In my current campaign, witches are a distinct racial cousin of mankind who dwell in the haunted land of Baphomir. They revere the Red Norn, a distant and merciless demi-god said to dwell beyond the end-wastes. The Red Norn is said to have given the witches the language of Aklo. More than a collection of sounds and glyphs, Aklo is a magical dialect that shapes the thoughts of those who hear and use it:
- It is impossible to lie in Aklo; most witches avoid straight-forward conversation and prefer to speak in riddles and metaphor.
- A true name scrawled in the spidery letters of Aklo gives the witch power over the named one, provided she is using the blood of the victim or a close family member for her ink. Male children are bound in this way shortly after birth (before a complete moon cycle has transpired). The true names of all female witches that have ever been born and ever will be may be found in the Nigronomicon of the Red Norn.
- Spells written in Aklo cannot be used by standard magic-users who are not fluent in the language. The bulk of the witches' spellcraft may be found in the seven-volume Icols of Dzypt.
Much as the necromancer communes with the spirits of the dead to achieve his aims, the witch bargains with a community of unborn phantoms native to the nightmare zones who actively seek to obtain flesh-bodies in the material plane. Coteries of witches exist solely to have congress with this-or-that polymantic transient. Phantoms utilize this sexual energy to (a) make brief manifestations in our world or to (b) inseminate a mortal vessel with their demon-seed. Powerful witches are typically accompanied by several invisible servants (called thralls) who work in exchange for a steady diet of blood and other fluids.