> I [Craig Greeson] personally think non-blooded witches/warlocks could be a lot of fun. The Shadow World gives a great backdrop for the witch's Dark Power to come from.

I very much agree. My own version of a "Cerilian Witch," based on just such an assumption (i.e. patron from the Shadow World) is available on the Netbook, if anyone is interested. However, instead of allowing witches all wizardly spells, I just gave them access to all Necromancy spells, in addition to normal magician spells. If you're using a kind of "school of Shadow Magic" then I would include those spells, too (I solved this problem by makeing those spells all necromancy spells in my Cerilia).

> I like the idea of a group of priests and true wizards devoted to rooting out witches and destroying them. The character might have the best of intentions, but he/she would always be misunderstood and persecuted by those devoted to the "witch hunt". Muhahahahahaha.

I very much agree. Cerilia is exactly the sort of place that might be susceptable to such fanatacism.
Mark VanderMeulen
October 1999

[top]Cerilian Witches

Wizard Kit for 2nd edition
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 Rjurik 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 supplied with 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.

Example Spells
Shadow Flight (Necromantic) See Fly for stats.
Allows the use of the Fly spell for witches, but can be used only when under the effects of the Wraithform or Shadowy Transformation spells (witches should fly, even if I don't go so far as broomsticks). Rationale: the witch uses his connection to the Shadow World forged by the two prerequesite spells to access movement powers available to those forms in the Shadow World.
Contagion (Necromantic) See Contagion for stats
A second, slow-acting form of this spell is available to witches. It functions by binding a Shadow spirit into the body of a victim, bringing the disease into effect at the normal progression rate. To dispel, Remove Curse must be cast in addition to Cure Disease. Cure Disease alone will remove the symptoms, but the disease will return, and this time proceed at a faster rate. While the first form takes days to develop, the second develops in only hours, the third in turns, and the fourth in rounds. After that, if not successfully counteracted, the disease develops so rapidly that the victim automaticaly dies. The spirit does not remain with the corpse, so Raised or Reincarnated bodies are free of it. The spirit can be detected with Wizard Sight, and the victim registers as evil to Detect Evil but not to Know Alignment. The victim does NOT register to Detect Magic unless the interior of the person is in some way examined--a blood sample will suffice.
Painlash (Necromantic)
Range: 2 yards/level
Components: V,S
Duration: 1d4 rounds + 1 round/level
Casting Time: 4
Area of Effect: 1 creature
Saving Throw: Neg.
This spell unleashes a Shadow spirit into the body of a target, causing incredible pain. The subject becomes unable to do anything other than curl into a fetal ball, dropping anything carried, for at least the first round. On the second round a Wisdom ability check to ignore the pain can be made at -10 on the roll, although any Constitution bonuses may be added. The check may be made on the first round IF the character has the spellcraft proficiency AND is familiar with the spell. A character who successfully resists the pain must make another check every 3 rounds or succumb to the pain again, and all actions are at a -2 penalty. Remember that recovering a dropped weapon requires one round. Use of weapons and magical items is possible while wracked by pain, but spellcasting is not.
Enhanced Curse (Necromantic)
Range: Touch/Special
Components: V,S/M
Duration: Permanent/1 day/level
Casting Time: 4 segments/1 night
Area of Effect: 1 creature
Saving Throw: Negates/None
Witches are capable of curses of remarkable power, in part because of their closeness to the denizens of the Shadow World. Enhanced Curse binds a Shadow Spirit into the body of the victim, which then maintains the power of the curse through its connection with the Shadow World. These curses must be bestowed by touch, but a variant allows for a special form of touch. The variant, which must be cast on a night with no moon (new moon), requires as material components a cup made of lead and set with six black onyx, filled with wine, into which is dissolved the powder of one ruby worth not less than 100gp/bloodline strength category of the victim (a victim of major bloodline would require a bloodstone of not less than 300gp value). The resulting liquid is then poured upon one object to be enchanted with the curse. The liquid is consumed by the casting, but the cup is not. The enchanted item will be able to pass the curse on for one day per level of the casting witch. However, in order for the curse to be transmitted, the items must be actually brought into a person's body: whether by eating, drinking, or puncturing the skin (the "prick" of Sleeping Beauty). Note that this action must be self-inflicted--being stabbed by the object will NOT work--but the victim does not necessarily need to know that there is a tiny needle on the handle of that sword. Note that all curses must have a weakness, which must be set at the time of casting (when her head is wrapped with three red scarves, when his hand graps the haft of the Sword of St. Naelyn, when the shadow of a Truely Wise Man darkens his brow--I'd advise avoiding "true loves" as difficult to adjucate, and inherently unreliable :) ), and which can often be determined through divination.
Once the curse is transmitted, it is also more difficult to remove. When a cleric attempts to cast Remove Curse on the victim, both the cleric and the spirit must make a saving throw vs. spells (the spirit gets the saving through of the casting witch). If both saving throws success, there is no change. If the cleric succeeds but the spirit fails, the spirit is dispelled and returns to the Shadow World. If the spirit succeeds but the cleric fails, BOTH the original victim AND the cleric now suffer the effects of the curse. If BOTH fail the saving throws, the victim is cured, but now the cleric suffers the effects of the curse. The cleric can gain a +1 to his throw by casting Protection from Evil on himself; having a second cleric cast Chant during the process adds another +1 and penalizes the spirit by -1, and casting Prayer before hand adds another +1/-1 modifier.
Some possible Curses:
Curse of Sleep: The Cursed falls into a deep sleep.
Curse of Ugliness: The Cursed is affected by a permanent Scare spell, Charisma is lowered to 3 for those above level 6.
Curse of Blindness: As the Blindness spell, but substitute "inky blackness" for "grayness."
Curse of Bemusement: The Cursed is affected as if by a permanent Hypnotic Pattern. Wisdom check allows 3 rounds of lucidity.
Curse of Itching: The Cursed is affected as if by the first variant of the spell Irritation whenever he does some activity (draw a bow, swing a sword, open a book, etc)
Curse of Stench: The Cursed is affected as if surrounded by a permanent Stinking Cloud spell that he cannot detect. Good one for
characters with inflated egos.
Curse of Shrinking: The Cursed is affected as if my the reverse of Enlarge. An Enlarge spell returns him to normal, until the spell wears off.
Curse of Incomprehendable Language: (you get the pattern)
Curse of Ire: All opponents target the Cursed individual first. The most powerful opponent will always choose the victim as first target.
Curse of Weakness: STR reduced to 3
Curse of Slowness: DEX reduced to 3
Curse of Forgetfullness: INT reduced to 3
Curse of Silence: The Cursed becomes unable to talk, write, pantomime, or communicate in any way about one subject. Usually the poor victim has important information about a vital crisis, and must resort to trying to manipulate the important people into being in
the right place at the right time.
Enhance Shadow (Illusion/Phantasm)
Increases the duration, range, or HD of any "Spirit-inhabited" spells of 4th level or less cast by the witch by +50%. HD can refer to strength of summoned creatures, or to number summoned. See following chart for spells which are considered "spirit-inhabited" when cast by a witch.
Spirit-inhabited Spells:
Third Phantom Steed, Spectral Force
Fourth Minor Creation, Phantasmal Killer, Shadow Monsters, Contagion, Painlash, Black Tentacles (Evard's/Shaefpaete's)
Fifth Demishadow Monsters, Nightmare, Major Creation, Animate Dead, Summon Shadow
Sixth Mislead, Shades, Hellhound
Project Shadow (Illusion/Phastasm)
Range: Special
Components: V,S,M
Duration: 1 minute/level of caster
Casting Time: 1 round
Area of effect: Caster's shadow
Saving Throw: None
As the Spell "Project Image," only the caster's own shadow is sent, and is only mistaken for the caster in low light. The caster can see, hear, and speak through the shadow, and can cast spells up to 4th level through it. The Shadow is immaterial, and all physical attacks pass harmlessly through it, though a successful Dispel Magic will dispel it. The shadow can be sent up to 100 miles distance, but cannot cross any body of water that the caster cannot jump across, though this is not necessarily common knowledge. The shadow can travel at speeds up to 10 miles/minute, but the caster must be able to locate his target by normal means, usually via a previous divination or mundane knowledge. The material component is a small lead figurine of the caster, which is consumed by the casting.
Permanent Shadow (Illusion/Phantasm)
Increases the Duration of any spirit-inhabited spells to Permanent. They may still be dispelled or destroyed by normal means.
Hellhound (Necromancy)
Range: 10 yards
Components: V,S,M
Duration: special
Casting Time: 1 night
Area of effects: 1 creature
Saving throw: none
This spell creates a nightmarish hound from the material of the Shadow World, inhabited by a Shadow spirit. Much like an invisible stalker, the hound can be tasked to seek out one individual person, and attack. The caster must have an item that bears the scent of the target, or must have been inside one of the target's dreams (via the Dream/Nightmare spell). However, the hound can only exist in the material world during the night--at daybreak it must retreat back into the Shadow World. However, it can easily pick up the scent again the next day.
The hound is only visible to the target, but magical assistance may make it visible to the target's companions. The Hellhound has 3 attacks. It can cause Fear, as per the 4th level spell, but only to its intended target (even when others can see it). If the victim saves, the Hound will wait, prowling half-seen in the darkness, braying spectral howls that only the victim can hear. The victim must make the saving throw every hour during the night. If the victim falls asleep, the Hound will use its third attack (see below). If the victim does not save, he immediately begins to flee the apparition, which proceeds to give chase until the victim drops from exhaution. The victim looses 20-CON hp for every turn he flees in terror, and will collapse from exhaution when reduced to half of his hitpoints, unless he makes an Endurance ability check (if successful, he MUST keep running).
The second attack is a bite, doing 1d10 points of damage. The Hound will seldom attempt this attack in the presence of others, but on fleeing subjects, the teeth-shaped wounds are often overlooked among the various cuts, bruises and abbrasions. A character with the Healing proficiency may notice them on a successful check at -2 penalty.
The third attack is the ability to "drag" the soul of the victim back into the Shadow World, where it experiences the rest of the night as a Nightmare, causing 1d10 damage and preventing restful sleep. Upon daybreak, the soul of the victim returns to its body, but no force will return it during the night except physically retreaving the soul from the Shadow World. Dispel Magic returns the victim to restful sleep until the Hound returns to claim it again. Protection from Evil prevents the physical attack, but not the Fear attack; the Hound CAN attack a Protected character who is fleeing in terror. Remove Curse breaks the connection between the Hound and the victim but does not destroy the Hound, which returns to the witch for new instructions. Only destroying the Hound (as a 4 HD monster which can only be harmed by +1 weapons or better) or the death of a victim ends the spell. The Hound must physically attack the victim to steal the soul, so victims who are sleeping when attacked will display the teethmarks somewhere on their bodies, mystifying attendants.
Material components of the spell are a large black onxy and a large bloodstone worth at least 100 gp each. They are powered into a cup of red wine, which is then poured onto the ground in a ritual which can only be performed on nights with no moon (new moon). The Hellhound springs up from the ground where the wine was poured. Pouring Holy Water on the exact spot will also dispel the magic.
By Mark VanderMeulen

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