24 August 1717
An amendment to my last report. Not all goliaths are as stupid as I first summarised. One at least, this Deckard Baine, managed to apprentice himself to Triskell! No only that he seems to have a sharp mind, for a goliath, and has mastered basic spellcasting. Perhaps there is hope for the race. Maybe, if one is willing to look hard enough, one might find some potential Disciple Candlekeepers among their number.
As to my current mission. Triskell has indeed gone missing. He was last seen treating with the Fire Giants. I was lead to their base and indeed it is a Triskell reported, a new volcano has emerged and it hums with the melody of the Song of Fire.
My guide was appointed by the Jarl and the Council of Elders, one Deckard Baine. First appearance he is nothing special, a large specimen of these brutes with very obvious signs of this tribe’s Fire Giant heritage. Apparently the young goliath apprenticed himself to Triskell as I mentioned before. I do not know about this claim but he seems to have a plan to save the wizard and more information on who Triskell trusts with, or at least believes is competent enough, to rescue him. Deckard is also, to my surprise, Blooded. Whether this was a coincidence or the goliath Elders knew of the similarities between myself and their guide I do not know.
Triskell himself magiced a map to us as we tried, unsuccessfully, to paley with the Giants. We believe it shows the location of where he is being held. I have not been to the Song of Fire in a long time and on those trips I have never treated with the Fire Giants. From what I can gather they do seem to be the ones in charge however.
Triskell trusts this Goliath so I must do the same. I can only hope the wizard knows what he is doing.
28 August 1717
Were are over a day’s ride from Sabhail. We came across a band of Gnolls camped in the forest just off the main road. The beasts had been raiding farms in the area. By the look of their markings they were all from different tribes so I must conclude they were part of a warband that either got dispersed or it’s warlord was not strong enough to stop it’s soldiers from deserting becoming bandits.
Regardless the goliath again surprised me again but suggesting a sound ambush plan and for more reasons that loot. He felt that a band like this was not only a danger to the surrounding settlements but also to us and our return trip. If nothing this journey is broadening my understanding of these people.
Of the fight nothing to report. The gnolls were surprised and dispatched quickly with spell and sword.
30 August 1717
Of the many Blooded reportedly making Sabhail their home we managed to find only two. The gnome bard Bivouac and an otherworldly woman who introduced herself as Sigil. These two seemed very unimpressive but I could sense Blood in them. With so much time spent on travel we had to make do with what we could find and left Sabhail the next morning.
Bivouac is more confidant than his skills suggest he should be. I get the feeling that there is more power in him than he shows though. If anything his silver tongue should help us treat with the Giants.
Sigil is fascinatingly alien. She speaks common as if a native though her accent I cannot place. She has no magic yet moved and dresses as one who has access to such power. It was not until our second day of travel that I realised she was more than human. A tiefling, something I thought no longer existed. She also has power, power such that I cannot detect. Her mind shapes the world around her rather than the song that my divine or elemental powers do or any common wizard or sorcerer commands. She may be of interest to some in the church. I recommend sending an envoy or asking Triskell to perform an Assessment.
Should we free him.
2 September 1717
I write this quickly as we are about to abandon our horses and make the climb to the giant’s keep on foot. I objected but their reasoning is sound.
The Candlekeeper teaches that there is always more than what is on the surface. This journey has shown me that already with these strange companions he has sent me. So I have begun to wonder. Fire Giants may be aligned strongly with the Song of Fire, as I am, but they do not have any more control over the Song than any other creature does over the Songs that make them up. No more than one trained in the Arcane has anyway.
So how did they pull the Song so strongly that they created a volcano where one should not be? The power needed could only come from the very Instrument that plays the Song of Fire. To use that one would have to be a god or apotheon or at least so aligned with the Song that they would be have to be made of the Song itself. As is known elementals, being solely of the Song of one Instrument have not enough depth in them to command their own Instrument.
It troubles me that there is more going on here than seems. I believe that the Candlekeeper has chose me to find out how this has come to pass.
3 September 1717
Triskell is safe but my fears were confirmed and the reality is worse than I imagined.
I know the Candlekeeper expects us not to make assumptions but to gather information. I was made to be an emissary to the Song of Fire and now it encroaches on the product of the whole Song! But I get ahead of myself.
Our attempts to treat with the giants were futile, though that may be a gross understatement. They keep Fire Snakes as guard dogs. Easily beaten but delayed us greatly. The first Giant we came across threw a boulder at me! Before I even finished introducing myself!
The worst was the Azer slaves. Hundreds of them. I know I should remain impassive, we are here to learn above all else. But my graduation exam was to help broker the trade agreement between the Azer and Qaiwa! I must confess I forgot myself for a time after seeing how many Azer slaves the Giants had.
Not all the slaves were Azer. There were many Salamanders as well. I should have known more was going on when I saw this. Giants think much of themselves but not even they can inspire enough fear to get those two hated enemies to work together, saves or not.
We passed a great pool of fire and I truly felt like a Note from the Song of Fire had been pulled into this world. After the incident with the Giant on guard and his throw first ask questions never policy, in which he could not dispatch us quickly from afar so left to make his away around the lake of lava that separated us, we made our way quickly to the room we believed Triskell had indicated was his prison.
Each room we passed were being carved out of the mountain and shaped into what hindsight says was a temple or palace rather than a military keep. Stealth was chosen as how we should approach so Sigil moved ahead, using a Potion of Invisibility and her strange magics to fly above the slaves and scout the room.
Patience was not my strength at the time and as soon as I heard a commotion from the room that Triskell was held I headed for it immediately. I tried to convince the Azer that I would help them free themselves if only they banded together. My training failed me though, and lost in my emotions I was unable to sway them.
To my shame the gnome Bivouac was able to persuade the Azer to revolt. And through a translator at that! The giant at the entrance had caught up to us and with the Azer’s help Bivouac was able to hold him off. That one’s silver tongue is blessed it seems.
For myself I made it to the room to see Triskell chained to the far wall, hands covered so he could not cast spells. One hand had been freed and Sigil floated, now visible, next to the suspended wizard with chisel and hammer in hand. The giant in the room, gore from some poor slave covering his knuckles, hand noticed the Tiefling and drew his sword.
I threw spells at the brute as Deckard threw insults and challenges. The giant laughed at our futile attempts to distract him. He hit Sigil with his great sword and almost cleaved her in two, I believe her magic and alien physiology are the only things that saved her.
The giant also swung at and hit Triskell. The old wizard is strong and took the blow. That reminded my of the stories of his great strength in magic and the way of the Candlekeeper and my next spell broke the shackles around his other hand. He fell forward then stopped horizontal, levitating above the ground.
The next thing I knew we were outside the mountain and Triskell urged us to leave.
The last part of my report will be given over to a piece of information we learned from the giants and slaves. Triskell confirmed this after the fact. An Efreet leads this incursion. A being that powerful in charge makes sense and answer most of the questions that plagued me during this journey. But it also means it is beyond my ability to deal with.
I understand I have failed greatly in the teachings of the Candlekeeper in losing myself to my fiery passion and failing to remain the impassive observer. My observations have been tainted by passion and so cannot fully be relied upon.
I realise as such I am in no position to ask for a boon but feel I must. There is something going on in Sabhail. Many Blooded are gathered there and yet they themselves don’t seem to have a conscious reason. To have so many Blooded in one place cannot be a coincidence.
I feel there is much the Church can learn from having a representative there and I wish to put my hand up for that responsibility. Few of my station are fee at the moment and with the risk the Church faces from the Fire Giants and their master after myself and Triskell were both exposed I believe that my placement among the Goliaths is at an end. There is a great risk that they may be next enslaved by the efreet purely because of my presence there. Efreet are petty like that.
Those of us descended from the Candlekeeper must follow the treads of knowledge that he leaves for us. I will take on any penance the Church deems necessary. But a Blooded represented is needed in Sabhail and I am closest Disciple available I strongly recommend the Church send me.