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Alik'r

Author: 
Anonymous

An arid wasteland where ancient ruins and deadly creatures lie hidden in the shifting sands. 

Rise before the sun, dress, and contemplate the day’s readings from The Book of Circles.
 
Breakfast of fresh water and fruits. No meat before mid-day.
 
Run around the perimeter of camp three times. No shoes.
 
Begin training exercises with students. Progress through each of the day’s strikes until mid-day.
 
Hearty lunch and group reading of the day’s Book of Circles studies.
 
Afternoon: sparring exercises and official duels to rank the students.
 
Evening meal at sundown. Light, but with ample wine, followed by several hours quiet rumination.
 
Now that we’ve discussed the importance of a guide and some of the common dangers posed by indigenous creatures, if you’re still convinced you’d like to travel through the deadly Alik’r Desert, you must be properly clothed. As you can tell from our review of aggressive beasts, you will absolutely need protection, but not just any armor will do.
 
First, it’s important to cover yourself fully to avoid painful burning from the sun. Even the back of the neck and top of the head must be covered. I strongly recommend that you purchase one of the typical leather armors worn by Redguards. The cloth components breathe surprisingly well, and the leather plates offer excellent lightweight protection. Consider a covering for the mouth, as sandstorms are common, and breathing in grit is rather unpleasant.
 
“We must work together to find common ground with our allies. This has been simple with the Redguards, who tend to worship the Divines, though they do have some strange ideas about them that seem to come from the intermixing with their ancestors’ gods. Only the staunchest traditionalists still worship the Yokudan gods, and even then there are parallels with the Divines. The Orcs, though, they insist upon worshiping Mauloch alone. This causes the Redguards great consternation and more than a few raised eyebrows among the Breton faithful. I worry that this fundamental difference may be difficult to reconcile, especially if the Orcs continue to be so vocal and aggressive about the matter.”
 
“They’re even worse than the Bretons. Look at all this fancy stuff: engravings, gold highlights, fragile domes. Well, I guess when your city isn’t constantly assaulted and destroyed by everyone on Tamriel, you can afford the luxury of making pretty buildings.
 
I just don’t see the point. We need to build quickly, and build strong. I was told I could learn a lot from the Redguards’ work. I guess their constructions are impressive in scale, and they do manage the heat just fine, but I don’t really see the applications for us back home. If you meet any of their stonemasons, send ‘em my way. Maybe they can prove they know something worthwhile.”
 
Rest in safety, wayfarer. Ruptga watches over you here. 
 
Find shelter from sand and sun, drink cool waters.
 
Reflect on the day’s travel as you prepare for the next.
 
Find sleep in the house built by your fathers
 
Who drove out the hordes, washing clean your way.
 
At long last, we have located an area where dunerippers are nesting. Today we defeated an impressive male, and I have begun work dismantling its carcass and salvaging materials. The large plates and neck-spines will fetch an excellent price. The people of Bergama use duneripper blood in tonics; they believe that drinking it prolongs their lives. I once asked an alchemist in Sentinel if this is true, but he laughed and told me it was not at all—that in fact, the blood can be detrimental if handled poorly. However, he still sold me a powder that will preserve its liquidity, and it will bring us a nice bounty. The claws, of course, we reserve for ourselves, to adorn our belts. Tonight we feast, and tomorrow we reap more of the desert’s bounty and prove ourselves further against these beasts.
 
I continue to be humbled by the simple, pure existence of this wandering tribe, and feel truly blessed that I have been permitted to accompany them. Even here, in a place that seems unbearably hostile to inhabitants, people survive and even flourish. 
 
Their clever inventions that help them survive the harsh lands speak to their ingenuity. Dew collectors, called johads, provide fresh water every morning and catch the rain during infrequent storms. Their garb, which seems heavy at a glance, protects them and even helps to cool them, and their knowledge of migrations and hiding places of bird and beast has fed us well. Though life is hard, the focus on survival binds the tribe together—there is almost no infighting, and all seem to be at peace, not caring about the turmoil of the outside world.