We saved a grand total of four villagers from the orcs who were sacrificing them all to Vecna. Said villagers were grateful, to a degree, but uncertain about their futures. Everyone else was slaughtered, and someone burned down their village…
We hunkered down for the night after burning all the orc corpses. ShadowStrike’s new staff began to speak, mostly a series of insults directed at the monk, but also a lengthy technical exposition about its purpose. It was a Quaterstaff of Beligerence, its name was Clarence, and it was to increase ShadowStrike’s glory factor, whatever that was. It can apparently see rather well in the darkness. Arc’teryx thought it would do well with jangly armbands affixed to it.
Well into the night, on Arc’teryx and Trypan’s watch, weird shit started to go down. Abercrombie started glowing, glowing red motes appeared all around camp, and the holy symbol we had thrown in the fire began glowing an evil red. Abercrombie’s glow appeared as Abjuration magic to Arc, and the holy symbol appeared to be evil divine magic. Arc’teryx was fairly confused, until at some point the dead villagers rose, now undead, and attacked. Trypan woke the rest of the party.
The zombies all attacked Sander and Trypan, who turned them, because clerics can do that. We killed them all as they scattered about. We then spent a great deal of time trying to destroy the holy symbol, eventually succeeding with some strong blows from a silvered quarterstaff. The villagers left while we struggled with that, off to rebuild, or something. Arc’teryx played an awful song about the days events, taking repetition humor a bit too far in the part about the holy symbol. Abercrombie set free some pigs and piglets who had been captured along with the villagers. They appeared to bow or otherwise display deference to him as they departed.
The crisis resolved, we took off northwest, and after a time noticed we were being followed. We attempted to setup an ambush at something known as the “Stone Dick.” Arc’teryx ascended the phallic stone pillar with Trogdor’s rope, in his bear costume, some sort of plan in mind, while the rest of the party laid in waiting, hidden and scattered amongst the smaller boulders.
Unfortunately, ambush would be impossible with Clarence around, as the staff began shrieking and ShadowStrike was given away. At this point, the rest of the party engaged from range, while ShadowStrike approached the enemy, a part of 7 bandits from Trogdor’s old crew. The bandits were hoping to capture the two dragonborn. Clarence somehow convinced ShadowStrike to engage the entire force melee by himself, so he did. Trogdor thinned the crowd a bit with fire magic, and Sander with arrows. Arc’teryx made a bullroarer out of the rope and his longsword, which he also let fly toward the fray, nearly striking the monk, who was on a roll with missile deflection. The fight was over before Arc’teryx made it back down the Stone Dick.
The bandits vanquished, the party now had to deal with the enemy within. Clarence was a blight. They had no luck whatsoever destroying the staff or getting rid of it, as it was attuned. It could also not be silenced by wrapping it up.
The team came across some traders in a caravan, and were able to convince them to take Clarence. It actually cost us gold to remove the “curse,” whatever it was. We then bought craptons of new armor. The blue dragon wyrmling scales we got were turned into a Dragon Shield +1, a shield that provided immunity to lightning damage, which Arc’teryx gladly took. The dragon skull was also fashioned into a helm for Arc. The traders took off hastily after realizing they were dealing with the group involved in the prison break in Dragonborn lands.
After we began to make our way again, the party encountered a couple well-armed travelers, who kindly suggested a route through the forest for us. We headed that way and made camp, and were later ambushed by a handful of large and larger spiders. Their venom was wicked, and gave the party cause for concern. ShadowStrike was taken down early in the fight, paralyzed by the venom. The dragonborn did what they could with fire, and the cleric with his mace or whatever. Many arrows flew, but several missed their mark. Trogdor’s maul was… dulled? Or chipped? Affected, somehow. The party was decidedly unhappy about the whole incident, and so they tracked down the spiders’ den and stole their gold.
What’s next for our brave adventurers? They’ve not had a full nights’ rest in some time. Nor a bath…