I'm not Dragomir.
But you've heard that line before. Many times. For, as the great Beneficio once said, "Repetition is the sauce of life."
I can only speculate what happened to this sad little group. When I came upon them they were clustered together in a tight ball, their hands upon one another's necks. They looked, as one, withered, tired, dishevelled, and halfway dead. Except Traveller, of course, but he's always been a strange exception to every rule.
I suppose they tried to throttle one another. As the overseer of this desert, I've always found it quite fascinating to watch newcomers in action. No one ever anticipates just how bad life in the wastes can become, even after a few paltry days of travel. Add some sunburns, unquenchable thirst, and omnipresent grit to a reasonable man and he will become, in time, a ravening beast.
Hmm. I rather like that quote. Perhaps I should write it down somewhere other than this diary. The poor thing, it's been locked away for so long, just waiting to share the full extent of its malicious secrets with its owner.
Ahh. Yes. Its owner. I've waited many moons to properly meet you, Dragomir. You fascinate me. I wonder what my brother was thinking when he asked for that particular favour...? What a romantic.
Let me tell you a story.
Once upon a time, this desert was no different than the rest of the Imperium. Indeed, many would argue that it was even more fertile than the lands of Rodentia, its fields overflowing with crops that could - and did! - supply an army. Upon this land was a city, a metropolis that could rival Rodentia, and its king was wise and powerful. His greatest challenge was dealing with hordes of forest beetles.
(Having seen the state of your transport, you can guess what happened to the forest beetles.)
But the good times did not last, because good times never last. One day, war came to this city. A war that lasted hundreds of years. The city became the breadbasket of the forces of light, allowing them to wage battles in the lands far to the east.
The forces of darkness could not allow such a bountiful place to remain standing. And so, drawing upon their most powerful creations, they unleashed a horror on the city. And with their troops far, far away... the forces of light had no choice... but to bury the city. And when they did, the land itself withered and died along with the people.
Only the skeleton of grandeur remains on the top, blanketed in dusty yellow. But below... beneath... there are riches. History. Horrors. The truth. And, by the time you read this, me.
I have things to teach you, young man. Things that I dredged from an unknowing mind almost two years ago. I've waited so patiently to tutor you... and now, now that I've saved you from the desert... I'm waiting.
I'm in the hole. Come find me, Dragomir the Farsighted.
Iko the Plunderer