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1364-1366 Fifth War of the Ûr Lords

1337-1364 Rise of the Red Draconic

The chaos and violence that was endemic to the Steppes continued for the next seventy years.  Different clans rose and declined in power as chaos continued until the ascendance of the Azdrahl clan.  The Azdrahls was known for having a large number of members in the Transmutation Magic Caste.  The greatest of these mages was Turan Thord.  He researched extensively in the transmutation of races until he was able to create a mutant race of orc, vulture and lizard which could procreate.  The early specimens of this Draconic species were stupid and ineffective, but the success served as a basis for further experimentation.  Year after year, the new draconic species became smarter, stronger and more adept at using magic.  Finally, in 1358, Turan was able to create a species he considered perfect and named it the Red Draconic.

The Red Draconic has a completely scaled body, with 2 arms with hands, 2 legs with talons, and two wings.  The head has the eyes of an orc but the snout, crest and teeth of a lizard.  They can procreate, lay eggs gestating in 18 months, and reach maturity in 3 years, but the full grown Red Draconic can only live 12 years.

Turan began breeding more and more Red Draconics to increase the power of Azdrahl as a sort of expendable military resource which no other clan possessed.  Five years into this process, the Red Draconics realized the fact they were being used as a commodity and so they retaliated.  Turan was rendered limb from limb and consumed by the leading Red Draconic warriors.  Then the warriors made a demand to the highest caste members in Azdrahl that they should be given caste as well.  The Red Draconic were great new warriors and mages who could kill five times their number in orcs, so the elder Azdrahl agreed to their demands.

With the new caste in place, Azdrahl began to wage more and more successful raids against the other rival clans. By 1362, almost all of the clans had been beaten severely by Azdrahl.  Then it became time for Azdrahl to set its sights on the West.  Each successful raid which Azdrahl undertook now became a method of extorting a rival clan into cooperating on an invasion of the West until 1364, when 35 of the Ûr clans decided to again invade the West.

1364 The Great Onslaught

The leader of the Azdrahl, Ulan Bahd, divided the invading force into three.  One group was split into two separate groups, each to cover Kharin & Kazden Dûn.   The second group was to attack through the Gorgen Gap into Thearth.  The third group was to attack straight south into the mountains of Dag and the plains of Vendratti.  As soon as the troops began to move, the dwarves sent out word to the Houses of Raj Gohn to begin the muster.  The West had hoped there would not be another war, but they knew they must heed the call lest their lands be torn asunder.

Thangku’Ur was mustering troops from all over Thearth, Roane, Devnah, Dag, Kastgor and Vendratti, but the 22 Ûr clans would still outnumber their forces by more than 4 to 1.  Detmanth began mustering forces immediately as well and started to send anyone who was ready into the Akos Plain of Kastgor.  Caer Ddaden and Vaddoren began mustering and sent their troops to join together in southern Rhorden.

Vendratti was filled with nomadic peoples which left the horde few useful targets and many mobile guerillas attacking their movement south.  Nearby, the dwarves of Dag Deep heeded the muster and locked down the towns and mines of the mountains.  Thangku’Ur then decided to move its entire army into the Akos Plains to join up with the Detmanth army in hopes of providing as good a defense as possible.

Eventually, Ulan Bahd and the horde left the Stah Ceir Plains and headed for the Akos Plains and the waiting Army of the Houses.  The Army of the Houses heard of their movement and decided to meet them in a defensive position in the Akos Hills west of .  The valley between the hills and was to be their battlefield and would forever be known thereafter as the Bowl of Death.

The two great armies clashed mercilessly on the plains in the shadow of for several days.  Ulan Bahd had not only brought the Red Draconic to face the West, but his mages also summoned several Greater Demons to fight in this horrific battle.  The list of demons summoned to fight the battle was long, but greatest summoned were the following: Jal-Qatar - Worm of Eternal Thirst, Borgkraak – Flesh Melter,  Dzidzel Raag - Beast of 40,000 Fangs,  Hagit Thûl – Face Eater,  and Gagik Hotopaht – Corpse Constructor.

The Army of the West called on their own magic and their own deities to defend against this horrible onslaught.[1]  The dwarves of Dag Deep sent an army to help out in the battle and they fought greatly, cementing their friendship with the lords of the West for millennia.  However, the result o the battle was the same -- annihilation of both armies almost to the last warrior.   All of the high lords of Detmanth were slaughtered as were the highest caste members in Azdrahl.  Perhaps 100 or 200 warriors per side lived at the end of the battle to watch the carrion be consumed by the vermin who crawled out from the earth for their grand feast.  The demons were banished except for some of the greater ones who remained on Eirethune, but became uninterested in the war due to the failure of the Ûr Lords to bring them a suitable victory.[2]  As punishment, Ulan Bahd was forced to watch as his limbs and lower torso were cut into small pieces by Dzidzel Raag, and fed to an army of maggots under the control of Jal-Qatar.[3]

The war to the north and west, however, was completely different than the cataclysmic event that took place at the Bowl of Death. Wakog Umbor was another of the high caste of Azdrahl, but he wanted to use his army to wipe out as much of the civilian population as possible.  After encountering some raiders in the Shadow of Kazden, he decided to suddenly head south east and move the army into Thearth.  The armies of the eastern houses were going to do battle with Ulan Bahd’s army, so the heartland of the eastern fiefs was unprotected.  The horde spread out across Devnah and Thearth and the burning of settlements commenced.

The western Army of the Houses joined up and began to move against the horde.  They were able to defeat anything they could get their hands on to, but the horde was quite widespread and there was almost no defense to speak of in the East.  While the West attacked small raiding groups on the Thearth-Devnah border, larger raiding groups were crossing the into Azmunth and beginning to destroy what they could there as well.  For the rest of the year, the Army of the Houses would be the hunter of a thousand vermin scurrying about destroying the civilized world.

1365 Citadels in Danger

While Wakog Umbor devastated lands to the south, the other great army of the horde continued their assault on the ever-embattled citadels of Kharin & Kazden Dûn.  The Azdrahl caste leader in charge of the sieges was Badûk   It was said that he had gained the ability to travel to the planes of the gods. It is also said that while he was there, he had stolen a Hammer from Goibhnie enabling him tremendous strength and the ability to create earth tremors of great magnitude.[4]  In addition, Badûk Mor had his own regiment of Red Draconic who kept the archers in the towers of the citadels busy while the Ûr miners and siege engines pounded the walls and gates.

In the early months of 1365, Badûk Mor determined to concentrate his siege on Kharin Dûn.  He left a relatively large force at Kazden, but brought most of his siege equipment and aerial forces to Kharin.  Badûk would bring earthquakes to tremble the Kharin Hills and the high peaks of Akon Kharin Kador surrounding the great citadel.  Finally, the grand outer gate of Kharin Dûn was breached with Badûk leading the assault.  Many dwarves were slaughtered at the breach, but Kharin was still formidable with its several concentric walls.  However, the great stone dome which shielded the interior walls was beginning to break from the continuous pounding of the onagers and the great shaking from the earthquakes.  If the domes were breached, the Red Draconic would be able to attack any of the interior keeps to their liking.

Baidar Thormen, King of Kharin, sent out word to Kazden and the other Houses of Raj Gohn to see if there was anything that they could do to help.  Kazden had already begun to sortie and badger the screening forces left by their citadel, but they would not be able to get anyone to Kharin until that force was routed.  In the south, the Houses of Caer Ddaden and Vaddoren had been spending most of their time tracking down the vast number of small raiding groups which continued to ravage Surrin, Azmunth, Crocia and the Smothes.  The Houses, however, could not let the dwarves down with all that they had done for them, so they split their force having Vaddoren continue the attack in the south while Caer Ddaden headed north to relieve the siege.

Caer Ddaden headed first to Kazden to crush the screening army there.  The dwarves sortied in force pulling the horde army towards them.  Their back, however, was wide open to attack to the Caer Ddaden force, which came swift and terrible.  In only a few hours, the horde screening force was in full rout back towards the Steppes.  Now the dwarves and Caer Ddaden headed south to relieve the great siege.

Before the Army of the Houses could arrive at Kharin, the great dome of the citadel was breached.  The Red Draconic regiments swept into the citadel destroying what they could, but fortunately, their numbers had been greatly diminished by the continuous assaults they had been making.  As the Great Hall of Thorden Morg burned and the Kharin dwarves fought desperately against the Red Draconic, the Army of the Houses arrived.  There were several great mages over the powers of elements and nature in the army, and they brought with them beings and powers which threw down the siege engines and blasted the Red Draconic from the sky.   Still, the battle at Kharin Dûn was long and arduous and Badûk Mor would not rout.   The battle continued for days, until at last the Caer Ddaden Elite confronted Badûk and his guard.  The elite were almost wiped out, but they were able to kill Badûk causing the immediate rout of the besieging army.

1366 Cleansing the West

There had been two large horrible battles where the Army of the Houses had lost most of its army.  Now, the Vaddorens and the remnants of the relieving forces from Kharin Dûn were all that was left of the Army of the Houses to wipe out the remnants of the horde which was still burning the settlements in the South.  The dwarves, however, were very grateful for the effort that had been made to relieve the siege of Kharin Dûn, so both citadels of dwarves, sent half of their own armies down with that of Caer Ddaden to help with the mopping up of the rest of the horde. 

The raiders were quite widespread because of their ceaseless raiding in 1365.  The Vaddorens and the supporting forces from the North, wiped out the vast majority of Ûr that had infiltrated the South.   However, as the Armies of the Houses descended on the Ûr raiders, many of the raiders went into the desolate hills and mountains of the South to escape capture; preferring to bide their time, hide, and prepare themselves for the next war.

Next, the Wars of Fire Sky

[1] There was at least one great deified weapon which was summoned at the battle which was used to keep the power of Gagik Hotopaht at bay.  Gagik is said to be able to construct undead creatures from any corpses around him, but the Horn of Eternal Resolve was granted by Tuoni to return any undead creature to the Underworld within its cone of sound.  The Horn is said to be in possession of the Death Nest of Red Draconic who live in .  These Red Draconics are descendants of the few that had survived the in the Bowl of Death.

[2] The number or locations of the demons who had escaped is not known, with a few exceptions. Gagik Hotopaht forever hunts the in search of the dead. Hagit Thûl returned to the Land of the Ûr Lords to seek her vengeance.  It is said that there is a small clan of faceless Ûr Lords who are completely her servants now.

[3] The whereabouts of the other remains of Ulan Bahd is unknown.  Most believe, however, that Gagik Hotopaht used Ulan Bahd’s head as part of an undead creation which serves Gagik to this day.

[4] Astorn, the Hammer of Goibhnie was taken by the western Dunn dwarves from Badûk Mor upon his death.  The hammer was lost during battles of the Great War with the Frost Giants in the West Dunns.