In 1214 IC (IX, 93), the High Elf stronghold of Tol Ista, a treaty port on the west coast of Estalia was besieged by a large warband of marauding Orcs and Goblins. These were the remnants of tribes driven out of Bretonnia and which had taken refuge in the rugged mountains of Estalia, led by Bruza da Big. A desperate attempt to sally out was repulsed and the Orcs captured the Elven banner. The surviving Elves fled back within the walls and were so greatly outnumbered that they prepared to abandon the port and sail away across the sea where the Orcs could not follow. At that moment a message was received from a carrier hawk. This said that an Elven force, led by Prince Ethwar was on its way to relieve the stronghold and was only one day's march away. The besieged Elves sent back the hawk with another message telling Ethwar that they would hold out for one more day and then abandon the stronghold.[1a]

Ethwar pressed on to reach the stronghold, knowing that if he failed to break through the Orcs and Goblins, the garrison would have no option but to abandon it and save the ships and whatever else they could. Carrying aloft the Elf banner, which he had set alight as a burning beacon for his troops to follow, Bruza deployed his army on rising ground behind a stream so as to block the Elven advance, the flanks of the Greenskin's position being protected by boggy ground. On the highest point he planted the Elven banner where it could be seen by the besieged and the relieving force as a taunt to Elven pride. Thus the engagement became known as the Battle of the Burned Banner.[1a]

The Orcs and Goblins began shooting at the advancing Elves as they struggled to form up a battle line. Ethwar's force was mainly cavalry and being sorely pressed for time, as well as enraged at the sight of the burned banner, recklessly charged the strongly held Orc and Goblin positions. Despite a timely attack along the Orcs' flank by the garrison of Tol Ista, the difficult approaches and massed formations of the Orcs and Goblins took a heavy toll on the Elves until the Elven army eventually recoiled and fled in confusion. As the sun set in the west, the last Elves of Tol Ista put to sea under cover of night and abandoned the stronghold, which was sacked by Bruza da Big the next day.[1a]


  • 1: Warhammer Fantasy Core (7th Edition)
    • 1a: pg. 205

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