2000-06-14: The Spirit World

Catskills Edition

The Spirit World

Author: Kardian McLean Published: June 14, 2000

I bring to you, my readers, the latest in the tales of the plague that caused much havoc in Yew and in the village of Kinship. It seems that Kinship has found itself haunted by ghosts from the plague ship that crashed near the village not too long ago. In an attempt to aid the village, the old gypsy, Tatiana, sought them out and offered to conduct a séance to contact these spirits in hopes of ending the haunting and helping the spirits to find their peace. However, I fear what we found was only the path to more questions that are as of yet… unanswered.

I decided to attend this séance with a bit of trepidation on my part. Though I have seen some of the undead that walk our world, I have generally avoided contact with such beings. I fear I had no desire to find myself face to face with angry spirits intent upon harming my person, yet I knew that I must find out if there was more to be learned of this plague. It has truly become something of an obsession for me.

I approached the crowded field that night and worked my way through the crowd. It is amazing what a well-placed elbow can do when someone refuses to move. Fortunately no one managed to connect the pain in their sides to my elbow so I passed through the crowd fairly unharmed.

As I neared the center of the crowd I saw Tatiana standing and chanting quietly, almost under her breath. It came out as an indistinct mumble to my ears especially in such a crowd. She stood in a circle of nightshade with a larger circle of seven candles surrounding it, her face and skin almost seemed to glow translucently for a moment as I watched. Then her necklace flared brightly, causing me to look away for a moment.

When I looked back, I was shocked to see a spirit almost hovering above the ground inside the ring of nightshade. It looked about in confusion as we all stood watching in an odd silence for a crowd so large. Finally someone broke the silence and began asking the spirit questions.

At first I thought Tatiana must have missed her mark, since the spirit spoke only of his life and his rather normal sounding death of old age most likely, but then as he mentioned his grandchildren… a young boy appeared. After more questioning, I was equally as surprised to learn the boy had died of the plague! Tatiana knew her art it seemed.

After the first two spirits faded from our sight, she tried again a second time to bring forth one of the ghosts haunting Kinship… her chanting beginning softly then growing in volume until it sent chills down my spine with its eerie haunting quality. The next spirit that appeared was that of a beggar that had died in the plague.

Tatiana then changed her tactics slightly and chanted a slightly different sounding mumble. This time she hit right on the mark and brought forth the first mate of the ship that had wrecked! I was so amazed and almost elated to see the spirit as I managed to forget my fears in the excitement of the moment. This spirit, like the others, seemed reluctant to speak with us and did not seem to appreciate being drug out of the spirit world to do our bidding… however it did give us some useful information.

It seems that the spirit of the captain of the ship had disappeared. Captain Henry had been the one driving them to seek their revenge and to search for answers as best as they could. When he disappeared, the crew grew restless and angry and sought the closest outlet for their anger… Kinship Village. Having recognized some of the village members as people they first saw after the ship crashed and they found themselves trapped in the spirit world, they blamed them and began haunting the village.

The first mate then confessed that he had blindly lashed out at the village as well until one night he overheard Benedict’s confession. Benedict had stated that he had developed the plague and then made a plea for help to try to end what he began. After hearing this, the spirit told us he had become unsure if we should be seeking Krelan or Benedict, but his mates did not care either way. Without some evidence to prove to them that justice had been served for their deaths, whether it be to Krelan or Benedict, the haunting would continue and would likely grow worse. Unfortunately before we could get much more information he started to fade out again. But he did manage to tell us to seek out Cargyle who was now one of them.

Tatiana seemed to be weakening by this point… and indeed she called upon members of the crowd to aid her in her ritual. I was very pleased to see that she did not call upon me… as I am not certain I could have done it, so intense was my nervousness.

After a few moments of concentration, Tatiana summoned forth the last spirit. This Cargyle was even more reluctant to speak to us than the others but after some discussion we managed to learn that he was the former harbormaster in Serpent’s Hold where Benedict’s ships were to return to after depositing their cargoes in the proper towns. It seems that Benedict had returned to speak to him about the gold, when the ships did not arrive, and had collected the gold from the man then left. But Cargyle had heard him arguing with another man just outside of the tavern, out of sight. He could tell little of the conversation other than the angry tones of their voices. It was later that very night that he heard a strange hissing noise then woke up as he is now.

I fear after a few disruptions during the séance, which seemed to release some powerful energies as well as a couple of demons loose upon the crowd… Tatiana was exhausted from the ordeal and I did not get a chance to speak with her of this. Though I have not met with her, I did hear a rumor of Tatiana having told some people to search for information on Benedict’s fanatics among the mages of Wind… I fear I know little of this though or why she seeks this information. But I will try to find her in the days to come and gather her thoughts on these events as well as whatever news I can find of this Krelan and Benedict.

Somehow we must find the truth of this, my readers. Is Benedict lying? Is Krelan to blame for the plague? Which do we believe? And what proof can we find to satisfy the ghosts that haunt Kinship Village? Hopefully I can give you the answers to these and more in my next article… but at this point I am starting to fear that I will only find more questions.