After a long rest which seems to have mostly restored their strength, the party heads off in the direction that they hope will lead them to the Spire's twin. Before long, they find themselves before a massive blade of rock perhaps 150 feet high. The sheer sides offer little in the way of hand or footholds. After some discussion, it is decided that the unlikely prospect of scaling the rock would not be worth the effort of loss of time.
Skirting the rock, they come upon the remnants of a long-abandoned town. Whether the town was abandoned months ago or decades ago (or more) is impossible to tell — such is the effect of the dry sandy wind. The group explores the towns ruins, finding little of value or import. T'an and Jebs head towards the largest building. The simple hall is unadorned. Among the random discards, abandoned tables and chairs, T'an finds the remnants of an old book. It seems as if it might crumble with too much handling. Pages fall out as it is handled — and many seem to have been removed or decayed into dust long ago. As he gently handles the book, T'an has has a feeling that he has seen this writing before though he cannot imagine where. It is nothing like any writing that he has seen on Colo'shi — completely unlike modern writing or the ancient runes carved in the ancient mine shafts of Home. He has a fleeting sense that he can read these pages — a strange melody plays in his head and the sound of unfamiliar speech. Jebs coughs and the T'an is suddenly aware of his surroundings, and the music is gone. The book seems totally foreign. A thought remains, "I should be able to read this book. If only I can find that melody. It is the key."
By now the group has joined T'an and Jebs. Arlen asks, "Jebs what do you get off that book?" Jebs puts his hand on it and mumbles his spell and loses himself in concentration. After some moments, he glares at T'An. "I have a very clear reading. The last person to touch this book was totally mystified by it. That was back in a time called: Two Minutes Ago." Our heroes have a good laugh, wrap up the book carefully and head on their way.
Not far outside of town, they find 2 × 2 rocks space out like breadcrumbs. Are these markers of an ancient road. After several uneventful hours, a massive beast appears over dune. It has thick leathery hide, two horns and a bony frill-like neckplate. This beast moves at an incredible speed considering its huge size. The gang strikes at it with magic and arrows, but they seem to be doing little damage. Brave, raging Gurthark stands in front of it and is nearly trampled. While the beast is distracted, T'an approaches from behind and somersaults onto its back — barely holding on. Stabbing it in the neck while the beast tries to trample and gore the other heroes who eventually gain the upper-hand and slay the beast.
The crew continues on their way. Bruised and worn, they come upon more ruins and a field of partially-buried stone tablets and small obelisks. Stone garden? Graves? Some sort of time markers? The adventurers are curious about the meaning of the stones and what artifacts might be found. The sandy ground is easy to dig. They find skeletons buried in the sand — some bones indicate grievous injuries but no artifacts of note are found. Arlen, Murmer, Gurthark, T'an and Jebs rebury the skeletons, but as they leave to explore the town's building, skeletons rise from the sand and attack.
The battle is furious. Just as our heroes seem to be turning the tide against their bony foes, a skeleton unlike the others emerges from a nearby building. They can feel his power. The powerful skeleton is only fully visible from the waist up and fades to invisibility below the hips. The relentless attacks bring brave, powerful Gurthark near death just as the team finally vanquishes the magical fading skeleton captain whose army sinks back into the sand. Powerful magic and some good luck saves Gurthark from death.
Weary, the group takes refuge in the largest building and treats itself to a well-deserved long rest. In the morning, Arlen seems hyper and cannot stop fiddling with his magic bracelet. T'An S'en relates his dream to the team: "I was sitting near a campfire. I was part of a group of unfamiliar people, like none that I have seen on Colo'shi. They were telling stories and holding council. Their words and intonations were unfamiliar, but I had the feeling that with each word they spoke that I was nearer to understanding them. The fire warmed me in a way that seemed more real than a dream. I was certain that one of the men made a joke about my standing to close to the fire and that I was able to reply a word or two in his language. The strange words I heard — the odd clicks and gurgles they made while speaking are fading — but I feel as if I heard it again, I might understand some part of what was said."