Welcome to Patron DnD, where Platinum-level patrons and I get together to play Dungeons & Dragons via Discord and Roll20. Patrons also get exclusive access to private videos, custom 5e content, and participate in monthly DM Roundtables.

This Patron DnD Campaign will feature a rotating cast of players, depending on signups, availability, and earned Platinum Points.

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 10: The Dread Fortress p2

Active Party:
Alaric, level 5 dhampir Death Domain Cleric/Bard
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
Torben, level 5 bearfolk Ancestral Guardian Barbarian

The good news: the party had made it inside Castle Orzelbirg, a heavily fortified ghost knight fortress filled with living and undead forces loyal to the Ghoul Imperium.

The bad news: their stealthy approach was about to hit a wall of resistance!

After ambushing and dispatching the ghost night captain of the tower, Alaric raises him as a mindless, servant ghoul.

The party explores the higher levels of the central tower, finding floor plans of the castle, and a treasure trove belonging to General Grimslade, commander of the fortress. They also find a letter written by Vukas Shroudson, confirming that he’s here in the castle, and that he’s been tracking the party for some time.

He also curiously mentions how the transformed Spear Maidens would make an excellent wedding gift for an “upcoming ceremony.”

With the floorplans, the party can plan their assault of the keep. Kasper, their ghost knight captive, had mentioned the stairs to the  dungeons are located in the pantry, near the kitchen.

The party uses their animated ghoul, still in ghost knight armor, to cross into the inner bailey. Alaric, also disguised as a ghost knight, tromps close behind.

But the undead hounds pick up on his living scent, and growl menacingly. The ruse fails, and the party is forced to fight the large, undead dire wolves.

During the fight they notice stony wings unfurling from the top of the tower they were just in — the gargoyle sentry! They need to hurry inside, but that proves difficult when they fling open the kitchen door, finding a darakhul in a apron and chef’s hat, chopping up body parts.

Alaric tries and fails to intimidate the creature, and another fight is launched!

The entire castle is beginning to stir. The Spear Maidens rush to the doors to the outer bailey and hold tight against further incursions.

Alaric, Torben, and Lucian fight off the powerful darakhul, while Ry and I/O are forced to deal with the newly arrived gargoyle. The darakhul chef bellows of reinforcements, and several glassy-eyed guards burst from the door to the Great Hall, crossbows aimed.

Alaric falls to a nasty paralyzing claw and bite combo, and suffers from darakhul fever. But his allies avenge him, and soon the enemy forces are laid low.

With the Spear Maiden survivors still holding the door, the party rushes into the pantry and down the stairs.

Empire of the Ghouls chapter 2 episode 10 dread fortress p2

The basement is filled with rotting meat and torture devices. I/O-bear rips the cell block door off and the party ambushes the lone Iron Ghoul guard — including an I/O charge + suplex!

With the armored ghoul defeated, the party can save the injured (and infected) but grateful Spear Maidens.

Well, most of them. One, Sister Ylva, the leader, was recently taken upstairs. All signs point to the chapel located on their map, just on the other side of the Great Hall.

With time quickly dwindling the party rushes back upstairs, and into the chapel, witnessing the end of Sister Ylva, as a red prietess plunges a spear into the infected paladin.

Torben sees Vukas Shroudson, the ghoul who was responsible for the death of his wife, and flies into a rage, charging at the shadowmancer. Lucian casts thunderous stampede, spurring the party for more valiant charges, and Alaric summons his swarms of beetles.

The DM is quite impressed that the party has any spells left — this being their fifth combat encounter of just this session alone!

Sister Ylva rises as a ghoul, which upsets the ghoul leadership. While the elixirs did eliminate the Maidens’ immunity to darakhul fever, it did not ensure they would transform into more powerful undead.

Grappled by Torben, Vukas falls to a swarm of beetles, and Torben puts his sights on the imposing ghost knight commander.

Soon it’s only the General left, and his magic greatsword. The party make the saves against its frightening waves of negative energy, but the sword cuts down Torben, whose rage had subsided after the vengeful death of Vukas. Ry puts him down with a critical hit from a fire bolt.

Most of the leadership of Castle Ozelbirg has been slain, but there are plenty of forces remaining. The party snatches the holy locket from Sister Ylva’s body, grabs Grimslade’s magic sword, and hurries back to the Spear Maidens. Together they hurry back to the tower and down the secret tunnel, collapsing it behind them.

With the Spear Maidens help, the group makes the long trek north, back toward Johzt. It’s a dangerous journey, and half the group suffers from darakhul fever. But the Spear Maidens have plenty of healing to stave off its worst effects, and they know the land inside and out.

Priestess Jagoda is overjoyed at seeing everyone, and for dealing a crippling blow to the Imperium. Over the next few days she cures everyone of darakhul fever (and lingering injuries!) as they all enjoy a well-deserved rest.

But the dangers of the Imperium are far from over….

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