As detailed in the e-mail "Sailors of the Sands of Fate"

Roaming the desert in our pirate ship, we come across a cave beside a half-buried ship. “Foresight” tells us that both are dangerous. The ship seems to be another touch-stone (like the one that gave Mathius a special ability back on the isle of misfit corpses). But the only way to find out what it does is to approach it, and approaching it will invoke an attack of some kind. Mathius summons a Fiendish Giant Psuedonatural Constrictor, which awakens something in a glistening pool nearby. ‘Tis a briney ooze, which wrestles with the constrictor and loses, the deathblow done by Pon Pon.

We camp there so that Pox can learn the feat associated with the touchstone. During the night a couple zombie dead wander by and are obliterated. We planned to loot the cave, which is a tomb, but the fun police… er, I mean, Zuka has shown up at the game and he’s not big on the tomb raiding. It’s actually fine by most of us.

We get to town and find out that caravans traveling in and out are having problems of the vanishing variety. The town wants to pay us to look for the trouble and cure it, hopefully retuning the missing folk. Thing is, Rayson, who has been gun-ho to help people before now has had a change of heart, saying that he thinks that if we keep doing side trips we’ll never help his friends trapped in the bowl. By counterpoint, Mavin insists we help people because “that’s what we do”. In fact, Zuka has already pledged his help to the temple. Don’t recall Pox or Pon Pon feeling strongly one way or another; Mathius is all for it when he hears there’s an obelisk involved, out there in the desert near where they vanished.

We go. We hit heady sandstorms which slow our movement. Then we hit a pocket of calm. Seems the obelisk has some kind of protection emanating from it that prevents the sands outside (The desert conditions out there being not normal according to our hired guides). The obelisk is a black stone covered in worn and obscured writings. Comprehend languages tells us that it is a tribute to the “desert lord” for answering a call.

There’s a cave with bones in front. Caravan flavored bones. We head that way. Inside are several fire giants who think it’ll be easy to come out and take us, and they try to. Pox’s Pipes of Panic (PPP) cause one fire giant to flee back into the cave. The other three try to engage, but a cloud of smoke (can’t remember if it was Zuka or Pon Pon who did that) causes them to split up a little bit. So it’s a combination of Pon Pon’s fireballs, Pox’s attacks of opportunity, a summoned Giant Praying Mantis’ claws (well, claw anyway.. I think he hit once), Mathius’ magic missiles, Mavin’s hit and run tactics, and Rayson’s getting smacked around (not to mention Zuka absorbing half damage some characters are taking).

Inside the cave is an Efreet who sets up a wall of fire to keep us at bay. He says he’s there because he was summoned by a red dragon and that he’ll go away if we help him dispose of the dragon. Well, he seems like the easier of two evils, and his giants have been eating caravans, so we refuse. Zuka passes the fire wall (and the one behind that) and uses his holy word to try to demolish them all. What he finds are 4 giants and 4 efreet. Upon application of holy word, 3 giants paralyze and 3 efreet seem deafened and blinded. So only two problems in there now. A few other brave souls rush the fire wall (Rayson and Pox) while the others stay on the other side and try to figure out how to get through in one piece. The efreet bails, dispersing into nothing. The giant is handled, but I can’t remember who gets him.

We return the nibbled bones to our benefactors along with all their treasure. They pay us a reward. We move on toward the next town.

Next town features an assemblage of crazy dead. These “forlorn husks” wander around acting like they’re alive until they see us then they try to charge. So Mavin and Zuka do some herding, pulling them into a tight group, then holy-word the crap out of them, turning them to dust. Mavin and Pon Pon follow up by flying around and fireballing from orbit, to be sure.

I don’t think we encountered anything after that, aside from the oasis (in town) which was diseased. Zuka put up a stone wall as a marker and sculpted a warning into it, so that people would stay away from the town and it’s dying oasis.