White Plume Mountain, Pt. 3

When we ended last session, the party had returned to a nearby village to rest and restore the halfling’s lost level (for the princely sum of 10,000 GP).  After resting a day or two, they returned to complete their quest and obtain the final weapon, Wave.  Two players were missing, so they only had the magic-user, thief and the new cleric.

Once again passing the gynosphinx, they stopped long enough to chat and inquire if they could obtain any beautry products for the ratty-looking beast.  They also inquired if the sphinx had any knowledge of additional ‘secret areas’ in the dungeon, of which the gynosphinx was ignorant.  Finally, they picked up their trusty flesh golem, 9.

Moving on, the traverse the middle passage.  Along the way they come upon a small alcove on the right side of the passage.  Investigating, the thief slips into another hidden pool of water, only this time he feels some kind of heavy equipment at the bottom.  Exploring further they discover a large metal wheel, which the thief could not turn.  So, they send 9 down to take care of it, which it is easily able to do.  Shortly after they notice the water level begins to slowly drop in the corridor.

Past that they enter a large, flooded room.  Prodding around with a 10′ pole, they discern that there’s a hidden path that follows the edge of the room, while beyond the path the bottom drops precipitously.  Carefully following the submerged path, prodding ahead of them, they come to a near 10′ gap in the path.  While deciding how to deal with the gap, a kelpie pops out of the water and charms the thief, who willingly, even gladly, jumps into the water to join the kelpie in loving embrace.

The remaining party members spent several rounds deciding what to do (while the thief slowly drowned), finally settling upon sending in the flesh golem to retrieve the thief.  The golem jumps in and after much frothing of water, kills the kelpie and throws the thief bodily out of the water, sputtering and choking.  While retrieving the golem, they use the intelligent sword to ‘find gold,’ which the sword detects below the surface of the water and outside the area of the room.

Moving on, they reach stairs at the far end of the room, adjacent to an unlocked door.  Opending the door, they find an empty, water-logged room beyond, absent any interesting secret doors (so far as they could tell, anyways).  Ascending the stairs, they come upon a T intersection continuing straight and branching to the right.  The party opts to inspect the right passage, coming upon a spinning cylinder with a groovey, hypnotic spiral pattern painted on it.  They decide to backtrack, not wanting to deal with the weird apparatus.

wpmfunkycylinder

Funky cylinder thingy.

Continuing straight, they soon come up on a heavy metal door, flanged to swing only inwards (in the direction the party is headed).  Investigating further, they see a second, similar metal door and, beyond that one, a third.  Convinced it was some kind of diabolical trap, they immediately spiked all three doors open.  And then immediately un-spiked them, deciding to rest for a day instead.  They retreat back to the empty, water-logged room.  Thanks to the receding water level the room is now bearable, if still damp.

Bright and early the next morning, they decide to tackle the cylinder thingy first, suspecting that Wave was probably beyond the three metal doors.  Approaching the cylinder, they can see that it glistens with a coating of oil.  The plan is to send the thief across with a rope, who will then tie it off so the others can cross.  The thief jumps on with gusto, sliding through the cylinder like it was an adult-sized Slip-n-Slide.  His child-like glee turns to horror, however, as a flaming arrow shoots out of a hidden slot on far side of the cylinder, igniting the oil coating and turning it into a giant flaming cylinder-o’-death.  Severely scortched (again), the thief can only wait for the fire to die out so the rest of the party can join him.

After crossing the cylinder, the party drops a couple of heals on the thief and bandage his wounds.  On the far side of the cylinder is a door, which they open, siccing the golem on who ever is on the other side.  The golem bashes a well-armored fighter to death while the cleric casts silence on an obvious magic-user standing at the back of the room.  The magic-user also happens to be a werewolf, and having little other recourse now, changes shape and attacks the golem, tearing it to shreds.  However, the golem did it’s job, weakening the werewolf and allowing the party to finish the lycanthrope off with relative ease.  Inspecting the room, the find a spellbook (pocketed by the magic-user for future study) and a chest which, upon touch, disolved into a stinking cloud, depositing some gold and gems upon the ground.

At this point the party decided to rest yet another day before tackling whatever lay beyond the three metal doors.  The next morning, bright eyed and bushy tailed, they again spike open the three doors and then investigate the corridor beyond.  The tunnel soon opens to the bottom of an open lake, protected by some kind of magical force-bubble.  The bubble is taut at the touch, and uncomfortably warm.  It is apparent to them that the skin could be easily ruptured, and doing so would dump an entire lake of boiling water on top of them.

Further in the bubble widens to a chamber about 30′ across and 60′ long.  In the middle of the chamber is the biggest giant crab they’ve ever seen, guarding a chest attached to the floor at the far end of the chamber.  They debate things for a while and decide on the following plan of action:  the thief will drink a potion of flying and zip around the crab to loot the chest while the cleric and magic-user distract the mighty crustacean.  They’d looted a ring of mirror images off the ogre magi a couple of sessions ago, so the cleric used that while the magic-user cast the same spell on himself.  They also tied a rope to the spikes holding open the metal doors, so that they could pull them all out at once, if need be.

So, the cleric and the magic-user move in, attacking the crab, doing some minor damage to it, while the thief zips around to the chest, opens it and immediately sees Wave sitting atop a pile of other treasures.  The crab (with 2 attacks per round) starts tearing through the mirror images at an alarming rate.  Next round, the thief grabs wave and decides to linger long enough to grab another treasure (a wand).  Again, the cleric and magic-user deal some damage to the crab; however, the crab turns its attentions towards the thief, hitting him once with its big, scary claws.  On the third round, and winning initiative, the thief grabs a stone in the chest, and then books it out of the chamber and back to the metal doors.

Getting greedy, the cleric drinks a potion of flying and flies to the chest to grab the rest of the treasure while the magic-user continues to distract the crab.  While the cleric is grabbing gold and gems, the magic-user manages to line up a lightning bolt diagnolly such that the 60′ bolt won’t rupture the bubble (geometry FTW!).  Meanwhile the thief grabs hold of the spike-ropes, ready to yank them out, yelling “Remember the plan.  REMEMBER THE PLAN!”

Finally the cleric scoops up every last copper piece and flies out of the chamber, with the magic-user close on his heals.  The enraged crab lumbers after them, heedlessly smashing into the bubble-tunnel, instantly collapsing it.  With a wall of boiling water on their heals, they nip through the metal doors as the thief yanks out the spikes.  The roar of water hitting the metal safety doors is deafening, but they are safe with Wave in hand.

Having barely escaped being boiled alive, the party decides that it is absolutely imperative they loot every last scrap of treasure in the dungeon, namely the pile hidden somewhere below the kelpie room.  Armed with Wave, the thief dives into the pool of water.  Wave imparts water breathing to its wielder (among many other abilities), so the thief doesn’t have to worry about drowning.  There is, however, another kelpie in the pool, who attempts to charm the thief.  Fortunately the thief makes his save and in turn stabs the kelpie with a vengence (rolling a natural 20, on which Wave reduces a target’s remaining hit points by half).  The kelpie flees for its life, allowing the thief to loot its submerged lair with impunity.  They find a bunch of gold and a nice suit of chainmail (+3!).

Finally done, they leave White Plume Mountain and return to the city.  Miracle of miracles, they actually return Blackrazor, Whelm and Wave to their rightful owners (depriving me of a good deal of mischievous fun…oh well), collect their 50,000 GP reward and proceed to play Dungeons & Shopping, trading off their unwanted magic items for more useful stuff.

For the first time this campaign, I’ll be running them through a dungeon of my own making instead of a published adventure.  After some thought, I decided to use this map (which I did not make, and now cannot remember where I got it), and populate with the funkiest monsters I can find in the Fiend Folio.  I mean the weird monsters that hardly anybody ever uses.  Hopefully it’ll go well.  Cheers.

I didn't make this, and I can't remember where I found it.  But it's cool.

I didn’t make this, and I can’t remember where I found it. But it’s cool.

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