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A crone is a witch on the path to achieving godhood by stealing the life force of others through a dark ritual. The second stage on this path is the baba yaga, a point where the crone loses all traces of humanity and transforms into a higher life form, a reflection of her inner self. This creature is powerful, with natural abilities unique to itself, and can use them to create her own unique spells. At this stage, it can form a cult of individuals with a unique mindset of ascending to gods, but devoted to her. It can no longer operate openly due to its change in appearence, so must use its more human witch emissaries to act on its behalf.These followers are taught the kind of magic created by the baba yaga and are given similiar abilities unique to her craft by it, and go out into the world to spread it's influence in various ways, through war or business, etc. They are usually small in number and operate independently, but may come together to serve a bigger purpose.

The system works as a pyramid scheme, in which a member is responsible for recruiting other members, strengthening the numbers of the organization. However, these witches are also capable of performing this dark ritual whenever they have the chance, and are likely to do so. Understanding this, the baba yaga wants to ensure that none of them get more power faster than her. Whenever a witch performs this ritual on an individual, the largest portion of the energy gained should be given to her. The spell can be done by themselves but this is much more difficult and dangerous. Therefore, this ritual is normally done in teams of up to five members, called a cell. The power gained from the ritual, say 25%, is shared among the cell, with the majority 75 % going to the baba yaga. The more cells have been established among her members, the more power the baba yaga gains through their efforts. Regardless of whether the ritual is done singly or with group effort, it ensures that she reaches her goals faster, and prevents any one individual from surpassing her in power.

This is a cutthroat operation where each witch is out to achieve power for themselves, and distrust and treachery is commonplace. It is similar to the Sith with the master apprentice concept, but without the rule of two to keep it in "check". Expecting these ruthless individuals to give up a major portion of power to the top boss willingly is unrealistic.

I need this system to benefit the maximum amount of people as possible while keeping the most senior members more powerful than their underlings. I also need the group to not implode as a whole due to betrayal. What procedures would ensure that this system continues with consistency despite all the backstabbing and treachery?

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  • $\begingroup$ I see 4 steps outlined here "A crone is a witch on the path to achieving godhood by stealing the life force of others through a dark ritual. The second stage on this path is the baba yaga", namely, 1. witch, 2. Crone, 3 Baba Yaga, 4. Godhood. Though the difference between witch and Crone seems like a witch gets her 'power' from random and sundry sources, whereas a Crone gets it from "Allying" with a Baba Yaga. Am I understanding that correctly? $\endgroup$ – Dalila May 23 at 17:47
  • $\begingroup$ @Dalia a crone is a evil witch that steals power from others which kills them. A baba yaga is a crone who has ascended to a higher life form and on the second stage to godhood. A baba yaga has underlings who are also crone that work for it. $\endgroup$ – Incognito May 23 at 17:55
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    $\begingroup$ @JBH edited to be more clear. $\endgroup$ – Incognito May 24 at 6:46
  • $\begingroup$ +1 for Baba Yaga - forest dwelling witch and protector of world of dead ancestors from Slavic tales. $\endgroup$ – vodolaz095 May 25 at 21:26
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Simple Deception, Concealment, and Misdirection

Claim that the commission must be paid (true) to some other super-being instead of the baba yaga (false). If needed, claim that the baba yaga is collecting on behalf of the super-being, who will later drain the power from her.

She should appear anxious and stressed before her meetings with the imaginary, unforgiving boss. She should seem relieved and harried afterward.

This creates a whole new level of mystery and threat that uppity underlings must penetrate before they dare to topple her. Heighten the mystery with plain old flimflam.

Identify underlings who try to penetrate the mysteries as dangerous, and begin a whole new path of "training and preparation" for each that ends in their inevitable destruction without leaving the rest of the organization any wiser.

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These followers are taught the kind of magic created by the baba yaga

The magic created by the baba yaga has a sort of signature, which is specific to the baba yaga. When casting the magic the signature cannot be skipped, else the magic won't work.

The signature also ensure that for any power gained by that magic, the due share is delivered to the baba yaga.

This will

ensure that this practice continues with consistency despite all the backstabbing and treachery

the only workaround being not using the magic.

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    $\begingroup$ Not using magic isn't the only workaround. By using the magic of multiple baba yagas, a not-yet-transcendent witch can amass more power than any one of the baba yagas she serves. As with any pyramid scheme, she just needs to get in early so that the hosts below her greatly outnumber the parasites above. If a coven of thirteen witches all want to be the most powerful and twelve of them perform the baba yaga spell while the thirteenth becomes the pinnacle follower of the other twelve, her twelve down-trees could be larger than that of any of one of her "gods". +1 despite the loophole $\endgroup$ – Henry Taylor May 23 at 11:14
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These rituals require material components. What your witch needs is a monopoly of those components.

She may start a brand - Witchlife - and sell those components directly to other witches, who then can resell those components to other witches for a profit. By joining her network, the reselling witches can make enough of a living to quit their jobs and become their own bosses.

It works like this: non registered witches buy the products at their full price, but registered witches get a discount on every purchase based on the volume of products they acquire, along with a badge:

  • Up to 3,999 units a month: 15% discount and a title of Witchlife representative;
  • 4,000 to 9,999 units a month: 25% discount and the title of Witchlife consultant;
  • 10,000 to 24,999 units a month: 35% discount and title title of Witchlife doctor, along with the right to start her own organization;
  • 25,000+ units a month: 50% discount and the title of Witchlife director.

Further amounts grant titles such as chief, president etc. No further discounts are given, but you get rotaltyes over your organization's profits.

An organization is a chain of witches who register each other. When you register a witch under you, it is to your interest that they sell magical components to other witches. For example, you can hardly sell components to 10,000 witches by yourself. But once you become a director, for example, you can sell to ten doctors, and with a 50% discount your profit is practically 100%. The doctors under you will then sell to a hundred consultants and get their 35% share of sales, and those consultants will sell to representatives and non registered witches and get their 25% share.

If you are a chief or higher you get 5% royalties over all those units and are eligible for rewards such as a cruise to Avalon on a flying caravel, jewelry embroidered with the Witchlife logo and an article about you on the monthly Witchlife Almanac!

Witchlife products are usable in the Baba Yaga ritual and work by balancing your aura. All you need to do is replace one or two meals a day if you want to lose mana, or eat them along your meals. If you wish to gain mana. The products are safe and backed by Hogwarts. You can yrust Witchlife because we have and Gandalf on our payroll, doing research to deliver state-of-the-black-arts magical products to you.

If you are interested, I just happen to have an opening for a new representative on my organization. Just write your sigil on this contract and you can start buying from me today. Just gove me your firstborn child for a couple thousand units in products, and in a just a few short months you may have enough firstborn children from clients to retire. Trust me! Join Witchlife today!

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    $\begingroup$ I knew amway consultants were evil.....I think I see it now. Amway, when translated into an ancient runic script, becomes an anagram for Witchlife! $\endgroup$ – Paul TIKI May 26 at 4:38
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The usual empowerment ritual requires 2 components: A "donor" beneath you to push you up (like stairs or a ladder to climb), but also a "patron" above you, to pull you up (like a rope hanging down). This is required to keep the ascension stable

As such, the ritual is not even possible without diverting power to the (or at least a) Baba Yaga - and attempting to do so will, in the best case, result in the power dissipating and being lost, or in the worst case cause the practitioner to redecorate their ritual room in a fresh coat of "visceral red"

There does exist an older, harder, less efficient, original and more dangerous form of the ritual that does not require the "higher power" to assist, which the elder Baba Yagas try to keep this under wraps (so as to remain at the top of the food chain). This does not always prevent their more ambitious or intelligent subordinates from discovering or recreating the ritual - but the increased chance of critical failure usually settles the matter without a need for too much interference.

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Divide and conquer is the answer. The baba yaga can feel how much power anyone gathered when she meets them, and thus determine if proper tribute has been paid. Power can also not be gathered up too quickly

Since she is the most powerful individual to start out with, no one wants to pick an open fight, since that gets them destroyed. Similarly her underlings keep their underlings in check. Of course everyone wants to get to the top spot, but nobody wants to be caught cheating.

Backstabbing will happen, but everyone will want plausible deniability instead of flaunting the rule to pay proper tribute.

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    $\begingroup$ Seems like a couple of buddies can gang up and take her down together...and then fight out internally who gets to be the new top crone. $\endgroup$ – user535733 May 23 at 13:43
  • $\begingroup$ The problem is what happens if you try to recruit a group of people and not ALL of them are loyal. Great you recruit your good friend with more witches below her so you have a strong enough force. However, all the witches below you and her have incentive to overthrow you to gain more power. People below you are not your allies. $\endgroup$ – user2927848 May 30 at 21:16
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When a witch joins a coven, a link is created between the master of the coven, and the witch. This link allows power to be transferred between the two individuals, though always under the masters control. So usually the master takes whatever they need for their magic, and only grants "boons" to their servants if they ask nicely and provide a very, very good reason (probably something that would benefit the whole coven a lot).

Such a system would grant increased power the higher you get in the hierarchy, creating ever more impressive acts of magic to draw new followers to the coven. It would act as a form of protection for the master, as any servants can't rebel without loosing access to most of their power.

this should create a system with rich potential for intrigue, and infighting between equal witches (at roughly the same level) but almost never between master and servant.

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