Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden Session 33 Recap

The final battle in the duergar throne room turns deadly as Xardarok makes his last stand.

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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

From our three-way party split last week, two of our teams join forces and converge on the throne room, where Xardarok Sunblight makes his last stand.

With the freed goliath distracting the guards outside, Fray and Celeste rush into the front door of the throne room, while Edmond, still disguised as Prince Durth, opens the back door with a small cadre of duergar allies.

In the throne room they find an enlarged Xardarok talking with his son, Nildar. Nildar is overseeing an enlarged quaggoth thonot ripping the arm off a captured Myconid Sovereign, while a group of spore servants try to collect the spores.

Nildar is eager to prove his spores will save them, and get his revenge on the party that defeated him in the outpost. Xardarok lifts his gauntlet and absorbs chardalyn from his throne, empowering himself with new abilities.

Mechanically I gave him +50 hit points, +1 to AC, and an extra 1d10 on his Chardalyn Blast attack.

Turns out those extra hit points didn’t last long, but they were more of a loose guideline anyway.

Celeste and Fray come in swinging, both connecting on Xardarok with big hits, depleting his HP. His Psychic Retribution (and a re-flavored Hellish Rebuke) downs Fray thanks to the psychic damage, and later that round Celeste falls to a chardalyn blast and several quaggoth spore servants clawing her.

xardarok

In a dark twist of fate, I never missed an attack with these spore servants, unlike the loser quaggoths from Session 31. Xardarok is finally slain by Edmond’s duergar allies after a hilarious fit of repeated missed attacks.

But Celeste and Fray are both bleeding out, and Edmond still has to deal with Nildar, an enlarged quaggoth thonot, and four spore servants.

Meanwhile Thimbleweed and Valravn are still dealing with the aftermath of their plan to close the Ice Gate and slow the dragon. So far they’re successful, but now they have to keep it shut, despite being outnumbered.

Thimbleweed engages with a dramatic tussle with the now lucid Thontara, eventually killing her (though not before they try to throw each other out the third story window). He races to the elevator and drops a Fog Cloud to slow down pursuers.

Valravn is still in the northern hallway, jokingly now referred to as the endless hallway. He sends the hammerer back towards Thimbleweed with the Command spell, then continues to dodge the duergar for several rounds until he finally makes it to the eastern elevator.

Thimbleweed descends to the second level, and suggests that Fog Cloud + open elevator shaft could lead to dangerous situations for the duergar — and I couldn’t agree more!

Grandolpha’s forces are waiting, having won the bloody fight on this level, and Thimbleweed doesn’t do their team any favors by acting confused and belligerent. But some falling duergar hammerers punctuate his purpose, and the others clamber aboard to descend further and help Prince Durth.

“Prince Durth” definitely needs the help. The throne room battle is going poorly. Edmond captures Nildar in a Chardalyn Band, but the quaggoth thonot and spore servants rip into his duergar allies, killing them one by one. I rarely miss an attack, while the PCs begin to struggle.

Then the unthinkable happens.

For many rounds, Celeste and Fray are both rolling death saves while Edmond and the duergar scramble to repel the enemies left in the throne room.

In the first round of rolling death saves, both of them succeed.

In the second, Fray succeeds, but Celeste fails. I officially activate their goliath ally, who was previously off-screen dealing with duergar guards, as an active combatant, and give control to Heather (Fray). He rushes in to help attack the enlarged quaggoth.

I’ve also been trying to communicate with the PCs with the captured Myconid Sovereign, but no one wants anything to do with the odd fungus creature. With things going south, I have the Myconid stand up and assert control over the four spore servants (all four still alive!) and bring them to heel, leaving only the quaggoth and a captured Nildar.

In the third round Fray and Celeste both fail. Celeste is now on two failed death saves.

The elevator bringing Thimbleweed and several duergar is on its way down. I vastly sped them up for narrative purposes, but it’s still going to take another round for reinforcements to arrive.

Edmond finally throws a chardalyn band at the quaggoth, restraining it and making it an easier target for the goliath.

In the fourth round, both Fray and Celeste fail their death saves. Celeste officially expires (!), while Fray hits her second fail. Unbelievably bad rolls that punctuate a night of bad rolling for the PCs.

Rime of the frostmaiden session 33 sunblight

Edmond finally has the sense of mind (through pleading from me) to stabilize the nearby Fray, which he does, most likely preventing her death.

Thimbleweed arrives with duergar reinforcements and shoots the quaggoth in the head, killing it.

With the spore servants no longer under his control, Nildar surrenders. Edmond refuses to accept it, and orders the duergar to execute his “brother.”

The final battle for the duergar throne ends, but the cost was high.

The myconid offers to raise Celeste’s body as a spore servant, which Edmond agrees to. The fungus creature prepares to leave with the spore servants, including Celeste, back to the Underdark, when Valravn finally arrives. He convinces the myconid to leave her fungal body with them.

The myconid transfers ownership to Valravn, and leaves. In a sweet gesture, Valravn sadly hands the plant zombie-PC a flask. Our first legit player character death! Valravn hopes to find someone who can properly resurrect her in Ten Towns.

Speaking of which, the chardalyn dragon has been slowed thanks to the closed Ice Gate, but not stopped. They bought a bit of time, but they know they need to leave soon to chase after it.

As thanks for defeating Xardarok, Grandolpha offers them the contents of their treasure vault, which includes lots of valuable loot, including: a wand of web, a piwafwi (cloak of elvenkind), a wand of magic missiles, bracers of defense (the last two belonging to Vellyne), and hundreds of gold and valuables.

The party also loots Xardarok’s magical Chardarlyn Gauntlet and Crown, and Edmond finally identifies the badass Prototype Mechanical Arm he found several sessions ago from the workshop.

Hopefully the Marshals have enough time for a desperately needed long rest before hurrying back to Ten Towns to deal with the impending doom of the dragon. At the very least, they’ll get to level up to six!

MVPC – Edmond

Live post-session discussion:

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Author: roguewatson

Freelance Writer

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