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Pre-Show[]

MATT: Hello, everyone, and welcome to tonight's episode of Critical Role, where a bunch of us nerdy-ass voice actors sit around and play Dungeons & Dragons. Goddamn it.

ALL: (chaotic noises)

SAM and TALIESIN: We play Dungeons & Dragons! (laughter)

MATT: Oh, Liam O'Brien.

LIAM: You taught it to me!

MATT: I did. You learned it from watching me. (laughter)

MATT: Before we jump in to tonight's episode, we do have some announcements to get through, beginning with our first sponsor of the night, Hit Point Press, Sam.

SAM: This episode is sponsored by our friends at Hit Point Press and their brand new Fablemaker's Animated Tarot Deck, which combines tarot and role playing games with a third magical element, animation. These beautifully animated cards, which I don't have, will help you bring your own adventure to life. You can also use them with our hardcover tarot guidebook from Hit Point Press to combine the world of RPG storytelling, and the practice of tarot. Pre-order the Fablemaker's Animated Tarot Deck today and get the PDF version of the book and cards for free at AnimatedTarot.com. Now, inspired by this super cool deck, which I also remind you, I do not have, I decided to get into the spirit by giving my castmates a quick tarot reading.

TRAVIS: Tarot?

SAM: Who wants a tarot reading tonight?

LIAM: Ooh me, me, me.

SAM: Oh, oh, oh, it's--

LIAM: Me, tell me a fortune of love.

SAM: Okay, all right, Liam. I think you're supposed to cut the deck or something.

ASHLEY: Love.

SAM: Maybe, I don't know. I don't know how this works.

LAURA: Nice.

SAM: I'm lying, I do, I--

LIAM: What about those?

LAURA: No, no, no, those are the cut ones.

LIAM: What if that's where the love is?

ASHLEY: Those are the uncut gems.

SAM: Let me-- (laughter)

SAM: Let me do the reading, please. Okay, you got the empress, the lovers, and temperance.

ALL: Ooh.

LAURA: That's pretty good.

SAM: The fates have spoken. Liam, your future is revealed. In a short time, you will eat lunch at a Golden Corral in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. During the lunch, you will use the bathroom. Just a number one, no big deal, but-- (laughter)

SAM: -- when you leave the bathroom. A man will stop you and say, "Hey, pal, you didn't wash your hands." You'll say, "I did wash my hands, you just didn't see." He'll say, "No, I was here the whole time. You went number one and you didn't wash your hands." You'll say, "I didn't need to wash my hands, okay, they're clean." He'll say, "But you went number one, that's gross." You'll say, "I didn't actually touch anything. I used my pants to aim. He'll say, "Wait, well, what, your pants?" You'll say, "It's this thing that I do when I go number ones. I hold my belt loops and use my pants to aim. So I don't touch anything."

ASHLEY: Awesome.

SAM: He'll say, "You use your pants to aim?" You'll say, "Yeah, they're special pants, all right. They're special pants I found for aiming your number ones." He'll say, "Where'd you get these pants?" You'll say, "From my doctor, they're are not weird. They're from a real doctor with an office and everything." He'll repeat incredulously, "Your doctor?" You'll say, "It's totally normal, all right. That's why I don't wash my hands because it's normal and I don't need to, because I aim with my pants." He'll say, "Okay, but how did you flush. You had to touch the urinal to flush, right?" Then you'll panic and you'll start to hyperventilate, and you'll run out the door because-- but then you'll realize you can't run too fast because your special pants, the loops, the aiming loops for your number ones, they're big, and they slow you down when you run. Your doctor didn't tell you that when he gave you the special pants. (panting) And then-- And then you--

LIAM: Sam, Sam, Sam. Stop. Is this a story about you?

SAM: Yes, yes, it is. Anyway, thanks to Hit Point Press-- (laughter)

SAM: -- for continuing to support our show. Go check out the Fablemaker's Animated Tarot Deck. Matt, back to you. (laughter)

LIAM: That's why I told you guys love is real.

TRAVIS: I love how you can see the line where what we're required to say ends, and then it's just the wasteland beyond.

MATT: Somewhere, Tim Robbins is proud of you, Sam. (laughter)

TALIESIN: Whoa, ow. Oh god.

MATT: Thank you, Hit Point Press, and I'm so, so deeply sorry.

LAURA: Sorry, so sorry.

TALIESIN: Oh god.

MATT: Our second sponsor tonight is our friends at 2K Games and their highly anticipated release, Tiny Tina's Wonderlands. (cheering)

MATT: In the game, players roll a multi-class hero to loot, shoot, slash, and cast their way through outlandish monsters and loot-filled dungeons on a quest to stop the tyrannical Dragon Lord, all while exploring a vast overworld spanning majestic cities, dank mushroom forests, foreboding fortresses, and more.

ASHLEY: Dank.

MATT: You can enjoy the game solo or start a party up with three friends in seamless online multiplayer or local split screen. The game is available on the Epic Games store and head over to PlayWonderlands.com for more info.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

MATT: Also, wanted to make quick announcement that we are so thrilled to welcome our friends at Fandom Tabletop and D&D Beyond back to the show.

ALL: ♪ D&D Beyond! ♪

MATT: Those of you who might not know, we use D&D Beyond on every night here on the show and have done so for quite a while now. You can expect to see them here on a regular basis again, as our official digital toolset. So during tonight's break, you can see the final game trailer for their game, Tales of Xadia, an RPG set in the world of Netflix's The Dragon Prince.

SAM: What was that song again, Ashley?

ASHLEY: ♪ You got the perfect warlock ♪

SAM: There you go.

ASHLEY: ♪ You put it in your shoes ♪ (laughter)

TRAVIS: ♪ Xadia! ♪

MATT: We'll get right on the new intro recording immediately. Thank you. Marisha, you got some programming announcements.

MARISHA: I do, speaking of Tiny Tina's Wonderlands.

TRAVIS: (excited throat noises)

MARISHA: We have a Tiny Tina's Wonderlands one-shot.

SAM: What? (cheering)

MARISHA: I know, sponsored by 2K, of course. It airs this Monday, March 28th at 7:00pm Pacific on Twitch and YouTube. It has an amazing cast of your Bunker Master--

SAM: Ooh.

MARISHA: Ashly Burch.

SAM: Oh, I've heard of her.

MARISHA: Uh-huh, Tiny Tina herself. And players, Laura Bailey, Ashley Johnson, Travis Willingham, Robbie Daymond, and Ify Nwadiwe. (laughter) Then, Exandria Unlimited: Kymal is coming up, the two-part special, with our amazing cast.

TRAVIS: (whispered) Kymal.

MARISHA: Aabria Iyengar as your game master.

SAM: Yes, yes.

MARISHA: Robbie Daymond--

SAM: Oh my god.

TRAVIS: Let's go!

MARISHA: -- returning as Dorian Storm. Matthew Mercer as Dariax.

MATT: (as Dariax) What's up, yeah.

MARISHA: Aimee Carrero as Opal, Anjali Bhimani as Fy'ra Rai.

SAM: Yes.

MARISHA: And a new player is joining the table. Erica Lindbeck, y'all. Yes! So tune in to meet her. She's lovely. And then--

SAM: Oh my god, there's more.

LAURA: Oh my gosh.

TRAVIS: Breath, big breath.

MARISHA: This is a big one.

LAURA: That's a big one, it's a big one.

LIAM: It's going to dank.

MARISHA: Our new talk show, 4-Sided Dive--

SAM: Get it?

MARISHA: It's going to be monthly. Yep.

SAM: Get it?

MARISHA: 4-Sided Dive will air monthly on--

MATT: It's cute, it's good.

MARISHA: No, the first one.

TRAVIS: Yep.

MARISHA: Sorry, first one, is premiering on Tuesday, April 5th at 7:00pm Pacific on Twitch and YouTube. The first people on that episode is going to be Matthew Mercer, Travis Willingham, Robbie Daymond--

TRAVIS: Robbie Daymond!

SAM: He's in everything. He's in everything!

MATT: He better be.

MARISHA: And me!

ALL: Yay!

MARISHA: If you have any evergreen questions, submit them at critrole.com/tower in order to maybe get your question on the Tower of Inquiry.

SAM: Ooh, that seems like a new feature of the show.

MARISHA: It is.

SAM: Whoa.

MARISHA: Yeah. A little "Chenga" tower that we pull from.

SAM: I can't wait to not watch this show.

MARISHA: It's-- You'll be on it someday.

SAM: Okay.

MARISHA: Submit your headshot and resume.

TRAVIS: Best mouth trombones ever.

MATT: Yep. (laughs)

MARISHA: Yeah, it's a lot of programming. It's a lot of shit coming up, you guys.

TRAVIS: Got shit, man.

MARISHA: Got so much shit.

TRAVIS: We got shit coming out, I'm so-- (laughter) Eyy!

MARISHA: Laura.

MATT: Laura, you're up.

LAURA: We have some shit. (laughter) Check it out, it's a tote bag. (cheering)

TRAVIS: Marquet Market!

LAURA: Marquet Market!

MARISHA: I love it so much.

LAURA: Isn't it so cute?

ASHLEY: I love it so much.

LAURA: We originally made these for live shows and then guess what, guys?

TRAVIS: We liked them.

LAURA: We didn't have live shows.

TRAVIS: Yep.

LAURA: So we have them and I said, "Look, wait, can we sell them?" So now we're going to sell them. (cheering)

LAURA: They're cool.

MARISHA: They're so cute.

TRAVIS: Marquet Market.

LAURA: Do you spice?

SAM: Oh, is that what it says?

ASHLEY: That's awesome. You can also use it as a bib at Crabby Crab. (laughter)

TRAVIS: At Crabby Crab?

ASHLEY: Yeah!

TALIESIN: Crabby Crab.

LIAM: That's amazing.

ASHLEY: It's a real place.

TRAVIS: Is Crabby Crab a real place?

ASHLEY: Yeah.

TRAVIS: In here?

ASHLEY: It's like those places where you get the plastic bag with sausage and crab and--

MATT: You can use it as a bib, Travis, at there.

TRAVIS: Well, just highlight my cultural ineptitude.

MATT: It's okay, we'll bring you one day. Get your fingers nice and greasy.

TALIESIN: Power of imagination and crab, Travis. (laughter)

TALIESIN: Being weird.

MATT: I believe that concludes our announcements.

LAURA: Oh, I should say they're available in the US and UK Critical Role shops. Go check it out.

SAM: Yes.

MATT: Now that concludes our announcements.

LAURA: Sorry.

TALIESIN: Good timing.

MATT: So let's jump into tonight's episode of... Critical Role.

♪ Critical ♪
♪ Critical ♪
♪ It's Thursday ♪
♪ It's Thursday night! ♪

ASHLEY: ♪ One-by-one, we climb until we reach the top. ♪
♪ Two-by-two, we fall. ♪

LAURA: ♪ Will we meet our end or meet our destiny? ♪
♪ Hold your breath and roll! ♪

MATT: How do you want to do this?

ALL: ♪ It's Thursday night ♪
♪ All ye Critters, come join us ♪
♪ It's time to continue our plight ♪
♪ There is magic and mystery ♪
♪ Who knows what will happen? ♪
♪ He might! ♪
♪ But one thing's for sure, ♪
♪ We never give up on the fight! ♪

TRAVIS: ♪ From the healer ♪

LIAM: ♪ To the renegade ♪

MATT: ♪ We all share the same goal ♪

MATT and TALIESIN: ♪ Adding more allies ♪
♪ Taking more chances ♪

SAM: ♪ Hold your breath and roll ♪

MARISHA: You can certainly try.

ALL: ♪ It's Thursday night ♪
♪ All ye Critters, come join us ♪
♪ It's time to continue our plight ♪
♪ It's Thursday night. ♪
♪ There is magic and mystery ♪
♪ From darkness, our friendship will rise ♪
♪ But one thing's for sure: ♪
♪ We never give up on the fight ♪
♪ Oh, get ready, ♪
♪ Get ready, ♪
♪ It's Thursday night! ♪
(flames whooshing)

Part I[]

MATT: And welcome back. So, last we left off, Bells Hells, following a handful of threads that led them away from the city of Jrusar and northward through the jungles, towards the Heartmoor, the swampy bog region in the northern part of the Oderan Wilds where the Heartmoor Hamlet exists. Whereas there, you had hope to, one, find information that seemed to pertain to the death of Lumas Twins in the path of your particular interest, as well as deal with a possible job set by Jiana Hexum that could cancel some of your outlasting debt and issues that you carry as baggage, Ashton. Gathering your materials, purchasing some horses, and trudging on for a handful of days, keeping predominantly to the roads through the jungle, you had a handful of odd encounters with some creatures in the vicinity. Some errant weather effects, gathered a couple of small magical items through some careful planning, some careful reflexes and pursuits. Some relatively uneventful evenings of camping off the road where some conversations were had, some bonding was mounted. Then, about a day out from the Heartmoor in the middle of the night, something seemed to be glowing in the nearby jungle, near the ridge of where you had set up camp. A strange little faintly glimmering fairy, small, tiny creature that led some of you, curiously, to look in its direction, Fearne, specifically, pursuing it out of frustration. Upon which--

ASHLEY: Was just going to kick it out of the way, but--

MATT: Which is a valid option and most fairies deserve it. But this seemed to not really be a fairy, as instead the presence of it drew you mindlessly forward into the darkness. Ashton, you were quick to follow and find Fearne staring stunned, mindless into the darkness. There, this fairy creature was tethered to this long winding vine that seemed to be protruding from, up until this point, a well-hidden gargantuan fanged plant creature that began to rise out of the brush in shadow before opening its large mouth. (growling) And that's where we're going to begin. I need everyone to roll initiative.

TRAVIS: Yes, let's do it, I'm ready! (laughter)

SAM: Are we awake?

MATT: Everyone who's awake can roll initiative. Those who are still asleep, we'll get to that.

LIAM: So it's a glowing dollar on a string being pulled by a tendril?

TRAVIS: Who was awake?

LAURA: It was Laudna, Imogen, Fearne, and Ashton were the only ones that are awake.

SAM: That's a lot of people, I thought it was--

ASHLEY: Ooh. (gasping, excited noises)

MARISHA: This looks awesome!

ASHLEY: Look at our horses!

SAM: Our horses!

LAURA: Where's our horse, where's our horses?

MATT: There's your camp fire.

LAURA: Oh, buddies.

LIAM: Where's Rabbit?

TRAVIS: Get a good look at them now while they're still there.

TALIESIN: Just slap them on the butt. Let's send them straight towards the maw of justice.

LAURA: No!

TALIESIN: Inevitability.

MARISHA: That's great.

MATT: All righty.

MARISHA: That's great, out of the gate.

MATT: So--

TRAVIS: Why do you have to bring in a separate case?

MATT: Because our minis got packed up.

TRAVIS: Oh, okay.

MATT: All right, so we have--

TALIESIN: Oh yeah.

MATT: Over here, Fearne would be right about there.

ASHLEY: Just right out in the open.

LAURA: Right there in the middle.

ASHLEY: There you go.

MATT: With Ashton to the side and this, we'll say, Laudna. You're awake, right?

MARISHA: Uh-huh.

TRAVIS: Trees are cool.

MARISHA: I was awake.

MATT: By the camp fire.

SAM: It's so cool.

MATT: Imogen, you're awake?

LAURA: Mm-hmm.

MATT: On this side of the camp fire. We'll say, you were all asleep.

LIAM: (snoring sounds)

TRAVIS: I'm definitely up against a tree. I get myself as close to wood whenever I can.

MATT: I respect that. There you go, I'll lean you here. (laughter)

LAURA: Stupid.

MATT: And Fresh Cut Grass.

TRAVIS: Commune. (laughter)

LIAM: Do you just Predator back into it?

MATT: Exactly. (laughter) Perfect. So if I could have those that are conscious roll initiative, if we haven't already.

TRAVIS: Conscious? Oh, conscious.

MATT: All right.

TALIESIN: Fuck my life.

MATT: 25 to 20.

MARISHA: Out of the gate.

MATT: 20 to 15.

LAURA: 15.

MATT: 15.

TRAVIS: Wow, guys, wow.

MARISHA: It was Imogen that said 15?

LAURA: Uh-huh.

LIAM: (like Owen Wilson) Wow.

ASHLEY and LAURA: (like Owen Wilson) Wow.

MATT: 15 to 10.

ASHLEY: 10.

MATT: All right.

ASHLEY: Yeah.

MATT: All right.

LAURA: Uh-oh.

MATT: 10 to five.

TALIESIN: Six.

TRAVIS: Damn.

LAURA: Uh-oh.

TRAVIS: Good thing it's only a big fanged thing with a fairy tail. That sounded weird.

ASHLEY: (laughs)

MATT: Laudna, what'd you get?

MARISHA: I rolled a natural one.

SAM: Ooh.

MATT: For a total of?

MARISHA: Three.

MATT: All righty. So top of this round.

SAM: (Irish accent) Top of the round.

MATT: (Irish accent) Top of the round to ye.

LIAM: All right.

MATT: Imogen.

LAURA: That's me!

MATT: It's you. You watch as two of your friends go off into the distance. The light from the campfire barely keeping them lit, as Ashton goes to inspect Fearne who stands there. You hear this very faint, you don't even see anything in the dark, all you hear is (growls). What are you doing?

LAURA: Shit.

MATT: You see this faintly glowing fairy creature, chilling right there.

LAURA: In Orym's head, he gets a shouted: Wake up! Does that work?

MATT: Sure.

LAURA: As I, oh god, I don't know if I want to run down. I run a few steps forward.

TRAVIS: It's just your life, don't worry about it.

MATT: Down the hill here, or--?

LAURA: Yeah, I want to stay elevated, but not fully down.

MATT: So here, over here?

LAURA: Yeah, that's great.

MATT: Okay, cool.

SAM: Little piece of chewing gum.

LAURA: I'm going to send-- Oh god.

SAM: What do I have?

LAURA: (humming) I'm going to send Dancing Lights down into the fray, so I can see what the fuck is going on.

MARISHA: Oh, good idea.

MATT: Okay, cool.

TALIESIN: Thank you.

MATT: Seeing as how I used a dancing light to represent the fairy, I'll use this cluster of Dancing Lights to create the space around there. As soon as your lights flicker off into the space giving this faint purplish energy, you see what looks to be a small tree, except it begins to move as soon as the light touches it. You instead see this massive creature that is a twisting mass of vines and roots that tighten and pull across each other.

TRAVIS: Cool.

MATT: This tattered underbrush that acts like a lion's mane around its heavily toothed, open, beak-like mouth, eyeless with small vines that wrap around and whip, is now visible in front--

LAURA: Right as I see it, as my bonus action, I'm going to telepathically or telekinetically pull Fearne five feet towards me to get her--

MATT: Five feet towards you.

LAURA: -- farther away from it.

MATT: You got it, okay.

LIAM: Smart.

MATT: That finishes your go.

LAURA: Yes.

MATT: So you are now coming to consciousness. I will say, roll an initiative check for me.

LIAM: Okay, I'm not going to use my advantage because I'm just waking up.

MATT: You're just waking up. It would be disadvantage for that one.

LIAM: I did roll advantage anyway, I'm going to roll one.

MATT: Yep.

LIAM: I don't even know what I rolled. That's real low, that is nine for me.

MATT: Nine for you.

LAURA: Higher than--

TRAVIS: You're just after Fearne.

MATT: Yep. All right.

MARISHA: You were six, Ashton?

TRAVIS: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Mm-hmm.

MATT: All right, so that brings us to, that finishes your go, Imogen, the rest of you are still asleep, okay.

TRAVIS: (chuckles)

MATT: It is now the creature's turn.

SAM: Yep.

MATT: So first, the bulb that's drifting there, is going to shift out, out this way.

LAURA: Uh-oh.

MATT: As it moves past your shoulder, you glance as it moves past, and then it seems to pulse with a bright glow, like a lantern light that suddenly flickers bright then off. I need both Ashton and Fearne, once again, to make wisdom saving throws for me.

ASHLEY: Okay.

ASHLEY: 20 total.

TALIESIN: Nope.

MATT: Nope. Okay. So you manage to resist the effect, and begin to shrug off that strange influence that had caused your brain to essentially shut down into this low noisy, warm light. You felt like you were almost bathing in a lit bath and enjoying that expanse, and suddenly you pull out of it and you're in the middle of a dark jungle once again, and you see this creature shifting in front of you like part of the jungle has come to life, and you realize where you are. Ashton, you, however, your mind begins to pull away from your consciousness and this fuzzy sense of static takes over your mind as you--

TRAVIS: Into the bath.

MATT: -- move, step up towards the creature there.

TRAVIS: No, what are you doing?

TALIESIN: Not on my turn?

MATT: No, you are incapacitated.

TALIESIN: Okay.

TRAVIS: Fully incapacitated?

MATT: Yeah.

LAURA: Great.

MATT: Half your walking speed, which would've been 20 for you. You're incapacitated until the end of this next turn.

MARISHA: I'm just now noticing the creature because he was perfectly blocked by this tree.

SAM: Had him camouflaged.

MARISHA: Very well camouflaged.

MATT: Part of his thing. It will also follow that up with a Hungry Jaws attack. You were incapacitated.

SAM: ♪ Hungry jaws ♪

MATT: That's going to be 24 to hit.

TALIESIN: That hits, surprisingly.

MATT: You are incapacitated, so it is an automatic crit on your end.

LAURA: No!

LIAM: ♪ Open up and there it goes ♪

TRAVIS: Oh shit.

MARISHA: That's

LAURA: That's bad.

SAM: Don't worry, your character's asleep.

MATT: 32 points of piercing damage to you.

TRAVIS: Wow. Wow.

SAM: He's-- They're hefty.

MATT: You all watch as Ashton, weapon out of the side, and suddenly this pulse hits, Ashton drops the hammer and drags it on the ground behind them as they step forward towards the creature. The creature turns what you imagine its head to be to the side and then swallows him.

SAM: Ashton's gone?

TALIESIN: Help.

MARISHA: (laughs)

TRAVIS: It's again?

MARISHA: It's again.

TALIESIN: It's fucking again. (laughter)

TALIESIN: Again.

TRAVIS: Oh shit, guys.

LAURA: Uh-oh.

MATT: It's going to slowly.

LIAM: Oh dear.

LAURA: No, no, no.

MATT: Shift its way this way.

LAURA: It's very large. S

SAM: Fearne, you're next.

MATT: That finishes its turn. Now it brings us to Fearne, with Orym on deck.

ASHLEY: Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. Okay, that changes things.

TALIESIN: It didn't, though.

ASHLEY: It didn't, it did not, okay. That's not going to work.

TALIESIN: Fuck.

ASHLEY: Oh goodness gracious. Okay. I am going to-- Shit.

MATT: You could do that.

MARISHA: "I'm going to shit."

SAM: Does a Fearne shit in the woods?

TALIESIN: Well.

ASHLEY: All right. I am going to-- Rub my palms together and (exhales), and cast Poison Spray.

MATT: You're going to cast Poison Spray?

ASHLEY: Yes.

MATT: Okay.

ASHLEY: It is a constitution saving throw.

MATT: Okay, that is a 14?

ASHLEY: 16.

MATT: All right, so it does not succeed.

ASHLEY: So.

TRAVIS: It's uncalled for.

ASHLEY: It's d12.

TRAVIS: Suspension and expulsion.

ASHLEY: Okay. Okay, 18.

MATT: 18, okay.

SAM: Points of poison damage?

ASHLEY: Poison damage.

MATT: So you expel this cloud of poison and gas towards it, it seems to react and suffer some sort of discomfort at it, but this creature's biology doesn't seem quite as influenced by toxins.

MARISHA: Shit.

SAM: Damn.

ASHLEY: Okay. So.

MATT: It is a plant.

LAURA: It is a plant.

TALIESIN: It is a plant.

ASHLEY: That was a cantrip.

TRAVIS: Yeah, but it's a poison bleach spray.

MATT: Mm. Should've specified that.

ASHLEY: I would like-- Can I also take an attack?

MATT: It is an action to cast the cantrip.

ASHLEY: That's right, that's right, that's right.

MATT: So you have bonus action and a movement still.

ASHLEY: Okay, so what I'm going to do is-- I'm going to try to step away, but I'll think that'll give him an attack of opportunity.

MATT: If you move away from his combat range, yeah. How far do you want to move?

ASHLEY: Okay, I'm going to try to move a little closer to up that way.

MATT: This way?

ASHLEY: Yes.

MATT: Okay, how many feet?

ASHLEY: Let's see.

TRAVIS: What's your movement speed?

ASHLEY: 35, yeah.

TRAVIS: Yeah, because if he moves away from you, then you get to hit him.

ASHLEY: Yeah, you know what, I'm going to stay because there's something I might try if it ends up working. I'm going to stay.

MATT: Are you going to use your bonus action for anything?

ASHLEY: I'm going to scream at everyone. Wake up, wake up, I was wrong! Everybody wake up! (laughter)

MATT: All righty. I'll say with that, the remaining members to roll initiative.

TRAVIS: Okay. Okay, okay. Come on, bone dice.

TALIESIN: Roll low, motherfuckers.

TRAVIS: God.

MARISHA: Oh no.

TRAVIS: 10.

SAM: Seven.

MARISHA: I knew I should've brought the sage.

MATT: All right.

TRAVIS: I'm next to Fearne. I'm probably lower dex than you, though.

ASHLEY: I feel like you'd have high--

MATT: Well, you've--

TRAVIS: Plus two.

ASHLEY: Plus two. Rollies?

TRAVIS and MATT: Rollies!

SAM: Oh shoot, regular Rollies?

TRAVIS: Nine.

ASHLEY: 11.

TRAVIS: You got it. Fuck!

MARISHA: "Regular Rollies"?

SAM: There's other kinds of Rollies.

MATT: So here's the thing, if you had rolled a high initiative in this instance, you technically would, in this particular circumstance, I'm using it as if you had rolled high, then you wouldn't be until the next initiative count. You're technically next to the Fearne, so you actually, and this is one of the weird circumstances where I'm allowing the low initiative on that roll to have been beneficial. So now you get to immediately take your turn after her.

TRAVIS: Oh shit. Pressure.

MATT: So, you come out of consciousness. You are prone on the ground, waking up, looking off to the side, there's a fire crackling your feet, keeping your footsies warm, and across the way, you see the bright, purplish light in the middle of the jungle, and this creature that's now, slithering through. What do you do?

TRAVIS: Shit. So am I over here?

MATT: Yeah, you're right there.

TRAVIS: Oh no. Praying to the woods. It's branded in my face. Can I wake up and run this way?

MATT: Okay, you're getting up, which is half your movement.

LAURA: Just run away. Can I just run away?

TRAVIS: Well, yeah.

MATT: Well, it's half your movement.

TRAVIS: Oh, that is, right.

MATT: To get up from prone.

TRAVIS: Okay, so 12 feet? I'll use another 12 feet.

MATT: Well, 10-ish.

TRAVIS: 10, yeah.

MATT: So, you're going this way?

TRAVIS: Yeah, I'll come to the edge, yeah, back a little towards you.

MATT: You can get there.

TRAVIS: Okay, great. I'll come one square.

MATT: You can say there if you want to get near the tree.

TRAVIS: That's great, yeah.

MATT: Okay, there you go. That's your movement.

TRAVIS: Boy, I really can't do jack shit. With my bonus action. I'll say: Sleeves are bullshit. And I'll dig my fingers into my arms, and I'll rip the skin off of my arms. Hairy, hairy muscled arms underneath. (howls)

ASHLEY: Wakey, wakey!

MARISHA: Body horror shit is my game, bitch!

TRAVIS: Every time. I can go for days.

MARISHA: Oh, that's sick.

TALIESIN: You still have extra movement if you're not taking an action, though. Just putting that in there.

TRAVIS: Oh, that's true.

MATT: You could dash, if you want to.

TRAVIS: Yeah, let's get some movement here. So I'll keep coming in the direction I was moving. I want to stay wide.

MATT: 10, 15, leaping down.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

MATT: 20 to there.

TRAVIS: Uh-huh.

MATT: You can go 25.

TRAVIS: Yeah, perfect, that's exactly what I was thinking.

MATT: You got it. All right, so you jumped off the edge, and you're circling around this way. You got it, that finishes your go.

TRAVIS: Thanks.

MATT: Orym, you're up, with FCG on deck.

LIAM: Okay, so Orym comes to, grabs shield and sword off the ground next to him, pops up groggily. (like Grog) Yeah. And... sees Fearne with this thing lumbering over her, and I can't tell where Ashton is.

TALIESIN: I'm inside.

MATT: Actually, you don't know that. You just don't see Ashton.

LIAM: So I'm going to curve around the fire with the other half of my movement, then I'm going to use my action to leap through the air to land behind Fearne.

MATT: Okay, so half movement to get to the edge.

LIAM: Half movement to get up, other half movement to get to the edge of the rock there, the little mini cliff.

MATT: Then you're going to use--

LIAM: My action to go (springing).

LIAM: And flea-dash over here.

LIAM: Flea-dash, land behind Fearne.

MATT: 25, 30, that would get you there. Make an acrobatics check for me.

LIAM: Can I land behind her specifically?

MATT: Oh, you meant behind her in this way? Yeah, that can be allowed.

LIAM: Okay.

MATT: Do an acrobatics check for me.

LIAM: Okay, you got it. Acrobatics.

LIAM: 20.

MATT: 20, yeah. You actually grab onto her shoulder to help cushion your fall and then land, blade off to the side, shield over the shoulder, then pull the shield back out, and you're ready.

LIAM: Fearne, like a secret door, you find yourself revolve like you're in Young Frankenstein, away from the creature, and I'm there. Bait and Switch. I'll take the AC. Come on, okay, got that. Now I will action surge and attack this thing.

MATT: Hell yeah, okay, go in.

SAM: Action surge.

LIAM: First is pretty low. That is a 14 to hit.

MATT: 14, unfortunately, misses.

LIAM: Okay, and then slash again, and that is a 20 to hit.

MATT: 20 hits.

LIAM: Goading attack. Has to make a wisdom save.

MATT: That is an eight, so.

LIAM: An eight?

MATT: An eight, yeah. So it has disadvantage if it attacks anything that doesn't include you, correct?

LIAM: So very little damage, eight points of damage, and then yeah, anything it tries to attack other than me, disadvantage.

MATT: You got it, okay. That finish your go?

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: All right, FCG, you are up.

LIAM: You all right?

SAM: As I open my ocular receptors and look around, I see, in the dead of night, right, my friends in danger and I say: Oh, it's happening again.

ASHLEY: Oh no!

TRAVIS: Oh no!

TALIESIN: Layers.

MARISHA: That's horrible.

SAM: I don't really know what's going on, so I'll move forward. To the edge of that little platform there. Not knowing what's going on, I will-- Is everybody okay? I'll do a Sympathetic Binding as my action, and I will bind myself to Imogen. I don't see Ashton.

MATT: You don't see Ashton.

SAM: I don't have to see them to bind to them, but I didn't see them. I wouldn't know where they were. So I'll do Fearne instead.

MATT: Okay, so Imogen and Fearne?

SAM: Yes.

MATT: You got it. So keep tabs on that, and that's your--

SAM: Then bonus action. How is my relationship with Imogen? Would we call her an ally or trusted companion?

LAURA: I mean, we did mind meld.

MATT: Yeah, with the role playing bonds that you guys have built and over time has have led you be to upgraded into a trusted companion.

SAM: Okay.

LIAM: You've LARP'ed together.

SAM: Then I will, as my bonus action, I will give you a bonded blessing where you now get guidance, d6 that you can add to anything for--

MARISHA: A d6?

SAM: Yeah, because she and I talked, motherfuckers. So anyone else who wants to? (laughter)

SAM: That's what therapy does, it gets you results.

LIAM: Is this what you're shouting to us as you roll through the jungle?

SAM: Yes.

TRAVIS: That's great.

LAURA: It's like an inspiration dice, basically.

SAM: Yeah.

ASHLEY: That's so cool.

TRAVIS: Damn.

MATT: Awesome. Does that finish your turn?

SAM: That's it.

MATT: All right, finishing your go. That brings us to Ashton.

TALIESIN: Fuck.

MATT: So Ashton. (laughter) You went from this odd, staticky sensation, to a horrible, sharp pain across your torso on both sides--

LAURA: Shart pain.

MATT: -- and then darkness and constraint. You are currently restrained. Also, you feel this horrible acidic burning sensation as you are digested from the inside.

TALIESIN: That's a lot of dice.

MATT: That is. That is--

MARISHA: Are you bad?

TALIESIN: Oh yeah.

MATT: That is 19 points of acid damage.

LIAM: Wowzers.

MATT: It's your turn.

TALIESIN: What can I do?

MATT: You can do anything you want to, you're just restrained, which means your speed's zero, and any attacks you make are at disadvantage.

TALIESIN: Okay, I'm going to--

TRAVIS: Ragé.

TALIESIN: Rage like a motherfucker because what else am I going to fucking do?

LAURA: Maybe you'll like--

TALIESIN: No.

TRAVIS: "Maybe you'll like--"

TALIESIN: Yeah. It couldn't be-- It certainly couldn't be-- That'll do, that's really nice. Okay, so.

MARISHA: Can you phase through his body?

LAURA: That's what I mean. Don't you have one that phases into.

TALIESIN: It doesn't quite work that way, sadly. So, not that anyone can see, but there's a fucking light show going on inside this thing. Maybe there's a weird little, like a bad discotheque happening in there.

LAURA: Coming out of the mouth.

MATT: Yep!

TRAVIS: Oh, it's a party monster.

LIAM: It's about to shit another fairy.

TALIESIN: Fuck.

MATT: That's how fairies are made.

LIAM: (grunts)

TALIESIN: I am going to-- My only chance of fucking surviving this is getting the fuck out of this thing, I assume. So I am going to grab the hammer, and I'm going to start stabbing with the bottom of the hammer seeing if I can cut myself out this.

MATT: You're trying to force your way out of it?

TALIESIN: Yes.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: I'm going to do damage to it to try and get out.

MATT: Okay, so go ahead and--

TALIESIN: Is there a difference between trying to get out?

MATT: There's two different ways you could try and get out. You could either try and do enough damage to eventually possibly be coughed up, or you could attempt to make a contested strength check to break free. Depends on whichever you're feeling more comfortable with.

LIAM: Go for his tum-tum.

TALIESIN: I've been rolling like shit. Do I-- That is a tough call.

SAM: It might give you disadvantage or something because you can't move.

LAURA: You can't move.

TALIESIN: That's right, I have disadvantage anyway. I guess a contested strength check, since my strength's okay.

MATT: Okay, well, you are raging, which does give you advantage on your strength checks.

TRAVIS: You could go reckless, right?

MATT: Or you could go reckless and make it baseline attack.

TALIESIN: Baseline attack.

MATT: It's up to you.

TALIESIN: I'm going to do the strength check.

MATT: You got it.

TALIESIN: That's pretty good. Trying to read that because it's hard to read, okay.

TRAVIS: It's the middle of the night.

MARISHA: Jeez.

TALIESIN: Just a strength check, not save.

MATT: Correct.

TALIESIN: 18.

MATT: 18? You basically, you begin take the hammer and jam it, and jam in it the side. The first couple times, you're trying to take the handle of it and pierce. It's like hitting hard, petrified stone or old, old heavy wood, and then you find one patch that splinters and pushes through, and you see that you've actually punctured the side of it. You use that momentum to push through. All you see this emerging light show of Ashton essentially be birthed out the side of this weird tree creature.

SAM: Oh, nice. Wait, you're out?

TALIESIN: I am out; I am fucked.

MATT: You're prone, but you're out.

TALIESIN: I am fucked right now. I am not looking good.

MATT: You still have your movement, but you are prone.

TALIESIN: I'm going to use my movement to get up and circle towards Fresh Cut grass, I suppose.

MATT: Okay, this way.

TALIESIN: I'm not going to leave. I know it's got about 10 feet, yeah.

MATT: That's as far as you can get right there.

TALIESIN: How close am I to the fairy thing?

MATT: You're right next to it.

TALIESIN: I don't want to be right next to that shit. Never mind, I'm so sorry. I can't see it from here. I'm going to circle in the other direction.

TRAVIS: Towards Fearne? Fearne's on the other side.

TALIESIN: Yeah, towards Fearne.

MATT: Okay, there you go.

TRAVIS: Help.

TALIESIN: Just five more feet away from all that shit. Yeah.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: I'm really up fucked up, please help. Fuck, ow. Fuck! Ow, ow.

MATT: (laughs)

TALIESIN: I'm really fucked up.

MATT: All right, that finishes your go, Ashton. Laudna, you're up, with Imogen on deck.

MARISHA: Seeing Fresh Cut Grass wake up and look a little confused, I go: FCG! It just ate and then shat out Ashton!

SAM: (laughs) Oh shit!

MARISHA: Its metabolism is off the fucking charts.

SAM: I can never sleep again.

MARISHA: Ugh. And then I--

TRAVIS: In six seconds.

MARISHA: I take a little bit of the swampy muck from the bottom, starts to bubble and surface, and you know that nasty mud at the bottom of a pond? It slathers all over top of him and gives a oil slick sheen to him, and I cast Hex.

MARISHA: Okay.

TRAVIS: Yeah!

MATT: All righty.

MARISHA: When it was doing that strength check, that strength roll just now, would that be an ability check?

MATT: That would be.

MARISHA: Then I will give him disadvantage on strength checks with my Hex.

MATT: Good looking out, all righty.

MARISHA: And then I'm going to take that muck, and you see ice shards come out of it, frozen pond muck, and I'm going to do Ray of Frost.

SAM: Shards of muck?

MATT: Okay. Ray of Frost.

MARISHA: Yeah, you've ever seen frozen mud?

SAM: Yeah, of course. I don't like it.

MARISHA: Oh, okay, okay, that's better.

MARISHA: That's 2d8, shit.

MATT: 2d8 plus 1d6.

MARISHA: Yeah, you're right, because of Hex.

TALIESIN: So much damage to me, holy shit.

LIAM: Yeah, it did.

TALIESIN: Holy shit.

MARISHA: Jeez Louise. Two, four, six. Two, four, five damage.

MATT: Four, five damage, all righty.

MARISHA: But his speed is minus 10 feet now because of the Ray of Frost.

MATT: That's great.

MARISHA: He's a little frosty.

MATT: Okay, that finishes your go. All right, is that the end of your turn, Laudna?

MARISHA: Yes, I think so, for right now.

MATT: Imogen, you're up.

LAURA: Okay.

TRAVIS: Imogen.

TALIESIN: Mm-hmm.

LAURA: All right, I'm going to look around, and with my telekinetic abilities, I'm going to pick up-- I'm going to use a sorcery point--

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: -- to split this spell. I'm going to pick up two large boulders and send them at the creature.

SAM: Cool.

LAURA: Two Catapult spells.

SAM: Whoa.

MATT: Okay, so you're twinning spell?

LAURA: It's a-- yes, twinning spell, yes.

MATT: Does it say you can target the same creature or does it have to be separate creatures?

LAURA: It's two different objects that I'm targeting with Catapult. So I'm not targeting a creature with the Catapult; I'm targeting the object.

SAM: (laughs)

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: Catapult can be used not as an attack, so you're not targeting a creature.

MATT: That's true, that's true.

LAURA: I'm sending it.

MATT: No, that's valid.

TRAVIS: You can use it to launch a creature, though? Like if they're--?

MATT: No, that's valid. It's valid, because you're targeting, this is--

ASHLEY: I'll allow it?

MATT: Look at you lawyering that, yeah. Yeah. Yeah, okay. I'll allow it, I'll allow it.

MARISHA: I love that so much.

LAURA: So I'm casting this at 3rd-level and I'm sending two large stones at the creature.

MATT: Sure, yeah.

LAURA: All right. I technically can roll Wild Magic since I metamagic-ed.

MATT: If you wanted to.

ASHLEY: Do it!

SAM: Wild Magic?

ASHLEY: Woo, boy!

SAM: Just 'cause?

LAURA: Just 'cause.

SAM: Wait, does that take the place of a spell?

LAURA: No, no, no, it just adds an effect to whenever I do.

MATT: (laughs) Go ahead and roll a d100.

MARISHA: (laughs)

LAURA: 23.

MATT: 23? Okay. Your skin suddenly begins to shift tone. As you finish casting the spell, you don't realize it, but everyone else looking over at Imogen, you watch as her skin suddenly begins to take on this sickly, blueish hue.

ASHLEY: Um.

MATT: So continue.

LAURA: All right, so two large boulders sent at the creature from two opposing directions. So it has to roll dexterity saving throw.

MATT: Dexterity saving throw, you got it. That is-- that is an 11.

LAURA: Yes! Do I roll twice?

MATT: Do not know why snow was hit. That doesn't make any sense.

LAURA: Oh, no. Is that--?

MARISHA: Okay.

TRAVIS: That must have been the effect of this creature.

TALIESIN: Wild magic, dammit!

MATT: My phone accidentally hit it (laughs).

LAURA: That's my wild magic I cast. Snow. Does it roll twice for the two--

MATT: It will, yes.

LAURA: -- objects coming in?

MATT: And a five, it failed on both.

LAURA: Okay, great. So that's 5d8, twice.

SAM: Ooh!

TALIESIN: Oh!

MATT: Slick!

SAM: Oh my god.

MARISHA: 5d8 twice?

ASHLEY: Get it, baby!

MARISHA: Catapult?

LIAM: Yeah, yeah.

MATT: It targets an object over a creature.

TRAVIS: Woo hoo!

MARISHA: A-ma-zing.

LIAM: 40-ish damage.

LAURA: 12, 13, plus 14.

MATT: What I will do, however, is bring in the heavy fog that usually rolls through the jungle during this hour.

LAURA: 34, no?

LIAM: Mm-hmm.

SAM: 13 plus 14?

LAURA: Yeah.

SAM: That's 27.

LAURA: 27. Okay, 27 on the first boulder.

MATT: Dang!

ASHLEY: Dang!

MARISHA: 27!

ASHLEY: That is awesome.

LAURA: 16,

LIAM: That's way above average.

LAURA: 32. (cheering)

MATT: These two large parts of rock that have been covered with vines and heavy root that aren't even visible suddenly (crashing) tear free and rise up, floating in space, slowly rotating as you watch Imogen's skin go from that light, sickly blue to a steadily darker and darker, almost navy coloration.

TALIESIN: Whoa.

MATT: Then both rocks (heavy impact) slam into both sides of the creature with a heavy impact. You see whatever sort of plant-like, life blood viscera would exist inside suddenly get spattered out from the impact, as it seems to buckle and fold for a second, taking a heavy hit. Both rocks (slamming) into the ground right next to Orym. One of them was on the ground next to you.

TRAVIS: Thank god Ashton got out of there.

LIAM: Yeah.

SAM: Whoa. (laughter)

MATT: Honestly? Probably.

LAURA: I wouldn't have done it if he was in there.

MATT: True enough.

LAURA: I'm going to back up, if I can.

MATT: How far you want to back up?

LIAM: (laughs)

LAURA: As much as I can.

MATT: Five, 10, 15.

SAM: Imogen, you're--

MATT: 25, 30.

LAURA: Yeah.

SAM: Looking a little odd.

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: That was amazing.

TALIESIN: It's who you are now.

MARISHA: What is happening?

LAURA: Blue?

MARISHA: Yes.

SAM: A little bit. You're Smurfy.

ASHLEY: Are you feeling okay?

MARISHA: Can you calm it down?

SAM: It's her blue period.

MATT: All right, so that finishes your turn?

LAURA: Yes.

MARISHA: So moody.

MATT: It is now the creature's turn.

SAM: Okay.

LAURA: Ooh, ah--

MATT: So first-- yeah?

LAURA: I'm going to use my bonus action. to shove Ashton further away from it.

SAM: Ooh.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: Before I move.

MATT: What's the range on that?

LAURA: Well, can I say I did it before I moved? Just have used my bonus action to shove Ashton.

MATT: Right, what's the range on it? Telekinetic shove is?

LAURA: (humming) It would mean you're little bit closer, but your call.

LAURA: Yeah, I'll do that.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: I want to get him further from the creature.

TALIESIN: Thank you.

LAURA: They don't get an attack of opportunity on it if he's out of the range.

SAM: They don't?

LAURA and TALIESIN: No.

MATT: All right. So you shove him back.

TALIESIN: Get shoved.

MATT: Then climb back up onto the top and get right next to the fire, where now you and Laudna are both flanking the sides of the fire.

LAURA: Okay, great.

MATT: Now it's the creature's turn.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: Its vine slithers up, up to the top here. The fairy (whoosh) up to the top, gives off this light pulse.

MARISHA: Oh, what?

MATT: That will get all of you up top. I need Laudna, Imogen, and Fresh Cut Grass to all make wisdom saving throws for me.

MARISHA: Which one? Don't fuck me, Gil.

LAURA: 19.

MATT: 19? You're fine.

SAM: 10!

MARISHA: Nine.

TRAVIS: (laughs)

MATT: So you, concentrating on your weirdly-colored, unexpectedly-hued skin, feel this influence on your mind right as the pulse hits and you cover your eyes just in time. You're used to resisting influence, because it's constantly pressing on your brain, so this is second nature to you. As soon as you push it off, you look back and watch as Fresh Cut Grass and Laudna walk forward off the edge.

TRAVIS: Oh my god.

MATT: To there. Laudna, you step off the side and catch yourself, stopping right there.

SAM: Oh no.

TRAVIS: Can't have that cleric being messed up.

MARISHA: All right.

TRAVIS: I mean, Laudna, too, but whatever. (laughter)

MARISHA: That's good.

MATT: Now the entity, which previously was just in a soft hunting mode, now seems to be--

TRAVIS: Soft hunting mode?!

MATT: Seems to be getting more enraged as it's suddenly crushed by an extreme amount of pain.

LIAM: Just a soft boi.

MATT: It is going to, let's see, it's going to first unleash-- Well, actually, as a follow up to that, it's going to unleash three vine swipe attacks, which only have a 15-foot range, so it can't get you.

TALIESIN: Mm-hmm.

MATT: That's going to get Laudna, Fearne, and you, Orym.

LIAM: All right, disadvantage on them.

MATT: Does it say to anybody that's not you or any attack that doesn't include you? No, no, they're three separate attacks. You're right, so you're good.

LIAM: Any attack that's not against me is at disadvantage.

MATT: Correct, yeah. So this will be against Fearne. Still with disadvantage, that is a 17.

ASHLEY: Just hits.

MATT: Okay, gotcha. So you take...

MATT: The vine pulls you in, against Orym.

SAM: Ew.

MATT: That is going to be-- it's a natural two. I'm pretty sure that misses you with a 10.

LIAM: Oh, yeah.

MATT: Yeah. So the vine comes whipping towards you and you bash it away with the shield. The one coming towards you, Laudna, with disadvantage, that'll be 15.

MARISHA: Shield.

LAURA: Yes!

MATT: You're currently incapacitated.

LAURA: No!

MATT: So you cannot take an action, unfortunately. So, you take-- because you are incapacitated, it is considered an auto crit.

TRAVIS: (laughs) This is fucking trouble.

MATT: You take 20 points of bludgeoning damage and you are pulled adjacent to it as the vine smacks you, you are now are back in control of yourself.

MARISHA: Ow!

MATT: The pain hits you, but all of a sudden, you're pulled close and now you're right up against this creature.

MARISHA: Ew, ew.

TALIESIN: Creature looks okay, kind of fucked up?

MATT: Oh, I mean, it looks like it's been hurt.

TALIESIN: Okay.

TRAVIS: Oh boy.

MATT: But it's all right.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

MATT: All right, that's going to finish its go. Fearne, you're up with you, Chetney, on deck.

TRAVIS: Old blue eyes.

TALIESIN: Chetney.

ASHLEY: Okay. So I'm-- ah! Like this? Am I-- Can I do anything?

MATT: You're not restrained, you're just pulled in and you push out of it, but you were just right next to it now.

ASHLEY: Okay, I am going to produce a Flame Blade in my hand and--

MATT: Okay.

ASHLEY: Try to stab it.

MATT: All right. So as a bonus action-- What level are you casting Flame Blade?

ASHLEY: I'm going to do a 3rd-level.

MATT: 3rd-level. You all watch is this large, arcing scimitar of fire emerges out of--

TRAVIS: Okay.

MATT: -- one hand of Fearne's. Go ahead and make an attack with that.

ASHLEY: Okay.

MATT: Using your spell attack modifier.

ASHLEY: Whew, nice. Okay. 28.

MATT: 28 definitely hits, holy shit.

ASHLEY: Okay.

TRAVIS: Mo Flame Blade!

LAURA: Get it, get it, get it.

MARISHA: Yeah, no shit.

ASHLEY: Get my teeth.

LAURA: (laughs)

ASHLEY: It's usually-- Sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry.

TALIESIN: More.

ASHLEY: Wait, so it doesn't go up if I cast it at 3rd-level? It doesn't give me an extra d6? Stand by. (mumbling)

TALIESIN: Looking up spells, because that's what we do. Because it's very hard to remember all the weird shit you have.

ASHLEY: Oh, so I guess it's the same at third. It doesn't add an extra d6.

MATT: Oh, you're right. At 4th-level it goes up.

ASHLEY: 4th-level.

MATT: Just take a 2nd-level.

ASHLEY: Okay, sorry. It's a second, okay.

MATT: That's okay. So it's just 3d6 on a hit.

ASHLEY: Ah!

SAM: (laughs)

ASHLEY: Okay, 13 points of damage.

MATT: 13 points of damage, all right. As your blade carves into its side, this hearty creature that previously, when you had released this poison spray on it, it seemed to shrug off a majority of what you had hoped would be an impactful attack upon the creature, your blade carves through it like hot butter. As it cuts through entirely, there's no resistance, you see where the burn mark was. It is extremely unhappy and you hear this subtle shriek deep inside as it seems to not like fire.

ASHLEY: Okay.

LAURA: Oh!

TALIESIN: Mm-hmm.

ASHLEY: Okay.

TRAVIS: Dope.

ASHLEY: I should try to get out of this. Can I try to, with my movement, try to get out of it?

MATT: How far do you want to go?

ASHLEY: I'm going to try to-- well, I just want to try to get out of his arms.

MATT: He doesn't have you held, necessarily.

ASHLEY: Oh, okay.

MATT: You pushed away. It just hits you and pulls you in and then lets you go.

ASHLEY: Oh, okay.

MATT: You can move, if you want to.

ASHLEY: But he'll get an attack of opportunity?

MATT: Depending on how far you move.

ASHLEY: Because I was going to try to go over by Ashton.

MATT: Up to you.

ASHLEY: Let's do it.

MATT: Okay. You going over here?

ASHLEY: Yeah.

MATT: Like there?

ASHLEY: Yeah.

MATT: Okay. So as you dart past, one of its vines whips out towards you. That is going to be a 16 to hit.

ASHLEY: Doesn't hit.

MATT: Doesn't hit. You duck underneath, no impact.

ASHLEY: Okay, great. All right, that's my turn.

MATT: Okay. Finishing your turn, now that it's angry.

TRAVIS: Now that it's angry?!

SAM: Oh no.

TRAVIS: What do you mean now that it's angry?

MATT: It's going to use two of his legendary action. (exclaiming)

ASHLEY: I'm sorry, I'm sorry!

TRAVIS: Wait, wait, wait!

MATT: What?

LAURA: This is a legend--

MARISHA: I don't feel good about--

SAM: Time out, time out.

MATT: Okay, okay. Legendary actions don't mean it's a legendary creature. Legendary actions just means powerful creatures have some sort of an attack economy against seven players that can make it dangerous as a solo entity.

TRAVIS: Who gave it Miracle-Gro?

MATT: Just be mindful.

ASHLEY: Hold on just a minute.

MATT: It's going to Hungry Jaws on you, Laudna.

MARISHA: What, Hungry Jaws?

SAM: Hungry Jaws?

TALIESIN: Disadvantage.

LAURA: ♪ Hungry jaws ♪

MATT: Because--?

TALIESIN: Technically an attack?

MATT: Well, it is--

MARISHA: Still the same round.

MATT: That's true, because it's not back to you. So, yeah, it is disadvantage. That's still pretty high. That would be a--

LAURA: But you're not, you can use your action now, right?

MATT: 19.

MARISHA: It's out of my shield range. That would only give me an 18. You'd have to roll like one less.

TALIESIN: 19 with disadvantage? Fuck.

MARISHA: But fuck this motherfucker. Hellish Rebuke!

TRAVIS: Let's go with the Hellish Rebuke!

MARISHA: If you're going to eat me, I'm going to fucking rip your jaws off as I'm going in.

ASHLEY: Yes!

MATT: (laughs) Okay.

LIAM: Damn it.

MATT: So, yeah, it's a dexterity saving throw for it?

MARISHA: Yep.

MATT: It is a 14 on its side.

MARISHA: Fail.

MATT: All right, so it takes full damage from your Hellish Rebuke. You--

ASHLEY: Big money, big money, big money.

TRAVIS: Oh god.

SAM: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

MARISHA: Okay, okay.

LIAM: Just push her away.

MARISHA: It's okay. Well, 15 total damage.

MATT: 15 damage, which you take 12 points of piercing as its mouth bites and begins to pull you into its strange, plant-monster gullet. While you are being swallowed, you angrily unleash your Hellish Rebuke and the inside of its mouth lights up with a burst of dark energy and flame before Laudna disappears inside.

MARISHA: Yeah, you ever see a kid accidentally eat a pen and the pen bursts in their mouth? They're just like, that's what it looks like.

TRAVIS: Seen a kid?

MATT: Much better way to describe it. (laughter)

MATT: We all speak from personal experience.

ASHLEY: Oh, yeah, yeah.

MATT: All righty, that will finish Fearne's turn.

MARISHA: I don't have time to make a new character.

TRAVIS: Yeah. (laughter)

TRAVIS: The wolf just charges in, straight in for melee.

LIAM: You are like a twig.

MATT: All righty.

TRAVIS: With my bonus action, I'm going to use my Crimson--

MATT: Make a concentration check for your Hex, too.

LIAM: Right. Disadvantage on the strength.

MARISHA: Constitution saving throw.

MATT: Yes.

MARISHA: Wait, what'd you say?

LIAM: Just do your roll.

LAURA: No.

MATT: What'd you roll?

MARISHA: Two.

MATT: Two? Yeah, Hex vanishes.

LIAM: So it no longer has disadvantage on strength.

TALIESIN: Fuck!

LIAM: Which you gave it.

TALIESIN: Well, it would, I mean, your strength is--

MARISHA: I couldn't have done it.

TALIESIN: Couldn't have done it, anyway.

MATT: All right. Woof! So?

TRAVIS: This is getting dicey. I'm going to use my bonus action to ignite my Crimson Rite. So you see the claws in my hand start to extend and as they do, blood drips out of my fingertips and ignites into fire.

MATT: That's fucking cool.

TRAVIS: Yeah, they just, whoosh! I'll take two strikes against him, but I'm going to use my Predatory Strike, which is attack, attack, and then a third attack, with just claws, no weapons.

MATT: Well, third attack requires a bonus action.

TRAVIS: Oh, is it? Okay.

MATT: Which you used to use your rites.

TRAVIS: Fair enough, so I'll do that the next time around, okay.

MATT: Two strikes against it.

TRAVIS: That's a 23 to hit.

MATT: That hits.

TRAVIS: The second one is a--

LAURA: Investigation.

TRAVIS: 17, 22 to hit.

MATT: 22 hits, yeah.

SAM: Slice.

LIAM: It's not going to--

SAM: We can slice together.

TRAVIS: Two, seven, so that's eight.

SAM: I can buck around and--

TRAVIS: 17 plus, and I take this damage, five,

TRAVIS: Oh, actually it's five. So it's actually 10 points of fire damage total. Instead of 22, it should be 27 total. I only added it the first time and not the second time.

MATT: So seven points of slashing damage? Sorry, 10 points of fire and then 17 points of slashing?

TRAVIS: Yes.

MATT: Got it.

TRAVIS: Correct.

MATT: Okay.

TRAVIS: 10 points of fire, 17 of slashing.

MATT: So the flames on your claws burn into its plant body--

ASHLEY: Flames on your claws?

MATT: -- and leave these large carving, black claw marks across its exterior. You can see, wherever you carve in, its instinctual, almost plant muscles, pulling away from the wound, trying to hide from the burning sensation.

TRAVIS: Ooh.

MATT: You did a little more damage on that than you expected.

TRAVIS: (growls)

MATT: All right, does that finish your go?

TRAVIS: (deep voice) Laudna. (regular voice) Yeah, it does.

MATT: (laughs) All right, now it's Orym's go, with FCG on deck, but at the end of your turn, it's going to use its last legendary action to Vine Swipe. Let's say, it's going to Vine Swipe you, FCG.

MARISHA: Ah.

SAM: On the prior one, I failed a wisdom save. Am I still incapacitated, or does that wear off?

MATT: You're incapacitated until the end of its next turn or until you get hit.

SAM: At the end of its next turn?

MATT: Correct. So you would miss your next turn otherwise.

SAM: Gotcha.

LIAM: It's still at disadvantage for attacking FCG.

MATT: It is, yes. Natural 19.

ASHLEY: Oh boy.

MATT: Puts it at 14 points of bludgeoning damage.

SAM: Okay.

TALIESIN: Oh, I just got fucked on mine.

MATT: You're already adjacent to it, so you're not pulled any closer to it, but you're knocked out of it.

SAM: I'm now no longer incapacitated.

MATT: No longer incapacitated, but you took a heavy hit on that one.

SAM: That's great.

MATT: All right, now that brings us to Orym with FCG on deck.

LIAM: I'm going to eyeball Chetney and then move around and come into flanking position opposite from the creature.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: (sighs) FCG, cut me a pizza hole in there! I'm going to ready my blade and hope that he can make me a target to hack through.

MATT: Okay, you got it. All right, that finishes your go as you're holding your action for that. FCG, you're up.

SAM: What's a pizza? Okay, I'll put on-- (laughter)

SAM: I'll put on my saw blade, which I can do now as a bonus action, is that right?

LAURA: A free action.

MATT: As part of your action if you're going to attack with it.

SAM: Oh, free action, amazing. I will, whir it up and I'm going to try to aim for a spot where I think maybe Laudna will fall out if we get through in just the right way. I don't know.

MATT: Okay.

TRAVIS: Yep, yep, yep.

MATT: Are you trying to-- Are you standing up from where you're standing?

SAM: I'm going to rock around to where Orym was.

MATT: All right, so moving to there?

SAM: Yeah, like--

MATT: You got it.

SAM: I think we're aiming for a spot that maybe we see a little lumpy, bony elbow sticking out or something.

MATT: (laughs) Okay.

SAM: I'll just cut away and see what happens.

MATT: Roll for an attack.

SAM: Come on, work. Nope. (laughs) Shit! Two.

TRAVIS: Oh no!

SAM: Plus four. Six.

LAURA: No!

MATT: You go (whirs) and it just stops. It gets an inch into it, and then just gets caught and you're like, shit, shit.

ASHLEY: Oh no!

MATT: You pull it free but there's no momentum on the blade and it's a little gummed up.

SAM: It didn't do what I wanted it to. Orym, I'm sorry!

MATT: Unfortunately, no.

LIAM: Shit on us! And I spring at that shitty spot that he barely nicked.

MATT: Okay, go for it.

LIAM: Okay. I'm going to use a-- Nope, I'm not going to do that. I'm just going to attack. I still should be in flanking.

MATT: You are, with Chetney.

LIAM: Yeah, with Chet. So, that is... Balls, that's a 15.

MATT: 15, just misses.

LIAM and LAURA: (groans)

LIAM: Then I roll two 18s for that, so that is a goading attack again.

MATT: All righty.

LIAM: That'll be-- Damn it, six plus-- Okay, that's 13 total. Has to make a wisdom save.

MATT: Not bad. That's a six so, no, it is still goaded and looking towards you, where you imagine his eyes might look if it had eyes that were visible.

LIAM: Plant dick! (laughter)

MATT: Dot com.

TRAVIS: Dot com!

MATT: Don't go there. (laughter)

MATT: I apologize in advance. It is on you.

TRAVIS: I don't even know if that's--

MATT: It will be in a week, if not this. (laughter)

MATT: All right, that finishes your reaction on that.

LAURA: ♪ Little shop ♪

MATT: FCG, you still have a bonus action and a little bit of movement, if you want.

SAM: Oh, you... I can't see her, right?

MATT: You cannot see her. You just saw her vanish within the creature. Actually, you wouldn't even see them because you were incapacitated at the time. You were like--

SAM: Oh, I was out of it.

MATT: For a moment, you weren't even present. Suddenly Laudna's gone and you're just trying to follow Orym's lead.

SAM: Shit.

MATT: You can assume that's likely what happened.

SAM: Got it.

MATT: But...

SAM: Well then, I can't do anything for her. I'm sorry to say. So, yeah, I guess I'll bonus action Healing Word Ashton.

TALIESIN: Thank you.

SAM: Sure.

TALIESIN: Getting to double digits would be really nice.

SAM: I'll do 2nd-level Healing Word. Okay, 2d4 plus three. Oh, terrible, six points.

TALIESIN: The whole total?

MARISHA: Wow.

SAM: Yeah.

ASHLEY: (laughs) The whole thing that you rolled?

MATT: That's all? Okay.

TALIESIN: I'm in double digits. (cheering)

MARISHA: Granted.

MATT: Good to know.

TRAVIS: No!

TALIESIN: Not by much, but I'm there.

MATT: Fair enough.

SAM: That's it.

MATT: That's your turn? Okay, that brings us to you, Ashton.

TRAVIS: Oh boy.

TALIESIN: Fuck! I'm running up. I'm going to smash the fucker. Is there anywhere I can go where I'm flanking? Without too much of a-- yeah.

MATT: From there, with FCG, you can flank there.

TALIESIN: How much movement was that just there?

MATT: That would've been

MARISHA: It's coffee, no!

TALIESIN: All right, since I'm flanking, first attack is...

MARISHA: I swung for caffeine, maybe--

TALIESIN: Fuck, yes, that's what I wanted. That's a natural 20! (cheering) I was going to do it anyway, but now I'm even happier. I'm putting a Chaos Burst into that, so let's--

LIAM: Hit that slot machine!

TALIESIN: Come on, number three, come on, number three. That'll do.

MARISHA: (slot machine noises)

TALIESIN: So let's do-- (sings peppy tune) Is that right? So damage on that is--

ASHLEY: ♪ ("Mahna Mahna") Do, do-do-do ♪

LAURA and LIAM: ♪ Mahna mahna ♪ (laughter)

TALIESIN: Awful!

ASHLEY: No!

TRAVIS: Wow.

TALIESIN: Four thunder damage upped to eight.

SAM: Yes!

TALIESIN: And... After dice are doubled, 14 points of just standard-- Standard damage.

MATT: You got it, okay.

TRAVIS: Smashing.

MATT: Heavy--

TALIESIN: That's together.

MATT: -- crack with the first attack on the side. There's an impact where you see hardened, exterior bark-like armor splinter upon the impact of the hammer. That's your first strike.

TALIESIN: Here we go again.

MATT: (like Mario) Here we go!

TALIESIN: Here we go!

MATT: That's all I can hear whenever I hear Dada's, "Here we go!" (laughter)

TALIESIN: How is this possible? That I'm rolling so low.

TALIESIN: Another fucking Chaos Burst in there because I really want this to be over. Psychic damage, cool. Here we go. So that's three points of psychic damage. Plus--

MARISHA: It is plant.

TALIESIN: 14 points of bludgeoning damage to try and get it to throw the motherfucker up.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: Any...

MARISHA: You didn't know my mother.

TALIESIN: Has no intention of vomiting this woman up, does it?

MATT: Let's see. It was over 30. You did over 30 with your strikes, too. So actually that'd be two constitution saving throws. I forgot to do that earlier.

TRAVIS: 27 total.

MATT: Well, no, because the fire damage did double.

TRAVIS: Right.

LAURA: Uh-huh.

LIAM: No one asked to jeuje this plant.

MATT: Yeah, and so it would've retained its constitution saving throw with you. You did over 30 in one round. So it does make another one. That is a natural 20, so, yeah. Unfortunately, it's still holding on.

TRAVIS: (laughs, high-pitched whine) Chloroform his shit!

MATT: However. However, that second hit, as it cracks between the flame strikes that have carved through it, it's starting to show some wear and tear. Previously, there was a little bit of wounding here and there, but you're like, okay, you're starting to see some real damage show on this entity.

TALIESIN: I'm going to back off 20 feet into that tree.

MATT: Into this tree?

TALIESIN: Yeah.

MATT: Here?

TALIESIN: Yup.

MATT: Okay. As you back away from there--

TALIESIN: It's already used its reaction.

MATT: On Fearne, it did.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

MATT: Correct, yeah. So--

TALIESIN: Paying attention.

MATT: Yep, you're good.

TRAVIS: Nice job.

MATT: All right, finishing Ashton's go, Laudna, you're up. At the top of your turn--

SAM: Oh no.

LIAM: Oh boy.

TALIESIN: Fuck.

LIAM: Don't die.

TALIESIN: I tried. I tried. So many dice, I hate it!

LAURA: So many dice.

SAM: That doesn't really matter.

TRAVIS: No.

MARISHA: It literally doesn't matter at all.

TALIESIN: No.

MATT: That is 24 points of acid damage to you.

TRAVIS: Oh, you're okay.

TALIESIN: That's the end of that.

SAM: It's not an insta-death.

MARISHA: It just literally made my eye twitch. All right, okay. I'm down.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: Could have auto-killed.

SAM: It could have auto-killed her.

TRAVIS: It got close-ish.

SAM: It got close.

MARISHA: Oops. Oops. (laughter)

TRAVIS: Campaign 3 is different, you guys!

MARISHA: All bets are off, motherfucker!

MATT: (laughs)

LAURA: Oh god, oh god, oh god.

MARISHA: Okay, hang on.

MATT: Okay. Okay, sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry.

MARISHA: (mumbled reading) Critical hit reduces you to (mumbled reading)

TALIESIN: It clearly isn't though, so.

MARISHA: Once the damage's taken, there's no way.

TALIESIN: We've been beating the fuck out of this.

LIAM: Yeah, hitting it with a sword--

MARISHA: So I could attempt to roll a natural 20 for Strength of the Grave.

MATT: You could.

SAM: Attempt it.

MARISHA: I rolled exactly what I needed last time. Come on, natural 20, manifest it!

SAM: Easy, easy.

MARISHA: No! Rolled a 14.

LAURA: Okay, well, at least that's good. That's not a fail.

MARISHA: It's not. It was my ability to stay alive.

MATT: Yeah, unfortunately.

SAM and LAURA: ♪ Stay alive ♪

MATT: So you are zero. So it brings you to the end of your turn.

SAM: She takes one more?

MATT: At the top of the turn, you take a death saving throw. That's what it is, so you don't have to worry about it this turn, necessarily.

ASHLEY: God, I hate it, I hate it!

TALIESIN: I hate all of it.

LAURA: She's in the acid.

ASHLEY: Oh my god!

SAM: So at the top of her turn, she just rolled damage, but the death save would be after-- Would be before that.

MATT: Well, actually this is interesting, because death saves happen at the start of the turn, but the damage you take from this, also at the start of the target's turn.

SAM: So what happens?

MATT: I'll say, roll a d6 for me.

MARISHA: Why?

TRAVIS: Come on, big dog. You got this, let's go.

MATT: On a one to three, the damage hits before the death save, which means you will take one this turn and you have to roll, otherwise it'll be until next turn, so roll. You want a four through six.

TRAVIS: No big, come on.

MARISHA: I want a four through six. (laughter)

MATT: Roll a death save. (laughter)

ASHLEY: No, no, no, I hate it!

LAURA: The next turn, that's an auto crit-- just three fails!

MATT: Melees are auto-crits. This is just acid damage.

LIAM: It's just--

MATT: It's just acid damage. Just slowly being digested, it's fine.

TRAVIS: Come on, come on. Come on.

SAM: No, but it will be--

MARISHA: Cling to Life.

SAM: It will be two saves on the next roll.

MARISHA: Cling to Life.

TRAVIS: Let's go.

MATT: What is that?

MARISHA: Rolled a 16, which means--

MATT: Right!

MARISHA: No, sorry, that's an 18.

SAM and LAURA: What does that mean?

MARISHA: I get a hit point back.

TRAVIS: You do? How?

SAM: How? What?

MARISHA: Because I'm an undead motherfucking bitch.

ASHLEY: Yes! Let's go! (cheering)

MARISHA: I'm hard to kill. I am made of paper, but I'm technically hard to kill, so I have one hit point.

MATT: So you come to consciousness, you still have your round now.

MARISHA: Oh my god! (cheering)

MATT: That's fucking crazy. Okay, okay.

ASHLEY: That is awesome.

TRAVIS: Whoa.

SAM: What?

TRAVIS: Whoa.

MARISHA: I have two things have help me to keep me from dying.

SAM: That's great. I love it.

MARISHA: Doesn't mean I can't die, but. All right, all right. All right.

LIAM: There's a half-dissolved woman's corpse.

MARISHA: Okay.

LIAM: Sliding around.

MATT: Oh my god.

MARISHA: So as I can feel my consciousness waning and I check out for a minute and I come back and no one can see it, but if they could, my eyes start glowing green. As I can hear Delilah's voice rattling around in my brain,

MATT: "Not yet, there's too much to do."

MARISHA: (yells) Then I'm going to take my Form of Dread as my bonus action.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: And start snapping and cracking, once again inside. Maybe you just see bones. Oh wait, wait, wait, okay, okay, okay, okay, okay. My d10 for my-- That sucks! I get three temporary hit points. Three. (laughter)

MARISHA: Hang on, hang on.

SAM: You get more hit points?

MARISHA: I get to roll temporary hit points from my--

LIAM: Form of Dread.

SAM: Form of Dread?

MARISHA: Form of Dread, five, five hit points.

TRAVIS: Do you also see visions of Whitestone Andy pass before your eyes? (laughter)

SAM: Oh, Whitestone Andy.

MARISHA: Then--

MATT: So that's your bonus action.

LIAM: Next rope over?

SAM: Hey, it's me, Whitestone Andy. (laughter)

SAM: How you doin'?

MARISHA: Did you guys see Whitestone Andy's cameo in Legend of Vox Machina?

LIAM: Yeah, he was the next rope over. (laughter)

LAURA: Fucking terrible.

TALIESIN: (cackles)

MARISHA: Weird thing.

LAURA: Jeez.

ASHLEY: Good call.

MARISHA: I know where Ashton--

SAM: Laudna brought me back, too! 'Ey! (laughter)

MATT: Vaguely, yeah.

MARISHA: I saw him.

MATT: Yeah.

SAM: I'm supposed to do her bidding.

MARISHA: Can I-- Guess, it's all smokey and stuff. Can I--

MATT: You can make a strength check to try it.

MARISHA: Can I? But I'm not good at it. Can I just feel for the hole that he already created? Start seeing if I can pry my bony ass out of it?

MATT: I will say-- I will say, given this circumstance and the preset hole that you've created in escaping, this can be either an athletics or acrobatics check.

MARISHA: All right.

MATT: Because you've pre-opened that wound.

TALIESIN: Yes, I have.

MATT: I'll allow that choice.

TALIESIN: I made a lot more room than you're going to need.

MARISHA: I will definitely take acrobatics because my athletics is minus three.

ASHLEY: Oh.

MATT: That'll be fine.

MARISHA: Straight roll. Come on, come on, son of a bitch.

MATT: That's success.

MARISHA: So...

SAM: Can you get out?

MARISHA: So what you see is Laudna, full Form of Dread, glowing green eyes. First, you see a wispy smoke and black ichor start pouring out of its wound before you just see my head.

TRAVIS: Ace Ventura. (groaning)

MARISHA: As I claw my way out of it.

SAM: Oh god.

ASHLEY: It's having a baby! (laughter)

TALIESIN: Kill it, kill it!

MARISHA: (snarls, pants)

LIAM: (yells) (laughter)

MARISHA: I died again! (laughter)

MATT: Fearne, before I--

MARISHA: That's my turn.

MATT: Good to know.

MARISHA: Can I move?

MATT: You can move. You're prone because you come out of it prone. So you can get up and move half your movement, if you want.

MARISHA: Oh, can I stay prone? But I like--

MATT: You can crawl away.

MARISHA: I flip over and I do that weird spider climb.

MATT: Hell, yeah.

SAM: Like, backwards? (groaning)

ASHLEY: Yes, yes!

MATT: You can definitely do that because crawling is half movement, so you can crawl

MATT: Before I forget, Fearne, because you did take the damage earlier and you were concentrating on Flame Blade, just make a constitution saving throw. Do you have War Caster? No? Then just roll a--

ASHLEY: Okay.

MATT: So add your constitution saving throw.

TRAVIS: Oh god.

MARISHA: Holy fuck. I can't believe that worked.

ASHLEY: 15?

MATT: 15, you're fine.

ASHLEY: Okay.

MATT: So you maintain concentration. All right, so that brings us back to the top. Imogen, you're up.

MARISHA: God, I need a nap.

LAURA: Having seen Laudna just-- I was going to use a really horrible term. Just come on out of it, I'm going to circle around the fire and get lined up with the fairy light. I'm going to line up the fairy light with the creature.

MATT: Right there, you mean?

LAURA: No, to where I've got--

MATT: Oh, right here?

LAURA: A straight line, fairy light.

MATT: Oh, I see, right there.

LAURA: Yes, yes, yes.

TALIESIN: Good call.

MARISHA: Through the campfire.

LAURA: Through the campfire, I'm about to get them even.

MATT: You got it.

LAURA: I'm going to shoot my hand forward. My eyes are going to flash white. Everything floops up, including the flames on the fire starts to flare up a little bit and I'm going to shoot a Lightning Bolt.

MATT: Oh shit!

LAURA: Do it all and try to get both the tail and the--

TRAVIS: Let's go.

LAURA: The creature.

ASHLEY: Let's go.

MATT: Easy enough to do, I don't have to measure, but it's fun to just visualize.

TRAVIS: It just barely goes by Laudna.

LAURA: Yeah, the tree behind it as well.

MATT: Yeah, about 10 feet over Laudna's head, just (crackling lightning) As this extremely bright streak of crawling lightning, this snake-like instant winding of pure energy just strikes through. Both the creature, the lure, as well, technically, can't make a saving throw. So it just takes full damage.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: So roll damage on that. It makes a dex save and a natural one.

TRAVIS: Yes, yes!

MATT: Full lightning damage.

TALIESIN: Fuck yourself.

LAURA: So that's 8d6.

TRAVIS: (like Jester) No, fuck yourself.

LAURA: One, two, three--

TRAVIS: Whoa.

LAURA: Six, seven, eight.

SAM: Dang. Ooh.

LAURA: Ooh!

TALIESIN: Mm!

LAURA: 10.

ASHLEY: Ooh!

LAURA: 21. 27. 28. Arcs past and you see on the far end arc, as it ends up disseminating its energy throughout the ground on the floor around.

LAURA: I'm going to push Laudna five feet away from it, if I can. Oh, I'm too far.

MATT: You're too far away, yeah. Unfortunately.

LAURA: Yeah. Ooh, can I push anybody else? Would it help, FCG, if I pushed you away? You don't need that, do you?

LIAM: It has a very long reach.

LAURA: It has a long reach, it doesn't do nothing.

MATT: I will say, the lure at the end does wither from the--

LAURA: Oh, that's great. Okay, that's good.

MATT: (splatters) Curls and turns to dust on the ground.

TRAVIS: Yeah, you were going to be the next one.

LAURA: Yeah, all right.

TRAVIS: Oh, that's clutch.

MATT: That's your turn?

LIAM: (high-pitched) Sweet release.

MATT: It is now the creature's turn. We'll see if it regrows a lure.

TRAVIS: Damn.

MATT: It does not regrow its lure.

SAM: Okay.

LAURA: Oh, it can regrow?!

MATT: You see the vine-like tendril that it carried whip back to the body and there you see the end of it beginning to create a new bulb, but it's not yet ready.

TRAVIS: Its nuts spring! (laughter)

MATT: From where's standing now, it's going to-- Well, it can't use its Lure Pulse attack. So it's going to use its Hungry Jaws on... You.

LAURA: Every time.

LIAM: Is that an attack?

MATT: It is an attack, so it has disadvantage.

LIAM: Disadvantage, yep. Dick!

MATT: 15 and a 16 natural. That's going to be a 20--

SAM: Sure, that hits.

MATT: -- 23 to hit you.

SAM: That's fine, that's fine.

MATT: So that is 15 points of bludgeoning damage to you.

SAM: Okay, okay.

MATT: Fresh Cut Grass and you--

SAM: Oh, am I swallowed?

MATT: You're swallowed.

LAURA: Oh, come on!

MARISHA: Son of a bitch.

TRAVIS: That's all right, we got a porthole.

MATT: It can only have one swallowed at a time, but you guys keep knocking 'em out. So it's like, well, I'll eat something else.

TRAVIS: I'm just trying to get some food here.

MATT: Right? It's hungry.

ASHLEY: Just really hungry!

LAURA: Do the Hungry Jaws have a huge reach, too, or is it a five feet reach on the Hungry Jaws?

MATT: Five feet reach on the jaws, from what you can tell.

LAURA: So I could've shoved FCG farther away, it would've helped.

TALIESIN: Yeah, I guess it would've.

LAURA: Fuck!

SAM: It could've moved five feet and done it.

TALIESIN: That's true.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: But that's all it can take on its turn because it's not doing its vine attacks, instead deciding to swallow one of you.

LAURA: Okay, okay.

MATT: It will-- You know what? Yeah, it's going to shift here a little bit, which means you both can attacks of opportunity on it.

TRAVIS: Who do, we do?

SAM: Who do that voodoo?

MATT: Both of you do.

TRAVIS: Who do that voodoo?

LAURA: Fire claws, bebe.

LIAM: 20 for me.

MATT: That hits.

TRAVIS: 17.

MATT: 17 hits.

TRAVIS: Okay, great.

LIAM: So that's 12, 12 for me.

MATT: 12 for you.

TRAVIS: Five plus five is 10 plus four.

TALIESIN: Plus fire damage.

TRAVIS: So 10 points of slashing damage and four points of fire, or eight, if it's doubled.

MATT: You got it, it is doubled.

TRAVIS: Great.

MATT: Decent reaction strikes on it, as it slithers its way across the ground. Now trying to find a centralized position amongst the cluster of you over there.

TRAVIS: Uh-oh, why?

MATT: All right, that finishes its go. That brings us to Fearne, you're up, with you, Chetney, on deck.

TRAVIS: Everybody run.

ASHLEY: Okay.

MARISHA: Oh shit.

TRAVIS: He just said it himself.

ASHLEY: He doesn't like fire. I am going to cast Scorching Ray at 3rd-level.

TRAVIS: Yes.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: Nice.

ASHLEY: Shoot out three Scorching Rays.

TRAVIS: Like a little Spider-Man.

MATT: I know.

MARISHA: Little blaster action.

MATT: All righty, so roll three attacks, adding your spell attack modifier.

ASHLEY: Oh, it just happens.

MATT: It happens, but you have to still roll to hit. So you roll with your spell attack modifier to see if you hit the creature three times.

ASHLEY: Okay, that's what happens. Natural 20 for one.

MATT: Okay, so one of them's doubled, keep that in mind, yep.

ASHLEY: Oh, that's--

TALIESIN: Oh no, that might, oh wow.

SAM: Or a one.

ASHLEY: One of them's a one.

MATT: Okay. That makes up for the--

ASHLEY: I un-cocked it by moving my thing, but that's fine. The other one doesn't hit, so one natural 20.

TRAVIS: Okay.

MATT: Okay, so roll, it's 3rd-level?

ASHLEY: 3d6?

MATT: So, you create an additional ray for each level above second, so roll for an additional ray. So I have one crit, two failures, and then one additional ray.

ASHLEY: So I get to try again.

LAURA: Oh!

ASHLEY: Okay. (frustrated noise) No, it's a 10.

MATT: Aw, all right, so one crit.

TRAVIS: Let's go, 3d6.

MATT: 2d6, technically.

TRAVIS: Sorry, two.

ASHLEY: Oh, balls.

TRAVIS: Did you drop a grain of sand?

ASHLEY: I know, these are terrible.

LAURA: Just little rice kernels.

ASHLEY: So six.

TRAVIS: It's like a piece of pepper.

ASHLEY: No, four. I mean, seven total.

MATT: On the dice?

ASHLEY: Yeah.

LAURA: Doubled?

MATT: Doubled?

SAM: Doubled!

ASHLEY: No, so 14.

MATT: 14 fire damage, right? Which is doubled.

TRAVIS: Which is 28.

ASHLEY: Oh, okay.

LAURA: So that's great.

ASHLEY: Well, no.

MATT: That's not 28, it's 32.

ASHLEY: I rolled seven.

MATT: Yeah, you rolled a seven, but you rolled a 20 to hit, so it doubles. It's 14 and he's vulnerable to fire.

ASHLEY: Got it.

MATT: So it's 32.

ASHLEY: I understand.

SAM and TALIESIN: 28.

MATT: 17?

ASHLEY: Wait.

TRAVIS: 14 plus 14 is 28.

MATT: Sorry, 14, I was thinking 16. My brain. That's totally on me. All right, so 28 points of fire damage to it.

MARISHA: Okay.

SAM: Nice.

TRAVIS: No, it's 32, Matt, it's totally 32.

MATT: No, it's fine, thank you for that.

ASHLEY: That could have been so fun.

MATT: For some reason in my brain, I was thinking 16. But hey, for one out of four hitting and still doing 28 points of fire damage, that's pretty slick.

ASHLEY: Yeah, yeah, sure, sure. Okay, I'm not going to complain.

MATT: It's looking rough. Okay, so that's your action to cast that. Anything else you'd like to do on your turn?

LAURA: Ugh, I just thought of something.

ASHLEY: Whoa. Can I-- No, I can't also do that.

TRAVIS: ♪ Can I ♪ --

ALL: ♪ Have the time of my life ♪

TRAVIS: I don't know, I'm having problems today.

ASHLEY: Could I try to get to Laudna and try to pull her back?

MATT: Pull her which direction?

ASHLEY: To pull her away, go over and under the armpits and try to wiggle under that.

MATT: I'd say you can wiggle her with the rest of your movement that far.

ASHLEY: Okay, what's that thing that we're next to?

LAURA: That's my light.

MATT: That's her light.

ASHLEY: Okay, good, we're good, we're good.

MATT: Okay, that finishes your go?

ASHLEY: That's my turn.

MATT: All right, end of its turn, it's going to use a legendary action to do a Vine Swipe. This one is going to be--

MARISHA: I don't want to go back in. Not like this. Not like this.

MATT: No, you're the one who's immediately--

ASHLEY: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

MATT: You struck it.

ASHLEY: She's still down and I'm--

LIAM: Disadvantage.

MATT: It has disadvantage because of that. That'll be a 15 to hit?

ASHLEY: No.

LAURA: Whoa!

MATT: That disadvantage helped.

TRAVIS: Oh man, goading attack.

MATT: All right, so that finishes your go. That brings us to your turn, Chetney.

MARISHA: Come on.

TRAVIS: Chetney rushes up. (high-pitched snarling) Rushes up, takes two strikes and now with my bonus action, I'll use Predatory Strike.

MATT: You got it, Predatory Strike.

TRAVIS: One less on the damage, it's not the same. So three hits. That's only 17 to hit?

MATT: 17 hits.

TRAVIS: Okay. Second one, natural one, balls and a 24 to hit.

MATT: That hits, so two hits.

TRAVIS: Two hits, great. 10 plus-- Oh, five, so 10 slashing, five fire for 20 total.

MATT: Which goes to 10 fire, great. So 16 total, three fire. That's added in there, sorry, I should clarify.

MATT: That's okay, no worries.

TRAVIS: The last one is-- Ugh.

MATT: Just one hit, right?

TRAVIS: It was, that was it.

MATT: Sorry, so there were two hits on that.

TRAVIS: Just the two.

MATT: Still, that's great. That's 36 damage on two strikes there. That's enough damage in one round to make the constitution saving throw.

TRAVIS: Puke!

MATT: That's a four. Yeah, no, it fails, it pukes up Fresh Cut Grass. (cheering)

LAURA: Before you even take acid or poison damage.

MATT: It drops you onto the ground next to Chetney, covered in this molasses-type, dark brown digestive fluid.

LAURA: Foul.

SAM: I was a plant.

TRAVIS: (deeply) Welcome back.

SAM: Oh, thanks. I was a plant briefly. (laughter)

MATT: All righty, does that finish your turn, Chetney?

TRAVIS: It does.

MATT: All right. That brings us to Orym, with FCG on deck. At the end of your turn, it's going to use another legendary action to Vine Swipe. This one is going to be you, Orym. That is a natural 20. (groaning)

LIAM: Okay.

SAM: Oh noes.

MATT: It is angry, it does not like--

SAM: It needs to eat.

LAURA: It's so hungry.

MARISHA: We all get a turn on the water slide.

MATT: 20 points of bludgeoning damage to you.

LIAM: Yeah, yeah.

MATT: You are pulled adjacent to it.

LIAM: Pulled adjacent?

MATT: Yeah.

LIAM: That's fucking fine.

MATT: Right next to it.

SAM: How much points of damage to him?

MATT: 20.

SAM: 20? I'll take half of that, please.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: Oh boy.

SAM: Absorb half.

MATT: You take 10 and then you take 10 temporary hit points.

SAM: Yes.

TRAVIS: Nice.

SAM: Okay.

TRAVIS: Because you're coming up.

SAM: Yes.

LIAM: Okay.

SAM: Hope I can use them. That would not be good.

LIAM: Okay, so the best thing I can do is keep this thing distracted, so I'm going to continue to maneuver opposite Chetney. I'm going to use a bonus action to do Second Wind.

MATT: All righty.

LIAM: Get some of that back.

LAURA: (fart sound)

LIAM: Eight. His farts are much smaller than that.

TRAVIS: Of course.

MATT: Toot.

TRAVIS: Got that high protein shake diet.

LIAM: I'm going to jump out and punt up into the air and slash it across the face. Say: Leave us the fuck alone, spinach-dick! That is--

MARISHA: You got more specific with which type of dick he is.

LIAM: That's a 26.

MATT: That definitely hits.

LIAM: The second one is a 20.

LAURA: Like a baby spinach-dick?

MATT: They both hit, roll damage.

LIAM: We'll make the first one a goading attack.

LAURA: This is the one.

MATT: Goading attack, all right. That is going to be an 11, it fails. It does not have a strong wisdom.

LIAM: 11 total from that.

MATT: Nice.

LIAM: Then eight for the second.

MATT: All righty, so striking both twice, you're cutting through and you're watching chunks of vine and heavy root bark-armored pieces fall off and crack from your blows as you pull back, shield at the ready. It's looking hurt, real hurt.

LIAM: It also does no damage, but I kick it one time.

LAURA: (laughs)

LIAM: That's it.

MATT: Good on you, for good measure.

TRAVIS: Uh-huh.

MATT: I'll allow it as a free action.

LAURA: Fuck you.

MATT: Okay, finishes your turn?

LIAM: Yes, all done.

MATT: End of your turn, it's going to use its last legendary action.

SAM: Oh no.

MATT: This one's going to-- It's going to go for you again.

LIAM: Okay.

MATT: That is going to be a 20 to hit.

LIAM: Yeah, that hits.

MATT: Okay. Ooh. Okay, that is 12 points of bludgeoning damage to you.

LIAM: Got it.

MATT: You're already adjacent to it, so it doesn't pull you. All right, that finishes your go. FCG, you are up, with Ashton on deck.

SAM: All right, I'm going to try to end this. I'll fire up the old buzzsaw, vroom, vroom, vroom.

MATT: You want to get up?

TRAVIS: It's like a treble.

MARISHA: Yeah. (laughter)

TRAVIS and SAM: (buzzing)

MATT: You are lying on you back on the ground.

SAM: Oh, I got to get up, got to get up.

MATT: There you go.

SAM: To get down. (laughter)

TALIESIN: (deep buzzing)

TRAVIS: Rumbling like a diesel.

SAM: I'm going to try to chop down the tree.

MATT: Go for it, roll an attack.

SAM: Come on.

LAURA: You can do it.

SAM: 16 plus six.

MATT: That hits.

SAM: That hits!

MATT: Go ahead and roll damage.

MARISHA: Come on.

SAM: All right, 16 plus four.

MARISHA: Hurdy durdy dur.

SAM: 20.

MATT: 20 still hits, yeah.

LAURA: Hurdy durdy dur!

LIAM: I cannot tell a lie.

SAM: I mean it's-- It's six points plus the 10 that I absorbed.

MATT: 16 points of damage?

SAM: 16 points of damage.

TALIESIN: Wow.

MATT: Hell yeah. How do you want to do this? (cheering)

MARISHA: Letters!

ASHLEY: Let's go, Letters! (laughter)

SAM: It's funny because I was just watching lumber sports with my kids. (laughter) Showing them how ridiculous it is. But yeah, I'll put it in overdrive so a little smoke starts coming out.

MATT: (hisses)

SAM: I'll say: All life is precious, but not a weed! And I'll chop it down and try to chop down the tree, yeah.

MATT: As you push into it, (sawing), you carve through, you can see the sections where previous friends of yours had carved through or pushed through have greatly reduced its central integrity, never mind being crushed rapidly by two giant boulders and then being blasted with a bolt of electricity and as you carve through, you find every tether that's holding most of its upper torso aloft and you (buzzing).

LAURA: Yeah!

ASHLEY: Yes.

MATT: We're talking Judge Doom hitting the chains at the end of Roger Rabbit.

TRAVIS: Yeah!

MATT: You come all the way through and you watches as it (crunches).

SAM: Oh no, which way is it going to fall?

MATT: It tumbles off. You know what? Let's roll to see.

TRAVIS: No, no, no!

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: The Ashton-Laudna birth canal got it started and FCG finished it off.

MATT: It fell this way.

SAM and LAURA: Hey!

MATT: So you guys are fine. You're spattered with this heavy, brown, sap-like life liquid of the creature as it falls to the ground and you see its vines are still writhing and moving. Even though the creature is very plainly dead or on the cusp of expiring, a lot of its appendages haven't quite gotten the notification and are still moving and curling.

LAURA: Gross.

SAM: That's gross.

TRAVIS: You've got mail.

LAURA: That was cool.

ASHLEY: (buzzing)

TRAVIS: I walk over to where Fearne is and I'm like: (deeply) Are you all right?

SAM: Jesus.

ASHLEY: Oh, I'm just fine.

TALIESIN: Fire, fire.

ASHLEY: How are you?

TALIESIN: Fire.

SAM: Oh, to burn it up?

TALIESIN: Burn it, burn it all. I'm fucking done.

TRAVIS: Oh yeah. Just slashing at it with the claws, then fire, fire, fire, yeah.

TALIESIN: Leave no trace.

LAURA: Use my Mage Hand to send the flames down to the creature and set it on fire from our campfire.

MATT: You're pushing your campfire down?

LAURA: Pushing the campfire down.

MARISHA: That's cool.

ASHLEY: That is rad.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: As I do that, I'm going to leap down and run towards Laudna.

MATT: Okay, you all begin to press and are carving into it. As you burn through, you see that there is an aspect of its body that is trying to re-tether. You see part of it is attempting to regrow, but as your flaming claws and yourself beginning to push all this flame and magical fire towards its body, it prevents that process until you find the heart of where it is and it's this hard, almost baseball-sized, acorn-like center of it and you pull it forth and crush it in your flaming claws and as you do, you remove all the hanging tethers off of it and the whole thing immediately seems to turn to a grayish color and all the extremities that were still twitching go lax.

LIAM: Are there any fairy nubs on the outside?

MATT: Make an investigation check.

SAM: Fairy nubs?

TALIESIN: Oh, what a good idea.

TRAVIS: Yeah, the little bulbs.

LIAM: Yeah. That's a 10.

MATT: 10?

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: You find the one that was trying, but it's way too underdeveloped.

LIAM: That looks like a potato.

ASHLEY: Very sorry, I definitely misjudged that situation.

SAM: What do you mean?

ASHLEY: Very much.

SAM: We were asleep and then it attacked us, right?

ASHLEY: Oh, you guys were asleep. We woke up because we thought there was a fairy. So I went to go get rid of it and then it turned into something else, or it was something else the whole time, rather.

SAM: Well, you've got to trust your instincts.

ASHLEY: I don't know if I should. (laughter)

TRAVIS: (deeply) You should trust your instincts.

ASHLEY: I'm going to give two pec scritchies with the fur.

TRAVIS: (leg stamping) (laughter)

LIAM: Pec scritchies?

ASHLEY: Pec scritchies. Just some pec scritchies. Oh ho, big boy.

TRAVIS: (deeply) Fight it. (laughter)

MARISHA: Big girl.

ASHLEY: How's everybody doing?

LAURA: FCG, can you help Laudna?

SAM: Well, she's already dead. I'm just kidding. Yeah, of course, what do you need? You need some healing? I guess I can heal everybody a little bit, right?

TALIESIN: Do you have that, we can sit down for a minute.

SAM: I do, how deep were we in this sleep?

TRAVIS: About what time of day is it?

MATT: Oh, this is still very dark out.

LAURA: That was the first watch, wasn't it?

MATT: Yeah, it was the end of the first watch. So you're still pushing--

MARISHA: I thought it was at the third watch, no?

MATT: I'm trying to remember from last time.

TRAVIS: Thought it was the third.

MARISHA: I thought so, too.

LIAM: Let's compromise and call it second watch.

SAM: Well, in any case--

MATT: Regardless.

SAM: Can we just take a long rest?

MATT: It's still finishing up the watches for the night.

LAURA: Yeah.

SAM: But I mean, can we add to our long rest and start it over again?

LAURA: I don't think we'd start it over. It would be finishing out the long rest. How does that work?

MATT: I would say with the exertion that's happened here, it would have to be more or less a reset.

TRAVIS: It is the second watch.

MATT: Second watch, okay. We'll say it would be sleeping in a bit for the morning. Because you guys did go to bed a little early last evening. It was probably going to be at the cusp of dawn waking up. Now you can push a few more hours past that and still get your long rest.

MARISHA: Great.

TALIESIN: Yes.

SAM: Do you need some healing, or--?

MARISHA: Oh, I think I'll be all right. You were amazing, by the way, immaculate. That throwing the boulders around? Incredible.

LAURA: Thankfully, no one was inside when that happened. What was it like?

TALIESIN: In there?

MARISHA: Dark.

SAM: Slimy.

TALIESIN: Prickly.

MARISHA: It smelled a little like eucalyptus, actually.

TALIESIN: Yeah, a little bit.

SAM: Very comforting. (laughter)

SAM: Actually, you just felt all warm and wrapped up and safe.

TALIESIN: Getting out was odd.

LAURA: I'm going to take some of the goo from FCG's body.

TALIESIN: There's was a whole pressure.

MATT: Take some of it off.

LAURA: Does it burn when I touch it?

MATT: It gives a tingling sensation, but you get the sense that it's a combination of mixture between whatever digestive fluids were inside of it and whatever blood-like fluid has been sprayed around its vicinity. Whatever sort of extremely dangerous acidic property has been greatly diminished in that mixture.

MARISHA: It definitely burned a little bit.

TALIESIN: Yeah, it definitely burned.

LAURA: You don't want to keep any of this then?

TRAVIS: In a vial or whatever?

ASHLEY: I don't think it would hurt, just in case.

LAURA: Yeah, I'll scoop some off of FCG. Keep it.

TALIESIN: That's gross.

LAURA: Then I'll Prestidigitation and clean him up and get some of that goo off of everybody that was inside. If you don't mind.

TALIESIN: Nope. Don't mind at all.

MARISHA: Your skin.

LAURA: Oh my god, that's right.

TRAVIS: Oh, is she still blue?

MATT: Oh yeah. She is deep navy Nightcrawler blue.

MARISHA: All over?

MATT: Just the skin.

LAURA: Just my skin, but my hair's still purple?

MATT: Still your purple-lavender coloration.

ASHLEY: I mean, it looks very cool.

LAURA: Yeah, but I mean,

ASHLEY: What happened? Why did that happen?

LAURA: I don't know, I just cast a spell and then-- that's never happened before.

SAM: Oh no, are you losing your magic? Because we left the city and now you've lost your powers.

LAURA: I don't think that's it.

TALIESIN: If anything, she has more powers. The power to turn blue.

TRAVIS: How big were those boulders that she picked up? Were they Orym-size or larger?

LAURA: No, they would have been less than Orym-sized. They probably would've been about 15 to 20 pounds.

MATT: Yeah.

TRAVIS: Okay.

LAURA: Each.

MATT: About a good, solid, heavy shotput if not a--

TRAVIS: Big-ass kettlebell?

MATT: Yeah. A big-ass kettlebell actually would be a good reference.

ASHLEY: Can you do anything, do we do anything?

LAURA: I don't know.

MARISHA: Does it hurt?

LAURA: I don't feel any different. I'm just--

TRAVIS: ♪ Blue ♪

TALIESIN: Weird shit happens, I mean, just go to sleep and hope that it goes away in the morning. I mean, it never does, but you hope it goes away.

LAURA: What if it gets worse? I don't know how it could get worse.

TALIESIN: I mean.

TRAVIS: (deeply) It could get worse.

LAURA: Oh god.

SAM: Oh no, are you turning into--?

LAURA: I'm going to turn into a werewolf.

TRAVIS: (deeply) Yes.

MARISHA: You're beautiful on the inside, just as you are on the outside, no matter what. It would be weird if you turned into a werewolf, though. That would be weird.

TALIESIN: That would be weird.

TRAVIS: (deeply) Why?

MARISHA: Because well, it's a lot of, it's not that you're-- It would just be unexpected.

TALIESIN: Then it's a two-werewolf group, and then it's just--

MARISHA: Right, the balance would be thrown off.

TRAVIS: (deeply) Too many. Okay. (laughter)

TALIESIN: You got to let your thing be your thing.

TRAVIS: (deeply) Thank you.

TALIESIN: You're welcome. Maybe it'll go away after a good night's sleep and if not, I'm sure we can find somebody in the next town to undo this. Unless you decide you really like it the next time you see it. It's a vibe.

LAURA: I guess I'll have to see in a mirror. I don't really know what I look like.

MARISHA: Has this ever happened before?

LAURA: Never, that's for sure.

MARISHA: The rock, the thing.

LAURA: Yeah. I've done that before. Never with two at once, maybe it was overkill.

MARISHA: No, I mean, the weird purple.

LAURA: Oh, the rock.

MARISHA: The crystal.

LAURA: Or was it this one? Is it the one--

MARISHA: You have one in your head!

LAURA: I've got so many weird rocks on me.

TALIESIN: Where have you been getting all these rocks?

ASHLEY: Remember we got some from-- We got one from the bunny rabbit.

LAURA: Yeah, that's the one in my hair.

ASHLEY: Then we got the other one from--

LAURA: From the creature.

ASHLEY: The thing.

SAM: What creature?

LAURA: The big Mother.

MATT: The Shade Mother.

SAM: Oh, do we know what that does?

ASHLEY: No, we haven't checked it out yet.

LAURA: It transforms.

ASHLEY: Oh my god, that's right.

LAURA: (gasps) It transforms you.

SAM: Into what?

LAURA: I don't know.

ASHLEY: How do you, oh--

LAURA: It's part of that Fate Stone or something.

TRAVIS: (deeply) You're dying.

ASHLEY: Let me smell you. You don't smell moldy like she did.

SAM: Do you need me to identify it for you?

LAURA: Identify me?

SAM: No. Oh, well, maybe I should.

LAURA: You already identified this, and you already identified this.

SAM: So we're good?

LAURA: We're good. I'm as identified as-- Could you identify me?

SAM: Uh-huh.

LAURA: Would that work? Here, look at me.

SAM: Okay, I'll put down my lens and try to magically glean, what is Imogen? (laughter)

MATT: You've already mind-melded. You don't glean any additional information.

SAM: What are you?

LAURA: I'm just me.

SAM: My lens magnifies the pores on your skin.

LAURA: Oh god, stop it.

SAM: Well, it's just you should probably exfoliate.

LAURA: Really?

SAM: Just a little bit.

LAURA: Really, Letters?

SAM: There's a few blackheads. I don't mind, I don't mind, if you want.

TALIESIN: Nope, I'm walking away from that. Walking away from that.

LIAM: It's kind of violent.

LAURA: Ow, ow, ow, ow.

ASHLEY: Oh wow, that was a good one.

LAURA: That feel good, now I feel better. Thank you.

TALIESIN: I'm so sorry. Whoever you are, I am so sorry.

SAM: It just feels so, it's so--

LAURA: Yeah, I feel clear and open.

TALIESIN: Not okay.

LIAM: Rotten butter. Just the white coming out of the blue skin.

TRAVIS: Stop! (yelling)

MATT: So who's taking watch?

TRAVIS: I will just to get away from this.

MATT: Okay.

TRAVIS: But I perch.

TALIESIN: Well, that's in there now, fuck. (laughter)

MATT: You have about an hour in this form still, right? So yeah, so you take that.

TRAVIS: 55 minutes left.

MATT: Yeah.

TALIESIN: The last thing I think of before I die, thank you.

MATT: All right, so we'll continue this. We'll say this is a continuation of second watch. If you want to roll a perception check?

TRAVIS: Oh yeah.

MATT: With advantage because you're smelling for the air.

TRAVIS: 14.

MATT: 14, okay. The rest of you more exhausted folk immediately get some sleep.

MARISHA: Yes, I faceplant in the dirt and immediately pass out.

LIAM: I leave a little halo of flowers around Laudna's head as she passes out to get rid of some of the decomposition smell.

MARISHA: Oh, well that's always there. That's a constant.

LIAM: I know.

TALIESIN: (loud yawn) (laughter)

LAURA: You get used to it.

LIAM: How long did it take?

ASHLEY: I don't even smell it anymore.

TRAVIS: (deeply) I smell it.

TALIESIN: I kind of like it.

MARISHA: It's earthy, it's musky.

LAURA: Yeah!

ASHLEY: It's from the earth.

LAURA: It's like fallen leaves.

LIAM: Have some more flowers.

MARISHA: (laughs)

MATT: All right, who would like to take the third watch for the evening?

ASHLEY: I can do it.

MATT: As you revert back.

LAURA: I'll do it, too.

MATT: Okay, both of you make perception checks, please, while you walk around in a circle three times before finding sleep.

ASHLEY: Eugh.

LAURA: Ew, oh no. Four.

MATT: Four.

ASHLEY: 12.

MATT: 12, okay. You both carry on for the third watch, feeling pretty confident that you've been keeping an eye out here. The mists have grown thick. The temperature has grown coldest it gets before the dawn hits.

ASHLEY: We already killed everything in the area that would come to get us here, so I think we're safe.

TRAVIS: Jesus.

LAURA: Unless the noise called creatures from further around and now they're on their way.

ASHLEY: Oh. (laughter)

ASHLEY: That's possible.

LAURA: But I'm looking, and I don't see shit, so I think we're fine.

ASHLEY: Yeah, I think we're fine. I don't see anything.

LAURA: Yeah.

TRAVIS: (chomping)

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: Never to be seen again.

MATT: The first hour into your watch.

LAURA: Oh no.

MATT: You notice the--

TRAVIS: Ladies.

MATT: -- surrounding jungle beginning to grow slightly brighter and brighter.

LIAM: What is it?

MATT: As the sun begins to peek through the mountains.

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: As you are sleeping further into the day, you do take the first few hours of morning of your final watch here as the morning light does greet the jungle. Still choked by the thickened canopy above, but nevertheless, you do have some visual presentation around you as you begin to prepare yourselves for the journey ahead, until eventually, the rest of you begin to come to consciousness. You can all take your long rest.

SAM: Yay, finally.

MARISHA: Oh my god.

TRAVIS: ♪ Thank you ♪

TALIESIN: Never again.

SAM: ♪ Thank you for coming ♪

TALIESIN: Who am I kidding?

SAM: Okay.

TRAVIS: I wake up just a little bit earlier than everybody else and I'm already working furiously, a pile of wood chips nearby. It's small, exquisite, mysterious. (laughter)

ASHLEY: May I do a little quick look around for any herbs?

MATT: Sure, make a nature or medicine check.

SAM: Would you like some help with that?

ASHLEY: I would love some.

SAM: All right. I'll just help her.

MATT: Okay. So you have advantage on the roll.

ASHLEY: Okay. Oof. I'm going to put that one away because it hasn't been rolling well. That's not much better. What was it, nature or medicine?

MATT: Nature or medicine, your choice.

ASHLEY: Eight.

SAM: Oof.

MATT: Eight.

ASHLEY: It's a weird area.

MARISHA: Why try?

MATT: You walk around a bit and it's tough in this area because a lot of the plants around here are more like larger, pardon the term, ferns and other things that lack any sort of medicinal quality. You do find one odd clump of destroyed vegetation that has this unique almost like a sap, like a dark brown sticky sap coming out of it and as you go toward it and touch it, it tingles the end of your fingers. As you go up to check and see what she's found, you realize, oh, this is just the body of the thing you killed last night, none of this is useful.

ASHLEY: Oh, oh, oh, I thought it was something, okay.

SAM: It did look weird.

ASHLEY: It did, it did.

MATT: The horses are getting somewhat restless and you hear the (horse snort) not too far.

LAURA: Am I still blue in the morning?

MATT: You are still blue.

SAM: Oh no.

MARISHA: Oh.

LAURA: Well.

LIAM: Luckily, you have clear pores, though.

SAM: Do you need me to-- I don't know if I can do anything today, but if this persists, maybe tomorrow I could do something, some sort of spell to restore you in a lesser way to your former self, maybe, I don't know.

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: It's quite a vibe, honestly.

LAURA: I know, I don't mind it horribly, but, I mean, it doesn't hurt at all. But yeah, if it starts to affect me in some other way, I certainly, yeah.

LIAM: Did the creature do anything to you?

LAURA: Not that I know of.

LIAM: Wow.

LAURA: What?

LIAM: It's just you're very blue.

LAURA: Well.

MARISHA: It reminds me of those, remember when we were walking through the street and we were in the Red Light District, and we saw those tiefling women who were doing their little burlesque dances and they had the beautiful blue skin?

LAURA: Oh yeah, yeah.

MARISHA: And red little titty tassels?

LAURA: Should I get some titty tassels?

MARISHA: You should totally get some titty tassels.

LAURA: All right. It's a vibe, sure, yes.

ASHLEY: It's a vibe, it's a vibe. I like it.

LAURA: Yeah.

ASHLEY: I like it.

LAURA: Maybe when we're in the next town, I can look at some titty tassels.

MARISHA: All right. I bet I can make some.

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: I've got this red yarn.

TALIESIN: I mean, if we're going full crafting. We are literally surrounded by trees and leaves. They're basically nature's titty tassels, at that point.

TRAVIS: This is like my lumberyard. So you just say it and you'll have some--

LAURA: Some wooden titty tassels?

SAM: Some wooden titty tassels.

ASHLEY: If you could carve--

MATT: Trees, nature's titty tassels.

ASHLEY: -- two little hearts.

TRAVIS: Two hearts.

ASHLEY: Then Imogen could add, Laudna could add some flair.

MARISHA: Yes.

LIAM: I was about to say that it was like having Dorian around, but all coherent thought left about 30 seconds ago.

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: (horse snort)

TRAVIS: I pick up some more scrap pieces of wood that are around the campsite and just tuck them back behind my harness and as I wander just a little bit over, on the map, is that little toadstool house anything, or is it just something that made it onto the map, or is that a secret thing that we should explore?

LIAM: This here?

TRAVIS: Yeah, that thing.

MATT: Yeah, so you go over and approach that.

TRAVIS: (whooshes)

MARISHA: (laughs)

MATT: You walk up towards it and you've seen something like this far off in the jungle, but this is the closest you've been to one. You see this cluster of a large fungus that grow to about three feet tall. So like just a little below your height. At the center of it, you can see this dull, grayish coloration striated as it goes up and where the cap is, it has this odd, dark purple coloration to it.

TRAVIS: (sniffs) Does it smell like fungi?

MATT: You can make a medicine or nature check if you'd like to try and identify it.

TRAVIS: I'll use advantage with my nature check. but it's definitely of a fungal variety.

TRAVIS: (hums) Poke. Does it do anything?

MATT: You're poking?

TRAVIS: With the wood chisel.

MATT: Okay.

TRAVIS: Yep.

MATT: You poke it and the cap retracts in slightly. (poofing) A cloud of spores showers around you. I need you to make a constitution saving throw for me, please.

MARISHA: Oh shit.

LIAM: Chetney, you coming?

TRAVIS: (coughs)

MATT: You only take eight points of poison damage.

TRAVIS and LAURA: Whoa.

MARISHA: Oh.

TRAVIS: Holy shit!

MATT: Your senses go fuzzy for a second, like you're instantaneously drunk. You're four cups deep in a tavern and you shake it off, and you still feel a little woozy and a little nauseous, but you feel like you're glad you're heartier than maybe some other folk and you stumble away for a moment.

TRAVIS: It's all those years.

LIAM: You all right?

ASHLEY: You okay?

TRAVIS: Yep, there's a cap of fungus over there, don't touch them. They go poof.

LIAM: Good trip or bad trip?

TRAVIS: Bad, good. I don't know, it depends on how you feel when you're like this.

MARISHA: Do you feel bad or good?

SAM: You would know.

MARISHA: Yes.

TRAVIS: Oh. I don't know, I'll get back to you in an hour. Everything's kind of moving. Y'all need to quit tipping the earth.

MARISHA: How about we get him on the cart?

SAM: You can't tip the earth, it's flat.

LAURA: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

TRAVIS: Right. That's true.

MARISHA: No!

LAURA: What is that? Is there a stone or something in front of a tree?

MATT: That right there is a piece of ruined terrain. Do you want to investigate it?

LAURA: Yeah.

TRAVIS: Oh, really? Guys, we got to start paying attention.

TALIESIN: We should pay attention to these.

MATT: Go ahead and make an investigation check.

TRAVIS: Matt. Well, fuck.

TALIESIN: I'll assist on that.

LAURA: Do you want to help me?

TALIESIN: I'm interested.

ASHLEY: Yes.

SAM: Oh, you're doing it?

ASHLEY: What are we investigating? No, what are you guys looking for?

TRAVIS: I'll help as well.

SAM: I will Guidance you.

LAURA: Oh, great.

SAM: Jesus.

TALIESIN: Add a d4.

LAURA: It doesn't even matter.

SAM: With advantage?

LAURA: With fucking advantage.

TALIESIN: It's a rock.

LAURA: Nine.

SAM: Good night.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: It's a stone.

MATT: You inspect it and there's not much to find here. You can see elements of a long-toppled structure. Whether it is nearby or was jettisoned here, you're uncertain. Looking around, it stands out a little odd in the vicinity of what is a very, very heavily-wooded, dense jungle area. It looks old.

LAURA: Does anyone know anything about ruins in this area? Have y'all heard anything about it?

MATT: Is anyone here proficient with history?

LIAM: I am.

MATT: Go ahead and make a history check. I will say even though you're proficient with it, I'll say disadvantage because you are not familiar with Marquetian history as much.

TRAVIS: I'm proficient as well, but historical events, legendary people, or ancient kingdoms.

LIAM: I rolled--

MARISHA: Ancient kingdoms?

TALIESIN: Wow.

MATT: You would have advantage when it comes to, specifically pertaining to a certain type of creature.

TRAVIS: Got it.

TALIESIN: This is fascinating.

LAURA: Ooh!

LIAM: I rolled two 19s.

SAM: Whoa!

MATT: Dang.

LIAM: So that's a 26.

SAM: Whoa!

MATT: 26. You don't know specifically anything about what this might pertain to, but even looking at elements of it, you do recognize that there are elements of old elvish architecture visible in some of the curvatures of the stone, some of the details and markings that are on the merge points for a pillar, some sort of a load-bearing pillar. It's at an angle, which tells you that it didn't crumble, but it landed at an odd angle and the cracking of it means that it probably landed with a heavy impact.

LIAM: It's just a piece of wall or structure?

MATT: Yes.

LIAM: With that carved design?

TRAVIS: It's stone?

MATT: It is stone. It is elvish in nature and it looks based on just the elements of erosion here, it is very old, like pre-Calamity old.

TRAVIS, LIAM, and SAM: Whoa.

LIAM: I'll do a 360 and see if there's any more to be seen.

MATT: Make a perception check.

LAURA: Are there words or anything on it? Is there writing on it that you saw?

LIAM: It's Elven. I don't speak and it's...

MATT: There's no language going across it. He just recognized the architecture, based on his history check.

LIAM: 15, that's 20.

MATT: 20 for perception?

LIAM: Mm-hmm.

MATT: Okay. Looking around here in the early morning, you do not see any other signs of similar architecture.

LIAM: Well, I let them know that.

MATT: I will say with a high enough history check, you do know that, at least in Marquet, there were some... There were some climactic elements that happened during the Calamity that scarred the landscape heavily. You do recall that what is now the Rumedam Desert was not a desert, but a jungle itself and at one point, there was a flourishing elf and orcish society in the desert that was essentially wiped off of Exandria in one fell strike by a Betrayer God and your mind tells you-- hmm?

TRAVIS: The whole thing was wiped out?

MATT: The whole city in the jungle that's now a desert.

SAM: Whoa.

LAURA: Oh!

MARISHA: So this is debris?

SAM: Mm-hmm.

LIAM: What looks real--

MARISHA: This is debris?

TRAVIS: Oh, debris, got it. I was like, "Who's Dupree?" (laughter)

MATT: You'll find out soon.

TRAVIS: I got to pay attention. I got to take notes, you guys.

LIAM: Well, I'm not exactly sure what it is, but I think we're looking at history.

ASHLEY: Wow.

LAURA: I just go up and touch it.

ASHLEY: Yeah.

LAURA: I've just never been around anything this ancient before.

ASHLEY: It's very pretty.

LAURA: (laughs)

LIAM: Well, the horses are getting antsy.

LAURA: Yeah, we need to go.

TALIESIN: Good idea.

TRAVIS: Oh god, are all the horses there?

MATT: You check on the horses from the night before.

LAURA: Oh god.

MATT: They are all accounted for. You're fine.

TRAVIS: That's unheard of.

LAURA: Is there any part of the ruin--

TALIESIN: I let two of them go.

LAURA: -- that can be broken off? Anything we can take with us from the ruin?

TRAVIS: Maintain some of them.

LAURA: I want to take a piece of it with me. Is there anything?

SAM: Going to take a piece of history with you.

LAURA: Well, it's just sitting here in the middle of a jungle. You know. It, like--

ASHLEY: What else is it going to do?

LAURA: If it was part of a museum, I certainly wouldn't try.

ASHLEY: Yeah.

MATT: Yeah, you can go ahead if you have the tools or somebody has the tools, like a hammer and chisel.

LAURA: Laudna, can I borrow your hair--?

MARISHA: Oh! I just rip out a piece of hair.

LAURA: Not actually your hair, I meant the hammer.

MARISHA: Oh, right. (laughter)

MARISHA: There you are.

MATT: Okay, it takes you a little bit of time. It looks like, I will say for the purposes of this, just roll a d20 and add either your strength or dexterity modifier.

TALIESIN: Every archeologist in our--

MATT: Because you are not proficient with tools.

LAURA: I just wanted to get it looked at.

TALIESIN: No, it's great, let's go. This is not a real place. We're fine.

ASHLEY: Ooh. (laughter)

SAM: Should we leave a note?

TALIESIN: Just take some photographs.

LAURA: Strength or dex?

MATT: Strength or dexterity modifier.

LAURA: 19.

MATT: Okay, even so, it's a little rough. Anything that would be easy to pick off has already eroded over time. So everything that still remains and still holds its place here is fairly solid. So you have to check at which angles the existing details, the long-eroded details of it might give you a point that you could hammer at the right angle and cause part of it to crack off and still be identifiable, that carries some semblance of the architecture with you and you manage to do so. It takes you a good 15 or 20 minutes, especially with some help of your friends to gauge it and you get a piece about this big that you can see carries in it part of the arch, carries in some of the scrolling and as best as you could feel comfortable carrying that would possibly survive the trek as long as you have something to keep it in.

LAURA: Okay.

SAM: Should we leave a note?

LAURA: No, I think we should just head out.

ASHLEY: What would you say in the note?

SAM: "Dear, dear..."

TRAVIS: "Ancient civilization."

SAM: No, I was just going to say "Dear explorer who is studying history, if this piece that we've taken could solve the riddles of history, you can contact us at..."

TRAVIS: "Lord Eshteross." (laughter)

SAM: "At Lord Eshteross' house."

TALIESIN: I'm going to start carving this right into the wall of this thing.

LAURA and SAM: No! (laughter)

SAM: You'll ruin it more!

LAURA: Let's go, let's go.

TRAVIS: All right, let's go.

SAM: Mount up.

MATT: All right. You gather your supplies and one by one, take to the backs of your horses once more, beginning to carefully trot back towards the main road leading you northward.

ASHLEY: I give some nose-nuzzles to Sir Floppers. That's a good boy.

MATT: He lip-bites at your cheek a little bit.

LAURA: On top of Heart, you just hear: ♪ Ooh, barracuda, doot, doot, doot ♪ (laughter)

MARISHA: Yes!

LAURA: (guitar note) (laughter)

MATT: As Imogen sings to herself trotting off.

LIAM: Deeply blue.

TRAVIS: Somebody had a night.

MATT: Indeed. (laughter)

TRAVIS: Somebody's feeling it.

MATT: Indeed.

MARISHA: You look like a vinyl album.

TRAVIS: Feeling it.

MATT: Yep.

MARISHA: That's amazing.

MATT: Trekking back towards the safer roads to complete what is hopefully to be your final day of travel towards Heartmoor Hamlet as you just begin to see the edges of the jungle give way to rising bogland, wetland, and the trees that dot the marsh of the Heartmoor itself. We're going to take a break. (cheering)

MATT: We'll be back here shortly to pick up from that point. But yeah, thank you for chilling with us. We'll see you shortly.

SAM: Yes!

Break[]

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What? I'm just laughing, 'cause we have such a great mix of original characters, original storyline, each campaign. And then there's this asshole that tried to kill Santa. (all laughing) Yeah. It's- Ooooh! Whoa! Put that on a Smucker's jar. Sorry, Taliesin. I love you, Taliesin! (all laughing) Spill the tea, because I was like, is he crushing on (bleep)? Oh, my character died last night. Oh, what were you fighting? Inevitability and... (laughing) Is this a prop or is it edible? Hmm. Oh, book stuff. Love to see it. Oh.

Hello there. Okay, okay. Now don't worry. Your second-favorite DM isn't in any danger, but your little buddy Aabria Iyengar is here to tell you a very special announcement. Exandria Unlimited is coming back for a two-part special, baby. And this next little bit, if you're not caught up, is a spoiler. So like, go away. So after fleeing Marquet with his brother, Dorian attempts to lay low with his friends the Crown Keepers in the seedy little casino town of Kymal. Okay, you can come back now. I don't, someone tell people to come back. It doesn't matter. I'm gonna be joined by returning players. Aimee Carrero, Matthew Mercer, Anjali Bhimani, and Robbie Daymond. And we have a brand new player joining us, the ever-lovely, ever-brilliant Erica Lindbeck. So, Exandria Unlimited Kymal premieres Thursday, March 31st, and you can join us the very next day on Friday night, April 1st, for the conclusion of what is sure to be a chaotic and thrilling adventure. So that's the deal and I'll see you soon. And until then, is it Thursday yet? Bye.

LAURA: Hey Critters, Laura Bailey here to guide you through what's new in the Critical Role Shop. Can you put donuts in this? only one way to find out. I am Kiri. Yes, I am very sweet. Roll an investigation if you want. It's basically perfect.

Gilmore: Glorious!

LAURA: You know, the Traveler always says impulse purchases are a good decision. And Hey, if you want, you can head over to the Critical Role Shop right now.

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SAM: Hi critters, Sam Riegel here. There are many relaxing properties to a Twitch subscription to Critical Role, so today I'm going to tell you all about them in soothing ASMR, which stands for autonomous subscription meditative reaction or something. With a Twitch subscription you can watch our VODs immediately after the live broadcast before they're uploaded to YouTube, so you can unwind with us at your own pace. Listen, that's the sound of your blood pressure decreasing. You also get access to all of our custom emotes. And you can post links in chat. Doesn't that sound nice? (squeaks) And speaking of chat, Twitch is the only place to join our live and professionally-moderated chat while watching Critical Role. So snuggle up with some cocoa and let the calm flow through those fingers, critters. I'm whispering from really far away. And if you're an Amazon Prime member you get one free Twitch subscription to a channel of your choice through Prime Gaming, so why not use that tranquil little freebie on a Critical Role subscription? Just remember to resubscribe every month. Am I doing this right? Or, oh, sorry. Am I doing this right? You can also gift subscriptions to fellow critters. So what are you waiting for, start spreading that sweet serenity with a Twitch subscription to Critical Role. It's like a warm blanket. Oh, oh hold on, hold on. It's my proctologist, just give me a second, okay. Hello, hello. Oh hey doc, yeah, what's up? What do you mean more teeth? I thought you got rid of them all. Well no, don't tell me to relax. I'm the one with teeth up my-- (calm music) Subscribe. (calm music)

Part II[]

MATT: And welcome back. (giggling) As you all trek away from your evening of not quite as restful sleep as you would've hoped, you get back onto your horseback and head towards the main road and begin to lead your way towards the Heartmoor. Beginning to transition from the thick jungles that you've been familiar with here in the Oderan Wilds, as the marshlands progressing deeper, deeper into these wetlands. The tall, robust jungle trees begin to give way to curled draping behemoths and towering tangled mangroves that rule this sodden and oddly beautiful landscape and its comparably dreary atmosphere. You see vibrant, deep greens mingle in the masses of gray moss to present a uniquely earthy patchwork of colors and textures along the bog-swallowed hills that surround you. Now the main road and path, it has been continuously filled with gravel and dirt to maintain an elevated route. But even at times to the immediate right and left, it drops off into marsh water. You can see the occasional root growing through. There are all manner of hills that rise up beyond, but the heavy fog, which I should hit here--

SAM: Ooh! Snow fog.

MATT: -- does choke the vision. (laughter)

MATT: Don't make me make you make constitution saving throws for the cold.

TRAVIS: No ice dragons, name of the show.

MATT: (laughs) Chokes the far distant visibility beyond about 300 or 400 feet where you can see the shadows of distant swamp trees. Pushing forward though, this is a well worn trek and even maybe the first hour of your journey into the marshlands here in the Heartmoor, you can hear the distant sound of horse hooves as a small grouping of four horses and two carts begin to pull up along side you. You set off to the side and you can see a group of hooded figures nod as they pass on heading southward into the wilds from where you once came. Pushing on about halfway through your day of travel.

TRAVIS: Did they look heavily armed or anything?

MATT: Make a perception check.

TRAVIS: Come on. We can't just let them go by us, right?

SAM: Should we at least tell them, like, "Watch out for fairies"?

TALIESIN: No.

SAM: No?

TRAVIS: I'll just do one roll, 15.

ASHLEY: No, because that's not what it was. There were no fairies.

SAM: I know.

MATT: They don't look any more armed than people that are traversing dangerous terrain. You do not see heavy armor. You do not see mercenary attire. You see standard clothing with general travel protection, leathers, leather armor. But from what you can tell it does not appear to be scuffed or scarred. The weapons are sheathed and are there as a protective mechanism, but you do not get the sense that they are...

TRAVIS: Crazy armed.

MATT: Yeah, they do not look like they're out here with dubious intent.

TRAVIS: Do they look like they're traveling or were they protecting cargo?

MATT: The two carts that you could see traveling behind them both were covered, thick tarps were placed over them and tied down with ropes at different rivets along the way. Differing levels, you couldn't currently tell what was being carried in them, but it looks like they were bringing with themselves some sort of materials, whether it be for trade or transport.

TRAVIS: Excuse me! Anything to note from the direction you're coming from? Any dangers to be wary of?

MATT: You're shouting this as they're passing you like this? Look back and look over at you. "Stay on the road."

ASHLEY: You, too!

MATT: (chuckles)

SAM: The fairies aren't real!

MATT: One looks over and keeps going.

TRAVIS: That was good, keep an element of mystery. Can't do it all for them, you know?

MATT: A few hours of additional travel from there. The swamplands around you definitely start carrying more unique color. You can see maroon undertones in patches of moss and clusters of fungus that begin to show up at the edges of some of these hills. You can see small cliffs that begin to rise up where swamp trees twist upward and then bend down, leaving these long draping vines and bows that leave these grayish, lavender-colored moss-like leaves that drift down and actually touch the surface of the water and go below. You can watch as the water itself is often disturbed by fish or other things that lurk beneath. Just ripples shifting outward. You, Orym, notice a little ways up ahead, there is a small, lazy trail of smoke. This little plume that is drifting a little ways off the left hand side of the road.

LIAM: So veered away from the line of the road that we're on? All right, maybe some people stopped off in that direction. You see that?

LAURA: Can I see anything?

MATT: As you guys get slowly closer, you begin to see, because the pathway where the road is on, sometimes it's very thin and they've actually had to carve out and maintain a pock-marked, perpetually challenging portion of roadway that is fighting erosion and falling into the swamp. There's older packed dirt versus newer, fresher dirt and gravel that's constantly being put on to maintain it. Other areas widen up and become comfortable where either a hill has been somewhat shaved or you actually followed the road up over towards a top hill where there is small gatherings of trees and semblance of more natural forest and jungle and around here, before it descends back into the swamp. This area rises up slightly and as you glance off the side of the path, you see maybe about 30 feet off, an often stopped at resting point. You can see there's an area where a few trees have been cleared. You can see there are four or five spots where small stone circles have been placed where there is blackened charcoal left behind and dirt. Many camping spots are maintained in this region, and there you see a handful of horses and a small group of five figures that are currently picking up their camp. One of them is currently throwing dirt onto the fire. But the road continues onward in the direction you've been traveling.

LAURA: How much farther to the Heartmoor?

MATT: One of them stands up. You see a female silver-scaled dragonborn. Most dragonborns you've seen are broader. But this one has a very thin, almost snake-like, lithe physicality to them. Her neck is tall and the head comes to this very striking point. These very bright golden eyes that peer through these side slits as the bundled hood that sits around the shoulders pushes back as she stands up. "You have maybe about three hours this way."

LAURA: Oh, wonderful. Thank you so much.

MATT: "Of course."

TRAVIS: Do they at all look like they were dressed anything remotely cloaks or anything like the people that we saw previously?

MATT: Make a perception check.

TRAVIS: (groans) Could I use advantage for perception because I'm looking and smelling at all sorts of stuff?

MATT: You could try and see if you want to smell if they smell similar to them, but you get that advantage only as your scent of keen sense.

TRAVIS: Okay, fine. Just a 12.

MATT: 12, yeah. They smell like they've been traveling for a long time and probably need a bath. (laughs)

ASHLEY: Where are you all coming from?

MATT: "We are traveling from the south."

TRAVIS: That was so deceptive.

MARISHA: I know.

SAM: Did we come from the south?

MATT: "So far it seems the weather has been helpful." As she smiles, the toothy grin that curls across the face. Holding her hand out to gesture the lack of rain. "But indeed. What about your companions? Where do you come from?"

LAURA: Recently, Jrusar.

MATT: "Very well. Good luck. Stay safe."

LAURA: Avoid the fairies. They're not real.

MATT: "Even those who are real should probably be avoided." Starts going back to--

ASHLEY: Wait, what's your name? What's your name?

MATT: "My name is Hutchin."

ASHLEY: Hutchin?

MATT: "These are my companions." She turns back over her shoulder and you get a closer view. The other ones are keeping a little huddled away. They're a little-- you get immediately the sense that some of them are not very trustful and one of them is not even paying attention. You see a male katari, but of an Egyptian cat variety, hairless, with heavily wrinkled gray skin across the head, big pointed ears off to the sides, bright yellow wide eyes, and small, pursed, cat-like nose in the front, wearing a big thick leather mantle and another bundled cloak, similar coloration as to the one that Hutchin is wearing. You could see them putting a hunter's bow over their shoulder and is staring at you as their eyes narrow, inspecting each of you as they go. You see a human female who has a drum tucked under the side of their travel garb, general travel clothing. You see them putting the other hunting knife away and you can now notice that one of the things that they're currently wrapping up looks to be a mostly cooked, partially-eaten body of some sort of a jungle cat that has been skinned, cleaned and has been prepared for travel. So you get a sense of some sort of a hunting aspect of this troop. You do see a small male goblin as well that has a small upturned nose. It's wide and pressed against the center of the face, and these almost light pinkish color, almost red eyes that you think are bloodshot at first, but it's the coloration they have that contrasts against the faint yellow-green coloration. They're staring and picking up equipment quietly before they turn away. You see, to the very back, currently grabbing the horses and petting them and hasn't even noticed your arrival here, a tall female firbolg with a big bushy black mane of hair that comes out of her head and pours past the shoulders, and it completely, for the most part, covers her eyes. You do not see the eyes, you see the nose and mouth poking out from underneath. She's currently brushing one of the horse's manes. This point, Hutchin looks over the rest of you. "And you are?"

ASHLEY: Oh, my name is Fearne.

MATT: "Fearne, well."

SAM: We're Bells Hells. Rather than introducing all of us individually. We're just traveling through.

MATT: "You have a name? What sort of work do you do to have a name?"

TRAVIS: We're multi-talented. It really depends on the situation.

MATT: "Performers?"

TRAVIS: Oh, well, not particularly.

ASHLEY: Sometimes.

LAURA: Yeah, sometimes.

ASHLEY: Sometimes. If the job calls for it.

MARISHA: We could be diplomats. We could be mercenaries

LIAM: Freelance life.

MARISHA: Anything you want.

MATT: "Jacks of all trades. That is useful."

LIAM: It's always a chance one of us knows how to solve a problem.

MATT: "And you are working within the Wilds, heading to the Hamlet, I presume. Seeing as how you're traveling along the Dahldal Road."

SAM: Think I'm going to throw a quick Detect Thoughts on maybe the katari.

MATT: On the katari?

SAM: Yeah.

MATT: Okay, so you wheel up closer and so as with any-- So the components for the spell are?

SAM: Oh boy. A copper piece. I eat those for breakfast.

MATT: So there's no verbal?

SAM: Oh, verbal, somatic, and yeah, it's everything.

MATT: Yeah, so--

SAM: (gibberish noises) (laughter)

MARISHA: -- turned infantile?

SAM: That's how I cast spells. When you're imagining me, that's how I do it. (gibberish)

MATT: So, given the fact that you are-- it's all very much like no other people within visual distance in the middle of a center road in the deep portion of this solitary bog, a group of hunters that are keeping a very close eye on your troop and you're going to begin casting this spell?

SAM: I didn't realize it was all of those things. (laughter) But I've already committed.

LAURA: Oh no.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: Yes.

MATT: As you begin to cast, the dragonborn, Hutchin, goes, "And what is this one doing?"

LIAM: Performing.

TALIESIN: Who knows?

LAURA: Be careful, he might break into a song. He does that sometimes.

MATT: Make a deception check.

SAM: Deception check? All right.

TALIESIN: Might go easier if you actually start singing.

LAURA: Can we give him advantage since we gave him the lie?

MATT: Nope.

LAURA: Damn. (laughter)

SAM: Nine.

MATT: Nine.

TALIESIN: Can FCG get advantage if they sing, actually sing right now, sing something entertaining?

MATT: If it was anyone but Sam I'd say yes, but that's too easy.

TALIESIN: I was trying to make it work, never mind.

MATT: The dragonborn continues to smile, but the eyes do narrow for a second, but you do finish completing casting the spell. So you get some surface thoughts. Surface thoughts are, "Interesting, but I don't trust this. We should get moving. Gather our things and get moving." It's more like a protective defensive mistrust. Do you want to go deeper or are you going to keep it at that?

SAM: It lasts for a while, right?

LAURA: Yeah.

SAM: A minute, and they know if you dig deeper, right?

LAURA: That's right.

MATT: Yep.

SAM: So maybe I'll wait until we're leaving before I dig deeper.

TRAVIS: Oh my god.

MATT: (laughs) Okay.

ASHLEY: What do you all do?

MATT: "We are travelers who wander these packs, taking work where able, selling what we find as we go. Not quite as prolific as the array of skills that you have acquired, but you know, we find work we can within the Wilds."

LIAM: What's your destination today?

MATT: "Us? I believe we are heading in the same direction, actually. We come to the Heartmoor not terribly often, but when the work calls us here, yes."

LIAM: Well, we've had trouble on the road. I don't know if you'd mind, but certainly safer to travel together in larger numbers. I don't know if that would sit right with you?

MATT: Make a persuasion check.

LIAM: 12. 12 plus nothing.

MATT: 12 plus nothing. "Tell you what, and I mean this in no disrespect. You look--" Glances over at your hammer, glances over at whatever this is.

LIAM: Pop and lock.

MATT: "It's not that we feel uncomfortable in the presence of mercenaries, but there is benefits in at least watching each other's back. How about we travel in tandem? A bit of distance, but if one or the other needs help, we can call for aid. But for our own edification and knowledge of how dubious some travelers can be without earned trust, keep enough distance to be comfortably apart."

LIAM: I think we find that amenable.

TALIESIN: Prudent, but helpful. Very nice.

MATT: "Very well. Is that all right--"

ASHLEY: Do you have anything fun for sale? (laughter)

TALIESIN: Her definition of fun gets very fascinating, I might add.

MATT: "Well, we predominantly work out of Evishi, but we do travel as far south as the Kanak Gulf within the Hellcatch Valley and up to here and all points in between. So we do occasionally find all sorts of interesting things." You can see a glimmer in her dragon-like eyes. The gold shimmering with anticipation. "What is it you find fun?"

ASHLEY: Oh boy. Well, so many things. So many things. I don't think I could even pick one. I think if you had any trinkets or shiny things or spelly things or--

MATT: "Tejana!" She shouts off and the firbolg, who's currently in the process of brushing the horse, stops and goes, "Yeah, what's going on?" (laughter) (Hutchin) "Could you bring that bracelet that we found not long ago?" (Tejana) "Okay, yeah. I'll get that bracelet for you, hold on. I can't get it off my hand."

ASHLEY: Would you like me to help?

MATT: "Yeah, if you could help me with the bracelet."

LIAM: Orym's trying to catch Fearne's eyes and is silently trying to communicate, "Please don't steal anything."

ASHLEY: Let me help you.

LAURA: In Fearne's head you hear: Please don't steal anything. (laughter)

MATT: So as the firbolg walks up to you, hunched forward, but even so still standing a good six-foot eight even with a slight head hunch. So looming over you. The black hair matted, you cannot see the eyes beneath, little poof poking through with a big smile goes, "If you could help me with this." You can see, as she produces her wrist, there is this beautiful cluster of beads and gems that are embedded in this double wrap bracelet around the wrist. As you work towards, Hutchin goes. "(sighs) You need-- (sighs) You seem to have got this," and stands there beside the two of you at the ready.

ASHLEY: I got it, it's fine, I can do it.

MATT: Yeah. Go ahead and make a dexterity check for me.

ASHLEY: Okay.

ASHLEY: Seven.

SAM: (groans)

MATT: Seven. Okay. So you both fiddle with it back and forth. There's a little bit of an odd, awkward tug of war.

MARISHA: Do you need a little bit of grease, oil?

ASHLEY: Maybe.

MATT: The rest of the group finishes packing stuff up all the two them stand next to you.

LAURA: Here, I got shorter nails than you.

ASHLEY: Yeah, my nails are just so long.

SAM: (drills) (laughter)

MATT: "Here, we'll get that for you."

LAURA: Uh, mm, okay.

MATT: You can see now Hutchin reaches forward and very deftly flicks it off, unwraps it.

ASHLEY: That's one way to do it.

MATT: "This was procured on the outskirts of Evishi. It belonged to a very well trained craftswoman who gathered all sort of strange glass beadware and intricate, small, imperfect gems, who believed that the imperfections is where true beauty is found. As she gathered these from jewelers who wandered far and wide to craft this one piece that reminded her or whoever carried it from that point forward, that there is beauty in that which is unrefined and uncut."

MARISHA: (laughs)

MATT: "Jams."

ASHLEY: Oh my goodness. (laughter)

ASHLEY: How many uncut jams are on there?

MATT: "Seven." (laughter)

ASHLEY: (gasps) Probably cut by candlelight.

TRAVIS: That joke is so well done.

MARISHA: We just officially dated this episode.

LIAM: Yeah. (murmurs of agreement)

LIAM: Some jokes stand the test of time.

TALIESIN: Not this one.

MATT: No. This joke was old weeks ago. (laughter)

MATT and ASHLEY: Weeks ago.

ASHLEY: We're just reviving it. Well, it's quite beautiful.

MATT: "Well, it'll run you about 20 gold pieces."

LAURA: Oof.

ASHLEY: Well...

MATT: "It'll be worth much more if you were to get them cut, but also, you'll be breaking the poor woman's heart who made them."

ASHLEY: Well, I don't know her.

TALIESIN: Are you thinking about that?

ASHLEY: Well, no, I just wanted to see what things you were selling.

TALIESIN: I'll buy it.

MATT: "Very well. 20 gold, please."

MARISHA: Expensive-ass charm bracelet

MATT: It is very much a charm bracelet.

TRAVIS: Now, it's been a minute, but when, I think when Hutchin said that they were heading our way, could I try and make an insight check to see if she was telling the truth or deciding to follow us wherever--

MATT: Yeah, make an insight check.

LAURA: Oh, good call.

TRAVIS: Just in case. 16.

MATT: 16.

TALIESIN: Good luck with that.

SAM: Ooh, a little whisper. Guys, D&D Beyond.

MARISHA: Oh, shit.

SAM: D&D Beyond's back. Did you know that?

LAURA: I did.

SAM: They're our sponsor again.

TALIESIN: It's an uncut jams.

LAURA: ♪ D&D Beyond ♪

TALIESIN: I'm an uncut jam.

MARISHA: You are.

TALIESIN: I am an uncut jam.

MARISHA, SAM, and LAURA: (laughs)

SAM: Wow, this is a long whisper.

LIAM: Gierno de Safdie.

TALIESIN: (laughs)

TRAVIS: We're in trouble. We're in big trouble.

MARISHA: D&D Beyond--

SAM: Big trouble?

MARISHA: Wait, what?

TRAVIS: No, I'm just kidding.

MARISHA: Oh, jesus fuck, aw. That was a good Travis gullibles.

TALIESIN: All of us were five minutes away from full heart attacks, thank you.

MATT: "Perhaps when we complete some of our trade in the Hamlet, we might have some more fun trinkets to bring to you to sell."

TALIESIN: Always a fan.

LIAM: What would you prefer that we lead the way or--

MATT: "I think so. You seem to be bit more armed for the occasion."

LIAM: We're all right.

MATT: "Very well. Collect our things, I believe are about ready. Tejana, if you don't mind?" (Tejana) "I'm almost done. I just got to get the saddle off."

ASHLEY: Do you need some help?

MATT: "Yeah, sure, help me, thank you." Help get the last saddle on the horse.

TRAVIS: That's two big women working on a horse.

MARISHA: (laughs)

ASHLEY: I've never put a saddle on a horse, so I have no idea--

SAM: (laughs)

MATT: Tejana is like, "No, you're supposed--"

TALIESIN: What have you put a saddle on?

ASHLEY: (laughs) Well.

TALIESIN: Sorry.

MATT: "You-- (sighs) That's wonderful. That's wonderful. Thank you for your help."

ASHLEY: Then you criss-cross under the belly, right?

MATT: "I've got it." (laughter)

MATT: "I'll handle the rest of this. You're just a sweet little thing."

ASHLEY: Okay.

MATT: "Okay. Yeah, yeah, okay." (laughter)

SAM: I'm not going to push any further with the Detect Thoughts, but can I glance at all of their shoes and footwear? Just to see--

MARISHA: If they're from Kentucky?

SAM: If the footwear is super sturdy and probably noisy on floors, or if it's more soft and creepy, like sneaky burglar type.

MATT: Sure, make a perception check.

LIAM: They're small wooden duck feet.

LAURA: Yeah.

SAM: Perception check?

MATT: Yeah.

SAM: 23.

MATT: 23, that's really good. No, they're wearing travel boots. They are rough. They are muddy. They have seen the same weather you have on this journey and probably other journeys beyond. So these are definitely rough looking boots.

SAM: Okay.

LIAM: Kinky boots.

SAM: Kinky boots. Got it.

LIAM: Keep your eyes peeled for fairies.

SAM: No, they're going the same way we are.

MATT: You all gather up, getting back on your horses and track and they keep about a You continue on for a few more hours. No major issue. No challenges. Though the temperature begins to get a little warmer and muggier as the day presses on. The humidity in this area definitely surpasses that which you've experienced in some of the other regions of the Oderan Wilds. The insects are growing more intense. The mosquitoes are starting to become a serious frustration. You know the fogs usually burn away midday. Here the mists settle. Where in the early morning in this region, they're the densest, but as the day progresses they subside slightly and then hang. But within a short time, you see the shapes of structures in the distance. As you approach, one large bowing bridge that curves from the end of one hilltop to another, over a 45-, 50-foot channel of water that travels beneath and separates into two larger open small lakes of bog water. You can see an arched gate and small walls that surround what would be the Southern Gate Ridge of the Heartmoor Hamlet.

TRAVIS: Southern Gate Ridge.

SAM: Southern Gate Ridge. All right, I'm going to write that down for some reason.

MATT: Sure, go for it.

SAM: No real reason to, but sure.

TRAVIS: You don't know!

LAURA: What color do I want to write in?

LIAM: Every time I go to say Heartmoor Hamlet, my brain says Hamburger Helper.

ASHLEY: Me too.

SAM: Hamburger.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

SAM: Hamburger Hamlet.

MATT: (laughs)

LAURA: Southern Gate what?

TRAVIS: Southern Gate Ridge.

MATT: You approach the front and the gates themselves are not closed. They're open, but you do see there is stationed there a pair of Wilders wearing familiar garb from what you're used to seeing in Jrusar, but you can see there's a little less upkeep on them. They're a little thicker and they seem to be more interested in ensuring that something isn't following you from behind in the nearby bog. But as you approach, one of them looks up. "State your business, please."

LIAM: Afternoon. We've been traveling for several days by way of Jrusar and are looking for a place to settle in for a few.

MATT: Looks around.

TRAVIS: Oh, she's with us. Yeah, not a prisoner or anything. She's legit.

SAM: She had a really rough trip.

TALIESIN: Went off the road. Bad idea. Never go off the road.

LAURA: I turned blue.

TRAVIS: (laughs)

MATT: Make a group persuasion check. (laughter)

MARISHA: DC 25.

MARISHA: All of us?

MATT: All of you. A group persuasion check. This is a general presentation to the guard.

TRAVIS: Natural one.

LAURA: Oh.

MARISHA: 17.

SAM: 17.

MATT: Okay.

ASHLEY: 15.

LAURA: 16.

LIAM: 19.

TALIESIN: Eight.

SAM: Okay, pretty good overall.

MATT: Overall, not too bad. This wasn't a very terrible high DC. This was less of a whether you get in or not and more of if they have you tracked or not. Looks you all over. "All right, well, welcome to the Hamlet. There are a few places to stay for the night. If you're looking to put your horses up, there is the Dry Dock Stables over that way. Please enter," and ushers for you all to continue inward.

LAURA: Dry Dog Stables or Dry Dock?

MATT: Dry Dock.

SAM: That's the only place to stay in town?

LAURA: No, those are the stables.

MATT: Those are the stables.

SAM: Oh, stables.

TRAVIS: Is there any news of the Hamlet that we should know upon our entry? (laughter)

MATT: "I would need to need more specifics on what kind of news you're searching for."

TRAVIS: Just any dangers or general warnings for the population. Things that we should be aware of.

SAM: Rules, local customs, laws, greetings.

MATT: "I mean, the same laws of the Chandei Quorum are maintained here. "Just do not travel beyond the walls unless you are accompanied by someone who can defend you or themselves."

LIAM: Sounds like a good deal to us.

TRAVIS: Yeah, good.

SAM: Any place to stay that you can recommend?

MATT: Says, "Well, probably the easiest place for you to look for would be within Etan's Square. It is the central region of the Hamlet. There, you could find the Sodden Grange Inn."

TRAVIS: Awesome. How would you spell Etan, sir?

MATT: E-T-A-N apostrophe S. Etan's Square.

TRAVIS: Etan's.

LAURA: Oh, Etan's.

TRAVIS: Etan's Square.

LAURA: Grange Inn.

TRAVIS: Sodden Grange Inn.

LAURA: Okay.

SAM: That's it.

LAURA: What about the museum in town?

SAM: The Twilight Mirror.

MATT: "Indeed. If you are here to see the Twilight Mirror Museum, you will find that also in the town square on the northwestern side."

MARISHA: Do you not like the museum?

MATT: "Enjoy. I'm sure it'll be extremely informing."

TRAVIS: Oh, it's boring?

SAM: It's probably where all the tourists come and buy fireworks.

TRAVIS: The exhibits all suck.

LIAM: Check the horses in and--

TALIESIN: I always like a pamphlet. If you go to the right place, they've got the wall of pamphlets. Those pamphlets are always fucking great. You learn a lot.

LIAM: Sure. But they might have a better idea than us.

LAURA: Maybe. I want to ask if there's an area of learning in this town?

MATT: "In regards? I mean, there are many people who can teach trades."

TALIESIN: Book people, are there book people around here? People who read books. Book readers.

MATT: "There are some people who own books and read them, yes."

TALIESIN: Do they congregate?

MATT: "I don't know. I have not met many."

TALIESIN: You need better friends. I don't know.

MATT: He gestures around and goes, “If you are looking for a book repository, we're in a fucking swamp." (laughter)

MATT: "But books that are here are not long for Exandria."

LIAM: Stable this way?

MATT: "Yes."

LIAM: Thank you.

SAM: Oh, also, the folks behind us, they're okay. Let them on in. They're with us.

LAURA: I mean, they're not with us.

SAM: They're with us.

TALIESIN: They're not really with us.

LAURA: They guarded our backs as we were coming into town.

TALIESIN: They were also irritated.

MATT: "All right. Stay safe."

ASHLEY: You, too.

TALIESIN: (laughs)

LIAM: "Satyr knees are backwards."

ASHLEY: [inaudible]

LIAM: (laughs)

MATT: My god.

MARISHA: We never know. We always start with a joke.

LIAM: I think satyr knees are double-jointed. (laughter)

TRAVIS: Oh my god.

MARISHA: (laughs)

TRAVIS: That's a massive drinking can. I mean, it's absurd.

MARISHA: Oh my god.

TALIESIN: Oh god.

LIAM: High fantasy. To the stables.

TRAVIS: Yes, Dry Dock.

MATT: All right.

TRAVIS: Wait, wait, we didn't keep these horses alive, did we?

LAURA: We did so far.

TALIESIN: Trick is getting them back.

MARISHA: Exactly. It's about the round trip.

TALIESIN: You can get there. It's getting them back's the really hard part.

MATT: It's not too hard to find out where the stables are. It's the only visible livery within this portion of the city and it's built specifically to be relatively close to the southern gates, which is the primary entrance from the main road to the Hamlet. You can see already there's I'd say a four-chamber structure with the central stable area being the raised upper roof area. There's no exterior open front stables, but there is a fenced off portion in the back that is partially undercover. You can see maybe three horses that are currently in there chewing whatever recent meals been given to them in small troughs. On the outside, you see as one person is currently leaving with a horse, a small goblin, maybe about your size or so, a woman with strong-- Why'd I say strong? Long, stringy, dark black hair with gray and white streaks through it that's been pulled into three different ponytail bumps as it goes down to just past the lower back. Work shirt on and she ends up waving to the person who leaves, turning to the rest of you. "Do you need your horses put somewhere?"

LAURA: Yes, yes, please.

MATT: "All right. For how long?"

LIAM: Maybe up to a week.

LAURA: Yeah, we're not exactly sure how long it could take.

TALIESIN: Probably a week.

MATT: "For keep and feed here it is one silver per horse per night."

LAURA: Wonderful.

LIAM: Okay, we can scrape that together for you.

ASHLEY: That seems reasonable.

MATT: "Very well, I will keep them here and we will maintain a record and you just pay upon receipt for beasts."

LAURA: 35 silver. Five times five is--

LIAM: Five times seven.

LAURA: Oh seven. A week. I was thinking of--

LIAM: Business week.

LAURA: Yeah, business week.

MARISHA: Oh no.

ASHLEY: Business days.

TRAVIS: Fridays and Saturdays.

ASHLEY: Business horses.

LAURA: Yeah. Business weeks.

ASHLEY: These are our business horses.

SAM: Yeah, we have weekend horses.

TRAVIS: Sounds good. We're good for it.

MATT: "All right." They go around and gather all the different bridles and take your name down, as well as the horse names and to their ledger and prep them for being kept safely within the stables there for the week that you intend to. Though, if you need to take it earlier, they can be gotten earlier. But your horses are taken care of. The rest of the Hamlet is now at your disposal.

MARISHA: Be nice, Escargot.

MATT: Your horse like, gives that wide horse eye on the side.

MARISHA: I love you.

MATT: (horse snorts)

TRAVIS: Escargot's never going to be the same.

TALIESIN: I heard, "Be nice as cargo," and I was wondering what you were planning, but that makes a lot more sense.

LAURA: I pet Heart's head and just whisper: ♪ These dreams ♪

LAURA and ASHLEY: ♪ Go on when you close your eyes ♪

ALL: ♪ Every moment of the night ♪

MATT: My god.

MATT: I love Heart, too.

LAURA: I love Heart.

ASHLEY: I do, too.

LAURA: Okay, so, we got a couple things we got to do here.

LIAM: Sure.

LAURA: Now, if we go to the Twilight Museum, doesn't that start the clock?

TALIESIN: I think checking in I think would be reasonable, letting them know we're here. We don't have to start immediately, it's just we're in town, we're going to get ourselves settled and then we'll figure out what the fuck the rules are, what the whole deal is--

LAURA: What if it starts the clock immediately as soon as we get there?

TALIESIN: That seems insane.

LIAM: What if we book a room, ask about the people we're looking for, and go from there?

TALIESIN: We could send a message to Evon and let him know that we're here instead of actually just showing up, we can send him a message.

LAURA: Oh, sure, yeah.

TALIESIN: Yeah, we'll write him we're in town.

LAURA: Okay.

SAM: Write him?

TALIESIN: They got people who walk to other places and let you know things.

LAURA: It's literally right across the street from the inn.

TALIESIN: Yeah, she was worried that there would, I don't know what this is, this isn't a thing that exists in this world.

SAM: Yeah, no, it means start.

TALIESIN: This is a--

TRAVIS: Thumb war.

TALIESIN: Thumb war. This could start the thumb war is what--

LAURA: I just don't want us to do this and then it all goes south and then the Lumas twins' Estani is not here when we finish with it or something.

TALIESIN: I'm going to let them know that we're here, we're not ready to start yet, but we just got into town.

LAURA: Okay.

TALIESIN: That seems to be the prudent thing to do.

LIAM: All right, we're going to head towards the inn, we're going to head towards the museum. Maybe we'll even split the party.

LAURA: Oh, maybe that's what we do.

TALIESIN: Yeah, actually.

ASHLEY: Oh, that's not a bad idea.

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: Okay. So who's heading to the inn, who's heading to the museum?

TRAVIS: What are the people that are not going to the inn need to do?

LAURA: We need to find Estani, who is a professor, or a scholar.

TRAVIS: Boring as fuck. Okay, keep going, what else? Cool. I'm going to the inn, who's coming with?

SAM: We also have to get word to the museum, but I guess we do that from the inn?

LAURA: It's all in the same square.

TALIESIN: It's all in the same square.

ASHLEY: Let's go to the square and then--

LIAM: See what we can see.

TRAVIS: How many rooms?

LAURA: I don't know.

TRAVIS: I'll take care of it. Don't worry. (laughter)

MARISHA: Someone please go with Chetney.

TALIESIN: Yeah, yeah, no. We're going to get four rooms. Four rooms?

SAM: Good movie. (laughter)

TALIESIN: That's so true. Four rooms?

SAM: Sure.

TALIESIN: Four rooms?

TRAVIS: Uh-huh.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

LAURA: We did fine with three the other night, I just want to point out.

TALIESIN: Three rooms. There we go.

TRAVIS: Sure.

TALIESIN: Sure. All right.

ASHLEY: Yeah.

SAM: So Chetney's just getting us rooms.

TRAVIS: I'll walk with you to the square, but I'll take care of the accommodation.

LAURA: I'll come to the inn, too, because I don't even know where to start to find Estani.

LIAM: Right. I thought we would talk to the--

SAM: We're all going to the inn.

LAURA: Yeah, the barkeep. Yeah.

TALIESIN: We're splitting the party and both splits are going to the inn.

MATT: Right. (laughter)

LIAM: You can definitely buy the rooms for us. That would be much appreciated.

TALIESIN: One at a time, that's all I ask. Get them there, then get us there at the same time.

TRAVIS: I'll try to keep more presentory.

LAURA: Uh-huh.

ASHLEY: Yes. Very, very much so.

TRAVIS: Working on it.

ASHLEY: Woo!

TRAVIS: Pull my knit beanie down a little tighter. (laughter)

TALIESIN: Swamp beanie.

LAURA: All right, so we're going to the Sodden Grange.

LIAM: Sideburns are like.

MATT: Okay. So walking beyond the South Gate Ridge, through the somewhat moss dappled, bog-centric structures and homesteads, you see the darkened wood perpetually damp with moisture that hangs in the air. You can see the green growth that gives everything this faint verdant coloration, regardless of what materials they were originally built with. The stone bases and stone structures also giving away to these earthen tones as just weather and nature takes the exterior of it over time. Pushing through the somewhat muddy tracked streets and the semblance of stone that was placed here long before that has since been slowly recaptured or sunk slightly enough into the ground where the liquid moss, water, and mud has seeped in and reclaimed majority of it. You pass to the other edge of this hill. In this point, you begin to realize that much of this village are these various sized hills that have been cleared off or have been built upon at a higher place, and they are connected through small bridges that hang down or have land bridges that are built up to connect them. The central area, you see labeled by two of the small signs at different points being pointed to as Etan's Square. Here, you can see what happens to be a large center for business and commerce, obviously. There are dozens of large warehouses and shops that line the muddy streets, along with numerous scattered street carts and benches where farmers and crafters sell to nearby passersby or each other. There's no one excitedly barking. This isn't such a lively town, as places of Jrusar. Even though you see the accommodations here, there is definitely a more casual energy to those who live here.

LIAM: More of a smaller town foot traffic?

MATT: Not a lot at this hour, but you do see there's maybe a dozen or so people out in the open right now that are walking past. You can see in this small gathering space, the number of stone tables set out and you can see two older folk are there, in the process of playing some sort of a chess-like board game while they're bantering back and forth and arguing over current events, or history, or whatever else you might think they'll find reason to banter over. But you feel this as the comfortable, social heart of the Hamlet, from what you've seen so far.

MARISHA: Bryant Park.

MATT: Little bit. Glancing a little bit around, you do eventually see the sign of the Sodden Grange Inn, which is placed to the northeastern side, to the front of the central square here, the actual town square, trying to make sure that it has enough frontage to draw in any people, like yourselves, who are traveling from out of town. As you approach, it's a respectable looking inn, doesn't have quite the grandiose presentation of the Spire by Fire, but definitely holds a little bit of a stronger and welcoming exterior aesthetic than some of the more rough and tumble places you've stayed on lower parts of spires in the city you just traveled from. As you step up to the front doors, you do see they do swing. They (swinging) as you step inward, and immediately you're met with familiar smells, dried beers and alcohols on old wood, what smells like wettened leather that has then dried and re-wet.

TRAVIS: (chuckles)

MATT: You catch hints of tobacco smoke and you do see there's an old, old, old, rough looking fellow who's sitting at a table with both of his feet up on there, is in the process of lighting up this heavy, dark, mahogany pipe that you can see has blackened at the edges from excessive use for years. This big, bushy, gray beard that swallows the bottom part of his face, holding the flame so close, you can't help but be a little anxious, but he obviously knows what he's doing. As you step inward, the man finishes puffing a bit and turns around. This man, as it turns, the perspective he was at made him look a lot bigger than he was, because how he turns, you see this is just a halfling fellow. His legs were facing away, and he turns, and they're just a little shorter than you expect. (laughter) The guy steps off the stool a bit, still holding the pipe. His large ears, the hair curling out the sides. Takes an additional puff off the pipe and looks towards the rest of you. "Well, hello. You're certainly new here. You have the eyes and the look of individuals who've been traveling from afar and probably need a place to stay. Am I correct in my assumption?"

ASHLEY: Mm.

SAM: Very.

TALIESIN: Very observant.

MATT: "See, that's how you keep a business going. So how many rooms are you looking for, and for how long?"

LAURA: I believe we said--

TALIESIN: Three for a week.

ASHLEY: How many beds do you have per room?

MATT: "Three rooms?"

TRAVIS: That was a lot of questions. How many beds are typically in a room?

MATT: "We have rooms with one bed and rooms with two beds."

TRAVIS: Amazing. We'll take four rooms.

MATT: "Four rooms? Very well. That'll be one silver piece per room, per night."

TRAVIS: Amazing.

MATT: "Four silver for week of seven. That'll be 28."

TRAVIS: I got it.

LAURA: Do we have cheaper stay than the horses?

TALIESIN: Bargain.

MARISHA: Excellent point.

MATT: The horses are also being fed and tended to.

LIAM: Yeah, it's part of the package.

TRAVIS: The Sodden Grange. Is that right? Sodden Grange Inn, is it one level, two levels?

MATT: It's single level.

TRAVIS: Single level.

MATT: In fact, you see a lot of the buildings here, You don't see many that are multiple levels. There's a handful, but most everything here is just one floor and is spread out a bit and you get the sense it's probably because anything too heavy on the somewhat soft earth of these hills is likely to sink, and that mistake has probably been made more than once in the past.

TRAVIS: I cough up 28 silver.

MATT: "Done. Thank you kindly for your patronage. Let me get your keys for you." Raises this key ring and slowly unhooks it and sets down four keys on the table and points you over to the four rooms. They're not right next to each other. They're a bit scattered, but this inn is surprisingly robust the further back you go. It has a series of winding hallways, and altogether, it probably has 16 rooms. You get the sense, just at the size of the town square, that this inn probably takes a sizeable chunk of real estate here on the square itself.

ASHLEY: What is your name, sir?

MATT: "My name is Dobby. Dobby Kingsman."

LAURA: Are you the owner of this establishment?

MATT: "I am! Me and my granddaughter tend to it."

ASHLEY: Dobby Kingsman?

LAURA: I imagine you see everyone about town. Do they come here often?

MATT: "Some do from out of town, yes. Within town, they have their own homes to get to. But some do come in for a good drink and some socializing."

TRAVIS: I love him. I just want to hang out.

LAURA: Yeah.

TRAVIS: I want to stay here.

ASHLEY: I love Dobby.

SAM: We have a friend in town named Isha Sabanis. Is she staying here?

MATT: "Sorry. Sabanis would not stay here."

SAM: Oh.

MATT: "(laughs)"

SAM: Oh, what do you know of them?

MATT: "She's very a wealthy individual. I've not met her myself."

SAM: Okay.

LAURA: Do you know of someone named Estani?

MATT: "Old Estani, yes, yes."

LAURA: Are they staying here or do they live here?

MATT: "No, no. They live here, actually. Their homestead is over in the Blue Herald's Hill."

LAURA: Is that far from here?

MATT: "The Mosslight Manor is not far, maybe about a 15, 20 minute walk."

LAURA: Oh, wonderful. And you said the Mosslight?

MATT: "The Mosslight Manor." He gives you a description. "It's a somewhat rickety, unkept house, decent size, needs some maintenance, vines and moss, gray-brown wood coloration, some fungus clouding on it. Kind of hard to miss."

LAURA: Thank you very much.

TRAVIS: So sorry, was it Blue Light Hill and Mosslight?

MATT: Blue Herald's Hill.

TRAVIS: Blue Herald's Hill.

MATT: Mosslight Manor.

MARISHA: And Mosslight Manor?

MATT: Mosslight Manor.

MARISHA: Blue Herald Hill.

LAURA: Blue Herald's Hill.

ASHLEY: Blue Hill.

LIAM: Any tips or tricks for folk who are new in town?

MATT: "I would say, for most folk here, don't be too strong in making friends. People tend to come through here. They want to earn trust, you understand."

LAURA: Of course.

MATT: "We're far enough out in the middle of nowhere here that some individuals think it's a bit beyond the laws of the Quorum. So don't take it to heart if folks seem a bit distant and untrusting."

LIAM: What's the population like here?

TALIESIN: Yeah.

MATT: "Oh, probably just a few thousand."

ASHLEY: That's great.

SAM: If we wanted to send a note over to someone, can you arrange that?

TALIESIN: I was figuring just walking over at this point. It seems a little silly not to. A couple questions. Yeah. The Twilight Mirror Museum?

MATT: "(laughs) Yes?"

MARISHA: There's something weird about this place.

TALIESIN: How close is that, and what your impression of that place and possibly its owner?

MATT: "It's not terribly far. You leave the inn, immediately turn right after exiting, and follow the edge of the square, and continue on the road, that path. You'll see it."

TALIESIN: I had a funny feeling.

TRAVIS: It's also the post office.

MATT: "Don't tell me you came here for the museum."

TALIESIN: Not directly, no. Not to see it, just to do a little work.

MATT: "Okay. Very well. Just wanted to make sure you didn't make the trek for nothing."

TALIESIN: Oh, no. (laughter)

SAM: No, but while we're here, we should probably check it out, right? It's an attraction.

MARISHA: Tourist destination.

TALIESIN: We're being installed.

MATT: "It is very much what one would consider a tourist destination. Evon is curious, eccentric. But if that's what you're into, as being a speaking automaton, whatever you are, I'm certain this may be up your alley. I apologize, and I do not mean to judge."

TALIESIN: This is exactly the sort of local opinion that we were looking for, to be fair. This is nothing but charming. I would love to have a quick, strong drink, personally. I'm happy to get a round for anybody else who needs a quick, strong drink. That was a long time on the road. I don't know what you're smoking, but that is wonderful.

MATT: "Oh. Thank you. I grow and dry it myself."

TALIESIN: I had a funny feeling.

MATT: "There's a lot of folks around here growing, and drying what they can find. It's what the Heartmoor is known for. As nasty as it might look to outsiders, it tends to be home to harbor much vibrancy in various herbs and plants that wouldn't find life and home in other places here in Marquet."

TALIESIN: Well, if you find yourself with a little extra, I'd love to grab a little sample at some point. If you have a little extra. Happily pay for it.

MATT: "Tell you what, you grab your own pipe." He pulls out his bag and tucks out a little handful and points to you.

TALIESIN: Oh, not with me, but definitely--

MATT: Find yourself one.

TRAVIS: You need a pipe?

SAM: Ooh!

TRAVIS: Gosh. (laughter)

TRAVIS: Give me a minute.

MATT: "That's some fine whittling you've got there."

TRAVIS: Don't distract me.

TALIESIN: He's a talent. Yeah, and drinks all around for anyone.

ASHLEY: Yes, please.

MARISHA: I'll have a drink.

LAURA: I think I also will.

MATT: "Drinks all the way around. Of course."

LAURA: I got the impression he was interested in woodcarving as well. I would love to head on over to Estani's, if there's not something here.

LIAM: Yeah, I have nothing else to do in town except that, and help out Ashton. So no time like the present. Are we swinging by the museum first?

ASHLEY: I do want to see this place now that we've talked about it so much.

TALIESIN: Why don't we pop in, tell him we're here.

SAM: It's been built up a lot.

ASHLEY: It really has.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

LIAM: Just get a look at it, touch base.

TALIESIN: Let them know we're here. I'm sure they got to call everybody in to start this thing.

SAM: Sure.

TALIESIN: So we'll just let them know that we're in town.

SAM: Yep.

TALIESIN: Then we'll take care of your stuff. Perfect.

MATT: So what's the plan?

SAM: We're going to go to the weird place.

TALIESIN: It's a quick drink. What do I owe for the drinks, by the way?

SAM: Twilight Mirror Museum.

MATT: The drinks across the table? We'll say two silver.

TRAVIS: I want one.

TALIESIN: Economies in D&D are so strange. There we go.

MATT: Indeed.

SAM: Didn't we go to the Austin Weird Museum or something?

TALIESIN: Yes, we did.

LIAM: Mm-hmm.

TRAVIS: The Museum of Weird?

SAM: Yeah.

TALIESIN: We've got three of them in town, too, of weird-ass curiosity.

ASHLEY: Wait, Imogen. Did you need to go anywhere?

LAURA: No, I just really want to see Estani is all.

MARISHA: We can go there first.

LAURA: No, no, no, no, no. We're in the square.

MARISHA: You look upset. What's wrong?

LAURA: I'm fine.

SAM: You look a little blue. I'm just trying to cheer you up.

TALIESIN: Wow. That was impressive.

LIAM: Well, we'll be back later this evening. Thank you very much.

MATT: "Of course. I'm always here, and if I'm not here, my granddaughter is and she can help you."

LIAM: What's her name? Just so we know.

MATT: "Oh, her name is Parmi."

LIAM: Parmi. Parmi.

ASHLEY: Pardon me?

MATT: "Parmi."

LAURA: What was it?

ASHLEY: Parmi?

MATT: "Parmi Kingsman."

ALL: Parmi.

MARISHA: Kingsman.

LIAM: Checking off boxes. Lead the way, Ash.

TALIESIN: I assume we're walking towards the most gaudy, ridiculous, Venice Beach curiosity shop in the direction that he pointed, as humanly possible.

MATT: You're not entirely wrong.

TALIESIN: I had a funny feeling.

MATT: Following the path along here, you go past the multitude of shops that range from probably once beautiful in presentation that eventually have just been maintained enough to function. But the moss and mildew builds up, and generally all bright colors are pulled back to a universally muted variation. To some very, very simple locations, some homesteads and abodes and hovels that are crammed between. There are some, on the outskirts of some of the roads, you can see clusters of neighborhoods of simple thatched roof buildings, and you can see families gathering out and going to gather food and whatever sort of supplies they need for the coming days or weeks. Heading down the northwestern road, which is what you were directed towards, the pathway shows it's a bit tight, initially, and you can see other structures and warehouses and buildings that you're uncertain as to what their purpose is. But to the left, you see a section where the consistent buildings stop and there is a very tall, metallic gate or a fence line that comes around to a gate with metal separation pillars that are situated about every five feet between. They come to these very tall, thin pikes and a small courtyard that is wrapped around an almost cylindrical estate. As opposed to some of the other generally standard square or rectangular buildings, this has continuation in its curvatures. At the corners, what would be considered the corners of the structure, the walls are somewhat curved and at each corner lot, there is a small tower or a parapet that rises up above it to where everything has this curved, organic sense to its build. It was once beautiful, but you can see, itself, is also starting to give in to the greenery as nature slowly claims all elements of stone in this vicinity. The front yard, what little yard there is from gate to actual front of building, which is about 15 feet or so, is wildly overgrown with all number of plants, some that look indigenous to this area, some that definitely are not and are either thriving or have long been dead and have not been weeded. You can see this spectrum of textures and colors of all manner of plant life that create this visual representation of the best scary Halloween house at the end of the neighborhood yard, the shit that the Goonies ran from when they were scared. This house definitely stands out like a sore thumb.

SAM: Is that what we're looking for?

TALIESIN: I mean... yeah. Let's find out.

SAM: Sure.

MATT: You walk up into the front gate of it and there is an elevated placard that is based in bronze, and on the sides of each, there's a small, glowing gem that pulses with this faint purple-ish hue that goes to blue and then back to purple. In the middle, you see across it, "Twilight Mirror Museum Hydroga Emporium and Estate." An iron gate sits heavily at the direct front.

TALIESIN: Jesus, I thought Jiana was gaudy. All right, I'm going to push it open and see what happens, or knock at least, I guess.

MATT: Okay. It is a metallic gate that's affixed with a series of bars. You can see through it. You can try and knock on the metal. You go look over and there is a hanging, metallic bell, it looks like, and you lift it up and bang it against the metal gate itself. (bell ringing) It's a little awkward, but it makes a unique sound, at least.

MATT: A moment passes.

LAURA: Just like us.

MATT: A few moments pass, and you, Orym, Fearne, Laudna, and Fresh Cut Grass, you all notice that-- First, you notice that all the windows are-- curtains are closed on them. There are windows all throughout this odd rising estate. This is one of the few buildings that's not just two stories, but it's three stories. It looks like it's trying to be a small castle. It has very putt golf vibes to it in some ways, but is a respectable size of an estate, especially compared to other buildings. But all the windows are shuttered curtains, and you see one curtain in the upper left hand side open, and a figure looks out, and then it shuts closed.

MARISHA: I think someone's home.

TALIESIN: Give him another 60 seconds. I deal with a lot of eccentrics. Sometimes it takes them a minute. I'm going to ring a couple more times. (thuds)

MATT: (dull bell ring)

TALIESIN: I'm going to make it--

MATT: (door creaks)

TALIESIN: Oh, never mind.

MATT: About 60 seconds later, the front door opens, and you see emerging from the interior, two guards that look like they're in the process of putting their armor on, emerge as they push past. You see a male elf emerges, his body tall and spider-like in its thin waifishness, wearing this bright flamboyant red and gold coloration to it, the mantle extending in this wide, raised neck mantle that comes to Dr. Strange-type points, but almost beyond the shoulders. It gives him this very tapered V, like a martini glass of a figure, looking at it. It is beautifully kept. This elf, as you get closer, probably more half-elf, as you get a glance at the feature, they feel like they're taking to age not quite as gracefully as many elves do. You can see the gray heavily set in within the long, intricately manicured sideburns that go to the bottom of the chin. You can see this carefully, very thinly kept mustache that comes out in a John Waters-esque pencil stache, that then curls into a thin Hogan, if you will. The brows are thick and pulled up into points on each side to almost match the points of the neck piece. You see all manner of jewelry and gems and rings encrusted around the fingers and necklaces upon necklaces upon necklaces. As he steps down the stairs, looking over you all with this smile, crooked on the side. Then the cloak goes out and you can see beneath the robe, this extremely bright silver robe that seems to glitter in what light is coming through in the somewhat cloudy day. He stands out like the sorest of thumbs against the vicinity of this entire town. But as you approach-- as you stand there watching and he approaches, his arms out. "Welcome, everyone, to the Twilight Museum. So are you wanting a half-day pass, or are you looking for the full presentation?"

TALIESIN: Well, actually, funny enough we were sent here by your dear friend, Jiana Hexum.

MATT: "(surprised laugh) You're who she sent!"

TALIESIN: Well, she's an eccentric, and she likes her representatives to be the same.

MATT: "Curious."

TALIESIN: Thank you.

MATT: "Well, unfortunately that means you are not here for the tour."

TALIESIN: Not yet. Perhaps later?

MATT: "Maybe after this. Though, if you do your job properly and succeed, maybe you'll have carved your own tour of the premises. (amused chuckling)"

TRAVIS: Take the fucking tour first.

TALIESIN: Yeah, we might want to take the tour, regardless. Especially before everything starts. We've had a very long journey.

MATT: "Oh no, you're not to see the interior."

TALIESIN: Really?

MATT: "If you are going to-- Shoo, shoo!" And shoos the guards off. They just finished getting their armor on. They're like, "(groans) Fuck."

TALIESIN: That's right!

MATT: They go back inside.

TALIESIN: That's right!

MATT: "If you are to be part of this incursion, this competition, if you will, then you have to go in blind."

MARISHA: Have they gotten the tour?

MATT: "Who?"

TALIESIN: The others.

MATT: "They haven't arrived yet."

MARISHA: How do you know?

TALIESIN: Amateurs.

MATT: "Because they would've made known."

MARISHA: Have you had any tour groups here recently?

MATT: "Always. Constantly, but--"

MARISHA: Is he lying?

SAM: Insight check!

MATT: Make an insight check.

MARISHA: Four!

SAM: 15. Oh, I get a whisper out of that!

MARISHA: Oh, shit!

TRAVIS: I wonder if we've met the other group.

MARISHA: Oh, wait, Sam's getting a whisper!

SAM: Tarot cards.

MARISHA: D&D Beyond, guys.

TALIESIN: Dih bih dih bih don. Got the D&D Beyond whisper.

LAURA: ♪ You got the perfect warlock ♪

SAM: The buzz of Matt's beautiful voice in my ear, it's just so comforting. It's nice.

LIAM: Meeh! (laughter)

ASHLEY: Ha!

TALIESIN: Well, now I wish we would've lied. I really feel bad about that now.

MARISHA: You're a bad liar.

TALIESIN: I am, to be fair, a really bad liar.

MARISHA: Yes.

TALIESIN: It's true.

LIAM: You do it a lot.

MARISHA: Too honest.

TALIESIN: I enjoy it. I'm just not very good at it.

MATT: "Regardless. It is good to know that you've checked in. Well, I do believe they are supposed to be arriving not too far behind the rest of you, if the missives have been consistent. So once they've checked in, where are you staying?"

SAM: We're over at the Sodden Grange?

MATT: "Very well. I'll go ahead and send notification when all has been situated, and then we will progress this little interesting event the midnight of the day thereafter."

SAM: Oh.

TALIESIN: It sounds perfect. We have a little bit of work to do in town. Want to do some shopping and otherwise. See the sights.

MATT: "Very well."

LAURA: What item-- Are we allowed to know what we'll be--

MATT: "It'll be discussed before things are to begin. The preparation is meant to be maintained in mystery."

TRAVIS: (laughs)

TALIESIN: So we'll get on our way, I suppose, at this point. Just let us know. On a personal note, Mr. Hytroga, I believe? Is that it?

MATT: "Mr. Hytroga. Evon Hytroga."

TALIESIN: Mr. Hytroga-- Do you prefer Evon?

MATT: "Mr. Evon Hytroga."

SAM: (laughs)

TALIESIN: Mr. Evon Hytroga, it's been fabulous meeting you, and I love all that. That's a lot of fun.

MATT: "Thank you. You have quite a delightful ensemble there. What is your name?"

TALIESIN: Ashton.

MATT: "Ashton--?"

TALIESIN: Ashton Greymoore.

MATT: "Ashton Greymoore, very well. I do wish you luck."

TALIESIN: Exciting.

ASHLEY: Do you have any tips?

MATT: "Yes. Walk carefully. Be careful. Be safe. If something scares you, run. (sinister giggle)"

TRAVIS: Oh boy.

MATT: "Oh, well, this is going to be fun! Oh, I'm so excited!"

TALIESIN: I'm excited.

TRAVIS: I am, too.

LIAM: All right, well, I think we want to rest up.

MARISHA: Well, let's go see if we can find a stay.

MATT: "Ashton?"

TALIESIN: Mm?

MATT: "My apologies, before you leave here, and I don't mean to presume, but I... I had heard a recent unfortunate break in with a mutual friend. I was told that one of these burglars had, uh... fallen and taken quite the hit on the head. But I'm sorry. I don't mean to presume."

TALIESIN: Oh, no. I'm always curious where that sort of rumor starts. It's always fascinating.

MATT: "Indeed."

TALIESIN: I may inquire where you heard that at some point after we have impressed you.

MATT: "Good. I like being impressed. Well, now. Shoo. You're not paying customers. I'll let you know when the rest of this arrangement has arrived, and we'll take it from there."

SAM: Well, looking forward to stealing from you.

MARISHA: Yeah...

MATT: "How is it you are speaking?" (laughter)

SAM: You know, I don't actually honestly know.

MATT: "Fascinating!"

SAM: Yeah.

MATT: "How much for your automaton?"

MARISHA: No. What is--

SAM: We've established my worth, right? Wasn't it like 20,000 or something?

ASHLEY: What's the usual price?

LAURA: Oh.

MATT: "Well, I would want to ask what the asking price is from your standpoint."

SAM: So far it's 20-- Was it 20?

TALIESIN: Oh, for f--

MARISHA: Well, no--

LIAM: He's not for sale. He's priceless.

LAURA: 2,000 platinum. Couldn't afford him. Let's go.

MATT: "We'll see how well you do in this game to come. Maybe I'll be inspired."

SAM: How much do you cost?

MATT: "Oh, you could not afford me, honey."

SAM: All right.

MATT: "Anyway. Good luck. Rest away."

TRAVIS and LAURA: Thank you.

ASHLEY: Thank you.

MATT: "Inside--" (laughter)

TRAVIS: Damn, that was the best presentation yet.

MARISHA: Oh my god.

TRAVIS: (boing)

ASHLEY: (bing)

LIAM: Just want to get out of there.

MARISHA: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Yep.

LIAM: Okay, so we are looking for the Mosslight Manor, correct?

LAURA: Yes, and Blue Herald's Hill.

MATT: All righty. Doesn't take too long to gather some directions from locals and guide you to the Blue Herald's Hill. It's nestled on the eastern edge of the Hamlet, so you had to backtrack a bit and then head to the east side of the city, which from your guys' respective would be this way. You come to the Herald's Hill, which is a wider neighborhood of smaller networked roads and densely packed homes that surround a squat hill that harbors a number of modest temples. There's an open garden of odd plant life, also gathered from regions beyond the Oderan Wilds. Even beyond the Heartmoor that are all kept well here in contrast to the grounds surrounding the Twilight Mirror Museum. You do see an outdoor amphitheater.

SAM: (sneezes)

MATT: Some rare flowers.

LAURA: Bless you!

ASHLEY: Stop it.

MATT: Gesundheit. (laughter)

TALIESIN: Fuck!

MATT: I love that.

TALIESIN: Goddamn it.

TRAVIS: So good.

MATT: So much.

ASHLEY: That's so mean. (laughter)

TRAVIS: We're going to get to a live show one day, somebody's going to sneeze, and the whole place is going to go.

TRAVIS, MARISHA, AND TALIESIN: "Stop it!" (laughter)

ASHLEY: I just think it's funny.

MATT: I hope so.

MARISHA: I love you got the opportunity!

MATT: Is anyone proficient in nature?

ASHLEY: I am.

TALIESIN: No.

ASHLEY: Just kidding.

LAURA: Are you?

ASHLEY: No way.

MATT: (laughs) All right, then you continue your journey past the amphitheater. (whining)

SAM: Nobody knows nature?

LIAM: Secrets of the universe were right there.

MARISHA: Pretty, these flowers.

MATT: You do see a lot of blue flowers everywhere.

MARISHA: So blue!

LAURA: Oh, were they like the blue flower that we took from the--

LIAM: That got on my belt?

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: No, quite different. Softer, more of a sky blue coloration to them, but they grow quite abundance here in this region to this city. In fact, in the garden area here, near the amphitheater, there's many clusters of them in it. It gives this very beautiful, this area doesn't belong within this town, yet here it remains. You can see why this is an area where a lot of folks tend to turn into more of a residential space. But eventually you do come upon indeed the manor that was described to you. The house is a little ramshackle, but still cozy. You can see it needs some work. A lot of the wood is starting to bow and split in places. The roof structure itself, one of the roof corners appears to be slightly listing the one side a bit, or at least is starting to bow over. You get the sense of whoever lives here doesn't have much of an interest in maintaining the architecture, at the very least, from an external standpoint. You can see the windows that are here are clouded with fungus. It has this very clouded gray-white aesthetic to it, and at the very edges of it where the glass itself is separate, you could see that same coloration turns into a brown-gray mold that continues around the windowsill that surrounds it. This is an older building. This has been here for a long time, but there are two newer doors that appear to have aged better than the rest, or at least have been a more recent entry, that have a reddish coloration to them, a stain, but you can see the moisture has caused the stain to run it a bit, so the whole door has those streaks across it. The color seems to shift and change, giving this subtle striped visual to it. There is a metal knocker on the door.

MARISHA: Imogen, darling.

LIAM: (metal knocking)

MARISHA: Oh, Orym's got it.

LAURA: (laughs)

SAM: Do you need any help in there?

MARISHA: You all right?

LAURA: Yeah, I just-- This person might have the pages possibly that talk about my mother. I don't know. I felt so overwhelmed as soon as we got into town. I'm so sorry.

SAM: No, no. Don't apologize.

MARISHA: It might be a very emotional. This is also the Lumas twins and--

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: You've always been quite the empath, so I want to make sure that you're taking care of yourself.

LAURA: Thank you.

MARISHA: All right.

SAM: I'm going to hold her hand for a second and cast Enhance Ability and give her Eagle's Splendor.

TRAVIS: What?

LAURA: What's that?

SAM: Advantage on charisma checks.

LIAM: She has blue feathers now.

MATT: It doesn't take too long for the sound of multiple locks undo on the door. It opens up and you can see the locking mechanisms on here, and the doors are new. The mechanisms are new. Like they've been installed recently. Behind the door, peering through carefully, you see an older man, probably in venerable years. Older even than the gentleman you were renting your inn from. You can see balding with long wisps of fine silver hair drift beyond the edges of the scalp. You can see the skin has a blue-gray tint, and the skin weathered with age and travel. They appear immediately to be uniya, of orc and elvish heritage. The long pointed ears, the very defined orcish nose, thinner and more fine bone structure. Very graceful age that the uniya find at this point, this beautiful combination of the two, orc and elf physicality. You see a warm smile creep across their face as their one clouded cataract eye sits next to the striking deep emerald green of the other. You see them pull together in this warm, if somewhat dirty robe that they keep clutched around their neck. "Might I help you?"

LIAM: Hello. We've come a very long way. We're just in from Jrusar. Today, in fact, and we've come looking for Estani. You wouldn't by any chance be him, would you?

MATT: "I am. I am indeed Estani. Yes."

LIAM: Excellent. We're here at the behest of Oshad Breshio.

MATT: His face drops. Grim. You can see in but a moment that a lot of memory and emotion strikes behind those eyes before they close. There's a nod. Then the smile returns. "Then you are indeed friends. "Well, whatever journey you took to get here, I imagine was not easy. So come in. I will make some tea and let's get to know each other."

LIAM: That would be amazing

MATT: Turns and opens the door. You can now see the warm, cluttered, not quite hoarder interior, but definitely an individual who collects a lot of things and doesn't quite know where to put them or how to put them back. An organized chaos to this room, and to play off of what you heard from Dobby earlier-- Or not Dobby, sorry. The guard you spoke to. This is probably one of the places where many of the town's books are kept, as you see piles and piles and piles of them. "Come, come. It's warmer and drier within."

LIAM: We all file in.

MATT: You all step into the warm interior to have this conversation with Estani. Thoughts and questions gathered. We're going to go ahead and stop there tonight. We'll pick up there next time.

SAM: But Laura wanted to talk to--

LAURA: No, no, no. It's fine.

TALIESIN: Let's have some time to write down our questions and figure out.

MATT: Give you some time to think on it, too, between episodes. Because this could be a sizable conversation, it could be short conversation. We're also presumably going into a--

SAM: Battle?

MATT: No-- Yes, you're on a fight the old guy. If there's anything we've done, we know that you guys like battling old people. But to go into a possible burglary, give you a little bit of time to think and prep on that. We'll pick up from this entry and conversation next time.

SAM: Woo!

MATT: So yeah.

SAM: This is fun.

MATT: Exciting. Indeed. Well, thank you so much for joining us. We'll see you guys next week. We love you very much, and is it Thursday yet? Good night. (cheering)

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