Secrets of the Masters

Prestige Class Spotlight 5: Winter Witch

A while back, we did the winter witch archetype, and I casually brought up how there was also a prestige class by the same name, and even pointed out how you could take both to maximize on the theme. What I did NOT know, however, is that you actually need to have taken that archetype to even start taking levels in its prestige class counterpart.

Indeed, it would seem that the prestige class is meant to be a refinement of the primary witch class with that archetype. I explain this as a sort of “Completion of training” theme, the archetype being part of the initial connection to the power of winter, while the prestige class version represents the secrets granted to truly masterful adepts. It is entirely possible to opt out of this final training, or to be considered not worthy, and persist as an ordinary winter witch.

With that in mind, I feel like today’s prestige class illustrates the emphasis on cultural traditions in the way that prestige classes operate. Unlike ordinary classes and multiclassing, taking a prestige class often means traveling to a region where they are prolific and learning directly from the masters of the art, rather than spontaneously manifesting new powers or training on their own time.

As a refinement and continuation of their witch training, it is only natural that they continue to learn magic from their patrons as they learn this art, which also includes hexes. However, they do gain access to new spell training not seen by other witches, able to conjure walls of ice, encase foes in the same, or generage spheres of compressed cold as expolosive, freezing projectiles.

Though generating large amounts of heat is inimical to the winter witch tradition, they can subtly alter the temperature of water and ice around them, thawing ice and snow or freezing water at an accelerated, though still slow enough to avoid, rate.

There is something truly unnatural and/or intense about the cold these mystics unleash, for even creatures resistant to such cold find it piercing that very defense to some degree, making them feel the cold like no other can.

Just as they can create ice by freezing water, so too can they shape snow and ice, either in crude ways, or in a more complex manner that requires knowledge of craftsmanship to perfect. Regardless, the ice used in these creations is supernaturally hard, but melts just like any other.

The relevance of icy power means that as soon as they are able, these witches learn several cold-based hexes, including a new one that allows them to imbue their icy spells with a chill that leaves the bodies of their victims numb and clumsy.

Blizzards both magical and mundane can make it difficult to pinpoint locations, so as a boon, these mages are gifted with the ability to see through such things as if they were not there.

Later on, the icy magic of these witches becomes truly unearthly, harming foes so integrally that even those totally immune to cold are at least partially affected, and further limiting how effective resistance to cold is against them.

Just as earth elementals glide through earth and stone with ease, so too can this witches with ice, phasing through it like water. However, since ice is water, their ability to move through it does have a unique weakness, as magic meant to manipulate water can be used to violently force them out.

Finally, the most powerful winter witches simply become better at casting icy spells, their magic becoming more intense and even harder to resist and dispel.

Looking for an even more specialized way to play your winter witch? This archetype is certainly the right direction. As you can probably guess, there’s relatively few builds that work with this prestige class since literally only one class and archetype can access it to begin with. I recommend going whole hog into it, building for a combination of damage and control with ice spells, with of course the rime spell metamagic. Don’t be afraid to branch out, however, learning other spells to diversify, though fire spells will forever be beyond you.

Much of what I said about the archetype winter witches remains true here, but I will say that these more prestigious members of their path are likely even further indoctrinated into their mystical order, which might just mean that they are naïve to the way of the world, or in the case of Golarion, believing fully that their icy magical power gives them mystical mandate to rule over the people of Irrisin. Of course, in your setting, the winter witches may be less sinister, perhaps a secluded order devoted to a particularly prolific patron entity?


The Razor Fields is so named for the unmalting icy spikes that form thicket of crystalline pillars around the tower of Queen Madriga. Many, however, are stained red from the bodies impaled on them, their blood permanently frozen to them just as their icy bodies resist decay, a testimate to those she has made examples of.

The Council of Seasons governs much of magical affairs, Each leading tribunal selected by the previous season from among the next season every one hundred years. However, this year many herb witches of spring have been murdered by icy means, almost as if the current winter tribunal is eliminating powerful and influential members of their replacements, but is this truly the case?

Lonely Tobalt lives alone on the outskirts of town, the old man only venturing the town every now and again to sell his crops, but he is left to his own business, that is, until the first snow of winter, when he joins the rest of the town, providing wards against the cold or monster attacks, and even unleashing his fearsome icy power on interlopers.


The Raven is a highly magical creature and represents keeping secrets, intuition, master magician, shape shifting and mysticism. This is one amazing animal spirit guide or animal totem to have! Our Raven is made of onyx which is known to be a very protective crystal. It is also able to transform negative energy and prevents the drain of personal energy.

The carving detail on this piece is really quite beautiful. This is the perfect addition to any Wiccan altar or Samhain or Halloween home decor.

You can find him at

#animaltotem #animalspiritguide #mysticism #crystal #moon #goddess #soul     #samhain #metaphysical #witchcraft #wiccan #druid #nordicgods #viking


read it on the AO3 at

by MsPerception427

Wherein Clint gets the Spanish flu, Natasha learns that antibiotics and birth control really don’t mix, Bruce is over this crap already and Thor is a secret Mario Kart master. AKA the obligatory Avengers baby fic that I apparently really needed to write.

Words: 5596, Chapters: ½, Language: English

read it on the AO3 at
Updated Master Post

Astral Projection


Beginner Witchcraft


Blood Magic


Candle magic




Cosmic Witchcraft


Cultural Appropriation


Deity Related (not Pantheon specific)


Green Witchcraft

Hellenic Polytheism

Kemetic Polytheism

Kitchen Witchcraft

Norse Paganism

  • Altars (possibly helpful for people who aren’t Norse pagans also)
  • Psa (Also possibly helpful for people who aren’t Norse pagans)

Offerings and Devotion for Specific Deities [Mostly Hellenic ATM]

Other Masterposts


Secret witches

Sigil Magic


Spirit work/Necromancy

Tarot cards

Urban witchcraft

Witch Tips

notquitethatmad  asked:

Hi, I was wondering if you have any advice on writing a good villain? Like one that people hate to love/love to hate? Someone really twisted and horrible

Welcome to Villain Theory, You Will Be Here A While

I AM SO IMMEASURABLY GLAD YOU CAME HERE. If there is one thing in this universe that I have love for in whatever blackened shreds remain of my soul, it is a great villain. As evidenced by the size of this post, I have a lot of thoughts on the matter.

Everyone has a different idea of what makes a great villain, and there is no formula for making a villain that people hate to love or love to hate. Just a cursory look around Tumblr will show you that everyone has different taste in villains. Sometimes they are loved because of their physical attractiveness, other times their backstory is what makes them lovable/hatable. That is a largely subjective part of villainy that I do not think I can definitively cover.

So, rather than giving you my opinion on what makes a great villain, I intend to talk about antagonists and villains as concepts. I invite you to take from it what you will. I believe that making a villain and making a twisted villain involve different things, but I’ll get to that. (And I WILL get to that. I promise. I am just long-winded.)

Come with me. I will explain some things. You might even find them useful.

[Content warning: Spoilers. Lord of the Rings (Frodo and the Ring are spoken of), Finding Nemo (ish), Avatar: The Last Airbender (ish), Flowers for Algernon (COMPLETELY), Batman (The Joker is spoken of).] 

Let’s Consider: Antagonism vs. Villainy

Let me go into semantics once again, so we can break this down even further. A villain is a character or thing that swears by bad or evil, and who is generally the opposite of the protagonist in goal and moral. An antagonist is someone or something who works against the protagonist to impede or halt their progress. A villain can absolutely be a protagonist, but an antagonist cannot. These terms are not always interchangeable and do not always overlap. Not every story needs both and some stories succeed with neither, but that is a post for a different day.

What makes a villain a villain is action. What makes an antagonist an antagonist is force against the protagonist. Again, these things can overlap, but do not always do so. I would like you to disregard the notion that villains and antagonists must be characters. They can be, but they do not always have to be.

Antagonism as a Force Against the Protagonist

Antagonists work against the protagonist, be it directly or indirectly, active or passive. 

A direct antagonist works against the protagonist with full knowledge of the protagonist’s existence. This is probably what you think of when you think “antagonist:” someone who sees the hero coming and starts putting things in the hero’s way. Direct antagonists are more likely to be active than passive, as they do things like send henchmen, enact plans, fight the heroes, etc.

An indirect antagonist usually has their own goals that happen to coincide with the protagonist’s journey. Non-evil antagonists can easily fall into this category as a rival to the hero, providing tension without needing to be a “bad guy.” Indirect antagonists can easily be active or passive, since any activity they take part in does not have to include the hero. A passive antagonist has an effect on the plot without actually doing very much. Passive antagonists can (and are probably statistically more likely to) be objects as opposed to characters.

Consider Lord of the Rings. While yes, there is Sauron and Saruman and the Nazgul and such, hobbit Frodo’s personal antagonist is almost exclusively found in the One Ring. The Ring is a passive antagonist, which corrupts Frodo by simply existing in his possession. It attempts to corrupt him and prevent him from destroying it, thereby affecting his progress to the goal.

Antagonism as Conflict

The antagonist can be an agent of conflict, and depends on the protagonist in order to exist. Remember, antagonism is not (necessarily) villainy. Antagonism is only something that opposes the protagonist. A character can have conflicting morals and goals to your protagonist and qualify as a more-or-less good person while still being the antagonist to the story.

The antagonist serves to bring about negative progress in the protagonist’s journey to the goal, however they choose to do this. They can bring about conflict just by virtue of making the journey harder for the protagonist, just as well as they can by actively pestering, obstructing, and outright harming the protagonist. The link between conflict and antagonism is that the protagonist is navigating the maze of the plot through the conflict to reach the end goal, and the antagonist is either causing the conflict or adding new walls to the maze.

Villainy as a Reflection of the Hero

Let’s leave antagonism behind for a moment while we talk about villainy.

Villains are separate from antagonists in that not all antagonists are evil, and not all villains are antagonists. Villains oppose heroes in a number of ways, sometimes multiple ways in one story. They can stand in their way, send flocks of doom-legion troops after them, work to subvert them, ignore them while they carry out evil plots, any number of things make a villain villainous. What makes a great villain is largely up for debate, but let me start here.

A villain can be a reflection or shadow of whatever the hero stands for and loves. A villain who is good at their job might be this because they represent whatever the hero fears, loathes, or is scared of. A reflective villain is more than not-the-hero, a villain is the essence of not-the-hero.

Consider another plot in which the villain is not a physical thing, but a concept. Finding Nemo is a Pixar film about fish and fishbowls. Again, Finding Nemo has no personifiable villain, as even the sharks are friends (albeit unwanted ones). Marlin’s villain in finding his son is not the dentist who took him, the sharks, the birds, or any of that. Those are obstacles. Marlin’s real villain is the concept of bigness: His fear of everything has made him feel small (which, incidentally, he is), and he must take on the entire ocean to track down his son.

Villainy as Reverse Heroism

Then you have the less metaphorical and more literal interpretation of villainy in the reversal of heroism. After all, an interpretation of evil is that it is the diametrical opposite of good.

Consider Avatar: The Last Airbender. The villain at the end of the line is Fire Lord Ozai, is a destructive megalomaniac bent on domination and assuredly lacking in empathy from his first appearance onscreen. Meanwhile, hero Aang was raised a peaceful monk and throughout the series struggles to come to grips with the idea of having to kill someone, even if that someone is as ruthless and tyrannical as Ozai. The two of them are directly opposed in a multitude of ways: where Aang concerns himself with the nature of right and wrong and morality, Ozai views right and wrong as concepts that are beneath him as the world’s most powerful Firebender. Ozai is pride against Aang’s humility.

The reversal of heroism does not necessarily mean that the hero came first and that the villain built themselves around that, but that the hero and villain are truly opposing forces, opposite each other in a multitude of ways.

Villainy as Conflict

Villainy is a phenomenal method to bring about conflict. If a burning village isn’t inciting enough an incident, then what is? Remember, though, that not all villainy is evil in so many words.

Flowers for Algernon is a story about a man who undergoes surgery to boost his incredibly low intellect. Charlie and the original lab subject, a mouse named Algernon, become wildly intelligent as a result of the medical procedure, and all seems well until Algernon’s brainpower begins deteriorating. Charlie must come to terms with the fact that his newfound intellectual capacity is also short-lived, and as the story moves forward his mind also declines to the point of its origin. Charlie’s villain in his journey to genius is not physical but entirely mental; he will always know that he used to be intelligent. His villain is the idea of knowing, and once he knows, his struggle is no longer about the decline, but remaining at the bottom with little (if any) hope of return.

Conflict and villainy can easily coincide. Conflict is the basis of the story, the thing that drives the plot and spurs on the characters. Bear in mind, if your villain is a part of the conflict, I expect you to deal with the villain somehow before resolving the plot in its entirety.

Some Final Thoughts

Now let’s put them together. An antagonistic villain is something that brings about negative progress in the protagonist’s journey by way of villainy. From here, you can go in any number of directions. Are they trying to usurp the throne from an unsuspecting monarch by way of subterfuge and policy? Are they a conniving, manipulative type, working to some nebulous goal that the protagonists happen to stumble into? Are they an inexplicable force of chaos that enjoys villainy for the sake of villainy?

Not all antagonists and villains are driven by clearly defined goals and motives. The Joker throughout his illustrious history is shown to cause chaos solely for the sake of causing chaos. An interesting dynamic of the goalless villain is the mystery of how to gain the upper hand on them. How do you prevent a villain from reaching their goal if they do not have one?

Something to think about when your protagonist/hero begins locking horns with your antagonist/villain: At what point in the story do they gain the upper hand? Remember, plot is born of conflict, and there is no real conflict if the protagonist/hero has all the pieces of the antagonist’s/villain’s demise and chooses not to use them.

Defining the conditions of success or failure can also help you overcome plot blocks when you feel your protagonists/heroes have gotten stuck in a corner. What are the conditions of defeat? How about victory? Do they change at any point in the story? Do we always know what they are, or do learn them as the story goes on?

Twisted Villainy

As to the other part of your question. What defines twisted, sick villainy more than anything is the limitations of your world, and therefore twisted villainy depends on what your genre is. This type of villain goes above and beyond what is already unacceptable in the world, which varies by genre and setting. Twisted for fantasy middle-grade fiction is going to look very different than twisted in R-rated sci-horror.

In order to create a villain who is perceived as twisted and disturbed, you will have to think far outside the box of “normal” villainy. Figure out what your world perceives as bad, then double it up. Make it worse. Go further and further outside the lines of what nauseates and and horrifies your world, and set your villain loose.

……..So, that wraps up that question, I think. Let us know if you have other questions.



“Acting is about pushing yourself to the absolute brink of failure, until you think, ‘Boy, if this doesn’t work, it’s going to be real bad. And if it does work, it might be great.’ When I’m about to pop my clock, I want to be able to say, ‘From this particular period to this particular period, I was solid and I was honest and there were no compromises.’ There’s always the chance that I’ll be out on my ear. But it’s a risk worth taking.” - Johnny Depp


In a good drama can not miss those hugs that say it all………

Master Post

I went through my blog and found some posts that I thought were useful. There’s not a lot yet, but I’ll keep my resource page updated

Witch Tips/Witchcraft 101



Herbalist Related/Etc

Kitchen Witchcraft

Hellenic Polytheism

Deities/General Polytheism


The Great Master marveled at this little snake with no venom, who had learned to dance to make her father smile…and so she had. That night, Viper found courage, a power far more potent than venom.

headcanon about plagg's behavior when he saw The Book

as we all know, plagg reacted quite differently when he saw the book, as opposed to tikki who was all, “OMFG GET THE BOOK, MARINETTE”. he reacted quite typically: “duuude, i’m hungry, let’s goooo”.

but, it’s still strange. for what it’s worth, when he listed the things inside the safe, he didn’t mention the peacock brooch thing (r.i.p. my french, please correct me if i’m wrong).

imagine these though.

imagine plagg’s blood running cold when he saw The Book and The Brooch. imagine him freezing up for a split second when he saw “Tibet”. imagine him picking up the pieces together when he saw mama agreste’s picture.

imagine him asking the world what his charge, the poor boy, ever did in his previous life that adrien deserved this.

of course, adrien is close to his heart, considering that the cinnamon roll only wanted one thing in his life which was love. imagine plagg in that one or maybe two, three seconds he was in the safe alone running through all adrien’s possible reactions when he finds out that his father is the papillon. one thing was for sure–it would definitely crush adrien’s heart.

plagg cannot bear it if one of his kittens get hurt.

that’s why he tried getting him away from The Vile Book. that’s why he didn’t mention The Brooch. that’s why he acted like his old silly self.

all so that adrien wouldn’t get the wrong (BUT ACTUALLY RIGHT) assumption.