The doors to the Emerald Witch's tower were open. True to its mistress's name, the tower clung to a verdant decor, all viridian glass and chartreuse marble that fitted together so seamlessly that it could only have been crafted by sorcery. The intricate carvings of beasts and flowers that scrolled along every inch of the walls seemed to flicker and shift subtly in the light of the great central sconce that illuminated the antechamber; it was hard to say whether it was a trick of the dim witchlight or if it might in fact be some sort of enchantment. It was in this chamber that the guests of the Witch stood waiting. They had trickled in by ones and twos over the past three days. The Witch herself had not yet emerged from the upper floors. Instead, her guests found themselves presented with food and bedding by invisible servants, and a disembodied voice drifted in echoing whispers through the chamber: You must wait a little longer. Two of their number chose not to wait. The second day had brought more of the same for those who remained. Their bedding was made fresh, hot food was served, and so they cooled their heels in the antechamber at their hostess's pleasure. Any new arrivals quickly caught on to the circumstances, or at least accepted the whispered instructions. Wait just a little longer, the voice coaxed them, soft and shadowy like spider's silk. Some simply showed themselves the way out, braving once more the forest's perils rather than linger. On the third and final day- this very day- one last guest staggered across the threshold, and finally, there came a new message to those who had chosen the path of patience. It seemed that they were to be rewarded at last. I will come down to you now, the Witch's words caressed their ears. All are here. All shall be made known to you... Why I have called you, and how you shall be repaid... From above, the sounds of grinding metal drowned these sweet promises out, accompanied by a great shudder that ran through the core of the tower and left the floor trembling beneath their gathered feet. The Emerald Witch was descending upon them. There was no turning back.