Escuaji pulled apart a strip of Qualt jerky as he stared intently at the Meeting Star far above the desert horizon. The star shone bright in the purple skyglow opposite the sunset, brighter than it had in years. He could just make out a smaller point of light slowly departing the larger - its slight red tinge and gentle twinkle betrayed that it was Łichíí, the messenger god. Escuaji tilted his head back and lowered the jerky into his mouth.
She must be heading off to the Deyaa, he thought to himself; the place of leaving. She should be back in three days time.
He gently kneed his mount, a shaggy Ost of impressive height, and they began picking their way down the dry crater walls. Here and there, twiggy vegetation replete with piercing spines and tiny red leaves made obstacle. Loose, cocoa-colored dirt gave way in tiny avalanches under heavy hooves.
Escuaji aimed his Ost's ears towards the middle of the crater, nearly two kilometers away, and a hundred meters below. In the very center, conical tents were arranged in concentric circles. Paths of light-colored earth where surface rocks had been pulled aside ringed the circumferences of the tent-lanes. At the focal point stood the Onte-nah; a metal spire reaching once again the height of the surrounding tents. It rose from a house-sized structure, a skeleton of scaffolding connected to great shading sails of cloth under which Escuaji's mother-tribe gathered for the evening meal.