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Music by Kevin MacLeod.
Token art by Jimmy McClure.
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Ten years ago, the Ghoul Imperium of the Underworld and the vampires of Morgau marched into Krakova and conquered the kingdom entirely, establishing the Greater Duchy of Morgau and expanding the borders of the Blood Kingdom.

The undead occupation has been kept in check by resistance from the Court-in-Exile, as well as opportunistic reaver dwarves who sailed across the Nieder Straits.

But the hidden machinations of the ghouls swirl beneath the surface. Rumors abound of an even more sinister plot that threatens not just one kingdom, but the entire world of Midgard.

Empire of the Ghouls is designed by Richard Green, and published by Kobold Press. It takes place in Kobold Press’ fantasy world of Midgard.

Chapter 2: The Holy Robes of Sister Adelind 
Episode 8: The Spear Maidens

Active Party:
Alaric, level 5 dhampir Death Domain Cleric/Bard
Bahn, level 5 kobold Bard College of Whispers
I/O, level 5 gearforged Circle of the Moon Druid
Lucian, level 5 dhampir Clockwork Soul Sorcerer
Ry, level 5 shadow fey Black Powder Sorcerer

After returning from the Blood Vaults, the party enjoys a long rest back in Varshava.

The thankful resistance group known as Invictus upholds their promise, and helps smuggle the adventurers out of the city as part of a supply caravan heading south. After several days of easy main road travel, they easily slip away in the early morning hours and head east, toward Castle Yarosbirg.

Or what’s left of it.

Once the third largest castle in Krakovar, Yarosbirg is now little more than crumbling walls and broken towers, having suffered greatly during the invasion a decade ago.

It’s the site where Sister Adelind, a holy warrior of Sif, slew a mighty vampire lord, though she would ultimately lose her life in the battle.

As the party approaches the gatehouse, they see four young girls dancing and singing. Cautious yet curious, Alaric approaches and tries to talk to them. They implore him to come into the castle and join them.

Alaric tries a different approach, popping his fangs out and commanding them to leave as a vampire master. These mylings may be undead but they have nothing but hatred for the vampires who slew them in the castle. They hiss and attack!

The mylings prove formidable foes, scratching and biting with alarming ferocity. Their bite attacks latch onto their foes, where they can supernaturally drag them toward their burial sites in the hopes of burying them alive with them.

Our heroes want none of that! I/O shifts to bear form, Lucian lays down a slow spell, and Ry fires off several chaining frenzied bolts.

The fight is bloody and long, with Alaric and Bahn nearly succumbing to the constant bite attacks (and I/O losing bear form). It ends shortly after an exciting thunderous stampede from Lucian rallies the party with big knockback attacks.

Earning their way inside, the party quickly short rests inside a nearby broken tower (they opt not to search for a more suitable resting place after what happened at the Stone Galleries!).

Soon after, I/O spots a winged creature at the top of the northern broken tower. The party quietly and carefully make their way to the southern most tower, the only tower that’s still fully intact. Climbing the staircase they spot a manticore at the top of the other tower!

They also see a pair of human figures, women wearing paladin armor and armed with spears. They’re approaching the ruins, though one of them is heavily injured and leaning on the other.

The party needs to act fast, else the pair run straight into the manticore.

Thankfully they have the surprise round. They flex their new level five powers, including a fireball from Ry, call lighting from I/O and twinned haste spell from Lucian.

The ambush is brutally effective — the manticore doesn’t even get a round off thanks to a low initiative roll, and succumbs to all the third level spells tearing it apart.

Empire of the Ghouls chapter 2 episode 8 spear maidens

The Spear Maidens are alarmed at the pyrotechnics suddenly exploding all over the tower. The party is quick to introduce themselves, reveal the book from Queen Urzula, and describe their mission.

The Spear Maidens are Sister Olga and Sister Dorotka. They’ve recently fled from a battle not far from here, where they were tricked and ambushed by Ghost Knights.

But the enemy wasn’t trying to simply kill them, as usual. The Spear Maidens have been outlaws and freedom fighters throughout the last decade, and branded as enemies of the state by Morgau. Yet this time, they were subduing and capturing them, which has the surviving Sisters all the more concerned.

They become suspicious when the party asks about the Holy Robes, but they reveal that the robes are a powerful magic item: a piece of cloth held within a golden locket, worn by Sister Ylva. But she and the rest of the Spear Maidens fell in the attack, and they fear they’ve been taken to nearby Castle Orzelbirg.

They’re also concerned that they’ve been followed. With Sister Dorotka’s injury, they were unable to mask their movement, and they warn their new allies to prepare for an attack as night begins to fall.

The party debates on how best to fortify the ruined castle. Ry, I/O, Lucian, and Alaric take the southern-most tower, while the Spear Maidens hold the courtyard. Bahn, ever the rebel, hides in the bushes overlooking the gatehouse.

The enemy soon approaches, a Ghost Knight on a skeletal warhorse leading half a dozen conscripts. All of them follow a large undead dire wolf, who has tracked the Spear Maidens.

The Ghost Knight, Captain Mazur, calls out for the warriors to surrender. Anyone protecting them will be put to death.

Alaric, never one for patience or restraint, begins casting chill touch on two of the conscripts. Ry fires his musket, and I/O summons the storm with another call lightning. The battle is on!

The conscripts nearly all die from the initial surprise round, leaving the ghost knight and the dire wolf to charge into the castle. The ghost knight’s powerful necrotic lance nearly downs one of the Spear Maidens in a single round.

Bahn emerges to cast heat metal on the knight, an effective tactic, but one that instantly makes him a compelling target!

The ghost knight turns and runs him down, prompting the others to hurry down the stairs and assist their fallen comrade.

While the Spear Maidens heal up, Alaric summons his carrion beetles and revives Bahn with a healing word, and I/O continues painting the field in lighting blasts.

Lucian casts dissonant whispers on the knight, forcing the undead soldier to turn tail. A newly revived Bahn catches him with his rapier, ending his undead existence.

Ry forces the last living conscript to surrender with a warning shot as the Spear Maidens slay the undead dire wolf.

The battle is won, but another quest is at hand — saving the other Spear Maidens from Castle Orzelbirg, commonly known as the Dread Fortress.

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