Campaign Logs

The Jade Letters

By Beth Griese

Date:   July 21, 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:
"That guy had more crackers than Nabisco." -- Brian Smith

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

The job board awaited us. Our little group joined the interesting melange of people who milled about the postings near the outer gates of the city. What a collection! There was the suspicious, the outrageous, the demeaning - both in requests and in hopeful employees. We gathered up the jobs that looked likely for us and narrowed down to two which seemed promising.

We visited the House of Thond first, a huge trading family that was looking for escorts for a journey. We spoke with the young man who needed the help. The trading house was beautiful, huge, respectable-looking... but something was wrong. I think most of us smelled it; the man was so anxious to be off and seemed to have had so little luck with finding guards that we knew something was off with the work. Nory and Telaran helped to deduce the reason: the man was headed for Zhentil Keep. I remember your stories of those foul people well, Master, and I told the young trader that under no circumstances would I enter that city. He bade us farewell.

So, we moved on to our second choice. A man named Mihaut at the Nine Fires Inn was looking for someone to deliver a package with all speed. We visited this inn and was directed to the room where "Mihaut the Mad" was staying. It was not an auspicious beginning. We found a man who raved to himself when the door was closed and who, according to Borreau, was evil - sometimes. I don't know what manner of creature that was, but we decided not to have anything to do with him. Not, of course, before Nory had managed to argue the fellow into an amazing fit of hysterics, but we made our escape without any harm from it. I hope.

Finding work as a company was turning out to be a much more difficult than we had expected. A few of our faces, mine included, were starting to look discouraged, but we returned to the job board and tried again. This time, we selected the name of a wizard who was looking for some guards. We left a message with Theavas the wizard to tell him where we could be found, and during our dinner, a leper (of all people) came to the inn to take us to Theavas's tower. The wizard who greeted us said he was looking for a guard two nights from now, when he would be casting a large spell outside of the city. He claimed to only need a guard to prevent interference, and offered us each 500gp for the work.

We agreed to the job, although I was still suspicious and visited my ranger friend Brion with the Red Raven mercenaries. He told me that Theavas specializes in animating objects, and had a perfectly decent reputation as a respectable member of society. Satisfied, we all appeared on schedule on our appointed night.

As it turned out, we well earned our money. The first task we had was to help the wizard get his spell trinkets outside the city. The largest piece of said trinkets was a monstrous statue of gold. At first, I was dubious that we were even going to make it out of the city gates, but it was hollow, and Borreau, Telaran, and I managed to wrestle it into a cart, cover it with blankets, and we escaped the city unmolested by gold- sniffing bandits. I worried about Borreau, though, when we removed the statue and he slipped. I think he had managed to hurt himself badly, even though he refused to admit to it.

We arrived a safe distance (we thought) from the city, and Theavas began setting up his spell. He used wire to form a large pentagram, then created two more inside the first- one around him, and one around the upright statue. A storm boiled over the horizon, dark and full of fury, and was bearing straight for us. I was not convinced that this was a coincidence.

Telaran was in charge of the horses. The others, for the most part, just stayed in the area and kept their eyes on the trees around us. As the storm moved in, that became more and more difficult. I kept a roving watch in the surroundings, circling around the wizard's clearing as he started his chanting and his noises and his gestures. Lightning began striking around us, and the air was charged up with the power of it, and my stomach was sinking with the feeling that we were into something far too deep for our own good.

My stomach was correct. When I reached the side of one bluff, I had an excellent view of the whole casting site, and that was the spot that I noticed the strikes of lightning were creating dark, deep scores in the ground, all around the entire site, in the shape of a fourth, huge, pentagram.

I remember your lessons well, Garen, of course, and I know what you've told me before about pentagrams, and that generally, the place to be is outside of them. My fellow travellers were about to be trapped inside of this pentagram that seemed to be formed by the very storm. I ran as fast as I could over wet, slippery grass and stones, shouting at Telaran to get the horses and the cart out of the score marks. I was too late, too slow, and everything started happening at once.

Lightning struck the statue, the brightest and most potent bolt we'd yet seen, with thunder so loud on top of it that I wasn't sure I was going to be able to see what happened next. But there was little danger of that, because a second bolt exploded in front of us almost immediately after the first, and blew to pieces the pentagram around the now-moving golem of gold.

What a sight! None of us said a word, at first, but clambered with one thought into the cart. We knew it was going to be the fastest way to move, and I don't think any of us were taken unawares when the monster pointed a finger, shot lightning from its hand as if it were the thunderstorm itself, and destroyed Theavas's pentagram.

I'm proud of our group, Master. This was a sight that would have made hardened adventurers take second thought, but not one of us fled or cowered. What we did instead was to all start yelling and moving at once as Telaran whipped the horses straight toward Theavas. The magician shot magical bolts at the statue, which seemed to inspire B'rinth to do the same, but the golem struck back, and harder. Its lightning struck Theavas like an explosion, and he collapsed under the strike. At least some luck was with us, though, because the force of the blow knocked him outside of the larger pentagram that surrounded them. He was now within our reach.

I had gathered the rope in the cart, and was whispering my best prayers to Mielikki, because my mind was centered on only two things. We must retrieve the wizard, and the cart must not stop. I felt it was up to me to make the attempt to grab Theavas. I wrapped one end of the rope around my wrist, threw the other end to Borreau, and leaped before I could give myself a chance to think too much about what I was doing.

I think I have some idea now of the Chaos of War you've spoken of. There was so much noise, so much danger, there was hardly time to think. The statue was stomping its huge feet, lightning was exploding everywhere, and the storm, of course, was still in its prime, pouring rain, thunder, and more flashing light on us all. I pulled Theavas over my shoulder just in time to feel the yank of the cart continuing on its way. I thought my arm was going to come free of my shoulder, but I kept my grip on both wizard and rope, and was half-dragged the first hundred feet away from the golem, who was not pleased to have his prize stolen.

My concentration was on reaching the wagon and getting Theavas inside. Telaran was still madly driving the horses forward. (Although, to be honest, it was driving toward the golem that had been the hard part. They were needing little encouragement now.) Most of the others were scrambling for the rope that Borreau was holding steady to keep me with them. I grabbed the side of the wagon, the wheels bouncing and screaming inches from our arms, and Borreau, thank the gods for his strength, hauled Theavas inside the wagon.

I was far from in the clear, though. At that point, the golem decided to try another attack, and shot a bolt of lightning at the wheel of the wagon. Light arced and burned in front of my face, as if I were too near a fire, but the real danger was for Telaran. The bolt bounced on him, too, and knocked him backward into the cart, smoldering. I don't even remember finally pulling myself into the cart; I was too sure we had lost our half- elven adventurer. Nory, praise the gnomish gods, showed uncommon sense and leaped to the horses' reins.

It was B'rinth, with a secret weapon, who saved the night. He pulled out a wand I've not seen him use before. He seemed to be very uncertain about it, and I shared his sentiment when I saw the wand produce another bolt that healed the monster instead of hurting it! I thought the man had gone insane when he cursed, pointed with the wand, and yelled again, a bit more forcefully this time, and received amazing results. The monster looked as though he was caught in the eye of a whirlpool, and with a long, fading cry, disappeared before our eyes. The strange thing was, as the horses slowed and we all looked around bewildered, that B'rinth seemed as lost for an explanation as the rest of us. It was Nory who suggested that the wand had teleported the being to another plane, safely out of our reach.

Borreau managed to use his healing to awaken both the wizard and our friend Telaran. I was relieved to see the half-elf awake, even if he was still smoldering, but I was more worried for Borreau. He had definitely hurt himself at the beginning of the night, and the effort he had expended in the cart had left him pale and breathing heavily. We all returned to Theavas's tower as quickly as we could to ensure our escape, get healing, and receive our pay. Borreau's hand tightened against my arm with each bump we hit. Thankfully, the wizard was well-stocked with healing supplies and made sure everyone, including himself, were back in top shape. Borreau looked fit again, Telaran was barely left with smudges of ash, and the wizard had even managed to dry himself off from the rain.

We've survived, by our best luck, our first true job as an adventuring company. On the way home, a few of our group started to suggest names for us. Myself, I'm just looking forward to resting safely in a bed, with no cold rain and no screeching knees of gold monsters looking to flatten me. It's hard, though, to go right to sleep after a night like this, Master, as I'm sure you know well, and so I'm writing these notes to you while my memory is fresh. Praise Mielikki for my safety and those of my company's, and tomorrow we'll probably have to find another honorable person who needs our services.

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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