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The Crossroad of Trials

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ALL THAT YOU LEAVE BEHIND

The Crossroad of Trials appears to be a domain that is not attached to any particular Fear. Instead, the Crossroad appears to those who are at a turning point and have to make a momentous decision or have lost everything in their life. Once a victim enters the Crossroads of Trials, it will proceed to determine their fortitude through a variety of trials. Unlike beings such as The Eye, however, these tests are not meant to discern a person's righteousness or morality, but some "blue and orange morality" definition of worthiness. In the case of Jcarlson of To Light A Candle, it was not breaking when subjected to severe physical and psychological stress.

Appearance

The Crossroad of Trials usually appears as a stretch of countryside that will loop back on itself. Eventually, after the signpost is reached, the trials will begin. When Jcarlson entered the Crossroad during a major turning point in his journey, the signpost had four signs pointing in four directions: Hardship, Tribulations, Woe, and Ordeals. It is hinted that the signs are different for every person that find themselves in the Crossroad.

Abilities

The Crossroad can create illusions meant to break those being tested, along with providing objects of temptation such as alcohol or cigarettes. If the person being tested gives in, the Crossroad will announce that they are unworthy and destroy them. However, if someone passes the trials, it will grant them whatever they desire.

It also seems to have access the normal world, as Jcarlson found himself at Shady Lawn, a mental institution run by Dr. Beakman. When he and another patient escaped, the other patient wondered where they were, as he had apparently gone into Shady Lawn while in the normal world.

Jcarlson commented that being in the Crossroad didn't feel wrong or unnatural, unlike what others have said about the Empty City or Loops and Labyrinths created by The Slender Man. It is unknown if that is because none of the Fears are attached to the Crossroad or if the Crossroad itself is more neutral.

Relation to The Answer

In certain interpretations, The Answer were spawned as living manifestations of The Crossroad of Trials known as The Four Ways or The Choicemakers. The Four Ways all controlled one of the four roads that intersect and tested those who entered them by presenting them with certain choices. Eventually the Crossroad grew tired of the Ways and finally reabsorbed them after learning they sought to become independent. Despite this, they Ways are still alive and have some influence over the world, allowing them to appear to certain people at certain times.

  • The Unbounded Face was The Way of the Willing. It would present people with two choices, then four, then sixteen, and so on. More and more choices, until a person found themselves in another place, in another situation, not knowing how they got there, not knowing how to get out.
  • The House of Fortune was The Way of the Wheel. It would let a person gamble everything they owned, including their lives. Everything was determined through blind luck, so you could win big or lose hard.
  • The Woman in the Wind was called The Way of the Wanton. It would entice people into making decisions purely for their own happiness, no matter the consequences. Then, after everything went wrong, it would approach them one more time and "swallow" them whole.
  • The King in the Mountain was The Way of the Weight. It would offer the person with two options: leave the Crossroad unscathed or have their greatest wish granted at a price. If the person accepted the wish, they would be burdened with soul crushing responsibility and stress for the rest of their lives. Choosing the easy way out would come back to haunt them, as any attempt to make their wish come true would fall apart.

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