A Ghost is Released, A Town is Freed

S.Y. 310.4 (Novemberr 4, 2001)
A Ghost is Released, A Town is Freed
From The Skara Brae Chimera
Mainland, Skara Brae
By Lord Steward Engval

A cold western wind blew across Skara Island as the sun moved too rapidly towards the horizon. Preparation had been going on all day in dread of the coming night and the walk of Hollo. The town assembled in Ailynne's Grove to hear the bard, Bethany, recite the tale of Hollo's death and his curse. A cold tingle coursed down many spines. Who could say whether it was from the telling or from the cold wind that blew. With the finishing of the tale all knew their duty for the night. A lone ship bell rang hollowly through the town.

'Twas the signal that the ships had arrived carrying the load of pumpkins and lanterns. The townsfolk and visitors that had come to Skara's call hurried to unload the waiting ships. Carved pumpkins and lanterns were passed around and everyone scattered throughout the town. Pumpkin lanterns were placed on the stoops of many doors and the citizens stood ready for Hollo's coming.

It was not long after darkness settled upon the town that the first cries of "Hollo Ween" were heard. Soon more and more cries were heard. Where ever Hollo appeared there were doorways protected by pumpkins and good folk driving it away with the words "Hollo Ween! Hollo Ween!" The most able of the Hollo hunters was Rictor of Britannia's Royal Guard, who doggedly kept on Hollo's trail.

With the approach of dawn the ghost of Hollo began its journey back to its grave. It's grave that would provide it relief from the incessant chanting that followed it through the forest. Drifting through the shadowed woods it approached the site of its grave. The ghost would get no respite this day. There next to its exposed grave were three more of the hated Skaraens. While Hollo was away Lord Engval, Magi Zed and Bellfloret had uncovered Hollo's bones. A gate was cast and the trio and Hollo's bones were taken into the blue aura. Hollo and three other townsfolk followed before the gate dissolved.

Upon Druid Camp Engval ask for help from the elements. He beseeched the air, fire, earth, and water to aid him. A magic circle was drawn using the powers of nature with Engval and Hollo within. With the circle complete, the ritual to draw forth the demon within Hollo's spirit was begun. Once again drawing upon the powers of Sosaria, the incantation worked its magic upon the spirit of Hollo. The air was thick with the power of magic. A fetid smell soon pervaded the area as the demon was drawn forth. Fully revealed the demon stood before Engval, its venom and malice whipped through the air like a nest of angry snakes.

It took but a moment for the demon to see the threat before it. The very air roiled as magic coursed between demon and Engval. Blow upon magic blow fell upon the glowing form of Engval as he continued to chant the spell that would entrap the demon forever. See Engval's distress, Zed, Bellfloret and Parasite Aya worked magic of their own to keep Engval from collapsing under the attack. Drawing more strength from the earth and those aiding him, Engval with a final burst of magic cast the demon into the enchanted gem. With the demon imprisoned the glade was suddenly quiet. The only sound was the labored breathing of the victorious.

To ensure Hollo's eternal rest his spirit and his remains were carried over to Trammel. A funeral pyre was build upon which Hollo's remains were gently arranged and placed. As his remains were consumed these parting words were spoken;

To the winds we commit the spirit of Hollo.
To the earth we commit the ashes of his body.
To our minds we commit the memory of his life.
To our hearts we commit the peace his spirit has found.

Thus the spirit of Hollo was given release and the town of Skara Brae was finally freed from its curse.