|Affected Races||Kathar, Altalar|
|Contraction||Ritual Infection from a Crimson Witch|
|Origins||Princedom of Osc'ïrd|
Masters of the shadows and subterfuge and the devoted secret-harvesters of Odella, the Crimson Witches stand alongside the Slizzar in their innate ability to effectively infiltrate and learn as much as they can, though instead of opting to cripple politicians or seize ruling power for themselves they opt to instead operate at the discretion of the mysterious Cabal they all work beneath: gathering knowledge, learning secrets, and moving quietly to ensure the goals of the Cabal and those in power who hire them are seen to fruition. Crimson Witches are staunch Void-afflicted servants of Odella, capable of turning both Kathar and Altalar alike through a secretive ritual. Being naturally inclined towards Sorcery and occult arts, they make full use of the shadowy magic granted to them by Odella. Crimson Witches find their place amongst other Cult of Evolution Worshippers, Void-Afflicted, and knowledge seekers, always on the forefront of unlocking the hidden powers of the arcane.
Relative to the ancient inceptions of other afflictions such as Vampirism, Crimson Witches are newly created, and have rapidly risen to prominence and power through their organized Cabal. The first appearance of Crimson Witches can be traced back within the past century, in the Princedoms of Osc’ïrd. A small sect of Odella worshippers became displeased by their constant conflict with the overly secretive Dread Empire, and the fondness those around them held for the Allorn Empire, whose irreverence for the Arcane led to their destruction. Seeking out guidance and power, this sect is presumed to have found a permanent deal with Odella: in exchange for the creation of the affliction, they would see to whatever task set out for them. Initially believed to be an outcropping of a new Vampiric Bloodline, the fledgling Cabal was driven from the Princedoms and almost eradicated in its early stages. Utilizing the powers granted to them by Odella, the Cabal would vanish from the public eye for some time.
The spread of the Cabal’s influence and numbers was initially slow due to the nature of their infection, but an incident in Daenshore offered them the perfect opportunity to reveal themselves to the world. During this time, it is assumed the Cabal had been operating in the criminal underworld of Daen: gathering artifacts, Arcane knowledge, and filching from Libraries and Universities. A sting operation organized by a local Governer led to the public capture and arrest of a number of Crimson Witches. Their incarceration lasted less than a day, however, with the Witches spirited out of the Prison by the Cabal. The Cabal revealed a number of mis-deeds by the Governor in conjunction with this act, including hiring their services to sabotage the studies of a local institute. This act set the Cabal apart from their prior presumed status of a Vampiric Coven, and led to similar appearances across Aloria. Initially restricted to Altalar and Kathar lands, the affliction continued to spread to the furthest reaches of Ailor civilization. Wherever the Cabal’s agents would pass through, they would pick up new recruits, slowly inducting them, and eventually converting them.
The nature of Crimson Witches leads to their prevalence throughout Aloria, even very rarely amongst the Dorkarthian Princedoms, where their similarities with Vampirism allow them to tacitly exist as spies and Arcane experts. Some Witches work just as easily with Authorities in Ailor Kingdoms, hired under the table to assist with weakening Void-Worshippers and practitioners. It is understood, amongst those that work or interface with a Witch, that they will always get their due in Occult knowledge or power, using it to further their own goals or returning it to the hands of the Cabal. Crimson Witches are no strangers to the Capital City of the Regalian Empire, especially, due to the prominence of arcane and unusual occurrences within it.
The inner workings of the shadowy Cabal that the Crimson Witches originate from and give their loyalty to are completely unknown to all but its innermost trusted circle of members: the oldest, most skilled, and venerated Witches who have been within the Cabal’s peripheries all their lives and have served it head and shoulders above all others. To the vast majority of Witches who are sired by the Cabal and work to its benefit, it is simply a place where the dividing lines between what information is kept in the dark and what is shared freely is razor-sharp and known to all. Council and conversation between its members have a sort of sacred and theatrical reverence to it at all times, with each and every Witch being bestowed a uniquely identifying mask they wear while interacting with one another on official Cabal business. These masks are similar to those found at an upscale masquerade, though are always fashioned and adorned with the identifying colors of the Witches: various hues of black, crimson, and white. The reason for this is a largely symbolic one: the Cabal and its members deal in information and objective truth with one another, and while a face can be changed and contorted and may age over time, their unique masks never will be. It is a static and immutable thing, just like a secret at the moment it is learned.
New members are never accepted through a proactive inquiry from the potential recruit, as there is no distinct way to find or contact the Cabal for most: instead, Crimson Witches find possible initiates while out on their missions and mark them by name and location before handing such information off to the Cabal’s inner circle upon their return. If said initiate is found to possess potential after they are observed, then the Cabal reaches out to them and offers induction via mentorship. Upon fully joining, the initiate is put through a ritual to grace them with Odella’s Blessing where they write their name down upon a slip of paper in an ink mixed with a bit of their own blood before feeding said parchment to a ritual red flame lit after incantation. Upon being consumed, if the initiate is a worthy Kathar or Altalar, they are changed fully into a Crimson Witch and inducted into the Cabal along with their identifying mask.
It is an open, unspoken secret among those in positions of power all over Aloria’s far reaches that they themselves number among the Cabal’s most prestigious clients, though to ever prove such is an impossibility: the Cabal is respectfully discrete with who it deals with, keeping the business of their clients and their specific identities a well-kept secret among its inner circle. In fact, just about all Witches who are dispatched to various courts or countries are never told who they’re working on behalf of and simply know what their goals are. Whatever information or secrets they glean from their operations, however, become openly shared among the Cabal’s various members. That is the known price one pays to the Cabal along with whatever other payment or tribute was arranged for its services: the secrets they learn belong to them as much as their employer. When a Witch is dispatched for a job that the Cabal has been hired to undertake, they are typically invited to an undisclosed location to speak with one of the organization’s upper echelon where the details of the job are then given along with all the required materials: supplies and funding for the journey, dossiers composed of publicly-available information and necessary history of the area and whatever else they might need.
Despite their fixation upon knowledge and their desire for its rarest quantities, the Cabal and its Witches are not hoarders of secrets or information. If anything is kept from others, even Witches outside of the Cabal’s inner circle, it is for a distinct and rational purpose. In the case of the Cabal’s obscured leadership and their devices and the clients they work with, it is to preserve the Cabal’s operative ability and integrity. In the case of some of the arcane secrets or other bits of information they uncover that aren’t disclosed to anyone else, it’s to keep such knowledge out of irresponsible hands.
A Crimson Witch’s mind is not magically altered by their affliction, presumably due to the importance Odella places upon mental clarity and strength, however, they have strong cultural notions due to their induction and place in the world. All Crimson Witches are staunch Odella worshippers, with varying degrees of fanaticism. Traitors to the Cabal, or their fellow Crimson Witches, are quickly snuffed out due to the communal nature of the Witches. All Witches have an inherent lust for knowledge and an obsession with the occult arts. They often cannot pass up on a secret if it is dangled in front of them and are naturally inclined towards deal-making for their needs: if subterfuge won’t cut it. Their connection to the Cabal and other Witches leads them to be immensely prideful; considering themselves uniquely capable of carrying out the divine mission from their patron, Odella. Crimson Witches generally fit in well with Evolution Cultists, and any Void-Inclined, but are wary around Vampires and Dark Ancients worshippers. They usually do not turn down engaging with them for the chance of discovering knowedge, but will often never truly trust them due to their existences as the antithesis to Odella’s teachings.
Infection & Appearance
Crimson Witches are not ‘infected’ in the traditional sense. To become a Crimson Witch, one must be transformed by another Crimson Witch, in a clandestine occult ritual to Odella. Only Kathar or Altalar can be transformed. Potential candidates are chosen by a Crimson Witch and inducted into the beliefs and culture of the Cabal, to ensure that they are worthy and dedicated. This process can take anywhere from a few months to many years, depending on the Witch and aspirant. The process is, however, irreversible and requires the full awareness of the prospective Witch as to what they are getting themselves into. The transformation is instant, once the ritual is complete. Due to their similarities with Vampires, it is not uncommon for Crimson Witches to be thrown into Sacrosankts and ‘cured,’ but this process only disables their Abilities for the following 48 hours.
Crimson Witches have slight differences in their appearance, depending on if they are the Katharic variant or the Altalar variant.
- Kathar: Solid Black Eyes with flecks of Red light. The Bottom tips of their hair are dyed in any shade of red. Sharpened Canines.
- Altalar: Solid Black Eyes. The Bottom tips of their hair are dyed dark black, unless their hair is already black, in which case the top of their hair becomes white, and the bottom tips are dyed black. Sharpened Canines.
All Crimson Witches have these Abilities.
|Ability Name||Ability Type||Ability Range||Ability Description|
|Arken Sense 1||Toggle Passive||Emote Distance||Grants the user Arken Sense 1|
|Arcane Mastery 1||Magic Spell||Emote Distance||Grants the user Arcane Mastery 1|
|Inth Gift 3||Constant Passive||Self||Grants the user Inth Gift 3|
|Mind Wall 2||Toggle Passive||Self||Grants the user Mind Wall 2|
|Magic Sight 3||Toggle Passive||Self||Grants the user Magic Sight 3|
|Mind Surge 4||Control Power||Direct Touch||Grants the user Mind Surge 4|
|Sorcery Skill 1||Constant Passive||Self||Grants the user Sorcery Skill 1|
|Darkness 4||Magic Spell||10 Blocks||Grants the user Darkness 4|
|Darkness 5||Magic Spell||Self||Grants the user Darkness 5|
|Darkness 6||Magic Spell||Self||Grants the user Darkness 6|
|Abyssal Body 1||Constant Passive||Self||Grants the user Abyssal Body 1|
|Abyssal Body 2||Constant Passive||Self||Grants the user Abyssal Body 2|
- Because Crimson Witches do not pass their affliction down by blood, importance is placed on intelligence and loyalty. Children of Crimson Witches who refuse to follow in their footsteps often find their parents have disappeared without a trace.
- Crimson Witches easily pass as Vampires for the uninformed, due to the red glow of their eyes, pointed teeth, and ability to subsist on blood.
- Crimson Witches make common use of Sorcery, but are incapable of transforming Mages, usually forming close bonds with Odella-worshipping Mages instead.
- The original number of Crimson Witches is rumored to be eight: split evenly between Altalar and Kathar. These progenitors, unseen, form the highest echelon of the Cabal.
- Crimson Witches, amongst themselves, often tend to self-style as "Abyssals." They are predominantly referred to as this in Anglia, for example, due to the connotation of "Witch" being much different there.