Far on the horizon, towers shone in the deep red of the setting sun.

The oasis was not far off, and he wanted to reach its walls before the coldest part of night set in.

"Sandhailer." Swordeater tugged at his trousers.

With a firm glance down he expected another question or wandering thought. Instead the man pointed at the horizon behind them – but they had already sank in-between the dunes. When they rose to the next crest, Sandhailer's eyes went wide.

Although distant, a wall of sand rapidly approached. The roiling clouds rose high, catching fire on the sunset.

"Cover your face and hold on!" He commanded, as he tore his wind charm loose and clutched it in his fist. It spun wildly, elevated in intense magic. Pale green pulsated from the gem.

The wind blasted their backs. With a jolt the sailer picked up speed. Rapid. Soaring. It took all his strength to control the direction.

The craft flew past the high dunes. Weightless for a moment. Only to impact the side of the next. He buckled – grimaced as the shocks left his legs numb. His muscles protested, his arms sore from fighting his own gales.

Outrun the storm.

Loud groans rose up beside him. He could only afford a glance down. Swordeater clutched the platform, brought to his hands and knees from the impacts.

"Hold on." He growled. There was no time to care. No time to look back at the rapidly nearing wall of dust.

I can make it.

He was fast enough; had to be fast enough. Another dune. Another slam. Over and over.

A yelp. Swordeater slipped; bounced onto the sands behind him; tethered helplessly.

Sandhailer drew his khinjar and cut the rope. Swordeater vanished behind the dunes.
The town was so close. He could make it in time – Swordeater wouldn't.

But he let go, and severed himself from his only possession.


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