Campaign Logs

The Jade Letters

By Beth Griese

Date:   May 24, 1997


Bearded fellow

Supreme Being

Jim Leitzel


Blonde human

Tempus Cleric

Brian Smith

Lorivar Menasson

Short, dark and hairy Monk

Vaughan Herron


Gypsy woman


Beth Griese

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

Quote of the Day:
"Boy, Stu's gonna be surprised when he learns we replaced him with an eight-year-old." – Brian Smith

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

It was now two short weeks until Midsummer's Day, when I was due to meet with you at home, and the rest of the party still wanted to come along to meet you, too. I think most of them were curious about all these letters I've been writing all along. But it was time for us to begin our trip north, back to Eveningstar. We checked the job board at the Adventurer's Club to see if there was any profit to be collected with our trip.

The Club's job board now also has a message board attached to it, and to our surprise, Nory and I both had messages waiting for us. Nory's message was from the half-giant we had met during our sea voyage here, saying his goodbyes as he left Suzail. Nory was very proud of his letter and showed it off to all of us. I didn't see any need to display my message - I guess I made more of an impression on the herbalist who sold us our youth potions than I had intended. He was hoping to meet me for a quiet dinner. I decided that getting out of town was looking better than ever, and threw the letter away before too many people got curious.

The job board did have one advertisement that looked interesting; a jewel merchant needed couriers to take a package to Tyrluk, which would only add a few extra days to our trip with a day or two still to spare for reaching home. We sought out this jewel merchant, who lived in a stone house with guard towers on it. In smaller towns, it would have passed for a castle. The guards at the door would only permit one person from the party to enter, so I walked inside. I spoke with one of the owners of Van Arpel and Cleef - I never did figure out whether it was Van Arpel who I spoke with or Cleef - who explained that a necklace of 17 matched amethysts set in a platinum chain necklace needed to be presented to the wife of the Grand Marshal of Tyrluk. The piece was expensive enough to make my knees weaken, and when I got to see the necklace, I couldn't imagine anyone actually wearing such a piece - it looked more like a king's treasury than a piece of jewelry.

But, after going back outside to speak with the rest of the party, we agreed to the job. I signed an official-looking document that swore that we had received the necklace and would deliver it to Tyrluk, hid the necklace in my quiver, and received instructions to take the piece to a jeweler at Tyrluk named Beazel for our payment.

So we set out immediately, anxious to cover ground between us and any thieves who may know of the treasure we carried. All the trials we encountered, though, turned out to have nothing to do with the necklace hidden at my back. On our second day, children “waylaid” us on the road, demanding tribute. Verence asked what kind of toll they demanded, and after some consulting, the little boy at the lead asked for candy. Verence cast a spell on a plant that made sweet nectar, which was accepted, and we were “allowed” to go on our way. Everyone managed to keep straight faces until we were well out of sight of the kids with their new treasure, and then laughed our way through the rest of the afternoon.

We passed through Waymoot without any disturbances, but met a smarmy horse dealer on our way out of town. He questioned whether our horses could make our journey, which didn't earn him anyone's good will. It wasn't until another half-day down the road, though, that we realized exactly how loathsome that merchant is. It was then that we found - the hard way - a patch of road that had been covered by illusion to appear smooth, but had been littered with large caltrops, designed to cripple horses. Trellant took two caltrops in his hooves, the poor creature, before we figured out what was going on. Our best guess is that the horse trader from Waymoot uses this area to lame horses, then sells the poor victims “better” steeds when the reach town. We had not the time to go back to Waymoot and teach this kobold our opinion of his methods, but none of us are going to quickly forget. We'll return to Waymoot, and soon, to find this horse dealer.

We had passed beyond Tyrluk and had were beginning to think that the trip was going to be uneventful, when we were reminded pretty vividly of the forces that wander our land that are so far above us that we don't even merit their notice. The moon was high that night when Borreau and I heard a strange silence fall over the whole field we were in, followed by a strange rushing sound, as if a wind were building far away and rolling toward us. We didn't take any chances; Borreau awoke the rest of the party while I snuck forward to see what was happening.

The horde coming toward us was like nothing I've ever seen; all manner of small forest creature - rats, rabbits, squirrels - were stampeding in a swarm as if they were a herd of cattle. There were hundreds of them, all running forward mindlessly. At the time, I couldn't imagine what could be causing them to run like this, but I covered the distance back to camp faster than they, warned the others about what was coming, and we gathered the horses and dogs together behind a wall we built of everything that was at hand; anything that would turn aside the critters whose path we were in.

At first, our plan seemed to be perfect; when the wave of panicked creatures reached us, the ones directly in front hit our barricade of shields, saddles, and saddlebags, and turned aside. We stood in their midst like sailors in the prow of a ship. We were just beginning to breathe easy when the reason for the animals' panic arrived, and proved our undoing as well. It was a dragon, sailing high above us to blot out the moon, and the wave of power and danger that it carried with us hit me like thunder. I remember feeling the crawling fear in my neck, looking up to see the great wings and body above us, then nothing except falling behind the wall we had made. (Praise Mielikki I fell behind the wall and not to the side of it; I shudder to think what would have happened if I had fallen in the midst of all those panicked rodents.)

The next thing I remember was Borreau's worried face above mine, telling me gently over and over that the dragon was gone and it was over. I sat up so quickly he had to jump back to keep from getting knocked on the jaw; I'm still embarrassed by how absolutely I fell to the fear. At least I wasn't alone; Verence had also collapsed under the panic as if it was a physical weight. Lorivar tried to run from it, and it took him hours to make his way back. Borreau's horse had broken his hobbles and had run off. We tracked him the entire next morning; the poor horse had run with the herd of other animals, swept along in front of the dragon's wake and surrounded by panicked animals. We never did find the horse; we had to give up the chase to return to our journey.

The strangest part of this was what the others reported to me the next night. After the dragon had passed over, at the back of the wave of small creatures, the moonlight shone off smaller shapes, ones that dove and swooped among the animals. The night may have played tricks on them, but their shapes looked like small dragons. We may have been witness to a mother teaching its young, and if Mielikki is merciful, we'll never be witness to such a thing again.

After that event, even the avalanche that threatened to crash down on our heads as we rode up the pass to High Horn seemed calm by comparison, although Telaran probably wouldn't be of the same opinion. Since he was in back, he was the one swept down by the rockfall the worst, although he and his horse both survived without too many problems. We found Beazel in High Horn, turned over our package, and received our fee without any problems at all, which is remarkable enough to us.

And now, at last, Midsummer's Day arrives in three days. Borreau and I are resting comfortably in our old home, Master, and the rest of the Wayfarers are enjoying the inn in Eveningstar. I'm anxious to see you again, Garen, and nervous about some of the things I must discuss with you, but above all, I look forward to celebrating Mielikki's holy day with you, and to introducing you to the rest of the Wayfarers. As long as we keep an eye on Nory, this week should be wonderful. Anxiously awaiting your return, I remain,

Your faithful servant,


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