Caravan day. The most important and extravagant festival in Waldstead, a time to show off one's dress, to host the ultimate cookery, to sell little trinkets and much more. A day of hope and sorrow, a day which could signify the end of their existence or continue it for two more years. It all meant to nothing to Ernest Donnelly who remained locked up in his little hut, more preoccupied with his little carving than the sights outside. It was a bit darker than usual today as without the loggers the branches had already grown over the patches of sky but it did nothing to dispel the mood. The village was aligned with various stands full of forest delicacies, small games and prizes to win and in the center of it all, the caravan stood ready next to the village shrine, adorned with lanterns and flowers. If it wasn't for the lingering blanket of fear and doubt over the village, it could have been just a regular festival. It was almost midday when the mayor, Eliza Rebena, took the stand. Cupping her hands to be heard over the crowd, she shouted, "Attention everyone! May I have your attention please?" Once the noise subsided, she began her carefully prepared speech. "Now is the time for Waldstead to acknowledge this year's Caravanners. Please welcome Russal Yew, Ronin Kantono, Sameen Demir, Melody Carpenter, and Eric Smith!" Mayor Rebena would wait until they made their way towards the center but she did notice the absence of Eric Smith. It was not something the villagers looked over either, as the sudden whispers showed. She raised her voice to drown out their fear. "Their bravery and sacrifice will not be forgotten. To brave the mist, to brave the open world which we know nothing of - it is nothing short of heroic. We, Waldstead, wish you the very best of luck." There were a few scatterings of applause before the meeting dispersed. The absence of Eric Smith had been duly noted, and just like that, the mood had been broken. The mayor left the group of Caravanners to themselves, muttering about finding a replacement Caravanner. Ernest Donnelly saw all this and more behind the moth bitten curtains of his hut. He guessed at what had happened to Eric - Miasma, and he knew from the mayor's footsteps where she was headed.