Siege of the Iron Mountain
The Siege of the Iron Mountain (Dwarven: Krazdan eron Khro'Nogaak) was a five month long siege during the Eighteen Years' War of the Urguanite fortress of Khro'Nogaak by the Imperial forces of John I, Holy Orenian Emperor and his generals Josef Vladov and Henry Rothesay. The dwarven defenders were commanded by Grand Marshal Belegar Ireheart, alongside Richard Revlis, commander of the Dunamis mercenary group. Khro'Nogaak was the final fortification standing in the Empire's path towards the capital, Kal'Akash, making it a key defensive point for the Grand Kingdom.
Boasting two decisive victories against the Urguanian army, Emperor John I continued onwards in his conquest of the Grand Kingdom. Next in the Imperials' eyes was the fortification of Khro'Nogaak, the final fortress that safeguarded the capital. As before, Fieldmarshal Rothesay had his men make camp to the East of the castle, setting up fortifications to surround the mountain. The dwarven command, under the leadership of Belegar Ireheart and Richard Revlis, was able to keep a supply train open from the capital, and forced an Imperial assault of the keep.
On the 15th of the Grand Harvest, Fieldmarshal Rothesay ordered the bombardment of Khro'Nogaak to commence. Vander mercenaries, operating the siege works, beset the fortress with hundreds of shots. Rothesay kept up the bombardment for several days, and the eastern side of the fortress began to crumble down. The rocks formed a steep ramp, difficult to scale but possible, for the Imperials to storm the fortress. Belegar moved his archers and alchemists to the breach, and peppered any Imperial attempts to breach with a mass of alchemist's fire and arrows. Determining that another entry point was needed, Vladov took a squadron of siege engineers, as well as a regiment of infantry, and moved around the fortress to the Western side where dwarven defenses were much weaker than on the east.
As the smaller detachment of Imperial forces made their way around the keep, a squadron of bloodied Dunamian mercenaries, led by Richard Revlis, sallied out of the keep, charging Vladov's force. Rothesay sent companies in support and the horsemen were driven back into the fort with heavy losses. Seeing a perceived moment of weakness, Rothesay ordered finally ordered an assault up the rubble. Unbeknownst to Imperial commanders, Khro'Nogaak had received a much larger garrison than Rhewengrad had, causing the Urguanian force to outnumber the Imperials by thousands. As Imperial infantry began the perilous ascent towards the eastern breach, they found that the dwarven numbers were much larger than expected, and thousands were killed on the path up to the keep. After successive failed charges and many casualties, Vladov and Rothesay ordered a retreat back to Cascadia.
The battle at Khro’Nogaak was a decisive event in the war. It had been the last fort defending the capital of the Grand Kingdom, and the successful dwarven defense protected the Urguanian heartlands from pillage and eliminated the threat to the capital. In Cascadia, Emperor John I ordered his army to wait at Rhewengrad, in the event of a dwarven counterattack. No such attack occurred. The defeat, however, was a stark reminder for the Imperials that Urguan was not easily broken. Emperor John I, after much consideration, ordered the Imperial Fleet be rallied and their course was set for Avar.