AUTHOR'S NOTE:

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For the last 4 months, I've been working on this story behind the scenes (trying my best and failing to save it in its current condition). Why? Because...

- I'm missing a bunch of key facts

- My writing style was shit back then

- I'm just not loving how I've made some of my most beloved characters act a bit OOC, at least without the emotional/psychological context I always had in my head while writing this story

I've read all of your reviews, and have even received a load of requests to finish this story off. The truth is, I'm very attached to it, so I know I can give this story the ending and rewrite all of us deserve.

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With all this said, I'm rewriting this story (and publishing it under a new title/story on here and AO3). THE MORTAL DAWN (chapter 1 now published as of the release of this notice/chapter) is a complete overhaul (a rewrite, an improvement, a love letter) to TDWC. The plot will be much the same, but more than a few minor details will change.

These details include:

- The setting. I saw on a map where the Blackwood Mountain is supposed to be, and it's in west Canada. So, it's a bit ridiculous to have the Wendigo migrate across the continent completely undetected to go to New York on the east coast.

- Better romance. We're all here for Sam/Mike, so I'll be spoiling us all with more Daring Duo moments we all deserve. But also know that I'll be exploring the other relationship, too (just not as the main focal point).

- Multi-POV. Like the game, we're going to get a chance to get more into the other characters' heads. Not sure I'll write from EVERYONE's perspective, but I don't want The Mortal Dawn to focus solely on Sam's POV. I'm interested in exploring how the other characters affect her once Josh is removed.

- Butterfly effects. I'll still include these, but only for the POV characters featured in the individual chapters (unless people just want all of them later on). This fits better with the actual game.

- OOC. Any moments of OOC-ness are slightly intentional. I'll be starting the new story off right after everyone gets back home. Emotions are high. Grief and tragedy change people. Their core principles won't change, though.

- What? A mystery! I've also added a long-term subplot that explores the mythos of the Wendigo and Blackwood.

- Josh deserved better. So prepare for a good Josh ending. He deserves it after everything he's endured. However, I definitely don't cut him much slack. He still put Chris/Ashley through the wringer and included Sam in his game.

- Longer chapters. If you have kept up with me, you'll know my improved writing style also includes longer chapters. I can easily average around 10k per if I feel it's necessary. With that said, these longer chapters take a bit longer to write. I already have chapter 1 knocked out, and chapter 2 will soon follow. But updates may happen slower than you expect. I'll try and average at least 2-4 a month if possible.

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Thanks for sticking with the story. For those who choose to give The Mortal Dawn a shot, you're a real one!

— EnemyOfInnocence

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Here's a snippet of chapter 16 (what's taken me months and months to write to ultimately realize I just can't salvage THIS story).

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Chapter 17

Upstate New York

Sam

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"I know why you can't tell her, Emily, but why can't we know?" Jessica asked, leaning toward the large, tinted limo window. "And I still can't believe we've never known how loaded your 'rents are, Sam! I mean none of ours have private planes…"

Sam craned her neck as far back as it would go as the car passed the hangar the aircraft normally sat on standby for her parents to use on the rare times they came back home. The long, exposed scar across her back itched as she contorted her body to accommodate her frantic curiosity. The cool air gnawed at the mostly healed flesh as she curled some of her loose hair around the curve of her ear, swallowing as a familiar hollowness made her stomach flutter. "How did Mike convince them to let us use it? How did he even know about it?"

"You're really the queen of unbothered about your money…" Ashley said, distracted over by Jessica. Both girls mostly ignored the petite blonde across the limousine. "Seriously, you've kept all of this hidden…"

A hand cupped Sam's knee, stealing her attention as she tore her eyes from the hangar in the distance back to Emily. Though they had their differences, the darker-haired girl studied Sam like she was a seemingly perfect Gucci skirt that she found a secret snag in the hem. "What's wrong? Even you should be excited...a destination first date. Like, come on...The next week's gonna seriously be like the best week of your life."

Both Jessica and Ashley threw their gaze back toward Sam, who darted hers between the three other girls until she sighed. "Y'all know more about my supposed money than my parents. My dad...you know, when he's quote-unquote normal, we actually get along...well, I guess. It's my mother who…" Sam paused, her eyes sliding just to the side of Emily's head. A sigh parted her lips, and she hung her mouth as she tried to string another coherent sentence together. When she narrowed her eyes, tears stung, and she immediately rolled her eyes.