Siege of Rhewengrad
The Siege of Rhewengrad (Dwarven: Krazdan eron Kal'Rhewen) was a four month long siege during the Eighteen Years' War of the Urguanite fortress of Rhewengrad by the Imperial forces of John I, Holy Orenian Emperor and his generals Josef Vladov and Henry Rothesay. The dwarven forces were commanded by Lord Marshal Belegar Ireheart, with the notable Dunamis presence led by Richard Revlis. The fortress of Rhewengrad was a key fortification for both the Empire and Urguan, having been constructed on order of Grand King Rhewen Frostbeard before the war as a garrison and training facility for the newer dwarves enlisted within Urguan's armies.
Emperor John's campaign against the Grand Kingdom of Urguan had proven to be successful thus far, the decisive victory at White Mountain had routed the majority of the dwarven forces towards Rhewengrad, one of two main fortification preventing any foreign invaders from assaulting the capital city of Kal'Akash. Josef Vladov and Henry Rothesay pursued the routing dwarves, setting up camp on a hill overlooking the fortress. Belegar Ireheart took his army in a defensive position of the nearby hill, with around a fourth of his men garrisoned inside the keep itself. Belegar's requests for reinforcements, however, were denied by the Urguan government, instead bolstering their numbers at the nearby fortress of Kal'Ordholm.
In the Empire, Emperor John had created a blood pact with the orcish warlord Rex Ubba'Ugluk earlier in the war. On the eve of the assault on the fortress, Ubba'Ugluk's host had finally arrived at the encampment, much to the dismay of the dwarven forces.
Dwarven citadels were well known for their defensive capabilities, with many on both the Urguan and Imperial sides doubting an Imperial victory from a direct attack upon Rhewengrad. After nearly four months, starving out of the dwarven occupiers failed as the Imperial army was unsuccessful in cutting off the dwarven supply lines. Fearing eventual reinforcements from the Urguan government, which grew bolder in delivering more supplies to the garrison by the day, Field Marshal Rothesay attempted a quick assault of the castle. At Field Marshal Rothesay's orders, the men pushed their catapults to the rear of the fortress. Once set up, Rothesay ordered the bombardment to begin. The attack came as a surprise to the Urguanian force, who expected the attack to come from the front, and at a much later point in the day. Belegar quickly attempted to rally his forces to begin firing the fortress' ballistas towards the Imperial siege weapons.
The bombardment would continue for several days, with Orenian siege engineers forming a breach through Rhewengrad's walls. As the Imperial lines formed up to charge the breach, cavalrymen led by mercenary Richard Revlis harassed the central Imperial line, threatening the siege before it began. Athirius Roke fought off the dwarven cavalry with a detachment of Imperial horsemen, successfully beating back the marauders at the cost of his own life.
Belegar had used the mercenaries as a distraction, buying time for his own force to sally out of the keep and form their ranks opposite of the Imperials at the base of the hill. The orcish forces were first to engage the dwarven line, and despite heavy bombardment from dwarven archers and alchemist fire, caused a rout of the dwarven forces. In an effort to plug the gap formed from the rout, Belegar pulled men from his right flank, expecting the river running alongside his lines to prevent any flanking maneuver from the Imperials. Rothesay, however, ordered his wood elven auxiliaries to fire on the right flank, severely weakening its strength. Josef Vladov, at this time a captain under Rothesay's command, then took command of a regiment of Imperial infantry and charged the diminished flank, causing the dwarves to rout near immediately. The charging infantry clashed with the already weakened center of Belegar's lines, and one by one, dwarven companies began to retreat. Belegar, seeing that the situation had fallen out of hand, ordered a withdrawal back to the stronghold of Khro’Nogaak, the Iron Mountain.
The Imperial Army took much fewer casualties than had initially been expected. Much of this was attributed to Josef Vladov's skill as a commander, making him a favorite of Emperor John I. News of the victory spread throughout the Empire, and hundreds of fresh recruits replenished the losses taken by the army. Rothesay would garrison the captured fortress with a hundred Imperial soldiers, and begin preparations for the siege of Khro'Nogaak.