A gathering was the process by which Mud People called forth their ancestors' spirits to help solve problems in the world of the living. A gathering was preceded by three days of a banquet and celebration, under normal circumstances. Two gatherings had been held at the request of Richard with the Temper and both were done in only two days after Richard made the request.
The first gathering held for Richard was carried out so he could find the location of the remaining Boxes of Orden not in the possession of Darken Rahl. The spirits were unable to tell Richard this location due to the magic of the Boxes of Orden. They did, however, tell Richard that Shota, the witch woman, knew the location of the remaining box. During this gathering the village was attacked by Darken Rahl riding Scarlet, a Red Dragon, which the Mud People called a Red Demon after the attack. The spirits advised Richard against leaving the spirit house as he would fail to defeat Darken Rahl if he left. Instead, those taking part in the gathering remained in the spirit house until morning. Darken Rahl was unable to locate Richard during the gathering due to the effects of the gathering.