Most people thought that Sandtown was a myth. A fairy tale about a city of gold to tell children at bedtime, or a story for drunken sailers to share over one too many ales.
Not long ago he’d thought the same. But here, at the end of his long journey through the desert, was proof that Sandtown was very much real indeed.
And what a dump! The town had obviously been abandoned in quite a hurry, and the following years of neglect and sandstorms had not been kind; but it was clear even now that the town had been in a bad way long before it’s inhabitants had mysteriously disappeared.
A mishmash of differently shaped buildings lined the main boulevard into town, and even half buried in sand they were still loudly competing with each other for attention. Most appeared to be shops, with ragged wooden signs still gently squeaking in the wind out front.
Around these buildings ran what appeared to be a stone viaduct of some kind, but one with a single metal rail that ran along its length. Well, along the parts that hadn’t crumbled into the street at least. Even with the amount of time the town had been abandoned, it was obvious that this was particularly shoddy work. This rail ran in great loops around the buildings and streets, before eventually leading towards the central point the whole town was built around, the great Sandtown pyramid.
It was here he found himself now, within the pyramids central chamber, gazing at the crumbling stone architecture and admiring a series of great murals along a towering wall. These pictures seemed to tell the story of the town, celebrating its finest moments, and documenting its eventual downfall, in gaudy colorful detail.
The first images told the story of the Traveling Man, who arrived when Sandtown was still just a collection of dusty shacks on the side of the road. This man gathered the townsfolk and told them them they should build a great ‘mono-rail’. That such a thing would help put the town on the map and transform their lives. He even did a song and dance about it that the townsfolk couldn’t help but join in with.
And sure enough, once the monorail was built, more people started to arrive in town, with even greater ideas about how the residents could get rich. One mural told of a woman who arrived claiming she could diagnose any illness after examining a single drop of blood, with many people in the town clambering to invest their life savings. Another, told of a sudden craze that swept the town that saw residents start driving each other around in their own carts and wagons. The mural stated it was a good way to make some extra coins, the only issue being that the amount they charged was less than it cost to feed their horses.
The biggest mural on the wall though told the story of the construction of the great pyramid itself. Normally, a town resident would simply pay for their own burial chamber, if they could afford it. This time though, residents joined together to pay for the burial chambers of the town elders, and then simply had to find a group of people willing to pay for theirs. This system quickly led to the pyramid growing taller than any in the surrounding county side, the only issue being that no matter how big it grew there was never enough space for everyone inside.
Making his way to the end of the wall, he could see that there was one more mural scratched into the stone. It was much smaller than the others, and simply showed what looked like a blood bowl pitch, with bags of gold heaped up in the end zone. Suddenly, he heard what sounded like the scrape of feet behind him, and felt boney hand reach out and grab him by the shoulder.
“Welcome friend, do I have a business opportunity for you.”