Windhammer, Copyright Wayne Densley 2008 All Rights Reserved


The risk of trouble in Das Frontiere is too great. Guardsmen like those you have encountered in Miller's Crossing are common enough throughout the Kalborean Union and the provincial capital has far more than its fair share. Turning Pallenten to the west you urge her forward and the great horse quickens her gait further. You estimate that at her current rate of travel you should reach Melem's Fork by late afternoon. As you ride the road joins with another from the south-east, and from this point onwards becomes uneven and heavily rutted. Recent rain has left the dirt track soft and easily damaged, but Pallenten seems to take the changed conditions in her stride and does not falter as she pounds away the leagues towards Melem's Fork.
With the great horse set on her way you use the opportunity to survey the horizon for possible trouble. All about is clear but on high you notice something unsettling. Above you dark clouds are beginning to crowd the sky. The horizon to the north and west have disappeared within the mist and gloom of an approaching storm. Although the weather front is still some distance away it will cross your path before evening. Such storms can be murderous affairs, it will be prudent to find shelter before it hits. This is not your most pressing concern though. Directly above you, at the very edge of your sight, you can just make out a number of large birds circling. This seems innocent enough and under other circumstances would be unremarkable, however these birds have been with you for some time now, always directly overhead and always high enough that you cannot identify exactly what they are. A feeling of being watched has been with you for most of your journey and these birds do nothing to lessen your growing sense of unease.

With one eye on these unwelcome sentinels you ride swiftly for Melem's Fork, Pallenten a dark arrow moving effortlessly along the uneven roadway. It is an isolated stretch of road, one that you have travelled often, and one that holds many memories for you. One in particular looms large in your mind, and inevitably confronts you on this darkening afternoon as a large signpost, and a well tended cobbled pathway that disappears southwards into an area of woodland. You have no time to waste, but you cannot continue of your journey without coming to a halt before the name that rests upon the weathered signage. The signpost and path are well-known to you, and even with the imminent reality of your quest before you the memories of this place bring you to a stop.
Some half a league to the south stands the Truvo Farm, one of the few successful farming enterprises that can be found in this region of the frontier, and foundation of the only happy childhood memories you possess. At the age of four you had been indentured as a child labourer to the Truvo family, and rather than a life of hard work had found yourself brought into a world of care and ease that had been unknown to you. In this place you had remained until taken five years later to the Temple of the Suns in Das Frontiere. Within the boundaries of Truvo Farm you had found comfort and education, and strangely very little work. Why you were taken from the familiarity of the Farm to the discipline of the Temple you cannot say, but in an eventful life the strongest memories you hold close came from the attention and care given by the Truvos. As you sit upon your horse those same memories come flooding back.
For a moment you consider whether there is time to ride down to the farm, but you know it is a reunion that must be left for easier circumstances. Looking to the north you see a rushing wall of cloud, towering in great white buttresses but founded upon a dark veil of shadowed mist and rain. Even your horse feels the sudden change in the air, and the strengthening urgency in the winds that swirl through the trees about you. The stormfront is moving purposefully towards you and the first rumblings of thunder can be heard, muffled by distance but a sure sign of the weather to come. If it is to continue in your direction you must reach Melem's Fork before it hits. Reluctantly you turn Pallenten to the main road once again and urge her forward.
Onwards Pallenten gallops, without sign of fatigue or falter she pounds away at the leagues. Grassy fields pass you by, interspersed with isolated copses of trees and exposed piles of large boulders. Every so often you see a small farmhouse nestled inside a group of trees, a shelter needed in these places as ferocious winds can hit the plains here without warning. Very little of your fellow humankind can be seen though, and the remainder of your journey to Melem's Fork passes quickly and without incident.
As you had hoped you reach your destination by mid afternoon. Pulling Pallenten to a halt atop a slight rise you look down towards the small farming community. It is in a state of complete chaos. Smoke billows freely from a number of buildings and men and women are running about frantically between them. At the far edge of the village you can see a group of creatures moving to the south-west. It is a Hordim raiding party making off with its plunder.

Do you wish to help the villagers fend off the Hordim. If you do, turn to section 116. If you would rather avoid any confrontation with the Horde at this time turn to section 258.

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 densleyw@shoal.net.au
Windhammer, Copyright Wayne Densley 2008 All Rights Reserved