The Line Walkter is more of a traditional spell casting wizard who is especially attuned to ley line energy. The mage is so attuned to ley lines that he can see magic energy emanating from even weak ley lines normally invisable to the human eye. Likewise, he can see invisible magic energy radiating from living beings, enchanted/magic objects, techno-wizard devices, and supernatural creatures. This is not a see aura, but an ability to actually see mystic energy waves. Furthermore, the Line Walker can feel the presence of ley linees, pinpoint nexus areas, and tell when a rift has opened nearby.
The pursuit of magic is a means to utilize natural energy and direct it with one's own mental abilities. The ley line walker spends years learning to focus his thoughts and build his will in order to direct and mold mystic energy. He also spends years learning how to let the ley line energy flow into and through him, building his tolerance for magic energy and making him the walker a sort of living relay station and energy transformer, as well as a potential psychic energy battery. At these moments, the line walker becomes part of the energy he is directing and it gives him much greater control and range of magic abilities.
The inquisitive nature of the line walker means that the chatacter is usually open to new ideas, people, and philosophies. They are often literate, may study areas of science and have no aversion to using high-tech weapons, vehicles, and equipment. Lightweight weapons and armor are generally preferred because they are less cumbersome.
A mystic is more of an intuuitive fellow who can sense different aspects and happenings on the physical and metaphysical levels of life. They are often acclaimed advisors and prophets who can glimpse the future. The intuitive nature of the mystic's power means that they simply accept suddenly knowing something and have learned to trust their feelings. This also means that most mystics disregard formal education in favor of following their cosmic path. Most believe that too much education creates walls that block one from the natural psychic emanations and deadens one to the true world around them. They also believe that too much reliance on technology will have the same effect. Consequently, a mystic will avoid cybernetic, bionic, and all forms of human augmentation, but will use tools, energy weapons, and body armor. With this attitude, it is little wonder that many mystics are renowned philosophers and love philosophical and metaphysical debates.
An individual can be taught by a mystic in the ways of mysticism, usually philosophy, meditation, and in opening one's mind and body to the world, but most mystics will tell you that one does not learn to become a mystic, but is born with the "gift."
Their pwoers are a combination of psychic and magic. Psychic powers are limited to the categories of Sensitive and Healing. Magic is limited to the more simple and sense oriented spells.
The Shifter O.C.C. is similar to the Summoner of Medieval Fantasy. Shifters are students of magic whose emphasis is mastery of the rifts, in regard to opening dimensional portals and summoning creatures from the rifts! These mages have a reputation of being irrational and evil. However, it is an undeserved reputation, for there are as many good and kind shifters as there are good wizards of other magic occupations. The differents is that shifters obviously deal with supernatural forces that are terrifying to most people.
The Shifter's focus of mystic study is understanding how ley lines and nexus points work and how to use them for trans-dimensional travel and summoning. Unlike the ley line walker, the shifter is not so much a cessel where magic energy is drawn into him, but instead, the shifter learns to manipulate the energy around him. For example, he will direct and change the nexus point energy to open a rift, but he does not draw the energy inside of him. Likewise, a shifter draw upon the Potential Psychic Energy of those around him to create magic )this can lead to human sacrifice among evil shifters).
The techno-wizard is the most unconventional of the magic occupational character classes. They are men of magic who have learned to combine magic with technology. Although the techno-wizard can cast spells and read scrolls, the focus of their magic is the creation of magic devices. The wizard has learned to direct his potential psychic energies into machines, enabling those devices to do strange and magical things that seem to defy known science.
Many of these devices seem to only emulate existing magic and psionic abilities, however, they offer several advantages. One advantage is that unlike a spoell that can only be spun by a person knowledgeable in magic, or a psionic power that can only be utiilized by the psychic who possesses it, many devices creatures and empowered by techno-wizardry can be used by any one who has sufficieny psychic or magic energy. This means that a fellow practitioner of magic or psychic can use a techo-wizard's machine.
Another advantage is that people who are not psychic or mystically oriented can NOT operate the device at all. Sort of a built-in safety feature. For Example: Somebody who is not a mage or psychic can not fly a wing board or operate a Techno-Wizard Machinegun. In fact, to a normal person, the devices seem like worthless junk without any apparent power source of functioning internal workings. They do not realize that the operator of the device itself is the power source! Techno-wizards have taken the concept of a person being a living battery of potential psychic "energy" to its logical conclusion (or so it seems to them). Thus, they create devices that are powered by the individual's energy and directed by the person's thoughts and desires. The need for other energy sources is greatly reduced (not quite completely eliminiated).
A third advantage to using potential psychic energy as a means to power devices is that the energy is non-polluting, non-toxic, odorless (except to psi-stalkers, mutant dogs, and supernatural creatures), and has no known ill effects on human life.
A fourth advantage is that the devices are usually easy to conceal and do not often appear to be magic. Whenever the device is not in use, it does not radiate magic, because it is not currently empowered by magic. When the device is not in use, it is nothing more than a construct of machine parts and wires.
A warlock is a man or woman who draws his magic poiwers from a supernatural, elemental intelligence. Like the mystic and the witch, there is no true knowledge of the mystic arts, instead the warlock, though his link with the supernatural intelliegcne, intuitively knows certain spells. Note: A warlock is not a male witch.
One might assume that warlocks are closely attuned to nature, and in some ways they are, but not in the way one might think. They are not spiritualists, like the druids of England who try to live in harmony with their environment, instead, the warlock functions on a more primeval level. A level that concerned with power, change and anar hcym for that is their vision of nature. Their world view is a picture of seething, unrestrained force, freedom, and change. As such, a warlock will bind himself to no man or god, he is a free spirit to wander the universe to observe and instigate change. They can become the heads of State, or even Emperor of a Kingdom, or restrict their efforts to a life as a wander in philosopher, or both, during their lifetime. Life, adventure, power and freedom are all important. They appreciate the forces of nature and vend tem to their will, but freedom is revered above all else.
Although there are places with comparatively large communities of warlocks (usually a guild or church with as many as 100 warlocks among their members), these practitioners of magic never preach the ways of magic, never try to convert anybody to any way of thinking, seldom even discuss their philosophy, and have no formal religious or political structure nor leader. Each group will be independent of the other. And as for philosophy, they believe that either one is born a warlock or not. Yet despite the lack of a supreme leader or formal laws/doctrine, warlocks all share the same basic philosophy and all show great respect and courtesy to each other. Even warlocks who are deadly rivals will first have a polite meeting to discuss the situation and to proclaim each other's intentions. Such meetings will inevitably end with a statement such as, "So my brother, I must regrettably destroy you and any who stand with you, be they brother or sister warlocks or valiant heroes." To which the other responds, "Just as the wind and waves erode the mighty mountain, so must we clash, my brother." The two are likely to enjoy a meal together, shake hands or hug, and depart. But from that moment on, the line has been drawn and there shall be no mercy nor quarter given by either when that line is crossed. The blood and destruction by warring warlocks can be horrendous.
What was once known as witchcraft is more prevalent in the world of Rifts than ever before. There are two key elements that make witchery different from other forms of magic. 1. A direct link and willing allegiance to the supernatural (often evil). 2. Empowerment by that supernatural evil.
Magic, like technology and knowledge, is a tool, a potential force that can be used for good or evil. It can be used to build and protect or to destroy and subjugate. Potential psychic energy is just that, energy. It is the user of that energy who applies the power for good or evil. Among the various areas of magic, such as ley line walker, shifter, mystic, wizard, warlock, etc., there are practitioners who use magic for good, evil and selfishness. But witchery, as defined in the context of Rifts, is always a malevolent force. Even the well meaning are either motivated by dark emotions or are turned to the evil with whom they have allied themselves.
The majority of practitioners of witchcraft actuallu know very little about the workings of magic. Unlike many of the other areas of magic, the typical witch (about 65%) is illiterate and uneducated (note that does not mean stupid,only lacking a formal education). The lack of knowledge is, in fact, propagated by the supernatural force that empowers the witch, because witchery is the quick, seemingly easy way to power. The supernatural forcce one is allied to proivides unnatural power, magic, a protector and counselor (the demon familiar), a degree of apparent knowledge and insight that would seem to compensate for real, formal knowledge. While all of this does compensate to a point, the lak of personal knowledge and skill makes the witch all the more dependent on his or her masters, and therefore, a puppet of supernatural evil!
Most supernatural forces that engage in witchery are powerful intelligences and god-like creatures of immense power. Many feed on human emotions, like psychic vampires. Thus, they have little real concern about events or the direction an event may take, but only in the turmoil that such an event creates. Turmoil that will enale them to drink deeply the rich, delicious emotions stirred up by their minion, the witch. It is the existance of these enigmatic beings that may have lent itself to the concept of gods of chaos and order, light and dark, yin and yand. Certainly, these dark, selfish god-beings promote chaos, frenzy, and suffering, all of which are the nectars from which they drink. And, with the Rifts Earth being a place of magic and a dimensional nexus, many are the forces of evil that come to taunt and feed on its inhabitants.
Unlike the elementals and mindolar, who view like on Earth with indifference, there are forces equally as powerful, but infinitely more sinister. They are the forces of evil, selfihsness and power that have plagued man since the dawn of time. Insidious, corrupting evil that threatens the fate of the human race. Creatures whose sole enjoyment is the torment and subjugation of humanoids. Fiends that cultivate and feed on the suffering of other creatures. Demons who find delight in tearing a person's life with their teeth. These are the typical sources of witchery.
The intelligence sends an essence fragment into the world in search for likely servants who will become their minion. Typically these are the frustrated, desperate, hate filled and selfish who are seeking a means to power or revengce. The supernatural essence offers them that power but at a terrible price.
The creature will usually offer one of the following: The Gift of Power, Gift of Magic, or Gift of Union. The gift of power and magic knowledge requires that the psychic being anchor itself to our world. To do this it will require a host body. Usually an innocuous animal, such as a cat, dog or bird. With the summoner's permission, it will possess the animal and is ready to begin. This is where the demon familiar comes from.
The gift of power is an usually in which the human recipient believes he has been magically granted superhuman abilities. In a way, he has, except the power is not drawn from some inner strength, but directly from the alien being. The creature project a fraction of its power into its human pawn, giving him a taste of true power. It is only after the character has grown to love his power that he learns it is the demonic being that holds and gives the power. A power that can be cut off with a mere thought. Suddenly, it is the witch who is a slave to the intelligence, as long as he covets that power.
Supposedly the ultimate reward in the way of power is the gift of union, because the witch character willingly allows the horrid creature to share his body. The union fuses man with monster, but is not a classical possession, because the creature allows the human's essence to share control of the host body. The union instills a great number of changes.
First, the character's alignment inmmediately changes to miscreant evil. Suddewnly,the person will have a whole new perspective on the world. He or she will realize that the end always justifies the means. He will feel superior to all other lifeforms and realize that he was meant to be revered as a god. A new confidence will wash over him and he will know that anything is within his grasp. The character will be rutless, merciless, and unfeeling toward his fellow humanoids, who are like ignorant savages to be used and abused as he desires. A voice in his head will assure him that this is all true. That same voice will implant suggestions, urge violence and entice acts of cruelty.
The "gifts" are powers that are provided as a result of an amicable arrangement. In most cases the supernatural being cannot really take ownership or a person's soul, but will, in effect, encourage such eil and decadence that the character will be forever lost to theforces of good, and may well become the enemy of all that is good. In this sense, the witch loses his or her soul. The actual signin of a pact is a formality that serves as a questionably legal contract, and, more importantly, as a focus of concentration and surrendering of willpower. Dealing with a supernatural being is not to be taken lightly and the creature will hold the pact maker to the letter of their agreement. The formal pact serves as a reminder to the pact maker of exactly what the deal was. Ultimately, the pact will serve to make the prson a minion of evil.
Another reason for the pact, which usually demands some cruel sacrifice or condition or servitude, is pure meanness on the supernatural being's part. Just one more little pleasure, hurting or destroying another lifeform.
Pacts can only be made by demon lords and supernatural intelligences. For the pact to be official, the pact signer must sign or his own free will. Most of these supernatural fiends will be surprisingly up front about the conditions, powers, and price of the pact, and will not try to trick or cheat the potential pact signer (although they may not explain certain details until the agreement is signed). Mortals who try to trick, cheat, or deceive such beings are likely to be caught in the act and possessed or tortured and killed. These creatures don't take any horseshit, especially from some insignificant mortal.
The "devil's mark", also known as "the mark of evil", is a third nipple (Note: That's nipple, not breast and nipple). This nipple can be places anywhere on the body, but is usually places on the upper portion of the torso. This serves three purposes: to identify the character as a witch, as a sign of ownership by evil forces, and to feed the familiar, which suckles from the nipple, drinking of the witch's blood (small amounts, of course). All witches bear such a mark.