Music, Wind & Sand

As his eyes ranged over the various fires that were burning brightly and his ears were touched by the sounds of elven music playing under the winking stars above he began to feel the spell of the music at work upon him and so embrace it. Then, as Pelor’s light diminished and the moon was free to offer her silver crescent on the sands and paint them milk-white with her light, he was lifted to his feet by the magic of the sounds that moved through him.

The music of the elves of the desert was completely different then the songs of the Endrelian bards that he had heard in his travels. The music of these people was at once more lively and more pagan; calling to his mind tales of orgies and bonfires; drunken revelry and wild passion that eclipsed body and soul. The elves nearer to Endrel perhaps sung songs of the sad loss of their world as only the magic of their music can remember; more stately and fine, fitting for great halls and high temples of forgotten times. But the elves of the desert? They had nothing but the dunes to walk upon and the stars above, each day was a day to cherish, and it may be that this understanding of the proximity of death inspired in them the desire to live a richer life.

But whatever the reason, Derek Arkantos was slowly caught under the spell of the music. It was like a silver haze as he felt his body being invigorated by the song as his feet moved to the words of an ancient tongue, singing songs of lust and joy; passion and humor; pleasure and sensuality. His body moved with the rhythm of the hide drums while the piping sounds rising from bone flutes whispered over his tired muscles and rejuvenated him as danced and all the while the low throbbing words of the elven males mingled with the high pitched wails of ecstasy from the females until they blurred together through the night.

Each step he made, each pound of his feet into the hot ground, the cold night caressing his writhing and awakened body and soul, gave birth to a gradual awareness of the message of their words, though he could not discern their meaning. He could feel in his insides the knowledge that the tribe had shared with him water, as he had shared water with them, and now after running the dunes and mixing his blood with the sands, as they had each done in battle for the good of the tribe, that now he was given the chance to sing the songs of life and brotherhood and the fertility of midsummer that was the lifeblood of a people who lived so close to death.

Now, in this song, in this revelry, he was one of them; brother of the tribe, in blood and oath; bound by word and that which made oaths true.

Long before the breaking dawn he would collapse in blissful exhaustion under the shade of a hide tent surrounded by multicolored rugs and pillows, the thin rise of smoke from the central fire drifting to the heaven while the naked limbs of slumbering revelers pressed into his flesh.

His own flesh was bare, but for a token that lay around his neck, gifted to him during the feast at twilight. From a silver chain hung a bronze ring, writ with the runes of the tribe so cunning that no one may read them, if they knew not where to examine. It was proof that he was now a member of the tribe; that he had had shared their water and danced their dance, and was one with those who ran the sands of the desert under the light of Pelor, for the ring shown as brightly as the sun, and as long as he kept it would light his way through sand and shadow and stand as proof of his bond with the tribe.

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