Witch Bolt

The rain poured down on our heads, our gear, our armor, and our weapons. It just poured on and on. It started days ago, and had yet to cease. Damned shamans and their control over the weather. Lightning crackled across the sky arcing all around. Lightning bolts, both from the heavens and from mages’ fingertips flew across the battleground. The grey skies were booming with thunderclaps, both natural and preternatural. The orcs and hobgoblins refused to give ground to us, and their onslaught never ceased. Seeing this battle not going anywhere, as the sergeant from the academy was pissing himself and having a panic attack right next to the greenhorns, Geija, our company’s blonde sorceress, stood up, and said she had a plan. The men and I let her do her thing, as it was probably better than sitting in this trench in the rain and muck, with mud up halfway to our knees. She turned, broke off a small branch from a tree that was charred from encountering a lightning bolt, pointed it at the hill giant commander, and blasted him with electricity. It crackled around his body, and a few seconds later, Geija twisted the twig, like turning a knife stuck in a man’s belly, and the giant was screaming in pain as more electricity coursed through him, not from another mage’s bolt, but from Geija’s will that he would feel pain. She twisted the twig more, and the screams echoed around the valley. She turned that twig eight more times before the commander fell to the ground, his face a mask of agony and fear. After that, the hobgoblins and orcs fled the battlefield, as the men and I looked at Geija in shock and admiration. – Soldier’s Journal from the battle of Krall Valley

Origins

Witch Bolt was created by the sorceress Geija, on the battlefield of Krall Valley. She later said that her instincts led her to the creation of this spell, which is now taught at magic schools and universities across the Empire.
Effects

Witch Bolt elicits a blue beam of crackling energy that lances out towards the target, forming a sustained arc of electricity between the target and the caster. This spell deals damage upon contact based the level of arcane energy expended by the caster. Additional damage can be dealt to the target if the caster concentrates on doing so, and does not cast another spell requiring their concentration. This additional damage does not seem to scale based up on the amount of arcane energy expended upon the initial casting, but rather appears to be uniform across all castings of Witch Bolt.
Casting

The material component needed to cast Witch Bolt is a twig from a tree that has been struck by lightning. One need only to grip the twig as one would a wand, point at the target within 30 feet of the caster, utter their personal incantation, and the spell will activate. To activate the secondary portion of the spell, flick one’s wrist 90 degrees, as is turning a key very swiftly. Doing this requires one’s concentration on the spell, and the intent to activate the secondary portion upon the target.

Casting with an Arcane Focus

  • Crystal Focus – Hold the crystal in one’s hand, and the beam will arc to the target from the center of the crystal, or the tip, depending on the shape and type of crystal. To activate the secondary portion, simply will it to happen, no twisting necessary.
  • Orb Focus – Hold the orb in one’s hand, and the beam will arc out to the target from the face of the orb facing the target. To activate the secondary portion, simply will it to happen, no twisting necessary.
  • Rod Focus – The spell will activate in the same way as if one used the material component, including the secondary portion.
  • Staff Focus – Hold the staff out, pointing the tip towards the target at and angle between 5 and 85 degrees, and the beam will arc from the tip of the staff. To activate the secondary portion, simply will it to happen, no twisting necessary.
  • Wand Focus – The spell will activate in the same way as if one used the material component, including the secondary portion.

Witch Bolt

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