October Event: Thinnest Veil Form, Lore & Info to know!
This time of year is known as the time of the Thinnest Veil. It it said during this time, that the bond between our world and Noktal’s (the Eldest of death) realm is at its closest.
During the Thinnest Veil (the October event), EVERYONE can see ghosts and wandering spirits - represented by a light grey, white, or purple cheesecloth draped on a ghost's head. Most spirits can also see you or communicate, but there may be some that need Soul Speech to be spoken with, or other requirements to interact or help them move on. If a ghost is using a purple cheesecloth, it denotes something specific that you will learn about in game.
If you are attending October as a Player Character, click here to fill out the Thinnest Veil ghost form, and tell plot about dead people from your character's history that might show up!
The most notable is the reappearance of those that have died or passed on. Called wandering spirits, they become visible because of the thinning of the veil. Sometimes these spirits are trapped in our realm, or just simply spirits that stepped over the thinned veil accidentally. Other times, they are spirits of vengeance, hatred, or those with unsettled business. It is traditional to offer solace, comfort, and closure to the wandering spirits by speaking with them to help them remember their way. Usually a simple token of the living - a piece of cloth, a stone, food, even a song - can bring the spirit to peace, though sometimes more is involved. Be aware, however, giving a token of remembrance that causes pain and anger to flood back into their mind can cause the spirit to become violent.
In the evening on the last day of The Thinnest Veil, it is traditional for the living to perform a Spirit Walk, where wandering spirits will gather to be reminded of their path, before the veil lifts and the way to Noktal’s realm is blocked for another year. Another tradition is that of putting out the Lanterns of the Veil. Traditionally, these are made by painting various faces and decorations onto pumpkins, or carving them and placing a candle inside. It is important this is done in a way that symbolizes something that is important to the person ornamenting the pumpkin, particularly in wake of what could come upon them. On this night, the spirits of vengeance are most violent. These pumpkins serve as a special type of ward that prevents these spirits from entering the building they are set to protect. Buildings without pumpkins on this night can be subject to violent attacks. Murders have been known to take place without sign of weapon or physical violence, leading to superstition, or fact as some will say, that the spirits of vengeance themselves are the ones who have committed these atrocities. Rumor or not, most believe it best to follow this tradition. Better to be safe than regret otherwise...
THE HARVEST FEAST
In addition to the solemnity of this time of year it also happens to fall on a time of celebration. The Harvest Feast is a time where the living are thankful for the bounty of the harvest and share stories of their passed loved ones. It is symbolically a time where the community can set aside their differences and come together in unified celebration of life and harvest. Many communities see this as a sacred time, where it is understood conflict should be set aside and the holiday should be honored. Honoring tradition from the homeland, this time is usually spent feasting over food and wine, playing holiday games, and celebrating in music, song and performance. It is a joyous time to counter that of the night’s solemnity.
"Have or Have Not?" (Written and created by Lenny Goenaga)
"As Fall came, and the harvest was collected, farmers would ask one another whether their season was a “Have” or “Have Not” season. Farmers who responded with “Twas a Have season” meant that their crop was bountiful. Ones who responded with “Have Not” meant that its return was underwhelming. From here, the Have farmers would share some of their surplus with the Have Nots, as a way of charitable relief. With the cooling Fall weather, many a bard was summoned to travel widely for their vocation. While traveling between towns and taverns, these bards usually needed to find safe lodging. They would often find shelter with a charitable farmer out in the country. When they heard of this “Have” “Have Not” terminology, they turned it into a game as a means to help pay back a farmer's hospitality with recreation. They would offer a riddle in exchange for some of the “Haves” of the farmer. If the farmer couldn't get it right, the farmer gave a piece of their surplus to the bard (a corn cob, an apple, etc). As they went from farm to farm, these bards would usually gather a collection, and they too began to give some of their surplus to farmers who were “Have Nots” in exchange for lodging. This eventually began the precursor for popular household potlucks, where bards would bring stories to peoples homes and families would provide elaborate meals.
The families of farmers came to expect and welcome these bards during the fall. They would decorate the outside of their homes with carved pumpkins and other bright colors in the hopes of attracting these flamboyant personalities. They would also prepare an assortment of sweets and candies to attract them via smell and taste. Bards would then exchange riddles with the homes. If they couldn't get the riddle by sunrise, they gave the bard a candy, a sweet, a treat, a drink, or a coin. But if they got it right, the bard gave them a treat. Soon, the game began to be called “Harvest Have or Have Not.” From the sunset of the beginning of the Thinnest Veil, individuals go up to a bard and ask “Bard, have you something for me?” The bard would reply “I have” (meaning they have both a riddle and a treat), or “I have not” (meaning they either have no riddles or have no more treats). The bard then gives them the riddle, and throughout the day and night, the bard asks them “Have you an answer for me?” And they would respond “I have” or “I have not.” If they respond “I have not” by sunset of the last day of Thinnest Veil, the person gives the bard a treat, buys them a drink, or gives them a coin. Bards were also known to go knocking on doors at night, asking individuals if they would like to play “Harvest Have or Have Not.”
Another rendition of the game is that the bard would respond with a song, a story, a game, or a poem, and ask the person to explain what the piece meant. If the bard was satisfied that the person got the meaning (“I have the meaning”), the bard would reward them as the case with the riddle. If the person beat the bard in the proposed game, they would reward them with a treat (and vice versa). A final rendition of the game only allows for one attempt per game, with wrong answers leading to the gifting the bard.
HOW: ASK A BARD, “BARD, HAVE YOU SOMETHING FOR ME?”