A witch is a man or woman who was born into one of the Thirteen magickal families. Traditionally, the word was used to accuse someone of bewitching someone or casting a spell on them to gain control over them by magic.
When the world began, the mythical Watchtowers blessed thirteen unique families and gave them the ability to use magick. This blessing was carried on generation after generation and branched out to smaller “branch families.” These families became the cornerstone of supernatural lore in their region and influenced folklore. With each passing generation, some of the blood grew so diluted that the family itself is gone, but their magical traditions were passed on.
Most individuals who can use magick belong to one of these Traditions. Each Tradition has its unique magical style, origin, lore, and specific spells that the character can access.
Witches born outside of a tradition are called Carrion Witches, and have no book of spells to start from, but have the advantage of being able to learn any magic.
African continent and outlying islands
Magic is still very much alive and mainstream in Africa. The traditional beliefs and practices African people include various conventional religions. These traditions are oral rather than scriptural, include belief in a supreme creator, belief in spirits, veneration of ancestors, orphic use of magic, and traditional medicine. The families of Africa and their diaspora have often feuded about which of them is the most powerful. Thus, there is no parent family, in particular.
Magickal Path: Ancestral
Pureblood Family: None
South & Central America, Portugal, and Spain
Descendants of the native tribes of South & Central America who practice many forms of ancestor worship, blood sacrifice, and necromancy. They often eat human hearts as part of their rituals, but that may have been Blackwell propaganda. Some Brujeria and their relatives have mixed heavily with branches of the African-descended Laveau family in some areas.
Magickal Path: Sacrificial
Pureblood Family: Zitlal
The Spirit Walkers evolved from nomads who lived in temporary dwellings to become accomplished farmers. In time, they created massive, free-standing stone buildings of up to five stories and cliff dwellings like those on display at the Manitou Cliff Dwellings, well before the time of the Roman Empire. The witches of the Anasazi practiced a form of ritualistic cannibalism, embedding it into their sacred rites. This profane practice led to the sudden abandonment of their empire and scattered their tribe to the four winds.
Magickal Path: Shapeshifting
Pureblood Family: None
Japan and Eastern Asia
Onmyōdō (陰陽道) is a traditional Japanese esoteric cosmology, a mixture of natural science and occultism. It is based on the Chinese philosophies of Wu Xing (five elements) and yin and yang, introduced into Japan at the beginning of the 6th century. It was accepted as a practical system of divination. These practices were influenced further by Taoism, Buddhism, and Shintoism, and evolved into the system of onmyōdō around the late 7th century. Onmyōdō was under the control of the imperial government, and later its courtiers, the Tsuchimikado family, until the middle of the 19th century, at which point it became prohibited as superstition.
Magickal Path: Onmyōdō
Pureblood Family: Tsuchimikado
Eastern Asia, India
The Guru is not the name of a family, but a blanket term to cover the many clans of that particular region. Many of them are practitioners of the Hindu religion. Very numerous and unorganized due to the vast expanse of the planet they cover. They were known to seek perfection of body, soul, and spirit with meditation and intense rites. Atharvaveda the broadest tradition (including their secondary branches), and some believe their blood is too deluded to make a difference. Some of these families have their own unique paths, cultivated over the years.
Magickal Path: Mana Manipulation
Pureblood Family: None
Great Britain and its islands, Ireland, Belgium, Netherlands, and the Isle of Man.
The Cailleach was once thought to be apart of a supernatural race called the Tuatha Dé, who brought magic to the island of Ireland and the British Islands. In truth, it was one powerful family of witches called the Balcoin who split apart due to feuding and became two pure-blooded families in their right. The Blacwaelle and the MacGilleBrighde represent two sides of the same coin, with the Blacwaelle taking the darker aspects, and the MacGilleBrighde the light.
Magickal Path: Dark Magick
Pureblood Family: Blacwaelle/ Blackwell
Pureblood Family: MacGilleBhrighde/ Gilbert
Magickal Path: The Sight
France, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Luxembourg, and Switzerland
When one thinks of the word ‘witch,’ a certain image comes to mind. The old woman is living in a hut in the middle of a forest, creating potions and dancing nude under a full moon. The Die Hexen is the origin of that image. Their original family line lived exclusively in the Black Forest and became very in tune with nature. The Die Hexen did not dabble in coven politics, loved freely and created many branch families that carried on their folklore through Europe. They have the most interactions with the fae courts.
Magical Path: Veil
Pureblood Family: Von Dasenstein
Widely scattered all over the world but began in Middle Eastern Countries, including parts of northern Africa.
The Hermetic Traditions roots are found in the earliest practices of alchemy, the first mystic science. For many centuries, there was no kind of organization among the practitioners of this unique form of magick beyond the occasional loose alliance or small exclusive order. Learned scholars, who married science and logic with magick and superstition. They were scholars, mastering the art of reading and writing, and helped shepherd in the Islamic Golden Age, and founded the House of Wisdom.
Magical Path: Alchemy
Pureblood Family: ibn Hayyān/Gerber
No strong geographic location, but active in Persia, India, Romania,& Ukraine.
The Romani (sometimes referred to as Gypsies, though many consider this a slur.) are a nomadic culture which is thought to have originated in India during the Middle Ages. They migrated widely, mainly to Europe and their diaspora moved West. Some legends (mostly from non-Romani peoples) say that certain Romani have passive psychic powers, can invoke curses or blessings, tell the future, and are skilled with illusion-casting.
Magickal Path: Katadesmoi
Pureblood Family: Winston
The Scandinavian Peninsula, Faroe Islands, Svalbard, Greenland, & Iceland
The Nørn was sooth-sayers, warriors who mastered a combat-inspired magick and mastered the use of Nordic runes and practiced Seiðr. Seiðr was a type of sorcery practiced in Viking society, whose practitioners were of both sexes, although females are more widely attested, with such sorceresses being variously known as vǫlur, seiðkonur, and vísendakona.
Magickal Path: Seiðr
Pureblood Family: Maartenson
Greece, Egypt, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan
The untamed wild-card in coven politics, the Bacchae are wild witches of Greek ascendancy who worship at the altar or vice and excess. The forerunners of the Orphic Mysteries and the Cult of Dionysis, their rituals often involved drunken debauchery, orgies, drugs, and music. Rooted in the value of experience and sensation, they believe that magic is born from the mastery of the senses and understanding that things such as obstacles only exist as we perceive them.
Magickal Path: Ascension
Pureblood Family: Avramidis/ Everett
Italy, Croatia, Spain, Portugal, Slovenia
Stregheria honors a pantheon centered on the Moon Goddess Diana and the Horned God Herne regarded as central, paralleling Wiccan views of divinity. It is a form of Witchcraft with Southern European and Italian roots. Stregheria sometimes referred to as La Vecchia Religione (“the Old Religion”).
Strega families practice their regional traditions, whos practice evolved forms of local practices. Italian witchcraft incorporates the aid of spirits, faeries, cosmic forces, and a variety of Pagan deities. Ancient Roman writers depict witches associated with the goddess Hecate, Diana, and Persephone.
Magickal Path: Shadowmancy
Pureblood Family: Di Benevento
Middle East, Iran, Afghanistan, and Syria
The bold magical style of the Viziers can be traced back five thousand years. We began speaking with the sky, the waters, and the djinn shortly after mankind was able to use language at all. When the first civilizations appeared there between the banks of the Tigris and the Euphrates, we were there as the seers and the viziers to kings.
They enslave djinn, forcing them to bend to their will through the use of binding magick. Several offshoots of Vizier existed, the most obvious being that of the Sons of Solomon, more commonly known as the Rosicrucians. In 2019, that particular bloodline was hunted to extinction by newly organized and government-funded witch hunters.
Magickal Path: Binding Magick
Pureblood Family: Barmakids/ Barmecides
Romania, Slovenia, Hungary, Czech Republic, and Bulgaria
The founder of the Báthory line, Vitus, was a powerful warrior witch from a line of dragon-slayers. It was he who slain the last dragon to ever be seen in Hungary. The creature had been terrorizing the swamplands next to the castle of Ecsed around the year 900. This earned Vitus the name Báthory, which meant ‘brave’ and ‘good hero’ in Hungarian. Their coat of arms is styled according to that legend: three horizontally placed teeth surrounded by a dragon biting its own tail.
The problem with killing Hungary’s last dragon is that in order to protect the dwindling species, the gods had placed a curse within its blood. Vitus and his hunting party were subject to that curse, which would haunt them forever:
They could only feast on blood.
Magickal Path: Blood Magick
Pureblood Family: Báthory