All Hallows Part 1 - RPLOG
It is a relatively cool day in the Sweetwater countryside, and a fine mist rises from the river, obscuring the horizon and clinging to clothing. A small gathering of what must be local farmers is clumped around the door of a large barn whispering and muttering to one another in the foggy, mid day twilight.
Millicent doesn't terribly mind the misty air as she makes her way along in her typical casual outfit. The hood on the bright yellow coat is drawn up for the weather, while her hands are tucked in its pockets. "What's the problem?" She asks the group of farmers as she approaches.
Zuri arrives shortly after, the energetic little salamander bounding up towards the gathering. He takes a big bite out of the peach he's currently snacking on and offers everone a big, bright, peach-juice-drippingly wide smile.
Rokarion is clad in his usual heavy cloak as he arrives towards the appointed location. The plant being steps forward towards the group of gathered farmers, eyeing the barn's entrance, "You asked for help, fellow beings? May I ask what is it you need?" the young being vocalizes.
"Ha!" shouts one of the farmers, a burly hedgehog in a green vest, "Told ya they'd come! Always a couple of Freeswords as get curious 'bout a proper post!" The other farmers scoff and roll eyes at the hedgehog. "Don't you mind that lot," he says with a grin, "See, I'm thinkin' that you lot are 'zactly what we need!" He waves at the trio to follow him up to the door of the barn and swings it open wide, revealing a large, darkened and mostly empty space. "See," he starts, "We were thinkin' since Halloween is comin' an' all, that we ought to make a good scare house for the kiddies, right? With ghosts and monsters and such. 'Course, none of us has ever seed somethin' like that, so we'd just be makin' it all up out of our heads, right? But I figure, why not get some boney fido Freeswords in here to help us make the thing right scary, eh? What do you think of that?" The stocky farmer beams at the Freeswords. "Course, we don't ask you to do it fer nothin!" he says, "We ain't got much, but we'll feed you a good supper and send you home with a fine wild berry pie each!"
"Sounds like a good trade to me," Millicent says with a nod, pulling her hands out of her pocket and stretching out her arms. "So what do you want us to do? I'm not super good at making stuff, except out of wood and paper. Oooh, but I know of some scary things, certainly! Like those things from out near Mossy Stone. Those are plenty frightening." To her at least.
Zuri pauses mid-chew, the little 'mander looking between the empty barn, then the farmer, then the barn, then the farmer again. He swallows and grins wide. "I'd say you had me at berry pie, but that was the last thing you said so it wouldn't be saying much. I'm in!" He hops forward a few steps, looking up at the barn. "Oooh, there's so much scary spooky stuff you could put in here! Big monsters! The nasty evil spirit-things from the Vault. That giant crocodile-beast we fought in the swamp that one time." He blinks and turns around to face the group. "Or.. hm... what other ideas do you have?"
Rokarion rubs his chin as he hears the offer before shrugging, "Might as well." Looks like Roka's bestiary won't get any new entries today, but at least it can still be used, "I don't think i have any ideas, Zuri." the plant being said with a smile before looking back at the hedgehog, "So what materials are you offering, and what exactly do you want us to make?"
"I knew you'd be perfect for this!" the Hedgehog beams, "We got all kinds of stuff, and wood and paper are our specialty here! You just give us some help with makin' things look right, and we'll do the building." He waves over the other farmers, laden with tools and materials.
"Thought we might try to start by makin' some costumes to dress folks up like them shamblers at the old Stone," a lanky canine says, holding up some tattered clothes and what must be some kind of moss, "Or we could just make some dummies for spacin' around. Old Clyde there found a pile of animal bones we can use too!"
Another farmer, this one a hulking bull raises a tentative hand. "I got some old drums and barrels and a stack of crates we can use to set up a maze er somethin' too if you folks wanna set up some scary scenes."
Millicent ponders for a moment before nodding, tugging her hood back. "Do both! There's never just -some- shambling things. There are a bunch. So some costuming would work by itself, but if you make up some props, too, it'd go even better. Could set them up in the maze, even. Literal dead-end turns!" She suggests with a grin.
Zuri bounds back to Rokarion's side, glancing up at him. "Scary maze with skeletons. How can we add to that?" He wiggles his snout. "Maybe the maze needs something in the middle that's even spookier! Or.. or.. maybe it needs a bigger, scarier big evil monster that wanders the maze! Or.. or.. hm..." He wiggles his snout, looking thoughtful."
Rokarion rubs his chin, "Well if we are going by the maze idea then maybe we can get some of the farmers to also dress up and scare the children. Hmmm, maybe one of the bigger beings can dress up in something scarier. How about.....", the plant being says as he opens his sketchbook and begins flicking through it, "Something like an elemental, or maybe just an undead skirth, you know both silly and not too scary for the children. We don't want to give them too much nightmares."
Bazalt Runs towards teh group, panting and Frowning "WAAAIIIIITTT~" the poor wolf screams as he runs towards them, Then just As he arrives he trips on a rock ro sothing adn just tumbles head-over-heels towards them, Grunting and mumbling as he does so.
The Hedgehog bursts out laughing. "The point is to scare 'em silly!" he chortles, "Our kids've been giving us lip over how boring stuff is for months now. Way I see it, it's about time they got a good shakin'!" The other farmers all seem to be in agreement and they grin and nod, showing off their various materials for consideration. The big bull leans over Rokarion's drawing and nods. "Yeah," he says, "Those are pretty good, the Skrith, I mean, but it looks awful hard to make with all them legs. Got anything more being-shaped?" Meanwhile, the canine farmer has joined Millicent, along with a couple of his cronies, and is trying to pick out the best clothes and things for dummies and costumes. Whoever Clyde is, he really did do a good job. There is a large and varied collection of old, dry bones to choose from. Looks like they must be from slaughtered livestock.
Millicent looks over the supplies, nodding along. "Think of it like building scarecrows. Skulls can be used as the heads, of course, but for the living representations, you can even use them as masks sometimes! Or put one ontop of your head like a hat, and wear a scarf. If it's dark, they probably won't see the face under the skull-hat," she suggests, nodding. "The moss is a good touch, too! Maybe some paints or something to colour fur?"
Zuri hurries over towards Bazalt, peering down at the wolf. "Are you okay?" The way he asks it is almost nonchalant, so used that he is to the wolf's antics by now. He straightens up again, looking off into the distance as a thought hits him. He turns to Rokarion again. "Rokarion, do you think we could pull off some sort of air mathemagic trick to make cloth float spookily? Kinda like a reverse lowball. We could make spooky floating ghosts!"
Rokarion nods at the bull and turns a a number o chapters before showing the bull some pictures of elementals, "Maybe something like this? Not undead, but they can still be scary if done right." the plant being says before looking back at Zuri and pursing his lips, "Well I could probably pull off something like that, but that is time consuming, especially if you are looking for the sheet to float more than a couple of hours."
Bazalt Blinks and falttens his ears. "ha...Hah y..yeah I..Hehe..." he rubs his head before jumping up and blinking some more. "Hrrnn...Wha.Am I.. late?.." he mumbles. "o..oh hey.. Zuri.."
The three farmers with Millicent nod and enthusiastically get to work, stitching up tattered clothing and stuffing the inexpertly made dummies with moss and straw, sorting through the pile of bones for large skulls from cattle and even one or two from the indigeonous reptillian beasts of burden. One of them even starts to place assorted bones jutting from dummies. The Bull scratches his chin and considers the elementals on the pages of Rokarion's books. "I think we can do this," he says, laying a thick finger on a drawing of a howling elemental, "But any fancy magic is out. We are simple folk out here."
Millicent isn't much of a fancy, high-end tailor or costume artist so the work all seems pretty good to her! "Yeah, like that," she says with a smile. "Can probably get some ribs in under one of the shirts with the holes, and you can have them poking out! If you're careful about flammable materials, you could probably fit a lantern in there or something, too, where the heart should be! Make it glow!"
Zuri wiggles his snout. "No fancy magic, huh? That really puts a damper on how fancy we can get." He peers up at Rokarion's drawing. "That looks hard to make, but we could try I guess!"
Rokarion looks at the howling elemental and nods his head, "I would have personally went with something more corporeal, like a shale elemental, but this works." The jasmine then looks at Zuri, smiling, and looking back at the bull, "Another idea here would be to make something like a howling elemental and put it on strings to make it look and move in a more 'realistic' manner, then have a couple of beings with rolled up pieces of paper, drums, and other devices that make loud noises hide and project those noises as the elemental 'stalks' the maze.
Bazalt Blinks "wha....?" he looks around And frowns. "I... I'm lost.. what's going on what we talking about?....I.. there was.. a job right.. or Am I really late or something?" the Wolf just frowns and looks around utterly utterly confused.
The Hedgehog comes up and slaps Rokarion on the back. "That's what I'm talkin' about!" he crows, "You Freesword folks are just what we needed! What other ideas you got for this? I like where this is all going!"
Zalthar seems to have only been a few minutes behind Bazalt, dressed in her usual hooded garb. "I heard that there was some need for freeswords? I'd like to offer my assistance if at all possible." she says as she looks around for someone who appears to be in charge.
Millicent folds her arms, tail swaying back and forth. "With these done... Hmmm. I'm not sure what else... Aside from the placement," she admits, pondering. "Give me a moment to think, I'll see if anything further comes to mind!"
Zuri looks between all the participants, still wiggling his snout in thought. "Well if we can't use magic, maybe we can use some more basic tricks. We can set up some pulleys and winches, and line up some wire that's thin enough that you won't see it in the darkness of the barn. Then you can hang stuff from them and make them zip around creepily in mid air! Like ghosts!"
Rokarion nods his head at Zuri, "Yes, that can work." the lithe youth says before he takes a step forward, regaining his balance and recomposing himself after the slap on his back by the hedgehog, poor delicate flower! "Hmm, I guess if you have some painting supplies, I can draw some pictures of monsters or things like tombstones and dead trees to set the mood in the barn's walls, but that might be too expensive if especially if you want to repaint it.
Bazalt Blinks, he nods to Zal and blinks "W..what?...can someone.. please.. explain?..." he Frowns and crosses his arms as he watches the goings on. "I.. i'm lost...What were we hired for?.."
Zalthar looks around, first at the barn, smiling under her hood. Turning to the farmers "If you're trying to increase the creepy factor, what about a smokey, slow-burning fire pit? That could possibly make for an illusion of fog." She suggests, thinking she has an idea of what's going on.
The Bull nods. "I got a block and tackle around here somewhere we could use," he says, then wanders off to find the appropriate gear. The burly Hedgehog, who seems to be the ringleader here grins at Rokarion's suggestion and points out a few buckets of paint and some rough brushes. "Didn't know we had an artist," he says, "I figured we would just go off of your descriptions, but if you wanna paint, go ahead! We won't be using this barn again til next summer anyway!" He rubs his hands together gleefully. "This is gonna be great!" he crows, moving along to look over other projects. The zombie makers have really outdone themselves! The dummies are not really enough to be especially frightening on their own, but in the right light, they could undoubtably be good for a scare or two. The misty fog outside has not lifted at all, but the shadowy interior of the barn is busy and comfortable as beings move to and fro, creating a simple maze with crates and barrels. Another canine farmer grins at Zalthar's idea. "We could do that!" He cheers, "There is some smoker wood left over from the big curing left! We could use that!"
Millicent taps her cheek as she appraises the work before clapping her hands. "Great work!" She chimes, tail curling around her ankles. "That should do nicely. Unfortunately, that was about all I had for ideas! Don't forget to save some of the costumes for yourselves, though! Props are scary, but not as scary as moving ones."
Zuri scratches his head. "Yea, I can't think of anything else, short of bringing actual monsters here and.. well.. that's a bad idea for lots of different reasons."
Rokarion nods his head at the hedgehog and grabs some of the brushes and buckets before motioning for Zuri, "Help me carry them to the barn, Zuri." the flower told the mander with a smile before going inside to begin his painting.
Bazalt Frowns and looks to zal "Hrrnn...I'm lost.." he mumbles, Staying where he is..and still looking confused.
Zalthar ponders, wandering around "Would it be possible to get some low-qualtiy lamps? You know, the ones that flicker and stop working at random times?" she asks, surveying the area "If you can attach those behind different setups...you could get some really neat shillouettes." The lynx looks over at Bazalt, smiling to herself.
The barn buzzes with activity amid the thick fog outside. "This will be the best scare house ever!" the Hedgehog ringleader says, cheering people on as he roams around, helping a little here and a little there. Things are shaping up quite well! The crate and barrel maze is looking good with zombie dummies scattered about and a smoke pit being prepared at the center while ghosts and other whispy frights are carefully hung from above. The shadowy barn is looking more haunted by the moment.
The Hedgehog returns from his rounds to where the Freeswords are working. "We can't thank you enough for getting us off on the right foot!" he says, "I hope you will come back and be a part of our Halloween festival coming up! I'm sure all this fog will have cleared off by then. But for now, what do you say to getting a good hot meal and some wild berry pie?"
"I can never turn down free food," Millicent says, patting her belly. "And I will certainly be around to visit during the festival if things aren't too busy at the cafe. I love festivals. Especially when there's good food involved."
Zuri hops over to the brushes and buckets, picking up as much as he can carry and helping out Rokarion as requested. His priorities shift rather rapidly as the offer of free food is repeated, and he hurries to put the stuff he's carrying down and run back towards the hedgehog being. "I am ready for pie! And all the things!"
Rokarion starts painting the moment he reaches the barn, drawing pictures of starry nights, dead trees, and old houses, but the plant being keeps it distinctly 'tame' for the children, instead just focusing on drawing landscape and little bugs and spiders instead of horrifying monsters. Rokarion looks at Zuri and sighs, going to grab the stuff that the salamander left before going back to his work.
Bazalt is still very lost, he did help moving things but that was about it. The wolf was just confused. "halloween?...WhaT?..what. whaT?" he frowns and sighs, watching the goings on's curiously.
Zalthar shrugs and follows the hedgehog, beckoning for Bazalt to follow "Well, it would be horribly impolite to turn down free food." A smile to the wolf, and a flick of an ear "A good hot meal does sound quite wonderful."
The Hedgehog leads the way to a little farmhouse where a fine meal is waiting. "Thanks again to all of you!" he says, "The Missus has everything ready!"
Millicent glances around at the others, offering another smile before she turns to follow after the hedgehog, eager to partake in the meal after the 'hard work' of the day.
Zuri licks his lips eagerly. "Oh man, homecooked country meals are the best! I call dibs on two slices of pie! No three! Five!"
Rokarion puts down his painting brushes and moves back towards the group as they line up for their meals. The plant being stands next to Zuri giving hip a light tap on his nose, "Hey, leave some for others, and when were you planning on giving me a slice?" the plant being teased before giving the mander's head a quick ruffle.
Bazalt nods nad follows along, mostly just watching.. quietly. "yuh.. Yay?.. Pie!?" he nods. "yaay" he nods again.
Zalthar follows along and silently thanks for the food, happily eatting away. She seems to look thankful for the free food.