.I.Army of Glacierheart, Eastmarch Province, and First Brigade (Reinforced), Glacierheart Province, Republic of Siddarmark
The listening device deployed onto the shoulder of Bishop Militant Cahnyr Kaitswyrth’s tunic was far too small for the unaided human eye to see, but it was capable of remarkable sensitivity, and Merlin Athrawes leaned back in his chair in far-off Siddar City, where darkness had already fallen, listening to its take.
“I’m fully aware of the dispatches from Captain General Maigwair,” Kaitswyrth snapped, glowering across the chart table at Bishop Gahrmyn Hahlys, Bishop Tymahn Scovayl, and Colonel Wylsynn Maindayl.
Hahlys’ and Scovayl’s expressions went simultaneously (and almost instantly) blank at the words “captain general,” and Colonel Maindayl’s lips tightened. The colonel was the equivalent of Kaitswyrth’s chief of staff. He looked as if he wanted to object to where his superior was headed, but he glanced from the corner of one eye at the iron-faced upper-priest in the Schuelerite-purple cassock of an Inquisitor standing at Kaitswyrth’s right elbow and clamped his jaw.
Kaitswyrth glared at his three subordinates for a long, fulminating moment. He’d never been what someone might call a patient man, yet it was unusual for him to show his frustration this clearly and at the expense of divisional commanders like Scovayl and Hahlys. For that matter, it was unusual—not unheard of, but unusual—for him to vent his ire on Maindayl this way.Of course, he’s under just a bit of stress at the moment
, Merlin reflected with a thin smile. Pity about that
“All right,” Kaitswyrth continued in a somewhat calmer tone once he’d assured himself that no one was going to venture to argue with him. “I understand your concerns, and I understand the Captain General’s concerns, but we’re in nowhere near the kind of dire straits Bishop Militant Bahrnabai’s dealing with. Of course it’s going to turn around and bite all of us on the arse when winter sets in, but at the moment, we
have a secure supply line clear back to Dohlar through the Charayn Canal; he doesn’t. And there’s no way the heretics’ Shan-wei-damned—” He paused, obviously seeking the word he wanted, then grunted. “No way those smoking, demonspawn, Proctor-inspired, cannon-proof armored ships of theirs are going to get around into our
rear and knock that canal out. Besides, we’ve got over two months’ worth of supplies backed up between here and Aivahnstyn! I know we’re going to have to pick a place and camp there all winter long, once the supply situation really starts to bite. And I know we’re going to have to allow time to get the men under roofs, not just canvas, when we do. But it’s only the end of July, and Vicar Zhaspahr’s right about the need to maintain as much pressure on the heretics as we possibly can before
the snow stops us.”Interesting that it’s “Vicar Zhaspahr” but
“Captain General Maigwair
,” isn’t it?
Merlin reflected. Listening to him, you’d never guess they’re both members of the Group of Four … and that
Maigwair’s Kaitswyrth’s commanding officer according to the Army of God’s table of organization
“I also know Bishop Militant Bahrnabai got hurt badly by the heretics’ new weapons.” Kai
For centuries, the world of Safehold, last redoubt of the human race, lay under the unchallenged rule of the Church of God Awaiting. The Church permitted nothing new—no new inventions, no new understandings of the world.
What no one knew was that the Church was an elaborate fraud—a high-tech system established by a rebel faction of Safehold’s founders, meant to keep humanity hidden from the powerful alien race that had destroyed old Earth.
Then awoke Merlyn Athrawes, cybernetic avatar of a warrior a thousand years dead, felled in the war in which Earth was lost. Monk, warrior, counselor to princes and kings, Merlyn has one purpose: to restart the history of the too-long-hidden human race.
And now the fight is thoroughly underway. The island empire of Charis has declared its independence from the Church, and with Merlyn’s help has vaulted forward into a new age of steam-powered efficiency. Fending off the wounded Church, Charis has drawn more and more of the countries of Safehold to the cause of independence and self-determination. But at a heavy cost in bloodshed and loss—a cost felt by nobody more keenly that Merlyn Athrawes.
The wounded Church is regrouping. Its armies and resources are vast. The fight for humanity’s future isn’t over, and won’t be over soon…
David Weber’s Like a Mighty Army is the hotly anticipated seventh volume in the New York Times bestselling Safehold series.