Chronicles of Neverael
Witchborn is a term used to describe those individuals who have the rare gift of Witchsight. These individuals have extra-sensory capabilities which enable them to tap into many, subtle abilities analagous to so-called psychic phenomenon. Some also possess a strong enough gift to develop and practice magickal disciplines.
Witchborn typically look like whatever ethnic group which spawned them – a Rabni Witchborn might have dark hair and eyes while a Naenish Witchborn is likely to have red hair. Usually, there are no outward physical clues as to the true nature of a Witchborn – save in rare, specific cases (such as the Cryomancers of Izhendarc). Witchborn often exhibit strange behavior to outsiders – a result of their ability to perceive and interact with spheres of reality which might as well not exist to typical folk. As a result, sometimes Witchborn are mistaken for being merely eccentric or perhaps one of the mad – and there are a fair number of Witchborn who are mad in-truth.
Witchsight, the ability which defines a Witchborn, is often hereditary in nature but can crop up in virtually anyone without warning. Signs of the ability usually begin when the child’s higher mental and psychological functions begin to develop – sometime around the ages of 8 to 10. Full realization of this potential takes several years to develop completely – usually becoming “mature” when the individual turns 14 to 16 (in females) or 17 to 19 (in males). When a Witchborn’s abilities first begin to manifest they often exhibit severe headaches, nausea, rapid mood shifts, hallucinations, and strange aches and pains which range from minor to severe.
Many Witchborn are Tithed and inducted into the Eben Guard but more than a fair few slip through the cracks or are simply passed over. Some go on to join other organizations such as The Eumedico, The Speakers of the Dead, or (sometimes) even the Church of the One. There are even rumors of an organization of Witchborn that live amongst the Ravynnians. There are also many so-called Native Witchborn and Rogue Witchborn. A “Native” is a Witchborn whose abilities were deemed unremarkable by the Eben Guard or were passed over for other reasons or simply fell between the cracks. They often use their abilities to supplement their more mundane skills but few, if any, develop magick. They tend to live unobtrusive existences and avoid trouble. Rogue Witchborn are Witchborn who have purposefully rebelled against control and authority and begun to use their abilities to malicious ends. These Rogues are hunted by the Eben Guard and, sometimes, the Iron Knights.
Witchborn, for the most part, are little understood and somewhat feared by others – their abilities make them remarkable and different. People fear what they don’t understand and understanding what a Witchborn does takes another Witchborn, for the most part. There have been nasty incidents – particularly in the early years after the Blackgate War – wherein Witchborn were burnt alive or killed in other, horrifying ways. They still live under a stigma, but few people recognize them for what they are in this day and age and tend to want to forget about or ignore strange incidents in their day-to-day existences wherever possible. The Church of the One considers Witchborn dangerous, though they themselves sometimes employ their special abilities. They trust the Eben Guard little and certainly no other organization employing Witchborn. They seek to control and contain the influence of the Witchborn – to prevent a tragedy like the Blackgate War from happening again, or so they say.