Thursday, March 20, 2014

Page a Day: One Hundred Nintey One

Chapter Eighteen
On the eighty-third day,

            we besieged the jewel city Kasora. We began the investment with five thousand artillery, ten thousand mastodons, and one hundred twenty thousand men who followed Jerem Cozak because he was who he said he was. The artillery our warlord arrayed in the mist at staggered positions all along the sloping valley, the mastodons in broken lines to allow for charges through the gaps between the disks, and the armored infantry massed and encamped to guard the river’s sole crossing at the base of the ramp. All except the artillery remained a careful three hundred paces from the base of the cliff on the river’s other shore. Our disks, of course, had to stay in range.

            Where the greatships went I had no idea. After unloading, Jerem Cozak sent them away down the River Kasora through the very canyon we had entered, and out to sea for all I knew, out of sight of even the peaks of the Spine of the World. He would not even say whether or not they were manned. But another mystery he did solve.

            “Entrench!” he shouted, and nearly a thousand Neverborn took out the shovels they had carried since Ariel, and began digging defiles behind the artillery.

            He smiled again at my curious glance. “The towers of Kasora fire blindly always, and so do not need to see us. But their energies follow the level of the ground.”

            “But the disks will need to move, won’t they? Kasora will also have artillery to defend itself.”

            He nodded. “Just so. Hope, for our sake, that our operators move quickly.”

            “But what is this energy?” I asked. “Won’t it destroy our artillery, too?”          

            “Watch and see. Witness the wonder and terror until your stomach turns.”


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