The Clock Strikes 12

AAR - King's Road Incident

by order of W-CDR Vistelle Ihlestrielle

After Action Report: King’s Road Incident of 3A 714 M2G 41

Prepared by Accipiter Dulintaure, SGT
4th Armored Patrol, West Gate

Summary of Events:

On 3A714M2G41, 4th AP, WG was sent on a routine three-day patrol of the Northbound King’s Road, under the command of 1LT Talyss Mon. The patrol proceeded without incident until well past Fort Freedom and into the woods. Roughly five miles beyond the start of the woodline, we discovered an overturned cart with evidence of no less than six dead civilians in the immediate area. (Due to the dismembered nature of the remnants, a precisely accurate count was impossible at the time.) Upon investigation of the surrounding area, our patrol discovered three roughly man-sized impact sites to the West of the road, indicating that a large human-sized body had been thrown from a great distance. Drag marks emanating from each of these locations led us to believe that other civilians were dragged away from the site, though it was impossible to tell whether they were alive or dead when this occurred.

It was nearing nightfall at the conclusion of our investigation, and LT Mon made the determination that we should make camp nearby, both to rest and so we could keep watch over the area during the night. It was at this time that he ordered me to locate a suitable campsite.

I headed West into the woods, having heard a stream or brook in that direction during the course of the day and hoping to establish our camp near a source of fresh water. I located what I determined to be an excellent location near the stream, with a small indentation useful for cover and an immediately adjacent hill that would serve as an excellent observation point for our security rotation. As I approached the site to inspect it more closely, however, I became aware of extremely unnatural movement in the area nearby, and caught sight of a cave just slightly to the Northeast of my intended campsite. The noise, as well as the foul odor around the cave, was enough to send me back to LT Mon as quickly and quietly as I could to make a full report.

Upon hearing about my discovery, LT Mon made the decisive call to move to the wood’s Southern border as quickly as possible. Though it was well after dark by this point, my vision allowed me to drive our supply cart and lead the others roughly 100m out of the woods, where we made a hasty patrol base at LT Mon’s direction.

Our patrol base was barely established when we began to hear the creatures calling from the woods—back and forth, sounding off with otherworldy shrieks the likes of which I’ve never heard before. I moved towards the woods, hoping to ambush the creatures or at least provide warning, but in fact it was they who were able to surprise and ambush me. Were it not for the bravery of CPLs John Winters and Iridia ek’Batar, and the courage and quick action of LT Mon, I surely would have been overpowered. In addition to being hugely and unnaturally strong and immune to normal injury (one shrugged off a shield-bash from CPL Winters without moving, and this was after having been pierced directly in the chest by an arrow), the creatures seem to be able to inspire an all-consuming and wholly unnatural fear if they get close enough to their target—while under this effect, I was unable to attack, defend, communicate or even form a coherent thought. The effect was only broken when the creature was knocked some distance away by LT Mon. They also have supernatural leaping ability—I personally witnessed one of the creatures leap nearly 20 feet up and over my head.

It was at this point that, through an accident of lucky marksmanship on my part, we were able to discover that the creatures have a weak point—their eye. After an arrow pierced the creature’s eye, it fell to the ground, instantly incapacitated. CPLs Winters and ek’Batar dispatched the second creature, using the slightly less-conventional method of using leverage to dislodge the creature’s head entirely.

Following the skirmish, we determined that CPL Winters had been wounded quite seriously by a bite from one of the creatures—the wound contained an infection that was rapidly spreading. After answering our distress flare, two members of the Sky Guard were able to take CPL Winters back to Fort Freedom by air for immediate (and successful) treatment. The rest of 4th AG, WG followed on foot, and arrived several hours later to debrief and file the appropriate reports. The bodies of the two creatures were taken back as well, and handed over to the proper personnel for autopsy and investigation. (See autopsy report and cadaver inventory.)

At this point, we were given a special assignment directly from the Wing Commander herself, authorized at the highest authority and on the strictest need-to-know basis: we were to return to the cave we had discovered at first light, investigate and clear it of anything unnatural. After making significant preparations during the night, all four patrol members (including CPL Winters, now nearly-fully recovered), left at first light and returned to the cave site. Near the entrance, we discovered a civilian, impaled on a large stake—fresh and (according to CPL ek’Batar) probably impaled alive. LT Mon surmised (and I agree) that this was either meant as a challenge, or as retaliation for the two creatures we slew the previous night. Regardless, this meant that the creatures were indeed keeping civilian prisoners and, if there was one, there were possibly more.

The cave itself was not large, with a short tunnel leading to an open chamber, and another tunnel leading to a thick and secured oaken door. We were unable to open it but—upon hearing human-sounding cries for help from the other side—were able to smash a hole and throw a sunstick into the room, revealing six more creatures. Were it not for our advantageous position in a choke point that only allowed the creatures out of the room in pairs, we surely would have been overwhelmed.

Thus established, our patrol was able to kill four of the creatures in quick succession. The final pair retreated into the room. LT Mon led the assault in, and absorbed a terrible blow from one of the creature’s weapons—although he was incapacitated, LT Mon gave the rest of the patrol the opening we needed to safely enter the room and destroy the remaining creatures.

Assuming command for the grievously injured lieutenant, I set off a flare outside to call for evacuation and backup from the Sky Guard, who arrived in short order to help us transport LT Mon and the civilians.

In addition to the survivors, the room contained evidence that many prisoners had been kept there over a long and varying period of time. They were not kept for ransom or any sort of valued possessions (which were simply thrown uncaringly in an adjacent storage room). All of the evidence pointed to the civilians (as well as their unfortunate predecessors) being used as…feeding troughs, for lack of a better description. [Please see attached room inventory for further details]

  • Further investigation of the cave site, as well as what is left of the creatures, should be undertaken. Great care should be taken to ensure that the last vestige of these creatures are destroyed.
  • Members of all King’s Road patrols should have at least rudimentary archery training, and should be issued at least one ranged weapon. Specific training to aim for the eye of a given target would help make another such attack more survivable as well.
  • Although I am not a commissioned officer, I wholeheartedly put my agreement behind any awards for valor that LT Talyss Mon, CPL John Winters or CPL Iridia ek’Batar may be nominated for. Were it not for their skill, courage, and quick action, I would not be here to write this today.

Addendum:sketch map of the area in question


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