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The Pilgrims' Path

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Valhalla by shardanas

A Pilgrims' Path site

The legendary Pilgrims' Path is a trail of interspersed sites of power, from holy shrines to nexi of ley-lines. It is said that whomever walks the path of the Pilgrims can come to gain a deeper understanding of themselves and the multiverse, increasing their power to near-godliness in the process. Except for the original Seven and possibly Magnus Wrex, it is not know if any soul has successfully harnessed the properties of multiple sites since St. Cuthbert and Vecna shortly thereafter (it is believed).

PropertiesEdit

When a Pilgrims' Path site is activated in the proper fashion, there is usually a test of skill involved, from battling fierce guardians to answering riddles, or any combination therein.

Known SitesEdit

Heroes' CryptEdit

The first Path location was discovered by the Seven in a crypt of fallen heroes, close to Aiel. The resting place of several honored heroes was fouled by undead and evil abominations of the darkness, in addition to being decayed and in shambles.

After the group discovered the riddle of four heroes in a secret room, they found a dark prism resting on an altar meant for something far different. The gem looked similar to an aberrant portal gem, but it was placed to gather and spread evil energy from the crypt. No one could touch or destroy the gem by any means. The Chosen One had a flashback of destroying these crystals, as well as flying over a great battlefield of demons and mortals. After focusing his energy, he channeled a great power from deep within, almost draining him of all strength before totally destroying the prism. This brought balance back to the site and all dead were laid to rest for the final time; the halls restored instantly to their former condition.

Upon the wall, an intricate map of the world lit up from within, and showed the Tree of Mana as the next stop on the Pilgrims' Path.

Tree of ManaEdit

The party traveled across the Kingdom countryside for nine days before laying eyes on the Great Tree. It stood nearly a mile high, with a diameter of hundreds of feet, and braches big enough to house a city. Researchers at the base greeted the travelers and reported strange displays of elemental magic nearby, such as floating rocks and gusts of hot steam. They found a hidden door built into the roots itself, and only Zerash's power could open it. Inside they encountered portals to the Elemental Planes of Fire, Water, Earth, and Air. After a dangerous trek in which Archer and Tenzin fell (and Archer later resurrected), the party defeated the elemental guardians within and opened a secret chamber into the heart of the Great Tree.

Inside, vines and roots were centered on what appeared to be a dryad, tied to the power of the tree which was apparently in a weakened state. The mysterious dryad told of a prophecy in which a 'chosen one' could look into the Pool of Souls here and open a path to the lifeforce of the tree. Instead, what Hralien found when he looked in was the reflection of a Medusa sister in disguise, who promptly petrified him! The party dispatched of the gorgon sister's evil (nearly burning down the Tree), stuffed Hralien's statue unceremoniously into a bag of holding, and went about their business: reviving him and venturing forth to Dinosaur Island.


Dinosaur IslandEdit

After battling vicious sea creatures near the border of the world on the Traveller's Folly, they trekked through jungles full of terrible lizardlike creatures big and small before finding the long-forgotten Path site. Inside, murals depicted a Warrior of Light battling a Warrior of Darkness, the former splitting his radiance into nine fragments that would always be found in times of need. This was the power of creation and protection, which opposed his evil brother's power of only destruction. The heroes assumed the fragments referred to themselves, however there were never more than Seven, not Nine. Did the other two turn to evil, or were they simply lost?

Going through the indigenous-looking temple, they encountered dead beholders, iron golems, and other such monstrosities meant to keep out intruders. In the final room they found themselves face-to-face with none other than Magnus and a host of carnage. After a terrible battle in which many came close to perishing, Magnus escaped via magic and a Herald of Heironeous came from the skies to reward the heroes Alrick and Hralien -- they were to accompany the Celestial Host as they waged war against demonic forces from across the cosmos. The Chosen One and his Protector said their goodbyes and ascended into the Heavens. When the party left the site, something had transported them into a dark version of their own world, but different...

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