You have lived all of your life underground, ignorant of the world above. Stories were told to you from the cradle, of a sea of blood that exists aside your own dark home, and between them rests The Dead Land, a place not even your grand parents remember. No one goes to the world between the rock and the blood sea, but stories passed down tell of creatures that wear the masks of men, groaning in sick parodies of our voices, shaking and waving our tools and our weapons and perverting all the knowledge that we had lost to them. It was if all we had accomplished was now a mocking, sick joke.
You have been forced to face this land now, a place you always hoped was simply a fairy tale, something they told you to keep you away from the heavy bulk head doors. The monsters of the story have appeared in your home, not invaders from the middle world, but creatures spawned within the metal walls. Home is no longer safe, and you must find somewhere else. The world above your own and below the blood sea is a cruel and merciless place, but you will soon discover it is not entirely as you've been told. Behind the masks, the twisted representations of man, a real, genuine spark of humanity resides.
The nature of life and death was forever changed, long before you were born. But your ancestors nightmares will become your journey.
Nocturnum is a text adventure for 1 to 3 people, leaving an underground settlement to travel across the surface. The apocalypse happened somewhere in the early 21st century. Scientific study of the Soul has lead to this. Our physical being is only one side of us, while our spiritual energy, an imprint of us, coexists on an entirely different layer of existance. Death has always been this 'Souls' departure, the energy simply falling from the body and drifting to return to the currents of life energy constantly in motion about our world.
No one knows why, but we have shattered this most integral cycle. The Soul no longer leaves the body. A fatal wound will be felt, pain will still register as long as the nerves work, and emotions will remain as long as the physical brain can handle them, but make no mistake, you are rotting. The dead sometimes do not even know they are dead. The mind and body begin to weaken, and many will become sedate or lost, seeking mental stimulus to try and clutch at the memories that fade. Others are more proactive, seeking to retain themselves through more aggressively intellectual pursuits, building and creating, and when their failing limbs will not support their endeavers, they repair themselves. Some are crude, a shattered leg held together with boards of wood, bound bone breakingly tight with trash bags and old razor wire. Some are more adept, fashioning servicable replacements to hold their rotting body together.
And when the tendons finally wither and die, the muscles no longer clench and flex, and the eyes and ears and nose decay, the final change may come. Most will simply lie down, until their body is so taken by the heat and decay that the Soul cannot cling and reluctantly leaves. Others, however, take the opposite route, clinging like never before. The energy, once pure, begins to rot as well, bleeding over to our plane as a physical force, a psionic vaccuum that can accept and bind any item that fits its original dimensions. When this happens, the creaky parody of an arm moves once more, bending and stretching without the need of muscles and tendons. Pain can be felt where there is no nerves, eye sight and hearing returning in backward and elaborate work arounds, convincing the body that it can see, that it can smell and hear, that it can run and jump and speak.
When this final stage takes place, the zombie can recreate itself. It may limit itself to its original strengths, or it may fashion a stronger body and embrace its new power, either as a being clinging to its humanity, or a twisted machine of flesh and scrap indulging and living by the most basic of human desire and instinct.
You will learn the dangers of this new breed of walking dead. Your only hope is to destroy them. Break their doll like bodies, deface them until they are forced to cease their existance, push their Soul to the spiritual abyss, with clubs, and fire, and buckshot, the messier, the better!