It all started with a mysterious message in the Slopend Spam: “Join us on the most dangerous Slopend expedition yet: Expedition Transylvania! Vampires are active again, and we need adventurers like you to unmask them and free the region of this threat. The expedition will take us to the Romanian region of Transylvania, home to the one and only Count Dracula.”
25 brave Slopers dared to undergo this challenge. Already in the train from Delft to the Carpathian mountains in Transylvania, the need for a capable expedition leader became clear. So the expedition team decided to hold an election. Here are some of the highlights:
Good morning. I hope you have slept well in your new base camp. Some of you have slept in a shelter made with a tarp, some people have brought a tent. You now notice Willemijn coming out of the woods and if you look behind her you see a fully bushcrafted shelter. Apparently she wants to show off her bushcraft skills.
Arjan, Felix and Max were up late last night, but are starting to roll out of their shelters as well.
It has been a tumultuous day, but the basecamp has been set up. Everyone had to find their place in the expedition team and there has been intense discussion over who should lead the Expedition Team. At the same time the rumor goes that there is already a forbidden romance in the team. Today there hasn’t been any sign of vampires, but there is something sinister in the air… It has been a very close election race between Jan, Pim, Mark and Mayke, especially between the latter two. But in the end, Mayke narrowly won the vote, only one vote ahead of her main competitor!
Now the nightfall is setting in and everyone slowly goes to sleep in their tents, hoping that their gut instincts are wrong and that it will be a quiet and peaceful night…
Mayke, the new expedition leader, wakes up first. She starts to prepare a nice garlic soup for the rest while the others are still sleeping. Slowly more people start to wake up, until Jeroen wakes up: “The vampires have attacked”, he screams, “and they took Pim”. Everyone runs to Pim’s shelter. His shelter is destroyed and there are parts of him spread out. When you turn around you notice that Max is hanging dead with his head in a self made swingover. Somehow he’s still holding a bottle of wine.
Pim died, he was the survivalist.
Max died, he was Pim’s lover and an AC member.
Today the expedition team mourned over the loss of two of their members. But whilst some were mourning, others decided that the basecamp had to be defended better and so they spent all day building fortifications around the basecamp. They used pulleys, beams, ropes and much more! But while they were building, people started to gossip behind their backs. What if one of the people acting like they are building stuff for the basecamp, is actually just pretending so people don’t know they’re a vampire! Suddenly an angry mob stormed Daniël and used pulleys to hang him from the freshly built fortifications!
Daniël died, he was a Stalker.
Everybody goes to sleep.
Uneasy that you still haven’t found any vampires yet, you didn’t sleep too well this night. Fortunately none of you are showing real signs of becoming a vampire and the contraptions you built to defend the camp are looking quite good. But will the smell of Daniël’s blood attract the vampires to your camp?
Mark wakes up first and quietly walks around the camp to see if there are any sign of vampires, careful not to step in any of the traps. There! A broken rope and footsteps on the ground! He follows the steps, but they don’t seem to be going to one of the shelters. Mark starts to get hungry and makes some healthy oatmeal breakfast. Everybody shows up for breakfast.
Nobody died last night.
Despite it being a clear sky today, all of a sudden the sound of thunder cracks. And a lightning bolt flashes to the middle of the basecamp. It seems like Zeus had a talk with Amber and together they decided to take her back to Olympus.
Amber died, she was a blessed one.
Today a small team led by Jeroen set out to find the castle of Dracula. They climbed a small mountain, but from the top they had a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains and forests, but no castle was found so they returned back empty handed. At the basecamp Jorgis went out to forage and came back with a basket full of berries, where he was surprised by a group that had prepared a special curry for him, which turned out to have 100 cloves of garlic! Jorgis loudly hissed and fell to the ground.
Jorgis died, he was a vampire.
It is now night and everyone goes to their tents.
After the expedition of yesterday and the successful vampire hunt you are pleased with yourselves. You know that there are more vampires out there, but at least they might be a bit scared right now.
It’s windy during the night. One of the ropes you hung up is making noise against the wood and sometimes you hear a cracking of a tree branch that couldn’t hold it, followed by it falling on the ground.
When Joline wakes up she walks around the camp as has been customary the last few days. “Oh no!”, she screams when she sees a giant tree branch on Arthur’s shelter. There, Arthur is lying very still. Immediately Joline tries to get the branch off, but she can’t do it alone. She asks Anna and Jan for help. “1, 2, 3, now” she says as they all simultaneously lift the branch off Arthur’s shelter. “Huh, what are you doing?” says Arthur, still sleepy. He has slept through the entire night and hasn’t noticed anything. “I’m so glad you’re still alive”, says Joline. Everyone shows up for breakfast.
Nobody died last night.
Today Kristel and Rob were out getting some wood for the fire, when they suddenly found the ruins of a large stone watchtower between the trees. “There might be vampires here, we should get the others!” Kristel said. They ran back to the basecamp and ten others followed them to the tower. The tower was full of cobwebs and at times it sounded like there was a faint laughter coming from higher up in the tower, though they couldn’t find anyone. “This tower feels like it’s haunted, what a scary place.” Lauranne said and everyone else agreed. “I actually quite like it!” Justin said, “Looks like a nice place to live.” The others didn’t like this, so they threw him from the top of the tower!
Justin died, he was a wildling.
The darkness falls and everyone goes to sleep.
Rob goes to sleep after a successful vampire hunt. If it goes this well, they might be able to survive this trip. And we lost only about 10% of our expedition members. He decides not to practice his werewolf sounds tonight as that might scare some people.
The next morning Rob wakes up from a dreadful screech from Maurits. “I was about to practice my yoga, but then I saw this” said Maurits. The bodies of Felix and Mark are drained of all their blood and stacked upon each other. Is this revenge for the vampires you killed?
You decide to eat some oatmeal as breakfast to remember Mark as he always loved it.
Mark died, he was a star gazer.
Felix died, he was cupido’s fabulous twin.
Everyone is going about their day. Today is a sunny day and Jan is taking a moment to relax in the shade of a tree to the side of the basecamp. In the camp people are going about their business: Veerle and Matthias are preparing dinner, Maurits and Arjan are maintaining their gear and Chloë and Mayke are busy studying a map of the surrounding area. Then, out of nowhere, a shiny bottle with holy water flies through the air, hitting Jan in the face. Everybody looks up and for a second nothing happens… Then Jan lets out a harrowing screech and whilst screaming in an unknown, evil language, he turns into dust!
Jan died, he was a silent one.
After the remarkable incident of this afternoon, many expedition members were in a good mood. They killed so many vampires already, there couldn’t be that many left, right? A group led by Anna went out to hunt some more vampires, when they heard a sound from some of the bushes. “Shhh, there’s something in the bushes,” Jeroen said. Mayke drew her bow, aimed for the sound … and twaanggg! Shot the arrow in the bush. A loud roar sounded and a very angry bear rushed out of the bushes. The party ran away as fast as they could, but the bear was hot on their heels. “He’s catching up!” Jeroen said. The others shared a quick nod and one of them made Jeroen fall over. While Jeroen got mauled by the bear, the others got away safely.
Jeroen died, he was a slut.
Everyone returns to their tents to sleep.
On this peaceful morning Matthias wakes up early to go for a small walk in the forest. The birds are chirping and to his left a small squirrel is climbing up a tree. Next to the tree is a bit of tinder. Matthias takes it with him and returns to Basecamp. When he’s almost there he hears a loud scream. “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!”. Matthias quickens his pace. When he’s back he asks “What happened?”. “Oh Rob just bumped his toe.”, Jeroen answers. Meanwhile everybody woke up from the primal noise. Everybody, except… nobody.
No one died last night.
Today the expedition team decided to make some wooden stakes, because those are used to kill vampires, right? After a couple of hours of work they had a nice set of wooden stakes to hunt vampires with, but where are all the vampires? “How do we know if they will work?” Willemijn asked. “Maybe we should test them first,” Chloë replied. “But how do we test them if we don’t have any vampires?” Rob asked. Everyone fell silent for a moment… “Hey guys, what are you talking about?” Artur, who just came back from foraging berries, asked. “Get him!” It sounded out of the crowd. It turns out wooden stakes are able to kill more than just vampires…
Artur died, he was an inquisitor.
Some more disappointed than others, everyone went to bed.
Rob and Willemijn are sitting around the campfire and place their wooden stakes in the fire. Slowly more people start waking up and joining them in this soothing activity. “What are we gonna do for today?”, Willemijn asks. “Let’s wait for our expedition leader, she will have a plan”, Rob answers. They wait around the campfire until Mayke arrives. After waiting until past the normal breakfast time, they decide to take a look at what is going on. When they arrive at Maykes shelter, they see Mayke laying there with a wooden stake going through her belly. Not far from that is Kristel with the same fate.
Mayke is dead, she was the casanova.
Kristel is dead, she was a sibling.
When you listen carefully, you hear that Mayke is still actually not dead yet. With her last breath she says: “I make Maurits the expedition leader”. While some people distrusted him, their faith is completely restored and they crown Maurits as new expedition leader.
After Maurits has recovered from the two tragic deaths of last night, he steps on a big rock and starts a speech:
“After our high of 3 vampires in a row we now reached a critical tipping point.
Jeroen died: our very own monogamous slut.
Artur died: he will keep living in the other inquisitor.
Kristel: I’m certain that she saved multiple lives. Only the bat is safe now from the fellow beasts who want our blood.
Mayke: she was our leader. Not much of a talker, but a great listener.
I will try to follow her in that and bring more balance to my talking for the best of both worlds. Not all of you may trust me, but we have to work together. Tonight we serve Mayke’s garlic soup with the knispering sound of vampire on campfire.”
Today was a dreary day, but Maurits, as the new expedition leader, decided that not a minute could be wasted! The whole expedition team was mobilized to search for traces of vampires and a team led by Pauline went out into the forest. Meanwhile, the others searched the whole basecamp for any evil traces. Maurits even brought a smoking pipe and started calling other expedition members: “My dear Watson”. Suddenly a scream sounded and everyone ran towards the scream, armed with wooden stakes, pitchforks, torches and everything else a professional lynching mob brings along. Lisa was standing at one of the tents and silently pointed inside. In the middle of the small tent there was some kind of satanistic statue, with all kinds of skulls next to it. “W-Who’s tent is this?” Arjan asked. “Mine, why what’s going on?” Joline, who was standing at the back and couldn’t quite see what was happening, replied…..
Joline died, she was a cursed one.
Having satisfied their rage, everyone went to sleep.
Most people are a bit lazy today, because it’s the weekend and the expedition has been going on for a while. But it’s Saturday, yoga day, so with much effort everyone gets out of their shelter and starts doing some yoga poses. “It would be nice if someone could instruct us”, Veerle says, “Anyone wants to do that?”. “Our expedition leader should probably do it” Matthias says, “Speaking of him, where is he?”. Everyone gets out of their baby pose and quickly stands up to look for Maurits. He is laying in pieces spread out near his shelter.
Maurits died, he was Count Dracula.
Chloë and Willemijn remember there still has to be a new expedition leader, so they decide to look in Maurits’ shelter and they find the message: “Veerle will be your new expedition leader”.
During lunch today, the expedition team was discussing ways to find vampires. Veerle told the other expedition members that she once read how in the good ol’ days, they used to bind witches to a stone and throw them in a river. If the witch would float, that would prove she was a witch and they would burn her. “Do vampires float?” Chloë asked. “Probably, maybe we should test it” Willemijn replied. But who will we test in on? “You can try it on me, as long as you don’t let me drown,” Arjan said. And so it happened that Arjan (trying to hide a big smile) was tied to a heavy stone and thrown in a deep river. One minute passed…. and another minute…. and another…. Still no sign of Arjan. “So that means he wasn’t a vampire?” “We killed an innocent person?” The whole team felt guilty, but Rob most of all. Out of guilt, he drowned himself.
Arjan died, he was a jester.
Rob died, he was a medic.
Arjan wins, congratulations 🥳
The game continues though, just as life does.
Everyone goes to bed.
After the loss of two innocent expedition members, it was hard to sleep this night. Everyone is overthinking their life choices. Why go on this dangerous adventure? Why kill innocent expedition members every day? Why stay at the same camp every day where the vampires can find you? Is this all worth it to kill the vampires of this area?
But no, we have to stay. We’ve gotten so far, we’ve lost so many. We can’t go back now when it’s almost over.
With newfound courage Chloë stepped out of her shelter to face the day, shocked, but not discouraged by Matthias’ dead body.
Matthias died, he was Cupido.
This morning, Willemijn started building a large fire, just because she likes fires. She just kept on adding wood and soon the fire was at least 2m in diameter. The others started taking interest, wondering what the fire was for. “Why are you building a fire?” “Where did you get all that firewood?” “Why such a large fire?” “What’s your favourite animal?” “Why waste perfectly good wood that we could use for wooden stakes?” Were some of the questions asked. “Jeez, I just wanted to make a pretty fire,” Willemijn replied, “I didn’t expect some kind of Spanish Inquisition!”
A loud “NOBODY EXPECTS THE SPANISH INQUISITION” sounded and Willemijn got spartan kicked into her own fire.
Willemijn died, she was a skin changer. She was turned to the dark side. (aka vampire)
This afternoon Lauranne went for a nice walk outside. During the walk a crow landed next to her, dropping a sealed letter in front of her. “Interesting, I’ll read it when I get back to my tent.” Lauranne thought and she continued her walk. On her way back, she met Pauline, who warned her: “Don’t go back to the basecamp, horrible things await you!” “Nonsense,” Lauranne replied, “we’re having a meeting and I have to be there.” She continued and a rumbling sounded in the sky, even though the sky was clear. “It’s probably nothing.” Lauranne said. Upon returning to the basecamp, she went to the others to have the meeting. They stood around her, as to greet her, but out of nothing daggers were drawn and she was stabbed many times, though she was still alive. But then she noticed one among the killers. “Et tu, [Redacted?]” She said….
Only the final stab proved fatal.
Lauranne died, she was an interceptor.
Darkness falls and what’s left of the expedition team goes to bed.
It is so silent. It has been over 10% lost for a while, but it seems like ever since Maurits is gone it’s been too silent. And since Matthias and Willemijn are gone there hasn’t been a real good campfire. At least everyone has been able to improve their shelter with materials from other shelters. Veerle now has an awesome 15 m^2 shelter with 4 tarps for full rain and wind protection. Chloë has built her shelter in a nearby tree. She used a few of the wooden stakes as base and attached them to the tree using sjorringen. On top of that is a floor covered in moss. The roof is made with a few more wooden stakes and a tarp.
The sun is already up though, so everyone gets out of their villa and they start counting heads. “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, everyone is still here.”, Veerle says, “Maybe we can finally start to be on holiday.”
Nobody died today
The expedition is clearly getting close to its end, there are only 5 expedition members left. Tensions are getting very high and there’s a lot of mistrust. Nobody was allowed to leave the camp today. Instead everyone stayed at the camp, plotting against each other. “It has to be Lisa!” Chloë exclaimed. “No it’s clearly Anna, look at how suspicious she is!” Veerle replied. “Can’t you see this fighting among us doesn’t solve anything?!” Lisa shouted. “Let’s instead work together and make a trap for the vampire(s)!” And so it happened that the five remaining dug a large pit, with sharp wooden spikes at the bottom of it. “O-okay, now we calmly and democratically decide who we will lynch,” Veerle said with a shaking voice. Immediately all hell broke loose, with people shouting and throwing harsh accusations. “J-just calm down” Veerle begged, but no one seemed to notice. Then suddenly she just snapped and with blind rage she pushed Anna into the pit. And so Veerle made the choice…
Anna died, she was a first year sloper
And then there were just four…
“I tell her, I tell her not. I tell her,”, Pauline says while she picks petals from a flower. “I tell her not. I tell her!”. She says as she picks the last petal. She immediately goes to Lisa’s shelter to tell her. There she falls into Lisa’s arms and whispers “I love you”. They stand there for who knows how long until Pauline asks “What to do about Veerle and Chloë?”. “No need to worry, I’ve got a plan.”
They return to the fireplace where no fire is burning. Veerle is already there. “Why are you both so happy?” Veerle notes. “We’ve got a plan to kill the last vampire. Chloë has fled to the Castle, but I know how to get there.”. She shows an old script to the others. It’s a map of the Hunyad Castle. “I found this in Chloë’s shelter.” Lisa says.
It’s a long journey through the rough terrain of the Carpathian Mountains. All of a sudden they enter a small village. It has nice colorful buildings and there’s a small pedestrian bridge. Veerle is walking in eager to find the castle. Lisa makes a sign with her hand to stop Pauline. Veerle looks back and sees the other two have stopped. “Why have you stopped?” Veerle asks. “We will have to leave you here.”, Lisa answers. “But Chloë is still in the castle, we have to find…”. Veerle wasn’t able to finish her sentence as the Liars Bridge she was standing on started collapsing. The steel construction started to form cracks and soon the bridge couldn’t hold its own weight anymore. She tried to get off, but she wasn’t quick enough.
“There’s something I need to tell you.” Lisa says and she looks Pauline straight in the eyes, “I am Count Dracula, Chloë is already dead. Do you want to live with me in the Hunyad Castle?”. “Yes of course, Lisa” Pauline answers as she enfolds Lisa in her arms. The two lovers go on living a long and happy life in their very own castle.
And thus our expedition comes to an end. We warned you it would be dangerous, didn’t we? Congratulations to our winners: Arjan, Lisa and Pauline! 🥳
-Written and organised by Friso Smit and Samuel Dullaart