The Training of a Nightwitch
Nightwitches are solitary practitioners, rarely part of a coven, and, even then, only informally. So when a young girl or boy is initiated in their craft, it is by an elder who will spend the next year instructing the initiate in the ways of the craft. That training includes learning the craft lore, but it also includes more commonly useful information as herb lore and training in stealth and silence.
Much of a Nightwitch’s training parallels that of other witches and acolytes of Elethay, but since stealth and silence is so much a part of the Nightwitch’s training, it is somewhat surprising to discover that their lore is oral, not written as typical of others of the craft: where the others depend on book learning, a Nightwitch depends on memorization. Therefore, Nightwitches are capable of impressive feats of memory and memorization. They know that the lore they memorize is passed down from generation to generation since the earliest days, never written, never recorded. Each initiate learns their lore from their teachers, most especially from the one who initiates the Nightwitch in the craft, and, in turn, he or she passes it to her own students: one of the duties of all Nightwitches is to find at least one student to instruct in their lore, and they depend on Elethay to guide that student to them.
They may never admit it, but it is apparent, at least to this observer, that no one Nightwitch knows the entirety of their lore. It is known that it is the duty of every Nightwitch to collect and share the lore of her sisters and mentors. It is said that the lore will be written down only when the complete lore is collected, but never before. There are also legends within the craft of a book that contains the entirety of the Nightwitch lore, written by Elethay herself, but these legends are also contradictory. It may be assumed that these legends are based on the earlier witch legend of the first Book of Shadows from which all witches’ lore is drawn.
One of the greatest mysteries of Nightwitches is their uncanny night vision. By what art or craft this is accomplished, none say, and any inquiries are simply ignored, although sometimes conflicting and contradictory explanations are given in an attempt to divert investigation. Some simply call it a miracle of Elethay’s blessing, while a few insist that Nightwitches are chosen because of their night vision, calling it a sign of their true calling. But it is a fact that even if they do not possess it at the time of their initiation, all Nightwitches develop this uncanny ability during their year‑long apprenticeship before their acceptance as full sisters of the tradition.