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Music by Kevin MacLeod.
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Previously on Rime of the Frostmaiden

Valravn, level 12 Eladrin Bard of Eloquence
Fray, level 12 Halfling Barbarian of the Beast
Celeste, level 12 Half-orc Sun Soul Monk
Edmond, Level 12 Human Alchemist Artificer
Thimbleweed, level 12 Thri-Kreen Swarmkeeper Ranger

After the battle with the Flameksulls near the entrance of the Caves of Hunger, Vellyne informs the party that they’ll need a way to deal with the skulls before they regenerate. 

So they shove four dead Flameskulls into their Bag of Holding. What could go wrong?

Thimbleweed sneakily scouts down the southwestern tunnel into a smaller cavern (H4), seeing a creepy, kobold-like creature twitching and listening. He attempts to communicate with it, but the creature hisses, revealing sharp fangs, and darts into another tunnel, disappearing into darkness.

The party descends into another large cavern full of ruins on the floor, sword-like icicles on the ceiling, and an entire chardalyn tower embedded into an icy wall (H5). The tower is riddled with holes, giving some tantalizing images of magic walls inside. 

Fray wastes no time wielding her axe and hacking away at the crumbling walls. The ringing sound alerts the hidden Ice Piercers above, which begin dropping onto the party.

I switched their attack rolls to DC 15 DEX saves to make it more interesting, and used our random TokenFate API to select seven victims, though no one could be attacked more than twice.

But the Marshals show off their dice-rolling skills, making every single roll except the last one, where Edmond has to spend a Flash of Genius to succeed. When the creatures hit the ground they crawl around pathetically, allowing the party to easily dispatch them.

During the attack, a monstrous creature leaps onto Thimbleweed and attempts to sink its fangs into him. The attack misses, and the creature dissipates into mist.

Thimbleweed is the opposite of startled, immediately trying to track the mist and even casting Faerie Fire when he spots it flying into the ruined tower (but the [REDACTED] makes the save).

A path leads southeast but the party are very interested in this tower, especially Edmond and Vellyne. Fray continues hacking away, much to their concern, while Valravn remembers they have a Drillbot whose whole purpose is to drill through things!

Edmond shows off his Gaseous Form spell and is first inside. The tiny tower (H6) has a skeletal body on the floor in a white robe, but it’s the walls that are far more interesting. They feature shifting geometric patterns, and glow with arcane energy.

Edmond surmises (with an Arcana check) that this tower is used by spellcasters to replenish spell slots while resting. Though damaged, some of the tower’s magic looks intact.

Using the Drillbot the rest of the party is able to crawl inside and enjoy a short rest, replenishing one third level (or lower) spell slot.

During the rest they hear unsettling screaming and cackling that echoes off the walls. Fray laughs back.

Rime of the frostmaiden session 70 caves of hunger

Valravn uses Drillbot to create another crawlable tunnel through the other side of the tower, which leads to a smaller, empty cave with three branching tunnels.

The party is overwhelmed with choices, so naturally they split the party.

Fray and Valravn (along with one of Vellyne’s animated skeletons and Lord Marbury) return to the Icicile-attack room and head southeast, reaching a huge cavern with more Netherese ruins, including a tower collapsed on its side, and a foreboding, 15-ft diameter hole with completely smooth walls (H10).

Valravn and his flying mount carefully inspect the ceiling for any more icicle monsters, which they refer to as “drop worms.”

Fray crawls into the tower to search for loot. She discovers an attic and a frozen chest with two intact Potions of Super Healing. Nice!

Disturbing whispering and noises echo off the walls, gradually building into a maddening cacophony, and Fray and Valravn even hear their own names being whispered among the chaos. They have to make WIS saves against the psychic haunting (along with Lord Marbury). Fray succeeds, but Valravn and his Pegasus are stricken temporary blind by the trauma!

Meanwhile the other team exists the tower on the eastern side into the empty room (H7). Thimbleweed scouts ahead and turns north, finding a small cave with a stone slab covered in frost (H8). His Detect Magic reveals Divination Magic radiating off of it.

Thimbleweed reports this information, and once again Edmond and Vellyne excitedly rush to check it out.

Celeste suggests using her magic radiant powers to burn the frost off, which worries the others. Edmond even casts Protection from Energy before touching it.

But the frost is just that, and easily removed with a little fire or chisel. The slab underneath has writing in Draconic. Vellyne translates it: “Take the free, self-guided tour of Ythryn. Press the eye to begin.”

Edmond presses the button with the eye symbol, and his awareness is shunted into an invisible floating eye that materializes above the table. He’s now the ultimate scout!

This Arcane Eye spell does have some limitations, however. Edmond heads down the eastern tunnel from H7, noting a small cave with a giant head (H9). Beyond that room and down more tunnels is a bigger cave with flickering shadows along the walls (H11). However, once he gets this far his vision starts to fade and the magic dims. He can’t go too far from the slab!

Smartly he returns to the middle room and goes south, passing by Fray leading a blind Valravn and Lord Marbury to rejoin the others. Using the flying eye he zooms down the giant hole in the floor in the southern cavern (H10), traveling about 50 feet before the same effect begins to slow him down. The icy slide continues to descend downward and curves out of his vision.

Satisfied, Edmond ends the effect and returns to the now reformed group. He pulls out a feature we’ve never seen used before — his Restorative Reagents can cast Lesser Restoration a certain number of times per day, and he uses it to cure the blindness effect on Valravn and the Pegasus.

The Marshals are keen on exploring east rather than the giant icy slide (though Chris/Valravn would later confess during Frostside Chat that he believes it leads toward their main goal — thus they should do side paths first!).

The party files into the small cave with the head of an iron golem lying half-buried in the ground (H9). The eyes light up and it begins to speak in a language no one understands. It pauses (and Valravn tries to reply), then repeats in Elvish, stating that they are not recognized in its databanks, and they must state their names and business.”

iron golem head

Valravn replies courteously and respectfully, quickly picking up that this golem does not realize what year it is, nor that Ythryn has been seemingly destroyed. Due to its extensive damage, the golem is unable to provide much information about what happened, but is still acting like a security officer.

During the chat, Edmond moves around to the back of the golem, then to its neck. He begins fiddling with the arcane sigils inside the golem, which causes the creature’s eyes to glow red and begin activating its countermeasures. Its normal weaponry is unavailable — but it still possess its poison breath attack, which it spews into the room.

A DC 19 CON save for 10d8 poison damage is no joke, yet the DM rolls quite poorly for damage (30) and the party rolls quite amazingly for their saves. Everyone gets above a 19! As a monk, Celeste is immune to poison, while Fray’s Stout Resilience makes her resistant. 

All told, the party barely loses their temp hit points from Valravn’s Inspiring Leader feat. The only real loss is the goat Edmond had just summoned mere moments earlier from his Bag of Tricks. The second summoned creature to quickly die from an AOE blast!

After the attack Edmond is able to disable the creature, permanently shutting it off.

More dark tunnels like ahead in this dangerous, labyrinthine ice cave.

MVPC – Edmond

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