After the battle with the constructs, the group holes up in a relatively intact building and cares for the unconscious Shynya. Mishka takes the first watch. About an hour later, a shuffling mantis construct stumbles toward Mishka. She shoots it in the shoulder with an arrow. It halts and begins talking.
Oglat steps out from the building and the construct speaks to him: “I smell the old one upon you.” Before it can say any more, Oglat skewers the mantis through the neck with his scimitar. As the construct gurgles its last breath, it manages one more sentence. “Paladin, you die last.”
Shynya is very quiet once she regains consciousness. She says almost nothing during the next three days as the group heads south toward the range of nomad Clan Deemah. Following the foothills of the Hoggar Mountains, the characters manage to avoid construct patrols, eventually descending from the hills about a day’s travel northwest of the pre-Scourge location of Tamanrasset.
Along the way Mishka finds three desiccated bodies wearing blue robes and red sashes. From the wounds, they must have died in battle. Against Shynya’s wishes, Mishka arranges the bodies in repose and takes a small drum and a necklace.
According to the Chenachane, the Deemah should occupy this region. The group approaches the vicinity of Tamanrasset, finding no ruins. The ground is perfectly flat and shows none of the texture of the surrounding landscape. Apparently even the wind has not marked this ground since the Scourge began.
On a whim, Shynya casts a spell that digs a 5 foot hole. Mishka investigates and finds a small shrine to Upandal at the bottom of the hole, very similar to the shrine she fashioned back in Kaer Uqbar. Soon the hole begins to fill with water that has curative properties. Recognizing the importance of this find, Shynya sends the dirt back into the hole to hide it from servants of the Horror.
The search for the Deemah continues. The group whether any Deemah survive. Then Mishka notices two figures observing the party from a distance. These turn out to be two Deemah in blue robes with the red sashes of Bahariyans, the human Melilla Bou-Sadda and the troll Mokwa Vom. Shynya’s red sash smooths the initial relations, and the Bahariyans reveal that only a few hundred Deemah remain in their last oasis west of Tamanrasset. Most Deemah were killed fighting constructs as the Nameless One’s army moved north toward Uqbar City. Perhaps the Deemah survived only because the clan is led by Bahariyans who have a keen appreciation of the Nameless Ones and their servants.
Tebezar Oasis is a magnificent island of fertility 3 miles long by 1.5 miles long. The oasis occupies a shallow depression and boasts a small waterfall that issues from the southern wall. The group has a pleasant meeting with Chief Keenah Tidjkalt, an ork Bahariyan. Keenah readily agrees to ally with Uqbar, and admits that he has little choice; without allies the Deemah will surely perish.
Chief Tidjkalt also reveals that the giant flying creatures are not constructs of the Nameless Ones. The flyers nest somewhere in the mountains and ride the winds over Erg Atchane. In addition, the items Mishka took from the bodies belong to Deemah Bahariyans who died some months ago. One of them was Douala Bou-Sadda, mother of Melilla.
The chief agrees to send two emissaries to Kaer Uqbar, and chooses Melilla and his son Kuragwi. The return to Kaer Uqbar is uneventful and provides no clue to the fireworks that ensue when the group is debriefed by Melancho. Shynya castigates Mishka for disturbing the nomad bodies and insists that she must be obeyed in matters of diplomacy. Over the next few days, Mishka and Shynya talk this over but do not reach agreement; Shynya sets asides some books for Mishka that deal with diplomacy.