Sharn Inquisitive10/16/2006

Old Soldiers’ Home Massacre
News for Sypheros 15th, 998

Dozens Slain in Old Soldiers’ Home Massacre

MOONWATCH—More than thirty elderly veterans of the Last War are dead following a mysterious attack on the Vermillion Woods Convalescent Home on the southwest Breland coast.

“It was carnage,” said facility director Gurya Earlyfell. “They kicked in the front door, split into groups, and just killed everyone they could find,” he said. “I was in the Healing Corps during the war, and I never saw such a vicious slaughter.”

Vermillion Woods, a manor set on cliffs overlooking the Barren Sea, is home to sixty pensioners, mostly retired Breland Army officers in their seventies or eighties. While the residents may be infirm, their military training served them well, Earlyfell said.

“Many were able to barricade themselves in their rooms or muster a common defense in the dining hall or medical ward,” Earlyfell said.

More than a dozen survived by hastily making a false “Quarantine Ward” sign and hanging it over a parlor room. Others used ceremonial weapons granted when they mustered out of the service against their assailants.

With assistance from able-bodied family members visiting Vermillion Woods, Earlyfell said he was able to evacuate almost half of the pensioners. The attackers fled into nearby jungle shortly before sheriffs from the nearby village of Patalien arrived.

The motive for the attack is unclear. Some survivors said the attackers had a sketch of a bearded man that they were comparing residents against.

“They woke me up out of bed and held a parchment up next to my face,” said Uldar Harnan, an admiral in Breland’s navy until his retirement in 869. “Then they shot me with a crossbow, and I don’t remember anything after that.”

Courtiers of Duke Tyror ir’Banath said the duke would offer a reward of several thousand gold coins for the capture of those responsible for the Vermillion Woods massacre. Given the number of decorated army veterans among the dead, it’s likely that the Brelish crown will also contribute to a reward fund.

About the Author

David Noonan is a designer/developer for Wizards of the Coast. Before coming to Wizards, he was a daily newspaper reporter in Washington state. Apparently the city hall beat is good practice for an Eberron campaign.

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