Showing posts with label Lilith. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lilith. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A to Z of Vampires: Lilith

Lilith by Isra2007
Let's head to ancient Mesopotamia and talk about Lilith.

Er...wait. Haven't I done this before?

Actually I have, I talked about Lilith last year on the A to Z of Witches and the year before that on the A to Z of Demons.   She is just one of those subjects I never grow tired of talking about.
Obviously since I made her the cover of my Eldritch Witchery book.

Back in my WitchCraft RPG game I actually wanted to do three different Liliths that were also all connected.

Following the Maiden, Mother Crone archetype she would have been a Witch, Vampire and Demon.  In my Buffy/Ghosts of Albion games she was a more central figure. A faction all her own in the constant wars between the forces of good and evil.

While that was a fun idea and it worked well for the WitchCraft RPG, for something like D&D I prefer one Goddess. A complicated Goddess to be sure.

So here she is. In Petty Gods format. Though she is by no means a Petty God. She is actually something more than a demon, witch or goddess.  She is Lilith.

Goddess of Witches, Mother of Vampires and Demons
Also known as: Ardat Lili, Lili, Lillitu
Symbol: Image of the Goddess
Alignment: Chaotic Evil*
Movement: 40' (Fly 160)
Armor Class: 4 (15)
Hit Points (Hit Dice): 140 hp (25 HD)
Attacks: Special, see below
Damage: Special, see below
Save: Witch 25
Morale: 12
Hoard Class: XV
XP: 16,660

Lilith is the mother of monsters.  She is the mother of demon, having spawned so many, but she is also the mother of vampires and many say witches.

Lilith was the first human woman. She rebelled against the gods that created her and now controls armies of demons.  The gods won't work against her or strike her down because she knows all their True Names.

Lilith has no true friends because most fear her.  She is known to ally herself with the Goddess Ereshkigal since both have similar portfolios and areas of concern.  Some even claim that Lilith spent some time as Ereshkigal's handmaiden.  Others claim she served Astártē or Ishtar.

Appearance and Emissaries
Lilith always appears as a young very attractive woman.  Most often with long flaming red hair.  It is claimed her true form is that of a ancient hag with long, but sparse wild black hair, talons, fangs and the feet of a predatory bird.  Either or neither could be her true form.


Naamah - Known as the Daughter of Lilith Naamah is either a demon, a human or something else.  She is honored in her right as either the Patroness of Whores or the Patroness of Those Who Hunt the Night (slayers of the undead).  Her title as The Daughter of Lilith, as opposed to just a daughter of Lilith, is significant.  She may be her first true daughter or she may be her first human daughter.

Abyzou - Another daughter of Lilith. She is a powerful Lilitu Demon. She takes pleasure in possessing others and destroying them from the inside out.

Nox - The Petty Goddess of the Dusk is also believed to be a daughter of Lilith.  Possiblly the offspring of Lilith and a Sun god.

Camazotz - a Son of Lilith and the bloodthirsty god of Vampires.  Some claim that his father may have been Orcus.

Lilith never openly attacks.   She considers combat beneath Her and will not partake in it.  Her arena is intrigue, guile and deception.  Why fight when a cup laced with poison or a dagger in the night are much quicker.  If forced into combat she can summon pretty much any demon she likes save for the Baalor. If it comes down to it, Lilith can cast spells as 25th level Witch of the Demonic Tradition.

*Lilith's alignment is listed as Chaotic Evil.  The Chaos part should be obvious, she has rebelled against the entire universe.  While many of her actions are evil, she still kills babies, she is also a lot more complicated than that.  Lilith has a high personal morality. She honors and keeps her friends and associates.  You can trust that she will always do what is best for herself., but she also cares for her own "children" so she will protect them.

Other posts about Lilith here:
Every Angel is Terrifying: The Secret and True Origins of the Slayer
Pseudo Slayers
Going Up to Hell: Cosmology
Sympathy for the Succubus
- Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Let's Talk About Sex(y)
E is for Eodemon
The Dragon and the Phoenix: Episode 7
Season of the Witch: Episode 2

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goddesses of the Witches

Some things I have been playing around with for various books.  Didn't fit with anything I am working on now, but I don't want to go to waste.

Names of the Goddess
The Goddess is known by many names, but each is but an aspect of the true goddess.  What follows is a listing of Goddesses from Earth’s mythologies.  In each case a possible or likely alignment is included as well as areas of domains for clerics and witch coven spells. Descriptions of that Goddess’ coven might also be included.

Witches who worship the Artemis aspect of the Goddess are on good terms with druids.  These witches are common in amazon societies. As a witch of Artemis a woman pledges never to copulate with a man.  These witches are both chaste and celibate.  These witches may also choose to take the bow and arrow as their weapon.
She is part of a trinity of Artemis (maiden), Hestia (mother), and Hecate (crone).
Alignment: N or CG
Areas of Influence:Hunting, Moon, Women

Astartë (Ah-star TAY) is the goddess of love, fertility as well as war and lasciviousness (lust) to the ancient peoples of Canaan and Phoenicia, she was worshiped as far West as Carthage, Sicily, Sardinia and Cyprus.  Her name and cult were derived from Babylonia, where as Ishtar, she represented the evening and morning stars and was accordingly androgynous in origin. Under Semitic influence, however, she became solely female, although retaining a trace of her original character by standing on equal footing with the male divinities. She represents the productive power of nature. She is also a moon goddess. Her symbol is the crescent moon with “horns” turned up.
She is related to the devil Astoroth, some say that she is now this devil, others say that that Astoroth is her son/consort.  Astoroth has also been associated with the Canaanite god of Thamudzi/Damuz.
Alignment: N or LN
Areas of Influence:Fertility, Magic

The Goddess of War and Wisdom sprang fully grown and armored from Zeus’, her father, head. She represents wisdom in matters of life and war.
Her worshippers are normally generals fighting just causes. The witches of this sect are usually on good terms with those of Artemis. This witch is favored in the Craft of the Wise tradition because of Athena’s renowned wisdom. They may choose the spear as their weapon.
Alignment: LG
Areas of Influence: War, Wisdom, Women

Bast is an ancient Goddess and the mistress of all cats.  Nearly every Find Familiar spell known invokes her name. Witches of Bast, few as they are, live a cat-like life style.  They prefer the comforts and leisure life that cats enjoy.  Then spend long afternoons lying in the sun and enjoying the sensuous side of life. Regardless, do not confuse leisure with laziness.  Witches of Bast are dedicated fighters of evil, in particular the workings of the minions of Set. Witches of Bast may choose weapon mastry in one edged weapon at the loss of one feat.  They also gain a +1 to hit and damage when fighting snakes.
Her consort is Aelurus, who appears as a tanned human male with a cat’s or lion’s head.
Alignment: NG or N
Areas of Influence: Cats, Good, Hunting

Brigit, also known as Brigantia, Bridget, or Brigid, is the Celtic Goddess of the rivers and rural life. She is also the Goddess of Healing, Midwifery and Wisdom. She was raised on the milk creature of the other-world, a white, red-eared cow. Brigit is one of the great Triple Goddesses of the Celtic people. She appeared as Brigit to the Irish, Brigantia in Northern England, Bride in Scotland, and Brigandu in Brittany. Many legends are told about Brigit. Some say that there are three Brigits: one sister in charge of poetry and inspiration who invented the Ogham alphabet, one in charge of healing and midwifery, and the third in charge of the hearth fire, smithies and other crafts. This actually indicates the separate aspects of her Threefold nature and is a neat division of labor for a hard-working Goddess. Indeed, various interpretations of her name exist including, “Bright Arrow,” “The Bright One,” “the Powerful One” and “The High One,” depending upon the region and the dialect.
Her coven is known as the Daughters of the Flame.  These lawful good witches keep a holy flame burning at all times.
Part of a trinity of Brigit (maiden) and Danu (mother), Morigann is the crone.
Alignment: NG or LG
Areas of Influence: Fire, Healing, Wisdom

Often called the Roman Hecate, Cardea is the goddess of doors and the knowledge behind those doors.  Cardea is a capricious Goddess, often requiring her witches to memorize a section of poetry or building a center of learning in exchange for Her gifts of knowledge.  Cardea is open to all who wish to seek her out, but she makes no guarantees that her knowledge will be helpful to the seeker.
Alignment: CN or CG
Areas of Influence: Knowledge, Paths, Wisdom

Celtic Goddess of wisdom, intelligence, magic, divination and enchantment. She is the Goddess of the cauldron. Popular among the Celtic Classical and Craft of the Wise Traditions.
Cerridwen’s cauldron has the power to return the dead to life.
Alignment: N
Areas of Influence: Intelligence, Magic, Wisdom

The Celtic Mother-goddess known as Danu to the Irish and Don to the Welsh (and simlar to the Greek Demeter below).  The race of the Tuatha deDannan means “The Children of Danu”. She is also the mother of many Irish Celtic gods Diancecht, Lir, Lugh, Oghma and others.  Dagda is alternately mentioned as her son or father.  She is fierce protector of home and hearth.
She is part of a trinity of Brigit (maiden), Danu (mother), and Morigann (crone).
Alignment: N
Areas of Influence: Earth, Fertility, Nature

Also known as Kore. The great Greek Earth Goddess. She is the Goddess of grain and of the harvest. Her witch cults are among the oldest known. She goes down to the underworld to retrieve her daughter.  During this time winter covers the land. Origin of most of the “Descent of the Goddess” legends.
Alignment: NG
Areas of Influence: Earth, Fertility, Nature

Diana is the Roman Goddess of fertility, the hunt and forests. She is the roman equivalent of the Greek Goddess of Artemis.  But unlike Artemis, the witches of Diana are not required to be chaste or celibate. In the celebration of Beletane the witch copulates with a druid priest in order to bring fertility back to the earth.  Some have even become Tantric witches.  Obviously these witches are on very good terms with Druids.  Their religious practices are very similar to Druids and to that Artemis.
The covens of Diana are often very old and very popular. The Amazon tradition is often known as the Cult of Diana because of their fervent devotion to the Goddess.
Alignment: N or CG
Areas of Influence: Hunting, Moon, Women

Eir is the Scandinavian Goddess of Healing, and handmaiden of Frigg.  No one is Her equal when it comes to healing.  Her worshipers are all healers, either clerical or as herbal healers.  Her clerics and witches must never pick up a weapon in anger or vengeance.
She is depicted as been a slight woman with reddish-blonde hair and blue eyes. Her arms are muscular.  She commonly wears blue and red. Fires always light her temples and covens, which are known as centers of healing and succor.  She is known for her patience.
All her worshipers must take the healing and profession (herbalist) skills.
Alignment: NG
Areas of Influence: Healing, Peace

Gaea (Gaia) is an Earth Goddess of Greek origin.  It is she who is ultimately responsible for all life. It is claimed that she emerged from darkness and mated with Uranus (the Sky god) and bore the twelve titans.
Alignment: N
Areas of Influence: Earth, Fertility, Nature

Egyptian fertility Goddess.  She is the celestial cow who created the earth and the sun. As a cow goddess she ruled love, joy, merriment, music and dance.  She nourished the living with her milk , suckling Pharaoh and all others.  She is also known as the Goddess of love, music, song, and pleasure. In this aspect She has many followers among Lorelei and Tantric witches. She was one of the Egyptian gods that help guide the dead to the other side.
She is a Goddess that represents life, thus all her witches must be forces of life.  While some celebrate life, like the Lorelei and Tantric witches, others actively pursue careers to destroy those that threaten or mock life, such as the followers of Set or undead.
Alignment: CG
Areas of Influence: Creation, Fertility, Life, Magic

Hecate is, in Greek mythology, the Goddess of darkness, magic and witchcraft.  She is the daughter of the Titans Perses and Asteria. Unlike Artemis, who represented the moonlight and splendor of the night, Hecate represented its darkness and its terrors. On moonless nights she was believed to roam the earth with a pack of ghostly, howling dogs. She was the Goddess of sorcery and witchcraft and was especially worshiped by magicians and witches, who sacrificed black lambs and black dogs to her. As Goddess of the crossroads, Hecate and her pack of dogs were believed to haunt these remote spots, which seemed evil and ghostly places to travelers. In art Hecate is often represented with either three bodies or three heads and with serpents entwined about her neck.
Of all the deities who have covens, Hecate’s covens are the most widespread and well known. Hecate was once a fairly benign goddess in early Greek times. She later became the dread Greco-Roman Goddess of ghosts, a close confidante of Persephone and a patron of witches. The brutally wronged Hecuba of Troy was reincarnated as one of Hecate’s black dogs, which accompanied her on her night walks. When Hades kidnapped Persephone in the later Greek myth, farseeing Hecate was the only one who witnessed it. Hecate was worshiped at three-way crossroads at night even by ordinary Greek families and could ward off ghosts if properly propitiated. But Romans also believed She had more sinister worshipers; the witches and sorceresses who could coerce even the gods to do their will.
Alignment: LE or LN
Areas of Influence: Ghosts, Magic, Moon, The Crossroads

One side of Hel’s face was that of a beautiful woman. The other half was that of a rotting corpse, green and black, or of a skull.  She ruled the realm of Niflheim, a huge black canyon in icy mountains, where those who did not die gloriously in battle went when their span of life was up. Niflheim was not burning but icy cold, filled with sleet, icy slush, cold mud and snow. Garm, the horrible hound whose breast was splattered with the blood of the dead, guarded the entrance. Her hall was called Damp-With-Sleet. Her plate was Hunger, Her knife Famine; Her two servants were both called Slow-Moving. Her bed was Sick-Bed, the stone at the entrance to her hall Drop-to-Destruction. So the Vikings described Her and Her home. Though the Vikings regarded her with horror, the common people worshiped her.
Alignment: NE
Areas of Influence: Death, Destruction, Evil

Hestia is one of the Grecian hearth goddesses.  The Romans later called her Vesta.  Hestia was said to preside over all sacrifices.  One of the prohibitions was that should her fire ever go it, it could not be rekindled by an ordinary fire but only by the sun’s rays or by the friction of two pieces of wood.  As Vesta, the leaders of her cult were the Vestal Virgins (these were six girls from ages six to ten) who entered her college and stayed there for thirty years. Those breaking their vow of chastity were whipped to death or entombed.  Her witches will be the older women who have completed their temple service.
She is part of a trinity of Artemis (maiden), Hestia (mother), and Hecate (crone).
Alignment: LG
Areas of Influence: Hearth, Healing, Home

Holda, or Frau Holt, is the Goddess of Teutonic witches and Hags.  She is seen as both a caring mother and a frightening hag—a witch that calms children’s fears or eats them.  These polar opposites are common in many of the guises of the Goddess.  Classic witches typically honor her “good” side and Hags her “evil” one.  Holda is often depicted as riding a broom or a giant flying goose.  She can appear as a kindly old mother, a small child wearing all white or a viscous hag-like monster. She is the goddess of spinning, vegetation and children.  She is also a fertility goddess and her consort is known as the Wood Man.
The Oskorei, or the Furious Horde, a legion of fallen heroes and others, who have died before their time, similar to the Wild Hunt of the Celts or the Valkeries of the Norse, follow her on her nightly rides.
It is also believed that Frau Holt is the model for the children’s storybook character “Mother Goose”.
Alignment: CG or CE
Areas of Influence: Night, Mysteries, Witches and Hags

Ishtar of the Babylonians, and alternately Inanna of the Sumerians, represent the duality approach to the female deity, both are to be considered Nature deities; that is, human nature.  Both are the chief goddesses of their pathos, both are the goddesses of love, and therefore sexuality.  Also both are the goddesses of War, and therefore violence.  Their witches tend to have mercurial, almost chaotic personalities.  Covens tend to be very ancient and set in their ways.  Rituals will usually be consisted of old, lengthy litanies and sacrifices.  Ishtar’s witches are also as likely to pick up a weapon, as they are to use magic.
Alignment: CN
Areas of Influence: Love, Nature, War

Covens of Isis are old and represent ancient powers of the universe.  These witches are in tune with the fundamental powers and forces of the universe.  Isis’ name is called in rights of fertility.  She is also the patron Goddess of Magic.  There is much rivalry between Hecate and Isis in this category.  All of Isis’ covens are the paramount of good.  Isis is also a feminine ideal. With Osiris, Isis and Horus (the divine child) made up a Holy Trinity. She is the Goddess of marriage, motherhood, fertility, magic, healing, reincarnation and divination, to name but a few. Isis is the patroness of priestesses. One myth has Isis poisoning the Sun God Ra, offering to save him only if he would reveal his secret name. At last, at the brink of destruction, Ra gives Isis his heart, with the secret name it held, and his two eyes (the Sun and the Moon).  Isis quells the poison and ends up with Ra’s supreme power. In time the great Eye was passed along to her son Horus.  Proclus mentions a statue of her which bore the inscription “I am that which is, has been and shall be. My veil no one has lifted”. Hence, to lift the veil of Isis is to pierce the heart of a great mystery.
Alignment: NG or LG
Areas of Influence: Healing, Magic, Women

Kali is the supreme Dark Goddesses. It has been claimed that Her name is derived from the Hindu word for Time, yet also means, “black”. She is also called Durga.
Her very appearance is meant to terrify. She is black and emaciated, with fangs and claws. She wears a girdle of severed arms, a necklace of skulls or severed heads, earrings of children’s corpses, cobras as bracelets or garlands. Her mouth is smeared with blood.   Often She is shown standing or dancing on the corpse of the god Shiva; here, She feasts on his intestines.
Yet even Kali is not always dark. She also is a loving mother, and especially in that aspect is worshipped by millions of Hindus and her witches.
Her witches also see Kali as an Earth-Fertility Goddess, is thus worshiped by many Tantric witches. There are many parallels between the witch’s view of Kali and that of Ishtar.  Kali’s regular priests (Thuggee) see her as the destroyer and a Goddess of death.  Her witches, however, view Kali as the Force of Nature, a mother who can give life and take it away.  Witches of Kali generally have several Thuggee males in their covens as their strong arms.  Slaves are kept and human sacrifice is common.  Kali’s holiest nights are on the new moon and Wednesdays.
Alignment: CE
Areas of Influence: Death, Destruction, Fertility

Lilith is many things, first woman, wife, mother of demons, consort to men, demons, devils and gods, witch, demon and Goddess.
Lilith was the first wife of Adam, the first man. Adam and Lilith never found peace together, for when he wished to lie with her, she took offence at the recumbent position he demanded. “Why must I lie beneath you?” she asked. “I also was made from dust, and am therefore your equal”. She became proud and refused to lie beneath him during intercourse. This violated the command to be fruitful and multiply, since she was not being impregnated. Some traditions hold that she was impregnated and bore demons from him. Others claim She had two daughters with Adam. Naamah and Tubal are referred to as Cain’s sisters.  Naamah is the mother of many devils. He pushed the issue of her submission, and she uttered the Holy Name of God and flew away.
It is said that soon after Lilith left Adam he stood in prayer before his creator and said: “God of the World, the woman that you gave me has run away from me”. God tried to force her to return to Adam and sent therefore the death-angel Azrafil to her in the desert at the Red Sea, where she dwelled with the djinns, giving birth to countless demons.  Then God dispatched the three angels, Sanvai, Sansanvai, and Semangelof to bring her back. They caught up with her in the desert near the Red Sea, a region abounding in lascivious demons, to which she bore Lilim at the rate of more than one hundred a day. “Return to Adam without delay,” the angels said, “or we will drown you!” Lilith asked: “How can I return to Adam and be his woman, after my stay beside the Red Sea?” “It would be death to refuse!” they answered. “How can I die,” Lilith asked again, “when God has ordered me to take charge of all newborn children: boys up to the eighth day of life, that of circumcision; girls up to the twentieth day? Nevertheless,” she said, “I swear to you in the name of God who is living and exists, that if ever I see your three names or likenesses displayed in an amulet above a newborn child, I promise to spare it”. To this day they agreed; however, God punished Lilith by making one hundred of her demon children perish daily, and if Lilith could not destroy a human infant, because of the angelic amulet, she would spitefully turn against her own.  As late as the 18th century, mothers and children across many cultures took advantage of the protection offered by these amulets. Charms and rituals accompanied the use of the amulets, protecting mothers and infants from the retribution of Lilith. Baby girls were considered vulnerable in their first three weeks of life. Boys, on the other hand, were believed to be vulnerable for longer periods of time. Any boy under the age of eight was possible prey.
Alignment: CE
Areas of Influence: Evil, Moon, Women

Of the Finnish, “the people who ran from the woods,” few Goddesses are as evil and sadistic as Lovitar, Maiden of Pain.  Witches of Lovitar dispense pain to all of their enemies. Typical garb is white and all kinds of daggers are allowed as weapons.  Her coven spells deal primarily with pain and cold.
Alignment: NE
Areas of Influence: Cold, Evil, Pain

The Queen of the Sidhe. Mabd is the prototypical elven Goddess of Celtic lore.  Her high time is the Summer Solstice. She is also known as Mab, Meave and to the Briton Celts, Titania. She is a mercurial Goddess that reflects the nature of the forest; life giving to some, deadly to others.
Witches of the Faerie Tradition honor Mabd and many of the Classical Traditions also pay her honor.
Alignment: CG or CN
Areas of Influence: Elves (Sidhe), Mysteries

The Raven, the Celtic goddess of war.  Known as The Morigann, Morigan, Macha and Morigu.  She is the Goddess of war, battle and death, but not evil.
Part of a trinity of Brigit (maiden) and Danu (mother), Morigann is the crone.
Alignment: CN or CE
Areas of Influence: Chaos, War

This Welsh Goddess is well known for her appearance in the Mabinagion.  In penance for a crime that she did not commit, she sat for seven years outside Pwyll’s palace and offered to carry any visitor on her back like a horse.  The singing of her three magic birds could be heard over the sea, could wake the dead and could lull the living to sleep.  She was also identified with Epona (a horse cult).  The Roman Calvary favored Epona and her shrines were covered with roses.
Alignment: CG
Areas of Influence: Horses, Fertility, Women

Tiamat is the great creation Goddess of water and chaos to the Sumerians.  She gave birth to all of the Sumerian (Babylonian) gods and ruled them all, until the god Marduk defeated her.  He used Her body to create the sky and earth.  She was described as a great dragon or a being of chaos. Like so many other destructive Goddesses, Tiamat is a Goddess of creation.  It is believed by the Sumerians that she created the world.  In Babylonian myths, Tiamat is a huge, bloated female dragon that personifies the saltwater ocean, the water of Chaos. She is also the primordial mother of all that exists, including the gods themselves.
The Cult of Tiamat is extremely far reaching.  The primary duties of her witches are to venerate Tiamat and destruction in any way they can and to spread the word of the cult.  Often “spreading the word” implies random acts of violence and attributing them to Tiamat herself.  It is her capacity as the dark Goddess of chaos and creation that attracts so many witches to her cult.
Her witches tend to belong to the Malefic or dark Tantric Traditions.
Alignment: CE
Areas of Influence: Chaos, Creation, Dragons, Water

Aztec witches who worship Tlazolteol, the Goddess of vice, are often tantric or malefic witches.  They spend a great amount of time on their appearance and try to look as desirable as possible. Once they have someone alone they will attempt to corrupt or kill them. Most prefer to corrupt others. Bards speak of a particularly successful witch of Tlazolteol who had been in the bedrooms of many of a particular country’s politicians.  Single handedly she had very nearly toppled the government through jealousy and deceit.
Tlazoteol is also seen as a necessary evil. She takes in filth and sin so it may be disposed of.   It is this aspect that she is most often worshiped and served by her witches.  Confessing ones sins to her or to her witches, one would be purified of those sins.  Mothers in childbirth often called on her aid. Her witches, learned in all manners sexual, are also skilled midwives and nursemaids, after all birth is a natural consequence of sex. Her witches are believed to be adulterous and women born under her sign (The Ocelot) were believed to become her witches.
She is seen as lustful maiden, mother or priestess and crone, devourer of youth, depending on her mood.  She is always depicted nude in all of her aspects, as the Mother she is seen having just given birth.  She wears a gold and turquoise necklace and her temples are adorned with gold bells.  Of note she is also sometimes depicted as wearing a conical “witch’s” hat.
Alignment: CE or CN
Areas of Influence: Chaos, Fertility, Trickery, Vice

Monday, April 14, 2014

A to Z of Witches. L

L is for Lilith
Lilith by Isra2007

I have talked about Lilith. A lot actually.
Last year I talked about Lilith and her roll as the mother of the demons The Lilim.

I talked about her and her relationship to demons and Vampires a couple of times.

I made her the cover of my Eldritch Witchery book.  So yes. I am a fan.

Lilith has always been a part of my game worlds.  In some like Buffy and Ghosts of Albion she is a behind the scenes player dealing with "children" the vampires, demons, witches and the Slayer.
In my old school games she is the mother of demons, but also the first to rebel against the powers of good. She was a human but no longer. She has been raised to the power of a god because she knows so many magical secrets.

Here she is for the Pathfinder RPG and pretty much how I use her in other games too.


Titles: The Mother of Demons, Witches, and Vampires
Alignment:  Chaotic Evil
Portfolio: Magic, Demons
Worshipers: Witches, Lilim, Vampires
Cleric Alignments
Domains: Evil, Magic, Knowledge/Secrets
Favored Weapon: Dagger

Lilith is considered to be the Mother of Demons, Vampires and Witches.

Lilith was the first human woman. She rebelled against the gods that created her and now controls armies of demons.  The gods won't work against her or strike her down because she knows all their True Names.

Lilith has no true friends because most fear her.  She is known to ally herself with the Goddess Ereshkigal since both have similar portfolios and areas of concern.  Some even claim that Lilith spent some time as Ereshkigal's handmaiden.  Others claim she served Astártē or Ishtar.

Appearance and Emissaries
Lilith always appears as a young very attractive woman.  Most often with long flaming red hair.  It is claimed her true form is that of a ancient hag with long, but sparse wild black hair, talons, fangs and the feet of a predatory bird.  Either or neither could be her true form


Naamah - Known as the Daughter of Lilith Naamah is either a demon, a human or something else.  She is honored in her right as either the Patroness of Whores or the Patroness of Those Who Hunt the Night (slayers of the undead).  Her title as The Daughter of Lilith, as opposed to just a daughter of Lilith, is significant.  She may be her first true daughter or she may be her first human daughter.

Abyzou - Another daughter of Lilith. She is a powerful Lilitu Demon. She takes pleasure in possessing others and destroying them from the inside out.

Church of Lilith
Lilith has no formal religion outside that of her demons and witches. Even these do not worship her but instead regard her as their mother.
Through her daughter Lilith is also seen as the protector of harlots and whores.
There are those who also view Lilith as triumph of humankind, in particular womankind, over the tyranny of the gods.  She can in this aspect even have worshipers that are otherwise good in alignment.

Worshipers and Clergy
Lilith is worshiped primarily by witches but also by demonic clerics and wizards.

Temples and Shrines
Temples and shrines to Lilith are small affairs.  Usually a stone relief hidden away.  Since most gods of light and many other gods despise Lilith her shrines are destroyed by their followers.

Holy Texts
As witches the worshippers of Lilith hold their own Books of Shadows as their holy texts, but a few are are considered to be helpful to understanding Lilith.

The Splendor - The foundation text on which many of the Gods of Light have based their own holy texts.  The Splendor mentions Lilith as one of the first demon of darkness. For this reason many religions will see Lilith as threat to their religion.

The Enochian Tablets - More details on the life and rebirth of Lilith. Written in an ancient angelic script that is difficult for many sages to translate. Also discusses her relationship to the divine and the demonic.  It also details the origins of Those Who Hunt the Night.


Witches of Lilith celebrate the phases of the moon, the new moon in particular.

ETA: Julia Mathews is doing Lilith today too. She also talks about the moon named Lilith.

More posts about Lilith here:
L is for Lilith and Lilim
Every Angel is Terrifying: The Secret and True Origins of the Slayer
Pseudo Slayers
Going Up to Hell: Cosmology
Sympathy for the Succubus
- Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Let's Talk About Sex(y)
E is for Eodemon
The Dragon and the Phoenix: Episode 7
Season of the Witch: Episode 2

Supernatural AtoZ

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Lilith can be Yours

Normally I like to spend the profits from my books on more art for the next book or something like that. You know, put it back into the creative effort.  But this was a particularly good couple of months so I splurged and got something nice for myself and my game room.

I got this from the artist's, Israel Llona aka Isra2007, shop over at Deviant Art.

The great thing is, you can get one of these prints too!
Just go to the prints page, and choose one of the prints.
This is the 12" x 18" art print.

Plus all the money goes to the artist, well minus whatever DA takes, but I don't get any. Not even a commission.   So if you liked my book and the cover, or you picked up my book for the cover, grab an art print too! It will look great on your wall.

You can also see all his great art here,
He has a few more that I think would make awesome book covers.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Blogfest: The WIP It Good: EW Cover reveal!

Today is the The WIP It Good Blogfest

We are supposed to talk about our current WIP or Work in Progress.

I am going to be talking about Eldritch Witchery! big cover reveal.

Eldritch Witchery is my next book for role-playing Witches.  In this case the game is Spellcraft & Swordplay.  The book will include a Witch AND a Warlock class.

And without further ado here is the new cover!

Lilith by Isra2007
I was able to get this wonderful piece of art of Lilith from Isra2007.
It will be updated in the Spellcraft & Swordplay trade dress, but nothing else will be done to the image.  It is too perfect as is.

Like the Witch, Eldritch Witchery will have new spells, magic items and monsters.  It will have traditions, but all new ones, different from the Witch, so new Occult Powers too.   Warlocks also have Lodges they belong to.  The biggest addition is the inclusion of all the demons and devils to the Spellcraft & Swordplay game.  If you were around for my April A to Z posting then you have an idea what will be included.

The book is done, more or less.  The first part with the witches, spells and magic items is being reedited.  The demons and devils are wrapping up.  I know this one has been delayed, but we are looking for a Halloween or earlier release.

So yes if you have the Witch then there is still plenty of new material here even if you don't play Spellcraft & Swordplay.  It can be played with OD&D as well.

It is a big piece of work. Maybe larger than The Witch.  I hope you all enjoy it.

EDITED TO ADD: Forgot the template.  Been one of those weeks.

WIP Title: Eldritch Witchery
Word Count (projected/actual so far): 150,00 projected 117,588 right now
Genre: RPG
How long have you been working on it?:  Seriously about 2 years. Of on on though for only the first 6 months

Elevator Pitch (if you came across an agent in an elevator ride, what couple of lines would you use to summarize your book):  EW is the follow up to The Witch for the Spellcraft & Swordplay game.

Brief Synopsis (300 words or less):  The witch and warlock classes are detailed along with hundreds of new spells, magic items, monsters and tons of demons and devils.

Are you looking for a Critique Partner?  Not really that kind of book.

Are you looking for a Beta Reader? Same.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

L is for Lilith and Lilim

Lilith by Isra2007
Lilith.  Ah, Lilith.

I have written so much about her over the last 20 years I hardly even know where to start today.

For those that don't know, Lilith is from the ancient Talmud and Jewish texts as the First Woman.  The woman created before Eve at the same time as Adam.  She rebelled against God and Adam and became her own thing.  She is not really a demon, but something else.

As a horror author who loves witches, demons and vampires, Lilith is all of those rolled up into one thing.
As an Atheist, Lilith is a great example of a "glitch" in the "Source code" of the bible.  Contradictions in the text that show that Genesis was even written by a number of different people over the ages.
As someone that considers themselves a feminist she is a "recent" icon.  In short what is not to love?

Lilith was a major character in my "Willow & Tara" game Season of the Witch (a Buffy game where I playtested the rules for Ghosts of Albion).  Characters (and players) didn't know if she was the Big Bad or on their side. In the end she was on her own side, but was not after the characters.

In my "Willow & Tara" games Lilith plays not just a central role in the events of the season, but in my revised mythos of world.  Lilith was not just the "mother of demons" and possibly the mother of vampires. She is also the mother of all witches and even the Slayer.  (See "Every Angel is Terrifying").  I like it since it gets rid of Whedon's overt rape metaphor and makes the Buffy game more compatible with the mythos of the WitchCraft game.

Back in the 2nd Edition AD&D days I "created" a new race of demons called the Lilim.  They were the "Daughters of Lilith" and included the Succubi and a number of related all female demons.  I later used these demons in my Buffy/Willow & Tara games "The Dragon and the Phoenix" and "Season of the Witch" along with Lilith herself.

I am revising these races once again for Eldritch Witchery.

Lilith by John Collier
These demons have their creative origins from Lilith, but also the Lilin, Lilu, and Lamashtu.  I have included creatures such as the succubus, the night hags and other related creatures.

The Lilim are an old race of demons, though some scholars debate on whether they are a true race unto themselves or not.  Lilim are also known as the daughters of Lilith, the “Queen of Demons”. A title she abhors.  Each subrace of Lilim is believed to have come from Lilith herself and her congress with other demon types such as the Baalseraph, Eodemons and Shedim.

The Lilim all share a number of unique qualities in addition to the powers all demons share. Lilim are also fully immune to poison and poses Nightvision instead of Darkvision.
All Lilim have a draining attack, as detailed below.  Most Lilim can switch between a “human” and a “demonic” form.  The human form allows them to infiltrate society and collect the souls they require.  Any time the lilim is under stress or in combat she will revert to her demonic form.  Both types of forms are detailed below.
Nearly all Lilim can cast spells as if she were a witch.

Alrunes: These demons are legion. It is most commonly believed that they are the offspring of nymphs, sayyrs and other fey with other Lilim, in particular Succubi. A succubus will sometimes shape change to a male to seduce fey creatures, and sometimes they are even seduced themselves. These demons have only the most basic of the powers of the Lilim and indeed they only have one form, a “human” one.  Though many have features can give away their demonic heritage.  They posses small vestigial horns, wings and sometimes even a tail.  Most opt for some demonic form of witchcraft.  Like all members of this demonic race they are female.  Of all the Lilim only Alrunes are not wholly evil, though very, very few are ever good.  Alrunes do not have a draining attack per se, but their kiss can lure a victim into a deep sleep as per the spell.

Batibat: These are among the weakest of the Lilim.  They prey on people in their dreams.  They house themselves in a tree near where their victim is sleeping and invade their dreams.  They have only a weak physical attack (1-3 hp) but their dream attack requires a Wisdom saving throw each night or the victim looses 1 point of Constitution.  When their victim dies (reaches 0 Constitution) they can summon a Nightmare and return to their master with the soul.  During the day they sleep in their tree and are helpless. These deams appear to be small, elfin like women and are sometimes mistaken for a dryad.  Their hair though is dark black.

Empusa: These are the daughters of Lilith and various calabim demons, most likely the Utukku.. They are the most “demonic” of all of the Lilim.  The Empusae (or “forcers-in”) like all Lilim can appear as a stunningly beautiful woman or as a demon.  The demonic form of the Empusa is the one of the most hideous of all of the Lilim.  The body remains mostly humanoid and female, but covered in fine scales.  It’s legs become like those of an horse or ass and end in hooves that are made of brass or bronze.  It’s back supports a set of large leathery bat-like wings, similar to that of a succubus.  It is its head that features it’s most horrible transformation.  The creature’s long following tresses are replaced with a mass of snakes similar to that of a medusa.  It’s facial features are blocked by an area of complete darkness, only it’s glowing eyes are visible.  It is said among sages that face of the empusa is not shrouded in darkness, but it is so horrible that our minds block the vision from us.  It is also said that other demons can actually see the empusa’s face and run in fear from it.  Its former delicate hands now end in razor tipped claws.  A long reptilian tail completes the picture.
An empusa can appear as human or it can also shape shift into a large dire wolf (statistics as per Dire Wolf).  Unlike the combat shy succubus, empusae live for battle. They can either use their natural claw/claw/bite routine or use a flaming sword that strikes for 2d6 points of damage plus 1d6 of flame damage.  Empusa gain to hit and damage bonuses due to their high strength (21) as well.
The touch of an empusa drains the Intelligence of the victim at 1 point per bare handed, not weaponed, attack.

Lamashtu: Are powerful demons, close only to the Lilitu themselves.  Believed to be the offspring of Lilth and the various Eodemons. These demons are old even by demonic terms.  Their natural form is a horrid hybrid of a linoness’ head, donkey ears and teeth, a hairy human female body, with the hind quarters of a pig.  They are commonly holding a large snake.  In their “human” form they prefer to disguise themselves as old women or nursemaids.  This gives them access to their preferred prey, new born babies.  Once she has gained access to  a new-born babe she will carry it off till she can find a safe place to eat it.  Lamashtu are not tempters, they hunger and only flesh will satisfy them.  They can be held at bay if a witch prepares a special talisman.    Her song drains Constitution to all who hear it, 2 points per night.  Anyone so drained must make a Consititution based save or fall asleep.  
Lamashtu may cast spells as a 7th level witch.

Lamiae: Lamiae can appear as any female type humanoid they choose.  They typically choose to emulate humans and elves of high charisma.  Their demonic form is less innocent.  The Lamiae has the same upper body of a beautiful woman, but her features have become twisted to show only evil.  The lower half of the creature becomes serpentine.  This gives them a look similar to the Marilith,  much to both races displeasure and distaste.  Other Lamiae appear to be women with the lower body of a lion.  It is believed they are the offspring of Lilith and various Animal Lords. 
Lamiae will most often attack her prey when they are sleeping.  They have a song that acts a sleep spell cast as a Witch of 14th level.  They may use this song once per day.  Lamiae then embrace their victim to drain their wisdom or blood (1d6 hit points).  Typically a lamiae will spend many nights corrupting a single man by draining his wisdom, all the while laying with other men to drain them of their blood.  A Lamiae will not let the corpses stack up to betray her nature. 
If forced into combat a Lamiae can use a weapon or change to her normal form and use a claw/claw/bite routine. A Lamiae will avoid open combat at all costs except to save her own life.  She would rather poison a rival, or better yet, get someone else to do the killing for her. 
While a Lamiae can gate in 1-4 Empusa to aid her, she rarely does.  But if her life is threatened she can and has a 1-4 on a 1d6 chance.
Lamiae drain Wisdom, up to 2 points per touch.  The touch must be with their bare hand and not a damage causing hit.

Lilitu: The Lilitu are not only the most powerful of the Lilim, but they may be among the most powerful demons, outside of the Balor. The Lilitu are the daughters of the Goddess Lilith and powerful spirits.  Every Lilitu are millennia old. A Lilitu’s human form is unearthly beautiful. Unnaturally tall, they have perfect voices and skins.  Their beauty is only matched by their minds; intelligent, witty and full of grace. Their personalities are in a word, formidable.  Of course this is all a façade, the Lilitu are demonic and should not be underestimated. Their demonic form is very similar to that of their human form.  Their beauty remains, but their unearthliness becomes apparent.   A set of large dark feathered wings spring from their back, alternately described as looking owl or crow like. Their once fine fingers curl into razor sharp talons.  Their legs are replaced with those of a giant predatory bird complete with claws for feet.  Despite appearances lilitu are not related to harpies and to suggest so to one invites certain death.
Lilitu do not avoid combat.  While they would rather have someone else do their fighting, they are perfectly capable of protecting themselves. Lilitu can attack open handed with both hands or with a weapon in both hands with no penalty.  They are also preternaturally strong (Strength = 20) and gain the appropriate bonuses to hit and damage.  Their touch or kiss can drain 2 points of Strength and 2 points of Constitution per hit.
Lilitu may also cast spells as if she were a 10th level Witch.

Moromo: The Mormo, or Momolyceia (“frightening wolves”), may the most frightening of the Lilim.
The mormo can appear fair and beautiful, but such forms are only an illusion, their demonic form is horrible to behold. The are tall, 7’-8’ feet tall and appear to much like a type of hag.  Their lower half is that of a wolf and they have a set of large bat-like wings on their backs.  The mormo is covered with a fine coat of gray or black hair.  Their hands end in long talon like nails and their mouths are filled with large, sharp canine fangs.
The Mormo have no fear of combat, in fact they relish in it..  They can fight in their demonic form with a claw, claw, bite routine.  She may also choose a weapon, but rarely do. They can also drain Strength points.  Typically they withhold this power to use among her victims; draining a point here and a point there to keep them weak in body so that she can work on their wills.
Like the Empusa, the Mormo feeds on human blood and human children.

Night Hags: Night hags spend much of their time moving between the worlds of men and that of demons.  They are the couriers of souls of humans to their demonic lords and can found in the employ of any demon greater in power to themselves.  Though night hags have their pride and only sell their services to most power of the demon lords and ladies.  Since most Lilim have little regard for their “sisters” Night Hags are most often found with Shedim or Baalseraph masters.
The Night Hag appears as other Lilim, as a tall humanoid female, but unlike the others they do not have a natural “beautiful” form and must accomplish that with any magic they have.  Night Hags can cast as a Witch of 8th level.   In addition to the powers in common with all Lilim night hags can cause a deep paralysis so they may drain a victim of their vital essence (constitution, 1 point per night).
They have a claw/claw attack, but avoid using it since their goal is to drain their victims to 0 Constitution. Night hags also have a horrible bite that can inflict a disease known as Demon Fever.  This fever causes an additional 1d6 points of Constitution damage and leaves the victim bed ridden.
Night hags also may form coveys with other hags if they choose.  Occult scholars have not determined why this might be the case, but many speculate that night hags are the offspring of other lilim and the more common hags.

Succubi: Succubi are the most common of the Lilim.  These female demons are not found in great numbers and never working together.  These demons, while not physically very powerful, are capable of controlling other demons that are far more powerful.  Succbi are charged with the tempting of mortals, a task they relish in.  They appear as unearthly beautiful women (or men if needed), in their true form they stand 6' high and feature small horns, a tail and large bat-like wings growing from their backs.
A Succubus can cause Darkness 5', have Nightvision, can Dominate any one (1) PC and can become Incorporeal at will.  The succubi lures her victim into acts of passion and drains their life force with a kiss.  This Energy Drain takes 1 life level/hit dice.  She can also use the following spells as a Witch of 6th level, Charm Person, Detect Good, Continual Flame, ESP, Clairaudience, Hold Person, and Polymorph Self. Succubi also have Spell Resistance against fire based magic.  If pressed they can attack with two claw attacks (dagger -2), if each attack succeeds then she can also grapple for her energy drain attack/kiss.
A succubus can gate in another demon (expect another succubus) but prefer not too since that would compel the succubus to a service for that demon or it’s master. 
They can also with a touch, kiss or embrace drain 1d6 points of strength and constitution.  Often this accomplished by touch as the Lilitu see humans as little more than animals.  As with all Lilim, they choose whether or not their touch will drain life energy or not.

Posts about Lilith here:
Every Angel is Terrifying: The Secret and True Origins of the Slayer
Pseudo Slayers
Going Up to Hell: Cosmology
Sympathy for the Succubus
- Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Let's Talk About Sex(y)
E is for Eodemon
The Dragon and the Phoenix: Episode 7
Season of the Witch: Episode 2

Friday, March 8, 2013

Sympathy for the Succubus, Part 3

Image source, but I have this figure too. 
An update to my Part 1 and Part 2 of my Sympathy for the Succubus.  Been reading a bunch on the Succubus and how she fits into the D&D game specifically. She has an odd place really.  A sex-demon in a game that downplays sex in favor of violence.

Ecology of the Succubus
The succubus can play the ultimate temptress. Typically we see the succubus as an agent of power in the game and that is certainly true for the latest edition. For D&D 4, we have the Ecology of the Succubus and the authors' blog,

There is another the Ecology of the Succubus from the late lamented Kobold Quarterly Magazine #21.
For 4th edition.  This article is by Sersa Victory and feels slightly longer (hard to say given the different formats), but there is a still a lot of useful material here regardless of the game you are playing.

They both used similar elements tot he succubi I have presented here in my blog and in Eldritch Witchery.  No big surprise there, we are all drawing from the same myths and legends. Both try to do some mental gymnastics to cover the change of succubi from demons to devils. Both work rather well, but I took a different approach myself.

For Pathfinder there is Mythic Menagerie: Demonic Harlots
Six new sub-types of Succubi for your Pathfinder/OGL game. Plus new magic, feats and plot devices for using succubi in your games. No rules for Succubi PCs, but nearly everything else is here.

For D&D 5, it looks like Succubus might be headed back to being demons.

Good Succubi
Succubi have always been a favorite of many gamers.  So it is no surprise that every so often we get a "Good" Succubus.  From D&D 3 we had Eludecia, the Succubus Paladin.  I liked her story and wish WotC had done some more with her. This link for example makes her a Paladin of Heironeous. She appeared in the adventure, Legend of the Silver Skeleton. I would use her as something like a Kwai Chang Caine character.  Roaming the lands, maybe incognito, trying to do the most good she can.

Nobility and Eros: The Noble Succubus
Love is a disease.  At least that is how the succubi might feel if you use this supplement in your OGL games.  The Noble Succubus (not 100% sold on that name, but it does work and I can't come up with anything better) is a succubus that has become infected.  She is no longer a demon, but a creature with a soul that feels.  In a sense a "good" (if chaotic) succubus.  The role-playing options here abound.
There is plenty of background information that can be used and plenty of hooks into various game worlds including modern, sci-fi and the standard fantasy.
The real meat though is in the crunch on what the differences between the Noble and Demonic Succubi and how to use Noble Succubi as characters.

Myself I would make them much rarer, and still have it be a process that maybe one in 100 Billion succubi could go through.  I also think it would be interesting to have a Noble Succubus and for whatever reason choose to remain evil.  That would be an adversary worth having.

Succubi and their Kin
I have also been doing a lot of generic demon research lately.
101 Greater Demons to Summon
101 Lesser Demons to Summon
101 Names of the Devil

For a buck you get a list of 100 demons. There is a name and description. Culled from a variety of sources such as the Lesser Key of Solomon, the Pseudomonarchia Daemonum and others.
It also has tables for various demon aspects and motivations. The information here can be found elsewhere, but for a buck you are getting it all in one place and formatted. Can be used with any game that has demons. There are no stats and nothing in the way of measure the power of one demon to the next, but that is not what they are advertising here.  Great if you need new, random demons.

One of the great things about working on so many projects it has given me the chance to recast the demons as I like.    I am very excited to get some of the things I am working on into your hands and I hope you enjoy them too.

Sympathy for the Succubus, Part 1
Sympathy for the Succubus, Part 2

Friday, January 25, 2013

Let's Talk About Sex(y)

Here is a question I am pondering this snowy Friday.

How much sex and/or nudity is "too much" in an RPG?

Rachel Weisz as Lilith
I know the stock answer is "depends on the person".  Well in this case the person is you.

I recently bought some art for inclusion in a new book.  One piece I got is a full frontal of a woman. It's line art, and not "porn" but certainly more than you would have seen in say the Monster Manual of 1979.

briefly touched on this before.

I have picked up some books recently that featured a fair bit of nudity of some sort another.
In the Teratic Tome it is meant to horrify, in Sisters of Rapture it is meant to be alluring.

For me. I guess I don't really know.
I mean I buy these games to play so the art is great, but are the words with it good?
I am an adult, but my kids also like to play and read my books.  So some books I stick on the higher shelf for now. My oldest does have his own 1st Ed Monster Manual, but he also has access to the internet.
I try to be honest with myself and say yes I like looking at sexy women, but don't want to objectify people either.
Plus why am I squeamish about this and not the violence?  I have spells in The Witch that send out waves of necromatic power to twist, break and slash people for crying out loud.
I do know what I like.

Share your thoughts.
What would you buy?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

October Challenge: Succubus Hell Bent

I like succubi. But you might all know that by now. [1][2] And I love movies of succubi and Lilith.  So this was one I was really looking forward too.  Man, am striking out everywhere.

Succubus: Hell Bent (2007)
So simple story here.  Stupid rich kid with stupid best friend go on spring break to hook up with some girls. The rich kid, Adam (see what they did there?) meets a really hot woman, Lilith, and they go back to his hotel for sex.  She demands to be on top and then claws him up during sex. Then there is the whole gowing eyes deal.  It was kind of like watching a metal video from the 80s.
Anyway stupid rich boy goes back to LA.  And Lilith tracks him down.  She then goes about screwing him and killing all his friends.
We get a Lamas cameo and even Gary Busey makes a brief appearance as Sentinel  the Demon Hunter for Hire (who should get his own movie where he does nothing but talk to his sword).
Stupid kid finally manages to kill Lilith and then goes to jail for her murder.

I really wanted to like this one.  But the the plot is to weak and the editing was done by a blind guy I think.  There is a certain charm about this flick though.  Natalie Sperl is good as Lilith and plays the role with enough creepy-stalkerness and humor to make you root for her instead of stupid kid.  Plus she is easy on the eyes, which is never a bad thing.
The special effects are not too bad really.  I did like Lilith's demonic form.
Though we all know Lilith is a red head.

Here are a couple of links with longer reviews.  Both are good sites.

Still searching for a really good succubus movie.

Tally 20 movies, 18 new.

Game content:  Gary MOTHEREFFING Busey as a demonhunter for hire?  Hell yes!

Trouble is we get so little of him that it is hard to know what any of his stats should be.  He is older, maybe washed up.  Has connections to the church and has a magical sword named Lucille.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Season of the Witch: Episode 2

Episode 2: This Blessed Plot

Summer 2004
Willow & Tara travel to England (courtesy of Cordy) where they discover the secret of the "Journal of Tamara Swift" and their suprising connection to the Protectors of Albion.  They also run into two groups of supernaturals, one wants the Awakening to happen the other does not. Which side should Willow and Tara choose when they still don't know what the Awakening is?

Now unlike “the Dragon and the Phoenix” adventures, these are not as well playtested or developed. My group was breaking up about this time, I was getting a new job and I was moving back to playing some more D&D. The first half of the season, the “Road Stories” portion, was well thought out, but after the girls get back home was when we all started doing different things. You will notice a lack of cover art for many episodes for example.

“This Blessed Plot” is actually the first “proper” episode of Season of the Witch. While “Semi-Charmed Life” sets up the “rules” of the new series, the actual adventure is not part of the full arc. This is something Charmed did often, an aperitif before the main course.

This episode is an homage to “Coming Up Roses”, a Willow & Tara fan fic site that first convinced me that these two characters were worth playing in a game. I then created a WitchCraft RPG game based in that world (not really Whedon’s). While that was fun, it didn’t last. But that game really shaped how I playtested the Buffy RPG and how I wrote the characters. TBP is also a nod to my own playtest group. We had switched over fully to Ghosts of Albion by this point and this was our way of bring the worlds together. There was a desire to keep the girls in England for a while and make that the series. But in the end I wanted to pursue the “Road Stories” idea some more.

The episode begins with the Cast (Willow, Tara and Cordy) “orbing” (teleporting) to England. The book Tara bought, “The Journal of Tamara Swift” contained a letter addressed to Tara telling her to come to the Swift home in Highgate. When they arrive they discover that the Swift mansion is now a museum of witchcraft and magic. There they meet the curator, Millicent Stuart, and discover that Tara looked exactly like Tamara. They also meet a teen-ager, Sennen, who looks like the newest Slayer. Sennen works with Millicent, but “Millie” is not her watcher.

While in England Willow & Tara are contacted by Anya who tells them that her employer wants meet them. They are surprised that Anya knew that they were coming. I have a great seen were Anya and Cordy meet for the very first time. They don’t actually care for each other. Long story short, Anya is separated from Xander and working for Lilith’s human corporate empire. They meet Lilith (played by Angie Everhart) and Lilith informs them that they are central to the Awakening and she wants to make sure that they do nothing. She does not want the status quo to change. The Awakening could mean the end of humanity and she is rather fond of humans. She promises to make it worth their while and has Anya wipe out their student loan debt. Anya walks them out and tells them they can trust Lilith, after all they trusted the Mormo and those are her children. Upon leaving “L’Enterprises” the girls are intercepted by a van (Anya is knocked out), thrown in and driven off. They can’t use magic in this van at all, even Cordy can’t orb out. When they stop they are greeted by a woman, Morgan (played by Mia Sara), who claims she is the leader of a group known as “The Witches Committee”. She wants to make sure that the Awakening happens and that Willow and Tara are firmly on her side when it does. Morgan tells the girls that they can trust her.

The girls are found by Lilith’s agents and begin to attack the Witches’ Committee members. A magical “turf war” breaks out with Willow, Tara and Cordy in the middle. Millicent shows up and stops the fighting, we discover she is current Protector of Albion. Both sides agree to leave Willow and Tara alone, but they will be watching them.

Millicent tells the girls they are going to need to discover what the Awakening is on their own; not even Tamara figured it out. Millicent does reveal that the Veil is getting weaker. The Veil is what keeps non-magical people from learning about the magical world. As long as it is in place then any magical occurrence will always have a non-magical answer that people will believe. The Veil was not constructed by William & Tamara, but in the 1880’s they helped make it stronger. The last time it was threatened like this was the late 1970’s, but something happened then and the magic that was supposed to be used to fix it never got used. Millicent tells them that their destinies, the Veil and the Awakening are all intertwined and only they can see it all through.

The girls Orb back to the states (“Air Cordy”), once there Tara’s cell phone rings. It is Dawn, she tells her she has been trying to reach Tara for days. Tara’s father has died and she needs to go home to Alabama.

Ok setting up the big plots here. Like I said, no big bad, but I do have some lesser antagonists. I wanted to keep the players guessing on which group was really an ally and which one was not. In the end it would depend on what the Cast decided to do.

I make the William/Tamara and Willow/Tara connection more explicit here. Yes. They are reincarnations of the other. Now a couple of people felt it was a little squicky that Willow had been a man in a previous life and the brother no less. I get that really, but I also wanted to go with the idea that as Anamchara they would go through many lives in many different guises to experience love in a number of ways, including platonic sibling love. I won’t spoil the books for you all, but William and Tamara don’t have the best of luck with paramours. My idea is they gave that up and went back to what works in their next lives.

Millicent had been “the Guardian” in Coming Up Roses. Here she becomes “The Protector”. She ran a museum of witchcraft, which I decided was the old Swift mansion. Millicent and Sennen are detailed here,

The Witches Committee look like a bad Rosicrucian rip off, but in my WitchCraft Games, they are Wicce that want to protect all the Gifted in the world. It is just some have decided that the best way to do that is to control all the mundanes. They want the veil to drop and magic to be out again. This way they are poised to be humanities “protectors” from the evils of the magical world. Lilith wants the status quo to remain, but she certainly has plans in place to take advantage of any situation. There are two other factions that need to be introduced and all of them are watching Willow and Tara.

The Veil is a glamour that keeps us from seeing the effects of magic in the world. But it has been weakening for years (thus the proliferation of all the TV shows about the supernatural!). It’s going to fall. The question is what will happen when it does.

Next up, a strange sort of homecoming…

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Dragon and the Phoenix: Episode 7

Episode 7: The Road to Hell

Tara: My whole life has been ‘Tara, don’t use your magic.’ ‘Tara, hide your powers.’ ‘Tara you will scare people or hurt an innocent.’ But you are not innocent are you? You tried to hurt and then kill Willow. So maybe it is time I showed everyone just how powerful I am.
- Willow and Tara: The Dragon and the Phoenix, Episode 7 "The Road to Hell"

March 15, 2003. 

Buffy must make a pact with demons to fight Leviathan. Anya is ordered to kill the Cast. The Knights of Elohim are back, this time with a Tainted Fallen with them, but not before stopping off in LA to fight Faith. A group of demons, the Mormolycia (Mormo), go to the Slayer for aid in fighting him before he ignites the Hellmouth with his Taint. Yoln has discovered the final piece of Pillager. Cast discovers that he is nothing but pure will now, his body having decayed completely away by the mad god’s Taint. D’Hoffryn orders Anya to kill the Cast to prove her loyalty to him. When she doesn’t he strips her of her power and curses Xander. Tara defeats a newly resurected Warren, but she and Willow have a big fight.
The Cast learns that Faith is dying.
Story Arc elements: The Yoln arc is moved up, the Knights are killed finally, Buffy makes a pact with a dangerous group of demons, Anya rejoins the Cast, the Bronze is destroyed, Andrew dies a horrible death screaming and crying like the little b!tch he is. Buffy’s disconnection to others is more pronounced when the Mormo demons seem to have more in common with her and even call her “sister” when they call everyone else “monkeys”. Willow begins to take more of a backseat role as the group’s magic powerhouse. Tony Foster is introduced. Giles discovers the truth about Slayers and the Watchers council.
Game design elements: Taint rules for Cinematic games, new group of demons, more on Fallen Angels, rules for curses.
Soundtrack: Chris Rea “Road to Hell”

Notes and Comments:
This one is huge. The biggest adventure to date actually takes place, game time, in the shortest amount of time. We have Warren coming back, summoned by Andrew. Warren kills Andrew and takes his skin. And believe me fewer things were more enjoyable to write than Andrew dying like a little stuck pig. Warren-in-Andrew's skin now works on getting the Knights of Elohim back into town. They have brought one of their own who is now Tainted; think of the Hulk with greasy black wings. The Knights want the Slayer, but Warren wants Willow. At the same time someone or something (Yoln) has been killing all the supernatural creatures in town looking for the last half of his sword (which Warren has). There is a scene in the begining when the cast goest to the Wharf Bar because they hear the Hellions are back. They are, or were, but when they get there they are all dead including two of the Knights.

Mormo DemonWe also introduced a new race of the demons, the Lilim. One sub-race, the Mormolycia, are a group of warrior demons, normally they all look like stunningly attractive 6ft tall women in green armor. Their true form is so horrifying that other demons fear them. The Mormo make a pact with the Slayer. They will leave each other alone in order to fight the greater threat, the Tainted Fallen and later Leviathan. Stat-wise the Mormo are Slayers. This is on purpose since it is later revealed that the progenitor of the Slayers was Lilith (see: Every Angel is Terrifying). The Mormo keep refering to Buffy as "Sister" and the others as "monkeys". Thier leader H'Cathh was once known to Anya.

The big battle happens at the Bronze. We have Warren in his Andrew suit with Bronze regulars that he has turned into zombies with some tech device. The fallen Angels. The Tainted Fallen (who is crazy) and Yoln who will fight anything not human. On the other side we have the Cast and the Mormo demons. Keeping track of all that combat was a nightmare. In the end the fallen, the tainted fallen and the zombies are killed. Yoln's head it cut off by Buffy but they discover there is nothing under the armor but pure will to live. Yoln gets up gets his sword piece from Warren and leaves. The Mormo keep their word and tell "their sister" that they will be at her side in the final battle. Tara defeats Warren with her "special power" (more on that), but she and Willow have a huge fight. Before that can get heated D'Hoffryn shows up asking Ana why she has not killed the Slayer yet, a job he gave her to do 2-3 episodes back. He strips her of her power and curses Xander to always feel her pain. Game wise this means any damage Anya takes, Xander takes as well. Images from Star Trek I have not gotten out of my head since I was a kid. During the fight the Bronze blows up, well parts of it.

Warren and Tara: this was an interesting problem. We knew he was going to have to come back to deal with the issue of Willow murdering him (we didn’t want to forget that really), but for the balance we wanted Tara to have to defeat him. Our working theory was to have Tara go all uber witch on him and show that you can be powerful but not have to resort to “dark magic” to do it. But I never liked that idea. And we went back and forth on this for a long time. In the end I made an executive choice but a bit of a compromise. Tara was going to show off some power, but only in terms of defense. Bullets melted when coming near her or bounced off and really that is the same spell she used in Episode 5. She did the one thing though that I felt was totally in character and showed that she was more powerful than the others. She forgave him. In that instant Warren lost all his anger and it was replaced by guilt and remorse. I wanted to show that being empowered did not mean having a power-up. Plus there is the other issue at hand, Adam Busch is in reality a nice guy and pretty cool. He hated playing that character and he told Whedon that killing Tara was “the stupidest thing he ever heard of”. So I was willing to cut him a break by not “playing” that character here. Warren, who the cops think is Andrew, goes to jail. Jonathan, who turned himself in at the start of the episode, is released thanks to Tara giving him the phone number of Tatsou from Episode 4. There is a truce between demons and the Slayer thanks to the Mormo (but she still gets to kill vampires). Willow and Tara are still fighting, but it is that silent sort where you are both mad but not talking. Anya and Xander are dealing with their new reality. Giles tells Buffy what he has learned about Slayers (see link above).

The cast then hears that Faith is in the hospital, she had fought Yoln, and she is going to die.

Next up. Dawn goes all Carrie and goes toe to toe with Willow as the magic powerhouse of the cast.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sympathy for the Succubus, Part 2

Continuing on with my tribute to the Succubus (or is that obsession?) here is some crunch.

Succubae for Ghosts of Albion (Cinematic Unisystem)

Succubae are demons that seduce men and feed off of their base desires and life force.
She can drain 1 Point of CON each night she visits, but must grapple awake opponents or visit them when sleeping.
The succubus can learn magic, but most often they do not.

Creature Type: Succubus (Demon)
Attributes: Str 3, Dex 5, Con 5, Int 4, Per 3, Will 6
Ability Scores: Muscle 12, Combat 13, Brains 15
Life Points: 45
Drama Points: 2

Powers: Glamour; Constitution Drain (1 CON point per visit); Flight; Insubstantial Form;
Qualities: Attractive 4; Hard to Kill; Innate Magic; Resistance (Fire, Poison; Mind Control); Telepathy; Charming Voice
Drawbacks: Lecherous; Covetous; Inhuman Form

Name;  Score; Damage; Notes
Bite;  13; 5;  Must grapple first; no defence action
Claw;  13; 8;  Two attacks per Turn
Grapple; 13; —;  Resisted by dodge
Kiss/Embrace; *; 1 CON point; Must Grapple first

Spellcasting 15 Varies By spell
Deflect 15 — Magic defence action; deflects spells 45º

Bat Winged Bimbo (Buffy and Angel, Cinematic Unisystem)
4-Point Quality
(Trying to do my best "Buffy-style" here)
Bat wing bimbos are demons, but don’t hold it against them. Sure they are as evil as their bigger sister the Succubi, but a girl has to make a living too. Like so many that leave their homes and end up in Southern California, the BWB has learned to do some things she never thought she would ever do to earn a buck.
Often times when not looking for a soul to steal, these catty little demons can be found fighting amongst themselves, avoiding over zealous demon hunters, or trying to get a real movie deal because they know they are a star and they hope no one will look into their pasts.

Being a Bat-Winged Bimbo gives you the following:
- 3 Levels of Attractive. We all know that evil always looks better.
- 3 levels of Hard To Kill. Living in a Hell hole makes you a bit tougher, living in Hell itself turns you into a hard ass bitch.
- Asbestos Soul. BWB gain a +1 Resistance to pain from fire and heat. BWB treat fire damage as regular damage (no extra damage each turn).
- Those cute horns count as a natural weapon, doing 1-2 points of damage per hit. (+1)
- Those sexy wings provide flight at the same movement rate as running. (+1)
- Gossipy. BWB bimbos tend to be a chatty, gossipy lot. Sure 99% of it is about manicures for wing talons and how to snag a good (evil?) demon lord, but some it useful. They get a +2 to their Occultism skill (the Things Man Was Not Meant to Know are fine for women it seems).
But this comes with a fair amount of drawbacks too.
Bat-Wing Bimbos have a host of mental and emotional problems. They are mean spirited (literally), petty, and vindictive not to mention lecherous little harpies. In game terms this equates to Cruel 1, Covetous (Greedy) 1, Covetous (Lecherous) 1.
Those large wings and horns might be totally hot, but you could never take her home to mom (unless of course mom was into that kinky stuff). This is worth Supernatural Form (definitely not human).

Bat Winged Bimbos as Characters
BWB can be a useful part of an otherwise upstanding and moral party of demon hunters. Slayers hate them, but those scrawny little bitches are just jealous. The biggest issue of course is how to hide those wings, horns and tail. Faerie Glamours or other illusion magics will hide their natural form from the mundane, but anyone that can see magic will see through that disguise to what she really looks like.

Bat Winged Bimbos were created to be something like a "lesser Succubus", akin to the old D&D Alu-Demon.  These were obviously inspired by the the same creatures in Macho Women with Guns.
If you go with my alternate take on Slayers from Every Angel is Terrifying then Succubi, Lilim and Slayers are all related.

Witch Girls Adventures
Malcolm Harris, the author of Witch Girls Adventures mentions that there are no demons in the Witch Girls universe, but there are spirits called "Hates".  It is actually kind of a neat concept.  If there are hate spirits then certainly there can be other deadly sins, such as lust spirits.  Alternately there could also be a type of vampire that feeds on emotions rather than blood.  The ones that feed on the more amorous emotions (lust, love) could be called Succubi.  In this sense they are more similar to the WitchCraft RPG Vampyre subtype.

A succubus in WGA should probably be something like Chloe Love from the Eerie Cuties webcomic.

Rank: 3
Body: d6 Mind: d6 Senses: d8
Will: d8 Social: d8 Magic: d6
Life Points: 12 Reflex: 9
Resist Magic: 9 Zap Points: 12
Skills: Athletics +2, Basics +2, Dancing +4, Fighting +1, Hear +1, Leader +3, Look +2, Magic Etiquette +2, Mundane Etiquette +3, Mysticism +2, *Mythology +4, Streetwise +3
Abilities: Beautiful, Mysterious
Heritage: Demon / Lust Spirit / Vampire
Spells: Succubi have access to all the Charm type spells in the WGA core.

Cortex is a system I have talked about off and on.  It is one I like, just not one I get to play a lot of.
Succubi would work well in Cortex since the characters tend to skew more normal than say Buffy or Ghosts of Albion.  A single Succubi with a good plan should be more than a match for a group of heroes.
For example imagine the havoc a succubus could do to the investigators in a Supernatural game.

Angie Everhart as Lilith

Succubus (Base)
Agi d10 Str d6 Vit d10
Ale d12 Int d8 Wil d12

Init d10 + d12
LP 22
Endurance d10 + d12
Resistance d10 + d10

Allure d10, Amorous d8, Enhanced Communication d6, Enhanced Senses d6, Immunity d12, Inherent Weapon (claws) d2, Sharp Senses d6

Skills Athletics d4/Acrobatics d6, Influence d4, Knowledge d8/Occultism d12, Melee Weapons d4, Perception d6, Unarmed Combat d6

Attacks: The Succubus drains life force from her victims. She either does this while the victm is sleeping, in her embrace, or if she has grappled the victim. Once she has a victim in her embrace she will drain for a number of turns equal to a third the maximum result of the victim’s Vitality Attribute. She will return to the victim two more times, draining the remaining third each time till the victim dies.

Spellcraft & Swordplay
Succubi are set to appear in the upcoming Spellcraft & Swordplay supplement Eldritch Witchery, as soon as I finish writing it.  Among other things, EW will also feature Demons and Devils.  Succubi are the daughters of the Queen of Demons.


#App: 1
AC: 7
Move: 90' / Fly: 120'
HD: 6 (25)
Attacks: Claw/Claw/Special (2 dagger-2)
Special: Fly 120', Energy Drain (kiss), Darkvision, Dominate, Magic Resistance (fire), Immune to mundane weapons
Treasure: 6
XP: 345

These female demons are not found in great numbers and never working together.  They claim to be the daughters of the Demon Queen, but this is a claim the Demon Queen herself neither supports nor denies.  In any case these demons, while not physically very powerful, are capable of controlling other demons that are far more powerful.  Succbi are charged with the tempting of mortals, a task they relish in.  They appear as unearthly beautiful women (or men if needed), in their true form they stand 6' high and feature small horns, a tail and large bat-like wings growing from their backs.
A Succubus can cause Darkness 5', have Darkvision, can Dominate any one (1) PC and can become Incorporeal at will.  The Succubi lures her victim into acts of passion and drains their life force with a kiss.  This Energy Drain takes 1 life level/hit dice.  She can also use the following spells as a Witch (wizard) of 6th level, Charm Person, Detect Good, Continual Flame, ESP, Clairaudience, Hold Person, and Polymorph Self. Succubi also have Spell Resistance against fire based magic.  If pressed they can attack with two claw attacks (dagger -2), if each attack succeeds then she can also grapple for her energy drain attack/kiss.
A succubus can gate in another demon (expect another succubus) ... details in Eldritch Witchery.

Last Thoughts
Regardless of the game Succubi should be given the same attention that one would give a vampire in a horror game; that is treat it like a special NPC and build her as a character. Most demons can be part of the mindless hordes you send after the characters, and in most cases this is the appropriate thing to do.  Succubi though, since they tend to work alone and are very specialized in their hunts, should be built to suit. A succubus designed to go after William Swift in Ghosts of Albion should be different than the one sent after Dean Winchester in Supernatural.

Sympathy for the Succubus, Part 1
Sympathy for the Succubus, Part 3
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