After the Events of the Wardstone Battle – Adam Pfaucht

When I lost my master at the battle of wardstone, everything changed. My name is Tom ward and for the past twenty years I have been fighting the dark. I no longer fight the dark in the way my master taught me… instead I now fight the dark with the dark. With the loss of John Gregory also came the loss of my soul. After the battle, I took a slow long route back to Chipenden and contemplated the events of my life. Though I had just won a major battle against the dark the world seemed bleaker than it ever had been before. I decided that day I would eradicate the dark on my own terms. Choosing to abandon the teachings of my master to live in the light, I left chipenden to pursue a new path. With my staff, my blades, and my silver chain in hand I left Chippenden deciding to leave the tinderbox my father had left me when he died, As if I knew I was leaving that side of me for good.

My first encounter with the dark after I left was with a witch who went by the name Malko. Right outside Caster I met this elderly lady looking for a means to cross the river. With all of my years as a spooks apprentice, I could tell something was off. As soon as I approached her my skin tingled and everything got very cold, signs that I was dealing with something of the dark. Seeing my opportunity I struck up a conversation with her against my better judgment. I boldy said to her, “I’ll carry you across the river if you agree to teach me blood magic”. Sure that a battle would soon arise at the exposing of this witch, I readied my staff as I awaited her answer. However without so much as a hesitation at my outing of her profession she asked, “why does a spook seek the help of a witch?” in a calm tone. I replied with unease, “I seek to use magic against magic, fight fire with fire.” She again calmly questioned me, “you wish for me to teach you how to kill my own kind?”. I spent a bit explaining the past years of my training as a spooks apprentice and told her I could be of great use against her enemies if she agreed to train me. A long time passed before she replied with a deal of her own,” I will agree to train you for the price of a cup of your blood every first of the month”. It was my turn to hesitate but after a brief moment I decided in favor of it and slit my hand before the cup she now held out.

I trained with malko for two years, justifying my acts of violence only by killing those who deserved it. I killed countless creatures of the dark, some who were enemies of malko, some who I just came across. Not only did I kill the dark, I killed humans too. Murderers and rapists as well as inquistors and witch finders were rampant throughout caster. No one who tasted my blade did not deserve it. I used the blood and bones from my victims to cast incantations that made my body stronger and my soul darker. Claws started to sprout from my finger nails, my mouth became a full set of sharp canines, my eyesight became ten fold what a humans  is, my hearing and sense of smell soon followed. I could no longer use my silver chain as the silver burned my hands wherever I touched it. My rowan  staff now drained my power everytime I grasped the hilt and made it useless for my craft. I cast them both away and focused on my blade training, becoming a master in dealing sharp death. I was turning into a monster and I enjoyed it, I enjoyed taking the lives of those that caused pain and misery, human and creature alike. During the second year of training with malko on a blood moon, I did my final incantation with her. She had said with a shaky voice unbefitting of her, “Tom I’ve taught you all I know and you have became very capable of dealing with the dark, you no longer need me”. I could not tell what would make her decide to give up her own personal bloodbag and admit a truth such as this but decided my time with Malko was done anyways. That same night as the blood moon rose highest in the sky I killed malko. As soon let her guard down and turned her back to me, I unexpectedly thrust my dagger through her heart. The witch’s heart still beat when it came out of her chest with the dagger still attached. With her watching me wide eyed, I ate her heart raw in front of her. As I went through her belongings to learn anything she may have hidden I found a journal. The journals last entry was a detailed description of Malko scrying that she would die on the night of the blood moon. That must’ve been why she was so determined to get away from me, it was too late for her. It was too late for any member of the dark to escape me.

After I left malkos hut, I decided it was time to set to work on eradicating the world’s evil starting with Pendle. I killed every witch and every witch family member I came across. In one fortnight I wiped out half the mouldheel clan and the entire Deane clan. However as I approached the first of the malkin family’s estates, a familiar figure stood in my way. “Hello Tom, it’s been a long time hasn’t it my child?” Grimalkin said from beneath a tree marked with her signature scissors. A million things were running through my head but at the forefront of my mind I blurted out the question I couldn’t hold back, “how could you let John die? He was fighting for you, for us… he died protecting your worthless life. Here you stand alive as an insult to his memory”. Grimalkin looked almost melancholy for a brief moment and then turned back to her resting grimace and replied, “you know I won’t let you pass Tom, turn back now and I won’t kill you” With a steely resolve. I laughed bitterly and said, “As if I’ll give you the chance” and charged at her with all my newfound speed and my blade drawn ready to pierce her heart. I used my ability to slow time as she whipped her blade towards my head with her left hand when I was in arms reach. Despite time slowing she managed to knock my blade out of my hand with a heavy downward strike. She had calculated my move before I slowed time and moved her right hand to break my grip on my other sword hand. Unbeknownst to her, I had picked up some new tricks in my years away and cast a dread on myself that stunned her just long enough to swipe my clawed hand across her throat and the battle ended as soon as it began. Out of her mouth she bloodily gurgled, “Thank you for a fitting end. This wasn’t how it was meant to be but it’s fitting I should die by your hand. The one that got away.” and with those final words I ripped out her heart and consumed it. I wasn’t the least bit remorseful, she stood by and let my master die. Not to mention the tons of innocents she stood by and watched and even helped in killing all those years. Grimalkin was just as much of a scourge as the rest of them no matter her role in taking out the fiend.

With nothing standing in my way, I murdered the rest of the witches that claimed Pendle hill. Within the next week all the witches that had lived there had been killed or fled. Malko had taught me how to hide myself from the dark so the ones who fled must have been warned and I was determined to find out who. I took the thumb bones from those I had killed and cast them. My casting led me to a long lost home, chipenden. The boggart howled its warning at me as soon as I took my first step onto the hill of the chipnden house, as it sadly no longer recognized me. I had to kill the pitiful creature as it rushed me in its beastly form with eyes blazing fury. All those years as the ginger cat that protected me and my master from the threats towards the chipenden house were ended in one quick slice. With a heavy heart I trudged forward up the hill towards the house to see a girl sitting in the western garden dressed in all black wearing pointy shoes. “It’s been a long time, ain’t it Tom?,” She said sheepishly. I stared at her stunned for a few moments, this was what the casting had told me but I could hardly believe my eyes regardless. When I found my tongue I set my jaw and I asked her through my teeth simply, “where’s lukrasta?”. To which she replied quietly, “I killed him. I took his life as soon as you swayed from your destiny”. In an outrage I yelled at her, “I’m following my destiny. The path set upon by your betrayal and the death of the greatest man I ever knew.” Alice looked away and said, “please Tom come back to the light. You ain’t that daft are you? I never stopped loving you an I’m sorry things happened the way they did”. I drew my sword with tears streaming down my face and told her, “neither did I Alice, that is why I must do this” and started on my walk towards her. She produced a single item from the dress she was wearing. A very small elaborately crafted jar. “You can’t hurt me Tom, and even if you could, you wouldn’t”, she says as she smashes the jar, the only thing protecting her against me. I yelled at her, “don’t test me Alice, Ive killed the greatest witches of our era, I will not hesitate to kill you now. I will not fail where John did”. And she asked me, “is this what old gregory would’ve wanted? Is this what you want?” I raised my blade to her neck with only the slightest of falters but she caught the waver. She saw right through me and moved the blade from her neck without experiencing any resistance from me and slowly gently placed her lips on mine. As our lips entwined for the last time I felt her blade pierce my heart and the last words I heard as I succumbed to the darkness were, “I love you Tom, I’ll join you soon my love”

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