內容簡介 Setting a course for the Bosporus Strait at the western end of the Black Sea, the ship skirted the coast of Crimea until the besieged city of Caffa came in view. Immediately, the crew and passengers rushed to the starboard rail to witness the unfolding horror. "My God," Aelfred moaned, "what are they doing?" Wulfgar rested a hand on his son's shoulder, "They are burying the living beneath the dead." Alarmed by the women's cries, the men watched as huge stacks of plague corpses catapulted over the city walls, one dead body after another. Arching through the air, the cadavers' arms and legs flailed lifelessly in flight until they splattered against houses and churches or spilled their putrid contents on the frantic streets. Even from a distance, the seafarers heard the monotonous thud... thud... thud... of war machines relentlessly working to spread the noxious agent of death. The ghastly odor of the decimated Mongol army wafted across the water, filling the noses of passengers and crew with the sick, rancid taint of decay.