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July 9th, 2016

July 9th, 2016 published on 86 Comments on July 9th, 2016

Spooked by a door.

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Updated the Widdershins Patreon with a dumb sketch of some of the characters in Dungeons and Dragons mode! Anyone supporting Widdershins for $3 or more a month can see it and a multitude of other development sketches, wallpapers and more right now. If you’re enjoying the comic, it’d really help me out if you’d consider pledging.

Thank you!

  • Sanjay Merchant

    Mal’s all “Nope!’

    • svartalf

      You would be too if you did a stint in one of the infamous UK Asylums…

      • Sanjay Merchant

        Wait, that’s an ASYLUM? Holy crud. No wonder he didn’t want to come back to Widdershins. Is he a former inmate? 0.0

  • I loved each story till now, but this one is really… promising. No, not the right word: it’s already great, even if it’s just beginning. Looking forward to reading the 200 next pages. Two years of discovery and pleasure. Webcomics are great, and you’re a wonderful author, Kate. Thanks.

    • Mal’s mouth in panel four is really expressive.

      I decided to vote every day on TWC for Widdershins, it’s already in the first hundred, but I think it deserves to be in the first ten… though that would need many more votes…

      • Tau

        WHERE DO I SIGN

        • ??

          • Tau

            If I can vote for widdershins somewhere I’d love to.

            • McRocky71

              In the sidebar next to the comic proper there’s a section marked Vote for the comic! Just click on that and you’ll be directed to the Top Webcomics site.

      • Sal

        No kidding! Lookit those chompers. Are those supposed to be British teeth?

        • Irish teeth, thank you .

          • Thorin Schmidt

            yeah, and you thought irish *eyes* smilin’ was something….

            • Sanjay Merchant

              “When Irish teeth are grinding,
              It would make you mourn in spring….”

      • While I agree that Widdershins deserves to be much higher in the TWC ratings, looking at the comics that do get the most votes, I can’t help thinking that Mrs de Montfort is going to have to show a lot more than her ankles to get into the top ten.

        • Hrn. Yes, many of those… Nevertheless, twice as many votes for Widdershins would make it reach the top 30. Worth it!

          • AJ

            Hmm… Those were not the rankings I expected to see. I’m not sure what I was expecting. (Possibly better-fit banners. There’s nothing like a poorly resized banner to make a webcomic look cheap, but the worst banners were for my favorite comics, so idk.)

    • Aww, thanks! This one’s really making me smile, thank you very much!

      • svartalf

        Darken was good. This is reaching for epic, to be honest, Kate.

  • Euodiachloris

    I guess Wrath is still in the vicinity? That, or a whole load of other reasons to go noping out. :/

    • Darkoneko Hellsing

      I’d guess it’s great-grandma’s aura.

    • svartalf

      Nope. Not even close.

      What would happen to you if you had Mal’s ability in that day and age and a Wizard didn’t know about and believe that he can see things? Madhouse.

      • Euodiachloris

        Think about what malforms would grow up around places where people regularly get abused, too… It wouldn’t just be because he has bad associations with lock-ups, but he can also see other people’s lingering negative experiences on top. -_-

  • Pangaea

    O’Malley either saw the spirit of Death or worse, Lady Luck hanging around Henry Barber.

    • Mike Clarke

      That’s what I’m worried about, that Mal saw Death. Which would mean bad things for Henry. :-(

      • svartalf

        Your hint as to what he’s seeing is the street. He went stupid, frantic, had to get AWAY the moment he arrived at location. Not because of what he saw going on, but reliving something **BAD**

    • svartalf

      He’s seeing his past…

  • Sapphire363

    Methinks that something is afoot….

    • JWLM

      They’re all afoot.

      • rainycity1

        (groan)

      • Margot

        They need bicycles!

  • Oh.
    I just noticed that Mal reacts only when Nicola and Harry are getting close to the place… Do their whatever-Mal-sees-above-them change when they get close?

    • Tikatu

      Interesting idea. He did seem to be looking at Harry when he bugged out.

      • Disloyal Subject

        Looked to me like he was looking down the stairs.
        I think he saw Izzy’s aura. He hates seeing his own in mirrors; seeing something even remotely similar would probably be unnerving.

        • LSKollt

          I like this theory.

          • CountSessine

            Izzy’s not a witch, she’s a wizard. He does dislike seeing wizard-auras — they’re unpleasantly dazzling — but he’s been living with Ben for a while now, and he had no particular reaction to meeting Sid this time, so that can’t be what’s causing his dismay.

            And even if she were a witch — we learned that what he doesn’t like about seeing himself in a mirror is that he doesn’t HAVE a detectable aura, which makes his own reflection look sort of undead to him. That’s why he hates mirrors: his reflection underlines that he’s “different” in ways that unsettle him badly.

            There was a major summoning of Deadly down there. And Acedia did something different this time, we don’t entirely know what. He can clearly feel the after-effects; perhaps now that he’s up close, it’s very daunting. Perhaps it is a trap set for witches and he is right to run!

            • disqus_ealSxkOnJn

              “he’s been living with Ben for a while now”

              I think Ben doesn’t have a terribly strong one- Mal makes a lot of references to him being weak. (edit: In fact, I just reread that bit, Ben has a VERY small spirit/aura about him, not at all dazzling/overpowering) I imagine that Izzy would have a MUCH more powerful one given her experience.

              And auras also seem to, at least somewhat, reflect the person’s current emotions. While Heinrich seems to have a perpetually serene one, most people’s spirits match the situation somewhat.

              Don’t forget that Henry’s been shot. If Izzy does have a powerful wizard aura- imagine what that looks like when the love of her life is dying in her arms. Because that would send me running the other way, too.

              • svartalf

                Nope… Your hint for the day is in the second frame… There’s a tip-o-the-hat going on there.

            • LSKollt

              I like this theory, too. I’m not deciding ’till I actually see the reason – so I’m pretty easy :)

              • svartalf

                He’s thought himself MAD before… Contemplate the name “Finch” and “Asylum”…

        • Tikatu

          Yeah, but when Ben had his powers, he saw no aura at all. All of us took that to mean that Mal was unnerved because he realized he had no aura at all.

          What if it’s Henry’s aura he sees? Nicola’s is pretty frightening, and Harry’s was barely less so. Henry’s, considering he’s old and full of Barber spirit, might be really impressive.

          It also could mean that the summoning circle still felt full of Wrath’s presence and that’s what scared Mal.

          • Margot

            Despite the name, Nicola and Harry’s ‘Barber spirit’ comes just as much from Izzy as from Harry.

            • John

              Yeah, but both Henry and Izzy are down there, so I don’t think that nitpick helps here.

    • Jeff Eppenbach

      I think it was when he looked down the stairs, and through the open door. He backs away, as the others move forward.

      • svartalf

        Hint’s in the second frame.

    • Winger

      I’m honestly split between it being some kind of major Deadly residue…or the location itself being meaningful to Mal. We know he’s resided in Widdershins before and bears it little love.

      • CountSessine

        Wait… how do we know that?

        • Winger

          Mostly via the repeated assertions that nothing good ever happens in Widdershins. He’d have no reason to be so prickly about a place he’d never been, and Kate’s mentioned before that the reason he was dashing about foreign countrysides was an attempt to stay far away from something. So either Widdershins speaks to him in his dreams, or he’s got personal experience shaping his bias.

          • Winger

            KATE YOU CAN’T JUST UPVOTE WILD MUSINGS, THAT’S CONSPIRACY FUEL 101.

            • svartalf

              Why not. You might’ve gotten CLOSE with your musings.

          • svartalf

            Heh. Look up “Finch” and “Asylum”. You’ll connect a few more o’ those dots… >:-D

      • Alétheia

        Both, maybe?

      • svartalf

        History… History with the way he put it: “It’s…that’s…”

        I think it’s an old Asylum or an Orphanage.

    • disqus_ealSxkOnJn

      It’s really hard to tell, I imagine everything happened fairly quickly. He may not have totally processed what he was seeing until he got there. (and he may not even be seeing- there may be other senses that, since he’s got 0 training, he still doesn’t totally understand)

      We don’t know enough about the whatevers. IIRC, they can kind of interact with each other, to a degree- there are 4 members of the same family, one of whom is badly injured, so it’s possible that Harry and Nic’s whatevers just went haywire in response to sensing their dad is so badly hurt. And this is a space that had been inhabited by Acedia for decades, and Wrath has just been released.

      I can think of a ton of terrifying things he could be seeing/sensing right now.

  • What do we know about Finch Street?

    • svartalf

      Look up West London Asylums or Madhouses.

    • svartalf

      (It’s more a person’s last name than an actual street…)

  • Tikatu

    I think it’s either something to do with Grandma Barber or Mal had a bad experience there in a previous (and as of yet undisclosed) visit to Widdershins. I mean, there has to be a reason he didn’t want to go there in the first place, right?

  • That man has no moral fibre.

    • Margot

      That man has no interest in moral fibre.

    • JWLM

      Why would anyone without a bode have gnome or Al Fibre?

    • svartalf

      You try doing a stint in one of the British Madhouses… >:-D

      • They’re much better nowadays, although the food is still pretty awful. Er… so I hear…

  • Foehn

    I really, REALLY hope we will get to see what Mal saw down there. Or at least hear about it.

    This comic. I check it pretty much every day for updates. The wait, it is torture, yet worth it each time.

    • Ditto on wanting to see what he sees. That’s usually the best part of stories with Mal in them after NOT seeing.

    • disqus_ealSxkOnJn

      That was my first thought- “Maybe we should ask the guy who sees spirits WTF he’s seeing that he’s freaking out so bad”

      • svartalf

        I don’t think it’s the spirit part per se, he’s recalling something horrific that he had in his past as best as I can tell.

        • svartalf

          (Perhaps a stay in a place not unlike the INFAMOUS West London Asylums? A place like you could summon a Wrathful Deadly…?)

    • svartalf

      It’s a history, a past. I strongly suspect an Insane Asylum or Orphanage that he was at sometime in a prior lifetime.

    • svartalf

      There’s some sort of a tip-o-the-hat in the second frame of the strip today. “Finch Street”

    • svartalf

      And perhaps THAT is referring to this little bit of sordid history:

      http://studymore.org.uk/4_13_ta.htm#Finch

      It’d certainly make sense with the reaction Mal had…and the fact that in his earlier days, he must’ve thought himself MAD with the abilities he possesses. I’ll bet he was in a madhouse…and it was one- which would have had a **LOT** of Wrathful energies behind it. Perfect place to summon that Deadly.

      • BaronHaynes

        Here’s my theory, after rereading the chapter up to this point.
        1. We know Acedia has owned this building for at least 20 years, but hasn’t been there in a long time.
        2. It seems to be implied this is an asylum, and judging by Mal’s reaction, he’s been here before.
        3. Acedia says she tried to summon the deadlies before, and “had the witch”.

        I think she heard about a kid that said he could see spirits, got ahold of him and tried to use him. It didn’t work, he escaped, and spent his most of his life believing nothing good happened in Widdershins.

  • Yeah, Mal is gonna take some convincing . . . Jameson’s or Bushmills might help with that . . .

    • svartalf

      Combined with a need to save all… He’s not seeing Wrath…he’s seeing his PAST.

  • MoeLane

    …And that’s why, when the GM running Call of Cthulhu asks if anybody in the party wants to play a psychic character, you all say NO.

    • Euodiachloris

      Psychic: just a way of pinning a Kick Me or Open Buffet sign to your back. ;P

      • That or daring to read a mysterious book, these are basically like signing your death certificate.

      • svartalf

        More like a hardcore Masochist.

        I’m reminded of the six-pack o’ clones from Paranoia… >:-D

  • rainycity1

    I really wonder what it is that Mal sees…

    • svartalf

      His past.

  • Well pants.

    Out of pages.

    Good read though. I’d say “keep on keepin on”, but I figure you’re gonna do that anyway. Good stuff.
    Maybe it is about time for me to go back and raid Darken again.

    *Vanishment*

  • Firedog

    Mal found a Godzilla.

  • emm

    OH MY GOD WHAT FORESHADOWING

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