Maroa of Glimmer. You are condemned for the practice of witchcraft and ungodly ritual. As witnessed by four neighbours, two wise lads, and the Lord Prios Himself, your crimes are beyond doubt. As a servant of the Church of the Sun, I sentence you to be hanged to death, to be left in the light of the Sun until your flesh be pure.
The war in Alberetor destroyed the Ambrian people. To live in absolute terror of demons, the walking dead, ravaging armies, and the ground dying under your feet – it was a torture that unraveled culture and community everywhere. It was not luck that saw the Church of Prios rise in those dark days. When all is darkness, you will turn to the man that brings light, no matter who he is.
As distrust of mystics spread like wildfire, the obscure sect of the Twilight Friars began to journey throughout the lands of Alberetor to find “witches” and other magical criminals. It quickly became popular to accuse any disliked, suspicious, or unknown figures in your community. If no witch-hunters were nearby the people of a town or refugee camp would simply take matters into their own hands. Although their zeal was admirable, the Black Cloaks were forced to admit that these lynch-mobs were ultimately counter-productive. Peasants were unreliable and prone to mob justice, which only served to ruin the country further.
A solution eventually emerged on its own, and was quickly adopted by the Twilight Friars to secure eyes and ears around the country.
The ability of Witchsight had been well-known in history. It was a practice that mystics would often learn, but which would sometimes arise on its own in young people even without tutelage. Among the temples of the Young Gods, Witchsight had long been considered an omen of power, signifying that a child was meant to become a cleric. By association with these forbidden sects, the gift had quickly become something to fear. The Twilight Friars decided to reverse that notion. The Black Cloaks themselves made frequent use of Witchsight to be able to find Sorcerers, Undead, and other abominable servants of the Dark Lords – and to them it seemed only natural that they seek out young people among the communities of Alberetor who shared the gift to see shadows.
These children had to prove their abilities to see the mystical signs, and once proven they were named “wise lads” or “wise lasses” – effectively becoming deputized to identify evil magic in the absence of a witch-finder.
The wise children were often feared by their communities for their ability to perceive hidden truths and their authority to mark a man for condemnation and death. But in the harsh reality of Alberetor’s fall, they also served an undeniable vital role as early spotters of enemy infiltrators and dark influence.
Since the migration to Ambria, the church has mostly abandoned the practice of appointing wise lads. However, many witch hunters of the old school are still active in Ambria and see no reason to put aside such a useful practice. Also, many of the former seer-children from the old country have grown up to become Black Cloaks or self-taught witch hunters themselves and know first-hand how crucial Witchsight is to their work.