The Little Witch Game
The little witch concentrated on the small doll that sat on the table in front of her. She sat on a low stool, resting her elbows on the surface, hands either side of her cheeks, supporting her (admittedly) warty head. She murmured in a low voice the same thing, over and over again.
'Ari-car-ik car-ya, nilum, nilar, arl-car-ik...'
It meant something like, he will be this, night and day, this thing will be.
She stopped suddenly and let our a long sigh, letting her head drop to the table in a weary way. She had been staring at this doll and chanting the spell for seven years now, and she had only amassed enough energy in the doll to give Kraestal minor headaches. She calculated, staring at the ceiling of her run-down old shack, that it would take another, perhaps, twenty three years to gain full control of his body using the doll.
She had met a wizard from the far away south some years ago, and it was he that had told her of this technique. He had shown her a small doll and made it dance around in front of her. She was unimpressed. 'So what?' she said, 'It's a doll'.
'Ah,' he replied with a sly smile, 'but there is a man in my village who is, unaccountably, dancing around his home now.'
'I like it!' she said.
She sighed again and wondered if she really was cut out to be a witch. She had been studying for forty five years now and some days she thought that she should perhaps just pack it all in and become a gardener or something. It was all so long and tedious, she thought.
She got up, picked up the doll and placed it, rather roughly, on a shelf. At that moment, across the village, a man called Kraestal, who had bullied the little witch when they were children, began to get another splitting headache.
The little witch walked over to her bubbling cauldron and peered at the contents. Through the clouds of orange steam she could see round objects floating in a sea of green. She took a long spoon, dipped it into the mixture and brought it up to her nose. She sniffed appreciatively, and put the spoon into her mouth.
'Ugh!' She spat, and picked up a small bottle of white power, sprinkling it into the cauldron. 'Not enough salt.'
She was making plah stew, or swamp stew. The plants that grew wild in the local swamp were surprisingly tasty. She only had the one cauldron, so scrubbed it between spells and cooked in it too.
At that moment a small black bird arrived though the window and chirped at her from the table.
'Ah, hello there nice, pretty, little bird, what can I do for you?' She was a polite witch, not an evil one.
The little witch muttered something under her breath and moved across the room to a large shelf full of small bottles. There was a little label on each, describing the contents. She read as she moved her finger along one row.
'Basil... oregano... pepper... dried snails... pickled worms... tarragon... slug paste... ah! Here we are, bat wings.'
She took the lid off the jar, removed one bat wing, and replaced the jar in the wrong place. She could never find anything, and this was the reason why.
She placed the bat wing on the table, in front of the little bird (who waited patiently - he had seen this before).
She than began to chant, 'sil-ak ya... sil-ak ya...' Which means roughly something like, talk like this.
She then dropped to the floor and began to do press-ups. 'One... two... pant... three... urngh... four...' And so on all the way up to ten. She then got up (red faced and out of breath), repeated once more the magical mantra, and hurled the bat wing into the flames underneath the cauldron. There was a small popping noise and some blue smoke.
'Blimey,' said the bird, 'it's not very dignified, all that exercise, is it? You'd never catch Merlin doing press-ups to do a little bit of bird-speak would you? Why don't you just sacrifice a lamb or something?'
'Now bird,' said the little witch sternly, 'you know I'm a vegetarian. I have to get the energy from somewhere for the spell don't I? And unless I'm going to draw my own blood or burn down a house or something, then what else can I do?'
'Fair enough,' said the bird, hopping around the table, 'I think it's admirable and all, it just... just lacks a little bit of... class.'
'Did you want something in particular?' Asked the little witch, icily.
'Oh yes. The Little Wizard has been captured by the bakar-kar-pode wizard.'
'What? The evil, black, purple wizard?' She said anxiously.
'Yes, the evil, black, purple wizard... One thing I never understood though - why is he called the black, purple wizard? You can't be black and purple now can you?'
'I think the black is symbolic of the evil, but I take your point, it's like saying the evil, evil wizard. Anyway, we've got no time for language debates, tell me what happened!'
'Well,' said the bird, sitting down and leaning on one wing, which is an odd sight, 'you know that the Little Wizard recently banished the purple guy's cousin? The evil red wizard? When he started to turn the land evil, stealing all the light and turning all the creatures into monsters?'
The little witch nodded.
'Okay, well, the bakar-kar-pode wizard captured the Little Wizard, when he had his back turned, and has locked him up in a magic-proof cell in his fortress to the east! And what's worse, he has started turning the land evil again, just like his cousin. There's all kinds of monsters roaming around the landscape now, even worse than before!'
'Deary me.' Said the little witch.
'Oh deary me indeed.' Agreed the little bird.
There was silence.
'It's up to you then...' Said the little bird.
'Me?' Spluttered the witch, 'but I'm not powerful enough, I don't know any spells to banish monsters or defeat evil wizards! I'm a nature witch! I'm a pacifist!'
'That's pretty much what the Little Wizard said to me last time...' The little bird smiled, which is also an odd sight.
So a day later, the Little Witch found herself in the middle of the kingdom of Terr-Luz near a large forest, inside a small, ruined building. This was the last place that the Little Wizard had been seen before he had been captured. The little witch was hoping to find some clues, but there was nothing except an old cauldron with nothing inside it.
Where to begin? What to do? It's up to you...