"We're almost there," said Tetas, pointing ahead as they came around a sharp curve in the road. "Up ahead is the only bridge along the pass and the first place to see the Sulerin Desert. I guess the Dwarves didn't feel like going around, not that I can blame them https://sexchat.bar/ ."
The wind was constant at this altitude, but the walls on either side of the road blocked the worst of it. The tone changed as they drew closer to the bridge, adding a quiet but constant rushing to the ambient noise. Kal could see the far side of the crevice and had to agree with the Dwarves who built it. It was as wide as the road but only about fifty paces across.
Approaching the bridge, Kal leaned toward the front of the cart, hoping to catch his first glimpse of the desert, and accidentally bumping his head against Reez's back. Giving the winemaker's son an apologetic smile, he turned back in time to see the expanse of the Sulerin Desert open up before them.
"Whoa," whispered Kal as Tetas brought the cart to a stop. The mage sat in awe, trying to wrap his mind around the view. At the beginning of his venture onto the Lantaran Plains, he found it interesting to see grass stretching to the horizon in every direction. But it was just grass, and grass was everywhere. For him, sand was something he occasionally saw on the banks of a stream or river and was the stuff windows were made out of. The sight of yellow dunes as far as the eye could see and knowing it took weeks of travel to cross was straining his capacity for comprehension.
Far below them on the edge of the desert, he could make out the city of Fazal. He knew it was larger than Carriston or Lantaris from Jerran and Vadha's talk but from this height, it looked tiny.
The temperature had been steadily rising during their descent, but the air quickly became stifling as they sat on the bridge. Warm currents rose from the bottom of the narrow valley, flowing constantly upward on either side of the span.
From his time gliding with Kuto and the other harpies, Kal knew quite well what to do with a thermal. He didn't know if he could really call it a thermal since it was more likely to be the push of air against the mountain causing the updraft than temperature, but it didn't matter much, the effect was the same. He stood up and spun his cloak around to his front, tucking the hood down and against his chest as he threaded his feet into sturdy loops sewn into the bottom hem.
"What are you doing?" asked Tetas, curious why Kal was now wearing the piece of clothing backwards https://livesex.bar/ .
Grinning, he climbed on top of one of the barrels before hopping off the cart. "Mage stuff," he said with a smile.
"He's getting a better view," Ria deadpanned, flitting up from her seat next to Kal to talk with Tetas and Reez, making the men in the cart jump. She hadn't said much since the run-in with the bandits and they had forgotten about her.
"Coming?" Kal asked the avatar https://sexcam.bar .
Ria shook her head while waving a hand and summoning a speck of light from the bag on his hip. "I'll stay here so these two don't think you've killed yourself," she answered. As the mote touched her the sprite's body pulsed, turning from aqua to white again as wisps of light began floating off her. "As long as I'm here, he is fine," she explained to Tetas.
"Keep going, I'll catch up," Kal added.
"What?" Reez asked them in confusion. A moment later he jumped to his feet, nearly falling out of the cart in shock as Kal took a couple of hopping steps and threw himself over the side of the bridge.
Tetas turned and gave the sprite a questioning look.
"Give him a second," Ria assured him.
The man grunted, "In a couple of seconds he'll be—" the winemaker was interrupted by a whoop of happiness. They spun around to see Kal rising up on the opposite side of the bridge. His arms and legs were splayed out with the cloak between them catching the updraft as a rune on his leather arm guard glowed white.
"Our passenger appears to have turned into a flying squirrel," said the winemaker. "Too bad he couldn't have done that before running into those raiders." With a flick of the reins, the horses started moving again.
Reez was still staring with wonder at the shrinking image of the mage.
"Before you get any ideas, he can glide because a magic spell makes him extremely light," Ria told him. "Neither Kal nor I want to come back this way and find out you strapped a tent to your back and jumped off a cliff."
"I... I wasn't..." the boy stammered.
"Suuure you weren't," said the sprite as they left the bridge with a small bump and rode into the shade from the pass's towering walls.
High above, Kal reveled in the feeling of the wind whipping past him as he glided about on the thermal. The joy he felt when flying had cooled since he left Prentas's tower and it became an everyday occurrence, but he still loved it. Focusing on the piece of leather attached to the inside of his trousers the flight rune glowed slightly. Kal found the portion of the spell he wanted and pushed more magic toward it until the air around his head shimmered for a moment. The wind rushing past his face immediately died down, allowing him to breathe a little easier.
Looking down, he could see the remainder of the pass winding and snaking the rest of the way to the base of the mountain range before straightening out in the foothills and making its way to Fazal. Kal was surprised at the sheer length of the road they had yet to go but quickly realized it was probably for the best. Tetas's horses were having no trouble keeping the heavy cart from running away on the pass's shallow slope. A steeper grade would be quicker, but more dangerous at the same time.
Continuing to rise, he discovered his new vantage point didn't offer much benefit. Though the view was more impressive because he could see further, there wasn't really more to see. It was still nothing but an ocean of sand all the way to the horizon. Looking up and down this side of the mountain range was much more visually interesting.
As he rose out of the deep crevice running up the side of the mountain, the wind began to buffet and toss him around. Unsure of the cause of the sudden turbulence, he angled himself away from the mountainside just in case a stray gust tried to throw him against the rock face. The confusing air currents continued to pummel him far longer than expected but when he finally broke free of the chaotic mountain winds a strong and much cooler downdraft forced him right back into the roiling currents. More confused than scared since he still had his flight rune to fall back on, Kal was quickly getting sick of being tossed about. Pulling his arms in, he dove for the ravine he had exited moments ago. At least there he knew he could escape this punishing wind.
Reaching the calmer air, Kal spread his arms again and took a moment to try to figure out what was going on. Far below him the crevice widened out like the bell of a horn on the mountain's lower slopes. He guessed the warm air rising from the sunbaked rocks below flowed upward and into the gap where it passed by the bridge. If the cooler air coming over the mountain was trying to fall down this side as this warm air moved up, it explained the turbulence and the unexpected downdraft he encountered.
Felli's peak and the mountain range north of Telsin, where he did most of his gliding prior to the flight rune, was significantly smaller than the mountains here. Running east and west with the direction of the weather instead of north and south like these massive peaks must have made these odd air currents less noticeable back home. Concluding this venture turned out far worse than he hoped; Kal located the bridge and began making his way along the pass looking for the winemaker's cart. Once he left the ravine there wasn't enough of a continuous updraft to keep him aloft with just his cloak and the featherfall rune. Unwilling to go higher and chance getting caught up in the roiling air above him, he pulled some power from the four crystals in a pouch on his belt and activated the rest of the flight rune.
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