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Witch tradition, Malefic

lyzz hana, witch, tribal, Witch tradition, Malefic

Liber Mysterium
The Netbook of Witches and Warlocks

By Timothy S. Brannan and The Netbook of Witches and Warlocks Team

“We come into this life naked, covered in blood, and screaming. Don’t pretend the rest of it is any different”.

– Traditional Malefic Saying

Description: While some witches may be frightening in rumor, the idea that someone would willingly submit herself to the creatures of the Abyss or Hell is a much more frightening prospect. Malefica are evil witches in league with dark things from the Lower Realms or worse places. Power and riches are the lures for these witches, which may be male or female. Their orgiastic sabbats are often used as examples by priests and witch-hunters for the need to destroy all witches.

Creatures such as Asmodeus, Beelzebub, Dis and Set offer the most allure for these witches, but most honor dark versions of the God and Goddess. The Dark Queen is the destructive and chaotic side of the Goddess. Death is part of the circle of life (often called the Goddess’ -fourth- face), but Malefica delight in death, destruction and chaos. Their Goddesses can be, but are not restricted to, Hecate, Kali, Lilith, Lovitar, etc. with the appropriate
God or Consort. Sometimes, as in the case of Kali and her Consort Shiva, the consort God is good.

Humans are predominant in this tradition. It has been suggested that this is due to their relatively short life span. Half-orcs are also well represented among the ranks of the Malefic witches.

Sometimes a difference is made between the Lawful Evil ‘Diabolic witches’ and the Chaotic Evil -Demonic witches- but in truth this is a classification system used only by outsiders. Malefic witches care less about terms of -Diabolic- vs. -Demonic-, especially when the covens- Patrons are neither devils nor demons.

Role: Malefica serve as the chaotic element in nature. They try to destabilize areas, nations, relationships, etc. They do this through the judicial use of the powers at their command. Unlike warlocks or others diabolic spellcasters, Malefica are much more motivated by whim than the will of their patrons. While they do follow their patrons as do all witches, the Malefic witches are given freer reign. Their purpose is to create as much chaos, disorder and evil, or at least ill-will as they can.

This tradition is often seen as the dark side of the Craft of the Wise. While many Craft witches would argue that the Malefic witches give all witches a bad name, most would agree that the universe is balanced with the Malefic witches. Many witches, even Craft witches, still do not get along with the Malefic witches.

Joining this Tradition: Joining this tradition is quite easy; one joins by committing oneself to the service of a deity whose portfolio consists of death, destruction or something similar. Usually an adept Malefica decides to take an apprentice at some time and will seek out one who has heard the call from the Dark Goddess and teach them all they know.

The malefic witches, contrary to popular belief, do not attempt to convert others, either by force or magic, to their fold. Like nearly all witches, the Malefic witch believes one must be worthy and hear the Call before becoming a witch. Other than this requirement, the Tradition does not make any distinctions between male or female, or of race.

Leaving this Tradition: Usually the only way to leave this tradition is by death. Nonetheless, if a Malefica ever decided to recant from the dealing of destruction and chaos, she would also recant from her patron. Not only would she lose all powers she has gained while a Malefica, she would also be hunted by followers of her deity.

Skills & Feats: Malefic witches receive Bluff and Diplomacy as class skills.

Occult Powers:

  • Minor: 7th Level: Evil’s Touch. A Malefic witch can detect good, as per the spell, at will, as a free action. The Malefic witch can then attack the identified good victim with a +1 to hit and +1d4 added damage. This power only works on victims of good alignment that the witch identified with her detect
    power previously. If the witch does not know a victim’s alignment (with respect to good vs. evil) she does not gain the bonuses to hit or damage.
  • Medial: 13th Level: Devil’s Tongue. Once per day, by uttering a few words of Infernal, the Malefic witch can make her speech convincing. For the next hour, the Malefic Witch adds her Wisdom modifier to the following skills: Bluff, Diplomacy, Disguise, Gather Information, Innuendo, Intimidate, Perform, Pick Pocket, Seduction.
  • Greater: 19th Level: Diabolic Spell. Up to a number of times per day equal to your Intelligence Modifier, you can boost the power of your spells which target good targets. Add your Charisma Modifier to your spell’s DC.

Special Benefits: Malefic witches may use poisons (as per the Assassin ability) plus these witches have no moral or ethical problems with summoning or controlling undead monsters.

Special Restrictions: Can only be of any evil alignment. A large proportion of these are chaotic in alignment as well.

Equipment: The Malefic witch has no special equipment, but they do make regular use of cauldrons.

Coven Domains: Chaos, Death, Destruction, Evil, Law

Preferred/Barred Covens: Most covens of other traditions will avoid admitting members of the Malefic traditions. Also any Malefic coven will typically avoid other traditions.

Relationship to the Goddess/Patron: The Malefica is on very good terms with her deity as she knows it is only from her Patron that she gets her powers. If she can increase chaos in her area she will get even more power.

Even a minor transgression of their laws is met with swift divine retribution. Most often felt is the loss of Coven Spells. The patrons have even been known to kill their own witches when it suits them. In all cases, the witch was outmatched and overpowered.

Source/Views of Magic: Magic is power and often the Dark Path is the quickest way to this power.

The Malefic witch delights in perpetuating the stereotype of witches and will often claim to be using ·black· magic.

Saul and the Witch of Endor Jacob Cornelisz van Oostanen 1526
Saul and the Witch of Endor Jacob Cornelisz van Oostanen 1526

Seven Crimes of Malefica

  1. Inspiring impure love
  2. Inspiring hate
  3. Causing impotence
  4. Causing disease
  5. Taking a life
  6. Depriving of reason
  7. Injuring property or animals.

– From the Journal of Matthew Hopkins, Witchfinder General.

Wealth: Normal for all witches. The malefic witch might have some nefarious means of obtaining more gold however.

Other: The basic nature of the Malefic witch means that nearly everyone distrusts her. In this case, the class of the associates matters less than their alignment. Malefic witches are on agreeable terms with evil priests and wizards. Barbarian’s of any alignment generally distrust the malefic witch at the best of times, or actively try to kill them in the worst. Only the paladin and the Witch Finder are steadfast in their opinions of the Malefica; they all must be stopped.

The Malefica have the worst time getting along with other witches as well. Craft witches see them as a necessary evil, Faerie witches are unconcerned with them and most others would rather see all malefic witches burnt at the stake. Many other witches feel, with some measure of justification, that the Malefic witches are to blame for all of the bad things that are said and done to witches. Evil witches of any tradition (Voodoo, Tantric, Tempestarii) will join covens with Malefic witches and vice versa.

A Malefica would take the Warlock Prestige Class if so commanded to by her Patron. Malefic witches still see most Warlocks as traitors to the patrons. Some Hermetic Lodges have accepted Malefic witches in the past, but that is a very rare thing indeed.

GM’s Note: Malefica are always evil and should not be encouraged as player characters. This game should be about heroic fantasy. Malefica make great NPCs to challenge player characters. They should be played as the typical “wicked witch” from fairytales or stories.

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