As Argentius drifts towards darkness he hears a voice in the void, chuckling. "So mighty magus, after all you have been through, all your quests, your life ends like this. It is sad really, though in fact one last hope is possible, if you are interested."
Argentius clings to the voice in the void like the drowning person grasps the rescuer. As he listens, the artificer calms slightly, the offer hanging out in front of him. Rescue? Worse?
"Who are you?"
'I am hunger, I am destruction, I am the desert."
Argentius ponders for a moment. "One of your spirits came to Al Kufra, yes?"
"I believe it did, though not at my specific direction. Just following its hunger."
"You must be The Red, The Great Hunger we have heard rumors of," responds Argentius with respect and awe in his mental voice. "I am surprised that you would intervene enough to speak with me."
Argentius hesitates and then communicates again.
"What is this last hope that you speak of, Great One?" A hint of fear and desperation color the artificer's question, tempered by hope and cautious of the cost that surely must come.
"If you pledge yourself to me, become my minion, then I can restore you to, not exactly life but a semblance of it. Enough to get vengeance upon those who have wronged you."
"Pledge myself to you as a minion…" repeats Argentius slowly. "Am I to become your servant or your puppet? Though even a semblance of life is better than oblivion becoming a slave with no free will could be much worse."
"You will have free will. Otherwise I would not require your permission."
"Then I am to be your servant? What obligations will you require of me?" asks Argentius.
"One season per year you will fight the agents of the Black in the place and manner I assign you. Any vis you collect from defeating them will be yours to keep."
"I understand," responds Argentius. "This requirement implies that Your Greatness will communicate with me." He pauses for a moment.
"If I accept this pact, what am I to become? I would think a magus of my potential would be of great use to your greatness as a servant. How will you help me besides giving me some semblance of life
"It will depend on how you perform in your duties. If you serve me well certain ceremonies, like what you think of as initiations, will allow you expand your potential, that I will share with you."
"And will there be a teacher? Someone to help me learn what I need to know so that I may serve The Red well?" asks Argentius.
"If you do well the ceremonies will be provided."
OOC: you will be able to invest in organization lore: red cult each season of adventure you spend in its service, and there may be other sources as well.
"These ceremonies will be important, I see. When this pact is made, am I to be as helpless as I was when I was slain and put me into this situation? I had lost all memories and years, so much knowledge gone. I lived a century but was made young and innocent again. How will I survive to return to my sanctum?" asks Argentius as thoughts of a possible future spark in his mind.
"If you cannot return to your sanctum on your own you are not as worthy as I believed."
“What will I be? A ghost? A spirit?”
"Your body will be reanimated, under your own will. You will not need to eat, or drink, and in that way you will not truly be alive. As well children will be beyond you, and your appearance will not change from what it is now."
Argentius listens, considering the words. He thinks through what he knows from his study of Magic Lore (1) or Faerie Lore (2), letting his considerable intelligence (3) weight the options of what he would become.
"Will I lose my Gift to work the arcane arts? Or can I retain them and use them serve to your Greatness."