Battle of Nireth Cove

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Nireth Cove

Date: September 17th, 75 Pre-Orcish Destruction (P.O.D.)

Combatants: T'Nanshi-Galdosian Alliance/Dobrekan

Commanders: Warmaster Solerion Rinthon/High Marshall Dvalnek Shakar

Strength: 44,000/52,000 (20,000 Reinforcements)

Casualties: 1,932/32,800(est.) + 12,000 captured

Background

While forces under the command of Solerion Rinthon had begun expunging orcish troops from the nation of T'Nanshi as early as 87 P.O.D. through his victory at Firiath Dru'El and his defense of Le'Or T'Nanshi in 80 P.O.D., Dobrekanian forces had again by 75 P.O.D. reinforced their numbers and maintained control of the eastern coast of T'Nanshi through careful transportation of forces by sea.

Rather than expel the orcish presence, the Council of Nine was content with containing Dobrekanian forces to the east coast, instead focusing their attention upon the Galdosian border which had seen the brunt of Malekian attacks of giant-kin during this period. Rinthon however, argued that allowing the orcs unrestrained access to the coast would only serve to invite a second offensive against the capital of Le'Or T'Nanshi, adding particular emphasis to the fact that the elves had only barely defended their capital just five years prior.

Given a combined force of elven, dwarven, half-elven, human and fey forces cobbled together from spare regiments, Rinthon set out to retake or at least burn the shipping in Nireth Cove to prevent orcish reinforcements from filtering in. What followed was the culmination of the first quarter century of the Great War.

The Battle

The battle of Nireth Cove began in earnest on the morning of the 17th. Hidden by the early-morning fog, a small contingent of roughly two hundred elven and dryad volunteers lead by Eiras Ju'Lel slowly made their way towards the coast, setting a small array of magic-assisted traps in the vein of enchanted trees and spying posts. Satisfied that this work would be complete, Ju'Lel and his infiltrators made their way to a ridge from which they would harass and confuse the methods of communication within the orcish line.

Meanwhile Rinthon had gathered his dwarven brigades to the center, placing his two companies of arcane archers to their flanks with his remaining woodsmen placed on the further flanks to prevent Malekian goblinoid worg riders from outflanking the vulnerable archers. The final contingent of half-elves and humans were roughly equally divided, consisting of light cavalry and infantry reserves along with the dwarves. In all Rinthon had under his command eight thousand dwarves, twelve thousand elves, nearly fourteen thousand half-elven/human volunteers and ten thousand assorted fey: primarily dryads and pixies. Flanking the dwarves with ranged weaponry and forces meant that Rinthon risked opening the center of his line to collapse, however it also meant that his strongest cavalry units and the somewhat hardier contingent of half-elves and humans would be available as a flanking unit with which to surround the orcish forces.

High Marshall Shakar in the mean time had assembled his forces near the coast, confident that his approaching reinforcements from Dobrekan could help offset any territory advantages held by the elves. Unlike the racially diverse elven legions, Shakar's forces consisted primarily of orcs mixed between barbarian front liners and wizards. Of his assembled fifty thousand, a full forty five thousand were orcish with roughly three thousand wizards mixed within the infantry lines. Shakar's ace in the hole for this battle were the thousand strong legion of hill giant phalanxes which he placed in the center of his formation, rightfully confident that these forces would flatten any "twig-elf" defensive lines Rinthon could draw. With the center forces consisting of giants, he placed his heaviest mages and infantry along the wings, finally filling his flanks with worg-rider light cavalry and heavy war-chariots. His plan was conventional and solid if not brilliant and against the expected hodgepodge militia it was understandable that Shakar would not have adopted more forward tactics as Rinthon. A force of twenty thousand reinforcements, including the finest orcish cavalry units was expected to arrive from Dobrekan the same day, giving Shakar confidence that so long as he kept a numeric parity in losses, the eventual reinforcements would win him the day.

As the sun reached its zenith, Rinthon was said to have given his famous order: "The gods have given us a duty, let us fulfill it."(The historical accuracy of this line is suspect, though recent records unearthed by Aratelda Rinthon suggest that he did indeed give this line albeit as part of a much longer stream of orders.) Despite the patch work nature of their forces, the combined alliance army marched in almost perfect unison to the tune of a band of O'Ma nymphs and Titanean korreds, a remarkable achievement if taken in context of the deeply divisive fey hostilities.

The first volley of fire came two hours later, as the arcane archer companies opened fire with silence imbued arrows towards the lines of orcish forces. The organization of orcs with their integrated caster/infantry forces made for a confusing spectacle as dozens of infantrymen fell from pin-point arrows, as the orcish wizards casting retaliatory fireballs were blanketed in silence. By the time the wizards realized what had happened and attempted to communicate what to do with the imbued arrows, it was too late. A second barrage of arrows, this time imbued with fireballs, followed by a barrage of un-countered fey magic erupted in the middle of the orcish lines, cutting down several legions of orcs in the short space of ten minutes. As the wings of the orcish army collapsed, the giant kin phalanxes continued forward, stepping over their fallen comrades before being stopped by a virtual wall of dwarven defenses.

True to Rinthon's plan, the dwarves were able to stem the tide of giants long enough for his elven contingent to rain down arrows upon the giant-kin cutting a swath through their lines, as the mobile units assigned to the half-elven commander Karryn Ly'eint quickly dispatched the goblinoid riders. The pixie contingent at this point began raining down additional spells, further cutting into the orcish lines.

Attempts from Shakar to reorganize his lines and press into the archer ranks with his cavalry were cut short through Eiras' actions, his small force and traps cutting down nearly a thousand chariots attempting to regroup into a mobile spearhead. The dryads in particular are credited with taking decisive action, manipulating various trees into throwing obstacles into the path of incoming chariots. Guided by these trees Ly'eint's cavalry quickly encircled and began to converge against the surrounded orcish troops in one of the earliest examples of pincer tactics employed in large scale warfare.

By late afternoon the half-elven forces had been able to finish their flanking maneuvers, completely enveloping the remaining orcish forces. With their command structure in chaos, the Dobrekanian army was unable to mount an organized retreat. In the midst of this confusion, Shakar's long awaited reinforcements arrived and began attempting a beachhead landing, grounding their galleys onto the shore in groups of four or five vessels. Each attempt at landing was repulsed by massed arrow fire and steadfast pike men of the half-elven contingent, as the dwarves and elves continued to press home their pincer of Shakar's forces. The fading light of dusk brought a band of nixie reinforcements from the north along with elven sailing vessels from the south, a maneuver that finally prompted the orcish fleet to withdraw.

The flag upon the Dobrekanian fort was hauled roughly at sunset the same day, Rinthon's forces quickly taking the remains of its garrison forces and reestablishing elven control along the entirety of the T'Nanshi coastline. Of the roughly sixty thousand orcs who participated in the battle over thirty thousand were listed as casualties including Marshall Shakar who wound up being trampled by a company of retreating hill giants. A further ten thousand orcs and goblinoids were taken captive, including two full battalions from captured troop ships. Rinthon's forces in comparison got off relatively lightly, the brunt of losses being among the dwarven contingent, who lost roughly eight hundred of their number (including their commander Brigadier Lagnar Flameforge) and the half-elven/human contingent who took approximately five hundred casualties holding the beach from Dobrekanian reinforcements.

Aftermath

The losses suffered by Dobrekan at the battle of Nireth Cove effectively eliminated any threat they posed to the nations of southern Avlis while presenting a long term set-back in Dobrekanian internal affairs. The depletion of army numbers during this period would eventually lead to a shortage of armed personnel when the human and elven populations within Dobrekan would rebel, destabilizing an already deteriorating situation.

Further the lack of a permanent orcish presence within T'Nanshi proper allowed for the elven army to move their formerly defensive forces garrisoned near Le'Or to fortify and relieve the frontlines near Galdos, reinforcing a numeric advantage to almost overwhelming proportions.

Finally the captives taken in this battle would have a longer historical impact. Given the sheer number of enemy prisoners, the elven and dwarven commanders eventually sent these prisoners of war to a penal colony on the west coast of Avlis. It was the small rag-tag settlement of soldiers that would eventually form the foundations of the [{Brekon(City)|city of Brekon]], creating a fortified locale that would be the Dobrekanian's last stand.

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