Level 249 - Your Funeral
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SURVIVAL DIFFICULTY:

Class 1

  • Psychological hazard
  • Isolated
  • Devoid of entities

"I felt the rain like it was real, but I didn’t get wet. This funeral car pulls up and there were people all around. I started shouting and crying, begging really. Nobody looked at me, nobody talked to me, nobody even acknowledged me. And finally, I see this little memorial and it’s got my name on it. It’s my funeral."

Before

Death is an inevitability that many wanderers find has a sordid face. Those who suffer wounds so horrific it pushes them towards death are likely to awaken on Level 249.

The Cemetery

A constant fog hangs in the air of Level 249, accompanied by soft rain. The wanderer awakens alone inside a shed that sits within a cemetery. The pain and discomfort they once felt is now absent. A funeral home stands in the distance with a group of people surrounding it, all dressed in black. The group, which indeterminately varies in size, is comprised of the people who are closest to the wanderer. Yet, their appearances are never truly accurate. Like a memory of a memory, every person there is faded and muted, manifestations of a struggle to truly remember. Their chatter is nonsensical, a vague recreation of the wanderer's native language. The group never acknowledges the wanderer’s presence, and attempts to touch a person will see the wanderer phase through them instead. Occasionally, this group is joined by an animal who is or once was the wanderer’s pet.

Road

"Every path took me back."

"My son who's barely turned three, he was there. My aunt who's been dead for God knows how many years, she was there."

A thick and eternally dark forest surrounds the cemetery. A road cuts its way through the forest that, if followed, will return the wanderer back to the funeral home. All other potential paths and directions to roam share this phenomenon. The events of this level cannot proceed without the wanderer’s presence, as though it only exists within their interactions. Some wanderers report hiding for days in the forest, never suffering the drawbacks of not eating. Despite this, Level 249 continues as it always does once the wanderer returns to the funeral home.

“I think I’d been out there for a week maybe. It felt like a week. I ate some of the leaves. Not ‘cause I was hungry but I just needed to do something. They tasted- I dunno, how I guess leaves taste like. I went back and- yeah. Everything was the ‘xact same as I’d left it.”

After the wanderer spends a short amount of time near the crowd, a hearse will park outside of the funeral home. The wanderer can attempt to stop the hearse but it will have no effect. The hearse will merely be halted until the wanderer moves. Inside is a coffin with a memorial on top of it. This is the wanderer’s coffin, as evidenced by their details found across the memorial. Guaranteed details are their full name, date of birth, and a photograph of the wanderer. Other than this, details and items vary for each wanderer. Examples of these are quotes, former occupations, or toys from childhood. Some members of the group will gather around the hearse, continuing sorrowful discussion in their nonsensical language. This moment lasts until the group pours into the church. Once everyone is seated, the service will begin.

The Service

Each service is unique to each wanderer, personalised on the wanderer’s sense of self. Those who are plagued by shame and despair will see a funeral that recalls their unwanted memories. But wanderers who enjoy optimism and a sense of self-worth will be presented with their happiest memories. Similarly, the funeral home will be decorated in accordance with the wanderer’s personality and faith. Favourite colours, important religious objects, and a select amount of previously owned items are placed carefully throughout the main room. An uninterrupted service lasts between thirty to sixty minutes.

Theshed

"I felt safe in there. I was at peace."

A collection of the individuals whom the wanderer cares for the most will stand before the crowd and read aloud a eulogy. They speak all at once, their words connected yet separate. Though their speech is clear, their voices are distant recollections, perfect memories worn away by hopelessness. They reminisce on stories that they weren’t necessarily present for or would agree with. The wanderer is not lost amongst the assembly of tales recalled at once. Each story is heard distinct from one another, firmly implanted into the wanderer’s memory even if they leave the service. Despite poor accuracy and inconsistencies, all eulogies are based on reality.

"They knew I was some idiot who couldn’t even pass their GCSEs. And they knew- they just knew everything. And they kept talking and they just wouldn’t shut up.”

The phenomenon that halts time affects the people giving eulogies as well. The wanderer must be present for the service to continue. No one can avoid the service but many have still tried. Each finds the same conclusion, that time spent away only delays the progression of the service. It continues immediately once the wanderer is within earshot of the speakers.

The service draws to an end with the final words of each eulogy. There is no call to closing. Instead, each individual of the group will emerge in sync and make their way out of the funeral home. From here, the group will gather around an open grave in the cemetery.

The Burial

Of all the gravestones in the cemetery, only one is legible. The wanderer's name, date of birth, and status have been carefully carved onto it, with flowers placed at the foot of the gravestone. The space where the date of death should be is untouched. It is always absent, awaiting the true death of the wanderer. The open grave now has a coffin held above it, the wanderer’s coffin. The group huddles around. Each individual’s face dons a tearful expression, regardless of their relationship to the wanderer.

Graves

"The only grave I could understand was the one with my name on it."

The coffin is lowered slowly. Fog obscures the coffin, aided by a pile of dirt that waits to seal the grave. The shared grieving prevails as clumps of dirt fill the hole, but their weeps are softer now. There’s a silent understanding that the end is near. The wanderer, too, recognises this, claiming “an almost pitiful serenity” that accompanies the conclusion.

Once the coffin is wholly submerged, the group stands stiff and still. Each turns towards the shed, no emotion to their gaze. The funeral has come to a close and, from hereon, no more events will take place.

"I knew it wasn’t them. I knew because she hasn’t dyed her hair that shade of red for years. But that’s all I can remember when I think of her. I wanted to stay with her. I wanted to just be there forever. But that wasn't her there. It never will be.”

The Conclusion

What was once the scene of a confusing opening is now the setting of a comforting conclusion.

The shed is where wanderers go for their final rest on this level. Inside the shed, the wanderer will feel an overwhelming fatigue that weighs upon them until they fall unconscious. The wanderer returns to their previous level in the same state they had been in prior to entering.

“I woke up again on that field level. I was still dying- still hungry and blood everywhere. Only made it cause those guys found me. But that level- that level wasn’t saving me or anything. It just held back the inevitable for a bit.”

Entrances And Exits

Entrances

Level 249 can be entered from any level. The only requirement is that a wanderer who is near death due to severe injury pass out. From there, they may awaken on Level 249.

Exits

The only way to exit Level 249 is through the shed in the cemetery. This exit is not operational until the burial is complete and there is no time constraint on leaving once such has happened. Wanderers will pass out inside the shed and reawaken back on the level they came from.


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