Sharn Inquisitive01/15/2007

Sharn Guard Breaks Mysterious Cult; 18 Dead
News for Zarantyr 8th, 998

Sharn Guard Breaks Mysterious Cult; 18 Dead

SHARN—Four members of the Sharn Guard and fourteen suspected members of a cult are dead after a pitched battle in the Northedge district of Longstairs on Far.

A lead in an ongoing kidnapping investigation led authorities to an apartment tower on Ten Drums Street on Far morning, said watch sergeant Urdren Vannti. Upon entering the tower, the Watch was beset by human and dwarven cultists shouting nonsensical slogans and brandishing spears and daggers.

The Watch briefly retreated until three squads of reinforcements arrived, Vannti said, then reentered the tower and engaged the cultists. The cultists began to display signs of magical taint—purplish, veinal growths on their limbs as they fought. Some cultists immolated themselves and nearby combatants, exploding with a fire from within. “Once these guys started to explode, we got out of the tower in case it caught fire,” Vannti said. “We heard a series of booms—maybe more cultists exploding—then everything was quiet.”

Inside the tower were the badly burned bodies of the cult members. None survived and none attempted to flee the building, Vannti said.

Little is known about the cultists, Vannti said. “We’re searching the apartment tower, and until that’s done, we don’t have much to go on,” he said. “They didn’t identify themselves, at least not in a coherent way. Just a lot of shouting about Xoriat and Thoon, whatever that is.”

Identities of the slain Sharn Guard are withheld pending notification of family. Establishing the identities of the cult members is an ongoing process made difficult by the poor quality of the remains, Vannti said.

The Blackened Book branch of the Sharn Watch will likely lead the ongoing cult investigation starting tomorrow, Vannti said. The Sword Point garrison will retain a lead role in the kidnapping case that uncovered the cult in the first place, he said.

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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