SHARN -- An estimated 1,000 protesters marched through Sharn's Bazaar and Hareth's Folly districts on Mol, blocking key intersections and clashing with city guards throughout the late afternoon and evening. City Watch troopers were dispatched from the Daggerwatch Garrison at 6 p.m. to deal with the disturbances. By 10 p.m., nearby precincts surveyed by the Breland Ledger reported more than 150 arrests.
Blood of the Disappeared, a group founded by the parents and spouses of missing Brelish soldiers, organized the rally to protest what they called "foot-dragging" on the part of Breland's War Ministry and diplomatic corps. "We've been at peace for two years now, everyone says. But for us, there is no peace," said Blood Councilor Maruena Tokaunt in a speech to a crowd at Markenny Plaza. "Our government, from the crown on down, needs to take responsibility for negotiating an exchange of soldier remains and any living prisoners. Furthermore, the national armies must open their records so we can find out what happened to the thousands of missing and captured troops."
Most of the arrests were for disturbing order or property destruction, according to Watch Captain Zell Garrithall. Property damage was limited to street signs, some storefronts, and several tavern interiors.
Assistant War Minister Arneth ir'Challis said that while the crown welcomes "open discussion about the fate of those who gave their all for Breland," negotiating such agreements is a time-consuming, difficult process. Older missing-in-action cases tend to be delayed because of a simple lack of information, ir'Challis explained. "After nearly a century of war and upheaval, detailed records on every military engagement just don't exist anymore," he affirmed. "Sadly, we'll never know exactly where and under what circumstances each hero of Breland fell."
Adding to the frustration of investigators is the fact that more recent cases are sometimes cloaked by the demands of military secrecy. "When we inquire about missing and captured soldiers from the last year or two of the war, we get stonewalled," ir'Challis said. "Other nations don't want to divulge the details of recent battles because doing so means giving away intelligence."
Ir'Challis also emphasized that to the War Ministry's knowledge, Breland is holding no living prisoners from the Last War. He called on other governments to make the same pledge.
Tokaunt echoed that call. "The war is over -- doesn't everyone realize that? What possible reason could a nation have for continued imprisonment of enemy soldiers?"
About the Author
David Noonan is a designer/developer for Wizards of the Coast. Before coming to Wizards, he was a daily newspaper reporter in Washington state. Apparently the city hall beat is good practice for an Eberron campaign.