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Beyond Zandri

Three lone figures battled their way through a raging sandstorm south of Zandri: a Shadow Warrior, a Swordmaster, and an Archmage. Sent by the Phoenix King to seek a route deeper into the desert kingdom of the Tomb Kings, the three were on a mission of dire importance. Zandri had been picked dry of any powerful artifacts left behind by the ancient Nehekharans, and Khorne’s involvement in the war on the side of Destruction did not bode well for Order.

“I see no oasis Firbael, surely a mirage.”

“No, Rynellier, it is there,” the Shadow Warrior replied.

The three pushed forward through the sandstorm which grew ever stronger and thicker as they neared the supposed location of the oasis. Slowly the oasis appeared to the other two who lacked the keen eyes of the Shadow Warrior, but as it grew nearer it became increasingly more difficult for them to push on. The roar of the wind muffled out any words they spoke, and the sting of the blowing sand kept their heads low limiting the utility of gestures. Each step took agonizing effort and when they were but mere feet from the oasis it was as if they were pushing against a solid stone wall. Finally with the greatest effort they pushed through and it was as if the wall which they had been pushing against so fiercely collapsed and they tumbled into the oasis. The eye of the storm, a calm oasis in the sea of raging sands.

“Blessings upon Hoeth, a true oasis amid the foul desert,” Ledreal said as he spat sand out of his mouth.

“Careful friend, do not drink of that water. An oasis this is, but it is still in the Land of the Dead,” Rynellier warned. “This is what Teclis has seen, and we have found it.”

“Well I found it, but indeed credit to us all for our perserverance,” Firbael jested. “So, what is so special about this oasis? What good is water to us if it is tainted and will not aid us deeper into the desert?”

“There is more to this oasis than meets the eye. This is one of the Oases of Eternity, conduits between the Tomb King capital of Khemri and the other necropoles. Zandri was the farthest north established necropolis of the Nehekharans and Tomb Kings after them, and the primary sea-port of the kingdom. These oases were vital for the Tomb Kings to maintain a firm grasp over their bone-dry lands. However, the liche high priests were ambitious and paranoid and they surrounded these oases of life with deadly sandstorms to prevent the living from making use of them. They however did not anticipate the power of Hoeth.”

“This oasis… is a link to Khemri?” Ledreal asked.

“Yes, so to speak. Stepping into this oasis will supposedly take us to the necropolis of Khemri, the dark heart of the desert from which no living creature has ever returned… I find it is unlikely that a living creature has ever made it that far since before the age of Nagash… Though no one knows what will become of us, the living, should we step into the oasis…” Rynellier replied.

“One foot in the realm of the living, one foot in the realm of the dead…” Firbael said as he stepped into the waters of the Oasis of Eternity.

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