An ossuary is similar to the Archives of Rowan, or the Workshop`s museums(this comparison was made by Elias Bram in his search for Astaroth). They contain the bones/remains of ancient shamans or mystics-at least, the ones that the witches can get their hands on. Though the witches to serve nature, they often summon the dead for knowledge. Max thought this might be sacrilege. On the contrary, it is viewed by the witches that gaining knowledge from the past was a great honor.
The witches, unlike you will expect, are nothing like their fairy tale counterparts. Technically, they aren't evil-but they aren't that much of a force for good. Some do help Rowan in some respects. One witch helped Max have revenge on Lord Vyndra, though Max did press her for information. They seem to have a reverie toward Max, calling him the blessed child, possibly because he is a demigod. Still, some witches have proved impediments. When Rowan refused to surrender David or Max, a curse was laid upon Rowan because of a pact they signed with Elias Bram. Rowan fared ill in it`s hour of need-William Cooper fell ill. Eventually, they had no choice but to surrender the book to Astaroth.
According to YaYa, long before Rowan, the Workshop, or the Witches, there were thousands of Mystics and Agents, and Potentials. Bitter disputes soon arose in the Middle Ages, and human's inventions grew in number(such as cannons). Eventually, a small faction of the Order(the aforementioned group of Mystics, Agents, etc.) started to feel that science will eventually eclipse magic, and they needed to embrace technology and lead a revolution. Others viewed this as heresy. Soon, bloody power struggles emerged and factions developed. The naturalists/conservationists formed their Witch Clans(similar to today`s Right Wing) while the revolutionists formed their Workshop(today`s Left Wing). They hated each other, but Rowan decided to take the middle road.
As mentioned before, the Witches are not technically evil, and they mostly fear the demons. They are found working on boats. They are very into nature, but not in the 'go green' or 'Stop Global Warming' way, rather they worship it.
Relationship with RowanEdit
They aren't enemies, but technically, they aren't friends. They remain shaky allies, but no one knows when that may change.
The witches are powerful weather workers, often causing heavy storms or in the opposite way, calming the waters for ships to pass. Evidently, they are weaker than David, as he easily bested one and sunk a tradeship. Witchfire is usually blue, and can burn underwater as well.
The witches had tattoos in order to protect themselves from Astaroth. During the siege of Rowan, the Elias Bram`s pact with the witches may be the major reason Rowan fell. Of course, they were hopelessly outnumbered, but in all fairness William and Max had been keeping the enemy at bay. Had it not been for the Witch`s curse Rowan may not have fell.
The witches were revealed to be living in North India in Lord Aamon`s realm. They were contemptuous of the demons, but remained fearful of the few powerful ones. They bore no demon mark, unlike most Humans who lived in Blys.
The witches were mentioned to be in a shaky alliance with Rowan. Elias Bram had been visiting their Ossuaries for information on Astaroth, and learned about a mysterious Wanderer in the Far North from a ancient Shaman. He discovered the relationship between the two.
(Note:All of their titles are Dame)