Ladies and gentlemen, the Quest is now closed. We'll be doling out XP prezzies over the course of the next week.

Our most morbid legends tell of a race that dwelleth far from the reaches of natural lyght; a race that wanteth only one thing above all: to fryghten and be fryghtened in turn, to the point where each one crappeth his pants and weepeth lyke a chyld. They call themselves the Noders, and they hunger for nodes.

— The Mad Arab Abdul Albonezred, Nodronomicon

It's that time of year again. Cheap marshmallows, rubber bats, molasses chews, little eyeholes cut in linens — it's Halloween.

You will know it by its kitsch, but you will love it for the atmosphere. The true spirit of Halloween consists in the rapid pulse, in the raised hairs on the back of the neck, in the shivering spine, in the wavering voice. You can almost feel the emotion in the air, almost smell it and taste it and see it. Yes, Virginia, there is a Boogey Man. And maybe it's chemical, but it starts with stories; that's the element from which the rest is built. Stories about people like us, or like we imagine ourselves to be — or like we fear becoming. Stories about the familiar becoming unfamiliar, or the unfamiliar becoming far too intimately familiar. Stories like our race has been telling for untold myriad years, and will continue telling until it disappears.

This is where you come in. Halloween is a cooperative effort, and if you enjoy it it's only fair you help build it up. Oh, but this is more than an appeal to your sense of communitas. This is a Quest, y'all. Here's how it works.

  1. Write a node about something scary. This can be original fiction, original research, or public domain text on some unsettling theme dealing with the preternatural or the unexplained.
  2. Send an /msg to myself or to Lucy-S, so that we can include you as soon as possible in the list of entries. This part is important! We need to know who you are and what you've written, and that you want it to be considered.
  3. When the Quest is over, our panel of Necrocrats will sort the entries according to our exacting standards of awesomeness; you will be awarded one of three XP awards, according to our grade, as well as being able to reap the benefits of any upvotes and C!'s your entry garners normally.

The Quest begins immediately. It ends at eight hundred hours server time (8:00 am UTC), November 1, 2004. (This time was chosen because it's midnight on Halloween for noders in PST, which seems to be the furthest to the west before the date line that's represented by a large segment of the e2 population.)

Contribute — if you dare!

Sincerely, your friend,
Terence the Teratoma

ps. This is also a birthday present for icicle.

The Pentagrammatical Synod of Necrocrats who will be judging your entries:

Contributions by the Necrocrats (ineligible for prizes, of course):

Past Halloween Quests (for your interest and inspiration):

Those who have risen from the grave of New Nodes, stuff that was submitted before the Quest was announced but which deserve your attention and Mad Propz:

This year's entries: