Swamped Chapter 34 Page 8

“I think the boss called ’em the Dune Wanderers. Nomads. They spend most of their time in the desert, living off the land and whatever they can get from passing caravans. They’ve been spotted on the outskirts a few times, always on raids, but nobody knows much about them. We’ve been trading with them for years, giving them stuff they’d have no hope of finding otherwise, in exchange for letting our wagons through safely. And taking care of anyone who happens to pursue us.”

Corvus looks thoughtful.

“Never heard of them myself. Then again, I was lucky enough that I never got desert duty, so maybe no one had any reason to tell me.” He looks at the grebling. “You’re from around here, right? What do you know about them?”

“Not much, actually,” she says. “We’ve run into grebling nomads, but they don’t give us trouble and they don’t have crossbows. And most of the humans we see are heading to Reth’s temple or making their way back. I think we might be too far from trade routes to have crossed paths with them, or their victims for that matter.”

“These guys are human. Or at least, human-sized,” you say. “Anyhow, I figure what’s going on here is, they realize the Guild scammed them some time ago, so they’re taking it out on the messenger. Wouldn’t be the first time it’s happened.”

“Now that’s the most believable thing you’ve said in a while,” Corvus says. “Maybe Rider can convince them we’ve got nothing to do with the Guild.”

“Wouldn’t help,” you say. “If you’re with the Guild, they only attack sometimes. If you’re not, they attack all the time.”

You’re now Rider.

How are the negotiations going?

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Well-ish. It’d be going better if they were more fluent in conversational [whatever you speak], but you’ve got everyone acting more or less like civilized folk… for now.
If pointing a spear against a hostile’s throat counts as negotiating, you aced it.
You can’t help but notice that they’ve avoided shooting any arrows at either the desert horse or at the lizard worm strapped to the roof of the wagon.