Campaign Logs

The Jade Letters

By Beth Griese

Date:   September 14, 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
Telaran 1/2 Elf, Buzz cut fighter Jim Gaynor
Verence Gallow Thin human Mystra Cleric Kent Jenkins

Quote of the Day:
"Your fighting cry should not be calling for the half-elf." -- Jim Leitzel

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

Well, we seem to have landed ourselves in the thick of trouble's nest, as you would say it. We returned to the Haunted Halls of Eveningstar, our very first haunt as an adventuring party, although come to think of it I'm not sure that we would have even called ourselves such a thing yet. The entrance seemed just as we remembered it; the huge doors of the halls, with a bear's cave to the right of it, but with one difference this time. The bear's cave was a hive for flies and other insects.

We investigated, to find a charnel house of remains and bones, with horses piled on men covering other beasts with the bear in the center of it all. All of them slaughtered, all with carefully cut pieces missing, as if butchered for a roast. Something, it would seem, had moved into the halls since last we visited.

Borreau cast a spell that allowed him to speak with one of the dead bodies. How he managed to stand the smell long enough to talk, or even to look at the half-rotted face that spoke to him, I know not, but we learned the nature of the beast that killed him: a gnoll, nasty half-men, half-dog beasts that will eat any meat they can find, and the more pain they can cause finding it, the better. We had found our first task for the Halls.

The gnolls had left an easy trail to follow; right inside the main entrance, with swept clear hallways leading easily to their lair. We found a ladder that went both up and down. Below, we could see piles of garbage and more remains; evidently, the gnolls were using the shaft as a garbage pit in addition to their passage in and out. I began to climb, with Borreau behind, and sadly enough, my foot slipped on a step. I nearly pitched backward down into the pit, were it not for Borreau's hand and strong arm to steady my foot, but some damage was still done. The noise we made brought a rain of cookery, debris, and rubble down on us.

I started taking the steps of the ladder two at a time, thankfully managing to keep my footing this time. The others climbed at the best speeds they could manage, poor Verence getting a cast-iron cooking pot right on the head for his troubles. He slipped, too, and this time it was B'rinth who kept one of us from falling into a pile of Beshaba-alone- knows-what. Elves can be surprisingly wiry at times.

I cleared the top of the ladder and breached the floor it led to just in time to find the gnoll who had been the source of our pelting, now holding a large pot of cooking oil. Thank the gods he did not get the chance to dump that down the shaft! I tackled his knees and brought he and his pot crashing to the ground without harm to any of the Wayfarers.

With that, the whole compound seemed to have come awake, and as we boiled out of the shaft, gnolls, hyenas, ogres, and zombies emerged from every corner, and there seemed to be a dozen corners. Verence repelled the zombies with an inspiring holy cry (I believe it was "Go away, zombies!"), and Nory ducked under a hyena's charge that sent him straight down the shaft we had all just come from.Borreau, Telaran, and I stood toe-to-toe with huge ogres who smelled even worse than they hit.

I thought at one point in the long battle that we were finished, until Telaran and Verence opened the door that the zombies had retreated through to find a gnoll leader called a flind, more gnolls with heavy crossbows, and more zombies. Verence took the brunt of those crossbows for his troubles, but Telaran took down the flind, and I waded through most of the zombies.

We were left at the end of the battle in the midst of this small compound, panting for breath and the floor sticky with the mixed blood of the previous occupants, but I had an unsettled feeling that we weren't through with our day's fighting yet. I hate that feeling, and I hate it worse when it turns out to be right, as it almost always does. In this case, we began to prove it correct when B'rinth mysteriously started hunting along the walls as if he had lost some graffiti. He finally explained that he was looking for a secret door, and after some hunting by he and a few of the others while the rest of us explored the compound, they found a hidden hallway.

We walked down the hallway boldly enough, and opened the door to find another weird bazaar of creatures: another flind, more hyenas, giant hyena creatures, still more gnolls, and even a mottled green troll. We joined the battle yet again, and by the end of this one, I thought my arm had surely turned to lead, it was so tired of sword swings and each jarring parry. But we won through, and at the end, we again were surrounded by bodies, not a one of us without our own wounds and blood to show for the effort.

This has been a grueling battle, and I'm still not convinced that we've cleared out all the beasts responsible for the carnage we saw in that cave outside. But hopefully, we'll have the chance to give our skins and our muscles a break before the next fight begins. With that thought in mind, I remain as always,

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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