The call

Great Desert of Skulls

After water skins were filled, bodies were washed and food was prepared for the evening, the animals were finally allowed to drink deep from the surprising cool and clean waters of the oasis.

The Ozainae guards prepare a large stew made of some sort of poultry accompanied by some steamed grain that neither of you had seen before. Amastan explains that it is called Kseksu, small steamed granules of rolled wheat and that you should spoon the meat stew on top of it. It reminded you both of barley, but lighter and fluffier. All washed down with mint tea before people started to drift into smaller groups or doze of in the chilliness of the coming night.

Shalia - Your honour guard set up a small tent where you can sleep safely for the night. You have bathed away weeks of sweat and days of sand from your body and the cool waters have revitalised you to no end. You know the men with you would much rather be fighting with the other Odonine in the Plains against the Odsier but know their Warchieftan gave them an important task. To keep you safe. You know your own task is one of the utmost importance. The Horde must be raised, otherwise the Empire and the Inquisition will sweep away across Arcadia like wildfire. You decide that next time you are on such a mission you will drag a Bonecaster along so that you can keep in direct contact with Koshnem.

Islana - Wanting to experience the oasis during the night you wander slightly away from the main camp and find yourself a comfortable place to settled with your back against a palm tree. Your eyes feast upon the little details as life in the haven in the middle of the desert shifts from the day time.

Fireflies dance around your eyes bringing a small smile to your lips. The beauty of these serene moments almost make you forget what has happened to you in your life in the last few months, let alone weeks. Almost as if all happened to someone else. To another Islana.

The low voices of the nearby camp and the babbling of the water slowly make you nod off. You are fed, you are clean and you are at peace. Even if only for a brief few hours.

You drift to sleep. A deep and heavy sleep. You feel your falcon nestled against your side. And you dream...

You dream of an unknown woman standing under the bright sunlight of the desert. A woman with pale skin and hair the colour of fire. She walks across the desert. Her dusty face streaked with dried tears baked under the relentless sun. Behind her, in the distance, you see the majestic mountain range of Fang, with its snow covered peaks reaching into the blue sky.

The woman stops as if seeing you. She points at something past your shoulder. In your dream you turn and follow her finger. You see a huge cloud darkening the horizon. You cannot tell if those are rainclouds or a sandstorm. But whatever it is, it's approaching fast.

Your vision swims, you see burning palm trees, a burning corpse, and a hand holding a bloody knife, made from the sting of a dead giant scorpion. Sacred...
The knife falls. It falls on you...

You awake with a jolt, seating up. All is quite in the oasis. As if sleep as claimed everyone including the animals. All you hear is the babbling of the water and the sound of the wind whipping up dust at the edges of the oasis. No other noise can be heard. Its unnerving. Eerie.

Kaithak takes to the sky silently. You can't hear the flapping of his wings. But you don't pay attention to it. You turn to the desert. The light of the moon shines down on the endless sea of dunes. Its calling to you.

And without a glance back you walk into the night....

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