Windhammer, Copyright Wayne Densley 2008 All Rights Reserved


There is no doubt that to follow the Morg any further is a risky business, but the appearance of these creatures has piqued your curiosity. What they truly look like, and more importantly why they have ventured into the lands of Men, are questions worth a small amount of your time. You will not take Pallenten with you, however. The trail leads onto higher ground, and you know enough of this area to know that you will move quicker on your own.
Carefully you tether the great horse to a branch a few metres into the trees and place your pack with her. For this short reconnaissance you do not wish to be encumbered, and after a short reassurance to Pallenten you leave her and move off into the west.
Alone within the forest you start at the run. Most of the tracks are still easily identifiable and without a need for careful tracking you move quickly, finding your own path through the trees. It does not take long though, for the tracks to run onto harder ground, and soon you find yourself testing the skills you have as a Huntmaster. The Morg have made no attempt to hide their progress, and as far as you can determine there are more than thirty in the band. Such a number leaves a trail of more than just footprints.
Within the hour you find yourself ascending a series of steep slopes, that lead to a ridge of hard rock jutting from the crown of a long series of hills. Upon this jagged cusp of broken stone you make a singular discovery, and it stops you dead in your tracks. Exposed upon the bare rock is a body. It is one of the Morg.
Without thought of the danger you edge your way towards the Hordim. It is certainly dead, and as you approach you can see that it has been laid out to fulfil some form of funerary rite, its body posed with a number of objects and plants spread about it. There is a purpose to what has been done with the creature but the Morg itself holds your undivided attention.
You have never seen such a Being in your lifetime, and except for the Rangers of the Watch there would be few other men who would have either. The Hordim lies still, its skin an iridescent deep blue that changes colour as you move to get a better look at it. You have heard that all Hordim have long tails of hair that grow from the back of their heads but this one has had his cut and taken. Why you cannot say. Although it is arranged upon its side, with its legs folded up to its chest, you can see that it would have stood no more than waist height. What strikes you is the gaunt, emaciated nature of its body. Thin arms and legs, and a drawn skeletal ribcage gives you pause to wonder if this Morg has died of malnutrition, or if all of its kind maintain the same starved appearance.
For a time you stand over the remains and wonder as to why it is here. There are no wounds upon it, or obvious sign of disease, but there is a look about the creature that speaks volumes of the hardship of its last moments. The Morg appears to have died in great pain, its simple visage distorted in a grotesque mask of agony that has torn the life from it. You cannot help but stare at the Hordim and feel a sense of pity. No-one should die in such a fashion.
About you the wind rises up the hill-side, pushing an invisible hand through the trees below you. The gust reminds you that precious time is passing, and for a further moment you consider the body of the Morg, then turn your attention to its belongings. Arrayed about the body are the few artifacts of its existence. A knife, a long handled stabbing spear, a few bags and an intricate set of beads, made from crystal and tree sap adorn the last resting place of the Hordim. You have no intention of taking any of these items, but piled a short distance from the body is a few pieces of equipment that have obviously been previously stolen and then discarded.
Quickly you search through the items and find little that is usable. Amongst the detritus of this Morg's life you do find a small flask, a water bottle, a piece of Faeyen jewelry, and a silver pendant on a long metal chain. To your surprise the flask contains beer, but it is old, stale and certainly undrinkable. Carefully you sniff its contents and wonder if it might have other uses. (If you wish to keep any of these items record them on your character sheet before continuing.)
Overhead the suns of morning have risen higher than you have allowed for this small venture. There is no point to going any further, and the Morg's body has sated any curiosity you might have harboured regarding the Hordim. With the wind blowing across the exposed crest of the hill, you turn and make your way back to Pallenten. The way down is quicker than the journey up and within twenty minutes you find yourself back at the clearing where you left her. Unfortunately your horse has been busy while you were away.
Having found the ferns where she was tethered unpalatable, Pallenten has nuzzled open your pack and eaten all the prepared rations you held for your journey. For a second you stare at the horse, but she seems well pleased with herself and you cannot find any reason to blame her. You should not have left the pack anywhere near her and this has been the outcome. You will have to buy more when the opportunity arises. (Deduct all the rations from your character sheet. If you had Nahla bread in your pack this has not been touched.)
Lamenting the loss of your food you shoulder your pack and lead Pallenten along a new path into the south-east. Although you came into the forest from the east you know enough about the terrain, and the many animal trails that cut across its length, to know a short-cut out of the forest. It will take you further south but will be an easier path to travel. With the day wearing on you find the particular trail you are looking for and quickly use it to reach the edge of the trees.
Carefully you survey the open ground ahead and find it empty, a flowing plain of grass and the odd copse of acacia trees. As you stand within the last reach of the forest you look to the east and south and ponder what must be your next move.

You have two possible choices. At this stage of your journey you may either make for the South Road, or you can strike out to the south-west, and make your way cross-country directly to the Devkraager Tor. If you wish to continue on the road to Miller's Crossing turn to section 438. If you would like to risk travelling across country, and gain some time by heading straight for the mountain, turn to section 492.

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