She’d been complicit in so much over the centuries. She’d kept the residents around her fed and watered by giving life to their crops, she’d helped them transport their goods and trade with the locals further along her path. She’d helped unify the people of her valleys into building the thriving trading town in which they could now lain to live. She’d been good to them.
But now she was going to destroy them.
For now she carried something much more sinister than the trade ships and fishing boats that had traversed her curves for centuries. Now she carried boats from further afield, only fair as the men who surrounded her had grown richer and more ambitious. Now they traded with men from the Far East who brought their spices and their strange scented fragrances to take home a little of the wealth of the fledgling city.
There had been threats before, invasions even, as jealous eyes coveted the newfound wealth of the city, but none had ever succeeded in breaching her high walls, nor in breaking the will of her people.
This time, though, would be different.
For this time, it was not the warriors who hid aboard the ships that brought the threat, nor the weapons they brought with them, but a far more sinister cargo that they carried, something they themselves were not even aware of.
Down below deck, the rats scattered as the doctor entered with his candle, to deal with his patient who was coughing up blood.