For days, I wander the desert of this otherworld. My feet suffer no fatigue. I have no need to drink. I walk deeper into a rugged desert.

I arrive at a series of small dwellings. A village. The structures are simple, domed-roofed, and multi-leveled. Abandoned.

Entering one of these constructs, I see the remnants of a game strewn over a table. The table is thick with dust. The cards however, are not.

1. Grift

This appears to be a game of bluffing and betrayal. It is written in a form of English, with the letterforms being altered in various ways. The cards make use of many symbols, icons, and captions to determine rules of play.

2. An unnamed card

An unnamed card with various icons, A spade. Flowers. Drops of water.

3. Sand Adder card

The form of a strange slithering creature surrounds some coins and a die.

4. D8 dice

Each facet of these eight-sided dice has a different glyphic marking.

5. Game pieces

Carved figures. Made of naturally found elements. Wood. Stone. Clay.

6. Draw deck

Several cards sit undrawn.

7. Fern Hound card

A creature with the appearance of foliage.

8. Sassk card

A grotesque figure eating candy or pills. Is Sassk the name of a creature type or is it the name of this character? Inconclusive.

9. In-Yx card

The card depicts some sort of interface. Three hand icons are present. Each hand is different. Only one has five fingers. Like mine.

10. Awgra card

This creature reminds me of prehistoric birds of Earth's history.

11. Sand Mib card

A spherical object. Is this a lost member of the Taw Collective? Inconclusive.

After evaluating the game pieces, I determine a possible system of play. Cards are drawn. Each is played according to its rules. A phase of dice rolls ensues. Wages are placed. Wages are resolved.

I move around the empty dwelling and notice Grift game cards lying everywhere. On the ground. On tables. And still more huddled in plates and bowls. Some of the scattered cards are torn.

I scan the room. It shows signs of a struggle. Broken furniture. A snapped picture frame. A stain on the floor. I hold a finger to it and immediately a sample is analyzed. 

Blood. Human blood.