Eerie decorations of blazing fire float hazily in the still midnight air. Monsters, skeletons, and other fearsome creatures pass by on the street below, followed closely by the odd sight of adventurers wearing pumpkins on their heads.
Calls of "Trick or treat?" ring out from the crowd, recalling memories of yesteryear.
You guessed it--the spine-chilling, blood-curdling "Harvest Festival" is back and ready to bring countless sleepless nights into the lives of unsuspecting adventurers!
This is the third time that residents of Vana'diel's major nations have gathered and disguised themselves as monsters to frighten adventurers in the name of the Harvest Festival. Traditional events as well as new activities await festival participants.
"Hey, everyone, skeleton here! I'm looking for my friend, who's…um…a hound! If you're a hound, please answer me!"
The town square was a bizarre yet amusing sight, with monsters and adventurers with pumpkin heads swarming about and shouting conversations of the most peculiar sort.
How are adventurers across Vana'diel enjoying the Harvest Festival? To find out, I first set out for Bastok.
As soon as I entered Bastok Markets, which was even more crowded than usual, I was met with a most frightening scene.
Ten monsters marched in a line behind a Trick Spirit in one unnerving scene. Even though I was aware that they were simply adventurers in disguise, the mere shock from the sight left me momentarily frozen with fear.
Gathering my bearings as the line turned back the way it came, I took the opportunity to run up to the Quadav just behind the Trick Spirit and ask for his impressions of the event.
"I started following because I was just curious as to which path it was taking through the Bastok Markets. But then my friends from my linkshell started joining me, and we had quite a crowd before I knew it. My legs are starting to ache now, but I can't leave everyone while they're having so much fun… I don't know what to do."
Then he gave me a wave with his giant, scaly hand, and rejoined his beaming friends.
The festival in the Elvaan capital of San d'Oria was most splendid.
Two Goblins were standing in Laborman's Way in Northern San d'Oria. One of the Goblins was selling colorful chips, but I could not recall ever seeing the second one.
"Hey you! You buys treats. Treats good. Me makes treats lots! Me gives you discount! Me wants red fork…"
Knowing that Goblins often open up shop outdoors during especially busy events in order to benefit from the throngs of adventurers, I decided to take a peek at his bazaar. His bags were filled to the brim with Goblin treats--Goblin chocolate, Goblin pie, Goblin drinks, and more!
They were rather expensive, but my senses were dulled by the excitement of the festival and I decided to buy a chunk of Goblin chocolate.
"Gahaha! Thanks for the cash!"
My mouth dropped open at the sudden turn of events. The Goblin in front of me vanished, and in his place stood an enormous Galka, clutching his sides in laughter! He laughed for a good while before he finally stopped to ask "Trick or treat?" in a mischievous voice. Without waiting for the answer, he chuckled again as he began making his way to Port San d'Oria. Well, he definitely pulled the wool over my eyes!
Lastly, I visited Windurst and met the most adorable couple.
Everywhere I looked, abnormal sights met my eyes as monsters wandered through the streets, but one couple stood out above all others. One of the pair wore a Yagudo costume covered in jet-black feathers, while the other, an Elvaan lady, wore a snow-white dress and Yagudo headgear.
Anyone could tell by looking at them that they were a couple, but I couldn't help but wonder why they were walking down the street dressed in such a way. When I approached them to ask for an interview, I expected to be turned down, as the circumstances were rather out of the ordinary. To my surprise, the man in the Yagudo costume replied with a warm smile.
"Actually, I'm a Tarutaru. As you can see, my girlfriend here is Elvaan. We are different in many ways, but it didn't stop us from falling in love, and we recently got married.
I'm very happy-sappy now, but there was just one thing that I always wanted to do for her that seemed impossible, and it always irky-wirked me. I just wanted to be able to escort her properly once. You know, gentlemanly-like. So this is how my wish-dish came true."
Thanks to the festival, he was able to fulfill his gentlemanly desires. After consulting with his wife, they decided to go on a date wearing the same outfit, looking like a truly matching pair for the first time.
His lady admitted that she accepted only after much prodding from her husband, but she seemed to be enjoying herself, and smiled as she spoke. "I never really noticed it before now, but this helped me discover his unpredictable, fun-loving side."
As I stood on the deck of the airship back to Jeuno, I thought back on all the smiling faces I saw during the Harvest Festival. The exciting times spent among friends and loved ones surely helped many adventurers realize once again how much their companions mean to them. The festival also undoubtedly prompted many adventurers to reunite with old friends and create new friendships.
What memories will this "monstrous" festival leave with you?