Campaign Logs

The Jade Letters

By Beth Griese

Date:   May 27, 1995


Bearded fellow

Supreme Being

Jim Leitzel


Blonde human

Tempus Cleric

Brian Smith

B'rinth L'rea

Gold Elf


Vaughan Herron


Gypsy woman


Beth Griese




Stu Collins


1/2 Elf, Scruffy Beard


Jim Gaynor

Quote of the Day:
"We come out of this place and get our butt kicked by the fauna." -- Brian Smith

To Garen Thundersson, cleric of Mielikki. From your faithful servant, Jade.

Ah, the relief to be under the sky once again! Borreau and I carried Miior, still in the bag, out of the Halls of Eveningstar as she slept. Our cleric of Tempus has as much strength as any hunter I've met; he and I, with only a couple of interruptions, carried the woman all the way back to Eveningstar again. However, there was an interruption.

Humility comes in the strangest forms sometimes.

Borreau stepped in a large hole as we followed the river back to town. From the softness of the dirt, I couldn't tell for sure what beast might have dug the hole, but we could hear a rumbling sound of something approaching the entrance, certainly to find out who had dared to disturb its home.

I feel as though I failed the group; I should have been able to warn them of what kind of creature lives in these holes and what weapons they possess. Next time, master, I will try to remember some caution. This time, though, no one was prepared for the stench that arrived well before the wolverine its smell announced. The elves must be more sensitive to its musk than the rest of us, for they were both blinded and hacking from the stench. I was the only one who had planted myself back from the hole. It was instinctive; what right-thinking woodsman would place himself at the opening of a lair? It would be akin to a soldier knocking on the door of a castle he intended to siege. But again, it was my failure that I didn't warn the others, and my fault the creature was able to plants its hind claws firmly into Borreau when it finally burst out of its hole.

I shot the arrows I had ready, but I haven't normally hunted fighting wolverines, and its speedy turns - mostly off of Borreau's chest - evaded them all. I swear, that beast looked right at me then, and we spoke to each other in that moment. It told me that it could tear for the throats of the elves, or even my friend cleric. It told me that it could continue for me, now, for daring to unsettle its home, and my arrows would still prove ineffective. But instead, it turned and went back down to its home, its message delivered. Thank Mielikki beasts are not as cruel as humans!

Borreau, to my relief, was able to heal the claws on his chest, although he was now going to have to buy a new shirt from town. Some water and time, of course, brought back sense to Telaran and B'rinth. Thus, reeking of musk and defeated by what to these city folk must have seemed like a rabid dog, we stumbled back into Eveningstar.

I was able to buy baths of wine at the Lonesome Tankard without, I hope, offending the noses of too many of the patrons. We each took our turn getting rid of the wolverine's musk, and spent some time talking with Miior. She didn't believe our explanation of the era or the place she was in, and determined to head back to what is now the wastelands of Anauroch on her own. Nory, it seems, can throw voices, for he made a very obvious attempt to make B'rinth declare his love for Miior. I swear on the silver leaves that the look of fury on B'rinth's face was harder to keep from laughing at than Nory's joke in the first place, but perhaps that was the gnome's intention in the first place.

I headed straight for home. Only a few days have passed since I started writing, Master, but perhaps it was all that had occurred since then that made my hopes rise that I would turn the last oak to smell the fire and see the lights of home. But your house was once again cold, and dark, and silent, as it had been the first time I returned a few months ago to find you gone. I removed the dust and cobwebs that had begun to creep in while the house was deserted, and slept with my disappointment like a rock in my stomach.

The next day, the group met for breakfast at the Tankard again, and after some debate, we decided we would be willing to pay a fee for Lady Tesseril to tell us more about the magical things we had found. She granted us an audience for that evening after we showed her the items we had retrieved. We also warned her about Miior, and her possibly evil intentions. That was a burden off my mind, I must admit. We treated the woman fairly and honestly, but we also made sure that the guard of the city was alert for her actions. I hope you would be proud of how we handled that quandary.

When we returned for our audience in the evening, Lady Tesseril invited us to join her for dinner. I still have no idea what prompted this honor; after all the times you dined with her, I never imagined I would be sitting at such a table. But we had a fine meal, and a bard who sang for us, and Lady Tesseril told us that Miior was being watched closely, had probably not been very truthful with us (I guess I wasn't surprised at that), and more about the things we had found.

B'rinth never showed his book that he found to Lady Tesseril, although she spoke with him privately during the evening. I still don't know what it is that keeps his head buried in that tome every moment he gets, but he offered no complaint at all that that be his share of the treasure we had found. Telaran was still quite pleased with his spear that he found, and he even seems to act a bit more comfortable with it strapped to his back now. Gary, Nory, and B'rinth split the spell scrolls that Lady Tesseril didn't claim as her fee. Come to think of it, maybe the Lady invited us to dinner because of those scrolls. I have a feeling she ended up with a very fair price for her services, so maybe she offered us a meal as well to balance the scales. Nory clung to the boots we had found like a child with a prayed-for new toy when the Lady told us what they are; seems they're of elven make and allow the wearer to move silently through the worst of conditions. I question our wisdom in allowing him to have it.

That left the shielding broach that Nory had already put to use, and the purple sword, which Lady Tesseril told us was a mighty weapon and had extra power for fighting giants.Giants! Oh, Master, I would have given much to keep that sword, but Borreau's eyes said he wanted the sword, too. We borrowed a die from the guards, as we decided the only fair thing to do was dice for it. Tymora must have decided that my greed had not yet been repaid, for she gave the win of the roll to him. He was as sorry to win the blade as I would have been if I had taken it from him, and it made me feel a bit better for his obvious sorrow that the trade could not be more equitable. But I wore the broach as proudly as I could, and still do.

I was not prepared for how eager everyone was to return to the Haunted Halls. I was starting to lose my taste for this adventuring that puts you in dark, stony room after room with no great accomplishments to show for it. Maybe it was the humiliation we met after the Halls that made everyone so ready to go back and prove themselves, and the fact that I was the only one left standing from it that made me the least eager. You were always a wonder at seeing the real reasons behind such things, Garen, but I'm afraid I do better at reading wolverines than my fellow adventure-seekers. I agreed to return with them one more time, to finish what had gotten interrupted by finding Miior, and see what we could divine about the strange magician who used to live in those halls.

We returned easily enough and decided to start with that small passage that had tried to blow Nory through a closed door before. This time, Nory managed to keep the winds from beginning, and we found a plush room, full of beautiful things, but its beauty destroyed because of the body of a woman lying on the couch with a dagger through her mouth. What a repulsive sight. The poor woman was, of course, long dead, although we had briefly hoped that her manacles would prove to be like Miior's and we could somehow help this woman. No such luck. The dagger had Cyric's symbol on its blade, and besides the obvious wound to her head, her heart had also been gruesomely cut out. What evil has been using these halls? This isn't something that could have been done in the ancient time this place was first used and occupied, and this is hardly the work of kobolds.

We continued on to a huge hall with an arched ceiling and evidence of falling chunks of masonry - and worse, judging by the crushed goblin- looking creature at one spot. We stepped carefully.

We worked our way back a bit to make sure we weren't missing any clues, and found a small food storage room. We opened a chest there, and a blast of foul-smelling air filled the room on an instant. And now, finally, it seems my body has learned from its meetings with poison it's already gone through in this place. My knees weakened, but I took one gasp of the fresh air left behind, and felt my legs shore up beneath me. When I looked around though, every one of my companions was knocked flat on the floor. What irony! I checked them to be sure that they, like I before, were merely sleeping. They were, and since I've survived this twice now with no injury except to my pride, I felt fairly secure in merely making sure they were comfortable, getting them out of the hall in case of attack, and then resting in the room until they awoke. The chest we opened up, as it turned out, had a sack with about 250 gold pieces in it and a nicely crafted ring of emeralds. I also found another one of those knives with Cyric's symbol on it, but promptly threw it to the far corner of the room. The treasure bag made for a nice wakeup sight for everyone when they recovered, as I knew they would.

When we returned to the arched hall, Nory tried to open the first of the doors in this room. I thought for sure we had lost him when the door swung flat down onto him like a winepress pushed by a giant. Our friend the trap-maker had been at work again, and had it not been for Borreau's quick healing work, it would have been the end of Nory. We continued on after the gnome seemed to be back to himself, and this time a huge block of stone dropped when Nory tried to examine the door. The block, though, landed without sound, without feeling of weight, and then promptly disappeared. An easy illusion to see! In my confidence, I volunteered to stand my ground and open the door regardless of the block. I forgot, it seems, our previous experience, and when the block illusion enveloped me, I was back in the ballista room we had visited before, and once again every metal item I owned was in the adjacent room. What a bother this fellow was!

When we were finally able to progress to the room beyond the stone, we found a scorched room occupied only by an orc with an axe embedded in its skull. A rod was also scattered on the floor. Nory checked and found that both the rod and the axe were magic. Borreau tried to retrieve the axe, but the moment he did, worms from the body of the orc swarmed over his arm. I've seen the like inhabiting bodies of creatures in the forests, and I warned the cleric of the danger of their ravenous feeding. I handed him a dagger - and noticed in shock that it was the Cyric dagger of before - but was promptly distracted by Borreau's bravery as he cut the remaining worms out of his own arm. He insisted that the pain was negligible, but it was still an amazing act. I tried putting my own dagger - which had somehow found its way to my backpack - back into my sheath, and again tossed the black dagger of Cyric. It seemed to stay this time. I don't know whether it was the dagger from the girl or from the room with the chest, but I don't like its haunting me.

When we tried to enter the third door from the arched hall, a ghostly woman stepped from the door, with regal bearing, who told us "This way is not open to you." Others tried to question it, but for some reason it only answered me. I'm not sure why, and the woman, whose name, she said, was Ruthreen, wouldn't, or couldn't, really explain. Ruthreen knew well that she was dead, and bound to guard the door for her lord. She couldn't name who that lord was, but I'm starting to be willing to lay coin that its the same monster responsible for the other atrocities we've seen.

I'm standing watch, now, as we rest in a side room off that large hall. Poor Nory hardly made it to his blankets before he was asleep; staring death in the eye is never easy to whisk away. I'm not sure where we plan to go from here, but I'm starting to long to be free of this place. There's another longing, though, to find out what manner of man is responsible for the things we've seen. He's almost certainly long dead and gone, but I just want to be sure, Master. We'll see what tomorrow's searchings find.

Your faithful servant,


The Jade Letters are the property and copyright of Beth Griese, not to be published or redistributed without permission.

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