|Invasion of Zul'Aman|
|Date: Year 31 AP|
|Place: Zul'Gamni, Northern Province of Zul'Aman|
|Outcome: Decisive Bleeding Eye Victory|
|Commanders and Leaders:|
Lord Izulde Netherstar
5,000 Sunguard Oathsworn
12,000 Amani Trolls
|Casualties and Losses:|
All troll ground forces raised to undeath
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The Invasion of Zul’Aman was a major territorial conflict between the Sin’dorei of the southern province of the Emberlight and the northern reaches of Zul'Aman known as Zul’Gamni. This series of battles took place in the summer of Year 31 following the final stages of the Siege of Orgrimmar. Both wars were unrelated. The confrontation included a counter offensive of Sin’dorei armies and their allies against the Amani and Zandalari trolls. Ultimately, a necromantic coven was revealed to have orchestrated the war to produce a sizeable number of dead soldiers to bolster their armies.
Following the Invasion of the Emberlight, the Sin’dorei armies of House Netherstar, House Blacksun, and the Sunguard, reached out to multiple allies to defeat the commanders of the combined trollish army. This involved reaching out to the high elven enclave Quel’Athillien and hiring three hundred mercenaries in the Alizarin Company. The invasion would include a large naval invasion into the great swamp called the Diremoor, which served as the only suitable shoreline that the elven host could land. From there the thalassian armies would face a steep and costly march into the ziggurat cities of the Amani trolls.In preparation for the invasion, the Archon Felthier Truefeather gathered a great number of dragonhawks to provide aerial support. This was advised knowing that the Diremoor would tremendously slow the advance of the Sin’dorei army. The dragonhawk regiments were led by Dawnward Raserus Tal’therin and Lightward Isuelte Illythen to great effect and limited the ability that the trolls to harass the thalassian regiments.
The main support of the invasion was the Crimson Fleet, a private navy of House Truefeather, birthed from Sundial Anchorage. This mostly merchant fleet was retrofitted into transport ships and smaller frigates. The fleet had proven to vitally effective against the mighty Zandalari and Amani navy that had clashed with them during the Battle of Dawnbreaker Anchorage.
With the stage set, the Archon gave the command to launch the invasion. This was one of the largest military campaigns between the nation of Quel’Thalas and Zul'Aman since the Troll Wars.
Battle of Diremoor:Edit
In order to launch the invasion in earnest, the Crimson Fleet needed to establish a beachhead in the swamps of the Diremoor. There a small force of the Amani fleet waited to rebuke the elven invaders. The bay that the Sunguard had chosen to make their camp was small and could only occupy three at a time. Three elven transport ships approached, carrying with them a cargo of horses, dragonhawks, and siege weaponry.
The battle took place through various stages, from the ship’s deck; elven crews fired their bolt throws at the Zandalari vessels. The trolls returned fire and sent small crafts full of warriors to board the elven fleet. While their navy was able to sink the three enemy destroyers, the trolls themselves were able to sink the transport ship carrying the elven siege weapons, which led to the drowning of the high elves aboard. This forced Lady Rennali Sunwhisper to quit the campaign and further deprived the Sunguard force of their expert scouts and troll-hunters.
The Bleeding Temple:Edit
As the main army of the elves continued to advance into Zul’Gamni, Sunward Telchis Truefeather joined his uncle Izulde Netherstar in a small armed skirmish at a large lone ziggurat named the Bleeding Temple. While this battle was short and victorious for the elves, the Zandalari and Amani High Priests were able to evade the brunt of the elven force. The remaining defenders fought for the better part of a day until they were finally subdued. It was at the Bleeding Temple that the Sunguard discovered the Amani trolls’ impressive ability to regenerate their wounds. Large pools of blood were determined to be the life essences of a large serpent loa, in which the trolls bathed to expedite the healing process.
This discovery put to light the extreme measures the Amani trolls took to win this war. Such a sacrilegious action has been seen during the collapse of the Drakkari Empire from the Scourge. It was suspected that slaying their own gods must have been due to the influence of the Zandalari Warlords that commanded the forest trolls. This was also seen in Zul’Gurub and in the southern parts of Zul’Aman.
Felthier Truefeather had dispatched Ranger-Captain Vaelrin Firestorm and his pathfinders into the massive fortress of Zul’Gamni, a series of ascending ziggurats that separated the Diremoor and Amani Hinterlands. The Pathfinders departed at night and were able to infiltrate the fortress, where they discovered that many previously captured Sunguard were being sacrificed in rituals to a mysterious hooded magician.
Among those captured was a tanari pirate captain named Silas Blackheart, whose crew seemed to have been captured in the South Sea and was carried as prisoners into Zul’Aman. Only 30 then remained of a crew numbering 120. Freeing them, Vaelrin demanded that Silas assist the Pathfinders in finding a weakness in the fortress, and living up to her word, Silas showed them a highly exploitable way into the fortress.
Battle of Zul’Gamni:Edit
Returning with the news found in their scouting mission, the pathfinders plotted a map for the elven army to take in their eventual assault on the trollish fortress. Without their siege weapons, the Sunguard army would be forced to attack weaker points in the Amani defenses. There were few, but the most glaring one was a system of canals and drainage pipes. Highlord Arandur Brightsword led the Sunguard army against a roving band of amani berserkers.
Deployed for the first time against the elven host was a massive wing detachment of trollish bat riders. They descended upon the Sunguard army with mounts the size of gryphons, which Raserus Tal’therin and Iseulte Illythen rebuffed with a battalion of dragonhawk riders. While the Sunguard forces battled the trolls on the ground, they fought the creatures in the air, and the once-mighty fortress of Zul’Gamni was brought to ruin. In the battle’s wake, the Sunguard forces were approached by a tribe of trolls that seemed to oppose their perceived brethren. They had been imprisoned, and like the other elves were being sacrificed in blood rituals. Agreeing to assist the Sunguard in their campaign against the Zandalari Warlords, Ruk’thal Whitherlimb and his tribe of the same name led the Sunguard forces into their mountain village.
Battling the Twins:Edit
Most major commanders of the trolls’ forces had not been present in any main battle at this stage of the conflict. The elven commanders believed this was due to the trolls’ attempt to sap the strength of the Sin’dorei army. As the trolls continued to lose key battles, they were forced to face the coming reality: they would make a significant push against the elves, or be destroyed. With the sacking of Zul’Gamni, the alliance between forest troll tribes began to splinter, and the Zandalari Warlords knew that only total victory would keep it intact.
War-God Zakruul dispatched his sons Sul and Ruul with their elite warriors of Sacred Spears to assault the Sunguard forces at Whitherlimb Village. They were joined by a hooded man that appeared to be of thalassian heritage, and during the battle, his identity of a necromancer soon came to light. The Sunguard forces outnumbered the trolls by at least double their troops, but the Sacred Spears were able to heavily impair the elven war host. Sul and Ruul were eventually defeated but at great cost. The trolls’ hooded ally then teleported the remaining Sacred Spears to safety. This skirmish would pave the way for the final battle to come.
Slaying the War-God:Edit
The final battle of the invasion was soon to begin. Marshalling all of his available forces, Archon Felthier Truefeather led his forces against the citadel where the Zandalari made their last stand. Though the elven force had last half of their forces from previous battles and attrition, they remained in high spirits. Off the coast of Zul’Aman awaited the Crimson Fleet that would engage the remaining Zandalari and Amani fleet. The Sunguard's goal was to destroy the trolls soundly and end the threats from Zul’Aman.
The battle at the final ziggurat proved to be especially bloody, featured the combined forces of all of the previous warlords in the Invasion of the Emberlight. At the center of the army was the God-Hulk Gorefist and the remaining Sacred Spears of Sul and Ruul. To the flanks, the trolls were supported by the bear cavalry of Zul the Bearheart. Finally, the War-God Zakruul joined the battle personally. The Archon knew that if they failed to be victorious in this final hour, their forces would not be able to make it back to the amani coast alive. For two days the Sin’dorei armies battled their way through the trollish Hinterlands. Finally, on the eve of the second day, they pressed the final formations of the Zandalari Warhost. Many brave companies of Sin’dorei were completely routed in the final battle, but one by one the opposing commanders fell. The Sacred Spears were defeated by a combined effort of the Sunguard Suncasters and Pathfinders, their coordinated fire breaking through the trolls’ holy defenses. On the flanks, the Sunspear Battalion repelled the charge of enemy cavalry with well-placed pike formations.
At the center, where the battle was bloodiest, Raserus Tal’therin slew the God-Hulk Gorefist in combat and claimed the great creature’s head. Left alone, Zak’ruul defeated several thalassian champions in single combat. As a result, however, he was badly wounded and fell victim to the seeking blades of Sunward Esme Sunshard who earned the title of God-Slayer. At sea, the combined navies of Lord Izulde Netherstar and Telchis Truefeathers easily smashed the uncoordinated trollish destroyers. Their battle was easy and with little account. A great roar went out across the Diremoor as the thalassian victors took in their well-earned victory, but it would be for naught. Appearing in the carnage the hooded necromancer made his play.
Being absent for the majority of the final battle, the mysterious figured revealed his hand in the cheering of the elven victory. As he appeared so did phase in a towering necropolis. Empowered by the blood and carnage that the battle had brought, he used the great floating citadel to raise all of the fallen dead. Soon the Sunguard found themselves outnumbered ten to one, fighting their previous fallen brothers. The battle quickly turned into a slaughter and the Archon sounded a retreat. Over the coast a second necropolis appeared near the Crimson Fleet, revealing its tremendous power as it floated toward the navy. An awesome flash of green ruin consumed the fleet and destroyed half of the Crimson Fleet instantly. Over one thousand thalassian sailors were instantly killed and among those missing was the Archon’s son, Telchis Truefeather.
It became immediately apparent that this conflict had been orchestrated by the necromancers who would later be known as the Bleeding Eye to produce a massive amount of dead to fuel their armies. The victory that the Sunguard so desperately sought was a pyrrhic one and they were quickly routed into a decisive defeat.