Nearly a week of stumbling through the dark, sleeping in caves, and staving off starvation had them emerging into the Ukrudan Desert. In addition, Sloane stopped having a heartbeat, a pulse or breathing, despite being conscious, rational and mobile. In addition, healing of a magical OR natural nature is having no effect on her wounds.
A three day walk in the blistering heat to the walls of Hollowfaust, City of Necromancers almost ended their lives when the necromancer in the guard tower barred them entrance, stating "free-willed undead are an abomination, that THING (pointing at Sloane) may not enter, and we will destroy it now. Sebastian managed to relay the tale of what happened and the intrigued necromancer went to get a superior, returning with none other than the Head of one of the city’s famed Necromancer Guilds. They agree to examine young Sloane and attempt to cure her “affliction”, but warn that if they cannot, they WILL destroy her.
She submits to this and enters the city with the rest of the party, and they are apprised of the Laws of Hollowfaust, which seem somewhat strict but provide a safe, orderly way of life for it’s citizens. By far the most shocking law is that of Final Forfeiture: should someone die within Hollowfaust’s walls, their body becomes the property of the Sovereign Council who has sole discretion as to it’s eventual fate. “As Hollowfaust sheltered you in life, be it for 5 minutes or a lifetime, so shall your remains serve the city, in whatever capacity is deemed necessary by the Council”.
Here, Iscarian the Archer and Bragga Grimglaive the cleric part ways with the PCs. Sloane is escorted by a quartet of armed guards and two necromancers to the Underfaust, beneath the dormant volcano Mount Chalesh, against which Hollowfaust is built on the ruins of the dead city of Sumara. The Underfaust is where the Guilds live, work, study and devise their public works projects, as well as creating the undead servitors who work and protect the citizenry of Hollowfaust.
The other PCs head to the Weary Pilgrim, where the proprietress, Iontassa, shares a little bit about her city, with a wry wit sprinkled with a healthy sense of dark humor. Hollowfaust has elaborate public baths, the various Guilds see to the citizen’s health and well being through sanitation projects, education for the children of citizens and theater and festivals. The PCs rent rooms, head to the baths and try to enjoy dinner while they worry about Sloane.