Today's the day, as we bring you a look at the monsters that will populate the game's world. Trolls, harpys, and more await.
The Witcher 2 for PC is out next Tuesday, May 17.
Near Flotsam, the kayran has made its home below the waters of the Pontar for over a century. The villagers, who grew used to its presence long ago, call it the Old Man. Until recently, they considered it relatively harmless. This changed very quickly when the gargantuan creature turned aggressive and destructive. It began shredding fishermen’s nets, snatching unwary people from the river banks and shattering ships. Even the Temerian military has been unable to slow its savage rampage; the monster is extraordinarily powerful when it emerges onto the land, and may be impossible to vanquish within its aquatic habitat.
Those who practice the art of sorcery draw their power from the major forces of nature, the Four Elements or Roots - Air, Water, Fire and Earth. Each of these has its own plane, which is inhabited by genies and inaccessible to mere mortals. With a sufficient command of magic, however, it is possible to fashion lesser creatures from these elements, and to bring them into the world to serve their masters’ or mistresses’ wills.
Equal parts humanoid and bird, the harpy is as tall as a man, with a wingspan typically twice its height. Across the Northern Kingdoms, it’s easy enough to find people who think it the most revulsive of all monsters. Lacking even the slightest semblance of plainness, it is perhaps the ultimate incarnation of ugliness. The creature’s predominant facial feature is a stout, sharp beak perfectly suited to tearing flesh and breaking bones to get at the marrow within. It has skin more wrinkled than any crone’s, arms that stretch well below its knees, and hands and feet ending in sharp, hooked talons.
Relatively small of stature and thin of build, the nekker is bipedal denizen of the forest. When glimpsed quickly, especially from a distance, it can fleetingly seem to resemble a deformed human child. However, such an impression cannot survive a second look. The creature’s upper limbs are overly long, reaching nearly to the ground. They also end in long claws rather than hands. Similarly, its head is not human, hairless aside from a few wisps, flat in front where one would expect a nose, with evil, deep eyes set too far apart. But most disconcerting is the large, gaping maw filled with sizable teeth.
Whether trolls are monsters is a matter of opinion. While they’re not entirely civilized, neither are they completely savage beasts. They are clearly intelligent, albeit not to a high degree, and have a capacity for reasoning. Their craftsmanship, especially when it comes to large wooden structures such as bridges, is widely acknowledged. Many have lived near humans for some time, learned the rudiments of their language and adopted a number of their customs… after a fashion. Consider jewellery, for example; it’s not unusual to see one wearing an unappealing item like a wagon wheel as if it were an ornate necklace.
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