Severed Town Serpent Witches: Custom Figure
My most recent custom piece was an absolute joy to create and both myself and the new owner thought she turned out pretty cool.
He gave me a fantastic back story to pull inspiration from, which always makes the task of bringing someone's vision to life much easier.
The story serves as the theme for his home haunt. Here is his tale (posted with permission):
"In the late 1800s, the town of Severed was in financial peril. The once booming mining town was suffering because of one man, Jonathan Miltz, the owner of the mine.
Miltz was a gambler and had lost most of his fortune, forcing him to put his floundering mine up for sale. A day after it was put on the market, twin sisters rode into town, bringing their traveling snake show with them. Apparently the show was very lucrative as they immediately bought the troubled mine, as well as the town theatre so they could set up their show in a permanent location.
The Manjula Sisters reopened the mine and began hiring all the men back who had lost their jobs. Everyone in the town was happy again.
But it was short lived.
Workers at the mine began disappearing and the sisters claimed they knew nothing of their whereabouts. The town's newspaper reporter, Jacob Wheeler, started to dig into the twin's past and what he found was shocking. It turned out the sisters had fled Salem during the witch trials and had come to Canada after being wanted for practicing witchcraft. This was all the townspeople of Severed needed to hear to start their own witch hunt.
The sisters were dragged from the mine where they were hiding and taken to the town square to be burned alive. As the flames rose around them, one of the sisters stood on the other's shoulders, and with her dying breath placed a curse on the town, turning all the women into Serpent Witches. These newly born witches of Severed hunted down the town's men. Once they had disposed of every last man, the curse was lifted.
Or was it?"
My job was to create a figure of one of the women from Severed after she had been afflicted with the curse and transformed into a Serpent Witch. With such a rich back story, I wanted to make sure I gave a nod to elements in the original tale and imagine the history of the woman I was to create. Here is my tale and some additional pictures.
I saw a woman who lived simply, spending her days tending to the small farmhouse she and her husband of 32 years called home. They had settled into a comforting routine: he would leave for work at the mine while she managed the household and plucked fresh vegetables from their modest garden to prepare a meal in time for her husband's return at the end of the day. The two of them would sit together at the table, eating a humble but hearty dinner, sharing details of their day.
But on this night when he returned home, the house was dark. Not a single lantern lit. The hearth was cold, and the stock pot as clean and empty as it had been that morning. Strange, he thought. Perhaps she had been stricken with the illness that was circulating through the town.
He looked to the bedroom and sighed. Poor dear. It was inevitable, he supposed, as the sickness seemed to seek out the women of the town, and he knew many of them visited each other throughout the day to talk or help with a chore while the men were at work.
After creating a modest plate of bread and dried meats, and mindfully hanging his dusty work clothes by the front door (she always chided him for bringing home half the mine on his clothing and dispersing it across her recently scrubbed floor, though she was never cross and ever teasing), he crept quietly into the bedroom.
The room was dark, but in the moonlight he could see the outline of her body beneath the covers. Poor dear, he thought once more, and slipped silently into bed. His last thought as he drifted off was how her fever must be terrible, for he could feel the heat radiating from her body without touching her, and the scent of her sour sweat was strong. Tomorrow he would fetch the doctor.
Some may think it was unlucky that he was such a sound sleeper. I believe it was a blessing. He never had to witness the transformation of his beloved, and see how her peach skin had turned grey. He didn't have to witness the vacant stare as she stood over him as he slept. And he was completely unaware of the glinting blade in the moonlight.
Some say that despite the curse, there was still a trace of the woman inside the witch. She gathered the head of her husband upon which she had gazed so fondly, and the hand she had held so many nights in front of the fire, placing them in the sack she used for collecting vegetables. Stopping only to wrap her shawl around her shoulders, she stumbled out into the night, following the call of some primal force, holding the remains out in front of her as she lurched through the woods to an unknown destination, as if to present them...or perhaps ask unseen witnesses why.