Some risk the severe dangers of the Wastes simply to make a living, others revere the Salvation as a biblical calling testing their faith in a world devoid of belief.
by Ali May Sang (the Librarian)
Those who catch the Salvation to traverse the wild desert we call the Wastes tend to prefer dealing with one wagon over any others. It is a trust issue as there are many unsavoury characters behind the wheel and armed to the teeth without a clue how to use these advanced weapons. Sometimes it is a token of good luck to ride the same wagon time and time again. Sometimes it simply comes down to matters of comfort or convenience, and sometimes it is simply a matter of how many passengers they’ve lost in the last few months. When you cross the Wastes, you are always playing the odds.
Not all Caravan wagons are alike. There are a wide assortment of entrepreneurs, freelancers, mercenaries, and naive youngsters hoping to find fame and fortune riding at the side of the One Land’s infamous invention. Most do it for the money and a fraction of those have built a valuable reputation of not getting wiped out in the first sandstorm they stumble into let alone delivering a majority of their customers to their intended destination. Or any destination, for that matter. Personally, I take solace in those who take to riding behind the locomotive behemoth because it is their purpose in life.
Calling themselves the Faithful of Salvation, these drivers and gunners are seriously dedicated in their mission to aid and protect the train survive the challenges of the Wastes. They have seen Deckland Burr’s miraculous invention and view it as more than a marvel of modern machinery but as a sign of the Elemental Spirits offering hope in an otherwise hopeless world. You can tell a Faithful from all others trailing behind the Salvation by the mark they wear on their hand – a burn from the piping hot nameplate adorned on the front side of the Salvation scarring the palm of their dominant hand. This nameplate features Burr’s hand-carved signature reversed on their palm (a warning specifically mentioned because some have attempted forgeries in the past where the signatures was legible and reading right-side up, a clear indication they never so much as laid a hand on the engine let alone seen the Salvation up close). Any Faithful riding alongside the Salvation is willing to give their life to spare the train from serious harm, even if that means bringing their passengers into the afterlife with them. Perhaps this is why passengers should take caution riding in a Faithful wagon and be prepared to join them in death or jump off and risk surviving the Wastes on foot.
Without any benefactors or employment houses funding their fuel and ammunition, Faithful wagons charge a premium for their services but they do offer a discount for those still loyal to the teachings of the Elemental Spirits. And those who are willing to pay in bullets. Their wagons are not the most luxurious or the safest but they are definitively the odd on favourite to get their passengers to the desired destination with as fewer holes when they arrive then when they departed.