The party had two directions to go.
Through gaseous spying, the party learned of the rooms to the north and south. Above was the floating stream – kayaks – knights waiting in ambush. Below was a terraced menagerie.
Previously: WHITE PLUME MOUNTAIN: Session 1
Orgrush, the Ranger, at this moment suddenly resolved to confront Wave, the powerful and sentient trident in his possession.
…aaaand the session took an immediate left turn…
Pulling Wave free of the bag, Orgrush held the three-pronged trident high. Immediately, Wave contacted Orgrush telepathically.
The trident was a devout and ardent prophet for…
… Wayne quickly looks up Greyhawk sea deities…
Xerbo, the Suel sea god. Wave spoke of the unstoppable power of the oceans, and their majesty. Orgrush the half-orc converted on the spot.
Wave and Xerbo
Wave pushed for immediate conversion efforts. Orgrush approached Quarion, who was standoffish to the half-orc’s sudden religious zeal. His party mate was acting strangely, as if taking invisible orders.
We had an absolute blast here, chanting Xerbo! as Orgrush’s player sold the benefits of following the Suel god of the Sea, Sailing, Money, and Business. Nobody bit, though.
Orgrush confidently boasted to Quarion: “I will show you the power of Xerbo!” Gimlet forced the south door open and a giant crayfish in the upper tank poked its head out.
Presenting the trident Wave, Orgrush cast Fish Command. The crayfish crawled out of the water and followed Orgrush obediently.
They closed the door, and returned to the north room with the stream, crayfish scuttling behind.
Knowing knights were waiting on the far side of the stream in the ambush room, Orgrush commanded the giant crayfish to go downstream and bring him the first man he saw.
The crayfish – proudly named Clackles – crawled down the current, popped out the other side into the ambush room. Clackles successfully Grappled the first startled knight in its claws [we were cracking up after these rolls! It’s like a Horror Movie!] and dragged the unfortunate metal man back into the current.
By the time Clackles returned to the kayak room, the knight was dead, drowned. The party was hoping for a prisoner, but it was just too far on that part of the stream loop.
The corpse unceremoniously dumped on the floor, Sir Valler began to muse about the singular dedication of these strange knights.
Conversion by the Claw
The rest of the party got in on the action. Just to punk the ambush knights, they sent the drowned knight’s armor down current in a kayak. Orgrush sent Clackles the other way, against the current, to go grab another knight while they were distracted with the kayak.
…which also succeeded. Clackles dragged another knight back to the kayak room. [We were just blowing up at this point]
This knight didn’t drown, and the soggy man in plate was immediately restrained. His name was Kurt, he told Sir Valler. He described hellish conditions, always standing at guard in that cramped room, just an occasional nap in a bedroll. Endlessly trapped in that chamber, Kurt was compelled by Keraptis to kill intruders. Give him his blade, Kurt demanded, to at least die standing.
Here began a conversion process.
Orgrush rolled well [Persuasion]. But more importantly, the player made a great case. Kurt had been Chosen by this crayfish, a manifestation of Xerbo the great sea god. Kurt, nearly drowned, was now baptised. Everyone chanted Xerbo! I ruled that through the power of Wave, and perhaps the intercession of Xerbo himself…
Keraptis’ magical hold on Kurt had been broken. Kurt converted on the spot, and was now a devout adherent of Xerbo. He joined the party.
Suddenly, an adventuring party burst into the room!
I told the players at the outset that they weren’t the only ones interested in the 3 unique magic weapons in White Plume Mountain. It was another of the old school elements I wanted to bring into the adventure: Other murder hobo parties in the dungeon.
These NPCs had been following the party’s path. After a half-hearted parley attempt, they attacked.
The NPCs spread out. The mage tried to position for a Cone of Cold, but was Counterspelled by Quarion the Abjurer.
The leader went after Sir Valler. The archer remained at the back of the room taking shots. The thug advanced on Emlyn.
Quarion cast Crown of Madness on the thug. The melee’ers traded blows, but the NPC leader was getting focused down. Clackles and Sir Kurt fought on the side of the party.
Quarion commanded the mind-controlled thug to enter the stream. I gave the NPC an immediate saving throw for an action that could be perilous. He failed, and was carried away by the circular floating stream.
The enemy mage was shot up by Emlyn and Quarion.
The tide was turning – a pun? – the NPC party losing.
Emlyn positioned to shoot down the fleeing archer with Eldritch Blast… and spotted the ambush knights pouring out of a secret door in the hallway.
Worse, the other knights swam the short stretch of current and dropped into the room.
Alas, in the excitement, I forgot to ungroup both knots of enemy knights, and the party got off some cheap shot fireballs that really softened them up.
Sir Kurt faced a crisis. He was recently converted, but the knights were his former comrades. Kurt withdrew from the fight.
The knights in the hall dispatched the NPC archer that ran right into them. Clackles attempted to block the way, but the giant crayfish was grievously wounded.
And here the session finished for the night.
Until next time…
I hope y’all enjoyed the session recaps. Here’s what I used for this adventure.
White Plume Mountain (S2). The original 1979 AD&D adventure by Lawrence Schick, long out of print but available in the used market or PDF / Paperback reprint at DriveThruRPG (currently $6.50 at this writing). Great art by old school RPG artists.
Tales From the Yawning Portal (2017). The White Plume Mountain adventure is included in this D&D 5e hardcover – unabridged and essentially unchanged from the original. One of several classic modules converted to 5e tabletop play. New art, which is also quite good. The map looks great for VTT play.
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