Back during the Guild Wars, the guilds were famous for ruling themselves as their own personal fiefdoms. The authorities of Lion's Arch, already reputed as a lawless land of pirates, had been the port from which many of our volunteers passed beyond to the Mists, merely looked the other way as the guilds up here established their own rule, over counties, cities, and towns in a territory that is larger than Orr, full of rich mining complexes, and just as filled with death and crumbling ruins.
All was not well at the throne of Stonemist, for the guilds' new-found independence and prestige as a new kingdom in the making was under threat by a danger that few understood, let alone could explain. The archives of the Durmand Priory had precious few documents relating to the subject, but we were, essentally, in a giant fractal of the Mists. All things that did exist, or could exist, take shape in the Mists. Research on the Infinity Ball, in a note left behind by my colleague Flukks, had suggested the things we were fighting were alternate evil futures of the world struggling to become the one true reality across all possible timelines.
The Grand High Sovereign of Tyria, from one such unrealized future, claimed to have formed an empire called the Conclave and conquered Divinity's Reach. A similar kind of foe may be what the Mist Warriors are dealing with.
The Mist Warriors had called thousands of people up to defend the frozen reaches of Borlis Pass in the former lands of Deldrimor from a threatened invasion from the Mists, for there the barriers between the worlds was weak. Some places in Tyria, such as Kryta's Godslost Swamp, have already been overrun by creatures generated from the Mists, but there the penetration was benign. The beings we were fighting claimed to be from such places as Anvil Rock, or the Tarnished Coast, or Ehmry Bay, though they seemed not to hear us as they went about their uninterrupted ramblings to each other. We were in the most dangerous and unstable sort of fractal, and in a siege coming out of the Mists that would last for many years, many were slain and almost all of the guilds at the front had vanished without a trace.
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Among these quiet, unmarked graves, dug into the snow, is a great patriot, Ben Thackeray, and his weathered inscription and dedication is symbolic of what happened to the great dream we set out with to create a better world. He was once known as the master of death, for he had risen a great army of the dead to avenge themselves upon those things that had slain us. Together with the queen of the North, the heir of Ascalon had turned defeat into victory.
The guilds, at first, were merely separate fiefdoms united only by a common danger. Many of the Mist Warriors, disillusioned with Tyrian politics anyway, decided that we were the equal of any kingdom in Tyria. We had the troops, we had the land, we had a very isolated corner of the Shiverpeaks to call home, and we had a fanatical army fighting to liberate the kingdoms of misrule and bring prosperity in place of poverty, and justice in place of oppression and corruption. Henceforth, the Mist Warriors followed the ideals of Silva Nicholas, and the Luxon Archmenus was their most eloquent exponent.
Living day to day out at the front was sometimes a challenge. Sometimes mail might not reach the Citadel in time, on account of bad weather conditions or the enemy forces. Sometimes we needed to forage for food -- omnomberries were a special treat.
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One can only guess why Balthazar had originally opened the portal to the Eternal Battlegrounds. It could be that He was aware of a threat like that of Menzies, or that the other gods would betray Him. Needless to say, the portal faded out at about the same time that the Lord of War was betrayed by the four fallen gods whom, like Abaddon, were corrupted and turned treacherous.
It is also said that whoever controls the Rift can control the future. Lord Odran found that getting in involved spilling a lot of blood. I believe it may have something to do with altering the magical balance.
In the brutal winter of 1328 AE, Tyria itself ended up on the losing side of that equation. People turned to cannibalism or starved to death. As a dietary supplement, I drank the blood of my enemies.
Thus concludes part one. Gentle reader, have you any tales from the Mists?