The guard standing on the watch tower jumped at the soft voice behind him. "I have heard that a great host approaches the monastery?" Spinning around he found himself in the presence of the abbot. How the old man had made it up here without making a sound...
"Yes abbot." And points out to the south. "You can see the dust. They're not moving quickly, but there seems to be a bunch of them."
"Well, keep an eye on them. I'll start making preparations for their arrival."
Hours later the first wave of walkers arrived. Dusty and tired, wearing a wide variety of clothing, from peasant smocks to noble outdoor attire they approached the gate. The abbot was waiting for them. An older skinny man, dressed in what once must have been a scribes outfit came forward, walking stick tapping with every other step. His ragged beard, stringy hair, and sun darkened skin told of many miles on the road. Stopping before the abbot he smacked his lips a few times to wet his dry mouth, and then coughed once to clear his throat. His voice, when it finally emerged was gentle, though a little rough. "Brother." He bowed slightly at the waist. "Might we beg of you for some water?"
"If you'll tell me your tale, we'll happily share what we have. Not just water, but food and wine."
"That would be most kind."
The abbot waved his monks out, and they came bearing trays of bread, pots of stew, and jugs of wine. "Come, join me inside if you would. We can sit in my garden."
Sitting among herbs, spices, and flowers the wanderer began "My tale is simple enough. I lost a friend, and I didn't know what to do. A day after the funeral, I went out on a walk to clear my head. I had no destination in mind. I never made it back home. Along the way, people have... followed me. I don't know why, really. They all seem to want something from me, and I don't know if it's something I can give. But I walk, and they walk with me."
"I'd heard something about a wanderer who'd collected lost souls in his wake."
"If that's me, then I'm just the first of them. I'm as lost as anyone."
"How long have you been on the road now?"
"Oh, almost 2 years now." the rambler smiles.
Staff of the Wanderer
This simple walking stick will always indicate true north to anyone grasping it. It also radiates an aura of calm around the bearer, and anyone wishing to attack must pass a saving throw vs spells to do so. This effect is negated for a day if the staff is used for violence. If used in combat it counts as a magical weapon but only causes 1d4 points of damage on a hit.