Heat. Scorching tender flesh, searing down through weary muscles, settling into aching bones. There is no escape from the ever present heat. Even at night, when the sun has fallen beneath the sand and the winds carry in from the west, the ground is hot to the touch and the scent of smoke is carried on the air.

Light. Bright and blinding it reduces the world to a burning hell of featureless pain. Over time vision returns but brings with it no real comfort. Above there is the sun, bloated and red, burning the sky and scorching the horizon into a haze of fiery orange and yellow. Below there is the sand, scalding and barren, broken at random by jagged rocks and bleached bones.

Sound. Deafening and constant. In time a rhythm emerges, a rise and fall within the roar, the heartbeat of an endless swarm. There is never silence but there are moments when the roar fades into the background, when the horde holds its breath, before erupting in fierce exultation or limitless rage. Carried on the wind come the cracking of bones and the tearing of flesh. And the screams. Always the screams.

Welcome to Athas.

Shattered Bonds

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