The Vingaard Campaign was fought in the spring of 352 AC in Solamnia's provinces of Plains of Solamnia and Nightlund. The campaign was named after the Vingaard River since most of its major battles were fought near that river. It lasted for three weeks and saw the Whitestone Army defeat the Dragonarmies in four major engagements, driving them from northern Solamnia and liberating the city of Kalaman.

The Whitestone Army was led by the Golden General, Laurana Kanan, and was deployed at the High Clerist's Tower at the start of the campaign. It initially consisted of the Knights of Solamnia who survived the Battle of the High Clerist's Tower, the Army of Palanthas, a wing of Qualinesti griffon riders, and a large number of good dragons. Thousands of Solamnic and Ergothian volunteers would also later join the army as the campaign progressed.

The Dragonarmy forces in Solamnia at the start of the Vingaard Campaign consisted of the Blue Wing, led by Highmaster Bakaris, which was occupying Vingaard Keep, the Red Wing, led by Emperor Ariakas, that was advancing on Caergoth, and the Throtl Legion of the Green Wing, led by Highmaster Kadagh, that was stationed in Throtl. Anticipating the need for reinforcements, Emperor Ariakas also ordered the White Wing, led by Highlord Toede, and the Sanction Reserve Army to advance into Solamnia.

The Whitestone Strategy

Laurana knew that the Dragonarmy forces in Solamnia greatly outnumbered her army. However, she believed she still had the advantage since her army was massed in one place while the Dragonarmy forces were scattered throughout Solamnia, and that by relying on surprise, speed, and the long range striking power of her aerial forces, she could defeat in detail the various Dragonarmy formations. She thus ignored the advice of her senior knights, who recommended staying on the defensive at the High Clerist's Tower, and took the offensive. Her plan was to seize Vingaard Keep and then advance up the Vingaard River to the critical port city of Kalaman.

The Main Battles

Battle of Vingaard Fortress

Laurana opened her offensive by leading her good dragons and griffon riders in a surprise aerial assault on the Blue Wing at Vingaard Keep. This attack routed the blue dragons and inflicted such heavy losses on the Blue Wing's ground troops that they were forced to abandon Vingaard Keep and flee to the south. The liberated populace of Vingaard Keep became the first to call Laurana the Golden General as they cheered her after the battle was won.

Crossing the Vingaard

While Laurana was leading her air forces against Vingaard Keep, her ground army marched from the High Clerist's Tower to the Vingaard River. Laurana needed to cross that river and advance into Nightlund as the next step in her offensive. Unfortunately, she lacked the necessary boats to carry her army across, and the Vingaard was too swollen from the spring thaw to be forded at this time of year. The Golden General solved this problem by having her ground army airlifted across the Vingaard on the backs of her dragons over the next three days. A force of green dragons from Throtl attempted to disrupt the crossing, but they were defeated by the Qualinesti griffon riders who were protecting the crossing. Once the entire Whitestone Army was across the river, Laurana continued her advance.

Battle of Throtl

As the Whitestone Army advanced into Nightlund, Laurana led the Whitestone air forces in an attack on the Throtl Legion of the Green Wing which was preparing to march against her. This attack resulted in the complete destruction of the Throtl Legion with its commander, Highmaster Kadagh, being captured by the Qualinesti prince Gilthanas and the silver dragon Silvara.

Battle of the Narrows

The Whitestone Army was advancing to the north, when it's scouting dragons reported that the White Wing was coming up from the south. Laurana responded quickly to this new threat by reversing the direction of her army to meet the White Wing in battle. The following day an aerial engagement between Whitestone griffon riders and the flying sivak draconians of the White Wing, quickly led to both sides committing dragons to the battle, and then to the two armies meeting along the banks of the Vingaard River in the first major ground battle of the Vingaard Campaign. Heavy fighting resulted, but finally a charge of the Knights of the Crown smashed the White Wing's ground forces, while the good dragons defeated the white dragons. With the White Wing destroyed the Whitestone Army resumed its advance northward up the Vingaard River towards Kalaman.

Battle at Margaard Ford

As the Whitestone Army drew near to the city of Kalaman, the Dragonarmies finally succeeded in concentrating their power against it, with the Blue Wing, the Red Wing, and the Sanction Reserve Army all coming together to advance against the now horribly outnumbered Whitestone Army at Margaard Ford on the Vingaard River. The Golden General had prepared for this moment though and had her silver dragons create an ice dam on the Vingaard River, so her army could safely cross. Then when the combined Dragonarmy horde attempted to follow her forces across the now dry riverbed, Laurana had her gold and brass dragons melt the ice dam, unleashing a tidal wave that utterly obliterated the Dragonarmy ground forces. The good dragons then defeated the red and blue dragons in the largest aerial battle of the war, with the kender hero Tasslehoff Burrfoot capturing Highmaster Bakaris. With the last of the Dragonarmy forces in northern Solamnia destroyed, the Whitestone Army then marched into Kalaman and liberated the city which honored the Golden General and her victorious army with a day long celebration.

References

  • War of the Lance (Sourcebook), p. 230-232
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