The Sorceress is a powerful figure in fiction, just like the Priest/Priestess/Clergy.
In works where magic or God are present and in direct communion with the characters, both can perform miracles, or otherwise astounding feats beyond normal mortal limits.
In works where there is no magic or God, they can be masterful manipulators, that use tricks and cold reading and other methods to convince people of their powers even if they don't actually have them.
What is the difference though?
Unlike the Priest or Priestess, the Sorceress' status in society is not guaranteed to the same degree. Depending on the culture and the setup, she can be anything from a holy person to an outcast to an outlaw under persecution. She may be part of an institutionalized religion just as much as she can be a self-taught radical or a recluse that has followed the path of unique, gifted people.
She can be blessed with divine holiness but she can also have made a pact with the devil for her powers. And that can be true or false rumor, depending on your story setup.
And, of course, she is a woman.
Depending on the society design, a powerful woman might be cause for alarm and threat, or for celebration and adoration. She can be the advisor to the king or the queen herself. But she can also be shunned for daring to be anything more than a second class citizen. Either way, however, she will represent the occult, the unknown, and the potential for unpredictability.
Lastly, she can be very young or very old, but nobody can be sure if that is her real likeness or a glamour. She can be as chaste as a vestal priestess or as promiscuous as a succubus.
Her relationship with who she is, how much she embraces it and uses it depends on her personality and her life's history. But there is so much versatility in this character class that it's just too tempting not to use!
Have you had sorceresses in your stories?
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