1212 RE-- The Purge of Hemev
Date: 1 November, 1212
Outcome: Arrest and execution of several homunculi; arrest and questioning of townsfolk
Parties: Left Hand of the Redwood Throne, townsfolk of Hemev, Homunculi
The hamlet of Hemev is barely even a settlement, a small cluster of buildings: a public house, a supply post, and a rickety church at a dirt crossroads between several struggling farms, east of Rosenfeld. The church is thought to have been built by Mendicants in the time of Avecynne Agia, and serves also as a school, town hall, and, as Accusers Poul Outav and Katretta Blum discovered recently, a safehouse for homunculi attempting to move discreetly through the Principalities.
In the last week of October, one of the local farmers(1), coming into the Church to see the Provost, Father Lurico Sirchoen, heard some unusual noises coming from beneath the pulpit. Upon asking the Provost, he claimed that rats had been getting into the cellar, and asked that the farmer take a look down there. They both went to take a look, and finding nothing obvious, were about to go back up, when the farmer spotted an unusually uneven stone in the cellar wall. Reminded of a false wall in her own barn, left from when the Tarsikkans had owned the Skattenmark, she pressed the stone, which opened, revealing a stair to an even lower cellar. At the bottom of the stair, a horrible creature with the lower jaw of some kind of serpent stared(2) up at her. Terrified, the farmer fled, in spite of the efforts of the Provost to stop her.
She rode immediately for Rosenfeld, where she informed the posted Left Hand Accusers of the blasphemy in the church. Raising a militia(3+), the Accusers went immediately to the town, where they arrested the Provost, in spite of claims that he knew nothing of the secret cellar beneath the Church. The lower cellar was now empty, but the Accusers were able to find enough evidence that they had been there to track and follow them. They were not able to get far, considering that they must remain concealed; only about three miles east towards Tarsikka, when the Accusers and the Militia caught up with them.
There were an unknown number of homunculi in total (reports vary), all of varying sorts. The Militia and the Accusers immediately attempted to surround them, but Accuser Outav was unhorsed by one of the monsters(4), which swung a mighty blow with its claws. Accuser Blum, a formidable warrior in her own right, commanded several volleys of arrows upon the Homunculi, which forced them to scatter, and chased them down, trampling the one who had damaged her fellow Accuser, and rounding up the rest with her spear. While one other(5) managed to escape East, the rest of the Homunculi (save the one which had been trampled and cut down) were rounded up and marched back to Hemev, where they were put to death in the center of the crossroads by burning. Accuser Outav was recovered, and though his wounds were grave, he recovered within the day, aided by the village Physicker(6), a veteran of the Grand Duke's War.
Accuser Blum sent for a Canon Judge from Brezha immediately to try Father Sirchoen, who was subsequently sent in chains to Maergin's Hold. She and Accuser Outav immediately began the systematic Questioning of any of those who might have known or aided in the hiding of Homunculi in the town, to learn from whence the creatures came, and what there purpose was in the town. Little is known of their discoveries so far, but the Throne is fairly certain that these creatures were practitioners of Krudrunis, a particularly dangerous and repellant warrior order for Homunculi. The church in Hemev has been, for now, deconsecrated pending a decision on whether it ought to be re-dedicated or demolished.
In the meantime, the swift and decisive action on the part of the Left Hand has helped to quiet some of the discontent in Brezha, by giving the people a more immediate threat (with a satisfying conclusion) to focus on.