Valdane's Chronicles

Standing in the Shadow - Part 3

Into the Wastes

Soon after the firefight, the merchants, traders, pilgrims, and wastelanders begin to filter back out into the small encampment’s various market stalls, vehicle bays, and trading posts.

Standing the shadow of Desoleum’s outer walls, the gravely wounded and weakened acolytes surmise that they are unable to continue in their present state. However, knowing how much is at stake, they quickly decide to recruit a new contact to pursue the smugglers’ into the wastes.

Among the various outfitters, guides, and ruffians, the acolytes locate D’Layne Travers – a strange, idiosyncratic fellow. The acolytes learn that Travers is a trader and guide who makes regular long-range supply runs throughout Desoleum’s harsh wastelands. His vehicle, the yellow and black Sand-Lynx is a heavily modified Hectin Autocarriage featuring an array of alterations. From the practical addition of extensor fuel cells to the purely cosmetic application of vestigial snub wings that Travers is convinced make the vehicle faster, the acolytes believe that Travers’ vehicle is their best bet to keep up with their prey.

Using the map recovered from the dead smugglers’ leader, the acolytes enlist Travers to locate and reconnoiter their adversaries’ ultimate destination. Travers agrees, stating that he will need at roughly a week to check things out and complete his normal trading route. Travers soon departs into the harsh, silicate landscape.

Returning into the hive, the acolytes look to recover and rearm for their future journey and continued pursuit.

Amador seeks immediate medical and mechanical aid at the Jade Foundry, the Adeptus Mechanicus’ largest presence on Desoleum. The Jade Foundry is an immense forge, named for the emerald hue emitted from display screens and voidship sensorium components that it produces.

The Skitarii at the gates take Amador to the Foundry’s Arch-Magos, Telefey’er. For the next five days, Amador undergoes the Rites of Reconstruction, replacing his weak flesh with a new instrument of the Omnissiah. Amador recovers quickly from the procedure and departs the Foundry incredibly impressed by the workmanship and extravagance of his new bionic limb.

The rest of the acolytes rest and recover in a freshly located safe house in Desoleum City’s slums. While Uziel deals with the aftermath of his head wound, Grax and Tybs experience the local “nightlife” and acquire new supplies and ammunition.

Eventually, the group returns to the outer-hive’s encampment and meets Travers at their prearranged time.

Travers explains that he has found the location, a seemingly large camp situated far into the wastes. He claims that the camp was too active and secluded for him to get close and have a good look, but he assures the acolytes that the smugglers are well-armed and well-prepared. He explains that a direct trip will take roughly two days. The acolytes and Travers depart immediately, hoping to arrive just before dusk on the second day.

The first day’s journey occurs mostly without incident. However, late in the afternoon, the acolytes encounter a trader and a small deaf-mute mutant child walking along a beaten dirt trail. The trader’s cart is laden down with junk and supplies and is hauled by two large draught animals.

Grax takes great offense to the mutant child, believing the scaly, malformed creature to be an affront to the god-Emperor. He confronts the pair and begins a ruthless psychic offensive. In the brief struggle, Grax incinerates the old man, weapons and all. The frightened, wounded mutant scurries off into the wastes, trying to distance himself from the fearful strangers.

Travers is visibly upset by how his new allies have treated his fellow wastelanders. Although harbouring mutants is punishable by death, Travers vows to sever ties with the group once their work is completed.

The acolytes search the trader’s cart, taking a few supplies before continuing their journey. They proceed into the night, making their way ever closer to the smugglers’ camp.

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