Windhammer, Copyright Wayne Densley 2008 All Rights Reserved


As you run through the forest, dodging the trees and trying not to be tripped by a multitude of exposed roots that arch chaotically out of the forest floor, you notice for the first time that the forest is silent. No animals scatter as you run, no ground birds launch themselves into the air as you charge through the woods; it is deathly quiet and very unnerving. For all you know there are Hordim everywhere in these forests, so you slow your pace and try to move as quietly as possible. Only the slight noise of equipment moving in your pack can be heard as you head directly west towards the base of the Devkraager Tor.
The remainder of the morning passes slowly as you make your way over what seem to be an endless procession of hills and vales. It is just after midday that you encounter the solid barrier of a cliff face and find that you will not be able to go any further to the west. Stepping back you crane your neck upwards and survey this new barrier. The cliffs extend above you for hundreds of metres, a sheer wall caused by the collapse of a large part of the mountain side into the forests below. What remains is a vertical rock wall that runs along the side of the mountain for about two hundred metres on either side of where you now stand. You are quite sure that Stoneholme lies to the south, hidden somewhere within the many gorges and fissures that fracture this ancient mountain at its base. This is the way you will go, but for the moment it is best that you rest.
With the sun overhead it seems a good time to have a meal. Lunch must be a simple affair though. You are too close to Stoneholme for fires so some dried meat and a few uncooked vegetables will have to suffice. As you eat you rest in the shade of an overhang of rock and take in the fine weather that has developed whilst you were in the forest. Taking all things into account you feel tired but thankful that this part of your journey is almost over. (If needed you may return six points to your endurance level after eating and taking a short break).

:e' theandaal; surgis; u mar'shuil cip a'du deskai:

The early afternoon is spent negotiating the rocky base of the mountain. Its weathered face is cracked and broken, strewn with rockfalls and enormous flows of gravel that trickle noisily down from the high cliffs above. The forest has grown thickly in places up to the base of the Devkraager Tor, and you find you have to make a number of wide detours to get around falls of rubble that have brought down large areas of the surrounding timber.
In the end your persistence pays off. Some two hours into your circumnavigation of the mountain, and just as you are making a difficult detour around a huge tangle of fallen trees, you are confronted by the impassable obstacle of a stone platform some ten metres high. It extends from the side of the mountain and out into the surrounding trees. Although the stones are worn, and vines and other creeping plants have grown into its chiselled joins, you can see that it is Dwarvendim-made and exactly what you are looking for. Retreating back into the forest you make your way carefully about the platform's edge, then out into the trees to find a spot from which you can properly consider what you have discovered. Amongst a clump of small pines and low brush you find a hiding place from which you can survey the platform better.
Through the thick bushes you peer out at the massive entrance to the fortress of Stoneholme. Although showing the effects of long neglect the entrance remains awe-inspiring. Shaped as a huge archway carved directly into the face of the mountain, the images of two immense Dwarvendim Warrior-Kings have been sculpted, arms raised as if they are holding the weight of the Devkraager Tor on their huge shoulders. Under these images the open cavern that is the entranceway is black, the light of day swallowed completely in the darkness of its interior. From the entrance a wide polished stone platform extends outwards for more than fifty metres, at each corner the intricately carved statue of a Dwarvendim warrior stands in full battle armour. A long flight of white marble stairs rise from the green grass of a large clearing at its base and reach upwards to the stone platform. In times past this marble staircase would have met a road leading to the east, but this has long since disappeared. Gleaming white balustrades of carved stone border the platform and stairs on all sides.
Leaning back against the sturdy trunk of a young pine you relax for a moment and take in the rough grandeur of the Imperial Entrance and the encroaching greenery of the forest that surrounds it. Within this dark treasure-house, somewhere deep within its cold, silent halls lies the Tellandra. It seems a pity to squander the remains of such a fine day by attempting to enter this great fortress but you know you must.
After your efforts in finding this entrance you decide it is a good time to again take a meal. Only the gods know when you may have another opportunity to feed yourself, so you take a ration from your pack and rest in the shade of the Pines as you eat. (Withdraw one ration from your pack and record this on your character sheet. The rest you take will restore all endurance points you may have lost in the course of your journey so far.) Upon finishing your meal and taking the time to rest, you pack away your meagre equipment and, by keeping to the edge of the clearing, make your way to the stone platform and the base of the marble stairs.

You must move inside quickly. Turn to section 197.

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