Having defeated Archmage Nolveniss and prevented the arrival of Galactus, the assembled Pathfinders took a moment to rest and determine their next course of action. First on the agenda was leaving the “echo,” returning to the present world. Doctor Strange used the portal key he had lifted from Nolveniss. The power to determine any location he desired initially proved overwhelming, and the portal opened first to the city of New York – beckoning Strange and others to finally return home and leave Golarion to its fate. He (with the help of the staunchly-opposed Green Arrow) decided against it and continued. Next the portal led to Star City. Black Canary and Green Arrow, struck by the sight of their home, finally lost all hesitation and stepped forward. Before they could enter, however, Strange quickly shifted the portal to Kaer Maga – a city of mages and merchants.
They arrived in the “Asylum Stone,” where they were entreated to a sprawling metropolis filled with every race and every walk of life imaginable. Half-trolls pulled slaves through the streets. Tiefling whispered rumors of mystic artifacts. Dwarved peddled their wares, and gnomes chased each other through the dense buildings. Caught at a cross-roads in terms of their next direction, the heroes took over a month to rest and restock. Batman and Superman returned to the Watchtower in orbit, where they collaborated in building a teleportation circle – which Batman remained behind to operate. Canary researched psionics while Iron Woman looked into building more efficient, and autonomous, suits. New member Nightwing kept an ear to the ground for rumors, while Green Arrow greatly improved his bow.
Doctor Strange spent most of his time communing with his deities, the Vishanti. They shared knowledge of Doom’s activities, and how the Acolytes were assembling the pieces of an ancient and devastatingly-powerful superweapon. One such shard was across the nearby desert, guarded by incredibly potent foes. They also told him of House Azrinae of the Drow, who were working to once again bring Galactus back to the world.
The Pathfinders then had a choice: Work to stop Galactus from returning permanently, or stop Doom. They opted for the later, and prepared to set off on what was sure to be a brutally dangerous assignment.