Author Topic: The Domain of the Red Witch  (Read 2655 times)

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Offline X-Osoerde (Alan)

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The Domain of the Red Witch
« on: October 20, 2012, 04:50:28 pm »
Designer's Notes:

The task of re-orienting arcane domains to be less focused on a person (the regent) and more on the domain, has been an interesting proposition.  On the one hand, it is counter to the classical approach to wizards, but on the other hand, it is much more fitting to RoE.  To help myself really understand this concept, I begin trying to re-envision one of existing wizardly domains, I choose the Red Witch and the fruits of my musings will be add to this thread over the next month.

Themes
I envisioned this domain with the following themes:

  • A domain that while distinct from the population, it should be not separate from the population.
  • Domain will have strong political ties to the domains in its sphere
  • Domain will draw on Islamic shamanistic traditions, and more broadly shamanism, for inspiration
  • Domain should retain the nomadic overtones associated with Binsada
  • Domain will serve as one of the spiritual outlets for Binsada
  • The old vs. the new will be a prevalent source of angst/conflict for the domain
Yes, wyrmling, the meat is made all the more tender by armor...

Offline X-Haelyn's Aegis/RK (Andy)

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Re: The Domain of the Red Witch
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2012, 12:24:48 am »
Actually I think that it fits the classic approach well.  A number of wise-women / sages / etc types who advise local leaders while belonging to a group of some sort with a regent at the head is certainly more interesting and playable than just the regent and a number of examples can be found in fantasy lit.

I'd throw in lots of spirits as well as people (the Red Witch almost begs for the respect of various Djinn and desert spirits), various hermit-types who "recognise the regent's power" even if they don't formally belong to any organisation, people who owe debts of service to the witch, etc - a wide range of people just like in a regular domain.

One issue I see is that the temple domains would oppose source domains much more if the two were rivals for spiritual authority, Binsada's is somewhat crusading from memory as well - unless weakening the temple's authority significantly I'd expect self-preservation to drive the source domains into being careful to avoid offering spiritual authority to a significant degree.
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Offline DM B

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Re: The Domain of the Red Witch
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2012, 09:31:40 am »
I think Andy has severl good points here. Since you're mentioning shamans you almost have to include ties to spirits/djinn (not the DnD monster djinn, but you known, djinn spirits of various sorts).
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Offline DM B

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Re: The Domain of the Red Witch
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2012, 09:33:09 am »
Idea: Perhaps the Red Witche's sources are the strongest where she has the most spirit allies? So where bad civilization/clerics of Laerme is present there are less spirits and consequently weaker sources. Something like that anyway.
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Offline X-Haelyn's Aegis/RK (Andy)

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Re: The Domain of the Red Witch
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2012, 11:20:53 pm »
I've sometimes wondered if instead of making source levels inverse with population, it should be inverse with temple holdings, to represent the diversion of "free mebhaighl" into godly power, the driving out of spirits (good, bad and indifferent), etc.  In most areas though (sidhe aside) the difference in rules would be fairly academic and in practice I'm not sure why the politicisation of religion should really impact - even where there are no temple domains the people still likely pray and believe.

I think that the normal inverse source:population relationship and common assumption that spirits dwell away from populated areas means that the deserts and other wastes are inevitably the areas with spirits are those without the clerics of Laerme simply because the clerics are where the people are - the villages, towns and cities and not the wastes (hermits and so on aside).

I like the idea though of wizards having advisers, lieutenant's, etc which are desert spirits, house brownies, daydreams / nightmares and other oddities forming some of their court simply because those npc's are so different to the run of the mill grim-tough-guy, wise sage, etc that other regents have - and are bound to be used inventively in a campaign by a keen player.


In my homebrew I've considered if the mechanic shouldn't be to require temples to hold source holdings if they want to cast spells, with source holding level capped at the temple holding level - while it fits in with my personal campaign theme of "all magic is one" in practice it would likely be a major problem for wizards in campaigns where high level magic is possible and it probably doesn't fit RoE where clerical magic is quite distinct from wizardly magic.
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Offline X-Osoerde (Alan)

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History & Domain Notes
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2012, 03:18:25 am »
I am having trouble with the back story of the domain. I will leave some highlights here while I continue to flesh it out:

*Pre-Binsadians are the Irboudians who migrated when their lands became too arid after a prolonged period of drought (it eventually created the Tarvan Wastes). The Irboudians always venerated the element sides of the old gods and while the old gods are gone, this tradition continues through today.

*The domain is old.   It arose between the destruction of Desimaar and the revelation of the new gods (“The Great Repose”).  During this time, when the pre-Binsadians (Irboudians) returned from the battle, amongst them spontaneous  arcane [sorcerers] and primordial [mystics] magic made its first appearance. Irboudians would eventually correlate this newfound magic to their veneration of the elements and their heroes/ancestors.

*The religion believes that when a soul is pure, having lived according to sayim, it is reborn an harbinger/messenger between the living and divine (the Grand Confluence).  These harbingers are known as djinni and they can be both great or minor.  Those who violate sayim to such a degree that they cannot reenter the Grand Confluence and thus the Great Cycle, are known as...[no clue yet]

*Each member of the actual clergy is baptized by a particular element [each represents different personality aspects], which will be their guiding element and to that which they make five oaths to.  Those who oath to fire are known as...[unfinished]

*The domain is really comprised of sorcerers, mystics, druids and adepts, with smattering of say skalds.  This is the intended flavor of the domain.  Domain would cast primordial magic.

*The domain will control minor manor holdings throughout the realm, along with significant source/temple holdings.

*A recent event will way heavily into the domain. It will be known as the Schism.  Basically among fire-oathed clergy, there was a sudden revelation where over the span of a few years, they were turned towards Laerme.  This gave rise to the Binsandian Temple Laerme, it is led by the fire-oath LT of the Red Witch.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2012, 03:41:56 am by Osoerde/William Osoer (Alan) »
Yes, wyrmling, the meat is made all the more tender by armor...

Offline X-Osoerde (Alan)

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Special Considerations
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2012, 03:39:00 am »
Whenever the domain controls more than 1/2 sources and temples within a province, the domain will enjoy a +2 to all actions.  Additionally, the domain may consider their primary spell-casting holding 2 levels higher.  This bonus only extends to Binsadian provinces (or as specified by the DM).

This domain has a long history of non-interference within Binsada.  When tribal conflicts arise, they advise but never choose an actual side.  They state that they are ties between the past and present and living and the ancestors, when men aspire to heroic acts, to change their lot within the Grand Confluence, it is not for them to unduly intervene.  This domain cannot be perceived as actively working against a Binsadian domain (including the BTL).  If this should ever happen, they will have broken faith with the people of Binsada and subject to great misfortune.
Yes, wyrmling, the meat is made all the more tender by armor...

Offline X-Haelyn's Aegis/RK (Andy)

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Re: The Domain of the Red Witch
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2012, 11:04:52 pm »
*The religion believes that when a soul is pure, having lived according to sayim, it is reborn an harbinger/messenger between the living and divine (the Grand Confluence).  These harbingers are known as djinni and they can be both great or minor.  Those who violate sayim to such a degree that they cannot reenter the Grand Confluence and thus the Great Cycle, are known as...[no clue yet]

How about Ifrits (an alternative spelling to Efreet) or for something more grim, Ghul?

*Each member of the actual clergy is baptized by a particular element [each represents different personality aspects], which will be their guiding element and to that which they make five oaths to.  Those who oath to fire are known as...[unfinished]

Lightbearer's / Lightbringer's (indicating that they guide the way, have wisdom etc) would be my preference, if you use a direct analogy you probably need a progression (sparks to furnace sort of thing) but that sounds more appropriate for a destruction cult, alternatively you could use a fuel analogy (nothing really leaps to mind).  It depends on whether you can get something consistent for all the elements I think.
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Offline X-Osoerde (Alan)

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Re: The Domain of the Red Witch
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2012, 02:44:35 am »
I like Ghul.  It is actually an arabic/isalmic word - and I can make the term synonymous with Anuirean demons/daemons, i.e. they are basically the same thing, shadow world creatures.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2012, 02:49:28 am by Osoerde/William Osoer (Alan) »
Yes, wyrmling, the meat is made all the more tender by armor...

Offline X-Haelyn's Aegis/RK (Andy)

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Re: The Domain of the Red Witch
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2012, 10:10:53 pm »
I like Ghul.  It is actually an arabic/isalmic word - and I can make the term synonymous with Anuirean demons/daemons, i.e. they are basically the same thing, shadow world creatures.

I skimmed the Al-Qadim complete Sha'ir's handbook for ideas and Ghul somewhat leapt out :D

Sadly their flame brotherhood are lunatics and didn't fit at all so a lot of the rest wasn't too helpful.  I'll have a look at the campaign book over the weekend and see if it sparks any other thoughts.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2012, 11:21:34 pm by Haelyn's Aegis/RK (Andy) »
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Offline X-Osoerde (Alan)

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Re: The Domain of the Red Witch
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2012, 03:12:53 am »
I am basically doing the same now with Al-Qadim.  In hindsight, I have no idea why Khinasi didn't use more from that setting.
Yes, wyrmling, the meat is made all the more tender by armor...

Offline X-Ghieste & HOT/GH (Matt)

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Re: The Domain of the Red Witch
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2012, 09:01:51 am »
Because Al-Qadim draws heavily on a very specific set of arabic tropes that are quite distinct in flavour to the Khinasi; where Al Qadim is the swashbuckling arabia of Sinbad and the  thousand nights, the Khinasi are instead much more the Moors and the Saracen. There are places they meet but there is also a lot of difference between the two settings.

IMOSHO anyway ;)
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Offline X-Haelyn's Aegis/RK (Andy)

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Re: The Domain of the Red Witch
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2012, 11:37:22 pm »
You could however easily have the sinbad types along one coast and the moors along the other, or have the moors across the centre - theoretically we should have the fusion of Masetian and Basarji in the Khinasi, so cultural variance should be fairly prevalent as the mix varies from place to place - although given the time frame of 1500 years probably not  :(  I always thought that the BR history in Cerilia was too long - 5 centuries would have been plenty.

That said I always found Sinbad annoying.  >:(
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Offline X-Osoerde (Alan)

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Re: The Domain of the Red Witch
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2013, 10:56:49 pm »
The Domain of the Red Witch

We, like all Binsadians are descended from the Horse people and yet we are distinct from them as well.  There are many tribes and many more clans, but amongst them alone stands the griots of which we are heirs.   We are the keepers of traditions, and of the stories.  We intercede on behalf of our people to our ancestors and the gods.  While chieftains and kings rule the seen domains, ours is of the unseen and unknown.  So, Mistress, before the hour grows late, I shall tell you of our origin and though distinctly different from the series of beginnings and ends that have since followed. After all, it is at birth that the gods write upon the heavens our fate and destiny.
Yes, wyrmling, the meat is made all the more tender by armor...

Offline X-Osoerde (Alan)

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Re: The Domain of the Red Witch
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2013, 04:48:23 pm »
While it is known that before Desimaar, the lands known as Binsada were ruled by the pre-Irboudan (also known as the Horse people), nearly a millennia before that, during the days of Great High King, the lands served as a base for a great sidhe war host; a legacy that continues to shape Binsada.

During the Great Exodus, Maestian and Basarji settlers attempted to settle the lands with little success.  Invariably, each of these attempts feel prey to the goblinoid tribes which that had occupied most of what is known as the plains-states now.  Until XXXX, about 300 years before Desimaar, the heresiarch Kalifa al-Mamul, leader of the Genasi movement, led pilgrimage of 13 clans to the promised lands guided by visions from Basaia. After 30 years, they came to Binsada and were eventually driven north and east to what would become Irbouda during the first Mamulk Khanate, ruled by a diarchy of Khan Azes el-Mamul, in whom all temporal power was invested, and Gherra al-Mamul, in whom spiritual power was invested.Beyond the Veil
{Theories on What the Sidhe Were Doing/Potential Myths/Legends}
« Last Edit: March 11, 2013, 04:51:29 pm by Osoerde/William Osoer (Alan) »
Yes, wyrmling, the meat is made all the more tender by armor...