It's October again, and you know what that means! Yes, the return of the ever popular Harvest Festival is rapidly approaching. From Friday October 18th through to Friday, November 1st, the cities of Bastok, Windurst, and San d'Oria will be decorated and their populations clad in attire of the macabre and frightful. Will you take part in aiding the Moogles in their yearly plight against Pyracmon, spend time with the three exorcists in the Wake of the Lilies pilgrimage, or just take in some of the merriment of Trick-or-Treating?
Let us know how you'll be celebrating this Harvest Festival over on the ZAM forums!
Happy harvest-time hoedown, hearty harriers of havening!
Once again the vibrations of voluminous voices chanting "Trick or treat," will soon echo extensively off enclosures and embankments throughout the three nations, kupo.
By the way, do you remember the record of rambling rovers from the remote west who smoked out the secrets of the spooky and spine-chilling Dark Lilies for all to see? I believe they maintained peace under the moniker of "exorcist," kupo.
Well, one of these acolytes of Altana wound up waxing wise in Windurst with a mage.
Thanks to his seriously sagacious statements, the mage learned some lasting lessons about not berating a book based on its binding, kupo.
"What!? You're a whitaru mage!?" a small Tarutaru boy shrieked as I rested beneath the Great Star Tree.
"But you're a Galka-walka!"
The first thought that came to mind was "Time to explain myself again," but the days of being flustered by such ignorance had long since passed.
"What's wrong with that?"
"Nothing... It's just that Galkas aren't very good at magic-wagic, so you don't see many. Tarutarus are much more suitaru'd to becoming mages."
"I used to think like that once, too. I'd worry all the time about whether or not I was cut out for this line of work."
Looking up at the clear blue sky, I noticed the bright green leaves of the star tree rustling in the breeze. The rays of sunlight that snuck through the cracks between each leaf warmed and comforted me.
"Now I feel differently, though. Anyway, kid, I—"
"Don't call me a kid-wid! I have a name, you know."
"What is it, then?"
"Okay, then, Tamu-Namu..."
It wasn't the best way to start my story, but it beat listening to more of his questions.
It all took place during the Harvest Festival.
Ahhh, you'll also need to know about the exorcists. They're people from the Sacred City of Adoulin who're skilled in the divine arts. Their job is to chase away the undead and destroy evil spirits.
A few years ago, the Dark Lilies came out of hiding for the first time in over twenty years. Hearing this, a band of three exorcists traveled to the Middle Lands to help us out. We hoped they could get rid of them once and for all.
One was clearly more powerful than the other two...so powerful that rumors about her spread all over Windurst. People said she would one day overtake the most accomplished female exorcist.
Sadly, my story has nothing to do with her. It's about another exorcist named Roger. We met at the time when I didn't know what to do with myself anymore. He encouraged me to participate in the Wake of the Lilies. He said it would do me good to listen to the voices of the departed.
Roger added that the true purpose of the ceremony was to pray for the safe passage of spirits to the afterlife. They need a chance to finally rest.
He gave me an idea. Maybe I would appreciate the life Altana gave me if I talked with ghosts who were still attached to this world.
Also, he wanted me to know that understanding and accepting their pain was key. I'd need to do that to guide them toward Altana's shining light.
"You don't need to be a certain race to perform such feats," he continued. "Any decent exorcist—no matter his upbringing—can extract exactly what ails a spirit and lead it from darkness to daybreak."
Whether you're a Tarutaru or Galka or harvest horror isn't the point. If your heart is true and your prayers genuine, it will work out. You can walk the path of the white mage and receive Altana's blessings.
We of the cloth devote our lives to the Goddess. She takes us under her wing, and we worship and fight in her name.
"It sounds like you have a really difficultaru life."
"Every adventurer has a difficult life, Tamu-Namu."
I think that line spoke to him. The look he gave me now was different from the one he gave me before. What perfect timing to be on my way. Hopefully I could find my friends.
I donned my hat, said my goodbyes, and left the shade of the Great Star Tree.
Hey, I just thought of something. They often say that the Star Sybil in Heavens Tower is the reincarnation of the Goddess herself.
Maybe some of Her patience and understanding rubbed off on me during my break under Her leafy green wings.
Story: Miyabi Hasegawa
Illustration: Mitsuhiro Arita
The Harvest Festival will creep into town at 1:00 a.m. (PDT) on Friday, October 18, 2013, and vanish into the shadows on Friday, November 1, at the same hour.
Your Purple-winged Partners
Brave adventurers willing to take up the task of driving off the unholy infiltrators should seek out the moogles stationed in the areas below. Complete the tasks assigned, and you shall be met with great reward!
West Ronfaure (I-6) / East Ronfaure (G-6)
North Gustaberg (L-8) / South Gustaberg (J-7)
West Sarutabaruta (J-8) / East Sarutabaruta (G-11)
Trick or Treat!
As Harvest Festival tradition goes, the residents of the three nations have dressed themselves in fearsome costumes, hoping to spook adventurers and earn a treat or two in the process. By trading certain treats to costumed NPCs, characters will be able to dress up as monsters or beastmen themselves, and acquire beloved Harvest Festival items to boot!
Southern San d'Oria / Northern San d'Oria
Bastok Mines / Bastok Markets
Windurst Waters / Windurst Woods
*NPCs will accept most food items of the Sweets category, with certain exceptions that do not appeal to their finicky palates.
Bomb Decorations and More Fun With Costumes!
Throughout the festivities, players will be able to enjoy the illumination of the now-famous bomb decorations. As in previous Harvest Festivals, one can't help but wonder what might happen if two characters in full costume were to approach these decorations while in the same party...
Wake of the Lilies
The Harvest Festival will again play host to the Wake of the Lilies, with three aspiring exorcists from the West making their annual pilgrimage to the three nations. Would-be shadow-hunters should seek them out at the following locations:
Gertrude in Northern San d'Oria (D-8)
Brian in Bastok Markets (G-8)
Roger in Windurst Waters (north side) (F-5)
*After successfully completing an exorcist's request, players will be required to wait one Vana'diel day before accepting another.
Special Harvest Festival stalls will make an appearance in the following areas, offering all manner of seasonal goodies for sale. Furthermore, decorate your Mog House with three new lanterns available in each nation, and your moogle just might have a surprise for you the next time you speak with him!
*This special gift may still be obtained after the Harvest Festival has ended, as long as the necessary conditions have been met.
Northern San d'Oria (D-8)
Bastok Mines (H-9)
Windurst Waters (north side) (G-10)