The Battle of the Central Pass is one of two simultaneous battles that mark the center of “They Came By Night”. While her father is fighting the North’s main force to the east, Rose has marshalled an ad hoc fighting force to protect refugees fleeing to the South. To help me write the complex battle sequence I made a very rough sketch outlining
The North vastly outnumber the fighting men tasked to protect the refugees, plus the North have malga-metal which can cut through a Southern sword and smash Southern shields. The North have also brought one senior fire wizard, the aging Amsten.
The pass used to be fortified in the days before the Duchies of Morefield and Zenfield joined with the South. King Alad could not afford to maintain the fortifications because every time he raised taxes it would foster an expensive rebellion.
Princess Rose takes command, much to the chagrin of the generals. It is not a battle they expect to win; the goal is to delay the North so that the refugees have a chance to flee.
Our protagonist, Sam, is ordered to the rear by his father, and he watches his father face the Northern horde. Sam cannot simply do nothing, but his power is very limited and is being reserved for a critical moment.
The few Southern defenders brave enough to make a stand know with certainty that they will not survive the day, but they fight to allow their families a chance to make it to the woods and hide.
In this battle we see the first wizard vs wizard action…. but sshhh no spoilers.