They used the weather against them. They knew, after all, how to handle the snow. Their enemy did not.
So they stayed ensieged, locked in their city.
Summer turned to fall, and they moved deeper into their territory, ceding land when they had to, moving to the higher ground at the center of the city.
The enemy pushed forward, slowly, inexorably. They had never been stopped. Sometimes they took their time, as they were here, but they were never rebuffed, never defeated. And they would not be defeated this time. No man, no strategist, no army could beat them.
And the city, slowly, retreated, folded in on itself, gave up the lower ground, as it did, every autumn, as winter encroached on the city, as the snow began to fall. They people moved into their tight little winter houses, packed together under the hill, where they could conserve heat, where they could conserve energy.
The enemy, who were never defeated, certainly not by a little snow, plowed on forward, taking gleefully the land the city abandoned. They stomped through the late-October falls, and the November hail and blizzards. They bombarded through the first week of December.
And then the real storms came, the second week of December, when the enemy had really begun to think they were winning. They were bivouacked a mile into the city, stretched out around the whole city like beads on a string, camping in abandoned houses. Abandoned summer houses, with wide doors and no fireplace but the cooking fire. And then the snow fell, they were trapped, trapped and unprepared.
And when they were trapped, the city struck back.
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