|Sadly for Chauncy, this is not the Stump Witch - by Adam Hughes
Ornibus Jones, a crude preacher of a detestable snake cult had contracted an ancient curse while banishing the fearful specter we discovered beneath the hunted beaver dam. Ornibus no longer had the head of a man, but instead the cranium, face and bill of a giant platypus. A hideous duck billed swamp rat of some variety, that nonetheless did not drastically mar his appearance.
The first order for my companions and I, recently joined by a Mr. Kiljoy, a journalist and practitioner of the lesser magical arts newly arrived to Wampus, decided to seek out the dread stump witch, a harridan of uncertain species who dwells several miles from town and has a fearful reputation. A hex mistress such as the Stump Witch could repair Ornibus's unnatural head, and for men of action such as ourselves the dangerous meeting with a powerful and insane sorceress was a lark in the woods.
Outfitting myself in dashing Wampus style, with a suit of black fringed buckskins, covered in mystical beadwork so as to advertise my status as one of the premier practitioners of academic magic on this savage frontier I also strapped a magical dagger taken from the tombs of the necronauts and a large revolver that I have named Leslie. My trusty pepperbox pistol I had secreted as an unexpected surprise for any rube simple enough to think he could disarm me.
Fully equipped in the Wampus style, and after determining that the superstitious townsfolk were unsure if the Stump Witch had a sweet tooth or a hankering for the flesh of human children, I commissioned the local confectioners to create a marzipan baby, life size as an offering to the Stump Witch. I also made the ill fated decision to bring a bottle of strong liquor in case the baby failed to appease the witch.
Upon arrival at a filthy stump in the midst of a dismal wood we were able to bring forth the hideous, gnarled crone calling herself the stump witch. It is unclear if she is human, and seems equally likely that she is some type of dryad, bent with age and adapted to these modern times. The witch made a deal, after taking the confection infant, apparently with some relish, she informed us that Ornibus's curse could be lifted in exchange for the removal of unknown larger beasts from her lands.
I climbed a tall tree at the suggestion of Mr. Kiljoy and soon knew our quarry was to the North-east. A short walk later our band came upon three large pachyderms of a distinctly magical cerise shade. The family group ignored my attempts, but Mr. Kiljoy was able to drive them of with a simple carnival magic trick (performed ably I will admit) - placing the emotion fear into the brutes. We followed after them making sure that the elephants could not regain their calm until they were well out of the Stump Witch's lands.
|Chauncy, as he was at the start of the session
On a return to town our party decided to investigate rumors that the local tailors were troubled. Nothing appeared amiss in their shop and I attempted to get their agreement to enter into a sponsorship deal so that Mr. early could enter a local gambling tournament. Our good intentions established the tailors soon revealed that thier sleep and business had suffered due to the predations of some night time menace in the basement.
Upon investigation, it appeared that rats might be the cause, but to my keen (and perhaps altered) sensibility it seemed equally likely that the disturbance was the work of supernatural or trans-dimensional monstrosities. The intruder's tunnel led from the tailor's cellar to an abandoned house next door where our group discovered a cellar full of rats. At this point I blacked out, but upon regaining my senses I understand that a horrible rat king was destroyed, along with the rest of the swarming rodents and the the haberdashers have agreed to sponsor our group's entry into the locale gambling tournament.