This story begins as so many others do – by pure chance. In a small campsite tucked away in the shadow of a hulking metallic structure, the paths of four strangers cross, changing the future in ways that no one could possibly have predicted. Leanna, a young, bright-eyed, blonde-haired woman, set on discovering the secrets of the desert. Lloyd, a confident, but cautious adventurer just returning from his last expedition. Lemmy, a nosy, hyperactive lad with a penchant for causing trouble, and Sugar, a veteran of the Wandering Walk with a permanently sour expression on his face, despite his name. The four meet in a small alcove just off the Mouth Cairns, one of the few landmarks along the Wandering Walk.
Mingling with the other travelers huddled together around the campfire, the party meets several new people and exchange stories and rumors. A young man named Joe, and his grandmother Clara, who explain that their family have been pilgrims for many generations, and that Joe himself was born on the Wandering Walk. A grizzled old man named Seamus, who tells them that he hopes to breathe his last breath while on a grand journey, not quietly in bed. A small child named Henry, who survives in the desert by begging from passing pilgrims. These and many others rest in the campsite, one of the few safe places in the vast expanse of desert.
As the evening passes, Sugar spends time helping to prepare a communal meal, although deep in thought and distracted by some troubling dilemma. Leanna asks those in the campsite about the existence of swarms of green light said to be commonplace in the Mouth Cairns. "Mah gram’s been lookin’ for ‘em for thirty years, and no one’s seen ‘em in generations, " Joe says as he points to his grandmother. He points out her mechanical eyes, capable of seeing incredibly long distances, and says that despite her many years of searching, the light swarms haven’t appears in several decades. Lloyd sleeps in his tent, weary from the day’s travels, and Lemmy is nowhere to be found, presumably off causing trouble.
Late into the night, as the various members of the campsite gather together and tell stories by the fire, Seamus walks towards to group and exclaims that someone’s been stealing food, and that since the party was the most recent to arrive, he immediately suspects them out as the culprits. Sugar tries to smooth things out with Seamus and the others, but the temper of those traveling in the wilderness turns far more quickly than he expects, and he soon finds himself trying to talk down an angry mob. Joe brandishes a long knife at them, trying to force them out, but Lloyd, in an act of either desperation or wanton violence, hits Joe with a bolt of lightning from his hand, instantly causing him to collapse on the ground and begin foaming at the mouth. Rocks fly towards the party from all directions, and rather than try and fight off an entire campsite of people, they flee into the cold, pitch black desert. However, as they run away, the party notices a large creature heading towards the campsite, kicking up a cloud of sand as it moves.
Letting his curiosity get the best of him, Lemmy returns to the campfire under cover of darkness, hoping to find out more about the large creature that just recently arrived. Sugar follows, and as the two approach, they see a large, brown-multilegged creature about 40 feet tall, and two newcomers,, a young man and woman, who apparently rode on the creature standing next to it. The young man frantically speaks with Seamus, and Sugar manages to overhear that the man, Patel, came with his sister Seria from the nearby False Woods and was hoping to find someone to take Seria to Cylion Basin while he returns home to defend his family. He constantly looks over at his sister, doubled over in pain and barely able to speak in complete sentences. Unfortunately for Patel, none of the people in the campsite offer to help him, and he curses them as tries to help his sister back on the creature.
Taking pity on them, Lemmy leaps out of the darkness and offers to help them if they’ll come quickly. At that moment, Seria lets out an ear-piercing scream, and the large creature rages out of control, smashing apart a nearby tent. Patel picks up his screaming sister and runs towards Lemmy, as Sugar and Lemmy reveal their weapons and attack the creature. Trying to penetrate the creature’s thick shell, Lemmy stabs it with one of his knives, but quickly gets caught in the layer of sticky mucus surrounding it. Sugar quickly ties a lasso and throws it around the creature’s neck, looping the other end to a nearby rock in hopes of slowing it down. With its mobility removed, the creature poses little threat, and between Lemmy, Sugar, and the people of the campsite attacking it, it eventually falls. As the conflict ends, Lemmy and Sugar lead Patel and his sister out into the desert to regroup with the rest of the party.
To their surprise, they find themselves in yet another battle, this time against a jagged chunk of what appears to be plaster, with several large protrusions sticking out of it. The creature managed to sneak up on Lloyd and Leanna as they rested and talked, and although the pair narrowly escaped being eaten by the wide mouth and row of teeth on the underside of the creature, they were unable to make any headway in killing it. Sugar and Lemmy leaped into to assist while Patel stood back to protect his sister, and between a combination of ropes, crossbow bolts, beams of light, and bolts of electricity, the creature fell. As it collapses onto the sand, the plaster protrusions on its back shatter and reveal several well-preserved corpses as well as a number of other strange devices and oddities. Unfortunately, their battle was not without issue, as Lloyd’s hand was bitten and transformed into a brittle, bone-white rock.
Now having a second reason to accompany Seria to the village of Cylion Basin, home of the famous Healing Pools that brought in pilgrims from all over the Beyond, the party prepares to travel the rest of the night to reach the village before they are attacked yet again. Patel bids them farewell, stating that he must return to the False Woods to defend those he left behind, and that he places his sister’s life in their hands. As the party travels, Seria manages to speak just well enough to explain her situation. She tells them that since she was young, she had the ability to place suggestions in the minds of others, and that her power made her an outcast among her village. Recently, monsters had been coming out of the village to attack, and she began hearing a panicked, garbled voice in the back of her mind, a constant scream that threatens to drive her insane. The villagers chased Seria out, blaming her for commanding the monsters to attack, and she hopes that someone in Cylion Basin will be able to help her silence the voice in her head.
Several hours later, and as the first sun of several suns begins to peak over the horizon, the party arrives in Cylion Basin. Lloyd immediately asks one of the locals about the Healing Pools, and he is directed towards the black, bubbling pool in the center of town. Lemmy and Sugar find a store with a brain nailed to the sign hanging above the door, and figure that would be as good a place as any to find Seria some help. As they enter, a stern looking woman, with decorative pieces of synth at the corners of her eyes and mouth, knowingly beckons to Seria and says, “I know what this one has been through. She will find rest here.” Confident that the woman will be able to help Seria, the two leave to regroup with Leanna and find a place to sleep.
When she awakens in the late afternoon, Leanna goes to the center of town and finds Lloyd, fast asleep in the pool, but with his hand restored to flesh. She wakes him up, and the two wait for Lemmy and Sugar. However, after an hour of waiting, Leanna goes to find them and see why they have slept for so long. She finds no traces of them in the small rooms they rented above the tavern, and it appears that unlike herself, the two of them did not want to concern themselves with helping a wounded ally or a woman with voices in her head. Disgusted, Leanna returns to Lloyd and informs him that they have been deserted, and that there is little point in sitting around how that his hand appears to be have healed. Lloyd and Leanna head back to the store to check in Seria, and inside, they find the shopkeeper and Seria calming speaking with two men. One, tall, bald, and burly, wearing dark blue pants and a skin-tight white shirt, and the other with well-kept brown hair and rudimentary armor that barely managed to cover his terribly burned skin.
The shopkeeper turns to Leanna and Lloyd and introduces them to her guests. She explains that their names are Delin and Ignus, and that they had recently arrived in town to investigate rumors of a machine capable of resurrecting the dead. Seria, now fitted with a golden half-faceplate with three vertical red synth-stripes, continues her explanation, saying that after the shopkeeper silenced the voices in her back of her mind, she was able to filter through all of the noise and find their source – the small village of Embered Peaks. Ignus speaks in a calm, clear voice befitting of one who holds authority, and offers to join Leanna and Lloyd on their journey since they are headed the same way. After a brief conversation, Leanna and Lloyd agree to travel with Delin and Ignus to Embered Peaks to learn more about the resurrection machine and discover the reason behind the voices that plagued Seria. Leanna thanks the shopkeeper for her help, and together with the rest of the party, sets off for Embered Peaks, hoping that her new allies would a bit more loyal to each other than the last.