The witch is perhaps the darkest figure in all of Path of Exile’s lore; blessed or cursed with magic even without the power of the Virtue Gems and exiled for the simple fact of her power being frightening. Able to bend the elements to their will, raise the dead into servitude, and inflict debilitating curses, witches are powerful – but fragile, relying on the arcane for their defenses, as the need to focus on their intellectual strength rarely leaves them time to hone their physique.
Their powers – or perhaps the fearful reactions to those powers – tends to leave them somewhat strange and grim, more comfortable among the dead than the living. The descriptive speech from the online game indicates that the Witch was exiled when, after fearful villages tried to kill her by burning her home, she retaliated by burning them. As such, even the most heroic Witch is likely to have a dark theme running through their Aspects.
The themes of the Witches tend to be tied to the kind of power they choose to focus on; on Wraeclast, this divides up into curses that debilitate the weak and boons that augment themselves and allies nearby, necromantic powers that raise the dead to create minions in the form of zombies, skeletons, and ghosts, and the ability to call on the three raw elemental forces of the world – fire, ice and lightning.
Witches thus will tend to have High Aspects like Banecrafter, Corpse Singer, or Weather Witch. Their Troubles will likely reflect that, as far as everyone else is concerned, even the most virtuous of them draw their power from dark and terrible sources. Weighted By An Albatross, Alone Among The Damned, and Tongue Of The Elements are all flavorful and thematic Troubles that can cause no small amount of grief for any Witch.
Other Aspects may include things such as I Am The Judge And Jury, I Craft Shackles From Words, and The Blessings Of The Damned for a Witch who uses Curses and Boons; Just Another Bag Of Bones, I Walk The Valley Of Death, and Shunned By The Light for a necromantic Witch; and Fingers Blackened By Fire, I See The Truth Frozen In The Ice, and Swift As The Thunder for an elemental Witch.
Virtue, Lore, Notice, and Will are all skills of import to any Witch; Virtue moreso to those who intend to do Stunts that have dramatic effects like creating reliable minions or devastating entire zones with fire or lightning. Witches used to looking after themselves might find Acrobatics useful for Defense purposes, but otherwise the field of skills depends entirely on what flavor a player wishes to impart to their character.
Stunts built of Virtue can include things like Call Forth the Dead, letting a Witch spend a Fate point to call forth a number of one-stress undead servants equal to her Virtue skill once per scene to Fight for her, Fire Nova allowing her to strike everyone in her zone and adjacent zones with a storm of raging flames using her Virtue skill, or Curse of Brittle Bones to place a Brittle Bones Aspect on any given target for a time, making them easier to deal with in a fight.
All in all, a Witch is a power in their own right, haunted by the source of their powers but determined to harvest the corrupt might of Wraeclast so that they can’t be threatened by those who fail to understand them ever again. No matter the form of their powers, they wield them with the precision of long practice and have no pity for those between them and their goals.
Next class: The Templar, a mixture of warrior and spellcaster soaked in a devotion to the divine.