Windhammer, Copyright Wayne Densley 2008 All Rights Reserved


You feel no obligation to test any of the legends or rumours you have heard about this village so your decision is easy. It will take no longer to ride around the village than it will to pass through it, and Pallenten seems more willing to go around. Flicking her reins you begin what you believe should be a simple detour about the village and its crumbling outer defences.
Riding around the outer wall does prove straightforward. The high walls stand strong even in their abandonment but the chiselled stonework shows signs of long neglect. As you ride you find that the evidence still remains of the damage visited upon the walls in those last, desperate days before its breaching. Huge gouges in the stone mark the impacts of many heavy weapons, and around each of the gatehouses you pass you can see clearly the collapsed stonework and rusting metal that once held their massive iron gates in place. Into these fractures thick vines have found a purchase, sending waterfalls of green vinery tumbling from their upper reaches.
To find a safe passage about the walls however, requires riding close to the high stonework. Some 20 metres from its face there spreads the remains of a series of concentric ditch defences, following the contour of the village and which harbour still many of the pitfalls and water traps that proved so effective against the Horde Armies. You would prefer not to fall victim to one of these so you hug the stone face of the battlements and make your way carefully to the western edge of the town.
When you reach the south-western corner of the fortifications you are hit squarely in the face by the strengthening wind that has gathered whilst you were in the lee of Kal Murda's walls. Looking to the north the dark, menacing cloud banks of the approaching storm race towards you; the distant rumble of thunder, accompanied by short, sharp flashes of lightning leaving no doubt as to where the tempest is headed. It can no longer be a question of whether the storm will overtake you, it is only a question of when.
Hastening Pallenten on it takes only a few minutes you reach the western gates of the settlement. Running from the ruined entrance gates you discover that a part of the old western road still exists, although it is nothing more than a patchwork of paving stones and clumps of grass. Turning onto the old road you place the ruins of the village behind you and set Pallenten again on her way to the south-west. Although you have one eye on the north, the sky in the west is still relatively clear, the mountains ahead growing ever larger and more defined as you gallop towards the foothills of the Devkraager Tor.
Quickly the old road disappears into the grasslands and soon you can find no further evidence that a road ever existed. Before you the plains spread as an unbroken vista of green though flattened now by the strong wind that heralds the approaching storm. You look to the north and see that the weather front is closing in. You must find shelter quickly.
:som phenath fa'el dehr treachersa vidut epahl:

When you turn your gaze back to the west you are startled by the figure of a man, dressed completely in black, standing in the long grasses directly in your path. Desperately you pull back on Pallenten's reins trying to rein the great horse to a halt. The man does not wait for you to bring Pallenten under control. Running forward he raises his arms and waves madly, shouting curses at your horse to make it rear up. Pallenten cannot go forward so she veers to the right and stumbles awkwardly into a series of shallow ditches, pitching her forward and throwing you heavily to the ground. Rolling to your feet you search the surrounding grasses for your assailant. He stands before you, brandishing a wicked looking dagger and moving towards you like he has only murder on his mind.
Standing your ground you unsheathe your sword and point it at the Kalborean.
"Hold Friend," you say loudly. "There is no need for violence here. Let me pass freely and you need not feel the edge of my sword."
The Kalborean smiles but says nothing. Instead he pulls a scroll of parchment from his pocket and brandishes it towards you. You cannot read it but the thick red line that runs down one edge is all you need to see. This man is a Bounty Hunter and the paper he holds is a Detainment Order. You have no reason to believe that the order is specifically for you, more likely for any Dwarvendim found at large on the frontier, but it all means the same thing. In the curious parlance of the Union to "detain" someone requires only that you bring their body back for reward. From his demeanour you can see that he has no intention of bringing you in alive.
At the run the Bounty Hunter charges, his long dagger aimed squarely at your chest. Standing in front of Pallenten you ready yourself, and gesture for him to come and meet his fate.

This Kalborean Bounty Hunter will kill you if given the opportunity. With a combat value of 16 and an endurance of 13 he will provide you with a tough fight. If you defeat him turn to section 301. He carries no equipment or food that you can find, except for his dagger that you may take with you if you wish. (If you do, record this dagger on your character sheet). If however, the Bounty Hunter is too proficient a fighter, then it will be here on these wild grasslands that your quest will end. Be assured that in a latter life you may find better luck.

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