In this month’s Empire of the Ghouls session we continued with the final chapter, The Pure City of Vandekhul, with the characters fugitives in the ghoul city. All being well, we should finish the campaign next session!
This session write up contains spoilers for the adventure.
New to Empire of the Ghouls? Start here.
27th Deep Winter, 92 FY (contd.)
Fleeing the scene of their confrontation with Captain Zsolt Styxdeep, the adventurers find a quiet spot to cast some healing spells. At the Meat Market, Bubbles tries to spot Vicmorn, her missing brother, among the slaves for sale, but there don’t seem to be any shadow fey on offer. Bribing the clerk, she learns that a shadow fey was recently sold to the Danse Macabre, a theatre-restaurant on the waterfront.
The characters return to the Gutless Zombie but are refused admittance by the landlord who ignores their protestations of innocence. Bubbles uses Anu-Akma’s Book of the Hungering Dead to disguise the party as different-looking darakhul but their attempts to get lodgings at another inn, the Flayed Man, fail.
Before heading to Danse Macabre, they decide to split into two groups of three. Bubbles, Penumbra, and Louthin are stopped by a patrol but manage to bluff their way past. Zygmunt, The Gears, and Herr Biegen are not so lucky – unable to speak Darakhul and not very convincing, the patrol places them under arrest. A fight breaks out in which The Gears contracts darakhul fever and is paralyzed. The others rush back to help, and the patrol is defeated, but the characters are again forced to flee the scene.
Penumbra casts seeming on the group to change their appearance yet again and they resume their journey to Danse Macabre. Bubbles, now dressed as an exotic dancer thanks to the spell, and Louthin are admitted via the stage door, while the others skulk in the alley at the back.
Inside, the drugged Vicmorn is being slowly consumed on stage by members of the Guild of Performance Eaters in front of an audience of slavering ghoul nobles and merchants. Bubbles casts misty step to arrive in the middle of the performance, grabs Vicmorn, and dances out of the door with him. The lead performer, Zadina Valgyt, and the three obese Creed necrophagi pursue, but Louthin has fetched the other characters. Zygmunt casts fireball into the theatre, then Penumbra’s eyebite spell sends Zadina and one of the necrophages to sleep. The fighters and The Gears take down the other two, and the party escape in the confusion. The Gears casts lesser restoration to bring Vicmorn out of his drug-induced state, and they make it to the Boneheaps where the Beggar King grants them sanctuary.
28th Deep Winter
After a much needed long rest, Bubbles makes her first saving throw against darakhul fever.
They wait until the 4th gong, then head across town the Bone Cathedral, aided by groups of beggar ghouls that serve to distract the patrols. The group can watch the well-guarded cathedral from a hidden vantage point and decide to sit tight until just before the 5th gong.
A couple of hours later, Duke Morreto Lichmark arrives in a carriage with his consort and two bodyguards and enters the cathedral. There is no sign of Avgost or the high priest Radomir Marrowblight.
Once he’s gone in, the characters decide it is time to make their move. Zygmunt uses his feather token to summon a roc. The sudden appearance of the giant bird distracts the ghouls patrolling the perimeter, allowing the characters to reach the cathedral doors unnoticed. Zygmunt pushes the doors open and enters the Fane of Hunger with Bubbles, Louthin, Biegen and Vicmorn. Meanwhile, Penumbra casts dimension door to transport herself and The Gears inside.
Three servants of the Unsated God move to attack the intruders, reinforced by a pair of bloated ghouls. The Gears turns one of the undead priests who flees into a side chamber, while the others are brought down by the rest of the party who realise belatedly they’d forgotten to put ghoulbane oil on their weapons!
The Gears goes after the turned priest and confronts him in the Bone Chamber, demanding he reveal where the ceremony is going to take place. The ghoul babbles something about choosing the Hall of Gluttony or the Hall of Satiation to reach the temple, then clams up.
With nowhere to go, he is taken down by Zygmunt and Penumbra. Before moving on, the characters coat their weapons with ghoulbane oil.
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Main image by Roland Deaconu