|Theater||Grashakh, Tribe Steppes|
The Grashakh Front was a war within a much larger war called the Chaos War. It started when scouts of the Council of Bile learned of a draw-down in the Orchish Empire's southern border patrols and garrisons. This was alarming because news of the Cinazan Front and its effects on the Khazarkar Empire were not good. Most powers of the region, even they disliked the ways of the Khazarkar Empire, wanted to see the Khazarkars fall and leave the Orchish Empire unopposed by a equally matched force on Brucrumus. As a result, two secret alliances were forged. They hoped to take the pressure off the Khazarkars if the Orchish Empire decided to take advantage of their northern rival's plight; and perhaps grabs some land in the process.
In 1831, the Orchish Empire attacked the Khazarkar Empire. Already hotly engaged in the Cinazan Front, the Khazarkars could do little but hope that the fortifications dotting Ugradrath could slow the tide. The Womb Alliance formed a few months before this attack, was activated. The armies of the Council of Bile and Celebriän joined forces. By 1832, the forces of these two groups were ready for war. With a combined army of 200,000 troops, thereafter called the Bile-Elendil Army, attacked the southernmost defenses of the Orchish Empire. They smashed through these and then made contact with the Umahanbad. This empire was easily convinced (due to their long enmity with the Orchish Empire) in joining in the conflict against the Orchish Empire. No convincing was needed, but they took the chests of gold anyway. They and one of their neighbors had also formed a secret alliance against the Orchish Empire. While they prepared for war in the north, the Bile-Elendil Army used Umahanbad's southern territories to launch an attack on the Orchish Empire city Gúluzgash.
In less than a month, Gúluzgash was taken by the Bile-Elendil Army. The fighting was bitter with sons, daughters and mothers fighting alongside the defenders. The Bile-Elendil Army lost 40,000 troops and the Orchish Empire lost 160,000 people. Reports from the battle claim that no orc in the city retreated or surrendered. This city became a holding of the Council of Bile.
On 10 Temporal 1832, the Orchish Empire was attacked from the northeast. The attack was comprised of two army groups - three Ink-Shad armies and two Umahanbad armies; both members of the Shadow Alliance.
The Ink-Shad assault came from the Shadow Rift. It was a complete surprise to the Orchish Empire. The Ink-Shad and Umahanbad assailed the mighty fortress-city Surkiln. The baying of hundreds of shadow hounds under shadar-kai houndmasters had a terrible effect on the defenders of the city. In some cases, entire towers were cleared with the aid of this baying, followed by shadar-kai special forces. These teams of witches, gloomblades and chainfighters were soon the most feared aspect of the siege. From beneath Surkiln, the Umahanbad came up through the Underdark and into the sewers of the city. Enemy sappers destroyed the massive western wall of the city, sending much of it down the steep slopes into the Shadow Rift.
While the siege was under way, the Umahanbad forces debauched from the many caves and strong points along the Giant Steps. These attacks harried the reinforcements that were moving to the south to meet the forces of the Bile-Elendil Army and those coming to aid the besieged forces at Surkiln. Due to these guerrilla attacks, the Orchish Empire had trouble reinforcing the city with troops by land, so they turned to their Gruumsh Dreadnoughts. These voidships shuttled troops in, and then passed over Ink-Shad cities and bombarding them before returning to get more troops. On one of these sorties to Surkiln, the Rorgon, flagship of the Orchish Empire's air force, came over the city and deployed crack units from the Feloren. Aboard this vessel was none other than Emperor Blac'drugulois. The sight of this flagship inspired the city's defenders. As a result the attackers suffered heavy losses.
The Rorgon then began blasting the attackers with full broad-sides. The smoke from the cannons became so thick that the guns quit firing for lack of visibility. During this time, the Rorgon were attacked by a flight of dragons under Drog'paagol's command. The first pass of these fifteen dragons caused so much damage to the vessel that it was forced into a hard landing into contested battle lines. A massive battle then begun around the Rorgon. So many bodies and blood were spilled around the ship that getting to it resulted in trampling the wounded and those that were slipping and falling in the pools of spilled blood. Drog'paagol then entered the vessel with his three top henchmen - a Rikhirra, a death hag and a malebranche. This group made their way through the fighting in the ship and came upon Emperor Blac'drugulois. An epic melee then ensued with the lich Drog'paagol losing an arm and a leg, and the death of all three of his henchmen. The Emperor of the Orchish Empire was killed by a Black Fire spell as he prepared to deliver a killing blow to the lich.
On learning of the death of their emperor, Surkiln's defenders began a retreat that quickly turned into a rout. These retreating forces were wiped out by Drog'paagol's dragons. The siege of Surkiln resulted in horrendous losses for both sides. In two months of combat, the Orchish Empire lost 85,000 troops and their emperor, 75,000 non-combatants, the Ink-Shad lost 30,000 troops, 5,000 Ink-Shad civilians died from fire bombing of their cities, and the Umahanbad suffered 23,000 killed.
- Siege of Surkiln