Ken looked through the eyes of the thrall he’d slain and consumed, sifting through memories of life and undeath, and saw The Necromancer standing before him. He didn’t see his enemy address the thrall directly, but rather the thrall’s superior—some man named “Bell”—and Ken concentrated to mark what was said.
“Bell,” The Necromancer said, “you know the lands and native peoples of North America well?”
On bended knee, the rotting man said “Yes, master. In life I was one of the few experts on the First Nations, and I specialized on the peoples of the Great Plains and the Midwest.”
Ken noticed another living force, easily as powerful as The Necromancer, besides that villain. He appeared to be Christopher Walken, as that actor appeared in the first Prophecy film many years before the fall of the Old World. This figure scanned the assembling group, and then whispered into the ear of The Necromancer, who then nodded.
“Bell, you are to go north to the Iron Range. There are old mines there, iron mines. With this work detail I assign to you, you shall join with two others I’ve already sent ahead. You shall reopen the mines. The iron you shall send back, but that is not your objective.”
The Necromancer waited for Bell, or anyone, to question him but they did not.
“There is something underneath the Iron Range, Bell. Something ancient, beyond the reach of the rebels’ memories or archives, that is rightfully mine- and I want it restored to me. You will find it, and you will recover it in my name, Bell.”
Again, The Necromancer paused. This time, Bell spoke.
“Master, what I am to seek?” Bell said.
“You need not worry, Bell. I will know when you find it, and thereafter I shall instruct you as to how to deal with it. Now go.”
Ken saw his meal follow Bell out of the Great Necropolis, marching without fatigue north to the very open pit now nearby. There he saw Bell talk with two others, whom Ken figured by their actions to be similar expert thralls. Some of the undead host went south and west, and some went north and east, but the bulk of the host stayed here at the Mesabi Range. The rest is a blur of days and nights, hot and cold, digging and shoveling dirt and ore.
“Hmmm,” Ken thought, “that makes this a treasure hunt. I need to know more.”
Knowing that the Necromancer’s thralls won’t be done anytime soon, Ken slipped away from the open pit mine and made for a lake nearby. There, he took forth a small bag from around his neck and shook it over the water as it lapped the shore of the lake.
“Spirits of old, kin to the First People, I ask your aide.” Ken said, “There is a thing that the Great Death desires, and I know only that it is ancient and desired.”
A watery humanoid figured appeared. “Death seeks Wendigo.”