Before the dead were put to rest,
before the wizard kings were cast off thrones of pale bone... before their unassailable walls crumbled to dust, and wonder seeped from the cracks in our skin... there were WITCHES who wove the threads of all things, carefully adjusting each string to tune.
Before the dead were put to rest,
before the wizard kings were cast off thrones of pale bone...
before their unassailable walls crumbled to dust,
and wonder seeped from the cracks in our skin...
there were WITCHES who wove the threads of all things,
carefully adjusting each string to tune.
WITCHES wander the weird wilds of the world, unafraid and unfettered. They drip from moonlight and the edges of stars, sculpt each other from beeswax and jackal fangs. They dance in the flames of the citadels they burn.
WITCHES live in the in-between. In the space between eyelids, in the spines of books. WITCHES build treasures with toadstools, turmeric bricks, turpentine, twine. They brush their hair with henna for luster and blood for shine.
WITCHES own the Milky Way. They’re smart with the property market like that. They hold little rocks in the plushness of their hands and haggle them down to get a good deal. They are collectors, curators, equal admirers of rubies and refuse.
WITCHCRAFT is about intuition. About listening to the quiet, about the freedom to choose and go where one wishes, about maintaining the balance of things.
A WITCH does not grow in ways you expect; they only grow stranger.
While no one may own a WITCH, anyone can become one. And when you’re a WITCH, you cannot be bound — may you be naked in your rites until the last of your oppressors are dead.
Archetypes of Power
An ENCHANTRESS is a being of glamour. Your hand may pass through the waves of their hair, the weight of their cloak, the wonders of their lips. They are simultaneously here, there, anywhere, with power to grasp and feeble minds to conquer. You must move out of an ENCHANTRESS’s way when they walk. You see reality shimmer in and out of being with each click of their heel. They cast you into love so deep with a wave of their arm you do not care they have demolished your city to clear the western view from their tower.
An ENCHANTRESS beguiles your paramour, charms your enemy, counsels your king. When they wink and their mask slips to reveal the hungry grin beneath, you must have the sense to take it to your grave.
HAGS can only be stumbled upon. They exist at the fringes of things — tucked into tree knots, hollow logs, or mushroom rings. You find a HAG by following a trail of crumbs, the whistled notes of a working song, the smell of berries sweetening to jam. You must always ask permission to enter their cottage. You must turn away forever if denied.
In a HAG’s company you will eat well from the earth. You will find firelight to warm you and thread to mend your clothes. You must gift something of value for all that you receive. A HAG will claim a memory, a well-loved sock, a chapter of your favorite book. Do not overstay your welcome lest you give more than you can lose.
You approach a MAGE when questions are more important than answers. When you have opened your mind to the arcane, when you see magic as something to be deconstructed, analyzed and understood. A MAGE is a master of order, of examination. They pick the world apart molecule by molecule, hair by hair. MAGES calculate consequence. They calculate the weight of things. They calculate how fast they can break you to pieces and put you back together.
When you gift a MAGE a query, you must be prepared to accept their response in all of its great and terrible density. You must bear the weight of their will, the stasis of their study. What is built from layers of parchment, texts, and sigils holds the wisdom of the world.
If you ask a NECROMANCER a favor, they will grant it only once. You must meet them in a moon-soaked cemetery, a field of cypress, your own parlor beneath a veil of organza and elderflower leaves. You must watch as herbs are ground and combined, must turn away as the potion, once gargled, lends their voice to the muted tones of your father, your daughter, your love made wretched by time or drought or disease.
A NECROMANCER walks where other WITCHES cannot. They wet the hem of their cloak on the frigid waters of death. You must show respect to their austerity. You must give what they are owed. You must hope that the NECROMANCER who comes across your spirit would rather be your guide than your master.
When you cross an OCCULTIST, you must grip tight to your soul. They are flame dancers, altar tenders, arbiters of demon deals. They hunt in packs, howl like beasts, wander the darkest depths of the forest with eyes that blaze with frenzy you cannot tame. They speak in hidden tongues, serve weird and terrible masters. Never share your name. Never share your destination. Never back out of a deal, once decided.
If you betray an OCCULTIST, you are already dead. Whether in this lifetime or the next, you will not wake in your bed. Pray to whatever god you worship. Hope they can hear.
You don’t interrupt a SEER when they’re talking. They may talk for minutes or hours or terrible, terrible years, but you must not shimmy, shift, or breathe. You must inhale prophecy, exhale truth. You must moisten their throat with some lemon water, bug’s breath, slime from the spine of a toad.
A SEER knows both the things you want and want to avoid. They’re sensible enough to charge a premium to not involve the latter.