Witchcraft of Altera

Witchcraft

  • Casting style:  Verbals and on-the-fly casting instead of prepared spells.
  • Strengths:  Healing and Curses
  • Weakness:  Protectives

It was considered peasant magic.  Maghdella had heard this many times.  The magic of maids, serfs, and the unseen masses.  That was fine by her. Don’t look at us. Don’t see our numbers. Underestimate us.  That is why we will survive when you fall.  Her Eye was open and she had seen the coming destruction.  She had seen an end to magic.  She had also seen that one day… one day it would return.  Nothing is ever lost forever after all.  So long as the chants were said and oaths sworn, even without real magic to back them, the witches would be ready when the Power returned.  Today would be the last time she inducted someone. Tomorrow she would die, soon they all would die.  This youngling would be left to carry on the tradition.  She would need to teach her children, and they, their children’s children, and forward on in time until the Power returned.

The Coven Circle formed in quiet. Maghdella, First Witch of the Crescent Sickle, began the Rite of Acceptance.

We come in Circle. With faith and trust that we stand as one.
We stand in Circle joined as one” intoned the five other witches.
We call forth powers old and ancient Pharie, Dragon, or Shade – if you answer our call then come!
We call you forth,” replied the others.
Let the Circle be bound. Let our will be done
Let our will be done,” answered the others.
We meet to bring forth our new daughter with whom we shall share our wisdom”
“Let her come forth and be questioned,” chanted the coven.

The circle, as a single mind, all turned to face the youngling. Maghdella continued the ritual and now could only pray that nothing would interrupt them. It was perhaps the most basic of spells but the marking of a soul to accept the Coven’s power should never be taken lightly.

Who are you child? Who comes forth to ask for our secrets?

The child, not more than thirteen, trembled with excited anticipation.

“I am Gisella, I come in faith and trust. Seeking only to learn.”

The words, practiced and rehearsed, came out in a hurried rush.

Gisella, will you obey the will of the First Witch in all things that happen
within our Circle?
“I will.”
Gisella, will you keep our secrets and not speak of what you see or here within
this circle to those without?”
“I will.”
Gisella, will you hold our ways and bind them to your family even if
all your power is fled?
“I will.”

Maghdella stepped aside and gestured for Gisella to take her place on the inside of the Circle. Only one last hurdle. The magic of will, gathered from every person in the coven to shape something larger than any one of them began to build and take form. It was all Maghdella could do to contain the magic’s shape and purpose. The Power – wanting only to escape it’s confines and run wild. The will of the Coven was the only thing holding it in check.

Brothers and sisters, our new daughter, Gisella, of the Crescent Sickle, is there any here who does not accept her as family, kin, and blood?

“Please… let there be no objections,” she silently prayed to any and everything watching.

Silence and acceptance was the only response. Maghdella quietly sighed in relief. She held aloft a small sickle pendant and willed the Power of the Circle up into it.

This is the symbol of our coven. It is the focus of our power and symbol of our acceptance in you. But for now, it is only a symbol. You are the only one who can make it more. Take this. Make it your own. Mark it with your blood and bind it to your will.

Gisella was trembling. Not out of anticipation as before, but under the sheer weight of the magic she was experiencing for the first time. She reached out and took the pendant pressing the point of the sickle into her open palm. The Power of the Circle came crashing down into her, igniting every blood vessel and threatening to break every bone. She was a witch. She was now family. She stepped back and took her place within the Circle. Power quietly hummed waiting for the next spell to be cast. To most, Gisella looked no different than before but Maghdella was gifted with an Open Eye. She saw what few others could see. Above Gisella’s heart was a softly glowing sickle forever marking her soul as a Witch.

Maghdella smiled… they would survive.

Cost Summary

Witch Tiers Pre-Req Mote Range Mote Cost Abilities
1st, 10 XP None 1-10 2 XP/Mana Spell Flux,
8 XP each
2nd, 10 XP 11 Motes 11-20 4 XP/Mana Counterspell,
10 XP each
3rd, 15 XP 21 Motes 21-30 6 XP/Mana
4th, 15 XP 31 Motes 31-40 8 XP/Mana
5th, 20 XP 41 motes 41+ 10 XP/Mana

Rules Summary

  • Foci:  No
  • In-Play Verbals:  Yes
  • Soul Mark:  Yes
  • In Play Rituals/Books/Text:  Yes

Witchcraft is the Art of balancing the forces of creation’s beating heart.  It is life and death; Light and Dark; Healing and Cursing.  Each in equal measure neither shunned or honored above the other.  The Witch acts as the arbiter of these opposing forces to bring prosperity or destruction as needed.  Witches must be inducted by another Witch.  This most often is in the form of a Coven however it is possible to be a solitary witch once inducted to the Art.  A witch channels raw magic called “motes” from all life around her and then gives those motes shape with her words.  Witches have a finite ability to channel motes but can conduct small rituals to restore some of the lost power.  Each ritual grants small strengths to the participating witches and it is in these rituals that a solitary witch falls short of her coven sisters.  Witchcraft rituals restore a specific and limited number of motes depending on the exact ritual being performed.  The ability to participate in more than one ritual per day requires more extensive training and is gained through character growth.  Witches may participate in any or all rituals and may count to the total number of participants but only witches who are coven bound (share a soul mark) with the ritual’s First Witch can benefit from the ritual’s secondary effects.

There are no official writings or records of the witchcraft tradition.  The secrets of any given coven are closely guarded secrets.  Any individual witch can write spells or rituals down however it is assumed that they are actually used from memory and a coven may object to their secrets being trusted to paper which can be lost or stolen.  Unique spells may be found or developed in play.  Such unique spells are difficult to explain or teach and require a IBGA expenditure to do so.

Soul Mark

Soul Marks are what allow a witch to channel their power without the need for a Foci.  These are sigils or images that are burned directly onto the subject’s soul.  Marks do heal after a time so once a year a witch must recommit to her to her coven and be remarked.  A person may have multiple Soul Marks but having one may impact how you are seen by other covens or even other supernatural beings.  Methods for perceiving Soul Marks must be found in-play.

Example Spells

Curses

Hobble

Verbal:  “Rage all you can still I am unharmed:  Magic Hobble.”

Effect: Target takes a Hobble effect.

Stupefy

Verbal:  “Confusion clouds your mind and hostility will flee: Magic Stupefy.”

Effect: Target takes a Stupefy effect.

Healing

Flesh Blessing

Verbal:  “Knit flesh and mend bone.  Magic Heal Wound 1.”

Awaken

Verbal:  “Think free and clear with mind now free:  Magic Awaken.”

Share Life*

Verbal:  “[name of willing and living person] gives of their own life to see you again.  Magic Resurrection”

Note:  Use of this spell takes a small portion of life from a willing living person in order to provide the spark of resurrection for the dead.  Long term consequences of this are unknown by players.

Example Rituals

All Rituals follow a similar pattern.  The leader of the ritual, called The First Witch, always speaks first and then the Coven participants have required responses.  The First Witch must read directly from the original Ritual which is considered an in-play item.  The coven members may recite from memory or have copies of the ritual written for themselves however such copies do not have sufficient power to allow them to act as the First Witch later.

Some rituals allow for short discussions or breaks of formality but those are uncommon.

If the Coven as a whole completes the entire ritual as scripted (reading is fine, this does not have to be memorized) then each participating witch restores a specific number of Motes whether they are of the same Soul Mark as the First Witch or not.  The First Witch and all witches who do share a Soul Mark then also gain a secondary benefit from the ritual.

The exact amounts of Motes restored as well as the secondary benefits gained are detailed on each individual ritual.

If a ritual in interrupted or otherwise fails then all participating witches are still considered to have used one of their daily rituals in the attempt but gain no benefits.

Ritual of Scorn

This ritual requires a specific target of the Coven’s wrath and must have a doll, picture, drawing, or some other representation of the target.

First Witch:  “Before this night is over.”

Coven:  “Before the next day is done.”

First Witch:  “Whatever was done to us.”

Coven:  “Will return to curse and stun.”

First Witch:  “With malice and hate.”

Coven:  “By darksome night.”

First Witch:  “_____, Pain be your fate.”

Coven:  “_______, suffer our spite.”

Completion Tagline: First Witch:  “Ritual complete” (The object is destroyed and consumed in the ritual.  Out-of-play it should be turned over to a plot member as soon as possible.)

Completion Effects

Primary:  All participants instantly refresh 3 motes

Secondary:  For every participating coven member, each coven member gains an in-play verbal-free “Activate Curse: Magic Hobble” against the target of the ritual.

Ritual of Induction

First Witch:  “We come in Circle. With faith and trust that we stand as one.”

Coven:  “We stand in Circle joined as one”

First Witch: “We call forth powers old and ancient Pharie, Dragon, or Shade – if you answer our call then come!”

Coven:  “We call you forth,”

First Witch:  “Let the Circle be bound. Let our will be done”

Coven:  “Let our will be done”

First Witch:  “We meet to bring forth our new daughter with whom we shall share our wisdom”

Coven: “Let her come forth and be questioned.”

(Those to be inducted step forth.)

First Witch:  “Who are you child? Who comes forth to ask for our secrets?”

Supplicant:  “I am __________, I come in faith and trust. Seeking only to learn.”

First Witch:  “Will you obey the will of the First Witch in all things that happen within our Circle?”

Supplicant:  “I will.”

First Witch: “Will you keep our secrets and not speak of what you see or hear within this circle to those without?

Supplicant:  “I will.”

First Witch:  “Will you hold our ways and bind them to your family even if all your power is fled?”

Supplicant:  “I will.”

First Witch: “Brothers and sisters, our new daughter (or son) of the Arte (or name of Coven), is there any here who does not accept her as family, kin, and blood?”

Coven:  (If any object they must step forth now, discuss their objections until resolved to their satisfaction.  This ritual may not be completed without full consent of the Coven.)

First Witch:  (Must present a gift worth at least *TBA value) This is a symbol of our acceptance but know that it is only a symbol.  The power of a witch is in her soul not in any object.  Take this and make our power your own.  *If the gift is accepted the ritual is complete*

Completion Tagline: First Witch:  “Ritual Complete – Imbue Soul Mark”

Completion Effects

Primary:  All coven members gain a single “Triggered Restore 4 Motes” which triggers the next time their motes are depleted.

Secondary:  For every participating coven member, each coven member gains an in-play verbal-free “Activate Healing:  Magic Invigorate”.

Inspiration Images