Battle of Red Cairn

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Previous Fall of Heldenhame
Concurrent Battle of Ghoul Wood
Next Death at the Nine Daemons
Battle of Red Cairn
Conflict The End Times
Date Autumn 2524 IC
Location Red Cairn, Sylvania
Outcome Dwarf pyrrhic victory
Dwarfs of Karak Kadrin Beastmen
Ungrim Ironfist
Malakai Makaisson[2]
several thousand many thousands
80% losses, half the survivors wounded massive casualties

The Battle of Red Cairn was an early battle of the End Times fought between the Dwarfs and Beastmen through the machinations of Mannfred von Carstein.

While working with Arkhan the Black to bring about the resurrection of Nagash, Mannfred's realm of Sylvania was simultaneously beset by five armys: a force of High Elves commanded by Eltharion the Grim; Hans Leitdorf and the Knights of Sigmar's Blood; a Dwarf throng under the Slayer King Ungrim Ironfist; a Wood Elf expedition led by Araloth the Bold; and the Bray-Shaman Malagor's massive warherd of Beastmen.[1a]

Mannfred considered the two greatest threats to be Malagor's horde and King Ungrim's Dwarf throng. He cunningly devised a scheme to draw these two forces into battle with each other, thus eliminating two obstacles in one fell swoop.[1b] To this end he dispatched his lieutenant Count Nyktolos of Vargravia with a swarm of fellbats, terrorgheists, and other flying creatures to harass the Beastmen herd. Through a series of aerial hit-and-run attacks, Nyktolos incited the primal fury of the Beastmen, distracting them from Malagor's commands and luring the warherd eastward. Nyktolos also destroyed a scouting party of Dwarf gyrocopters, robbing King Ungrim's throng of any warning of the Beastmen heading toward them.[1c][2]

After following Nyktolos' swarms through Hunger Wood for several days, Malagor's warherd finally broke through the trees and came upon the massive Dwarf throng of Karak Kadrin. King Ungrim Ironfist had heard the clamor coming from the woods and realized what it signified, giving him just enough time to unlimber his artillery and form a shield wall before the first Beastmen crashed through the tree line. Unable to control his warherd's battle-lust any longer, Malagor resigned himself to fighting the Dwarfs.[1c][2]

Though the warherd was enormous, in fact significantly larger than the Dwarf army, the Beastmen lacked the discipline of their foes. Three times did the stout shield wall of the Dwarfs drive off the frenzied horde, and three times did the the Children of Chaos regroup and charge the lines again, driven forward by their bloodlust. Many Slayers fulfilled their oaths against the beasts, and the shield wall contracted more than once as the losses began to take their toll.[2]

At the end of the second day, the Beastmen horde finally broke and fled, leaving behind a field covered with the mutilated and half-devoured bodies of the dead. Despite their victory, however, the Dwarf were badly mauled; eight of ten warriors who had marched from Karak Kadrin lay dead on the battlefield, and half of those who remained were too wounded to wield an axe. Though King Ungrim had achieved perhaps the greatest victory against the Beastmen in the history of Karak Kadrin, he knew that his army could go no further. His warriors were too few to aid the High Elves and Imperials who awaited them at Templehof. Burdened by his failure, Ungrim sent a small company of volunteers to bring word to his allies, then led the remainder of his throng back to its hold.[1d]