Empire of the Ghouls Session 21 – The Blood Wedding

The characters stop the Blood Wedding inside the Midnight Temple of Chernobog

In our 21st session, we concluded Chapter 3: The Blood Marriage as the characters made their final assault on the Midnight Temple to stop the unholy union between Vardesain and Marena. Here’s the write up which contains spoilers for the campaign.

22nd Rimetrail, 92 FY (contd.)

Inside the antechamber of the Midnight Temple, The Gears experiences a terrifying vision. The blood wedding has taken place, and the happy couple are travelling south in a carriage. As they board a ship, he sees across the Nieder Straits to Krakovar and beyond to the whole of Midgard where the ghouls and vampires experience a surge in power, blessed by the divine union of Marena and Vardesain under Chernobog’s auspices. The undead rise from the earth and overrun the world! 

Knowing the wedding must be stopped, the characters quietly unlock the three sets of double doors heading into the temple and burst in, surprising the congregation. Standing in the sanctuary at the far end of the nave, Kenas Sipkiln, gnome priest of Chernobog, is performing the marriage ceremony between Goran Malik, a darakhul priest of Vardesain, and Chessa Iancu, a vampire Red Sister of Marena.

Gnome priest of Chernobog
Kenas Sipkiln

Penumbra casts sickening radiance to cover the crowd in greenish light, then Bubbles casts silence. The others advance to attack the congregation of cultists, ghouls and vampire thralls. When Kenas realises what is happening, he moves out of the area of the two spells and casts banishment on Bubbles, sending her to another plane of existence. Carved figures on the temple pillars reach out and attack the adventurers, as the wedding guests attempt to surround The Gears, Herr Biegen, Louthin and Zygmunt. Goran is bloodied by Penumbra’s sickening radiance but dispels it.

The Huldra’s deadly javelins and the characters’ blades take down several foes but poor old Herr Biegen is yet again reduced to a heap of broken machine parts, and The Gears is knocked unconscious by a dwarven berserker. Fortunately, the Huldra are on hand to revive the kobold.

Meanwhile, Kenas Sipkiln returns to the altar and casts blade barrier to protect himself and the bride and groom, then restarts the wedding ceremony. This returns Bubbles from her banishment and the ranger fires a hail of thornsthrough the barrier into their midst. With only a handful of cultists still standing, Zygmunt advances on the altar and casts burning hands to scorch the undead pair and the priest. Penumbra uses the Holy Robes of Sister Adelind to unleash a radiant burst, then Bubbles and Louthin cast misty step to get inside the barrier. 

Zygmunt makes a bold move to join the action and leaps through the blade barrier. The Gears had foreseen this in his vision at Huldramose and shouts a warning, but the paladin fails to hear and suffers the full 40 hp damage. 

Goran perishes, ending any hopes of marriage, then The Gears kills the ghoul’s bride-to-be with a guiding bolt. Finally, Penumbra kills Kenas with an eldritch blast, just as the gnome poisons Bubbles with a contagion spell. 

With Kenas’s death a great tremor roars through the temple. A fissure appears down the middle of the building, sundering the bear claw symbol of Chernobog above the altar. It falls to the floor, revealing the symbol of Sif beneath, covered over but never removed.

The battle over, the characters have a short rest to patch up their wounds, then head down through a trapdoor into the crypt below. Here, they find a fine treasure hoard, including Goran and Chessa’s wedding gifts. A scroll attached to an adamantine breastplate bears a note to Goran from someone called Morreto Lichmark. The scroll’s seal is impressed with a coat of arms – a key and sword on a divided shield. There is also an ornate coffin. When it’s opened by Penumbra, a trap is triggered and the warlock, Bubbles and Zygmunt are pierced by poisoned spikes. Inside is a rod of underworld navigation.

30th Rimetrail

The characters and the Huldra arrive back in Huldramose where a victory feast is held in their honour. Queen Thorgerd advises Louthin to seek out a ravenfolk druid named Mistwalker in Wolfheim if he wants to learn more about ley lines.

5th Snowfall

After rendezvousing with Sigurd in Marsh Hallow, the characters arrive in Wolfheim aboard the Osprey.

Map by Jon Pintar

Published by richgreen01

D&D gamer | Freelance game designer | Writer & publisher – Parsantium: City at the Crossroads

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