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  • All I want for Christmas is for Vee to actually shoot someone with those darts! :P

  • Also, sweet baby jegus this may be your scariest looking villain design yet. o_o

    • AJ

      It’s just a lady in a blue dress with her hair coming loose.

      And black pits where her eyes should be.
      And blue flames at the back of them.
      And an unhinged grin.

      I want my mommy.

      • Tsapki

        Walking alone in a dark fog carrying a single point of light. Oh yeah, this imagery is classic ghost story material.

  • TheGorram Batguy

    I suppose that lamp is burning sloth-infused oil, hm?
    Very curious about what Ms. Fairbairn is now.

    • Heylir

      If it is, this oil makes influence not only on wizards now.

      • Tsapki

        I think the oil could effect anyone before, but it was being strategically placed where wizards were regularly casting magic. A normal person being a bit tired and dozing off might not be too dangerous, but dozing when working on a magic ritual a tad more dangerous.

        • Sanjay Merchant

          I don’t think so, because nobody other than wizards seemed to suffer the bouts of sleepiness and lethargy. If you look at the bakery incident, the wizard is having trouble staying awake but the non-wizard owner seems just fine.

        • Ocean Burning.

          No, the lamp oil in chapter 2 was definitely meant to only influence wizards. (http://www.widdershinscomic.com/wdshn/august-17th-2012/ ) Whether it’s lamp oil that’s imbued differently now, or something else that’s affecting them, I’m not sure.

          • Ocean Burning.

            Alternatively, perhaps Vee is one of those people who have such a faint amount of magical vibes that it only registers in Widdershins, but this is enough for the oil to affect her… (?)

            • It’s not the actual same oil from chapter 2, it’s just a thematic thing.

              • Ocean Burning.

                Whoops I am falling into the pit of crack theories amn’t I *facepalm*

                • non_canon

                  Hey, swapping theories in the comment section is a large part of the fun of having a comment section attached to the comic.

    • Brother Nightmare

      If I had to guess, I’d say she’s… angry…

  • Imagine Ink

    “Genuinely creepy” is not a descriptor I thought I would ever assign to Ms. Fairbairn. Well done.

  • Allysdelta

    I thought I recognized those sleeves!

  • Maria Gerasimova

    I was right about her face… Brrr…
    Alas, I was wrong about her craving for help… :(

    • Sanjay Merchant

      Well, given the color of the speech bubble, it’s entirely possible that’s not Ms. Fairbairn speaking. Or at least not entirely her (she’s not using the Deadlies’ signature font, so I don’t exactly know what to make of this).

      • Emily

        Colored speech bubbles have been used to indicate someone under the influence of one of the Deadlies, too. Before Harry pulled Mal out of his recent funk, his lines were the same color: http://www.widdershinscomic.com/wdshn/october-17th-2017/

        • Sir. Orc

          Aye, when the sins are feeding off someone, their font changes color. I guess this goes for if they are given over in whole to them as well. Sloth took all of Fairbairn’s sleep, so possibly it’s been feeding off her ever since. But since it also said that without sleep there is no life….that raises some very frightening implications.

        • TheGorram Batguy

          Good eye! I didn’t even notice that, somehow.

  • Phil

    Oh good, she looks perfectly sane!

    I guess going goodness knows how many months without sleep will do that to you…

    • I don’t know. I haven’t had a normal amount of sleep practically all year and I feel jus… zzzzzz

  • Maria Gerasimova

    Hmm… Nevertheless she has taken off the glass from the lamp, to knock them down (pan. 5), and bluish swirls start to shroud them… But in the last panel the glass is on the lamp again… And Ben and Vee, though taken down, are not wrapped in mist… if I am not mistaken.

  • Aw. Ms Fairbairn is still carrying a torch (well a lantern) for Mr Thackerey after all this time.

    And should we be worried that her name doesn’t appear in the cast list today?

    • Heylir

      Her name has never been in tags.

      • Hey, you’re right. Well spotted. Could this mean she isn’t really Ms Fairbairn?

        • 703 Noemi

          Maybe she isn’t really a person anymore.

          • …I’ll be honest, I just forgot to tag her and don’t really want to go through Vol 2 tagging her in :|

            • Julian Fecteau

              shh shh let them have this ;-)

            • Greenwood Goat

              Sloth’s influence gets everywhere! >:=)>

            • 703 Noemi

              Ah. Now I feel like an off-the-wall conspiracy theorist.

              • No no, I love when people make guesses, and I’m usually a pretty deliberate storyteller, it’s entirely my bad.

                • TachyonCode

                  … and now the audience deliberates :)

              • That’s the next book…

          • Bieeanda

            She’s the Curtain Call.

  • Winger

    And “never found the body” pays off gloriously at long last. Yikes, panel four.

  • Darkoneko Hellsing

    Ooh. Well, her previous schtik was with lights too.

  • Euodiachloris

    Well, that‘s not a little nightmarish. At all. o.O

    • Sir. Orc

      That’s before you think about the implications.
      Back in chapter 2 I thought Fairbairn was gone because Sloth said “without sleep there is no life”, but I realize now what it didn’t say: “without sleep you/they will die”. This suggests that Fairbairn is trapped between the living and dead, unable to return to the living because she cannot sleep, and unable to truly die for Sloth has taken her ability to rest. She’s been stuck here, in between for months all while Sloth continues to feed off her, not only taking her sleep, but growing stronger from her desire to rest (the desire to rest is another aspect of Sloth). Now how strong might Sloth be if Fairbairn wasn’t the only person so trapped? Though I think Eddie mentioned there was a limit to how much energy a person could provide to a feeding spirit before they expired.

      The other implication is that they might be trapped wherever Fairbairn is, as Sid and Ben’s presence suggest it is not the Anchor. If that is the case, will they be able to get back? especially Sid and Wolfe who’ve already fallen under the influence of Sloth.

      • Sanjay Merchant

        This thought had occurred to me as well: when Sloth took all of her sleep, that apparently included even The Long Sleep. She’s apparently literally the restless dead….

        • SjSmith

          I was kidding when I commented about how Horror-movie this situation was but Now I’m totally getting the jibblies! I don’t like Zombies! D’8>

      • Anne-US

        Love your first paragraph; I hadn’t thought about the possibilities that she can’t have “The Long Sleep”.

        It was stated earlier that the center of Sloth’s influence was around the old Lamplight Factory building. So they aren’t at the anchor, but (presumably) in Widdershins.

  • Greenwood Goat

    Here’s looking at you, Blue-eyes!

    >:=)>

  • Doldrum

    Well that’s terrifying.
    …at least she remembers him? That’s a… plus. I guess.

    • Sanjay Merchant

      I this case, I think it’s a definite minus.

      • Doldrum

        Ben just can’t win, can he?

        • Maria Gerasimova

          “With a little bit of luck”… (c) Mr Doolittle

          • Heylir

            My associations are more in line with “Don’t go into Africa, kids”, but it isn’t an option for our heroes, and never was. :/

          • JWLM

            Where are you going to place _I’m an Ordinary Man_ or _I could have Danced All Night_?

            • Maria Gerasimova

              “I could have Danced All Nigh” should sing Wolfe :) In the chpt5, with Florrie :)
              And “I’m an Ordinary Man Woman Girl” – is for Vee, of course :)

              • JWLM

                Wolfe in Chapter 5 is perfect.

    • Heylir

      I suspect she remember it’s Thackerey who is responsible for her present situation (in her view of things), even if she don’t remember anything else.

  • Sanjay Merchant

    I don’t know how you took Sloth from being the comic relief to the most frightening of the bunch so far, but brava Ms. Ashwin for pulling it off.

    • AJ

      The “comic relief”? Don’t you remember how scary it was last time??
      http://www.widdershinscomic.com/wdshn/september-26th-2012/

      • Sanjay Merchant

        In the couple of panels of that page, you definitely have a point, but it (they? he? she?) read as a sort of sullen teenager in just about every other page.

        Plus there’s a big leap from straightforwardly intimidating and the current Nightmare!Fairbairn. :shudder:

        • re: pronouns for spirits, I tend to use “it” since they aren’t human, but any will do, they’re not picky about these things.

  • Nonesuch

    Well, Fairbairn looks good ‘n crazy. :-/

  • John

    Well, Sloth owns her now. Not sure if she knows that, but if she does it clearly doesn’t bother her.

    • AJ

      Or it does bother her heaps and that’s why she’s going to be SO NICE AND FRIENDLY to our heroes.

  • John

    And Nicola thought she was mad here http://www.widdershinscomic.com/wdshn/september-7th-2012/

    Compared to today’s strip she was merely mildly eccentric when Nicola last saw her.

  • Emily

    And Vee’s down! I wonder if her stepping in front of Ben in panel 3 meant she got a stronger blast from the flame. She intended to protect him by handling the fight herself, as she’s been doing since they were kids, but maybe she (unintentionally) ended up protecting him in a different way by taking the brunt of Fairbairn’s/Sloth’s attack and leaving him awake to do something about it.

    • That’s a sweet thought, and it seems plausible! It sure does look like she too passed out in the last panel there…and then there was one.

      • Maria Gerasimova

        === It sure does look like she too passed ==
        She isn’t a shadow shrouded in bluish swirls yet!
        I hope she’s still kicking, as well as Ben.

        • That’s true, and when Mal gave in, he had blue outlines, and Vee has neither, so maybe!

  • Heylir

    The third panel suddenly has made me wonder what Verity’s aura looks like.

  • Ocean Burning.

    Yep, definitely undead. I was afraid this was going to remind me of something from *Darken*, and I was right.

  • Archangel

    You feed somebody to the demon they summoned *once*, and I swear they never let you hear the end of it. :P

    • non_canon

      Technically, Ben was the one who summoned it. Although she was the one authorized it.

      • Tsapki

        Also technically, Fairbairn was the one who authorized Sloth to eat someone.. she just didn’t realize she was the only one still in the circle.

        • Archangel

          Touche, both of you. :)

  • Del

    All of our heroes are down.

    And the Purple Hippo of Happiness is nowhere in sight.

    This could be the end, Bat-fans!

    (I really want to see the Hippo to save the day again….)

  • a_flemish_dude

    I just realised, this chapter is the literature equivalent of a video game boss rush

    • That’s kinda true and kinda awesome..!

  • Grey_Moment

    I think this is probably the most nightmare-inducing page since, well, the last time we saw her. Well done.

  • AAAHHHHHH that is shockingly terrifying!!

  • Okay but, I actually would really like to know what would happen if Vee had shot the Fairbairn-Sloth-Waith with her -sleeping- darts??? Would it only make her stronger?? If all her sleep is stolen would it be unable to do anything at all? HMM

    • Brother Nightmare

      Sleeping darts needs both the circulatory system and central nervous system to be in working order to have an effect. Somehow, I don’t those two vital functions are functioning properly right now.

  • Tomn

    Fairbairn’s not dead, she’s unsleeping! And as soon as we find the cure for sloth we’re gonna put her back in play and she’s gonna be pretty pissed off, you know why? Have you gone a week without sleep? Well multiply that by fifteen million times, that’s how pissed off Fairbairn’s gonna be. We’re gonna get Fairbarin, and Mrs. Sykes, and Lei Feng, and Thomas Macavity and a torch of sloth oil and rail down to Widdershins!

    • MoeLane

      …Well played: the most obvious response would result in a quite humorous situation where one would have to then explain why said response was NOT, in fact, a direct insult.

    • Sanjay Merchant

      To be fair, the REAL Mrs. Sykes was just one of Gluttony’s victims. The one we saw most of the time was just Gluttony shapechanged to look like her.

  • Sanjay Merchant

    Also, Sloth be all: “I can’t be bothered to manifest my own shape, so Imma use this lady since she’s right here and all.”

  • rainycity1

    NOT who I was expecting!

  • Brother Nightmare

    Yep, not alive. Called it!

  • Dinglehopper

    I forget… who is Ms. Fairbairn?

    • Emily

      She’s from Chapter 2 (first appearance here: http://www.widdershinscomic.com/wdshn/april-11th-2012/ ). She arranged for Mal and Wolfe to work with Ben, then proceeded to use them for her own ends. She was going to feed them to Sloth, but it ended up taking her instead – hence her current state.

  • MoeLane

    Ah, so this is not a *rescue*.

  • Jordan Hiller

    NOPE!!! NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE!

  • Did I ever tell you how I got these scars?

  • Sanjay Merchant

    Just occurred to me: there’s something interesting in the fact that, with the others, there’s been some kind of mob, crowd, or group the Deadly was obviously feeding off of: the riotous mob outisde the prison, the theatregoers, the people begging for scraps of food, and the student body and faculty of the University. But Sloth? Sloth makes you feel all alone in the night; like there’s no point because nothing can reach you and you can’t reach anything. All of the people pinging on their map as being under Sloth’s sway, they’re each so very alone right now.

    • a_flemish_dude

      most are probably sleeping by now though

      out of curiousity I went back to check the map we got and cross-referenced it to the widdershins map
      first thought: “of course sloth hasn’t moved from the lamplight factory”
      second though= “oh crap, that’s smack dab in the middle of a residential area”

  • a_flemish_dude

    idea: are the sins getting stronger the less of them there are?

    after all severall of them counter-act each other

    • Sanjay Merchant

      Not really sure how, though. I mean, take Wrath and Sloth: if you have Wrath alone, you might do something about it and end up less wrathful. If you have both Wrath and Sloth, your anger just sort of festers and simmers, becoming resentment.

      • Doldrum

        But wouldn’t Wrath immediately find something else to target? I don’t think the sins (or spirits in general) really work like human emotions in that they don’t fade like how you are describing- they are after all the manifestation of one emotion, so if Wrath became less wrathful, it would just… cease to exist, i guess. And resentment is, in a way, preferable to the angry-mob-burn-your-house-down brand of anger that Wrath seems to represent.

        • Sanjay Merchant

          You’ve got a point that the spirit of Wrath would just retarget (as, very likely, a wrathful person would), but still, the point is that the resentment produced by mingling with Sloth is all the more pernicious for being both more difficult to spot and for likely bleeding out into other parts of the person’s life. Wrath alone would give you drive and focus to stay on target: with Sloth you’re no less focused, but you instead take out your anger on anyone with arms reach because you’re not going to take the effort to act properly on your anger. Or something, I dunno what I was going for. Point is, they’re not as mutually exclusive as you might think.

      • a_flemish_dude

        yeah, but long term resentment is much better for the victim then just lashing out

        also I was purely speaking about the strength for the sin rather then the effect of the person

        for example dealing with a very annoying costumer and you want to hit them but don’t because you’ll lose their patronage
        that’s wrath being countered by greed, if that person was purely under the influence of wrath then he’d just deck the costumer and damn the consequences

        if my idea is true then we’re lucky that sloth was one of the last ones because sloth counters nearly everything, sloth OP, please nerf

    • non_canon

      Normally I would side with those saying no, but my mind keeps going back to Lust. It’s been working on this plan for a long while, and watched our group go off with a smile. And yet, It’s done nothing to step in and help as the sins keep getting bound one after another. Which makes me think that’s also part of the plan, and I keep waiting for that particular shoe to drop.

  • JWLM

    For such a lazy spirit, Sloth sure seems to have built a lot of avatars.

    • non_canon

      It’s great at delegation so it doesn’t have to do anything for itself.

  • Emily

    “Stay back, Benji, I’ve got this!” *aims a shaking arm*

    Sure, Vee. Sure you do.

  • SjSmith

    Haunted by my Psycho Ex-Boss. If that isn’t a Horror Movie/Play in Future Widdershins I will be Greatly Disappointed

    • Ocean Burning.

      I can relate.

  • Deepbluediver

    How are you actually suppose to pronounce her name? Because all this time I’ve been saying it in my mind like it rhymes with “Care-bear”.

  • threadweaver

    “How dare you let me do this to myself!” The slothful woman said.

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