The stone wielding druid that held the caravan (and a troubled Annora) in check was agreeable, and with only the slightest trouble was convinced they had not poached the mekelliiot from the night before but assisted it to it’s resting place. The druid collected his now dead friend, the old man and owner of the now petrified beast, and set out to hunt the poachers who stalked the Dragon’s Basin. Before leaving he imparted that Malik visit the Last Bastion of Iron, a place sacred to lightning. The Last Bastion, he said, was hidden near the Raum arena and was a place where a man could either master electricity or purge it from him.
The following day the group got their first crack at Horizon the legendary crodlu that comes and goes with the dawn and dusk. Malik bumbled around trying to sneak up on the beast, but was spotted like a hawk sees an elephant. While Vertimer, Annora, and Toli tried to harry the creature (to little avail other than to mark it with a bola) the Balic prince dealt with a different problem.
A man at the lead of the caravan was arguing with a passer-by who wanted to join in the trek toward Raum. The would be caravaner, he argued, was in the desert with no settlement in miles and must be a plant for a bandit troupe. Ultimately Gyn spoke for the man, who recognized Gyn easily enough. Gyn saw him as well and knew him to be Bones who coveted their mermaid friend but had been easily defeated before. Confident in his ability to keep the granite boned magi in check, he led him into the caravan.
Their next challenge came in the fleeting hours of the day. Their last stop of the night, the White Oasis, lay just beyond a crevice where the Basin’s tendrils reached out. A stone causeway had been built over the chasm and was often haunted by bandits and highway men, and travelers took this to be an accepted toll and usually paid with little fuss. This time there were caravaner stacked out the front led by a slave driver. The agreeable dark skinned balding man, who might have giant ancestry, hailed them and informed them the covered bridge was haunted by some dark force and they were waiting for others to make the long trek through the salt cakes to the east to go around – through dangerous Tarek territory.
Unmoved, the party lept into action, bravely moving into the dark, wet causeway, where to look out from it the sky seemed as night even in the waning daylight. Battling raaig, thrask, and flood they pushed into the rear of the complex where a face with hair streamed over it crawled out of a well. A well which should have come out feet below over empty air, but was over flowing with a seemingly unending supply of brackish, insubstantial water…