The party broke camp and headed south towards Altaruk. About half-way there Ku-ki’cha noted the remains of a wrecked sand skiff. Nearby, sharp-eyed Gwen, spotted some little lizard-like humanoids who immediately disappeared into the dunes. “What are those?” “Silt runners”, the thri-kreen replied. “Back to others, quickly!”
“Silt runners?” The mood was grim. Naivara had seen several of her past travelling companions fall to the small but vicious creatures, and wondered if her luck would hold this time. Weapons were drawn and the group advanced cautiously. When the attack came, it was from both sides. Gwen and Ku-ki’cha went down almost immediately and a hard fight followed against the silt runners and their tribal spellcasters. Eventually, all lay dead. Mik and Naivara set about reviving the fallen and soon Gwen and Maro were sitting up groggily. Only Ku-ki’cha remained sprawled on the sand, his carapace pierced by poison darts and the sharp horn weapons of the silt runners. “Mik… he won’t wake up… can you do anything?” The young eladrin’s eyes were wide with anxiety. “I’m sorry, Naivara. He’s too far gone – I think his spirit has already crossed over.” Mik put his arm around Naivara’s shoulders as she grieved for her comrade.
They made a cairn of sorts from the skiff timbers and buried Ku-ki’cha beneath it, his insectoid face as inscrutable in death as it had been in life. Ever the pragmatist, Gwen gathered up his supplies of food and water and divided them among the group. As she handed Naivara her share, she noticed the other’s sad expression, she asked “You really miss him, don’t you?”. “Yes,” the psion smiled quickly, “well, he and I… I’ve known him ever since we met that day on the road to Altaruk – Fen, Timak and me.” “Fen and Timak – who were they?” asked Gwen. “Some people I travelled with who were strong and brave too. But it wasn’t enough. Sometimes nothing is.”