Windhammer, Copyright Wayne Densley 2008 All Rights Reserved


In this life you prefer to take those paths that are known to you, and this ring of mists is a mystery you do not wish to test with your life. Quickly you turn from the swirling vapours and retrace your steps back to the lake shore. In the quiet of the huge cavern you can hear little, but within the silence there comes every so often the sounds of shifting grit and falling stone, hitting the smooth dark waters and sending slow ripples outwards across the lake surface. It is a dark and eerie place, and one you must find a way out of.
With all your equipment gone, and with no food you cannot survive long in such a cavern. Determined to find another way out you search the length of the pebble beach, checking each nook and cranny, old fracture or stone fissure that might harbour another exit from the lake shore. In the cold air it is a desperate and fruitless exercise, one which leaves you sitting on the hard pebbles, staring out at the smooth surface of the water before you, and left with little hope and no place to go. Perhaps you think, the ring of mists may be your only chance after all.
As you wait upon the narrow shoreline there comes within the stillness a strange muffled vibration. It is not audible at first, nothing more than a tremor that runs through the stone about you, disturbing the lake's placid surface. But as you listen you begin to hear a pounding, a strangely distant drumbeat that echoes within the stone chamber, getting louder and louder as you watch for some sign of its origin.
Suddenly out in the centre of the lake a large chunk of rock hits water, sending a plume of dark liquid erupting into the air. Surprised by the sudden movement in this quiet place you stand and watch as more stone falls out of the ceiling and into the lake below. With each falling shard the vibrations increase, and in a rising thunder you begin to recognise what the noise is that now echoes within the cavern. It is the sound of crushing stone, of rock being torn and smashed by something that needs it out of the way. You have heard this sound before.
In an explosion of scattering rock the ceiling of the cavern collapses downwards, a huge section of the roof falling as massive slabs of stone plummet into the dark waters. Within the tumult of collapsing stone and earth you see falling the spectral aura of the Druhl, and as it falls it lets out a hideous scream that resonates within the cavern like a detonation. All to quickly you realise that you have not escaped this beast wrought of stone and magic after all. It has come for you.
Like a wave panic sets upon you, but you are not to be undone yet. Salvation may still lie beyond the mists of the stone ring and with this one hope in mind you run for the stairs. Across the loose pebbles you make for the archway that will take you away from the lake shore but within the gloom there comes a greater threat looming in the darkness. Across the surface of the lake there rises a wall of black water, stirred by the impacts of falling stone and the immense bulk of the Dragon. Before you can make the stairs it hits, a solid blow that throws you against the stone walls of the cavern then drags you out into the cold depths.
For only a few moments you remain conscious, the chilling water sapping what strength you have from muscles that have endured too much already. It is only at the last that you see the spectral Dragon moving through the water towards you. Without strength or hope you wait for the end that must come, and it arrives quickly upon the edges of the Druhl's skeletal teeth. In this life your quest is over.

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 2001 - 2007 All Rights Reserved