Windhammer, Copyright Wayne Densley 2008 All Rights Reserved
The morning comes quickly enough. An hour before dawn the thick timbers of your door shudder to the hammering of a mailed fist. In the gloom you raise yourself from your bedding and wait as the door is unlocked. It takes a moment for the beam that secures the door to be withdrawn from its rests, but once open a guard emerges from the dark corridor beyond and throws a backpack onto the floor of your chamber.
"It's time Vesh. Pack what you have. Ten minutes is all you've got."
As the guard turns for the door you stand and wipe the sleep from your eyes. You may have only ten minutes but there is little for you to make ready. For a moment you collect your thoughts, pondering the strange turn of events that has saved you from execution. Then you feel the metal collar at your neck and know that it may have only been delayed.
Quickly you pick up the pack and discover that it contains a number of items, and with a few minutes to spare you tip its contents onto your bedding. Apart from the bag you find you have been given a travel cloak, a small eating knife, six ration packs, each tightly wrapped in waterproof paper, a box of flints and a small money pouch containing six rials (silver coins). (Record these items on your character sheet. The money should be included as a part of equipment carried.) It does not seem to be much in the way of equipment, however you return them to the bag and then ready yourself for what is to come.
From the corridor outside you can hear the approach of soldiers, and after getting dressed you are escorted by four armed guards to the cavalry yards that adjoin the fortress' southern gates.
Standing in the centre of the cobbled yard is the Tak Lovar. He is holding the reins of a magnificent Kalborean Courser and it is easily the largest horse you have ever seen. Behind him, half obscured by shadow stands a Dwarvendim armourer. He holds a long sword in one hand and a scabbard and belt in the other. At his right you can see also a table, covered with grey cloth.
"I hope you slept well", he says. Even in the early morning twilight you can see the Tak Lovar has not.
"To get you quickly to the Krodestaag Mountains the High Prefect has allowed the temporary use of one of his finest Coursers. Her name is Pallenten and she will take you as far as the foothills of the Devkraager Tor. From there it will be necessary for you to go on foot. Do not consider this horse as your own, Dwarvendim. Upon finishing her task Pallenten will return here to her rightful master."
The Historian then motions to the Armourer who presents you with the sword and scabbard.
"This sword is known as Than'durion, a blade of some renown within the Union. It is provided to afford you protection upon your journey. Treat it well for it is worth more than you could possibly imagine."
As you buckle the weapon to your side the Historian also gives you a small envelope.
"You will be aware the possession of weapons by Dwarvendim is strictly forbidden except here within this fortress. This pass should prevent any difficulties as you travel south to Stoneholme. Keep it safe and present it if you are challenged. Be mindful also that the sword is a gift from the Kalborean people, a payment for the service you are to provide. If you survive your quest you may keep it as a token of the appreciation some of us feel for what you are about to do."
"And what of equipment for the journey?" you ask, "A sword may protect me on this errand, but it will not keep me hale upon the wild lands."
The Tak Lover nods his head and gestures to the Armourer who folds back the grey covering on the table. Arrayed across its length is an assortment of devices and equipment.
"Here can be found some of the equipment you may need. Choose the items you believe will best serve your cause..."
(You have 50 points that may be used in choosing the equipment you wish to take with you. The following lists all that is arrayed on the table.)
(If you choose the leather jerkin it will afford an armour bonus of +1 to your Combat Value, but its use will deduct -1 from your agility attribute each time you are required to test your agility. You may take as many Nahla Breads as you can afford. Once you have made your choices record these on your character sheet before continuing.)
- A thick leather jerkin ( 25 points )
- A rope and grapple ( 5 points )
- A basket of Nahla Breads ( 2 points per loaf taken from the basket )
- A compass ( 5 points )
- A small shovel ( 5 points )
- A cup and plate ( 2 points )
- A small bag of flour ( 2 points )
- A canvas tarpaulin ( 5 points )
- A wide brimmed hat ( 2 points )
- A set of spare clothing ( 10 points )
- a portable camp stove ( 20 points )
Carefully you choose the equipment you will take with you and pack it away. From the shadows you sense more than one pair of eyes watching as you prepare to leave, and for you a departure from the grasp of the Kalboreans cannot come soon enough. When you are ready Lovar extends his hand in farewell, shakes yours and quickly turns away. In the silence that follows you climb upon the back of the great horse, and as the Historian disappears into the gloom of the early morning you urge Pallenten forward. The clatter of her hooves upon the hard cobbles of the cavalry yard is the only sound that echoes in the quiet air as you ride through the south gates of Maenum, and then out into the wide open lands of northern Kalborea.
The Tak Lovar has no further part in this adventure but his story is not yet finished. If you wish to see where his fate may lead it can be uncovered in The Inquisitor's Lament companion novella provided with this gamebook. For the moment however, the untamed frontier of Kalborea awaits. Turn to section 245.
This book, and its associated books and other documents in the Chronicles of Arborell series are the intellectual property of the author, Wayne F Densley, and all rights are reserved by him. Windhammer is best viewed at 1024 x 768 resolution. Any questions regarding the Chronicles of Arborell can be answered by emailing the author at email@example.com
Windhammer, Copyright Wayne Densley 2008 All Rights Reserved