By Beth Griese
Date: March 14, 1998
|Borreau||Blonde Human||Tempus Cleric||Brian Smith|
|Lorivar Menasson||Short, dark, & hairy||Monk||Vaughan Herron|
|Nory||Gnome||Illusionist / Thief||Stu Collins|
|Verence Gallow||Thin human||Mystra Cleric||Kent Jenkins|
Quote of the Day:
"Like you don't spend half your existence beyond the hostility event horizon anyway." - Kent, speaking of Jade
"Ha! I'm a second level fighter. I die like a fly." - Jim L.
To Garen Thundersson, cleric of Mielikki. From your faithful friend, Jade.
After our long battle against giants and drow, the Wayfarers were eager to get out of the giants' compound before more trouble arrived. As soon as we were well enough to travel, we gathered up all of the giants' treasure store we could transport and abandoned that awful site. Surprisingly (surprisingly? Borreau says I'm becoming a pessimist), the trip home was quiet. We immediately put the money we had gathered to work, rebuilding the tower and homes that were damaged (or flattened) by the giant attack, and gave money to what families there were of the four men who had been killed during the attack. One case was especially sad; his wife and two children are scheduled to arrive here any day now, expecting to find a new home, a secure job, and him. All we can offer instead is gold and whatever work a widow may want to take up in a town that's barely begun to take root, but it will be given to them as soon as they come.
The rest of the money we divided between us, as per usual. It was good to see Borreau and Lorivar both give large parts of their share to the town and castle fund. I was able to give some nice pieces of jewelry to the priests of Mielikki who have begun nice work on a shrine around the town's blessed spring. Seeing as how the First Feast of spring was coming, while talking to the priests of Mielikki I decided to sponsor a feast for the whole town - after seeing a few month's work destroyed by those damned giants, an excuse to drink and eat well and party late through the night would, I hoped, be a welcome relief for everyone, even those who didn't care for the holy days of Mielikki.
Most of the kitchen staff headed for Suzail for supplies, and Verence and Nory went with them to visit the city. Verence's young apprentice, Edward, kept closely in Verence's wake. His cocky attitude had managed to infuriate most of the castle staff, and Verence was now acting as protector as much as mentor for the frazzled boy. I think he must have seen a lot of harassment before we returned to settle things down again. Given the way that boy still talks down to anyone he considers of lower class, I'm almost sorry we didn't return later.
In what seemed like no time, the day of First Feast arrived. The kitchen staff brought back for me a little more than just food; I ordered fine new tunics for Borreau and I to enjoy the feast and a long night under the stars. The Wayfarers, of course, enjoyed the opportunity to party, and the castle chores shut down for one night as everyone ate, drank, and sang. The Feast seemed to be a big success. I was nervous about it; I guess I know how noble hosts feel now, and since the morale of the town and Mielikki's name rested on this, I was kind of glad when it was done and could be put to rest.
It was the night after First Feast that Borreau told me that he had been having dreams the past few nights. Normal dreams, but in every one of them, a chain showed up - the black chain that we had found in the giant's castle with instructions to use it to find the drow. He thought this must mean something, so we called together the rest of the Wayfarers and told them what was going on.
Ever since we found that chain, I thought we had an engraved invitation to deal with the rot of the drow who had sent so much destruction on us. But I had kept quiet; that lady we had fought in the castle halls had been incredibly powerful, and I knew it would take our full strength to even have a chance against her. So I still didn't say anything about what Borreau's dreams might mean, and I was shocked when Borreau said that he felt it was a sign that we should use the chain to find the drow woman. I could have fallen out of my chair when Verence and Nory agreed. Lorivar was not in favor of using the chain, but his was the only voice against. We started to plan for our trip.
Verence and Borreau spent time in prayer to their gods, looking for more information about what was going to happen when we stepped through this chain. Borreau asked where we would end up. I stayed with him during his prayers, and while I watched, a shaft of sunlight fell on his head from a cloudy sky. He heard the sounds of summer birds singing, and was thrilled with the contact from Tempus. I don't know what happened to Verence during his prayers, but when he came downstairs from his study, he said that Mystra had told him that to get back from where the chain would send us, we could return in two days by magic or a month if we traveled by foot. With our supplies gathered, our peace with the gods made, and our instructions for the castle management left with Jeremiah, we gathered in the main hall and prepared to join the chain.
Oh, and one other thing, master: when we were about to form the chain, Verence pulled me aside to give me a request. If he dies, his wish is that all his worldly wealth be accumulated and used to buy a resurrection from the priests to bring him back. I thought it a very typical idea from a magician - that spells and gold can cheat death - but I swore to him that I would see it done if I survived him. I include it in this letter, Garen, so that if disaster falls and none of us returns, you might also know his wish and can maybe see to it. Borreau also knows, so he, too, can restore Verence if need be.
When we formed the chain around us, one sensation registered before any sights, sounds, or smells - the cold. The ring you gave me so many years ago kept me secure, but most of the others were immediately shivering in their adventuring clothes. We were in a dusky cave, and the temperature felt like the dead of winter. Verence had a few choice words for Borreau's vision from Tempus, but I'm hoping we'll understand the meaning of his vision of summer's warmth yet.
The cave was full of what I guess to be loot from merchant caravans - everything from boxes with labels that Verence recognized from merchant houses to shaggy oxen hanging from the ceiling like meat hanging to cure, except that it hadn't been skinned or quartered. We chased after some torchlight down a passage, hoping to find warmer areas. We found a chamber that had been carved for people the height of the giants we had just left behind. The huge cavern had two slabs of stone blocking passages on either side of the room.
Nory scuttled behind the first slab to investigate the passage beyond, and returned a moment later as pale as I've ever seen him, and that's saying a lot. Maybe it's the cold. His news was grim; there was no sign of drow down the hallway, but there was a dragon, pure white, lying in its lair just beyond. No one even had to ask; we turned like an army in formation and headed for the opposite passage. Nory peeked ahead again, and this time reported finding - big surprise - a giant, who was leaning against a wall next to a huge shield hanging in the hallway. A sentry with an alarm bell. Nory, though, had announced our presence for us; I don't know what he did, but I heard the scraping sound through the stone slab, so Nory told us what was coming in a rush as the crashes coming from the passage confirmed every word.
When the blue-skinned, white-haired giant threw aside the stone slab blocking the passage as if it were a branch of leaves, we were ready for it. Borreau and I attacked from the sides, and Lorivar had managed to scamper right up the sheer wall face and drop onto the huge man. When he saw the trouble that was brewing, he turned and threw his ax at the shield. Verence had already cast silence on a coin, but it didn't get far enough into the passage, and the giant's mission was accomplished. The shield rang like a gong. He paid his price, though, when he turned back around to swing at us. Between the swords of Borreau and I and a flying leap to the giant's temple from Lorivar, it fell to the ground like a tree.
We hurriedly dragged the giant into the main chamber and Nory, now invisible with a spell, snuck down the hallway to look for the response to the alarm. Amazingly, there was none; he heard orcish and human-like voices at the end of the hall, but none that sounded worried or were headed our way. We were left to scratch our heads and wonder why the alarm was there if it was going to be ignored.
For now, I must return to our work. I'll tell you more of what we found in my next letter. I remain,
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