The Pathfinder is a 30-day role-playing fitness adventure set in a world that changes overnight. Your goal is to keep on moving and lead the group of survivors to a new safe haven. You are the only one who can keep these people safe. You are a Pathfinder, a person with a rare ability that allows you to navigate the changing landscape around you and sense the way forward to a place where you, and everyone you manage to save along the way, will find a new home.
The program is suitable for all genders, ages and fitness levels. Some of the days include optional walking and running with bodyweight exercise alternatives.
The online version of the program is interactive and it saves your progress in your browser. Once you find survivors you must keep them alive and complete tasks for each one you accept into your group - or let them die. So don’t forget to click on tasks you have completed before you move on to the next chapter. You will have to find shelter, water, food and keep everyone together until the very end. You don’t have to save everyone - but you can try.
The ground shook and began to split apart. Entire neighborhoods were wiped out in the blink of an eye. Roads became impossible to travel on. Towns disappeared. Those of us who survived the initial collapse, grabbed what we could, and ran for our lives abandoning the only safe place we ever knew, leaving our homes behind. We knew one day this would happen… we just didn't know it would happen so soon, that it would happen today. So, we all ran because that's the only thing we could do.
The planet’s plates are continuing to shift even now creating large chasms all over the place making it difficult to travel in a straight line. Worse yet, if you choose the wrong path you may end up trapped between the split planes with no way out, die of exposure or starve to death. Only those of us with the gift of reading magnetic forces can sense the path forward. Only they can lead what's left of our tribe out of this hell and into a new safe haven. We are called Pathfinders but there aren't many of us left now.
I am the only one in my tribe. And it's up to me now to lead my people and keep them safe.
I can sense the tectonic plates shift, it’s in my blood. Increased iron content, a genetic mutation, means I can feel the tag towards the New North. My sensorium is geared to reading subtle shifts in the ground’s generation of electromagnetic force due to tectonic plate pressure. As the plates grind against each other they generate field forces that are as obvious to me as cries.
The moment the tremors began I instantly felt the pull towards the one place where the tectonic plates hold true, and I knew that’s where I must go. I could also sense my people. I can still feel their disbelief and their despair. I am sure I can locate survivors but am I strong enough to lead these people? Can I even do it?
There are five locations near me where I believe there may be survivors. I can scout them all or I can decide to save the few I can and move on. No choice I make is going to be easy. That I know.
Every time the tectonic plates shift we suffer losses. Not just material ones. People die, the ground swallows them up. It’s like the planet is trying to remake itself afresh.
There are so few of us left now and it’s up to me to make sure we survive and find a new home where we can rebuild. For now, we have to find a temporary shelter, take stock of our supplies and regroup. There used to be a mountain on the other side of the plain but it’s been shattered and broken up by the shifts. We will find shelter there before nightfall so long as everyone follows me. I must group them together and get them to work with each other.
The ground is broken and littered with stones. This makes our going difficult. We need to keep on moving because we can only travel safely in daylight. Once darkness comes the journey becomes that much more dangerous. A twisted ankle now, a bad sprain, could mean your life.
I lead my group carefully. I need to make sure the pace is not so hard that they all get exhausted and not so slow that we are caught far from shelter when the sun goes down.
We arrive at the foot of the mountain, or what’s left of it. Everyone is tired and we are running low on supplies. We are almost out of water and that worries me the most. Before we go any further we must make sure we have enough drinking water for everyone. I know there used to be a stream nearby and, hopefully, it’s still there. I am the only one who can safely travel long distances so I’ll have to go there and bring enough water for everyone I managed to save.
Collect Water / Sets
The iron in my blood doesn’t lie. The magnetic poles are changing. This means the tectonic shift will become stronger and the tremors even more destructive. There is a lot of uncertainty in our journey. The constantly changing landscape means that our choices are limited.
Because the ground can no longer be relied upon to stay the same, I have to choose the path of greatest stability even if the immediate risks it presents are higher, otherwise we run the risk of finding ourselves trapped on a piece of ground with nowhere else to go.
This is not an easy thing to explain to the group of survivors I lead. Their spirits are already down, and I am not always the best person to explain how what I feel works. Pathfinders do many things by instinct.
The latest tremor has upends boulders as big as hills and breaks down mountains. The only way now for us is forward and time is against us as more tremors are coming. I can feel the pressure building up deep beneath our feet. I need to take my people through the narrow mountain pass so we will have to travel in a single file over badly broken ground. This place is a maze and some parts of the path have collapsed completely making it impossible to get through. We will have to climb over some parts of it and crawl over others if we want to get out of the danger zone.
Suddenly, another tremor hits. Some of the wall collapses behind you blocking the way back. If someone else tries to go through this way they will not be able to pass - or won’t see there is a path forward. Your people are safe but anyone who comes after you may be in trouble. Then again, there may be another tremor and it will block the way again.
We cross the mountain and come out on the other side.
We were unprepared for the change we see lying in front of our eyes. It is hard to believe that ground, rocks, hills and rivers can be rearranged so drastically over such short time. The violence of the change, the massive power of the tectonic shifts makes us all feel infinitely small and very fragile.
There used to be a river flowing here only days ago but now all we see in front of us is a broken desert. I made the right call when I got the water for my people when I did. We will need to cross this place but there are deep chasms spreading all over like a spider’s web making it impossible to make it through easily. We will have to jump through some and walk around others. I will lead the way and others will have to follow.
We are all so tired from navigating the broken landscape of the desert that we can no longer go on. We stop for the night and set up camp. I pick a spot that is not too exposed. Before the ground remodelled itself so drastically this place used to be a woodland. This is good news for us.
As soon as the sun goes down it will get freezing cold. We will need to have a fire going all night and for that we need a lot of firewood. Thankfully, there is quite a bit of it around. There are a lot of broken branches and fallen trees around the camp area so it shouldn’t be too difficult to gather enough.
Collect Wood / Sets
As I gather wood I come across two bear cubs. They are making crying sounds near a fallen tree. As I come closer I realize their mother is trapped under it. She seems uninjured but she can’t get out. She growls at me to stay away. I can move the log and free the bear or I can walk away. The chances of her and her cubs surviving out here now with the collapse of the ecosystem are very low but they will certainly be higher if I decide to help.
The night’s rest made a big difference for us. We pick up the pace at daybreak and actually make really good time. The magnetic activity deep beneath our feet is changing. I am not sure whether it is too deep underground for me to feel it properly or whether there are other strong magnetic currents around us at the moment that are interfering with my ability to predict the safest path for us right now.
This presents me with a problem. Our good pace has helped us reach the road - or what’s left of it. We manage to cover a lot of ground following it for a while even on foot but eventually we come to a crossroads. I can feel that whether we take the left or the right path we will eventually stay on course and make our way to our final destination. The road to the right will take us longer but it's easier terrain. The road to the left is a shortcut but it will be a lot harder to make our way through. I have to make a choice.
Almost a day later we come across an abandoned settlement. There doesn’t seem to be anyone left here and the damage to it is still slight. As we walk through the empty streets we see here too people have left their belongings and fled in a hurry. They must have had a Pathfinder or they simply decided to take their chances out there. It’s just not safe to stay in one spot for too long anymore. As we are about to exit, we hear a voice from a makeshift barricade in the middle of the road. It’s an ambush. A man tells us that we are at a gunpoint. He demands that our Pathfinder comes forward but tells the rest to stay back. I have no choice but to comply. They seem to want me alive so they won’t shoot.
I walk towards the barricade and I see two people - but no guns. They try to grab me and my instinct screams to fight.
I manage to land a few blows and get away. I rejoin my group and I am furious. We should get away from here as soon as possible in case there are more surprises ahead. As we set off, I notice that the two people who tried to kidnap me are trying to follow us from some distance away. I understand that they are desperate but the way they went about it just doesn’t sit well with me. They could have tried to talk to us first. I have a choice to make. I can warn them away and make sure they don’t follow us or allow them to join our group.
Minutes become hours. Hours become days. It seems like we’ve been travelling forever but at least we had no more tremors for a while. It almost seems like perhaps that was it, perhaps it is safe now…
No sooner have I thought that my sensorium lights up again and the ground shakes beneath our feet. And this time, it splits right before our eyes. The earth’s plates begin to move creating small islands all over the place splitting us apart, separating us from each other. I yell for everyone not to move! I will have to gather everyone one by one as I am the only one who can sense where it is safe to step.
In the distance, where the abandoned settlement used to be, there is nothing left. It’s all gone. The earth has swallowed it whole.
I have to hurry and regather everyone together. I can now feel that there will be aftershocks are coming and we won’t be safe then at all.
Find Survivors / Sets
The fact that even my special sense has limits and cannot always be relied upon to give us advance warning is worrying. Clearly, we are in more danger than even I realize at times. We barely made it out of our last predicament alive.
We are all still shaken from the previous experience. No one feels like talking so we walk in silence. It begins to rain and, at first, it’s refreshing. We get to refill our water supplies, too. The rain doesn’t stop, though, it just keeps getting stronger and the ground around us is beginning to flood. I see higher ground up ahead but it’s a bit of a climb. No matter, we made it this far and we are not about to give up now.
Eventually the rain stops. The clouds overhead clear up. It is evident that as the morphology of the ground changes global weather patterns are affected. Unexpected weather is now being added to our list of problems. I try not to think about that.
It takes a while for the water to subside and these are not ideal conditions but we have to keep on moving. We stayed here too long already but at least we got the chance to recover somewhat. We are survivors and we will make it as long as we stay together. I will keep these people safe.
There is treacherous mud all around and ahead of us but in the distance we can see signs of life. There is another settlement ahead where we can possibly stop and resupply. If we make it there that is.
We reach the settlement and we can’t quite believe our eyes. It’s like the disaster hasn’t happened here. People are going about their business, resting and working as usual. There is no panic or rush here, or any kind of preparation to leave. It’s like stepping into the world before. I am overwhelmed with longing but I very quickly recover. And soon enough it’s very clear to us that these people are simply in denial of what’s happening. They are refusing to believe that life as they know it is gone. They are convinced that they are safe here because their settlement has been left untouched. They think that the tremors are just that, a bit of an inconvenience that will soon go away.
I have seen the earth splitting, entire settlements vanish before my eyes in seconds like they were never there. I know how serious this is and how dire things are. As my group goes to resupply and trade, I search for someone in charge or perhaps a Pathfinder to talk to.
It doesn’t take long, someone points me to a house where I can find their Pathfinder. And when I do it kind of makes sense. Their pathfinder is a 7-year old boy. He can lead these people as he can sense the way forward, like I can, but who would follow him? He is only a child. After talking to his mother I understand their situation. They will leave on their own soon but the rest of these people are doomed. Perhaps I can find proof to convince them that they can’t stay here anymore. Maybe I can do something before it is too late.
Locations / Photographs
At the settlement gathering of their Council I present what evidence I have. Photographs I’ve taken. My own eye-witness account of events. I even mention Art and Luca, how their settlement disappeared in minutes.
Even though I have brought proof no one in this settlement believes me. Most just brush me off and some even accuse me of falsifying the photographs, of presenting evidence to suit my purpose. They clearly don’t trust me. They just don’t want to believe that things have changed. I have no other option but to move on with my group.
Five minutes in, as we move further away, I hear someone calling me. A boy is running after us. I have a choice to make. I can let him join us or I can send him back to the settlement.
Just then we all feel a tremor. I am about to yell at everyone to start moving and I wonder why my senses didn’t warn me about this one. Then I realize that this tremor is different. The ground shakes underfoot by the impact of a thousand hoofs as a large herd of Bisons is heading right our way.
Trapped by the rising rocks on either side we are now in a ravine facing certain death galloping towards us. The terrain and the circumstances, as always, narrow down the options available to us. We have to run or we have to climb. The wrong choice here will mean some of us will fail to see the sun rise the next day.
I never thought my part in all this would be so difficult. It’s not just having to contend with dangerous, ever-changing terrain and the sometimes uncertain sensations my own inner sense reports. It is the danger presented by animal and human predators. The part of this for which I have little preparation and zero experience. The responsibility I feel to my group weighs heavily on me. I am aware that the morality of my actions is key here. I am accumulating Karma. At some point it will weigh against me and if the bad outweighs the good we will all be in trouble.
We come to a relatively safe place and set up camp. After everything I’ve seen I need to scout the area and make sure it is safe from predators and people who may want to harm us. After everything we’ve experienced so far I can’t leave anything to chance.
As I scout the area I come across a large stone with writings on it. Looks like other groups with their own Pathfinders left messages here in the hope we see them. There are other survivors and it looks like we are all heading for the same place.
I can leave my own message here for any Pathfinder that comes this way.
I miss travelling by road but I imagine that by now there aren’t many left. The land has shifted so many times now, the landscape is virtually unrecognizable. All maps are obsolete. That’s why my unique ability is so crucial and that’s why I have to see this through. Everyone in my group is relying on me and I am determined to not let them down.
The landscape is beautiful. Despite the devastation, life goes on. There is greenery here. Plants and trees grapple where they can. They try to hold onto what land and nutrients they find. They too are fighting to survive.
Very soon we come across a river. I am certain this river hasn’t been here before. The current is not too strong but it’s still a sizable river we can’t just walk or swim across. After a short deliberation, we decide to build a raft. It will only hold a couple of people so I will take everyone across, one by one.
Take Across / Sets
So far our troubles have been shifting land and animal and human predators. It really hasn’t been easy. I know we are getting closer to safety. The tag of that magnetic pole in my blood is too strong to ignore. It presses upon me like a beacon of safety flashing just behind my eyes. But we’re not clear of danger just yet.
As we travel further ahead we begin to smell something burning. Shortly, we see smoke and come across a large burnt area. The fires have largely died down but I can still see glowing embers here and there. I know that the only way forward is through here. We will just have to be careful where we step.
It’s like the gods are against us. The closer we get to the place of safety we are heading for, the greater the perils we face each day. I’m still wondering what will go wrong next when I have my answer.
The ground beneath our feet trembles again. No tectonic plate shift this time. No herd of Bisons either. This time the rumble is different. Weakened by the tectonic shift activity the planet’s mantle has deep fissures. From deep within the planet’s molten core lava is now pushed to the surface.
Luckily I sense the risk in time. We all start to run. We nearly clear the area when the ground begins to split right behind us but this time smoke comes out of the newly created chasm and hot lava comes up to the surface. It keeps on flowing, building up and gaining ground. I’ve never seen anything like it and now I know what burned everything around. We have to run hard or we will literally be roasted alive. Worse still, we now have to drop everything we are carrying if we want to make it. We are running for our lives.
We survived but only just. These micro-events are beginning to happen more and more often. I am afraid we are running out of time. And now, we are also out of supplies. If we don’t find food and soon, we will not make it.
The only option I have now is to scout the area and see if there are any settlements nearby. There must be something, somewhere where we can get enough food for everyone.
I tell my group to set up camp while I check the nearby area.
Not everything is against us. As the tectonic plates shift some large chunks of ground are lifted and transported virtually intact, great distances. It’s like floating corks in a river with the difference that the ‘corks’ this time are chunks of ground that may have settlements, towns or even entire cities on them.
The buildings, of course, are damaged badly. The tremors doing their destructive work. But for us it can be good news. Supplies that can be easily had.
Eventually, my scouting takes me across an area that looks like it’s been crashed and remade already several times. The ground is highly uneven here. And, I come across the ruins of a settlement. There are no survivors here and it looks like this one too was abandoned in a hurry. The buildings are badly damaged, most of them have been completely destroyed and are just rubble but some could be checked and potentially scavenged.
It won’t be easy going through the debris but if I dig enough, I will be able to find enough food to bring back to my group.
Collect Food / Sets
My final dive into the rubble doesn't go smoothly. Just as I fish out the last can of beans from a smashed cupboard the ground shakes again and what's left of the ceiling in this house collapses right on top of me. My vision blurs and I pass out.
I don't know how much time passes when I finally regain consciousness but it's already night-time. My head hurts and when I touch it I can feel bandages. Someone tended to my injury. I can see an old man coming towards me with a concerned look on his face. He saw me scavenging earlier and stayed away but when I got hurt, he decided to help.
My head is still fuzzy and to my horror I realize I’ve lost my senses. I no longer feel the way to the True North. There is a void where I used to feel the magnetic tag of tectonic plate activity deep underground. I am disoriented, helpless and for the first time in my life, truly blind. I have to recenter myself, get my Pathfinder sense to function again to have any chance of finding my people again and leading them to safety.
I return to my group and make sure everyone is OK. There were a few small shakes while I was away but they camped in an open area so they stayed safe. We can't stay here any longer though. A big earthquake is coming. I can feel it. My sense of the tectonic plate activity deep beneath our feet has been bugging me all day. It’s like this pressure building up inside me until it makes me almost want to scream. Not good. Whatever is coming is big and dangerous for us. We will have to travel at night.
Night travel is not without its own dangers. We are again, however, without any choice.
As we walk the air gets colder and colder. My fingers begin to cramp. We will need to speed up our pace just to stay warm.
It’s a new day, it’s a new dawn and we are exhausted from a night of travelling. The sun slowly rises as we continue on our journey. It’s mostly uneventful and I can’t help but feel grateful. We are all lucky to be alive.
I make sure everyone’s hydrated and there are no injuries from the night’s march over uneven ground. No one feels like talking much.
A few hours into the trek we come to a ravine. I spot a stone bridge not far from us and, surprisingly, it’s still intact. Some of the stone is cracked and small chips have fallen off but it’s holding up. This must be a region that has yet to experience heavy tectonic shifts. I can tell this from the stability of the landscape around us. Trees and grass appear intact. The stones I see on the surface are old, weathered. Not much ground churning has gone on here.
Using the bridge is a little risky, I know, but it’ll save quite a bit of time in our journey if we get across it.
I have a decision to make.
Our luck doesn’t hold for long. As we get further and further from the ravine and the bridge we experience more tremors. The landscape keeps on shifting in the distance around us, I feel it in my bones now. Every single shake now is a violent, brutal assault to my senses. Does that mean something big is building up? Something we may not be able to survive?
I lead the way and the rest of the survivors follow me in a single file. I keep my doubts to myself. The harshness of the terrain has forced us to travel in a single file. It’s a formation that is not conducive to much talk. For once, I am grateful for that.
In the past few hours the wind has begun to pick up. It hits us mercilessly now. The wind is so strong it physically pushes us back. I’ve never experienced wind this strong in my entire life and I did not think it was possible and yet, as the entire world changes and reshapes itself in front of our eyes, I am no longer surprised by anything.
We have to keep on going or we risk being cut off from the mainland. As much as we want to stop and rest, until we reach a safer location, we cannot. We must push through.
At some point in our journey I see structures ahead where we can take cover for a while. The respite is brief.
The wind doesn’t die down and it’s freezing cold now. Where hours ago we were enjoying the sunshine, there are clouds blanketing the skies now. Another 30 minutes and we will reach relative safety…
Something hits the ground next to me. And then again. And again. I look closer and I see large chunks of ice. A hail storm is about to descend on top of us. This kind of hail is sure to seriously injure or even kill any one of us. We have to run for cover. Now.
We run until we get to some mostly intact buildings that spring upon our path as if they’d been put there by the goddess of luck herself. We take cover from the chunks of ice falling down from the sky, in an abandoned church. The hail outside is getting stronger. The large ice chunks are making dents in the ground where they land. We are lucky to be alive. We can rest now, tend to our injuries and take stock of our supplies. It’s going to be a long day tomorrow and I have to be ready to go out there again.
In the middle of the night I hear a door lock. There is someone here, hiding in the church with us. After I investigate, I find a locked door at the far end of the church and I am sure there is someone in there. When I call to check, a voice tells me to go away and leave her alone. The voice sounds old and tired, a woman on her own.
I can convince the old lady that it’s not safe here anymore and offer her to come with me or I can move on. She made her choice.
There is no cloud without some silver lining. We made it through the night and even managed to restock our water supplies by melting the ice. The ground outside is now covered in ice and I wish we could wait here for a while until it gets a little safer to go out there but we cannot. We are running against the clock. I can sense the big one coming. All my senses are driving me crazy inside my skin.
We have to go. No question about it. Before we leave, though, I have to find more food. We are almost completely out. There are some houses nearby that are still standing so I can scavenge there.
Collect Food / Sets
I feel the pull towards the New North much stronger now. We are getting closer with every step. I just need to keep my people alive until we reach it. And I know that once we do, we will be safe.
We walk through an open field now and I am feeling more hopeful. People behind me are talking and I even hear laughter here and there. We just need to push a little further, survive for a little longer. I am under no illusions, though, I know we are very far from safe yet.
And as we walk, the mist is getting stronger. Before we know it, we are enveloped by the mist. I can’t see anything or anyone around me. I hear panicked voices and I tell them to stay where they are. I will have to find them one by one again and lead them out of the mist.
Find Survivors / Sets
We’ve been on the go for days, weeks at this point. We are tired and the morale is low. We are surviving but only just. No one talks anymore so we travel in silence. Every time we get our hopes up or feel even a little bit safer, something goes terribly wrong. I see it in their faces. They don’t believe we will make it.
As a leader, I feel I have to do something. We have to keep going to stay ahead of the coming Collapse. Yes, I’ve given it a name and somehow it feels right. It helps me focus my energies at beating this coming opponent that threatens us all.
At the same time I realize that there has to be something I can do to lift my peoples’ spirits. At that moment, I make a decision and turn off the direct path we’ve been on. I can sense there is a small lake in this area where we can stop for a couple of hours. We can wash off and reset there. The rest, the respite from the push. The chance to just sit down and talk to each other again, will help us all feel a little more recharged and a little more hopeful.
We’ve almost made it. This is the last stretch. We only have a little bit to go until we reach the point after which it will finally be safe. Our final destination is a true safe haven. I know that where we are going the ground will not shift anymore, the tremors will not reach us and the weather will be much kinder. We will be able to start again and rebuild. And I know, other Pathfinders and the people they lead will meet us there.
The road ahead of us is long but, though there is no traditional road to speak off, the ground is flat and firm. Here, it all comes down to endurance and our will to live.
We’ve been getting closer and closer to our point of safety. We can see it now. Barely a half hour’s sprint away under normal conditions. I stress, normal conditions. The road there is not easy and we’ve been at it for so long we are mostly running on empty.
I make sure that everyone keeps going. My senses tell me the Collapse is imminent but how much time we have is anyone’s guess. I hope we have enough time. To get to this point and fail is unthinkable.
Suddenly I feel a buzz, deep inside me. A sense that something is so very wrong that I have no words to describe it because in truth I’ve never felt it before. As if to confirm my worst fears we all hear a loud crack.
The ground splits behind us only a short distance away. Deep fissures appear. There are tremors that almost knock us off our feet and the ground appears to turn itself inside out. It lasts but a brief moment. Stops. And then, it starts again. The ground around us keeps on breaking up.
Rocks and earth shift and separate. Long spidery cracks appear everywhere. Steam rises from deep within some of them. Then with a groan that feels like it’s coming from deep within the planet itself, the ground lurches beneath our feet. The fissures start gaining on us as if they were waiting for just that moment to swallow us whole.
I understand what this is. The Collapse is finally upon us. I turn to the stunned members of my group and at the top of my lungs I scream: RUN!
We made it.
It’s been almost a month since we reached the safe haven. There have been no tremors since then, not a single shake or split. It’s truly safe here and people are finally beginning to relax. Other groups keep arriving from other destinations and there are more survivors led by their Pathfinders, who join us every day.
I’ve seen new groups organize. People getting together, exchanging stories. Everyone here has suffered some loss. It serves to bring us all closer together. It makes us all want to work hard to heal.
It’s been a difficult journey but we made it and I kept my people safe. I don’t know what’s going to happen to us or what the future holds but we know what we are facing now and together we will build a new life for ourselves.
We will find the path forward.
Jenna. Jenna talks non-stop. It’s her way of coping with stress. She tries to find excuses for not doing hard work whenever she can. She is also fearless. When it comes to jumping over chasms, going over a ravine suspended on a vine. Hunting for food or foraging on her own in unknown terrain, she is brilliant.
Before her town virtually disappeared she used to hang out with Jade. Not all the time but often enough to make them friends. She now knows that they need to hang together and help each other out if they are to make it through this.
Jenna’s chatter about everything and nothing is a smokescreen that hides a keen intellect and a mind that’s seen a disaster and is now trying to heal. Getting to know Jenna better may be rewarding. It is also likely to be really hard work.
Lee. Lee is a great runner. At school he used to win every middle distance race he entered and he was the school’s long-jump champion. These are skills that will now come in handy. Lee knows Jenna and Jade. He finds Jenna a little tiring at times but loves debating things with Jenna.
He doesn’t think there will be much time or inclination for debate where they are going. Not if they are to survive. Nevertheless the skills he and Jenna have, the ability to think quickly, internalize change fast and adapt is going to come in handy. Lee smiles a lot when he interacts with others. He hopes they will all have reason to smile once they get to the place the Pathfinder has promised to take them.
Jade. Jade is an independent spirit with a really strong will and a rebellious streak. Before the tectonic shifts started and the tremors that destroyed her town arrived she used to hang out with Jenna. At school she kept company more with boys than she did with girls. Shooting hoops and playing baseball she learnt to take a tumble and not complain about it. Little did she know that the grit she developed as a result will help her survive in a world that’s literally crashing down around her.
Smart, reliable but also a little headstrong Jade is an asset to every team she joins. A potential leader she won’t just blindly do as she is told. However, she keeps her cool under pressure. Follows instructions where necessary and knows how to exercise her own initiative to benefit the team. Jade makes your team stronger and your overall chances of survival higher.
Mia. Mia is now an orphan. Before the tectonic shifts happened Mia lived in a big house in your town. Her parents were planning to send her to an all-girl’s school. She had a little brother. She still cannot remember what happened. Why she survived when so many others did. Sometimes she finds it hard to remember the faces of her parents and her brother. Or their names.
Mia often breaks down and cries at night, usually without apparent reason. Mia knows she has to be strong. She knows she has to do as a Pathfinder commands. She just doesn’t always know how.
Jamal. When the tectonic shift happened and the tremors started Jamal became a local hero. He organized the local community, made people collect food and sent a few of them out to see if they could locate their Pathfinder. Jamal has always known that Pathfinders are special. Now they are key to everyone’s survival. He knows that first-hand. In those first few hours, when the landscape changed, Jamal lost everyone in the group of people he’d managed to put together.
Jamal is strong and capable. He is willing to help every member of his group. He listens to the Pathfinder’s instructions. He hopes that they will all manage to pull through this and reach safety without taking any more losses.
Art. Art is trying to leave his bad decision behind. A former IT-contractor who worked on big, secret government projects Arthur, Art for short, talked Luca into helping him abduct a Pathfinder to help them find their way out of the danger they are in. He now regrets that decision too. He tells himself he has to try harder to be better.
Art listens more than talks but once he decides to take action he is focused and determined. He sees every problem as a challenge to overcome. A puzzle to solve. This approach doesn’t always serve him well but in the current crisis it may prove to be an asset.
Luca. Luca’s parents were Hungarian. This helps explain her name. It also explains her outlook. She is tough, independent and determined to survive at all odds. Luca knows the world has changed. She knows the going now is going to be really tough. She is determined to be one of those who start civilization again. She regrets letting Art talk her into ambushing the Pathfinder in the first instance. She genuinely thought they had no other choice. She vows to herself never to let others influence her like that again.
Luca is a natural athlete. Good with an axe, a great runner and jumper and a good climber. In a tight spot Luca is the person you need to have with you, backing you up. Because she’s fast she makes a great scavenger. Because she’s strong and capable she can operate on her own as well as with other members of her team. Luca is always eager to show just how valuable she is to the team. She feels guilty about the ambush she and Art set up. As a result of her guilt she will willingly back the Pathfinder through thick and thin.
Ted. Ted has always believed in science. His parents got him a geological kit when he was five. He understands that evidence cannot lie. That the things you see and hear and touch are representative of much bigger trends across the world. They are evidence of how things are put together. He’s too young to be allowed to participate in settlement Council meetings.
Nevertheless he eavesdropped. He listened carefully as the Pathfinder made the case for leaving this settlement. He understood the gravity of the event, the real danger they were all in. He also knew he was too young to convince anybody. No one was going to listen to him. So he made up his mind to leave.
Above all he wants to survive. He wants life to mean something. He wants to experience the world in its broader sense. He is determined nothing is going to stop him making his own decision in this.
Bob. Bob has no idea how he managed to survive. One moment he was in this town, scavenging himself, looking for supplies, the next the ground is shaking, buildings are toppling and he finds himself transported much, further away than he’d thought was possible.
Nevertheless he is determined to make it. He knows that alone he is at the mercy of chance. One small injury, one misstep, one misreading of a situation is enough to get him killed.
Bob knows a lot of things that can be useful in an emergency. He knows how to set broken bones and stitch up a gaping wound. He knows what kind of berries are not poisonous and which mushrooms won’t give you headaches if you eat them. He also knows that in an emergency like this people are stronger in a group than alone. When he sees the Pathfinder scavenging he’s uncertain what to do. Then, the ground shakes, the building collapses on top of the Pathfinder and the decision is taken out of Bob’s hands. He will help and, maybe, if there is a group somewhere, he will join them.
Marjorie. Marjorie is not what she seems. She never has been. The first female firefighter of her generation, she knows how to dress and bind wounds, look for herbs and make medicine. She understands how to read the weather. She may be a little slow and old now but she refuses to be a burden.
When the tectonic shift happened she took refuge in the church. It was the building with the most sound structure and safe, lockable doors. When the skies opened up and the hail fell Marjorie was glad about her choice. Then this group of people came in as well. She is unsure about them. She has difficulty telling who she should trust any more.