Ravenfell Chronicles: The Possession- A Yard Haunt Begins
In 2010 two unsuspecting men by the names of Brandon and Carl were in search of their first home. To them it was just a rundown cozy ranch home, which needed a little TLC. They did not yet know it had been two hundred years since the burning of an ancient manor or that the Ravenfells were biding their time for that coming Halloween to enter the world once more through this very spot. Although, one among them likely would have considered those things an exciting selling point.
With the arrival of the home's new occupants, the spirits of the Ravenfells' century’s’ long plot was finally coming to fruition. Their powers had grown in the vast darkness of the afterlife. However, the ashes of their mortal forms had long since dispersed on the winds, leaving them without a direct connection to the realm of the living. They needed vessels through which to fully touch the world of the living once more and the unsuspecting Carl and Brandon were intended for just such a purpose.
The signs were little things at first, something brushing their arm, or a distant whisper that came from nowhere. Carl and Brandon paid little heed as they were caught up in the joys of being first time homeowners. But as the Ravenfells watched and learned the secrets of their victims' souls they began to influence their potential hosts in seemingly innocent ways, but always with a darker purpose.
Brandon was the first to succumb. He was home more often than Carl, and he shared similar traits with a few of the specters constantly swirling unseen in the nether around him. He had grown up to love gardening but had been prevented from having a garden of his own until now. The Lady Katerina Ravenfell saw this as a perfect opportunity.
In her days she had been an avid gardener, though her harvests were of a much darker nature. Her essence was infused into the soil over time, along with the remains of numerous victims to induce the bearing of the darkest of flowers and fruits. So when Brandon first delved his fingers deep into that dark soil, the corrupting powers that still lingered infused themselves to his soul giving the Lady Ravenfell the connection she needed. Soon Brandon was breaking ground for his new garden in the very spot where Katerina had once grown her demonic flora.
She did not take him over completely. The connection wasn't that strong yet, so she simply used her influence to direct his interests and activities to their liking. Her husband Beaumont didn't take long to use his wife's connection as his own link to the unsuspecting mortal. Of course it didn't hurt that Brandon also shared a fascination with the supernatural and a love for strange and exotic creatures. These were also the Ravenfell patriarch's passions. And though he knew he could not compel the young man to go and hunt down a werewolf to restart his old collection, he used his will in other small ways to get what he desired.
Carl was a little more difficult to ensnare. Being a skeptic he was harder to connect to and thus they resigned to wait until their connection to the world was stronger, All Hallows Eve. At first they used Brandon to suggest and direct Carl's actions, such as coaxing him into the gardens so that Katerina's dark essence could begin its corrupting influence. But everything was directed at one central goal.
On Halloween night when the veil between worlds is thinnest they intended to use their hosts to bring their darkness further into the mortal realm than they were ever able to alone. And once there, they would spread their evil throughout the lands and upon the descendants of those who burned them alive.
As Halloween neared Brandon seemed taken over by a strange obsession. When he had been younger he remembered always wanting to set up an amazingly scary yard haunt for Halloween and now that he had a yard he could. True it had always been a dream of his, however the dream was being strongly enhanced by the Ravenfells' influence. They needed physical forms into which they could draw down the spirits of the past.
Magic had waned in the world since their deaths, so they couldn't simply use the men to conjure or summon new bodies. They had to get creative. About two weeks before Halloween, Brandon made the suggestion that they should go to a new Halloween store in the neighboring town to see what they had. Carl, having been over the past month slowly coaxed into the yard haunt idea, excitedly agreed.
There is some debate in the spirit realm as to which Ravenfell actually connected with Carl first in those initial minutes within the store. Most bets are on the ancient grandmother Hildegard Ravenfell, for when Carl first beheld the witch prop that stirred its own smoking cauldron he was hers. But needless to say when he saw all the options for decor he was immediately overtaken by a passion to go all out on the yard haunt. Since this was a passion for all of the Ravenfells wishing to come through, they used the shared emotion to latch on to their new host.
Much to the dismay of Carl and Brandon, and even more so to the Ravenfells, the concept of money prevented the purchase of all the spirits' desires. They focused on stretching the funds as much as possible and granting the more powerful beings the final decision.
Those last two weeks were a flurry of activity as the Ravenfells worked the men to the bone preparing for the big night. Their mortal hands were not as skilled at the fine art of creating monsters from nothing as the spirits would have liked. So, the Ravenfells were forced to make do with the skills available and prepare to hone them even better for the following years.
Beaumont as the patriarch of the family got his body. Though Katerina had her say. His head ended up being a carved pumpkin. She had often joked with him that she would love to replace his head with one of her beloved Soul Gourds, so that she could carve it to show the emotions she would prefer at that moment over his constant dark and brooding nature.
Katerina found an enticing banshee prop which she felt fit her mood well enough for the coming night. And of course Hildegard got her moving witch to inhabit. A few of the lesser spirits were offered some small forms to take over that fit into the budget. And of course the faithful Gravedigger who had returned once the fires that killed the Ravenfells subsided to bury what was left of their charred remains, received a body. It was the least they could do for him since it was through the dark powers in their ancestral graveyard that they were able to stay linked to these lands and now return.
That Halloween night, the Ravenfells and their demonic servants looked out on the realm of the living through the dark unmovable eyes of the meager props they inhabited. On a rare occasion the talking witch prop would croak out something that the two men were certain had never played on the recordings before. But that was the most the spirits could achieve with their current forms. Yet, although they could not directly interact with this world as they truly wished, the Ravenfells' presence struck terror into the hearts of the many visitors that All Hallows Eve. They fed upon that terror, fueling their dark magic and building it in preparation for another chance at a later time. For there was always next year.