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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

With the battle of the forge won, the party splits up into three different groups to tackle tasks around the fortress: rescue prisoners from the prison block, hurry after the fleeing warlord, and rush to the top floor and seal the doors to slow down the escaping Chardalyn Dragon.

Running three separate, simultaneous events is an intimidating prospect, but it can also lead to lots of fun scenarios that highlight individual player characters much more than if they were in a full party.

For the purposes of this recap, I’m not going to jump back and forth as often as I did in the actual session. Instead I’m going to describe each of our three storylines together, to make it easier to deduce what happens with each team.

Team Edmond

We begin with Edmond (still disguised as Prince Durth) and his small entourage of duergar loyalists. Thorman, a particularly loyal duergar and enhanced with Chardalyn by Edmond, suggests that they take the back route to the throne room through the Command Level, rather than going head-on into the guarded corridor (X18).

Edmond swiftly agrees, and they head up the eastern elevator, retracing the party’s previous path through the dungeon. Halfway through the main hallway the dining room door opens (X8) and Grandolpha is there with a few more allies. She approves of the revolution and their partnership, and offers to use her psionic spellcasting to Polymorph Edmond into a more powerful creature.

Edmond, declines, however. He’s unsure how the spell would interfere with Disguise Self. It would also negate his ability to speak to his father, or to Prince Nildar, whom the duergar warn is also in the throne room with his spore servants.

He does allow one of his red-shirt allies the honor of being transformed into a Crag Cat (yes I know Crag Cat is technically a monstrosity — whatever!).

Meanwhile the barracks open at the far end of the hallway (X3) and about ten Xardarok loyalists come streaming out. Edmond’s forces rush forward to clash with them, including the polymorphed Crag Cat leaping into the fray.

Thorman shouts for his Prince to make it to the throne room while they hold them off. Edmond ends up with only two NPC allies left as he descends into the western elevator (X6 into X22), and picks up two more Grandolpha loyalists outside the back door of the throne room (X21).

With allies in tow, Edmond prepares to enter the throne room and face his “father” once and for all!

Team Prison

Celeste and Fray go north from the forge room into the dungeon (X28), where they engage with a pair of duergar hammerers. Still enlarged, Celeste grapples one, runs back into the forge, and effectively yeets him into the lava trench. This awesome move would earn her the MVPC award this session!

Rime of the frostmaiden session 32 sunblight

Fray easily kills the other hammerer by targeting the duergar inside and using Reckless Attack to negate the disadvantage.

They hear two prisoners, one a light tapping, the other a furious banging.

They check out the banger first, revealing a highly agitated goliath man, Kapanuk, ready to exact revenge on his captors. Fray eagerly lets him out and hands him a javelin, but makes sure he isn’t going to just run off and go “on a murder spree.”

The other prisoner is much different: an older human woman with white hair and an eye patch. She introduces herself as Vellyne Harpell, wizard of the Arcane Brotherhood.

The party is very familiar with this group, having dealt with Avarice and chased after Dzaan. Vellyne admits that they have much to discuss, but she’s mostly useless without her magic items and spellbook, which have been confiscated in the vault, one of the few rooms the Marshals have yet to find.

With their rescued NPCs in tow, the group returns to the forge, finding a duergar Edmond left behind near the northwest gate (X23). The duergar explains where the rest of the group went, and warns of the guarded corridor ahead (X18).

Fray thinks this is a great opportunity to unleash the vengeful goliath! They open the door to the corridor and he rushes forward. Arrows come firing from the holes in the side. Kapanuk shrugs them off and stabs inside with the javelin, skewering a duergar as he bellows for the rest to rush forward.

Fray and Celeste take a few arrow shots, but make it to the southern door, leading into the throne room and syncing up perfectly with Edmond!

Team Ice Gate

Team Ice Gate consists of Valravn, Thimbleweed, and the duergar forewoman Thontara, under the effects of a Suggestion spell. They hurry up the eastern elevator to the Ice Gate Level, with the exciting task of closing the Ice Gate before the dragon can escape.

Unfortunately for them, alarms start blaring as they make it to the top, and the duergar near the gears at the top (X15) enlarges and attacks. He quickly recognizes that Thontara is under a magic spell as she pulls the lever. He tries to target Valravn, but the dang wily bard proves a tricky bastard to hit throughout this escapade.

Thimbleweed casts Magic Weapon and goes to town with his shortsword, dispatching the duergar. Thontara, having closed the eastern gate, rushes to the northern hallway and hurries toward the west, while they chase after her.

The western gear room isn’t so easy, however (X13+X14). No fewer than four duergar are here, and one of them spends an action flipping a switch, opening nearby storage rooms and the pair of hammerers inside!

Once again Thontara rushes to reach the lever, but another duergar physically blocks her, not wanting to attack but not letting her past either (essentially taking them out of combat).

Poor Valravn tries several tactics to down duergar in this room, including his last Pacifier dart and a jar of stunning spores, but the duergar keep making the saving throws. The one fail is for Dissonant Whispers, and combined with an attack of opportunity from Thimbleweed, finally kills a duergar.

Thimbleweed rushes forward and casts Fog Cloud, slowing down the approaching hammerers. He then leaps onto a gear and attacks the duergar who’s body-blocking Thontara, eventually killing him. A hammerer crawls out and attacks but Thimbleweed survives, and leaps down.

Thontara pulls the lever, closing the gate, and sending the hammerer spinning into the gears, possibly breaking them. With her task complete, the Suggestion spell wears off, and Thimbleweed is somewhat surrounded, and Valravn is fleeing back down the hallway, avoiding the other half of the forces.

Did they effectively slow the dragon down? How are they going to escape? Are they splitting the party even further??

We’ll find out next time!

MVPC – Celeste

Post-session live discussion:

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