Windhammer, Copyright Wayne Densley 2008 All Rights Reserved


You do not know the Faeyen Merchant and the prospect of a cool ale is something you will not pass up lightly. It takes only a few minutes to push your way through the crowd and soon you stand before the entrance to the tavern. Hitching Pallenten to a conveniently placed post you flip a silver coin at the young boy, who climbs down from the top of the hay bales and begins the job of feeding and watering your horse. For a moment you stand at the doorway and take in the smell of roast meat and well-matured ale. It will be good to once again drink something other than water.
The tavern is quite dark compared with the bright light of day outside. It is a typical inn frequented by travellers and tradespeople. The furniture is heavy, the food cheap, but who you are is not important and that suits you very nicely at this time. It is remarkably quiet compared with the busy markets outside; all the commotion of the square effectively muffled by the tavern's thick walls.
A quick survey of the interior shows that only a few patrons have remained from lunch. On a busy night it could hold up to a hundred souls but today seems content with less than a half dozen. Without a crowd it is easy to find the innkeeper. He is a burly man, dressed in a drab set of clothes covered by a heavily stained apron. He takes one look at you, sniffs, then leans over the bar top and breathes into your face. His breath stinks of something familiar, rotten fish or something like that. It reminds you of Mattock, your jailer in Maenum.
"By the gods, a stone-eater here in Miller's Crossing. You've got a hide showing your face here boy. Still your money's as good as anybody else's. What do you want?"
You order a plate of meat and a jug of ale. (The cost is two silver coins. Deduct this amount from your character sheet. If you haven't already, deduct a further coin for the cost of having Pallenten fed and watered.) Looking about the tavern you see a dark area in one corner that will afford you a certain amount of privacy and a good view of the entranceway.
With your plate of food and jug of ale you make your way to the table you have chosen. The meat is well-cooked and the ale every bit as good as you remember. After the distance you have travelled it is good to sit and relax, although you have a feeling this may be the last opportunity you will have for some time to do so.
Half way through your ale, the door to the tavern is pushed open and in walk two Kalborean townguards. Neatly uniformed in grey and black they have the arrogant air of men who do not mind committing violence to get what they want. They look about the bar and dining area and then approach the Innkeeper.
"Whose horse is that outside?" The Innkeeper does not seem eager to give your identity away, but there is no way you can leave the tavern without coming under their notice. Perhaps the letter given to you by the Prefect will prevent trouble? You stand and offer the letter.
"The horse is mine. I am on a mission commanded by the High Prefect of the LoreMages' Guild and I am under his protection. Here is my letter of authority."
For a moment the guards seem to hesitate, thinking carefully about whether they should give any weight to the letter that you hold before them. As they stand there, you see that they recognise immediately you are Dwarvendim. A lifetime of contact with men such as these has shown you that they do not pass up an opportunity to physically or verbally abuse your people easily. Indeed, you have yourself been on the wrong end of a beating on more than one occasion, but these guards do not seem interested. Instead they have become apprehensive, as if they are about to commit a crime for which their authority will not protect them. A crime that will require your death. Then you realise that their interest in you cannot be official, in fact they are not interested in you at all. As one of them looks back towards the entranceway you see in his eyes that it is your horse they want. They want Pallenten.
In one fluid movement you throw the letter into the air and draw your sword. For an instant the guards' eyes follow the piece of paper as it floats off to the left. This gives you enough time to throw over the table that stands between you and charge forward at the Kalboreans. One of them you hit squarely across the side of the temple with the hilt of your sword. He collapses to the floor. The other guard turns, sword ready to parry your first stroke. To get out of the tavern you will have to kill this man.

Chairs scatter everywhere as the other patrons of the tavern make for the door. If you are to get away you must finish this fight quickly. (If needed the meal you have half-eaten will restore four endurance points to your endurance level. Be sure to record this prior to commencing combat.) The town guard has a combat rating of 16 and an endurance of 13. If you win this battle turn to section 406. If you lose then it is here that your quest ends. In another life you may have 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