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2016 Artwork Acolyte! Illustration Brother Archmalkwith

Sighing, you say: ‘Brother Archmalkwith, of course I had sugar in my tea.

Brother Archmalkwith mumbles to himself for a few seconds and strokes his beard ponderously. A sour look crosses his face and he says: ‘Ah, apprentice, I remember you. YOU were the one who thought that I had attempted to poison you! Though you said nothing, your eyes certainly made the accusation! A dreadful calumny!’

Hushed and scandalised whispers fill the hall. You blush as brightly as the altar candles and try to stutter out an apology: ‘B… But, you had all of those other poisons in your room. It was a mistake, a simple mistake. It… It wasn’t like there was a label on that jar.

Brother Archmalkwith’s eyes widen and you brace yourself for some angry shouting but, instead, he gasps and says: ‘No, you are wrong! My sugarbowl is clearly labelled and it is a bowl instead of a… Oh dear!

Oh dear?‘ You stutter nervously.

Acolyte, I fear that I owe you an apology. You were indeed correct. In error, I appear to have sweetened our tea with … well, I’m not quite certain.

Although you feel a smug sense of vindication, this isn’t quite enough for the doctors at the local poisons unit to work with. Worst of all, the British Pharmacopeia is notoriously hazy when it comes to the ancient and arcane poisons that were used by the wizards and mages of old.

Still, if you don’t feel like donating your body to medical science, you can always…..


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