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  • AJ

    “Very scary, for the children.”

    • r2d2go

      sick stealth burn :D

    • JWLM

      While innocently looking up at the sky. Butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth…

    • Kyle Hamilton

      “Be good, or the Hexe will come and devour your soul!” Scare kids into good behavior — the way the Old World did for hundreds of years.

      But growing up with that kind of belief also distorts the lives of those who are what the stories say. I wonder what Mal would be like in a world that didn’t accuse his powers of being evil? (Does the belief about the powers cause the powers themselves to be distorted? If so, would that kind of distortion also distort the one who holds them?)

      • JWLM

        Widdershins’ society doesn’t have any opinion about Mal’s powers. Nicola didn’t recognize them during his first interview with her. Ben didn’t recognize them, even though he himself bore them for a while.

        • AJ

          They have been without a witch for centuries, though, right? So Widdershins’ society (and England in general) despises witches due to poor actions of the last witch, told a thousand times until it blew up beyond a single individual, and any knowledge of such things was inherently discouraged. (Like how knowing about internal organs was taboo because you have to cut open dead people to learn about organs.)
          So by now, they don’t know what witches’ powers are, and thus cannot recognize them, but still despise them because the only story anyone’s told about witches for hundreds of years is the last one.

          • JWLM

            Oh, no, I completely agree with you about how witches are viewed. I just think that nobody (including Mal) realized that his disability was actually a sign of his being a witch. He can’t think that his powers make him evil because they show he’s a witch unless he knows that they show he’s a witch.

            • AJ

              Oh, well, yes. True, that.

  • Wolfe is great.

  • JWLM

    What’s the color around Wolfe’s spirit in the last panel? It looks like the sky – does Mal see the sky in color?

    • Lord Simkins

      I think Mal sees the sky in color because the Sins are using their power on the entire town. He doesn’t see the color of the sky as much as evidence of the sins’s powers.

      • Winger

        Kind of a shame he only ever gets to appreciate a pretty sky when something terrible is going down.

        • Felix

          There are definitely some similar situations in real life.

        • Sanjay Merchant

          I dunno, if the Seven Heavenly Virtues were unleashed instead, maybe he’d still get to see pretty colors while Widdershins turned into a haven of good will and harmony?

      • Phlebas

        Maybe it’s that the effect is strong enough that normal people see the Mal version of the sky, rather than the other way round – similar to how normal people can’t see the minor summons but can see the Deadlies.

  • When in doubt, mope!

  • I’m just so glad this moment is here. Don’t have a more detailed way to say it just now, but this such upliftingly great fun.

  • McFrugal

    Devour your soul… I bet Witches can grab ahold of those emotional projections, just like they can grab Buggerups. A particularly crazy Witch might think that they need to take someone else’s projection because they can’t see their own.

    I bet that’s fatal.

  • Tikatu

    I went back to find the colors that Wolfe’s spirit had in previous stories because I think the ones here are important. He had blue and pink during Wrath’s aborted summons. He was mostly yellow and red while playing a duet with Voss. Does anyone else think this?

    • Winger

      Standard calm / content perhaps? He often goes orangey when playing, and even evokes orangey feelings in others:
      Which suggests that’s the Distinctly Happy colour. (As per Honky McHooter the joy spirit, as well!) The lighter blue and pink seems to just be Default Wolfe of the notorious serenity.

  • kuku

    “I believe it’s the stories which are wrong, not you.” And isn’t that how we get past so many prejudices. Bravo, Wolfe.

  • Ayara012

    A.) I love Mal’s face in the 5th panel
    B.) This was really nice to come home to after work. Thanks, Kate!

    • Sanjay Merchant

      “A)” basically amounts to “You’re going to make me be stupidly heroic, aren’t you?”

      • Phlebas

        Mm. With a side order of “oh bugger”.

  • Sapphire363

    Beautiful page, love the last panel. Amazing job, as always.

  • Darkoneko Hellsing

    Let us solve everything… with the power of MUSIC !

  • D. Schwartz

    My grandmother had a cat named Hexe. Lived to 21 and was ornery as all hell. Or was old and strong willed. Both are true.

  • All that is necessary for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing. OK, it’s probably racial profiling to describe the 7 deadly sins as ‘evil’ and O’Malley isn’t what you’d call ‘good’, but you know what I mean.

    • MoeLane

      Well, he’s certainly not *bad*. And… I’ve just been utterly sidetracked by contemplating the question: can a Sin/Virtue/emotional spirit be inter-fertile with humans?

      • They don’t really have any sort of biology, as such, they’re more of a sort of.. essence. So probably not.

        • What about if some twit gives one a corporeal form?

          • Heh, possibly. Though in fairness “mystic baby” plots are my very least favourite plots.

            • So we won’t be getting that dramatic moment when Mr Luxuria tells O’Malley. “I am your father”.

              • Jay

                Wouldn’t Lust be able to claim parentage of half of Widdershins anyway? :P

                • Hate to have to pay his child support contributions…

        • MoeLane

          Question, then: can a spirit… leave some of that essence behind, as it were? And then merge it later with a newly conceived embryo?

          • You can’t (shouldn’t) imbue a person

            • Oh, interesting! Think I need a DM’s ruling here. Is that ‘can’t’ as in ‘it is physically impossible’, or ‘shouldn’t’ as in ‘it’s a really bad idea and is forbidden by the regulations, but there’s nothing stopping you doing it if you’re that unprincipled / daft’?

              • Euodiachloris

                I’m suspecting craters… :P

    • Sanjay Merchant

      Hey, when it comes to being evil, they’re out, loud, and proud! (Especially the peacock!)

      • Not sure if the sins can really be described as evil. According to the VoG, “they’re summoned from people, and we’re terribly mixed-up and full of all sorts of emotions”, so even if they aren’t especially pleasant, that’s hardly their fault. Or is it? This brings up all sorts of questions about whether they have an independent existence when they are not summoned and if they are created by human emotion, cause human emotion, or are independent creatures affected by or feeding on human emotion.
        I’m over-analysing again aren’t I?

        • Sanjay Merchant

          So what you’re saying is that they were born this way? :-P

  • Always be suspicious of what “everybody knows”.

    • Del

      And be especially cautious about discarding old wisdom that “nobody believes anymore.”

      • Euodiachloris

        Unless it’s “bleed into this bowl”: very little good comes of that. :P

        • AJ

          ACTUALLY when the body goes through significant blood loss, it does subsequently respond with a period of increased efficiency in the immune system. Bleeding is just about the most dangerous way to stimulate the immune system, but it does work.

          • Euodiachloris

            Yeah, I know that. But… as stated… not worth, mainly. :P

        • JWLM

          There is at least one disease for which the treatment really is bleeding. People with Polycythemia Vera overproduce red blood cells and need to be periodically — yes, you guessed it — bled.


    • AJ

      “Someday I must read this scholar ‘They’. He says a great deal, most of it wrong.” -Tamora Pierce

      • Sanjay Merchant

        I do think his ancestor, Mr. Traditional, wrote some great music, though.

        • AJ

          Some of my very most favorite pieces are by Mr. Traditional!
          As an aside, how cool is it that we call individual works of music “pieces” as though they are somehow part of a universal whole?

  • Eric

    Of course, now I want to see the story of Hexe in the style of the Shard story from Darken.

    • JWLM

      “The Witch King is Rising” Doesn’t quite have the right ring to it, somehow.

      Oh, I know. Komiyan for Wicked Witch of the Widdershins! Or maybe Zathras — he would be super-best Witch King Anti-hero.

  • Chris the Blue

    Friends will be friends, they say that friends are friends to the bitter end!

  • Amy

    … you know, reading this page, it occurs to me that the spirits all refer to Mal as “the O’Malley.” And we’ve just seen bloodlines be important with the Barbers.

    I… wonder if there’s a connection there.

    • Storel

      Are you wondering if the last witch in Widdershins, hundreds of years ago, was also an O’Malley? And an ancestor of Mal’s? Hmm…

      • Shee Soon Theng

        There is no connection between witches and bloodlines, otherwise there would have been other witches in the Holt family line by now.

  • Sanjay Merchant

    A wild Conscience appears!

    Mal uses Mope!

    It’s not very effective!

  • maeverin

    oh my gawwwwd this page!! panel 3 implies to me that Mal already knew about being the witch–and possibly that’s why he knew about that place and ran the hell away if he was locked up for being a witch–then spent years trying to convince himself he wasn’t. then the last two panels Mal looks to Wolfe’s ever-calming spirit for comfort as he tries to work things out in his head.

  • Pyre

    Like all good relationships, these two enhance each other’s best qualities.

  • Ghostdanser

    Mal needs to break out of that circular logic thinking…
    Witches are evil…I am a witch…therefore I must be evil.

    On the other hand it does make moral justification of ones actions rather easy.
    “Why did you do that?”
    “Well, ya know, I’m a witch.”
    “Ohhhhh…I didn’t realize your alignment was witch…I mean evil…I mean wait a minute…let me check the rule book on that…”

  • Sanjay Merchant

    “In other news, giants can be good.”

  • Graham Garrett

    I…I think we just found out the message of this entire Webcomic. It’s a great one, too. “It’s usually the stories that get it wrong.”

    • Storel

      Except when stories (like this webcomic) get it so right!

      • Graham Garrett

        OH yeah. My other examples would include Avatar: The Last Airbender, Gravity Falls, the Lord of the Rings, etc. What are some of yours?

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