History and Races
The Continent was settled thousands of years ago by elves who came from overseas. Upon arriving on The Continent, the elves encountered the gnomes and the dwarves. After a period of war between the elves and the dwarves, the dwarves retreated into the mountainous regions of The Continent, and the elves settled in the plains and forests.
Human colonists arrived about five hundred years after, igniting a series of wars between the humans and the other races. The humans, victorious over the older races, became dominant. The non-human races are now considered second-class citizens in human societies and are often forced to live in small ghettos within human settlements. Those not confined to the ghettos are forced to settle in the most inhospitable regions of wilderness not yet claimed by the humans. In addition to elves, gnomes, and dwarves, other notable races on The Continent are the halflings and the dryads. Some other races – such as werewolves and vampires – appeared on The Continent due to a magical event known as the Conjunction of the Spheres.
Over the several centuries most of The Continent’s southern regions have been taken over by the growing Nilfgaard Empire. The north belongs to the fragmented Northern Kingdoms. The Witcher saga takes place in the aftermath of the first major war between the Nilfgaard Empire and the alliance of Northern Kingdoms, with a second war beginning in the middle of the series.