Campaign Logs

The Jade Letters

By Beth Griese

Date:   May 25, 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:
none. how boring of us.

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

Borreau and I stood in the castle doorway, staring across the threshold at the drow woman we had sought all this time. I ached to charge after her, but the doorway may just as well have been a river; it was still glyphed, waiting to explode on whoever passed through. I was considering drawing my bow, but the drow made the first move instead. She made a jerking motion, and the floor began shaking with heavy footsteps.

While we were setting our shoulders for whatever lay next, Verence, B'rinth, and Telaran were facing more drow who were dropping from the ceiling in the room they were in down the hall from us. B'rinth devastated the evil creatures with a lightning bolt, but it cost him the last charge in his staff. Telaran cranked his spear of giant-slaying to brightness and stabbed a drow, with horrendous results for the dark elf, but it sapped some of Telaran's strength, too, to his dismay.

The cause of the shaking hove into view for Telaran and I; it was a giant clay statue, moving with slow, steady life. He came right up to the doorway as if to walk right through it and the wall surrounding it. Finally, a target I could hit! I thrust my sword right into the heart of the creature; literally, I think, because I felt it hit something hard and stone-like deep within, and an accompanying thrust with my dagger brought the statue crashing to the floor. The drow, Irelda, must have been controlling it somehow, because she screamed as it fell and slumped against the wall, stunned.

At that point, everything got mixed up and started happening at once. Borreau and I were both anxious to take advantage of Irelda's fate; he dropped back out of the zone of silence and I pulled out the bow at last. My first shot was a beauty; it took her right where the shoulder meets the throat, and she dropped to the ground. However, there was a bugbear in the room with her, and he began working to save her. I think by that point I was hopping up and down in the doorway, yelling at Borreau to cast his spell to get rid of the glyph, even though I wasn't making a sound.

Verence and Telaran, meanwhile, had dispatched the drow and found the trap doors they had been using to drop into the room. There was a small network of them above the floors, and they now dropped into the room with Irelda, about the same time Borreau sent a dust devil through the door to trip the glyph, and as the drow woman climbed back up to her feet.

Everyone charged at once. Verence sent a flying staff after Irelda, Telaran and I took the more direct approach. The bugbear was trying to slice me with his sword, keep me away from Irelda, but I wasn't going to be thwarted from getting the chance to avenge all that this woman had done to Mielikki's castle, her cleric, and her chapel. Borreau brought down the bugbear before he could do me much damage; Telaran and I concentrated on trading blows with Irelda.

B'rinth, meantime, had run into yet another drow running around the rooms; this one a male with a magic missile wand. Borreau helped him out, and from what I can piece together of what happened, my Tempus friend got a bit disgusted with the drow hiding behind a glyphed door and sending bolts into him. He used a grappling hook and rope to hook the drow, drag him right through the glyph, then down the hall, and all the way down the stairs of the castle, where Borreau took his head off for his pains. It made quite a sight going past the doorway; even Irelda paused as her lieutenant was dragged screaming down the hallway. The wrath of Tempus' men is nothing to take lightly.

Our battle with Irelda was a bit more sophisticated, though no less emotional. The damned woman could slide away from strikes as though she were an eel, and she kept me busy trying to keep away her answering strikes. But slowly, very gradually, she showed signs of wearing, and the arrow wound to her shoulder was still bleeding. I had managed what must have been a half-dozen slices and stabs, but the final blow was unmistakable, and she knew it, too. Before she had even finished her last breath, I grabbed at her neck and ripped off the key that would release Weston. She would know that he was going to be freed before her eyes finally closed. And good riddance to her.

We searched the rooms quickly for anything else we might need - or want - and got to destroy some holy items to their spider god along the way. One item, a rod engraved with the spider, was magical and we couldn't destroy it. It gave me the creeps, but I wrapped it in cloth to bring with us; we'd find a way to destroy it rather than let anyone else use it. And as quickly as we could get done, we hurried back to Weston's prison.

I hardly got a chance to speak to him before we unlocked his final two manacles, and as soon as they were opened, the magic that kept him there was gone. His bones fell to the floor in a heap and withered to dust as we watched. Everyone stilled and stared for a moment, as if we expected him to rise out of the ashes and appear to us whole once again. At least, that's what I was thinking. But his soul was released, his torture over, and there was nothing left for us to do. Quietly, I gathered the dust of his bones into a scroll tube to take to the surface. We spoke together in hushed tones and decided to rest in the chapel of Mielikki one final time before beginning the long journey home out of this rock and back to home.

So we rested; I took my turn at watch, and slept with strange dreams floating through my head. But then one dream took firm shape, and became clearer than any of the fleeting visions that normally go through my mind when I rest. I watched Irelda's forces attack, devour, and defeat Weston's castle. I saw with horror the destruction of every occupant, servant, child, that lived inside. I saw Irelda chain up Weston, still fighting to the last moment, when she used the same rod I now carried. It sprang tentacles, horrid black things that stripped each piece of skin, then each sinew of muscle, then every piece that remained, bit by bit from Weston, as he screamed, awake to feel each pain. I killed the bitch far too quickly. I saw a year or more pass until our arrival, and watched from a new angle as we released poor Weston at last.

And now, finally, the whole Weston stood before me, as noble as I had ever imagined. He held out his hand for something near my belt, and I looked around to realize the scroll tube with his remains was still at my side. I gave them to him, and in exchange, he handed me another scroll tube. I was about to open it, to see what it held, when the sky opened up above me. And I do mean the sky; through the rock of the mountain, the darkness of the caves, the sky opened up as bright as if the sun were only just above my head. Mielikki herself stood above us, more beautiful than any of the paintings or drawings you had ever shown me.

Mielikki made one motion, almost careless, and the ground beneath us reversed the collapse it had undergone to bring the castle below the mountain. Now, it rose, and the castle rode above it, to return to the place it belonged, up in the fresh air with trees and sun and grass around it. Weston held out his sword arm when we had settled, and I handed him his sword, the one the spectators had guarded. He struck the mountain with it, down below the castle, and fresh spring appeared where he had struck.

Weston handed the sword back to me and, at last, smiled at me. "Remember your promise," he said as he handed back his sword. I remembered. I had to return the sword to a temple. And then, to my shock, Mielikki spoke too, except it didn't even sound like a voice. More like the woods around the castle all gave word. She told me to remember, too, except that I should remember what the dark elves had done, and would always do, if they weren't held at bay by warriors with faith. I had, it seems, been given a calling.

I woke up to find that everyone else was still asleep - including the watch. The next thing I noticed was that the air was fresh and warm and dry; no smell of must and rot and dank stone. And instead of perpetual darkness and night, sunlight poured through the tiny cracks to the outside this chapel boasted.

I've been catching up on my logs as I sit in the forest below the castle. Everything from my dream was true; the castle was now back on the mountainside, and below the castle, we had found a fresh spring. Borreau was the one who found a strange scroll tube by the spring, just like the one Weston had handed me in my dream. It held what may be the greatest surprise yet; a deed to castle, written in Weston's hand, declaring the castle the property of the Wayfarers.

I'm looking forward, tonight, to sleeping under the stars, outside of any walls or caves, with no one except Borreau sharing the space I rest in. Kaz returned to Telaran within an hour or two of our waking, and he's been happily tending to his dragonet friend. The others are mostly enjoying the sunshine and fresh water, except for Verence, who keeps muttering about what he'd ever want with a destroyed castle. But I suppose there always has to be someone to complain.

We'll be returning to Arabel, I imagine, for settling this claim to the castle, and just to enjoy a return to civilization, get some training, and catch up on the news since we descended into that wretched hive. I look forward eagerly to Midwinters Day, when I can finally catch up with you again. I am ever mindful that I and all that I have gained on these trips are at your disposal. I'm anxious to learn your will and your opinion about what has happened. Until that day,

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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