At the command of the Fire Giant Menalus, ruler of dark fortress of Molthal, a full legion of Blight Orcs was dispatched to take the Dwarven city of Belgrath, led by one of Menalus' son, Gerra. The task was a double edged sword, but neither edge would cut Menalus. If he won, then Molthal gained a great dwarves city and expanded its reach. If he failed, then Menalus would merely lose one of his lesser sons. And he had many sons.
Belgrath, however, is an underground city which can only be reached by tunnels. The fort of Lor Holdram guarded the gate to one of the few remaining tunnels to Belgrath, the rest having fallen into disuse due to earthquakes, goblin infestations, and the like long ago. Thus before reaching Belgrath, the legion had to first take Lor Holdram.
The attackers numbered some six thousand blight orc legionnaires, a cabal of Sidereal sorcerers, along with some Hill Giants and human mercenaries who agreed to take Molthal's coin in the hopes of sacking the dwarven stronghold. Notable combatants among the attackers included Maho Sparhawk, Telemachus, Gerra, Gash, and Mar'Cal the Wanderer.
The defenders, a coalition of dwarves and humans, counted only a few hundred strong. Among them fought warriors like Thren, Kjaran Mak Aodha, Adam, Nimedae, Birtingr Hrutr, and Arnold Skuldson.
The Molthal legion encamped before the fort and Gerra held a war council, wherein he determined that the walls of Lor Holdram were built too thick to be breached by conventional methods and were too layered in ancient magics to be blown apart by sorcerers. The Sidereal elves Telemachus and Astyanax proposed competing strategies. Astyanax suggesting launching infected animals into the fort and wiping out the defenders through a magically accelerated disease. Telemachus proposed using the cabal to conjure a number of invisible Wind Stalkers who would infiltrate the gatehouse in the midst of battle and open the gate. Gerra chose Telemachus' plan of action.