But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep
Having started at the beginning of 2013, this series continually chronicles the lives of three young survivalists and their struggles to protect those they care about. While hiking in their free time, the boys become wrapped up in a much larger design, with the appearance of a familiar symbol. Not letting that bother them, they decide to keep entertaining us, and ignoring it.
Once they decide to gather their weapons and pull a Big Damn Heroes they get beaten. Badly. What follows is nothing less than the crushing of man in every way... emotionally, spiritually, physically, and of course, mentally.
At this time they discover a world parallel to our own, and under the jurisdiction of their stalkers. This Path of Blackened Leaves becomes both a haven and a hell for the protagonists, as their true Trial begins.
From here on in, a tale of Cosmic Horror and plenty of Break the Cutie moments and a helluva lot of Woobies and Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds with just a sliver of hope that they can break free without losing all they care about.
Season 1 has ended... with plans for Season 2 underway.
This show provides examples of:
- Alien Geometries: The premise of the series, revolving around a Path they keep getting pulled to, no matter their location.
- Badass Beard / Beard of Sorrow: Josiah's varying states of facial hair in different episodes.
- Badass Boast: Justin's "Well I do hike alone...".
- Badass Normal: Justin takes a blast to the chest from Slender Man and manages to recover fairly quickly.
- Breather Episode: Hike #2, aside from the ending. Josiah's Party.
- Cliffhanger: If the latest episode "Nothing Helps" (wherin Slender Man invades Nathan's house) and the three month break in uploads isn't this, I don't know what is.
- Additionally, the boys were concerned that the showing of a gun at the end of the first episode would be this.
- Eldritch Abomination: Slender Man, of course. His proxies. All the supernatural things that pop up get close to this.
- Environmental Symbolism: In the first video, when deciding on a higher path covered in leaves and a lower path bereft of them, they choose the leave-less path... but eventually hit leaves anyway.
- Foreshadowing: Literally the entire first episode is this. Justin's sickness at the end of Hike # 2.
- Including finding the name MOLLY written on a dirt mound. This hasn't come up since, but it's a Slender Man series so...
- Talking about the range of the Bolo/Machete and how easy it would be to take someone out; followed by the introduction to Josiah's Grandfather's knife.
- Several moments in "Josiah's Birthday" appear to be this.
- EVERY story in "Camping".
- Hopeless with Tech: Nathan starts off like this (as evidenced by the beginning of "Survival Tip #2) but it seems he's gotten more used to using the camera.
- I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: There's a moment in "Survival Tip 1" where Josiah sees where Nathan is pointing the pistol nonchalantly, and the two play it off comedically.
- Important Haircut: Josiah sports a very short haircut for the Survival Tip video regarding Knives.
- Knife Nut / Machete Mayhem: The boys have quite a few blades...
- Meaningful Name: For some reason the YouTube account itself is called Trial of Leaves but all their other channels say its name as Trail of Leaves. Probably just a coincidence.
- The name Trial of Leaves evokes House of Leaves.
- Mistaken Nationality: The very first video has Nathan confusing Chinese and Japanese cultural points.
- Shout-Out: Nathan's hair greatly resembles the Tenth Doctor's at several points.
- Josiah says "" during a game of GoldenEye (1997) in "Josiah's Birthday". And later, during SoulCaliber says "I don't need your pity or your mercy, I have no use for it!"
- The first video has the crew talking about HABIT's and Hybrids.
- "That's the elvish word for enemy".
- A tarp with The Fantasticks written on it is visible in Survival Tip 1 and 2.
- Josiah has a shirt on in "Survival Tip #2" that says WWKD? (What Would Kirk Do?) Later in the same video, Josiah imitates The Joker when drawing a switchblade and compares the (less effective) tactic of stabbing to Michael Myers.
- Mentioning Dexter and The Hunger Games in the Camping video.
- "Research and Fresh Air" has Nathan bringing up Cthulhu.
- Take That!: The first video has Josiah saying "it'll create the biggest mystery since... well... Lost never made sense since the beginning."
- Wham Episode: "Camping". Starts with showing the aftermath...and after some heavy distortion and creepy stories...we are treated to the explosive entrance of good ol' Slendy.
- "Deliverance". Where to start? Nathan and Justin raid Slendy's realm and find Josiah, but he's gone babbling mad. Just as they talk him into coming, the masked Proxy shoots him with an arrow and disappears. Then the Rake shows up and starts chasing the trio. When they finally escape, the Proxy appears again and shoots Nathan dead, and Josiah and Justin kill the Proxy in return. And then Slendy shows up and takes Nathan's body away. Goddamn.
- Whole Episode Flashback: "Old Hike" is a recording of one of Justin's older solo hikes and reveals that he had seen a certain symbol before.