A trying day, even by recent standards. I arrived here just ahead of the destruction of the bridge – and Bradia has been submerged in chaos since. Too many people packed into the port city – worshippers of the Solars and the New Gods alike. I'd done my best to take no part in the tensions, but today they were thrust upon me.
I was retiring at the Blue Mountain Tavern for the evening at the behest of my new friend Astra. Good turn for good turn, she has been generously paying my way since I tended to the wounds she incurred during the explosion. I recall being pensive, however, as there was a waitress at the tavern, Fréna, who had not been seen for a few days. Having become fairly well acquainted in my stay here, I was certainly concerned.
The evening became abruptly worse as Wân burst in, very upset about the disappearance of a young girl, Pénny. While I was attempting to extract the details, an eavesdropping priest of Lum decided to butt into our conversation, saying he had seen the girl selling her flowers near the docks earlier in the day.
The attention of one solar lover quickly drew another, by the looks of her some sort of knight of Malseren. Astra was quick to make introductions, but of course neither of them were interested in my name.
I had a fairer first impression of this Malseren follower, Mara, for the death of her god seemed to at least show her some measure of humility. She seemed level headed, and suggested we entreat the guards in the area for information. Upon arriving at a nearby post, she quickly dispelled my cautious optimism as she proceeded to inquire as to whether any fights had broken out in the day, or if any corpses had turned up. I found it baffling and even offensive that she'd assume a missing abyssal touch to be dragged off to the jail or the morgue, especially as it pertains to an eight year old girl, but I said nothing. Once I provided the guards with the child's name, they offered what they could.
We retraced her steps into the slums, where I spoke to an older gentlemen who mentioned that Wylén, a local baker, had also apparently gone missing. Beginning to see a pattern emerge (female, fire touched), I suggested he spread the word through the district for our people to be cautious and not travel alone. Meanwhile Astra inquired with some tieflings, and Everett, the Lummite, had a riveting conversation with a goliath.
We investigated the house itself next, finding obvious indications of forced entry. Pénny's father, Brénya, was there, utterly beside himself with grief. The Lummite proceeded to show the characteristic sympathies of his kind by screaming at him to be quiet. While I attempted to console the man, the Solarites investigated the door itself. Thankfully their interactions with inanimate objects are more effective than those they have with people, and they were able to uncover a clue: shards of rock embedded into the battered door.
Meanwhile Astra managed to randomly introduce herself to a halfling in the area… She is an exceptionally friendly one. The halfling spoke of being drawn to us by some amulet. I'm not one to question destiny. I said nothing.
With the information that a goliath was involved, we began to put together some likely characteristics of our suspected kidnapper. Goliaths rarely act of their own will, typically being both created and controlled by the dwarves. Re-inquiring with the nearby goliaths seemed to confirm this theory. They called the fragment we presented "flesh rock," and referred to the one it belonged to as a "controlled daughter." They even described an owner for this daughter, a "red dwarf" with a "half red beard." Knowing that goliaths are considered a luxury, we also formed an idea of what sort of neighborhood we might find our suspect in.
While I can certainly admire Pala-Malseren's progressiveness in relation to religious and personal freedom for my people, I am not sure I agree with the goliaths being… Partially excluded? My understanding is that they do not all have the spark of will, but certainly slavery should be abolished as an overall concept, not just for select groups. I do not know as much as I should of Kraken Boors, but I have to wonder when he completes his seemingly inevitable conquest what will become of these "noble races." Talmorhan protect us all.
As a next step, Astra decided that questioning a contact of hers might prove fruitful, but wanted to do so privately. So here I sit, scribbling in my journal outside of a seedy bar so that I don't have to make small talk with these Solarites. I hope Astra comes back out soon…