I did not play Witcher 1+2 and didn't read any of the books, so my reference pool is Witcher 3 only.

When I came to Kaer Morhen I was quite surprised to see that it is in such a bad shape. Most of the peripheral buildings in the surrounding are in ruins and the castle itself is in a state of disrepair. There appear to be only 3 witchers left who still live there and they seem to be no longer interested in training new recruits (in fact, the biography of Lambert mentions that he is the last one who was trained in Kaer Morhen).

What is the story reason why the Witcher caste is in such a decline and in which game/book did this happen? It certainly can not be lack of demand for their services: During his travels Gerald got jumped by customers left and right (or is that a case of gameplay-and-story-segregation and there are in fact less monsters at the time witcher 3 takes place than there used to?).

7 Answers 7


Most of the destruction in Kaer Morhen is due to lack of hands to work. Note that there are only 4 witchers from this castle left, and there is simply not enough hands to provide better care for their home. It's slowly falling apart, as many things do due to time passing by. Also you might have a false impression with customers jumping from left and right - it's made in the game for you to enjoy it. In the books, as far as I remember, the monsters that Geralt was contracted for were more "elite". Most of "low-level" monsters were hunted by mere humans, without a risk of killing someone during mutations.

Also, if you do not want any spoilers, Witcher 1 contains story in Kaer Morhen (it's the prologue) where it gets heavily destroyed (with later references in Witcher 3 to this moment). If you do not care about spoilers:

Most of the walls were destroyed during Frightener fight when a group called Salamander stormed in to steal the mutagens. Some stairs also collapsed when Geralt was escaping a group of Salamanders.

Considering your hidden question about not training new witchers there - the witcher proffesion, as mentioned by other answers was a dying one. Also the losses of children not surviving the mutations were so high that the risk just wasn't worth it. If you've played Witcher 3 to the end, you would know

that Vesemir promised himself never to use the mutation tools again, as the side effects created by potions and mutagens were too brutal to cope with.


Kaer Morhen was attacked by the neighboring villages many years before. This theme (of Witchers being distrusted and "unnecessary") is explored throughout the game

If I remember correctly, ideas that the Witchers are not required due to the falling demand for their services are also shown.

I do not believe the actual attack on Kaer Morhen is shown in any of the books or games (may be wrong), however there are some logs of the time of the attack itself during the first set of Wolf School gear scavenger quests.


"In older times, witchers trained and underwent mutations here, but years ago a horde of fanatics, their hatred incited by various publications defamatory to witchers, such as the Monstrum, laid siege to Kaer Morhen. The mob could not have captured the fortress nor later laid it to ruin without the help of mages.

The attackers killed every witcher or witcher in training within, except for Vesemir. This was not the complete (or nearly complete) end however for the witchers of Kaer Morhen; a handful of them were out on their paths during the time of the attack, thus surviving. Currently only Vesemir actually lives in the keep for most of the year, although some other witchers (including Geralt of Rivia) sometimes rest here between their assignments, often during the winter" http://witcher.wikia.com/wiki/Kaer_Morhen

I highly recommend playing both, Witcher 1 and Witcher 2. If you enjoyed TW3 and would like to know more and experience some great RPG's, you cannot go wrong with either game. If you like to read, yearn for even more insight, I highly recommend checking out the Witcher saga novels. They are absolutely fantastic.


Well if I'm not mistaken, there were 23 senior witchers/professors and 40 pupils at the time of the siege of Kaer Morhen. Some witchers were on the path (Geralt, Eskell and Lambert being some of them) so weren't in the fortress. They had also the mage who was responsible for the supervision of the trials of the witchers. Vesemir was a fencing teacher and the only one that was in the fortress to survive.

Don't know how peasants killed that many witchers, but it might have been by the sheer might of numbers. The mages helped and probably most of the senior witchers were trying to protect the younglings.

(This was what I gathered from various forums, wikis and my own speculation too if that matters to anyone anyway).


Kaer morhen was attacked by a sorceress whom controlled monsters, she had convinced the king that witchers was unnecessary due to the lack of monsters these days but she had ulterior motives, a Witcher had killed her mother or something and wanted Revenge.

So the fight was made up of about 40 witchers counting both kids and adults versus a horde of monsters, peasants with pitchforks and a sorceress, only survivors was Vesemir and the 4 Witchers you now see or read about in the game/books.

Geralt was only a new recruit at the time and had probably just passed his trials by the time of the attack, Vesemir was about 60-70 when this happened, that means geralt would've been about ten years old.


Spoiler: if you watch Netflix's "The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf". During Vesemir's prime age, Kaer Morhen used to be a school of witchers.

There were fewer and fewer monsters. The Mages, masters of mutagenic alchemy ( potion for trial of the grasses ), at Kaer Mohren started to create crossbreed monsters. More monsters mean more business for Witchers. Humans respect witchers for killing monsters.

A sorceress Tetra, whose mother was killed by a con witcher, revealed to the people that witchers were creating monsters. A group of soceresses, local peasants and Kitsu, a powerful mutant Elf and Mahr crossbreed attacked Kaer Mohren.

Only Vesemir and a group of boys apprentice (including Geralt) survived.


I dont know alot about Witcher. but I know Kaer Morhen was feared and hated by most because of the witchers training there. as this Wiki link states. It was under siege Monstrum and also mages. Hope this answers your question.

  • 1
    Yes, the attack was caused by "Monstrum (...)" book, however you should improve your answer.
    – Mithoron
    Oct 13, 2015 at 15:09

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