Mir Pathfinder

Prologue
Before the storm

Bring your coat…

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Trail of blood

Due to a terrible blizzard, guided passage through the mountains to Glimspire was halted. Six adventurers were in a rush to go to the Dwarven city, so they decided to brave the elements and proceed. All of them managed to procure warm clothing, though they did so in different ways. They were led through the path by the Dwarf Monk M. Russik.

As they went further into the mountains the temperature started to drop drastically, and the snow kept coming down harder. Visibility was almost non-existent. Eventually they came upon the traveling outpost manned by Kevin (or as his friends never refer to him: Kev). They discovered that someone had killed Kevin and his wife in their sleep, and apparently dragged something extremely heavy out the door with them. Discussing their next move, and driven by different motivations, the party set out, following a trail of blood.

The trail strayed off from the path to Glimspire. The way was laden with traps and natural obstacles, as well as extreme cold. A polar bear family was inadvertently killed, almost dragging the small Moira with them down the mountain. The frostbite seemed to affect everyone, but the sturdy dwarves were used to the cold. The temperature and weather didn’t phase Obstant at all, using his faith to keep himself warm.

Eventually they reached a cave entrance, and after some extremely successful trap finding and disarming, found the source of all the blood. A guide from the outpost told of five men who had captured him and forced him to show them the way here. They were stealing this chest, and needed to be here by a particular hour.

Rushing full speed ahead, M. Russik triggered a cave in directly in his face. Look before you leap? We shall see. More traps were triggered on their ascent up the spiral staircase. At the top, Radavan successfully detected a magic ward, which they avoided (though nearly resulting in the end of Moira, again just inches away from falling to her death).

They opened the door to the top of the mountain where the remains of an ancient monastery stood. They got the jump on another group of adventurers (who were surprised that anyone approached without them knowing about it first). This rag-tag group was put in their place rather quickly, and one of them was kept alive for questioning. But not before an enraged barbarian was intimidated and ran away in terrible fear, causing a large avalanche.

The chest contained some magical items as well as a large amount of gold. The prisoner revealed that they were ordered to wait here until they were picked up. The statues in the middle of the ruins were discovered to be the rumored Warforged monks. They seemed completely uninterested in the battle that took place, but were somewhat intrigued by the presence of another monk. Acting on orders from their master, the monks passed on what knowledge they had, and gave Russik glasses that allowed him to see a fraction of a second into the future.

After clearing out the area, a noise was heard in the sky. A large zeppelin begins it’s descent…

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Missing Missionary

The zeppelin floating above the monastery lowers a ladder down for the party to ascend. At the top you are greeted by a well dressed man named Midal. After he points out that you are not the party he hired, Sloat immediately shoots him with a sleep arrow, promptly dropping him to the deck.

Meanwhile, Ricky descends down the stairway and is noticed by the engineers. Between a dozen or so bluff cleverly laid lies between Ricky and Sloat, as well as a failed attack from one of the engineers, the party is recognized as friendly. Topside, the party wakes up Midal and negotiates passage to Glimspire for the Stone Potion.

Midal drops you off at the entrance to Glimspire with a nod and an understanding that he never wants to see the people who drugged him, nearly raped him, and essentially hijacked his ship.

Glimspire, the Great Dwarven City. Most are overcome by the immensity of open space. The Dwarves here are mostly friendly towards outsiders because of all the trade.

Obstant makes way to the AG and delivers the package he was carrying all this way. At the push of a button, the package unfolds itself like clockwork and forms an archway. A Golem walks through this archway, seemingly out of thin air. The Golem delivers a note to the AG rep, Larn Goldstrider, and begins tweaking the teleportation device. Obstant asks about Gram Delvefoot, for whom he is carrying a copy of the Book of Torag, but finds that Gram has gone on a mission and is missing.

Moira and Ricky make their way to Mrs. Gemsheen’s living quarters, which are located in the Darkdelve Clanholds. After a failed attempt to pocket some things laying around the room, Ricky is asked to leave while Moira tries to help Mrs. Gemsheen. The Gemsheen’s explain that after constant exposure to Drow Poisons, her body has developed a certain tolerance that keeps her in an agitated state. None of the conventional (or fake) methods Moira has seem to work, but they are told of a plant, Dragoneye, that may have the power to help. Moira doesn’t seem to care, and seeing that her methods are not working here, looks to find the first way out of town.

Ricky finds some of the Darkdelvers to play cards with. He gains a reputation for being an easy mark, and proceeds to lose some gold. After playing with them, Ricky heads to the lower living quarters to find a prostitute. Being completely unsatisfied with what is laid out before him, he starts asking around to see if there are any pearls to be found amongst the filth. Miraculously, Ricky runs in to one of the major players in shady dealings, Dokol, who had somehow heard of Ricky’s dealings back in Callavor. Dokol leads Ricky to some more promising prostitutes (of other races). The start of a very promising relationship.

…(still working)…

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The road home

The trek back is long and cold. Grok is both surprised and delighted to see you return. He invites you all in his cabin, and as you enter it seems as though the space inside has grown to accomodate your rather large party. Though you are all tired, Grok insists that you tell him every detail of the encounter. In the morning, Darcy, Diesa, Duvamil and Grok lead you up the mountain and send you on your way with enough provisions to last you to Glimspire. The gnomes’ spirits go up upon meeting another Gnome (Duvamil). The blankets and good food help too. The road to Glimspire is much clearer than you remember. As you near, a couple of old and rough dwarves approach. They identify themselves as Deepwardens. A message has been sent heralding your arrival. The Deepwardens give a nod in particular to M. Russik. Perhaps you were expecting a mighty welcome with trumpets and large crowds. You would be wrong. Entering Glimspire, you see business as normal. There are a few who see you and give you a congradulatory holler, but these only come from members of the Waykeeper Clan. You are led straight to the King, Grick Glimspire. This is indeed a rare honor. He thanks you on behalf of the entire Crestheart Mountain nation. He has heard of your encounter with the Frost Giants and is amazed at your strength and bravery. In addition to the reward offered by the Fighter’s Guild, he offers you a large treasure chest. Inside you find 24,000g in platinum pieces. As the conversation continues, some of you notice something a little disconcerting: all of the King’s aids are from the Firstwall Clan. Some of them give you suspicious stares. The King demands to hear the entire story, and brings in scribes so that it can be recorded in the City’s history.

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El'Doras
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From All Sides...

The Crestheart mountains have been thrown into disarray. The Firstwall Clan, now seemingly under the direct control of the parasitic worm, have taken key members of the Dwarven Council, as well as the King himself. The heroes from afar, having learned of this plot through the capture of a Dead Stone, found the location of the King. With this, Nomad Throrn whisked himself through space and arrived in Copperhead, in a dark room full of earth and bones. Immediately under mental attack, Nomad grabbed the King and psychoported back to the “safety” of the Darkdelve Clanhold.

The illusion of safety was banished with the bellows of the Dead Stones at the entrance to the Clanhold. Everyone besides the heroes was evacuated through secret tunnels that the Darkdelve had made for just such an occasion. The first blatant act of internal Dwarven violence had begun.

The City Guard defending against an Elvish invasion. Key Dwarven figures being brought to Copperhead and being infected by an alien mind. Waykeeper leaders on a trip to the Frost Giants. And an ever growing band approaching Thalbos. These are dark times…

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Neving's Journal

“His words could not be translated by any magical means. It took decades to decode the writings. It seems the primitive dialect that he became accustomed to complimented the primal nature of the magic he controlled. He refers to them as picking at the “threads” of reality, the same way that our magic works. But instead of hiding behind formal phrases and gestures, he has found the root of the power itself. What follows are the translations from scattered pages from Neving Sun Ray."

It was called the Great War. On this world, amatuers in the divine and arcane arts created a gateway between our world and plaane of the Demons. No doubt the mortals here were promised great power. This gateway was different, however. The planet itself seemed to feed it’s power, and the hole became larger and more powerful as more mortals were killed.

The land was being overrun. Entire nations were overthrown in a matter of months. And while I usually do not get involved in these sorts of terrestrial battles, I did not want this planet to be overrun, the same way that I had seen many others.

The tides began to turn, their forces being held at bay with the help of myself and a Solar named Tarim. Even though we were repelling their onslaught, the gate continued to grow, transforming and destorying the planet around it. With Tarim’s help we searched the planes for an answer, looking for anything which would mention, or even hint, at a solution to this gate. Even the libraries of Mnemovore were without aid.

When hope seemed lost, and the gate was about to reach the core of this planet, I found it. Found it is the wrong word, as it has always been there. I had gathered a collection of every known spell and was reading them without end…no food, water, or sleep. Still in my phsycial form, my body fell to exhaustion. In that final moment before sleep took me, I reached it. The one thread that was woven into all spells. Into all things. Tarim recognized this thread as well, and had seen it hidden within his own masters (the “Gods”). This thread wove into reality and unreality alike. It was the One Word.

Without time for contemplation, Tarim and I brought our armies to the forefront of Arad Moor, and the gates to The Abyss. Not knowing what to expect, we both reached out with our power and grabbed the thread, weaving reality into something…else.

The world changed. Even the demons stopped in fear. The Abyss immediately was wiped from our world, and the land itself was ripped from the continent. Mountains raged and broke into the ocean, while the crust of the continent itself was torn asunder. The remaining demons fled to the new island, and our armies prevailed.

But this power was more than I could handle. I was filled with raw energy, and in my attempt to channel that energy elsewhere I tore my right arm from my body. The rest of me was in ruin, and I felt like I had aged a hundred years. It was three weeks before I regained consciousness. No amount of magical healing, even from Tarim, was able to mend my arm to my body.

The entire continent celebrated our victory. But they feared us. They did not accept us among them any longer, and we instead became the object of worship. They said that our new power was greater than the Gods themselves. While I knew these humans had no idea of what they spoke, their words began to go to my head. Tarim, it seemed, was not above this praise either. He did not return to his native plane when his deed was accomplished. Which, according to him, was an unforgivable deed. He did not care. Normally, such an insult would be met by more angels to dispatch the traitor. But it seemed that the Gods themselves feared our new power.

Years passed, and Tarim and I ruled and discussed our plans for the perfect world. We explored and tried to learn to master our new power. That is when they came. Three colossal ships, the like of which I had only heard about when I was an explorer. They turned into pillars of fire that matched the sun for intensity as they fell through the atmosphere. With a cacophonous crash, which could be felt throughout the entire world, the ships landed in our continent. Their landing destroyed cities and send raging tsunamis that devoured the coastline. In the north, the impact released many of the ancient Dragons which had been slumbering for thousands of years. Now, these ships stood as towers in the land and sea…high enough to touch the heavens.

The towers stood as symbols of death and destruction to our world. The terrors that emerged were unlike anything we had ever experienced. It seemed as though all of the terrors of space had been unleashed in one terrible volley.

Tarim and I were completely unprepared. We mobilized what forces we could, but we were being attacked from all sides. And then it came. The day turned to night, and all warmth in the world seemed to be sucked into the blackness that came from above. It’s as if the darkness and nothingness of space coalesced into the embodimient of Emptiness. These towers and horrors we had been fighting were merely the heralds of this…thing. And it came here because of us. Because of the power we had unleashed. We knew that it knew. We could feel it in our thoughts.

The stars blinked out one by one as That Which Comes from Above descended. Tarim and I knew what must be done. The only thing that could possibly save this world was the same power that drew these creatures in the first place.

We sat upon the tallest mountain, high above the clouds, and prepared our Word. We felt beconed to look above us, and could see hundreds of eyes opening. Each eye containing a void so intense, it threatened to suck in your very soul. Unable to wait any longer, Tarim and I began unraveling the thread of this creature. But this time was different. We could feel the Thing pulling start to pull on the thread as well, learning from our own attempts. Tarim and I were far more experienced, and were no match in this game. However, the struggle had accumulated so much raw energy, it was obvious that neither one of us could survive this attempt. The stars began to show again as the Thing was torn apart by the energies of creation. But it was not fast enough. Eye after eye started to close, but we could not hold on to our bodies for much longer. Our own ends in sight, and the creature still descending, we used the last of our strength to transport and bind the Thing to the very earth underneath our feet, as deep as we could send it. The release of energy was catastrophic. The entire summit of the mountain was destroyed, as were our bodies. But, curiously, I was witnessing this event from above, in a location not necessarily fixed. In this one moment I recorded this journal, so that other may know what happened here. My spellbook I scattered as far as I could, so that such power should never be in one place again. As for what I am? I look forward to finding that out.

“Neving has sealed all of his spell-scrolls so that they only may be cast from his hand. We will find a solution”

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Shachi's Journal
Contract #43: Mir and Abaddon

At Hogosha’s insistence, I have hired on as a bodyguard to a weedy looking elf druid. Seems like a fine enough fellow, and well intentioned, but doesn’t know much of the ways of the world. Says he never left the swamp before, and I believe it.

We set off from the wilds towards the coast, him wanting to see something unusual, and me figuring a city might seem strange enough to a natural type. Whilst walking, we were overcome by some energy, and sucked through space to the plane of Nirvana (as we later discovered).

Another frog shaman conversed at length with Grotto, and he gave me a summation as follows: the shaman wants us to go to the plane of Abaddon to retrieve a soul gem containing the soul of his recently (and suspiciously) deceased orc lover. I was of course interested: free a trapped soul, help a fellow orc, right up my alley. Plus, Hogosha seemed enthused, and it’s easier not to squabble. Sometimes.

So, we step through a tree (druids.. heh), and emerge into hell. Funny enough, there’s a self-hating half-orc paladin, a sneaky dwarf, and a human druid with one arm waiting for us. They turn out to be from Mir as well. Small multiplanar universe, I guess. Ha. We agree to join up and try to get back to Mir together, just as soon as Grotto meets this Soul Broker character. Hogosha takes a dim view of trading souls, but I suggest we wait and see what the lay of the land is before taking drastic action. I have a feeling the human and the paladin might back my play if we get into some shit, though. They seem like good, gods-fearing types.

We head for the river, dimly visible in the distance. Of course, everything is dim here, it being the plane of Abaddon. There’s a small village on the shores, which turns out to be a neutral zone, the peace enforced by daemons. That’s a new one to me. The Soul Broker seems to be the only game in town, so we pay a visit. Sloat gets some great hero from Arad Moor‘s soul gem by trading. Me and Grotto come away with the orc’s gem, in exchange for some scroll in a box that the shaman gave us. I don’t want to think about what he traded in for this favor…

We also get some small gems to pay our way back to Nirvana. We talk to the ferryman, and it turns out they’ll just take regular old platinum, too, with which our new friends seem well supplied. Me and Obstant, feeling a bit shameful about this whole business, decide to pay the way for the few decent folk in this hellhole, and try to free as any more souls as we can. Hogosha’s itching to fight our way to freeing all of them, but I don’t think we can take that many daemons, not by a long shot. Deep down, I think Hogosha knows it too. As if it isn’t enoug he already got himself killed once, he keeps trying to get me killed too. Damned if I’m going to end up sharing a sword with him, though. We’re close enough as is.

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Shachi's Journal 2
Styx, Nirvana, and Heaven

So we pay the ferryman (in platinum) and get on our way. Obstant pays for a destitute human to accompany us, an act of which Hogosha approves. The river Styx is a distressing place: foul and toxic in appearance, it is more a series of whirlpools than a river. I try to keep Grotto from falling in, and prevent Sloat from instigating anything with the ferryman. He’s evil, but he’s also our only way out of this hell.

We drop the human woman off in Axis, and she seems thrilled. A small good act to counterbalance the bargains we made, I suppose. We continue to Nirvana. Obstant is summoned by a mechanical messenger to meet with a follower of Torag in Heaven, and to represent the material plane in a meeting regarding recent events on Mir. Grotto meets with his frog friends, and delivers the ork’s soul. As I feared, the elf traded his own soul for his lover’s, an act both tragic and foolish, in my opinion. However, he gifts all of us travellers with useful items in exchange for our assistance, and I now can travel much more easily in water.

We go the meeting, and are disturbed to find representatives from a number of evil planes, as well as good and neutral ambassadors. Apparently the situation with That Which Sleeps Beneath back on Mir has been interfering with many of the pantheon’s different projects there, and they have decided to meet, morality aside, to discuss the issues. Obstant brings the meeting to an early close by displaying Neving’s arm staff, which is apparently an artefact of some great import. I vow to defend it from the evil beings, and they flee, as do most of the other beings.

We head to Heaven with a nervous archon, who seems suspiciously interested in the staff as well. We decide to hold onto it for the time being, as we don’t know who to trust, and Obstant swears he will only deliver it directly to Torag, which we are told is not possible. We meet with an old lady from our plane, Nelly, who tells us that TWSB is far from the only problem there. The Titans are also rousing themselves from their slumber, with the goal of wiping all mortal life from the plane. We sign up as warriors of heaven (except Sloat, who parts ways with us), and get out weapons enchanted with Holy power. Hogosha forces me to bow- I swear he gets more powerful with each enhancement. Hmm.

We are told to meet some other warriors who will accompany us, and head to a bard’s performance to link up. The bard, a summoner, and a gunmage agree to help us in our new quest. The bard has a backup band full of useful looking brigands, as well, so our numbers have significantly grown. The summoner tries to planeshift us back to the Crestheart Mountains as Obstant wants to check on his church there. However, we get shunted a bit off target and end up in the Salda desert. We head west, and decide to pay a visit to Garunda on the way to Glimspire.

There, we are to slay Gog, an ancient giant, and also the Titan that he protects. Hogosha is thirsty for evil blood, so I encourage haste. We make good time traveling, and reach the frost giant’s city in a few days. We discover a most foul sight on the way: they have slaughtered the gnome slaves that remained to them after Obstant freed many of their kin, some months ago. They have then entombed these gnomes in ice along the path to their gates, alongside the corpses of some dwarven emissaries fruitlessly sent to seek peace. I vow to slay every last giant: man, woman, or child. They will know no mercy except a quick death.

We begin the assault soon, after much plotting. I hope Garl Glittergold will see fit to guide my blade in avenging his followers.

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Shachi's Journal 3
Gog's Tower and Garunda

We raided the giants town, and slew all that we could find, except for one that Tos enchanted. We questioned this giant, and leanred the magic word to travel to Gog’s tower. We blasted across in a gust of wind, and ascended to the throne room, where we defeated Gog with the aid of a large dinosaur, summoned by Calypso. We continued upwards, and found a circle of mysterious druids casting some sort of spell on a prone and rotted titan. Grotto scattered the druids with a stonestorm, and they fled in birdform, except one who was consumed by the T-Rex.

We destroyed the titan, largely due to Obstant’s heavenly powers, and contacted Heaven to find out what to do with the slowly regenerating corpse. They sent us an angel of sorts to transport the corpse somewhere safe. We also found a strange symbol on the druids corpse.

We descended the tower, collecting some large gold discs and Gog’s circlet on the way. We found tracks leading away from the giant’s town, and Grotto scouted as an eagle. A column of the druids and a few remaining giants were a half day ahead of us. I suggested an attack, alongside Calypso, but no-one else would go along, so we headed for Glimspire instead. We rested for the night, and then teleported the rest of the way in two groups. Arriving, we found the city half-ruined from the moindflayer’s thrall’s assault. Also, the thralls all committed suicide en masee, as Obstant said the mindflayer commanded.

Obstant seems distraught by the state of this place, and by the news of the death of some of his comrades in Torag’s church here. I still feel we have more important business tracking down this strange druid deathcult, and destroying any other titans we can find, but it looks like we will linger here a while and spend some of our coin.

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