Campaign Logs

The Jade Letters

By Beth Griese

Date:   June 27, 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

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:
“He’s getting frequent flyer miles in the afterlife.” --Beth Griese

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

When our group left Eveningstar to travel to Arabel, we met a dejected-looking caravan coming in. Telaran knew the caravan master and a few of the guards from his days as a caravan soldier, and he spoke to the master to find out that a group of brigands along the road to Arabel had ambushed the caravan, killing a number of their soldiers. This caravan hadn’t been the first, either, according to the master’s report. One look from our half-elf friend told us all we needed to know; we were going to be looking up some brigands on our way to Arabel.

The bandits were easy to find; thanks to the caravan master’s description, we knew the general area of road to watch, and the remains of their last attack were still scattered about. Their tracks were easy to follow; they were human-shaped, but stocky and brutish, some without shoes on their feet. Their trail led to the remains of what used to be a stone tower in the middle of the forest. Now, all that remained was the first floor, and even that looked like it was only being held up by the ivy on the walls.

Telaran and Verence used the nearby trees to clamber up to the ruined roof. Borreau and I gave them to the count of three to get into position, then stormed the (former) tower. We weren’t surprised to find a group of orcs inside. We closed in on them from the side and from above, and it looked at first as if it was going to be a short clean-up of a den of thieves.

We hadn’t counted on some leaders of these two-bit thieves. Many things started happening all at once; big, burly orc guards rushed at us from a side door, and a shaman-looking orc started flashing in and out amongst us at the oddest times. I missed my sword terribly; getting used to the heavier weight and the duller edge of a simple sword took me forever, it seemed, while my friends were fighting all around me.

Telaran fought through the orcs as if he were possessed; I guess he takes attacks upon caravans very personally. Nory fought in his own way - that is to say, very strangely. He started jumping up and down and yelling insults at the orcs so wildly I thought he might be possessed. I don’t know what his plan was, but it ended up working. At least, I assume that he was planning to get some of the orcs to attack him, because that’s what happened - three of them came at him in a pile. It did, at least, get them in a group, so that the party could center on one scene. Verence used his magical staff (still named after my horse, Trellant) to bash some orc heads, and I even spotted him throw a straight-armed punch that rung an orc’s bell. I almost dropped my dagger in shock.

Lessons in humility keep coming to visit the Wayfarers, Garen. These orcs came very close to skinning us. The shaman fellow - it took me quite a while to decide that it really was only one shaman who kept disappearing and reappearing, not several - cast a spider’s web that covered Telaran, Verence, and Nory in sticky goo. I lost my grip on my dagger and it was sent flying by an orc kick, and Borreau tripped and scattered at the feet of one of the orc guards. And just when things looked darkest, the web was sent merrily ablaze by more orc thugs arriving from a side door.

Nory started our rally by getting creative again; I’m not sure how he did it, but with nothing but some ugly faces, he sent one of the hugest orc brutes running and scampering the door. Verence and I finally cornered the shaman, and Verence sent the last blow home to kill the magic-using orc. We paid dearly for our progress, though - by the time I looked up from clearing out the remaining orcs, both Nory and Telaran were face-down on the flagstones - Telaran in the midst of a pile of orc bodies. With the healing help of our clerics, both were shakily back on their feet with the quarter-hour, but neither was looking very battle- ready.

With the orc brigands cleared out at last, we searched the one- floor tower. We found two rooms being used for boarding for the orcs, and made a disgusting discovery at the kitchen. The caravan guards who had been killed were being used as meat; parts were still lying around the kitchen, and one man was roasting on a spit. I heard a strange noise coming from one of the cabinets, and found a little goblin cowering inside. The little guy was working as a cook, which earned him the immediate displeasure of all of us. He said the boss orc’s name was Hargluck, but the quivering fellow didn’t know anything else about whether the orcs might be working for anyone else - we had seen previous little loot that the orcs would have taken from the caravans.

Most of the party was in favor of immediately executing the goblin, and even Borreau looked as though he would like to perform the role of headsman. I trussed up the little guy, though, and put him out next to our horses to take back to Arabel with us, and thank the Gods, no one complained too loudly. While we were outside, Verence and I dug a grave for the people we had found in the kitchen. Verence even offered prayers over them - I sometimes forget he’s a man of clergy.

While Verence and I were outside, the others discovered a secret room in the tower, to stairs that led down, and from the looks of the room, the orcs never discovered it. Orcs never seem to be too bright. We found a long stairwell leading down, and at every landing on the stairwell, statues awaited that would swing at us if we came near. With only a little fuss, though, we were able to keep our distance and slowly, gradually, make our way down.

I’m sorry to leave you on such a sudden note, but it’s time for us to continue moving, so I have to end this letter. I’ll continue my report in my next message as soon as we reach our next stop. I remain, as always,

Faithfully yours,


The Jade Letters are the property and copyright of Beth Griese, not to be published or redistributed without permission.

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