Ever since the First Witchard, that fabled original spellcaster unleashing the power of the first magic, there has been a tension in nature. Something that shifted. Undetectable by normal senses, but nevertheless there – a tremor deep in the souls of all with the gift of magic.
WereWar is an all-new persistent storyline spanning multiple chapters across multiple locations in several countries.
Attention: Werewar will return in 2025.
The Story So Far
March 24-27, 2022 at Czocha (Poland)
When Chapter One begins, things at Czocha appear to be almost as they always have been. While Headmaster Crumplebottom welcomes everyone back for a new semester and only briefly mentions the abstract perils of a faraway war. There are murmurs amongst the professors and staff, an odd tension, perhaps a secret, but surely nothing to worry about. Life continues …
Until war knocks on the castle gates. During the larp the Guardian Order will declare Magical Martial Law in the conflux of Czocha. With the college so near the front line, the syllabus drastically changes and professors are conscripted to teach emergency versions of their classes, to aid the war effort. Czocha has become a WereWar hospital. Students are drafted out of their Houses and into Orders to help in any way they can.
Chapter One is not about open rebellion, except the ”treasonous” act of treating or communicating with those designated as the ”enemy”, but the seeds of doubt and suspicion that something is terribly wrong in witchard society to be sown. And yes, there will be a ball at the end.
April 28-May 1, 2022 at Bothwell (United Kingdom)
War is a reality. The Were are pushing into Witchard territories all over the continent and several confluxes have fallen. You can feel the panic take hold as uncertainty grows in the populace. The Were have been unpredictable in their attacks and no one really knows where they will strike next. Recently, a growing number of Were have been reported in the southern parts of England, and the Guardian Order has prohibited any travel using mundane means. The risk, it seems, is too great.
At Bothwell, the Headmistress has ordered an evacuation as the school prepares to become a military outpost. The Faculty are strengthening Bothwell’s protective wards while students prepare to depart. The atmosphere is heavy with tension.
And then, just as students start evacuating, the connections to the outside world crumble. Owls and other familiars disappear when travelling to and from Bothwell. Messages no longer come through. The runic bridges that have provided safe and stable travel to the rest of the world have collapsed. Some people made it across, you think, but it’s impossible to know for sure.
As the conflict is closing in, the walls of Bothwell itself seem to take on a mind of its own. The halls that had once offered comfort and security have now become a dangerous trap. Something has changed, and whatever it is, it doesn’t play by the rules of either Witchards or Were.
The remaining Faculty and students are faced with impossible odds. With uncertainty mounting and time running out, they will have to make difficult choices, take bold risks, and confront their greatest fears. Can they survive what seems like an unsurvivable situation?
March 9-12, 2023 at Czocha (Poland)
Czocha stands. Whilst the castle has been cut off from the rest of Witchard Kind for a year, the haven ritual has held and the walls still hold strong.
Outside, however, the Necrotic Blight surrounds the castle. There has been no way out to the forest or the lake for twelve months. For those trapped inside Czocha it has been a hard year. Supplies have been intermittent – relying on deals with the Fae and the goodwill of Northvale – food has been in short supply and the survivors are tired, traumatised, and tattered.
The larp begins with the arrival of the relief. A portal has been opened and a group of Witchards comes through. These brave folk, mainly students, but a few more experienced Witchards, too old or injured to be on the front lines, arrive at Czocha not knowing what they will find or if there will be any way back out.
Across the Witchard World, spells that have been relied on for centuries are failing, magical items are losing their power, and ancient protective wards are suddenly burning out. Czocha has been affected by this as well, but to a seemingly lesser extent. This has led to an increase in the importance of Ritual magic and for Orders to turn to the darker side of their histories and explore ancient and sometimes forbidden magic.
With war comes change, welcome or not. As the war effort gets into gear normal societal structures are removed and the Guardian order restructures Witchard Society into their five orders.
The newest among the orders is Artemis, named after the technomancer Gereon Artemis, who pioneered the combination of magic and modern technology. A few years after the founding of the Order, its founder was shunned for his “progressive experiments” with non-human subjects; as a result, Gereon went into exile. It is rumoured that in these final years, Gereon studied the physiological results of using magic; however, his final work was never released. Now presumed dead, he has left a blurred legacy of a genius mind who would let nothing stand in the way of his research.
After the outbreak of the war, this Order has found new ground and more funding has come its way, as many Artemis inventions have been put to use by the Guardian Order. Nowadays, Artemis is home to both members who share the single-minded fervour of their founder, as well as members who distance themselves from Gereon’s morality and look for progress in compromise.
This Order is for those who work with the magic of objects and prophetic predictions. Its members are taught to bind spells in art and to combine mechanical or digital systems with intricate magical matrices to craft complex technomancy artefacts. They read omens and prophecies in patterns they see in the world around them, but looking through time is only one step behind altering it. Some suspect that the inner secrets of Artemis are actually founded in Chronomancy.
Named for its founder, English witchard George Pickingill, the Pickingill Order is famed for its members’ unparalleled expertise in matters relating to beasts both magical and mundane. George Pickingill practised and perfected his craft in 19th century England, where his unnatural aptitude for animal husbandry came to the attention of even the mundane population, and thus local Guardians. A staunch believer in witchard supremacy and the need to keep magical bloodlines free of Mundane taint, Pickingill was appalled by the accusations of careless use of magic levied against him, believing it a conspiracy concocted by mixborn lessers. He managed to not only convince the Guardian order to dismiss all charges but also to allow him to formally create an Order to help control growing and increasingly out-of-control populations of cryptids in the British Isles.
Members of Pickingill receive instruction in both the care and control of beasts, whether mundane animal or cryptid. Advanced methods for attracting or repelling beasts are taught, as well as secret, magical ways of soothing or subduing them through a combination of spells and herbs. For this reason, Pickingill Order members’ expertise is especially sought after in dealing with any non-human beings.
Lingering within this Order are the remnants of George Pickingill’s hexist beliefs, and the opinion that witchards are inherently meant to rule over other beings. Particularly in times of violent conflict, some members have been rumoured to employ a troubling magical discipline, in which the mind of a beast is conditioned and its will is overridden by the will of the witchard.
The origins of the Le Fay Order are shrouded in mystery and controversy. Owing perhaps to being one of the oldest Orders still in existence, no living witchard, nor any reliable written source, seems able to accurately account for where or when it was founded, but the legend that it was by the infamous Morgana Le Fay herself. While its original name is lost to history, this secretive organisation was eventually named for her.
Adding to the controversy surrounding the Order, many scholars maintain that Morgana Le Fay, as her name indicates, was of non-human origin, possibly a fairy or water spirit. Over the years, the Order has boasted several members with fae ancestry; however, since the outbreak of the war, the Order has eagerly sought to distance itself from this fact, and this has led to something of an internal schism.
Those who are inducted into the mysterious Le Fay Order eventually learn the way enchantment, the magical art of misleading the mind and influencing emotion. They are keen adepts in effective ways to untangle dangerous curses, however, it is rumoured that many within the Order become enamoured with the complex art of weaving them instead, and wind up walking the paths of curse makers rather than breakers.
‘The Lady with the Lamp’, Florence Nightingale, broke the Tradition of Word by practising magic in front of Mundanes while paving the way for the nurse profession in training medics in the Crimean War (1853-56). One of her specialities was potions, and many of their active ingredients remain in commonly practised modern medicine. Charged with violating the Treaty of Avalon, she was brought before the Regulators of the Guardian Orders to face justice, but as she had cunningly avoided discovery during her work, wound up fully pardoned, and drafted to build the Order of Healers named for her.
Members of Nightingale are trained especially in the use of medicinal, alchemical and herbal concoctions. Highly sought after as healers during violent conflicts for their ability to set up and maintain sanitary facilities in the field, Nightingales are driven and focused, though primarily on others.
Potions are not the only tool employed by the association, which also teaches its members advanced forms of blood magic, imminently effective in healing, though in desperate times these practices are whispered to sometimes be employed towards other, more sinister uses than mending the body.
One of the largest Orders is the Rosencrantz Order, also known as the Order of the Golden Rose. Founded by Dame Charlott Rosencrantz in the 14th century, it remains a nod to the time where Knights were appointed to uphold magical law. In her time, Charlott was one of the Guardian Order’s most prominent Regulators, with strong virtues of honour and humility she guided Witchard Society through times of trouble. Upon her death, her firstborn took over the Order and since then, the leadership of the order has been passed down from generation to generation of Rosencrantz witchards. It is rumoured that the tragic fate of one of Charlott’s descendants inspired a character in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
With the outbreak of the WereWar, the Rosencrantz Order has been tasked with training new Guardians. Some suspect that this was a political move to keep the Rosencrantz family away from the high command of the Guardian Order, where their virtues might get in the way of doing what must be done to win the war. However, the Rosencrantz bide their time, knowing that with the ranks of their Order being bolstered, they will retake their foothold in the Guardian Order to do what is right.
Members of the Rosencrantz Order are trained as Guardians to uphold the law and order of magical society. They also learn the ancient art of Runic Magic, binding magic within inscriptions and writings, specializing in runes of detainment to secure prisoners and inhibit magical abilities. In times of war, they are taught to fight with combat magic to take charge and to lead in the midst of battle. With the strong virtues of the Order, the Guardian students are also prepared to make hard moral decisions, because the Order knows that war brings suffering, and in the face of battle, decisions of life and death become nearly impossible.
The Lander Rebellion
The terrorist group, the White Fangs, hiding out in forests and caves at a conflux in Southern Lander – in Central Germany – began to strike against unprotected witchard residences in the countryside, and soon escalated the conflict to include kidnappings of magical children and attacks on hospitals.
Even more horrifying to the witchards was the fact that the werewolves started doing the unthinkable – appearing in front of mundanes and even recruiting them.
During the Winter of ’15 the first reports of attacks on Witchard communities started to surface. As they grew in size and regularity authorities started to notice they all happened on or near full moons.
By the summer of ’16 a major attack was attempted on Paris. Fortunately the attack was stopped, and multiple Weres were killed.
However, the skirmishes throughout the Hearthland Confluxes did not abate. The guerilla tactics proved extremely effective.
Missing in the Mists
In height of summer of ’19 the mists surrounding Avalon grew denser and deeper.
Eventually, the entire island seemed to vanish, becoming inaccessible to the outside world.
The disappearance of Avalon sent shockwaves through the European confluxes. Any and all attempts at contacting or reaching the Misty Isle have met with abject failure.
Emergency Powers Granted
The Council of Regulators approach the Hearthland Confluxes with a plan to combat the growing Were menace.
The confluxes agree, and expanded authority is granted to the Council of Regulators.
The Guardians move swiftly to impose limitations on the freedom of assembly, movement and speech by non-humans within the Hearthland Confluxes.
War is declared
Responding to what is called “a systematic oppression of Weres” several terrorist groups, including The White Fangs, declare war on Witchard Society.
The Guardian Order responds by swiftly deploying units and troops along the Hearthland border.
What to expect
WereWar differs from the classic College of Wizardry and Bothwell School of Witchcraft in several key ways. We’ve outlined these differences below.
WereWar has a plot written by the organizers. Whilst each episode is self-contained, the actions of the players at one episode will affect what happens next. You will be able to play your character throughout the entire WereWar series, provided they survive.
WereWar will offer a cast of persistent supporting characters you can get to know as friends, or as rivals. They have their own stories and objectives and will involve you in them. Their fates, like those of your characters, will be determined in play.
Characters may be sent on quests through portals to other places. These quests can offer important information, magic, and great rewards, but some will be extremely perilous! At WereWar when you partake in dangerous quests or rituals there will be a very real risk of your character dying. At other Witchards larps, you can choose whether or not your character should die; at WereWar the choice is made for you. Actions have consequences. This time, if you choose to summon a demon at midnight, the outcome will be out of your hands
Head of Cast
Head of Scenography