Powers

The woman shifted nervously in her chair and glanced outside where her children were sitting at a picnic table, eagerly talking with other children. It was the first time she’d ever seen them so happy, and yet, she sighed. Was this really the right thing to do? “What if they don’t enroll?” she asked quietly. “What if we just go home?”

The Provost sighed. It was always difficult to deal with people like this, people who had been left all alone with responsibilities they hadn’t planned for. He looked outside as well, at the happy children that were his responsibility – once they were enrolled. “Are you going to watch them every second, of every day, until they’re of age? Because you came here, and now they know.”

The woman looked at him in shock. “What do you mean?”

“Just like any predator, they watch. And we’re the perfect hunting ground. They don’t have to search. Just track down the ones that leave. Lie in wait for some student to take a risk. That’s why we have the rules we do. For their protection. We can keep them safe while they’re on campus, and we can protect them once they’re enrolled. But if you leave, and take your children home without giving them the chance to learn to protect themselves – well, we can’t do much about that, can we?”

The woman was horrified and angry. “So this was just a trick? You never intended to let me keep them – this was all a lie! You set me up!”

Outside, one of the children shot a bolt of lightning across the open field, scarring a wide swath of the lawn and making the others burst into laughter. The Provost sighed, and sent a text message to the Groundskeeper. “It’s for the best. They would have found you eventually. Not that you’re in any danger – you don’t have the power they need. They only want your children.” He looked steadily at their mother. “If you can assure me that you’ll be able to protect them adequately until they turn eighteen, then I have no problem with letting you oversee their education.”

Outside, the children began encouraging each other to levitate the picnic table, and the woman looked away. “I can’t – I can’t deal with them like that.”

“But we can,” said the Provost gently. “We have centuries of experience here. I personally have been an administrator here for almost fifteen years, and I was a teacher here for ten years before that.”

“And what did you do before that?” she asked quietly, but the Provost didn’t seem to hear her, and went on.

“Your children will be safe here, as well as educated and trained to use their powers properly. If you want to move to the area, we can certainly assist with that.” He waited, but the woman didn’t speak. “Otherwise, your children will be taken in as full-time boarders, like every other student here. We can process their registration today, and they can join classes tomorrow.”

“You already decided what you’re going to do,” she said bitterly.

“Haven’t you?” asked the Provost calmly. “Would you like to finish signing the paperwork now?”

With a heavy sigh, she sat down again, and began signing the papers in front of her that would effectively give the school full rights over her children until they turned eighteen. “I still can’t believe this is legal,” she muttered. “Does everyone have to sign this stuff?”

“Only certain kinds of people,” the Provost explained wearily as he checked that she had signed all the papers that he needed her to sign.

“So, basically, I don’t ever get to see them again?” she asked bitterly.

“Yes,” the Provost agreed, “but not for the reason that you’re thinking.”

The children outside looked up in surprise at the sudden loud noise, but the curtains of the Provost’s office were closed. “What was that?” asked one of the children. The others shrugged. “Was someone in the Provost’s office?”

The two new children frowned, as if trying to remember something. “I don’t think so,” said the older of the two. “I don’t remember.”

“Couldn’t have been important, then,” said another one of the children. “So, what House are you moving into? Have you decided yet?” The conversation went back to school life and more important things than unexplained noises.

Short scroll

Equipment

In order to use your Power, there are certain requirements that you must meet. First, you require an Arcane Implement – this can be something like a book, a ring, some other piece of jewelry, etc. It could also be a wand but this is strongly discouraged as it is very hard to hide when casting in public. No student at the Academy is permitted to have anything so ridiculous as their Arcane Implement.

edit: when power is used in combat it is usually a black blade/white shield or reverse. some people are barehanded fighters

The second item that you will require is a Book of Shadows. This book is where you detail the Rituals that you create. When a witch turns thirteen, they come into possession of their Power. When they turn eighteen, they Ascend to their full Power, and can cast their first Ritual. Ascension begins at the exact second that a witch turn eighteen, but the process will not complete until the witch completes the first Ritual. If the witch fails to complete or does not attempt a Ritual before turning nineteen, the Power will depart.

If the witch is successful in casting this Ritual, they can begin preparing to Master the Craft, and will create a second Ritual to be cast when they turn twenty-one. At twenty-one, if the witch can successfully cast the second Ritual that they have created, they have Mastered their Craft and can safely go out into the world. Rituals usually have to do with the profession that the witch wants to follow someday, or it could just be an esoteric experiment that they want to test. Regardless, a Book of Shadows is necessary for your Craft. These Books are usually left, under protection, in one’s room or the main library. Witches do not steal Books from each other, however others do.

edit: only certain bloodlines, before 18
Once you turn eighteen, you can perform a standard Ritual that will allow you to bond with a Familiar Spirit. This Familiar will take the shape of a common animal, and will positively influence one of your Stats, raising it permanently. Your options for a Familiar are as follows:

NOUS Owl
SARX Dog
TYCHE Ferret
KALLOS Cat
PSUCHE Snake

OIKIA and MAGOS are not influenced by Familiars (at least, not by the ones permitted by the Academy).

Despite their enhanced intelligence, Familiars are still normal animals, and may die a natural death, which will not have any negative effect on the witch. If the Familiar dies a violent death, the witch will lose the stat bonus, but can have another Familiar to replace it. Replacing a Familiar that died a natural death will have no effect.

Mundane Equipment

All Academy students live on campus almost year-round, going home for one month in Winter and Summer. The rest of your time is spent on campus or in town. The town of Spenser has an extremely efficient and well-organized public transportation system, so a car is not necessary. However, you may have one if you wish, once the requisite papers have been filed with the school and the town officials.

Grades and Classes

Regardless of when a student first acquires their Power, they will not be considered to be Initiated until after they have have completed their first year of formal training. An Initiate is slightly more capable than any untrained user of the Power.

After a student’s first year of study is completed:

  • For all cantrips, increase either the power or capabilities
  • Increase one stat by 1 point

For each additional year of study completed:

  • Increase the power or capability of one cantrip

The true possibilities of the Power are not evident until a student has Ascended and performed their first Ritual. Once a student Ascends to their full Power, their control over the Power increases – but at a cost. If a student does not continue to devote themselves to Mastering the Craft, then the Power will begin to take over.

An Ascended student gets the following:

  • For all cantrips, increase either the power or capabilities
  • Increase two different stats by 1 point

An Ascended student must:

  • Begin work on their second Ritual
  • Continue studying either in a Consortium College or Spenser, or have a Master devoted full-time to training them

Once a student has successfully performed their second Ritual, they have Mastered the Craft. From here, they may continue studying or go into the real world.

A student who has Mastered the craft:

  • For all cantrips, increase either the power or capabilities
  • Increase three different stats by 1 point
  • Increase MAGOS by 1 point

Students should always take into consideration the difference between raw Power and training. Any student who has already completed one year of training is more skilled than any new student, regardless of stats.

The same holds true when dealing with monsters. A monster that is Bound and has been trained (usually by a witch, but sometimes by an Other such as an Angel or a Demon, and very rarely, by a Human) is more skilled and dangerous than a normal roaming monster, and should be treated with caution and discretion.

Souls and Mates

Upon completing a full exchange of Power with a soul mate (either through carnal means or through the use of an avoidance ritual, if carnal knowledge is contraindicated for some reason), a witch can choose to make minor changes to existing cantrips, or to completely discard and recreate any or all of their cantrips, within reason.

Two full exchanges of Power (completing the Ritual with two different soul mates) will result in the increase of one stat by 1 point.

Being given Power by someone (which results in the death of the giver) will result in the increase of two different stats by 1 point each, and allow you to change (upgrade or completely rewrite) three different cantrips or empower one existing cantrip.

Soul mates have an unusual empathic bond with each other, and can sense strong emotions from each other (such as anger, fear, pain, sadness, love, happiness, or surprise). This bond is forged by completing the exchange of Power, but its strength is dependent upon three things: time, will, and contact. An individual can strengthen or weaken this bond. Responding to your soul mate’s needs, and continuing to spend time and having physical contact with them will strengthen it, allowing the soul mates to have empathic communication with each other no matter how far apart they are. Conversely, deliberately suppressing your reaction to your soul mate’s needs and avoiding them will weaken the bond so that only the most drastic of emotions will be felt, but physical contact will always restore a bond to the highest achieved level. In all cases, one soul mate always knows when the other dies.

When a witch dies, their Power follows their soul. If they are slain by a monster or an Other, their Power is absorbed by their slayer. If their soul is bound to a domain or Holy Ground, their Power will go there upon death. If their soul is bound to a contract or covenant, their Power will go there. If their soul is not bound, but they have surviving soul mates, their Power will be divided amongst all their mates.

How to Do Things

In general, an action is determined by rolling dice. The player rolls one, and the GM rolls another. The values are influenced by the relative stat, and in some cases, by a set difficulty level. The higher the total value, the better – however, succeeding in a roll does not always mean success. Rolling a 1 is always a catastrophe – even if you win the roll through your stats. Rolling a 6 is always beneficial, especially if your relevant stat is also a 6, but beware – this rule applies to the GM as well.

In specific, the dice are only used to influence the story. They do not control it. You will never die from rolling a 1. You will only die if it is dramatically appropriate and you’re sick of your character and have already asked the GM to kill you off as part of the story.

Basically: Never be afraid to try something. Doing something is always better than doing nothing.


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