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Note: We’re off next week, D&D (and Crafting streams) will resume the week of July 11!

Previously on Rime of the Frostmaiden

Valravn, level 9 Eladrin Bard of Eloquence
Fray, level 9 Halfling Barbarian of the Beast/Fighter
Celeste, level 9 Half-orc Sun Soul Monk
Edmond, Level 9 Human Alchemist Artificer
Thimbleweed, level 9 Gnome Swarmkeeper Ranger

Returning to Ten Towns gave the Marshals a much-needed Long Rest — and a level up to nine. It’d only been a single day since they left, so conditions in town hadn’t worsened much, but they clearly weren’t getting any better. Bryn Shander continues to suffer from the humanitarian crisis wrought by the chardalyn dragon and the everlasting night.

No where was that more evident then in Easthaven. Returning to the large town for the first time since the dragon’s brutal attack, the party bears witness to the devastation. Only a few buildings remain standing, with groups of people searching, scavenging, or simply looting. The town may never fully recover.

The Marshals settle in for a lengthy trek across the tundra, heading east towards the Goliath encampment known as Wyrmdoom Crag. Kapanuk, the Goliath whom they had rescued from Sunblight and who had fought the dragon with them, had invited them to come visit after he returned home.

The journey will take nearly the entire day, even in their wagon. They travel sans their goblin driver and cook Blista, however. After her ordeals during the last adventure, she had asked to remain behind in Bryn Shander. The party agreed, and she ends up opening her own Genocider franchise.

The party misses her terribly.

After several hours of travel, Celeste begins feeling an odd pressure in her head, and a whispering on the wind. After several minutes the pressure builds and she begins to hear words that form a telepathic message:

“Nautiloid down. Emergency protocols enabled. Crew safe, but vessel imperiled. Psi crystal needed. Come at once.”

She reveals the sensation and message to the party, but attempts to suppress it, even while the psi crystal around her neck begins to thrum and pull her north like a magnet.

She fails an INT saving throw, taking psychic damage and suffering a level of exhaustion. The message continues to repeat every minute.

Everyone starts to freak out, and Celeste pulls her head out of the wagon to yell at Fray to turn north. Fray, always eager to fight and kill, quickly agrees.

The party heads northeast. After an hour or two the rest of the party begins hearing a buzzing in their heads, like the coming of a headache. Poor Celeste continues to hear the message, becoming louder and clearer, and begins muttering it herself.

Fray begins seeing large, egg-colored spheres lying half buried in the snow up ahead. The party recognizes these spheres, having found one in Karkolohk (with a pissed off, psychically-enhanced Quaggoth inside).

Unlike that egg-sphere, these are cracked and damaged. Fray pulls up, hops out, and hurries over to inspect them. Edmond throws one of his animal-balls, summoning a reindeer, and joins her.

The egg is indeed the same kind of odd sphere that can house a humanoid-size creature within, with lots of creepy organic-science shit inside. This one is also ominously covered in blood.

Celeste recognizes these devices. She emerged from one in Session 1 before joining the party, remembering only flashes of what came before.

At the words “creepy organic” Thimbleweed hops out of the wagon to check it out. Valravn begins casting Detect Magic.

The ground begins to rumble. Bursting out from the earth below the snow is a large carnivorous monster with a gaping maw. The bulette leaps onto the sphere-inspectors, crashing into them (and killing Edmond’s summon). A second monster leaps out of the snow and bodily slams into the wagon, knocking Valravn and Celeste out of the windows and doors and killing their reindeer mounts.

Roll for initiative!

Rime of the frostmaiden session 51 bulette

The party is shocked at the sudden loss of their wagon, but quickly mount a comeback. Fray rages during the surprise round and begins swinging into the bulette, while Edmond hurls a Chardalyn Band of Binding, restraining it.

A critical hit from Thimbleweed’s magic sword, Vigilance, slaps it with the blinded (sword effect) and frightened (Massive Damage effect) conditions, granting this monster the dubious honor of Most Simultaneous Debuffs ever seen in our games!

Valarvan unleashes powerful psychic spells on the other, including Psychic Lance and Dissonant Whispers, sending it tunneling back underground (only to emerge and Deadly Leap again!).

Despite the monsters’ impressive hit points and AC, the party puts out a ton of damage, including a summoned Polar Bear from Edmond’s back of tricks.

Only when a third bulette emerges and bites Fray for 40 damage (resisting half thanks to rage) do the party realize how painful this could’ve been. But they smartly didn’t underestimate the beasts — who had clearly enjoyed breaking open these egg-spheres and snacking on the poor fools inside.

With the final bulette fleeing below ground, the area is quiet once again. The party is saddened by the loss of their wagon (and their Genocider stash!) and hold a ritual bonfire for their stalwart vehicle.

They had found the wagon way back in Session 1, and officially earned it in Session 24. RIP old friend.

Stuck in the middle of the tundra without travel, the party trudge closer to the source of the signal. They don’t have to travel much farther. Looming out of the snow is what looks like a gigantic cephalopod, with tree-size tentacles sprouting from the front.

A gods-damn crashed alien spaceship.

MVPC – Thimbleweed

Note: We’re off next week, D&D (and Crafting streams) will resume the week of July 11!

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