The past two days have been a whirlwind of emotion. Grumpkins sent us on a new mission, to help discover some missing people who had been involved in something called "union organizing". I'm still a bit hazy on what it is — for some reason, the people of the Sword Coast who actually do the labor get the least amount of money for it, and these people are attempting to rectify this problem — but the leader of this labor organization, a handsome middle-aged man named Ges, seemed like he had a heart of gold. His true love, Nissa the Dragonborn, also seemed, to all her know her, like a gallant person and a true knight who cares for small as much as for the mighty.
Alas, these two, who are noble of heart if not in birth, were being badly misused by their "union organizing" fellows. These shameful people used good works as a cover for the most deplorable criminal behavior: Smuggling monstrous beasts into Baldur's Gate and pitting them in fights against warriors who are often being manipulated into fighting by magic. Nissa was kidnapped by these horrible people, who abused the trust she had placed in them in order to hoodwink her.
But, as I have once heard someone say, karma is a bitch. The nefarious plot was uncovered only because the underground criminals, a human man and a half-orc woman, brought a slaad over from the gods only know where, and that slaad used their bodies as hosts to birth baby slaads, a process that inevitably kills the host. We were able to save Nissa and uncover the plot, but I fear that this "union organizing" effort has been set back a decade.
The lessons learned from these events are hard to categorize. On one hand, I despair of rejoining a world where people are capable of barbarity on this level. On the other hand, my fellow heroes — as well as Ges and Nissa — were a reminder that many in this world have a deep sense of justice. It's ennobling and inspiring. I continue to recommend that, based my observations of the Sword Coast, we should proceed with caution when it comes to opening up our world to theirs.