Behram, Goreman, Fishbone, and Dinesh prepare themeselves for a long journey across the most inhospitable region on Kenafiir, Giff’s Desolation. Stocking up on supplies and ritual components for Fishbone, the men then catch a ride with an Imperial supply convey and ride along the border with the rebelling desert province. Thousands upon thousands of legionnaires are advancing with titanic siege engines in toe. While the titanic force bears down on Kerizatz, our heroes slip around the the west and depart on a mission that may end this rebellion without the need to waste entire legions in the baking sun.
The midday sun chars the salt-flats with 130F temperatures. There’s no water to be found anywhere and the travelers must shield their eyes or risk permanent blindness from the sun reflecting off the white ground. By traveling at night, the group endures and makes good time thanks to a wide variety of magics Fishbone learned while traveling with Dirge. They are attacked by dangerous Kell’vin, but overcome them each time. Halfway through their journey south, they encounter an archeological expedition consisting of kormin and a few quixix. In addition to some small magical items from the Age of Ash, the group is halfway through excavating a powerful golem, which our heroes recognize as the sort the Kairnalla used in urban settings where their larger war golems would be too destructive. The expedition leader explains that the Desert Princes are longer willing to sell water to him due to the rebellion and his only source of water, an hour or so away, has been claimed by a group of Kell’Vin. The group grudgingly makes a short detour to kill the offending creatures and drag back the massive dragon-skull which catches the little rainfall on the flats. The quixix is thrilled and gives them their pick of what has been unearthed. He explains that he would normally never part with such treasures, but they need the water in order to stay long enough to unearth the golem, a far greater achievement. A few hours south, they realize that that quixix, Gwip Sunrider, is on their list of people being hunted by the Vanguard of Avernus. They are in too much of a hurry to head back though.
After another week and a half marching south, they turn west and head for the Garden of Life. At the edge of the forest, they comes across a distressing scene. A nobleman and his guards are executing three young women, having stripped them and tied them to stakes on the salt flats. Unprotected, the women will day in minutes. After a tense exchange of words, Behram’s conscious gets the better of him and he charges in. The nobleman’s sand mage teleports him away just as the two forces clash. These guards are no pushovers and quickly Goreman finds himself struggling to hold off the two most lethal of them while Dinesh takes on the mage and Behram clears out the lesser guards in order to rescue the girls. Behram does manage to uproot the eldest girl (while blinded by the sand mage) and drop her in the shade, but is forced to return to the fight before giving medical attention or helping the other girls. By the time he gets back onto the flats, the two guard captains had just finished dropping the rest of the group. With little strength remaining, Behram fought to Goreman’s side and – blows raining down on his shield – revived the kormin with a combat salve. Enraged by his early defeat, the tribesman impaled one of the two captains while getting to his feet, catching the nearly unscathed man in the chest and ripping through his heart. The second captain didn’t have a chance to defend himself before he joined his fellow on the end of of kormin’s weapon.
Quickly, the two soldiers revived Fishbone and Dinesh and together they worked to get all three girls into the shade of the Garden. Unfortunately, the youngest had succumbed to the cruel sun and was dead. The other two faired little better, but Goreman’s expert knowledge of the regional herbs enabled them to make a slave which would stabalize the survivors, at least for a time. With two mysterious damsels and the threat of the nobleman sending reinforcements, Goreman strides back out onto the flats to see if the guards have anything on them that would help clarify the situation they’ve gotten themselves into.