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Previously on Rime of the Frostmaiden

Valravn, level 2 Eladrin Bard
Fray, level 2 Halfling Barbarian
Celeste, level 2 Half-orc Monk
Edmond, Level 2 Human Artificer
Thimbleweed, level 2 Gnome Ranger

Following the Council of Speakers in Bryn Shander, the party decides to head north towards Termaline to help Speaker Masthew with a kobold problem in the gem mine. But first, a stop-over in Targos to meet with Speaker Maxildanarr and hunt for news about a previous adventuring party last seen in the area.

After a long rest at the Northlook Inn, the Ten Towns Marshals set out west on the relatively short route from Bryn Shander to Targos, the only other walled town in Ten Towns.

Targos was home to Speaker Maxildanarr, the smooth-talking Speaker who wasn’t too fond of Speaker Masthew of Termalaine. The party also wanted to follow up on a lead — a previous adventuring party was last seen buying up supplies at the general store.

The party split the duties, with Celeste going with Valravn to meet with the Speaker, and Edmond, Fray, and Thimbleweed heading to the general store, Triglio.

The owner, Jestin, was a friendly, hook-handed ex-fisher, and was more than happy to spread the gossip about the other party. He excitedly described them as a goliath, a halfling, and a tiefling, and they were buying mountain gear to “take some feller up the mountain.” The mountain is Kelvin’s Cairn, and Jestin overheard the party talk about meeting a wizard in Easthaven.

Meanwhile Varlavn and Celeste went to the Luskan Arms Inn and up to the presidential suite to speak to Speaker Maxildanarr. The smooth-talking Speaker tried to convince them to undermine Speaker Masthew, while still ultimately serving Ten Towns (and getting rid of those awful kobolds, of course). Valravn played it smooth, placating the shady Speaker, while Celeste humorously had her first taste of alcohol. Is there a Way of the Drunken Master in her future?

Their social encounters concluded, the party met back up and shared their experiences. Valravn wasn’t keen on helping Speaker Maxildanarr, though was also clever enough not to upset him, while they learned the adventuring party was headed toward Easthaven, then to the mountain of Kelvin’s Cairn.

They left Targos and headed up the much longer trail north, winding around the lake of Maer Dualdon towards Termalaine. The roads are usually safe, but times are much darker and more dangerous with the everlasting winter.

The party felt like they were being watched after an hour. After another hour of travel, they passed by a short ridge and a wolf emerged, with glowing blue eyes.

It addressed them in Common, asking “Who are you?”

Surprisingly, the Marshals responded amicably, with Valravn doing his usual introductory flourish, and answering the strange talking wolf’s questions about what they were doing. When the wolf cryptically asked about a wizard, the party responded that they too were hunting “the wizard.”

Whether satisfied or not with these answers, the party noticed another pair of wolves emerging from the ridge and from behind some nearby brush, and everyone rolled for initiative.

Rime of the frostmaiden session 3 wolves

The wolves failed to get a surprise round (I rolled a 9 for Stealth), but did roll a 19 for Initiative. The talking wolf sprinted down the ridge, opened its mouth, and unleashed a blast of frigid air on half the party. Unfortunately the damage was hilariously pitiful, rolling 3 cold damage on 2d8.

The rest of the wolves made up for it, however, with most finding their mark thanks to pack tactics, including knocking Valravn on his ass.

Then it was the Marshals’ turn. Fray and Celeste both killed a pair of wolves with large two-handed blows. Edmond transformed the moisture in the air into acid (Tasha’s Caustic Spray), while Valravn finished one off with a verbal berating (Dissonant Whispers). Really enjoying all the re-flavored spell-casting!

Thimbleweed got a crit, and with his Piercer feat, managing to kill the talking wolf in a single blow, despite its max hit points. With its dying breath it called to the last remaining wolf to “warn Ravisin.” The last wolf fled. Thimbleweed gave chase but the wolf was faster, and the cold and darkness seemed to grow more oppressive until he turned back to rejoin the party.

Shaken but far from broken, the party continued on to Termalaine, a smaller, picturesque town set in the hills and trees near the north side of the lake.

They met with Speaker Masthew, who reiterated how important the mine was to the town’s economy and livelihood, and Valravn warned him of Maxildanarr’s potential schemes. Masthew mentioned the kobolds came in the mine waving weapons, but didn’t hurt anyone. Kobolds aren’t unusual in Ten Towns, but they’ve never done anything like this before.

After a short rest, the Marshals walked along the path for half an hour to the entrance of the gem mine, descending carved steps down into darkness. Edmond used his Magical Tinkering to create glowing rocks for he and Fray, while the others relied on their Darkvision to navigate.

From the entrance room the path diverged in three directions. In the central path, Thimbleweed could see the dead body of a large rodent. He ran ahead to investigate, and plummeted down a hidden 10-ft pit full of metal shards and blades. He failed the save, taking 15 damage, and putting the party on edge while Fray let down a rope to help him climb up.

Valravn tentatively headed down the right path (using the party’s orientation), and spotted a processing room of tables, where the miners cleaned gems. The room, which lie below a small ridge, was filled with giant rats, nosily picking at a dead body on the floor.

Edmond tried the left path, finding a gem vein. The glittering gems were heavily embedded in the wall, and Edmond wasn’t about to pick up a pickaxe. He did stumble on another trap, however, a crude device that spewed a caustic smoke into the air. Thankfully for him, he made the CON save, avoiding the poison, and thankfully for the rest of the party, no one was near him at the time. He investigated the trap, and it appeared to be hastily cobbled together. Kobold design?

While Valravn backed up to update the group and Fray eagerly ran forward, a more cautious Thimbleweed gingerly stepped toward that first dead rat body, noting the metal shrapnel all around it. Had the rat triggered one of the kobold traps? Beyond it lie the same processing room, with a horde of rats inside.

Thimbleweed shouted, “Rats, up ahead!” At the same time Fray threw her glowing stone in the middle of the room, preparing to jump down just as the rats all snap their heads up in alarm. Next week – roll for initiative!

MVPC – Celeste, Thimbleweed, Valravn (Tie)

Post-session live discussion:

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