Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Path of Black Leaves

Well, it’s been over a month since I’ve added any actual content, so I suppose I should be getting to work here…..

The Path of Black Leaves

Simplest description: It is a path. Which has black leaves on it.

More detailed description: The Path of Black Leaves is one of the Mythos’s few open source locations. The Path is an alternate dimension, related to Slender Man (and possibly the Bleeding Tree), which can be used by some of Slendy’s followers as a means of transportation. Traveling through the path is similar in theory to traveling through a wormhole in science fiction, or other forms of dimension hopping: the user enters the Path at point A, moves along the Path, and comes out at point B. Distance within the Path is different than in our regular world: A trip which would take days of driving can be done in a short time on foot through the Path. As such, people who can use the Path have a limited form of quasi-teleportation; it’s not instantaneous, and it does require physically moving, but it’s much, much faster than conventional forms of transit.

As for describing the appearance of the Path, well…. That first description might be the best, really. The distinguishing trait of the Path of Black Leaves is the presence of black leaves, either on trees or blowing around. In its first appearance in White Elephants, Robert didn’t even realize where he was at first, assuming it to be another delusion. The description he used was, “Dead quiet street. No one in sight. The trees on the sidewalk are filled with Black Leaves.”


Going to be a bit of a short history, as unlike Redlight or the evolution of proxies, the Path of Black Leaves doesn’t have a narrative attached to it. It first showed up on White Elephants, in the post titled “Black Leaves,” where Robert stumbled across it after accidentally walking through a portal a proxy left open (those wacky proxies and their comedic ineptitude!) It gained its name several posts later, when Robert used the Path to rescue Reach from Redlight. There was no follow up post explaining just what the Path was, which meant it was left in the hands of everyone with a keyboard and an internet connection to create their own explanation (which is THE BEST way to form canon, if I may say so.) However, this also makes finding specific points of change difficult to locate.

Following the introduction of the Path, the ability to open portals to and travel across it was added to Revenants’ collection of powers. Several times over, it was insisted that regular humans either couldn’t, or at least shouldn’t, use the Path, but that never stopped non-Revenant proxies (and Robert, Konaa, plus any other protagonist whose author wanted to throw their character through the Path) from using it whenever it worked with the plot. After Revenants were retconned, use became much less exclusive, although the ability was still mostly focused on Slendy’s followers, with only a few exceptions. By now, it seems as though that entire idea of only superhumans using it has been dropped (at least on blogs which want to keep using the Path), or altered to make it so that regular humans using the path have a harder time than proxies. “Conduits” (humans with special powers) have also been used as characters capable of accessing the Path, but their lack of popularity in the Mythos as a whole means that this ability was rarely shown.

In April of 2011, the PTC of Observe and Terminate launched a scouting expedition into the Path. This was the first time anyone had tried actually exploring the Path, instead of just using it as a road. It… didn’t turn out very well for those involved. At all. Only one man returned alive, and his memories of the expedition had been wiped. Another mission was sent by the PTC into the Path in May, this time with a more aggressive, militant focus than mere exploration. The results were slightly more successful: they failed completely in all their objectives (hurting Slender Man and finding out what happened to their last expedition), but at least none of them were killed that time. After that failure, the PTC chose to cease all further missions into the Path.

Following the PTC shenanigans, focus on the Path shifted almost exclusively towards only using it as a device for moving characters around, rather than a plot point in itself. The Bleeding Tree was alluded to have a connection with the Path, and sometimes shown to be located within it, but no detailed reports were made about the connection. The only big event to happen to the Path was at the end of the third Redlight arc, when Zombie!Robert claimed to have taken over the Path. But that seizure of control didn’t appear to stick long, due to a combination of Robert’s reputation as an unreliable narrator and the simple fact that too many blogs were using the Path as part of their plot, that it couldn’t just be dropped on account of a single blog’s storyline.

So what is it

That is an excellent question, and the answer is I have no idea.

Like Slender Man himself, there’s been no final, canon definition of the Path of Black Leaves (except for a minor explanation in the Fear Mythos.) All we’ve got to go off of is that it’s a separate dimension under Slendy’s influence.

Now, what this implies is that Slender Man has multiple dimensions under his control. When the Path was first introduced, many assumed it was the Other Side (or Slenderworld, or Slendy’s Home, or whatever you want to call the dimension which may or may not be where he comes from or where he resides in.) However, the two are distinct locales: when the Other Side was first described in White Elephants, it was a swamp, without any mention of black colored leaves. In fact, in the Path’s introductory post, Robert described it as looking like street he’d been on, with the only difference being that whole complete and utter lack of people plus unnaturally colored leaves. Later writers added features which made the Path better resemble the sort of place you’d imagine Slendy living in, turning it into a SPOOOOKY forest. Even then, there continues to be a distinction between the Path and Slenderworld, in the rare cases where both crop up in a blog.

The Fear Mythos (which may or may not be in the same canon as the Slender Man Mythos, depending on what you’re reading) is slightly more standardized in their use of the Path. In their canon, several the Fears, including Slendy, have a dimension for playing around in. Other examples are the Plague Doctor’s Crumbling Castle, the Convocation’s Bleak Shore, or the Wooden Girl’s Screaming Tower. The Path of Black Leaves is just one in a whole collection of nasty eldritch dimensions in the Fear Mythos.
An important thing to note is that the Fear Mythos makes a careful distinction between the Path and Slendy’s (and other Fears’) teleportation abilities. Those abilities are based on the use of the Godsway, which is only accessible and useable by the Fears. The main Slender Man Mythos is much less clear cut on this; occasionally the Path has been used as an explanation for Slendy’s offscreen teleportation abilities, while other times teleportation is just one of Slendy’s abilities, with no need of the Path’s assistance.

Useful Links
White Elephants (Black Leaves):
The Archive (CW002: “Path of Black Leaves”) :
Observe and Terminate (Basic Gist of the Report):
Observe and Terminate (Operation Headhunter After Action Report):

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Perhaps if I wasn't busy writing essays on Hitler, Virginia Woolf, and King Edward II, you'd get a full post now.
I might even discuss an interesting detail I was just reminded of this morning on another blog ("Beneath Stone Skies" mentioning how in original Core Theory, Halloween was like a mini-Solstice).
I could go into the fact that my headphones haven't stopped making weird MH style distortion noises this entire day.
Or maybe I'd just go on another Slender Hunting adventure.

But since I lack the time for any of those, you're just getting a video made by BanishedZaber which goes with the season.

Happy Halloween.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Evolution of Proxies

Remember back when I was delaying posts because I was too busy playing Minecraft? I miss those days. That was a fun reason to not write posts. Now I’m not writing posts because I just don’t have the time to, and that’s not nearly as much fun.

So one of the questions I’ve most been asked is, “How do I let people know about my series?” Well it looks like I’ll never need to answer that again, because Slenderbloggins has an entire article on the subject now.

Now onto proxies. Anyone remember this post I made way back when? Wow that’s horrendously written. Can’t believe I ever wrote like that. And over half of it is just me quoting Reach. Terrible. (I’ll give myself about 2 months before I look back at this post and say the same thing about it). But enough about me. Things are definitely different now than they were then. A lot of that info has become completely obsolete in the months that have passed since then. But we’re not going to go back and change the post; first off, it offers a snapshot into what the Mythos was like at the time. And second, changing thing takes effort. Horrible, horrible effort. What we’ll do in place of that is look at proxies, not from an in-universe “what their traits and abilities are” perspective, but at their changing story role within the Mythos.

The Evolution of Proxies

Early Days-Cultists, totheark, and Hallowed

Think back. Way, way back. Slender Man is still a brand new idea, just starting to spread beyond the SomethingAwful thread. Proxies? What on earth is a proxy? Closest we had to them was the occasional cultist, but those still weren’t quite what we’d call proxies nowadays.

Then Marble Hornets came along and changed everything in the Mythos. For many, it was their first taste of Slender Man. Even for those who had already been involved with Slendy, it would have a huge effect on the Mythos to come.

Marble Hornets introduced two characters important to the establishment of proxies: Masky and totheark. Masky was a mysterious dude wearing a mask (revealed in season 2 to be Tim) who had popped up occasionally to attack/stalk Jay, for some reason. And totheark was the owner of a YouTube channel who posted SPOOKY and mysterious videos in response to Jay’s entries, even hacking into the main Marble Hornets channel once. During season 1, details about the character were very slim, leading to a lot of fan speculation about them (though that isn’t to say that season 2 hasn’t been equally stingy in what they reveal). There wasn’t (and at this time, still isn’t) a consensus on many of the details about these characters, such as whether or not they’re actually separate people, or what “side” they’re supposed to be on. Because of this, it still is unknown what their relation to Slender Man is; some believe them to be serving him, others disagree. Thus it’s hard to say if they qualify as proxies. That, however, isn’t important. What matters is that these two/one character[s] made a template from which future proxies would be based on.

Jumping from MH to the blogosphere now. It was still a budding part of the Mythos, containing only a handful of stories. Most were still using Classic Slendy, with either no proxies, or followers who resembled Lovecraftian cultists more than servants (a good example of this being the cult from Dreams in Darkness.) Then we got The Tutorial. M introduced the concept of Hallowed (frequently misspelled as Hollowed) which was heavily inspired by MH’s Masky/totheark, as well as some of the behavior shown by characters in Just Another Fool. Hallowed were individuals who, as a result of exposure to Slendy, had their minds destroyed and were placed under his control. According to M, the purpose of Hallowed was to allow Slendy to get around the rules which M had placed on him. Their connection to MH and JAF is shown in the symptoms of being Hallowed: memory loss, black outs, Slendersickness, all of which were symptoms experienced by characters in MH season 1.Another sign of someone being Hallowed was speaking in codes, which would account for totheark’s videos, as well as some of Logan’s later posts on JAF.

What all this did for the Mythos was create the first template for proxies. Slender Man’s minions weren’t a vague, ill defined collection of individuals, but a cohesive group with a defined place underneath Slendy and set guidelines. Also important was how Hallowed were portrayed as directly under Slender Man’s control, instead of free willed individuals who believed they were serving Slendy. While examples of other character who would later be labeled as proxies were present at the time (such as Albert Conaghan, who would serve as an inspiration for Agents), M’s Hallowed would be the source from which later interpretations of proxies would come.

Expanding Role, Agents, ZERG RUSH KEKEKE

As the Mythos expanded, so did the role of proxies. The mind controlled Hallowed tended to be the norm at this point, and would remain so until writers began moving away from M’s original rules. Now that they were an established character type, proxies started to appear more often than they had before.

Two of the original Sage blogs were the first to use larger groups of proxies: Anomalous Data and White Elephants. The proxies in these blogs were faceless mooks who had a nasty habit of running around and trying to foil the Sages’ plans. They remained a lesser threat when compared to Slendy, but still were present in numbers (especially in Anomalous Data, where Jay’s organization clashed with groups of them on occasion.)

One thing to note is that White Elephants used the term “Agents” to describe proxies. At that time, it was just the blog’s term for Hallowed; but later it would gain its own meaning. Another addition to proxies from these blogs, one which didn’t quite catch on, was the concept that Hallowed were connected via a hive mind. It was mentioned at the end of Anomalous Data, but hasn’t had any major appearances since then.

It was during the second trio of Sage’s heyday when proxies really grew into their role. Unfortunately, that was also a time which will be remembered for going completely insane with some of the ways proxies were used.

Use of proxies in stories increased rapidly during this time, to the point where it almost eclipsed Slender Man. Proxies shifted from a peripheral danger to a very real and physical threat, with several instances of proxies attacking individual bloggers in large groups. The number of proxies also drastically increased, to the point where some bloggers told accounts of fighting off massive waves of proxy attacks (although in some cases, such as Para Not-So-Normal, these proxy hordes would be retconned away later on). A common criticism for these large numbers of proxies was comparing them to a zombie apocalypse story: a small group of runners barricaded in a safehouse, fighting off hordes of mindless minions who are killed en masse.

During this time, the language used to describe proxies began to develop. To account for the difference between proxies shown to have free will (such as Conaghan) from the mind controlled Hallowed M described, the word “Agent” was borrowed from White Elephants and became the name for a proxy who retained their individuality and personality, yet still served Slender Man. Other classifications of proxies were invented (such as berserkers or sleepers, which you can see on my earlier post on Slenderproxies), but agent and hallowed were the only ones which had long term usage. It was also then that the word “proxy” began to be used as a term for all minions of Slender Man.

Breaking from the trend of faceless proxy hordes, the blog What Now? created the character Rika. Unlike the majority of proxies running around at the time, Rika was a reoccurring antagonist, rather than a minor obstacle for the protagonists to overcome. She was a major part of the story, and actually interacted with the other characters, instead of being a totheark expy who remained out of sight. She also fit the “crazy/sadistic agent” template which would become more common later on. However, What Now? was never one of the hugely popular blogs. What brought Rika into mainstream attention was her appearance in A hint of serendipity, in the post which brought us the eternally famous “Das ass” line. The confrontation between Zero and Rika lasted only a single post, but it left such an impact that the way it's often treated, you’d easily be forgiven for thinking she was the blog’s main antagonist.

This was also the time when Reach first started to comment on blogs, and later began his blog What You Are in the Dark. He introduced Revenants, proxies who were granted superhuman abilities by the Slender Man. At the start, Reach was really the only revenant out there, but this would lead into the next big phase in proxy evolution….

Supah Powahs pew pew pew

Reach’s creation of revenants did not immediately cause a surge in their use. It took time to build up, until finally exploding in a frenzy of revenant activity. The months of January to March of 2011 were the high point of revenant appearances in blogs; I’d list out the blogs which participated in this trend, but I’m still finding more. It’s as if everyone decided they wanted to introduce their own revenant to the Mythos; even Redlight was turned into one during this time!

Looking back, it is a bit understandable why people would do this. Revenants were just “cooler” than regular proxies: all their super human strengths, plus their healing factor, yet countered by their hypersensitivity Achilles heel. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough for a few people to have cool revenants in their story. Everybody had to have revenants. Eventually it reached the point where Slendy’s super powered minions were stealing the spotlight from the Man himself. Adding to the issue was the tendency for people to write revenants as either changing sides, like Reach had originally done, or being far more helpful to the protagonists than their job description would imply. When a few revenants go through heel face turns, it can be interesting; when half the revenants do it, one wonders why Slender Man even bothers with making them.

After a few months of this, dislike of revenants was building up. Many didn’t want what to them looked like comic book superpowers appearing in their cosmic horror Mythos. Even Reach, the one who created revenants, had shifted his support away from them. When the blog Vivere Disce made a post claiming that all instances of “super powers” were actually hallucinations caused by Slender Man, Reach jumped on the opportunity, and made a post on WYAITD retconning revenants into a hallucination. That one post brought a pretty sudden end to revenants’ popularity; some blogs continued to use them in their stories, but in fewer numbers than before.

A more positive effect of the revenants was the shift towards proxies as characters rather than unimportant minions. Most of the time (with some exceptions) when a story brought in a revenant, that revenant was going to have a big role to play in their plot, and thus would get much more development than most proxies would previously have gotten. This trend was not limited solely to revenants, though that was where it was most visible early on: as more time passed, more people started to treat proxies in a similar manner. For example, this is the time when the blog The Morning Hunter started up, which has become the defining example of a sadistic agent character blog. The use of proxies as faceless mooks instead of characters still persisted (as did the trend of protagonists HEROICALLY slaughtering these unimportant mooks by the dozens), but it was slowly dying out, as the idea of proxies as characters took root.

The Deconstruction of Proxies

Now we’re moving onto the current phase in proxy use. As with other phases, the events which started this movement occurred before the previous had ended, and took a few months to catch on.

The main purpose of this movement was to deconstruct how proxies were used in the Slender Man Mythos; instead of unimportant minions, they were treated as actual humans, who often were as victimized by Slender Man as the Runners.

The post which really kicked this off was from the blog Walking the Hallowed Halls. WTHH was a new take on a proxy blog: it wasn’t attached to any other story, and its protagonist wasn’t some insane psychopath, but a very human, and very sympathetic, character. On February 25, 2011, a post titled, “McDonald’s Coffee is the Nectar of the Gods” was put up. The post consists of the entire Mythos being called out for its callous treatment of proxies; after all, these proxies are not cackling, card carrying villains who kick puppies for fun (well, not all of them are). Instead, most of them are regular human beings who were broken down by Slender Man. The post was completely contrary to the “proxies are evil and should die” mindset which seemed to be prevalent at the time, and for the next few months would be linked to whenever someone wanted to make a point about the humanness of proxies.

At the same time as WTHH was active, other blogs were beginning to look at the black/white morality of the mainstream Mythos in a more critical light. The Last Refuge of a Dangerous Man took Zero, a character who had previously been almost as heroic as you could have gotten in the Mythos, and turned him into a villain protagonist who caused quite the slaughter during the blog’s run. Then Smiting the Gods (am I allowed to mention my own stuff here? Screw it, I’m doing it anyways) subverted the traditional “Runners good, proxies evil” morality by having its chief proxy antagonist be, in many ways, morally superior to the sociopathic protagonist. And the ending of Now I Shall Know You Again gave us a sympathetic view of a runner slowly breaking down and becoming a proxy, as well as showing us his attempts to maintain some humanity even after falling.

In the spring/early summer of 2011, the deconstruction movement really begin, as blogs focusing on sympathetic proxy characters began to appear. Biggest of these was Don’t Shoot the Messenger, which continued WTHH’s trend of having a sane, sympathetic character provide a viewpoint into the lives of proxies, both hallowed and agents. Even the psychopathic killer proxies in DSTM weren’t treated as one dimensional characters, but were people with real reasons behind their mental disorders.

Of course, it can’t be called a movement if only one blog’s doing it, and there are several other examples of proxy blogs which portray their “villain” protagonists as being as victimized by Slendy as the runners; examples being blogs such as Strike the Set and My Half of Life. Even Morningstar, everyone’s favorite completely psychotic mass murderer, was given some sympathetic traits. At least, until…


He died. Like, today. The post just went up a few hours ago. TIMING, BRO.

This trend hasn’t meant the end for complete monster proxies. There are still quite a number of those out there, some even with their own blogs (Nightscream, Ferus, Gallows-Tree, etc.) But these sadist proxies tend to have a lot more characterization than they did in the past, or at least personality beyond “I KILL STUFF.”

Which seems to leave us in an odd situation where the proxies under Slender Man’s control appear to be divided between poor tortured souls who are really decent people living with circumstances beyond their control, and cartoonishly evil sadists who take far more pleasure in massacre than most psychologists would consider healthy. There’s a few who blur that line, but that’s still a bit of a sharp distinction there.

It’s a bit difficult to predict where things are going to lead from our current perspective. With the Slenderverse having grown as large as it currently is, there’s so many ideas being thrown around out there that it’s hard to figure out which ones will be the ones to stick. Some blogs are exploring the idea of proxies having a bureaucratic hierarchy, others are returning to the idea of giving them superhuman abilities, some are even rejecting the concept of proxies entirely. Once we’ve been granted the magical gift of hindsight, it’ll all become clear, but for now, we can only wait and find out which direction this type of character’s going to be going in next.

Friday, September 23, 2011

One Whole Year

Good heavens, has it really been a year? When I started out, I was assuming this blog would last six months tops, and then I’d move on to some other cool internet fad (Like Ponies!). Instead, I’m still here writing stuff. Admittedly at a much slower pace than when I started out, but that’s largely because so much of my time is going to other Slender Man projects.

Things have changed so much since then. There’s been an explosion in Slender Man’s popularity, growing from a handful of vlogs and blogs to hundreds of stories, spread across all sorts of media. The ‘verse has gone from a few scattered creators and fans to a full community (We even have our own memes now! Ones that have nothing to do with $20!)

It’s been a fun time for everyone (except for those of us who were killed), and I’m looking forward to more Slender Man stories, and getting to see whatever crazy directions the Mythos takes.

So, yeah. Happy birthday Encyclopedia Slenderia.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Redlight, Part 2

Part 1 found here.

As before, MAJOR spoilers ahead. You have been warned.

Intermission 2, the Bleeding Tree

Following the Fakelight debacle, we experienced a period where Redlight had minimal appearances. He did start putting Scott through a series of sadistic “games”, but there were none of the action packed, fighting off three bloggers at once, encounters of the past. But while Mr. Light seemed to be laying low, elements were being added to the Mythos which would be important upon his return. The biggest of these: The Bleeding Tree.

Now, the Tree is something which deserves its own post (or will deserve its own post, once I get more info on it), so for here I intend to only give a summary, enough so that the next Redlight arc makes sense.

To put it simply, the Bleeding Tree was a giant, evil tree (that bleeds!) which had been haunting zero ever since the failure of the Solstice Gambit. At the time, details on the Tree were scarce, and some were claiming that it was just a hallucination zero was experiencing. Then, Robert confronted zero, and learned from him how to find the Tree. With that knowledge, Robert took a clipping from the Tree. This would be extremely important for the following arc.

Death of Redlight

For several months, we heard next to nothing about Redlight. No huge battles, no insane Xanatos Roulettes, nothing. Perhaps he decided that, after so much excitement and drama, he was going to spend some time enjoying life’s simpler pleasures (such as brainwashing an eleven year old girl, or spending large amounts of energy to drive a single Runner to the edge of sanity just for teh evulz). With his activity lowered, Morningstar took over the role of pan-Mythos villain, though with violent massacres instead of sadistic choices. Then, on July 12, we get a post on White Elephants telling us how Robert, wielding a piece of the Bleeding Tree, has killed Redlight. Shock! So it seems that the tale of Redlight has ended, with surprising suddenness. But then, six days later, we see a post on the eleventh hour:
“if big brother is dead, then who was i talking to just a day ago?”

A few weeks later, Morningstar posted that he had met with Redlight, confirming the man’s survival. Though survival may be a bit too strong a word; Redlight’s body seemed to be falling apart, with an eye hanging out of the socket and everything. He gave Morningstar 12 syringes, and told him to wait for ten days. If Morningstar heard no word from Redlight by then, then he was to use the syringes on random people.

After one of Morningstar’s minions rather foolishly used one of the syringes on himself, we learn their effect: a tree grew out of the minion, tearing him to pieces in a horribly bloody and painful way. That was with a light dosage; according to Redlight, the syringes contained enough for over a hundred victims.

Then Redlight decided to pay a visit to the new generation of Sages (Hakurei Ryuu, Kay, and AmalgamationSage). Well, two of them, at least. His first stop was Ryuu, though in what may be a first, he came not offering her some kind of choice, but asking for help. While he had survived his fight with Robert, the Bleeding Tree had infected him, and was growing in his body. This was a problem which body-surfing wouldn’t be able to solve, as his backups were also becoming infected by the tree. Redlight was looking for some kind of cure, and was desperate enough to ask those who were his enemies for it.

Ryuu attempted to do what she could for Redlight, but the results were…. Not quite as planned. Instead of fixing the Tree, Redlight’s body was ripped apart as the Tree’s growth within him accelerated. Redlight survived by jumping to another body, but he was starting to burn through hosts.

Next stop was AmalgamationSage. From the conversation between the two, we learn a fun fact: Whenever someone uses one of Redlight’s syringes, it punches a hole in the Viel (which is a very, very bad thing). The dozen Redlight gave to Morningstar contains enough to bring about the end of the world. If Redlight was killed by the Tree, he intended to take the rest of the world down with him.

Their conversation at points delved into the philosophical, but the main point of discussion was that Redlight wanted AmalSage’s help getting rid of the Tree. The Tree was a threat to everyone, after all; it was AmalSage’s duty to stop it, even if Redlight was cured as a side effect. Then there was the threat of Redlight’s Apocalypse Juice hanging over everyone’s heads if they didn’t comply.

And Redlight was right: The Tree was a problem, which creates a threat to many. But that didn’t mean AmalSage had to play along with what Redlight told him to do. When they had last met, AmalSage could sense the links Redlight had with his backup bodies. Using his Super Awesome Wizard Powers (TM), AmalSage severed those links, making it so that Redlight would have nowhere to run to when his current body was used up. It seemed like a victory for the forces of JUSTICE…. Only for Redlight to reveal that, in fact, this had all been Just As Planned. The Bleeding Tree was able to track Redlight through the network he had created, and AmalSage had just cut him off from that network. Now, once his current body was used up, all Redlight had to do was take control of Cynthia’s body (a body which wasn’t infected by the Tree), and he would be free from it. Suddenly not so much a victory for justice.

It seemed like Redlight had won this round. As if to cement his victory, Redlight took Cynthia to a confrontation with Tony and Cathy, her parents, as well as Simon (just some bloke who had recently joined with her parents). Unbeknownst to Redlight, Cynthia had managed to break free of his control recently. When he told Cynthia to kill her parents, she instead attacked him. In the ensuing fight, Cathy shot Redlight. Without the network allowing him to possess another body, Redlight wasn’t able to escape death. And thus, finally, Redlight was dead.



Perhaps the greatest mystery surrounding Redlight has always been his identity. We are never given a post explaining his backstory, and even Redlight himself claims to not remember who he was prior to working for Slender Man. All we know for sure is what we saw after his appearance in the blogosphere.

So who could he be? For all we know, he’s just some random guy who was hallowed by Slender Man, and somehow gained mind wipe/body surfing skillz along the way. It’s a nice, simple theory, which provides a very basic explanation without having any holes in it. Even so, there is another hypothesis on Redlight’s identity which has some popularity.

The Fallen Sage

Back before Redlight ever appeared, there was a blog called “Anomalous Data”, run by a Sage named Jay (no relation to Jay from Marble Hornets). Jay had presumably died performing a heroic sacrifice before the Sage titles were passed on to the next group, putting him out of the action by the time Redlight appeared. End of story, yes?

Not so much, according to some. While there has never been any confirmation within the setting, there has been a persistent rumor that Redlight is actually Jay, having been turned into Redlight after being captured by Slender Man.

There are a few things which could be seen as supporting this claim. One of Redlight’s main tricks has been memory wiping people of all knowledge related to Slender Man, removing them from the hunt. Prior to his end, Jay had been doing extensive research into that very subject, and had even discovered occasional success. In addition, Jay had been looking into the idea that hallowed proxies were connected to each other through a hivemind, which could be related to the early claims about a Redlight hivemind (before it was changed to Redlight bodysurfing). There’s also his fixation on the Sages; most of Redlight’s early actions revolved around dealing with Robert or putting down zero’s Core Theory resistance. When the third generation of Sages was named, they were the ones Redlight contacted in order to find help.

There are still problems with this. Lots of problems. Mainly, character. Redlight acts absolutely nothing like Jay did. Jay is often treated as “The Morally Ambiguous Sage”, which could lead in to the villainous Redlight, but that characterization of Jay simply isn’t true. Yes, he wasn’t the nicest of people out there, but Jay was never portrayed as lacking in morals; if anything, he had an extremely strong sense of utilitarian morality. That is, the greatest good for the greatest number of people. While Jay’s research may have involved intentionally revealing Slender Man to civilians, the intent was to create a cure to save victims. Redlight never shows any leanings towards utilitarian ethics. The only philosophy which could possibly be applied to him would be ethical egoism (the belief that individuals should act in their own self interests), though with Redlight this seems to be a case not of philosophical beliefs, but just him being a selfish prick.
Another marked difference between Jay and Redlight is how they emotionally react. Jay tended to be very cool and analytical; he admitted that one of his great strengths against Slender Man was his subdued emotions prevented much of the fear associated with the being. Redlight, on the other hand, is distinctively less subtle. He taunts his enemies, gloats over victories, and is as often motivated to harm runners by spite as he is by any pragmatic goal. Jay would need go through quite a lot of mental trauma and personality changing before he could turn into Redlight.

Then there’s the whole deal with Jay never showing any sign of being capable of body surfing. It’s the sort of thing you’d have thought he might mention maybe once or twice.

So why is this such a popular hypothesis? Well, because it’s kinda cool. One of the original Sages being turned into one of our greatest enemies? Very dramatic. Makes the struggles against him a bit more personal, and adds a hint of tragedy to the whole thing. Even I admit to liking the idea a bit, even if I do find it implausible.

Sadly, with Redlight dead, it’s likely that we’ll never know the truth…. Okay, who am I kidding. He’ll be back any day now. We only killed his human form. He probably has a cyborg backup somewhere, and shall return as REDLIGHT GOD OF MACHINES!

Useful Links

First Redlight Arc
Cached White Elephants (What’s left of it….):
A hint of serendipity:

Second Redlight Arc
The Mystic:
The London Librarian:
What You Are in the Dark:
White Elephants:
Observe and Terminate (Operation Firestarter):
the eleventh hour:
Time to Talk:
Get your game face on:

Third Redlight Arc
Copper and Chrome:
Copper and Chrome: Dark Nest:
The Network:
The Last Refuge of a Dangerous Man:
Si vis pacem, para bellum:
I am Stardust:
Records of an Impossibility:
The Morning Hunter:

Redlight, Part 1

Divided into two posts due to length.
Also, because of the large numbers of blogs included, there will be no links in the main article. All relevant blogs will be included at the end.

Super ultra major spoilers ahead.

By now, I’m thinking that Redlight’s been dead long enough us to start believing that he might maybe possibly actually stay dead this time. Hopefully.

So, this Redlight fellow (or redlight, if we’re sacrificing grammar for the sake of dramatic parallels). Perhaps the most popular open source character in the Mythos, outside of Slender Man. For a while, he was the Big Bad proxy. And now he’s dead, which means two straight months of songs dedicated to his memory, TV specials, and shrines everywhere. Since I have never been one to avoid jumping on the bandwagon in order to boost my blog’s views in order to boost my ego in order to help my fans, we’re going to spend this post discussing this mysterious gentleman in red, Redlight.



Redlight originated from the blog “White Elephants”. Unfortunately, his introductory posts have since been deleted (which means I could just start making up stuff about him and none of you could prove me wrong! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!..... But of course I would never do that. Trust me, I’m a doctor.)

It was an interesting time in the Mythos. Robert Sagel, going by the alias “greenlight”, had passed on the titles of Sage to a new group, and Core Theory was at the heights of its popularity. Bloggers were having epic battles against proxies, titles were candy, and superpowers for everyone. Good times. Robert (Sage/Guardian) had found a weapon which could defeat the Slender Man, was in Slenderland protecting it, and all we needed to do was wait for the Hero to come and claim the weapon, thus gaining the power to vanquish evil.

Course that wasn’t how thing were to be. Hope? In my Mythos? Don’t be silly. Timed to almost perfectly coincide with the climax of the rising Hype Backlash against Core Theory, White Elephants got hijacked. An unnamed proxy took control, and crushed everyone’s hopes and dreams with the revelation that Robert had not been waiting in Slenderworld for the Hero to come and claim his weapon. Rather, he had been chilling in regular, boring old real world, acting like a madman and gibbering to himself while posting nonsense about weapons and heroes. Then he proceeded to spend quite a lot of energy taunting bloggers and letting them know how worthless and pathetic they, as well as Core Theory, all were.

Now, the bloggers didn’t seem to take well to being insulted. There was a bit of back and forth between Redlight and the bloggers, Redlight giving his speeches on Doomy Doom Doom, while the bloggers often responded with Hope, Love, Justice, and Light! It’s here that Redlight got his name; specifically, it was from a comment made by zero. Robert (greenlight) was acting as a beacon of hope and defiance, while this new proxy was the opposite, crushing hope and defiance. Therefore, the name Redlight.

Being the wonderfully helpful man he is, Redlight proceeded to wipe Robert’s memories of Slender Man, robbing Core Theory of its figurehead. Redlight then gave the option for other bloggers to abandon Core Theory and their titles. Some did, others didn’t. Redlight’s memory wiping abilities eventually appeared again, when zero gave Nessa to him, hoping that she could be free of the hell which she had been going experiencing. Beyond that, most of Redlight’s actions at the time revolved around dealing with Robert, with mostly indirect interactions with the rest of the blogosphere.

Following the end of the Core Theory arc, Redlight temporarily moved from a pan-Mythos character back to focusing only on White Elephants. The memory wipe which had been given to Robert turned out to be not be entirely effective, as an encounter Robert had with Slendy in a park soon showed. Redlight couldn’t be having with none of that, so he captured Robert, and began to drive the man insane. Redlight then gave the audience a choice: they would vote on whether Redlight should kill Robert and end his suffering, or if Redlight should let Robert live, only to extend his torture. The general reaction to this was defiant, and only a few voted for Robert to die.

The faith of those who had defied Redlight was soon rewarded, as Robert launched a daring escape which involved copious amounts of fire, hitting Redlight with boiling Chef Boyardee, and sticking one of Redlight’s hands down the garbage disposal. Fun stuff.

Expansion into the Mythos

Redlight’s first appearance outside of a Core Theory blog was in The Mystic, where he paid a visit to Zeke Strahm. Continuing his trend of offering Runners choices, Redlight gave Zeke the choice between accepting a folder containing leads on his investigation, or to walk away and not be a part of the Mythos anymore. As this is Zeke we are talking about, he took the folder.

From then on, Redlight’s role in the larger Mythos began to grow, as the number of his appearances in other stories increased. The entire month of February could almost be called Redlight Month, as he almost overshadowed Slender Man himself as the Big Bad of the Mythos for a time. This is also the time where Redlight was temporarily changed from a human antagonist into a Revenant (by the time Redlight made his next big appearance in the Mythos, Revenants would have been retconned out of existence, reducing Redlight back to normal).

Redlight was a major part of the eleventh hour Trilogy, where he took the hallowed Cynthia under his wing as part of his Evil Plans (TM). Redlight also had several interactions with the blogs “The London Librarian” and “What You Are in the Dark”. While in Ireland, Ava and Reach went on the hunt for something called The Heel, which could possibly harm Slender Man. There was quite the epic confrontation as the two heroes tried to get the Heel, involving Revenants and Labyrinths and such, but all was in vain, as Redlight appeared and destroyed the Heel before it could be claimed (taunting Ava the entire time, as he loves to do). Ava escaped, but Reach was captured. When Redlight appeared again, he had taken over WYAITD, and was offering a new choice: Redlight would either kill Reach, or an innocent pedestrian (who was later revealed to be Catherine Shaugnessy, Reach’s daughter, who was actually Reach’s mother. Trust me, it makes sense in the context) depending on how the readers voted. The votes were going in favor of saving the innocent (urged on by Robert, who claimed he had a plan), and Reach was pushed into a lake to die. Suddenly, Robert swung into the picture, and took a third option, saving Reach at the last minute. While this allowed for both Reach and Catherine to survive, Reach lost his status as a Revenant (or just had the illusion of being a Revenant removed…. Curse you, retcons! You make everything so confusing!) and Catherine was told about Slendy, marking her as a potential target.

Redlight responded by capturing Robert (again). Then the PTC gets involved, launching a full attack, gunships and all, against Redlight in Ireland. The attack was a failure, and Redlight escaped. It seems that after this, Redlight wanted to take a short break from the fast paced action, as the next time we see him, he was meeting Ava for what was supposed to be a nice, calm, Valentine’s Day discussion. Redlight brought Cynthia along, and offered Ava three choices: She could kill him right there (given later revelations about Redlight, that choice in itself was a trap), she could take Cynthia, or she could free Robert. Instead of choosing, Ava stabbed Redlight’s hand, grabbed Cynthia, and ran for it. That later turned out ineffectual, as a few dead civilians and a Slendernapping later, Cynthia was back under Redlight’s control.

The next big Redlight event came when Ava, Reach, and Tony (Cynthia’s father, from “Get your game face on”) launched an attack to free Robert. This turned out to be a trap set by Redlight, and as a result, Ava was captured and Reach badly wounded. However, Robert was rescued, and Reach survived his injuries. Ava was found over a week later, after being put through a large amount of mind screw by Redlight.

During this month, Robert had occasionally been posting information about Redlight on White Elephants. Here we learned that while Redlight was a servant of the Slender Man, he was far from happy in his servitude. Redlight had his own agenda, which was to break free of Slendy’s control. However, this did not put him on the side of the Runners; he was still willing to harm anyone in the way of his goals.

Another claim which Robert made about Redlight was that he was not an individual, but several people connected by a hivemind. This could be used to explain the discrepancies between some of Redlight’s appearances (such as how he was human in some, but a Revenant in others, or how writers occasionally seemed to forget that he was supposed to have an injured hand). Unlike previous posts about Redlight, this one proved less popular amongst Mythos writers. Redlight as a singular force seemed to carry more weight than Hivemind Redlight. This would later be retconned into Redlight not being a hivemind, but an individual who could body surf, possessing other bodies when necessary. By the time that retcon was made, the damage had been long done, and the hivemind post seems to be the point where this phase of Redlight’s popularity began to drop. For several months afterwards, we wouldn’t see any major Mythos events with Redlight’s involvement.

Intermission 1, Fakelight

Just because Redlight wasn’t a rockstar anymore didn’t mean he was no longer a part of the Mythos. Stories which were using him as part of their main plot (WE and EE trilogy) continued to make reference to him, and the side effects of his actions in February were still referenced to.

Then, there was the blog “Copper and Chrome”, and its companion blog, “Copper and Chrome: Dark Nest”. For some time, it looked as though it had been building up toward a Redlight-centered story arc. C&C had been following a plot about the protagonist taking a suitcase from Redlight and investigating the journal he found within, culminating in Redlight temporarily taking over the blog. Meanwhile, on Dark Nest, we got cryptic messages saying, “Savior thy name is Redlight”. This came to a head with the creation of the blog “The Network”, which was supposedly run by Redlight himself.

Audience reaction to Redlight having his own blog was not favorable. Redlight had thus far been treated as an open source character, free for any writer to use. Which meant that preexisting blogs had plans for his future actions, which they did not want to be controlled by another author. In addition, many felt that the whole idea of Redlight, someone who had been shown as aloof and condescending towards the blogosphere, making his own blog was extremely out of character.

In response to the backlash, the blog was changed so that its writer was a proxy only pretending to be Redlight. This came too late to contain the negativity, and as a result, the blog and story arc were dropped.

Part 2 found here.

Friday, July 22, 2011

If a Dimension Bleeds, Does That Mean we can Kill It?

“Dimensional bleeding”. It’s such a fun phrase. It allows an author to get away with practically anything they want in their stories.

The term originated on the blog “Observe and Terminate”, a modern sci-fi story about a paramilitary organization (the PTC) which hunts supernatural threats (similar to the SPC). Dimensional bleeding is used as an explanation for the often contradictory reports which happen in the story (Basroil Squad being reported wiped out, only to come back alive and wondering wtf is going on with their death reports, and the contradictions between Observe and Terminate’s Solstice After Action Report and what zerosage later claimed to have happened).

According to the blog, dimensional bleeding is caused by Slender Man. Not much in the way of science explaining how he does it, beyond the essential “It’s Slender Man so he screws reality right up”. Whether the bleeding is intentionally caused by Slender Man, or if it’s just a side effect of his presence, depends on how powerful one is willing to make him. If you’re going for nigh omnipotent, playing around with dimensions Slendy, it would make sense for him to be able to cause the phenomenon. Alternatively, one could have a Slendy which alters reality simply through his complete alien nature.
Nor is there in depth scientific explanation explaining what dimensional bleeding is (which is forgivable, as the purpose of the blog is to entertain instead of provide scientific theory) beyond what can be inferred from the name. The idea seems based in the theory that there are multiple universes; which is the idea that there are an infinite (or near infinite) number of universes, each with a slight variation from the others. Bleeding between dimensions would mean that the parallel universes are affecting each other; events which would happen normally in only one happens in both, people display attributes from one dimension in another, etc.

What the inclusion of dimensional bleeding provides to the Mythos is a handy excuse to handwave inconsistencies across stories away. It allows for blogs and vlogs to share the same Slenderverse setting, without being bogged down by what every other story puts forth as their canon. So Story A claims that all of New York City was eaten by Slendy Man, but Story B has the protagonists wandering around the Big Apple without any problems? Then Story C shows Slendy riding a dinosaur? Not to worry! It’s just dimensional bleeding at work!

Course, within the setting, dimensional bleeding is kinda a bad thing. Thus the PTC has been devoting significant resources towards trying to fix the bleeding. One could say there’s been some success (we no longer appear to have people constantly posting contradictory posts on the blog), but it is still present, and thus still viable as a tool for explaining oddities in the Mythos.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Single Most Important Thing That All Bloggers Should Know

losing-present participle of lose (Verb)
1. Be deprived of or cease to have or retain (something): "I've lost my appetite".
2. Cause (someone) to fail to gain or retain (something): "you lost me my appointment at the university"

loosing-present participle of loose (Verb)
1. Set free; release: "the hounds have been loosed".
2. Untie; unfasten: "the ropes were loosed".

That is all.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Open Source Characters

One fun facet of the Mythos is how wonderfully public domain everything is. Until the day Victor Surge suddenly sends paperwork to the patent office and sues every single one of us (thus instantly becoming a wealthy man at the expense of hundreds of amateur writers and film makers), there are few restrictions on what can be written about.

Now, of course this doesn’t mean everyone has free rein over their content. Especially characters. While Slender Man may be open for every blogger and vlogger to include in their stories, someone like Zeke Strahm isn’t. Sure, there isn’t anything physically stopping you from making a series where Zeke Strahm and Damien O’Connor go on a road trip to Florida where they meet Noah and team up to fight crime. But unless you are one of the creators behind these character, or at least have the permission of those creators, said story will only be taken as fanfic, and not be accepted in anyone’s canon.

“But Omegaaaa!” You cry. “How am I supposed to create a sense of a larger, shared setting outside the confines of my single story if I am barred from using any material from other stories?” Well, crossovers are a solution. But that requires coordination, and planning ahead, and effort. But fear not, for there is another way!

That is the way of open source characters. Slendy is not the only public domain character within the Mythos; other creators have allowed for their characters to be used. Redlight is a perfect example of this; in the beginning, he was a character exclusive to the Core Theory story arc occurring on White Elephants and A Hint of Serendipity. Then, he made a brief appearance in a post on The Mystic. Following that, Redlight’s popularity seemed to explode, with him appearing in what seemed like everything ever. This demonstrated both the strengths and the weaknesses of open source characters. On the positive side, Redlight was the first major pan-Mythos antagonist who wasn’t Slender Man; whole story arcs were crafted based around this single character in several blogs. On the downside, not everyone seemed to agree on exactly what Redlight was like, and we had all sorts of interpretations. Then, there was the problem of Redlight appearing in every single blog ever at once. Which is something which should be rather difficult for a regular human. These problems were pushed aside when Redlight was changed into a hivemind, but by then Redlight was becoming less overused, and we didn’t need to really worry as much anymore.

Of course Redlight isn’t the only character available to the public (for another example, Agent Fisk, who has appeared in a handful of blogs outside of his original Seeking Truth/The Mystic). For the sake of organizing open source characters, and helping avoid some of the problems inherent in allowing anyone to use them, a topic exists on Slender Nation where creators can give permission for a character to be made open source, free for anyone to use, as well as include any information the character they think other authors would need to use them. (

Characters in this topic include zero’s Bleeding Tree, Gwenivere Greensleeves, The Bootmaker, as well as several others. If you’re someone involved in a Slender Man series and want to use this as a resource, go ahead. Just please remember the basics of courtesy; be respectful of the character. This is an opportunity to expand the scope of a story, or include an interesting character, not an opportunity for you to godmode your favorite protagonist by having them beat the crap out of every open source character in the Mythos. If you feel you need to contact the character’s creator if you want to clarify something about them, or just to ask permission to use the character, go right ahead.
Also, I apologize for the first few pages of the thread being about me making myself a character; Did not expect that joke to be taken as seriously as it was. Though I do find my multiple guest appearance to be hilarious.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The World of Slender Man

I wish I could blame my failure to post anything on Blogger being buggy lately (which, to be honest, has been a real problem for me), but Minecraft also deserves a large part of the blame. Okay, most of the blame. Building an underwater fortress made of Obsidian takes time, you know.


What I want to do today is essentially an overview of the setting which the Mythos takes place in. While once we used to be able to claim that it was the real world, with all the horrible implications that implied, it’s become more difficult to do that (at least, if you try to accept every story out there as canon). The Mythos has grown too large; in the past, it was just a few stories, and we can accept a scattered few mysterious disappearances. But now the Mythos has over 200 stories, each discussing several disappearances, deaths, proxies, huge events, all occurring across the globe. The scale has expanded just a wee bit beyond our regular everyday world. Taking it all as real is especially hard for me, as accepting the Mythos would mean I’d have to believe that a forest less than half a mile from where I’m living was burned down. Last I checked, it was still standing. When that place goes up in flames is when I’ll start to worry.

But claiming it isn’t real with a snide tone while snobbily sticking your nose into the air isn’t fun, so we’ll forget that, and throw ourselves right into the Mythos. It isn’t going to be a safe trip there, and we can only hope that the hole which I’m blowing in the Fourth Wall stays open long enough for us to make it back to the real world. If any of you don’t make it out alive, do not worry. We shall forever remember you as heroes who sacrificed yourselves for the glory of Meta.

Now that we’ve landed in the Mythos, let’s take a look around. At first glance, it’s not that different from out world. We’re likely in an American suburban neighborhood. The East Coast is a popular location, although more western settings are becoming common (sadly, for most bloggers, Texas remains a pit stop, instead of a permanent headquarters). The essential point is that, on the surface, it looks just like a regular town.

Once we start investigating, that’s when things begin to look suspicious. A child has gone missing, vanishing from the park in the middle of the day. The police have been unable to make any headway on the case, their only witnesses being young children who talk about a “Tall Man”.

For the family of the missing on, times have been hard. Just a month after the abduction, their only other child killed herself. In the weeks before her death, she had been obsessing over her little brother’s disappearance, and her parents wonder if this may have led to her suicide. It takes a great deal of convincing, but eventually we talk them into letting us see their daughter’s notes on the abduction.

Through studying her notes, as well as several cross references, it becomes clear that this was not an isolated case. Mysterious disappearances have been occurring in this town for decades. But these are not unique to the town; we find evidence of similar disappearances in surrounding towns and cities. When we look into them, it only leads us to more, spreading further abroad.

Soon we’re traveling across the country to investigate the growing number of cases. As we cover more ground, the number of vanished increases; first into the hundreds, and then maybe even as high as the thousands. We find entire towns left empty, their whole population having vanished in a moment. It becomes clear that there are very few places to have been left untouched, even overseas.

After further traveling and research, one begins to wonder if those who disappear are the lucky ones. Stories arise of people found horribly mutilated, organs torn out and bodies impaled on the limbs of trees. Like the disappearances, these slayings are not focused in a single area, but spread across the world.

Though perhaps most horrible of all are those we do not just vanish, but are erased from existence. We interview a man who claims that one day his girlfriend vanished, but no one except he could even remember her. She is not only gone; she never even existed to begin with.

Looking through all the information we’ve been able to gather, the casualties are surprisingly high. It’s likely that the real number is even larger, due to deaths being misattributed to suicide or homicide. Surrounding many of these incidents are other unexplained phenomena: fires without any visible origin, or mutilated animal carcasses.

As we dig further, patterns begin to emerge. A figure, or silhouette, seen in the background of photos. A stalker alluded to time and time again. And a name which has appeared all too often: the Slender Man. There are variations of the name; The Gentleman, Tall Pale and Faceless, The Slender One, The Operator, or even the almost endearing “Slendy”, but all refer to the same creature. None can agree on just what the Slender Man is; even its reported abilities are inconsistent, ranging from simply a powerful monster to a nigh omnipotent god which toys with space and time. Its motives are an even greater mystery. No one can explain why it does the things it does, or how it chooses its victims. But at any moment, it may choose to stalk, abduct, or kill any human, of any age or background, in the world. Occasionally commonalities emerge between victims, but in the end, anyone is a potential target.

Records become even more inconsistent when discussing encounters with Slender Man. Some treat it almost like a human, and even claim to have communicated with it. More consider it to be something totally incomprehensible to the human mind, and that all attempts to humanize it are wishful thoughts. Its origins are even harder to identify. Our studies appear to be leading towards the hypothesis that the Slender Man is a new creature, only for additional evidence found in a dusty library to claim that the creature is at least as old as Ancient Egypt, if not older. In the end, about the only things which can be confirmed for certain through studying witness testimonies is that the Slender Man is a creature alien to what we believe reality to be, which appears as a tall faceless man in a suit, and which is, for some unknowable reason, hunting humans.

But if this creature has killed so many, surely it must have been noticed? For this answer, we cannot rely on old journals and newspaper clippings. After a series of Ocean’s 11 style escapades, we succeed in securing several secret documents from Washington D.C. From reading them, we learn that the American government is very much aware of the Slender Man. But in true bureaucratic fashion, their response is divided and ineffectual. Agent Fisk and his branch of the FBI seek to cover up information pertaining to the Slender Man’s actions, ensuring that it never receives mainstream attention. As their goal is suppression of information instead of fighting back, they often end up hindering the victims of the Slender Man, instead of helping them. On the opposite end is the SMSC, another FBI branch which is more proactive in engaging supernatural threats. Though while they may actually be trying to help, they can do little to stop the monster.

It seems that the most effective organization in combating the Slender Man is not a government group, but an international paramilitary organization, the PTC. They are a surprisingly large group, with technology far beyond any nation, devoted to the capture, study, and destruction of supernatural entities. The PTC is an aggressive organization, having attempted multiple direct confrontations with the Slender Man. But while they may be currently working for the benefit of Slender Man’s victims, this was not always the case, and it cannot be said for certain that they will continue their benevolent actions in the future. There is little to no information about why the PTC is interested in the supernatural, how it gets the funding needed to run such a large organization, or even who its leaders are.

Of course, these large organizations aren’t the only ones seeking to combat the Slender Man. Throughout our travels, we have encountered many people who refused to give into despair, and have taken up resisting Slender Man. They’re a varied group, and trying to describe them all would take far too much time. Some group together for the safety of numbers, while others act independently. There are saints who give everything to protect others, and monsters who will use any means necessary for their own preservation. Some are nomadic, some stationary; some aggressively attack the Slender Man, others focus on survival. The only common ground between them is that all are being stalked by Slender Man.

Through the power of the Internet, these Runners and Fighters have found a perfect way to communicate with one another. Miniature dramas are played out in the growing network, as stories and advice is swapped, inspiring leaders emerge, relationships form, and common purpose is found. But the attitude which fills these blogs and discussions is usually far from confident: an air of fatalism pervades this community. Survival is not likely for anyone, and they are aware of the fact; all the time, accounts are suddenly going inactive. Sometimes, the others are fortunate to be given some kind of closure, either through a hurried last message from the user before their end, or a witness providing testimony of the person’s death. More often than not, there is no explanation, and their internet presence simply vanishes. Survival in this community is measured in months; those few who survive for years are often held in extremely high regard.

But there is a darker side to humans being aware of Slender Man. We soon realize that we are being followed; not by the Slender Man, but by humans. These are proxies, the humans who have, for various reasons, chosen to serve Slender Man. They are as heterogeneous a crowd as the humans opposed to Slender Man. Many are mindless drones, their sanity crushed by the horror of the Slender Man, who live out sad and short existences. Many others have chosen to side with the Slender Man on their own free will, though the reasons for doing so are as many as they are. Then there are the cults, whose members may not even have seen Slender Man, but who consider it to be some kind of god to worship.

More frightening than individual proxies is the amount of influence they control. People who believe themselves to be followers of Slender Man existing within government bodies is not unheard of. And in certain parts of the world, these people have taken control of patches of land; during out travels, we (very quickly) pass through a city in Indiana completely under the control of a Slender Man cult. Of course the government is aware of the existence of these towns and cities wrested from their control, but remain unable to do anything about them beyond hiding their existence.

After an epic battle against a group of proxies, we are forced to seek refuge in the town of Lusk, Wyoming. It is there we learn a terrible secret: there is something which sleeps in the town, something that even the PTC fears. For Slender Man is not alone in this world. While he may be the most active creature prowling through the shadows, there are others, each of which presents its own danger to humanity. Many of you are already familiar with the Rake, a humanoid monster with long sharp claws. Less known are Archangel, the Cold Boy, and a host of many other monstrous creatures.

Monsters aren’t the only supernatural forces in this world. Claims of supernatural and occult rites and powers are common. People with some magickal abilities (the extra k at the end is important, apparently), or knowledge of the Astral dimensions have been growing more common. We even meet a talking dog (Trust me, the blog featuring Tommy the Talking Dog is actually better than it sounds). Countering these claims of supernatural abilities are those who bring evidence that these claims are hallucinations, caused by Slender Man related madness. It has become nearly impossible to discern which are cases of genuine occult abilities, which are hallucinations, and which are simply hoaxes.

But now it would seem that we’ve outstaying our welcome, and a certain tall gentleman has taken an interest in us. Oh, good heavens, it just impaled Fred with one of its tentacles. Poor Fred. He was a good man. Quickly, everyone back into the TARDIS hole in the 4th wall. Time to go back to the real world, where things are much safer.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Lost Colony

I apologize for my recent lack of posting; the scapegoat which I will be using to excuse myself this time is homework. Three research papers and a full length play=Not much free time. But that’s finally all done with, and now that I’m almost done with moving, I actually have time to write.
However, countering said time to write is a newfound addiction to Minecraft. So you’ll need to excuse the shortness of this post, as I need to quickly get back to trying to add a gigantic lava moat to the medieval palace I built.

The Lost Colony

Those amongst my readers who have studied American history have likely heard the name “Roanoke”, at least in passing. For those unfamiliar with it Roanoke was an English colony founded in North Carolina established in 1585. The colony did not have the easiest time being established, having to deal with hostile native tribes and supply shortages, although relative to many other colonies during the period, it was nothing too out of the ordinary.

What makes the colony famous has nothing to do with what they did, but how it ended. In 1590, a privateering expedition landed at Roanoke, to find the colony completely deserted. The only thing found which may have been a clue to the fate of the colonists was the word “Croatoan” carved into a post.

Since then, there have been many hypotheses regarding the fate of the colonists. The most well researched is the idea that the colonists assimilated with the native tribes, and there is currently a DNA study being performed to test the viability of the claim. Other hypotheses are claims that the colonists starved due to lack of supplies, or were killed (either by native tribes or Spanish raiders).

Within the Mythos

As such a mysterious site, it was only a matter of time before people started drawing it into the Mythos. Peering in From the Outside was the first blog to fully implicate the Lost Colony into the Mythos. The claim there was that good ol’ Slendy was the reason for the colonies disappearance, wiping out all 100+ people living in it. Vivere disce later expanded on this, when Jean discussed a journal from one of Roanoke’s colonist. It’s the same story as from PIFTO about Slendy taking away the colonists, but on a personal level.

In some stories, such actions by Slender Man may seem uncharacteristic (wiping out an entire colony instead of focusing only on a victim or two at a time), but for Vivere disce, Slendy wiping out a village on a whim isn’t totally unheard of. The implication of Slender Man in the Roanoke disappearance, as well as the idea that he can and has killed large numbers of people over a relatively short time, does open the possibility of including him in more historical events. There are dozens of mysterious disappearances over the course of human history; pick and choose one you like, and put the blame on Slendy. This does run the risk of overuse: if we reach the point where every single unexplained large scale disappearance in history is blamed on Slender Man, then things have gotten slightly ridiculous (to the point where the only possible explanation left would be to claim that Slender Man is almost completely omnipotent).

Beyond the original Roanoke colony, the name has popped up occasionally in the Mythos, usually concerning the modern city of Roanoke, Virginia. It was the sight of zerosage’s and Robert Sagel’s climactic confrontation, and the occasional runner group has passed through (such as Father of Light). However, beyond the name, the modern Roanoke has no connection to the Lost Colony. The name brings up the connotations associated with the mystery, but historically, Roanoke, Virginia has nothing to do with the old colony. There are several other Roanokes in the rest of the United States. I could hop into my car right now, and after only three hou drive northwards, I’d be in Roanoke, Texas. A place which, I am sad to say, likely was not the location of any large scale Slender Man atta For now, at least.

Useful Links
Peering In From the Outside - //Vanished-Colonists:
Vivere disce - Flow My Tears, the Spider Said. (Tome 3):
Roanoke Colony Wikipedia Page:

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Tutorial

Let’s start out with A SHAMELESS PLUG!!!!
Cause we all like that sort of thing.
I’ve recently been given a position at the Examiner to write articles about zombies. So in case you ever wanted to know what Omega’s opinions on zombies are, you should check it out. And then follow it religiously.

Would you believe that I had been planning on making a post about The Tutorial since December? Just goes to show how incredibly on top of things I am.

The Tutorial

I’ve already mentioned The Tutorial several times, as it has been a huge part in establishing some of the foundations of the Mythos. Here we follow M, the original Runner, the man who decided to make a blog about giving survival tips to those hunted by Slender Man. Being the first blog in this style, The Tutorial created or codified many of the ideas we see present in the Mythos today.


The Tutorial is scarce on plot most of the time; most of the posts are either M doling out advice, or explaining his current situation. We know M had a brother, who was killed by Slender Man (along with the rest of his family), and we sometimes are given a flashback to an event in M’s past, when he was less experienced at running, but this is mostly the extent of the backstory. For a while, there were hints of a plot appearing, through M’s dreams of a forest and a feeling he had that things would change soon, but schedule slip caused those plot threads to die off.

M the Runner

The Tutorial practically invented the concept of a Runner in the Mythos. We had seen hints of it in Marble Hornets, as Alex appeared to have temporarily escaped the Operator by running away. But The Tutorial was the first time we had a story which focused on someone surviving Slender Man through running; most stories at the time were fairly static in their location. And apart from Seeking Truth, most focused far more on the protagonist going insane than they did on survival. The Tutorial changed the setting for both the authors and the characters. Those writing Slenderblogs were given a new way to handle their characters, which spread rapidly. Writing Runner characters was popular for a long time (before Fighter characters replaced them): a Runner protagonist allows the author to create a character who manages to be genre savvy and proactive about their survival, as opposed to those who just quietly break down at home, while also retaining the sense of helplessness which is useful in horror.
For the characters, it created a common trait of genre savviness. With M’s Tutorial, there was now a place where characters could learn the basics of this creature who was hunting them, and how to stay alive. For some time, commentors would often post a link to The Tutorial whenever a character realized they were being stalked. Barring the “Why are you posting a broken link?” excuse, it would be hard for the character to continue to act in such a confused manner after being introduced to the Tutorial.

M the Codifier

If you look back through this blog, you’ll notice that I have brought up M and The Tutorial a lot. That’s because he was the one who laid down much of the foundation which the current blogs use. Much of what M posted was based on what was seen in Marble Hornets, but with an explanation behind it, instead of leaving it a mystery. The Operator Symbol was given a purpose, Slender Man’s teleportation was discussed, and proxies were given their first real definition.
M’s thoughts on proxies may be one of the most long lasting effects; prior to The Tutorial, stories had existed where Slender Man had human servants, but it was M who first gave them a name and rules. M created the title “Hallowed”, which was the name most used before “Proxy” overtook it in popularity.

Not everything that M said has been taken as gospel truth. The getting up high rule was never very popular, and using masks as protection never took off (until Maduin made his own version of that concept). And as more time passes, more bloggers move further away from M’s ideas. Not as an intentional rebellion against him, but because people are starting to find new ways to look at the things he posted, or explore his ideas from new perspectives.

M the Unkillable

M cannot die. I am convinced of that fact. Time after time, he has vanished for months, until people began to claim he must be dead, only for him to suddenly return and make a comment on someone’s blog. His last post may have been in December, but M made a sudden return in March within the comments section, only to vanish once more. M represents one of the few characters who have managed to stay completely sane and alive during his entire time stalked onscreen (other characters, such as Tony or Sandra, have been involved with Slendy for a longer time, but most of it was before they started their blogs). M is one of the only two surviving protagonists from the earlier times in the Slenderblogs (Zeke being the second), and as such his blog stands out. If you ever want to see firsthand how the Mythos has changed stylistically over time, all you need to do is compare The Tutorial with any currently active Slenderblog. Both will be a story about someone who is at this time being stalked by Slendy, but the environment, tone, and events in them will be markedly different.

It’s almost been a month now since M’s last interaction, so I’m guessing we’ll soon start to see people claiming that he’s either dead or gone. But after seeing M go through so much, I’m starting to think that I’ll only believe he’s dead once I see the body. And maybe not even then.

Useful Links
The Tutorial:
The Tutorial TVTropes Page:
The Tutorial Unfiction Thread: