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Magical supression for mundanes (material)

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In the campaign that I'm building, magic is basically the witch forcing her will upon the universe and trappings such as incanatations, gestures, ect are merely Dumbo's feather.  So with that said the idea of a rendering a witch helpless via a "mage collar" of some sort just appeals to me.  Now I know that I could simply make something up, but I was wondering what ideas people had for a mundane material that could be worked into collars or hand cuffs by mundanes who needed to hold mystical prisoners.  I suppose some sort of herbal remedy would work as well. (Given that the smart alternative would be to simply kill defeated witches...)




The old standby of "cold iron" (which for my purposes would just be wrought iron, not steel) is possible and I'll probably settle on it unless a better idea comes up, but its just boring and I'm not sure I want to tie magic that strongly to the fae.



Lead as a "base metal" is supposedly a mystical barrier, and according a new age site that I stumbled on is believed to be helpful for "black space meditations" and mystical silence, which could tie into stilling a witch's mystical abilities I suppose.  (Bullets may be made of lead, but I imagine that suppression requires more quantity than most wizards would carry as well as forming a circuit, maybe between their neck and left hand?)   



On the other end of the spectrum, perhaps it works because the metal to "too mystically conductive" ...



Platinum is supposedly related to secret soul wisdom, and magic is tied to a witch's very soul, so I can see being able to use it to short out a sorcerer's aura, plus it would have the effect of making "mage cuffs" special in that as opposed to a cheap metal such as lead, it'll take some effort to obtain one and people won't simply use "mage cuffs" to retrain everyone because of the price.




Thoughts? Suggestions? 



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If you're making Dumbo feathers so important, how does it matter what substance the bond is? It's the act of binding the witch that renders her powerless. Or perhaps using bonds marked with a cultureally appropriate holy symbol.


Sounds like the witches are trying to impose their wills, but the witch hunters are trying to impose their won't.


Lucius Alexander


The palindromedary says wouldn't that be a holdy symbol?

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I'm sorry if I wasn't clear, when I mentioned dumbo feathers, what I meant was that if a witch "needs" them its because her player decided that take it as a limitation in order to get more points, kind of like how Shadowrun mages can place a geas on their magic that requires them to do the trappings.  One witch may have to gesture, another may have to incant, but the third may simply be able to curse you with an angry glare and a thought.



Still, the idea that its all ritual and the binding aspect is the important part is interesting.  

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Here's how After Sundown does stuff:


Astral Sorceries
The mercurial rain of the Deep Maya has an origin that few can even speculate upon. But
whether The Dreamlands represent an intrusion of our subconscious minds into the realm of
the physical or the intrusion of an alien realm into our sleeping thoughts, the fact remains
that it is a source of power that those who delve deeply into its mysteries can tap. Astral
Sorceries are spells and powers that tap into that strange reality. Magic from Maya has a
tendency to be as untamed and inhuman as the implacable beasts and plants that inhabit it.
Astral Sorcery disturbs magnetic fields, including that of the Earth itself (at least on a local
level), and a skilled augur can track and judge the strength of the magics of the dreamlands
by carefully observing a lodestone. Astral magic "feels wet" to those who feel its wrath, and
indeed it can be countered by judiciously throwing clean salt on it. Salt used in this manner
becomes caked and discolored like it had absorbed dirty water.

Astral Sorcery has a noticeable, if weird, affect on magnetic fields. You can track Astral
Sorcery and gauge its power with a lodestone. Natural magnetite reacts more strongly than
an electro-magnet for whatever reason, so experienced geomancers seriously carry a black
rock on a string when they want to find dream sorcerers.

Salt draws water into itself and preserves food. Things treated with salt remain clean and
non-poisonous long after untreated objects blacken and stink with putrescence. Thrown at
Astral magic it draws the wetness and poison of the sorcery into itself and dampens it.


Infernal Sorceries
The Dark Reflection is a horrible place from which few things escape. But its reach and
grasp can be felt far outside the ashen pits of Limbo itself. Infernal Sorceries are those
magics that manipulate and harness the taint of that parched landscape and turn them to
one's own advantage.
The magic from Limbo is a lot like fire. It is also quite specifically malicious and it corrupts
things it touches. When clean water is nearby, it discolors slightly as if ash had fallen into it.
A skilled exorcist can track the power and location of magic from the Dark Reflection by
consulting distilled water in a clear container. When Infernal Sorceries are cast they can be
doused by throwing sand on them. Reasonably clean sand must be used - ground up silicon
dioxide works. By the time the sand hits the floor it has been replaced by white and black

Clean Water
Clean water is pure and healthy and brings joy and solace. It is very much inimical to the
magic of the Dark Reflection, which causes clear water to be come darkened momentarily
as if it was tainted with soot. An experienced douser can track the strength and direction of
the use of Infernal sorcery by the darkness, apparent direction, and persistence of the image
of taint in otherwise clear water.

The fires of Limbo burn ceaselessly, but they are still fires. Clean sand thrown upon them
douses them - cutting off the source of wicked Infernal sorcery.


Orphic Sorceries
Orphic Sorceries are collections of spells and occult knowledge that draw their arcane power
from Mictlan. The Gloom provides power that is dark, timeless, destructive, and really very
frightening to the living. And for good reason, it truly does act as a window into one's
mortality. The land of the dead calls inexorably to all living creatures, and sooner or later it
will claim them all, and when Orphic Sorceries are used, the draw of death becomes even
stronger. This effect is not particularly noticeable for large creatures like humans or even
dogs - the cells on the outside of your body are in a constant state of death and rebirth
anyway, and even the heaviest exposure to the Gloom is unlikely to give you more than a
mild frost burn. But for the very tiny and ephemeral creatures whose lives are over in a day
anyway, death magic signals the end. A skilled occultist can use a bag of mayflies or the like
to spot the moment that death magic is used, and to gauge the strength, distance, and
direction towards the source of the Gloom.
Magic of Mictlan is highly antithetical to seeds, and you can counter Orphic Sorceries by
throwing grains at them. Rice, wheat, barley, or maize kernels work equally well, but they
have to be live grains. Remember that many commercial food products are neutralized with
radiation or flash heating to keep them from going bad.

Orphic Sorcery is bad for you. Like polonium or something. But for big creatures it's really
not something you'd notice without years of exposure, leaving the really observable effects
to the very most fragile of lifeforms - those who would soon die in any case. And while one
could tote around a bag full of mayflies or the like, most people in the know who want to
track necromancers choose to use potted plants. A flower that blooms and dies every day is
of course ideal, as it has a high responsiveness and gives good directionality.

Representing the promise of new life and the growth of great strength from humble origins,
the seed is a key ritual component in practically every mortal magical tradition ever devised.
And indeed, throwing it on Orphic magic results in the nullification of both.

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Depending on the settings one counter to magic may be the gods.  If the setting is similar to medieval Europe, where the gods are against all magic they may be the counter to witchcraft.  Instead of priests having spells they would have luck and the ability to create holy items.  This could include mage collars and other protective devices like amulets.  Use a major transformation to turn an item holy.  This would also probably mean that magic will not work on holy ground.  This would probably be a ¼ or more limitation on all spells. 

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Major transformation is required if it significantly alters some aspect.  The books list removing abilities, or creating major combat related affects as examples of a major transfomation.  A collar that that totally shuts down a spell casters spells, but still leaves his other abilities intact would be a major.  Holy weapons also have major effects on certain creatures mainly demons and undead.  That seems too much for a minor transformation, but less than a severe transformation.


The appropriate level of transformation will depend on exactly how powerful a holy item is.  If it did not shutdown a spell caster and had more limited effects on combat then you could use a lesser level of transformation. 


This is one ability (usually a spell) I give most of my divine based characters.   Tack on a bunch of limitations like extra time, focus etc.  to properly make it a ritual and it is dirt cheap, but incredibly useful. 

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