Campaign Logs

The Jade Letters

By Beth Griese

Date:   September 28, 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:
"Daphne, you and Fred go that way." -- Kent Jenkins

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

I've barely been able to make my hand stop shaking enough to write this letter, and the others in the party don't sleep, either, even though we're in the safest refuge I know - our home. I'm in terror that my travelling days have been ended, but the reason for that is near the end of this story, so I must try to continue where last I left you.

After battling those huge bands of monsters, we tried to rest, allow our wounds to set, and give our spell-casters time to study, in a small side room. The only entrance to the room was through a hall, and there were pit traps at both ends of the hall, which we reset behind us before resting. As it turns out, that idea may have saved us, because we were alerted/half-awakened by the sound of someone falling through the first pit trap at the end of the hall. Our good luck also became our misfortune, though, because while I watched huge, warted, green hands smash through the hall door, a hyenadon, a huge dog-hyena, burst through a hidden door in our room. Suddenly, we were being attacked on two fronts, including some dog-men that appeared out of nowhere to strike blows or cast spells, one of which made my arms shake so badly I couldn't hold onto a weapon. It took me what seemed forever to pick up my bow again and guard our hallway.

The fight was desperate: as it turned out, these were the last of the monsters in this lair - more trolls, hyenas, flinds, and gnolls. And we were on our last coppers, already tired and wounded from our earlier fights. The battle was ugly and dire, but in the end, we alone stood in the room. (Except for Verence; he wasn't really standing any more, but at least he, too, was alive.)

The hidden door we had been ambushed through led to the room where the leaders had been staying, and where all the booty of their raids was being stored. There were beautiful objects here, from paintings to cigar cases to goblets. We gathered what we could carry to return to the village, rested at last and recovered some of our strength, and with sore muscles and cocksure attitudes we emerged from a spiral staircase to the top of the hill that houses the Halls of Eveningstar.

It was that overborne confidence we felt, still high from having cleared out such a nest of evil raiders, that brought us this low. Near the exit we had found laid a castle ruin, and though we were still wounded, overloaded with gear, and ripe for home, we decided to explore.

There was very little left of this castle, but on the second floor of the only tower left, we found some rooms fairly intact. The one that immediately grabbed our attention was a bedroom - because it had a skeleton, complete and clean, lying on the floor by the bed, armor pieces still hanging from it, a dagger still stuck in its back. But when I started to cross the threshold of the bedroom, I was rather rudely reminded of our first visit to the Halls.

Do you remember, back at that first trip, the young woman whose rescue brought us out of the caves and back to the city? Miior, her name was, bound by a spell for Mielikki alone knows how many years. Well, from the stones on the sides of the arch leading into this room came a face, and it was the very image of Miior, to tell us that we cannot disturb "the master." In fact, she appeared twice, once on each side of the arch, to tell us that the master was still sleeping.

None of us cared for the idea of battling stone if we stepped into this room, so Borreau summoned a dust devil to pass the threshold. Sure enough, the two stone faces became two complete stone women, and they stepped into the room to try to battle the dust devil. Thinking quickly, Borreau sent the dust devil to scatter the bones of the skeleton. That seemed to work, for the two women immediately declared that the master was awake, and disappeared.

If only we had known that an even greater danger now lay before us. Before we could take two steps, a ghost leaped from the bed, a man so foul in life even death did not want him, and it was that sight of him, this cold, chilling image of a man with a presence so evil he made my heart ache, that did something to us, every one of us in the party, with the possible exception of B'rinth and Nory; it's hard to tell with species as old as they. We passed years in that moment - when next I saw myself, I looked more like thirty instead of my twenty summers. Telaran fared even worse; his short-cropped hair now has gray throughout. Dear Borreau has not complained once, but lines mark his face where there were none before.

At least, Good Master, we managed to keep our feet, and stand to face this horrid thing. My sword has seldom felt so right as when it struck through this thing, and with only two blows, it disappeared again. Whether we actually managed to defeat it or just banish it from our world for a time, I don't know. I pray the latter; I never want to think of such a thing again.

So now we rest in our lodge near Eveningstar, Garen. And many of us are plagued by the effects that this ghost left us with. We're still getting used to bones that creak more than they did, hands that are not as steady as they were a day ago. We discussed, briefly before sleep, seeking a cleric or magician to see if these effects can be reversed. If they cannot, our days of adventuring may already be drawing to a close. But I hope to seek Mielikki's home; if anyone can undo this evil, perhaps they can. I fervently pray that it will be with the face you know that I will greet you come Midsummer's 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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