Empire of the Ghouls Session 10 – The Garden of Shade and Shadows

In our 10th session, we continued with the Warlock Lair, the Garden of Shade and Shadows by Brian Suskind, as a side trek. Here’s the write up which contains spoilers for the campaign. 

8th Redleaf, 92 FY 

The party head into the mysterious garden that has swallowed up half of the village of Ogrodu and its manor. To avoid losing their way, The Gears burns the hedges with sacred flame, and Bubbles leaves piles of sticks.

After some wandering, the group encounter three vampire thralls, drinking the blood of a dying villager. The Gears tries to turn them, but they are not undead (yet) and the character have to use swords and spells to dispose of them. 

The party’s short rest is interrupted by sounds of moaning coming from behind the hedge. When Bubbles tries to cut her way through to investigate, she vanishes! The others head off in search of her and are peppered with thorny darts launched from the hedge walls.

In an open space ahead are two gibbets. One holds two dead villagers; the other, a barely conscious woman – Bubbles had been trapped inside with her until she used misty step to escape. Penumbra picks the locks on the gibbet, freeing the occupant, a villager called Tulip. Zygmunt heals her, and Tulip becomes very attached to the brave paladin.

After a short rest, they try to find their way to the manor again but take a wrong turn. Two sobbing children turn out to be monstrous broodiken – one clamps its jaws onto Zygmunt’s leg and won’t go.


The Gears plows on ahead through the ferns to the manor house. Louthin stops Bubbles from opening the front doors and leads the way around the outside of the building. Blood pours from the terrace, where the bodies of a woman and a teenage boy are lying. When Bubbles goes to investigate, their skeletons rip themselves out of the corpses and attack. One flees after being turned by Zygmunt; the other is killed. The Gears chases the fleeing skeleton through a door where three dhampir are feasting on bloody innards. After dealing with the half-vampires, they return to the edge of the garden to have another short rest.

Back at the front doors, Zygmunt smashes the stone crow above the lintel, then The Gears pushed the doors open. The kobold doesn’t like the look of the portrait frames filled with shadows and shoots at one with his crossbow. Nothing happens so he steps inside the hall, only to be attacked from inside the nearest frame by a pair of clawed arms. The figure inside seems to jump to another portrait and then vanish.

With the immediate danger past, the party continue down the hall. There are several doors to choose from – Bubbles opens the ballroom door where six bodies hang from the walls on hooks. As she enters the room, they jump down and stagger forward… 

Published by richgreen01

D&D gamer | Freelance game designer | Writer & publisher – Parsantium: City at the Crossroads

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