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The Battle for Eagle Pass is the third violent clash between the Dark Elves of Karond Kar and the High Elves of House Coraith, a battle whose outcome would decide whether the defenders could hold long enough for Calaidan to assemble his troops and prepare his battle line.[1a]

Overview

The main Dark Elf force executed a lightning march over the Plains of Twilight, while their scouts made diversionary attacks to draw away the attentions of High Elf patrols. Kaldor marched straight towards the hidden mansion of House Coraith. He knew that his hated brother was mustering his forces by now, ready to march out to meet him. If he could strike swiftly enough he could catch the High Elves unaware, while they were still gathering their forces in the hidden vale.[1a]

There was still on more obstacle for Kaldor to overcome. The fortified mansion of House Coraith was hidden high in the Hills of Dusk, and there was only one pass through the jagged hills. The pass was hidden from view by powerful enchantments and protected by magical gates that could not be opened by force.[1a]

But Kaldor knew the secret password that was needed to open the gateway. His scouts murdered the guardians of the gate with poisoned barbs shot from their crossbows, and Kaldor uttered the three words that were needed to open the gate. Thus the way to the hidden vale of House Coraith was open to the Dark Elves.[1a]

Kaldor knew that the pass would be heavily defended, and capable of warning the forces of House Coraith of impending doom. His carefully planned treachery could still be undone. The High Elves might still be alerted to his presence too soon.[1a]

Deciding to organise his main force first, Kaldor sent all of his fastest and most powerful troops to overrun the High Elf defences as quickly as possible. If he could wipe out the High Elf garrison of Eagle Pass quickly he would completely surprise the assembled host of his hated brother and utterly crush them, finally reclaiming his rightful domain.[1a]

The Shield Wall

When Imrallion the Steadfast, Captain of the Eagle Pass garrison, saw the Dark Elf force rushing in from the hills he knew that he and his men were doomed. If he retreated, the Spawn of Naggaroth would catch his lord unaware and surely crush his unprepared troops. The families of the warriors would perish as well. Imrallion sent the fastest of his soldiers to carry the warning to Lord Calaidan, and then prepared his men for a battle that was surely lost before it had even started.[1a]

Soon the Elven shield wall was stretched across the entire pass. The Elves had inscribed their names in moonrunes in the cliffside, so even though they would perish, they would be remembered by their kinsmen. Then they turned to face their foes, for the Dark Elves were upon them. The High Elves faced a far more superior force and they had no hope of survival. Even the advance force was twice as strong as the entire Elf contingent at Eagle Pass.[1a]

When Imrallion took his position at the head of his valiant troops, the High Elf warriors began to beat their shields with their weapons. "For House Coraith and Lord Calaidan!" cried Imrallion's son Yercion who stood in the first rank of the furthers regiment. The battle-cry was picked up by other warriors. Soon the air was full of the challenge of the High Elves. They were doomed, but would hold for as long as they could, buying time for their families to escape the clutches of the vile Dark Elves and for their comrades to prepare for the forthcoming battle.[1a]

The Tide of Battle

"It was a wise decision to send the maximum number of reinforcements to this battle, for the narrow pass prevented the Dark Elves from using their superior numbers to the full. The Witch Elves might be some of the most potent fighters of the known world, but they lacked the armour to stop the High Elf spears and arrows and died in droves. Imrallion's will and determination kept the defence going even when it was evident that all was lost.
This battle would be remembered in the songs of the High Elf minstrels for a long time to come. The defenders might all be dead, but they would live forever in the memories of their kinsmen.
"
Belannaer, the Wise.[1c]The legend of the defence of Eagle Pass has survived, because one of the defenders, Tiacan of Cothique, lived through that terrible battle. He was knocked unconscious and buried under a mound of bodies. The Dark Elves, in their haste, failed to behead all of the corpses (as is their way after battle) but marched immediately against Calaidan. Thus the heroic deeds of Imrallion and his men live on in the memories of their kinsmen.[1c]

Under the steady eyes of Imrallion, the High Elves formed a classic battle line with alternating units of Archers and Spearmen. When the Dark Elves showered them with steel-edged death, and concentrating their fire on the lightly-armoured Witch Elves, they managed to cause significant casualties. But the Dark Elf host was too numerous to be stopped by archery alone. The Dark Elves pressed onwards, without pausing to fire any of their own barbed bolts in response.[1c]

Imrallion stood at the first rank of his fellow warriors who had served under him in the Lothern Sea Guard. Their ranks of spears deterred the first Dark Elf attack but then his regiment was engaged by the Witch Elves. A desperate and merciless battle raged as Malida personally challenged Imrallion to single combat. Around them the maniac Witch Elves fought against the disciplined ranks of the Sea Guard. Even though many Witch Elves died, the pressure of numbers soon turned the battle against the valiant High Elves.[1c]

On Imrallion's left and right, the Dark Elves pressed their attack home. Many High Elves died, but not before dozens of Dark Elves had joined them. Inevitably, the Dark Elves began to gain the upper hand.[1c]

Finally only Imrallion stood against the might of the dark spawn. With a cry of desperation, he struck Malida and the evil Hag Queen, intoxicated by the battle, gave no thought for defence, and suddenly found herself on her knees, blood pouring from a mortal wound. Imrallion turned to face the rest of the Witch Elves, and four more died before he was finally struck from behind. Thus the battle ended, for no other High Elves opposed the Naggarothi anymore.[1c]

Source

  • 1: Warhammer 5th Edition -- Tears of Isha (supplement)
    • 1a: pg. 13
    • 1b: pg. 14
    • 1c: pg. 21

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