CoD: Mission - White Plume Mountain [ENDED]

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CoD: Mission - White Plume Mountain [ENDED]

Post by patransom » Tue May 11, 2010 5:00 pm

Several weeks ago, three highly valued magic weapons with the cryptic names Wave, Whelm, and Blackrazor disappeared from the vaults of their owners in the midst of the city of Greyhawk. Rewards were posted, servants were hanged, and even the sanctuary of the Thieves’ Guild was violated in the frantic search for the priceless arms, but not a single clue turned up until the weapons’ former owners (all wealthy collectors) each received a copy of a strange note:
Cryptic Note wrote:Search ye far or search ye near,
You’ll find no trace of the three
Unless you follow instructions clear,
For the weapons abide with me.

North past forest, farm, and furrow
You must go to reach the feathered mound.
Then down away from the sun you’ll burrow—
Forget life, forget light, forget sound.

To rescue Wave, you must do battle
With the Beast in the Boiling Bubble.
Crost cavern vast, where chain-links rattle
Lies Whelm, past waterspouts double.

Blackrazor yet remains to be won
Underneath inverted ziggurat.
That garnered, think not that you’re done,
For now you’ll find you are caught.

I care not, former owners brave,
What heroes you seek to hire.
Though mighty, each shall be my slave
Or vanish into the fire.

K
Riikan Dack, a wealthy collector of rare art objects, has hired the five of you to recover one of the weapons, the greatsword Blackrazor, which was stolen from his vault. The reward is to be sizeable: 5,000 gp for each member of the expedition who survives and returns with the sword.

Mister Dack has showed you the boastful note left by the thief and told you that his sources have pinpointed your destination (the “feathered mound” named in the note) as White Plume Mountain, a volcanic peak located some 17 leagues (about 510 miles) northeast of Greyhawk (see map).
regional map.jpg
According to Mister Dack’s experts, some 1,300 years ago White Plume Mountain was the home of an eccentric wizard named Keraptis. These sages agree that the “K” signature refers to Keraptis, but most insist that the writer must be an impostor. After all, who can believe the note really comes from the magician of legend after 1,300 years?

Transportation has been arranged for you from Greyhawk to Yellowreach, a village about 5 miles from White Plume Mountain. You have been provided with a map of the environs near the mountain and an original copy of the note from the thief. (These are attached below. The map is just flavor; don’t read too much into it. The note is just a repeat of the text quoted above, in fancy script.)
OUT OF CHARACTER
Now is the time to:

[list][*]Introduce your characters to each other. The characters might know each other already, that is fine with me. But even if that is the case, I am certain a small introduction to your character and his role and abilities would help your fellow players.
[*]Ask any questions you might have of your employer.
[*]Make any knowledge checks you decide are appropriate.
[*]Purchase any additional equipment you think you might need now that you know more details about the mission.[/list]

If nothing else, please post so that I know you are here and ready to begin the mission

 

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Re: CoD: Mission - White Plume Mountain

Post by The Hunter » Tue May 11, 2010 6:03 pm

Aladar Noshad appears as a very small and lithe individual, standing roughly 4 feet tall and doesn't look as though he could possibly weigh more than 50 pounds if that. Even so, something about the unusual gnomish looking man is unsettling. He is dressed surprisingly simple, showing much of his highly toned and heavily scarred, light gray skinned body. What first appear to be tattoos over both his left eye and his left arm from mid-bicep down to his fingertips are actually intricate and obviously intentional scarrings. His cold grey eyes show little to no emotion from the moment you first see him. His step is deathly silent and his movements are more than catlike. He is quiet throughout the entire meeting with Riikan Dack and speaks only when he needs to in is soft yet burly tone. He does introduce himself to each though with a curt bow, Well met. I am Aladar. I look forward to working with...
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Re: CoD: Mission - White Plume Mountain

Post by kabkal » Tue May 11, 2010 9:17 pm

Parantaja looks to be the exact opposite of Aladar. Standing over 6' tall, tan skin without a mark on it. His shield with a slight golden glow and mace (also with a golden glow) sit to his side. His chain shirt glistens in the light, as if it was brand new and never been put on or seen battle. Sitting next to the shield with his tail wagging his Parantaja's faithful friend Aesel (in case you are not sure, this is a dog). On Aesel's back are some saddlebags and a crossbow hanging off his side.

Other than looking as if Parantaja has never gotten dirty (or ever would) you notice two things about him. His eyes are golden and he wears a holy symbol of Pelor.

"Friends, I may not be much of a fighter, but I am hear to help and strengthen you in our quest. I will do my best to keep you safe, and alive."

Just before we leave, he will pick up a bedroll and 3 bars of soap.
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Re: CoD: Mission - White Plume Mountain

Post by Duniagdra » Tue May 11, 2010 9:54 pm

Feline in every manner, but toned and conditioned, Milton purrs often when relaxed or listening. His movements are in fact cat-like in all aspects, from his feet-like paws, to the tail that waves and flicks. His ears twitch occasionally to sounds you may not notice, his eyes are sharp. A smooth, grooms coat of fine course brownish yellow for covers his body entirely. A small darker brown main crowns his neck and the back of his head with many long beaded braids extending over his chest and back. In the braids are woven trinkets of random small items either as adornment or functional/traditional purpose. He hasn't much, a tunic over mithral chain with a pack strapped across his chest and a quiver.
Grrreatingssss, he purrs softly. I'm asss rrrready asss can be. I'm Milton Doyle, and I'm fast in a fight. Don't be too surprised if you feel fur roll past or leap over head, as it's only me. I like to strike swiftly and get out of the way, but for prowling, and hunting, I'm best.
His six foot stature and sleekly muscled physic gives you no reason to doubt him.
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Re: CoD: Mission - White Plume Mountain

Post by Benji » Wed May 12, 2010 6:58 am

Apart from his muscles, everything about Pennay screams mediocrity. He is of an average height and average weight, with plain hair and lusterless eyes. A greatsword is strapped across his back and he wears a massive suit of armour that appears much lighter than usual.

My name is Pennay. He says to anyone willing to listen. I fight for a living, and that's what I am now here for.
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Re: CoD: Mission - White Plume Mountain

Post by Duniagdra » Wed May 12, 2010 7:52 am

Milton is very observant to each person's introduction and greeting. Something then strikes him, I'm curious to know, when the items were stolen, by what means was access granted to the thief? Are you aware by how this thief knew you each had these items? How did you obtain these items? These three questions might help us better understand what we are facing in retrieving them.
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Re: CoD: Mission - White Plume Mountain

Post by shai-hulud » Wed May 12, 2010 7:27 pm

A young halfling with a brass dragon as large as she is introduces herself. I am Fisma, she begins. And this is Farflight. We are wizards, glad to help when we can. I am pleased to make your acquaintances, all.

Fisma pulls out some parchment, points at the note that Mister Dack is holding, intoning a spell. She begins waving her hand around in front of the parchment, and an invisible pen begins copying the note verbatim. As her copy is being scribed, she returns to the group, allowing her magic to do its work. Addressing the collectors whose items were stolen, she asks, Do you have any research materials where we can discover more about the mountain? Is there a local library? Stopping at one could yield additional information. I could copy some of the more pertinent texts, with the library's permission, for further scrutiny during our travels.

A minute later, the note is scribed, and Fisma collects her handiwork, the spell she cast still at work, ready to scribe another document, should one be presented to her. Unfortunately, her spell is not sophisticated enough to scribe maps. It can only copy simple text.
OUT OF CHARACTER
Knowledge checks:
Knowledge: Arcana; Knowledge: Nature; Knowledge: Dungeon; Knowledge: Local; Knowledge: Religion; Knowledge: Planes (1d20+17=24, 1d20+16=21, 1d20+12=19, 1d20+8=21, 1d20+8=19, 1d20+16=32)

 

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Re: CoD: Mission - White Plume Mountain

Post by patransom » Wed May 12, 2010 8:01 pm

OUT OF CHARACTER
To make sure it's clear: you have been hired by Riikan Dack to retrieve Blackrazor. You have no arrangement with the other two collectors whose property was stolen, and they are not present at this meeting.

 

Riikan Dack answers Milton's questions, I cannot speak to the circumstances of the theft of the other weapons, but we are uncertain as to how the thief absconded with Blackrazor. The sword was locked in the vault beneath my manor, which is equipped with the finest locks money can buy and warded against magical intrusion. The inquisitors I've hired have yet to determine how the crime was committed.

It is no great secret that I possessed Blackrazor or that Wave and Whelm were in the collections of their owners. We are all well-known men and our collections are famous throughout the city and even farther away. Although, certainly, mine is the most impressive. Any scholar or connoisseur of fine and historic weapons would know who owned each of these important pieces.

I purchased Blackrazor ten years ago from a group of adventurers. Their comrade had wielded the sword briefly before he was slain. The rest of them wanted nothing to do with the weapon. I believe they were somewhat frightened of Blackrazor's dark reputation. I do not know how the other two acquired Wave and Whelm, but it would not surprise me if they used far less reputable means to build their collections.


When Fisma asks about libraries, Dack grunts, The library? I have already paid plenty to research this matter. If I wanted more sages, I would have brought in more sages, not adventurers. I hired you for action, not further research! There is little time to waste. I am certain the others will soon reach the same conclusion about where the weapons have been taken and seek to equip their own expeditions for retrieval. If their employees find the weapons first, I am certain I'll have to pay a hefty ransom to one of those scoundrels or, worse yet, I'll never see my property again, as it will have fallen into the hands of some hired mercenary who doesn't understand its value!
OUT OF CHARACTER
PM on the way with Fisma's knowledge results. If there is nothing else, I will push things forward to the start of the dungeon!

 

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Re: CoD: Mission - White Plume Mountain

Post by Duniagdra » Thu May 13, 2010 10:09 am

OUT OF CHARACTER
Sorry. I was under the impression originally that we were hired by all three. :oops:

 

Sirrr, worry not. I am rrready to go. I'm just waiting on my companions and dirrrection to our transport.
Just to clear things up, you arrre hirrring us to find all thrrree, or just yourrrs?
You mention that Blackrrrazor has a darrrk rrreputation? Does this mean it is currrsed, evil, orrr somehow harrrmfull to the one who wields it?

Forrr my own safety, I'd like to know what these weapons do, and if they may be harrrmful to us in some way.
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Re: CoD: Mission - White Plume Mountain

Post by The Hunter » Thu May 13, 2010 12:46 pm

Aladar nods to Milton's statement and says, I am ready...and it would be beneficial to at least minutely know the nature of these items...
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Re: CoD: Mission - White Plume Mountain

Post by patransom » Thu May 13, 2010 2:53 pm

Mister Dack answers, I will pay you for the return of Blackrazor. As for the other weapons, while they would make fine additions to my collection, I cannot in good conscience ask you to bring them to me. To commandeer them for my collection would make me no better than the bastard thief who stole them in the first place. However, it would not trouble me if my rivals continued to be deprived of their prize pieces. If Wave and Whelm are not recovered or should they 'disappear' during the course of your adventure, I would have no complaints...

You get the sense that, if you were to keep the other weapons for yourselves, or sell them somewhere far away, Mister Dack would be perfectly happy. He probably couldn't stop you from returning them to their previous owners for a reward, either, although that wouldn't be his preferred outcome.

For Blackrazor's reputation, those who have used the weapon in war report that they have heard faint whispers whenever it delivers a killing stroke. Even more so, there are tales that the sword can actually speak inside the mind of a wielder who is strongly attuned to it. And, of course, there are the persistent rumors that Blackrazor drinks the souls of the foes it slays. I can speak to none of that, as I have kept it as a collection piece and not used it as a weapon of war, but it is true that the blade has a eerie appearance. I would not be concerned, however. Certainly, Blackrazor has done me no harm in my ten years of owning it.

Wave and Whelm are simpler items. Historically interesting, to be sure, but I discount any rumors about their hidden powers. Wave is a merely an intricately carved trident and Whelm is a rather plain warhammer said to be of Dwarven make.

If that is all, I will finish with your travel arrangements...

OUT OF CHARACTER
I'm just waiting on the final version of shai's character, then we'll jump to the mountain.

 

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Re: CoD: Mission - White Plume Mountain

Post by Benji » Thu May 13, 2010 3:01 pm

Pennay grunts at Dack's description of Blackrazor. Swords are tools. Nothing more. To imply that worked metal has a sentient mind is ridiculous.
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Re: CoD: Mission - White Plume Mountain

Post by Duniagdra » Thu May 13, 2010 4:29 pm

To Dack, Thank you and understood. I shall see what can be done to bring your preference before anything else.
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Re: CoD: Mission - White Plume Mountain

Post by patransom » Fri May 14, 2010 2:26 pm

OUT OF CHARACTER
Shai promises to have his character finished by the end of the weekend, so I'm going to go ahead and start, with the assumption that you won't get into a fight before then.

 

Preliminaries taken care of, the party departs the city of Greyhawk for the village of Yellowreach, some 500 miles away. Soon after departure, it is readily apparent that Fisma is not a halfling, nor is her friend Farflight a brass dragon. Instead, Fisma seems to be some kind of scaly elf with a tail and Farflight is some kind of very small dragonlike lizard. Fisma seems to amuse herself during the trip by having the two of them take on different shapes for brief periods, but the scaly elf and tiny dragon seem to be their most frequent guises...

As you approach the village of Yellowreach, you can see White Plume Mountain in the distance. It stands alone in a vast area of dismal moors and tangled thickets, an almost perfectly conical volcanic hill. About 1,000 yards in diameter at the base, the peak rises about 800 feet above the surrounding land. The white plume that gives the mountain its name and fame is a continuous geyser that spouts from the very summit. The spray shoots 300 feet into the air, then trails off to the east under the prevailing winds like a great white feather. The water from the geyser collects in numerous depressions downslope that eventually merge, creating a sizeable stream.

After arriving in the rather miserable village, the answers to few well-placed questions about the mountain reveal that, while steam vents pierce the mountainside in various spots, none of them is large enough to allow entry. The only possible entrance to the volcanic cone is a cave on the south slope, known as the Wizard’s Mouth. Upon learning you plan to set out for the Mountain, the villagers regard you as either very brave or very foolhardy and wish you only the best of luck.

The Wizard's Mouth, it turns out, is a cavern about 8 feet in diameter and 40 feet long. Near the ceiling at the far end is a long, horizontal crevice about 1 foot wide. Periodically, air is sucked into this crack at great speed, creating a loud whistling sound and snuffing out torches. After a few moments, the rush of air slows down, stops for about 2 seconds, and then the air rushes out again in a great blast of steam. The steam is not hot enough to scald anyone, but it does make the cave uncomfortable, like a very hot sauna interrupted by blasts of cold air. Thus, the cave actually seems to breathe, exhaling a large cloud of steam and then slowly inhaling again, like a man breathing on a cold day.

Inside, the cavern floor is covered with muck—obviously a byproduct of the condensation dripping from the walls and ceiling. Hidden beneath this mud, near the back of the cavern, you discover a simple trapdoor set with an iron ring. And now, below the opening, a square vertical shaft beckons. There appears to be a spiral staircase descending into the darkness below.
OUT OF CHARACTER
To descend the stairs, those of you without darkvision will obviously need a source of light. Also, I will need some sort of marching order...

 

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Re: CoD: Mission - White Plume Mountain

Post by Benji » Fri May 14, 2010 3:11 pm

If somebody provides me with light, I will happily take point. Pennay says in a no-nonsense tone of voice.
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Re: CoD: Mission - White Plume Mountain

Post by Duniagdra » Fri May 14, 2010 3:39 pm

I'll assume second position. Not sure why I didn't think of bringing any sunrods.
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Re: CoD: Mission - White Plume Mountain

Post by Benji » Fri May 14, 2010 4:40 pm

Well, if you don't mind holding something, then take this. Pennay will rummage in his backpack and belt pouches, eventually pulling out a hooded lantern, a flask of oil and some flint and steel.
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Re: CoD: Mission - White Plume Mountain

Post by kabkal » Fri May 14, 2010 8:13 pm

I will be happy to take 3rd in marching and my mace glows so that I can see near, but not far. It appears torches will do little good here, so I will follow the lamp you are carrying.
OUT OF CHARACTER
If we here sounds we think light lead to battle, I will be ready to buff as best I can.

 

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Re: CoD: Mission - White Plume Mountain

Post by Duniagdra » Fri May 14, 2010 10:08 pm

Benji wrote:Well, if you don't mind holding something, then take this. Pennay will rummage in his backpack and belt pouches, eventually pulling out a hooded lantern, a flask of oil and some flint and steel.
I actually do prrreferrr keeping my hands frrree, but forrr this time, assuming you'rrre offerrring this to me, I'll take it, but hold me not rrresponsible forrr it.
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Re: CoD: Mission - White Plume Mountain

Post by The Hunter » Sat May 15, 2010 11:44 pm

Unless any think it best not to, I will take point a little ahead to check for traps and scout. Unless anyone has objections Aladar will take a place 10 to 15 feet in front of the group.
OUT OF CHARACTER
Not that it really matters now but I would have probably done a Search check on the trap door for...lol...well traps before we opened just outta habit & precaution.

 

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Re: CoD: Mission - White Plume Mountain

Post by shai-hulud » Sun May 16, 2010 1:23 am

Fisma and her familiar will take any position the party desires. Because they are both fairly squishy, she would prefer the center of the party (3rd position). She has her Wand of Haste in hand.
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Re: CoD: Mission - White Plume Mountain

Post by patransom » Mon May 17, 2010 10:37 am

OUT OF CHARACTER
Yes, yes, of course, Aladar searched the trap door for any danger. He found none.

 

Milton, somewhat grudgingly, takes Pennay's lantern, providing some light for Aladar to lead them down the stairs (searching for traps, of course). The rusty metal staircase spirals down into warm, humid darkness. The stairs seems to vibrate
slightly, as if in tune with some inaudible subterranean rumbling. Despite its weathered appearance, the staircase is stable (and apparently untrapped). In the stairway shaft, the foul air is breathable, and Milton's lanterns burn fitfully, giving off lots of smoke. The walls are damp and spotted with green and white patches of fungus and algae. The air is warm (about 75 degrees F) and humid, uncomfortable for those in heavy armor, but not unbearable.

Eventually, the party reaches the bottom of the stairs, where a passageway seems to have been carved through solid rock. The walls are covered with mildew and algae and murky, standing water with floating patches of algae covers the floor to a depth of about 1 foot. Aladar splashes a bit ahead, but finds no traps. Just at the edge of the shadowy, smoky illumination provided by the lantern, the corridor appears to turn left.
OUT OF CHARACTER
Movement in this flooded corridor counts 2 squares for each 1 square moved.

 

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Re: CoD: Mission - White Plume Mountain

Post by Duniagdra » Mon May 17, 2010 12:12 pm

Milton proceeds forward, following Aladar's queue.
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Re: CoD: Mission - White Plume Mountain

Post by Benji » Mon May 17, 2010 2:16 pm

For now, Pennay will keep rank with Milton.
OUT OF CHARACTER
Heh, good choice on token for me. Pennay is pretty much like Roy anyway...

 

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Re: CoD: Mission - White Plume Mountain

Post by kabkal » Mon May 17, 2010 11:26 pm

Para will keep up with the group.
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Re: CoD: Mission - White Plume Mountain

Post by The Hunter » Tue May 18, 2010 8:53 am

Aladar will continue on down the hall cautiously sure to signal the party every so often to ensure that he believes the way to be clear.
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Re: CoD: Mission - White Plume Mountain

Post by patransom » Tue May 18, 2010 11:51 am

The party wades along the flooded corridor, eventually rounding the corner to the left. Here, Aladar comes to a stop as soon as Milton rounds the corner to shed significant light on things ahead. The reasons for Aladar's sudden stop are two-fold.

First, on the ceiling of the corridor just ahead of Aladar (in squares 2474, 2475, 2574, and 2575 if it's not entirely clear on the map) is an obvious mystical symbol, certainly worthy of close examination.

Second, and more significantly, at the edge of the shadowy light from the lantern there is an intersection and a large creature. This creature is somewhat bedraggled and sits on a 2-foot-high pile of bones that fills the intersection and protrudes from the water, offering a somewhat dry perch. The creature’s body looks like that of a mangy lion, and great, tattered wings lie folded at its sides. A female humanoid face peers out from beneath the tangled mat of hair that covers its head.

The creature speaks, Greetings, intruders! I am Etrusca, guardian of this intersection. You realize, of course, that this presents a problem, me being a guardian and you being intruders? Well, there is no need to despair, for I have a bargain to offer, one that should prevent any hostilities and allow you to pass safely by.
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The Hunter
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Re: CoD: Mission - White Plume Mountain

Post by The Hunter » Tue May 18, 2010 12:31 pm

Aladar looks the creature up and down suspiciously and then looks up above him at the mystical symbol, back to the party and then back to her and says, Continue...
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Re: CoD: Mission - White Plume Mountain

Post by Benji » Tue May 18, 2010 2:39 pm

Pennay will move up next to Aladar (2576) and reach a hand to his greatsword's hilt. He won't draw it just yet though.
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Re: CoD: Mission - White Plume Mountain

Post by kabkal » Tue May 18, 2010 11:05 pm

Para moves up a bit, keeping to the back on the pack. Watching and listening to the interaction.
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