( from the journal of knight captain Dietrich Menge, 15th of March, Year 123, Blüdhafen)
…Our journey to Blüdhafen to retrieve the dangerous magical dagger, guarded by their paladin chapter, was supposed to take us approximately two weeks.
We were to make our stops in various small towns and villages to resupply and rest, and to contact also visit the paladin chapters in Forlais and Valjoux to find out about any news in the area.
However upon receiving the letter from the Blüdhafen chapter, I became burdened with suspicions.
I suspect it was Zuhthar’s divine intervention that guided my intuition, but the message left me with great unease. I also was of the opinion that the chapter handled the entire cult ordeal very badly and they were to carefree with their study of the corrupting dagger.
With knight commander’s blessing I decided to take more than twice the requested amount of men, and limited our stops on the journey to only the most necessary ones, so that we may arrive to the city as soon as possible.
Even accompanied by no less than four dozens of my paladin brothers, the closer we grew to Blüdhafen, the more grew the feeling of sourness and apprehension I was afflicted by.
It was on the night of 1st March that the lights of the city appeared on our horizon, but there was something wrong with the image. Even though shrouded in strange unnatural darkness, there was no mistaking the revelation that those were not fires of torches and lanterns, but those of destruction.
We quickly urged our horses into a gallop to find out what had happened and what we could do to aid the citizens.
As we approached however, we noticed that there was something more sinister than fire, at hand in the city. The chapter cathedral was malformed and infested by some hideous power and screams and sounds of battle were heard from inside the walls.
We arrived to the city gate and found a mass of depraved and mutated figures shambling around the streets and making their way towards the market square.
We made our way through these beasts until we reached the square where we saw a huge group of survivors encircled by these murderous creatures.
Still on horseback we charged into the enemy’s back lines with our full force and we started trampling and cutting them down in dozens.
Great anger and anguish consumed my mind when I realized that some of these twisted abominations used to be my brothers and were trying to kill these civilians with the desecrated artefacts of our holy order.
The enemy wasn’t prepared for our assault and we swiftly eradicated a vast bulk of their forces, and made some breathing room for the surviving defenders. It was there that I met the leader of the resistance, guard lieutenant Viezmar of Blüdhafen and I was told of what had happened there.
It was made clear to me that we may have pushed the monsters back, but as long as the cathedral was standing, new creatures would be pouring from it.
The lieutenant made a good impression on me and I saw that we were of the same mind. We needed a direct attack at the heart of this corruption. The corrupted abominations we fought reminded me of undead in a way, and from my experience, mindless creatures of this kind often do not survive once the catalyst or source of their power and animation is destroyed.
It was obvious that my paladin powers were of great effect against them, and so even with their overwhelming numbers, a group of us could make our way through their ranks and end this once and for all.
It is from these miscalculations that I should take example, I thought the enemy similar to undead and presumed that fighting them would be no different. I ignored the nuances and relied too heavily on my holy powers to be devastating against these foes. Had I taken some more time to analyze and think about these opponents, perhaps more of my brothers could have survived. We paladins exist to protect the ordinary folk from the ever-changing arcane and occult powers, and fighting like a inadaptable blunt instrument only weakens us. Perhaps only being taught how to fight magic and monsters, but not understanding how magic works is an archaic approach that needs to be changed. I will share these thoughts with the Knight-Commander when I return to Sonnendorf.
But let’s return to the Massacre, I ordered twenty of my paladins to stay with the survivors and help against the onslaught; while I, Viezmar and my remaining knights would strike at the cathedral. We used the window of opportunity created our cavalry charge to quickly make our way to the former place of worship.
We fought some enemies on our way there, but they proved no challenge to our organized righteous wrath, and soon we were standing before the gates of the blasphemous building where this nightmare began. Had I known what we would find there, even Zuthar himself couldn’t convince me to enter that wretched place.
I will not describe what happened there in hope that knowledge of this event will die with us.
Some scars can afflict more than a body, and some things should remain unknown and forgotten.