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  • Darkoneko Hellsing

    Ominouuuuuus.

    • Disloyal Subject

      Well, Ravens are sometimes considered omens.

      • Del

        Nevermore.

  • Dee

    Keep your eye on that necklace, right?

    • Well, considering that the necklace is part of the title page for this chapter, i’d say so, yes…

  • ShadeTail

    Quoth the raven: “Heh heh”

    • Apvogt

      Who’s that tap tap tapping on my window.

  • kuku

    Does this mean the queen is a wizard?

    • MoeLane

      It is always safer to assume that Queen Elizabeth I possessed ANY available skill, talent, or advantage that would help her survival. And yes, that means that you must assume that she has a holdout shiv on her person at all times, and will cut you with it if necessary. *Never* get into an alley fight with her.

      • kuku

        Understood!

      • just another flyboy

        true dat. tis the red hair, yanno. never trust a flamehair, they’ll burn ye every time!

      • Dud

        Elizabeth was extremely well educated for her time, way beyond most of her contemporaries. She continued to study throughout her reign, spoke all the major ‘modern’ and ancient languages and kept up with the occult through John Dee. In a Widdershins Universe she would undoubtably have studied magic.

        She was a much tougher, far more astute cookie than the popular histories give her credit for.

        This must be Walsingham. Drake was a privateer, seaman and natural leader, a risk taker; not the sort of person you give state secrets.

  • EveryZig

    This is why you burn evil magic users (or for a compromise decapitate then burn them).

    • Mujaki

      Decapitate, and then burn the head and body SEPARATELY.
      Scatter the ashes in multiple locations, preferably on both land and in water.

      • Darkoneko Hellsing

        And add salt. A lot of salt.

      • William Rice

        And at the crossroads

        • LA Julian

          Hekate is ever-vigilant! (I wonder how many realize that is the original origin of crossroads burial to keep the dead from walking?)

          • William Rice

            Blame Sir Terry and his wonderful Discworld, that’s the only reason I know

            • LA Julian

              It was the beginning of a series of wonderful, history-and-mythology-illuminating shocks for me when I realized that Granny Aching was an avatar of the real Hekate, the one with the hounds and torches and weapons of justice, the chthonic guardian of birth and death and the roads between, associated with earth and sky both from long ago indeed — and all this symbolized by an old peasant woman looking for lost sheep with her dogs and her lantern and bringing a “dead” lamb to life with a bread oven…or whipping a man who beat his donkey, and teaching the lord of the manor that he, too, was under the same laws as everyone else.

              I had been completely misdirected by the sparkly, twee, depictions of a “Hecate” who has nothIng better to dance around with only her silver pentacles on, making love potions for similarly narcissistic “witches”… not much of an Elder Goddess to rule the border between the realms!

              • William Rice

                I’ll take your word for it

                • LA Julian

                  You don’t need to — theoi.com is a good start, when it comes to reading up on the strangeness that is the magic of antiquity not tidied up by neoclassicist historians and bowlderizers! Who knew, that Hekate was the one who discovered what happened to her niece Persephone and tracked her kidnapper down? For some strange reason that gets left out of most modern retellings of the story! But if there is a patron deity of detectives, it’s she — and an awful lot of Christian imagery and symbolism was taken from her altars, including the title “Saviour,” from the Greek.

      • das-g

        All these steps are required. Point in case: Orisis vs. Set. (Set skipped the burn step and Isis stayed true to her promise.)

      • MoeLane

        There’s always concrete. Symbolically speaking, it’s more or less both.

        • Ryan Thompson

          Concrete is too porous. Try a lead-lined steel vault welded shut. And maybe consider dropping it in the Mariana Trench (if you do, fill it with water before sealing it to equalize the pressure).

      • just another flyboy

        plant them ashes at a crossroads on the dark of the moon, and sprinkle silver nitrate solution all over them just in case. carn’t be too careful nao, can yer.

  • Lociro

    This is one of my favorite pages of the comic so far! That last panel is so sinister :)

  • Spooky! D:

  • Cooper

    Seeing as that necklace is definitely going to be found, I would just like to say; “YOU HAD ONE JOB SIR FRANCIS. ONE JOB.”

    • Seto

      Unless he’s in league with the Duke :)

    • CyberSkull

      Wasn’t he eventually beheaded? I guess we know the real reason now.

      • Jeff

        No, Drake died of dysentary in Panama.

        • CyberSkull

          It is so hard to keep track of who she beheaded.

          • Wyvern

            I think you’re confusing her with her sister, “Bloody” Queen Mary. As far as I know (and a quick Google search confirms it), Elizabeth I had relatively few people beheaded — possibly as few as five during the entire course of her reign.

            • Nonesuch

              That’s pretty good, for a ruler in her day and age.

              • The Occupant

                Some people serve the world better leaving than entering.

      • szbnahl

        You’re probably thinking of Sir Walter Raleigh, the other great Elizabethan sailor, who was beheaded by James VI.

        • just another flyboy

          ah yes, long live Good Queen James, long may she sail…

        • Ilmari

          Also James I, as he is more commonly known, except perhaps in his homeland.

  • Bill Soo

    Lecta Phasmia is a spell to “read” the qualities of a magical item. Sid used it way back in the first case.

  • McFrugal

    Dun dun DUNNNNNNN

  • Sonja

    Queen Lizzie was a wizard? Love it!

    • The way I see it, if you ever have the chance to draw Wizard Queen Elizabeth I, you dang well take it

      • Sanjay Merchant

        Queen Ewizardeth I?

        • LA Julian

          Oh dear.

      • Silly Zealot

        Won’t the common populace and the Hipope condemn her for witchcraft?

        • LoopTheLup

          The Purple Hipope of Happiness?

          • Silly Zealot

            I knew someone would catch it! :D

        • Stephen

          Trying to condemn a queen who performs witchcraft does not typically end well for the common populance. Besides, she writes the laws so witchcraft could be allowed among royalty because she says so.

          • Silly Zealot

            Neither facts equals a %100 failed rebelion chance.

            • Sir. Orc

              Considering that wizardry is commonly practiced in the main timeline, and a general fact of life for this setting, I doubt anyone would have much problem with it. Also, when the warder is reading off the charges for spooky duke wots’it he specifies illegal wizardry indicating that there are forms of it which are considered legal. Also, all the magic we’ve seen thus far uses Latin, which indicates that the wizardry practiced in Widdershins was influenced by the language, which itself could indicate influence from religious sources (not too far-fetched, when Rome collapsed a lot of information was carefully preserved and copied down by monks who more often then not favored use of Latin. They probably did the same for magic as they did for agriculture and engineering). In short, everyone’s used to it, so magic itself wouldn’t hold the same stigma in this setting any more than farming or engineering would.

              • Silly Zealot

                Point, though that reminds me, whatever happened to the anti-magic protesters from the sloth storyline?

      • Nonesuch

        Was she formally schooled, or did she learn it on the sly?

        • Formally, of course! It’s just a fact of life in this world.

    • Matt [in Middletown]

      *facepalm*
      I just misread that as “Queen Wizzie was a lizard”.
      The mental images from that were quite peculiar.

      • okapi

        “the lizard had a bell”

      • okapi

        queen wizzie went to heaven and the lizard went to helloo operator

      • just another flyboy

        there’s a whole bunch of woos in the States that fully believe HM is actually an extraterrestrial lizard, I kid you not. amazing what people will fall for hook, line, and sinker.

        • Matt [in Middletown]

          UGH, yeah I had heard about those dolts.
          Side note, same night as the above, I was reading Wilde Life and Pascalle posted “deadly Struggle”.
          I misread it as “deadly Snuggle”.

    • Kactus

      But does she still have the wingspan of an albatross? http://www.harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=300

      • Sanjay Merchant

        I wonder what spirit she bound to herself to get that? I “Awesome” a spirit?

      • Cooper

        Or the left hook of a heavyweight champ?

        • Phlebas

          Or the heart and stomach of a concrete elephant?

    • DLKmusic

      Correct me if I’m way off base, but this is the “Victorian” era…. shouldn’t that be Queen Victoria? or if you must, Queen Vicsorceress?

      • Jeff

        You’re somewhat off base. Although the lion’s share of stories we’ve been presented with so far have taken place during the Victorian era, or something close to it, we have also encountered characters all the way from the distant past to the far future.

        But never fear, I suspect that the last two pages (and maybe a couple to follow) are simply setup for the main part of the story, which will take place three centuries later, in the 19th century.

        • davidbreslin101

          “Something close to it” is right: in “Vanishing Act,” Victoria is a grown woman but still a princess, so Widdershin’s main time period must be late Georgian. Of course, the dates may not line up exactly with ours. What with this being an alternative world with magic an’ all.

        • Sanjay Merchant

          On the other hand, the cover page featured Henry Barber and Isabelle Holt who, according to the family tree Kate Ashwin posted a while back, are the grandparents of Nicola, Harriet, Nora, Florence, and Edmund. So we may not jump all the way to the 1830’s (which I believe is the era for the bulk of Widdershins stories).

  • ShadeTail

    Broody Herr! It’s Sil Flancis Dlake! And he’s not liding a bicycre!

  • Geist

    My hunch is that is the famous seafarer and explorer Sir Francis Drake, and what better place to lose something then at the bottom of the Sea (but for story reasons I bet he decides to bury it on some distant island)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Drake

    • DLKmusic

      Sir Francis Drake in the 19th Century? Are you serious?

      Didn’t any of you people pay at least a LITTLE attention in history class?

      • Geist

        Sigh where does is it say 19th Century? Queen Elizabeth I ruled in the 16th Century
        This is obviously a prologue to what is going to happen much later when Henry Barber gets involved.
        Just like Ch5 got started 3 years before the “current” time with Harry, Sid, Mal and Wolfe in 1834

        Widdershins is a comic that definitely likes to jump around in time to give the reader a background to a likely “future” event that is probably going to involve all the Sins.
        We’ve already ticked of: Greed, Sloth, Pride, Gluttony, Envy and Wrath
        Now it’s time for Lust.

        Try to pay attention yourself for a change.

        • Apvogt

          Wrath isn’t loose though.

          • Don’t worry I’m sure he’ll get a story of his own. Let’s face it, he’d be angry if he only gets to be a sub-plot in Envy’s book. OK, so he’s angry anyway, but you know what I mean.

          • Geist

            Remember what Envy said as he was Leaving Voss and Wrath to fend for themselves:
            “Oh you’ll find out soon! I am six of seven, oh yes. Only a matter of time now”

            What if he meant that at that time (1834) that he was the sixth to be released with only Wrath left.
            Which would mean that somehow during Chapter 6 but before 1834 Lust is released as well.

    • I was thinking this is Sir Francis Walsingham, Liz I’s spymaster. Much more interesting than that Drake fellow.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Walsingham

      • Jeff

        That would be neat, although I think there’s three good reasons to believe it is, in fact, Drake and not Walsingham. First, he’s too young looking to be Walsingham. Second, he’s dressed like a voyager (ie Drake the pirate/privateer). And third, Walsingham, by all accounts, was more than smart enough to hide something so that it would *never* be found, even three centuries later. Drake was big on promises, but often lacked in execution.

        • I’ll take your word for the first two points. And definitely agree with you on the third! Liz has clearly picked the wrong Francis. Can’t help thinking of Lord Veterinari from Diskworld, who hid an important book in plain sight, but with the title ‘Anecdotes of the Great Accountants – Volume 3’ on the spine.

          • LA Julian

            I was thinking The Dysk too, because the guards’ convo would be right at home in Lancre!

            • Dud

              Ankh-Morpork maybe. Lancre has a standing army of one: Shawn Ogg.

        • Dud

          Kate follows the Hollywood version of historic costume, there’s about a century of fashion in two pages here. The Duke’s head ought to be on a spike somewhere, probably London Bridge, so the body will be buried headless… or rather, should have been.

      • Geist

        I hadn’t heard about Sir Francis Walsingham,but you know what I think he has potential.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Walsingham
        The main difference I think would be where the artist wants the story to mainly take place: in some far off exotic locale (Drake) or somewhere in England (Walsingham) within reach of the Barber family and/or Widdershins.

        • Jeff has convinced me it’s Drake. Walsingham would have done a proper job and I suspect the plot is going to rely on the necklace turning up again sometime around the end of the 18th century.

          • just another flyboy

            or it could be my good Lord Essex, or any one of many a lad as Herself went through. her reign didna lack for drama, did it now.

  • See, this is why you’re supposed to burn evil magic folks: fire purifies, and ash is rarely threatening.

  • Johannes Hjortshøj

    Nevermore…

  • SteelRaven

    Zombies! Wait, no head… Wight Walker!?

  • Silly Zealot

    “It is too powerful to be destroyed, we must seal it away where no one will find it.”

    A hundred years later, the heroes beat the villain that unearthed the object/entity and destroy for good.

  • Afrodiseum

    Ooh, love a good bit of ominous foreshadowing.

  • Stephen

    ok, I have to say it: Dismissing the absence of the body is a grave mistake. They are dead wrong in the way they handled the situation and heads are gonna roll for it.

  • Nonesuch

    Raven: “Gosh darnit! I was told this execution would be catered</i.! Where'd the food go?"

  • SteinarB

    Those two guards should know better than having a conversation like that. I mean, that’s practically just a step away from saying “what’s the worst that could happen?” or “things can’t get any worse”. You’re _daring_ the universe to mess with you!

  • Sanjay Merchant

    Oh my. Is that the same “heh heh” uttered by the Duke of Kent while the charges were being read out? I mean, yeah, we already know that whatever was up with him didn’t die at the beheading, but still.

  • maarvarq

    If someone is facing execution with an evil chuckle and overt impatience, then I would have thought it obvious to be careful disposing of the body, preferably in a dozen pieces and on fire.

  • This guy

    NEVER turn your back on a dead body.
    What is wrong with everyone?

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