|Period||1475 - 1503|
|Theater||Hells Womb, Grashakh|
Leading up to War
The Bileddanul Mountains cut through the center of the Grashakh Region. Since the time of the Demon Spawn War (8972 GE - 9493 GE), whoever controlled this area, had a veritable fortress at their backs, with all key mountain passes blocked by a series of towers and keeps. Under the watch of the Gimhak, the trade routes passing through Bileddanul were very safe, along well-maintained roads and passing frequent patrols. Gimhak also patrolled the area's flanks, in the east keeping Hangath's savages under control, and in the west, containing Mauhúl's diseased and dire.
After the founding of Kotharlarg in 1120, the Orchish Empire pushed north to the Bileddanul mountains. Further advance was blocked by their old foes, the Badger Legions of Gimhak. A dwarven monarchy, Gimhak controlled most of Bileddanul and lands far to the south in the region of Hells Womb, from Sorrow Pass to Gathol.
Gimhak in the path of their northern expansion, the Orchish High Command turned to planning their next conquest. They had to figure out how to conquer a people entrenched in mountains, with deep layered defenses, and a population ten times their own. True success for this operation would require attacking from multiple points, and cutting off the supply lines between Gimhak's north and south. Blac'drugulois, the Ageless Emperor leading the Orchish Empire, along with the Court of One Hundred Eyes went with the side of caution. The generals of the Orchish High Command, short-lived compared to their leader and his advisors, favored a year's preparation then an all-out attack. Sating their hunger for battle and bravado, many battles and small wars followed. The final say with the emperor, they built up their strength, never fully committing their armies to these "adventures".
One of the war documents, on display in one of the Halls of War, is a conversation between a turncoat spy and a War Maiden; the latter in the upper committees of the High Command.
Colonel Lagrash - If we expand around, Gimhak will cut us off.
War Maiden Uzol - Worry not, from the talk I'm hearing, the boss has ordered the siege of Bileddanul
Lagrash - The entire mountain range? This will be very costly, Hangath will require 20,000 to maintain a tenuous hold, half our strength.
Uzol - The Ageless Emperor builds plans beyond our lifetimes. History says they have worked.
- from the Lagrash-Uzol Document
For three centuries, the Orchish Empire built around Bileddanul, suffering the wrath of Hangath's savages and "raiders" out of Bileddanul. Late in the Second Epoch, war in the south, the Black Tide War, created an opportunity to divide and conquer. The High Command prepared for a war that would press both Gimhak's northern interests and the southern interests centered on Strumpktar.
In 1475, the Siege of Tharam-Khâl began. It would be the first of many, with Tharam-Khâl changing hands ten times by war's end. Izanargam, Gimhak's northern capital, would be sacked twice. For many years, the problem for the Orchish Empire was an inability to supply and hold. On the other hand, the Gimhak with their interior lines and deep fortifications, always had places to fall back upon. They had no shortage of supply, with foreign suppliers many, the general feeling was that the bigger the Orchish Empire got, the hungrier it got. Gimhak had two routes of supplying its far-flung territories. They had a 680 mile subterranean supply line linking Izanargam and the southern capital of Strumpktar. They also had teleportation chambers in each city, instantly moving soldiers between north and south.
Three months after the siege of Tharam-Khâl, the Black Tide marched north towards the Sorrow Pass. They were going north then west with the goal of subjugating the Lands of Purity. After battling past the elves of the Gwaeldior Forest, they faced their next great obstacle, the forts and towers dotting Gathol, southernmost defenses of the Gimhak Monarchy. Requests to pass Targind-Nal with an army of 8,000 souls, 3,000 undead, were denied. The First Dead Council offered a million gold to avoid an unnecessary war.
Let us not waste resources on war. Our fight is with lands west, so wills Thasmudyan. The Black Tide will pay for safe passage and compensate for the traffic of war.
- Rax, of the First Dead, to the Prince of Gimhak, Governor of Strumpktar - "Prelude to War"
After this diplomacy failed, the First Dead Council reached out to their military attaches, officers serving the High Command. These meetings led to a military alliance called the Eye-Skull Pact. With the Orchish Empire attacking from the north, and the Black Tide from the south, Gimhak's southern territory, centered on Strumpktar, fell after two years of hard fighting.
Today, Bileddanul is plagued with the dwarven constructs and magical guardians leftover from the time of the Gimhak. The natives claim that Gimhak ghosts still build these vengeful things, still fighting for a kingdom that as long as they are "alive", fight on.
- Battle of Izanargam
- Sieges of Tharam-Khâl
- Siege of Izanargam