There are a few witches we get to know about in the story. Some of them are quite extravagant, but most of them blend in society to a point you would never know their secret. There are rules, of course, and the High and Mighty Council is there to make sure everyone knows their place and what they can and cannot do.
It is time to get some explanations before introducuing the witches. But first, a few words about the Council.
The Council is international, with one or two local representatives in each country. They are the upholders of the law and make sure nobody breaks the ancient rules. There have not been many new rules since the 16th century when the six tomes were completed. Witches are very conservative, they only experiment with potions and -in some extent- magic formulas. Granny is one of the rare witches who has openly rebelled against the hardly ever challenged wedding rule. As we know, she was forced into marriage anyway. So why coerce young women into marriage in the 21st century? In antiquity and through the Middle Ages it had some practical meaning, but today? Controlling witches’ powers and land, keeping important resources in the family, so to say, was of utmost importance. If a witch did not have any land, the marriage often ensured them they had roof over their head and someone “normal” to protect her. Many witches survived the Dark ages of the Inquisition and thr following general bigotry by leading unsuspicious lives with an ordinary human.
Anyway, the rules only apply to the firstborn, female witch, who is the one that transfers her magical powers. There are not supposed to be more than one child anyway, and witches were the first to practice birth control, so if they got pregnant it was because they wanted it. Having several children meant the witch played with their life. Death in childbirth was a risk for all women but having a male child was usually fatal (hence the rarity of warlocks in my story). Add that for each child born, the witch loses a fair share of their magical powers and health, so the magic they transfer to each child become less and less powerful. And most important, as I mentioned above, only the firstborn, female, child can wholly transfer her powers to the next generation.
That is why Missy can do practically what she wants, she is only a half-witch and thus she cannot leg any powers to her children. She can use a wand, if another witch, like her sister, charges it with power. Same goes for her broom. She can make potions, though, and she studies dark magic to raise up the dead. She knows she won’t be able to do it on her own, but once she finds the spell and the potion, she is sure she will be able to resolve that little problem, too.
In fact there are loopholes in the rules. The female witch is supposed to marry someone carefully chosen by the Council. Granny should have had to remarry to procreate, but she feigned deep depression – not hard after discovering her husband bleeding to death on the wedding night! When years later she met Rune Blackwood, he was immediately approved by the Council, even though they never got married. So when Granny transferred her magical powers to a firstborn daughter with an approbated genitor, her contract was not considered broken. After Rune’s death, she was allowed to marry whomever she wanted, especially as there would not be any more children due to her age.
Shasta was thus supposed to get married, but she ran away, or got “kicked” out by Granny, just in time. Granny threw a cloaking spell on her, to hide her from the Council, but she never stayed for long in one place, and never used her magic. She had not had time to start her novice training anyway, so she had the capacities but not the knowledge.
At a party Shasta met handsome vampire Magnus Darkling. Who is he to refuse yet another Grey witch throwing herself at him? Against all odds, he impregnated the beautiful young witch, but as he had glamoured her she could not remember anything about their wild night together. Nobody knows who Taïga’s father is. He didn’t know about the child himself until Missy by mistake revealed her existance to him.
Abandoned and unwanted by her mother, Taïga grows up with her grandmother, loving the stern old woman unconditionally. She befriends Derek, a young werewolf who is two years older than herself, and his brother Teddy, but they grow apart after moving abroad.
The Council finally found Shasta when she married Count Leonardo Di Grisogno dell’Aquila, but as he is rather powerful (both as a warlock and businessman) with connections in the Council, they could not find a way to adequately punish her.
But how come Shasta’s second born child, Rowan, is a fullblooded warlock? His father, Leonardo, had ensured it by old, pagan wedding rites, hoping for a male successor. Shasta almost died in childbirth, but with the assistance of modern medicine, she recovered. And got pregnant once again. This time she had been drugged and did not remember a thing about the dark magic ritual, where she was offered to Irdu Lilu, the Incubus and got pregnant with twins; Frost, the spawn of the demon, and Willow, who is Leonardo’s, and a kind of bonus in the whole pagan-drug-fertility circus. Unfortunately Shasta did not survive the strenous birth.
The eccentric Arrington sisters live in Crooked Bayou Swamp, a few miles from the Grey sisters. Their stately, but decrepit, home was once the center of magical activity. But the Arrington sisters rarely entertain, keeping to themselves. The Arrington’s is one of the oldest witch families in the South. There has always been competition between the grand families, but since the Barlow’s died out, the Wraith’s left for Europe and the last Shadowwalker was banished to Alaska, the Arrington’s have ruled the Bayou without interference from no-one. But what will happen now the Grey witches have settled in Barlow’s old Bayou Oaks Manor down at Hangman’s Nook?
The Arrington and Grey’s are not exactly enemies, but they are not friends either. There is a kind of truce between the two families and as long as no-one steps over the border line, everything should be just fine.
Old Phyllis is mean and crazy, and worst of all – she truly believes she’s still 25! She lives with her daughter Tania who dreams of settling down and have children. Not much chance to realize her dreams as long as she lives with her mother, though. Phyllis has always scared the townsfolk and hardly ever leaves the swamp.
Tania is not as mean as her mother but not as good a witch either, she never remembers a spell right and can hardly manage on a broom. She has taken up palm reading for a living, and usually tells the people what they want to hear, making them come back for more. If somebody wants to have their fortune told, they have to trek down to Bayou Meadow where she gives readings in the Gypsy wagon. Lately, she has met a young man with ginger hair, who seemed more interested in her past than his own. It was rather disturbing, but she would like him to come back. If only she could have her hair done, it only looks good when she wears her hat. Better not tell mother about him, or she will scare him away as she has with all the boys and men before him. Next time she’ll meet him, she’ll bring a picture of herself in her special witch outfit. That will surely please him…
The infamous Russian witch with as many lives as a cat. Her growing nose is the blatant witness to her many youth cures. She never rides a broom but has a giant bat that she assures everyone is “so much morrre convortably”. She is a member of the Council, but she is also Queen of Jadwiga, a mysterious country north of Russia, where her grand-grand-grand-grandson Vania rules, waiting for Baba Yaga to bring him a suitable wife. And who could be more suitable than Taïga? Going behind the back of the Council if it suits her goal is not a problem for the evil witch, who by the way has a reputation of eating children.
Snobbish and genuinely dismissive of everything not French, Lugubre Chantelamort is the witchy equivalence of a successful businesswoman. Carreer driven, unmarried and with no children, she is too busy doing fancy art reviews and organizing important Council meetings all over the world. She has a promiscuous affair with a very important man in the Council. Or rumor has it was a woman? Whatever, she strides through life without the slightest concern for anything or anyone but herself.
Originary from Okinawa, where her ancestors were well known Yutas of the Ryukyu Kingdom, she represents the Council in Asia. She is a doctor, specialized in acupuncture.
Haeju represents the African continent at the Council. An inyanga, a female witch doctor, she is also a journalist and a fervent militant for women’s rights. Laid back and kind, she is in constant opposition to her French colleague, Lugubre Chantelamort.
Count Olaf von Silverstierna is one of the very few warlocks still walking the Earth. He was born into aristocracy in Sweden, but after a difficult divorce, his mother brought him back to her family estate in England where he passed his childhood in selective private schools, acquiring a stiff upper lip, an impeccable accent and a superior British flegm. At 24, as expected of him, he married a noble British witch, who unfortunately is barren. His new, important position as head of the Council has obliged him to spend more and more time at the Council’s headquarters in Boston, and he rarely sees his wife. Divorce is on everybody’s lips. He is said to be romantically involved with his fellow French Council member, Lugubre Chantelamort, but he waves away the allegations, hinting at his official mistress, opera singer Esmé Squalor, who resides in London.
The Trotterbottler’s history is tragic. Sheila Trotterbottler was terribly in love with her husband and wanted to give him a big family. After the birth of Shellay, it didn’t take long before Harriet was born. Weakened after Harriet’s birth, she passed away giving birth to the twins. Their father and older sister tragically died in a forest fire when Harriet was only sixteen, leaving her to care for her ten-year old sisters. Second born Harriet was assisted by the North Coven in bringing up the twins, but as second and thirdborn, they are severely lacking magic. The Council does not interfere too much with the Trotterbottler family business as their lineage is definitely broken, letting the Trotterbottler sisters go along with their romantic life as they feel. Of course, they will have to apply for the Council’s approval if they want to settle with someone, but it is just a formality.