Level 186

rating: +18+x

SURVIVAL DIFFICULTY:

Class habitable

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What a nice view!

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Your people have been hard at work, haven't they?

Level 186 is the 187th level of the Backrooms.

Description

Level 186, also known as The Infinite Valley is, an infinitely long river valley surrounded by mountains. It is currently unknown what is beyond the mountains, as all attempts to explore past them have failed.

Greetings traveler, I see you have decided to explore the land I call home, along with the others of your species that have settled here as well. There is nothing to see beyond the mountains; only the promise of the eternal void awaits you there…

The infinitely long temperate river valley is home to various temperate biomes, such as grasslands, rainforests, and rolling hills. The level is home to an advanced society of humans known as The Republic of the Valley, which has 35,422 inhabitants in dozens of settlements. The sides of the level consist of massive mountains that rise over 8,000 m (26,247 ft) above the river—towering over the landscape. Hostile entities are unable to enter the confines of the valley due to the presence of an unknown omnipotent force, commonly referred to as the "Helping Hand" by the local populace. Hostile entities that attempt to enter Level 186 are instantly obliterated by a bolt of lightning.

…What a land of dreams, a land of peace of prosperity, of plenty away from the horrors of the other places in this forsaken place. The meandering river, flowing from the infinite beyond, the rolling hills, lush forests, and fertile grasslands bristling with life. You can hear the sounds of the river gushing, the birds singing, and the beautiful flowers in full bloom, covered in buzzing bees. This land, that I hold oh so very dear to my heart, was once infested with those things, the ones you call deathmoths, hounds, skinstealers, and smilers—long before I was sent here. I banished or destroyed them, cleansing this land and making it a wondrous place, much to the chagrin of the higher-ups, but we'll get to that later…

The roots of the mountains are heavily forested with lush broadleaf trees. As the elevation increases, local biomes are affected by gradually decreasing temperature; temperate rainforests coat the lower part of the valley, with ice caps encompassing the highest elevations. Level 186 has a 36-hour day cycle and a 547-day long year, with four (4) earth-like seasons. Temperatures in Level 186 range from -5°C (23°F) in the winter to 26°C (79°F) in the summer, with temperatures dropping to a low of -25°C (-13°F) on the peaks of the mountains. The soil throughout Level 186 is quite fertile and ideal for growing a variety of temperate crops.

…Ah yes, the mountains with their deep roots—deeper than you can ever comprehend. In the spring the mighty forests bud, bright and green, then they flower in glorious blue, then the leaves turn a vibrant red, yellow, and orange in the autumn, and finally the leaves fall to the ground, and snow blankets the landscape in the winter. Each change in season is a time of feasts and merrymaking for your people! Speaking of your people, they have been hard at work, clearing woods as needed and making a patchwork of fields. During the spring and summer, it is truly a sight to behold, a veritable treasure trove for my proverbial eyes, like a quilt being knit…

The width of Level 186 ranges from 50 km to over 200 km (31 to 124 miles) with an average of 75 km (47 miles). The river can meander in an east or west direction but generally keeps to a north-south axis. The widest known portion of Level 186, called the "Great Plain", is 225 km wide and has extremely fertile black soil. The narrowest known portion, at 51 km (32 miles) wide, is at the center of Level 186, near the "Spawn Point". A welcome center has been set up by The Republic near the "Spawn Point" to assist wanderers who have been transported here.

…Perhaps it was mere curiosity that brought you here, or perhaps you just stumbled upon this read accidentally. I bet you were curious as to why this land of ours isn't linear; it varies; it has a form to it. This place is natural, and therefore, naturally, there must be variation. Every last speck of dirt is unique, unlike all the others, and there is something truly special in all that. Nothing makes me more joyful than to see people enjoy good food with their friends and family, perhaps by a warm hearth in their cozy little home…

At the center point of Level 186 lies what appears to be a 19th century steel railway bridge with an elevated train station. A steam train with the inscription "The Valley Express" stops at this station once a day and takes wanderers to the train station in level 60. Close by is the "Spawn Point", which is where people wake up when they get transported to Level 186.

…I always found trains to be one of the most fascinating human inventions, and I'm sure others do too. I made sure when I erected this monument, it took your kind somewhere relatively safe. I care for those under my wing, even though they don't know me, don't know I exist, I guide them subtly, hoping they notice, hence why some call me the "Helping Hand"…

About 5 km (3 miles) away from the "Spawn Point" is the Old Stone Fort, which was discovered by the first wanderers on this level. It originally appeared to be a slightly run-down stone frontier fort from the 19th century, on an island in the middle of the river. No one knows how it got there or how/why it was built. Since then, it has been renovated and the surrounding region is now the political and economic center of The Republic of the Valley, with the chief settlement of Stone Fort City being built around the fort. The fort itself is used as the administrative center of The Republic.

…The stone structure, a fort is what your people call it, was already here when I arrived. The creatures of evil, they defiled its halls, but I was able to cleanse its walls. The people were able to rebuild the ruins and transformed what was once a pile of rubble into a citadel, a beacon of hope for all those who have been dealt a fate such as this, to be sent to the space between spaces…

Randomly located at the foothills of the mountains, throughout Level 186, are mineshaft entrances. It is not recommended to venture into said mineshafts without proper supplies and gear. The mineshafts are known to contain vast quantities of valuable minerals and are heavily exploited by The Republic.

…The mineshafts are a terrible place, a relic of what this place used to be. It used to be dark and dreary, with a blood moon and countless creatures of doom. There was no way out, only death. I have to say, I am quite glad I saved this land and terraformed and molded it to befit you…

There is no Wi-Fi in Level 186, and electricity and all electronic devices do not function here for unknown reasons. However, mechanical power still works, which has been heavily exploited by the inhabitants of this level.

…Get off your screens and enjoy the view. Go till some earth, relish in the greens that grow, enjoy some good food, relax, and spend time with your fellow human beings. There's so much more to life than to waste away staring at a screen. I turned off the power so you wouldn't find any workarounds…

Flora and Fauna

The biodiversity on Level 186 is very extensive, with a wide range of temperate flora and fauna that closely resemble their counterparts in the Frontrooms.

Fauna includes bears, wolves, coyotes, deer, lynxes, eagles, hawks, aurochs, and, other temperate animals. Animals closely resemble their Frontrooms counterparts except for the fact that they have blue eyes, and some have blue stripes or patches on their fur. Normally hostile animals, such as bears, will only attack humans if provoked, so it is best to avoid attacking them unless prepared. The river is full of fish and includes various types of salmon, trout, bass, pike, and other species. All fish have blue eyes and/or blue stripes or spots.

Flora includes a variety of trees, shrubs, and other plants. This includes broadleaves, such as alder, aspen, ash, cherry, black walnut, apple, pear, peach, plum, oak, maple, magnolias, poplar, and pecans, as well as conifers, such as fir, pine, cedar, spruce, hemlock, larch, tamarack, juniper, yew, and the awe-inspiring giant sequoia.
Shrubs include blueberries, cranberries, currents, huckleberries, salmonberries, wild rose, elderberries, salal, dogwood, and rowan. Other plants of note include daffodils, irises, wheat, and, potatoes. All of the mentioned plants resemble their Frontrooms counterparts except that their flowers, nuts, fruits, or cones are of a bluish hue.

…Isn't the natural beauty of this place awe-inspiring? I molded my vision into reality. When I was imprisoned here, the riverbed was dry and the land barren. Those creatures ravaged everything. I healed the land, brought back the mighty river, seeded the trees and plants, and created the beasts that frolic. What a wonderful balance of life…

Establishments

…Truly excellent enterprises, all of them. You should come here and visit them sometime…

Accommodation and Dining

The Welcome Centre

The Welcome Centre will gladly assist newcomers to the Valley with anything they need. It's probably been a long day of being chased by a number of horrid creatures. Stay here for a night or two to build up your strength, on us. We provide food and beverages in the common room downstairs. 6 copper for shared accommodation. 2 silver for a private room.


Hudson Pub & Inn

Hey! You look like you're in need of some refreshments. Come visit the famous Hudson Pub for our finest cold drought beer, made right here in our own brewery. We use only the finest ingredients in the Valley. A great place to put your feet up by a warm hearth after a long days work. If you're lookin' for a place to stay, we have a few rooms; prices depend on availability.


Inn at the Ford

So, what brings ye to these parts? Are ya lookin' fer a place to stay? We can offer ye a place to stay, along with a hearty meal and a mighty fine drink by our roaring fireplace. As always, the company here is above all; people from all parts come here to meet up or just stop by. So, what's yer story?


The Quay Fish n' Chips

Located in the West Bank, The Quay Fish n' Chips is a peculiar place amongst the docks and warehouses. As the only restaurant in the area, we enjoy the business of many who travel through the district. Come here to enjoy some delicious blue salmon and chips, the best in the Valley. The talk of the town is clear—we can't be beaten!


Ripley's Pies and Ice Cream

Located in the town of Butterridge, Ripley's is owned and operated by pastry chef Stan Ripley. We have over 20 kinds of pies, ranging from savoury to sweet, and over 100 kinds of ice cream flavours. So why don't you stop by and take a gander?

Shopping

De Groot's General Store

Owned and by Beatrix de Groot, the General Store sells a number of wares, including preserved foodstuffs, clothing, equipment, weapons, and other useful items. Stock replenishes every 9 Valley days. We have 3 locations: One on Mason St in Desmond Square, one in Amberhall, and one in Becksville. Now a proud member of the Valley Trade Association.


Valley Mining Supply Co.

Valley Mining Supply Co. is located in Becksville and sells a variety of supplies for ventures into the mineshafts, such as canned food, tools, weapons, armour, rope, and gas detectors. Please note that you must have a mining license before entering the mineshafts. We can help you file the paperwork for a mining license here, so you don't have to travel all the way back to Stonefort City.


IPG Wholesale

At Industry and Power Group we pride ourselves on providing high-quality goods from our manufactories. Do you need steel? We got it. Do you need hardware? We got that too. We sell a number of rare commodities as well. Come to one of our locations for more details. We are located in every major town in the Valley. Bulk orders only, unless you have an account with us. To get an account with us, you must first make a one-time commitment fee of 10 gold coins.


Desmond Square Market

Desmond Square Market is the beating heart of the economy of the Valley. Goods, services, produce, and knickknacks are all bought and sold here. It would be fair to say this is one of the largest trade hubs in the Backrooms and is by far the largest in the Valley. Feel free to come and visit any time and take a gander at the many shops here. B.N.T.G. has just opened up shop here in Trade Hall No. 29; don't forget to go check out what exotic goods they have on offer.

Bases, Outposts, and Communities

…Every brick, every cobble, every plank, and every beam was placed by your people. Before they arrived here, there was nothing, except for the ancient stone structure. They built everything from the ground up; over two centuries of work; of collaboration. I am truly proud of what they managed to accomplish, and I hope you are too…

Republic of the Valley

The Republic of the Valley is an advanced and organized state that is an indirect democracy and constitutional republic. The Republic claims sovereignty over the entirety of Level 186. According to the last census, conducted in 2020, the population of the Republic is 35,422. The Republic has effective control over up to approximately 500km in both directions from the centre of the level. The Republic has their own military, police force, fire suppression service, postal service, ferry service, hospitals, education facilities, and regulatory bodies. The Republic mints gold, silver, and copper coins, and these coins are the only legal means of tendering payment for goods and services on Level 186. Due to the nature of Level 186, the Republic uses steam power almost exclusively due to the abundance of coal in the mineshafts and the readily available access to water from the river. Steam power is used to power everything from ferries on the river to steel mills.

Settlements

  • Stonefort City is the Capital and largest settlement in the Republic of the Valley. It has a population of over 12,000, making up over a third of the total population. The settlement can be divided into six (6) districts:
    • Stonefort Island: Contains the highest Legislative, Executive, and Judicial bodies as well as Government Departments and Diplomatic Missions.
    • Desmond Square: A large commercial/trading area centred around Desmond Square. This is also where Stonefort City Hall is located.
    • Lower Town: Mostly a residential area, with a few small businesses along the main thoroughfare, Richard St, including the famous Hudson Pub & Inn, owned by local Jimmy Hudson.
    • Upper Town: Quiet residential district
    • East Bank: The area is dominated by factories built by the largest company in Level 186, the Industry and Power Group (IPG).
    • West Bank: The main port for the city is in this area, goods from all over Level 186 are transported and stored here.
    • The Bend: The second oldest part of the town, after Stonefort Island, The Bend is the main Business District and is home to the HQs of prominent businesses, such as IPG, Butterridge Farms, Valley National Bank (VNB), and the Valley Stock Exchange (VSX).
  • Welcome Centre: Located at the "Spawn Point", the Welcome Centre is a small settlement of 200 people that mostly provide services for newcomers.
  • Lecto's Ford: Located 50km (31 miles) to the North of Stonefort City, Lecto's Ford is a small settlement of 1,000 people, built by one of the few natural fords across the river. The Inn at the Ford is located here.
  • Damburg: Located 70km (43 miles) South of Stonefort City, Damburg has a population of just over 800 and is located on top of a hill next to the Kurtz Dam, the first dam built on the river by IPG.
  • Becksville: Located 90km (56 miles) to the North of Stonefort City, Becksville is the main industrial city of the Republic, and has a population of just over 5,000. Steel mills and other metallurgical works operate in the city thanks to the proximity to a mineshaft entrance. IPG was founded here.
  • Amberhall: Located 120km (75 miles) to the South, Amberhall is a town of 3,000 people.
  • Butterridge: Located 250km (155 miles) to the North of Stonefort City, Butterridge is located on the river in the Great Plains biome, and is home to a thriving farming community. The Butterridge area has 4,500 people. The area is also home to farming co-operative Butterridge Farms.
  • Outpost Krieve: Located 498km (309 miles) to the North. Population 25.
  • Outpost Moira: Located 502km (311 miles) to the South. Population 32.

The M.E.G. "Valley Embassy"

The Republic of the Valley has graciously permitted the Major Explorer Group to erect an embassy on Stonefort Island, and send over an ambassador and diplomatic mission. We hope to have friendly a fruitful relationship with the M.E.G. in the future.

  • This is a small base, with Ambassador Letitia Greene permanently residing here, and a small team of M.E.G. agents stationed here on rotational duty.
  • The main purpose of this facility is to have a diplomatic presence with The Republic of the Valley, and to provide services for M.E.G. affiliated civilians.

B.N.T.G. "Trade Hall No. 29"

The Republic of the Valley has graciously granted the Backrooms Nonaligned Trade Group a license to operate a trading operation in Desmond Square Trade Hall No. 29. We wish you good luck in your business endeavors.

  • Around 20 traders come here to buy and sell items.
  • If business does well then more traders may be sent in the future.
  • Provides services for B.N.T.G. affiliated merchants in The Republic.

Church of the Helping Hand

The Church of the Helping Hand is a cult that worships the "Helping Hand" on Level 186.

  • Although not hostile, they will try to convince other people to join their religion.
  • They are open to trading with anyone and are particularly interested in buying memory juice.
  • It is best not to trust them, it is unknown what their objectives/motives are.
  • They claim to be able to communicate with the Helping Hand. This has not yet been proven.
  • The Republic states that they are not a threat and should be left alone.

…I am truly humbled that some people have decided to worship me as a deity, but I must decline. I was sent here against my will, imprisoned for all of eternity. The least I could do was make a sanctuary for those that were unjustly sent to this space between spaces…

Industry and Power Group

Industry and Power Group (IPG) is the largest corporation in the Republic and employs over 6,000 people. Their main focus is industrial extraction, processing, manufacturing, and mechanical power generation.

The "Helping Hand" and Anomalous Effects

There are reports of an omnipotent force residing in Level 186, it is unknown to the M.E.G. as to how powerful it is and what its intentions are. So far, it seems to be friendly toward humans. We have yet to find a way to communicate with this deity. At this moment, the organization sees no reason to believe any harm or malice will be directed toward wanderers.

…Ah, curiosity got the best of you and you decided to come looking for more I see. Well allow me to indulge your curiosity then. I was once a free spirit traveling amongst the stars. As a higher being without a portfolio, I had the privilege to travel the infinite, to see the rise and fall of civilizations, and to see the birth of new sapient peoples. There are some things in the universe that not even I can comprehend, let alone by humans such as yourself. I tangled with forces that ought not to be meddled with, and as a result, I was banished to this place that you call Level 186 and imprisoned here for all of eternity. They view all this pain and destruction as a great show—watching you humans struggle in this space you call the backrooms seems to amuse them, so I decided to use my powers to create a sanctuary, a place of peace and respite for your people as a payback for their kindness. I do truly mean well for you, I want your kind to thrive, to succeed in taming the backrooms. It is the only way…

There are only a few anomalous effects on Level 186, but none of them are of much concern. As mentioned previously, there is no Wi-Fi on this level, and electricity and electronics do not work. It is unknown why this is the case, but some reports suggest that the unknown being is responsible for this effect. Another anomaly detected on this level is the fact that pollution from factories and other anthropogenic sources have no effect on the environment and air quality. It would appear that the environment self-cleans.

Entrances and Exits

Entrances

…Come now, don't be afraid to visit; you might even like it here. So what do you say, why don't you come to the Valley? And possibly, you might even stay a while…

You can only enter Level 186 if you have not committed an unforgivable sin.

…Only those that are worthy may enter. Since I am fairly lenient, this includes most. I can see into your soul; committing an act so monstrous and heinous, such that you are not much different than those creatures bent on wonton destruction will render your entrance null. Committing an unforgivable sin leaves a mark on the soul, which is visible for me to see; it is like a black mark that cannot be ignored…

  • Find a painting with a river surrounded by mountains in Level 5 or Level 57, and touch it.

Exits

…Leaving so soon, ah well, if you insist just take the train. Hopefully you can find your way back here if you're bored of all the mayhem…

  • As mentioned above, taking "The Valley Express" from the train station will take wanderers to the train station in Level 60.
  • Committing an unforgivable sin in Level 186 will cause you to be banished from the level and sent to a random dangerous level. DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, PARTAKE IN SUCH ACTS.

…Should you dare to go so low as to kill one of your own, or commit any other of the unforgivable acts within my domain, you shall receive a punishment equitable to your crimes…

Supplementary Documents

M.E.G. Exploration Log 186-001

<Begin Log>

Interviewer: Natasha Simmons
Interviewee: Felix Whitaker

Interviewer: So your team was exploring the edge of Level 186, is that right?

Interviewee: That's right, we were scanning the "edge" for an anomalies report.

Interviewer: Can you tell me what your team discovered there?

Interviewee: Everything seemed normal, but then all of a sudden, we reached a point where the ground was no longer solid. Agent Romanow and I went too close to the edge and we no-clipped through. I went unconscious and the next thing you know I was in what appeared to be Level 999.

Interviewer: What happened afterward?

Interviewee: They made me repent…They knew everything I did…I swear I was sincere about my apology for plagiarizing my dissertation, but they didn't believe me! After what seemed like a life-age of whispers and torment, I went unconscious again and woke up in Level 1.

Interviewer: Is there anything else you would like to put on record?

Interviewee: What happened to Romanow?

Interviewer: He is unfortunately AWOL. Either he perished in Level 999 or he succeeded in entering Cluster II.
<End Log>

M.E.G. Interview Log 186-002

<Begin Log>

Interviewer: Natasha Simmons
Interviewee: Hanka Krčmova

Interviewer: So you've been a long time resident of Level 186, is that right? Can you please tell us about yourself?

Interviewee: First of all, I would like to thank the M.E.G. for organizing this meeting.

Interviewer: No problem, please continue.

Interviewee: Yes, I have resided in The Valley for many years. I am currently the representative for the 4th legislative district and the acting External Affairs Secretary. Prior to this, I worked as an engineer for I.P.G.

Interviewer: Can you please tell us about your experiences in Level 186?

Interviewee: I have nothing negative to say about residing here. I mean it's still in the backrooms, and we live with the knowledge that this place could have some kind of catastrophic event like other habitable levels have faced. The good news though is that people sent to the backrooms have resided here for over two centuries without any issues.

Interviewer: How is it that there are so many people on one level?

Interviewee: I guess people like it here, and people have been coming here for a while now, like I said, for over two centuries. It kinda reminds us of the Frontrooms in a way, but it's obvious that it's not, we are still trapped here in the backrooms forever.

Interviewer: Well Thank you for your time, I appreciate that the Republic of the Valley is so open to cooperation with M.E.G.

Interviewee: No problem, anytime. I look forward to working with M.E.G. in the future.

<End Log>


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