The covens of Atlanta are numerous. They serve many gods and goddesses and have little in common. A typical coven consists of a limited number of members, usually thirteen. Some covens are exclusively female, while others allow male members.
The proper terminology for a female or male coven member is a witch or practitioner of the craft. Some covens refer to male members as warlocks. Who is called what is a bone of contention between various covens.
Most witches possess expert knowledge of herbology and magic rituals involving natural objects, such as minerals and plants. Witches do not engage in alchemy. They’re highly effective against shapeshifters, magic animals, and other users of “natural” magic.
Each coven operates as a separate unit. When a coven is bound together by a ritual, it becomes more powerful than the sum of the powers of its individual members. That power separates the covens from the neo-cults.
The Witch Oracle.
The Witch Oracle is the only authority that binds the covens into a faction. It consists of three witches: Hag, Mother, and Maiden. The Oracle meets in the stone crypt in the middle of a dense wilderness that used to be Centennial Park. During the flare, the crypt is transformed into a living turtle.
The witches of the Oracle worship Hekate the Queen of the Night, the Mother of all Witches. She is depicted on a wall of their meeting place as a tall woman with three arms: the first holds a knife, the second a torch, and the third a chalice with a tiny snake winding about it. To the left of her sit a black cat and a toad, to the right a key and a broom.
Each of the three Oracle witches plays a specific role, symbolizing the objects in Hekate’s arms:
- The Knife - the raw power of magic, wielded as a weapon
- The Chalice – the power of the craft, the knowledge of magic and nature
- The Torch – the power of prophecy, the sight into the past, present, and future
There are only three witches active at any particular time. If one of the Oracle witches is close to death, another will be born to replace her. The identity of the Oracle Witch is typically discovered when she reaches puberty, provided the Oracle witch she is replacing is dead. If an Oracle witch dies suddenly, the Oracle will be crippled until the new Oracle witch matures.