Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden Session 41 Recap

Exploring more of the dig site, the party makes a thrilling discovery about what lies beneath the ice.

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Previously on Rime of the Frostmaiden

Starring:
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

The Marshals short rest in the shipping room, with the barbarian and bard rolling all of their hit dice to recover their wounds from the snow golem battle.

A more secure storage room to the west held food and water. The party search for any useful medical supplies but come up mostly short, finding only a single healer’s kit (the Investigation checks were hilariously bad).

Exploring north they found a destroyed office room. Almost everything was picked over, but they did find a log book written in dwarvish, presumably by a supervisor of the mining facility.

The logbook detailed the arrival of the new boss, Vaelish Gant, and his obsession with excavating chardalyn. It also included his discovery of the motherlode, and his subsequent disappearance and arrest, causing the rest of the dwarf miners to loot and flee this facility.

Thimbleweed donned his Piwafi cloak and stealthily peeks around the long hallway stretching east to west, where an eerie blue light emanates from a shambling figure roaming the hallway.

Fray is eager to show off her new bestial ability to climb walls and ceilings, so Thimbleweed forms a plan. She will creep along the ceiling above the figure, while he calls out to learn its intentions. If it’s hostile, she’ll drop down and attack.

They succeed on their stealth checks and Fray moves into position. Thimbleweed yells out a vaguely threatening proclamation, and the creature snaps its blue light-gaze toward him, firing off a cold laser!

It misses, and at the same time, Fray leaps down, enrages, and swings her Runic Axe, scoring a critical hit. We roll for initiative and Fray gets to go first — and she scores another critical hit! We forget our own Massive Damage rules in the excitement, but she ends up doing about 60 damage to the Coldlight Walker in rapid succession.

Thankfully for the DM, it gets to go next, hitting both times with its brutal cold-empowered slam attack. Fray remembers an ability on her Runic Axe, and uses it to absorb some of the cold damage and become resistant, which definitely would’ve helped a lot in the Snow Golem fight!

Celeste rushes up and casts Burning Hands using her monk powers. A final mop thwack kills the undead creature.

Rime of the frostmaiden session 41 coldlight walker

Lucky for them, there was only one of those creatures. Vellyne believes it’s yet another minion of the Frostmaiden, searching this facility.

The cavernous room in the middle of the facility holds a circular lift suspended by chains and gears, the walkway crumbling in to the dark abyss below. The supervisor’s log book mentioned the lift was in need of repairs — and that was dated eight months ago!

Fray scurries on the wall and chains to reach the platform, noting that it feels quite rickety (but she’s also quite small).

Thimbleweed explores the western room (north of the office), finding a large lever labeled Raise and Lower, with chains extending toward the lift. Surprisingly, none of the PCs want to touch the lever.

Instead Valravn casts Detect Magic, lighting up multiple auras around a door near Thimbleweed. He approaches the door and a Magic Mouth spell appears, dictating in Gant’s voice that this is a secure location and lethal force will be used.

Valravn casts Dispel Magic to disable the magic wards, while Edmond moves to pick the lock as the rest of the party (except Fray) moves to lever room.

Valravn notices some scratches and grooves in the floor near an empty shelf, though he’s cautious about moving it himself. Vellyne finally does, and steps through an illusory door, just as Edmond picks the lock and opens the door.

Both of them end up in the same room at the same time, the personal quarters of Vaelish Gant, wizard of the Arcane Brotherhood, and possibly the instigator to this realm’s problems.

Inside they find a journal written by Gant. Much of it confirms the history of the mining facility they had read in the supervisor’s log, as well as some details about an arcane device that can analyze rocks and minerals, and an orrery that can trace and pinpoint locations based on the data.

Edmond picks a locked chest, triggering a poison need trap (Valravn had previously inspected the chest, but rolled a 1). Inside is a bag of gold, some pieces of raw chardalyn, a magic battery for a mining robot, and a magic shortsword with “Vigilance” written on the hilt. Gant’s personal stash!

Through a destroyed tunnel in the north, they find the orrery. As they step close it whirls to life, arcane lines tracing paths of chardalyn throughout Icewind Dale. All paths converge on a large source in the Reghed Glacier, which is highlighted as a 3D image of an ancient city.

Vellyne identifies it as Netherese, an ancient empire that ruled the world with their superior magic. Finding this city would be one of the greatest accomplishments of their time.

Yet Auril clearly wants to preserve the secret of the city.

Judging by Gant’s notes, it appears that he had found something here, but wasn’t sure what.

It wasn’t until he was arrested and his partner, Nass Lantomir, stole the Divination Orb and returned to the dig site. Using the orb with their arcane equipment in the lab super-charged the devices, painting a clear picture of the city beneath the glacier.

But it also caused an explosion that left half the facility destroyed, and royally pissed off the Frostmaiden.

Since the orrery is still displaying the super-charged information, perhaps that means the orb is still here? Did Lantomir simply die in the explosion?

Valravn copies down the map coordinates of the city. Fray asks if this information could be harmful in the wrong hands. When Vellyne agrees, Fray beings smashing the magical construction, much to Vellyne’s dismay.

Having learned much of what happened here, the party returns to the lift room. From here they can either explore north, past another magical secured door, or towards the eastern half of the facility.

Fray spider-climbs to the northern door as Valravn prepares another Dispel Magic. Fray keeps feeling like she’s being watched while in this room, however, and shouts down into the abyss.

Rime of the frostmaiden session 41 poltergeists

As if in answer, ghostly, invisible creatures ascend from the depths! Spirits of slain miners, manifested as Poltergeists. Only Edmond isn’t surprised by their appearance, landing a Faerie Fire spell on two of them.

One of them lifts Thimbleweed off his feet and throws him into the pit, while the others move to slam into the party. Roll for initiative!

Despite Thimbleweed’s dangerous position, he assures the others that he’ll be fine, as Fray begins attacking the spirit closest to her, destroying it.

A worried Edmond helps Thimbleweed anyway, the only way he knows how — by casting Thorn Whip! Ten painful damage later, the falling, and now quite annoyed Thimbleweed is violently yanked back up onto the platform.

On his turn, Thimbleweed activates his new level seven Swarmkeeper ability to hover using his bugs, annoyingly pointing out that he could’ve saved himself (though he surely would’ve fallen at least some distance first!).

Thimbleweed uses his new magic shortsword to attack the closest spirit, noting that it’s at least a +1 weapon. Any other effects would have to be attuned, however.

The Poltergeists alternate between trying to lift the PCs into the abyss or slam into them with their forceful attacks. They’re unable to land any more lifts (Fray uses Inspiration to hang on) but the slam attacks prove painful.

These spirits don’t have much in the way of AC or HP. The Marshals stick to basic attack and cantrips to carve them up, avoiding any more scary pit-falling situations.

With the spirits destroyed, the party catches their breath and decides where to go next within the dig site.

MVPC – Edmond

Live post-session discussion:

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Author: roguewatson

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