So today, after a month’s delay, we had the final session of our NWN campaign.

When we gathered in the waiting room, the party was two members short: Sevia (mage) and Grace (bard) were missing. As we learned a little later, Sevia had an emergency offline, and wouldn’t be able to make it.

Grace, it turned out, had overslept, but did manage to get into the game sometime after we started. Grace’s prolonged absence allowed Kit to flirt outrageously with Nel at every opportunity throughout the session. Heh.

We began once again at the teleport maze. The DM had modified it for our experience level this time, but that didn’t help much.

First, we spotted a Razor Hawk across the way on another “island”. After much shooting (and missing; the dice were not kind), the monster was killed. I noted that the arrows and bolts were doing only 1-2 points per hit, which did not bode well for the future.

As before, we all became separated as we went through the portals. For awhile, Stony and Kira were together on the same island. Stony was ahead, and being attacked by something with a missile weapon. He kept on going and ran into a Crimson Death.

Fortunately, this was much easier to hit and damage than the bird. However, he was still taking shots from the mystery opponent offscreen, and those were beginning to hurt.

After disposing of the Death, Stony chugged a potion and ran as quickly as possible for the next teleport. This brought him to a place with some colored lights, a lot of nasty traps, and Nel and Alondar.

Stony saw that Alondar was in need of healing. He took a step forward and set off a trap (these were permanent traps, by the way). Not only was he damaged, he was heavily stunned, too (I hate low rolls!!).

Just as we were coming out of it, Kira arrived and set off the same trap. After that, there was a confused period during which traps were set off, people seemed to be dying or almost so.

Then a Vapor Hawk showed up, which Stony couldn’t attack because he was stunned, followed by being near death, followed by actual death. So he waited around until the DM could resurrect him.

Eventually, after more confusion, more setting off of traps and being revived, Stony made it out of that death field to the portal. Kira and Nel had already gone through it. Alondar followed a little later.

This time Stony arrived alone somewhere else. He fought a couple of birds (happily, no traps were around this time), and made his way to the end and another portal.

This took him to a small island with an NPC on it. He waited here while the DM patched up the rest of the party and teleported them to join Stony. All I can say is, that place with the lights was one mean deathtrap, and I think even a high-level group would have trouble with it, especially split up.

So anyway, we were together again in a relatively safe place, with this mysterious Sebhat Tesh’ka. He talked a lot like a monk, and probably was one.

He told us the place changed all the time. The only way out was to visualize what we were seeking. Some of the party members wanted to concentrate on a “safe way out”, but Stony disagreed.

He said it was the gatekeeper that everyone should focus on, and was backed up by Alondar and Kit. The rest reluctantly agreed. Can’t blame them for being hesitant; after all the gatekeeper is a Shadow dragon.

After time out for some rest and recuperation, the party concentrated on the gatekeeper. Then suddenly, there we were, in another place…and there was the dragon, too.

Since we had already agreed to try and bargain with it for passage home, Stony strode forward boldly (suicidally?) to speak with it. However, the dragon wanted some proper homage first, and Stony suddenly found himself on his knees, bowing repeatedly.

This was when Grace finally joined the game. So we took a sort of time out while the DM brought Grace up to speed, and left Stony doing his bow act. Of course, there were some snide remarks from the peanut gallery about that. But Dwarfs are tough. This was a minor workout for him, and as he said, “it’s great for strengthening the back muscles” ;)

When play resumed, Stony explained what the party was doing there. The Dragon asked if we were with “the other intruders”. Stony had no idea who he meant, but Nel mentioned the “little girl”, which got the Dragon’s attention.

He wanted to know if we’d talked to “the traitor”, which obviously referred to the “little girl”. Of course we had, since she wanted us to fight this thing (and then, of course, she’d pop in and off all of us).

Then the dragon ported in a corpse, saying this is what happens to those who don’t show proper respect. It was something of a mess, but Stony knew who it was: Sevia.

Or what was left of her. The dragon set a paw on the corpse (crunch), then proceeded to swallow it whole. Poor Sevia. A horrible way to go for anyone.

Then the dragon ported in Grace, but at least she was still alive. After that came a lengthy conversation with the dragon where we offered the dragon-slaying sword and orb of light in exchange for passage home.

He wanted to know why he shouldn’t just kill us and take the items. Stony pointed out that the party would naturally fight him, which was just what the “little girl” wanted.

While he pondered that, Nel piped up with an offer: send the group to the LG and we kill her in exchange for being sent home. Stony was hoping no one would come up with that idea. Oh well.

The dragon liked that proposal. He liked it a lot. Of course, he also wanted that sword and orb, too. We tried to get him to swear an oath, but he wouldn’t. So we just had to take him at his word and hope for the best.

Then there was another time out while the DM fixed a problem with Grace, who was unable to move. After that, the dragon gave us a few minutes to “make peace with our gods” (kind of him, although not optimistic) and called in a few of his guards to ensure that the “little girl” didn’t skip out if things got too hot for her.

We did some praying and said our goodbyes just in case some or all didn’t make it through the coming fight. After that, the dragon sent us on our way and we found ourselves back in that same area where we’d met the little girl earlier.

She had plenty of those “bad men” with her (26, in fact). The battle started, with Stony trying to fight his way through to the little girl. After a few rounds he managed that, but wasn’t doing much damage to her.

In the meantime, the “bad men” were starting to damage him, and other party members. Kira had managed to turn some of them, but there were others unaffected.

So he broke off fighting the little girl and went after the “bad men” who were actually more dangerous at this time. Alondar helped with the cleanup while the rest battered on the LG.

Finally the last of the “bad men” were destroyed, and Stony turned his attention to the LG. By this time, she had been whittled down by the others, and he struck the coup de grace, which was all of three points of damage. But it was enough: the “little girl”, whatever she really had been, was finally gone.

Stony gave a cheer, but that was a bit premature. Kira’s turning had also affected the shadowguards, and now they were attacking her (the dangers of hardcore mode there).

The DM managed to get that straightened out and combat was finally over. That’s when we learned that Grace, alas, had died during the fight, and wouldn’t be coming back with us.

That was painful, and really took the edge off our victory. Sadly, we said our goodbyes to Grace’s spirit, and then found ourselves back in Timberton. A minute or so there, and then we were all in the waiting room (shucks, we didn’t even reach the tavern for a quick one!).

We spent a little time saying goodbye to each other, as who knows when any of us might game together again. No, I’m not going to quote Shakespeare. This was more a bittersweet moment.

We’d had a great time in the campaign. We saved Nel from the shadow plane. We’d destroyed the “little girl”. But we lost Grace at the end (and Sevia by default, alas). And now it’s over. Bittersweet, indeed.

But I’m glad I had the chance to participate, and hope that one day (soon!) I can game with some or all of these people again.