Campaign Logs

The Jade Letters

By Beth Griese

Date:   February 15, 1997


Bearded fellow

Supreme Being

Jim Leitzel


Blonde human

Tempus Cleric

Brian Smith

Lorivar Menasson

Short, dark and hairy ???

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:
"Is there anything more annoying than a blinking gnome?" -- Stu Collins
"A talking gnome?" -- Brian Smith

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

My apologies, Master, for leaving my last letter so abruptly in mid-story; our ship's arrival in port interrupted my writing. I ended, I believe, with The Skipping Stone's arrival at the bottom of the ocean, in an air bubble left behind by a whirlwind of water. Nory and I were the only two who had taken to the waves, thanks to a water-breathing potion, and I had even lost Nory in all the confusion. I was headed away from the ship's air bubble, and toward a giant coral reef.

The shadowy shapes moving in and out of this reef were indeed more of the rays that had caused the twister of water that brought down the ship. And as I approached, two of the rays broke away and headed right for me, like wolf sentries investigating a threat to the pack. I began to wish on Mielikki's staff that breathing water allowed me to speak in water, too, even if all I could do would be to make calm noise. I did the best I could without sound to announce my intent; I tried to look as unassuming and un threatening as I could while walking below the waves like a ghost through a graveyard.

It worked better than I could have imagined. These creatures peered at me with thoughtful eyes, eyes so full of thought that I did what seems silly now; I peace-tied my swords, as useless as they were underwater, anyway. The gesture seemed to have effect, though. One of the rays swam closer, and with a shove against my brain, I could hear it speak. Not with words, but with thoughts. It wanted to know whether I was from the hell above them that caused their deaths - an interesting new perspective on the land I longed for even as we spoke. When I told the creature that I was, it said that I may be the Chosen One that someone named "Blib Dool Ploop," as best as I could tell, had promised them. Their people were being terrorized by a beast called a Morkoth, which lured them into its lair and destroyed them. Apparently, they had brought down the ship to try to bring down their Chosen One, who would free them.

The logic was so strange, I could only imagine it made perfect sense to a sea-dweller. But destroying a monster was certainly something I could understand - and try my best to do, if it meant a chance to save the ship. So I told the ray that I'd be willing to fight this Morkoth, and that I even had friends who may also be able to help, but that our fight would come at the price of restoring the ship to the surface, in the bubble, intact. We had a hard time making our words match - "safe" to me meant "dead" to it, but we finally reached our understanding. The ray wanted to test us first to see if we may really be their chosen ones, but if we passed the test, whether we succeeded or failed with the Morkoth, the ship would be restored. It was the best deal I could think to strike while being constantly distracted by bubbles floating past my face and prodding words in my brain instead of my ears.

Meanwhile, back at the ship, the party members who had managed to keep on their feet during the sinking woke the others. Once the ship had settled to the bottom,the sleepsong ended, and the ship slowly woke up to their amazing new site. By the time I stumbled back to the air bubble, the Wayfarers had regrouped and was helping direct the ship's crew to try to keep the ship defended as best they could in case of attack.

I called the Wayfarers down to the ocean floor around the ship - I didn't want the ray's test to take place on the ship, where people could get hurt. I explained as best as I could what had happened, and not surprisingly, saw my own disbelief reflected in more than one of the faces around me. Verence, in particular, was upset at me involving the Wayfarers at all, to which I told him I had made promises for no one, and he was welcome to return to the ship, but he didn't go. In fact, we picked up two extra people instead. One was a dwarf, scarred and rough, named Rykker, who tended to make all his points by swinging his axe around. The second man was a short, dark fellow named Lorivar with hair that sprouted everywhere and seemed to have somehow managed to keep Nory around for the past few days without throttling him. If anything, Nory seemed more frustrated by this Lorivar man than the other way around, which was a remarkable feat in itself, although the man seemed to me to be perfectly civil and straightforward. So the Wayfarers, so recently minus one and now plus two, waited on the sea floor.

We waited, as it turned out, nearly a full day before the rays came back to the bubble and announced to me - the others couldn't hear him - that it was time for our test. A group of the rays swum around , forming a ball of water, that they shoved through the surface of the bubble. Once through, the ball became a wave shape, nearly fifteen feet tall, that tried to pound us into the slimy rock beneath our feet. We beat against it as best we could, but Borreau came up with the magic that brought the water creature low. He's cast a spell before that can create water for us to drink. As it turns out, he can also change the spell to destroy water instead of create it, and losing large chunks of itself caused the monster a lot of its troubles. We passed our test to be chosen ones. Now, we could meet this Morkoth and get the ship released. I asked the rays for a night's rest to let our spellcasters regain their spells.

The night was far from restful for many of us. We had to inform the ship's captain and crew of what was happening, and Telaran and Verence were both... how shall I put this... "approached" by the Loviator priestess, offering them magic and more personal favors for their battle against the Morkoth. Both looked a little bemused come morning, but given how free they were with the other details, I don't think either were foolish enough to take the priestess up on her more intimate offers.

With that trial past our group, Verence and Borreau cast magic to allow all of us to breathe water like I had done the day before, and the rays led us to the huge mound that housed the Morkoth. Small caverns led into it, and with Rykker shouldering his way to the front, we headed into the depths of the mound.

It wasn't hard to find the lair; despite all the cris-crosses in small tunnels, everything seemed to lead like a web to the center, where this huge worm-like creature with tentacles around its hooked mouth waited for us. We charged into the battle - or most of us did, anyway. We didn't notice that Rykker and Nory both fell back and wouldn't join the battle; didn't notice, that is, until Nory tried to backstab Lorivar. The Morkoth had taken control, but Lorivar handled the attack neatly by spinning Nory right into the Morkoth. Watching a gnome float at high speed into a monster's head is a very disorienting sight.

Other than those glitches, our battle against the Morkoth wasn't too disturbing; Verence used Borreau's water destruction idea to pound in the water against the creature's head, and our swords had no problems against its wormy body. Telaran struck the killing blow, and with it, Nory and Rykker regained their senses.

Once we crawled our way back out of the mound, the rays did indeed honor their agreement to return the ship to the surface. With a strange dance, they brought the ship, still inside its air bubble, back to the waves as if the past 48 hours had never happened. With only the notable exception of the incident that occurred when Verence glyphed the Loviator priestess's door (which even I could not reproach him for), the rest of the trip to our first port, Orlumber, went quietly, praise Mielikki. As I watch the waves, now, though, they don't hold quite the fear for me that they did at the beginning of this trip. Respect, yes, but the sea is now a danger I've learned more about than I ever cared to before; it's not so mysterious to me now. Mind, I still have no desire to stay on this boat any longer than it will take to get me back to Suzail, but at least I don't feel like the black mysteries await over the railing. I look forward to touching feet to land, and will send these letters when we've reached the city. 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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