The Axebite River near Krulls Winter Encampment
The Axebite had been impassable for over a month now since the last attack had brought an avalanche crashing down from the heights, burying scores of Orcs and their Warbeasts alive and signalling the end of any possibility of the Horde breaking through the Dwarven lines. No doubt the hated stunted ones were even now laughing into their beards as they re-inforced and repaired the wall.
Seeing his hopes of a quick victory buried under a thousand tonnes of snow, the Orcish Khan, Krull had flown into a black rage, roaring and bellowing his fury before declaring he would not, under any circumstances retreat back to the safety of the Kragh.
Having sworn an oath to Gorath, the Khan has set about setting his warriors to construct a winter encampment amidst the pine forest at the mouth of the pass. Its presence is a reminder to the Dwarves that a foe is at their gates but winter has not been kind to the Orcish warriors as temperatures plunged until even the Axebite river froze over.
Supplies became short and Krull sent word to the Kragh for supply caravans to be sent to his forward position. Unfortunately the Dwarves in the mighty fortress of Dur Zamor soon spotted the convoy struggling up the Old Road towards the pass and forayed out to harass it. Blood flew in the snow and the Orc caravan was thrown back in disarray, harried by fire from the two great guns of Dur Zamor, Gog and Magog.
Finding himself cut off from resupply, Krull has sent armed parties up into the mountains in attempts to find a navigable pass and the grim pinewoods echo with coarse Orc barks and bellows as groups of warriors hunt whatever game they can find.
To the north of Krulls encampment lies the hunting grounds of a barbarian tribe called the Farrions and there have been several clashes between groups as game becomes rare. Several small settlements have been pillaged already, their inhabitants slain and devoured, further enraging the Farrions. Sadly the humans are too small in number to face the Orcs in open battle but they are very adept at springing ambushes or silently killing sentries before vanishing back into their woodland home.
As supplies dwindle, the Orcs have turned first upon their slaves, the Goblins and finally on each other as the old and weak are consumed in a cannibalistic frenzy. From his dark palace far to the East, Gorath, the Orcish god sees the carnage and laughs. Here only the strongest survive and he has provided a boon to the Khan who presides over such pleasing sport.
In the midst of a particularly brutal storm at the height of winter, an Eye of Gorath appeared to Krull and even now the hulking horned creature acts as a trusted advisor and brutally effective right hand to the Khan. No doubt the coming of spring will herald a fresh assault on the pass when word spreads that the Eye is with Krull and fresh warriors flock to his banner.
The Dwarves have not been idle during the snows. From Lone Peak, Mal Dulm and Kareth Dull, parties of Dwarves have been patrolling the secret mountain passes and battling with Orcish, Goblin and various monstrous creatures and even venturing down to the high mesas and into the forest itself to spy on their foes.
The Endless Plains in winter
Despite their industrial skill, the Dwarves have found themselves relying on muscle power more than the coal fired boilers of their machines as the bitter cold causes them to break down and the noise they make brings increased danger of avalanche. The Dwarves are once again using sturdy pack oxen for transport.
Wildlings, great boarlike bipeds have in times past served the Dwarves in battle and once again Beastmasters are bringing their hulking charges to battle alongside the Dwarven troops.
In Aeroth, the hope of peace come the new year is fleeting and all the races are bracing themselves for another year of fighting to survive.