The Witchery Universe
By Dr. Bender
The Witchery Universe is a lighthearted, wacky, romantic comedy universe in the vein of Ranma ½. Young men and women suddenly discover that they’re expected to marry an otherworldly entity and become a Witch. Forced into a wild relationship with a number of alien suitors, the prospective Witch is forced to choose the one they’ll be spending an eternity with… and the woman they’ll be for the rest of their lives!
Witchery Universe Reference Document
By Dr. Bender
Note: While this is an open Universe that anyone may use as a basis for a fun story or character, I retain copyright for the Universe itself and do NOT give anyone permission to place this or any part of any work based on this universe onto a Wiki.
Yes, that means no Witchery Universe Wiki. Copyright is hard enough to hold onto, thank-you.
Note 2 29/12/2011: Ok, I've gotten some feedback both positive and negative and I'm going to do a few revisions while I write my first stoary in this Universe. Stay tuned for Version 2...
The Witchery Universe is a lighthearted, wacky, romantic comedy universe in the vein of Ranma ½, I Dream of Jeannie or the RPG Teenagers From Outer Space. Young men and women suddenly discover that they’re expected to marry a powerful shapeshifting entity and become (always female) Witches in order to breed with them. Forced into a wild relationship with a number of frankly alien suitors, the prospective Witch is forced to choose the one they’ll be spending an eternity with… and the woman they’ll be for the rest of their lives!
Supernatural beings from other dimensions keep Earth as a nature preserve so that they may breed with humans in a symbiotic relationship. These beings, known as Otherworlders, bond with special humans from specific bloodlines who become Witches, a female who can bare Otherworlder young and use magic.
Bonding with an Otherworlder is an intricate process where a prospective Witch must date multiple unattached Otherworlders and select the one they will spend the rest of their very, very long lives with. The Otherworlders, however, aren’t particularly worried if their prospective Witch is a male… they won’t be after the bonding.
The Titans weren’t the most complex of beings, powerful beyond measure; they had no concept of responsibility. Forming Earth and the solar system from stray blobs of plasma and populating it with life as we know it was nothing more than a game. In modern times we’d compare it to a computer game like The Sims, meddling in the affairs of mortals for the sheer fun of it.
Of course, eventually some of the Titans took the fun a step further and interacted directly with their creations, which naturally led to sexual relations. From those relationships, the Gods were born. The Gods didn’t get along with their irresponsible parents and wrested control of Humanity from them. For their own part, the Titans got bored with the game and left to find something more fun.
The Gods walked amongst mortals for a while, teaching and protecting Humanity. During this age, worship of Gods was the norm and the Gods found this relationship suitable because it made Humanity more easily led, at least for a time. When Humanity began to see their Gods as oppressors rather than saviours, many of the old Gods handed the reins of power to their own sons and daughters, the Demigods, and retired from their positions of power.
The Demigods spent centuries experimenting with social constructs trying to discover a sustainable form of civilization. Renouncing their titles and moving beyond worship was a crucial first stage and eventually the creation of the Republic which would lead to Democracy was formulated. These beings also explored the realms beyond the physical universe in search of knowledge and the meaning of existence.
The race fractured as each tried to come to terms with what they were. Angels, Demons, Elves, Dragons, the myriad of mythological beasts portrayed in folklore across the world can be attributed to Humanity’s sporadic interactions with these powerful beings who continued to work for the preservation of mortals from their homes inside extradimensional pocket realities.
During this time, the most important development was the discovery of the Witch Bloodlines, families who produced the occasional member that could procreate with the race of Otherworlders. Due to the relative scarcity of prospective Witches compared to the number of Otherworlders, a system of courtship was developed. Unfortunately, Witches were less discrete about their powers than they are in the modern day and fearful, ignorant, humans hunted them.
Once the hysteria died down, the Otherworlders decided that Humanity needed to be taken more firmly in hand. It was decided that Humanity needed to be kept busy above all else, lest they start getting bored and looking for things to do. Thus Democracy and the current systems of government, commerce and science were developed and put in place, so that humans would always have something to do without ever actually getting anything done. Eventually, science has also allowed the Otherworlders to put movies and video games into place to provide greater distractions to the populace.
In the meantime, Otherworlders form close bonds to their Witches and ensure that their spouses keep their existence and nature a complete secret from Humanity. Naturally, this is not as easy as it sounds, the Titans weren’t the only primordial beings roaming the universe or the dimensions, not all Otherworlders and Witches see eye to eye, the Gods of ancient times are still around, if in forced retirement or locked away for everyone’s peace of mind and there are other things in the universe undreamed of in anyone’s philosophy…
Modern Witches, Gods and Monsters
The life of a prospective Witch begins as any other human. You’re born to a mother who may or may not be a Witch herself. If she is a Witch, the prospective Witch’s father is a human. The offspring of Witches and Otherworlders are Otherworlders. If the mother is not a Witch, one of the parents has to have a Witch somewhere in their family tree and thus belong to one of the Witch Bloodlines.
All Otherworlders are ‘male’ but they are also perfect shapeshifters. Being naturally formless entities of power, shape is nothing but a convenience to them, so any shape may be assumed. An Otherworlder’s form is a highly personal thing, like a human wearing clothes. Most of the time, Otherworlders take the form of small animals so they can pass unnoticed amongst humanity and a common disguise when associating with their Witch spouse is a household pet.
Ideally, a prospective Witch has no idea that they belong to a Witch Bloodline. Realistically, if a known female relative is a Witch it can be hard to hide, particularly if they have Otherworlder siblings, uncles, cousins or brothers-in-law. Prospective Witches who have some idea of what they’re getting into, however, are often bonded faster and with less sensitivity than those that remain ignorant of their place in the world. Being bonded is inevitable, however, whether a prospective Witch likes the idea or not. Males who belong to a Witch Bloodline and have Witch relatives who are aware of this fact are also pushed into promiscuous relationships in order to spread the Bloodline as much as possible.
At some point in their lives, not before they reach 16 years of age, a prospective Witch enters a mysterious phase of their life cycle in which Otherworlders can detect their availability to be bonded. There is no outward or inward sign of this change, the prospective Witch is even blissfully unaware that they’re putting out a mystical form of mating plumage. Once detected, the prospective Witch is brought to the attention of the Fateweavers and a Matchmaker is assigned.
It should be noted that a prospective Witch can be male or female but the resultant Witch is always female after bonding. No matter what shape an Otherworlder takes, they are conceptually ‘male’ and must plant their seed into their bonded Witch in order that it will gestate. Male prospective Witches must learn to cope with the idea quickly because there’s no getting out of it, Otherworlders need Witches to ensure the continuation of their race and they brook no refusal despite being understanding and sensitive to the emotional turmoil of their spouses.
Fateweavers are the reality police of the Otherworlders, responsible for everything from the continuation of humanity and civilization to the physical laws that govern Earth and the nearby solar system to the bonding of prospective Witches and keeping the secret of their society. When a Fateweaver becomes aware of a prospective Witch, they assign a Matchmaker to vet potential Otherworlder Suitors, set the parameters of courtship and assure that the formal dating process is followed according to the law (see The Dating Process below).
Matchmakers are the arbiters, referees and signatories that ensure a bonding is right and proper. If the prospective Witch’s mother is a Witch herself, she is usually appointed as the Matchmaker unless she has a predisposition for a particular Suitor. If so, another family member is usually appointed, otherwise several Witches take on roles as professional, impartial, Matchmakers. Impartiality is paramount because a bonding cannot be marred by accusations of unfairness, every selected Suitor must have an equal chance to be bonded by the end of proceedings.
A Witch is bonded for life. Otherworlders have some influence, both conscious and subconscious, on the resultant form and personality of their Witch. This ensures that, no matter the prospective Witch’s feelings on the matter, they will be the ideal spouse of their bonded mate. The dating process was partly formulated with this in mind, so that the prospective Witch not only had a say in who they would bond with but who they would become after being bonded.
In addition to wifely duties to their Otherworlder spouse, a Witch is also expected to take a human spouse to continue their human Bloodline, thus maintaining a steady supply of prospective Witches for the future. Most Witches live in a perpetual love triangle between two wildly different husbands, which may be partly responsible for their notorious eccentricity.
A Witch can expect to live indefinitely, for as long as their Otherworlder Spouse and can choose to remain young and vibrant, age or rejuvenate at will. After a time, the Otherworlder and their Witch will move to a pocket dimension, returning to Earth decades later in order to avoid suspicion.
In the meantime, a Witch is expected to learn and practice magic and assist their spouses in their positions with the Otherworlder Heirarchy. Witches are the Otherworlder’s undercover agents amongst mortals, as they themselves take vows to limit their own powers to avoid detection and interfere with Humanity while on Earth.
Witches and Otherworlders can die. Bondmates, however, only die if both are slain before one has a chance to resurrect the other with ritual magic. Unfortunately, some Witches don’t recover from the mental trauma of some forms of destruction. Being burnt to death, for example, has driven some Witches to madness even beyond the grave and forced their spouse to mutual suicide, though this hasn’t happened for several hundred years since the promulgation of flame retardant magic.
Otherworlders are fairly strange to humans in general. They have access to realms of experience beyond the ken of mortals and are often fey both metaphorically and literally. Most stay away from Earth unless they have specific business with the Eden Preserve in order to cut down on the chances that they’ll inadvertently interfere with human civilization. For the most part, the Fateweavers have things well in hand but the Otherworlders don’t like to tempt fate.
Most mortals seeing an Otherworlder in the sort of bodies they use outside of Earth would call them Demons, which has become a colloquial name for the entire race. The original ‘Demons’ were a group of interdimensional explorers who needed to take forms that could exist in extreme environments. Unfortunately, humans find those forms terrifying and some chance encounters when some were spotted returning home to their bonded Witch sullied their reputation forever. Being called a Demon tends to receive a mixed reaction from Otherworlders, though, some don’t mind while others find it annoying.
Apart from the ability to Shapeshift and manipulate reality, Otherworlders can break parts of themselves off to form Artefacts (see below) or Imps. An Imp is a kind of Avatar that the Otherworlder can use to remotely interact with others. Otherworlders who need to spend much of their time in other dimensions usually leave an Imp with their Witch spouse so that they can remain in contact. Unlike Artefacts, Imps may be reabsorbed by the Otherworlder at any time.
The Otherworlders are ruled by the Elder Council and the Supereme Authority. Councilmembers are the heads of the various departments of the Otherworlder government. The Fateweavers are one such department but there are many other, more esoteric, departments who hardly have any dealings with Witches or mortals outside personal relationships.
Otherworlder spawn grow up with their mother Witch, generally ‘undercover’ as the child of the Witch’s human spouse. Fortunately, they grow into their power slowly though they can become troublesome in their teenage years. Their mothers can always keep them under control until they reach adulthood and finally ‘leave the nest’.
The Dating Process
The first rule of courtship between Otherworlders and prospective Witches is that no Suitor may be related to the prospective Witch directly by blood. Thus, no siblings, uncles or nephews may bond with a prospective Witch. This is less because of any problem with incest and genetics (there aren’t any) but it prevents a prospective Witch from simply selecting a familiar option or being groomed to choose a particular Suitor so easily. Cousins are grudgingly acceptable but Matchmakers have the ultimate power over who is selected.
The second rule of courtship is that the process cannot take longer than a full turn of the moon (28 days). If the prospective Witch does not bond with one of her Suitors by this time and refuses to make a decision, they may select a method by which his or her hand may be won in competition. If the prospective Witch refuses to do this, the Matchmaker selects the tiebreaker and is responsible for ensuring that the prospective Witch is bonded by any means necessary.
The third rule is that each Suitor has a right to a maximum of 2 formal dates with the prospective Witch. With the additional rule that only odd numbers of Suitors may be selected, this means that there must be 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 or 13 Suitors in total, since only 1 formal date can be undertaken per day and there are only 28 days before a Suitor is chosen. Formal dates are the most important part of the whole process because during a formal date, the prospective Witch forms a temporary bond with the Suitor and will transform into the Witch she would become once permanently bonded to that Suitor until the end of the formal date. Prospective Witches retain their memory and understanding of that form once they return to their original forms and thus can make an informed decision about whether or not they want to be that person for a potential eternity.
The fourth rule is that the appointed Matchmaker is the final arbiter in all matters related to the courtship. She is expected to ensure that the proceedings run fairly in accordance with the rules, though they have the unwritten power to bend the rules if it will result in the best outcome. The Matchmaker selects from a list of applicants an appropriate number of Suitors according to her whim. Once those Suitors are elected, she ensures that they each get their chance to woo the prospective Witch with each able to invoke their right a maximum of two formal dates. A formal date must be invoked; a Suitor also may not invoke a formal date and rely on informal methods to woo the prospective Witch, in which case the Matchmaker must be present to supervise their contact. All Suitors have the right to be present during any informal contact with the prospective Witch as well.
The fifth rule is that a formal date is a matter of privacy between a Suitor and his prospective Witch. A Matchmaker cannot interfere with a formal date and should not be aware of what transpires during it. In addition, no other Suitor can interfere during a formal date, which is enforced by the Matchmaker, who can inflict any punishment on the trespasser that she chooses. Nothing that happens during a formal date has any permanent consequence. A prospective Witch could be shredded in a woodchipper during a formal date and reform as soon as the end of the date is declared. A formal date will always end on the stroke of Midnight if an ending is not declared before then.
The last rule is that any Suitor attempting to subvert or influence the courtship ritual itself in any way revokes their right to participate in any future courtship ritual along with annulling their own right to bond with the prospective Witch. A Matchmaker may levy any additional punishment that they see fit in addition. Only officially sanctioned bonds are permanent and inviolable.
It should be noted that no matter how much a prospective Witch protests before the bonding, they will be deliriously happy to be bonded with their chosen mate afterwards. The bonding partly merges the soul of with Witch with the soul of her Otherworlder spouse, the two literally becoming one in a manner of speaking, the Witch completes the Otherworlder and vice versa.
Much like human courtships, there is a custom of giving gifts to a prospective Witch in order to ingratiate a Suitor to both the Witch and their Matchmaker. Politically, the largesse of such gifts also indicate a Suitor’s standing in Otherworlder society, so no Otherworlder will skimp on such gifts. A gift can take almost any form but they are generally useful, magical in nature or exceedingly beautiful (or all three).
A Witch is expected to bare her bondmate’s offspring, find a human husband to marry so that she can also continue her human bloodline, practice magic and help fight the forces of evil all while remaining secret and making sure no humans discover what’s really going on in the world.
What’s really going on? The first thing a bondmate will probably explain to a Witch is that Earth is really what they call ‘The Eden Human Reserve’. Essentially humanity is kept on Earth, placated with games and busywork so that they don’t get bored and start killing each other (again). Nearly all Otherworlders will admit that their system isn’t perfect but they’re refining it all the time. Otherworlders HATE war above all else, they just can’t get humans to stop fighting each other.
Between the rest of their duties, many Witches work for humanitarian organizations or try to influence peace negotiations. Unfortunately, it isn’t just humanity making trouble. The Titans are gone but sometimes the old Gods also get bored and come to Earth to stir things up ‘like in the old days’. Inevitably, since Otherworlders can’t interfere directly in affairs on Earth, it falls to the Witches to keep the Gods entertained until they get bored and go back from whence they came.
Other entities also invade Earth on a semi-regular basis, which becomes a Witch’s job to find out who they are, what they’re after and how to get them home asap. The most common of these jobs are the ‘Visitors’, aliens who joyride into Earth’s atmosphere to play pranks on humanity for kicks. More insidious are the Djinn, who fit the stereotypical ‘demonic salesman’ stereotype to a T. The Djinn’s big scam is conning humans into signing work contracts as slave labour in other dimensions, which is illegal in our dimension. Even though the contracts aren’t legally binding and Fateweavers are often sent to get these humans back, it doesn’t stop the Djinn from being royal pains in a Witch’s backside. Unfortunately, the Djinn are also the best source for magical goods on Earth, legal and illegal.
Worst are the Rogue Witches and Rogue Otherworlders. Otherworlders often go rogue simply because they don’t bond with a Witch and lose hope. Witches sometimes see the system that they work within as an injustice and emotionally abuse their Otherworlder spouse into helping her ‘correct’ it. The results of interference in the system are NEVER good, the Otherworlders genuinely have humanity’s best interests at heart and their system has measurably prevented catastrophe time and time again.
The enemy that Otherworlders and Witches have the hardest time against are the human Witch Hunters. Despite their best efforts, some humans have caught on to the fact that something is going on that they don’t understand, even though they’re entirely ignorant of the purpose behind it. Even if the purpose was explained, it’s likely that such humans would react badly to the fact that their entire race is essentially unimportant in the scheme of things aside from those who can serve as breeding stock.
Fortunately, the unifying factor of the Witch Hunters is that they’re stupid and ignorant. In fact, many Witches and Otherworlders find them adorable the way they try so hard, like small dogs who try to be intimidating. They can’t ever be discounted as a threat, a thousand monkeys can eventually write a novel given enough time after all, but their efforts are usually comedic at best.
The big problem with Witch Hunters, though, is when they run across the part-humans that inhabit the shadows of civilization. Chief amongst these are the Vampires and Weres, generally peaceful by-products of the Titan’s games way back in prehistory. The Witches have an understanding with these groups who are all too happy not to rock the boat. At the moment, however, Vampires are having a hard time with the current state of trashy vampire novels that fail to depict them in any way like they really are.
Weres can change forms at will, they are not tied to moon phases or any kind of astronomical event. Similarly, most Vampire weaknesses are purely Hollywood constructs. They can walk in the sun, can be seen in mirrors and don’t have to kill when they feed; in fact they need very little blood to survive at all but don’t require other food to live (though they can eat, normal food tastes bad to them). Enhanced senses make them a little sensitive to bright lights, harsh smells and loud noises, so they tend to prefer night time when people aren’t moving about to much and the sun isn’t hurting their eyes. Being a Were or Vampire is a hereditary condition, though a family member needs to be inducted into the ‘clan’ to fully express that heritage.
Humans also have an uncanny knack for stumbling onto occult secrets. While a normal human can’t reach a Witch’s grasp of magic, they can learn minor tricks and get into trouble with supernatural threats they’re not equipped to handle. Some even become oddities in their down right, unique mortals with strange tricks up their sleeves.
If there’s one thing that a Witch isn’t going to be after bonding, it’s bored.
For the most part, older Otherworlders live and work in other dimensions or inside pocket dimensions of their own creation. Some explore the edges of reality, others work divine jobs trying to keep reality orderly and help mortal civilizations along or patrolling the borders of our own dimension to stop other races from invading or influencing life on Earth.
Pocket dimensions, on the other hand, have a purpose and may be accessed only from certain places. Some are giant shopping malls; others contain magical academies for Witches to learn to control their powers safely. Still more contain peculiar amusements or vacation spots for Witches and their bondmates or even hospitals where offspring can be born in safety.
For young Witches, pocket dimensions are a godsend. On Earth, the use of magic is limited, everywhere else they’re free to cut loose. Learning magic in a pocket dimension is practically mandatory.
Magic for Witches is simple in concept, dynamic in use but difficult to master. Essentially, a Witch imagines what they want to happen and will it into existence. In practice, the human mind is a stumbling block. A practitioner of Witch magic is limited by their own imagination, belief, knowledge and willpower and a practitioner can only be as strong in magical practice as their weakest link in these disciplines.
To help cast magic, a beginning Witch relies on ritual objects as a crutch. Technically, magic can be performed naked in Space but no Witch has ever risen to that level of enlightenment. Objects, symbols, chants and other methods help a Witch to focus and exercise their will on reality. Like any art, it takes practice and constant study in a broad range of subjects. For example, to tie a knot with magic, one must understand the knot that you’re trying to tie but tying a knot with magic is not like trying to tie a knot with your hands.
Witches have to take tests in magical aptitude to get a license. Each grade of license opens up new, more difficult, areas of study in magic. A License may be revoked or downgraded by a Fateweaver as punishment for magical abuse.
The are a few things that magic cannot influence. Chief amongst these is Time. The perception of time can be manipulated and the highest level Witches may be able to rewind a short series of events. Time travel or similar manipulation is impossible, however. It’s theorized that no being that stands within the timestream can fully understand Time and therefore cannot manipulate it. It may also be that Time is a single piece and that all things that have and will happen are essentially set. It may even be that the past and the future don’t technically exist, so cannot be manipulated by magic at all.
Witches have one other power that has been a major factor in the development of the Otherworlder race. The power of Vows and Curses. Vows to and between Witches are more binding than they can appear, no-one ever defaults on a contract with a Witch unless they want to suffer dire consequences, even the Otherworlders. This ability is natural and innate, a Witch merely has to proclaim an Oathbreaker’s fate for it to come to pass. Cursing an Oathbreaker is easy, and there’s no way of wriggling out of it, though Witches can curse others it’s generally harder and there’s usually an ‘out’ clause for the afflicted.
Few things can cause more trouble than artefacts, though they’re simply too useful to do away with altogether. Otherworlders create Artefacts from their own bodies, splitting off a part of themselves and shaping it into an object that can perform a specific purpose or task. An Artefact’s capabilities and form are only limited by the creator’s imagination. Though Otherworlders do technically harm themselves in creating an Artefact, the part of themselves that they lose eventually regenerates.
Most Artefacts are created as useful gifts for Witch spouses. From weapons that hurl lightning to pens that write by themselves as directed and everything in between and beyond. Modern Otherworlders have begun to create technological-looking artefacts, though an artefact could look like an iPad or a silver hand mirror and still perform the same function.
Artefacts cause trouble because they do something that usually can’t be done or are simply coveted by others. The most powerful artefacts are legendary in power, exceedingly rare and often highly eccentric to the point of uselessness. The actual methods of creating these artefacts go beyond the shaping of lesser devices and are a closely guarded secret.
Ostensibly a small town somewhere in America, Eden Park seems unremarkable. In fact, the town is one of the touchstones of the Otherworlder race, often a test bed for their theories and new technologies. A surprising number of Otherworlders and their Witch spouses live and work in Eden Park. The town itself has at least one of everything: casinos, a college, schools, research centres, etc.
The existence of so many Witches and Otherworlders is made possible by an Artefact that produces a ‘Clueless Field’. Humans in Eden Park have their memories and perceptions selectively edited continuously by this device so that they never notice anything unusual, no matter how outrageous. A Witch could arrive at school on a broomstick and every witness would think they’d been dropped off in a car.
Eden Park is a ready made setting for stories, as details on the town emerge, I’ll add them to this section for convenience.
Suggested Reading / Influences
This is a wacky romantic comedy universe in the vein of Ranma ½. Wackiness rules here, not angst. Antagonists pose moral quandaries and serve to drive the plot and conflict in an amusing way. What we’re looking for is Happosai over Darth Vader here. Interesting examples for plot hooks off the top of my head:
1. Zeus escapes his wife (and jailor) Hera and goes on a panty raiding spree.
2. A group of frat boys find an artefact that makes men grow lactating breasts.
3. A flight of Witches has to chase a flying saucer out of Earth’s atmosphere on broomsticks.
4. A Witch has to study for her magic exams but her Otherworld and Human spouses are fighting again.
5. A Rogue Witch is making Vampires sparkle in the sunlight.
6. A Witch is given a mission to turn her little brother into the next Casanova.
These are rather weak examples but it’s the kind of thing we’re going for. The key is, keep it light, funny and wacky. Extreme characters are great, particularly for a prospective Witch’s Suitors.
Good luck, have fun and good writing!
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