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Witchfork has been acquired by an Undisclosed Multi­dimensional Conglomerate Company

We have some significant news to share with you today.

After careful consideration and negotiations with various ethereal entities, we are pleased to announce that Witchfork has been acquired by an undisclosed multidimensional conglomerate. This acquisition marks a new chapter in our journey, and we are excited about the opportunities it presents for our community of otherworldly writers and diviners.

We will continue to keep you informed about the future developments of Witchfork under its new ownership. In the meantime, we encourage you to explore and engage with the vast library of fascinating and deeply untrustworthy writing that our platform has to offer.

Once again, thank you for being a part of this extraordinary journey. Your clicks have been invaluable. Together, you have opened so many magical doors to realms before unseen.

May our creative endeavors continue to flourish in realms beyond.

The Witchfork Team


The Magick of Merch: How Band T-Shirts Conjure Fan Loyalty


Reed Fireleaf

March 28, 2024

Image by Grendel Grin
Image by Grendel Grin

It’s a glorious sunset on the third day of the annual Baldur’s Banishment Memorial Festival in Cleveland. As 100 gecs launches into their rip-roaring “Hollywood Baby,” a throng of attendees wander at the merch stands. Easily twice the size from last year’s festival, the tents offer any and everything merch related. After only a few minutes of trekking around, I found one with a line 100 people long. When I asked one of those people, a 19-year-old Tiefling named Kallista, she gave an incredulous look with her solid gold eyes, flashing her canines with a smirk. “The new PaladinWave tees, man. They got a Dancing Lights version this year.” Sure enough, at the end of the line one fan’s purchase set off a dazzling array of torchlights, orbiting around their gleaming, smiling face. The line oohs and aahs, their anticipation grows. Such is the spell of magick’d merch.

While merchandise has always been abundant at concerts and festivals, magick’d merch is paradoxically relatively new while having deep roots in magical history. Enchanted clothing is almost as old as magic itself. There is a long and storied history tracing the use and evolution of garb assisted battles for the past few hundred years, up until in the Civil War and the broad westward expansion of the United States. Due to the rise in artificing and industrialization in the last 1800s, enchanted clothing went the way of the horse drawn buggy and telegraphs. It wasn’t until the 1960s with the one-two punch of the British Invasion followed by the Summer of Love did it make magick’d clothing return in a different form. Despite a volume of efforts by music historians and researchers, no one can trace the first time a band shirt got enchanted.

“Personally, my money’s on either Keith Richards sneaking an Warlock’s Charm Scroll through customs or some poor mage got into the wrong acid at Woodstock,” said Nicolas Cooper, Professor of Music History at Miskatonic State University, in his office strewn with LPs and faded concert shirts. “What started as a one off here and there at random shows and clubs quickly became a cottage industry. At this point, and I can say this after years of research, the how becomes irrelevant. It’s here to stay.” Based on what researchers have found, after some rocky starts in the late 60s, magick’d shirts became ubiquitous as the 1970s came around. Someone with the appropriate training would take a shirt and stitch a rune or sigil into the lining. Done properly with the appropriate stitching, the magic gets diluted and absorbed throughout the material. Results were varied at first, but the effects soon became the stuff of concert legend. Some attendees reported gaining synesthesia during encores, others claimed they started floating after crowd surfing.

As time went on, skilled weavers and printers found a variety of ways to supplement their favorite band’s merchandise. Famous examples include unicorn hairs being slip stitched under the collars of Led Zeppelin’s first US tour shirts, as well as Rush having pseudodragon scale powder mixed in the ink of their A Farewell To Kings tour. Even GG Allin was rumored to have contacted the Red Wizards of Thay for a collaboration. It proved to be a boon to the old tradition of enchanters, at least to those still alive after years of being swept aside by the march of technological progress. Luckily enough, I managed to find one before heading to the festival.

After a lengthy correspondence culminating in myself taking a blood oath of secrecy, I was invited to the work shop of one of the more prolific printers currently working. Due to the pre-existing conditions of the aforementioned blood oath, I cannot mention any identifying pieces of information, including their name, race, alignment, number of limbs, location, or previous clients. What can be said and vouched for is the effect and craft that they put into each of their magick’d shirts.

“The one who taught me was the Half-Elf who raised me, they’d lived through the war by stitching Union uniforms back together with their own hair,” said the printer as we walked through their workshop. In a somewhat perverse amalgamation of industrial textile mill and a warlock’s stronghold, rolls of magic and regular fabric are stacked together next to screen printing stations, engraved with what I am told are safety runes. Different cauldrons of brew and ink bubble at a slow simmer, thermal thermometers gauging the temperatures in both Kelvin and Celsius. Sensing my question before I could ask, the printer chortled. “OSHA regulations. I was just as surprised as you are when the inspector came by. Right pain in the [limb descriptor] at the time, but I’m grateful for it now. Some of these materials can be an issue in the wrong hands.”

I nodded. They were referring to the recent uptick of bootleg magick’d merchandise. Whereas regular bootleg merch is frowned upon yet tolerated, after the tragic incident at Coachella, magick’d shirts became a nation-wide focus. Enchanting these shirts, if done in a haste or in an improper manner, can be extremely dangerous. Luckily more often than not, the enchantment won’t work and someone is stuck with a regular shirt after being gouged. However, if the spellcaster misspeaks or the printer uses the wrong ink or botches the right stitching pattern, the consequences can be severe. What was meant and well-intentioned to be a euphoric or mild levitation charm can easily turn into a contagion charm or, as seen at the Coachella incident, conjuring an Ice Elemental during the Clown Core set. Already, awareness campaigns are popping up on social media under the hashtag #IdentifyYourMerch, urging viewers to ensure their magick’d merch comes from official sources. Some performers are paying to have trained wizards on site to either provide complementary Detections on concertgoers’ merch or heal any merch-related maladies.

Back at the festival, as the Dancing Lights from the fan’s shirt fade, the line grows quiet again but now hums with a vibrant energy. Lots of focus can and rightfully should be placed on magick’d merchandise. I came away with the sense that magic or no magic, fans love the shirts because they’re physical manifestations of their love for the music. While the levitation brings you back to earth or the euphoria fades, the memory of the show, the music, stays with you for the rest of your life.