After some time, the wolf arrives at the hut and knocks on the door. He seems a bit taken aback when Fog opens the door, but he’s friendly enough. The talk is not as helful as the group would have liked, though. The wolf does what wolves in fairy tales do, that’s why he wants to eat the pigs. It seems that the story keeps repeating itself and the wolf only has very foggy memories of it all. Eventually he wanders off.
So the group decides to make the deal with the witch after all. They follow the pigs’ directions and eventually arrive at a cottage standing on a chicken leg. They knock and the door opens, but no-one is home. Fog insist that they close the door and wait outside. It doesn’t take long for the witch to arrive in a mortar she steers along with a pestle. She looks somewhere between fourty and one hundred years old, with long, bony hands and long white hair. But she’s quite amiable, asks the group into her cottage and she’s interested in making a deal.
When no-one volunteers to be her maid for an indefinite time, she asks them to bring her an apple tree that has been stolen from her by a greedy king. They get directions to the castle and strict orders not to eat the apples. Apparently, they show future and past. The group promises not to touch them and sets out.
The castle is surrounded by a moat and a high wall, but they get in fairly quietly and without major problems. There is one guard, but they can knock him out and put Nebraska‘s re-filling bottle of wine next to him to make it look like he’s drunk on the job. In the garden, Zach steps on a rake, almost knocking himself out. The apple tree is easy to find, the apples glow in the dark, and they dig it up, hide it in a sack. Unfortunately, the tree starts screaming as soon as they try to leave.
They get attacked by huge toads with sharp teeth and divebombed by birds who shoot their metal feathers like arrows. With a desperate scramble, they make it over the wall and through the moat, kill some of the toads and run for it into the woods. Once they are sure no-one is following them, they unwrap the tree. It’s not broken, but two apples have fallen off. Fog and Jet pick them up and suddenly get an almost unresistable urge to eat them. Nebraska kicks Jet so hard he drops his apple, but Fog bites into his and keels over instantly.
A second later, he comes round again. The apple showed him the future, like he asked it to, and he saw a lake and a longhouse, form the view of someone who is really pissed at the people in the longhouse. As divinations go, this is unhelpful, but at least they know what to expect.
They bring the tree back to Baba Yaga and Fog tells her that he ate one apple. She takes that in stride, only says that she hopes it was worth it. She even invites them to stay for breakfast, which they accept. Fog asks her if he can have another apple and after some haggling, she accepts a night of lovemaking as payment. The others stay at the hut while Baba Yaga takes Fog with her in the mortar. They have some time to rest, Zach snoops around the hut and finds some spell books he reads.
After a day and a night, Baba Yaga returns with Fog, who look a bit the worse for wear. He did get his apple for his troubles. She already knows that Zach read her books and while she doesn’t curse him outright, she is not pleased. When they ask Baba Yaga about the spirit they are seeking, she tells that they they will probably all die if they go there. On that cheery note, they part company, after she gave them the grout for the pigs. The pigs give them a map for the mountains and the group follows the path.
Fog, after the things the second apple showed him, thinks that they cannot make Ytong see sense. He’s probably too far gone for that. Still, they decide to give him a chance, but if that doesn’t work, they will do their best to kill him. The mountains take two days to cross, then they see a lake in the distance. The landscape is quite beautiful … unless one turns around too quickly. Zach is the first to find out that everything take a little while to find its shape. A tree looks like it’s been slapped together from rough pixels and shaps until it senses someone looking at it, then it gets its normal shape. This is true for the whole landscape.