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Previously on Rime of the Frostmaiden

Valravn, level 8 Eladrin Bard of Eloquence
Fray, level 8 Halfling Barbarian of the Beast/Fighter
Celeste, level 8 Half-orc Sun Soul Monk
Edmond, Level 8 Human Alchemist Artificer
Thimbleweed, level 8 Gnome Swarmkeeper Ranger

In a dice-based game, sometimes fate just doesn’t go your way. And sometimes the DM just gets their butt kicked, as was the case in this week’s session.

The party continues to explore the Dark Duchess pirate ship, triggering all three combat encounters nearly simultaneously.

After defeating the first ice troll last week, the second troll crashes though the bow door, half a goat hanging from its mouth.

No surprise round, and the troll is dead-last in initiative.

What follows is a thorough butt-kicking of my poor troll from the entire party, beginning with a critical hit from Fray. The troll fails its Massive Damage save (see our house rules), rolls on the table, and is stunned for its first turn.

Needless to say, that ice troll never gets a chance to act. Celeste does have have to spend some more ki points on another Searing Arc Strike to prevent its regeneration, however.

With the monstrous trolls dead the Marshals can finally explore the hold of the ship, including the massive treasure pile!

First they head to the bow where the other troll emerged, finding one surviving goat. Thimbleweed casts Speak with Animals and asks the goat what’s going on. The goat explains the trolls were recent invaders that scared off the usual occupants (“little creatures”).

Meanwhile Edmond, the only member still upstairs on the deck, casts Flaming Sphere to start melting the door to the aft castle. He believes correctly that there must be something good behind the frozen door.

In the hold, Fray stabs a hole through the frozen treasure hoard and drops a stick of dynamite. She lights a fuse and runs under a troll body. Valravn heads upstairs while Celeste, Thimbleweed, and the goat stand around the hold to watch the fireworks.

An exploding gold pile turns into metal shrapnel, slightly damaging both of them and killing the poor goat.

The explosion dislodges the first two layers of frozen loot, scatters coins everywhere, destroys one of the magic items on the second layer, and alerts the hiding kobolds in the water storage room nearby.

The kobolds come bursting through the door, shrieking about desecrating their queen’s hoard. Roll for initiative!

Rime of the frostmaiden session 46 dark duchess

Fray uses her barbarian Feral Instincts to rage on the surprise round, slaughtering one of the kobolds right away.

I combined the stats of a kobold inventor and a kobold trapsmith to make them far beefier and stronger than the average kobold, prompting Celeste and Thimbleweed to join the fight. The kobolds’ religious devotion to the dragon makes them fight to the death, though they are terribly outmatched by the marshals.

On Edmond’s turn, I employ cinematic-timing to let him break through the frozen door to the captain’s cabin. There he finds a treasure chest with a skeleton on top dressed in a jacket and tricorn hat. Bottles are strewn about the room, and a journal identifies him as Captain Bluemoon, who had run afoul of a white dragon.

Hmm. Queen. Hoard. White Dragon. Uh-oh.

Edmond finds the key to the chest on the skeleton and pops the chest open. That causes the spirit of Captain Bluemoon to rise from the skeleton and summon four more skeletal pirates to attack Edmond!

Valravn rushes downstairs to announce that there is in fact another fight happening on the deck, then heads back up to use the Gem of Brightness to blind two of the skeletal pirates.

The pirates surround and attack Edmond, but roll very poorly. They have the statblock of a wight, minus the lifedrain.

The undead pirate captain is a unique statblock I modified from a bandit captain, capable of ordering his minions, hurling ghostly bottles, and spewing necrotic liquor breath in a cone.

Despite my best efforts Edmond brushes off most attacks, and keeps concentrating on the dang Flaming Sphere, which in hindsight I should have had disappear when the fight began (surely it took over a minute to get through the frozen door). In fact, Edmond would roll three nat 20s in a row to maintain concentration, as that damn sphere melts my poor undead.

The other three PCs mop up the kobolds, and Celeste and Thimbleweed rush upstairs to help Edmond.

A weakened, bloody Fray, hovering at around 10% hit points, remains below. She feels a stirring power emanating from the dead ice trolls, and uses a dagger to dig into their chests, remove the hearts, and consume them, gaining their regeneration for the next 24 hours, 10 hit points every round!

Valravn casts Slow, affecting half the skeletons, and neutering the captain’s ability to order his minions around. Once again I attack several times but he maintains concentration on the spell. Argh!

Celeste and Thimbleweed, who have yet to be touched in all of these battles, begin carving through the blind, slowed pirates.

After countless hits and misses, Edmond finally begins taking some real damage, but the Flaming Sphere steadily chips away at the pirates.

Valravn casts Greater Invisibility on Thimbleweed, dropping the Slow spell as the sword-wielding ranger rushes forward with his magic shortsword to battle the captain.

By the time Fray reaches the deck, the battle is all but over. In a last-ditch effort the captain rushes Edmond and is incinerated by the Flaming Sphere. A fitting end for these underwhelming enemies.

The prolonged, multi-level, multi-creature battle finally ends. Thanks to Fray’s troll regen, none of them are looking that bad, though Edmond did fall to around 50% hit points. Plenty of spells were cast, however. Valravn especially was casting a spell every round (including that dang Silvery Barbs) and throwing out bardic inspiration like candy at a parade.

Edmond helped himself to the captain’s treasure, including a nice magic bag that needs to be identified, while Valravn returns to the hold to begin scooping up that treasure and digging through to the next layer, where he sees more magic items.

By the time he can see the fourth and final frozen layer of treasure, the others on the deck see a large white dragon approaching. Time for a plan!

MVPC – Fray

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