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Velen

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Disambig-icon.png This article is about the Temerian province. For The Witcher 3, see Pontar (region). For autumnal equinox, see Velen (holiday).
Velen, is a war-torn region situated in northern Temeria. A province which lives under Nilfgaardian occupation during Third Northern War. It borders the cities of Novigrad and Oxenfurt. The Province consists of the prominent city of Gors Velen (also capital of these lands) and is divided into baronies.[1]

One of the major regions in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, its swamps and deep forests represent the dark and mysterious elements of the game.[2]

Heraldry Edit

VelenshieldHD

Coat of arms of this area is not even mentioned nor so described in previous games, comics and books but appears on regions-map in the Witcher 3. Half of it is showing historical sovereign of region - Kingdom of Temeria and other half is emblem of actual lands Blue tree resembling Hanged Man Tree but it could also well be tree on Bald Mountain.

History Edit

It never flows with milk and honey,[3] and alongside the neighbouring province of Pontaria (and Redanian province Riverfront and Gustfields) it was a place of conflict between Kingdom of Redania and Temeria.

Velen is where the forces of the Empire clashed with the armies of the Northern Kingdoms, forcing the battlefront both north and south, leaving the area which lies between a desolate, wasteland. Its people were killed, raped and hung – all the worst things imaginable.[4]

Neither the armies of the Northern Kingdom of Redania or Nilfgaard could achieve victory in their battles here, in the wake of boths sides temperory withdrawal, a semi-autonomous state under the leadership of Philip Strenger (former Temerian commander) known better as the Bloody Baron, has taken control of Velen, through decisive (if ruthless and amorale) action and force of arms, leading remnents of the former Temerian army.

The Barons rule is harsh, perhaps reflecting the land itself. His men are ill-disciplined and overly fond of brutalising the local population. Law and order are in short supply, as is food and supplies, as such, Velen has become known as No Man's Land, a war ravaged and unforgiving place, ruled over by a man of similar temperament. The Bloody Baron rules from Crows Perch, a run down fortress occupied by the Baron and his forces in the aftermath of the most recent battles between Redania and Nilfgaard.

Known Veleners Edit

Humans Edit

Other creatures Edit

Notable landmarks Edit

Keeps and villages Edit

Other locations Edit

Inhabitants Edit

Inhabits of Velen

In the depopulated wastes of No Man’s Land one often runs across armed men of all stripes—mercenaries, soldiers from the disbanded Temerian legions, marauders, and common bandits.

We wanted these characters to differ from one another while remaining true to the style and atmosphere of the witcher’s world, which is for the most part based on authentic medieval armor, weapons, and clothing. We stuck to similar principles while designing the look for the common people of Velen.[5]

Military Edit

  • To be done

Economy Edit

Velen is a place where five currencies meet: Temerian Oren (monetary unit of the monarchy), Novigradian Crown from Redanian border, Veleni Groat currency of Gors Velen, Nilfgaardian Floren as from time under occupation and Cidarian Thaler from Cidarian border.

Religion Edit

Crone-Melitele

Shrines to Melitele, the goddess of harvest, hearth, and fertility, are a frequently encountered element of the Temerian countryside. Simple statues carved of wood depict the goddess in one of three forms: Mother, Virgin, or Crone. Around these altars local peasants place small thanks giving offerings of food and drink, and light modest votive candles and lamps. Meanwhile, in Velen another religion has taken root, one which calls for prayers to be addressed to the Ladies of the Wood.

This cult’s shrines show evidence of syncretism between the faiths: Melitele the Crone has become one of the Ladies, an old woman with sagging breasts and an open mouth full of crooked teeth. These statues are often stained with blood, both the caked residue of past sacrifices and the still-warm traces of new ones. Both religions are very old, dating back almost to the time of the first men, and so in designing these shrines we tried to convey a somewhat archaic look. The rough-hewn wooden carvings recall ancient Slavic depictions of the gods.[5]

Also priests from Free City of Novigrad and Witch Hunters are spreading belief of the Eternal Fire and its church.

Landscape Edit

NoMansLandPanorama

Hardest time for folks of Velen, Third Nilfgaardian War

The majority of Velen is swampland, low lying, and unwelcoming (if not outright deadly) to any who are unaccustomed to it. The waterways, rivers, and bogs are home to drowners and waterhags, while the forests and hills to the north and east and swarming with ghouls, fiends, wraiths and far worse in the best of times. In the bleak days following the conquest by Nilfgaard, Velen has sunk even deeper into poverty and despair. Bandits prowl the roads, flesh-eaters haunt lonesome shacks, and Nilfgaardian cavalry tramples the fields.

Map Edit

This map is an overview of the entire region of Velen including sign posts, main and secondary quests, and notice boards. For detailed maps with more information see the maps of the eight areas listed above.

Map description Edit

The former Temerian province of Velen has become a war-ravaged no man's land.
Velen

Velen

Created by AnuChemicalCoCreated by AnuChemicalCo
View

Behind the scenes Edit

Crows perch courtyard concept art

Crows Perch courtyard concept art

In our design of Velen we tried our best to convey the way war has ravaged the region, further complementing that character with an accompanying dark color palette. Abandoned, crumbling homes cluster in eerily-empty villages. Stunted and deformed branches thrust out from barren trees against the backdrop of a somber gray sky. From some of these branches corpses hang—executed prisoners of war or victims of marauding groups of raiders. When darkness creeps over Velen, the atmosphere becomes even more unreal and grim—lit by a pale moon, the landscape looks like something straight out of a horror story. These lands are part of Temeria, and so we took painstaking care to endow them with the same Slavic character given to this area in the first

game in the series. The look of the built environment—its villages and fortifications—is modeled on medieval buildings as described in written sources, illustrations, etchings, and archeological excavations. Professional historical treatises on architecture in central and eastern Europe were a key reference for our designers and artists during this process. Steep roofs covered in straw thatch top wooden huts and farmyard buildings. To protect against the damp, some homes in wetland areas are raised on low stilts.

During Geralt’s travels through No Man’s Land he passes through a small village, Heatherton, which was attacked by the Wild Hunt shortly before his arrival. A hard frost, sheets of ice, and unseasonable cold often follow in the Hunt’s wake and provide tell-tale signs of its recent presence. The illustrations here show various concepts drawn up while imagining a location transformed by such a phenomenon.

Velen concept art

Velen atmosphere concept art

Post-Hunt Heatherton was supposed to look like a place struck by a freak weather anomaly or a minor magical catastrophe. While early autumn weather reigns in the rest of Velen, here snow has fallen alarmingly early. The frozen mud of the farmyards, the frost-covered walls of the huts, and the long icicles hanging from the edges of the roofs stand as clear proof (to those who know how to look) of who is responsible for these happenings.

Crow’s Perch plays a key part in events taking place in No Man’s Land. This castle was once home to a minor Temerian lord named Vserad. When he fled the approaching Nilfgaardian forces his castle was taken over by the land’s new ruler, a self-styled baron and collaborator with the Nilfgaardians named Phillip Strenger, who now claims the dilapidated wooden structure as his home. The fortifications of Crow’s Perch are mostly wooden and clearly have suffered a fair amount of damage, whether during the war or, just as likely, as a result of the capricious and thoughtless actions of some of its new residents. The castle’s courtyard is in truth no more than a collection of larger and smaller mud puddles crisscrossed by makeshift causeways and footbridges thrown together from whatever planks happened to be at hand. The castle buildings are also in less than prime condition, as witnessed by the patchy and sometimes rotten thatch on their roofs. The castle’s interior, the baron’s chambers in particular, presents itself somewhat better, though it too has surely seen better days

Elves of Velen concept art

Elves of Velen concept

We were at pains to ensure Crow’s Perch melded well with Velen’s overall atmosphere. The castle is a tough place inhabited by equally tough and dangerous men; it is in truth now not much more than a bandits’ enclave. Mess and sloth rule the day here. Holes pock the walls and roofs, here and there a tool or piece of farm equipment lies neglected and discarded, and carelessly dumped wood forms sloppy piles, lending the place an overall feeling of disorder.

A downtrodden village somewhere deep in the swamps of Velen acts as the center for worship of the Ladies of the Wood—the mysterious beings who reign over this part of the province. When we set about creating this strange sanctuary, we sought to convey an unsettling and slightly unreal atmosphere. A wall inside one of a cluster of seemingly ordinary huts was transformed into a sort of shrine.

Lit by a thousand flickering candles and adorned with skulls both animal and human, the shrine comes across as bizarre and somewhat disturbing. Its centerpiece is a tapestry woven of human hair and depicting three beautiful women. This is the villagers’ point of contact with the revered and feared queens of the swamp.

Velen hides even more secrets than might seem at first glance. Hidden deep beneath its soil are the ruins of an ancient elven complex destroyed during the first wars with humans.

Fyke Isle concept

Fyke Isle concept art

It is hard to say exactly what these rooms and halls were used for, but they have not lost their beauty during the centuries that have passed since they first fell silent. The decorations, ornaments, and statues chiseled by now-forgotten elven artisans have survived the destructive passage of time, bearing witness to the artistry and craftsmanship of their makers.

Looming over Fyke Isle, a small island on Lake Wyndamer in Velen, are the ruins of a tower. Even though the sweeping scenery makes for a charming sight during the day, not many dare stay near the lake after dark, and venturing onto the isle itself is unheard of.

The tower, it is said, is cursed or haunted, or possibly both. They say a mysterious mage had his laboratory here, and the local magnate, Vserad, sought shelter with him when he heard of the Nilfgaardians’ approach. To this day, nearby residents refuse to speak of the horrific events that took place within this building’s walls. The tale of Vserad is based on the early medieval Polish legend about a ruler named Popiel.[5]

Notes & references Edit

  1. Lands of the North: Velen 
  2. Interview at E3 2014
  3. Conversation with Ambassador var Attre in Vizima Palace
  4. El33online.com interview
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Artbook official

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