The Old Desert. A huge, vast desert that stretched at North most part of Rezonoath. It was a hot, barren place, filled with rolling sand dunes, scorching sands, and burning black rocks scattered about the place. It was the last part of Rezonaoth one must travel through before reaching the end of the North part of it. Of course, no one ever did, for it was a treacherous and deadly route. The only people who came through were traveling sand nomads, and bandits fleeing from the wrath of the Templar Knights.

One would have to be insane to even think of setting up a permanent residence here. There was barely any water, (on average, one rainfall came per year, and it lasted only a few minutes at most,) and what plant life there was tough to eat. Animals were scarce, but most were hardened through years of desert exposure and did not make easy catches.

But there was one person who lived in the Old Desert full time. She was called the Sand Mother, and she lived on a little shack near a large rock formation a little ways east in the desert. The rock provided some shade for her, so the sun's rays did not affect her. The shack was modest looking, and was not large, only big enough for a single person. A patch of gnarled roots, tough roots that grew in groups across the desert sands, lay in front of the shack. They were the Mother's harvest, and served as her main source of food.

The shack door was pushed open with a creek, the old, creaky, wood barely able to withstand this action. A woman strode out, wearing a dull colored shawl. She had a hunched stance, and held a cane in her left hand, supporting her old figure. She had a hardened, ancient face, and dark skin because of years of living in the Old Desert. She rubbed her face, swatting off some horseflies, and walked forward slowly.

The Sand Mother leaned down to the gnarled roots, and began to check them if they were healthy. Finding one had withered, the Sand Mother grabbed it, and wrenched it out of the sand. She tossed it over her shoulder, and it landed in the sand with a quiet thump.

Suddenly, the Sand Mother heard a noise. She raised her cane protectively and said, "If its one of you bandits here again, I have no valuable you would want. And just so you now, the last bandit that threatened me wound up with a broken leg, and was bleeding out his ears."

The Sand Mother, hearing no response, walked forward. Suddenly, a small creature ran in front of her. It looked like a rabbit, but had a pair of twisted horns on its small head. Its fur was also a pale yellow, and it looked at the Sand Mother, its ears rising in alarm. The Sand Mother gave a yell as she saw that a piece of gnarled root was clutched in the animal's mouth.

The Sand Mother ran forward, grabbing a rock and raising it to crush the little animal for raiding her food supply. The small animal gave a shriek of fear, dropping the gnarled root it had been chewing on, and shot off in the opposite direction. The Sand Mother hurled the rock after the fleeing creature and shook her fist angrily. "Don't you dare come back!" She screamed.

The Sand Mother then turned around, and marched back toward the shack. She closed the door behind her, and sat down on the floor. She had no furniture in the house, and did not require any. She had lived like this for years, and could not imagine another lifestyle. However, there was a little rug on the floor, made out of rattlesnake skin.

The Sand Mother raised the rug carefully, revealing a trap door beneath it. She raised the trap door carefully, and looked inside. She smiled. Still there. But why wouldn't it be? The Sand Mother decided she was getting a bit paranoid. She was periodically checking it to make sure it had not been stolen or mysteriously vanished.

Standing up, the Sand Mother covered the trap door with the snakeskin rug again, making sure it was perfectly hidden. She sighed, standing up. She had a strange feeling that something bad was going to happen soon. Perhaps that the reason for her paranoia. The Sand Mother chuckled to herself. Nothing was going to happen. It had been here for years, and this year was going to be no different.

Still, the Sand Mother did have a fear in her bones, as she opened the door, and began to brush the shack of excess sand. A pointless task, but it gave her something to do. The Sand Mother's fear grew as she looked to the South. She tried to rid herself of it, but could not. Something was going to happen. And the Sand Mother could feel that it, even if she thought it was just paranoia at its best, was evil.