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SEVRIN LORE: Green witch

When the adepts ousted Eldreath twenty years ago and replaced the sorcerer tyrant with a council of learned men of science, the people of Sevrin readily agreed that magic was dangerous and should be outlawed.

But no cultural change is quick or absolute.

Country folk, and quite a few villagers and city dwellers, have long depended upon the skills of green witches, woman versed in herbal cures, midwivery, and the treatment of injuries.  Though the adepts of Sevrin have outlawed the making and selling of herbal potions–the better to ply their own alchemically created medicines–people are still in the habit of consulting green witches, though neither witch nor customer would dare use that name.

Even the adepts concede that herbalists must be allowed to practice their trade, for herbs have many uses.  They add flavor to soups and stews, discourage fleas that might otherwise take up residence in straw mattresses, fill rooms with a pleasant scent, and are still used by alchemists who create potions and poisons.  So herbalists grow and sell useful plants, but they are not allowed to create and sell combinations.  They can, however, offer clients hospitality, and many a tonic has been dispensed in a tankard of ale or a kvani cup.

In fact, some green witches–most of them young women who were still children when the adepts ousted Eldreath and proscribed magic–work as tavern wenches, the better to ply their trade.  Complaining of a sore head or aching joints to the right wench will ensure that your tankard is filled with a pain-soothing willowbark tea rather than ale.  The innkeepers, of course, know nothing of this practice and would be shocked–shocked!–to learn that herbal cures were being dispensed at their establishments.