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Witches

Aliases

Templar Guardianship: Witches, Great Witches
Apostles: Mistress
Vampires: Witches
Horned Ones: Witches
Others: Witches, Gods, Spirits
They call themselves: By their own personal names (Enna, Algis, etc.) - They do not consider themselves as members of a class and do not acknowledge each other's existence.
Great Witch Enna, Witch of Ruin.

Her domain rests in the distant north, far beyond the vision of The City. Said to join many distant lands, the path to Enna's Domain is ever-shifting, and reveals itself only in visions.

General Overview

The witches are entities that extend far beyond space and time. The various aspects of the witches encountered by the Templar are not the witches themselves, but mere ocean foam, tossed up by the churning of an infinite being that resides far beneath the waves. Those who exist only transient ripples, mere mortals, cannot hope to make direct contact with the witches. Even if the beast below broke the surface, the surface would only be parted... the beast could never become one with the waves. All this is known to the witches, of course, and so they appear to us as they do: in secret, in visions, and in forms compatible with the nature of our realm.

In the present age, the witches provide the last shelter against the encroaching Dark. Those who refuse the witches' shelter and refuse her edicts are left exposed to the Vampire, the roaming beasts of the frozen waste, and the elements themselves. Algis, The White Witch protects the children of the garden, Great Witch Enna shelters the remnants of the native races, and the Apostle of the Southern Witch carries out the will of her departed master, protecting the few factions that have taken refuge deep underground.

Though the witches are eternal, they do not reside forever within our realm. The reasons are obscure, but witches are known to enter long periods of slumber, merely depart, or even ascend to another state of being never to be seen again. The domains that the residents of this world are so dependent upon persist in their absence, but only for a time. What becomes of a domain depends on the circumstances -- it may be taken up by a witch daughter (a highly unpredictable affair), be maintained by an apostle, migrate to another location, be absorbed by another domain, or simply collapse over time. Due to the unpredictable nature of the witches and the importance of the domains, many beings of the mortal realm (including the Templar) revere the witches as god-like beings. They might be right.

Known Witches of the Realm

Algis, The White Witch -- also known as the gardener witch. Long has she roamed the stars and harvested their seed. Now, at the end of all things, she has made a small garden in the last of the frozen earth that remains. A witch of bounty, life, and growth. She is kind and indulgent, joyful and sweet, but as a gardener she does not hesitate to prune the wicked branch, weed the wild growth, and till and plant as her garden requires.

Great Witch Enna, Witch of Ruin -- A powerful but reclusive witch that dwells far to north. Her domain protects a vast city populated by various elements that were able to escape the Templar extermination campaigns. Though her domain remains very strong, Enna herself is mostly absent from this world. So long has she been absent that the population of her own city considers her more of a myth than a reality. Still, they pay respect and give offerings to the spirit "Ynna" and hold a festival every new year in her honor. With this, the population continue to thrive under her protection.

Her daughters are real troublemakers, especially that one.

Southern Witch -- A witch that ascended to a higher realm. Though her domain remains, it seems to have drifted from its original potion and moved far underground. Much of the city above has fallen into ruin and is now exposed to the vampire. Her Apostle maintains the domain and guards a pact between the Templar and the Horned Ones, granting one land and the other protection.

The Red Witches -- A strange fruit from the White Witch's garden. The high priestesses of the Guardianship have long hidden the existence of these witches. Pale and sickly and childlike in demeanor, they require constant care and attention. Most speak very little and seem possessed to sleep whenever possible, often at the most inconvenient times. Still, they are gentle creatures, are terribly cute when they smile. Even the most stoic of Templar sisters report that they lose all control when assigned to them: they must cuddle them and fawn over them or be utterly heartbroken. The Red Witches prefer to eat fresh fruit, abhor meat, and smell faintly of book-mold and spices.

On the field, the Red Witches are said to see great distances and wield the power of the sun itself, but no sister truly believes such a thing. They would prefer that the Red Witches be kept safe in the captain's tent (or better yet, at home in The City) and be left nap with that adorable look on their faces. To most, the Red Witches are lovely younger sisters, fit to be spoiled and adored.

Communion

Although direct contact with a witch is impossible, those who are especially sensitive to the existence of witches (or especially favored by them) may be drawn into a sacred vision where a pseudo-representation of the witch (usually called the "aspect" of the witch) may appear and some form of communication may be possible. Such contacts can be extremely stressful/frightening:
"Usually, it feels like you're a tiny little leaf floating on the surface of a planet-sized ocean. And you feel something enormous in the water with you. Every little move it makes cooks up a storm, ya know? So just relax. You gotta relax and ride the waves properly or you'll lose yourself. You'll do okay. Well, sometimes it's okay. I'm okay. R-really."

- Anonymous Witch-Talker
The luckiest (or most favored) return from communion with mild sickness or faintness. Others are totally destroyed by the experience and become little more than living dolls. The average experience leaves a witch-talker bedridden and visited by intense nightmares for several days. Needless to say, an excellent witch-talker is highly prized and honored within the Guardianship.

Witches Q&A

Being much more about the long game than the Templar, how concerned are most Great Witches about entropic decay on a universal scale?

Bikky's own view of the situation (based on her training and first hand observations) is that the witches seem to have their own long term plans which extend far beyond the end of this universe. Bikky takes some solace in this, since it means the end isn't really the end... but she's also filled with fear and trembling. Occasionally, when she's with Enna, feels like a tiny child floating on the surface of the ocean who has suddenly become aware of the presence of an unimaginably vast creature in the waters below. The feeling passes as suddenly as it came, but it's distressing nonetheless. Just what kind of creature is a witch, really? What are they really doing here?

... Bikky has her hunches, but she tries not to think about it.