Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden Session 31 Recap

With the duergar revolution under way, the battle of the forge begins!

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Previously on Rime of the Frostmaiden

Starring:
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

After having ignited the rebellion in our previous session, the Marshals wade into the gigantic forge room to take on Xardarok and stop the Chardalyn Dragon from being released.

Edmond, still disguised as Prince Durth Sunblight, swiftly retreats from the watchtower. The duergar are divided between Xardarok loyalists, and Grandolpha’s rebels, who begin battling one another at “Durth’s” behest.

One rebel from the watchtower hurries with Edmond back to the eastern hallway, where another pair of Duergar rush out from another watchtower, crossbows aimed in their direction!

“Prince Durth” gives a stirring speech to the random NPC duergar who has followed him, and quickly infuses his newfound ally’s war pick with a piece of Chardalyn. This bold act ingratiates the duergar to Durth while also making him more powerful.

Edmond would later name him Thorman, as the duergar rushes into battle against his former comrades, presumably to his death, so Edmond can escape and rejoin the rest of the party.

Meanwhile the others are still holed up in the temple. Valravn gives Celeste and Fray each a Potion of Growth from their stash from Goodmead, increasing their weapon damage by 1d4 with every attack. That would prove an incredibly powerful buff throughout this protracted battle.

Everyone readies their weapons to earn a surprise round when the doors to the forge come crashing in. Ironically they almost all miss their initial volley of attacks against the enlarged duergar on the other side.

It would be detrimental to try and run all the tokens and statblocks present in the forge, especially when I added most of the duergar from the barracks (X33). Thankfully the civil war takes most of them out of the fight as they battle each other, rather than the PCs. The watchtowers are similarly occupied with in-fighting, as the occasional duergar falls down to their death.

The Marshals only have to deal with four Quaggoths (having killed two in the previous session), and two enlarged Duergar, plus Xardarok himself, though he’s also hanging back on the platform while the Marshals remain mostly inside the temple.

Rime of the frostmaiden session 31 sunblight

The doorway chokepoint is negated by the wall-climbing Quaggoths. But these dang Quaggoths, with their meager attacks of +5 and an average six damage, can’t hit the broadside of a raging, recklessly attacking Fray.

The party easily cuts them down, along with one of the duergar, while Fray wastes no time running into the bigger forge room and right up to Xardarok himself. A nasty axe attack from the enlarged halfling barbarian is met with Xardarok’s Psychic Rebuke, a custom re-flavoring of Hellish Rebuke.

Valravn has the clever idea of casting Suggestion (combo’d with Unsettling Words) on the nearby duergar forewoman, Thontara. She rolls a 20 on the WIS save, but his Unsettling Words reduces her roll by seven, leading to a fail! He commands her to do whatever she can to stop this dragon from leaving the fortress.

Initially it doesn’t seem like she can do much, as Xardarok commands the dragon to leave. An enlarged Thontara attempts to physically restrain the huge dragon, but fails the contested STR check. The construct takes off like a jet engine, flying up the nearby shaft.

Thontara offers up some valuable information to Valravn: the blast doors on the roof! The duergar are scheduled to open them momentarily to allow the dragon access outside. If they could make it to the third floor, they could try and stop them from opening.

Thontara warns that the blast doors wouldn’t stop the dragon, but it might slow it down.

Meanwhile, Fray and Celeste are both laying into Xardarok (two crits each!), who foolishly left himself alone on the platform and saw his hit points rapidly dwindling.

xardarok

I admit I ran Xardarok poorly in this battle. He wasn’t in line of sight of the players for the first half while they were in the temple. The melee fighters are able to quickly close in and begin wailing on him far quicker than I anticipated.

The Psychic Rebukes are powerful, but only once per round, and his sole gauntlet blast attack is a miss, blergh.

To make things worse, Edmond throws a Chardalyn Band at Xardarok, restraining the big boss duergar.

But this is Xardarok we’re talking about! He’s been working with Chardalyn this whole time, forging weapons and even an entire god damn dragon! With little effort he tears apart the Chardalyn Band with his own Chardalyn-made gauntlet.

Then he turns invisible. Ah, those pesky duergar! The party clearly sees the gate in the northwest open and close, while also spotting some duergar hammerers hanging back to the north, guarding a row of prison cells.

The duergar war in the forge is wrapping up, with many of them dead or dying. Edmond uses the moment of Xardarok’s retreat to address the battling duergar, convincing the loyalists to lay down their weapons and surrender, now that their king has fled.

They agree, and the battle is won! Edmond/Durth promises clemency to those who join him, as the winners and losers retreat back to the barracks to tend to their wounds.

Now the party has an interesting choice to make, or choices, as it were. A wounded Xardarok has retreated into an unknown area of the dungeon, while the dragon is hurtling its way up the shaft. And there’s also that prison in the back of the forge, guarded by hammerers.

Time to split the party, three ways!

  1. Edmond rallies some duergar NPCs, including the Charadlyn-powered Thorman (who had come roaring into the forge fight, triumphantly alive and kicking ass), to chase after his “father” and wrest control of the fortress.
  2. Fray and Celeste, eager to fight and filled with bloodlust from the Potions of Growth, agree to head to the prison cells to battle the hammerers and check on any prisoners the duergar may have taken.
  3. Valravn and Thimbleweed hurry with Thontara, still under the Suggestion spell, to the elevators to reach the third floor and stop the blast doors from opening.

Needless to say, I’m very excited and anxious to see all this play out next week!

MVPC – Fray

Post-session live discussion:

Live streamed and uploaded every week on YouTube. Join us live on Fridays at 7:30 pm Pacific/10:30 pm Eastern!

Support my channel via Patreon!

Author: roguewatson

Freelance Writer

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