Tuesday, 24 February 2015

The Batterwitch(es)

As with most schools of magic, the use of doughcraft is spread far and wide throughout the world. Indeed, spellcasting through bread is such a varied and popular thaumaturgic art that some scholars have suggested that the discovery of magical yeasts sparked the ascent of some of the greater wizarding empires - most notably, the Leavened Palatinate and the Dominion of the Endless Rise. Despite this supposedly grand history, doughcraft has now been relocated, for the most part, to the category of hedge magic. Very few surviving witches have the powers once fabled of them, though enemies of a Batterwitch should not be shocked to find themselves waking up to their limbs crumbling away. Slowly. And deliciously.

This is a real human being. Think about that.

Practised almost exclusively by a single coven of Batterwitches, spread from the northern tips of the continent to the far south-west, it is apparent that all modern doughcraft draws its essence from a single strain of empowered yeast. A strand of this bizarre eukaryote is grown and cared for by each Batterwitch that wields its power. Slightly variations in the make-up of this yeast may account for the differences in each witch's power; some reliant on cakes and sweetmeats, while others work best with hardtack and pies, and some few wield the wicked magics of the enchanted wheat noodle.

A witch's yeast is usually carried in a small pouch tied about their waist, tucked into their cloak, or secreted under their hat - wherever it may be readily accessed for spellcasting. The health of each witch's dough is maintained with regular top-ups of fresh water and flour, as supplied by the huge packs the more migratory witches are now famous for toting. In return for this care, the yeast symbiotically feeds the Batterwitch's powers, supplying the raw magic necessary for their control of all goods that are baked, raised or slow brewed.

My secret inspiration: http://pastrypalacelv.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/1572.jpg
Just as the old proverb states:
"google witch + sack and you will get accurate results"

Every witch learns at their first tutelage the secrets of maintaining a weevil-free larder, as well as the importance of a good hard kneading. While many Batterwitches choose the sedentary life it is hardly uncommon for a witch to take up their bindle and march off to find adventure. Such individuals will be hardened in the fires of the Great Oven, with a natural aptitude for fighting vermin and a resourcefulness that can only come from needing more wooden spoons than you have.

As playable characters, Batterwitches will have similar stats to Druids. Replace the trackless step and wildshape with bonus damage to vermin, resistance to fire and some kind of ridiculous combat bonus if they ever find themselves brawling in a kitchen. Arm your Batterwitches with items that at first seem innocuous: cookie-cutters; oddly sharp whisks; deadly yo-yos of elastic dough, and then get your witch to carve someone's eye out with their battlespoon. That'll teach you to laugh at old women. Some sample Batterwitch spells are included below:

Level 1 Batterwitch Spell.
The Batterwitch digs their fingertips into a loaf of bread, infesting the soft flesh within. When thrown, the loaf will burst open, spewing a thousand thousand weevils onto its target. The insects will swarm for up to three rounds, doing 1d3 per round, but can be killed with a round's effort and 1 damage worth of slapping yourself in the face/body. If the weevils land on anything similar to bread they can consume about a wheelbarrow's worth in the three rounds.

Level 2 Batterwitch Spell
Soft dough is packed into and over a structure such as a wall or door, and this spell causes the dough to rapidly ferment, bursting through cracks with a surprising amount of force. The stickiness of the dough will hold most objects together for a few hours, if not well. Congratulations, you now have a bridge you can pull apart and eat.

Level 2 Batterwitch Spell
This spell can be cast two ways. As a curse, it causes a target to start puking huge quantities of raisins, along with the occasional chocolate chip. The target will continue throwing up until they pass a save, DC based on how much they like dried fruit. This spell may cause people to choke to death, though they should look kind of funny doing so.
Alternatively, opening wide their mouth, the Batterwitch vomits forth a never-ending stream of surprisingly dry sultanas, stopping only when they run out of breath. If, for whatever reason, the Batterwitch does not need to breathe they're probably still going to have to stop before their jaw falls off.

Level 1/2/3/etc Batterwitch Spell
Pouring a portion of their magic yeast into a cup/bowl/barrel/etc of fresh flour and water, the Batterwitch stirs up a 1/2/3HD familiar; stats as your favourite ooze. This doughy creation will obey the commands of the Batterwitch until it melts away in 1 hour/day/week/etc. Doughboys (and girls!) can be tempted with gifts of milled flour, but are not smart enough to actually help anyone but the Batterwitch enact schemes. Baking a doughboy will increase their AC and double their life span. Good luck finding an oven the size of a castle though.

This one's the worst
Only you can decide.

This one is clearly grosser
But which picture is more gross?

DM's Notes:
  • Male Batterwitches are also just called Batterwitches, because Batterwarlock sounds dumb and ruins the reference.
  • If a Batterwitch, PC or otherwise, every gets thrown into an oven they will go absolutely batshit. It turns out that all Batterwitches develop an innate fear of being cooked alive that will manifest itself as them thrashing about screaming and turning everything into bread. Just because you're good at something doesn't mean you don't wake up screaming because you thought for a second that you WERE the baggel.

No comments:

Post a Comment