The fear is back. The people of the three nations have once again brought us the Harvest Festival, providing chills and thrills for adventurers and townspeople alike.
This is the second such festival to take place where people dress up as ghosts and roam about town. The first event was put on by the townspeople of the three nations in an effort to entertain adventurers and children. But it appears that the people who took on the roles of ghosts have acquired a taste for dressing in their eerie costumes, not to mention the attention that they garner.
The second festival had been in the works for quite some time, with townspeople secretly making preparations away from the eyes of the adventurers and children.
Thus the Harvest Festival is once again upon us. Those of you who have not yet participated are strongly encouraged to do so, as it is a most unique experience.
Those who participated in the last event should have no problems enjoying the festivities, but for new adventurers, the sight of this festival may seem a bit unnerving.
While on assignment in Bastok Markets, one of the sites of the festival, this reporter took notice of a Hume adventurer, fresh back from honing his fighting skills outside the city gates.
The young adventurer was in a stupor, standing perfectly still with his mouth agape. For before his eyes was a nightmare vision of dark stalkers, skeletons, and even beastmen such as Orcs and Yagudo that are seldom seen around Bastok. To the unknowing eye, it would definitely appear as if monsters had conquered the city.
"No! How could this be...?"
One could hardly blame the young man for his reaction, as the monster costumes worn by the townsfolk were of such high quality that the most experienced of adventurers would be fooled.
"Well then, I suppose it is up to me to protect my homeland... Minions of darkness! Prepare to face the fury of my Mighty Strikes!"
Before I was able to stop him, the hot-blooded warrior began a reckless charge towards the monster horde.
Meanwhile, a Tarutaru sweets merchant was peddling his wares on the side of the street with his usual sales routine.
"Get your pamamas here! Fairy apples! Saruta oranges! Tasty pies and cookies right out of the oven! Hey there, fella! You won't get a deal like this at the auction house!"
Unbeknownst to the Hume adventurer, the custom of this festival is to give treats to the wandering monsters, for which you may receive a prize in return. Therefore, street vendors such as this Tarutaru are vital to the process.
When I spoke to the Tarutaru vendor, I learned that he was actually an adventurer as well. After hearing of this festival, he saw an opportunity to promote his business, and began to acquire goods to sell a few days prior. He also mentioned that he dispatched his two brothers to the festival areas in San d'Oria and Windurst so that his business was represented in all three nations.
As I reached for my wallet to buy some treats of my own, the adventurer who had earlier charged the costumed crowd appeared next to me. It seemed the young warrior now understood what was actually going on.
"Excuse me, sir. Can you sell me some treats as well?"
The Hume had apparently caught a glance of the prizes that were being won by the other adventurers, and now sought to receive one of his own. He bashfully handed the vendor some money for treats, then dashed off furiously, as he had done before.
For some reason, there was premonition in my heart, so I pursued the young adventurer's trail, and witnessed a most intriguing sight.
The townspeople had put a ghost costume on the young adventurer, and made him join the ranks of the wandering monsters.
His gut-rending howl resonated through the mountains of Gustaberg.
It appears that the second Harvest Festival has a flavor all its own.