Campaign Logs

The Jade Letters

By Beth Griese

Date:   January 20, 1996


Bearded fellow

Supreme Being

Jim Leitzel


Blonde human

Tempus Cleric

Brian Smith

B'rinth L'rea

Gold Elf


Vaughan Herron


Gypsy woman


Beth Griese

Nory Gnome Illusionist/Thief Stu Collins


1/2 Elf, Scruffy Beard


Jim Gaynor

Verence Gallow Thin human Mystra Cleric Kent Jenkins

Quote of the Day:
"That was our elf exploding. Never mind that." -- Beth Griese

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

With the afternoon sun, our magicians were rested, the door into the mountain lay ready, and Telaran had even used a branch to outline the pit that had swallowed Borreau so no one would be tricked by it again. Feeling a bit more confident, we returned to Cloud Tower.

Someone had been mending our damage. The pit was filled in with boulders, and the mountainside looked blank now, no signs of doors. But since we knew where to look, it was easy enough for us to step past the illusion of the mountainside and up to the double doors. These doors were large enough for giants, and that was what I half-expected to find beyond them. The keyholes alone - three of them in a triangle - were chest-high. Seeing as how that made things difficult for our gnome friend to attempt opening the locks, B'rinth did instead. He did try his best, but only succeeded in setting off a trap; an explosive sign that blew him backwards a few good body lengths.

While we tried to make sure B'rinth could make it back to his feet, the door... spoke. It was the strangest thing, and I didn't even hear it at first as it asked who was there. Borreau thought quickly and tried posing as a delivery team from Aurora's. It was a good try, but the door was not interested in opening up. Or in helping us. In fact, it was quite sarcastic. So, without a better option, we rolled a rock to the keyholes, and Nory managed to open the doors.

Telaran, Borreau, and I led the charge inside. The first thing we met was blackness, complete and utter. Thankfully, our magicians had heard of such a thing before, and cast light to get rid of the magical dark. The moment it was gone, I was apparently hit by another magical spell. I didn't realize it at the time; all I knew was that it was as if a hand had closed around every muscle in my body. I couldn't move, not an inch, not even enough to speak. Someone hooked an arm around me and pulled me back, just in time to see an elf floating down from the vaulted rooftops to send light missiles at Borreau.

Thank Mielikki, I wasn't frozen in place like a useless statue for long. I still felt ashamed; by the time I reached the battle, the others were already pitched in the middle of it. Borreau had cast silence to stop the magician's spells, and he had come down from his heights to swing it out with us. Telaran and the others, by the looks of it, had already exchanged a few blows with him. I joined the battle - at last - in time to realize just how deep we were in.

Even though this man had been casting spells earlier, now he used that long sword of his like it was a stick, and it was sharp as could be, as I and most of the others had occasion to find out. Borreau finally fell under the slashes. We were making headway, but I didn't think we were doing well enough - he was so hard to hit, he ducked so fast! I planted my feet where Borreau lay and figured I'd be meeting death there, but of all people, Nory jumped into the fray, buried a dagger in the elf's knee... and dropped him.

For a few seconds, we all just stood over the body trying to catch our breath. I don't think any of us were convinced he was dead. It finally struck home when the elven face melted away, to reveal the same features underneath, but with black skin and stark white hair. A drow! I suppose I should have guessed by then, and I'm sure you already had by this point, but it was still a shock. I had never imagined anything so hideous, or so evil. Needless to say, Telaran and B'rinth didn't take well to the transformation, either. Telaran beheaded the thing and stuck the head on a pole in the middle of the room as a message to whoever else might be in there. He and Borreau, now partially healed, even cast firetrap on the mouth in the hopes of catching someone trying to remove it.

We stumbled out of the cavern and back into the evening sky. I was taken aback to see that so short a time had passed. Most of the drow's things didn't react well to the purity of the sun. A few survived, though, including that long sword. Borreau and B'rinth examined it, and pronounced it as magical and well-made as any sword they had seen. They also made very sure it wasn't cursed before any of us took it up. Telaran, Borreau, and I drew straws for it. I didn't have much mind to win; I figured I was equipped well enough already, and would have been just as satisfied for one of the other fighters to take it. I guess Tymora decided that made it the perfect time for me to draw the short straw. It truly is an amazing weapon. I'm looking forward to letting another denizen of that cavern feel it turned against them.

We spent a day recovering outside the mountain. Our second night, two armored spiders with pincers - what a strange combination - attacked the camp, but Verence and B'rinth took care of them before the rest of us even awoke. They had to show the bodies to us the next morning to convince us the attack had been real.

So now, we prepare to return to the cave again. Sitting on watch last night, I did start to wonder about this; if that monster was only the first thing we met, what on earth could lie beyond? But, I pray Mielikki keeps watch over us as Escadel promised she would, and hope we manage to make a dent in this place. I do hope, too, that this isn't the sole reason for this map. If we find no treasure but drow bodies, I think the others in the party are going to be disappointed.

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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