Pale Quarter

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Artworks by Jamey Brand(Left), Kasia 'Kafis' Zielińska(middle), Jason Scheier(right)

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The Pale Quarter
October 1st-31st

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Rumors and wivestales whisper in the ears of children, warning of The Pale Hunt, an army of undead that ride only during the Pale Quarter’s nights. Many years ago, The Pale Hunt would announce its presence with horns made of Ocrese. Of course, mortalkin who hear such horns often join their ranks soon enough, as the Pale Hunt chases the mortals their horns mark as prey, killing them savagely before raising their bodies with unholy power. Farmers would often hide away their livestock from the Pale Hunts Xolopus Wolves, whose howls would echo in the skulls of all who heard it.

However, many believed the eyes of The Pale Hunter’s were glazed over and rotten, making it difficult for them to see. As such, it became tradition to hide themselves from the Pale Hunt, dressing as otherworldly creatures and monsters, confusing the riders, scaring their undead hounds, and surviving their nightly hunt. Farmers began to use their limited sugar to make sweets to distract the Xolopus wolves from their cattle and livestock. Villages began to build large pyres, singing prayers to Heurer and Riara for protection, adding undead sacrifices to strengthen their intercessions. White Pantheon Devotees would ride off to face the Pale Hunt themselves, coming back with untold glories and treasures. But most would not come back at all, joining the ranks of the Pale Hunt and disappearing into the eerily cold summer night.



HISTORY

During the second quarter of the final year of a Lepatalian, as the three years cycle comes to a close, the influence of the Irziz strengthens its grasp. Laurëans often refer to this quarter as “Le Quartier Pâle,'' or the Pale Quarter. During the Pale Quarter, Mithra is colder, only holding its heat for 7 turns as the influence of Hesperus grows more powerful. Due to this, crops struggle to grow in the increased cold and mortalkin must resort to hunting for their food. However, these hunters often only find themselves being hunted as the Pale Hunt chases them into the night, killing them and adding them to the ranks of the dead.

The Pale Hunt is composed of some of the most powerful undead in Veruz’s Army. Many debate its leader, Kasrans believe it to be a hunter named Klein, a powerful sorcerer favored by Veruz, while Laurëans believe the hunt is led by the Dread Queen Aithera herself.

However, after thousands of years of silence, the Pale Hunt’s horns have gone silent, only existing rumors and tales. Many still believe it to be a dangerous Quarter, so many activities and traditions are held to protect against the Pale Hunt.



ACTIVITIES

Night of Disguises
To hide themselves from the Pale Hunt, mortals will disguise themselves as creatures and monsters in the hopes of scaring away or confusing the riders of the Pale Hunt. In recent years, contests are held to show off the most convincing costume.

Sweet Thieves
Farmers and Chefs will often cook a variety of assorted treats for the Pale Quarters. Traditionally, these treats were left at doorsteps or on window sills of households to distract Xolopus Wolves from trying to steal the house’s inhabitants or their livestock. In more recent years, extra treats are given to children when they dress up.

Locked Doors
An older tradition, taught by the grandmothers of grandmothers, Locked Doors isn’t the typical action of baring your doors from thieves and robbers, rather, locks and chains are made from silver to shield their doors from the touch of the undead. Additionally, it is believed that locking your doors keeps your home safe from the scourge of Xolopus Wolves that might linger until the next Pale Quarter, bringing bad luck and misfortune during their stay.

Pyre of Sacrifice
Hamlets and Villages were considered to be the most susceptible to Pale Hunt’s havoc. As such, individual traditions of protection were not considered to be strong enough. As such, Hamlets and Villages engaged in traditions of providing offerings to either the Pale Hunt or Riara and Heruer. Offerings to Riara were done with giant pyres built in the center of their towns. Any undead the village kills is thrown into the flames and their ashes are spread around the town for protection.

Scapegoat’s Burden
To those with stronger ties to the spirits, the tradition of the Scapegoat’s Burden is more suitable to their needs of protection. The village takes two Ikadra, one is killed, its blood painted above the entrances of their dwellings and the other is given the offerings of the village people and the meat and bones of the other Ikadra and is sent out into the wilderness for the Pale Hunt. The Ikadra that is sent off being the scapegoat for the village people.



FOODS

Pale Colada
A special white wine using Glintbark grapes and fermented in Bleeding Elm Wood to give it a unique taste and magical effects based on whatever sugars are added to it.

Caramel Delights
Caramel is a very appreciated delicacy and is either enjoyed accompanying meals, coated on fruits, or enjoyed plainly.


 
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