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Coven of the Wolf Moon

D&D 3e (3.0/3.5) Rules

by Trampas Whiteman


"The cloth she wore was the finest, most expensive velvet in all the land. Its blue color gleamed in the firelight. It was the silver embroidery on the cuffs of her robes and around the hemline that warned off the cheek-pinchers and kiss-snatchers. Pentagrams and stars and intertwined circles and suchlike. Cabalistic marks."
-"The Best"
by Margaret Weis
Dragons in the Archives

The origins of the Coven of the Wolf Moon lie in age-old folk tales that speak of ancient secrets and rituals wrapped in mystery. The witches of the Coven of the Wolf Moon are female members of the Wizards of High Sorcery who approach the Craft of magic in a different fashion from other wizards, living in a secret coven of sisters. The art of the Craft has been held secret by the sisters of the Coven since the Age of Dreams.

History

Birth of the Coven

The Coven was founded by a woman known to history as Isobel, a Black Robe of some power. As a young teenage apprentice during the Age of Dreams, Isobel had been molested by a drunken sellsword. Her minor knowledge of magic could not save her, and the man forced himself on her.

When Isobel took the dreaded Test of High Sorcery, she once again faced the sellsword. The trauma of seeing the man again nearly paralyzed her with fear, but buried deep within her soul was the power needed to defeat the man. As he once again tried to accost her, she drew forth a spell of transmutation, transforming into a wolf and ripping the man to shreds. In that moment, she saw her inner power and her ability to defend herself from any man.

Within the dreamscape of the Test, she saw three she-wolves – one of shining silver, one black as night, and the third was red as blood. She knew in that moment what she must do. Isobel took the Black Robes, never to set foot in a Tower of High Sorcery again.

Isobel vowed that she would not let a woman suffer a fate such as hers again. Soon, the Coven of the Wolf Moon was born. The Coven was opened to female wizards of any alignment. A sisterhood was born, where women could live freely of male influence.

Isobel grew to an old age. She was said to be an ugly old crone in her elder years, leading to tales in the modern times of "ugly old witch hags." How she perished is unknown, though some say that she transformed into a large black wolf that travels Ansalon to this day.

Ulanda the Sorceress

The Coven remained secret, though occasionally a person of note would stand out. Ulanda the Sorceress was one such individual. A gifted wizard, she became one of the Grand Coven who leads the Coven. It was said that her power surpassed that of the Elder Witch. Ulanda, it is said, braved the lair of a fierce dragon, who had tricked her into breaching the dragon's defenses so it could measure its defenses. Ulanda is said to have become an undead guardian of the dragon's lair. Some say she still guards the lair to this day.

The Heresy Scourges

The Coven of the Wolf Moon existed in near obscurity until the time of Kingpriest Beldinas. The Coven was discovered by the Knights of the Divine Hammer. One by one, the sisters of the Coven were tried and executed. Whether any sister survived the Heresy Scourges is unknown.

Beyond the Scourge

Since the time of the Heresy Scourge, there have been tales of witches across Ansalon. Most of these tales hold no merit, while others point to other organizations. It is said, though, that a black she-wolf can be heard baying to something unseen in the night sky upon the anniversary of the final Heresy Scourge.

Attitude

The Coven of the Wolf Moon claims to draw its strength from the exploration of the feminine side of High Sorcery. Scholars have yet to determine what exactly this means, as the sisters of the Coven have always been secretive about their practices.

Sisters of the Coven look at how magic fits in with the natural cycles of the world. From the cycles of the moons to the changing of the seasons, the sisters look upon High Sorcery and its place within the world. While some say that magic is an artificial thing, the sisters know differently, seeing magic as an integral part of the natural world. They believe that they gain arcane power through arcane rituals, which helps them to focus their magic. Such rituals are often held when a sister's patron moon is in High Sanction. During the Night of the Eye, it is said that the sisters can create items of immense magical power.

The Coven has a wide variety of views on men, though the universal constant is that women are simply superior. White Robes tend to look at men as foolish beings who should be taught how to associate with their feminine side. Black Robes see men as despicable beings who serve only to propagate the species. When a man is no longer useful to a Black Robe sister, she will kill him. Red Robe sisters see men as a mystery. They don't kill men, but they don't seek them out either. Red Robes prefer the company of their sisters.

Religion

The Coven do not see the moons as gods, but as powerful nature spirits within the world. Solea the Silver Wolf (Solinari) is a young woman, pristine and untouched by men. She represents purity. Lunea the Crimson Wolf (Lunitari) is a mother figure and teacher. Nuita the Ebon Wolf (Nuitari) is an old crone, and representative of the last stage in life's journey.

Organization

The Coven of the Wolf Moon is made up of 13 witches total, from all the Orders of High Sorcery. Three of those members, one of each robe, serve as part of the Grand Coven. One of the Grand Coven then serves as the Elder Witch, leading the entire coven.

Sisters of the Grand Coven wear blue robes rather than those of their respective orders, decorated with "cabalistic" designs in the color of their patron moon. They will also wear a sash around their waist further denoting which order they belong to.

Allies

The closest allies to the Coven are the Wizards of High Sorcery. The sisters of the Coven may not associate with their fellow wizards too often, but they are able to draw upon the resources of the Orders when necessary. Typically, the Coven will seek a trusted female member of the Orders to confide in.

Enemies

The most hated enemies of the Coven are the Knights of the Divine Hammer. As the holy crusaders of Istar, the Divine Hammer have persecuted the Coven. Through the end years of the Age of Might, the Divine Hammer hunted the Coven into extinction.

Joining the Coven of the Wolf Moon

Typically, membership in the Coven comes in the form of mothers inviting their daughters upon completion of the Test of High Sorcery. It is rare for an outsider to join, though a sister will be invited in if she possesses the heart of the Coven. Sometimes, a woman who has been abused will be invited in so that she may better protect herself. The Coven prohibits male membership.

All sisters must have the Brew Potion feat, passed the Test of High Sorcery, and have access to the Moon Magic class feature.

Classes

The following classes are typical of the Coven of the Wolf Moon.

  • Wizard/Wizard of High Sorcery: All members of the Coven of the Wolf Moon begin as wizards, eventually taking the Test and taking the Wizard of High Sorcery prestige class and cementing their connection to their patron moon. The Moon Magic ability is essential in the pursuit of the Craft and the natural cycles of the world.
  • Sylvan Mage: Some sisters of the Coven take on levels of the Sylvan Mage prestige class, learning further the ways of the natural world.

Implements of the Craft

After the death of Magius during the Third Dragon War, it became tradition for all wizards to carry a dagger so that no wizard may be defenseless again. The Coven took the new tradition to heart. Had Isobel had a dagger on her, she might have lived a different life.

Athame

While the Wizards of High Sorcery carry a dagger in honor of Magius' sacrifice, the Coven of the Wolf Moon have taken the use of a dagger a step further. The athame is a ritual dagger used for focusing a witch's will and magical power during High Sanction. Traditionally, the handle of the athame matches the color of the robes the witch wears, further denoting which of the three Orders of High Sorcery the witch belongs to. The symbol of the Night of the Eye sits in the middle of the handle. The blade is double-edged and never used to cut anything material. The athame is used for other rituals of magic as well, though few outside the Coven know the true extent of its use.

Boline

While the athame is used for focusing magical energy and spiritual defense, the boline represents a tool used for more common, everyday activities, such as cutting cords or carving candles. More to the point, the boline is used for physical defense. The boline has a slightly-curved, steel blade. Like the Athame, the handle is decorated with the color of the witch's respective robes, though no moon symbol is present.

Alternative Class Features

Wolf of the Moon (Alternative Class Feature)

As a sister of the Coven of the Wolf Moon, you are able to take on a wolf animal companion.
Class: Wizard
Level: 1st.
Special Requirements: Must be a sister in the Coven of the Wolf Moon.
Replaces: You do not gain the Summon Familiar ability at 1st level.
Benefit: You gain a wolf animal companion as per the druid class ability. Treat your wizard levels as a druid of half your class level.

Bibliography

  • "The Best" by Margaret Weis, Dragons in the Archives, p. 3 – 21.
  • The Witches Handbook by Steve Kenson, Green Ronin Publishing.

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Cam Banks, Kendermage, Knight of the WhiteRose, and Ravenmantle for all their input and support for this article.

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