Windhammer, Copyright Wayne Densley 2008 All Rights Reserved


Somewhere in the back of your mind the name of the Maturi Len opens the door to a vague but happy memory. Long ago in your early youth you had studied as a novice Shadar at the Temple of the Suns in Das Frontiere, in a time before the Kalboreans began to suppress all things Dwarvendim. For some reason the Maturi Len connects to your memories of the old temple.
Because of this you feel a need to see this Maturi. It is less than an hour's ride to Kal Arbor. Even with this diversion you can probably still make Baellum by mid morning.
Setting off along the west fork you follow the road towards the village. The way is rough and narrow but Pallenten takes it in her stride. Soon the open plains and fields are left behind as you begin to climb into a series of steep hills and vales, each following rise more thickly wooded than the last. As you ascend into the hills the road lessens to a barely usable track, and then into nothing but a series of grass-choked wagon ruts winding their way between the trunks of trees and fallen timber. The air is cool and still, not a breath of wind can be felt as you guide Pallenten along the ill-defined path. From the dark places and deep undergrowth that border the track there arises the uneasy feeling that you are being watched; as if a thousand pairs of eyes are following you on your way, wondering who you are and what you are doing there. Urging Pallenten forward you quicken your pace and hope that it is just a feeling, nothing more.
For an hour you negotiate the trail, watching the surrounding undergrowth and remaining alert to any sign of danger. It is through breaks in the overhanging canopy that you first recognise the curious behaviour of a flock of birds, maintaining a position at a high altitude above you. At first there is but a few, circling overhead and apparently without purpose. But as you travel they are met by more of their number, and soon there are more than a dozen, orbiting in a tight arc that keeps them directly above you. For a time you consider what this could mean, but after riding into a dense patch of forest you emerge to find the flock gone, yourself once again alone.

When you reach Kal Arbor it is a considerable disappointment. Consisting of only a few low-built stone houses and some ramshackle barns you can see no villagers going about their business, no children playing on the streets. The village appears deserted.
Reining Pallenten to a halt you draw your sword and carefully lower yourself to the spongy earth. In the quiet of the morning no sound comes from any of the dwellings, only the rusting hinges of a gate moving in a gathering breeze the only noise worth noticing. It is at the corner of your eye that you notice a door to your left open slightly. From within its recesses a pair of eyes squint from the dark. Then a voice, cracked and old, whispers forth.
"Yes," you reply, "who is it?"
The door swings wide and in the gloom of the doorway stands an old man dressed in the robes of a Dwarvendim LoreMaster. Although he has aged you immediately recognise him as one of your old tutors at the Temple of the Suns. He smiles and motions you to enter.

If you wish to enter turn to section 241. If you would rather stand your ground and determine whether this man is who he says he is, turn to section 498.

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