Blog: What You Are in the Dark
Happy Birthday, Reach
. This slenderblog
is a peculiar gem even amongst the general strangeness
that makes up the slender-community at large. The central protagonist is an Anti-Hero
Reach, a former Revenant (aka, an elite trooper in Slender Man's army of darkness
) who served Slender Man loyally for forty years.He wasn't always this way
, though. He was originally a young man called Raymond Shaughnessy from Ireland who became haunted by Slender Man, but was offered the chance to join him and thus protect his fiancee Ariana and their unborn child. So he agreed to Slim's terms and was thus twisted and morphed
into a Revenant; an unaging, super-strong, hypersensitised Humanoid Abomination
. He said it was very painful.
From there, he did Slendy's bidding more and more willingly with each passing year for four decades, harassing, attacking and killing Runners and Conduits (humans with the ability to channel the same energy that gives Slendy his power). One of his victims was Thage of Peering In From The Outside
Sometime last year, when the Slenderblogs became a community, Slendy ordered his pawn to register at blogspot and keep tabs on the the Runners and such. This, however, backfired when conversing with the bloggers (Amelia
in particular, especially on the subject of his fianceÚ's death, but also Robert
and Nessa) caused Reach to have a Heel-Face Turn
and eventually rebel against his master and go on the run on December 4th. He was running alone for about a month and a half before a series of events lead to him almost having a Heroic BSOD
and giving up. However, he was talked out of it by Thage and decided to team up with The London Librarian
, Ava, investigating theories about Slender Man and seeking out a weapon that might be able to destroy the Slender Man. This did not go well.
After narrowly escaping Slender Man and Redlight
in Ireland, Reach was rendered human again and the two traveled to America to help Robert Sagel
and the Delmont Family
, which ultimately resulted in Reach caring for a comatose Ava at Thage's house for several weeks.
Then, the two-part Another Day, Another Lie
and I Am Raymond Shaughnessy
revealed that the entire persona of Reach was created by Slender Man, so that Reach would "infect" the blogosphere with the concept of Revenants, causing the Masquerade Effect to take hold, making people believe in non-existent superpowers so that they'd spend all their time fighting shadows instead of working against Slender Man.
The blog took a very different turn after that revelation, with the introduction of Slendy's new lieutenant
, and Reach becoming a pawn to not only the Slender Man, but two mysterious entities called Nocturne and the Hanging Man.
The blog ended when Reach and a pregnant
Ava journeyed to Egypt to try and find another weapon inside the Herakleopolis Magna. This led to a final confrontation between Eulogy and Reach culminating in Reach's apparent death at the hands of Slender Man.
Tropes associated with What You Are In The Dark:
- Achilles' Heel: See Super Senses.
- Also Reach revealed that things of Slender Man's sphere of influence, such as wood, are harmful to him when defiled and turned against him i.e. a sealed room with a wooden door is like a separate universe and Slendy finds it very difficult to get inside them. However, most importantly, he revealed that certain humans called Conduits have the natural ability to channel the energy of the Dark World where Slendy lives, an ability that could potentially allow a Conduit to physically harm Slender Man.
- It's also implied that the secret of the quarry, which Reach used to guard, is something which can harm Slendy.
- The secret was a powerful artifact called the Heel that allowed certain humans to channel Slender Man's own power against him. It was destroyed by Redlight.
- Altum Videtur: Spoken by The Hanging Man
- Reach himself is not all that incompetent at it.
- Anti-Hero: Reach. Of the brooding, troubled, and woobie-ish variety.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: See his comment to Thage under Gallows Humour.
- The Atoner: He seems to be playing this role as of January 25, 2011, wherein he provides a peek into how he feels about what he did while a Revenant as well as revealing part of Thage's backstory and how they know one another.
- Bad Boss: Slender Man
- Batman Gambit: The Slender Man pulled this on pretty much the entire blogosphere, injecting the lie of the Revenants to scatter their attention and keep them from focusing on him. However, Reach managed to uncover the memories, (due in part to the Slender Man apparently not understanding that memories cannot be truly erased, only hidden) and reveal the illusion for what it is. Other such super-powered characters connected to Slim may be like this as well...
- Being Evil Sucks: Yes, yes it does. Reach has spent entire blog entries telling us why.
- The Blank: Slender Man.
- Body Horror: The process of becoming a Revenant. He was sent to Slendy's Dark World then had every bone in his body broken and then was twisted and stretched and broken again several times over by Slender Man until he was completely transformed into a Revenant. Brr.
- Battle Couple: He and Ava before Reach dumped her.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: The Revenants.
- Brought Down to Badass: Reach.
- Not the case as of "Another Day, Another Lie" — he was never up to be brought down.
- Call Back: The title of Attack, Defend, Destroy is a callback to a post he made during the late November attacks while under Slender Man's control.
- Despair Event Horizon: There were two ("R.I.P. Catherine Shaughnessy" and "Another Day, Another Lie"), both of which Reach overcame.
- Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: At one point, Reach used himself as bait to lure Slender Man away from killing Jean and Kim because he knew his Bad Boss wouldn't pass up the chance to nab a traitor.
- The Dragon: The story has three (possibly four) examples; Reach himself, Slate and Eulogy all act as Slendy's liuetenant at various points in the story. The possible fourth is Hammer, Eulogy's Dragon, depending on whether you consider Eulogy to be a Big Bad in his own right.
- Dreaming of Things to Come: "Omnes vidisse abeo venient." "All you have seen will come to pass."
- Dude, She's Like, in a Coma!: Well, he had been spending an awful lot of time around Ava during her time under...
- Even Evil Has Standards: He had some sympathy for the ultimate and tragic fates of various bloggers long before his change of alliances.
- Gallows Humour: Occasionally.
- "@Thage - You know, you really are quite amazing. I could fall for a woman like you, if I wasn't twenty-six years your mental elder, fourteen years your physical younger, an inhuman abomination and you weren't a lesbian."
- Heel-Face Turn: When he first appeared as a commenter on blogs, he was very much loyal to Slender Man and under his control, but eventually by observing the community's struggles (in particular throughout the late November wham episodes) paired with his growning sympathy for them, he had a change of heart. He was trying to work out how to defect when the late November attacks happened and one of his fellow Revenants found out about his increasing sympathy towards the Runners and attacked him, essentially giving Reach the push he needed to get off Team Slender.
- Heroic Sacrifice: To a certain extent, he sacrificed his humanity for his family, effectively killing Raymond Shaughnessy and becoming Reach instead.
- It seemed this way after he and Ava raided the quarry, but he survived.
- It doesn't look like he survived the Magna though.
- Hope Spot: The second to last post is him preparing to "drop out of the run" with Ava, to live happily ever after. It doesn't work.
- Humanoid Abomination: For once, not just Slender Man, but also our protagonist, Reach and his peers. He's a fifty-seven-year-old with the super-strong body of a seventeen-year-old who can take conscious control of his body.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: His motive behind allowing himself to be coerced into becoming a Revenant.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: The name of the post where he kills Aria by throwing her into a frozen lake is called Stay Frosty.
- Jerkass: Initially, but eventually he developed into a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
- Kick the Dog: Plenty. Reach spends a lot of time describing some of the darker deeds Slender Man forced on him. Slendy kicked Reach plenty of times, and Reach has kicked a bunch of dogs himself.
- Light Is Not Good: Eulogy, Eulogy, Eulogy.
- Our Monsters Are Different: The Revenants.
- Painful Transformation: See Body Horror. Yipe.
- Sadistic Choice: When Redlight took over the blog, the commenters were given a choice between having Reach killed or having an innocent who was actually his daughter, Catherine killed. Luckily, Robert thought of a way for them to Take a Third Option.
- Shout-Out: The title of Fuck, wank, bugger, shitting arsehead and -hole is one to Love Actually.
- Who Am I? features one to Les MisÚrables.
- A bit of a stretch perhaps, but Reach, one of only two confirmed Irish Slenderbloggers, made a post called Once.
- Reach's theory in Luring is quite reminiscent of how Hinzelmann from American Gods operates. The Shout-Out is confirmed by the fact that Luring is another name for Hinzelmann.
- In Tell Me Why, Reach quotes a line from this Vivere Disce post.
- Each blog post during the final arc is the name of a song by The Beatles.
- Super Senses: A blessing and a weakness for Reach and the other Revenants. On one hand, it gives them a edge when tracking down Runners, but they also have to be very careful about what they do, where they go, what they wear, and what they eat (Reach only eats salted crackers). Being tossed in a frozen-over lake killed one immediately from the shock.
- Reach has even described being touched as the sensation of pins and needles.
- Someone to Remember Him By : Ava is currently carrying Reach's kid.
- Three Act Structure: According to Word of God, the story is divided into three acts, each with its own central villain.
- Act I (Forty Years to Tagline) has Slate.
- Act II (New Game? to Another Day, Another Lie) has Redlight.
- Act III (I Am Raymond Shaughnessy to No Reply) has Eulogy.
- Title Drop: In Forty Years, REACHISMINE, Conduits, Snow, Who Am I?, Tired, Blackout, Once, A Dark Place, Pain and Almost Poetic.
- Also, Played, Pressing Issue, A Million Miles, Another Day, Another Lie, Hidden Messages, Results and Running Forever.
- Surprisingly not WHISKEY though, since Reach never actually spelled it right.
- I'm So Tired, You Can't Do That, There's a Place, Something, Cry for a Shadow and No Reply.
- Warrior Poet: Apparently.
- Wham Episode: Another Day, Another Lie— and not just for Reach.
- What Could Have Been: According to Word of God, if not for Robert Taking A Third Option and saving him and his mother Catherine from Redlight's Sadistic Choice, things would have gone one of two ways. First way: Reach would have died and Catherine would have become the protagonist. She would have researched the Slender Man and started a tense partnership with Ava. At the end, Eulogy would have killed her family, she would have killed Eulogy, and then left the community, wandering alone for the rest of her life. Second way: Reach would have survived but blamed the community for Catherine's death, hunted down the ones who had voted to let her die, and rejoined the Slender Man to get vengeance before ultimately being killed by Thage.
- Worthy Opponent: How he initially viewed the likes of Robert, Amelia and Zero before becoming Fire-Forged Friends with them.
- Unreliable Narrator: Reach's entire "life" was false memories created by Slender Man.