Campaign Logs

The Jade Letters

By Beth Griese

Date:   July 8, 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:
"Find Trap' spell; the material component is Nory." -- Brian Smith

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

Our second day in Arabel, Nory stumbled across an inn that seemed destined for us; the Murdered Manticore. He even bargained up a reduced rate for us in exchange for our trophies from the approach to the city. We all packed up our belongings and moved a few blocks down the street to our new home while we stationed in Arabel.

Everyone seemed intent upon finding people to teach us how to fare better the next time we travelled into dangerous grounds. Certainly, I could have done well with some teaching from someone, even if it felt strange to ask someone else for tutoring.

B'rinth was the one of us who did not spend much time venturing from the inn. He certainly got his money's worth out of his room's fare; he stayed put day after day with his head buried in the book he retrieved from the Haunted Halls. Those evenings we could even manage to persuade him to join us, he seemed to be a world away, and itching to get back to his studies again. Reminded me of what you always complained of the most about magical sorts, Master - a complete lack of concentration on where they are. But he must have finished the book, because he was smug as a bobcat on a warm rock for days afterward, walking around the city and humming to himself.

Borreau immediately sought out the city's shrine to Tempus. There was, of course, a regiment dedicated to the god's work there, and he took up with them for the longest time of any of us. The clergy of Tempus are a strange lot; every night Borreau came back to the inn bruised, beaten, and more sore than the day before, but I never heard him complain once. Indeed, for the most part, he was cheerful and pleased. Praise Mielikki that the wise woman doesn't ask me for my blood to show devotion.

Nory, of course, was not very forthcoming about where he was spending his nights. His nights, note, Master, not his days. When most of us would be dining to end our day, he was just stumbling out of bed, and more than one early morning I caught him coming back home with a wicked grin and jangling pockets. Nory has made it into almost a game, his coy refusal to admit to any of us that he's a thief. He wants us to catch him in enough half-truths and doubletalk to trap him outright - he loves it when we trip him up in his stories. It's not an honest living, but I've never seen blood on his dagger, nor seen him pilfer goods from our hosts or our own party, and so I don't call him out on his hobby. It puts a damp fog over our friendship, though; to see such a bright little man taking home things he could easily have earned on his own.

Telaran, our adventuring half-elf, found a company on the first day just outside of town called the Red Raven Mercenary Company. He immediately signed up for training with them, and spent most of his first week in town toe-to-toe with some of the nastiest blades I've seen, certainly swifter cuts than you usually find in Eveningstar. He held his sword and his spear bravely, though, and rose back up after every knock he received that sent him into the dust. I think the other soldiers liked Telaran quite well, and by the end of the days he spent with them, he even got to tumble a sergeant or two himself. I know all that because I also spent some days with the Ravens, but I'll tell you about that in a few moments.

My first day in Arabel, I was assigned with the task of selling the jewelry we had found for divvying up amongst the party. I was honored to be the one chosen for this duty, because it showed a certain amount of trust to send me out alone with a sizable amount of wealth, although I was chomping at the bit just as much as the others to start exploring the town. But I took our goods to Elhazir's Exotica, an amazing shop of all kinds of unusual goods and beautiful jewels that was highly recommended by the people I spoke with at the inn. An old woman sat down with me and went over all the things we had found on our trip. Of course, Master, I hadn't the slightest idea of what in our trove was worth good gold and what wasn't; I learned a lot from listening to this woman, and she eventually gave me what I think was a very fair price. Certainly, everyone was pleased with the small purses they received that night, even though most of the gold went straight from our hands to our trainers'. I even bought a toy at the shop to show my gratitude; a spyglass that lets you see far down the street or through the forest as if you were on a hilltop. It's an amazing device.

So, with my duties to the party done, I found myself the second day at the Red Raven Company. I met the scout of their party; a man named Brion who knew very well how devilishly handsome he was. It didn't take me long, though, to convince him that I really was there for training, and not for his company. I suppose the fellow is striking enough to have women knocking at the door for any excuse, but once he realized I was serious in my intent, we spent an excellent eight days travelling the countryside of Arabel. He taught me quite a bit, Master. He admired the new bow I had gotten and showed me how to send it right over the scrub like a wasp. He loved birds of all kinds; I think he spent as much time telling me the names of birds, their habits, what their reactions could tell me as he did everything else combined. But by the end of our week, we'd had enough of each other, and he kindly kicked me out of his office to tell me to go start using what I had learned.

I planned to take Brion seriously, and head off on my own for a few days into the King's Forest south of the city. Borreau still had training to undergo, and everyone was looking for ways to kill time. the night before I was to leave, though, he stopped me in the dining hall of the inn and gave me, to my surprise, a gift. He said it was an appreciation for losing the purple sword so gracefully; the same purple sword I now wore. It was a cloak, of beautiful green and brown that seems to fade into the growth when you don't look directly at it. It's a marvelous creation, and I've worn it every day since with pride and happiness. Its length was even a n excellent fit.

So I wore Borreau's gift on my visit to the forests beyond Arabel. What a beautiful few days it was; lush trees, quiet streams, deer everywhere. The deer are protected by the King's decree, so they live in great numbers in these woods. I think it's just a plan concocted by the King's hunters so they can look good when they bring back rich bounty from their hunts. I saw one of their hunters one day I was out; I stayed quietly in my tree and he never even saw me. He was just about the only other human I saw in that week.

I cut my trip short by a day or so, though, Master, because honestly, I had something else on my mind. I had to find a suitable return gift for Borreau. It was not hard to find; the cleric does love his meals, and so it was easy for me to get the name of one of the best dining establishments in the city. On the night of his last training, he joined me at Ssarra's, where they served delicious food and bards played pretentious music. But after enjoying the open air for six days, I couldn't have asked for better company. I suppose between a woodswoman and a cleric to a fighting god, one of us ought to be brave enough to ask exactly how... romantic... our bond is, but neither of us so much as broached the subject tonight. Honestly, I'm unsure what to make of a fellow adventurer I share that manner of an interest in. Is such a thing wise?

Well, some decisions are easily postponed for another time, although I know you'd frown and grumble at me about making up my mind and acting on it. For now, I am content to be writing on the balcony of the Murdered Manticore, watching the horizon that, it seems, is artificially lit by a warehouse fire tonight. Tomorrow, our group is free to try to earn money again instead of just spending it. Someone has mentioned a job posting board near the gates where the Ravens camp, so perhaps we'll go there in the morning to, literally, seek our fortune. I've thought of you often in the past couple of weeks, Master, and pray Mielikki I'll find you home when we return.

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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