Level 22
rating: +22+x

SURVIVAL DIFFICULTY:

Class 5e - Environmental

  • Unsafe
  • Unsecure
  • Non-Entity Hazards
original22.jpg

Level 22 upon its first discovery.

tent22.jpg

A tent in Level 22 when it was a lived in nation.

new22.jpg

Level 22 post abandonment.

Level 22 was, at some point, an infinite, average-looking car park, which was at some point taken over, and later on abandoned, by a society which inhabited it. It was initially discovered in 1925.

Description:

Level 22 was initially nothing special. It took the appearance of a 20th-century, multi-story car park which was filled with various parked cars and shopping trolleys, all of which used to be full of building supplies and food. Due to the infrequent amount of hostile entities in Level 22, this location acted as a hub for countless groups and individual communities.

In 1987, Level 22 was declared a small micronation, becoming independent of any other faction within the other levels of The Backrooms. From then on, the micronation within Level 22 continued to grow rapidly. By 1990, most entrances to Level 22 had been closed by its inhabitants, with this group officially isolating itself and giving itself the new title of "Emstable"1.

While Emstable began negotiating trades with both the M.E.G. and the B.N.T.G. in 2012 and 2015 respectively, this independent faction would very rarely allow those who were not a part of their group into the level. Because of this, very little is known about the faction’s members, economy, political structure, or general day-to-day life. From what few studies were done, the community had a rigid caste system that divided inhabitants into “families.” These different groups would each work on different floors of Level 22. Each group would have a variety of tasks to fulfil, with each one giving a fraction of their total resources produced to the floor above, keeping whatever was left for themselves.

While it is unknown who founded Emstable, it is known that three individuals were the flagships of the empire's creation. They, as well as others, lived on the 'highest' floor of Level 222. Sporting a surprisingly lavish lifestyle given the conditions and environment, they were known to have Wi-Fi, leisurely devices like a pool and football table, and were somehow able to set up functioning electric cookers for meal prepping.

For the lower floors, however, life was a lot more difficult. Floors that were around 10-15 storeys from the top enjoyed easy — albeit, boring — lives. All residents in these floors had tents, shacks made of wood or the mined concrete, as well as a select few residents possessing cooking appliances like the ones on the top floor. Those that did not possess cookers lived off of the food of others, or fruits and crops which they periodically harvested.

Whilst cookers could have been easily obtainable, it is thus far unknown how wanderers in Emstable obtained crops for the first time. The generally accepted theory is that before Emstable's collapse, exits to a level in which wanderers could cultivate the plants in existed, which allowed wanderers to form a gateway between levels which proved to be convenient for farming. This theory also offers a possible suggestion as to what jobs the citizens of Emstable used to do to make a living in the level, which solidifies the theory's basis even further.

At the bottom of Emstable's empire, below the 16th floor, life was extremely impoverished and hard. Recovered diaries and notes write about how many would flee down even more floors in hopes of going to another level. Information on these lower depths is sparse, with a lot of the info being taken from found diaries or photos.3 Many of the population would starve at these depths, oftentimes relying on the benevolence of the floors above to be mindful and not take too much food and supplies as to leave enough for themselves. They barely had any tents or separate homes, resorting to living out in the open in sleeping bags, or frequently without anything at all.

This system was inevitably exploited by the higher floors of Level 22, demanding more from the lower floors while also giving less to those above. This lead to the need for the 3rd party trade deals. These deals were ultimately unable to save Emstable from its own collapse, which prompted the majority of its population to leave the level in search for a better life in other levels.

While the true reason for the fall of Emstable is unknown, it's widely accepted that the main reasons were the fault in its societal system, and the slow decline of Level 22's structural integrity. Due to all the mining and scavenging of the Level's supplies and natural concrete, many of the walls, supporting pillars, ceilings, and floors began to lose stability. All of this culminated into the level's eventual collapse, which has made it so that large parts of the level are either inaccessible by conventional means, or difficult and dangerous to access in the first place.

Today, Level 22 resembles an abandoned and destroyed car park. The ground is littered with rubble and girder poles, creating an extremely unsafe walking ground. Cars and abandoned tents can occasionally be found while traversing this level. The majority of these cars are rusty and covered in dust, whilst their physical condition is oftentimes severely poor. Most cars are torn to shreds, the only remains of them being only husks of what were once 50's-era cars. The previously mentioned tents are also known to house the corpses of former inhabitants of Emstable, especially on the lower floors, who weren't able to escape when the Level was irreversibly broken4.

Traversing Level 22 is extremely difficult and unsafe, which has made it so that most wanderers avoid the level do to its lack of structural integrity. The structure of Level 22 is unstable, and the stray debris can easily cause one to trip and injure themselves on the concrete, rebar, or destroyed automobiles. Apart from this, there are countless large, gaping holes within Level 22. These holes are often extremely deep, suggesting that these spots are where mining occurred. While one can theoretically climb up or down these holes to reach new areas, doing so is heavily unadvised due to the inherent risks of free form climbing, with many recorded accidental deaths occurring due to wanderers attempting to do so.

Recovered Documents

Despite the original Emstable inhabitants fleeing with their documentation and history, remnants of personal logs and confidential data has been recovered by various groups, such as The Kalag Institute, The M.E.G., and The B.N.T.G..

Recovered Diary, "Hilda"

Hilda is the presumed name of the recovered diary belonging to Jacobs Opal. For a full scanned copy of all surviving pages of this diary, enquire with site administrators or check the visual archives. The pages implemented onto this page are for dates 02/08/2014, 06/08/2014 and 30/10/2015.5

02/08/14

"The day I score it big"

Today is gonna be a big day, Hilda. Janus, Heljan, and I have been working tirelessly to mine concrete. The guys that supply us with the pickaxes over at the other level have been superbly generous, and discounted the price on this new lot of picks. Can't thank them enough for that.

Although that on its own is good, it doesn't exactly make today a 'big' day, does it Hilda? The reason why this new mining is important is because it may finally get my family up in the ranks! My partner and I have been trying to get up to floor 20 for the longest time, and have been talking to those who live there. Though they occasionally talk about a "disdain for the lot on 21", they did say that if we supplied them with enough concrete to give to floor 19 and above, then they'd let my family up! Grey's been working extra hard on mining, hell, I think xe was out all night mining about a week ago. But it'll be worth it for our daughter, and I'm sure all of our hard work will pay off.

06/08/14

"Build-up to our celebration"

We're getting close to it now! The past 4 days have been immensely tough, Grey and I have been operating the concrete mines non-stop. We've traded away as little as possible for food ,just so we can have enough for Tia to eat happily each night. I can tell Grey is excited for this, xe's been talking about it nonstop to Tia, explaining all the new stuff she'll get once we're up to the next floor and such.

You know, a lot of the townsfolk around here don't believe we'll get to the next floor of Emstable, but I'll be sure to prove that point wrong to them. They've even spoken to Heljan, apparently, though he's thankfully still dead-set on aiding us. Aiden, Kellaby and Raven still try to talk me out of it.
Is their concern appreciated? Yes. Do I really need it right now? No.

30/10/15

[This entry has no title]

Another day, another batch of concrete to send up. Raven's taking it all up this time for me, which, thank god for that. I don't think I could even go into that province again Hilda. At least Grey's doing okay, xe and Heljan seem to be happy with Tia and whatever their newborn is called, it's not my issue to ask or care if I'm honest.

You know, Hilda, I worry about Tia and Grey. I get that they've got their nice new fancy accommodation up in the highs, but still. I have no idea if either of the two miss me, or if Heljan will let me over. My guess would be… no. But! Hope exists, somewhere, and if it exists somewhere I will find it! I'll meet you again Tia, mark my words on that.

The full diary is currently under ownership of the Kalag Institute.


Recovered census report.

Found on the top floor of Emstable, this specific record is one of the only confidential document found that pertains to Emstable's method of operation. It can be seen that they conducted census checks at least every couple of years. This census, and another one recovered from a few years ago, are the only ones recovered thus far. It is unknown exactly by which frequency the censuses were conducted, as the ones that were recovered were taken at vastly different years.

Floor 10 census report. 01/07/10

Floor Count Population Count Population Difference Material Designations Employed/Unemployed ratio. Discounting children
Floor 1 18 +0 N/A N/A
Floor 2 22 +1 Leisure item foraging 22/0
Floor 3 440 -2 Appliance foraging 400/40
Floor 4 321 +12 food cultivation 310/11
Floor 5 1,002 +24 Food cultivation, wood cutters 991/11
Floor 6 986 -12 Clothes creation 900/86
Floor 7 1,212 +32 Junk scavengers 1,039/173
Floor 8 232 -22 Anomalous item scavengers 231/1
Floor 9 2,140 +40 Concrete miners 2,001/139
Floor 10 1,876 +38 Appliance foraging 1,766/110
Floor 11 560 -30 Medical scavengers 560/0
Floor 12 299 +12 Clothes creation 271/28
Floor 13 1,456 +47 Mechanics, clothes creation 1,300/156
Floor 14 1,231 +10 Exploration leaders 1,109/212
Floor 15 2,000 -12 Concrete miners, wood cutters 1,803/197
Floor 16 145 -77 Metal scavengers 143/2
Floor 17 540 +23 Livestock managers, food cultivation 532/8
Floor 18 675 -40 Food cultivation 623/52
Floor 19 1,850 +14 Wood cutters 1,743/107
Floor 20 2,100 +60 Junk scavengers, mechanics 1,899/201
Floor 21 1,234 +32 Concrete miners 1,217/17
Floor 22 80 -220 Clothes creation, appliance scavengers 44/36
Floor 23 934 +34 Livestock managers 930/4
Floor 24 561 +20 Concrete miners, exploration leaders 521/40
Floor 25 811 -2 Concrete miners, wood cutters 809/2
Floor 26 1,434 +40 Food cultivation 1,011/423
Floor 27 1,999 +21 Concrete miners, junk scavengers 1,345/654
Floor 28 0 -1,760 N/A N/A
Floor 29 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Current population
26,158

All other confidential Emstable information is currently under ownership of the M.E.G.

Bases, Communities And Outposts

flag.jpg

The flag of Emstable.

As Written above, Emstable was the only active community in Level 22. None have arisen since its collapse.




Entrances And Exits:

Due to Emstable's initial efforts to border up all entrances to Level 22, many of the old exits have been lost, or have ceased to exist. However, after the collapse of Level 22, new exits have arisen.

Entrances

Level 22 can be accessed through both Level 21 and Level 23. Both of these are new exits that were created due to the falling rubble and loss of structural integrity, creating holes in the floor of Level 21 and the ceiling of Level 23.

Alternatively, albeit rarely, some of the original entrances to Level 22 can be found. It can be accessed by finding glass doors within Level 1, taking exit ramps off of Level 69, or finding an exit in the centre areas inside of Level 172.

Exits

Level 22 can be exited by using the previously mentioned entrances to the level from Level 21 and Level 23. No original exits of Level 22 that existed prior to the collapse have been found, however, successfully noclipping through cars or debris can lead to Level 817.


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