Level 9.1
rating: +39+x

SURVIVAL DIFFICULTY:

Class 4

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The ominous glow pulses slowly, on and off.

The Crimson Field is the 9.1st Level of the Backrooms, and is a Sub-Level of Level 9.

Description:

The Crimson Field - referenced as Level 9.1 - is a dark and repressive field of tall grass with brambles and tangles of weeds. There is a slightly cold coating of dew across the entirety of the level which makes passage harrowing, chilly, and damp. Most often wanderers can see their breath in Level 9.1.

The height of the grass averages nearly three feet tall which provides ample cover for Wanderers and Entities alike. This, paired with the constant cover of night and the common hanging fog makes visibility unnervingly low across the level. Red-light is the only recommended source of illumination when traversing Level 9.1 - white lights attract deadly unwanted attention from the Mangled. It is believed the fog that hangs over the Field is produced by the Mangled who roam this area with moderate frequency.

Short wave radios used by M.E.G. squad members report strange chatter and broadcasts when in Level 9.1. The source of this interference is assumed to come from the throbbing red glow on the horizon. This glow, visible from across the entirety of the field, slowly oscillates between an on-off state every ten seconds; fading in and out and painting the mist in crimson. This beacon is thought to be a radio tower but all attempts to reach it have resulted in failure and casualities1. The glow has become known as the "Gloom" of Level 9.1, and is to be actively avoided. Another theory is that the Gloom is the source of the Mangled: offering a potential reason as to how they can be found in Level 9 as well.

1. See Addendum Report: SL9.1G regarding the Gloom, below.

Radios have been reported to pick up the following strange interference:

  • Deep, growling chatter
  • Distorted elevator music
  • A woman screaming in agony
  • High pitched droning hums
  • Strings of numbers
  • Scared pleading and terror

These as well as static, reversed talking, and ambient howls of creatures make shortwave radio communication on this level difficult. It is advised to find alternate methods of communication, and, if your radios are picking up this interference to turn them off for safety. Apart from being generally unsettling it is believed listening to this chatter can cause ill effects to the listeners psyche by subconsciously influencing you.

Level 9.1 has a moderate entity count and is largely featureless apart from the Gloom. Be vigilant, as well, for the Neighborhood Watch which can occasionally find their way into this Sub-Level. Unique to the Field are strange Clumps of limbs which live in ditches and holes in Level 9.1's tall grass. They are extremely difficult to spot - and hostile. These pale, dirty Clumps grab onto ankles with terrifying strength and swiftness, so careful footing is advised.

Be advised: members of the M.E.G. have gone missing from unknown causes within Level 9.1.
Do not travel with lights, do not travel alone, and do not travel loudly.

Bases, Outposts and Communities

There are no known bases, outposts or communities on this Level.

Entrances And Exits:

Entrances

Suburb catwalks and pedestrian walkways in Level 9 can lead to this Sub-Level, as long as they lead to open grassy fields. You will know it is Level 9.1 if the temperature drops.

Exits

Wanderers have used Level 9.1 as a way of reaching Level 2 and Level 3, which can be accessed through heavy foxhole doors leading to underground hallways. These doors are rare and scattered across the level in shallow grottos and muddy hillsides, resembling forgotten military bunkers.

Oddly enough, these doors appear to act as one-way portals: as shutting the foxhole door behind you once on Level 2 or 3 will leave Level 9.1 inaccessible from that point of egress.

If you head towards a white glow on the horizon (often opposite the Gloom) or follow a marked trail of posts, you will find yourself in the safety of The Crimson Forest.

Addendum:

  • Report: SL9.1G - Expedition Log "Into the Gloom"

This is Samantha Bohl, Ensign Compass Point.

With twelve operatives tethered together by ropes we attempted the Gloom. Six pairings with 80ft between each other we formed a single file nearly one tenth of a mile long.

Compass Point is about pushing the boundaries of our reach within the Backrooms. Upturning stones to see what lies beneath, and gazing deep within the places we fear - but we try to never take unnecessary risks. Everything comes with a price, even knowledge, and we bet as little as we can every time we take a seat at the table. We tackled the Gloom, trying to beat the house. We thought there might be a tether to society there - an outpost of humanity, even a distress call garbled in the radio interference. We were dead wrong.

We bet all-in against the house, but forgot the house always wins. We lost six good men to tell anyone who comes after us one thing:

Do not brave the Gloom.

Some stones are not meant to be upturned. Nothing in there could be worth dragging the shredded meat of your Lieutenant and five other operatives out from the mist that surrounds that pulsing light. Nothing could be worth losing half of your squad - your friends - over.

When the tether line went taught and we started getting dragged in, we tried to dig in and pull them back. But whatever was on the other end was stronger than the twelve of us. Something heaved us forward, lurching us violently and dragging us through the mud and grass. I was thrown like a rag doll to the ground - and I'll never forget the screams. Further still we were dragged, helplessly dragged inwards, closer to that pulsing fucking light which took over the entire sky. The mist was thick and when it lit up - all we could see was red. All I could hear was the terrified yelling of Compass Point - and in the chaos I could hear the chewing. The ripping. The popping of bones out of their sockets. David Finch was able to reach for their flare gun and that was the only thing that saved us from all getting massacred.

The remaining six of us, clambering breathless, covered in mud and grass and gore, dragged the other six out by the tethers, retrieving the absolutely disgusting remains of our comrades from the mist of the Gloom until we couldn't take another step. I hope you reading this will never feel the same absolute heart wrench of being unable to recover the bodies of your team when things go south. With the state they were in we had no choice. We took what we could for identification and equipment, and left their entrails to rot.

None of our remaining squad saw what exactly pulled us in. And none of us ever want to know for sure. If you brave the Gloom, you're going to die. We paid for that knowledge with the blood of M.E.G. operatives. It's knowledge that might save others in the future. Do not let them be lost to the Gloom in vain.

In memory of Christopher Marcus, Eric Logan, Casey Altman, Reid Harris, Donovan Lehmann, and Lieutenant Maxwell Baldwin of Compass Point.

You are sorely missed.


Compass Point compasspoint.pngHopes Vanguard


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