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A short book about the Alik'r desert as described by one of the "dunedweller" nomads. I have coined "Men of Sand" as a name the dunedwellers would call themselves, please tell me if there's a better term. (The grammatically incorrect capitals are intentional, but, I'll remove them if you want)
The sands of my home flow between my fingers and between my thoughts. I look out at the great expanse before me. It is a sea of rock, as harsh as the men who inhabit it. The winds of the East form the sand into blades as sharp as the Shehai. But these blades do not cut me, to my skin they are as the caress of a loving mother.
We are the Men of Sand. We are the true descendants of the Ra'Gada. We alone have the strength of our ancestors. Satakal looks upon us and smiles. We stand tall above the men of mud, the city-dwellers.
They do not come here. They have betrayed the Yoku to eat the scraps from the tables of their Imperial masters. The desert does not welcome them. It does not yield its secrets to their prying eyes. They cannot trap the morning dew or avoid the fang of the snake and the sting of the scorpion. Their weak bodies cannot withstand the heat of midday or tolerate the searing thirsts of the desert.
They cannot taste the scent in the air that heralds the presence of water. This land has no place for them.
This is the land of my people. We travel these lands as masters, lords of all that we survey. The ground cushions our feet, the oases yield their bounties willingly to us. The sun welcomes us to a new day with a blaze of light and Masserís glow shines upon us in the cold desert night, giving guidance to the traveler and warming the hearts of all. We fit the land as the snake fits his skin. The sand gives us life and we return its gift with one of our own. We give it the gift of a name, a name shaping the land as the land shapes it.
This is our land.
This is the Alik'r.
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