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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/Fighter
Celeste, level 6 Plant Spore Servant
Edmond, Level 6 Human Alchemist Artificer
Thimbleweed, level 6 Gnome Swarmkeeper Ranger

Leaving the burning Easthaven behind them, the Marshals, along with several hundred refugees, travel to Bryn Shander, where they hope to make a final stand against the Chardalyn Dragon.

With the Speaker and Ravisin dead, and half the town already destroyed, there’s nothing more to be done for Easthaven. As the dragon continues its programmed destruction, the party retraces its steps through the now ruined western half. They rejoin their NPC companions in the wagon, who are helping direct the crowded streets, along with Captain Arlaggath.

Arlaggath asks about the Speaker, and receives the sobering news. The party doesn’t go into details, but mentions they now have a powerful weapon that can hopefully defeat the dragon, before Bryn Shander meets the same fate.

The train of refugees sets out for the half a days march to Bryn Shander. Along the way, the talking fox makes an appearance, noting that he hasn’t received any messages from Ravisin. Fray gives him a mission to deliver a message to the Speaker of Lonelywood, where she’s from, and he eagerly accepts.

Other NPCs chime in, with Fray convincing Kapanuk that the dragon is a worthy foe to defeat, while Vellyne blames the duergar attack on the cursed night. Spellix bemoans that he chose the absolute worst time to go to Ten Towns!

Edmond receives a reply from his homunculus message to Speaker Shane: the warning was confirmed by refugees from Good Mead, and Bryn Shander has begun mobilizing its militia, and sending out warnings to the other towns.

The trip is thankfully uneventful. They reach Bryn Shander in the early evening hours, and are greeted by Sheriff Southwell, then Speaker Shane.

The Speaker had sent out messages to the other towns, but how and if they respond is up to them. She agrees with the Marshals that the smaller towns next on the dragon’s menu (Caer-Dineval and Caer-Konig) are probably screwed anyway. Bryn Shander is already dealing with the few dozen Good Mead refugees. With the hundreds from Easthaven it’s turned into a gigantic humanitarian crisis, threatening to overwhelm the town’s only house of healing.

The marshals estimate they have at least 24 hours before the dragon will reach Bryn Shander.

After a much-needed Long Rest, the party wakes up to find Spellix trying to sneak out, but Edmond catches him. Spellix denies his escape attempt, as the party reminds him of their deal: he has to personally take them to the Dark Duchess pirate ship, to confirm his treasure lead.

But first they have more pressing matters to contend with. They head over to the House of the Morninglord, the only healing temple in Bryn Shander. A huge line of injured, exhausted, and ill people stretches out into the street. Valravn flexes his silver tongue and persuades the crowd to let them pass without incident (rolled a 31!), saying that they are the saviors that will rescue them from the forthcoming doom of the dragon (paraphrasing).

Inside they deal with the stressed-out gnome acolyte in the front, then the no-nonsense priest Mishann in the back, herself a retired adventurer. Valravn’s honeyed words don’t do much good here, but he plops down the jewel-studded amber headdress from Sunblight as payment. She demands they also help out around the temple while she’s performing the resurrection.

Edmond and Valravn grudgingly agree, the former using his medical knowledge on patients inside, while Valravn uses his words to soothe and heal the crowd outside.

Then it’s up to Fray and Thimbleweed to awkwardly destroy the Celeste spore servant, so Mishann can successfully raise the dead body. Using a flask from Valravn, the spirit is called from its heavenly place back into the body, and Celeste is officially restored! Huzzah!

With their party now at full strength, Vellyne suggests they follow up on her lead of finding Vaelish Gant’s safehouse here in Icewind Dale. She believes Gant, and his apprentice Nass Lantomir, have something to do with the cursed night.

Rime of the frostmaiden session 38 puzzle

On their way, they stop in the market square where they see a commotion in the market square. A potion peddler is charging outrageous prices, and folks are angry and upset. He tells the Marshals that a group of guards turned up at his place yesterday and took many potions, citing the defense of the city. Now he has to upcharge to make up for it.

Funny enough, the Marshals agree with the guards’ methods. After all, they just pulled a similar tactic to get inside the temple to resurrect Celeste! But they’re also surprisingly sympathetic. Once again Valravn uses his superior oratory skills to convince the merchant to reduce his prices for them, and in return they’ll save his ass from the coming dragon.

The mollified merchant agrees. The Marshals trade more nice loot from Sunblight for about a dozen potions (rolling on a table to determine his inventory), including several potions of healing, greater healing, and a potion of invulnerability and frost giant strength.

Moving on from the market, Vellyne takes them to a small storage shack not far from the Town Hall, and a hidden trap door inside. She had been captured by duergar before making it any further.

Down the ladder the cellar is full of construction equipment. Casting Detect Magic reveals a false wall, and beyond it, a tiny closet-like room with a desk. On the desk is a map of Icewind Dale with several pushpins, and a glaring red circle around the Dwarven Valley.

The party inspects the desk itself for clues, finding many hidden objects with numbers on them: a mortar and pestle with 14 and 11, a candle with 24, a mirror with 14. And hidden under a dark stain, a letter-number combination: X 3.

Beneath a stack of books they find a long series of numbers. A coded message! After a few minutes of analyzing the objects, they realize the numbers are associated with the first letter of the object. Using that information they build a cipher to decode the message, a reverse-number alphabet code.

The decoded message reads as follows:

Need more arcane power. Found something big. Must secure the dig site in the dwarven valley at all costs. Tell no one. Not even the AB.

“AB” refers to the Arcane Brotherhood. A message written by Gant before his arrest? Looks like their next stop is the Dwarven Valley. After dealing with the dragon, of course.

MVPC – Celeste

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