In the west the Sun was sinking when the sands started to calm. Dald and Elida had briefed the whole party that we would be meeting with Canyoners to possibly join the mission. Understandably many from Sky Prairie were concerned and upset. Most only knew of Canyoners are raiders on the salvage of Junktown or as traders who were quick to deceive. Even their request to join was typical, starting with an ambush, and finishing amid threats. Kindee was sitting with a circle of volunteers and guards listening to their concerns. These lines are representative, though more clear than most of the frustrated confusion of our time waiting for a dying wind.
"Elida was about help from us, but he would march with Canyoners!" spat Grand in frustration.
"All of the Land's children are free to join out mission, the depth of the calling grants a deeper trust." Wane said, trying to call for calm.
"Avoiding their ambush is a necessity," Kindee started, trying to maintain calm "and as we are here for the Towalk, who welcome all who would join their mission, accepting the Canyoners is fated. Though..." Kindee paused, weighing her words slowly "I am very glad to have my comrades, the Volunteers, here in case our friends prove more dangerous than we all hope them to be."
Conversation like this filled the canyon, and Bald was busy, reassuring volunteer and guard about the coming alliance. Elida was not to be seen, he was alone in his tent during this time.
At dusk Elida and Bald lead us all to a large valley where the main train ran through, from Silt to Red Canyon. There was a fire burning, and around it a dozen Canyoners stood waiting for us to join them. We were still surrounded another fifty Canyoners were crouching behind cover in the twilight.
Trul fiercely embraced Dald and then Elida, laughing as he released Elida. "Welcome to our fire! My new allies." Dald accepted his greeting on all our behalf. It was still tense like a cocked gun, which there were many of, both sides aware that battle was not a distant possibility, when Trul was given space to speak to out group, I recorded his words thus:
"It was Ral, my very cousin, who told the Towalk of Star's Reaches discovery. My family has traded with the Towalk since our grandparents were children. And before he knew of Star's Reach I knew of it, for I am the one who told Ral! Many nights have been filled with songs we Canyoners sing of the treasures of Star's Reach, fables of lucky yottes who found it, and when we heard it was discovered we wanted to see and to take for ourselves. But, even my group is not numerous enough to march in against what ever guards the Merigans or maybe even the Greys have at that place. But word of the Towalk crusade reached my ears before Dald's men reached the gates of Sky Prairie. And with that news I have been busy! See five bands of Canyoners who have joined me at hearing this news, ready to take the spoils of the Grey or to die in spite of them.
"Hmmm. I know that the Sky Prairie's citizens do not trust us sandy landers. Least of all your sharp shooting guards, your faces are bleak even now. But we will be family for this trip, for we all must offer what we can against the Greys. Everyone here is ready to die to stop the Greys, what matters it if we bring strife amongst ourselves to be settled after they are defeated, better to risk death in victory that death in defeat."
Trul was a flat bodied man, wide from shoulder to shoulder, but very thin from navel to spine, it favored him with a very dynamic and swift changing silhouette that he used the flames to cast. By the time of his speech many had warmed to the Canyoners joining, and after hearing it, and feeling the strength of tone in Trul's voice I believe that there was even much enthusiam for traveling with the Cantoners. All by now felt this was "a barbaric quest, and what better than barbarians as companions", as was said in fellowship and jest many times by Canyoners and Sky Landers.