Campaign Logs

The Jade Letters

By Beth Griese

Date:   June 24, 1995


Bearded fellow

Supreme Being

Jim Leitzel


Blonde human

Tempus Cleric

Brian Smith

B'rinth L'rea

Gold Elf


Vaughan Herron

Guernach (Gary)

Young, heavy-set

Torm Cleric

Lum Johnson


Gypsy woman


Beth Griese




Stu Collins


1/2 Elf, Scruffy Beard


Jim Gaynor

Quote of the Day:
"I'll try to earn your trust, and you..." - Brian Smith
"Won't try to take over my mind." - Beth Griese

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

We awoke from our rest in the Halls of Eveningstar to continue our quest. I was, by this point, feeling tired, sore, and none too pleased with this whole adventuring business, Master. I was having problems understanding what you ever saw in it in your travels. So far, my travels had brought me through a lot of pain, problems, and danger, with precious little to learn from it, I thought. Your gift kept me from feeling the cold most of the others in my group was complaining of in their joints, but it didn't help waking up to a stone ceiling and musty air instead of leafy trees and birdsong. My attitude, I fear, was no at its best.

My attitude, of course, didn't serve to help me in the next room we explored. It was so dark I could barely see an arm's length ahead of me. I searched the room and in my impatience viciously attacked a cloak on a stand before we completed our cover. We managed to find our way on, though, to a small bedroom. The headboard of the bed had pulled forward enough to reveal a small shelf behind it. The little shelf held two scrolls, two vials, and three books with content that still makes me blush to think of it. This occupant had too few things to do with his time.

Telaran, the half-elven adventurer, found a loose stone in the floor and pried it open to reveal a small niche. Everyone clustered around it curiously, of course, and we saw an old, withered hand lying on some fine fabric. I was the one, of course, who reached down and touched the fabric first, and the hand immediately launched like a pellet in a slingshot to land on my head, grasping and gripping as if it could choke the life out of me through sheer will alone.

I'm not ashamed to admit I was absolutely terrified; I challenge anyone not to be in such a circumstance. I must admit, though, I'm coming to depend on the strength of my adventuring companions when mine fails. It's seen me through more embarrassing times than this, and their reactions did not fail me this time, either. Telaran grabbed the hand and threw it off of me - a brave act for such a grisly task. Gary promptly smashed the hand into a broken mess on the floor. I understand now why you always said the only lone adventurers were dead ones. The fabric, as it turned out, was a fine bag, which held a beautiful necklace of obsidian stones.

We seem to have explored everything we can find on this floor, and so we returned to some stairs we had found earlier that led down. The stairs were slick and hard to find purchase on. Borreau behind me and Gary behind him both lost their footing, but this was my turn to aid them. I was able to wedge my arms and legs against the walls tightly enough that they didn't fall to the bottom of the stairs, where sword points stuck out from the door at the bottom.

We hit another problem before we made it through that door, though, in the form of more of those bird-bugs with the noses that try to impale you. They swooped from the top of the stairwell like bats. Gary dealt with the first one with one swing, but the second one managed to stab his beak into my arm. Borreau and I both dealt with the beast quickly, although to tell the truth, his cut seemed to do me nearly as much damage as the bird. He was concerned about the wound, so much so that it touched me, but I assured him it was better to have the beast dealt with as quickly as possible. If he can stand digging maggots from his own skin, I can stand a tiny cut.

The door at the bottom led to a room with three stone sarcophagi in it and a skeleton. Borreau ordered it back in Tempus' name, and indeed, the battle god must have been with him, because the undead creature not only shrunk away from him in terror, he walked around the room to herd the thing out the door. It was even unexpectedly successful, as it exploded into bone fragments the moment it passed the threshold of the door. This thing must have been designed as a guard, and nothing more.

Which, of course, turned our attention to the room. We were not anxious to disturb the sarcophagi, but began looking around carefully. For once, I was a bit proud to have one up on our elven friends, because I found the little door hidden in one wall. It looked remarkably like the wind tunnel that had led from the room with the giant statues, except that this one had a skull floating at the end of it with glowing red eyes. We tried every method of dealing with it we could imagine - the tunnel was too dratted small for me to use my bow - before Telaran lost patience and decided to crawl down to deal with the thing himself. It turned out to be nothing more than a skull on a wire. Amazing; the simplest deterrents are sometimes the most effective.

The tunnel led to a tiny room. Nory and crawled down to join Telaran. The room held a chest with a sword placed atop it and a roll of oilcloth. While Nory examined the chest and the sword atop it, I rolled open the oilcloth. I was really expecting some piece of art to be inside. I hadn't expected the artwork to be a bow. A beautiful, finely crafted longbow, as well-made as any I've seen. Even as I pulled it out, Nory mentioned off- handedly that it was magical, as was the sword.

Well, this time, Master, I vowed not to let greed snatch my attention away. I went back down the tunnel with both sword and the re-wrapped bow to hand out. As I reached the end of the tunnel, though, Nory had begun his work of opening the chest, and the middle of the three sarcophagi exploded open. This horrid, mummified creature seemed to rise forever from it, screaming for his treasure.

I'll make no excuses. I was terrified. This was a beast from your worst stories, Garen, and I thought our souls were all certainly forfeit. It struck Gary in our confusion, and he fell to the ground like a branch from a tree, and that did help shake me out of it some. Some of us tried to fight it, gave it our best shots, but we didn't seem to be accomplishing much. One of our party, Gary, was still not moving, and many of the others must have been as convinced as I that the end had arrived.

Who would have thought that salvation for our souls could come in the form of a gnome? Nory finally appeared at our knees and, with some of that spell-casting gibberish, sprayed a rainbow of colors and lights at the creature's eyes. It bellowed like none of our cuts had produced, and must have been blinded as well. It was the break we needed, and brought the favor back to us again. We destroyed the loathsome thing, chopped it up into pieces as best we could.

The aftermath of the fight, though, was little consolation. Gary was down, and near death. We did what we could to stop his bleeding, but although Borreau tried again and again, he was unable to heal Gary. I think this worried him more than he cared to admit, but I didn't feel I should say anything to him. Instead, we quietly took the things we had found, Borreau personally carried Gary, and we headed back to Eveningstar with all the speed we could muster.

Praise Mielikki, when we reached Lathander's temple, we ran into Jeld on his way out. I spoke with him, explained the situation, and he brought us all inside. We had to offer a good share of what we had found, but Jeld took care of us all, cured Gary of his ills, saved the others who had been struck by that mummy of the disease it carried, and even removed the curse of that dratted black dagger from me. He treated us well, though, Master, and I believe it was mostly the memory of your service in the past that brought favor to us now.

The next day, with everyone feeling better again, we once again visited Lady Tesseril and saw to dividing up the treasure we had found. I must admit, this time I felt a great deal more pleased with the results of our work. Tesseril took for her fee the rod we had found, which turned out to be a mighty weapon, but one we willingly gave since none of us are rod- wielders by training. We divided out the treasure, the scrolls, and the vials appropriately. The sword from the mummy's chest, as it turns out, has an intelligence to it. Even Tesseril was not able to speak with it, but it communicated with Borreau. He seems sensibly cautious about the sword, but says it is a battle-lover as he is, and seems pleased about that. He gave me the purple sword that he had earlier claimed, which I was just as pleased with anyway. It will always be Borreau's sword, though, should he have call for it again.

As for that marvelous bow, no one else in our party had a particular interest in it, so I got to claim it as well. I spent the next day working on a fitting string for it, and fashioned one of high enough quality for it to sing. It was fitting, I think; fashioning the string made it truly mine, and now I look forward to actually putting it to use.

I had been hoping to go on a hunting trip to try it out; perhaps Borreau would have wanted to come along to see if he could best me with fishing again. But I didn't get the chance to approach the idea this time. Because now, everyone was hot for the idea of going to Arabel. Arabel, they said, would hold greater wonders for us to explore, and new teachers to train us with all that we had learned in the Halls. The decision that was so easy for everyone else rent my heart, though, master. I've never had any teacher other than you; how could I abandon our home, perhaps be gone when you return, to start seeking instruction from another?

In the end, after an evening of long thought, it was your gift of the ring that made the decision for me. You expected me to continue to venture forth, to learn, and certainly not to stay at home where I would already be warm and dry and safe all the time. My devotion to you does not waver; I remain your servant just as surely as your mark remains on me for the world to see. But I agreed to leave with the others for Arabel. I've seen to the shutting up of our home and will return to greet you when you've come back. But for now, I'll continue this journal as my complete report to you, and join the road away from Eveningstar.

The trip to Arabel was fairly typical of such journeys from before. We ran into one group of brigands on the road; hobgoblins who were threatening to shoot the man who stood on the road unless we gave up our valuables. We ended their threat with quick efficiency. We're really beginning to work together as a team fairly well. It was the last day of the journey that brought the most amazing encounter. I had been enjoying the long days of travel under the open sky, when out of that sky came a creature I had only heard about in tales at the inns.

It was surely a manticore, just as you've described them yourself; part man, part lion, part eagle. It was a horrible thing, and shot spikes from its tail at us while it swooped like any bird of prey would. I'm still not sure when I could have done better against the thing; while most of the others made a run for the trees, I stood ground with my fine new bow and shot at the manticore to cover their retreat and Nory, whose pony did not fare well against the monster. The spikes seemed to come down like rain, but the real trouble began when it landed. I tried to apply sword and dagger to it, and gave it slices to make it think twice, but it bit into me painfully. It was the worst I've see hurt yet, and I still ache to remember it. Borreau, though, thank the gods, finished it off, and once again lent healing comfort. We were able to save all but Nory's pony, and with it our only casualty, we continued on to Arabel.

We arrived fairly late, so I haven't yet gotten to see much of the city. We've been here a few times before, but it's my first visit on my own, and I look forward to seeing what will find us here. We rest a the Bored Griffon, a sturdy enough inn with a decent menu and clean-looking bed for me to rest in tonight and try to forget manticore attacks. I will write again at my next opportunity. I remain, in Arabel...

Your faithful servant,


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