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Previously on Rime of the Frostmaiden

Valravn, level 14 Eladrin Bard of Eloquence
Fray, level 14 Halfling Barbarian of the Beast
Celeste, level 14 Half-orc Sun Soul Monk
Edmond, Level 14 Human Alchemist Artificer
Thimbleweed, level 14 Thri-kreen Swarmkeeper Ranger

Returning to the gateway into the central spire, the Marshals were confronted by the other surviving members (sorry Dzaan!) of the Arcane Brotherhood who had journeyed to Icewind Dale. 

Avarice is disappointed that Valravn didn’t accept her invitation to parley earlier after her arrival in the city. Ever the schemer, she tries to convince him and Edmond that restoring Ythryn to its former glory should be their goal: and using their arcane prowess, they can become its new masters, rivaling the strength of the Brotherhood.

Nass Lantomir and Vaelish Gant, however, are in no mood to make any further deals. By using the ice devil to procure the final lines of the Arcane Octad, they’ve lost their bargaining chip. In desperation, they made a deal with the devil, and give the Marshals of Ten Towns an ultimatum: turn over the Rite of the Arcane Octad, or they’ll take it by force.

The Marshals are diplomatic but firm with Avarice. Valravn had grown wise to her charms, and they are incredulous that she would be able to “fix” the Mythallar in the first place (of course, they also may be overreaching in their claim to be able to shut it down!).

Vellyne approves of the rebuff. Avarice can see that Vaelish and Nass are backed into a corner and will come to blows, so she decides to pull her forces back and taker her leave. Edmond promises to contact her later.

Cadavix warns that once they deactivate the security system that powers the forcefield (which he believes his still operated by the high wizard and master of Ythryn, Iriolarthas), she will have access to the Mythallar same as them.

The Marshals try a similiar diplomatic approach with Vaelish and Nass, but it falls on deaf ears. They’re close to the finish line, and believe their only chance is to reach the Mythallar first. And hey, they brought an ice devil, surely they can take on the PCs — roll for initiative!

Edmond is first. He whips out a scroll of hold person and casts it on Vaelish, paralyzing the evoker wizard before he has a chance to do anything.

The DM dismally reports that Vaelish would remain paralyzed throughout the battle.

Fray rushes up to take advantage, auto-critting the convicted criminal. The ice devil attacks Fray with little joy (“nothing personal, just business”), and Valravn responds by whipping out a 7th level spell, and trapping it within a forcecage — one of the most infamously hated spells by DMs.

Suddenly the action economy has swung even stronger in the players’ favor. They lay into the paralyzed Vaelish and Nass, who is still occupying the body of the frost druid from Auril’s Abode.

Nass-druid gets off a single ice storm before she’s cut down with Thimbleweed’s arrows. Her powerful ghost form emerges from the body, calling forth several deathlock wight minions.

Rime of the frostmaiden session 86 spire entrance

The minions begin dying off rapidly to back-to-back AOE attacks from Celeste’s searing sunburst and Valravn’s synaptic static spell. The paralyzed Vaelish dies ignominiously to a charging reindeer summoned by Edmond’s bag of tricks. Within moments only Nass-ghost remains, pitifully firing off her shadow bolts before being surrounded and cut down, slain by Celeste’s radiant fists.

In short, the recurring villains Vaelish and Nass get their asses kicked!

With the ice devil still firmly in the forcecage, Edmond begins performing the Rite of the Arcane Octad, performing each of the steps in careful order. 

When it’s time to share a secret, he confesses that he learned about chardalyn and the problems in Icewind Dale by spying on the Brotherhood, and it led him to be targeted by Avarice and Valravn!

He asks Valravn to share his secret about his failed relationship with the dryad, a most excellent call-back to the hilarious battle with a charmed Edmond and a dryad at the end of the Caves of Hunger

With the steps complete, Edmond gains admittance to through the gate, and is able to magically hold the doorway open to quickly usher in his companions.

They enter the cramped, dark room. Fray instantly pushes the only button on the wall, and they’re magically lifted up toward the spire. Along the way they enjoy lovely aerial views of the half-destroyed city as the damaged Mythallar continues to create tears in reality, and more monstrous things break through.

They reach the top and ascend stairs toward a large door. A magen overlooking the staircase greets them in a recorded message, stating that Iriolarthas is currently preoccupied. It also recognizes High Necromancer Cadavix, greeting a ranking member of the Ebon Star, one of the ruling wizards of Ythryn.

The doors open and the party is startled to see a lavish ballroom filled with guests in fancy cocktail attire.

They’re immediately suspicious, and Fray begins poking one of the courtiers. They react to her presence, but a keen Perception check by the barbarian reveals that they’re illusory (except for the magen servants). She notices floating brains in a jar swaying above the floor, and points them out to the others.

Fray, being fray, shouts at the brains and even throws a rock at one of them. 

The effects are immediate; all the illusory figures turn frightened and pained, fading away to reveal the much more empty, destroyed, frost-covered room. 

And several very angry brains!

MVPC – Valravn

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