Spoilers: Auril is a major aspect of Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden. If you want to avoid spoilers for that adventure, please be careful when reading this guide!
Auril, if that is the name you prefer, existed long before the release of the most recent module. She is an ancient god, far beyond the understanding of mortals. She is cold and calculating; her worshippers sacrifice and offer in order to avoid her wrath, rather than risk her anger. A member of the Deities of Fury, Auril has a history of combat, anger, and revenge. Her followers, emblazoned with a snowflake, are hardy people who survived many harsh winters under her watch, and gained ice magic as a result.
However… at times, she becomes weak, and may be defeated. During the events of the module, she is in a time of weakness, since the other Deities of Fury isolated her. She spent too much of her divine power to keep them away from her. Thus, mortals can slay her without the use of artifacts, Check out our Auril 5E guide to see how she fights.
The Fight Against Auril
Auril can be encountered in chapter 5, 6, or 7 of the new adventure module, depending on the aggression of the party. She is weak during these chapters, and thus can be temporarily killed. To do so, however, is a long and phase-based fight.
Auril takes 3 forms, in increasing defensive and offensive capability. A party that does not reduce every form to 0 will not kill Auril; she regains all destroyed forms after a long rest. And, of course, a party that even touches one of her forms will receive the ire of the frost goddess.
Taking the appearance of a tall but hunched owl-person (The Cold Crone), Auril’s first form is relatively weak. She has infinite uses of a 2nd level Chromatic Orb, a touch that chills, and talons. The most devastating part of this form is how accurate her Spell Attacks are; she is extremely likely to hit characters at the level she may find the party! This form may also cast Ice Storm and Detect Thoughts twice per day; dangerous for combat and social encounters alike! Be careful when using magic that allows saving throws, too; she has Magic Resistance.
If that wasn’t enough, she has access to legendary actions. She gets a lot of attacks in a round, and can really rack up damage!
Auril is most likely to talk (and be talked to) in this form. A party with the proper reverence for Auril, or who provides her offerings, may escape her without combat. However, the party is likely trespassing on her home. She will likely be extremely suspicious of them, and the party will have to get really creative to avoid capture.
If you do end up fighting her (which you likely will; her insight check is crazy!), radiant damage is her weakness. Try not to bring cold spells to the fight against a cold deity, and poison doesn’t work either.
Once her owl form is defeated, she becomes a 10-foot tall woman, crafted from ice. She is now known as the Brittle Maiden, and ice grows from her with ease, crafted enough to make weapons. In this form, she’s slightly stronger, much harder to hit, and has extra health. She actually has access to slightly less damage, and no longer has sorcerer spells. Instead, she has the ability to freeze someone solid, cast Cone of Cold on a short rest, and summon Ice Mephits. These mephits can be exploded with 3 Legendary actions to do a rather large area of effect… With an insane DC 21 Dexterity saving throw!
She still has magic resistance, and the ability to automatically succeed at 2 saving throws. She will be hard to put down… And this isn’t even her final form! She is pretty weak to Fire, though, so your Wizard will likely hit her very, very hard.
Auril’s Third Form is a 3-foot-diameter ice diamond, capable of flying. She may still talk, but it no longer comes from any visible mouth. The Queen of Frozen Tears (as she is now called) flies around with ease, with improved AC and health. She’s a little weaker to magic in this form (though still has Magic Resistance), but her ranged damage skyrockets; she can deal 4d6 cold damage twice per attack! Thankfully, that’s her only actual attack, though creatures close to her take cold damage. If you have a way to stop her polar rays, she can’t do much to you. However, her legendary actions can cause blindness for a full minute, or deal a bunch of cold damage to targets nearby her.
If this form is destroyed, she is actually dead until the next winter solstice, and her followers lose god-given spells and abilities. To kill her quickly, you’ll need Thunder damage. Shatter that crystal!
Other than bringing attacks she is vulnerable to (which shift on each form!), Auril has a few weaknesses. Obviously, she deals a lot of cold damage. In every form, her primary form of harming you is Cold. If you have spells, such as Protection from Energy, that can specifically defend against Cold, you can reduce your damage taken drastically. Magical items that resist cold (such as the Ring of Cold Resistance) are even better!
She’s a little bit slow in her 2nd and 3rd form. Thus, area spells that deal damage over time (such as Cloud of Daggers) can be really effective if she’s cornered. Her first form can fly rather fast, and her crystal has any fly speed; make sure you can either fly after her, or you can lock her down with gravity or entangle effects. She is immune to a lot of standard crowd controls (like stuns), so make sure you don’t try to muddle with her mind too much.
She defeats stealth automatically with Truesight 120 ft, so have something to counter truesight if you want an ambush.
Her Legendary Resistances are very annoying; she has 5 automatic saves per day, spread across all of her forms! Try to get her to spend Legendary Resistances on small effects, so your spells or powerful abilities can work better. She has Constitution and Wisdom proficiency; her Strength and Dexterity saving throws are awful!
Even while weak, Auril is still a goddess. You will be in a lot of trouble if you fight Auril while unprepared. Do be prepared to run if needed; fighting a CR 9, 10, and 11 creature, one after the other, is draining. If a party can manage to destroy each form before she can take an 8 hour rest, then they’ll be home free… until the winter solstice, where she becomes a full-powered god again and wreaks divine vengeance upon them.
Huh. Might be a hollow victory.
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