Mir Pathfinder

Gregory's Plan

> Gregory’s last, suicidal act of heroism was not that. Not exactly. See, Gregory was an intelligent man. A very, very intelligent man who recognized the great power that the staff had shown him. He became aware of such things that could gain him what he most desired: an escape from this reality.
> As the words of power burned through his body, nearly destroying him, it also formed the seed of an idea that would accomplish this goal. The first step was to kill Chromax. The second step was, of course, to die. Now, this seems rather unusual, being that he desired an eternity of peace in a world of his own creation, but these were the first steps on the road. The way had not been clear before, but as he fell, blinded by the power, it was exactly what he wanted. It was all part of the plan. The winding of the spring that would create his clockwork paradise, free from others.
> Gregory would awaken in the Library, doomed to serve for untold years. To many, this would be a bargain far too difficult to accept, and they would practically go mad. Gregory simply had to wait. Chromax had to die to help ensure stability on the material plane for long enough, so the plan would have time to come to fruition.
> Years later, a peculiar being entered the library of its own free will, asking for several obscure texts. It didn’t seem to read them as the shades went about, doing its bidding. Months went by. Eventually, however, it may become clear to others that the being only read the books when a certain shade helped it. Then it would read the books very, very carefully, practicing obscure feats of magic. Tirelessly.
> This strange creature was, of course, Cog. His ability to understand any language helped him to eventually communicate with the shade of Gregory who for years had been telling Cog about his dream existence, a clockwork afterlife that would exalt the virtues of Brigh. Cog would eventually, under the tutelage of Gregory, learn to wield incredible power.
> On the last day of Gregory’s servitude, the chief librarian went in search of the gunslinger to release him from his bonds. But he was no longer there. Neither was the strange visitor that had become a fixture in the library for as long as anyone could remember. They were simply gone. No one had seen them leave. No one has seen them since, on the material plane, on Axiom, or on any other plane, should they look. Where they were was a mystery.
> Perhaps the answer would lie in one of the books.

Shachi's Journal 6
Anduin, Dragonmouth, and Fort Sovereign

Obstant, Gregory, Templar and myself best a series of golems at the tower, while Calypso and Grotto rescue the golem’s maker, McHenry. Tos, Lialda, McHenry and Calypso teleport back to Anduin while we finish clearing the tower. There is a perverted creation of the Titans as well as the golems, one of the Demodans. We destroy all unfinished golems, as well as the apparatus and manuals needed to create them.

We head back to Anduin and rendevouz with the others. Apparently Calypso’s teleport misfired, almost sending her to a watery grave, but she is back now. Obstant gets a promotion, to the rank of Vindicator, and we forward all of McHenry’s research to Heaven via an agent of Torag who officiated the ceremony. We all request some monetary recompense for our troubles. Fighting Heaven’s war is not cheap after all. We receive significant funds, through Gregory is upset that we were not able to sell the golem manuals, which he says would have been woth far more. However, we all agreed they were too dangerous to leave intact.

Obstant and Tos question McHenry before turning him over to the Torag church authorities. We set out to find the Golem Control Rod, aka the King’s Rod, which has been acquired by a dragon, Rarevig, whose hoard lies in Dragonmouth to the north. After Obstant gets a reference at the nearby Fort Sovereign, we teleport there, and meet the gold dragon Cestis, who has taken human form and has command of the fort. She confirms herself as an ally against the Rashidaran.

She gives us some tea and advice on our mission, and we attract the aid of some griffon knights for transport. Tos competes in a bard-off with an incredibly talented bard, Brind, (another dragon?) and we sing old fighting songs all night. We set out in the morning, hoping that we can achieve Dragonmouth easily and gain the rod without attracting the attention of Rarevig, or his master, Content Not Found: chromax, who Cestis has warned us against. Lialda stays behind, to practice with Brind.

Aboard griffins, we blast through the outer defenses of the Chromatic dragons, with the aid of a powerful tornado that Grotto conjures. We land near the four volcanoes that mark Rarevig’s domain, and continue on foot, while the griffins turn to harry our pursuers. We destroy some elementals, and after a brutal combat, slay Rarevig, largely through Gregory’s heroics and Calypso’s surprisingly powerful eidolon, Gar. Hogosha and I are disappointed by our performance, not having closed with the dragon successfully, but we are not idle long.

We are then assaulted by a number of dragonborn aboard firedrakes, but we easily fight them back, and I excavate a tunnel under Rarevig’s throne. We descend, and make our way to a treasure chamber. Inside, we confront a number of daemons from the plane of Hell, who abscond with the rod before we can slay them all. Obstant’s fervor for combating evil prevented us from negotiating with them, I don’t entirely disapprove, and I belive Hogosha enjoys his impetuousness.

Calypso scouts ahead through a teleportation circle that they left behind, while the rest of us return to the Fort to debrief with Cestis and plan our next move. Calypso rejoins us and reports that she interrupted a meeting of Rashadaran and dragonborn, and set multiple T-Rex’s upon them before taking flight.

We convince Cestis to aid us in assaulting Cromax’s lair, and summon a heavenly host, lead by the Planetar Angel whose coronation we witnessed, to aid us. We also hire a number of adventurers through the Fighter’s Guild to help defend Fort Sovereign in our absence. We receive a message from some brave spies who inform us of a secret meeting involving Rashidaran druids, Cromax, and the sky dragon Gretweir, at Gretwier’s sky castle, a rare chance to catch Cromax outside of the defenses of his lair. Having prepared the fort as best we can for any counterattack, we depart tomorrow, and it is likely that many of us will not return….

Shachi's Journal 5
The Library of Argoss and Anduin

Gregory and Tos decide to head in to the Library, signing their souls over to the library, upon their deaths, at the rate of 1 day of service for each minute spent inside. They also find out that we can’t take the books with us…. a slight problem.

Gregory undertakes the task of copying “Before the Ages of Man”, and owes about a year of service upon completion. The information inside reveals an old alliance of primordials called Rashidaran, which has apparently reformed. Tos manages to steal “A Whisper Unseen” for Dokol. Obstant teleported out from Glimspire to meet us, happily without incident, and Tos heads back with the mage who accompanied Obstant.

Tos arrives, but sustains some damages in the space between spaces. The mage vanishes. Disturbing. Tos hands the book over to Dokol, and returns to Library of Argoss. Grotto, Calypso, Obstant, and I head back via phantom steed, makng a brief detour to inspect the world tree root, while the rest teleport.

I return the original map to the library in Glimspire, to make a point, and we find out that golems have been revolting against their makers in the city of Anduin. We decide to head there and find out if this is related to missing Keeper of the Ways. Apparently the Artificer’s Guild has been powering their golems with entrapped elemental spirits, which seems dangerously foolish to me. Obstant, Gregory, and Calypso don’t see any problems with this, distressingly.

The elementals are often allied with the primordials, and we fear they may flock to the Titan’s cause. Although I differ heavily in my beliefs as to whether souls should be entrapped into service, regardless of their origin, I agree to assist the rest of the group in ending this golem threat, as it seems we may make common cause in our actions if not our ideals.

We teleport to Anduin, and find that a new ruler, Daecan, has recently taken power in a coup. The city seems quiet due to a draconian crackdown (ha), but there are rumors of frightening experiments and missing persons. However, this is not our immediate concern, so we head out to try to find the golem’s maker, McHenry. Calypso, scouting ahead, determines that he is trapped in his tower outside of town, being forced to manufacture more golems. We prepare to force the tower, and dig deeper into this mystery.

Shachi's Journal 4

We spend the best part of a week in Glimspire, resupplying and seeking out further leads. Tos makes contact with a powerful denizen of the criminal underground, Dokol. I discover that an ancient tome, “Land Before Mortal Men”, is thought to contain information on the titans. However, the librarian at Glimspire tells me that his teacher, long deceased, told him that the book was housed in the legendary collection in the lost city of Library of Argoss. Argoss was lost around the same time as Thalbos, and is nearby to that ruined city.

However, the librarian also tells me that the maps of that area have mysteriously vanished, sometime in the last few moinths. One of his assistants gives me some rough idea of the location, but we will beed to track those maps down. Fortunately, Dokol turns out to be the thief, and hires us to retrieve another book (“A Whisper Unseen”) for him out of the collection in exchange for the maps. We agree, as it is a different book than the one we need. I copy the maps and give the copy to the library, to repair their collection, but they think me the thief and ask me to leave. Dwarves are not known for their tolerance of outsiders, especially orcs, but I have satisified myself and Hogosha that we are not taking advantage of them to the sole benefit of an unscrupulous thief.

Tos Maru has a concert scheduled, but just before he starts, all the doors in Glimspire fly open and a stange wave of unease passes over us. We head outside, and Grotto tells us that the season has shifted from fall to spring. Distressing. We manage to scry and message Nelly, our contact in Heaven, who is busy in meetings. Apparently the demi-goddess Alcetta has been defeated in a battle on the plane of Nirvana, and is missing. As she is the goddess of transitions, this explains the shift in seasons, the doors, and also, apparently, has made teleportation more dangerous. Calypso experiments with some of his summoned daemons, who verify this, through I don’t trust their unholy word.

Heaven tells us to stay put and await instruction. We do so, while Tos performs. It is a bust, apparently due to his reliance on Elvish melodies- one of the few races the dwarves like less than orcs, it seems. We are unable to reestablish contact with Heaven, so we head north to Argoss via Calypso’s phantom steeds. We leave a map with Obstant, who has been busy with Torag church activities, so he can join us if he is able. We arrive without event, and enter the ruined city. Lialda scouts ahead, and reports that spectral librarians await within. They have a proposition: if we sign our souls over to become custodians of this library after death, we will be allowed to enter. Gregory suggests he might be willing, as he plans to retire to a plane without time and never die. We shall see what the spirits have to say….

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.

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.

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.

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”

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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