Battle of Hoar Hill
The Battle of Hoar Hill, also known as the Siege of Jarnstrand (Dwarven: Krazdan eron Jarnstrand), was a two month long siege during the Eighteen Years' War of the Urguanite fortress of Jarnstrand by the Imperial forces of John I, Holy Orenian Emperor and his generals Josef Vladov and Henry Rothesay. The Urguanian defenders were commanded by Lord Marshal Belegar Ireheart, with Richard Revlis leading the remnants of the initial Dunamian mercenaries. Jarnstrand was one of two dwarven strongholds on the island of Avar, and the first of the dwarven fortresses on the island to fall to the Imperials.
The engagement at Cape Bronson had been a resounding Imperial success. General Joseph Vladov and the recently returned Lord Henry Rothesay docked their landing craft near Seahelm, eager to continue their conquest of the Grand Kingdom. The Imperial engineer corps under Duke John of Carnatia had erected a bulwark upon the Hoar Hill, with Archduke Augustus' force of 5,000 Lorrainian levymen bolstering the Imperial army. Kovacs was able to construct massive wooden siege towers, along with a multitude of trebuchets and other siege craft. Under Emperor John I's orders, Rothesay began an assault of the fortress of Jarnstrand.
Preceded by a hail of boulders and other ammunition, the Imperial infantry advanced to prepare for a general assault on the fortress of Jarnstrand. The dwarven garrison responded with a volley of stones, eviscerating the siege tower, much to the dismay of Kovacs. After half a day of bombardment, a rock connected with the last remaining siege engine on the Urguanite stronghold. With all the enemy engines destroyed, Kovacs ordered the engineer corps to shift their volleys to the structure itself.
Elven skirmishers formed up before the main Imperial infantry, sending hundreds of projectiles at Urguanian defenders who left themselves exposed. A first breach was formed at the back of the holding by the Imperial siege weapons. In response, Belegar rushed his legionnaires to seal the breach in case of an attack, leaving only Dunamis mercenaries to hold the front. Kovacs ordered that the siege engines now hit the Eastern side of the holdfast, and soon after, a new breach had formed.
Rothesay ordered that Courlander and Istrian soldiers be moved to the first breach at the back of Jarnstrand, forcing Ireheart to keep his legionnaires stationed there. He then directed that Carnatian and Lorrainer forces storm through the second breach at the side. The Dunamis mercenaries, undermanned and depleted, fought bravely before being overwhelmed by the Imperial footmen. Belegar saw the situation was beginning to spin out of control and ordered the retreat of the remaining legionnaires to the more defensible citadel of Kal’Valen. A small force of exiled snow elves was left to defend the fortress whilst the rest of the army retreated, and was slaughtered to the last man.
Casualties were fewer than expected on the Imperial side, increasing morale among the Imperials. Emperor John I took control of the south western side of the island, leaving Kal'Valen as the last dwarven stronghold remaining on Avar. With both the Urguanite navy and its army routed or regrouping, Imperial reinforcements were able to reach the island without harassment. Rothesay would continue his march onward, beginning the siege of Kal'Valen.