The Life of a Nightwitch
Nightwitches, like all witches, see themselves as guardians and protectors of the holy and secret places within the land. They rarely miss the opportunity to visit these locations during their travels and are guided to these places through subtle trail signs placed there by previous visitors. They also go to great lengths to purify the land polluted by necromancy and restore the natural balance of nature. Nightwitches who retire from wandering often chose a remote location to sanctify and protect, living there the rest of their mortal days and oftimes becoming spirit guardians of these places after their passing.
Nightwitches rarely reveal their true calling except to their closest friends and other members of their craft, whom they identify through subtle gestures and signals. Many pass themselves as ordinary witches, especially those who have learned to read and write the common tongue, while others act as midwives, herbalists and hedge‑witches. A few are found parlaying their knowledge as bards and entertainers, able to recite long tales from memory, including a surprising (which, in all fairness, should not be surprising at all) number of tales where the unassuming heroine defeats the villain at the end of the story through surprise and her witch magic and is thus revealed to be a Nightwitch. But whatever their outward guise, they are still priestess of Elethay, capable of leading worship and tending to Her worshipers.
A sure sign of a Nightwitch used to be her athame. Most witches create athames of bright steel or sometimes silver, fitted with hilts of rowan wood, ivory or bone, but Nightwitches, who prize stealth, take care to create blades of blackened steel with hilts of ebony or other dark woods, so that their blades will not reflect the light and reveal them in the darkness. However, once this fact became known, many witches began crafting their own athames in the Nightwitch fashion for much the same reasons, while Nightwitches started to create athames of weathered bronze and other dull metals or materials such as obsidian.
It is a common misconception that Nightwitches, as is the case for all witches, are exclusively female and human: for Nightwitches this misconception is especially true, given their extreme secrecy. Experience, however, has proven this false. All races and both sexes are allowed into the craft, but the ratio of women to men is still most likely 5‑to‑1, with a preponderance of humans and elves, plus a scattering of Foxwings and Das Karr and the occasional dwarf and Tigrean. Male Nightwitches of any race are especially circumspect about their profession, all the better to take advantage of surprise in their favor.
While Nightwitches are solitary creatures, they do have grand meetings on the four Great Holidays (the solstices and equinoxes) of the year. There, in secret places throughout the world, either in conjunction with their fellow sisters and brothers of the craft or in isolation, Nightwitches gather to celebrate Elethay, honor the passing of their elders, and introduce the newest initiates to their fellows of the craft. Other witches and acolytes, and sometimes close friends and companions, are oftimes invited to attend these hidden meetings, a sign of honor granted only to the most faithful and honorable followers of Elethay.
With their unusual connection to the land and witchcraft, it is not surprising to find that many Nightwitches were to be found in Skyrider clans. What is not so well known is the relationship between Nightwitches and the mysterious Blackwind clan.