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[Phalla] Witch Trials - The village wins... or do they?
The settlement of Phalla has uncovered a holy relic. Needless to say, everyone was delighted at such a display of God’s favor. That is, until they noticed that it was imperfect. What should have been a bright glow was marred by malevolent red and black streaks covering a portion of its surface.
The minister wrote letters to colleagues, describing the imperfections. His colleagues wrote to others, who tracked down a bit of nearly-forgotten lore. The streaks were an indication of demon-spawn in the settlement. Specifically, the colors and shapes described seemed to indicate two different types of evil having taken root.
There were witches – mortals who had sold their souls to Satan in exchange for supernatural powers – and there were changelings – evil spirits who can take the form of mortals and live their lives. Fortunately, the lore assured them, both can be defeated using the same methods, and as the influence of the demonic forces lessens, the streaks should disappear and the relic should glow more and more brightly.
Upon discovering these evil influences, the thirteen families of Phalla naturally wanted to rid themselves of such things. To that end, they decided to select one person each night to subject to a trial by water. Should this trial show an evil heart, they would, of course, burn the demon-spawn at the stake. Being of fair mind, and convinced that God would not let them execute a holy citizen, they decided to allow each family one vote each night to choose who to try that evening.
However, the settlement was rife with accusations. Children stepped forward, bringing real and imagined sins of their elders to light, and the settlement felt they must try those accused each night as well. Zealots thought themselves touched by God and sought to take justice into their own hands. The witches began killing – first livestock, then humans. The changelings began killing as well. All was chaos.