Faction Identity #5: Scoia´tael
Our next part of the series features a very popular faction amongst experienced players, also because it is a very skill-rewarding faction.
The faction which encourages tricky and cunning play:_ The Scoia´tael.__
Scoia´tael is the faction, in which tribes have the most design-influence on gameplay and cards. Dwarves and Elves have played a big role in the witcher series and both races could unite under one banner: the Scoia´tael, an organisation to fight the hate against non-humans.
“The Scoia’tael are supremely agile, able to outmaneuver their foes with units able to deploy to any row. As befits guerilla fighters, they often set ambushes: cards played face down which reveal themselves only when the trap has already sprung. To bolster their numbers, the Scoia’tael quickly raise new Commandos, zealous neophytes that take the opponent by surprise.” -PlayGwent.com
Tribes of the Scoia´tael
Scoia´tael is the faction, which lets you roleplay the most, while playing Gwent. If you want to play one race, which has actually synergy and cohesive mechanics amongst each other: Scoia´tael is just the faction for you, because they are focused so much around their tribe-tags, that you are actually able to play those dwarf, elven or neophyte decks as a whole stand-alone archetypes, which is unique amongst Gwent faction so far.
There is not much known about the start of the Scoia´tael and who or what started the rebelation. The elves are the most represented race in the Scoia´tael, but it is not uncommon to see other non-humans like dwarves or even dryads,- as those races are a very important part of what makes the Scoia´tael faction identity. We will cover each tribe individually.
Elves: Elves are one of the so-called “elder races”. Elder races are those who have been in the witcher world since before the humans even got to it. This is also a reason to why many elves look down on humans and think, the elves are the ones who have been created, while the humans are only a consequence of evolution. The nordlings have hated, abused and killed many elves, thus leading to the existance of the Scoia´tael and the majority being elves.
Elves mainly live outside of citys like Novigrad and rather enjoy, but also use the advantages of nature. Visually they are often shown and identified with woods and nature in background in Gwent. In battle they use tricks, traps and ambushes to their advantage and are known to be of the cunning kind. Both in battle as in diplomacy, making them very dangerous and unpredictable.
Dwarves: Dwarves also belong to the elder races. Their hometown is the mountain-city Mahakam, founded by Brouver Hoog. Despite them being lower than humans and elves, they make up for that with their pure strength, long beards and sturdyness, making them more tough and resistent. They are known for their long beards and their ability to craft weapons, armor and other things.
You will often meet dwarves in group. In battle, while they are rather defensive, they will move forward as a unit. In Witcher 3 dwarves would classically fight like this. In Gwent dwarves synergize heavily with each other and get stronger with each dwarf. They are often able to buff each other or synergize in other ways. Mahakam Defender represents the resilience dwarves are able to gain and their ability to fight long battles.
Dryads: Dryads are the female protectors of Brokilon forrest. They are a mysterious race and not much is known about them or their goals. They take strong human or elven males to propagate with and will raise those children as dryads. They are known for their skills in archery and agility. They can be very silent making them hard to track, notice or identify, because they are connected with nature and if they move out of woods they cloth like normal females.
In Gwent there are 4 dryads so far: Aglais, Eithne, Braenn and Morenn. Aglais and Eithne are implemented as supportive characters with the ability to ressurect spells making them very dangerous and magical. Braenn and Morenn are both more direct damage-dealers and visually shown with bows in their hands representing the strong skills of dryads in archery.
Scoia´tael Leaders and character background
Iorveth: One of the most iconic and memorable leaders of the Scoia’tael is the elve Iorveth, who represents the motives and ways of the Scoia’tael quite well. He is well know for being rasicstic towards human. Instead of trying to figure out a peaceful solution to stop the war between the races, he burnt many villages and killed human civilians. His Gwent card is quite archetypal, and synergizes with some other quite versatile elves, which fits his lore really well.
Zoltan Chivay: Zoltan Chivay is a veteran of the Second Nilfgaard War, and therefore associated with the Scoia’tael faction, even though he did not contribute to them in the plot of the Witcher lore, currently available. He is also a good and faithful friend of Geralt, and they happened to help each other a lot.
Milva: Milva (real name: Maria Barring) is a really interesting character in lore, as she’s one of the few humans that are appreciated by the Scoia’tael. During the war, she strived the battlefield for wounded warriors, to carry them to the Brokilon, where the dryads could cure them, which is representated in the games by her returning a unit from both sides to the hand of the actual players. She is also known for being a skilled fighter, especially with bow and arrow.
Brouver Hoog: Dwarf and founder of Mahakam. He was a big authority in Mahakam and was known for being very stubborn. Young dwarves may not join the Scoia´tael, because Brouver forbid them to join the Scoia´tael. Despite that he was all in all a very respected, conservative and fair leader.
Eithne: Queen of the dryads. Known for her hatred against humans, but also wisdom. A strong dryad, who was able to cast powerful spells transitioning to her being able to recast spells in Gwent.
Francesca: Queen of the elves in Dol Blathanna (decreed by Emhyr) and a very powerful elven mage. Francesca Findelbar was part of the lodge of sorceresses and known as the most beatiful woman in the world.
Next week we will continue with the monster faction,- a faction with a lot of flavour and blood to it.
Faction-Identity #1: Introduction and explanation~ 02.05
Faction-Identity #2: Skellige ~ 09.05
Faction-Identity #3: Nilfgaard ~ 23.05
Faction-Identity #4:Northern Realms ~ 30.05
Faction-Identity #5: Scoia´tael ~06.05
Faction-Identity #6: Monster ~ 13.06