As the party left the pass behind them they entered into a vast landscape of rolling sands. The golden granules seemed familiar to Uran and Arun.
“It’s like a large beach,” Uran said to her brother. “It’s almost like home.”
“Yes, but’s too big for my liking,” Arun replied.
Soon even Uran’s initial comforting thought about the place evaporated as did the perspiration from her face.
The Sea-elf was not ‘at home,’ but it a harsh alien environment that quickly filled her with dread.
She nudged her horse forwards and came along side Wayne.
“Wai Yen,” how long does the dessert go on for?” she asked scanning the sands stretching to the horizon.
“The map says that the desert is about a thousand miles across here,” he said.
A look of despair fell on her.
“Don’t worry Cousin, we have barrels of water, and there is an oasis with a small lake that we should reach by sunset. We will camp there for the night,” Wayne said encouragingly.
Uran slowed her mount and waited for Arun to catch up with her.
“Wai Yen says the desert goes on for a thousand miles,” she said to her twin.
“I’d rather have a thousand leagues at sea, than a day of this,” Arun said glancing up at the brilliance of the desert sun.
“There is a lake,” Uran said in an attempt to ease her brother’s obvious apprehension.
“When will we reach it?” he asked, a little too eagerly.
“Before nightfall,” she said.
“I knew we would need to come to this place,” Arun said. “But I never imagined it would be like this.”
“Neither did I, but it seemed important to Thilda, and she has crossed it,” Uran remarked.
“But she is not a Sea-elf,” Arun said ruefully.
“You’re right, she isn’t as strong as us,” Uran said with a smile.
“I still hate it here,” Arun said quietly.
About then Omar rode up to the pair.
“What are you guys talking about, in the ‘High Tongue,’ he asked.
“Nothing – Just that we don’t like the desert,” Uran said.
“My mum grew up here, and I don’t like it much either,” Omar said. “I can’t wait till we get to the oasis.”
The three rode along in silence scanning the endless sands.