Chapter 1509 Learning from the Past Part 1
A few hundreds of kilometers from Urgamakka, a few hours after the Gargoyles incident.
In the middle of the Blood Desert, a tall figure with slender limbs strolled in the night.
Vareen, the ancient Eldritch Abomination known as the Plaguespreader, moved slowly through the sand dunes, hoping to find a landmark or even a small detail that would trigger his memory.
\'I\'m tired of waiting for the Master to find a monster suitable for my black core.
He can say what he wants about the need to choose a fallen core that can counter my unique abilities, but I know the truth.
\'After getting his little family of morons, he got soft and complacent.
He\'s in no rush to make a clone that I can assimilate because he already has everything that he wants.
On top of that, we never quite saw eye to eye so I doubt he\'d allow me to become even more powerful without putting some restraint on me.
\'Too bad for him that I\'m older than most Guardians and I remember things that even the World Tree might have forgotten.
I stood by his side only because our interests aligned, but now that thanks to the Council I have finally gotten some clues about Urgamakka, I don\'t need the Master anymore.\'
Vastor still kept an open line with the Council.
He wanted his creatures to have a place where they belonged once he managed to turn them into fully living beings while the Awakened wanted the knowledge of the Eldritchs and Bytra\'s secrets.
A few days back, Vareen had overheard Xenagrosh mentioning Urgamakka, sparking a hope that until that moment he had considered lost to time.
When the Lich King had built the fake city for the mission, he had not only derived part of its structure from ancient records that dated 3,000 years back, but also its name.
Inxialot was too busy to waste time making up a city from scratch so he had just put together the pieces from various history books and picked the name of the lost civilization that suited his purpose the most.
The real Urgamakka had been a city where several bright violet-cored Awakened at the end of their lifespan had assembled.
They had tried to discover the secret of the white core by pooling up their resources and knowledge, in the hope to avoid their impending death.
Vareen knew the city\'s history well since he was one of its founders.
He was already an Eldritch back then, but the Awakened had gladly accepted his help just as much as he had gladly funded their research.
According to rumors, an Abomination who had managed to enter a Fringe had learned from Mogar that the same method that allowed the living to gain the white core would also turn an Abomination into a new life form.
Instead of canceling each other, the black and the white core were supposed to merge, granting the Eldritch a power on par with that of the Guardians and absolute mastery over both life and death.
Vareen had invested a lot of resources in the project, even sharing his considerable knowledge with the Awakened community of Urgamakka.
Unfortunately, between the number of casualties caused by the failed experiments and the mages dying of old age, the population of violet-cored of the city had steadily decreased.
The Eldritch had progressively lost hope and searched for new ways to get rid of the curse of undeath.
On top of that, the more an Abomination practiced magic, the greater their need to feed.
For those reasons, Vareen had started to spend more and more time away from Urgamakka, until he had completely forgotten about it, deeming the city another of his many failures.
He hadn\'t given it a single thought in centuries until he had heard the name Urgamakka coming out of Xenagrosh\'s Council amulet.
\'I can\'t let the Awakened puppies find my records.
The artifacts I left there have either become obsolete or been destroyed due to the prolonged lack of imprint so that\'s not an issue.\' Vareen thought.
\'My knowledge, however, is another matter entirely.
I left the Urgamakkans a precise description of my breathing technique in the hope that it might help the research.
I\'ve shared with them the very secrets of magic that I discovered over the millennia.
\'Thanks to the dry air of the Desert, a sealed container is enough to preserve my books forever and those old arrays will not keep the dogs of the Council at bay for long.
Best case scenario, they have yet to discover the hidden safe in the city\'s core.
\'If I\'m lucky, I just need to get there and get rid of the records without being noticed.
Worst case scenario, I have to kill everyone.
It would destroy my relationship with the Master and put the Council on my tail again, but neither is a big loss.
\'Especially if the Urgamakkans discovered something after I left them for dead.
If the safe contains any lead to the secret of the white core, I can\'t let anyone get their hands on it before I do.\'
The Eldritch grinned in the night, exposing a row of white fangs made of pure energy as his form flickered in excitement.
Vareen used his mystical senses to scan his surroundings for arrays or for any trace of magic, finding himself completely lost.
In the following few days, the expedition team got into a nice routine that kept any more accidents like that of the first day from happening again.
They had chosen the ground floor of the lump of buildings in the middle of Urgamakka as their common haven and everyone had done their best to fortify it.
During the night, while their undead companions were at their peak condition, Lith, Phloria, and Solus explored the city while sharing the burden that the use of the Eyes of Menadion required.
During the day, instead, while the undead were either forced to slumber or deprived of most of their powers, Aalejah would share with Lith her staff and knowledge, allowing them to find clues about the Tiamat bloodline\'s powers.
\'Dammit, I have overestimated the Eyes and underestimated the size of this damn city.\' Lith thought.
\'Using the Eyes allows us to quickly explore the buildings and to find anything of interest without triggering any trap, but compared to the others, we are slow.
\'To make matters worse, after a few hours the mental strain caused by the information overload knocks us out.\'
\'I don\'t think that our situation is that bad.\' Phloria replied.
\'There\'s just three of us so it\'s no surprise that we cannot keep up with groups comprised of dozens of members.
\'In your shoes, rather than focusing on speed and on the number of useless junk that we find, I\'d be happy.
We are not only getting used to the Eyes in a relatively safe environment, but we are also receiving Aalejah\'s help in understanding your powers.\'
\'Agreed.\' Solus telepathically nodded while the Eyes spotted an Adamant cylinder covered in runes hidden behind a wall.
\'If you have so much energy to complain, use it to check for traps, mister sourpuss.\'
Lith sighed as he turned the mind link off before inwardly admitting that they were right.
Exploring Urgamakka wasn\'t a race.
There was nothing at stake, no enemy hidden in the shadows ready to attack them.
For the first time in their life, Lith, Solus, and Phloria could focus on the journey instead of the destination.