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Previously on Rime of the Frostmaiden

Valravn, level 4 Eladrin Bard of Eloquence
Fray, level 4 Halfling Barbarian of the Beast
Celeste, level 4 Half-orc Sun Soul Monk
Edmond, Level 4 Human Alchemist Artificer
Thimbleweed, level 4 Gnome Swarmkeeper Ranger

Arriving in Caer-Dineval, the now level four Marshals found only a single establishment open to visitors, a tavern called The Uphill Climb. The surly bartender had many complaints, including lack of ale and spirits (the party still hadn’t done the Good Mead quest), the perma-night affecting the entire Dale, and the mysterious group who had taken over the town’s castle.

It was this latter point that currently interested the party. Roark the bartender didn’t know much; the group mostly kept to themselves, occasionally leaving and returning with more members. But the castle was where the Speaker of the town lived, and he hadn’t been seen outside in weeks, and the town was suffering for it.

The party continued to the castle, an imposing, centuries old fortress strategically located on a hill overlooking the now frozen lake. A pair of guards told them to turn back to town for accommodations, but Valravn was undeterred, launching into an odd story, to the annoyed amusement of his fellow Marshals.

However, at the end of the tale, the guards seemed to recognize something in his words. They opened the gate to the castle, and called to the guards inside, telling them to take the party to Kadroth, and that the party knew the pass phrase.

Unbeknownst to the rest of the party, Valravn had been secretly communicating with someone inside the castle!

Rime of the frostmaiden session 13 black swords

They were ushered inside the keep and into the grand hall. From there they went into a meeting room, guarded by a mute half-ogre named Thoob. Kadroth met them there and invited them into his office, which look like it had belonged to the town Speaker.

Kadroth was a middle-aged tiefling with a chardalyn amulet, and readily admitted to being the leader of the Black Swords, a group of folks who had found chardalyn but not yet been fully corrupted by it. His goal was to keep them safe and give them a purpose, by molding their pieces of chardalyn into something more useful and less dangerous.

When Valravn brought up the missing town Speaker, Kadroth was coy, explaining that the Speaker had been bed-ridden with a terrible illness for several weeks, and they were doing everything they could to speed his recovery.

Kadroth was surprised when Valravn mentioned Avarice, then admitted that she is a powerful wizard who showed up at their castle not too long ago, fiercely interested in their chardalyn research and acquisition. He finds her dangerous, however, and worries that she’s trying to wrest control of the Black Swords from him.

Valravn sympathized with Kadroth and his internal strife, and surprised everyone (including the DM) by admitting his secret — he’s a spy for Avarice! Specifically, he was sent to spy on Edmond, for reasons he wasn’t entirely sure. A crowing outside suddenly caused Kadroth to stiffen, as he gently reminded Valravn that Avarice’s room is upstairs, and the walls have ears. Valravn used the Message spell to communicate privately, but underestimated his fellow party members’ reactions to his duplicitous background.

Fray tackled him to the ground, tying and gagging him, and Thimbleweed used his swarm to move him to corner of the room, hanging like a cocoon. Celeste, seeing Valravn in trouble, then tackled Fray, and the room exploded into a mess of broken chairs. The door swung open and guards appeared, though Kadroth tried to keep everyone cool (while growing increasingly concerned).

Thankfully things didn’t escalate much further. Valravn was genuinely contrite, proclaiming he had gotten in over his head and wasn’t aware of the severity of his actions. He was planning on siding with Kadroth against Avarice, whom the party have yet to formally meet — which should occur next week!

MVPC – Valravn

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