The Northern Kingdoms of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt [official site] is a realm ravaged by war, pestilence, and greed. And, try as he might, Geralt continually finds himself trapped between the political maneuverings of the Northern Kingdom’s most ambitious contenders. So it’s easy to forget that Geralt’s true calling in life is as a monster slayer. Lucky for him the Northern Kingdoms has no shortage of monsters.
While some of these beasts have enjoyed plenty of spotlight in other fiction, CD Projekt Red have dug deep into their own Eastern and Northern European ancestry to bring to life a mythology underrepresented in the echelons of generic fantasy creatures. We’re all familiar with dragons and vampires, but what about the lesser known beasts that bloody Geralt’s blade? The leshen, alps and botchlings? I’ve rounded up some of my favorite monsters from the Witcher series and the legends that inspired them so that we can contrast their depictions in the game, while getting a mythology lesson at the same time.