Battle of the Spice Road

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Battle of the Spice Road
Conflict War against Nagash
Date -1744 IC
Location The Spice Road near Bel Aliad
Outcome Victory for Ka-Sabar
Ka-Sabar Bel Aliad
King Akhmen-hotep Prince Suhedir al-Khazem
4100 8000

The Battle of the Spice Road was fought between the Bronze Host of Ka-Sabar and the defenders of the city of Bel Aliad. [1a]


The host of King Akhmen-hotep marched on the city at the behest of the Heiretic Council of Mahrak as part of their plan to defeat the usurper king Nagash using refugee horsemen from Bhagar to guide their way through the Great Desert. [1a] Although the priests had intended for him to sack the city, Akhmen-hotep instead camped beyond the city until the larger defending army marched out to meet him. [1b]


Ka-Sabar deployed around the two heavy companies, the aspirants on either side and the bowmen in a long line behind them and behind them were the heavy armoured chariots. Bel Aliad deployed two lines of mercenary archers with mobs of barabarian warriors behind them, flanked by light cavalry - like their opponents, they kept their chariots in reserve. [1b]


Akhmen-hotep took half the chariots to the centre, ordering Pakh-amn to use the dust he generated and the aspirants to head for the left flank. His Bhagarite horsemen drew the Bel Aliad cavalry away as the two heavy companies of the Bronze Host marched to meet the enemy City Companies. An initial volley of arrows had no effect as the blessings of Geheb turned aside the shafts and the aspirants were ordered forward to cast several volleys javelins into the barbarian mobs again and again before retreating. Finally the mercenaries were unwilling to take any more and charged towards the retreating aspirants and the heavy infantry. As they approached, Akhmen-hotep first unleashed his archers and then ordered his chariots to charge the shocked barbarians. [1c]

Although the charge and archers killed many of the barbarian mercenaries, they did not break and thre brutal battle raged on for hours. A charge by the chariots under Pakh-amn the only thing preventing the army of Akhmen-hotep being surrounded and he continued to protect the left flank from the cavalry of Bel Aliad. As the two sides began to show their exhaustion, Bel Aliad decided to commit their reserves - the chariots and City Companies - Akhmen-hotep ordered his archers to concentrate on the Spearmen as he gathered his veterans for one final push, flanked by some of the remining aspirants. [1d]

They shattered the barbarians that charged them and in turn charged the spearmen faltering under the arrowfire, this left the light chariots of Bel Aliad alone and the king of Ka-Sabar charged them with his own heavy chariots and Ushabti. He managed to find and confront Prince Suhedir al-Khazem, easily defeating him and forcing his surrender. [1d]

However even as the King began to dictate generous terms of ransom, the Bhagarite horsmen had begun a bloody rampage of vengeance in the city. [1d]

Order of Battle

  • Bel Aliad under Prince Suhedir al-Khazem, he and his nobles went to war on chariots, like civilised peoples. [1b]
    • Two City Companies of spearmen. [1b]
    • Archers from Zandri.[1b]
    • 4000 northern barbarian mercenaries equiped with bows, sword and shield or two handed bronze swords. [1b]
    • Light Cavalry. [1b]


  • 1: Rise of Nagash (anthology) by Mike Lee
    • 1a: Chapter Ten: Tidings of War, pg. 133-135
    • 1b: Chapter Thirteen: The Two-edged Blade, pg. 160-163
    • 1c: Chapter Thirteen: The Two-edged Blade, pg. 164-168
    • 1d: Chapter Fourteen: The Bloodstained Sands, pg. 172