The fight was still on, one vampire spawn slain, but the other very much (un-)alive. From the hallway beyond, a booming voice was heard by all:
“I am Ctenmiir!”
“You will feed me and serve me.”
The hallway was once again shrouded in Darkness.
Vampire art at the top by the great Jeff Dee!
- WHITE PLUME MOUNTAIN: Session 1
- WHITE PLUME MOUNTAIN: Session 2
- WHITE PLUME MOUNTAIN: Session 3
- WHITE PLUME MOUNTAIN: Session 4
- WHITE PLUME MOUNTAIN: Session 5 “Xerbo!”
- WHITE PLUME MOUNTAIN: Session 6 – Dungeons & Vandalism
- WHITE PLUME MOUNTAIN: Session 7 – The Slippery Oni
- WHITE PLUME MOUNTAIN: Session 8 – Elf Screams
- WHITE PLUME MOUNTAIN: Session 9 – Old Faithful x2
The Party Divided
Orgrush and Quarion the mage were on the opposite side of the Geyser Room. The rest of the party was still on the entrance platform, separated by a humid cavern of boiling mud. Only precarious disks hanging from chains allowed crossing.
Sir Valler, seeing his comrades in great peril on the far side, mustered his courage, jumping from disk to disk. Not an easy task in full plate, and acrobatics not his specialty.
Quarion cast Wall of Fire, meant to extend down the dark hallway where Ctenmiir presumably was approaching. It failed. Another booming laugh. “You think you can control the conditions in my own chamber, mage?”
Ctenmiir called out to all those beyond the grave to come feed, echoing throughout the dungeon. The vampire transformed into a cloud of bats, reappearing behind the party. He tried Charming Quarion, failed, but succeeded in grappling the mage.
Emlyn cast Fly on herself and Gimlet, and they quickly crossed to the far platform. It was getting crowded.
Wights showed up back at the entrance platform, and were immediately engaged by Nine the Flesh Golem, under Gimlet’s control. The Frankenstein construct pummeled the wight in the doorway with mighty blows.
Orgrush fought the remaining vampire spawn and Emlyn tried Eldritch Blast on the vampire, but missed.
Ctenmiir, locked in embrace with Quarion, slugged the mage, but failed to connect with his bite.
The wight tried to slash Nine, but the blows appeared to have no effect on the golem.
Gimlet brandished his holy symbol, attempting to turn the undead. Ctenmiir laughed at his impudence, but the vampire spawn retreated back into the dark hallway.
Orgrush managed to land a hit on the elder vampire with Wave the legendary trident.
Sir Valler, erratically crossing the cavern one jump at a time, tumbled off a disk into the boiling mud below!
Back on the far side, Nine was wrecking the wight.
Emlyn landed a Eldritch Blast on Ctenmiir. The vampire laughed as he regenerated. Caught in his embrace, Quarion furiously attempted to recall anything he knew about vampires: Stake in the heart, running water, sunlight… He called these out to the party. But his train of thought was broken when Ctenmiir slugged him. The mage managed to dodge his neck bite again however.
Gimlet landed a Guiding Bolt on the vampire, who howled at the radiant attack.
Nine destroyed the wight in front of him, proceeding to the next.
Quarion struggled to break free of Ctenmiir’s grasp, but failed. However he did free one arm [DM call, he was one off the needed roll. I said with one arm free, he could cast a spell with a 50% chance of failure]. The mage successfuly landed a Fire Bolt on the elder vampire. Enraged, Ctenmiir once again thrashed at the mage, but failed to land blow or bite.
The party realized that Ctenmiir could not regenerate if he’d been hit with radiant damage in the prior turn!
Sir Valler boiled alive. The party thought of rescuing the paladin, but he called out, “Finish the Fight!” before his platemail sunk him under the surface.
Emlyn landed another Eldritch Blast. Gimlet cast Crusader’s Mantle, granting a small amount of radiant damage to the weapon attacks of his allies.
The tide had turned, but Ctenmiir wasn’t through with them.
The vampire spawn returned, attacking Orgrush from behind.
Ctenmiir Charmed the half-orc ranger, and ordered him to attack his comrades. He finally bit into the delicious neck of Quarion, weakening the mage.
Orgrush attacked Gimlet, landing a blow on the armored dwarf.
Emlyn hit Ctenmiir twice with Eldritch Blasts! The vampire discorporated into a cloud of mist. But the vampire spawn attacked Quarion, re-grappling the mage who’d just been freed from the elder vampire.
As the misty form of the vampire escaped, Gimlet cast Guiding Bolt at it. But it had no effect.
Orgrush continued swinging on Gimlet, missing. Emlyn the warlock cast Dispel Magic on the addled ranger, breaking the Charm.
It was unclear in the rules whether Dispel Magic would work in this case, but I ruled since the vampire was in such a weakened state, the effect was broken.
The vampire spawn continued its rending of the mage Quarion, who went limp in its grasp. [0 hp, now making Death Saves!]
Gimlet once again held his holy symbol, attempting to turn the vampire spawn. Failed.
Orgrush, now back on the side of goodness and light, dispatched the vampire spawn with mighty jabs from Wave.
Gimlet and Orgrush lent aid to Quarion, who was at death’s door. Cure Light Wounds and a healing potion recovered the mage somewhat.
While the rest of the party fretted about Ctenmiir’s escape, Orgrush bravely made his way down the Dark and tight hallway. He found by touch the door he’d seen at the end of the hallway. After a couple of attempts, the ranger forced the portal open. The room beyond was steeped in Darkness as well.
He sensed the room beyond was of modest size. Orgrush walked forward slowly, feeling his way with Wave. After about 30 feet, he felt a wood object… a coffin he surmised.
The half-orc tossed the lid off, unstrapped a broken wooden javelin he had retained earlier. Orgrush began stabbing whatever was in the coffin he couldn’t see.
Orgrush felt he was hitting a body, but realized he needed much more precision to drive the javelin through the vampire’s heart. Steeling his nerves, he felt around with his hand, locating the paralyzed vampire’s chest. He drove the wooden stake right through Ctenmiir’s heart.
The elder vampire turned to dust.
Other party members entered the inky black room. Orgrush searched the coffin for loot, to no avail.
Emlyn cast Detect Magic, locating a powerful enchantment under the coffin. Orgrush shoved the coffin aside, revealing Whelm the legendary hammer… and some bags of coin with three magic scrolls.
The party gathered the loot. Whelm went into a bag. The three legendary weapons – Wave, Blackrazor, and Whelm – reunited, began squabbling with each other through telepathic means. The party sensed this was an old relationship, frenemies of sorts.
Out on the platform, the party said a few words for their fallen paladin, Sir Valler.
Quarion – back from the brink of death – announced that he was converting to the faith of Xerbo. Wave was pleased.
Now all they had to do was escape White Plume Mountain!
[One session remains!]
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.
Links to Amazon, DriveThru, eBay are affiliate links of course. I get a few coins and its costs you nothing. Thanks!
Oh man, the adventure reaches its terrifying climax! (Pouring out a 40 for Sir Valler.) The heroics of Orgrush will become the stuff of legend. What an epic clash with a worthy (and deadly) adversary.
Now, how to figure out the pronunciation of Ctenmiir (seTENmeer?)…
Thanks as always for posting. I left a work call to read this as soon as possible!
I’m so glad they inadvertently left Ctenmiir for last, as he is easily the most powerful of the 3 bosses in WPM.
Pronunciation: I have no authoritative answer. I thought about “Kuh-tenmir” (like “Cthulhu”) but that was a bit clunky. Didn’t see anything useful in an internet search. I eventually settled on “Stenmir” for ease of gameplay. I was well-prepared for the encounter, but it’s easy for the DM to forget details in the complexity of the fight and the PC’s unexpected choices.
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