1213 RE-- The Death of Lady Nimic
Date: 30 June, 1213 RE
Outcome: Six patrol survivors, twenty-one patrol members dead
Patrol Commanders: Lady Nimic, Squire Ionela Torcana, and Sir Martin Lacatus
On the last day of June, or Iunie by Tarsikkan naming, six bloody and bedraggled soldiers stumbled into Otthun. There were no signs of the original patrol leaders among those that returned to Otthun. These soldiers were all that remained of the twenty-seven-person patrol that left the town in early March, or Martie to the Tarsikkans. All six bore signs of illness, injury, sleep deprivation, and borderline starvation. The survivors were led by an Alchemist trained in Atyuren(1), hired as a poison taster and physicker by Lady Nimic, and by a wizard and scout(2) previously in training under Dame Ciobra.
According to one of the prospective Silver Swordsmen(3) in the ranks, the patrol consisted of three separate units of nine patrolmen each. Lady Nimic, wife of Lord Nimic, led the patrol overall, with Sir Martin Lacatus and his squire, Ionela Torcana, serving as her patrol leads and second and third in command. The patrol was to investigate the area of Tiere-a-Tun. Rumors had it that a powerful cabal known as the Red Star Harmonium was making plans that included this area in some way, as well as delving into several important events in Tarsikka's past. This coincided with renewed werewolf activity in the region, leading Lady Nimic to believe there was possibly a link between the two. As the mission expected to cross the border into the Skattenmark, Lady Nimic had received the blessing of the Margravine von Chamneburg.
Taking up the thread of the story, one of the surviving soldiers(4), a conscript who gained a house posting after a successful stint of patrolling, explained that the patrols split into three units. One held the camp, one explored the woods of Tiere-a-Tun, and one scouted back towards the area of Petra's Hearth. Lady Nimic, a wizard of no small skill, led the patrol inspecting the woods. No matter what they attempted, the patrol could not penetrate the woodline. The wizards with her attempted many different spells, some to discern the problem, others to unravel the magic at work, and finally, some to summon the spirits of the land to answer their questions. The wizards set forth a call to any spirit within the area, but they were unprepared for the violent response that ensued. The spirit that appeared, unable to be described at all by the scout(2), who was traveling with Lady Nimic back to the camp, killed all of the wizards present at the summoning. The offensive magics of the Form of Aether remained detectable on their bodies for some time thereafter. Learning of this, Lady Nimic called for a retreat to Petra's Hearth, then a return to Otthun.
Their retreat was not so easy, as werewolves and shades plagued them every step of the way to town. Sir Martin lost his life the first night, protecting his squire from a fatal blow from rending claws. Lady Nimic was saved by a physicker(5) who purged her blood of a virulent disease racing through her veins. Others fell that night to the shades' powerful Shadow magic, far stronger than most had encountered. Progress was slow going, as the patrol dared not leave their dead behind unburied; nor did they have the strength to carry them all with them. The bodies were given funereal rites, according to the Servant of the Eternal Dawn(6) who was with the patrol. Two nights later, Squire Torcana was ambushed on patrol with five others. Several homunculi and humans were found around them, obviously slain as part of the skirmish. Unfortunately, this could not be investigated, as more shades and werewolf attacks continued. Finally, the results culminated in a final rush to Petra's Hearth, where Lady Nimic was brutally murdered by a werewolf so that the last of her forces could reach the relative safety of the town. For all of the Servant's power, there was nothing to be done for her.
Upon hearing the news, Lord Sorin was distraught, withdrawing into his fort in Otthun.