The Mountaineers are a group of individuals who are determined to find the Lost Collection and unlock the secret history of the world. The team of core Mountaineers who restarted Basecamp 33 in 2016 were Ascender, Endri, Eaves, and Bash, and Itsuki. Mountaineers who are members of the Basecamp 33 Forum are sometimes called “recruits.”
The name “The Mountaineers” originates from a hand-written occult pamphlet. The pamphlet was an account of someone who had been admitted into a secret society called Monarch’s Mountain, that, much like The Mountaineers, was dedicated to the collection and preservation of rare objects and pieces of literature. Over the years, monarch butterflies, which were depicted symbolically in the Monarch’s Mountain pamphlet, also came to be used by The Mountaineers as one of their primary symbolic representations.
The '94 Mountaineers
In 1994, a small group of people who remembered the Lost Collection created an online forum to discuss and research it. The '94 Mountaineers made great strides in finding the Lost Collection, including tracking down Sullivan Green in 1997, though he claimed to know nothing of the books.
Martin Rank worked with the Mountaineers before they were “blown to the six corners twenty years ago.” According to him, “We worked together, but they were more ballsy about it. And when they went sniffing where you’ve [the Basecamp 33 Mountaineers] been sniffing they got their noses swatted.”
In an interview with Augernon, Martin Rank was able to discover that the '94 Mountaineers had unlocked twelve of the sixteen fragments necessary to unlock the Book of Briars. At that time, the Churning Storm came for the Mountaineers. Most of the '94 Mountaineers, except for Ascender, Augernon, Saberlane, and Knatz (and possibly others) disappeared after the attack from the Storm. Aside from those previously mentioned, their fates are unknown. Augernon survived, but the Storm wiped all of his memories, as it did for most of those whom it attacked.
The Core Mountaineers
After the original group of Mountaineers fell apart, word of the group’s fate spread to The Low. This was seen by some as a warning to those who came too close to discovering the truth about magiq. Despite this, Ascender carried on, never staying in one place for too long. Through his journeys, he assembled a ragtag group of believers who either found Ascender or were recruited by him. These were the basis of the next generation of Mountaineers.
In January 2013, Ackerly Green’s Guide to Magiq fell into the hands of the children of author CJ Bernstein, after changing hands for many years. In January 2016, the Mountaineers met with the Bernsteins to acquire what remained of the Guide but found that it had finally disintegrated. Using a hand-drawn copy of the guide, mixed with the core Mountaineers’ memories, a new copy was created.
July of 2016 marked another massive development in Mountaineer history when they were alerted that the Book of Briars had once again appeared via a new website formed especially for that purpose. The new Mountaineers were informed through an automated mailer operating from the Book of Briars’ website.
Opening the Basecamp
After recreating the Guide, the Mountaineers made the decision to post it online at Magiq.Guide. They decided that the best way to solve the mystery of the Book of Briars website was to share it with others and recruit their assistance. Posting the Guide online was also their “insurance policy,” spreading the truth so far that they could not be silenced as easily as Mountaineers of the earlier generation. In addition to the Guide website, the Mountaineers created the Basecamp 33 site and, later, the Basecamp 33 Forum, where they openly discussed their journey, learning more about the mystery of the Book.
In his post “You Are The Mountaineers,” Ascender came to the conclusion that he and the other core Mountaineers were not meant to solve the Book’s fragments. The core Mountaineers were meant to be guild masters to each other six guilds, to guide and advise the new recruits as they worked to unlock the fragments. Ascender realized that the mystery of the Book reached far beyond the six of them, and that it had to grow with the new generation of Mountaineers.
Unlocking the Book
Over the following year, the Mountaineers gradually unlocked the Book of Briars, one fragment at a time. Currently, they are waiting to see the results of their efforts, when The Book of Briars arrives in the spring of 2020. The Mountaineers remain an active community, having migrated from the Basecamp 33 Forum to a new, broader, Ackerly Green Forum, where they continue their search for new truths about the original Ackerly Green and magiq in general.
In late 2019, the former members of the Sanctuary reached their new headquarters at Lion’s Heart, a castle hidden in the mountains of Hungary. Led by Eaves, they decided they wanted to become honorary members of the Mountaineers, and dubbed themselves “Basecamp 34.”