When Baron Simon agreed to an interbaronial war to determine ownership of the anvil, he asked the Baron of Stargate to be allowed to call in allies from outside his barony to bolster his army. To this, the Baron of Stargate agreed, for Stargate was a barony many times the size of Bordermarch with correspondingly more men at arms. Being a chivalrous man, the Baron of Stargate wished the War of the Anvil to be a true contest and not crass slaughter.
In December of that year, Baron Simon traveled to the Barony of Axemoor in the Kingdom of Meridies to attend Axemoor's Yule Feast and Revel. During the baronial court preceding the feast, Baron Simon requested the aid of Sir Beorn and the Axemoor fighters in the upcoming war.
Baron Beorn had been a friend of Baron Simon and Baroness Tessa for many years. He is also a warrior true born and will not back away from a just fight. Sir Beorn's blue eyes fairly sparkled when he asked, "When we gonna fight?"
Also in attendance at the Yule Feast was His Majesty, Francois. Sir Francois was also a long-time friend of Sir Simon and Mistress Tessa. No sooner had Sir Beorn pledged his sword and those of the Axemoor fighters to aid Bordermarch than Sir Francois pledged his sword to aid the cause of his long-time friends.
His Majesty proclaimed that as this was an internal affair of the Kingdom of Ansteorra, he was acting solely as a friend of Baron Simon and Baroness Tessa and he could not bring the Meridies Army with him. However, any Meridian fighters who wished to join Sir Beorn and himself were welcome to do so. Sir Francois knew full well that no true son of Meridies could sit idly at home while his King went into battle.
Baron Simon was much pleased with the support his friends in Meridies had pledged him and returned home in good spirits.
When the Baron of Stargate learned that essentially the entire Army of Meridies would be fighting on the side of Bordermarch, he was much agitated. The Baron took his concerns to the royal court of Ansteorra and asked the King for aid against the foreign foe. The King of Ansteorra, whom I believe was named Lloyd, was greatly concerned by the proposed appearance of so many Meridian troops within Ansteorra and called forth his army to fight for Stargate upon the plains of Anahuac.
Meanwhile, back in Axemoor, preparations for the war moved apace. At this time, the typical Ansteorran battle plan was to form a shield wall backed by pole arms. The fighters on the shield wall would stand toe to toe with fighters in an opposing shield wall and exchange blows until one side or the other was worn down. Sir Beorn did not like such static and prolonged battles, and being a cunning warrior, he thought of a plan to break through a shield wall.
Sir Beorn would form his men into a wedge. On the left side of the wedge, he put his right-handed fighters and on the right side of the wedge, he put his left-handed fighters so that both sides of the wedge were faced with shields. At the point of the wedge, he put Merwydd of Effington, who was ambidextrous. The idea of the wedge was that the wall men were expendable. Their mission was to break through the shield wall and deliver the inside men into the ranks of the polearms at the rear, there to wreak havoc.
In secret, the Axemoor fighters practiced their battle tactic until they could quickly form into a wedge and accelerate to full charge. If word of these preparations leaked back to Ansteorra, they must have considered them of no count, for the Stargate generals made no alterations to their usual battle plan.