by Andreas Christensen
Copyright 2012 Andreas Christensen
Cover image by Fotokostic at Dreamstime.com
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In the distance they could see the tall plumes of smoke, and even though dawn was still hours away the horizon was lit up by the flames of the burning city. They were too far away to hear the screams of the women and children as the once so proud city of Orania was being pillaged by the northern host. But in the looking glass they could see where the last defenders had fallen. Only corpses remained of the final line of defense, just within the rubble that had once been the inner city walls, protecting the noble district and the palace itself. There laid the last few companies of the City Guard and the volunteers, mostly boys and old men, and a few women who probably had even more reason to fight than the men. Another free company, trapped within the defensive pocket, had been forced to fight even though they knew the only payment they would receive was death. Marco Valerian, founder and commander of Valerian's Company put down his looking glass, and whispered a quick prayer for the poor souls.