Lore Ipsum: The Witch of Rathdowney

Hello! Today’s card tells the odd tale of a milk thief.

As always, this myth was recently recounted in vlog form by Dael Kingsmill, which i highly recommend you watch before you proceed to the cards. I won’t be covering the whole myth in detail, only the aspects my cards drew from, and she tells it far better than i ever could.

 

One night, an Irish priest is roused from his sleep to give the last rites to someone who had just passed. After doing so, as he’s returning home, the horse he’s riding becomes spooked by something in the distance. The priest covers the horse’s eyes to spur him on, but eventually also spots what the horse was seeing: a disembodied pair of legs in trousers, running in his direction.

He attempts to parley with this ghostly thing, but it just writhes and continues running, so he commands it to stop with his godly authority. The legs fall down, and begin melting away into what appears to be milk. The legs then reveal themselves to be an old woman who the priest recognizes as a local, long-believed to be a witch that stole milk from the village cows. She speaks to him in distress, begging him to give her her last rites, before she perishes and is sent to hell. Priest just walks on.

Later on, as the story is relayed to the villagers, they drag what remains of the perished witch into her house and set it on fire. Inside the house was the witch’s daughter, however, who managed to make a narrow escape, in what is clearly a sequel hook (there is no sequel.)

 

witch-of-rathdowney

I took some liberties with the cards. The first state shows the witch draining the creatures (read: cows) it comes across, and growing stronger as she does so. When she would die, however, she instead becomes a [trouser] wraith, slowly melting away [into the milk she drained].

The convoluted writing on the first half’s transform trigger is meant to prevent shenanigans that could happen if the Witch gained a “leave the battlefield” trigger while it already had a transform trigger on the stack, which would make it transform twice (or more). It also couldn’t transform *on* leaving, instead of on a leave trigger, because that would make it lose its previous +1/+1 counters and render the second half much weaker.

Until next time!

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