The stars were bright in the desert sky above Sweetwater. The saloon doors of the Golden Goblet swung open with a brief burst of laughter and light. Kitra stepped into the street and the already drunk Ismir, who was babbling about his time in the War of Unification and his special Oudh powers. Eventually he wandered off and Kitra strolled back towards the aeroship.
Felix Tarse had remained inside the Golden Goblet, determined to enjoy himself in this town. He struck up a conversation with the smiling merchant Tsagreb. Tsagreb wanted to transport some goods on Tarse’s aeroship.
On the way back to the aeroship port, Kitra noticed the distinctive silhouette of a Demetrian helmet, worn by a lone figure standing on a ridge in the dark. She investigated and the figure turned out to be Muric, a ruggedly handsome Demetrian who questioned Kitra about her ship and the expedition.
Osso was up early, and had organised wagons and Girah sand lizards for the expedition. Groo had planned to stay on board the ship, but while no one was looking he hid himself in one of the wagons. The others walked alongside, and the wagons rolled out of town. Also with them was a Guernan warrior in a smart (but a little frayed) uniform, named Agra. He had been working for Baron Donahee of Sweetwater, and the Baron had asked him to go along.
Attack by night
The wagons rolled slowly into the desert, pulled by the placid Girah. The landscape was monotonous: low hills and rough ground dotted with occasional cacti. At night they pulled up and made camp near the edge of the Wasteland, a dried salt-lake bed encrusted with white powdery acid salts.
That night, they were attacked by a large group of Tintazi, Sand People. Kendrick and Magister Reeg and his students were separated. However quick action by Agra, Kitra, Tarse saw the sand people driven off. Lord Kendrick and one of his bodyguards had been injured in the fight, but there were no casualties.