Saturday, November 1, 2014

Witches of Vadhyislavia

Vadhyislavian witches are somewhere between this...
An undeniable fact of life in Vadhyislavia is the commonality of witches.  Every village has at least one "Weird Woman" or similar living on its outskirts (though not all witches are female).  Capable of small acts of magic, such as devising love potions, enchanting good luck charms, and warding petitioners against hexes and evil eyes, these individuals frequently also act as midwives, match-makers, political advisers, and healers.  In some isolated villages, witches have even taken the place of druids in providing religious instruction, delivering last rites and performing marriages in the name of the Old Gods of the Forest.

What many are unaware of is that not all witches are the same; broadly speaking, they fall into one of two "schools," or "Covens."

Witches of the Green Coven draw power from pacts made with the Archfey; connected thus to the ebb and
...and this.
flow of nature and its rhythms, they get along better with druids then many arcane casters do.  Wily and clever, Green Witches are beguiling figures, often charming, occasionally frightening, but never far from the center of attention when they show up.  Their skin and hair frequently takes on a greenish tone and a texture akin to tree bark or leaves.  In addition to their knowledge of illusion and enchantment spells, Green Witches frequently also know some degree of healing magic.  Occasionally, Green Witches manage to trick a troll or two into agreeing to serve them; additionally, they sometimes ally themselves with Green Hags.

Witches of the Red Coven draw power from pacts made with a powerful fiend; domineering and aggressive, Red Witches know what they want and are prepared to do almost anything to achieve it.  Red Witches are more likely to live in deep seclusion in the forests and hills of Vadhyislavia than near villages, and especially in the many cavern systems honeycombing the countryside.  Red Witches are frequently attended to by goblins, hobgoblins and ogres, using these monstrous creatures to further their wicked schemes.  They occasionally ally with Night or Annis Hags.

It's rumored that a third school, the Black Coven, exists, though little to no evidence bears witness to this.  Some claim that Black Witches work with or for Sea Hags, but from what source they draw power is a mystery.

***

Vadhyislavian Witches are really just 5E Warlocks with a name change and a few more spells added to their lists for flavor; Archfey-Pact Warlocks (i.e., Green Witches) add "Cure Wounds" and "Greater Restoration" to their spell-lists, while Fiend-Pact Warlocks (i.e., Red Witches) add "Inflict Wounds" and "Contagion."

Black Witches are Warlocks that have made a deal with a Great Old One; I want these to be half-pure rumor, half-so underground they might as well not really exist.  They're deep background, and a player better give me a real good reason to open them up for play.

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