A Knight's Watch Ch. 35 -- Preview
It is so beautiful… the land bathed in fire…
Everything is burning my lord. The world is blazing with your light-
The sudden roar of a giant distracted Melisandre from her prayers. There were a good number of the beasts among the defenders atop the Wall, the nearest men to her jumping at the sound of their allies’ bellows.
The giants were reloading and aiming the trebuchets, using nothing but brute strength to make the old and broken machines work. Sigorn of Thenn, the wildling she had helped to make a lord, acted as a leader now. Shouting at the giants in their barbaric tongue, directing them in where they hurled their barrels of pitch.
“Tell them to the left!” Lady Mormont called to Sigorn, pointing her mace out towards the dark skies of the west. “They’re pressing hard there! One of the trebuchets to the left!”
“Aye!” Sigorn snapped back before grunting in the Old Tongue. The giants at the western trebuchet growled back before snuffling and pushing as they forced their siege weapon in a new direction.
The trebuchet closest to her was locked back in preparation, a giant loading the barrel while the steward named Pyp rushed forward with a torch.
“Ready!” The black brother warned loudly and Sigorn nodded, allowing Pyp to set flame to their ammunition. “Let fly!”
The trebuchet suddenly sprang forward, letting the burning barrel sail up into the moonlit sky, which was already stained with thick black smoke. The path of the bright, flaming projectile reminded her of the red comet that had once traced a bright blood-red line across the sky.
I believed it was a sign that heralded the return of dragons… I grew doubtful…
Yet they have returned. One is down there fighting even now.
The barrel was crashing into the ground then, exploding into flames and engulfing a score of wights. That was far from the end though. There were more of those ungodly creatures, thousands more.
Everywhere Melisandre looked she saw the thralls of the Great Other, the walking corpses filled with unspoken and evil magics, flooding out of the great dark forest.
Seeking the warmth of the living… the men who fight and fall to keep that cold at bay…
A dragon prince among them…