Titan's Wake

The Story So Far
As well as can be remembered...

Shining cities and tower tall,
broken at its feet they fall.
The Titan, red ash and smoke
in Cataclysm’s voice it spoke.
Then nothing but sand and wind
and death.

Then at last in caverns deep
The dwarves were first to break their sleep.
Their Empire rose in steel and stone,
bending all hidden in sand alone,
to kneel and bow to
the Lion Throne.

The Roots of Stone patient stand
until Dragon curse from human hand,
bit and tore at Secret Seal.
Druid-child born to heal,
led companions brave
across the sands.

There they found in canyon’s peace
a giant with crystal-heart to cease.
Bitter miles and hidden fear,
full of doubt but purpose clear.
They broke the heart,
to break the curse.

No curse they broke, and cursed their own
The sacred Roots a tomb of stone.
By Dragon-Word they slipped away,
awoke in chains both black and gray.
The Machine-City of Zero,
where the Dream sleeps.

Tales they heard and songs of light,
their learned much of Zero’s spite.
A story of a different sort,
the gods own ruin by Dreamers thwart.
Undo the Titan, free every mind,
at Dragons’ return.

With brittle lies and fortunes blessed,
the heroes fled from the Dreamers’ nest.
They brought their strange tales and questions meet,
to lay at Sunset Company’s feet:
The Final Seal is found,
Zero rides.

Under sand and over stone they flew,
up spire and in air they knew,
the Temple Unknown, invisible and sure
they fell upon harsh knowledge, pure.
The Mask of Six found
a new bearer.

And there they fought against the Dream
Red blood flew against Sunset’s gleam.
Fleeing death and Zero’s might
the Mask unleashed a blazing flight.
Far to the west,
beyond the moon.

Led on by words of sleeping hand,
they journeyed west to a frozen land.
Beyond the desert, beyond the glade
Seeking for both Guide and Blade.
In Raven’s Hall,
they claimed them both.

Snow and mountain spire,
their path lead to secret fire.
A hidden temple amongst the snows,
where secrets wait and death’s wind blows.
The machine flickers to life,
and the Mask shines with fervor.

Careful now, you heroes bold
for what you find down in the cold.
It’s hidden heart slowly beats
Power does not die, it only sleeps.
Words and tales and songs and lies,
the empty choice is hero’s prize.
Make your way or make your grave,
the blindfold-man is Fortune’s slave.

Adventure #1 - Out of the Sand
DM Flavor text and description from game notes.

Prologe: A Desert Dreams
This world is a quieter world – after the Titan’s coming, there’s a lot less people talking, thinking, filling the sky and earth with their endless noise. In this world, you can hear yourself think – and in this world, the thing that everyone pays attention to is their dreams. It was a dream that led the Dwarves to leave their mines and caves, and found the Lion Empire. It was a dream sent the Wave-Men out into the Big Blue. The druids of Rill learned when it would be safe to let their endless Whirlwind fall. The Elves of Briar had nightmares of the Titan, but woke to find the Lion Empire was the true terror. King and slave, merchant and miser, baker and bandit – every walking soul in the desert pays close heed to the dreams that find them, especially the ones remembered past waking.
But then again..the people of the Ciro have a saying. Sometimes the desert dreams of you.

Ninemi finds herself in the shade of a margo tree, surrounded by the heat of the day and yellow sand. The desert seems to make a bowl, surrounded by high dunes. the wind whips her scarf across her face — then five more trees appear. Six trees, and six travelers – as it should be, six is a holy number for the followers of the Balance. Under each tree stands a figure, a person you find oddly familiar.
Ninemi – Sylph Rogue
No-Name – Dwarven Gunslinger
Domingo – Human Bard
Rhoga – Human Barbarian
Sir Mander – Grippli Cavalier
Anka – Halven Druid
The six travelers step out from under the shade of their trees, confused expressions on their face.
The wind stops blowing. In the Bastard Sands, the wind never stops blowing.
The center of the bowl begins to recede, sand like water down a drain. A pit – and from the pit, a swarm of scarats. [Scarab rats]

When the scarats are defeated, a pool of water forms in the center of the bowl and a blue lily blooms - undaunted by the desert that surrounds it.

Scene Two: Awakening
Domingo shakes awake from his uncomfortable position on the top of the wagon. It is piled high with bales of cotton cloth in several bright colors, and there is only a narrow edge left for him to squeeze onto. Better than walking. Walking is not an option.
The morning heat is withering, and a dry wind blows west.
The interior of the wagon is similarly stuffed, standard procedure for a merchant. Necessities and cargo – any passengers have to make do with the space remaining, or walk.
To the bard’s left, perched on the back corner of the wagon is a Strange Dwarf. [Have Domingo and No-Name conversed at all? Thoughts about each other?]
The only other passenger, sitting on the opposite side of the roof is a sylph, Ninemi. [How much have the passengers conversed? All three of them have been in this caravan for several days, getting on board in a small town called Tophat to the south.
“Was that you snoring, fancy lad?” X calls. “Remember, part of the deal is to keep watch for savages and savager critters. We’re no more than a glass-turn from Rill, but better safe than sorry.”
X Hartower is a crusty old human with sun-scorched skin, and an even more arid sense of humor. He has been more than fair with his passengers, charging a reasonable rate for passage, and throwing in good helpings from the black iron foodpot at the end of each day’s travel. This trip has been remarkably uneventful, except for a pack of wild awkks that stampeded through on the second day.
Why are these players coming to Rill?
No-Name : Heard a rumor about an actual gunsmith that lives in Rill.
Domingo: The Festival of the Grove is scheduled to take place this week in Rill. It’s a chance to make a little coin with your guitar, charm a few farmer’s daughters – and perhaps get a glimpse of the famous ritual performed by the Druids of Rill at the end of the festival. Sacred to Banu, the God of Storm and Water –it is told to ensure rain and a good harvest year after year.
Ninemi: No real reason – but when have you ever needed one?

Scene Three: Rill in Turmoil
The wagon arrives, pulling over the crest of a dune. For the last hour the trackless waste of the Bastard Sands have given way to more solid terrain – outcroppings of stone, thicker topsoil – and even an occasional scrub bush. Rill is located in a valley between two granite outcroppings, and the three passengers are amazed at how green it is. Well tended narrow fields, kept close to the river that runs through the valley for easy irrigation. The town too is narrow, simple stone buildings thatched with long grasses – and just on the far edge of the town, the famous orange grove of Rill.
X leads his team of horses into the center of town, and pulls up to a wide inn with an air of familiarity. There are surprisingly few people on the streets, even though the town has been well decorated for the festival – streamers, big round lanterns made of clay. The passengers also notice that each household keeps a simple pedestal next to the entrance, with a simple bowl on top – traditional for followers of Banu. Send your rain, Lord of Storms - it will be cherished here.
X bids the passengers adieu, and goes into the inn to arrange stable care for his team. The only townsperson in the immediate vicinity is an elderly female elf, sitting on the porch snapping green beans into a wide clay bowl.
Where is everyone? There’s a big ruckus over at the grove, all the other farmers have brought in their crop – so no one has anything better to do but go be nosy.
Scene Four: The Grove
“Anka, hand me my staff.” Her father says. “It makes me look more impressive, and we need that starched-shirt fool to listen to me.”
The staff was impressive – ancient hardwood, almost black with years of care and the stain of margo-resin. 8 feet long, unbroken and smooth – except for a burst of limbs at the end, with a blue crystal inset. Her father however, did not appear impressive. He work a plain cotton workshirt over much-patched leather leggings. His iron-gray hair was matted and sweaty, he put his ragged straw hat on to protect his face and sharp-pointed ears from the sun.
They were standing in the cloak room of their simple home, set into the side of the stone hill that overlooked their orange groves. Their groves, as Anka always thought of them, even though her father continually reminded her that they kept the land in trust, for the good of the entire village. But without us, they would never grow – and without the ritual!

Anka followed her father out into the front yard, where the other druids waited, along with the ceremonial visitors. A frog knight from the Grippli Pond, and a barbarian from the Ciro tribe. Anka had long been confused about the barbarians that came for the Festival – they spent all year long raiding, wandering, and caravan-robbing – but like clockwork, a small group always appeared the week of the ritual. Solemn and mild the entire time – then gone like a shadow as soon as the ritual was complete. Her father kept promising to explain in more detail, but there was always so much to be done.
Pond Knight / Rhoga: You have been selected by your respective tribes to take part in this ritual. It is a great honor, and your elders have stressed the utmost importance of the ritual being completed.
The druids, gripplis and tribesmen all left as one and moved to the grove entrance.
Which is blocked by a throng of bemused townsfolk, and the entire Empire garrison. [10 armored dwarves – mounted on awwks, with glaives and bucklers.] The governor, Dralin Cortezzo stand before them with a look of stubborn determination on his face. The dwarf is bald an egg, and keeps a large hanky everready to daub the sweat that streams down his face.
[Domingo, Ninemi, and No-Name arrive just as the druid contingent approaches.]
“I know what you’re going to say, Ichtaca – but we CAN’T let you go into the grove right now. The place is full to the brim with Tengu bandits, and there’s no telling what sort of dark magic and traps they’ve filled the place with. We’ve got them cornered for now, but we can’t take the chance they’ll escape. So, no one goes in until the reinforcements arrive and we can march in with force.”

Anka’s father squares his jaw, and tries to speak calmly. “You don’t understand, Dralin. The ritual must take place – today, before moonrise. It has been this way for hundreds of years – never once has my family failed in their duties, and Banu and the Balance have blessed and protected this place for all that time. We must enter the grove!”
“I won’t risk my guardsmen, and I won’t let you risk your life over a quaint old tradition, Ichtaka.” Dralin said stubbornly. “You are far too important to this town, I’m sorry but you’re just going to have to wait.”

Ichtaka bites back a retort, and turns away to get a grip on his anger.
Anka : You look out across the gathered crowd. You know that the Governor will not budge, and far too many of the townsfolk agree with him – the ritual is just a tradition, nothing bad will happen if it has to wait a week. You know different, you know it in your bones. And as you look across the crowd, you see three faces – and you remember your dream.

[Governor won’t risk older druids – and doesn’t trust Grippli or barbarians. But can be convinced to let party enter, and even offers a reward if they are successful.]

Scene Six: The Stone Roots

In the center of the grove is the stump of a tree – a massive tree. Closer inspection reveals that it is completely fossilized, pure stone. A hexagaonal door is set into the base of the stump - marked with the sign of the Balance. It has been cruelly ripped off its hinges, and lies askew in its housing. Something of massive strength and evil intent is the only thing that would have done this.

A spiraling staircase, housing the bones of druids – Anka’s ancestors. Once the party enters, several burst forth from their stone cairns and attack. One round in, the dead druids cast a summoning spell that brings forth the Air elemental.

Scene Seven: Taproot
The base of the tree is a vast circular chamber, walls riddles with stone roots. In the very center of the room is a broad taproot going down into the earth. An altar is on the farside of the room, but of far more immediate interest is the large white-scaled creature gnawing at the base of the root. It attacks immediately.

The Ritual of Tears

Druid-born and wild-blood meet
In roots of stone beneath the feet
of Six-Branch tree and seal the pact
made in love at Eld World wrack.
Last of all, a true-hearted knight
Breaks sword of green, ends winter’s blight.
Now weep and wail, and keep the Word
Sorrow-song forgotten, but always heard.

Sweet Blossom, White Blossom
Book of Sand

[Player Character Journal: Domingo de Veracruz / Author: M. Weed]

Tumblr lmjxi97 l861qj6juso1 500
The man stood up in his stirrups as much as he thought was prudent and gazed over the desert to his right. Honestly, he’d been daydreaming and out in the Bastard Sands that kind of behavior could kill you.

Most everything in the Bastard could kill you. The sand could kill you, a stampeding heard of wild hawkstriders could kill you, their natural predators the ‘yotes could kill you, not drinking enough water could kill you, drinking too much water could kill you, the list went on and on and on.

Was that what was out there, he thought? A coyote? It would have to be a damn big one or a damn hungry one to be this far away from the large herds. He had seen one stuffed that was 12 hands high in his father’s hacienda once. He did not like the thought of that and sat in the saddle long enough to tie his scabbard tighter around his thigh. His eyes never let the horizon though as his hands moved. The bird he was astride was a big one. He’d won it in a drunken poetry contest with another bard in a little border “town” of pueblos carved in the side of a rocky cliff. He had managed to rhyme “rictus most” with “intercourse.” He had also managed to make an enemy for life that night of the little singer from Toledo who might have been pretty in her own right except for the scar tissue under her eye. When all the laughter had died away and the crowd had flitted home, her eye with the ugly pink scar never left him and followed him as he put his saddle, all its silver inlay still intact, on the bird. He left the cliffs that very night, not waiting until morning and rode the bird hard toward the Lion’s mountains thinking she would expect him to hit the trade routes for a caravan rather than take the long away around.

Could it be the girl? He did like to think she had chosen to follow him. He did not want to kill her but he was quite willing and able to do so if she came. She had started the limericks after all. Her, with her almost child-like guitar. He’d encouraged it though. She had pegged him for a second son or range Don and thought he would be an easy mark. In point of fact, she probably played better than he did but he always had his wit and his wit had always kept him alive ever since he fled from his land and title or at least since he’d fled from his father’s land and title. So he chided himself again for not paying enough attention to the horizon. It was only when his mount had chirruped and started to shift from talon to talon that Domingo had “come on guard.” He’d been thinking about the girl and the game. He was too damn proud his father had always said. Pride should be added to the list of things that can kill you in the Bastard Sands. He was just thinking that he might write a ballad about it. A soft ballad about the hard sands when those very same sands exploded into life and he found himself several hands away from his bird, a partial stirrup still clinging like a peon child’s rag doll from his foot. He had his rapier out and was in position three before he’d even finished flinging the rest of the broken leather from his heel.

The thing towered over him. Tall and brown and desperately hungry. Domingo actually smiled just before it lunged at him. Damned if the girl might not have killed him after all.

The ‘yote lunged at Domingo de Veracruz and Domingo pivoted from position three into position seven. The animal seemed to sweep past him but was able to turn his snout enough to snap at the flesh of Domingo’s “free” arm. Domingo would always think of his empty had in that particular way. Under the tutelage of his old masters there was no such thing as a free arm. An open hand was merely another weapon, just unfilled with steel. Domingo tried to rake the animal with the cup of his rapier hilt since the blade was nowhere near anything vital and he used his free arm to keep the thing off balance as it glided past him all bones, matted brown fur and stink. It looked as if the animal’s huge head, bobbing on its scrawny neck, would snap but no such luck was with the man and the dirty thing came away with a year’s worth of lace in its mouth. Although gravity did the rest and the beast crunched briefly into the sand it seemed to simply fold itself up, all ribs and hips hanging about and then it recoiled out and back into a furious crouch, growling. It was fast. The Donling knew he had two options. End this quickly while he was strong and at his best speed or find a way to wear the ‘yote down and make himself too hard a kill for the thing to bother with. Make it know there had to be easier meat elsewhere. Domingo saw immediately that tactic two was going nowhere. A hungry but rational coyote could usually be scared off by noise or enough pain to startle. This animal was more aggressive than Domingo had ever seen a coyote, of any size, let alone a big ‘yote like this one. The thing was either rabid or loco with hunger. Since it was not discernibly drooling more than usual, or at least what Domingo thought was usual, he assumed the later. All these thoughts were born in a second. The ’yote came at him again after two.

It went for his legs this time. Of course, it had tried to land on his back the first time and snap his neck. Now its instincts told it to maim him and wear him down. Lunge, bite, bleed him, circle, lunge, bite, bleed him and eat. Domingo countered again from position three, to which he had instinctively returned, and this time he was able to aim a solid strike at its head which was low as it tried to catch his right leg. It was a good thrust but his blade slid along the crest of the animal’s skull and instead of killing it the fur and flesh along its scalp split opened after a moment and its skull shown in the sunlight yellow and white. It shrieked at him in pain. As a boy, Domingo could recall what he thought were women screaming in the marshing woods that had formed at the base of the Lion’s Tooth range near what was clearly the DwarflandIts (in the old tongue). When he confronted his father about it, self-righteously demanding justice against the bandits attacking their people Don Alejandro laughed and had told him it was a panther. The ‘yote screamed like that now. Its long ears suddenly flopping a little left and right since there was no muscle between them to hold them.

The ‘yote retreated a little but it did not flee. While Domingo spun away from position four to return to three, who might bleed to death was a question that had now for a time shifted into Domingo’s favor. He was already winded. While he had endured the most rigorous training a gentleman could face or afford, most of it was had been performed underground in the upper shafts and halls of the Dwarf Lord’s holdings. Even his human and his impossibly fast elven masters had gone underground to where the work was – the centers of civilization where the gentlemen were found.

“The center of the world is at its heart,” dwarves liked to say “and the heart of the world is under our mountain.” In the Bastard however, the heat could wear the best trained and heartiest down. There was also the old peon saying that “the gods created all the races. The Bastard made them equal.” Here in the Sands, Domingo would have stood at least an even chance of striking a killing thrust at one of his old masters. The light and heat were to a human’s advantage. Although he had never heard it spoken aloud he had always suspected that the Dwarf Lord’s natural aversion to bright light and the elves natural aversion to heat were all that had kept most humans free. The ‘yote did not seem to have heard either expression however, nor cared a fig for Domingo’s musings. It merely circled him, a little more warily, but even more fiercely than before. I have to end this now, he thought. He’s bleeding but I’m losing.

It continued to circle.

“You son of a whore,” whispered Domingo when he glanced at the hole in his shirt. He was not really angry then, however. The old ways always took over when he fought. Singing was nerve racking, sometimes his palms would sweat or his skin would cover with a thin sheen of sweat that he prayed to his mother’s gods no one would see but in a death dance it was always the same, he always went back to the old ways, the repetition, and the drills. The death dance. His new pet was doing a pretty good death dance of its own, thought Domingo. The animal snapped at him just then. It went for Domingo’s free hand this time. Had the jaws actually closed on his hand he might have lost it. It was ugly work but the swordsman’s slash sliced along the beast’s ribcage and a thin line of blood splashed on the sand. The ‘yote bit at Domingo’s exposed haunch then and gained an inch or so of leather. The man swung under the thing and lanced upward with all his strength. The rapier went right through the thing’s intestines, its heart and the top of the shining blade sprouted out of the maw of the thing like a brand new nose. It clawed at him now while trying to find a way off the silvered spit it suddenly found itself hung upon. Fighting his instinct, Domingo chose position twenty-three and he held the thing close to himself tightly. For a moment, it looked like the combatants were locked in the vicious hug of the osso. It was intimate as often the dance of death was. To Domingo it felt like he held the animal up for hours as it twitched and spasmed. With its jaws locked open by the blade, its claws eventually beat themselves out on the well-oiled leather of the bard’s short jacket. Finally, Domingo decided that he could lower the thing on to the sand. He stayed in close for another moment and with a twist of his sword hand he leapt back and away while withdrawing his blade. The thing looked dead enough but Domingo thrust the rapier through it lifeless eye and deep into its brain … just in case. It didn’t move. Domingo rose to his full height then and moved out of his combat stance.
“You son of a bitch-bastard,” he shouted at the thing. “Look at my shirt!” He kicked the dead thing one time in the ribs and heard a delightful crunch. It was the first time since the ‘yote sprang at him, all fur and teeth and rancid breath that Domingo had actually been irritated. It was a small fit of pique which he rarely allowed himself. Truth be told he wasn’t so much angry at the ‘yote but at himself for letting it ever get so close. His next problem snapped him out of his fit a second later. Where was the damned bird? A rider in the Bastard without a bird, a goat, a worm, a peon or a slave to ride was a dead man. Yet another causa mortis out here in the sand he said to himself. I really have to write that song, he thought.

The ‘yote stopped twitching at Domingo’s feet. The sand was plenty fresh outside the circle of the death dance so it was an easy thing to find the sandstrider’s tracks. The bird had lost a few feathers. No blood trail though. At least that’s something, Domingo thought to himself. Sandstriders were used to the deep desert and had evolved to out run most of their natural predators. The bird could be miles from here by now or just over the next dune. Much of what happened next would depend on the bird’s temperament as much as it’s training. Get the bird, get the bird, get the godsdammned bird, Domingo thought. He had never named the sandstrider. Many riders did but to him the bird was simply transportation. While he had never purposely run one to death he had known many a noble who had in the great races held at season’s turn. He’d seen many a heat blasted bird fall at the end of the hundred mile rally under the long shadows of the Mountains. Domingo did not like to waste things. He did not have to love something to dislike it being misused. He’d seen beautiful sandstriders with blue and emerald feathers with elaborate names like Moonrunner and Dustdancer ridden or lashed to death by callous Lords or their jockey’s. He never understood how someone with so very much could squander so very much. He had to find the bird soon or…

He saw it off to his left. It was pacing back and forth a few hundred feet from where the ‘yote had sprung on them.

“Good girl,” he cooed, “sweet girl, papi needs you.” The remains of his silver inlaid saddle, his guitar and supplies were still firmly tethered to the great bird’s back nestled firmly over its large but useless wings. Most importantly, his water jar was there desert tied on his saddle. He was suddenly parched looking at the jar.

The bird did not seem to be bleeding. It was agitated though, as well it might be. It looked up and saw him. The thing almost seemed to stare at him accusatorially as it stood stock still taking him in. He’d seen the great birds do that just before they bolted. Like many little cabberros he’d laughed when some bird left its rider on his rump while it showed the good bird sense to lope back to the confines of its paddock on the ranches of Domingo’s younger days. He had not understood then why the old comancheros had spat and glared at the boys. He knew better now. An untrained, skittish or just plain stubborn bird who dumped a rider was as good as a ‘yote. Leaving a rider in the sand was death. Some of the birds who proved unreliable had to be put down. Their giant legs roasted on great spits in some Don or noble’s hacienda or hill. The birds were good eating too if one applied enough sauce to the meat. The peons and comancheros wasted nothing. Many a peon had lived for a month on the cracklings of some Lords cooked sandstrider. That got him thinking about water again.

“Sweet bebe , pretty girl…” it kept looking at him and past him as well. Was the damn thing deciding whether or not too run? He was a few feet from it now but still too far to reach the reins or the saddle for a grip. The bird stepped back a step on Domingo’s next step forward. The Donling stepped up again and it stepped back. Damn thing is twitchy he thought, she’s going to run … and why not? It had been the one who had to save both their lives by chirruping Domingo out of his revelry before the ‘yote leapt on them from the behind the dune. The great bird seemed to come to a conclusion then and it turned its back on him and with its neck keening high in the air, it started to jauntily prance back toward the village they had left last night. He was nowhere near close enough to even bother to make a desperate leap at the reins. He was a dead man.

He was tired. Although not wounded significantly, exertion in the Day-Sand was exhausting enough. He was suddenly weary and he sank to one knee. The shadow of his feathered hat elongated upon the sand and as he looked down on it, too numb to despair, he did something he in his life. He started to sing. Too much noise in the Bastard Sands could mean death. Pretty much like everything else that might be done in the Bastard meant death. It just came to him, unbidden. If someone had asked him what had possessed him he could not have rightly answered. He sang one of the old songs his mother had taught him. A peon song. His near-noble father would have grumbled. But his father had never left the room when his mother sang. Not once.

“Sweet blossom, white blossom, gold blossom, blue
Long reacher, long reacher, long reacher do
Pluck me a sweet blossom in the cool of the morn
grind up the sweet petals into the corn
Long reacher, long reacher, long reacher be
Find me a sweet blossom to hide in the tree
Long reacher, long reacher, long reacher leap
Run with the sweet blossom all through the street
Sweet blossom, white blossom, gold blossom, blue
When they catch you long reacher may I have your shoes?
When they catch you long reacher may I have your shoes?”

The former or future Don Domingo de Veracruz ‘ voice grew ragged near the end. His throat was dry. He had realized suddenly he had closed his eyes as he sung. It was habit. His mother’s soft ebony hair brushing his check as she swayed over him. For the hundredth time he thought, that his father had truly loved his mother to have risked so much for her. It is the only thing we share in common, Domingo thought. He was mistaken on that point, however. When he opened his eyes he noticed that his shadow had grown exponentially since he started. The great bird’s long neck hovered over him now. The warm folds of the great thing’s crop lightly touched his cheek. Domingo looked up and the bird stared at him its large liquid eyes as black as Dagon’s Lake. It did not move for what seemed like a long time.

“Well get on with it,” she seemed to say. Domingo stood and swung his foot into the remaining stirrup. In what would have looked like one motion to an observer he grasped the water jar, opened the seals, and had a good swing. The bird arched his neck around and Domingo held the jar for it to drink. Later, Domingo resealed the jar and turned the bird back toward the east and spurred him gently toward the trade routes and the fringe of villages where a bravo might earn some coin or learn a secret or best yet

Book of Sand

Tumblr luv1qu2wmi1qmkucpo1 1280
SYSCHEK 99955586

…..STOP-GO, CLAMP C – 78%

…..STOP-GO, CLAMP D – 64 %





……STOP-GO, CORE – 42%


PARAMETERS SET- PATROL MOD SYSQUERY………………………………………………………………………………………………………..ERR




SYSCHEK 99955587

…..STOP-GO, CLAMP C – 78%

…..STOP-GO, CLAMP D – 64 %





……STOP-GO, CORE – 42%



The Bastard Sands
Book of Sand

Descabellado in the Old Tongue. Misbegotten, wild, by-blow, wrong side of the sheets. Bastard.

Mean son-of-a-bitch Desert, is what it should be called.

They don’t worry about it much, down in the soft South. The fine cities, and the Emperor’s mines and the dons and their ladies sipping at spider-tea under the shade of a white umbrella.

I worry. I worry plenty.

My wagons and my goats, out in the mess. Wind and sand, chewing away at your skin, gumming up the wheels, howling in the night so a man can’t get a decent sleep. They pay’s good when I roll into a town, but I’ve come close to dying of thirst more times than I care to remember. Anything goes wrong out in the Bastard, anything at all and all they’ll find is your shiny white bones.

I’m a fair tailor, a better cook, and a sharp-nosed merchant. I buy cheap and sell dear, and the common folk know better than to complain about the prices. They know what it takes to bring my tiny wagon across the sands, know the gold I pay to my caravan guards to keep the critters and savages and damn trail-spooks off of me.

One day, I’ll have enough money to retire. Buy me a nice little shop in Toledo and sell coffee and biscuits and spend every morning and evening sweeping my front stoop. Not a speck of sand, and clean white cloth on every table – the inside of the shop will always be cool. Cool stone and some nice green plants.

Not like out here in the Bastard.

Shit, I don’t even know why I’m writing all this. Won’t feed the cat or wake the Titan, like my old man used to say.

Fills the time, I suppose. Better than praying, or remembering. Not as good as drinking, but I’m out of whiskey until I make it to Briar in three days time. Ink I got, whiskey I don’t.

Listen to that sand howl, like a mad creature in the wind. Ha. Time to go to bed, that almost sounded poetical.


X Hartower

– Day, — Year

The Bastard Sands


I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.