The Heaths of Blood is a conflict that occurred between the Susilgerim Dwarves and the Rhom-Oc orcs in 750 b.S. It took place on the Heaths of Wilderon, a vast plain north of the Imlith Mountains, in Northern Sarvonia. Consisting of three major battles, this war was started as an attempt by the Susilgerim to gain revenge upon the Rhom-Oc for the numerous raids and attacks the orcs had wrought upon them. It also marks the first time the Susilgerim and the Rhom-Oc engaged in open battle between each other. Previously, the Susilgerim had kept themselves in secret, only attacking in the occasional ambush. On the contrary, the Rhom-Oc had used frequent raids against the Susilgerim, retreating quickly onto the plains afterwards.

Premises. The story begins with the rise of Akakiruhnt Orc-Slayer, the son a Susilgerim chieftain, rising to great influence among the younger dwarves. In 751 b.S., when Akakiruhnt reached adulthood and the Time of Choosing (when dwarves attempt to find a mate), Akakiruhnt chose not to marry. Urging those of his own age to do the same, he gave many speeches among the Susilgerim settlements, inciting their hatred of the Rhom-Oc to a feverous pitch. Soon many preparations for war were begun, and the Susilgerim were marching across the plains by mid-winter, 750 b.S. Return to the top

The Battles. The attack of the Susilgerim was a tremendous surprise to the Rhom-Oc, and made the first battle a virtual no-contest. Several large Rhom-Oc encampments were completely destroyed, and many of the Rhom-Oc’s precious wargs were killed. The dwarves then made a hasty withdrawal before their advantage of surprise ran out. However, it ran out more quickly than they could have anticipated, for soon many Rhom-Oc wargriders caught them on the plain. Only through the incredible heroism of their leader, Akakiruhnt, were the dwarves saved.

Rhom-Oc fled and regrouped for two days after this battle. They appoint Ashzuck Dwarf-Ong as their leader and warlord. The orcish champion determined that he would exact great vengeance upon the Susilgerim for daring to venture onto the plains. Because the dwarves were forced to camp because of their many wounded, the Rhom-Oc found them quickly and engaged them in battle again. The Susilgerim fought hard and bravely, but once again would have been easily overrun had it not been for the resilience and valour of their leader. Ashzuck was not outdone, though, as he himself inflicted great damage to the dwarven army. Eventually Ashzuck and Akakiruhnt faced each other in battle, and Akakiruhnt was wounded. He was saved from death, however, when a great snowstorm swept over the plain, ending the battle.

The dwarves retreated to their camp, where they bunkered down for the duration of the storm, which was several weeks. The
Rhom-Oc, having no such shelter nearby, were forced to retreat back across the plain to their own encampments. When the storm finally subsided, Akakiruhnt had contracted a horrible fever from an infection in his wounds. He ordered the dwarves to return to the Imlith Mountains, and so they began their long march home in all haste. When they were within sight of the base of the mountains, the Rhom-Oc wargriders caught them once again. The Susilgerim began a staggered retreat towards the mountains, eventually reaching a ravine at their entrance. There a select few of the dwarves, including Akakiruhnt, stayed to hold the narrow ravine against the orcs while the remainder of the Susilgerim fled. After several hours of intense fighting, Akakiruhnt remained as the last dwarf standing, despite his fever and delirium. Over the last waning hours of the day, he and Ashzuck once again fought in mortal combat. Following a long and glorious duel, Akakiruhnt fell, though he was counted as a greatly honoured warrior by both the dwarves and orcs.
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Aftermath. The Heaths of Blood firmly established the Rhom-Oc Orcs' power across the plains. They successfully defeated the best attack that the Susilgerim Dwarves, their largest rival, could muster against them. Despite the several months of famine the Rhom-Oc experienced due to the loss of many wargs (which meant less reindeer hunted), they experienced many years of relative prosperity after this conflict. The Susilgerim, on the other hand, had a much slower recovery from the war. Having lost so many warriors, they became even more reclusive and secretive than before, and for many years afterwards they did not dare set foot upon the Heaths of Wilderon. The Susilgerim now pay respects to the death of Akakiruhnt with a solemn day of mourning and remembrance.
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(YEARS 822 B.S. - 50 B.S.)
753 b.S.
to 752 b.S.
In the fall of 753 b.S., Akakiruhnt Orc-slayer, the young son of a Susilgerim clan chieftain, rallies the younger generation to anger against the Rhom-Oc orcs. The following period of fighting is called the "Heaths of Blood", of which this is the first battle the Susilgerim fight in that conflict. The Susilgerim attack in mid-winter, on what becomes the coldest day the Heath of Wilderon had seen in many centuries. The resulting destruction of several major Rhom-Oc settlements causes several months of severe famine among the Rhom-Oc, due to their loss of many wargs. The battle is not without loss for the Susilgerim, though, as they lose many men while withdrawing over the plains.
753 b.S. The Gathering of Many Supplies (Fallen Leaf-Frozen Rivers)
Akakiruhnt, at the age of 93, chooses not to marry; and, encouraging his fellow youth to do the same, excites all the young men of the clan to fury against the Rhom-Oc Orcs. When the harvest has been brought in, the greatest production of weapons in Susilgerim history is undertaken. Many stone spears and axes are carved, and the Susilgerim import a large amount of iron from their Kurakim cousins. The Susilgerim proceed to fashion iron studded wooden shields and light iron helms for themselves. Akakiruhnt has an iron axe and an iron shield specially made for him. The Susilgerim symbol of a Khorimkaom leaf is inlaid in silver on the iron shield. AR is inlaid in silver on his helm. The largest cave bats that could be found are tamed and trained by the singspeakers for use in the war. A plan for the campaign against the Rhom-Oc is formulated in this time.

752 b.S. The Secret March (Turning Star/Korimaril)
The Susilgerim begin the march towards the settlements of the Rhom-Ocs. Despite the intense cold, the Susilgerim travel with all haste and secrecy. They travel wrapped in their thickest camouflaged cloaks, walking low to the ground with heads bent, blending into the heath. Akakiruhnt allows no fires to be lit, and the dwarves eat only rations prepared for the occasion. After several trying weeks, the dwarves reach the settlements of the Rhom-Oc. The Susilgerim stealthily spread out, taking every precaution to avoid wargriders, and begin to scout the Rhom-Oc. Susilgerim earthguides take careful notes of the positions and travel patterns of the Rhom-Oc families. The Susilgerim manage to locate the area where the largest numbers of Rhom-Oc families reside.
1st of Molten Ice. At the 1st of Molten Ice the battle begins.
16Moon: The coldest Days on Wilderon
A blistering wind tears across the heaths, adding to the record cold of this night. The Susilgerim spread out their forces along the downwind side of the Rhom-Oc encampments.
19Moon: The Susilgerim begin their Attack
The Susilgerim singspeakers creep near the Rhom-Oc camps with the best spear throwers in the clan following in their train. At exactly 19Moon, the singspeakers release their bats, which proceed to attack the wargs of the Rhom-Oc. This drives the wargs to a complete rage. The spear throwers move in quickly, killing as many wargs as possible in the bedlam. As the surprised Rhom-Oc rush to save their beasts, Akakiruhnt leads the main force of the Susilgerim into the camps. The camps are set aflame, which soon proves to be a mistake.
22Moon: The Susilgerim withdraw
The Susilgerim complete their destruction of the Rhom-Oc encampments. They regroup, tend to the wounded and quickly begin to retreat back across the plains.
4Sun: The Rhom-Oc catch the Susilgerim and surround them on the Plains
Injčrá's rising is causing much discomfort to the Susilgerim. The remaining Rhom-Oc, having seen the light of the burning encampments, set out in pursuit of their attackers. They now catch the Susilgerim on the plains. The Susilgerim are quickly surrounded, but Akakiruhnt forms the dwarves into a circle, placing the strongest shieldmen and axemen on the perimeter. Inside, he places the spear throwers. The battle continues thus for the better part of the day.
8Sun: For the first Time, a Dwarf rides a Warg
With the day wearing on faster and faster, Akakiruhnt realizes he must turn the battle’s tide soon are risk losing his army to exhaustion. Drawing an unfortunate wargrider near the circle’s perimeter, he leaped at the rider, knocking him off the warg while cleaving him in two with his axe. The Orc-slayer then grips the warg by its neck clenching his left hand around its spine in a vise-like grip, while leaping upon its back. The warg attempts to throw him with all its might, but it could not break the hold of Akakiruhnt. Holding the warg’s spine, Akakiruhnt directs its wild flaying movement to the left or right as he wills. Thus he begins to cut down the Rhom-Oc wargriders using one of their own beasts. The dwarves take advantage of the bewilderment this causes on the behalf of the Rhom-Oc to take the offensive.
12Sun The Battle comes to a Close
The Susilgerim finally drive off the remaining Rhom-Oc. Akakiruhnt remains on his captured warg, despite its continued efforts to throw him. As evening wears into night, the warg finally collapses from exhaustion and the suffocating grip of the Orc-slayer. Akakiruhnt then muzzles and ties up the warg. Thus Akakiruhnt becomes also known as wargrider, the first dwarf to accomplish such a feat.
2nd of Molten Ice.
1Sun: The Dwarves rest
The dwarves set up a camp to tend to the wounded and take care of the dead. Light fortifications are set up around their position using broken spears and a supply of wood that the Susilgerim brought with them. Akakiruhnt find that he can still ride his warg by gripping its spine, but can not master it completely. Still, it is partially subdued, and he deems it to be useful enough to keep alive until the next battle. The dwarves plan and prepare for their next step in the war.
2nd of Molten Ice. Following the Battle of Vengeance, the Susilgerim camp to tend to the dead and wounded, while the Rhom-Oc regroup and gather more numbers. The Rhom-Oc then ride in strength to face the Susilgerim army. The battle that follows is the First Duel of Hatred. Therein, the dwarven hero Akakiruhnt Orc-Slayer faced the orcish paladin, Ashzuck Dwarf-Ong. However, the outcome is inconclusive, because a massive snowstorm sweeps over the Heaths of Wilderon in the midst of the battle.
Both sides regroup (Molten Ice/Dasthomm 2-6)
After the Battle of Vengeance, the Susilgerim have suffered great losses. They are encamped in the southern portion of the Heaths of Wilderon, tending their wounding and taking care of the dead. Meanwhile, the infuriated Rhom-Oc regroup in the north, gathering up the full strength of their tribe. At this time, the orcish paladin Ashzuck Dwarf-Ong is appointed warlord of the Rhom-Oc forces. They soon set to destroy the remaining Susilgerim. At this time, it is noted by historians that Akakiruhnt had the opportunity to withdraw his men into the Imlith Mountains. However, in his pride and hatred he believes he can annihilate the Rhom-Oc once and for all.
7th of Molten Ice.
1Sun: The Rhom-Oc settle their Score with the Susilgerim
The Rhom-Oc arrive at the dwarven encampment at dawn, taking advantage of the dwarves' aversion to the sunlight. They beat drums to announce their arrival, scoffing at the idiocy of sneakiness, and enthralled in the glory of battle. The Susilgerim stand behind the fortifications and few traps they had laid out, preparing themselves with the little time such simple machinations would buy them. The first wave of wargriders is decimated as many riders are surprised by the ground beneath them giving way to a pit of spears. The wooden fortifications also slows down the riders enough to give the Susilgerim spear throwers time to get a good shot at them. But the numbers of the Rhom-Oc were great, and the fortifications of the dwarves are soon broken down. Then the battle begins in earnest.
7Sun: The Battle reaches a Standstill
The battle stretches on through the heat of midday. The Rhom-Oc had three times already beaten the Susilgerim back and three times Akakiruhnt rallied the dwarves, regaining their lost ground. Each time the Susilgerim rallied forward Akakiruhnt and Ashzuck saw each other on the battlefield, but were pulled apart by the tides of the battle. Neither side could gain an advantage over the other, for the numbers of the Rhom-Oc were great but the valor of Akakiruhnt willed the dwarves to persevere. On this day, Akakiruhnt is in the height of his glory, fearsome and terrible to look upon, and none could withstand him.
9Sun: Ashzuck Dwarf-Ong seeks out Akakiruhnt
Akakiruhnt, filled with the lust for blood and revenge, rallies his dwarves to such a passion that they themselves began to drive the Rhom-Oc back. But Ashzuck Dwarf-Ong would not be so easily beaten. Not being one to pass up such a great opportunity for glory, Ashzuck surges his way to the forefront of the battle, searching for Akakiruhnt. He cries out, “Ya Dwarfen stubble, face yer death! T’day so much dwarf blood’ll run Trim-Barry ‘imself will tremble!!”. He did not wait long for an answer. Akakiruhniwas driven to an even higher height of rage and flies across the field to face Ashzuck. They meet, and the first great duel of the Heaths ensues.
12Sun: The Great Storm hits the Wilderon
As Ashzuck and Akakiruhnt trade blows, many dark clouds gather overhead. Ashzuck Dwarf-Ong holds a great advantage over Akakiruhnt since the Orc-Slayer’s warg will not attack Ashzuck’s warg. It is a severe struggle for him to maintain his ground. The Dwarf-Ong deals several wounds to Akakiruhnt during their duel. As the sky darkens and the winds increase, Akakiruhnt’s warg is killed and Akakiruhnt falls to the ground. As Ashzuck barrels down on him, Akakiruhnt is saved by a tremendous gust of wind that knocks everyone to the ground. The blast is immediately followed by hail a palmspan wide, and sheets of freezing rain. All combatants immediately flee for their lives. The dwarven camp still partially stands, and they are able to find some shelter in these. The Rhom-Oc suffer greater losses because they have no such retreat.
8th of Molten Ice. The Susilgerim wait out the storm as the Rhom-Oc flee to their home encampments. After a grueling ten days, the storm subsides. The Dwarves emerge from their camp and begin to march with all haste back to the safety of Imlith. The Rhom-Oc, after reaching their own camps in the midst of the storm, begin their pursuit of the Susilgerim once again. As the Susilgerim near the Imlith Mountains, they are overtaken by the Rhom-Oc. The last few strals of their march become a blood bath as both the goal of both side is simply survival.
The Great Storm Furies (Molten Ice/Dasthomm 8-17)
The Susilgerim remain hunkered down in their camp for the entire duration of the storm. However, the Rhom-Oc flee across the heaths to their own encampments. As they travel, many Rhom-Oc fall of exhaustion and the cold. Ashzuck Dwarf-Ong’s fury against the Susilgerim builds with each step of his warg.
The Chase on the Heaths (Molten Ice/Dasthomm 18-23)
The storm finally ceases and the Susilgerim emerge from their camp. Many have perished in the cold, and Akakiruhnt is suffering from fever and illness as a result of his wounds. He wills himself on, however, and the Dwarves begin a hasty march across the Heaths of Wilderon to return to their home in the Imlith Mountains. As they do this, the Rhom-Oc also emerge from their camp. Ashzuck is now completely enraged, and immediately sets out after Akakiruhnt and his Dwarves. Since the Dwarves have a large head start, it is six days before the Rhom-Oc catch them.
The Death March (Molten Ice/Dasthomm 24-30)
The Rhom-Oc catch the Susilgerim and began to assail them. The Susilgerim again form themselves into a ring, and begin a steady retreat towards the mountains. The Rhom-Oc try many times to block their path, but Akakiruhnt breaks through their lines again and again. Ashzuck tries each time to single Akakiruhnt out, but the Orc-Slayer manages to avoid him. The Susilgerim finally reach the more forested regions at the base of the mountains. Akakiruhnt leads his men into a nearby ravine, and forms them into a line, spanning the ravine, with their backs to the mountains and their spears to the orcs.
The Last Stand of the Susilgerim against the Rhom-Oc (Molten Ice/Dasthomm 30)
18Moon: The Susilgerim form up inside the ravine and make a last stand against their attackers. They slowly back their way farther into the ravine, closing up their line as the ravine narrows. The Rhom-Oc attack them with absolute frenzy, pushing the will of the Dwarves to their limit. Akakiruhnt sends his men to safety a couple at a time, whenever they are no longer need to hold the ever narrowing line.
1st of Awakening Earth.
1Sun: The Last Men Standing
As Injera rises upon a new day, only a handful of dwarves remain holding the line. Ashzuck is now reveling in the glory of his victory. Akakiruhnt holds the center of the line, and is now nearly delirious with fever. Ashzuck torments him by bearing down on the line again and again before quickly withdrawing, whittling away the Orc-Slayer’s men while never giving him the chance to strike back.
7Sun: The Challenge of Ashzuck
Injčrá is now at its zenith, bearing down upon Akakiruhnt, who is now the only Dwarf left in the ravine. The Rhom-Oc surround him, but do not attack him. Akakiruhnt is ravaged with fever and his wounds, so that standing is a struggle. The bright sun does not help his situation. Ashzuck dismounts and strides towards the Orc-Slayer. He challenges him with many terrible insults and draws his two orcish swords. Akakiruhnt raises his axe for the last time to face his opponent.
13Sun: The End of Akakiruhnt
Injčrá is now setting. For the entire afternoon, Ashzuck and Akakiruhnt have traded blows with each other. Akakiruhnt’s strength cannot maintain much longer, and he finally falls to his knees. Fever has all but completely taken his mind and his body. Ashzuck gloats over him for several minutes, then raising his bloodstained sword and releasing a terrifying yell of vengeance, he slashes off the head of the Orc-Slayer. And so the greatest single combat in the Susilgerim/Rhom-Oc history came to an end.
Aftermath (Awakening Earth/Ysaril)
Both champions come to be regarded as demigods by their respective clans. Following the end battle, Ashzuck cuts out the heart of Akakiruhnt, roasts it, and eats it as a sign of honor to the slain Dwarf leader. The following day, the Rhom-Oc ride home in triumph, the Dwarf-Ong bearing the Orc-Slayer’s head on a spear. As for the Susilgerim, the few survivors bring grave tidings to their villages. For a long time afterwards the Susilgerim remain in mourning, and Ysaril 1 becomes a day of sorrow and honor to them.

 Date of last edit 8th Frozen Rivers 1668 a.S.

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