They say that whatever hangs, shall not drown. Unfortunately, sometimes the bodies of hanged criminals are thrown into the lake. The weight of the villains' crimes causes them return as drowners. Since bad things do not befall the wicked, to get rid of a drowner, you must bear the cost of hiring a good witcher.
| What times, sighed the castellan. What foul times! Twenty years ago who would have thought, even in a drunken stupor, that such a profession as a witcher would exist? Itinerant killers of basilisks; travelling slayers of dragons and vodniks!
— page 6, The Last Wish (UK edition)
| — though the witchman greatly covetous and greedy for gold be, mumbled the old woman, half-closing her eyes, giveth ye not such a one more than: for a drowner, one silver penny or three halves...
— page 180, The Last Wish (UK edition)
In Danusia Stok's translation of The Last Wish, she translates the word "utopiec" as "vodnik" in the short story "The Witcher" and as "drowner" in "The Edge of the World". She also used the word "vodnik" for vodyanoi.
see also: drowned dead
The drowner, a frightful creature of mud and scum, drags people down into mires and bubbling eddies. It feeds on young women who bathe in rivers and on occasion will pull men off their horses or carts as they cross a bridge or weir. Drowners arise from the bodies of villains who meet their end in running water or in undertows that appear after storms. These watery creatures embody the spirits of those who can not rest after death and are sometimes born of foetuses aborted by magical means. They are ugly in appearance, skinny, tall and bony. Their bodies are slimy and green, as is their hair. Wherever a drowner steps, pools of their slimy substance form. This creature can be fought using ordinary weapons.
- "Drowners are scoundrels who ended their wicked lives in the water. Drowned alive or thrown into deep water after death, they turn into vengeful creatures which stalk the inhabitants of coastal settlements."
- see also: alternative game description
- Outskirts of Vizima, by the fishing village and by the Old Mill.
- Vizima dike
- Lakeside, on Black Tern Island, and the Naiad's bathing spot near the village.
- Swamp cemetery
- In Chapter I, an "Old townswoman" will tell Geralt a tale about drowned dead in exchange for food. This conversation results in journal entries for Drowners (not Drowned Dead), Drowner Brain Tissue, Cadaverine, and Ginatz's Acid.
- Spending a Bronze talent on the Monster Lore option adds bestiary entries for Graveirs, Ghouls, Drowners and Barghests.
- Swamp Monsters
- Geralt can loot the bodies of Drowners for Cadaverine and Ginatz's Acid before he has a bestiary entry for Drowners or ingredient entries for those items. However, Drowner remains will not contain Drowner Brain Tissue until Geralt has the journal entries.
- In the Prologue, Lambert urges Geralt to limit his use of the Group Style to only Drowners at first. However, the conversation does not result in a bestiary entry.
- In Chapters II and III Geralt can give an Old woman in the Temple Quarter some beer or mead after asking her "Why so tight-lipped today?" At first, she will tell him a story about the Mage's Tower. Giving her another drink on a later visit, she will tell a story about Drowners. Whether or not this conversation would result in the Drowner bestiary entry has not been confirmed.
- Sometimes a drowned man returns as a monster, to haunt the living. Tormented with his death, he murders his victims. He prefers to draw them beneath the water's surface, tearing the drowning victim to shreds with sharp claws, and eat them like a wet biscuit. Such creature is called a drowner. They are quite often found at the banks of the Pontar, since the huge river with regular shipping and riverside villages provides them with ample sustenance.
- "When monsters are really crappy, ganging up makes them happy". Drowners are not the mightiest beasts in the world, so they hunt in groups, in accordance with the above saying. They are surprisingly fast on land, but are a threat only to fishermen and washerwomen. They can best a witcher only if he is drunk or in love. Sometimes, however, a more robust specimen is found among the drowners. It is called a drowned dead and can command the entire band. Thus it's best to eliminate it first.
- One could say that if drowners chatted among themselves, Geralt would be highly esteemed among them after his exploits in Vizima. Yet drowners do not chat - they are dumb like a left shoe. And good. Fast style should be used when fighting them, and one must spin swiftly before they flee from a witcher's blade. Enough said.
- As they are already dead, drowners do not fear poisons, and even a large loss of blood makes no impression on them. This ends the list of the monsters' strong points, however, as the rest of the witchers' arsenal is extremely effective against them. Thus the drowners can be killed with fire, immobilized by traps, knocked down and, above all else, sliced and diced until slime spills from their ears.
Developer CD Projekt's characterization of the drowner taken from the monsterbook, which was enclosed with the Collectors Edition of the computer game The Witcher for Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic:
One of the most popular creatures in the game, the drowner is initially a worthy opponent, but become cannon fodder as the game progresses, an excuse for increasingly spectacular displays of Geralt's mastery of the sword. Frequently appearing creatures need to be created with particular attention to detail, so unsurprisingly we spent a lot of time refining the drowner's final appearance. This was probably the most often modified model in the game.
Skinny and humped, with its huge head, slightly protruding belly and concave chest, the drowner became a creature that is half-scary, half grotesque. Its eyes are round and fishlike, granting it a rather dumb expression. It also has wide palms and membranes between its fingers as well as a fin. Like its colour, these elements reveal much about its natural environment. This creature clearly lives underwater and is awkward when on dry land... unless it happens to be hungry and there is an unsuspecting traveller nearby.