Winter Game

Winter Game 2017

A yearly tradition that brings our Wayfinder family together over winter break. All the things you love about camp… but in the snow!
Dec. 27th-29th every year. Bring held at the Taconic Retreat Center.
Stay tuned for more exciting details.

We are thrilled to announce that this year’s Adventure Game is Grad School, by Brennan Lee Mulligan. It is a continuation of two great adventure games we played years ago called Finals and Graduation Day.

Here is the teaser, enjoy:

“Don’t breathe,” she thought to herself. “Don’t move. Don’t even blink.” She checked again. There, across the aisle of the train car, was an older boy, maybe even a teenager, scrunched up into a sleepy ball in his seat, napping with his head against the glass. The rumbling of the train bumped and jostled him, yet somehow he slept, with the grey expanse of the Hudson River rushing past behind him. And there, poking out from the scrunch of his lanky limbs, near the sticky floor and an empty bag of Sun Chips, was the steely point of a sword. Olivia couldn’t believe her luck.

~~~~~~

“Java, are you getting any of this?” “I’m getting all of it. Keeping any of it, on the other hand…” It stank in the apartment, but you couldn’t really blame the apartment for that. Sure, the musk of coffee grounds, mildew and untended garbage hung in the room, but the real crime lay with the hoodie, the true mastermind of the stink. Months unwashed, it clung to the stressed, sweating, sleep-deprived body of Java. The bags under their eyes were so overly pronounced, they seemed to imply some kind of extra dimensional space, like Mary Poppins’ bags: Bigger on the inside. This life of magic was less glamorous than one might have thought. The runecaster stood in the center of the room, twitching and grumbling, standing in a spray-painted circle of runes, as electronic tablets hung, suspended in mid-air, as if by magic. No, not as if by magic. By magic. By magic. Hard to get used to that. It had all happened so fast. Java’s eyes darted from one suspended tablet to another, their nervous fingers tracing with a stylus on the Cintiq at their wrists. Ancient Hermetic symbols blossomed into life on the high-res digital displays, and words of power captured hidden secrets within the glow of the screens. On the sofa, Telltale sniffed. “When it’s time, you know… I’m ready.”

~~~~

“Excuse me?” The older boy awoke. Olivia’s mom continued her Sudoku puzzle, unaware that her daughter had wandered into the aisle to disturb the sleeping teenager. “Is that sword a Claymore? It has two fullers.” The boy blinked sleepily as the eleven year old waited for an answer. But not for long. “A fuller is the indentation running alongside the blade. Some people call it a blood groove, but it’s not for blood. It’s to weight the blade correctly. Is your sword a Claymore? The teenager regarded the precocious child and spoke up. “Uh… Hi. I’m not sure if this is a Claymore or not. It might be?” he offered unhelpfully. “Well what did it say when you bought it?” “I didn’t buy it.” “Well who gave it to you.” “No one gave it to me.” “Well who made it?” “No one made it.” The boy smiled, and Olivia furrowed her brow. “Are you Magic?” “No, I’m Friday,” the boy smiled. Olivia frowned. “Sorry, that’s a dumb joke. You can call me Friday.” “Oh, my name’s Oli-“ “You shouldn’t tell me your name. Not here.” With that, Friday looked around, as though he suspected someone or something was listening to them. He whispered. “But you can tell me what you’re called.” Olivia thought. This felt important, like when she read about names in books. Books about swords and what they were called. Books about spells and the people who cast them. Books about… well, books about witches, and magic. “You can call me Hex!” At this, the boy smiled. “Hex is a good thing to be called. Very powerful. Very dangerous.” The train jolted to a sudden stop. Hex, standing in the aisle, went toppling over, but not before Friday caught her arm. “What happened?” “It hasn’t happened yet. Get behind me.”

~~~~~~~~~~~

Java’s eyes circled back and forth, peering in as the runes intersected lines of code, creating and destroying meaning, meaning shaping form, form shaping reality, back and forth, mutually influencing, eternally self-reinforcing. The symbol is the idea, the medium is the message. Slow down. Getting ahead of yourself… There! The screen’s froze and flickered, as the wyrm revealed itself in the twisting pattern of data, surrounded by Java’s runes. “Now.” Telltale heaved herself off the sofa, lazily licking her fingertips in preparation. She smiled grimly. Java smirked. “You seem pretty confident for never having done this before.” Telltale focused on the twisting pattern on the screens. “In the absence of evidence to the contrary, why not assume you’re a badass?” Telltale widened her stance, and plunged her hand into the screen. “By seven winds I bind you! By nine seas I bind you! By the thirteen names you bear, I bind you! Hammut! Zirek! Hapsheth! Mabruk! Cruel-Fate, Dark-Omen, Breath-Stealer, Shield-of-the-Faithless! Accursed, Forsaken, Abandoned, Unwanted and Unloved-of-the-Almighty!” The screen warped like liquid around her hand, and what had moments before been merely a sequence of data now wrapped around her struggling hand as glowing, venomous scales and ichorous plasm that dripped to the floor and vanished in curls of ice-cold mist. The wyrm struggled and screamed, but Telltale tightened her grasp, and bellowed like the Devil herself. “I am Telltale! Far-Seer, and Keeper of Stories! I have tread in deepest darkness and in the light of suns no man has seen! Where I go, mountains tremble in my wake! I have shattered the hearts of my enemies, and won fame, glory and warm welcome from the lords and ladies of ten and twenty realms! Glad-Friend am I called, Dark-Rider, Thief-of-Songs and Beloved-of-the-Damned. By three gifts have I drawn my sigil, and I claim by right of laws written before writing, known before knowing, three tasks ere I release you from this binding.” The demon screeched as Telltale ripped it from the screen, and slammed it writhing to the floor. “Now tell me… Where is it?” The demon shrieked then paused… then laughed a hideous cackle. “What you seek is lost… Fallen… Never to return.” Telltale and Java looked at each other. Panic, exhaustion and worry haunted the corners of their eyes. They had been searching for so long, and heard that which they had feared most to hear. Java spoke first, so that just Telltale could hear “There’s always a backup somewhere.” Telltale smiled, “While the story lives, hope is never lost.”

~~~~~~

“Olivia!” Her mother rushing to her side, Hex leapt into her arms. Friday turned to her. “My brothers are coming. We need to meet them at the back of the Train.” The lights went dark. The sound of steel rending filled their ears. Friday held his sword aloft. “Who are you? Do you work for Metro North?” “For the train company? Uh, no… I’m a Knight.” “You’re wearing sweatpants!” Friday nodded. “Uh… Yeah, that’s true. But still.” More darkness, and now the unmistakable howling of something large and hungry tearing the train apart, looking fiercely for its quarry. Friday approached Hex and her mother. “Ma’am, your daughter is very special. Me and my brethren have come here to protect her. She’s important. We need to get her somewhere safe.” The words faded from view. As Friday tried to explain to her mother the secret Hex had always carried in her heart, she knew. Suddenly, she knew. That there had always been a world behind the world. That magic had always been real, too real, vastly more real than a fragile human heart could hope to withstand. And that fear and terror surrounded her… But could never stop her. The darkness at the end of the train exploded, and Friday turned as something vast and hungry, with emptiness for eyes towered above them, the cold air whipping into the shattered train. Friday raised his sword aloft, and sprang forward, impossibly fast. His sword flashed at the thing’s massive throat… … And met only rose petals, twirling in the wind. Friday landed, stunned, and turned. Hex, her hands outstretched, floated high above the ground. The wind carried her aloft. She had called to something primal in herself, to change the world, and the world had answered yes. She descended, and looked at Friday. The beast was gone. Her mother gazed ahead, at what could not have been and yet most certainly was. “Am I a Witch?” Hex asked, more to herself than anyone. Friday kneeled. “That’s the thing about Magic…” Friday reached a hand to her. The cold wind swirled, and the hidden world held its breath. “… Only you can tell me.”