The Dark Carnival

White Plume Mountain

Malenko and company reach the Mountain

Plume to north, Great Swamp north of it, Twisted Thicket to south and east with pass tween the Castle Mukos to west. Malenko says Keraptits here long before Mukos Castle, and likely during. Place called Dead Gnoll’s Eye Socket tween thicket and plume.
-Find area w/o difficulty, come up around twisted thicket into Plague Fields from SW. Yellow River flows from MT by town. Few animals and sparse vegitation along banks. Is a deadland where farms once grew. Town run down, decrepid buildings and abandoned for years. No one at all.
-To Ringland. 10’ tall palisade around village w/ stone towes, grazing animals outside, only few hundred people. Trails leading out to south, west, and north, plus one we rode in on. See tower guards and 5 at only gate to town. Say PF empty 15 years now. “Damn river, everything dies, animals and crops wither and die.” Say crazies all the time lookin for Plume. 90% never return. Knows of no specific successes himself. RL a town of trappers and hunters mostly, though some wishful miners. Few farms. None have gone to Plume recently through here. Faces in smoke seen recently, most assume the Keraptis of legend who lived there long ago. Story of great wizard ages ago. It always smokes though, nothing new. Mukos is about 200 years old. Says go to 3 other places in town for more info: Sebastian and the Ringland Inn, the Hunter’s Guild, and Monrik the local arcanist.
Malenko, Dahlia w/ wights and Haarkon see Monrik. He came here to get away from harassment for arcane power. Didn’t come here specifically, just where he ended up. In his 40’s or 50’s. Was here since befor PF abandoned. River flows into MT from north, then out of it again south. Inside something contaminates. This began about 15 years ago. Always smoked even prior. Faces only last couple years. His opinion is that it is K’s face. Mukos was a noble who moved into area to set up own lands. Build castle to west of swamp. Road from here goes part way to it. Soon after build, disappearances inside it, others endless nightmares of being chased. One day, Baron disappeared. Inhabitants left. Says Plume area was on border of lands of a few Masters. Tells of humanoid raiders attacking the town here and there, from MT. He helps defend and repair afterwards. Ask cpt. of guard for more info. Attacks less often now. See Hunters for info on Dead Gnoll’s ES. There’s a row of buttes. ES a strange formation on what looks like the head and shoulders of a supine hyena w/ 1 large cut in SE section (the ES). 13 miles east. 80 years ago last known time someone entered Plume and came out with success and $.
Iggy, Ziggy, Boz to Hunter’s Guild. Talk to Otis Hilltopper. 6’2" with alegut. Says nearest any get to Plume is Dead Gnoll’s ES. Nice big cave there. Safe camping spot. Mukos a nasty place. Always feel like being watched, dread inside there. Great Swamp is deadly, can traverse it but mighty slow. Knee deep much of way, nasty beasts and quicksand. Subhumans and, supposedly, even fouler things. To edge is a witch named Thingizzard. Stay away from there, does not like trespassers. Some have succeeded in bartering for potions and such. To north, far past great swamp, though none know for sure cause no survivors, supposed to be a dragon. Just a rumor, never seen it in these parts. Says he can guide to ES and stay with horses/supplies up to a month, for pay. 13 miles to it. Easiest approach to MT. Can get to base sooner, but much tougherr climb. There is a trail to an opening into MT from ES, but never been. Tells of wandering subhumans, incl. orcs, gnolls and bugbears, plus human brigands too. They do raid towns here and there, as south rim of foothills lined with villages and hamlets. Attacks vary from 20-100, usually top out at 40 though.
Pits to Inn. Patrons say “We stay clear of Plume, monsters always wander its slopes. Crazy wizard locked self inside long ago, since ‘for great grandad born. No one goes closer than Dead Gnoll’s ES.” Mention face. Sebastian says “my recommendation, go home.” Been here long time, 3 groups of treasure seekers, none came back. Does not know of story from 50yrs ago Burns told us about. Oldest in town only 50’s or 60’s anyway. Rumor of monsters in swamp, including Bog Mummies (malenko never heard of them).
All meet at Inn. Sleep there that night.

Day 38

In morning go to Mukos. Road goes 3 miles, then 3 more overland. Central tower mainly intact, but overall little more than rubble. Iggy says no recent traffic, but surely looters and vagrants here in past. Search whole place and nothing of interest. Dahlia, at one point near end, continues to insist she sees movement out of corner of eye. Take her out of walls, leaving Mal w/wights and dog inside. She still sees them, starting to unnerve her. Malenko attacked by small hairy creatures! Fights them off just as we get there. They have a paralyzing poison in their claws. Dahlia continues to see them on way back, Malenko can do nothing to help. At inn, smokes a drug w/ her and she sleeps, guarded by pitfighters and wights. They are attacked by a gang of the creatures, who ‘dimension door’ in (as Malenko calls it). Dahlia down 3 in all abilities from the paranoia. Fight off attackers, who try to DD out with paralyzed victims. One or 2 escape, get 4 bodies. Dahlia gets better fast now, Malenko sees Monrik and trades a body for cask and preservative for his. Maybe can trade other 2 to Thingizzard for stuff.

Day 39

Head for Thingizzards. We avoid most of swamp. During the trip, attacked by a gang of gnolls, who we handily defeat. Then Hunk and Ziggy hit patch of quicksand, which we pull them out of with much effort.

Day 40

Arrive at Thingizzards after dark. 4 bog mummies watching us at a distance, look like small creatures. Malenko knocks on her door and she answers. “My swamp, no one comes in or out w/o me knowing. Those who dare harm it or my children (bog mummies) face my wrath.” We tell her we are not here to do any such thing. Explain who we are and why we are in area, seeking information. She has been here a very long time but claims to know nothing more than the rumors we already heard. About Plume says "seem someone trying to make it look like K is back. Malenko asks how she knows it isn’t K. Answers “if K were back, everyone would know he is back”. Even she is not sure about her age, but she lived here since K showed up. They left each other alone. Mukos left swamp alone as well, but it was a bad idea where he put his castle, cause of the meanlocks. When we say we were there, she cackles finding it quite humorous. When asked about the gnolls, laughs and points at another bog mummy that was a gnoll. Has no idea why they are more active lately. She says she has had no visitors, but Malenko doesn’t believe her so presses her, diplomatically. Admits that just a gang of gnomes who had the audacity to kill one of her children. Malenko and Haarkon notice she is fingering a 3 bladed dagger while talking. We try to reassure her we mean no danger to her. Some of us buy some potions with gems. Malenko tries to deal with her for teaching dark secrets to him, but she is uninterested in sex and says it would take too long to teach things he would want. Recalls long ago hearing of the Attercops and a cult but not in this area. We get out of swamp and camp at river finally around 2AM. Sleep til 10AM and back to ES for mules and gear. Get there around dinner time 2 days later. Move til dark, which gets us to base of Plume. Camp, attacked by gang of ogres overnight and defeat them.

Day 41

Cave mouth 600’ below summit. A trail leads directly to it. Get to entrance, which emits a steam and vapor eruption every several minutes, which we are hit with once inside the room. Takes a bit to find the whole, which is a spiral stairway heading down 100’ into a chamber. Nearly dry here. Southwall full of murder holes. We give wrong password but insist we are here to join Keraptis’ forces. Gnome guard leader Kabyle comes out to meet us. Says there are 4 factions here, all led by a false K, “only ours is the true K”. Current password is good for 24hrs = ‘gnome’. Shows location of pit traps in room so we can avoid. Gives us a magic scroll, a lvl 5 magic missile 3/day. Anyone can use it. Wears armband with K intertwined with snakes, which he gives us all. Must kill all w/o it. Gives us direction to K. Cross a lake on boat, told to spread the red dye as we go to keep the Kelp Devils away. All gnomes but for 4 ogres. See GK, says his magic trident stolen by thieves who came through a secret door along one side of the lake. Wants us to get it for him. Tells us the other FK are an ogre, human, and moldworm. Also an evil band of creatures, humans-gnomes…, who are the ones who stole Wave.
We go through secret door, come upon woman named Kuhlefaran. Tell her we are falsely working for the false GK, and we are here to eliminate all the FK. Says they are the resistance against them. She takes us to see the leader, through pyramid room where we are attacked by an invisible giant crab. It is a bloody fight even with a glitterdust part way through, which we eventually retreat from. Kuhlefaran has no idea where it came from, saying it has never been here before.
Resistance made up of 12 gnomes, 3 humans (Marthea, Hammond, Kuhlefaran), Ogre named Garcon and one meanlock, Henri, who left Castle Mukos to be on his own. There is a tunnel from the main room, a secret exit being an old lava tunnel. Leads to outside at base of Mt.
Leader is a large gold-skin man named Nix. We meet him in private. Tells how he was here prior to FKs. The gnomes inhabited the Mt. already, the original K had mainly gnomes. Garcon used to follow one of the FK. The humans were all adventurers who decided to stay and fight the FKs. He himself once worked for the true, original K! Says how K had insights of the time of the end of the masters coming. To protect himself, spent years researching a solution. He opened a doorway into the shadowplane, to go through and come back when right things happened here. 4 weapons of power helped him open gate, Wave-Whelm-Blackrazor-Frostrazor. Nix wants them all to reopen gate to bring real K back.
Recently, 4 FK. Gnome named Nightfrear, Ogre named Spatterdock has warhammer Whelm, Killjoy the human has the sword blackrazor, and Mossmutter the moldworm has the sword frostrazor. Nix stole Wave from Nightfear. All the FK have personae, memory and powers of the real K. Use of our scroll turns you into a drone of sorts to it’s FK. Some have partial power, some complete imprint. The 4 FK read scrolls with the complete imprint. The more people read the partials the more powerful the FK gets. Each FK has multiple drones. These will fight even past the death of their FK. If you kill an FK, he will transfer to a drone.
He will give temp sanctuary to us and send Henri with us. Wants us to find Wave, a trident, and bring it back. He had sent a group of his gnolls to hide it at Mukos, the swamp or , w/o telling him. They never returned.
-other lava pit goes deeper, but they have run into dangerous creatures w/in it. It can lead you to Spatterdock’s area.
-Mossmutter is an intelligent moldworm, made so by accident of magic when he ate a FK. Very large. Real K created the scrolls as an attempt to keep self around but avoid Master’s fall. Thought someone else reading them would bring him back, but didn’t work. FKs can make more.
-He wishes to use all the weapons for a ritual in the Fane deep in the volcano, bringing real K back. If he does, all FK will die.
So, obvious to us Wave rests with Thingizzard. We stay that night, rest whole next day and night, and leave through lava tube the next morning.

Day 43

Leave for Thingizzard, accompanied by Henri. Arrive after dark. Mal flanked by Boz and Dahlia knocks on the door. Rest of party 30-40’ back. She claims no knowledge of Wave. Malenko sure she is hiding something. Boz sees her fingering her dagger. Malenko suggests a temporary trade, Wave for Malenko’s soul-in-a-jar until we return Wave to her, once we have defeated the forces of Plume. nce late.
We tell Henri on the way back about Nix’s plans to bring back the real K, but he cares little. Just glad to know he no longer lives at Mukos.
Back to resistance late. Nix comes in and we show him Wave, but he says for us tokeep it for now, and use it to do battle with the other forces in the Mt.

Day 45

Go for the crab, hoping it is still damaged. If it is healed, that means someone with necromantic power is behind it. IT IS HEALED! AAARRG! Ziggy wields Wave. After an easier fight than last time, with Malenko eliminating the invisibility for a longer period of time, we kill it. Ziggy gets kill shot with Wave.
Next, into the dangerous deep lava tunnels to explore. Nix says so far as he knows Spatterdock knows of tunnel also but also does not use it.
We explore a maze of tunnels, finding copious amounts of fungus, including some that explodes it’s poisonous spore; a room with mushrooms as large as a man, covered in translucent sacs that explode with an acid; encounter and kill a Mossworm in a room with an obsidian cairn. Continue east into another mushroom room, with the sacks bursting spontaneously as we skirt the wall past them. Find a steep downward sloping tunnel, but ignore it and continue.
Come to a large room and search around. Find 3 dead gnomes, killed via mouth and lung fungal infection. Relatively recent. At a fork beyond, see a dim glow from NW passage.
At Y-intersection, attacked by 3 bloodwights and fight to a stalemate. Flee past them to a 50′×50′ room with a large pool taking up most of it. A sloped ledge goes around it but is very dangerous. It is a 20’ drop into the pool. Much of the rock covered by a slick silvery substance. Malenko says likely an arcane energy byproduct of whatever was once in the pool/what pool once used for. We run back past slugs to the mold-worm room, then to dead gnome room. Has 2 more passages out. Take north hall to another room with a moldworm. Backtrack to 2nd hall, irregular shaped room with phosphorescent lichen. Around a giant boulder stand 4 human sized/shape creatures. They are Fungus Hulks. A boulder fills an entryway behind them, blocking it. Likely an entrance to Mossmutter’s territory. Malenko insists on seeing K. One leaves and returns w/ a gnome acting like he is wearing a brand new Edgar Suit. It may be a subsumed mind. Talks with them but they won’t let us in unless we submit to becoming moldy. We withdraw.
Take the downward tunnel, which after a few hours Haarkon insists must continue to the infamous Underdark. Most of us have never heard of that. Back to Nix’s area to rest. Says pool was originally a K experiment to manufacture a pool of pure ‘life principle’. Found it to be very volatile. Diffucult to control what it would to to a bather. Some good, some bad.

Day 46

We ask Nix some ?‘s. Subsumed minds would likely not flee or hide if we attacked a given K’s forces. If you kill a false K, they can take over a nearby drone. We decide to make an attack on Nightfear. We will pass back the way we came, cross the lake, make our way into his chambers with Wave then attack. The resistance will hold the forces in the complex of rooms connected to the mountains main entrance.
4 gnomes, 2 fore and 2 aft, accompany us so as to deactivate traps on the door to Nightfear. it is a large room but much taken up by his dais, which is fronted by 4 Ogre bodyguards. Only 4 of us make it into room when Bozmus backstabs him from the shadows, seemingly killing Nfear.. Hunk, Haarkon, Malenko and Dahlia also in the room. 2 Ogres quickly eliminated mostly by Dahlia and Hunk. Nunu is just outside the doorway at the T-section with Mal’s dog, followed by Iggy/Ziggy, Billy and the undead at our rear. We are accosted from hidden murder holes on the walls of the entryhall, and by gnome warriors on our flanks then gnoll mercs from our rear. A great melee ensues as the back door in the chamber opens and the real Nfear arrives. He delays us with mirror image, then tries to slay Mal, Boz and Hunk with Circle of Death but fails. Meanwhile, Nunu faces the Gnome champ and is almost defeated. Dahlia, after eliminating a few mirror images, moves back to the hall to stop Malenko’s undead from creating more, while also taking down enemy warriors. She succeeds on 3 but can’t make it to a 4th (gnome) who rises as a Wight in 1 round. Nunu is heavily damaged, as is Hunk by the end via 2 Cones of Cold from Nfear before he, Mal and Boz take him down for good. Hunk, Dahlia and Iggy clear out the archer rooms to end it all. The resistance pulls gets control of the planks, trapping Kabyle and any other soldiers in their section. Mal’s bird says no one has left the mountain by the main entrance so they are all certainly still there. It’s still a ? whether Nfear had another drone to inhabit back with Kabyle. We search and loot the chambers, and by his arcane writings Mal says Nfear pretty much sucked at all he was trying to do.
We attempt a truce with Kabyle, trying to bluff him to join us against the false K’s but he magic missiles first Mal then Haarkon through the door’s peephole. We leave him covered by Nix’s men and rest for the day.
h4. Day 47

Back into unexplored tunnels, staying on this level. Find a hitherto unknown to all secret door from cave into hall near Nix’s guards. Encounter a super tough ghoul that escapes us after giving us a beating. Mal, Haarkon and Zig all paralyzed.

Day 48

Mal, Haarkon, and Zig do not come out of it until this morning. Haarkon and Zig come down with Ghoulfever.
The resistance cleric aids Ziggy and Haarkon, while we all go to meet Spatterdock with Nightfear’s head. Nunu, Hunk, Dahlia, Iggy, Malenko and Boz are all forced to read the imprint from Spatter’s scrolls or the jig would be up.
Back to resist. with the vampire.
On the way back, we get the drop on the vamp and defeat him in the hall. We then try to race back and beat him to Spatterdock:
We first eliminate 9 drones by expending some of our fireballs from the imprint scrolls after killing all the guards in the entryroom with the murderholes.
Then we battle a flesh golem, which Malenko quickly outwits by getting it buried in a pit full of mud. Across the chasm, we see Spatter standing there, awaiting us. After some talk, we decide that it is far too dangerous to cross via Nix 2 or 3 at at time. Spatter could easily get us all killed while in midflight.
Nix says that by the # of drones we killed, there may be 1 or 2 that must be with him.
We retreat and explore last area: appx a 30′×30′ room w/ 9 hanging cages. Nix goes back to his folks. We rescue Snarla, who mistakes Bozmus for some fellow named Burkette who is her lost lover. For now, Bozmus goes with it. We meet and speak to the Gynosphinx inquisitor, and Malenko successfully answeres his riddle. He will leave us be and tell no one we are here.

Last direction: fungus room.
Return to resist. We rest entire next day and night, so..

Day 50

Back into the caves to tackle the advanced Ghoul, and this time we are victorious. We explore the 4 other fissures afterward.

On day we leave Plume, Slaver group deciding which tunnel to take. Plume group spends 1 day in village, 1 1/2 days to Ferd, stay all next day. 1 day ride to carnival.

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