Campaign Logs

The Jade Letters

By Beth Griese

Date:   January 18, 1997


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:
"I got my load of evermead and I'm rolling down the sylvan highway." -- Kent Jenkins

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

The wizard Buvarik sent us back to Tantras, Torm's home, and the home of the Precentor Monso who I needed to report to. Verence and Telaran decided to make a detour back to the Gods' Battlefield; it seems that the dirt there actually shields against magic, and can cause a great deal of harm to magical things - and maybe even beings - that it comes into contact with. The rest of us were quite glad to leave the Battlefield be and return to the gates of Tantras.

Our reception wasn't very warm at first; we were treated to suspicious guards and overprotective matrons, none of whom wanted to believe that Monso really wanted to see us. Our group is nothing if not persistent, though, and we finally were treated to a lunch and a visit from Monso, who was surprised to find us back again. I reported to him that Buvarik's experiment had indeed succeeded, to Monso's great pleasure. He finally explained that he and Buvarik used to travel together, much as we do now, and he knew firsthand of Graz'zt's wrath. I was relieved to see former adventurers who had reached a much more glorious end than the last group of crusaders we had met.

So with our duties finished, all that remained was to try to find a way back to Arabel. This meant sea travel, if we didn't want to spend an extra three months on the trail. I'm curious, but not very sure about the idea of a sea voyage. Verence, on the other hand, was in the lead all the way to the docks. We found three ships that were posting for assistants for trips that included Arabel. Of them, the most promising was a merchanter that needed guards. The only thing that gave us pause was the name on the employment card: Robyn Smallbrush. Smallbrush. A halfling name if ever we'd heard it.

Sure enough, when we finally arrived at The Skipping Stone, this merchant/passage vessel, we found most of the crew to be at waist height, and learned that half the job we were being hired for seemed to be to tote drunk passengers back to their cabins. But, with the only other option being to pay our way to Arabel, we agreed to act as the ship's security. We had three days before we left port.

I'm not sure who it was who discovered this job for us. Borreau and I took to the forests outside of Tantras, and had planned to stay out there until time to put water under our feet. I was anxious to enjoy some real time outdoors after so long in cities and strange tunnels. But on our second day, while Borreau was making another of his disastrous attempts to teach me how to fish (mind you, I've had no better luck in teaching him how to track game), our silver locator fish from the couatl's caverns zipped up to us and dropped to the ground, and the party was hard on its heels. It seemed we had the opportunity to make a hefty sum of money for one night's work.

A merchant owned a rare piece of artwork, a crystal crown with a ruby centerpiece. A thief, Vilatorious, had vowed to steal the piece that night. This thief, apparently, has a reputation; he announces in advance when he is about to burgle an item away, and despite every precaution taken, succeeds in getting the loot and improving his notoriety at the same time. An effective plan, but this merchant was quite attached to the crown, and wanted us to see to its protection. In exchange for its safe survival of the night, the merchant had promised us its worth in gold: 25,000 gold pieces. What a sum!

And so, we began plotting and planning. We came up with schemes that should have been enough to leave any thief quaking in his boots. But once we were left with the item for the night, before we could carry out any of our thief-deterring, we came up with a problem. A number of problems, in fact. To begin with, it was magical. Nory used a magic mirror he had that would tell us the history of an item, and found it to be very short-lived. In fact, its "existence" as a magical item had only begun with the death of a good sorcerer. Finally, Borreau and Verence decided to see if it held any evil or good intent, and its magic was strong enough and evil enough to nearly blind them.

Let's just say that a great deal of debate followed. Would we - could we? - guard evil? Should we try to find the merchant, who had left the house for the night along with all his servants? Could we even, as was once suggested, guard the item, get our money, and then destroy it?

Finally, we decided - well, I think - to take the item directly to Torm's Tabernacle, and back to our friend, Precentor Monso. It was the only way to be sure of what was happening and to bring authorities we could trust into the matter. B'rinth was upset about this; he wanted to stay behind at the house, even after we decided to move the crown, but our trip was going to be too dangerous. Here we were, about to travel through the dark streets, with the most sought-after item of the night, with who knew what kind of thief after us and the item itself as an evil we were carrying right along with us. We told B'rinth that he needed to come with us and locked up the merchant's house behind us.

As it turned out, we only knew half our problems. We turned Telaran invisible and had him carry the crown, with one hand on my shoulder, and we marched quickly for the center of the city. The Tabernacle was a hive of activity; riots had broken out on the docks and Precentor Monso himself had been poisoned.. Both, we were sure, somehow connected to this thief who wanted to take the crown without interruption.

Verence and Borreau both did their best curing for Precentor Monso, and while neither was able to cleanse the poison, Verence cast a spell that allowed Monso to regain his senses long enough to cleanse himself. The moment he did, he immediately saw our problem of the crown, and started giving directions for the destruction of the crown. Our decision about what to do, thankfully, had been taken out of our hands.

And so, in a courtyard in the Tabernacle, we put on a strange show, Verence and Borreau both casting spells at Monso's bidding, Telaran and I heaving destruction on the crown itself as strongly as we could. The crown's ruby gem swelled in size when it came under attack, until it suddenly burst and turned the ground all around us into a foot of solid muck and murk, crawling and disgusting to the touch. This was when Monso stepped in, saying a blessing word that... Rippled as he spoke it, I know no better way to describe it. And in the ripple's wake, the ground turned back to stone, and the evil was wiped away like mud under a brush. Of course, it also meant our feet were now trapped in stone, but some simple smashing took care of that inconvenience. Monso said the jewel had housed a unique demon that had now been dispelled away from us. Our problem with the crown's existence was over; now we just had to deal with the problem of the crown's owner.

One last item I must note before we meet with the merchant who hired us. By the time we had reached Torm's Tabernacle, B'rinth was no longer with us. Verence and Nory had both, apparently, seen him slip into invisibility to abandon us on the roads. Not only that, but my coinpurse was gone. Why B'rinth felt it so necessary to leave us - and steal my bag in the process - escapes me completely, but the theft makes me think we may not even see him again. Telaran is livid; he's threatened every manner of violence he can think of on the elf for deserting us. I almost hope that we don't see him, after all, since such a meeting again is bound to be ugly. I've spent the last few hours before dawn brings the return of the merchant thinking this over, and I cannot see continuing to travel with B'rinth. He has proven himself unscrupulous and, perhaps even worse, unreliable. Will the rest of the party agree, or will we be divided now because of the elf? No one is sleeping and no one looks pleased with tonight. I can only pray that morning will bring calm heads to us, to the merchant, and perhaps even to B'rinth, and will continue my log when I have more to report on all this.

Your faithful servant,


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