Monday, January 21, 2019

Guilds of Alnwich: Hella Winter's Coven

Hella Winter's Coven

Rank: Coven Rank 0 to 4.
In Charge: Hella Winter (Elementalist) and the other Grand Masters (mostly Wizards, a Druid, and a Spirit Shaman).
In the Ranks: Apprentices, Cultists, Elementalists, and Wizards.
On the Payroll: Scribes and other unskilled servants.
Influencing the AR: Carousing, Diplomacy, or Merchant.

Hella Winter’s Coven of sorcerers, elementalists, wizards, and other assorted magic users provides all of the magical services in and around Alnwich. Primarily, this means warding for evil spirits, fending off curses, keeping magical creatures at bay, and making the odd trinket. Hella also provides teaching for those who show an aptitude for the supernatural and is willing to take on new students who prove themselves to be trustworthy and true.

The Coven has existed in some form as far back as memory can recall and appears to have originated with the Skidafolk north of the lake. For long, it was at odds with the Collegium Arcana of Siedrborg, but as a folk practice, it survived their attempts to bring all magic users into their fold. Since the castle-school’s fall, the Coven has kept magic alive in the lands about the Trollenmere, and has taken in a wide variety of practitioners, including nature worshippers (druids), spirit shamans, elementalists, as well as the usual wizards and their ilk.

There are several levels of membership within the coven. Everyone begins as an Initiate (Rank 0) before being accepted as an Apprentice (Rank 1). After completing an apprenticeship, one becomes a Hedge Wizard (Rank 2). Those who are good enough may eventually become a Master (Rank 3), and of the masters, the best serve as Grand Masters (Rank 4) on the Coven’s leadership council.

What the Coven Wants

Hella Winter’s Coven wants to provide a well-rounded, holistic approach to magic that is less about regiment and more concerned with the philosophies surrounding its use. They are protective of their most powerful spells, many of which are not widely known, and the secrets of enchantment. The latter is particularly important, since that is how the Coven acquires its funds, without which they cannot provide their primary role as teacher of the next generation of wizards.

The Coven does not take violent measures against those who encroach on their magic trade. They usually begin by trying to recruit the offender into their ranks, and if this fails, they use the deep ties to the levers of power over centuries in Alnwich to apply other pressures. If even this fails, as it has been wont to do since Usk colonized the area, they will resort to magical mischief and nonlethal curses. The Coven does not wish to disrupt society – just drive out competition.

But above all of these wants, the Coven desires legitimacy. For centuries they were revered hedge wizards and medicine men for the tribes of the Skidafolk, but with the rise of Siedrborg, they were villainized. Now, they have risen once more to serve the community, but they have yet to regain their prior status. This, combined with the personal relationships between student and master, drives members to vigorously defend the honor of their teachers and the Coven as a whole.

What the Coven Can Provide

Professional goods are very limited and include only alchemy labs, books, staffs, wands, and other mundane magical implements. Professional services are more diverse and available at the usual professional discount to members. Most importantly, the Coven offers double the usual discounts on training for any skills or traits on the Druid, Elementalist, Spirit Shaman, or Wizard templates, to the usual maximum of -80%.

Assistance which the Coven is likely to provide include:
  • Accommodations. Masters maintain large households where adventurers can find short-term lodging, as long as they don’t mind being around apprentices.
  • Augury.
  • Backup.
  • Lore. The Coven can provide information based on any Hidden Lore specialty, Philosophy, Thaumatology, or Theology (Druidic or Shamanic).
  • Recharge. ARs are at +2.
  • Spellcasting. ARs are at +2.
  • Training. Members of the coven have access to any spell a Master is willing to teach, plus manuals on many more. These need not be available to the public, either! Furthermore, they have access to just about any magical power-up.
All other ARs are at -3 or worse.

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