"The world is ending, Forest, and the other side is shining through." The small town of Winsted and the ancient lake above it are overshadowed by a strange and deep mystery, a secret involving the very nature of reality itself. For every hundred years the Road returns to earth, and must be walked, by those whom Arheled has called. Ancient, laden with wisdom and with sorrow, the eternal guardian of the Road watches from the mountain named Temple Fell outside the town and broods over the pettiness of Men. Yet each century he must summon those who are wise, and teach them secrets that destroy the one who hears them, and at last reveal the great mystery of the heavens themselves and their true nature. But this time is not like the other times. Darkness is stirring under the earth. The Lord of Chaos is growing stronger. The Father of Dragons walks in Winsted as man, and seeds Dragon-born among the young people, and despair seeps through the world like a fog. The Powers of the North begin to gather, as the world darkens around them, and ancient foes rise out of the earth and from under the earth; foes that can only be stymied, never stopped. For the world at last is ending. Arheled knows all this, as he gazes out at the Northeast of the New World, and wonders whether he will even find any who are capable of hearing his call, and if he does, what will happen to them. For the Road is spinning out powers into the ones he calls, and the children he speaks to grow strong and fell, and stone and trees and brooks shudder at their command. So he builds, and prepares, and as he constructs on many levels of being the Five Fortresses to hold the North against the final onset of the Darkness from out of the South, he shakes his head in sorrow, for he knows it is all in vain. Strong is the Road, and stronger is its Warden, buit strongest of all is the Rider of the Darkness. In the end, the fortresses will fall, and Arheled will be smashed under the feet of the Dragons, and the Gates of the North that lie buried beneath the swampy meadow two miles north of Winsted, will be taken, and Chaos will use them to open the Gates of Hell. And when he does this, no power less that God Himself will be able to destroy him: and God, He sits in silence, and makes no sign, and it is e'en left to those below to defend as best as they may, that they may save their own souls out of the ruin of the worlds. But he will not go down without a fight. He will rouse the very trees of the earth and the hills of the North against the Rider, and the Powers of the North will be aided by the unforseen abilities of mortal Men. All this lingers in his ancient mind as he whispers in dreams and speaks eerie jesting riddles to the six young people he has selected, as a Fell Winter grips Winsted. The first three volumes comprise the Arheled trilogy, relating the vast secret that Arheled is revealing and the efforts of the Enemies to thwart this revelation being made. They may triumph in the end, but until then they will not succeed, and the Road returns to Temple Fell, and the Children walk it, and learn the secret that will give them power. The next three volumes relate the struggles between the gathering Powers of the North from many mythologies and legends, and the gathering Enemies, the Jotunn or Frost-giants, the Dragons, the Vampires, and the Nine Lords of the Night. Their struggles grow in strength and in destructive effect, causing worldwide plagues and disasters: the Plagues, in short, of the Apocalypse itself. As the world grows increasingly more dystopian and society fractures at the seams, a mysterious President takes office and founds a new religion, outlawing all others. Meanwhile the Grey Place opens, unleashing vampires to bite the living and cause by this bite a plague of despair and pain. The final volumes are yet in preparation; they will relate the Onset of the World against the Powers of the North, as the Last Battle opens.
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