Caravamel Part 4

Chapter 3: Misremembered Festival, A Burden for Pots

The houses of the village were made out of the shells of long dead creatures, which really didn’t help alleviate the aura of utter deadness that lingered about.

There were quite a variety of shells, some spirals, some like a turtle’s, some like a crab’s, there was even a non-euclidean shell that did unpleasant things to the brains and eyes of the three frulids.

Given that they were residents of Elcon, it wasn’t as if that particular shellhouse caused any lasting damage.

All the doors were open, a number creaking a bit, the village wasn’t buried under snow, so either the land wasn’t trying to hide it or it was a village with functional wards. Whatever the case was, this was clearly a higher class of village than the one the frulid family, the Caralids hailed from. Perhaps it had been a village of mighty hunters?

As the four winds cooperatively whistled forlornly to add to the dismal scene, the Caralid family slid in on their caravamel.

“Well, this bodes well” Yerdl commented.

“We could always go around!” Kejo suggested.

At that moment, an intense blizzard kicked up a massive fuss around the village, presumably it was rather put out by Kejo for even daring to suggest that they didn’t need to pass through such a foreboding village.

Elconic weather is like that, an existence that takes joy in sealing people in places.

Ismi shook Turmeric’s reins and they went on.

“Oh give over you two, this is just a regular deserted village, the land is full of ’em, actually, keep your eyes peeled for anything valuable!” she said.

Yerdl shuddered, but kept his keen senses open wide.

Kejo meanwhile just kind of gawked at barren shells of the equally barren village.

Turmeric slowly jerked them through, valiantly huffing, puffing and snorting, yet nothing could be seen. The houses were empty, the street was empty.

The village was truly dead.

A high pitched shriek cut through the air like a hurled feline!

“Get a joke ready son!” Ismi said vanishing into her rainbow cloud pot.

“W-what if it doesn’t have ears? Or has an amazingly bad sense of humour” Kejo panicked.

“Um” Yerdl began “That scream was me”

“What in the lock was the point of screaming like that?” Ismi snapped.

“Well dear, I sensed something, several somethings. We are surrounded, but I didn’t sense anything living” Yerdl explained, he had entered into a kind of calm abject fear.

“Risen!” Kejo exclaimed

With that cry, up from the snow and earth around the Caralid family arose a grave and ghoulish host!

Shaking skeletons, prancing phantoms, wiggling wights, z… zombies what were similarly animated. It wasn’t just such things, but even the peel or rotted remains of vegetablefolk and the crumbs of the baked cavorted around the unfortunate Caralid family.

In Elcon, risen is the name for all undead, though, generally risen are thought of as ill meaning miscreants at best. Normally the Wizard of Death deals with all dead that don’t have the decency to shuffle off, but risen are a bit of a problem in that, in a sense they are alive. Unlike stray spirits, the Wizard of Death cannot sense risen from a great distance.

Most people who ended up holding the position of Wizard of Death had a tendency to redead any undead they encountered, after all, undead could easily result in far too much paperwork, and apart from the other mass of unpleasant and distasteful work that the Wizard of Death had to do, paperwork was greatly despised.

-Festival!- cried one of the risen.

-Festival!- cried another.

-Festival!- -Festival!- -Festival!- -Festival!- -Festival!- -Festival!- -Festival!- -Festival!- -Festival!-

The chant went around and around, the risen leering at the three frulids while dancing without stop.

“What festival?” Kejo asked, mustering up his courage.

A squash who’s face had rotted away paused, and the rest followed.

-I don’t remember?-

-Do you remember?-

-We can’t remember!-

Yerdl and Ismi popped their heads out, still quite worried, however it seemed that these risen were more confused than hateful or hostile.

The was a moment of dead silence which the winds spoiled by cheesily letting a mournful whistle through.

“Well, I hope you enjoy your festival, as for us, we really must be heading on” Ismi explained hastily.

With that, she shook the reins of Turmeric, who with a sad grunt heaved the caravamel forwards.

He ended up plowing into a number of risen. Which from one point is fine, since they were already dead.

-Wait, aren’t you here with supplies for the festival?- A skeleton with an inordinate number of limbs asked.

Some of the limbs looked a bit… well, borrowed.

More and more risen appeared their empty eyes focused on the Caralids.

Fearing for their lives, Ismi did something that might not have been the best of ideas.

“Ohohohoho, why of course, the Festival, we are here with provisions for the festival!”

The risen, at those words, let loose a grand cry of triumph.

Author: SnowyMystic