All societies have some form of tradition for Midwifery, and almost without exception, it has been an art practiced primarily by women.
It is natural that in worlds where magic exists that it will be called on in that most mystical of human activities, childbirth. Not all of the efforts of practitioners are focused on successful birth, but all are focused on the well being of women.
Unless otherwise specified, none of the listed spells are applicable to beings already born.
All of these spells are risky, so even if your magic system does not require a 'casting' roll or equivalent, it is suggested that these spells have a 5% chance of exceptional success, and a 5% chance of exceptional failure.
Spells of School of Midwifery
These spells do not permanently affect the genetic code of the subjects but serve to aid the Tamperers in affecting changes.
- Allows caster to determine if the subject is pregnant. Exceptional success indicates that any defects will be revealed as well.
- Increases likelihood of successful conception by 100% Exceptional success in casting can cause multiple-births. Exceptional failure results in 10% chance of sterility in mother.
- Suppresses much of the pain of childbirth. Increases probability of mortality by 5% on Exceptional Failure.
- Causes birth process to begin immediately. If cast prior to viable timeframe, it acts as a Terminate Pregnancy. Mortality varies depending upon how early the delivery is forced.
- Decreases Gestation time by 10% but increases mortality rate by 20%. Exceptional success results in only 10% increase in mortality. Exceptional failure increases mortality by 40%. This spell is not normally used by practitioners of Midwifery.
- Causes subject to become much less fertile for several months. Exceptional Failure results in permanent sterility.
- Ceases current pregnancy, with exceptional failure causing severe injury or death to the mother. If allowed in magic system, both mother and fetus can resist this spell.
Gorgantaulia the Midwife
This old woman, considered a witch by most of the townfolk, is actually a practitioner of magic Midwifery and has eased the birth of many a townsperson, though usually in secret. The main cause of the townsfolk's revulsion is that she will also assist with terminating unwanted pregnancies. She is according to her own code, scrupulously good and provides this service to spare souls from a life as an unwanted child, or to prevent the suicide of women. She has even performed this service unknown to the would-be mothers, hidden by illusion, knowing though they need her, their family would never let them.
Unfortunately, in one case the termination she provided prevented the birth of a much desired male heir to a rather unpleasant nobleman. The mother-to-be planned to kill herself rather then deliver a son to the beastly man. Gorgantaulia provided an exit with a secret stillbirth, but divinations found her out. She now has a contract upon her head. The PCs could be enlisted either to capture her, or to help her escape the town. She has many friends and enemies, but few of either camp will openly act against her.
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? Responses (9)
From Sacramax's suggestion I have broken this out as it's own sub!
Not quite what I had in mind, but I was not very specific with my demands. :p
Love it actually! The concept is a good one. The execution covers the basics, with perfect examples! Apropos reading for me at the moment :)
Of course what comes to mind, are sinister plothooks branching out from this even further. Midwives with hidden agendas? secret society? a misunderstood male midwife? hmmmmmm
Perhaps the reason for the genesis of this particular branch of magic, involves some ancient legends. Perhaps, they all await the birth of the GREAT ONE!! ...and by his purple blotch you'll know HIM (or something)
I like them much better than the more developed set (though you may want to link that to this).
Midwives were for long suspected from dabbling in The Art, and perhaps not wrongly. Tolerating the probabilities, most of this list can proudly show next to Hedge Magic that is widely spread among the folk. And perhaps there exists even this one:
Spark of Life
After a long labour, a freshly delivered baby may be weak, and this magic may just provide the impulse for it to start breathing on its own, and often also crying as babies are wont to.
(This is no healing spell, but a very ineffective transfer of life power; unless cast by a priest that has the power to heal, the midwife will need several days of rest afterwards. It cannot revive, merely help along.)
A nice fleshing out of an otherwise obscure profession nearly every town will have at least one practitioner of, and interesting plot hook.
Magic systems always need more utilitarian spells and schools such as this. One can imagine a midwife mage is called on by folks much more frequently than one who can conjure fire.
Short and sweet. An interesting school of 'magic'.
Nice one, much more useful than fireball or windwall