Arabyan Warbands

The Sheikh
By Terry Maltman

"Where are we going, effendi?" asked Ben Ahrim.

"You will find out soon enough my friend", replied tall bearded man at his side. "We are going to find gold and treasures beyond your dreams". The Sheikh smiled showing his gold tooth.

"Uncle, I know of only one place where treasures lie for the taking and I do not want to go there". Ben's sun darkened skin looked pale. "They say that the princes of old walk the sands even though they have been dead for thousands of years. They say that they hate all living things and long only to kill them to raise in their own foul image".

"Ben Ahrim, you are my sister's son. You are my family. Since the thrice cursed greenskins came and killed my beloved son Ibn, you are my heir and successor."

"I know uncle. You have been like a father to me since my own father died. Tell me that you are not leading our tribe to its doom". Ben Ahrim trembled as he spoke, belying his years as a warrior.

"Do not fear. I know full well the monsters that await us in the Land of the Dead. I would not take us there unless I was sure that we could beat the cursed ones." The Sheikh turned making his robes rustle in the hot breeze. The silver chain that held his amulets and charms tinkled. Walking towards them w3as a short fat man with the brightest robes you could find in any bazaar. "Welcome", boomed the Sheikh, "The hospitality of my tent is yours. Our water is your water".

The newcomer paused, out of breath. "My lord is most gracious. My water is yours also," he panted.

Ben Ahrim looked at him incredulously. "Is this a new warrior to help us defeat the dead princes? With respect he hardly looks able to hold a spear to defend himself."

"Please excuse my nephew." The Sheikh turned back to Ben. "The creatures of which we speak are creations of evil magic. They will use it against us. To fight magic we must employ magic ourselves." Gesturing to the gaudily dressed little man, "This is Abu ben Baba. He is a powerful mage he assures me. With his help we will destroy the undead monsters."

Young Ben Ahrim looked again at the mage then turned back to the sheikh, "How much gold did you say?" A gleam appeared in his eye, "Uncle, forgive me for doubting you. Let us away immediately".



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