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The Battle of the Iwensi Gap, also known as the Battle of the pass or Battle of Ba-Drink pass, was an important and famed strategic battle fought during the War of the Red Queen.


Battle of the Iwensi Gap
Time Age of Fire
Place Iwensi Gap, Red Mountains
Result Strategic Dragon Empire victory.
Combatants
Ironriders

Ghioz Empire

Dragon Empire
Commanders
multiple commanders Ayafeeia (only first phase)

Wistala

Strength
Ten thousands

a number of Roc-riders

15 Firemaids (2 sent away as messengers and not engaged in battle)

24 Firemaidens

some bats (auxiliary)

Casualties
Devastating

2 or 3 Rocs killed

2 Firemaids and 3 Firemaidens killed.

7 Firemaids and 11 Firemaidens wounded and left after the first phase

Possibly other wounded among the remaining 3 Firemaids and 10 Firemaidens survived


Background Edit

With the setback suffered by the Ghioz Empire during the Insurgency in Dairuss, the Red Queen claimed openly that the Hypatian Empire helped her enemies and declared finally open war to the Hypatians. She had gained the alliance of the Ironriders, who amassed an huge force and poured it into the Hypatian lands, split in three main armies. The central army was the most dangerous and most powerful, threatening to strike the heart of Hypatian Empire.

The Dragon Empire chose to bring an alliance to the Hypatian Empire, to fight a common enemy. Despite the Hypatian Directory wasted time and gave refusal to a military alliance (still hoping in peaceful solution), the Ayafeeia's force deployed to counter the main Ironriders force.

The senior Firemaid led a force of other 14 Firemaids (including Wistala), and 24 Firemaidens. After council with the local Thane and by suggestion of Wistala, it was decided to block the mountain pass and strike there the Ironriders, where their numbers would means little and where their mass of horsemen would be vulnerable.


First Phase Edit

Just before the battle, the Firemaids were forced to send away two of them (Angalia to south, Yefkoa to north) as messengers.

Firemaidens scored the first move, raiding horses by surprise. When the Ironriders dispatched men to walk up in the mountain trails, Ayafeeia ordered rocks to be thrown on their enemies, causing heavy losses after Verkeera and others accomplished it. Equines (horses and mules) corpses were gathered as food.

The day after the Ironriders marched in full force into the pass, and soon erupted a violent battle on the mountain sloops with the men forced to dismount from their horses to attempt chasing the dragonelles and drakka. However such tactics only brought heavy losses to the Ironriders due the fast dashing hit-and-run attacks of their opponents A daily attempt to make a breakthrough into the pass was a failure, quickly followed by a similar failure at night. During these first clashes the Ironriders suffered bloody losses, while one drakka was killed by spear and a dragonelle was wounded by arrow in the lung and rendered unable to fight.

Fighting slowed in the following days, while small groups Ironriders (coming from the other army that had passed to north) were intercepted and some Hypatians took prisoners were freed.

Second Phase Edit

News of widespread skirmish in the southern Upholds were brought, as with the Tyr's orders to bring back as much as Firemaids as possible to help in the southern fights.

Ayafeeia left with all Firemaids and Firemaidens who suffered wounds (even light ones), leaving Wistala in charge with a smaller forced: three days later the Roc-riders attacked, after having been called in support of the Ironriders.

Roc-riders attacked from high altitude, and struck 2 Firemaids who fall in the gap, to be finished by Ironriders (if they were not already dead), then they stole the food that has been kept in reserve and killed a drakka lifting her and leaving her drop from high altitude.

These first losses were avenged when Wistala ordered a pair of Firemaids to lay in ambush and managed to struck two passing Rocs who were brought down with their riders. Takea recovered one of the skulls, during the night, to bear it like a distinctive helmet on her muzzle.

However the enemy had now achieved the air superiority, Wistala managed with her words to convince her sisters to keep on their resistance.

Finally she came up with the dangerous idea of destroying an iced dam, blocking with the collapsed ice, snow and rock the pass. The pass was effectively blocked but Wistala was dragged and engulfed by the avalanche of shattered ice, just to awaken and discover of being guarded by a Roc-rider.

She managed to repel the Roc and his rider, striking them with a torf, and then Firemaids and Firemaidens rushed to rescue her: Ironriders warriors were dispersed by the drakka, but Roc-riders flying above launched some arrows. One arrow mortally struck Takea, and Wistala could reach her younger sister just to comfort her and listen her last words.


After the blocking of the pass, the Ironriders managed to create a minor path around the avalanche, but eventually they left to south.

At the end of the fighting, 3 dragonelles (including Wistala) and 10 drakka remained. They left, having no other purpose to stay and with increased presence of hostile dwarves.

Aftermath Edit

The battle had an important of strategic results: the strongest of the three column of the Ironriders suffered heavy losses, thus reducing its strength. The length of the battle and the successful block of the pass delayed the Ironriders operations, allowing Hypatian civilians from the nearby Thanedoms to evacuate and save their own lives.

Ultimately the battle helped to prevent a defeat when the Ironriders attacked Hypat, because they could not send their full original force.

The last-stand battle of the Firemaid and Firemaidens was greatly praised and honored by the Dragon Empire and their allies alike, the fallen ones among the snowy slopes and peaks were remembered as heroes.

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