Witches

“To think a child should gain the equivalent of my years of study without any effort! The unfairness of it all!” – Mordke The Flamboyant.

The above is a good way to discern one of the largest differences between witches and wizards. Witches can learn magic, just as wizards do, but they also gain hereditary magic. They seem to inherit the practice of certain spells automatically. This knowledge is instinctual in nature, and often witches don’t even know why or what they’re doing when they practice this form of magic.

It just feels right to them. This isn’t always the case though as witches sometimes gain more detailed knowledge and come to know the spells the way a wizard does. Only without any study.

Witches are naturally gifted with magic, and aside from their hereditary magic, they tend to learn wizardry at an accelerated rate. So, it’s important to remember that witches can be just as dangerous as the most powerful wizards. If not more so in many cases.

Something else that makes witches more powerful is that they often form covens. Most wizards are solitary by nature and jealously guard their secrets, but witches are born from at least one witch parent. Although, there are reports of witches being born to non-witch parents. But, this could be the result of infidelity and is unable to be validated. Suffice it to say it’s certainly more common for witches to have at least one witch parent.

As such, they are born in families of magic, so working magic with others becomes normal for them. There may be some other compulsion for why they work coven magic as they do, but it is unknown at this time.

Witches also tend to have larger magical reserves, the ability to cast more powerful spells and more of them than the average wizard. This doesn’t mean to say that all witches have magical reserves that are greater than any wizard, but on average they have larger reserves than wizards.

Not nearly as much as sorcerers were said to have, but that’s a topic for another entry.

Now, perhaps you’re wondering why I’ll include witches in this monster compendium but not orcs? At least not for the moment.

The answer is simple. While I wouldn’t classify any but the evilest of witches a monster, witches are magical in nature. They are… something else.

So, I don’t want to see any of my students shouting anti-witch rhetoric or anything stupid or claiming they aren’t people. They’re here because they’re magical creatures. They’re still people, and the first to suggest otherwise will find themselves thrown out of my class by the scruff of their neck!

I include them for the same reason I include elementals. To educate people. There is a lot of fear toward witches, and I hope that entries like this one will help to dispel that fear. People are wont to fear the unknown after all. So, I hope to remove the shroud of mystery that surrounds witches.

They are not by their nature evil. They can be, certainly. But, a wizard can be evil just as easily. Such is the nature of most beings, unfortunately.

So, what else makes witches different?

They tend to live longer than others of the race they resemble, as witches will look like dwarves, humans, elves… or any number of intelligent creatures. This is determined by the witch’s parents. There are even some theories that witches aren’t a different species, but rather a type of sub-species triggered by… something…

But, I digress.

Even without spells to extend their life, witches just seem to hold onto their youth longer. Perhaps because of the magical energy within them? So, a witch-human may live over a hundred years and still look young. A witch-dragon could do so for… gods… I don’t even know how long.

Animals and other magical creatures will sense witches and either seek them out or flee from them. These creatures often seem to be able to detect a witch’s disposition as well. Good creatures tend to avoid evil witches and vice versa.

It’s possible that it may be due to the smell of blood sacrifices or other magic they might’ve done…

But, regardless, witches are uniquely capable of interacting with magical creatures and animals without fear.

There have been stories of a young witch coming across wolf packs and having the wolves lying on the ground getting their bellies scratched within seconds.

Although, this isn’t to say that they’ll never be attacked or have a negative reaction from these creatures, rather… they just have a way with them.

It’s also important to remember that witches are born to their magic, and often their whole thinking toward it is radically different from a wizard’s. A wizard must devote a great deal of time and effort to learn their spells.

As such, most who become wizards have a desire for power.

Witches can have this desire, but it’s not as universal as it is for wizards. This, combined with their hereditary magic, often means that witches practice forms of magic that wizards just… don’t.

Can you see most wizards practicing fertility magic? Family magic? Magic of the home? Cooking magic? If they do, they’re a rare few for sure.

This is common for witches, however. As such, witches can make wonderful spouses and even quickly become the center of a whole community.

It’s likely clear from this entry so far, that witches can be either male or female. However, male witches are rare. For some reason, most witches are women.

The reason for this is unknown. Some theorize that it is the nature of the hereditary magic influencing the child’s gender. There is some merit to this theory as most male witches tend to have more aggressive magic.

This isn’t to say they’re more powerful, but rather that they tend to have very different hereditary magic. It’s very rare for a male witch to gain hereditary fertility magic or home magic. Not unheard of, just rare.

Witches can breed with whatever race they resemble though, so there doesn’t seem to be any real downside for them.

So, how should you handle a witch? Well… that depends on the witch I imagine.

Other than their magic, they’re the same as any other of their race. So, really, treating them as you would a wizard is likely your best course of action. They’re people. Judge your actions based on who they are.

But, for all my talk of tolerance, I urge caution as well.

Yes, a witch could be a great blessing to a town or a city. He or she could help farmers produce bountiful crops, make sure women have smooth births, and defend the settlement with powerful magic.

But, they could just as easily sacrifice everyone on an altar and raise them as undead servants while binding their souls to an eternity of howling torment.

Be careful who you call friend.

- Nicholas Wolfram, Professor of Monsterology at Lestria University

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