The Burning of Poelitz
The burning of Poelitz occurred in 585 CY. A year before, in 584 CY, the Scarlet Brotherhood had massacred the routing Ideean armies in northern Foelt. Afterwards, the Brotherhood commanders turned their attention to the town. The ruling nobility at that time was House Eddri, a product of unions between great Suloise and Oeridian families. Ostensibly to prevent civilians being butchered, the nobles of Hose Eddri surrendered. Hundreds of townsfolk were enslaved and set to work upon the land, their goods and properties being given to part-Suel ‘sub-citizens’ who retained their freedom. Members of House Eddri even maintained some measure of influence in the town, serving as advisors to the new administration. The bulk of the Scarlet Brotherhood force was then re-deployed, leaving a detachment behind to administer this new ‘estate’.
During the winter of 584 CY, small numbers of survivors from the massacre found their way to Poelitz. Under the noses of the occupiers, the tattered Ideean soldiers were given food and shelter by the free citizens. Remarkably, it was some months before an informer discovered and reported this betrayal, and thus the detachment was quickly mobilized to round up the Ideean soldiers and the traitorous townsfolk. To this day, no one knows the identity of the informer.
The Brotherhood troops were met in the streets by the so-called ‘Patriots of Poelitz’: a ragtag assortment of Ideean soldiers and free citizens. After several hours of vicious street fighting the detachment regained control, but not before many slaves had been released, stores had been pillaged and countless townsfolk had fled the town to seek shelter in the Iron Hills.
The full wrath of the Brotherhood was then turned on Poelitz. From afar, one could guess the fate of the town by the columns of smoke that poured skywards during the day and by the red glare that danced upon the horizon at night. In Poelitz, any non-Suel caught outside of a slave pen was butchered, and those with Suel blood were interrogated at length. Many were never seen again. The worst atrocity was the burning of the temple of Heironeous, in which terrified townsfolk had barricaded themselves. Many victims of the Brotherhood’s vengeance were tossed into a mass grave, known today as the Scarlet Barrow.
For the next year, the Brotherhood hunted down scores of citizens but, for some reason, did not launch a full scale assault into the Iron Hills. A similar phenomenon was noted in the Headlands by the Sage Morrev. However, this was probably because the Brotherhood did not want to meet the Dwarven armies of King Holgi in a terrain which was severely disadvantageous to them.
The manhunts stopped early in 586 CY, when the Ahlissan army marched into northern Idee. By the end of that year the army of the Scarlet Brotherhood had been defeated.
A handful of Patriots are still alive today, and although many people consider them heroes, the Patriots are blamed by some for the burning of Poelitz.