bear and Viper Schools, and they established their headquarters in Stygga Castle in the kingdom of Ebbing. To win favor among the locals, the members of the new Witcher school offered their services as mercenaries, spies, and even assassins, which earned the respect of both the local peasantry and the nobles.
Though the feline Witchers’ reputation grew, trouble was brewing within the Cat School’s ranks. The mages who worked with the Cat School wanted to create a Witcher mutation that stripped a person of all their emotions. While they managed to do this with the first feline Witchers, the mages wanted to push the limits. A number of mutations were unsuccessful, however, as the experimental mutagens caused the would-be Witchers to acquire intensified emotions.
The Controversy Surrounding the School of the Cat
These powerful mages imprisoned the “failed” Witchers and conducted harsh experiments on them in order to find a solution to the defect. One failed Witcher named Gezras managed to escape from his mage tormentors. He took refuge among a group of elves and, in exchange, helped them fight against their human enemies. This worsened the Cat School’s reputation and drew the attention of royal circles.
Not long after, the local royalty had planned a full-scale assault on Stygga Castle. Before the royal army could march, however, Gezras and his companions infiltrated the castle and killed all the mages as they slept. This left the feline Witchers vulnerable to the oncoming assault. As a result, all the Witchers still in the castle were slaughtered.
Meanwhile, Gezras and his band moved away from Ebbing, taking in outcasts and badly mutated Witchers under their care. They formed the Dyn Marv Caravan and began offering their services to anyone who paid well enough — whether it was for a monster contract or an assassination job. Gezras’ band also adopted new Witcher mutation practices, resulting in Witchers with a more aggressive disposition.
Another thing that sets the Cat School apart is the fact that they take in non-human and female students. They’re the only Witcher school to do this as the others only accept human males. Additionally, this new Cat School under Gezras had no code on remaining neutral. As such, feline Witchers had no problem accepting political assassination jobs and even taking sides (often that of the elves in The Witcher) in war.
Overall, the Witchers of the Cat School are infamous for many reasons. Their dealings with elves and their reputation as hired killers have sullied their reputation with the general public, particularly with nobles and royalty. Meanwhile, their powerful Witcher mutations and lack of a code for neutrality have caused the other Witcher schools to shun them. In The Witcher 3they’re seen as murderers who’d take on any job as long as it meant coin.
Feline Witchers in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
In The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Geralt can come across a number of Witchers from the Cat School during his travels. Two are mentioned in Tea Witcher 3 quest “Following the Thread” — Aiden and Jad Karadin. The latter is a retired Witcher who’d gone on to lead a small band of assassins. And much later, he changed his name and his ways, becoming a respected merchant and philanthropist in Novigrad.
Another feline Witcher in The Witcher 3 is Kiyan. He ultimately suffered a fate worse than death at the hands of a mage, but before that, he had taken on a contract to kill a group of academics looking to uncover a treasure buried in an elven ruin. He fulfilled his part of the deal, easily killing off the students and their professor after they found the treasure of Est Tayiar. After which, he collected his payment and went on his way.
Lastly is the feline Witcher named Gaetan. After completing the Witcher 3 monster contract “The Beast of Honorton,” another quest labeled “Where the Cat and Wolf Play…” will trigger. This will prompt Geralt to explore the town of Honorton and discover that its inhabitants have been killed. After investigating, the player will come across a little girl named Millie, who will give Geralt a Cat medallion. She’ll then point Geralt in the direction where the feline Witcher went. This leads the player to Gaetan.
Talking to the Cat School Witcher will reveal that the townspeople of Honorton offered him a meager sum for a leshen contract. Despite this, Gaetan took the job and killed the monster. Though when he went back to collect his payment, the townspeople tried to kill him. Angered by this, Gaetan slaughtered the entire town, except Millie. At this point, Geralt can choose to kill or spare Gaetan. Whatever the player decides, they’ll have to go back to Millie and bring her to her aunt in the town of Oreton in order to complete the quest.
These feline Witchers exhibit the Cat School’s most infamous aspects. For Jad Karadin and Kiyan, it’s their nonchalance in accepting brutal assassination jobs. And as for Gaetan, it’s his short temper — a side effect of the Cat School’s Witcher mutations. To a certain extent, it shows that the people’s distance for the Witchers of the Cat School is justified.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is available now on PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One.
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