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Witches (마녀 Manyeo) are female magic users that can manipulate mana naturally. Compared to ordinary humans, they are considerably stronger. They are mainly portrayed in a negative light in the series and are arguably although not as a whole the main antagonists of the series. Some witches choose to defend humans by becoming Witch Hunters.

Overview and CapabilitiesEdit

Color Splash 5.1

Varete and Neptis

Witches are all females and witches are born human, but have possessed the ability to store mana, although to a limit, before they're awakened. They may possess other abilities before being awakened as witches, (whether or not witches will have these abilities at birth or simply acquire them in life is unknown) such as perception as seen when Monica was able to detect Vanir Gullveig's strings and see the usually unseen WH's uniforms for what they really were; these abilities seem to be amplified after the awakening. It appears that witches are not human, or at least they do not consider themselves and are not considered to be human by humans, even though they once were.

They manipulate mana to use spells and power their Supporters, living beings, non-living beings or even objects who choose or are forced to serve the witch. Mana is described as a "poison", which corrupts the mind and spirit. Though this accounts for the evil and warped natures of many witches, and it has been shown that contact with mana can cause mental instability, while when a witch is low on mana a more stable persona can emerge. It should be noted that while some witches are evil (or at least have deep-seated emotional problems) many witches, including many notable WH witches have shown to be perfectly stable and capable of telling the difference between good and evil without any warped views or opinions. The effects of mana are shown to also vary and effect some individuals, differently from others, for example when Tasha experienced a rush of mana he almost instantly lost his mind, and soon after awakening Aria killed her father, while other individuals were completely unaffected (or only subtly so). One notable detail is that after becoming a witch, they cannot have children anymore as the mana in their body is poisonous to any developing child in their womb. Instead, witches focus their energy in training junior witches as disciples as a way to ensure that they, as a race, continue to propagate.

Even though they are not many of them, some witches have the appearances of forty years old women. Most women reach witchood around that age, when their abilities have reached their climax. The more capable they are, the younger they are at the moment of their transformation. They rejuvenate greatly, to the point where they only look in their twenties. Once their metamorphosis is done, their physical appearance does not change anymore. If a young witch continues to age after her metamorphosis, it means that her abilities haven't climaxed yet. Their growth continues until their abilities are fully developed (this is the case of Aria and Ran).[1]

They can enhance their physical capabilities using magic, but it would take a while longer than doing so with chi. However, it will last 24 hours.[2]

History of WitchesEdit

East-Character

East in her weakened form

For many millenniums, witches and regular humans lived in harmony, but 14 years ago, humans began disrespecting witches. Feeling that it was their responsibility to punish the humans for their insolence North and South decided to wage war against humanity, although North aims to annihilate mankind while South wants to enslave them. East was impartial to the cause while West was against it;  in order to eliminate the threat to their shared goal of putting humans in their place North and South created an alliance. Firstly North under the pretense of coming to East to discuss current events to her castle. East was poised to remain neutral in the act not wanting to take an extreme, North told her that this was OK but asked her to remain impartial even if West died. East denied this option and warned North that should West die (which she also scoffed at as a possibility) than she would become North's enemy. It was than that South appeared behind East and she was captured, taken to North's castle. In desperation East seperated herself from her Sorella: Etwal and fled with Surtr. South gave chase but North stayed behind with Etwal and revealed that not only had North discovered that Etwal was East's Sorella but that she (Etwal) had been North's target from the start. By killing Etwal North gained East's abilities over life and death and the power to bipas the Karmic laws of reincarnation. She and South than proceeded to kill West but North now had East's powers which allowed her to reincarnate West as the human boy Tasha. Now without opposition from the other two Great Witches North and South were allowed to begin the war against humanity.

Following the waves of attacks, the surviving countries collected people with special abilities to combat the witches, thus forming the Witch Hunters (WHs). In ten years, two-thirds of the world was under the witches control, and the only two countries that were able to avoid Witch control absolutely were the Bairong Empire thanks to their powerful Chi powers and elite warriors and the country of Britain who had Merlin and the equally elite warriors, Knights of the Round.

While it did seem assured that the witches would eventually win the war a miscalculation occured: six years prior to the start of the series Edea Florence joined the witch hunters and was the first witch to do so greatly contributing to their military power and weaponry with the magical WH uniform and the Mana guns being just some of her contributions. Her allignment to the WH  was soon followed by other witches such as Diana. This drastically turning the tides of the war, allowing humans and the organization to survive to this day. The witches who began the first war are currently aiming to bring about a second one.

OriginEdit

As mentioned above and later, a witch is a female who has awakened with the ability to control mana. Subtle hints seem to indicate that there are certain catalysts necessary to become a witch. This catalyst usually works when the female has an urge to become stronger which awakens their latent potentials.

One such Catalyst is possible reincarnation as Tasha is a reincarnation of a witch and has inherited his past life's mana source despite being a different gender, though East's magic that freed West from the Karmic circle of rebirth may have had a play in this.

WitchesEdit

Four Great WitchesEdit

The most powerful group of witches are the Four Great Witches (4대 마녀 Ne Dae Manyeo), who are named after the respective cardinal regions they live in. Each of them govern their own district and are known to all have glamorous bodies and live in massive castles. All the Great Witches are roughly 5,000 years old and have so much mana that they don't need their witch hats to cast powerful spells, however, their mana is still finite in this sense and East, the only one who is currently stated to lack a hat, notes that she cannot do so forever. Out of the four witches, only three are alive and only one is not in a weakened state, South, which technically makes her the most powerful Witch currently alive. Currently two of these witches are major antagonists in this series.

WizardsEdit

The moment a female's magical power awakens, she becomes a witch but males who awaken are known as Wizards (마법사 Mabeobsa). Though extremely rare, it is not impossible for a male to acquire a mana source which is proof of being a witch/wizard but unlike female witches, males with a mana source can't manipulate mana by instinct and need to figure it out themselves. Wizards are extremely rare with only two known people who fit the category, one being Merlin who is an Archmage that obtained his mana source artificially and the other is Tasha, who acquired it as a result of being the reincarnation of West.

MembersEdit

Name Magic Supporter Affiliation Status
North Resurrection None Four Great Witches Alive
East Death/Rebirth Surtr Four Great Witches Alive
South Explosion/Fire None Four Great Witches Alive
West Snow None Four Great Witches Deceased
Etwal Death/Rebirth Surtr (Farce) East Deceased
Peony Teleportation None South Alive
Merlin Mana Manipulation None Britain Alive
Varete Unknown Shadow of Abyss North Alive
Neptis Space/Time Unknown North Alive
Aria Godspell None Aegis North Alive
Sabrina Rose Unknown Veetar South Alive
Quibelion None Cube South Captured
Cecil Unknown None South Captured
Andra Unknown None South Captured
Delling None None South Captured
Bliss None Metal Crawler South Captured
Guinevere Contract Lancelot du Lac South Alive
Calia None Dexter Fedora South Alive
Ameton Impact Unknown South Alive
Meiling Unknown Lee Beirong South Alive
Xiao Necromancy WH Puppets South Deceased
Myun Power Replication None South Captured
Jacqueline Cloning Replication None South Deceased
Mary Time Retrogression None South Deceased
Hypnia Memory Reading Unkown South Alive
Tasha Godspell None Mordred East Alive
Edea Florence Unknown Unknown Witch Hunter Deceased
Tania Doberg Earth Prithvi Witch Hunter Alive
Choha Unknown Unknown Witch Hunter Alive
Agnes Unknown Unknown Witch Hunter Alive
Diana Basil Information Throne Room Witch Hunter Alive
Elmar Hyacinth Healing Tirving Witch Hunter Alive
Eclipse Shadenon Unknown Unknown Witch Hunter Alive
Alv Bronte Gold Materialization None Witch Hunter Alive
Monica None Parvati Witch Hunter Alive
Nekbet Unknown Unknown Witch Hunter Alive
Ran Unknown Bagira Witch Hunter Alive
Tanned WH Unknown Unknown Witch Hunter Alive
Patricia Healing None Witch Hunter Alive
Shout Time Unknown Witch Hunter Deceased
South Administrator Unknown Unknown Witch Hunter Deceased
Vanir Gullveig Thread/Subordination Wooden Doll None Captured
Crab Witch None Infinite Familiars None Captured

SupportersEdit

Supporters range from machines to people to spirits; they can be just about anything. Supporters are just like individuals, things that have unique personality and appearances, the main difference between them and ordinary beings is they have a mana supply, and with that they possess all the added strength provided by mana. In order for one to be a supporter, they must form a contract with a witch, Spiritual Supporters automatically form a contract with their master.

Normal SupporterEdit

A normal Supporter that the witch acquires. They can be changed but are generally only done if their original supporter is destroyed beyond repair, it takes time to get used to a supporter. There are 4 requirements to have a fully functional normal Supporter.

  1. It must be able to become a Supporter (what determines this is unknown).
  2. Your mana level must be able to control it.
  3. You have to be able to bond to the Supporter.
  4. The Supporter must willingly obey you.

If any of these are not met, the Supporter may not obey the Witch, or may require gratuitous amounts of mana to operate. However, the normal Supporter will always need more mana to operate to a certain extent than the Spiritual Supporter given that the two supporters are on the same level. The supporter won't die if it's master dies.

Spiritual SupporterEdit

Some women are destined to be Witches, and sometimes, they develop a Supporter destined to be theirs. The Spiritual Supporter is born and will appear before the witch when she is awakened. They are generally stronger than conventional supporters, but are much rarer. Being so closely linked to their master, if the master dies, the supporter dies. They meet all criteria to be a functional Supporter and require close to zero mana to use, since they are essentially an extension of the Witch's mana conduit.

Witch HatsEdit

While Witches can store mana in their bodies, the human body can only hold a finite amount of mana at any given time. To compensate for this, at the moment a Witch awakens their powers, a hat is formed, which acts as a mana storage device that can apparently hold incalculable amounts of mana. The downside to this is that, if the hat is destroyed, all the mana the Witch had stored over time in it is lost. Hats may take various forms, and may be more like helmets, or any other headpiece. The only witches seen that don't need a hat to work powerful spells are East and South, although it is implied that all of the Four Great Witches don't need their hats. When a hat filled with mana is stolen, you can extract and use the mana stored, even if you don't own the hat.

SorellaEdit

A rare sight among witches, sorellas appear to be humanoid manifestations of a witch hat. This means that if their witch master dies they to will die. A sorella’s body and personality differ from the witch they are “born”, sometimes causing surprise with others for the extreme differences between the witch and her sorella (difference in personality for South and Peony and differences in body for East and Etwal). Because of these differences sorellas are treated as a different entity with a name of their one.

So far, the only witches revealed to have sorella's are among the great four; East and South.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Cho, Jung-man (2009). Witch Hunter Manhwa: Volume 7: Q&A. Ki-oon. ISBN 978-2-35592-075-2
  2. Cho, Jung-man (2009). Witch Hunter Manhwa: Volume 6: Q&A. Ki-oon. ISBN 978-2-35592-053-0

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