Campaign Logs

The Jade Letters

By Beth Griese

Date:   April 27, 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:
"They are big, they are horny" - Jim Leitzel's description of the Spectators'

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

Adventuring, it seems, doesn't always turn out like the bards sing it - sometimes, you find the end of a puzzle only to realize you have to go back to the beginning again.

We continued our search of the caverns below the sunken castle in Cloud Tower, hoping each door may have a red marble floor behind it. We found a room with three exits from it - well, two, really. One exit was a cave that had collapsed on itself; we'd have needed a few dwarves with mining equipment to follow it. Of the other two doors, one corridor was blocked by a statue standing in the middle of it. We investigated it first, and at the first touch on the statue, it came to life and attacked us.

The thing sparkled strangely when it was hit, which made Verence's eyes go as wide as saucers, and he started screaming at us not to use magic to hit it. Seeing as how he's a cleric of Mystra, I decided his advice bore weight. Verence even handed me a staff to use. We probably would have fared even better in the battle than we did, except that B'rinth chose this time to start playing with the elven staff we had found earlier. Bouncing lights and sparkles were flying over our shoulders like drunken magician tricks, and something managed to strike both the statue and Borreau. I really have no idea where the stories of the elven people's deep wisdom came from.

But we did defeat the thing without too much damage, thanks partly to another staff from Verence that he floated between the walking stone's feet to trip it down. Borreau lost the magic of his shield to the thing, but that was our greatest damage.

The room beyond the corridor this thing had been guarding held another statue, this one white marble, of a winged woman holding a sword above her head. The strange thing about this statue - that did not come to life when we touched it - was the brass helmet atop its head, with three red gems that shone like torchlight above the eyes. We were all pretty leery of it (maybe we're finally learning?), but Telaran was finally the first to try it on. He was blinded by multi-colored lights and couldn't pull it off his head; we had to help. When I gave it a try, though, it spoke to me. Not in a voice I could hear, really, just a voice in my head. The helmet was a Helm of Guidance, it said, and it seemed to approve of my following of Mielikki. But it really wanted to belong a cleric, a true follower, so I gave it to Borreau. He put it on and said he could use the helmet's gems to increase his spells or use all three gems at once to converse with his god. I don't know how on Faerun he managed to avoid the temptation to sap the gems right there and then, but I suppose part of being a true follower is learning patience.

We lifted a portcullis to continue our search, and found a cave opening that looked hazy and cloudy, very strange, like a thick mist had settled into it. Telaran tried to push his sword past the opening, but instead found himself stabbing a blob of clear jelly, that responded by surging forward at us. This time, praise Mielikki, B'rinth yelled a warning at us before using his new staff again, and as we all scrambled out of the way, sent a lightning bolt into the thing that exploded it into goo that covered the room. It was disgusting, but it had been efficient.

The next entrance for us to try were double doors. We opened them carefully and found the strangest sight behind it. The room beyond was circular, with a table in the center that held a few interesting items, but more interesting were the creatures that hovered about it. They would probably have reached my waist if they had been on the floor, but they were round as balls, scaly, with eyes on stalks, and a center eye above a toothy mouth. I was aware of two things happening before I could even think to blink my staring eyes - they spoke, welcoming company into the room, and a tiny version of the creatures , not even as big as my head, zipped towards me with cooing sounds. It seemed the lonely pair had a baby. I petted the little one, which it seemed to like, and started to talk with the two beings, but suddenly Telaran and Verence were trying to pull us back out of the room.

We said hasty goodbyes and shut the doors, much to their disappointment, it seemed. Verence explained that the creatures looked like beholders, evil beings of great power and intelligence that were usually bent on making slaves of the other races. The problem was, that didn't fit the description of these three we had seen very well; they had been polite, showed no aggression, and what convinced me was the fact that they had trusted me, a visibly well-armed woman, near their child. We all decided to go ahead and talk again with the beholders, with plenty of caution.

So we opened the doors again, and this time got to spend some time conversing. The two assured us they were actually called spectators, not beholders. The little one didn't talk, just cooed when I patted it. It was cute, even if it felt like lizard leather. And by all the wonders, they said they knew where a red marble floor could be found - they even gave us directions and warned us of undead guarding the room.

The table in the room, it turned out, was the reason for the spectators' presence there. They were bound to guard one magical item on the table, and warned us quite politely that if we touched the item they were guarding, they would have to attack, which made those who had heard of beholders pale. The table held two scrolls, a sword, a book, a suit of chainmail, and money. B'rinth thought quickly and, since they said they were guarding magical items, picked up the chainmail and money and asked to keep them, as they were non-magical. The spectators agreed without any problems. B'rinth gave quite a bit of attention to the chainmail, and then handed it to me, to my surprise. When I told him I cared not for chainmail, since I couldn't fight as well with such weight, he just did that elven grin - you know the elven grin? - and told me that this chainmail would present me no problems. It's made by elves, apparently, and when I took it from him, found it as light as some of the studded leather suits I've seen. I was so pleased with it I even let him make his usual comments without any retort as I changed my old leathers for it.

A few of our group were starting to speculate about possible ways to try to snatch the other magical items from the table, which I thought was poor repayment for hospitality, so we left quickly to follow our directions to the red marble room. We found the undead they had warned us of - skeletons and zombies that Verence and Borreau were able to ward off and destroy. And then, finally, we found the room I had seen in my dream.

The chamber was a bedroom, with easy chair and desk included in it, and strapped to the wall in chains stood... a tattered skeleton with only the slightest bits of flesh still clinging to it. The disappointment was crushing; why had a vision come to me of a man still living only to find that he must be long-dead? Before I could even voice the question, though, the skeleton grew eyes in its sockets, and a tongue behind its yellowed teeth. The disgusting apparition spoke, and I heard the voice that had come to me twice already. It thanked us for finding it after so long in torment. Now I understood our purpose at last; not to free a great man of Mielikki, as I had thought, but to release a tortured spirit so it could finally return to the goddess where it belongs.

Well, that still seemed an easy enough task, until we actually took keys to manacles. We had two keys; one from that drow that had guarded the entrance to this entire cavern system, another from the drow woman I had fought. Unlike most manacles, these required four different keys, one for each clasp, and we were two short. The disappointment returned again. Weston, the chained spirit, explained that a drow mistress named Irelda - the leader of the forces that took the castle from Weston - has the master key. Presumably, one or two of her lieutenants hold the last of the other keys. Resigned, we left Weston half-freed to find the final keys. I left with him, at his request, my scarf around his head as comfort for his eyes.

We spent the night - or whatever time of day it is in this cursed underground - in Mielikki's chapel again. My mysterious mist appeared again, this time hovering near my feet, sliding up to my head, then back down to my feet as I slept. I've started to think I'm being haunted by a will-o-wisp. Maybe once we've finally fought our way to freeing Weston, I'll be able to spend some time under the stars and find someone who can explain this mist to me. In the meantime, we head back for the castle, and prepare for a battle with a woman whose evil astounds me every time I contemplate it.

Your faithful servant,


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