Windhammer, Copyright Wayne Densley 2008 All Rights Reserved


There is something familiar about the resonating power that fills the air. It is like the lingering echo of something long forgotten, and in your gut you know that this stairway will take you closer to your quest's end. Quickly you arrange your equipment more securely about you and take to the stairs.
As you descend even further into the mountain you come to appreciate that the age of this delving is truly old. Carved from the cold stone of the mountain the stairway is impossibly steep, its steps narrow and weathered, its walls a morass of fractured rock and crumbling facing stones. Within this long descent however there is a subtle light that illuminates the way, infiltrating the stone and growing brighter as you move further down the incline. It is like moonlight reflected off a pond of disturbed water, and as you travel deeper its intensity grows.
In the semi-darkness you move quickly. Confined within these stone walls the stairway is a silent witness to your passing but you no longer feel as if you are alone. The solitude of Stoneholme has been left far behind, replaced by an unusual feeling of being watched, one that grows as surely as the wavering light grows with each step you take closer to the root of the mountain. There is surely something ahead that is now aware of your approach.
For some hours the stairway reaches out before you, an exhausting series of stone steps that seem to have no end but which ultimately come a conclusion. In a wash of flickering light you stumble onto a wide flat landing of perfectly smooth stone and find yourself standing within a square chamber some twenty metres in width. There is only one exit from the featureless room and it extends to the west along a narrow corridor. A quick survey of the chamber shows nothing of interest, but the end of the corridor ahead opens into a further chamber, and it is from there that the source of the light bursts forth.
With nowhere else to go you move forward and as you approach the western corridor you begin to hear voices, nothing distinct just a babble of sounds like a crowd talking all at once. Carefully you edge against the nearest wall and slide closer to the chamber. As you do so the sounds increase, but now you can also hear thunderstorms and rushing rivers and other sounds unfamiliar to you. In a rising chorus the cacophony increases until you are forced to place your hands over your ears. Whatever is ahead has become the source of both the light and the rising waves of noise.
When you reach the chamber you cannot at first believe what you have found. Before you is a long narrow hall, spreading across your view as a road might at the junction of a crossroads. On the other side of this room is a further exit, but it is what moves between you and the further way out that holds your attention.
Before you extends a room more than two hundred metres in width, yet no more that fifteen metres in depth. Rising above you for more than sixty metres the chamber is surfaced in white stone, its walls perfectly smooth and artificed at their zenith into a curving barrel vault that reaches across the narrow space. At either end of the chamber rises walls of shimmering moonlight, reflecting endlessly about the chamber as if someone is moving their hand through water, sending ripples and droplets of light scattering in all directions.
Within the chamber however moves a stream of energy as high as the hall itself, emerging from the shimmering light at your left hand and crashing into its opposite wall after passing quickly down the length of the hall. At first the great stream appears as nothing more than a rushing river of light and sound, but as you look more carefully into its mesmerising shimmer you begin to see things, and in this alien place they both transfix and terrify you.
As you watch the river of light changes. From out of the reflective stream you begin to see images, and quickly those images grow into clarity. Before you a great story unfolds but it is the story of Arborell from the earliest of its days and it plays itself out as a rushing melee of sound and image.
Within the stream you see a land untouched, quiet and at peace, a domain of trees and flowing rivers unspoiled by the hands or artifice of others. But as you watch the serene quiet is disturbed then swept away in a succession of horrifying tableaux. At all sides great empires rise within the forests, monoliths and monuments growing amongst the trees then crashing down as war and destruction overtake them. In the shimmering light you see vast battles spreading across blood-soaked plains, of great nations falling in ruin, and recoil at the terrifying revenge brought by the Hordim in the relentless slaughter of their once all-powerful masters. It is a brutal rush of history, one that floods the mind and numbs you with its overwhelming reality, but then it changes and just as quickly you find yourself alone, once again a solitary figure reflected in its shimmering energy.
In the space of a heartbeat the images disappear, only to be replaced by the mirrored image of yourself, isolated and fatigued. For a moment you wait, wondering what is still to come but the stream of rushing light will give up nothing more. Once again you are left to the solitude of your thoughts and the necessity of your quest.

There is a way out of this chamber but it lies on the other side of the vast flowing wall of light. If you have the skill of Lorecraft turn to section 522. If you do not possess this skill turn to section 599.

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