This week we played our Empire of the Ghouls campaign in person again, continuing with Chapter 4: Catacombs of the Ghul King. The characters explored the catacombs beneath the Elia family mausoleum, looking for somewhere safe to take a long rest before confronting the Ghul King.
Here’s the write up which contains spoilers for the campaign.
28th Snowfall, 92 FY (contd.)
Bubbles sneaks up on the undead guardian in the ruined chapel, taking it down with a whirlwind of flashing blades before it can react. When the others join her, Penumbra steps on a pressure plate, triggering a sandstorm trap which sweeps Zygmunt and Bubbles off their feet. The tiefling escapes to the next room, only to become wrapped up tight inside a rug of smothering. She’s rescued by Louthin, and the rug is destroyed.
Bubbles scouts ahead again, insisting that Zygmunt stays well back, so the paladin doesn’t cramp her style. When she declares the area safe, the characters take a long rest to recuperate.
No one is keen to face the reverse gravity trap again, so the adventurers continue moving backwards through the catacombs looking for the exit, passing through more chambers decorated with carvings of burial rites and representations of Anu-Akma.
When Bubbles enters a large courtyard, four anubians materialize from piles of sand. The party decide to cross the room in a single group. This doesn’t quite work as planned, as the anubians reappear to block their route and create sandstorms that make it hard to target them. But the characters still make short work of the creatures and can explore the room, discovering that it is possible to squeeze past the pillars in the northwest and northeast corners and access hidden vaults beyond.
Bubble explores these areas, but soon loses interest and returns to the others. Leaving her behind, Penumbra, Louthin and Zygmunt venture into the northeast area where they run into three mummies. Louthin is paralyzed and takes 40 hp damage, but luckily doesn’t succumb to mummy rot. The trio find an efficient quiver inside one of the tombs.
Penumbra uses her rod of underworld navigation to find the nearest exit – the corridor to the south. When the tiefling triggers a scything blade trap in the corridor, injuring her and Bubbles, the group return to the antechamber for a short rest. Here, they find a ring of protection among the remains of a dead adventurer. Zygmunt claims the ring, promising to use it to bravely defend his comrades.
Louthin wedges the pressure plate to disable the scything blades, so the characters can pass into the entry chamber and climb the spiral stairs to the mausoleum above. Then, they climb back down the vent to the second level of the catacombs and return to Kala’s roost where a trapdoor leads down to the Ghul King’s lair.
Bubbles creeps down the ladder and casts silence, but the Ghul King has been watching the adventurers in his crystal ball. He flings the shadow fey back through the trapdoor with telekinesis, then summons an air elemental.
The adventurers climb down the ladder to attack. Louthin closes with the Ghul King, Zygmunt casts twinned protection from evil spells on himself and Bubbles, and Penumbra banishes the air elemental. The Ghul King attacks the party with bolts of lightning and his Shocking Touch and transforms into a sandstorm, but the characters hold firm. Zygmunt slays the undead lord with a mighty Divine Smite, sending his spirit back inside a large blue urn buried in a pile of treasure. Louthin slams the lid on the urn, trapping the Ghul King inside.
With the Ghul King defeated, the characters search the lair for treasure, finding a +2 longsword decorated with hieroglyphics, a headscarf of the oasis, and potions of gaseous form and greater healing. They decide to leave all the treasure marked with the Elia family crest where it is and head back to the surface with the urn.
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Main image by Roland Deaconu