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In the Witch's Tent

Synopsis

“In the Witch's Tent” is a short linking story between “Adept's Gambit” and “Stardock” that occurs weeks before “Stardock” in the town of Illik-Ving and sets up the adventure that is coming up. In it, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser consult a witch before setting out on their grand enterprise. However, as the witch is revealing the insights from her trance, they are attacked from outside of her tent. In the latter half of the story, is an entertaining account of how the duo turn their tactical disadvantage into an advantage as they escape their attackers.

Despite the brevity of the story, it not only contains an enjoyable combat scene but fabulously inventive descriptions of the witch:

The hag bent over the brazier. Its upward-seeking gray fumes interwove with strands of her downward-dangling, tangled black hair. Its glow showed her face to be as dark, jagged-featured, and dirty as the new-dug root-clump of a blackapple tree. A half century of brazier heat and smoke had cured it as black, crinkly, and hard as Mingol bacon.

Through her splayed nostrils and slack mouth, which showed a few brown teeth like old tree stumps irregularly fencing the gray field of her tongue, she garglingly inhaled and bubblingly expelled the fumes.

Such of them as escaped her greedy lungs tortuously found their way to the tent’s saggy roof . . .

The gray tip of her tongue traveled like a large maggot around her lips.

Nehwon Gazetteer

Cities

  • Illik-Ving is the 8th and smallest of the Eight Cities.
  • Ilthmar.

Geography

  • Illik-Ving is near the best pass in the Trollstep Mountains.
  • The Trollstep Mountains are between the Land of the Eight Cities and the plateau of the Cold Waste.

Guilds

  • Sorcerers' Guild.

People

  • Gnarfi does not like eating bear-meat.

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