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Previously on Rime of the Frostmaiden

Valravn, level 15 Eladrin Bard of Eloquence
Fray, level 15 Halfling Barbarian of the Beast
Celeste, level 15 Half-orc Sun Soul Monk
Edmond, Level 15 Human Alchemist Artificer
Thimbleweed, level 15 Thri-kreen Swarmkeeper Ranger

Within the Chamber of the Ebon Star (Y19m) the party long rest — and level up to 15. Cadavix sits in his chair as the rotating galaxy swirls and zooms through space, unlocking a doorway into a dark star. The extra-dimensional lair of the high lord of Ythryn, Iriolarthas.

Not knowing what to expect, the party steps through the magical doorway.

Emerging from void space, the party finds themselves in a vast, humid chamber. Large tentacles undulate through rivers of thick green goo. The floor is covered in a fleshy, squishy substance. The chamber is dimly lit by floating bubbles of phosphorescent gas. Several nothics snap their heads toward them and growl.

And in the middle of it all, a gigantic brain the size of a house lies half-submerged in the goo.

Iriolarthas had undergone the Ritual of Brain Transfer to achieve immortality, and his power and connection to the Mythallar had increased his mass and power.

It did not do anything for his sanity, however. He psychically screams that this is his city, and its fine citizens (now nothics and brains) wouldn’t stand for any further intrusion.

Iriolarthas is a modified elder brain statblock. Its mind blast attack no longer auto-stuns on a fail, instead inflicting one of several different debuffs drawn from spells such as synaptic static and slow (stun becomes a 1-in-4 chance).

Furthermore, the debuff lasts only a single turn, instead of having to make the save every round. This change allows the brain to use its mind blast attack nearly every round without completely locking down the party.

Even so, the party has several tools to help make the save, including bardic inspiration, flash of genius, Fray’s cannibal dice, and Celeste’s magic resistance and diamond soul. Thimbleweed gets a lot of use out of his new level 15 feature, Swarming Dispersal to help mitigate the 30+ damage mind blasts that hit nearly every round.

Iriolarthas also has lair actions, including constructing a dome of force round his big ass brain, and legendary actions. The DM reduced his tentacle attack to 1 legendary action, and added dissonant whispers as another legendary action. 

The result was a lengthy but appropriately challenging and satisfying boss battle.

Rime of the frostmaiden session 89 Iriolarthas

The nothics swarm the party, keeping them busy for several rounds, alongside grappling tentacles. 

Valravn’s flying pegasus mount Lord Marbury proves ineffective against the room-targeting mind blast attacks, eventually downing the pegasus and dropping the elf into the clutches of a tentacle, stymieing his efforts to cast big concentration spells such as Bigby’s hand and whirlwind.

Fray is psychically anchored by the elder brain, hoping to keep her at bay, though she has plenty of nothic targets to chew through.

Vellyne cast slow using the ring of spell storing given by the PCs, but she didn’t have nearly as many hit points to survive against the frequent mind blasts. She is forced to spend much of the battle disengaging and retreating, and nearly dies after being grappled by a tentacle. She is saved, surprisingly, by a blast of magic missiles from Fray.

Edmond pulls out a disappointing fox from his bag of tricks, which is hilariously destroyed by a Searing Sun Burst from Celeste. After helping deposit a death ward drug for Vellyne, he then pulls out a polar bear, and give it a potion of flying!

With nothics starting to fall, Fray is finally freed from the anchor and charges after the elder brain, diving into the psychokinetic flesh goo (under the wall of force dome) and misty stepping on top of the brain, where she begins merrily hacking away.

Iriolarthas tries using dissonant whispers and tentacles to extricate her, to no avail. He calls for Veneranda, his most loyal wizard ally, and a helmed horror with the head of a brain in the jar appears near where the Marshals first entered.

The brain attempts to paralyze Edmond, while the construct body hacks away at Thimbleweed.

Thimbleweed turns his full attention to this new foe, destroying the brain. Then he does something shocking – attacking himself to trigger his swarming dispersal, and swarming into the armor-suit to control it himself! 

It’s a bit of DM WTF-ery, but it’s also late in the battle, and cool as hell. 

Valravn targets the brain with a psychic spell attack, breaching its impressive INT saves with his equally impressive Unsettling Words. The wall of force finally goes down!

Celeste blasts the brain with another Searing Sun Burst as Edmond flies over with his flying bear. Thimbleweed rams into the brain at full speed (the helmed horror can fly, apparently!), and Fray delivers the killing blow with her axe attacks. An epic final round!

Iriolarthas shudders and dies, sinking into the goo. They feel a collective weight lift as the defenses of Ythryn power down. Fray in particular feels the presence of Auril once again.

The chamber begins to shake as Cadavix calls out that he’s losing the connection. 

The party rushes back through the opening, spilling back into the Spire of Iriolarthas as the door to the Ebon Star closes behind them. 

The door to the Mythallar Access opens, and they see a glowing circle beyond. They have little time, and rush into the glowing circle, prepared to deal with the Mythallar once and for all!

MVPC – Forgot to run the poll, so everyone wins!

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