Be your friend’s
Return gift for gift.
with laughter again
but betrayal with treachery.
And if the world turn against you, look to those by your side. These are your true friends.
The city of Bel-Athis shimmered in the distance like a mirage beneath the noonday sun. The small band of pilgrims stood fanned out upon the rolling dunes, covered from head to toe in their loose black garments. There was scarcely a wind, yet the sand rose up from the desert in twirling wisps that danced around them seductively like harim girls.
Jal nar Bethad stood in the midst of the twelve men and women who had followed him here, his arms raised to the sky in supplication.