Siege of Kal'Valen
The Siege of Kal'Valen (Dwarven: Krazdan eron Kal'Valen) was a six month long siege during the Eighteen Years' War of the Urguanite fortress of Kal'Valen by the Imperial forces of John I, Holy Orenian Emperor and his generals Josef Vladov and Henry Rothesay. The dwarven forces were commanded by Grand Marshal Belegar Ireheart, with the remaining companies of Dunamis mercenaries led by Richard Revlis. The fortress of Kal'Valen was the final dwarven fortress upon the island of Avar, and was the last stronghold preventing the Empire from conquering Avar.
The assault began on the 4th of the Deep Cold, with Vladov ordering the bombardment of the fortress to begin. Multiple volleys from Imperial siege craft struck against the walls of the citadel, forcing Belegar to respond with a torrent of ballistae bolts. Rothesay ordered the Imperial footmen to advance to the first wall as the last of their own siege weapons had been destroyed. Whilst the siege equipment had fallen, a small breach had formed into the inner sanctum of the hold. A few men at arms seized a dwarven catapult at the first wall and commandeered it around to fire at the dwarven hold, there widening the breach.
For a better half of the day, the Imperial infantry worked their way throughout the entrenched defense, but not without taking severe casualties. Footmen cleared floor after floor of dwarven traps while the defenders began to retreat up to the top of the fortress. Archduke d’Amaury became wounded in the close quarters fighting, having to be taken back to the Imperial siege camp with a battered Rothesay quickly following. The dwarves were firmly entrenched in their positions on the roof, and had crossbows trained on every known ladder up to their defense. However, a young footman stumbled upon a previously unknown lift up behind the dwarven position. Imperial forces streamed through the breach to take the fight to the final defenders and forced them back into a small command room at the peak of the fortress but not without losing their final commander to a wound, Baron Vladov.
Without a commander, the last of the Imperial infantry and reserves became disoriented and unsure of how to proceed. Rael Acker, a young man at arms, followed by Fiske Vanir and Hakon Ruric stepped forward to lead the final assault. The 3 men led the final charge into the command post, with Rael braving an alchemist's fire during his feat. Due to the actions of these men, the Imperials were able to claim Kal’Valen and avoid an Imperial defeat.
The Imperial victory at Kal'Valen concluded the Empire's annexation of the Island of Avar, being incorporated into the Empire as the Province of Avar. Despite the victory and the recognition of the Heroes of Kal'Valen, public opinion for the war dropped, caused by the massive losses taken by Imperial forces at the siege. Regardless, Emperor John I would continue his campaign against the Grand Kingdom, ordering generals Josef Vladov and Henry Rothesay to attempt a Siege of Kal'Ordholm.