|Invasion of the Emberlight|
|Next (other sources): Invasion of Zul Aman|
|Place: Emberlight, Southern Province of the Kingdom of Quel'Thalas|
| Outcome: Sin'dorei Victory
|Commanders and Leaders:|
8,000 House Netherstar retainers
27,000 Amani Trolls
|Casualties and Losses:|
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The Invasion of the Emberlight was a major territorial conflict in the Kingdom of Quel’Thalas following the Siege of Orgrimmar although the two are unrelated. In the summer of Year 31, a large invasion of Amani Trolls invaded a territory of Quel’Thalas known as the Emberlight. While the invasion was rebuffed in a manner of several weeks, the devastation was tremendous.
Backed by Zandalari Warlords, the Amani sacrificed an animalistic loa to grant an increased ability to regenerate their wounds. Boldened by the strength of their Zandalari overlords and their unnatural vigor, the trolls crossed the Amani Mountains and began sacking and burning the villages of Thalassian land. The Sin’dorei armies of House Netherstar and House Blacksun raised their forces to combat their enemy, but they quickly found themselves outnumbered and losing ground. The tide of war did not turn until the intervention of a Thalassian regiment known as the Sunguard.
After several critical battles the Amani were defeated and forced to retreat to Zul'Gamni. Their invasion cost countless of lives on both sides and dramatically crippled the military strength of Houses Netherstar and Blacksun. The combined Sin’dorei forces were unable to defeat the major armies of the Amani and Zandalari but were able to force them into retreat. While the Emberlight was secured of enemy forces, the Sunguard and their allies were forced to bring their combined forces to Zul Aman to contend directly with the trollish warhost.
On the borders of the Emberlight sits a series of watch towers manned by House Netherstar. They serve as waypoints for Sin’dorei patrols to warn against frequent raids of forest trolls. With Zandalari magic however, the Amani were able to effectively bypass the patrols and watchful eyes of the tower sentries. A smaller host of trolls began to assault villages sitting outside the Blacksun Gate, a massive fortress that separates the inner part of the Emberlight with the rest of Quel’Thalas.
As Houses Blacksun and Netherstar rode out to put down the roving bands of trolls, the main host from Zul Aman made their move. They began to eliminate the sentry fortresses in the mountains and poured into the outer reaches of Emberlight. While Houses Netherstar and Blacksun were successful in pushing back many smaller parts of the trollish army, they were never able to pull them into a significant battle. Soon the Sin’dorei armies started to become overwhelmed. Unable to fight so many battles at once, they were forced to retreat to the Blacksun Gate.
The Battle of Heartsong VillageEdit
Prior to House Netherstar’s retreat, an army under the command of Zul the Bearheart assaulted Heartsong Village . Heartsong is the largest settlement on the outer reaches of the Blacksun Gate and is the home of the Order of the Priests of Belore. Zul’s objective was to destroy the village and then sack the Temple of Belore that lay within. The Priests of Belore were an ancient order of healers who help shepherd dead souls into the afterlife. They were the only order within the Emberlight able to contend with Nightshade, a extremely toxic venom the Amani used to coat upon their weapons.
Although Heartsong itself was put to the torch, House Netherstar’s forces arrived as the trolls were beginning the process of destroying the Temple. It was a fierce battle, but the Netherstar forces managed to drive back Zul’s army and secure the temple. Most of the village was destroyed and its inhabitants killed, but the Priests of Belore were secured. After protest, Lord Izulde Netherstar ordered the High Priest, Cidifus Dawnseeker, to force his priests to flee with the rest of the Netherstar and Blacksun army at the Blacksun Gate. Izulde eventually had to forcefully remove the priests, as his army would not be able to ensure their safety if they remained.
Entrance of the SunguardEdit
As the situation in the Emberlight quickly expanded into just a regional conflict, Izulde wrote to his brother-by-marriage Felthier Truefeather, pleading for him to dispatch the Sunguard as an intervention. Heading to the call, Felthier ordered his armies to ride south to the Emberlight where they were quickly met by an army of Amani warriors assaulting one of the few remaining Spellbreaker Shrines in Quel’Thalas.
The defense of the shrine was held by Eyole Dawnrunner, an oathsworn captain who was dispatched early to the Emberlight with a scouting force. The Sunguard had arrived to the shrine on the third day of the siege. It was clear that the forces there could not survive another wave of the trolls. As the battle began, the Amani dispatched several squads of head hunters to thin out the Sin’dorei numbers. They followed their assault with a company of berserkers helmed by a Zandalri God-Hulk named Gorefist. The Amani army was armed with Zandalari weapons made of obsidian, making them more deadly in comparison average normal stone tools that they normally had possessed. Although the Sunguard was able to force the trolls to retreat, they were unable to capture or kill any of the enemy commanders.
The Battle of Blacksun GateEdit
Three days later, the Sunguard arrived at the massive citadel fortress of the Blacksun Gate, which sat upon a fifty mile wall that stretched across the narrowest part of the Emberlight.
It was the only entrance into the greater part of the Emberlight itself and was the ancestral seat of House Blacksun. There, The Sunguard was able to reunite its forces with Lord Izulde Netherstar and Lady Idrya Blacksun. While the trolls had recently tried to assault the fortress itself, the commanders there considered those armies to only be probes.
The objectives of the battle were simple. The Sunguard and its allies hoped to force the trolls into a battle, the significance of which they had so far been denied. While the Blacksun Gate was an extremely well-defended position, the defenders were still greatly outnumbered. The combined might of the Zandalari and Amani trolls was fearsome, the defending force being roughly eight thousand strong and the offense being almost twenty thousand.
The Sin’dorei forces deployed several Ironclaw Ballista which were used to combat enemy siege weaponry.
The trolls however deployed several heavy siege weapons to weaken the gate itself. Their main tactic however was the use of a Primordial Direhorn taken from the Isle of Giants. The Direhorn was to be used as a living battering ram on the gate itself while legions of Amani warriors would scale the walls with makeshift ladders. The trolls were also joined by War-God Zakruul, the leader of the Zandalari forces. The War-God was a skilled magician and commander whom called upon a massive thunderstorm to provide some cover from enemy archer fire.
The battle lasted for several hours and cost both armies dearly. It ultimately came to an end when a combined strike of Sunguard Suncasters and Pathfinders focused their fire upon the Direhorn, bringing it down. Without the great beast to break the gates, Zakruul withdrew his forces and the remaining Amani were quickly routed. The Blacksun Gate served as the victory that the Sunguard was looking for and it revealed the strengths of the trollish army. In the end of the combat, the trollish army had lost almost seven thousand soldiers while the Sin’dorei suffered only a thousand.
The Battle of Ranir's PassEdit
The Sin’dorei at this time agreed to split their forces to follow the trolls, which were now invading the inner reaches of the Emberlight. The Sunguard marched North to contend with Zul the Bearheart’s host while House Blacksun and Netherstar marched South to retake Ranir’s Pass. Ranir’s Pass was a small clearing of mountains which snaked its way into Zul Aman. It was guarded by several sentry towers which had then been overtaken by the trollish forces. Although both Houses Netherstar and Blacksun were bloodied from the Battle of Blacksun Gate, they were in high morale from their victory.
The battle was a fierce and bloody one but proved an advantageous one for the Sin’dorei. Izulde Netherstar had deployed several Emberlight Pyromancers to the path and their ability to use fire against the trolls there worked soundly against their ability to regenerate quickly. The pass itself was held by Lady Idrya Blacksun herself. With Ranir retaken, the trolls were forced to take to their ships which were supported by a larger Zandalari fleet. This in turn forced the Sin’dorei to ride hard to Dawnbreaker Anchorage, a port city on the coast of the Emberlight.
The Battle of Dawnbreaker AnchorageEdit
The final conflict of the Invasion of the Emberlight proved to be a significant one. The combined might of the Amani and Zandalari army landed on the stony shore to the North of Dawnbreaker Anchorage, a port city on the coast of the Emberlight. There the armies of the Sunguard, House Netherstar, and House Blacksun met the trolls in battle. Lord Netherstar and Lady Blacksun themselves were both present in addition to the majority of the Sunguard army, led by Highlord Arandur Brightsword.
The trollish forces were led by the War-God Zakruul himself and his two sons, Sul and Ruul, led an army of Zandalari Sacred Spears, elite soldiers from Zandalar. The Amani host was led by Zul the Bearheart and a contingent of mounted Amani bears and dragonhawks. In addition to the Amani infantry was the God-Hulk Gorefist and several witchdoctors that amplified the powers of the Amani forces.
At sea, the Zandalari and Amani fleet clashed with the Sunguard’s Crimson Fleet, commanded by the Archon Truefeather and his son Telchis. They were joined by local sailors of the Emberlight that sailed out from Dawnbreaker. The stakes for the battle were extremely high; if the Sunguard could not stop the trollish fleet on the shores then there wouldn't be a significant army to prevent the trolls from pillaging dozen of towns and villages.
The battle itself wasn’t as an overwhelming victory as the Blacksun Gate had proven to be. The War-God’s presence on the field proved to be extremely effective against the elven forces. It wasn’t until Izulde’s blood mages began providing shields against the tempests that the War-God was summoning against the Sunguard that managed to provide the embattled Sin’dorei with some relief. On the field, the Sin’dorei infantry was holding against several waves of trollish warriors, but once the Sacred Spears began to join the fray, the tide slowly turned against the elven forces. In addition to the chaos on the beach, Zul the Bearheart led a successful flanking assault against the rear forces of the elven army, after quickly routing several companies of soldiers. The battle seemed to be quickly turning to the trolls’ favor until the Crimson Fleet smashed its way into the distracted Zandalari fleet. Rather than risk losing his entire fleet, the Zakruul pulled his forces from the field, teleporting them back to his fleet. The retreat of the War-God caused the troll forces to lose heart and the Sin’dorei army was able to push them back into the sea.
They were unable to capture any significant commanders, however, but it was the final attempt for the trollish forces to take the Emberlight. The battle had cost the Sin’dorei army dearly, but it was a strong enough victory to ensure that the trollish forces would be on the defensive and would no longer be able to launch raids into the region.
The Invasion of the Emberlight proved to be a very bloody one. It forced countless villages to become deserted or destroyed by the troll army. Refugees flooded to Netherholde and the Blacksun Gate for safety, which sapped the resources of the defending armies. More than half of the sentry towers that watched the Amani Mountains were destroyed. While the Blacksun Gate kept its reputation of being unbreachable, the near mythic prestige of House Blacksun’s military might was put into check.
House Netherstar was also put into a great debt to the Sunguard for their intervention. This debt was leveraged by Archon Truefeather to force House Netherstar into an invasion army into Zul Aman. House Blacksun was exempt and allowed to stay and see to the defense of the Emberlight itself. The armies of Quel’Thalas had proven to be stalwart defenders, but they had severely underestimated the might of the trollish army. Hoping for a conventional battle had proven to be folly as the trolls refused at the start to fight any fight of significance, forcing the elite forces of Houses Netherstar and Blacksun to be spread thin.
The true purpose of the invasion remained to be determined. While it was safe to assume that the Amani wished to reclaim their ancestral lands in the Emberlight, the presence of the Zandalari remained unknown. Their stakes in the battles were sizable and still undetermined. It was, however, made painfully clear that in order to prevent additional invasions, the leaders of the trollish forces needed to be destroyed in Zul Aman itself.