Monday Night Madness

Shadow of the Demon Lord: The Witching Wood - Episode 0.5

Burn the Witch!

Respite’s Breakfast-club:

  • Edwin O’Flaherty, Goblin Militiaman and entrepreneur.
  • 4th, Hobgoblin Militiaman and lackadaisical refugee.
  • Arren Pokathery, Denis the Menace.
  • Faust, wandering spider-like Map-quest Clockwork.
  • Esma, Goblin fan-girl of Edwin.
  • Rook, Changeling Theologian.

As the night watch (& friends) awake that evening, they can hear a baby crying out in the woods, and the confused, frightened murmuring f the villagers, Faust meets up with them and brings them up to speed as what had transpired while they slept. Apparently a babe disappeared at the edge of the woods around lunchtime, stolen right out from under the nose of his older sister. A search party went out to find him, but had no success (worse, not all of them returned, as it seems some of the search party also went missing). Rumors are now running rampant in Respite that a Witch is responsible, and that Rhianon is their top suspect – and that Faust is her familiar.

The Night Watchmen (our heroes) decide to again head out to search the woods on their own to find the missing children. After several hours of stumbling about in the mist-shrouded forest, they find a pit-trap (that Esra narrowly misses falling into). Investigating, they discover hidden within a deer being eaten by fat, toothy grubs the size of house-cats. Though their initial inclination is to leave well-enough alone, Faust argues they are a symptom of the encroaching Morfairsing, and must be destroyed. The Watchmen start filling up the pit with twigs and brush, sprinkling the tinder with oil, but before they get halfway done the babe’s cries end with a sudden shriek. alerting the larvae who end their meal and start climbing out. The gang panics and toss their torches in, but fail to light the tinder. Esra & Rook try shoving the Larvae back in with their staves, causing the grubs to start spitting acid.

Rook, Arren & Esma all are hit by the spewing critters, the damage is enough to incite a response from Arren & Rook’s parasites, which explode out of their bodes in a spray of gore, killing Rook instantly. As his body falls, it turns into a pile of random junk, adding to everyone’s panic. Arren fairs a little better, falling merely to the ground, barely alive. 4th snatches him up and runs into the forest, as do the others, leaving the grubs and centipedes to fight over the flaming pit and the peculiar remains of Rook.

Once they reunite, Arren refurbishes himself with a healing potion, and after a not so short debate they agree to return to the village to rest and join another search party in the morning. Once back in Respite, Arren sneaks back into his home to rest and hide the fact that again he had sneaked off without his parent’s permission. The goblinoids do the same, curling up in their hut in a dirty pile. Faust, not needing to sleep, continues to lurk about town, eavesdropping. It discerns the screams, and sudden silence, of the baby has left the villagers badly shaken, and desperate.

By mid morning a mob has formed outside of the Bre’ad household, led by Chet the Smith, who claims Rhianon had bewitched him, and thus she is the Witch that has caused so much trouble. The Weird Sisters in turn have locked themselves up in their house, while the Mayor watches, shamefaced but silent. Faust slips over to the Goblin House to wake his friends, and they agree something must be done before things get any further out of hand (some of the villagers have already started building a stake and pyre to burn the accused witch). Arren, woken by all the noise, tries to yell sense at the mob, but to little effect (he is, after all, just a kid who doesn’t know any better they say).

4th tries to defend the Weird Sister’s home, but gets distracted when they start throwing rotten vegetables at him, and he is led astray by his appetite (free food is free food, after all). Esma slips down the Bre’ad House’s chimney to let them know their working on a way to get them out of this mess, while Edwin persuades the Mayor into stalling the crowd for time. Arren spots Faust scratching symbols in the dirt and incantating in Dark Speech – recognizing a good distraction when he sees it, he screams and points, and the Mob sets chase to the clockwork spider, only giving up once it escapes into the woods. Seeing their chance the Goblins sneak the three sisters out of their home and off to the Goblin Hut. When the mob returns to continue their siege, only to find the house empty, they satisfy their wrath with setting fire to the presumed Witch-house (Arren roast’s marshmallows). In the confusion one of the men snatches up a spear and heads out into the woods by himself. When evening arrives, cries of ecstasy slip out from deep in the woods, cries that seem to be getting ever louder…

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