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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

Though the ghostly giants had left and the arena battle had ended, the fight isn’t over. Thimbleweed had been paralyzed by a ghost’s freezing stare, losing control of his summoned earth elemental. The Marshals are forced the marshals to continue battling even as the danger and fanfare of the arena dissipates.

The earth elemental is at full health, and half the party are hovering near death.

Thankfully for them, the elemental is last on the initiative tracker, giving everyone a chance to regroup. Most importantly, Edmond hurls a Chardalyn Band of Binding, restraining the elemental, swinging the battle heavily in their favor.

In the first round the elemental swipes at Thimbleweed with its 10-ft range. In the second, the heavily beat-up monster busts out of the magic bands with a 20+ STR check, and uses its Earth Glide to disappear underground.

Fray rolls a Perception check to try and find it, using her Well Fed die to boost her result.

She rolls a 1.

You may recall that Fray’s secret becomes violently exposed when that happens, as she transforms into a hostile wendigo!

The others are all spaced out, so we randomly roll for her victim — Thimbleweed! Poor guy can’t catch a break. Or does he? He dodges both attacks by the vicious monster, and on his turn, uses his bugs to reposition and escape.

Valravn uses his Wand of Web to restrain the Fray-digo, and it fails to escape. This party is very good at crowd control and debuffing!

However, the earth elemental is still out there. Right on cue, it glides out of the ground in front of a near-death Thimbleweed and attacks with two mighty swings of its rock fists.

And misses with both attacks.


Immediately following, Celeste (played this session by Heather/Fray) destroys it with a single swipe of her magic mop.

With the Fray-digo restrained by the webs, the others can focus it down.

Edmond tries using Disguise Self to transform into Fray and appeal to the Fray-digo, trying to shame or berate it. It’s a fun idea, but the beast is pure evil and hunger incarnate.

Thimbleweed lights it up with powerful arrow shots, and the Fray-digo reverts back to an annoyed, flippant Fray.

Finally, the battle is over. But the Marshals are on a ticking clock. The stone chair had risen, revealing a set of stairs underground, but they have less than an hour before the way is sealed once again.

With no time to rest and recuperate, they head downstairs into the vault.

Rime of the frostmaiden session 49 jarlmoot puzzle

They’re greeted by a complex, multi-step puzzle (Source: “Rune Puzzles,” designed by Paul Camp). Six braziers have cryptic runes written on them, while a poem written on the archway above teases hidden anagrams and nearby objects to be used.

After scratching their heads a bit, they test the nearby set of doors, which leads to a room full of chests and keys. They use the keys to open the chests, finding several everyday items such as gloves, boots, and rope.

The final chest holds the clues. Three scrolls, each with a single word, and the translated runes below them.

Armed with the scrolls, they begin to solve the runic lettering on the braziers. The answers are cryptic and weird, such as “had her rat,” and “satin orb.” They must be unscrambled in order to uncover the proper clue, then determine which of these items matches the clue.

The DM only has to prod them a bit with a hidden message in the poem about underlined runes denoting the first letter of the unscrambled messages. From there they begin to figure out some of the answers, such as “Hard Earth,” placing a big rock on the first brazier.

It lights up with a heatless blue flame, and reveals a compartment with another puzzle scroll with more letters.

After some time the Marshals are able to solve the puzzles one by one, though some of the riddles are more challenging than others, including a few twists and tricks. Placing the wrong object on a brazier results in a fiery blast, though Fray’s day-long troll regen basically negates any damage.

After completing the final brazier, the wall opens, revealing a hidden path toward their grand prize: a large chest.

Fray turns the gold key in the chest, which painfully melts in her hand. But she remembers a silver key they found in the room of chests. Turning that key properly opens the chest, revealing several nice magical items: a Ring of Animal Influence, a Javelin of Lightning, and Boots of the Vind Rune, along with several potions. Pretty nice haul for a challenging trial!

They quickly leave the vault before it seals back up. But on the way out of the arena of thrones, they see a familiar figure. Bergelmir the frost giant, astride his woolly mammoth, is waiting for them, holding their goblin ally Blista by the scruff of her neck.

It was his plan all along to let them fight and puzzle their way inside Jarlmoot to get the rewards, then take it from them when they left.

Looks like the party has one final challenge to overcome!

MVPC – Thimbleweed

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