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Previously on Rime of the Frostmaiden

Valravn, level 5 Eladrin Bard of Eloquence
Fray, level 5 Halfling Barbarian of the Beast
Celeste, level 5 Half-orc Sun Soul Monk
Edmond, Level 5 Human Alchemist Artificer
Thimbleweed, level 5 Gnome Swarmkeeper Ranger

No D&D next week – Happy Thanksgiving!

The Marshals leave Karkolohk and head east, finally stopping to Long Rest near the Ten Trail road. Spellix begs them to drop him off at the nearest town, but the Marshals are insist on checking up on his supposed pirate treasure location first.

Unfortunately for Spellix, they’re not abandoning their current plans of heading toward the duergar fortress of Sunblight.

But what kind of DM would I be if they travel 30 miles across the tundra unscathed?

I modified our House Rules to allow partial Long Rests in the wilderness and dungeons. Long Rest abilities and spell slots still recharge as normal, but hit points and HD do not. PCs must roll to regain hit points as per a short rest. Only by Long Resting in town or a designated safe location to they gain the full healing benefits.

After the partial Long Rest, the Marshals, plus Spellix and Blista, direct their reindeer-powered wagon east, then south. They skirt along the mountain range south of Dougan’s Hole and Redwaters towards Sunblight.

After a few hours of travel and a dozen or so miles, they come across a pond with a curious sight: a humanoid bear ice-fishing. The friendly bear-creature introduces herself as Oyaminartok, whom Thimbleweed recognizes as a legendary Werebear among Goliaths; a steward of Icewind Dale who is sought by Goliaths eager to prove themselves and earn her gift.

But sometimes those Goliaths fail. Oyaminartok explains that a group of such rejects have turned to worship of the Frostmaiden, operating out of a nearby cave. They’ve been waylaying and killing travelers, and she wants them destroyed.

She also recognizes the Runic Axe, the axe Fray found in the Yeti cave that had once belonged to a Goliath adventurer who was searching for the Werebear. Oyaminartok offers to upgrade the axe and enhance its power if they can prove themselves by completing this task. Fray is practically giddy.

The cave is less than a mile away, set into a cliff face about 100 yards up a winding trail. The opening is stylized like the open, roaring mouth of a bear.

cave berserkers entrance

The Marshals tie Spellix up and leave him and Blista in the wagon as they ascend the trail, and enter the dark cave. Although they know this cave is full of baddies, this isn’t exactly the stealthiest party, and they simply head inside. Immediately, they are being watched and hunted.

The first cavern contains a pair of cells with fragments of egg shells. While Thimbleweed hilariously fails the Nature check to recognize what they are, Edmond whispers that these are white dragon eggs, at least two juveniles.

While Fray begins exploring deeper into the cave to the north, Thimbleweed and Valravn head south, seeing some glinting coins in a small cave. At the same moment, a hissing sound precedes a small white dragon crawling down from the southern cave. The wyrmling unleashes its frost breath at Valravn and Thimbleweed.

Another appears outside the cave, crawling up from the ravine, and exhales a breath attack on Celeste and Edmond. A Goliath in a nearby cave room looks up to see Fray bumbling forward. Roll for initiative!

Fray warns about the Goliath but returns to her friends to deal with the White Dragon Wyrmlings. She enters her rage, growing a lashing tail for defense, and critically strikes the wyrm for half its health. Celeste finishes it off, but the other dragon flies around and unleashes another breath attack at Celeste, Fray, and Thimbleweed. Fray remembers to activate the Absorbing rune on her axe to mitigate some of the cold damage, but the party is already suffering quite a bit from these cold blasts!

It gets worse when the Goliath charges into the cave. He summons the power of Auril the Frostmaiden to empower his javelins, transforming them into icicle-like spears, and hurtling them into the Marshals (I used the Ice Knife spell, which explodes on contact). He calls out for reinforcements as Valravn hits him with a pacifier dart (forcing him to fail the save using Unsettling Words) and Edmond captures him within one of his Chardalyn Bands of Binding.

But everyone’s surprised when another Goliath melts Edmond’s Chardalyn-powered bands with a strange blue fire, destroying it (through also injuring the Goliath in the process).

The Marshals begin healing with potions, Healing Word, and Celeste’s Quickened Healing to stay alive while battling the Goliaths. But something strange happens when they slay the first one, as blue flame comes streaking from another cave, and enveloping him in an icy, impenetrable shell.

Valravn uses Dissonant Whispers to force the remaining Goliath to flee deeper into the cave, while Fray follows like a crazed axe-murderer, taunting him. She shrugs off more Ice Spears and decapitates him, where once again they watch the blue flame surround the body (and the head) in a protective shell.

The first shell cracks open and the Goliath rises out, unharmed, and the fight is on again! Things are growing desperate for the party, and the DM heavily hints at the magic flame coming from another part of the cave.

Celeste gets the hint and rushes into the southwest cave, finding a brazier with a blue fire that gives off chilling cold, rather than heat. She knocks it over, but the cold-flame still burns. She uses her mop to dump gallons of water on top of it, but the water simply freezes as it touches the supernatural flame.

She calls out to Valravn, and he comes rushing in to cast Dispel Magic. It works, and the flame is snuffed out. Inside the brazier is a magic ring (Ring of Warmth).

When the Frostmaiden’s Fire extinguished, the shell over the second Goliath melts away, revealing a headless body. The other, resurrected Goliath is still alive, but has lost his regeneration and Ice Spears. Edmond captures him in another Chardalyn band, drags him out of the cave, and drops him down the ravine.

All that for only two dead Goliaths. Thankfully Oyaminartok appears not long after, walking up the trail carrying two dead Goliaths, and thanking the party for severing their link to the Frostmaiden (originally I had planned to include them in a second fight, but the session was running long).

As promised, she agrees to enchant Fray’s axe over a short rest, adding the Ice Rune and granting her the same Ice Knife-like ability for her axe that the Goliaths had for their javelins. The werebear promises to be an ally for them as long as they serve the Dale and help the mountain folk where they can.

With the renegade Goliaths defeated, the Marshals continue on their way towards Sunblight.

No D&D next week – Happy Thanksgiving!

MVPC – Fray

Post-session live discussion:

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