Windhammer, Copyright Wayne Densley 2008 All Rights Reserved


For a moment you wait, listening for any answer to your hail. All that you can hear in response is the bluster of the wind across the lake, but you know you heard something. Quickly you tether Pallenten at the landing and call out once again. In response there comes the crash of something falling within the house, not unlike plates or cutlery being dropped. Sure now that someone or something does reside within, you step out onto the narrow bridge and carefully make your way across to the farmhouse.
It is not an easy traverse, the bridge is a flimsy series of boards held above the water by equally unsound timbers, but it is stable enough for you to make it most of the way across before you find yourself coming to an abrupt halt. Ahead of you, and to the right of the farmhouse, there arises a slight disturbance in the water. It is nothing more than a ripple but it has not been caused by the wind. Something has moved beneath the lake's tranquil surface and you can see nothing of it through the dark waters.
Suddenly the lake erupts in a shower of water and grasping tentacles. Before you can react a huge limb, edged with suckers and sharp spines hits you squarely in the side and shoulder, sending you catapulting into the air. Thrown more than ten metres into the lake, you struggle for a footing and find that the water is not deep. Where you stand it is no more than waist high and as you grab for your sword your attacker looms out of the mere before you.
Like an opened bag of angry snakes the tentacles of a huge Watcher thrash the water, dragging the massive body of the squid-like predator out of its hiding place. In that moment of surprise you curse your own foolishness. There is always the chance that marshes such as this might be infested with these monsters but there is little enough time to spare for self-recrimination. As you stand your ground the Watcher throws out its squirming limbs, cutting off any retreat you might have to the landing beyond. It means to have you for itself, though you have no intention of going quietly.
As a flock of water-fowl squawk into the air overhead the monster throws another limb towards you, its purpose to knock you backwards into the black water. With one arc of your sword you cut deep into its reaching limb and the entire Watcher shudders with the pain of it, but it will not be dissuaded from its meal so easily. From beneath the lake a flurry of tentacles lunge for your solitary form and there is nothing you can do except defend yourself.

The Watcher is an ambush predator. It prefers its meals easily taken, without too great a risk of harm to itself. Because of this the beast will only try so hard to have you. If you can put up enough of a fight it will retreat to its deep hiding place and simply wait for the next unsuspecting traveller to come its way. The Watcher has a combat value of 19 and an endurance of 21. If you survive four rounds of combat with this monster turn to section 557. If you cannot keep the beast at bay for this long then it is here that your quest ends, your fate to become its next meal. If this is the case then it must be to another life that you should look for 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