When last we left our stalwart band, they were investigating the cavern beneath the ruins, where they’d defeated an earth elemental and sundry monsters.

The group didn’t find anything, however, even though a path led to a blank wall which Stony believed might be a secret door. After much searching by Kit, though, nothing turned up, and the party returned to the surface.

We still needed to find the air elemental, so Stony began a circuit of the area and discovered a way to the extreme southeast. He called the others over. Sure enough, it was some sort of shrine.

After much discussion, the mysterious fey stone was placed in the altar by Nel. A few moments later, an air weird appeared in the center of the area.

Then began an extended conversation with the creature, mostly by Grace the bard, as we figured she’d be the best talker. Matreus, from time to time, made rude and insulting remarks to the air spirit.

Stony was hoping it would become fed up and blast Matreus, but he was disappointed. For all that, Matreus seemed to become bored and returned to town to drink up more ale. Eventually, the player was called to his real-world job, and didn’t participate further in the session. So we went on without our mage.

After a lot of back-and forth discussion, the air spirit agreed to part with information in return for a magic item. Kit – poor Kit – sacrificed her pixie lance.

We learned that the cause of the shadow creatures was someone called The Seeker, who was, apparently, a corrupted Druid. Also that there was a gateway to faerie not too far away, and the stone would open the portal. Naturally, the party headed right there. Also naturally, there were some fights along the way with various shadow critters.

As we approached the area, Stony, in the lead, saw The Seeker on top of a cliff. He called for the others, but The Seeker disappeared through the portal.

After beating off some more shadow creatures, the party made it to the cliff top. We rested first, then Kit placed the stone in the altar, and the portal appeared.

It brought us to a very strange-looking place, and it wasn’t long before we came under attack by some Tainted Brownies (obviously, the FDA was slow in recalling them ;).

After that, we encountered Fey Archers who shot at us across a divide. That was more difficult. Only Kit and Grace had bows, and we had no offensive spells to throw at the enemy. Fortunately, Stony found a way around to them, and they were elimintaed.

More combat awaited, in the form of giant spell-casting spiders and more fey archers. After all that, we found a nice piece of armor for Kit. Maybe that will make up for the lost pixie lance.

Finally, we reached The Seeker, who was standing in front of a small, hollow area. Naturally, he told us to come no closer, though he didn’t indulge in the usual megalomaniac speech common to nutty villains.

Stony ignored that and edged in closer. The Druid kept yelling at us to go away, but he seemed a little unsure of himself. Stony noticed there was something behind the big stone the Druid stood near, and darted around for a look.

He discovered a fern, and wondered if this might be the real source of the corruption, so he tried grabbing it. Big mistake. He got squirted with acid (though he made his save and took only half-damage).

By now, Stony was really in bad temper, and in no mood for discussion. He came back around the stone and started walloping the Druid. Nel quickly joined in, and between the two of them, the Druid went down quickly.

Which puzzled us all. We weren’t expecting such an easy victory. As it turned out, we didn’t get one. Because a small army of shadow creatures headed our way.

On and on they came, in a seemingly-endless tide. Of course, there would have to be a shadow rat, and of course Stony failed his save against fear. That was bad. As he darted away from the rat, he was open to attacks from the other critters in the area (I HATE those rats!!).

He was taking a lot of damage, and in bad shape. And there I was, frantically hitting the key to drink potions, and nothing was happening. Because it was the wrong key.

In NWN 1, the belt hotkeys are the Function keys. In NWN 2, they’re the number keys, and that’s what I’d been trying to use, having been playing more NWN 2 lately. Fortunately, I realized that just in time, and Stony downed a couple of potions and stayed alive. Whew!

Then it really got wild as the critters continued to pour in, with everyone fighting like crazy and Kira occasionally throwing a healing spell. Finally, after what seemed hours, the attacks stopped.

That was some battle. To give you an idea, just Stony and Nel between them killed twenty-six of the creatures. Yep, it was a rough ride.

So we were standing there, battered, bloody, and bruised, contemplating the mysterious fern. It really didn’t like anyone to touch it or attack it, squirting off what appeared to be an endless supply of acid.

Then a Fey Guardian showed up. Fortunately, she was not hostile. In fact, she was opposed to The Seeker, but apparently unable to act against him. Hard to see why, since he was an easy kill.

Anyway, we asked her to look at the fern. Unfortunately, it was beyond her ability to discover anything about it, or do anything to it. She mentioned needing to consult “the Elders” about the thing, although she wasn’t too forthcoming as to who or what they were.

However, she could open a portal home for us, and since there was no more for us to do here, we stepped through – some evincing a bit of trepidation, worrying they might end up in the ocean – and found ourselves on the road fairly close to town.

We decided a good rest and some ale were in order before visiting the mayor and giving him the good news. Stony ordered a double ;)

So it seems this campaign may be drawing to an end. We must visit the mayor, and identify the items from The Seeker’s corpse. And yet, we’re all a little perturbed. After all, that Druid died much too easily; he never even got off an attack. And there’s that strange fern. Will The Elders, whoever they are, be able to deal with it? Mysteries, indeed…