GuildMag issue #6



Welcome to the mists

In the Beginning...

“Before there were humans or dwarves, before there were even worlds or the stars that light the night sky, there was but one thing in the universe—the Mists. The Mists touch all things. They are what binds the universe together, past, present, and future. They are the source of all good and evil, of all matter and knowledge. It is said that all forms of life, no matter how simple or complex, can trace their origins back to this one place.”


-Prophecies Manuscripts.

Many do not ask of the Mists. Many may not even be aware of them, or rather, it. The Manuscripts describe the Mists as a place, yet it is both a place, and not a place; it is a substance, and almost not a substance. This is the curious nature of the Mists and part of the reason many do not research or attempt to understand it. It stretches the bounds of the imagination beyond what most are comfortable doing.

Most factual information that is had of the Mists relates to its creative properties and locations within; yet there is even more speculative information surrounding its nature and its connections to other phenomena throughout the world of Tyria. However, it remains speculative as it is difficult to even begin to examine the Mists, and any other research on it was lost with the death of Lord Odran whom was the first mortal on Tyria to enter the Mists and eventually reach the Rift, within which lies the hallowed Hall of Heroes.

It is unknown how Odran located the Rift, since despite it being located in the center of the Mists, the Mists is seemingly a vast area. It should be difficult to navigate its lands and worlds to such a place, especially when one is as inexperienced as Odran may have been in his traversal of the Mists. Nevertheless, he somehow managed to, and some Tyrians have gained access through Odran’s efforts and leftover portals to the Rift and the Hall of Heroes.

Known Locations of the Mists.

There are innumerable worlds, dimensions, and planes within the Mists. First and foremost is humanity’s most familiar residence, Tyria, although this is suggested not to be their homeland, both in the sense of the world and the continent, by our mysterious scholar Bahltek in the following line: “He was able to traverse through multiple planes of existence, some of which predate the one you currently call your native soil,” thus extinguishing the long held idea that Tyria was the first world amongst the many said to be created by the Old Gods, as well as inciting doubt to it being humanity's original ancestral home.

The second and third most familiar locations, while not homes of living humanity, are home to dead humans and the servants of the gods. These are the Underworld and Fissure of Woe, wherein both the spirits of humans reside. While in the latter, many are under the service of Balthazar in his fight against his half-brother Menzies, and some seem to suggest they have yet to pass under the judgment of Grenth.

The fourth notable area is the Realm of Torment, which in some way connects to the Underworld through the Bone Pits, yet due to the Underworld's size has raised many a discussion on whether it should be classified among the many other subregions of the Underworld, such as the Labyrinth, Bone Pits, Ice Wastes, Spawning Pools, and so forth. Within this dark and tormented realm are those souls touched by Abaddon. As it is not only a prison for the cast down god, but an isolation chamber for those he would use to spread his influence and help him to break free.

Alongside this area, though only indirectly connected to it via its presence in the Rift, is the Hall of Heroes. It is more appealing and understandably so, as the Realm of Torment is a hellish place, while the Hall is a fantastic display of architectural magnificence made of gold and possessing many intricate details upon its structures. And in stark contrast to the darkness of the Realm of Torment, it is extraordinarily bright, which causes the gold it is made of to shimmer brilliantly.

Alas, but the Rift has been overlooked! The Rift itself is a tear in the fabric of the cosmos where time goes neither forward nor back, and being the center of the Mists, it acts as the point of supreme balance between the forces of the multiverse, connecting to all things allowing those with the knowledge of how to use it to access any location across the multiverse, to reach anything. It is from here that Odran explored many parts of the Mists, before he met his end in the very place he had made his great nexus.

These are merely six areas Tyrians have explored in the Mists, one of which they simply live on and the others only relating to their afterlives and their deities. However, this is likely only the tip of the iceberg. As Bahltek indicated, there are not only worlds within the Mists but other planes of existence that Tyrians, aside from the hints of Odran, may or may not have crossed into. In other words, there is much, much more to see, and Tyrians have only just begun, which is what makes the rise of the Elder Dragons and Tyrians' focus on survival, rather than the exploration of the Mists, rather disappointing, at least in this writer’s opinion.

The Ambiguous Nature of the Mists.

“The protomatter that makes up the Mists strains toward creation, often spawning demonic creations in nightmarish forms. Not all creatures from the Mists are demonic, however. When the Mists come into contact with a suitable human template, for example, it can copy that form, creating a sentient entity with humanoid appearance and an almost human mind.”-Nightfall Manuscripts.

“The Mists are the building blocks of reality, the proto-reality that exists between the worlds. It is where we find afterlives and the homes of the various gods and other powerful entities. The Mists also resonate from the worlds around them, such that they form bits of their own reality – islands of existence that reflect the histories of their worlds.”-The elusive researcher (Jeff Grubb).

Razah is a fascinating entity, an example for study for those ambitious enough to tackle the Mists themselves. He, or it, displayed its capability to interact with existing specimens and replicate them, albeit with some degree of error, as Razah is lacking certain mental and emotional characteristics. What is also fascinating is the unknown author of the Manuscripts that explained how Razah and other, fiercer creatures come into being from the Mists that intriguingly enough gives some detail as to the underlying elements behind the Mists.

From its explanation, it appears that the Mists is not simply a place - an open space, containing a variety of objects - but the matter before matter, as well as a more passively active form of space. It does not simply contain, it occasionally brings things into being. What causes or influences these events of formation, as it does not seem as though the Mists possess a higher intelligence and thus do not truly create, is unknown.

On the other hand, the elusive researcher’s exposition would suggest that the environment itself, which if magic and mesmers are any indication, can be influenced by the mind and may have some hand in the Mists’ behaviours. Certainly, it seemed that Razah was a trump card of Abaddon’s that he hadn’t the time to use, but it is never clarified whether he created Razah or had him captured and was preparing him for another plan. God of Secrets indeed, this is one matter which Abaddon went to the grave with, and Kormir has not bothered to elaborate upon herself, despite mentioning she now has his knowledge.

It is this fascinating situation and the notes of the researcher that leave other researchers of the Mists perpetually intrigued. If the Mists resonate from the worlds around them, what is it resonating from? The world itself, or the inhabitants of the world? If it is the inhabitants, then does this mean that if a person knows what he or she is doing, he or she could manipulate the Mists with a heavily trained mind? Is it the activities or thoughts of the worlds’ inhabitants that cause the Mists to resonate with the world? What is it that causes this phenomenon of the Mists resonating with the worlds, producing places around them that reflect their history?




Tyrians and the Mists.

Those questions lead into this next section, which as indicated above, remains highly lacking in research and clarity. There are certain pieces of the puzzle we have, but they are disjointed, and it is difficult to find where they fit together...if they fit together at all. First of all, we have the mesmer’s ability to manipulate the ether, the ritualist’s ability to feel surges along the spirit threads that they appear to use to commune with spirits; however, we do not know exactly what the ether is or what the spirit threads are and whether either of these in some way connect to the makeup of the Mists.

The following are excerpts from research journals speculated to be Velise’s handiwork:

“By focusing the ether around my body, I can create a barrier. It is almost as though the air itself hardens, stopping arrows and deflecting blades...It requires an immense amount of concentration to maintain, and lapses in focus allow attacks to slip through.”

“As a horde bore down to me, I manipulated the ether to imbue myself with the vigor of my youth...However, illusions seldom last, and the body must eventually pay for the follies of the mind.”

“It is actually a relatively simple matter to use the ether to alter the perception of an enemy, especially one so primitive as the Charr.”

“It was this overwhelming desire to stem the tide that inspired my last spell. I have found a way to use the ether to directly inhibit a foe's mind. The weave is complex, but when properly crafted the spell slows a foe's actions.”

From Headmaster Quin and her student may we also derive some insight into the abilities of ritualists:

“I have felt a great disturbance along the spirit threads. The spirits tell me that someone has allowed a demon to cross into the material realm.”-Headmaster Quin.

“I was trying an advanced spirit-binding ritual; I know I should not have attempted it, I have not the skill...but I felt an intense surge along the spirit threads unlike anything I have ever felt before, and I think it had little to do with my poor skill. It was a powerful evil, and its presence was enough to bring the spirit I was binding into the material realm, where it has been running amok ever since!”-Jakimo.

Both share a common characteristic: a reference to fabric - in the research journals a description of the weave of the ether, and in the ritualists’ practice, of sensing the spirit threads. If this is somehow connected to the Mists, we may have an additional level of comprehension of how they may be manipulated by the inhabitants of the worlds within them. Although, it may be that each world has its own unique way of interacting with the Mists, in some way altering the framework of the Mists; so while on Tyria it may be what they call the ether, which seems to have taken on a textile-like form as suggested by the weave of the ether, while on other worlds, it may be completely different. Similarly, the way they sense spirits on other worlds may also be different. It may even differ on Tyria, depending on the race, though of their methods in magic in these areas we know very, very little.

Speaking of races, we have an extremely interesting case with the recently encountered kodan, whose spiritual leaders, known as Voices, are said to open themselves up to the Mists to commune with the will of their god, Koda. Strangely enough, the Voices echo the conceptions of the woven nature of existence:

“No race weaves the thread of life. We are all strands in it, seeds upon the earth, inheritors of nature’s balance.” -Many Stars.

What makes the Voices unique is not only as stated, but that they are presently the only beings of any race noted to interact with the Mists on a scale that they can literally go insane from it, falling under the condition called the “Rage of Koda” from the visions they apparently receive. What this suggests is astounding, and it is that there is a possibility that the races of Tyria, with enough training, may interact, even if it is only passively, with the Mists themselves. If this is the case, it opens up many avenues of research, making it clearer which pieces of the puzzle fit together, helping to understand this disturbing and amazingly subtly complex entity: the Mists. Unfortunately, however, it may never be known what precisely the experiences of the Voices are like or what their passive reception of the Mists encounters and endures...












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