Battle of Emridy Meadows
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Large pitched battle in 1187/4, that took place near the village of Hommlet. The battle was fought between an alliance of Norwald, Erindar, Melinarë, and Orrek against a horde of orc, gnoll, and human brigands, led by an Evil Cult from the Temple of Elemental Evil. The cult and its army were defeated and the threat to the region ended.

Prelude


Sometime about 60 years ago in 1187/4, the village of Nulb began to fester with all manner of evil folk, culminating with the founding of the soon infamous Temple of Elemental Evil. Before long local caravans, gnome clans and the neighboring village of Hommlet became easy targets for bandits from that region. Following many years of these simple raids and complacency among the rural folk, matters grew steadily worse by 1187/4. First was the construction of the Moathouse, an outpost east of Hommlet meant for further raids, then agents of Good also discovered that not only was the Temple mustering a small army but that the cult of Elemental Evil was actually under the direction of a powerful demoness.

News of this Evil quickly spread from the Freehold of Norwald to the ears of the kings of Erindar and Orrek. Compelled into the quest, King Heremmer Esuriväe III of Erindar and Viscount Arthos Theed of Norwald left behind their concerns, and promptly called upon thier most pious knights, clerics and their best elite troops to help bring down this dangerous and evil temple. Shortly after crossing the Granite River in the spring of of 1187/4, the host of King Heremmer III joined with waiting contingents summoned from Norwald and Orrek. Accompanying these forces was the wizard Yorag, the lone member of the Circle of Eight to volunteer aid to the cause. Not long after the allied column began their slow march to the southeast they were met by a green-clad host of High-Elves marching north from the Melinar Forest, whose Elf-King had answered the urgent call for aid against the forces of evil.

When the allied forces closed to within a day of the Temple they first encountered the enemy on the open fields several leagues northwest of Hommlet called Emridy Meadows. The bulk of the Temple’s human forces, comprised of mostly mounted bandits, brigands and mercenaries had moved to stall the Allied advance. Elvish scouts then reported that a much larger than expected army of creatures was approaching from the south. Knowing the Temple might empty its entire horde early, Heremmer went with a contingency plan drawn up in council. In an attempt to draw this Horde of Elemental Evil away from any population centers, he ordered the withdrawal of the entire allied column north, to a strategic position near the east bank of the Granite River, on the grassy rolling hills of Emridy Meadows. Outnumbering their foes by more than three to one and eager for their first combat victory in the region, the Horde of Elemental Evil predictably pursued the allied forces west onto their prepared positions.

The Battle


It was at dawn when the horde was roused early from their rest by the baleful horns of the allies preparing their formations for battle. The packed ranks of the allied contingents were arrayed so that on the right flank, the 1,000 pike-men of Norwald stood fast against the banks of the Granite River, while at the center were displayed the bright blue banners of 1,000 Erindari cavalry led by King Heremmer himself, and a force of 2,000 infantry led by his son, Prince Hatharon. Finally, on the allied left were deployed an iron phalanx of 1,500 dwarves of Orrek, with about 500 elvish archers of Melinarë positioned strategically behind.

The Horde of Elemental Evil was comprised of two forces. On the hordes’ left flank rode 500 human cavalry and 1,000 infantry made up of bandits and evil mercenaries, with little experience in warfare beyond raiding lightly defended caravan trains. To the bandit’s right was a much larger force of humanoid infantry, a host of 5,000 orcs drawn from the dark forests to the southeast and even the very depths of the Underdark. Also among them howled frenzied warbands of gnolls some 1,000 strong.

With reckless abandon the cultist officers commanded their human cavalry ranks to engage the right flank and center of the allied forces, not that the rabble of orcs and gnolls gave them much choice. The majority of the Horde immediately charged the allied left flank once they saw the shields and heard the taunts of their traditional dwarven enemies. The enraged mass of orcs and gnolls was allowed to push back the heavily armored dwarvish ranks in a clever attempt to encircle the rest of the evil army. Heremmer’s pikemen and screening cavalry also allowed the charging bandit cavalry to penetrate their line leaving them between the bend of the Granite River and packed in with the encircled mass of screaming orcs and gnolls.

This of course sprung the trap planned by King Heremmer. At once the whole allied army pivoted counter-clockwise to encircle the entire Horde in this pocket. As Heremmer’s knights quickly turned to counter-attack the main orcish body from the rear, 1,000 fresh elvish infantry came charging from hidden reserve to close the killing gap. With their backs to the river, and pressed up against an impenetrable iron wall of dwarf-shields, the Horde of Elemental Evil was soon in disarray. Soon, deadly elvish arrows felled their mounted human officers and thereafter the horde was completely routed. While most fought to the death, scattered groups did manage to break out of the allied lines only to be hunted down or drowned in flight. Only about 500 survivors managed to flee back to the Temple as messenger of coming doom. It is said that along the east banks of the Granite River, the dead orcs were piled like cord-wood, sometimes to an impressive height.

After the field was won, King Heremmer wasted little time in rallying his weary troops and collecting their fallen. The most storied among those slain at Emridy was Yorag of the Circle of eight, who fell during the final moments of the battle zealously defending the Prince to his last breath. This would later be a major loss to the allies’ plans for their next phase in the campaign, the siege of the Temple of Elemental Evil.

Aftermath


News of the victory at Emridy Meadows spread fast to Hommlet, the first evidence coming as strange men dressed in ochre robes were sighted running through the village in panic. The Temple of Elemental Evil lay within a couple days march for the allied host. Their coming emboldened the local villagers and farmers, knowing the end of the Temple were at hand. The allied forces, having met no resistance on their march were refreshed and well supplied once they finally laid siege to the walled fortress of the Temple. Inside the cult of Elemental Evil futilely held out with a scant garrison of troops, falling within a fortnight as the army threw down the upper works of their fortress just short of damaging the central Temple itself. Only a few of the vile leaders of the Temple managed to escape, and it is said these vengeful individuals were later to blame for the sudden death of Heremmer in 1197/4.

Fearing a raid on the dungeons of the profane Temple would be too costly given the presence of a major demoness (Zuggtmoy), King Heremmer Esuriväe III summoned all his mages and clerics to cooperate in creating great seals to bind this evil within the deepest parts of her own dungeon. Four pairs of large bronze doors starting with the Grand Entrance of the Temple were each bound with heavy iron chains and their seams filled with softened metal. Lastly runes were carved into the bronze portals bearing abjurations of arcane and holy power. With the final spells in place Evil was contained at last, but in the following years, agents of the Grey Watchers would remain nearby to keep an eye on the Temple for its inevitable resurgence.

Nearly inconsequential during the siege of the Temple, the raiders’ Moathouse was the last piece to fall before Yorag’s quest was complete. While the Erindari King oversaw the binding of the Temple, he sent a splinter force with their leftover siege machines to take the small outpost. Remarkably a mob of villagers from Hommlet, long terrorized by the evils of this place, joined in to help surround and raze the Moathouse.

By the end of the battle, over 7,000 orcs, gnolls, and evil men of temple horde lay slain. Over 2,000 allied warriors were also killed. The bodies of fallen men of Erindar and Norwald were then buried together with dwarves of Orrek and elves of Melinar in a symbol of unity.

There was no shortage of heroes at the Battle of Emridy Meadows. Viscount Arthos Theed of Norwald attained fame for his part in commanding the campaign. His fortune and gratitude was shown to Hommlet through the construction of a temple to Berevrom and the beginnings of a walled castle bestowed upon Burne the wizard and his friend the warrior Rufus, both veterans of Emridy. King Heremmer's son, Prince Hatharon also won renown leading several Erindari charges and defeating an orc champion single-handedly on the banks of the Granite River. Another fighter earning fame at Emridy Meadows was Rikard Damaris; who lost a finger on his left hand and suffered a wound that left him the distinctive triangular scar on his face. Rikard would later return to the Temple of Elemental Evil with the opportunistic Wizard Cornelius Pentagard to help plunder its dungeons and earn enough to retire as the owner of the popular Green Dragon Inn in Redmark. And brave Yorag was given a grandiose funeral service in Redmark, attended by many who fought with him at Emridy.

Ironically, also in attendance were all his former companions from the disbanded Circle of Eight whom for their own selfish reasons, had failed to take part in the most historic battle of the century.