Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Plan of Action

So this is officially my first post on Wintergreen, and probably my last. I’ve been busy for quite some time trying to figure out what the deal is behind this fucking hotel, why we’re stuck here and why it’s completely abandoned. Given that I’m the only person here with any experience in the metaphysical, I’ve basically been locked in our safe room entering meditative trances and doing rituals day and night learning whatever I can and never sleeping more than two hours at a time. It’s exhausting, certainly, and I don’t even have Seattle’s famous coffee to keep me going. But by now some of you are just putting two and two together. Yeah, I’ve stopped my ritual shenanigans to post an update. I’ve made a discovery and I’m here to ask for help. Though to be honest, once you hear what the deal is you may not want to come to our rescue. I can’t in good conscience endanger you, so here’s everything we know. From there, if you’re around and want to help then we can use anything you have to offer.

So here it is.

The first thing I did when this started was set up a sacred space. Arkady and the others were told not to enter, as I didn’t want them messing around with anything. They all obliged save Arkady, who had no intention of letting his precious “wizard” stay unprotected. The room, which I called Sanctuary, was warded and protected by six full Goetic Demons both in the physical plane and the astral plane. Strangely enough, my magick seemed to be working with incredible ease here. That wasn’t a good sign, as that probably meant something in the Astral Plane was being tampered with. But I figured I might as well play to my strengths just the same and established more wards outside of Sanctuary into the immediate surrounding area.

Once all of that was taken care of I decided to investigate the Astral Plane. It was my first real clue, as astral energy seemed to weave it’s way into our world far too easily. This was especially worrisome since none of us seemed to be effective influenced by outsider emotions. The Astral Plane responds strongly to feelings, so we should have seen those effects first hand in the real world if everything was entwined the way my magick initially suggested it was. But none of us felt any differently, so it wasn’t adding up. Projection was also easy enough, but the experience was radically different. Whereas the Astral Plane is a myriad of colors and shapes become distorted to match their emotional resonance, everything here in the Astral Plane looked exactly like it did in the real world, just slightly more insubstantial. It was like I was seeing the real world through some sort of glass.

I spent a few days traveling about, flying above the compound and trying to see if anything stood out. Nothing did, and I checked the boundaries of the hotel to see if there was any way I could escape this place. Unfortunately it wasn’t just the real world that was looped. It was a weird effect to see from above. On the ground you could hardly see the change, but from above when you can see hundreds of feet ahead you could see plane as day the ground shift like the water’s surface, reforming as you pass the boundary and reshaping itself into the entrance of the hotel. I’m not sure why it had such a profound effect on me, but I felt miserable seeing it happen. I think some part of me was desperately hoping that it was all just a delusion, and seeing that finally killed whatever part of me was holding on to that idea.

A half hour nap later I was back in the Astral Plane. This time I decided to try something else. I figured the next best bet was to try and enter Oneiros. Perhaps the deeper realm was still open to me. I might be able to access the dreams of another magician and get their help. The portal took a while to open, but eventually the shimmering and illuminated purple and gold gateway was open. Arkady was on standby in the physical world, that same bored and disgruntled look on his face. I think he secretly wanted something to go wrong just so he could work out his frustrations on something. I stepped through the boundary, and for a moment everything went pure black before color shifted back into my vision. I was standing in my physical body in the real world, completely out of Oneiros and the Astral Plane.

That was not good. Not fucking good at all. Something had kicked me out of Oneiros or prevented me from entering at all. I couldn’t tell, not with what I’d seen. I tried to commune with the Goetic demons, but even they were unsure what exactly had happened. All they were certain of is that I never left the Astral Plane or the physical world. It sounded like the gateway had been collapsed, but the Demons themselves saw no sign of outside intervention. As far as I knew, that could only mean one thing. The gateway to Oneiros leading back to the physical dimension could only work if the physical dimension and Oneiros were one. Somehow Slenderman had fused the two together at this hotel.

The good news is that the actual physical location might still be reachable for you guys. With Astaroth’s help and a mirror we stole from a bathroom, I think I can recreate the spell from my earlier encounter in Javert’s mansion to create at least a temporary gateway to our place. This Friday I’ll set up the gateway. To get there you guys will have to find the mirror’s analogue in the physical dimension. It’s room 213, the last room on the East side of the building. Find it at midnight and I think I can bring anyone in that general area to us. We could use whatever help you can bring.

And since this is likely the last time I ever post, I figured I'd sign off in the most fitting manner I can think of. Consider this my farewell address to the rest of you, in musical form.



Wednesday, June 29, 2011

It was a trap.

So yeah. Show of hands, who’s surprised?
At least Arkady seems to have enjoyed the opportunity to break some guy’s leg.

We headed into the woods around 11 figuring that if the sun was up it would lessen the chances of proxy fog ninjas launching sneak attacks. All joking and hindsight aside we did head out fairly early. Behind the building, just as in the dreams, we found a stone trimmed path into the trees which led to a shady clearing complete with a small picnic space, past the table and benches however the path continued into the woods.

We followed the path deeper and the rock markers started to slowly disappear, the trail transitioned into freshly tread grass and nothing else; the trees grew closer and taller until the sky was blackened by their branches and our pathway through the forest seemed more like a narrow twisting tunnel than anything else. And during all this I continued to step forward, I ignored the worrying signs of its world and led my friends farther and farther into those unworldly woods.

It took us hours to reach the fogline, much longer than a 3 mile or so walk should have taken… even if that walk was through knotted thickets and dim light. When we did finally reach the path’s end we found ourselves at an indentation into out prison’s barrier. It wasn’t large, maybe ten feet in diameter… a circle of clear air extending from the surface into the sky… a cracked and starry sky. Sitting on the very middle of the ring was a tear barely visible against the night. It emanated a sense of heightened gravity and colored my vision with hues that shouldn’t exist… it called back memories of the portal we found in the Astral Plane that led us into Onerios. It was exactly what I wanted to find though not at all what I expected… a way back into its domain.

You may think such a desire is insane… I really couldn’t care. It was a way back into the surreal Slenderland I’d experienced once before, a way back into the place that I’d found Sara and the little boy… and I’d come in through another door, one from the Astral Plane rather than this fragmented reality. Going into its lair might actually be the only way out of our cage.

Anyhow, we stood in awe of this half-existing beacon, surprised by its existence and more by its implications. Damien went to examine it while Arkady, Henry, and JD just gawked. I tried to traverse it but Henry held me back… he got a smack to the face as a result too. Our fascination was interrupted though when Arkady started laughing and pulled his blunted sword… while we were distracted a group of masked goons found their way to us. The path back to the hotel had closed and after a brief struggle the five of us were forced into the fog…

It’s a terrible thing to be lost alone in heavy fog, being unable to see the way ahead while wandering in the darkness. To listen intently at snapping twigs and trampled leaves, feeling something follow behind you, anticipation of the end that never comes. That is what my life has become… and that’s all it was to walk through the fog. Life without distraction.

I'm back at the hotel now though, most of the others have made it out as well, though Henry and JD are trying to lead Arkady out. Blogger is trying to tell me we were in there for days but I'm not sure I believe it... anyhow that doesn't matter right now. The only things that matter right now are the fact we've found a way in and possibly out, and that Arkady is going to have a great big smile on his face when he comes out of that fog.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Slumberland Trail

Hah, creepy dreams and proxies with handguns! Oh Slenderman you lovable scamp, whatever will you think of next? Seriously though this is getting old rather fast, if it weren’t for the encroaching fog and vanishing citizenry I’d almost be tempted to call the thing a one-trick pony. Well a three-trick pony I guess, it also likes putting on spontaneous performances of the broadway classic “And now you’re missing a friend.”

So yeah… I’ve starting having the dreams again, same dreams I was having around the time Henry started seeing Veronica… the ones where it isn’t a monster. While it’s better than the nightmares I can’t help but find myself unsettled by their return, last time… Well last time I had them he pulled me through the city and had me watch as he whisked away a little boy. I think it’s part of some glamour… an illusion or a willing or something of that nature… it’s like he tried to confuse me into being what he wanted me to be instead of who I am. In the dreams he stands at our window and beckons me, he waits patiently until I come outside and then he slowly makes his way behind the hotel and into the woods. Though I don’t follow him in I watch him leave and then the sky splits and I wake up. The geography of this particular dream has been slowly growing more accurate, much more accurate in fact than most dreams I’ve had, I’m not quite certain what it means if anything at all… but I cannot help but find it somewhat concerning.

That dream was from last night, and basically the every night we’ve spent here… It’s been eating at me for most of the day. Well really every one of the dreams I’ve posted up here, and to Father of Light, has been that way… unique and consuming, or at the very least highly peculiar. I’ve considered Niles’ advice about not sitting around with our thumbs up our assess and talked to the others about the dream. We’re going to follow the path it showed me into the woods. We’ve talked about it and decided it’s probably some sort of trap, but that all the same it’s worth looking at. JD and Henry seem to think it may be a way out… but me… well I’m not so sure.



Fog and Proxies

First we are isolated in a limited area, cut off from resources and help. Then one of our own is taken from us in our midst. And now this. It’s almost as though Slendy’s finally decided to stop playing around and start crushing us.

Shortly after Sara was Slendernapped, fog began to roll in. The boundaries of this loop we’re trapped in have now been clearly marked by the walls of fog surrounding it, so there goes our view of the outside world. For added excitement, the boundaries of the loop have shrunk since the fog’s appearance; we’re now working with only a 3 mile diameter here. Setoth attempted to test it out by walking through the fog; five minutes later (or, according to Setoth, half an hour later), he came out of the fog back at the point he’d started. He’s spent all his time since attempting various magickal things that could get us out. None have worked thus far.

As an added precaution, we’ve begun to keep at least two people on watch. But with Setoth doing magick and Kal and Michenab busy competing to see who can feel the most guilt over losing Sara, that usually means JD and I are always the ones on duty.

Did get my first chance to speak with the boy. He’s not as bad as my initial impression was; I suppose one can’t survive long running from Slender Man if one is a whiny, high maintenance child. What really surprised me about the boy was the amount of rage boiling inside him. The death of his older brother appears to have filled him with a great desire for revenge, which only adds to the preexisting irrational anger which seems common in the younger ones. The end result is a beautifully destructive intensity, focused entirely on aggression against our enemy. Had Slender Man appeared before us right there and then, I think I’d have had to race the kid to see which one of us got to rip off Slendy’s head first.

But it wasn’t Slender Man who visited us on this day. As I was in the middle of explaining to JD the most effective methods of stabbing someone with a knife, several figures walked out of the fog. Four in total, one wearing a mask, the rest with identical blank expressions. They were all keeping their distance, making no aggressive moves, just watching the hotel. As hours passed, more began to arrive, until we had a full dozen, standing around the hotel. Five were wearing various masks, ranging from cheap plastic to elaborate Halloween style.

Can’t say that alone was very exciting (Hooray, more brain dead cannon fodder for me to slaughter). Then proxy number 13 arrived. You’ll never guess who it was. Actually, you probably will, but I’m going to treat it like it’s a surprise anyways. Good ol’ Javert, back in action! He stood with the others in the circle around our hotel, observing from a distance.

My first hint that maybe something wasn’t entirely right about my old friend was the clothes he was wearing. It was his old uniform, not the fancy black thing he’d taken to wearing lately. But I was too excited to notice such small details, and instead ran out to greet him.

Arkady: “Javert! So good to see you again! I knew you wouldn’t leave me like that!”

No response from him, which was the second sign. I still hadn’t caught on.

A: “Come on, Javert! Don’t be so down! Are you still mad at me for last time? Did your bossman have to do terrible things to you because of me?”

Javert: “He would never harm me.” Soon as I heard the voice, alarm bells blared in my head. It was completely monotone; not a trace of personality in it. “All He did was show me the true path. I have been cleansed of my sins against Him, and made free of all doubt and hesitation.”

A: “Lovely. And I suppose you’ve come to try and finish me off then?”

J: “If you live or die is for Him to decide. Whether I am His instrument in this or not is inconsequential. All will be taken by Him in the end.”

This entire time, Javert’s face hadn’t shifted, not even slightly. It was beginning to grate on me.

A: “So I suppose this means you now love Big Brother?”

No response. Come on, Javert, throw another reference back at me, come up with some convoluted reason why my use of that allusion was wrong, make a snide comment about how I chose an obvious response that practically everyone who went through high school English class would understand, something. Silence? I didn’t know how to deal with silence.

A: “Why so silent? Hm, Javert? Answer me! SAY SOMETHING!”

J: “There is no need. The purpose He has given me here does not require communicating with you.”

A: “Yeah? And what is your purpose here, D-503? Making sure me and the other Mephi folk don’t blow up the Green Wall and escape in the name of the eternal revolution?”

Still not even the slightest hint of a reaction from him. I don’t know what that thing I was talking to was, but it wasn’t Javert. Just looking at it filled me with disgust; and its silence was almost as nauseating as the empty voice which it spoke with. I couldn’t bear to even stand in its presence for a moment longer, so I did what I always do to solve my problems. I charged at him so I could punch him in the face.

As it always seems to, this plan failed spectacularly, though not in the way I’d expected. Javert pulled out his gun, and shot me in the thigh. And due to the unfortunate fact that I am not an action movie star, I went down pretty fast after that.

A: “A gun? Whatever happened to you always fighting fair!”

J: “Fairness is irrelevant.”

Then he turned around and walked back into the fog, leaving me there with my bullet wound. Jerk.

After I recovered from the OH GOD I’VE BEEN SHOT panic, the knowledge of first aid I’ve been throwing together the past few months kicked in. The shot was surprisingly minor; going clean through without hitting anything horribly vital. Either Javert was aiming to miss and just happened to hit something, or he’s an amazing shot who can target one of the few places in the body where a bullet won’t have horrible life threatening consequences. Was able to bandage myself up enough to limp/crawl back to the hotel (another perfectly good shirt ruined thanks to Slendy), where the others finally decided to help me with this stitching nonsense.

Javert and his gang are still hanging around outside, though whenever one of us goes near them, they walk into the fog and appear somewhere else. Suppose they’re looking to avoid a confrontation at the moment. I have the misfortune of being forced to rest as my injury recovers. Still capable of moving around freely (even if it does hurt like hell), but any spree of action and excitement has a good chance of ripping the wound back open. Which is making me begin to suspect that Slendy’s goal here is to bore me to death.



Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I failed. Completely failed. Fucking hell. Everything is going wrong now. Not only are all the goddamn people here gone, but he came and he took Sara from me. I failed her, I failed Ronnie. Goddamn it. It all happened so fucking fast..

I was brushing her teeth in the bathroom, making sure she stayed healthy, when she suddenly turned and looked at the wall. I called to Kal as the toothbrush clattered to floor but no one had any time to do anything as the windows all exploded inward. I don't know if anyone got hurt by it but the noise was so sudden, so loud - my ears rang for the next few minutes. As I  stumbled into the main part of the room Kal and I shared, the Thief appeared in the middle of it. One minute there was just Kal on the floor covering his ears, the next there was a suited fucking asshole standing there, facing me. No more with the stuttering walk of the past though - now he moved fluidly toward me. I drew my knife and took a step back. Then from Arkady and Damien's room I heard.. shouting? Yes, it was shouting, because then I saw Arkady, the crazy bastard, charging in from the other room, ready to duke it out with our Stalker. It didn't last long, as the Thief flung him across the room. I can't remember, but I think he may even have gone out the broken window. Thank god for first floor rooms...

And then it was back to me. I raised my knife and stabbed at him - and suddenly I was on the other side of him, freezing cold, my knife gone. The bastard had pulled me through himself and stolen my weapon! I turned to see him in the bathroom, arms wrapped around Sara. My eyes went wide as I realized what he'd come for, to steal yet more from me, and I ran at him but before I could even cross the threshhold of the bathroom, he was gone. More importantly, she was gone. Taken from me.

I failed.



Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Mysteries in Time and Space

Though we’re still stuck on this little chunk of land things have been relatively quiet. Oh we’ve heard rustling in the woods behind our conjoined room and static from the radio, but, well after all we’ve been through that is quiet. I’ll admit it’s been a little unsettling, the fact that we’re trapped within a 5 square mile space… maybe it just got tired of chasing Henry and I around the country. Anyhow, we hit a bit of a snag tonight. Seems that our food reserves for the ride up to Seattle did not take reality warping imprisonment into account, as such Damien and I went out to explore a bit more and hopefully find something worth eating.

We only really found 7-Eleven, Walgreens, and a liquor store… so dinner is going to be sort of interesting. Also interesting are the things that disappeared while we made our last stop, not that we noticed their absence at first. Well maybe we did but if so those memories are floating around wherever we were between leaving the booze store and finding our way back to Hotel California. We walked on through the front door like usual and headed to our room. It wasn’t until we dropped off our first load “food” and talked with the others though that we realized anything was amiss.

Four hours had passed since we set out and the time we returned, and during those four hours it seems that every other person who was occupying our prison has disappeared. The first person we noticed missing was the cute girl at the front desk. I’d teased Damien about not flirting with her on our way in, it wasn’t until after discussing the oddities of temporal displacement and grabbing the rest of our spoils though that her absence became concerning. We tried calling the hotel’s main office to ask about the front desk, they insisted that somebody was there and connected us. And though we spoke to her on the phone when we went back out front she was missing again. Further investigation proved two things: the stretch of highway leading to the hotel is suspiciously vacant, and despite a half filled lot nobody else seems to be at the hotel.



Friday, June 17, 2011

Road Trip

Arkady here, ready to tell you about all the wonders and joys and boredom which we’ve had since this super special awesome friendship power team up thing I’ve somehow become a part of.

We set off for Seattle early in the morning; wanted to try and beat all the big rush out to work. We did run into a few delays getting the car out; you see, my car is designed to carry five people, and since Kal and Michenab chose to pick up another small child, there are now six of us. Setoth and I suggested putting Sara in the trunk (the girl’s almost in a coma; it’s not like she’s going to become more traumatized than she already is), but the others were vehemently opposed to the idea, for some reason. So instead we just had to cram everyone in the back seat very tightly, which makes for a wonderful cross country road trip environment.

The first several hours of the drive consisted of us arguing over which music to play. I myself was feeling in the mood for some nice Mozart, but Setoth was insistent on the Sisters of Mercy. Opinions were less vocal from the others (especially Sara, from whom there were no forthcoming opinions on music), so things quickly devolved into Setoth and I fighting over the radio while simultaneously trying to drive. Nearly wrecked us a few times.

Perhaps we should have been paying more attention to the things around us. But then again, it was a very important debate we were having. Three hours of driving later, JD (perhaps the only one of us not to participate in our musical debate) pointed out that things around us were looking a bit familiar. One can only pass the same intersection so many times before déjà vu starts slapping you in the face.

Once we became aware of this feeling, we began paying closer attention to our surroundings. Sure enough, the car seemed to be caught in a loop. Whenever we traveled approximately five miles down the road, we would find ourselves at the start of the loop. There was no sudden, jarring shift to indicate that we were looping. It took several hours driving, plus Kal and Michenab looking over three different maps, before we even figure out exactly where the start and end points of this loop were. Wasn’t even a very interesting five mile stretch of road; we were at the point of Austin (well, technically Lakeway, but that’s a separate city in name only) where the suburban sprawl starts to peter out and the Texas countryside begins. Not much there, apart from a couple of shops (including a strip mall and an old style travel post existing side by side in an odd anachronism), some gated communities, and a hotel. Apart from the proximity to the wilderness, there was nothing which screamed “SPOOKY SLENDY HORROR!”

Much experimentation followed, where we attempted to learn the limits of this loop. Driving down other roads also resulted in us being looped back, as did walking off road. And believe me, we tried driving off every road, and walked down every path, save those covered by forests (Because that would be stupid, even if it did eliminate roughly half our potential escape routes. Bloody Central Texas and its random forests). By the time we had conclusively proven that all paths out of this place wouldn’t work, the sun was beginning to set. Using what money we could throw together, we got us a room at the aforementioned hotel for the night. Not the fanciest of places we could stay at, but it certainly beats sleeping in the car with five other people.

So it looks like we won’t be having our epic battle through the forests of the northwest. Unless we find a way out, Seattle is a no go (poor Setoth has been absolutely crushed by this news). Slendy has chosen the battlefield for us, which according to people like Sun Tzu, is a very bad thing. Our status as the attacker has now shifted to Slender Man, while we’re forced back on the defense. That, though, isn’t my chief concern. What worries me is if Slendy chooses not to fight. As I said, this isn’t the most Slenderous looking place. Yeah, there’s a forest, but it’s a small, scraggly thing. The rest of this area is too suburban and homely looking for anything creepy. Not even a single abandoned building or mysterious shack. It doesn’t feel like the sort of location for him to try anything against us. Slendy could choose to leave us trapped here. Now that we’re isolated, there’s nothing we can do against him. All he has to do is leave us alone, wait for us to drive each other completely insane. No effort on his part. No chance of any glorious battle or beautiful death. Just a hellish, boring, limbo.

That had better not happen.



Thursday, June 16, 2011

Operation Wintergreen

Operation Wintergreen. It’s certainly a stupid name isn’t it? Last time I go and offer up a sarcastic suggestion to this lot. Seriously.

So you may be wondering just what Operation Wintergreen is… it has a name like that of some definite plan doesn’t it… a sort of cruel suggestion that any of us have the faintest clue what we’re doing in all this.

We don’t.

Operation Wintergreen is in fact just the solution to our problem of what to do now that the whole group of us has come together after all this time. As Arkady and Damien actually have a significant number of readers we decided it would be best to just start a new blog and make things simpler for them. It was either that or let them jump back and forth between 3 blogs to see what all was going on with us. While it’s not the best solution, it is better than most of what we’ve actually got time for.

You may also be wondering why it is that we’ve suddenly decided to get together at all. When this started months ago (jeez has it really been that long?) I blamed myself for getting Damien involved. And then after our whole kidnap Sara back from Slenderland adventure I’d painted a pretty big target on myself, seemed like hanging around with Damien and his new friend would only make things worse for their side of things. Now though it seems that Henry and I both have something to contribute… I’ve gained some small amount of martial skill and the discovery of Sara’s slender-detection uses… well I feel that now we’d all be safer as a group than we would have before. 

So yeah… welcome to Operation Wintergreen, our Super Fun Adventures of fleeing from the Slenderman and sparring matches with an irritatingly pretentious literary sort. The gang and I are laying out plans right now. Seems we're headed to Seattle for safety and shelter... and not simply because Damien wants to get involved in it's active Goth scene before we all wind up dead. Fun times ahead ladies and gentlemen. Fun times.