It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Help ATS via PayPal:
learn more

The Festival of Souls or A Sword for a Knight (Spookfest)

page: 1

log in


posted on Oct, 21 2014 @ 11:02 PM
Rayne stared expectantly out his bedroom window, the day had finally come; Leafall, 31st, the Festival of Souls. It was a tradition long held sacred by the people of Blackroot Town. His father had told him that the Festival had begun back in the days before Blackroot Town turned away from the old God but father had told him not to speak of that outside their home because some people didn't like it when you talked about the old God. Rayne rubbed at his waking eyes and stirred stiffly in his bed, lied there for several more moments, may have drowsed for five or ten minutes the promptly and efficiently swung from his hammock, a blue pillow with maroon embroidery tumbled from the hammock as Rayne rose, he sighed lazily and turned to pick it up. As Rayne was rising to toss the pillow into the hammock the door to his bedroom swung open. Rayne turned to see whom the transgressor was that had violated his "NO PARENTS OR LITTLE SISTERS ALLOWED" sign, Rayne gasped with utter fear as a boar faced abomination ten feet tall squeezed its way through his bedroom door, Rayne screamed at the top of his lungs as the foul beast shouted "BOOGA BOOGA!" and Rayne felt immediately foolish as he recognized his father's booga booga.

"Dad," Rayne squeaked, incredulous, "blazes you scared the ritter dung out of me."

"That was the idea son!" boomed his father, pulling off the hairy pig mask, "so?" He asked.

"I... I love it dad, but... what did you get for me?" asked Rayne with a grin.

"Come out to the den and have a look boy, I think you'll be impressed."

His father turned and head toward the den. So Rayne got dressed in a pair of dark brown trousers topped by a light orange spidersilk tunic which he cinched with a belt made from the skin of a bog boa, all tan and green, his grandfather had given it to him for his last birthday. Rayne sat on the edge of his bed and pulled on a pair of salt-dried leather boots with tarnished silver clasps, buckled the at the ankle and rose to follow his father. His dad stood in the den, spread out on a bench was the most splendid Knight's costume Rayne had ever laid his twelve year old eyes on, eyes, which even know, were welling with tears borne of sheer excitement.

"Luzan, he's crying! I didn't think he would cry! I told you we should have--"

"No!," Rayne all but shouted, "no, dad, its perfect, top notch." He ran to his father and hugged him
fiercely. "thank you dad."

"But you can't put it on till after school, Rayne. It will be here when you get home, aye?"

"Aye, dad."

"Good, now go get your breakfast and tell your mum good morning."

Breakfast turned out to be flapcakes and little spicy sausages, with a scrambled egg and a glass of sweetspice apple cider. As he was working on a second glass of sweetspice cider his mother asked, "So, Rayne, where you n' that rogue Bug plannin' on trick or treating tonight?"

"Well Bug wants to go up to the rich houses but Lannie thinks we'll just get jumped by bullies on account of that's where all the kids go trick or treating." He sipped on his cider and nibbled lightly at a leftover sausage, "I think we should go anyway. If I'm to be a real knight I must face the bullies eventually. I'm not scared of them."

"No," said his mother, "Never afraid, you. Well, off to class with you then cub." She bent to kiss him on the forehead and true to his luck, who else but Bug swings through their backdoor, his face was painted up to look as though it had been eaten by graveworms and a thick dribble of blood hung languidly from the corner of his mouth.

"HAHAHA!," Bug had the most annoying laugh, "Rayne loves his mommy!" He said, as Rayne's mother planted the kiss.

"Of course I do you dolt, don't you?"

"Why would I love your mum?" Bug said with a quizzical look.

"Not my mum, thick as molasses, YOUR mum?"

"Oh... what about my mum?"

"You're hopeless Tadley. Utterly hopeless."

"Hey! That's bug to you, they call me Bug now Rayne what kinda name is that one eh? Rayne."

"A beautiful one." said his mother usher the both of them out the door. Rayne and Bug continued on to school where Lannie caught up with them half way. She wore here hair up in pigtails the way Rayne secretly loved. Lannie ran up beside him and brushed a stray strand of blonde hair from her eyes, "What?" she said.

"What?" said Rayne.

"You were looking at me funny."


"No, Bug, yes you dolt!"

"No I wasn't."

"Yes you were."




"Oh for cripes sake!" Shouted Bug jumping between them as they crossed the Faerie Bridge of Heart, "What is it going to take to shut you two up?"

"I could use some taffy." said Lannie.

"Well..." said Bug, sneering, "I haven't got any taffy...yet."

Lannie just looked at him and sighed heavily. They walked the rest of the way to school in relative silence. Except for one time when bug told a passing fisherman that he had dropped his pocket, the fisherman looked despite the fact that his trousers clearly had no pockets, he walked off cursing under his breath.

School was just a blur of words, numbers, calligraphy, and history, until lunch when he and his friends gathered to discuss their plans for tonights Festival of Souls fun. Bug argued that they should go to the rich neighborhoods again and Lannie argued against it again. They argues for sometime as they ate a lunch of roast beef and cheese with a couple hunks of rye bread. As Rayne was finishing his milk, another kid took a seat at the table. It was Chezwik he sometime talked with Rayne and his friends and now he was explaining that a few other kids were going down to Spitemire cave after trick or treating, "So, you in?" He asked.

"No way!" said Lannie, "My gran says there were barghests down there once but a powerful hero killed it... but not before the beastie got the hero too. He died there."

"Your gran is a loon." Chezwik stated matter of factly, "Anyway, I was just telling you." Chezwik got
up and left, he took a seat at another table down the longhall the school used as a cafeteria.

"I'm going." Said Rayne.

"Are you crazy Rayne!?" screeched Lannie with more compassion than Rayne would have expected.

"No, I'm going. It will be fun, Lan, no ones going to hurt us, I'll get some sunrods from my dad just in case and we'll have candy too. Bug can bring some skins of water or cider, right Bug?

"Don't drag me into this, man." bug said holding both hands up.

"C'mon Bug don't be a coward."

Bug remained silent as they finished their meal. Finally, after what seemed like the longest lunch in eternity, Lannie said, "Okay, I'll go. But you HAVE to get the sunrods from you dad."

"Of course." said Rayne, "See, Bug even Lannies going, are you craven?"

"I ain't no bloody craven, Rayne. Dammit, I'll go and I'll bring your skins too." He rose and trudged off
toward the classrooms.

edit on Cpm11Tuesday1220143531Tue, 21 Oct 2014 23:12:35 -05002014 by CagliostroTheGreat because: structure

posted on Oct, 21 2014 @ 11:08 PM
The rest of the day seemed to move slower than molasses on a cold day but finally the clock struck three and classes were released. After much debate Lannie convinced Bug and Rayne that the lower quarters was the best bet for trick or treating since there would be less traffic and no bullies. All agreed that after costumes were donned that they should meet the Faerie Bridge of Families and thus proceed to the lower quarters for a rousing night of trick or treating.

Rayne rushed home, nearly bursting the door off it's hinges as he barreled through into the house. He rushed to the den and collected his knight't raiment and then ran to his room.

After he had dressed in the knight's raiment he stood in admiring himself in the mirror, his father stood behind him and laid a gentle but firm hand on his shoulder saying, "you look the very picture of chivalry my boy but... something is missing is it not?"

"A sword." said Rayne. He had already noticed, to his disappointment.

Rayne's father spun him around with the hand he had laid on his shoulder and pulled his other arm out from behind his back. He held a narrow bundle wrapped in sailcloth and twine.

"A sword for a knight." His father said.

"A sword for a knight." Rayne breathed, unwrapping the bundle. The scabbard was stained cherrywood adorned with silver runes studding it along the edges. Rayne pulled the blade free. The silvery steel rippled in the firelight, Rayne noticed the edge was blunted but even that couldn't crush his euphoria. You could still pummel someone with a blunted sword after all... if it ever came to that.

"It's top notch, dad!"

"Glad you like it son. Remember, a knight never lifts his blade unless he means to use it and he had better have a just and worthy cause. Brandishing your steel in anger is no small thing, Rayne. A man can lose his head for such things, you would do well to remember that."

"I will dad, pinky promise." Said Rayne holding out his right pinky. His dad reached out and curled his larger pinky around Raynes smaller one and they shook on it. A pinky promise was a solemn oath. Knight were forbidden to break their oaths.

The Trick or treating went as well as could be expected and luckily the three of them, joined off and on my Chezwik, were un-accosted by bullies and a managed to collect a wide variety of sugary confections from all the homely homemakers of the lower quarters, which was comprised mostly of mostly homes and inns.

The sun was dwindling in the east as the three of them made their way over the Faerie Bridge of Might, toward Mirespite Cave. As they approached, they seen that one of the older kids had gotten a fire going. Chezwik and a few others were shuffling about the campsite as a few other sat and talked or ate candy from their bags. As Chezwik noticed them walking up he moved over to greet them.

"They're all too scared to go in." Said Chezwik.

"Even Big Randy?" Asked Bug.

"Even Big Randy." Chezwik affirmed.

"Well, I'm not scared to go in." Said Rayne starting off toward the mouth of the cave.

"Wait Rayne," said Bug, "Don't be a hero!"

But that's exactly what I want, thought Rayne.

The Cave mouth loomed over him as he made his way inside. Something was dripping from the roof, probably just water, Rayne convinced himself. He loosened his sword in it's cherrywood scabbard, just in case. He heard footsteps coming in from behind him and turned to look. Lannie was hustling up toward him with a grim look on her powdered white face. The angel wings she wore over her robe fluttered slightly as she walked and turned black as she came further into the cave. "I don't think you should go alone." She said.

"Thanks Lan, I was hoping not ALL MY FRIENDS WERE COWARDS!" Rayne yelled that last part loaud enough that surely Bug heard from outside the cave. "C'mon Lan, lets go. Who knows what we might find." Rayne cracked a sunrod and the cave lit up in all directions for ten feet. They wandered the cave for sometime. Coming across a crystal encrusted grotto, a standing stone with runes carved in it and a basket full of dead flowers at its foot. The rest was mostly just cave, cave and more cave.

Rounding a corner the cave opened up into a large room, Rayne was surprised to find a fire burning in the room. there was a crude spit set up with fish cooking over the fire, smoke exited the cave via a natural chimney in the roof. Just then, Rayne heard something behind him and turned like a cat to find that a drooling fanged mouth was hanging wide behind Lannie as it held a chipped bone dagger to the girls throat.

"Tresspass, not welcome humescum!"

Lannie whimpered as Rayne slowly moved his hand to the pommel of his blunted shortsword."

"No! You draw, she die!"

"Let her go!"

This was the first time Rayne had seen a goblin alive and up close. All the other ones had just been pictures in bestiaries his father let him look through, they would quiz each other about the different beasts the found in those large books. Go over their weaknesses and strengths. Rayne tried to recall if he had ever read anything about goblin slaying but his mind was a blank adrenaline fueled panic. Rayne drew his steel and rushed the goblin, it cursed and, thankfully shoved Lannie to the ground where she lay as Rayne closed in on the goblin and lashed out with his sword. The goblin brought up his shield and blocked Raynes blow but Rayne was already side-stepping as the goblin struck out with his bone dagger, it caught Rayne just near his hip and cracked on the steel he was wearing. The goblin cursed again and threw the dagger to the floor of the cave and rushed Rayne with both arms haeld aloft screeching curses as he grabbed at Rayne's sword as he swung it. Keeping the goblin at bay was no easy task but Rayne Was holding his ground, swinging his sword wildly. On a backswing he accidentally caught the goblin right in the neck. The beastie howled and clutched his throbbing neck, the rage clear in his jaundiced eyes. He rose, bellowed a battle cry and strode closer toward Rayne. Rayne lifted his sword but the goblin lashed out and caight it and, ripping it from his grip, tossed it to the floor. "Now me gets fleshies." drooled the goblin rasing razor sharp fangs closer to Rayne's soft throat.

"I'll Kill you if you hurt her!" Rayne screamed, struggling to keep the goblin from biting into his throat and losing. Just as the goblins teeth were closing around Raynes throat he gave a moan of despair as the goblin squeed gleefully but suddenly grunted and eventually went slack. As the goblin slid to the cave floor, Rayne seen his father satnding a few yards away resting a crossbow in his arms. Bug stood behind him looking relieved and ashamed.

"What is all this Rayne? Goblin hunting? Bug make sure Lannies is okay, we need to get her back
to her parents." Said Rayne's father.

"I...I just wanted to be brave father. Like you."

"Rayne, son, there is a fine line between bravery and foolishness. I fear coming into this cave was quite
foolish. Don't you?"

"Yes father."

posted on Oct, 21 2014 @ 11:08 PM
Bug had woken Lannie by then but as it turned out she was just playing dead, hoping the goblin would ignore her until Rayne could save her. Rayne blushed fiercely upon hearing this the next day as he and Bug sat eating breakfast at Rayne's kitchen table. He slipped his hand into the inside pocket of the leather jerkin he was wearing and fingered the key he had found on the goblin's corpse as his father and Bug led Lannie to the mouth of the cave.

wonder what this opens, thought Rayne smirking.
edit on Cpm11Tuesday1120140631Tue, 21 Oct 2014 23:11:06 -05002014 by CagliostroTheGreat because: coding

posted on Oct, 22 2014 @ 11:46 AM
a reply to: CagliostroTheGreat

What does it open?!

Loved the story!

posted on Oct, 22 2014 @ 12:07 PM

originally posted by: Jennyfrenzy
a reply to: CagliostroTheGreat

What does it open?!

A door that leads to a living dungeon.

Glad you liked the story Jennyfrenzy, thanks for taking the time to read it!

top topics

log in