Swamped Chapter 35 Page 1

You can see the sandstorm now, it looks thick. You wonder if you might be able to ride through it… but no, that would be reckless. For all you know it’s as bad as the rain back home, and that’s not a risk you’re going to take. Instead, you head towards the wagon.

“Stop!” you call out. A moment later, it does, and Rider as well. You point at the door.

“We should take shelter inside. The Wanderers are busy, and I’d rather be indoors when the storm strikes.”

“It may get knocked over,” Rider says. “I haven’t seen these storms myself, but the greblings said the storms could get quite brutal. They have special equipment keeping their tents secured.”

“Then maybe Pubert’s got some of the same stuff. The guild doesn’t give a damn if their couriers get sick, but they’re going to want their cargo arriving in one piece.”

You dismount and open the door. Pubert’s still tied up. Yvonne and Marshall are standing over a large, thick cloth.

“Oh, good, this was going to be hard with my height and Marshall’s one arm,” Yvonne says. “We need to cover the wagon with this, so the sand doesn’t come in through the holes. There’s some poles for holding them in place, too. Better move quick.”

“Don’t forget to put the shelter up for the horse,” Pubert says. “We won’t get very far if we have to push the wagon on foot.”

“Horses,” Rider interjects. He picks up the cloth. “I know a few things about striking camp in a hurry, so I hope no one objects if I take the lead on this.”

What happens next is something of a blur. It involves a lot of Rider shouting while you pull the cloth everywhere and shove posts in the ground to tie it down. You’re not sure how stable they can be on a foundation of sand, but it’s all you’ve really got.

When it’s done, you slip under and head into the wagon. It’s crowded, even moreso because Rider’s brought the lizard-worm in with him. He explains it would upset the horses, and it’s not recovered enough to burrow yet.

So. What’s to be done while you wait for the storm to pass?

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Rider needs medical attention. The lizard worm’s partially regrown head bears examination. Marshall has a book to read. Pubert needs to use the chamber pot.

Starling…why and…how are you riding the lizard worm?