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The Saga of the Gwandorlings 31

It must now be told what boon Cragspider had demanded of Argrath. In days far past, Gurgak Gianttroll, Cragspider's mate had journeyed east into the wastes and visited the Plateau of Statues. He never returned and Cragspider has learned that his body stands still in that haunted place, petrified. She wants Argrath to return with his amulet. She is sending one of her shamanesses to aid the Companions on their quest.

The Friends joined a caravan traveling to Pavis on the Pavis Road and they fared well. The caravaneers were more than happy to have such a strong warband traveling with them. In thanks for the company, the caravan paid all of the Quest's tolls for them.

Pavis was buzzing like a kicked ant-hill. The red-men were still seeking those who had helped thwart their capture of the giant's cradle and were suspicious of all Orlanthi, the guards questioned the Friends closely but let them pass.

Doryl Safepath refused to accompany the Quest into the wastes. He explained that the Hyena myth scared him too much. It seemed that the Issaries have a myth that Issaries journeyed to the wastes and was torn apart and eaten by hyenas. Any Issaries who spies a hyena is bound, by Issaries, to hunt down that hyena and all hyenas to help put together Issaries again. They must spend the rest of their life in that task. Gudny granted him leave to remain in Pavis and prepare aid for the Quest if they needed it and to gather information on the Imperial troops.

The Friends stayed a night and drank in Gimpy's that night. Gudny swapped tales of The Argrath and news from Sartar.

Doryl arranged supplies for the Quest and then they departed.

Argrath showed his natural leadership and soon had the Praxian guides hailing him as a long-lost brother.

The Companions fared east from Pavis through Vulture County. Five days brought them to Fanzali Oasis.; they were greeted by 200 Sable warriors. A champion urged his steed forth. He pointed a stick at the Quest and waved it around. He stared at Argrath and, screaming incoherently, charged at him swinging the stick. Argrath stoically ignored the warrior and the stick hissed past Argrath's ear.

Gudny asked one of the guides what the rider was saying and the Impala rider told that this was a ritual greeting.

As the warrior raced past Argrath reached into his purse and withdrew a silver coin. At Argrath's movement, the warrior threw down the stick and drew his sword, a brand-new, shinny, scimitar and charged at Argrath. The charging warrior swung a murderous blow at Argrath's head. Argrath held his hand out and the scimitar appeared in it. The sable-rider fell from his mount with the missed blow. He stood up, growled at Argrath and held out his hand for his sword. Argrath returned it and the band rode off.

An older Sable-rider informed that they were welcome in the oasis as long as they did not piss in the water, throw dung around or molest the womenfolk.

The Quest found that the oasis was home to nye 800 Oasis folk and an Imperial trade Factor. The Sable tribe ran the oasis.

The Friends refreshed their supply of water and food. They talked with the Factor about this and that and traded news. It happened that Argrath Whitebull passed through the oasis regularily and had just gone east into the wastes himself. There was also a lot of trouble with gargarthi bandits in the area. The Storm that raged over Krjailki bog was larger than any remembered and causing lots of trouble as well.

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March 27, 2001

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