The two armies stood exactly where they were and they waited for the other to make the first move. The sky was overcast and it seemed like it would rain at any moment, but even if it were glorious sunshine it wouldn't make the grounds any less seem like it was going to be a killing field.
Under the command of Lord Hastings Sir Tucker found himself in the second row of the vanguard. It was not his preferred position as he knew that not many would normally survive the vanguard. However he stood firm and he just waited for the next command like everyone else in the army.
Since neither army had taken the initiative Lady O'Hare decided that she would make the first move. She commanded her secret weapons be brought to the front of the soldiers. It took a few minutes for such an action to successfully take place. Half a dozen of these secret weapons were pulled up by the horses but they were still covered up in large pieces of cloth. It was only when specially trained soldiers pulled them off that anyone could see what they actually were.
These secret weapons were large metal objects with wheels. Each was extremely heavy but it looked to be a long tube with a hole at one end and a fuse at another. The trained soldiers placed gunpowder into the bottom of the weapon and then with some effort slide a large metal sphere into the weapon as well.
When commanded these soldiers lit the fuse and within seconds these spheres fired at an unbelievable speed towards Lord Sherringham's forces. There was a loud bang when the spheres were fired but they were nothing in comparison to what the soldiers felt that found themselves in the path of these spheres.
The soldiers stood little chance as the spheres caused severe blunt force trauma too their bodies and their deathly cries rang throughout the entire battlefield. Such a weapon had never been seen in Angleland before and Lady O'Hare had felt it fit to name these weapons Cannons.
The shock of Lord Sherringham's army was almost absolute as they couldn't believe what they had just seen. In the blink of an eye they had lost around a dozen and a half soldiers with just one attack from these cannons. It was almost like Lady O'Hare had created a weapon that was could even make the gods shudder.
However Lord Sherringham's forces recovered from their shock and although they had lost some of their men it was practically nothing in comparison to how many remained. They were ordered to charge and the soldiers did what they were commanded. Soon the battlefield rung out with the sound of thousands of men charging towards their enemies.
Lady O'Hare's forces remained strong and the cannons were able to fire another wave at the opposing army. They were able to take some more down before the cannons were commanded to be brought back so that they didn't fall into enemy hands. It was now up to the front rows to defend their position.
Quickly Lady O'Hare's soldiers brought their shields up in front of them as to defend themselves from the attack. Many were scared but they still held and Sir Tucker was amongst these men. He knew that he was going to leave this battle either with glory all around him or his cold corpse in the mud.
There was an almighty bang as the swords and shields of the opposing forces met and the cries of pain and death could be heard. However Lady O'Hare's forces were not moving back as they had the high ground. It was much easier to keep their opponents at bay and the bodies began to pile up.
For Sir Tucker the soldier in front of him was cut down. He quickly moved forwards to take his place and he saw an enemy lunge towards him with his sword. Sir Tucker was able to block the strike and quickly he responded with a stab right into his enemy's gut. The man cried out in pain before falling to the ground and he was completely motionless as life faded from his body.
After such an act Sir Tucker felt a little odd. This was the first man that he had killed and most knights would tell fascinating stories about their first kill. They made it sound like it was a glorious act that was worth remembering. For Sir Tucker it wasn't what he had expected, he could hear the dead man release his bowels and the smell that came after was not pleasant. It was something that was left out of the songs and tales but the pride that many would expect just wasn't there for him. If anything he felt bad about the soldier that he had just killed, everything that he had done up to this point mattered no more. This soldier could have been someone's husband or father. His family probably depended on him to bring them income to live on.
However before Sir Tucker could finish thinking another solider came straight towards him and quickly he lifted his shield to block the blow. Rather than stabbing the soldier he pushed him back. However this was only a temporary solution as the two more soldiers darted forwards. Sir Tucker had to defend himself to the best of his ability and it seemed like he would have more than one kill today much to his disappointment.
The rest of the line seemed to be holding up against the oncoming wave after wave of attacks from Lord Sherringham's army. They had to make their way up the hill towards Lady O'Hare's army and it was almost too easy to keep them from climbing any higher. Gravity did most of the work for them when a simple knock would send them tumbling down even further.
Towards the back of Lady O'Hare's army she had hundreds of archers and she gave them the command to fire a volley of arrows at the opposing army. Each archer fired an arrow into the air that went over the heads of their own soldiers and then fell down onto the opposing soldiers at the bottom of the hill. Numerous were taken down by these arrows although some were able to get their shields up in time to block the arrows. Those that were not fortunate enough were either wounded or worse.
The battle seemed to be going one way as Lord Sherringham had lost numerous men while Lady O'Hare's losses had been minimal. Lord Sherringham could see that if this kept up he would surely lose the battle. However he was not willing to admit defeat yet, he still had a few ideas in mind.
Like Lady O'Hare he had also brought his own weapons to the battlefield beyond swords and shields. He had a team of archers but he couldn't risk using them in case they took down their own men by mistake. Instead he had brought a few catapults with him that were ready to fire. He had around four of them and while three of them carried large rocks while the final one held a couple of barrels of hay that had been set alight.
On Lord Sherringham's command these catapults were fired and they had more than enough power in them to make the distance to the top of the hill where Lady O'Hare's army was located. Sir Tucker saw one of the large rocks fly over his head and land on a couple of soldiers behind him. He could hear the awful sound of bones being crushed as the large boulder like rocks came down on the soldiers. They stood little change and he was just glad that their ends had been quick.
Lady O'Hare was not happy with what she had seen. Contrary to what many believed she didn't want to see her soldiers getting harmed and she wanted to bring back as many as she could. She commanded her archers to fire another volley of arrows at Lord Sherringham's forces. She also wanted to use the cannons again but she was waiting for the right opportunity when it didn't put her own forces at risk.
Many would have commanded their forces to charge but not Lady O'Hare. Defence was her main concern and as long as her forces had the high ground she thought that she couldn't lose. She would just have to wear down Lord Sherringham's army until she could finally make them surrender.
Sir Tucker was still in the thick of the mayhem and he was having to fend himself from wave after wave of enemies who came lunging at him as if they had gone berserk. His shield was taking a real pounding and it was beginning to hurt his arm. More than once he slashed at his enemies more as a way of making them back off rather than trying to cause them serious harm.
However a couple of times he did have to thrust Juggernaut right into the chest of his enemy. This was normally a fatal blow but before he could check he would have to be fending off someone else. There was only one word that he could describe the battle and that was chaos.
Eventually he did feel something wet strike his body. It was small at first but a couple of moments later he felt more of it and he realised that it had begun to rain. However rather than it just being a drizzle it became a torrential downpour. The rain made it hard to see properly and any fire based weapons were more or less useless.
Also moving around became incredibly difficult as the mud just absorbed the water and became incredibly slippery. One soldier was even unfortunate enough to slip over in the mud and before he could pick himself back up he was stabbed in the chest by an enemy and died where he fell.
However the rain actually proved to be an advantage to Lady O'Hare as it meant that Lord Sherringham's army couldn't make their way up the hill. The mud had become far too slippery for anyone to even hope to get up. This gave Lady O'Hare's forces a respite but they still didn't have much defence against the catapults that were still throwing large boulders up the hill.
Lady O'Hare commanded her cannons to be brought to the front again and they fired towards the opposing army. However rather than targeting the soldiers they instead fired at the catapults. The cannons were much quicker to reload and fire in comparison to the catapults and they had better aim. The first wave of firing was able to take down half of the catapults while the final ones were destroyed in subsequent waves.
Lord Sherringham could now see that he was at a disadvantage. His catapults had been destroyed and none of his men had a decent foothold on top of the hill. His soldiers that had reached the top of the hill had either been killed for forced to retreat. To him a neither army had really moved from their original positions but all that was different was the fact that both had lost valuable men.
With the action of the battle being suspended it allowed Sir Tucker and several of the other soldiers to take a deep breath. The wounded were being tended to and any injured enemy soldier was either taken prisoner or killed if their injuries were too severe. Their losses had been low in comparison to that of Lord Sherringham's army. Their forces were still fresh and there was a distinct feeling that victory was almost assured.
However Lady O'Hare wouldn't allow herself or anyone else to get overconfident. She knew that overconfidence led to arrogance which then led to mistakes being made. The last thing she wanted to do was to throw away a victory due to overconfidence.
One thing that she did think about was ordering her men to charge but she still didn't want to give up the high ground. She also knew about the condition of the hill slope and she definitely thought it was wise to have her forces remain where they were. For the moment it seemed like the battle was going to be a stalemate.
The rain continued to pour heavily and the battlefield continued to turn into a mud bath. It was becoming very difficult to even light a foot out of the mud and it seemed like it was going to be impossible for anyone to really move around properly. Any truly wise leader would have ended the battle right there and then but neither wanted to admit defeat since they knew what they would lose.
The distance however helped Lady O'Hare more than Lord Sherringham as she commanded her cannons to be reloaded. She figured that she could either pound the other army into submission or force them to make an unwise move. Either way she saw that she had a definite advantage.
However it was difficult to move the cannons into position thanks to the mud that everyone was practically now swimming in. Unfortunately one of the cannons did get stuck in the mud and couldn't be moved into position. Despite this setback Lady O'Hare still felt that she had what she needed.
Repeatedly the cannons fired at the opposing army and each shot killed at least one opposing soldier. It was causing a small state of panic within Lord Sherringham's forces but he did command for a volley of arrows. However this was not very successful as Lady O'Hare's forces still had the high ground and many of the soldiers were able to raise their shields up before arrows impacted.
Sir Tucker was using his shield to protect himself and he didn't notice that there was another soldier right next to him doing the same thing. It wasn't worth noticing for him until the other soldier signalled him. This was the only time when Sir Tucker could really acknowledge that he was there.
"How many have you got?" asked the soldier. He was a young man who looked to be younger than Sir Tucker. It was surprising for him that the soldier would even try to talk to him during this time.
"How many what?" replied Sir Tucker as the arrows still rained down. He could hear a few of them deflecting off his shield. He shuddered to think exactly how many were currently coming down on them.
"Kills have you got? I've got four so far and before this battle is done I'm going to have at least ten more."
"This is neither the time or the place for such a question. If you haven't noticed we're still in a battle and it could very easily turn. Concentrate on the task at hand and maybe you'll survive this."
"Yeah right we've got them beat." Unfortunately he wasn't concentrating on what he was doing and because of this he didn't properly protect himself from an arrow that came down and struck him right in the leg. He gave out a cry of pain as he felt it pierce the light armour that he was wearing and go into his flesh. Quickly he dropped his shield and fell to the ground. His screams only lasted for a few moments as more arrows came down upon him. One went straight into his eye and that was the end of him.
Sir Tucker looked at the body for a moment and it made him realise that just one moment of relaxation in battle could lead to death. For this reason he knew that he needed to focus on the task at hand or else he would end up like the soldier.
The rain still came down hard and it became harder to light the fuse for the cannons. The rain would put it out before they could be fired and for those operating the cannons it was annoying for them. However for Lady O'Hare it was a bigger problem, if she couldn't use the cannons then she would be losing one of her main advantages on the battlefield. However she still thought that it wouldn't be decisive.
Eventually Lord Hastings made his way towards Lady O'Hare. She was at the back of the army but she had a clear view of what was going on. She was getting wet but she didn't care as long as she could see what was taking place. She also had a couple of her most dedicated knights watching over her. She didn't notice Lord Hastings arrival for a few moments but she did appreciate him being there.
"My Lady what are your commands?" asked Lord Hastings. "If we keep this up no one will win today."
"You're right," replied Lady O'Hare. She didn't want to admit it but she couldn't see the battle ending well for either army at this point in time. She thought that Lord Sherringham was going to have some form of reinforcements on their way. For her this was all that she had and if she lost this army she would lose these lands and maybe worse. "How many have we lost so far?"
"I've counted around two hundred now my lady but I could be mistaken. Lord Sherringham's forces have lost more but they can afford to lose some men. Do you have any plans my Lady?"
"Yes I have one but it'll be risky." She gave a sigh. "If I am to fall in battle you will be the Lord of Featherstone. I beg of you to keep the memory of my family intact for future generations to cherish.
"My Lady?" He was confused by her request, he already had his own seat but he was afraid that she might be going on some kind of suicide mission. He watched as she climbed down off of her horse and picked up a small vial from a pouch. She almost slipped over in the mud but she kept her balance with grace.
Carefully she made her way towards the front of the army. Many of her soldiers stepped aside to allow her to pass. Many of them said 'My Lady' as she went on by and she was courteous enough to acknowledge them. It took her a few minutes to reach the front of the army and she was thankful that there had been no volley of arrows as she had travelled. Although she knew that her soldiers would protect her nonetheless if she had needed it. There was an unusual calm in the air.
When Lady O'Hare looked over at the opposing army she could still see that despite their losses they still had her forces decently outnumbered. She held onto the vial in her hand and she thought that there was one more opportunity for peace before she did what she felt that she needed to do.
"Lord Sherringham withdraw your forces right now or else I will have no choice but to destroy your forces," shouted Lady O'Hare. She hoped that it would reach the ears of Lord Sherringham but she found this to be unlikely. All she heard from response was a laugh from many of his soldiers.
Now she could see that there truly was no peaceful end to this battle and she took a deep breath. She uncorked the vial and drank most of its contents before placing the vial in her pocket again. No one noticed the vial fill up almost as soon as she had finished drinking it, she had not wanted to use it but now she felt no choice.
Lady O'Hare felt the odd sensation run throughout her body and she could see that her feet were beginning to expand. This was exactly what she had expected and now she just waited for the full effects of the potion to take effect.
Much like Tamara before her Lady O'Hare grew in sections as first her feet grew, then her hands, then her arms, then her legs, then her torso and finishing off with her head. Unlike Tamara however Lady O'Hare was much bigger since she had drank more of the potion. She stood as tall as Jessica at her full size and she could enlarge herself even further if she needed to.
The sight of the now gigantic Lady O'Hare was more than a little intimidating for Lord Sherringham's forces. A wave of both surprise and terror overtook them as they could now see that there was a very large and annoyed giantess looking down upon them. Even her own forces were somewhat intimidated by seeing their commander-in-chief grow to such a height. Many of them were just thankful that she was on their side.
For Sir Tucker his fears seemed to be realised. He had hoped that Lady O'Hare wouldn't use the potion but it looked like he was wrong. He had no idea what this would mean now for him but he knew that it wasn't going to go down well. He could only hope that chaos didn't ensue from this event.
What was surprising to most was the fact that Lady O'Hare's armour had grown alongside her. The sword that she was carrying had also grown with her along with any other items that she had in her possession before she had grown. She was truly a sight to behold by all on the battlefield.
For the first few moments Lady O'Hare was having to adjust to the fact that she had gone from being almost six feet tall to well over a hundred in the space of a few seconds. She couldn't get over the fact that everything looked so small now. He mighty army that was in front of her didn't look to be as intimidating as it had just a few moments before. She could see that they were afraid of her and this was exactly what she wanted.
"Charge!" shouted Lady O'Hare and she began to run down the hill as fast as her extremely long legs could carry her. At her size the mud didn't seem to be a problem, she felt more powerful than she ever had before.
As she ran towards Lord Sherringham's forces she could hear her own troops behind her but they didn't have a hope of keeping up with her. She also heard someone in Lord Sherringham's army shout the word 'fire'. This was soon followed another volley of arrows that were directed straight at Lady O'Hare herself. She was a large enough target for the archers but much to their horror their arrows did no damage to her at all. Her armour was more than strong enough to deflect the arrows. The only part of her body which was not protected was her face but none of the arrows reached high enough to strike it. Even if they did strike they wouldn't have done much damage unless one had gone into her eye. However all this did was annoy her.
Within moments she reached where the army was stationed and many of the soldiers were met with a strong kick that sent them flying into the air. This caused panic throughout the ranks as they saw the mighty giantess attacking them. Some of them tried to defend themselves by striking at her feet and ankles but again their swords couldn't penetrate the armour that she was wearing. For their efforts most of them were struck by her gigantic foot and were either killed or badly injured.
It took a few seconds for the rest of Lady O'Hare's army to make their way down the hill and engage the other soldiers that were right in front of them. Lady O'Hare was watching where she put her feet and she ensured that she didn't accidentally crush any of her own men. She just casually walked towards the back of the army where she knew Lord Sherringham was located. She was walking through the army and many soldiers tried to get out of the way when her feet came down. However some were not lucky enough and found themselves crushed under her giant armoured foot.
Eventually she could see Lord Sherringham on his horse and he looked awestruck at her. This only lasted for a few moments as he turned his horse and went to retreat but before he could Lady O'Hare picked him off his horse and lifted him into the air. Although he was terrified he didn't show it. Instead he seemed to remain calm even though he thought that this was going to be the last few moments of his life.
"Lord Sherringham," said Lady O'Hare. Despite the fact that she had her enemy in her hand she did remain calm as well. "Funny you don't seem to be as big as I remembered. Funny isn't it."
"Indeed it is," replied Lord Sherringham who thought that humouring her was needed for that statement.
"I think that you know where this is going. This battle is over, these lands belong to me and my family and if you don't agree then we can see if you can survive such a fall as this. Contrary to what you think I don't want to see you hurt but I am willing to if I have to. Now surrender and the rest of your army can return to Willenhall in one piece. Refuse and I will ensure that your army and your keep are destroyed. To tell you the truth from my prospective it seems like an easy choice."
"You make it sound easy."
"That's because it is. Surrender and leave defeated but alive. Keep fighting and you'll be defeated anyway but you'll be dead. The choice is yours."
Lady O'Hare couldn't get over how small Lord Sherringham seemed in her hand. She knew that she could easily drop him to his death and then crush the rest of his army. However she still wanted to end this battle without any further bloodshed. She watched as he made up her mind and he looked in her gigantic green eyes. At this size her freckles were more obvious for him to see.
"After much consideration I have decided that it I will surrender my forces," said Lord Sherringham with some reluctance in his voice. However with everything he had been facing he felt that he was making the right choice. You have won this day my lady."
"I thank you for seeing reason my Lord. Despite your defeat this day I do not wish any ill will on you. You and your army will be allowed to return home but these lands belong to me and my family until the end of days." She then turned to see the carnage that was taking place all around her. She needed this to stop as soon as possible to ensure the most amount of survivors. "Everybody listen up!" Her voice was loud enough to be heard by everyone. "Lord Sherringham has surrendered, all of his men are to lay down your arms right now or else you will answer to me! All of you are permitted to return home but your swords will remain where you drop them. You may remove your dead and wounded, my men will not stop you. There is no shame in defeat this day, you were defeated before you started. At least now you can return to your loved ones and tell them the tales of this day."
One by one Lord Sherringham's men dropped their swords as they could see that they couldn't win. Their commander had surrendered so there was no need to fight anymore. Lady O'Hare's men began to cheer as they had just won a decisive and impressive battle. They had lost a few men along the way but with victory assured they could stop fighting and acknowledge their victory.
Sir Tucker didn't celebrate with his comrades. He knew that although they had been victorious today that things might be very different. They had gone against the word of the King and he might come for their heads. He planned to get as far away from Featherstone as he could with Jessica before the King decided what to do. But he also considered what the King could do? He was looking up at the gigantic Lady O'Hare who still held the seemingly tiny Lord Sherringham in her hand. He was in no real danger but he didn't know if anyone could harm her and if she ran into trouble she could just make herself even bigger. This scared him more than anything else, at least with Jessica he knew that she had a big heart but he wasn't so sure about Lady O'Hare. She had shown to be a capable leader but he didn't know what would happen if she was face someone like the King of Angleland. If such a confrontation were to take place he hoped that he wouldn't be there to witness it. Instead he would be living a better life as the richest man in Angleland.