Witchcraft - 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. Forced to live off the land and use the fruits of nature in their simple magics, many Witches are survivalists, and use the knowledge of mud and root often.

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 orifice), 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

The spell through which a Witch acts with her Familiar. 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 may be, and thus make excellent spies, especially if positioned 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 conversations it has had (or been sent on), as well as spying or more general information. The process requires preparation and intense concentration.

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.

Tier The Second

  • On the First, the Soil was a Hill
  • On the Second, the Hill was a Copse
  • On the Third, the Copse was a Forest
  • On the Fourth, the Forest was still
  • On the Fifth, the Forest was a-rot
  • On the Sixth, the Forest was a-flame
  • On the Seventh, the Soil was a Hill…

- Georgian folk poem

“She'd been making eyes at me for months, just this hollow, hungry staring. Simply unbecoming for one of her standing. I could've sworn I'd heard someone outside my room most nights, panting and listening - obviously her, in hindsight. And then there was last night. Roared like a mountain lion I'll tell you! And before you could try the soup, she was on the table, my knife in her hand tearing at her dress! We all thought it was the beef! Obviously everyone complained, General's daughter and all. Everyone but me, obviously…”

- Dewi of Greenhill, Welsh Levyman Commander

”…I'd never seen him like that before. He'd always been my least favourite son, admittedly. But there was a fire in his eyes that hadn't been there all those years we roamed the desert. And his sword. He held it like he knew what to do with it. That moment, I would've followed Masir anywhere. Into the Manticore's maw and back…”

- Ibn Tyr, Sheikh of the Dahn-Maloo Bedouin

Tier The Third

” And she descended all tooth and claw and breast and wing upon them all. And no blade knew her name. ”

- Fragment, An Irish cautionary tale of the Morrigan, Queen of Witches

witchcraft.txt · Last modified: 2009/03/23 02:34 by david
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