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Black Magic Tradition

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Black hedge witches, though the fewest in number, are unfortunately the most well known as their dastardly reputation and tales of their vile deeds have spread throughout the lands. Witches of the black magic tradition are mistresses of destruction and wickedness.

Familiar Types: A hedge witch who follows the black magic tradition can choose a bat, rat or viper as her familiar.

Bonus Spells: inflict light wounds (4th), inflict moderate wounds (6th), animate dead (8th), inflict critical wounds (10th), slay living (12th), harm (14th), finger of death (16th), mass inflict critical wounds (18th), power word, kill (20th).

Bonus Feats: Combat Casting, Deceitful, Iron Will, Persuasive, Silent Spell, Stealthy.

Circle Power: Retributive Circle– Whenever you are within a circle you have cast and take damage from any melee attack, ranged attack, or spell, the creature that deals you damage must make a Will save (DC 10 + ½ your hedge witch level + your Wisdom modifier) or take the same amount and type of damage they dealt.

Rites: Black magic rites are vile, despicable rites of evil. The black magic hedge witch is concerned with harming others, curses, and blood sacrifices, all in the name of personal power. All of a black magic hedge witch’s rites must be performed inside a circle she has already cast, and multiple rites can be performed, one after another, within the same circle, until the circle’s duration expires.

If the circle’s duration will expire before another rite can be completed, the hedge witch must break her current circle and cast a new one.

Create Idol (Su)

At 5th level, the black magic hedge witch learns the create idol rite. The hedge witch fabricates a small doll-like idol that bears a very vague resemblance to an actual living person. The idol may be made of straw, stuffed cloth or soft, pliable mud. The black magic hedge witch must include a bit of the person she wishes to influence with the idol for the magic to work — a strand of hair, an eyelash, a drop of blood or saliva, etc. The amount of material from the victim need only be small; a pound of flesh or bucket of blood does not increase the power of the idol.

The bulk of the idol can be constructed outside of the circle, but once the victim’s essence is to be added, all other work is performed within the circle as part of the rite. Crafting the bulk of the idol requires a DC 10 Craft (doll) or Craft (spiritual tool) skill check. The hedge witch casts her circle then sits in the center and chants softly as she adds the lock of hair or drop of blood to the idol. She continues to chant for another 15 minutes as the magic works until the idol is ready. If she is interrupted or her circle is broken, the hedge witch must begin the rite again (though she does not need more hair, blood, etc.). The victim can be any distance from the hedge witch, so long as the victim and the hedge witch are on the same plane of existence.

Once the rite is complete and the idol is ready, the black magic hedge witch can use it to do physical harm to the victim by poking the idol with needles. The hedge witch can use the idol a number of times per day equal to ½ her hedge witch level, rounded down. Each time the idol is used, the victim receives a Will save (DC 10 + ½ hedge witch level + Wisdom bonus) to resist the damage. If the save is successful, the victim feels only mild discomfort. The hedge witch will know immediately if the victim resisted the damage and can try again.

The following effects can be achieved by poking the idol:

Body Part Damage/Effect
Eyes 1d3 damage and victim is blinded.
Ears 1d3 damage and victim is deafened.
Arms 1d3 damage, -1 penalty to Strength.
Legs 1d3 damage, movement rate halved.
Chest 1d6 damage, -1 penalty to Constitution.
Back 1d3 damage and victim is paralyzed.

The hit point damage a victim takes is like any other physical damage and can be cured with any healing spell or potion. All other penalties and effects last for 24 hours, or until healed by appropriate spells.

Multiple pokes to the same part of an idol continue to deal hit point damage, but other penalties — blindness or Strength penalties, for example — do not stack with themselves. For example, a black magic hedge witch could poke the idol in the eyes and ears and both blind and deafen her victim for 24 hours, but poking the idol in the eyes twice does not blind the victim for 48 hours.

Once the rite is completed, the hedge witch can take the idol with her wherever she goes, and attempt to harm her victim at any time, so long as she has an attempt left for the day. The idol is permanent and the magic does not wear off. The victim can temporarily be free of influence from the idol by receiving a remove curse spell, but the hedge witch need only perform the rite again to active the idol once more. The only way to truly be free of the effects is to either kill the hedge witch or destroy the idol. Destroying the idol requires that first a bless spell be cast upon it, then the idol must be cast into a fire and reduced to ashes. Burning the idol without first casting bless deals 2d6 fire damage to the victim (Will save normal DC for ½).

Blood Sacrifice (Su)

At 9th level, the black magic hedge witch learns the blood sacrifice rite. By performing this rite, the hedge witch makes her victim more susceptible to her spells. She needs a drop of blood from her victim (only a drop is needed — more blood does not make increase the power of the effect) to perform the rite.

The black magic hedge witch casts her circle, then sits in the center and chants as she adds the drop of blood and various rare herbs and ingredients worth 100 gp to a small cauldron of boiling water. She chants softly as she performs the rite over a period of 30 minutes.

When the rite is nearly complete, the hedge witch says the victim’s name three times, saying it louder each time.

After the third time, the victim, who can be any distance away from the hedge witch (but must be on the same plane of existence), must make a Will save with a DC of 10 + ½ the hedge witch’s level + the hedge witch’s Wisdom bonus. Failure on the saving throw results in the victim suffering a -5 penalty to all further saving throws against spells the hedge witch casts at the victim, or a -5 penalty to AC if the spell requires an attack roll. The effects of this rite are permanent until the victim receives a remove curse spell or until the hedge witch dies.

Idol Curse (Su)

At 13th level, the black magic hedge witch learns the idol curse rite. The hedge witch fabricates a small doll-like idol that bears a very vague resemblance to an actual living person, similar to the one she can create with the create idol rite.

The bulk of the idol can be constructed outside of the circle, but once the victim’s essence is to be added, all other work is performed within the circle as part of the rite. Crafting the bulk of the idol requires a DC 5 Craft (doll) skill check. The hedge witch casts her circle then sits in the center and chants softly as she adds the lock of hair or drop of blood to the idol. She continues to chant for another 45 minutes as the magic works until the idol is ready. If she is interrupted or her circle is broken, the hedge witch must begin the rite again (though she does not need more hair, blood, etc.). The victim can be any distance from the hedge witch, so long as the victim and the hedge witch are on the same plane of existence.

Once the rite is complete and the idol is ready, the black magic hedge witch can use it to control her victim and make the victim do what she wants. By stroking the idol’s hair and whispering the victim’s name, the hedge witch places the victim under a powerful enchantment. The victim receives a Will save to resist (DC 10 + ½ hedge witch level + Wisdom bonus), and if the save is successful the victim is aware that someone just attempted to charm them, but is unaware of who the hedge witch is.

If the victim fails the save, the victim becomes highly susceptible to the hedge witch’s power, essentially becoming her puppet. The hedge witch can cause the victim to attack friends and family, to break laws, to perform immoral acts, etc. If the hedge witch attempts to make the victim commit a suicidal act (such as walking off a cliff, jumping into a fire, or leaping out of a window) the victim receives a new saving throw with a +5 bonus.

If this save is successful, the victim resists the suicidal command but is still held within the hedge witch’s power. The hedge witch can make a number of suggestions to the victim equal to ½ her hedge witch level each day.

The victim is unaware of being controlled and all others may think the victim is acting strange but under their own power. A detect magic cast upon the victim reveals a strong aura of enchantment around the victim, but no other information. The spell reveal curse (from The Book of Divine Magic) will reveal full details of the enchantment and how to remove it.

The power of the idol curse rite is permanent unless the victim is the beneficiary of a remove curse spell or the hedge witch dies.

Living Zombies (Su)

At 17th level, the black magic hedge witch learns the living zombies rite. By performing this rite, the hedge witch creates a toxic poison that can render a number of subjects nearly mindless, leaving them completely under the hedge witch’s control.

The hedge witch first casts her circle, then sits in the center of the circle to create her poison. She must mix rare herbs and animal parts worth 1,000 gp in her cauldron, allowing the mixture to bubble for one full hour as she chants softly over it. When the hour is up, the mixture has reduced down and boiled away, leaving a white, powdery residue behind. It is this residue that the hedge witch scrapes up and uses to transform living people into her servants. The mixture produces enough powder to affect 2d10 + the hedge witch’s Wisdom bonus creatures.

The toxin can affect creatures in several ways — ingestion/inhalation, contact, or by introducing it through a wound. The hedge witch is immune to the effects.

Anyone who comes in contact with the toxin must make a Will save (DC 10 + ½ hedge witch level + Wisdom bonus) or have both Intelligence and Wisdom reduced to 1 each. In such a nearly-mindless state, the affected creatures follow the hedge witch’s commands as an undead zombie might follow an evil cleric’s commands.

Creatures immune to mind-affecting effects are immune to the toxin.

While under the effects of the toxin, the creatures cannot speak or think for themselves. Unless told to eat, they will avoid food and starve to death. The hedge witch is able to control a total number of creatures equal to 20 + her Wisdom bonus.

Some creatures are able to shake off the effects of the toxin sooner than others. After the end of one week under the effects, a creature receives a new saving throw (same DC). If the new save is successful, the creature shakes off the effects and recovers, but has no memory of the past week. If the new save is a failure, the creature remains under the hedge witch’s sway longer.

After one month, the affected creature receives a third saving throw, this time with a -5 penalty. If this save is successful, the creature shakes off the effects. However, if this save is also a failure, the creature is permanently affected unless a remove curse spell is cast upon them (killing the hedge witch will not break this effect as it does with the black magic hedge witch’s other rites). A detect magic spell reveals a strong aura of enchantment around the victim but no other information. A reveal curse (from The Book of Divine Magic) will reveal full details of the enchantment and how to remove it.

Living Sacrifice (Su)

At 20th level, the black magic hedge witch learns the rite of living sacrifice. With this powerful rite, the hedge witch sacrifices a living creature — possibly even a sentient humanoid — and gains power through an energy transfer.

The hedge witch must first cast her circle, then she and the creature to be sacrificed must be within the circle.

The creature to be sacrificed must be alive and in good health, but need not be awake and conscious (though many black magic hedge witches prefer the victim to be awake and conscious because of their evil natures). For 2 full hours, the hedge witch must chant the required words to the rite, then using her boline (a sacred knife used for actual cutting) the hedge witch slits the sacrificial victim’s throat. As the creature dies, its life energy is transferred to the hedge witch.

The hedge witch gains bonus temporary hit points equal to the number of hit points of the sacrifice (maximum of 30 hit points). These bonus hit points fade at a rate of 1 hit point per day. The hedge witch also receives a +2 bonus to her Wisdom and Charisma for 1 month.

The living sacrifice rite can only be performed once per month, and must be performed under a new moon.

If it is performed at any other time of the month, the rite does not work.

ECOLOGY

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Paths of Power. Copyright 2009, 4 Winds Fantasy Gaming; Authors Sean O’Connor and Patricia Willenborg, with Connie J. Thomson and Robert W. Thomson.

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