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The Battle of Lorad was the final and decisive battle of the Berzerka in Tresidia. The arrival of the Berzerka in Tresidia displaced the group of Tresidians who would ultimately become the Egathrakoi. The ultimate victory of Tresidia allowed the continuation of Southern Parsini religious practices in the modern Tresidian area, and brought the southward push of the Berzerka to an end. It is notable that, although there are many records of the event, there is almost no harmony between the two belligerent sides. The battle continues to have relevance today, as Revod, and the Monument of Lorad, are focal points of conflict in the Revod Crisis.
Harmony of the Accounts
While there is little congruence between the accounts of the battle from the Tresidian and the Ursidian perspective, there are a few well-known points:
- Ursidian forces had entered the Tresidian ethnic territory in 1095, and had some success in converting the populous. The majority, however, were not converted, and they began to disperse in the face of overwhelming military strength.
- The refugees began to move in a somewhat orderly fashion, towards the Thadonian coast, in an attempt to avoid conversion.
- The Berzerka was hot on the trail of the refugees, and came very close to overtaking the entire lot of them.
- Egathrac the Great was the leader of the refugees. He appointed Lorad to mount a defense near Revod in the hope that time would allow the refugees to either retreat completely or to organize a more staunch defense in the warmer drier valleys.
- The Battle of Lorad ended with the near annihilation of the Ursidian forces, thus preserving the security of Tresidia.
Much contention about the remainder of the details of the battle exists to this day.
Most Tresidian accounts place great stock in the leadership of both Egathrac and Lorad. They take a bright view of their own history, and are possibily swayed by a sense of nationalistic braggadaccio.
Refugees and Egathrac the Great
As stated, Tresidian historians recognize that Tresidians had largely been uprooted from their homes. However, they believe that Egathrac was chosen as leader because he had a series of visions to help him guide the Egathrakoi.
According to contemporary Tresidian historians, Lorad was the leader of the rear guard. Although not normally a place of trust, he was nominally the second in command after Egathrac, and was put in charge of the rear guard since that was the place where contact with the Berzerka was most likely to occur.
Lorad had no formal military training, but was a student of Egathrac. Legends also abound that reference angelic instruction, but those are not mentioned by contemporary accounts, and are taken as symbolic by most historians. Lorad was supposedly quite tall, and had long hair which he wore in braids. Some people speculate he was a woodsman. He used "...neither spear nor sword, instead cleaving asunder man and beast with a great Halberd." (Note: a Halberd is a woodsman's ax.) Finally, Lorad was said to be a very pious man, who "...counted daily his sins, and paid them back threefold, lest he be found wanting at the day of reckoning."
The Battle of Revod
According to contemporary accounts, the battle took place west of the modern town of Revod. Lorad stationed his archers in the mountains around the valley, high enough to give them a clear view of the Ursidian soldiers below, and keep them safe from counterfire. He drew his infantry up in phalanx across the valley. Some historians describe a sort of artillery, similar to a catapult, with which they hurled "flaming corpses" at the enemy to unnerve them. In most accounts, though, it is either implied or specified that those corpses were of cattle.
The Berzerka approached, outnumbering the Egathrakoi almost 100 to 1. Everyday the Egathrakoi would draw up in battle order, awaiting the onslaught. Some days the Berzerka would charge, others they would not. Nevertheless, the Egathrakoi were always ready. Finally, on the last day of the battle, with more than 90% of the Ursidians killed or wounded, one final charge was mounted to break through the Egathrakoi lines. At one point it seemed a breach was inevetibale, but Lorad rushed into the breach with his ax, and cut down several dozen men, ending the assault. Lorad was injured by a thrown spear or an errant arrow, and subseqently died from his wounds at a nearby spring.
The victory allowed the successful withdrawal of the remaining Egathrakoi, and they resettled in Egathrac, choosing not to return.