World Cauldron

For more details about real world witches see the RPGuides article Witches & Witchcraft.

The World Cauldron is both holiest icon and highest altar for the practitioners of witchcraft.  In appearance the World Cauldron is jet black and fifteen feet high measured from its thirteen legs to its rim and fifteen feet in diameter at its middle, forming an almost perfect sphere.  The cauldron has a handle, though it is hard to say why, since it weighs thousands of pounds and could not possibly be lifted.  Other than this the cauldron is featureless.  The inside of the cauldron – if you dared to look – is just as featureless as the outside and the walls seem to be just under a foot thick.

For easy access the cauldron is placed in a deep pit so that only the last few feet are above ground and attendant witches can see over the rim.  Once a year the fire underneath the World Cauldron is lit in a special ritual and the cauldron fills with blue green vapour which laps over the rim.  It requires a full coven of thirteen witches of at least 12th level to light the World Cauldron – these must be witches as defined by the rules of your world: sub-classed mages according to AD&D rules or sub-classed druids on the world of Saas.  Once lit the Cauldron will remain so until the dawn of the next day and during such time a number of tasks can be performed by the witches.

Scrying: The World Cauldron can scry any location anywhere and no defences are proof against it.  Furthermore the World Cauldron will always see truly and the thoughts and alignments of those seen can be accurately judged.  Remember the Cauldron is an artefact and overrides all normal magical preventions against scrying.

Communication: Anything which is seen through the World Cauldron can be communicated with.

Spell Casting: Any spell known to an attendant witch involved in the fire lighting ritual may be cast through the World Cauldron.

Spell Augmentation: Any spell cast through the World Cauldron is cast at a total power rating equal to the level of the highest level witch plus twelve (one for each other member of the coven), so a 17th level coven mistress would result in the Cauldron augmenting spells cast to 29th level for the purposes of duration, area of effect, etc.  These spells need not be cast by the coven mistress to obtain the augmentation; all spells cast by coven members take effect at this same level.  However, the cauldron does not empower witches to cast spells they could not normally cast, so a level 12 witch with a casting power at 29th level would still be unable to cast 7th level magic if they were a priest or 7th, 8th and 9th level magic if they were a wizard.

Potion Brewing: Any potion mixed using the World Cauldron – providing all the ingredients are at hand any potion can be mixed in 1 hour with 100% success – has maximum effect.  A healing potion would heal the maximum possible hp, a potion of longevity would return the maximum number of years of youth.  In cases where there is no maximum effect, or multiple effects are determined randomly, at the time of mixing the witch can determine which effect will occur.

Magic Item Creation: Any item dipped in the World Cauldron will function as if an enchant an item spell had been cast on it.  This spell differs from the normal spell in that the witch has two weeks from that time before she must begin casting spells to enchant the item.  Items not worthy to be enchanted are destroyed in the cauldron.  Furthermore, if within two weeks of the enchanting being completed the item is placed with the World Cauldron until the lighting ritual next year it will have permanency cast upon it and the witch will not lose constitution.  The item must not be moved from within the cauldron during the year or it will crumble to dust.

The World Cauldron is indestructible, but would be rendered unusable if there were fewer than thirteen witches of 12th level or above in the world.  Many worlds which have a World Cauldron upon them also have numerous legends regarding the day of the lighting ritual.  It is a time when the spiritual world is in a frenzy and witches, so often quiet and reclusive during the year, are brazen and flush with power.

There will only ever be one World Cauldron on any world and competition to be one of the thirteen coven members is fierce.  The World Cauldron is either controlled by a number of very powerful witches or, more commonly following a state’s witch-purge, the bare minimum number and level of witches will use the cauldron to eliminate all those of lower level whom might rise to challenge them for their position within the next year.  In this way, as with necromancers, only the most stupid, or the most powerful, dare to practice openly.

(This item is from the world of Saas)

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