Camp Shababadahs was a summer camp in the mountains above Long Lake. Founded in N.D. 480, the camp operated for a surprising 32 years before being forced to close under mounting lawsuits. During the camp's tenure some 26 children were eaten by dragons.
- 1 History
- 2 Layout and Organization
- 3 Camp Activities
- 4 The Dragon Baiters
- 5 Jerimiah Rackham
- 6 Other Incidents and Notable Occurrences
- 7 The Summer of Long Knives
- 8 The Season
- 9 Management Responses to the Poor Season
- 10 Riot
- 11 Aftermath
- 12 Lawsuits
- 13 Conclusion
Shababadahs was doomed from the start. The lake sits in the middle of 500 acres of pristine woodland with surprisingly few uses. Dragons forbid logging within the entire High Mountain range, and the land was unsuitable for running cattle owing to its proximity to the dragon fence. The region already has amble public lands for camping and hunting, so the Long Lake Forestry Wardens were uninterested in taking on any extra space. Since it had good access by road, the lake and surrounding acreage was sold for resort development.
When no resort materialized, it was sold again at a steep loss to the company that would found Camp Shababadahs. Youth summer camps were all the rage in the latter half of the 4th century; as New Arindell grew, parents were desperate for places to send their children where they could get back to nature. Most most of the prime real estate around Long Lake being taken up by the naval air station, any decent-sized body of water within a few hours' drive was fair game.
The camp was founded by four former lifeguards, who together raised the capital to buy the land and erect the structures.
Shababadahs was constructed on the windward side of the lake (where the road went), offering a wide array of very typical camp activities. Swimming, boating, archery, crafts, sports, everything about the place was as generic as could be. The problems began in the very first season, as the heart of the camp itself covered the entire area between the lake edge and the fence, making the fence plainly visible from most of the camp.
The first year, however, was a financial success, with a real profit. A big part of the success came because they had tried to compete on price, have a lower cost than most camps while appearing to offer almost as many activities. Other factors were encouraging as well, as many campers liked the lax approach to enforcing rules. They had capacity for about 200 campers using just 40 paid employees, and used the same model for the next season. A counselor was eaten during the second season, but as he was an adult and had signed a liability waver, the program continued unaffected.
In the third year, the owners (one of whom lived on-site over the summer as the director) decided they could improve returns by adding capacity. The camp had opened as a whole-season (summer-long) program, but there was a considerable demand for shorter-duration camps (1-2 weeks). Most summer camps did either one or the other, but Camp Shababadahs resolved to do both. The cheapest solution was to buy wood-frame canvas tents and erect them in small campsites, using portable toilets to cater to those needs and the existing shower house for other sanitation.
In the third season, 16 children caught dysentery and 2 were eaten by dragons. The camp capacity had grown from 200 to 400, without adding any additional paid employees. For the fourth season, additional permanent sanitation facilities were added. These consisted of flush toilets and cold showers placed in block-houses where the tent camps sat. In addition, permanent cabins without any amenities (essentially wooden shacks) were built at some of these sites.
Despite the events of the third season, the 4th opened with full bookings, and the owners were obliged to further expand capacity. Several problems were already mounting. That season, another child was eaten (this was also the season the secret "dragon baiters" society was established). Further, it was a co-ed camp with little division other than "boys and girls tents/boys and girls toilets/scheduled shower times". This lead to no end of peeking. Injuries were also a mounting issue, as there were few structured activities and probably the most popular was "play unsupervised in the woods". The 4th season saw the first lawsuit, though not from the family of the child who was eaten. The owners settled quietly out of court.
In the years that followed, the camp grew to a daily capacity of around 600, while still having only about 60 paid employees, most of the lifeguards attending to the swimming and boating activities. When the trial came, the directors were quick to point out they never had a single drowning and very few water-related injuries'.
In 32 summers of operation, 26 children and teenagers were eaten. This came alongside an alarmingly high repeat-customer rate, with many people known to have spent 10 summers in a row at Camp Shababadahs. The return rate was over 50%; the kids who went there liked the freedom and the danger.
At the N.D. 512 session, a record 4 children were eaten at once. This happened in full view of many witnesses and left more than a few traumatized. Still, it managed to happen in the last week of camp, and no early closure was done. An investigation began, however given the general attitude towards dragon-devourings (which happened with considerable frequency in Arindell), the camp was allowed to open again for the N.D. 513 season. This would prove to be the final held.
Closure and Lawsuits
At the conclusion of the N.D. 513 session, the authorities in Arindell ordered the camp closed. Since it was already shuttered for the year, the owners didn't give it much thought until they were informed their operating licenses had been revoked and all four of them were under criminal indictment. In a public statement, the central authorities in Arindell revealed the existence of a secret society that had persisted for years, possibly decades in the camp, in which children deliberately crossed the dragon fence.
The Dragon Baiters, as they were called, were believed to be responsible for all but the earliest deaths. They were organized and well-run, with many strange cult-like practices and pseudo-religious undertones. Hundreds of former campers and councilors were interviewed, many of whom openly admitted to being members and claimed it was just "Good, clean camp fun" (of which their secret rituals most definitely were not). Thousand of lawsuits were organized into a class-action, mostly for campers and councilors who were still under-age.
It was well-established that many junior-councilors had knowledge of the secret society and helped perpetuate it. Since most of the paid councilors were hired from the ranks of junior councilors, there was no question that the camp administration was aware of the group. Ultimately the case never went to trial. All four co-owners of the camp plead guilty to willful negligence and received life sentences. Most of the camp's assets were stripped to pay for their legal bills, and the property itself went into receivership. The lawsuit required the property to be sold for a substantial sum, well above market value, in order to pay the settlements, and many called for HMBT to make the buyout themselves in order to compensate the families.
High Mountain refused, on the grounds that to do so would be the same as admitting that eating humans who crossed the dragon fence was a crime, and this was a legal precedent they were unwilling to set. The TDF stood by this decision, however allowed special dispensation for the property to retain its value while a buyer was found.
Settlement and Sale
Unfortunately, there was not much use for the property. The settlement from the lawsuits came down some on appeals, with the courts deciding to narrow the plaintiff list considerably. Originally, the class-action had been open to anyone who had ever attended the camp, regardless of whether or not they had participated in dragon-bating. This included over 16,000 potential claimants, each seeking multi-million-wingbeat settlements when the only asset was a piece of property worth only a few million wingbeats if it weren't so unfortunately located.
So the list was first slashed to only include claimants who had been minors in N.D. 513 and further to those who could demonstrate they had been pressured into the dragon-baiting. Additional dispensation was added for those who had not participated but had witnessed the attacks in 512, and to any who could show they had endured some hardship as a direct result of attending the camp. The damages were then capped at 50,000 wingbeats a head, with the 26 wrongful death lawsuits having been separated out to be weighed against the personal estates of the camp owners.
This still left the property in a state of limbo. The structures on the site had only one possible use: as a summer camp; a function for which it had demonstrated itself most unsuitable. As undeveloped land, it was valued at just 1.6 million wingbeats, nowhere near enough to pay for all the claims against it. Any potential buyer would have to pay tens of millions, and it was thought no one would want it at that price.
Then, in N.D. 517,Naomi Jusenkyou came forward with a request to buy the property. She named over 100 individuals who were to be removed from the lawsuit, and offered only 25,000 wingbeats ahead to the others. Her demands further included she be allowed to buy several neighboring properties (some not for sale) at slightly above market value. She then finally added she not need approval to make changes or upgrades to the land.
Being one quarter dragon herself and having standing within High Mountain Flight, the dragons offered no objections (indeed Naomi's funds were actually those of High Mountain, which she had received and managed as a member), which left it up to the Alliance government to make the approvals. Seeing as the land was useless and "practically belonged to the dragons already" they let the sale go ahead, arguing it was the very best offer they could possibly hope to get (Naomi paid about 30 times the market value of the land).
Many argued that Naomi's purchase of the property was a way for the dragons to 'save face'. Letting them provide a payout without themselves admitting any wrongdoing. Naomi for her part denied this, claiming she merely wanted a secluded mountain retreat.
Layout and Organization
The original camp was built to house 200 campers in relative luxury, with 25 permanent cabins. The main center of the camp was the lake front where a large two-story building made up the dining hall, kitchens, and camp offices. The camp director lived on the upper-level, which also housed the nurse. A separate office on the ground floor was the camp's clinic. The ground floor also included the kitchens, with a separate(Later crudely attached) outbuilding as the pantry. The mess hall could seat 200 people; which was a problem, since in later years the camp routinely had about 600 campers.
The main center of camp was a large open grassy area with double rows of cabins on both sides. The cabins all had electric lights and indoor toilets, plus sinks with cold running water. The shower house, close to the mess hall, had the only hot water in camp. Cold-water showers were later added when toilet facilities were built for the tent-camps.
Beside the main avenue was an outdoor pavilion with a large cement slab and cement tables. This included a big outdoor barbecue pit. A bit further up the slope lay the fire pit with an enormous log amphitheater that included a an outdoor stage. Above this were more cabins. The far end of the main grass area was where the dragon fence lay and the camp ended.
The archery range was up near the fence. No backstock was constructed, but berms were added on either side. The logic being that "since the back of the range is the dragon fence, no one will ever be behind". Near the range also lay the arts and crafts buildings, which had electric lights and running water. A permanent toilet building was later added for convenience.
While most summer camps either operated around a theme or otherwise tried to offer something special, Camp Shababadahs was known for two things: having a low price and offering one of the most generic activities schedules ever seen. It was also infamous for being poorly organized and offering little to no supervision. Structured camp activities were few, with most campers being given "free rotation" with no set schedule.
Water was the camp's main "draw" (situated as it was directly on a lake), but the lake was much too small for motor craft and really not well-suited for sailing. They did have a few small sailing catamarans and a motorized fishing barge. Canoes and rowboats were the most numerous, with fishing as another major draw(being isolated as it was, the seasonal camp had the only access to the lake, so the fishery was very healthy). In fact the "fishing club" which was fairly informal, was advertised in the brochure. Kids were encouraged to come, fish, and learn to cook and eat their catch at the outdoor barbecue grill.
At the beach in front of the mess hall they had a swimming peer with a floating dock and a well-explored area free of sharp rocks or submerged logs. There was even a water slide and diving board, and a good array of floating toys. Swimming was heavily encouraged and one of the few activities never lacking in proper supervision or education. Swimming expeditions, which involved hiking out to swimming sites were another heavily advertised draw.
Other activities included an archery range, two athletic fields, and a few arts and crafts workshops. For a few years they had boat-building lessons for whole-season campers, and the woodshop was a popular draw before it fell into disrepair. As befitting the setting, nature hikes, nature walks, and as many possible things with the word "nature" on the front existed. These were mostly done informally, with camp councilors mapping out the paths, then letting junior counselors guide the campers.
The only well-organized and structured activities were the sports tournaments. The camp had a large, well-kept soccer pitch and a regulation running track. Campers were encouraged to form and train their own teams, with organized multi-day tournaments ran by the camp directors happening every two weeks. A separate soccer league existed for whole-season campers, who could compete against two-week teams or each other. Players changed teams regularly as loyalties shifted. The lake was also used for swim competitions, both timed and distance, which were similarly well-organized and even better attended than the soccer games. As the camp was run by lifeguards, they had an interest in swimming. Several world-class swimmers are known to have attended Camp Shababadahs in their youth, with one even stating outright it was the camp that gave him love for the sport.
While these tournaments were treated seriously, participation was completely voluntary and no effort was made to allow less athletic campers to take part. In accordance with New Arindell law(the camp being within the greater New Arindell Greater Metropolitan Area), all teams were also co-ed, which led to a very heavily male-dominated meta. While girls were free to participate and anyone could form a team and enter the tournaments, in reality only a small subset of campers got to enjoy the full benefits of the program. The rest were left to their own devices.
Supervision and Organization
Or at least very little. The four co-owners of the camp had all met while working as life guards, and water safety was about the only thing they understood. Every single employee was required to know how to swim and to take a basic live-saving class. The staff of 60 included at least 20 fully-trained and registered lifeguards. Every camper was required to take a swim-test on the day they arrived. Any who failed or reported being unable to swim were given lessons. In fact one of the enduring legacies of the facility was it's dedication to ensuring every single camper could tread water.
Unfortunately, that same dedication did not extend to most other activities. Since archery was a popular sport in Arindell, they usually had a professional archery instructor to run the range and give lessons. Otherwise most activities were run by junior councilors (paying attendees in their late teens) and only marginally supervised by councilors. For a camp that catered to many hundreds of kids, they had just 60 paid employees.
Age range of the employees was also a factor. When originally founded, the camp owners(who doubled as the directors) were in their early twenties and refused to hire anyone older than themselves. As the summers passed and the camp grew, the directors found hiring 18-22 year olds to be the most cost effective. A small town in the Long Lake region this problem even worse by passing a law allowing 16 year old(with proper work permits) to work at "over night establishments"(the law, incidentally, was intended to allow teenagers to work overnight shifts at hotels and fast food places during the summer tourist season, but was unfortunately worded too broadly). This allowed Camp Shababadahs to hire fully-fledged councilors as young as 16(the same age as many of their campers).
Discipline was a massive issue. The senior camp staff, lifeguards, and archery instructor were typically the only mature adults on site, and kept exclusively to their own activities. The remaining staff, all aged 18-22(later 16-22) were left with hundreds of kids to supervise and little to no formal training. Theft was a rampant problem, as was sexual harassments, bullying, and general other problems. While younger campers were generally looked after, the lion's share of the campers(aged 12-16) were generally left to their own devices. The camp did have rules, but punishments for these infractions were few.
Drug and Alcohol Usage
This was actually the one other area in which the camp did well. All four directors were tea-tootlers and only a small number of their employees were of legal age to drink. As such the camp had a very strict(and very well-enforced) zero-tolerance policy for drugs and alcohol(though this was largely for insurance reasons). Any camper caught with an illicit substance would be immediately ejected from the camp(in point of fact this was the only way to get kicked out). Since most of the kids came from Arindell's middle-class suburbs this wasn't often an issue. The councilors got the brunt of it, with even the few 21 and over counselors being made to sign legally-binding summer-long abstinence contracts.
During one summer, several campers were found to be operating a crudely-made still.
The Dragon Baiters
Crossing the dragon fence became a popular camp dare the first year the facility was open. The first iteration of The Dragon Baiters probably formed around the fourth year, N.D. 484. The dangers of the dragon fence were well understood in New Arindell, but not as well-known in the Agras regions and Long Lake where many campers hailed from. Further, most of campers from Arindell lived in the city center, so while dragons overhead were a familiar site, the fence itself was a myth.
Most of Camp Shababadahs, however, was situated about 100 yards from the fence. The camper cabins and tents were built out in the thick woods, with plenty of cover and little adult supervision, making trips up to the fence very simple. To make things even more problematic, the fence itself did not pose much of a barrier, being only about 4 feet high and made up of spun metal wires with large gaps easy to fit through.
The Dragon Baiters(or Society of Dragon Baiters) had four ranks of membership based on dragon-types, and achieved by complete initiation challenges. Each successful level would see the brave baiter taken to one of four secrete initiation sites to be shown the deeper mysteries of the society. Over the years they adopted many cult-like and pseudo-religious practices that would not be made public until the trial.
- Black-Earth Baiter - a camper achieved the status of 'Black-Earth Baiter' by crossing the fence. The black-earth type was chosen because the campers thought they were 'ugly' and thus made them the lowest rank(a detail which the dragons were later offended by). To make black-earth baiter, a camper had to take a red-fire or above baiter to the fence, ask them to throw something over it, then cross and retrieve it. This was traditionally done at night when it was thought to be "safer"(in fact all the known deaths occurred at night). If the baiter was a friend or otherwise had a reason to like you, they might not throw the item very far. Usually selecting a treasured personal item was preferable, as it would provide greater impetus to cross the line.
- Red-Fire Baiter - to achieve the rank of Red-Fire Baiter, a camper had to cross the fire break on the far side of the fence(again usually at night) and make a mark on one of the trees. The following day, they had to show the mark to another baiter, who had to be able to see it with the naked eye from inside the fence.
- Blue-Air Baiter - becoming a blue-air baiter was much more difficult. First, it required the permission of another blue-air or white-water baiter to even attempt. It then had to be completed in daylight and along the section of fence that bordered the main camp. The actual challenge was simple: run across the fire break, tag a tree, run back, while in view of at least 3 baiters. This specific rite was doubly-difficult as crossing the fence was grounds for immediate expulsion from the camp, and most councilors and staff were on the lookout for such activities. Eventually they made being caught within ten feet of the fence an expellable offence; however the staff was relatively small and supervision had always been poor.
- White-Water Baiter - to achieve the rank of white-water baiter, the most difficult and dangerous of all, the baiter had to cross the fence and place a marker in one of the trees on the far side(usually a flag or ribbon of some kind). This marker also had to be judged "further from the fence than any other visible marker" by a quorum of at least six blue-air baiters and confirmed by another white-water. The challenge could be done at night, though preparations were usually important. To prevent cheating, the marker usually had to be selected ahead of time, shown to the others, and then the location scouted to confirm the baiter was not taking credit for an old marker. By the later years of the camp, hundreds of markers were plainly visible from the main camp compound.
In a boulder field about a mile outside camp(but inside the fence), the baiters constructed a henge which was used for ceremonial initiations. It was one of four ritual sites used by the group, and the one they had put the most effort into. The location was known to the camp councilors as early as N.D. 490, but not it's purpose. It was even used a few times by the legitimate honor-societies put together over the years.
At least once per camp session(and several times a summer) the baiters would sneak out and meet at the henge around midnight. There they would build a fire and initiate the newest baiters(those who had completed the "black" challenge) by carrying out a ritual dance. All campers were issued matching rain parkas as part of their kit, so the dance involved everyone wearing their Camp Shababadahs parka and dancing in a circle. At the conclusion of the dance the parkas were removed and everyone would give their "dragon roar". Apparently a common prank was to tell new baiters they were supposed to be naked under the parka.
The second initiation site was at a swimming beach also about a mile from the camp. Where the same boulder field intersected with the lake shore, a stream flowed into the lake and deposited sand over a large area about six feet deep. Surrounded on all sides by large boulders, but having a nice even bottom made it an ideal spot for swimming, and was used for this during the day time(sanctioned water activities being one of the very few things Camp Shababadahs supervised well). The dragon baiters would hold secret, night-time skinny-dipps out there, with the initiation to second level requiring the adherent to jump in from a specific rock in full view of the others.
Very few baiters reached the third level, and the location of the third initiation site was one of the deeply-guarded secrets. During the trial one of the former baiters lead authorities to it. The site was well hidden but had been stumbled upon a few times, and initially had no obvious significance. It was past the boulder field a few miles outside camp, accessible by a narrow slot-canyon and reached only by a reasonably dangerous climb down a 14 foot cliff-face. On the stone wall, baiters were to create a unique symbol of their own and draw or etch it on the wall beside the symbols from the other baiters. In the area in front of the cliff, they were then made to dig a shallow hole(representing a grave) and lay in it while the other third-levels made dragon noises around them. Once complete, they then had to build a cairn over the hole, representing the empty grave that would be made for them if they were eaten while attempting to reach the fourth level.
The final site was found only when a former, now adult baiter was forced to lead authorities there as part of a plea agreement. The site, just a few thousand feet from the camp's mess hall, consisted of a small cave called 'the dungeon'. The opening was covered by a metal grate with a lock, and when not obscured by leaves, campers were told that bats and snakes lived inside. In reality, the hole went about a dozen feet and opened into a small, dry chamber. It was in this where the final secret initiations were kept, along with books and other documents concerning the whole history of the society. Most notably, it contained extensive records of all the suspected deaths by dragon, essentially a signed confession for the order.
Camp Director Awareness and Lack of Response
The directors claimed to have only been made aware of the dragon baiter's existence in the last 2 years of operation. Crossing the fence had been against the rules from day one, but authorities later sited how the camp directors had made few attempts to curb the behavior. While the dragons built a large "fire break" on the far side, some 20 miles long and about 1000 feet wide, they refused to make any upgrades or changes to the fence itself. While the federation would not pay for it, after the first deaths they gave the camp a series of recommendations:
- Create a 10-foot exclusion zone on the inside of the fence. Ensure this is clear of any obstructions or vegetation
- Erect a second fence at least 10' high and topped with razor wire
- Add motion sensors and cameras to cover the exclusion zone
- Provide routine patrols of the areas around the fence
These recommendations were issued before the camp was open and never followed. Originally the owners claimed there was no money, but as year after year the camp turned a profit, they changed the story to the upgrade being unnecessary or ineffective.
Ultimately it was the camp directors who were found guilty of the many wrongful death suits, however the key evidence came from a man named Jerimiah Rackham. "Jerry" as we was known back then, attended the very first whole-summer session at Shababadahs in its inaugural year, when he was just 9. Though he claimed not to have been the first, he openly admits to having crossed the fence several times in his first year, and organizing games that would late form the basis for the baiter initiation rites.
Jerry's plea-agreement with the authorities was never made public, and he never testified in open court. When questioned publicly, he vehemently denied founding the society, claiming that it "grew organically out of the games that we played" and aside from knowing where best to hide the book with the names, he had no involvement.
Jerry attended the camp from the age of 9 all the way until he was 17, and worked there as a full-fledged camp counselor for 6 more years. He claimed to have no involvement with the society after becoming an official councilor and that he often cautioned campers about the dangers of the dragon fence. During the 14 summer he spent at Shababadahs, 12 children were killed.
Jerry lead authorities to the secret cache of documents which helped determine the exact number of deaths and proved that the camp directors were aware of the society's existence much earlier than they had admitted to, which was instrumental in the wrongful death suits. The exact details of Jerry's agreement with authorities were kept secret, but the final filing had to be a matter of public record: he plead guilty to six counts of Conspiracy After the Fact and received 2 years in prison plus a 10 year suspended sentence "pending further developments".
Jerry served only 6 months of his 2-year sentence, at a minimum security facility where he was released early for "exemplary behavior and cooperation". The cooperation consisted of participating in a sting-operation for an unrelated case. After leaving prison, Jerry made plans to leave Arindell and change his name. However, he was found dead in his apartment from a single gunshot wound to the chest. The City Watch eventually arrested the father of one of the four children killed in the recent incident which caused the camp's closure.
Jerry, who was 41 at the time of his death, had actually recorded threats from the man in his journal, in a way predicting his own murder. The last entry ended with "How can anyone hold me responsible for the deaths that happened just now, because of games I played a lifetime ago? Especially since the whole thing really did start as a way to get girls skinny-dipping...".
Other Incidents and Notable Occurrences
The first year the camp opened, the directors hired just one cook to run the kitchen. In addition to laying out snacks, this meant preparing 720 meals a day for the 200 campers and 40 staffers. The cook quite after 2 weeks. The camp directors, unable to find anyone else on such short noticed, orders the staffers to create a "rotation" for working the kitchen, and empowered them to draft junior councilors to assist. Kitchen Patrol was among the few punishments routinely metted out for infractions, and could be given for even the slightest violation.
Of the 39 remaining staffers that first season, 4 were the camp directors, and 8 others were lifeguards. The directors exempted themselves and their cronies from the kitchen rotation, and after the camp nurse threatened to quit, she was exempted as well. The remaining staffers in the rotation treated running the mess hall as secondary to their duties, and as such food quality suffered accordingly. Most of the time the counselor in charge would draft a junior councilor, delegate the work to them, and then assign 4 or 5 children to "KP" to act as assistants.
The season became known as "Blackened Summer" owing to the amount of charred and inedible food produced. During the second season, the directors grudgingly hired three full-time staffers just to run the kitchen, but continued the trend of assigning KP to campers for rules violations. One of the newly-hired staffers had recently completed a six-year stint as a cook in the Trans-Draconic Federation Navy, and successfully ran the kitchen with military-precision. "Cook's Assistant Loganoff" as he demanded to be called(as he never completed navy culinary school) was among the very few long-term employees.
The Summer of the Long Knives
The Summer of the Long Knives was an incident which occurred at Camp Shababadahs near Arindell on the Greater Continent of Aren. The incident made national headlines when a riot broke out at the severely over-crowded camp.
Camp Shababadahs was infamous at the time for being overcrowded, under-staffed, and having extremely lax regulations. The Summer of the Long Knives happened when they inadvertently invited over twice as many campers as usual, most of them teenaged Necromancers who had never been to a summer camp before. They were bullied by the seasoned campers at the site, which eventually lead to a major riot.
The Summer of Long Knives
The camp's 12th season would forever be remembered as it's worst ever, up until the second to last season and the incident which closed the camp.
Like all summer camps at the time, Camp Shababadahs operated a small store on the premise where kids could buy batteries, soap, deodorant, candy, soda, and various other accoutrements. The store was given little oversite and run by the often quite young councilors.
By the 12th, the running of the camp store was a task delegated entirely to the camp councilors. The only directive they received from the owners was "make sure there's plenty of cheap soda and candy, kids love that" and no real over-site of the accounting. The directors provided a budget for the store and expected it to make that budget back. Since it dealt entirely in cash, this made running the store a very lucrative prospect for the young councilors.
Usually, the job went to an 18 year old who had been a junior councilor in the two years prior to being hired as a staffer(usually picked by the previous store runner who was on to greener pastures). It didn't take very many years of this for the store runners to figure out extra money could be made by dealing contraband out of the store. In a previous summer, a councilor attempted to smuggle some elicit substances in with the intention of selling them through the store. He was caught on the first day, ejected from the camp, and criminaly indicted. Future store-runners learned from his mistake and stuck to dealing in contraband that was officially legal but banned by camp directives.
This mostly consisted of gum, pornography, and knives. Small folding knives were not just allowed but actually required kit for any camper. Larger knives and fixed-blade knives were banned. Butterfly knives and switchblades(not technically illegal but widely believed to be in Arindell) were especially popular.
On the Summer of the Long Knives, the new store-runner brought with him about 400 various fixed and folding knives, mostly of the butterfly and switch variety. After the incidents of the summer the staffer admitted he actually hadn't known about the inflated numbers when he brought that many blades.
That year, the Necromancer Temple in New Arindell was hosting a particularly large deligation of pilgrims. A lot of the pilgrims were families coming in from off-world, with many traditions that revered nature. The Temple wanted to do something special, and attempted to contract with Camp Shababadahs to buy out the whole camp for the summer.
By this time, the camp was already regularly hosting 600 campers at a time, but reported a capacity of only 400(the laws regarding summer camps stipulated a certain ratio of campers to permanent flush toilets which Shababadahs was not meeting), and happily sold "all of their available capacity" to the temple. The necromancers mistakenly thought they were paying for exclusive use of the camp, and in fact intended to bring their own staffers and run their own programs; only making use of camp facilities.
The camp directors, meanwhile, did not explicitly agree to that, and planned to host the necromancer delegation in addition to their regular program of season-long campers. By this time the camp already had a cult-like following of repeat customers, who would have been very upset if they couldn't attend. The camp rented dozens of large tents intended for daytime-use at outdoor events, and had the wood shop knock up cots out of locally-sourced wood to cover the additional capacity.
Despite running less advertising that usual and limiting attendees to ages 9 and up for the season, the camp still sold many more slots than intended. As an additional problem, the necromancers(who did not need to obey Arindell's capacity laws) brought significantly more than the 400 campers they paid for(numbers are difficult to pin down but roughly 600 kids is the best estimate). Along with the campers, the necromancers brought along their own councilors(typically also in the 18-22 range) and several parents to assist.
The total population of Camp Shababadahs that summer ballooned from the usual 660 campers and staffers to over 1200, most of them being housed in very much substandard accommodations. Right from the start there were fights over the cabins, the necromancers were told they'd be getting them, while the returning Shababadah regulars believed they were entitled. The camp directors instituted a "first come, first serve" policy, which greatly angered the necromancers, who thought they had reserved the cabins.
Since so many more adults arrived than were expected, many of them ended up having to drive into town and buy regular camping tents to sleep in for the entire summer.
Food was also an issue. Camp Shababadahs did typically to provide generous portions of decent-quality(one of the reasons the necromancers chose it), and made a token effort to continue this trend. The camp, which only had enough toilets for 400 people, made provisions to feed 800. When more than 1200 showed up, this proved to be a problem.
No one actually went hungry. The camp received it's food shipments every two weeks and was all stocked up at the start of the season, so there was plenty to eat on hand. An emergency shipment did need to be brought in early, and later meals saw the diet heavily supplemented with lima beans. The issue came from the kitchen staff. Generally a surely bunch, they were very vocal about having to prepare twice as many meals as usual. They made several disparaging comments regarding "running out of food", which fanned the flames of an already tense situation. Not helping matters, several of the senior campers began spreading rumors that they would have to resort to cannibalism(note that necromancers are especially averse to even survival cannibalism as they both believe they continue to live after their body dies, but if their body is consumed it destroys their soul).
All of this happened before the staffer running the camp store started to sell knives to anyone with the cash.
Tensions Mount, Store Stokes Flames
Due to the lowered quality of food, many campers turned to the snacks at the camp store to supplement their diets. This was a fairly usual thing for the long-time campers as, while regular food was plentiful, if you turn a bunch of teenagers loose in a candy store and don't tell them not to, they will eat mostly that.
The long-time campers tended to bring what(for a child) is a very large amount of money with them to camp. Most of the more experienced campers usually had enough to buy a soda with every dinner and a snack every day; and still be able to afford souvenirs and t-shirts. The necromancers, by contrast, were told they were going to a nature camp and not aware there would even be a store. Since many were from off-world what little cash they did have was typically in money they couldn't spend on Aren. This created quite a serious division, especially since many of the necromancers did come from wealthy temples or families and would have been well-supplied if informed.
To further complicate matters, the adults accompanying the necromancer campers(about 100 in total including parents and chaperones) were mostly relegated to the least-developed campsites and thus had to rely on the store for amenities. The store runners in turn raised prices on everything but candy and soda(the cost of which was set by the camp directors).
The councilor running the camp store was among the few staffers allowed to keep a personal vehicle on site(most of the staffers couldn't afford a car anyway and were required to be bussed in for the summer). The reasoning being that whoever ran the camp store might occasionally have to drive into town(about a 3 hour run each way) to pick up extra supplies. The staffer used this position to get anything requested, albeit for a price.
Another serious issue was crowding of the camps few available activities. In normal seasons, "Go and play unsupervised in the woods" was the most popular pastime, so the other available activities were never in high demand. Many of the necromancers expected to be doing structured activities, and their councilors tried to guide them in this. The only real response from the directors was to hastily mow a disused clearing to create an additional sports court. Though it was meant to be used for any activity, the seasoned campers claimed this very sub-standard play area was "the foot kort and told the necromancer children they were only allowed to play there(Of note: foot kort is effectively the only sport necromancers play, so even just the camp's three existing sports fields were not going to be enough for the roughly 600 necromancer children in attendance).
To combat the issue(and without the knowledge or approval of management), the camp store began making up and selling "activity passes" allowing the holder to cut in line. As the seasoned campers typically had more money, they could afford more; though many of the adult necromancers(unware it was a scam) began to pay for them for the kids as well. Because of the extremely insular nature of the camp's councilor organization, nobody working for the camp did anything to stop it(indeed, most of the activities directors either turned a blind eye or actively participated for a cut of the profits. This is as good a time as any to mention that this year, the staffers figured out they were working for considerably less than minimum wage).
The buying and selling of activity passes got even worse when rival factions within the staff started to print and sell them, and kids learned how to forge their own. It got to the point where bathroom and mess hall passes were being made, though these were difficult to enforce.
The camp store handled most of the black market activities directly, buying supplies in a nearby town and selling them at considerable markup. The youths also engaged in a black market of their own, selling and trading contraband to each other. The seasoned campers were eager to get Ke'tcha from the necromancer campers, incorrectly believing it to be a narcotic.
Allegations of Sexual Misconduct
By about the middle of the season, the camp was awash with rumors that most of the young necromancers, particularly the girls, were trading sexual favors for sodas and candy. These rumors were heavily investigated after the fact and found to be completely baseless; having been spread by vindictive seasoned campers. The rumors were widely repeated owing to the common belief that younger necromancers are especially promiscuous. In point of fact, about half the necromancers in attendance belonged to an orthodox sect which practiced "ritualized abstinence". The others were normal enough teenagers some of whom happened to be able to raise the dead.
Despite exhaustive investigation, only one such incidence was uncovered. A 15 year old girl admitted to trading a brief kiss to a 13 year old boy in exchange for a candy bar. Neither of them were necromancers.
After the staffer running the store sold out of his four hundred knives, he went back to civilization to buy more. The knives, for which he paid about a wingbeat each wholesale, and which were meant to be sold for 8-10 wingbeats, were going for as high as 40. Though actual altercations were few, many campers told him they were buying a knife "to protect themselves from the body-snatchers"(a derisive term for necromancers).
Seeing the high profit margin, the staffer bought another 400 knives, as well as brass knuckles, ninja stars, and pepper spray. All to be sold at exorbitant prices from the camp store. By this time, many of the necromancers, fearing for their own safety, were starting to buy or trade for weapons. Others fashioned their own out of whatever they could find.
Camp Sanitation Issues
As previously noted, the camp had barely adequate toilets for about 400 campers, and 3 times that many were on site for the season. The shower situation was even worse, the camp had been cited multiple times for having only one shower house with heated water, and insufficient space in the cold showers provided in the outlying toilet blocks. Many necromancers in the satellite camps were forced to resort to washing in streams, which quickly became contaminated with human waste. Portable camping showers were sold(at a grievous markup) from the camp store and used by some of the adults. The outlying camps that did have toilet blocks also started to construct makeshift shower stations using water from the taps and whatever they could scrounge up.
Aside from showers and toilets, the actual camp staff became increasingly apathetic about cleaning. The kitchen was always immaculate, but the mess hall was rarely swept or mopped, and the toilet blocks in the necromancer camps(if there were any) were hardly ever cleaned. Normally the junior staffers were expected to clean bathrooms as part of their usual duties, or to organize junior councilors to do the work. That summer, this did not happen. Some of the adult necromancers in attendance(many of whom were older than the camp directors) eventually took it upon themselves to do the cleaning, but found supplies severely lacking.
Owing primarily to mismanagement, the camp's cleaning supplies were exhausted within the first month of the season. In previous seasons the camp was kept quite clean, with sweeping, dusting, and mopping done regularly. Every cabin was supplied with the necessary tools, and a huge delivery of supplies came in at the start of the season. This summer, owing to issues with the supplier, the camp only received about half of the supplies they ordered. The money was refunded and the directors intended to order more from a new supplier before what they had ran out, but this was never done. What cleaning products did make it the camp were looted, re-sold on the black market, or miss-used. One oft-cited example: the temporary tents in the outer camps had huge insect problems. The type of hand soap meant for the bathrooms was found to work as a very effective ant repellent, but only if used in very large quantities. Liquid hand soap therefore "went extinct" after about two weeks.
To most of Camp Shababadahs employees, the job looked pretty good. Minimum wage in the New Arindell Greater Metropolitan Area sat at about 7 wingbeats, fifty talons an hour(in practice most low-level jobs paid 8 or 9). The camp offered a highly competitive 11 wingbeats an hour and, unlike most summer camps at the time, did not charge staffers for room and board. The councilors even got the benefit of a co-ed cabin a good ways away from the children's cabins, which had its own bathrooms with hot showers, internet access(albeit very slow and metered), and a TV to which they were encouraged to pack in game consoles. Because of the complete lack of oversight by the camp directors, the staffers cabin was treated like a clubhouse.
However, the 11 wingbeats an hour proved to be based on a 40-hour, Monday-Friday work-week. Staffers were not paid overtime, were not paid for working on weekends, and were regularly expected to put in 12-hour days. A half a day off every other week was the most they would be officially granted. Some of the more junior staffers were expected to work from dawn until dusk, 7 days a week, for the entirety of summer. A privileged few, such as Cook's Assistant Loganoff and the camp nurse, were able to negotiate reasonable salaries. The lifeguards were also paid separately for any time they spent on duty at the lake.
Unfortunately, this left the bulk of the staffers(about 35 people total), making between 3 wingbeats 19 talons and 5 wingbeats 2 talons an hour.
In previous seasons complaints were few, and most staffers didn't even do the math to work out what they were actually being paid. The camp was so lackadaisical that while they might be assigned tasks during most daylight hours, unless made to run a specific station like the craft center or the wood shop, they could take breaks whenever they pleased. For a lot of the returning junior staffers, they treated camp like a paid vacation. Many of them even used the opportunity to undergo lifeguard training(for which there was always one or two certified instructors) to make extra income in the off season. The training didn't cost anything, and was just another perk of the job.
That all changed in the Summer of the Long Knives. The huge extra influx of campers coupled with the presence of responsible adult necromancers constantly hounding the staffers to get to work led many of them to feel dissatisfied with their job. This in turn caused them to work out what they were being paid, and caused additional tensions. Many who would otherwise not have participated in the camp's black market activities happily joined in or at least condoned the practices.
Management Responses to the Poor Season
The camp was owned by the four original founders, who also served as the camp directors(none of whom had any sort of formal training in running a summer camp, indeed 3 of the 4 did not even have college educations). At the start of the season, the two older directors decided to leave, putting the entire 3-month camp in the hands of the younger two and telling them "Just try not to burn the place down. Everybody paid in advance."
Those two directors then proceeded to lock themselves in the camp office(which included a small apartment) for practically the duration of the summer, delegating the day-to-day running to the over-worked, under-paid, and often quite immature staffers. Cook's Assistant Loganoff became the defacto leader of the camp, being the most senior staffer. He was too busy trying feed the camp to do much more than dispense summary judgements or bark orders. The actual directors mostly worked on organizing shipments of supplies and bringing in extra equipment to deal with shortages.
The only serious responses from the camp directors was to hastily create an additional athletic field and to formalize the then-unofficial "KP for any infraction" punishment. To try and help with the chaos, they also deputized the junior-councilors to met out punishment. Since most of the junior councilors were really just campers themselves, they mostly used this privilege to dismiss each other from punishment and to bully other kids. Note that only non-necromancer campers were signed up as junior councilors, none of the necromancers had been offered this opportunity. Even so the process was wildly disorganized. Cook's Assistant Loganoff later commented later commented that one night over 100 kids, almost all of them necromancers, showed up for KP(the job required at the absolute most about 15).
Near the end of the season the situation became especially grim. Much of Camp Shababadahs' staff walked off the job two weeks before the end of the season when a clerical error caused their already miniscule paychecks to bounce. Believing they were not to be paid for the last two weeks, they quit in disgust. The camp store-runner used this opportunity to "quit" as well(as he was also only being officially paid 440 wingbeats a week). He absconded with the remaining money in the store as well as having his car stuffed with high-value goods he's traded for(including all of the remaining laundry detergent in the camp). That staffer would later admit he made enough in the one summer to pay for his college education. Ironically, he became a civil defense attorney.
Once the bulk of the paid staffers were gone, the junior councilors broke into and looted the camp store, making off with all the remaining good inside and spiriting them away to various cabins and caches around the camp. A group of older necromancers found out about the looting and broke in a second time, but when they saw how thoroughly the first wave had cleaned out the store, they trashed the place in retribution.
So began the imaginatively-named Night of Broken Glass, which actually took place over the course of an afternoon and saw nearly every class window in the camp shattered. Only the windows in the infirmary(which had shutters) and those of the kitchen survived. Reportedly, Cook's Assistant Loganoff stood outside the kitchen throughout the entire ordeal, smoking a cigarette and saying "Just you fucking try it," to every kid who approached with a rock.
The window-breaking spree was accompanied by a full-on riot. Fortunately most of the kids did not happen to have their knives or brass knuckles on them when the fighting broke out, and the lions share of it just involved a lot of chasing and shouting. The major hot-spots were around the woodshop, the camp store, and the councilor's cabin.
In a cruel twist of irony, it was the store-runner's decision to bring some 200 cans of pepper spray for his elicit sales that kept anyone from getting too badly injured. The pepper spray was horded mostly by the girl campers and many of the younger, smaller necromancers, all of whom showed no hesitation to use it once the fighting started. A few blasts to the face was enough to put down most attackers.
Full scale brawls did erupt, especially between factions of older necromancers and the junior councilors. Once things got heated, however, most of the fighters were willing to engage with anyone not armed with pepper spray. A lot of the injuries ended up being inflicted on non-necromancers by non-necromancers, despite initial reports to the contrary.
Credit for bringing the situation under control was given to Arkul Semketa Ruha Hai, then a mere high priest in Arindel's main temple. Blinded by pepper spray from a 12 year old necromancer girl, he walked out into the fray with his arms outstretched and began chanting call and response prayers. First the adult and then child necromancers started to respond, and then they knew they needed to get the fighting under control. The necromancers formed up into large groups, rightly assuming the scattered teenagers breaking windows and starting fights would be intimidated by superior numbers. Anyone not engaged in the fighting was brought into the center of the group for protection, while those brandishing weapons were made to lay them down. The riot, which had been going on for about six hours at that point, was brought to a close fairly quickly.
Reportedly, by the time the fighting was over, the entire came, necromancer and non alike, were gathered into a single enormous mass near the mess hall, save for Cook's Assistant Loganoff, who stamped out his cigaratte, indicated the windows, and repeated "Just you fucking try it" to the gathered group. In point of fact this account is incorrect. Loganoff was sheltering about 40 younger campers in the kitchen(the main reason for his guarding the place) and the group outside the mess hall numbered only about 300. Campers were scattered all over the facility, with more large groups on the athletic fields and many kids taking shelter in and under cabins.
In all, over 900 adults and campers were injured in the event.
The only serious injury went to a 17 year old junior councilor, who was stabbed in the side. Despite initial claims to the contrary, it was actually another junior councilor who did the deed, due to an argument over a case of soda they were looting from the camp store. He reportedly pulled the knife out himself, and nearly bled to death in the woods. He was found by one of the necromancers and brought to the infirmary while the fighting was still going on. 23 other boys, aged 16-18, were also beaten severely as retribution for injuries inflicted on younger necromancers. The injuries were reported to be systematic, focusing primarily on the back, arms, and kidneys. Extremely painful, not causing any long-term harm. It was never proven who carried out the beatings, but many claim it was done by a group of adult necromancers. 5 other campers suffered head wounds the EMTs called "serious", but all made full recoveries.
Most of the injuries were minor, a lot of cuts and bruises. The older male necromancer campers were disproportionately likely to have received injuries, reportedly due to them being more likely to put themselves in harms way to protect their younger companions.
Injuries highest among 16-17 year old boys. Over 300 individuals had been sprayed with pepper spray.
Damage to the Camp
The councilor's cabin was burned to the ground and the camp store severely damaged. Every single window in the camp, save for those on the infirmary and those on the kitchen was shattered. The mess hall also suffered severe damage, with tables being dragged outside for form makeshift barricades and the pantry looted. Reportedly no rioters ever entered the kitchen itself, which was protected by 3 adults and provided shelter to some 40 younger campers.
It was only once the riot was quelled that the camp directors(who spent the entire afternoon hiding behind a sofa in their apartment) came out and made a show of telling everyone to quiet down. This is also when police and emergency services were finally called in. The nearest town was 3 hours away and the nearest major population center another 5. It took about two hours for a single police highway patrol officer to reach the secluded camp. Even though the riot was over, he remained outside the perimeter until backup arrived another hour later. A few ambulances reached the camp around midnight and evacuated the most seriously injuries. Five EMTs remained on site to help get the remaining severe injuries kept stable while more assistance was called in.
The next morning, Cook's Assistant Loganoff organized breakfast for everyone out of the few remaining supplies. No one had eaten since about noon the day before, and most of the camp's food was destroyed in the riot. Loganoff informed the directors that after this meal they were down to 4 pallets of canned lima beans. The directors promptly announced the camp would be closed and promised to get everyone home as quickly as possible.
Nineteen fire trucks arrived that morning, having driven all night from the nearest city to assist. Apparently somewhere in the shaky communications, they got the idea that the entire camp was ablaze and a huge forest fire was emanant. The firefighters provided much-needed medical supplies to the injured campers, many of whom had had only rudimentary treatment. Among the necromancer delegation were three skilled herbalists who were able to crate poultices for those that had been pepper-sprayed. Many of the necromancer councilors, being there to accompany a years-long pilgrimage, had extensive first-aid training.
That afternoon, a contingent of marines from the TDFN arrived, also under the impression the riot was still going on they were needed to save lives. They were able to organize an airlift to evacuate all of the remaining serious injuries to the nearest hospital. The marines also provided enough rations to get everyone through the night. The camp directors were still working to organize transport to get everyone out of the camp.
The following morning, busses started to arrive. In a move that would later be criticized heavily, the camp directors prioritized evacuating the necromancers first. Order of priorities went Necromancers --> Injuries --> Minor Injuries --> Regular Campers. This meant that quite a few campers with minor injuries and most of the uninjured ended up stuck at the camp for an extra night. Food ran out except for the lima beans, though several caches of snacks were recovered from the store.
The camp ended up only closing 11 days early. Once the last kids were out, Cook's Assistant Loganoff reportedly told the directors he would be back next year and promptly left. The other remaining staffers(the nurse and a few others left with the injured kids) trickled out after that, being informed they wouldn't be paid for the remaining 11 days and had to find their own rides back to civilization. Several of them hitched rides out with the fire fighters. By the end of the third day after the riot, only the two camp directors remained. It was at this time that they discovered someone slashed the tires on the camp's one remaining vehicle. Reportedly, the two directors survived on lima beans and wild caught fish until their buisness partners returned, and together the four of them spent six weeks rebuilding the camp.
Handling of the Necromancers
The necromancers being bussed out arrived at what they thought was to be their lunch stop in the nearby town, only to discover the camp directors had only paid to have them bussed that far. Two full buss-loads were abandoned outside a fast food place before the others got wise and refused to get off. Many of the initially abandoned group were those with minor injuries. The drivers were brow-beaten into taking them at least as far a the city where they could at least get real medical treatment, though this meant skipping the lunch stop. Room was made on the remaining busses for the groups which had been abandoned, and they completed the five-hour journey back to civilization.
Handling of the Injured
A lot of the kids who had only minor cuts and bruises never received more than a cursory checkout. Their parents were not informed of the riot, many were not even informed their children were being sent home from camp early. When the busses started to arrive at the drop-off locations, many of the children were still wearing makeshift bandages fashioned from camp t-shirts, or sporting poultices provided by the necromancer apothecaries. A good number of them suffered from infections because the cuts were not adequately cleaned. A few were also found to have much more serious injuries not identified by the initial triage.
Because of the extremely poor organization of the evacuation, a lot of the kid were simply dropped off at random rec-centers in the nearby city, most of whom actually lived in Arindell another 5 hours away by train.
Dispensation of Property
Only the very last group of kids to be evacuated were given time to pack their belongings. All the others left with only the clothes on their backs. This remaining group of kids, mostly older teenagers, used the opportunity to loot the camp of any valuables left behind by other campers. There was no adult supervision at all for them at this point. The goods taken amounted to very serious thefts; the necromancers were traveling with all of their luggage on a years-long pilgrimage. This meant they were frequently carrying expensive personal items bought by their families back home. Other goods taken included valuable souvenirs from off-world, expensive clothing; anything the looters thought they might like.
After the evacuation was complete, the camp owners made the issue even worse. First, they did not get to cleaning up the satellite camps used by the necromancers until weeks after everyone left. The looters knocked over most of the tents and spread out what personal belongings they did not take, which then lay exposed to the elements. The camp directors made no attempt to separate out anyone's personal property. They merely gathered up everything left behind by the campers(probably stealing any remaining items of value) and cast it all into an enormous "lost and found" at the back of the mess hall.
Many parents on both sides were understandably miffed. In addition to not returning any of the property, the camp also refused to give out any refunds. They did provide some travel vouchers to cover the fairs of families who had to come up to the city to retrieve their children.
Individual necromancers were unable to sue the camp as most of them were from off-world. Any possible payout would have paled in comparison to the travel costs. Instead, the task of persecuting the camp fell on New Arindell's Council of Litches, as they had organized the the camp anyway. The Arindell Necromancer Temple has thousands of lawyers among it's membership, as well as access to the greatest legal minds in history(presuming those minds have already died).
Camp Shababadahs' owner/directors then counter-sued, claiming the necromancers had violated the camp rules by bringing Ke'tcha on site, which they claimed to be alcoholic. This suit was quickly dismissed as, despite common perception, it was well established in legal circles that Ke'tcha is indeed not considered alcohol.
The entire necromancer suit was organized into a class-action.
The Council of Litches became heavily involved in the suit directly, sending avatars into the courtroom to testify. Their defense council also included the raised up shades of several prominent lawyers throughout history, all of whom's advice proved to be useless as they were only familiar with the law in their own time.
Unfortunately, the litch's attempt to impress the jury with what the media described as "undead shenanigans" and a fair amount of anti-necromancer sentiments in the media, failed to impact the case. Ultimately, the judge found that Camp Shababadahs had fulfilled their end of the contract as it was signed. The necromancer's decision to bring their own camp councilors nullified the culpability of Camp Shababadahs' own councilors, few of whom could be found to testify. The fact that the pilgrims directly involved in the event had already moved on and were now off-world did not help the matter either. The court ruled the camp only had to refund the 11 days when no necromancers were on site, as this is what they had agreed to in the contract. The Council of Litches was not happy.
While the judge did find in favor of the defendants, in his closing statements he decried the actions of Camp Shababadahs and stated that while they technically fulfilled the contract, they did so in such a slipshod manner their business practices should be criminal. The judge even made a formal appeal to then-Light Bearer placeholder lightbearer to intercede.
This incident in and of itself represents an important landmark decision in Arindell's legal history. Traditionally, the Pendragon has always had the power to to overturn judgements; especially in cases where one party very clearly did wrong but the letter of the law protects them. The Light Bearer apologized and explained that the Light Bearer was not the Pendragon, and therefore lacked power. The Pendragon's legal powers stem from holding the sword Echbalder, which was lost. Although it was well-understood since the death of Conri Jusenkyou that the Light Bearer did not hold equal power to the Pendragon, this was one of the few cases where that point was entered into a major legal proceeding.
The families of the non-necromancer campers involved in the incident filed surprisingly few lawsuits. A lot of the older campers, when interviewed later, admitted they heavily downplayed the event when describing it to their parents. It helped that the camp did send out small sums to pay for the most of the injured campers to see mage-healers(though not until six months later). Several of the teenagers involved would later tell news outlets they deliberately played off the whole incident like a row because they didn't want the camp to close.
The parents of many younger campers attempted to sue on the grounds of trauma, but the whole riot was so poorly documented they had a difficult time proving anything in court. The camp directors agreed to pay out half refunds to the families of any campers who would state they did not ever wish to return. Other suits were settled by offering 30% discounts on return-visits(a move that had surprisingly high acceptance.
The families of the 23 boys beaten severely made the largest suits, but the camp was able to skirt liability by claiming adult necromancers carried out the beatings. This was never proven, and the camp settled out of court by paying part of the cost to have the boys healed.
Class-Action Over Material Losses
Nearly every child who attended camp that year lost all of their belongings when the camp was evacuated. This amounted to well over 100,000 wingbeats in material possessions lost or destroyed. Unfortunately, the class-action suit included the necromancers, the majority of whom could not be even be reached. Shababadahs' primary defense hinged upon the fact that they never wrote anything down. While there were records of payments being accepted, they made almost no accounting of children's names, bunk assignments, or anything else. In many cases parents could not even prove their child actually attended the camp.
The class-action fell apart when the prosecution failed to assemble a complete enough list of belongings lost or destroyed. Though estimates put the number somewhere between 120,000 and 250,000 wingbeats, they were only able to document 56,000 wingbeats worth of losses; largely made up of used items with very little intrinsic value(childrens clothing they are likely to grow out of and old sleeping bags, for example).
The camp also claimed that nothing had actually been destroyed or stolen, and that all of the camper's possessions had been moved to the mess hall and were accounted for. It was late winter by this point and Shababadahs was snowed-in. The camp directors offered to verify any possessions were present if the family could provide a picture of the item, this would then be sent to the winter caretaker. In point of fact, Shababadahs had no winter caretaker; the roads were utterly impassible until mid-spring, so the directors simply fixed any damage when they prepared for each new season.
The directors then offered to let anyone who could prove they attended camp the previous summer come up before the new season was set to begin and claim their property. Provided they made an appointment ahead of time and arrived precisely at the hour, usually late-afternoon on a single specific day. Given that most campers lived down in Arindell and this involved a 13-hour-each-way journey, few elected to make the trek. Returning campers were also told they would be able to claim their belongings, but in practice everything had been thrown into an un-sorted lost and found, which was again quickly looted without any real thought to what belonged to whom.
Despite everything, the summer of N.D. 493 proved to be the most lucrative for Camp Shababadahs. Even with all the repairs and payouts, the camp owners made more than they'd done in any previous season. The woodshop never had power tools again and the boat-building program was permanently ended; but despite all the negative press the camp still opened to a huge turnout in N.D. 494.
The only real winners were the next generation of camp counselors. Amidst everything else, Camp Shababadahs was found guilty of under-paying it's staff. Unfortunately because so few of them could be located in the aftermath, none received compensation. Going forward, the camp was required to account for it's employee's time, not to over-work them, and to compensate them accordingly if they worked more than 8 hours in a day. The camp responded by lowering the rate to minimum wage and instituting a time clock for the following season. This unfortunately created another round of losers: the children. Now that they had established work-hours, off-duty employees preferred to spend their time in the new councilor's cabin rather than hanging around in camp, which led to even less supervision than ever before.