Slowly order, that had threatened to slip in the morning, was restored by the arrival of troops under a strange banner of a forest with a dragon flying over it.
People also calmed down as food was distributed. Men came to Lord Guthrun to enlist to free the Keep of all black robes. By nightfall the third division entered the lower city.
Lord Guthrun and his commanders discussed options over a small dinner when Najir entered, shivering from the cold.
‘By the pits of doom,’ he mumbled through chattering teeth. ‘If it be any colder your breath will freeze.’
‘Get him hot tea and a blanket,’ Lord Guthrun ordered, moving a comfortable chair to the fire place. ‘Sit and get warm first, my friend, then tell me news I want to hear.’
Najir eyed the Lord wearily. ‘You begin to sound like a true commander, milord.’
Guthrun smiled. ‘I begin to feel like one. Here’s some hot stew.’
Between bites and sips Najir told he had met with Moko. About sixty men were coming from surrounding villages where people had taken and burnt the churches. She was on her way to the Zokida to get some dragons to the Keep for an assault.
‘Most important,’ he finished. ‘The weather will change. Clear weather is coming, which will mean cold clear days, but misty mornings.’
Lord Guthrun walked back to the table with the model of the Keep. ‘Mist might favour us,’ he said. ‘It’ll give us a chance to get to the gate unseen. Dragons dropping men and attacking from above will distract the defenders. The men dropped into the Keep, preferably on the wall, will have to light fires so as to guide the dragons where to attack. Do you think a few fire blasts from a dragon will destroy the gate?’