Gift of Apostasy
(report from Guard Lieutenant Viezmar to his superior, Guard Captain Müller; 8th of Autumn, Year 122 of the Blessed Age; Blüdhafen)
Sir, my investigation into the queer murders, disappearances and sightings that have happened in the last week have irrefutably yielded results, and I demand additional reinforcements and resources to find the roots of these mysteries and put an abrupt end to them.
As of yet, exactly fourteen bodies have been found, bearing the same signs of mutilation: scooped out eyes, depraved occult carvings, mostly on the torso, and incisions around all the major veins and arteries. All of these loathsome practises have always been done with great precision, and I refuse to believe that a singular madman would be capable of such a time consuming feat in such a short span of time. That is not to mention that most of the bodies were found in the docks that, on your orders, remain an almost unpatrolled hive of loathsome indecency, which leads me to believe that our sample of corpses is but a fraction of the true amount.
Your overindulgence on ignoring the docks is perhaps also why you ignored my previous reports about strange disappearances and sightings of horrid creatures. Many denizens of that filthy disease ridden hive claimed that their family members disappeared from their beds in the middle of the night.
The people were terrified and wouldn’t talk to me until I forced them to, and even then I had the most quintessential suspicion that something was deliberately being hidden from me.
The topic that evoked the most primal dread in the interrogated citizens were the creature sightings. I managed to acquire no details on their appearance or behaviour, but only on the fear they caused in the ones who saw them.
As you denied me any support in my investigation, and lent me no additional guards, I was forced to take matters into my own hand and try to infiltrate the docks with only one of my fellow guardsman. Our disguises were those of simple beggars, abundant in the area, and we observed anything that would lead us on the trail of the diabolical events.
The day was uneventful and we were only witnesses of the festering depravity that remains ignored, but by night we discovered something that should indicate the scale of the evil we are dealing with.
We were ocular witnesses to a hooded congregation of at least thirty individuals, their signs of heresy proudly worn on their occult robes. The mob paced from one house to another, moving as if still sleeping, and a select few of them, carrying some ungodly scrolls with them, entered these houses. From each home, a new individual joined the congregation, as if forced to do so by dark powers, and was given the same robes of their wretched order. We remained unseen on their track the whole night to see where their hideout was, and they all converged in an old and rotten forsaken warehouse. The trail ended there, but when I peaked inside the structure later, it was empty. All that remained was a single one of those devilish scrolls I mentioned earlier in my report.
It was covered in indecipherable cacography and glyphs, but also mucus and strange festering membrane of sorts, that was certainly of otherworldly kind.
With such a dire and condemning evidence of apostasy and dark rituals, I dared to contact the paladin chapter in our city to tell them of my findings. I sent them the scroll as proof and an object of study and translation, so that their understanding of the cultist threat growing in our city would surpass your ignorance and things could be handled once and for all.
After the translation was cursorily completed, and horrid rituals of eldritch origin were found among the glyphs, I was given an ultimatum by the order.
If the hideout of this cult is not found and eradicated in three days and if their leader is not captured within a week, the paladin order will begin a full purge on the squalid streets of the docks.
And that is why I demand additional reinforcements and resources, so it does not have to come to that.
If you choose to remain inactive, the resulting loss of lives will be on your hands sir, and I will make sure the populace of this city will know of that. Your loathing of me might be abundant captain, but let it not cloud your judgement about this matter, as I believe that this corruption is graver than we think.
(In the years following the Blüdhafen Massacre, this report was censored, restricted and archived. This remains the only original copy, that can only be accessed by scholars and clergy whose faith in Zuthar is deemed unshakeable)