The Burning Bridge (Ranger 2) by John Flanagan

The Burning Bridge (Ranger 2) by John Flanagan

Author:John Flanagan
Language: eng
Format: mobi
Tags: Fantasy
ISBN: 9780142408421
Publisher: PUFFIN
Published: 2009-09-14T14:00:00+00:00


18

FOLLOWING THE WARGALS WAS EASIER THAN THEY EXPECTED. The creatures were single-minded, concentrating only on the task in hand, which was to take the Celt miners to their end destination. They feared no attack in these parts, having already driven the occupants out, so they posted no forward scouts or sweepers. Their constant chanting, ominous as it might sound at first, also served to mask any sounds that might have been made by their pursuers.

At night, they simply camped wherever they might find themselves to be. The miners remained chained together and sentries were posted to keep watch over them while the rest of the group slept.

By the beginning of the second day, Will began to have an idea of the direction the Wargals were heading. He had been riding some thirty meters in the lead, relying on Tug to sense any danger ahead. Now he dropped back a little, waiting for Horace and Evanlyn to come level with him.

“We seem to be heading for the Fissure,” he said, more than a little puzzled.

Already, in the distance, they could make out the high, brooding cliffs that towered over the other side of the massive split in the earth. Celtica itself was a mountainous country, but Morgarath’s domain reared hundreds of meters above it.

“I wouldn’t care to come down those cliffs on ropes and scaling ladders,” Horace said, nodding toward them.

“Even if you did, you’d have to find a level space on the other side to cross from,” Will agreed. “And apparently, there are precious few of them. For the most part, the cliffs go right down to the bottom.”

Evanlyn looked from one to the other. “Yet Morgarath has done it once,” she said. “Maybe he’s planning to attack Araluen the same way.”

Horace brought his horse to a halt, considering what she’d said. Will and Evanlyn stopped beside him. He chewed his lip for a few seconds as he thought back over the lessons that Sir Rodney’s instructors had dinned into him. Then he shook his head.

“It’s a different situation,” he said finally. “The attack on Celtica was more of a raid than an invasion. He wouldn’t have needed more than five hundred men for that and they could travel light. To attack Araluen, he’ll need an army—and he wouldn’t get an army down those cliffs and across with a few ladders and rope bridges.”

Will regarded him with interest. This was a side of Horace that was new to him. Apparently, Horace’s learning curve in the past seven or eight months had gone beyond his mere skill with the sword.

“But surely, if he had enough time…?” he began, but Horace shook his head again, more decisively this time.

“Men, yes, or Wargals in this case. Given enough time, you could get them down and across. It would take months, but you could manage it. Although the longer it took, the more chance word would get out about what you were doing.

“But an army needs equipment—heavy weapons, supply wagons, provisions, tents, spare weapons and blacksmith’s equipment to repair them.



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