During the hiatus between Blurryface and Trench, a website featuring background lore and story for the concept of Trench was posted.


On April 21, 2018, reddit user jakedello, found a URL hidden in a GIF on the Vessel page of the Twenty One Pilots store. The URL, resulted in a page which read:


Frame from the Vessel GIF


Frame from the Vessel GIF

404 ER_ROR you are in violation. thEy mustn't know you were here. no one should ever find out About this. you can never tell anyone about thiS -- for The sake of the others' survIval, you muSt keep this silent. we mUst keeP silent. no one can know. no one can know. no o ne c an kn ow_

(Violation Code. 15398642_14)

The still frame from the GIF on the webstore also revealed more of a URL. /found was after, and /clancy.html was found by combining multiple frames. In between /found and /clancy were a block of 9 dots, with the lower rightmost dot being separated from the rest by an underscore. These dots relate to the songs on the cover of Blurryface, and their track numbers, 1, 5, 3, 9, 8, 6, 4, 2, and 14. These numbers are identical to the violation code found at Substituting this code into the URL produced

At this URL, multiple images were found, along with text which revealed details about a character by the name of Clancy, and their struggle with Dema.

On May 9, 2018, another letter was added to the page.

On May 30, 2018, a GIF of a cheatah with letters was added.

On June 30, 2018, several more images were added, as well as an audio clip, which when reversed was revealed to by Tyler Joseph saying "We are Banditos". Additionally, the filename for this audio clip was 2018_514_3_8.m4a. When these numbers are assigned letters, they spell out TR_EN_C_H, the name of the album.

On July 1, 2018, more images were added.

On July 5 and July 6, 2018 more images, letters and GIFs were added, this time revealing the color yellow as significant to the era.

On July 8, 2018 a photograph and letter were added. This was the last update before "Jumpsuit" and "Nico and the Niners" were released.

On July 18, 2018 another letter from Clancy was added, this time describing the Jumpsuit music video.

Posts made on

The following are all the posts made on in reverse order (starting with the oldest first)

988 06MOON 18

Cla ncy-988-06MOON 18 -1

Clancy's Journal

The first post on the website was an image of a typed journal from someone called Clancy. On the side of this page were the words, in pen, WEST WALL IS BLOCKED EAST IS UP. It was posted under 988 06MOON 18, which is Josh Dun's birthday (18 June, 1988)

The Perplexities of the Dema horizon didn't occur to me until my ninth year. It was then that I began to contemplate the existential, and decide what type of impression I wanted my life to make. Naturally, to fuel my hope, I looked out upon the distance of the land that had cultivated me, only this time with a new awareness of the obstruction that my youthful ignorance had allowed me to overlook. Was it there the whole time? How had I not seen something so obvious? I am reminded of the moment daily, as the idealization directly collides with a unique hope for my own future. As a child, I looked upon Dema with wonder, today, I am wrought with frustration, as I spend each day squinting for a glimpse of the top of the looming wall that has kept us here. It was upon my ninth year that I learned that Dema wasn’t my home. This village, after all of this time, was my trap.
Before I became realized, I had deep affection for Dema. There was a wonderful structure to the city that put my cares to rest. Streets and locations were dependable, and the responsibilities of the day seemed to be accomplished with minimal effort. Once a task was taught and understood, we delighted in our ability to complete our obligations timely, and felt secure in knowing tomorrow’s duties would be accomplished with the same efficiency. We all worked to represent our bishop with honor, and knew that each inhabitant of our region had a like-minded dedication to consistency.
Keons embodied the spirit of this dedication. Of Dema’s nine bishops, Keons was revered as unwavering and forthright, possessing the ability to achieve focus that was rare for most on our region. We all admired him, and felt honored to be inhabitants his region. While we had heard legion of the ruthlessness of other bishops, Keons possessed a stoic demeanor unlike anyone I had ever met, and we were all proud to serve.
- Clancy

988 12MOON 01

Ba dge

The FPE badge

This moon signifies Tyler's birthday (1 December, 1988). This post was an image titled "ba_dge.jpg" and appeared to have the bottom of the FPE logo, with the following text.


The numbers in this post also correspond to the numbers in the URL.

009 12MOON 29


Vultures on a Tower of Silence

This moon signifies the release of self-titled album, Twenty One Pilots. This image is of some vultures on a Tower of Silence with the caption "d_e_ath__eat_E_rz"

011 07MOON 08

Se elf

Andre Weil

This moon signifies the release of Regional at Best. This image is of the mathematician Andre Weil who, as part of a group of mathematicians, introduced the mathematical symbol "∅" which has been used extensively by Twenty One Pilots in place of the letter "O". This file was called se__elf.jpg

013 01MOON 08

Ti su p

The map

This moon signifies the release of Vessel. This entry is of a large map of what is presumed to be Dema. An early version of the file that was saved on the website also had a hidden compass. This was since changed to just leave a torn corner in the upper left, with no hidden compass. At the center of the map, which is believed to be based on a tower of silence, are 9 circles, each with a name. These are (left to right, row by row) ANDRE, LISBEN, KEONS, NICO, REISDRO, SACARVER, NILLS, VETOMO, LISTO. These nine represent the bishops, with Clancy referring several times in his writing to a bishop called Keons. The names appear to be derived from Blurryface lyrics; e.g. AND REpeat yesterday's dance, aliVE TOMOrrow with the exceptions of NICO and LISBEN, which fit lyrics for "Stressed Out" and "Polarize" respectively with one letter changed; i.e. "wheN I GOt older..." "feeL IS DENial..."

Underneath the map, which had the filename "_ti_su_p.png" was the following caption:

gEt out. the compAss lies. they don't control you. get out. the compaSs lies. They don't control you. get out. the compass lIeS. they don't control yoU.get out. the comPass lies. they don't control you.
(The capitalized letters spell out EAST IS UP).

017 02MOON 12


Yellow Lines

This moon signifies the date of the Grammy Awards ceremony at which Twenty One Pilots were winners. This image features yellow lines and markings which tie in to 018 07MOON 01.

017 07MOON 07

017 07MOON 07

Clancy's Letter

This moon signifies the date the hiatus began. This image was another letter from Clancy with the following text. Several of the letters were mising and these are in brackets. These missing letters spell out "you are still sleeping"

To refer to Dema as m[y] home has never felt accurate. Dema, t[o] me, has simply been the place that I’ve existed, or, the ‘slot’ they’ve put me in. I’ve heard stories abo[u]t the ide[a] of “home,” and its depiction has always seemed warm f[r]om the storyt[e]llers’s de[s]cription. [T]here was a romant[i]c ownership of the p[l]ace they inhabited that I admired, but cou[l]d never relate to. Thi[s] place, my p[l]ace, however, s[e]ems devoid of the romance and wond[e]r that the old stories tell. But somewhere between the iron order and infallible [p]recis[i]on of Dema, a hum of wo[n]der exists. It’s this quiet wonder that my mind tends to [g]ets lost in. This hope of discovery alone has birthed a new version of myself; A better version, I hope, that will find a way to experience what’s beyond these colossal walls.
- Clancy

017 07MOON 16


The Cheetah

This entry is a GIF of a cheetah, with the following letters appearing in consecutive frames :

Taking out the letters "NICO NICO" reveals "U STILL DON’T KNOW HIS REAL NAME DO U?", while also revealing the name Nico, who is presumed to be Blurryface.

017 07MOON 17

2018 514 3 8

The Banditos

This entry is a halftone image of people looking over a cliff. These are later revealed to be the Banditos from the Jumpsuit music video. The image had the following caption.

__n_ot_myo_nly_fri_en d
This image had the filename 2018_514_3_8.jpg. When these numbers are assigned letters, they spell out TR_EN_C_H, the name of the album.

018 07MOON 01


The Vulture

This entry is a GIF of a vulture looking around, titled i.gif.

018 07MOON 01

E sr eve r

Clancy's Letter


Clancy's Letter with the yellow overlayed

This entry is another letter from Clancy.

A lifeless light surrounds us each night, Never could I imagine that something so luminous could feel so dark. It’s this glow that reminds us of the dreamless existence we’ve been sentenced to. But what I call a sentence, others accept as normalcy. How did they so efficiently eradicate the dreams within us? When the bishops instituted Vialism as mandate, they effectively reversed the hope that many arrived with.
Am I the only one who realizes that we’ve been lied to? Am I the only one not afraid of the notion that the nine have hijacked our trust, and extinguished the hope that once motivated our existence? We used to close our eyes and picture a better life, now this city is full of dry eyes caught in a trance of obedience, devoid of any trace of an identity. The only significant light I’ve seen has been in the eyes of those smeared - such a curious sight, to see bright eyes strangled by the darkness of bishop hands. As their penance fades, so dims their memory of something more. My hope of something more is all I have in this rigid tomb, and I will not let it die.
- Clancy
When the image of the yellow markings from 017 02MOON 12 is overlayed on this image, the vertical line spells "we are banditos", and the markings spell out the word "trench"

018 07MOON 05

O ut


This entry is an image of a landscape, simply titled _o_ut_.GIF.

018 07 MOON 05

He a vy

Clancy's Note

This entry is another letter from Clancy. The white squares on the outer edges of the image correspond to the letters "WAKE UP". It is titled _he_a_vy_.jpg.

They’re asleep. The night took forever to arrive, and now we’re almost
ready. We’ve studied the watchers and know that there’s no chance that
we can step through unnoticed. So, instead of trying to hide
ourselves, we’ll make sure that all of us are noticed. It’s been one
year since the last convocation, and tomorrow’s Annual Assemblage of
Glorified will be the biggest spectacle this concrete coffin of a city
has seen all year. If we time it right, we’ll divert the attention of
the watchers and finally take the step though. We’ve had no contact,
but we’re hoping the other side will be able to find a way in. We’re
not sure of the breach location, but we are willing to risk being
smeared in order to find it. We know that we must go lower, and wait
for the torches. They’ve never seen anything quite like this, and by
morning, everything will be different. I’m terrified and excited, all
the same time. They don’t control us.
- Clancy

018 07MOON 06

They ca ntseeFCE300

They can't see FCE300

This entry is a GIF of torches titled _they_ca_ntseeFCE300. #FCE300 is a hex shade of yellow.

018 07MOON 08


Clancy's Note

This entry is another letter from Clancy.

I’ve made it out.
I feel weightless. I know that place had always held me down, but for the first time, I can feel the beauty that I had hoped for. It’s been three nights now, and my breathing has changed. It’s slower, and more full. It’s like the air out here is worth taking in.
I can see it back in the distance, and I’d be lying if I said that it wasn’t constantly on my mind. I wish I could turn that fear off, but maybe the further I go, the less that fear will affect me. I feel betrayed by what I assumed was home. If I ever end up back there, I won’t be able to look at it the same way.
They are asleep. They’re so sure that the know the truth, and carry on throughout their day with the same meaningless tasks. They’ve forgotten to look up, and to look outward, to understand that this isn’t about ‘in there’.
This is about ‘out here.’
This new world surrounds me. I used to think the walls back home were massive – these green cliffs engulf me, and place me right in the middle – Trench is quite precarious at times, and it’s easy to grow weary. But it’s real, and it’s true, and I’d much rather endure reality than to mindlessly be obedient to a life that someone else created for me., I’ve obsessed about this world for so long, that it feels more like home than anything I’ve experienced. Somehow, in this vast openness, I feel more protected than ever.
The landscape feels endless, and I’ve found myself walking for hours without any true evidence of getting further down. But I’ve seen plants and colors out here that I’m not sure I’ve witnessed before. There’s a beauty in the strangest places, and the curiosity of what’s next continues to motivate me.
I wonder who else is out here. If what I assumed inside is true, there’s got to be more like me. Sometimes I’ll feel a presence, or think I see something in my periphery, only to look up and see nothing. It’s just another thing that I’m afraid of that also excites me. It all just confirms all of the things that I hoped to be true for all of this time.
I am out here and I am very alive. I’m sometimes scared, but always discovering something new, and I will not stop. Cover me!
- Clancy

018 07MOON 08

2 1 2

Tyler in the Jumpsuit video

This entry is an inverted halftone image of Tyler lying in a stream from the Jumpsuit music video. The shape of this photograph matches the shape of the paper's Clancy's latest letter was written on, leading us to the conclusion that it is written on the back.

018 07MOON 18


Clancy's account of the Jumpsuit video

This entry is another letter from Clancy, this time detailing the events of the Jumpsuit music video.

I can’t believe what I just saw. I'm still trying to understand. This whole time I was sure I was all alone-a single soul in this vast unknown world. But a few days into this trek, I looked down to see a figure headed the same way I was. I’ve tucked myself in these caves and crevices, trying my best to keep hidden, but he was out in the open, making his exhausted journey right down the middle of Trench. I was curious enough to follow alongside the path with him. He seemed unaffected by the fear of the unknown -  the fear that tends to cripple me. To him, the terrain seemed familiar, as if he had been out here before.
While lost in my curiosity, they appeared. I had heard about them back in Dema, but to my knowledge, the stories were merely myth. Ten, twenty, and then what seemed to by a hundred Banditos appeared upon the cliff, all looking down at him. He only stopped for a moment to look back up at them, and then continued on his way. His energy changed, and I wasn’t sure if he was frightened or encouraged by their ominous presence.
They warned him of what was about to come.
It was a blur. First seeing the figure, then the Banditos, only to now have by eyes opened to the oncoming Bishop upon a white house drawing closer in the distance.
The figure halted, and waited. When the Bishop stopped, I was sure he looked up, directly at me, so I hid - deeper back in a cave. The presence of the robed rider seemed to paralyze the man. He stood still as he was approached, powerless as the outstretched hands smeared his neck. I had never seen a Bishop possess power like this. Keons had always seemed gentle and warm - this Bishop, at least out here, seemed like something else.
So I ran, and I’ve been running for as long as my legs and lungs can handle. Maybe this note will be my proof that what I witnessed was not a dream. A million questions race through my brain. Am I not the only one traveling through Trench.
I’ll travel a little further, and maybe I’ll get a moment of rest tonight. I may have made a mistake, leaving. This spot, between two places, is beginning to feel like an endless and hopeless abyss. At least Dema is a place that I know, and at times like this, I miss a lot about what I know. This will all be much tougher than I imagined. Nothing out here is familiar. I’ve witnessed the presence of others for the first time today, and I feel more alone than ever. Cover me.
- Clancy

019 01MOON 22

This moon signifies the date that the Chlorine music video was released, the same day that this entry appeared. It is a typed letter from Clancy, saying that Keons found him and he is back in Dema. Some of the letters are doubled on top of each other and they spell ‘sodeepnedbayou’, which if played in reverse, says "we are banditos".

I can’t face this page for long enough to write what I’m truly feeling. I am only wrought with more questions about what I assumed to be true, questions about what my own path is, and the question that has plagued me every night that I lie here, back in the city: Did I give up?
The force I saw between him and his bishop seemed tense to me, and frightening. But the memory of that exchange has had time to fester and replay in my mind long enough that I’m questioning if I even remembered it correctly. I assumed the bishop was forcefully retrieving his subject, but now I wonder if the bishop was actually trying to save him, and he refused.
I stayed out there for five days after I watched it happen. I haven’t seen him since. Maybe he got away, and was still out in Trench with me. Maybe the bishop chased him down, and brought him home.
Did I just call this place home?
After all of the endless beauty that I saw out there, am I now convincing myself that I’m actually better off within these confines?
I admit, it was more difficult than I expected. Nothing could have prepared me for how much the ‘unknown’ can consume me. Vast landscapes and endless possibilities, yet coupled with endless danger. I became anxious. I became tired. I became hungry. Every step I took became harder than the last, jumping from jagged rocky step to step, or pulling myself through thick forest - it all became debilitating, and I was sure that I couldn’t go on.
Keons approached as the sun rose one morning. I wasn’t scared. I was relieved. After all that he had taught me, his presence was the most comforting moment that I had in days, and I couldn’t help but be happy to see him. In true Keons fashion, he wrapped his arms around me, then put his hands under my face, looked me in the eyes, and said, “Clancy, child, let’s go home.”
I’ve been here for a few weeks now, and while the routines of this world are comforting, and certainly easier than life out there, my mind keeps bouncing between the two places.
Which one is home? Are the bishops protecting us, and the torches upon the hilltops dangerous? Or is it the other way around? My dreams pull me from world to world, and I feel lost in between all of it.
There is still so much I do not understand.
- Clancy

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