charm familiar to many witches is the Finding. While the means of effecting such
a charm and its limitations differ between covens, the end result is the same. A
Finding charm directs the user towards a person, object or place. It is also
often referred to as "Pin's Point", "Dowsing Rod", "Searchers' Stew", "Under Sky
Or In The Ground".
Spell Effect. A Finding will draw a person, typically the witch who has crafted it, towards whatever it is meant to seek. It does not tend to do so directly, in many cases. The path a Finding shows is rarely straight-forward, and based on the skill of the witch may not hone in exactly on the target but will merely lead near to it. Findings may be used to find living things, people or animals, inanimate objects ranging from lost jewellery to ore to fertile soil.
Crafting Procedure. Needle Witches create a pin-bauble, a collection of thread and scraps of fabric or yarn sewn or knit into a pouch around an object. If the witch wishes to find a person for instance, she may use a lock of hair, a well worn piece of clothing or an item of personal significance, and craft the pin-bauble around that. Once completed, the bauble is transfixed with a pin or needle and hung from a length of string. Pin-baubles excel at finding people or animals, but falter when presented with less animate subjects.
A Chisel Witch carves a familiar forked dowsing rod. The rod is shaped like a Y, and employed with either hand on the shorter lengths of the fork, and the remaining long section of the branch pointed away from the witch. A branch must be selected, and then carved, smoothed and polished in order to function. Finally, the witch must give the dowsing rod a "scent", often accomplished by including some fragment of the object to be found in the polishing wax, be it soil, iron filings, or spring water. Dowsing rods tend to excel at finding natural things, related to the tree itself, be it good earth for plants, water to dig a well, or indeed ores, but tend to do poorly when tasked with finding animals or people.
The Rhyme Witch's method of casting is among the simplest, and some claim the weakest. The short chant may even be familiar to some, and must be repeated while turning in a circle with one's arm outstretched holding a pendulum.
Turning, turning, turn around
It is said that a Rhyme Witch's
finding has very little range, when compared to other Findings, hence the
necessity to work this particular charm in repetition. This finding is, however,
notable in that it does not require a scent. A Rhyme Finding may be worked with
merely the name of the thing to be sought, which is typically inserted in the
second verse of the rhyme, and the final verse may be amended for gender or
numbers as a result. This does lead to complications for while one may easily
search for Kel or Noric, searching for
"sheep" or "goat" may cause the search to end at the nearest pasture, rather
than where it is intended.
While other methods of casting a finding exist, among the most bizarre is that of the Cauldron Witches, who brew a particularly noxious stew, said to include such diverse and inedible materials as filings from a compass, flittermouse eyes and powdered sunflowers, in addition to the element that needs to be found. The "Searching Stew" requires that this last component be liquid or somehow liquefied in order to be consumed.
When consumed, the searcher (typically the witch, as few are willing to consume the stew) feels a pull from the gut towards the object of the finding. Needless to say this particular finding lasts only as long as the stew stays in the belly (which may be passing short, depending on the gastronomic fortitude of the imbiber) and will end if the contents of the stomach should be voided.
Materials. Any form of Finding requires a focus, in order to direct the charm. A pin-bauble may utilize a personal effect such as a comb, favoured piece of jewellery or indeed, a well-worn sock, alongside the more typical lock of hair, tooth or a splash of blood. The container for this object is made of loose threads and scraps of fabric, or odd ends of yarn, which is then transfixed with a long needle or pin. This pin then orients itself (and the rest of the bauble) towards the object. Some disagreement is had over what to use for this focus; some witches may craft the pin-bauble and use any stray pin, up to and including a hair pin, knitting needle or errant tooth pick, while others claim that the needle or pin used to sew or knit the bauble together improves the potency of the spell.
The dowsing rod varies from witch to witch, based purely on the wood used. Some witches swear by dowsing rods made from the soft, pliable wood of a willow branch, while others prefer fragrans, meldrapple, malus, pine or even a twig from a redberry bush. What is agreed upon is that soft woods make for the best rods, though they are often the most difficult to carve. The branch chosen is often forked in some way and traditionally takes the shape of a Y. The chosen is carefully removed from the tree, cut and then whittled and smoothed, before finally being polished. The polishing process also includes "scenting" the rod with a small sample of what it is meant to find, similar to giving a hound a scent to follow. This varies wildly but common "scents" are iron fillings, gold flakes or dust, spring water.
Some witches opt to use a single dowsing rod several times (perhaps owing to certain difficulties in crafting) simply covering one scent with a new one. While this generally works, the rod can become "confused" if too many scents are added to it and will eventually become useless.
Rhyming Findings require a pendant, often this is a simple piece of jewellery but may be nothing more than a smooth stone or piece of polished wood with a hole bored through it. It is important that the pendant be worked, or altered in some way by the witch in order to function. The pendant is held in an outstretched arm and sways in the direction of the object of the search. Rhyming Findings also require the name of the subject. The more unique this name is, the better. Searching for Jakor may find everyone by that name, while searching for Jakor Overhill would be more precise.
Searching Stew requires a cauldron, kettle or other form of pot to brew the spell in. The exact making varies, as some will attempt to make the stew more palatable than others. What is known is that the main ingredients of the stew are rarely pleasant. Dogs' noses, bits of flittermouth or owl are included to help in the searching. Fillings from a compass are included, for the same reason, though special attention is paid not to include lodestone in stew for it ruins the mixture and draws the wrong threads.
Crafting Time. The crafting time of focus for a Finding varies based on the skill of the witch working at it. A novice who can't stop pricking her thumb with a needle will take much longer to sew a pin-bauble than a practised needle witch.
Duration. A Finding lasts as long as the witch continues to attempt it. So long as the witch continues to work the finding, her charm will continue to direct her towards its target.
Range and Power. A Finding is only as good as the witch that has crafted it, though generally, there is something to be said of the quality and relative freshness of the materials, particularly in the case of finding something living.
Counterspells, Defences and Immunities. Animals that travel in herds are much harder to pinpoint individually. A finding may simply direct the witch to the nearest flock of sheep, rather than a single lost member of the flock. It is said that carrying a piece of lodestone makes it harder to pinpoint an individual. Some sell charms or coins made out of lodestone for just such a purpose, otherwise it may be worked into inconspicuous jewellery. Attempts to find lodestone have almost always lead to the witch finding herself walking in circles. Likewise, quicksilver and cinnabar are also notorious for throwing off Findings.