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ExplodingRunes Profile
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Those Wacky Witches!


I've gotten some contradicting reports from Wids who plays a good aligned witch from Bodkin, and DM Totems, about the witches of Bodkin. On one hand is the idea that there are lots of families in Bodkin, some of whom keep to some peaceful practice of folk magic, while some of their members are seduced by Darach into all manner of nastiness. On the other I am told that while there may be a few such people around, witches are in general evil, and baby sacrifice such as that of the hags is pretty common practice among the witches of bodkin.

So in this setting, what exactly constitutes a witch? How nasty are the witches of Bodkin in particular? Were Braweann to theoretically introduce Ronan to her coven, and he were to give them the ol' paladin stink eye, how many of them would give him the heebie geebies?

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everf Profile
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Re: Those Wacky Witches!


As a rule of thumb, always go with the DM ruling. 

If there seems to be some conflict between rulings I suppose this forum is the place to clarify any conflicts that arise while we're collectively weaving the world.

Since there seems to be a disconnect in perception perhaps it would be a good opportunity for the relevant DMs to step in and clarify.

I leave that to them, though I don't rule out coming back and getting all verbose and academic with my Kedri's Player hat on. 

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Tuckerr99 Profile
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Re: Those Wacky Witches!


While I can't be 100% certain that I'm right, here, and if I'm wrong, you can totally point at me and laugh until I'm weeping the bitter tears of failure and remorse, I think there's been a few assumptions made about the witches of Bodkin, and how the town reacts to that sort of thing.

I don't think Ort ever really considered Bodkin to be the "Witch capital of the world," the way it's been treated by a few characters. In general, the townsfolk are going to be suspicious of magic, particularly any performed within or near the borders of their home. This is compounded further by the presence of Darach and his minions. Further, groups like the Library would be all over any coven like white on rice at the first sign of heathen magical activity, which is the main reason for Isania's recent proclamation, found ]here.

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Re: Those Wacky Witches!


My response is in progress.

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Re: Those Wacky Witches!


Dubh of course means "Black". So the Black Widow doesn't exactly seem like the name for a good witch. emoticon

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Re: Those Wacky Witches!


Runes, your question has several components to it and I will try to offer you a proper response to each of them. I'm going to apologize in advance because its probably going to be long. This is what I get for being lazy about writing my lore down.

What is a witch?
-A Witch/Warlock as defined in Aolyth is a subclass of sorcerer that draws power from pacts made with fey/spirits/daemons, ley magic, and any other number of primal elemental powers of the the island. (Think sorcerer with a naturalist twist).

-It is a title that can be applied to an ancient powerful Baba Yaga like hag or the local midwife who can charm your cow into giving more milk.

-Due to the source of their magic they tend to live in closer proximity to the wilds, either in rural villages or the woods/swamps themselves.

NPC Perceptions and Opinions of Witches

In general most commoner NPCs are going to regard witches or witch craft with a high level of suspicion and distrust. This distrust is multi-factorial in origin:

1) Most peasants such as the one in Bodkin have a distrust of the arcane in general. They have low levels of literacy and high levels of superstition. They don't understand magic nor do they know how it works and as a result are just as likely to believe a witch's hex is the reason their face is full of pimples as is the fact they have not bathed it several fortnights.

2) Their is a historical tradition of disliking witches and arcane magic among the Fir Bolg tribes. The roots of this go back to their subjugation by the magic wielding Formorians as well as their suffering under the ancient Witch Kings. Fir Bolgs like their magics and religions druidic as a general rule. (This does not mean that their are not any Fir Bolg witches, nor a lack of magical tradition among the fir bolgs, just that it is not common, or well re-guarded)

3)The prototypical with of Aolyth fairy tales and legends, or "The Witch" is regarded as a spirit and creature of misfortune and chaos.

...All that being [sign in to see URL] PC or NPC can still be regarded positively if the individual has gained fame or favor in a region or village by doing good works. Such individuals might not be subjected immediately to torches or pitch forks for being a [sign in to see URL] you know the crop was bad that year or Bobby's fell down the well [sign in to see URL] really an rp based thing....

The Prevalence of Witches in Bodkin

-There is no large underground community of witches in Bodkin. Aside from Braweann's family coven,(the size of which is unknown to me), you can probably count the number of resident witches in Bodkin on one hand or less. On the other hand Bodkin does have an increased chance of attracting witch visitors and passer through due to is proximity to important leypoints and individual citizen involvement with Darach.

-There are few if any large communities of witches on Aolyth. Most witches are solitary and spend their time in the deep wilds doing gods knows whats. The small pockets of hearth based covens that do exist have their size limited out of fear of being exposed.

-Darach and his gathering of witches into a large army is to be regarded as unusual behavioral for their sort and an activity in open defiance of the imperial law preventing large unauthorized meetings of mages.

Are You a Good Witch of a Bad Witch?

Unfortunately because of to the Wizard of Oz, and other bits of pop culture out their in the ether, it is very easy to fall into the trap of labeling witches as explicitly good or bad. I've always thought this was kind of silly since we don't ask if someone is a good ranger or a bad ranger.

As a general rule I abhor labeling any character or NPC as explicitly good or bad regardless of profession. Real-life people and their motivations are complex and often morally and ethically muddled, so why simplify a fictional character into a cardboard cut out?

Is the witch that burns a basket of kittens to let a nice lady give birth to a healthy baby a good witch or a bad witch? I [sign in to see URL] is up to your own character and their moral code to decide.

Totems was right in her observation that most of the established witch NPCS are kind of [sign in to see URL] draw their power from the primal powers of the isles. This state of nature which is the basis of their magic is dark, wild, amoral, and often [sign in to see URL] can be reflected in the behavior of the user. Are all witches like this? Probably not.

Among the witches of Aolyth there is overall a lack of self awareness about being a member of a "good" or bad "witch" camp. They may acknowledge, "Hey that Shelia !@#$ is kinda evil," but may not necessarily view her as being a member of a greater opposing moral team, just someone to avoid. There is no established competing witch culture of light vs dark, or us vs them.

All that being said, I acknowledge developed Braweann terminology for a clockwise or a counterclockwise witch. It is extremely cool and plausible that in Braweann's coven/family there is an established moral code for witches and a way of describing outsider witches as good or bad. I like that that twist. Unfortunately not every witch may be familiar with or acknowledge this lexicon.

As to Ronin's comfort or discomfort with Braweann's coven and their good or evilness, I will defer that to Wids to decide how nice of nasty the family tree is emoticon

I hoped that answered some of your questions?

Any follow up?







  



  

Last edited by Ortlindegal, 3/4/2013, 6:00 pm


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