Do you smell smoke? I do. That smell is from the burning torches of a mob that recently had a witch burning. No it was not a real witch...there is no such thing, but these people believed they had found a witch. So they grabbed her, tied her up, and dragged her toward the town in the distance and burned her.
Oh, you want to hear the whole story? All right, I will tell you this story. Just sit back and hear the tale of how a town burned a witch.
It was a fairly nice spring day, not too cold, in fact is was almost just right. The fruit trees were in full bloom...the birds were busy making nest, and the sun was hanging on the down slope of its journey through the sky before it set for the evening. Everything seemed fine...just your average day in the Kingdom of EVE.
Without warning, these men grabbed a woman, tied her up, and dragged her toward the town in the distance.
As they approached the town a crowd begin to gather about them. A fairly good size crowd at that. They were curious as to why these men tied up a woman and were taking her into town. One of the men, the one that seemed to be in charge, told the people, "We have caught a witch"!
With those words the mob of people lurched forward and begin spitting, and hitting, and throwing things at her. Some grabbed her garments and tore at them. As to expose her flesh so that they could scratch her and hit here about the arms, and back - to better see the cuts and bruises they inflicted.
They grabbed and yanked at her hair...tearing handfuls out. The woman they accused of being a witch screamed in pain. They beat her harder. They yelled and spewed forth all manner of profanities at her. The woman tried to speak...but the mob became more unruly. They tied a piece of cloth around her head and over her mouth to silence her, or else she might cast a spell on them. Then the men took the woman to the town square. Tied her to a pole on top a small wooden platform. Men nearby fetched bundles of sticks and hastily piled them about and around the platform. The woman was shaking and terrified...what had she done that she would deserve such a punishment. She had done nothing. Someone accused her of being a witch...and that is that.
The leader of the men, that had grabbed the woman, stood in front of the small platform holding up a burning torch. He pointed at her and yelled to the crowd, "This vile creature is a witch. I heard her speak to someone, and suddenly the person she spoke to started getting angry and violent! The person began hitting things uncontrollably, cursing, and spewing forth all manner of distasteful things!"
Someone in the crowd yelled, "Burn her - she's a witch!"
"Yes,..." spoke the man again, "...for only a witch could do what she did".
The women that was tied to the pole shook her head, tears flowed down her face, and she tried to speak, but the cloth tied about her face would not allow her words to be heard over the yelling and screaming of the crowd.
Someone in the crowd spoke up, "But how do you know that means she's a witch?"
The man with the torch stepped forward, "Because, look at what she caused this man to do, she made him go mad!".
"How did she make him go mad?" Asked the same man from the crowd.
"Well, they were playing the shell game. The woman had a table out. On it were three cups turned upside down. The object of the game was for the man to find the cup among the three that hid a pea."
"Well the man chose the wrong cup. She used witchcraft to trick the man! She stole his money then! There was no way for him to win!"
"That game is played all over this town, and many others, in fact you can play that game right over there in that tavern. Nobody can win that game. Only idiots and fools play it. So how does that make her a witch, I ask again." said the man in the crowd.
The people fell silent for a bit.
The leader of the men gave a disgusted look to the man that questioned him. Then walked before the crowd, glaring at them. "She spoke to him...it drove him mad. She cursed him with a spell. Clearly she is in league with the devil...for only a witch could do such a thing!" The man stopped. "If only you could have heard the tormented soul of the man that had been cheated out of his money. He was in anguish! Even his wife could not calm him down. And it is because that witch, with her vile tongue of the devil, spoke to him and drove him mad! Just her voice alone beguiled him...made him play her game...the man was not of his right mind. He had no choice! She is a witch...and we know the law..witches must burn!!!" He thrust his fist and the hand holding the torch skyward. "BURN!"
The man in the crowd stepped forward and faced the angry mob.
"First, there is no such law. In fact we have few laws here. This is the Kingdom of EVE. The great Lords of CCP, who rule over EVE have set no such law in place. So how can we burn this person for being a witch?"
"I am a spokesman for the people! I am Ripard Teg, I am a CSM! I represent the people. My word is good enough. And my word is - this is a witch! She spoke to this man, took his money, and the man lost his mind...clearly she used a spell to torment him and torture him - why else would he start yelling and screaming all manner of foul distasteful things?"
"Burn her! Burn the witch!" Yelled the crowd.
"Hold on, are you all crazy, what is with you people?" He looked at the faces of the people in the crowd. "Look at what you are doing. Many people here have played that game, what is the difference between what she did and any number of others have done in this town? Are they witches, too?"
A man on a bold steed entered the town square. He jumped from the horse and raced to the CSM, handing him a piece of paper. Ripard Teg took the paper and read it. After a moment he held up the paper. "Word has spread among the other CSM and the great Lords of EVE - CCP. They have received my message that I sent to them explaining what happened. They agree, this woman is a witch!"
The man with the torch pushed the man back into the crowd, "Shut up! You know not of what you speak. CCP has spoken! Guards, if he says another word, remove him from the town!"
The man with the torch walked toward the platform. "This creature...this detestable vile creature isn't even human, she used her witchcraft and tormented that mans poor soul deliberately. It's the way of the wicked to do such heinous things. She found pleasure in it. Only a witch could have done such a thing!"
The crowd yelled, 'Burn her! Burn her!"
The man from the crowd pushed his way past the guard. "Wait, listen to me...this is wrong, this woman....yes she tricked a man - but what is her crime? This game is played all over the place. What is different now? Because a man is heard yelling and screaming - because he lost a game you cannot win - he has been driven mad, by a...a witch? That happens all the time here. People get angry because they lost a game of cards, or the wheel on the cart fell off, or a fox killed one of their chickens. People get angry and yell. Listen to all of you...you're yelling and angry now. Does it make that man a witch?" He pointed to Ripard Teg.
"Guards! Take this man away! He has become beguiled just being in the presents of this witch! Listen to how he speaks. She has worked her witchcraft on him, as well! Take him away!" The guards grabbed the man and the people began cursing him, and calling him names, as he was drug away.
"She is not a witch!" Yelled the man at the crowd.
A guard hit the man on the head knocking him out, then they proceeded to drag him away.
Ripard Teg paced in front of the mob. "See how powerful she is! She must be destroyed! We must burn her!" He stepped closer to the platform and lowered the torch to the bundles of sticks piled about it.
"WAIT! WAIT!" yelled the man who had been cursed by the witch - the supposed victim. The mob parted and he ran past them to face the CSM of the people. "Why are you doing this?!" he asked him.
Ripard Teg, with hatred on his face, looked at the man, "She cursed you man. She tortured your soul, tormented it...took your money. We heard your lamentations. Only a witch could do that!"
"No,...that is not what happened."
"Yes it is!" Demanded Ripard Teg. He stood in front of the man and looked at the crowd and waved the torch in the air, then pointed at the woman. "She is a vile hideous monster that does the devils work! She used evil sorcery, to trick this man, stole his money, and made him go mad! I saw it, these other men saw it. His wife saw it! She is a witch, and only a witch could do that!"
"That's not what happened!" Said the man as he pushed past Ripard Teg to face the crowd. "Listen to me. That is not what happened. Yes, I played her game, yes I lost money, and yes I yelled and cursed and spewed forth all manner of foul hateful things...but not on account of what she did to me. No! It was because I was tired and upset that I could be so stupid as to gamble away my last farthing. I thought I could win and double my money...I knew I probably wouldn't win because it is a fools game of chance...but I played anyways. It's my fault. I was stupid."
"Lies! He doesn't know what he says! The witches curse has truly beguiled him - even now!"
"No! No! That is not true!"
"Shut up! Speak no more of this. She tricked and beguiled you, and used her witchcraft to do it...it's the devils work! Take this man away...and never let him speak of this again! She has twisted this mans mind to the point that he is under her spell - he must be taken away and cleansed of this witches spell."
"But no! It's not her fault...it's mine I was stupid and foolish!" The man screamed as two men dragged him away. "Don't do this!"
"Quit man, we know what she did...she is a witch and she will burn!"
The mob moved forward screaming and throwing all manner of foul rotten things at her. "Burn her!", they screamed! "She's a witch! BURN HER!!!"
With the gleam of the torch in his eyes, Ripard tossed it onto the bundle of sticks. "Burn you wicked vile creature from hell. You filthy scum. Your kind will rot in the bowls of the devil himself! Burn!"
The bundles burst into flames, fueled by the pitch and the hatred of the mob. The women struggled to escape her bonds, but it was to no avail. Soon the flames engulfed her and the fire grew larger. A column of dark, rancid smoke rose above her piercing the pink and red hues of the sky, as the sun began to set on the distant horizon.
The mob continued to curse and scream at the burning corpse. Ripard Teg then turned to the seething crowd of people before him, a smile across his face. He held up his hands to quite them. The mob fell silent.
"We shall make a great sign and post it on main road leading to town. On it will be written the words: Welcome to Jita - here we burn witches!"