"You wouldn't think stone would burn."
Captain Putaski looked away from the distant fire, eyes regarding his sergeant. The man, a decade his senior, was calm, his battle worn face serious. He couldn't be, though. Not a man with his...
"Oh," the sergeant continued, eyes never leaving the flames of their city, "I know, it's everything else. But, still, it DOES look like the very stones of the keep itself are ablaze. It makes you wonder."
The captain looked back. Yes. It did look like the walls themselves were on fire. Not the keep, though. Not yet. Brave men still manned the battlements...
A horn sounded. Distant. Strong. He had hoped not to hear that tonight. To have at least an extra day. God was against them.
"That's it then," Sergeant Wojo said, nodding. "They're crossing the Warta. Lech will put up a fight, but the elves may have him withdrawing into our rearguard by morning." He tightened the grip on his reins. "We'd best keep the wagons moving."
"Rotate the civilians riding at every rest, change the animals when you can. Speed does us no good if the draft animals die."
"We'll do our best, sir."
Yes. Their best. Captain Putaski sighed. His best had not been enough.
With no more words needed, the two kicked their mounts, turning to descend the small hill. Before them, under the half moon, a long line of wagons and people slowly crossed the open plain, towards the forest road beyond. The human exodus had begun.