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Truth Behind The Salem Witch Trial is the third and final tie-in story of The Steampunk Adventures of Sorcerer's Apprentices.

In 1688, an otherworldly forces caused mass hysteria in Massachusetts, resulting the events known as Salem Witch Trial, the most traumatic event in mankind's history. It was believed that sorcerers whom performed witchcraft, demonic magic, has been responsible for such event. However, the mastermind of the event was the third party whom had more insidious agenda.

The story was written by Ronan Walters, a former associate of the physician William Griggs and his snow fairy friend Sam Twoflower whom had forseen how an Eldritch Being controlled the whole events, and what they learned are something more than what they bargained for...

Walter’s Perspective

My name is Ronan Walters. By the time you discovered this note you will know that i already dead some time ago, or longer that that, as i wrote this after the incident that occured after the Salem Witch Trials. These are the hardest words I’ve ever written, but if you have relative or parents whom suffer by Salem Witch Trials or wanted to know the truth, you deserved to know this. The truth on what happened.

20 February, 1692

Darkness has fell upon Massachussets. Strange things began to happen in Salem: Abigail Williams, and her cousin Betty, behave strangely for an unknown reason. Reverent Deodat Lawson stated that the girls screamed, threw things about the room, uttered strange sounds, crawled under furniture, and contorted themselves into peculiar positions. It's not the first time this misfortune happened, as i heard similar symptomps occured on children’s of Goodwin family 3 years back in Boston. When i aid my friend Dr. Griggs examined Betty, she suddenly held my head, with her fingers digging into my face. And then i see things, horrible things. The vision was abstract, i cannot comprehend what i saw. But it's apparent that it was something that more than just possession.

I explained everything i knew to Lawson and Dr. Griggs about what i saw in the vision. They believe that witchcraft may the cause, but skeptical that it was possession. One of Parris’ slaves, Tituba, was then asked to bake a witch cake — rye mixed with the afflicted girls' urine— and feed the mixture to a dog. The theory was that if Abigail and Elizabeth were bewitched, the dog would exhibit similar symptoms and prove that witchcraft was indeed present and being practiced. And then one day, something horrific happened: One night, i saw Abigail in the woods, and i decided to follow her. But something won't let me closer nor reach her. That's when i saw them, monsters, creatures in the dark that surround her. And then, i saw it. Something in front of her was an entity looked so unreal and abstract that i can't comprehend what it was looked like. It's however, far more terrifying than the most hideous demons i ever saw, but i feels that even demons seemed afraid to it. And that thing was the same one that tortured that poor girl and Betty. I suddenly had strange feeling the longer i gaze upon that thing, and it made me had to forced myself to turn away and leave.

I tried to tell everyone about what i just saw, and told them what happened to Betty and Abigail were caused by something else. But everyone refuse to listen as they only believed that witchcraft was only forces that responsible for this misfortunes. Some of them even believe me to be crazy. So that's why i decided to keep quiet, but at the same time, tried my best to figure out what's going on. My only hope was some associate of mine that worked for CrossMages whom can help me to figure out the mystery before its too late, where one of them was Sam Twoflower.

February 25, 1692

Even with our best efforts, we can never save most of those whom wrongly executed by the trial. Everything that Puritans done to solve the mystery by their own proved futile or rather.... waste, as everything were worsened by townspeople and ministers’ impatience for demanding whom are responsible for their behavior by the end of this month.

Based on formal complaints from Joseph Hutchinson, Thomas Putnam, Edward Putnam and Thomas Preston, Magistrates John Hathorne and Jonathan Corwinissue warrants to arrest Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne and Tituba for afflicting Betty Parris, Abigail Williams, Ann Putnam Jr. and Elizabeth Hubbard. The witch trial has begun and spellcasters whom used demonic magic, witchcraft, used the opportunity to rid of those whom they disliked in spite of risk of being exposed.

March 1-March 7, 1692

Magistrates John Hathorne and Jonathan Corwin interrogate Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne and Tituba over the course of several days. Tituba confesses to afflicting and confirms Good and Osborne are her co-conspirators. I don’t know what or why Tituba did such odd confession, so i decided to visit her. She claimed that she did, tries to use witchcraft Abigail and Betty, but this doesn’t mean that she was responsible. She tries to use voodoo ritual on both of them, only to gained vision about horrible things. The very same vision that i had when i examined those poor girls. She apologized for not believing me prior to this infamous witch trials, but even if i forgave her, i can’t do anything to save her. She has used witchcraft for harming people. But thanks to her, one thing is clear: The abstract and otherworldly force whom influenced Abigail, the third party, and the entity that i saw with Abigail in the woods, was true mastermind behind this Trial. This Salem Witch Trial must be stopped at all costs, or else it would worsened tense and prejudice between humans and gifted people (sorcerers and maguses) to the point of bloodshed and massacre.

The progress of our secret investigation as well as other attempt to stop the Witch Trial, even with help of my show fairy friend whom was the best CrossMages investigator at that time was slow. We could try to use magic, but it would made us targeted by those damn Puritans who knew nothing better. And everyday, i only able to watch random people executed for witchcraft and eldritch being's machination that start it all, whether innocent or not as our efforts to stop the trial continues.

March 11, 1692- January, 1693

I heard Ann Putnam Jr. shows symptoms of affliction by witchcraft. Mercy Lewis, Mary Walcott and Mary Warren later alleged affliction as well. From everything that we have gone through, i have seen enough for what would happened had prejudice and fear manipulate us to turned against each other. The trial drove them mad, and it had to be stopped for good.

1700

Finally, through our tenacious efforts, we managed to put the end of this trial in spite of us still keep what actually happened to Betty and Abigail secret as we realized it would only worsened the already improved crisis and cause another hysteria. At that time, Abigail Faulkner, Sr. requests that the Massachusetts General Court reverse the attainder on her name. She eventually freed, but not wanted to involved with anything related with the trial anymore. However, her best friend, James Falkauner, held grudge against Abigail for her roles that perperates the infamous witch trial. I know that Falconer would track her down wherever she will be. But he wasn’t alone, as some of those whom lost their loved ones as results of Salem witch trials, would do the same thing. Some even put aside their differences with Falkauner and they managed to track her down, somewhere in Boston.

While deaths of innocent people during the trial was bad, i heard there are radical movements that showed up to challenge the newly formed, American branch of CrossMages. They are Order of Phylanthropy, some kind of fanatic and fundamentalistic cult which purpose is to eradicate those whom gifted with magic through violence and genocide. I know some of my friends were choose to stay and deal their threat on colony in Massachusetts as i and Sam track Abigail down to asked her what happened when the Trial began. I hope they all are okay.

1702

I and Sam managed to track them down, after barely lost their tracks several times. Along the way, we also heard that her cousin, Betty, also followed her to Boston. She has several steps far away from us or Falkauner at that point. We also heard from rumors that she lived her life as a prostitute and lived in a lower class house. But her live as prostitute doesn’t last long, as she may have marry someone.

At last, we managed to find them, a house on the outskirts of the town. But were were too late: Falkauner and his mobs also learned about it’s location, and now they rally upon that house, forcing us to move faster. As we did, we witnesses them set the house ablaze. Betty was lucky to be escaped: i saw her and a man, whom i presumed to be Abigail’s husband, ran together from that burned house. Betty was carrying a baby, and perhaps it was Abigail’s. We were believe that the poor girl was not survive as she never came out from that house. It could be due to either giving birth while she was too young (i etimated her age likely on her 15 at that day), or too afraid to do so as she likely would have been killed on sight.

However, that was when we realized whatever something terrifying that started the trial has warped her to the point being an inhuman. From the ashes of her home, Abigail rose and float on the air with darkness surrounded her. Octopus tentacles, with serpentine head one on each of their points, emerges from shapeless darkness that surrounds her body.

“What the hell is that!?”, one of people within the mob shouts in horror.

"That’s the Devil!”, Falkauner exclaimed. “We have to-AAAAAAHHHH!”

Two of her tentacles grab his leg, and on the air, they swiftly tore his body into two like a paper. What the abhorrent entity has done to her, or rather, what she has done, made me realized that i have become mad. One of the female that among the mob threw her a rock, but the darkness around her deflect it. In retaliation, Abigail grab her a leg with one of her tentacles, and the other goes to her skirt. The next thing that happened, she tore her spine off from her skirt. We already seen enough, and we ran.

Everything that i saw, from seeing Abigail met the otherworldy entity that started it all, and turned her into something inhuman, was too much. Since then, i always plagued by visions that made me relieved those horrible events. WHAT HAVE I DONE TO DESERVED THIS???!!!

Those visions disturbed me so much that they put me into mental institute. They can't do anything to undo everything that i saw and made me returned to my old self. Some said that i have become a lunatic, and the others said being cursed.

These are my last words. For those whom learned about this, either from Sam or my memoirs, i beg you, never let the same thing happened to you. Sam, you are the best and only friend that i ever had. It's a pleasure to work with you.

Farewell, everyone.

Sam’s Perspective

The end of my friend Ronan was tragic. Some said that he reduced into an insane lunatic due to witchcraft, but i know better: Reason how he turned into a madman plagued by nightmares for the rest of his life was due to him gazed upon an otherworldly being (an eldritch God perhaps) for too long. You see, only those whom gifted with ability to manipulate matter and reality with one's mind alone can grasp otherworldy entities' true form without become insane. Those whom lacked such gift cannot grasp that entity' true form, and if they do, they will have a half life, plagued by madness that immediately consumed them. I was amazed that he keep himself together these years long enough to uncover the truth behind Salem Witch Trials, as those whom gazed upon that otherworldly being should be reduced into madman on a whim. Whether it was due to his willpower or merely gazed on that thing for a brief of time was unclear.

But regardless, i truly sorry that i was not with him when he goes to gaze upon the entity that started Salem Witch Trials, and the Puritans whom, in certain point of few, betrayed him for their paranoia in that damn Trials....

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