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  1. #1

    Into The Shadows

    I tried getting along with people. However they do not understand me and I do not understand them. The creatures I understand. They simply want to eat me. Horrifying as that may be, at least that I understand and can deal with. As long as I can keep distance between them and myself, I can survive. People however are much more complicated. I am not even going to try and understand them anymore. I simply will put distance between them and myself just like all the other creatures in order to survive. And I will use the wild creatures as a buffer between the people and myself. I made it out here and there is evidence others were here too. So I know in the future others will find their way out here from time to time. That is fine and I'll just have to deal with it when it happens. However life out here is extreme and even if some do find their way out here, I doubt very seriously that they will last long. The question is will I survive out here? Only time along with this story will tell. So here begins the story of MrShadow.
    Last edited by Kross; 05-28-2015 at 06:46 PM.

  2. #2

    Day 1 – Fading Into The Shadows

    I did not happen there by chance. I found some old maps and planned it all out on where I wanted to set camp and see if I could make a living there. The journey to get there was long and had to be repeated several times. The trails were unsafe, the rivers were unsafe, even the mountain peaks were unsafe. Everywhere I turned there was danger. I finally learned that stealth and the trees were my best bet, even though there was danger there too. The journey seemed impossible and forever which I saw as a good thing. Most humans would not make it and quickly give up trying. I am betting on it in fact. I find many abandoned camps along the way where the dead gather making it their home now. These just prove to me how difficult it is to live out here. My hopes rise. I even find one complete camp with tents and wagons, but the dead are not here. The abandoned wagons are tempting, but I fear they will only slow me down. If I reach my destination, maybe one day I'll return to retrieve what has been left behind. I continue.

    I finally reached my goal and I was amazed at how peaceful it is here. After going through what I had just gone through I did not expect this. And most everything I need is nearby. A field of grass for basketry. A wide variety of trees for wood working and building. Rocks to make tools and weapons out of. A river for fishing and drinking. Even a small junk pile. Yes, this is perfect.

    I pick a spot in the middle of some thick trees. This is where I set up camp. I am tired, thirsty and hungry. I eat was is left of the food I have and then run down to the river to get a quick drink. The huge bear on the opposite bank doesn't notice me but it does remind me of where I am at. I must not let my guard down, ever. I return to my hiding place and decide to call it a night. Lots to do tomorrow. There will be lots to do for a long time to come, but for now I rest.

  3. #3

    Day 2 – Clearing The Shadows

    I wake up with the intent of fishing, cooking and grass gathering. I do the first 2. However all these trees I am using for cover are getting in my way. Nowhere to move, nowhere to build. I need to expand my camp. So I begin clearing trees. I take out all the inner trees which were about 20 or so leaving just the outer trees to hide my camp. Better but now I have a new problem. I have log piles all over the place. So I pick a spot just outside of this ring of trees and begin stacking, one-by-one. This takes me forever. In fact I finished the day with 5 stacks of long logs with plenty of half stacks still laying inside my circle which I have now decide is still too small. So I began gathering seeds and planting trees to be my future and larger barrier. Before I call it a day, I decide to start planning of my floor layout. I am on a side of a hill which I do not want to dig up too much. I need to be creative and find a way to use the terrain as is. I leave the project unfinished. Still too much in the way. Still too much to do before I start building a real camp.

  4. #4

    Day 3 – A Journey Back

    Logs, logs everywhere. Why have I done this? I should have just picked a clearing and planted trees around me. Now I have this huge mess. I could abandoned it but that is just taking the easy way out. No, I made this mess and I need to deal with it.

    However these bears and deer are beginning to annoy me. How will I ever learn to kill them? There are no chickens here to practice on. I feel the need to go hunting but that will require a long and dangerous journey to and back again. Against my better judgment, I set out.

    Along the way I come upon that camp with tents and wagons. I had forgotten about it. The temptation to just move my camp here but these aren't my walls. These aren't my tents. I could use them for a while but eventually they would need to be rebuilt. The wagons however are even more of a temptation. They are small and I know I will eventually replace them with bigger ones. However I have nothing and these are something. So I break down and make 2 trips equipping my camp with 2 small wagons.

    The look of the 2 wagons sitting there in my camp does me some good. I am happy once again but still have that need to hunt. So off I go again. I find my chickens and so much more.

  5. #5

    Day 4 – The Dead Giant Forts

    I am back near the lake in an area I have never been. I want to find a certain active tribe that does a lot of trading. I thought finding them would be easy but they are not where I thought they were. What I do find is shocking. Humongous forts. Tons of them. They are everywhere. I see no people but there is still evidence that they are around. I go deeper looking for this tribe and start finding the abandoned forts. They are swarming with the dead. They are huge forts with tons of wagons and tents. I lose focus and let temptation steer me away from my goal. I walk up to one and open the doors. I immediate run the other way as the dead pour out chasing me. I escape only to return. I slide in behind the fort and take a section out. Coast is clear and I am in. I sneak in behind a tent and go to open it but I am spotted by the dead. Dammed them. I escape again. I want to try again but they are everywhere now looking for me. I have no choice now but to abandoned these raids. The dead are too many and too powerful.

    I also gave up looking for this tribe as well. I searched all the easy places. Are they too in a place like I am? If so it is for a reason so I'll just let them be until I come across better intel.

    I return home and start collecting grass for all the many projects I have planned. I then notice I have a neighbor? A small but impressive looking fort on the other side of the river. However as I approached I notice the dead are here too. I have the dead ones as neighbors. That's fine. I'll just leave them alone and know that not only will the leave me alone but will add protection. No one will be approaching my camp from across that river. Ha, I am content and please. This is better then I thought.

  6. #6

    Day 5 – Sinking Into The Shadows

    As I continue to tidy up my camp, I notice I have logs missing. Has someone been here and taken some logs? It is fine if they did as I do not tend to use them right away and for now they are in the way. However they took a few from each stack instead of just one stack. I like everything nice and neat so I proceed to remove logs from one stack and put them on another when I notice that no one took these logs, they sank into the ground. Appears the ground outside the camp area is very soggy and the weight of the stacks caused them to simply sink into the ground. So I spent a good portion of the day moving logs around dreading my decision to cut all these trees down in the first place.

    Whenever the wild life chases me from my camp, I go out into the grass field and collect grass. I make thread out of the grass, string from the thread and twine from the string. Once I collected enough twine I begin making thatch which I am using on to make a floor for my camp. I started and the highest point in the camp and then will insert layers underneath the layers I make. Not sure how it will all work out in the end but the practice is good as I'll learn and increase my skills as I go.

    I have also begun making baskets to store items I find and make. This has helped make the wagons more useful. Eventually I hope to have tents and buildings to help store everything just like the fort across the river.

    Speaking of, I managed a couple of attacks on the fort and managed to remove a section of wall. Was almost done with removing a second section when the dead notice me and gave chase. I escaped and once I lost them, they all returned back to their fort. I was hoping to lure them out into the woods behind the fort but they always return. I call them “the dead” but they are anything but. They wear armor and use weapons if they find them. They guard their camps just like any military unit would. In fact they do a better job at it as their patrol routes are very random and erratic. They seem to like the water and appear to drink and bathe in it. I have tried attacking a few who appear weak but without success. I tried a sprint and slash approach but they always managed to get a hit in on each of my passes. I tried running backwards and swing when they came in reach but they hit me more then I was hitting them. I am not strong enough or I would just stand toe to toe with them. I did manage to run up on one from behind but missed hitting them. So they are a bit vulnerable from behind it appears. I want to continue attacking them and see it they heal over time. If I can attack and wound them, retreat, heal and return for the kill I might have a chance. However if they heal just as well as a normal human can, then I will just have to train, build better weapons and make better armor which will be needed anyway if I am ever to take on one of these Plateback Bears.

  7. #7

    Week 1 - The Ringmaster's Shadow

    The person or persons who lived in the fort across the river were in the process of expanding when they abandoned it. An outer wall was being built which I now use as cover to gain access through the inner wall. I am pretty sure others have been here before after the abandonment. The main doors have been removed and a portion of wall was partially disassembled. There were no carts here which should have been due to the quality of the tents and walls. All 5 tents were completely empty which I have torn down. All that remains are the walls and baskets. I have been going through the baskets which most are just full of junk. I did however find 2 which were full of axes and knives. I kept enough for myself until I am able to make my own. The rest I discarded before the dead find them. I also found a ringmasters outfit. It is not complete but I like it very much. Something else to use until I can make my own. There are still many other baskets to go through but I do not expect to find much more.

    The floor I had for my camp was not turning out very well. The unevenness of the ground made it impossible to keep the floor panels aligned. It started to look very junky so I ripped it all out. For now I'll just work on the barricade. It too does not look very pretty but most of it will be hidden by trees. As long as it works is all I care about.

    From the junk piles I have been finding sets of instructions on how to make various things. Many I lack the talent to make. So I need to play around and make things just for the practice and hope I'll learn to be able to make the things I really need and want.

    Other then that it is just the day to day routine of getting water and food, hiding from the bears, building a fence and collecting items I may need later. But I am looking more stylish now doing it.
    Last edited by Kross; 06-04-2015 at 05:27 AM. Reason: Better word choice.

  8. #8

    Week 2 - Run For It

    It is funny to know just how out of shape I was before this all took place. I can tell I am getting faster and stronger which helps because that is all I seem to be doing is running. Running from bears, running from deer, running from raccoons, running from the dead, or just plain running.

    The one time I should have run I did not. I was hiding from the dead near the trash pile when I got distracted. Next thing I knew I was knocked out. When I came too I found parts of the ringmaster outfit gone. Now one of those dead is wearing it. I attacked him once and then ran off to heal my wounds. On returning I found him at full health as well. So the dead heal just as the living do. Yup, they are anything but dead. They are just reincarnated fools with nothing better to do but to cause chaos.

    So the very rich must have lived out here for I found platinum nails. Who in the world would use platinum nails and what in the world would you use them for? Also found some silver panels. I do not know if these items have the worth they once did but I got them hidden in a special bucket at my camp site. I have paper money stashed away too just in case the dead find use in that as well.

    My camp is now 75% surrounded by Douglas Fir trees. I removed all the barricades and will rebuild them once I have the camp completely surrounded by trees. I first have to remove the last 3 original fir trees down and move logs around of course. I really need to make myself a saw and cut some of these logs up into something more useful. But first I feel the need to hunt. Think I'll try once more to find my way to the lake. This man needs some chicken.

  9. #9

    Week 3 - The Luck of the Irish Shadow

    As luck would have it, the route I have been taking to the big lake is full of chaos of the wilderness. I decided to take a different route, creeping from tree to tree, hiding and looking around, taking my time conserving energy in case I needed to sprint. Once I start running it is so hard to find a place to stop and rest.

    As luck would have it, as I am moving along I see this hand cart resting up against a tree. It has been here awhile as the weeds have grown up around it. I check it out and it is empty. I am not too far from my camp so I grab it and head back. It isn't much but it will provide me with more storage until I am able to build myself better shelter.

    I take off again and as luck would have it, this new way seems much safer. I am making good progress without much encounters with any wildlife. I find myself climbing a ridge of this huge mountain. I reach the peak and the view is just magnificent. I think to myself "What a nice place to sit with a picnic basket and have lunch or something."

    As luck would have it, that is when I spy the picnic basket. Ha, someone already thought of the same thing. I take a closer look at the basket and written on it is "Event 2 Prize 2". It belonged to some tour or park guide from long ago I suppose. I peek into it to find an odd mixture of items. Some bones from a bear, an axe, a knife, some blueprints and $7000! I do not have much use for money these days but there was a time you would get killed for carrying around that much cash. I do not know how long these items have been stashed here but if recently, I very well could get killed for snooping around. I quickly close the basket without taking anything and scurry on down the cliff to much safer territory. Ah, chickens! What luck!

    As luck would have it, while hunting I come upon a fort. This group of survivors according to a notice posted outside their fort are actually friends with the group of traders I was looking for earlier. They even had a list of current items these traders had along with the direction and approximate miles I needed to travel to find them. They are actually in the area I was looking for them before in, but now that I know for sure they are there somewhere, I will just go back and concentrate my search in that area alone.

    As luck would have it, I actually do find the traders this time. Their fort is a bit confusing and looks very disorganized. The enormous size of it just adds to it's complexity. Many parts of the structure are either falling apart or under construction. I actually make entry through uncompleted sections. I walk around shouting to alert anyone there of my presence but I am only answered by my own echoes. I enter area after area as the design and current state of constructions leaves them completely vulnerable. If I found my way in here can't a bear do the same? I am a bit disappointed after hearing all the hoopla about them. But I am not here to take pictures of their fort. I am here to purchase items.

    As luck would have it, I finally find their trading area but do not find any bows I thought they might have for sell. Turns out that no one in the area makes them yet. There are those who are working on developing them along with many other items. Once new items are developed by the research teams, the technology will be shared so that everyone may make them providing they have the parts, tools and skills. The trip is not a total bust as I do buy a waterskin. I just wish now I would have bought the other 2 as well.

    As luck would have it, as I continue hunting small game, I find yet another abandoned fort. It has already been broken into as all wagons are gone. Seems to be the only thing people want around here. The place is loaded with buckets, pales and baskets stuffed with all sorts of items. Of course the dead are here too. Oddly they approach me and come within striking distance. They glare at me as to let me know I am unwanted here. But then they turn and wonder off. I would love to just take all of the items here but there is just too much and I have too far to go with it. Plus I am here for other things. I do manage to find rags. I don't know why but I value thread. I never seem to have enough. So I quickly turn the rags into thread. I put them in my pouch and continue. Taking the rags seem to have angered the dead. 3 of them suddenly charge me and I barely escape with my life. I run down hill and find a huge boulder to rest on.

    After resting I continue hunting. I am in a fight with a hamster when the commotion attracts a coyote. The coyote chases me off and I decide just to call it a day and return to camp.

    It has been more than 24 hours since I came upon the basket on the mountain peak. Who knows how long that basket has been there? Most people who approached that mountain will come face to face with the steep front side. Being unable to climb it they would naturally avoid it. I just happened to approach it from the opposite direction, a direction few would be traveling from. It most likely will remain up there for a very long time if this guide has died and/or abandoned it. So I decide to retrace my steps and if I find it still there, finder's keeper rule will go into affect.

    As luck would have it, I reach the mountain top once again and the basket with it's belongings is still there. I leave a note for the owner letting then know that I have their items and if they want them back they can come looking for me and I will simply return their items.

    As luck would have it, no one has come looking for me nor replied to my note I regularly check on. Each day it looks more and more like these items are mine to keep.

    Not much work done on the camp this week. Lots of interruptions from a particular Pit Bull. I named her Estreya. She likes to play fetch. Like once an hour but all is good. I could chase her off if I really wanted to. But I give into her whining and in the end I think I still accomplish more with all the little breaks.
    Last edited by Kross; 06-08-2015 at 06:43 AM. Reason: Grammar fixes

  10. #10

    Week 4 - Friends of the Shadow

    Try as you may, sometimes you will find people not willing to let go even if you are willing to and even trying to. Just because I did someone a favor a while back by giving them some cheap tools to get started, they felt the need to return the favor and then some. She braved all the mutated beasts that are between her and I and found her way to my camp. The visit was nice but she came to do more then visit, she came to work and work she did. She single-handedly built 75% of my barricaded wall around my camp. She would have done all of it but I was not done planting tree along the south edge of my camp. She then cut about 10, probably more, willow trees between my camp the the river nearby so that the mutated beast could not hide and ambush me while I run to the river daily for water. She even raided the camp full of the dead bringing back weapons, tools and clothing. As if that wasn't enough, she had seen an abandoned wagon on the way up. So she went back and brought that to my camp as well. She wanted to build a tent for me but lacked the supplies. So after a hard days work, we said our goodbyes and she returned home.

    The next day I finished the southern edge of my camp planting trees and inserting barricades in between them. I finished it off by building a gate. There is a good chance that the trees will grow around my gate and prevent it from working. So I am pretty sure I will have to redo some of this. It is like I always have these brilliant ideas but there is always something I failed to take into consideration which causes me to rethink and redo a lot of what I am doing.

    Much to my surprise my friend returns on the 3rd day and builds me a tent. It is awesomeness to the max. It comes with shelves I can put baskets in. I can also just place baskets on the ground inside the tent if the shelves get full. I can even hide in it in case some beast does manage to get into my camp. Now that I have storage, I quickly craft all them logs into more usable products. I store them away for future use.

    In spite of me wanting to be alone, my friend did talk me into joining her along with 4 others in a friendly game of Capture the Flag. I may have been the biggest person there, but I was also the slowest. And I ran out of energy much sooner then the rest who have been running around these woods for years. My team still managed to win which they could have done anyway without me. They were so much stronger and faster then I. I remember my friend asking me if I had any goals. That right there is my goal. To run like the wind. A big man like me running as fast as those little guys? Now that would be a sight to see.

    It is winter now and snow covers the ground. I wanted to start a garden but will wait till the spring thaw. Until then I will now concentrate on making tools, armor and weapons.

    I am so happy to have friends that it is almost tempting to relocate back to the lake. However I know me being me, something will just drive me back out here. So I stay here, here in the shadows.

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