They burned the city when Whandall Placehold was two years old, and again when he was seven.
At seven he saw and understood more. The women waited with the children in the courtyard through a day and a night and another day. The day sky was black and red. The night sky glowed red and orange, dazzling and strange. Across the street a granary burned like a huge torch. Strangers trying to fight the fire made shadow pictures.
The Placehold men came home with what they'd gathered: shells, clothing, cookware, furniture, jewelry, magical items, a cauldron that would heat up by itself. The excitement was infectious. Men...