As the session began the group had enjoyed a bit of fun refitting their characters and some fine food and drink at the festival in their honor. Part way through the festival the group was found and brought before the Duke. At the Dukes request the group prepared themselves to perform a demonstration of their battle prowess in a mock battle with two dwarves selected by Berand, the castellan. These two were supplemented by several other by the Duke himself to provide a realistic and fair battle for the party.
The group performed well in the demonstration and the group held the upper hand through most of the encounter. This combat was only a diversion for the real encounter to come. The group was beset by an undead beholder from a space rift similar to others the group had encountered. Eventually the group defeated the creature, although the group was sorely pressed on many occasions.
As the creature fell its true nature showed itself. The creature and the rift were only an elaborate magical effect perpetrated by the Duke to “discredit” the party and show them for less than they were.