The man came around, he was nearly skeletal and obviously undead even to my untrained eye. Its garb was dusty and weathered, and smelled of old decay, and dual pistols made of bone hung low around his hips. His voice was leathery and low like he had gravel for vocal chords, “I smell Apsu all over what’s left of you, youngbloods. I’m Camrad of the Wastes, follow me, Aerodus wants to see you”.
Before we took off with Camrad of the Wastes into the wastes we went back to camp to ferret out a few things. The crew thought we were undead since we looked like hell, especially Goethe, and it took a while to convince them otherwise (Hexa). Our journey into the wastes was going to take many days hard travel, no place for domestic halfling slaves, so we found a sea cave to safe haven our friends. While the encampment moved, Goethe analyzed all the objects for the Waybringer wreckage. Analyze might be too strong of a word, it was more like one hand fondling and eyeless staring. The bibliophile came up aces. The doll was a witches familiar, the gauntlet was for a ancient Hell Knight, the broken revolver for a gunman, and a the holy symbol for a Abadar holyman. Camrad let slide that all the items belonged to his crew a 100 years ago, Apsu had sent them on the same quest as us, except they all were killed by Ezgar. The bigger brains on the crew were able to put two and two together, if Camrad was an ancient gunman and now an undead monster, a similar ill fate must of begotten the rest of his crew. Restless witches can become undead witchfires bathed it sickly green light and restless Hell Knights can become undead Grave Knights trapped in their bloodsoaked armor. Apparently, the key belonged to one of Lorenz’s ancestors who mysteriously survived his encounter with Ezgar. The question remained were these fallen heroes friend or foe?
We shambled off in the Wastes before nightfall. We brought Tebrilith with us since she was affected with the mutant virus along with Aven and myself. Camrad guaranteed us that magic exists in the Spellscar desert and we needed magic to cure the disease. Plus it was safer for Kaledith’s camp for Tebrilith to travel with us in case she turned violent. We traveled for two days, each day I felt the wasting disease grow stronger and my own strength dwindle. The shifting sands, the blazing sun, the freezing nights, and scorpion cyclones made the trek miserable. Yet, I was thankful to be under the blue sky, to feel the wind, and walk to the rhythm of my own beating heart. I was alive!
On the third day, we came to an eroded out old watchtower which I swore was a mirage from afar. Just as Camrad promised magic flowed like water from a spigot when we neared. Goethe and Lorenz were overjoyed. Lorenz quickly went to cure our mana wasting disease. As soon as he casted his spell, the spell’s magic erratically fluctuated like the rolling tide once it left his touch. The magic meant to cure one instead mutated into a panacea. The magically healing was a primal orgasmic rush, I could feel it fix my spine, cure my disease, and return my vigor. It was clear that the magic here was no ordinary magic.
Inside we met the Waybringer’s captain, Grave Knight Aerodus Pavo, and the rest of the undead crew, including Lini the green witchfire. I could feel a mysterious bond with them like we were the same notes in a melody that has lasted a hundred years. By the look of it, it was a sad song. My gut told me, we were baptized by the same fire and exiled by the same evil. I stared hard at the long time travelers and wondered how long their springs of joy were dry. Is their fate our own? Cursed to wander, cursed to thirst, cursed to hunger, cursed to remember. Was I looking in the mirror? I didn’t like the horrid reflection staring back. In this situation, you could let yourself feel sad or worse afraid. But, I don’t toe that pussy line, I can let my stupid fear die.
“Prepare yourselves. At midnight we shall see who Apsu favors most!”, decreed Aerodus. I realized I missed a whole mess of words. They wanted a fair showdown. If we win what’s left of their godly spark will be pledged to us. I didn’t see why they just handed it over to us since we were alive and they were not. Selfish Bastards!
“Look at you sittin’ pretty in your own pigsty. I bet you never tarry to carry the load anymore. We will be ready for the blood and ready for the honey”, I smugly responded, then patiently sat. Lorenz and Goethe teleported to Alkenstar for supplies to make the showdown fair or perhaps tip the scales in our favor.