Things are beginning to heat up a little in the campaign. We found some interesting items, had a few fights (including a big one), and generally had a good time. But…

But for some reason, when I examined the log this morning, I saw that none of the combats themselves were in there. No actions showed up. No dice rolls. Nothing. Did I miss turning something on here? Perhaps an online veteran can help out?

Anyway, when last we left our intrepid band of fighter (Denyer), paladin (John), rogue (Moira), and bard (Taralyn), they were attempting to find a way into the palace. It occurred to me, after logging off (of course) that we might get in legitimately.

So, last night, on our way to find Joshua (whom we thought might have some info that could help us), we stopped off to speak with Shane (he of the “wooly potatoes” and “fruit”; see NWN Online Third Session for details).

Taralyn asked him to find out what he could on how the nobles amused themselves and if they ever brought in outside entertainment. Then we went on to the Tarlinium Seat to see Joshua.

As it turned out, we didn’t get a chance to ask him anything. The old palace (the Seat) is now a museum. We had hardly met up with Joshua when Oldan, the caretaker, gave us a “tour” along with a history lesson. Part of that was a very well-done cutscene showing a confrontation in the past between the last Veranite emperor, Christopher Roeland, and a corrupt relative.

After that, Oldan sort of faded out and Josuha asked us to follow him into the throne room. After maundering on a little, Joshua searched around the throne. He was looking for a secret passage he had imagined there as a child. Of course, he didn’t find one.

Moira, however, did. Taralyn ran after Joshua to bring him back, but he had already left the building (fast mover, that one). So it was just the four of us who entered.

Down below, we found ourselves in a small, dark place. We had an encounter with a gelatinous cube or two, and a few will o’wisps. Happily, they were easy opponents to defeat.

We went through a couple of doors and found a small tower. Symbols were engraved on the door and Taralyn (with a good Lore roll) was able to decipher them. One was the Roeland crest. The others comprised a warning to enemies and a welcome to friends. Deciding (hoping) we were friends, we went in.

On the ground floor, we found Christopher’s journal, which had some interesting entries, and a chest with some goodies: a few potions, a ring of invisibility (Moira snagged that one quickly ;), a belt of inertia and a pair of magical bracers.

The treasure was divvied up, except that John didn’t want to take any of “the emperor’s stuff”, so all he had was the journal.

While the rest of us were looking around and examining an empty room, Denyer had gone upstairs, and urgently summoned us up there.

We walked in to find….a beholder. Eyes and all. My first thought was, “We’re in trouble. We’re in BIG trouble”. But it wasn’t immediately hostile, and Taralyn, hoping that maybe we could get out of this without a fight (which she didn’t think we could win), played nonchalant and tried to keep the thing talking.

We learned that it had been stuck there for the last thousand years, ensorcelled by Christopher to guard the Rod Of The Veranites that was on a nearby altar. The beholder was actually a Huraquai, an “evil demon type”. Old Chris seems to have had something of a twisted sense of humor, for all that he was on the side of the Light.

The paladin was getting antsy about the demon, and that was making me nervous. Then Moira went slipping around to the altar and after that, all hell broke loose.

The beholder went hostile. Taralyn got a bard song going to help bolster the party’s attacks and saving throws. After that, things happened a little too fast to recall properly, which is the main reason I wish I had the combat sequences in the log.

When the combat ended, Denyer was dead, Moira was a rock (petrified), and John was in bad shape. It was a moment when I was glad that bards are not typically a melee class ;)

It was also the moment I (haha) lost connection. It took me several minutes before I could get back in, but this time, at least, I remembered about the log overwrites, so saved it out as something else first. And I was just glad that happened after the fight and not before.

When I got back on, Moira was restored (the petrify was only temporary, whew), and Denyer had been resurrected. I was expecting that, because we had all prayed at a shrine in the throne room and bound ourselves to it in case of (ahem) death.

So we decided to rest up, after which we made our way back to the throne room, with a few cubes to demolish along the way. Next session, we hope, we’ll be able to bring that Rod to Samuel’s headquarters.

This was the second good session (the first two were beset with many technical problems, and of course, I’ve been dropped at least once in all four, just my luck), and I’m really enjoying this.

The other three in the party are excellent roleplayers, and Bruce continues to do an outstanding job as DM (except maybe for Mr. Many Eyes….). I think I’m going to miss this campaign when it’s finished.