1. Dream

The Witch of Ends was not normally one to enter the dreams of others; after all, what would be the point? The moment they knew she was there, the dream would end and she would once again find herself in that liminal space between realities that she normally occupied when she slept. But tonight was a special case: The Sleeper had been so for an eternity prior and would be so for an eternity hence. As expected, their hearts were still. As always, their lungs were unmoving. And as ever, their rapid eyes moved ceaselessly. The Sleeper dreamed; nothing more and nothing less. But eternity was antithetical to The Witch of Ends and – although she had existed in this world for far shorter a time than The Sleeper – she had a role and would carry it out with grace and efficiency. After all, the ending of anything – even of all things – was not something she would pay the price for.

She was the price, the price all things would pay for existing.

The Witch of Ends thus entered The Sleeper’s dream – and as night became left and sleep became right, the hundred thousand eyes of The Sleeper’s endless dream settled upon her. She chose a group of eyes to lock her own with and – one by one – they winked out of existence. The Witch felt the dreamscape tremble under the existential horror at its own impending end. This was the best possible result and there was nothing The Sleeper could do to stop it. Even as its eyes closed in on her from all directions, she need do naught but let nature take its course.

The Witch of Ends’ smile spread into a waning crescent.


  1. Spiders

The matter of whether or not a spider could become a Witch, for those who asked such questions, had actually been settled quite some time ago. T’Avi – definitely NOT a spider – had a much more pressing question at ‘hand’, namely: what was she going to do with these men who had invaded her home? They had barged into her house – which was not so much on a web as it existed outside the idea of what a web wasn’t – as many prey before them had: armed with fire, sharp metal, and baseless accusations. None of those things were helpful and now all three of them were properly bound for their own safety. Their limbs since they would not stop thrashing around while her little critters were crawling all over them, and their mouths so they’d stop screaming. Humans weren’t supposed to eat spiders… or so she’d heard.

T’Avi convincingly worked her to-scale Humanoid marionette that she used for interfacing with Humans from beneath the puppet’s poofy, floral dress, and used it to regard the interlopers, hoping to distract them from the truth of her form while she weighed her options. T’Avi had made sure to make the marionette as pretty and convincing as possible, so she was confident that nothing about this situation was coming across as particularly menacing. To her mind, her options were about as limited as these humans’ were. She COULD drink them, but her little critters had left the human’s eyes uncovered and making eye contact while drinking people was awkward. Plus every time she drank someone shortly after they arrived at her home, inevitably someone else came looking for them and the whole cycle would repeat again. There would simply be no end to the interruptions and she would never be able to have a proper meal again!

She could call Junius, but that Witch would inevitably turn around and make some sort of complicated demand in exchange for their help. She and Junius had failed to devour one another more times than T’Avi could count, so at this point they were basically best friends. As such, T’Avi couldn’t just refuse to return a favour to her best friend! She was a lot of things, but a spider and a liar? T’Avi was definitely neither of those things. So no drinking and no Junius… so what then?

Catch, release, and return was the only reasonable option. She would simply let them leave and ensure that they never forget this ordeal. She scuttled over to them as they writhed on her kitchen floor: she would lace their minds with gossamer strands to ensure that their dreams were all eyes and many-legged. The threads within them would sing that these men were to be followed, watched, and covered in silk every night until they offered themselves to her willingly! The little ones would take care of the rest!

Perfect, T’Avi decided. That would be a right and proper meal for a Witch who was definitely NOT a spider.


  1. Path

A path through the woods is a welcoming sight; it’s proof that many feet other than your own have made passage from one end to another. There is safety implied by a path through the woods – a certainty, if you would – in its well-trodden earth and slightly tilted stones placed with purpose, if not precision. A path within the woods, however, provides just the opposite; only the uncanny sense of dread that follows question after question left unanswered. Who or what made this path? Why this particular spot in the woods? Where was the beginning of this path; the end? Why did they tread this path back and forth yet never make it out of the forest? Every additional question as heavy as it is irrelevant, past the first:

Who or what made this path?

Five times out of ten, some particularly routine-prone animals… and the things that were hunting them. Four times out of ten, Humans that mistook packed dirt and cleared flora for safety. And one in every ten times, a Witch, coming and going from her domain, sustaining herself on the green that encroached upon the path and the beasts that overstayed their welcome.

So in the end, the answer to the question “Who made this path?” is now and always has been: some particularly routine-prone animals… and the things that were hunting them.

The Witch of the Woods chuckled to herself as she silently graced the path within the woods – her hunting grounds – with her bare feet. It was not that she walked with such practiced precision as to make no noise – no, she could have stomped with all her might and the result would have been the same – it was that the dead and dying leaves, chipped rocks, and hungry earth simply knew better than to telegraph the Witch’s approach. In fact, the whole of the forest knew not to speak even a whisper when the Witch of the Woods went on a hunt.

This was not the case for the Hunter not five meters in front of her.

The Witch of the Woods had observed this Hunter for close to an hour at this point, mostly because she could not figure out if this Hunter was actually trying to hunt something, or was simply terribly lost. The Hunter had clearly put an inordinate amount of faith in the path they were walking – trusting that it would take them out of the woods. The Witch knew this because she had followed the clumsy Hunter across four circuits of the path that sat within her domain. There was no reason for them to do this, she decided, if they weren’t trying to actively leave her domain. And so, as long as they took nothing that wasn’t theirs, she would not take their life. Unfortunately, if nothing else, they had taken up a non-zero amount of her daylight hours… so she was at the very least going to have to take their peace of mind.

And with that decision made, the Witch of the Woods tapped the Hunter on the shoulder.


  1. Dodge

Witch Hunters were creatures of habit that made many assumptions and were – by their very nature and chosen profession – devoid of any reasonable sense of self-preservation. At least that’s what Sai’sara, The Witch of Hands, thought as she leaned back in her chair, sliding just beneath the shining black sword aimed at her neck. She had just barely dodged the attack – not because it was that fast or unexpected; she simply wanted the hunter to overcommit to the attack so she had a couple seconds to think things through. This Witch Hunter had approached her as most Witch Hunters did: armourless, armed with a meteoric-iron blade, and half-cut with the hunt despite herself. There was nothing wrong with this approach, per se, as armour would do nothing but slow down an opponent who needed to concern themselves with Magic and meteoric-iron was the only non-Magical way to ensure a fallen Witch would stay fallen.

The primary issue here was that this particular tavern was a favourite of hers. The warm hearth was ever alight and and ever inviting. The patrons tended to leave her alone to enjoy the rich, meaty scents wafting from the unseen kitchen and the venerably aged wines stored in the basement. This left Sai’sara hesitant to use Magic to render this Witch Hunter into so much pink mist. That fact might have been a problem if she were any other Witch; a Witch who was concerned about collateral damage had extremely limited combat options in close quarters. But she was not just any other Witch; Sai’sara was The Witch of Hands. Rumor had it that she collected the hands of those who crossed her. But that simply wasn’t the case: Sai’sara was not now, nor has she ever been a Witch who collected hands.

Sai’sara was a Witch who threw hands.

From her slumped position on her chair, she kicked her foot up under the lunging Witch Hunter’s arm, cracking the ball of her foot right into the hunter’s sternum. The hunter gasped as she flew into the air, her back smashing into the ceiling above the Witch’s table. To her credit, the Witch Hunter twisted herself into a spin as she fell, attempting to make another slice at Sai’sara’s face. But the Witch merely tilted her head to the side and let the blade fly useless past her. The hunter landed in front of her and began a rapid flurry of slashes, thrusts, and feints at Sai’sara, who regarded her assailant with a mixture of boredom and pity.

The hunter – for her part – was hopelessly willing her blade to move faster, more precisely, to make its mark on even a single strike. But each and every one of her well-practiced attacks sliced uselessly through the air around the Witch, who seemed to languidly step around the impressive combination of blows. The still-winded Witch Hunter’s concentration faltered, leading her to over-extend her forward lunge into a back-handed slash. The Witch of Hands dropped her entire body backwards with shocking celerity, bending at the waist and knees until she was parallel with the floor. The Witch Hunter’s heart leapt – surely she was about to fall right over.

But Sai’sara’s lips spread into a shark-toothed grin as she curled her black, iridescent-scaled hands into a fist and whipped her whole body back to a standing position, bringing her hardened fist down on top of the Witch Hunter’s head. The hunter’s head slammed into the ground, and then they felt nothing at all. The Witch of Hands bowed, before grabbing the doomed hunter, and dragging their rapidly cooling form outside for disposal.


  1. Map

Hushpuppy was totally and completely lost… and in many ways, that was the point. For to say that she was going to anywhere that was a somewhere would simply be untrue. The place that was not a place that was not a somewhere she was going toward – but not specifically to – was colloquially known as The Overthere. And The Overthere was not a place you could get to without a proper map.

But what was a proper map really? Well, it was the map she happened to have in her hands, obviously.

Hushpuppy had a sure-fire way to not not arrive at The Overthere. The first thing to do was to get a really good map. A map that left nothing up to interpretation – that showed you exactly where you were located and exactly where you needed to go with absolutely zero effort. The absolute pinnacle of cartography. Hushpuppy was rather proud of her map, made as it was out of her own dead skin collected over just under a century, pounded into a malleable shape with the butt of her own sickle, and reinforced at the edges with a weave of her own hair. Yes, both aesthetically and functionally, this map truly was one of the best in the world… Was it a bit of a waste that it only showed her how to get from her bedroom to her kitchen?


But that was hardly the point! Once you had a proper map you simply needed to not follow it whatsoever. Now this all sounded easy, Hushpuppy thought as she glanced down at the map with a sigh – but it was very hard to not be where you technically were. She was only physically displaced from her real-time location on the map by about a few meters now, and she’d be not-not lost in her house for several… hours? Probably hours at this point. Time got difficult after one’s second century. She had long since left her house and the map was starting to moan slightly as she displaced further and further from her actual location. The doors she opened were starting to open into the floor and ceiling and-

Hushpuppy stopped in her tracks, taking in the new scenery around her.

She clicked her tongue in no small amount of annoyance; she had certainly arrived at The Overthere… the problem was that she could never ever remember the third and final step for getting to the place. Right when it was at the tip of her mind, she would arrive. And while that sort of thing was usually quite her cup of tea… when it came to this place, she did not like it. She folded her map and placed it in her pocket, drinking in the seemingly placid jungle around her.

Then she drew her kama, understanding that it was neither of those things.


  1. Golden

“I am hurt, Marrrrta.” The old woman behind the bar chuckled as the Witch sitting across from her crooned her name with the same exaggerated trilling of her ‘R’s that she had almost sixty years ago when they’d met. “How could I fail to keep my promise?”

Marta carefully sauntered around the bar after pouring their wine to take a seat next to the Witch. “How? You were quite insistent that you’d never come back!”

“And you believed me?” Agrias – The Witch of Lies – replied, smirking over the Magically floating globe of red wine floating near her mouth. “Lies are simply what I am and what I do, Marrrrta. I told you I would never return just to watch your golden years play out.”

“…You aren’t always lying, though.” Marta pouted as she sipped her wine carefully, so as not to spill a single drop of the special bottle. “You always were hard to read in that way… every conversation with you was its own little brain teaser.”

“Always lying is not dissimilar to always being truthful. Consistency is the realm of the honest. How sad that you were incapable of grasping that as a callow youth of twenty winters.” The Witch of Lies mused as she looked down at her old friend sitting next to her. Marta returned her gaze with a coy smile that had not changed in the decades since they had last met.

Agrias suddenly cocked her head and sniffed the air above her head, “Perhaps it is genetic, then again, back then even you knew not to eavesdrop.” There was a slight scuffle from around the corner followed by receding footsteps. “Your little one still lacks manners, I see.”

“Oh Agrias don’t bully him… and he’s not so little anymore, either. A decade older than I was when we met and even has a wee lass of his own, Rozé – you should take some time to meet her later… Anyhow, you gave him – not to mention the rest of my patrons – quite a fright earlier when you appeared out of thin air and demanded to know where I was.”

“I gave him a fright?! The two of you gave me a fright!” The Witch of Lies shot back accusingly.

“Oh? How so?” Marta’s intonation clearly showed her ignorance to be a fabrication.

“His name Marrrrta! You named him Agris!”


“It’s embarrassing!”

“What can I say? You’re very important to me.”

“Ugh. And then there’s this place! The Tiny Witch! You are really pushing it human.”

“Well clearly you were lying back then about being a ‘forever small’ Witch. Look at you now! Nearly touching the ceiling and as charming a face as ever! Did you leave your hair teal for me, or did you change it before you came here?” The Witch bared her teeth with a low growl at the old woman’s teasing. “Still rail-thin though… perhaps you simply came here to feed? I’m afraid I won’t make much of a meal-” The Witch of Lies slid off of her stool and onto a single knee to be eye level with Marta, cutting off the old woman’s oncoming self-deprecation with a finger curled below her chin, and a thumb over her lips.

“Speak not such drivel, Marrrrta, for I guarantee that you have aged like nothing but the finest of wines in my eyes.” Marta’s rapidly reddening face stood out starkly against her white and silver hair.

“A lie?” Marta whispered, eyes sparkling.

“If only.” The Witch of Lies replied with a smile.


  1. Drip

A Witch’s Tea Party was a terrifying thing.

Not only is it a gathering of what amounts to apex predators who would be just as likely to tear into a human or wolf’s throat as they would an entire pizza, but the oldest among their numbers were always so… judgy.

Today was Kayla – The Witch of Broadcast’s – second Tea Party and she would not make the same mistakes she’d made at her first one. Back in the mid-1980s she’d been a newly Blossomed Witch, and the more experienced Witch who should have guided her had gotten herself killed whilst trying to teleport an entire continent out of spite. Thus she had shown up with no knowledge, no mentor, and – most damningly – she had not been dressed to intimidate. The Ancient Witches from past millennia had sneered at the idea of a Witch not looking the part.

How one could get to two thousand years old and still be that catty was a mystery to Kayla.

But now – a hundred years later – another Tea Party had been called and Kayla would be prepared to stand up to those old bi-Witches who barely remembered how to be ‘people’ any more. And thus she found herself outside of a twisted copse on some tiny, unnamed skerry amongst the outer Herbridean isles. This was this particular meeting’s gateway to the Wrong Place just outside of physical reality that these Witches liked to use for such things. A wave crashed upwind of her, sending a no doubt terribly frigid spray of sea foam at her… that did not quite ever make full physical contact with her. However, the relentless overcast of iron grey and brutal Hebridean wind and rain was going to make proper construction of her outfit impossible. So she set down a recall marker outside of the copse and – with a snap of her fingers – she teleported to her Domain, which was an impressive copy of a New York City penthouse suite with a small recording and broadcast studio attached to it… all outside of reality, of course.

A Witch bent her knee to the will of no lord – especially no landlord.

Kayla stepped inside of her mirror chamber and began to snap her fingers in rapid succession, swapping out hats, tops, bottoms, shoes, underwear, with each magically-infused crackle. She had spent the intervening century since the last meeting honing her radio wave-based Magic and collecting outfits that really spoke to her personality. Thus she settled on something aesthetically between gothic rock and hyperpop. She snapped and her stereotypically floppy, pointed Witch hat burst into a neon pink with black trim, tiny red-and-white swirled candies hanging from spider threads from around the brim. She snapped again and her top swapped to a tight, black leather vest with glowing neon pink accents – and once more to change her pants to matching pink leather with black stripes and a hip window on the left side. With a final snap, she abdicated shoes entirely and changed her makeup and body paint to a geisha white, which caused the black sclera of her eyes to pop. She raised her arm and outstretched her hand, causing the sickle of her kusarigama to appear on her back, and the chain to wrap itself tastefully all the way down her right arm. She nodded at herself in the mirror and recalled herself to the Hebridean gateway.

Kayla was willing to bet on her life that the Ancient Witches of yore had never seen drip like this before.


  1. Toad

“So let me get this straight,” Alana Swain began as she rubbed her temples, “The mayor is missing.”

“Yep.” The man in the front of the crowd that had swarmed and surrounded her outside of the corner store that she had been picking up supplies at confirmed with a scowl.

“And has been for several days.”


“And this morning one of your children found a toad behind the mayor’s cabin.”


“And so you’ve decided that the mayor has been polymorphed into a toad… and that the one who did it was me. Me, who just arrived in town today. Me, who is on her way to go inspect and handle the magisweet tumor engulfing YOUR communication tower.”

“Well you are a Witch!” Some woman shouted from the middle of the crowd and the people in the front line of this encroaching semi-circle of humans gripped their tools and other implements even tighter.

“Yeah. I’m a Witch. The Candy Cane Witch. No amphibians in, around, or near my title conceptually. I’m not like the Ancient Witches of The Green, my control over reality is thematic at best. If it were a red and white swirly toad, then sure, it might’ve been me. But it’s not, so it wasn’t.” The Witch called Alana Swain – previously known as the Magical Girl Candy Cain – was a modern Witch through and through, as well as the oldest amongst her kind. The last one standing after the Harvest Festival that saw so many of her comrades robbed of their Magic, their hearts, and their souls, she had been deemed a Witch the same way so many of her ilk had: by being a Magical Girl who had said “no” when the world demanded she take responsibility for everything that happened.

And so, even in this most trivial of cases, she would continue to not take responsibility for that which was not her fault.

“Well then, where’s the mayor?! This toad has to be them! They wouldn’t just leave us to fend for ourselves! You’re a Witch! So change them back!” The semi-circle enclosed her a bit more as another coward from the back goaded on the mob. She wasn’t actually in any danger – she could at any time simply fly off on her Cane. But solving this situation was preferable when she still had work to do in the area. Plus, she didn’t want to leave an angry mob for a less experienced Witch to deal with by themselves.

“Look, this is a regular-!)*&#^!$-” Alana winced as static poured out of her mouth when she tried to curse, a side-effect of the Harvesters’ psychic meddling, “-a regular toad. I don’t smell a whiff of Magirradiation on it… which now that I think about it… doesn’t make sense for wildlife in this particular area. So…” Alana let go of the red and white walking cane and let it fall behind her such that it was floating parallel to the ground, just below her butt. She sat back on it and willed it to float her gently in the air above the crowd.

“To whom does that little pet toad belong?” Alana allowed her vision to become kaleidoscopic and the taste of candy canes returned to her mouth as she focused on every face in the crowd at once. Everyone seemed confused and suspicious… but only one man’s eyes widened in bone-deep terror. In a red and white flash, Alana touched down on the ground in front of him, causing the rest of the startled crowd to jump back.

“Now sir… you’d best have a good reason for trying to stir up a Witch Hunt on me… but somehow, I doubt that you do…”


  1. Bounce

Wyola was in a particularly good mood today; perhaps the best she’d been in decades. The reason was as simple as it was unexpected: some thing had crashed down from the heavens and cracked The Obsidian Gates. Such an injury to the gateway between the realms of the living and dead would take decades to heal, even with divine intervention.

This left Wyola – The Witch of the Damned – in a fantastic position indeed!

As it stood right now, her abilities were the strongest that they’d been in quite some time, and would continue to be so for three decades minimum. There was no question of what she would do with this unexpected supercharging of her abilities. As she bounced and skipped through cemetery after cemetery, allowing necromantic energy (with the slightest splash of licorice flavour) to spill out of her in uninhibited deluges, she could only think of what this region had done. Not just to Witches like her, but to the land and water and air itself. With these particular conditions and with all this power at her disposal…

It was wonderful to stretch out once in a while! Wyola couldn’t help but think as she grinned to no one in particular! Each time she entered, skipped, and then conjured another portal to a new cemetery, she could hear the stirring of rapidly loosening earth behind her. Ah, to be amongst the Buried, adored and entombed by the hungry earth. She could enjoy her time amongst them, but it just wasn’t the same as being put there by someone… ambitious. No, her time would come as soon as the Witch of Ends was ready for her, and no sooner than that.

In the meantime, she was going to stir up sooooo much trouble for that haughty Witch!

After bouncing around every cemetery she could recall for the last few hours, she found herself atop a properly dramatic bluff overlooking the sparkling body of water that sat between her and the distant city known as Kanastalum. She could not STAND this place – built atop two islands in the center of a massive lake, connected by smaller artificial islands and further connected to the mainland by a quartet of causeways laboriously laid down by generations of poor, despondent, and powerless citizens. So secure, so fortified, so cocksure that they could defend themselves at all of their obvious choke points. They truly believed they could get away with what they had done to the people who came before them!

What a lovely place for an endless parade of the damned!

Wyola reached into her pocket and pulled out her watch… it was more or less time. She faced the city once more and bared her teeth at it…

Then snapped her fingers.

There was a sound not unlike a hollow rockslide falling behind her for several seconds as hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of skeletons appeared out of thin air and landed on the hill behind her. Held together and animated by the raw, unadulterated power pulsing out of her in terrible waves, they were all of… moderate strength… but they were also legion. Wyola always considered herself a woman of decisive action and – since there was no time like the present – she would send the legion across the water and begin the festival in Kanastalum.

Because if they were simply going to play their role… then so would she.


  1. Fortune

What was a Fortune to a Witch?

To tell a fortune was to read between the lines of reality, to weave one’s vision between the threads that bind willful ignorance and pattern recognition together. To submerge those connecting threads in Magic and read back their thrumming resonance, soaked in the teller’s colours. It was… imprecise at best; oddly more the practice of mortal Magicians than any Witch’s undertaking.

To Meverastethin, The Manifold Witch, the telling of fortunes was of zero practical use.

Although they never spoke of it at the Tea Party, one of their hobbies was to spend time viewing Fek’thal and Human fortune-tellers – both the grifters as well as those possessed of some actual, rudimentary power – and studying the way the different species chose to tell fortunes and peer into the future. It was rather boring to discover that, no matter what shape, size, or colour, Humans tended to make similar inquiries about their futures. Their wealth, their romance, their fears. Same with other Fek’thal – be they feline, lupine, vulpine, ursine, cuniculine, etcetera, they all seemed to have the same dreams and anxieties. Mortals were just so… same-y – to borrow a modern term from the Fifth Librarian. No wonder grifters had such an easy time with them.

Meverastethin – a grey-furred, vulpine Witch just shy of a millennia old – had watched mortals on the receiving end of fortunes both fraudulent and supernatural. Watched and watched and watched, following dozens and dozens of them from the moment of their fortune being told, to their very last breaths. Several hundred years ago Meverastethin might have been embarrassed about it, perhaps even thought of their hobby as strange… watching mortal lives fly by from the Window Room in their Domain. But they had long since moved past any sense of shame about their own voyeuristic tendencies.

But one mortal in particular had Meverastethin pondering their original question.

Magic was nothing more than the way a being enforced its desires on reality… and a Witch was a being of boundless Magical potential. The Fifth Librarian – at this point still a Human under the tutelage of Hushpuppy – had her fortune told on a childish whim shortly after she had been orphaned, then de-orphaned by Hushpuppy… And her fortune had deviated wildly from its telling almost immediately. This happened every time. If just proximity to a Witch scrambled the myriad possibilities of one’s life that much…

Then to be a Witch was to be the absolutely master of one’s destiny by sheer virtue of being too much of what you are for Fate to bind you.

Meverastethin smiled at the thought.


  1. Wander

Enna was looking for trouble.

Not necessarily to get into herself – that sort of trouble finds you easily enough as a Witch – but to find and perhaps… interfere just a little bit. Enna was that type of Witch – a Wanderer that did like to just sort of… bother mortals who were living their lives. The type of Witch that did not even bother with a Domain… she much preferred to wander around and find both helpful and decidedly unhelpful ways to leverage her Magical specialty.

For instance, it was just past two in the morning, but that did nothing to quiet the main strip in this city that never slept. At this hour, people didn’t even ask about the sunglasses she was wearing to hide the black sclera of her eyes – at most they gave her body a quick glance up and down, and went back to whatever debauchery they’d been engaged in. This wasn’t exactly much fun for a Witch like Enna, though, who deviated from the main strip down a dark and threatening-looking alley. Her nose had picked up the scent of blood, and that meant she may have located her excitement for the night. She followed scent down a few turns before coming upon a trio of ne’er-do-wells standing over the twitching, crumpled form of a fourth Human on the ground.

“That’s what the fuck you get.” A woman who dressed like a bartender at one of the nearby clubs spat at the fallen person, punctuating her expletive with a kick to their ribs. A deep, coarse groan dripped out of the person on the ground. The other man and woman standing next to the first acted in kind and the trio began to saunter away, having some sort of discussion about how they were going to financially recover from whatever the fallen person had done.

Yes, Enna thought to herself, this will do nicely.

Enna approached the fallen Human and squatted down next to them, not concerned about the slowly growing puddle of blood her dress was draping into.

“What is your name, Human?” Enna asked the barely breathing body. They did not answer, or perhaps they did, but Enna could not hear it. She sighed and grabbed their face, tilted their face towards her, and lowered her sunglasses ever so slightly to reveal her nature. Their eyes opened just barely, processed what they saw for a few moments, then they startled at the Witch in front of them.

“I’ve decided you aren’t done yet, Human. Here’s an ultimatum: if you follow those people and fight back, I will heal you enough to do so. Give up, and you can die here. All you have to give me is your name.”

They were silent for another few seconds. “Alex… Fion…” They gasped. Enna’s mouth curled into a feline grin.

“Perfect.” She raised her voice loud enough for the trio down the alley to hear her, “Excuse me! But I think you missed a spot! This one isn’t done yet~!” They all stopped and looked back at her, confusion evident on their faces even in the dark to her keen eyes.

Tra-la-la-li-lu-la~!” Enna sang a short little tune, and with zero ceremony, the man on the ground behind screamed as his blood forced its way back into his body, bones crunched back into place, and flesh knit back together.

“There you go, you’re invincible now. So go fight back!” This was a lie, but the mania evident in the man’s eyes shone brighter than stage lights, and he sprinted down the alley to bring the fight to his tormentors. One of the trio fell immediately, the two others ran, and the now nameless Human formerly known as Alex Fion gave chase.

“And now for the best part!” Enna proclaimed to the night, as walked down the alley and squatted down next to the fallen woman whose sternum had been shattered with a single punch, brightly staining her bartending uniform. Enna – The Witch of Panacea – offered the woman a cruel, cruel smile.

“I’ve decided you aren’t done yet, Human. Here’s an ultimatum…”


  1. Spicy

Celerity was a Witch who had – for the last six hundred years since her Blossoming – lived for two things and two things only: hot food and admiring the feminine form. Although she only required Fae for sustenance, she had always considered herself to be something of a gourmet, even back when she was a Human. She was not a gourmet in that she was a picky eater, or could tolerate only the most expensive ingredients, but a gourmet in that she valued food and the act of eating above almost anything else. She was much the same with women: all of them, every single one of them regardless of presentation, identity, background, danger, etcetera.

Celerity – The Beguiled Witch – simply loved it when women.

As a culmination of her two life-long loves, Celerity had built up the resources necessary to open her own cabaret lounge, employing some of the finest chefs, singers, and dancers in the city. The establishment was called the Lovely Lines Lounge and had been – as far as those who lived in the city knew – around since the founding of the city. This did not make sense in the slightest: why build a lounge before there was even a population to serve? But the books didn’t lie… or rather, the books simply did not know they were lying. How could they? Who would suspect that a Witch had bought an entire city block, unfolded her Domain atop the already occupied lot of land – devouring the present structures and a few of the inhabitants – and then Magically tweaked an entire city’s memories to be none the wiser?

Other than the occasional very, very doomed Witch Hunter… not a soul.

On any given evening at the Lovely Lines Lounge, one could find Celerity – simply known as The Madam amongst the workers and talent – shoulder to shoulder with the staff at nearly every position. Meeting with the chefs to go over the menu, the talent for last minute rehearsals, and the bar managers to confirm the stocks and specials. There was no part of the Lovely Lines Lounge that The Madam did not have a hand in; a bit micro-managey perhaps, but a Witch had to tend to her Domain… not that a single one of her workers seemed to realize that that was the true nature of the lounge.

Celerity was quite careful to keep her sunglasses on to hide the telltale black sclera of her eyes.

Once the lounge was opened for the night, she would grab herself the hottest meal the kitchen was concocting that night, a Bloody Mary from the bar – as spicy as possible, of course – and seat herself in the balcony box with the best view of the stage. She would never, ever sell a ticket to the center box seat; it belonged to her and her alone and she took great pride in the fact that no other entity could appreciate her girls better than she could. Over the course of her life, desire to simply admire had given way to blind lust for a century or two, which had then given way to a more measured exploration of her desires for another few centuries… She recalled fondly the softness of their skin and the taste of their… everything. Eventually she found herself coming almost full circle to a level of admiration that gave way to a soul-deep gratitude for every curve, every neckline, every note sung, every pursed lip, every acrobatic feat, every starry eye.

By all the gods… Celerity just loved women.


  1. Rise

Alma sat cross-legged atop the abandoned playground near the woods, chin resting on her palm as she gazed impassively down at the quivering group of creatures beneath her. They were not unlike goblins but they were covered in far more feathers than one would expect of such creatures. She had been lost in thought when they had approached her, and under normal circumstances they would have been right to do so. She was particularly diminutive and even in broad daylight could be mistaken for a child at a haphazard – or hunger-addled – glance.

But the Witch of Sky Blue was not prey to be hunted.

The creatures had surrounded her and lunged from every direction – a veritable sphere of grasping hands and vicious claws. The intricate geometric tattoo pattern that covered both of her bare arms and the rest of her body shone the colour of a clear sky viewed from the tallest peak. Alma pointed upwards and the goblin-bird-thing closest to her simply rose into the sky – too quickly to even scream, tumbling head-over-heels. Every single one of them turned to try and scattered instantly.


Which brought Alma to her present moment, perched atop the playground. She’d sent of one of the things to collect their leader, whom she guessed was approaching from the tremors reaching up through the ground all the way to her seat above the terrified creatures. Out of the woods came a massive feathered creature that had her messenger crushed in its hand. It tossed the corpse into the wood chips below and waited silently.

Alma clicked her tongue impatiently. “Well?” Her voice was like a gently falling sky.

“This is Makakt’s hunting ground. Witch walks into hunter’s territory. Gets offended when hunted. Doesn’t seem fair.” The gargantuan creature’s voice boomed across the quiet evening in short, stilted statements.

Alma narrowed her eyes at the creature; it did not apologize. “You ceased being hunters the moment I stepped foot in this place. Try that again.”

“Makakt will not be looked down upon by little-” Alma sighed, pointed up and Makakt fell into the sky. She stood up, taking a single step forward and disappearing into the air in front of her. She appeared in front of the fool that called itself Makakt in the middle of an endless blue sky, with no ground, no mountain, not even a celestial body to orient against. They were not falling or rising through the sky, they were in the sky. The creature was weakly flailing its giant limbs trying hopelessly to control its descent… or ascent, and it kept trying to open its mouth, but to no avail. Alma sat upside-down in front of the creature, the shining of her tattoos matching the blue sky behind her so closely that she seemed almost transparent.

“Ah damn, I always miss the initial plummet when screaming is possible. I’ve been told it’s almost impossible to scream like when you’re falling this fast. Impossible to hold a conversation. Impossible to mouth off at forces far beyond your understanding. Isn’t that right Makakt, can I call you Makakt?”

Alma nodded to herself, giving herself permission in Makakt’s place.

“You know, it’s not dissimilar from drowning, as I understand it, it’s actually quite easy for someone to drown a mere meter or two away from you – or so the deep ones tell me. Something about breathing in water making your vocal cords spasm. No sound, quiet descent as the hungry water embraces and entombs you. It’s actually quite funny, did you know you can die from rising too quickly from deep water? I know, right? Quite shocking. Decompression sickness they call it, something about gas pressures in the body… I don’t really know about all that stuff. Now, this place doesn’t really have an altitude… yet. But when I let this place have altitude…. Do you think you can decompress in open air? How long do you think it will take? How fast is too fast to rise?”

Makakt was no longer conscious.

“Let’s find out!”


  1. Castle

Where was she supposed to find a free princess at this time of the year?! Fensle – The Witch of Seams – wondered dimly as she flew across the pitch-black night sky. Stupid black dragons, stupid Asherlev… with her stupid iridescent scales and boundless, stupid dragon wisdom.

It had all started when the Duke of Leonessa had tried to strong-arm Fensle into setting up shop within the cloistered walls of Castle Casteleona. This was a play at control, of course, and Fensle was having none of it. Duke Leonessa simply wanted to have absolute control of all potential medical care in the kingdom, such that he could easily control all of the fiefdoms scattered about his sovereignty. When all of the various village doctors and learned grannies had been rounded up and housed in Castle Casteleona, Fensle couldn’t really be bothered to do anything about that. After all, what were a bunch of Human medicine folks to her? It wasn’t that she was afraid of the competition or anything – normally she relished that sort of thing – however it DID mean there was a lot more traffic to her little cottage on the hill between a triad of villages. This made her much easier to locate for the soldiers of Leonessa, who thought they could enter her cottage without permission and simply force her to move as well.

She unzipped them and then committed some casual regicide.

“It was not a regicide, Witch of Seams, the Duke of Leonessa was a Duke, not a King. You have supplanted the overseer of a Duchy, not the whole kingdom,” Queen Asherlev of the Nightwing Brood of Black Dragons corrected Fensle from atop her bed of pine trees.

“Whaaaaat?! There’s a difference!!?” Fensle balked at her old friend as she hung upside down from her broom near the dragon’s head. “Then if it wasn’t a King, is the castle still mine?!”

“Well, was there anyone left to fight you after you were done?”

“No… Anyone who refused to fight I let go… unzipping all of the civilians would be rude, you know?”

“Then, by right of conquest, Castle Casteleona is now Castle Fensle… or the Castle of Seams. Whatever you wish to call it.” The Dragon Queen, whose head had been resting on her hands, suddenly snapped upwards to be level with The Witch of Seams. “Or, hmm, maybe not.”

The Witch cocked her head inquisitively. “Really? Why?”

“Yes… It cannot be a castle, nor was it ever a castle. There is no princess in a tower.”

“…Is that necessary to make a castle a castle?”

The Dragon’s maw gaped slightly as she sighed forcefully enough to spin the Witch back atop her broom. “Yes! Obviously, Witch of Seams. If there is no princess within its structure, then what are the walls there to protect? My brood has taken down many well-fortified castles and each and every one had a princess that was the most heavily guarded by a powerful knight. Therefore, if there was no princess with a powerful knight guarding her, then it is not now, nor has it ever been a castle.” There were many loud murmurs of agreement around the nest from the flight of Nightwings that had come to observe the visiting Witch.

“Hmm…” Fensle laid down atop her broom as she contemplated the wisdom of the Nightwing Queen. This was indeed troubling information – after all, she had gone through all that work to take the ‘castle’ – …but if it wasn’t a castle-castle, then Asherlev was going to give her shit about it forever. “Okay so if I find a princess, put her in the ‘castle’, pamper her a bunch and give her a ferocious guard, then the ‘castle’ will become a Castle? Would that make me a Queen like you?”

Asherlev’s grin was like an armory unto itself. “Exactly!”

“Neat! Thanks Soon-To-Be-Fellow-Queen!” Fensle gave a salute before shooting off into the pitch-black, night sky. “Time to find a princess, then!”


  1. Dagger

“Daggers are symbolically ambiguous and are thus useful in all manner of dark rituals.” Estelle – The Witch of Veils – explained to Hecate, a young, newly Blossomed Witch that she had found and added to her coven.

“Do they… have to be dark rituals? That sounds scary.” The shy little Witch barely spoke above a whisper as they approached the Accidental Altar. She had learned so much in just the last three months that her head practically started spinning before Estelle even spoke these days.

“Of course not, little one, but doesn’t ‘all manner of dark rituals’ sound more impressive than ‘all manner of rituals’?”

“…I guess?” Hecate was unimpressed.

The Witch of Veils cleared her throat. “Anyways. Over the millennia, daggers have come to represent intimate combat and slaughter – with many elite special forces groups utilizing not only the weapon itself, but its iconography to represent their proficiency at violence. On the other side of that coin, the dagger – along with the bow and arrow – have been used to represent the hunt. There is an efficiency associated with the dagger in such instances. However, while the dagger has been historically utilized and symbolized through violence, warfare, it has also paradoxically been used as a symbol of deceit.”

Hecate nodded her head as they stopped in front of the altar. “Like… as in cloak and dagger?”

Estelle rewarded the child she had named with a smile and a pat on the head. “Very good, darling. With its ease of concealment, flexibility in how it is used, and even application of poisons, the dagger has much fear of the hidden, the deceitful, and the unknown wrapped around its nature. Ah, the fox, if you would.” Estelle held out her hand and Hecate handed her the tightly tied, wriggling bag containing a fox that they had caught earlier in the night for this exact purpose.

“I don’t think I understand where you are going with this? How does the paradox get us to ‘sacrifice’?”

“You are still thinking too literally, child. Ah, one moment. Be Still. For Tonight The Veil is but Gossamer.” Estelle whispered to the fox and it went still and slack. She opened the bag and splayed it out upon the altar. “The dagger’s role in ritualistic sacrifice is inextricably tied to its utility. Easy to wield, even if you have flimsy arms or a weak soul. Be you a shaman, a bureaucrat, or a baby Witch like yourself, it can still be wielded for one’s own selfish whims. But in the specific case of those who are not like us, the violence of the dagger’s role is obvious… but many who are carrying out these sacrifices are simply liars, trying to placate the masses through fear and blood. In that regard – along with its mechanical simplicity – violence and brutality are swirled together with deceit, the hidden, and unknown gods.”

“But… we aren’t liars. Does that mean we can’t carry out a blood sacrifice?”

“Ah but this is why context is important. This altar – for example – was never meant to be: a man built it thinking he was offering prayer to his lost daughter, but he got the angles wrong and called something… else. But once he started praying, he couldn’t stop, even if he knew not what he prayed to.”

“So the Accidental Altar offers us ‘the unknown’… and the fox offers us ‘deceit’?”

“Exactly.” Estelle praised Hecate, drawing an ebony-bladed dagger from her hip. “And this dagger – this Dagger – will take care of the rest.” She pierced her own finger and gestured for Hecate’s hand. The young Witch offered her pinky finger and winced as her teacher did the same to her and followed her teacher’s lead in letting three drops of blood fall upon the fox.

“Now…” Estelle stabbed the dagger into the fox’s heart and a wave of energy instantly blew forth from the altar. The Dagger was now charged and fit to slice through the Veil of this place.

“Let us begin.”


  1. Angel

The hull of the Unfathomable groaned as the submarine reached the bottom of its test depth, but Cassaela – The Witch of the Awful Deep – was not afraid of deep water.

Why should she be? After all, she had a competent crew – some of whom had been with her for years – and if something happened that put them at or below crush depth… Well, Magic could delay the inevitable long enough for the crew to get things figured out. No, it was not the darkness of the depths or the pressures that frightened her… it was the angels. This wasn’t the first time they had seen them on the radar – positively gargantuan structures smearing across the radar – nor was this the only part of the ocean that they were seeing them. Which was concerning, largely because of three consistent parameters: 1) They had to be several kilometers long and at least a couple wide. 2) They were moving. And 3) No one could feel them moving.

As if responding to the very thought, the entire vessel shuddered and bounced as a chorus of gasps, yelps, and whimpers arose from Cassaela’s crew. Hardened as they were from dozens and dozens of dives at this point, no one on board had ever spent this much time in proximity to one of these mysterious angels. How something so… vast could even exist, let alone move, was beyond Cassaela. And even more confusing… how could something so… colossal move any part of itself without sending the entire submarine plummeting well beyond crush depth?!

The Witch of the Awful Deep had wandered these oceans for centuries and had never encountered such an entity.

And that – more than anything else – drove Cassaela to her recent lost of sleep, to these nascent tremors that haunted her when she stood atop her ship that they’d all left topside. Until the development of radar technology a couple of decades prior, she’d always greeted the opaque waves and briney spray as a venerable old friend; powerful and to be respected, of course, but ultimately familiar and known. With her considerable abilities, she had walked the upper slopes of the Puerto Rico Trench right up to the very edge and looked down into the Abyss with her own two eyes. There were things in the depths, of course… some of them were even what she would describe as large – huge even. But nothing like the angels… yet nowadays they were detecting these angels everywhere they dived.

Had she always been walking amongst these titans and just… never noticed?! When she thought about it too long, the idea filled her with a disquiet that bordered on bone-deep terror.

“It stopped. Captain.” The Radarman informed Cassaela, her brow furrowed, unblinking as she stared at the screen in front of her. The technician had long since let her earphones hang around her neck, the audio of the pings being a useless indicator with an entity of this magnitude. The Witch of the Awful Deep nodded and sighed.

“Alright everyone,” Cassaela clapped her hands together and produced a glowing, iridescent bubble in her hand, “If this bubble pops… run. Just… leave me behind. This is my ill-advised mission… But I need to know.” Her crew grimaced, but nodded – they were a good lot.

Cassaela clapped her hands together once more and a larger bubble encompassed her whole body. She saluted those present, smiled at the sonar operator, adjusted her hat, and teleported outside of the submarine. In the deep, absolute dark of the depths… The Witch of the Awful Deep held out her left hand and produced a light.

And she immediately wished she hadn’t.


  1. Demon

“Grah! Not now!!!

Lydia – The Witch of Floating Points – threw her controller at the wall in frustration. It shattered on impact, denting the wall, but the pieces vibrated before putting themselves back together. Her PC had suddenly chugged to a halt while she was gaming… which made absolutely no sense with a setup like hers. Top of the line hardware, future-proofed out at least half a decade by her calculations… Sure, every component was overclocked to hell and back… but Lydia had really pulled out all of the stops in putting together this build. Even conscripting another Witch in her Coven to help her set up some pocket manifolds to make it interdimensionally gas-cooled. None of this liquid-cooling nonsense for Lydia, she existed in a place beyond space, time, and rational gaming rigs. By all rights her build should be able to run every single mod in SkyrimAnd Rimworld…

At the same time! 

Lydia rebooted her computer with a wave of her hand and things seemed reasonably fine… until she opened up her task manager and scrolled to the bottom.

“The f- Who the fuck are y’all?!” Lydia glared at the list of programs under the background processes. The usual suspects were all there… but there were also some unknown daemons that had no business using that much memory! There was a solid 80% of her CPU usage from a daemon handling a newly-spawned process called HiHiHiHiHiHiHi. Did she get hacked? Did someone inject some daemons into her build that could be specifically targeted by a DDOS???


“Un-freakin-believable,” Lydia muttered to herself as she stood up. “Bold of whoever did this to target The Witch of Floating Points. This is a manifold desktop AND I’M FUCKING COMING FOR YOU!” The Witch of Floating Points screamed into the empty room before slapping the top of her tower and becoming one with the computer.

Leaving one’s local area network was an odd sensation – everything about the interconnectivity of information was unfamiliar, exciting, and liable to tear one’s psyche to shreds in seconds if the mind wandered too much. Lydia thankfully had a very specific goal in mind: fix her computer, then follow the process back to whomever violated her cyberspace. She wasn’t particularly skilled in computer repair, but she had Magic on her side. It was not difficult for her to track down the decidedly-not-physical-space with which the suspect daemons were operating and deleting the shit out of them.

So much data… So much tireless effort… And for what? To waste entire minutes of her time? These were the thoughts that ran through her head as her ‘jaw’ unhinged and clamped shut around the last of the strange daemons, dividing its… hypothesis by zero and grasping the resulting null dividend in her ‘hands’. She smiled to herself as her Magic converted first it from an imaginary value to a real integer, then to a ‘scent’ that she could follow. Now all she had to do was follow this scent to its source… a trivial matter to execute instantaneously in this type of environment.

Next…? Well, next she was going to reach through this screen and eat the end-user’s life.


  1. Saddle

Corvanya – The Witch of Filth – glowered at the road in front of her, which dipped into a saddle between two tors, each sitting upon defiantly tall, grassy hills. The road itself wasn’t a problem, nor were the hills casting their shadows upon the packed dirt path beneath. No, the problem was the tors themselves.

They were perfectly identical.

This was – simply put – impossible. The only way two tors separated by several dozen meters could look exactly the same was if the wind, the particulates riding the wind, the rain, and micro and macro tremors running through the earth itself were exactly the same in two different spaces. Considering that that’s just not how weather and tectonic movement work – like, at all – that meant that the terrain that she currently beheld was at least partially fabricated. And if something had bothered to fabricate the very terrain, then it was probably at least three fairies – one to conceive and stabilize the image, another to actively maintain the illusory terrain, and a third to hunt whatever hapless soul wandered into the trap.

In Human terms: the road did not dip at all – the saddle between tors was fake – and to continue her approach would be like serving herself on a plate.

The Witch of Filth sighed and plucked out both of her eyes without hesitation – sight would just get in the way in her present circumstance – and she dropped them into a small glass jar half full of saline. With her confounded sight out of mind, she focused on the scents around her and easily located the hidden Fae in the vicinity of her – there were actually four! Perhaps this was a trap for a Witch and not just for stray Humans! No matter, she had something for this sort of situation. Corvanya clicked her tongue and suddenly her skin began to crawl – quite literally – shifting and stretching and relaxing all over her body until a dime-sized, seemingly bottomless black hole appeared on the back of both of her hands and cheeks.

With the open air and light suddenly moving into the pathways on her flesh, she could feel the multitudes writhing within her – she could feel the gratitude pouring out of the endless pits that resided in her body as one fly, then four, then countless poured forth out of the nest that was her body. She could taste the fear in the air as the Fae thought better of their plan, but she was not in the business of letting such creatures escape… It had been quite a while since her last meal. She turned to the right and followed the closest commotion and screaming – the creature could not even fly properly, so densely covered in flies as it was. The Witch of Filth squatted down next to the Fae – ignoring the distant chaos of Fae trying to flee from the endless swarm – and felt a slimy wriggling beneath all of the nails on her right hand. She held the hand out and watched each nail pop off her with a moist, barely audible rip as a leech slithered out of each of her nail beds.

Her only regret was that this one had already passed out, and did not have the presence of mind to be afraid as each leech found purchase on the Fae’s soft, warm, porcelain skin.


  1. Plump

Kaysia stood in the perfect dark of The Last Bakery, peeking through the blinds of the mobile storefront. “Oh wow… You weren’t kidding ma’am. It’s not even quite dawn yet and folks are already lining up. What are we gonna do?”

“It is Miss – witchling – and they ARE starving. Even if we are Witches, they will die if they do not accept what we have to offer, and offer what they have in return. Thus, we are going to do what we always do: bake the plumpest, flakiest, tastiest, breads and pastries that these backwater villagers have ever beheld.” Deirdre – The Witch of Famine – assured her apprentice as she rolled up her flowing crimson sleeves and tied back her straw-coloured hair. Kaysia – no older than thirteen at this point – shut the blinds and followed her mistress into the kitchen.

“But if they’re starving – Miss – then they don’t have anything to offer us, do they?” The inquisitive child asked as she took her place at the opposite side of the kitchen from The Witch of Famine, as the starburst tattoo on the young girl’s back began to glow.

Deirdre smiled and curtsied across the room with her apron. “Ah precious darling, their starvation IS what they’re offering us! We all have something that feeds us, sustains us… makes us strong. For Humans, it’s food, drinks, etcetera. For myself and you – a little Witch of Hunger in training – it is other entities’ lack of food and fear of that lack that feeds us. You have not tried to use Magic since we arrived in this region, have you?”

The girl shook her head as she returned the curtsy and the older Witch chuckled, “Well, you shall see soon enough… Ready?”

“Y-yes Ma- Miss!”

“Good… Aaaaaaaannnnnd Clap!” The two Witches clapped their hands together in front of themselves in well-practiced unison. The light from Kaysia’s back tattoo shone like the star whose shape it borrowed and the intricate maze of tattoos on Deirdre’s hands and forearms – which could easily be mistaken for riding gloves at a glance – blazed like the heart of a volcano. Flour and eggs and butter and milk flew around the kitchen as the room itself expanded two, four, then eightfold. The kitchen automagically partitioned itself into work stations for measuring and mixing, kneading and folding, heating and cooling, and of course baking.

“Woah…” Kaysia whispered, awed at the amount of Magic she was able to conduct.

“Agaaain!~” Deirdre’s melodic command called over the growing static hum in the room. They clapped once more and hundreds and hundreds of arms with grasping hands grew from every surface to begin preparing today’s breads and confectionery delights, passing each step to the next group of hands as their steps finished. The Last Bakery’s Ever-Kneady Hands technique did the Witches proud… and the storefront was fully stocked with plump, warm, steaming breads and muffins and cupcakes and other such delights by the time the sun rose and they opened for business.


  1. Frost

The first frost is a transition in many senses; there is after all a season for all things.

In many parts of the world it marks the end of Autumn and the beginning of Winter – the start of death from decay. There will be no thaw until the next transition and no respite from Winter’s bitter, killing bite until the Spring blooms. But in other regions, the first frost was a lie… a clever trick to panic the farmers and dissuade the plants.

But then Katia – the Witch of Desolation – knew that such frost was no lie… it was a warning.

The late Autumn rain carried with it a preternatural chill that could only be partially attributed to the changing of seasons. She held out a hand in front of her and allowed the droplets to pool in her palm. It was cold… too cold to actually be water – hail maybe… but it was even too cold for that, she noted as her olive skin began to redden from the cold burning her flesh. She flicked it off of her and turned her hand into dripping magma for a few seconds to warm it, dispersing a cloud of steam in all directions. By all rights everything should be completely frozen over… yet everything was simply wet and very much dying.


Despite the well-below-freezing rain, one focused sniff at the air of this region told her three things. One, it was not time for Winter to be hitting this region. Two, this was not the marked territory of another Witch. And three… she was not the only Witch here. Katia resisted the urge to glance around – she would not be able to see the Witch if she did not wish to be seen. Besides… The best way to find a Witch in contested territory was to simply challenge their claim.

Now then.

Katia ground her heel into the earth beneath her and the hills began to tremble, cracks running through them and a waxy magma bubbling out from them. Steam billowed out from the various leaky wounds in the hillside and the burgeoning, super-heated updraft blew back the unnaturally cold rain. It was not that she particularly minded that this region was being destroyed, just that she simply could not agree with the preservative nature of freezing life to death. If it was this land’s time to die, far be it from her to stop that. But that death must be complete and utter, Katia thought as fires began to catch around the magma flows around her.

She was the Witch of Desolation – and there must be nothing left in her wake.

Suddenly, all of the rain simply stopped – paused in mid-air – and crystalized into sparkling, needle-sharp spines. Katia turned to face the rhythmic crunch of a hostile Witch’s approaching footsteps. Her eyes were odd – completely white, as opposed to black – and she wore a pure white three-piece suit with a wide brimmed, flat top hat to match… and oddest of all: she was barefoot.

“You seem to want my attention, Witch. Your wish is granted. What. Do. You. Want.” Her voice was like a chill down the spine. Katia felt no need to respond, she simply pointed her finger at the unknown Witch with her thumb pointing to the sky as her hand took on a recalescent glow.

“…So it is like that, is it?” A cane-shaped sword made of something far colder than ice appeared in her hand. “So be it.”


  1. Chains

A Witch’s chains must be self-inflicted.

It seems like an obvious point; a Witch is ungovernable, powerful, magical, and the absolute master of their Domain. Such boundless potential that even reality and its so-called rules could not constrain them. Reality was what a Witch made of it, and it was up to her to paint a reality she could be proud of with the brush of her unconscionable power on the blank canvas of existence. But with a blank canvas comes something akin to existential decision paralysis – to be fully capable of doing anything is a terrible deluge of decisions to have to make every single day.

“That’s the funny thing about carrying out any project, really.” Tasha – The Witch of Puppets – explained to her visiting student. “Unlimited resources, workspace, and time all rob a person of their creativity.”

Rosenda – The Witch of Rust – smiled at her old master in the mirror as she brushed the older Witch’s hair with the utmost care. “Creativity only blossoms in the face of obstacles – of limitations, right?” Rosenda finished for Tasha, who met the younger Witch’s gaze in the mirror and rewarded her with a sharp-toothed grin.

“And just how often do the young ones have to hear this particular speech?” Rosenda teased as she walked over to the window, gazing down at the three girls at the base of the tower playing tag with one of Tasha’s automata.

Tasha swiveled in her chair to face her old student. “It’s important for them – as it was for you – to internalize early on. Learn the basics of the body, learn the basics of the natural world, learn the basics of Magic… All of that is simple and a matter of time, attention, and effort. But combining all of those to fill reality with the flavours of your heart… that requires focus, precision, and commitment.” Rosenda had heard this lecture many times growing up, but back then Tasha had been far worse at getting to the point.

Her teacher had become quite efficient.

Tasha continued her well-practiced recitation. “Reality. Physics. Rules. Laws. None of these things can bind us… so we have to set our own limitations. ‘I’m going to use cool colours’, ‘I’m going to paint portraits’, ‘I’m going to finish painting in one day’, ‘I’m not going to erase, I’m going to commit to all of my mistakes’ and so on and so forth. You understand, of course, it’s how we achieve mastery over our tiny sliver of reality. How we obtain enough power to grasp a title for ourselves…”

Rosenda observed as one of the girls below shrieked as she commanded the grass on the hill to uproot, form into a tangle of grasping hands, and root the pursuing automaton in place. “But the basics are always there for us to fall back on.”

“Indeed. It’s important to be flexible.” Tasha sauntered over to join Rosenda at the window. “After all, it’s important to- oh for fucks- they tore up my lawn AGAIN!?


  1. Scratchy

The woman across from Keena was not well.

“No… I cannot stop scratching myself. What would you have me do, hmm?! Would you bind my hands like my feet has no claws of their own? Like my mouth has no claws of its own?! No you… you, you-you-you-you you didn’t come here No I came to you! I came to you so that you could help me! Do you understand!? I NEED your help, Witch. I do not need you to touch me with sharpened fingers that don’t have the decency to s-scratch me. I do not need you to stare at me with your hollowed, bottomless Faedric eye HOLES that do naught but drink my suffering in. My itching and scratching do not gouge my very SKIN so that you can take your notes and tell your vacuous mind that they are ‘interesting’. No… I will not stop scratching myself – Witch – What would that do for me, exactly? An itch, it deserves to be scratched, no? You understand, right? No. Of course you don’t… but a Witch did this to my so maybe a Witch can make it stop.” The woman’s chipped fingernails came up to her face and painfully raked all the way down her neck to her clavicle, before she shuddered with half-lucid dread and a manic gasp of pleasure.

“Do I want it to stop… Tell me, Witch, do I want this to stop?!”

Keena – The Witch of Mourning – had initially been on the trail of The Witch of Filth in order to feed on the next-of-kin left in her wake. But now Keena mainly wanted to understand The Witch of Filth. That Witch might pass through two or three dozen Human habitats without ever harming anyone. And then, seemingly at random, she’d pick anywhere from one to five people to just… completely ruin. The last city she passed through she did nothing but infest an entire building with bed bugs… which was shitty, yes, but nothing like what she’d done to this woman. Keena glanced to the corner of the room they were sitting in; this woman’s soul was displaced from her own body and covered in thousands of ethereal insects of various types. Mostly just crawling, but some biting, nibbling, and sucking on the ‘skin’ of this woman’s soul… and her physical body was reacting in kind. That was ‘what’ and ‘how’… but why did she do this?

“What happened between you and The Witch of Filth?”

The woman’s face twisted into a visage of anger and bone-deep terror. “DO! NOT! CALL! HER! FILTHY!” Each shouted word was punctuated by the slamming of her fist on the table, each impact leaving a sticky, bloody print upon the wood. “I DID NOTHING WRONG! I WAS JUST CLEANING THE RESTAURANT! THAT… That… That shouldn’t have mattered! One of the dish boys left the trash bag outside of the back door! The bag leaked and there were maggots everywhere underneath it! I threw out the bag and then I just- just- I CLEANED up the FILTH! It was just a little bleach… It shouldn’t have mattered… I-I killed a s-s-spider earlier and it was fine! But… no… spiders a-are different! Those are the d-domain of something m-m-much scarier…”

Hmm. Keena thought to herself, the insects are whispering as they feed on her. 

The tortured woman’s rant had trailed off and she had gone back to scratching and scraping at her own body. She might be able to undo the hex upon the woman’s soul… but she didn’t want to tip off the elder Witch to her… pilgrimage. Keena drew her flute and brought it up to her lips, making eye contact with the bloody, itching woman one last time. The Witch of Mourning blew a single, sharp note that severed the connection between soul and body, and the woman slumped in her chair, the light in her still open eyes fading as her soul evaporated. She left the apartment, leaving the door open so that one of her neighbors would come investigate… The mourning should begin in a few days, and then she would continue on her pilgrimage.


  1. Celestial

Ivalisse – The Witch of Stars – made most other Witches deeply uncomfortable.

It was not the magnitude of her power, or its nature – her Magic worked similarly enough to any other Witch’s. No, it was the source of her power – the unfamiliar way she Blossomed into a Witch and the strange quirks that came with it that troubled the others so. For the Witch of Stars – once a proper Human Magitech researcher in her own right – had more or less stumbled into Witchhood on accident. Not by consuming a Fae or making a pact with some other entity of vast Magical power… but by drawing the attention of something… bad.

It had all started with a basic astronomy textbook that she had picked up as reference material on the ancient dragons, once said to have left the planet after mortals became too abundant and too loud. Sparse writings existed on the matter and Ivalisse was set on cross-referencing those various stories – some of which described the night sky in relative detail, even including haphazardly sketched constellations. Ivalisse reckoned that, by back-calculating the orbit of the planet around their mother star, she may have been able to figure out what direction at least SOME of the dragons had traveled into the Wild Space beyond their atmosphere.

Thus Ivalisse did her due diligence: cross-referencing various historical accounts to ensure her orbital math was correct, ensuring her math was accurate in retrospect and as a predictive tool, and slowly piecing together a map of the movement of the constellations. It was tedious, of course, but ended up being a fairly simple matter, and she started to wonder why no one seemed to have even tried to do what she was doing… It would be the discovery of the… of all time really. So why hadn’t anyone else done it?

Accounting for the drift of the stars within the common constellations relative to the inertial frame – which would be about one arcsecond per year, or one degree per three thousand years – Ivalisse was very (read: a 98% confidence interval) confident that she knew exactly which orbital trajectory at least six dragons had taken in their grand exodus. She would have been able to figure out the rest but for one frustrating roadblock: a set of constellations that were described a number of times for what appeared to be several hundred years… and then they just… stopped. No one spoke of them ever again and they weren’t on any modern star charts.

It. Took. Years. For Ivalisse to calculate the present hypothetical positions of the missing celestial bodies, and a not insignificant percentage of her dwindling funds. But she did it; she finally figured out what month, night, and time would be optimal to view and chart the missing constellation. She called in some favours and made her way to the Kaantok Observatory, sitting 5100 meters off the ground, within a lava dome in the Haeruun Desert. The high-powered telescope was set to her exact specifications and – at exactly 11:54 PM – she looked through the eyepiece and saw them.

They were right there.

They were never missing at all.

She diligently charted their place in the heavens and-

They Looked Back.

They had no eyes, and made no secret of it. But they looked back and-

At exactly midnight, the Kaantok Observatory, as well as Mount Ternarrok upon which it sat, and every single person within eyeshot of the mountain vanished without a trace.

And to this day the eyes of Ivalisse – The Witch of Stars – reflected those same uncanny constellations… no matter what blocked her gaze of the heavens.


  1. Shallow

Shadows are only shallow on this infernal planet.

Gracia – The Tenebrous Witch – had long been frustrated by the limitations of shadows on this planet. There was a door inside of all of them… she could not see them, but she knew they were there. There was a place beyond where the pitch-black utter darkness that was reality’s default state could be felt. She knew it was there. How did she know?

Because of the Door-Men.

The Tenebrous Witch would see people casting shadows that were far more than the two-dimensional image projected onto surfaces, and watch the unsuspecting public go about their days… utterly unaware of the many, many things skulking in their shadows. One such thing was the Door-Men – so called because she could hear them knocking on the three-dimensional boundaries of the shadows they inhabited. They were not pleasant creatures to deal with, but were important to her nonetheless. She had watched them claw their way from beyond the boundary, emerging from a world of pure darkness through the scar in reality left by living creatures’ shadows.

Yet try as she might – even with her considerable power – she could NOT open a door in the other direction.

Shadows had degrees of darkness and depth and – as technology had continued to advance – the number of light sources had tragically ballooned. Which meant that the available shadows were getting shallower and shallower… The solution seemed easy at first: simply establish a singular lightsource underground. But she encountered deep beneath the earth a problem she could not simply hide from:

The atmosphere.

The thing that astronomers and astrophysicists of the modern age did not appreciate about the atmosphere was that it, amongst its various other functions, also scattered light. This ensured that no shadow was ever actually complete, and Gracia had already learned the hard way that she was not powerful enough to pry open the doorway within all shadows with anything less than a complete shadow. The solution, then, was simple – not easy, just simple: she needed to go somewhere with no atmosphere, cast a shadow, and open the door… Somewhere like the Moon. But as far as anyone knew, no Magic existed in Wild Space – no way for her to open a threshold to that distant rock, even if she wanted to.

But she needed to know.

Thankfully, Gracia had all the time in the world. Time enough for Humans to grow audacious. Time enough for Humans to yearn for the stars. Time enough for them to invent rockets and explode themselves off of the planet and beyond the pesky atmosphere. With her considerable resources, it was simple enough to cut a deal: to leave some room in storage and an extra suit for her. And on the next launch she was up there with them, and – three days later when they arrived on the surface – she departed the craft next to two terribly confused astronauts.

Looking out at the planet in the distance she felt… awe? Perhaps. Not at the smallness of everything down there at this distance, but she dimly wondered if she was the first ever Witch to risk entering Wild Space. But more importantly she looked down and so complete and utterly impenetrable darkness wearing her shape. She had been correct – the shadows up here were complete – and somehow… somehow she knew this was going to work. The sensation of Magic up here was… off. But it wasn’t absent like everyone said… was that because the Moon had its own Magic too? Unimportant. She kneeled down and reached into her shadow… which accepted her hand eagerly, and she allowed herself to be pulled in.

And in.

And in.

All the way in.

As she stood in total darkness – a Witch Cosmonaut fallen out of reality – she could feel the vibrations on the other side of a door she had no way of seeing. She felt around for the doorknob and gently… ever so gently…

Opened the door.


  1. Dangerous

W-w-what the fuck was THAT?!

Lorelei – The Will’o’Witch – had both of her hands firmly clamped over her mouth to muffle her gasping, painful breaths, leaning back against a gnarled tree in the murky swamp within which she was hiding. This thing… was beyond anything else she had ever encountered in the admittedly short three hundred years since her Blossoming. The most she had heard of Slaughs from other Witches was that they were ‘dangerous’ – after all, they were the Fae equivalent of a Witch. ‘Dangerous, because they are like us’, a description that had been churning around in her head so often the last couple of days that it had started to take on the cadence of a joke.

Dangerous?! Fucking DANGEROUS?!

This thing wasn’t ‘dangerous’. She knew dangerous… she knew it when she saw it, she knew it when she smelled it, and knew it when she inevitably conquered it! Dangerous was familiar to her; from the quarries of her hunts to the Sisters in her Coven to the Witch she saw in the mirror every day.

I am ‘dangerous’.

But this- this thing – this Slaugh – was bad. It was wrong and she could feel its awareness of her and she was deeply afraid.

Lorelei slowly – oh so slowly – slid down against the tree in and into the murk from which it grew, hoping to mask her scent with the swampy water. She had covered the entirety of the vast swamp she’d retreated into with the wandering, fiery blue will’o’wisps that were her namesake, and she could feel them being snuffed out, one by one, as if their power were utterly inconsequential, by the Slaugh that was hunting her, giving her a rough idea of where the monster was. She could still hear the thing crying – still wearing the voice of a troubled young lass – as if it were utterly confident that it would catch her, even if it telegraphed its location. Lorelei, despite her pride, had trouble disagreeing with its assessment of the situation. She hadn’t been able to shake the thing for days and her nerves were frayed to the point of snapping.

It was time to do something drastic.

She still had a couple dozen wisps scattered throughout the swamp, so she gently and quietly – oh so quietly – kissed her own fingertips and blew a kiss into the air in front of her. The result was as drastic as it was immediate: bright blue, ghastly pillars of soul-eroding fire soared into the air as all of the wisps detonated simultaneously. Under the cover of booming shockwaves and dancing lights, she leapt out of the water and sprinted atop it as fast as she could, reaching the edge of the swamp in a matter of moments. Just as The Will’o’Witch was about to exit the dark, rippling waters of the swamp, a figure gently touched down in front of her… and an acute, familiar terror once more gripped her heart.

It was almost beautiful: a thin, delicate face framed by wavy emerald hair that could not quite hide its sharp pointed ears. Its antlers betrayed its origins, however, as did its eyes: countless bright blue, concentric rings with a pale red iris in the center filled its sockets, and a second pair sat atop its cheekbones, darting about and unblinking. Its lips were full and bright red, but it looked as if something had slit its cheeks in two from the corner of its lips all the way up to its ears, then neatly sewed it back together. It was totally unarmed and the distant blue ethereal light danced upon the almost leathery bronze of its naked body.

It did not stop weeping now that it had caught up to and cornered her, but a second, deeper and more mature voice began to cackle discordantly just beneath the young girl’s cries. Lorelei met the creature’s four eyes and her lips curled back as she snarled defensively at the Slaugh, whose shoulders did not tremble as it cried. The Will’o’Witch wreathed herself in ghostly blue fire as the Slaugh rose its hand to its slit mouth.

And blew Lorelei a kiss.


  1. Remove

Ceres’ stomach dropped the moment the woman entered the classroom.

“Miss Katrina is ill today. I will be your substitute, Quinn. If the…” The squat woman wearing sunglasses indoors and a severe expression peered closely at the sheet in her hand, “…twenty of you give me no problems, then there will be none. Complicate my role and I will remove you. Mmkay?” ‘Quinn’ was absolutely, unequivocally, a Witch and was almost certainly looking for Ceres. Ceres was baffled that the Human teenagers around her couldn’t feel the immense pressure of this woman’s Magical power.

Ceres – a young Witch with no title – was hiding her black sclera with specialized colour contacts and other inhuman features beneath a far-too-large hoodie. She had only recently Blossomed herself, so she was excessively aware of the significantly older Witch’s power. The only saving grace here was that Ceres was far too weak compared to ‘Quinn’ to be immediately identified for what she was by the elder Witch. Which was good, but the fact that the Witch was here in this classroom – after presumably eating the homeroom teacher – meant that she had narrowed things down considerably to at least this general cluster of classrooms.

‘Quinn’ – Ceres did not know her title – adjusted her sunglasses and glared at the clipboard in front of her. “I will now perform the ‘roll call’. State ‘here’ if you are ‘here’. Now then, Lara Adin-”

“So like… you’re just ‘Quinn’? That a title or something? Are you a stage idol or somethin’?” A girl in the front row interjected rudely.

The nineteen students sat at their desks as the Witch continued roll call. “Sebastian Cornwall.”


Ceres blinked several times and stopped just short of shaking her head.

Did- Did she just erase someone from… existence? Ceres thought as she glanced at a completely empty desk in the front-left corner of the room. Ceres felt the blood drain from her face; she couldn’t even remember the person’s name… and it seemed like literally no one had noticed her do it.

“Soriel Czent.”

“Here! Wow, teach, has anyone ever told you you’re pretty short?” The Witch had been pacing up and down the rows – slowly and meticulously closing in on Ceres’ seat – and indeed only stood about one head taller than the seated students in the classroom.

The eighteen students sat at their desks as the slow and meticulous roll call continued, the unaware students simply playing with their smartphones. Ceres could feel her heart pounding in her chest and was hopelessly willing herself to calm down, to show no any fear as she glanced at the adjacent desk that had ‘always been empty’. This was it, she was going to-

“-s Dalianna.” Her heart stopped in her chest as she realized the Witch was standing right next to her. ‘Quinn’ paused, looked around and then spoke once more. “Ceres Dahlianna?”

Trembling despite her best efforts, Ceres managed a quiet, “Here…”

“Excellent.” Quinn responded as she pulled out a scalpel, leaned in and began to slide the instrument across Ceres’ throat with such clinical precision and detachment that the young Witch almost didn’t even think to dodge. But Ceres’ own predatory instincts kicked in at the last possible moment as she squeezed her eyes shut and fell through the floor, landing in the classroom below amidst screams from shocked students and papers flying into the air from the desk she landed on. She turned towards the window and leapt across the entire classroom, closing her eyes just before she reached the paned glass. Instead of crashing through the closed window in a rain of shattered glass, Ceres felt a slight, gelatinous resistance as she passed through the obstruction, relieved that she may yet be able to make a clean getaway.

Ceres’ relief lasted only as long as it took her to look down and see nothing but distant fog kilometers below where there used to be a mere three-meter drop and a well-manicured lawn. Ceres whipped around in mid-air to see that the hostile Witch was simply watching her through the window of the classroom, having no need to chase her now that poor Ceres’ school had been completely removed from physical reality.


  1. Beast

Diona – Witch of Nameless Fauna – was not a Faedric Witch, as was so common on the Northern continent, but a Witch of the Green – one whose power and longevity was bequeathed to her by the land and river and mountains and woods upon which she drew the lines of her Domain. In exchange for her oversight and protection, she had been granted the Magic of the Woods and an ageless body with which to acquire vast knowledge and ease the ills within her extended territory.

Such was the nature of her Pact.

A singular hearty settlement of Humans had sprung up nearby a scant two decades ago, just a couple kilometers downriver and through the woods. They had settled just outside of the woods that marked the beginning of her territory, and she had ultimately decided to make contact immediately, lest they get any ideas about cutting into her woods. When the trees visibly shifted to make a path for her and she emerged from the shadow of the Green in the form of a fire-red furred wolf, the hard-working Humans nearby simply gawked at her, not even sounding an alarm. She transformed into her Human form as she approached and made her will known: they would touch no flora or fauna or funga within the lines she drew upon their crude maps and in return she would extend to their settlement some limited amount of protection. She would offer them knowledge of safe things to eat and herbs with medicinal properties in exchange for delightful meals and the liquid fire they referred to as ‘moonshine’.

There had been growing pains, of course, but Diona reasoned that even the adults amongst them were but babes, when all was said and done. They simply did not know things, but they could learn. And this was the case for about a few generations: the people of New Alambra did their best not to invoke the wrath of ‘The Witch of the Woods’, and Diona continued to fulfill her pact to the land where her soul had been woven into the very soil.

But the kingdoms of man have only one prerogative: to grow. And while the settlement of New Alambra knew well enough to never approach her Domain, the laws and bureaucracy that the town’s people had fled from eventually caught up to them. When Diona made her monthly trip into New Alambra and was greeted with trembling spears and shouting instead of the smiles and waves she was used to, she knew that things would only get worse. Still, she thought, even these colonizers were but babes and she reckoned they may still be reasoned with.

She convinced the suit to come to a negotiation table – and laughed in his face when he ‘forbade’ her from returning to the woods. And when he tried to use force to keep her in New Alambra, her right arm became that of a red-furred gorilla and the man’s armoured guards flew through the window one after another. After that – in the long tradition of men who had been cowed by a woman – he tried to burn her forest down. But fire could not touch her trees without her permission… and when the vines wrapped around his ankles and pulled him into the hungry earth, the people of New Alambra made no attempt to save him.

When the next suit brought a large military force with him and attempted to raze the town that was under her protection, Diona decided that these babes were no longer capable of learning. As the third building caught flames, dark clouds formed in the sky and a torrential downpour doused their flames. The Witch of Nameless Fauna exited the woods in the form of a massive bear with an elk’s head; a pure green and red flame blazed in her cervine eyes and ashes snowed from her antlers. When she opened her mouth, unknowable words that sounded like being buried alive emerged in a landslide of denied prayers.

The residents of New Alambra emerged from their homes the next morning to find that they were now an island in the middle of a freshwater lake, beset on all sides by thick forest. Some say no one ever saw the town, or any of its denizens, again. Some say they drowned in that storm, or that the Witch finally turned on them.

The only thing anyone knew for sure was that outsiders were not welcome in the Alambrian Forest.


  1. Sparkle

Glitter is a lot like sand: it gets everywhere and is almost impossible to completely get rid of.

Octavia – The Glittering Witch – sparkled unlike any other entity and was capable of finding basically anything in existence. A few hundred years ago they had unleashed an unconscionable amount of glitter high above the planet’s surface and that same original batch was still finding its way into things. A speck onto a sprinting wolf’s coat, a nearly imperceptible twinkle into a toasting glass, a tiny sparkle contained in the final gasp of a drowning victim. If there was glitter on or in it – Octavia could find it. And if one could find The Glittering Witch, then one could – on occasion – find what they had lost and be on their way… with a little speck of glitter embedded in them in case The Glittering Witch ever wished to find them again. It kept the Witch busy and the act of finding lost things was certainly its own kind of fulfilling.

Sometimes, however, people made… unfortunate requests of The Glittering Witch. Octavia was – as it was often said – a sparkling finder of all things… and this was true. But the most glittering, glamorous, and fabulous Witch in the world was still a Witch. And a Witch’s favour was not something to be taken for granted. And when it was… well Octavia was a Witch who could find anything.

Octavia paused outside of the mouth of a coal mine that had punctured deep into a Mountain that had seen hundreds of cohorts of Witches rise and fall across many, many millennia. They could hear the distant plinking of the workers’ steady, barely effectual attacks at the heart of the mountain. They did not possess the resolve nor the power to open the chest cavity of this ageless God… but something here did. Something had used a proxy requestor to find the path of least resistance into this mountain using the Witch’s considerable power. Something old enough to know better… and something ruthless enough to try it anyway. The Witch approached the small double-wide trailer set up near the mouth of the cave and knocked twice, and then twice again.

A muffled, contemptuous voice oozed through the closed door: “I told you all I am a very busy man!” The door swung open and Octavia took a single step back. “I do NOT have time for- Oh?”

“You are in charge of this operation.” Octavia stated flatly.

The ‘man’ cocked his head. “A… Witch, huh? Interesting. Very interesting… And if I am? What is it to- GRAH!” The thing that was most certainly not a man smashed into the back of the trailer, the Witch’s scorpion-like tail – which had stabbed clean through their bedazzled, feathery overcoat – still embedded in his chest.

“I was not asking.” The Witch stepped into the trailer menacingly, the feathers of their jacket flaring out like a peacock’s. “I do not appreciate deception or abuse of my good will.”

“Very. Very. Interesting indeed… Then perhaps- you should be- a bit more- careful-” The thing taunted between coughs of blood.

“You are not strong enough to break the heart of the mountain – where is your master?”

“Bold of- ACK!” The thing coughed up another alarming quantity of blood into its hand – and then froze, noticing the saturation of glitter in its crimson life blood.

“I won’t ask again. Where is your master?” The thing-that-was-not-a-man’s eyes began to bulge as glitter filled every unoccupied – and a few occupied – spaces in its body.

As if knowing terror for the first time ever, it hurriedly disgorged both information and glitter in equal measure. “THEY- THEY HAVE NO PRESENCE NO FORM- THEY ARE BE-BEYOND ALL FORM AND- AND- THEY WILL ACT THROUGH ME AND AH!!”

“Oh? They’ll act through you when the time comes? Well then, I look forward to how they will find space within you to inhabit once I’m done with you. Let’s go visit the heart, shall we?” Octavia purred as they dragged the glitter-filled body of the creature behind them.


  1. Massive

Tarlisha – The Vortex Witch – let out a long whistle. “Wow. You were not kidding… That is… pretty big, right?” She stood atop a radio tower next to a younger Witch in her coven.

“Yeeeeeeeah. But I mean… it can’t be THAT big, right? It only pinged off of one of my radio towers once it was already in line of sight. I figured I’d report it and offer any communications assistance while I’m at it.” Kayla – The Witch of Broadcasts – was looking down as she spoke and fiddling with a device the more senior Witch did not recognize. “Here, put this in your ear.”

Tarlisha took the odd little nugget and fit into her right ear. “How magnanimous of you, Kay-Kay, but surely there was someone with more authority you could have told about this?”

‘Kay-Kay’ smiled shyly. “Well yeah, but I like you… Plus no one flies faster than you. I thought we should make contact and figure out what the fuck the thing IS before we report to The Grandmother.”

Tarlisha gave the younger Witch’s hair a quick tousle before hopping on her twisted lance. “I’ll let you know when I reach it.” And with that, Tarlisha shot off towards the distant horizon.

Tarlisha drew a simple rune in the air in front of her to ward off the chill of the dwindling twilight. She had been flying at top speed for several hours now and was rather confused. The thing that appeared to be a massive face carved of stone and it simply did NOT feel like it was getting any closer.

“Still nothing?” Kayla’s voice inquired into her ear.

“It… still seems like it’s the same size that it was at the tower.”

“Weird… You’ve gone like… 4000 kilometers already?! T-that’s not-”

“Calm down. It is just bigger and further away than we originally thought. You did well to call me… we’ll figure this out.” Tarlisha reassured The Witch of Broadcasts, but felt a slight pang in her stomach as she did so… Surely she would reach it soon?

She did not.

Tarlisha’s heart rate had been accelerating over the last hour. “I… reached the eastern continent… It-It’s still over the horizon.” She was feeling intensely uncomfortable with the situation at this point… but couldn’t quite pinpoint the source of her anxiety.

“That’s… actually impossible.” Tarlisha was not comforted by the lack of an explanation from the more tech-savvy Witch.

Just then Tarlisha lurched to a halt in mid-air.

She’d traveled far enough, fast enough that time zones had shifted around her… and the early-morning moon was no longer visible.

“Kayla… What… What time is it?”

Her pause was far, far too long. “…Eight… A.M.” There it was – the source of Tarlisha’s anxiety – it should be noon where she was so…

Where was the Sun?

Tarlisha began to fly up and up and up and up, drawing runes to ensure there was air for her to breathe, and finally it started to get clearer now that there was no longer an atmosphere refracting the incoming light. It wasn’t even ON their planet at all! It wasn’t even in their orbit yet! But now that she could see it clearly… it wasn’t just massive beyond description. Gargantuan beyond belief. It was bigger than them – than even their whole planet – and it was coming and there was nowhere to run or hide. Nowhere in this universe where it would not blot out the Sun.

“Kayla. Can you hear me?”


“Get everyone.”


“Every Coven. Every Candy-Coated Witch, Every Faedric Witch, Every Witch of the Green, Every Ancient Witch, Every Pacted Witch.”

There was only radio silence as Tarlisha sped back down to the planet’s surface and simply repeated herself, over and over and over:



  1. Rush

Maya – The Witch of Grains – was just shy of eight hundred years old and no stranger to the diminishing returns of adrenaline.

She knew, as many did, that chasing highs and suffering lows was an important part of life. Some achieved their high in dissociation: to lose oneself at the bottom of the bottle, in burning green, or consumed by fungal illusions. Some sought the rush of focus: following the scent of blood to a satisfying hunt, clashing one’s life against another’s in glorious combat, or the artisanal satisfaction of true mastery in one’s craft. Others still found their high through self-righteousness: the lucky ones with no demons to run from that can afford to live a completely clean life, the privileged pacifists and obligate consumers, for them passing judgment and patting their own backs was heroin enough.

At this point, Maya had done all of the above and many of the things in between. Tried centuries worth of mind-altering substance innovation and hunted and devoured all manner of beasts and sentient, sapient beings. She had hunted Witch Hunters and even had her own Witch Hunter era because why not? As long as she sowed as many fields as she burned, built as many homes as she razed, and provided for all the orphans she made… What did it matter? As far as she was concerned, it all balanced out in the end.

Most recently the Witch of Grains was keen to try out a new type of thrill: the experience of the perfect guardian. She’d recently had a conversation with a mother of two young Humans, who had described the ever-present dread of trying to keep the little buggers alive and healthy. Apparently Human children had just… no sense of self-preservation whatsoever, which when you had some manner of attachment to their well-being was apparently terribly frightening. This seemed like JUST the experience The Witch of Grains was looking for, so she grew a building out of the ground near a war zone, complete with a tall, expansive playground with zero safety regulations in place, and started finding – and making – orphans to populate the establishment with.

Thus Maya found herself the head of a private orphanage… and it was everything she could have hoped for once she committed to her ‘no death run’ as an orphanage director.

Whenever battle strayed too close to the orphanage unexpectedly and Maya bolstered her defenses, she felt her heart and breath rate increase as she performed the head count afterwards, whenever it looked like the kids weren’t going to add up. She had also read that Human children did not take long falls particularly well… so whenever one fell from the top of her death-trap playground, the Magically enhanced sprint or flight to catch them before they splattered was exhilarating. Even when she found out that apparently kids needed more than just Magical bread and water and had to rush to establish an indoor vegetable garden complete with fruit trees, she had been very nearly panicked.

Eventually people from the region just started shipping her orphans, which made the whole operation frightfully sustainable over time. The Witch of Grain found it odd that – even as she got particularly good at this whole orphan rearing thing – the diminishing returns were not racking up as quickly as some other experiences she had chased in her long life. Perhaps this was due to the strangest thing of all: that as decades passed and some of the kids grew up and left and lived their lives… some of them even came back… like, just to visit. Some had even become Witches in their own right and stuck around to assist and expand the operation.

She would probably get bored eventually and leave it in their capable hands… but for now… it was still exciting enough.


  1. Fire

Tina Grey had never seen such a tall lady in all her twenty years of life.

It was a relentlessly hot and muggy day and Tina had been watering the plants outside of her family’s flower shop in the city of Noreega when suddenly a large shadow seemed to blot out the sun. She turned and her jaw dropped: the woman looming over her had to be just over 200… no, 210 centimeters with long, full, curly black hair cascading down her shoulders beneath a wide-brimmed, pastel-yellow noble lady’s hat. Tina’s gaze slowly fell as she felt the intensity of the giantess’ gaze through the woman’s sunglasses. The woman’s black vest hugged her voluptuous form and showed off her thick arms, both of which had wreaths of red flames tattooed up them all the way down to her wrist in dizzy waves. Her wide-leg pants matched her hat and she wore tastefully simple sandals.

The woman cleared her throat and Tina’s gaze snapped upwards.

“H-h-h-hello! C-can I help ya, ma’am?” Tina’s throat suddenly felt parched. Even though this woman cast a deep shadow upon her… why did she feel warmer than before?

The woman pursed her lips. “Do you live here?”

“…N-no. This is my f-family’s store. I-I’ll be taking it over some day. W-we live elsewhere.”

“Do I frighten you, child?”

Yes!” Tina answered immediately… and then slapped both of her hands over her mouth in disbelief, the motion sending the flame talisman hanging from her neck swinging back and forth. “I’m so s-”

“A Fire Worshipper as well. Wise.” There was… something in the woman’s voice on that final word that filled Tina with a disquiet that bordered on marrow-deep terror.

Tina wished more than anything that this woman would just leave. “W-who are ya, lady? I-I have work to do!” It took every ounce of courage Tina had to squeeze those defiant words out. The woman smiled in response, a cruel grin that displayed all of her ferocious, leopard-ish teeth.

“I am Kaz’bek, dear Tina. Worry not, I will see you tonight.” And in the blink of an eye, suddenly Tina was staring down the setting sun.

“Wait… What?!”


Tina startled awake in her armchair that sat in the living room area of the two-bedroom apartment she shared with her parents. She’d… fallen asleep?! Under these circumstances?!

She had told her parents about the strange encounter with that ‘Kaz’bek’ woman and her ominous parting words. Thus the family had been sleeping in shifts, someone watching the door at all times. Tina winced, a stabbing pain in her head from what felt like a rapidly clearing headache and a similarly passing wave of nausea as she stood up and staggered over to the open window, which she did not remember opening. The fresh air was invigorating and she grabbed it to open further… but pulled her hand back at the last second, noticing the jagged glass at the base of the window sill. It wasn’t open… it was shattered… had she slept through someone throwing something in? She shifted her feet slightly… no… there was no glass inside… Which meant that-

Tina whipped around, holding up her bat, ready to brain anyone she saw. She saw nothing but shadows and a warm glow from beneath the front door. She approached the door in a strange fugue, baffled that part of the glow seemed to be inside the apartment. The door handle was giving off a recalescent glowing heat as-

“TINA! TINA! PLEASE OPEN THE DOOR!!!” Tina reflexively grasped the glowing handle of the door in front of her at the panicked screaming of her parents, which was drowned out by Tina’s own shrieks as the super-heated brass bubbled her flesh. She yanked her hand back, leaving a considerable amount of her own charring palm behind as she rushed to her parent’s bedroom door, beneath which a dancing, fiery glow was reaching out.

“PLEASE TINA! THE FLAMES! EVERYTHING IS BURNING! OH GODS WE CAN’T-” Tina frantically yanked on the rapidly warming doorknob, whimpering and cursing through her relentless tears. But the heat on the other side had expanded too many parts of the door and everything was jammed. She slid to the ground, defeated, as the flames on the other side of the door consumed her parents’ voices, and then the rest of them as the acrid scent of burning hair and flesh bellowed out from the crack beneath the door. Just then a huge fire burst into the living room out of Tina’s own room as if possessed of its own awful malignance. She scrambled to her feet and sprinted for the front door, whose door knob was no longer glowing.

She burst out into the hall to find everything on fire, the walls, the ceiling, patches of the floor… The entire hallway to the left of her front door was fully engulfed in flames, so she sprinted to the right. She had the fire escape map memorized and dashed for the stairs, which had enough of a path for her to descend. Her lungs ached and the smoke made her dizzy but she kept running, down one, then two, then three flights of stairs. She grasped her flame talisman and prayed to Tyrsell, the Elemental God of Fire, for protection. She found herself on the ground floor and burst out into the lobby… just to find it engulfed in even hotter flames with no path of egress. She turned around to retreat up the stairs, but found that the flames had closed behind her.

Tina screamed and ran to the right, towards the other stairwell going up the backside of the apartment. This stairwell had a path free of flames and she climbed it, trying to exit at the first and second floors… but finding them completely consumed as well. She returned to the third floor and sprinted down the strangely clear hallway, until a wall of fire suddenly leapt up in front of her… and then behind her. As the entire hallway transformed into an unending inferno, she screamed out with her entire being, “PLEASE SOMEONE HELP! I DON’T CARE JUST SPARE ME PLEASE! FEDRAZ! GOLDRAMM! JANAR! ANYONE! I’LL GIVE EVERYTHING I HAVE LEFT!”

Just then the door next to her creaked open loudly and she wasted no time diving through it… Right back into her apartment.

The flames had driven her in a cruel, cruel circle.

The apartment was cool, curiously devoid of any scent or smoke or heat. As if the fires had all extinguished at once. Tina started to weep, clutching at the still-charred carpet and screaming at the hopelessness of the situation, when a slow clap cut her off and snapped her gaze across the room.

It was… Kaz’bek, sitting in the charred remains of Tina’s armchair like an awful, decrepit throne.

“It took longer than I expected for you to break,” Kaz’bek – The Ancient Witch of Fire – commented as she looked down on the singed young woman.

“Y-y-you You DID this to me?! To us?!?!” Tina’s mind went blank, unable to think or comprehend. “…Why…?” She finished in a tiny, almost inaudible voice.

“Because if I am to challenge Tyrsell soon, then I am going to need the faith of his subjects to break the rules of his Domain, and to further refine my own flames with the newly minted fear of Fire of those whom I break.” The Witch casually explained as she peered over her sunglasses, her bright red irises glowing in the darkness of the apartment and piercing Tina’s very soul.

“I…I don’t understand…”

“Your understanding is not really a factor here. You invoked the Ice and Water Gods’ names, so I have what I need. If it makes you feel any better, you are far from the only person I have done this to.” The Witch stood up and sauntered past the poor, burnt woman. She snapped her fingers and the burns across Tina’s body immediately scarred over, although the deep pain remained. “Enjoy the rest of your life, child. Life is precious, after all.”

The Witch exited the room into the magically extinguished darkness of the scorched building. Leaving Tina Grey in her apartment, on her hands and knees, grappling with the wreckage of her life and dreams.