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Previously on Rime of the Frostmaiden

Valravn, level 6 Eladrin Bard of Eloquence
Fray, level 6 Halfling Barbarian of the Beast
Celeste, level 6 Plant Spore Servant (played by Valravn)
Edmond, Level 6 Human Alchemist Artificer
Thimbleweed, level 6 Gnome Swarmkeeper Ranger (played by Edmond)

Arriving in Easthaven, the Marshals find a town under siege by the Chardalyn Dragon. People run panicked in the rubble-strewn streets. Buildings collapse, fires rage, and all the while an artificially constructed weapon of mass destruction flies overhead reigning death and destruction below.

As the dragon works its way eastward, the western portion of the town, where the Marshals arrive, is already destroyed. From a distance they can spot the town hall in the middle of town, a large magical bubble shimmering around it.

In case they needed more prodding, the talking fox who first warned them away from Easthaven pops up. He tells them to get their butts over there and meet with Ravisin.

The Marshals agree. They tell their allied NPCs to stick with the wagon and help any people they come across, while they head eastbound through the chaos.

Soon they come across a woman scrambling at some rubble. Her home suddenly collapsed after an attack, trapping her husband and young son inside.

The Marshals jump into action, Fray scrambling through the rubble with her small frame, while Valravn slips through a broken window. Valravn finds the husband, and uses his Fey-touched Misty Step to teleport the injured man outside (naked of course), where Edmond heals him (and tries not to stare).

With the house crumbling around her Fray carefully searches upstairs, finding the young boy unconscious but alive. She grabs him and executes an awesome super heroic move, shattering the upstairs window and leaping to the ground below.

This event was my first attempt at an open-ended skill challenge. The PCs needed five successful skill checks to complete it. Too many failures could result in the death of the boy, the father, or both.

Casting spells or using spell-like abilities could result in an auto-success, such as Valravn’s Misty Step and Edmond’s cure wounds. I should’ve obfuscated the mechanics a little better, but otherwise the players enjoyed this little challenge, and are rewarded with a Potion of Vitality.

Rime of the frostmaiden session 35 easthaven destruction

The next event is a group of looters smashing and grabbing in a blacksmith’s shop. Fray and Valravn get most of the common folk to leave, but an armed gang spits at their authority and is ready to fight!

The gang of four thugs and a bandit captain is little match for the fully rested level six PCs. Yet this is a very defensive party, so the fight still lasts quite awhile. Not to mention Fray intimidating the thugs to remain and fight after their leader is slain!

Valravn gets a lot of use out of the Slow spell, while Fray’s rage lets her shrug off most of the paltry damage coming her way. And Edmond loves Vine Whip-ing everyone into the burning rubble in the middle of the room.

With the looters properly disposed of (the last one literally begging for his life, yeesh!), the party makes it to the hot zone. Here the dragon is actively still attacking, flying methodically north to south and strafing with its powerful laser beam attack, never landing.

A crowd of people surge through the streets, and Valravn uses Calm Emotions to avoid getting trampled.

Fray points the Wand of Magic Missiles at the dragon, and as soon as it gets within range, unleashes a barrage of magical bolts. Good news: it’s a hit! Bad news: the dragon aims its next passing beam attack directly at the party!

The radiant beam blasts Edmond and Fray, who both fail the DEX save despite using Inspiration (and also Bardic Inspiration in Fray’s case), taking heavy damage. They gain an all new respect for the dragon as it continues to pass overhead.

Now they’re within a few hundred feet of the town hall, having traversed about a quarter mile through the destroyed town. Ahead they see a group of militia, led by Captain Arlaggath, setting up defensive positions in a destroyed building, crossbows aimed at the approaching dragon.

Valravn calls to the Captain using the Message cantrip. Just as she turns to notice them coming down the road, a group of stealthy duergar materialize out of invisibility, knifing several of the soldiers in the back, and the Captain is forced to draw her sword and defend herself.

Seems they’re not done with the duergar just yet!

MVPC – Fray

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