As they marched toward Garnot, Garkhen could make out the city more clearly. It seemed to have once consisted of a fortified core with a sprawling outer city outside of the walls. Now, most of the homes and shops outside of the walls were partially or completely destroyed. The walls themselves were scarred from flung stones and magic, with a few great rents only half-heartedly repaired.
“Now, you lot remember the Captain’s rules,” the sergeant over Garkhen’s marching squad half-yelled as they neared the first of the burned-out buildings. “The civilians have left for the most part, but no bothering the ones that haven’t, and no looting. If you think your pay’s bad, take it up with the Captain, don’t take it out on some poor fellow who had to run from his shop.”
Garkhen didn’t see much need for the caution—it was clear as they marched down the road toward the semi-intact southern gate that others had already looted what little had survived the fury of battle. The young half-dragon was sure his shock showed on his face, but looking about, he saw few matching expressions. Most of his fellow soldiers seemed to have an air of both weariness… and wariness.
They were challenged again at the gates, though from what Garkhen could gather, this was more of a formality. It was clear that the gates had been breached, and just as clear that little effort had been put into repairing them. The large, heavy halves of the gate were scorched, with a large piece in the center where they would come together that was a shattered wreck. Splinters of wood and shattered iron still lay off to the sides of the road, seemingly where they had been swept when the road had been cleared after the battle.
Within the walls, the structures had fared better, but the devastation of war was still clear to be seen all around. Shattered windows in the more prosperous shops, clear signs of fires that had raged unchecked through large portions of the city, and the occasional stone or masonry building reduced entirely to rubble. A couple times, Garkhen thought he saw movement in some still-intact structures or around alley corners as they passed, but he never saw enough to be certain. How someone could still live here in the shattered remains of their homes he knew not, but perhaps it was harder still for some to leave.
Description of ruined town! Yay! Err… not yay.
Basically, I’m building up for the future here. The sights make Garkhen’s reactions make more sense later.