**Caution: this post contains spoilers for Rime of  the Frostmaiden!**

When I was a child, I had no one to play Dungeons & Dragons with. Now, I am 46 and play with my own children.

Yes – I built my own players!

Our players: the piplins!

Rime of the Frost Maiden

In Icewind Dale, adventure is a dish best served cold.

Beneath the unyielding night sky, you stand before a towering glacier and recite an ancient rhyme, causing a crack to form in the great wall of ice. Beyond this yawning fissure, the Caves of Hunger await. And past this icy dungeon is a secret so old and terrifying that few dare speak of it. The mad wizards of the Arcane Brotherhood long to possess that which the god of winter’s wrath has so coldly preserved—as do you! What fantastic secrets and treasures are entombed in the sunless heart of the glacier, and what will their discovery mean for the denizens of Icewind Dale? Can you save Ten-Towns from the Frostmaiden’s everlasting night?

Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden is a tale of dark terror that revisits the forlorn, flickering candlelights of civilization known as Ten-Towns and sheds light on the many bone-chilling locations that surround these frontier settlements.


In my opinion, the conclusion of Rime of the Frost Maiden, as depicted in the campaign guide, is uneven and rushed. According to some theories, the “Auril’s Abode” section was intended to be the original end-game area, but the book was thought to be a little short. Thus, the Caves of Hunger and Ythryn were added later to pad out the campaign and end on a higher-quality dungeon. 

Although finishing the campaign in Auril’s Abode and bypassing this entire area is technically feasible, doing so would be a missed opportunity. Ythryn is a magnificent location; discovering the central spire by exploring the city is one of the campaign’s most memorable moments.

There are several possible endings here, including:

  1. If you defeat Auril at her island, you can restart the mythallar and end the rime through the “control weather” spell.
  2. If you face Auril here, you can defeat her and complete the rime that way.
  3. If you unleash the tarrasque into Ythryn, you suddenly have a different problem on your hands.
  4. You can get the city back up and flying and defeat Auril on her island. Probably using the tarrasque, or not – perhaps killing her Roc.

As a Dungeon Master, I felt that options 1 and 2 were not great, they make the conclusion of the campaign feel lacklustre and unexciting. However, this might differ for other more combat or RP focused groups. For example, I recently listened to a brilliant 2-hour RotFM podcast with a highly skilled role-playing-focused group. Their campaign was so different, and their DM ran things so differently from my style, that it took me some time to determine which section of the book they were even on. It was the ghost story in Lonelywood. 2 hours of high-end RP. In contrast, that section took me two minutes to run as I tied it heavily into the elf zombie in the moose quest. 

My DM style resembles the Acquisition Incorporated “stage” style, with high drama, humour, and memorable moments. After all, I DM for children aged 11-13, and D&D is competing with Marvel movies for their attention.

Therefore, the following game breakdown, challenges and style may not suit your table, and that’s fine. For me, the idea of a flying city as a base is fantastic, and so I went for option 4.

Changes Summary

The main changes from the written version:

  1. All the boss characters will have stages of combat broken up with puzzles, roleplaying, etc.
  2. The city will travel to Aurils Island for the final battle.
  3. Auril cannot be beaten by the players. She’s a god.
  4. We have been using the excellent “Expanded Towers of Magic” supplement.
  5. We introduced a “time crack” at the entry point of Ythryn. The players discovered that entering this vortex rewound time. The energy of the crack was collected into vials. Consequently, the team can “undo” the previous 5 minutes by smashing one. This ability has been weaved into the challenges of the Towers of Magic.

Consequently, the player’s challenge on this day was to find the items required to restart the city; this naturally involves a confrontation with the Lich in the spire. Next, they would need to get the city aloft and successfully fly it to Auril’s island. Finally, they would need to confront the Frostmaiden and stop the rime. This would result in them being blasted back in time, and thus, we start the next campaign.

Quick notes:

  1. This is session 20. The players have made their way through Ythryn and reached the top of the central spire. They are about to enter the study of the demi-lich.
  2. My players are all level 10 and IRL, all between 11 and 13 years old. Children will always break scripted on-rail encounters. As a DM you have to roll with this.
  3. For three of my players, this is their 4th campaign. They are incredibly confident in DND mechanics and clever players.
  4. Their classes are Warlock, Wizard, Rouge, Sorcerer, Ranger, and Druid.
  5. I use “Dynamic Dungeons” as my software. This system enables me to produce “theatre of the mind” slides, coupled with battle maps. All animated nicely.
  6. We have a 32-inch screen as our table. This is an old electronic sign repurposed as a table screen.
  7. All images are copyrighted by their owners. I spent a lot of money on images, maps, expansions and other items. Please do support the amazing 3rd party creators who make our games unique and special.
  8. To see the source of any image not official, part of a paid pack, AI-generated or my own, then click on the image, and the link will be the caption of the “zoomed in” version.

The official Frostmaiden Dice Set is worth the money

The Players

Campaign Stages

Here are the stages of our campaign that have led to this session

DM’s game flow

  • Welcome back to IWD

I begin by welcoming the team back to the table and any table items. We haven’t played since before Christmas, and so I ask who remembers what happened and reward those with perfect recall (usually with an inspiration token).

Doom of Ythryn

Ythryn rests in the silent depths of the Reghed Glacier. Ice encloses the enclave on all sides, yet the magic imbued in its stonework shields it from utter destruction. Ythryn is now a corpse city—a tomb for those who perished here and a death trap for those who dare to explore its ruined glaciated halls. Can you find the ancient Mythallar, the magical engine that once powered the city, and somehow restart it to end the Rime of the Frost Maiden?

Ythryn Spire – Star Library

Challenge: Search the library. Find the scroll of the comet.

  • Roll Investigation check
    • On pass: find the Scroll of the Comet.
    • On fail: books fall on the player, DEX saves for no damage.

Scroll of the Comet description: This ancient parchment is adorned with celestial illustrations and mystical sigils that seem to shift and shimmer like the night sky. The Scroll of the Comet exudes a faint, otherworldly glow, hinting at the cosmic powers it holds within.

Effect: The comet creates a 50-foot-deep, 500-foot-radius crater on impact. Any creature in that radius must make a DC 20 Dexterity saving throw, taking 30d10 force damage on a failed saving throw or half as much damage on a successful one. All structures in the crater are destroyed, as are all nonmagical objects that aren’t being worn or held.

Once the star library is searched, step into the magic portal.

The incantation spell

Ythryn Spire – Iriolarthas’ Study

Challenge: Find the items to control the mythallar

The magic portal takes the players to the lich’s study.

  • Inside is the Lich and three MOBs.
  • The magic door disappears.
  • The players have to find the way back out and search for a way to open the forcefield around the Ythryn mythallar.
    • Vellynne says: “Be wary, remember last time. Don’t attack him if you can avoid it. If he talks to you, try not to annoy him.”
  • Iriolarthas seemingly doesn’t attack. He hums to himself about the city’s fall and just flies around the map. Once a player searches a study location, he immediately flies up and quizzes them.

Study searching rules:

  • There are ten areas to search. Each has things to find, and some have FAIL conditions of funny, useless things to find.
  • When searching, the PCs must use a talent or item they have to assist. DM to determine the DC based on what they use. For example, high investigation skill lowers the DC.
  • They roll based on that skill and the DC is between 12-15.
    • On a fail, read the funny item.
  • Once they find an item, Iriolarthas rushes over and talks to them.
    • He challenges them with a puzzle.
      • Roll a d4 to determine which puzzle from the list.
    • If they fail the puzzle, then he takes the item back and places it where it was.
    • On three failures or Vellynne failing, he orders the demi-plane to suck them in.
      • DEX DC 15 roll for anyone else to jump in behind.
      • Vellynne always goes in.
        • Combat begins in the plane.

Search areas in the study

Each area of the study that can be searched:

Frozen Reliquary

  • Frozen Reliquary:

Description: A frost-covered reliquary stands against one wall, holding artefacts from Iriolarthas’ past. A detailed search could uncover sentimental items, potentially revealing the lich’s vulnerabilities or motivations.

FAIL: Frozen Rubber Chicken of Cold Clucks: Description: A rubber chicken that clucks with an icy resonance when squeezed. Unfortunately, its chilly clucks are more likely to startle than amuse.

FAIL 2: Singing Ice Cream Scoop: Description: An enchanted ice cream scoop that sings a comical tune whenever it’s used. The song is catchy, but the lyrics are a series of ice cream-related puns that never seem to end.

Crystal Phylactery: A mysterious crystal container that seems to contain the essence of Iriolarthas’ soul. It pulses with an otherworldly glow, and its surface is etched with intricate runes.

  • Crystal Phylactery of Iriolarthas:
  • This exquisite crystal phylactery emanates an otherworldly aura, capturing the essence of the lich Iriolarthas within its crystalline structure. Attuning to this magical artifact grants the wielder access to potent bonuses, but also carries the risk of being influenced by the lich’s dark energies.
  • If it is smashed, Iriolarthas cries out and attacks. His health is halved.

Eastern Staircase

  • Eastern Staircase:

Description: A staircase to the east leads to the upper level, tempting exploration into what lies above. The air is tinged with the scent of ancient knowledge. Some shelves line the stairs containing various items.

FAIL: Faux-Spider Bookmark: Description: A lifelike, rubber spider designed to be a bookmark. Guaranteed to startle anyone flipping through the pages of a book.

FAIL 2: low-in-the-Dark Spectacles: Description: Glasses that claim to provide night vision but instead glow brightly in the dark, making stealthy manoeuvres nearly impossible.

Frozen Relic: A magical artefact encased in a block of ice, emanating a powerful aura. Its purpose and origin are currently unclear.

When defrosted:

  • Spectral Quill-Weaver:
  • Description: A tiny, enchanted spider construct that can weave ethereal silk with a magical quill. The resulting tapestry reveals hidden truths or visions when touched.
  • On placing the web over your face, it give you a vision:

A resonating pulse echoes through the very fabric of reality as the characters, wielding Iriolarthas’s Staff of Power, channel its potent energies into the dormant obelisk. The air crackles with magic as the ancient structure awakens, its surface shimmering with a mystical glow.

Then there is a huge flash and with an ethereal surge, the characters find themselves engulfed in a luminous vortex, time itself bending and contorting around them.

Frozen Observatory

  • Frozen Observatory:

Description: A telescope points towards the night sky. Inspecting the observatory unveils charts and maps of celestial events, possibly revealing insights into Iriolarthas’ plans or hidden locations in the surrounding frozen landscape.

FAIL: Celestial Cookie Cutters: Description: A set of cookie cutters shaped like stars, moons, and planets. Unfortunately, they’re impractical for making cookies, as the dough tends to get stuck in intricate details.

FAIL 2: Galactic Glow-in-the-Dark Stickers: Description: Stickers that promise to glow like celestial bodies in the dark. However, they barely emit any light, leaving the player with an underwhelming display of dim, barely visible shapes.

Cryptic Map of Ythryn: Detailed map of the surrounding landscape, marked with peculiar symbols and annotations. They reveal hidden locations.

  • DC 15 INT check to decipher the annotations.
  • If disaster ever struck the city, the wizards could exploit the power of the obelisk (area Y21) to turn back time and avert ruin.

Arcane Shelves

  • Arcane Shelves:

Description: The shelves within the sunken library are filled with a trove of magical knowledge, promising hidden spells, forgotten rituals, and obscure scrolls.

FAIL: Soggy Spellbook: Description: A once-grand spellbook that seems to have fallen victim to an unfortunate aquatic mishap. The pages are wrinkled, the ink is smeared, and a faint smell of mildew wafts from its soggy covers.

FAIL 2: Ring of Slightly Increased Luck: Description: This ring claims to bring luck, but the only noticeable effect is that the wearer might find an extra copper coin on the ground every now and then.

Small Vial: This small vial contains a viscous, translucent liquid that shimmers with a faint silver glow. The oil inside seems to move with a subtle, otherworldly energy, hinting at its magical nature. The vial itself is crafted from a smooth, enchanted glass that resists shattering.

  • On DC 15 WIS/INT check – Oil of Remove CurseAn Oil of Remove Curse is a potent magical item designed to break the shackles of curses. When applied to a cursed object or creature, it radiates a soft, silvery glow that spreads across the affected area. The magical essence of the curse is gradually lifted, and the cursed individual or item is freed from its malevolent influence.Upon successful application, the Oil of Remove Curse dissipates, leaving behind a sense of relief. The cursed individual may feel a tingling sensation as the magic is lifted, and the cursed item loses its malevolent properties. The silvery glow fades away, replaced by a sense of clarity and freedom.

Frozen Library

  • Frozen Library:

Description: Shelves filled with frozen books and scrolls. Some are preserved in ice, and each contains knowledge on various arcane subjects, including the lich’s past exploits and alliances.

FAIL: “Icicle Juggling for Dummies”: Description: A frozen tome attempting to teach the art of juggling icicles. The illustrations are unclear, and the instructions recommend using enchanted gloves, which are not included. It’s unclear if anyone should actually attempt these frosty feats.

FAIL 2: “Lich’s Lament: A Poetry Collection”:

Description: A collection of lighthearted and somewhat melancholic poetry supposedly penned by Iriolarthas. The poems mostly revolve around the challenges of being a lich, such as finding the perfect crypt and dealing with pesky adventurers. The rhymes are amusingly questionable.

  • Whispering Snowglobe:

Description: A snowglobe that, when shaken, produces an ear-splitting screening sound of steel pillars falling down a lift shaft. Only you hear the sound, but your friends watch you writhe in pain. For 10 seconds you cannot hear anything.

  • Mystic Ice Dice:

Description: A set of enchanted dice made from magically frozen water. When rolled, they can reveal glimpses of the future or provide guidance, granting advantage on any check.

“Ode to My Phylactery”

In the crypt of shadows, where the echoes dance,

Rests my phylactery, in its icy trance.

A vessel of power, my soul’s loyal cradle,

Guarded by magic, strong as a winter fable.

So here’s to my phylactery, solid and sound,

In the crypt’s silent echoes, my power is bound.

A lich’s lament, a soul’s frozen spree,

Forever entwined with my phylactery.

Alchemy Station

  • Alchemy Station:

Description: A cluttered table holds various vials, flasks, and mystical ingredients. Searching this area might yield potions, elixirs, or alchemical concoctions. Some of the ingredients may be rare and valuable for skilled alchemists.

FAIL: Color-Changing Elixir: Description: An elixir that promises to change the drinker’s hair color to a random hue. However, all it does is make the drinker’s breath smell like strawberries for a short duration.

FAIL 2: Faux-Fire Powder: Description: A bag of powder that, when sprinkled, produces an illusionary flame effect. While harmless, it doesn’t generate any heat and is more suitable for amusing party tricks.

Alchemical Apparatus: A collection of alchemical tools and ingredients, hinting at the lich’s experimentation with dark potions and elixirs to enhance their powers.

  • DC 12 Investigation check, you find:
  • Lichbane Tonic

The potion itself appears thick and opaque, akin to a shadowy abyss captured within the confines of the vial. When held up to the light, mysterious glimmers dance within the dark liquid, hinting at the potent enchantments woven into its essence.

Sunken Library

  • Sunken Library:

Description: Situated in a circular pit, the lower part of the room houses a sunken library. A twenty-foot-wide, ten-foot-deep expanse with shelves of books and scrolls, accessible by a ladder running along a circular track.

Ancient Tomes of weather magic: Leather-bound books filled with dark rituals, spells, and forbidden knowledge related to the mythallar. Some pages seem to radiate an ominous energy.

  • You learn the incantation to control the mythallar to be able to make the city fly.

Aerios stellam, luminis aetheris,

Ventus et caelum, coniungam sibi.

Mythallar, obedi, fervor astralis,

Civitas volat, potentia sine finis.

Professor orb can translate it.

Skeletal Scribe

  • Skeletal Scribe:

Description: A skeletal servant magical construct that transcribes the lich’s thoughts and findings into a large tome. He has stacks of paper covered with the lich’es ideas spread all around him:

  • DC 10 Investigation check – notice that some are magical scrolls.
  • One scroll is covered in arcane runes and sigils that dance across its surface. These symbols are not for the faint of heart, as they seem to pulse with a malevolent energy. The script, a dark calligraphy that appears to move of its own accord, is in a language that is both ancient and eldritch, known only to those well-versed in forbidden lore.
  • The parchment is adorned with intricate illustrations of a monstrous, world-devouring creature – the Tarrasque – depicted in horrifying detail. The edges of the scroll are trimmed with patterns that seem to writhe and pulse with a dark energy.
  • Dangers and Consequences: The professor and Vellynne rush forwards and describe the issues:

Using the Scroll of Tarrasque Summoning comes at a great cost. The Tarrasque, once summoned, is uncontrollable and seeks only destruction. Those who dare to unleash this creature on the mainland risk not only their own lives but the devastation of entire civilizations. The repercussions of wielding such dark magic are severe, attracting the attention of powerful entities who may seek retribution for meddling with forces beyond mortal comprehension.

Glyph-Inscribed Altar

  • Glyph-Inscribed Altar:

Description: A stone altar covered in intricate glyphs and symbols stands at the rear of the room.

Enchanted Mirror: A magical mirror that reveals glimpses of the past.

  • On use: DC 15 CHR check it shows Iriolarthas leaving the study in the past, using the following spell chant:

In echoes cold, the past retold, Saldrinar, secrets unfold.

Let realms entwine, let destinies explore, Open now, the portal door.

Iriolarthas’s Staff of Power

  • Iriolarthas’s Staff of Power: The platform holding the Staff of Power is located within a secluded alcove at the northernmost section of the study, surrounded by shelves of ancient tomes and magical curiosities. Illuminated by an otherworldly, cold radiance, the staff commands attention in its carefully guarded spot.
      • This staff is an exquisite fusion of ebony wood and enchanted ice crystals, meticulously crafted to embody the essence of both fire and frost. The intricate carvings along its length depict intertwining flames and frosty tendrils, creating a mesmerizing dance of elemental magic. At the pinnacle of the staff rests a polished ruby, imbued with an ever-shifting play of fiery hues.

Inside the Living Demi-Plane

If swallowed by the Living-Demiplane spell, this battlemap contains three MOBs to be defeated.

Once completed, hand out loot:

Living Demiplane Key:

Description: A small, intricately carved key that resonates with the essence of the living demiplane. It grants the bearer the ability to open a portal back to the study.

Petrifying Gaze Amulet:

Description: An amulet containing a crystallized eye that emulates the nothic’s petrifying gaze. Once only the wearer can activate the amulet to cast a gaze-like effect, turning a creature within line of sight to stone.

Iriolarthas’ Challenges

After each player searches an area, Iriolarthas flies up and lays down a challenge.

Roll 1d4 and consult the below:

  1. Challenges

Dancing Statues: Challenge: Iriolarthas animated a group of small statues to perform a magical dance. The players must mimic the statues’ dance moves with enthusiasm and style. Bonus points for incorporating their own silly dance moves!

Giggling Gargoyles: Challenge: The adventurers must tell jokes to a trio of stone gargoyles. The challenge is to make the gargoyles laugh uproariously. Silly jokes, puns, and clever wordplay are highly encouraged.

2. Riddles!

    • You enter a dark house in the middle of the night. Inside is an oil lamp, a gas fire and a stove full of wood. You only have one match. What do you light first?
    • What sport begins with a ‘T’ and has 4 letters?
    • What is as light as a feather, but even the strongest man cannot hold it for more than a few minutes?
    • In the morning, I’m so soft that feathers are tough. In the afternoon, I roar like a mighty storm. What am I?  Answer: Snow.
    • The more you take, the more you leave behind. What am I?  Answer: Footsteps.
    • I have keys but no locks. I have space but no room. You can enter, but you can’t go inside. What am I?    Answer: A keyboard.

3.  Find the Penguin!


4. Dingbats!

Iriolarthas’ Loot

Killing the lich is not a necessity. My team got him down to 10hp and then made a deal with him. This was likely because I played him friendly-crazy, and they found him funny.

However, they did make him hand over the following loot:

Soulfrost Amulet:

    • This amulet houses a captured wraith’s essence. The wearer gains advantage on saving throws against necrotic damage.
    • Once per day, the wearer can release a burst of cold energy, dealing damage to all creatures within 10 feet.

Frostforged Blade:

    • This +2 longsword is crafted from enchanted ice. It deals an additional 1d6 cold damage on a successful hit.
    • Once per day, the wielder can unleash a freezing strike, forcing the target to make a Constitution saving throw or be restrained for one minute.

Description: This +2 longsword is forged from enchanted ice, its blade shimmering with an ethereal cold. The hilt is adorned with frosty runes, and the weapon feels chilling to the touch.


    • Damage: 1d8 slashing damage + 2 (bonus from +2 enhancement)
    • Cold Damage: 1d6 cold damage on a successful hit

Special Abilities:

    • Frost Strike: Once per day, the wielder can use an action to unleash a freezing strike. The target must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or be restrained for one minute. The restrained creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on a success.

Aurora Veil Cloak:

    • This shimmering cloak is adorned with patterns that mimic the northern lights. The wearer gains advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks in snowy or icy environments.
    • Once per day, the wearer can cast the Invisibility spell on themselves, which lasts for 1 minute.

Frozen Tear Ring:

    • This ring appears to be a frozen teardrop. The attuned wearer gains advantage on saving throws against charm effects.
    • Once per day, the wearer can cast Hold Person without expending a spell slot.

Frost blade





Back in the library

  • While the team has been looting the lich, Vellynne takes out the scroll of terasque and comet. She holds them in her hand and uses the Spectral Quill-Weaver to weave a web. She takes it in her hands and places it onto her face.
    • She groans and writhes and collapses onto her knees head down.
    • Q. How can you help her?
      • Each player suggest a way to help her.
    • She rises.
      • “I know how to defeat the Frost Maiden…” she says.
      • “We need to restart the city! Quickly one of you grab the staff of power, we must go to the mythallar!”
    • She steps up to the space where the magic gate should be,
      • “Who knows the way to get through here?”
  • Once they get back to the star chamber, the doors at the end of the room have been blown open and mighty sounds of magic and combat can be heard.
  • Roll for PER
    • PASS – the team notice the extreme cold:

“a sudden chill has seized the air. Icy gusts blowing through the doors has extinguished the flames in the room, frost patterns have adorned every surface. Time seemed to distort, as if something has affected the very fabric of reality. Shadows lengthen, and a sense of stagnation pervades the environment.”

  • Vellynne, gasps “she’s here!”

Auril arrives

  • Running out onto the balcony, you see a battle at the city’s entrance. There is an icy fog covering the walkway into the city, and you can see magic lights flash, swords ring and roaring moans.

Vellayne: “Avarice is fighting her!”

There is a huge explosion, and a blast of wind flows through the city.

  • Roll DEX saves to stay on your feet.

Vellayne: “We must hurry! Get to the mythallar and start it up with the staff. I will clear out the ice above us with this!” She holds aloft the comet scroll.

  • You have to get down from the balcony of the upper tower to the mythallar
    • How does everyone get down?
    • Set a DC based on the answers. Note: by this point in the adventure, there will be many ways players can achieve this. My players teleported, jumped, levitated, turned into birds, etc.

The players hurry to the:


As the players entered the Ythryn Mythallar, a mesmerizing kaleidoscope of arcane energies unfolded before them. Brilliant hues danced in intricate patterns, and the air crackled with magic. The sheer majesty of the Mythallar’s power left the players awestruck, heralding a journey into a realm where reality intertwined with the extraordinary.

DMs note: I was running out of time here, so I dropped the Tomb tapper encounter, shown in the image above, and instead went for an RP-based challenge for the players to defeat some “force” stopping them from reaching the Mythallar. This turned out to be great fun and the player used items from prior sessions, including some “squid gloves” with suckers; loot from the pirate adventure.

  • Perception roll
    • Pass: Notice that at the front there is a slot which will hold the staff.
    • Fail: You must get closer to see how the mechanism works.
  • As you move towards it something is trying to stop you, some force is holding you back.
    • Each player needs to use some skill or item to proceed forward.
    • STR checks, DEX checks, magical effects, using pets, etc.
  • Jam the staff into it and then break it.
  • There is an enormous thud and suddenly you can hear nothing. Then light plays across it. Its crystalline lattice pulses with an inner light, casting prismatic shadows. Arcane energies weave through its intricate structure, resembling an otherworldly sculpture.
  • Skill checks to stay on your feet.

As the power of the Mythallar of Ythryn courses through your minds, an overwhelming surge of arcane energy engulfs your consciousness. It’s as if a vast tapestry of ancient magic is unfurling within you, whispers of long-forgotten spells resonating in your thoughts. A mix of awe, trepidation, and a tingling sensation accompanies this profound connection to a source of unimaginable power. The very essence of Ythryn’s mystical past now courses through your veins, leaving you acutely aware of the boundless potential and latent secrets locked within the ancient Mythallar.

Vellynne “Now command it to rise!”

Ythryn Rises!

  • The city rises, as it does the player with the scroll casts comet:

“Trail of stardust, weave the night’s art, Ignite the heavens, a celestial heart. Ephemeral messenger, traverse the space, In the mortal gaze, leave your ethereal trace!”

  • As the final words resonate, the scroll dissipates into motes of shimmering stardust, carrying your invocation across the cosmos. The air crackles with anticipation as the Comet materializes, streaking across the firmament to fulfill its celestial purpose and the giant and cavernous ceiling of ice is blown apart and melted.
  • The city flies out of the glacier! Leaving Auril and Avarice behind.

Vellynne “Now let’s fly to Auril’s island and drop this on it!” She holds up the tarrasque scroll.

The players fly the city across the map. They have to pass certain skill checks to keep the city aloft.

  1. Arcana Check (Intelligence):
    • Assess the Mythallar’s arcane matrix to ensure it remains stable and properly aligned. Success could lead to adjustments that maintain the city’s flight trajectory.
  2. Perception Check (Wisdom):
    • Spot potential obstacles or hazards in the path of the city. Success allows the players to guide Ythryn away from threats like airborne creatures or treacherous weather patterns.
  3. Investigation Check (Intelligence):
    • Examine the control mechanisms of the Mythallar for any signs of malfunction or damage. Success may lead to repairs or adjustments to enhance the city’s stability.
  4. Survival Check (Wisdom):
    • Utilize knowledge of weather patterns and navigation to anticipate and navigate through turbulent skies. Success helps the players steer the city safely, avoiding storms and other aerial challenges.
  5. Dexterity Saving Throw (Dexterity):
    • React quickly to sudden shifts or disturbances in the Mythallar’s flight. Success enables the players to maintain their footing and stability during unexpected aerial maneuvers.
  6. Engineering Check (Intelligence):
    • Use knowledge of magical and mechanical systems to troubleshoot and address issues in the Mythallar’s propulsion or levitation mechanisms. Success contributes to stabilizing the city’s flight.
  7. Charisma Check (Charisma):
    • Rally the inhabitants of Ythryn to assist in the city’s defense against magical interference or disturbances. Success boosts morale and increases the efficiency of coordinated efforts to maintain flight.
  8. History Check (Intelligence):
    • Recall lore about Ythryn’s past experiences with aerial challenges and leverage that knowledge to guide the city effectively. Success provides valuable insights into maneuvering the flying city.
  9. Persuasion Check (Charisma):
    • Convince the city’s magical wards or defensive mechanisms to cooperate and enhance the Mythallar’s stability. Success leads to an increased alignment of these defenses with the city’s flight objectives.
  10. Nature Check (Intelligence or Wisdom):
    • Understand and harness natural elemental forces, such as wind currents, to aid in controlling the city’s flight. Success allows the players to manipulate these forces for smoother navigation.

Auril Attacks – First Form

  • As the players fervently chant and channel their energy into the Mythallar, a sudden, bone-chilling gust of wind surrounds them. Auril, the Frostmaiden, lands on the city with an icy smile.

“Pathetic mortals! You dare defile my realm with your feeble attempts at summoning chaos? Do you truly believe you can control the primal might of a Tarrasque? Foolish insects, your meddling ends now! Your powers belong to me, woven into the very essence of Ythryn. Prepare for the wrath of the Frostmaiden, as I shatter your futile ambitions with the icy might of my dominion!”

Vellynne “Don’t let her break your concentration! The city will fall!”

  • The frost maiden hisses and attacks.
  • As the first form comes close to defeat:

“Forest come to my aid!”

DMs Note: “Forest is our Rogue player who had completed the Rite of Auril on her Island and suibsiquently, had been hearing her voice ever since.

  • She casts a spell “Mirror of Shadows” and Forest you find yourself whisked away.

You are in a world of fractured reflections, ahead you see ourself reflected. Suddenly, the fractured reflection, a distorted echo of your character’s inner fears and doubts, speaks with a sly and insidious tone:

“Why persist in this futile struggle? Your allies are but shackles chaining you to weakness. Abandon them, embrace your true power. Imagine a world where your might knows no bounds, where you stand alone in glorious dominion. They are but obstacles to your ascension; betray them, and let the icy winds of true strength propel you to greatness.”

  • Roll DC perception check
    • PASS – You realise that the creature is trying to enchant you.
    • FAIL – Your next roll is with disadvantage.
  • The reflection conjures vivid and emotionally charged memories, both triumphant and painful. It projects scenes from the player’s past, highlighting moments of doubt, failure, or regret. Each memory intensifies the emotional turmoil within the player.
    • Forest needs positive memories to survive. Team, what positive memories of your adventure over the last year can you recall?
    • Need at least three!
  • Forest, channelling these memories of support with your friends, you defeat the charm and smash the reflection, which falls into glass shards.
    • DEX check –
      • PASS – you catch a shard of broken reflection.
  • You blink and find yourself back on the battlefield with Auril.
    • If the player has the shard, hold it aloft and it casts:

Mirror’s Insight: The broken reflection shard grants the player temporary insight into Auril’s vulnerabilities and intentions. When held aloft, the shard reveals fleeting glimpses of Auril’s next actions, allowing the player to anticipate her attacks and manoeuvre accordingly.

  • Also once in the encounter, he may use it briefly summon a spectral image of the mirror doppelgänger, distracting Auril with her own twisted reflection. This momentary diversion creates an opening for the player and their allies to capitalize on, striking at the Frost Maiden while she is momentarily preoccupied. All attacks get advantage.
  • Everyone may roll to strike Auril.
  • Huck – Roll perception.
    • PASS – you notice Forests eyes are no longer glowing blue.

Auril Attacks – Second Form

  • She turns into the second form and uses her magic:

“Foolish mortals, witness the chilling embrace of my true essence! As the icy winds of despair envelop me, I shed this feeble guise. Behold the majesty of winter incarnate, for I am the Frost Maiden, unbound by mortal constraints. Your struggle is in vain. Embrace the eternal frost, for in my second form, I am the harbinger of your demise!”

  • As the battle against Auril the Frost Maiden rages on, a sudden shift in the magical currents occurs. Auril, a master of winter’s whims, seizes the opportunity to separate the players from the main confrontation, whisking them away to isolated frosty challenges. Each teleportation is accompanied by a brief, disorienting swirl of icy mist and a chilling sensation.


Challenge 1: Escape the rift

Challenge: escape the rift

 Glacial Rift:

  • Teleported onto a precarious ice bridge suspended over a frozen chasm, players must traverse the slippery surface while dodging falling icicles and battling ice elementals. Reaching the other side unlocks a portal back to the main battlefield.

Players are teleported onto a precarious ice bridge suspended over a frozen chasm with the following rules:

Environment Description:

  • Ice Bridge: The bridge is narrow and slippery, requiring careful navigation. It has a series of patches that are particularly treacherous, representing areas where the ice is especially slippery.
  • Frozen Chasm: Falling into the chasm would impose falling damage and possibly lead to additional hazards, such as jagged ice spikes below.

Movement Rules:

  1. Acrobatics Check: Players must make Acrobatics checks to navigate the ice bridge successfully.
  2. Slippery Surface: The ice is slippery, affecting movement. Each square of movement on the ice bridge requires a Dexterity saving throw or the player slips and falls prone.

Hazardous Elements:

  1. Falling Icicles: Periodically, falling icicles threaten the players. Roll for random icicle drops or tie them to specific triggers, such as failed checks or when players spend too much time in one area.
  2. Ice Elementals: Ice elementals patrol the bridge, engaging players in combat. Falling or being pushed into the chasm could trigger an encounter with additional elementals.

Combat Rules:

  1. Difficult Terrain: The slippery nature of the bridge makes it difficult terrain, affecting movement speeds.
  2. Frostbite Attacks: The ice elementals can have attacks that deal cold damage or impose the Frostbitten condition, slowing movement temporarily.
  3. Opportunity Attacks: Moving past or away from an ice elemental may provoke opportunity attacks, representing their ability to exploit vulnerabilities as players navigate the treacherous bridge.

Success and Failure:

  1. Success: Players who successfully traverse the ice bridge and reach the other side unlock a magical portal back to the main battlefield.
  2. Failure: Players who fall into the chasm suffer falling damage and are separated from the group or trigger a secondary encounter.

Magic and Skills:

  1. Levitation or Flying Spells: Players with access to spells like Levitate or Fly may have an advantage on the ice bridge, but the DM could introduce gusts of icy wind or magical disruptions to create additional challenges.
  2. Rope or Grappling Hook: Players might attempt to secure themselves with a rope or grappling hook, reducing the chance of slipping but potentially limiting movement.

Challenge 2: Survive the avalanche 

Avalanche Ambush:

  • Players materialize on a steep snowy slope, immediately facing an impending avalanche. They must outrun the cascading snow, avoiding boulders and leaping over crevices. Surviving the avalanche transports them back to face Auril once more.

Avalanche Ambush Scenario Rules:

Objective: Survive the avalanche by reaching the safety zone at the bottom of the slope.

  1. Initiative:
    • Roll initiative to determine the order in which players take their turns during the avalanche. Auril’s influence intensifies the urgency.
  2. Movement and Athletics Checks:
    • Players move at half their normal speed up the slope. On their turn, they can use their action to make an Athletics check to sprint, increasing their movement speed for that turn.
  3. Avalanche Checks:
    • At the start of each round, roll for the avalanche.  Determines the intensity, speed, and obstacles present. Players must make Dexterity saving throws to avoid oncoming hazards.
  4. Obstacles:
    • Describe obstacles such as falling boulders, icy patches, and crevices. Players can use their movement to leap over or dodge these obstacles. Failed checks may result in damage or being slowed.
  5. Speed Boosts:
    • Certain sections of the slope may provide a temporary speed boost. Players can choose to navigate towards these zones, gaining advantage on their Athletics checks or avoiding specific hazards.
  6. Frosty Surges:
    • Periodically, players may encounter magical surges in the avalanche, freezing sections of the slope. This creates challenging terrain or ice ramps that can be used strategically.
  7. Party Coordination:
    • Encourage players to coordinate actions. They may assist each other, providing advantage on Athletics checks or helping someone who has fallen.
  8. Escape Route:
    • The scenario includes a designated escape route at the bottom of the slope. Players must reach this point to survive the avalanche. Once a player reaches the escape route, they can assist others.
  9. Consequences of Failure:
    • Failed Dexterity saving throws or falling behind may result in accumulating injuries, slowing a player’s speed further. Falling too far behind could lead to being engulfed by the avalanche.
  10. Return to Battle:
    • If players successfully reach the escape route, they are transported back to the main battlefield to continue their confrontation with Auril. Those left behind face additional challenges but eventually rejoin the party.

Auril Attacks – Third Form

“As you revel in this moment of triumph, fools, know that your fleeting victory merely ushers in a new era of torment. Behold my descent, not into defeat but into a form more insidious. Your false triumph blinds you to the icy tendrils of despair that now enshroud me. I am the eternal winter, and in my weaker guise, you shall discover the true extent of your folly.”

Desperation Unleashed

As Auril’s health wanes, she forsakes subtlety and unleashes her most potent abilities. The very air freezes, and she commands the storm with reckless abandon. Devastating blizzards, freezing tendrils, and relentless assaults intensify. Victory demands the players muster all their remaining strength and cunning to withstand this final, desperate onslaught.

Glacial Uprising (Reactive Ability):

  • When a creature enters or starts its turn within 20 feet of Auril, she can use a reaction to summon a shard of ice from the ground. The shard erupts, forcing the creature to make a DC 17 Dexterity saving throw or take 4d8 piercing damage and be restrained until the start of its next turn.

Winter’s Grasp (Legendary Action):

  • As a Legendary Action, Auril targets a creature within 60 feet, attempting to freeze it in place. The targeted creature must succeed on a DC 18 Strength saving throw or be restrained until the end of its next turn.

Frost Nova (Legendary Action):

    • As a Legendary Action, Auril can unleash a Frost Nova, causing ice to explode in a 20-foot radius around her. Creatures in the area must make a DC 19 Dexterity saving throw or take 8d6 cold damage and be pushed 10 feet away. On a successful save, they take half damage and aren’t pushed.


  • Auril’s third form is broken.

Auril starts to change into her forth and final form.

Vellynne “Quickly, cast the Tarrasque spell!”

“By the abyssal depths where shadows twist, In echoes of torment and darkness persist. With a voice of thunder, a roar of the abyss, I beckon thee, Tarrasque, arise from the chasm’s kiss.”

As the final verse of the forbidden incantation resonates through the air, a palpable shift in reality occurs on Auril’s desolate island. The air quivers with an unsettling energy, and the very fabric of the world seems to warp and twist.

The space around the summoning point warps, creating a visual distortion akin to ripples on a darkened pond. Shadows coil and dance, and an eerie silence envelops the island as if the very air holds its breath in dread.

Suddenly, the silence is shattered by a thunderous roar that echoes across the frozen expanse. The sound is not merely audible; it’s a tangible force that resonates through bones, shaking the very foundation of the island.

As the roar reaches its zenith, the Tarrasque materializes in a violent eruption of otherworldly energy. Its gargantuan form rises from the ground, its scaled hide covered in ethereal energies that writhe and flicker like dark flames.

With its full form realized, the Tarrasque unleashes a bestial roar, a cacophony of unrestrained power. The very landscape buckles and cracks beneath its colossal weight. It now stands as an unstoppable force, a harbinger of destruction on Auril’s icy domain.

Auril screams and casts:

  • Winter’s Requiem:
    • As Auril’s life force wanes and the final embers of her power flicker, she unleashes the ultimate incantation, Winter’s Requiem. The very fabric of the sky darkens as an overwhelming surge of frigid energy converges upon the city of Ythryn. Auril, in her dying breath, channels the essence of the Frostmaiden to enact a cataclysmic spell.
  • The entire city of Ythryn is encased in an ethereal frost, a crystalline cocoon that spreads rapidly from the epicenter of Auril’s demise.
  • A magical aura extends outward, freezing everything in its path. Buildings, streets, and even the air solidify into a hauntingly beautiful tableau of ice and snow.
    • Nothing can move except Auril, she laughs
    • Frozen players can only watch as she cackles with glee.
    • Then suddenly she is slammed into by a giant iron golem.
  • Perception checks
    • It is the golem who was missing a head in the Caves of Hunger. (DM’s Note: my team saved this golem and helped it regain its head. If this had not happened, I would have used the goliath werebear (Oyaminartok) from earlier chapters.)
  • As the iron titan charges forward, its metallic footsteps echoing defiance, Auril raises an icy shield to withstand the impact. But the golem, an unyielding force of arcane might, crashes through her defenses, propelling them both over the city’s edge.

“Metal meets frost, plunge into chaos; destiny intertwined in descent!”

  • He gives the thumbs up as he falls.
  • You all unfreeze enough to move. But the city, now a frozen monument to Auril’s wrath, loses its magical buoyancy. With a mournful groan, Ythryn begins a gradual descent from the sky.
  • What can you do?

Vellynne: “If only we had more time!”

  • If the player suggests using the time vial.

Vellynne: “This is not enough to save the entire city. Wait! The Obelisk! Gab the staff!”

    • You pull out the staff of power, and as a group, you run and crawl to the Obelisk.

The Obelisk

  • In the heart of Ythryn, the players stand before the imposing Time Obelisk, a relic of ancient power. As they set the Staff of Power into motion, arcane energies surge, resonating with the pulsating hum of the obelisk. A crescendo of power emanates, revealing glimpses of temporal rifts and glimpses into possible futures.

As the ritual unfolds, the players share a momentary glance, eyes meeting in silent acknowledgement of the gravity of their decision. Each face reflects determination, courage, and a shared understanding of the risks involved. In that fleeting exchange, unspoken camaraderie and resolve pass between them, a silent pact forged in the crucible of their quest.

The air around them shivers with the mingling forces of magic and time, and the players cast their last looks at each other, a silent affirmation that they are in this together, bound by a shared destiny. The Time Obelisk, once an enigmatic sentinel, now quivers under the strain of temporal upheaval.

With a final nod, a spark of collective courage, they unleash the Staff of Power’s potential. The air crackles with energy as the obelisk resonates, time-bending and folding around them.

With a flash, the entire city vanishes.

Arcane symbols and glyphs, once dormant, now blaze to life upon the city’s surfaces. Eldritch whispers permeate the air, carrying echoes of long-forgotten enchantments and ancient incantations. The very ground hums with the latent magic woven into the city’s foundations.

The city, caught in the web of temporal turbulence, plunges backward in time, its history unfolding in reverse. Ythryn becomes a kaleidoscopic tapestry of ages, an enigmatic tableau shaped by the ebb and flow of arcane forces, as the players embark on a journey into the temporal unknown.

And each of you blacks out.


  • As you wake, you slowly stand to your feet, but things feel different
  • Perception checks
    • You find, somehow that you are all, incredibly, now younger. Much younger. 13 years old younger. Your clothes and armour hang around your bodies, many sizes too large to fit properly.
  • The city has transformed since you last saw it. The once-frozen and damaged city has been revitalized and now appears brand new. As you make your way towards the Obelisk’s garden, you notice figures flying under magical power. Upon closer inspection, you realize that these figures are, in fact, people.

Vellynne “Professor… what has happened, where are we?”

  • The orb glows, and a voice says, “You’re still in the flying city of Ythryn. Only you’ve travelled into the past. 2000 years into the past to the time of the Netherise wizards!”

… and… scene!

Ending Slides – Auril’s Fate

I love Fallout NV & 4. One of the best things about it is the ending slides after the game, which outline what has happened and the player’s impact on the game world.’

So, I created the following slides to evoke that ending, and I read out the accompanying text.

As the Tarrasque rampages across Auril’s island, its colossal form wreaks havoc upon the Frost Maiden’s once-impregnable abode. The very foundations shudder under the creature’s immense weight, and the architecture designed to withstand the harsh cold begins to crumble like fragile ice.

The Tarrasque’s movements trigger massive avalanches, burying Auril’s sanctuaries beneath tons of snow and ice. The very landscape is reshaped, concealing remnants of the Frost Maiden’s influence beneath a blanket of wintry ruin.

Forced to flee her once-impervious sanctuary, Auril escapes the island, leaving behind a scene of destruction. Whispers circulate among the inhabitants of the region — some claim she seeks refuge in the treacherous depths of the Underdark, while others speak of her banishment to another dimension. Regardless, a collective unease lingers, for the inhabitants are wary of the next winter and the potential return of the Frost Maiden.

Ending Slides – Ten Towns

As the Frost Maiden’s rime curse is lifted from Ten Towns in Icewind Dale, a profound transformation sweeps across the once-frozen landscape. The bitter chill that gripped the hearts and souls of the inhabitants begins to thaw, giving way to a resurgence of life and hope.

The frozen lakes and rivers of Ten Towns begin to thaw, revealing the rippling waters beneath. The familiar sounds of flowing water echo through the townships, breaking the oppressive silence that once ruled the icy realm.

The once-isolated communities of Ten Towns find themselves reconnected with the wider world. Trade routes, previously hindered by the Frost Maiden’s curse, open up once more. Merchants and traders return, bringing with them goods, supplies, and news from distant lands.

The hearts of the people thaw along with the ice. Tensions born of the curse dissipate, and a sense of communal warmth replaces the isolating cold. Residents rediscover the strength in unity, mending relationships strained by the hardships imposed by the Frost Maiden.

Ending Slides – Pirates

As the Rime of the First Maiden dissipates, the Frozen Sea undergoes a profound transformation. The icy grip that once held the maritime realm in a frigid embrace begins to loosen, replaced by a gradual thawing. The pirates of the Frozen Sea, once navigating treacherous floes, find themselves sailing through open waters as the sea warms.

As the sea warms, marine life reclaims its dominion. Schools of fish return, and the ocean becomes a vibrant tapestry of color and movement. Whales breach the surface, and seals sunbathe on rocky outcrops.

In a humble inn overlooking the thawing sea, the Pirate Queen sits with a mixture of hope and melancholy. The scars of the harsh winter are etched on her weathered face, but a glimmer of warmth returns to her eyes. She contemplates the sea, knowing her son ventured into the heart of danger to combat the Frostmaiden’s icy tyranny.

News of the heroes who faced the Frostmaiden and the thawing of the Frozen Sea reaches the inn. The patrons share tales of the adventurers who brought an end to the Rime, and the Pirate Queen’s heart swells with pride. She realizes that even if she never sees her son again, his heroic deeds will be remembered as a beacon of hope in the newly thawed world.

Ending Slides – Sunblight

The oppressive cold that once gripped the stone halls begins to recede, replaced by a warmth not felt in generations. The icy stalactites melt away, revealing the darkened, yet intricately carved, architecture of the duergar stronghold.

As the curse lifts, a sense of liberation permeates the minds of the duergar. Shackles of icy obedience dissolve, and the dwarvenkindred rediscover a flicker of the resilience and pride that once defined their heritage.

The once-hostile duergar find a new purpose as guardians of Icewind Dale, protecting it from the remnants of the Frost Maiden’s influence and ensuring that the shadows of the past do not cast a permanent pall over the region.

Ending Slides – Lonelywood

Eager to restore what was lost, Speaker Nimsy leads the townsfolk in a collective effort to rebuild Lonelywood. The once-charred buildings are reconstructed, and the scars left by the dragons’ attack are mended. The resilience of the community shines through as the townspeople unite in their shared determination to overcome adversity.

Speaker Nimsy Huddle, once burdened by the weight of despair, now finds herself at the forefront of the community’s resurgence. Among the revitalized structures is the players’ pub, now standing proud and welcoming once again. The tale of their saviors becomes a cherished narrative in the town’s folklore, and the memory of the valiant individuals who faced down dragons and shattered the frost maiden’s curse lingers in the hearts of the people.

Ending Slides – Icewind Dale

As the Rime of the Frost Maiden wanes, a transformative thaw blankets Icewind Dale in a symphony of rebirth. Mountain passes and trails, previously impassable due to the relentless frost, reopen. The once-isolated communities of Icewind Dale now find themselves connected once more to the wider realms. Travelers and traders cautiously navigate these routes, heralding the return of commerce and communication.

As day turns to night, the skies above Icewind Dale come alive with the dancing hues of the Northern Lights. The auroras shimmer and weave, casting a celestial tapestry that seems to reflect the renewed spirit of a land emerging from the clutches of winter’s desolation.

With the thaw, Icewind Dale sheds its icy isolation, rejoining the tapestry of the wider world with a newfound resilience and hope, as life, commerce, and connections flourish once more.

The campaign has finished

It’s been a long time coming,  but our challenging and fun campaign has finally finished.

Or has it?

I have found a campaign that might work as a sequel!

From my table to your’s be well and have fun!

We will be taking a 2-month short break before starting a few one-shots and building up to a new campaign in the summer.

Amazing gifts from my players!