The Witchmen are a deviant race of cyborg human offshoots who haunt the American northeast and eastern Canada, though they're mostly based in Monadnock Moot. They are uniformly male, possessed of lean and muscular, but misshapen bodies. Their skin runs in sallow colors: light shades of brown, green, and yellow. They appear oddly vascular, as the scarred skin of their arms and torso bulge with surgically implanted tubing that pumps strange chemical solutions through their bodies. Their hair, what little they have, is light and wispy. Their eyes seem milky, as if ridden with cataracts, but this does not seem to hamper their perceptive powers overmuch as they rely more on sound and extremely sensitive tactile sensation.
The Witchmen rely on baseline human women for reproduction, but they are incapable of bringing a Witchman to term naturally. The mutants have a surgical procedure that cybernetically reinforces the uterus, for those who survive. This whole arrangement is a source of great anger and frustration for the Witchmen (though perhaps not as much as it is for those victimized by them), and they refer to baseline humans as animals in need of upgrading. Infant Witchmen are even more vulnerable to their environment than regular babies, as their race lacks a typical immune system and much of the microorganisms humans take for granted. They are raised in the hidden, underground fastnesses of the Witchmen in controlled environments until their implants adapt and take over many biological functions. These machines are installed in a series beginning prenatally, continuing throughout childhood. The ability of the Witchmen to manufacture more is extremely limited, but they can recycle them from their dead with great reliability. Once active, these implants render the Witchman immune to viral and bacterial infection, and highly resistant to radiation. Furthermore, they can function in complete darkness with ease. Their eeriest trait is the ability to communicate with each other via sub vocal chirps that transmit via radio waves; they can even speak through radios at short distances.
The Witchmen do not discuss their origins with outsiders, but it is speculated that they were someone's effort to create a human race that could survive an even more hellish environment than the one the war produced. If this is true, it is likely a failed attempt considering how imperiled their long-term viability is. The largest concentration of the Witchmen can be found in southeastern Vermont and southwestern New Hampshire, but small bands haunt parts of New England and Quebec. Collectively, they are adept surgeons and electrical engineers. They trade their expertise for weapons and female slaves.
Witchmen wear concealing, homespun clothing in muted colors with short cloaks that have floppy hoods that hang over their eyes. They frequently sport fingerless gloves and well-preserved army surplus boots. They have a caste of night-wandering Clerics who roam the land for ailing and dying Witchmen, to reclaim their implants for the race. These Clerics have a variety of high-tech tools for their work, along with some unusual items:
- The Strobe Halo is a headpiece they wear under their hoods that seemingly fills their hoods with light. Though it conceals their faces, it's real purpose is to disorient humans and animals who threaten the Cleric, who is less reliant on visual input.
- The Gas Gauntlet allows the Cleric to shoot a jet of anesthetic gas. This is mostly used prior to euthanizing a Witchman for vivisection, but they also use it to non-lethally subdue a threat.
Witchmen are not given a name until they've survived the final series of implants. The tribe favors Biblical or WASPish names: Abraham, Aldrich, Basil, Chip, Digby, Godfrey, Hunter, Israel, Jacob, Matthew, Sterling, and Thomas are examples of common Witchman names. Clerics on the other hand are given names with occult, religious, or symbolic significance such as Aether, Barbatos, Hermes, and Revelation.