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.