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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 (played by Valravn this sesh)
Edmond, Level 7 Human Alchemist Artificer
Thimbleweed, level 7 Gnome Swarmkeeper Ranger

Having explored about half of the dwarven mining facility, the Marshals were left with the magically protected security door to the arcane laboratory. Valravn had dispelled the Arcane Lock, but only Edmond knew how to properly pick locks, and he couldn’t safely make it across the yawning chasm.

After scratching their heads a bit, the party decide to find another path (and hopefully a key). They explore the eastern side of the dungeon, through more half-destroyed hallways and storage rooms.

Thimbleweed finds a box of explosives in a back room, which Fray gleefully grabs and opens, rolling the max amount on 2d4+2 and coming away with 10 sticks of dynamite! She is ecstatic.

A door to the northeast reveals an employee break room covered in oddly shimmering spider webs. Valravn’s Detect Magic starts going crazy, sensing an overall feeling of magic in this room.

They spot a human-size cocoon halfway in the room, suspended by webs. Fray, with her Danger Sense and bestial climbing, scampers into the room, avoiding the restraining webs. But when she starts poking the cocoon, a pair of giant spiders phase out of nowhere and attack. Phase Spiders!

With their 4d8 poison damage (and my stellar damage rolls) phase spiders hit like a truck, especially when I nail a critical hit! Fray gets tangled up in webs and takes some vicious hits, only surviving thanks to her rage and her halfling Stout Resilience.

As spiders begin materializing the rest of the party jumps into action. Edmond delivers a healing spell to Fray with his homunculus, Thimbleweed slices with his magic sword, and Celeste rushes into the room to help batter the spiders.

Thankfully for the Marshals, these spiders don’t have much in the way of AC or HP, and go down in a single round. Fray has to drink several healing potions to recover, though!

The cocoon holds a dead deep gnome, some gems, and a magical Gem of Brightness.

Rime of the frostmaiden session 42 phase spiders

A muffled voice calls out from behind a nearby door. Fray shoves open the barricaded door to find an anxious, exhausted deep gnome. He doesn’t speak Common, prompting Thimbleweed to step in and speak Gnomish.

The deep gnome, Zonn, explains the situation: he’s part of an adventuring group of deep gnomes, exploring underground areas for treasures and precious gems. There’s about half a dozen of them, plus a xorn to dig out the tunnels.

Or there were at least, as his buddy died to the spiders when they started exploring this room, while another died to a lightning trap when they tried to leave the arcane lab.

The lab!

The gnomes’ tunnel discovered the lab first, looting what was left. But their leader, Gerso, insisted on exploring the rest of the facility, despite the danger. Zonn wants to cut their losses and get out of here. He’s grateful for the rescue, and invites the party to return to their campsite in a nearby tunnel for a short rest.

Vellyne warns not to trust these Underdark creatures, but the party follows, and enjoys the brief reprieve at the modest campsite.

The Y-shaped tunnel branches, with one end leading down into the Underdark, where the gnomes came from.

The other tunnel leads into the nearby arcane lab — the same lab the party had failed to break into earlier. Maybe just as well, as they would’ve had to deal with the lighting trap that killed one of the gnomes.

Zonn introduces them to a group of three other deep gnomes, who are suspicious of these surfacers exploring what they feel is their treasure claim.

At Vellyne’s behest, Thimbleweed asks if they found the Divination Orb that was stolen from the Arcane Brotherhood by Nass Lantomir.

The gnome leader, Gerso, suddenly shouts that they’re here to steal their loot. She tosses a magical yellow gem that summons an Earth Elemental. Roll for initiative!

Fray decides to save her last rage. A painful decision when the Earth Elemental turns and slams into her for over 30 points of damage in two attacks!

As the party engages the rock monster, Edmond Thorn Whips the deep gnome closer to them, but grows concerned when the gnome begins laughing strangely in another voice.

The ghostly form of a woman spills out of the gnome, briefly becoming an apparition of Nass Lantomir! The ghost then enters the body of Vellyne, grinning at her upgraded power level. She teases that though her body was destroyed by the explosion, her spirit lives on. And it’s pretty darn powerful.

A black void erupts all around her, summoning slimy tentacles from the Far Realm. The nearby gnomes, still shocked from this sudden turn of events, violently explode as skull-faced ghosts rip free of their bodies.

Thimbleweed falls to the ground, writhing. His chest cracks open and an insectoid creature screams as it claws out. Thimbleweed’s secret revealed!

One of the tentacles snatches the creature up and retrieves it for Vellyne/Nass, who teases future plans for it. Then she teleports away, leaving the Marshals to deal with the incredible chaos she leaves behind.

MVPC – Thimbleweed

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