The Prelude to the Battle:
In the early days of First Seed 1766, as the mountain passes thawed and the roads cleared, a daring plan was formed in the Halls of the Legion. A force of nine legionnaires in all, mostly fresh recruits, brave and bold in the face of their orcish foes, would march out from the hold of Kal’Evraal under the command of Commander Belgor Ireheart and Lieutenant Alaric Grimgold, to lead a daring raid upon the hordes of Krugmar. They would launch their attack under the cover of stealth, but were quickly discovered and found themselves facing overwhelming odds deep in enemy territory. The resolve of the new recruits would be tested in the warm sun of Last Seed as the fighting raged on for days. Only a single regiment of veteran cavalry would arrive from Urguan, led by the veteran command of Axel Ireheart, and the Dwarven Host lost heart that they would fight to their death that day. Little did their stout hearts know that under the inspiring rally of Axel and Alaric at the mine, they would achieve one of the greatest victories the Legion had seen over a foe.
The 1766 Raid of Krugmar and
The Battle of the Mines and the Bloody Roads
Belgor Ireheart, Axel Ireheart, and Alaric Grimgold repel the Orcish left flank at the Third Charge of the Mine
as the Dwarven Legion rally behind them, 1766
A telling of the 1766 Raid of Krugmar and the Battle of the Mines and Bloody Roads, by Alaric Grimgold to King Utak Ireheart, Under-King of Urguan-
In short, your majesty, on yesterday’s raid...
I was summoned early in the morning to the Legion Hall to find many clans already assembled when I had arrived. Frostbeards, Irehearts, Starbreakers, Goldhands, even my own Grimgolds were present in the throng that awaited me. Each carried with them weapons of war and a full load of crossbow bolts. When the Commander walked in and explained we meant business I knew this was a serious operation. It was to be a stealth raid over the walls of Krugmar and into the heart of the Orc Lands before they even knew what hit them. The proverbial crossbow bolt to the face, but nothing ever goes to plan does it…
We left Kal’Evraal in a combat line with the new recruits between the Commander and I. I could see they were nervous for combat and not sure of what to expect. Even the Medical Corp was worried of what was about to occur, Anbella help them. Including the Commander and I, nine Legionnaires left the road from Urguan and took the Sutica road to Orc Country. We hid in the scrub brush outside of their town, the superiority in our height being evident as they didn’t see us within the tall grass. A single scout was to be sent to try and find a way inside of the city, and I was positioned with my quarreller to provide overwatch. He was a deft and agile Dwarf, and made his way over the wall with ease, but he was caught by a patrolman while making his way to the gatehouse. I attempted to warn him with a signal, but was almost detected myself, having to retreat back to our position in the plains to avoid a patrol.
I was able to warn the Commander of the detection of our scout, but it was decided that we would press on with the mission anyway in hopes he would succeed with the gate. Stealthily we made our way around the walls of the town to a bramble of berries in the rear of the settlement, next to a shrine of one of their strange spirit gods. It was there in the thorn bushes we were detected, knowing not the fate of our errant scout, and had to make a hasty retreat through the patches of thick foliage. We heard the alarm raised in town and knew we had a real fight on our hands. Retreating back to the plains we camped in at the start of our now inauspicious raid, we looked upon the city we were repelled from with restored vigor. The orcs would not beat us back this day.
Our scouts found an abandoned mine in the hills above our position and the main bulk of our force moved there for cover. We could hear the pounding of the war drums in the distance and we knew that we would need reinforcements. Crows were sent out to the Under-Kingdom, and though we hoped for a greater response, a group of three Dwedmar cavalry riders arrived to our cause. The braying orc and goblin horde was angered by their arrival to the point of breaking ranks and charging them in a fury. In a surprised counter charge, many war-pigs and riding rams were cut down, but the dismounted riders held firm and crushed one of the charging orcs with a mighty cleave of the axe. Our infantry was slow to come support the dismounted riders, but they were forced to retreat back to the safety of the mine with another charge of the barbaric orc line. The fallen orc was quickly revived by a goblin medic who tended to him, and I later saw him charging back into the fray again like a fool.
As we sat at our position on the high ground we could now see the full size of the orcish horde, to which they certainly had more in strength than we did. I could see the forlorn look on the Commander’s face as he gazed over the fresh and eager troops, and I knew he was preparing for a final stand here in our failed mission. He was counselling the men to make equal with their ancestors cause a Dwarf fights to the last. But Axel and myself were not ready to give up quite yet. Axel Ireheart, who rode in with the riders, sat his riders up in a shield wall where the top of the hill made a steep drop off, and I rallied my quarrellers behind them. I could see the weapons I just made for them standing proudly in their hands, Black Bolts ready to pierce orcish skulls, and told them that as sure as the steel in their hands, Dungrimm would greet us one day, but not today, for surely he watched over us here and now. The Commander seemed to like that, and the infantry readied themselves at the crest full of vigor and bloodlust to crack some orc skulls.
That was when we heard their monsterish cry-- the WAAGH! was sounded, and screams erupted over the plains as the greenskins charged in a fury. We watched them fall to the first volley as they made it as far as the base of the hill before retreating back to a safe distance. Then they came with a second charge that failed as they tried to climb the steep cliffs at the base of the mine. We could see their horde swelling with anger and rage as their first two charges ended in failure and they swarmed over us with a third roaring charge. I had to sling my quarreller as they came around a shallower incline upon our left flank and fighting erupted under the tower. The fresh recruits that were there began to buckle when my men arrived to secure the side. I had a confirmed kill in this charge, when I smashed a skull as a filthy greenskin tried to climb the fence and come over our battle lines. Two more tusks for the necklace and another Grimgold death stricken from the book. They fell back as the orcish bodies began to pile upwards. Belgor has slain a Targoth and carried his head proudly across the plains. Their fourth charge was less eager to fight as we met them upon the cliffs and sent them back into arrow range, where we returned to exchanging volleys.
My men and I were beginning to run out of bolts when we saw what the orcs had been planning. We had underestimated their tactics when both of our flanks had been attacked by a pincer maneuver from the shallow hill and the cliffs above us. We were forced to retreat up the mountain at the overwhelming nature of their hit and run tactics, where our quarrellers opened fire again with stolen orcish arrows. With a strong sighted shot I pierced the brain of one of their charging warriors, sending him crying off the mountain to his death. Another Grudge cleared, but tusks I would have to save for later. They fell back after a few scattered volleys and their force was left split, with their left flank retreating and their right flank left exposed.
Belgor was the first to notice this weakness and took advantage like a true commander, leading us on a roaring charge after them over the mountain. As they fell to our steel in a scattered route, the Commander downed the leader of the right flank with a shot to his thigh. We formed a shield wall around the howling beast before we struck him down in a fury of blows, each of us claiming a piece of his ceremonial armor. This would be our new position as we set up in a valley on the lower of two roads. We could see the orc left flank beginning to pour in down the mountain behind us. We lined up upon the embankment of the road, reading our crossbows with reclaimed arrows from dead orcs as our foe shot down upon us from their high position.
These volleys seemed to last hours with neither of us gaining any headway, though both sides ran out from their positions to skirmish in the center over ammunition. I was not there for the initial shift in the balance, but I heard the commotion from my right side when Uldraek Goldhand thwarted a pack of goblins and orcs who tried to come across in surprise. Our entire line charged and they broke at this loss. We chased them all the way back over the mountain, striking down the stragglers where they stood without mercy, until we reached our original position at the mine. The plan was decided quickly as I watched the Commander pull his weapon out of the still spurting neck of a foul orc bastard. He would take the infantry around their rear, as my quarrellers would pretend to be the main force with our crossbows mounted upon a shield wall.
The plan worked like a charm as the orcs lined up in a weak battle line to try and face us one last time. They took our rounds eagerly as they prepared themselves for a charge against my men, but that is exactly what we wanted of them. Belgor’s men took them by surprise and their entire force routed entirely. Axel and myself ordered a charge and we fell into the shattered foe en masse, slaughtering almost the entirety of the force that came out to greet us. They fled back to their gate house with legionnaires hot on their snivelling tail. The few that made it to the safety of their fortifications were able to hide from our patrols behind strong doors, but the battle was over and we stripped the dead of our trophies.
I took all the tusks that had Grimgold Black Bolts hanging from them, not entirely fair when I had just equipped my Ranged Division with a shipment of Quarrellers, but when has a Dwarf ever been fair. Our army loaded up pilfered carts and carried our haul back home to Urguan. What started out as a failure turned into one of the Legion’s greatest victories, not a single Dwed was lost on the field of battle while nearly the entire orc force was killed or routed. The only wounded Dwed was our combat medic, who was gravely wounded in the line of duty protecting our flanks in the Third Charge upon the mine, but was retrieved by the efforts of brave recruits such as Yazmorra. As an officer of the Legion, I am proud to say that this batch of recruits may be the finest we have seen to date. In closing this debriefing, your majesty, I would like to issue special commendations to the following legionnaires for this outstanding raid against the enemies of Urguan:
(Clanfather) Uldraek Goldhand
And your Commander Belgor Ireheart, for leading us in this victory.
I also ask permission to clear the Grudge in my name of Irresponsibility leading to the Death of Dwedmar from my Clan’s Grudge Book.
Narvak oz Urguan! Narvak oz Dungrimm! Narvak oz Dwedmar!
From the desk of,
Clanfather of Clan Grimgold; Lieutenant in the Grand Legion of the Under-Kingdom of Urguan; Forge Master of the Grimgold Foundry and Forge;
Master Smith of the Grimgold Blacksmith and Metalworks; Co-Founder of Grimgold Jewelsmithing and Gem Crafting;
Founder of the Grimgold Delikatessen and Social Club; Union Representative of Grimgold Mining and Teamster Labor Union