Tuesday, October 2, 2007
The Eastern Plaguelands
I could taste blood before I even entered the Eastern Plaguelands. It hovers in the air, a taint of immaterial viscera covering the land in a thick rust-colored fog. I had never been to the Eastern Plaguelands before, but I knew all about it. Stories told of a place where the mindless dead were legion, and bats gorged on the bloody air. I nearly turned back then, wondering if it was really worth it to go further. Only sheer nerve got me to the other side of the bridge.
The dying forests of the Western Plaguelands give way to the bloated corruption of the east, where trees bulge obscenely with infection and mold grows thick on the earth. The soil seems to wriggle beneath one's feet. Kicking some dirt loose, I saw a clot of white worms squirming beneath the ground.
The region is warmer than the Western Plaguelands. Though the Scourge is always associated with the icy north, the Eastern Plaguelands has the cloying heat of a rotting corpse. This awful warmth is dotted with cold spots in which nothing at all can grow. The normal laws of the world break down in that place, perhaps twisted by the dark magics of the Scourge. The land is arrested in a state of permanent decay, a terrible parody of life.
The roads were mercifully empty of both Scourge drones and crusaders. Even in that cursed land, the Crusade murders any who cross their paths. Broken towns and keeps are littered with yellowing bones. The land was once a theater of epic battle. Human tribesmen not of the ancient Arathi Empire clashed with trolls and each other. Then the knights of Lordaeron subjugated the land, and orcs and bandits assaulted it later still. As I write this, the Scourge still holds it in the grasp of death.
My goal was to reach the Argent Dawn outpost of Light’s Hope Chapel. From there I would travel north to see the worst excesses of the Scourge before returning to the safety of Undercity.
In a strange way, seeing the Eastern Plaguelands largely erased my bitterness towards being a Forsaken. Tirisfal was a shadowed place, but one infinitely better than the Plaguelands. Atrocities are scattered around the Plaguelands without purpose, the entire region a hideous temple to cruelty and rot. The undead of the Scourge can do nothing but destroy, while the Forsaken are at least capable of creation. I understood Renia’s anger. Whatever the humans said of us, I could rest assured knowing that we were better than the Scourge. It is astounding how good an individual can feel with a bit of arrogance.
I cannot with any certainty recount how long I spent in that realm. Night and day are nearly indistinguishable under the charnel sky. How strange to think it had once been a great land. I passed the town of Darrowshire, destroyed after a particularly bloody battle in the Third War. Darrowshire was one of the last holdouts of humanity in the region, a place long known for its proud martial tradition. The Darrowshire militia single-handedly turned back an advance force of the Horde during the Second War.
The town of Corin’s Crossing was not so easily avoided, being situated on the road to Light’s Hope Chapel. Once a haven for craftsmen and artisans, Corin’s Crossing is now another Scourge-infested ruin which I chose to bypass. The wilderness is marginally safer than the haunted towns.
The corrupt haze clots ever more thickly beyond the road, forming solid blanket of foulness. Vile tumors of necrotizing flesh hang from the soft branches of crimson trees. Making my way through the forest was difficult to say the least. The muddy ground impeded my efforts, the soil mixed with chemicals and decaying matter. I traveled in a state of constant alertness. Gargoyles, the Scourge’s aerial servants, make regular flights through the orange sky. Scourge-tainted bats are also common. I have heard that packs of vicious darkhounds roam through the forests, though I did not see any on my journey.
I forced my way through a particularly thick tangle when I nearly ran into a human. His stained and rusted armor bore no insignia. His face, covered in stubble and swollen from injuries, was stamped with terror. He nearly fell backwards upon seeing me, though he took out his sword with surprising dexterity.
“Get the hell away from me, beast!” he shouted.
I stepped back, trying to figure out what to do. The human gripped his sword with both hands and I noticed the terrible wounds on his body. He did not have long to live. Blood flowed in streams from missing fragments in his chain armor, and it was a miracle he was still able to stand.
“I’m not Scourge,” I said. I had managed to relearn the Common tongue, something I forgot upon death.
“Stay away! I’ll not rise as one of you,” he spat. The sword slipped from his hand and hit the ground with a dank thud. Not seeming to really comprehend his situation, the man moved back, keeping his feverish eyes fixed on me. Suddenly he fell to his knees, clutching his stomach, making horrible retching sounds before collapsing. I went to his prone body and realized he was dead.
I bear no love for humans who cannot distinguish between the Forsaken and the Scourge. That said, I could not let the Scourge get another soldier. Perhaps I did have some pity for the human. I once counted myself among their number.
I removed his armor with some difficulty. Then I took a long-bladed knife from his belt and set about cutting him apart. It was difficult work, and only my endurance as one of the dead saw me through. The knife grew too dull to use after sawing through his arms, so I retrieved his sword. With that, I clumsily cut off the head and bisected the body in a ragged, vertical cut. Once done, I piled the pieces as closely together as I could.
Even scraps of flesh and bone could be used by the Scourge. Thus, I decided it would be most effective to burn the body. I stood back from the dead human and brought to my mind the image of bursting flame. The connection with the arcane of the Twisting Nether was instantaneous and a hot blaze soon sparked to life. Spellfire chars flesh and weakens bone to the point where the corpse is useless to even the greatest necromancer. Perhaps out of habit, I said a brief prayer to the Light for the human’s soul. I then left. The damp air ensured the fire would not spread out of control. Fire might have been an improvement anyway.
I think two or three days passed in the tangled forest. I had lost the road and was unable to find it again. Though I knew Light’s Hope Chapel stood in the east, I did not know where I was in relation to it. I eventually came to some foothills and slowly climbed up in hopes of getting a better view of my surroundings. The cursed haze of the land thwarted these attempts. Growing increasingly fearful, I traveled down a rocky slope, straining for some sign of civilization.
Then I saw it, a cathedral rising high and glorious. Surely, I thought, I had found the Chapel. Even the sky above seemed clearer, and the setting sun glowed in the firmament. I noticed small homes and expansive farmland in the distance. Light’s Hope Chapel was much larger than I had been led to believe. Perhaps the Argent Dawn was finally winning the war.
The cathedral was still far away. I walked through farmland where barricades and palisades ringed the lots. Some fields were empty and dead, though farmers worked others in the distance.
“Fool, what are you doing here?” hissed a voice. At first I saw nothing. The voice spoke in halting but passable Orcish, the common language of the Horde.
“Where are you?”
“Here. You’re lucky I found you, do you know where you are?”
A man in a faded red tunic stood up from the bushes where he had been concealed.
“This is not the Light’s Hope Chapel, is it.” A horrible realization crept over me.
“It certainly isn’t. This is Tyr’s Hand. You’re in the heart of the Scarlet Crusade, dead man. Follow me, I’ll help you out.”
“Follow me, undead! I know you’re Forsaken, not one of the Scourge zombies.”
The place suddenly became quite sinister. I knew I was in a town where the populace would burn me at the stake without a second thought.
“I was born here in Tyr’s Hand. My father fought in the Second War, a knight of Lordaeron he was. He died in the Third, killed by a Scourge ghoul. When the Crusade came we hailed them as heroes, but by the Light they’ve made this place a hell. They watch everything we do, everything we say. Just last week four peasants were burned, because they seemed like they might have been undead. A few of us fight back, in little ways. We try to warn off stragglers. Technically I’m supposed to be scouting. I’m Marlus, by the way. Your name?”
Marlus pointed to a small shack at the foot of a hill.
“You can hide there until midnight. There’s a changing of the guard at the front gates at that time, it’s your best chance to sneak out.”
“What about the mountains? That’s how I got here”, I said.
“Then you were damned lucky. They patrol the mountains very heavily.”
“I did not see any patrols.”
“Look, do you want to be set on fire? Get in that shack, I’ll come for you later. It’s your only chance. See what they’ve done to me?”
I finally got a good look at Marlus. He might have been handsome once, though a broken nose and a nearly toothless mouth marred his features. He held up his right hand, branded with the Scarlet Crusade’s emblem. The ring and little fingers were missing. He had the look of an animal, desperate and cunning.
“I angered one of the Scarlet paladins, that’s how I ended up with all this,” he said, pointing at his face.
“Then you’ve risked enough. Don’t fear on my account, I’ll escape through the mountains, the way I came.”
“You can’t! They’ll find you! You have to stay there, it’s your only chance!” he screamed, his voice hoarse and panicked.
I knew then, that he had an ulterior motive of some sort. He had no reason to help me, and his face was that of a man who had been betrayed too many times to be honest to anyone.
“Destron, if you escape, for the love of the Light tell the world what’s happening to us here, we’re all dying,” he whispered. “There’s an undead! I found one! An undead! Someone, kill him!” he shouted, waving his arms and running towards the field.
Immediately I ran. Taking a look back I saw him in pursuit, carrying a rusted sword in his good hand. I thought of attacking him with a spell of my own, but decided it would be best to escape without any further delay. I clawed my way up the steep slopes of the mountains around Tyr’s Hand and was glad to see Marlus fall behind. The corruption crept back as I climbed, and I could no longer see Tyr’s Hand in the valley below.
I finally stopped to rest after I was sure that the pursuit had fallen far behind. I reached level ground again and headed north, hoping it was the right direction to the Light’s Hope Chapel.
I felt great relief upon seeing two horsemen of the Argent Dawn ride past. I recognized them by the fact that they were humans who did not have the emblem of the Scarlet Crusade, or for that matter, any red on their armor at all. I ran towards them and requested shelter. If shocked at seeing a walking corpse ask for sanctuary, they gave no sign, and invited me to come along.
The most remarkable thing about the Light’s Hope Chapel is that it exists at all. Though it’s fame has spread far and wide, it is little more than an old church surrounded by tents and barricades. The Scourge could easily wipe out the Chapel if they ever thought the Dawn presented a real threat. Ironically, the Scarlet Crusade (which has declared vendetta against the Argent Dawn) is the only thing that keeps the Light’s Hope Chapel standing. The Scourge is too busy fighting the zealots of the Crusade to take much notice of the Dawn.
I spent three days at the Chapel, trying to get my courage up to travel to the Plaguewood and perhaps even Stratholme. In the time I stayed, I was able to speak to an Argent soldier named Astarion Mortescu. The Mortescu family was another old eastern family that sided with Lordaeron in olden days. The Mortescus did not have the dark reputation of the Barovs, though they were never fully trusted. Astarion was a somber man, his voice barely rising above a whisper.
“Most of the people here are not true members of the Argent Dawn. Rather, they get commissions to fight the Scourge. In return we help them, giving them access to our enchanted weapons and armor.”
“How many true Argent Dawn members are present here?”
“Seven-hundred and fourteen. If it weren’t for the volunteers we’d not be making any difference.”
“If you don’t mind my asking, how is it that your organization draws a clear distinction between a Forsaken like myself, and the Scourge who control this land? The Scarlet Crusade certainly doesn’t care, and neither do most others.”
“Do you follow the Holy Light?” he asked me.
“At the moment, I do not follow any fixed philosophy. I came here simply to learn. Ideally, to learn enough to finally make a decision.”
“Do you remember what the Light is though? From your life?”
“I recall the essentials.”
“Then the answer should be self-evident. You have free will. So do all of your kind. With that, you are as much a part of the universe as I am. Your joy is my joy, your sorrow is my sorrow, as the old saying goes. How can I call myself a follower of the Light if I condemn you for what is little more than an unfortunate physical condition?”
“You do not think that undeath makes one evil?”
“Do you know Leonid Barthalomew?”
“He is one of our number, perhaps the greatest defender we have here, and certainly the most noble. He is Forsaken, traveler, like yourself.”
“I’m glad to hear that from a living human.”
“Those who listen to the guidance of the Light understand. I do not condone the actions of your apothecaries but I shall never condemn you for being undead.”
The apothecaries of Undercity devote their time to creating toxins and plagues with which to strike back at those who persecute us, living and undead alike.
“Perhaps the apothecaries wouldn’t brew poisons if humans weren’t trying to slaughter us,” I countered.
“You do not understand. You have free will! You are not made by your circumstances and neither are the rest of your kind. Only you can choose where you go, in life or in death.”
“It is necessity—”
“So? What is it worth to save yourself if you damn the world in the process? Do you not see what you have become?”
“All we do is defend—”
“Against soldiers, yes, but Undercity also strikes against the peasants and townsfolk. You are like the Scarlet Crusade.”
I paused. I remembered the near-mindless hatred I had felt in Tirisfal, in the failed strike on the monastery.
“Your point is well taken,” I conceded. His argument hit too hard for me to counter it; indeed, I have come to agree with him.
“Always remember the Three Virtues. The Scarlet Crusade has forgotten them, and I fear the Forsaken have as well.” He was wrong. Most Forsaken have not forgotten the Light, but have actually rejected it.
“Respect, Tenacity, and Compassion,” I intoned, remembering my religious lessons.
“You do not need to recite them. If you had truly forgotten you would not have spoken with me,” he chuckled. He smiled, though his face did not seem used to it. “I do not know if we can cure the curse of undeath. But I promise you that as long as the Argent Dawn stands we will fight against the darkness in this world. As long as you uphold such principles, I will happily call you brother, whether you be alive or undead.”
He laid his hand on my shoulder and I thanked him. I went off to the edge of the Chapel for some time, recalling lessons of the Light I learned as a child. It was easier to believe in a unifying force between all sentient beings when my flesh was still whole. Perhaps the “curse” of undeath does darken the spirit. I might have cried, but I had no eyes with which to shed tears.
The story of Leonid Barthalomew intrigued me, and I tried to find him. Unfortunately, I learned that he was on an expedition to the Noxious Glade, a particularly corrupted region in the Eastern Plaguelands, and was not expected back for at least a week. I then tried to decide if I still wished to continue to the Plaguewood. I came to the Scourge-tainted lands of the east to learn more about my existence as a Forsaken, only to find confusion. Perhaps that is part of learning. I reasoned that I should see the worst devastation in the Plaguelands, if for no other reason than that I’d already traveled so far.
I joined a rescue group preparing to search Plaguewood in hope of finding a missing scouting party. The group was led by a human paladin named Ileana Drhagiediv. Paladins are greatly loathed among Forsaken. As the self-professed holy warriors of the Alliance, many seem to take a terrible joy in destroying us. Paladins were the ones to create the Scarlet Crusade, though in all fairness those had been rogue members of the order. However Ileana was pleased to have me come along. She figured that if I had survived as long as I had, I would be at least of some use. Like so many of the Argent Dawn, Ileana was of native descent. The eastern tribesmen call themselves the Dromascoi.
The tragic history of the Dromascoi is indelibly marked by the stigma of conquest. The Church endlessly attempted to aid the Dromascoi, but they remained a clannish underclass. Some Dromascoi immigrated to Tirisfal, or far south to Stormwind. These groups met with great success and became quite affluent. The ones who stayed behind remained poor, clinging to their faith for succor. Though the Light began in Lordaeron, it would not be inaccurate to say that the Dromascoi inspired it. Traces of the pre-conquest Dromascoi religion are still evident in the Light. The old Dromascoi gods, though hardly benevolent, never reached the levels of barbarity seen in the Arathi pantheon.
It is this faith that inspired the Dromascoi to stand against the Scourge. Regrettably, many have cast their lot with the Scarlet Crusade.
“The Lordaeronians fell to despair when the Scourge leveled their cities. We Dromascoi, on the other hand, never had any cities to level, so we were fine!” joked Ileana.
The state of the Dromascoi had improved after the Second War. It was, after all, a Dromascoi militia that suppressed the revolt in Tyr’s Hand. Dromascoi veterans formed the Skoptectu Dromascoya (Blood of the Dromascoi), a group that argued for greater autonomy. The primary concern of the Argent Dawn is to eliminate the Scourge, but some of them speak of a day when the land shall be called Dromasca, instead of Lordaeron.
We left with three other Argent Dawn warriors, two humans and a dwarf. Ileana led us in prayer before we left the Chapel. She was a tall, heavily-built woman with the round face and fair hair characteristic of northeastern natives. I viewed paladins (once so heroic to me) as the most vicious soldiers of the Alliance, yet I felt no fear when traveling with her. Paladins tap into the Holy Light, and carry auras that strengthen the faith and hope of those nearby. Though Forsaken, I cannot say I was any less affected than the others. The blood-tainted air did not seem as terrible as when I had first arrived. I do not think that the Argent Dawn could survive if it were not for their paladins. They would be too consumed by the darkness of the land.
“Look, do you see that village there?” she asked me on the second day of travel. The landscape had become steadily more denuded as we journeyed.
“Yes.” It was a miserable ruin, the skeletons of burnt houses the only indication that anyone ever lived there. I saw a brief movement, an ectoplasmic glow in the distance.
“It was once called Belsania. I was born not far from here.”
“It is the past,” she said simply. Her previous cheer, so in defiance of the grim landscape, finally wavered. “Where were you born?”
“In the capital. I can only remember bits and pieces of it though. I was trained in Dalaran, which I remember much more clearly. I still miss Dalaran.” A fact that is true even as I write this.
“Everyone told me it was such a beautiful city. Do you think it can be brought back? The mages of Dalaran are still active, you know.”
“I’m aware. I suppose. I don’t think they can ever recreate the Dalaran of my memory though, any more than they could remake Belsania.”
“Belsania was just a little provincial town,” she smiled. “It had its charm though. I still cannot believe it sometimes. When I was in the Order of the Silver Hand it seemed like we had achieved perfection. We’d beaten the orcs, the land was more prosperous than ever before. In a few years, it was all gone. Perhaps because I’m still alive I remember things here so clearly, though it really just seems like a dream I had a long time ago. All over this land, farms, towns, people... and now nothing. All I can do is go on. We’re a resilient breed.”
“I can see that.”
“In the Argent Dawn we believe that the darkness is worst just before morning. And I believe that the Light shines greatest when it is surrounded by darkness. There isn’t any better place for good, than a land like this! That is why I am here. I’ve seen so many awful things, and I’m sure I’ll see many more, but that is what tempers the Holy Light.”
I got the peculiar feeling that she was saying not just to convince me, but also to convince herself. The other soldiers marched in a mix of despair and hope. Listening to them, I learned that they were quite willing to die, and fully expected to do so. Even the idea of damnation, to be trapped in a re-animated body of the Scourge, did not stop them. They valiantly held to their duty of delivering the fallen from the curse of undeath. The energies of the soul act as a blasphemous power source for necromancy. As long as a Scourge undead walks, the soul within is trapped in a state of partial consciousness. Many had family and friends who were trapped in that manner, and would accept the same fate if it meant liberating their loved ones.
It is appropriate that faith in the Light would be so strong in the Eastern Plaguelands. The nation of Lordaeron quickly moved to conquer the eastern lands after its formation, motivated more by the king’s desire for territory than anything else. Into the violence stepped a young knight named Cassian, who witnessed his countrymen slaughter Dromascoi women and children. The holy books say he was struck by a vision, and was unconscious for three days and three nights. Upon waking he explained what he saw to a scribe (for Cassian was illiterate). What the scribe wrote became the Exegesis of the Holy Light. Cassian returned to Lordaeron, preaching that all thinking beings were brothers, and that the terrible atrocities that had occurred in the eastern wars should never again be permitted. Battle-hardened soldiers wept, and King Telean Menethil II was among the first to follow the path of the Light.
Even the subjugated humans of the east embraced Cassian’s message. After all, it was the new priests of the Light who ameliorated the excesses of their new overlords. From that point on, Lordaeron became the great bastion of piety and belief. Before the paladins rode against the orcs in the Second War, the knights of Lordaeron put faith in the Light on a level equivalent to martial skill. For them, the quality of mercy was the true definition of heroism.
Ileana had said that I would feel the Plaguewood before I saw it, and she was right. The ground seemed to tug at me, and at times I felt the cold whisper of the Scourge rattling around in my head. The Plaguewood is a surrealistic nightmare that blooms forth from the abattoir of the Plaguelands. Immense mushrooms, some as tall as castle keeps, grow from the ash-gray earth. Collapsed houses sit between fungal stems, slowly consumed by mold.
The place crawled with the dead and we could only avoid them with difficulty. The rotting dead wander aimlessly in the shadows cast by the great mushrooms, spores growing from their rib cages and eye sockets. Ileana assured me that we were in no danger of becoming infected with some fungal parasite, though I can’t say I was particularly comforted. The scouting party that we sought was mapping the land near the Plaguewood’s heart, looking for any buildup in Scourge activity. We made only brief stops, not daring to draw any attention to ourselves. All conversations were done in whispers. I noticed a sooty glow on the northern horizon, in the times it was visible through the tangle of fungus. The smell of burning wood and flesh is ubiquitous.
“That glow is Stratholme,” explained Ileana.
“The city makes it?”
“Not exactly. The fires that Arthas set have never gone out. By all standards the place should be ash by now, yet it burns eternally.”
“I had no idea.”
“They still fight in the streets. The Scourge and the Scarlet Crusade.”
“The Crusade is in Stratholme? How do they survive?”
“The way they survive anywhere else.”
Stratholme was one of the great cities of Lordaeron, second only to the capital. Prince Arthas Menethil came to Stratholme in the early campaigns of the Third War, as humanity first learned of the terrible Plague. Deeming the city irretrievably infected, he and his troops burned it to the ground and killing nearly everyone inside. It lay a smoking ruin until Arthas returned, leading the Scourge armies he once fought. Now, it is the base of the mindless dead in Lordaeron, though their hold over it is not as secure as I had thought. Destroyed by Arthas’ desperation, and then taken by the Scourge, some call it Stratholme the Twice-Damned.
“Stratholme proves something important though,” said Ileana.
“What is that?”
“Even one person can make a great difference in the world. That is why it is so important to follow the Light. Imagine if someone had done as much for good as Arthas did for evil. The world would be a paradise.”
Later, one of the warriors, a human named Balford, pointed at an Argent Dawn insignia half-buried in the soil. He had worked a tracker in the Alterac Mountains before the war and put his skills to good use in the Plaguelands. We were, at that point, in more or less the right location. Ileana led us uphill, following a barely perceptible trail. Great piles of bones stuck out from the ground, some of creatures too big to be anything native to Lordaeron. The combined smell of fire and blood became almost overpowering to the humans. Ileana whispered prayers, focusing her spirit’s strength and endurance to encompass her companions. Then we saw it, a great and terrible machine on a hill. An immense wheel slowly rotated at the top of the structure. Gore soaked the surrounding ground. It was one of the dreaded slaughterhouses of the Scourge, where the hulking abominations are stitched together from human bodies. I cannot condemn the Scourge for this entirely; the Forsaken also have abominations, though ours at least have some free will, even if they are exceedingly simple-minded. Though terrible, the abominations do not contain the souls of the dead, their corpulent forms instead animated by arcane energies.
“We will search the area around the slaughterhouse. If they are inside, there is nothing we can do for them,” said Ileana.
We spent and eternity in the corpse-fields around the slaughterhouse. Then someone called out to us. Turning, we saw a dwarf in blood-drenched Argent Dawn armor come out from the earth where he hid. He cried out in his native tongue and Ileana hurried to him. One of the other soldiers informed me that the dwarf was named Regnum. His wounds were more mental than physical. A human lay nearby, still alive though his legs were missing. He stared at us with vacant eyes, his mouth slack.
They were the only survivors of the scouting party. The human (named Rosseus) died shortly after we found him, and we destroyed his body to save his soul. Regnum did not struggle with us, having become largely catatonic. Not even Ileana’s spirit could cheer us as we made the long journey back to the Light’s Hope Chapel.
Astarion Mortescu received the news with a grim stoicism. Regnum was to be sent to his home in Ironforge. He was in no condition to continue in the Eastern Plaguelands, and his recovery was doubtful. I spoke with Ileana again. She had just left the shrine, her face haunted.
“How are you feeling?”
“I am miserable. I don’t know how to have faith in times like this. The Light believes in the inner glory of the universe, but sometimes I can’t see it here! I can understand why it is so hard for your kind to accept the Light.”
I was actually slightly offended by her referring to the Forsaken as my “kind.” I did not press the issue, for her suffering was palpable.
“Was that your first time in the Plaguewood?” I asked.
“No, my third. I have seen many terrible things here. One cannot truly have faith if one does not have doubt, just as one cannot truly be compassionate without suffering. That is the test of faith. When the night is darkest...,” she trailed off, smiling weakly. “So, will you join our merry band?”
“No, I am returning to Undercity. I have great respect for what you do. Perhaps I will return one day. I will tell others about you though. May I ask a question that might be a bit offensive?”
“I shall forgive.”
“No matter how offensive it is, I’ll forgive you.”
“Some Forsaken say that groups that are still alive should not fight the Scourge, because you may join them after death. Do you think that’s a problem? That you could potentially add to the Scourge’s ranks?”
“No. Any Argent Dawn soldier is worth several Scourge warriors. They aren’t very good fighters on an individual level. If they killed and raised all of us, they still wouldn’t really recoup their losses. Besides, I do not think the Forsaken alone could prevail against the Scourge.”
“I can’t argue with that. On a similar note, how does the Crusade get new recruits? They kill anyone they see”
“They have offices in safer parts of the world. There they recruit the young and foolish.”
I thanked Ileana for her time. I needed to leave the Plaguelands. Luckily, there was a flight master stationed in the Chapel. Much like the other nations of the world, the undead also have an air network, one of giant bats. The bats are trained to follow routes, making occasional stops (they’re smart enough to know the difference between a safe spot and a dangerous one) until reaching a destination. I had traveled on foot to the Chapel so as to learn more about the area. I felt I deserved an easier return trip.