Route 616

Type: Transit (aka “The Route”; “The Tollway”; “The Low-way”; “Lost Highway”)

Entrances: There are cherries into and out of the Lost Highway, but they have been jealously guarded by the few who know. Ball-Hitch Mitch famously used only the Route to crash, but he claims he has now forgotten how. A short-lived crasher named Krup also had some luck using the it before he vanished.

Connections: At some point the tollway goes through Bulgone, Churmish, Empty Breath, the Silent City and many more.

The Place:Perhaps the longest and most enigmatic transit path between Domains of the Pit is known as Route 616. It has no known specific beginning and no discernable end. No known map exists for the whole thing, but that hasn’t stopped Legend Kligrapp from shelling out some serious cash and barters for any incomplete maps jotted down by crashers during their time there. Some say he might be getting close to a composite of the whole thing, but odds are he wouldn’t tell anyone if he was.

The route varies in width and surface — sometimes 8-lane concrete, sometimes 2-lane blacktop, and still other times reduced to dirt and gravel cow-path through twisted vegetation. Its appearance seems to be thematically tied to whatever domain it runs through; however, there are certain common aesthetic elements. One such characteristic is that the road or the land surrounding the road always seems to have come out of the 1940s – 1950s, but with no tie to a specific place or culture.

So long as it might have existed (or be a twisted version of what existed) somewhere Topside during that two-decade span, it can be found on Route 616. Rusting signs for roadside businesses in various languages (cafés, truckstops, and adult book stores being the most prevalent), Quonset huts, or even log-bridges might be passed by or traversed. Fairly ubiquitous are abandoned vehicles, some with what appear to be human remains either inside or partially extricated. Another common theme to the “look” of the route is that it’s perpetually late afternoon and a blazing red sun is always in exactly the wrong place to comfortably drive without using sunglasses or welder’s goggles.

It is possible to bring a vehicle from another domain which should be considered the preferred option. Some of the abandoned vehicles may run with a few hours’ tinkering by a competent mechanic and scrounging the other vehicles for parts, but staying that long in the same place performing such a conspicuous activity is generally a bad idea.

Driving the highway carries its own set of perils. The widest sections of road are occasionally choked with wreckage, and the narrowest might involve rough terrain that only four-wheel drive or a sturdy motorcycle can traverse. Vehicles brought from other domains will run out of fuel eventually, though it seems that vehicles cobbled together from those abandoned on the shoulders do not (if you want to take the chance with them). There is a constant threat of a Trooper (see below) finding you out, and the hitchers on the side of the road, while often useful, cannot be trusted. Food or drink are only available at Rest Stops, and certain cautions are absolutely paramount when visiting those sites.


The “Rest Areas” are ghastly parodies of those which dot the interstate highway system in the U.S. These nondescript buildings contain a confusing array of amenities, both benevolent and malevolent. The Gumper cited in his journal of a trip down the Route that you could buy a fresh Snickers bar and a Diet Pepsi and leave without incident, or get eaten by a horrific monster when attempting to leave through the front doors.

Citizens:The Tollway has its own native Lost population. Most try unsuccessfully to hitch rides while others simply plod along toward the sunset, seemingly unconcerned with passers by." If you pull one of the hitchhikers off the highway, you can have it pay your toll.

Authority: The unwary crasher who tries to use the Tollway for transit is apt to encounter one or more “Troopers”. These screws apparently exist solely to torment travelers (be they lost or crashers) who are unlucky enough to catch their eye, and are known for their vicious brutality. They look like horribly burn-scarred bipedal males that wear khaki uniforms, mirrored aviator sunglasses and campaign hats. They drive either flat-black sedans of nonspecific make and model (Cruisers) or archaic skinny-wheeled motorcycles (Zippers).

Certain “sanctioned” modes of transportation are not bothered by Troopers, such as Furlough Bus Line vehicles and Hellcabs. Eye-witness reports, while extremely rare, suggest Troopers arrest for any of a myriad set of confusing and seemingly contradictory rules that may be arbitrary or may be based on some Gordian code. No Crasher captured by a trooper has ever escaped or been released, nor is there any idea where captives are taken once apprehended (there are reports of evasion, however, and these suggest that troopers can be incapacitated through ballistic and blunt trauma.)

While troopers do carry any sidearms, they prefer to subdue their victims by either running them over or forcing them off the road and then physically beating them with long, cruel batons made of a material that “looks like laquered hickory but feels like lead re-bar covered in nettles”. Once unconscious or non-ambulatory, they are cuffed and tossed into the back of a cruiser for transport. Cruisers can be stolen, but operating one is impossible with your eyes open.

It is theorized from certain telling behavior that troopers are blind. Instead of using sight to navigate, they instead “see” the memories of those who travel the road and can isolate individuals based on those memories. Taking certain mind-altering drugs may enable a ‘crasher to fool a Trooper by faking memory patterns (at the expense of cognition, of course)

Cost: Entering and exiting the Tollway always requires the traveler to pay a toll in the form of a memory. There are no tollbooths and no signs – the toll just happens. It might be relatively small (hearing “I love you” from a parent) or large (the birth of a child), but it is always something of value to the traveler. It also doesn’t have to be a memory the traveler has formed yet – there are records of travelers who have “forgotten” things once they happen in the future (Queer Wookie came back from a trip down the Route positive he’d not lost any memories, only to find out two months later after waking up in a pool of blood in his apartment that he’d forgotten he was stabbed in a bar fight the night before.)

If you are looking for a more conservative transit route through Downside, the traveler would be wise to use the Howling Corridor, because while somewhat expedient, Route 616 does carry with it some fairly harsh penalties for the unprepared. However, if you are cunning enough and lucky enough to traverse the Route in some protected fashion, it is a safe and quick way to get from one domain to another.

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