The Nefud or An-Nafud is a desert area in the northern part of the Arabian peninsula, occupying a great oval depression; 180 mi (290 km) long and 140 mi (225 km) wide. The Nefud is noted for its sudden violent winds, which account for the large crescent-shaped dunes. Rain comes once or twice a year. In some lowland areas, namely those near the Hejaz Mountains, there are oases where dates, vegetables, barley, and fruits are raised. The Nefud is connected to the Rub al Khali by the Dahna., a corridor of gravel plains and sand dunes, 800 mi (1,287 km) long and 15 to 50 mi (24.1-80.5 km) wide. A dune in the Egyptian desert In geography, a desert is a landscape form or region that receives little precipitation - less than 250 mm (10 in) per year. ... The Rub al Khali (الربع الخالي), or Empty Quarter, is the largest sand desert in the world, encompassing the southern third of the Arabian Peninsula, including southern Saudi Arabia, and areas of Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. ...
Nefud thinks they vaguely resemble ancient dwarven runescript, while Melea recognizes definite similarities with the pre-Minrosi runes for ``water'' and ``the dead'' or ``undead.'' They soon discover the runes are writ in blood, and a foul odor emanates from the gaping entrance.
Nefud was of a different mind, however, and flatly stated that he should take the runes back to a dwarven religious shrine, since they were sacred objects to the dwarves.
Nefud's protestation of an outsider defiling the dwarven religious objects was rebuffed by Melea's argument that the previous owner was far worse, and that if they indeed proved to be sacred runes, she would turn them over.
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