Broad-stroke details about The Witcher 4 narrative might be revealed by an obscure piece of fan-fiction.
Yesterday, CD Projekt Red announced that it had begun development on The Witcher 4. The reveal came accompanied by an image of a witcher medallion half-buried in the snow. The distinctly feline logo - visibly different from Geralt's iconic wolf medallion - sparked fan theories suggesting that the new game would focus around Ciri. In the books, Geralt's adopted daughter collects a School of the Cat medallion from the corpse of bounty hunter Leo Bonhart.
Years later, the games draw from that moment too, establishing what the Cat School medallion looks like both on Ciri's clothes and in her gameplay segments in The Witcher 3, next to her health bar. There, the medallion features bared fangs, pronounced whiskers, and flattened ears - exactly what you might expect to see from a real cat spoiling for a fight.
The medallion in yesterday's announcement, however, looks nothing like that. The creature's mouth is shut, its 'jowls' pointing downwards while its whiskers are engraved into the surface of the metal. Even more apparent are the ears, pointing upwards with visible tufts. This animal isn't a domestic cat, but a combination of the four species of lynx that call Europe and North America home.
The thing is, there isn't a School of the Lynx in the Witcher universe canon. Aside from Geralt's Wolf School in Kaer Morhen, witchers were trained at the Viper, Manticore, Bear, Griffin, and Crane schools, as well as Ciri's adopted, semi-nomadic School of the Cat. In fact, the only apparent reference to a Lynx school that existed before yesterday's announcement stems from the fan-fiction pages of an unofficial Witcher wiki (opens in new tab).
The fiction states that the School of the Lynx was set up by Wolf School witcher, Lambert, and potential sorceress ally Keira Metz after the Battle of Kaer Morhen in The Witcher 3. The pair recapture the caravan of the now-defunct Cat School and rebuild it as a new facility for training a number of witchers. Given that both Lambert and Keira can die in The Witcher 3, it's safe to say that the Lynx school is far from being canon for either the books or the games, the CD Projekt Red's choice of medallion could still hint at the major plot points for The Witcher 4.
In The Witcher 3's 'best' ending, Ciri takes on the role of a witcher while Geralt kicks back at Corvo Bianco. With almost all of the other canonical schools all but ceasing to exist and the members of the Wolf School also scattered after the battle with the Wild Hunt, Ciri could well decide to create her own school, marrying the teaching from Kaer Morhen with the agility outlined in descriptions of her fights in the book, emblematic of the Cat School's style. The lynx - a wildcat often found with grey fur and living in colder climes - would be the perfect mascot for that blend of Wolf and Cat.
It'll likely be years before we get to know more about The Witcher 4, and while it won't focus on Geralt, there's no guarantee that Ciri will be at its center. Even if she is, the creation of a new Witcher school - especially one built up via those infamous mutagens - could be the least of her concerns. For now, the lynx medallion is little more than an intriguing coincidence, but it'll be fascinating to see whether this fan-made school ends up as the future of the Witcher franchise.