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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 (played by Chris/Valravn this session)
Edmond, Level 12 Human Alchemist Artificer
Thimbleweed, level 12 Thri-Kreen Swarmkeeper Ranger (played by Heather/Fray this session)

With the iron golem head disabled, the party continues toward the east, sending Thimbleweed ahead to scout. The ridiculously stealthy thri-kreen (+9 with advantage!) sneaks through a large cavern (H11), but doesn’t see anything. Beyond it are three more tunnels. The Caves of Hunger are a labyrinth of twisting paths and horror, and Thimbleweed experiences that firsthand when he turns into a dead-end filled with bones, experiencing a Psychic Haunting of eating, crunching, and whimpering (H12).

The ranger uses inspiration to make the saving throw against any madness effects, then telepathically tells the others the coast is clear. 

But while exploring he only rolled a 5 on his Perception check.

The other party members come waltzing into the cavern, only to be ambushed by a dozen Shadows who peel off the walls and attack!

The Shadows use their Shadow Stealth to gain advantage on many of their attacks, draining health and strength from Valravn and his loyal steed, Lord Marbury. Valravn isn’t the strongest member of the team, and after the initial assault, he’s down to a strength score of 3! One more successful attack could’ve killed him outright.

Thimbleweed, Celeste, Fray take a few hits and strength drains during the surprise round. Valravn uses Lord Marbury to fly up to the top of the cave, feeling very thankful that shadows don’t fly!

Thimbleweed is surrounded and begins lashing out with his magic shortsword, while Edmond drops a Flaming Sphere into the middle of the room. He rolls poorly for damage during its ramming attacks, but more importantly, the sphere spills bright light, preventing the Shadows from using their Shadow Stealth and gaining advantage on their nasty Strength Drain attacks.

Celeste discovers that her radiant-powered unarmed strikes do extra damage against the Shadows — Flurry of Blows is super effective!

During the fight, Thimbleweed is once again attacked by a vampiric creature who appears out of nowhere. This time the monstrous creature sinks its teeth into the thri-kreen, dealing a hefty amount of damage (and HP reduction!). It tries to use some sort of effect by staring at Thimbleweed, but he makes the save.

Valravn targets it with a psychic-damage spell, and the creature surprisingly makes the INT save, before puffing back into mist and retreating down a cave to the east.

The battle is long but quickly swings back in the party’s favor against the remaining squishy shadows.

Rime of the frostmaiden session 71 caves of hunger

During the battle, Fray feels a stirring within. The cannibal curse is reacting to these undead, and it’s pulling her towards the southern tunnel.

When the battle ends, Edmond wants to chase the vampire to the east, a weakened Valravn wants to short rest, and Fray wants to follow her hungering instinct towards the south.

Ultimately they do two of the three. Edmond pops a Tiny Hut using his Chwinga charm, allowing the party to short rest and heal their strength reduction.

Except for Fray, who stubbornly follows her inner demon down the tunnel into the southern cave, which is filled with humanoid remains and bones (H15).

While the others rest, Fray explores the charnel room. Shadows on the walls play scenes of the past, showcasing robed figures stumbling into these caves, starting fires, and gathering food and supplies. But the images blur, and the figures grow more violent, eventually attacking each other like feral animals, until only one remains.

The rest of the party isn’t aware, but Fray explores deeper into the cave, coming face-to-face with a massive pile of bones, and an evil force that causes her to instantly transform into her wendigo alter-ego.

After the short rest, the party go looking for Fray. They last saw her head south, and Thimbleweed’s tracking skills confirm that she delved deeper when the bone cave turned southwest. They see the same supernatural images play out on the walls before following her tracks.

But instead of finding their halfling friend, they’re ambushed by her wendigo form, who leaps out of the shadows and casts Fear on the entire party.

At the same time, a large Dread Wraith materializes out of the walls, declaring itself Drakareth the survivor in the ancient Netherese tongue. 

A mini-boss fight plus an evil-transformed PC — hell of a cliffhanger to end on!

Our DnD show will air a one-shot holiday special next week (Dec 23), then we’re off the following week (Dec 30). Rime of the Frostmaiden will resume on January 6, 2023!

MVPC – Fray

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