Wiki: The Devoted
The Devoted referred to themselves in the first person plural (“we”). Their messages were often strange and cryptic, though their emails often signified whether recruits were on the right track. Most of their messages were delivered in the form of images—black backgrounds with neon green text.
According to Reader, The Devoted were once like a family. However, another group had “spread through [them] like a virus. [This group used The Devoted] to get to Brandon, to get to [the Mountaineers]… to get to the Book [of Briars].”
The Devoted were a group that appeared in Fragment Four. Hijacking Susan Lachmann’s website, The Forest of Darkening Glass, which was devoted to her late son, Brandon Lachmann, the Devoted used links embedded on the page to reach out to The Mountaineers. They claimed to want to complete the timeline of Brandon’s journey to the magical world, together with the Mountaineers. According to Martin Rank, “that cult still has gullible folks emailing [him] this same thing every year.” Recruits would email The Devoted various solutions, with a countdown maintained on the website to ensure proper adherence to the timeline. As the recruits solved more puzzles, The Devoted would provide new materials.
Recruits were skeptical of the Devoted but continued to work with them out of necessity in order to solve the fragment. This continued until the recruits were sent a group private message from Reader, a long time member of The Devoted who believed that the group was planning to betray the Mountaineers. Reader told recruits that she believed the Devoted was being controlled by another group, who wanted to use their numbers to get to Brandon and, after learning of the Mountaineers, the Book of Briars. This mysterious group had infected the Devoted, gaining the ear of their leader Sacha, with Reader stating she felt “like she [was] being led by someone else.” In response to the corruption, Reader agreed to assist recruits in private, sharing information when she could, as long as recruits pretended they found the information themselves.
Recruits continued to work in secret, and the Devoted initially seemed to be unaware of the group’s knowledge. The countdowns continued and the Devoted provided new material for recruits. This culminated in a mission that required a journey to the Cloisters, to obtain a disc. Recruits planned to meet with Reader, who had been assigned by Sacha to go pick up the disc. She then secretly met up with recruits and shared the information that was hidden with the disc. Unbeknownst to Reader, she was tailed by another operative who took pictures of the meeting.
Despite being aware that recruits were colluding with Reader, the Devoted pretended to be unaware for some time. However, when recruits completed Brandon’s second-to-last puzzle (a series of phone booth puzzles), the Devoted were locked out, unable to hear Brandon’s message. Afterward, the Devoted sent a message stating that new materials had been provided, with a link to a series of pictures from the Cloisters, and a message that they had “been betrayed again.” Reader warned them that Sacha would attempt to catch up at all costs, although the recruits ultimately triumphed, finding Brandon’s final message and obtaining the fourth fragment.
After the fourth fragment was completed, Reader sent one final message to recruits. The Devoted had disbanded. Sacha disappeared shortly afterward. Before she left, she said she’d been “brought into the fold,” and that her work with The Devoted was done.
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