White Plume Mountain, Pt. 2

Last week found our intrepid party in the inverted ziggurat room, having flooded the bottom portion and washing three sea lions down.  They finish off the sea lions with missile fire and, after waiting for the water to drain, proceed through a door at the bottom of the zigguart.  The door opens to a passageway which in turn leads to a large, richly decorated room.  Relaxing on a divan is a halfling smoking a pipe.  Upon seeing the party he immediately jumps up and thanks the party profusely for rescuing him from the vile wizard Keraptis.  Naturally, the party isn’t buying any of this.

The elf attempts to charm the ‘rescued’ halfling, provoking a fight.  Swords are swung and spells are flung, including a devastating Cone of Cold, which kills the elf.  After being hit the halfling reverts from his polymorphed state, revealing himself to actually be an ogre magi.  The party gives him the beat down and is soon rifling the room, finding Blackrazor hidden beneath some sumptuous pillows, along with a pile of other goodies.  Upon picking up the sword, the party’s halfling is immediately informed of most of Blackrazor’s abilities via telepathy (this becomes important later), and he decides to wield the black, starfield sword…at least while they’re in the dungeon. 😉  The ogre magi also had some nice magic rings.

Shortly thereafter, a new cleric wanders into the room and is immediately accepted into the party, no questions asked.

Leaving the inverted ziggurat room, they explore the other end of the passage that brought them there, coming upon a room with a stream of water running through it.  Only the stream of water is hovering about 3 feet off the ground, as if suspended by an invisible pipe.  A half dozen kayaks are also in the room.  They eventually figure out a way to get the kayaks, and themselves, into the stream and off they go.  The stream carries them through a long, dark tunnel and then abruptly dumps them into another room, where they are ambushed by 8 fighters.  Despite the surprise, and the hassle of trying to get out of the kayaks, the party manages to kill off the fighters pretty quickly.  But as they go about looting their bodies, a secret door opens and a knight steps into the room.  They instantly recognize him as Sir Bluto, an escaped villain with a 10,000 GP bounty on his head, more than enough incentive for the party to kill him.

Fortunately, Sir Bluto also had a key which revealed the presence of the secret doors out of the room, foregoing the necessity of traveling through the water tunnel again.  Backtracking through the frictionless room, the microwave passage and the hidden water pit, they’re soon back at the three-way intersection.  The gynosphinx is still there, whom they mercilessly taunt: “Moon, moon, moon.”  “You don’t have to rub it in,” whines the gynosphinx.  After a bit of debate, the party decides to explore the right-most passage, on the theory that the BBEG (i.e. Keraptis) will be found at the end of the middle passage (something to do with typical dungeon design, as if the PCs would know something like that).

As the party proceeds up the right-most passage, they notice that their boots are a lot wetter than they have been previously in the inch-deep water that fills the passageways.  Then their feet begin to itch and burn.  Inspecting their boots, they find green slime has eaten away their footware, and is starting to eat away their feet!  Retreating back across the submerged green slime patch, they treat their feet with a mixture of oil and fire to kill the slime, and then retrieve the remaining kayaks from the stream room to create a bridge over the slime (destroying the kayaks in the process).  They bring a couple extra kayaks across for the return trip back.

Next, they encounter a room with 9 silver globes hanging from the ceiling by silver wires. The new cleric enters the room while the rest of the party waits outside to see what happens.  The door slams shut and locks itself, trapping the cleric inside.  Nothing the party does opens the door.  Having little other recourse, the cleric begins to systematically smash the globes releasing, in turn, 3 shadows, an air elemental and a grey ooze (among other trinkets).  Each globe also drops a key.  The cleric turns the shadows (thanks for some home-ruled B/X feats we’re using), paralyzes the air elemental with a wand that dropped from one of the globes, and runs around the room avoiding the ooze while smashing the remaining globes and grabbing the keys that drop from them.  She finally manages to find the true key that opens the door and escapes.

Moving on, they enter another room with five flesh golems standing along the wall.  Each has a number on their chest: 5, 7, 9, 11, 13.  No. 5 speaks thusly: “One of us doesn’t belong.  Guess correctly and it will serve you.  Guess incorrectly and we’ll kill you.  You have 60 seconds to answer.”  This is a pretty easy riddle, taking the party less than 5 seconds to answer: ‘9,’ as it isn’t a prime number.  So golem #9 joins the party.

Exiting the room, they encounter a metal turnstile blocking the passage.  It allows people to continue on down the passage, but bars return traffic.  They order 9 to rip it out, which the golem does easily.

Continuing past the now kaput turnstile, they enter a vast chamber.  The bottom of the chamber, 50′ down, is a pit of boiling mud.  Across the chasm are slime-covered discs swinging from chains, each disc about 3′ apart.  Periodically two great geysers of boiling mud erupt from the pit, covering the discs and making the journey across quite hazardous.  However, the party quickly determines the timing of the geyers and manages to get someone across with a rope, which they use to help the rest of the party across.

Across the chamber is a passage leading to a medium sized room occupied only by a coffin.  As the PCs approach, they witness a figure rising from the coffin…a vampire!  The two clerics immediately attempt to turn it, and the new cleric barely manages to do so, forcing the undead creature into a corner.  Asking the intelligent sword “Where’s the gold?” the sword informs them the gold is hidden beneath the coffin, in a small chamber.  They also find the hammer Whelm, and a few other magic items.  The party then smashes the coffin and spreads oil around the room, intent on burning the vampire to, well, death.  Realizing their intent, the vampire turns to gas and escapes through hidden vents in the ceiling.

Now at this point I realized I’d screwed up this room.  The vampire’s room was supposed to have permanent darkness on it, blinding the party and not hindering the vampire in the least.  Played properly, the room probably should have been a TPK for the party (so maybe it was for the best I screwed that up).  To make up for my flub as best I could, as the party exited and went to cross the boiling-mud-pit-room-of-doom again, I had the vampire appear on the opposite side of the chasm, saying “Have fun crossing in the dark, suckers!”  It then cast continual darkness over the discs on their side of the chamber.

The halfling, still under the effects of a potion of flying quaffed to help cross the chasm earlier, immediately flew through the darkness to confront the vampire.  As soon as he exited the darkness, the vampire was waiting for him, mid-air.  It gazed into the halfling’s eyes, attempting to charm the doughty warrior.  But halflings have pretty amazing saving throws and made his easily.  The halfling then struck the vampire with Blackrazor.  Oh noes!…Blackrazor sucked a level from the halfling and gave it to the vampire!  It appears Blackrazor never told the halfling that it sucks souls and doesn’t react well with the undead.  Oops.

Putting Blackrazor away, the halfling draws the intelligent sword, which exclaims excitedly “Oh yeah, it’s on baby!”  He’s soon joined by the new cleric, who also consumes a potion of flying.  It seems the new cleric really doesn’t like undead.  The rest of the party stayed back, firing blindly through the darkness hoping to hit the vampire and not the halfling or cleric.  The vampire got a couple of good hits in on the halfling, but fortunately the halfling made his saving throws to avoid additional energy drain (a house rule we implented several sessions ago).  Almost dead, the vampire again turns to gas and escapes to fight another day.

At this point the party decided to return to the nearby village for a little R,R&R (restoration, rest & recovery), and to identify the magic items they found, and we ended for the night.  I’m guessing the party will probably finish White Plume Mountain in the next session (as a tournament module, it’s fairly short).  Not sure yet what I’ll run next.  Maybe I’ll write up something of my own, if I have time, or use some one-page dungeons.  Cheers.

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