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Previously on Rime of the Frostmaiden

Valravn, level 7 Eladrin Bard of Eloquence
Fray, level 7 Halfling Barbarian of the Beast/Fighter
Celeste, level 7 Half-orc Sun Soul Monk
Edmond, Level 7 Human Alchemist Artificer
Thimbleweed, level 7 Gnome Swarmkeeper Ranger

Three days have passed since the Marshals defeated the Chardalyn Dragon in Targos.

Hundreds were saved thanks to the party’s previous adventures, including helping the kobolds in Termalaine, kicking out the cult in Caer-Dineval, and clearing the brewery in Good Mead.

But hundreds more were killed when the dragon swooped in and burned eight of the Ten Towns to the ground. Only Targos and Bryn Shander remain.

With the everlasting night still in effect and food supplies dwindling, the people of Icewind Dale face an extinction-level crisis.

During this down time, the Marshals and their allies did not stand idly by.

Fray and Thimbleweed went hunting in the surrounding area, trying to bring back what little game they could find.

Ever-writing the chronicle of their adventures, Valravn took to the streets to talk to the people and record their experiences.

Edmond continued to work on his homunculus, an exact miniaturized version of the Chardalyn Dragon that had terrorized everyone. People were less than thrilled at seeing it (“I’m not a sensitive person,” remarks Edmond).

Celeste remains shaken from her actual-death experience, seeking out enlightenment in Bryn Shander and hoping to better understand her place in the world.

Spellix, the gnome who had deceived an entire goblin tribe, had grown a heavy heart. Seeing all the devastation and destruction, along with the party’s heroism, inspired him to use his engineering skills to help the people of Ten Towns, primarily in building shelters for all the refugees.

Speaker Shane was so impressed with his work that she offers him a job. The party is wary but ultimately satisfied with this arrangement (and still plan on checking out his adventuring lead, the Dark Duchess).

Kapunuk, the goliath warrior who was rescued in Sunblight, leaves Ten Towns to return to his people. Before he left he encourages them to come visit Wyrmdoom Crag, especially Fray, who can learn more about her Goliath-enchanted Runic Axe.

IWD ten towns zoom

Vellyne, the wizard of the Arcane Brotherhood, remains with the party. Her sights are set on the big picture: following the trail of Vaelish Gant and Nass Lantomir, which will hopefully lead to ending the everlasting night.

The newly level seven Marshals, along with Vellyne, Vellyne’s freshly animated zombie, and Blista their goblin driver, set out on their wagon toward the Chardalyn dig site in the Dwarven Valley.

For those of you familiar with this campaign, the dig site is a completely homebrewed location. The map is Ruins from the Icy Depths from Seafoot Games.

I’m designing this dungeon as an important connection for the main quest, increasing the role Gant and Lantomir play in the plot. That’s all I can reveal without getting too spoilery — for full spoilers, watch the Crafting Icewind Dale streams on Mondays and Thursdays!

The 10 miles journey across a relatively safe portion of the tundra is crossed without incident, and a stellar Survival check by Thimbleweed quickly uncovers the trail to the hidden mining facility carved into the side of a cliff. Blista remains with the wagon, as always, but Vellyne (and the zombie) join the party.

The outside of the mining facility is in bad shape. Windows have been blown out, walls are collapsed, and the pervasive winter elements have begun to creep inside.

An eerie blue light, not unlike the one they saw at Easthaven during Ravisin’s ritual, can be seen poking out of the broken windows in a long hallway near the entrance.

Rime of the frostmaiden session 40 snow golems

The Marshals barely take their first tentative steps toward the door, when the snow piles around them erupt, forming into monstrously humanoid shapes of faceless, grinning snowpeople. “Minions of the Frostmaiden!” Vellyne warns. “She knows of this place.”

Roll for initiative!

The five Marshals (plus Vellyne and an animated zombie) face off against six snow golems. The snow golems have them surrounded, and take full advantage of the surprise round with their nasty triple-hit multiattack.

The dice gods bless the DM, as these snow golems often hit with 20+ (despite only a +4 to hit) with an average damage in the low teens.

The party is rocked back on their heels after that opening volley, and surprisingly great initiative rolls from the ponderously slow golems renders poor Valravn unconscious before he even has a chance to act.

“I was going to cast Slow!” the player cries. “It would’ve been amazing!” Yes, yes it would have.

Instead he’s rolling death saves and the rest of the party scrambles to respond.

Edmond’s fire magic proves especially deadly against the snow monsters, even though we forgot about his alchemic savant bonus. Green Flame Blade, and later Flaming Sphere, did fine work melting them down.

Thimbleweed discovers these magical constructs are immune to nonmagical weapons, forcing him to cast Magic Weapon (and recast it when he loses concentration).

Vellyne tries to stabilize Valravn, unsuccessfully, and jokes that he would make a decent zombie. After her zombie is quickly destroyed, she drops unconscious from another terrible volley of snow slams.

Slowly the party begins to rally. Fray rages, grows claws, and goes berserker Wolverine on every snow golem nearby. Celeste blasts them with her radiant fists and bolts. Between the two of them, they can do seven attacks a round!

Some nearby icicles animate and become icy creatures (ice mephits). They blast a cone of cold, healing the snow golems ever so slightly.

Celeste gives Valravn a healing potion to revive him, and he in turn casts Healing Word to revive Vellyne.

Fray is down to six hit points (from a starting health of 90!) and the others aren’t looking too good, but the Flaming Sphere, combined with the snow golem’s low AC and DEX, finally brings the last snow-monster down.

Broken, bruised, but alive, the Marshals crawl their way toward a side door, a shipping warehouse, and hunker down for a short rest.

If that was just the outside of the dungeon, what dangers lurk inside?

MVPC – Edmond

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