Tactically, Hillcrest was an ideal target and one that needed to be dealt with as soon as possible to stop the flow of supporters from Castelon’s allies. But I knew the danger involved and advised my Recon Army to ignore the city of Hillcrest until more support had arrived. Major Drake disobeyed direct orders and stormed the fortified city with the entire Recon Army. This is most troubling because it left Outpost 17 unprotected and it was destroyed along with Lt. Ballon shortly after Drake lead the army out. Lt. Ballon fought bravely but was overcome by a large force of monsters lead by the identified war criminals (see below).
Ultimately, Hillcrest was much too fortified a position and our troops were outnumbered three to one. Hundreds of monsters and magic users from other lands had teleported into the city days before. Drake’s arrogance lead him to walk into a trap, one that when sprung cost us over 500 troops. The Recon Force may have still carried the day, but the party that lead the assault on Outpost 17 was able to destroy the cannon batteries and the Iron Dragon Unit by using foul magic and brutal tactics. Horrifyingly, the forces of Hillcrest employed the services of the dragon Ventralix. This terrible monster is the spawn of Ventrox and hundreds of years old. Our troops could not fight the beast as it swooped down from the sky devouring whole squads. Realizing his folly, Drake met the elite party in single combat and slew three of them before being overcome. He was given over to Ventralix and is hopefully dead. Even though Drake disobeyed orders, when the time came he fought as bravely as any Coalition solider should and I believe the investigation into his conduct and the battle of Hillcrest itself should be called off.
On a personal matter, Major Eric Hallworth was killed in the battle as well. This deeply troubles me, as I felt the Major and I had become friends during the Border Campaign. When he chose to take control of the forward platoon I was worried for him, but I knew he had to do what any patriot would. I heard that he was captured during an attempt to rescue Coalition prisoners in Hillcrest. Major Hallworth was tortured and broken before being hanged. I feel this loss personally and I propose that we create a memorial to Major Hallworth that can be a testimony to his greatness as well as acknowledgment of the sacrifice he and all out troops make daily.
Identified War Criminals
Of the newly identified war criminals, it now appears from intelligence gathered that they are responsible for the loss of several squads in recon, the destruction of Outpost 17, the sabotage of the cannon batteries, the destruction of the Iron Dragon and the capture of Maj. Drake. Few members of this band have been formerly identified but for the time being they should be identified as the “Hillcrest Criminals” until better classification is found. Though their numbers have been reduced, there are six identified members of this high powered and dangerous group:
A human sorcerer named “Egg”. Due to his physical features it can be determined that he is a member of one of the Western Kingdoms, likely Luix or Quan. He is a disgusting creature that can be barely called human and he wields strange demon infested magic. There are reports of Egg shattering the will of soldiers and draining life from people like a vampire. There is believed to be a romantic connection between Egg and Amellania, showing the true depths of his depravity. He is also a weakling and is likely to be found hiding in the back.
Closely connected to Egg is an elf known as Amellania. An obvious elf due to her alien appearance, sources report that she is likely from Volmir due to the quality of her weapons and her callous disregard for human life. She is a skilled scout and assassin, reportedly responsible for the deaths of several sentries. Her cruelty knows no bounds as she was witnessed cackling as Ventrolix tore apart Maj. Drake. She would likely be slipping behind enemies and attacking unarmed men.
Similar to Amellania, another elf travels with the party. Little information exists on this creature, but an alias of his is “Ferrilad”. He excels at tracking and is brutal in combat. It is clear from his barbarism that he is a warrior from Amil. He often works in conjunction with the main group, but also on his own. He may be the easiest to eliminate due to his nature of scouting.
The group’s main support is a dwarf named “Glaud”. Due to his race’s xenophobia, he must hail from Vugan. Interestingly, he is a member of the Knights of Solaris and uses his ability to heal to support his companions. This fact makes his elimination a top priority. Our history with the Knights makes this fact unfortunate, but any foe that stands against the might of the Coalition must fall regardless of connections to former allies.
Also with the is a mysterious human named “”/campaigns/erenor/characters/72116" class=“wiki-content-link”>Kros". This man is of unknown origins and his features do not betray is history. He is a cunning warrior, yet he uses only his bare hands in combat. This unusual tactic is known to few but it is brutally effective. Warriors of this variety are famously from the Western Kingdoms, but there are reports of isolated practitioners throughout the land. Nothing is known about Kross, but as is evident from eye witness accounts that he revels in bloodshed and violence.
This group should be identified as war crminals. I suggest putting a price on their heads to get the headhunters and mercs to target them. Any platoon near the front should be briefed on this group and the highest effort made to eliminate them before they conduct any more acts of aggression.