Of The Soil, Of The Heart

Practiced throughout the world, the “Craft” is the “simple” or “base” art of protection, learnt from the natural world around us. By learning the secrets of herbs, roots, soil, and even the flesh and humours of animals, “Witches” and “Warlocks” commune with nature in order to protect their home, themselves, and their chosen village or city, with the creation of salves and simple potions.\

You Come To See The Wise Woman?

Looked down on because of their dirt-encrusted ruggedness in this most pious age, Witches are often forced to live hermit existences outside of settlements, or in rare occasions, adopted within societies as valued healers and sages. Alchemists, often neglecting to admit that their “science” has it's own origin in the salves and potions of Witchcraft, commonly despise Witches as a rich child may mock a wise beggar, and neglect their advice as “unfounded” and “lune's drivel”. Similarly, a Witch may view an Alchemist as a Heretic and Pervert who has abused the oldest Craft of all.\

In short, like a Hedge Magician's reputation for being untrustworthy, being a known Witch brings with it a reputation of baby-drowning, crop cursing and general madness.

Eyes In The Shadows

Witches are almost always accompanied by a familiar, a small-to-middling domesticated wild animal, often of above average intelligence and sometimes the Witch's only friend. Familiars are often animals associated with bad luck, such as Cats, Toads, and Owls, although some Witches employ larger, more ferocious trained animals, like Oxen, Hawks and Jackals. To outside eyes, the familiar is of little use beside it's companion-status, although to a witch the Familiar is an extension of the Witch's senses. If the animal dies, not only does the Witch herself suffer a tremendous “heartbreak' as her extended-consciousness is torn away, but a new Familiar must be caught and trained. Due to the bond shared between a Familiar and the Witch, the Familiar is often the opposite gender to the Witch.

When purchasing a Familiar at character creation, please choose an animal at least relatively indigenous to your Faction, but also a Pet option relative to the Familiar's usefulness outside of the Eyes and Fur spell - 0 for a standard pet, 1 for a trained, otherwise useful animal and 2 for a battle-trained or ferocious beast. We recommend the +1 option to represent the familiar's intelligence. Not specifying a Pet in your quirks will give you a 0 point Familiar.

Tier The First

For the Flesh

A simple salve, this has the effect of improving how the subject feels. Babies sleep peacefully, Pain goes down, sickness retracts, bleeding stops. There is little evidence, scientific or otherwise that this actually helps the body get better (although many have claimed to see wounds reknit before their eyes, or poisons flow freely out of an orrifice), but it at least has the placebo effect of supplying help, enough for an illness to die down or a wound to heal in the meantime. Lasts weeks.

For the Eyes and Fur

Through meditation, dance, or whatever means, the Witch is able to extend his or her sight into the eyes of his/her familiar. Familiars are especially hardy and quick for whatever animal they amy be, and thus make excellent spies, especially if positionned and deployed. Owls and birds view from overhead, cats wind between battlements and forests, and toads are good for watching for ships at coast or marsh.

While the dance is in process, the Witch's thoughts are linked to the Familiar's, allowing them to converse freely. Being Beasts, Familiars can speak the Tongue of Animals, and thus converse with other animals, although animosity and ferocity is rife between opposing species. Thus, a Witch performing this spell can get information off her Familiar about the convesrations it has had (or been sent on), as well as spying or more general information. The process requires preparation and intense concentration.

If performed without a Familiar, the Witch can instead attempt a simple scrying through a target's eyes, although the viewed, skewed results and swarming, cacophonous thoughts are chaotic and sometimes cryptic to determine.

For the Twitching

Another simple salve, this has the benefit of only having a few major common berry ingredients different to For the Flesh, and thus both potions resemble identical (to the layman) colourless thick mixtures. When applied to a target (via ingestion or application), the target begins to suffer vague hallucinations and night terrors. Perhaps voices only just this side of hearing, or looming faces on the very edge of vision, or they feel like they are watched or followed. This effects the Target's concentration and general sense of self, costing them sleep and calm. If left untreated (by prayer or, perhaps, a Healing Salve), a large or extended dose can slowly send the Target insane. The salve lasts weeks.

Note A: The effects of this Witch's Salve are based on the Witch's Harmony. If Harmonious, the target's visions are Divine in nature, feeling like God is punishing them. If Disharmonious, the target's visions are infernal by nature. If, er, Imbetween, just go with generic bad luck. Note B: If the Target is Superstitious by nature, or has an enemy or Nemesis, the visions will directly tie into those Quirks. Similarly with other applicable Negative Quirks.

Tier The Second

For the Heart

A love potion, the potion's drinker becomes obsessed with a target of the Witch's choosing, and suffers dreams and thoughts of the target almost constantly. If not sated soon, the potion makes the target a hormonal, virile mating-machine, with a burning lust for his true love. Can last weeks.

For the Spirit

The stuff of Heroes, the potion not only blesses the hero with an infallible sense of “I AM AWESOME”, but also seems to improve the target's charisma, making him both more likable and a better leader. Troops led by a “Hero” are happier, more faithful, and more devoted to their cause. Lasts as long as a battle, dissipating upon Victory, Defeat, or Death.

For the Roots

A mixture of various plant extracts and river water, this potion when applied to ground allows abundant plant growth. Crops grow rapidly, small arid patches become orchards, copses become impassible bramble and briar fields. This spell can be used to make small, temporary, real Oases. The Growth still takes weeks, but this is still much faster than real growth speeds. The effected vegetation / suddenly appearing vegetation only lasts in it's magical state for a year or so, but repeated use on the same area can attract wildlife, making the magical copse as real as any other.

Alternatively, a simple corruption of the potion can blight and wither existing crops, ruining food and making the water and soil unhealthy. If unchecked, the rot can spread and grow in magnitude, bringing with it vermin and plagues of all kinds. Ofcourse, the only way to truly deal with this (bar the usual, zealous prayer) is to get a Witch (often, the original caster) to reverse the effect with the same potion.

Tier The Third

For the Blade

A complicated and well guarded salve, the Witch has created a concoction capable of making the target immune to one form of weaponry, of the Witch's choice: points and blades, bludgeons, flames, spirits or beasts. For instance, a General with his bodily lovingly smeared will happily shrug off the salvoes of arrows and sword blows, but is as easily likely to die in a barn fire or being set upon by jackals. Multiple potions only serve to counter the potion applied before. Lasts as long as a battle.

For the Claws

The Witch's most guarded secret, this salve when applied to the Target's naked skin turns the user into that animal itself. A sample of the animal is needed, such as fur or dung, although most common animals are easily within reach of most Witches. While being the animal, the target has all the natural abilities of that creature, plus his own mind and any major distinguishing features (scars, eye-colour, a pigmentation similar to his/her natural hair).

The animal is only as hardy as that animal is regularly, and if the Target is wounded to the point of death, he/she will revert to their human form. The Target can revert to their human form at their own behest, but considering the need to apply the salve while naked, the Target will only be wearing anything he/she was wearing as an animal. Usually, nothing.

news/bm/witch.txt · Last modified: 2009/10/12 18:46 by oliver
Except where otherwise noted, content on this wiki is licensed under the following license:CC Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported