A week into our journey through this nothingness I had two dreams in the same night. The first was like watching where we were but having the clock move backwards quickly. Eventually the desert became a dense land of the most verdant greens. There were lakes and rivers and I was seeing it above as if from the perspective of my birds. It was breathtaking. My descriptions are a shit description for the unparalleled beauty of this land. I figured that she was once again showing me things from the past and the intention was that it functioned as a history lesson, but I couldn’t connect it to our current endeavor. People just don’t talk about whatever the Wastes used to be. Only what they are.
The second dream was different. It was in the desert and I just somehow knew that it was in modern times. There was an old dwarven man. The top of his head was devoid of hair but his full white beard hung down past his waist. He stood beside a cart surveying the full extent of his current situation. A wheel had come off the axle. It didn’t appear to bother him. He took his hat off and wiped his brow with a dirty rag and set to work. That was how I knew he didn’t have hair. He had tools and was in the process of fixing it with those and some kind of magic I was unfamiliar with. He had no shortage of artisans tools in his cart. It wasn’t entirely clear what he was doing, but based on what was in the cart it was something both magical and manufactured. I didn’t understand it at all but it looked cool. He had a four legged mechanical beast that made no sense but appeared to be a travel companion of some sort. It had legs but no clear body makeup that I was familiar with beyond that. He was speaking to it and it appeared to understand and respond to him. I could hear what he said and I had no idea what the lady was trying to tell me showing this.
I told Shojin and Gnoman about both dreams in the morning. They listened as companions do, Shojin clearly the more interested of the two, but neither of them had any explanations for what either dream might have meant. Not that it mattered. It was just around midday that day that we met the man.
He was something called an artificer. I greeted him warmly and insisted that we help him right his cart. The boys did not object… too much. I asked for him to tell us his tale in return. His name was Sanchun and he was apparently something called an “Artificer” and his four legged thing was equal parts assistant, travel companion and he claimed friend. He came from under the mountains in the north. He was out searching for any of his children that were still alive. He explained that his children were a dozen magi-mechanical men, something he called “Warforged”. He said that he had made them to protect others, but had miscalculated when they were needed.
He said he still had one son still at home, but he was trying to collect the others. He’d caught word here and there of strange mechanical men, and had the misfortune of finding the remains of one along the coast on his journey. He called him December. While clearly saddened that his son was in this state, he didn’t seem too concerned that he appeared dead. He believed he could fix him once he returned home. It was something that he had apparently had to learn how to do over the years when some of his more ambitious children had bitten off more than they could chew in a fight.
For our troubles he gifted us with a simple looking box. He said that each of us just needed to touch it every evening when we made camp for the night and in the morning there would be enough food for each of us to survive the day. It wouldn’t be fancy, or flavorful but if it was the difference between eating and not, it could be a lifesaver. He showed us the food it made, as he had another one for himself, and it looked like a bar of compressed sawdust and didn’t smell a whole lot different.
We thanked him profusely before heading on our way and he on his. Strangely, the worgs behaved themselves throughout the entire encounter. It almost seemed like they were wary of this strange lone man in the middle of nowhere.
One final note on the day, if the lady was now showing me not just things that had happened but things that would, I’d have to go back and read through my notes on the lady’s other dream messages. Maybe there were other things that didn’t make sense because they hadn’t happened yet.