Live streamed and uploaded every week on YouTube. Join us live on Fridays at 7:30 pm Pacific/10:30 pm Eastern!

Original character art by Jimmy McClure.
Music by Kevin MacLeod.
Chat with us in the Official Discord Server.
Support the channel via Patreon!

Previously on Rime of the Frostmaiden

Valravn, level 11 Eladrin Bard of Eloquence
Fray, level 11 Halfling Barbarian of the Beast
Celeste, level 11 Half-orc Sun Soul Monk (mostly controlled by DM this session, see below)
Edmond, Level 11 Human Alchemist Artificer
Thimbleweed, level 11 Thri-kreen Swarmkeeper Ranger

In Grimskalle, the Marshals search the final room of the first level, finding an empty, frozen kitchen. They take the opportunity short rest and identify the loot they had received from the old frost giant: a Belt of Frost Giant Strength for Fray, and a White Dragon Scale Shield for Thimbleweed.

But the party is collectively out of hit dice, with most of them unable to fully heal during the rest. They’ve endured much to get this far.

Emerging from the kitchen (with some mysterious frozen fruit in tow), they hear muffled voices and odd shimmering sounds coming from the stairs leading down to the dungeon level.

Once again the Marshals show off their fancy mobility, spider-climbing, wall-walking, flying pegasus. In the case of Edmond, that involves feeding your summoned polar bear a potion of climbing!

The stealthy Thimbleweed goes first. After a 100-ft descend down the icy staircase, he emerges into a vast chamber with gleaming white ice.

The area is littered with recently slain bodies of Frostmaiden faithful. Standing in the middle are Vaelish Gant and Vellyne Harpell — though Vellyne is still possessed by Nass Lantomir.

Vellyne/Nass is holding an orb and channeling a spell, creating a translucent, spherical aura around them.

Thimbleweed quietly returns to the staircase and informs his party. The Marshals deliberate for a long time in the staircase on how to handle this situation — mostly how best to ambush them!

But then they recall that Vellyne/Nass invited them here. Perhaps they should give diplomacy a chance?

To retain the upper hand, Valravn casts Greater Invisibility on Fray. Combined with Thimbleweed’s superior stealth, the pair can easily enter the large ice rink and move into position behind the villainous duo.

The other three exit the stairs.

Vaelish nods to them, explaining that they need their help. At first the Marshals are surprised and confused. Vaelish quickly explains that their goals align: by getting the holy book that resides nearby, they can end Auril’s everlasting night.

Of course, he also admits their real goal: the book should also have the power to crack open the Reghed Glacier, granting passage to the ancient buried city that he and Nass discovered.

They’re also wondering why Auril the Frostmaiden, a goddess, is so afraid of anyone discovering the lost Netherese city that she would blanket the entire region in night, all but dooming everyone who lives in Icewind Dale.

Armed with this new information, the Marshals deliberate again. Even though Vaelish and Nass are bad people who have done terrible things, their goals technically align, at least for the time being.

Plus, Nass’ magic is apparently keeping them hidden from the Frostmaiden’s constant scrying. Attacking her and interrupting the spell would bring down the wrath of the goddess, according to them.

It takes much restraint from Fray to not invisibly snatch the orb and interrupt the spell. But cooler heads prevail, and the Marshals agree to help, on one condition: Nass must vacate the body of their friend!

The pair nod, expecting this concession. They drag one of the not-as-dead frost druids into the circle, and the ghost of Nass Lantomir screeches out of the body, and enters the new one, where Vaelish hurries to staunch the wounds of her new vessel.

The restored Vellyne collapses to the ground, unconscious.

Rime of the frostmaiden session 67 grimskalle

The holy book of the Frostmaiden is sealed behind a door. The door only opens once four trials have been successfully completed: the Trials of the Frostmaiden. Doors marked with each trial surround the ice rink.

One person needn’t have to do every trial, however. The Marshals agree to split up to quickly handle each trial, while Vaelish and Nass continue guarding the entrance.

Fray chooses the Trial of Endurance, Thimbleweed the Trial of Isolation. Valravn has only the “Trial of ….-vation” to go by, and decides to chance it, bringing Celeste along (who he’s been controlling this session). Edmond is left with the Trial of Cruelty.

We let the dice decide the order of trials, and Thimbleweed is first.

Touching the door transports the thri-kreen into an icy cave with howling winds, twinkling lights, and distorting reflections. Shadowy versions of his party members are there with him. They must find their way out of the maddening caves by making group Survival Checks.

Thimbleweed is perfect for this challenge, but it’s his shadowy teammate doppelgangers who impress. The group check succeeds at four of the five challenges, and with Thimbleweed’s rolls, he’s never in danger of disappearing into the caves. Trial succeeded!

Thimbleweed reappears in the room without breaking a sweat, holding a crystallized snowflake.

Valravn and Celeste are next, and they’re transported into a desolate campsite in the tundra. Food and fire have run out, and they look around to their party members (who aren’t really there, but they don’t know that), seeing a murderous gleam in their eye. It’s the Trial of Preservation, and only one can survive.

Roll for initiative!

I designed the Trial of Preservation as a PVP FFA. Party members who aren’t there in the trial still control their characters as if they were (without actually deducting spell slots or HP, but keeping track for the purposes of this battle). For Valravn and Celeste (and the pegasus, Lord Marbury) it’s all very real, however.

We use the randomized TokenFate mod to determine who gets targeted by everyone in every round, leading to hilarious chaos. Edmond pulls out a saber-tooth tiger from his Bag of Tricks (how does he keep getting the two strongest creatures every time!!). The tiger launches itself at the pegasus and begins mauling the flying horse, who doesn’t last long.

Edmond hurls a Chardalyn Band of Binding at Valravn, but he responds by Misty Stepping out of it.

Thimbleweed takes advantage of Nature’s Veil to drop into invisibility in the first three rounds.

Valravn uses Synaptic Static to psychically blast everyone, though many of his former allies surprisingly make the save.

Fray sends her Javelin of Lightning hurtling toward Valravn, injecting him with a painful surge of electricity.

Celeste uses her mobility and speed to quickly drop in and out of melee, and throwing her sun blast into Edmond and Fray.

Edmond is the first to fall, not long after his tiger is blasted apart, taking an arrow from Thimbleweed. Celeste then goes down from Fray’s axe.

Valravn smartly uses Greater Invisibility to bow out of the fight, leaving Thimbleweed and Fray to duke it out.

Due to time and diminishing returns on the fight, we agree to montage the rest of the battle: while Thimbleweed and Fray begin to hammer each other, Valravn can continue to blast them while invisible. The survivor attempts to hunt down the invisible elf, but dramatically falls just before they reach him.

Valravn successfully survives the arena, completing the trial. Two trials down, two trials remain.

MVPC – Valravn

Live post-session discussion:

Live streamed and uploaded every week on YouTube. Join us live on Fridays at 7:30 pm Pacific/10:30 pm Eastern!

Support my channel via Patreon!