Wednesday, May 14, 2014


"During the Hundred Years' War, when God and His saints slept, there were many towns cleared by plague and recruitment, amongst these the town of Chatouye, which lay in the dead land between France and Flanders. By the time of Guillaume Cornîche, foremost witch-finder of his age, Chatouye was well-known to be mainly occupied by women of all ages and some few men, mostly very old or very young, and that since their lands were fallow and had been burnt many times over, it was not immediately apparent how they managed to sustain themselves. Yet every army which had marched through the area during the previous four decades had somehow failed to loot, occupy or otherwise molest Chatouye, and the town itself remained sound, its occupants well-fed."

"When Cornîche made inquiries, he uncovered rumours that Chatouye was home to a notorious and remarkable compliment of witches, a coven of covens whose roots went back far further than most historical record, perhaps even before the Romans founded Lutece, which eventually became Paris."

"Chief amongst these at the time was a woman named Sépultrice Filette-du-Raum, a noted voulteuse or doll-maker, who claimed descent from fallen angels. Described as “seemingly young and fresh, small and well-made, with odd eyes of two different colours and an exceeedingly wicked smile,” she was of unknown age and origins, but was said to have settled in Chatouye sometime before the Great Death began. At her behest, the demoiselles of Chatouye met at the intersection of two local plague-pits, a graveyard crossroads, to distil a sure and certain poison from mushrooms bred out of rotting flesh which they then sold to outsiders, especially rich or nobly-born widows-to-be.

"During these sessions, the Red Girl of Chatouye—as she was sometimes called—would wear a cloak made from uncured hides and covered in needles she had used either to torment wax images until those they represented died, or kill unwanted babies she midwived by slipping them through the fontanelles of the children in question. She would also read from a heretical book called the Testament of Carnamagos, thus allying herself with both the Carnean mystery cult which sprang up under Emperor Elegabalus, its originators, and the notorious Red Sisterhood of Coptic Alexandria, who preserved it by guile into Christian times. Transcribed while in a trance in ink brewed from her own blood, this text allowed Filette-du-Raum to open the doors those cults had been designed to keep closed, calling up “Those Outside, Those Others, the Knockers and Intruders, who poison and degrade all they touch,” who the pre-Etruscan Goddess Carna, as demarcator of sacred spaces, had previously struggled to keep out, banished beyond “the walls around the world.” 

"After the Red Girl had been taken up, tortured and burned alive by Cornîche and his helpers, the town Chatouye was likewise cleansed with fire and salt: it became a grave folded inside two graves, a threefold plague-pit. Yet some survivors managed the flee nonetheless, and prospered: les Chatouyennes turned up again and again under different yet easily-decoded names in Belgium, Germany, England, the United States, Canada, even parts of Asia and Africa—became Chadwents, Chatwins, Shadwins, Shotwands, Schatzvendes, Schendewaerts, and so on. Everywhere they remained doll-makers, witches who formed matrilineal covens in rural areas from which to worship their evil angels and dead gods undisturbed, all-but-impossible to entirely root out. For the Red Girl's blood writes our fate, as their saying goes; we shall not entirely die from this world, so the covenant with our progenitor Raum Goetim states, not so long as one of us lives on to remember, and set the book of our power down afresh."

"As for Cornîche, his relatives also survived, becoming monster-hunters in their turn, often pursuing the same line of witchery he had uncovered. But he himself died after ill-advisedly taking the Testament into his library, possessed by a demonic impulse which led him to slaughter first his own wife and children, then himself, after finally burning the ill-fated tome. He who lived a witch-hunter was thus reckoned a warlock, his memory defamed and shunned, and the Red Girl had her revenge."
Gemma Files, The Red Girl Of Chatouye
Written Exclusively For an Illustro Obscurum Collaboration

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