Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A new star shines in the night...Witch Contracts

Ok, it has been nearly a year since I posted last. Hopefully I'll be a bit better about this going forward. So, here the first of what I hope to be many future posts on my personal campaign world.

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The number of stars in the night skies above Tel-Avi are highly variable. While everyone agrees that the stars are pretty to look at, they also know that the shining lights in the sky forebode darker things behind them...

Witches, it is well known, draw their power from pacts made with their inscrutable patrons. When a new witch makes a pact, everyone in Tel-Avi is aware of it, as, for each new witch, a new star appears in the heavens. Likewise, whenever a witch is slain a star falls from the skies, leading many to refer to the stars simply as "witch-lights". Whether the witch uses her powers for good or ill, her existence is so marked, and many astrologers will go to great lengths to find the particular witch to which a star of significance to them is tied.

The pacts are not without price. Another name that many apply to witches is "Contractors". True to this name, all witches must pay a price for using their powers, whether they wish to or not. The witch feels an uncontrollable need to perform remuneration, which is a bizarre, obsessive compulsive "payment" for the use of their powers. Moreover, it seems that the amount of payment required is dependent on how much the witch uses his/her power. Although this payment can be delayed, especially in the midst of combat, it is ultimately unavoidable. Each witch has a unique remuneration, reflecting the chaotic nature of the patrons. Remunerations are typically difficult for the witch and range in severity from irritating to painful. However, there have been a few witches who enjoy their remuneration and some who use it in conjunction with their abilities.

Known remunerations include:
  • Acupuncture
  • Alteration of age, swiftly growing older or younger
  • Arranging pebbles in meticulously straight lines
  • Baking
  • Drinking various fluids, such as hot milk, beer, or the blood of children
  • Earmarking the pages of a book
  • Inability to lie
  • Inhaling fumes such as perfumes
  • Ingesting and regurgitating objects
  • Kissing someone
  • Placing shoes upside down on the ground
  • Pulling out hairs
  • Revealing a secret
  • Self-mutilation or injury, including dislocating fingers or wrist-slitting
  • Singing a song
  • Sleeping
  • Smoking
  • Stripping
  • Losing function of body parts, such as legs
  • Writing poetry
  • Making origami sculptures
  • Revealing magic tricks
Some claim that it is also possible for a witch to fully pay off her "contract", but this is an incredibly rare feat, requiring a drastic and traumatic sacrifice.