to Cry Wolf! We are an 18+ AU, intermediate to advanced Mercy Thompson/Alpha and Omega RP set in present day, in the Tri-Cities of Washington. We are a premium board with a 250 wordcount. Please make sure that you register with your characters name in Proper Case. Not in all caps. Example: Mercy Thompson. We welcome you to the site and if you have any questions don't hesitate to reach out to the staff.
No knowledge of the books is required. All the information needed is available on site. We ask that you read over the species information before rolling one of that type, as there are a few key differences between Mercyverse creatures and the ones you might know.
We put emphasis on the slice-of-life RP with the occasional event to throw things off. ;)
Skin made by Tana @ Cosmo, Shine, and ATF. Graphics, custom stats, forum, profile structure, mini profiles and coding tweaks thanks to Ara. Templates thanks to Becky of Candyland. All apps, threads, fae lore, and plots belong to their respective members of Cry Wolf. Most importantly the Mercy Thompson Universe is thanks to Patricia Briggs for creating such an interesting world for us to enjoy.
Witches are humans with a bit of a twist. Born with the innate ability to use magic primarily through rituals, they are trained, usually by family or clan members, to hone these abilities and perfect their use. Witches are broken into two different variations: White and Black. White witches view black as corrupted by power and focus their spells on those that do not harm others nor require suffering to be cast. Black witches are willing to do nearly anything to get the power they crave, including using body-parts and the dead (or living) to cast their spells. Witches can be either gender and are called 'witches' regardless of gender.
White witches are often considered less powerful and not useful to those that might hire a witch. It is extremely difficult to remain a white witch because power seduces it's users and it's easy to give into the desire. White witches often smell clean and of magic. They gain their power from themselves and their rituals. They do what they can to not harm others and to divert harm from coming to others. Generally, they frown upon black witches for taking the easy route.
Black witches are often considered 'cruel' or inhumane. They are witches that have gained their power from other's pain and suffering and continue to gain power from torturing and killing. (Though, this killing does not have to be human, it could be animals or even insects, but gaining in power generally means moving up to bigger, more powerful kills.) They smell of death and magic. They willingly manipulate the mind and body (even of the dead) to perform their spells. This could be limited to burning the blood of a dead man to find out where he was killed or inflicting pain upon the living through a (far more complicated) ritual.
Very few spells are limited to one type of witch or the other and those that are limited are primarily so based solely on the witches' personal desires (whether or not they are black or white.) Every ritual is personalized for the individual witch and no two are the same, though they may be similar and the differences might be minor. The rituals usually involve circles of power (either or power the ritual or to store power for later use without a circle,) candles, crystals and a variety of other implements based on their personal preference and ritual.
The primary power of witches is considered the ability to change what other's perceive. This includes illusions , hide-me-spells and most spells that tamper with the base senses (sight, hearing, touch, smell.) Most witches can manage imprisoning spells as well, though the strength (obviously) varies. Tracking spells are another basic spell that most witches can manage, though how they go about doing it and what they can track varies from witch to witch. Black witches can track things like where an individual died, while white witches tend to be better at finding out where the living are located now.
Witches live an average lifespan of a human. Werewolf packs often hire individual witches to assist in covering up potentially dangerous information so humans do not uncover it.
Every witch's style of casting a spell varies greatly. Their methods are familial, passed down from their parents whom learned it from their parents, etc. Since witches are a family trade, most of their spells and methods are so heavily tied up in personal preference/tradition that it is difficult for witches to learn a technique outside of their own path and many witches are greedy and selfish with their spells, not trusting others to know how they do things.
Many witches utilize symbols alongside of their basic rituals to cast spells that effect a certain area. These symbols vary from witch to witch and are a personal thing, customized for each witch in question. Not all witches use them, but if they are used the materials vary from blood to salt to being burned into a surface.
One of the basic practices among witches is circles. A circle around the witch casting the spell, be it drawn in the dirt, with chalk, salt, etc is a good base for increasing the power of a spell. Obviously drawing a circle on the run is impossible, but many witches have circles drawn permanently into their home or wherever they regularly cast spells in order to give them a bit of a boost and to store power for later. Breaking a witches' circle is on par with pissing on their carpet. Extremely rude, requires some work to fix and they probably aren't going to invite you back over. Many witches keep the exact location of their circle a secret or cover it to keep it hidden. Things in these circles tend to be relatively protected unless the circle is broken. One would break a circle by disrupting what makes it (wiping chalk away, brushing salt off, etc.) This is one of the reason many witches establish permanent circles in their homes.
While very few witches use wands or staves, some do out of personal preference. Most spells involve some preparation and a wide variety of steps. Laying out these steps is impossible due to the difference between each witching family. However, they can involve everything from herbs to blood. White witches will bring harm to themselves, while black witches will harm others to gain their power and fuel their spells. It isn't uncommon for a white witch to leave a spell bleeding and hurting or a black witch to crush a bug or strangle a chicken during their spells.
Many spells have words associated with them (again, it varies,) but the most important part of a spell is the will and power behind it. Many witches will talk themselves through the spell to keep their will focused, saying what they are doing aloud though frequently not in a fashion anyone else would understand due to the personal flair added for each witch.
While a witch with power built up can cast spells on the run, most spells require a stationary place and the basic preparation to get them going. A few things can get in the way of spells, most notably water. If it is raining or they are, say, on a boat, the spell effect is going to be weakened. On the opposite, if fire is involved the spell will likely be stronger, though there is always the risk for it being more uncontrollable.
Some witches might follow the practices of real life witchcraft but, as stated, they're all personalized to the witch. Some families might incorporate basic practices into their witchcraft but it boils down to a personal preference. The same goes for spellbooks and the like.
Witches can store power in inanimate objects, however. These objects are usable only by the witches that put the power there and power can be stored only in limited amounts. For example, a witch could empower their necklace or a ring to hold power for them, but it would be enough to cast a few small spells or take the burden off of a bigger spell. Power, however, can be built up in the items over the course of time. While it won't ever equal a witch's full power, it can serve as a fraction of it and provide some back up for their spells. Many witches wear jewelry to serve this purpose, though some have empowered other things of their choosing.
The Importance of Teamwork
A witch's clan is their family. Kind of.
While a witch clearly has a family of their own, and it is generally these people whom assist them in finding their power and harnessing it. A clan, however, is a thing most witches join as part of their adult life. While joining the same clan as your family (and many clans being ran by a specific family) is common, some branch out and join a different one. There's nothing requiring a witch join a clan, but it's generally the wiser option. But why are witches in clans, you ask?
The most evident reason is protection. There is safety in numbers and witches aren't the heaviest hitters in the supernatural world. In a group, they are a much larger threat and can look out for one another. Networking is, after all, an important part of life. While one witch might not be the most skilled in some areas, knowing someone who is can prove very advantageous.
Sharing is caring and while witch clans don't necessarily have to be a loving bunch they do tend to believe very firmly in the idea of sharing methods and practices to make themselves and those associated with them better at their art. While how a spell is cast varies from witch to witch, sharing how they gather power or how they cast a spell is common and adapting to new things you've learned is a common practice. After all, things change as they age and the young learn from the old.
Community, of course, is a vital part of humanity. Being in a clan provides you with a constant source of socialization and individuals you can talk to that understand aspects of your life your other friends might not.
Clans serve as an ongoing resource. In addition to sharing spells, clans will frequently put individuals and other groups in touch with witches that can best help them with what they need. Say, for example, a pack needs someone to help cover up a rogue killing. They could call the local clan and the elder would send over a witch that is good at see-me-not spells. If a seethe needs alarms, the clan will send the appropriate witch. The witches, of course, get the pay but the clan gets a cut for serving as middle man.
A clan elder's job is to herd the cats, more or less. While she might not be the oldest or most powerful witch in the clan, she is almost always the most respected. While werewolves and vampires fight for their ranks, witches tend to be diplomatic about such things.. They are, more or less, voted into place. A witch that feels elder suits her makes her intentions known and, if there is no elder in place, she has an easier chance of obtaining it.
Regardless if whether or not she is leading a coup, she calls for support. Those that back her, make their support public and, if there is an opponent, they do similar. The individual with the most support in their camp wins. While this sounds simple, it is highly political, with promises of everything from favors to money being exchanged to win over more supporters. Witches will frequently support the same family line in holding the elder position because if it isn't broke, why fix it?
Elders solve disputes, manage clan property, organize events and take care of their clan's members not dissimilar from a mother. If a witch is hungry and part of a clan, he can go to the elder to ask for help and it is the elder's responsibility to make sure he is taken care of. (However, if an elder feels a witch is abusing the clan's generosity, she can banish them from the clan and leave them on their own.)
An acolyte is generally an elder's second in command, but they can also assume the position on their own in a fashion similar to how the elder achieved theirs. Acolytes can be either gender and generally take over the aspects of clan management that elders don't enjoy. They serve as the Elder's right hand and frequently wind up pushing their own agendas as the elder will listen to them (though whether or not the elder actually trusts them varies.)
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make up spells for my witch?
Yes and no. Nothing over the top (ie: No spontaneous killing, no dragging in armies of skeletons or bringing the dead back to life.) But smaller more reasonable things are welcome. If you have a question about a specific spell you're more than welcome to ask. You can always make suggestions for spells here and we'll pick and choose ones we feel are appropriate to add.
Does everyone know witches do real magic? Nope. Nonhumans might, but the average Joe on the street likely knows a few "witches" that claim to do magic (There has been at least one televised and that made money from selling 'spells' that did nothing. (Think placebo effect except fake magic) and most likely your average person on the street thinks they're shams and/or crazy.
What about books of shadows? This would depend on the individual witch. Witches' spells (and how they are cast) are generally passed down from family member to family member. They don't operate like Wiccan witches might (unless the family opts to practice that way.) So, everyone's spells with be different. Some might have a book, some might not.
Do they/Can they have familiars? Nope. While they might have a pet they say is a familiar (in the style of real life witches) it would grant them no extra effects or powers.
What about 'grey' witches? They don't exist. Once you go black, there's no going back. Power is seductive and it's really difficult to stay a white witch because the power is so tempting. Black witches are generally more powerful because they have no limit to how they obtain their power, whereas white witches do. 'Grey' witches don't exist because once you start torturing others there's really no going back on that.
Each ritual is personalized to the witch, but hold the same basic elements to them. The effectiveness of each spell varies depending on the individual strength of the witch, the power they have saved up, etc.
Witches' most vital attributes are their tracking and their perplex the senses spells. These prove useful to others and are the reasons witches are frequently hired by other nonhumans to keep things under wraps or help them in a pinch. Their spells will effect everything regardless of species with the exception of walkers. Walkers' primary defense is the fact that most magics don't effect them so it tends to be hit or miss on whether or not they will work.
Shields - Both. Easily learned, harder to maintain for long periods of time/strong blows
Tracking - Dependent. Black: Will use bodies/blood to track an individual's previous locations. White: Will use hair, skin or blood to track current locations (Can be used by black witches, though white witches will not use black witches' methods.) (Often burning the article used for tracking.)
Perplex the senses - Both. Hides sights, scents, sounds, etc from senses. Your typical See-Me-Not spell.
Wards - Both. Discourages individuals from coming to a certain area. Variations below. (Both variations must have that specific intent placed upon the ward to achieve that effect.)
See-Me-Not - Both. Like Perplex the senses, but this focuses specifically on individuals and discourages them from being looked at. Does not hide them, simply dissuades attention from them.
Movement - Both. An extremely weak movement spell. Good for bringing things from one side of the room to the other, but difficult to control and practically useless on larger items.
The Dead Know - Both. Varies. (See below)
Illusions - Both. Trick the sight into seeing something that is not there. This isn't effective against anything with a higher than average sense of smell.
Imprison - Both. Inhibit movement. Trap the individual and keep them still. A fairly taxing spell, who's power differs depending on the creature imprisoned. (A werewolf will take more effort than a human. A weaker fae will take less effort than a vampire, etc)
Not-A-Threat - Both. Similar to See-Me-Not this spell tricks individuals around the witch into not seeing the witch as a threat. This spell tends to not last long and bears no effect should the witch do or say something threatening.
Psychometry - Both. The witch touches an object to get a basic sense of it's past. Can be taxing depending on the amount of detail found.
Detect Other - Both. A fairly simplistic spell (in the casting.) Set up over a doorway or entrance, it will alert the witch specifically if a nonhuman passes through it. The longer lasting, the more taxing the spell.
Alarm - Both. A sort of magical trip-wire. The stronger the spell, the louder the alarm. Goes off if the spell is 'tripped' in a specific way (crossing through a doorway, touching something, etc.)
Most witches can manage nearly any spell if given enough time/the proper materials. However, the length of time/physical demands upon it vary from witch to witch. Black witches will often specialize in harmful magics, while white witches tend to focus on protective. Every witch has their own personal strengths. A witch that is great at shielding might be awful at healing. A witch that is fantastic at getting answers from the dead might not be good at doing anything else.
Keep in mind that witches are like batteries. They need to recharge after casting spells. If you keep using it, you are going to run out of juice and will be left defenseless. Some spells cost more energy than others and you will very quickly be left high and dry if you aren't careful.
Things witches cannot do:
Raise the dead to serve as their minions. No zombies for you.
Control the elements (fire, water, etc)
For the benevolent
Sunlight - White. A brilliant burst of sunlight fills the immediate area. Very effective against vampires.
Healing - White. Mend small wounds, postpone poison. On a grander scale: Draw poison from the body. The bigger the wound, the more taxing the spell.
Wards - White. Discourages those with evil intentions from entering.
Soothing - White. Eases pain and suffering. This spell equates to the pain brought from charging it. (Will not heal.)
Vanish - White. Similar to the perplexing spells, this one is a limited invisibility. Whomever it is cast upon will vanish from sight for a short amount of time. (They can still be tracked via scent.)
Warmth - White. Warms the area or target. Much like being in a room with a fireplace.
Magic Weave - White. Imbues an item with magical properties, giving it a special quality. This can be either a small protection spell to odd shimmers and colors. This frequently requires an item to be added to the desired item. (ie: Thread to a shirt, charm to a bracelet.) These items are frequently useless outside of the witches' possession.
Sleep - White. Lures the target to sleep. A weaker version will just make them sleepy, while a stronger version will put them out for several hours.
Coerce - White. Encourages the target to answer truthfully, but no guarantee they will answer in the fashion desired.
The Dead Know - White. If a spirit lingers around a body, a white witch can lure it out to ask questions of it. Extremely taxing spell and very limited in what the spirit will answer.
Tranquility - White. Similar to soothing, this will remove worries and doubts from the target's mind for a period of time. Brings about calmness and a more agreeable state of mind. Generally brings the target's misgivings onto the caster, however.
Empower - White. Strengthen another person, augmenting their strength, speed, focus and power. Not very taxing to start but the longer it's used the harder it is to maintain. Leaves the recipients weak and hungry afterwards.
Dreams - White. Send the sleeper relaxing dreams. Works extra well on individuals put to sleep by the witch.
For the ruthless
Darkness - Black. Dim the lights. On a grander scale: Cast an area (room or building) into a darkness in which lights are useless.
Bleed - Black. Reopen old wounds. Extremely taxing on the witch.
Wards - Black. Discourages individuals intent on doing the witch harm from entering.
Suffering - Black. Causes pain on the target. This spell equates to the pain brought from charging it. (Will not kill anyone.)
Deafen - Black. Deafens the target for a short period of time. Similar to being dazed, creates a buzzing in the ears.
Chill - Black. Chills the area or target. Much like stepping into a cold body of water.
Siphon - Black. Take energy from the target for personal use. Power can be stored this way. This spell requires great concentration and a great deal of energy. The witch is very vulnerable during this and thus requires someone to watch over them while it is performed. It has a high percent of backfiring and is a high level spell only for experienced witches.
Cauterize - Black. Painful forced healing of wounds. Not dissimilar to a legitimate cauterizing.
Answer Me - Black. Forces a response out of the target. This is a high cost spell and not guaranteed to get a truthful answer.
The Dead Know - Black. If a spirit lingers near a body, a black witch can force it back into the body long enough to answer a few questions. Extremely taxing spell and very limited in what the spirit will answer. The spirit's memory is also limited to only a few hours before their death.
Discord - Black. Promotes a state of distress within the target area, by heightening any lingering worries or negative emotions within them. Does not create emotions, and must be continually channeled for notable effect. Likely to cause light-headedness or unconsciousness to the caster, depending on the duration.
Lockdown - Black. Prevents the casting of magic. Incredibly taxing, especially against multiple targets or if targets are aware and trying to use their powers. (Does not limit werewolves or walkers shifting or a lessening of natural strength.)
Nightmares - Black. Send the sleeper terrifying nightmares. Works extra well on individuals put to sleep by the witch.
Charms and amulets are an extremely limited aspect of witchcraft. While entirely possible, they're frequently so very limited that most witches don't bother with them as the struggle to keep the charm operating isn't often worth the result. However, some witches will use them for the temporary effects they can provide.
The average amulet or charm will only last roughly 24 hours. If the combination of materials is lesser, it will last a shorter amount of time. Charms made out of the strongest combination with a lot of power poured into them can last upwards of three days or so. If a witch keeps the amulet in their possession and continues to pour power in it, the effects can last much longer, but the chances of them being as powerful as the materials wear out is lessened. For an amulet to remain powerful, it requires a constant source of fresh materials.
Many things can impact the strength of an amulet. What goes into the amulet, what the amulet is made of, how much power a witch puts into it and what is contained within the charm.
Amulets can be made out of a variety of things. Leather is the weakest, followed by wood. Glass is a good middle ground, as is pewter. Silver and gold are the most powerful but obviously the most expensive to boot. Plastic doesn't seem to hold magic at all. Most containers are hollow tubes, but can also be pouches or globes. Any sort of container can be utilized as an amulet or charm.
What the charm or amulet requires varies depending on the effect the witch wishes the spell to have. If it is to affect a person directly, (for example, heal a wound they might encounter) it will need a part of the person within it. The strength of this sort of amulet will vary depending on what part of the person is put into it. If hair is used, it will be weaker than if blood is used. Blood is the most powerful option, but some witches will also use fingernails (very weak) or skin cut from them (stronger.) Hair is generally the most common as it is the easiest to get.
While amulets and charms are capable of many things, there are even more things they are incapable of. They cannot, for example, keep a werewolf from shifting or deny a walker their second form. They have no effect on the dead, nor can they kill anyone. The most likely effect you will get from an amulet is a watered down version of a spell a witch can already cast. The most common variety of spell used in amulets is a See-Me-Not spell, simply used to make other individuals overlook the wearer for a time. It does not render them invisible, simply befuddles the senses to not entirely notice them. Other spells might be 'locked away' until the amulet is opened or broken.
Things Amulets cannot do:
*Effect the dead.
*Hinder werewolf/walker shifting.
*Heal major wounds.
*Prevent massive injury.
*Make individuals fall in love.
*Effect income. This list can and will be updated without warning.