Baba sits waiting in front of her house on chicken legs, hands out reached, beseeching travellers to come and help make this year's All Saints Day and Halloween a real success.
Everyone gathers, expectant inside the Cave of the Enchantress.
The Enchantress comes and announces that we have to go to the House of Baba Yaga and help prepare for Halloween and All Saint's Day. She says that to reach the House of Baba Yaga we will have to pass through the Mountains of Myrrh, which the writer of the Song of Solomon (1V6) said he wanted to retreat to.
The Enchantress provides each person with a small bag. Each bag contains spectacles, a candlestick, a tiny anchor, a compass, a medallion with the imprint of the Unicorn and a set of wings. However, the bag also contains something that has been chosen specifically for the recipient. It also contains a map showing where the Gypsies are currently camped
This bag is very important. Should you become separated from the group these things will become essential. You may choose to wear the spectacles for they are purported to have fairy like qualities which reveal wonders to those who wear them.
The Enchantress also gives you a doll. (Find a doll or make one) Her final words are to use the things we have in our bags and that if we should lose our way, or be in need of help, all we have to do is ask the doll what to do. She says that the doll will assist, that we must keep her with us at all times, that we must not tell anyone we meet about her and that we must feed her when she is hungry and give her drinks if she is thirsty. She tells us that we must travel by donkey and that it will take many days before we reach the house of Baba Yaga
You greet your doll and introduce yourself and when you look up again everyone has gone.
What is it with everyone rushing off like this? The doll says that you have to go through the woods. She assures you that she will know how to get there. Having read all your fairy stories you realise that going to Baba Yaga's could prove interesting.
Baba Yaga is the fearsome creature, the crooked woman whose nose is hooked like a bird of prey. Her name means 'to know, to see, to forsee' and she is the seer associated with the moon crescent. The Baba Yaga has the power to transform herself into a myriad of shapes, often a toad, sometimes a hedgehog, frequently a bird. The Baba Yaga is often depicted as an evil old hag who eats humans, especially children, but she is known by many to be a wise, prophetic old woman. In appearance she is tall, bony legged, pointy headed and has dishevelled hair.
Worse the doll informs you that the hut she lives in has a fence around it made of human bones and topped with human skulls and eyes intact. The gate is fastened with human legs and arms instead of bolts and a mouth with sharp teeth serves as the lock.
According to the doll, who seems to be a font of information, one person who lived to tell the story said that "she commands the sun and it obeys her, she changes the stars in their course, she causes clouds to form in the air and makes it possible to walk on them and travel the country. She can turn herself into a young woman and then, in a twinkling of an eye turn herself back into an old woman. She has to the power to turn a man into an animal and she likes to move freely along roads and valleys and over mountains. Her business is to cast spells, gather herbs and stones, make pacts and agreements."
Bravely you head out from the Cave on the back of a donkey that insisted you ride upon her. (Make sure to check with Donkey's Incorporated
to see that the donkey is registered).
The donkey tells you her name and talks to you about the coming journey. Within moments you find yourself within a heavily wooded forest. Gnarled branches spread their long arms across the path, whispering as you pass.
The words of the Enchantress ring in your ears and you touch your bag to make sure it is still with you. Everyone is quiet and contemplative and the hooves of the donkey seem to be beating a tune as you travel on the well worn path.
Suddenly the quiet is shattered. A group of hooded riders surround you. Chaos breaks out. Before you know it you are being whisked away by hooded riders who do not reveal their identity.
All you know is that there is purported to be a Gypsy Camp
in the vicinity and you hope you will find it. Maybe your doll can help you. One thing is certain! There will be hell to play if you don't arrive at Baba's house in time to make yourself useful as she prepares for the festival.
The Amazon Queen has arrived at Baba's to plan for All Soul's Night on November 2nd. It may be a month away but all hands will need to be on deck to make sure it is a success. Baba's Soul Hands, upon hearing this, appear to listen to what the Queen and Baba are planning.
Maybe if you can reach the Gypsy Camp you will be able to encourage the Gypsies to take you to the House of Baba Yaga.
Find a way to the Gypsy Camp and sit by the camp fire and tell the Gypsy Chief about your journey. It would be a good idea to prepare so that you can provide a song or dance or tarot reading for the Gypsies who are gathered there. If you need some costumes remember to check out Pandora's Wardrobe
for useful items.
The Gypsy Camp is on full alert. Travellers are coming on donkey back along the Silk Road, headed towards Baba Yaga's. The Gypsy Chief has suggested we ask the Hooded Riders to snatch the unsuspecting ones and bring them to the camp for an 'initiation' into the ways of the Romanyi.