The Northwild: Manifest Destiny

Session 41: Journey's End

One story ends, another begins.

Attending: Flint, Saza Loripine Spirewind Iskandar, Gloria… and — one last time — Sir MacDougal Wyth

FROM THE TESTIMONY OF FLINT SINCATHION:

So… it went down like this. Mac caught the traveling bug bad — god stuff, something to do with Marthammor, I don’t know. He came down at breakfast and grabbed whoever was available. Next thing we knew, he was hustling us off on a journey to the afterlife. No, not like that — he’d rigged up a portal in his room that was supposed to let us travel between planes. Next stop, Celestia.

Naturally, things didn’t work out that way. Next thing we knew, we were trapped in this kind of… in-between place. Pieces of lost buildings and places just hanging above the void, doors that could lead anywhere. Saza could probably tell you more about the magic stuff there. We weren’t alone, of course. No sooner had we got there then this massive worm burst out of… well… everywhere. I don’t know how to describe it. It was kinda real and not-real, both at the same time? It was solid enough to hit, at least.

Then all of a sudden, we were thrown someplace else. To Ysgard, the warrior’s paradise, believe it or not. Not a bad place. The first person we ran into there was this old blind woman climbing up a mountain. I guess she offered Saza something about revealing her fate or some such. But none of us were interested in that tripe, so she just went away.

Then we ran into these valkyries outside of this big mead hall. They said if we went around it three times widdershins, we’d be let in for a single drink. But each of us would encounter some test of strength along the way. Gloria was real interested in that for… well… reasons. So the rest of us tagged along.

We made it into the mead hall for that drink. But what happened along the way, and what happened in there… that’s not my place to tell. Buncha personal stuff happened. Isk got a new elk form. I attacked Kord — went about as well as you’d expect. (Hell of a punch, that guy.) And Gloria… I think… I think she got what she needed.

FROM THE SECRET TALES OF THE COMPANIONS OF MARTHAMMOR:

And it is said that each of the adventurers was individually tested, save for one:

  • Iskandar the druid gave chase to a great elf in wolf form through the woods; and upon successful hunting it, at significant cost, he gained its power;
  • Gloria of the Notched Spear encountered the warrior who killed her family — and, after significant struggle, chose not to forgive him, but not to kill him either. Instead, she forgave herself, and in so doing, gained access to the Hall where she was greeted by the spirits of her dead kin, and learned that her elder brother was still alive;
  • Saza the necromancer found a chess game where her companions served as her pieces, and rather than sacrifice one of them to win, chose to sacrifice herself;
  • And Flint encountered his lost love — his elder adopted sister, whom he had left behind. And despite Kord himself intervening to tell him that the offer was no illusion, he chose to move on, and return with his companions to continue their struggle against the Council of Wyrms. It is also said he attempted to attack Kord after the god admitted to watering down the booze in his hall. And Kord did laugh, for he knew this to be both just and proper.

But MacDougal was not tested. For a much greater test — and sacrifice — awaited him elsewhere.

FROM THE TESTIMONY OF FLINT SINCATHION:

Then we got pulled back to the floating building place. Found these insect-y things waiting for us, but they weren’t a problem. That worm was still there, unfortunately. It even swallowed Mac whole. Saza destroyed it with a single spell, somehow — and it’s right about then that we got dragged off again.

This time, though, we wound up split up. Isk, me and Gloria wound up at Celestia; while Saza and Mac (of course) wound up in the City of Brass on the Elemental Plane of Fire. There, they managed to trade part of their souls or something for three dragonslayer arrows, which I can see comin’ in real handy real soon. I guess some stuff also happened with this brass dragon who played a trick on them. Also, Mac regenerated some guy’s dick. I dunno. Ask Saza.

As for the three of us who wound up in Heaven… again, personal stuff. Not my business to tell. It… it was a good time, while it lasted. Let’s leave it at that.

But there was something that came up when it was time for us to leave. This part’s important. We were told that we could stay, if we wanted… and we were shown visions of something good that would NOT happen, because of our presence in the real world.

  • Isk saw something about a bunch of the Northwilds remaining safe and verdant; but if he went back, it would get conquered and corrupted by an army of the undead;
  • Gloria saw something involving her older brother;
  • And I saw Khar Therum. If I didn’t go back, they’d get over losing the two lower levels and just move on. But if I went back… the war would continue, somehow.

That… took us some time to think about. But… we all came back anyway. Duty, y’know. It’s kind of a real bitch sometimes.

FROM THE SECRET TALES OF THE COMPANIONS OF MARTHAMMOR:

Once again, the adventurers were drawn back to the outpost on the Astral Plane, where they at last encountered that which was responsible for the great net they were enmeshed in: an Elder Brain, greatest of all Mind Flayers. The adventurers did destroy the abomination; and so served Marthammor, he who above all else keeps the way open and the paths clear.

FROM THE TESTIMONY OF FLINT SINCATHION:

The battle was rough, but we got it together in the end. Mac went down just as we dealt the final blow. With the brain dead, the net came apart.

Everything gets… patchy for me at that point. I remember getting over to Mac, and healing him — he was awake and conscious, I remember that. I know that. He’s not dead, okay? He’s not.

And then I guess we were back in Mac’s room, with a bunch of his stuff — his armor and his tartan. But… no Mac. And somehow we all knew… he wasn’t coming back this time. This time, it was for keeps.

And I… don’t know what I’m supposed to do without him now.

… that’s it. That’s all I have to say.

FROM THE SECRET TALES OF THE COMPANIONS OF MARTHAMMOR:

And it was then as the portal closed, that MacDougal Wyth was taken up in Marthammor’s arms. And that he gave up all his burdens, so as to travel light — his armor and weapons, his responsibility to the memory of his dead clan, even his name. He was elevated to become one of Marthammor’s favorite traveling companions. But not before he made two last visits:

  • First, to his enemy — Emberhorn, king of the dwarfs of Khar Therum. And there the foes did talk, and it is said they made peace with each other, frozen between the seconds by Marthammor’s grace. Emberhorn promised to allow MacDougal’s teacher and mentor to escape his prison. And the dwarf once known as MacDougal did forgive him. And so did they both lighten their loads.
  • Second, to his friend – Iskandar, whom he entrusted with his final gift to the Northwilds: a map of that territory for all travelers, so that they can find their way. To this day, it is known as the MacDougal Map.

If the dwarf once known as MacDougal did anything else before he left the world for good, it has been lost to the wilds. But this much is known — that the dwarf once called MacDougal Wyth, adventurer and favored of Marthammor, still wanders the paths. Some believe he helps to guide the souls of the dead to their final destinations; others, that he merely does his god’s bidding to keep the way clear as needed.

And so did the tale of MacDougal Wyth end… and a new one begin.

REWARDS:
x3 Dragonslayer Arrows
x1 Frost Giant Skeleton (Gross!)
8,000 EXP per person

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