With temperatures rising over 143°C (289.40°F) in most areas, the only relief is during the nights when it is much cooler. All travelers are advised to keep to the local towns on the desert's outskirts and avoid traveling too far from civilization. (+3 Endurance, +2 Defense)

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Re: Rosewater Rain [self]

Postby crow » 04/21/2017 9:47 AM

Dante could only laugh at that. He highly suspected that if the elder really were his age, he would be dead, but of course such a thing didn’t bear being spoken aloud. Still, his curiosity got the best of him, and when things quieted down again, he made a query of his own. “Who exactly is this Faro?” he asked.

A few chuckled, and the woman who spat before did it again. “There it is,” said one man, shaking his head. “He gets ‘em, every time. Damned con-man, is what he is.” The pipe was presently in his hands, and he accentuated his complaints with emphatic jabs, mostly in Dante's direction.




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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Re: Rosewater Rain [self]

Postby crow » 04/21/2017 9:51 AM

“Now, now," said another man, his features rather more rounded than the others, despite being of the same grizzled old desert stock as the rest. "He wouldn’t be able to fool anyone if they had a lick o’ sense. It’s all outlander foolishness--- beggin’ yer pardon, son.” This last addition was half-hearted at best, and Dante smiled politely past it. The round-faced man considered it a moment, then said, “Well, I guess you’ll find out sooner or later. No more harm telling you now than letting you see for yourself. Faro’s a... guide. He calls himself that, anyway.”

There was an audible commotion around the circle in response to that. "That's giving him more credit than he deserves," muttered a man to Dante's left.




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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Re: Rosewater Rain [self]

Postby crow » 04/21/2017 9:51 AM

“What he is is a damned nuisance,” said the woman. “You know as well as I do that the ruins ain’t nothin’ but a fireside tale. But there he is, always blatherin’ on about how only he knows where it is, and he’ll take you too, for only half a fortune. Some of those kids he fools don’t even come back.”

“Maybe they found what they were looking for,” ventured Dante. There were laughs around the circle at that. Dante allowed himself a small chuckle, though his comment had only been half joking. When things quieted down again, he said, “What do you mean, the ruins?”




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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Re: Rosewater Rain [self]

Postby crow » 04/21/2017 9:52 AM

The woman elder who had shown him his new camel narrowed her eyes at him. “You better not be thinking of going there. It’s a fool’s errand if we’ve ever seen one,” she said.

“I’m just curious. It’s my first time in these parts, after all.” Dante did his best to look uninvested, though in fact this was the closest he had gotten to any real useful information in quite some time. It was difficult not to get his hopes up, even with everyone disparaging the source as they were. The woman studied him for a moment, then subsided, apparently satisfied.




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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Re: Rosewater Rain [self]

Postby crow » 04/21/2017 9:55 AM

“As long as you know. Might as well tell you, so you don’t get into more trouble down the line,” she said with a shrug. Her sense of duty apparently satisfied by this last warning, she went on. “There’ve been stories of some magical ruins in these parts for longer than anyone can remember. Treasure, old magic, you name it. Some even say there's the secret of immortality, just tucked away for some plucky adventurer to find."

"Course, none of it is real, or else someone’s sure to have found ‘em by now," said the elder of Dante's previous caravan. "We’ve sure had no shortage o’ folk tryin’ for it.” Grimaces went around the crowd, and several people spat.




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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Re: Rosewater Rain [self]

Postby crow » 04/21/2017 9:59 AM

The woman took up the tale again. “Every generation there’s a few hare-brained young upstarts who think they’re the ones who’re gonna find it," she said, staring into the flames. "They go haring off saying they're tired of camels and trading life. Most of ‘em waste a few months or a few years and straighten out when they’re bored and tired of it. Some of ‘em we never see again.”

The mood around the fire grew more subdued at that, but not very much so. These were hardened desert folk; they knew full well the dangers of their home, and had no illusions about their own mortality. Dante grew quiet with them, though his silence was more pensive.




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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Re: Rosewater Rain [self]

Postby crow » 04/27/2017 2:11 AM

It wasn’t the best lead, but he had been working with little more than rumors and urban myths for ages. He didn’t really expect anything better at this point. He had come to the desert almost on a whim, in absence of any other interesting and viable options. That there was some merit to the rumors in the outlands about the ruins was more, frankly, than he could rationally have hoped for.

Whatever the elders’ warnings, he would have to look into it. He hadn’t come this far to be discouraged by their warnings, whether they were unfounded or not. Moreover, he rather doubted that one possibly senile old man would pose much danger to him, when he had escaped his father and the brutalities of a war.




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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Re: Rosewater Rain [self]

Postby crow » 04/27/2017 2:14 AM

The somber note that the discussion had fallen into was perhaps greater than Dante had given it credit for. Talk did not pick up again, except for the occasional quiet murmurings between neighbors. Soon the gathered folk began to wander off, in singles and pairs, to their camels and tents. Dante, sensing that there was no more information to be gleaned, took his own leave. A few of the elders watched him make his apologies and retire, but none paid him much mind, preoccupied with their own business. Truth be told, he was glad for the reprieve. Even now, he still didn't make conversation easily, and it was always harder among strangers. For the most part, his superfluousness within the caravan was a blessing.




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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Re: Rosewater Rain [self]

Postby crow » 04/27/2017 2:15 AM

Dante’s tent was an unremarkable affair. He had bought it off the first caravan that would sell one to him without cheating him into something that didn’t work. It was small, and a little difficult at first to learn to set up, but in time he had learned to manage. He found it blended in perfectly well with the locals, even if he didn't, which was all he could ask for, really.

It was a good thing, he had thought, that he hadn’t been raised to any kind of luxury. He had certainly seen better living, but he had also seen worse, and wasn’t entitled enough to take offense at his current state. It was enough that he had food, and a roof over his head.




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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Re: Rosewater Rain [self]

Postby crow » 04/27/2017 2:21 AM

He ducked in, more hurriedly than would have been dignified, but in the chill of the desert night it was hard to care. Away from the heat of the fire, it crept easily past his thin robes, gnawing uncomfortably at his skin. It was in stark contrast to the terrible heat of the day. He wasn't used to the transition, even now.

As the door flap fell back into place, he breathed a sigh of relief. The inside of the tent was still pleasantly warmed from the heat of the day, and the thick impermeable cloth of the walls kept out the night wind. There was nothing inside but his bags and a small bedroll. There were no lights; he did not need them, even in dark like this.




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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Re: Rosewater Rain [self]

Postby crow » 04/27/2017 2:21 AM

He sank into the bedroll with a weary groan. It was true that he hadn’t done very much today, but he felt tired nevertheless. He stared up for a moment at the ceiling, the canvas color of it visible even in the safe shadows of the tent. They would be setting off soon--- if not tomorrow, then the day after. How long until they arrived in Armid? Within a week, he thought, remembering the half-hearted estimates of other guides and elders when he showed them his weathered map. And then...

Rolling over onto his side, he closed his eyes. There would be time for more rumination when he got there. For now, he let sleep whisk him away, and thought no more of such things.




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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Re: Rosewater Rain [self]

Postby crow » 04/27/2017 2:29 AM

He woke late, and reluctantly, though no more so than he usually did. He always did have trouble getting up with the sun. It had been easier when he had lived with vampires, and being nocturnal was simply a matter of fact. He supposed, all things considered, he ought to be glad he could hack it in the daylight at all, but right now he didn't feel particularly grateful.

Clambering out of his tent, he rubbed the sleep out of his eyes and took his breakfast in silence, still dull with sleep. It had become habit, and while a few of the caravan eyed him and whispered to one another, he paid it no mind. He would pack up his things soon, and then they would be on their way, and all thought would be chased from his mind by the relentless desert sun.




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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Re: Rosewater Rain [self]

Postby crow » 04/27/2017 2:37 AM

As he was loading his things onto his camel, he caught a glimpse of the boy who had spoken to him before. The boy was running about like the other children, scrambling with the last of the preparations, mindless of the heat. Dante might never have given him a second glance if not for that encounter.

The boy caught his gaze and looked at him; for a moment Dante thought he would make another approach. What would he do then? Frankly, Dante didn't know if he was up to rebuffing the boy once more this morning. Fortunately for him though, the boy simply turned away and ran off, and with a shrug, Dante returned to minding his own business. There was enough to do without paying him any thought.




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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Re: Rosewater Rain [self]

Postby crow » 04/27/2017 2:45 AM

The camel looked like it was thinking about giving him trouble, and it was inclined to fidget during the first few hours, but eventually it settled into the same slow rocking rhythm as the rest. Dante was by now a mediocre rider, through practice if nothing else. He had been in the desert a while now, and ridden his share. He suspected the beast had figured that out, and decided he wasn’t worth throwing a fit over.

It was a mutually agreeable understanding, really. He didn't need to be embarrassed, and the beast could save its energy. Camels, as he had learned over his stint in the desert, were admirably practical creatures.




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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Re: Rosewater Rain [self]

Postby crow » 04/27/2017 3:01 AM

They never upset themselves over-much about his heritage, for example. He was sure they could smell it on him, the same as any other creature. They weren't addled in their senses; he had seen enough evidence of that too. But whatever they did scent on him, they didn't set to panic or aggression the way many dogs did, nor did they run blindly from him as occasionally happened with horses.

If there was one thing he didn't miss about the war, it was the horses. The war had made them more tense than ever, and after a while Dante avoided any location where they were congregated, just to save himself the trouble. Even Skitter had caught on after a while.




I'm only honest when it rains.
If I time it right, the thunder breaks
When I open my mouth.
I want to love you but I don't know how.





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