H’ai-ch Q’a opens his eyes. He is lying on sand. Fine, brilliant white, pleasantly hot sand.
This is unexpected.
The Thri-Kreen warrior should be injured, but he is not. He should also be fighting an Angel of Decay right now, but that would not seem to be the case, either.
Looking around, H’ai-ch Q’a does not squint against the harsh glare. Hot, arid desert is his natural environment, and he is in one now. As far as he can see in every direction, there is only undulating sand dune and bright, hazy sky.
This is most unexpected.
Though, to think on it, the Thri-Kreen Fighter finds it increasingly difficult to explain why this is unexpected. Thri-Kreen are pragmatic creatures, trusting instinct and observation. H’ai-ch Q’a is wearing desert hunting-armor common to his kind, colored to match the silver-white sand creeping in slow waves all around him. The armor shelters his exoskeleton and joints against wind-borne grit, and fits very well. As it should; he has always worn it. A githka, of exceptional magical quality, lies by his feet. He must have dropped it. In his many hands, it is trustworthy and familiar.
H’ai-ch Q’a does not have enough ranks in Knowledge : Planes to know this as the endless desert of Mithardir, the bottom layer of the Plane of Arborea. Memory of the coalition, the temple, the Angel of Decay, his death – none of it seems more than a daydream. Thri-Kreen are not prone to daydreaming, so that too is unexpected.
The Thri-Kreen warrior sets aside these strange thoughts. They are not of concern. This is where he is meant to be – no more perfect an environment could one of his kind ask for. He has his armour and weapon. Pouches on his belt and bandolier contain all the supplies he needs. All is quite well.
Reading the dunes, intuition guides him. This is not an empty desert; more adventure lies ahead than behind. H’ai-ch Q’a sets off into the unknown wastes to find it.