Clandestine Attack

"They... they are everywhere! Please help us!" the young, injured Fyros, Xiari, implored as she stumbled, exhausted, into the safety of Pyr. The remaining Frahars that pursued her so closely had been quickly subdued by the Pyr guards when she reached Pyr's fiery gate.

Wiping at her bloodied face, Xiari explained her situation. Her party of Fyros had left Thesos at the first light of dawn. For many long hours, they walked under the sweltering sky with no trace of shade nor hope of finding any. They sought to reach Pyr, the City of Sand, but as they pressed on toward their goal, their luck deserted them.

All of a sudden, from out of nowhere, the party was ambushed by a horde of Frahars! No-one knew where these primitive beings had come from, but it seemed like the Frahar had sprung upon them from the sand beneath their feet. Xiari could only watch as many of her companions died or were taken prisoner, their fates unknown. Escape being her only option, Xiari ran for her life to get help for her captured, and likely doomed, companions. There was nothing else she could do.

Inside Pyr, a crowd had gathered to hear her story. A voice from the crowd shouted, "Fyros and friends of the Fyros gathered here! We must rescue these ill-fated travelers!"

Homins may speak of war, but when it comes to a common danger, they know that the sap of Atys runs through them all. The impromptu army swelled as volunteers appeared from everywhere and fell in step with the rest, side by side. There were the Fyros of course, but also the Matis, the Tryker and the Zoraï. Passengers, traders and travelers all came to save those prisoners who still breathed. Everyone knew that even a small wound could be lethal in the desert heat and so they traveled quickly and with purpose. Although some had to stay in Pyr, those who went to recover the fallen companions would make certain that these Frahar would be well-repaid for their cowardly attack.

The rescuers crossed the distance in a huge cloud of desert sand raised by their passing, in numbers so great that they could not be counted. Many relentless hands unsheathed their weapons and readied their magic as they had been trained to do as the children of Atys. They would not be defeated! They pressed forward, exterminating gingos and Frahars alike, leaving many bloodied corpses behind them.

"A survivor! There is a survivor!" He was the first, and at seeing him, the homins of Pyr cheered!

As luck would have it, that day, they found more survivors, six in total, dispersed throughout the region. The united force hunted the Frahars to the very depths of the most remote caves in the desert. The long column of homins raised their many weapons together and advanced with purpose into the caves. Numerous homins fell or were wounded that day, not from foolishness but in the spirit of cooperation and friendship. This is how the people of the desert live and long will they continue.

Young Xiari felt dread in the pit of her stomach as she waited in Pyr. There had been no news. How many remained? Who would she never see again? She waited silently in anguish, but when she saw the first familiar face, relief flooded through her. Despite the many companions who had fallen, she cried tears of joy for those friends who had been returned to her.

That night, the Thesos travelers sat around a large fire in Pyr and contemplated the stars. There were final words spoken for lost friends, tears shed, and reflections on life's lessons and the sweetness of revenge carried out. A simple day, but one which would remain forever in their hearts and minds as a reminder of the harsh realities of life on Atys.

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