The Curse of Innistrad
Other Groups of Interest
Cathars and other servants of the church who disagree with the church’s mandates sometimes rebel and set out on their own. These people are called apostates and while usually good-aligned people, are technically opposed to the church. If discovered, these apostates must fear being imprisoned and possible execution for disobeying the orders of the church. Sometimes those who become apostates disobeyed the church by skirting the line of what is good and evil. Among the ranks of the apostates, you can find people that have made deals with demons, become skabern, or even taken up ghoulcalling, all for the greater good to fight a power force, but nonetheless against the church’s stricture.
The distinction between a demon cult and a witch’s coven is subtle: cults worship demons, but witches derive actual magical power from them, forging contracts similar to those that gave Liliana Vess her magical power. Covens and solitary witches are often times found further away from humanity where they can remain hidden and keep secret of their evil bargaining.
Although they are often called witches and hunted along with those who pact with demons, forcemages stand on the side of humanity against with horrors of Innistrad. Their power is derived from friendly pacts made with nature spirits, combined with extensive knowledge of herbalism. They gather in secretive lodges in the deepest parts of the Ulvenwald and the Somberwald, though solitary forcemages are also found in wooded areas throughout the provinces.
Some bizarre and eccentric scientists use geists—the spirits of the dead—as an energy source to conduct strange experiments on living creatures and fuel crazed technological inventions. They are sometimes called geistmages, and sometimes they dabble in the construction of skaab zombies, so the terminology is not clear and different practitioners might identify themselves in different ways. What they all have in common, however, is their use of elaborate contraptions to capture, bind, and draw energy from geists.
Often this technology is employed to power sprawling laboratories, but some necro-alchemists have managed to bind geists to smaller containers, such as a tube-like canister strapped to the back and attached to a lightning-hurling weapon. At their best, necro-alchemists use their technological advances to fight the monsters in the night. But even in such a case, a geistmage might capture the spirit of a fallen ally to recharge a geist-lightning weapon that has run out of fuel.
Skaberen, also called stitchers, are scientist-mages who create artificial forms of life. The true goal of a skaberen is to create life, an undertaking which usually produces a malformed “offspring” for the practitioner. This offspring is a skaab—a constructed zombie.
Liches are powerful necromancers who fuse the magic of the ghoul-caller with the arcane science of necro-alchemy to preserve themselves in hideous unlife while retaining their sentience and magical power. One lich is know to reside in the Nephalian town of Havengul, but if others exist they are more skilled at hiding their presence.