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Original character art by Jimmy McClure.
Music by Kevin MacLeod.
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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 Fray/Heather)
Edmond, Level 13 Human Alchemist Artificer
Thimbleweed, level 13 Thri-kreen Swarmkeeper Ranger (played by Edmond/Raymond)

Note: I’m incorporating Dan Kahn’s excellent Ythryn Expanded Towers of Magic supplement to enhance Chapter 7 of Rime of the Frostmaiden. Now available on Roll20!

At the end of last week’s session the party ran into a slight problem when trying to leave the Tower of Abjuration. And by slight, I mean a 20-ft tall face-less giant with backward knees, a toothy maw for a stomach, and a large sledgehammer in its clawed hands!

The tomb tapper is a simple yet scary creature introduced in Icewind Dale Rime of the Frostmaiden. Like the magen, it’s a construct of the Netherese wizards, and had been drawn by all the recent magic item destruction at the anvil. 

It’s a CR 10 monster with about 200 hit points. I beefed it up a bit, allowing it to throw and retrieve its sledgehammer, Thor-style, as a Bonus Action, freeing it up to do its claw attacks each round and hopefully connecting with both to get a third bite attack.

Alas, that would require me to roll well. 

As Valravn takes a hammer to the chest, Fray rages and manifests her tail for defense. The party struggles with the permanent antimagic field all around them — which gives them an idea. Why not ask their magic anvil friend about it?

Valravn runs upstairs and opts to destroy Xardarok’s chardalyn gauntlet on the anvil. The choice item greatly appeases the sentient anvil, and when Valravn asks about the field, it replies that High Abjurer Taruth created it, and only he can rescind it.

Valravn then claims to be Taruth, and orders the anvil to turn it off. One 25+ Deception check later, and the anvil acquiesces!

The antimagic field is not meant to be disabled, but I liked the role-playing, the item sacrifice, and the deception check.

With magic back on the table, the martials can use their more powerful weapon attacks, Valravn can fling psychic spells, and Edmond can hurl a pesky chardalyn band of binding, restraining the brute and its suspiciously distracting nipples.

tomb tapper nipple eyes
created by fan of the show demnix!

The tomb tapper rarely connects with a single claw attack. Fray’s tail proves quite helpful, deflecting several attacks, and the bands soon restrain it, conferring disadvantage. The hammer throws fare a bit better, though the party smartly scatters, preventing the retrieval from ever hitting more than one person.

Despite the lack of hitting, the tapper has a boatload of hit points and makes every save thrown at it, creating a protracted, and not terribly compelling battle. Dang it!

Finally the giant falls, transforming into a stone statue. The party short rests to recover wounds from the last two fights (plus Ki points and Bardic Inspirations), then finally makes their way out of the tower.

They have several points of interest to explore, including an arboretum to craft a wand from the Nether Oak, and more towers to plunder. 

But nearby is another interesting location: a sports stadium with three giant tridents thrusting into the sky. 

A pedestal in the middle of the stadium holds a glittering object. Valravn uses a scroll of haste on Fray, thinking a simple run and grab ought to get it done.

But when Fray steps a speedy foot inside the stadium, the tridents activate, shooting lighting into the air and encasing the pedestal, and the entire arena, in an electric dome.

A gigantic illusory, and glitchy figure appears above the stadium, welcoming everyone to the Chain Lightning Games!

The announcer invites players to take up the wands lying in a newly opened compartment in the tridents, as half a dozen magen appear on the other end of the field.

The DM has a worrying moment where only one player stepped into the stadium, so the announcer allows other players to make it through to join her, though they take a bit of lighting damage on the way in.

Valravn opts to send in his pegasus Lord Marbury instead of Vellyne, which I did not expect! I guess the rules don’t say that a flying horse can’t participate.

Rime of the frostmaiden session 78 chain lightning stadium

The players don’t know the rules, though the announcer reminds everyone that the following isn’t allowed: physical contact, harmful spells, and any spells over 2nd level. So how do they win?

The wands can absorb lightning damage. By standing in the right spot when lightning shoots out of a trident, a player can absorb the lightning and fire it at an enemy player. As soon as anyone is hit, they are eliminated from the match. 

The party is befuddled on how this all works, even while the enemy team begins to fan out and cast non-attack spells, such as hold person (which the party keeps saving against, with the help of inspiration) and mirror image.

Once the tridents begin whirling up and firing blasts of lighting, things finally seem to click. Lord Marbury proves immediately useful with his 90-fly speed and impressive Athletics checks, able to fly in, charge a wand, and fly back, handing the wand off to someone who will be more effective at firing the charged blast.

Valravn fires a charged wand and eliminates the nearest magen. Boom!

One pesky magen casts levitate on Celeste, rendering her helpless in the air. The others work together, using Fray and Lord Marbury to charge wands, and Edmond, Valravn, and Thimbleweed to fire them.

But mirror image proves its worth, absorbing three hits!

On the flip side the magen are unable to charge their wands as quickly or effectively thanks to some poor Athletics rolls.

We had to end the session after two rounds, and still only one player eliminated (one magen). We will resume the match next week!

MVPC – Valravn

Live post-session discussion:

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