The old gravestones were covered in moss still wet from the rain at nightfall. Glistening in the pale moonlight they caressed weathered carvings, indecipherable by the eye. Two tall oaks loomed over the soft soil and each of their steps made them sink in deeper in the morass. Khael and Anirion had trouble to keep the hems of their overcoats from sticking to brush and creepers.
With sorrow Khael realised that his tobacco pouch had become wet, a good pipe now days away when they again lodged in a dry tavern. Anirion did not speak much during the last days. Khael was not too unhappy with this development, his mind clouded by dark thoughts and his overcoat heavy and wet from the rain.
There was a solemn appearance to the rows of gravestones, haphazardly placed, some tumbled over, some lifted by the roots of the gnarled oaks. This was a place where old spirits dwell, long abandoned by the villagers when there was no space anymore for new burials. Rumours had let them here, yet it was Anirion that insisted that they had to visit this place, bound to find the name of the priest that Anirion encountered all those years ago in an overgrown ruin.
On a narrow featureless gravestone sat a raven black as the tendrils of darkness around them, its beady eyes reflecting the pale moonlight. Its eyes were filled with a primal intelligence, following them as they approached. Deep cut runes spelt the name “Isidor” on the otherwise unadorned gravestone.
Anirion knelt and followed the runes’ outline with his gloved finger. He glanced at Khael, worry written on the old dwarves face. The runes were cold to the touch, even through his gloves he could feel it.
“We have to find him friend, we must…” Anirion uttered, his voice thin as the wafts of fog closing in.
Spoke the raven with its thin beak: “Nevermore”.
Like a dagger the word cut in their hearts, a heavy burden on their shoulders. Musty bones made their way through the soft grave soil, spindly fingers seeking warm flesh…
With this short intro I wish all my readers a very happy Halloween and I hope you have a delightful day. But what to do on such a day? I hope the suggestions below bring a bit of dread into your gaming and your evening.
Halloween can often be a bit commercialised and is often too centred on sweets, reruns of bad horror movies and costume parties. So why not rather spent some hours today painting up some of your undead miniatures? Or that Necromancer you wanted to paint for a while now? I plan to put some time aside to paint my Castle’s Ghost conversion. I finished assembly long ago, put the ghost still awaits some paint.
If you are more inclined to do some terrain building maybe a Dungeon would suit or a graveyard to satisfy our morbid side? For some inspiration feel free to check out my Crypt of the Damned Tutorial. If you have all the stuff already, why not ask friends over for an impromptu Dungeon Crawl?
Another idea for today is to go old-school and listen to a classic audiobook with your friends or partner (or even read it out to each other). Edgar Allan Poe comes to mind and there are beautiful recordings out there with grandmaster Christopher Lee reading some of Poe’s most famous works, such as the “The Fall of the House of Usher” or the poem “The Raven”.
Not really old-school, but nevertheless worth a mention is a movie playing now in cinemas: “Crimson Peak“. Instead of being a stale horror movie with jump scares aplenty, this one goes more for subtle Gothic terror, is beautifully shot and, yes, also has some gory elements to it, but it does not turn into ‘torture porn’. The acting is excellent, but that is no surprise with Tom Hiddleston and Mia Wasikowska in lead roles. I can recommend it as a nice way to spent the evening and even people who don’t like horror movies will enjoy it.
With these suggestions I once again wish you all some creepy time off. What did you do for Halloween? Let me know below in the comment section.