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The first time you visit Port Llast and enter the garrison building (#1), you'll witness a doomguide named Septimund arguing with Rynn Shepherde about how to deal with the undead attacks in the area. Septimund will demand that Rynn send out soldiers to stop the threat, and Rynn will insist that he can't spare any. You'll receive this quest at the end of their conversation.
After yelling at Rynn, Septimund will head outside and glower in the street (#2). When you talk to him there, he'll tell you that the undead have been plaguing the region for over a week, and that since he has to stay and help defend the town, he can't search for their source. He'll then ask you to do it for him. If you have enough ranks in any of the social skills (including bluff, intimidate and diplomacy), then you'll be able to convince Septimund to join you. Otherwise, you might have to pay him 3000 gp to come along with you.
Dealing with the undead threat is covered in the quest entry for
Army of the Dead
. It's not necessary to have Septimund with you for the quest, but his presence will add some extra dialogue when you reach Nya, the necromancer causing the problems. If you kill Nya, or if you convince her to give up necromancy, then Septimund will eventually leave your party and return to Port Llast. If you decide to use the undead to attack the Luskans in Port Llast, then Septimund will immediately leave your party, and you'll never see him again.
After dealing with the undead threat, when you return to Port Llast, the quest will complete, and it will indicate that you'll never see Septimund again. The quest is buggy, though, and Septimund will return to his spot in Port Llast (#2) after you've completed the quest
Army of the Dead
. At that point, when you talk to Septimund, you'll have to be careful what you say to him. Convincing him to join you will require that you pass one or more diplomacy checks. If you're successful, then Septimund will become available as a companion, and you'll earn 700 xp. If you fail, then Septimund will disappear, and you'll never see him again.
1 - Garrison Building
2 - Septimund