The Necromancer’s Nephew
By Andrew Hunter
Copyright 2012 Andrew Hunter
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Brenhaven was the most wonderful place in the world to grow up, until the Chadiri burned it to ash.
The guardsmen stood the wall, singing the old songs, defying the booming chant of the Chadirian war-priests massed beyond the river. The townsfolk waited and prayed to a hundred different gods in as many tongues. Merchants, artists, dancers, poets, stonecutters, farmers, bakers, all of them free men. They would not kneel. They would not surrender to the dark will of Malleatus, the Chadiri blood god, and his red-armored priests. This was the place where freedom would make its stand.
Beyond the walls, the Chadiri chanted their hymns of hate, and their dark spell closed upon the last free city like a red fist. When all the fountains cracked and spilled, the people of Brenhaven stood and shouted their defiance. When the walls began to bleed, the people stood and called upon the memories of heroes long dead. When the gabled roofs crumbled beneath the first catapult stones, the people stood and cursed the foul god’s name. When the yard-long arrows of the Chadiri war machines rained down, and each man saw friend and brother fall slain beside him, the people stood.