Windhammer, Copyright Wayne Densley 2008 All Rights Reserved


Beyond a high stone archway the staircase opens into an immense natural cavern. Bathed in a deep blue light massive rock formations formed as huge pillars arch overhead, reaching out as vast branches across a chamber that overreaches a wide flowing river of incandescent light. Like starlight made fluid the river of energy pounds and surges along a deep chasm of fractured stone and then through a series of clefts and chasms branches out as a river might feed its tributaries. In the bluish glow it takes a moment for your eyes to adjust but within the azure vista it does not take long for you to identify the only path that you can take.
Directly before you is a wide chasm, edged by steep cliffs that descend deep into the earth. Within this abyss the Shan'duil ebbs and surges, a brilliant blue river pulsing with energy, its undeniable power prickling at your skin as you look out over the huge gulf that separates you from the farthest side of the cavern. Upon the edges of the abyss stands a narrow platform of smooth stone, fashioned as a landing from which extends a long arching bridge. In a smooth curve of finely artificed masonry the bridge spans the River, finding its furthest purchase upon another landing at the chasm's far edge. In the rough interior of the cavern the bridge is a wondrous piece of architecture, a span that must have withstood the power of the Shan'duil for millennia.
For a time you stand at the entrance to the stairway and survey what you have found. At each end of the bridge stands two immense statues of polished black obsidian. Wrought as hooded priests of the ancient world they rise twenty metres above the highest arch of the bridge; and in their dark majesty look towards a shrine built into the far wall of the cavern.
Beyond the reach of the bridge, within an alcove carved from the natural rock, there has been raised a stepped platform, and upon its upper surface stands the statue of a leafless tree, as large and powerful as a mature Oak. From your position you can see the tree is artificed in white stone but radiates with the blue energy of the River, and as you watch you see its aura pulsing in time with the surging rush of the Shan'duil itself.
Apart from the landings and the bridge there is no other way forward. As the Shan'duil surges within the abyss you can feel the proximity of its power beginning to affect you. As a prickling touch the blue energy washes across your skin, and with each pulse you can sense a small piece of your own energy merging with the greater rush of the River. In this place it does not take long for you to realise that the warning posted against the Hordim also has meaning for Men as well. Stay too long in the presence of this Power and by degrees it will take your life.
You have no way back so the only way must be forward, across the bridge. Carefully you leave the stairway exit and move out onto the landing. Before you extends the bridge. Upon its first steps you see that it is some ten metres wide and bordered by a high stonework balustrade, through which a blue aura swirls and twists as you watch. All about you is a deafening thunder, one that echoes about the great cavern, sending deep vibrations shuddering through the stone beneath you. What you notice most though, is the increasing sensation of your remaining energy being drained from you with each surge of the River. It is too potent a danger to allow hesitation. If you are to survive the crossing of the great stone bridge you must move ahead now.

If you have the skill of Lorecraft and you have a piece of stonewood in your possession turn to section 521. If you have the skill of Lorecraft but do not possess any stonewood turn to section 533. If you do not have the skill of Lorecraft turn to section 591.

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