Witchknife (Athame)

"BY THE GODS!" THE CLOAKED HUMAN MUTTERED under his breath as he was compelled to plunge into the cold, stagnant waters of the cistern. The rest of the tavern goers, who came out to watch, cackled with glee as the loudmouthed man burst back out of the brown waters, gasping for foul smelling air. The small humanoid he had confronted, stubby red horns atop his head and forming a rough goatee on his chin, grinned proudly before slipping into the crowd and disappearing.


Legend tells of a time when when all creatures spoke one language and athames ruled the world. Their word was law, and other creatures obeyed any command the athames gave. Then a deity interfered and taught the athames' subjects to speak new languages. This broke the athames' power over them and the subjects, who feared and hated the athames despite their magnanimous rule, rebelled and tore the athame empire to pieces.

Witchknife Traits

Your witchknife character has an assortment of inborn abilities shared with other witchknives.

  • Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 2, and your Dexterity score increases by 1.
  • Age. Young witchknives grow slowly. They reach full size after 30 years but are not considered adults until the age of 50. On average, they live about 250 years.
  • Alignment. Most witchknives lean towards neutrality. While some fall on either side of true neutrality, most focus on protecting and maintaining their enclaves over the worries of the larger world. Other races often misinterpret the witchknife's abilities and assume ill intent where it may not exist.
  • Size. Witchknives stand between 4 and 5 feet tall and average 120 pounds. Your size is Medium.
  • Speed. Your base walking speed is 25 feet. Your speed is not reduced by wearing heavy armor.
  • Darkvision. Accustomed to life underground, you have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can't discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
  • Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common, Undercommon, and two extra languages of your choice. Witchknives are driven to learn a variety of languages, for their psionic commands are only obeyed by creatures that can understand them.
  • Psionic Command. You know the message cantrip. When you reach 3rd level, you can cast the command spell once with this trait and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for these spells.

Thick Bodied

Witchknives have tough skin that ranges in color from dark gray and brown to ruddy orange. They have short, red horns in places where other creatures have hair and their eyes are orange or yellow with red pupils. Their blocky frames rarely exceed 5 feet in height and average 120 pounds.


Witchknives live in small enclaves, with rarely more than two hundred adults, hidden away from the civilizations of other races. These enclaves have a hierarchy of rank determined by birth, but most witchknives are of equal rank and have many rights and privileges. Most witchknives live in a monastic manner inside fortresslike homes, spending their days meditating, training for combat, and learning.

Natural Psionicists

Witchknife is the name other creatures use to refer to the athames because of their power to compel victims to do their bidding with but a single utterance. A witchknife's psionic ability to command others relies on the target creature being able to understand the witchknife, which leads witchknives to seek out and learn as many languages as possible. This is the driving force for any witchknife who leaves the confines of their enclave.

Witchknife Names

Witchknives are given nicknames upon their birth, generally describing the color tone their skin takes. Once a witchknife reaches adulthood, they select a new name for themselves, generally combining it with their nickname. There is little distinction between male and female names and witchknives never assume a surname; choosing instead to use the name of their enclave.

Nicknames: Amber, Ash, Black, Bone, Coal, Ember, Flint, Grey, Iron, Onyx, Rose, Steel

Adult Names: Amberaxe, Ashblade, Blackrock, Bonechin, Coalheart, Emberfist, Flintcutter, Greyfox, Ironback

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License