The Battle at Manar River took place in 430 AG and indirectly led to the downfall of the Guardians of the Realm. Until today it is considered the most momentous conflict in non-ancient history.
Abyssal forces had entered the material realm as early as 411 AG in order to weaken Minirmuir's discipleship, which had found great afflux in southern Emeril Isle. What started out as a private campaign of the lesser demon lord Karzul soon developed into a broad crusade against the powers of peace and order as other abyssal powers followed the example to enforce their own interests. A dreadful, decades-long rule of darkness would have ensued, but this time the material world was forearmed by means of the order of the Guardians, protectors of peace and knowledge. The demon lords grudgingly decided to unite their forces and take action against this powerful opponent. After numerous fruitless skirmishes throughout western Asnodil, Suulan Tanezi, Karzul's supreme commander, was instructed to deploy the main force afoot the Karantil ridge, call in reinforcements and secure the supply routes. The Guardians' main force, led by Reinad Mursag, arrived at the scene shortly thereafter.
First battle day Edit
The two gargantuan armies faced each other on a muggy late summer morning on a slightly hilly, forest lined plain northwest of where the village of Isnoda is located today. A shallow section of the river Manar crossed the battle field between the two armies. The Guardian forces consisted of about 3000 elven archers, 6000 dwarven axe warriors, 10000 human sword and spear fighters, 6000 other melee units, 35 goblin catapults, 500 battle mages, 60 arch mages and 20 bomber airships. The abyssal forces were comprised of 8000 battle imps, 2000 undead mages, 3000 sword-wielding shadow warriors, 2000 kobold slingers, 400 flying battle demons and 6 magic cannons, devices able to focus and fire raw magic energy at small targets.
Mursag initiated action by raining flaming arrows on Tanezi's front line to support the advancing sword warriors, which were flanked by spearmen. Tanezi reacted by putting the battle imps and shadow warriors into motion while wreaking havok among the opponent's marching front line using the magic cannons he had stationed nearly invisibly in the woods. Subsequently Mursag sent elven scouts into the woods in search for the cannons.
As the frontlines were about to hit each other in the waters of the Manar river, most of the cannons stopped firing in order to not hit friendly troops. A wasteful carnage followed as the melee troops attacked each other frontally. Although Mursag had had to put up with significant losses due to cannon fire, the spearmen which now attacked the enemy's flank proved very effective due to their long melee range.
After a terrible bloodbath of two hours, the parties ceased from each other on behalf of their commanders. Both sides had lost about a third of the involved troops respectively.
Later that day, Mursag moved parts of his troops, as well as the catapults into the woods. The scouts returned and had found the positions of most of the cannons.
Second battle day Edit
Mursag did the first move again by sending out the airships at early daybreak to find and destroy the magic cannons, while archers and spearmen emerged from the woods and distracted the enemy with smaller engagements. After cannons and battle demons had taken out three airships with all cannons still intact despite of a few near-direct hits, the airships were ordered back, defended from the ground by battle mages and catapults. Mursag decided to hit the enemy from the back and sent out nearly half of his army to move past the enemy in a distance behind the woods. Unfortunately, Tanezi decided it was time for frontal battle again and sent out a wave of imps and slingers which were intercepted by melee units and archers that had been hiding in the woods. The rest of the day was spent with relatively low-loss fights in the forest.
Third battle day Edit
It was only now that Tanezi noticed the huge army at his backdoor and the marching swordmen in front of him; the circle around him had closed. Musag had also ordered most of the axe warriors to hide in another dense forest on a nearby branch of the Karantil ridge. This did not go unnoticed by Tanezi; in his fury he ordered the undead mages to connect their minds and create a great additional pool of energy; energy that would multiply the destructive power of the magic cannons, which were now jointly firing a single monstrous beam at the mountain.
Millions of tons of rock were vaporized, shattered or catapulted kilometers away while the mountain detonated from within as a glowing ball of plasma. A hot blast wave crossed the plains with supersonic speed, felling all trees within a fifteen kilometer radius. Within a few seconds, two thirds of Mursag's and less than one third of Tanezi's troops were eradicated; the hellish creatures proved significantly more resistant to heat.
At this point, there was no option left for Mursag than escape and levying of a new army, as quickly as possible. Heavily injured, he and the surviving higher rank officers manned the remaining airships, being followed and attacked by the enemy's flying demons. Thanks to fire support from surviving mages at the ground, Musag and the crews of two other airships made it out of the ravaged area and to Thuzgol, where Musag was informed by another Guardian about a betrayal at the Emeril monastery, which led to abyssal forces occupying the site.
It was instantly clear to Musag that any chance of repelling the invasion was lost.
While the battle itself did not lead to the demise of the Guardians of the Realm, it made a recapture of the monastery within an acceptable time frame impossible and demoralized leaders all around the world. As a consequence, the second demonic invasion could enter its main phase unhinderedly and bring decades of darkness unto the land, while the Guardians entered hibernation, waiting for a chance to turn things to the better for nearly 800 years.