Phillip A. Ellis
Deep in the forgotten desert, stone colossi rear high above the burning sands that surround and threaten to overwhelm them. They stare eternally with their sightless eyes, knowing only the fate of those damned to wander fruitlessly across the eternally lifeless wastes. For, though the air roils above the furnace glare of the desert, they
see the Wanderers' bodies shimmer, they feel the Wanderers' flesh roast and drip in liquescent strips from their cracking and blackening bones.
While distant oases shimmer and hover high in the desert air, the Sentinels stand with little thought, and even less, nay, with no care for the Wanderers.
Yet they brood and they stare in the still days and the dark nights. They brood and they stare as the desert storms arise as upflung oceans of sand, shredding flesh and tearing internal organs from the Wanderers' sand-scoured bones, drowning nomads' tents, and sundering the walls of citadels and towns in its mindless noise and fury. They brood and they stare in the proper seasons when ghouls and ghostly forms and shrieking sand-demons rise and rejoice upon their pedestal of finely scoured stone.
For the Sentinels live, but not as terrestrial beings do.
They remember how and when they came here from the utterly cold and remote reaches of space. They remember how the Old Ones came after them, and of the multitudes of races after them. But now, they sit there and wait, with a patience born out of eternity.
Created: March 12, 1999; Updated: August 9, 2004