Campaign Logs

The Jade Letters

By Beth Griese

Date:   February 1, 1997


Bearded fellow

Supreme Being

Jim Leitzel


Blonde human

Tempus Cleric

Brian Smith


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:
"Kneebiter to home base, kneebiter to home base.." -- Beth Griese

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

Dawn found us at the entrance of the merchant Mercus's house, waiting uncomfortably for his return. It was no surprise to any of us that he was so upset about his crown's loss. He didn't even want to believe us about the Precentor's involvement, and wanted to publish a notice that we had failed a contract. I offered to publish in response that his goods were demon-tainted, and we seemed to be at a standoff. So we agreed to meet at the Tabernacle of Torm to discuss the matter further.

It wasn't until we were well on the streets for home that Telaran suddenly sprang awake and took off like a hunting dog down the streets. As we loped through the alleyways, Nory and Verence explained to Borreau and I that Telaran had managed to get himself into a duel the night before; a duel he was now well late for. His opponent - a big bear of a man who looked to have been in a few too many bar brawls already - was still there, although none too pleased to have to wait for Telaran. The so-called "duel" was short and to the point, no pun intended; the fight was to be to first blood, and after a great deal of posturing between them, the burly fellow swung and missed, Telaran landed his sword squarely across his opponent's arm, and the duel was over. Pride, apparently, had been satisfied, and Telaran was now magnaminously offering breakfast to the defeated. I slipped away to get some much-needed rest; that was more male bonding than I need to see in a month.

The afternoon sun found us gathered back at the Tabernacle, waiting for the arrival of the merchant and for Precentor Monso. When we finally did all gather, the expected chaos arose as slanted facts and hot ire swirled around the room. Monso was slow to put any clarification on the matter, but after we had each agreed to abide by his judgement, he fined us 2500 gold pieces for 10% of the crown's worth, and held us unaccountable for the loss of the rest of the crown or of the ransacking his house took by the thieves who had hunted for the crown. The merchant didn't look pleased, and truth to tell, I was not completely satisfied with this resolution, either, but it was certainly easier than dealing with this money-grubbing merchant any longer.

I spent our last night on land largely unable to sleep. I've been fascinated with the idea of travelling on the ocean, but at the same time, the thought of having nothing but water beneath my feet and no tree or grass in sight for miles unnerves me. Borreau and I rested beneath the trees, and if he got much sleep, he didn't show it well, for he was awake every time I wanted to speak with him. Consequently, we were not too bright-eyed in the morning, and neither, it turned out, was Telaran, who got waylaid on his way home and his purse stolen after carousing with his new dueling friends. He suspected the merchant, since his friends told him that the word on the street was that profit might come from harm to the Wayfarers. But with an ocean about to separate us from Tantras, we didn't feel any great concern about this problem for the time being.

B'rinth, our wayward elf, never did return to us. I don't know where he stole away to, or even if he still lives, but no one suggested staying in Tantras to look for him. Everyone, though, even Nory, was quiet as our ship, the Skipping Stone, left port. We watched the docks recede and I felt as though we were all united in a common thought; alive, dead, betrayed, or abandoned, we were leaving behind one of our own. The Wayfarers are now less one, and even Telaran, who had seemed the angriest of all about B'rinth's departure, looked grim.

Once past the harbor, though, we got down to the business of dividing up shifts to serve as the ship's watchmen. We spent our first few days in relative peace. The most excitement we found was in watching Nory's seasickness and the number of wealthy ladies who took Verence's holy symbols of Mystra to mean he was some manner of cure-all magiker. They were offering him coins left and right for the most ridiculous words, vials, and blessings, and he was being most obliging.

Our fourth day showed our first signs of trouble. Borreau and I, who shared a shift, had already taken note of the priestess of Loviator, the Maiden of Pain, and her two brutes of companions. On this day, those two companions had taken hold of a woman on the deck, much to her alarm, of course. Borreau and I pried the woman away from these mysterious, mute fellows, and deposited them back in the keeping of the priestess down below with stern words of warning. I wasn't until later that we were to discover that our doors had been glyphed. When Borreau passed the threshold of our room, I caught the flash of the glyph just in time for him to whirl and try to attack me. Confusion reigned supreme for a moment or two while he tried desperately to chop me in two while I concentrated on holding his arm at bay. We were in a heap in the middle of the hallway, comprehension just beginning to dawn on his face, when Verence and Telaran came at a run down the hall. Apparently, their glyph had been different from ours; Verence was still blue around the edges from the frosted cold he had received.

So now, we were on the alert for our Loviator friend - for those two events were almost surely connected - but weren't even near to prepared for what happened that night. As darkness fell, the usual song of the sea became a deal more insistent, and effective. The waves seemed to hum, soft notes pounding above them, and like a spell, people all around us began dropping into sleep right where they sat or stood. Telaran fell asleep almost immediately, and I discovered Borreau in a stairwell as we dashed around the ship, but the rest of us managed to keep our feet. Verence and Telaran were concerned about the ship, which was being driven by steam power. Sure enough, they reached the engine room and found a way to stop the buildup from blowing the entire ship to Tartarus. Gnomes do come in handy at times like these.

I, meanwhile, had gathered up my weapons and was watching the stern of the ship, where the water was swirling madly , and the ship was tilting to go down into it. When Nory reappeared, he had his potion of water-breathing. He offered to share it with me, and we dove straight into the mouth of the water twister, hoping to discover some way to be of use in preventing what was happening.

It was a complete waste of time; you might just as well have tried to stop a herd of deer from stampeding. The swirl, as it turned out, was being caused by hundreds and hundreds of manta rays, all swimming in circles, all with strange fangs and not caring the least about Nory and I. Try as we might, search as we did, all we could was watch as the ship was pulled down, into the center of the funnel, and onto the ocean floor, which now had a bubble of air within it, so that the ship touched down on land instead of swirling into the mud. On the deck, I could see that Verence had awakened Telaran and Borreau, but now we were stuck with waiting to see what could possibly happen next. I will continue my tale in my next letter. I remain, I always,

Your faithful servant,


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