The party mourned Sir Valler, and debated what to do next.
The obvious choice was to leave the dungeon. They’d secured all three epic weapons from White Plume Mountain. The dungeon exit was the finish line.
But the party suspected there’d be more adversaries waiting, and perhaps Keraptis the mad wizard himself.
The leading faction in the party was pushing the idea of holing up in the slain vampire’s room, and break out the bedrolls for a snooze.
Well, as Keraptis, I wasn’t going to allow them any rest!
Line art of Nix and Nox by legendary old school D&D artist Erol Otus!
Previously: WHITE PLUME MOUNTAIN: Session 1
A voice echoed throughout the dungeon. It was Keraptis himself.
“You’ve been so very entertaining. I just couldn’t think of letting you go, especially with those little items of mine. And since you’ve eliminated all of their guardians, why, you’ll simply have to stay … to take their places. I’ll have to ask you to leave all of your ridiculous weapons behind and let Nix and Nox escort you to the Indoctrination Center. I’ll be most disappointed if you cause me any trouble and Nix and Nox have to eliminate you. Don’t worry—you’ll like it here.”
Now the party debated with rancor. Quarion was leaning toward surrender, while Orgrush attempted to talk him out of it, pitching his own plan to feign surrender – and attack after they were taken away from the treacherous geyser room. Gimlet – unsuccessful at rallying the party to an active defense – announced that he was going to back to the former vampire room. Emlyn was incredulous at the party’s paralysis.
Meanwhile, Nine the flesh golem [run by the late Sir Valler’s player] dutifully waited on the far side of the geyser room. It paid no attention to the wights it’d so handily slain earlier.
It wasn’t long before all could hear crashing noises, as if something large was powering its way through obstacles.
Nix and Nox
The source of the crashing was now evident to Nine, as pieces of the wooden turnstile flew down the passageway. Two large Efreet ambled down the hallway, brandishing huge scimitars.
The party was still arguing.
Following prior instructions, Nine held the door, and waited impassively. A party member yelled at the flesh golem to get away from the door, and Nine complied… a little. Nine stepped back a pace.
Nine punched Nix, the massive efreeti, landing the first blow of the fight. Nix the Efreeti shoved Nine off the ledge, into the boiling mud.
Shove is an available combat action in 5e Dungeons & Dragons. If successful, the target is pushed back 5 feet… Nix outrolled the flesh golem. Sir Valler’s player now had the distinction of dying twice here.
The efreet glided across the hazardous chamber, ignoring geysers, intent on “arresting” the party. [Yes… efreeti can fly, faster than they walk!]
The party backed into the hallway, which itself dead-ended into the ex-vampire room.
One of the efreet yelled “More Fire Needed!” and summoned a fire elemental.
…which was soon banished by Emlyn!
Quarion cast Maximilian’s Earthen Grasp on Nix, as the efreeti and Orgrush exchanged blows.
Most of the party luckily cleared the hallway just before a Wall of Fire roasted the passageway. Except Orgrush, who dodged the worst effects. For the moment.
Orgrush struck a mighty blow with legendary trident Wave, staggering Nix the Efreeti! [Wave has a special Nat 20 50% hp attack – it’s brutal!]
Quarion summoned a Water Elemental. [We had Sir Valler’s player take over the summons.] Gimlet prepared protective magics, healing, and a spiritual hammer. Emlyn cast eldritch blasts.
The Water Elemental and Nox exchanged blows. The elemental enveloped the efreeti. This delayed Nox for a few rounds, taking some pressure off the party in the beginning of the fight.
Another Fire Elemental appeared! Nix pushed his way into the room. Back on the platform, Nox dispatched the water elemental. [Yes, that’s the 3rd time Sir Valler has lost a character in this adventure!]
Strikes and spells were exchanged. The fire elemental displayed its horrible remain-in-character’s-location attack, catching Quarion and Gimlet on fire at different times. [continuous hp damage until smothered]
Nix was defeated, and disintegrated “in a flash of fire and puff of smoke”
There was a lot of potion chugging going on. I typically allow – house rule – quaffing a healing potion in place of a PC’s movement action. Backed into a corner as they were, with so little movement happening, this is where I noticed the house rule became unbalanced in play. Rather than make a big deal of it in session, I added a special Second Wind bonus action for the Efreet to give ’em each a one-use healing to compensate. I’m going to review that free-potion-quaffing house rule going forward.
To The Bitter End
Nox called forth a Wall of Fire, again down the hallway. What characters were in the hallway again, fled the flames, again. Except for Quarion, who went down in a death spiral. Nox continued into the room.
Emlyn banished the Fire Elemental, again. Nox delivered pain all around. [More party potion chugging, getting hp back in small increments, but their hp balance always crept downward.]
Nox was on his last tether, however, and he too was defeated and dispelled.
The Wall of Fire winked out, and Quarion was returned from death’s-door by the party.
The characters heard no more of Keraptis, and completed their adventure in White Plume Mountain.
“…Of course, this whole episode can be omitted if the party has already taken too much damage. Conversely, if the characters have had too easy a time of it, this final challenge can be made tougher by the addition of one or two more efreet (called Box and Cox).
If, for some foolish reason, the party decides to comply with Keraptis’s request and go with Nix and Nox to the Indoctrination Center, you will have to play it by ear. It’s not too difficult—use your imagination and make it up as you go. Just make sure that the characters are extremely sorry they ever decided to submit to Keraptis’s demands. They probably will end up as the brainwashed new guards in Keraptis’s renewed version of White Plume Mountain’s dungeon.”End text of the WPM module. I asked the players if they “had too easy a time of it” – “No!”
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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