Battle of High Gadolinia (November? of 2427 a.a.H.)
This was an important defeat for the Drow of Negeémiliel. But mostly in that it presaged a much more important victory for the drow just months later. Likewise, for the Hebonnor mountain elf kingdom, it was a false decisive victory.
Situation in the Lead Up to the BattleEdit
Mountain Elf InvasionEdit
The Hebonnor King, Hildetriel IV the Young, the King of the Hill of the Mountain Elves was the principal aggressor. He had begun a campaign with a much larger army and more expansive goals than the usual raiding parties between the Mountian elves and the surface holdings of the Drow empire of Negeémiliel. He had in effect invaded the territory, and finding little resistance, encouraged more of his nobles to send troops, the Drow general in charge of guarding the surface had insufficient forces to face the mountain elves and their mercenaries directly, and were left besieged in their strongholds.
Effectively, Negeémiliel was denied use of these land holdings for the year of 2427 a.a.H., with a great deal of looting and destruction as a result.
The Negeémi government was well divided at this time, with an ascending Negeémi Populist Party against the controlling Negeémi Senatorial Party. The issue was debated for long in the Low Council with the Populists blocking any action for a long time. Meanwhile, without a harvest from those lands, the endemic food shortage of the city became an acute problem, leading to unrest.
Despite not providing for adequate reinforcements, the Low Council and the public turned against the field army for failing to fend off this invasion in the first place and for only holding defensive positions
The experience and training of Drow soldiers is almost entirely shaped by the alien subterranean world of Kazrrad. Fighting in the open and in daylight could be difficult for them, and besides, the Drow were outnumbered several fold. Absent reinforcements, the General in charge decided to wait out the army, and let time in the form of attrition, squabbles between nobles, races and groups, lack of supplies and disease to weaken her enemy.
However, in the Low Council of Negeémiliel, the popular faction majority voted a condemnation to the conservative faction general, and after declaring her a coward and traitor, revoking her title of General, sending in her replacement a second army and a new general in charge--she was another obstacle for the planned coup d'etat.
Drow Defeat at the Battle of High GadoliniaEdit
Hildetriel IV the Young had a good intelligence operation set up, despite the 'rag-tag' nature of his relatively large, but motley and often disorganized army. Spies of Mountain elves had been secreted into the underworld of Kazrrad itself, using entry points known to Dwarfs, these operatives observed movements in the underworld, and engaged in minor acts of sabotage, along with capturing and killing of Drow mercenaries and Acolytes.
Knowing of the imminent arrival of the new drow army, and reaching the end of the season of war, and with his own army in increasing disarray, Hildetriel retired with his army (roughly 9,000) back to the Hebonnor region of Vergolea. He did not expect any problems from his withdrawal, but was kept informed.
Drow Push for a Decisive BattleEdit
It was now entering the winter of the 204-205 of the Middle Human Age (2427-2428 a.a.H.), but the new drow general, inexpert at surface war (unlike her predecessor), and worried for the political situation in the home front, wanted to achieve a complete victory to return triumphant to the city-state, securing the government: So she made the mistake to follow the Mountain elves' army in winter, into their territory:
The result was an important drow defeat in the Battle of High Gadolinia, and once again, a change in the Negeémi chain of command:
Reassembly of Hildetriel's ArmyEdit
Overly exuberant after the unexpected, 'decisive' closing victory against the drow in the Battle of High Gadolinia, in the spring of 2428 a.a.H., Hildetriel IV gathered an even larger army than before, including more mercenaries, for an army of 15000 to complete a conquest of these Negeémi lands in the Southern Nohalion Mountains. He had even signed an alliance treaty with the Nortunk dwarfs so as to professionally bolster his forces, and continue the fight underground. His victory in the Battle of High Gadolinia had won him new support from his nobles and the support of the Nortunk dwarfs who sent a small army of 2000 - 3000 troops to aid him.
Unexpected Encounter with the DrowEdit
However, before he could link up with the Nortunk dwarfs, he would be intercepted by a reorganized drow army under General Dahl'Arak. With over confidence born from his previous, unexpected victory in the Battle of High Gadolinia, Hildetriel pushed for battle against the much smaller drow army (15,000 opposing 6,000 drow). He would fall into a trap in the narrow Valley of Cilfach, in which his large force would be hemmed in and suffer defeat from encirclement.
The Sieges and plundering of Drow Nohalion surface lands in 2427, and the Battle of High Gadolinia in the winter of 2427, had promised a complete conquest and a Hebonnor recovery of Nohalion Mountain lands lost to the Drow in the First War of the Power. But the following Battle of Cilfach in the spring of 2428 a.a.H. would cost Hildetriel IV his war.
In a somewhat similar--and perverse-- manner, the treasonous component of the Negeémi Populist Party saw the Battle of High Gadolinia primarily as a disaster for their Negeémi Senatorial Party rivals, and that component of the army. They would expect the Leg of the Spider Dahl'Arak to be busy for another year of fighting, with plenty of time for the Populists to stage their coup d'état, with a Populist political ascendancy seeming inevitable after the embarrassments of their conservative rivals. The sudden and unexpected--and crushingly decisive--victory in the Battle of Cilfach would adversely effect their plans and the course of the civil war when it finally did occur late in the year. (See: Dahl'Arak Coup).