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  1. chapter twenty-two: too many secrets.... (or, dead women still tell tales!)

    The following morning saw us heading for the rock outcroppings that form the windbreak that protects the oasis. I found it interesting that none of the shelters have been erected near the cave opening. The inside is cooler than the outside, but as we penetrate deeper into the cavern, the air grows curiously warm. At the second turn, Pik stopped momentarily, and pointed to a hollow in the floor. Later I spoke with him and confirmed my suspicion. According to the lore of my first-kin, that is where ...
  2. chapter twenty-one: an amulet of destiny's past....

    It has been an interesting experience teaching those who have so long been our teachers in the ways and customs of the strange lands in which Pik and I have wandered. Now that we are home in the desert, we have had to think carefully and explain things which to us, are first-nature. How to find water, how to conserve water, how to dress, how to shelter, and so forth. All new experiences for our clutch-family. We traveled in easy steps, helping accustom our new family to the rigors of desert travel. ...
  3. chapter twenty: sidetreks.... (or, over an hundred and twenty years old, and i still can't drink, drive, or vote!)

    It is the dusk of Fireday, 7th month of the Year of the Emberhound. We travel in the cool of the dusk and dawn. As we leave my tribal homeland, I reflect upon the events of the last month. We sent messages to the Duke, upraising him of the finishing events, and our suspicions and intentions. We retained the peculiar enchanted chain, and sent our information by secured courier.

    We had decided not to take the overland route. In the heat of summer, this would be most difficult for our ...
  4. chapter nineteen: the best laid plans of owl and humanoids....

    In the Morning of Starday, 6th month of the Year of the Emberhound. It is an appropriate day to be writing of what has come to pass. So much has happened, and this is a day of reflection, reconnection with gods, nature, or ones inner-self; depending on personal beliefs. The wind is gentle, the camp sounds muted, the sun is warm, the stream's babble is a gentle counterpoint to the wind.

    We entered the stronghold through the smokehole on the roof, as I wrote earlier. We had a plan ...
  5. chapter eighteen: up on the rooftop, the party pause....

    We are about to leave and attempt another foray. We have spent some time recovering from the nearly fatal trap we escaped. The dwarves have left, buoyed by a feast summoned by Sabriel. They would only accept a small amount of gold, but named us dwarf-friends. We shall find a warm welcome in their clan halls, if ever we should go that way. Arielle returned in good time, and enjoyed the feast with the dwarves. We have prepared well this time, and shall not fall prey to previous errors. The doors are ...