Your accommodations for the night turn out to be at the Howard Johnson’s Motor Lodge across the road from the Northern Limit headquarters. It rains in the night, and many of you lie awake in the darkness, admiring the deposited filament panels the ceilings are made of. In the blue halogen light from the parking lot, the twisting filaments look like the mycelia of mushrooms, threading into the earth in search of nutrients.
None of you sleep well, for various reasons.
In the morning, Clive shuttles you down to a tiny airport in a beat-up Dodge van with the Northern Limit logo on the side. There’s only aircraft there, a twin-engine propeller plane that looks like it probably fought in World War II. The pilot, who introduces herself as Veronica, is in her fifties and doesn’t stop smoking no matter how many of you complain.
As you pile into the plane, Clive waves to you from the van. “Don’t worry!” he says, as the landing crew spin the propellers to start them. There’s a pause, and you think Clive will add some justification for his optimism, but then he just drives away.
“You’ve all flown before, right?” says Veronica, flipping a bunch of switches. “This is going to be like that, but worse.”
“Pizza pizza,” says a nervous voice in the back.
“Right,” says Veronica, and then you’re off.
The plane narrowly clears the fence at the end of the runway, then claws its way up to altitude. You look out the grimy windows at the forest and towns below, and remember again that you have no idea where you just were. The flight lasts hours, heading ever northward. Towns become fewer and farther between, but the sun doesn’t go down.
The flight lasts hours, heading ever northward. Towns become fewer and farther between, but the sun doesn’t go down. It’s summer, and you’re headed toward the land of the midnight sun. Some of you nap uneasily, the roar of the engines choking your dreams.
With the sun hanging on the horizon, Veronica flips on a red light and yells to you.
“THIS IS WHERE YOU JUMP.”
“WAIT, WHAT?” someone yells back.
“THERE’S A” – she pauses for a hacking cough – “SHIT, THERE’S A PILE OF PARACHUTES BACK THERE. JUST GRAB ONE.”
You all look at a heap of what you thought were military backpacks.
“WE DON’T HAVE ENOUGH FUEL FOR ME TO CARRY YOU THE REST OF THE WAY,” yells Veronica, reading your minds. “I WILL THROW YOU OUT THE BACK IF I HAVE TO.”
You help each other into the parachutes, and at that moment the loading hatch at the back of the plane opens up.
“THIS IS YOUR STOP,” says Veronica over the wind.
You look out the back of the plane. At first, you see only endless forest, but then a shape approaches from underneath the plane. It’s like an enormous soap bubble, covering untold acres, iridescent in the sunlight.
“DON’T MAKE ME COME BACK THERE,” warns Veronica.
You’ve never been more afraid, but as Veronica angrily rises out of her seat, you all jump at once.
You spin wildly in the air, bouncing off each other, plummeting downward into the wilderness. You try to stabilize yourselves, and then one by one pull your chutes. There’s a pop, a yank, and suddenly you’re floating, drifting gently above the majesty of the wilderness. It’s almost nice. In the distance, you see the plane shrink away. You’re alone at the doorstep of the unknown.
“PIZZA PIZZA,” someone yells.
You luck out and land in a field of grass, startling a herd of caribou. A couple unlucky jumpers land in the trees and have to press [F] to cut themselves down, but nobody’s hurt.
A few hundred yards away is the wall of the soap bubble. You pick yourselves up, look at each other, and march wordlessly toward it.
Up close, the surface of the bubble looks almost greasy, but the wilderness on the other side is pristine. Somebody picks up a rock and throws it into the bubble. The rock hits the surface and vanishes. Two seconds pass, and then the rock reappears in flight on the other side. It bounces across the grass and rolls to a stop.
You look at each other, take deep breaths, and step through. The experience is weird, and wrong – you feel like you’re being stretched along some axis you didn’t know you had, and you see things your brains don’t understand. But it passes in a flash, and you’re on the other side, with the wall of the bubble at your backs.
You are inside Zone Z.
- 16 Town
- 3 Wolves
- 1 Serial Killer
- This is an advanced difficulty game. Expect the unexpected. If you saw Annihilation or read any Phillip K. Dick, you may find that helpful, but it isn’t necessary.
- Everybody has a role. Roles can change. Except for the Little Caesars mascot, all roles will initially be secret.
- The count will not be updated as the game goes on.
- Death in this game is not necessarily permanent. Check your QTs daily.
- Town wins when all the wolves and the serial killer are defeated.
- The wolves win when they are equal to the number of town-aligned players left.
- Serial killer wins when it comes down to just them and one other person.
- Additional win conditions may become available as the game progresses.
- A tie at the end of day results in No Lynch. A majority of living players voting for any one person (or No Lynch) ends the day early.
- No editing posts.
- No quoting or screencapping from your QTs.
- If you have any other questions about rules, please ask in QT, and I will answer publicly here.
- Last, and most importantly: Anything I (as moderator) say, from Day 1 onward, could be a lie. Also, I’m the guy who ran the Snowman game, so factor that in. Use your best judgments to find the truths of Zone Z.
- Tobias Morpheus (reserved, but he may opt out)
- Capt. Lindsay Funke
- Doctor Nick
- Flubba Gunto
- Smapti Jones
- Spiny Creature
- Happiest Man
- Forget It Jake
- April Ludgate-Dwyer
- Robert Post’s Child
- Mello Yello Enthusiast
- Banner Thief
Day 1 will end Tuesday, March 20, at 2 p.m. EST: Countdown