The demonic forces, after having succesfully defeated the Amazon queendom of Priva continued their march northward, toward the pass of Navatiak, destroying and sacking the region of the Amber Shores.
While the reclusive dwarves of Helmed didn't minded demonic-human policies, as the Dark Legions forced their pass across dwarven territory, making alliances with local orc and goblin tribes that where traditionally their enemies, the dwarf fortresses of the north stood to defend their own interests. While small forces blocked the mountain paths, the main host of the dwarves -numbering about 7,000 to 15,000 dwarves- marched to the north, blocking the Navatiak Pass between the mountains and the Hieyokscream Sea, being quick to build field fortifcations, palisades and ramparts -along with some short stonewalls, as quick as only dwarves knew to build them.
With the minor passses blocked, the northern army of the Confederation of Free Peoples -some scholars speak of some 10 legions of them, with a figure between 30,000 to 100,000 legionaries and auxiliaries - was bottled up by the dwarven field works.
Demon commanders first tried to make a truce with the dwarves, promising to respect dwarf territories, retreat all forces and foragers that had been roaming dwarven lands, in exchange for free pass, noting that the Navatiak Pass itself wasn't a dwarven territory. To this, dwarves said that they where bound that by their honour, and where a dwarf stood tall, the ground under his feet was dwarven soil.
The Battle Edit
With the failure of the negotiations, demonic commanders ordered to attack, but the dwarves stood their ground. Ten times the Dark Legions attacked, and ten times they where repelled that same day.
The next day, demons tried again three more assaults -and failed at them-. That night they tried a night assault, that while had some initial success, was finally repelled. The following day, demons tried to use flanking forces across the mountain paths, but they had already been garrisoned by the dwarves, failing as well.
The demons then set camp in front of the dwarven defenses, and for seven days they waited, with new attempts to convince the dwarves to leave and open the road, attempts always finding the stubborness of the dwarves who refused dialogue.
The tenth day of the battle had arrived a contingent of giants and dragons as reinforcements of the dwark legion, and the siege engines of the Draak Harg mercenaries where set, so a new assault was done: but the dwarves hadn't been iddle these days, and had further reinforced their fortifications, and so, as well this assault failed:
Not only that, but the dwarves where bold enough for that night to launch themselves a surprise attack on the legion camp: however, the dwarves betrayed their own stealth with their heavy armours, announcing their arrival just in time for demons to organise defense and avoid the dwarven attack to be a complete massacre: not only they where able to organize the defense, but they cut out the bold attacking dwarves from their defensive line, being able to kill or capture the dwarves -among them, the King Under the Mountain of Helmed-.
The next day, once more time envoys of the Dark Legion tried to persuade the dwarves to abandone their lines in exchange for the life of the hostages, but dwarves mocked the envoys and refused. The Dark Legion prepared then a new attack, and after torturing and executing in horrible ways the hostages on the view of the dwarves -however, it was spoilt their fun with the King Under the Mountain of Helmet, because their torture was cut short by a bolt shoot from ballista-.
However, the execution of the prisoners, rather than to weaken the dwarves hardened their resolve, who not only repelled the last demonic assault, but counter-attacked, destroying many of the siege engines of the Draak Harg engineer mercenaries and recovering the bodies of the prisoners that the demons had set as a display: however, learning from the previous night battle, they where quick to return to their defenses.
Stagnation of the battle and Demonic Diplomacy Edit
With the battle becoming a siege, a siege the northern army of the Confederation wasn't ready to face, away from their supplies and bases, unnable to encircle the dwarven defenses and cut them from their own supplies -having the dwaves actually their bases closer-, the demons commanders needed a way to flank the dwarves.
They will send flying demons as envoys, beyond the lines of the dwarves, into the lands of the Navarmenn humans.
Before the Dwarven-Demon conflict erupted, the Navatiak Pass was considered to be a territory of the Navarmenn, and while the demons originally had planned to simply march across Navatiak, conquering these humans -as they had done so with the Amazons and the tribes of the Amber Shores-, these embassadors instead brought word of dwarves invading and taking for their own the lands of Navatiak from their rightful owners.
Promising an alliance and mutual support, along with riches of sacked dwarven mines and other future conquests, the embassadors of the Dark Legions where able to gain support from clans of Navarmenn humans, Yak Yak, Kanovs and Galaw High Orcs, along with some numbers of giants, ogres, trolls and goblins, traditional enemies of the Helmed Dwarves.
While some of these forces where set to ravage the dwarven holds of Helmed in the west, the "Dark Army of Navatiak" marched eastwards, to the rear of the dwarven lines in the Navatiak Pass, while the long ships of the Navarmeen sailed to land at their shores.
Two months had past since the beginning of the battle.
While the dwarves on the Navatiak Pass had learnt from their messengers of the troubling news of the raids of their western holds, they had failed to assert the size and strenght of the Navatiak force marching from their rear, and while some preparations where done, the field defenses of their rear where weaker and uncomplete.
The Dark Legion, using flyers to scout and coordinate their attack, exploited these weakness:
And so, the 74 day since the beginning of the battle, the Dark Legion launched the three pronged attack, with the northern legions assaulting the Navatiak Pass defenses from the north first -distracting the dwarves-, the Navatiak auxiliaries pouring between the gaps of the rear defenses second, attacks of goblins and green orcs to the mountain paths to the south and their flyers attacking from above.
While dwarven defense lost all coordination, they stubbornly hold their ground, and it wouldn't be until the final attack -the landing of Navarmeen in the shores- that the battle was all but lost to the dwarves, who didn't attempted to retreat, surrounded as they where, each unit doing desperate last stands.
The battle was finally over, and all the dwarven defenders of the Navatiak Pass lied dead.
The Dwarves of Helmed lost their best warriors and much of their hosts, and so where forced to abandone much of their holds, retreating to their more impregnable fortresses. While they wouldn't surrender to the Dark Legion, they where effectively knocked off the war as active part of it, at least for twenty years.
Due the delays to cross the Navatiak Pass, the Dark Legion armies of the north where forced to do their wintering in Navatiak, before they could march southwards the 2.204 -which meant a delay on the plans of the Dark Legion for the fall of Huncle. They will need as well to detach some forces in the region, to check the Dwarf Fortresses, sometimes attempting some half-hearted sieges, more to keep busy the dwarves than to try to defeat them.
As result of this battle, Navatiak and the Navarmenn -originally only meant to be yet a footnote of the conquests of the Dark Legion by the demons- became instead an ally of the Confederation of Free Peoples: however, while the Navarmenn sailors proved to be useful, the conflicts between humans and non-humans of Navatiak, the attitude of the demon viceroy and his forces and the demonic policies toward humans and elves, will lead to strains in the alliance -and further in the war, open rebellions, supported by the dwarves on the mountains-.