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Author Topic: The Onion Witch  (Read 961 times)


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The Onion Witch
« on: January 22, 2007, 08:12:36 PM »
Part I

Dream of the Black Coat

The runts kept themselves busy.  Mad Doc was fiddling with his ‘shocking’ contraption, his hair scorched, standing on end, as Crawler licked diligently upon a recently acquired gem stone.  His twinkling eye always had a hunger for luster.  They had become an asset to Old Gretch Jarskin.  They had also become accustomed (as much as one can be) to the moaning witchborn who would rock back and forth in his tent of filthy skin, hour after hour, in a droning trance as a pool of drool formed underneath his crooked chin.  The Dreamer floated weightlessly among a thousand different dreams by a thousand different sleepers.  Each dream flickered like a flame; like swinging doors without hinges.  The caliban’s flaking flesh, onion peeling skin, was a faint shadow that could almost be forgotten.   

The dull whites of his eyes were two cracked moons.  Rocking back and forth in serpentine time, the caliban’s mind roamed without form. 

He relished the unbearable lightness of being, and dreaded the memory of his cursed flesh.  The moon sheds her shadow.  The snake sheds her serpentine skin.  The Onion Witch’s flesh peels and flakes and drifts away.  Humanity does not know itself as it truly is.  Truth is veiled by human perception.  The truth seekers, if they keep after it long enough, almost always come face to face with the monster.  If they dare to discover, they will learn that truth is monstocity born from themselves.  Everything that humanity sweeps under the carpet, locks away in their closet, all that they mask in public, all that is repressed and submerged in order to build a paper fortress called ‘identity,’ 'self,' or ‘civilization,’ is blown wide open within dreams like the sand of a child's castle swept into the ocean's mighty waves.  

Self-deception is what mankind does best.  The shifting doors began to flicker and then fade as his mind returned to his body.  He left Viktor Noirgrim’s dream burdened with deep sadness.  Dream life was more real to the witchborn than waking life.  And upon each grudging return to the waking world, his mind was burdened and sickened by the secrets of the sleepers.  The Witch Hunter’s dream was filled with smoke, flames, and pitchforks; the burning of a young girl and the wailing of her mother now played over and over in Carrib’s mind without end.  A pitiful moan of sorrow broke upon his drool cracked lips.  Crawler and Mad Doc looked up briefly from their work.  They shifted nervously, hoping the witcher' would soon be leaving upon waking. 

His flesh felt as heavy as an old soggy wool coat that barely held together.  How he loathed his flaking fortress.  His mind was burdened by the Black Coat’s dreams.  Only the cool wind, the moon’s imagination blowing free through tall grass and singing leaves, could assuage his grief.  His eyes rolled forward.  One eye closed, one eye rolled lazily about as the world began to shift into familiar shapes and colors.  As the world of forms came into focus, the dream images of the Witch Hunter submerged like sharks into the water. 

Carrib left his smoky tent of ancient skin with his splintered withered staff in hand.  The sewers of Vallaki cannot contain Old Night.  He choked back a pitiful sob and ascended.  Truth is horror.  Beauty the beginning of terror.  And love, madness is her child.  Let confusion reign.  Let the love begin. 
« Last Edit: January 30, 2007, 08:57:01 PM by Iconoclast »


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Re: The Onion Witch
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2007, 05:44:29 PM »
Part II

Seamless Dream

In the universe, there are things that are known, and things that are unknown, and in between, there are doors. --William Blake

Carrib Scyorax emerged from the waist high sewage, stepping foot into the Abandoned Tunnels.  Bones littered the filthy floor.  Rancid water dripped everywhere from the groaning pipes above.  Only the brave and foolish ventured here.  Outlander men mostly, in possession of delusions of grandeur.  They come to tame or slay the beasts but find truth instead.  Death can be the harbinger of enlightenment, the dispeller of delusions of grandeur.  Men who fear to travel inward, who fail to recognize and respect the monsters within, find truth in death instead, in the boiling waters of a giant cook pot.  Many calibans relish these brave men.  They spend days picking the meat out from in between their over-crowding teeth.  It is the simple pleasures in life that makes life worth living.

The Drain is lair to the homeless, the scorned, the untouchables—the caliban.  In the city above, mankind has its fair share of squalor and horror.  Children starve.  Wives are beaten.  Daughters are sold into prostitution.  Men live their lives at the bottom of a bottle, measuring out their self-pity and regret pint after pint.  When the cold rain showers down from the open sky, and blesses mankind with forgetfulness, and washes away all the grime of yesteryear, it is at The Drain where such wretched memories converge, spill, and fester to live again in some hideous, pitiful form.  Is it any wonder that such monsters are born?  Fear and hate are lovers, fathers, and mothers to all that mankind scorns. 

Splintered, withered staff in hand, the Onion Witch approached the corroding rusted door that led to the open sewers.  The putrid air was acidic, eating away without mercy at the once sound metal.  One eye shut, the other eye rolled lazily about, wary.  Some things here do lurk that even the wretched do fear and loathe.  Nostrils flaring, he sniffed the corrosive air ahead before entering the chamber. 

Then it struck all at once from every direction imaginable.  Images and sounds rushed upon him, riding his five senses the way death rides upon the back of the winged serpent.  The sharks began to emerge and circle in the deep waters of his mind.  A pitiful moan of desperation and dread broke upon his cracked lips.  Visions surrounded him all at once.  The dream world and the waking world collided and were now seamless. 

Viktor Noirgrim held a torch out over a pyre.  A young weeping child, a girl with lovely almond shaped eyes, cried out for her mother.  “Help ma’ma! Ma’ma!  Make it stop ma’ma!!”  Rustic clothed men and women, their faces grim and tired, circled the pyre and the witch hunter.  Their heads lowered all at once.  The torch dropped, as if in slow motion, into the pyre.  Flames erupted within the sewer chamber.  The room became an inferno.  Beads of sweat, in the hundreds, marched up and down his sickly peeling skin. 

Every sound was magnified in Carrib’s mind.  He could hear the gnawing teeth of rats chattering all around.  Men, hired to mend busted sewer pipes, worked nearby; the nervous chatter and hammers rang out.  The beautiful young girl’s flesh was flaking and floating through the air as her mother wailed.  Then, a scream, like no other, ripped through the dank sewer air.  The veins in his head, bulged, as every taut muscle in his body rebelled against reason. 

He sobbed, he screamed, he tried to dig out his brain, overwhelmed by the waking dream.  Then the confusion, having ripened, split through them all like an electric bolt from the dark clouds of his mind. 

The Letting go. 
It began.   
Water dripping. 
Flames roaring. 
Rats gnawing. 
Men hammering. 
Mother’s wailing.
Children screaming.
Flesh burning like paper

Confusion ripped their minds asunder. 

In an adjacent room, a laborer turned to his younger brother and with the dull ball end of his hammer, savagely attacked his brother’s face.  Another man began ripping his own clothes off.  Rats began swarming through the tunnels, some gnawing at their own tails.  Wererats began to hump anything alive or dead, clawing and ripping at one another’s fur. 

Carrib began to weep with hysterical laughter; a troubled cure for a trouble mind.  A man, bare naked, ran screaming towards him, digging his oily fingertips into his own eye sockets, gauging vainly for a respite from the madness. 

The Onion Witch laughed hysterically, until the madness finally drained him, leaving him feeling cleansed and weak at the knees.  The deep waters of his mind calmed, the white moon reflecting brightly on the surface.  The naked man, bleeding from his gauged eye sockets, stopped abruptly before the Onion Witch.  Carrib Scyorax, with dry cracked lips, leaned over and tenderly kissed the man’s forehead.  “Dream” was all he spoke to the eyeless man before he ascended into the open night. 

« Last Edit: January 30, 2007, 09:04:59 PM by Iconoclast »


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Re: The Onion Witch
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2008, 01:22:39 PM »

   Quietly his slithering tongue licked his tiny calloused palm that was coated in fresh blood and blood stained fluffy white bird feathers.  Old Night’s imp, Perak, wings cloaking his sinewy body, hid within the tree top concealed within an illusion of his own making.  Beady yellow eyes observed the crowd of outlanders and guards below, congregating outside of the Lady’s Rest, the same Inn that was so hospitable as to chase his master out for nothing more than simply being “deformed.”  No love for the caliban.  Radu’s legendary hammer has split the melon of as many as half a dozen calibans, maybe more, some of them even runts, standing no taller than Radu’s waist, and most were as harmless as a gnat.   They’ll tolerate a caliban, so long as that caliban is out of sight, out of mind. 

    And some, many, would say that Old Night is out of his mind.  The sun drops, and the village and surrounding farmlands and forests darken, and for a caliban, darkness heralds a welcomed beginning.  In the darkness, in the absence of light, they become just another bump in the night.  Crawling from the caves, stepping out from the thickest woodland seclusions, climbing up through the sewer grates, leaving the stench of sewers and rotting rats behind for the sweet fresh air, nostrils flare, breathing it all in, relishing the freedom that only night can provide them.
Perak’s head swiveled side to side, serpent like, as he watched two Falknovian men, he knew their names, Vladimir and Otto, as they stood under the new winter moon.  Night is not the domain of caliban alone.  There are things far more dangerous than a caliban.  One such danger stood calmly before the two Falknovians, who stood with shields ready.  Perak’s ears twitched as he focused in on what they were saying.
    “Why don’t we go somewhere else?” calmly spoke the dark clad figure of a man, “Being outside the inn here can….complicate things.” 
What Perak knew, and perhaps what the Falknovian men also knew, was that this Red Vardo was not what he seemed.  He was once a man.  The Falknovian men scoffed and replied in their thick Falknovian accents,
 “So we can walk right into your trap?  You’d like that wouldn’t you?” 
“I had hoped you’d be more than just talk" was the dark clad man's reply, as if disappointed.

    With those words he calmly turned his back and walked away, gradually fading into darkness until he was seen no more.  The Falknovian men spent the next hour cursing the Red Vardo, but Perak heard tension in their voices.  Then the Falknovian men began hurling explosives and gaseous grenades about the outskirts, perhaps thinking the Red Vardo “man” was lurking about.  One must learn to be more careful of what goes bump in the night, if they hope to live a long and well….just if they plan on living.

    Calibans aren’t so much wicked as they are misunderstood, scorned, and wretched.  Old Night, as a child, his mother was forced to keep him hidden from the neighbors.  As a result, he never learned how to relate to others his own age.  He never had any friends, though he’d pretend.  Most nights at the outskirts he simply watched the people, drawn to them, but yet separated by a vast chasm.  Old Night did not care for having his night time disturbed by the loud mouthed Falknovian men.  He reached into his charcoal robes and pulled out two peanuts, popped them into his mouth, then stepped forward within spitting distance of the two men and fired the peanuts from his mouth.  The peanuts landed at their feet, and then their minds came undone, like twine unraveled by the cat’s paw. 

    Vladimir began kicking and slashing at Otto, screaming “Go to hell  fey!!” one moment, and then the next he would mumble incoherently and look about in a state of profound confusion.  Then he’d look again at Otto, and begin screaming again, punching or jabbing his blade until Otto was bleeding like a stuck pig.  Then their minds returned to them, looking upon one another with the blood of each man on the other’s hands.  Quietly they stumbled into the Lady’s Rest, leaving the confusion of the Barovian night to itself.  Perak took flight following Old Night back into the sewers.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2008, 01:26:24 PM by Iconoclast »


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Re: The Onion Witch
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2008, 03:29:01 PM »
The Drain & Dreamless Husk

There was no dawn or telling of the time by the sailing of the sun for the dwellers.  Morning, afternoon, night, what did it matter ?  Little to none for the downtrodden living below the worn cobble of Vallaki.  It is true, that the darkness of night could offer some respite, or the vast wilderness were most of the so-called civilized folk rarely tread.  Night’s darkness, with its transformative power, for the caliban, that feral strain awakening, invited them to leave their putrid sanctuary to breathe the clean chill air of winter, or the hot wet fumes of summer.   Caliban are Nature’s savage perfection, living symbols of the overwhelming indifference for the norms of beauty and the morals of so-called civilized people.   But night could be a cruel mistress to caliban, for love is just the beginning of madness.   She would take the wretched into her dark bed chamber, but there was no guarantee of happiness, only the promise of fleeting freedom, with all of its necessary terror and beauty.  Thus the Steward of Old Night rode the lightening, as the Onion Witch that danced among razor blades laughing all the way.   It was at least a respite from the dank stench, and monotony of sewer life.  How he had loathed dwelling within the sewers all these years in Barovia, coughing and hacking with the piss and shit dripping down the walls.  To dwell in the fecal matter of those who banish him.  Was this the best that a caliban could hope for?  Was no other life attainable?  Would not Hala grant his oldest desire, and allow him to shed his skin to become something new?

A society’s treatment of the caliban was a true measure of themselves.  A caliban was a breathing, walking symbol of nature’s overwhelming indifference to culture.  No matter how “advanced” mortal men may believe themselves, with their tools, and systems of government and commerce, they are forever animal.  Control was the illusion of empire, while caliban were akin to the volcano blast, hurricane, or raging forest fire, that could lay to waste, ash, and dust the pillars of civilization, with all its bloated pride, with all of its self-indulgence and false gods of comfort. 

A longing as ancient as blood itself rose up within Old Night’s steward, to return to the wild, and flee from his rancid existence in Vallaki’s underground.  He felt he was on the cusp of taking that old nomadic leap.  The moon was close to shedding her skin. 
As of late, he dreamed of laying the Drain to waste.  How he hated it here.  How poetic it would be to clog up the sewer grates, and force the villagers above to wade through the truth of their waste.  Out of sight, out of mind, that was how caliban survived. 
Yet when the day came, despite all this self-loathing and hatred for the Drain, Old Night’s steward did not stand idly by and watch as the lawmen of Vallaki, with their armor and steel, accompanied by the Red Vardo, with their dreamless husk of yesteryears, assassin blades in bloodless white-chalk hands,  came to the Drain.  When the day came when the Drain was raided, something within Old Night rebelled.  What was it?  Why should Old Night’s steward risk it all, risk death to such a formidable foe?  Why not just turn his back and leave once and for all, as he had seen himself countless times before?

Perhaps, the answer is this: He was born with nature’s form, yet they spit upon and defiled caliban not for what they do, but for what they are.  And yet, after all the years of “Out of sight, out of mind,” dwelling in the shit and piss of the villagers above, in this Drain, they set foot here, in the one place where caliban could walk through the door, without a foot in the face.  The one place that accepted all of nature’s wondrous freaks, now gone; Under the trespass of marching boot heels of man’s law, with the greedy Red Vardo in tow, with their dreamless husk of yesteryears serving the so-called civilized man’s false god, gold. 


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Re: The Onion Witch
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2009, 09:01:55 PM »
*bump for safeguard*

Stela Cojocaru - barovian snake
Crina Ovidiu - barovian guard