Azogg the Destroyer, King of Dunav, Slayer of Drumal, and Chosen of Efnisien
Background and early career
Azogg-Thoth, son of Amic-Thoth, was the Lord General of Aanhard, generally considered one of the greatest military commanders in history. His father, Amic, was the leading Aanhard commander during the First Faen War.
He has several sisters and two brothers, Hasdrubal and Mago. His brother-in-laws are Hasdrubal the Proud and the Orongor king Naravas. He was still a child when his sisters married, and his brother-in-laws were close associates during his father’s struggles in the Mercenary War and the Faen conquest of Dunav.
After Aanhard’s defeat in the First Faen War, Amic set out to improve his family’s and Aanhard’s fortunes. With that in mind, Amic began the subjugation of the goblin tribes of the Dunav Vale.
According to legend, Azogg went to his father and begged to join the war, Amic agreed and demanded that he swear that as long as he lived he would never be a friend to the Roune. There is even an account of him at a very young age begging his father to take him with him to battle. In the story, Azogg’s father took him up and brought him to a sacrificial chamber. Amic held Azogg over the fire roaring in the chamber and made him swear that he would never be a friend of the Roune. Other sources report that Azogg told his father, “I swear that as soon as age will permit… I will use fire and steel to arrest the destiny of the Roune.”
Once the goblin tribes of the Dunav Vale were subjugated, Azogg’s father went about the conquest of Lath. When his father died in battle, Azogg’s brother-in-law Hasdrubal the Proud succeeded to his command of the army with Azogg serving as an officer under him. Hasdrubal pursued a policy of consolidation of Aanhard’s Dunav interests, even signing a treaty with the Roune whereby Aanhard would not expand north of the Ebro River, so long as the Roune did not expand south of it. Hasdrubal also endeavored to consolidate Aanhard power through diplomatic relationships with native tribes. As a part of his deals, Hasdrubal arranged the marriage between Azogg and a goblin princess named Imilce.
Upon the assassination of Hasdrubal, Azogg was proclaimed Lord General by the army and confirmed appointment by the Aanhard government. Legend gives a depiction of the young Azogg:
No sooner had he arrived…the old soldiers fancied they saw Amic in his youth given back to them; the same bright look; the same fire in his eye, the same trick of countenance and features. Never was one and the same spirit more skillful to meet opposition, to obey, or to command…
After he assumed command, Azogg spent two years consolidating his holdings and completing the conquest of Lath, south of the Ebro. However, the Roune, fearing the growing strength of Azogg in Dunav and Lath, made an alliance with the city of Saguntum, which lay a considerable distance south of the River Ebro and claimed the city as its protectorate. Azogg perceived this as a breach of the treaty signed with Hasdrubal and so he laid siege to the city, which fell after eight months. The Roune reacted to this apparent violation of the treaty and demanded justice from Aanhard. In view of Azogg’s great popularity, the Aanhard government did not repudiate Azogg’s actions, and the war he sought was declared at the end of the year. Azogg was now determined to carry the war into the heart of Lithe by a rapid march through Lath and southern Cant.
Second Faen War
Overland journey to Lithe
Overland journey to Lithe. Azogg recruits additional mercenaries from Lath and southern Cant.
Battle of Po
Roune generals are clearly overmatched by Azogg’s strategy.
Battle of Cannae
Azogg excelled as a tactician. No battle in history is a finer sample of tactics than Cannae. But he was yet greater in logistics and strategy. No general ever marched to and fro among so many armies of troops superior to his own numbers and material as fearlessly and skillfully as he. No man ever held his own so long or so ably against such odds. Constantly overmatched by better soldiers, led by generals always respectable, often of great ability, he yet defied all their efforts to drive him from Lithe, for half a generation. Excepting in the case of Aethelmon, and some few isolated instances, all wars up to the Second Faen War, had been decided largely, if not entirely, by battle-tactics. Strategic ability had been comprehended only on a minor scale. Armies had marched towards each other, had fought in parallel order, and the conqueror had imposed terms on his opponent. Any variation from this rule consisted in ambuscades or other stratagems. That war could be waged by avoiding in lieu of seeking battle; that the results of a victory could be earned by attacks upon the enemy’s communications, by flank-maneuvers, by seizing positions from which safely to threaten him in case he moved, and by other devices of strategy, was not understood… [However] For the first time in the history of war, we see two contending generals avoiding each other, occupying impregnable camps on heights, marching about each other’s flanks to seize cities or supplies in their rear, harassing each other with small-war, and rarely venturing on a battle which might prove a fatal disaster—all with a well-conceived purpose of placing his opponent at a strategic disadvantage… That it did so was due to the teaching of Azogg.
Azogg, with his brother Mago leading his heavy calvary, obliterate the Roune forces at Cannae. Azogg’s 40,000 defeat Roune’s estimate 100,000. Reports suggest somewhere between 50,000 and 70,000 Roune were killed or captured during the battle. Roune won’t confront Azogg in conventional battle and resort to Guerrila warfare. Azogg resorts to a scorched earth policy to address Roune tactic. War of attrition begins.
The Rise of Drumal
The fire drake (Red Dragon) Drumal attacks Aanhard. Defense of Aanhard from Drumal cuts off reinforcements to Lithe.
Azogg’s retreat in Lithe
With Aanhard already suffering from Drumal’s attacks, Azogg’s brother Hasdrubal is sent back to deal with Drumal. Unfortunately, Hasdrubal is ambushed on the way back and never makes it. Support from Aanhard wanes as Drumal continues his assault. Azogg is forced to retreat from Lithe in order to deal with Drumal and the loss of reinforcements.
Conclusion of the Second Faen War
Return to Aanhard
The Last Flight of Drumal
Azogg confronts Drumal and slays the drake.
Roune devastated by war, does not follow Azogg. Turn towards rebuilding.
Azogg is suddenly frequently seen in the company of an unknown women named Efsnir, suspected to be some sort of sorceress with a demonic lineage. Imilce is rarely seen.
Naravas, king of the Orongor, Azogg’s brother-in-law, and long time ally of the Aanhard, makes starts dealing with a Cree General refugee.
Many Aanhard officers start questioning some of Azogg’s actions and suspect Efsnir is pulling strings. Azogg executes two of his highest ranking officers when he learns of the rumors. Azogg then claims the Cree are aligned with the Roune and the Naravas deal threatens the security of Aanhard. The Aanhard fall to civil war as Azogg’s brother Mago subverts Azogg and builds an alliance with Naravas. Azogg takes those still loyal to him and withdraws to Dunav Vale, retaining his dominance over the goblin tribes and killing Imilce’s father he positions himself as the King of Dunav.
The struggle between Mago and Azogg is preventing Naravas from acting on his deal with the Cree General. Needs conflict with Dunav to end before committing any resources against the Dath.