Hello, all.
I've been toying around with some ideas that arose from considering my own
position on the nature of the Shadow World. It seems to me that Cerilia
could do with some witches, and that they could draw power out of the
Shadow World. To that end, they may have the power to overcome one of the
limitations of Magicians in Cerilia, access to only 2 schools of spells,
in return for another price. I am intending these rules for NPC's only,
but what other DM's allow is of course their own affair.

Like the witch kit described in the Wizard's Handbook, many of the powers
of the Cerilian witch are extra-planar in origin. However, these
extra-planar forces are almost always from the Shadow World, and are
almost always evil.
A Cerilian witch is the result of a deal, called a Compact, made
between a human, halfling, or goblin and a powerful spirit of the Shadow
World, known to Anuirean sages as a "Darkener." The Rjuric bards know them
as "Fate-shearers." A Darkener will never approach an elf or a half-elf,
and are incapable of forming Compacts with dwarves. A Compact creates an
intimate association between the witch (which may be either female or
male, the later sometimes calling themselves warlocks) and the spirit, in
effect partially fusing their minds. The Compact appears to be of mutual
benefit, at least at first examination. The Darkener gains access to the
stability of the material world, away from the ever-changing chaos of the
Shadow World, which allows it to learn and increase in power. In return,
the witch receives the ability to cast 3-7th level Necromantic
spells. In actuality it is the spirit which actually casts the wizardly
spells at the behest of the witch. The Darkener is NOT capable of casting
Realm spells. In addition, the connection between the two also gives the
witch the ability to peer into the Shadow World (requires a round or two
of concentration) as per the halfling ability, but does NOT confer the
ability to to cross between the two with out magical assistance unless a
natural Shallowing between the two worlds is discovered.
The Darkener often acts as a teacher and mentor to the witch, as
part of the Compact. This means that the witch will automatically be
suppliedwith one new illusion or divination spell (or 1-2 level
necromantic spell) when she reaches a new level. The spell "appears" in
the mind of the witch, and can then be written down in a spellbook as
described in the Player's Handbook. Many of the spells are slightly
different than regular magician spells, using the witch's connection to
the Shadow World to strengthen certain spells, esp. illusions. As a
result, all illusions cast by witches have some reality, brought through
from the Shadow World by the witch, and so disbelief will never negate a
spell, though it may weaken it enough that, for example, an illusionary
wall may be slowly passed through. On the other hand, all illusions cast
by the witch take on characteristics of the Shadow World, and typically
appear greyer, colder, and gloomier than real life, and so are generally
fairly easy to distinguish. In addition, because power is drawn from the
Shadow World, no light-based illusions like Hypnotic Pattern or Mirror
Image can be cast.
The Darkener may also make suggestions to the witch, which are
usually, but not always, helpful. The intimate connection between the two
minds also allows the Darkener to implant one Suggestion per day into the
mind of the witch, but will only do so when it cannot convince the witch
to follow its agenda by normal means. In addition, it is a part of every
Compact, that the witch owes a service to the Darkener, usually in the
form of one errand per year. The errands the Darkeners demand frequently,
but not always, involve elves: killing certain elves, obtaining elven
items, relics or lorebooks, etc. The Darkener never sends a witch on an
errand too difficult for him to handle, and often sweetens the deal by
providing extra spell for the witch's spell book as preparation. A
complete list of spells which can be provided by Darkeners follows.
In order for wizardly spells to be cast, the Darkener changes the
witch's mind, converting one of the witch's spell-holding "slots" of each
level 3 or higher, into a special form called a "keyhole," into which is
placed a "keyword" once a day. The witch can speak the "keyword" at any
time she wishes, and the Darkener will cast the spell for her. Thus, the
witch's capasity for spells is reduced by one spell in each level above
two. A 7th level witch could memorize 4 first level, three second, and one
third level magician spell, and has keywords for one third level and one
fourth level necromantic spell.

Each Compact is established for a set amount of time, usually three, six
or 13 years (the Darkener prefers 13, wise witches prefer 3). At the end
of this time, however, the Darkener will always attempt to negotiate for
more time. If the witch refuses, or tries to demand more services from it,
the Darkener will attempt to take over the body of the witch. The Darkener
mentally attacks the witch, sending horrible, terrifying images intended
to drive the witch mad with grief, terror or anger (and the spirit has a
pretty intimate idea of how to do so after this much time). The witch can
retaliate by attempting to expell the Darkener from his mind. Each
participant makes a Wisdom ability check, and compares result. (Assume
Darkeners have WIS 10 and INT 15.) Character's Wisdom bonuses can be added
to their rolls, and the Darkener gets a +1 bonus for every "hole" it has
created in the witch's mind. If one succeeds and the other fails, the
looser subtracts one point of Intellegence. If both rolls succeed or both
fail, compare the degree to which they succeed or fail; the one who
succeeded by more or failed by less gets the difference between the two as
a bonus on the next roll. Succcess occurs when one of the parties is
reduced to zero INT. The attack causes the witch to go into a fit like an
epileptic seisure, and into a coma if is she looses more than half of her
INT points. If the witch wins, she regains her INT points at a rate of 1
point per hour, and rises out of the coma when she has regained half of
her lost points.
If the Darkener wins, it has gained a body. If the character was a
PC, it becomes a DM character. The Darkener will use the body for its own
purposes, retreating into the Shadow World for safety when possible. This
is the only way a Darkener can EVER leave the Shadow World; they are never
found in the material world in other from, even in places where other
denizens can cross over. Unattached Darkeners may be encountered in the
Shadow World, however.
If the witch wins, the Darkener is almost entirely expelled from
his mind. It can still mentally speak with the witch, often pleading and
begging for another chance. The witch can at this point renegotiate the
terms of the Campact in his favor (providing increased numbers of
necromantic spells per day, for example). Or, if he can hold out until the
next full moon, the bond will be broken permanently. However, the "slots"
that were given over to hold the necromantic "keys" were permanently
changed by the Darkener, and remain unavailable to hold regular spells.
This can never be undone by anything less than a Wish spell. If you allow
PC's to be witches, I suggest that you NOT reveal this to them until AFTER
they expell their Darkener: the Darkener can use this to attempt to
renegotiate after being expelled. Darkeners can be turned as 8 HD undead,
temporarily severing the connection between the witch and his Darkener,
thus preventing him from using his necromantic spells.

Magically, witches are considered magicians, and all the rules laid out in
the Rulebook for Magicians apply to them as well, with the following
exceptions. Witches gain one bonus spell only from spell levels one and
two, and this extra spell must be from the necromantic school. Witches do
NOT receive a +1 bonus against illusion and divination spells cast at
them. They do NOT receive a +15% bonus when learning spells of those
schools, but they DO suffer the -15% penalty when learning spells of any
school other than necromancy. Witches do NOT enjoy expanded access to
weapons enjoyed by other magicians; they are limited as per wizards. All
other rules for Magicians apply. Following is a complete list of 3-7th
level spells which Darkeners can supply to their witches. * denotes a
spell to be described in the following post.

Illusion: Illusionary Script, Invisibility 10' Rad., Creeping Shadow,
Phantom Steed, Specral Force, Wraithform.
Divination: Clairaudience, Clairvoyance
Necromancy: Feign Death, Hold Undead, Spirit Armor, Vampiric Touch
OTHER (Act as Necromantic): Blink ShadowFlight*

Illusion: Fear, Hallucinatory Terrain, Illusionary Wall, Improved
Invisibililty, Minor Creation, Phantasmal Killer, Shadow Monsters, Vacancy
Divination: Detect Scrying, Locate Creature, Magic Mirror
Necromancy: Contagion*, Enervation, Mask of Death, Painlash*
OTHER: Dimension Door, Black Tentacles

Illusion: Enhance Shadow*, Demishadow Monsters, Dream/Nightmare, Major
Creation, Seeming, Shadow Door
Divination: False Vision
Necromancy: Animate Dead, Bestow Curse*, Magic Jar, Summon Shadow

Illusion: Eyebite, Shadowy Transformation, Mislead, Permanent Shadow*,
Project Shadow, Shades
Divination: Legend Lore
Necromancy: Death Spell, Death Fog, Hellhound*

Illusion: Shadowcat, Shadow Walk
Divination: Vision
Necromancy: Frightful Joining, Control Undead, Finger of Death, Intensify
Summoning, Suffocate.

Mark VanderMeulen