Fright Night Tradition / Ritual in Kald | World Anvil

Fright Night


Fright night is a holiday of scaring the soul out of friends, loved by children and loathed by parents. Or, is it a time to conquer one’s fears, a night spent in terror to allow for a brighter future? The answer is, it’s both, depending on what time and place you find yourself in. Wherever or whenever you are, find yourself some people in the know during the last blood moon of the year and you have yourself a horrifyingly good time.


Children see fright night as one of the best holidays of the year, the mischievous more than others. Under the darkness of night, kids enter the woods, trees carving shadows of the moon to keep all from sight. No sources of light are permitted, they are a good way of getting yourself attacked. By whom? By the other children, stalking the more timid or less stealthy, waiting for their chance to strike. That’s the name of the game, scaring. Enter the woods, preferably with some friends, and try to scare anyone and everyone. If the scare results in a screech, success, the victor gets to carve their name into the closest tree. Both parties witness it, in order to prevent some blowhard from carving their name everywhere underserved. The forests are still marred with more than scratches come daylight. Before that happens, before the kids go off to bed and after the scaring is done, it’s time to have some cookies.

Parents, of course, have the entire play-area surrounded. While it’s meant to be a holiday where a whole town can get together, some more wealthy parents choose to use their wooded property. They create smaller get-togethers with limited friends, exclusionary for sure. They claim it’s safer, they don’t want anything happening to their kids. Not like the others.

Many cities and even a nation or two have dropped the observance of the holiday, it’s just too dangerous. Fears swelled about how some kids would go missing, turn up mauled, or of the one tale about the Fright Night Killer; only some of which were true. Founded or not, it was enough to get the holiday barred in some areas and under much more strict control in others. Manufactured light is introduced, kids must wear location-bands, parents must stay within sight of their children, and so on. Some argue it ruins the spirit, asking where the line should be drawn. Others attest the holiday should be removed everywhere. Most think the lights and smaller play-areas are enough. Besides, it provides more of a challenge for scaring, right?
Children of all ages and their accompanying parents have two major roles. Parents come to protect their kids and the kids have fun. Depending on the culture of the area, many species may participate, or there might be different play-areas based on age. Some dispute the unfair inclusion of nocturnal and diurnal species —nocturnal Muzoval having a distinct advantage over a light-relient Drake. It may not be as much about that, but with the children’s personality. Any known mischief makers, no matter their origin, tend to have their name carved far more often than a shy kid.

Components & Tools

  • Aside from any tailoring items like lights, tags, etc, the only things really needed to observe fright night is a forest, hard cookies, and wards.
  • Cookies are also required. Tradition requests hard cookies, though now it’s any cookies either made by the parents or bought by them. The kids get together and share their stories while stuffing their faces with sweets.
  • And no good parent would ever forget wards. Wards to detect someone entering the play-area, wards to block off the play-area, wards to track all within the play area, wards to create light on a trigger, wards to teleport the kids to a specified location, just wards to keep the kids safe. A warded wood is quite good.


Forgotten pagans yearly gathered for Fright Night. Some scant few still know of this practice, convening every few years to practice the ritual in secret. Where the yug trees vigil over the krummholz of the mountain is lonely and cold, hermits in south-eastern Isazol gather. They dare not go alone, and would welcome any newcomer to join. Though, since predominantly hermits keep the old ways, not many know to ask.

Under the blood moon they gather, the yug tree bare of its leaves. A ring of salt is poured, enchanted with a slight glow. They know, once the ritual has started, there’s no leaving the circle. If they aren’t careful with the dimensions of the circle, particular to every tree, they could make the circle too big. A terrible fate for anyone who thinks they are within safety only to find out the following night, they were horribly wrong and are cursed for the rest of the year. If the ring is crossed at any time during the night, the trespasser is cursed to relive the night every subsequent night until the next Fright Night.

Following the salt, each participant must carve their fear into the tree; this must be in old haseh. A fear is selected prior to the night, thought about at length, not only to choose but to fortify one’s mind. The fear, a single word distillation, a thing wished to be conquered, that is what is to be carved.

Following the carving is the ceremonial sharing of the cookies. It will be a time before the nightmare begins. It will start slowly, a feeling, movements not quite seen, the disappearance of the stars. Inexorably, the carvings will come to life, living embodiments of fears. They will stalk, whisper, and outright attack the participants, all depending on the word and thoughts. The night must be braved, lest the living fears come back.

Every individual has their fera manifest in their worst way. If one has a fear of death, it may come in the form of the harvester looming, a murder stabbing, or darkness and senslessness overwhelming. While the fears target their carver, all other participants experience them as well. One may seem to die, but there is nothing anyone can do to help. One may be set upon by thousands of spiders, others can only help squash the infinite swarm. It is because of the futility of outside help that many choose not to face their more extreme fears, settling on small phobias. The reason they attempt Fright Night in a group is for moral support, for all that’s worth. Also, a more brave person may be able to physically restrain someone attempting to leave the circle, saving them from cursing themselves.

Leaving the circle before day absolves the fears will curse the one to have their fears return, over and over. If one manages to make it through the night, they will never be afraid of what they carved into the tree again.
Participants include anyone willing to face their fears in hopes of removing them. Typically, it is adults who participate, as the fears experienced can be too intense to include young children. Though, if a child has shown exceptional bravery, or has suffered unjustly, they may be brought along.

Components & Tools

  • A tool to mark the tree with. This can be a knife, claw, chisel, or any sharp object than cut the bark of the Yug Tree.
  • Salt enchanted to glow. The enchantment makes it easier to spot while the salt is thought to house the fears, to prevent them from running amok. The size of the ring is how far the furthest branch reaches from the trunk.
  • A ritual cookie in the shape of a triangle covered in Mustatti Cheese. The cookie is meant to keep one warm during the cold night. It’s also a last pleasure shared among the members before the fears fully manifest.
  • The yug tree is the central fixture of the ritual. The carving of this tree is the trigger for the manifestation of fears. While not known the ancient peoples, it is not the tree that conjures, but the fungus growing on it, Musa. The scratching of the fungus releases the spores, causing hallucinations. The nature of this fungus causes the hallucinations be corporeal, though no real danger can come of them.



Fright night finds its origins over two thousand years ago among a paganistic peoples of southern Isazol. This is in contrast to the falsely held belief that it originated in northern Isazol. This is due to the holiday being more fun in denser forests. It would make sense, too, considering their winters are too cold and hostile, the holiday being the last time the kids may have to practice hunting before being trapped inside.

Not much is known about its origin beyond the location and what the practice is. It’s location was only known due to the yug tree only growing high in the Katisva Mountains, feasting on the breeze of the sea. That and a few hermits found practicing the ritual. The hermits who practice the ritual don’t seem to follow one set religious practice, only observing Fright Night due to their knowledge of how it works and what it does. There are many unknowns of how the people started the ritual, what significance it had for them, what deity (if any) it was meant to prais (if so), or how the ritual fit in with their religious practices.


Much of the knowledge was lost not only due to time but the revisionist history introduced by the Kanøu faith. They appropriated the holiday to fit their teachings. They tried to make the ritual able to be celebrated in areas without Yug trees, so they removed the need to actually face one’s fears. Instead, the night was to be spent preparing for Tukk by scaring one another, proving bravery in the face of Yon.

This could now take place in any forest, the night spent attacking one another front he shadows. This leads to bloodshed, adults wanting to prove they are ready fighters by fighting with too much ferocity. Assuredly, some used this night to enact vendettas against a fellow who slighted them.


The favoring of actual fighting during Fright Night fell away with modern sensibilities (maybe it’s not a good idea to go around stabbing anyone). And as the holiday became more tame, so too did it appear more juvenile. The tradition slowly lowered in age before reaching the modern iteration. The ritual is still sputed to face one’s fear —specifically of death and the forces of Yon if you’re religious. However, the practice is also observed by non-Kanøu peoples who find the holiday fun. The inclusion of cookies returned with the child-friendly nature of the holiday, too.


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