Also known as the Cloudrest Massacre by Summerset Flame members and supporters, The Cloudrest Shooting was an incident on 5E 29, in which Aldmeri Dominion guards killed three civilians and injured six others. The incident was turned to the advantage of both rebels and Dominion government as propaganda fuel, to drive animosity toward the opposite sides.
Cloudrest was (and still is) an important strategic hold for either side, but was a chore to defend; tunnels and sewer openings led inside easily, and the region Cloudrest is situated in has many potential ambush spots for patrols. The eventual encirclement of Cloudrest by rebel soldiers gave Cloudrest the bitter nickname 'The Gold Rat Nest' by civilians, referring to the Elven armour of Dominion guards and the slow corruption of the city as crime, disease and starvation rates rose.
Cloudrest civilians had begun to protest against the stubbornness of the guards' decision to not surrender, as many families began to live in the same building (most wooden ones were torn down for firewood) and stole often from the soldiers' supplies. A few rebel spies that had been caught by either guards or civilians were beaten and chased out until energy left the populace, and agents barely had to hide.
Five weeks into the siege of Cloudrest, military support and food was sent to the city, the latter being hidden from the populace and being rationed. Guards attempted to calm angry and desperate civilians, claiming that food had to be used carefully. Unfortunately, this only proved a factor to the eventual shooting as tempers rose.
As for the support, gunpowder supply lines had been attacked continuously by Dominion troops, as well as a series of night raids by battlemages. This eventually thinned the effectiveness of the rebel troops, but not the siege. However, disease had begun to spread to the Flame soldiers, who were unaware of it until more wounded began to arrive in their field hospitals; many were reported to have skin and eye problems, or would die overnight.
The tensions grew for another two weeks, and the siege was only slightly weakened by disease and supply problems. Due to the now nervous and defensive nature of guards, the already destructive civilians began to harass soldiers, with most hiding out in barracks anyway, constantly checking themselves for disease symptoms. One soldier was alienated by his despairing wife, and when he was allegedly cheated on, took his own life; the bitterness of the guards and the panic of the people merely grew.
On the 8th of Frostfall, during the late morning, one Andirim Faeor had began patrolling the west side of Cloudrest, when a starving man (found to be a deserter of the rebel army) approached him and began to claw at him, begging for food. Panicking, the young guard struck out at the beggar. This was witnessed by another passer-by, who thought Faeor had attacked the stranger. This soon led to an angry cornering by the passer-by, which slowly grew into a small group insulting and shouting at the soldier.
Eventually, guards on their way to relieve Faeor of the patrol found him in this situation, and attempted to disperse the crowd. Unfortunately, this led to an even bigger group of civilians harassing the soldiers, the former even having injured among them. The guards fled to a broken and abandoned house yet to be torn down, and bolted themselves in using muskets and swords left behind by rebel spies who had died of poor conditions.
For a full half-hour, a mob gathered at the house and was banging on the walls and trying to smash down the door and windows, but had no tools to do so. The guards found only one plan; scare the people away. While soldiers outside attempted to break up the crowd, the terrified guards inside took up muskets and stepped out, holding the muskets out like spears to warn the mob. The civilians backed off, but did not flee or surrender. Instead, they jeered the soldiers and made a tight circle around them, some throwing stones and daring them to fire. One soldier, hit on the head by a rock, fell with the musket and accidentally fired, injuring someone. The crowd then pressed on and tried to charge, but this led to the guards firing into the crowd, leading to the casualties. Unfortunately for Faeor and the others, the mob began to attack and wounded both Faeor and another guard (Meroril Elsinian) before a soldier assured them there would be an inquiry if the crowd dispersed; which they did at hearing that.
The guard Captain of Cloudrest began an investigation by evening; all guards involved in injuring civilians were arrested and taken to the barracks of Cloudrest, as "the guards would most likely be torn apart by the already desperate populace.". Unfortunately, due to the siege, there was no option to police the town if they were imprisoned, and so no trial. The Captain did, however, gather what evidence he could for a record. Andirim Faeor was found dead before the assault that followed, apparently beheaded by civilians hours previous to a rebel attack on Cloudrest.
As all guards had been killed (or had fled) in the attack, the incident had been left as a record only from the Captain's office, and memories of civilians. As the Summerset Flame had been responsible for risking starvation and causing the slow decay of Cloudrest, the populace had grew to resent the new soldiers.