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Previously on Rime of the Frostmaiden

Valravn, level 10 Eladrin Bard of Eloquence
Fray, level 10 Halfling Barbarian of the Beast
Celeste, level 10 Half-orc Sun Soul Monk
Edmond, Level 10 Human Alchemist Artificer
Thimbleweed, level 10 Gnome Swarmkeeper Ranger

After investigating the distressingly empty command tower, the Marshals begin exploring the not-so empty prison complex.

The interview with the injured warden was interrupted when a small insectoid creature burst out of her chest. Valravn’s loyal pegasus Lord Marbury quickly killed it, but more corpses begin convulsing, spawning more of the tiny horrors.

The battle-hardened Marshals quickly put them down without breaking a sweat. From outside the central surveillance hub they can see the surrounding cells, and hear metallic steps with a booming voice instructing all non-personnel to lie prone of the ground — the prison is on high alert.

The command center room holds two magic security consoles full of buttons. Naturally Fray wanders over like a toddler and starts flipping switches like crazy.

Cell doors outside begin opening. The Marshals can see one prisoner attempt to escape, but is quickly caught by a patrolling suit of armor, who’s chest cavity opens to deploy a net.

Thimbleweed walks out into the panopticon to parley with the automated prison guards. They repeat their recorded message, commanding Thimbleweed to lie prone.

Surprisingly, he complies! As the construct walks over to slap a pair of manacles on him, it notices the rest of the party inside the surveillance hub, commanding them to do the same.

Valravn tries to reason with the constructs, but to no avail. Roll for initiative!

As the Marshals pour out of the hub, two more constructs come charging from around the corner, for a total of four automated guards.

The constructs use a modified statblock from the Clockwork Huntsman (Tome of Beasts) – fewer hit points but added multiattack, including firing nets.

Fortunately for the players, the dice are not in the DM’s favor this session. Celeste dodges out of nets using inspiration and Edmond’s Flash of Genius. Others simply roll well for the DEX save, and the poor guards barely do any damage.

Fray has a standout moment using her Boots of the Vind Rune to flying leap onto a guard’s shoulders and mercilessly hack at it from above.

With the automated guards destroyed, the party turns their attention to the recaptured prisoner. Shockingly they recognize Huarwar, the young man whom the party had been sent to rescue from a cult in Caer Dineval. At the time, Huarwar was content at staying with the chardalyn-positive Black Swords, and following Avarice’s takeover after the Marshals helped get rid of Kadroth (Sessions 13-16).

Huarwar is looking much worse for wear, and appears to be the only living creature still in their cell.

Rime of the frostmaiden session 60 revel's end

He explains that the prison fell only a few days ago after repeated attacks by giant insect monsters who could burrow through walls and floors. At some point all the cell doors opened and led to a riot (which led to more fodder for the monsters), but Huarwar opted to cower and stay in his cell.

When pressed, he explains that he had been separated from Avarice’s group during an attack. While tracking chardalyn towards the Reghed Glacier, his group was attacked by the Frostmaiden’s forces. He was separated and wandered the tundra for days before being picked up by a patrol.

He left out why he was thrown in a cell, and the Marshals didn’t press him on it. Things got dark when he sniffed out all the chardalyn the party has on them, especially Edmond. Huarwar tries to bust out of his restrains to get the chardalyn from Edmond.

Fray ends up sitting on him while Valravn casts Calm Emotions, and the Marshals place him back in his cell. As they depart to search for Gant’s cell, he warns that they’ll all die in here.

With no guards to stop them (and numbers posted outside each cell), finding Gant’s cell is trivial. Inside is a cell like any other, including the oppressive anti-magic field.

A stack of books on a desk have various pages earmarked and passages underlined and circled. The books detail Icewind Dale’s history, geography, culture, and religion.

One marked passage reads: “Once inhabited by Frost Giants, the island is rumored to be a holy site for Aurilites, where her sacred tome, The Codicil of White, is kept, only viewable to those most loyal followers who survive her trials.”

Another passage: “It’s said the Codicil of White contains a fraction of the Frostmaiden’s power, able to exert or reverse her will wherever the user directs it.”

At least one page has been torn out. Further investigation reveals a loose stone in the wall. Inside is a rolled up paper that details the shipping schedule of boats coming in and out of Revel’s End. According to the paper, a ship called the Ravenous should still be sitting in the docks.

While Edmond reads all this, Fray wanders down a non rubble-strewn corridor, finding an open door leading to a kitchen, and a closed door with a Staff-only warning, labeled Armory.

Before she can begin hacking at the door, half a dozen adult-size insectoids burst out of walls and tunnels to attack the rest of the party in the panopticon.

The partial surprise round doesn’t help when they miss several attacks, followed by Valravn’s nasty Slow spell. Edmond goes full tank mode by casting Blur, while Fray rages to avoid being surprised, charges back into the panopticon, and fires her wand of missiles at the nearest creature.

The insectoids use the Kruthik statblock with a few adjustments, such as replacing their spine ranged attack with an acid spit.

Oh, and they have a chance to implant a kruthik egg if both their stab attacks hit, and the target fails a CON save.

Despite their numbers, the kruthiks vastly underperform. The PCs rarely miss an attack. The Slow spell kills their multiattack. Celeste and Fray dish out 30-40 damage in a single round, and Valravn even kills one with a high-damage Dissonant Whispers spell.

As the last creature falls, Thimbleweed telepathically hears a faint clicking sound that coalesces into a single word: “Motherrrrrrrr.”

MVPC – Fray

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