|Period||911 HE - 920 HE|
|Belligerents||Smizerak, Radiant Cross|
The First Merioss Crusade was a holy war to bring an end to nearly a three century long vampire menace. The conflict covered a triangular area from the eastern reaches of Kilth to the great jungle swamp Gurutharni and into Zan Urk - the whole collectively known then as the Blood Triangle. The vampire menace of this area was not a new problem, the Varelay had to deal with what they called petty vampire lords:
The escapees of Drachlaz roamed the fringes of our reach, taking down the lone scout, or preying on some outlying settlement. After a time, some of the blood-suckers grew cunning and made their mark.
Two decades after the fall of Drachlaz, we saw the first vampire packs. The worst of these were the Night Brigade, they were by no means brigade size, but the name sure fit their striking power - two dozen bloodsuckers mounted on dire panthers with the same yearning for blood. These rare packs were a small threat compared to the growing might and influence of petty vampire lords.
That passage is from a page of the Harkon Eon, a book written by a vrock from the time of Varelay. Some of the these petty vampire lords survived the battles with Varelay, and the upheaval caused by the empire. During the building of Felak, we began to feel what the Varelay must have felt with hungry fangs prowling just outside the borders, or coming in packs against a lone tower or encamped patrol. We were to learn decades later, after the loss of hundreds of spies, that some of the "petty" vampire lords were still around - making them creatures a thousand years or more old, ancient fiends of legendary power.
- Nûrag-Khazun, demonologist of Smizerak - "The Vampire Menace"
Smizerak's armies were led by personnel from the Radiant Cross. This ancient order of good did what they had been doing since the God Era, adding some backbone to the beleaguered. After a brutal nine year war across jungles, swamps, and mountains, the armies of Smizerak defeated the last of the ancient vampires at Drachlaz. After the victory, General Licuiluin is said to have warned the victors:
The war is over, but the vampires of Drachlaz are still out there, they are not ancient, but if we do not track them down, a few may in time become ancients themselves.
- Licuiluin, Radiant Master of the Radiant Cross - "Drachlaz Warning"
Nothing came out of this warning, except a temporary boost in membership to the ranks of the Radiant Cross. The vampires proved too elusive, on the run, and widely spread to track down without well-financed expeditions. The only empire of the area with that sort of wealth were the Smizerak. The Council of His Majesty, voted down continued funding of such enterprises because the royalty had become indebted to the merchant clans.
The war brought an end the vampire menace for a time. About five centuries later, the next war of the Merioss Crusades would again see the dwarves battling the vampires of the Blood Triangle.