The snow screamed on the wind, obscuring everything, making the night a torrent of razor ice that clawed and froze and cracked apart. The fanatics of the Left Hand looked into the night, to the gate of the dead city. They held hard to their spears and shields, set their feet against the wind, and they listened as the tread of many feet drew closer. Again the blast of a battle horn ripped the darkness, and then the vanguard of a terrible army surged out from the night.
They were not men. They wore the shape of men, but they were not made of flesh; they were stone men, black and gleaming like glass, rimed with frost, and from their masked helms eyes blazed like lanterns. They made no sound, gave no cries. There was only the inexorable pound of their feet upon the earth, and then their spears lowered to make a serried wall of deadly points, and the two armies came together with a roar.
The attacking men were of stone, but their swords and spears were of hardened bronze, and they struck with inhuman strength. The warriors had great weight and size, and they smashed into the ranks of their enemy like a tide. Men were knocked back, impaled and crushed under stone feet. The men of the Left Hand fought like demons, but their blows rang useless upon stone skins and their swords and axes snapped like brittle ice.
The stone men tore through the lines and split the front apart, and then through the ranks of them came another shape. Tall and pale, dressed in blue-scaled armor and with a black sword in her dead left hand, Chona strode through her army of unliving warriors, and she let loose her war cry into the storm. From death she was risen to avenge her kingdom, and nothing would stand in her path.