Campaign Logs

The Jade Letters

By Beth Griese

Date:   May 11, 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:
"Sometimes I find it better to be humble, but... God, I love that!" -- Kent Jenkins, the turning machine

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

We began our search of the ruined castle for this drow leaderess Irelda. We started out in the castle tower, deciding that might make a good stronghold for the conquerors. The second floor of the tower was rotted, with a ladder to the third. When I tried to climb the ladder, I discovered that it had been sawn in half, which did a very good job of dumping me right through the rotted floor and back to the stone of the base of the tower. It's a wonder my bones made it through intact. Borreau took advantage of his height to open the trap door at the top of the (now) half-ladder, and we managed to scramble to the third floor, the roof of the tower.

It's a strange feeling to emerge onto a roof and still find only stone high above you. The rooftop had only a chest on it, which lit like a beacon when it was opened. As we investigated the contents, the reason for the beacon became clear; we were showered with mini-arrows, the kind that fit into hand crossbows. We all made a fast scramble for the trap door, and unfortunately, Nory, the most nimble of us all, fell all the way from the third floor trap door to the first floor stone. And I thought I had hurt.

And so the rest of us reached the floor of the tower, slower than our gnome had. Poor Nory had been shot by the bolts (perhaps the reason for his fall?) and was crushed against the rocks, out cold. Verence, too, had been shot and was swaying on his feet. And outside, whatever group had showered the bolts on us was undoubtedly now headed for our position. Verence, with his eyes drooping, managed to stabilize Nory before losing his own battle with the bolts' poison. Telaran spiked the tower door shut, and Borreau and I slung Verence and Nory over our shoulders before we all retreated back to Mielikki's chapel. On the way, we found that more glyphs had been placed; a glyph of cold slammed me back against the wall, but we didn't let it stall our retreat. The tower had started to come alive behind us as we left, probably thanks to the various animal remains that we had seen, and so we had extra incentive to regroup in safety.

And so Mielikki sheltered us once again, while we let our companions recover and healed our wounds. The tower, apparently, was a false alarm. Next, we had to assault the second and third floor of the castle itself, and I spent a good deal of time hoping that we would prove able to hold out a bit longer than we had on that day. B'rinth reported that while I slept, the mist reappeared, this time multi-colored, and it seemed to dissipate and not return. As always, I'm not sure if that's a good sign or bad.

After some recovery time, which I hope is a sign of increasing wisdom from us, we returned to take on the castle. I was relieved, and hoped we were getting close to finding our drow targets. It was worse knowing the exact reason why we were here; now, every hour we spent searching was another hour I understood the pain the Mielikki holy man was going through, another hour of his torture. The cruelty of such a punishment is still beyond me.

We were more careful to use magic to find glyphs this time, and indeed, they were everywhere. We managed our way to the second floor of the castle, though, without incident, and found a long L-shaped hallway. At the juncture of the L, Nory began to try to open a door, and as he jerked his hand away from the door as if stung, three things happened at once. Nory's knees buckled and he fell like a sack of grain, and doors to our right and at the end of the hall to our left swung open.

Borreau and I took on the door to our right. Two drow male and female who cast spells waited spilled out to the attack. Even with my magic sword, they were hard as mosquitoes to hit. To our left, Telaran, Verence, and B'rinth squared off against a male and female pair. Again, the female was trying to cast spells, but our past experience paid off; our spellcasters cast silence spells to shut down their casting ability. We definitely had a better chance fighting toe-to-toe than waging magic against each other.

B'rinth got involved with both fights by using the lightning bolt from his staff to bounce through the hallway. It singed Borreau fairly well, and I dodged a bolt by the straps on my armor, but it charred a couple of the dark males well, and between that damage and our sword-swinging, we managed to destroy the both halves of their trap.

I was just starting to breathe a bit easier again, thinking we had passed a major trial, when it turned out we had only finished the first stage of the hunt. The door which Nory had tried to open, the one in front of Borreau and I, even though glyphed, flew open, and the darkest, most ominous of the drow I had seen yet stood sneering on the other side. Her red eyes looked as if they were glowing coals, and if glares had the ability to burn, hers would have reduced us both to cinders. But instead, we just stared at each other across the glyph's border, and I was sure we had found our Irelda. This was the reason we had been sent here, the reason for this castle's doom, and the reason for the torture of the holy man below us. All the time we had spent in this cavern system had led to this evil creature before us, and in my next letter, I'll tell all about how the battle against her fared.

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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