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>Sandcat RPG stuff >Wheel Of Time Campaign >Chapters (Session logs) >Session 14 (Kheldar)

Session 14 (Kheldar)

Played on 2004/12/12

As written by the hand of Kheldar

5th Day of Taisham, 1000 NE (continued)

I still felt that our knowledge was inadequate - well, in reality, the word 'inadequate' is itself inadequate to describe the depth of our lack of knowledge - to attempt a voyage into the Ways. However, since two of the Accepted seem bent on bonjouring us in there, the rest of us had better prepare for it. And so I discussed the workings of the Waygate once again with Tryane.

We stumbled upon a disturbing notion: each side of the door can be unlocked using a key. Whether the same key can be used on both sides, and whether the one on the other side needs to be present for the other to work we did not know. So even if we were able to open the Waygate, we might not be able to open it from the inside.

The thought of being locked in an unknown, magical place with a dark entity devouring minds and Trollocs on the march does not sit well with me. Then again, there was the lure of the unknown, the magnetic appeal of actually experiencing one of the most profound Wonders in this world.

6th Day of Taisham, 1000 NE

This morning I am surprised by a sweet gesture from Tryane. After her destruction of the lock on the gate leading to the (what we now assume to be) Waygate, she felt somewhat guilty - she did promise me to leave the lock intact. She has ventured into the city to find a replacement lock for me. Unfortunately, locks are quite expensive and so she could only apologise empty-handed.

That she had thought to buy a lock was more important to me than the actual lock. To me it meant that although she had changed - as evidenced (in my opinion) by the way she treated the search for Eadrica Sedai's murderer - she was also in part that nice, clever young apprentice sitting in the big comfy chair in the Tower library I had known.

After breakfast the inevitable occurs and we find ourselves outside the Waygate. I have finally made my mind up and decided that this was not a good idea - so let's get this over with as quickly as possible. To keep whatever evil we find from pouring into Ebou Dar, the Accepted envelop the Waygate and ourselves inside a structure of air. Tadra is not really comforted by the side effect of this closing of any escape route we may have.

To help speed things along, I also start searching the gate for some irregularity. Rather swiftly I manage to locate an empty stem in the interwoven leaf-motif of the Waygate and point it out to Tryane. She places the leaf I found in there. It sort of seems to melt into the motif, and the leaves in the door seem to rustle and shift. Slowly, a seam of glittering silver becomes clear in the middle of the Waygate.

After a few moments I realise that the silver is not spreading from the center, but that the doors are receding. In a sudden flash I understand that they are swinging inwards, and that the silvery stuff marks the border between that fantastic realms and the solid ground upon which we stand. And then I hear the quantest of noises: a pig-like oinking.

Suddenly, two shapes come slowly running (their strange movement must be related to themoving our way from the other side of the Waygate physical dynamics of the Ways). The constantly shimmering and fluid-looking silvery substance obscures their features, but not their intent. I whip out my trusty dagger and my new rapier and stand ready - albeit rather nervously. As the figures approach, their shifting forms seem to coalesce and resemble upright beasts...

Trollocs! Although my skill in combat has been improving of late, I had not sought to match my skill with a blade to that of a Trolloc. Unfortunately, behind the two Trollocs more forms become visible - I knew this was a bad idea!

The Trollocs come closer and then suddenly seem to bang into the silvery substance. The first explanation for this that I can think of is that the Waygates were constructed in such a manner as to keep Darkspawn out. Then I recall part of the Amyrlin's message (that Trollocs are using the Ways) and realise that something else must have happened.

Aaah! But of course! One of the Accepted used the One Power quickly enough to create an obstruction! Brightly woven indeed! The Trollocs are attacking the invisible barrier seperating them from us. So, we find ourselves trapped between a Trolloc (to our front) and a hard place (the barriers the Accepted created). In spite of the situation, I manage to smile.

As the Trollocs continue their attacks on the impervious barrier, they are joined by two or three comrades of theirs - it is hard to tell in the glimmering haze of the silvery substance. Suddenly, the reflection of a flame appears in the distorted mirror-like vision of the other side. The flame is burning right between the foul beasts, and they quickly depart from our view.

And that puts us in a rather awkward situation. The Waygate is open, but blocked by a wall of air. This keeps the Trollocs out and us from closing the door. Beh'larah tells us to stand ready as she drops the barrier. The entire group collectively backs away from the Gate.

After a couple of tense moments in which nothing happens, I decide it is time to close the Waygate. I take a deep breath and hold it, and step with whatever courage I manage to muster into the substance. A slowing and gelatinous sensation overwhelms me, and then I suddenly find myself inside the Ways. I pay scarsely attention to the dark surroundings, but even a fleeting glance leaves an impression of forgone glory descended into a mockery of its former grandeur.

As I fidge around at the door, looking for the key-leaf, I notice a presence at my back. Whipping around, I somehow manage to stay myself before I slay Beh'larah. I've been followed - it seems that the rest took enough courage from my actions to step through as well. I silently curse the irony - I was trying to prevent us from going into the Ways, but now it seems as though my actions were the direct cause for our entry.

Sightblinder be damned, let's get this over with! I draw my weapons and make a flanking manoeuvre towards the groins I heard further down the road. In my haste I abandon all pretense at silence, which provides ample warning to the Trollocs. My rashness may cost me dearly, as they are now ready and facing me.

A battle ensues, in which I fare reasonably considering the brute strength of the beasts. Rather quickly, before I am overmatched (but also before I have had a chance to genuinely test myself against such a powerful but dimwitted opponent), the beasts are captured in pockets of hard air and are slowly suffocating. They may be Darkspawn, but I hold our group in higher esteem than that. I swiftly stab the Trollocs, giving them a more merciful death than they surely would have granted us.

After the battle, an examination of our surroundings brings upon me a feeling of sadness. The intricacies of the design, the way the Ways are suspended in ... apparent nothingness, the ambient light the Ways give off, the distance distortion, it all points to the great work that this was. But the crumbling land, the missing railing and above all the light-consuming darkness - all evident effects of the corruption that has set in.

There is a silver line leading away from the Waygate. We follow it for some time, crossing a large bridge-like construction, and down stairs that seem to be without end. The line, which is embedded in the pavement, guides us to a large slab of rock. The rock has strange markings all over it, the brutal script of Trollocs obscuring a more ancient and flowery script found beneath it. One side of the rock has (been perhaps) broken off and is nowhere near the rock.

The silver line has also ceased. Tryane attempts to translate the flowery script, but her expression bids for little hope. She turns to us and explains that she believes the rock serves as some sort of signpost: there are direction markers on it, and accompanying labels. Unfortunately none of the labels means anything to her, except for "Manatheren".

This is of course the name of an old kingdom, located about where now Andor is. In a flash of insight I realise that probably all labels are names from that era, and that my knowledge could perhaps supplement Tryane's. I tell her so, and start mentioning the names of kingdoms and important places that I know.


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