Campaign Logs

The Jade Letters

By Beth Griese

Date:  September 12, 1998


Bearded fellow

Supreme Being

Jim Leitzel

Lorivar Menasson Short, dark, & 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:
"Any obvious secret doors?" -- Stu

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

Our exhausted group stood (mostly) scattered around a room full of bloody corpses. I was poking at the corpse of the giant king in disbelief when Verence reluctantly asked what had allowed so many of these giants to hide invisibly - nothing we fought had shown any sign of using magic. We all looked at each other with worry, then quickly began searching the room. We took a few prizes as we went; the gems in the thrones and the coral gem necklace of the king would go to good service to the town of Weston, and the king's crown would be good proof to King Azoun of our success. We didn't find any source of magic, but Telaran found a hidden door behind the thrones.

We were a ragged-looking lot, filthy and gore-covered and wounded, and I worried about us as we slipped down a new hallway. But there was no help for it right now; there was no place we had seen yet where we could rest with any kind of safety. The hall we were in had a few closed doors within it. We could hear snoring - by Mielikki, but giants snore loud! - behind one of them. Nory picked that lock first, and with the help of a spell of silence from Verence to make sure we didn't wake anyone we didn't need to, we slipped inside.

We had found a bunkroom, with four giants fast asleep in their beds. Telaran, and Verence immediately started helping Nory up into the bunks with his knife. I had to stop myself from speaking out, first because of what was being done, but secondly because I realized the silence that had been pulled around us would make it useless, anyway. The only way I could stop Nory, as he pulled the knife across the first giant's throat, would have been to physically stop him and probably manage to wake up at least some of the giants. If we'd only been fighting for ourselves and our own good, I want to believe I would have. But I thought about the drow plan to destroy Cormyr as Nory climbed like a spider to the second giant. Would I risk everyone in the entire kingdom to prevent four dishonorable deaths? I couldn't do it. I stood planted by the door and watched every move as the gnome dispatched the last two giants. I locked the door behind us. We now had a room that might afford us a few hours to rest and recover. Nobody talked about it, but by the glances over shoulders I saw, I don't think I was the only one who got only the tiniest bit of rest lying in a room with the giants we had just murdered.

We escaped with a few hours before we were interrupted; we heard the sound of someone in the hallway who went to the door at the end of the hall next to ours, rattled it, and called out in the giants' language. It was the most booming woman's voice I'd ever heard, but she must have been female. She started to leave again, and I was worried about what alarm she might raise, so I unlocked the huge door and cracked it open without showing us. She pushed on the door to see who was beyond, and that's when I jumped into the hallway and herded her inside as fast as I could.

It was indeed a giant woman; some kind of serving maid, by the looks of her. It took a bit of sign language to make her understand that we weren't going to slaughter her. She hard a really hard time believing that after seeing the guards still lying in their beds, but instead of making her chances for survival slimmer, the work we had done yesterday made me doubly determined to keep this woman alive if at all possible. It was simple enough to shut her away for the time being; we just locked her into the guard room and moved on. She may be left with some nightmares, but hopefully that will be the worst she suffers from our assault on the Fire Giant army.

We checked on the door she had been calling at. It was a huge double iron door with a flaming skull in bronze at the center across them both. Verence detected magic glyphs that protected the doors, which Nory got rid of, and we stepped inside to find the king's bedroom. I started to wonder if that woman we had just locked away was really a serving maid or performed some other duties for the king.

The ugly room was draped in trophies, including armor and weapons from humans and the heads and parts of animals scattered all around. I was thinking over how best to destroy the displays when Nory shouted out and sent a spray of color at the bed. Rising from the bed like deer from the tall grasses on a foggy morning were four more of the hounds we had fought in the throne room, hounds with sparking fur and fire in their eyes and breath. They fell on us with only Nory's yell as our warning, and the fight was on. We brought down all but one, who tucked tail in front of me - he knew he was the loser in this fight. I kept him steady in a corner of the room while the others gathered themselves back together to leave. We now had a maid (?) locked in one room and a wounded hellhound locked in another. Time to open a third door.

The woman we had locked up in the other room had friends. Seven of them to be exact, all dressed in serving rags of clothes, some in what must pass for giants' underwear. My heart sank; there was no way I wanted to see the slaughter of a bunch of creatures who had obviously never been near an actual battle in their lives. To my relief, one spoke a little bit of Common.

She told us there was a Queen here, and kept wanting us to see the Queen, and was obviously willing to fight to protect the Queen. the Queen was eventually produced, and what a sight she was. She was shorter and wider than her king had been, with long yellow and crinkly hair, more jowls on her face than a turkey, and no neck that I could see at all under those bags of fat. Her personality suited her looks, too. She spoke very good Common, which meant she was absolutely clear in her wish for tribute, presents, and servitude from us. We explained that we were there to offer no such thing, and she informed us haughtily that the small "black ones" had given her gifts. This was what we needed - we got from her the location of the drow visitors.

Now, what to do with her? I asked this vain and self-centered woman if she ever considered leading the Giants in battle, an idea which bored and disgusted her. That was all I needed to hear, and the others didn't argue much, although a few seemed surprised that we were leaving so easily. I told the servant who spoke some common to keep everyone in this room for their safety. Then we went on the hunt for drow. Our hunt down the hallway that was supposed to contain the guest quarters found us a conference room, including the stored missives to and from the Fire Giant king. In a mad scramble through the scrolls, we found all the information King Azoun could need, including the Drow Elclavdra's full plans for the attack on Cormyr. The original offer had gone to stone, fire, frost, hill, and cloud giants, ogres, and east ogres. Of course, we had already dealt with some of those groups to launch their attacks on Midsummer's Day. A reply from the King (we learned that his name is Snurre) told Elclavdra that only the stone and cloud giants had declined to participate; the rest were ready to attack, as were some other odd members of humans and other races. Elclavdra's plan listed their attack sites:

Frost Giants Tilverton/Arabel
Hill Giants Espar and the Wizard College
Fire Giants Suzail
East/Magi Ogres Immersea
Drow High Horn and Tyrluk, with one group assigned directly to Castle Weston
Mercenary groups
and Zhentil Keep
General rebellion and riotry in the cities to weaken them from within

We had already disrupted - or in some case, wiped out - the frost, hill, and fire giant forces. Which left Suzail, Immersea, and High Horn in direct danger. We have roughly a month and a half to divert the rest of this attack. Elclavdra promised the support of drow magic. I stored all the scrolls for returning to King Azoun, and everyone was pretty grim as we rejoined the hunt to finish our work here before returning to Suzail. On one hand, it felt good to know the exact details of the battle being launched against us. On the other, I was starting to wish fervently that I was sleeping obliviously under the branches somewhere. That oblivion would be gone, though, on Midsummer's Day, and we'd all be the worse for wear if it had gone that long.

As I write this, we are perched in the scattered remnants of a prison room, the next place we found as we searched for the drow. It was guarded by some gnolls that were easily cleared out, and we found a prisoner; a dwarf by the name of Obmi who had been kept here for over 15 years. He was a scribe, and had been kept around all this time to write most of the missives we had just gone through. Obmi was so happy to see that he threw his arms around the gnome and kissed his cheek so loudly I think the maids upstairs probably heard it. He's now suiting up in a full dwarven set of armor and weapons; it looks like we have another temporary member of the Wayfarers until we get free from this place. He also knew that some of the copper plates we had seen in the conference room were passes throughout the Fire Giant territory as "business of the king;" that should make our hunt to kill drow a bit easier.

I'm going to try to find a way to make sure this and my other logs reach you as soon as possible, Garen. Usually we meet at the cabin on Midsummer's Day, but it looks like we're all going to be up to our necks in defending all of Cormyr, and the sooner I know you're informed and involved wherever you are, the better I'll feel. I look forward to seeing you again soon.

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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