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Previously on Rime of the Frostmaiden

Valravn, level 3 Eladrin Bard of Eloquence
Fray, level 3 Halfling Barbarian of the Beast
Celeste, level 3 Half-orc Sun Soul Monk
Edmond, Level 3 Human Alchemist Artificer
Thimbleweed, level 3 Gnome Swarmkeeper Ranger

Level three is a big deal for most D&D classes, and we spend a good chunk of this session going over everyone’s exciting and fun new subclasses. Then it’s off toward the mountain of Kelvin’s Cairn to tackle the Mountain Climb quest, and search for the previous adventuring party.

It’s no surprise that at this later stage in our D&D adventuring careers, not a single player chose a subclass from the original Player’s Handbook. It’s all Xanathar’s and Tasha’s with cool and thematic abilities like swarms of bugs, random elixirs, silver tongues, bestial transformations, and the awesome cleansing power of radiant fire.

At the inn in Termalaine, the innkeeper, Cora, told the Marshals the story of her teenage son. He had disappeared one day while exploring the wilderness. He mysteriously returned the next morning but was acting strange, excessively rude and dismissive (even for a teenager!). She found a shard of an odd black crystal in his room and he freaked out, even threatening to kill her.

Soon after a pair of well-dressed tieflings arrived at the inn and spoke with him. She noticed they had curious amulets that resembled the shard she had found. Later that day he announced he was leaving with them and wouldn’t return. The only information she overheard was when they mentioned a “castle.” The only castles she knew about were at Caer-Konig and Caer-Dineval, though she’s never been to either town.

The Marshals agreed to look into it, especially Edmond who took a great interest in the crystal the son had discovered, noting that it may have had some adverse effects on the young man.

While in town the party purchased additional supplies, including Dungeoneer’s Packs for mountain climbing and a Healer’s Kit, to heal their Lingering Injuries as per our house rules. Celeste attempted to heal her own injury (I changed it to disadvantage to heal thyself), but even with Valravn’s Enhance Ability spell she was unable do get close to the DC 20 requirement. She still has the broken arm from the mine, and Fray is still suffering from a Concussion (though Fray the barbarian is less concerned about INT disadvantage).

The Marshals finally set off toward Kelvin’s Cairn, leaving the trails of Ten Towns behind and trekking across tundra toward the Dwarven Valley.

Rime of the frostmaiden session 6 level up

After a few hours of dark and freezing travel, the party ran into a group of dwarves heading out of the valley. Four dwarves were escorting a fifth prisoner. The prisoner had tattered clothes (despite the freezing weather) and was muttering to himself. Two dwarves had him manacled while another two had crossbows trained on him.

The Marshals were concerned and curious. The dwarves were less than thrilled about outsiders interfering in their business, even when the party flashed their Marshal badges and proclaimed their jurisdiction over the region.

Thimbleweed in particular threw his weight around, brazenly striding up to the prisoner and poking him. The dwarf snapped his head up, eyes full of psychotic rage, and burst out of his manacles with in inhuman shriek, muscles bulging all over his body. In one quick motion he snatched the axe off one of his captors and slit the neck of another before turning on Thimbleweed, nailing him with a crit from his Reckless Attack. Roll for Initiative!

As exciting as that surprise breakout was, the berserker rolled a 1 on his Initiative, leaving the players plenty of time to get tactically situated. Edmond cast Grease on the ground, Thimbleweed use his swarm to back off, and Fray strode up to go toe-to-toe with this lunatic.

The party smartly conserved most of their resources in the fight, relying on cantrips and melee attacks to assault the lone enemy. He seemed to have a mess of hit points, however, and could attack three times. But with Fray in the lead, she easily tanked the flurry with her 30+ hit points. The party was bolstered by the remaining dwarves, and with the psycho recklessly attacking, everyone had advantage on him.

At the end of the second round the violent dwarf finally went down in a pool of blood. The dwarves revealed his story; how had found a weird black crystal and began acting strange — not unlike the story the innkeeper had told them back in town. In this case the dwarf turned violent, nearly killing a friend, and the clan exiled him as a result. But they were unaware of how physically powerful he had become.

The Marshals were very concerned. Edmond frantically searched for any sign of the crystal, going so far as to cut open the dead dwarf and start sifting through his body, much to the other dwarves’ horror. But they revealed that the clan chief had confiscated the shard when they exiled him.

The party wanted to travel to the Dwarven Valley and follow up on the shard, but the dwarves’ amiable nature had started to wane. Despite the Marshals’ help in the fight, they were confident this was dwarf business that they could handle themselves (Edmond rolled a contested CHA check, barely failing by 1 point). The party warned the dwarves to be careful, but the dwarves grew even more defensive, so they parted ways.

Next week — Where we going again? Oh right, the mountain!

MVPC – Thimbleweed

Post-session live discussion:

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