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The Battle of Shadows was a major battle during the Reconquest of the Shadowlands campaign, between High Elf defenders and Dark Elf assailants.[1a]

Occurring after the Blooded Shores, the battle began during the earliest hour of morning till the end of dawn.[1b]

The Hidden Camp

Time and time again, the plans of the Witch King had been foiled because of the Shadow Warriors who tirelessly patrol the plains and hills of Nagarythe. But this time the Dark Elves were led by a general who knew all their secrets, including the locations of their hidden camps. Kaldor knew that he had to eliminate the Shadow Warriors' main camp, or else his supply lines would be continually harassed and his main force would never be safe from ambushes. In addition these troublesome meddlers could warn his accursed brother of his approach to early, robbing him of the element of surprise.[1a]

Kaldor sent Caldath the Black, the master of Karond Kar, to deal with the Shadow Warriors. He bid the master of the Poison Sword to rid him of all the Shadow Warriors or die trying. Caldath readily agreed. He had long wanted to test his mettle against the vaunted skills of the Shadow Warriors. Now he had his chance. Caldath gathered his flock of assassins, scouts and Dark Riders, and under the shadows of the night he marched to the hills of Adran.[1a]

Kaldor's plan might have easily succeeded had not the Dark Elf force been observed by the Great Eagles that still soared over the Shadowlands watching for intruders. One of them, Khaltar, the Wind Lord, surveyed the black-cloaked Dark Elves and immediately sped to warn the Shadow Warrior camp.[1a]

The warning came at the very last minute. The camp was almost completely surrounded, and the enemy was fast bearing down upon them. But the Shadow Warriors always slept with their armour on, using their shields as pillows and keeping their weapons to hand, knowing that such a surprise attack was always possible no matter how much they sought to conceal their camp. As soon as the warning cry of Khaltar woke them the camp was on its feet, ready to break out of the trap.[1a]

The Dark Elves, sensing their prey had been alerted to their presence, rushed in to slaughter the High Elves while they were still disorganised. They had numerical superiority and had almost completely surrounded the Shadow Warriors. In the dim light of the morning Caldath scanned the hastily grouping Elves, eager to test his skills against the legendary Shadow Warrior, Alatar. Caldath did not have to wait long. A tall Elf, giving reassuring orders to his troops, stood in the middle of the camp. On his brow was a circlet of silver set with a single starstone. It was Alatar, the Prince of Shadows.[1a]

In Alatar and his Shadow Warriors the Dark Elves had met with a deadly hatred that matched their own. These were the Elves of the northern High Elf kingdoms who had lost everything in the wars against the Naggarothi. In the cold morning steel gleamed as both groups of warriors drew their swords. A grim battle was about to commence.[1a]

Tide of Battle

"The Assassins of Caldath attacked with total determination and utter ruthlessness. They had brought an overwhelming force and were prepared to do anything to wipe out the Shadow Warriors.
Because the High Elf force was split into many small units the Dark Elves, who had brought a much more traditional force, found it hard to wipe out the High Elves altogether.
Considering the advantages that the Dark Elves enjoyed in this battle, it is surprising that any of the High Elves escaped at all.
The High Elves were wise not be drawn into unnecessary battles, and the Great Eagles supported them magnificently. With a little more luck, there was a chance that by sheer heroism of the High Elves, the Dark Elves could have actually lost the battle.
"
Belannaer, the Wise.[1d]

The Shadow Warriors rushed east towards safety, while the rest of the High Elf troops held their ground, fully prepared to sacrifice their lives in order to gain their comrades more time.[1c]

The Prince of Shadows led the delaying troops personally. His bow ended many Dark Elf lives, and for a while it seemed that the Dark Elves would suffer too many casualties to give proper pursuit. But then the Witch Elf regiment coming from the north crushed the archers standing in their way, spreading panic and death. Soon all was chaos as the Dark Elves surged through the Shadow Warrior's camp.[1c]

A small group of Shadow Warriors managed to escape the battle, and headed east, spreading the word of the approaching Dark Elves, gathering their kinsman for the coming struggle. Meanwhile everywhere they could the Dark Elves were slaughtering the High Elves in a series of bitter hand-to-hand combats. The Assassins cut swathes through the High Elf ranks, and the cackling Witch Elves bathed in the blood of the fallen. Alatar, shaking his fist, left the hopeless battle. Swearing his revenge, he disappeared into the shadows of the night. So the battle ended in a Dark Elf victory, but the escaping Shadow Warriors reformed later that day and began mounting lightning raids on Dark Elf supply lines and marching columns. All was not lost yet. The plans of Kaldor had been spoiled, even though victory was his.[1c]


Source

  • 1: Warhammer Fantasy 5th Edition -- Tears of Isha (supplement)
    • 1a: pg. 11
    • 1b: pg. 12
    • 1c: pg. 19
    • 1d: pg. 20

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