As written by the hand of Kheldar
6th Day of Taisham, 1000 NE (continued)
It takes a while for Tryane and me to scrape the direction-slab (for
lack of a better word) for information. After a while we manage to
deduce that it has directions to named locations in the ancient kingdom of
Coremanda (which would nowadays be eastern Andor, bordering on Tar
Valon), Tar Valon, and a number of other places which do not sound like old
human settlements. These last could very well be leading to Waygates
close to steddings (the residences of the fabled Ogier race). Such a
Waygate would not be located inside a Stedding, since the one true
source cannot be touched inside a Stedding - at least, if the ancient
lore is correct on this.
Tryane also manages to partly translate the Trolloc graffiti on the
slab. The blood-written graffiti carries a warning to be ware of a dark
power, and mentions that the nearby Waygate leads to Ebou Dar. This last
piece of information is smudged out by Tryane - no need to leave that
sort of information lying around!
Tryane dutifully copies the information on the slab to a piece of
paper, for later reference. The rest is becoming more and more restless.
Finally we can move towards Tar Valon. The going is slow, as sometimes
the Ways are narrow and the Initiates at times use the One Power to
reinforce various flimsy constructs that bridge gaping abysses. I
cannot help but wonder if the ever-present oppressive feeling of the
Ways would also influence their ability to touch the One Power, but I
hesitate to ask, considering our present circumstances.
After what seems like ages, with the slow and careful going taking
its toll on my wariness. Finally, something penetrates through my dulled
senses: we have come upon tracks. The tracks seem to be that of one
human-like (i.e. bipedal) creature, with a slightly larger stride than
mine. Shrugging, I conclude that the tracks could just as well have been
left by a passing Ogier millenia ago as by a passing Trolloc a couple of
hours ago. As the tracks become untracable on the more rocky parts of
the Ways, we decide to continue our "tour" towards Tar Valon.
At long last we arrive at another slab. Unfortunately, there is no
silver line running from it. This seems to puzzle some of the members of
our group, but to me it merely indicates that such a slab is connected
to a network of pointers to Waygates - a fairly logical structure.
However, it also means that we have a sort of "tower-eye" view of this
network: we can see directions to the places close by, but for locations
further away, we only have general directions - like one standing on a
tower could point out places nearby, but could only indicate the general
direction of locations farther off.
Tryane is dutifully translating and copying the information of the
worn-down slab. The new slab seems to indicate that the Waygates to places in
Coremanda are located close together. At any rate the first couple of
stages towards any of them are equal. As I extrapolate this into a hope
that the Ways might be governed by some sort of logical structure,
Tryane counters that the Ways have been grown and not contructed. As
case in point, she points out a name that could very well indicate the
current capitol of Andor (which is now called Caemlyn). Its directions
do not match with my reasoning.
While I stifle a yawn, it is decided to continue on towards Caemlyn
first. This would bring us much closer to Tar Valon, and not leave us in
the middle of an unfriendly city. Besides that, we have no idea of how
long travel inside the Ways take, but it is becoming time to go to
sleep. All of us feel that anywhere outside the senses-deprived
oppressive darkness of the Ways would be better that inside. During the first
stage I catch myself nodding off, also on the narrower parts of the Ways.
Finally the others become aware that both myself and Eleya are in
dire need for rest. Although returning will take long, it at least has
the guarantee of finding a Waygate at the end. Besides that, Tryane left
the books behind. I feel that if we are going to traverse these Ways and
exit somewhere else, the book concerning summoning dark ones and the
Dark One is best brought along. Its information is far to valuable to
leave lying around within a flimsy, three-day protection.
7th Day of Taisham, 1000 NE
Daylight! The early rays of the sun welcomes us as we exit the
Waygate at the Raab estate. It feels like a cleansing of sorts, washing
away the vileness we spent a long, dark night in. Most of the rest of
the day is spent catching up on sleep, discussing why we should once
more venture into the Ways (and where we would go then) and more
experimenting with the door:
We locate a second branch on both sides of the Waygate, on which there is
room for a leaf. It turns out that the leaf can be used to open the door at
either side (which is a relief) by inserting it at the correct
8th Day of Taisham, 1000 NE
An early start leads to a brightly woven journey, or so the saying
goes. Keeping this in mind, we stand once more at the ready at the
cracking of dawn. This time the door is left protected by each of the
Initiates performing a harden air weave to protect the area before the
door. Tryane is also carrying the leaf for the door, to further ensure that no
evil can burst through and overrun Ebou Dar - and also to ensure that we
will be able to leave the Ways at least at one Waygate.
Our journey takes us to a Stedding this time. After a while we arrive
and manage to open the Waygate. It is much cooler on the outside than it
was in Ebou Dar, although the nearby area seems to have suffered from a
draught. We enter the Ways again and continue to a nearby pedestal, but
wisdom seems to indicate that the nearby Waygate would provide the best
shelter available on short notice
9th Day of Taisham, 1000 NE
Once more we enter the Ways. The first slab we encounter (almost a
familiar sight) contains different directions towards Coremanda and Tar
Valon than the slab near Ebou Dar. In other words: the slabs are an
interconnected network in which the obstruction of one path does not
necessarily mean the inability to reach the desired route's end.
We are journeying towards Tar Valon once more, and the going is slow
but steady. After what seems like hourse, we come to a wider area,
covered in many Trolloc tracks. Eleya's statue is dimly glowing and a
good listener would be wondering if he hears a noise or if it is his
imagination. In short: it just became even more creepy. We are all
anxious to move on, unfortunately Tryane cannot find directions for Tar
Valon on the slab. It seems that whatever caused deterioration or wear
in these surroundings, has had the misfortune of causing Tar Valon to
have disappeared from the slab.
Fortunately, it might be possible to continue towards another slab
and find an alternate route towards Tar Valon. Unfortunately, our hand
gets forced as we notice a shimmering light in the distance and the
faint noise of drums reaches us. Fortunately, we are on a narrow ledge.
An obstruction of hardened air is placed behind us over the full width of
the ledge by Tryane. As we continue our route in a swift pace, the noise
of the drums suddenly stops. The next slab we encounter does have a
silver line running from it. The description claims it leads to
Hai-Caemlyn, which sounds a lot better than here. We make haste, find a
Waygate, locate the operating leaf and open the gate. We find ourselves
in some old, deserted basement.