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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

In a span of a few seconds, the ghost of Nass Lantomir possessed Vellyne and summoned an otherworldly mass of tentacles from the Far Realm (Hunger of Hadar).

The gnome bodies exploded, transforming into Deathlock Wights. Thimbleweed’s player secret was violently revealed when Vellyne-Nass ripped the insectoid growing inside him, reducing him to 1 hit point and changing his secret from The Host into The Evolved.

Vellyne-Nass grabbed the orb from the gnome body and the insectoid hatchling from Thimbleweed and teleported away, as the Earth Elemental continued to rampage.

Normally I would dramatically declare, “Roll for Initiative!”, but we were already in combat. Initiative continues!

By the time this major combat-cutscene occurs, the Earth Elemental has already been reduced to half hit points. But it still hits like a truck, rolling 20+ on nearly every attack for an average of 15 damage with each hit.

The Marshals smartly focus their fire on the rocky behemoth. But first things first. Valravn’s turn is next and he immediately casts dispel magic, canceling the Hunger of Hadar spell before it can do much of anything.

Four Deathlock Wights spawned from the dead gnomes. The two near the lab hang back and cast Mage Armor.

The one nearest the PCs casts Fear, nailing almost everyone in the cone. Celeste and Fray fail, and Fray has to drop her axe and haul ass back through the tunnel. Edmond uses Flash of Genius to make the save, an Artficer ability that he’ll get a lot of use out of during this lengthy fight.

He attacks the wight using his Green-Flame Blade, breaking its concentration on the Fear spell. Thimbleweed picks himself up, lights a torch, drinks a health potion, and retreats. He sure feels different after everything that just happened!

Celeste swings with magic mop and blasts with Searing Strike as Fray comes around the corner with several sticks of dynamite. She hurls them into the horde of enemies, dealing significant damage, though dynamite is non-magical and these foes have resistance.

Valravn casts Calm Emotions to protect the party from future Fear spells. When the Wights discover this, they switch to an all-out assault. The ones in melee range attack with Life Drain, while the ones behind the Earth Elemental fire off Grave Bolts.

At one point Celeste uses Deflect Missiles to catch a Grave Bolt and fling it at the Earth Elemental!

The Earth Elemental continues to cause significant damage. But it’s not an ally of the evil undead wights, and hits them almost as often as the PCs (the wights ignore it and remain focused on the PCs).

Thimbleweed takes a hit and goes down, but Celeste is able to revive him with a quick healing potion. When rolling the DC 15 CON save against a Lingering Injury, he uses Inspiration (getting a 13), then Bardic Inspiration (rolling a 1), then Edmond’s Flash of Genius to finally make the save. An epic ally-assisted saving throw!

Half the wights are destroyed and the Earth Elemental is on its last legs. Fray runs up, grabs her axe, and rages, manifesting her bestial fangs. She attempts to bite the elemental and misses. She rolls her Well Fed dice, and rolls a 1.

Only the DM and Fray’s player knows what’s about to happen next.

Rime of the frostmaiden session 43 deathlock wights

Fray’s player secret has given her some major benefits throughout the campaign. But it comes with a dangerous curse. Everyone watches their diminutive barbarian transform into a skull-faced, horned demon monster. A wendigo!

Celeste freaks out and blasts everything with her Searing Strike ability, destroying the Earth Elemental. Valravn tries to cast Hold Monster but discovers the Fraydigo is immune to Charm. Edmond tries to use a Scroll of Hold Person, but Fraydigo is no longer a humanoid!

Instead Edmond throws a Chardalyn Band of Binding, successfully restraining the monstrosity. It spends several rounds trying to break free, with the rest of the party respectfully give it a wide berth. They’re not sure whether to destroy it or try to keep it locked up.

Once the rest of the wights are destroyed, they focus their attacks on the Fraydigo, staying out of its range and finally taking it down. With its temporary hit points removed, it reverts back to a very tired Fray.

Edmond still isn’t sure he wants to release her. She responds by finally busting out of the binding ball and muttering angrily. Between Fray’s curse and Thimbleweed’s transformation, the bonds of trust have been frayed. Fray’d.

The last surviving deep gnome emerges from the lab with a xorn in tow, with a bit WTF look on his face. The Marshals comically explain the insanity that just transpired, then help themselves to the loot the gnomes had acquired: tons of gems, some spell scrolls, and an elemental gem that can summon their own temporary Earth Elemental.

But they lost their ally Vellyne and the orb they were after. They learned that Nass Lantomir is still alive-ish, and that her next stop is to free her lover Vaelish Gant from the prison at Revel’s End. But they’re in no shape to head their now.

On their way out they stop by the armory they had missed before. Edmond inserts the power core found in Gant’s room into an arcane sphere, and it unfolds into a robotic drilling creature. Drillbot!

The Marshals gain a new ally programmed to follow specific commands. It can be healed using the Mending spell, and roll up into a ball for convenient storage.

Leaving the dig site, they see hordes of snow golems, ice mephits, and coldlight walkers descending upon them. They hurry back up the trail, avoiding snowballs and frost beams as they hop into the wagon and speed off (Edmond throws down a Glyph of Warding for good measure), leaving the minions of the Frostmaiden to ransack what’s left of the lab as they head back to the safety of Bryn Shander to recuperate.

MVPC – Fray

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