In the Old Crown, those touched by a lineage of magikal power are known as Witchbloods. Whilst hereditary, sometimes the witchblood skips generations only to appear again.
Long ago, the natural order of the world brought forth individuals who had innate magikal abilities. Some speculate it may have been caused by interference by the legendary Oon, though most legends also speak of their downfall because of the innate gifts of the races they created.
The witchblood allows those gifted with it to perceive natural magik much more intensely, to perceive it at a level much deeper than normal mortals. Whilst most might experience a feeling of being watched or a prickling sensation on the back of the neck, a Witch can perceive any flows of magik or the auras of nearby powerful spirits in a similar way to sight, sound or taste, and even sometimes as these senses. They can usually pinpoint magikal sources in the vicinity with ease, or even blur the edge of realms to see and speak with spirits themselves.
The Witchs’ affinity for spirits of all kinds can be seen in their ease at the spiritbond. Arcanists can train themselves for decades and rarely hold a bond as strong as an apprentice Witch, whilst Oathed might gain such a temporary bond via the power of their Ascended patron.
Using a spiritbond, part of the soul and animus of a Witchblood permanently joins to that of a spirit, and the equivalent exchange is made by the spirit also. This touch of the spirit world is enough to allow the Witch great control over the certain magiks that their companion can also control. The reward for the spirit is a greater ability to manifest in both the spirit realms and the world of mortals caused by an accompanying rise in power.
Mostly Witches bind to peri, the spirits most closely associated with the natural world. This is the source of the power of the witchblood as a healing obligation, so that Witches become the centre of communities and important public figures, healing the sick and teaching the young and so forth.
Some Witches instead bind with the elemental jinn, gaining greater focus in elemental abilities. Rarely this is to the exclusion of all else, though the stories of the Sundancers that come from legends of the Wick would make it seem that binds to fire greatly limit healing abilities.
Theoretically, it should also be possible to bind with a Wight, as the spirits of the restless dead are still spirits, and readily able to manifest in a way similar to daimon despite scholar’s arguments to the contrary.
The Seawitches are a particularly strong bloodline of Witchbloods that make their lives travelling across the known world.
Their abilities tend to manifest at a much younger ages than other Witches, and rarely is a child born without some.
They also have a curious ability to spiritbond with animals, though generally these animals are exceptional in some way – albinos, crossbreeds, having some touch of the jinn about them, and so forth.
Witchblood has been seen as both a blessing and a curse. It brings an individual with great personal power, and often many responsibilities. Being so closely tuned to natural magik energies can draw the attention of both friendly and hostile spirits, not to mention manifested daimon.