Witchcraft, Illusionism, Dream Magic and the Fairie Realm

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Witchcraft, Illusionism, Dream Magic and the Fairie Realm

Post by Havard » Fri Dec 30, 2016 3:52 pm

Here is another thing I started thinking about while working on my map of Mystara's Farie Realm (The Feywoods):

Is there a connection between Witches and Hags? By witches I refer to the Secret Craft of Witchcraft from Gaz3 (and to some extent the Wise Women from Gaz7). I wonder if these could be using a kind of magic similar to Fey Pact Warlocks from 4th & 5th Edition? Basically, their magic comes from a kind of pact with some of the more powerful Fairies. If so, could this have further implications such as connections to the Plane of the Fairies itself? Could Witches eventually risk to be turned into Hags? Or could Fairies (good or bad) be brought into the service of the Witches?


Illusionism (Later Dream Magic) is another secret Craft I am interested in. Gaz3 states that a Master of Illusions could create his own Shadow Fortress in the Dimension of Nightmares. However, would not the Fairie Realm be more appropriate? Especially if this realm is all about illusions? IMC, the Fairie Realm was quite close to the Dimension of Nightmares anyway, so there could still be some connections there. In any case, a world made up of illusions would certainly be of interest to Illusionists and Dream Mages would it not? :)

Thoughts on this?


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Re: Witchcraft, Illusionism, Dream Magic and the Fairie Real

Post by RobJN » Fri Dec 30, 2016 4:14 pm

Immortals grant spells to clerics, why shouldn't the fey (said to be Immortals from the last cosmic cycle-thing in PC1) be able to grant spells to those with which they've formed pacts?

Because they are not truly Immortal, they fey have much less "power" to throw around (and thus don't grant it to entire swathes of followers, just select individuals). Of course, one would have to be stupid, insane, or desperate to simply accept a fey's pact at face value, since the most powerful beings in Faery never do things out of a sense of altruism or compassion (distinctly 'mortal' concepts with which they only have a fleeting understanding).

Perhaps hags are what witches become if they displease their patron, or break their pact? Alternately, hagdom could be something to which the most severely Chaotic of witches aspire, and that status/transformation is granted as a boon (as was the case with the Greenshae from Thorn's Sylvan Realm).

While a witch's power comes from a faery high lord or lady, Illusionary magics, I think, would stem from the nature of the land itself.

Perhaps the concept of Seelie and Unseelie courts has to do with where those fey are concentrated on the Ephemeral Plane: those closer to the positive material are generally considered "good," or Somersfey, while those closer to the Shadowfell/Nightmare dimension are generally thought of as "evil" or Wintersfey.
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Re: Witchcraft, Illusionism, Dream Magic and the Fairie Real

Post by rabindranath72 » Fri Dec 30, 2016 10:31 pm

Immortals granting spells to clerics is only one possible explanation for clerical power (pre-WotI it's really debatable and in my games pre-Mystara clerics are independent from Immortals). As such I think Havard's framework could work quite well.

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Re: Witchcraft, Illusionism, Dream Magic and the Fairie Real

Post by Chimpman » Wed Mar 22, 2017 5:59 pm

Havard wrote:Is there a connection between Witches and Hags? By witches I refer to the Secret Craft of Witchcraft from Gaz3 (and to some extent the Wise Women from Gaz7). I wonder if these could be using a kind of magic similar to Fey Pact Warlocks from 4th & 5th Edition? Basically, their magic comes from a kind of pact with some of the more powerful Fairies.
Just saw this and had to comment. If you go this route, it might also suggest a social stigma against "witches" or those who practice witchcraft (meaning those that draw their power form Fairy patrons), since that could be seen as a sort of competition against the Immortals (and "normal" clerical practices). I could see bans against witches and witchcraft cropping up in certain communities (those who primarily venerate the Immortals) for just this reason.

This does also beg the question about magic-users and how "arcane" magic should be treated. If you make the association between different schools of magic (Enchantment, Illusion) and the Fey, then logically wouldn't other magic users who delve into those areas also be dealing in some way with the Fey?
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Re: Witchcraft, Illusionism, Dream Magic and the Fairie Real

Post by The Dark » Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:47 am

The OSR game Adventurer, Conqueror, King (which is descended from BECMI) has the Witch class. There are four types of witches, who mostly share a common spell list with a combination of divine and arcane magic, but with some unique spells based on their tradition. The sylvan witch gets things like glitterdust and obscuring cloud, along with inherent change self 1/day at level 3 and polymorph self 1/week at level 7.

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Re: Witchcraft, Illusionism, Dream Magic and the Fairie Real

Post by Havard » Sun Mar 26, 2017 9:14 pm

Chimpman wrote:
Havard wrote:Is there a connection between Witches and Hags? By witches I refer to the Secret Craft of Witchcraft from Gaz3 (and to some extent the Wise Women from Gaz7). I wonder if these could be using a kind of magic similar to Fey Pact Warlocks from 4th & 5th Edition? Basically, their magic comes from a kind of pact with some of the more powerful Fairies.
Just saw this and had to comment. If you go this route, it might also suggest a social stigma against "witches" or those who practice witchcraft (meaning those that draw their power form Fairy patrons), since that could be seen as a sort of competition against the Immortals (and "normal" clerical practices). I could see bans against witches and witchcraft cropping up in certain communities (those who primarily venerate the Immortals) for just this reason.
Yeah, I think this makes sense. It also helps explain why Witches like to hang out in Glantri which does not care about Clerics anyway. Gaz3 actually states that even magic users tend to look down upon witches and often underestimate their powers. If we want to go the full route of making Gaz3 Witches the similar to Warlocks of later editions, I suppose we could allow for pacts with non-fey entities as well (Fiends, Nightmare Beings etc).

However, I am currently most interested in possible connections between the Fairie Realm and mortal spellcasters. I also wonder if Hags and other Fey could have similar abilities to those possessed by Glantri's Mistressses of Witchcraft?
This does also beg the question about magic-users and how "arcane" magic should be treated. If you make the association between different schools of magic (Enchantment, Illusion) and the Fey, then logically wouldn't other magic users who delve into those areas also be dealing in some way with the Fey?
This is also a very interesting topic. I think we need to take the route of the Spheres of Power though. Magic Users are able to learn how to draw on magic through the Sphere of Energy. The Fey and their realm does seem to be very close to (Dominated by) that Sphere, though Fey are also known to have ties with Entropy. Dreams on the other hand would be the domain of Thought so it seems likely that both Thought and Energy are tied to the Fey?

Another thing that I have explored in the past in my own campaign is the connection between the Fey and the Dimension of Nightmares. My idea is that the border between the Fairy Realm and the Dimension of Nightmares is thinner than on other planes and that the two sometimes blend over into one another. The Illusionist/Dream Mage entry provides a solid connection between the Dimension of Nightmares and that Secret Craft, so if illusions are the domain of the Fey, then this all fits together very well, although in a rather sinister way.

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Re: Witchcraft, Illusionism, Dream Magic and the Fairie Real

Post by Chimpman » Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:52 pm

Havard wrote:This is also a very interesting topic. I think we need to take the route of the Spheres of Power though. Magic Users are able to learn how to draw on magic through the Sphere of Energy. The Fey and their realm does seem to be very close to (Dominated by) that Sphere, though Fey are also known to have ties with Entropy. Dreams on the other hand would be the domain of Thought so it seems likely that both Thought and Energy are tied to the Fey?

Another thing that I have explored in the past in my own campaign is the connection between the Fey and the Dimension of Nightmares. My idea is that the border between the Fairy Realm and the Dimension of Nightmares is thinner than on other planes and that the two sometimes blend over into one another. The Illusionist/Dream Mage entry provides a solid connection between the Dimension of Nightmares and that Secret Craft, so if illusions are the domain of the Fey, then this all fits together very well, although in a rather sinister way.
I'm not sure where I would go with this idea, but after reading what you wrote I started thinking that the Spheres of Power might in fact be siphoning energy/magic away from the Fey in some way. It makes sense that if the roles of the Fey and the Immortals were once reversed, that the Fey were once the dominant power in the multiverse. After the Immortals toppled them, the Spheres of Power began to siphon away some of that Fey Energy, converting it into something more palatable for the Immortals. That's why the Spheres of Power share so much in common with the Fey World... Energy = Magic. Thought = Dream. Time = Immutability. Entropy = Nightmare. The only one I'm having trouble with is Matter, which seems the most un-fey-like of all the Spheres.

Trying to solidify that idea further I guess it would be that at one point the Fey were also aligned into different Spheres of Power... similar to the modern Spheres, but still slightly different in outlook.

In the same way, the witches power/energy might be drawn from that old-timey fey version of the Spheres. It really would be quite interesting to take some of these thoughts and start to expand on something like PC1.
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Re: Witchcraft, Illusionism, Dream Magic and the Fairie Real

Post by RobJN » Mon Apr 10, 2017 2:15 pm

Chimpman wrote:That's why the Spheres of Power share so much in common with the Fey World... Energy = Magic. Thought = Dream. Time = Immutability. Entropy = Nightmare. The only one I'm having trouble with is Matter, which seems the most un-fey-like of all the Spheres.
Perhaps this lack of a (pardon the pun) solid counterpart to Matter is why the fey are vulnerable to iron, which is a metal, which comes from the Earth, which is Matter. It might also explain their agelessness: Time wears down Matter, and as the fey have no such affinity, Time does not touch them as it does mortals.

Just a few thoughts.
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Re: Witchcraft, Illusionism, Dream Magic and the Fairie Real

Post by Chimpman » Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:33 pm

RobJN wrote:Perhaps this lack of a (pardon the pun) solid counterpart to Matter is why the fey are vulnerable to iron, which is a metal, which comes from the Earth, which is Matter. It might also explain their agelessness: Time wears down Matter, and as the fey have no such affinity, Time does not touch them as it does mortals.

Just a few thoughts.
Wow, that's really good :D I hadn't even considered that the fey may not have a counterpart for Mater. Love that explanation!
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Re: Witchcraft, Illusionism, Dream Magic and the Fairie Real

Post by RobJN » Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:36 pm

Chimpman wrote:
RobJN wrote:Perhaps this lack of a (pardon the pun) solid counterpart to Matter is why the fey are vulnerable to iron, which is a metal, which comes from the Earth, which is Matter. It might also explain their agelessness: Time wears down Matter, and as the fey have no such affinity, Time does not touch them as it does mortals.

Just a few thoughts.
Wow, that's really good :D I hadn't even considered that the fey may not have a counterpart for Mater. Love that explanation!
Nope, haven't given this a single bit of thought, over the years, in developing the Thorn's Chronicle mythology... :halo:
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Re: Witchcraft, Illusionism, Dream Magic and the Fairie Real

Post by Chimpman » Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:31 pm

I'm sure you haven't :twisted:

Would that mean that the fey have another "Sphere of Power" that the Immortals don't have a counterpart for, or are the fey just down by 1?
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Re: Witchcraft, Illusionism, Dream Magic and the Fairie Real

Post by Robin » Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:07 pm

very nice explanation indeed.
In my MMMC Fairykin, I noticed that Fairies indeed have an imbalance as to the Elements, yet this seems to differ by species. Unlike the prime Plane where all is more or less balanced, each element at birth 20%, and entropy by time/ or energy(life), matter(body) reduced to nil, thus causing death by aging. This also explains why souls and spirits are still existing (and subject to the elements on Limbo as they are uncorrupted THought of the creatures...even their weapons in Limbo are actually imagined as the originals are still owned on the Prime Plane.(except artifacts which can't be fathomed by the mortel mind and thus do not exist in Limbo.
As thus I assume that Fairies (variation by Race) have 2-13% Matter, 25-30% Time, 15-25% Energy, 10-25% Though, and 5-20% Entropy (total still 100%). This will indeed explain their behavior also, and the Fairy racial variations;;; see the difference between the pixy/Sprite and the Nixy, and the Imps for example.
As such I would also stabilize the planar amounts on the other races as follows (suggested based as on their lifestyle/longevity and behavior), such as the craving for an element(like dwarves-gold, Elves-thought vs nature, dragons-thought&matter in their circles, etc)
Humanoids; Matter; 20%, Time; 15%, Thought; 20%; Energy 20%, Entropy 25%
Humans;Matter; 18-20%, Time; 18-21%, Thought; 18-21%; Energy 18-21%, Entropy 20-22%
Hin/Halfling; Matter; 18-%, Time; 20-21%, Thought; 20%; Energy 17-19%, Entropy 15-18%
Dwarves:Matter; 17-20%, Time; 20-22%, Thought; 18-21%; Energy 18-20%, Entropy 19-21%
Elves; Matter; 16-17%, Time; 19-24%, Thought; 18-22%; Energy 19-21%, Entropy 17-18%
Dragons: Matter; 10-12%, Time; 22-25%, Thought; 17-19%; Energy 20-24%, Entropy 18-24%
(of course all totals are 100% per race or even individual...this could explain WHY someone turns evil....and thus a change in this balance caused by magic(like a belt of alignment change) would be trully opposed to this fact.
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Re: Witchcraft, Illusionism, Dream Magic and the Fairie Real

Post by RobJN » Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:14 pm

Robin wrote:Humans;Matter; 18-20%, Time; 18-21%, Thought; 18-21%; Energy 18-21%, Entropy 20-22%

(of course all totals are 100% per race or even individual...this could explain WHY someone turns evil....and thus a change in this balance caused by magic(like a belt of alignment change) would be trully opposed to this fact.
Perhaps differences in concentration of various Spheres' influences could also explain the classes? That whole "yer a wizard, 'arry" deal is because he has a slightly higher concentration of Energy. :D
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Re: Witchcraft, Illusionism, Dream Magic and the Fairie Real

Post by Robin » Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:21 pm

RobJN wrote:
Robin wrote:Humans;Matter; 18-20%, Time; 18-21%, Thought; 18-21%; Energy 18-21%, Entropy 20-22%

(of course all totals are 100% per race or even individual...this could explain WHY someone turns evil....and thus a change in this balance caused by magic(like a belt of alignment change) would be trully opposed to this fact.
Perhaps differences in concentration of various Spheres' influences could also explain the classes? That whole "yer a wizard, 'arry" deal is because he has a slightly higher concentration of Energy. :D
That Could well be
a bit more Matter on Fighter classes, Energy Wizards, Foresters, Thought Mystic, Thief& Rake Classes, Time Clerics, Foresters and Entropy on Evil characters
it deems logical
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