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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)
Edmond, Level 12 Human Alchemist Artificer
Thimbleweed, level 12 Thri-kreen Swarmkeeper Ranger (played by Raymond/Edmond)

The party split up last session. Half of them had run into a magical grove and a worried, clingy dryad, while the others came across an odd, blue-skinned humanoid trapped in the ice (H33).

While drillbot does its thing, Valravn tries to communicate with the hairless humanoid, but to no avail. It seems to register him, but doesn’t respond back. When Valravn tries multiple languages (and his bardic Universal Speech), the figure takes its finger to its lips in the universal sign of “shush.”

Then it proceeds to shuffle slowly but methodically toward the southern tunnel. The rest follow, curious as to who the this is and where they may be going.

At the moment, they’re heading toward the Frozen Grove (H36), where a battle has broken out between a group of nothics and the other half of the party. The dryad (I used the Duskthorn Dryad statblock from Tome of Beasts) had cast suggestion on Edmond to protect the grove — though they’re keen on destroying these creatures regardless.

The nothics charge forward, using their claws and Rotting Gaze attacks (which the party keeps saving against, argh!). Fray meets them head on, though doesn’t bother to rage against relatively weaker foes.

A larger nothic (Nothic Stalker from Expanded Towers of Magic) tries to infect her mind with paranoia, but Bardic Inspiration from a newly arrived Valravn saves her.

Edmond surprises everyone by taking the magically delicious purple pears from the grove, and shoving three of them down the throat of the nearest nothic. One successful Sleight of Hand check later, and the nothic gains multiple spell-like powers, but also becomes nauseated and poisoned. 

The nothics act like severe drug addicts, with spells as their drug of choice. Any time someone casts a spell they go into a frenzy. When the pear-drunk nothic gains temporary spell powers, it becomes euphoric, casting invisibility one round, then lesser restoration in the next.

Fray and Edmond, still at the forefront of the battle, taking advantage of the tight grouping of their enemies. Edmond casts Tasha’s caustic brew, while Fray hurls her javelin of lightning. With the arrival of the rest of the party, they make short work of the nothics — though the stalker gets off an impressive 30 damage sneak attack from a critical hit on Fray!

The fight is over. The dryad thanks Edmond and his friends, and identifies the blue figure as a magen, an arcane construct built by “the masters” of Ythryn. They’re a common servant class, and this one is probably returning to its duties. 

The party wants to follow, but Edmond cannot. He’s still magically compelled to stay and protect the grove as long as the suggestion spell remains.

Valravn tries to talk to the dryad, then casts dispel magic to end the effect. But the dryad casts counterspell, points an accusatory finger at the eladrin, and we roll for initiative!

Rime of the frostmaiden session 75 dryad

Celeste and Thimbleweed hurry after the magen as it disappears into the southeastern tunnel. Fray tries to talk to Edmond and dangle his precious chardalyn in front of him, but when that doesn’t work, she goes after the drayd.

Valravn casts calm emotions to temporarily suppress the effects of suggestion (which we’re still not sure was correct, but I rolled with it), freeing Edmond.

An annoyed Edmond casts flaming sphere and begins burning the grove! Diplomacy has definitely left the building as the dryad shrieks and Fray swings her axe, breaking the fey’s concentration. One of the trees animates and swings its massive branches at Edmond, nearly killing him.

Valravn is increasingly annoyed, and reveals his backstory of having been manipulated by a dryad in his past. He once again pulls off a clutch enchantment spell, this time with his own suggestion (which I should’ve counterspell‘d if I was paying better attention). He orders her to retreat into her trees and remain as passive as possible, while Edmond begrudgingly shuts off his flaming sphere.

She does so, and the dangers of the grove subsides.

The party doesn’t stick around. They wisely, and quickly, move down the southeastern tunnel, putting the dangerous Caves of Hunger in their rearview mirrors.

After nearly a mile they emerge into a vast cavern. Below lies their prize: Ythryn, the ancient flying city, crashed into the ice and half-frozen. Yet anything but empty. Dark shadows creep and flicker among the streets. The large, central tower glows with a protective spell, and the visible mythallar within sparks and contorts with unstable energy. They watch as it creates distortions and rips in reality, an increasing danger, all while the magen dutifully moves toward the city.

But perhaps they’ll first settle down for a long rest, and a much-deserved level up!

MVPC – Edmond

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