Torch-wielding mob

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The Torch-wielding mob is an ancient ritualistic form of dance first developed in Europe several centuries before the Romans. Performed mainly by the peasant class, the ritual is used primarily in times of strife, to reduce stress and to bring down the wrath of the gods upon the heads of those who break the tranquility of the village. The dance is performed in times of famine, during witch-hunts, and when that crazy old professor up the road a ways creates an abomination unto the heavens. It is an important part of the culture of many villages in Europe to this day.

How to make your own Torch-wielding mob:[edit]

Before creating a torch-wielding mob, it is vital to stretch. Failure to stretch carefully before a dance involving such strenuous physical activity can result in sprained muscles, especially in the arm holding the pitchfork and in the legs and feet. After you've stretched, you can move on to starting the dance itself.

First, you'll need a cause to rally around. Torch-wielding mobs are always formed to invoke the displeasure of the gods, and so you can't just do it whenever your harvest isn't as great as you thought. You'll have to find someone in the village who stands out in some way. Pick someone who is generally unpopular with the villagers. Obtain or create evidence that they are responsible for many of the recent misfortunes of the village.

Then, stand on a slightly elevated platform and ring the bell in the Town Center. All of your fellow peasants will come runnning, armed with pitchforks. In a charismatic manner, and preferably in Ye Olde Englishe, describe to them the crimes that your target has comitted. They will then begin the Chant of Agreement, started off by some guy in the back yelling "burn the witch", or "kill the beast", or some such.


Then all there is left to do is play dramatic music, hand out torches, and dance over to find the victim, who will invariably flee despite their probable ability to kick the crap out of yourself and your fellow villagers. This is their role in the dance, the prestigious hunted one, who must choose the route the dance will take. They can either decide to dance the dance of the windmill, the dance of the woods, or the dance of the stake. On extremely rare occasions, an outsider other than the hunted one but familiar with the dance may make the signal for the dance of the outsider, by leaping in front of the mob, waving his arms, and making an impassioned speech about the villager's prejudice, and pointing out that they themselves "are the monsters here".

The dance climaxes with the burning, exile, or leaping-off-a-cliff of the hunted one, which symbolically appeases the gods. It is then tradition for somebody to go "what have we DONE?!" and for everybody to see the error of their ways, and go back to farming.