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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

The enemies within the Dark Duchess are dead. All that’s left is the that gigantic treasure hoard to sift through. Except there’s a dragon in the distance flying this way!

And she probably won’t be happy to see a bunch of meddling adventurers making off with her treasure hoard.

The dragon is of course, Aveiaturace, the addled but powerful ancient white dragon whom we met a few sessions earlier. The marshals unknowingly stumbled upon one of her treasure hoards. They had defeated the invading ice trolls and slain her kobold servants.

Fray even stuck some dynamite in the frozen hoard pile and blew up a part of it to get to the good stuff underneath.

They only have a few minutes to formulate a plan as the dragon approaches.

Valravn and Celeste stay below deck, using fire and knives to get to the fourth layer of treasure, which holds expensive art objects, gems, a magic bow, and some magic armor.

Valravn has already grabbed the loot on the third layer, which included over 200 gold, some gems, and a magic cloak, while the first two layers worth of coins and gems are strewn chaotically around the hold after the explosion.

Fray begins arranging the ice troll bodies to look like it was the trolls who caused all the damage to the treasure hoard.

On the deck, Edmond uses Disguise Self to appear as a kobold, while Thimbleweed bravely stands alongside him, ready to introduce himself as a troll hunter who’s only there to help.

The gigantic white dragon lands and immediately attacks Thimbleweed, knocking him aside with her claws. Edmond quickly soothes things over, launching into a surprisingly plausible explanation about troll invaders, and Thimbleweed just randomly coming to help them.

The dragon’s agitation causes freezing fog to leak out of her mouth, and damage those below deck. Edmond and Thimbleweed wrap themselves in more lies (also explaining the open captain’s cabin and the undead bodies), while the ones below are able to successfully get the magic bow out of the pile.

Rime of the frostmaiden session 47 dark duchess

They know not to stick around long, however. Carrying all the loot, Valravn teleports outside using Misty Step, leaving Celeste and Fray to quietly make their way up the stairs just as the dragon goes below deck to survey the damage.

Miraculously, both women roll nat 20’s on their stealth rolls! They quickly hightail it over the ship. Edmond drinks a potion of swiftness and follows.

Shockingly, Thimbleweed stays behind, continuing the lie about trolls making off with the treasure. Distraught and furious, Avieaturace grabs Thimbleweed, commanding him to us her supposedly superior sight and tracking skills to find them, as she lifts up into the air.

Thimbleweed sees his friends scrambling away and quickly points the dragon in a different direction. The rest of them see dragon, and Thimblweed, go flying off into the distance. Oh no!

Thinking quickly, Fray tells the others to hurry on while she runs after the dragon and whistles. The dragon whips her head around and flies back down, launching her cold breath directly at Fray. She makes the DC 22 CON save and shakes it off, then prostrates herself in front of the great dragon, introducing herself as one of Thimbleweed’s agents. The lies compound!

The ruse works, especially when Edmond-kobold returns and decides to help her out, claiming the trolls have split off, and dug underground. It would be easier for them to take Thimbleweed and let the dragon chase them in a different direction.

At this point I’m so impressed with the players’ improv community theater that I have no choice but to reward them with minimal skill checks. The ancient dragon sets Thimbleweed down and agrees to the plan, flying off in a different direction.

The party finally reconvenes and hurries to the wagon, quickly putting the Dark Duchess in their proverbial rear view mirror.

Before she left, Avieaturace warned that any act of betrayal will be their death. Hopefully they don’t run into her again…

With Blista driving the wagon, the party short rests and enjoys their spoils: a winter-themed Bag of Tricks, a custom cold-resistant fur cloak, and a magic ice-powered bow. They leave behind a large chunk of the dragon’s hoard (most of the first, second, and fourth layers), but escaped with their lives, having successfully tricked the dragon on multiple occasions.

Instead of heading back to Ten Towns, however, the marshals press on towards Jarlmoot, the location the mounted frost giant gave them. A sacred site that rewards strength.

As they approach, they see a circle of large stone chairs on a hill. Fray jumps out of the wagon and walks up to the circle as Valravn casts Detect Magic. His spell reveals an aura of necromancy around the entire area, just as Fray enters the ring.

One by one ghostly frost giants materialize in each of the stone chairs, dressed in regal furs and metal armor. The final one leans forward and says something menacing in Giant.

We’ll find out if the party can prove themselves next week!

MVPC – Thimbleweed

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