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Dark Sands

As the Fayheran celebrated the arrival of Kalador and their goddess' joy, a rickety caravan trundled past the sentries surrounding the Olm. The confused cries of the watchers went unanswered, yet the wagons were not accosted, for they were familiar. 'Twas one of the first groups to leave as missionaries of Fayruz, that had gone south some weeks ago in search of tribes beyond the rocklands that had yet to experience the beatific peace of Fayruz's rule. Naught seemed amiss as the procession wound through camp, though pack mule and Fayheran alike swayed as though exhausted. As they progressed through the camp, the group splintered, each family and individual angling towards old haunts.

The screams began moments after the conclusion of Fayruz's dance, and as she and Kalandor looked up in surprise a pair of men crashed through the circle around them and into the firelight. At first, it seemed as though the old feuds had reasserted themselves, but then one of the men vomited black sand in the face of his victim. The other man spasmed, his body twitching like a marionette with tangled strings, and then both men rose as one. The Fayheran around them gasped in horror as they saw the black sand dribbling like spittle and tears from the mens' eyes and mouths, and they screamed when the two terrors charged towards the, mouths opening to reveal throats choked with that accursed darkness.
Dark Sands

CRACK.

Most of the dancers and musicians had run screaming from the circle into the darkness, especially given that their guest had transformed from a homely traveler into a ferocious beast. Fayruz herself, however, froze with terror and - written across her face plain for all to see - pity. In that moment, Saven Wolfslayer pulled the sling from his belt, slipped a rock in, and let it fly straight and true.

Of all the weapons of man, the sling is the most fearsome at a distance. A spear can be thrown well enough, but nothing can destroy a man like a sling's bullet cracking against his head. One of the possessed men fell back, his neck snapping loudly, as Saven placed another rock in his sling and began to swing it.

Gamesha, meanwhile, had moved in a focused blur, interposing himself between Fayruz and the black-sand man without a weapon. He grinned viciously. "Stay back, my lady. I'll take him, should your brother not."

Meanwhile, all through the camp, chaos reigned. The reign of Fayruz had been based on peace and trust between the tribes, trust now betrayed. Cries of 'ghouls' and 'minotaur!' echoed through the camp, as hunters took up their spears and swords. The second Battle of the Olm would be a brutal thing, waged by torchlight and claiming more than a few innocents.