Modders have uncovered an extended version of The Witcher 3's ending where Yennefer pulls off a shocking betrayal of her sorceress friends

 Yennefer with the Better Hair mod.
Credit: CD Projekt, EzioMaverick

Witcher 3 YouTuber xLetalis and Brothers in Arms mod contributor glassfish have come out with a bit of a bombshell about the game's ending a full nine years after CD Project Red's opus first released: a cut portion of the final sequence where Yennefer would have betrayed the Lodge of Sorceresses to Emperor Emhyr.

Glassfish and xLetalis were able to make the discovery after all this time thanks to CD Project Red's new REDkit modding tools for the game, which allowed them to not only access the files but reimplement them in a debug mode for demonstration purposes.

In the final game, after Geralt defeats Eredin, it's quickly revealed that Avallac'h has taken Ciri to the tower on Undvik in order for her to defeat the White Frost. Afterward, no matter what ending you choose, the fate of the Lodge of Sorceresses is not elaborated upon. This cut sequence would have slotted in-between Geralt's defeat of Eredin and the game's climax at the tower, with the scenes on either end seeming to have always played out largely as they do now.

In the cut, extended ending sequence, Geralt actually gets knocked out of commission for a few days following the battle at Undvik, waking up in a Nilfgaardian medical tent with a pair of the emperor's doctors arguing about his chances of pulling through. Upon reconnecting with Yennefer, they realize that Ciri is missing, and suspect Avallac'h of betrayal.

The new section looks like it could have contained a good 15-20 minutes of additional dialogue and exploration, with Geralt able to check in with both Triss and Yennefer, talk to multiple unique groups of Nilfgaardian soldiers, and even witness Hjalmar, Cerys, or Jarl Donar an Hindar come to claim Crach an Craite's body⁠, with who shows up depending on who wound up King of Skellige: Cerys, Hjalmar, or Svanrige respectively.

The big coup comes when you take Yennefer to the Lodge members in order to divine Ciri's location. There's some missing animation data that prevents knowing what was supposed to happen for sure, but it appears that Yennefer sabotages the divination ritual so that the sorceresses, Philippa, Fringilla, and Margarita, can be captured by the Nilfgaardians and later executed.

Notably, Yennefer gives a special charm to Triss ahead of the confrontation so she can escape. Like with the scene at Crach's body, there are a ton of small variations to how this can play out based on Geralt's prior choices in the game, who he's in a relationship with, and whether you choose to react positively or negatively to Yennefer's actions.

While extremely harsh, the betrayal definitely lines up with Yennefer's characterization as being willing to do anything for Ciri: it's an extreme measure to keep the Lodge from interfering in Ciri's life or using her to further their own ends. All the same, this would have been a megaton bummer to watch play out in the actual game.

The sequence definitely seems to have been close to making it into the game: the full voice acting and granular reactivity that xLetalis and glassfish uncovered stand in sharp contrast to the rough-hewn, pre-prototype Moon area once planned for Cyberpunk 2077 that we covered recently. Yennefer's betrayal of the Lodge looks like it was left right on the cutting room floor.

More than anything else, though, I think this sequence would have been a real drag on the pacing of The Witcher 3's marathon of an ending. The final game's transition from Eredin to the tower sequence with Ciri, while abrupt, is so much smoother than this extended sequence would have been. You can follow xLetalis' YouTube channel for more interesting Witcher and Cyberpunk esoterica, while glassfish's Brothers in Arms bugfix/restored content mod is available over on the Witcher 3 Nexus.