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As you may have gathered, my name is Leto and I am a draik of the desert. That is, I was. I was born and raised right here on these very dunes. My family was a tight clan of nomads who survived off the barren lands before you, living a life of simple honesty and sustinance. We knew nothing of the city of Sakhmet other than that it was a filthy pit of a community where diseases such as lethargy and wastefullness were spread. We knew nothing of abundance and, as we were always deprived of drinkable water and fresh food, we appriciated what little we had and we appriciated eachother. I was taught to be quick and skillfull with a dagger but also to use judgement and reason. I was taught that conservation was vital and to only take as much of something to sustain oneself. It was later that I arrived at Sakhmet city, ignorant as to what lay behind those walls of stone and clay.
A restless youth, I often wandered from our clan for weeks at a time and had become quite comfortable with the desert as my only companion. Looking out across the dunes I felt safe, secure and at peace. Any threat must first cross the open sands to reach you, allowing you to meet any opposition headon. The desert is predictable, there was the heat of day, the chill of night and the occasional sandstorms which, to the learned observer, gave off clear warnings before descending. What I was not expecting, however, was to run into free flowing water; a river.
A river? The very concept was foreign to me. It is very hard to believe in a river when you have lived only among the dunes. We had windtraps which collected moisture from the air to drink but I could not imagine water flowing across the land in such a canal. Yet there it was before me, stretching in it's path as far as my eyes could see and farther. I waded into the current, numbed by the sensation. I did not dare to drink it, for fear the miracle would vannish before my eyes should I indulge my thirst. Stepping out of the river, the sand beneath my claws became dark with dampness and I cursed every drop that sank, disipating into the grains. I followed this river along the banks, not daring to step in again. For two days I followed the current, as though swept along with it and on the second night I came upon the city.
The city's walls rose out of the desert sands as as though oblivious to the elements surrounding them and broke the smooth skyline with the constructed edges and barriers. As I neared the city gates, I saw a group of children playing in the river, splashing and carrying on. Immediately, I noticed the water weight each of the townspeople carried on their persons, flesh fat with hydration. . . that such a life style existed was beyond my imagination. Even the otherwise slender bodies of the apparent impovershed civilians appeared to have drank quite deeply from the river running outside their homes.
It was evening when I arrived in Sakhmet and the market was begining to clear, merchants storing their goods for safety and children hurrying to little huts and shacks which lined the far protective wall. Wandering about the square, trying to take in the sights around me, I found myself stopped squarely by two hulking ixi, each with identical uniform and armor. As it so happened, they recognized me as a desert nomad by my attire and demeanor and immediately took me to be a theif. I protested my innocence and gave a good struggle for an admirable time until their bulk and numbers got the better of me and I was to be arrested.
As luck would have it, however, the reigning Princess Vyssa had been in the market square incognito (as she was apparently rumored to do quite often) and had witnessed the ordeal firsthand. She may have believed my protestations or perhaps she was merely bored, but for whatever reason I was allowed to seek her audience for judgement. I spoke to her of my clan, of our customs and of my discovery of the river they enjoyed. She was apparently amused by my tales as she ordered me to be ordained the Head of Outlander Affairs, a Royal Dignitary to the Palace of Sahkmet. Now, this position is merely that of a figurehead, essentially useless, and the Princess, only moments later, seemed to forget about my existance entirely. I have heard, however, that this was a strategic move on her part and greatly raised the opinion polls of the populace in her favor.
Days later, I sought out and found my clan and regailed them with the stories of all I had discovered and experienced. The clan
elders, however, had known all along about the river, but had kept the rest of the clan in the dark in order to preserve the
ancient traditions and customs we practised daily for survival. As such, they proclaimed my stories lies and declared me of
"unsound mind" and expelled me to wander alone in the desert, least I pollute the others. In the past, permanent expulsion had
meant certain death for our clan members and those remaining mourned those who left as though they had died. I wandered alone
for a few weeks, but the windtraps I constructed alone were too small to sustain myself and I eventually returned to Sakhmet
where I was welcomed with a feast and a tailor.