It has already been a day of supreme greatness and it is only just past noon. At first light, I lead the party toward the object that I had seen last eventide. It turned out to be a massive, twisting pillar of sand, somehow stationary – rotating dangerous on the spot, as if anchored by some unseen force. As we approached the sound of the thing was deafening. Before we got too near and lost all hope of communicating, I suggested that we should try to penetrate the twister and find the center. It would almost certainly hold the face in the stone and thus the artifact that we are seeking. I further suggested, once we reach the sand twister, that we tie ourselves together so that no one get lost or turned around. Rhamon, possibly due to the noise, possibly due to his meagre breakfast, threw a massive tantrum saying it was ridiculous to tie ourselves together until we had looked around for trouble. Shit, thanks for the suggestion, grandpa. Obviously we should look around first, I said “before we go into the sand storm”. I should buy him an ear horn when we get back to Tyr. Or at least a kebab. Maybe both.
When he finally settled down we went to investigate the area, coming around from behind a massive rock just in time to see a group of raiders throw a bound and gagged man into the desert twister. Now these are my type of people. Rotten to the core, violent, ruthless. The perfect gift for my dark masters. Oh, the slaughter was incredible, blood soaking the sands like the tides of old. The raiders managed to throw one more captive into storm before I used their leader as a projectile and ended both he and one of the raiders doing the cold-blooded killings. I felt like an unstoppable force. Every enemy I glanced at would burst into flames or drop to the ground, clutching their temples in agony. We all fought well, and at times, worked as a team. Onk proved himself for the second time – the first time in combat. He flew – quite literally, in fact- through the air, snapping limbs and crushing ribs as he went. The minotaur physically used his horns to gore people and looked terrifying after the battle. I thought Lucian did quite well as he was the first one to the captives (other than the living missile I had sent hurling over there) and was able to protect the rest of them very effectively. Kla got into a bit of trouble when the few remaining raiders, cornered against the desert twister tried to throw her into the storm, but she was tough enough to fend them off. A glorious battle, indeed.
One raider lived after the fight and I revived him long enough to question him. Lucian was very persuasive and managed to get a good deal of information out of him, before I determined he had served his purpose here and should now go and serve my masters. He told us that he works for Yarnath the skull, as did his now-deceased comrades. They are looking for the artifact. At last, some good news. Once Yarnath learns of his men’s failure, he’ll have no choice but to come and find the artifact himself. And then he will be destroyed. The first of seven.
Rhamon walked the surviving captives back to their waggons, insisting that they take the raiders weapons to protect themselves in the future. I think they were frightened by him, since they gave us a good amount of food “for our troubles” then raced off into the desert. I would be surprised if they make it wherever they are headed, with or without the food and weapons.
Lucian noticed that the raiders each bore a tattoo on their wrist, much like ours, except it was the image of a snake – apparently Yarnath’s symbol. That is good, it will be easier to determine who works for him in the future, and then send them to meet my masters.
Rhamon entered the sand twister and successfully returned, telling us that he found a rock with a face on it. The final piece of the puzzle is in place now. He also said that we wouldn’t be alone in there. I am certain that the guardians of this place will not look kindly on our intrusion. I am going to enter the sand now. Hopefully this is not my last entry.