Within this book's pages, we shall introduce the witch as a character class, explore her specialist spells and abilities, show you how witches interact with each other and with society at large, an...
grimoire of the thorn witchDescrição completa
grimoire of the thorn witch
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This tome contains the way to communication with Father Ahriman. This is Traditional Ahrimanic Satanism, Melek Taus is our Guide and Guardian. He lights our way with the Black Flame of Hell!…Full description
Compiled mainly from the writings of Hazrat Inayat Khan. This is second edition from 1934. First edition was in Great Britain in 1922. Direct download: http://yadi.sk/d/ry43JXwj2G7_4Full description
Descripción: This tome contains the way to communication with Father Ahriman. This is Traditional Ahrimanic Satanism, Melek Taus is our Guide and Guardian. He lights our way with the Black Flame of Hell! My God...
Discuss The Way of the World as a brilliant example of Restoration Comedy.
The Way of the Shaman
This book contains some heart essence advice of Dza Patrul Rinpoche (1808-1887), a Tibetan Buddhist yogi. It displays the nature of human behaviour and explains how to practice both secular …Full description
This book contains some heart essence advice of Dza Patrul Rinpoche (1808-1887), a Tibetan Buddhist yogi. It displays the nature of human behaviour and explains how to practice both secular and spi...
This tome contains the way to communication with Father Ahriman. This is Traditional Ahrimanic Satanism, Melek Taus is our Guide and Guardian. He lights our way with the Black Flame of Hell!…Descrição completa
Descripción: The Way of the Shepherd
Role playing game about samurai adventuring to kill a witch, while weary of each other. Utilizes a Trust mechanic as well as dark Fates that each character brings from a troubled past experi…Full description
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Es la historia de Winnie, la brujita mas linda, junto a su gato Wilbur.Descripción completa
WAY OF THE WITCH by Janet Pack, Jean Rabe, Megan Robertson, and Christina Stiles
Edited by: W. Jason Peck & Christina Stiles Senior Editor: Scott Bagley Creative Director: Rob Stone D20 Brand Manager: W. Jason Peck D20 Line Editor: Ross Watson Interior Design: Ken Whitman Cover Design. Cover Art, & Interior Illustrations: Thomas Denmark Way of the Witch is a trademark owned by Citizen Games (www.citizengames.com). Copyright 2002 by Citizen Games. All rights reserved. ‘d20 System’ and the ‘d20 system logo’ are trademarks owned by Wizard’s of the Coast and are used according to th terms of the d20 System License Version 3.0. A copy of this license can be found at www.wizards.com . Dungeons and Dragons and Wizards of the Coast are Registered Trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, and are used with permission.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION ........................3 THE BARD SPEAKS ....................................................3 BACKGROUND ............................................................4 TIMELINE OF THE WEAVE ......................................6 BARD MIRELLE’S NOTES ........................................8 NOTES OF MIRELLE D’BIRIK ................................10 MIRELLE AND CALATIN ........................................11 CHAPTER TWO: WITCH CLASSES ....................15 LANGUAGE ................................................................15 CREATING A WITCH PC ..........................................16 TABLE 1-1: BAD KARMA TABLE......................17 TABLE 1-2: GOOD KARMA TABLE ..................18 TABLE 1-3: THE WITCH......................................20 TABLE 1-4: WITCH SPELLS PER DAY ............20 TABLE 1-5: WITCH SPELLS KNOWN ..............20 WITCH PRESTIGE CLASSES ..................................22 TABLE 1-6: THE BLACK WITCH ......................23 TABLE 1-7: THE BROWN WITCH......................24 TABLE 1-8: THE GREY WITCH..........................26 TABLE 1-9: THE VITKE ......................................26 TABLE 1-10: THE WHITE WITCH......................28 CHAPTER THREE: SKILLS AND FEATS............29 TABLE 2-1: NEW SKILLS ........................................29 CONCEAL (INT) ..................................................29 DETECT FAMILIAR (WIS) ..................................30 DETECT TAINT (WIS)..........................................30 HARVEST (WIS) ..................................................30 KNOWLEDGE (DIVINATION) (INT; TRAINED ONLY) ......................30 KNOWLEDGE (WITCHCRAFT) (INT) ..............30 PERFORM (CHA)..................................................30 PROFESSION: SEAMSTRESS (INT) ..................30 RIDE BROOM (DEX; TRAINED ONLY) ............31 RITUAL (WIS; TRAINED; WITCHES ONLY)....31 WITCH FEATS ............................................................31 TABLE 2-2: NEW FEATS ..........................................32 ANIMAL FRIEND (GENERAL) ..........................32 BLACK SIGHT [SPECIAL] ..................................32 BLIGHT [SPECIAL] ..............................................32 BREW POISON [GENERAL] ..............................32 CANDLE MAGIC [ ITEM CREATION] ..............32 TABLE 2-3: POISONS ................................................33 COLOR CONJUNCTION [GENERAL]................33 COLOR OPPOSITION [GENERAL] ....................33 COVEN CONJUNCTION [GENERAL] ..............33 CRAFT CHARM (ITEM CREATION)..................34 CRAFT FETISH (ITEM CREATION) ..................34 ENHANCED COMPANIONS [GENERAL] ........34 FAMILIAR CONCERT [GENERAL]....................34 FAMILIAR FORTITUDE [GENERAL] ................34 FAST [GENERAL] ................................................34 GREATER COMBINE [GENERAL] ....................34 MIGHTY STEED [GENERAL] ............................34 MULTIPLE FAMILIARS [GENERAL] ................34 POISON RESISTANCE [GENERAL] ..................35 PRESENCE [GENERAL] ......................................35 SECOND SIGHT [GENERAL] ............................35 SHAPE STONES [GENERAL] ............................35 SOULLESS [GENERAL] ......................................36 SOUND OF MIND [GENERAL] ..........................36 TRACELESS [GENERAL]....................................36 UNDEAD WARD [SPECIAL] ..............................36 WEATHER WISE [GENERAL] ............................36 WITCH’S BROOM [SPECIAL] ............................36 WITCHES ORGANIZATION [GENERAL] ........36 WITCH SENSE [GENERAL]................................38
CHAPTER FOUR: WITCH MAGIC ......................39 WITCH SPELLS DESCRIPTIONS ............................39 ATONEMENT ........................................................39 BLIGHT ..................................................................39 BODY OF EYES ....................................................40 NATURE’S BOUNTY............................................40 PROTECTION FROM SPIRITS............................40 WITCH SPELL LIST ..................................................41 SYRILIA’S ROSE GARDEN ................................42 CIRCLE MAGIC..........................................................42 ABJURATION ........................................................42 MAGIC CIRCLE AGAINST SPIRITS ..................42 MAGIC CIRCLE OF AID......................................42 MAGIC CIRCLE OF PROTECTION FROM ARROWS..............................................42 MAGIC CIRCLE OF NEGATIVE ENERGY PROTECTION ..............43 MAGIC CIRCLE OF POISON NEGATION ........43 GREATER CIRCLE OF HEALING ......................43 CIRCLE MAGIC SPELL LIST ..................................43 COMBINED WITCH RITUAL MAGIC ....................44 TABLE 4-1: RITUAL CASTING TIMES ............45 TRUE RITUALS..........................................................46 TABLE 4-2: RITUAL CONSEQUENCES ............46 TRUE RITUAL COMBINED CASTING..............47 WITCH TRUE RITUALS............................................48 MARRIAGE ..........................................................48 INDOCTRINATION ..............................................48 HOLY VIGILANCE ..............................................49 CREATE MAGIC CIRCLE....................................49 SEASONAL RITES................................................49 EMPOWER VITKE/MOONBLADE ....................50 RESTORE THE LAND..........................................50 GREATER HOLY VIGILANCE ............................50 FETISHES ....................................................................50 CHARMS ....................................................................51 WITCH BROOMSTICKS............................................52 CHAPTER FIVE: CANDLE MAGIC ....................53 CANDLE COLOR PROPERTIES ..............................55 RITUAL CANDLE MAGIC ........................................56 ANTI-MAGIC CANDLE ......................................56 CALLING CANDLE..............................................56 CANDLE OF RETURN ........................................56 CANDLE OF THE WISE ......................................56 DEATH CANDLE ..................................................57 EVERLASTING CANDLE....................................57 HARMONY CANDLE ..........................................57 LOVE ATTRACTION CANDLE ..........................57 LOVE IDENTITY CANDLE ................................58 MEMORY CANDLE..............................................58 PROSPERITY CANDLE ......................................58 CHAPTER SIX: FAMILIARS ..................................59 TABLE 6-1: WITCH FAMILIARS ........................60 TABLE 6-2: OTHER WITCH FAMILIARS..........60 TABLE 6-3: FAMILIARS SPECIALTIES ............60 WITCH FAMILIARS ..................................................61 TABLE 6-4: FAMILIAR ABILITIES ....................62 TABLE 6-5: FAMILIAR FEATS ..........................62 BADGERS....................................................................64 BEARS ........................................................................65 CANIDS ......................................................................65 CATONS ......................................................................66 FOXES..........................................................................66 GARGOYELS ..............................................................66
GIANT TOADS............................................................66 GRYPHONS ................................................................67 HARTS ........................................................................68 MYNIK ........................................................................68 OTTERS ......................................................................69 OWLS ..........................................................................69 PARROTS ....................................................................70 RATARQS ....................................................................70 RAVENS ......................................................................71 RINGURS ....................................................................71 TIRAMNES..................................................................71 WEASELS....................................................................72 CHAPTER SEVEN: THE WAYS OF WITCHES ..73 COVEN ORGANIZATIONS ......................................73 WITCH HIERARCHY ..........................................75 MUSICAL WITCHES..................................................75 WEDDED WITCHES ..................................................75 LEGEND OF THE MOON GODDESS ......................76 GREETINGS AND COMMON PHRASES ................79 GARMENT MAKING AND GARB ..........................79 RITUAL CLOTHING ..................................................80 SACRED HOLIDAYS ................................................80 ACCOUTERMENTS ..................................................80 DRESSING FOR THE WEAVE ..................................80 CHAPTER EIGHT: WITCH ORGANIZATIONS 81 THE ARCANE CLAW OF SH’GON-KA ..................81 CIRCLE OF SHADOWS ............................................82 THE DAUGHTERS OF CA’DI-IS ..............................83 THE EPISCOPATE ......................................................83 GARDEN RETREAT ..................................................84 HIGHBORN ................................................................84 IN THE GRACE OF THE LADY ..............................85 NIGHTSTORM ............................................................86 NYLA-KON’S NATATORIUM ..................................86 SCHOLAR’S RETREAT ............................................87 PALIDORI HOUSE......................................................87 SHATTERED CIRCLE ................................................88 SILVER CIRCLE ........................................................88 SINGERS OF THE SOUTHWEST WIND ................88 SLENDIRA’S SISTERHOOD ....................................89 WHITE WITCHES OF HOBB HILL ..........................90 WITCHES OF THE GROVE ......................................90 CHAPTER NINE: WITCH ADVENTURE IDEAS ................................91 1. QUEST FOR THE SHARDS ............................91 2. THE BANE BELL OF KHIALAS ....................92 3. OF ANCIENT PALACES ..................................92 4. DEAD WOOD ....................................................93 5. CHILDREN OF THE WEAVE ..........................94 6. THE VANISHINGS............................................94 7. FRAGMENT OF THE EARTH ........................96 8. THE PARYNISS AMULET ..............................96 SAMPLE CHARACTERS ..........................................97 L’AERYN GEHLD ................................................97 DAETLIN O’LYKIAD ..........................................97 DRAVIKK THE WISE ..........................................98 GRENALLA JOSENN ..........................................99 VAKAL ................................................................100 JASARL THE VITKE ........................................102 GLOSSARY-TOOLS OF THE TRADE ................103 OPEN GAMING LICENSE ....................................104
Welcome, friend, to the Circle! Within this book's pages, we shall introduce the witch as a character class, explore her specialist spells and abilities, show you how witches interact with each other and with society at large, and present you with background information regarding witches in the world of Myrra. A word of explanation. This book requires that you have access to the Player's Handbook (PHB) published by Wizards of the Coast, and in some sections, other core books - the DMG and MM are also occasionally referred to. Throughout this book, we have used the term 'Game Master,’ or ‘GM' for short, to indicate the person running the game, and 'player character’ or ‘PC' to refer to the characters that the other players create to participate in the game. Oh, and Myrra? This is the world in which all Citizen Games's Hero’s Journey products are set (though no other Citizen Games’ products are necessary to use this material, as it is easily adapted to almost any fantasy setting). We hope you enjoy this book – and if you have even half the fun we had writing it, you will find it a useful and pleasurable addition to your games. In peace, 'The Coven'
The Bard Speaks This is a message for all Travelers, Scholars, and the Curious: Welcome to Myrra, a continent of great beauty and greater talent. My name is Mirelle d’Birik, and I am a bard. Two years ago, I journeyed to Myrra from the great Empire of Enge, seeking information on witches. I now call Myrra home, for despite my best intentions, this land has gotten into my blood—in more ways than one. This country does that—it is as lovely as it is challenging.
The Way of the Witch
Unusual people, found nowhere else in the world, live here. They are witches. These folk (mostly women, with but a few men among their numbers) hold extraordinary talents within their ordinary bodies. With the aid of their animal familiars, some gather in Circles, performing wonderful works, such as protecting towns from tornadoes and flash floods. Others work alone, seeking old knowledge, like the original meanings of the very words we use to speak. Some individuals, as it happens, are completely evil, and, having pledged their very souls to Ca’di-us, the Goddess of Deception, they cause havoc among witches and ordinary folk alike. It has been my privilege to study these witches closely for the past two years, and become, in some tiny way, involved in their workings. The Craft these intelligent, racially divergent people practice is a highly individualized calling—what works for one witch may not work for another. Infinite variety, therefore, exists. I cannot tell you all in this confined space. Suffice it to say that within the following pages lies much more detail about the history and practice of the Craft, including some of the individuals involved in or who study the Craft. If you can, seek out the ones not in hiding and learn from them: their intriguing, entertaining discourse is well worth any trouble such travel entails. I have done my best to set down the tastiest kernels of their stories, including some involving my own experiences. Unfortunately, as with any study, there remains much more to be told, so my research continues. Please forgive me that my time with you is limited. My wolf companion and I are expected in Circle to assist with a work. My arthion calls, so I must go. Enjoy your sojourn in Myrra. May it be as enlightening as my own journey in this beautiful country. But, if after reading this, your blood begins to boil and you notice your physical and mental energies waxing and waning with the moon, then rejoice! For you, too, are a witch my friend! Mirelle d’Birik
Background History of the Weave When Op’ta-tosep descended from the heavens on his fiery comet and created the land of Myrra, he brought with him a celestial egg, which he planted deep underground. The egg contained his sister, Ga-sta‘tosep-di, and she slept in her earthen cocoon, all the while growing stronger and becoming one with Myrra. While Op’ta-tosep created his hidden valley, planted his trees, and populated the land with furred and winged beasts, Gasta stirred. While he painted the flowers and rested atop his mountain home to marvel at all the wonders he’d shaped, Ga-sta opened her eyes. Then Op’ta-tosep planted a seed that grew into the first Tyrran. And Ga-sta yawned and stretched and shattered her egg. She felt the earth against her form, reveling in the coarseness of
the ground, sensing insect husks and the tendril roots of the copious great trees above her. She heard the rush of a river overhead, and her mind brushed against the bones of animals that had once lived above her but now fuelled the land with their returned energy. All of these explorations took minutes for Ga-sta, but Tyrran centuries passed above her. In a heartbeat, she sensed the skeletons of men, and drew songs, dreams, loves, and tales of struggle and victory from their lingering spirits. Finally, she tipped her face up and floated to the surface, breaking through the ground’s crust, and feeling the wind wash across her. Ga-sta explored the world of her brother’s creation, while he remained in his mountain home. And when he realized her presence, he whispered to her on a breeze that he’d charged the Tyrrans with protecting the land from the outside world; then, he opened a portal in the very air and stepped through. He knew Gasta would help keep his creation safe. Millennia and generations passed on Myrra, while Ga-sta napped. The brevity of Tyrran life amazed her. She turned her attention to the seas for a while, delighting in the forms of the fishes and the feel of the water all around her. Time and earthquakes drove cities into the water, and new cities sprouted on the land. Ga-sta eventually returned her attention to the continent, watching with amusement as beings called the Jawnee and Draconis scurried across the land like insects. Ga-sta enjoyed visiting the Jawnee forest cities of Xi-Lan and Modar, though she preferred the unknowing Draconis’ company. Ga-sta watched as more cities grew, as various races demanded tributes, as wars erupted, and as people stole each other’s all-to-brief lives to gain tiny scraps of land. She watched as sorcerers, druids, and clerics learned to harness the energy Op’ta-tosep had breathed into the air. She watched as they crafted magical spells and penned scrolls. She watched as children died, casualties of skirmishes they were too young to understand. She watched as sorcerers crafted baubles containing bits of her brother’s breath. She watched as people fouled the land and her brother’s memory. Then, at last, Ga-sta felt the stirrings of something unknown, something that took nearly a hundred human years for her to understand—revulsion and despair. Ga-sta considered slaying all the two-legged creatures and beginning anew, for it was they who caused the most woe. She was a god, after all, though one with no desire to be worshipped. Neither did she want to open a portal and follow her brother—not yet. She believed he was far away, perhaps creating another world full of people who would one day war against each other. Though she instinctively knew other gods existed, nor did she seek their company; she had known no other extra-worldly presence, save that of her brother. Instead, Ga-sta returned to the place she treasured, deep beneath the earth, where fragments of her egg still lay. Lying in the earth, she stretched out with her senses, feeling the animal bones and insect husks around her, and hearing the roar of rushing water and rustling tree branches overhead. She reveled in the ground’s coarseness and in the welcoming darkness. And she spread herself wide and thin, the fingers and toes she fashioned growing long
Chapter 1: Introduction
enough to reach to the world’s edges. The heart she made beat strongly in tune with the wandering animals above her and, in time, with the strokes of birds’ wings. Her heart pulsed a driving energy through the land, down her limbs, and to the ends of the world. Her energy differed from that which her brother had released into the sky with his breath; it was younger, fresher and filled with a yearning to set things aright in Myrra. It was filled with a new kind of magic. The Weave Begins Children were among the first witches. Playing by a brook in the far northern lands, they felt the stirrings of something inexplicable: Ga-sta’s energy pulse. It filled them with wonder. Born in a village very near the brook, they grew up over what amounted to the earth goddess’s heart, and their spirits had intertwined with her essence. As they grew older, the ones who remained near the brook realized magic lived inside them. They’d heard tales of sorcerers and wizards, and some had seen the gifted men and women travel through their village. The once-children sensed they were similar yet different from these people. And some of the once-children followed these magical-folk across Myrra, hoping to learn from them. Yet, more and more of the goddess’ essence infused the few fortunate once-children who stayed by the brook. Soon they experimented with the magic within them, causing the grass on the bank to grow taller and entangle their feet. They urged the brook to move faster and the trees to speak, and they eventually grew away from the villagers, who both feared and shunned them for the wondrous things they could do. The villagers believed the gods had cursed, not blessed, these fledgling witches, and even the oncechildren’s own relatives rejected them. The once-children felt hurt only briefly by this rejection; for the gift of magic that coursed through their bodies made up for the loss of family and friends. The magic became everything, and the goddess that stretched out deep in the earth, and now stretched to the moon, became their mother. The Single Color of Witchery In the beginning the weave was colorless. It was only the weave: the essence of the earth goddess whose life pulsed around them. The first witches were inseparable from nature; they easily communicated with animals and plants, tracked like expert woodsmen, and predicted the weather with astonishing accuracy. They studied the stars and the moon, thought of the latter as a goddess, embraced the seasons, and accepted the glorious sunshine as well as the tumultuous storms. Their magic grew into extensions of both nature as well as themselves, and they learned they could stimulate crops growth and chase disease away from fruit trees. And more, they learned they could see through the eyes of animals. Familiars Their association with animals led the witches to take familiars, specially bonded animals that could communicate with them and perform all manner of tasks. While it was long-recognized that wizards and sorcerers could gain similar bonds, only witches could have multiple familiars—and their familiars were both more powerful and more individualistic.
The Stuff of Witchcraft Some of the witches began to experiment with wood, crafting wands, staves, and finally brooms, imbuing them with enchantments. This, they learned from studying sorcerers, and they improved upon their magical brethren’s creations, for Myrra’s witches were not content to merely copy such items; they wished to significantly surpass them. Potions, powders, scrolls, and the like were the trappings of witches who lived north of the great desert. Candle magic became the focus of those who lived along the eastern coast. And in their early gatherings, the witches readily traded their secrets, and in doing so, their magic grew more powerful. Coloring the Weave As the number of witches in Myrra multiplied, contentment filled the earthy goddess. She believed the world was in safe hands; her witches would keep tribes from warring and innocents from being killed. Indeed, she’d watched as small bands of witches intervened when thieves threatened merchant wagons and when brigands tried to overrun farming settlements. And she knew the people of Myrra would not starve, as the crops thrived under the witches’ nurturing guidance. The people would not succumb to fierce weather, as the witches kept the cold at bay when needed, and they lengthened the shade during the hottest months. So, content, Ga-sta began to consider her brother, whom she’d only sensed but never actually met. Were there other worlds he’d created where men warred? Did she need to find these places and burrow beneath the soil, spread herself thin, and give rise to more witches? In the end, she decided she did, as Myrra’s witches grew more powerful and wiser still. So, following her brother’s lead, she opened a portal and passed through, beginning her celestial search for him and his other creations. Less than a decade after Ga-sta’s disappearance from Myrra, strife reared in the weave. As the number of witches increased, differing viewpoints clashed. Not all the witches remained closely intune with nature, and not all of them were selfless. Some put themselves first, caring not if men warred. Others thought only of material and magical gain. So, slowly, the witches started taking sides. Geography determined some divisions, while shared goals and convictions decided others. The witches who remained the closest to the land declared themselves the earth faction. Others dubbed them brown witches, as brown dirt clung to their hands and feet from their earthly toil. The brown witches embraced their new order, and they threw off the influences of their once-sisters and once-brothers. They focused on nature-magic, and they drifted into the wilderness to make their homes, occasionally traveling to towns to find likeminded individuals to teach their earth-magic to. The white witches, those declaring themselves as white as the moon and as pure as the moon goddess, followed. Most of them dressed in white robes and festooned their hair with ribbons that shined in the moonlight. The most selfless faction of witches, they put the concerns of others first, and they used their magic to help villages and travelers alike. Later, they established codes of conduct that placed them morally above some of their sisters and brothers. Their magic still tied them to nature, but not to the extent
The Way of the Witch
of the brown witches—many of whom they still sought out for fellowship. The white witches cultivated defensive spells, so they could protect their initiates and the common folk. They used the wealth they earned from daily jobs and travel to help feed and clothe the poor in the "white weave," as it was being called. The gray weave developed next. The gray witches embraced some of the principles of both their white and brown kin, but these reflective, less emotional witches, craving order, structured their lives more stringently. They called themselves "gray witches," as they thought of themselves as sturdy as the northern gray mountains and as enigmatic as fog. They generally served as scholars, governors, and lawmakers in the villages and small towns in which they dwelled. Though magic concerned them, they also devoted their personal time to the arts, philosophy, and other scholarly interests.
The final group of witches called themselves practitioners of the black weave, as their first leaders embraced the darkness. These selfish witches moved under the cover of the night, and they often obtained their goals through robbery and murder. They used their magic and the darkness to hide their identities from would-be persecutors. Gaining arcane might drove them more so than it did the other witches, and, for the most part, they didn’t care what methods they used to obtain it. Villagers learned to fear and avoid these dark witches, and, as the years passed, the common folk came to associate all witches with these vile practitioners of magic. The growing hatred the black witches’ antics spurred caused witches of all weaves to practice their magic secretly, hiding their true natures from those around them. And because of this, as well as the growing ranks of black witches entering the weave, the
Timeline of the Weave 669 B.T.
90 A.T. 500 A.T.
Not far from the desert kingdom of Ar, at the southern end of the Arrani Desert, a young girl separated from her caravan discovers an oasis. She clings to the water’s edge, drinks her fill, and prays to the gods that her family will find her and the oasis. Only, a great windstorm sweeps away her tracks, and unable to find her, her parents believe her dead. The young girl stays at the oasis for nearly a year, declining travelers’ offers to join them. She holds out hope that her parents will return and take her home. In time, she senses the magic--the goddess Ga-sta’s pulsing energy-beneath the oasis, and she begins to crave it like a nomad yearning for water. The young girl becomes one of the first witches, a master of nature spells, and by the time she drinks her fill of the oasis’s magic, numerous years pass. She leaves the desert and journeys to the north in search of others gifted in the art. In a village far to the north, children play near a brook that borders their village. Some of the more perceptive children sense something special about this area, something that keeps pulling them back. Eventually they discover the magic, which now flows freely through them. They learn to cast simple spells, which frightens the villagers and eventually leads to the children’s banishment. The children, now all young women, oddly do not protest. They go in search of others who are also proficient in earth magic. A trio of young witches keep close watch on the Draconis, becoming upset that the Draconis demand more and more Jawnee tribute. The witches see the Draconis unleash the Draconis Triduum on Xi-Lan, and they assist in defending the city. Even with their aid, more than 30,000 die in the attack. The witches learn how to enchant scrolls. Among the first spells they pen are those allowing them to speak to trees and animals. In the south, near the great desert, a witch enchants the first wand. Lanay ‘Strong-of-the-Weave’ uses her magic to pull back the western river near her home, saving a village from flooding. The villagers meet her selfless action with both praise and loathing. A faction within the village, fearing all things magical, demands the witch leave and never set foot on their land again. An enraged archer attacks Lanay, sinking three arrows into the young woman, in an attempt to speed her on her way, but the witch only leaves after making certain the river crests safely away from the community. She later seeks aid from a hermit cleric at the river’s end. Dissention rises in the witch community. The brown weave begins, and the nature-loving witches abandon their sisters and brothers, making their homes in the wilderness. Yertoth Greensward, the oldest, and perhaps most powerful Myrran witch at this time, leads them. Another witch segment declares itself a separate weave. Kindel Robat, Merthandel Willowood, and Ultharen laTimuyal lead the white withes’ separation from their witch kin, and the three coax a significant number into embracing their cause and leaving with them, declaring that white magic will only be used for Myrra’s betterment. Syrilia Indori founds Palidori House, which is intended to protect the knowledge and traditions of the Craft. It also insures that knowledge is passed down from witchly mothers to talented daughters for generations to come. Syrilia and her followers practice something between white and brown witchcraft. They try to maintain contact with all members of the blood, and seek to repair the dissention between segments. A dozen logical, realist women establish the gray weave. They disdain the over-emotional qualities of some of their kin, and they believe that magic will prosper in their new order. The gray witches suspect those left behind will form additional weaves—or forcibly join with the browns or the whites. They do not anticipate, despite their rational thinking, what happens only five years later: the birth of the black weave.
Chapter 1: Introduction
brown witches felt the earth shudder, as the essence the earthy goddess Ga-sta left behind trembled from what was to come. Covens and Gatherings Factions grew within the various weaves, and the number of witches continued to multiply. For quite some time, it had been impossible for all the witches of any one color to convene. However, factions could more easily meet, so these small gathering factions formed the first covens. Most established a membership limit, choosing thirteen as the maximum number of members—perhaps because they formed the first coven on the thirteenth day of the month. Larger gatherings of many covens came next, such as the Singers of the Southwest Wind and the White Witches of Hobb
1104 A.T. 1123 A.T. 1124 A.T. 1255 A.T. 1301 A.T.
1339 A.T. 1399 A.T. 1425 A.T.
Hill. Politics and intrigue—as thick as that found in any city— seeped into the covens and gatherings. Witches vied for power and prestige, and some bought their way into leadership positions. The weaves began to oppose each other, most notably the black and white. White witches commonly pursued their black kin, trying to shut down whatever nefarious schemes the dark ones had in the making. The black weave retaliated, of course, attacking small bands of white witches—and frequently targeting witches in the gray and brown weaves as well if they had wealth and magic ripe for the taking. Fortunately for Myrra, the black witches are numerically in the minority, though perhaps not in power. Currently, the other weaves hold them in check, but this could change.
Inception of the Threefold Law. It is embraced by the white, gray, and brown weaves after a revelation sent by Ga-sta is received by Chisandra Lomunn of the gray witches. The power-giving oath is shunned as too restrictive by those following the darker path. Sensing new strife among Op’ta-tosep’s people, the goddess Ga-sta returns to Myrra in the guise of an ancient and wise witch called Gesta who walked out of the desert. Her teachings stress acceptance of the Threefold Law, and favor the white and brown witches. While the brown and the white weaves draw some of the remaining witches, and a handful turn to the gray, most of those left unaligned choose a radically different course. Under the powerful, charming Mantisal deLu’Orthal’s leadership, they declare themselves the black weave. And they quickly strike out at bands of adventurers and small villages to enrich themselves, with both money and magic. Sisters from Palidori House found the Silver Circle to bring back witches wandering toward the darker aspects of the art. They are able to return a small number back into the brown and white weaves, but not as many as they had hoped. The old witch Gesta disappears: Ga-sta retreats to consider her next step. The Circle of Shadows forms when black and gray witches join forces for common goals and fellowship. Alora Dalan leads them. The brown coven of Bixbee discovers an island shrouded by mist. The island’s caretakers draw a handful of witches to its shores. The isle comes to be called In the Grace of the Lady. A rival witch, Lirth Ebonwood, assassinates the black witch leader Mantisal deLu'Orthal. Lirth takes control of the black witches, calling them the Daughters of Ca’di-us. A coven that aids the northern people in driving out Arak bandits forms the White Witches of Hobb Hill. Hearing an inexplicable call to travel to a northwest mountain, Kyr Dotra, a young male sets out from the great desert near Ar. When he arrives, he meets a witch named Nyla-Kon, whom he finds actually summoned him there to aid her in building a magical school: the Natatorium. Nyla-Kon’s Natatorium is finished, and she begins accepting students. Kyr Dotra, who had been studying at her side, leaves for further learning at the Scholar’s Retreat. The witches discover they can band together to cast tremendously powerful spells. Assassins kill several black and gray coven members. The Shattered Circle begins its heinous work. B.T. = Before (Draconis) Triduum D.T. = Draconis Triduum A.T. = After (Draconis) Triduum
The Way of the Witch
Bard Mirelle’s Notes Prince Volunmyr waited at the window of his private study for his guest. The spry old man fingered the thick gold necklace set with amethyst and garnet that proclaimed his position of advisor to Lord Melsaguinus, Emperor of Enge. He himself had once been emperor, but, as his years advanced, had stepped down in favor of his competent son. Content with his position, and in his declining years, Prince Volunmyr spent his days pursuing his passion: learning about other places and people. Behind him, shelves of thick leather-bound tomes lined the walls, proof of his dedicated investigations. Volunmyr twitched a wrinkle out of the cuff of his plain dark green robe; then he pulled at his neatly-trimmed white beard, as he watched the courtyard. The woman had to be here soon. His informants in the city had told him when she crossed the Phovius River on the Tsoli border. It had been two long years since he’d sent the bard Mirelle d’Birik on her mission to Myrra. After two years of silence, a message had finally arrived several weeks ago, informing him she was returning with her notes. The message was brief. When set to a task, Mirelle was almost as thorough as he. He’d done his research before interviewing her. She had been the perfect choice for his assignment. He frowned, and then smoothed out the wrinkles on his forehead and around his mouth with patience. She’d tell him in time. A fresh breeze laced with sunshine wafted through his window. Prince Volunmyr inhaled with pleasure. Then his blue eyes narrowed on the courtyard below, as the bustle inside the curtain wall halted. People stared, backed away, and continued to stare. Through the late morning, strode a tall figure wearing a dark blue cloak, black boots, coarse brown pants, and a worn blue tunic. Pale hair gathered straight back into a long braid and the extended neck of her precious lute poked over one shoulder. A large, watchful silver and black wolf paced beside her. "Ah!" The prince chuckled to himself. "My Mirelle, always one to make an entrance." A sentry approached the pair in the courtyard, halting ten steps away, as the wolf bristled and issued a low growl. The bard nodded at his message, adjusted her lute case strap, and sauntered toward the main part of the castle. The crowd behind her, still starting at the woman and her strange animal companion, closed in. As she strode through the castle, Volunmyr verbally counted off her movements. "She’s entering the doors and crossing the Main Hall. Ragis meets her at the Grand Stairs. They’re climbing those now, and she adjusts her pace to his slower one. Ragis lets my man Heimdahl take over at the Small Steps. And she’s...here." A knock sounded, then the prince’s study door opened. "The bard Mirelle d’Birik, Sire." "Good, good. Please come in. Welcome back, BardMistress Mirelle." "Thank you, Sire." She bowed her head and bent a knee. Her dark voice was, as always, full of music. Despite obvious fatigue from her journey, her movements were graceful. The strange wolf beside her studied Volunmyr with wide, wise eyes. "Make yourself comfortable. Both of you."
Mirelle nodded. Grabbing her lute case strap with a thumb, she leaned it securely against the bookshelves on one side of the room. Returning to the chair facing his, she shrugged off her cloak and backpack. At the sight of the thick bag, the prince’s interest sharpened. "Those are your notes?" "Indeed, my Lord." The bard dropped into the tapestried chair as if she hadn’t sat down in a month. "Two full years of getting to know the witches of Myrra, as you requested, Sire." Dust seemed ingrained in the new shadows surrounding her brown eyes, making her appear older, wiser somehow, and definitely more intriguing. The big dark wolf was more than it appeared to be, Volunmyr suddenly realized, as it settled near her feet. No wonder the people in the courtyard had been staring! Wolves in Enge were the subject of nightmares. "Then please...no." He smiled, a boyish expression making his blue eyes sparkle. "I am ever hasty where new knowledge is concerned. Forgive me. You look very tired; you must be famished. May I offer you a meal? And something for your friend, of course. Then we will go through your notes." "You are very thoughtful." "It’s the least I can do. You’ve donated two years to research on my behalf. Wine first to remove the road’s dust from your throat. I have a fine white saroufay here. Heimdahl!" After giving instructions to his servant, Volunmyr poured a pale golden liquid into two rock crystal cups and handed one to Mirelle. He eyed the wolf. "Water for your companion?" He searched for a bowl, finally shaking crumbs from a wooden vessel that might have held bread for his breakfast. "This will do." He tipped a crystal stream from a silver pitcher nearby, pushing the bowl across his desk. "Thank you." Mirelle set down her wine on the table next to her chair and reached for the bowl of water. She placed it within her companion’s reach, and the wolf, after a long, suspicious sniff, lapped it thoughtfully. Mirelle sipped from her cup and sighed. "You do keep an excellent wine cellar, Prince Volunmyr. One of the best I’ve experienced." "That’s high praise for one as well-traveled as you." He reached across the table with the carafe and poured more saroufay into the bard’s extended cup. "I take it your trip to Myrra didn’t prove too difficult." "Not at all." Mirelle settled back into her chair, shifting to accommodate a long ornate knife sheathed on her belt. The action was natural, as if she’d done it for several months. "I had no trouble getting there. Finding the subjects to interview and study proved the most difficult; it took me several months to discover the witches, and several more to win their trust." "Oh?" he encouraged. "Witches keep to themselves," the bard explained, "as the prevailing religions in many places persecute them. Most farmers and the like value their help with the crops, and people in sparsely populated regions seek their healing abilities. Because they help the indigenous people with everything from childbirth to love potions, weather to crops, and protection from natural disasters, most residents don’t reveal their whereabouts, especially to strangers. It’s a sort of...community secret. There are even witches among the nobility, as well as a few solitary ones who have openly declared their practice of the Craft."
Chapter 1: Introduction
Prince Volunmyr frowned. "Why would the prevailing religion take exception to them?" "Because they refuse to follow the so-called religious law." Mirelle sipped from her cup, and then glanced to the floor to make certain her midnight and silver companion was comfortable before continuing. "Since the church can’t control them, they outlaw them as rebels. Female witches mostly follow a goddess rather than the creator god of the region. They have their own holidays, and they don’t contribute to the upkeep of the established organization. Witches also teach the common folk, and the religious hierarchy doesn’t like that." "I can imagine." The former emperor sipped from his cup, allowing the excellent vintage to bloom in his mouth; he swallowed before continuing. "It seems there is a powerful minority there." "Yes, Sire." The bard studied her wine. "I thought at first this might be a divisive point into the heart of the country, that it might be tearing Myrra apart. Except..." "Yes?" he encouraged gently. She drew in a deep breath and met his eyes steadily. "Except that the witches protect Myrra when it’s threatened. Without exception." The prince was silent as she halted, searching for words. Not having the right phrase at her command is unusual for Mirelle, Volunmyr thought to himself. The bard finally found the words she sought. "I’ve had a while to think about this. It’s as if they’re paying the land itself back for allowing them the power to become witches. This is fundamental. No matter the witch’s color, with the exception of the black weave, she ascribes to this tenant." "She?" Mirelle nodded. "I heard that male counterparts exist, but most of the witches I found were female." She shrugged. "That may be because I’m female too. I saw only a handful of males while I there, and most of them were tyros. The more experienced women in the Craft, called archons, were teaching them. I heard that other men were involved with the witches, but I didn’t have time to discover them." The prince stared thoughtfully at his wine, tugging at his beard as he ingested her information. The bard watched the wolf, a peculiar little smile lifting one side of her mouth. The creature’s ears suddenly shifted forward, and it lifted its head from its paws. It gazed attentively at the door until Heimdahl’s knock sounded. Volunmyr jumped, startled by the noise. "Enter. Ah, good." The servant came in carrying a tray with fine linen cloths covering steaming viands, as well as a bowl full of raw meat for the wolf. A girl followed him, bringing more water and wine. The bard’s companion sat up, watching. The girl refilled the carafe and the pitcher, while Heimdahl quickly arranged the food on small tables next to the prince and his guest. Neither stood any closer to the wolf than they had to. "I’ll do that," said Mirelle, as Heimdahl stood silent, obviously considering how to serve the raw meat to her companion without losing his fingers. Relieved, he and the kitchen girl bowed themselves from the study, as the bard set the bowl on the floor. "Lamb stew with herbs, one of my favorites." The prince broke off a piece of bread from his trencher, sopped it in broth, and
ate it. "Excellent. My cooking staff does well. Please eat while it’s warm." Much like a fond uncle who has not seen his favorite niece for years, he watched Mirelle attack her food. "You eat like you haven’t had a good meal in some time." "Trail rations get tiresome. A few nights, Kyy hunted for us both." "That’s his name?" "Part of it." She returned to eating, ending the subject. The prince wondered about that as he watched Kyy devour the bowl’s contents, licking every trickle of juice from its bottom. Volunmyr remembered the bard as being more openly talkative before her trip. No matter. The answer lay among the information she brought, he was certain. She ate more than he did. What was left of the bread trencher she dropped into the wolf’s bowl. He made it disappear with the same efficient intensity as he had the meat. After finishing her wine, Mirelle sighed with pleasure. Volunmyr quickly refilled her cup. "I think you needed that meal." "It’s been a long trip." "I take it the folk in my son’s city gave you trouble because of Kyy." She looked at her companion, who had again settled down with his head on his paws, and smiled. "It’s a bit difficult to walk into any inn on the road these days and sing for my supper with him along." "Knowing you, though, you’re likely working on changing people’s misconceptions about wolves." She nodded. "We had a bit of trouble with some people who tried to ambush us from afar." Her hand stroked a dark pendant the prince hadn’t noticed before. He couldn’t tell if it was black or gray; it had an almost mirror-like finish. The stone was cut in a simple disk and hung from a silver chain. The neckline of her tunic hid it from view most of the time. "I could at least talk to those who approached, let them know he means no harm unless they attacked me. But sometimes even that didn’t work. I composed a Wolf Song on the road to help." His bushy eyebrows rose. "You’ll have to sing it for me. I’ve always thought wolves in this country deserved a better reputation." "It will be my pleasure. Is now a good time?" The prince grinned through his beard. "Any time is a good time for one of your songs, Lady Bard." She laughed, rising to get her lute. "My breath control won’t be the best because I ate so much. But I think I can still do a fair job." Unpacking the twelve-stringed instrument, she began to tune it. Her hand swept into a rhythm and melody suggesting the elation of running on a moonlit night. Volunmyr kept time with his hand, gently tapping his desk with his fingers. His eyes closed as he imagined the scene she described: a forest in full moonlight, and a strong, sure animal in his prime. When she finished, he sat entranced for long moments. Smiling broadly, he opened his eyes and applauded. "I’ve never heard you sing better, Mirelle. Please teach that song to my son’s bard Ladris before you leave here." She bowed her head in appreciation of his praise, before tucking her lute back in its case and leaning it against the bookshelves again. "I’ll do that. Maybe he can make the difference I can only begin."
The Way of the Witch
There it was, her reference to time again. Volunmyr prevented his eyebrows from diving into a frown that might betray his thoughts. Give her a chance, he cautioned himself. Let her give me the information freely instead of forcing it from her. I’ll get more that way. "I’m certain he’ll enjoy learning your work. That’s a good song. Now," he leaned forward eagerly. "Your notes?" "Yes, Sire." Mirelle unpacked her backpack, producing a handwidth-thick sheaf of closely-written parchment pages protected by layers of waxed leather. "This is everything I’ve managed to learn about the female witches of Myrra in two years." "Everything?" He couldn’t resist baiting her a little. The bard ducked her head, inevitably honest. It was one of her traits the prince most appreciated. "Almost everything. I’m sure I missed some. And there’s so much more to learn about them." The prince looked eagerly at the parchment stacks she placed on his desk. "Where do we start?" "Probably the best point is their organization, such as it is," Mirelle said, pointing to the smallest pile. "That will give you an understanding of how they unite in covens, and also how they get their work done." "Go on. Please, go on!" Volunmyr urged.
KYY’S SONG "SHADOWS, SHADOWS, FLOWING COOL ALONG THE TRACK, MY PAWS FALL SURE. MOONLIGHT ROAD CUTS STRAIGHT TO QUARRY, WIND TELL TRUE IN NOSE AND FUR. WOLFLING HUNTER, WILD AND FREE, THROUGH THE WOODS HE RUNS TO FIND UNKNOWN TRIALS, LOST TO STORY, WHAT REVEALS THIS SCENT TO ME? PACING ONWARD, MOON-DRAPED, SHY, I SEEK AN UNKNOWN SOUL-MATE GIFT. MY TRAIL SUCCUMBS TO HUMAN SCENT: WHAT IS THIS WITHIN MY MIND? SO FAR, SO LONG, HAVE I RUN TO SHARE MY LONELY CRAVING, I SHALL CONTINUE ON THIS ROAD THOUGH CANIDS FOLLOW, BAYING. A THOUGHT INTRUDES: SHE THINKS OF HOW OUR MINDS TOGETHER MERGE, AND SHE LONGS FOR ME TO COME BEYOND THE MUNDANE SCOURGE. MOONLIGHT! I HAVE FOUND THE MATE OF MIND, AND HEARD HER CALL, I CANNOT FALTER NOW, NOR SHIRK THE MEANING OF IT ALL.
FRIENDSHIP, MIND-LOVE HAVE I FOUND BEYOND MY WILDEST DREAMING. LET HER KNOW THAT I AM HERS AND DEATH TO MUNDANE SCHEMING. MARK MY TRAIL, MY LONGEST TRAIL, WITH JOY AND WITH MY HEART, FOR I HAVE FOUND MY WITCH AND NOW OUR LIVES TOGETHER START." —COMPOSED BY BARD MIRELLE D’BIRIK
Notes of Mirelle d’Birik aboard the ship "Longmoon" somewhere between Tsol and Myrra, on the Dragon Sea I’ve tuned my lute as well as I can for the fifth time this morning. For some reason I’m very restless. They say a sea voyage is good for a person, but I can’t say this has done anything for me. We’re approaching Bixbee’s Landing, should be there tomorrow. I keep trying to find the source of my unease, but it’s not surfacing. It’s beginning to exhaust me as I’m not sleeping well. I’m certain it’s not this mission Prince Volunmyr sent me on--after all, I’ve done similar things before for him and others. This mission isn’t secret, nor is it life-threatening. I find it interesting in the extreme, gaining knowledge about one of the most secretive cults on this world. So the only thing left to do is persevere, despite my feelings. Mirelle closed her trip log, not bothering to blow the ink dry. The wind across the ship’s deck made that unnecessary. She’d settled in well to the rhythm of the trip, except for the restlessness that had grown with each passing day. There had been only one small storm during the entire crossing to worry about and the captain and crew treated her cordially, mostly because she was generous with her musical talents. She stood, her long pale hair blowing into a curtain behind her despite being knotted tightly into a tail at the nape of her neck. The bard looked past the bow of the ship toward the cloudyappearing horizon indicating land. Tomorrow...what would tomorrow bring in Myrra? "Beggin’ pardon, Bard-Mistress Mirelle." She looked down to see the wiry first mate at her elbow. She plucked his name from her extensive memory. "Ah, Tonney. Beautiful day, is it not?" "It is that, Bard-Mistress Mirelle." Tonney was always formal, using her name and title in respect of her rank and talents. "The men were wondering...would you favor us with another song? That is, if it’s not interrupting your thoughts." Mirelle smiled. "Some thoughts need to be interrupted, Tonney. I’d be happy to play for the crew." She turned back to where her lute rested in its case on the deck. Stripping off the protective covering, she checked the tuning. Still perfect. Glad for something to do other than concentrate on the restlessness within her, Mirelle headed for the afterdeck along with the first mate.
Chapter 1: Introduction
*** She stepped from the "Longmoon" the next afternoon on the shores of Myrra, in the country of Northlandre to be exact. Bixbee’s Landing was a bustling town and Mirelle walked into the stream of carts and foot traffic down the main street, looking for a place where she could get information that would lead her to the subject of her inquiry. A local inn seemed the best spot to try. There were a handful of them, so she shopped around. Reading the signs hanging outside several such buildings, she chose the Flame and Candle. The dimness within caused her to halt her just in the door, where she allowed her eyes to adjust. A few patrons sat scattered around the common room in groups of twos and threes. Mirelle walked to the bar. "Ale, please," she requested of the largish, older woman stacking a mountain of mugs. With a nod, the proprietor flipped a mug upright, holding it under the spigot of the tun behind her until it was full. She plopped the vessel beside the bard’s hands and looked at her with questions swimming in her blue eyes. "Are you of the blood?" she asked softly, leaning across the bar. "Uh, no...no," Mirelle returned, wondering at the peculiar greeting. "I do need some information, though." The innkeeper stood upright. "Any questions I can answer for you, I will." "You may not know anything about this, but I have to start somewhere. I’m interested in finding out about the witches of Myrra." The bard couldn’t believe the words had dived so blatantly off her tongue. She was usually more subtle. "Can you point me in the right direction to find one of them?" The woman’s eyes widened. "What do you want to know about them for?" "I’m making a study." Mirelle swallowed more ale to cover her confusion. "Ah, you’re the one." The woman touched an unusual necklace made of black reflective stone set in silver. It looked like a star with a circle around it. "I was told to watch for you. I hate to send you on immediately, because you’re obviously, mmm...tired. But you need to go south to the inn at Coll’s Crossing. Find a scholar named Calatin." She nodded. "He’s the one to get you started, you can’t miss him. He’s always at a table by himself scribbling away on his notes, and he usually has ink up to his elbows. Oh, and take this." The woman ducked behind the bar. Mirelle heard her open a wooden box and close it again. She straightened, offering something in her work-reddened fingers. It was a silver wire pendant similar to her own, but simpler. A small tumbled chunk of black reflective stone gleamed from the middle of the star. The bard frowned and shook her head. "I can’t..." "It’ll help you, dearie, I promise. Here, put it on. Put it on." she shoved it into Mirelle’s hands. Mirelle took the leather thong and knotted it around her neck. The silver touched her skin, warming instantly. "Now, don’t take that off. It’s a protection for you. You’ll need it. Excuse me, I have another customer." She hesitated, giving the bard a deep smile. "You’re going to find what you need,
dearie. Enjoy learning the things you’re going to learn. The way won’t be easy, but they’ll fill you like nothing else does. Good day, and good journey." Now completely mystified, Mirelle finished her ale and stepped back into the sunlight of Bixbee’s streets. Calatin’s name beat in her head like a gong. She resolved to find him, and set off along the street for Coll’s Crossing.
Mirelle and Calatin A noise current crested over the Crescent-over-Wellside Inn tonight, much more than usual. Distracted, the scholar Calatin frowned, raising his head for the third time from notes scattered across the table in the shadowed back corner. He looked around the common room. His eyes, used to close work, took a moment to adjust to the slightly smoky look of the place. While he’d been scribbling, the patrons had filled the room. Townsfolk and country types mingled at stained tables usually empty this time of evening. They drank ale and an occasional cup of wine, while the scents of spit-turned meat and roasting vegetables wafted from the kitchen. Some even ordered a late supper. Drummon, the proprietor, scurried everywhere, making trip after trip to replenish mugs and bring viands from the kitchen. He was as busy as Kurilda, the serving woman. Calatin smiled. She’d always been kind to him, no matter how long he sat at a table to copy his precious notes. Raising his hand and nodding, he caught Kurilda’s attention. She plopped down the six tankards she’d been carrying onto a table, traded a final word with the men there, and turned toward him with a curvet worthy of a battle steed, which took her beyond their unwelcome grabs. She acknowledged orders on her way to his corner with nods and hand gestures, her wide pale sleeve a bird’s wing in the lamplight. She did not stop until she reached his table, targeting Calatin with a wide smile the whole way. Complimented, he blushed. "What can I do for you, my fine scholar?" Kurilda said, leaning against his table, her hand on top of a parchment detailing the
The Way of the Witch
language associated with effective spells. He winced. "Something in a bit of fine dalliance, perhaps?" The rotund scholar’s blush deepened. She knew how to embarrass him all too well. "Um, no, I...I’d like a refill." He pointed to his long-empty tankard. "Nothing more? You’re certain?" Kurilda teased, her hand abandoning the parchment and hovering near his forearm. "We could just take a few moments." "Uh, ummm, oh, what’s going on tonight?" "This?" She looked over her shoulder at the crowd. "Something special. There’s a bard coming." "A bard?" "Yes, someone named d’Birik. Just sent word last week. Kind of unusual--we’re not at all on the paths bards normally travel. This is only the second or third time it’s happened since I’ve worked here. Drummon’s been putting out the word. The whole town and nearly all of the folk from surrounding farms will likely be here. I’d better get back." She swooped up his mug, leaned down, and planted a loud kiss where his wavy dark brown hair met his broad forehead. Calatin hunched his shoulders and looked down at his notes, face flaming, as snickers from nearby tables reached his ears. "Moondark!" he cursed under his breath after Kurilda turned away. "Just what I need! It’ll be so noisy in here I can’t work." He’d frequented the inn because it was near his haunts, and also because it was usually quiet. Shrugging, he got back to his task, dipping his quill in the puddle he’d made with three drops of ale on a pad of dry sooty ink. The stuff smeared his fingers, his hand, and his pale brown sleeve with the smudged ends of words he’d been too impatient to stand and let dry. "Let’s see, where was I?" he mumbled. "Oh yes, the familiars. Ravens, ravens. Where are my raven notes?" He rustled hurriedly through page after page. "And my eagle owls?" Calatin began writing again in his cramped but readable script, not even noticing when Kurilda set down his refilled ale. Quite some time later his elbow touched the tankard. Still deep in thought, he put down his pen, stretched his fingers, and allowed them to curl around the mug’s handle. The scholar slurped a mouthful. After that, despite the growing noise in the inn’s common room, he managed to concentrate on the work before him. "Are you Calatin?" He jumped, his quill streaking a long, dark trail across the parchment. Calatin frowned, blotting at the imperfection with his sleeve. He grumbled. "Are you the scholar?" The voice was female, a dark velvety soprano. There was music in each word. Calatin blinked up, squinting through myopic blue eyes. A tall person stood beside his table in a long blue cloak. He couldn’t tell if the aura around her head was the smoky light or just pale hair disturbed by the throwing off of her hood. "Do you understand the northern tongue? I’m told my accent isn’t that bad." Obviously unused to bringing a student out of deep study, she tapped a boot against the floorboards impatiently. "Well, if you can’t communicate, I guess that brings an end to my plans." Calatin still stared upward at what he considered an apparition. Why was this woman interrupting his work? What was she doing here, anyway? "Ummmm..." he faltered. "Ah, you can speak, or at least vocalize. That’s hopeful." She glanced about the room. Drummond gestured to her from the other
side, near the fireplace. "I have only a few moments before I perform. I’d hoped to find this Calatin and introduce myself. But, since he seems not to be here, or at least not entirely here..." She noticed his mug. Lifting it, she drained the ale in swift swallows; then nodded, as she set the tankard down again. "That gets the road dust out of the throat." Turning, she strode away. "Well!" the scholar fumed. "That’s a nice introduction!" The bard whirled. "So you are Calatin?" He nodded. "But I’m not so sure I want to talk to you." The tall woman smiled. "I think you will." "Depends on what the topic is. I am not free with my information." For once in his life, the scholar felt imperious. He gathered his most recent notes to his chest, like a goose protecting her goslings. She leaned toward him. "Witches," she whispered. He shook his head. "What?" "Witches, you dolt! The witches of Myrra! That’s what I need to talk to you about. I know you’ve been in contact with them." "You do?" He peered at her. "Yes, I do." She pointed at his notes. "I have it on the best authority that you’ve been studying them for quite some time. You happen to be the resident expert. That’s why I need to talk to you." She waved at the innkeeper, who was again gesturing for her to join him near the fire. "Just a moment, Drummond. Just a moment." The bard turned back to Calatin. "I have to perform for the next little while. Perhaps you’ll think of something to say to me when I return." Without waiting for his reply, she strode off through the tables to join the owner of the Crescent-over-Wellside. Tossing off her cloak, the bard removed her lute case from her shoulder, opened it, took out her instrument, and began tuning. "Ladies and Gentlemen," began the innkeeper proudly. "Welcome, welcome. We have a special treat for your entertainment. The bard Mirelle d’Birik is gracing the Crescent-overWellside with her presence, and she has generously agreed to play for us. Perhaps she can be persuaded to perform your favorite songs." Applause followed until Drummond waved it down. "But you didn’t come to hear me talk. I give you the Bard Mirelle." He turned to her, bowed low, and retired. "Good evening, Gentlefolk," the bard said in a normal-sounding voice that carried even to the back corner where Calatin sat. She smiled. Teasing, coaxing haunting notes from her lute to tickle the audience’s ears. The scholar’s twitched. "Why don’t we start with an old favorite, ‘The Lark in the Dell.’" Her fingers began the complicated strains effortlessly, reproducing birdsong from the stringed instrument. Her audience hushed, leaned forward, and listened. Oh, she’s good, thought Calatin, even though her presence and the disturbance it brought irritated him. It’s been a long time since a bard this good stopped here. Wonder what she’s really after? He returned to his work. But he couldn’t help listening. His ears strained toward her lyrics and the bard’s words ensorcelled him, as they did the rest of the inn’s patrons. Her well-practiced voice won him over and made him listen. It sheathed him in her tones, her words, her phrasing, all carefully chosen to bring him as listener the highest satisfaction possible. Calatin shook his head when the bard swung into a fast, easy rendition of "The Weaving Lilt." Maybe I should make bards my
Chapter 1: Introduction
next study, he thought grumpily. Then he brightened. Exactly! Of course! I can study her now, and while I tell her about the witches... But he did not really want to tell her about Myrra’s witches. Not about little Lyria and her budding command of flowering things, nor of Karie’s amazing knowledge of the stars. And there were dozens more who’d become his friends after getting over their initial suspicion. They didn’t let him into their Circles of course, but he was free to ask questions and gather information. And he’d promised several archons, the coven leaders, of his discreetness. His notes were his alone. Certainly not to be shared with a stranger, no matter how well she sang. Who knew what she’d do with the information? Start a war, perhaps. No, he wouldn’t let that happen! Calatin shifted his bulk on the short bench. His own written words swam before his eyes. Dropping his pen, he rubbed broad fingers across closed eyelids, and then he let them trail down to his round cheekbones and backward to his ears. He massaged the aches there before smoothing his shoulder-length hair behind his ears and picking up his pen again. That’s when he noticed the bard was talking about him! "...also with us tonight, hidden back in that corner away from prying eyes and most distractions, is the scholar Calatin ab’Halla." Mirelle pointed. Dozens of faces turned toward him--dozens of strange faces. As the applause of polite acknowledgment, delicate as the first raindrops of a gentle shower, swept the room, he wanted to grab his notes and run. "Perhaps Calatin has a favorite song he’d like to hear?" The crowd’s attention sharpened. Calatin wanted to duck under the table to get away. "Uh, ummmm," he faltered. Kurilda appeared at the bard’s shoulder. She whispered. Mirelle laughed, strumming her lute. "I’ve just been informed that Calatin’s favorite song is ‘The Scholar’s Last Desire’. But perhaps that’s too racy to sing here." The crowd howled disappointment. Calatin’s face burned in reaction. He would never, ever have chosen that song! He’d have to devise some cunning ploy to pay Kurilda back. Thinking about that, he sank his head between hunched shoulders. "Very well." The bard paused to adjust a tuning peg, then swung into a wonderfully complicated version of the tune that filled in all the suggestive phrases with sighs, chuckles, grins, and noisy kisses which Mirelle planted on the back of her own hand. When she finished, the common room nearly burst with delight. "Not to your taste?" Mirelle inquired of Calatin as the approval faded. "I...ummm, well." The scholar gathered his courage. "Actually, ‘Through the Silver Forest’ is my favorite song." "Ah. Good." Calatin was never sure how she did it, but Mirelle brought the crowd to sudden silence in a few chords, ready to hear the ballad that was as tragic as the former song had been ribald. When she finished, women openly cried. A number of hardy men tried to hide tears behind gruffness and new orders for ale. Including Calatin. Kurilda first delivered a wooden goblet of the inn’s finest wine to the bard, who sipped it as she studied her audience. The unusual entertainment lasted late, and with only one break for rest, Mirelle held her audience spellbound the entire time. Calatin renewed the ale on his inkpad to moisten it, pulled over a new piece of parchment, and began scribbling fresh notes with the heading of "Bard."
When Mirelle finished her performance, she packed up her lute, draped her night-dark cloak across her arm, picked up her wine, and wended her way slowly between tables. Everyone wanted to talk to her. Engrossed as usual in his study, Calatin didn’t notice her presence until she stood next to him. "Well?" He looked up, squinting again, dragging his mind beyond the subject on his page. "Well?" She smiled a little. "That’s what I said." Mirelle looked around for a bench. Farmers at the adjoining table donated one of theirs after a burly couple thanked her profusely and headed for the door. "What do you think?" "What do I think?" Calatin sat back, doing just that. "I think you’re very good, Bard Mirelle." "Yes." "In fact, you’re one of the finest bards I’ve heard. And I’ve traveled quite a bit." "Thank you." She sat down. Kurilda delivered a trencher of bread, its hollow center filled with vegetables and steaming chunks of meat in rich herb gravy. The savory scent tickled the scholar’s nose, but he had too much to do at the moment to consider eating. That, in itself, was quite unusual. Mirelle carefully moved a sheaf of his notes lest they be marred by gravy. "You should be at a Count’s court, or at least with one of the wealthy landlords anywhere in Myrra. No, anywhere in the world, " he amended. Cocking his head, he looked at his notes. "That makes me wonder why you wish to discuss the...the subject you brought up earlier." Calatin played with the end of his quill. It tickled his chin as he twisted the other end between stained fingers. Mirelle ate another dozen mouthfuls before replying, studying the scholar. Calatin began feeling uncomfortable again under her direct regard. "All right, I like what I’ve heard from you. Let there be only truth between us." The scholar’s eyes widened. That was a witch phrase! Did she know the import of what she said? "I admit that Prince Volunmyr of the Engan Empire sent me here to study witches," the bard said, pitching her voice for his ears only. "He’s very much like you, except that he was once ruled a whole kingdom of course. Now in his retirement, he has the time and money to pursue knowledge, his abiding passion. His most recent infatuation is with the witches of Myrra. I am his instrument for finding out about them." Calatin saw the bard’s face change. Not a lot, just the tensing of a few muscles around the eyes and lips. It suddenly struck him. She’s frightened! he thought, amazed. This talented woman, who can sit in front of a room full of people and sing everything from lusty songs to the most touching ballads, is actually frightened of something! He decided to help her. "So you landed on these shores and began travelling," he encouraged, as she nibbled a parsnip. "I did. And as I traveled, something in here began changing." She tapped her chest. Calatin smiled, victim of a sudden inspiration. "This change, it feels like your blood does strange things?" Mirelle nodded. "Like it’s boiling sometimes and cold others."
The Way of the Witch
"You can always hear your heartbeat? You get depressed and lethargic during the dark of the moon? You have extra energy and want to get everything done at once during the full moon?" "Yes. Yes! What is it?" "Congratulations," the scholar said. "You’re a witch." "I’m a what?" Despite her control, Mirelle’s voice bounced off the corner walls louder than she’d intended. Several people looked their direction. "Careful," cautioned Calatin. "But that can’t happen, can it?" the bard asked, modulating her tone. "I’m not even Myrran!" "Doesn’t matter. The Craft takes its members from anywhere, at any time. You are a Chosen of the Goddess Ga-sta now. You are of the blood. How does it feel?" He bit the end of his quill thoughtfully. "You know, your musical abilities are probably an offshoot of your being a witch. I mean, you would have been a good musician, but the Craft within you helped you be a better one. You just haven’t known it until now." She struggled with the concept. "All right," the bard finally sighed, shoving away her unfinished food and sipping wine. "What do I do?" "Just like that? No more questions about how and why?" "No. I want to get to the bottom of this. It’s driving me crazy. I had difficulty concentrating tonight." "The moon’s waning." "That makes a difference inside a building?" "Oh, yes. The moon’s light or dark reaches witches no matter where they are. You could be at the bottom of the ocean or deep in a cave and still know what phase of the moon is above the earth. You’re going to have to plan things by moon cycles from now on. And wear a pentacle. Oh, and I nearly forgot the most important thing." Mirelle finished her wine, sighing. "What’s that?" "The change in your blood is fundamental. It’s different than it was. From the moment the Goddess decided she wanted you among her Chosen, you’ve been susceptible to cold iron." "What does that mean?" "It means get rid of anything iron you might possess. Don’t ride on a saddle decorated with it. Don’t eat anything cooked in it. Most important, don’t get cut by an iron knife or shot by an arrow tipped with iron. If you do, you might not recover." He read her startled expression correctly. It requested more information. He was good at that. "You see, from now on. cold iron will burn you, right through your soul. That’s because of your amended blood. Oh, and wear hematite next to your skin. It’ll help lessen your sensitivity. The longer you wear it, the better." "This is getting very complicated. Is there anything else?" Mirelle signaled Kurilda to refill her goblet and bring Calatin some as well. "You won’t believe how much." The scholar spread his hand over his notes. "These are just my most recent ones. I have lots more." "It looks like I found the right person." Mirelle’s smile was lopsided, definitely not the confident expression she’d worn earlier that evening. Calatin waited until Kurilda had brought their wine and turned away before restarting their conversation.
"Thank you, but the only thing I’ve got is information. It’s of little use to you as a firthane tyro." "As a what?" "The first rank of witch. You need a teacher, someone of archon status, to help you through. You need to start a Book of Shadows to record your spells and thoughts. When you find an archon, she’ll also guide you to discover your shadow name, which is used only among witches. And you’ll get a familiar, too." The bard cursed softly. Calatin laughed. "I forgot. Your language is about to change also. "Moondark" is the correct curse at this moment." "So, when do I start this tyro education?" "You’ve already started, but we need to get you to the right people as soon as possible. Some people I know." The scholar began gathering his notes. "You’ll do that?" "I am an ethical person." Calatin stopped rustling parchment and stared at her. "You obviously have no idea what you meant when you said there should be only truth between us. With the people I’ve been studying, that’s a binding oath. And you need help, probably more than any other tyro I’ve heard of because you’re not from Myrra." He reached for an oiled leather satchel beneath his bench, and he began placing his notes inside. "Finish your meal. You’re going to need it. We’ve got a long walk ahead of us." Mirelle ate quickly, without appetite. She wrapped up what was left of the trencher in a linen cloth, and she tucked it in a pocket on her lute case. By the time Calatin had placed his precious notes inside his satchel and slipped the strap over his shoulder, Mirelle had donned her cloak. The neck of her lute case pointed toward the rafters. He fished in his pouch for a few coins. "No need. I told Kurilda you were my guest tonight." He looked at her, surprised. "Thank you." She shook her head. "No thanks are necessary. I’d planned on your helping me. I had no idea it would be to this extent." The two left the Crescent-over-Wellside Inn together, speaking in low voices. A sliver of moonlight lit the quiet village’s road. As soon as they reached the fields beyond the small houses, Mirelle stopped. "What’s wrong?" asked Calatin. "I...I don’t know," she replied, turning in a circle. "There’s something out here, and it’s--no, he’s--lonely and frightened. And hungry. And...and his feet are…sore?" "Ah," replied Calatin knowingly. "Give this a little time. You’ll find each other." He couldn’t suppress a satisfactory chuckle when she pulled a black and silver wolf youngling from its cover in a hedgerow along their path. "Oh," Mirelle breathed, connecting at once with her familiar. "His mundane name is Kyy." She looked up at Calatin, her arms full of wriggling pup trying to angle his nose to lick her face. "What did I just say? What does it mean?" "I’ll explain on the way. Let’s get going. Lucinda’s a long way from here."
language "This information is part of what I learned while I was with Calatin’s friend Lucinda, and some of it I gleaned from the Celestial Sounds Coven," the bard Mirelle told Prince Volunmyr. "Does every coven have a name?" "Usually," she replied. " though I have heard of a few that merely called themselves the coven of whatever area they reside in, but most of those are young covens—most barely a year old. The ones that have been working together for several years all have names. Some covens are known by their shidras, or leader. Some choose a name that fundamentally represents their work; this is particularly true of white covens." She hesitated a moment, as if collecting her thoughts. The prince waited, reining in his impatience for knowledge. "There’s something you need to know before we go any farther." Mirelle’s gray-blue gaze met his, and he saw memories there. "Much witchcraft and spellcasting is based on language. But language changes over many years: words gain new meanings, and phrases turn from old to new. So, the farther witches can go back to the original words, the better. They consider the language that fell from Op’ta-tosep during creation the most pure, and they strive to rediscover it. A mundane is at the mercy of witches who know such words, and witches skilled in the old language can wish a non-practitioner a good day, but really mean the exact opposite." Volunmyr raised his silver-white eyebrows. "So, you are saying that witches could go around cursing everyone?" "Yes. But most do not." "Why?" "First, it does them little or no good to lay such smallwork curses on mundanes. Secondly, each smallwork saps their power. Thirdly, witches have ethics. Well," the bard amended when the wolf stirred, "most of them do." "Ethics," the prince murmured. "Really, do they?" "The ones I met followed a strict code called the Threefold Law, handed down to them from the Goddess herself. This law requires that they not use their magic to directly harm others, as they may receive in return three times the harm they bring others. Following this code grants them the Goddess’ favor; ignoring it brings her ire. I’ve seen this code in action when I observed some white witches aiding the needy, protecting people in danger, and assisting their communities in other beneficial ways. I know that brown witches do much the same, except their focus on maintaining forests and wildlife, which are also important to the surrounding population. Gray witches are basically neutral; they seek balance, and they keep other witches in check; they do whatever their logic leads them to do, considering the situation." "And black witches, do they follow this same code? Are they not evil?" finished Volynmyr. "Yes, Sire, they are evil. They have pledged their very souls to the goddess Ca’di-us, and, as they then draw their magicks from her, she does not require her witches to follow such a code; in fact, she prefers that her witches perform vile, harmful deeds in her name. And, of course, there are other evil
The Way of the Witch
witches who are not of the black weave and who do not follow Ca’di-us. These witches either perform their dark deeds by weapons, trickery, poisons, or other methods. If they use their magics to harm, and they have not given their soul to Ca’di-us, then they will ultimately lose access to their witchy powers, as a gray will most likely kill them, or the Goddess will tear her gifted magic from them. I’m afraid that both these types of witches have given the others a bad reputation in the eyes of Myrra’s people. Unfortunately, most folks only associate the evil witches’ deeds with the Craft, thereby causing the others to be persecuted. "Getting back to magic, Sire… The magic of language is at the root of all witchly power, but the same words do not work for every witch. All witches are individuals with different needs and visions. This is why all of them study very hard to find the right phrase or certain words that will work for their Goddess-gifted magic. Finding the right words often involves a great deal of research, and witches keep their findings in their personal Book of Shadows; these grimoires contain each individual’s language discoveries and detailed rituals, along with other things that have personal meaning. When witches trade information with each other, they are not exactly trading spells; they are trading keys to unlocking language secrets that may work for other witches, thereby cutting down on possible research time. And the ability to manipulate these words into magic comes from Ga-sta or Ca’di-us, depending on the witch’s nature, so a normal person cannot learn these words and use them to form magic like a wizard does; it’s really in the blood, you might say." "So, language is that important?" sighed Volunmyr. "I had no idea. Excellent work, Bard-Mistress Mirelle. Very good, indeed."
Creating a Witch PC The spirit of the Goddess and the God resides everywhere, and witches have the uncanny ability to tap into this spirit and craft magic from it. Good witches cultivate this magic for its healing and other benevolent purposes, while evil witches twist the spirit to control or harm others. Adventures: Witches adventure to gain experience and knowledge about the world. Good witches also adventure to help those in need, while evil witches seek powerful magic to further their own, or their coven’s, goals and reputation. Characteristics: Witches have access to divine magic, some of which mimics arcane spells. While they have access to some healing magic, they do not command the awesome healing powers of their clerical counterparts, nor do they have access to extremely destructive spells like their wizard or sorcerer counterparts. Good witches prefer more subtle and supportive spells, and even their evil sisters are conservative with spells that inflict pain; they prefer more supportive or immobilizing spells. This is because witches who have not given over their soul to Ca’di-us, the Goddess of Deception, or chosen to become gray witches (see the Soulless feat in Chapter 3 and the black witch and gray witch prestige classes later in this chapter), are subject to a karmic Threefold Law, which states that a witch’s actions, for good or ill, come back to her threefold within her lifetime. Alignment: Witches may be of any alignment, though most are good or neutral. Witches are often more chaotic than lawful.
Good and neutral witches follow a code that prohibits them from harming individuals directly with their spells. Their code is simple: "Do what you will, but harm none." Of course, witches can summon protective forces, immobilize enemies, or cast supportive spells, but they avoid spells that directly inflict damage, and they must be careful with mind-controlling spells, lest they be deemed harmful and subject to a karmic reaction (see Table 1—1: Bad Karma below). Evil witches who have given their souls over to Ca’di-us honor no such code, and they, therefore, have limited access to some destructive spells. Religion: Good witches devote themselves to the Myrran goddess Ga-sta ‘tosep-di, often called simply the Goddess, and they deeply respect the Creator, Op’ta-tosep, often called simply the God. These deities’ combined aspects form Nature itself, so druids, who sometimes work closely with witches, inadvertently pay homage to them as well. Evil witches have given themselves over to the dark goddess Ca’di-us. Background: Most witches belong to organizations called covens, which number up to thirteen members. Some witches eschew such structure, preferring to relate to the deities as a lone, spiritual individual. These individual witches are called Solitaires or Solis. While all good and neutral witches recognize each other as brother and sister, coven members tend to stick to their coveners when it comes to matters of assistance and trust, and each coven guards its rituals and secret knowledge from other witches. Coven witches particularly distrust Solitaires, and they have little understanding for those who prefer to stand alone in the world, when they could gain such strength in numbers. A coven witch may be called upon to perform services for higher-ranking coven members, though monetary payment for these services need not be expected; witches usually repay one another in kind. Lower-ranking witches may also call upon higherranking witches for aid under similar "understood" terms. Solitaires may likewise seek aid from other Solitaires with the promise of future assistance; coven witches, even those of good covens, often shun such requests from Solitaires, though there are occasional exceptions. Witches generally live in small towns with close access to the forests or caves of the wilderness, where they generally perform their rituals in seclusion. Races: Witches include members of all common races, but humans, jawnee (elves), and tsai’n (half-elves) are the most prevalent. Monster races like medusas and hags often become witches devoted to Ca’di-us. Other Classes: In an adventuring party, witches assist the group in supportive ways. They use their wisdom to guide others, their healing abilities to ensure survival, and they use their other spells to divine knowledge. Witches get along well with druids, as both groups respect and protect nature. Clerics and witches often do not see eye to eye, as clerics garner some distrust for witches because they claim to gain their power from the gods, but to the outside eye, they seem very much like dangerous, pagan sorcerers. Witches find clerics too preachy and too dogmatic. Some witches fear paladins for their passionate, black and white ideas about morality and goodness. Such zeal can, and often does, lead to unwarranted persecutions.
Chapter 2: WiTch Classes
GAME RULE INFORMATION Witches have the following game statistics. Abilities: Wisdom determines how powerful a spell a witch can cast, how many spells the witch can cast per day, and how hard those spells are to resist. To cast a spell, a witch must have a Wisdom score of 10 + the spell’s level. A witch gets bonus spells based on Wisdom. The Difficulty Class (DC) of a saving throw against a witch’s spell is 10 + the spell’s level + the witch’s Wisdom modifier. Since a witch may only wear light armor, a high Dexterity improves her defensive ability. Alignment: Witches can be of any alignment. Hit Dice: d8 Class Skills The witch’s class skills (and the key abilities for each skill) are Alchemy (Int), Animal Empathy (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Craft (witch tools)(Int), Detect Familiar (Wis), Detect Taint (Wis), Diplomacy (Cha), Heal (Wis), Handle Animal (Cha), Harvest (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (divination)(Int), Knowledge (nature)(Int), Knowledge (religion)(Int), Knowledge (witchcraft)(Int), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Ritual (Wis, exclusive skill), Ride Broom (Dex), Scry (Int, exclusive skill), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Wilderness Lore (Wis). Skill Points at 1st Level: (4 + Int Modifier) X 4 Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int Modifier * Witches, of any race, add +1 skill points per level if they belong to a coven. Class Features All of the following are features of the witch class. Armor and Weapon Proficiency: Witches are proficient with all simple weapons and light armor, but not shields. Note that armor check penalties apply to the skills Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Move Silently, Pick Pocket, and Tumble. Also, Swim checks suffer a -1 penalty for every 5 pounds of armor and equipment carried. Armor does not interfere with a witch’s ability to cast spells, so witches can expend level feats on heavier armor proficiency feats without penalty, if they so desire. Wearing armor for which he or she is not proficient makes the witch subject to the appropriate (depending upon the specific armor worn) armor check penalty on all attack rolls and on all skill rolls that involve moving, including the Ride or Ride Broom skill. Spells: A witch casts divine spells according to Table 1—4, though some witch spells mimic spells normally found on arcane spell lists. A witch’s spell selection is limited. A witch begins play knowing four 0-level spells and two 1st-level spells of the player’s choice. At each level, the witch gains one or more new spells, as indicated on Table 1—5: Witch Spells Known (a witch’s Wisdom bonus, if any, does not affect the number of known spells). The witch can choose common spells listed on the witch’s spell list, or she can learn a new spell, possibly one on an arcane or divine list she currently does not have access to, by visualizing its affects and tapping into the Goddess and God’s spirit around her.
A witch is limited to casting a certain number of spells of each level per day, but she need not prepare them ahead of time (see Table 1—4: Witch Spells Per Day). Her Wisdom bonus, if any, improves the number of spells she may cast. A witch may use a higher-level spell slot to cast a lower-level spell if she chooses. A witch may also use her special combine ability to join her coven members (or join forces with Nature) to cast more powerful spells or cast spells as if she were a higher level (see Combined Witch Ritual Magic, Chapter 4). Witch Code: As stated under Alignment above, good and neutral witches follow a code that prohibits them from harming individuals directly with spells. Their code states: "Do what you will, but harm none." Adhering to this code requires that witches not cast spells that directly cause damage. Witches can defend themselves, however, and they can summon protective forces, immobilize enemies, and cast supportive spells. In this regard, witches use summoned creatures as a defensive measure, meaning they do not summon them unless attacked. Witches need not extend this courtesy to supernaturally evil creatures like demons or devils, however, or to any creature for whom an ‘Always Evil’ alignment is specified. If they make an error, for example if a polymorph other spell or illusionary magic has been used to create the appearance of an evil being, the witch would be absolved of wrongdoing should she attack, although she may find herself having to explain her actions and motivations to a gray witch (see the gray witch prestige class later in this chapter). Evil witches who serve Ca’di-us need not make such rolls; their goddess does not punish or reward through karmic actions— they may find themselves on the unlucky end of a good adventurer’s sword, however. As good and neutral witches are subject to the Threefold Law, which states that a witch’s actions, for good or ill, come back to her threefold within her lifetime, harming others directly with spells like inflict minor wounds, requires the GM make a roll on the Bad Karma Table for the witch, even if the spell was cast without malicious intent. If this is not the witch’s first offense, the GM should add a +1 to the roll for every previous transgression. If the spell was cast in a desperate act to save another (not herself), then the GM can subtract 1 or 2 from the roll, depending on the circumstances. The karma roll’s effects need not take place immediately. Likewise, if the witch does something truly selfless and beneficial to mankind as a whole, the GM should roll on the Good Karma Table. The GM can add +1 to the roll for every truly selfless deed the witch performed in the past. If the GM feels the player is not sincere in playing the character in a selfless manner, she need not adjust such rolls.
Table 1—1: Roll d10: Bad Karma Table 1-2: No effect. 3-6: The witch suffers a –3 to all her attacks, skill checks, damage rolls, and spell saving throw DCs for 1d6 x 3 days. 7-9: The witch loses access to her spells and special abilities for 1d10 x 3 days. 10-11: The witch loses access to her spells and special abilities for 1d20 x 3 days. 12-14: The witch loses all access to her spells and special abilities until she atones for her actions (see atonement spell). 15+: The witch permanently loses her powers and even atonement, limited wish, and wish will not restore them.
The Way of the Witch
Table 1—2: Roll d10: Good Karma Table 1-2: 3-6:
No effect. The witch gains a +3 to all saving throws and skill checks for 1d6 x 3 days. 7-9: The witch gains temporary access to a witch spell of one level higher than the maximum spell level she is ordinarily allowed for 1d10 x 3 days (choose randomly or allow the witch to choose). 10-11: The witch gains temporary access to a witch spell of one level higher than the maximum spell level she is ordinarily allowed for 1d20 x 3 days (choose randomly or allow the witch to choose). 12-14: The witch gains temporary hit points as per the aid spell and adds +1 to all saving throws and skill checks for as long as she remains in good karmic standing. 15+: The GM chooses one of the following: The witch’s Wisdom is raised permanently by 1, she can request 3 miracles of her deities, or, if she died as a result of this deed, she can automatically reincarnate as a person of the same race and level (i.e. the normal randomicity of this spell does not apply).
Iron Susceptibility: A witch’s blood is highly susceptible to ‘cold’ or pure iron. Any attack with an iron weapon (be it sword, dagger, or nail) does an extra +2 points of damage per blow to a witch. In addition, the witch must make a Fortitude save (DC 15) or she loses access to her witch powers for 1d10 hours after the attack. Wearing hematite allows the witch a +1 bonus to this save. Even if the witch succeeds, the iron’s contact with her blood makes it hard for her to concentrate on casting spells, and she needs to make a successful Concentration check (DC 12) each time she attempts to cast a spell thereafter for as long as she remains in contact with the iron, or for 1d10 rounds after having come in contact with cold iron. If this Concentration check fails, the spell fails and the witch loses it just as if she had cast it to no effect. Create Focus: With a successful Ritual check (DC 10)(see Witch Skills in Chapter 3), a witch can imbue a personally handcrafted item with some of her spirit to attract the Goddess and God’s spirit. All witches must use this ability to create a Book of Shadows (see the Creating a Book of Shadows sidebar), a personal account of the wisdom gained from experiencing the Goddess and God. A witch must remain close to her Book of Shadows (at least within 1 mile per every 4 witch levels, including witch prestige class levels; thus a 5th-level witch would need to be within 2 miles of her book, while a 2nd-level witch must remain within 1 mile of hers), or she must make a Concentration check (DC 15) to cast any witch spell. Even if successful, the witch suffers a –1 morale penalty to her spells’ saving throw DCs, nor may she add her Wisdom bonus to the spell’s DC, and she can no longer gain additional spells allowed by her Wisdom bonus. If a witch permanently loses her Book of Shadows, she must make a Ritual check (DC 25) to create a new one. As some of her spirit was lost in the first Book of Shadow’s creation, any spell she casts with a Book of Shadows other than the first, and that targets another, suffers a –1 to its DC (cumulative for every additional book created beyond the first), though she may still add her Wisdom
bonus. Performing an atonement (as per the spell) may release this negative energy from the unfortunate witch, bringing her modified DC back to normal. If the witch’s Book of Shadows is destroyed, and the witch does not replace it, she suffers the penalties described for being out of radius of her book (see above); if she does not craft a new book within 3 months, she eventually loses all ability to cast witch magic, and she may only regain this ability through an atonement followed by creation of a new tome.
Creating a Book of Shadows There comes a time, early in every witch’s career, when she needs to begin her own personal Book of Shadows. This mystical tome will be used to record a personal journal as she grows and develops as a witch, as well as serve as a collection of her thoughts, dreams and insights, spells, and rituals. To begin a Book of Shadows, the witch must first acquire suitable materials. The book itself should be of as good quality as the witch can afford, and made of natural materials – parchment or papyrus bound in wood or leather. It is rare to find any metal on a Book of Shadows, although the leather or wood of the binding may be carved and painted if the witch so desires. It is unlikely that the cost of the book (or the necessary materials for the many witches who prefer to actually make their own book from scratch) will be less than 15 gp. Such a book contains 100 pages and weighs about 3 lbs. Due to the personal nature of a witch’s Book of Shadows, however, she cannot go out and purchase a book and just start writing. First, she must use the special power Create Focus (gained as a 1st-level witch, see the witch class in this chapter) to imbue the tome she wishes to use with some of her own personal power, and, through a Ritual check (DC 10), to receive the Goddess’ blessing on her work. This takes a full day to accomplish. Witches who are part of a Coven are often assisted by their fellow coveners, the entire day taking on the aspect of a festival, a celebration as she takes this first important step along her development in her Craft. A similar ceremonial is involved when a coven decides to create a communal Book of Shadows to share their collective insights, although it must be remembered that individual members of the coven will still maintain their own Books as a personal record, and it is this personal Book that is necessary for effective spellcasting (see the witch class in this chapter). Like a wizard’s spells, each of a witch’s spells occupies about 2 pages of the book per spell level (with 0-level spells occupying but 1 page). However, to allow for the recording of all the other material that witches tend to write in their Books of Shadow – anything from dreams and ideas, to rituals and recipes for candle-making and herbal remedies – a good rule of thumb is to allow 4 pages per spell level, and 2 pages for each 0-level spell recorded. The material cost of writing each page is 100 gp, including ink and other supplies. It takes one day plus one day per spell level to complete the necessary notes. Unlike other spellcasters, witches do not use ‘special’ scripts to record their thoughts and notes, although their records are often of such a personal nature that they are well nigh unintelligible to anyone else who might glance through the pages. Note that despite the fact that the witch records her spells in her Book of Shadows, she does not need to prepare spells from it each day as a wizard does (see the Spellcasting section of the witch class in this Chapter for more details concerning how a witch casts spells).
Book of Shadows Construction --From the notes of tyro firthane Mirelle d’Birik
Chapter 2: WiTch Classes
"A witch without a Book of Shadows is missing most of her substance." That quote comes from Janerelle Tomarek, yirthanan of the Great Oaks coven of brown witches. I have already tried this twice, without success. But I will try again, and again, and again until I have my Book in my hands. A witch must meditate for up to three days beforehand. Her familiar is required for this work, because this partner may be called upon to bring the Book to her occasionally (if the familiar has that ability). Lighting candles of determination and consistency at the four directions may also help. The witch must concentrate on what she wants, developing a clear portrait of it within her mind. And she must remember this description exactly, because it is necessary when calling her Book of Shadows into being. When she feels she is ready, the witch places her personal power stones at five equidistant points on a floor cleaned by her salt-purified broom. The floor should be made preferably of rock or packed dirt, and sit in a private place. Only a coven can call forth a communal Book of Shadows. Standing in the middle of the stones, the witch draws a pentacle in a circle with white powdered chalk mixed with sage, rosemary, and other herbs relating to memory, acuity of mind, and ability. Her most powerful familiar stands with her, helping her concentrate. She whispers the description of her Book as she draws the lines and when finished, the witch kneels in the midst of the pentacle with her familiar, and intones the following: "BOOK OF SHADOWS, COME TO MY HANDS. UNLOCK YOUR PAGES FOR MY HEART TO DISCOVER. MY MIND, MY SOUL, MY POWER THERE BE WITHIN YOUR PROTECTED COVERS. "I WILL YOUR APPEARANCE NOW, SACRED BOOK. HOLD MY WORK FOREVER. COME AT MY CALL, MY PARTNER YOU’LL BE, THIS LINK ONLY DEATH DOES SEVER." If the witch says this with clear intent and honest feeling, her individual Book of Shadows should appear in her hands. Should her words be wrong, her pentacle not perfectly drawn, her imagination of the Book itself faulty, or if something as tiny as a gnat violates the border of her circle, the working dies. The witch must clear away the chalk and herbs with her broom, and bury the remains reverently with salt. She may then try again in two weeks. Additional note by Mirelle: This works--after two failures, Kyy and I did it!
The witch can also use this focus power to create an athame, charge candles (see the Candle Magic feat in Chapter 3), empower gemstones or fetish/charm items (though she must have the appropriate feat as well), and empower witch balls (see Chapter 4 for more details on fetishes, charms and witch balls). A witch must use her Craft (witch tools) skill to create these items, as she can only imbue personally handcrafted items with the proper magic, and she must roll a Rituals check (DC 15) to successfully empower these items. In addition, creating fetishes, charms and witch balls requires even further work (see Chapter 4 for details). Aside from their other uses, which depend upon the item in question, using
focused items in rituals or as spell components adds +1 to the Ritual check and/or the spell’s resulting DC. Unless a witch uses a focused item to forge a magical item to be used by another, whereby she releases her bonded spirit from it, only the witch who created the focused item gains any bonus from its use, as only her spirit is attuned to it. Familiar: A witch can summon a familiar in exactly the same manner as a sorcerer (see the sorcerer description in Chapter 3 of the PHB), though unlike in the case of those spellcasters, the witch has far less say over what kind of creature appears. Witches are compensated for this fact in that their familiars are more unique than those typically found n the service of sorcerers (see Chapter 6 for details). Combine: At 2nd-level, witches gain the ability to combine their magic with other witches of the same level or above to cast spells. When they combine in such a manner, the initiating witch (usually the highest-level witch in the group) adds the participants' energy force to the casting, which allows her to cast any known spell as if she were a higher-level witch (see Combined Witch Ritual Magic in Chapter 4). Successfully combining witch magic can also allow the initiating witch access to spells the she doesn't know, including higher level ones that she would normally not have access to, and it gives her access to special spells called true rituals, divine spells that can only be cast by a combined group (see True Rituals in Chapter 4). A coven witch may combine her magic with other witches of her coven or witches of like color (see witch prestige classes later in this chapter), while a solitaire may only combine her magic with witches of like color or with the force of Nature (the Goddess and God’s spirit). Witches use the Ritual skill (see Ritual skill in Chapter 3) to combine spells or tap into the forces of Nature. See Combined Witch Ritual Magic in Chapter 4 for more information on hold this works. Attract: At 3rd level, the witch gains the uncanny ability to attract things to her or affect future events. A witch may use this ability once per week per every 5 witch levels she possesses, including witch prestige class levels. This ability requires a successful Ritual check, as the witch must perform a ritual to create the necessary harmonious energy needed for change. Witches often use candle magic to garner such energy, using the appropriate colored candle to attract the type of energy they desire. The GM must decide on the DC level needed to succeed for each request. For instance, if a destitute witch finds herself in need of money to purchase supplies for a good-intentioned mission, the GM might assign a Ritual check of DC 12. If she succeeds, she might accidentally find some money, inherit some, or be offered a job that just happens to pay the exact amount of money she needs. Or, an evil witch might desire to possess a certain magical wand. The GM assigns a DC 22 for her to attract that item to her. If she succeeds, her party might encounter another group who has a member that just happens to possess such a wand. Of course, getting it at that point would require an attack, an offer to purchase, or a theft. GMs should raise the DC of outrageous requests to impossible or near-impossible levels, and they should assign penalties to things that seem selfish or harmful. If the witch’s request benefits greater mankind, then at least a +2 bonus should be applied. Witches who have not given their souls over to Ca’di-us or become gray witches must be very careful what they ask for, as they are
Will Special Create Focus, Summon Familiar, Combine Attract Resist nature's lure 1st Circle Magic 1/day 1st Circle Magic 2/day 2nd Circle Magic 1/day 2nd Circle Magic 2/day 3rd Circle Magic 1/day 3rd Circle Magic 2/day 4th Circle Magic 1/day 4th Circle Magic 2/day 5th Circle Magic 1/day Longevity A Thousand Faces
Spells: A witch casts divine spells. A witch does not need to prepare these spells ahead of time. To cast a spell, a witch must have a Wisdom score of at least 10 + the spell's level. The DC for a saving throw against a witch’s spell is 10 + the spell's level + the witch’s Wisdom modifier + any focused item bonuses (see Focus above). Good witches should not cast spells that directly inflict harm, such as inflict minor wounds, as such actions may have dire consequences (see Table 1—1: Bad Karma).
Chapter 2: WiTch Classes
subject to the Threefold Law: a witch’s actions, for good or ill, are returned threefold within her current lifetime. Resist Nature's Lure: Starting at 4th level, a witch gains a +4 bonus to saving throws against the spell-like abilities of feys (such as dryads, nymphs, and sprites). Circle Magic: Starting at 5th-level, a witch can tap into special divine spells (see Circle Magic, Chapter 4). Longevity: At 14th level, the witch gains the supernatural ability to slow her aging. From then on, she ages 1 year for every 5 that pass. Additionally, she no longer suffers ability penalties for aging (see Chapter 6 of the PHB for details) and cannot be magically aged. Any penalties she may have already suffered, however, remain in place. Note that though the witch no longer suffers the penalties of aging, the positive bonuses still accrue. A Thousand Faces: At 15th level, a witch gains the supernatural ability to change his or her appearance at will, as if using the alter self spell (see Chapter 11 of the PHB).
Ex-Witches: A witch who has not turned to Ca’di us, and who ceases to revere the goddess and the god, loses all spells and witch abilities and cannot gain levels as a witch until she atones (see atonement spell description). Evil witches ceasing to revere Ca’di-us suffer the same fate.
Spells: A witch casts divine spells. The number of spells a witch knows is not affected by her Wisdom bonus. The spells a witch knows can be chosen from the Witch Spells Per Day list (see Table 1—4: Witch Spells Per Day). A witch is limited to casting a certain number of spells of each level per day, but she need not prepare her spells in advance. The number of spells she can cast per day is improved by her bonus spells (due to Wisdom), if any. A witch may use a higher-level slot to cast a lower-level spell if she so chooses. The spell is still treated as its actual level, not the level of the slot used to cast it. To cast a spell, a witch must have a Wisdom score of at least 10 + the spell's level. The Difficulty Class for saving throws against witch’s spells is 10 + the spell's level + the witch’s Wisdom modifier.
The Way of the Witch
Witch Prestige Classes BLACK WITCH Black witches revere the dark goddess Ca’di-us, and they do her bidding. The black witch’s creed is: "Do as thou will," with no concern as to whether it harms others; in fact, the dark deity revels in evil and destructive deeds, so she does not karmically punish her subjects for such actions. Evil witches who have not given themselves over as black witches to Ca’di-us are still subject to the Threefold Law (see witch class earlier in this chapter). Ca’di-us requires one’s soul to protect a witch from the karmic code. Upon dying, a black witch cannot be raised, as her soul goes to Ca’di-us. In order to raise or resurrect such a witch, someone would have to make a dark deal with the goddess. Black witches freely use pain-inflicting spells, mind-controlling spells, and curses. Additionally, black witches enjoy studying and controlling extraplanar, supernatural evils.
GAME RULE INFORMATION Hit Dice: d8. Requirements — Alignment: Any evil. — Feats: Soulless. — Ritual: 6 ranks. — Intimidate: 6 ranks. — Spellcasting: Must be able to cast 3rd-level witch spells. — Special: Must practice an annual dark rite to renew their fealty to Ca'di-us. CLASS SKILLS: The black witch’s class skills (and the key abilities for each skill) are Alchemy (Int), Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Craft (witch tools)(Int), Detect Familiar (Wis), Detect Taint (Wis), Disguise (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Hide (Dex), Innuendo (Wis), Knowledge (religion)(Int), Knowledge (witchcraft)(Int), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Ritual (Wis, exclusive skill), Scry (Int, exclusive skill), Ride Broom (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Wilderness Lore (Wis). Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier. * Black witches of any race add +1 skill points per level if they belong to a coven (this is in addition to the bonus skill point that is gained for being human). CLASS FEATURES All of the following are class features of the black witch prestige class. Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Black witches are proficient with simple weapons and light armor, but not with shields. Note that armor check penalties apply to the skills Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Move Silently, Pick Pocket, and Tumble. Also, Swim checks suffer a -1 penalty for every 5 pounds of armor and equipment carried. Spellcasting: When a black witch gains a new level, she gains new spells per day as if she had gained a level in witch (see
the new witch class at the beginning of this chapter). She does not, however, gain any other benefits of raising a level in the witch character class. This essentially means that she only adds the level of black witch to her witch level to determine spells per day, spells known, and caster level accordingly. Iron Susceptibility: Black witches remain susceptible to iron as per the witch class (see earlier in this chapter). Karmic Balance: For giving over their souls to Ca’di-us, the goddess protects her dark followers from gaining bad karma for their evil deeds, as she becomes the source of their power, not the Goddess and God (see the Soulless feat in Chapter 3 for details). Summon Darkness: At 1st level, black witches gain the spell-like ability to summon magical darkness, as per the darkness spell (see Chapter 11 of the PHB), once per day per Wisdom bonus. Thus, a black witch with 14 Wisdom would be able to use the darkness spell-like ability twice a day. Inflict Critical Wounds: Black witches have access to the clerical inflict critical wounds spell once per day. They gain this ability at 2nd level and thereafter gain additional uses per day of the inflict critical wounds spells at 3rd and 6th levels. Black witches cause 4d8 points of damage +2 points per caster level, including her witch levels (up to +40), using this spell, but it is otherwise treated exactly as outlined in Chapter 11 of the PHB. Essence Drain: Starting at 3rd-level, black witches gain the spell-like ability to steal a subject’s life force once per day. This energy drain bestows negative levels on a target, as per the enervation spell (see Chapter 11 of the PHB), except that a black witch can bestow 1d4+1 negative levels, instead of the normal 1d4. At 7th level, the black witch can use this power twice per day. Harm: Starting at 5th level, a black witch can cause great harm to individuals, as per the harm spell once per day (see Chapter 11 of the PHB). The black witch gains an additional use per day of this spell-like ability at 8th level. Destructive Essence: At 6th level, a black witch can call upon the dark goddess’ essence. Summoning the goddess’ essence allows the black witch to call forth any 1st to 5th level damagecausing or destructive spell. The black witch can call on this essence once per day per Wisdom bonus. These spells are not in addition to the witch’s current spell complement; so she must use an existing spell slot for any called spells. The desired spell can come from any divine or arcane list the GM allows. Thus, a black witch could feasibly cast fireball, lightning bolt, or flame strike. For purposes of spell damage and duration, etc., the black witch combines her witch and black witch spell levels; no other spellcaster levels apply. At 9th level, the witch may call forth her Wisdom bonus x 2 of destructive spells to replace normal spells in her spell slots. At 10th level, the witch may call forth her Wisdom bonus x 3 destructive spells. The destructive spell takes up a slot equivalent to its normal spell level. Regardless of what level the black witch is, she may not call forth more destructive powers per day than she has open spell slots remaining. Greater Essence Drain: At 10th level, a black witch gains the spell-like ability to steal even more of a subject’s life force. This energy drain bestows negative levels on a target, as per the energy drain spell (see Chapter 11 of the PHB), except that a black witch can bestow 2d4+1 negative levels, instead of the normal 2d4. The black witch can use this power once per day.
Chapter 2: WiTch Classes
Table 1—6: The Black Witch Level 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
BROWN WITCH Brown witches are the ‘Keepers of Nature’ and they may often be mistaken for druids, with whom they share similar goals. These witches protect the land from those that would ravage it. Like druids, they must maintain a neutral outlook, accepting that nature encompasses opposing forces like life and death, peace and violence. Thus, brown witches try to walk the middle path when able. They do fiercely oppose aberrations of nature, however; and they have no qualms about harming undead and unnatural creatures that threaten their homes. Brown witches avoid living in large towns and cities, as these places keep them away from the wilderness they love. Most reside alone in the woods, in small villages, or in very small border towns. As they usually have animal companions, they do not live in places that do not offer these companions an element of roaming freedom.
GAME RULE INFORMATION Hit Dice: d8. Requirements — Alignment: Any neutral. — Ritual: 6 ranks. — Wilderness Lore: 6 ranks. — Feat: Animal Friend. — Spellcasting: Must be able to cast 3rd-level witch spells.
Class Skills: The brown witch’s class skills (and the key abilities for each skill) are Alchemy (Int), Animal Empathy (Cha), Concentration (Con), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Craft (witch tools) (Int), Detect Familiar (Wis), Detect Taint (Wis), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Harvest (Wis), Intuit Direction (Wis), Knowledge (nature)(Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Knowledge (witchcraft)(Int), Listen (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Ritual (Wis, exclusive skill), Scry (Int, exclusive skill), Ride Broom (Dex), Spot (Wis), Wilderness Lore (Wis). Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.
Spells per Day +1 level of witch class +1 level of witch class +1 level of witch class +1 level of witch class +1 level of witch class +1 level of witch class +1 level of witch class +1 level of witch class +1 level of witch class +1 level of witch class
* Brown witches of any race add +1 skill points per level if they belong to a coven (this is in addition to the bonus skill point that is gained for being human).
Class Features All of the following are class features of the brown witch prestige class. Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Brown witches are proficient with simple weapons and light armor, but not with shields. Note that armor check penalties apply to the skills Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Move Silently, Pick Pocket, and Tumble. Also, Swim checks suffer a -1 penalty for every 5 pounds of armor and equipment carried. Spellcasting: When a brown witch gains a new level, she gains new spells per day as if she had gained a level in witch (see the new witch class at the beginning of this chapter). She does not, however, gain any other benefits of raising a level in the witch character class. This essentially means that she only adds the level of brown witch to her witch level to determine spells per day, spells known, and caster level accordingly. Witch Code: Brown witches remain subject to the witch code outlined under the witch class (see earlier in this chapter). Iron Susceptibility: Brown witches remain susceptible to iron as per the witch class (see earlier in this chapter). Nature Sense: At 1st level, a brown witch can identify plants and animals (their species and special traits) with perfect accuracy. The brown witch can also determine whether water is safe to drink or dangerous. Woodland Stride: Starting at 1st level, a brown witch may move through natural thorns, briars, overgrown areas, and similar terrain at her normal speed and without suffering damage or other impairment. However, thorns, briars, and overgrown areas that are enchanted or magically manipulated to impede motion still affect the brown witch. Trackless Step: Starting at 2nd level, a brown witch leaves no trail in natural surroundings and cannot be tracked. Wild Shape: At 3rd level, a brown witch gains the spell-like ability to polymorph self (see Chapter 11 of the PHB) into a Small or Medium-size animal (but not a dire animal) and back again once
The Way of the Witch
per day. Unlike the standard use of the spell, however, a brown witch may only adopt one form. As stated in the spell description, the brown witch regains hit points as if she has rested for a day. A brown witch does not risk the standard penalty for being disoriented while in the wild shape. A brown witch can use this ability an additional time per day at 5th and 8th levels. Call Ally: Starting at 4th level, a brown witch has the spelllike ability to call to 6 HD of creatures to her once per day, as per the summon nature’s ally VI spell (see Chapter 11 of the PHB). At
6th level, she may use this ability twice per day. Nature Speak: At 7th level, a brown witch gains the extraordinary ability to communicate with nature (plants, animals, and stone) without aid of a spell. Brown witches cannot communicate with beasts, magical beasts, or vermin using this ability. Control Weather: At 9th level, a brown witch gains the spelllike ability to control weather, as per the spell (see Chapter 11 of the PHB). She may use this ability twice per day at 10th level.
Table 1—7: The Brown Witch Level 1st
Base Attack Bonus +0
Fort Save +2
Ref Save +0
2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
+1 +2 +3 +3 +4 +5 +6/+1 +6/+1 +7/+2
+3 +3 +4 +4 +5 +5 +6 +6 +7
+0 +1 +1 +1 +2 +2 +2 +3 +3
Will Save Special +2 Nature sense, woodland stride +3 Trackless step +3 Wild shape 1/day +4 Call ally 1/day +4 Wild shape 2/day +5 Call ally 2/day +5 Nature speak +6 Wild shape 3/day +6 Control weather 1/day +7 Control weather 2/day
GRAY WITCH Gray witches are often called "Keepers of Justice" or "Keepers of the Word." Although they are usually coven members, gray witches socialize little. Some Solitaires have been known to take up the gray robes of this prestige class, and, strangely enough, coven witches often revere gray Solitaires and offer them hospice as if they were visiting dignitaries. Grays have a love of learning, and they seek the truth in all matters. For this reason, other witches turn to them to settle disputes and to deliver justice. They are the only neutral witches not subject to the Threefold Law, as they give up their desires to do good or evil to serve the Goddess and God in all matters of judgment and atonement; only grays can offer other witches atonement. They take their responsibilities seriously, as they see themselves as tools of the gods. Witches take a vow of poverty and fairness upon becoming gray witches, as they must keep all their desires in check to properly serve the Goddess and God. Failing to follow these codes results in the temporary (can be atoned) or even permanent loss of all gray witch powers.
GAME RULE INFORMATION
Spells per Day +1 level of witch class +1 level of witch class +1 level of witch class +1 level of witch class +1 level of witch class +1 level of witch class +1 level of witch class +1 level of witch class +1 level of witch class +1 level of witch class
— Spellcasting: Ability to cast 3rd-level witch spells. — Special: Must be initiated in a cleansing ceremony performed by another gray witch, and must take a vow of poverty and follow a code of fairness.
Class Skills The gray witch’s class skills (and the key abilities for each skill) are Alchemy (Int), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Craft (witch tools)(Int), Decipher Script (Int, exclusive skill), Detect Familiar (Wis), Detect Taint (Wis), Diplomacy (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Knowledge (nature)(Int), Knowledge (religion)(Int), Knowledge (witchcraft)(Int), Knowledge (all skills), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Ritual (Wis, exclusive skill), Scry (Int, exclusive skill), Ride Broom (Dex), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Speak Language. Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier. * Gray witches of any race add +1 skill points per level if they belong to a coven (this is in addition to the bonus skill point that is gained for being human).
Hit Dice: d8. Requirements — Alignment: Lawful neutral. — Two Knowledge Skills (of which one must be Knowledge: Law): 6 ranks each. — Ritual: 6 ranks.
All of the following are class features of the gray witch prestige class. Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Gray witches are proficient with simple weapons and light armor, but not with shields. Note that armor check penalties apply to the skills Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Move Silently, Pick Pocket, and Tumble. Also,
Chapter 2: WiTch Classes
Swim checks suffer a -1 penalty for every 5 pounds of armor and equipment carried. Spellcasting: When a gray witch gains a new level, she gains new spells per day as if she had gained a level in witch (see the witch class at the beginning of this chapter). She does not, however, gain any other benefits of raising a level in the witch character class. This essentially means that she only adds the level of gray witch to her witch level to determine spells per day, spells known, and caster level accordingly. Iron Susceptibility: Gray witches remain susceptible to iron as per the witch class (see earlier in this chapter). Code of Poverty: Gray witches take a vow of poverty when they become gray witches. The vow becomes one of the two ethical codes that all gray witches must follow (the other is detailed below) and states that the gray witch may not own anything more than what they can comfortably carry on their person, including a change of clothing, their Book of Shadows, their witch tools and components, a book or two, writing tools, a backpack to carry these items in, a suit of light armor, and no more than two weapons. They may accept food, lodging, books, and spell assistance from other witches, but they may never accept more than a few coppers from them in monetary funds. The gray witch can carry no more than 10 sp on her person at any given time. Failure to follow this code results in a loss of all powers. A gray witch must then seek atonement from another, more powerful, gray witch, to have her powers restored. A gray witch may seek atonement for transgression of this code (or the code detailed below) no more than twice, and a third code transgression (of either type) results in the loss of all gray witch powers. Code of Fairness: Gray witches must treat all witches as equals, regardless of coven rank or solitaire status, and especially in regard to arbitrating witch matters. A gray witch must never decide matters based on a person’s rank or wealth, and she may never accept bribes of any kind in performing her duties as a gray witch. A gray witch who fails to adhere to this code must then seek atonement from another, more powerful, gray witch, to have her powers restored. A gray witch may seek atonement for transgression of this code (or the code detailed above) no more than twice, and a third code transgression (of either type) results in the loss of all gray witch powers. Karmic Balance: As gray witches serve the Goddess and God as judges of the flock, deciding who deserves atonement in the face of bad karma or evil deeds, they are not themselves subject to the Threefold Law (see the witch class earlier in this chapter). Therefore, in distributing justice to witch wrongdoers, they can use harmful spells against said witches without experiencing a karmic reaction. The gray witch must always remain lawful neutral to maintain this special ability. Should a gray witch stray from this alignment, she suffers the same karmic fate as other witches. Fortune’s Favor: When gray witches need things to help them serve the Goddess and God, these things have an uncanny way of simply "appearing." Gray witches are extremely lucky in this regard and add a +6 luck bonus to any Attract attempts (see the witch class earlier in this chapter) they make. In addition, this luck adds a +2 luck bonus to all other skill checks and saving throws. Discern Lies: Starting at 2nd level, a gray witch gains the ability to discern lies as per the spell once per day (see Chapter 11 of the PHB). The gray witch uses this ability to assist her in distributing justice and settling disputes. The gray witch may use this spell-like ability twice per day at 4th level.
Atonement: Starting at 3rd level, a gray witch gains the ability to atone others of their bad karma once per day, as per the atonement spell (see Chapter 11 of the PHB). The ability restores any lost witch abilities and any penalties suffered due to this bad karma. Depending on the offender’s deeds, the gray witch may also geas/quest the wrongdoer before casting atonement to clear her of this karma. The gray witch may use this spell-like ability twice per day at 7th-level. Geas/Quest: Starting at 5th level, a gray witch gains the ability to send a wrongdoer on a quest once per day, as per the geas/quest spell (see Chapter 11 of the PHB). Gray witches generally only send repeat karmic offenders on such quests, restoring the first transgression with simply the atonement, but sending the wrongdoer on a quest for the 2nd and possibly 3rd transgression. A gray witch rarely absolves a 4th transgression with a quest. A gray witch may use this spell-like ability twice at 8th level. Punish: Starting at 6th level, a gray witch gains the ability to strip a witch of her powers with a mere word. The witch does not get a saving throw against this attack, even if the witch worships Ca’di-us, not the gray witch’s deities. Gray witches rarely perform this ability on witches outside the religion, as doing so can command the evil goddess’ wrath, and grays do not perform it, regardless, without communing with her deities (via a commune spell or similar magic). A gray witch may use this spell-like ability twice at 9th level. Most Holy Word: At 10th level, a gray witch gains the ability to kill another creature as per the destruction spell (see Chapter 11 of the PHB), except that if the gray witch’s victim is a witch the gray’s gods have abandoned, such a victim is at –4 to their Fortitude save. Though grays are not healers, this ability also grants them the power to restore life as per a true resurrection spell (see Chapter 11 of the PHB). Gray witches do not cast any version of this spell without communing with the deities first (via a commune spell or similar magic). As ‘Keepers of the Word’, gray witches must make certain they use the power of the word in accordance to their deities’ wishes, as such power brings great responsibility. This ability may be used but once per day, in whichever form the witch chooses.
The Way of the Witch
Table 1—8: The Gray Witch Level 1st
Base Attack Bonus +0
Fort Save +2
Ref Save +0
Will Save +2
2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
+1 +2 +3 +3 +4 +5 +6/+1 +6/+1 +7/+2
+3 +3 +4 +4 +5 +5 +6 +6 +7
+0 +1 +1 +1 +2 +2 +2 +3 +3
+3 +3 +4 +4 +5 +5 +6 +6 +7
Special Karmic balance, fortune’s favor Discern lies 1/day Atonement 1/day Discern lies 2/day Geas/quest 1/day Punish Atonement 2/day Geas/quest 2/day Punish 2/day Most holy word
Spells per Day +1 level of witch class +1 level of witch class +1 level of witch class +1 level of witch class +1 level of witch class +1 level of witch class +1 level of witch class +1 level of witch class +1 level of witch class +1 level of witch class
VITKE Vitke are powerful witches who protect the coven circle from attacks, both extra planar and mundane. Training to become a vitke starts early in a witch’s career—long before he or she enters the class, as the entry requirements leave little room for dabbling. Only those that show great physical promise and who have a strong will as well as aptitude for psionics are sought for the position. Up until 5th level, a vitke is called a tikarl, a vitke-in-training, so to speak. A tikarl assists the true vitke in protecting the coven. Upon gaining 5th level, the tikarl is promoted to vitke in a ceremony that imbues him or her with more power (see True Rituals in Chapter 4) and earns him or her a moonsword. The vitke are more than willing to give their lives in service of the coven, and those that do, are said to hold a special place in the heavens above. As vitke are protectors, they are not subject to the Threefold Law (see the witch class earlier in this chapter). They do follow a
Spells per Day +1 level of witch or psion class +1 level of witch or psion class +1 level of witch or psion class +1 level of witch or psion class +1 level of witch or psion class +1 level of witch or psion class +1 level of witch or psion class +1 level of witch or psion class +1 level of witch or psion class +1 level of witch or psion class
code, the Defender’s Code (see below) that prohibits them from harming anyone who does not intend the coven harm, but they may use any spell at their disposal to fight those enemies. They are also not susceptible to cold iron, having overcome this weakness through powdered hematite ingestion.
GAME RULE INFORMATION
Hit Dice: d8. Requirements — Abilities: Dex 13+. — Alignment: Any good. — Concentration: 8 ranks. — Ritual: 6 ranks. — Feats: Alertness, Improved Initiative, Iron Will. — Spellcasting: Must be able to cast 4th-level witch spells.
Chapter 2: WiTch Classes
The vitke’s class skills (and the key abilities for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (witch tools) (Int), Detect Familiar (Wis), Detect Taint (Wis), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (nature)(Int), Knowledge (witchcraft)(Int), Knowledge (the planes)(Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Ritual (Wis, exclusive skill), Scry (Int, exclusive skill), Spot (Wis), Tumble (Dex). Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier. * Vitke of any race add +1 skill points per level (this is in addition to the bonus skill point that is gained for being human).
Class Features All of the following are class features of the vitke prestige class. Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Vitke are proficient with simple weapons and the bastard sword. They are proficient with light armor (though most disdain its use) and they may not use shields. Spellcasting/Psionics: When a vitke gains a new level, she either gains new spells per day as if she had gained a level in the witch class, or she may choose to focus on learning psionic abilities (starting as a 1st-level psion (see Chapter 1 of the Psionics Handbook) unless already a multiclassed psion). If she chooses to continue gaining witch levels, she does not, however, gain any other benefits of the witch character class. This essentially means that she adds the level of vitke to her witch level to determine spells per day, spells known, and caster level accordingly. Once the type of caster level – witch or psionics – to enhance has been chosen, this may not be changed. Defender Code: A vitke may only use her abilities in defense of others. As long as the vitke’s attacks are to protect, the Threefold Law and its karma effects do not apply to the vitke. If the vitke fails to follow this code, then she becomes subject to karma, and may lose her abilities as a result (see the witch class earlier in this chapter). Spirit Armor: At will, a spirit force, similar to a mage armor spell, surrounds the vitke’s body, adding a +4 armor bonus to her AC starting at 1st level, and increasing to +6 at 3rd level and +8 at 7th level. Stalwart: At 2nd level, the vitke receives a +2 morale bonus on all saving throws and receives 3 extra hit points. At 8th level, the vitke also gains damage reduction 2 (subtracting 2 from any damage taken). At 10th level, the vitke gains damage reduction 4 (subtracting 4 from any damage taken). Vitke Status: At 5th level, the tikarl reaches true vitke status and is freed from her tutelage. She also gains a moonsword in a true ritual ceremony (see the Empower the Vitke/Moonsword true ritual in True Rituals section of Chapter 4 as well as the Moonsword below). Planar Sight: At 5th level, the vitke gains the supernatural ability, upon concentrating, to see into the Ethereal and Astral planes, as if with a clairvoyance spell (see Chapter 11 of the PHB), while simultaneously keeping an eye on her current plane of existence. Train Tikarl: At 6th level, a vitke may begin training a tikarl.
The moonsword is a witch-made bastard sword created for a coven's vitke. It is usually made of either blued steel, oxidized steel, or a single length of powerstone. The hilt and pommel are normally silver, or steel with silver wire decorations. Powerstones are set in both sides of the pommel, the crosspiece, and near the end of the quillions, especially moonstones in groups of three in silver bezels. The wide blade is often etched with magical symbols, sometimes inlaid with silver wire. When invoked by the vitke carrying it when going into battle, they glow. A moonsword has the following abilities: During daylight hours, this magical sword acts as a normal +1 bastard sword. At night, the sword becomes a +2 brilliant energy weapon, and it grants it wielder 60 ft. darkvision. In addition, during a full moon, the sword gains the additional ability to make its wielder invisible, as per the improved invisibility spell (see Chapter 11 of the PHB) cast by a 16th-level sorcerer. In the hands of a non-vitke, a moonsword acts as a +1 bastard sword under all circumstances. Caster Level: Variable*; Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Empower the Vitke/Moonsword True Ritual; Market Price: +5 bonus. *See Chapter 4 for details.
WHITE WITCH White witches are witches who have an affinity for healing. Having dedicated themselves to the Goddess and God, they have received greater healing abilities in return. They gladly use these abilities to aid people in need, and they often reside in small towns and villages, usually within a day’s walking distance of their coven members. Solitaire white witches may travel the lands, healing those in need, and helping to support others who fight for good causes. Coven witches do not treat white witch solitaires much better than other solitaires, unless the coven is without a white witch healer of its own; in that case, they might be as hospitable to her as if she were a gray. Coven white witches find some affinity with the solitaire, but that soon grows to a competitive dislike if the other coveners or villagers/townspeople take more kindly to the solitaire. White witches must adhere to the witches’ code (see the witch class earlier in this chapter), or they suffer the penalties of bad karma and may lose access to their abilities.
GAME RULE INFORMATION Hit Dice: d8. Requirements To qualify to become a white witch, a character must fulfill all the following criteria. — Alignment: Any good. — Heal: 6 ranks. — Ritual: 6 ranks. — Spellcasting: Must be able to cast 3rd-level witch spells.
The Way of the Witch
Table 1—10: The White Witch Level 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Class Skills: The white witch’s class skills (and the key abilities for each skill) are Alchemy (Int), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Craft (witch tools)(Int), Detect Familiar (Wis), Detect Taint (Wis), Diplomacy (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (nature)(Int), Knowledge (religion)(Int), Knowledge (witchcraft)(Int), Knowledge (all skills)(Int), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Ritual (Wis, exclusive skill), Scry (Int, exclusive skill), Ride Broom (Dex), Speak Language, Spot (Wis). Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier. * White witches of any race add +1 skill points per level if they belong to a coven (this is in addition to the bonus skill point that is gained for being human).
Class Features All of the following are class features of the white witch prestige class. Weapon and Armor Proficiency: White witches are proficient with simple weapons and light armor, but not with shields. Note that armor check penalties apply to the skills Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Move Silently, Pick Pocket, and Tumble. Also, Swim checks suffer a -1 penalty for every 5 pounds of armor and equipment carried.
Spells per Day +1 level of witch class +1 level of witch class +1 level of witch class +1 level of witch class +1 level of witch class +1 level of witch class +1 level of witch class +1 level of witch class +1 level of witch class +1 level of witch class
Spellcasting: When a white witch gains a new level, she gains new spells per day as if she had gained a level in witch (see the witch class at the beginning of this chapter). She does not, however, gain any other benefits of raising a level in the witch character class. This essentially means that she only adds the level of white witch to her witch level to determine spells per day, spells known, and caster level accordingly. Witch Code: White witches remain subject to the Threefold Law outlined under the witch class (see earlier in this chapter). Iron Susceptibility: White witches remain susceptible to iron as per the witch class (see the earlier in this chapter). Cure Critical Wounds: White witches have access to the clerical cure critical wounds spell once per day. They gain this ability at 1st level and thereafter gain additional uses per day of the cure critical wounds spells at 3rd and 6th levels. White witches cure 4d8 points of damage +2 points per caster level, including her witch levels (up to +40), using this spell, but it is otherwise treated exactly as outlined in Chapter 11 of the PHB. This power is treated as a spell-like ability. Restoration: Starting at 2nd level, a white witch can restore level and ability drains as per the restoration spell once per day (see Chapter 11 of the PHB). The white witch gains additional uses per day of the restoration spell at 4th and 7th levels. This power is treated as a spell-like ability. Heal: Starting at 5th level, a white witch can heal as per the heal spell once per day (see Chapter 11 of the PHB). The white witch gains an additional use per day of the heal spell at 8th level. This power is treated as a spell-like ability. Regenerate: At 9th level, white witches can restore lost limbs as per the regeneration spell once per day (see Chapter 11 of the PHB). This power is treated as a spell-like ability. Resurrect: At 10th level, white witches can resurrect someone once per day as per the resurrection spell (see Chapter 11 of the PHB). This power is treated as a spell-like ability. Note that a white witch may use her special abilities (as described above) irregardless of whether or not she should be able to use the spell of the same name or not (i.e. she does not have sufficient Wisdom to cast the spell), assuming of course she is of sufficient level to access the power (as shown above).
Witch Skills Witches of any weave can select their skills from those presented in the Player’s Handbook and from the several new ones presented below. Witches acquire skill points, per the rules presented in the Player’s Handbook, with the following modification.
1st level Skill Points* (4 + Int modifier) x 4
Higher-level Skill Points** 4 + Int modifier
* Humans add +4 to this total at 1st level. ** Humans add +1 each level; witches of any race add +1 at each level if they belong to a coven. These bonuses stack, so a human witch who belongs to a coven adds +2 each level.
Key Ability Int Wis Wis Wis Int Int Cha Int Dex Wis
√ OGC from the Shaman’s Handbook: The Shaman’s Handbook, Copyright 2002, Green Ronin Publishing; Author, Steven Kenson
CONCEAL (Int) This skill is handy if you want to keep talismans, spell components, magical trinkets and other small witch-trappings out of sight. You are able to hide small objects upon your person, making them difficult to be found even by characters using the Search skill. Items might be hidden within a sleeve, inside a hem, or in a hair braid. With a little sleight of hand they might even be secretly moved from palms to pockets. The GM can apply bonuses and penalties to the skill check based on the item you are trying to hide as she sees fit – though anything weighing over 5 lbs attracts a -5 circumstance penalty to the Conceal check.
The Way of the Witch
Check: With each successful Conceal check, you can hide one small item. Your Conceal check is opposed by a character’s Search check. DETECT FAMILIAR (Wis) Witches who have familiars form close bonds with these special creatures. Because of this, a witch is frequently able to sense if an animal she encounters is the familiar of a sorcerer, wizard or another witch. This skill also enables the witch to recognize a paladin’s mount or a druid’s animal companion for what they really are. In order to make a skill check using this skill, the witch must be able to observe the animal. This skill is handy if the witch thinks someone is using a familiar to spy upon her. Check: The check to determine if a given creature is a familiar is base DC 15, plus one for each level of the familiar’s owner. For example, a 9th level sorcerer is using his owl familiar to trail a witch and her friends. The witch notices the owl and attempts to use this skill to determine if the owl is a familiar. The witch would need to roll a 24 (15 + 9) to be successful. On a roll of less than 24, the GM might tell the witch that the owl seems to be a common animal. DETECT TAINT (Wis) Because you brew concoctions and often deal in potions, you have a knack for determining if something has been tainted with a poison. This is a useful skill if you’ve enemies who might want to do you harm with a poisoned meal or a venom-laced bottle of wine. Check: The DC to notice the taint depends on the type of poisonous substance involved (as determined by the GM). The following chart presents some examples. Witches who have the Brew Poison feat gain a +2 synergy bonus to the check. The use of this skill functions in a manner similar to a Spot check, though in requires a declaration of intent and a full round action, and has a range of 30 feet. Poison Common Venom Exotic or rare Colorless, odorless Magical
DC 10 15 20 22 25
HARVEST (Wis) This skill is useful if you want to gather special herbs for potions, or if you are looking for unusual plants—such as rare morels and mandrake roots—that might serve as components for brews and spells. You know how and when to pick the plants, and perhaps even more importantly, you know in what types of terrain and under what conditions to find them. If you have the Profession: Seamstress skill, you can use the Harvest skill to locate plants that can be used to dye fabric. Check: With each successful Harvest check—provided the terrain and the season cooperate—you have gathered the plants you’re searching for (the DC for such a task is 13, modified by the GM based upon the plant being sought after and the terrain it is commonly found in). A synergy bonus may be applied in the case of witches also skilled at Wilderness Lore or Profession: Seamstress. KNOWLEDGE (DIVINATION) (Int; Trained Only) You are knowledgeable about several types of divination techniques, such as astrology, cartomancy (card reading), chiromancy (palm reading), cleromancy (rune or dice casting), crystal gazing, lampadomancy (candle flame gazing), oneiromancy (dream interpretation), numerology, and tasseography (reading tea leaves). You are capable of one form of divination per rank. When used in conjunction with a focus item like a crystal ball or tarot cards, the witch adds a +1 synergy bonus to her skill check for this skill. KNOWLEDGE (WITCHCRAFT) (Int) This represents the study of witchlore—history, famous witches, covens, and magical trappings. Check: Recalling a piece of knowledge from your field of expertise is an easy task (DC 10). More detailed information requires a DC 15, and for obscure information a DC 20 or more. A failure at the check means you cannot attempt to recall the information again—you simply never learned the tidbit. PERFORM (Cha) Witches make use of the Perform skill in a number of ways. Common types of Perform among witches include chanting, dancing, drumming, flute, poetry, singing, storytelling, and "divining" (i.e. faking failed Divination skill checks). Check: In addition to the uses of the Perform skill described in the PHB, witches use Perform as part of their rituals. A witch with 5 or more ranks in Perform gains a +2 synergy bonus to Concentration, Heal, and Ritual skill check rolls after Performing for at least a minute. The bonus lasts for 1 minute per point of Charisma bonus of the performer. Special: If you have 5 or more ranks in Perform (chanting or singing), you receive a +2 synergy bonus on Ritual checks (see Musical Witches, Chapter 7). PROFESSION: SEAMSTRESS (Int) Witches who want to make ritual clothing and other witchgarb would do well to learn this skill. If you are a seamstress, you know a wealth of stitches and styles. In addition, you know how to work with various types of fabric, including how to dye it. You can even make your own material, such as weaving the wool sheared from sheep. Check: A successful Seamstress check means you have made an exquisite garment.
Chapter 3: WiTch Skills and Feats
RIDE BROOM (Dex; Trained only) You are skilled at riding magical brooms. Check: Typical riding actions don’t require checks. If a witch attempts to ride another witch’s broom that has been attuned to its owner through a Witch’s Broom feat, she suffers a –4 penalty to control it (unless that witch has voluntarily released the bond). Riding Task Guide with knees Stay on broom Fight on broom Maneuver through trees/obstacles Soft fall Fast mount or dismount Stay on broom (heavy winds)
DC 5 5 10 15 15 20* 25
*Armor check penalty applies.
Guide with Knees: You can react instantly to guide the broom with your knees, freeing up your hands for battle. You must make the check at the start of your each of your combat rounds. If the check fails, you can only use one hand this round because you need to use the other to control the broom. Stay on Broom: You can react instantly to try to avoid falling when the you take damage or experience light winds while riding the broom. Fight with Broom: If you engage in all-and-all-out combat while mounted on the broom, then you must roll to maintain control of it during the battle. If you just make one attack or suffer one hit from an attacker, then you just need to make a Stay on Broom check. This roll must be made for moderate winds, too. Maneuver Through Trees/Obstacles: If you attempt to fly through trees or other objects (buildings, within a room, etc.) while mounted on the broom, then you must make a maneuver check. If you fail, you take 1d6 points of damage from hitting such obstacles and must make another Ride Broom check (DC 10 + damage taken) to remain on the broom. Soft Fall: You react instantly to try to take half damage when you fall off your broom. If the check fails, you take 1d6 points of falling damage per every full 10 feet of distance fallen (to a maximum of 20d6 points of damage). If you roll a 30 or higher, then you
Ritual Task Imbue spirit in Book of Shadows (1st) Create Magic Circle (normal) Combine Coven Magic Combine with Nature or other Solitaires (Solitaires Only) Imbue item with spirit for use as a focus Harness Unknown Spells Create Magic Circle for True Ritual Harness Higher Spells (accessing higher level spells from a combining) Create 2nd or subsequent Book of Shadows Bypass True Ritual experience drain
miraculously take no damage. Fast Mount/Dismount: You mount or dismount as a free action. If you fail the check, mounting or dismounting is treated as a move-equivalent action. (You can't attempt a fast mount or dismount unless you can perform the mount or dismount as a move-equivalent action this round.) Stay on Broom (heavy winds): When you experience heavy winds while riding the broom, be they magical or non-magical in nature, you must make a Ride Broom check (DC 25) or fall off. Special: If you have 5 or more ranks in Balance, you receive a +2 synergy bonus to your Ride Broom checks. RITUAL (Wis; Trained; Witches Only) Much of a witch’s magic is ritual-focused. A witch uses this skill to create her Book of Shadows and/or focus items, or to draw essence for use in combining spells with other witches or even Nature itself. Check: With a successful check, you successfully call the essence needed to perform your desired task. Special: If you have 5 or more ranks in Concentration, you receive a +2 synergy bonus on Ritual checks.
Witch Feats Feats grant a witch new abilities or improve upon abilities she already has. As in the PHB, a witch gains feats at 1st level, 3rd level, and every three levels thereafter. If the witch is human, she gets a bonus feat at character creation (1st level). In addition, the witch gains a bonus feat the first time she is accepted into a coven—provided this feat is one already possessed by another member of that coven, and so can be taught to her. For example, a 7th level human witch, who is a member of a coven, would have a maximum of five feats. Witches can select feats from the PHB and from the following list. Some feats have prerequisites, such as skills and other feats, statistic minimums, and even witch color. These are detailed in the individual entries.
Special: This skill is also used with a witch’s Attract special ability; GMs must decide upon a DC, based on what the witch asks for (see Attract under witch class in Chapter 2).
The Way of the Witch
Table 2—2: New Feats Feat Animal Friend√ Black Sight* Blight* Brew Poison Candle Magic
Color Conjunction* Color Opposition Coven Conjunction Craft Charm√ Craft Fetish√ Enhanced Companions Familiar Concert Familiar Fortitude Fast Foresight Greater Combine Mighty Steed Multiple Familiars Poison Resistance Presence Second Sight Shape Stones Soulless Sound of Mind Traceless Undead Ward* Weather Wise Witch’s Broom Witch Organization Witch Sense
Prerequisite Handle Animal skill Witches only Wis 15+ 5 or more ranks in the Alchemy¿ skill; Black, Brown, Gray witches Three or more levels level of any witch class (see Chapter 2), one or more ranks of the Craft (witch tools) skill ---Spellcaster level 1st+ Spellcaster level 1st+ Animal Empathy¿ skill Animal Empathy¿ skill --Ritual skill, Knowledge (Divination), Wis 14+ 4 or more ranks in the Ritual skill Ride skill¿ Animal Empathy skill¿ -Cha 15+ Ritual skill, Foresight Int 14+, Profession: Gemcutter skill Evil Alignment, annual homage to the goddess Ca’di-us Concentration skill¿, Combat Casting¿ Wis 14+ Black and evil witches only Wis 13+ Craft Wondrous Item¿ Varies Wis 15+
* You can take this feat multiple times. ¿ See the PHB. √ OGC from the Shaman’s Handbook: The Shaman’s Handbook, Copyright 2002, Green Ronin Publishing; Author, Steven Kenson
ANIMAL FRIEND [General] You can easily befriend wild animals and make them your companions. Prerequisite: 5 or more ranks of the Handle Animal skill. Benefit: You have the spell-like ability to befriend animals at will like the animal friendship spell, subject to the normal limitations of that spell (see Chapter 11 of the PHB for details). BLACK SIGHT [Special] You can see in magical darkness as if it were twilight. In addition, you gain a +4 bonus to saving throws versus the blindness spell. Only witches may take this feat, and it cannot be taught to a non-witch.
Benefit: This feat can negate any penalties you might face from various darkness enchantments. This feat can be taken multiple times, with subsequent additions passing the ability to the witch’s familiars. For example, a witch who takes the Black Sight feat three times protects herself and two selected familiars. The feat is not "stackable" on a single witch or familiar. BLIGHT [Special] Though typically chosen by only black witches, a witch of any color can gain the Blight feat. With this, you can cause plants to wither and die. Prerequisite: Wis 15+. Benefit: Once a day for every two class levels, a witch with this feat can draw all the moisture from normal plants within a 5foot radius of herself, causing them to die. The moisture is dissipated into the air. If the plant is sentient or otherwise considered a creature, such as a treant or choke creeper for example, the witch instead inflicts damage—1d4 points per level. Thus, a 5th level witch employing her Blight feat would inflict 5d4 points of damage to all plant-creatures within 5 feet of her (such creatures are allowed a Fortitude save (DC 10 + the witch’s level) for half damage). This feat is a spell-like ability. Special: This feat can be taken multiple times. Doing so does not increase the number of times a day a witch can use Blight, but it increases the radius by 5 feet each time. For example, a witch who gains the Blight feat three times can wither plants within a 15-foot radius of herself. BREW POISON [General] You can create poisons from natural and arcane substances. Prerequisite: 5 or more ranks in the Alchemy skill. Restricted to Black, Gray, and Brown witches. Benefit: You can concoct various poisons through brewing or refining. The higher level you are, the more lethal the poison you can make. You must obtain any necessary natural ingredients, such as snake or insect venom or virulent plant material. The GM might require you to undertake an adventure to obtain some of your ingredients. To create a poison using this feat, you must spend a full day brewing the mixture. The number of doses you are able to make in a day is equal to your level. The table below can be used as a guideline. CANDLE MAGIC [Item Creation] You are able to make candles that are capable of containing and releasing the power generated by witch spells. You may then imbue such a candle with a spell, such that its effects are released when the candle is burned. Prerequisite: Three or more levels level of any witch class (see Chapter 2), one or more ranks of the Craft (witch tools) skill. Benefit: Using your witch ability to Create Focus and your Craft (witch tools) skill, you are able to manufacture candles that can be used in candle magic and other ritual purposes. It takes 1 day and 100 gp in materials to make 4 candles of any one color (see Chapter 5), which must be determined before you begin. In addition to these costs, to store a spell inside such a candle takes 1 day per 1,000 gp in its base price. The base price of storing a spell in a candle is the spell’s level multiplied by its caster level multi-
Refer to DMG, Chapter 3, for more information on poisons.
plied by 20 gp. To store a spell in a candle, you must spend 1/35 of this base price in XP and use up raw materials costing one-fourth this base price. Any candle that stores a spell with a costly material component or an XP cost also carries a commensurate cost. In addition to the costs derived from the base price, you must expend the material component or pay the XP when storing the spell. Special: Spells stored in a candle may then be released when it is lit and allowed to burn for at least 15 minutes. Such witch candles can burn for up to 4 hours before burning out, and while lit the spell stored in them is considered complete, awaiting only one last mental command by the creating witch to spring into effect as if just cast by her (though its effects are based upon the candle’s initial creation (see above)) and augmented by the appropriate special properties of the candle color it is stored in (see Chapter 5 for details). Lighting the candle itself counts as a partial action that draws an attack of opportunity, but unleashing the spell within thereafter (after 15 minutes of burning) counts as a free action that does not draw an attack of opportunity. The witch must be within 10-ft./per level of the witch to release its power after it is lit. A candle storing a spell may be extinguished without releasing the spell stored within and still be used at a later time to unleash the stored spell, but the candle must still have at least 20 minutes burning time left. Once a candle’s spell has been used, or it is allowed to burn completely down without activating the spell stored within it, the candle crumbles away to dust and is rendered useless. COLOR CONJUNCTION [General] You draw strength from fighting alongside another witch of your color (see witch prestige classes in Chapter 2). Benefit: If you are within 30 feet of at least one other witch of your color, you gain +1 on all physical attack and damage rolls. For example, a white witch fighting alongside another white witch, enjoys a +1 attack and damage bonus. Further, this feat can be taken multiple times. Thus, a witch who takes the Color Conjunction feat
three times gains a +3 attack and damage bonus when fighting within 30 feet of another witch of her color. The effects of this feat can be coupled with the Color Opposition and Coven Conjunction feats for even greater effect. Color Conjunction can be used once a day and its effects last up to 10 rounds. COLOR OPPOSITION [General] You sap the strength of witches who are not of your color (see witch prestige classes in Chapter 2), making them less effective in combat and spellcasting. Benefit: If you are within 30 feet of a witch of another color, that witch suffers a –1 penalty to attack and damage rolls when fighting against you. Further, you enjoy a +1 insight bonus to all saving throws against such a witch’s spells. For example, if you are a brown witch, you cause white and black witches facing you to suffer –1 attack and damage penalties and receive a +1 bonus to all your saving throws to resist their spells. This feat would not extend to enemy brown witches facing you (as they are the same color as yourself). The effects of this feat can be coupled with the Color Conjunction and Coven Conjunction feats for even greater effect. Color Opposition can be used once a day and its effects last up to 10 rounds. COVEN CONJUNCTION [General] You draw arcane strength from fighting alongside other witches from your coven. Benefit: If you are within 30 feet of at least one other witch from your coven, regardless of that witch’s color, you gain +1 on all attack and damage rolls. For example, if you are a member of the Earthen Den coven, and there are others from your coven fighting at your side, you gain a +1 attack and damage bonus against your foes. The effects of this feat can be coupled with the Color Opposition and Color Conjunction feats for even greater effect. Coven Conjunction is useable once a day and its effects last up to 10 rounds.
The Way of the Witch
CRAFT CHARM [Item Creation] You can create magical charms (one-use magic items that contain spells). Prerequisite: Spellcaster level 3rd+. Benefit: This feat works similar to Brew Potion (see Chapter 5 of the PHB), except that it creates a charm rather than a potion (see Charms, Chapter 4). CRAFT FETISH [Item Creation] You can create magical fetishes (items that contain spells you or another spellcaster can use). Prerequisite: Spellcaster level 1st+. Benefit: This feat works like Scribe Scroll (see Chapter 5 of the PHB), except that it creates a fetish rather than a scroll (see Fetishes, Chapter 4). ENHANCED COMPANIONS [General] Because you form a special bond with your animal companions, they benefit from a +2 Dodge bonus to Armor Class when they are within 60 feet of you. Prerequisite: Animal Empathy skill. Benefit: The effects of this feat apply to mounts, familiars, pets, herd animals, and the like. The benefit is lost if an animal is given to another. FAMILIAR CONCERT [General] You share a group mind with your familiars. Prerequisite: 5 or more ranks of the Animal Empathy skill. Benefit: This feat allows you to tap into the thoughts of any or all of your familiars. You can, when concentrating, allow your familiars to form a group mind, sharing what the others see and feel. This is particularly handy for a witch wanting to spy on several locations at the same time, or wanting to keep track of several individuals. To successfully employ this ability requires a full round action (that draws an attack of opportunity) and requires a Concentration check (DC 13) to not confuse the thoughts and images that you see. If you fail, you make not attempt to use this feat for a period of at least an hour. FAMILIAR FORTITUDE [General] You do not physically suffer from the loss of a familiar. Benefit: Unlike sorcerers and wizards, you suffer no ill effects if one of your familiars dies (you ignore the rules concerning the ill effects associated with the loss of a familiar described in Chapter 3 of the PHB). In addition, the witch is not subject to the normal time period usually required before summoning a new familiar and may do so after only a month. FAST [General] You are able to go without food and water for six days before suffering any ill effects. Some covens undertake fasts before casting powerful group spells or before sacred days; they believe starving the body makes the mind keener. Benefit: This is a handy feat if you find yourself in a land that defies all of your foraging attempts or if you fall prisoner to an unkind keeper who withholds food. Because you are so in control of your mind and body, you are able to ignore the effects of hunger
and thirst for this extended period. However, after the six days have passed, you must eat or drink normally for at least three days before fasting again. Failure to do so results in the temporary loss of one Strength point and one Constitution point per day until you eat and drink regularly again. The Strength and Constitution points are regained at a rate of one a day. You gain a +2 competence bonus to your spells’ saving throw DCs for a period of time equal to the time you spent fasting. FORESIGHT [General] You can gauge an action’s probable outcome. Prerequisite: 4 or more ranks of the Ritual skill, 4 or more ranks of the Knowledge (divination) skill, Wis 13+. Benefit: By using a focus item, such as a charged candle or a crystal ball, you can tap into the higher spirit to gauge whether or not an action will bring weal or woe. To do so requires a Ritual check (DC 16) for every action you attempt to gauge. A failed check reveals nothing. On a successful check, the witch gains a feeling of weal (probably good), woe (probably bad), or weal and woe (if the probable outcome could be both good and bad). GREATER COMBINE [General] You can harness the energies of other witches much easier than most. Prerequisite: 4 or more ranks in the Ritual skill. Benefit: When combining with other witches (see Witch Combined Ritual Magic, Chapter 4), you treat the number of participants as half of the actual total in terms of combining their energies with yours when testing to see if such energies are controlled. For example, if attempting to combine with six other witches, instead of adding 6 to the DC of the attempt, you only add 3. MIGHTY STEED [General] As a witch, you seem to have a natural understanding of animals and can coax the best out of them. Prerequisite: Animal Empathy skill. Benefit: You can urge your mount to increase its speed by 25%, and to increase the duration it can travel at any given stretch by 50%. MULTIPLE FAMILIARS [General] You may have multiple familiars. Prerequisite: 5 or more ranks of the Animal Empathy skill. Benefit: You can have as many familiars as you have levels. For example, a 6th level witch can have as many as six familiars. As per the rules in Chapter 3 of the PHB, you must spend both a day to attract each familiar as well as the equivalent of 100 gold pieces to perform the summoning. In addition, you must spend 25 experience points times your level to complete the binding of each new familiar. A new familiar can be called only once per new moon. Special: You also have access to more powerful familiars than most witches. Such familiars ‘cost’ more level slots than ordinary familiars, depending upon their relative power. See Chapter 5 for more details on powerful familiars.
Chapter 3: WiTch Skills and Feats
POISON RESISTANCE [General] You have a natural resistance to poisons. Benefit: This feat grants you a +2 saving throw bonus versus poisons, including animal venoms. Further, you are immune to poisons crafted by witches who are one-half your level of experience or less. For example, an 8th level witch is immune to poisons brewed by witches of 4th level or lower. PRESENCE [General] You can use your powerful presence to affect the morale of others. Prerequisite: Cha 15+. Benefit: By spending a full action to strike an awe-inspiring pose, you cause all opponents within 90 feet of you to suffer a –2 morale penalty on all saving throws. Conversely, you can instead use your presence to bolster your companions, granting them a +2 morale bonus on saving throws. You cannot use both effects in the same combat. The chosen effect lasts for 1 minute per level of the witch. SECOND SIGHT [General] You can see things about someone’s past or future. Prerequisite: 7 or more ranks of the Ritual skill, Foresight. Benefit: By using a focus item, such as a charged candle or a crystal ball, you can tap into the higher spirit to learn things about a subject (person, place, or thing). This information usually comes to the witch in images. Seeing such images requires a successful Ritual check (see below). Attempting to see into the target’s future adds +5 to the base DC, as the future is nebulous. Only one image is revealed per check. Attempting to gain multiple images increases the resulting necessary DC by 2. Failure means that nothing is revealed to the witch.
DC Information Sought 10 Learn something about a person (or place) that is commonly known by at least a substantial minority of the population (present or past). Example: If a personalways dreamed of learning magic, and many others know this, the witch can tap into this "collective" knowledge, and say, "You dream of becoming a wizard someday." Or, if the local butcher was formerly a wizard’s apprentice in his youth, and many people knowthis, the witch could see thing about his past. 15 Learn something about a person, place, or thing that is (will be) commonly known by at least a substantial minority of the population (present or past). Example: The local butcher will one day be an apprentice wizard. 20 Learn something about a person, place, or thing that is uncommonly known (past or present). Example: If asked what an explorer might find in the Dungeon of Arikosh, the witch might sense that the talisman of Arikosh may be found there. 25 Learn something about a person, place, or thing that is uncommonly known (future), or learn something about aperson, place, or thing that is obscure (past or present). In terms of the future, the witch might see something that is somewhat likely to occur to the person. Example: The witch may learn about a power of a long-forgotten magical item. Looking into the future, she might see that the adventurer before her is destined to battle the black witch Valkar at some point. 30 Learn something about a person, place, or thing that is obscure (future). In terms of the future, the witch sees something more specific about her target. Learn something that is extremely obscure, possibly forgotten by most who ever knew it (past or present). Example: The adventurer who is to meet Valkar will do so at Mount Calidas on the eve of a full moon. 35 Learn more specific information about a person, place, or thing’s future (future). Example: The witch may learn that Golrial the white witch will become queen of the highland folk on midsummer’s eve in the next five years, and the ceremony will take place at the Sacred Grove of Tylorin. SHAPE STONES [General] Witches often enchant gemstones. This feat allows you to craft your own gems. Some witches who possess this feat work as jewelers and earn a substantial income. Prerequisite: Int 14+, Profession: Gemcutter skill. Benefit: This feat grants you a natural affinity to minerals. You instinctively know which pieces of raw gem material will make the best-finished stones and which to discard because of imperfections. You can shape a stone (Wisdom check DC 14) as well as the most expert jeweler, polish, facet and set it into wands and/or pieces of jewelry. In addition, by studying the land (Wisdom check DC 16), you can sense where to mine for stones, and you can often guess what type of stones might lie beneath the earth. If you have the Craft Wondrous Item feat (see Chapter 5 of the PHB), and are using gems you shaped, the cost of the item created is 1/50th of the item’s price in XP rather than the standard
The Way of the Witch
1/25th. Witches who also possess the Wilderness Lore skill gain a +2 bonus on DC checks when searching for where to mine stones. SOULLESS [General] In exchange for immunity to the Threefold Law (see witch class, Chapter 2) as well as magical power, you have agreed to forfeit your soul to the dark god Ca’di-us. Prerequisites: Evil Alignment, annual homage to the goddess Ca’di-us. Benefit: Because you have agreed to forfeit your soul to Ca’di-us, you are not subject to the Threefold Law. You are free to seek power in any manner you choose without interference from any cosmic higher power. In addition, because your soul is no longer housed in your body (Ca’di-us has taken possession of it), you are now highly resistant to manipulative magic, gaining a +2 profane bonus to all saving throws against spells from the Enchantment school. SOUND OF MIND [General] Your mind is so strong that you can rarely be rattled by your surroundings or by attacks from opponents. Prerequisite: Combat Casting. Benefit: You are able to steel yourself against the forces around you. Though you register pain from blows and spells that assail you, they are not enough to prevent you from using your own magic. Because you have become so focused on the notion of casting spells while under attack, you make Concentration checks at an additional +4 when casting spells while on the defensive. TRACELESS [General] Your ties are so close to nature that you pass through the woods without leaving a trace. Prerequisite: Wis 14+, Track. Benefit: In wooded surroundings, you do not leave footprints. This makes it virtually impossible for you to be tracked by normal means. Someone attempting to track a witch with this skill suffers a –8 penalty to his Wilderness Lore checks to perform the tracking attempt. This ability does not extend to your familiars or your companions.
UNDEAD WARD [Special] You have a bond with some of the earth’s darker forces. Thus, you are able to hold strong against the darkest of creatures -the undead. Prerequisite: Black and evil witches only. Benefit: You gain a +1 natural Armor Class bonus against undead when within 60 feet of them. Further, you have a +2 luck bonus to all saving throws versus any attacks from undead creatures, such as gaze and touch attacks. Special: This feat can be taken multiple times and its effects stack.
for journeys. The longer ahead you attempt to predict the weather, the more difficult it is. Consult the following table for the Wisdom check DC value needed to predict the weather based on the number of hours ahead you are attempting to predict. Weather cannot be predicted more than three days in advance. Hours in advance 4 8 12 24 48 72
DC (Wisdom) 10 14 18 22 25 35
WITCH’S BROOM [Special] You are one with a magical broom that you enchant. Prerequisite: Craft Wondrous Item. Benefit: If you have enchanted a broom with the Craft Wondrous Item feat, you have a special connection to that item. You can command the broom to travel to you or away for a distance equal to double your level in miles. For example, an 8th level witch can command her broom to travel up to 16 miles away. This is useful for witches who do not want to always have their broom with them, allowing them to summon it or dismiss it as needed. This connection exists with any number of brooms the witch has crafted for herself. The connection is severed if the witch voluntarily gives away or sells a broom. The broom cannot travel to or from the witch if it is restrained, such as by being in a locked chest or barred cellar. WITCH ORGANIZATION [General] You are associated with one of the following organizations of your choice. You must meet the organization’s prerequisites to join, which may include passing several trials or ordeals. See the specific organization below for prerequisite and benefit information. Details concerning of these organizations can be found in Chapter 8. Prerequisite: The character must have at least one level of one of the witch classes listed here. No other witch class is allowed (except vitke). Benefit: See below. Special: This feat may be taken more than once (though a different Organization must be selected each time, except for the ‘In the Grace of the Lady’ organization, which may be selected multiple times).
WEATHER WISE [General] You have an uncanny ability to predict the weather. Prerequisite: Wis 13+. Benefit: You have an uncanny ability to accurately predict the weather. This can be a boon in selecting your spells and preparing
THE ARCANE CLAW OF SH’GON-KA You are a member of the desert witches of the Arcane Claw of Sh’gon-Ka. Prerequisite: Witch, brown witch, or black witch. Benefit: You gain +2 to Wilderness Lore and Spot skill checks while in the desert. CIRCLE OF SHADOWS You are a member of the Circle of Shadows. Prerequisite: Black witch. Benefits: Cast Enchantment spells as a witch of 1 level high-
Chapter 3: WiTch Skills and Feats
er. This bonus only applies to witch spells, not Enchantment spells a multi-classed witch may have access to via another class. DAUGHTERS OF CA’DI-US You have turned to the darker aspects of the Craft, and now serve Ca’di-us. Prerequisite: Black witch, or any witch class of evil alignment, and must take the Soulless feat. Benefit: You gain a +2 bonus to Concentration, Knowledge (witchlore) and Spellcraft checks.
EPISCOPATE You are a member of the Episcopate, a group who worships Ga-sta’s Moon Goddess aspect. Prerequisite: Any non-evil witch class. Benefit: While under moonlight (full or otherwise), your outline appears blurry, as per the blur spell, granting you one-half concealment (20% miss chance). Your appearance remains distorted as long as the moon remains visible. You appear normal to all other Episcopates, however. This is treated as a supernatural ability.
GARDEN RETREAT You are a member of the religious order of the Garden Retreat, and you worship the Goddess and God in the Nature aspect. Prerequisite: Any gray witches, brown witches, or witches of LN, NG, or N alignment; must spend one year working and living at the Garden Retreat. Benefit: You gain bonus domain spells from the Plant domain as if you were a cleric of a level equal to your combined witch level, which includes witch prestige classes. HIGHBORN You are a member of the wealthy, exclusive Highborns, and the pursuit of money is your true religion. Prerequisite: Any 7th-level witch; must have at least 200,000 gp in assets. Benefit: Benefit: You gain 2 bonus skill ranks in each of the following skills: Appraise, Bluff, and Diplomacy. IN THE GRACE OF THE LADY You have been to the Isle called ‘In the Grace of the Lady’, and you have been blessed from your stay. Additionally, you can easily locate the island again. Prerequisite: 8th-level witch, including any witch prestige class levels; must reside on the island for at least a month.
The Way of the Witch
THE SILVER CIRCLE You are a member of the Silver Circle. Prerequisite: Grey or white witch, of good or neutral alignment. Benefit: When casting spells to oppose evil, whether in combat or otherwise, you cast them as if a witch of one level higher than your actual level.
Benefit: You permanently receive +1 to all your saving throws, as you have been blessed. Special: This feat may be taken more than once. NIGHTSTORM You are a member of the Nightstorm organization. Prerequisite: Any non-evil witch. Benefit: When you cast spells under the cover of darkness, natural or magical, you cast them as if as a witch of 1 level higher. This bonus only applies to witch spells, not spells a multi-classed witch may have access to via another class.
SINGERS OF THE SOUTHWEST WIND You are a member of the Singers of the Southwest Wind. Prerequisite: Any witch class; must pass the Ordeal of Weather (accurately predict the weather for the upcoming 2 days and survive a night alone in the winter elements of the group’s region (see Chapter 8 for more details) to join). Benefit: Singers cast all weather-related spells as a witch of 1 level higher. This bonus only applies to witch spells, not weather-based spells a multi-classed witch may have access to via another class.
NYLA-KON’S NATATORIUM You are a graduate of Nyla-Kon’s Nataorium. Prerequisite: 1st level witch of any non-evil alignment, Wis 14+, and Int 12+. Benefit: You gain 2 bonus skill ranks in each of the following skills: Knowledge (Myrran history), Knowledge (witchlore), and Ritual.
SLENDIRA’S SISTERHOOD You are a member of Slendira’s Sisterhood. Prerequisite: Brown witch. Benefit: You gain the Fast feat and receive a +1 to saving throws vs. fire-based magic.
PALIDORI HOUSE You are affiliated with the Palidori House Prerequisite: Any non-evil witch class, female. Benefit: You gain a +2 bonus to Knowledge (witchlore) skills checks and access to funds and other resources necessary to undertake House tasks (see notes in Chapter 8 for more details).
WHITE WITCHES OF HOBB HILL You are a member of the White Witches of Hobb Hill. Prerequisite: White witch. Benefits: You can cast bull’s strength or cat’s grace once per day, in addition to your normal witch spells.
SCHOLAR’S RETREAT You have visited the Scholar’s Retreat and have been changed by the experience. Prerequisite: Any 6th-level witch; must spend 6 months living at the retreat. Benefit: You can add 2 bonus skill ranks to any three Knowledge skills of your choice. SHATTERED CIRCLE You are a member of the Shattered Circle. Prerequisite: Must be a witch who has been ousted from a coven and thirsts for revenge. Benefit: You gain bonus domain spells from the Destruction domain as if you were a cleric of a level equal to your combined witch level, which includes witch prestige classes.
WITCHES OF THE GROVE You are a member of the elusive Witches of the Grove. Prerequisite: Any evil or black witch. Benefit: You gain bonus domain spells from the Evil domain as if you were a cleric of a level equal to your combined witch level, which includes witch prestige classes. WITCH SENSE [General] You can sense if other witches are in your presence. Prerequisite: Wis 15+. Benefit: You instinctively know who in a crowd—within your line of sight—is a witch, as there is an aura about a witch that you can sense. Further, you instantly know if such a witch is the same color as you or not (see Prestige Classes in Chapter 2). If the witch is not of your color, you have a chance to determine what color the witch is—this is represented as a Wisdom check (DC 10 + 1 for every level of the targeted witch). If this check fails, or if the witch is twice or more your experience level regardless, you cannot determine their color (other than to know it’s not the same as yours). If the witch is concealed, a successful Spot check (opposed by her Hide check if she is staying out of sight deliberately) is required to know where the witch whose presence you have detected is, but even without actually seeing the witch, you know that there is a witch in the area. Using this feat is a fullround action that does not draw an attack of opportunity.
Witch Spell Descriptions The following new witch spells appear in alphabetical order, not by spell level. @ Denotes a change to this spell. ATONEMENT @ In addition to its other effects (see Chapter 11 of the PHB), this spell can restore the magical abilities of a witch who has lost them via bad karma (inflicting damage on others directly through magic, see witch class, Chapter 2). Treat this like restoring the spell powers of a cleric or druid (including XP cost); see the spell description in the PHB for details. Only gray witches have access to this spell (see gray witch prestige class, Chapter 2). BLIGHT Transmutation Level: Clr 3, Wit 3 Components: V, S Casting Time: 1 action Range: Area or creature touched Area: See text Duration: Instantaneous Saving Throw: Fortitude negates (see text) Spell Resistance: Yes This spell curses a target or area with infertility. If used on a creature, that creature becomes unable to sire or bear offspring. A successful Fortitude saving throw negates the spell, otherwise the effects can only be reversed by a remove curse, heal, limited wish, miracle, or wish spell. Targets of this spell are usually not aware that they have been subjected to this curse. If the spell is used on an area of land, it affects all normal plant life (grasses, briars, bushes, creepers, thistles, trees, vines, etc.) within a half-mile radius automatically (monstrous and/or intelligent plant life is unaffected). The affected plants will not bear fruit or seeds (resulting in terrible blight) and die within two weeks of the casting, and any new plants brought into the area will be only a third as productive as normal for at least a full growing season. A plant growth spell can reverse the effects of a blight spell as per the spell. Casters often use blight (or simply the threat of it) as a curse against their enemies. BODY OF EYES Divination Level: Sor/Wiz 3, Wit 3 Components: V, S, M Casting Time: 1 minute Target: You Duration: 1 minute/level (D) Saving Throw: None Spell Resistance: No
The Way of the Witch
Body of eyes covers the caster’s skin and clothing with eyeshaped spots that allow vision in a 360-degree radius around the caster. While the spell lasts, the caster gains a +10 circumstance bonus to Search and Spot checks. She also retains her Dexterity bonus to AC even while flat-footed and cannot be flanked. The caster cannot, however, avert or close his eyes to avoid gaze attacks while the spell lasts. Material Component: The preserved head or eye of a chameleon, spider, or insect. IMBUE WITCH BALL Abjuration Level: Special Components: V, S, M Casting Time: 1 hour Range: Touch Target: Glass ball Duration: Until triggered Saving Throw: None Spell Resistance: No This spell is used to create witch balls to protect ritual areas and other sacred locations. Before beginning this spell, the witch must consecrate some water to be placed within the witch ball. The ball itself should be consecrated as well. To function, a witch ball must be hanging freely and unhidden. The ball itself must be created by a witch using the Craft (witch tools) skill (see Chapters 2 & 3). When this spell is cast, the witch must choose what effect she desires it to possess. Witch balls may have any one of the following functions: Anti-observation - The witch ball prevents attempts to scry an area of 10 feet radius around it. This is effective against arcane eye, clairaudience/clairvoyance, scrying, greater scrying, locate creature (if the target creature is within the protected area), or against a single use of a crystal ball against the protected location. The witch ball so empowered turns a smoky orange color, and shatters when an attempt to scry the area is detected and repulsed (which is automatic, negating the spell used as well if that was what it was). In addition, the person who attempted the scrying must make a Fortitude save (DC 20) or suffer a blinding headache and temporary blindness (for 1d4 hours) due to the searing orange flash that they ‘see’ as the ball shatters. [This function is treated as a 2nd level spell.] Protection from Evil - As the spell of that name. The ball so empowered turns a sparkling cloudy white, and shatters when the spell is triggered by the attempted intrusion of an evil being into the protected area. [This function is treated as a 1st level spell.] Spell Reflector - This variant can protect a 10-ft. radius area around the witch ball from one of the following spells: chaos hammer, color spray, fireball, flame strike, lightning bolt (includes chain lightning), magic missile, meteor swarm, Otiluke's freezing sphere, prismatic spray, or sunbeam (includes sunburst). When the chosen spell is cast into the area, the caster must make level check (DC 10 + the level of the creating witch) to overcome the witch ball’s magic or it is reflected back upon the caster (who must then make any appropriate saves or suffer the consequences). If the caster successfully makes the level check, the witch ball provides no protection against the spell. Regardless of whether or not it suc-
cessfully protected the area against the chosen spell, the witch ball so empowered turns a yellow color, and shatters as it reflects the spell. [This function is treated as a 3rd level spell.] Spell Catcher - This variant can "catch" any spell cast into the area of effect - a 10-ft. radius circle centered on the ball - and store it for up to 1 day per level of the witch who created the witch ball. Each spell catcher witch ball can catch but one spell, and that will be the first cast into the area from outside it. The ball turns a cloudy pale violet color when the spell is cast, and turns a darker reddish-purple when it catches a spell. It shatters when the spell is released again, an action under the control of the witch who empowered it. There is no means of detecting what spell has been caught except by releasing it. Area effect spells will be centered on the witch ball when released, other spells - e.g. magic missile emanate from it in a random direction (see the rules for Grenadelike Weapon Attacks in Chapter 8 of the PHG). [This function is treated as a 3rd level spell.] NATURE’S BOUNTY Transmutation Level: Drd 2, Rgr 1, Wit 2 Components: V, S, M/DF Casting Time: 1 minute Range: One creature touched/2 levels Target: Creatures touched Duration: One day Saving Throw: Will negates (harmless) Spell Resistance: Yes By performing a short ritual and evoking this spell, you can call upon the blessings of nature for a group of people (possibly including yourself), asking the natural world and its creatures to help provide for their needs. Those affected by this spell gain a +1 sacred bonus per caster level (maximum of +10) on Wilderness Lore checks used to gather food and water and to survive in the wilderness. Witches and druids commonly cast this spell on hunting parties before they go out, to help ensure that the hunt will be plentiful. PROTECTION FROM SPIRITS Abjuration Level: Wit 1 Components: V, S Casting Time: 1 action Range: Touch Target: Creature touched Duration: 1 minute/level (D) Saving Throw: Will negates (harmless) Spell Resistance: No (see text) This spell works like protection from evil (see Chapter 11 of the PHB), except it only affects creatures classed as spirits (spirits are defined as creatures of the elemental or outsider types, or of the incorporeal type, thus ghosts and spectres are spirits – for more information, see The Shaman’s Handbook from Green Ronin), and affects them regardless of their alignment. Instead of hedging out summoned and conjured creatures, the spell only prevents bodily contact with spirits (even incorporeal ones).
Chapter 4: Witch Magic
Witch Spell List 0-LEVEL Create Water Cure Minor Wounds Dancing Lights Daze Detect Poison Flare Ghost Sound Guidance Inflict Minor Wounds Mage Hand Mending Resistance 1ST-LEVEL Animal Friendship Bane Bless Calm Animals Calling Candle** Candle of Return** Cause Fear Charm Person Command Cure Light Wounds Doom Endure Elements Harmony Candle** Hypnotism Imbue Witch Ball*** Inflict Light Wounds Love Identity Candle** Obscuring Mist Protection from Chaos/Evil/Good/Law Protection from Spirits Sleep Summon Monster I Summon Nature’s Ally I Unseen Servant 2ND-LEVEL Aid Animal Messenger Animal Trance Barkskin Blindness/Deafness Blur Bull’s Strength Calm Emotions Candle of the Wise** Cat’s Grace Cure Moderate Wounds Darkness Delay Poison Enthrall Hold Animal Hold Person Hypnotic Pattern
Imbue Witch Ball*** Inflict Moderate Wounds Obscure Object Prosperity Candle** Resist Elements Scare Silence Speak with Animals Suggestion Summon Monster II Summon Nature’s Ally II Summon Swarm Syrilla’s Rose Garden* Tree Shape Whispering Wind 3RD-LEVEL Bestow Curse Blink Blight* Body of Eyes* Charm Monster Clairaudience/Clairvoyance Confusion Contagion Create Food & Water Cure Serious Wounds Dominate Animal Everlasting Candle** Fear Gust of Wind Imbue Witch Ball*** Inflict Serious Wounds Lesser Geas Love Attraction Candle** Meld into Stone Memory Candle** Nature’s Bounty* Neutralize Poison Phantom Steed Protection from Elements Remove Curse Remove Disease Scrying Slow Summon Monster III Summon Nature’s Ally III 4TH-LEVEL Air Walk Break Enchantment Control Water Detect Scrying Divination Dominate Person Enervation Hold Monster Leomund’s Secure Shelter Lesser Planar Ally
Minor Globe of Invulnerability Polymorph Other Polymorph Self Quench Rainbow Pattern Rusting Grasp Shout Summon Monster IV Summon Nature’s Ally IV Tongues 5TH-LEVEL Anti-magic Candle** Contact Other Plane Commune Commune with Nature Death Candle** Dispel Chaos/Evil/Good/Law Dream Greater Command Hallow Magic Jar Mind Fog Mord’s Faithful Hound Nightmare Passwall Prying Eyes Spell Resistance Stone Shape Summon Monster V Summon Nature’s Ally V Telekinesis Transmute Mud to Rock Transmute Rock to Mud Unhallow 6TH-LEVEL Anti-magic Field Banishment Control Weather Eyebite Etherealness Flesh to Stone Forbiddance Geas/Quest Globe of Invulnerability Greater Scrying Mass Suggestion Move Earth Plane Shift Planar Ally Repulsion Stone Tell Summon Monster VI Summon Nature’s Ally VI Veil
7TH-LEVEL Forcecage Greater Scrying Phase Door Shadow Walk Spell Turning Sequester Summon Monster VII Summon Nature’s Ally VII Transmute Metal to Wood True Seeing Wind Walk 8TH-LEVEL Holy Aura Mass Charm Maze Polymorph Any Object Prismatic Wall Protection from Spells Repel Metal or Stone Reverse Gravity Summon Monster VIII Summon Nature’s Ally VIII Symbol Word of Recall 9TH-LEVEL Antipathy Astral Projection Elemental Swarm Foresight Gate Shapechange Summon Monster IX Summon Nature’s Ally IX Sympathy Temporal Stasis Time Stop
* Denotes new spells, see the text following the lists. ** Denotes new Ritual Candle Magic spell (see Chapter 5 for details). *** This spell can be cast at various levels of power (see the spell description for details). Bolded spells denote spells normally only usable by evil, gray, and black witches.
The Way of the Witch
SYRILIA’S ROSE GARDEN Evocation Level: Sor/Wiz 2, Wit 2 Components: V, S, M Casting Time: 1 action Range: Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level) Effect: 30-ft. radius emanation centered on a creature, object or point in space Duration: 1 minute/level Saving Throw: Will negates or none (object) Spell Resistance: Yes or no (object) This spell overwhelms the sense of smell of all those creatures in its effect with a pervading odor of roses. The smell is so intense that it completely counters the effects of the spell stinking cloud, the scent special quality that some creatures possess, all stench or nausea effects, and any other olfactory-based effect that would normally require a saving throw. All creatures are immune to these effects while within the spell’s area of effect, and no smell whatsoever issues from, enters, or passes through the area. Any ongoing scent-induced effects, such as nausea, are suppressed while within the area of effect of this spell. The spell can be cast on a point in space, but the effect is stationary unless cast on a mobile object. The spell can be centered on a creature, and the effect then radiates from the creature and moves as it moves. An unwilling creature can attempt a Will save to negate the spell and creatures with spell resistance must attempt to use this ability to try and negate the spell. Items in a creature's possession receive saves, and are protected by spell resistance, while unattended objects and points in space do not. Material Component: A handful of rose petals.
attacked or affected by area or effect spells (fireball, summon swarm, etc.). While protected by this spell, the subjects cannot attack without breaking the spell but may use non-attack spells or actions. This allows a warded witch to heal wounds, for example, or to cast bless, perform an augury, summon creatures, cast a light spell in the area, and so on. Witch Focus: A blue candle. MAGIC CIRCLE AGAINST SPIRITS Abjuration Level: 1st Circle Magic Components: V, S Casting Time: 1 action Range: Emanates in a 10-ft. radius from touched creature Target: Creature Touched Duration: 10 minutes/level Saving Throw: Will Negates (harmless) Spell Resistance: No (see text) As protection from spirits (see Witch Spell Descriptions in this chapter) except that it encompasses a larger area and its duration is longer. It can also be used as a magical prison for a spirit like a magic circle against evil. This spell is not cumulative with protection from spirits or other protection or magic circle spells and vice versa.
Witches gain access to circle magic at 5th level. They generally use these spells to encircle allies to protect them from harm. The witch can call forth any spell listed in the circle level that she has access to; she does not need to prepare the spell ahead of time. Circle Magic spells can be combined like other spells.
MAGIC CIRCLE OF AID Enchantment (Compulsion) [Mind-Affecting] Level: 2nd Circle Magic Components: V, S, M/DF Casting Time: 1 action Range: Emanates in a 10-ft. radius from touched creature Target: Living creature touched Duration: 10 minutes/level Saving Throw: None Spell Resistance: Yes (harmless) Allied subjects in the area of effect are encouraged just as with bless (+1 morale bonus to attack rolls and saves against fear effects), plus they gain 1d8 temporary hit points. Witch Focus: A blue candle.
ABJURATION Level: 1st Circle Magic Components: V, S, M/DF Casting Time: 1 action Range: Emanates in a 10-ft. radius from the caster or creature touched Target: Creature touched Duration: 10 minutes/level Saving Throw: Will negates Spell Resistance: No Any opponent attempting to strike or otherwise directly attack the warded creatures, even with a targeted spell, must attempt a Will save. If the save succeeds, the opponent can attack normally and is unaffected by that casting of the spell. If the save fails, the opponent can’t follow through with the attack, that part of the attacker’s action is lost, and the attacker can’t directly attack the warded creatures for the duration of the spell. Those not attempting to attack the subjects remain unaffected by the spell. This spell does not prevent the warded creatures from being
MAGIC CIRCLE OF PROTECTION FROM ARROWS Abjuration Level: 3rd Circle Magic Components: V, S, F Casting Time: 1 action Range: Emanates in a 10-ft. radius from touched creature Target: Creature touched Duration: 20 minutes/level or until discharged Saving Throw: Will negates (harmless) Spell Resistance: Yes (harmless) The warded creatures gain resistance to ranged weapons in the form of damage reduction 10/+1 against ranged weapons. Subjects ignore the first 10 points of damage each time they take damage from a ranged weapon, though a weapon with a +1 or greater enhancement bonus or any magical attack bypasses the reduction. The damage reduction increases with the caster level to 10/+2 at 12th, 10/+3 at 15th, and 10/+4 at 18th. Once the spell has prevented a total of 10 points of damage per caster level (maximum 100 points) or the spell’s duration ends, it is discharged.
Chapter 4: Witch Magic
struck by a negative energy attack that drains levels or ability scores, they must make a level check using the casting witch’s level (1d20 + witch level) against a DC of 11 + the attacker’s HD. If this check succeeds, the energies cancel with a bright flash of light and a thunderclap. The warded creatures take only hit point damage from the attack (in any) and do not suffer any drain of experience levels or ability scores, regardless of the number of levels or ability score points the attack would have drained. An attacking undead creature also takes 2d6 points of damage from the positive energy. An attacking caster or weapon receives no damage. If the check does not succeed, the negative energy attack deals its normal damage. An attacking undead creature in such a situation does not take any positive energy damage.
Circle Magic Spell List 1ST CIRCLE Magic Circle of Sanctuary* Magic Circle against Chaos Magic Circle against Evil Magic Circle against Good Magic Circle against Law Magic Circle against Spirits Wind Wall 2ND CIRCLE Magic Circle of Aid* Wall of Fire Wall of Ice Wall of Thorns 3RD CIRCLE Magic Circle of Protection from Arrows* Healing Circle Wall of Force Wall of Stone 4TH CIRCLE Circle of Doom Magic Circle of Negative Energy Protection* Wall of Iron 5TH CIRCLE Circle of Death Magic Circle of Poison Negation* Greater Circle of Healing* Magic Circle of Sanctuary
* Denotes new spells, see the text following the lists. Bolded spells denote spells normally only usable by evil, gray, and black witches.
MAGIC CIRCLE OF NEGATIVE ENERGY PROTECTION Abjuration Level: 4th Circle Magic Components: V, S Casting Time: 1 action Range: Emanates in a 10-ft. radius from touched creature Target: Living creature touched Duration: 1 minute/level Saving Throw: Will negates (harmless) Spell Resistance: Yes (harmless) The warded creatures gain partial protection from undead creatures that use negative energy as well as against certain weapons and spells that drain energy levels. The negative energy protection spell uses positive energy, which can offset the effects of a negative energy attack. Each time warded creatures are
MAGIC CIRCLE OF POISON NEUTRALIZATION Conjuration (Healing) Level: 5th Circle Magic Components: V, S, M/DF Casting Time: 1 action Range: Emanates in a 10-ft. radius from touched creature Target: Creature or object of up to 1 cu. ft./level touched Duration: 10 minutes/level (Instantaneous) Saving Throw: Will negates (harmless, object) Spell Resistance: Yes (harmless, object) This spell wards an area to detoxify poisons, and any creature stepping within that area of effect or already within the area when the spell is cast is affected. The spell immediately detoxifies any poisons present in creatures within the spell’s confines, and those poisoned creature suffer no additional damage or effects from the poison, and any temporary effects are ended, but the spell does not reverse instantaneous effects, such as hit point damage, temporary ability damage, or effects that don’t go away on their own. This spell also neutralizes the poison in a poisonous creature or object. A poisonous creature replenishes its poison at its normal rate. Witch Focus: A blue candle. GREATER HEALING CIRCLE Conjuration (Healing) Level: Clr 7, Drd 8, Healing 7, 5th Circle Magic Components: V, S, M/DF Casting Time: 1 action Range: 20 ft. Area: All living allies and undead creatures within a 20-ft. radius burst centered on the character Duration: Instantaneous Saving Throw: Fortitude half (harmless) Spell Resistance: Yes (harmless) Positive energy spreads out in all directions from the point designated by the caster, curing 2d8 points of damage +2 point per caster level (maximum +40) to all nearby living allies. In addition, the positive energy so released targets undead creatures in the area of affect, and like standard cure spells, greater healing circle damages undead in its area rather than curing them. Witch Focus: A blue candle.
The Way of the Witch
Combined Witch Ritual Magic Starting at 2nd level, witches can combine their magic with other witches of at least 2nd level. Coven witches may safely combine with up to twelve other witches (more is possible, but very dangerous) of their coven or color. A Solis may only combine with other witches of like color or seek to combine her abilities with the force of Nature (the Goddess and the God's spirit manifested into the world). COMBINING WITH COVEN MEMBERS OR WITCHES OF THE SAME COLOR To successfully combine spells with her coven members, the initiating witch (usually the highest-level witch, or the witch with the highest Wisdom if there are more than one with the highest level) must succeed at a Ritual check (DC 10 + spell level + 1 for every witch combined to the initiating witch). If a witch attempts to combine her magic with witches of like color, she must succeed at a Ritual check (DC 13 + spell level + 1/witch combined to the initiating witch). Only the initiating witch rolls the Ritual check. The initiating witch of the combined casting actually casts the spell, and she uses the combined witches' added power to strengthen the spell's aspects (duration, damage, etc.). If successful, the lead witch can cast any spell she knows, adding 1/3 of the total of the other combined witches' witch levels to her own for purposes of the casting. The resulting combined level is referred to as the casting witch’s effective caster level. Additionally, if the spell is cast from a power point (see Variant True Ritual Rules later in this chapter), like a true ritualized magic circle (see True Rituals below), she may add one more level to her modified caster level total. A Ritual check is required for each spell the ritual leader attempts to cast to see if she can successfully harness the others' energies into her own spells. Example: Marlay is a 7th-level witch, and she wants to combine with five other witches to cast Syrilla's rose garden (a 3rd level spell). She needs to roll a Ritual check at DC 18 (10 + 3 for spell level + 5 for number of witches to combine), and she does so successfully. The other witches are levels 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 (20 total levels). Dividing those levels by 3 (20/3 = 6, rounded down), Marlay adds 6 levels to her own, making her effective caster level 13. Thus, she can cast Syrilla's rose garden as if she were a 13th-level witch.
COMBINED RITUAL MAGIC Combining with witches of the same coven: DC = 10 + spell level + number of witches combined to the initiating witch Combining with witches of the same color: DC = 13 + spell level + number of witches combined to the initiating witch Combining with Nature: DC = 13 + spell level Effective Caster Level = the initiating witch’s level + 1/3 total of other witches’ levels (the result is rounded down) COMBINING WITH NATURE When combining with Nature, use the following chart to decide the successful witch’s effective casting level. The numbers indicate how much the witch succeeded by, thus 0-1 means the witch rolled either the exact required DC to combine with Nature or 1 over. 0-1 2-4 5-7 8-10 11-13 14-15 16-20+
No more than 7 levels can be added from combining with Nature. FAILURE TO COMBINE Witches failing to combine suffer damage equal to (the combined bonus level X spell level) Saves: To save for half damage, each witch needs to roll a Will save (DC 15 + spell level).
COMBINING WITH NATURE To successfully combine with Nature, a witch must succeed at a Ritual check (DC 13 + spell level). If the witch succeeds at the DC check, subtract the DC check needed from her total rolled, and consult the table in the Combining with Nature sidebar to decide how much of Nature’s force she has harnessed. Example: Marlay, the 7th-level witch, wants to combine with Nature to cast the 3rd-level summon monster III spell. She needs to roll a Ritual check at DC 13 (10 + 3 for spell level), and she succeeds with a 19. Subtracting 13 (the DC needed to combine with Nature) from 19 (her total rolled), leaves 6. On the Combining with Nature sidebar chart, a 6 means that Marlay was successfully able to add 3 levels to her level for purposes of casting this spell. Thus, her effective caster level is 10, and she casts summon monster III as if she were a 10th-level witch.
HARNESSING UNKNOWN & HIGHER-LEVEL SPELLS Unknown Spell DC = 20 + spell level –1 per combined witch Higher-Level Spell DC = 22 + spell level –1 per combined witch Spell Slots: To cast a higher-level spell than the caster is ordinarily allowed access to, the initiating witch must forfeit a total number of spell levels equal to the spell level she wants to cast.
Chapter 4: Witch Magic
FAILURE If the lead witch fails to ritually combine the other witches' magic with her own, then the energies built up from the casting attempt create a backlash that affects all the witches involved. The unbound energy assaults the minds and bodies of each witch, resulting in physical damage (totaling the combined bonus level X the spell’s level in points of damage). A successful Will save (DC 15 + spell level) reduces this damage by half. Failed combinings also result in lost spells. The more people involved in the combining, the more damage is dealt. Example: If Marlay had failed to join the five witches to her, then each witch would have suffered 18 points of damage (6 combined bonus levels X spell level of 3). The witches could still attempt a Will save (DC 18) to take only half damage (9 points).
CASTING TIME The casting time of a combined ritual is the base time for a combined ritual casting X the number of participants X the spell level. See Table 4—1: to determine the base time for the combined ritual casting based on the normal casting time of the spell. The number of participants does not include the lead witch, only the witches she combines with.
Table 4—1: Ritual Casting Times Normal Casting Time Free action 1 action Full Round Other
Base Ritual Casting Time 1 Minute 3 Minutes 10 Minutes 10 x normal
Casting time = Base time X spell level X # of participants Material Costs = 10 gp X spell level X # of participants
COMPONENTS Combined ritual casting requires expensive material components. These components cost 10 gp x the number of participating witches x the spell level and are in addition to any component costs the chosen spell may already have.
HARNESSING UNKNOWN & HIGHER-LEVEL SPELLS As witches do not prepare their spells, they can attempt to tap into the Goddess’ and God's spirit and call forth greater spells than their ritual leader is capable of alone, and even spells unknown to her personally (a witch spell that she herself does not know, see the witch class in Chapter 2 for details) or ordinarily beyond her power (a normally inaccessible spell). Calling forth a spell unknown to the initiating witch, but still one that is of a level that she could normally cast, requires another Ritual check at a higher DC (20 + spell level), though she is granted a +1 enhancement bonus for every witch involved in the ritual other than herself. To harness a spell of a higher level than initiating witch could normally cast requires a Ritual check (DC 22 + spell-
level), though she is granted a +1 enhancement bonus for every witch involved in the ritual other than herself; not easy, but not impossible. A higher-level spell must be one accessible via the resulting ritual combined level. Thus, to harness an 8th-level spell, the ritual combined total level of the leading witch would need to be at least 15, and the required DC to cast would be 30 (she can add +1 to her roll for each witch combining with her). Additionally, to cast this higher-level spell, the witch must forfeit a total number of spell levels equal to the spell level she wants to cast. So, casting an 8th-level spell she did not have access to as an 8th-level witch, would require that she give up other spells slots, possibly but not limited to (2) 1st-level spell slots and (3) 2nd-level spell slots. Obviously, a witch cannot cast a higherlevel spell in such a ritual if she does not have the available spell slots to sacrifice. Example: Marlay, a 7th-level witch, wants to cast greater command, a 5th level spell, something she currently does not have access to at her level. She attempts to combine with five other witches to do so, which requires a Ritual check at DC 22 (22 base + 5 for 5th-level spell – 5 for five combined witches). The other witches are levels 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 (20 total levels). Dividing those levels by 3 (20/3 = 6, round down), Marlay adds 6 combined bonus levels to her own, making her caster level 13. Thus, she could cast greater command as if she were a 13th-level witch. If she fails to combine with these witches (i.e., she fails the Ritual check), then each witch suffers 30 points of damage from the uncontrolled energy backlash (6 combined bonus levels X spell level of 5). The witches can attempt a Will save (DC 20) to take only half damage (15 points of damage).
RITUAL INTERRUPTION It is the vitke's job to keep the coven from being interrupted during power raisings (which includes true rituals, see below). If for some reason the vitke fails (or no vitke is present, in the case of Solis or color-joining witches or for some other reason) and a ritual combining is interrupted before it can be completed, then every witch involved in the power raising must roll a Concentration check (DC 13 +1 per every round after the first the ritual has continued into the power raising). If one or more of the witches is attacked, the DC rises to 17 +1 per every round after the first the ritual has continued into the power raising. Any witch failing to concentrate on the power raising must roll a 1d12, adding 1 to the result for every round into the ritual after the first, and consult the Ritual Interruption Consequences chart below--unless she rolls a 1 on her Concentration check; on a natural roll of 1, then treat as if she had a 20+ result on the chart below. The witches must continue to roll Concentration checks during each round of interruption. If any member of the combining is lost from a previous round, add +1/per lost witch to the Concentration check's DC, in addition to any other modifiers. The combinings success is only determined at the end of the ritual’s casting time (using only those witches who have managed to maintain their concentration to determine the power of the ritual).
The Way of the Witch
Table 4—2: Ritual Interruption Consequences (roll 1d12 and add 1 to the result for every round into the ritual beyond the first) 1 2-6
Treat as if the witch rolled a 20 (see below) Witch suffers normal damage as per failed combining; may save for half damage. 7-9 Witch suffers double damage as per failed combining; may save for half damage. 10-12 Witch suffers triple damage as per failed combining; may save for half damage. 13-14 Witch suffers quadruple damage as per failed combining; may save for half damage. 15-18 Witch suffers quadruple damage as per failed combining; may save for half; she also loses access to her witch abilities for 1d10 days. 19 Witch suffers quadruple damage as per failed combining; may save for half damage; she also loses access to her witch abilities for 1d20 days. 20+ Witch suffers quadruple damage as per failed combining; may save for half damage; the witch must also make a successful Will save (DC 18) or permanently lose access to her witch magic (it's as if the magic was burned from her blood--and indeed, such witches are no longer susceptible to iron unless healed via a limited wish or wish spell). If she passes the Will save, the witch still loses access to her witch abilities for 2d20 days. Additionally, any witch who permanently loses her magic must make another Will save (DC 18) or become feebleminded, as per the spell.
True Rituals In addition to combing their abilities to cast normal witch spells, witches can combine their magic to perform true rituals (these instances are often called power raisings). True rituals are very complicated spells that are either the stuff of legend or the backbone of religions. They can only be cast in ritual form and cannot be augmented further with any feats or other abilities. True rituals have no schools of magic associated with them; their great power combines all aspects of magic. True rituals were first described in Sword & Sorcery’s Rituals & Relics book. Some of the true ritual information for witches presented here differs slightly from the information presented therein. All witch true rituals, except create magic circle (see Create Magic Circle in the Witch True Rituals section in this chapter), must be performed within the confines of a true ritual magic circle. Additionally, if the GM allows the variant rules (see Power Points under Variant True Ritual Rules in this chapter), then these magic circles can add 1 to the true ritual’s effective caster level (see Casters Required below) for true ritual castings. True rituals are cast as normal spells with a few exceptions. Components: All true rituals have verbal, somatic, material and experience cost in the spell’s components. Each member performing the ritual must make a Ritual skill check (DC 25). If suc-
cessful, the witch has superbly controlled the flows of spirits around her, and she does not suffer the experience point drain. Casters Required: Each true ritual has a minimum number of required casters. Witches do not prepare spells ahead of time, but they must ritually cleanse themselves before preparing for a true ritual. True rituals use a caster’s spell slot of the appropriate level. When determining the caster’s level, use the level of the highest caster (usually the initiating witch) and add the number of other witches participating in the ritual. This is the witch’s effective caster level, and all the spell’s effects are based upon this level. The witches still must effectively combine their magic to perform true rituals, and this requires a Ritual check (the DC of the combining is 10 + spell level + 1/per witch the initiating witch combines with—see Ritual skill in Chapter 3). Additionally, to cast this spell, the witch must forfeit a spell slot equal to the level of true ritual spell she is casting, or in the case of a spell that is ordinarily beyond her power, a total number of spell levels equal to the spell level she wants to cast. So, a witch casting a 5th-level true ritual would need to surrender a 5th-level spell slot, or multiple spell slots if she did not ordinarily have access to spells of this level (possibly, but not limited to, (3) 1st-level spell slots and (1) 2ndlevel spell slot). Obviously, a witch cannot cast a true ritual at all if she does not have the available spell slots to sacrifice, and only the initiating witch can sacrifice these spell slots. The Harnessing Higher-Level spells section above applies to harnessing higher-level rituals (use the same DC check). All true rituals are considered spells the witch doesn’t normally have access to, so disregard the rules covering that topic there. Example: Cargier the white, an 8th-level witch, wants to combine with 6 of her sisters to cast a 7th-level true ritual, needing to roll a Ritual check at DC 23 (DC 22 to harness a higher-level ritual + 7 spell level –6 for each participating witch). If they succeed at the combining, Cargier’s effective caster level becomes 14 (8 for Cargier’s level + 6 for the number of sisters she successfully combines with), which allows her to cast the 7th-level true ritual spell empower vitke/moonblade. Casting this spell requires her to forfeit spell slots adding up to seven; in this case, she sacrifices (4) 1st-level slots and (3) 2nd-level slots. She then casts the empower vitke/moonblade spell as per a 14th-level witch. Note: Casting true rituals at power point (see Variant: Power Points below) can add 1 to the caster’s effective level. Also, some witches have familiars capable of combining their magic, so a familiar could be considered a true ritual participant if it has the Combine Magic familiar feat (see Familiars in Chapter 6). Please note that true rituals add the number of participating witches to the highest witch caster’s level, but Combined Ritual magic (see the Combined Witch Ritual Magic section in this chapter), which can enhance any spell, uses a different method of determining the caster’s effective level. Failure: If the lead witch fails to ritually combine the other witches' magic with her own during a true ritual, then the energies built up from the casting attempt create a backlash that affects all the witches involved. The unbound energy assaults the minds and bodies of each witch, resulting in physical damage (totaling the combined bonus levels X the spell’s level in points of damage). A successful Will save (DC 16 + spell level) reduces this damage by half. Failed combinings also result in lost spells. The more people involved in the combining, the more damage is dealt.
Chapter 4: Witch Magic
TRUE RITUAL COMBINED CASTING True rituals effective caster level = initiating witch’s level + number of witches combined to. DC to cast a true ritual of accessible level = 10 + spell level DC to harness a higher-level true ritual = 22 + spell level –1/per combined witch Spell Slots: The initiating witch must forfeit a spell slot (s) to cast a true ritual spell; harnessing higher-level true ritual spells requires her to forfeit spell slots totaling the spell level cast.
Example: If Cargier, from the previous example above, had failed to join the six witches to her, then each witch, including Cargier, would suffer 18 points of damage from uncontrolled energy backlash (6 combined bonus levels X spell level of 3). The witches could attempt a Will save (DC 19) to take only half damage (9 points). Proxy: Some true rituals allow a proxy in place of one or more of the required casters; witch true rituals do not. Saving Throw: True rituals have more power behind them, which in turn makes them more difficult to resist. Any saving throw against a true ritual spell has a DC of 15 + the level of the spell + the relevant ability modifier (Wisdom in the case of witches) of the highest-level caster participating in the ritual. RESEARCHING ORIGINAL TRUE RITUALS
True Ritual Combining Failure Failure results in damage = witches’combined bonus levels (number or witches combining to the initiating witch) X the spell’s level in points of damage. Saves: Witches can attempt a Will save (DC 16 + spell level) to save for half damage.
Any witch can attempt to create a new, original true ritual. But creating a true ritual is much more demanding than creating a normal spell. Like research of regular spells, the creation of true witch rituals requires meditation, prayer, and sacrifices in a blessed natural location. The research must be conducted by at least three witches from the same coven or of the same color. During the research, each of the witches must pay 1,000 gp per week with a minimum of one week per effective level of the true
The Way of the Witch
ritual. This money goes into the same fees, experimentation and components that regular spell research consumes. At the end of the research period, each of the researchers makes a Ritual check against a DC of 20 + the spell level. If all of the researchers succeed, the new true ritual has successfully been created (assuming the spell is viable). If any one of the researchers fails, then the research fails and they must all go through the research process again if they wish to keep attempting to learn the true ritual. The criteria for a viable true ritual are entirely dependent upon the requirements of the GM. Use the guidelines for new spell creations in Chapter 3 of the DMG. Compare any new true ritual concepts to those presented in below. The following are required for all true rituals: •A minimum of three casters is required to perform a true ritual; more may be required depending upon the spell. •The ritual must have an experience point cost to cast. Higher experience point costs can balance the power level of some true rituals. Succeeding at a Ritual check (DC 25) can negate this experience point drain. •The number of casters required to cast a true ritual is also the number of casters that are required to research the spell. Requiring a high number of casters can also serve to balance a ritual’s power level, though not as much as an experience point cost. VARIANT TRUE RITUAL RULES GMs may want to use the following true ritual variant rules in their campaigns to add even more depth. These rules are optional, however. Variant: Power Points Power points exist throughout the world, where magic gathers in greater amounts. These power points are located throughout the world and can be traced to regions called ley lines. Any magic performed on these points is enhanced as if the caster were a level higher than normal. A witch’s true ritual magic circle is a power point, so casting other ritual magic within it allows 1 level to be added to the group’s effective caster level. Witches also receive a +1 skill modifier bonus to any Ritual checks performed within the true ritual magic circle. Variant: Power Components • The variant for power components, found in the Chapter 3 of the DMG, can be used for ritual spellcasting. For combined casting of spells, this variant of the rules works normally. But for true rituals, the use of power components will not completely replace the need for experience costs in the spell casting. Power components of the true rituals eliminate only half the required experience cost; the casters of the spell must still pay the remainder (unless they succeed at a Ritual check (DC 25), whereby they can negate the experience point loss; see Components under the True Rituals section in this chapter).
Witch True Rituals 1. MARRIAGE - Blesses a marriage. 2. INDOCTRINATION - Allows a character to become a witch. 3. VIGILANCE - Protects the casters from physical harm. 4. CREATE MAGIC CIRCLE - Creates a permanent magic circle for rituals. 5. DRAWING DOWN THE MOON/SUN - Calls the witches’ deity to the circle. 6. SEASONAL RITES - Bestows seasonal blessing to an area. 7. EMPOWER VITKE/MOONBLADE - Imbues the coven’s chosen vitke with powers from the Goddess/God and creates the vitke’s sword. 8. RESTORE THE LAND - Heals damage to the earth. 9. GREATER VIGILANCE - Protects the casters from physical harm. MARRIAGE Blesses a marriage Level: True Ritual – Wit 1 Components: V, S, M, DF, XP Casters Required: 3 Proxy: No Casting Time: 1 hour Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels) Target: Individuals to be married to one another Duration: Instantaneous Saving Throw: Will negates (harmless) Spell Resistance: Yes (harmless) If the union between the couple is undertaken for love and altruistic reasons, the two gain a blessing in times of need. Whenever either of the couple is in danger, both members gain a +1 luck bonus to AC, saves and skill checks. This effect lasts for a year and a day. Material Components: An offering of food and incense worth 100 gold pieces. XP Cost: 10 XP each caster. Special — the couple can pay the experience cost for up to two of the casters. This XP cost is paid for equally between the two members of the couple. INDOCTRINATION Allows a character to become a witch. Level: True Ritual – Wit 2 Components: V, S, M, DF, XP Casters Required: 3 Proxy: No Casting Time: 1 hour Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels) Target: One creature Duration: Instantaneous Saving Throw: None Spell Resistance: No Any creature that is judged worthy gains the benefit of becoming a witch. If the creature already has a character class, this allows her to multiclass to a witch. Witches only indoctrinate someone when they have been accepted into their coven. This is not the only way to become a witch, but most covens officially indoctrinate people they find worthy of this gift, especially those not already flowing with the blood; true ritual transforms them.
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Material Components: An offering of food and incense worth 100 gold pieces. XP Cost: 10 XP each caster. Special — the new witch can pay the experience cost for the casters. VIGILANCE Protects the casters from physical harm. Level: True Ritual – Wit 3 Components: V, S, M, DF, XP Casters Required: 3 Proxy: No Casting Time: 1 hour Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels) Target: Casters Duration: 1 day Saving Throw: None Spell Resistance: No For the duration of the ritual’s effect, the witches who performed the spell are blessed with damage reduction 10/+1. In addition, any opponent attempting to physically or magically assault the casters during this time must attempt a Will save (DC 15). If they succeed, they can attack the casters as normal; if they fail, they have no desire to attack the casters for the duration of the spell. Area-of-effect magical attacks (such as fireball) that include the witches(s) in its effect do not require the attacker to make the saving throw. The witches may attack without breaking this effect, but any creature they attack does not have to make the Will saves thereafter to attack the witches in return. Material Components: 5,000 gp in gems, coin, crafted items, and/or incense. XP Cost: 250 XP per caster. CREATE MAGIC CIRCLE Creates a permanent magic circle for witch rituals. Level: True Ritual – Wit 4 Components: V, S, M, DF, XP Casters Required: 3 Proxy: No Casting Time: 3 days Range: Touch Effect: One magic circle, generally 30 ft. in radius Duration: Instantaneous Saving Throw: None Spell Resistance: No All witch true rituals, except create magic circle, must be performed within the confines of a true ritual magic circle. Creating a magic circle suitable for the true ritual requires a successful Ritual skill check (DC 20) by the highest level witch present, often the coven leader. After the magic circle has been created, it gains the benefits of a permanent protection from spirits (see the new Witch Spells section earlier in this chapter) within its boundaries. This effect offers the same protection as protection from evil, but the alignment of the attacker does not matter (though the creature must be classed as a spirit). If this protection effect is dispelled, it automatically renews after one minute. Only the physical destruction of the ring followed by a successful dispel attempt ends the protection permanently.
Additionally, if the true ritual variant rules are used, the circle is also a power point, and any spell cast from within the circle’s confines adds +1 to the effective combined witch’s level (see Variant True Ritual Rules and True Rituals earlier in this chapter). The witch can also add a +1 sacred bonus to any Ritual checks performed within the circle. Material Components: An offering of food, water and incense worth 1,000 gp is used during the creation. XP Cost: 1,000 XP each caster. DRAWING DOWN THE MOON/SUN Calls the witches’ deity to the circle. Level: True Ritual – Wit 5 Components: V, S, M, DF, XP Casters Required: 3 Proxy: No Casting Time: 1 hour Range: Touch Target: Most powerful witch of the Goddess or God’s gender Duration: 1 round/level Saving Throw: None Spell Resistance: No This true ritual summons some of the Goddess or God’s essence to a magic circle. The deity’s spirit inhabits the body of the most powerful witch of the same gender present. The deity uses the inhabited witch’s body to directly speak to those in the circle. The witches invoke the deity to directly seek out the deity’s wishes for the coven. The deity always imparts his or her wishes, and may additionally be asked questions as per the commune spell. Material Components: An offering of food, water and incense worth 1,000 gp is used during the creation. XP Cost: 1,000 XP each caster. SEASONAL RITES Bestows the seasonal blessings to an area. Level: True Ritual – Wit 6 Components: V, S, M, DF, XP Casters Required: 3 Proxy: No Casting Time: 1 day, during a solstice or equinox Range: Long (400 ft. + 40 ft./level) Effect: All wildlife within range and all humanoids within the witch circle Duration: 1 season Saving Throw: Will negates (harmless) Spell Resistance: Yes (harmless) Summer: This ritual is performed during the summer solstice. The added vigor of the participants from the celebration of life results in a +2 enhancement bonus to Constitution (or +1 if the participant is not a witch or does not worship the witches’ deities). This bonus lasts until the autumnal equinox. Spring: This ritual is performed during the vernal equinox. All creatures and people who benefit from this true ritual gain a +1 resistance bonus on all saving throws. This bonus lasts until the summer solstice. Furthermore, the countryside within two miles of the ritual benefits from the enrichment aspect of the plant growth spell over the course of the next year.
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Fall: This ritual is performed during the autumnal equinox. This spell affects an area of 1 square mile/level. Fall crops affected by this ritual have twice the normal yield. Also, during the night of the autumnal equinox, on the casting of this spell, the barriers between the realms of the living and the dead weaken. During this time, the casters may attempt to contact the dead, either to gain information or to wish them well in their afterlife. Only creatures that died within the area of effect can be reached in this way. If it is information that is sought after, the dead do not give up their secrets willingly and must be coerced into talking. The highest level caster involved in the true ritual must make a successful Wisdom check (DC 20) to speak with the dead. The insight gained from these shades results in the equivalent of either a legend lore, discern location, divination or any other druidic divination spell of 6th level or less. If the Wisdom check roll is a natural 1, the attempt not only fails, but one of the spirits becomes irate and breaks through the boundary between the living and the dead. This spirit manifests as a spectre and immediately attacks any living creature in the area. The sites of great battles are particularly hazardous, as the shades of the underworld are too numerous, quickly overrunning an area touched by this spell. In such areas a natural roll of 1-5 on the Wisdom check releases 1d4+1 spectres into the world of the living. Winter: This ritual is performed during the winter solstice. The celebration’s participants receive the benefit of an endure elements (cold) until the vernal equinox. Empower Vitke/Moonblade Allows a witch to become a vitke and creates the vitke’s moonblade. Level: True Ritual – Wit 7 Components: V, S, M, DF, XP Casters Required: 5 Proxy: No Casting Time: 2 days Range: Touch Duration: Instantaneous Saving Throw: Will negates (harmless) Spell Resistance: Yes (harmless) Any witch who meets the requirements to add the vitke prestige class (see Chapter 2) and is judged worthy gains the benefit of becoming a vitke, protector of the coven’s witches. Basically, this true ritual allows the witch to begin training in the vitke prestige class. During the ceremony, the witches guide a portion of the Goddess and God’s spirit into a masterwork bastard sword, thereby creating the vitke’s moonsword (see Moonsword, Chapter 2) with which she uses to protect the coven. No witch can become a vitke unless she has been indoctrinated with this ritual, and this ritual is the only means by which a moonsword can be created. Material Components: A masterwork sword as well as 20,000 gp in magical materials with which to infuse the sword with its power. XP Cost: 1,500 XP each caster. RESTORE THE LAND Heals damage to the earth. Level: True Ritual – Wit 8 Components: V, S, M, DF, XP
Casters Required: 5 Proxy: No Casting Time: 1 week Range: Special Effect: 1 mile radius per level Duration: Instantaneous Saving Throw: None Spell Resistance: No This ritual causes corrupted landscape to become fertile and to grow vegetation and foliage, regardless of the land’s current state. The land begins to reform itself, healing the rents in the earth and the corruption of the soil. The witches evoking this spell direct the growth of the land and the reshaping of the warped landscape into a more hospitable environment. Pure water sources become an integral part of the area, allowing the new natural flora to grow swiftly into maturity. Although animal life is not created with this spell, fauna quickly flocks to the fruitful region. Material Components: A sprouted seedling. XP Cost: 10,000 XP each caster. GREATER VIGILANCE Protects the casters from physical harm. Level: True Ritual – Wit 9 Components: V, S, M, DF, XP Casters Required: 3 Proxy: No Casting Time: 1 hour Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels) Target: Casters Duration: 1 day Saving Throw: None Spell Resistance: No For the duration of the true ritual’s effect, the witches are blessed with damage reduction 10/+2 and a +1 sacred bonus to all saving throws. In addition, any opponent attempting to physically or magically assault the casters during the spell’s effect must attempt a Will save (DC 15 + the spell level + the lead caster’s Wisdom bonus). If they succeed, they can attack the casters as normal. Area-of-effect magical attacks (such as fireball) that include the witches(s) in its effect do not require the attacker to make the saving throw. If they fail, they cannot attack the casters for the duration of the spell. The witches may attack without breaking this effect, but any creature they attack does not have to make the Will saves thereafter to attack the witches in return. Material Components: 6,000 gp in coin, gems, handcrafted items, and/or incense. XP Cost: 500 XP per caster
Fetishes A fetish is a small item that contains a witch spell. A witch can release the spell from the fetish, as if she were casting it herself. A fetish can only be used once. Physical Description: Fetishes vary greatly in form, depending on the witch who made them. Some common fetishes include: beaded necklaces or bracelets, collections of feathers, bones or carved sticks (often tied with a leather thong), animal skulls, bones or other animal parts, small bags filled with herbs, crystals or
Chapter 4: Witch Magic
stones (often painted or carved), poppets, witch balls, and so forth. A fetish’s form may be related to the material component (s) of the spell it stores. For example, a fetish for a summon monster spell might be a small bag or animal’s claw. Candles may not be fashioned into fetishes, as witches practice a different sort of magic with them (see Candle Magic, Chapter 5). Fetishes register as magical to detect magic spells and effects, but may otherwise be overlooked by those not familiar with them. A GM may require a Spellcraft check (DC 20 or more) for a non-witch to recognize that a fetish is a usable magical item. Most fetishes have AC 8, a hardness anywhere from 0 (paper, cloth, etc.) to 8 (for stones), from 1 to 5 hit points and a break DC from 8 to 15. Fetishes can be stored in any manner their owner wishes, but are usually kept in a pouch or bag. Some fetishes are worn as jewelry or adornment (dangling from a necklace or pinned to clothing). This does not affect the number of other magic items the character can wear, since a fetish must be held in the hand in order to activate it. Activation: To activate a fetish, the character must first know what spell is stored in it. This requires a Spellcraft check (DC 15 + spell level) or the use of the analyze dweomer spell. Once the character knows what spell is stored in the fetish, she can attempt to cast it. Casting the spell: Just like using a scroll, the caster must meet certain requirements to use a fetish: • The caster must be able to cast divine spells. Thus bards, sorcerers, and wizards cannot activate fetishes. • The caster must have the spell on his or her class spell list. • The caster must have the requisite ability score to cast the spell (for example, Charisma 15 for casting a 5th-level witch spell). If the character meets these requirements, is a witch, and her caster level is at least equal to the spell’s caster level, she can activate the fetish without a check. If she meets the requirements and is not a witch, or her caster level is not at least equal to the spell’s caster level, she has to make a caster level check (DC = fetish’s caster level +1) to activate the fetish successfully. Non-witches have only half their normal caster level for activating a fetish, because of the differences between divine magic granted by the Spirit World and that used by other classes. If the character fails this check, she must make a Charisma check (DC 5) to avoid a mishap exactly like a scroll mishap (see Chapter 8 of the DMG). A natural roll of 1 on this check always fails. Fetishes are activated by spell completion, so using one is a standard action that provokes an attack of opportunity. Effect: A spell successfully activated from a fetish works exactly like a spell cast in the normal way. The fetish’s caster level is always at least the minimum level required to learn and cast the spell stored in it. When successfully activated, a fetish is annihilated by the released magical energies, much like a normal material spell component. Caster Level: The minimum level required to cast the spell; Prerequisites: Craft Fetish (see Chapter 3) and the spell to be stored; Market Price: Spell level X caster level X 25 gp; Weight: --
CHARGED FETISHES More experienced witches can create fetishes that are not used up in one casting. Not only can these charged fetishes cast a spell multiple times, they can cast it more easily as well. Physical Description: A charged fetish appears the same as an ordinary fetish but it has charges, much like a wand. In fact, wands can be seen as a specific form of charged fetish. Like normal fetishes, a charged fetish must be held in the hand in order to activate it. Activation: Charged fetishes use the spell trigger activation method, so activating the fetish is a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity. (If the spell being cast has a casting time of longer than 1 action, it takes that long to activate the fetish.) The user must have the spell the fetish stores on his spell list, although he doesn’t have to know it or even be high enough level to cast it. A charged fetish has 50 charges when created and each use drains one charge from the fetish. A fetish that runs out of charges is no longer magical. Caster Level: The minimum level required to cast the spell; Prerequisites: Craft Fetish (see Chapter 3), Craft Wand, and the spell to be stored; Market Price: Spell level X caster level X 750 gp; Weight: --.
Charmes Charms are single-use magic items that anyone can use, similar to potions. (In fact, potions are basically charms one uses by drinking them.) Charms duplicate the effects of spells that affect the user only, similar to potions. They’re also used up in the same way; a charm is only good for one use, then its magic is gone. Physical Description: Charms come in a variety of forms, including pieces of paper or bark inscribed with mystic symbols or runes, small stones, pieces of jewelry, feathers, rabbit’s feet, incense, potions, oils, and so forth. Charms are usually small enough to hold in a pouch or the palm of the hand. Activation: Each charm has a specific means of activating it. A incense block charm must be burned, for example, while a potion must be imbibed, paper charms torn or burned, oil rubbed or poured over the skin, stones cast to the ground, or dust cast into the air, and so forth. Activating a charm is a standard action that provokes an attack of opportunity, just like casting a spell. A user who is successfully attacked must make a Concentration check (exactly like casting a spell) in order to successfully activate the charm. Failure of the check spoils the charm; it becomes useless. Candles may not be fashioned into charms, as witches practice a different sort of magic with them (see Candle Magic, Chapter 5). A successfully activated charm automatically casts its stored spell on the user at its caster level, having the normal effects given in the spell description (including duration). All decisions about the spell that are normally made when it is cast are made when the charm is created. The character using the charm doesn’t get any say in the matter. An activated charm is used up and no longer magical. Caster Level: The minimum level required to cast the spell; Prerequisites: Craft Charm (see Chapter 3) and the spell to be stored; Market Price: Spell level X caster level X 50 gp; Weight: --.
The Way of the Witch
Witch Broomsticks Creation of a Witch’s Broom To create a flying witch’s broom, first of all a witch must gather the materials that she needs. Most brooms are made from an ash staff, birch twigs and a willow binding; though some witches prefer to use rare and magical darkwood for this purpose. The witch must cut her own materials, traveling alone (or with no one save her familiar) into the woods to do so and she must perform several rituals to "ask permission" of the plants that she uses. The components of the broom are put together using the Craft (witch tools) skill, the witch then uses her Create Focus ability (see the witch class, Chapter 2) to imbue it with her own spirit. A witch’s broom has AC 13 (when in flight), 15 hit points, and a hardness of 4. Once the broom has been crafted, the witch needs to cast, or pay to have cast, the spells fly and permanency upon it. Many witches find this the hardest part of the process, as – especially if they live in regions where witchcraft is frowned upon by society or authority – they are reluctant to reveal their true nature to the spellcaster hired to undertake this work. Most Covens maintain contacts with friendly wizards or sorcerers to whom they can direct new members to who are in need of such assistance.
Caster Level: 5th (though a witch of any level may perform the initial crating of the broom and the proper rituals); Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item feat, fly, permanency; Market Price: 15,100 gp; Weight: 3 lb. What else can a broom do? To get the most out of a broom, a witch needs the Ride Broom skill (see Chapter 3), and perhaps the Witches’ Broom Feat (see Chapter 3). Although flying is the most common use of a witch’s broom (which is treated like a broom of flying), they have other ritual purposes. Some of these include: • In Coven rituals, the Circle is often anointed by a junior member sweeping her broom around the circumference before a more senior member sprinkles salt or water over the area and the vitke uses his moonsword to finally seal it ready for the working to begin. • Some witches use their brooms to dispel curses, particularly if an individual believes that their house or other premises have been cursed. To do this, the witch sweeps the affected area vigorously with her broom, sweeping out the curse with the dirt. In a similar manner, witches often bless a house by sweeping it out, commonly done for newly-weds when they move into their new home.
FROM CALATIN’S NOTES: I have learned that witches use many candles in their rituals and that candles aid their meditation. Witches burn these candles during rituals to generate various effects. I have gleaned the following information from a conversation with Abellatra the Brown, a witch renowned for her effective use of candles in rituals. Abellatra said, and I quote: "Candle magic is ritual magic that uses candles to focus your intent. During rituals, you must be clear about WHAT you want, but you leave the HOW to the universe." She reiterated this throughout our conversation, saying that young witches often find this stepping-back the hardest thing to accept, as most are used to pushing and fighting for things they want. In fact, she said that many never fully grasp the concept of letting Nature take the course that is best; instead, they expend great energy and worry trying to navigate events. But I digress… For rituals involving candles, Abellatra told me that witches always use their own handcrafted candles, as purchased candles or gifted candles do not work as well. Putting one’s own essence (spirit) into a personally-crafted item allows the magic to flow more easily to the witch, whereas the taint of others on a gifted or purchased candle interferes with this flow. Thus, for the purposes of candle magic, witches always make their own candles, and they make them from fine beeswax rather than tallow, as using the best materials aids the flow of magic, as well. PREPARING CANDLES FOR USE Witches only use fresh, unused candles for their rituals, as old candles have a tendency to pick up all manner of vibrations and influences from the people and things around them. For the very same reason, witches do not use candles that have been previously lit, as these, too, may hold undesired vibrations. After using candles in their rituals, most witches just let them burn completely, so no one mistakenly tries to reuse them. Many witches prepare their ritual candles with scented oils. Kallatra, a white dythane, told me that while many witches think this imbues them with power, she believes that it does far more for the witch preparing the candles; the scents enable the witches to center themselves and better focus on the ritual at hand. When rubbing oil into a candle, most witches, I’m told, start at both ends and rub towards the candle’s center, but some witches rub from top to bottom. Like many of the Craft’s finer details, it is more likely that a witch finds a way that works for her, and then sticks to it, regardless of how other witches do it. Lyria, a witch of my acquaintance, once said that if you wanted to draw something towards you, you rub from top to bottom, but that if you wanted to drive something away, you rub bottom to top. Everyone I spoke to, however, all adamantly agreed that you should never, ever rub oil in with a to-and-fro motion. This action apparently ruins everything, rendering the candle entirely unusable, and some say that using such a candle could cause a spell to rebound on the caster—though no one I talked to had personally witnessed such a tragedy. Some witches also carve runes and symbols into their candles. Others are more representative and depict images relevant to the ritual they intend to perform. Obviously, appropriate symbolic colors may be used, or the carvings may be left uncolored. Witches use a white-handled knife to make these carvings.
The Way of the Witch
Unless there is an imperative reason for doing a ritual at a particular time, all workings should correspond to the moon’s cycles. For instance, banishings should be done as the moon wanes; drawing something to you, or making something happen, should await a waxing moon, and the full moon is a time when creativity and energy are at their height. Witches avoid performing rituals during moondark, though some witches do burn plain candles then, to remind the moon to return. Finally, witches also carefully prepare the place where the candles are to be burned. This place, usually a small altar, is where the witch performs all her everyday rituals. In addition to her ritual candle, she places two white candles on her altar to represent the Goddess and God—well, non-evil witches do this, anyway. Many practitioners also mark either the four Quarters (north, south, east and west) or the five points of a pentacle with candles. USING CANDLE MAGIC There are three ways in witches wield candle magic. The first is to create magical candles which they use to augment the effects of other spells or rituals (including true rituals) by substituting them for the spell’s common candle material components. The benefits of this are dependant upon the exact color of the candle substituted (see the Candle Color Properties sidebar later in this chapter). The second way candle magic is used is by using magically crafted candles to store completed spells that the creator can later invoke by burning the candle in question (see the Candle Magic feat in Chapter 3 for details). The third and last way candle magic is used is via a host of specific spells that witches have created that use candles as their primary focus (see the end of this chapter for details). CANDLE COLORS A candle’s color also has significance in the ritual it is used for, although white candles can be used for any ritual in a pinch (sort of a universal substitute). But, normally, witches carefully select their candles to parallel the chosen ritual’s purpose. Abellatra revealed the following to me about a candle’s color significance, though she cautioned that some variation could exist from coven to coven. Black: Arbellatra says that she rarely uses this color, and many white witches refuse to use it altogether. Black is associated with negativity, revenge, and retribution, but black can also be used for learning, focusing will power, protection, and for binding powerful forces or negative thoughts. Blue: Witches use this color for ritual works aimed at accomplishing peace, harmony, protection, healing (especially where there are fevers concerned), reuniting lost friends and relatives, blessing, and neutralizing acts of malicious magic. Blue can also calm nerves and bring serenity to an otherwise calamitous house. One Solis witch I met used blue candles to help people break bad habits; she claimed that burning blue candles in the presence of drunkards actually helped them mend their ways…or at least, it assisted their wives in reforming them! So, blue is the color of healing (usually mental and maladies of the blood), truth, inspiration, higher wisdom, power, psychic
power, protection, understanding, good health, and it represents the feminine aspect of Nature. Brown: Witches use this color for grounding and stabilizing energy, and they also use it for magic spells and general rituals involving the following: concentration, balance, reading someone’s mind, aiding with the Second Sight, intuition, study, justice, and separation. Gold or Light Yellow: Gold candles are used in rituals concerned with understanding and divination. Gold can also aid in acquiring wealth or attracting another being’s attention, whether that being be a powerful spirit or a mundane. Green: Witches use green--which, incidentally, is Abellatra’s favorite color— candles for rituals involving the following: abundance, fertility, good fortune, generosity, money, wealth, success, renewal, marriage and balance. Abellatra then lost me in some talk about "planetary vibrations affecting matters on an earthly level." At any rate, green candles can also aid in healing physical disorders and something Abellatra calls "female problems." Indigo and Turquoise: These colors aid meditation and help neutralize someone else's magic (Arbellatra says she uses these rather than black whenever possible). They can also restore balance. Indeed, Arbellatra often has candles of these colors burning around her home even when she is not engaged in ritual work. Magenta: This color has what Arbellatra calls a "high vibrational frequency," meaning that it generates a lot of energy. Occasionally, witches use it for rituals that must be performed quickly. I’m told that some witches employ it for spiritual healing and exorcism, too. Orange: This color is all about communication, and it also brings successful results to your endeavors. Abellatra says that she recommends it to young witches who struggle with self-expression. Orange can also be used for encouragement and to promote adaptability or change, especially in regard to a person's luck. Pink: Witches use this color to attract love, passion, or flirtations. Pink can also sweeten bitter people. Pink also aids spiritual awakening, spiritual healing, and keeping friends and family bound together in love. Purple: A color associated with power, purple enhances recognition and victory in contests of will rather than in physical combat. Witches use purple in divination workings and rituals aimed at increasing wisdom. Purple symbolizes success in finance as well, and it may be used in rituals to increase psychic powers. Red: Often associated with physical love and sexual potency, red also aids in manifesting ambitions on a physical level. Witches also use red to heal muscle injuries or wounds sustained in combat. Red is also good for inspiring and motivating lethargic people. This color symbolizes health, energy, strength, sexual virility, and courage, and it represents Nature’s masculine principle. Silver or Light Gray: Silver is used for gentle meditation and the removal of negative influences from one's life. White: "Here," said Abellatra, "we have the purity of naught. The serenity of white brings a clearing effect, like
Chapter 5: Candle Magic
sweeping the floor clean with a broom. Whether you are using it to affect a person or to clear away obstacles, white is the best for purging all other colors. White is used for candle magic spells and general rituals involving purity, spirituality, and higher attainments of life, truth, sincerity, and wholeness. This color cleans, purifies, and absorbs like no other." A few witches I spoke to also mentioned that white also symbolizes mourning and death.
Yellow: This color represents the sun’s brilliance, and witches use yellow candles for magic spells and rituals involving intellect, imagination, the power of the mind, creativity, confidence, gentle persuasion, action, attraction, concentration, inspiration, sudden changes, happiness, glory, and overcoming injustices. This color is always used when there has been a long dismal period in a person's life. A yellow candle may also be burned to help remember something.
CANDLE COLOR PROPERTIES When used in conjunction with casting a spell, colored candles created via the Candle Magic feat (see Chapter 3) enhance certain effects of the spell. In the case of a spell that already requires a candle as one of its components, the candle must be of the exact color required if this is also stated (though a white candle is an exception and may be used in place of a candle of any color, no matter what the requirement). For a spell that does not require a candle as one of its components, the witch may add an appropriate candle (see below) to the spell’s material components in order to benefit from the candle’s properties. Doing so changes the spell’s Casting Time to 1 minute for every level of the spell (i.e. a 5th-level spell’s Casting Time would be changed to 5 minutes), unless the spell’s original Casting Time is already longer, in which case it remains unchanged). Only spells that already have at least one material component may be augmented in this fashion. The exact properties of the specific colored candles, when used in this way, are listed below: Black Blue
Enhances any spell that causes harm to the target (the caster is treated as +2 levels higher than she really is). Enhances any spell that calms or steadies the target, such as bless, (the caster is treated as +2 levels higher than she really is). Brown Enhances any spell meant to learn or retain information (i.e. is designated a Divination spell or GM’s discretion)(the caster is treated as +1 level higher than she really is). Gold Enhances any Divination spell (the caster is treated as +2 levels higher than she really is). Green Enhances any spell whose purpose is to heal (i.e. is designated a Conjuration (Healing) spell)(the caster is treated as +2 levels higher than she really is). Indigo Enhances any Enchantment spell (the caster is treated as +2 levels higher than she really is). Magenta Enhances spells that deal with spirits (GM’s discretion; the caster is treated as +2 levels higher than she really is); decreases the Casting Time of spells that already have a candle component by a factor of _. Orange Enhances spells that deal with communication, like comprehend languages (GM’s discretion)(the caster is treated as +2 levels higher than she really is). Pink Enhances Enchantment spells that concern love, friendship or attraction (the caster is treated as +2 levels higher than she really is). Purple Enhances Divination spells (the caster is treated as +1 levels higher than she really is) and makes magical scrying easier (+2 insight bonus to Scry skill checks associated with the spell). Red Increases the strength of any spell that enhances physical attributes, like cat’s grace (GM’s discretion)(the caster is treated as +2 levels higher than she really is). Silver Enhances any spell that is used to remove the negative effects of another spell, like remove curse (the caster is treated as +2 levels higher than she really is). Turquoise Enhances spells used to confer additional resistance, like endure elements (the caster is treated as +2 levels higher than she really is). White General purpose enhancement to spells (the caster is treated as +2 levels higher than she really is); may be substituted as a component in place of any other candle, no matter what specific color is technically required. Yellow Enhances spells that deal Illusions by increasing or sharpening mental abilities (the caster is treated as +2 levels higher than she really is). Note that if more than one candle color might be appropriate to what you wish to attempt, burning several is an option, but additional candles after the primary color will only add +1 to the effect created rather than their full effect were they used alone. Many of the enhancements provided by these candles are subject to the GM’s interpretations as to exactly which spells meet the candle color’s requirements. In all such cases the GM’s word is final, though she need not inform the witch if a certain spell qualifies or not until the witch makes the attempt. The mystical energies witches draw upon can be fickle.
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SIMPLE CANDLE RITUALS Arbellatra tells me that witches often use candles to perform simple acts of intention, instead of performing full-blown rituals. When doing so, the witch meditates briefly before lighting the candle to help still her mind and bring her desire into focus. She then lights the flame, states her intention out loud, in simple, clear terms. She then imagines that she already has what it is she wants in her life. As the candle slowly burns down, she chants her desire, steadily watching the flame, but not staring intently at it. While she does so, she focuses on being receptive and open to her wants. When the candle has burned completely, she saves the remaining wax, and places a piece under her pillow. Sometimes she repeats the small ritual before bedtime for as long as a week. EXTINGUISHING RITUAL CANDLES There are various opinions--as usual, about one per witch--as to how, or even if, you ought to extinguish a candle. Most say that candles used in spells should be allowed to burn completely. If for some reason they have to be extinguished, they should never be BLOWN out. This blows the spell away, causing it to dissipate. Some say that pinching the wick is acceptable, while others say that such an action "pinches out" the spell's intention. Almost every witch I spoke with said they used a snuffer in such instances. Kallatra has some interesting observations regarding candle magic. If a candle will not go out, this is a sign that your spell is working strongly. Should the spell candle keep snuffing of its own accord, perhaps the spell is not meant to be...or you have left the candle in a draft!
Ritual Candle Magic The following is a detailed description of the candle spells listed in Chapter 4. ANTI-MAGIC CANDLE Abjuration Level: Wit 5 Components: V, S, M Casting Time: 1 hour Range: Special Target: Candle Duration: Instantaneous Saving Throw: None Spell Resistance: None When an anti-magic candle is burned, it has the effect of ending all spells currently in operation within a 15-ft. radius, or of preventing the casting of spells or operation of magical devices within that area for a period of 1 hour per witch level of the caster. It cannot end a spell with an ‘instantaneous’ duration, for example lighting an anti-magic candle will not repair the damage done by a lightning bolt or a fireball, though it may prevent such a spell from being cast in the first place. In order to use a spell or invoke any kind of magic while in the anti-magic candle’s effect, the caster/user must make a successful level check opposed by the candle creator’s standard spell DC (15 + caster’s Wisdom bonus + feat bonuses (if any). If this check succeeds, the spell or magic is invoked as normal; if it fails, the spell fails and is lost or the magic effect fails to function while in the candle’s effect. Note that
magic items make their level checks based upon the level of their creator, not their wielder. Material Component: A turquoise candle, which must remain alight for the duration of the spell. CALLING CANDLE Transmutation Level: Wit 1 Components: V, S, M Casting Time: 1 hour Range: Special Target: Individual known to caster Duration: Instantaneous Saving Throw: None Spell Resistance: No By lighting a candle and concentrating on the person to be contacted, the witch creates an impression in the target’s mind that they are being thought about and (optionally) that they should return home or at least get in touch with the witch, though no actual communication may be made. It is said that this spell is most effective if it is cast while the target is asleep, as they often then dream about the witch or her home. The target of the spell must be known personally to the witch casting it, and should be on the same plane of existence. Material Component: A blue candle, which is burned during the casting of the spell. CANDLE OF RETURN Transmutation Level: Wit 1 Components: V, S, M Casting Time: 1 hour Range: Special Target: Individual known to caster Duration: Instantaneous Saving Throw: None Spell Resistance: No This spell enables an individual who is personally known to the witch to find his way to the witch’s current location. It is often used immediately after a calling candle spell has been cast to alert the individual that the witch wishes to see him. The spell grants a +2 circumstance bonus to the individual’s Inuit Direction check, or – if they are a spellcaster – gives automatic success to a locate creature spell targeting the witch, even if they are normally out of range of that spell. Material Component: A blue candle. Note that a second blue candle must be used, even if you cast calling candle and candle of return during the same ritual working. CANDLE OF THE WISE Transmutation Level: Wit 2 Components: V, S, M Casting Time: 1 hour Range: Touch Target: Candle Duration: 1 hour/level Saving Throw: None Spell Resistance: None
Chapter 5: Candle Magic
This spell grants an increase in Wisdom to the recipient of the candle on which it is cast. When the candle is lit, the recipient’s Wisdom is increased by 1d4+1, along with the concomitant benefits to ability, skill checks, and to Will saves. While this may mean that the recipient can cast more than her normal number of spells per day, the extra spells must be cast before the expiration of the spell or they will be lost. Any spell slot of the new bonus level (if any) used by the which during the duration is considered to be that provided by the new bonus first before using up the witch’s normal unused slots for the day. Material Component: A purple candle, which must remain alight for the duration of the spell. When the spell expires, it crumbles into dust. DEATH CANDLE Necromancy Level: Wit 5 Components: V, S, M Casting Time: 1 hour Range: Special Target: Candle Duration: Until candle is burned out Saving Throw: Will negates Spell Resistance: Yes This dark spell is only used by black or evil witches. By linking the life of the victim to the candle, as the candle diminishes so does the victim's vital force, and when the candle is exhausted, he dies. Once ensorcelled, the candle has to be given to the victim, for it is only effective if he burns it himself. For each hour the candle burns, the victim loses one point of Constitution until he reaches zero and dies (this is treated as temporary Constitution loss unless the victim reaches zero and dies). Every time the candle is relit, the Constitution drain starts all over again and it never burns completely down until the victim’s Constitution reaches zero. Extinguishing the candle halts the spell, unless it is relit, when the effect resumes. The candle must be given to the victim within one day of this spell being cast. Material Component: A candle and a hair from the victim's head, which is incorporated into the candle. EVERLASTING CANDLE Evocation Level: Wit 3 Components: V, S, M Casting Time: 1 hour Range: Touch Target: Candle Duration: Permanent Saving Throw: None Spell Resistance: None This spell causes the candle on which it is cast to burn continuously without being consumed. The flame so generated can be used to light other candles (or anything else flammable), but may only be extinguished by a deliberate act of the caster or the candle’s destruction. Candle’s that are being used to store spells cannot be used in conjunction with this spell. Should any magicks be cast upon the candle that require an open flame – for example, pyrotechnics – such spells are imme-
diately dispelled without taking effect, though the candle is then extinguished. Material Component: A candle of any color – however, the resulting flame is the color of the candle rather than a normal ‘flame’ color. The candle is not consumed unless it is extinguished or destroyed, in which case it crumbles to dust. HARMONY CANDLE Enchantment Level: Wit 1 Components: V, S, M Casting Time: 1 hour Range: Special Target: Witch's Partner or (touch) on a couple Duration: Special Saving Throw: Will negates Spell Resistance: Yes This spell is used by a witch who is already in a relationship, to ensure its happy continuation or, if there is strife at home, to help remedy the situation. It may also be cast on behalf of another couple. As the enchanted candle is burned, the witch chants, "The spell is cast, our (their) love will last." The caster then visualizes romantic moments between the two individuals for which the spell is cast, and then ends the spell with the words, "For the good of all, so shall it be." The candle is then allowed to burn out, and the remains wrapped in a white cloth and stored in the room where the couple sleeps. If successfully cast, both partners are treated as if charmed (as the spell) by one another. If either partner is unwilling for the relationship to continue, he or she is permitted a Will saving throw, which if successful, negates the spell. Material Component: A pink candle, into which symbols representing the partners are carved (or their initials). LOVE ATTRACTION CANDLE Enchantment Level: Wit 3 Components: V, S, M Casting Time: 1 hour Range: Special Target: Chosen individual (if successful, see below) Duration: Special Saving Throw: Will limits duration Spell Resistance: Yes Should the caster wish to attract love, and be warned, this could cause unwelcome advances from somebody you are not interested in, witches sometimes turn to this spell. During the
The Way of the Witch
preparations for the ritual, three hearts are carved into a red candle with a white-handled knife. Rose petals are sprinkled around the ritual space, preferably ones that have been given to the witch as a love-gift, then three candles are charged and light. The caster then concentrates on the person in whom she is interested as the gold candle is lit (see the material components). Once all three candles are lit, the caster must make Concentration check and compare the result to the chart below.
DC 10 or less
The first member of the opposite sex met after this ritual will be attracted to the witch. DC 15 The intended person will look favorably on the witch. DC 20 or above The intended person will pay court to the witch, for at least 1d6 days, though if he isn't interested after this time, his love will fade. When the ritual is completed, the remains of the candles are buried in the witch's garden. If the targeted individual is not already romantically inclined towards the witch, he is allowed a Will saving throw against this spell. If this save succeeds, then the spell only has a short duration, after which the targeted individual wonders just why he behaved like that! Material Component: Three candles, one red, one silver and one gold along with a basket of rose pedals. The silver candle represents the witch, the gold one her intended lover and the red one the love that will flourish between them (male witches may wish to reverse this and use the silver one for their intended and the gold one to represent themselves). LOVE IDENTITY CANDLE Divination Level: Wit 1 Components: V, S, M Casting Time: 1 hour Range: Special Target: Candle Duration: Special Saving Throw: None Spell Resistance: No This spell is used to enable the witch to visualize her future partner. Once charged, a pink candle is lit and the witch gazes into the flame. She sees either the person she is fated to marry, or something about him, in the flame. The caster then makes a Ritual check, and depending on the result, she gains a certain amount of information concerning person: DC 10 DC 15 DC 20
Love Identity Candle may be performed on behalf of another, who must be present when the spell is cast. However, unless they have power (i.e. they are a spellcaster of some kind), only the witch is able to see the images in the candle flame, and so must describe them to the querant. MEMORY CANDLE Enchantment Level: Wit 3 Components: V, S, M Casting Time: 1 hour Range: Touch Target: Candle Duration: 5 minutes Saving Throw: None Spell Resistance: None This spell enables the recipient of the candle on which it is cast to recall something that she has heard or seen in precise detail. She may absorb up to five minutes of information (e.g. a conversation), and thereafter retains the memory indefinitely. Recording is a deliberate act, and is begun by lighting the ensorcelled candle, which must be kept alight for the full period over which recording takes place. The candle should be extinguished as soon as recording finishes, and has to be re-lit to enable the information to be recalled. Material Component: A yellow candle. After it has been lit and extinguished twice, it crumbles to dust. PROSPERITY CANDLE Conjuration Level: Wit 2 Components: V, S, M Casting Time: 1 hour Range: Special Target: Caster Duration: Special Saving Throw: None Spell Resistance: None This spell is often used by a witch who finds herself in need of money, or who finds it difficult to hang onto the cash she has. The candle (see the material component) is charged and placed on an altar beside a piece of lodestone, and completely burned. The coin and lodestone are then buried under the witch's hearth. After completing the spell, the witch receives a +2 circumstance bonus to any skill checks she is required to make concerning any financial dealings she undertakes for the next day. Material Component: A green candle, a silver coin embedded in its base; a piece of loadstone.
Vague image, general impression of the individual's profession. Clear image, but with no indication of location; more detail of concerning what he does. Complete and identifiable picture, hint to his name or location. DC 25 Name or location revealed.
"Familiars are animals often associated with sorcerers and wizards, but witches have them, too," Mirelle said to Prince Volunmyr. "Witch familiars have a natural affinity for magic, and they often assist their partner in meditation, spells, and healings. Many of them are excellent guardians. It is even said that far in the past a powerful witch called Dalyn called up an army of familiars, which saved Myrra from oppression. "Witches soul-link with their familiars, so what one feels, so does the other. When knowledgeable outsiders capture witches, they often separate the witch from the familiar, as this increases the mental pressure on both: only those deep in witchly practices can concentrate without their animal associate. The longer the separation, the weaker both become. Witch familiars can live as long as their witch companion, but should the witch die, the familiar dies also. If, on the other hand a witch’s familiar is killed and she herself survives the death, she sinks into profound depression, one from which she may never recover—this is especially true among neophytes. A powerful witch may survive, but only after tremendous mental struggle, and she remains weak for some time afterward. Usually, she claims another familiar after a ritual performed to settle her dead familiar’s soul. The ritual also allows her former familiar’s spirit to guide her to a new companion." "They are that strong, even from the World Beyond?" asked Volunmyr. "Yes, Sire. Such animals are a part of a Circle, much as their witch is, and join in all rituals and power raisings. Occasionally, adept twin familiars or a pair from the same litter are adopted, but only powerful dythanes do this, such as Amarlyne the Brown, who has two
Table 6—2: Other Witch Familiars Location Table* (roll 1d12; these familiars may only be gained by a witch with the Multiple Familiars feat) Required Creature Slots 1 Bear 3 2 Canid 2 (dog) / 3 (wolf) 3 Caton 2 4 Fox 2 5 Gargoyle 5 6 Gryphon 5 7 Hart 2 8 Mynik 2 9 Otter (river) 2 10 Ratarq (2d4) 1 each 11 Ringur 2 12 Tiramne 4
Table 6—3: Witch Familiars These special abilities only apply when the witch and familiar remain within a certain distance of each other: 1-mile/4 witch levels. Familiar Badger Bat Bear Cat Canid Caton
Special Witch gains a +2 bonus to Wilderness Lore checks while using the Track feat; digging ability*. — Witch gains +2 Strength bonus, scent ability Witch gains a +2 bonus to Move Silently checks Witch gains a +2 bonus to Listen checks; +2 bonus to Wilderness Lore checks while using the Track feat Caton are able to learn and cast 0-level and 1st-level spells as if it were a sorcerer 3 levels lower than its witch; automatic detect magic ability 1/day Fox Witch gains a +2 to Gather Information and Hide checks Gargoyle Witch gains a +2 Concentration bonus Gryphon Confers ability to fly (as spell) on the witch 1/day, but only if she holds the gryphon’s tail. Hart The hart can recall routes through any outdoor place perfectly, but needs to lead the witch, as they are not able to describe it Hawk — Mynik Witch gains a +2 bonus to Hide checks Otter Witch gains a +2 bonus to Swim checks; pseudo-invisibility effect^ Owl Has low-light vision; witch gains a +2 bonus on Move Silently checks Parrot Screech ability used in battle gives all opponents a -2 circumstance modifier on their attack rolls for one round (usable a number of times per day equal to the level of the witch to whom the parrot is a familiar) Rat Witch gains a +2 bonus to Fortitude saves Ratarq Witch gains a +2 bonus to Fortitude saves and a +2 bonus to Pick Pocket checks Raven Speaks one language; witch gains a +2 bonus to Listen checks; ability to repeat something heard back verbatim (the raven can recall up to one minute’s speech per level of the witch) Ringur Witch has a +2 bonus to Pick Pocket checks Snake (Tiny) Poisonous bite Tiramne Fortune – one die roll may be rerolled per day Toad (Giant) Witch gains a +2 bonus to Jump checks; healing properties# Toad Witch gains +2 to Constitution score Weasel Witch gains a +2 bonus on Reflex saves # Secretions from the toad’s hide may be used in the creation of healing lotions that are particularly efficacious against skin disorders --- providing a +2 circumstance bonus to Heal checks when the lotion is used as part of the treatment of any skin disease or disorder. * Either the badger or the witch can dig through soil earth at a rate equivalent to their own body length each round. The hole so constructed will not collapse, but instead forms a tunnel, which they or others may crawl through (assuming such creatures are of the same size or smaller). ^ Otters become ‘invisible’ by fading into immobility. An otter which freezes in this way while in a forested or aquatic region is treated as if invisible to all those scanning the area… until it moves. This only works if the otter is unobserved when it becomes immobile. The witch may also use this ability if in physical contact with the beaver familiar when it is used.
Chapter 6: familiars
ringurs. Combinations of catons and canids are also known. Ratarqs usually do not mix with anything but their own kind, and they come in numerous family units. Familiars are strong enough that most witches are content with one or two. "The language mentally spoken between familiars is the most ancient of Myrra. It began when the god Op-ta’tosep spoke to his beautiful creation after creating the land. The language has changed over the years, however, and now witches study and search for the meanings to forgotten old words, so they can employ the originals in their spells."
Witch familiars Witch familiars are magical animals that partner themselves with witches. They are generally more intelligent and powerful than the familiars that sorcerers and wizards call, yet, unlike these "normal familiars", though they are companions, they are not necessarily servants. Witches often have to bargain and placate these animals to maintain their aid—much like they would an NPC—as these creatures have strong personalities of their own. As a witch rises in power, her familiars (a witch with the Multiple Familiars feat may have more than one, see Chapter 3) gains access to familiar feats. These feats allow a player to customize their witch’ familiars, thus no two familiars of the same animal type are necessarily the same. Even though a multiclassed witch may have two or more character classes that allow familiars, only one familiar is permitted (unless the witch has the Multiple Familiars feat mentioned above). Witches combine only their witch class, and any witch prestige classes, for the purposes of determining their familiar’s abilities. CHOOSING FAMILIARS Starting at 1st level, a witch can call a familiar. Doing so takes a day and uses up magical materials that cost 100 gp. A familiar is a magical, unusually tough, and intelligent version of a small animal. It is a magical beast, not an animal. A witch’s familiar will make its presence known within 1d12 days after the witch’s call. The familiar serves as the witch’s soul-bound companion, but woe to the witch who treats her familiar as a mere servant. These creatures see themselves as equals (if not superiors), so a witch must be careful to treat them as such, else they may refuse to offer their continuing aid. These are not your wizard/sorcerer familiars! Also, unlike sorcerers and wizards, witches do not necessarily choose the type of familiar they receive. This selection process is "fated" in the cosmos, though a witch may certainly attempt to attract the type of creature she most desires (see the Attract special ability under the witch class in Chapter 2), or she may actively search such a creature out and attempt to woo it to assist her (a Diplomacy check of a least DC 25 would be in order, though gifting the creature or performing some service for it could lower this check—GM’s option; of course, a GM may just insist the player roleplay such a request out, deciding the outcome based on the player’s performance). No matter the outcome or method used to gain a familiar, most witches believe the Goddess preordained the resulting companion to join them; they were destined to cross paths and have always been soul mates.
The simplest method of obtaining a familiar, of course, is to roll on one of the following two charts. If a witch does not have access to the Multiple Familiars feat, then the she rolls on the first table (unless the GM prefers to make such rolls herself). If she does have the Multiple Familiars feat, she may possess as many familiars as she has levels (referred to herein as slots). Thus, an 8th-level witch with the Multiple Familiars feat could have up to 8 slots of familiars. Gaining a larger or more powerful familiar detracts more of the witch’s available slots. In the example above, then, an 8th-level witch may have 8 familiars or less than 8, depending on the slot cost of the familiars who heed her call. If a witch only has one slot remaining, then roll on the first table. If she has two slots remaining and rolls a three-slot familiar, then the closest two-slot familiar should be given her. If the familiar dies, or the witch chooses to dismiss it, the witch must attempt a Fortitude saving throw (DC 17). If the saving throw fails, the witch loses 200 experience points per class level. A successful saving throw reduces the loss to half of that amount. However, a witch's experience point total can never go below zero as the result of a familiar's demise. A slain or dismissed familiar cannot be replaced for a year and day. Slain familiars can be raised from the dead just as characters can be, but do not lose a level or a Constitution point when this happy event occurs. FAMILIAR BASICS Use the basic statistics for a creature of its type (note that some of these creatures are detailed later in this chapter), but make these changes: Hit Dice: Treat as the witch's character level (for effects related to Hit Dice). Use the familiar's normal total if it is higher. Hit Points: One-half the witch's total, rounded down. Attacks: Use the witch's base attack bonus. Use the familiar's Dexterity or Strength modifier, whichever is greater, to get the familiar's melee attack bonus with unarmed attacks. Damage equals that of a normal creature of that type. Saving Throws: The familiar uses the witch's base saving throw bonuses if they're better than the familiar's. Skills: Use the normal skills for an animal of that type or the witch's, whichever are better. FAMILIAR ABILITY DESCRIPTIONS All familiars have special abilities (or impart abilities to their witches) depending on the level of the witch. The abilities are cumulative. Natural Armor: This number improves the familiar's AC. Intelligence: The familiar's Intelligence score. Wisdom: The familiar’s Wisdom score. Familiar Feat: Witch familiars gain feats as they rise in level. See the Familiar Feats section later in this chapter for a list of available feats. Improved Evasion: If the familiar is subjected to an attack that normally allows a Reflex saving throw for half damage, the familiar takes no damage if it makes a successful saving throw and half damage even if the saving throw fails. Improved evasion is an extraordinary ability.
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Empathic Link: The witch has an empathic link with the familiar out to a distance of up to one mile. The witch cannot see through the familiar's eyes, but the two of them can communicate telepathically. This is a supernatural ability. Because of the empathic link between the familiar and the witch, the witch has the same connection to an item or place that the familiar does. For instance, if her familiar has seen a room, a witch can teleport into that room as if she has seen it too. Speak with Animals of Its Type: The familiar can communicate with animals of approximately the same type as itself (including dire variants). The communication is limited by the Intelligence of the conversing creatures. Scry: If the witch is 13th level or higher, she may scry on the familiar (as if casting the spell scrying) once per day. This is a spell-like ability that requires no material components or focus.
Table 6—4: Familiar Special Abilities Witch Natural Class Lev. Armor Int 1-2 +1 8
3-4 5-6 7-8
+2 +3 +4
9 10 11
12 13 14
9-10 11-12 13-14 15-16 17-18 19-20
+5 +6 +7 +8 +9 +10
12 13 14 15 16 17
15 16 17 18 19 20
Special Familiar feat x2, improved evasion, empathic link Familiar feat Familiar feat Speak with animals of its type
Familiar feat Scry on familiar Familiar feat Familiar feat
Table 6—5: Familiar Feats Feat Astral Travel Combine Improved Invisibility Invisibility Mimicry Predict Weather Psionics Record Information Scent Magic Share Spells Speak with Witch Spellcasting Spell Resistance Spell Storing Superior Memory Touch Track
Prerequisite -Spells Invisibility feat --Wis 12+ Int 12+; Wis 12+ Int 12+ ---Int 12+; Wis 12+ --Int 13+ ---
ASTRAL TRAVEL [General] The familiar can travel to the astral plane. Prerequisite: None. Benefit: The familiar can travel to the astral plane once per day, as per the astral projection spell (see the PHB for details), though it may not take any other creatures (even its witch) along with it. This ability is treated as a spell cast by a 18th-level sorcerer. COMBINE [General] The familiar can add its power to a witch combined ritual. Prerequisite: Spellcasting ability. Benefit: The familiar adds power to any ritual it participates in at a level of one-half of its witch’s power level (though its witch must be the witch directing the ritual for this to take effect). Note that the familiar counts as one separate witch for all other purposes associated with the ritual (see Chapter 4 for details on Combing Witch magic and True Rituals). IMPROVED INVISIBILITY [General] The familiar has an inherent ability to become invisible, and remain so under almost any circumstances. Prerequisite: Invisibility feat. Benefit: The familiar’s ability to become invisible improves to be as per the improved invisibility spell and is usable up to 2/day (see the PHB for details). This ability is treated as a spell cast by a sorcerer equal in level to the familiar’s witch (even if this is technically too low to ordinarily cast the spell). INVISIBILITY [General] The familiar has the ability to become invisible. Prerequisite: None. Benefit: The familiar can become invisible as per the invisible spell up to 2/day (see the PHB for details). This ability is treated as a spell cast by a sorcerer equal in level to the familiar’s witch (even if this is technically too low to ordinarily cast the spell). MIMICRY [General] The familiar can mimic any sound it hears. Prerequisite: None. Benefit: After listening to a sound for at least 1 minute, the familiar can accurately reproduce it any time it pleases. PREDICT WEATHER [General] The familiar can predict the weather. Prerequisite: Wis 12+. Benefit: The familiar can accurately predict the weather for the next 2 hour per its witch’s level. PSIONICS [General] The familiar has several psionic powers. Prerequisite: Int 12+; Wis 12+. Benefit: The familiar must choose a discipline and may then use each of the 0-level powers of that discipline up to 3/day. RECORD INFORMATION [General] The familiar can perfectly recall something heard or seen. Prerequisite: Int 12+. Benefit: The familiar is able to recall something that it has heard or seen in precise detail. It may absorb up to five minutes of
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information (e.g. a conversation), and thereafter retains the memory until it is repeated to the witch. Recording is a deliberate act, and attempting to record more than five minutes’ worth results in earlier material being ‘over-recorded.’ SCENT MAGIC [General] The familiar can detect magic with its sense of smell. Prerequisite: None. Benefit: The familiar is able to detect the use of magic (but not its nature) within a 60-ft. radius as per the detect magic spell at will. This ability is treated as a spell cast by a sorcerer equal in level to the familiar’s witch (even if this is technically too low to ordinarily cast the spell). SHARE SPELLS [General] Any spell the witch can cast can be cast on the familiar as well. Prerequisite: None. Benefit: At the witch's option, she may have any spell she casts on herself also affect a familiar. The familiar must be within 5 feet at the time. If the spell has a duration other than instantaneous, the spell stops affecting the familiar if it moves farther than 5 feet away. The spell's effect will not be restored even if the familiar returns to the witch before the duration would otherwise have ended. Additionally, the witch may cast a spell with a target of "You" on a familiar (as a Touch range spell) instead. The witch and familiar can share spells even if the spells normally do not affect creatures of the familiar's type. SPEAK WITH WITCH [General] The familiar can speak with its witch. Prerequisite: None. Benefit: The familiar and witch can communicate verbally as if they were using a common language. Other creatures do not understand the communication without magical help. SPELLCASTING [General] The familiar can cast spells. Prerequisite: Int 12+, Wis 12+. Benefit: The familiar can cast detect magic 3/day, ghost sound 3/day, know direction 3/day, detect undead 1/day, invisibility to animals 1/day and pass without trace 1/day. These spells are spell-like abilities are treated as spells cast by a sorcerer equal in level to the familiar’s witch. SPELL STORING [General] The familiar can store one spell for its witch. Prerequisite: Spellcasting ability. Benefit: The familiar may store one spell on the witch’s behalf. The spell must be cast onto the familiar, but the intent to store it is declared rather than having the spell take its normal effect. The spell may be called upon by the witch at will, for up to 1 day per level of the witch after it has been stored. (A familiar with the Psionics feat may store a psionic power rather than a spell.)
SPELL RESISTANCE [General] The familiar gains spell resistance. Prerequisite: Witch must be 11th level or higher. Benefit: The familiar gains spell resistance equal to the witch's level + 5. SUPERIOR MEMORY [General] The familiar can remember information for a witch. Prerequisite: Int 13+. Benefit: The familiar can carry information supplied to it by the witch, and recall it at will. Information transfer is a deliberate act, and requires 5 minutes for the amount of information that would fill one page of a standard book. This includes the ability to store the witch’s Book of Shadows in its memory. Once in memory, the information remains there and can be related by the familiar to the witch at any time (assuming they have a way to communicate). TOUCH [General] The familiar can deliver touch spells for the witch. Prerequisite: Witch must be 3rd level or higher. Benefit: The familiar can deliver touch spells for the witch. When the witch casts a touch spell, the familiar can be designated as the "toucher." (The witch and the familiar have to be in contact at the time of casting.) The familiar can then deliver the touch spell just as the witch could. If the witch casts another spell before the familiar delivers the touch spell to a target, the touch spell dissipates and is lost. TRACK [General] The familiar can follow the trails of creatures and characters across most types of terrain. Prerequisite: None. Benefit: The familiar can track as per the Track feat (see PHB for details). Special: Note that a familiar that also has the Scent ability receives a +2 synergy bonus when using this ability rather than trying to simply track via scent alone.
FAMILIAR STATISTICS All Familiars gain an Intelligence bonus based on the Witch’s level as given on the Familiars Special Abilities Table (see Table 6—4 above). The base statistics of many of these creatures can be found in the MM, so that tome should be consulted for full details. Familiars differ from the MM description as noted below. Mirelle’s Notes: The following is a list of most of the animals employed throughout Myrra as familiars. This is not an exhaustive gathering--many more types of familiars exist. BADGERS—Badgers are large, lumbering, coarse-coated animals with huge claws on four wide, padded feet. They have bushy tails and narrow, triangular faces and small ears. They also have broad, black noses, and they rely heavily on their acute sense of smell. Their mouths are relatively small and full of very sharp teeth. Their eyes are black and intense and their bodies are wide rather than narrow. They have short, muscular legs, which
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end in deadly claws. Stripes of yellowish-cream color, which start in narrow bands at their shoulders and end just before their tails, mark the edge of their brown-black coats. Badgers are strong physically, and know it--they swipe other animals out of the way without concern, or run them down when they are hungry. Badgers can lope for hours without flagging, and they are superb hunters, tracking by both scent and sight. Badgers are renowned for their bad tempers and argumentative natures. Like weasels, they mutter constantly about everything they see, hear, and feel. When confronted with a threat, their first reaction is to stand still, bare their teeth, and growl: badgers do not retreat—they fight to the death, no matter how large the opponent, which is why their witches go out of their way to separate them from conflict. They have little or no sense of humor, and they hate bears. A strong sense of curiosity drives them, and they are very protective of their witches, and often jealous of outside attentions. Badgers bring their partners a tremendous energy, drive, and sense of purpose. Witches must petition a badger to become their familiar, working out extensive bargains. As badgers make excellent guardians, vitkes often seek them out to help protect their coven. More often than not, however, badgers join forces with Solis, as the creatures admire the Solis’ sense of adventure and they prefer to travel. Their argumentative natures also make them less desired as coven members, though gray witches and vitkes can often soothe their natures. Should a timid witch gain one as a familiar, her personality soon changes to reflect her badger’s. Tanley of Caradour was just such a witch. When a badger stepped into her life, Tanley changed from a self-effacing, studious young woman into a formidable vitke. Too, there are stories of strong, stubborn witches who gained badger familiars. Some of them went on to do great things; others, such as Banalay--later called Banalay the Bloodletter--became too warlike. A gray witch later silenced Banalay’s reign of terror. Some badgers have been known to have the ability to travel to the astral plane, and some badgers are even prone to psionic abilities. Also, some badgers have been known to have the ability to combine their magic with their witches and Circle. A badger’s base statistics are unchanged from those presented in the MM. BEARS—Bears are great lumbering beasts with hulking bodies. Their necks are short and bend forward from the shoulders; when they walk, their heads are often lower than their backs. They have very short tails, which are said to be short because a great door sheared the first bear’s bushy tail off when it tried to escape with honey it had stolen from Heaven. Bears have four muscular legs that end in huge paws with long, thick claws, which they use for digging as well as defense. They have rounded ears set high on their relatively flat heads. Their eyes are black, but not acute. They rely much more on their keen sense of smell than their sight. Bears have sharp teeth that are perfect for rending fresh meat. Their coarse coats are usually white, golden, brown, or black. Some bears have psychic abilities, but most do not. There seems to be no pattern or coherent reason for this. Bears with magical leanings have a vague sense of unease until they meet
their witches: this makes them wander, sometimes for long distances. Once they find their partners, bears become their staunch protectors. A witch’s strength immediately increases if she gains a bear familiar. Although these animals can be argumentative, suspicious, and bad tempered, a thoughtful, focused witch can bridle these traits. Although most bears normally hibernate during the winter months, bear familiars do not. Bears’ attitudes toward life are opposite than those of otters; bears take life as it comes—unless threatened. When threatened, bears exhibit their true strength, barring access both physically and psychically to any encroachers. Bears never give up; they fight to the death, and sometimes they continue to fight even after death. One story is still told about Gerand of Karasath and his familiar Kogarr. When Gerand was killed during a confrontation between covens, Kogarr died also. But the bear’s spirit, strong as it was, continued to seek out the witch who had killed him and his witch partner, and he eventually psychically took her life. A bear familiar’s base statistics are always those of a black bear (as presented in the MM), no matter what color the creature’s coat is. CANIDS—Four-legged, furred creatures of diverse looks, colors, and sizes, usually having a tail and dull, non-retractable claws on their padded paws. More docile than catons, canids bind to their soul-linked witches with open adoration. Also, their mouths are much wetter than a catons’ (see below), so their affection is often damper. Canids are earthy animals; they enjoy a good dig in the soil or a roll in anything redolent. Many love to play, and they can be trained through games. They also make excellent guardians, protecting their witches to the utmost of their ability. Their hearing is acute, even the ones with flapped ears, and canids have excellent noses: they can often "scent" magic, trace another being over land or water, and predict storms and earthquakes. Once given a project, canids focus narrowly and steadily on it, and they stay riveted to the task until their witches call them off. Canids can recognize a person years after having scenting them only once. In general, canids react to situations a bit slower than catons, but their thoroughness makes them invaluable allies. Unwavering in the face of any enemy, they bristle, show their teeth, flatten their ears, and growl from the chest when preparing to fight. Some canids can travel to the astral plane, though most prefer to go there only when accompanied by their witch. There exists a famous story about a large black and gold shorthair familiar named Tuck, however, who traveled alone to the astral plane to rescue his witch companion, dythane Marbeth Tremlay. The canid family includes that most elusive and elegant hunter, the wolf. Silver-furred and white hued individuals are known as moonwolfs. Charcoal and black-coated individuals are called darkwolves, and rusty-red specimens redwolves. The smaller honey and cream variety of the Arrani Desert are called goldenwolves. A witch who obtains a wolf canid familiar is the envy of her peers, as the wolf’s heart is not easily diverted from the pack, which forms its family; it is a rare soul that ventures forth to seek witchly companionship. Wolves are very strong, both physically and psychically. Some say their congregational
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howlings are covens raising power. Powerful witches can tap into that, using the wolves’ energy to enhance their own. When wolves fix another being (humanoid or animal) with their stare, they can read that being’s soul. Woe to the creature who does not measure up or quails before those penetrating eyes. Their quiet, intense love and approbation, however, is believed to be a goddess-gift. Most canids are treated as dogs (see MM), but wolf-form canids are treated as wolves (see MM). Canids are exceptionally intelligent, gaining a +1 Intelligence score beyond what they would normally have as a witch’s familiar. CATONS— Four-legged creatures normally possessed of long tails and padded paws that sheathe wicked claws. They have relatively small heads, which house great cunning, and forwardpointing ears, which signal their mood. These animals can be small to quite large, and they have fur that can vary from one caton to the next in terms of color, length, and thickness. Most are accomplished leapers, and some can even swim. They have the remarkable ability to purr, which is exclusive to their kind, and this soothing, restful sound often assists witches during meditation. Catons are subtle thinkers, and their playful humor is often somewhat sarcastic. In addition, some catons are psychic. Catons make excellent familiars, although their innate curiosity can sometimes lead a witch along unexpected paths. Very often these paths, though seemingly wrong, often prove to be the most beneficial—though not always, of course. These animals are highly affectionate, and most are very protective. One cannot own a caton--witches say you must learn to live with them, achieving balance, and a witch must earn the caton’s respect before it even deigns to accept a partner. Once the witch establishes trust with the caton, the animal remains dedicated to that witch for life, and its heart never wavers. Some mother catons insist on choosing a kit for familiarseeking witches. Tales exist of solo catons searching out solitary witches and "adopting" them--to that witch’s great surprise. These creatures are particularly adept at understanding the process and degree of magic, which is why witches seek their company. Some catons can cast low-level spells, and some can even walk the astral plane. Catons are also adept at predicting earth-based violence, such as storms and volcanic eruptions. Witches often use the quick, agile catons’ intensity and hunting prowess against her enemies. Catons’ hearts are large, and their memories are long; their retribution is often patient—cross a witch’s caton familiar at your own peril. Treat as a cat (see MM). The caton has very alert senses, giving it a +8 racial bonus to Listen and Spot checks. Catons are exceptionally intelligent, gaining a +1 Intelligence score beyond what they would normally have as a witch’s familiar. FOXES—Some say foxes are a mix between catons and canids, acting very much like the former, while appearing more like the latter. They have long legs, extended, bushy tails, medium-length, coarse coats, and narrow, pointed heads surmounted by erect ears. In color, they range from pale golden orange to glossy dark red and reddish-black (very rare). Foxes often seem suspicious of new situations, but once measured and accepted,
they leap in with joy and curiosity. They have a sly side, and they often play mental games with their witches. Naturally mischievous, foxes often make trying companions. Unlike the canids and catons, foxes like to wander from their witch’s side, preferring instead to roam a bit on their own. Foxes are good at gathering information, and they can sense sudden changes in the earth, which makes them excellent at predicting natural upheavals. These animals are fleet, and they make trustworthy messengers. Some foxes can even become invisible at will. Treat as dog (see MM), but its bite is more vicious (1d6 damage), and it has racial skill bonuses of Climb +7, Hide +10 and Spot +5. GARGOYLES—Gargoyles include any number of fairly large, odd-looking creatures with wings. Mundanes often consider them demons because their appearances are so frightening. Although there are various kinds of gargoyles, most normally resemble Myrrans, except they have spikes on their spines, horns atop their heads, tails with mace-like appendages on the ends, and huge fangs. Their stone-like skin appears to be made from granite or marble, but is actually leathery and slightly warm to the touch. No one knows exactly where the first gargoyle came from. They are highly magical, and may have been created from magic. Not even their Myrran witch partners know their true essence (or they have sworn not to reveal it). They have ice-colored eyes or bottomless black ones, and they seem to notice everything and nothing all at once. Gargoyles are very patient, and they can move so slowly that they appear not to be moving at all. This ability, coupled with their skin coloration, often makes onlookers believe they are mere statues, not life forms. Some gargoyles can travel to the astral plane. A gargoyle’s base statistics are unchanged from those presented in the MM. GIANT TOADS—Possibly the least attractive familiars, giant toads are gray-brown creatures with bumpy skin. Contrary to popular belief, their skin is not slimy. Toads live against bare, moist ground that is cool to the touch. They consume insects and nearly anything else smaller than themselves. Giant toads are about the size of a large dinner plate, and they have four legs ending in partially webbed toes. Their back legs are easily three times as long as their front legs, and they remain bent beneath their body. These long, powerful legs allow the toad to leap tremendous distances. Toads have sleepy black and gold eyes atop their heads, and they have snouts that end in a round point above their mouths, which are often as large as the toads themselves. Unlike frogs, toads use their surprisingly small voice, which sounds like a cross between a small chirping bird and a cricket, sparingly. The sound they make can travel for some distance, though. Toads have a sense of humor, and they enjoy playing practical jokes on their witches and other animals and familiars. Reasonable creatures, they often mediate squabbles—some of which are the results of their own jokes. Nonetheless, others regard them as creatures of good judgment because of their abilities to listen, consider, and offer equitable solutions. Their pres-
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ence in a Circle guarantees minimal disagreements, so dythanes often seek witch-toad pairs for their covens. Toads like their freedom, too, so they often disappear for hours or days, returning without explanation. Toad familiars prefer to be bargained for, and after hearing some witches speak of the grueling ordeal— lengthy bargaining sessions that can go on for days before an agreement is met—it is amazing that any witch would request such an animal partner for her familiar. Some giant toads can walk the astral plane. A normal toad’s base statistics are unchanged from those presented in the MM. GIANT TOAD Small Animal Hit Dice: 1d8+2 (hp 6) Initiative: +1 (Dex) Speed: 20 ft., hop 30 ft. AC: 14 (+1 Dex, +2 natural, +1 size) Attacks: Bite +3 melee Damage: Bite 1d4 Face/Reach: 2 _ ft. by 2 _ ft./0 ft. Special Attacks: Hop-by attack Special Qualities: Healing secretions Saves: Fort +3, Ref +4, Will +1 Abilities: Str 10, Dex 14, Con 15, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 4 Skills: Climb +2, Hide +11*, Jump +12, Listen +2, Spot +2 Feats: Weapon Finesse (bite) ____________________________________________ Climate/Terrain: Aquatic, Marsh. Organization: Solitary Challenge Rating: _ Treasure: Standard Alignment: Always neutral Advancement: 3-5 HD
bright, analytical eyes and large, hooked beaks. Gryphons can emit high, piercing, three-noted calls. Sometimes gryphons hop like birds; other times they pounce like catons—it all depends on their mood and the prey that they are stalking. Despite their odd-looking positioning of their wings, which are attached behind their shoulder blades, they can also fly. Gryphons tend to be haughty and stubborn, but they also enjoy playing jokes. They’re known for killing prey outright one day, and playing it to death the next. They do not get along with bears, badgers, or weasels, but surprisingly some play interesting games with otters, eagle owls, and catons. In general, gryphons make interesting familiars, though their dual eagle-lion natures make it difficult for them to make decisions. Witches with gryphons as familiars must be strong enough to make decisions for the stubborn creatures, else they are of little assistance; they spend all their time in thought, trying to decide these dilemmas for themselves. They are very loyal, however, though in a different sort of way. They do require time alone, and they have even been known to disappear in the midst of performing a ritual if it suits them to leave at that time. They have their own timing, so witches usually adapt to their idiosyncrasies. GRYPHON
COMBAT Giant toads behave much like their smaller, more mundane cousins, except that, due to their larger size, they prey upon larger creatures (mostly rodents, small mammals, etc.). Hop-by Attack (Ex): This ability functions just like Flyby Attack feat (see the MM) except that it works during mid-hop. Healing Secretions (Ex): Secretions from the toad’s hide may be used in the creation of healing lotions that are particularly efficacious against skin disorders --- providing a +2 circumstance bonus to Heal checks when the lotion is used as part of the treatment of any skin disease or disorder. Skills: * Giant toads gain a +4 circumstance bonus to Hide checks when in wet, marshy surroundings due to their dark coloration and rough skin; this in not factored in. GRYPHONS—Gryphons are creatures that look like small lions with an eagle’s head and wings. They have four large paws with retractable claws, and short-furred tails, which are longer than their bodies and end in tufts of hair. Their coats are short and coarse, and they are often sand, buff, or occasionally golden brown in hue, as they live mostly in the deserts. They have
Large Magical Beast Hit Dice: 5d10+5 (32 hp) Initiative: +3 (Dex) Speed: 30 ft., fly 50 ft. (good) AC: 15 (+3 Dex, +3 natural, -1 size) Attacks: 2 claws +8 melee, bite +3 melee Damage: Claw 1d8+4, bite 2d6+2 Face/Reach: 5 ft. by 10 ft./5 ft. Special Attacks: Rake 1d8+2 Special Qualities: Scent Saves: Fort +5, Ref +7, Will +1 Abilities: Str 19, Dex 16, Con 13, Int 13, Wis 10, Cha 11 Skills: Hide +7, Listen +7, Spot +7 Feats: Alertness, Combat Reflexes ____________________________________________ Climate/Terrain: Cold and temperate, hills or plains Organization: Solitary Challenge Rating: 4 Treasure: Standard Alignment: Chaotic, usually good or neutral Advancement: 6-8 HD (Huge) Looking like a bizarre cross between a lion and an eagle, a gryphon is a striking beast. It does not look as if its wings should bear it in flight, though they obviously do. Indeed, many scholars believe that it is magic rather than its wings that hold it aloft. COMBAT Gryphons prefer to attack using their claws, batting opponents about, sometimes in an almost playful manner. Rake (Ex): A gryphon that strikes an opponent with both claws can make two rake attacks (+8 melee) with its hind legs for 1d8+2 slashing damage.
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HARTS—Stately members of the deer family, harts have medium dun to dark red-brown coats of flat-lying, coarse hair on their stocky bodies, four long, narrow legs set on hardened toes, and short tails of lighter hue on their hindquarters. Despite their narrow legs, harts can bound over almost any obstacle with ease, and their stamina is prodigious. Harts have triangular heads that are wide above the ears and narrow at the nose. They have wide dark brown to black eyes that are set on either side of their head. Male harts have magnificent antlers (or racks), while females have smaller, spiky versions. Males must be wary of places with large, dense foliage, as such growth can entangle their racks. Witches who gain them as familiars often bespell the animals so this no longer bothers them. The wapiti, sometimes called elk, belong to the hart family, but they come from the great Janar forests at the far southern end of Myrra. They are larger, but they share the same body style and the same attributes as harts. Males have a rough mane of darker hair that cascades down the back of their heads and necks, ending at their chests. Their racks become truly impressive with age. Harts are normally rather peaceful herd animals, and witches with hart familiars must guard themselves against their panic explosions when their harts encounter uncertain or threatening situations. By nature, harts are the peacemakers, and they often intercede in arguments between the more aggressive familiars, like ringurs and catons, with whom they might share their Circle. Their friendship always bestows good luck. Harts have no magical ability themselves, but they are, instead, vessels capable of holding magic for short periods of time. They can also observe situations and their surroundings and remember every detail. Some archons have trained their hart familiars to carry their Books of Shadows in their vast memories by performing a Book of Shadow ritual and staring into their eyes, mentally setting down the details; Rumors say the great witch Thyfaldel of the Plains trained her hart to do so. Some harts can also travel the astral plane. HART Medium-Size Animal Hit Dice: 2d8+2 (11 hp) Initiative: +1 (Dex) Speed: 40 ft. AC: 14 (+2 Dex, +2 natural) Attacks: Gore +2 melee Damage: Antlers 1d6+1 Face/Reach: 5 ft. by 5 ft./5 ft. Special Attack: Charge Special Qualities: Scent Saves: Fort +2, Ref +4, Will +0 Abilities: Str 13, Dex 15, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 5 Skills: Balance +7, Hide +4, Jump +8. ____________________________________________ Climate/Terrain: Temperate plains Organization: Solitary or herd (20+ animals) Challenge Rating: 1 Treasure: None Alignment: Lawful Advancement: 3-5 HD (Medium)
A hart is a deer-like creature with short russet coat and magnificent antlers, the male being endowed with a more spectacular display than that of the female. Despite spindly-seeming legs, harts are very agile animals and can move swiftly over rough and uneven terrain. COMBAT Charge (Ex): When a hart charges, it does double damage with its antlers; once it has committed itself to a charge, however, it loses its normal +2 attack bonus as it is unable to deviate from its path even if the target dodges out of the way. MYNIKS—Myniks are semi-transparent animals with iridescent scales, apparently a cross between snakes and large snails. They are not slimy, except during mating season. The "foot" they ride on is larger than a snake’s, and they can use it as a gliding mechanism when they want to get from one tree to another quickly. Their eyes are opalescent, with black vertical slits. They have wide, triangular heads; short, blunt noses; and small teeth, meant for biting and gripping prey. When they are alarmed or interested, a sail, a plume of webbing between tiny bones, rises from behind their heads. This plume runs from yellow (fear) to a glossy green-blue (contentment). These serpents are mostly arboreal, preferring the trees known as spena and eldurr. Myniks can camouflage themselves against bark or foliage, which makes them very difficult to find. Only the aged or the sick are usually visible to normal eyesight, as are the very young, who have not yet mastered their camouflaging abilities. It is said that a witch searching for a familiar will be led to a certain mynik should that variety of creature be suitable for her, and she will always be able to see it. Myniks are, however, very choosy regarding their choice of partners, as the bonds between the two run very deep. It is no wonder that the ancient Myrran symbol for abiding trust and affection is a mynik. These serpents are extremely magical, and some can travel to the astral plane. Myniks "sing" when they are content, and this song sounds similar to a caton’s purr, but it has an actual melody. Some say the legends of the singing trees in the great Janar Forest are actually a group of Myniks in song, especially since the serpent creatures habitually reside there. MYNIK Medium-Size Magical Beast Hit Dice: 3d10+3 (19 hp) Initiative: +3 (Dex) Speed: 20 ft., climb 30 ft. AC: 15 (+3 Dex, +2 natural) Attacks: Bite +6 melee Special Qualities: Scent Damage: Bite 1d6+3 Face/Reach: 5 ft. by 5 ft./5 ft. Saves: Fort +4, Ref +6, Will +2 Abilities: Str 16, Dex 17, Con 13, Int 13, Wis 12, Cha 8 Skills: Balance +10, Climb +10, Listen +4, Perform (sing) +6, Spot +4 Feats: Alertness, Dodge
Chapter 6: familiars
____________________________________________ Climate/Terrain: Temperate or warm forests Organization: Groups of 2-5 individuals Challenge Rating: 2 Treasure: Magical items only Alignment: Normally good Advancement: 3-5 HD (Medium) A mynik looks like a wide, fleshy, short snake, with a glistening iridescent hide. It has an erectile crest, which it raises when excited – some scholars speculate that it is used as part of a courtship ritual. Myniks are equally at home on the ground or in trees, and they are noted for their singing.
It is not wise to vex an otter. One story concerning a black witch named Evun and his toad familiar, Tresor, shows why. Evun had begun using his spells to divert a certain river that Tresor’s folk, the river otters, favored. Tresor warned his witch to return things to normal and gift the otters for the trouble he had caused them. Evun, ignoring Tresor, persisted, hoping to gain the rich area beyond the river for a nearby lord, and hence a piece for himself. Sometime thereafter, Evun and Tresor vanished, never to be seen again. Most witches believe that Tresor took them both from this plane rather than allow Evun to continue harming the otter folk.
OTTERS—These creatures have the touch of the moon about them, as the Goddess Ga-sta is said to favor them. Long, narrow, and weasel-like, otters have very short legs that end in webbed feet with small claws. Their long bodies are quite flexible and compact. They have strong, tapering tails almost as long as their bodies that they use to propel themselves through lakes and rivers. Their dense coats lie close to their bodies, and are generally medium shades of brown in color. Otters’ high-domed heads are set on short necks, with tiny ears to both sides. Their eyes are sharp, wide, and black. They have relatively flat noses with coarse, pale bristling whiskers beneath. Their mouths are full of small sharp teeth. Otters are very social creatures, and like weasels, they mutter constantly about everything. When entering a strange situation, they raise their heads, instantly assess the place’s aura, and plunge in if they deem the area unthreatening. These animals possess tremendous energy and verve for life. Their playfulness blankets a positive practicality, which is an excellent lesson to all who observe them. Otters do not let anyone or anything interfere with their way of life. They maintain a strong focus on their tasks, but they do not let that focus blind them. They are also fearless. River otters are very rare. They are about four times larger than their cousins, and have longer necks. Most have patches of cream, amber, and various browns all over the main part of their bodies, which help them flit almost invisibly through shallow water. These creatures are often tremendously powerful psychics, but rarely seek out witch companions, except in times of trouble, whereby banded river otters elect one of their kind to find a witch to help them; in return for the help, the witch gains the otter as her familiar. One such exceptional witch was Shannilar of Dumorthene, who along with her river otter, saved Myrra a hundred years ago from a series of catastrophic storms. Legends say that the Goddess made otters from the spirits of Myrra’s first thirty witches. Because of this, these creatures are often gifted with magical abilities or psionic powers. Some otters can remain so still for short periods of time that they become virtually invisible while in plain sight. And some can work spell magic via short couplets loaded with meaning. Adoption by a mated pair of otters is rare and considered great luck; a tyro who manages to gain such a pair can climb to archon status fairly quickly. Celuna the Gray did just that after finding her pair. Otters are normally amenable to second familiars entering the relationship if both partners agree: catons, canids, owls, giant toads, harts, and occasionally bears have allied with the initial witch-otter combination. Because of their affinity with the earth, otters make ideal familiars for brown witches.
Tiny Animal / Medium-sized Animal Hit Dice: d8 (2 hp) / 2d8 (9 hp) Initiative: +2 (Dex) / +3 (Dex) Speed: 20 ft., swim 20 ft. / 30 ft., swim 30 ft. AC: 15 (+2 Dex, +1 natural, +2 size) / 16 (+3 Dex, +3 natural) Attacks: Bite -2 melee / Bite +0 melee Damage: Bite 1d3-4 / Bite 1d6-2 Face/Reach: 2 _ ft. by 2 _ ft./0 ft. / 5 ft. by 5 ft./5 ft. Saves: Fort +2, Ref +4, Will +1 / Fort +3, Ref +6, Will +2 Abilities: Str 3, Dex 15, Con 10, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 7 / Str 7, Dex 16, Con 10, Int 2,Wis 14, Cha 8 Skills: Balance +9, Hide +13*, Swim +15 / Balance +11, Hide +10*, Swim +14 Feats: Skill Focus (Hide) / Skill Focus (Hide) ____________________________________________ Climate/Terrain: Aquatic, Marsh / Rivers & Marshes Organization: Solitary or pack (3-7) / Solitary or pack (5-10) Challenge Rating: _ / 1 Treasure: Standard / Standard Alignment: Any / Often Lawful Good Advancement: 1-3 HD (Small) / 3-6 HD (Medium) An otter is an aquatic mammal. It has a flattish head with protruding eyes and whiskers, and an elongated body ending in a short tail that is used as a rudder when swimming. A typical otter pose, when curious about something or someone, is to rear up with the front paws under the chin and say, "Eeep, eeep." Skills: Otters receive a +4 racial bonus to Swim and Hide checks. *In aquatic conditions or areas or swampy group, an otter’s Hide bonus improves to +8.
OTTER / RIVER OTTER
OWLS—Although not as common as raven and parrot familiars, owls often choose to partner with witches—usually brown witches. It can be startling to see one of these large birds land on a witch’s arm or shoulder; the ones that are too big and heavy to do so generally keep close to their witch by perching on whatever branches or furniture can support them. Witches favor certain kinds of owls, particularly the horned, the great gray, and the huge eagle owl. All owls have feathered feet, scythe-like claws, and wicked, small beaks that easily tear apart meat. Their large eyes take in their surroundings with incredible precision, while their quick minds estimate objects’ distances and the speeds of any beings moving around them. Tufts of feathers rise from horned owls’ heads, looking a bit like horns, thus giving them
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their name. Great gray owls, barred in gray and black, have smooth crests and dish-shaped faces, which allow even the tiniest sound to reach their ears. The eagle owls have massive wingspans, as wide as a witch’s outstretched arms, with butter-colored feathers patterned with gray and black; eagle owls are the only owls that ordinarily fly in the daytime. Owls can turn their heads in nearly a full circle and they fly so silently that their unexpected appearance can shock others. Owls choose their witches, and it is an honor to receive one’s service. As owls mate for life, witches normally have familiars of the opposite sex, with the owl treating the witch as its platonic mate. Witches with owl familiars are often celibate because of this, as their owl familiars are very protective of their "mates." If a witch wants a lover, too, she does best to court a married pair of owls as familiars. The historian Ranagar says that Yvien the Brown had such a mated pair of owls, as the woman enjoyed her dalliances too much to court only one. Some owls can assist witches during power-raising rituals, and some owls can travel to the astral plane. Owls are very dutiful, taking their responsibilities seriously at all times. They keep their thoughts to themselves until necessary; when they do state their views, they do so in a quiet but powerful voice that rings the mind. Owls make extraordinarily powerful magical allies, and witches consider their affection a goddess-gift. An owl’s base statistics are unchanged from those presented in the MM. PARROTS—Slightly smaller than ravens, these birds come in bright greens, grays, and whites, commonly having patches of red, blue, yellow, and peach, depending on their family. They have naked legs, claws on each toe, and large, powerful bills that they can use as weapons and tools. Although parrots can fly, they can only stay in the air for short periods of time, so their range is limited. Like ravens, a witch must occasionally coerce these birds into performing their duties as familiars. Although they do not give affection easily, they can be quite charming when they are in a playful mood. Parrots attack enemies with their beaks, and their shrill cries can also unsettle these enemies. Their abilities to mimic are profound, and they are often perfected over very long life spans. These birds delight in gathering knowledge, sometimes startling their witches with their abilities to learn things. These mimic and knowledge abilities often make parrots spellcasters, and they sometimes assist in working magic with their witches. PARROT Tiny Animal Hit Dice: _ d8 (2 hp) Initiative: +2 (Dex) Speed: 10 ft., fly 40 ft. (average) AC: 14 (+2 Dex, +2 size) Attacks: Bite +4 melee Damage: Bite 1d3 Face/Reach: 2 _ ft. by 2 _ ft./0 ft. Special Attacks: Powerful beak Saves: Fort +2, Ref +3, Will +1. Abilities: Str 2, Dex 14, Con 10, Int 4, Wis 12, Cha 7. Skills: Climb +10, Listen +8, Spot +6. Feats: Weapon Finesse (bite)
____________________________________________ Climate/Terrain: Warm, forest Organization: Solitary, pairs or flocks (anything up to several hundred) Challenge Rating: _ Treasure: None Alignment: Any Advancement: 1 (tiny), 2 HD (Small) A parrot is a brilliantly-colored bird with a short or long tail and a large, powerful beak. Typical colors are red and gray or green and yellow, although other colors – such as a purplish-blue with yellow around the eyes or even all white – are known to exist. COMBAT Parrots are not normally aggressive, though they do not hesitate to defend themselves using their powerful beaks. Powerful Beak (Ex): Despite their overall low strength, parrots have very powerful beaks, which they commonly use as weapons and tools. Successful attacks by a parrot’s beak are not subject to the parrot’s negative Strength modifier. RATARQS—The ultimate member of the family rodentia, ratarqs are larger and more intelligent than normal rodents. They are opportunists, and have their own set of ideas about getting their way. Most are about the size of a small caton or canid. They have an arched spine and a long, naked tail. Relative to their bodies, their legs and clawed feet are small. Ratarqs have long, narrow heads with black eyes that taper to small noses with bristling whiskers. Two thin, erect ears sit upright on their heads. Their coloring varies from all white, to cream, to brown, black, and spotted with the aforementioned hues. There is even a rare long-haired variety. Their mouths are full of sharp teeth, commonly believed to be poisonous, but, in reality, they frequently infect their victims with disease. Ratarqs generally eat anything that does not eat them first. An onlooker can watch a ratarq actually think. Its eyes quest for advantage at every opportunity and the little creatures have a high energy level. They never seem to sink into deep sleeps: some say that if they ever fall completely asleep, they will die. Other creatures, like bears, wolves, larger canids and catons, kill ratarqs whenever they are able, though they never eat them. Oddly, owls do not eat them either. Ratarq familiars always come in pairs and sometimes in packs of as many as 5-9. Only very strong witches should attempt to take on ratarq familiars, because they are difficult to control, especially in large numbers. They skitter across their partner’s shoulders, through her hair, and up and down her arms and skirts constantly. Their allegiance is fleeting, and must be renewed periodically. (A witch called Ellanie the Brown is said to have a ratarq control spell, but I could find no reference to it. Calatin is currently attempting to track the down the veracity of this.) These creatures are very good at following trails, especially down small holes. They have a natural tendency to pick up shiny objects, and often grab such items and run off with them. Ratarqs are probably the least mentally attractive of familiars, but their sense of energy and curiosity can be of great help. They do have an occasional clownish side that is endearing.
Chapter 6: familiars
RATARQ Small Animal Hit Dice: 1d8+1 (5 hp) Initiative: +3 (Dex) Speed: 30 ft., climb 20 ft. AC: 17 (+3 Dex, +3 natural, +1 size) Attacks: Bite +1 melee Damage: Bite 1d4 Face/Reach: 5 ft. by 5 ft./5 ft. Special Attacks: Disease Special Qualities: Scent Saves: Fort +3, Ref +5, Will +0 Abilities: Str 10, Dex 17, Con 13, Int 3, Wis 10, Cha 4 Skills: Climb +10, Hide +11, Move Silently +6, Search +10 Feats: Dodge. ____________________________________________ Climate/Terrain: Any, especially urban Organization: Pairs or packs (3-9) Challenge Rating: _ Treasure: Standard Alignment: Chaotic neutral Advancement: 2-3 HD In appearance, a ratarq is much like a giant rat. It has an arched back and a hairless tail. A typical pose is with nose up and whiskers quivering, scanning the area with both its beady eyes and its excellent sense of smell. COMBAT Ratarqs are typically skittish, but when cornered or threatened can pose quite a danger with their wicked little fangs. Disease(Ex): Filth fever—bite, Fortitude save (DC 12), incubation period 1d3 days; damage 1d3 temporary Dexterity and 1d3 temporary Constitution (see Disease, Chapter 3 of the DMG). Skills: Ratarqs gain a +10 racial bonus to Climb and Search checks. RAVENS—Goodly-sized birds with black glossy feathers, piercing black eyes, and black beaks, ravens have dark, rough, bare legs and claws that extend from the ends of their four toes. These birds always appear to be assessing their surroundings, figuring out how matters might favor them. Ravens show their affection by continuing to return to their witches, often with shiny presents, and by being willing to work with other creatures. Sometimes ravens must be cajoled to work, for they generally do nothing that does not somehow benefit them. Ravens are ordinarily solitary, except for the occasional social gathering, where they gossip and trade poetry and trinkets. Ravens have acute hearing; they keep their ears cocked to the wind, often learning about what’s going on in another region before other beings. They make excellent spies and messengers, and they have long memories for words and verse. Some ravens can mimic other’s vocalizations, whether humanoid or animal, and they delight in irritating others with this ability. A raven’s base statistics are unchanged from those presented in the MM.
RINGURS—Short-legged animals with clawed padded feet, fox-like tails streaked with black, and longish, stocky bodies. Fuzzy, rounded, black ears with white tufts sit atop their high-domed heads. Their brandy or red-amber eyes sparkle intensely, almost startlingly so. They have moist black noses and short muzzles full of small teeth. Their body color ranges from a dark, rusty shade to black on their legs and paws. They walk aggressively. Ringurs are solitary (northern) forest dwellers, so they are normally quite suspicious of others. Fierce predators, they prey on small rodents and large insects. Their personalities are very direct; they cut through small matters and pounce on the heart of problems or difficulties--which often puts them in opposition to canids and catons within a Circle. Ringurs often argue with their witches, as they think they know best. Their affections are not obvious, but they do run very deep; they can be protective of their magical partners as well as jealous. While argumentative and often surly, these animals are extremely dedicated to their witch and her goals. Some ringurs can contribute power to Circle rituals and some can travel to the astral plane. RINGUR Tiny Animal Hit Dice: _ d8 (2 hp) Initiative: +2 (Dex) Speed: 30 ft., climb 30 ft. AC: 14 (+2 Dex, +2 size) Attacks: Bite -1 melee Damage: Bite 1d3-3 Face/Reach: 2 _ ft. by 2 _ ft./2 ft. Special Qualities: Scent Saves: Fort +2, Ref +4, Will +0 Abilities: Str 4, Dex 15, Con 10, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 6 Skills: Balance +10, Climb +10, Hide +12, Pick Pocket +7, Spot +5 Feats: Dodge ____________________________________________ Climate/Terrain: Temperate forests Organization: Solitary Challenge Rating: _ Treasure: Standard Alignment: Chaotic Advancement: 1 HD (Tiny), 2-3 HD (Small) A ringur is covered in reddish-brown fur, apart from its tail, which is banded in black and white. It is able to grip almost as well with its front and back paws, both of which appear hand-like, although they are black and leathery. The eyes are surrounded by tufts of light fur, which makes the creature look as if it were wearing furry spectacles. TIRAMNES—These very rare animals are somewhat smaller than a hart. Their body style resembles that of a horse, though two main features set it apart: a long, dense coat of fine fur and their three horns. Two of these horns are actually small spikes set beneath their ears; the other horn is an elegant, braided, round extension seated midway between the eyes about half an ell long. Tiramnes are gentle creatures—they are only aggressive when someone threatens their young, whereby, they attack with horns, hooves, and teeth--and
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they are extraordinarily magical; witches say the creatures are the embodiment of hope. In fact, just spotting one is said to charm one’s life. Legend tells that their magical abilities reside in their horns. This is why several important royal relics are set with tiramne spikes. It is said that Myncour the Black had a sword made of a tiramne’s long braided horn. Although others greatly value tiramne horns, the scholar-witch Athlayne recently proposed that it is the animal’s life force that embodies their magic, not their horns-- this being the reason the horns darken and eventually fall into splinters when separated from the dead creature (a live tiramne’s spikes glow faintly with a pearllike shimmer). Whether this is true or not, some scholars have noted that bad things have come to those who have severed these creatures’ horns from them. Tiramne organs are also said to have curative properties, but I know of no healer or alchemist who has effectively substantiated this. Earlier in Myrra’s history, people hunted these elegant creatures almost to extinction, just for their horns and fur. An uprising of fellow magical animals, headed by otters, owls, and catons, who persuaded several powerful witch covens to assist, saved the creatures from this fate. Tiramnes are loving souls, whose quiet appreciation for life touches everything and everyone around them. Dythane Kierlan the White, who has the privilege of a triamne as familiar, claims that their essence stems from deep within the earth, like magic itself. Tiramnes are known to possess the ability to concentrate on several things at one time. Some are even able to walk on the astral plane. TIRAMNE
6—4 earlier in this chapter) and instead begin with the Intelligence and Wisdom scores shown in the stat block above. These scores do not change as the familiar’s witch gains levels (unlike other familiars). WEASELS—This group includes ferrets, ermine, and an occasional mink. They are long, narrow, short-furred creatures with clawed and padded paws on the ends of their four short legs. Even with short legs, weasels move quickly over short distances. Their ears are small and rounded, and they have intense black eyes that search everything. They have black noses on the ends of their narrow, triangular faces, and they have a mouth full of needle-sharp teeth. Their bodies end in a tapering, furred tail, and they have scent glands near their tail and beneath their ears that give off a heavy musky fragrance. Weasels are "talkers," and they constantly mutter to themselves and each other in chattering voices. They prey on small rodents and birds, and they are extremely argumentative and quite fierce. Like ringurs, they focus unwaveringly on whatever attracts their attention. These animals are always busy, or they’re asleep-there seems to be no state for them between drowsy and content. Their energy occurs in bursts, so they do not generally have great stamina. Their sharp analytical abilities, which allow them to measure a situation as good or ill quickly, balance their intense, insatiable curiosity. When awake and active, some weasels can share their energy with a Solis or Circle. Some weasels also have been known to travel the astral plane. A weasel’s base statistics are unchanged from those presented in the MM.
Medium-Size Magical Beast Hit Dice: 4d10+4 (26 hp) Initiative: +3 (Dex) Speed: 60 ft. AC: 15 (+3 Dex, +2 natural) Attacks: Horn +6 melee, 2 hooves +1 melee Damage: Horn 1d8+2, hoof 1d4+1 Face/Reach: 5 ft. by 10 ft./5 ft. (10 ft. with horn) Saves: Fort +5, Ref +7, Will +1 Abilities: Str 14, Dex 16, Con 13, Int 15, Wis 13 Skills: Balance +7, Hide +10, Listen +4, Move Silently +7, Sense Motive +10, Spot +4, Wilderness Lore +8 Feats: Alertness, Run ____________________________________________ Climate/Terrain: Temperate forest Organization: Solitary Challenge Rating: 3 Treasure: Standard Alignment: Neutral good Advancement: 5-6 HD (Medium), 7-12 (Large) The tiramne appears like a small hart, but with a luxurious long silky coat and three horns rather than antlers. There is a small horn above each ear, and a long, spiral horn arising from the center of the tiramne’s forehead. Special: Note that a tiramne familiar ignores the standard rules regarding Intelligence and Wisdom advancement (see Table
Coven Organization "The people who become involved, are they all adults?" Volynmyr asked eagerly after a long pause. Mirelle shook her head. "No. The Craft, which is how witches speak of what they do, calls all ages. I saw children as young as eight or ten summers working at the side of dythanes and arthions well past their sixth decade. Some don’t discover their talent for the Craft until later in life. Classes of beginner tyros often include grandmothers, children, and women in their middle years." "What was that word you just used? And the two before?" From her place beside his table, she found the proper scribbles and pointed them out on the parchment. "Here, Sire. Here are the divisions. Tyros are the lowest class, the ones just starting, and there are three levels within that category: firthane, diaras, and zarsthior. Each time tyros pass a certain point and are ready to continue, the witches have a ceremony and give them gifts. The first gift is usually a pentacle pendant made of pure silver in a disc shape. The witches stamp or, more often, hand-engrave this pentacle, and it is more powerful than the one made of silver wire given tyros when they first accept the Craft. "Tyros are the most basic members of the coven. There are normally many more of them than any other kind of witch. One of my sources of information, Calatin ab’Halla, who’s been studying the witches for years, says some who get into the Craft are content to stay at this level for the rest of their lives. Others are more ambitious, and they try to climb the ladder as quickly as possible. And a few forget entirely about the coven’s levels; instead, they relentlessly pursue their Craft-related interests without regard for advancement. These witches often become Solis, solitary witches, as their interests often lead them away from the coven. Some say that a coven’s dythane or archon, the coven’s more powerful witches, keep the Solis’ gifts and awards in a well-guarded place, hoping that the lost witch will return for them one day and rejoin the coven. I was not able to find proof of this, however. "The next full grade up is archon. These witches are leaders and teachers, although they never stop learning the Craft themselves. ‘Once a witch, always a student,’ as the saying goes." Mirelle smiled. Her wolf friend flicked his ears, as if in agreement. "There are three levels of archon as well: shidras, burala, and yirthanan. The coven’s leader is usually at least a shidras or burala archon, sometimes called an arthion. The leader’s second in command, called a diverna, is also usually a shidras or burala. I have heard of exceptions, of course; some witches with great weather-working talents have been granted a higher status when their abilities proved greatly needed. There is a story, in fact," the bard riffled her notes, "where a child of thirteen winters led a coven." "That’s amazing," breathed Volunmyr. "So young!" "Yes. Ah, here it is. Medallie Seranyon, who knew more about storms than anyone else, led her coven. She offered to step down after the need for her knowledge and power waned, but her coven members insisted she stay, and she led the coven quite effectively, I understand, and her coven grew into one of the most capable in recent memory. But keep in mind, Sire, that was a very unusual situation." "I’d like to see more on that," the prince said. Mirelle nodded. "It’s right here." She tapped the notes. "You can delve into it later. "As I said, there are also three divisions of archon. If a witch shows unusual prowess, she can rise in rank two levels at a time, such as leaping from shidras to yirthanan. Again, as they advance in their studies and knowledge, they celebrate the levels they pass with ceremonies and presents. The witches normally hold these ceremonies during Beltane and Samhain, the two largest celebrations during a witch’s year. These gifts usually include things that the witch can
The Way of the Witch
use during Raisings, like stone bowls for her altar, unusual pieces of wood for wands, and crystals and gems. If the group is fortunate enough to have a jeweler among their number, then she fashions many of the gifts. Otherwise, the witches usually befriend such a sympathetic craftsman in the area, as they always need certain stones for their workings." Volunmyr frowned. "Can a witch not facet stones herself?" "Some can, but many witches do not want to spend the time required away from their studies to work stones. Calatin told me about a coven that faceted a large stone themselves to use in their Circle; they call it the Moon of Silverglade. I’m told that it’s quite remarkable, and many covens envy it. I’ve also been told that a small coven exists that specializes in stone works, and, of course, there are Solis who have specialized in stone-working as well." "Why do those not commonly make stones for the others?" asked the prince. "That seems to make the greatest sense." Mirelle smiled. "A few do acquire stones from them, but the witches fear that outsiders may taint such worked stones. This, according to my research, has happened in the past, and the results were not pretty." She again searched her notes, regaining her place in the narrative. "Ah, yes. Did I mention that the coven leader is normally a high-level archon called an arthion?" "I think you said that, yes." "Oh yes, here. The final rung upward is the dythane. Normally, dythanes are the coven’s oldest and wisest women, although, historically, a few powerful young witches have attained this rank. Dythanes normally lead covens, although there are some, such as Tallia Indori, a brown witch who studies animals’ reactions to earthquakes and other natural disasters to better predict them, who forfeit leadership to an archon to follow their own research." "Intriguing," murmured the prince, thinking of the southern part of his son’s lands where an earthquake had recently devastated the populace. "Has this Tallia had any luck?" "Some. Tallia presented her last findings to a witch gathering I attended. Her findings caused quite a stir; she proved that horses, cows, canids, catons, ratarqs, owls, and certain other birds could feel tension in the earth, which resulted in their knowing approximately when an earthquake would strike. "Back to dythanes… They have a presence about them. The minute you meet one, you just "know" that they are special, powerful. Some archons exhibit this presence, too. They call it a "witch shadow," and it somehow attaches to their aura, though some can hide it—if need be." "What is an aura?" "The emanation of magical energy residing in a witch. Those who see them claim that a witch’s aura appears as a halo around the her head, and these auras are associated with certain colors, depending on what interest a witch leans toward." "Explain that, please." Mirelle sucked in a breath, then let it out. "Certain talents are linked to certain colors. Healing is usually green. Those who work with living things have halos combined of brown and green. Peaceful folk have blue halos. Black halos are associated with negative energy, and a gray halo, depending on the shade, can mean one who loves research, or one who hasn’t made up her mind about her specialty. Opalescent is one who is good in several areas. The witch’s aura shows all this." "What color is yours?" the prince asked suddenly.
"Lucinda told me I have blue and green balanced," replied the bard. She laughed softly. "Though sometimes I doubt I have much blue. But color magic is another subject, Sire. You’ll find it under that heading further along in my notes. "Back to coven organization. There is usually one leader, usually an archon or dythane, and most refer to her as the arthion. The leader has a number of assistants called maranths. Her main assistant, the diverna, is also an archon. She also names an assistant, an upper-level tyro, called a torithyn. Then there is the rest of the coven, all archons and tyros of various talents and levels. "The arthion and the diverna make certain there are enough witches in the immediate area to do a Raising in times of need. They name alternates in cases of absence or illness. All coven members must tell the diverna when they are traveling out of the region. Coveners magically send word about their meetings and meditate in private before they gather. In the gathering, the leaders initiate the ritual, which sets all the covener’s minds toward the concentration point. When they achieve a combined mind on the focal point, they can raise large amounts of power." "So that’s how they do it," mused Volunmyr. "I have always wondered. Thank you for making this clearer to me, BardMistress Mirelle." "We’re not finished, Sire. There is one more person who stands with the Circle." "But not in it?" "Correct. This person is a very powerful witch called a vitke. In some covens vitke are men; in others, they are women. A vitke stands just outside the circle with a magical weapon called a moonsword. She--or he, as I said, a vitke can be a man--protects the coven from both physical and mental attacks during the Raising. This witch must be very vigilant. Should this guardian fail in her duties, the Raising can be ruined, causing ill effects for everyone within the Circle. Such disasters can destroy the coven." "So much responsibility vested in one person!" the prince commented. "Indeed. It is a post of which I am in awe," Mirelle replied. "The vitke must be able to see in this realm as well as the astral plane. He or she must also be well-versed in the coven’s enemies and any planar creatures that might attack. Their familiars help them guard the Circle. Obviously, a vitke is normally a high-level archon or a dythane. This person can name an assistant, usually a vitke who’s also had much training, called a tikarl. The arthion includes these important witches in any of the coven’s plans. Vitkes also have a say in timing the Raising, and in the subject of such powerful workings." "How does an attack reflect on the coven members?" "Again, I differ to Calatin, who has told me he’s seen witches affected by such. When they are interrupted, the witches can lose control of the raised power. When this happens, the power surges back into each of them with great intensity, and sometimes this backlash is stronger than the initial energy the witches attempted to control. Many have their magic burned from their blood, and such witches, if they survive, lead lives from then on as mundane folk. Others have lost their senses entirely; Calatin says he’s seen a number of village idiots who were once coven witches. He also told me that he’s heard of entire covens being wiped out. "Attackers, usually evil planar creatures or black witches, try to attack the coven at the peak of a power raising, as this causes
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the most damage to the coven. However, if the attacker turns the power early in the working, the effects are much less severe." Mirelle slipped back into her chair, bending to touch her wolf’s head. "And that is the organization of a Circle." Straightening, she sipped her wine. "I don’t want to keep you from you duties any longer, Sire." Reading hungrily, Volunmyr waved his hand. "I’ve scheduled the rest of the day with you, Bard-Mistress Mirelle. This is fascinating. Tell me more." Her laugh rang through the room. "Very well, Sire. Turn two pages, and look for the heading ‘musical witches.’ They are intriguing." The prince turned, searched with avid eyes, and nodded. "Go ahead." MUSICAL WITCHES "One of the more interesting types of covens do all their power raising with music," Mirelle said. "For them, magic is very musical. Notes and chords are associated with particular magical concepts, which are sung or played on instruments." "What does it sound like?" asked Volunmyr. "A cacophony, I’ll bet." "No, Sire. The chords built on musical magic have overtones. Dissonant chords, the ones that do not resonate easily together, can actually disperse magic. So, what you have is a beautiful piece of music. The arthion composes it to have as many pleasing resonances as possible. The more perfect the performance, the more power the coven raises. Calatin told me about a coven in the Jewel Forest that is nothing more than a chorus of voices. Unaccompanied by instruments, they sing to raise power, believing this to be the purest form of their art. Calatin said the chorus is so beautiful that it defies description. One day, I hope to have the privilege of hearing them." "You have participated in these musical power raisings?" Mirelle nodded. "Yes, I was with a group of firthane tyros, so we weren’t very good. But we tried. And we actually raised a little power." "What did it feel like?" "I was not...allowed to experience it." Mirelle shifted uncomfortably, disturbed by this part of the discussion. The prince noted it, and decided to bring it up again at a later time. "Only dedicated tyros who have sworn themselves to the Craft have magic flow through them," she finished. Volunmyr was obviously disappointed at not being able to experience the bard’s encounter secondhand. "What else do you have for me?" WEDDED WITCHES "Well, this is a rather interesting fact." The bard paused in her narrative to Prince Volunmyr. "Go on." "I found out that fully half of all witches are married." "Truly?" The prince leaned back in his chair. "I thought most were single. Necessarily so because of all the arcane things and research with which they are involved." "The numbers surprised me, also. Wedded witches are divid-
ed into two groups: those who hide their Craft, and those who practice it openly. Of those who hide it, they do so very carefully. It is easier for a Solis to hide her activities than a covener, as the diverna often assigns coven witches duties, which may take them away from home for short periods of time. Oh, and as I mentioned before, some witches have familiars, like owls, who are too protective to allow witches to seek mates, let alone marry. I’m sure a good number of single witches have such companions." "To whom are the witches married?" Mirelle spread her hands in the air, palms toward herself. "Anybody and everybody, the same as mundanes." She laughed. "No one, not even the witches, has yet found rhyme or reason for why one person loves another." "How true. So, if I meet a merchant or a baker’s wife on any street in any town in Myrra, she might be a witch?" "Yes. Many of them recognize each other, because, as they say, blood calls to blood. You’ll note that saying is listed later in my Glossary and Phrases notes, in case you need confirmation on anything." "Ah. You are organized, as usual. How do these partnerships work?" "Very often, the witch is a great help in her husband’s work. Attracting customers, making the goods better, or making certain the ingredients are free from vermin—these things are part and
WITCH HIERARCHY Tyro: (Beginner) —Level 1: firthane —Level 2: diaras —Level 3: zarsthior Archon: (A witch with quite a bit of learning and experience. They are powerful, and are usually teachers of tyros.) —Level 1: shidras —Level 2: burala —Level 3: yirthanan Dythane: (Highest level. No divisions.) Arthion: (Coven leader, usually an archon (at least a shidras or burala)) Maranth: (The arthion's assistant) Diverna: (Secondary leader of a coven, who takes over in case the arthion is ill or wounded.) Torithyn: (The diverna's assistant) Vitke: (A rare class of witch who stands outside of a working Circle to protect it from attacks coming from the mundane or the astral planes. This witch carries a weapon called the moonsword, made of oxidized steel, blued steel, or a length of power stone.) Tikarl: (A vitke's assistant, always a vitke-in-training.)
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parcel of what they do. As you know, blacksmithing and construction are two accident-riddled businesses. A man in either profession is lucky to have a witch as wife, because a goodly number of them are healers. One of the most astute witches I know is Lady Tira of Cieran. I believe you have met her." "Of course." Volunmyr looked amazed. "Lady Tira is a gracious woman with an extraordinary mind." "Witches have learned the hard way not to bring undue attention to themselves. Throughout Myrran history, you’ll find tales of witches being rounded up, incarcerated, tortured, and slaughtered just because they practiced the Craft--and this still happens. Some people are quite afraid of witches, and these folk would rather see every witch exterminated than suffer one to live next door. This is why a number of witches hide their Craft. It is amazing how long one can go on doing little witchly things, and no one notices." LEGEND OF THE MOON GODDESS Mirelle’s Note: Calatin told me this legend, and it is one he assured me all witches treasure. Originally, all Myrran witches were Solis, until the wise women named Delith and Saradel began impacting the Craft with their talents. They created the first covens. At some point, their lore was lost, and covens did not spring into being again for several hundred years. Witches often tell this story during their Moon Celebrations, during Beltaine and Samhain. They usually tell it with magical accompaniment, so their audience can enjoy scenes from the narrative. In fact, some witches work on spells and pyrotechnics for months to make the performance more memorable. Tyros supply many sound effects. I find the story charming, and I am working on a ballad with this as its subject. "Long, long ago, Myrra and the world upon which it lay had a very tiny moon that affected nothing and no one, not even witches. It was merely a small, pretty face in the dark heavens above. Long, long before the creation of Palidori House and the Silver Circle, only Solis, solitary witches, lived on Myrra. During this time, a girl named Renjanay Mon’t’indori, an ancestor of that notable family of a similar name, lived in a mansion in Silverglade. The last daughter of a low-ranking nobleman under Count Chelias, Renja grew up playing in the forest surrounding her father’s small demesne. Her mother Ervythian taught the girl everything she needed to know about gaining a titled husband and keeping his home for him. But Renja desired something more in life; she knew there had to be something for her beyond what her mother had in mind. Household business, like the precise timing of the castle’s quarterly cleanings and making sure the servants properly spitted the roasts in the kitchen, bored the girl. Renja’s blood pounded in her ears. At times, she was listless. Other times, her boundless energy propelled her from one task or idea to the next. And she longed for a friend she could not find. Renja appreciated her older and younger brothers, but neither satisfied her craving for a soul mate and her walks every day in the woods somewhat eased her longing. She wandered unscathed there, basking in the bewildering variety of the plants and insects, but especially loving the wildlife that responded to her gentle presence. Fox cubs gamboled at her feet. Birds wreathed her brandycolored hair in feathers and flowers. Harts grazed nearby, unbothered by her closeness, as she plaited flowers and branches for them
to nibble. Renja loved all of them, but neither were they the companion of which she dreamed. One day, Renja heard a disturbance while walking in her beloved forest. The normally friendly wildlife disappeared, as pounding hooves and horses’ laboured breaths filled her ears. An animal flashed past her, rushing silently through the brush. Its eyes were wide, and its tongue protruded from its small white muzzle. Blood ran in a startling crimson path from a wound in its side, matting its furry coat. Panting, obviously near the end of its strength, it skidded to a stop and turned to the girl. Please, it pleaded. Hide me! Renja’s heart responded at once. This was the creature she had been searching for! Casting about, the girl found nowhere suitable for a lair. Then she discovered a hollow formed by an uprooted tree. The depression was small, filled with leaves, sticks, and other forest detritus. Scooping out the debris, Renja urged the wounded animal to hide within. It did, all the while straining alert ears toward its pursuers. Hurry, hurry, the white beast said in her mind. Come lie here beside me. This prince and his sister, the ones who follow me, are cruel. They will not deal kindly with any creature that helps their prey. Then there is only one thing to do, the girl replied silently. Trusting the voice in her mind for some reason, Renja stepped into the hole beside her new friend. She began piling leaves over them both, as the sound of the hunting party grew to thunder. Hugging the furry white animal to her, they trembled in the hole together. "Do not move," the girl whispered into its ear. The hunters halted very near them. "Where did that triamne go?" a gruff voice called. "It was just in front of us!" "It seemed to disappear, Prince Daryan. I--I’ve heard they sometimes do that." "A triamne turn into a rabbit and bolt down a hole?" A woman’s voice laughed. "I don’t think so." "How did it disappear?" the first voice demanded. "We were right on the end of its shiny little tail! Huffman, take Skylar and go that way. Quelch, follow Varshal over there. We will find it. I want those magical horns." Prince Daryan, his sister, and their huntsmen forced their tired horses around the glade after the others left. Then they dismounted and walked over the same area. The prince muttering to himself, becoming more and more irritated. "Give it a bit more time, Daryan," said the woman’s voice. "We’ll surely find it." "If we don’t have that animal in our possession before sunset, Alariss, our plans, so long in the making, will fail." "I know, brother. But when have we ever failed working together?" The triamne began vibrating in Renja’s arms. She tried to hush it, reaching out to cup its delicate muzzle in her hand. The white beast looked at her with eyes like obsidian pools, obvious despite the darkness of their hiding place. My name is Chaillar. Do not worry. The words rang soft yet confident in her mind. Renja hugged the little animal harder, hoping it was right. She didn’t want either of them to become victims of Daryan and Alaris’s greed. Despite
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that, the triamne increased its song. "What are you doing?" she asked quietly. "Those people will hear!" It is a spell. Please help me. "But I don’t know how." Let me guide you. Just continue what you’re doing and think of us walking together, free. Renja kept her arms tight around the animal’s chest. She concentrated on the sound it made. The vibration sounded very much like a cat’s purr, except deeper and without breaks. She let it sink into her soul. Suddenly, Renja no longer felt afraid. She had no idea how long they lay hidden beneath the leaves and twigs, but the prince’s boots finally stomped away, followed by his sister’s lighter steps. They mounted their horses and called to their cohort to follow. Not waiting for those they’d sent to look elsewhere in the forest, Prince Daryan and Princess Alariss rode away. Soon after, the abandoned followers galloped up to the tree where the two were hiding. Halting, they milled about the area, discussing the situation in loud voices. Finally, they also headed off in the same direction they’d come. The two fugitives stayed in the depression until normal wildlife noises gradually returned to the area. Renja and Chaillar finally shook off their camouflage. Thank you for saving me, her Chaillar said, nuzzling the girl’s hand. "You could have saved yourself," Renja replied, marveling at the velvety softness of Chaillar’s nose. I did very little, she thought. With a bit of her skirt, she wiped away the blood trailing down the triamne’s side and tried to staunch the seeping wound. That is not true. You gave me time and your strength. You allowed me to concentrate. I needed that to complete the spell. "What? You heard that?" Renja asked. Yes. You can speak to me with your mind, as I speak to you in yours. We are soul-linked, Renja. What kind of spell was it? One of silence. It insured that the hunters would not hear us. Renja sucked in a deep breath. Will you...will you teach it to me? Chaillar ‘s laugh sounded sweet in the afternoon air. I will teach you many things, my good friend. From now on, we two shall learn everything together. They continued talking, getting to know each other, as only witches and their familiars can, until a sudden absence of birdsong alerted them to danger. By then it was too late. The net came over their heads from behind, followed by Prince Daryan’s satisfied chuckle and Princess Alariss’s squeal of delight. * * * "I’m getting too old for this, my girl." The old woman Delith leaned on her daughter Saradel’s arm, as their familiars gambolled near their feet on the forest path. "Nonsense, Mother. A brisk daily walk is good for anyone." She smiled. "Especially for you. You need to get away after all the magic you have been wielding to form the covens. And, you are the only woman I know who loves this forest more than the animals who live here."
"I am an animal who lives here. And so are you, my lovely Saradel. Are you saying that you have little love for this place?" "I said nothing like that." White witch Arthion Saradel eyed her black-robed mother sidelong, enjoying their normal banter. Despite Delith’s wrinkles and her silver hair, the dythane’s deep blue eyes were still bright, her mind sharp and subtle. The wise old woman kept everyone in her gathering on their toes...and even some not in her group, including her daughter. "You know how I feel." "That I do, very well." She sighed, looking up at Saradel. "That may be the reason which led me to have an ethical daughter with a strong love of nature, rather than one I could train to follow in my footsteps." "Nonsense. You know very well preferences vary with individuals. Look at Heathras and Berelda. They began something none of us expected. Berelda is too logical, especially for a child." "I still think what I ate during my pregnancy changed you. Maybe it was those raspberries." "You would exchange me in a flicker for another personality more like yours, had you the chance," Saradel teased. "I may have to," her mother replied swiftly. "No one in the Black March is as strong as you. And since you are working on making your own group, essentially I have no daughter to turn mine over---" "Wait." Saradel stopped just after her river otter, Plays With Light, and Delith’s large black caton, Moonshadow, both quit their game and lifted their ears toward the same direction. "What’s that odd sound?" "Not a sound, daughter, it’s a psychic disturbance." Delith straightened slightly. "Someone’s hurting a young one with power." "Two young ones, it feels like to me." Saradel gathered her embroidered bright blue skirts, preparing to run. "Catch up with us when you can." "Do you really think that is necess---" "Don’t question me on this, Mother. Remember my ethics." "As if I can ever forget them, my dear. You never allow that. Go! Go! Save the tyros if you can. The Craft can always use more strong personalities. We will hurry behind you as best as two old ones can." "Call to the groups, Mother; yours and mine. That link you were working on, do you think you can join everyone?" Delith gave a wordless gesture of uncertainty. "Very well. Raise the power as fast as you can, and do what you can with your special spell to link them together." "That I will do. Go!" Saradel whirled, pounding along the path, then abandoned it for the bracken. Her cream and brown river otter bounded before her, pointing the way with its rounded nose, muttering commentary on everything he saw. The witch muttered also, bespelling their headlong travel with silence. Approaching a certain lovely glade, the pair slowed, creeping forward. What they discovered caused great anger in both of them. A triamne and a young girl were imprisoned beneath a net of rope, tied at its joins with cold iron. They were both in agony. A group of men, with one elegantly dressed and important-looking man in their ruffian midst, and one haughty, well-dressed woman standing apart from them, the group delightfully watched their cap-
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tives’ torment, and they laughed at their pitiful cries. A pile of black robes resembling Delith’s lay nearby, and something twisted and arcane lay beneath them, hunched in shadow, as if hiding from the afternoon sun. Another cry from the girl child brought the witch’s attention back to her purpose. She could stand the torture no longer. Stepping from the trees, she knew her coppery hair and white dress gained fire in the sun’s rays. Her anger lent more authority to her already commanding presence. "Stop that this instant." The men froze, whirling to stare at the apparition interrupting their play. The huddled black robes ceased moving. "Well, well," said the nobleman, recovering first. "Here is a lovely ghost come to pay us a call." "Release the prisoners." The nobleman bowed mockingly. "Lady, I cannot. The prisoners are not mine, so I have no power to release them. I am, by the way, Prince Daryan of Nothringale. This is my sister, Princess Alariss." "You are wasting time in word play. If you cannot free the prisoners, I will." Saradel hoped that Delith had gotten word to their respective gatherings. She needed power to rout this group. She and Plays With Light could keep them at bay for a little while, but a group of ten would likely prove too large for her. No, eleven, Saradel corrected herself, as the black robes stirred slightly. "Is this your daughter?" Alariss asked, shoving the net closer to the girl with her boot. The girl beneath it groaned. "Your sister? Your cousin?" "She is my sister and my student." "Then I need to ask your permission," grinned Daryan. "For what?" "I am thinking of making her my wife. Would she not make a pretty little countess?" "We would have to do something about those sores before the wedding, brother," Alariss said with a superior smile. "I doubt the people of Northringale would accept a countess with a marred face such as the one she wears now." Saradel heard the child sob. She also felt the failing triamne trying to reach her despite the control of cold iron surrounding it. Her anger froze. "Let them go now," she demanded. The sun began sinking behind the trees and the black robes on the forest floor quivered violently. "Sorry, but we cannot," replied Alariss. "They belong to that." She pointed first to the prisoners, and then to the quaking cloth. Saradel stepped forward, determined to do something. A wall of grinning men cut her off from the young ones. Every one of them carried a piece of cold iron. She could see and hear the child and the triamne, but she dared not reach to free them without more magic than she herself possessed. A sulphuric scent assailed her nostrils, and fear swelled up in her. Suddenly, Saradel knew what lay beneath the black robes. The answer was a reward for many years of dedicated study. Her eyes widened in shock. She turned to the prince and princess. "You dare to bring that--that abomination into this world! You have no idea what you plan to turn loose here!" Daryan shrugged. "It is a demon, a little one. We have a con-
tract with it. And we have fulfilled our part of the bargain." His sister nodded, pointing at the figures beneath the net. "We give it them, especially the horns. While the creature still lives." "It has fooled you both." Saradel indicated the quivering cloth with a shaking hand. "Here is no little demon. That’s Falthrian of the Dark Vault. I recognize its personality. It will slurp your souls up for dessert, and then be off to destroy everything of worth in the world. It’s attempted that before." Mother! Sisters of the Black March and of the White River-help me now! Saradel pleaded silently. Her blood stirred. Magic was on its way, but would it be enough? Would it be in time? "Ah, there you are." Delith stamped abruptly into the glade with her caton Starshadow. "Ooof, I haven’t moved that quickly in years." Seemingly aloof to the imminent danger beneath the shaking black robes nearby, the dythane asked, "Do we have time for tea? I could use a good, strong cup." "Mother," Saradel whispered. "Oh," Delith said, disappointed. "There is no fire. I thought this was a proper party. I must be at the wrong place." "Mo-ther, please." "Subtlety, my dear," the old woman said brightly, smiling at the nobles with a convincing vacant expression. "Remember, age and subtlety can often conquer a greater force of youth and exuberance. Do you recall the link I made? It is working. This will be a big, bright explosion when it goes." She threw her hands upward, simulating an explosion. Delith was up to her usual tricks. In this case, Saradel certainly hoped so. Her own life did not matter. If her mother could just turn attention toward herself for long enough, Saradel would move to contain the demon and set free the younglings. She could feel the gatherings at White River and Black March stirring. Power collected in her mind, easing at first uncertainly through the link Delith had recently created for just such emergencies. Daryan snarled, "Get out of here, old woman." "Oh, and look," Delith caroled, heading toward the quaking robes. "You have a fine extra set of clothes here. Must be thinking of staying the night. Lovely location. Just lovely." "She’s mad, Daryan," said Araliss. "Completely beyond reason. Let me deal with her." She followed the old woman with one hand outstretched, trying to catch her before she reached the robes. Saradel reached out to the child and the triamne, poking for a hole in the net no matter how tiny. She finally found one, and slipped into their pain-ridden consciousnesses. Can you understand me? She asked. We...hear. Renja responded. Help. Please help. Precious ones, your saving means that we all have to make a great sacrifice. I am sorry. There is no other way to do it. We deal with a dire demon here before he becomes mature with your horns and blood. There is only one place to take him where we know Myrra and her people will be safe. It is beyond this earth. You will have to be his guards forever. Can you do this? There was only a moment of silence. We will do this, the captives responded. Tears stung Saradel’s eyes. You are very brave. I promise you, for the price we pay today there will be a great reward. You will be an inspiration to young witches forever.
Chapter 7: The Ways of Witches
Wait for my signal. Renja, merge your thoughts with Chailla’s. It will not be long. Saradel surfaced, finding Delith bending over the quaking black pile, and Araliss two steps away from grabbing her sleeve. She herself was still confronted by a row of now-rowdy men. Daryan was growing impatient. "Give this one to us, your Highness," one brute cajoled. "We know what to do with her." "At sunset, you can have her. And the old woman, too." Saradel smiled. With her as usual, Plays With Light unhesitatingly paced the maze in her mind that concentrated the power from the Black March and the White River groups. There was no dissent. Each woman and each familiar knew what had to be done, and they embraced the concept with combined wills. "You will not last that long." Her voice filled the glade and thundered through the forest. Saradel opened her mind completely to power, as Delith did the same, throwing the cover from Falthrian of the Dark Vault. She and Starshadow sank hands, claws, arms, and teeth deep into the demon’s coruscating form. The old woman screamed words of power and attachment through her pain. Saradel grabbed her essence just as Araliss locked a hand on Delith’s arm. Daryan and his men came at her. Growing beyond herself in a blinding flash, what was left of Saradel linked with the minds of the prisoners beneath the tortuous net. "MOON," she whispered, and the world of Myrra faded. * * * Those who looked upward that night witnessed the great change. It began in the forest, where a ball of blazing silver gathered until night no longer existed. Then it shot skyward, its great pluming tail marking its path. Long moments later, the sky exploded with a peculiar, noiseless flash. Shooting stars, like tendrils, rained down upon the earth and the moon grew to its present sylvan majesty. The people of Myrra marveled. They made up many stories about it, but only two people of power knew the truth. When Herthras and Berelda awoke, they found all of their gathering friends and their familiars dead around them. Sore in heart and mind from profound effort, as well as loss, they combed the area for signs of other life. They found nothing until they reached the glade where the battle had taken place. Trees still stood, untouched by the power that changed the grass. Instead of green, it glowed in a perfect silver circle. Peculiar black and white flowers with touches of blue grew there too. The women knew those could live nowhere else. Their boots scuffed against small, hard stones. Berelda picked one up, and gasped. Moonlight, the new moonlight, appeared trapped within. It gleamed in her palm, somehow comforting to her bereft mind. "Mother, look," she said, holding one out. "Saradel and Delith left us gifts to remember them." The women turned their tear-streaked faces to the sky, holding hands. "We take you as our goddess, moon of Myrra," Herthras intoned. "You are in glory because of the sacrifice of the witches." "Shine your light ever more for your followers, Renj’sa-lith,"
prayed Berelda. "Guide us as we rebuild what you worked so hard to establish all of your lives." "We will seek women of power, and we will teach them your ways. Having known you, we are moon-blessed." And so the schooling of witches continued and Herthras and Berelda found their lives now tied to the phases of their moon goddess. Both built their own gatherings, calling them covens. They devised Myrra’s witchly orders, and appointed talented women to lead them. Across Myrra, those who knew saw the moon’s gray-tinted face, and they knew the spirits of Renja, Chaillar, Saradel, Plays With Light, Delith, and Starshadow lived within those shadows, and the new covens vowed to guard against Falthrian of the Dark Vault forever. GREETINGS AND COMMON PHRASES From Calatin’s Notes: I have set down a number of basic phrases the witches of Myrra use. These prove that these fascinating people have indeed formed a culture-within-a-culture. "Have I seen you in Circle?" Said by a witch if she sees someone she thinks is in a coven, but isn’t certain. It’s the proper way to introduce herself as a witch without revealing her shadowname. "Are you of the blood?" or "Blood calls to blood." Asked or stated by one witch to another if the first is fairly certain the other is a tyro. The blood, of course, refers to the change made when a woman or man decides to become a witch. With that determination, their blood becomes sensitive to cold iron. Most witches recognize others of the same persuasion because of this. "Blood knows blood." Said of one witch meeting another because they very often "feel" something intangible when another witch is nearby. "Let there be only truth between us." This phrase is used whenever two or more witches have a serious conversation. It stands as a binding verbal contract. Even black witches do not take it lightly; it is never used in jest. "Once a witch, always a student." Said of any witch, because their lives become dedicated to the study of powerful words and phrases. "Your name is shadowed." Referring to a witch’s shadowname, by which she is known only to the world of her sisters. Her mundane name, the one she uses outside of her magical associates, is like a nickname. It has no association with her shadow-name, such as Nikki being directly related to Niquiline. GARMENT MAKING AND GARB Many of the witches of Myrra wear clothing purchased from merchants, particularly for everyday activities. This saves them the considerable amount of time it would take to make the clothes themselves. Some witches, however, particularly those who distance themselves from society, sew all of their own garments— from simple tunics to elaborate robes and cloaks. And they often raise and sheer sheep or harvest cotton and flax to make the material. They refuse to dress in anything made by another’s hands. They boil plants from the garden to make dyes of yellow, red, blues, and some greens. The keenest of witches have precise recipes for the dyes so they can get the same color with each batch.
The Way of the Witch
And they bleach linen in the sun, as the material does not take color well. Even those witches who purchase their garments must make a few of their own—for use in rituals or to be worn at special coven meetings and sacred holidays. Witches who are discovered to wear garments made by another at coven rituals are typically released from their covens and often punished. RITUAL CLOTHING During special coven gatherings, or at times when witches gather to cast powerful group spells, they typically don clothes they have made themselves. Some coven members have access to enchantments that are cast as the clothes are sewn. Others go through an involved rite when sewing. These witches believe the ritual garments aid them during the workings of their magic. Despite all of the effort that goes into these clothes, they are actually starkly simple, loose and flowing. Ritual clothing consists of straight-line gowns and half-moon cloaks that extend to the witch’s heels, all fashioned with undyed wool or linen. Though often voluminous, particularly on slender witches, the garments do not restrict the wearer’s movements. Ritual garments are not flashy, as they are not meant to draw attention to the witch wearing them. The clothes have no bows or buttons, and if there is embroidery, it is plain and neat, and kept to a minimum. In fact, the plainness of the clothes draws attention away from the witch. All focus is on the event and the magic—as it should be. SACRED HOLIDAYS Clothing worn during holidays is another matter. The richer the color, the more lace, beads, and buttons the better. In addition, the richer the witch, the more elegant and embellished her holiday garb. A garment called a carpen, a fitted underdress made of the finest, soft colorful cotton, with long, tight sleeves and a long skirt, is usually put on first. A witch wears a traipen over this, which has sleeves that reach no farther than the elbow. The skirt barely hangs to the ankle, and it is traditionally gathered up on one or both hips, displaying the vibrant color of the carpen beneath. Often each witch embroiders the garment with symbols for spells she has researched or coven marking—though these decorations are difficult to discern, particularly by people who are not of the weave. Sometimes a witch colors the garment with rare dyes from plants she has quested for. And, sometimes a witch sews secret objects into the garment’s hem or collar, in effect, making the garment a spell component. The fabrics are the finest the witch can afford—the very best worsteds and silks during pleasant weather months and rich heavy brocades, velvets, and thick wools during cold times. ACCOUTREMENTS Witches commonly wear veils, usually dyed lace that incorporates designs of something dear to the wearer—such as images of familiars, constellations, or favorite flowers. Some witches favor elaborate hats; these range from squares of colorful, beaded linen worn as scarves, to large involved swatches twisted into three-cornered caps. Some white witch coveners plait their hair into long braids,
and they sew triangles of leather or birch bark, decorated with pearls and semi-precious stones, into these braids. Some black witches wear hats resembling crowns; they are highly decorated and lavishly embroidered, with fine nets of pearls hanging down on the forehead, and strings of beads or pearls dangle from the sides to graze their cheeks. Some black witches favor reticulated headdresses made of thin wire and festooned with beads carved into the shapes of fantastic creatures. Brown witches, except those living in the coldest climes, rarely wear hats. Gray witches prefer decorated headbands, with the oldest among them wearing hats with fur ear straps and hoods that are wide enough to cover the cheeks and shoulders. Belts are rarely made of plain leather. They are usually thin and braided with fine cloth, and they are embellished with beads or gemstones and tiny bells. In some covens, the belts signify events—gaining in stature, bringing in a new initiate, or creating a group spell. So, it is not uncommon for a witch to wear three or four intricate belts during holidays and special coven gatherings. Miniature, colorful drawstring pouches often decorate these belts. These pouches can hide tiny tools, spell components, and other small items. In lands where the winds are fierce or the temperatures unforgiving, witches wear fancy surcoats typically made of wool and lined in silk or linen. Some witches prefer "sideless surcoats," which look like beautiful, narrow bibs sewn onto full skirts. These are most often trimmed in expensive buttons or carved wooden beads. The wealthier witches decorate them with precious stones (sometimes enchanted gemstones). To complete their best garb, some witches tie ribbons or strips of expensive fabric to the elbows of their dresses and surcoats. The length of the ribbons can signify many things, from the witch’s age, to her number of years in a coven, or the number of spells she has created. DRESSING FOR THE WEAVE Some witches choose to dress according to the color of their magic. Brown witches seem to have the greatest variation in the styles of clothes they wear. For example, a few brown witch coven members will only wear garments fashioned from plant fibers. Others will only wear woolen garments. One brown coven might favor roomy gowns that hide the witch’s figure. Some of these gowns have deep V-necks that reveal the witch’s shoulders, while the wide skirts make the witch look much larger than she truly is. These gowns have long, baggy sleeves, and the tips—unless gathered with ties—hang down to touch the ground. Their hooded cloaks are likewise large. On the far end of the spectrum, the members of a different brown coven might dress in scant clothes, wearing as little as possible because they want to be closer to nature and to feel the wind against their skin. Members of one brown coven to the far south even shave their heads, pluck their eyebrows, and wear clothes only when traveling away from their lands, or when dealing with others not of the weave. Several brown covens even frown on their members wearing shoes of any kind. They believe that nothing should separate the witch’s skin from being in contact with the earth. These witches become inured to the vagaries of inclement weather and have soles as tough as leather.
Myrra is home to a great number of witches, and thereby, home to quite a few organizations of the various weaves. These cooperatives—covens, schools, tribes, and the like— allow the witches, and sometimes their relatives, an opportunity to share their energy and creativity. The groups provide support, companionship, and are forums where witches can form tight bonds and grow both magically and spiritually. This chapter discusses many such covens, including some of the more powerful and interesting organizations, but this list is by no means exhaustive. GMs might use these organizations to spark adventures, as some of them might want to hire the PCs and some might even make worthy enemies. PCs wanting to join one of these groups must, of course, seek them out and pass any of their membership requirements. They must also purchase the Witch Organization feat (see Witch Organization feat in Chapter 3, which also describes the benefits of joining one of these organizations). THE ARCANE CLAW OF SH’GON-KA Witches of the brown, gray, and black weave can petition to join the Arcane Claw of Sh’gon-Ka—provided they can find the stronghold. The Claw was formed in 1468 A.T., only twenty years ago, when twin brown witches left Slendira’s Sisterhood, dissatisfied that there was not a strong enough force guiding the organization. Intent on creating a gathering with a single purpose and more capable leaders, the sisters—Megdal and Genifel— established the group’s doctrine and set themselves up as co-rulers. The doctrine is simple—witches of the brown weave, who are willing to devote their lives to creating new magical spells, potions, and powders, will find a home of safety and fellowship within the clutches of The Arcane Claw. The name comes from a magical item Megdal gained in her travels in the southern desert. She considers it her most prized possession. The Arcane Claw of Sh’gon-Ka is a boiled leather gauntlet, the fingers of which are tipped in sharp bronze points resembling claws. A powerful warrior-sorcerer from Sh’gon-Ka created the item more than a century ago. How the gauntlet came to be in a desert ruins remains a mystery. The powers of the Claw are many, though only a few are commonly known. When Megdal wears the gauntlet, she can cast spells as if she were one level higher. In addition, she resists
The Way of the Witch
all charm-based spells with a +2 competence bonus and gains a +3 competence bonus versus the fear spell. It is rumored a second claw exists, one which is even more powerful and grants the wearer the ability to charm others. The sisters often hire mercenaries to search for the item or to locate sages who know of its existence. They also pay handsomely for leads on the second claw’s whereabouts. So PCs with such information, or with time on their hands to search, could find work with the Claw of Sh’gon-Ka. As the sisters hope to make the Claw someday rival the Singers of the Southwest Wind in number, they turn few aspiring members away. There are scant requisites. A member must be a brown witch or a witch who wishes to become a brown witch. In addition, a person must be able to find the stronghold and must be willing to pledge his or her loyalty to the twins. Unlike some other organizations, which embrace only women, the Claw accepts male witches as members. In fact, the sisters encourage men to join, and they encourage members to marry and procreate, further increasing their numbers. Members must pledge one quarter of any earnings they acquire to the Claw. The Claw uses this wealth to pay adventurers to search for the second Claw of Sh’gon-Ka and to purchase magical trinkets and scrolls. The Claw’s stronghold consists of a series of caves along the Dragon Sea, a few miles north of Sh’gon’Ka. Prospective members must first be able to find the caves, which illusions and tides mask. A pair of desert beasts dear to Megdal and Genifel guards the entrance, and wards and sigils further protect the twin’s chambers. A handful of sages in Sh’gon-Ka can provide reasonable directions—for a price or a favor. The black market can also reveal the location for even a steeper price, but only if the Claw wishes to be found. Inside the natural cave chambers, which wend up into the hills safely above the tides, are elaborate rooms with artfully tiled walls and ceilings, illuminated by magical gems. The twins hired artisans from Sh’gon-Ka to perform the work; then they used powerful scrolls on the artisans to dissolve any of their memories regarding the cave and their witch occupants. The stronghold’s furnishings are simple but fine, and desktops and bookcases are cluttered with knickknacks from all corners of Myrra, many of which hold enchantments. The witches of the Arcane Claw always seek magical baubles, and their representatives in Sh’gon-Ka—an arcane black market of sorts—gladly purchase trinkets from adventurers. PCs in Sh’gon-Ka could do financially well for themselves if they establish contacts with the black market and sell items they obtain during their travels. Player characters might accidentally come across the Claw’s black market, be approached to sell their magical items, or be quested to search for the second gauntlet. One of the PCs might also petition to join the organization, and might afterward be tasked with traveling across Myrra looking for scrolls and other magicks for the twins. CIRCLE OF SHADOWS Only thirteen women belong to the Circle of Shadows, a gathering of black witches bent on gaining an ever-increasing amount of arcane power and unique spells. The Circle of
Shadows traces its roots to 1104 A.T., the year after The Shattered Circle formed. They are said to be masters of mind-control spells and potions that grant them dominion over the monstrous races of Myrra. And they are reported to have hideous minions under their command that discourage the curious from getting close to the thirteen. The Circle is constantly on the move, having started in a tower on the southern outskirts of Bixbee, and having then been driven out by a band of righteous sorcerers who feared the presence of the dark witches. From time to time, they return to that old tower to worry the locals, who no longer have the resources to stand up to them. But most often the witches of the Circle of Shadows roam in the central part of Myrra, from Kar-Kar to ArLan, and sometimes in the northern reaches of the Aranni Desert. Scholars have tried to trace their precise route, guessing that there is nothing random about their course and that there is some sinister purpose involved. They suspect the Circle is gathering magical artifacts along the way, as traces of their presence have been noted at ancient ruins and places where great battles were once fought. More than one band of adventurers has reported seeing thirteen shadowy shapes descend on them to strip them of their hard-won magical treasures. One scholar, who has made it his life’s work to study the Circle of Shadows, believes the founding witch is still alive, her magic and spells staving off the years. If his research is accurate, the woman is Alera Dalan, who was purported to be in her eighties in the year 1104 A.T. She was among the most powerful of the black witches of the time, and she refused all apprentices. One old tome concerning her reads: "Alera can command the arcane forces of the earth with a gesture and can chase the sun from the noon sky. She once opened a fissure to swallow a man who made a comment about her stature, and she turned to bones a herd of horses barring her way to a stream. Yet, for all her magical strength, she has little physical presence. She is as small as a child and has hair as white and thin as a cloud. There is innocence etched on her cherubic face, and the scent of wildflowers follows her everywhere. Despite her years on the earth, she bears not a wrinkle, and her eyes are a sharp crystal blue that seem to take in everything—and measure it." While those learned in witchlore are skeptical that Alera Dalan still lives, yet there is no record of her death. A cemetery near Bixbee, however, does have barely-legible stones that mark the passing of her parents. The clearest record of the Circle of Shadow’s doings comes from a madwoman who served as an apprentice to one of the thirteen. She lives in the company of clerics in Bixbee, who care for her. In her rare lucid moments, she talks of the Circle seeking a set of blood-red gemstones from the days of Myrra’s creation. Imbued with legendary power, the thirteen believe the stones can give them dominion over every living creature. It is why they are constantly traveling, the madwoman claims, as they follow one lead after the next. She says it is possible they already possess at least one of the stones. She thinks she saw a slip of a woman with birdlike hands holding a glistening red stone that pulsed with power. It was after witnessing that, she says, that she was dismissed from service. She claims her senses have not been
Chapter 8: Witch Organizations
right since, her memory fleeting like a butterfly. And she fears that one day soon—when the Circle returns to lands near Bixbee—the shadow-women will come for her and take the last of her mind. It is possible the player characters might come into possession of a magical item or tome the thirteen witches of the Circle of Shadows desire. Or, perhaps they unwittingly venture into the same ruins where the shadow-women search for the blood-red gemstones. In any event, should the PCs see the faces of the Circle, the witches will never rest until they have eradicated this new threat.
THE DAUGHTERS OF CA’DI-US The Daughters of Ca’di-us were formed in 1122 A.T. from those wayward witches who refused to listen to the Silver Circle and were determined to follow their own path. Originally their intention was to stand as guardians of Myrra, defending her against the Arak or any other threat that might menace the land or people. However, in so doing they explored avenues of knowledge and power that grieved the Goddess and led them down paths that imperilled their very souls. Although many had not truly realised the danger that they were in, and were grateful for the chance to atone and return to the ‘Way of the Witch’ when finally confronted by the Silver Circle, others found the immense powers into which they had tapped exhilarating, and refused to forsake them. These became the first Daughters of Ca’di-us. Rejected, by the Goddess, they turned to another source of spiritual power and guidance, the dark goddess Ca’di-us. This evil deity welcomed such talented and useful servants and led them to a great and ancient underground complex beneath a ruined temple. From that day until even now, their work has continued, using the powers of witchcraft to further the ends of their deity. Their goals are power, knowledge and personal satisfaction. It is said – at least by the Daughters – that whatever an individual’s greatest desire might be, she can attain it as a loyal Daughter of Ca’di-us. Most witches wishing to join the Daughters of Ca’di-us have already turned to the Black aspect of the weave; and if they have not yet done so, they are expected to at the earliest opportunity. The first task of an aspiring Daughter is to locate the ancient temple where they are based, and then to gain admittance. There are no particular entrance requirements save a determination to accomplish a desired objective, whatever it takes. A task, involving what might be termed as a moral dilemma, is often set for aspiring Daughters, though the choices made are of less importance than the end result: a candidate who accomplishes her set task by doing good would be preferred over one who deliberately causes harm, but fails in the task.
THE EPISCOPATE The thirteen council members of the Episcopate live in a tower at the very edge of one of the smaller merchants’ districts in Spool. The council is composed of six white witches, six brown, and one gray, with each member serving thirteen years. The council terms have been so established so that only one
witch rotates out each year, and another is selected from witches who claim affiliation with the Episcopate. Currently, ten of the council members are women, and three are men. More than 200 brown, white, gray and unaffiliated (standard) witches claim membership to the Episcopate. Most belong to smaller covens, and some also claim membership in other organizations, such as the Singers of the Southwest Wind. The members are scattered throughout Myrra, and they are required to make a pilgrimage to Spool once every three years. Members who wish to become council members usually make annual pilgrimages or live within the city. The Episcopate is as much a religion as it is a gathering of witches. All members worship the Moon and the Moon Goddess, believing all magic comes from the two. All members of the Episcopate commit to memory a small ritual book, which is filled with poetic and philosophical passages about the Moon and the Moon Goddess. The passages are shared only between members and during worship services, and several of the passages are used as greetings or to verify the membership of other Episcopate members. For example, here is one of the simplest greetings: Witch #1: Witch #2 reply: Witch #1: Witch #2 reply: Witch #1: Witch #2 reply: Witch: #1: Together:
"M" "Blessed O" "O" "Blessed N" "Many" "Opt to follow" "Opt to worship" "None are turned away under the light of the Moon."
The ritual book of the group is reworked every thirteen years, incorporating new philosophies, recording major Episcopate events, and listing the names of those Episcopate witches who have passed on. The thirteen council members dress in white silk robes that drape to the floor and that have sleeves reaching to the tips of their fingers. The robes represent the color of the moon. They are tied about the waist with a brown, gray, and white woven cord, knotted in an elaborate fashion. Sewn along the collar are thirteen moons. They are embroidered hollow to represent each year a member has served on the council. In the final year, all the moons are filled in. Residents of Spool are well aware of the tower, and they know that it is a place of witches. Some stay clear of the area because they fear all things arcane. Others, however, venture to the area daily, hoping to catch site of something wondrous happening or to meet one of the witches as they come and go from the place. This phenomenon, has resulted in the nearest merchants having thriving businesses, and a few of the merchants cater to the witches and other spellcasters, offering oddities that can be used as spell components, herbs, scroll cases, and all manner of arcane accoutrements. On the last day of each month, the council members and all visiting Episcopates hold a festival outside the tower, providing food and drink for all those who come for fellowship. Talented
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witches sing and dance, while others light up the sky with magical effects. People who have met the witches, especially during the festival nights, say they are courteous and willing to talk for a few moments, answering simple questions about the organization and the Moon Goddess. Some commoners have even been taken into the tower and accepted into the fold. No one has reported anything untoward happening to those who have spoken to the witches, though there have been a few incidents where pesky children were spooked away. A player character witch might seek the council, wanting to join the Episcopate. There are no physical tests to do so, and the council members simply look into the petitioner’s soul to see if he or she truly worships the Moon and the Moon Goddess. Pretenders are turned away. The faithful, however, are welcomed, and they are instantly blessed with the abilities listed under the Witch Organizations feat (see Chapter 3).
GARDEN RETREAT North of Dunmere there dwells a cooperative of brown, gray, and unaffiliated witches who operate a vineyard and orchard. Only those in the weave—and a handful of savvy adventurers who have stumbled across the operation—realize that the caretakers are witches, as the Garden Retreat members have been careful to keep their true nature a secret. The Garden Retreat is for the most part a religious order, though they do not follow the teachings of any one god. Rather, they worship Nature, believing the wind, rain, moon, and sun are the most powerful forces on Myrra, and that the earth holds the spirits of all witches. Whether there is truth to their beliefs or not is uncertain. However, visiting sorcerers have discovered that the land the vineyard and orchard sits upon holds some sort of enchantment. The apples and pears from the orchard are insectfree, luscious, and perfect and the grapes from the vineyard thrive and make a delicately intriguing and slightly spicy wine. About forty witches work the vineyard, with another twenty tending to the orchard. In addition, nearly two dozen relatives of some of the witches press grapes and help with the rest of the winemaking operation. The fruits and wines are sold in Dunmere and occasionally to small villages in the area. Members of the Garden Retreat rarely stay indefinitely. They are encouraged to travel throughout Myrra, spreading the worship of Nature, learning new spells, and acquiring recipes for wines. This allows initiates to rotate into the fold and "stay in the garden for a time," as it is called. Witches in the Garden Retreat dress as common laborers, and they wear little to no jewelry. Nothing marks them as members of the weave, though some keep spell components hidden away in various pockets. They know most folks in Dunmere and across Myrra are suspicious of witches, and they do not want to jeopardize their home and business by letting word out that witches hold sway here. They divide the money from the sale of wine and fruit between the workers, with some set aside to aid Dunmere’s poor or to hire the occasional band of adventurers to safeguard wine shipments or acquire new grape seedlings. It is likely that only player characters of the weave will
notice that the people of the Garden Retreat are witches. If the PCs threaten to expose the witches, they could find themselves permanent laborers or ensorcelled to forget they’d set foot on the enchanted land in the first place.
HIGHBORN Only the aristocracy of Myrra’s witches can endeavor to join this gathering of witches. The Highborn accepts women and men of all aspects of the weave, provided they are at least 7th level and wealthy, having at least 200,000 gp in assets. The Highborn require no ordeals or tests. Most of the society’s members have no weave affiliation; they are merely witches. Queen Fendira of Ar-Lan’s Roost leads the Highborns, and the other members elected her to serve in this position, which she can serve until her death or until she desires to step down. The word is that Fendira bribed other Highborns to vote her into her position, but, as this is standard practice within the organization, it matters very little to anyone if that is truly the case. Typically, the wealthiest witch has always led the membership. The Highborn considers itself a coven, though some of its witches also belong to other, smaller covens whose membership is not as financially exclusive. Currently there are about thirty members, but membership fluctuates with the rise and fall of fortunes. Many of the members openly discuss their wealth and how they came about it. Some keep such matters secret, though, and such members are usually the source of speculation and gossip. The sole purpose of the organization seems to be to provide a place for the affluent witches to mingle, mate, and find ways to multiply their riches. Gold is as important as magic, though powerful magical items seem the most valuable of all. Members of the Highborn dress in the finest clothes available, and they often have servants to craft all but their ritual garb. They amass collections of gems and jewelry, and they display these glittering necklaces, bracelets, and rings proudly to their fellows. Highborns rarely concern themselves with the happenings beyond the boundaries of their individual land holdings or outside the walls of their Southport keep. They only seem to take interest in such things that directly threaten their lands. For most, the condition of the common folk remains far beneath their notice. The Highborn witches do take an interest in progressing their skills as witches, however, and they are willing to spend money on new enchantments and magical baubles. They are keen on learning magic that will help them enchant gems and jewelry. Some Highborns are quick to hire adventurers—usually through third parties, so they can remain anonymous—to pursue some magic item or rare book. And they also hire well-armed adventurers to escort them from city to city. These mercenaries must, of course, be well-dressed and reasonably well-mannered. In return, they are well-paid. The Highborn have many enemies, as always elements in the poor quarters hate and envy the rich. Also, some speculate that not all the Highborns came by their gold honestly, and that those they took it from often seek vengeance. Because of this,
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people periodically attempt to kill members of the Highborn. Usually, the witches can take care of matters themselves, with the threat disappearing in a proverbial puff of smoke. The witches have been known to employ bodyguards, however, usually when the threats seem unusually strong. Thus, there are several ways player characters could be introduced to this organization. Of course, the most simple is for a rich PC witch to try to join their exclusive ranks.
IN THE GRACE OF THE LADY There is a tiny island far out in Harmony Bay called ‘In the Grace of the Lady.’ A haunting mist that perpetually hangs just above the water hides the island from the eyes of all non-witches. Here, coven-less witches who attain a respectable level of power come to study the first witch’s lore and to feel the essence of the early magic. Witches of all weaves are welcomed, and while on the island, they must be at peace with one another. Whether this sense of calm and acceptance is forced upon them magically is unknown. But what is known is that while the witches are within the mists, they exchange no harsh words. Only four witches claim the island as home; all others are considered visitors, and they stay anywhere from a few hours to a year. The four witches, who represent each weave, and who claim
the Lady herself beckoned them to the island in their dreams, encourage return visits. None have challenged the four for their positions, and they have served at their posts for more than a decade. The four universally claim they will also know when it is time for them to leave. Not all witches know about the island. A witch must attain a certain level of power (8th level or above) to feel the pull of the old magic and sense the invitation of the four caretakers. In addition, she might have a considerable distance to travel to reach Spool or another community on the shore and to set out for the mists. Those who are "called" are called for a reason. Perhaps there is some great quest they must undertake, and they are to get direction from one or more of the caretakers. Perhaps their soul is troubled, and they must cleanse their spirit before undertaking further magical studies. Or, perhaps the caretakers have need of a band of adventurers to complete a mission far from the island, or they need them to protect the island from trespassers. No matter the reason for the summons, the island’s ancient forces bless all those who are called to its shores. Some visitors claim that during their stay on In the Grace of the Lady they were gifted with rare abilities—such as being able to see clearly in the blackest of nights or to hear as keenly as an owl. Others say they gained new spells to cast or found magical rings mysteriously appearing on their fingers.
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The caretakers claim these boons are all gifts from the Lady, who in spirit form, continues to watch over her children in the various weaves.
NIGHTSTORM The night is a blanket, hiding all manner of things from the common eye. It also hides the presence of these witches, a collective of women (usually of the brown or white weaves, but also unaffiliated) who have grown to shun the sunlight and who have found power and spirituality in the darkness. The night unites them, and they shun traveling or using magic during the daylight hours, though they will do so to defend themselves. They have completely embraced the evening shadows, reveling in the quiet and mystery that overtakes Myrra when the sun goes down. Many actively protect Myrra from other creatures that use the cover of night to prey on others. These witches call themselves Nightstorm, after their founder Mareel Nytstrom, a human white witch who is more than one hundred years old. She started the gathering on her fortieth birthday. Nytstrom was forced into the evening life, as a powerful and unbreakable curse cast on her by a black witch causes her to be blind and deaf and to weaken when she is under the light of the sun. So by day, she and her followers seek refuge in caves and tunnels and inside well-shuttered rooms. The curse apparently also granted Nytstrom immortality. She appears not to have aged since her fortieth birthday. The covens’ familiars are also night-dwellers—mostly bats and owls and a variety of nocturnal rodents. A few of the witches rely on cats to venture forth during the daylight and report back on what is going on in the area. Sages guess that there are roughly four dozen of the witches, broken into two clans, or covens—one to the east of the Aranni Desert and one to the south. Mareel divides her time between the two groups. The Nightstorm witches dwell in ruins and caves, but are always on the move, staying in one place no more than a few weeks. Their possessions are meager and must be able to be carried with them. They dress in flowing gossamer robes of grays and blacks, desiring to blend in with the shadows, and they blacken their bladed weapons so the steel will not flash under the light of the moon. Many of the witches of the Nightstorm worship an incarnation of the Moon Goddess, while some of the witches claim no religious allegiance at all. Still others look on Mareel Nytstrom as an earthbound deity, though any such worshipping is done on an individual basis. The witches do join together for ritualistic chants, however. These chants help "center" the witches, putting them in touch with their inner magic, and soothing their spirits. Those who have watched the chant sessions say they are mesmerized by the sight of the shifting shadows and the pale, upraised hands. Inevitably, they are caught up in the women’s soft and melodic voices. Each night Mareel shares some of her knowledge with a coven member—teaching her about night-dwelling animals, star formations, insect noises, and night-blooming plants. In addition, Mareel researches darkness spells with them, perfecting the
enchantments to a degree unknown to other witches. It is said Mareel has a repertoire of spells that cause shadows to come to life, the stars to disappear, lightning to change colors, and the nightbirds to double in size and strength. Mareel is cautious to accept new individuals into the order, for fear the petitioners are only interested in the magic she can teach them. Perhaps that is one of the reasons Nightstorm doesn’t stay long in one place—they want to stay beyond the reach of the curious. Player characters might chance upon Nightstorm if they travel during the evening. Or they might be contacted by one of Mareel’s witches, as Nightstorm occasionally needs "eyes" during the day, particularly if tensions are uneasy between gatherings and covens. The group also needs messengers to work for them when the sun is out.
NYLA-KON’S NATATORIUM Nyla-Kon’s Natatorium is a magic school that sits high in the mountains directly west of Hobb Hill. Members of various weaves and some sages know of its existence. The Natatorium accepts only non-evil students, and more than a few young witches have been turned away because their "hearts were black." The Natatorium accepts about twelve students each year, usually only 1st-level witches who possess great wisdom (Wis 14+) and good intelligence (Int 12+). The students spend a year at the school working to better understand the nature of the magic they wield. To do this, they study Myrran history, witchlore, and rituals. Nyla-Kon, who founded the school more than eighty years ago, believed that to wield magic well, one had to first learn about its beginnings. As most of the instructors and students are of the gray weave, the school also emphasizes rational thinking, controlling one’s emotions, and exploring alternate (non-magical) avenues for problem resolution. They stress that magic is precious and should be used wisely and with deliberateness. Other witches look favorably on the school’s graduates, and some of the graduates have become prominent city leaders, openly and proudly admitting to being witches, coven leaders, teachers, and renowned adventurers. Some have even started their own schools. The Highborn Queen Fendira is one of Natatorium’s most noted graduates (see Highborns above). Non-witches sometimes visit the school to use its vast library (always for a fee or for a favor) or to consult some of the wise witches on the school’s staff. Player characters seeking to research a relic, a bit of obscure Myrran history, or a cure for a magical curse might want to visit the school’s library, too. The school’s staff might also ask a PC to be guest lecturer, or the school might hire the PCs to protect a group of students on a fieldtrip to a dangerous part of Myrra. Getting to the Natatorium is not easy—unless the individual has been invited. Those lucky ones "see" a path up the mountain, one that is steep, but relatively easy to travel. Those not as fortunate, face an arduous and dangerous climb, and are likely to run across some of the beasts that make their home on the craggy slopes.
Chapter 8: Witch Organizations
PALIDORI HOUSE Before Palidori House was founded, witches gathered rarely, if at all, and certainly not in any formal organisation. Syrilia Indori was alarmed when one of the most powerful witches she knew, her friend Christa Mahendra, died in a house fire leaving her daughter, a small child of five, with no training in the Craft. In taking the child, who she renamed Angharis, "the wellloved one," into her home and raising her with her own power, Christa realised that there must have been many cases in which the chain was broken without another witch being available to pass essential skills and knowledge on. With this revelation haunting her, she formed the group that has become known as the Palidori House a few years later, in 925 A.T. Syrilia’s intent was to protect the knowledge and traditions of the Tsoli (sah-lee) and to insure that knowledge was passed down from mother and daughter for generations to come. One of the most notable traditions was the ability to harness the powers of the earth through use of the Craft, known to the Tsoli as ‘The Way of the Witch.’ Even to this day, Palidori House continues primarily as an instructional group, one which provides support to any tyro they encounter that is lacking in other witches from whom to learn, in particular those who have been orphaned by the loss of a witch mother. Agents of the House often appear in the guise of "distant relatives" to provide homes and instruction for such unfortunates. Over the years, many traditions have built up within the Palidori House. Chief amongst these is that knowledge is never withheld from another witch. It is often said that the witch phrase, "Let there be truth between us" originated amongst members of this community. Membership in Palidori House is drawn from all colors of the Weave (save Black), although youngsters are taught a wide-ranging view of the Craft which embraces all traditions. Despite the name, Palidori House, there is no set location, no actual building where the group meets. It is more a concept, a sharing of knowledge and mutual support, something handed down through the ages from witch to witch. There are two ways in which a PC witch may be connected with the House. One who has been orphaned in youth may have been raised under the auspices of the Palidori House, having been both nurtured and trained by a member witch rather than her own mother. Other witches may feel drawn in later years to contribute to the work of the House by building up archives and training youngsters in the Craft. Somehow, the amorphous hierarchy of the House knows such things, and such a witch will be visited by one who welcomes her and ensures that she has access to support at need. For example, should an orphan of the blood require a home, the House provides the necessary funds to support the child until she is old enough to make her own way. Sometimes, a witch’s first introduction to the Palidori House may be a late-night knock from an old lady bearing a baby or leading a small child by the hand. "We are sure that you can help," the visitor says. "This child needs a loving home and, in due course of time, to be trained in the ‘Way of the Witch.’" Such is the strength of the tradition, it is rare for a witch to even contemplate refusing. Other witches, particularly those who spend much time on
the road, may be contacted with a request to travel to a given location and collect an orphaned child. They are instructed to present themselves as a "distant relative," being given sufficient details to maintain the masquerade, and provided with both funds and an address to which the child should be delivered.
SCHOLAR’S RETREAT This, too, is a magic school, but one that is open to all witches of reasonable power. It takes a witch of at least 6th level to sense the energy of the place and locate it. The Retreat is out of phase with its surroundings, enchanted with some of the same spells that go into magical items such as cloaks of displacement and rings of invisibility. Like Nyla-Kon’s Natatorium, it is located high in the mountains, though this thin tower is found on a ridge north of Southport. It overlooks the sea, and those who have wended their way up and down its austere staircases claim that one is able to hear the incessant and peaceful rush of the water against the shore at all times. The Retreat is old, some believing that it dates back more than 700 years. The outer stones are weathered and have dimmed to match the color of the fog that hugs the sea in the early morning hours. The tower’s inside is always damp, the air heavy with the scent of the sea and salt, and the rooms are high-ceilinged and narrow, with furniture enchanted to hold off the moisture and the years. At any one time, a dozen or more witches can be found here, meditating, healing from horrible ordeals, and researching magical spells and devices. The Retreat has one of the most impressive libraries in all of Myrra, and though books and scrolls can be found on almost any topic, the greatest most titles are dedicated to legends, witchlore, and arcane curses and glyphs. Some of the most valuable books were written centuries past, and the witches have preserved their pages with magic. Not all of the books can be easily read, as languages had different nuances then, and some of the oldest tomes are penned in a cryptic language used only by Myrra’s first witches. The school has a lone "teacher," and she is believed by some to be as old as the tower itself. She is Rethain’al Tidinsmeer, a gray witch who died a very long time ago. Her ghostly spirit guides all those who seek her supernatural wisdom, though she favors assisting those of the gray weave. Of course, not everyone who comes to the tower is prepared to deal with a ghost. Those who overcome their fear, however, are in for a rare experience. Rethain’al is tireless, her words coming to visiting witches even while they sleep. She tells them of the birth of magic in the world and her beliefs on why some people are drawn to the weave and why some can never master magic. And she extols her theories that magic pulses through the earth like veins pulse beneath a person’s skins. Those who are born above the strongest veins can pursue life as a witch, and those born between veins can only look on the gifted with awe or fear. The school is not without other spirits, those of witches who have passed beyond the weave and who once studied here. Whether they return from time to time to visit with Rethain’al or to look in on present-day scholars is unknown. None of them stay for long.
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Player characters could learn of the Scholar’s Retreat and attempt to find it to study there. Non-witches are allowed entrance if in the company of a witch of at least 6th level who will vouch for them. Rethain’al’s spirit does not visit any nonwitch visitors—unless she seeks a boon or quest from them. In this event, she might ask the PCs to retrieve some rare tomes from elsewhere in Myrra, or she may task them with chasing down a witch who stole some books from the tower. In return for their aid, she might gift them with magic, money, or information. SHATTERED CIRCLE The thirty-nine members of the Shattered Circle are witches of the black and brown weaves who were thrown out of other covens. The reasons for their dismal are myriad—failure to attend a special gathering, stealing from a covener, breaking coven laws, and more. Anger and chance brought them together, and together they created this gathering—one with few rules and no real leader, one that decides all matters by a majority vote. Because of this, this group is dangerous, unpredictable, and prone to waver in its actions; revenge against those who ousted them from previous covens fuels many of their actions. The Shattered Circle is often based in the far south, a little to the southeast of Sh’gon-Ka, and in the shadows of the mountains. Their home is a small, sturdy fortress, which is actually a fabrication from a member’s magical necklace. So when the Shattered Circle needs to move, the fortress moves with them. The organization’s goals are simple—they work together to exact some satisfying measure of vengeance against the covens that spurned them, and they work together for the magical betterment of their members. This latter entails gaining magical treasures by whatever means available—venturing into ruins, robbing merchant caravans, or stealing from unwary adventuring bands. Frequently, three or four Shattered Circle members leave the fortress to acquire such wealth or information. They have been known to visit taverns where gossip flows as steadily as ale. Player characters are likely to run into the Shattered Circle by accident. The Circle might try to rob them, might hire (and then double-cross) them, or might buy them a drink in a rundown tavern in exchange for a useful tidbit or rumor. PCs who anger one of the witches will likely find themselves a vengeancetarget and could be on the run for a long time. Of course, a PC who has been ejected from another coven could easily join them as well.
THE SILVER CIRCLE After many years of war with the Arak, some of the Tsoli women – many of whom had been trained by or associated with the Palidori House - had begun to use the Craft in somewhat dubious ways, ways that transgressed the normal tenets of doing no harm to others. At first it was believed that this was a good thing, that there were times when such actions could be justified. Helping to protect the people of Northlandere from the Arak seemed noble, a cause for which the rules could be bent if not broken. But such things exact a price. The sisters who used the Craft for these purposes became more and more determined to
quash the Arak, and in doing so, lost sight of ‘The Way of the Witch.’ Concerned about this trend, in 1103 A.T., sisters from Palidori House founded the Silver Circle. The Silver Circle was formed to help bring these witches who had lost their way back into the fold. Unfortunately, like with most things diabolical, it wasn't that easy. The Silver Circle was able to bring many of the sisters back, but a few broke away and formed their own coven in 1122 A.T. (see Daughters of Ca’di-us below). The Silver Circle has remained active, however. Most of its members are Gray Witches, although a few White, Brown and unaffiliated witches have also become members of the Circle over the years. It is a quiet organisation, working behind the scenes much of the time, though its members are not afraid to confront an erring witch when it appears warranted. Members of the Circle operate under many strictures and constraints, as they are determined not to repeat the mistakes of their errant sisters and never to permit the end, however worthy, to justify the means. Witches wishing to join – or, as is more frequent, who are selected as candidates for the Circle – are subjected to a searching inquisition on their entire career within the Craft. Standing alone in a circular chamber, lit by a solitary candle at its centre, they are challenged with a mixture of hypothetical cases and examples from their own life, being required to make both instantaneous choices and to explain their reasoning for the choices made. If they can be shown to have acted for the good and with a positive commitment to doing no harm to others, they may be accepted. Members of the Silver Circle see themselves as standing between darkness and the light that is the ‘Wisdom of the Goddess.’ Their role is as guides and guardians, leading all other practitioners of the Craft on the true ‘Way of the Witch.’ Those who have strayed are confronted, for no Circle witch shirks her duty. The errant witch is required to stand much as a candidate for the Circle does, and be questioned primarily on their own actions (although hypothetical examples may be thrown in at the option of the Circle). Atonement may be demanded if the Circle feels that a witch may be salvaged, otherwise the only results are exoneration or death.
SINGERS OF THE SOUTHWEST WIND One of the largest organizations of witches in all of Myrra, the Singers boast more than 400 members, who meet in smaller groups scattered across the continent. The Singers trace their roots back nearly a thousand years, to a time of devastation in the far north. It was a winter of violent weather, climaxed with a fierce wind from the southwest that laid waste to farms and villages and claimed the lives of more than 900 in the lands north of Crane’s Rest. One small village, Harmony Breeze, just south of Sheyrr, was miraculously spared the natural onslaught. Harmony Breeze was home to H’latha Descant, an old and powerful gray witch who used every ounce of her magic to keep the winds at bay. It
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was no secret H’latha was a witch, both loved and feared by the villagers. Historical accounts claim that during the worst day of the weather’s onslaught, she sang her spells, her arcane melody somehow rising above the keening storm. The winds whipped around Harmony Breeze, barely rustling a piece of thatch, and they continued on their hellish course to the mountains and beyond, reaching as far as the outskirts of Serech. H’latha had followers in the village, and they spread the news of her miraculous deed. Soon, brown initiates flocked to the village to learn from her, swelling Harmony Breeze’s population and sending waves of worry and speculation through the village’s non-blooded residents. Despite H’latha’s heroics, some villagers, fearing witches and magic altogether, still detested her presence. With the influx of more witches, these magic-fearing folk approached the village elders about their growing concerns, and the elders, after months of deliberation, eventually ordered H’latha and her followers to leave Harmony Breeze. While H’latha certainly had the power to refuse the elders’ dictum—she could have leveled the village or charmed the elders— instead, she calmly accepted their judgment and moved her followers into the northern wilderlands between Sheyrr and Cairnmere. There, in the area’s foothills, she and her brown initiates built their own community, and they effectively disappeared from the eyes of men. The following year, harsh weather returned to the north, though the winds were not quite as strong. Still, a strong storm from the southwest severely struck Harmony Breeze, the village that had ousted H’latha and her witches. Only a handful of people survived, and, coincidentally, all the survivors had previously supported the witches’ presence in their village. The survivors claimed at once that H’latha had brought the devastation, and one young woman among them swore the wind sang the old witch’s name as it whistled destructively through the village. That spring, the survivors set out to the south to search for H’latha and her initiates, hoping to find safety and forgiveness with them. They abandoned their luckless search, however, upon summer’s end, and they settled in another village they encountered along the way. Word in the weave says that H’latha did not bring the winter storm, as there was little magic left in her at that time; she’d spent her powers saving Harmony Breeze. But rumors persisted for more than a hundred years that she and her followers had banded together to cast a single spell of great power to smite the village and slay those who turned the old woman away. The truth of the matter remains a mystery. Some time after these events, the old witch and her band became known as the Singers of the Southwest Wind, with tales of their exploits being far more myth than fact. None alive today know what really happened in the village, or where H’latha and her initiates left to make their home. To this day witches still search the northern foothills, looking for some trace of the original Singers’ trappings and the ruins of Harmony Breeze. Today, the strongest witches in the Singers remain in the north, traveling between Crane’s Rest, Serech, and Sheyrr. They are proficient in all manner of weather magics, and adventurers and fellow witches seek them out to learn more about H’latha and the powerful artifacts rumors says she possessed.
Dozens of covens feed into the Singers, each with eight members—one to represent each compass point: north, northwest, northeast, south, southwest, southeast, east, and west. The witch representing the southwest holds sway in each coven. In addition, dozens of solitary witches claim membership in the Singers. The majority of the witches are of the brown weave, but there are gray, white, and unaffiliated witches as well. The Singers also embrace their close family members, and although these individuals do not possess magical ability, the organization, nonetheless, finds them valuable. Many are scholars who record the Singers’ history or who research old tomes. Others are farmers and herbalists, who provide food and spell components. A small snowflake embroidered on her sleeve marks a witch as a Singer, and members of this association address each other with this or a similar greeting: "I come from the southwest, sister." This is responded to with, "Together we will sing with the wind." Those seeking to join the Singers must pass the Ordeal of Weather, in which the initiate must accurately predict the weather for the coming two days and command some weather-related spells. In addition, she must survive a wintry night, exposed to the elements, on her own. Several initiates claim to have seen visions of H’latha during this time, and they say the old witch’s spirit talked to them. Every eight years, the Singers travel to the northern mountains on a mystical pilgrimage, where they meet to share spells and fellowship. In the month-long festival, the people of the mountain villages keep to their borders, fearing the gathered witches might bring down vicious winds if interrupted. Also during this time, young witches seeking to join the august organization journey north to find the Singers, take their tests, and become accepted into their ranks. Player characters might encounter members of this organization by being accidentally caught in the path of witches looking for the Singers, or they might find themselves in a bit of bad weather—courtesy of Singers testing someone in the Ordeal of Weather. A witch PC might also seek to join the Singers of the Southwest Wind. SLENDIRA’S SISTERHOOD This band of brown witches makes their home in the arid heart of the Aranni Desert. At one time, they numbered nearly 300, as initiates braved the inhospitable heat to learn from the founder, Slendira. History paints her as a kind and noble woman who shunned civilization and embraced the harshest of environments. "Only when nature tests us, drives us to the point of despair and death, can we find the true beauty in ourselves and in the world," Slendira wrote. Her philosophies are recorded in priceless volumes that are stored in the Sisterhood’s stronghold in the desert. Images of the sage adorn the stronghold, and followers dress as she did—in simple tunics of thin cotton. Members of the Sisterhood have built up a tolerance for the heat, and their skin is dark and leathery from years under the desert sun. They are all proficient at fasting, as when they travel in the desert they are faced with the prospect of sandstorms that can foul their food and slow their journey—hence stretching their
The Way of the Witch scant water supply. And some of them are expert astrologers and astronomers, as nowhere in Myrra are the stars as bright and numerous as over the Arrani Desert. Since Slendira’s death 60 years ago, the Sisterhood has dwindled, and no one voice has stepped up to take her place. Many have tried, but none have been able to win their peers’ respect and acceptance. And so the Council of Seven, which seeks to follow Slendira’s goals and teachings, governs the Sisterhood. The band now numbers slightly less than 100, and by the end of the century, scholars expect Slendira’s Sisterhood to disappear altogether. The Council of Seven, however, hopes to reverse the trend and to again attract strong-minded brown witches who want to find strength in themselves and beauty in the world. To this end, they have sent messengers into the far corners of Myrra, contacting young brown witches—women only—and bidding them come to the desert. The Council of Seven hopes to, in this way, find an extraordinary candidate, one whom the Sisterhood might nurture and groom to take Slendira’s place. The easiest way for the player characters to encounter Slendira’s Sisterhood is for one of the sisterhood’s messengers to contact them, especially if one among party is a brown witch. The Council of Seven might ask them to serve as messengers, locating good brown witch candidates for the Sisterhood. There is also the possibility that the PCs could hear of Slendira’s rare philosophical tomes, and they might journey to the heart of the desert in the hopes of reading those works.
and both are relatively rare occurrences. The new member is selected from various white witches the group has taken note of in the area. To this end, the covens are always scrying on their weave sisters to keep an eye out for potential candidates. The selected witch does not face any trials, as is common in many other arcane organizations as the covens have been watching her long enough to know her capabilities. Because the White Witches of Hobb Hill are familiar with others of the weave, they are apt to contact a player character witch—either asking her to join them, or asking that she undertake a mission for them. The White Witches of Hobb Hill are loath to leave this part of the world, so when they need rare spell components from the far north or the far south, and so they seek others to obtain them. If a PC is contacted for a mission, she is not likely to personally meet one of the White Witches. They instead most likely contact her through her dreams, imparting cryptic messages. In addition, PCs of another weave might be asked to find the White Witches of Hobb Hill. Though the common folk of the area do not know about the witches, powerful black and gray covens do—and some of their members covet the magic the White Witches command. These covens would pay considerable gold to the PCs for a map to the White Witches’ home. The PCs could also be asked to gain spellbooks or to find the precise location of a Hobb Hill coven. Unfortunate PCs could even be forced by black covens to gather this information.
WHITE WITCHES OF HOBB HILL This gathering formed in 1255 A.T., the year the largest of the Arak bandit groups were driven out of the north. Unknown to the northern people, a coven of white witches had aided the northern forces fighting the bandits, secretly casting spells to befuddle the bandit leaders’ minds, while at the same time, using their magic to bolster the northern fighters. When the skirmishes ended, the witches quietly moved south, considering their work finished. They did not want the northern people to learn of them. They also wanted to locate another group in need of aid. After three years of helping travelers along the river, they settled in the foothills to the northwest of Hobb Hill, and they settled into a role of protecting the area’s people and safeguarding the river and nearby forest. Hobb Hill witches live deep in the earth, in natural caverns enhanced by their spells. Tunnels connect the thirteen covens that make up this group, which in turn have thirteen members each. Narrow tunnels extend to the east—like the fingers of an outstretched hand—so the witches can travel unnoticed through the countryside. Few people in the area know they have guardian witches living nearby, though there are occasional sightings of women casting spells to aid merchants beset by bandits. The White Witches have gone out of their way to remain hidden. The witches believe they can do more good if they pick their causes rather than have numerous people seek them out for help with trivial matters. Membership in the White Witches of Hobb Hill is very selective. The White Witches only add new members to the coven when one of their number dies or decides to move on—
WITCHES OF THE GROVE Little is known of this gathering of witches, except that there are thirty or forty of them living somewhere in the dense forest along the coast of the Sea of Janar. They are evil witches of the black weave who shun society in favor of nature, and they are reputed to be researching magic with the goal of bringing all "civilized" society to an end. Members of white and brown covens have ventured into the great forest looking for the Witches of the Grove, hoping to spy on them, as all scrying attempts have been unsuccessful. Their spying efforts have proven just as fruitless, however; as the covens have only located the evil witches’ cold campfires and remnants of dried herbs they possibly used as spell components. Still, the covens continue to look for the Witches of the Grove, hoping to stop them before they find the devastating magic they seek. Sages believe a male witch named Dorthran Lockwood formed the group nearly three decades ago. A trio of brown witches recently discovered Lockwood’s corpse, and the man appeared to have died of old age. No one knows who currently leads the Witches of the Grove. White or brown witches might hire the player characters to venture into the forest in search of the Witches of the Grove. Low-level adventurers might only be asked to gather information on the witches, while high-level characters might be asked to gather information and even kill them. Additionally, PCs traveling through the great forest could encounter these witches, and depending on the encounter’s outcome, they could gain a rather dangerous foe.
The world of Myrra holds many opportunities for witches from the various weaves to adventure in search of power and spells. The following section contains several hooks that can be fleshed out into adventures and each GM can adjust the challenges and/or add encounters to meet the needs and power level of the player characters in her own group. Many of the hooks include italicized text that can be read to the players to draw their characters into the adventure. 1. Quest for the Shards Legend says that long, long ago in Myrra there was an arthion witch named Syrrian. Her coven, called the Enlightened, possessed a large cauldron made of quartzia known as Talusar’s Vessel. It was said to have healing properties, as well as the ability to show the past and foreshadow the future. Because of this, it is whispered that Syrrian’s was the most powerful coven in Myrra. Other covens, as well as mundane thieves, tried to steal Talusar’s Vessel a number of times. But the Enlightened coven was always able to protect it until a group of black witches united to wage war against them. The war lasted for ten years and the Enlightened lost, most members being killed during the struggle. When the war was over and the Enlightened defeated, LaClaire, leader of the blacks, approached Talusar’s Vessel, admiring it. Drawing her antheme, she touched the stone blade to it. The quartzia rang like a bell. Unable to withstand its mighty reverberations, LaClaire and many of her coven were killed outright. What’s more, the sound from the cauldron caused earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and landslides. The face of Myrra changed. In the end, reacting to its own sounds, the cauldron shattered. But it is said that the shards remained, some of the magical essence of the cauldron lingering amid the bits. If a witch were to find one of these shards, and use it wisely, who knows what power could be harnessed?
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Occasionally, some momentous event happens in Myrra that causes one or more groups to try to find some of Talusar’s Vessel’s shards. This time, it’s an epidemic with no known cure. Many brown healer witches have exhausted themselves trying to help, but the situation is getting worse. People fear for their lives. So a brown dythane named Shirri summons the individuals she feels are best suited to this purpose, a mixed group, to help. Shirri includes her own favorite student, a burala archon named Reynalda, and charges her with seeking out a group of adventurers she has seen in her dreams. Reynalda is to lead the group into the northernmost mountains to find Syrrian’s ancient retreat. The approach to Syrrian’s retreat is through an old mine where the quartzia, which Talusar’s Vessel is made of, was originally found. It has not been worked for some time and it is believed LaClaire’s coven booby-trapped it during the war. In addition, set into rock by powerful black witches, a number of spells also still exist, twisted even more by the passage of time and unrenewed intent. These spells may have also warped whatever came to live in the mine in the last few centuries. If the adventurers can get through, they find themselves on a large stone platform with a breathtaking view above a sheer drop into a valley that slumped as the cauldron shattered. There are ruins of the Enlightened coven’s settlement both above and below. The group must search through these ruins, then make their way to the rubble below to look for shards. Pieces of the Vessel might even be embedded in surrounding granite. One of the things the adventurers have to look out for is rock chucks, fuzzy brown and yellow marmots that don’t like trespassers on what they consider their property. They do just as their name implies: hide behind boulders and chuck rocks at enemies. Giant rock chucks can be really dangerous, not only for hurling boulders, but because they often inadvertently start avalanches. 2. The Bane Bell of Khialas Mirelle the Bard has discovered record of a magical bell having the power to halt negative-energy spells and she requests permission from her arthion to go find it. The arthion gives her blessing, and tells Mirelle to collect a group to help. Mirelle chooses two fellow witches from her coven, the Celestial Sounds. The rest are to be adventurers of mixed races and abilities. To get to the Temple of Renj’Sara-lith, where Mirelle believes the bell is located, they must cross the desert badlands. The badlands are a place of bizarre rock outcroppings sculptured by wind and peculiar hard, pale mud formations seemingly always changed by the rainy season, deep inside the Aranni Desert. The mud has strata made of certain kinds of minerals that are known to often cause spells spoken there to go awry. It is also a place of extreme heat during day, dropping to extreme cold at night. These conditions make the temple’s denizens very odd. At night, some animals and insects are attracted to warm bodies and visitors to the region can wake up with unwelcome bedfellows. The temple is located on the plain beyond the badlands, where it is speculated that the region’s remoteness and lack of large trees makes it an excellent place for observing the moon. The witch the adventurers find at the temple is called Arthion Agniss. She and two tyros take care of the temple and make notations about moon phases and Agniss is happy to give the adventurers a tour. There is no bell on the premises. When asked about it,
Agniss says, "You will hear when the Goddess turns," and they do that night, a haunting, deep sound, melodious and mournful, that flows away across the plain and echoes off the cliffs of the Badlands. When the group begins searching for the bell after this event, they discover some unusual things in the temple, but, again, no bell. This mystery deepens and Mirelle becomes even more determined to get to the bottom of it.. She finally calls her fellow musical witches together, and the three begin playing in an attempt to find the Bane Bell of Khialas while the other adventurers are free to pursue their own avenues. But ultimately, the bell responds to the musical witches and their music, and the adventurers discover that the temple itself is the bell. 3. Of Ancient Palaces "It was near the beginning of the world," the old sage begins, "when there were palaces filled with more wealth than can be found shining today in the entire world." Sitting cross-legged on a pillow atop a crate, lecturing from his favourite spot in the Kar-Kar marketplace, the old man doesn’t seem very remarkable, except perhaps for the three thin green snakes draped around his neck, the longest one hissing when the man let out a deep sigh. The old sage twirls his gnarled fingers and suddenly springing up in the air before him is a translucent image of an impressive building with platinum-tinged minarets, mother-of-pearl inlaid domes, and cut-glass windows of the finest colored crystal. Everything glistens, and the image draws " oooohs" and "aahhhhs" from the onlookers. The children are especially fascinated. "One such ancient palace was near here," he continues. "And were I a young man with strength of back, I would dig until I found it. Were I a young man who was strong in the weave, I would certainly pursue it. But I am not a young man. Only my mind has remained strong, and my magicks are limited to simple illusions and snake-charms." He drones on with his tale, of the Palace of jawnee W’ler’en, locking eyes with you, urging you to step closer with his eyes. His gaze never leaving yours, hinting that there is something else to his story—something he’ll not tell these commoners. As the tale continues, the snakes slide from his neck and weave back and forth on their tails before the audience. A waggle of his finger and they grow longer and change color. The crowd "ooohs" and "aaahhhs" again. Then the snakes become thin and green and slither back up ‘round his neck. "Until tomorrow," he says, bowing his head to the crowd. A few in the crowd toss him coins as they drift away, but his eyes beg you to stay for a time. The old storyteller beckons any interested PCs to follow him into a nearby alley. Here he finds another crate, and slowly easing himself onto it, he addresses the witch or witches in the group. He says he can sense that the weave runs through them, and that they would have the best chance to find the Palace of jawnee W’ler’en of any he has met in some time. Besides, his wife—dead many years—was a witch, and he feels dealing with a witch would honor her memory. He has a map, a very old one that is very difficult to read. He doesn’t carry it on him, claiming it is too valuable, and he fears pickpockets. But he is willing to trade it to the PCs, in exchange for a small share in the wealth they obtain from the buried palace, perhaps even just a few ancient trinkets—oh, and up front, a magical item that would allow him to fly. He is an old man
Chapter 9: Witch Adventure Ideas
and is having trouble walking and neither his snakes, nor his illusionist spells, can help him move easier. If the PCs accept his offer, and they pursue the lost treasure, the old man agrees to meet them in a very public place and trade the map for the magical flying device and a promise of some treasure when they find the palace. The map appears very old, genuine, and indeed is difficult to read because the years have worn away the ink. The PCs will need help reading the map, either magically or by visiting a library to find another sage or historian (which could be another adventure in itself). A little extra research on the PCs’ part reveals that there was a jawnee named W’ler’en, though no one knew he lived in this area. Still, he likely had at least one manse or palace, as he was reputed to be very rich. The old sage’s wife was of the brown weave, and she died almost twenty years ago. The sage seems to be respected by folks in the area and he is telling the truth about the map, which he found among his wife’s belongings, and the jawnee palace (as he knows it). Once the PCs get the map fully deciphered, they may begin their treasure-hunting expedition. The map really does give directions to an old ruin, but it’s not a jawnee palace. It turns out W’ler’en really didn’t live around here after all. The ruin the PCs are unwittingly heading to once belonged to one of the very first witches of the black weave. One of the snakes around the old sage’s neck is actually a black witch named Lorlotho. And though she is powerful enough to shapechange and to enspell the storyteller (she planted the jawnee palace notion in his head and slipped him the map), she doesn’t think she has the power to venture into the ruin alone—or at least she doesn’t want to risk it, nor, of course, does her wish to risk her own hide entering the ruins. Her plan is for the PCs to find the old ruin, enter it and deal with any monsters or spirits that might be inhabiting it, and then recover the treasure. Lorlotho intends to strike when they are sorely wounded after a fight or are sleeping, but if she can’t catch them at a weak time, she’ll use her shapechanging ability to secretly follow them and steal from them when they split up or are otherwise at a disadvantage. If the PCs are very lucky, they’ll catch and defeat her. If they’re merely lucky, she’ll get away with some of the black weave baubles that they recover, and they’ll keep their lives. The ruin can be as large or as simple as the game master desires. It shouldn’t be easy to get to, however, and it should be sprinkled with magical traps. What’s in the ruin? An old tome that recounts the beginning of the black weave. In addition to being interesting, it would be quite valuable to various covens or gatherings of any color. There are also old potions and powders among other various trinkets, most of that have lost their potency, and some cursed items to be certain. There should also be a few of the first enchanted items created by "black" magic. Unless the PCs are of the black weave, they’ll likely want to destroy at least some of the things they find. If the PCs survive and make their way back to confront the old sage, they’ll discover that he has two green snakes around his neck—and he doesn’t recall anything about an old Jawnee palace, an ancient map or even the adventurers themselves.
4. Dead Wood As a member of the brown weave, you feel a special closeness to nature and that closeness has been the source of a considerable amount of pain lately. You have horrible nightmares that keep you from a proper sleep, and because of that your magical abilities are diminished. You’ve discovered that other brown witches you know share your discomfort and one of them believes she knows the source of the trouble. She’s learned that the woods northeast of Crane’s Rest are dying. She’s certain that if something isn’t done to stop it, the forests throughout all of Myrra could be doomed as well. In response to this threat, witches of the brown weave are sending delegations to all the region’s woodlands. Your coven has been selected to travel to the source of the problem and you are tasked with gathering a band of skilled adventurers, including at least one witch of another color to offset your diminished power. The fate of Myrra’s forests—perhaps the fate of the entire world— could very well rest in your hands. For the duration of the adventure, PC brown witches and druids can cast only half the number of spells they normally would be allowed, and their familiars operate at one-half hit points. Furthermore, they are troubled by dark, shapeless visions during the day and suffer from similar nightmares when they try to sleep. There is indeed a big problem in the woods northeast of Crane’s Rest—and witches are at the bottom of it. The Shattered Circle, a gathering comprised of witches who were cast out of various covens, is seeking revenge against an arm of the Singers of the Southwest Wind (see Chapter 8 for more information on these organizations). They have managed to slay seven members of an eight-member coven in the woodlands in question, and they were on their way to finding the last witch when they came across the coven’s treasure. Amid the magical knickknacks was a cursed item from Myrra’s ancient past—a scaled globe that was created by a Draconis sorcerer to be used as a threat to cow the jawnee. The sorcerer never intended to use the device, and it was buried with him when he died. The device is a devourer, and it feeds on the land, channeling the energy it gains into its wielder. The coven of the Singers of the Southwest Wind had been safeguarding the devourer since it was discovered decades ago, all the while the coven here was researching how to safely destroy it. The witches were nearly onto the proper method when the Shattered Circle struck. Even the members of the Shattered Circle realized that the item was terrible and not to be used, so they tucked away all their other prizes, and one of the Circle members was elected to destroy the devourer. The witch was unsuccessful, and rather than breaking the horrid device, she accidentally activated it. The devourer began to drink the life out of the forest, and the remaining members of the Shattered Circle fled south. The unlucky witch has effectively become the devourer’s wielder, and as such, the energy drained from the forest is being fed into her. This is far more power than she can handle, and she has been driven mad by it. She is now wandering aimlessly, the devourer drinking life as she goes. The PCs can easily locate the dead woods. It looks as if everything has been burned, but there is no sign and no scent of fire. There are insect husks, animal skeletons, and blackened trees and bushes, and there are footprints. The PCs can follow the foot-
The Way of the Witch
prints and learning that the many people in the group traveled south (the fleeing Shattered Circle members). The tracks indicate that only one person traveled north (the unfortunate witch). They can also find the corpses of the Singers of the Southwest Wind coven, possibly even locating the lone surviving Singer. If they do, she tells the PCs of the devourer and what is going on. She can also provide the coven’s research about the ancient cursed device. The PCs must locate the devourer and its mad wielder and stop them before it is too late. The wielder is powerful and should provide quite a challenge, and when they finally best her, the PCs must then content with the devourer itself. With hard work and a bit of luck, the PCs should be able to finish the coven’s research and find a way to destroy the device. Should they fail at this, they could seek help from the surviving Singer to discover a way to shut evil relic down for a little while until another coven of Singers can take over. Either way, once the devourer is dealt with, the PCs will then be asked by the Singers to help tear down the dead forest and replant the woods. What do the PCs get for all their work? Perhaps an offer to join the Singers of the Southwest Wind. Perhaps a few trinkets the mad witch carried. Any PC brown witches and druids might get also receive a special reward, such as being granted the ability to cast an extra 1st level spell each day—something to compensate for their loss of power during the adventure. 5. Children of the Weave The Natatorium, high in the mountains, has a small favor to ask of you: take a half-dozen young witches on a field trip of sorts. The headmistress wants the youngsters to learn firsthand just what adventuring is all about—the rigors of mountain climbing, foraging for food, searching for treasure, and dealing with the threat of an unnatural beast or two. The school has been watching your band for quite some time, and think you would make perfect adventuring instructors. The pay is good, and you will be rewarded with the chance to do some research in the Natatorium’s famed library. If the PCs agree, the students are put under the authority of whichever party members are witches. The highest-level PC in the party is told that one of the instructors will be following at a safe distance, to keep an eye on things, to come to the student-witches’ aid if necessary, and to grade the students. Of course, things aren’t quite what they seem. While the headmistress is sincere, as she has been sending students out with adventurers for quite a few years, the teacher who selected the students for this outing is not an entirely honest soul. She is a gray witch who has been paid very well to help get rid of one particular student. The student is a 15-year-old girl of the white weave, who is the chosen heir to a substantial estate. Her remaining parent is quite ill, and is not expected to live out the year. If the girl dies, the heir becomes her older cousin, a man who is secretly a black witch, and who craves the estate and the gold. The black witch approached the teacher, paid her well, and directed the teacher to set him up with an opportunity to kidnap the girl-heir. The black witch actually intends to kill the girl—and the gray witch instructor, too, so, in the end, there will be no one alive to tell the tale of his foul deeds. The GM should throw a few monstrous creatures the PCs’ way, and should present several natural hazards to test the PCs and the students. The gray witch teacher can increase these challenges
by casting spells to cause rockslides and by summoning an enchanted beast or two. There might even be a cave to explore that holds some amount of danger and maybe a bit of treasure. The black witch responsible for the plot will strike while the PCs are involved in a battle. He’ll take out the unaware gray witch first, and then he’ll go after the girl-heir. It is possible he’ll be successful without anyone discovering his evil acts, and in that case, the PCs may be tasked with discovering that the girl’s death is a murder. Upon learning this, the headmistress insists they find the killer and save the reputation of the Natatorium. 6. The Vanishings Thirteen witches, a coven of the gray weave, were south of Bixbee gathering herbs for a special ritual. It was an annual event, this harvest, but it was one they did not come back from this year. You have no special ties to this group, and you do not know any of the members. But you’ve taken it upon yourself to investigate. It’s in your own best interest, really. This isn’t the first coven that’s gone missing. There was one last year, of the brown weave, though that was at the northern edge of the great desert. Another thirteen witches. Four years before that, a coven of grays from the southeast mountains. It cannot be coincidence. It could very well happen again. If you can discover the truth behind the vanishings, you could perhaps prevent the loss of more covens. You could even be saving yourselves. This adventure works especially well if the PCs are all members of a coven, as the other NPC coven members will be nervous, possibly prodding them on to investigate matters. It is also appropriate if any PC is a coven member or works with a coven. The vanishings are all related, though it takes a bit of digging on the PCs’ part to find the link. It could also involve them traveling to Bixbee, the great desert, and even the far-off Dragonspine Mountains—depending on if the GM wants them to do some continent-crossing or not. All the missing covens were gathering components for an annual ritual honoring the three phases of Myrra’s moon. The components included the herbs from near Bixbee, mountain moss from the southeast peaks, and scorpion husks from the desert. The covens had gathered all the materials for their respective spells, and they performed the rituals. But something went awry in each case, and all of it related to the moon. If the PCs search the area where the gray coven recently vanished, they can find tracks, belongings, and even remnants of the components used in the ritual spell to honor the three phases of the moon. There are no traces of the witches beyond the circle where they performed the ritual. Clearly, they vanished. However, if the PCs continue their search during the evening hours when the moon is out, they see ghostly images of the thirteen, and it appears that the witches are trying to communicate. The PCs must rely on divination spells or will have to speak with the plants and animals in the area to figure out what happened. The ‘ghosts’ can also provide some clues if necessary. The GM might also want to throw in wandering beasts or real, unrelated ghosts, to spice things up.
The Way of the Witch
In the end, diligence yields this: the gray coven gathered the components and performed the ritual. As the last word was spoken, the witches shimmered, became insubstantial, then they simply disappeared. Of course, even the most novice witches can determine that the ritual was performed correctly, so what happened? It was all a matter of timing and the PCs have to look to the moon for the answers. In each of the months that the covens vanished, there were two full moons—blue moons as they’re called. The witches performed the ritual during the first full moon. Therein is where and why the magic went wrong. The ritual does not take into account that there will be two full moons. The magic of the earth-goddess that is still imbedded in the moon reacted to the ritual incantation in an unpredictable way . . . it tried to draw the witches toward the moon, clearly an impossible thing. And so the witches were instead drawn out of sync with Myrra, where they float in a misty place between worlds, and if the PCs cannot draw them back relatively soon, they will dissipate. Meeting with other witches, talking to sages, and relying on more divination magic and the like should yield the PCs a spell that will set things right. The covens lost in earlier years cannot be retrieved, but there is still hope for the lost gray witches. Once all is said and done, the PCs will have uncovered something of importance to all witches of Myrra—that moon magic during those rare months with two full moons is unpredictable and dangerous, and perhaps should be avoided. If there are material rewards to be gained for their efforts, they will come from the witches in the gray coven that PCs rescue. 7. Fragment of the Earth There are whispers in the black markets of Myrra’s cities that something very valuable will soon be put up for sale. There is talk among sages that it is something of great historical and magical note. The most powerful of Myrra’s witches shudder at this prospect—for to them, something in these whispers seems horribly wrong. They’ve cast great divination spells that reveal that the object is a piece of an eggshell, and they can feel the aura of the Earth-Goddeess upon it. Many believe it is a piece of the egg that once cocooned the Goddess; she who brought witch-magic to Myrra. Your group is one of several sent in search of the merchant who carries this shell. It cannot fall into a commoner’s hand, or worse, a noble’s hand. Neither should anyone else possess it—the fragment holds too much power. The fragment must be returned to the earth, and only the hands of a witch can see it safely returned to the soil. The PCs’ mission is simple, though terribly difficult: obtain the egg fragment and bury it as deeply as possible. They’ll have to rely on their own divination spells, black market contacts, and a lot of footwork to come up with needed clues. In addition, they’ll face a rival group of young black witches who want to gain the shell fragment for their own sinister purposes. After a lot of work, and probably a fight or two, the PCs can discover the fragment is headed to Spool, where it is to be put up for auction along with a variety of other antiquities. The merchant—on his way to Spool at that very moment—doesn’t know what he has. He purchased it with some other baubles from an elderly woman (a gray witch), who has since died. How she came by it, and why she sold it to the merchant, is a mystery left for another adventure. For now, the
shell’s fate is most important. The merchant knows that the fragment is incredibly flexible, yet unbreakable, radiates an amazing amount of magic, and that he feels both strong and calm when he holds it. He has entertained the notion of keeping the fragment for himself, but word of it has leaked out, and he fears someone might try to kill him for it. He believes it is better to be rid of it . . . and why not make a good bit of money in the process? The merchant has a cadre of guards, and he is a reasonable fighter himself. It will be extremely difficult for the PCs to simply take the shell from him. Depending on their available resources, they might be able to buy it, or offer him spells, magic and/or their service for a time for the relic. Brute force could work, under the right conditions, though it could well stain the PCs’ reputations. The merchant is not an evil man, and once the PCs do manage to obtain the shell, they’ll still have to deal with other folks who want it. Once they obtain the egg shell, it will be up to the PCs to hide the fragment and to find an inaccessible place to bury it—a task that very well could be a separate adventure unto itself. If the PCs entertain the notion of keeping it, they soon find that they are forever hounded by others who want to possess a piece of the Earth-Goddess shell. As for the adventurer’s reward—keeping the fragment from falling into the wrong hands should suffice to most witches and renowned heroes. But for those of a more practical bent, there is always the chance to acquire gold and other trinkets from those who would have the relic for their own selfish purposes. 8. The Phryniss Amulet Valancy Choreas, dythane and arthion of a white coven, has advertised for a group of fighter/adventurers to assist in a rescue. It seems a jeweler named Khalsori Denyon has served many of the witches in the south of Kerst County for many years. She is not only highly regarded because her designs are beautiful, but also because her stones seem to be more powerful than most. Khalsori herself was a diaras tyro (a young witch of the first level, second degree--see (see Chapter 7 for more details), which has an impact on the items she makes. Everyone in the region who is knowledgeable in the Craft is devastated to learn that Khalsori recently disappeared from her studio, apparently while making a complicated jewel for Valancy. When the PCs arrive, Valancy explains the situation. She had come into possession of a stone called the Phyrniss Amulet. This powerful gold and orange transparent cornuli, the size of a woman's palm, is said to rule fire. Valancy had been laboring for years to keep the amulet out of the possession of a very aggressive black arthion--Gaia of StormMarch. Valancy had succeeded well until she took the amulet to Khalsori to be cooled by a silver setting. Apparently Khalsori was in the process of settling the amulet by winding a complicated braided bezel around it when she was interrupted. For some reason, Valancy's vitke, Reia Shinesmore, whom she had sent to guard the jeweler while the amulet was being set, did not see the attack coming. The vitke was found senseless on Khalsori's threshold by a brown witch visiting to pick up her own new jeweled pentacle.
Chapter 1: Introduction
Only the jeweler, her canid familiar, and the Phyrniss Amulet were missing. Khalsori's chair was overturned and several tools were scattered across her worktable and on the floor. Other than vitke Shinesmore, who awakened almost powerless and with a horrible headache, no one saw anyone arrive or leave. Past experience with the black witch has taught Valancy that her opponent is nothing if not subtle. Gaia is likely to have a multiple-layered plan in process, the most obvious part of it being a diversion to disguise her true intention. And that turns out to be awakening the nearby volcano so that all local trade is diverted through StormMarch, her demesne. If she succeeds with this plan, it will make her a very wealthy and powerful woman. The PCs must trace Gaia through the hills west of Hobb Hill, and into the southern spur of the Western Leonor Mountains to the very foot of the dormant volcano, which is now stirring to life due to the amulet’s influence. They must find a way to cool the lava and save the nearby villages now in its path, as well as subdue Gaia. Finding Khalsori and her familiar, hopefully alive, is yet another worthy goal. Should the PCs succeed with these goals, they will gain witchly influence, personal power and prestige with the local communities. In addition, Valancy offers a small horde of bespelled gemstones.
+3, Listen +3, Profession (sailor) +6, Ritual +6, Spot +3, Swim +2, Use Rope +3, Wilderness lore +5. Languages: Common Height: 5’4" Weight: 115 Size: Medium Age: 23 Equipment: Blue robes, Book of Shadows, +1 bracers of armor, dagger, light crossbow, light mace, potion of cure light wounds (x2), quiver with 20 bolts, wand of summon monster I (1st level caster; 21 charges). Witch Spells Per Day (6/6; DC 13 + spell level): 0th — create water, cure minor wounds, detect poison, guidance, mending; 1st — cure light wounds, endure elements, summon monster I. Money: 350 gp in gems, 57 gp in various coins. Appearance: L’aeryn stands 5 ft. 4 in. tall, and she wears light blue robes. Her hair is a golden brown, and her eyes are as blue as the sea she loves so much. Her skin is tanned from exposure to the sun. Personality: L’aeryn is a whimsical young woman in her early twenties. She enjoys sailing and spending time with those who make their living on the high seas. She can be hot-tempered, and her language is often as colorful as that of the sailors she spends time with. L’aeryn has not chosen to call her familiar at this time, as she has little experience with caring for a living creature, and the thought scares her. She rationalizes that she roams too much to provide a good home for a "pet." Time may change her viewpoint on this topic. History: Born in the port town of Bixbee 23 years ago to a female tavern owner and a rugged seaman, L'aeryn Gehl is an intense, active and very independent young woman. Because her mother had little time for her, she became a "wharf rat" almost as soon as she could toddle. Seamen from ships in port "adopted" her, becoming her first teachers and friends. L'aeryn is a Solis witch, a whimsical young woman who loves telling stories. She enjoys sailing and spending time with those who make their living on the high seas. Those rough men who essentially raised her delighted in teaching her how to fight well with the weapons she now carries. L’aeryn can be highly opinionated, sometimes hot-tempered, and her language is often as colorful as that of the sailors she prefers spending time with. DAETLIN O’LYKIAD Birth Place: Silverglade Sex: Female Race: Jawnee (elf) Class: Witch/White Witch (coven) Level: 6/3 Strength: 11 (0) Dexterity: 18 (+4) Constitution: 11 (0) Intelligence: 12 (+1) Wisdom: 16 (+3) Charisma: 15 (+2) Alignment: NG HD: 9d8
The Way of the Witch
Hit Points: 40 AC: AC 17 (+3 armor, +4 Dex) Speed: 30 ft. Initiative: +4 (+4 Dex) Fort Save: +8 Ref Save: +7 Will Save: +9 Melee Attack Bonus: +9/+4 Ranged Attack Bonus: +11/+6 Weapons: quarterstaff +2 (1d6+2), lights crossbow (1d8, crit 1920/x2) Race Features: elf traits (see Chapter 3 of the PHB) Class Features: attract, create focus, combine, cure critical wounds 2/day, iron susceptibility, owl familiar, resist nature’s lure, restoration 1/day, witch code, 1st circle magic 2/day Feats: Brew Potion, Craft Wondrous Item, Foresight, Poison Resistance. Skills: Alchemy +5, Concentration +4, Craft (witch tools) +5, Detect Familiar +7, Detect Taint +7, Diplomacy +6, Harvest +6, Heal +15, Knowledge (divination) + 9, Knowledge (witchcraft) +5, Listen +3 (+5 when in contact with familiar), Move Silently +6 (includes bonus due to familiar), Perform +3 (chant, flute, storytelling), Ritual + 12, Ride Broom +6, Spellcraft +4, Speak Languages +1, Spot +3 (+5 when in contact with familiar), Wilderness Lore +5. Languages: Celestial, Common, Jawnee (Elven). Height: 5’1" Weight: 120 Size: Medium Age: 210 Equipment: White robes, Book of Shadows, bracelet of friends, +1 leather armor, +2 quarterstaff, dagger, light crossbow, quiver with 20 bolts, potion of cure light wounds (x3), potion of cure serious wounds (3), witch’s broom, wand of web (3rd level caster; 27 charges). Witch Spells (6/7/7/7/4; DC 13 + spell level): 0th — create water, cure minor wounds, dancing lights, detect poison, flare, ghost sounds, guidance, resistance; 1st — bless, cure light wounds, harmony candle*, love identity candle*, protection from spirits*; 2nd — blur, cat’s grace, cure moderate wounds, enthrall; 3rd — neutralize poison, remove disease, Syrilla’s rose garden*; 4th — minor globe of invulnerability, summon monster IV. *New spell, as described in Chapter 4 of this book. Money: 3,000 gp in assorted jewelry, 60 gp in various coins. Appearance: A silver-haired, frail jawnee woman of middle years, Daetlin wears the white robes of her chosen color. Daetlin wears several pieces of hematite jewelry at all times, including earrings, bracelets, and a locket that contains a cord of her lost love’s hair within. Personality: Daetlin is very soft-spoken, and she strives to do what is right in life. When any coven member or villager is sick, she gladly uses her magic to nurse them back to health, dedicating long hours to watching over them and helping to take care of menial tasks they are unable to handle, including babysitting. Villagers and coven members think very highly of the gentle woman. Others have only good things to say about her, and any who know her would go out of their way to protect or help her.
Daetlin has a love of beautiful, hematite jewelry, and she often travels outside her village and coven to the larger towns where she has other witch friends who craft more intricate pieces. History: Born 210 years ago near Silverglade, Daetlin has the appearance of a silver-haired, frail-looking Jawnee woman of middle years. She always wears spotless white robes of her chosen witchly calling. Daetlin also wears several pieces of hematite jewelry at all times, including earrings, bracelets, and a locket resembling the moon, which contains a cord of her lost love's hair locked within. Daetlin’s lost love was a powerful jawnee male vitke named Brisalmnis. He was also strong in the art of diplomacy, and used it wherever he could make a difference. Only five years after they were wed, Brisalmnis was killed trying to protect a young coven from mundane priests who stormed in during their first Circle, determined to burn them. Daetlin rushed to her love’s side and tried to revive him, but it was too late. With his dying words he gifted her with his familiar, a white hart, and urged her to continue the fight for good everywhere. The jawnee witch almost didn’t survive her love-partner’s death and she lay listless in tears for many months, accompanied only by his familiar, before they both recovered. The Snowy Knoll Coven, to which Daetlin belongs, thinks very highly of this gentle woman. She and her hart, Tirasa, have a tendency to appear anywhere there is trouble or sickness, whether or not they have been called for. Tirasa wears a collar of hematite disks around her white neck, set with a moon of the same stone; a twin to the one Daetlin wears in remembrance of Brisalmnis.
DRAVIKK THE WISE Birth Place: The Aranni Desert Sex: Male Race: Gruul (orc) Class: Witch/Gray Witch (Solis) Level: 6/6 Strength: 13 (+1) Dexterity: 7 (-2) Constitution: 15 (+2) Intelligence: 10 (0) Wisdom: 20 (+5) Charisma: 11 Alignment: LN HD: 12d8+24 Hit Points: 78 AC: 8 (-2 Dex) Speed: 15 ft. (club foot) Initiative: +2 (-2 Dex, +4 Improved Initiative) Fort Save: +12 Ref Save: +4 (includes bonus due to familiar) Will Save: +15 Melee Attack Bonus: +9/+4 Ranged Attack Bonus: +6/+2 Weapons: quarterstaff (1d6+1), sling (1d4) Class Features: atonement 1/day, attract, create focus, combine, code of fairness, code of poverty, darkvision 60 ft., discern lies
Chapter 9: Witch Adventure Ideas
2/day, geas/quest 1/day, greater attraction, iron susceptibility, karmic balance, punish 1/day, resist nature’s lure, weasel familiar, 1st circle magic 2/day Feats: Color Conjunction, Greater Combine, Improved Initiative, Poison Resistance, Witch Sense. Skills: Alchemy +2, Concentration +5, Craft (witch tools) +4, Detect Familiar +7, Diplomacy +7, Gather Information +6, Heal +8, Handle Animal +3, Knowledge (geography) +3, Knowledge (history) +3, Knowledge (religion) +6, Knowledge (witchcraft) +6, Listen +5 (+7 when in contact with familiar), Ritual +11, Scry +2, Sense Motive +9, Spot +5 (+7 when in contact with familiar). Languages: Common, Gruul (Orc) Height: 5’7" Weight: 155 Size: Medium Age: 43 Equipment: Two gray robes, Book of Shadows, quarterstaff, sling, 10 sling bullets, wooden cane, and pouch. Witch Spells (6/8/7/7/7/6/3; DC 15 + spell level): 0th — create water, cure minor wounds, daze, detect poison, flare, guidance, inflict minor wounds, mage hand, resistance; 1st — animal friendship, bless, charm person, hypnotism, sleep; 2nd— cat’s grace, cure moderate wounds, darkness, suggestion, summon monster II; 3rd — body of eyes*, cure serious wounds, inflict serious wounds, lesser geas; 4th — divination, enervation, summon monster IV; 5th— commune, contact other plane; 6th — globe of invulnerability. *New spell, as described in Chapter 4 of this book. Money: 5 sp. Appearance: Dravikk stands 5 ft. 7 in. tall, and he is middle aged. He wears the gray robes, and his head is completely bald. Dravikk was born with a clubfoot, and thus he moves very slowly and often walks with a cane. Personality: An unlikely witch, the gruul Dravikk takes his calling very seriously. He favors none, and he practices his vow of poverty to the extreme (see his meager possessions list). Dravikk carries little because he knows that the Goddess will provide for his needs. Not as learned as most gray witches, Dravikk prefers to concentrate on his role as arbiter, traveling the lands to assist those covens and Solis who need his skills and wisdom. History: Dravikk is an unusual witch of the gruul (orc) race. At 43, he is in his middle age, and hails originally from a tiny town called Altuek, which eludes most mapmakers (it is located far to the south, just along the southeast edge of the Aranni Desert). Born with a clubfoot, Dravikk moves very slowly and with a pronounced limp. When not leaning on his quarterstaff, he sometimes he walks with a cane. Dravikk was an outcast from his family, both because of his physical deformity, and also because he demonstrated witchly tendencies at an early age. Despite his gruul heritage, Dravikk is beginning to build a reputation across Myrra as a fair, but firm judge. He carries little with him because he knows that the Goddess will provide for his needs and he claims that the Goddess, the moon, and the companionship of his familiar, provide him with all the riches he requires
Dravikk always wears the gray robes of his witchly belief and his head is completely bald. His brown-black eyes are shrewd and very calculating. His familiar is a weasel named Sauvan, who often appears at gatherings where Dravikk is adjudicator to announce his master’s imminent arrival. He prefers the life of a Solis witch, favoring none and claiming no coven. He learns quickly, which has stood him in good stead in his calling. GRENALLA JOSENN Birth Place: Spool? Sex: Female Race: Human Class: Witch/Brown Witch (coven) Level: 6/6 Strength: 13 (+1) Dexterity: 14 (+2) Constitution: 10 (0) Intelligence: 12 (+1) Wisdom: 18 (+4) Charisma: 17 (+3) Alignment: N HD: 12d8 Hit Points: 54 AC: 16 (+4 armor, +2 Dex) Speed: 30 ft. Initiative: +2 (+2 Dex) Fort Save: +10 Ref Save: +6 Will Save: +14 Melee Attack Bonus: +9/+4 Ranged Attack Bonus: +10/+5 Weapons: quarterstaff +2 (1d6+3), light crossbow (1d8, crit 1920/x2) Class Features: attract, call ally 2/day, create focus, combine, hawk familiar, iron susceptibility, nature sense, resist nature’s lure, trackless step, wild shape 2/day, witch code, woodland stride, 1st circle magic 2/day Feats: Animal Companion, Black Sight, Craft Fetish, Craft Wondrous Item, Immunity, Witch’s Broom. Skills: Alchemy +5, Animal Empathy, Concentration +3, Climb +7, Craft (witch tools) +5, Detect Familiar +5, Detect Taint +5, Diplomacy +5, Heal +9, Handle Animal +12, Harvest +9, Intuit Direction +13, Knowledge (nature) +10, Knowledge (religion) +5, Knowledge (witchcraft) +5, Listen +9 (+11 when in contact with familiar), Ritual +10, Ride Broom +7, Spellcraft +3, Spot +7 (+9 when in contact with familiar), Wilderness Lore +10. Languages: Common, Jawnee (Elven) Height: 5’2" Weight: 190 Size: Medium Age: 49 Equipment: Brown robes, Book of Shadows, ring of water walking, +2 leather armor, +2 quarterstaff, dagger, light crossbow, quiver + 20 bolts, backpack, potion of cure light wounds (x3), potion of swimming, witch broom’s.
The Way of the Witch
Animal Companions: Grenella keeps a black bear, a wolf, and numerous birds as animal companions (up to 24 HD worth). Witch Spells (6/7/7/7/7/5/3; DC 14 + spell level): 0th — create water, cure minor wounds, daze, detect poison, flare, guidance, mage hand, mending, resistance; 1st — calm animals, endure elements, obscuring mist, sleep, summon nature’s ally I; 2nd — bull’s strength, cat’s grace, cure moderate wounds, hold animal, speak with animals; 3rd — charm monster, cure serious wounds, meld into stone, summon monster III; 4th — air walk, control water, summon monster IV; 5th — hold monster, summon monster V; 6th — flesh to stone. Money: 250 gp in gems, 65 gp in various coins. Appearance: Grenella is a short, portly woman of middle years. She wears brown robes, and her hair is prematurely gray. Personality: Although a coven witch, Grenella keeps mostly to herself, preferring the company of her animal friends and the wilderness to other people. She is not concerned about matters of good and evil, and she only intervenes in such struggles when the wilderness she cares about is at stake. Otherwise, she does not like to be bothered, and she only comes back to "civilization" for important coven meetings. History: Grenella is a short, portly woman of 49 years. It is believed she was born somewhere near Spool, but this isn’t certain, and she never admits to birthplace or parents. (There is a rumor that she came from a noble family in Spool, but this has never been substantiated). VAKAL Birth Place: Unknown Sex: Female Race: Sea Hag Class: Witch/Black Witch (Solis) Level: 6/6 Strength: 22 (+6) Dexterity: 14 (+2) Constitution: 13 (+1) Intelligence: 12 (+1) Wisdom: 22 (+6) Charisma: 8 (-1) Alignment: CE HD: HD 3d8+3 plus 12d8+12 Hit Points: 119 AC: AC 17 (+3 deflection, +2 Dex, +3 natural, -1 size) Speed: 30 ft., swim 40 ft. Initiative: +2 (+2 Dex) Fort Save: +14 Ref Save: +10 Will Save: +21 Melee Attack Bonus: +23/+18/+13/+8 Ranged Attack Bonus: +19/+14/+7/+4 Weapons: claws (1d4+6), light crossbow (1d8, crit 19-20/x2) Class Features: attract, create focus, combine, destructive essence, essence drain 2/day, harm 2/day, inflict critical wounds 2/day, familiar (not currently summoned), iron susceptibility, karmic balance, resist nature’s lure, summon darkness 6/day, 1st circle magic 2/day
Racial Features: evil eye, horrific appearance, SR 14, water breathing Feats: Alertness, Color Conjunction, Combat Casting, Craft Wand, Forge Ring, Poison Resistance, Witch Sense. Skills: Bluff +9, Concentration +6, Craft (witch tools) +6, Detect Taint +16, Hide +8, Intimidate +10, Knowledge (nature) +4, Knowledge (religion) +6, Knowledge (witchcraft), Ritual +15, Scry +11, Sense Motive +16. Languages: Common, Infernal Height: 7’10" Weight: 310 Size: Large Age: 253 Equipment: +3 ring of protection, ring of x-ray vision, dagger, light crossbow, quiver with 12 bolts, Book of Shadows, crystal ball, wand of cure moderate wounds (5th level caster; 13 charges). Witch Spells (6/8/8/7/7/7/7/5/3; DC 16 + spell level): 0th — cure minor wounds, daze, detect poison, flare, guidance, inflict minor wounds, mage hand, mending, resistance; 1st — bane, cause fear, charm person, command, doom; 2nd — blindness/deafness, bull’s strength, cure moderate wounds, hypnotic pattern, inflict moderate wounds; 3rd — bestow curse, cure serious wounds, lesser geas, slow; 4th — dominate person, enervation, hold monster, summon monster IV; 5th — spell resistance, summon monster V; 6th — etherealness, eyebite, flesh to stone; 7th — forcecage, true seeing; 8th — mass charm. Money: 2500 gp cache. Appearance: Vakal appears as a giant, misshapen woman with dark features and a horrific appearance. She wears black robes. Personality: Vakal is an infamous black witch, and she enjoys bringing death and destruction to those who ply the seas. She commands several evil sea races, like the sahuagin, and she uses them to effect destruction. To sailors, her name is a great curse, one that elicits fear and trembling at its mere mention. This fact amuses Vakal, and she would have it no other way. History: Vakal was born to a couple who lived along the rocky seacoast to the north of Dunmere. Her stern parents had a small holding there and with them concentrating on making a meager living, Vakal was allowed to run wild. Her witchly powers came suddenly to her during her teens and she found she preferred to control situations and animals rather than assist them. She tried her powers several times on her parents; sometimes it worked, other times she was backhanded for wasting their time and making them do things they had no business doing. One day Vakal found a tidal cavern among the rocks, discovering there a handful of coins and several stoppered bottles with odd seals wrapped around their throats. Curious, she broke one open. The demon within swarmed over her before escaping, and changed her appearance into that of the death-greedy hag and Vakal felt her powers increase with her size. Not bothering to go home, she wrapped herself in her black shawl, and began immediately to use her coercion powers on passing ships. She amassed great wealth from doing so, and her powers grew. At present, her favorite pastime is calling down sudden storms on unsuspecting sailors, and running their vessels onto the rocks of her home.
The Way of the Witch
Jasarl the Vitke Birth Place: Greenrock Sex: Male Race: Human Class: Witch/Vitke (coven) Level: 8/7 Strength: 12 (+1) Dexterity: 15 (+2) Constitution: 14 (+2) Intelligence: 11 (0) Wisdom: 18 (+4) Charisma: 12 (+1) Alignment: NG HD: 15d8+33 Hit Points: 100 AC: 22 (+2 Dex, +2 natural, +8 spirit armor) Speed: 30 ft. Initiative: +6 (+2 Dex, +4 Improved Initiative) Fort Save: +15 (includes stalwart bonus) Ref Save: +10 (includes stalwart bonus and Lightning Reflexes) Will Save: +19 (includes stalwart bonus and Iron Will) Melee Attack Bonus: +16/+10/+5 Ranged Attack Bonus: +16/+10/+5 Weapons: moonsword (1d10+2, crit 19-20/x2,), +1 light crossbow (1d8+1, crit 19-20/x2) Class Features: SQ attract, cat familiar, create focus, combine, fire resistance 30 (due to magic ring), planar sight, resist nature’s lure, spirit armor +8, stalwart, train tikarl, 1st circle magic 2/day, 2nd circle magic 2/day Feats: Alertness, Coven Conjunction, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Weapon Focus (bastard sword). Skills: Concentration +12, Craft (witch tools) +5, Detect Familiar +9, Intimidate +11, Knowledge (nature) +5, Knowledge (the planes) +6, Knowledge (religion) +5, Knowledge (witchcraft) +8, Listen +7, Move Silently +14 (includes bonuses from familiar and magic boots), Ride Broom +10, Ritual +15, Scry +10, Sense Motive +9, Spellcraft +10, Spot +7, Tumble +7. Languages: Common. Height: 5’10" Weight: 168 Size: Medium Age: 34 Equipment: Blue robes, Book of Shadows, +2 amulet of natural armor, ring of elemental resistance major (fire), boots of jawneekind (elvenkind), moonsword, dagger, +1 light crossbow, quiver with 20 bolts, book of shadows, witch’s broom, crystal ball, potion of cure serious wounds (x4). Witch Spells Per Day (6/7/7/7/5/4/3/2; DC 14 + spell level): 0th — create water, cure minor wounds, daze, detect poison, flare, guidance, inflict minor wounds, mage hand, resistance; 1st — cause fear, bless, cure light wounds, protection from spirits*, summon monster I; 2nd — blur, bull’s strength, cat’s grace, cure moderate wounds, hold person; 3rd — body of eyes*, cure serious wounds, inflict serious wounds, summon monster III; 4th — enervation, minor globe of invulnerability, polymorph self, summon monster IV; 5th — dispel evil, greater command, spell resistance, summon monster IV; 6th — anti-magic field, globe of invulnerability, plane shift; 7th — forcecage, shadow walk.
*New spell, as described in Chapter 4 of this book. Money: 300 gp in gems, 125 gp in various coins. Appearance: Jasarl is a tall, thin man in his late thirties with long, flaming red hair that he often wears in braids. He wears midnight blue robes. Personality: Jasarl is a very cat-like man who seems to be aware of everything around him without much effort. Jasarl lives only to protect the coven from harm, and he does an excellent job of it. Under Jasarl’s vigilant protection, the coven members feel very safe, and they often reward his efforts with magical items. His shadowy profile, head resting on a hand supported by his huge moonsword, his large cat by his knee, is taken as a sign by anyone who knows him that all is well in the both the immediate area as well as the adjoining astral plane. When Jasarl takes his moonsword in both hands and Rykall’s tail lifts in alert, everyone is aware that danger stalks them. Jasarl is a very serious soul, and he rarely engages in any gaiety, as he’s always on the alert for trouble. Talking with this male witch can be disconcerting--his attention always seems to be divided between his conversation and somewhere else. Of course, this is normal for a vitke: their sight can focus on the mundane plane as well as the astral at the same time. His familiar is a large dark brindle cat named Rykall, who at 28 pounds is a muscular repository of restrained fierceness and energy. History: Jasarl knew from an early age that his life would be different from other boys in Greenrock. They tormented him for being so serious, but the young witch had a sense about how to protect himself. His mother, a small, peaceful woman, pleaded with him to stop fighting, but Jasarl knew he had to continue to survive. He even fought on the astral plane in his dreams, often waking exhausted and sore. When he and Rykall mutually discovered each other, the male witch found an excellent partner in the feisty kitten. Eventually the well-known vitke Stannich took the boy into training. Jasarl eventually became his tikarl, and finally a vitke in his own right.
Glossary — Tools of the Craft From Calatin’s Notes: To make things easier for those not used to witchly tools and practices, I have set down and defined a number of terms peculiar to the Craft. athame: A witch’s ceremonial knife, initially gifted to her by a more powerful witch or teacher of the Craft. Later, the witch learns to craft them for herself. They are finely made, and the blades may be of stone or metal. Anthemes are usually adorned with power stones set in their hilt. Losing one’s antheme is considered a bad omen. archon: The second level of witch, after tyro. Archons are divided into three stages: shidras, burala, and yirthanan. A very talented witch can skip a step, such as going from shidras to yirthanan. The coven’s highestlevel witch usually decides which level to grant a witch. arthiras: A witch in full power. A term of respect, it is used before the witch’s shadow-name, as in ‘Arthiras Shalafer.’ It is not often used in the presence of mundanes. Beltane: A festival celebrated at the beginning of May, a time of preparation for the warm summer months to come. It is a festival of fertility, and handfasting rituals are commonly performed at this time. Fires are lit in celebration of the coming of spring and the burgeoning of new life, and the whole festival takes on a party atmosphere. Book of Shadows: A book of specific information regarding the Craft. Every witch posses at least one; older or more powerful witches usually have several, as they have collected more knowledge with time. An aging witch nearing life’s end may pass down her books to a younger witch; a woman might pass hers to another female in her family. These are normally good-sized volumes, and they are often warded. Witches must keep these tomes within some distance of their bodies at all times, as they draw some of their spells’ essence from them. bowl: The ritual bowl of salt set on an altar, made of metal, power stone, or wood. Also a scrying bowl, usually made of power stone that enhances the witch’s magic.
burala: The second level of archon, after shidras. Ca’di-us: An evil goddess, patron of many black witches. Circle (sometimes ‘the Circle): i) the ritual place used by a coven in the working of their Craft; ii) a term used to describe the coven when so gathered. coven: A gathering of witches sharing common backgrounds or leanings toward certain kinds of magic, who raise power to accomplish their arthion’s (leader’s) goals. coveners: Witches who belong to a coven. coven-touched: Something controlled or manipulated by a close-knit group of witches who share common goals. Craft (normally ‘the Craft’): Anything to do with the practice of witchcraft. Also moontouched or moon-blessed. crescent-marked: Moon-touched; having to do with witchcraft. Rare. darktime: During the dark of the moon. diaras: The second level of tyro. diverna: The second witch in charge of a coven, after the arthion. The diverna has at least one assistant called a torithyn. If the arthion is absent or ill, the diverna leads the coven in its various duties. This witch is in charge of gathering the witches for power raisings. dythane: A witch who has surpassed most others in power or in study. A level which garners great respect from witches of a lower station, who often greet the witch with a bow. Dythanes are often coven leaders. familiar: A witch’s bonded animal associate. firthane: A tyro’s first division. Ga-sta: Sister of the god Op’ta-tosep. She is the one who imbued the world with the magic that birthed witches. "Goddess-blessed": Said of one who is lucky, or whose spells always seem to go right. "Goddess-touched": A woman driven to find out all she can about a magical subject. half-dead: A term used to describe a witch who loses her familiar. half-name: The name a witch uses outside her life with the Craft. lighttime: The time period during the month when the moon is in its full phases. maranth: An assistant to the arthion (who leads the coven). moon-bent: A peculiar Solis witch.
moon-blessed: Something favorable. May also refer to someone born with strong witch powers or born under a full moon. Also Goddess-blessed. moondark: A curse word witches use when upset. moonsword: A vitke’s magical bastard sword, used to protect the Circle. Its blade is typically made of a power stone such as crystal etched with magical symbols and words. moon-touched: Anything to do with witchcraft. mundanes: Non-witches. "of the blood": Refers to someone who is a witch. Op’ta-tosep: A powerful god who, when trapped on this planet by the machinations of Ca’di-us, created the continent of Myrra and all that is upon it. pentacle: A symbol used widely in the Craft, particularly in ritual workings. A five-pointed star (one point at the top) enclosed within a circle. Commonly worn as a pendant, usually in silver, by most witches; and commonly inscribed on the ground as a symbol to mark a place in which rituals are performed. Candles are often burned at the points of the star while witches are at work upon it. power stone: These are naturally occurring minerals and rocks which act to enhance certain witch powers. They are often worn as jewelry by witches or incorporated into ritual items. raising power: Magical ceremonies in which witches and/or their familiars combine their magicks to perform great spells. May also refer to the use of rituals to cast spells. Also a Raising. ritual: The steps taken before raising power, either in Circle or by a solitary witch. These normally include purifying the threshold and altar with salt and sage, purifying the antheme with salt, lighting colored candles, invoking a power stone, and calling on the Moon Goddess for aid. Each coven or individual has their own variation involving the same basic steps. Samhain: The New Year festival, celebrated in October. At this time, the veil between the world of the living and that of the dead is weakened, and the recently departed are honored and celebrated. Powers of divination are heightened at this time. shadow-name: A witch’s true name, used only in Circle and by others
among the Craft. Spoken among outsiders only under great duress. shidras: The first level of archon (see Witch Organization in Chapter 7); a shidras is usually the coven’s leader. smallwork: A tiny spell or curse which affects an individual or his surroundings. Wishing a person a good day after he or she does a witch a favor is a smallwork. Solis: A solitary witch, one who works alone without the benefit of a coven. solitaire: See Solis. sunsered (sunseered): Literally sun or fire-blasted, thrown away from the moon. Cursed. Spoken of a witch with minimal powers or one who has lost a familiar or antheme. tikarl: A vitke’s assistant who helps guard the Circle during power raisings. tisane: A herbal infusion, often made with healing herbs for a specific purpose. torithyn: An assistant to the diverna (who is second-in-command of a coven). Tyrran: The first beings Op’ta-tosep created from seeds during the Creation of Myrra (see the History of the Weave section, Chapter 1). tyro: A young witch who’s just acquired her powers and is studying the Craft. There are three divisions to tyros: firthane (the lowest); diaras (second ranking); and zarsthior (highest ranking). unaffiliated witch: One who has not chosen to follow a specific weave. A standard witch. vitke: The witch who stands outside a working Circle with a moonsword and protects the witches both on the earthly and astral planes. This witch does not have to be big physically, but must be mentally able to defend his or her Circle or defend against a threat from any plane. Vitkes often have assistants called tikarls. yirthanan: The third level of an archon witch. weave (usually ‘the weave’): The magic woven through the world that witches tap into to use their magical abilities. witch shadow: A witch’s presence, essentially the emanation of her abilities. Also called an aura. This can be hidden at need. zarsthior: The third level of tyro.
The Way of the Witch
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