Cardinal Garnhalt wasn't sure if he should be aghast or relieved. Pushing north they had finally encountered resistance, which removed the gnawing feeling of unease that had been his companion ever since he left Mintosa behind him. That gave him a known enemy, and he preferred that to the rumours that spread like wildfire as they marched on unopposed.
He hadn't counted on what they met though. Skirmishers, scouts and a gradually stiffening resistance would have been more familiar to him. Even a herald declaring that he was unwanted and that a rested army stood ready to evict him by force if he didn't return was an event he was ready to handle.
Scattered survivors from his supply lines was not. Somehow he had managed to miss an entire army. How he couldn't tell. It was not due to grave incompetence, even if he was well aware that he risked listening to a different song when he finally returned back. There simply was not way to sneak an entire army through other than by sheer mistake. He had forced marched his troops by night and he suspected the opposing commander had done the same, or one side would have ambushed the other, or they might even have blundered into each other with the following nightmare.
The result was the same though. Two opposing armies were firmly in control of each others supply lines, and both, had excellent ways of reinforcing the same from behind. That spelled disaster for them both. Without supplies he couldn't risk wandering into reinforcements any more than his unknown enemy. Not unknown, they were from Keen. The reports had been crystal clear on that point, but he didn't know exactly how many or even what kind of forces they represented.
All in all it was a splendidly disgusting situation with both commanders fully able to launch a surprise attack far into enemy controlled territory, and both commanders lacking the strength to do so for any stretch of time.
That had been two days ago. At the moment he held the field after routing a column of irregulars, and even though they hadn't put up any resistance worth mentioning there had been a battle of sorts, and they had to break open the medical supplies, and even a common soldier could see that there was no way to replenish those stocks.
To his south, as the northbound survivors arriving into his camp could tell, the enemy was experiencing much the same. They must have captured one supply caravan, but with no reports arriving from the north Mintosa wouldn't send any supplies without a strong escort made up from the troops he knew still poured into the port from Chach.
When that caravan met the enemy things were going to take yet another turn, and from that moment all lay in God's hands.
It was time for prayer.