Green Man

Empire of the Ghouls Session 7 – The Court in Exile

I started work on the Empire of the Ghouls adventure path for Kobold Press just over two years ago, writing the overall outline with Wolfgang Baur, and then Chapter 2: The Holy Robes of Sister Adelind, and Chapter 6: The Pure City of Vandekhul

Now that the adventure has been released, I'm posting the brief session write ups I’ve been doing for my players in our monthly Empire of the Ghouls campaign. 

In our eventful seventh session (the first one we played online), we continued with Chapter 2 of Empire of the Ghouls, The Holy Robes of Sister Adelind. Here's the write up which contains spoilers for the campaign. 

Archduke Avgost. Art from Empire of the Ghouls
Archduke Avgost. Art from Empire of the Ghouls

11th Harvest Tide, 92 FY 

The party arrive at the Black Fortress and meet General Jaro Whitebeard. The dwarf identifies the man in the charcoal sketch the characters have found as Archduke Avgost Walerska of Krakova. Jaro tells them that the Court in Exile are hiding in House Kavanto in Kariessen. 

12th Harvest Tide 

The characters set off for Kariessen. The Gears spots movement and Penumbra sends Kalo to investigate. But, by the time the adventurers reach the spot, there is no one there.

13th Harvest Tide 

A chimera attacks the camp at night and attempts to fly off with Louthin in its claws.

16th Harvest Tide

Someone is following the group again. This time, Bubbles sprints towards the figure, a darakhul claiming to be a Krakovan refugee. The characters corner the ghoul spy and kill her. Luckily, Zygmunt is on hand to cure Bubbles’s darakhul fever.

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Green Man

Empire of the Ghouls Session 6 – The Black Canton

I started work on the Empire of the Ghouls adventure path for Kobold Press just over two years ago, writing the overall outline with Wolfgang Baur, and then Chapter 2: The Holy Robes of Sister Adelind, and Chapter 6: The Pure City of Vandekhul

Now that the adventure has been released, I'm posting the brief session write ups I’ve been doing for my players in our monthly Empire of the Ghouls campaign. 

In our sixth  session, we continued with Chapter 2 of Empire of the Ghouls, The Holy Robes of Sister Adelind. Here's the write up which contains spoilers for the campaign. 

Our heroes, from L to R: The Gears, Penumbra, Louthin, Bubbles & Zygmunt
Our heroes, from L to R: The Gears, Penumbra, Louthin, Bubbles & Zygmunt

2nd Harvest Tide, 92 FY 

The party arrive in the village of Stromberg; Zygmunt returns the gold nugget to Dorrim’s widow. Later, they share a camp with a group of kobolds who have been driven out of their copper mine by a megapede; The Gears is keen to help them.

3rd Harvest Tide 

The party enter the mine and slay the megapede. The grateful miners give them a magical glaive as a reward. 

4th Harvest Tide

The characters arrive in the Hall of Grisal. Penumbra and Zygmunt talk to Captain Brogan Bonebasher and agree to help him retrieve the bodies of his fallen men in return for an introduction to undead expert Trehild Shardspike. The Gears and Louthin are offered the chance to purchase Sister Adelind’s finger bone by Ajarlo Maccioni, a Septime priest. Penumbra goes to Rocks Are Us and learns the stones she found come from the Ghoul Imperium.  

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Green Man

Empire of the Ghouls Session 5 – The Clockwork Oracle

I started work on the Empire of the Ghouls adventure path for Kobold Press just over two years ago, writing the overall outline with Wolfgang Baur, and then Chapter 2: The Holy Robes of Sister Adelind, and Chapter 6: The Pure City of Vandekhul

Now that the adventure has been released, I'm posting the brief  session write ups I’ve been doing for my players in our monthly Empire  of the Ghouls campaign.

In our fifth session, we finished Chapter 1 of Empire of the Ghouls, Dread Chambers of the Undercity and started Chapter 2. Here's the write up which contains spoilers for the campaign. 

For the Clockwork Oracle's machine speech, I used sound effects from a steampunk album I found on Spotify – it worked really well :)

Back to the Catacombs
Back to the Catacombs

8th – 14th High Summer, 92 FY 

The adventurers have a week of downtime in Zobeck. Bubbles throws a successful party on the Street of Joy (despite the efforts of her rival, Lady Leonora) and burns the incense found in the cult temple. She experiences a vision of her brother being taken in chains to a ghoul city in the Underworld. Louthin has dinner with the shadow fey Ambassador Glaninin Thelamandrine and learns of ghouls roaming the Ironcrags. He also sells the alchemist’s spellbook to the Book Fetish. Zygmunt forges horseshoes at the Temple of Volund and impresses Ondli Firedrake. Penumbra studies the Prophets of the Red Goddess, while the Gears makes a useful contact who can introduce him to Queen Chainbreaker, one of the Kobold Kings.

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Green Man

Empire of the Ghouls Session 4 – The Cult of Forbidden Ecstasies

I started work on the Empire of the Ghouls adventure path for Kobold Press around two years ago, writing the overall outline with Wolfgang Baur, and then Chapter 2: The Holy Robes of Sister Adelind, and Chapter 6: The Pure City of Vandekhul

Now that the adventure has been released, I'm posting the brief  session write ups I’ve been doing for my players in our monthly Empire  of the Ghouls campaign.

In our fourth session, we continued Chapter 1 of Empire of the Ghouls, Dread Chambers of the Undercity by Chris Lockey. Here's the write up which contains spoilers for the campaign.

Battle in the Temple of Marena
Battle in the Temple of Marena

7th High Summer, 92 FY 

Joined by Bubbles, the characters return to the catacombs. En route, Kalo, Penumbra’s new pseudodragon familiar, hears a noise from a side passage. In the room beyond a caged ice mephit is keeping several dead bodies cold. The compassionate Zygmunt smashes open the cage to release the little creature.

The adventurers kill two ghouls in the catacombs, then enter the passage that the Red Priestess fled down. Zygmunt and Louthin spend an hour clearing the rubble from the collapsed roof trap so the party can get through.  

Bubbles follows the Red Priestess’ tracks, leading the characters to the entrance of the Hidden Temple of Marena. Penumbra sends the human guard to sleep and they dispatch the ogre ghoul. Waking the guard up, they interrogate him, learning that he is a member of the Cult of Forbidden Ecstasies, led by Felixia Bael-Sheth, the Red Sister.

Felixia Bael-Sheth
Felixia Bael-Sheth
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Green Man

Empire of the Ghouls Session 3 – Into the Catacombs

I started work on the Empire of the Ghouls adventure path for Kobold Press around two years ago, writing the overall outline with Wolfgang Baur, and then Chapter 2: The Holy Robes of Sister Adelind, and Chapter 6: The Pure City of Vandekhul

Now that the adventure has been released, I'm posting the brief  session write ups I’ve been doing for my players in our monthly Empire  of the Ghouls campaign.

In our third session, we continued Chapter 1 of Empire of the Ghouls, Dread Chambers of the Undercity by Chris Lockey. Here's the write up.

The characters defend the Rampant Roach from an angry mob
The characters defend the Rampant Roach from an angry mob

4th High Summer, 92 FY 

Day three with Brik, shopping for fresh produce in the Market District. Zygmunt has his pocket picked, but manages to convince one of the stall holders that ghouls are responsible for the recent kidnappings, rather than the kobolds. Another trader tells the party that a strange musty-smelling guy visited his stall a few days ago. The characters return to Heston’s shop in the evening and speak to Rosalyn’s husband, Viktus, but learn little.

5th High Summer 

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Green Man

Empire of the Ghouls Session 2 – The Black Book

I started work on the Empire of the Ghouls adventure path for Kobold Press around two years ago, writing the overall outline with Wolfgang Baur, and then Chapter 2: The Holy Robes of Sister Adelind, and Chapter 6: The Pure City of Vandekhul

Now that PDFs have been sent to backers, I'm posting the brief session write ups I’ve been doing for my players in our monthly Empire of the Ghouls campaign.

We finished Everyone Lies by Ben McFarland from Streets of Zobeck in the second session, and moved on to the first chapter of Empire of the Ghouls, Dread Chambers of the Undercity by Chris Lockey. Here's the write up.

Rat catching with Brik
Rat catching with Brik

28th Low Summer, 92 FY (contd.)

The Silk Scabbard heist is on! Louthin, Penumbra and the Gears sneak through the Cartways, while Bubbles and Zygmunt go through the front door. Zygmunt can’t prise Filipa and Iskra away from their merchant customers and ends up agreeing to go to Sylvia’s room. Meanwhile, the other characters have run into a guard in the passageway and he is shouting for reinforcements. As Zygmunt crashes through the wall into the corridor, Bubbles sneaks into the nearest upstairs comfort room. By an amazing stroke of luck, it turns out to be Iskra’s. She grabs the Black Book and makes a run for it; the others do the same. 

Back at the Dented Shield, the party send messengers to Lady Marack and the Cloven Nine, inviting them to Hommel’s Botanical Garden at midnight. Tearing the book in half, Pen and Louthin start reading. 

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Green Man

Empire of the Ghouls Session 1 – Everyone Lies

I started work on the Empire of the Ghouls adventure path for Kobold Press around two years ago, writing the overall outline with Wolfgang Baur, and then Chapter 2: The Holy Robes of Sister Adelind, and Chapter 6: The Pure City of Vandekhul.


Now that publication of the adventure path is coming later on this month, I've started posting the brief session write ups I’ve been doing for my players in our monthly Empire of the Ghouls campaign.

After a narrowly avoiding a TPK in The Riverfront Rat Gang in Session 0, we started Everyone Lies by Ben McFarland from Streets of Zobeck in the first full session. Here's the write up.



27th Low Summer, 92 FY

At the Seven Bells Tavern, Grigori, a second-storey man, asks the characters to find his girlfriend Ilyana before the Spyglass Guild can track her down, offering a (stolen?) necklace as a reward. When the party leave the tavern, they are accosted by men from the Spyglass Guild who insist the adventurers bring Ilyana to the Blue House when they find her.


The characters go to the Silk Scabbard to speak to Filipa and Iskra, Ilyana’s friends. While Bubbles offers her services as a manager to the barman, Penumbra talks to Rajak from the Cloven Nine. The Gears and Louthin are thrown out by members of the Cloven Nine after the kobold cleric asks loudmouth gentleman-adventurer Timolius Druzeldorg if he knows Ilyana, but they do find out that she is the daughter of Lord Greymark. Penumbra seizes the opportunity to question Filipa but the girl doesn’t know where her friend is hiding.


Retiring to the pub opposite to plan their next move, the characters are joined by Sergeant Hendryk of the City Watch. The bent copper fills them in on the true story – Ilyana stole the a “black book of secrets” from the praetor Lady Marack, so the Spyglass Guild and the Cloven Nine are both after her and the book, and the adventurers are caught in the middle. Best they go to the Cartways Black Market and talk to Mr Underhill to get things sorted.


At the entrance to the Black Market, the Gears defends a kobold tinker from an angry duergar, backed up by the rest of the party. Inside, Bubbles asks Dobricar, the ghoul slaver captain, if he’s seen her brother. He hasn’t.


Radu Underhill.jpg


Mr Radu Underhill offers to tell the characters where they can find Ilyana, and suggests they invite Lady Marack and the Cloven Nine to a midnight meeting at Hommal’s Botantical Rooftop. Mr Underhill will whisk Lady Marack away so he can have “a word” with her, so the party can hand the black book to the Cloven Nine to get them off their backs. As the characters leave the market, they are attacked by a wererat with a Cloven Nine tattoo and Bubbles is bitten.


28th Low Summer

The characters visit the Old Stross Bathhouse and find Ilyana, rescuing her from a bunch of greedy patrons, and taking her to a private room at the Dented Shield where she will be safe. Ilyana explains things have spiralled out of control – she just wanted her father to acknowledge her as his daughter. She has stashed the book inside a cloak in Iskra’s room at the Silk Scabbard. The characters have yet to share Mr Underhill’s suggested solution to the difficulties with her.

Green Man

Empire of the Ghouls Session 0 – The Riverfront Rat Gang

I started work on the Empire of the Ghouls adventure path for Kobold Press around two years ago, writing the overall outline with Wolfgang Baur, and then Chapter 2: The Holy Robes of Sister Adelind, and Chapter 6: The Pure City of Vandekhul

Now that publication of the adventure path is coming (hopefully) later on this month, I am going to start posting the brief session write ups I’ve been doing for my players in our monthly Empire of the Ghouls campaign. 

After creating the player characters in Session 0, we had time to kick off the campaign in Zobeck with The Riverfront Rat Gang by Mike Welham from Kobold Press' Book of Lairs. We narrowly avoided a TPK – the players seemed to forget how few hp their 1st-level characters had when they jumped down to the level below!

Here's the first write up.

The party in trouble under the boardwalk
The party in trouble under the boardwalk

20th Low Summer, 92 FY

Eyebite, tiefling leader of the Cloven Nine, orders Penumbra to recover his stolen scarf of deception from a ratfolk thief named Matimer

The adventurers head to the disused docks at the end of the Kobold’s Tail in the River Argent. First, they talk to an old man, a follower of Chittr’k’k, who is roasting a cat on a spit. The Gears triggers two unsafe ladders; Louthin blows up a crate of alchemist’s fire while trying to open it.

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Green Man

Empire of the Ghouls – Introducing the Characters

I started work on the Empire of the Ghouls adventure path for Kobold Press around two years ago, writing the overall outline with Wolfgang Baur, and then Chapter 2: The Holy Robes of Sister Adelind, and Chapter 6: The Pure City of Vandekhul

Now that publication of the adventure path is coming (hopefully) later on this month, I am going to start posting the brief session write ups I’ve been doing for my players in our monthly Empire of the Ghouls campaign. We are currently in the middle of Chapter 2 as I write this post and having a lot of fun – the game moved online to Discord with the last session for obvious reasons

Before starting the game we ran a Session 0 to discuss the characters and how they would work together as group – I found the advice in Sly Flourish’s Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master very helpful for this. The other thing that helped was sending the players a brief introduction to Midgard and a summary of what the campaign was all about. You can download the campaign brief here.

L to R: The Gears, Penumbra, Louthin, Bubbles and Zygmunt
L to R: The Gears, Penumbra, Louthin, Bubbles and Zygmunt

Whatever game I’m running we always seem to end up with an unconventional cast of characters, and this one is no exception:

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