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Previously on Rime of the Frostmaiden

Valravn, level 13 Eladrin Bard of Eloquence
Fray, level 13 Halfling Barbarian of the Beast
Celeste, level 13 Half-orc Sun Soul Monk (played by Heather/Fray)
Edmond, Level 13 Human Alchemist Artificer
Thimbleweed, level 13 Thri-kreen Swarmkeeper Ranger

After reaching the Spire Entrance (Y6), the party had learned they need to visit each of the eight arcane towers throughout the ancient city, in order to “seek permission” from their respective high wizards.

Vaelish and Nass offered to tackle the towers furthest away, toward the sinking, buried end of the city. That leaves the Marshals with exploring the nearby areas of interest, beginning with the Tower of Abjuration (Y6).

“Abjuration shouldn’t be too hard,” their eladrin bard declares. The DM smiles.

Note: I’m incorporating Dan Kahn’s excellent Ythryn Expanded Towers of Magic supplement to enhance Chapter 7 of Rime of the Frostmaiden.

Like much of Ythryn, the Tower of Abjuration is mostly ruined, leaving little more than the main staircase intact. Searching the ruins yields no treasure, but the party discovers a rather obvious piece of Ythryn lore: the arcane barrier surrounding the central spire in times of emergency was created by High Abjurer Taruth, and can last forever.

One room wasn’t ruined, a small lobby area that holds a magically locked door. Valravn’s detect magic spots, wait for it — abjuration magic! 

Feeling a bit less cocky then before, Valravn asks Vellyne to use dispel magic. She does, and it seems to work, but another spell underneath triggers a WIS saving throw, and Vellyne is poofed out of existence. Oh dear!

With the magic gone, the party opens the door into a larger guard room, with pillars and a staircase going up. Guarding the stairs are half a dozen magen, most wearing armor and wielding greatswords. Roll for initiative!

Valravn quckly discovers an alarming problem: his detect magic stops at the entrance to this room, as if it doesn’t exist anymore. An anti-magic field! Sure enough when Celeste and Fray walk into the room, their magic items are nullified. 

Fray cares not, opting to sheathe her magic axe and grow her claws as part of her bestial rage, and begin tearing into the magen. She attacks recklessly, and the magen gain a big boost to their hit rate as a result.

Thimbleweed remains in the back firing his bow, while Valravn stays on top of Lord Marbury, not daring to enter the field, and mostly uses bardic inspiration to inspire the others.

Edmond, deprived of his spells and magical abilities, pleasantly surprises all of us by turning into a grappler! He strides into the room, grapples the nearest magen, and drags it out of the room, where Celeste can pummel it using her magical mop and his summoned reindeer can attack with impunity.

Edmond repeats it all once more, though hilariously he’s unable to properly shove them prone thanks to the DM rolling three nat 20s on contested Athletics checks, turning his entire combat experience into an epic WWE standoff.

Rime of the frostmaiden session 77 tower of abjuration

Edmond steals the show (and earns Inspiration and MVPC) but it’s Fray who does the work. Even while raging (and gaining resistance) she takes nearly 100 total damage during the fight. She successfully draws all the aggro in the room, while killing half of them by herself with triple claw attacks. She don’t need to stinkin’ magic items!

With the magen destroyed, they can ascend the new staircase, reaching a smaller room that thankfully isn’t bathed in a permanent anti-magic field

In the middle lies an anvil with faintly glowing runes, a hammer resting atop it. A nearby bookshelf holds three large sapphires, one of which holds a diminutive, angry Vellyne! Fray hilariously pockets their miniaturized friend as a voice telepathically calls out:

“Feed me your items of power, and I will feed you knowledge. One item, for one secret.”

The Marshals are overjoyed to have a reason to recycle their older, unused magic items. Always hang onto your magic loot, kids!

Edmond tries placing a spell scroll, but the anvil haughtily scoffs. Valravn places a chardalyn amulet, from way back at Caer-Dineval, on the anvil and steps back. The anvil tells the eladrin to use the hammer to strike. He does so, and the magical item is instantly destroyed, its particles absorbing into the anvil as its sighs telepathically.

They ask the anvil what they need from this tower in order to unlock the Spire Entrance. The anvil gives the first line of the Rite of the Arcane Octad: “First, shield they heart with a wand from the Nether Oak.”

To ask anything else, they’ll have to feed it again! Fray places the chardalyn crown, worn by Xardarok Sunblight, on the anvil, and gleefully smashes it. She asks about the Nether Oak. The anvil explains that it’s a “grumpy old tree” that resides in the Arboretum here in the city.

After contemplating the fate of their friend and wondering if they should smash her crystal on the anvil (yes!) or walk her through the anti-magic field (oh dear!), Fray places a chardalyn dagger on the anvil and smashes it.

They ask how to properly free their friend. The anvil reveals that by placing her on the anvil and smashing it, it will absorb the magic.

Still a risk! Fray shakes the trapped Vellyne once more for funzies, then places it on the anvil and smashes, destroying the crystal and freeing a re-sized Vellyne. Huzzah! She’s not happy about the temporary treatment, but at least they did the right thing in the end, I guess?

Absorbing the crystal magic grants them another question! Edmond asks for clarification on the Arcane Octad.

The anvil clarifies what the Rite of the Arcane Octad is: a series of eight intricate steps that must be performed at the Spire Entrance. Each step can be learned from each of the eight towers around Ythryn. Therefore, it is information they seek. They’ve learned the first step, which also requires them to visit the nearby Arboretum to get a wand.

With their questions exhausted, the Marhsals pocket the anvil hammer, then descend the stairs back into the anti-magic guard room. 

A terrible thrumming sound has been building since they destroyed the first magic item, and now it reaches a terrifying crescendo, as a gigantic creature with a stump for a head and a gaping mouth in its torso tears its way up the central stairs, ripping apart Edmond’s summoned reindeer!

MVPC – Edmond

Live post-session discussion:

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