The Apex

rating: +7

9 votes (+8, -1) 4.4★

rating: +7+x

Threshold Classification

Difficulty 3/5 While human life within the threshold's boundaries is possible, it is inadvisable.
Entity Count 5/5 You will come across something.
Chaos Gradient 2/5 You'll be fine as long as you don't move large distances.
Basset-Frazier Index 3.333/5 This threshold should be largely avoided.


The only available image of the Apex, taken during nighttime

The Apex can be found somewhere in a forest of the United States - I'm not sure of the specifics.

The Apex is a 40 feet tall, dark-colored monolith; built of a mixture of cobblestone and titanium. Carved on it is a contorted humanoid face, its single, shimmering eye pointing towards the skies. Take this information with a grain of salt - it was all obtained by a single person.

The 20x20x20 area surrounding the Apex is subject to a phenomenon titled "Kostyla Horizon," named after the Apex's only photographer. Those trying to move away from the Apex will be subjected to the Kostyle Horizon, suffering various degrees of harm. The Kostyla Horizon's effect worsens the closer someone is to the Apex.
Stretching throughout this same area is a 10km river, inhabited by a great portion of the Apex's fauna. Next to the river is the entrance to a cave system, housing our tribe's only major settlement, hidden from predators like the Nighthound.

Survival within the Apex depends entirely on a radioactive substance labeled "the Rot," which is constantly secreted by the ground and fauna surrounding the Apex. The Rot essentially mutates living organisms as the circumstances deem necessary, causing the threshold's fauna to inherit morphed - or otherwise grotesque appearances. One thing to keep in mind: the Rot tries to keep you alive no matter what; with the Kostyla Horizon's effects, some creatures lack essential functions that would otherwise be considered vital for survival. A few examples are metabolism, movement, responsiveness, reproduction, excretion, respiration, and digestion. The Rot is also radioactive - the rate of mutations is increased exponentially with time. Some of ours have already lost humanity.

The fauna of the Apex makes use of a variety of assets to survive, developed through mysterious mutations. However, they are not immortal. They can still be preyed upon and age.

There is a complete lack of decomposers within the Apex's environment; dead fauna does not decay. Instead, each day-cycle, bodies are pulled into the ground and disappear in the dirt. This phenomenon has been titled "the Digger," we don't know how it happens.

Hercadan Scale

Named after our village, the Hercadan scale is used to measure the severity of Kostyla Horizon effects.

Distance Effect
20 km Instantaneous death.
16.7 km Development of teratoma throughout organism's body.
13.4 km Severing of foot and hand fingers, from a minimum of 3 to all 10 depending on how close organism is to 13.4 km.
10.1 km Rapid skin deterioration, severity depends on how close the organism is to 10.1 km.
6.8 km Limb deformation.
3.5 km Rapid flesh growth.
0.2 km Ceasing of all six senses.

The Fauna of the Apex

The study of the Apex's ecosystem is not one without sacrifice. Our bodies are rotten, deformed, and our minds twisted. But it's all we can do to survive - and if at all possible, escape.


Pond's Etna

Subject 1: Pond's Etna

Pond's Etnas can be found anywhere throughout the Apex's river. They are large canine heads whose extensive fur can freely move to fit various purposes, primarily capturing prey and swimming.
These animals contain incredibly high levels of the Rot and are constantly mutating.


Tree Rooter

Subject 2: Tree Rooter

Tree Rooters are speculated to be morphed Howler monkeys and can be found within 7.4 km to 6.8 km from the Apex. They have inherited a parasitical lifestyle by connecting their veins to a Ceiba pentandra tree's, directly absorbing its nutrients.
In emergencies, Tree Rooters can detach their veins from the tree at the cost of blood loss, being able to rapidly shift around the tree's stem.


Sheared Wonder, captured via flash

Subject 3: Sheared Wonder

Found anywhere within the threshold, the Sheared Wonder is a 5 feet tall tripedal mass of hulking muscles, fur protruding from its upper back. The 10x10x10 meters area around it is locked in a state of permanent nighttime. The Sheared Wonder will enter a frenzy if living matter comes in contact with its skin, except for plantlife.
The Sheared Wonder is constantly exuding the Rot from holes located around its body, watering the soil where it passes. Despite its seemingly endless amount of the Rot, the Sheared Wonder seems to not be affected by either the Kostyla Horizon or the radioactivity present in the substance. Similar to the Nighthound.


Nighthound, shortly after destruction of settlement

Subject 4: Nighthound

Found anywhere within 20 km to 10.1 km from the Apex, the Nighthound is a 10 feet tall black canine of hunched posture, one of few active hunters within this threshold's fauna. Like the Sheared Wonder, it can navigate around the Kostyla Horizon without suffering harm from its effects. It has already killed many without restriction.
The Nighthound has a chance of entering a period of inactivity during daytime, being petrified, and exuding clouds of noxious gas in the process. This period can last from 2 to 5 hours; whenever one of us encounters it in this state, they must notify the rest of us immediately in hopes of finally killing it.


We don't know.
As far as I'm aware, all of us have been stuck here since we've been born. We have limited technology, and records of an outside world, but without them, we wouldn't even know we're in the United States. I wouldn't even be writing this if it wasn't for this weird computer.
Our village has a bountiful population, we can survive, but I wish I could get out of this place.
I can tell you, however, about the Apex's photographer, whom we assume perished not too long ago. Kostyla was dying; something kept the Rot from healing his body. He didn't want to talk about it, but we had last seen him wandering off towards the 0.2km mark.

At first, none of us dared approach the epicenter of the "Kostyla Horizon," we were afraid of what we would find. So, Kostyla took a camera and headed off in a single direction. His last remarks were an image and a few notations left behind in a corner of his past home.

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