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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
Edmond, Level 13 Human Alchemist Artificer
Thimbleweed, level 13 Thri-kreen Swarmkeeper Ranger

After finishing their match of Chain Lightning, the Marshals continue their exploration of Ythryn, including an academy, and the Tower of Conjuration.

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!

We tackled the second half of my modified Chain Lightning games this week. Unfortunately for the DM, it was a near total slaughter thanks to some hilariously bad rolls.

The opposing team (Galvan Magen with +4 to Athletics, and +6 to hit with the wands) finally wrangles some lightning out of the tridents — twice! They fire off their charged wands, once with advantage to hit a floating Celeste. Both times they miss their targets by over five points, resulting in zapping themselves and self-elimination (or destroying a mirror image). Sheepish is an understatment!

Meanwhile the Marshals continue kicking butt, using their superior skills to divide up the tasks of gathering the lightning (Athletics checks) and firing the charged wands (ranged spell attacks).

Celeste would badly fumble an Arcana check trying to fire the wand herself, resulting in self-elimination, While Fray stumbles into a lighting field, getting tagged out. But by then there are only a pair of magen remaining, and the rest finish them off. If not for their mirror image spells, it would have been over long before.

The party wins their prize: a super expensive-looking mithril trophy. Non-magical, but perhaps it has other uses…

From here they have several choices on where to go. Nass and Vaelish headed east, so they look to the north, to the other side of the Spire Entrance (Y6). I added map markers to indicate areas of interest, including their next closest tower.

After surviving a distressing far realm incursion of inky voids and acidic tentacles, they head for an imposing building (aren’t they all!) near the central spire. It’s the House of the Arcane (Y8), an academy.

The inside features a lecture hall and a goblet sitting on a lectern, as several stained glass windows shine lights on it.

The windows depict wizards casting spells. Each spell is a cantrip, and each cantrip is from a different school of magic. The goblet radiates magic from all eight schools.

After some hemming and hawing, Edmond forces Valravn to drink the mysterious liquid. Valravn gains the ability to cast chill touch at will!

From there everyone takes a sip, gaining a different cantrip ability. Even Fray, who hates “magic shit,” finally takes a drink and learns prestidigitation. Only Lord Marbury, a pegasus, is unable to gain any benefits from the magic drink.

As of right now, they aren’t aware of any side effects…

They exit the academy and move toward the Tower of Conjuration (Y7), seeing a hulking construct emerge from behind a nearby building. It shouts an automated warning about the city being in curfew, and that it’s authorized to use lethal force. Then it kills a gaggle of nothics.

The party quickly runs up to the tower, but the door magically locks. Valravn wants Vellyne to cast dispel magic, but she refuses after what happened last time. He casts dispel magic, and a bonfire is conjured around them, dealing a bit of fire damage.

But the door is unlocked and they rush inside before the golem can spot them.

Rime of the frostmaiden session 79 tower of conjuration

The inside of the tower is a comfortable, clean lounge, with a table full of fresh food, a chest in the corner, a glowing door, and a small creature in a cage.

Fray moves to chow down on the food, while Valravn investigates the cage.

After a moment, the small animal within (a snake) shifts into a rat, then into an owl. Valravn is concerned for the creature and opens the cage while he and Edmond try to speak with it. But the creature appears completely content and disinterested in their attempted assistance.

Fray calls them over to join in on the feast. Valravn does so, but Edmond moves toward the glowing door, and is swiftly teleported into a higher floor.

The door stops glowing and Edmond finds himself in a study, with an ornate writing desk, a few runs on a wall, and a monstrous, bipedal insect staring at him from the middle of the room, encased in magical runes running along the floor and ceiling.

The creature (an ice devil) speaks telepathically, asking if he will free it or destroy it. Edmond, being Edmond, is completely nonchalant about this predicament, happily speaking with the creature, though not committing to helping it.

Instead he turns to the wall, where he realizes the runes are buttons, and each picture depicts a different animal — the same animal forms that the small creature was turning into! Thinking of the order from before, Edmond begins pushing the buttons, but on the third result the floor drops out into a mass of squirming tentacles. 

Edmond narrowly avoids them, and activates his boots to scale back up. The insect says a few words of encouragement, while offering to help for its freedom.

Back in the lounge, Fray and Valravn finish the meal, gaining the benefits of the heroes’ feast spell. They notice the caged creature (which Valravn has identified as a familiar) rapidly changing form, then stop and go back to its regular, but random shifting schedule.

The door beings to glow again, indicating it’s available for use. Before they have a chance, however, the animal beings quickly shifting, as Edmond is back at it!

This time he tries a slightly different combination. The DM randomly rolls the sequence, and he ends up being exactly correct — brute forcing a puzzle for the win!

The crutch of the puzzle is that the person operating the buttons has no way of knowing the random sequence, as they can’t observe the creature shifting. Somehow the others in the lounge have to communicate that information.

Or be like Edmond and strategically push buttons based on dumb luck. Whatever works!

By completing the sequence, the contents of the northern desk becomes full of treasure, including a figurine of wondrous power (giant owl!) a 1000gp ruby (Valravn is pleased!), and some spell scrolls. Most importantly they receive the second line of the Rite of the Arcane Octad: Summon a flame in the palm of your hand.

There’s still the matter of the imposing insectoid, and Edmond is always curious. He hurls a bottle of ink at the creature, which sails right through and smashes into its carapace. It snarls and manifests a wicked spear, explaining menacingly that even though it can’t leave the magic circle, it can still attack!

MVPC – Edmond

Live post-session discussion:

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