Category Archives: witches

Recurring Villains

Magic Carpet Ride 5

Now, this is a Saturday D & D post, but for the record, recurring villains are a lot more than just a part of a story-telling game.  Toxic people who have it in for you occur in real life almost as often  as they do in fantasy story-telling with villains who are often orcs.

But unlike insurance adjusters, city pool inspectors, and bank representatives, the villains in a D & D game are severely challenged to survive a single adventure.  Yes, the player characters are constantly on the lookout to slay the dungeon master’s recurring villains so they can’t recur without being raised from the dead.  No matter how much you hate that unfair insurance guy, you are not allowed to slay him with a sword.


Mallora is not a sexy female villain… more like vile.

Mallora was a lucky witch woman.  She was one of three agents of Karnak, the Vampire Kingdom, who were trying to thwart the player characters as they sought lost technology in the wastelands of Cyre.  She was a second level sorceress at the time, capable of only a couple of basic-level necromantic spells.  She was a part of the evil organization known as the Emerald Claw, a sort of religious cult built around worshiping the undead, and had an evil dwarf fighter and an evil archer to help her trap and kill the heroes, along with about six animated skeletons who, at second level, are one-chop minions that go down in the first round of battle usually.

The green haired witch successfully trapped the heroes in the mists of Cyre and the dwarf and the archer were taking their toll when Gandy rolled a twenty and not only nailed the archer in the eye with a crossbow bolt, but made the archer’s shot go awry and hit the dwarf in the back of his bald head, shortly after Fate had knocked his helmet off.  So Mallora cast another concealing fog spell and ran like a little green rat directly away.  She survived to haunt them another day.

LucanThis she did as a member of Brother Garrow’s Emerald Claw crew in the next adventure where the heroes had to track down a friendly agent of Breland who had been turned into a vampire.  She was eighth level at that point, just like the adventurers themselves, and a much more dangerous adversary.  She didn’t prevent the characters from capturing the rogue vampire, and she did some damage, but managed to slink off unharmed once again.


She would enter the player characters’ lives one more time in the jungles of Xendrick as the mini-campaign was reaching its climax.  She and Brother Garrow pursued the heroes through the jungle to the giant ruins where the monster construct Xulo would finally be brought to powerful and evil life in a necromantic ritual.  Brother Garrow definitely met his end in a spectacular fashion, being sucked into another dimension through a keyhole trap set by giant mages a millennia before.  It was gruesome.


Garrow before his transformation into a toothpaste-like substance

Mallora was aboard the Emerald Claw’s flying skiff as it chased the airship the heroes were themselves aboard.  A well-placed fireball by Druealia the Wizardess took the skiff down to crash into the jungle below with a fiery explosion that should’ve killed all aboard, including Mallora.  But is she actually dead this time?  They didn’t see her die.  So only the dungeon master knows for sure.   After all, what good is a recurring villain if they don’t recur?


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Filed under Dungeons and Dragons, heroes, humor, Paffooney, witches, wizards

Wicked Witches and a Thousand Voices

10931430_1392374101067123_2624334665191497015_nThe 1000 Voices Facebook initiative wants me to write about Compassion more.  I am totally in favor of more compassion in the world.  But how do I get there from the somewhat sarcastic and derisive author-voice I use to create humor on my blog?

Well, I do believe compassion and humor are not incompatible.  In fact, I have good reason from the realm of personal experience to believe that compassion is the fertilizer most necessary to the ultimate flowering and bloom of wondrous things.  (See, the Grammar Nazis did teach me to spell wondrous right!)

Let me start with a character analysis of a witch.  Yes, you heard me correctly.  Mazie Haire is a witch.  She is a secondary character from my novel Snow Babies.  Her sister, Jeanette Haire is also a witch.  They are both cantankerous, people-hating old ladies who have lived their lives in spite-filled isolation.   They don’t even like each other very much.  They also both “have the knowing”.  They can both use their prodigious powers of observation, insight, and imagination to know things about other people, even if they’ve only just met.  Mazie has kept the town of Norwall gossiping for two decades at her uncanny ways and unpleasant presence.

During the killer blizzard that hits the little Iowa farm town, Jeanette Haire is riding the Trailways bus headed to surprise her elder sister Mazie with an unwelcome visit.  The bus ends up in a ditch in white-out blizzard conditions.  A young woman on the bus with Jeanette loses her newlywed husband in the storm.  As they reach the little town (due to heroic actions on the part of at least one main character in the book) Jeanette offers to take the young woman in during her time of grief, even though the only shelter and solace she can offer is her sister’s house where she herself isn’t welcome.  The young woman has lost everything in the world that matters to her.  She is left to the mercy and compassion of witches.  Will they actually help her?  Or will they cook her and eat her?  Well… I’m hoping you will buy the book to find out…  If I can just get the thing actually published.

Mazie Haire

Today’s Paffooney is a portrait of Mazie, based not on the real-life character I knew as a boy, but taken from the face of a beautiful young model.  In the book Mazie is made to recall the beauty of her youth.  If you look carefully at the gimlet eyes of the sour old woman, you may be able to detect at least a smidgen of the clear-eyed beauty she once was.  It is possible for any person, no matter how bilious or contrary they may have become, to connect with someone else by the heart when they realize the deeper connections they may possess without knowing it.  Not every act of kindness is committed by a saint.  Sometimes the sinner does the same.  It turns out the two sister witches do not eat the young widow.  They offer her instead… well… I already have my 500 words, so I will end here.

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Filed under compassion, humor, Paffooney, witches