After two years of unusually severe drought, the River Brecclain was lowered to such an extent that the Drathians were able to ford it and enter into Norica. A combined army of some 40,000 Noricans met them at the Battle of the Brushfire in the plains south of Baynes Crossing. In what was an exceedingly rare occurrence, the princes unanimously elected Alister Thorne, Prince of House Thorne, to lead the Norican armies against the Drathians.
In a clever ruse, Prince Thorne set the wheat fields south of Baynes Crossing ablaze as a screen for his troops. In this way the Norican infantry was able to fall upon the disoriented Drathians and engage them in a pitched battle.
Although the Drathians were destroyed almost to a man, Norican losses were high. Among the casualties were Alister Thorne’s young son Ammian, and Jonus Baynes, Prince of House Baynes. The death of Jonus Baynes caused a succession crisis, as the Prince had produced only daughters in his marriage with his wife Faustine of House Firaken. Since no male heirs of Jonus survived, the Princes chose his bastard son Meryn, who had distinguished himself in the battle, to fill his father’s vacant seat.
Other distinguished participants of the battle were Ser Justin Falkren, who slew the Drathian Kahn Umurtag in single combat, Ser Rienhard Tyrens, who clove his way through the melee to retrieve the body of his Lord, Jonus Baynes, and bring it to safety. Another distinguished participant in the battle was a young squire, Darren Saereth of Blackwater Keep , whose tenacity and valor saved the lives of three other knights during the battle and earned him his knighthood.