“Now is the time” Phellan said, quiet as he was he had a distant look to him, as if deep in thought. A smart man but not a fighter, nevertheless he was right. “Anything to add Gorren?” Jak smiled then, he knew his scar gave the man discomfort and since his initial outbursts, Jak had wasted no time taunting the man with it at every turn. Still, Gorren looked over the map, thumbed through the reports lying at the edge and nodded. “Your plan is folly, without a hope to succeed, but this is as vulnerable at the host will ever be. They had been secretly raiding the supply trains of Casano’or’s army for weeks now, depriving them from food, fodder and a hundred other essential supplies their army needed, the size that it was the effects came sooner. Foraging parties that went out never came back and leaders loyal to Cassy woke up dead in the mornings. Weeks of subtle prodding here and there. Spies sowing dissention amongst the common soldiers. With an army conscripted from common solders conquered by their leader it made things easier and it wasn’t long before the first men started to leave in the night. The first few had been caught and punished, but the psychological war going on made the problem all the worse for the huge army, eventually the numbers running were too great to catch them all and the strength of the army was dwindling. Those left behind half starved, diarrhoea and sickness ridden. They still had the advantage in numbers but maybe the work they had done had tipped the odds in their favour. Jak liked to gamble now and again, whether cards in some posh Inn or betting on a knife throw in a cheap winesink, he likely a little risk now and again, it made life more interesting. “This apple is ripe enough, its time to pluck it from the branch” It wasn’t as simple as that of course, even with all the work they’d done Cassy herself was the real problem, she herself had enough power to equal or surpass the army, and if they went in with her still there it would be a massacre. But over the weeks past their spies had gathered much word on her movements. Cassy was fond of leaving the camp now and again, going where she pleased without word to her soldiers. And the underlings that hadn’t been poisoned in their sleep were too fearful of the Avatar’s wrath they avoiding brining the ill news of their situation to her. The spies also talked of some man that spent time with her, maybe Cassy just felt lonely at night but Jak still had suspicions. Nevertheless he had made him plan. When the time was right, when they had weakened her army enough and she left on one of her trips they would strike. Perhaps the instant they did they would set off wards the avatar had placed to guard the camp, or perhaps her trip would be short and they found her upon them the moment they were in. It didn’t matter, Jak had power, but his years of training were almost all forgotten, the mages he had under his command were no match for her. But what could he do? He pledged to help Liandrah, and this army was a blight upon it, tearing up the earth as it went. Perhaps Cassy herself was powerful enough not to need it, but Jak didn’t want to bother with her until he had too. Besides, he was having too much fun imagining the look on her face as she stepped back from wherever she was to find her camp in ruins. Jak even imagined if she stepped back right in front of him and he managed to stick his sword in her guts. That would be sweet indeed. And now the time had come, they’d done enough work making the army as miserable as possible, all they needed to do now was wait for Cassy to go off somewhere and they would strike. In the end the wait has not been all that long, spies reported more of the random appearances near her tent and the Avatar had left. One arrow wreathed in flame shot up into the air at evenfall, just when it happened. Jak had nearly two thousand blessed, a quarter of them mages and perhaps twenty thousand soldiers, some from other countries lending their aid to him, some sworn to the Blessed, some were even those run from Cassy’s army but brave enough to fight back. They had all feasted on the supplies meant for the larger numbers in the other Camp, armed with the weapons destined for them and rested and healthy. Hopefully it would be enough. The flaming arrow arched high in the air and began to plummet to the earth. “When it hit’s the ground, give the signal” he ordered, the arrow crept closer, closer and was extinguished behind a tent. “Now!” The man next to him raised a horn to his mouth and blew, the long deep booming note echoing off the hills around the camp like some hideous death rattle. And at once the air was alive. Archers in their thousands lined the high spots they could find above the camp, fire Arrows emerging from hidden fire pits and fell like golden rain upon the host below. At the same time, trebuchets and catapults, all captured from Cassy’s reinforcements launched stones and barrels of burning pitch as well. With an army already demoralised, a rain of fire would help break them even more. And if the fiery death were not enough. The mages they had with them were in the hills also, hurling balls of fire and lightning bolts into the army, at targets chosen beforehand. Enemy mages and leaders, cutting off the snake’s head and letting the body writhe. Jak himself used what power he could remember and great dark clouds formed above the camp blocking out the already weak and fading light, rain never came from them but for the arrows already launched. What did come was quaking thunder and earth shattering bolts of lighting. The camp was in disarray, trying to muster to fend off their attackers, but many were fleeing and those that tried to stand strong were beset on all sides by fires and smoke, death and horror. And then Jak struck. With the rest of his force he lead the men into battle, down into the camp as the arrows and fire died. Sword in hand he rode at the head of the column, butchering the weak men before them and burning the tents not already aflame. Jak has always had some crude cunning, the day he was forced to work as a bandit alone he was forced to be even more cunning. The good loot was never guarded by just one man and so the numbers were always against him but he managed well enough. Leading an army wasn’t very different, he reflected. He had done a good enough job as it was, already thousands had been killed and more had fled. But the night was only just beginning, and even if they got away, Casano’or’s wrath would follow them. Jak would need to use his cunning once more, and this time there was much more at stake. What the hell, he thought to himself. He loved a challenge. Burying his sabre into the face of the nearest enemy soldier, he wrenched it out and raised the bloody steel to the sky. Without any real words of encouragement to shout he simply yelled “Die!” and sunk his sword into another gaunt man’s chest.