Community Spotlight – August 2023

Oz

10 months ago

Community Spotlight – August 2023

Welcome back to another DUG Community Spotlight! Similar to the last edition, this episode will continue to push through some of the best content released in our community over the last few months before highlighting more current stories.

This edition is loaded with stories from groups and factions of the DayzUnderground world – some giving a glimpse into the depth of politics that surround them and others emphasizing just how unique each player’s experience can differ on the server.

We hope that shining the spotlight on this fantastic content will continue to inspire the creation of new stories from all players, new and old. No story is too big or small on DayzUnderground, the ripples of one storyline can move on to affect people you may never thought possible.

“Reign of the Masquerade” by Cpt. Painkiller

The Masquerade was intended to be a temporary group project that stemmed into a breadth of impactful interactions – and even though the story has ended for now, you never know when they may reappear once again. This video gives some chilling insight into the world of The Masquerade. If you are curious to learn more about this project, we recommend that members check out their conclusion post on the DUG subreddit.

Video by Cpt. Painkiller

“Pray for Rain” by Stephen

We are pleased to highlight another great story by Stephen – two community spotlights in a row, keep up the good work! This story continues to unveil the details behind the end of the South Zagorian People’s Army, their transition into The Lost Legion, and the politics that came along with it.

 

May 22, 2023

The sound of rolling thunder echoed over the hills of south central Chernarus. It rumbled down through the windy valleys and up past misty forests. A steady crackling of rain, which had been coming down in bursts all day, provided a steady backdrop of noise that put the cherry on top of the afternoon soundscape.

Soaking wet and covered in mud, an annoyed Stephen shoved open the gate to The Lost Legion’s compound and trudged inside, roughly swinging the gate closed behind him. Right at that moment, as if attempting to frustrate him further, the rain began to fade away into yet another lull.

Oh, so now you decide to stop, he thought bitterly. Right as I make it home.

Locking the gate behind him, Stephen turned and stepped into the yard. The ground, usually filled with clutter, was surprisingly clean today. With a quick glance into the nearest tent however, he stifled his hopeful thought that the crew had finally learned how to clean up after themselves. All of the various junk had simply been tossed onto the ground in the tent, away from the rain.

Stephen heard upbeat chatter in the direction of the log cabin on the far end of the compound. He detected the voices of various accents and ages, and they were all voices he recognized. His comrades and volunteers, taking shelter from the rain in the cabin, were obviously keeping themselves entertained in the meantime.

Since the fall of the South Zagorian People’s Army and the subsequent reassembly of what had come to be known as The Lost Legion, they had taken on a few new volunteers. Two Poles – British Bob and Kasia – and an American man named Paul Bunyan.

Paul, a former Cannery Row resident, had sought them out on his own initiative. Seemingly eager to leave his life in Dubovo behind, the man had incorporated himself well into the group’s ranks. Nevertheless, Friar and Stephen had been keeping a close eye on him. Nobody needed to tell them twice the reputation surrounding the Row and its citizens.

The case was quite different for the other two. They’d first met Bob down in Mogilevka when he nearly ran headfirst into Polish Dan while absentmindedly chasing a chicken. This event had inspired them to christen the drifter with the nickname ‘British’ Bob, and sparked what was simultaneously the best and worst running joke of all time: Polish Dan from Britain, and British Bob from Poland.

The Lost Legion had continued contact with Bob and eventually met his friend Kasia. After a brief discussion amongst the SZPA originals, they’d decided to invite them both into their fold. Just like with Paul, the two had integrated themselves well, and had become well-liked both within their ranks and beyond. Stephen felt very fortunate that he and his comrades still had the ability to help people like their new volunteers. Nevertheless, he felt a pang of worry whenever he thought about them. Did they understand what the purpose of this group was? Could they be taught to help others like the Legion had helped them? Or were they simply content to remain here under their protection?

Another familiar voice interrupted Stephen’s thoughts, this one coming from directly behind him.

“Something on your mind, Stephen?”

He turned and saw the speaker. Friar, who was sitting on the dry grass underneath the western watchtowers, had an amused expression on his face. Stephen hadn’t noticed him when he’d entered the compound.

“A little damp out there today then?” asked Friar, gesturing towards Stephen and his waterlogged clothes. Stephen rolled his eyes as he squelched his way through the mud towards him.

“You’re funny,” Stephen replied, not a hint of a smile on his face. He sat next to Friar beneath the safety of the tower. “You wouldn’t be laughing if you were the one out there today.”

Out of the seven former SZPA soldiers who formed The Lost Legion’s inner circle, Friar had been the highest ranked member at the time of the collapse. Consequently, he had naturally become their de facto leader and primary figurehead despite the reality of their collective leadership. Friar had many traits that made him a great leader: he was confident, fiery, and was the kind of person that people could rally behind. On the downside however, he could be assertive, cocky, and would sometimes drag the group into situations they weren’t prepared for.

As equals within the group, Stephen had found that his role in the Legion was often to temper Friar’s expectations, and to remind him that they had to walk before they could run. He had no illusions about what the group could and could not handle. In his eyes, they needed to proceed with caution, and build their capabilities gradually.

“Well?” Friar asked expectantly. “Did you find it?”

Stephen rummaged through his drenched backpack. He pulled out a courier case, unclipped the button, and pulled out a stack of damp papers. He handed them to his comrade.

“Here it is – Alex’s original manifesto. Unfinished, of course.” Stephen shrugged. “I found it stuffed in an old crate at the Komarovo base.” Friar’s only reply was a quick glance up at the overcast clouds, but Stephen knew what he was thinking. According to the forecast, this storm was only going to get worse. It was good that they’d managed to retrieve these documents before the impending structural damage buried them permanently.

Friar scanned through the pages, murmuring to himself and nodding slightly at the words, before folding them neatly and packing them away in his jacket.

“What do you think?” asked Stephen. His comrade took a moment, and let out an extended sigh.

“I think it’s all we have,” Friar replied, staring across the compound towards where their comrades were loitering. “Ever since the transition, we’ve lost much of our connection to the SZPA’s original purpose. We’ve been so focused on our own survival that, in many ways, we’ve forgotten what we stand for.” He dropped his voice to nearly a whisper, and spoke with a tone of urgency. “We need to re-anchor ourselves to this manifesto, incomplete or not. We’ll fill in the blanks that Alex left unwritten, and bind ourselves to it like we did before the fall.”

“What about the volunteers? They weren’t there to witness how all this started. Do you think they’ll understand?”

“They’re good people, and good people are all we need. Not communists. Not radicals.” Friar placed his hand on his jacket pocket. “This will be the bar that all of us will be measured by. It’s the only way to set us on a course to achieve our goals.”

Stephen looked at him quizzically. “You still believe those goals are within our reach? All of Alex’s talk about Reclamation and The New World?” His words hung in the air for a moment before he continued. “We’re existing on borrowed time, Friar. A half-finished manifesto will only take us so far.”

“It’ll take us as far as we need to go. Far enough to leave a mark on this world. Far enough to pass the torch forward, if that’s the best we can do.”

As if on queue, another crack of thunder rolled across the hills. The sky opened up, and the downpour began for yet another round. Stephen lowered his gaze.

“Easier said than done.”

“Nightmare” by Alex

This detailed and well-written story gives a glimpse into the life of a character that has been pulled in many different directions – and how eventually, all of those roads can meet when you least expect it.

 

A soft wind rustles the trees overhead. A choir of birds sing some of the sweetest melodies known to man. I lay in a very similar spot as I did several nights ago, yet now I do it with joy. The south side of Green Mountain hill, overlooking the city of Zelenogorsk. Today however, is very different, for the burden of debt is no more.

No longer a place of dismay, I lay in comfort, assured of an improving future outlook for myself and those I call close. Well deserved considering the past week. For months that cursed city represented a shadow following me. A physical representation of the mistakes of my past, haunting every step I took. Those that I betrayed rightfully writhed like snakes, and I deprived them of their goal. How selfish of me. Oh well, it does not matter now.

One hand rests behind my head and the other lazy flips a radio transceiver. Dropping it multiple times, I’m still certain that Sol thought it was cool the one time I got it around my fingers successfully.

Blissful, almost childlike.

“How do you think it’s going down there?” Sol says without looking towards me.

“Dunno, can’t see it going wrong, not after today” I say, sitting up to look directly at the church.

As we speak, Waxxer and Charlie are in the Zeleno church, continuing an interrupted meeting with 506th that started the previous night. How unfortunately timed the DAMN raid on ORCC was. Surely tensions must be high, but with us bringing them Guy, fulfilling my blood debt, things must be all right. Right?

My head hurts. Why now?

“Everything is fine, even improving! This is supposed to stop!” I think to myself.

Grabbing the grass at my side I try to calm down. Everything will be fine, it always is fine. It’s fine now, we fixed it! I control my breathing, that’s something I can control today. Thoughts racing through my mind, attempting to drag me down, why is this happening? My head hurts so much. Everything is fine, I made it fine today. I fixed it. Sure there will be problems, but it will be fine! It has to be fine. I feel like I’m descending below the surface. Please just make it stop.

I begin to stand up, unable to stop my racing mind. However, I’m stopped by Waxxer’s voice through the radio.

“This isn’t going well, Alex, they want you down here.” He says, worry clearly showing through his façade. He’s always pretending, why doesn’t he just give up?

There must be ice in my veins, for my blood runs cold. The radio falls out of my hand. Justice told me today he wanted me never to return just mere hours before, but now the 506th wants me at the meeting? Surely this is it. It never mattered. All this time they get what they asked for, but it’s still my fault. It always was my fault. This wouldn’t have happened if I just controlled myself. Descending the hill Zelenogorsk grows ever larger. I can see them in the windows. They all stare, I wish they would stop looking.

I feel regret.

“Hey I’m here, I was told to come here.” I say faltering, pushing against the locked front door of the church.

“Come around back.” Justice says, this isn’t the first time today I’ve heard his voice.

Entering through the back door, the scene is exactly as I imagined it. A line of 506th stands guns drawn, headed by Austin in the front. Against the altar Waxxer stands and Charlie sits, disheveled and overpowered, and now myself joins them. A perfect scenario for those looking to rid this world of us. There must be a saying for this, yet I do not remember it now.

“Hello Alex.” Austin says rather quickly, he must’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time.

“Hey” I respond, unable to make eye contact with any of them.

“It was nice seeing you guys for a few minutes before you tucked tail and ran” Austin remarks while staring directly at me.

I stare directly at my feet. Ashamed. I wanted to stay. I told him we needed to fight that fight. EVERYTHING would be better if we just stayed. It was so obvious, why didn’t they listen?

“How’d you feel about that choice?” A question that raises my head.

“I voted to stay,” I quickly say, getting ahead of myself. “But it wasn’t my decision to make.”

Austin goes on to question me on hypotheticals of what I would have done in the past. I answer blankly for I don’t know. I don’t know anything. What would SZPA leader Alex have done there? Who cares? It doesn’t matter, maybe it never mattered. Sure seems that way as of late.

“Just to make sure he understood the question, can you please repeat it?” Charlie asks.

“Yeah his heads fucked up, you remember that time when the Hawks shot him?” Justice interjects, saying to Austin.

They think I’m stupid. Everyone is judging me. They always have.

“I actually got shot in the head again today!” I say in glee, uncaring for how these people view me now.

“But no, no I think I understood. If I was SZPA at the time back then and I wasn’t fighting DAMN, which SZPA wasn’t for some of its time, I still probably would’ve stayed.” I say, I’m sure they’ll damn me for this.

The meeting goes on and on. My head hurts. In agony I stare, unable to hear what anyone is saying. Austin points his gun at Charlie, Waxxer speaks no words of meaning, he never does. Why draw this out any longer? Waxxer puts himself between Charlie and Austin. What a performance! Everything they do is performative, both sides. Talks of history, how meaningless. I stand, unmoving yet wavering. How long will they make me wait?

I snap out of it, ringing in my ears as Austin approaches me directly.

“Alex.” he says, as close as he’s ever been.

“I hear that you’re sick. Is that true?” He states, prompting me for a response

Please stop talking to me.

“Yeah, people keep telling me that. But I’m fine!” I respond, a faint smile as I rub the back of my head.

I can’t breathe.

“Yeah he is sick, he had a six minute seizure the other day.” Charlie adds.

News to me.

“Alex, here’s what I want you to do. I want you to take that armband off and come home. If he’s going to die he’s going to die with his original brothers.” Austin says.

Screaming.

I must be drowning. My limbs are numb, so impossibly cold, yet they burn with heat. I wring my hands, constantly pulling at the amputated left ring finger. They stand in front of me, their shadows tower above me in their temple of judgment. The old characters of religion painted on the walls and ceilings laugh in delight. My head hurts, unable to process what’s been requested of me. I look from face to face and give up.

“If I say yes, you’ll let them go, right?” I stammer, vaguely gesturing at the other Renegades.

“Sure.” Austin says uncaring.

I cannot save myself anymore, I never could alone. However, surely I could save the others now, no? I cannot see, never could. It’s so immensely cold, a pressure building across my entire body. Charlie says something, but I cannot hear.

“Take it back” I demand of Waxxer as I drop my armband onto the ground.

“Keep it.” He says, ignorant and selfish, as he always is.

“No, take it back!” Tone raising, “You’ve done it once before, do it again!”

I lied.

Waxxer attempts to persist, but it’s no use. Soon he accepts it, as I have. A comment about me receiving it one day again leaves his mouth, but it’s utter nonsense at this point. Wasted air at a time of such limits. He should see it.

For I am lost.

“No Sanctuary For The Lost” by Friar

Friar released an unsettling story describing a challenging interaction between The Lost Legion and Dark As Midnight – a fantastic read that highlights a tense moment between two very different groups on DayzUnderground.

 

Churches. A place of refuge and safety from persecution, a relic from an age gone by and a place that has now lost all meaning. As for the church in Gorka, it would provide no sanctuary for the lost.

Blood stains now paint the floor where people once worshiped and the stale smell of death is only punctuated by the sense of trepidation that myself, Otis and the two volunteers feel as men clad in black and red stand guard on the doors.

We wait for the arrival of their leader. Normally self-assured, I feel on edge. We had been told countless stories and had been advised not to come here. However, my desire for information regarding the new evil that has been blossoming in Chernarus and that of the safety of my people at home gives me comfort in that what we are doing here today is the right thing to do, Albeit foolish.

Pleasantries were exchanged and we are into the nuts and bolts of it.

“The Masquerade have a place up by Altar on your doorstep. What of them do you know?” I ask.

“I mean, they have the tower that they throw people off, which is fun to watch.” Harvey retorted along with a cackle.

Somewhat dismissive of my line of questioning, or maybe they just didn’t know too much, I was swiftly ushered onto my second request.

“My second request, I want you to keep your goons away from Zub. They’ve been taking potshots at those who farm in the yard.”

“Goons” he mutters, almost as if offended yet amused that my previous line of questioning regarding the other group somehow showed more respect to them then I do those in front of me. Albeit, I have none.

“…our reputation demands respect.”

“…calling us goons ain’t very friendly.”

“…well actually we came down and demanded epoxy. We would of left you alone but one of you shot at us.”

Varying voices seemed dismayed, and the blame fell on us, but still I persist.

“Your goons have been taking potshots more than once, and have been loitering on the hill beside camp. It’s your own fault. I doubt that your visit was that friendly. Anyway it’s a polite request to lay off taking shots at the people in the compound.”

Otis steps forwards and in an effort to ease some of the tension, asks to provide something of theirs that we found. Out of his pocket he pulls out the insignia that they commonly wear, red cloth marked with the black hand, and passes to one of them.

“I believe this belongs to you.” Otis said.

The room cracks smiles as they make sarcastic comments.

“Aw, cute!”

“Heartwarming.”

“Hmm… Anyways, back to this goons thing. What’s the incentive here? Where’s the quid pro quo? You want something from us, what are you gonna give for it? How about some courtesy when we visit you guys?”

Unsurprisingly, they want something in return. However I had not even contemplated what they would ask. My over eagerness and gung-ho approach is as much a flaw as it can be pro, much to the dismay of Stephen sometimes.

“I’m not going to trade with you guys.”

“This isn’t a trade. It’s a payment. Very much one way.”

“Yeah… I’m not going to extorted, I’m not coming here once a month with goodies for you guys.”

“CHUNKY!”

Their guns wave and shots ring off. Believing this was a scare tactic I stood firm. However unbeknownst to me for a few seconds one of the volunteers I had brought along was mercilessly gun down in cold blood behind me.

“Anyways. Wonna try that again?” Harvey says, chest puffed.

Otis and I check the body of the volunteer.

“He’d be alive if he hadn’t reached for his gun.” Poopy added.

I stood in shock, Otis wide-eyed and aghast whilst our second volunteer breaks down in tears as she realizes the precarious position I walked us into.

“Is this one crying? Is this it? You have criers?”

I solemnly respond…

“It’s easy to be brave when you’re stood surrounding us with your guns. I’m sure under different circumstances you wouldn’t be as brave.”

…which was met with disregard and laughter.

Harvey then proceeds with the negotiations, knowing that I’m not in a position to refuse or just candidly walk away. He provides a list of provisions, which is often interrupted by his Machiavellian laugh, with resources scarce enough as it. What he wants is unreasonable, he wants the same things we give to the destitute and needy.

Exasperated I say “It ain’t happening.”

Gunshots reverberate through the hall once again displacing the dust that lays dormant on the décor. Our second volunteer was murdered, and seconds after the body touches ground a giddy Warboy, knife in hand, dances over to the corpse. The sound of flesh peeling from bone rings loud in the ears. Otis falls to his knees and vomits at what he has witnessed.

Hands shaking, I nervously approach my comrade and tell him to hang in there.

Thor begins to beat Otis with his gun. “STOP CRYING!”

“GET OFF HIM!” I shout… whilst those left watching laugh.

“You’re still not getting it. This isn’t a yes or no question, it’s a yes. The goods will be here.” explains Harvey.

Poopy chimes in with his two cents. “Well, it is a yes and no question, yes they leave here or no they don’t.” All whilst the giddy Warboy dangles the flesh of one of our volunteers in the face of Otis.

Negotiations carry on with Harvey reeling of a list of demands that are what I find to be too excessive, so I once again refuse, not for the sake of being defiant but for the sake of having some hope we can follow through. However, in a futile attempt to also sow some sort of peace within the region so that the innocents can trade freely, I ask of them to refrain from attacking our good friends and the trade group ORCC who sit upon the mountain. Proclaiming the obvious that people need to trade this was only met howls of disdain.

“FUCK NO! YOU GET DOWN THERE AND DO YOUR BUSINESS AND GET THE FUCK OUTTA THERE.”

“YOU HEAR GUNSHOTS YOU STAY AWAY.”

“I’ll tell you what. I’ll let my guys know that if they see that armband, we won’t shoot unless you shoot first.”

I remain silent, giving no answer an We once again go through the list of provisions they want, again it’s too much and again irked I advised “It isn’t happening.”

Boom! Thud! Otis shouts in pain, his leg torn asunder like a weathered flag. “GET HIM SOME MEDS” I plead, only to be met nonchalantly with a “He’s fine.”

“Say something like ‘it ain’t happening’ again, and we’re keeping Otis!” Thor hawkishly shouts.

Done with the violence and fearful of what may happen to myself and Otis, I relent and accept the demand put forward. We discuss a time for us to deliver the goods and that if it does not arrive today’s events will be tame in comparison.

We are then pushed and shoved out of the church and into the dark where the smell of fresh air and the feeling of the cold breeze was a relief after the evening we had endured. Led by armed guards to the hill we entered from we leave to the chorus of gunfire and shouting behind. Myself and otis arm in arm limp away from Gorka uphill on our way home.

Thanks for Reading!

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