I have been looking for someone to follow my entire life. Someone to inspire me, to give meaning and community to my days. The Boss is... to put it bluntly, not that man. However, he is better than nothing.
Because of what he has built here, we unwanted scum have what some could call a society. Here, everyone is welcome regardless of station or ability, provided they are willing to work. The Boss has made it so.
It is an elegant lie, that name: the 'Plains' of Vastiri. I know it only as a harsh desert, a blasted wasteland of broken rock, crimson sands, and salted earth. Those who call it the 'Plains' see it as it was thousands of years ago. They are deluded.
But who am I to judge? I still believe I'll find a home someday, even with a face like mine. Perhaps we all need a few delusions to keep us sane. What's your flavour of madness, Exile?
Although Isla is often distracted, she is quite kind. She has a strength I have never seen before, one born of machines and intellect rather than fighting skill. I would never admit this to anyone, of course, but her steadfast support makes this place almost feel like a home. That is, when her mechanical spider isn't chewing my belongings.
Sometimes, when you are near, I hear whispers. Even though I have the best ears among all these thieves, I cannot make out the words... but they sound like my constant companions - my depression, paranoia, and hatred - when I am at my worst. Be careful, Exile.
I am honoured, Exile, that one of your strength would even speak to me, let alone help me. I am an outcast, and it is that very status which drives me for this mission. I have traveled far, and for many years, to find the resources and allies to do what I intend. Here I am in this place, before you now, ready.
Where I am from, the Plains of Vastiri, the Maraketh hold no pity for the weak or the supposedly useless. The other outcasts found me and raised me, and though our lives are harsh, we have a meager culture of our own. We call ourselves the Faridun. The Maraketh believe we are worthless and flawed, but I am convinced I can prove that is not true.
There is a legend among my people of a bold warrior who tried to unite the scattered Faridun camps thousands of years ago. His name was Jamanra, and he wished only to unify us so that we might come into our own as a people. If I can prove that he existed by finding the Book of Jamanra, then I may be able to initiate a ritual challenge with the Maraketh to test Faridun warriors for worthiness. If we pass, they will have to accept us back into the lives we should have had! Will you help me win back my home, Exile?
Jamanra did exist, Exile... and they killed him. The Sekhemas agreed to meet with him to discuss recognizing the Faridun nation, but it was a trick. They poisoned him. The supposedly honourable high-and-mighty Maraketh poisoned our greatest leader.
I suppose I should have expected nothing less from this brutal world we live in, Exile. You and I know best that hope is an illusion, and that raw force is the only way to take anything for oneself. In any case, I thank you for aiding me.
I have come to a decision, Exile. I do not believe the Maraketh will ever willingly give us a home, or let us make our own. The Book you helped me retrieve tells Jamanra's tale, but it goes a bit further than that. It also tells of his final resting place. You can already guess what I intend, yes? In this land of madness where the dead rise and legendary figures return, I have a reasonable suspicion Jamanra can be found and released from his tomb.
If the Maraketh will not listen to our peaceful pleas, then perhaps we Faridun will carve a home for ourselves on the Plains of Vastiri with the sharp edge of a sword. Jamanra can finish what he began thousands of years ago, and if he is empowered by Corruption this time around, then no cowardly poison will be able to stop him.
Help me find Jamanra in his tomb and convince him to lead our cause, Exile!
Jamanra was a raving mad monster... there is no hope, Exile. I appreciate your aid, but I no longer see a way forward. Who was I to think that I could change thousands of years of brutal tradition? This life of thievery and villainy is all that there is for me.
I think I'm going to take refuge in mead from now on.