Battle of Lost Hope

From PathfinderWiki

The Battle of Lost Hope was a desperate defense of the Rake Island Bridge crossing of the River Esk in 4237 AR, in which about 500 light infantry of Lastwall held off an orc force of more than 10,000 long enough to allow civilian refugees and troops to flee. The site of the battle was designated sacred ground of the deity Iomedae by her herald, the Hand of the Inheritor.1


General Istore Harchist established the Rake Island Bridge as a key crossing of the River Esk and fortified it in 4236 AR by ordering its improvement from a wooden bridge to a stone structure, as well as building two keeps and Fort Morrine around it. After the fall of the Sunwall in 4237 AR, orc assaults west of the Flood Road forced Vigil to evacuate all Lastwall citizens north of the River Esk, and the crossing—with Fort Morrine still under construction—would serve as their escape route. The remaining troops would hold the bridge long enough to scuttle it and deny the orcs their only viable river crossing into Lastwall for 70 miles.1

On 16 Rova 4237 AR, with most of the civilians across, Lastwall's remaining 500 light infantry north of the bridge faced more than 10,000 attacking Black Sun, Empty Hand, and Grand Axe orcs north of the Rake Island Bridge. The troops staged a desperate stalling defense to allow sappers under the command of Fort Morrine's General Aberford Richter to set up alchemical charges on the bridge, but were unable to withstand the assault.1

Fort Morrine's few remaining troops called for aid from Iomedae to hold the crossing, and did so until an hour before dawn of the following day, when a group of ettins rammed down the northern fort's gates. As they began crossing the bridge, the sappers finished rigging the bridge and detonated it, sacrificing themselves and killing the ettins and the fort's few remaining defenders but forcing the orcs to retreat.1


Because of the Lastwall soldiers' sacrifices, Iomedae's herald, the Hand of the Inheritor, appeared weeks after the battle to the paladin Berbara of Skelt and declared the battle's site to be sacred ground to the goddess. Berbara took up defense of the crossing at Fort Morrine and remained in the position for the rest of her life, passing the charge on to a successor before dying soon after.1

A paladin of Iomedae has defended the site ever since, even after the region was overrun by orcs in 4482 AR, after which acts of divine intervention continued to support its defense until orcs began to avoid the fort. The current vigilant of Fort Morrine is Amahlia of Steyr, who as of 4715 AR had held the post for more than 20 years.1


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Tyler Beck, et al. “Adventuring in Belkzen” in Belkzen, Hold of the Orc Hordes, 40. Paizo Inc., 2015