The travel itself, as opposed to the preparation for it, was surprisingly smooth. Ara's words about the horses were not spoken lightly, as they seemed to have an extraordinairy grasp of the sandy path, their wide hooves moving effortlessly through the soft sand. At the occasional outcroppings of rock the horses skirted around the stone, their large feet not well-suited for rocky travel.
For those travelling here for the first time, the amalgamation of ice and sand that they saw was like nothing else.
To the right lay The Great Desert, and what seemed like an endless expanse of sand, rock, and dust. Hardly a sign of life made itself known, though now and again a prickly cactus stood against the horizon, its green coloring in sharp contrast with its surroundings. Dust flew about on the wind, bandied to and from by the light current of air. Even those unfamiliar with this particular expanse of desert knew of various sand-dwelling creatures, and extra care was paid to keeping an eye on their right flank.
To the left lay The High Ice, a massive swath of ice that dominated the view. An occasional peak rose above the nearly-flat surface, illuminating the battle waging between water and rock for control of the area. At times, a brief chill wind came down from the ice, but nothing more. There were absolutely no signs of life anywhere upon it, though legends of ice-dwelling monsters were abundant in the region. Some say these creatures even left their frozen homes, though not without great cause...
It was this path that the journey followed, Kashue's instructions fresh in their minds. The ice was certain to provide a source of water, of moisture, in this harsh climate, and staying between the two gave them an extra avenue of escape, should anything dire befall them.
They had been travelling for several hours when nightfall finally came, its cold embrace welcomed by all, especially Zetroc, who seemed unaccustomed to any sort of hard travel. Beads of sweat were constantly upon his brow, no matter how often he wiped them off with the cuff of his cloak, and his posture was now slumped and tired. Delphine was also struggling, her life having been spent among the shadows of trees and cities. Only Korakk seemed completely unfazed by the environment, grunting impatiently when one of his company lagged behind. He had moved up alongside Ara, and though he did not overtake her, he was clearly impatient with the entire lot.
Ara signalled that they should stop, and Zetroc nearly slipped from his mount in his relief. He had relaxed too much the instant he saw her hand come up, and the only thing that stopped him from eating a mouthful of sand was a length of rope that had coiled around his mount, holding him securely in place. He looked down upon the rope, and moved his hand along its rough coils, gathering up the rope as it untied of its own volition. Hopping carefully of of his horse, he inscribed a small circle upon the sand with his foot, which promptly became a disk of shining steel, upon which Zetroc sat carefully to rest.