So You Want to Roleplay a Witch...
You have the world at your fingertips. Congratulations on being of the Craft!
First, a quick look at the origins of Witches, according to Wailing Rock’s lore…
Witches have the potential to be powerful, but they are not all powerful. They are a supernatural entity, and like all others, their ability to channel magic is countered by their weaknesses. They are human, which makes them mortal; they are not long-lived.
Early witches were people who practiced witchcraft - they used magic spells and called upon spirits for help or to bring about change. Most witches were thought to be pagans doing the Devil’s work. Many, however, were simply natural healers or so-called “wise women” whose choice of profession was misunderstood. It’s unclear exactly when witches came on the historical scene, but one of the earliest records of a witch is in the Bible in the book of 1 Samuel, thought be written between 931 B.C. and 721 B.C. It tells the story of when King Saul sought the Witch of Endor to summon the dead prophet Samuel’s spirit to help him defeat the Philistine army. The witch roused Samuel, who then prophesied the death of Saul and his sons. The next day, according to the Bible, Saul’s sons died in battle, and Saul committed suicide.
Today, witches are well-connected thanks to a wider acceptance of the craft under the guise of holistic medicine, and modern technology. This allows them to operate within tight-knit groups, generally called Covens. They may also partake in Circles, which are open to all that are capable of crafting.
Where to Begin
The first decision you’ll want to make when considering a witch now to decide whether you are a late bloomer or a full-fledged crafter? What craft will be your focus?
Late bloomers are witches that have yet to realize they are witches. You may be asking yourself, "How does one not know?" Well that's simple - you could have had parents hiding from hunters so they bound your magic at an early age. More than likely, since you are an adult now, you have not been following mom and dad’s rules on checking in with that mysterious aunt that comes around once a month to reset the bindings. Your magic has begun to leak through the bindings.
You could also have been adopted and not taught how to control or use your craft. Maybe you noticed when you said certain words things happened. Nothing major but tiny changes around, or you never noticed at all since it was such a small thing. Your adopted parents dismissed it.
Either way, you have the chance to truly create an roleplay story of learning. Perhaps you seek out a mentor, you want answers, or you are taking the journey on your own.
If you are a Full Fledged Crafter, you’ll come in knowing about a few basics at minimum:
Spell Casting and Rituals
To join a Coven or Not
Strengths and weaknesses (though you can play this down as a late bloomer)
How do Witches Uphold the Masquerade?
The masquerade is just that: we are considered monsters by the norms, and we hide our existence. All of this depends upon the particular crafter and how they exist in their daily life, of course. Generally, they try to refrain from using magic in public view. We also grow weak the greater the spell - so can you imagine being out there, in danger, with a weak body? Witches may not always like one another, but as soon as one is revealed, all are at risk. In order to uphold the masquerade, witches often resort to tactics similar to those below to survive:
Live normal like lives: getting jobs, having families, trusting very few with their secret
Practicing their craft away from society
Pretends to be one of these new age Wiccans, goths, so on
Learn the art of lies and tactful foreplay
Often,witches will cover their tracks by using their magic to remove the memory if strong enough.
How do Witches Recognize Each Other?
We do not automatically recognize one another, by just standing in the presence of one. We can seek signs of it in roleplay shaking hands that cause a jolt of knowing. Feeling for the aura in a way that would speak to you as a witch. Be sure of course to ask the other person if they are using any items to hide their aura or power. Perhaps what it would feel like. Each craft could be unique in the way the aura/energy is felt.
Witches Abilities and Weaknesses
Witches possess the ability to cast spells, drawing upon the magic of their craft.
A witch can recognize another witch via physical contact. A handshake or brushing the arm of another witch will alert the witch to the other's connection to magic. The older and more experienced the witch, the more likely she can identify the other's strengths.
They tend to be able to recognize other supernatural beings. All witches also recognize, see, or feel the magic in a place or around things. They use that perception to make magic work for them.
Some styles of magic use familiars more than others, but witches are all naturally capable of attaching to an animal or spirit. Once a connection is made, familiars tend to live as long as the witch does unless murdered. The connection has to be something that happens mutually, reciprocally between the witch and the familiar. A witch can't just want it, and a witch must accept it. For that reason, witches cannot make a Lycan into their familiar.
Some witches are skilled enough in ancient elemental magic to create Golems. Typically, Golems are sculpted from clay, and depending on the size of the figure and the abilities of the witch, can perform tasks that do not require much intellect. Due to the fact that witches cannot grant the divine gift of life, creating a "finished" Golem, they remain "unfinished" and therefore unable to think for themselves. Depending on the words that are used to bind the Golem, it can be made inanimate again, or even returned to the earth.
Witches are allowed to shape shift into natural, non-exotic animals - Cats, Dogs, Birds, Rodents, Wolves (Not Lycans), etc; any species that would be native to the United States, as it only makes sense. In order to shape shift, it requires a hefty price. You must take body of the thing you wish to shape shift into, and sacrifice it to the higher powers, (ie; ancestors, gods, whatever you follow during your rituals). The shape shifting spell will only last up to 3 days, as that is when the body begins to rot. When you take on that form, you cannot access other magic, as you are now a non-magical 'being'. While you are in the other form, the aura will remain as the spell is active. Once the spell has lifted, the body you are inhabiting will literally fall off, and your true form is revealed. Witches are only able to shape shift twice per month, as it is a hefty spell, and a huge cost in your magic. Please be aware that when a witch is shifted, their shadow will betray them; it will be cast as their human form.
Vervain is a potent herb and a vampire's most well-known weakness. If a vampire makes physical contact with vervain in any form, it will burn them. If a vampire ingests vervain, the vampire's throat and digestive tract will be burned, and they will become feverish and extremely weak. If a mortal ingests or holds vervain somewhere in or on the body (e.g., holding it in a hand or pocket, wearing it in jewelry), the human is protected from vampire compulsion.
Vervain only grows in one area in Wailing Rock – a cave in the forest. This is not something you can conjure, nor can you access easily. It grows in limited amounts, so harvest and use sparingly. Players can click the vervain for an info card and may only harvest small amounts at a time ((submit harvest RP for approval!))
Witches must cast their spells vocally, even if the words are a muttered whisper. A gagged witch is powerless.
Visual and Tactile:
Additionally, many spells require line of sight or touch (such as healing spells); therefore being in the dark, or unable to reach the target prevents the witch from casting a spell and using her magic.
Witches are born with all the power that they will ever possess. They cannot gain or create more power. Some witches are quite weak and limited in their spellcasting abilities, while others are frighteningly strong. A weak witch may learn as many spells as she would like, but it will not increase her raw magical power. Additionally, witches are not able to alter time - they cannot slow it, or travel through it; they may have abilities as a Seer but they are limited to sight alone.
Spells backfired can cause physical or mental harm. Witches tend to have some fear when it comes to working especially complicated magic because of this.
Witches who use a lot of magic have a certain aura about them that makes them stand out to other supernatural beings, and it can make normal humans edgy around them, too. Auras also affect wild animals, making their behavior less predictable.
What Spells Can Witches Cast?
Well…...the art of the craft is so vast! You are welcome to come up with a list of spells known as a Grimoire for your character. If there are any questions as to what is allowed on this spell list refer to the Witches’ Grimoire (in the Discord chat) or put in a ticket with request to review here on our website. We have quite an assortment of different spell casters beginning with Necromancy, Shadowmancy, Elemental and even tech witches. This is your story - you figure out what and how your witches craft works. Just be sure to stay within the lore of Wailing Rock!
How Many Spells and Rituals Can I Perform Daily?
Spell cost is set in the Grimoire (see our Discord channel for more details), but also keep in mind we are HUMAN. Our bodies may have amazing power but they are still fragile shells that need time to heal, rest, and breath. If you are casting 4 High powered spells in one day you will probably go into coma or worse yet, DIE. So be reasonable on your casting time frames. Also if you are trying to maintain a spell(ie: Glamour, illusion) that will be draining on your body as well.
Rituals are heavy practices on a witch and normally require more than one. It is taxing and should not be attempted more than twice a month. Some rituals like creation of magical items can be done by one witch but will be a toll.
What Magical Objects Can a Witch Create and Have?
There is a two-per-person limit on ownership of a magical item. Depending on the request for item they MUST be approved by staff. If you are just making one to alter your appearance or voice, then no need to request approval, but items that are more powerful or alter stats MUST be approved. They are also one time use and once exhausted cannot be created again for the person ever. If a person requests you to create one for them please be aware this is time consuming and refer to the ritual guidelines. I would recommend not creating objects more than once or twice a month as your body will cry in pain.
Familiars and Shapeshifting
Some styles of magic use the abilities of familiars more than others. Witches are all naturally capable of attaching to an animal or spirit. Once a connection is made, familiars tend to live as long as the witch does unless murdered. The connection has to be something that happens mutually, reciprocally between the witch and the familiar in question. A witch can't just want it to happen, in turn the witch must also accept it. For that reason, witches cannot make a Lycan into their familiar. Keep in mind if you use a familiar it may be good to think about how people would react if you had it walking with you into cities and towns. Familiars are great assets but some animals are more respected than others.
Example of Familiars:
Cats, dogs, rat, frog, mouse, gerbil, bats, birds, snakes, goat, bears, wolves, deer, elk, (you get the idea) You could also have a hellhound or possibly make a pact with a demon.(selling your soul could be fun!)
Witches are allowed to shape shift into natural, non-exotic animals - Cats, Dogs, Birds, Rodents, Wolves (NEVER Lycans), etc; any species that would be native to the United States. In order to shape shift you must take body of the thing you wish to shapeshift into and ritual sacrifice it to higher powers, (ie; ancestors, gods, whatever you follow during your rituals). The spell will only last up to 3 days, as that is when the sacrificed body begins to rot. When you take on that form your other magical abilities go dormant for you are now the animal. While you are in the other form though your aura will remain as the spell is active. Once the spell has run its course, the body will literally fall off like a carcass, and your true form is revealed. Witches are only able to shape shift twice per month. The spell has a huge cost on your magic so it is very draining on the body. Please be aware that when a witch is shifted, their shadow will betray them. The shadow will always be be cast as their human form.
The term "grimoire" is a bit of a catch-all. There are few really concrete and consistent definitions that go beyond “a book of magic”. Some people say it’s more of a textbook, meant to be passed on to a mentee as a teaching tool. Others say it’s a sort of magical recipe book, used for recording spells for later use. Most of these definitions are far too limited in scope for the reality of modern grimoires. At their core, grimoires are collections of spells. They are commonly passed down through generations and covens, but can also be created by witches that have mastered weaving their own spells. Because grimoires are unique to a witch's bloodline, coven or own creation, we leave it to our players to create their own, or to collaborate with other witches in Wailing Rock to create one as a coven.
Need Help Creating a Grimoire?
If you need assistance in constructing your grimoire, Lilianna (Nymphea Darkthorn) has created an excellent guide for personal use in Wailing Rock. You may download a copy here!
If you have a grimoire, or are planning to create one, there are just a few guidelines to observe:
Witches can put any amount of spells in their grimoire they wish, but can only mentally remember 10 at a time. They would have to read from the Grimoire if they want to cast something not remembered.
Yes, this includes rituals, spells, back-fires, rolls required for success, effects of the spell, and duration periods.
More can be added later after a period of learning; when a new spell is added, please put in a Help Desk ticket for further instructions on the requirements to add a spell.
If you have not created a grimoire, your character is limited to four (4) minor spells until a grimoire has been submitted. This prevents players from being overpowered.
Minor spells available:
Revelation spell: Spell to reveal invisible things, and/or to see ghosts. Does require a roll if used against someone actively hiding (INT vs INT)
Minor healing spell: Can heal minor scrapes, bruises and small cuts. It cuts healing time in half, does not heal instantly.
Mending spell: can fix something minor, like a crack in glasses, a button on a shirt, a small run in nylon stockings, etc.
And pick one of these spells for a total of four:
Water flow spell: Minor spell used to find sources of water and control their flow in minor ways.
Spark spell: Minor spell that creates a simple spark of electricity.
Ember spell: Minor spell used to teach young witches to do elemental magic and light candles with.
What Relationships Can Witches Have?
Well, witches can be with any sort really. Just keep in mind Vampires love our blood for the high they get. Demons feed off our auras for the high they get. Nature Spirits hate us for what we did to Lycans. Water born... well, they come from the ocean, but you decide. We can only carry Lycan, Human, and other Witch babies though. If you are impregnated by a Lycan, the child will be born curse-free - sorry, no Lycan babies for you! If you choose to be a blood doll to a vampire you will gain a few benefits, but as magic runs through us, we do not get what a normal human would.
What Blood is Off-Limits to Witches?
ALL of them, duh! We don’t eat or drink people…..in theory.
A Lycan’s bite does not affect us, as we were the ones that created Lycans. We will never turn Lycan, but can be turned Vampire.
Again... we don’t need to be biting these things unless you find yourself in a fight for your life and then well good luck to you, Crafter!
Covens and Circles
The definition of a Coven is a basic group in which witches are said to gather. The Heart of a Coven is the members that come together.
Benefits of a Coven:
The power of practicing with others this way is the level of intimacy and trust built between the Witches over time. This requires consistency and getting to know the people and how they work. Too many people can make a group cumbersome, and sub-groups tend to form. Provided there is a foundation of respect for all, such a spiritual community can be advantageous for those who go deeply into the soul. Closed groups create a safe environment for authentic self-expression. As the members open their souls in ritual together, a deep intimacy forms and bonds the group. The most important benefit: with experience together, a group can learn to achieve greater results and deeper connection with the Divine. It’s always true that it’s easier to raise power and to connect spiritually within groups.
Limitations of a Coven:
There are risks in having a closed group, though. One is becoming dogmatic. Everyone reinforces the accepted beliefs and set patterns. Lacking fresh views - or disdaining them - religious "ruts" can develop. Another hazard is that they seem to set the stage for ego battles and personality cults. This is the downfall of the hierarchical system. As people jostle for status and power, the group can become an arena for self-aggrandizement. (Which, by the way, is the opposite of spirituality.)
The definition of a Circle is a (fairly) open gathering of Witches. It differs from a Coven in that there is more fluid, and the level of commitment and attendance required of each Witch is generally less. This is not a strict definition. A Circle in the broadest sense is simply a gathering of people in order to practice rituals.
Benefits of A Circle:
One benefit is a constant influx of fresh ideas and enthusiasm. There's always a new group ready to take on organizing the next ritual. Another benefit is that inclusivity is healing to the individual soul, and the soul of the Earth. Inclusivity is a practice of compassion, and a recognition that there really is no separation between us.
Limitations of A Circle:
When induction is very fluid, it is - at best - difficult to develop the sense of trust and community that enables deep spiritual work to take place. And the group energy has to shift and reweave itself every time the group changes. This can create a sense of "not going anywhere," as the group energy never gets a chance to gel, and evolve. Without some form of initiation into the group, this problem is intensified.
Differences between Wailing Rock and Other Lores
Wailing Rock has its own lore base for witches. While we can reference and get framework from books and movies, we MUST follow what has been given us through the lore. There are a ton of ways to build and play a witch but you must always remember there is a set lore here, so please get familiar with it!
That’s it! Do you have other questions that we haven’t addressed here? Bring it up to the staff, discuss in the witches channel and we’ll do our best to incorporate it in the future.
Witches: The Birds and the Bees
Witches, of course, have the ability to bear children. When two witches mate, they will bear witch children. With Humans, Lycans, and Water-Born, the child has a 50/50 chance of being either/or - they will NOT be a blended race. Because Nature Spirits are creations of the Aether and not "born", they do not have the same ability to bear children and therefore, cannot have children outside of their own race.
Masquerade and You: Notes
So, you're considering applying to Wailing Rock and when you do, you will need to check a box that states you have read all of the rules, and that you agree to the conditions created by our lore. One of those conditions is that you maintain masquerade - that is, that as a supernatural being, you do not expose yourselves to humans.
But then you think, I'm going to see what happens. Well let me tell you what happens: You die. You die horribly. Along with everyone involved.
Let's think about this logically. You saunter down the street in full view. Yes, you're big and strong, and yes, you might be faster. But you're outnumbered. You're outnumbered by humans who have guns, fire, and the ability to walk in the daylight.
Then all hell breaks loose. Let's say you live - a massive hunt begins, and humans take out anything that even looks questionable. It becomes the top headline on news outlets worldwide. Or, let's say they find you and kill you. They put your body on display. The federal government swoops in and takes your body to Area 51. Worldwide news coverage. Who knows. Either way, you've irrevocably altered the course of humanity, forever.
It's 2019, we're in Washington state. The SL world we exist in is as close to the RL world as possible.
Maintain the masquerade.
A huge thanks to Zera/Lilianna (Nymphea Darkthorn) for her amazing contributions to this page!