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From Hammer of the Gods: While Braeden takes a breather, not far away, Anton is having problems of his own. He and Count Orland have just crossed a river and are trying to go east when they find their path blocked by the armies of Brynhild Mattila. They turn back to the river, hoping to get across before that way is blocked as well. If you’ve read Valley of the Shadow you’ll know why Anton has a bridge phobia. Slightly edited from the published version.
“If we don’t make it,” the count told Anton, “get back across the river somehow and head for Galladium; Natalya Maxima will take care of you.”
Anton didn’t want to think about crossing that river in a fight, even over a stone bridge. “We’ll make it,” he muttered, mostly to himself, as if saying it would make him believe it.
They reached the river by the following midday, but Mattila’s troops waited for them there too. They were surrounded. The count looked grim, but determined as always, saying, “The force protecting the bridge is smaller, so we ought to be able to break through.”
“They have guns guarding the approach,” an officer said, looking pale.
“We’ll have to ride into them,” the count said with that same laugh he always had. “If we’re fast, we’ll overrun their position before they can get off a second volley. What else can we do?”
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