Shaman

A shaman (pl. shamans) is a type of magician capable of interacting with the spirit world. Specifically, they are a type of witch/warlock, but one with very specialized magical abilities.


Physiology

Like other magicians, shamans often have almost no physical characteristics to distinguish themselves from an ordinary human - in other words, they have the perfect camouflage. They do, however, typically have an extended lifespan - a result of the magic in their bloodstream. Like all humans, shamans can have allergies or grow ill, however they are much more resilient to illness than a non-magical human. For the most part, the magic in their system attacks the illness with remarkable efficiency, but curses and magical illnesses can prove fatal.

If a shaman does have some sort of characteristic which betrays their nature, it is typically their eyes. Shamans often have eyes which either appear to be blind (because they are seeing the spirit world) or are incredibly intense (because they are seeing your soul).


Magical Characteristics

Shamans are the ultimate experts when it comes to the spirit world. They can see and communicate with spirits, and they are talented astral projectors - their soul can leave their body to travel the incorporeal realm. Because of this constant connection to the spirit world, shamans often have a fluid notion of time. They are skilled at reading signs and omens, and all of them have some method of divining the future - usually this involves asking the spirits, or being warned of future events in dreams. Shamans do not have exact visions of the future - what they receive is full of symbolism, and often open to multiple interpretations. In addition, shamans are potent healers. They can ward off spirits of malice, sickness, and infection, and also boost the body's healing capability. Often this is achieved through ritual - for instance, accompanied by the burning of sage.

Like many magicians, shamans typically have a sort of familiar - but rather than a corporeal animal, this familiar is a 'spirit guide': the spirit of an animal which has some significance for the shaman. This spirit guides them through the spirit world, protects them, and also gives the shaman a bond with corporeal animals of the same type. This bond is not as strong as the bond with a familiar, but it essentially represents mutual trust between shaman and animal.

Although a shaman's true power doesn't develop until puberty, they can see and communicate with spirits as soon as they are born. They do not acquire their spirit guide until puberty, however, and around that time they begin having visions and developing the ability to walk the spirit world.


Society and Habitat

Shamans are often apart from society, but revered, not shunned. Although their place in many modern societies has fallen by the wayside, in more traditional rural societies they are often consulted as wise men or women. Shamans tend to behave something like spiritual shepherds for their village (or other small network of people that they consider their flock). Shamanic abilities are often passed from parent to child, and most shaman children therefore learn about their abilities as they grow up. However, shamans can also learn how to use their abilities with the help of their spirit guide.