Most glorious greetings to you gallant, good people everywhere!
Adventurers throughout the middle lands prepare themselves for another ghoulishly ghastly Halloween festival gorged with goodies galore!
Whether they're trick-or-treating or handing out candy, this year's Halloween is sure to have something to satisfy the sundry soft spots of Vana'diel's citizenry.
This year's festival will feature the Pink Masquerade costume contest, replete with a resplendent range of prizes for all of Vana'diel's most radiant adventurers.
So slip on your most splendid suit and try your luck in this special competition!
The chief jurors presiding over the contest may surprise some, but we've been rigorously reassured that they'll do their very best with the limited experience they have.
We hope to see you all in your most regal raiments, outlandish outfits, and glorious getups at Pink Masquerade!
"But of course! We can think of no one more suited to be chief juror for this year's contest."
The portly man from the Jeuno Chamber of Commerce smiled broadly, his hands clasped together.
"Ms. Hannati, your fantastic costumes are the delight of each year's festival. We would be honored to have you serving on the panel all the while marveling the people of Bastok with your skillful artistry."
Hannati furled her pretty brow in a knot as she looked over at her father.
Her father grinned like he couldn't help it.
"No one's prettier than my little daughter!"
"I'll be dressed as a monster, Dad."
And more precisely, in a costume that covers the entire wearer. There's no way that anyone would see her face.
"As long as you're beautiful on the inside, that's all that counts!"
Hannati heaved a sigh.
"They made you a judge!?"
"Chief Juror, Maurito, get it right."
The freckled young boy stared back at Hannati in disbelief.
Hannati and Maurito sat on the fountain's ledge near the Bastok Markets auction house. They had made no plans to meet up there, but nevertheless always seemed to run into one-another by happenstance.
Maurito lived at the Mines. Hannati was a merchant's daughter from Bastok Markets. It was a rare act of fate that led their two disparate lives to cross paths. She was also five years his elder, a fact that under normal circumstances would have given her a natural authority over the younger boy, or at least Hannati thought so.
Nevertheless, for whatever reason, Maurito would always act like her superior whenever the two of them were talking.
"You sure they didn't make a mistake? There's no way you could be a judge!"
"What are you talking about? Of course there's a way. I can be a fine judge!"
Hannati turned away and assumed the most judicial pose she could muster. Maurito couldn't keep himself from giggling as Hannati bit her lip in frustration.
In truth, the position of chief juror was an honor in title only. Rumor had it that each nation had elected children to their panels as some kind of novelty. It's unlikely that such a young girl would have been personally invited to become chief juror in a normal year. Hannati was proud, but not so vain as to believe otherwise.
"So why do you have that worried look on your face, then?"
"I don't have a worried look on my face! What are you talking about?"
"You have the same look on your face you made when I brought you an extra premium black pudding the day you had a toothache."
What look? What an impudent little boy. And now he even has the gall to offer his help!
"Well, I wasn't planning on participating in this year's costume contest, anyway."
"What? You're in it every year!"
"But this year...
"Wow... This is terrible."
"I know! And there's no time to have them make up a new one before the contest!"
This year's Halloween costume was spread out on Hannati's bed. She never thought the day would come when she would let Maurito into her room.
"Last year's only covered the head, so I thought this year's could be a full-body costume."
"But this... This isn't a Flan. Look, it's huge! And there's this weird thing stuck to its head.
"Flans are from the Near East, Everybody says they look like mashed pudding."
Based off of last year's design, the outfit had been made specially to order, but for whatever reason, ended up completely different from what Hannati had imagined. Although it did look like pudding. The suit was so large it would be floppy even on a Galkan. When Hannati put it on, the lower half of the outfit was deflated and lifeless. The fabric would pile around the legs and it was impossible to take a single step without keeling over.
"Why not use last year's?"
"I don't have it anymore. I always give away my costumes to the kids after the festival."
"...You could always turn down their offer."
"I thought about it, but Dad always dreamed of opening a shop in Jeuno."
Her father loved her madly. No doubt he would laugh and forget about the whole thing if Hannati refused the position.
"Well, there's no way you can wear this. It's twice as tall as me. It would be too dangerous to try to walk in this, even for me."
"Even for me?"
"Nothing, quite the confident one, I see. So there's nothing we can do after all. I guess there's no point in even asking you for advice."
"Well, there is one thing we could do..."
"Are...are you sure you're alright down there!?"
"I'm fine! Trust me!"
Even as he said it the two of them tottered for a second and came close to tumbling down.
"And now! Introducing the chief juror for this year's costume contest..."
The judge(s) made their way onto the stage as the announcer called out Hannati's name.
The suit was too big for either of them alone, but was just the right size for both of them in it together, with Maurito balancing Hannati on his shoulders.
"Are you...are you sure you're alright down there!?"
He was five years younger than her. Still just a kid, as far Hannati was concerned. But in one year he had grown taller and his shoulders broader. She realized that she could now talk to him at eye level. "Just ride on my shoulders. It'll be perfect!" At the time she thought he was joking.
"Oh! What a terrific costume we have here! A real monster's come onto the stage, Ladies and Gentlemen!"
From where the audience was sitting, no one would have guessed that two children were inside the suit. The creature's tentacles wriggled and danced like undulating worms as its body slinked and writhed in an uncanny motion. The monster oozed across the stage, captivating the audience with its lifelike performance.
Cheers and applause thundered out across the crowd.
"I...I think they like us, Hannati!"
"You...you think so?"
After Hannati was introduced, costumed adventurers began steadily filling the stage. Hannati just shut her eyes and prayed, "Don't fall over...don't fall over!" She could not even remember what score they were awarded as she clung to the boy carrying all her weight on his shoulders.
The creature's tentacles twisted and waved. Its body wriggled and jiggled, and Hannati's feelings began fluttering too.
He's a whole five years younger than me...
But, all the same...
I suppose it can't hurt to give him a thank you kiss when all this is over.
It's...it's just a thank you kiss, of course!
The two of them wriggled and bobbed, slithered and waved. Hannati's whole body and heart began to feel like it might turn into jelly at any moment, as the contest quickly trickled by.
|Story: Miyabi Hasegawa|
Illustration: Mitsuhiro Arita
From Saturday, October 10, 2015 at 8:00 a.m. (PDT) to Monday, November 2 at 6:00 a.m. (PST)
Take Part in the Pink Masquerade Costume Contest!
The Pink Masquerade costume competition will be held on each festival ground. Speak to Ensemble Maven and trade them some treat to begin the contest. The judge will evaluate your currently equipped outfit. Receive a high evaluation to win a prize. A particularly high evaluation can win you a special piece of equipment!
Not only that, but the top 3 highest-ranked outfits will be displayed on mannequins for all to see on the festival grounds.
♦Costume Contest Areas
Southern San d'Oria (I-8) / Northern San d'Oria (F-6)
Bastok Mines (H-8) / Bastok Markets (G-8)
Windurst Waters (G-9) / Windurst Woods (H-11)
Speak to the Ensemble Maven to receive a Botulus Suit.
You are free to participate in the contest wearing the suit.
Trick or Treat! Hand out treats to the masked denizens of the city!
People from around the land are walking about dressed as a variety of fearsome monsters, hoping to scare the living daylights out of adventurers like you. By giving these costumed NPCs in the following areas a treat, you will be able to dress up in a costume of your own. And if you are really lucky, you might even obtain a special Halloween-themed item!
♦Costumed NPCs can be found in the following locations:
Southern San d'Oria / Northern san d'Oria
Bastok Mines / Bastok Markets
Windurst Waters / Windurst Woods
*NPCs will accept most sweets, with certain exceptions that do not appeal to their finicky palates.
Also keep an eye out for residents disguised as flans! These NPCs are your chance to obtain new flan-related items, so be sure to bring along plenty of treats!
♦NPCs disguised as flans can be found in the following areas:
Northern San d'Oria / Bastok Markets / Windurst Waters
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)
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 must wait till
Midnight (Vana'diel time) has passed 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)