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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

With news of the Chardalyn Dragon reaching the nearby town of Targos, the Marshals race to intercept it with their Frostmaiden-powered artifact.

After spending much of the day in Bryn Shander, the Marshals finally receive news from other towns. Termalaine takes the threat seriously, and is using the mines and forest to evacuate its citizens. Due to the delay in messenger birds, the Speaker estimates the dragon is already there, or even finished destroying the town, by the time they get the message.

Speaker Maxildanarr of Targos responds with flippant confidence, however. He has closed his town to any refugees and established a curfew, preparing to fight the dragon with smuggled siege weapons.

The Marshals still need a town Speaker to unleash the divinely-powered artifact they received from Ravisin. They’d rather not use Speaker Shane, the leader of Bryn Shander, if they can help it — though Valravn makes it clear that she is an option.

While they don’t go into specific details, Speaker Shane agrees that she’ll do whatever it takes to keep her people safe. The Marshals know that unleashing the Avatar of the Frostmaiden results in the Speaker’s death.

Duvessa_ShaneDuring the meeting, Speaker Southwell busts through the door with an update: the dragon has been seen in Bremen, just a hair’s breath from Targos.

The party quickly realizes that if they leave now, they might be able to catch it in Targos before it can do any real damage. There they can ‘enlist’ the help of the slimy, egotistical speaker of Targos, a much more attractive target for the divine sacrifice.

They gather their NPC allies and head west toward Targos. An hour later they see the closed gates of the only other walled city in Icewind Dale, as well as a group of refugees from Bremen.

Fray bluntly suggested the refugees get the hell out of here, as the dragon is on its way. Sure enough, they hear shouts and cries of alarm from the guards on the wall, who hurry toward the northwest.

Valravn uses his Fey Step to teleport Fray inside, who opens the locked gate. Targos is eerily quiet and devoid of activity. Fray grabs a running guard, who explains that everyone is on the wall to the north, ready to defend the town.

They reach the northwestern side of the wall. Hundreds of guards and militia are stationed there, armed with spears and crossbows, and even a few mounted ballistae. Fray spots (20+ roll!) Speaker Maxildanarr hanging near the back, looking like he’s about to cut and run.

She runs and saddles up next to him, as the dragon is spotted in the distance bearing down on the town.

Surprisingly she doesn’t threaten the surprised Speaker. Instead she whispers how he could be the one to save all of Ten Towns by using this artifact. Surely such an act would grant him even more power then he has now?

Appealing to his ego doesn’t take much convincing, but before he can grab at the frosty cage, several guards cry out. Blood spurts from hidden wounds and the ballistae crash to the ground as several duergar saboteurs materialize and attack.

Then the dragon arrives.

The Chardalyn Dragon blasts a beam of radiant energy right through the wall, instantly vaporizing a dozen guards as it continues flying into the town, ready to make another pass.

The defense is broken, with many guards running for their lives. The Speaker would be one of them, if not for Fray’s tight grip. Again she tells him this artifact is the only way to defeat the dragon and save his own ass.

He lifts the frost-touched cage, says a few words as instructed by Fray, and opens the latch. Instantly the warmth of his body begins to drain as he’s transformed into an icy statue. The tiny ice owl figurine animates and flies out of the cage as a blizzard descends on the town.

The owl grows larger and larger as it flies, until it’s the same size as the dragon. The two large monsters clash in mid-air, clawing and biting each other.

To the Marshal’s dismay, the dragon appears impervious when the owl unleashes a freezing breath attack, while the dragon’s radiant breath does significant damage to its assailant. But the owl is backed up by the weather itself, as terrifying melon-size hail descends from the sky, slamming into the dragon.

The injured owl wrenches one of the dragon’s wings out of place, causing it to falter and fall to the town below, but not before a deadly tail swipe sends the owl careening downward.

The Marshals hurry to the crash site, finding the downed owl first. Through the fierce hailstorm they see an odd, jagged ice sculpture of a woman resting her hand on the owl. The owl’s ice form puffs into a flurry of snowflakes which fly toward the northwest. The figure turns to the Marshals, and they hear a voice in their heads, telling them to prove themselves, as the owl has.

Then she’s gone, along with the storm.

Behind her they see the downed dragon crash through a building. The summoned avatar successfully grounded it, but it’s still very much a deadly threat.

Surrounding the dragon are several guards who reached it first, but the guards appear to be killing each other! The survivors turn with malevolently glowing eyes, charmed by the dragon.

Roll for initiative!

Rime of the frostmaiden session 39 chardalyn dragon

My poor boss dragon rolls a 4, though almost everyone rolls hilariously low anyway. The Marshals have Vellyne (8th level necromancer) and Kapanuk (Goliath Warrior) and are fully rested.

The dragon has four charmed militia (tribal warriors) and one soldier (veteran).

Fray rages with her spiny tail, and charges at the dragon, slashing with her magic Runic Axe.

The now-resurrected Celeste follows suit with her magic mop, though smartly never attacks with her radiant unarmed strikes. She uses her hit and run tactics to stay out of the dragon’s reach, while Kapanuk eagerly wades into battle alongside Fray.

Thimbleweed (played by Edmond this session), downs two of the charmed militia, even after one of them runs up and stabs Celeste.

Vellyne uses Hold Person to paralyze another, while Valravn casts Calm Emotions to successfully suppress the charmed effects on the fourth militia and the veteran. The party successfully take the minions out of the equation after a single round!

I gave the dragon legendary actions (with three actions per round), as all bosses should have them. It can do a tail attack for one action, or a 15-ft cone attack for two, spraying chardalyn shards for piercing damage and possible short-term madness, which ends up being its most fun attack as it constantly sprays Fray and Kapanuk.

I started the battle with the dragon having to recharge its breath weapon. On its first turn it tries to use its Malevolent Presence on Fray, clearly the best target, but she’s able to resist with the help of Valravn’s Bardic Inspiration, and her rage resists much of its nasty multi-attacks (which I also spread to Kapanuk and non-charmed guards).

Edmond brazenly runs up next to it, transforms his magic prototype arm into an arm cannon, and charges the beam.

On the dragon’s next turn, it recharges its breath weapon, and unleashes a laser blast across the map, damaging Fray, Kapanuk, Thimbleweed, and Valravn. I rolled a bit below average damage (26), but it’s still fun to unleash such a big attack.

Unfortunately for me, the dragon has been taking heavy damage. Fray drank a Potion of Frost Giant Strength, never misses an attack, and deals incredibly amounts of damage. Celeste likewise rarely misses, and Thimbleweed begins attacking the dragon, though his non-magical arrows are reduced.

Edmond’s arm cannon goes off, dealing his own lighting laser blast across the screen, though miraculously the bulky dragon makes the DEX save for half damage.

Fray gets the killing blow with another deadly flurry of giant-strength axe blows, bringing the mighty dragon down. I’m very glad I gave it legendary actions, as I think we only went two rounds!

But it was still a satisfyingly epic fight. Fray and Celeste both drank multiple potions to stay alive and empowered, and Fray and Kapanuk nearly went down from the repeated attacks. Another breath attack might’ve proved deadly for the PCs!

With the dragon finally slain the emerging people all cheer and hail the triumph of the Marshals, the saviors of Ten Towns! Surprisingly, Valravn credits Speaker Maxilidanarr with sacrificing himself to save them all — and they already have a lovely ice statue of him in the middle of town!

The PCs will earn a level up and some downtime as we complete a major chapter and story arc of this campaign.

In fact, we’ll be taking a brief hiatus from Rime of the Frostmaiden. Our weekly D&D streams will be taken over by Heather as she DMs a mini-adventure from Tales from the Yawning Portal, Forge of Fury! We’re aiming for about three sessions; tune in next week for Session 1.

MVPC – Valravn

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