They had marched most of the morning and had but to make the pass through the Broken Hills, those troll haunted hills said to be the burial place of giants.
But that is where Horace ran into Oswald, Baron of Ock.
Oswald's spies had informed him of Horace's route. He gathered his bannermen Roderick, Duke of Greendale and Archibald of Westgate. Togther they would smash this usurper and put the rightful king of the throne. Meaning, himself.
This was the usual slugfest, but with a twist. As fate would have it, most of the commanders rolled abysmal Commander Ratings. Only Mike, controlling Rutiger, got a Brilliant ratings. Leaders would have to stay tight to stay in command. This would lead to some close in fighting. Any breaks in the line would be quickly exploited.
Troops await picking, just like a giant dodgeball match.
Lionel urges his men up the hills
But, on the rest of field, Horace's men were killing or driving off most of the center. With all but one unit of archers left in my command, it looked as if Horace would get outflanked. Archibald's men turned to attack Horace. This left them horribly exposed to my archers on the hill. Turn by turn they chopped Archibald's command down, until finally the ninth unit in Oswald's army broke, bringing victory.
Oswald was captured and, in front of his men, executed. The wind picked up and cold weather moved in. It appeared winter had not ended. Men were sent to winter quarters.
Lionel had felt slighted after the battle. Horace had taken the credit for victory. But was it not his men who had held the line? Was it not his men who turned the tide?
Horace, it seemed, would have a new opponent come spring....