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Though unprovoked by Galean forces, the Imperial Order's army in the area took control of the area around the Galean crown city, and assaulted Ebinissia when the people refused to submit to the will of the Imperial Order. The Order's forces easily overpowered and slaughtered the city's garrison, and proceeded to rape, murder, and enslave the people within the walls of the city.
Fueled by righteous anger, Mother Confessor Kahlan Amnell led a small unit of young and inexperienced Galean soldiers to fight with the Imperial Order army that was responsible for massacring the city of Ebinissia. This small unit of no more than 5,000 inexperienced boys faced a veteran army of more than 50,000 men consisting mostly of crack D'haran troops.
The commander of the Galean forces, a Captain Bradley Ryan, was planning to use a classic battle tactic called the Hammer and Anvil against the Order's army in a mountain pass. Kahlan thrashed this plan and explained to them that it would be suicide, because not only were they greatly outnumbered by an army of crack troops, but were assuming that the enemy was stupid. She proceeded to tell them that "[they] are a badger trying to swallow an ox whole". She then told them what would actually happen if they followed the captain's foolish plan:
- "When you send that detachment around them, they will accommodate you and move a little, and as they do they'll wing out to let your force in. That's called a Nutcracker. Guess who the nut is.
'Then they will move. For your Anvil. They will be hounds roused to the scent of blood. After they've wiped out your Hammer, there will be nothing to contain them, nothing to keep their flanks from wheeling as they drive in. They have battle experience and know exactly what to do.'They'll split your pikemen and their archers, and cut them off from their supporting swordsmen. A flying wedge protected by shields will drive into those pikemen. Crescents to the sides will trap them. Their armored cavalry will come at a full charge and rake down your wings of archers, who will by then have no pikemen to blunt the charge. You will all fight bravely, but you will be outnumbered perhaps twenty to one, because you've already sacrificed part of your force to be the Hammer, and they will all be dead by then."
Shortly after, the Mother Confessor took a strong war horse and rode to the Order's camp where she killed an enemy wizard named Slagle. She also led a great number of the Order's cavalry on a charge off a cliff, and took one of their soldiers - Orsk - with her power. She then returned to the Galean camp and gathered together the forces. There, she assumed command of the forces and explained to the soldiers of the tough fight ahead of them. They would not fight a conventional war, but would slowly bleed the Order's army to death. Suddenly, Kahlan put her knife to her heart and yelled that she was dead, because of what happened at Ebinissia, and she would not be alive until the last of the enemy was dead. Almost every one of the Galeans there accepted the challenge and swore an oath too. Dissenters were allowed to leave the camp, but the Mother Confessor later gave the command to have them all killed, due to fear that they might go to the Order and reveal their location and plans.
Captain Ryan and his men were greatly distraught by this order and disobeyed the Confessor by bringing back the leader of the dissenters. Kahlan Confessed the man, who admitted that he was planning to betray them; this restored the Galeans confidence in the Mother Confessor since it was now known that she was actually acting on their behalf, and not out of her own resentment.
The Mother Confessor devised a very unique and different plan of attacking the Order at night that first involved giving all of their liquor to the Order. The logic in this was that it would not only prevent the Galeans from being drunk and inhibited, but ensure that a good amount of the enemy troops would be drunk during their attack; a drunk enemy couldn't fight as well as a sober one. Not only would they be drunk, but they would be poisoned as well, since Chandelen and his men mixed some of their ten-step poison with the drink.
The next part of Kahlan's plan involved white paint. She ordered to have buckets prepared full of white paint so that they could cover themselves with it. The Galeans would end up rushing into battle naked, with only their weapons, in order to appear as spirits taking revenge on the soldiers.
The goal of their excursion into the enemy camp was to destroy supplies, wagons, weapons, tents, and kill as many officers and horses as possible. Killing the soldiers was only a secondary objective as more would die from starvation, and would be easier to be killed without leadership in the future. Brin and Peter had devised a contraption to rig to their horses that was easy to use and efficient in breaking the legs of the enemy horses.
The entire Imperial Order force in the area had been annihilated to the man, save Orsk. The Galeans had also suffered heavy losses with less than 1,000 men remaining.