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[Feat Lore] The Witchbound


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The Witchbound

Those who seek to evade the grasp of death are cast with an accursed lot, doomed to be inevitably quelled by the hand of their own craft, for the lifebanks ultimately reclaim all back to itself — and even those who toy with life are no exception. But not all those who toy with death need be zealous scholars dedicating themselves entirely to the darkness, and there are some who seek reassurance in the powers of undeath before fully committing themselves to it. Thus, Rh’thorean necromancers devised a means by which the living may be brought closer to the dead, establishing the Witchbound: mortal men who have been marked for death. 

 

Explanation

The Witchbound are mortals who crave immortality, so much so that they are willing to forfeit their own soul in order to achieve it. These are descendants who have pacted with a necromancer in exchange for eternal life, albeit at both the cost of their material vessel, and their subservience to the necromancer. Many who are bound as a witch are led to see it as a blessing at first, oblivious to the ill that has befallen them; and it is only the eldest of witches who truly understand the folly they have undergone — that their life is no longer their own. Each time the scion returns to the necromancer, their need for prolongation grows more and more intense, as they are gradually pulled away from the very humanity they had hoped to retain.

 

  • Witchdom is a Dark Magical feat that acts in conjunction with Rh’thorean Necromancy. It is less so a ‘magic’ and more so considered a blessing of necromancers upon living mortals. To be made a witch requires a necromancer to perform the Rite of Branding as detailed in Necromancy lore.

  • Connecting a witchbound requires OOC consent from the player being turned.

  • Taking on the feat and its boons also obligates the user to capably roleplay all of its traits and weaknesses, as well as understand the clauses that come as a result of dropping the feat. 

 

To be made a witch is an atrocious undertaking, wherein a willing individual is bound to the lifebanks through the fissure that lies within a necromancer. This would grant the scion the unprecedented capacity to even evade the clutches of age, albeit at a cost far beyond mortal reckoning. By appearance, the witch seems like any other man; walking as man, walking among them, and yet man he is not. These mortal scions are neither living nor dead — but instead a loathsome in-between still overcome by hunger, thirst, drowning, and fatigue as regular men or women; and yet for their suffering they seldom gain any true token of merit.

 

The scion is prone to many afflictions as a result of their pact, which are stated below:

 

Spoiler

Being marked as a witch results in several distinct changes. Regardless of their age and state of physical health, the witch will always be accompanied by subtle marks among which include, but are not limited to, droopy eyes, pale skin, hair becoming lighter and more brittle, etc. This makes the witch appear somewhat older than their true age assuming they are still at a liveable age within their own race’s limits; if they were to surpass the limit, then these characteristics would make little difference. Though said traits will not immediately condemn the witch as such, they will appear more ailing than the average individual. This anointment has no immediate effect upon the witch’s strength, but as they persist longer beyond the span of mortal age , as detailed further below, their strength will begin to dwindle accordingly. 

 

The effects of witchdom upon the mortal’s mind, however, are far more severe. By virtue of their egregious connection to the lifebanks, the witch’s mind is left to wrestle with harrowing figments and visions whilst awake, and haunting nightmares in their sleep. Witches indirectly inherit traits of paranoia, insomnia, and general madness as a result of lacking sleep, and those who go on to live beyond their regular mortal age will face this to an even greater extent. Gradually the concepts of joy and comfort are made more foreign and distant to the witch. In response, a witch may desperately seek out attempts to derive pleasure and happiness, whether that be drowning their woe in alcohol or throwing themselves to corporeal pleasures — yet they will find these to be unsatisfactory and be granted no reprieve. Their pursuit of pleasure is for the sake of gaining gratifying pleasure alone, and not the emotional or social benefits that come with it; you will not find a witch making merry at a bar with friends, or having a romantic affair under the moonlight. As a result of this dissociation, it is not uncommon for witches to begin to abhor and envy those who are capable of attaining satisfaction and reprieve, becoming jealous of that which they are denied. 

 

In the face of command, the witch is greatly vexed. Though they may not wish to heed the command of their necromancer, they are obliged to follow it in order to receive their share of eternal life. This allows them to begrudgingly carry out tasks, not strictly bound to the orders of their master as a construct would be — yet this does not leave them immune to reprimand at the hand of their necromantic lord should they fail. 

 

 

 


 

Degeneration

This degradation of a witch’s physical body progressively worsens with time, and might even be accelerated should they desire to take up physically taxing arts such as those of the void or the sorceries of malflame. Witchbound who have lived beyond the confines of mortal age eventually reduced to but a mere husk, with rotting flesh clinging desperately to their festering bone. In such a state, the witch is no more living than the very death which they had desired to escape in the first place.

 

Spoiler

In order to sustain their facade of eternal life, a witch must have access to a necromancer who is capable of performing the Rite of Rejuvenation. Once per IRL month, the witch must come before a necromancer and have them perform this rite, which is detailed further below. This would result in the scion reassuming their previous youth, their aged cheeks and gnarled visage once more becoming fair as they once were; their strength, too, would return to that which it had been prior to their aging, though would not surpass whatever limitations were set by the other magics they might possess. Half-way through their period of ‘saturation’, or at most two IRL weeks following the previous ritual, the witch’s true age would begin to reveal, with the effects beginning to onset more rapidly the longer they stave off death. Whereas a forty-year-old witch might find their skin to sag and wrinkles to form three weeks following their last feeding, a two-hundred-year-old witch would find their flesh to darken as it more noticeably sinks back into their flesh so that they resemble more of a skeleton than a man a mere week after having been rejuvenated. This may encourage the scion to attempt rejuvenation preemptively and more frequently than others. 

 

Should a witch who has gone beyond the regular lifespan of their race go more than two IRL months without being adequately rejuvenated they will eventually shrivel up and die of hastened age. 

 

  • Though witches may theoretically live indefinitely via this method, assuming there is a willing necromancer, their mind would likely be gone long before true death is achieved. 

  • Being made a witch does not speed up the aging process, only the outward appearance of age. 

  • Witches are not forced to stay with a single necromancer by any mechanical means, and if their current necromancer goes inactive the lore allows them to simply find a new one. Groups may set their own coven rules regarding a witch’s bond to be enforced via roleplay. 

  • See Rite of Rejuvenation below for mechanics as to the ritual’s performance. 

 

 

Abandonment

The thread of lifeforce which binds a witchbound thrall to its necromantic master are relatively thin, and thus may be expelled with relative ease should the witch’s will to remain in their lord’s employ fail. 

 

Spoiler

By holy purging, a shamanic blessing of Scorthuz, druidic purging or the own wrath of a necromancer, a witch may drop their feat and return to their mortal ways, yet not unscathed by the trauma of their previous life. Assuming the witch grants OOC consent to be disconnected, these methods would result in the dwindling ties of Heith-Hedran within the witch to be expelled in a painful fashion, feeling as though hot needles were being slowly pulled from beneath their flesh. This would cause them to expel what appears as a black vapor, whether that be from pores in their body, their eyes, orifices, or simply being vomited out. Following the expulsion, the witch may inform the ST and have their feat denied. Nevertheless, the experience is traumatic, and will often inspire a greater terror of whatever means was used to ‘cure’ them of their plight. Though this would not necessarily prevent them from learning the art which had purged them, as their connection was not so deeply seated; it would likely foster a degree of apprehension around them — in particular if purged by holy magic, as they may even come to loathe the divine. 

 

In the case of necromantic purging however, the witch does not need to give their OOC consent to be removed from the cycle of witchdom. Instead, a necromancer may simply seal the witch’s connection to Heith-Hedran, thus reestablishing the flow of life within them as normal and removing their feat. 

 

It should be noted that the mortal will not return back to the age at which they were first made a witch, but rather will return to the age that they would truly be. A thirty-year old human witch might actually appear even younger if only just having been expelled; though were a human witch to have lived for a hundred and ten years, then they would likely be placed upon the brink of death, if not dying outright. Additionally, even in surviving the removal of witchdom, they would still harbor an incredible addiction for liquid lifeforce that would render them almost maddenned by its otherwise total lack. 

 

  • Witches may be purged of their feat (with OOC consent) by holy purging, shamanic blessing, druidic purging, or a necromancer’s severance of their connection — the latter not requiring consent. 

  • Upon rejecting the feat the Witch will revert to their current age. 

    • For example, a human witch could reject their feat at sixty and still live, reassuming their proper age. Should a one-hundred-and-fifty-year-old witch attempt the same, however, they would simply die (PK), having far surpassed their capability to live outside the feat. 

    • Because of this, racial age limits are enforced for all who possess the Witchbound feat. 

  • Players who take on the Witchbound feat should fully understand this risk prior to submitting their app and be willing to face its consequences should they occur.

 

 

General Abilities

Beyond life, beyond death, the Witchbound pride themselves on their ability to supersede the bond which restrains man, allowing them vast expanses of time with which they may weave their twisted creations and serve their nefarious master. Embraced by the occult, the grotesque, and the abominable—be it living or dead—these scions attempt to defy the inevitable fate all must face.

 

Life Feeling

Bearing an innate attraction to life essence, those endowed sciondom are granted a particular sensation for it, drawn to it alike to a hound and their prey. Even so much as bringing their decrepit hand to touch a blooming flower would tingle the scion’s fingertips with the ebbing and flowing of lifeforce within. This would grant them a transient sensation, that would attract the scion to the lifeforce and make them crave it. Were the scion to indulge upon the feeling, they would receive a brief euphoria which reminded them of their former self for only a few moments, wherein they may recall a cherished memory or beloved aspect of the life once-lived. 

 

  • Scions can passively ‘feel’ lifeforce when they are near to it. This is limited to touch-based sensory which activates only when the individual is touching the object.

    • Scions cannot ‘see’ lifeforce through walls or ‘smell’ it from afar.

  • Scions cannot ‘feel’ the lifeforce of someone behind them. It is not a ranged sensory.

  • Feeling the touch of lifeforce would be like akin to a smoker’s addiction to nicotine, causing the scion to crave the nearby lifeforce; requiring some effort to quell.

  • Touching a living person’s flesh can cause their skin to crawl if the witch so desired, though this would have absolutely no effect upon combat or harm them at all.

 

Plague Touch

By funneling corrupting lifeforce to the palm of their hand, witches may inflict cancerous growths upon an individual, causing them great amounts of disturbance. This requires three emotes of the scion amassing a blackened sludge of lifeforce in the palm of their hand, before making direct physical contact with the target individual upon the third emote. This would cause a searing pain in the region applied, turning the flesh red as bulbous growths fester across the skin. Depending on where the mark was inflicted, it would moderately hamper the typical function of that region; for example, a mark placed upon the forearm or shoulder would make it painful to wield a sword effectively in that hand, a mark placed upon the leg might cause one to stagger or have a limp, etc. These growths fade away over the course of four emotes, though can leave scarring if the wound is not treated promptly afterwards. Alternatively, the wound can be soothed by holy magic or medical/alchemical remedies that would be capable of dispersing disease or cleaning wounds. 

 

  • This ability cannot kill a person no matter where it is placed. It will not paralyze or cripple them entirely, but merely make it more difficult for that area to function. 

  • The attack must make contact with direct flesh in order to be effective, though effects can still take place if the flesh is protected by no less than half an inch of cloth.  

    • It cannot be delivered via a punch, hit, or other brief motion. The witch must place their hand on the victim’s skin for a solid three to five seconds before retracting it. 

  • All damage is external. The attack will not cause internal hemorrhaging, internal growths, etc. and will always disperse upon the fourth emote following its application, leaving only scars. 

  • This ability has no effect upon undead, both corporeal and incorporeal (unless husked in flesh). 

  • Can be used once per combative encounter. 

 

Anathema

Like necromancers, the Witchbound are refused by the Monks of Cloud Temple by merit of their usage of lifeforce to extend the span of their own age. As a result, witches, too, are wholly reliant on their inner circle in order to be returned from death. The ritual, though similar to the necromancer’s own Rite of Resurrection, requires only the efforts of two other witches, or a single necromancer. Fallen witches may call out to their masters where scars of Heith-Hedran are thin, soliciting them to perform the ritual and return them to the living — though this cannot be used in any way to acquire details regarding the event of their death. Should a witch be denied return, their soul remains lost to the lifebanks and the character is effectively PK’d. 

 

  • A single T3 necromancer, or two witches, may return one a witch brethren by amassing a corpse-worth of flesh. This may be done up to one OOC day following their death. 

  • Witches cannot be resurrected at Cloud Temple and must undergo resurrection by hand. 

    • If a witch is refused resurrection, for whatever reason, they must PK. 

  • Whispers of dead witches can only inform a necromancer that they are in need of revival, and cannot reveal any information pertaining to the nature of the event of their death. 

  • All server rules pertaining to character death (i.e. lacking remembrance of events) still apply.

  • Witches killed by suicide, life starvation, or old age cannot be returned. 

 

Life Weaving

As scions of the necromancer who marked them, witches are granted the ability to participate in any rite of necromancy labeled as an Intercession, unless stated otherwise. This is limited to participation alone, and requires that a practicing necromancer be present in order to lead the ritual in question. The only rites in which a witch is unable to participate are Revilement and Rite of Heith-Hedran; they also may not replace participants in the performance of Sacraments, which require actively attuned necromancers to perform. 

 

  • Witchbound can participate in most Intercession rituals (unless stated otherwise) as listed under Necromancy Lore, assuming there is a necromancer of the proper tier present to lead it. 

  • Witches cannot lead these rituals. Only a fully attuned necromancer of the proper tier who knows the ritual in question may lead it, with the witches only participating.

    • Witches cannot participate in rituals labeled as Sacraments. 

    • For the sake of tier effects in rituals, the witch would be equivalent to a T1 necromancer. 

 

Witchdom Rituals

Though infamous in their ability to persist beyond the confines of mortality, a Witchbound mortal is nothing without the aid of their coven and their necromantic lord. From the creation of relics to damning cities to disease, necromancers and scions are cunning and powerful in groups. Their affinity for working together to achieve great power is only rivaled by the coven politics of hierarchical backstabbery.  

 

  • Below is a list of rituals which witches may come together to perform on their own without the need of a necromancer present, save for the Rite of Rejuvenation. 

 

Rite of Rejuvenation

In order to cheat death, a witch must periodically return to a necromancer in order to be suffused with life, allowing them to once more take on the guise of youth. The necromancer must first procure a unit of liquid lifeforce, either a pylon, or from a living sacrifice. The aesthetic form if this is relatively open, and may be done in the form of some extravagant ritual, or a mere exchange between the necromancer and their witchbound thrall. Once the lifeforce has been woven from its source it would seep into the witch’s flesh, their youth and health returning for the span of one IRL month until the rite must be performed again. This will foster a terrible addiction to liquid lifeforce as a result of its use in the ritual, a subtle ploy to make the witch even more dependent upon the necromancer than they already were. 

 

  • The purity of liquid lifeforce necessitates that only half of it be used to gain the full effect; thus making it possible to rejuvenate multiple thralls with only a few units. 

  • Only a T3 or higher necromancer can perform this ritual assuming they have learned it. 

  • This does not need to be done by the necromancer who first made the witch; any necromancer can perform this rite upon any witchbound individual to the same effect. 

 

Rite of Tithing

Three witches, of their own will or by command, may come together on their own to create one count of liquid lifeforce for a necromancer’s use. This requires the two to apply their meager knowledge of lifeforce manipulation and pool it together — creating the thin, vaporous liquid known as liquid lifeforce, which may then be stored within a suitable vessel, such as a bottle or even a ritual bowl. The effects of this would leave the participant witches weakened and sickly for the remainder of the IRL day as they recover their lost lifeforce, rendering them unable to participate in other rites until they have recuperated. 

 

  • This can only be performed by three willing witches with one another. It cannot be used to force lifeforce from a non-witch, as such falls under the Rite of Darkening.

  • The produced liquid lifeforce must be ST signed.

  • Alternatively they may deposit the lifeforce within a designated pylon if one is available. 

 


Purpose & Credits

Spoiler

Purpose

Necromancy suffers from its very 'cult' based RP that it was intended to generate. As a magic fundamentally centered around keeping secrecy and barring others from a hidden society, we've found it hard to fully introduce newer players and even veteran players who don't have much contact with dark magic into the fold. The Witchbound feat is a means to introduce and aid newer players into necromancer covens, allowing for the ghoulish rp to once more flourish, while also allowing for natural progression of characters to commence without making them undead zombies. As thralls within the game they are given their own rituals and means to go out in the world and interact, while also keeping them human as to not add another CA. We found that a feat worked best for a magic centered around the soonTM coming black alchemy amendment, where the means to get and source these potions are focused around Witchbound.

 

An amazing thanks to,

Sorcerio - (Writer)

_Security - (Consultation)

Necromancy Community - (Consultation & Support)

 

 

 

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God almighty do I love witch-themed bullshit

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it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

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uwu

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