|“||Throughout history, strong women were called witches and they are... we are.||”|
— Mel to her sisters about being natural-born witches.
Homo magi are a supernatural subspecies of humans who are born with inherent magical abilities. According to Harry Greenwood, the Homo magi evolved in a parallel but separate line, alongside Homo sapiens, though due to their special abilities, they did not expand as did Homo sapiens. As the number of pure Homo magi dwindled, they decided to recede and went into hiding.
The origin of witchcraft remains unknown; however, the Homo magi apparently originated on the lost continent of Atlantis. The continent was a focal point for unharnessed magical energies (wild magic), and the local Homo sapiens evolved into Homo magi as a result of their exposure to these energies. Those humans who gained these nascent mystic abilities interbred for thousands of years, concentrating and strengthening the genetic predisposition. Upon the fall of Atlantis, people who carried the predisposition scattered to the four winds. Today, every human being with a genetic affinity for casting spells is a descendant of the "Homo magi".
During the late 17th century in Salem, Massachusetts, several men and women were persecuted for practicing witchcraft. During this period in Colonial America, many of the Puritans who had settled in the Northeast believed that witches were servants for the Devil. These events became known the Salem Witch Trials, in which numerous people - witches and mortals - were hanged or otherwise killed.
The Spanish Inquisition Edit
The witch trials of the Inquisition was an era of bloodshed and darkness, for both witches and vampires. In western Europe there was a faction of aggressive vampires, known as ticks, who were not content to hunt from outside human society. Embedding themselves wherever human weakness made it advantageous to their agenda, the state of things in Spain in the Middle Ages provided one such opportunity. One of the architects of this plan, dun Santiago, delighted in a fear-based quality of feeding. He and his devotees devised famous torture devices employed by the Spanish Inquisition, all in the name of turning their victims into human cattle.
Santiago and his followers eventually encountered a complication in their feeding routine when they stumbled across a witch named Antonia Gavilán de Logroño. While most of the so-called magic practitioners condemned during the Inquisition were not witches, just women hand-selected by the vampire priests to be terrorized and fed upon, Antonia had been a necromancer. Even though her actions (e.g. healing the sick or giving comfort to the dying) posed no threat, the vampires decided to dispatch her before she became one. Antonia ultimately formed a bond with her fellow prisoners, expanding the reach of her power, and when she was to be burnt at the stake, she cast a spell that forced all the vampires of the area to walk into the daylight, dying in the process.
Homo magi are genetically compatible with normal humans, and are genetically identical to normal humans. The mysterious property that makes them homo magi is somehow "dominant" like a gene, and the child of a normal human and a Homo magi will almost always be Homo magi. However, it has been observed that when they started to inbreed with normal humans, this resulted in many generations of Homo magi being turned into Homo sapiens. How and why this trait expresses itself the way it does has yet to be recorded. Apparently that altered Atlantean genome is the difference between Homo magi and regular human magic users.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
- Sorcery: Homo magi are naturally adept at magic. While some humans, such as Richard Montana and Amy Madison, obtain their magical powers from biological development, one does not need to be born a Homo magi in order to use magic. This had been proven on a number of occasions, in which ordinary people, such as Willow Rosenberg, have successfully used magic with just as much proficiency, if not more, as natural-born magic users. Depending on their level of skill, magic practitioners possess a number of magical abilities. While most sorcerers focused their powers through the use of incantations and rituals, more advanced sorcerers were known to use magic by sheer force of will. From telekinesis to teleportation, sorcerers were virtually unlimited in their magical conquest. Minor can-trips (such as levitating a pencil) were relatively easy to perform, requiring only emotional focus, mental clarity and an understanding of the forces involved, while the more powerful sorcerers could alter the very fabric of reality. The more powerful the magician was, the greater the feats they could accomplish in this way, but in general the effects achieved were straightforward. By joining together, magicians could double their magical strength. Sorcerers also gained their magic powers by invoking the names of deities (such as Hecate or Osiris), or summoning other supernatural entities such as demons. Highly skilled and experienced magic practitioners who drew much of their power from dark forces were sometimes, if not always, identified by their black eyes, as was the case with Catherine Madison, Amy, Willow, and Rosen.
- Magical Abilities: It is not unheard of for Homo magi to manifest individual supernatural abilities that are varied depending on their own skill, lineage or level. Sometimes, magicians may manifest other powers not mystical in nature but psychic. Maggie Vera, a powerful witch of the Gavilán Line, was considered a seer, having the ability to experience visions and knowledge of future events.
- Distraction: Denying a magic user from concentrating or giving full attention to their spells, may render them ineffective. Since most spells are spoken verbally and take time to take effect, magicians are vulnerable to attack before their completion. Additionally, certain spells require items, tools, and/or special events during casting, therefore they can't be invoked on mere whim.
- Emotions: Any magician's magic is subject to the influence of their emotional state and may fluctuate according to them when untrained. According to Penny Halliwell, strong emotions such as worry and anger can fuel a witch's power while emotions such as fear may prevent a witch from properly accessing their powers.
- Herbs: Ingestion of certain herbs can cause a human to lose consciousness and prevent them from using magic for an undetermined amount of time. The Lobelia flower prevents concentration and the practice of magic and can be used to weaken a Homo magi as one would weaken a vampire with nightshade.
- Magic: Homo magi are still susceptible to the powers of magic. This is inclusive of mystical objects such as the Colt, the First Blade, and Death's Scthy. For a novice, and in many cases even an adept magician, tapping into volatile and powerful magics could be particularly dangerous. Weaker-willed magicians could fall victim to the addictive properties of utilizing mystical energies, especially dark magics.
- Mortality: Despite their mystical attributes, Homo magi are still human and share many of the same weaknesses as non-supernatural beings (e.g. age, decapitation, disease, heart-failure, suffocation, snapped neck, etc.). However, they can get around this weakness through the use of spells.
- Overexertion: The use of magic requires energy, usually provided by the user. It is also known that the excessive usage of magic can be extremely exhausting, and may place great strain on the user's body, causing them to experience symptoms of fatigue or if taken to the extreme, death. Prudent magicians would merely rest until their powers resurfaced, while more reckless magicians could search for a new source of power to immediately replenish their strength and energy reserve.