The Imperium campaign has continued moving along as the party grows both stronger in their powers and within their grasp of political power. Currently they just achieved 12th level and are slowly marching at the head of an army towards the capital of the Grand Duchy of Elmsfjord to either arrest or kill the Grand Duke. They’ve also been granted the temporary role as stewards of the Grand Duchy upon the arrest or death of the Grand Duke.
So the last couple of sessions have been role-playing sessions and I know I can do those for so long before the party gets a bit grumpy and wants to start killing things. Last night’s session than was a blending of a skill challenge and combat encounter. The set up was the party was made aware that a temple and cemetery belonging to the Raven Queen had been desecrated by forces aligned with the Grand Duke. It’s become common knowledge to the party that the Grand Duke utilizes the powers of necromancers. They even fought a lich necromancer a few sessions back.
So the party’s main goal was to restore the temple to some level of consecration or at the minimum remove the taint of necromantic energy from the temple and cemetery. Unfortunately, the tainted graves were spewing forth zombies. So every round new zombies would appear and anytime the party failed a skill check to help fight the taint, more zombies would appear.
The party split up, a group headed into the temple to try to use skills with arcana and religion to remove the necromantic energies, while the remainder remained outside to battle the zombies that were rising from the graves. The first round the party did pretty well in dealing with the zombies, though they didn’t have any skill checks done. The second round, they got into the temple and made some skill checks, but then they failed one and the number of zombies went up from 4 to 8. The placement of the zombies was all randomly determined, so one round the zombies might all arise on one side of the graveyard and this happened a bit.
Good rolls on my part and bad rolls on the part of the players made for a harrowing night and when the last failure was rolled, the temple’s desecration remained and the zombies would continue to rise from the graves. This is one of the few failures that this group has endured in the nearly 3 1/2 years of playing. I would say that everyone had a good time and my players both congratulated me on my win and reminded me that the next encounter they would be triumphant. Of that, I have no doubt.