Been a While, Huh?


Don’t know if you remember me. The Devoted, Sacha? I was your informant for a short, but butt-puckeringly scary time back in 2016?

Your forum wasn’t here a week ago when I checked. Now it is. Just so you know.

I just read a few posts about a wall and a Determiner and a bunch of stuff you went through. Sounds like you been keeping busy.

Me, not so much. I pretty much been keeping my head down. No magic, no cults, no nothing.

Which is why I’m kicking myself for ever setting up a google search for “Forest of Darkening Glass” because it finally pinged something new a couple weeks ago.

A copy of the book popped up on an auction site, signed by Dawson himself. I don’t know why I even care at this point, maybe nostalgia, maybe I still feel pulled to Lachmann and his story after all these years.

Anyway, I bought it. There’s a whole long story where it disappeared and then didn’t and I thought I’d lost it, but then it showed up at the place I’m staying at right now.

Sure enough, signed by Fletcher Dawson back in the early 80s—

With a message for the Mountaineers in 2021.

Hence, kicking myself. No offense, but I didn’t really have any intention of ever getting back in this world. But here I am, long enough to deliver the message at least.

His note was in the back of the book. I tried taking a pic, but like with a lot of magic artifacts, it makes technology go all kinds of screwy. Some pages are coming through okay, some aren’t. But I figured you wanted to see the message somehow, so here it is:

For the Mountaineers,
Everything covered in my original dedication will still ring true for you in 2021. If it seems like Greek, I suggest you look a little deeper. You’re bound to realize you’ve done this all before. Succeed, and you’ll find what I’ve hidden for you, along with the answer to a question you’ve been asking for years…

The foreword for The Forest of Darkening Glass reads:

I hope you enjoy guiding Sam’s journey into the forest, and I hope it inspires you to seek out your own adventure. Remember, what we see is not all there is. Wonder waits for all those who look beyond the darkening glass.

I still imagine Brandon reading that for the first time and what it must’ve sparked in him, leading him on his journey.

Not sure what your note means or what you’re supposed to do with it, but there it is. That’s all I know. If I can, I’ll check in later, otherwise, take care.


Thank you for passing this along, @Reader.


Thanks, reader. Keep your head down. The storm may be gone but there are still dark clouds in its wake. You dont wanna stick around for the next little while.


Its nice to hear from you after such a long time.
This Fletcher Dawson seems to come up whenever communication across time becomes relevant. I wonder if they were/are an adept of some sort?
Oh also, is Dawson’s website still up? I remember there was a website at one point.


I wonder is the shield that we made all a couple years ago to protect the forum is what’s causing the forum to disappear and reappear. It could be finally about to die, but that’s a thought for another time.

Thanks for passion the note along to us @Reader! It’s good to hear from you again!


Hey @Reader! Hope things are well with you. I know this is probably a big ask, considering that you can’t just take a picture of the thing, but…any chance you could transcribe a chapter here for us? It’s just that, you having a copy at all is kind of a big deal, and we would never ask you to part with it, but also the opportunity to archive even a bit of the actual text here would be beyond amazing, if it will let us.


I get it. Yeah, when I get back to my place I’ll send a chunk.

I’ve read it a dozen times at this point. The story’s good, really meant for kids, but it’s like holding something from a myth.


I started copying the first couple pages and it was a pain so I tried to take pics again just for the hell of it, and two of them came through. The first and second page. After that, the pics were blank or corrupted like before.

I guess somebody out there wants you to have your keepsake.

I mean to ask before. Any idea who put the book up for auction? Seems like the whole point was to get you that message. Not nuts about being a puzzle piece again but also pretty curious.


@Reader, your guess is as good as ours there, sorry. :confused: We’ll let you know if we figure it out; as you may have expected, we’re pulling out the tin-foil on this one. Thank you again for passing it on!


Hi Reader, long time fan, first time “caller.” I’m sorry to have to ask another question, but can you tell us how many pages there are in the book?


Hi everyone! I was talking with a new Mountie who made a really fantastic discovery! They were feeling shy and didn’t want to mention it themselves (I did tell them that everyone would be really impressed but they wanted to hang back and watch for a little longer), so I’m here to report! They figured out that the images on Fletcher Dawson’s site had numeric codes hidden in them steganographically, which is super cool and something I would never have thought to look for.

The key .png hides this code:

258, 266, 815, 734, 339, 153, 336, 422, 107, 377, 42, 577, 343, 910, 716, 738, 72, 868, 258, 878, 886, 749, 220, 582, 497, 321, 647, 49, 216, 14, 607, 307, 804, 719, 480, 637, 675, 241, 353, 94, 362, 53, 613, 79, 941, 898, 568, 336, 858, 774, 868, 779, 139, 449, 9, 93, 134, 863, 429, 663, 588, 366, 182, 865, 191, 378, 142, 564, 679, 174, 717, 6, 139, 647, 890, 559, 79, 280, 670, 865, 449, 410, 824, 151, 924, 196

The constellation:

146, 91, 138, 166, 257, 273, 544, 206, 269, 910, 888, 815, 162, 212, 602, 729, 484, 37, 818, 45, 783, 903, 388, 125, 671, 602, 95, 461, 142, 772, 839, 630, 550, 854, 644, 701, 114, 604, 671, 90, 594, 690, 877, 220, 221, 659, 423, 458, 231, 282, 554, 258, 449, 770, 808, 316, 566, 600, 730, 722, 724, 180, 151, 446, 179, 107, 718, 444, 741, 161, 687, 23, 394, 784, 671, 508, 855, 219, 398, 861, 854, 807, 221, 643, 495

The Chronocompass:

202, 397, 674, 145, 746, 347, 208, 531, 201, 754, 652, 665, 625, 338, 348, 566, 795, 259, 626, 444, 490, 780, 392, 171, 131, 567, 609, 520, 623, 385, 670, 354, 628, 746, 327, 103, 699, 650, 274, 6, 108, 790, 411, 470, 776, 481, 105, 382, 789, 611, 306, 637, 431, 776, 269, 235, 571, 35, 116, 568, 614, 247, 241, 194, 235, 18, 775, 157, 655, 190, 749, 24, 317, 389, 321, 547, 450, 662, 119, 194, 657, 492, 142, 481, 47, 608, 623, 49, 551, 434, 277, 582, 354, 796, 201, 231, 360, 447, 516, 402, 582, 762, 431, 752, 592, 120, 612, 193, 507, 649, 362, 610, 246, 380, 626, 39, 796, 695, 134, 296, 623, 735, 354, 750, 615, 630, 194, 625, 149, 791, 397, 201, 808, 529, 274, 382, 802, 705, 179, 172, 656, 556, 61, 120, 184, 577, 669, 581, 563, 356, 210, 626, 662, 750, 429, 679, 223, 24, 577, 628, 611, 629, 589, 269, 217, 614, 470, 120, 738, 367, 588, 609, 543

Our running theory is that this might be a book cipher of some kind, probably linked to The Forest of Darkening Glass, considering the codes were found on Dawson’s site.

My thinking is that we’re going to need more pages, though. The numbers go up way higher than the word count of the pages @Reader was so graciously able to give us, and the character count is way too high for it to work that way. So, I think we should try following the path Brandon Lachmann took through the book, using his book report/“The Glass Report” as a guide. If Reader is up to it, that is. She’s the one who’ll have to do all the page-flipping; a hard job, I know.

And for ease of reference, the Glass Report:

The Forest of Darkening Glass
A book report by Brandon Lachmann

The Forest of Darkening Glass is an adventure where you get to choose where the people in the story go and what they do. It is the first of this type of book that I’ve read and I loved it. I like the way I could control the character in the book and help them make the right decisions. Not all the decisions I made ended up being good for the characters, but in the end the story was exciting.

The story is about a boy called Sam Larkfield. Sam leaves home in the early morning to find a rare flower for his mother. He has to travel to see Doyle the woodcutter, who lives in a cabin in the middle of the forest. Because it’s a long journey Sam takes his dog Brin for company and for protection. We don’t find out that much about the dog at first, like what kind of dog he is, but he becomes much more important as the book goes on. Sam gets through the forest cobbleways and the first path Sam takes is called the Kings Cobbleway. This path takes him to The Lovers Cradle which is a fallen tree which looks like a couple hugging. There is a strange part here with a magpie that squawks at him when he touches the tree. He doesn’t really stay there for very long as he has to get to Doyle’s cabin and back before it gets dark.

Further along the cobbleways, Sam and Brin hear a cry for help. This was where I was given my first big choice. I could decide to let Sam continue or to let him see what the cry was. I decided to let Sam investigate. This took me to a section where Sam rescues a man called Trevis, who is hunting a big cat in the woods. They talk for a bit and then Sam is given a gift as a thank you, before they both go on their way.

At lunchtime they reach the bridge, which is the farthest Sam has ever been into the woods. The bridge is owned by a wildman who wants payment to cross. Sam has to give up his lunch, but even that isn’t enough, so I chose for Sam to catch fish to pay for the crossing. I really liked this section of the book. I liked how the bridge was confusing and how the Wildman on the bridge called Wennof has a brother called Fennow and they fight over who owns the bridge.

Once on the other side of the bridge the path goes in different directions. I sent Sam to an orchard and a place called Lilly pond before going to Doyle’s Cabin. On the way a magpie came back and told Sam there was danger ahead. The magpies can speak to Sam and he understands them clearly as the forest has magical creatures in it. I really liked this. It would be great to speak to birds and animals. I often wonder what my dog Charlie is thinking about and it would be useful if he could tell me instead of just barking all the time.

At the cabin, Doyle wasn’t there. Brin started barking but Sam couldn’t see why. They find the flower they need in a walled garden and carefully take it home. The flower is made of fire and it has to be put in a special jar. Sam has been given a special cutting device and gloves to make sure he doesn’t hurt himself when handling the plant.

On the way home Sam meets Angie, who is made of leaves. She is called a Leafer. She tricks Sam and with the help of her friends steals the flower and kidnaps Brin. They are a gang called the Faered. They tie Sam up and leave, but luckily Sam is rescued by the magpies. Sam goes back to the cabin and this time, after searching around, he finds Doyle. Doyle promises to help and tells Sam to go home.

But Sam decides to go find Brin instead. I could understand why he did this. I love my dog, and if we were in a forest like this one, I would definitely go and look for him before I had to go home. When Sam gets back to the bridge he finds that a troll is smashing everything, so instead he goes back into the forest, but this time following the river. Eventually he finds a hill that is on top of the river. When he climbs it he finds a telescope and he sees where the Faered were going. A place called Faerhenge. He decides to follow them.

When he gets there it is night time. Sam creeps into the henge and tries to free Brin, but he makes a noise and the Leafers send him to sleep. In the morning Angie tells Sam he has to get something for her because he broke it trying to rescue Brin. Angie makes her friend Phern go with him. It is clear that Angie doesn’t trust Sam. I liked the Faered in the book. It was great the way they were like fairies but sort of bad and a little dangerous.

They have to go to the Chellicery, where all the spiders live. This made me a little nervous as I’m not a big fan of spiders. But before they go there though they need a gift so that the spiders are friendly. Phern takes Sam to meet Rose who has a shop in the woods. They don’t have any money so Rose takes something from Sam (I don’t want to say what it is because it’s a big surprise.) Rose likes Sam so she also gives him a special present which will summon the Spirit of the Forest if he needs help.

Sam and Phern then go to the Chellicery, which is under a big hill. Phern is scared and she folds herself flat to hide on Sam. The Chellicery looks very scary as they approach, but when they get inside it’s actually really pretty.

A spider called Accord bungee jumps them up to a big web where they meet the chief called Six Legs because he has six legs instead of eight. There isn’t an explanation of how he lost the other legs, but maybe that will happen in a later book. Sam asks for Angie’s ingredient, but Six Legs gets suspicious. He locks Sam away in his house, which is stuck to the roof of the cave. Phern helps Sam to escape with the ingredient they need.

When they get back to Faerhenge, Angie casts her spell, but the spell goes wrong. Because of this, Angie makes all the trees in the forest sick and they get covered in amber glass. This is where the book gets its name as the amber makes the glass look dark and menacing. Then Sam remembers his gift from Rose. He uses it to summon the Spirit of the Forest for help. She appears before them all and she cures the trees. Sam frees Brin while the Spirit sorts out Angie. But then just when everything seems to be alright something huge happens! I don’t want to spoil it as it really is cool.

Will Sam and Brin escape? You have to choose! I’d never read anything like this before and I can’t wait to read the next installments. I think it is a great way to tell a story by deciding which way you want the people to go. I like the idea of being able to change what happens. I am going to read it again and change some of my choices to see if it’s much different.<


Something I find interesting is that this first choice in The Forest of Darkening Glass isn’t something that Brandon mentions in The Glass Report. According to him, Sam simply goes out in early morning to find a rare flower; nothing about a frightened awakening in the middle of the night. I’m not sure it means anything; maybe Brandon just didn’t think it was important, but it’s still intriguing.

My instinct is to choose the investigation option, but I think a poll could be in order to decide where we want to take Sam next.

What should Sam do?
  • Hide
  • Investigate

0 voters


My thinking is that Sam wouldn’t have gone on the hunt if he’d hid!!


Or, as happens to heroic types, a Something would have appeared to nudge him along. Hopefully gently, but that’s not a guarantee…


You all seemed like you couldn’t make up your mind, so I started digging at it myself.

I tried going page by page, seeing which pages would show up when I took pics of them, but none of them worked. Not even the first section shows up anymore.

I basically have the glass report memorized, but I went over it again, and something stood out to me now that I’ve read the actual book. There’s a lot of stuff Brandon just glossed over and didn’t include in his description, leaving home, the flower, his mom. That’s about forty pages he sums up in three or four sentences.

But the first time he stops to really detail something in the report is the Lovers Cradle part, which is on page 53 in the book. I went back to see if there was something special about that part, and when I tried to take a pic of the section, well, guess what happened…

It’s like I had to really know what part to look for, which means something’s been done to this book.


Hi Reader,

I’m a new Mountie, but I was wondering if the book would let you photograph the chapter associated with this passage from the Glass Report?








Hi @Reader! I imagine the next section would be at the bridge mentioned in this passage:

At lunchtime they reach the bridge, which is the farthest Sam has ever been into the woods. The bridge is owned by a wildman who wants payment to cross. Sam has to give up his lunch, but even that isn’t enough, so I chose for Sam to catch fish to pay for the crossing. I really liked this section of the book. I liked how the bridge was confusing and how the Wildman on the bridge called Wennof has a brother called Fennow and they fight over who owns the bridge.

Will the book let you photograph this portion now?


Brilliant work, @Heather!


Hmmm, none of the pages are working, at least not that I can find.

Did you find anything in the Trevis section?