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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

Thimbleweed is deep inside the Mead Hall, alone and surrounded by mutated giant bees. Yet he keeps his cool, finding a survivor from the Speaker’s night crew in the warehouse. Meanwhile, the rest of the party are introduced to a rear entrance into the Mead Hall.

One of Olivessa’s guards pokes his head back into the building, where most of the party (except for Edmond) had happily looted the gift shop and backroom. He offers the party another way into the Mead Hall, around the back.

Shandar, the surly dwarf logger and cask-builder, is there in the alley with several other disgruntled employees. He had previously paid Fray and Edmond to give him any information on what was happening inside. Now he wants the party to steal some casks of mead for them.

The Marshals apparently draw the line at this level of thievery, though they don’t necessarily turn him down either.

Since Thimbleweed had Olivessa’s master key, Edmond has to pick the lock. He succeeds, and the Marshals make it inside the loading and unloading courtyard.

Meanwhile the survivor Thimbleweed had discovered in the warehouse has a story to tell. Her name is Moryn, and she is one of the two guards whom the Speaker had taken into the Mead Hall several days ago, to try and catch the culprit or stop whatever was happening.

The trio had discovered a man in a custodial uniform in the brewery. They tried to capture him, but the man drank some kind of potion, doubling in size and attacking.

The others tackled him, falling into one of the vats of fermenting mead. The large barrel exploded, spilling everyone onto the metal grates of the floor. The embiggened man lifted up a grate and disappeared into a tunnel underneath. Before the others could run after him, the mead seemingly sprang to life, attacking with acidic pseudopods!

Moryn barely escaped with her life, barricading the door behind her. When a giant bee made it inside from the front entrance, she killed it and barricaded that door as well. Talk about being in a rough spot!

Just as her story ends, a trio of giant bees emerge from the open door behind Thimbleweed and attack her. Thimbleweed and Moryn roll poorly on initiative, resulting in two of the giant bees flying forward and stabbing her to death.

Thimbleweed quickly convinces them to return to the queen with a successful Animal Handling check. As they disappear, he rushes forward and uses a potion of healing on the dying half-elf woman. She stabilizes, but remains unconscious.

In the courtyard, the rest of the Marshals find empty barrels and crates, and two doors: one large door at the end of a ramp to the east, and a smaller door to the south labeled “Employees Only.”

They try the southern door, finding a small backroom with a desk filled with paperwork and locked cabinets labeled with names of employees. Celeste finds a write-up by an employee named Gaige, a bee-worker, and how she suspected a pair of custodians, Harold and Duggan, of stealing mead. The write-up was never followed-up on, but the Marshals find the named lockers and begin opening them.

Inside Gaige’s locker they find a journal that confirms her suspicions. She had even followed them through a hidden tunnel beneath the brewery to find a cave they used nearby, though that is the final entry.

Harold’s locker, whom Olivessa had confirmed had been missing out of work for several days before the incident, is completely cleaned out. But Duggan’s is strangely filled with books on alchemy, notes and ideas on mead formula and flavors, and a children’s history book of ancient tribes of Icewind Dale.

Listening at the inner door, Celeste and Thimbleweed humorously realize that the party had found each other, as the backroom and warehouse are connected.

Thimbleweed regales the story he had heard from Moryn, but weirdly doesn’t do anything about her unconscious body in the warehouse. I suppose that may be the safest spot for her at the moment, though the open courtyard is right there!

Rime of the frostmaiden session 19 mead hall

The party still had to deal with the bees, as well as make it inside the brewery floor. They return to the courtyard and open the large doors at the ramp, finding the large brewery room on the other side. Ten foot tall barrels rise next to a second-story walkway that wraps around the north and east sides. One of the barrels had exploded, and a pair of skeletons lie in the metal grating floor, confirming Moryn’s story of the attack.

On the far side of the ground floor, a display case holds a mop, with a plaque that reads, “In Case of Emergency.”

The Marshals begin exploring the brewery, Fray even going as far as to reach down to taste the remnants of mead by the destroyed cask, discovering that its acidic! At the same moment, a pair of medium-size, mead-colored slimes squelch up from beneath the grates and attack.

The party spreads out, with Edmond running up to the second level, and Valravn using Misty Step to join him. Good timing, as several other 10-ft barrels begin exploding, damaging surrounding characters as large-size oozes emerge to attack (Mutated Mead uses the Ochre Jelly stat block).

Throughout the first two rounds, a total of three mutated meads emerge from exploding barrels. Most of the Marshals don’t deal slashing damage, which causes the oozes to split. Only Fray with her axe (or enraged beast-mode claws) splits them, and she only ends up attacking twice when it isn’t a killing blow.

The most epic moment is Edmond running and jumping down from the walkway back to the first floor, using Vine Whip (clearly Raymond’s favorite spell, Hello George!) to break the glass of the mop container, and grabbing the magic mop inside.

On his next turn he awkwardly grabs the mop and bashes the ooze that explodes from the barrel right next to him. He rolls a crit, and discovers that the mop does an extra 3d6 radiant damage to oozes. That’s a one-hit knock out!

Finally the last of the oozes are destroyed and no more barrels explode. The Marshals had taken some heavy damage, including Celeste only surviving due to her half-orc Relentless Endurance.

The party takes a breather for a short rest. Edmond passes the magic mop to Celeste, which she identifies as the Speery 3000 Deluxe, a +1 mop (quarterstaff) with abilities inspired by the Dragonslayer sword (vs oozes), the Word of Radiance cantrip (AOE clean), Create or Destroy Water (…it’s a mop), and Tiny Servant (mop friend!).

Next week, searching the brewery, and following the trail.

MVPC – Celeste

Post-session live discussion:

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