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News Item - Interludes: Sands of Pain/Dry Lands teaser
 


Here are stories that tease what you will see in Interludes: Sands of Pain (available now) and Dry Lands (available Dec/Jan).

-----------------------------

Designer Digest #1

Dune Wyrm, Cousin or Abomination?

When the Great Dragon taught our ancestors the secret arts of preservation, he meant to preserve us, his most perfect children, from the scourge of ice set upon us by the other gods. They were afraid that, should we continue to flourish as we had, we would spread across the world, dominating all races—that we would come to rule over their children.

Perhaps it is true, but would this have been so bad? Better to slaughter uncounted millions, annihilate whole races, wipe species from the face of the planet, rather than be ruled by a vastly superior race? Apparently they thought so.

And so came the Age of Ice, and the death of the world.

There are those among us who, desperate for some solace for our deformed bodies, seek out any link to our former draconic perfection. They would see some relationship between us, the children of the Great Dragon, and dumb beasts. They keep them as pets, ride them as mounts, cherish their eggs, and point to them as proof that the Dragori are a race divided. It is true, we are divided, but within our own race! The Dune Wyrm bears no relationship with us—it is not a missing link! I have no such beasts in my bloodline. We are all of us descended from true dragons. Though we have no wings, and have lost much of our power, we are all draconic at heart. Seeking to make our race “whole” once more, through some blasphemous joining with animals, will not bring us closer to the ideal of the Great Dragon. When we are ready—by his light, not our insistence—our father will restore us to our original perfection and we will rule the skies of the world once more.

Until then, we should respect the plans of the Great Dragon and bide our time. He will restore us.

Those who ride the beasts who look like dragons betray us all.

-- Statement by Muwakkil Anzibarra, High priest of the Great Dragon.

-----------------------------

Designer Digest #2

Death from Above

Daniel Hague shifted cautiously on the steep slope, trying to ease the agony in his shattered leg. Pebbles slipped out from under him and he slid down an inch, then another, before the dead tree he grasped halted his fall. He listened as the dust and rocks dropped over the edge, then waited a long time before hearing the final splash into the meandering creek over a hundred feet down.

For a moment he could hear the cackling laughter of the old prospector as he waved the caravan off, jeering at them as they headed off into the deep canyons of No Man's Land. "You'll see! See if I care what happens to ya! Don't heed an old man's warning! Didn't survive all these years bein' stupid like you!"

They had laughed at him, showing off their stores of water and food, all their equipment designed to make travel through the arid arroyos of No Man's Land easy and simple. That was before the rockfall took out half their caravan and the main store of water. They had only what was in their canteens at the time to tide them over to the next watering hole.

The river had seemed a godsend, even though it flowed 50 feet down a sheer cliff face. They still had their climbing equipment, so it was a minor thing to climb down and fill barrels.

Then the cats came. The damn cats. They attacked all three of the men in their climbing harnesses, leaping down from the cliffs above, past the stunned men watching from the trail. They landed on each man, killing him instantly and letting the rope hold their weight. They leapt back up from their precarious perches and attacked the rest, and the men couldn't seem to use their weapons right. It was all so fast and wild. Daniel shot Hoss in the back with his heavy crossbow, aiming for a cat that leapt out of the way at the last second.

The big cat leapt on Daniel, and he blacked out. He woke in a strange place and couldn't hear the screaming anymore. The sky was a little brighter, so he knew some time had passed. He looked around, and saw he was on an outcropping way up on a slopping cliffside. He was torn up, but could still walk, and got up to find his way back to the others. He was more hurt than he figured. He got dizzy and his legs slipped out from under him and he rolled over the edge. He tumbled down that rocky slope, and felt his leg snap in all kinds of places. His screaming stopped short as he slammed up against a dead tree clinging to the steep slope.

He'd been stuck there ever since. Night fell, and with it the heat of the day faded. The rock slope radiated heat well into the night, but eventually it was as cold as the air, and Daniel nearly shivered himself over the edge. By the time morning came, he welcomed the scorching sun, even though he knew he'd have blistered lips before noon.

He tried yelling for help, hoping that some of the others had survived and were searching for him. Eventually, Daniel looked up and saw that someone had finally come. Peering over the top of the cliff down at him was the golden furry face of one of the cats. What did the old man call them? Cliffside Cougars, that was it. Said they always attacked from above. Silent and deadly, the locals nicknamed them "Death from Above."

Boy didn't he believe it now.

As Daniel watched, the big cat licked its chops, and leaned out further over the cliff. He could see its muscles tensing as it prepared to leap down upon him. Daniel knew the fate that awaited him -- guts clawed out and eaten as he watched, dying. He didn't want to die that way. He let go of the dead tree that had been his life preserver for the past day and night, pushing off to start his slide towards the edge. He thought of the creek over 100 feet down.

At least he might get a drink before he died.

----------------------------

Designer's Digest 3

Dune Wyrm, Cousin or Abomination?

When the Great Dragon taught our ancestors the secret arts of preservation, he meant to preserve us, his most perfect children, from the scourge of ice set upon us by the other gods. They were afraid that, should we continue to flourish as we had, we would spread across the world, dominating all races—that we would come to rule over their children.

Perhaps it is true, but would this have been so bad? Better to slaughter uncounted millions, annihilate whole races, wipe species from the face of the planet, rather than be ruled by a vastly superior race? Apparently they thought so.

And so came the Age of Ice, and the death of the world.

There are those among us who, desperate for some solace for our deformed bodies, seek out any link to our former draconic perfection. They would see some relationship between us, the children of the Great Dragon, and dumb beasts. They keep them as pets, ride them as mounts, cherish their eggs, and point to them as proof that the Dragori are a race divided. It is true, we are divided, but within our own race! The Dune Wyrm bears no relationship with us—it is not a missing link! I have no such beasts in my bloodline. We are all of us descended from true dragons. Though we have no wings, and have lost much of our power, we are all draconic at heart. Seeking to make our race "whole" once more, through some blasphemous joining with animals, will not bring us closer to the ideal of the Great Dragon. When we are ready, by his light, not our insistence, our father will restore us to our original perfection and we will rule the skies of the world once more.

Until then, we should respect the plans of the Great Dragon and bide our time. He will restore us.

Those who ride the beasts who look like dragons betray us all.

-- Statement by Muwakkil Anzibarra, High priest of the Great Dragon


 

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