While perusing the market in Harvest to keep myself abreast of the latest news in gourd growing techniques, one of the local children rang out the call for justice.
“You’re a stranger in this town, nobody will notice if you go missing,” she said.
“I’m not exactly a stranger to these parts,” I replied. “And the tavern owner will most assuredly notice my absence. There is still manner the of the unsettled drinks tab.”
“I bet you can’t stay the night!” she cried. “If you go in there at night, the witch will eat you!”
“Stay were?” I inquired. “Oh what do you speak little one? I have slumbered in many an unusual locale, but you have me at a loss.”
“In the house, with the witch!”
“Now see here,” I said. “There are no such things as witches. Those are merely stories to keep you from getting into mischief. Clearly, it hasn’t work though.”
“Bah! What are you, daft?”
“My mental tether to this realm is not in question here young lady!” I replied.
“I’m surprised a witch hasn’t turned you into a frog or worse! You already have the face of a frog’s …”
“Well, now that you mention it,” I interrupted recalling a few incidents from the past. “There was that strange woman in Midmaer. The Woodsman thought she was a witch. And that woman who lived in the log in the Wetlands. She seemed to have some witch lineage with all the bone chimes and mist swirling about. And that chaos student. She was probably a witch. And the fear of witchy antics is alive and well in Jaanaford as they tried to set fire to Alley thinking she was a witch. She’s not a witch of course, but strangely, she wasn’t harmed by the flames. Not sure what to make of that.”
“See, I told you! And if you go to the house on the hill, there’s a witch in there! She tries to steal children!”
“Well, that is indeed very poor behavior, even for a witch. And what is it you wish me to do?”
“You’ve taken quite a few knocks to the head haven’t you?”
“Indeed I have. But that doesn’t answer my initial query.”
“I want you to go up there and defeat the witch of course,” she replied.
“Hand to hand combat with a witch? Well, I suppose I could do that. Is there some sort of reward for the effort? Some of random trinket I can display in my home that proves I was here and rendered a service?” I inquired.
“Reward? I’m a child. What sort of reward do you think I have tucked away in these rags? I don’t even have shoes!”
I noted her lack of shoes and Kobold like feet.
“Besides, it’s the right thing to do!”
“Well, I am trying to walk the treacherous path virtue. And I haven’t been all that successful.”
“See, here is your chance to make amends. And if you don’t so something about the witch I’ll taunt you mercilessly from behind this bush and call you a coward.” Her voice was quite stern as though she had experience in leveling these sorts of threats.
“Very well young person, I shall heed your call to quell these dark witch dealings because you obviously see me as a formidable warrior and my reputation in your town precedes me,” I stated.
“No. I figure you’re dumb enough to try. And if she does eat you, she’ll most likely get sick and leave the rest of us alone.”
“Come now, I’m not going to put myself to the hazard simply because you insult me,” I said.
“Coward!” she shrieked. “I knew you couldn’t do it.”
“You stop that this instant! I have faced many a fierce adversary and lived to tell the tale with all manner of embellishment and exaggeration!”
“Coward!” she shrieked again, following it up with mocking hang gestures.
“Stop that I say!” I retorted, but her mockery was the stuff of legend.
“Look at the coward!” she bellowed dancing from one foot to the other. A small crowd was starting to gather to investigate the commotion.
“The life of an adventurer is never easy,” I said. “But, very well. You have convinced me I should do the right thing and help put an end to this witch mischief. I shall look into this house for myself. Mind you, it’s curiosity that guides me, not your insults!”
“Tell yourself whatever you need to, Outlander. “The house is over there past the wind farm.”
“Harvest has a wind farm? I was unaware you could grow wind. I mean, I’ve made wind, but I certainly hope it’s not that kind of farm.”
“Now remember, the witch comes out at night. If you go in there beforehand, nothing will happen and I’ll be forced to mock you some more,” the child interrupted.
“Fine, we’ll do it your way,” I said as I set off in the direction indicated. I quickly found the lonely house sitting on the outcropping. Ready to spring into action at the slightest movement, I kicked open the door and announced my presence with a ferocious call to arms.
“Your history of misdeeds and evil doing ends tonight you treacherous witch! I know your kind and my blade of fiery might will soon set things right!” I scanned the room to see what fear and awe my words had inspired.
Alas, the house was empty with no signs of furniture or occupant. Then I heard a voice from the distance.
“It’s not night time yet you blockhead!”
Seeing the error of my enthusiasm, I closed the remains of the door and sat on the step until night time really came on.
Well now, a rather simple little home sitting up here by itself. I’m not sure I see the problem. What could possibly go wrong by entering this house after dark?
More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia
- The House on the Hill in Harvest – Part II – Showdown with the Witch
- A Key, A Chest, And That Same Terrible Swamp
- To the Tomb of Ankhurt the Prestigious in South Midmaer Way
- Finding Some Lucky Leather in South Drachvald Spur
- Sunken Treasure, Christmas Tree Farm and Maze of Unusual Size in Owl’s Head
- Peering through the veil to contact my spirit guide
- Because I could not stop for Death
- The Lost Key of Aerie leads to the Black Market Mushroom Farm of the Wetlands
- Hello Fire Chicken, We Meet Again