Confidential Military Dispatch
From Col. Richmond M. Hedge, Amal Unified Militaries, to Executor Relby ‘ja Filson, Imperial Catechism
The central Sindar region continues to harbor Subaten partisans. These zealots hold to their anti-magic beliefs and their heretical godhead without regard for reason or the rule of law and, despite our best efforts, continue to bring chaos and destruction to the communities here.
Most recently, three weeks ago, a party of Subatens entered the temple in Gorsbridge an hour before dawn, defacing the idol of the god and setting fire to the structure, which, having been constructed of wood beams in the local style, burned to the ground within the hour despite the valiant efforts of the town fire brigade. The partisans then proceeded to the mayor’s house, taking him and his wife prisoner, and seized the town hall, butchering the guards in the process. By morning, they had taken total control of the town and were flying the flag of what they call the “New Ecclesiarchy.”
Over the next three days, parties of armed Subatens from the surrounding mountain hollows made their way to Gorsbridge, burning temples and smashing roadside shrines on their way. Fortunately, a loyal citizen from Gorsbridge slipped away and reached our outpost in Vinmount. He arrived during a torrential downpour, covered in mud and blood (his own), and pounding upon the gate. Upon plying him with strong alcohol and hearing his testimony, I immediately paid him a reward in coin and set out for Gorsbridge with the dragoons.
After six hours of hard riding through the foothills, we encountered the first armed resistance along the main road leading to Gorsbridge. The partisans were armed with muskets, spears, and farming implements; yet, despite these rude weapons, they gave stiff and bloody battle to halt our advance upon the bridge and town. We broke them with a series of volleys and gave chase to the bridge, where we encountered a barricade. Our Binder made short work of the barricade, setting it ablaze with an arcane fire. The subsequent inferno enveloped dozens of the miscreants, some of whom were charred to death where they stood. Others cast themselves over the bridge, falling to their deaths in the raging torrent below. Rats have died prouder than the heretics that day.
Once the barricade was smashed, we overran the remaining rebels, whom we rounded up in the Gorsbridge town square. I myself sat as judge for a swiftly assembled tribunal. (The duty fell to me rather than the local authorities since the mayor and the town mage had been burned at the stake by their captors the previous day. The local magistrate refused to suspend normal process despite the urgency of the circumstances, and I elected to try him for treason alongside the rebels.) I found the four-dozen surviving Subatens and the magistrate, hardened zealots all, guilty of insurrection and heresy and had them summarily executed.
Their heads now hang above the bridge gate as warning to any who might think to imitate them. As I write this, my men are searching the local farms and villages for any who escaped from Gorsbridge, and our tribunal will remain in operation until we have dealt with them all. However, as we have learned, the Subatens have a short memory and will soon forget the awesome punishments that befall those who rise up against Amal. Consequently, we are in dire need of the services of the Catechism to root out the insurgency once and for all. I urge you to dispatch your agents to infiltrate the Subaten community and help us identify their leaders and all who would seek to overthrow the rule of the Emperor.
Col. Richmond M. Hedge
Editor’s Note: Ten days after writing this missive, Colonel Richmond Hedge was kidnapped from his bed by Subaten rebels and hung from his own gallows in retribution for his slaughter of the prisoners. Gorsbridge became the seat of the short-lived New Ecclesiarchy, and the Sindar region was riven by religious and anti-magical conflict for the next thirty years.