Level 15

The Temple of Blood

rating: +10+x

Level Classification

Difficulty 2/5 Area beyond UNCB held zone extremely dangerous, held area completely safe.
Entity Count 5/5 High levels of dangerous entities.
Chaos Gradient 0/5 No chaotic properties.
Basset-Frazier Index 2.333/5 Non-anomalous level, anomalous entities.

Temple

The Temple of Blood. Picture taken by bathysphere crew.

Description

The Temple of Blood is an infinite step pyramid that extends endlessly downwards into the abyss beneath it. Carved from solid mudstone, the temple is riddled with a winding complex of tunnels cut through its gray, stony interior. Due to its infinite height the pyramid appears to float on a sea of clouds, as the atmosphere grows thicker with depth. The top of the pyramid protrudes above the clouds, giving a view of a bright and clear sky, while the lower levels of the pyramid simply fade into white as the air grows so thick that the light cannot penetrate it. The weather is fair, a balmy 90 degrees Fahrenheit with perpetual noontime sun. Far below the pyramid the atmosphere grows ever thicker, becoming an ocean with crushing pressures and titanic storms as might be found on a Jovian world raging in the depths. Only one expedition into the depths has been attempted, making use of a bathysphere lowered by a balloon. The sole surviving crewmember reports Gestalt colonies of unimaginable size swimming through the dense air like leviathans of the deep.

This level is infamous for having the largest Gestalt infestation of any level in The Backrooms. Based on this and the intermixed precursor and threadweaver runes haphazardly chiseled onto the walls, the Temple of Blood is believed by some to be the Gestalt's point of origin. The upper three floors of the pyramid are held by UNCB guards who monitor all passages on rotating shifts around the clock. UNCB guards are also stationed at the top of the pyramid with salvaged Gatling guns ready to rake the infinitely downwards-sloping sides of the pyramid with fire in the event of a Gestalt charge. For their own safety, wanderers are not allowed to pass outside of the UNCB-protected zone under any circumstances.

The top of the pyramid consists of a flat platform containing an unadorned stone slab in the center, on which Gestalt cultists once sacrificed people to the greater Gestalt colonies of the depths. The altar and the surrounding stone are permanently stained red from centuries of spilled blood. Although the cultists have since been driven from the peak of the pyramid and cut off from sacrificial victims, their inhuman chanting can still be heard echoing upwards from the Gestalt-infested depths. Surrounding the altar are four ornately-carved stone arches which lead to Level 16 when passed through from the back, and back to Level 14 when passed through from the front.

The tunnels beneath the UNCB-protected zone are filled with Gestalt colonies and cultists. As the corridors get larger deeper into the pyramid, so do the Gestalt colonies. The walls of the tunnels often cut through fossils trapped in the gray stone, showcasing the remains of all manner of strange life. At a great enough depth the mudstone the pyramid is constructed from is believed to become compressed into slate from the sheer weight of the pyramid above it. Although the UNCB could expand down into lower floors, doing so would only increase the amount of frontage that would have to be defended, and bring the defenders into contact with more powerful Gestalt colonies.


Communities

The Temple Guard

The Temple Guard is a division of UNCB-hired guards who keep the Gestalt at bay in the level. They number 21 in total, with a CO, two gunners at the top of the pyramid, and squads of six guarding each of the passages to lower levels, their purpose being to secure safe passage to level 16 for all wanderers. They are heavily armed, with salvaged Gatling guns brought with wanderers who no-clipped in from the first world war, and custom-fitted automatic shotguns used for gunning down Gestalt colonies at close range. They are there to protect wanderers, and are willing to use force to keep them from leaving the protected zone. Sandbags and ammunition can be traded for almond water and rations.


Entrances and Exits

Entrances

Four replicas of the ornate stone arches can be found scattered throughout abandoned shops in Level 14. Entering them leads through the stone arches at the top of Level 15. If there are any entrances leading to the lower level of the pyramid, no one has ever returned to speak of them.

Exits

Passing through the back of a stone arch leads to Level 16.

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