Magic system designed with the help of David Bergkvist
Origin of magic
Magic is a background radiation that is present in parallel to our universe. Witches’ magic consists first and foremost of the fact that they are in contact with this background radiation and acts as a point of intersection between our universe and the parallell that the magic comes from.
By acting as the focus of this power, they can channel and direct it to their will and affect chance.
Strong and weak witches
The stronger the witch, the more unlikely events she can make happen and with greater precision. The most powerful magic affects the probabilities at the molecular and atomic level, and can therefore call up the more obvious supernatural effects, such as to evoke fire from nothing or melt meat. The simplest and most common magic is a low-grade “blessing” to apply more or less permanent good luck and fortune to a person.
Many weak witches choose to not engage in witchcraft, and instead get more involved in activities which are only partly helped by a witch being involved. Examples of this are weak witches who work in pharmacies, farms, in health care, as veterinary surgeons, in herbalism, cuisine, bakery, midwife, or anthroposophy within the school system.
Witches will be stronger if they link to each other. To be able to link with another witch, a witch much share her True Name with the ones she will link with and learn their true name as well.
Witches usually manifests their first powers in parallel with the development of their sexuality, usually during puberty. Different witches are stronger or weaker in magic, but all witches increase in power with age. Magic also have a limited life-giving effect; Witches are naturally more “lucky”, which makes them statistically suffer from fewer diseases than others and therefore also often live very long lives and make them strong and healthy into old age.
The larp witches on Ästad Farm, is set in a place that is encircled by a magic that is constantly renewed by the three healers who are on the farm. This circle weakens the witches, particularly their ability to affect the surrounding world. It is also very difficult to pass the circle for a full-fledged witch, while a healer can lift it to let another healer in and out.
On the left arm, all the witches on a State Witch Farm have two runes. One interacts with the magic circle to keep the witch inside the magic circle (the fence surrounding the yard) and the other suppresses their ability to use magic. These runes wears out and fades, mainly the one to push down the ability to use magic and runes must be constantly inspected and renewed by the healers who work on the farm.
Many witches think they can still feel the magic, without direct contact with it, if they meditate. Healers meditating also sometimes, most often to recover from constantly using their powers.
Witches and “cold iron”
Iron has a strong anti magical effect and the purer iron, the stronger the effect. Completely pure iron known to the witches as “cold iron”. Objects of this metal is, upon contact with the witches skin as extremely cold, colder than ice, but it does not have an actual physical, cooling effect. Witches can not move cold iron that if it is in direct contact with the skin, and can not go against iron that is moving. This means that a witch put into iron, for example, get an iron ring around her neck, will end up on the floor, unable to move, as if the metal was incomprehensible heavy. With a piece of iron as “leverage” against a witch the iron carrier becomes “infinitely strong,” as the witch can not push the iron in a new direction. A witch in direct skin contact with pure iron can not perform any magic, and can not even see magical phenomenon.
Impure iron, such as steel, has an anti magical effect, but it much weaker, and alloys with less than about 60% of iron has no anti magical effect at all.
All guards on Ästad Farm carries cold iron that have been issued them.
Magical effects during the game
All witches have a mental “grimoire”, a set of spells that they can perform normally, and many had come to rely on some of these as part of their daily living before 1939. Almost all of these spells is completely ineffective under the influence of the fettering runes, and witches on Ästad Manor have had to learn to live without being able to keep the coffee warm in the cup throughout the day, to heal a flesh wound or hitting a nasty neighbor with temporary blindness or leaky bladder.
As time has gone by at Ästad farm, several witches have noticed that they still can carry small, weak spells, especially those that are considered simple “entry-level” effects, if the rune for dampening magic started to fade a bit. Obviously it is highly forbidden to practice magic on the farm, but you decide for yourself if you are one of these witches who can try to take the risk of defying the ban. The punishment for a witch who is found to use magic – even mild blessings – is clear: cold iron.
Command a witch with her True Name
A witch can get strong suggestive power over another witch by addressing her with her True Name, and only lead in the mildest hint of magic into the statement. A witch charmed with her True Name simply have a very strong impulse to obey, as if all the proposals and orders coming from conjurer was the witch’s own will.
An unprepared, distracted or emotionally upset witch is basically no chance to resist the power of suggestion in her True Name.
Additionally, True Name’s force used to greatly enhance any magic against the name’s carriers – both good and bad.
This is the reason why all witches are extremely careful about letting other people know it – but in particular other Witches. Particularly strong-willed witches who trained themselves in self-discipline have a chance to resist a suggestion by her True Name, but even these should be forewarned and ready to have a reasonable opportunity to go against the spell.
Permanent Magic link
Two or more witches can, by uttering each other’s true names in a small ritual included an eternal, unbreakable magical associations, through which they can then let their spells interact and become many times stronger than the individual witches separate magical power. The major drawback is of course having to reveal her True Name, so it is a huge act of trust to enter into a magical link with another witch. The ritual is considered by most witches that something far more intimate than sex, and in some ways a more profound declaration of love than a marriage, because the link will last a lifetime.
A witch on Ästad Farm can curse another person who is inside the magic circle if they build an effigy of the person (eg, a small human figure out paper, yarn, wood or any other organic material); preferably with a hair from the person, and a piece of paper where the victim’s name is written. If the conjurer know the victim’s True Name and writes it down as part of the spell so the effect will be much, much stronger.
Over the effigy they then performed a ritual according to a tradition they are comfortable with (a reading, perhaps the burning of a human hair, or similar) and then hiding the image close to the person sleeping quarters.
Please contact us if you have done this,and if the ritual included hair and / or True Name of the cursed and how many were linked during the ritual, we will notify the player that their role is cursed, and how strong the curse is.
The curse that subdued witches can cast is weak as magical effect seen (it can not cause death or permanent injury), and causes the affected character to have bad luck, a feeling of discomfort and a bad mood, possibly being very emotional. The effect is up to the cursed player to play out.
A curse will continue until the magical effigy has been removed from the cursed direct proximity, or destroyed.
A difficult witchcraft for a subdued witch is to be able to spot ongoing magical effects – for example, to see if a person is affected by a magical curse or blessing. Effectively, it is impossible for a single subdued witch to handle this – but two or more linked witches whose runes faded a little can do it.
Healers are unfettered and they can throw this magic on their own, and can therefore relatively easy to see if someone has been hit by the curse. However, it is impossible for them to see with the magic just who added the curse.
Subdued witches are too weak to heal anything beyond minimal damage to themselves (small nicks and cuts, minor bruising, slight headaches). A witch bound in iron can’t any of this.
Trained healers are very skilled, and can easily still even severe bleeding, fix dislocated arms, heal cracks in bones and even encourage healing in completely broken bones so that the healing process is cut to a fraction of its natural time. For more severe injuries may require a more complicated ritual, and all healing is facilitated greatly by simultaneously applying traditional, non-magical care. Healers only need to be present to work as a common antibiotic.
The healers working on Ästad Farm are specially trained in anti magical shackles – the craft that inscribes and renew the runes that make the fence around the yard becomes a barrier for witches, and the runes that the inmates carrying on their bodies. The process requires a particular paint of undisclosed composition and reading of some specific words in any Sami language.
This incantation is a kind of “magic pinpricks” that young witches through the ages have used against each other to fight and bully each other without the visible injury or evidence that the crime has been committed.
Torment is so simple that even the weakest witches can do it if only the the fettering runes have had time to fade a little bit, and is also very fast. All that is required is to touch the victim mumbling a little spell, and the effect is immediate, intense, burning pain that passes after a few seconds, like an electric shock. The effect leaves no lasting trace, either physical or magical, and is therefore an excellent way to practice bullying.
Unfettered witches witch the right materials and time enough can add blessings on whole farms and families, but for the shackled witches on Ästad Farm even blessing one person required a little reading and prolonged laying on of hands.
By putting a hand on another person and read a blessing, a witch can bestow luck and a sense of calm and well-being. The effect lasts from ca. 30 minutes up to several hours, depending on how strong the incantatory witch is, how pale her runes are, and how calm the receiving person is (the receiving player decides this, and the effect of the blessing then; strong emotions makes the blessing less effective).
A blessing reinforced by a ritual of multiple linked witches or blessed with the True Name can be so strong that the blessed appears to be drugged.
A blessing read over a cursed person temporarily counteracts the effects of the curse, but only for a few minutes. A blessing read over a person with their True Name removes the negative impact of a curse, but gives no positive effect until the curse is lifted. A variant of the blessing is to put one over oneself. This often takes the form of a moment of meditation with palms placed on the body.
This spell breaks down a person’s inner inhibitions, in much the same way as alcohol, and combined with regular classical charm and a few well-placed words, it is a way for a witch to get people to act on what they *really* want, even if it normally would be improper, unethical or unprofessional.
The spell requires that the witch touches the person that the spell is to affect, do a short reading and performing a symbolic “breaking” action; for example cutting of a wire or cord, to tear a piece of paper in two, or breaking of a stick or pencil.
Strength of the effect depends largely on the victim’s personality. An individual with strong repressed urges and desires are heavily influenced, but a person who is confident in himself is affected slightly.
Generally, non-witches affected stronger by this invocation than witches do. The exception, of course is a witch who gets tempted in combination with their True Name.
This spell is considered by many witches to be deeply immoral, but Satanic witches see it as a way to liberate people from the oppression of society and allow them to be more true to themselves.
Traditionally, it has also been used as “love spell” in various forms, where lust, love or attraction have already been present.
Invoke The Devil
Unfettered witches can call all possible kinds of magic beings, but inside the fettering ring the rune influence is in practice only possible to call the devil himself. Only he is so strong that he can hear the weakened witches’ feeble invocation.
The magic requires a ritual, and if sufficient force can be mobilized the witch comes contact with Satan. On its own, a devout witch probably at most would have a brief exchange of words in her head with the Devil, but linked witches can after a long ritual of gathering enough magical energy that the devil will manifest itself as a visible form, and provide a moment of audience.