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List of Transcripts

Pre-Show[]

MATT: Hello, everyone! And welcome to tonight's episode of Critical Role, where a bunch of us nerdy-ass voice actors play Dungeons and Dragons, and occasionally curse at me before the stream. You ass. Every time. You guys have caught him a few times. Anyway, welcome to tonight's game. Ashley Johnson unfortunately cannot join us this evening. She's finishing up stuff at Blindspot, but we hope to have her back next week.

TRAVIS: Yeah! Ashley Johnson! Blindspot!

LIAM: Come back, Shane!

MATT: Fingers crossed on that one. Sam Riegel also will be here a little late– more than usual late. Travis will be taking over Scanlan until he arrives.

LAURA: What if you kill him? What if he dies while you're–

MATT: I know you were kidding, but now you have to.

TRAVIS: There are better ways to go. Worse ways. Whatever.

MATT: We'll see what transpires by the time he gets here. Hopefully he'll have a character left.

TALIESIN: You can do a limerick. It'll be exciting.

TRAVIS: Nope.

MATT: All right, so before we get started, we're going to go ahead and run through our announcements, so we can hop right in. We've got a fun game ready for you guys tonight. First and foremost, next Monday, at 7:00pm, here on Geek and Sundry's Twitch stream, taking over the spot for No Survivors, we'll be running a Critical Role one shot. I'll be running a game of Pathfinder, where our campaign actually started. A one-shot evening with a host of great players. Taliesin and Marisha will be joining us on that–

(cheering)

MATT: Way to prove me wrong!

LAURA: What happened?

LIAM: No singing Travis?

TRAVIS: He must have heard on Twitch and came running.

SAM: Yeah, that can't happen. No way.

MATT: That's amazing. All right. Well, welcome!

TRAVIS: (laughs) Man, I didn't get to masturbate in public.

MATT: Oh, night's still young, Travis.

LAURA: There's always tomorrow, darling.

LIAM: You think Grog is above that?

MATT: Remember, Twitch is live. That's not going to happen. So yeah!

SAM: Oh shit, it's in my car.

MATT: What happened?

TALIESIN: What do you need, what do you need?

SAM: It's okay. I'm good.

LIAM: You're going to wing it? You remember your numbers? Yeah, go get it, we're doing announcements.

SAM: It's literally in my other car.

MATT: I can text you your character sheet.

SAM: But I have my PDF.

MATT: You have your PDF, you're good. Okay, so. I think–

TALIESIN: Pathfinder!

MATT: Actually, if I recall, I think I may have left that behind as well. I made an extra copy of your character.

TALIESIN: I've made an extra copy of your character.

MATT: There you go. He got this. Perfect. Next Monday, 7:00pm-10:00pm, possibly a little over that, we'll see. You know how these sessions go. I'll be running a game of Pathfinder. Taliesin and Marisha will be playing, as well as Ivan Van Norman, as he is allowing us to take his spot for No Survivors, he will be a player in that game, as well as two special guests. We'll have Ashly Burch, the wonderful, talented, amazing Ashly Burch will be playing, as well as the incredible Phil Lamarr. That'll be our troop of five players.

TRAVIS: Justice League, Futurama, Pulp Fiction.

LAURA: Tales from the Borderlands?

MATT: Yup. Ashly Burch, who's currently up for a BAFTA as well. 'Cause apparently if your name's Ashley, you get nominated for a BAFTA.

LAURA: The BAFTAs already happened. She didn't.

MATT: But she was nominated!

TALIESIN: BAFTA nominee Ashly Burch.

MATT: Exactly.

LIAM: She's also a delightful knucklehead, so BAFTA aside.

MATT: She's awesome people. Love her to death and we're excited to have her on. But yeah, so that'll be next Monday, 7:00pm Pacific here. Come watch, it'll be fun! It'll be a little different than the usual stuff here. Let's see. Next up, if my phone would listen, there we go. Next week, next Thursday is our 50th episode. Crazy.

TRAVIS: Explosion. Brain matter everywhere.

MATT: It's been crazy that we've gotten to a 50th episode point, so it'll be a loose celebration. We'll have a game, couple surprises, and we'll be finishing it off with a grand Critmas finale for this year until we get in the holidays.

LAURA: It's all happening that night?

MATT: We don't have a choice.

LAURA: Longest night ever!

MARISHA and MATT: Longest night ever!

MATT: We were going to try and find another night maybe to do Critmas, but their scheduling won't allow it.

LIAM: Cheers to a seven-hour stream.

TALIESIN: Oh god, I'm going to die.

MATT: They're prepping to try and make it transition as fast as possible so we aren't here until 4:00am.

MARISHA: And by they're you mean us?

MATT: Yes. Come next week for an awesome spectacular! It'll be great! You'll enjoy it.

LAURA: Spectacular, spectacular.

MATT: Good. Marisha, you want to talk about Hector's thing?

MARISHA: Hector Navarro, aka @Hectorisfunny on Twitter, is the next host up for Signal Boost, and his first episode happened this Tuesday and he's fucking hilarious. You have to watch him.

TRAVIS: He is, it's great.

MARISHA: He's really funny. And this coming up episode might be one of my favorite ones.

MATT: Yeah, the opening joke for this next episode made me laugh out loud on the ground for five minutes.

MARISHA: Yes, that's a true story.

LAURA: Don't build it up too much. Now they'll be expecting it, Matt.

MATT: It's the best thing you've ever seen. You will die it's so funny!

MARISHA: Anyway, give him love. Go watch it. It's funny. It's very funny. And he has great things that he boosts.

MATT: Exactly. Let's see. Also, if you guys haven't seen it, we did a fun one-shot game with Kinda Funny, with Greg Miller and their crew up in San Francisco and the episodes have been going up this week, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, finishing with today, so if you want to go check it out, it's a ridiculous two-hour game we played, broken up over four episodes. I think the full episode goes up standalone tomorrow, but it's a lot of fun. We had Travis, Laura and Marisha all playing in that game and–

LAURA: Different characters. We weren't our regular characters, but equally fun, I thought.

MATT: Yeah. Who'd you play?

LAURA: I played Jester, a tiefling cleric.

MATT: Yes, it was delightful. Marisha, what'd you play?

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: What was my character's name?

TRAVIS: Wow!

LAURA: You were a dwarf paladin.

MARISHA: I know, but what was my character's name?

TRAVIS: Holy shit.

LAURA: I don't remember.

MATT: I think it was Scottish McSweedsen. Accent McDialect.

LAURA: Ooh, hello!

MARISHA: Look, a lot's happened in a couple weeks, okay? I've moved, I've had a change of scenery–

MATT: It's true. But yeah, that's fun. Travis, you got to play an Order of the Lycan Blood Hunter.

TRAVIS: I did. McLaren von Tosscobble. Oh, it was fun. He has secrets. And bourbon. He had lots of bourbon.

MATT: So much bourbon. We may have been drinking during that game, I don't know. But go check it out if you haven't. It was a lot of fun. Sam, you had an announcement you wanted to make?

SAM: I play Zedd in the Ratchet and Clank game that just came out.

LIAM: It's a good game.

SAM: It's a good game, it's getting good reviews! I haven't seen what I did in it, but I assume it's nerdy.

MATT: Good man. Fantastical. Liam–

LIAM: Hey man, I know you guys all love Wyrmwood Gaming, but like this free– the shipping is killing me. Well the good news is, if you use the code “critrole” you don't have to pay the shipping, you just pay the cost for the box and they send it to you.

LAURA: Oh. These glorious boxes?

LIAM: These boxes by Wyrmwood Gaming. The code again is “critrole”. Not only that, but they have a Kickstarter going on. They are now selling, or they're kickstarting their Sentinel deck box, which looks like this.

MARISHA: Oh wait, I haven't seen this yet!

LAURA: So wait, this is a regular Sentinel deck box.

LIAM: This is a regular. Now, for fans of the show, you can get our logo etched into any of the boxes at any tier.

LAURA: This is another box. This one has our logo etched into it.

TALIESIN: What does it say at the bottom there?

TRAVIS: You can do a rubbing on the front.

LAURA: It says “How do you want to do this?”

LIAM: But again, if you want to go full Gilmore, we have the Masterworks box, which is freaking gorgeous. The dice go in here, the Bluetooth is hidden in there.

SAM: Bluetooth?!

LIAM: You'll never lose your shit. And then all your cards go there.

SAM: Put your weed in there.

TALIESIN: You're not supposed to just come out and say it.

TRAVIS: Can I do a sleight of hand roll?

LIAM: Lastly, if you go over to their Facebook page right now for Wyrmwood Gaming, they're doing a contest. They're giving away one of these mofos. So all the rules for how the contest works are there. And you can get one of these for looking at their Facebook page.

LAURA: Sweet.

LIAM: Critrole!

LAURA: Crit. Role!

MATT: And last but not least, as the subscriber count continues, we're going to be doing giveaways. We actually got a great gift from Midnight Syndicate, who, those of you who may have paid attention, created a lot of the music that I use during our games. They're a phenomenal group that has incredible tabletop gaming-centric music for all sorts: fantasy, horror, Lovecraft– they have an incredible array of tracks and they sent us a bunch of CDs to give out to you guys. So we are now folding these delightful Midnight Syndicate CDs in as part of the giveaway as well. What's the milestone we're hitting for subscribers?

CREW: I think it's 16,800?

MATT: So 16,800. When we hit that tonight, we'll be giving away the next giveaway, which will include this as well as art posters, and all the other good stuff we give away as part of our subscriber giveaways, so that's cool. Thank you, Midnight Syndicate, you guys are awesome. Check out their stuff on the internet for your own home games. It's brilliant stuff. All righty! So, without further ado, let's get back into the realm of Exandria.

TALIESIN: When we last left off, we were in a cardboard box.

MATT: Yes. In Hobotown, USA.

MARISHA: I knew this day would come.

Part I[]

MATT: So last we left off, Vox Machina, having traversed many places in the world in hopes of finding a way to expel or destroy the Chroma Conclave, a collective of four chromatic dragons that together managed to destroy large bastions of society on the continent of Tal'Dorei and beyond in Wildemount. Thordak, the Cinder King, the seeming leader of their group, currently sits in the center of the partially destroyed city of Emon. The other dragons have scattered about and claimed their own territories. From this, the party has discovered the existence of these legendary magical items, referred to as the Vestiges of Divergence, that existed from wars long past. They were carried on from generation to generation that contain power that may be sufficient to defeat these creatures. You were sent to seek out the nameless sphinx that exists somewhere near the Frostweald. Weeld-weld. It's pronounced so many different ways–

SAM: Which is it? Which is it?

MATT: It can be any of them, it's a magical world. The Frostweald.

LAURA: Oh, it's right in between it.

MATT: It's in that weird place.

TALIESIN: Frost Wilfred Brimley

MATT: Frost Brimley. Frost Brimley is the most dangerous of forests, by the way. Everyone gets diabetes. Sorry. Somewhere the sphinx exists in the Frostweald, which the nameless mate to Osysa, the gynosphinx you met in Vasselheim, sent you to go seek out this information. Upon going to the town of Westruun to the north, it had been partially destroyed by the black dragon Umbrasyl, and in its absence had been taken over by what seems to be Grog's roving barbarian herd.

TRAVIS: Dicks.

LAURA: Total dicks.

MATT: They currently sit on the throne of the town of Westruun and have made some sort of accord with the dragon where they can both simultaneously rule that area as long as they continually provide goods, gold, and whatever they can procure from those who live within the city still. Deciding to continue south, the party made their way into the ever-frozen forest of the Frostweald. You stumbled upon a small hive of basilisks that surrounded an obelisk of Ioun, which gave you your first clue as to the location where this sphinx could be found. You battled the basilisks, destroyed their underground hive, or at least the exit from it, via Fireballs and other such stone wall endeavors. Found amongst the stone ruins of previous victims of the basilisks, you found most of Tyriok Gadsworth, the wandering cartographer, now missing a portion of his right arm. However, he is restored and alive, which is much better than how he was before and is currently leading you guys towards a camp of orcs, supposedly nearby, as some of the survivors of Westruun's destruction were camping far south and some were being captured by this roving orc camp. So you guys have just stepped away from the obelisk and the remains of these basilisks you've slaughtered. As Tyriok leads you guys from where he last saw– at least where he saw some roving orcs before he found himself turned to stone in that previous area. As you travel along, the cold midday air of this forest, there's no wind. It's very still and very quiet, which is unsettling in a place that's so out and open in nature. Your boots are crunching through the snow, step after step, but you're still being as careful and as quiet as you can, moving along. Tyriok is shivering in the cold and one of you manages to pull out one of your extra blankets you have in the Bag of Holding to keep him from going into hypothermia. You guys press on for about ten minutes or so, and he's trying to look around and look at the placement of the sun, look at different areas that he'd seen within the forest and he's thinking to himself. “All right, so I recognize that mountain spire, time of the day, that way is north, west. Follow me!” And he continues to lead you in that direction.

LAURA: And all of that with just a stump.

MATT: Yes. You're terrible.

TRAVIS: Tyriok, do you have a weapon on you?

MATT: “The best weapon I have is right here.”

TRAVIS: Yeah, right, on your way, lad. (whispers) He's going to die first.

MATT: He's trouncing through the snow, little bit ahead, stopping, looking about, before you realize that he's a huge target, he's making a lot of noise.

MARISHA: Didn't we discuss sending him home?

LAURA: No, he had to show us where the orcs were.

TRAVIS: Yeah, I said he shouldn't come, but no–

LAURA: Did I cast Pass Without a Trace on us before we headed out?

MATT: You cast it before the battle. I don't recall if you cast it afterwards.

LAURA: Then I'll cast it again so that he's incorporated in it and I think we should try to stealth it.

MATT: Okay.

TRAVIS: You going to tell him?

LAURA: Hey. Hey, Wonderbrain.

MATT: “Yes?”

LAURA: I think it would be smart if we moved as quietly as possible.

MATT: “Why, that's what I was doing. Perhaps I should stand in the back, then, if you guys want to go… Loosely that way, about 300 paces to the right of the second stone you see with the large outcropping that looks like a gorilla's face, and then continue. I'll guide you from back here.”

TRAVIS: Yeah, that sounds legit.

MATT: He steps to the back.

LAURA: You know, keep a distance. When you hear no more fighting, it's probably safe. Probably.

MATT: “Okay, okay.”

LIAM: I walk up alongside him and say, listen, I know you're not used to weaponry, but take this, please. It's a loaner. And I take my Keen Dagger and I stick it in his hand.

LAURA: What? No, don't– I take it back and I give another dagger to him.

LIAM: I give him the Keen Dagger and say, hold this. It's a loner. It's very sharp. Be careful with it, all right? If you get caught on your own, stab. That's all you got to do, is stab.

TALIESIN: Stab the other person, not yourself.

MATT: His eyes don't leave the blade and he goes, “Okay.”

LAURA: Don't accidentally stab yourself because I think it sucks your life energy out of you.

LIAM: That is not what that does.

LAURA: Yes it does, it definitely sucks your life.

MATT: Make a deception check.

LIAM: At a disadvantage since I contradicted her?

LAURA: 25.

MATT: Make a persuasion check.

LIAM: That's another knife I have.

TRAVIS: Oh really?

LIAM: Yes.

LAURA: Oh!

TRAVIS: That's a giant die.

LAURA: It's not above 25.

LIAM: 15. It's 15.

MATT: He goes, “Perhaps this is best suited for someone who knows how to wield such dark powers.”

LAURA: I think you are so right. And I'll take that from you. And in exchange, I will give you this wonderful opal dagger that I have on my person.

MATT: “Oh. This is more my speed.”

LAURA: Still very sharp.

TRAVIS: You know what that one does? It makes you infertile.

LIAM: Give me this, you fucking hoarder. What's the matter with you? What are you–

TRAVIS: Yeah, can you feel it in your little bits rumbling? They're all going to sleep forever.

MATT: “Perhaps you have a third or fourth dagger I can try.”

LAURA: What? What did he just tell you? I wasn't paying attention.

TRAVIS: Look, I'm a man of the truth.

LAURA: He's lying. He always lies, don't pay any attention to him. You're safe with that.

LIAM: I push him off, ten feet away from the group, and I pull out the same Keen Dagger–

LAURA: Jesus!

LIAM: Here's a different one. This is a normal dagger.

MATT: “How about I take no dagger and I stay away from this? You guys are starting to be a little weird.” And he hands you the secondary dagger and he puts his one hand up.

LIAM: I just don't want what happened to you before to happen again, all right? You can even put it in your belt, just have it. All right? It's a normal dagger, it's fine. My sister is intimidating.

MATT: “To say the least. All right.”

MARISHA: Vax, just because he's holding a dagger doesn't mean he's going to be successful at using it.

LIAM: What?

MARISHA: You're wasting your time– never mind.

LIAM: Hold on to it.

MATT: “Okay.” As you guys start walking, his eyes don't leave the blade as he takes each step and (whoosh).

LAURA: And then as he walks away, it poofs back into his fucking belt.

LIAM: No, it doesn't.

TRAVIS: All right, so we head towards the outcropping that looks like a gorilla's face.

MATT: Okay, so I'll have you guys all roll a perception check, if you could.

TRAVIS: Perception check. First one!

MARISHA: Heh, natural 19.

LAURA: I don't see anything at all.

TRAVIS: Ten.

LAURA: One.

LIAM: 22.

MARISHA: 29.

TALIESIN: 26.

SAM: Three.

LAURA: Off to the races.

MARISHA: No, I'm sorry, 30. 30.

TRAVIS: What?!

MARISHA: I rolled a 19, my Perception's 11.

TALIESIN: I think you notice things and have an epiphany at that point.

MATT: As you guys are walking, Keyleth shoots her arms out in a stop motion, and you look off and you can see past the clump of trees, maybe 60 feet ahead of you guys, two hulking-looking humanoids tromping through the snow, dragging something behind them. You hear the distant crunch of the snow and there's shape, but it's darker in the area where they are in the distance. Can't really make out a form, but you figure these are probably orcish in nature based on their gait and their outline.

LAURA: (whispers) What is it?

MARISHA: I look at the group and I go–

TRAVIS: Two deer. Santa Claus.

LAURA: Hello, salute, running away.

SAM: Milking a cow.

LIAM: Cha-cha slide.

LAURA: Use your words, Keyleth. Talk.

MARISHA: Okay, okay. it looked like there were two orcs and they were carrying a body.

LAURA: Are they headed this way?

MARISHA: No, they're headed away from us, correct? Away, they're going away?

MATT: Eh, parallel, a little bit away.

LAURA: So I cast Pass Without a Trace on us, so should we stealth?

MATT: Have you guys all roll stealth now.

TRAVIS: Still flat grassland, or are there some trees?

MATT: Well, you guys are in the center of the Frostweald. So it's relatively thick trees, relative canopy.

TALIESIN: Rolling stealth plus ten.

MARISHA: Thank goodness. 22.

TALIESIN: 26.

SAM: 15.

LIAM: 45.

LAURA: 29. What?!

TRAVIS: 26.

MARISHA: You got a natural 20?

TRAVIS: 45, holy shit.

TALIESIN: You don't know where you are anymore at that point.

LIAM: I am one-dimensional.

MATT: So what are you guys going to do?

LAURA: He's a dot.

TRAVIS: From our previous time in the Frostweald, we don't recognize any of this terrain right?

MATT: I mean, you recognize the terrain. It's a large forest.

TRAVIS: No landmarks, no lakes?

MATT: Not nearby, none that you've seen at least. If you want to go look for that, you could, but–

TRAVIS: Are there any paths in front of us, or is it just trees and intermittent terrain?

MATT: If there are paths, they're under so much snow and relatively fresh snow that's perpetually piled on this region, they're not visible at the moment. You can occasional hoofprints in the snow from some wildlife that might live in the vicinity of the forest.

TRAVIS: Don't you like this terrain?

LAURA: I do.

TRAVIS: Well, so what should we do?

LIAM: We're looking for orcs. They're what we're looking for. Aren't they going where we want to go?

TALIESIN: Let's pace and slowly approach.

LAURA: I like it. Can I search the ground and see if there are a lot of tracks around? Or is this like a roaming party?

MATT: From what you can see around, you don't see any tracks from them specifically in front of you, from where they're traveling, it appears to just be the two of them right now. They're either scouts or hunters, and the closer you guys, as you slowly approach, to get a better view, they're both dragging what look to be like two boars that were killed, are currently being dragged by their legs over their shoulders, leaving a trail of crimson in the snow behind them.

LAURA: I think we should take them out before they get back to their group.

SAM: Wait. What is our overall goal here? Are we to slay a bunch of orcs or are we to follow them somewhere?

LAURA: We're supposed to slay them and stop them from–

TRAVIS: Number two and then number one. Follow them and then kill the rest.

LIAM: We want to get rid of all of them, so follow these guys back to the bee's nest and we can take care of the hive.

SAM: Okay, well let's follow silently.

LIAM: Why don't I go a little bit ahead, you follow behind by about 50 paces and the rest of the group behind you?

LAURA: But what if we kill them now, we won't have to fight them–

SAM: Then we won't know where the camp is.

LAURA: But I can follow tracks.

SAM: Oh. Can you?

MARISHA: There won't be tracks if they're dead.

LIAM: They're not coming from where they're from, they're going.

SAM: They were just hunting.

LAURA: Fine! Fuck it!

SAM: Let's follow them.

MATT: So you guys–

TRAVIS: We follow them.

MATT: Okay, you don't catch up, you follow.

TRAVIS: At a safe distance.

MATT: Okay. So you guys continue moving forward, watching them as they go, at a far enough distance. Pike's doing her best to walk behind in the snow, but it's okay! She's barely moving her upper body to make sure it's minimal amount of movement.

LIAM: I'm not far ahead, but I'm ahead. I'm like 30 yards ahead.

MATT: Yeah. Listening out, you can hear the occasional laughter, too far away to hear any sort of language, not that I think you understand or know the language Orcish, but eventually they come over a hill, and down, and you see it first as you crest over. You can see there is a small clearing in the forest of this area, where there are two tents, what looks to be relatively filth-stained tents, like they've been used for an extended period of time, covered in dirt and mud and other things. You can see a small pile of skinned bodies to a side of one of the tents.

LAURA: (whispers) Oh! They're definitely bad.

SAM: (whispers) I don't know.

MATT: There's a large stump next to it, with a trail of blood that leads up to it. You can see there are two small fires that are set in the center of this area, where they're keeping warm to themselves. And these bundled-up orcs are sitting around the fires, drinking. You can see some of them have random silver mugs or cups, some have steins, some have carved pieces of bark that are used as a means of drinking. You can see outside of these tents what appear to be large barrels or casks of wine or liquor that have been probably raided from the camp they found outside of the lake. You can see a couple of them are much larger than the other orcs. One of them is sitting down by the fire and is chuckling with the rest. You see to the back of the camp, there is one that's taking javelins and chucking them up in the air, and they're arcing through. And every time he chucks one, you hear a (scared noise), and as soon as you move to the edge of it, you look over and there is a young man who's strung up by his torso from one of the trees and it looks like a few of the orcs are making target practice. They've already hit him twice. There's one that's sticking out of his thigh and another one that's embedded itself in his shoulder, and little trails of blood streaking down, but he is currently strung up like a piñata and they're having fun with him. You take a moment as the rest of the group catches up to you on the edge and you can see there are a few other people being kept inside the tents right now. One large orc musters out, adorned in thicker armor than the rest of them. He has a band across his head with a big old rough, uncut gem on the front. He starts barking out orders to a few of them. One of the larger ones stands up, and he's probably a good foot taller than the other orcs, lumbers to the back of the two tents and you can see there are two bears that are currently chained up to the back. He reaches over and grabs one of the skinned bodies from the side of the tent and throws it to the two bears and they immediately start tearing it apart and eating it. At this point the rest of the party catches up to you.

LIAM: Okay, so I saw that.

MATT: Yes.

LIAM: Okay. But they're still a ways off, right?

MATT: In fact, I could probably show you now. Since you have–

SAM: Whoa! It's a cozy camp.

LAURA: Oh my god, look at that camp!

SAM: There's fire, there's bears.

LAURA: Where are the wine barrels?

MATT: The barrels are right there, right there, and right there.

SAM: Oh, there's the guy hanging up in the tree!

MARISHA: Where, where, where? Can you point out those barrels one more time?

MATT: There, there, and there.

LAURA: So next to the tents that the prisoners are being kept in.

MATT: Yes.

SAM: Okay. We have options, people.

MATT: They haven't noticed you.

LIAM: How far back are we?

MATT: You are probably back here, a good 60 feet outside of the outskirts of the camp. They don't seem to have noticed your approach and this is entirely however you guys want to approach this.

LIAM: All right, well, I turn back to the group.

LAURA: What time of day is it?

MATT: It's mid-afternoon.

SAM: Can we rest? Are we rested? Yeah, we had a night in the– wait, no. We just killed those–

MATT: No, you haven't rested since the basilisks.

SAM: Okay, so we're down a couple spells, or whatever.

MARISHA: Yeah, but I'm full on hit points. Is anyone hurt?

LAURA: Well, I'm a little hurt.

MATT: It was a bump in the road, the basilisks.

SAM: Yeah. Okay. Hey, oi! So do I create a distraction while you go around back? Do we go in guns blazing? What's the plan? I can distract.

LAURA: I think it would be good to create a distraction. We go in, save the prisoners and then take out the camp.

SAM: So a distraction that would get everyone to run towards me and ignore you?

LAURA: And then we can stealth down–

LIAM: Can we go around the sides–

MARISHA: Flank them?

LIAM: Flank them ahead of time. Scanlan, you create a distraction–

MARISHA: As they're running–

LIAM: – closer to here?

SAM: Sure.

LIAM: You want to get that guy down to the treeline and get the people out.

SAM: Sure. I'll draw them away from the tents.

LAURA: Okay. And then, once everyone's clear, we bring them back and kill them all? Or what?

LIAM: Well, this may be it for orcs? This could be all of them, or it could be just a forward camp, so we need to keep one alive.

LAURA: And find out.

LIAM: And find out if this is the end of it, or if there's more.

TALIESIN: That's fair.

TRAVIS: Good thinking.

LAURA: How do we get all the prisoners out very quickly?

TALIESIN: You have knives. You could cut your way through the back of the tent.

LAURA: Scanlan, could you potentially put all the people in the door?

SAM: No. That is for my recreational use only. Also takes a minute to cast.

MARISHA: Well, Scanlan can create a distraction, I can possibly take a few people out with my ranged spells along the way.

LAURA: I'm saying get the prisoners safe so that nobody's running blindly into the forest.

LIAM: I've lost track of all you've done in the past 24 hours. Could you send everybody through a tree, even back to where their people are?

MARISHA: Not today.

LAURA: What if you spent some time, a minute, creating your mansion, you have a little door here. Once you've created a distraction, we can all run up and put them in the door and then we fight. And then we get the people out of the mansion.

LIAM: Yes, that's good. That's good.

SAM: Interesting idea. It's an interesting idea.

TRAVIS: I kind of like it.

SAM: I like it too.

LIAM: They can go down to the workout room, so they don't soil the other chambers.

SAM: It's not concentration. I mean, it's concentration for a minute, but then after it's cast, it's okay.

MATT: Once it's cast, it's 24 hours that door stays there.

TRAVIS: Yeah, all your little Mr. Meeseeks will take care of them.

SAM: But we still have to get them out of the camp and into the door, unless I make the door in the camp.

TALIESIN: Make the door, make the door at the back of the camp. And that way, we can run them out the back of the tents.

LAURA: Not near the bears.

LIAM: You need to go full Burt Reynolds out in front of that camp and get the bulk of them running towards you.

SAM: I can't do both.

TALIESIN: Make the door first.

TRAVIS: No, no, hey look. I'm good for a distraction.

LIAM: Blow your shawm.

SAM: I'm fine with distractions, but I can't go to the back of the camp and set a door and to the front of the camp and draw them out.

MARISHA: Let Scanlan handle– I almost called him Scandal, which is still appropriate. Let Scanlan handle the door, I can handle the distraction.

LAURA: Okay.

LIAM and TALIESIN: All right

LAURA: All right, so we sneak around to the back.

SAM: I'm really good at distractions.

MARISHA: You are, you're incredibly good at distractions.

LIAM: But you're the only one who can make a Hefner mansion out of thin air.

SAM: So I'm to sneak in and make a door and await further instructions?

LIAM: We'll all go together.

LAURA: We'll make the door far enough away.

LIAM: Wait, Keyleth does the distraction. As soon as she goes, you go. So once those guys start running towards her–

SAM: How far away are we?

MATT: You guys are probably about 60 feet away from the far outside of the campline, so around this ring here, just outside of where the table edges are.

SAM: But we're talking like 150 feet? 200 feet?

MATT: You're probably closer to about 60 feet away right now, you can move for–

SAM: Okay, well, we're fine. I can make the door from 300 feet away. So we're fine. So I can make the door right now before we do anything.

LAURA: Do it, make the door!

SAM: Except there's going to be a glowing door in their camp.

LAURA: Make the door behind one of those trees.

SAM: All right. Okay, I'm going to go ahead and do it.

TRAVIS: Yeah, fuck it, just do it.

LAURA: Get ready to do a distraction right fucking now.

LIAM: But you know what you're doing, right? Wait! Let's get in position! You and I can do a lot more hurt to these guys if we're closer to the position we have to go?

SAM: All right, flank around, flank around. It's going to take me a minute to cast the spell. You have a minute to get into position.

MATT: So who all's flanking around? All right, so the twins and Percy, where are you guys going?

LIAM: I'll take the long way around, this way.

MATT: Over here?

TRAVIS: Far side?

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: Okay, so.

LIAM: With an eye for the shithead who's tormenting that guy in the tree.

MATT: All right, are you going with him?

LAURA: No, I'm staying on the other side.

MATT: Okay, Percy, you're going with Vax?

TALIESIN: I'm going to go, actually, right over here. I'm going to hide over here and I'm going to try and get a bead on the guy on the tree.

MATT: Okay, easy enough. You get a bead on him, in the outskirts there.

TRAVIS: Pike and I will go with Vax.

SAM: Oh, she's not a good sneaker.

TRAVIS: Oh no, you're right, she should stay put. You're right.

MATT: You're going to be right there.

LAURA: Charge in after the distraction.

MATT: So Grog, where are you going?

TRAVIS: I'll go with Vax.

MATT: Vax? All right, so you make your way around. Keeping your guys' existing stealth checks, which were okay.

TRAVIS: Yeah, I was a 25.

LIAM: 45.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: Oh, Pike did come? We said Pike could stay, because she's not stealthy.

MATT: Not stealthy. Okay then. She stays there. So Pike's going to go– Scanlan, you're moving back? Where are you going?

SAM: I'm staying next to Keyleth because I can do this from a range.

MATT: Where do you guys want to go– Keyleth, for this distraction?

MARISHA: Where's Scanlan?

SAM: Wait, don't do the distraction yet! I haven't set the–

MATT: Where do you guys want to set up for the distraction?

MARISHA: Where did you go, Scanlan?

SAM: I'm right next to you. We want to do it–

MARISHA: Yeah, we want to do it towards us.

SAM: We want to distract around here.

LAURA: And then run the other direction.

MARISHA: Yes.

MATT: All right, so you guys are set up right about there.

MARISHA: No, that's where we wanted– Put us more–

SAM: No, he knows. We're back right now, but that's where we will end up.

MATT: You're further back. I can only put you so far away from the table edge.

MARISHA: No, that's good, that's good, that's good.

MATT: All right, Pike's going to stay up with you, since you have the bead right now and if worse comes to worst, she can help rush in and try and help at that point. All right, so who's doing what?

SAM: I'm going to start casting the door.

MATT: All right.

SAM: And I'm going to do it back behind camp, on the treeline or whatever.

MATT: Okay, back far this way?

SAM: You know, just out of eyeshot of them.

MATT: Okay, I'll put this little dice on the corner to represent where the door is.

LAURA: Yeah, that's good, that's good.

LIAM: I turn to Grog.

TRAVIS: Yeah?

LIAM: I'm moving a little closer, just a bit, stay there.

TRAVIS: Come with you?

LIAM: The opposite of that.

TRAVIS: Go away from you?

LIAM: This is your spot, this is your spot! And I creep towards the trees, a tree closest to me, so I can get closer. Which is the orc that's throwing the javelins on that map?

MATT: These two right here are taking turns.

LIAM: Okay.

MATT: At this point, you hear another (grunt, scream), and then some (condescending laughter). Oh, moving up to here?

LIAM: The other tree closer to you.

MATT: Right there?

LIAM: Yeah, and I'll hold there.

MATT: All right. Who's up next? Who's doing what?

TALIESIN: Waiting for the distraction.

SAM: Do you want me to go in and you can cast something? I'll get their attention and you can cast something?

MARISHA: Sure.

SAM: Okay.

MARISHA: Can I have a Monster Manual?

MATT: For what?

MARISHA: Conjure Woodland Beings?

LIAM: Do you want the app?

MARISHA: Maybe.

SAM: There's not many that you can conjure. It's pixies and little things.

LAURA: Yeah, that's little creatures.

SAM: It's okay, she knows what she's doing. No, she doesn't.

MARISHA: Well, I can conjure a bunch of little creatures.

LIAM: You can search. Search!

TRAVIS: If you make a bunch of David the Gnomes–

LAURA: Seriously, like a giant scorpion would be probably pretty cool.

LIAM: Fire elemental? Big, bright fire elemental?

MARISHA: Yeah, but then it wouldn't be me. It'd be something else that's not me that I can control?

MATT: Percy's taking the bead, waiting for the distraction.

TALIESIN: Just do it!

MARISHA: Okay, I'm going to say Conjure Woodland Beings.

MATT: What are you conjuring?

MARISHA: I don't know.

MATT: You have to know what you're doing.

MARISHA: Well, that's what I'm trying to figure out. You know, there's not a list of what you can conjure in the book.

SAM: No, there's not.

MARISHA: And it's very unfortunate. And it's some kind of fey creature. So what's a fey creature that's a challenge rating of two that would make sense? That's really scary?

LAURA: Fairies?

MARISHA: Or I can also summon like eight fairies if they're a low enough, you know–

MATT: I hate conjuration spells, by the way guys, so you all know. The worst spells in the whole game.

SAM: I will say this, to be fair to Marisha, the spell does say, your DM will have a list of the creatures.

(laughter)

MATT: Does it really?

SAM: It does, at the end of the spell.

MATT: Fuck that spell.

(laughter)

MARISHA: Yeah it says the DM will have the statistics.

SAM: It says the DM will have the creatures.

MATT: Fuck that spell. Conjuration needs to die. No, conjuration's great, when you're not the DM.

TRAVIS: You don't know me, you don't know what lists I have.

MATT: How about some dryads?

MARISHA: Dryads?

MATT: We'll go see what their challenge rating is.

MARISHA: That sounds cool.

MATT: Past the devils.

LIAM: I'll give you level-two challenge rating.

MATT: And no, we're not doing the whole pixies Polymorph. That's so dumb. Not even going to lie.

MARISHA: Challenge rating of two.

MATT: Challenge rating of one.

MARISHA: It's got to be a fey. Oh, it only has a challenge rating of one?

LAURA and LIAM: Centaur!

MARISHA: What are centaurs?

SAM: Centaurs are not fey, are they?

MARISHA: Apparently.

LAURA: They are!

LIAM: Green dragon wyrmling!

TRAVIS: I'm getting bored.

MATT: I don't think centaurs are fey.

MARISHA: Okay. Well then, let's do two dryads.

MATT: Two dryads. You can do up to two challenge rating–

TALIESIN: (sings) Five gold rings!

MARISHA: Two triads. Dryads. I don't know what it is.

LIAM: Will o' the wisp!

MARISHA: Two dryads.

MATT: We will say here, two dryads. Where are they going?

MARISHA: Right in where–

SAM: Front and center.

MARISHA: Thank you. Yep, here. Ish.

SAM: See this, Matt?

MARISHA: Here. No, there.

MATT: Right there?

MARISHA: Yeah that's a little out. And Scanlan and I are far back.

MATT: Now, suddenly the dryads pop into being and these two humanoid green nature entities that look humanoid but are covered with leaves and their skin has the texture of bark in places. Beautiful, wistful, both appear, summoned out of the ether and land on the snow.

LIAM: Crunch.

MATT: The ground gives out from under them, they both go, (screams) and fall into a pit here.

SAM: Oh shit!

MARISHA: See, aren't you glad that wasn't me?

SAM: Yeah. Good job.

LIAM: Couldn't have gone with the will o' the wisp.

TRAVIS: A pit?

LIAM: They would have floated right above it.

MATT: This whole section here has now crumpled below. The dryads, however, have to make a save.

LAURA: Oh my god.

MATT: One of them saves.

LIAM: But that wasn't us!

MARISHA: That wasn't us!

MATT: That wasn't you guys. Like right there? Okay!

MARISHA: Wasn't me! It's all I care about!

MATT: All right.

TALIESIN: This is the most Douglas Adams beginning of a fight ever.

MATT: One dryad dies a horrible screaming death. (screams) And the other one you hear is breathing heavily from the inside right now.

MARISHA: Keyleth is standing at the edge of the forest going–

MATT: At which point, a bunch of the orcs turn around. I need both of you guys to– let's see, because they're making active perception. What was your stealth check, Sam?

SAM: 15, but it doesn't matter. I'm walking forward.

MATT: (chuckles) Okay.

SAM: I'm going to cast the Resilient Sphere on myself. And I'm going to roll into camp. Hamster-style.

MARISHA: Wait, can I go with you a little bit?

SAM: Don't.

MARISHA: Can I do a thing with him?

TRAVIS: If he says don't, then–

LAURA: Then probably don't.

LIAM: No, let him do his thing. It's marble madness, everybody.

SAM: I'm going to start singing to get their attention. (sings 'Tro-lo-lo')

MARISHA: Just avoid the pit!

MATT: All right. All 60 feet, you avoid the pit, you roll around, all the orcs look over. “Huh? "Stupid gnome!”

SAM: Very stupid.

MATT: Initiative has now kicked in; I need everyone to roll initiative. (laughs)

TRAVIS: Holy shit.

MATT: Jesus Christ.

MARISHA: Oh, that's a good roll!

MATT: All right, so–

TALIESIN: Oh, hell yes.

MARISHA: Spent all that time figuring out what I was going to do and then they fell in a crack.

SAM: You did great! You exposed the trap! You saved–

LAURA: It's true!

TALIESIN: If you'd conjured a will-o'-wisp, it would have been you in that hole.

SAM: If I had just gone out, I would have fallen in the hole!

LIAM: It's all right, Wendy will draw some dryads falling into the spikes–

MATT: Initiative orders. 25 to 20?

LIAM: 25.

TALIESIN: 24.

MATT: Whoa.

MARISHA: 21.

MATT: All right, 25. So we have Vax. 24, Percy.

MARISHA: 21.

TRAVIS: And 20.

MATT: Keyleth and Grog. Oh man.

MATT: All right, 20 to 15.

LAURA: 16.

MATT: 16. Vex. And then Pike, right after you!

SAM: 11.

MATT: 11. Tyriok is hidden away. As you guys begin to approach the camp, he's like, “I'm going to stay back here.” So he's way out of the field now. Scanlan bringing up the rear. As he would want to. All right. So that brings us to the top of the combat round. All the orcs now have stood up, grabbed their weapons, and they see this giant hamster wheel of a gnome rolling into the camp. They all look really confused but have their weapons ready to go. Vax, you're up first.

LIAM: Poo.

MARISHA: The door's already summoned, yeah?

LIAM: What are we doing, are we waiting, are we going? I– I'm going to sling a dagger. I'm going to click my Boots of Haste. I did? Then I'm going to sling a dagger.

MATT: You used them on the basilisk fight.

LIAM: Great, thank you. I'm going to sling a dagger at the orc right in front of those two bears.

MATT: Right there?

LIAM: There. Yeah.

MATT: All right, go for it.

LIAM: All right. So advantage.

SAM: We're still trying to draw them out, right?

LAURA: Yeah.

LIAM: I got a 21.

MATT: 21 hits.

LIAM: Okay. All right. So I'm going to roll for damage. So this is Assassin. It is not surprise?

MATT: Not surprise. They have been made aware that there is a threat, as Scanlan rolled in. You do have advantage because he doesn't see you. So it would sneak attack.

TRAVIS: In his gerbil ball.

LIAM: Here comes the sneak attack damage, Two, four, that was the worst sneak attack damage ever. (counting) 29.

MATT: 29 points of piercing damage. The giant creature, as the dagger (whoosh) through the air, doesn't even notice it. It's looking over where Scanlan is and is grabbing the chains and breaking them from where the bears are currently bound.

SAM: Oh shit.

MATT: Hasn't broken them yet, he's going in for the pull as the dagger (impacts) the back of its neck and it's looking over in the direction where it came from. What are you doing?

LIAM: I would like to use my bonus action to hide.

MATT: Okay, go ahead and go for it. Roll for stealth.

LIAM: 30.

MATT: 30? He glances over in your direction, looks up, looks in the other direction, reaches up and goes to pull the dagger out, but it's already gone.

LAURA: That's so sneaky.

MATT: (roars) And angrily yells out into nothing. Has no idea where you are.

LIAM: And then I'm going to use my movement to squish down into the snow a bit, up to here, feathers sticking out a little bit.

MATT: Awesome. Ends Vax's turn. Percy, you're up.

TALIESIN: Amazingly, I've got a bead on that guy who's trying to let the bears out of their chains.

MATT: You do, actually. Yes.

TALIESIN: I'm going to take Bad News and I'm going to sit and take a nice calm breath, and I'm going to squeeze off a shot and knock him on his ass, so this is a trick shot, leg hit.

MATT: Go for it.

TALIESIN: Wait, before I do anything, I still can use Hex because the last creature to have Hex on them died, so I can use it as a bonus action to cast Hex again, can't I?

MATT: Correct. How long does it last, though?

TALIESIN: Couple hours, I believe.

MATT: I will check.

TALIESIN: Might have been too long.

MATT: It's been about an hour or so since that last encounter as you were travelling through the forest, so with Hex, up to an hour. Yeah, unfortunately.

TALIESIN: Oh, fuck it. And it's a full day's rest? It's a long rest.

MATT: For you, yeah. 'Cause it's the feat as opposed to an actual class feature. All right, taking your aim.

TALIESIN: That's fine! Taking that shot.

MATT: Sharpshooter or not?

TALIESIN: No, not Sharpshooter. That's 24 to hit.

MATT: 24 hits! Heavy plate armor covered orc-like creature. Bigger than a regular orc that you've seen before.

TALIESIN: He has a strength saving throw?

MATT: Yes, he does.

TRAVIS: Which one is he?

MATT: That is going to be a nine, 'cause he rolled really bad.

TALIESIN: Yeah, no, he's prone.

MATT: So with that (impact).

TALIESIN: He also takes 15 points of piercing damage.

MATT: 15 points of piercing damage. As you (gunshot) rockets off, the sound cracks through the air. All the orcs now glance over in your direction, as the bullet streaks past them, tickling the bottom of the feet of the guy who's strung up, and slamming into the chest of the armored orc. Lands straight on his back on the ground right there.

TALIESIN: Cool.

MATT: All right.

TALIESIN: All right. I'm going to move to my right six spaces and I'm going to take another shot at the guy who's right ahead of us, in front of the pit.

MATT: Right there?

TALIESIN: Yeah, right there. I'm going to take a Sharpshooter shot.

MATT: Go for it. You reload and then the third attack for the shot.

TALIESIN: Yep. Whoa, that's nice. 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23. 27. That hits. That's ridiculous.

MATT: Is that even with Sharpshooter?

TALIESIN: Yeah. I rolled an 18.

MATT: (chuckle) All righty.

TALIESIN: So that's a better roll? A better roll. That was a pretty good roll. 16, 17, 17, 27– 33 points of damage.

MATT: 33 points of damage. You blow that orc's head clear off its shoulder. Spray of mist comes out the top of his form, as he slumps down into the fire in front of him. Two other orcs look over at you, who are now clearly visible. (grunts)

TALIESIN: I put down the gun and I breathe.

MATT: (chuckles) All right, that ends your turn. Brings us to Keyleth.

MARISHA: Okay, you mentioned that a few were coming over and looking over at the edge of the pit. Are there still a few more at the edge of the pit?

MATT: They weren't coming and looking at the edge of the pit, they all looked over in the direction of where Scanlan was rolling in, around the center. They're all still in place watching this giant gnome roll in, but some of them have looked over at Percy, who's firing a very loud weapon in their vicinity.

TALIESIN: I figured I would be part of the distraction.

MARISHA: Sure. How far away is that guy from the pit?

MATT: He's about 15 feet.

MARISHA: Okay, here's what I want to do. I'm going to go earth elemental, but I want to, like, do it like a badass, you know? So I see Scanlan–

MATT: Did you use your scorpion form?

MARISHA: Fuck! I did use scorpion. Fuck, damn it, we haven't taken a short rest.

MATT: You haven't taken a short rest. Yeah, so you can't–

MARISHA: Then I don't do any of that. Instead, where's Scanlan?

MATT: Scanlan is right here.

TALIESIN: I thought we had taken a short rest, just not a long rest.

MATT: Between?

TALIESIN: Yeah. 'Cause we stopped and we healed.

MATT: You know what? You may have, yeah! If you want to do that, I'll let you do it.

MARISHA: Did we? Are you sure?

SAM: We healed up each other.

MARISHA: All right, fine!

MATT: We'll say we allowed a short rest, that way you were reviving Tyriok and everything. That's fine.

MARISHA: Okay, so I walk and I sink into the ground as I'm walking off, and I want to pop up next to this guy.

MATT: All right.

MARISHA: And I want to throw his ass in the pit.

(cheering)

MARISHA: (yelling) This. Is. Vox Machina! …Town.

MATT: All right, go ahead and make an athletics check.

MARISHA: …Territory. Strength check?

MATT: You know what, this would be strength. Yeah, we'll make it strength.

MARISHA: 17.

MATT: 17? Okay. The orc looks as you (explosion) out of the snow and rock being thrown out of the area, and, “Huh?” looks over his shoulder at you with confused look, goes to wring the edge of this giant club it's holding to come towards you as you grab both shoulders, gives you this look of utter, sheer fear, as you lift him up and lob him over the side into the pit.

TALIESIN: That dryad can help kill him now.

MATT: Yeah, he does not make his save.

SAM: Oh no, is he going to crush the dryad?

MARISHA: He's going to get crushed. He's going to crush the dryad.

MATT: 28 points of damage. Yeah, you hear a (pained grunt).

SAM: He died?

MATT: You don't know.

LAURA: Do we also hear a little dryad voice?

MATT: (high-pitched grunt)

(laughter)

MATT: As it gets sandwiched.

LIAM: Pushed it through.

MATT: The dryad was almost out of the pit, climbing her way out (heavy landing). All right, so Keyleth, does that end your turn?

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: All right, Grog, you're up.

TRAVIS: I'm going to hold my turn until all of our party has gone.

MATT: So I'll let you go to the back of the initiative order.

TRAVIS: Okay, yeah, sure.

MATT: All righty. Vex? What you got?

LAURA: I'm going to run forward. Well, actually, I'm going to stay hidden. Okay. I'm going to–

SAM: Those seem like opposite commands.

LAURA: I know, I know, I know. Can I stealth forward?

MATT: I mean, no one seems to have noticed you at the moment.

LAURA: Okay, good, then I stealth forward, towards the camp, towards the tent, away, staying away from people. Yeah. Is that as far as I can go in, towards the tent?

MATT: Six spaces, yeah, 'cause you don't have any additional movement from there.

LAURA: Then I'm going to stealthily–

MATT: You can keep moving if you use the rest of your action to move again.

LAURA: I'll be able to get to it on my next turn? To the tent?

MATT: Yeah.

LAURA: Okay. Then I'll shoot one of the guys.

MATT: All right, which one do you want to shoot?

LAURA: That–

MATT: The one right there?

LAURA: Yeah. That's really hard to hold steady. Yeah, I'm going to shoot him.

MATT: Okay, go for it. Both attacks?

LAURA: Yeah. 18 on the first.

MATT: 18 just barely hits.

LAURA: And 30 on the second?

MATT: That hits. Roll damage twice on that.

LAURA: Okay. 15, 16, 17. And that's sneak attack?

MATT: Yes, on the first one. So roll an additional–

LAURA: Five is 22?

MATT: 22 points of damage for the first arrow. Nice. Second attack?

LAURA: Second attack is five, seven, 13, no 14. 12? I can add. 13, 14. Oh no, I don't get sneak attack on the second.

MATT: No, just the first one.

LAURA: 14 on the second attack.

MATT: 14. Nice. You pull two arrows out and release them both at once. As you duck behind the tree, the guy who's pulled out this giant greataxe and is now starting to lumber in the direction of Keyleth, this giant earth elemental that burst out of the ground. Both arrows sink in.

LAURA: I use my bonus action to hide.

MATT: Go ahead and roll stealth again. As both arrows sink into the back of the armor, piercing through, and embedding themselves a few inches or more into the back of this, this creature looks over its shoulder towards you. What'd you roll?

LAURA: 36.

MATT: 36? Glances back over. Doesn't seem to have any idea where the arrows came from, but is grimacing in the pain. End your turn? All right, Pike, now, is going to–

LAURA: Oh, Pike!

MATT: As everyone's scattered about, Pike is going to move forward. Let's see here. Yeah, going to do what Pike would do.

TRAVIS: Guiding Bolt.

MATT: Guiding Bolt!

(laughter)

TRAVIS: Yes!

LIAM, LAURA, and TRAVIS: Yeah!

LAURA: But she's really strong now, with the Guiding Bolt. Yeah!

MARISHA: WWPD. What would Pike do?

MATT: So Pike is going aim it at one of the guys, one of the guys with the javelins that was throwing at the guy, to prevent that from happening. Guiding Bolt on that. Ranged spell attack– oh yeah, that'll hit. That's a 15 plus six. Yeah, that hits.

LIAM: Come on, Trickfoot!

MATT: All righty, that's 4d6 radiant damage to that guy.

LIAM: Dag, yo!

TRAVIS: 4d6?

MATT: 4d6. 15 radiant damage.

ALL: Oh.

TRAVIS: You roll her really well.

MATT: 15 points of radiant damage, the next attack against that guy has advantage, as he's now a giant beacon, as the blast streaks forward from her extended hand, smashes into the front of this orc, drops the javelin in his hand, spins around, looking in the direction she came from and you can now see there's this glow pulsing off the front of his armor. That's going to go ahead and end her turn, bringing us down to their turn. Now, this guy is going to try and get back up. He's going to bring down his greataxe onto the chains he was setting up, he was going to try and break them. Now he's going to smash it down. Breaks both of the chains and both of the bears are now free.

TALIESIN: He's prone, though, can he do that?

SAM: He just got up.

MATT: He got up. He can still only move three more squares, there. That's going to finish his turn. This guy here is going to lurch forward in the front of you, Keyleth, and take two swings with his greataxe towards you. That is a 17 to hit?

MARISHA: 17 is my natural armor.

MATT: All right, so that hits. And then that is an 18. 17 and 18 both hit you. You take 24 points of slashing damage, as each smash of the greataxe streaks across the front of the stony armor that you wear, breaking off chunks here and there, but there's plenty more where that came from as an earth elemental. That ends his turn. Let's see. This guy's going to rush up, this guy's going to rush up, this guy here is going to attempt to climb out. He gets partway up, starts cresting over the edge, he's not up because he was knocked prone as he fell, so he's over the side. Percy, you see one orcish arm come up and start to pull itself out the side of the pit. This guy here is going to move up, grabbing another javelin. This guy is going to pick up his javelin from the ground, move over this way, seeing that the earth elemental is being taken care of, and they're both going to throw javelins at you. Let's see, that is a 24 to hit.

TALIESIN: Can I do a Gloves of Missile Snaring?

MATT: Yes, you can. Go ahead and roll.

LAURA: Are those the ones I gave you?

TALIESIN: Yeah, so that's 24 to hit?

MATT: Well, what does it say on the gloves?

TALIESIN: It's actually– I can reduce damage, I can't change whether or not it hit.

MATT: Yes, exactly, so it is eight points of piercing damage.

TALIESIN: Eight? Eight points of piercing damage? Okay, so I'm going to try and catch it. And yeah, I reduce the damage to zero and I actually can catch it in midair.

MATT: As it chucks the javelin, you catch it and stop it in midair.

TALIESIN: Stab it into the ground.

MATT: Stab it into the ground. As you're thinking how awesome that was, the other one rolled a natural 20.

(groaning)

LIAM: Oh, look at that smile.

MATT: However! Still rolled pretty low on the damage. That's going to be nine points of piercing damage for the second one.

TALIESIN: Can I use it again or no?

MATT: What does it say on the glove? It's a reaction. You only get one reaction per round, so no, you cannot.

TALIESIN: What did they roll to hit, though?

MATT: That one was a 20, a natural 20.

TALIESIN: A natural 20, so it hits no matter what.

MATT: Yeah. So yeah, you take nine points of piercing damage as the other javelin streaks past you, it cuts past the shoulder, nothing too bad, but didn't quite take away from the moment that you just got to enjoy.

TALIESIN: I took eight points of damage?

MATT: Nine points of piercing damage. All right, that ends that orc's turn. This one, the one that seems more decorated with the gem-encrusted headband runs out and starts shouting orders.

SAM: Did the two that were on me attack?

MATT: He's going to come forward and begin to attempt to attack your orb as well. All three strike at the orb, trying to cut through.

SAM: Can I act like they're hurting me?

MATT: If you want to.

SAM: Ugh! Ah! Ooh! Oh!

MATT: Make a deception check.

SAM: Deception?

MATT: Deception, yes.

SAM: 27.

LIAM: Okay, Sam, I'm going to need five small pain reactions and five large pain reactions.

SAM: (sounds of pain)

TALIESIN: Can I get some closed-mouth ones?

SAM: (sounds of pain)

TALIESIN: Okay, now breathier.

MATT: As they're all striking at this sphere, sparks of arcane energy shooting off with each blade attack against the outside, they're all getting winded. You can see sweat dripping off their brow, as they're not seemingly making an impact. However, with each pained cry you give out, you see their grins widen. And they realize, no, this is working. And all three of them keep hacking at it, as the one war chief is like, (yelling in Orcish) and they keep slamming at the sides of this in hopes of cutting through it.

TALIESIN: Cats with a catnip toy.

MATT: This one, two javelins there, that's good there, that's good there. I don't think they have one, in there– nope! So that is going to be the end of their turn. Now the bears are going to go. The two bears are going to go tromping forward 40 feet. 35, 40.

MARISHA: Remember the love in your heart!

MATT: This one's going to go ahead and run past to there. Since they can't attack anything, this one's going to keep moving around. He uses his movement to get behind there and starts biting at the back of the ball. This one will get over to the earth elemental, as it is the biggest and most visible target. All right, that's going to go ahead and end their turn. Scanlan, you're up.

SAM: Yeah, it's my turn.

TRAVIS: Wait, are we at the top of the round?

SAM: No, no, it's bottom of the round. I'm the last guy and then you. Oh shit, do I keep them here, or do I go to work?

LAURA: Get them out.

SAM: Okay, I'm going to very quickly drop the orb and Dimension Door into one of the tents.

MATT: Okay. The orb vanishes, and with a flick of your wrist, a goodbye wave, you vanish entirely from sight. Which tent do you want to appear in?

SAM: I had wanted to go to not the one that Laura was saying, the other one. That's the one I was going to go to, because it's closer to the door.

MATT: So you appear inside this tent. And on the inside you can see there are two people that are currently within. Just to mark where the tent is.

SAM: Are they human? Or are they dancer?

MATT: They are human and they're pretty brutalized. One of them you see is this relatively well-dressed nobleman, his clothing filthy. Part of his face is swollen and bruised from what looks like he's been beaten within an inch of his life. The other one is a woman and you can see, one arm appears to be broken and she's cradling it in her hand. And they're both recoiling and holding to the back, like the corners of the tent, and when you appear, they both gasp and begin naturally scrambling away before they realize you're not an orc.

SAM: I say, come with me if you want to live. And do I have any movement? Can I try to unbind them?

MATT: Yeah, you don't have movement. You can start to move over to start unbinding them if you want to.

SAM: Okay, that's what I'll do.

MATT: Okay, so you go to the rope bonds and start helping them try and release themselves. Okay. That's the end of Scanlan's turn. Grog, you're up.

TRAVIS: Watching everybody run forward, forming this delicious mosh pit right there in the middle, can I go into a frenzied rage? Can I book ass towards all these bastards and see if I can get close to this little prick?

MATT: 30, 35, 40–

TRAVIS: I have 50.

MATT: 45–

(cheering)

TRAVIS: I'm good!

MATT: We'll say, go ahead and make an acrobatics check to try and move between those two guys.

TRAVIS: 20.

MATT: 20. Okay! You manage to, in a rage, as you're rushing through, yelling. They're all confused by the moment of the disappearing hamster ball of a gnome, look over their shoulder, and you dive into a shoulder roll, like a bowling ball, slamming into two of them, finding your feet on the other side, swing around, and the two that you pushed past, knocked on their shoulder, didn't fall off their feet, but you manage to push your way through, land in place, spin around. You can take the rest of your turn, if you want.

TRAVIS: Can I turn and say, all right, amateurs, time to go pro! And I would like to use Reckless Attack and with my frenzied rage, I take all three attacks at the crystal-bearing piece of shit. I can't hit him with my thing.

MATT: Right there? He's just out of range.

TRAVIS: He's just out of range? Whoever's the closest except for the bear.

MATT: Okay. It'll be either one of those two guys.

TRAVIS: Oh yeah, he'll take it.

MATT: All right, go for it.

TRAVIS: He'll take all of it. So I have advantage on these and advantage on attacks.

MATT: I'd say, go for each attack, just in case, individually, just in case you manage to kill one, you can move on to the next.

TRAVIS: So do all the attacks first?

MATT: Yeah. Well no, do the first attack.

LIAM: Attack and damage, attack and damage.

TRAVIS: Attack and damage, okay. 15 for the first one.

MATT: 15 for the first one hits!

TRAVIS: Yay! Oh god, nine. 18! 18 points of damage.

MATT: 18 points of damage, all right.

TRAVIS: And there's a constitution–

MATT: Does fail its save.

TRAVIS: Yay! Give me your shit. Okay, second one is a 24.

MATT: 24 points of damage?

TRAVIS: No, 24 to hit.

MATT: 24 to hit? 24 hits.

TRAVIS: Yep. That's crap, nine. That's also 18 points of damage on the second one.

MATT: 18. The first hack cleaves into the side of his shoulders, the second one you bring across his midsection and his whole innards spill out onto the snow. Crumples into the ground before you.

TRAVIS: And when I kill someone, I get an additional attack.

MATT: As a bonus action. But you're already using your bonus action as a frenzied rage.

TRAVIS: Right, thank you.

MATT: Yeah, so you can do that outside of a frenzied rage, if you kill something.

TRAVIS: So this is the last one and there's a bear there, right?

MATT: He also did fail his save on that, so you got another bonus to strength.

TRAVIS: Hell, upgrades all around, bitches. Last one.

MATT: What's your strength at now?

TRAVIS: 24. It's a plus three on top of everything else.

MATT: Plus three on top of that?

TRAVIS: Yeah.

MATT: Nice. All right, what was the attack?

TRAVIS: No, it's a plus one because we took a short rest, right?

SAM: We did.

MATT: When you take a short rest, yeah.

TRAVIS: That wipes it. Right? Or a long rest wipes it.

MATT: Yeah. I believe for Craven Edge–

TRAVIS: Craven Edge. Strength loss/gain from this feature lasts until your next short rest.

MATT: Short rest, yeah.

TRAVIS: So it's just plus one.

MATT: But you can say you don't have to take a short rest if you don't want to. It's up to you.

TRAVIS: I didn't want to! I'm not hit. I was fine! I was literally untouched.

MATT: Yeah, if you wanted to keep it, you would have been able to walk around aggressively and maintain it. That's fine.

TRAVIS: Yeah. Aggressively.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: (laughs) Walk around aggressively.

TRAVIS: 27 on the third one.

MATT: 27 hits.

TRAVIS: That's the damage.

MATT: Oh, that's the damage, all right.

TRAVIS: Can I use it against the bear?

SAM: Ooh.

TRAVIS: Or just the person, is he the only other one in range?

MATT: Well, if you're rolling to hit, right? Whoever you're attacking, the AC differs. So what was your attack roll on that one?

TRAVIS: It was a 24.

MATT: Yeah, no, that hits the bear. So go for it. Damage the bear.

TRAVIS: That was the damage, was 27.

MATT: 27 points against the bear, got you.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

MATT: All right, so after completely gutting the first guy, you turn around and slam the axe into the hide of the bear. Up close, you can see, the bear, unlike Trinket, edges of its shoulders and parts of its spine, you can see bone protruding out in points and juts. It's different, a little more dangerous than a regular bear you've encountered at the get-go. However, your blade does sink a good four to five inches into its hide, cleaving a giant wound in its side. It howls and seems very pissed off. But so are you.

TRAVIS: Does he have to make a constitution–

MATT: He did make his save at 15.

TRAVIS: Son of a bitch.

MATT: That end your turn?

TRAVIS: That does.

MATT: That ends your turn! All right, back up to the top. Vax, you're up.

LIAM: All right, I'm still hidden, so I'm going to move along the side of the tent behind those barrels. And I want to throw two daggers at the magic-using orc.

MATT: Magic-using orc?

LIAM: Didn't you say one of them was with a circlet?

MATT: Oh. That one?

LIAM: That one.

MATT: Oh yeah, right there.

LIAM: Yeah, and I'm going to use my Sharpshooter ability to do negative five to the attack roll, plus ten to damage.

MATT: To the damage? Go for it.

LIAM: I'm going to use Luck. Same exact roll. First one–

LAURA: You should roll in your box.

LIAM: Okay. I need Wyrmwood! Critrole. 17 from the first.

MATT: 17 hits.

LIAM: 17 hits. And the second one is 15.

MATT: 15 misses, unfortunately.

LIAM: Misses, but the sneak attack damage travels on the first dagger.

MATT: Yes it does.

LIAM: Yes it does. So here it comes. (counting) 33. 33 plus six! 39.

MATT: 39, is that with the plus ten? Sharpshooter?

LIAM: Oh. No, it's not!

MATT: So 49.

LIAM: 49.

MATT: 49 points of damage, as you dart up along the side of the tent, getting behind the barrels. It sinks right into the back, between the shoulder blades of the chief orc of this group. You see his whole body tenses up from the severe amount of pain and he tries to reach at from the back and spins around, looking straight at you.

LIAM: Hey, go fuck yourself. I stare him down.

MATT: All right, okay. Ending your turn there. Percy, you're up.

TALIESIN: Okay, I'm going to grab the javelin really quick. I'm going to walk over to the guy who's just starting to crawl out of the pit.

MARISHA: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

(laughter)

TALIESIN: I'm going to look him in the eye. Javelin goes right in the face.

MATT: Roll for an attack.

TALIESIN: I'm using it as a stabbing weapon. I'm not letting go until he drops.

MATT: Right, no. I understand. I do not believe the javelin is finesse. So this may be a strength-based attack. Let me double-check.

LIAM: But it's already happened.

TALIESIN: That's fine. It wasn't about the strength!

MATT: So it's your strength bonus plus five.

TALIESIN: Strength bonus plus five?

TRAVIS: With advantage because he's hanging over a–?

MATT: What's your strength modifier?

TALIESIN: One.

MATT: So plus six for this roll.

TALIESIN: Plus six?

MATT: Technically, you get advantage because he's there, technically prone as he's getting up out of the–

TALIESIN: Six, seven, eight, nine, 11.

MATT: 11. Your first attack you whiff. He ducks out of the way, actually pulling down into the pit and it misses his head, and he gets up again and extends a hand to reach out towards your ankle.

TALIESIN: Throw it away, pull out the gun and shoot.

(laughter)

LIAM: What a Raiders moment!

TRAVIS: Yes! Totally.

MARISHA: Yes, totally Indy-ed it!

TALIESIN: First shot to the face. That's still better. 17 to hit?

MATT: That hits.

TALIESIN: Okay. That's 15 points of piercing damage.

MATT: As soon as he reaches out for your ankle, you pull a pistol out and he looks up at you. The front of his head detonates and he slumps backward, falling into the pit silently.

MARISHA: Silently. Oh no.

TALIESIN: I'm going to look up to see if anybody has noticed that this has happened.

MATT: The two guys that were throwing javelins at you have watched this happen. They seem unaffected, they're just really pissed off at you. Orcs aren't– they're used to seeing their friends die, they keep coming at you, so these two are like, (growls).

TALIESIN: All right, I'm going to pick one of them and take another shot. The one on the left, I'm going to take a– yeah, let's do a sharpshooter shot on him.

MATT: Your left, okay.

TALIESIN: Yeah, our left.

MATT: Okay, go for it.

SAM: Stage right.

TALIESIN: Yeah, that'll hit. 26.

MATT: 26 hits.

TALIESIN: That's 17 points of damage.

MATT: 17 points of damage, got it. This one is a gut shot, hits him on the side of the stomach and you can see part of the back of the armor blow out, and he grabs it for a second and keeps looking towards you, seemingly un-fully phased by the impact of the blow. Going to stay where you are?

TALIESIN: Yeah.

MATT: Okay. Use that pit to your advantage. Good. Ending Percy's turn, Keyleth, you're up. Vex, you're on deck.

MARISHA: Okay, I'm going to take the two dudes who are in front of me, you can tell me if I can do this twice or not, I want to do my multi-slam attack, my multi-attack slam, and I want to go, in as dictated in Common as I can as an earth elemental, knock. Knock. And I want to take their heads and go, boof-boof.

MATT: (laughs) Okay, so you'll move one, two to get into combat range with two of them. Go ahead and make a slam attack against each of them.

MARISHA: Against each of them?

MATT: Yes.

MARISHA: Okay. Natural 19 on the first one.

MATT: All right.

MARISHA: And a natural 18 on the second.

MATT: I'm going to say those both hit. Go ahead and roll slam damage.

LIAM: (rock voice) Knock-knock.

MARISHA: (rock voice) Knock-knock. (normal voice) First attack is 13 plus– 18 points. Second, not as good, ten points.

MATT: Ten points. So you take the larger orc who's coming at you with full plate armor and this greataxe that it's bearing towards you, hacked at you twice last round, and the one that just got shot in its gut by Percy. You stumble in the front of them and they both look up at you for a second, snarl before you go, “Knock-knock.” (whack) Crack their heads together. The one that Percy shot pulls back, its nose is smashed and it's a smear of blood on the front of its face, it's still standing but it stumbles back a bit. The other orc, however, as you pull back in your hand you look down, most of its face is completely caved in, you hear a slight gurgle and a little blub of blood come out of what used to be its mouth before its body goes limp in your grasp.

MARISHA: Can I take his body and chuck it in the hole?

MATT: Sure, you take it and throw it over your head. It arcs right in front of you, Percy, down into the pit. You hear a (yelp) as the final remnants of the dryad are crushed by the fall.

LAURA: Oh no!

MARISHA: It served its purpose.

MATT: All righty. That finishes your turn, Keyleth.

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: Vex, you're up.

LAURA: Oh, me? I thought Travis was after–

TRAVIS: I'm at the bottom of the round.

LAURA: Oh, every time?

MATT: Yeah, he changed his initiative.

LAURA: Oh, okay. I want to shoot Trinket out into a Cannonball from–

MATT: Okay, this'll be your action to do this.

LAURA: Okay. I'm going to move up to where I'm lined up with all of that row, so this whole shebang right here.

MATT: Over here?

LAURA: Yeah. All of these guys.

TRAVIS: Yeah, please me too.

LAURA: And you too, because you practiced it with him.

TRAVIS: Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah.

LAURA: Take out the thing and say, Trinket! Cannonball! And shoot him out and try to roll into all those guys there.

MATT: Okay, so using your action and Trinket's bonus action as part of the attack here.

LAURA: Right.

MATT: Trinket all of a sudden leaps out of the necklace, slamming into the larger bear in front. For 30 feet, that's five, ten, 15, 20, 25, 30. What's Trinket's movement?

LAURA: His move is 40.

MATT: 40. You have 40, landing right there. Go ahead and roll three attacks.

LAURA: Three attacks.

TRAVIS: Good boy.

LAURA: Oh god, really? He gets advantage because he's awesome.

MATT and LAURA: No.

LAURA: He rolled pretty fricking bad. 12?

MATT: 12 hits the bear. It's a big bear. What's the second attack?

LAURA: 15?

MATT: 15 just hits the orc. And the third one?

LAURA: One!

MATT and LAURA: Miss.

MATT: All right, so go ahead and roll the Cannonball damage on those two.

LAURA: What is that?

MATT: It should be on Trinket's sheet as one of the attacks.

LAURA: Cannonball, exclamation point. Cannonball.

MATT: If you don't have it written down, I have it in my–

LIAM: Yeah, go for that.

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: Okay. (laughs)

LAURA: You know what, you sent it to me forever ago, it's in my email somewhere, Matt.

MATT: That's okay. I have it here in my pdf, it's fine. As part of your beastmaster–

LAURA: Can you tell me what magical beasts I can conjure while you're at it, because–

MATT: I will fight you. All right, 2d6 plus eight bludgeoning damage.

LAURA: 2d6 plus eight, okay.

MATT: However, the one that missed does get an opportunity attack against Trinket.

SAM: Oh, snap.

LAURA: I suck. 2d6 plus eight.

LIAM: Hey, that's not bad.

LAURA: 12 on the first.

MATT: Okay, 12 on the first. As the bear slams into the larger bear, like rolling over the top, and then comes down onto the second, the other target, the orc, smashing into him. The orc almost gets knocked off his feet and then the third one sidesteps and swings at Trinket, so go ahead and roll damage for the second orc.

TRAVIS: Nice.

LAURA: That's better. 17 on the second.

MATT: 17. Trinket crushes the other orc who'd already been softened up from the blow from Keyleth's earth elemental.

LAURA: Yes, good job Trinket!

MATT: As Trinket rolls past, you can see this crushed form of the orc on the ground in the snow, crushed in place.

LAURA: Good job, buddy!

MATT: Most of the bones broken and turned to dust. The third one, however, sidesteps and is going to go ahead and take a swing at Trinket. That is going to be a 19 to hit.

LAURA: 20!

MATT: 20. Right across the top of Trinket's armor, no effect.

TALIESIN: Can't even hit a bear.

LAURA: Really dizzy though.

MATT: That's going to be your turn, though.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: All right. That brings us to Pike. Pike–

LAURA: Can I use my bonus, though? Do I have a bonus action on top of that?

MATT: Sure.

LAURA: Hide?

MATT: You did not start your round hidden, unfortunately. Or did you? Oh no, you did, you did! You totally did, yes, so you can hide. Roll stealth. You'll have to move back over here–

LAURA: Natural 20!

MARISHA: Hey!

MATT: So you move back behind the tree so you can find a place to hide. And then you go ahead and vanish. Cartoon-style, like run behind the tree and don't come out the other side.

LIAM: Does she paddle the canoe down?

MATT: Pike's going to go ahead and, one, two, three, four, five. With the view there is going to go ahead–

LIAM: Come on, golden child. I want the Pike.

MATT: Pike's going to go ahead and continue to run over here, because she sees that the guy who's hanging up there who has three javelins stuck in him now is like passed out and bleeding.

LAURA: Oh no.

MATT: She's making her way around to try and heal him.

LIAM: Such an Ashley thing to do.

MATT: All right. Their turn now.

SAM: Oh boy.

MATT: This guy here is going to go ahead and converge, well no, locked in with Trinket, he's not going to take the attack of opportunity from him. This guy's going to move here, that orc's going to move around to–

LAURA: Look at how teeny Trinket is compared to the other bears!

MATT: I know. This bear's going to go ahead and move in on you, Marisha. Big old dire-bear-looking creature bearing down on you.

MARISHA: I brace.

MATT: All right, so. The war chief begins to scream out, (yelling in Orcish), pointing at you, Grog. And you see the other orc on the other side goes, (yells) and seems to be energized by the rousing cry that it's given, so advantage on attack rolls for all within earshot.

TRAVIS: Come on, give us a tickle.

LAURA: You can do that?

MATT: This guy's actually going to move–

SAM: Well, maybe it's another spell or something, yeah.

MARISHA: Paladin or some shit like that.

TALIESIN: Yeah, it's a very paladin thing.

LAURA: Man, that's a good thing to have.

MATT: All right. So since I moved him up last round because he was hiding behind a tree there, so the other larger orc, the one that was tending the bears rushes up alongside with you as well, Keyleth. All right, so the war chief is going to make one attack as a bonus action, it can do that against you, Grog, with advantage. That's going to be a 22 to hit.

TRAVIS: That'll hit.

MATT: All right. You take 16 points of slashing damage, reduced to eight, because you're raging, so eight points of slashing damage as the war chief comes down with its greataxe. It sinks a few inches into your shoulder and it carves it down, almost matching the scar you have across your chest, and grinning at you the whole time. As you grin back at it, his friend is going to come up with its greataxe and is going to come down, this is with advantage as well. That's going to be a 17 to hit?

TRAVIS: Misses.

MATT: That misses. As it comes up overhead to try and swing down to go towards the top of the nape of your neck and head area, you notice out of the corner of your eye, bring up your sword and deflect it down into the snow behind you, looking over your shoulder at it. The bear is now going to come up alongside and is going to make a bite and a claw attack against you.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

MATT: That is going to be a 19 to hit?

TRAVIS: That's 19, my armor class.

MATT: And that's going to be a 21 to hit.

TRAVIS: Yep, both hit.

MATT: So you take nine points of piercing damage as it bites you, reduced to four. We'll say four, I'm trying to round down consistently going forward. So you take four points of piercing damage from that, and then you take 12, reduced to six slashing damage.

TRAVIS: Okay. Ten total?

MATT: Total of 11 points of damage. Or ten, you're right. From the bear. Bear attacking you, actually no, first the orc attacking Trinket now.

LAURA: No!

MATT: With advantage.

LAURA: No!

MATT: Oh man, that's a 16 even with advantage.

LAURA: Ha!

MATT: Just slamming a greataxe over Trinket's armor, Trinket–

LAURA: Trinket's yawning.

MATT: Bear against you, Keyleth, that's going to be a natural 20 with the bite.

MARISHA: Ouch.

MATT: And natural 20 with the claws. Two natural 20s in a row, that bear wanted a piece of you.

MARISHA: Keyleth was like, aw, cute. (screams)

MATT: 18, 24. We're looking at 30, no, 42 points of damage on you in your elemental form from the bear.

MARISHA: Damn.

MATT: Bear bites into you and takes a mouthful of stone and tears a chunk out of the front of your sternum area and then with its claw swipes across your face, ripping part of your elemental jaw, exposing a little bit of soft earth beneath.

LAURA: Soft earth.

LIAM: That was your good jaw.

MATT: The other large orc, the larger one with its axe is going to take two attacks with its greataxe against you. That is a 21 to hit and an 18 to hit.

MARISHA: Wait, I'm getting attacked by someone else, too?

MATT: Yeah, the other large orc there.

MARISHA: Yeah, both of those hit.

MATT: All right. You take 24 points of slashing damage as both of the greataxe blows come on from the other side, you're being–

MARISHA: 24?

MATT: –chiseled down now. Yes. That's going to end their turn. That brings us to Scanlan.

SAM: Have I freed them from their shackles?

MATT: We'll say as your action this turn, you will have been able to get them both out of their rope-binds, including the one that has the broken arm.

SAM: Okay. The construction of the tent, can I lift up the back and shuttle them out that way, or do I have to cut through it or anything?

MATT: It's not– the back flap is currently hit into the ground with a stake. It shouldn't be too hard to lift it up if you want to try.

SAM: I don't want to waste too much time in there. You know what, I'll walk them out the front door, point them towards the mansion. And say: run, do not walk, to my beautiful, beautiful house.

MATT: Which way do you want to go?

SAM: To the right, stage right when I get out?

MATT: So right there? Okay.

SAM: Just enough to get them around the tent, yeah, and on their way.

MATT: They come out, seeing all the action happening, looking really nervous. Give you a nod, and the woman says, “Thank you.” And they both turn, and if you point out the shimmering light, they (running) and bolt off spending the entirety of their round–

SAM: And I yell to them, wipe your feet before you go in!

(laughter)

MATT: Okay, they won't quite reach the door, but they're on their way out.

SAM: That's pretty much all I can move, you think?

MATT: From there, yeah. Tiny gnome feet.

SAM: Okay. Do I have a bonus action?

MATT: You do.

SAM: All right. I will– I can only really see Keyleth around, right? Everyone else is hiding?

MATT: You don't see– well, you see Pike, because you're running behind. Pike is not making any tink-tink-tink. Behind you, you can see Grog in a frenzy.

TALIESIN: I'm hidden by Keyleth.

MATT: Yeah, you can't see Percy.

SAM: I will inspire Keyleth as my bonus action, I will sing to her, (singing) her blood runs cold, her memory has just been sold, my druid is a centerfold, druid is a centerfold. I don't know.

(laughter)

MATT: If you've ever seen an earth elemental go, huh? But you take your d10 inspiration die because it was a catchy tune, seems familiar. All right. That's going to end your turn, Scanlan?

SAM: That's it.

MATT: Grog, you're up.

TRAVIS: All this love for me, I'm flattered. And I would like to use all three of my frenzied rage attacks against the bear.

MATT: Go for it. First attack?

TRAVIS: First one, reckless, all three reckless, the first two normal, maybe the third Great Weapon Master, we'll see. 21.

MATT: 21 hits. Roll damage.

TRAVIS: Yes. Awesome. Six, 11, 20, that's 20.

MATT: 20. With that, you take the axe and you swing it in a wide arc across the front of the bear's body. As you hit the edge of the bone, it splinters at the impact, and its shoulder-joint is knocked out. The sword continues and cuts right halfway into its throat and actually manages to cut through a very main artery and the bear begins to bleed out on the spot, onto the ground.

TRAVIS: Is that an automatic failed constitution save?

MATT: With the constitution of the bear, no, it makes it. 14.

TRAVIS: But he's dead, right?

MATT: It is dead, the bear is no longer of the realm of the living.

TRAVIS: So I killed somebody, so I get an extra attack, correct?

MATT: You still get, it's your bonus action–

TRAVIS: Oh, it's the bonus.

MATT: Right. So unless– it's only helpful when you're not frenzying.

TRAVIS: Beautiful.

MATT: When you're frenzying you get it every turn.

TRAVIS: Yeah, I get it all the time!

MATT: Yeah.

TRAVIS: So can I turn to my right–

MATT: Yeah.

TRAVIS: To the next bloke.

MATT: Regular one or the war chief?

TRAVIS: The war chief, let's try the war chief.

MATT: Sure, all right. Regular attack or Great Weapon Master?

TRAVIS: Regular, because I've just got two left so we'll see how regular does.

MATT: Go for it.

TRAVIS: 22.

MATT: 22 hits. Go ahead and roll damage.

TRAVIS: 18.

MATT: 18. Makes his constitution save. So already still wounded and bleeding from the dagger that Vax left in him earlier, you manage to take the blade down, sweeping across the front of its armor, cutting and actually destroying and causing this jagged edge to the front of its armored breastplate. Make your next attack.

TRAVIS: The third one, let's do Great Weapon Master.

MATT: Okay, go for it. With advantage.

TRAVIS: Natural 20.

LIAM: Orc down, orc down!

LAURA: Yes!

MATT: Okay. So roll damage.

TRAVIS: 32.

MATT: So you multiply that by two. Right? Before the modifier.

TRAVIS: Before the modifier, it was–

MATT: 2d6, which you rolled what?

TRAVIS: I rolled a 12. Or no, it was seven plus five and then my rage modifier.

MATT: Right, so it's seven times two, so 14 plus your modifier and your rage.

TRAVIS: Wow, which is ten now. And Great Weapon Master is ten.

MATT: Right. So that's plus 20 is what you're looking at on top of that.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

MATT: So 14 plus 20, 34, and then roll 4d6 on top of that, Brutal Critical.

LAURA: What!

TRAVIS: Ten. No. 11.

LAURA: 12.

TRAVIS: Not 11, 12.

SAM: 47.

MATT: How do you want to do this?

(cheering)

MATT: (laughs) Jesus.

TRAVIS: I would like to stick the hilt of Craven Edge into the snow and reach forward and grab his shoulders and pull him onto the point of the sword.

MATT: So you throw the blade down, handle-first, it falls a little bit forward. You reach forward and grab the war chief and pull him down onto the blade. He looks up at you, staring into your face the entire time as you pull him over each jagged inch of the blade.

TRAVIS: Yeah, let's see the light leave those eyes.

MATT: The life expires as it falls forward on the blade. Let me go ahead and make a constitution save. That is 18, makes it.

TRAVIS: That's it, that's my turn.

LAURA: That was a good turn.

MATT: But he is done, that war chief is done. Well done. That brings us to Vax.

LIAM: All right, I'm going to curve around to the front of the tent I'm at and start aiming at the larger orc who's whacking on Keyleth there.

MATT: All right, glancing at the tent by the way, you do see there are a few people in there that are still bound and shaking and trying to look out and see what's happening.

LIAM: I see them, I note them, and I'm throwing two daggers at the person attacking Keyleth, the thing.

MATT: All right.

LIAM: First one is, and I'm using– I'm going to use Luck. That's a point, straight up in the air.

LAURA: Yeah.

LIAM: Fuck, okay, the first one probably misses. 16, and I was using the minus five, so the first one probably misses, 11.

MATT: Yes, that guy right there?

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: Yeah, that misses unfortunately.

LIAM: All right, second one.

MATT: Or it doesn't miss, it hits him but it hits the armor plates of his full plate, it's too, or the plate of the armor it's wearing is too strong and the blade can't pierce it.

LIAM: Second one is a 26.

MATT: That does hit.

LIAM: Which hits, and since he's up against Keyleth I get sneak attack damage.

MATT: Correct.

LIAM: So here comes the damage. (counting) 25.

MATT: 25. With that, the first one hits the armor and streaks off and vanishes into the snow. The guy turns around and looks over and looks at you directly, grins, shrugging off the earth elemental to his side, grabs his greataxe and begins to move forward in a direction towards you angrily. However, as you let loose the second dagger, it catches him right in the center of the face, embedding itself between his eyes, and one wanders off as the momentum carries it forward three or four steps. (thudding) And grinds its face into the ground right before reaching you, into the fire. The body catches flame as soon as it lands, collapsing into one of the campfires and it begins to burn.

LIAM: Sorry, sweetheart. And I feel the dagger go–

MATT: Yep, to the side of your Blinkback Belt. All right, do you want to stay right there? You have more movement if you want to use it.

LIAM: How much left? Like five or ten?

MATT: Three more squares, 15 feet.

LIAM: I'm going to walk up right up next to Keyleth in front of the bear. One, can I go diagonally?

MATT: Through the fire, you can if you want to.

LIAM: Yeah, yeah.

MATT: Make an acrobatics check, go for it.

LIAM: 27.

MATT: Okay, yeah, you basically run and leap up over the body of the guy you just killed, using him as a stepping stone, and you see ash and embers (whoosh) out the side as the pressure pushes him further into the fireplace. You leap in the air, land next to the one orc that's attacking Trinket and right next to where Keyleth is currently standing as the earth elemental.

LAURA: Not unlike a raven taking flight.

LIAM: Aren't you far away?

TALIESIN: (uncannily good crow noises)

MATT: Percy, you're up. That was way too good.

TALIESIN: I've been paid good money for that.

MATT: Your turn.

TALIESIN: I can emote as a bird.

MARISHA: Whose? His.

MATT: Percy's turn, yeah.

TALIESIN: My turn. Look at that, is there only one guy standing now?

MATT: There are two guys standing right now, and a bear.

TALIESIN: Okay, I'll look at that guy who's right in front of me–

MARISHA: Two guys and a bear with Charlie Sheen, new to CBS.

MATT: Oh, disadvantage on your next roll.

LIAM: For the rest of the arc.

MATT: Percy, what've you got?

TALIESIN: I'm going to take a push shot, I haven't tried a push shot before, I'm going to do a push shot on that guy in front of me.

MATT: Okay. Go for it.

TALIESIN: That's 29.

MATT: 29 hits.

TALIESIN: All right, that's 13 points of damage and he pushes directly away from me ten feet.

MATT: He does. Into the fire.

TALIESIN: Yep.

MATT: So it does 13 damage, runs back, falls onto the body of the other orc that's currently now engulfed in flames and catches fire himself. He takes six points of fire damage on top of that, and is currently in danger of catching fire.

TALIESIN: That's good. And then, let's see, the bear is a still a problem, isn't he?

MATT: Yes.

TALIESIN: I'll sneak another shot at the bear.

MATT: Go for it.

TALIESIN: This is going to be a sharpshooter and a trick shot, I can't take both at the same time, can I, it's one or the other?

MATT: No, sharpshooter is your feat. Trick shot, you can't take multiple trick shots, but you can sharpshooter and–

TALIESIN: And trick shot. I'm going to sharpshooter and trick shot.

MATT: Made a mistake once, we learned.

TALIESIN: And that's 23?

MATT: 23 hits. Big bear. It's not that hard to hit.

TALIESIN: Not that hard to hit? Has to take a constitution saving throw.

MATT: That is 11.

TALIESIN: No, he has disadvantage on attacks until the end of his next turn.

MATT: Headshot?

TALIESIN: Yep.

MATT: All right, so you go ahead and roll damage for that.

MARISHA: Is this against the bear?

TALIESIN: Yeah. 25 points of damage.

MATT: 25 points of damage. You– after you fire, the one orc stumbling back and catching flames, you turn around and look at the bear. Fire again, it strikes the front of its bony ridge on its head, where the brow line is, shattering part of the bone and causing it to rear back. Looks very disoriented. It's still angry and ready to swipe, but it doesn't really know where it's standing at the moment.

TALIESIN: I'm going to burn through my action surge really quickly and reload and take two more shots. Two more sharpshooter shots, nothing fancy.

MATT: Go for it. Against?

TALIESIN: The bear.

MATT: The bear? Go for it.

LIAM: Don't be a happy bear, be a sad bear.

TALIESIN: 23.

MATT: Hits.

TALIESIN: That's 20 points of damage.

TRAVIS: Holy shit.

MATT: That actually, with that shot, you aim for the other part of the brow, release it, and with that it shatters part of the bear's face. You hit a part of the bone ridge that causes the front of the skull to break, and you can see part of its face collapses a bit as the bear, in a pile on the ground.

LAURA: No!

TALIESIN: So I have one last shot.

MATT: You do.

TALIESIN: Can I spend a grit to try and shoot the rope that's holding that guy in the tree?

MATT: Yeah. You have disadvantage if you do.

TALIESIN: Disadvantage. Grit or no grit?

MATT: Oh, oh sorry, to use a grit point…

TALIESIN: I can actually technically get advantage on the shot.

MATT: I was going to say, you could, yeah. So if you want to do that, go for it.

TALIESIN: Yeah, so I'll spend a grit point on that. Natural 20.

TRAVIS: Ah! The golden snitch.

MATT: With that, you aim, take a moment, fire the bullet. You catch it in a way where it doesn't completely cut the rope, it's one of those rare perfect shots where it takes two of the three threads that holds the rope together, as they untether, it causes his body to (creaks) and it causes him to begin to sway a little bit. As the counter-sway comes back, it snaps, and it manages to catch him to hit the edge of the tree, fall into a few branches that break his fall, and he tumbles out.

SAM: Ow!

MATT: Only taking one point of damage.

TALIESIN: Can't even kill a kitten with that.

MARISHA: Can't even kill a kitten.

MATT: That was a one in a million shot right there.

TALIESIN: No, it was a one in 20 shot.

MATT: One in 20 for you, yeah. One in a million for anybody else. But you're Percival.

TALIESIN: I'm cool.

MATT: Okay, cool. That brings us to Keyleth, you're up.

MARISHA: Who's left alive?

MATT: There are two orcs, one that's currently on fire and down in the flame trying to pull itself up. The other is currently whaling on Grog out of anger, but is starting to look around and notice it's not a very good situation.

TRAVIS: No no, stay, we've got party favors.

MATT: Keyleth, what have you got?

MARISHA: Are we still trying to keep one alive?

SAM: Sure we are.

MARISHA: Sure. All right.

TALIESIN: I assume the one that isn't on fire, but you know, that's my opinion.

MARISHA: Yeah, sure. I want to earth glide underneath and pop up underneath of him.

MATT: This guy here?

MARISHA: The fire guy, yeah.

MATT: The fire guy. He's actually on top of another larger orc, so you burst through, the fire is destroyed and you see a bunch of the stone is thrown aside, what was the campfire has now been detonated in a burst of snow and earth. You burst out. Are you catching him?

MARISHA: Yeah. That's cool.

MATT: So you burst up, the bigger orc body then rolls off onto the ground and keeps smoldering. You catch the guy who's on fire, currently holding him above you. What are you going to do?

MARISHA: First, I want to stamp him out in the fire, in the snow, sorry. Stamp out his fire in the snow.

MATT: You're clutching him. He's flailing about in your grip. Fire's out.

MARISHA: And then I'm going to, I want to grapple onto him. I want to start dragging him over to this nearby tree.

MATT: So make a grapple check, it's an athletics.

MARISHA: Athletics?

MATT: Yep.

MARISHA: I've only got basic stats here.

MATT: Roll a d20, add your strength modifier.

MARISHA: Oh. 19. 20, 20.

MATT: He rolled a one. Yep. Through the flames and the chaos, he can't even resist, and you have him in a full grapple. He's not restrained, he can still attack, but he's at disadvantage on all his attacks, but he can't move, his movement is zero and you're currently holding him in place.

MARISHA: Okay. Can I start dragging him over so–

MATT: At half-speed, yeah, you've already done 20 feet to get there, so you can move him ten feet.

MARISHA: Okay. I'll slowly start dragging him to this tree over here. So we can tie him up.

MATT: One, two. That's as far as you can drag him there.

MARISHA: Okay.

MATT: As you're pulling him back, and he's like, (struggling noises).

MARISHA: Come on.

MATT: All right, that ends your turn. Vex, you're up.

LAURA: All right, I'm going to turn Trinket around, he's going to attack that dude that got a hit on him. The one behind him.

MATT: Right here? Oh, the one behind him is the one that currently is being dragged away after being set on fire.

LAURA: Oh shit.

TRAVIS: There's one on me.

LAURA: Okay, he runs up to the one on Grog. But he moves out of the way so that I can get a clean shot on him.

MATT: Okay. Moves around.

LAURA: And he bites him and he claws him!

MATT: Go for it!

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: This is your bonus action?

LAURA: Huh?

MATT: You're giving him the attack on the bonus action?

LAURA: I still get a bonus action, he gets to attack and I get to attack.

MATT: Okay, so yeah, so you get one attack and he gets both attacks. Go for it.

LAURA: Yeah, he gets two attacks because of Bestial Fury. Gosh darn it! That one's good, okay. He bites the shit out of him.

MATT: All right, go ahead and roll damage on that.

TRAVIS: (laughs) “Gosh darn it!”

LAURA: What is that, 13? No, 12.

MATT: 12, all right.

LAURA: And then I'm going to shoot him from my hiding spot.

MATT: Okay. So you dart out from behind the tree and release an arrow, go for it.

LAURA: All right.

LIAM: Get it, girl.

SAM: Don't hit me.

LIAM: That's all right.

LAURA: 20.

MATT: 20 hits. Go ahead and roll damage.

LAURA: Great. 16 plus sneak attack. 19.

MATT: 19 points of damage. This arrow strikes him in the side of the throat, he gurgles and falls on the ground. As he's trying to grab, Trinket uses that and pounces on top and rips out, tears its throat out.

LAURA and TRAVIS: Yeah!

MATT: That orc is done. Currently, at this moment, the camp is cleared out except for the one that Keyleth's currently grappling, and you guys all turn around and you can see now, there is the other tent still filled with people. The other two here disappear into the mansion's doorway.

MARISHA: (rock voice) Grog.

TRAVIS: Oh, sweet, yeah, hold on. You hold one end, I'll hold the other. Wait. No, that might be something– never mind. And I take out Craven Edge. I walk up to the orc that she's holding.

MARISHA: And I put him in a nice little sleeper hold.

TRAVIS: Yeah, look, mate. So unless you want to bleed or lose the head that's attached to your body, are there more of you around these parts?

MATT: Make an intimidation check.

SAM: I don't think he can understand you, Grog.

TRAVIS: He speaks fear.

SAM: Oh.

TRAVIS: I get advantage on those because I–

MATT: Because of Craven Edge, yeah.

TRAVIS: 25.

MATT: The orc's looking at you, and while it was putting on a brave face, as soon as you approach, holding out Craven Edge, your muscles rippling with the arcane strength of the blade that his fallen friends have imbued you with, as each step happens the shadows that drift off the blade begin to drift up your arm and off your shoulder, and from his perspective the whole world goes dark around you as you take each step. And that grimace on the orc's face falls into fight-or-flight fear. He says, “No. We are the only ones. I am the only one.”

TRAVIS: Have you had any dealings with the goliaths that are in Westruun?

MATT: “We don't deal with goliaths.” Spits blood, but it can only get, with what little bit of strength it has left, only dribbles down the chin in a not-very-aggressive way.

TRAVIS: Anything else?

SAM: Yeah, we need to know, wait. Does he know anything else? Is there another camp, is there anything?

TALIESIN: No.

SAM: They just had some prisoners?

TALIESIN: Yeah.

TRAVIS: Yeah, is there any reason why I should leave you alive? (laughs) I love this question.

MATT: He goes, “No. I should go to whoever made us. I will die here with my brethren. I will not run a coward.”

LIAM: Has he seen a cave with a sphinx in it?

SAM: Yeah, sphinx?

TRAVIS: Before I dispatch you to your maker, have you seen a sphinx or a cave of magical origin around these parts?

MATT: “Rot in Kord's prison, half-giant.”

TRAVIS: And I take Craven Edge and I grab both of his ankles, and I pull them apart and I shove the blade up under his grundle, and then rip one of his legs off.

MATT: It's a horrific display. Even the earth elemental takes a step back.

TALIESIN: Cool.

MATT: Fails the constitution saving throw.

TRAVIS: Yes!

LAURA: While that was going on, I wanted to run forward and work on the guy that fell from the tree. I wasn't paying attention to that.

MATT: Yeah, Pike has gone over to help, and he's pretty messed up, but Pike's already gotten to him at this point while this is happening. You come over and aid and manage to keep him from dying. He's unconscious, still, and he slowly comes to consciousness–

LAURA: Does he look like the description that we got?

MATT: Yeah, it's Cyrus. Bloodied, horribly brutalized, but alive. What's your strength at now?

TRAVIS: Plus four to attack and plus 11 for damage.

MATT: What's your strength score at?

TRAVIS: Oh, score. It is now 21.

MATT: 21, nice. Fuck, dude.

LAURA: You're stronger than Pike again.

TRAVIS: Yeah, only for a little bit.

MATT: All righty.

MARISHA: Are there any other prisoners still tied up?

SAM: Yeah, I'm in the other tent untying them.

MATT: Yeah, there's three more in this side over here, you guys were–

SAM: Calming them down, looking for loot.

TRAVIS: 20.

MARISHA: I was going to say, before I drop my earth elemental form I start busting open some of these crates for quick lootage.

MATT: You should have a higher strength than 20 if you kept it from the last basilisk fight. Because you're 17, you got how many bonuses from that combat?

TRAVIS: Seven from– without the short rest, so it's been seven?

MATT: You've got seven bonus benefits.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

MATT: So you're 24 then, aren't you?

TRAVIS: No, only 21, because it takes two to go up the thing, right?

LAURA: No–

TALIESIN: Oh boy.

MATT: Okay. So. Every time they fail a saving throw, your strength goes up by one. Every two strength, you get a bonus.

TRAVIS: Oh.

MATT: That's how it works.

TRAVIS: Oh. I'm at 24.

MATT: So your strength is 24.

MARISHA: (laughs) That's awesome!

MATT: Which means your overall strength bonus should be plus seven.

LIAM: Juicing, man, he's juicing.

TRAVIS: I'm going to turn that plus four to a plus seven.

MATT: Because your strength modifier normally is plus three, correct?

TRAVIS: Correct.

MATT: At 17. With every even number it goes up, and it goes up one point by each time you steal a strength. Every two that you, every time it hits an even number, 18, 20, 22, 24, the modifier goes up by one. So yeah, if you're strength's at 24 right now, your overall strength modifier is plus seven. So it would be a plus four on top of whatever your normal attacking damage was already.

LAURA: Wow.

TALIESIN: So your strength saving throw goes up by one.

TRAVIS: So plus four is correct. I had plus four down. Okay, got it. Got it, got it, got it.

MATT: Plus four on top of what you had normally, yes.

TRAVIS: On what I had normally.

LIAM: Let's get this camp cleared and get these people inside Scanlan's love shack.

MATT: As you're untying them, they're all, “Thank you, thank you so much, they took us in the night, we didn't know, we thought we were dead.” And some of them start breaking down into tears. There's a little girl in there that amongst everyone is probably the most stalwart, and is trying to calm one of the men that's sobbing, she's like, “It's okay, it's okay.” And is patting him on the shoulder.

MARISHA: It's always the kids, man. It's always the kids.

LAURA: Are you survivors of Westruun?

MATT: “Yes. We were up by the base and they came in the night and they killed my wife and they took me. They took everything.”

LAURA: You're safe now.

MATT: “Thank you.”

LAURA: As is your camp.

MATT: “Thank you.”

TRAVIS: If I could ask, have you seen– fuck, Wilhand?

SAM: Wilhand?

TRAVIS: Yeah, Wilhand. Yeah.

LAURA: Small, older, gnomish fellow?

MATT: The little girl pipes up and goes, “Yeah, yeah, Wilhand. He was as tall as me.”

TRAVIS: I drop down to my knees. You seem very brave. Do you know where Wilhand has gone?

MATT: “I haven't seen him since we left town.”

LAURA: So he stayed in the town.

MATT: “I haven't seen him outside of it.”

SAM: Oh, the town. We were in the camp. Okay.

LAURA: What's your name, darling?

MATT: “Vanessa.”

LAURA: Vanessa. You're very strong, Vanessa.

MATT: “Thank you. You're very strong too.”

LAURA: Oh, well, thank you. Do you like bears? Not those scary ones but really nice ones?

MATT: And you see she's a little– bears are a rough subject for her, she's probably seen them eat a few people she knew.

LAURA: Trinket sits back. He's friendly.

TRAVIS: He's super cuddly. And I run over and I put Trinket in a headlock and give him a noogie. See? Totally nice.

MATT: Trinket breaks free and licks you right across the face, your beard up to the side again.

TRAVIS: Here we go again.

MATT: She chuckles.

MARISHA: I drop elemental form and start helping Pike heal whoever needs healing.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: I go for that circlet that was on the war chief.

TRAVIS: Oh, good call.

LIAM: Grog.

TRAVIS: Yeah?

LAURA: I inspect it first.

LIAM: We should bury the dead. There's piles of dead, we should bury them.

LAURA: Was it human bodies or animal bodies?

MATT: They were human bodies.

TRAVIS: Yeah, of course, you're right.

LIAM: We'll put them in the pit and then we'll cover it up. Gimme a hand.

TRAVIS: Yeah. Whatever you need.

MATT: The rest of the people, while you guys are doing this, have been escorted into the mansion. They're all in there being cleaned up, the servants are tending to them, and I mean, they'll be shat out of there in 24 hours, but–

SAM: It's fine. They'll have a good night's sleep.

MATT: At this point you hear a voice in the distance say, “Hey! Is everything all right?”

LAURA: Oh, quite, come on over!

MATT: Walking out from behind a tree, a one-armed man. He comes running over. “I heard a lot of craziness going on. Those– you did good, saw a little bit of it.”

SAM: Did you have to use your dagger at all?

MATT: “No, but I kept it there just in case.” And he's still clutching it in his hand.

TRAVIS: There's one standing behind you right now.

MATT: (yelps) Spins around and swings it, loses his grip of it, and it (dagger flying) into the tree, and he's like, runs over, grabs it.

TRAVIS: Nobody saw that. Totally cool.

MATT: “Okay, thank you.” So you guys begin taking the bodies over and putting them into the pit on top of the orc that you blew most of the forehead off of.

TALIESIN: Two orcs, what did we, two–

MARISHA: Two dryads.

TALIESIN: Two dryads, two orcs.

LAURA: The circlet?

MATT: Well, the dryads have vanished by now at this point, the magic. You inspect the circlet, the circlet is more of adornment, looks like it was a symbol of power, does not appear to have anything magical about it, but the uncut gem in the center appears to be a raw ruby, probably worth about 150 gold in its current form. You also find on their bodies overall, from the ones that you have access to, an additional 230 gold pieces. And amongst the goods that have been gathered here, if you should wish to return them or keep them for yourself, there is roughly 700 gold pieces amongst the other bits of dried food, starting-to-rot vegetables.

SAM: There's a couple boars, right?

MATT: There are a couple boars that were dragged in, that have been killed.

TALIESIN: Let's eat the food that won't last and return, cook the boar and return.

MATT: There is one unspoiled fire.

MARISHA: Yeah, can we take a short rest?

TALIESIN: We can also bring the food into the mansion and let the help cook it.

SAM: That's true. How about the casks, what's in the casks?

MATT: There are four casks of varying size, there are two large, large casks, there's one giant grain barrel, there's one barrel that appears to be of a standard ale, and there are two smaller wine barrels. Only one of them appears to be labeled, or at least hasn't been fully rubbed off. They're nothing special, these are probably grabbed by whoever ran a tavern in Westruun and took what they could during the chaos.

TRAVIS: All ale and wine is special.

MATT: Fair enough.

SAM: We should take that, and wait, this meat, don't we have a cold bag? Don't we have a cooler?

TRAVIS: We do!

SAM: Let's keep some meat.

TRAVIS: That nothing is in!

LAURA: No, we do have some stuff in it.

TRAVIS: Some stuff is in it!

SAM: Keep some grain and meat or something.

LAURA: All right, yeah, I'm keeping some boar meat.

MARISHA: But seriously, I eat some because I'm– Keyleth's a little hungry.

LAURA: I thought you were a vegetarian.

MARISHA: No, never said that.

TRAVIS: Can I try and roughly butcher this boar?

MATT: You've done it pretty well. You butcher the boar, there's already a stump set up for you, previously used for not quite as humane reasons, but you manage to prepare the boar, cook it over the area here. As the sun slowly begins to set, you guys take your short rest. Is everyone taking a short rest?

TRAVIS: Not me, not me.

MATT: Okay, so you maintain your damage, you still maintain your–

SAM: Wait, the sun is setting, are we taking a short rest or a long rest? Are we spending the night?

LIAM: Can't we go in your house?

SAM: Of course we can, yeah. Are we going to spend the night? What time is it?

MATT: It's about five o'clock in the afternoon.

SAM: Oh, little early.

LIAM: Let's pack it in early. Who knows what'll happen tomorrow?

SAM: Are we going up to the mountain?

LIAM: Yeah, tomorrow morning.

SAM: All right. Do we need to scout up? How far to the mountaintop?

TALIESIN: We're not going to the mountaintop.

SAM: Or the glowing place.

MATT: Where the beacon is? Keyleth would be the one that knows, since she's the one who marked it. It's probably about an hour and a half's travel on foot to get there.

SAM: We should go check it out before we go to bed, swing by on a broom or something.

LAURA: I like it. I'll hop on the broom.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: Wait, check it out and then? Your door is stationary, though, right?

MATT: The door is stationary, the door is on the outside of this camp.

TRAVIS: But everybody inside's safe.

LAURA: Yeah.

TRAVIS: Do it.

LAURA: Can I stealth in the air?

MATT: Not really.

LAURA: Can I wrap myself in like my–

TRAVIS: What? Aluminum foil?

MATT: I mean, you will make a stealth check.

LIAM: You'll figure this broom out eventually.

MATT: I'm going to put it at disadvantage because you are, it's possible, but you're also a giant rocketing half-elf in the sky.

LAURA: I'm not that giant, okay?

TRAVIS: Wow. Wow.

MATT: Roll disadvantage.

LAURA: So I usually get advantage, so I'll just roll regular.

TRAVIS: I love your broom rolls so much.

LAURA: Oh! Oh! You know what, I still have Pass Without a Trace, because I never cast Hunter's Mark to break that concentration.

LIAM: You nerd.

TRAVIS: I would not remember that shit.

LAURA: 23.

MATT: 23. All right. Cool. Don't forget your point of exhaustion, Grog. From the end of the frenzied rage.

TRAVIS: Yes, thank you.

SAM: I'm going to go with her. You're going on the broom? Yeah, I'm going to turn into a mangy crow that looks like it would be with a witch.

LAURA: I like it. (cackles)

SAM: I'll Polymorph.

MATT: Polymorph. You follow her as a crow.

SAM: And I perch on her shoulder. (crow sounds)

TALIESIN: (unnervingly realistic crow noises)

SAM: Thank you!

MATT: That's so creepy.

TALIESIN: (unnervingly realistic crow noises)

MATT: Perfect.

SAM: Wow. Thank you.

MATT: So as you continue cresting over the top of the tree ridge, heading towards the direction that Keyleth points out to you, you guys swoop down. As the treeline comes to an end, the snow begins to subside and you reach the base of the Stormpeak. There, make a perception check, both of you, actually.

SAM: Mine sucks. Natural one.

LAURA: I'm so scared of all my dice right now.

MATT: What you got?

LAURA: 17.

MATT: 17? Okay.

LAURA: Oh wait! Favored terrain.

MATT: Mountains?

SAM: You're in the air, though.

LAURA: Forest at the edge of the mountain.

MATT: Does not pertain to the forest, more of it's the mountain.

LAURA: Okay. 17.

MATT: 17, okay. As the sun finally hits the edge of the mountain range and begins to set, and the light's starting to diminish, you're having a hard time picking out details. You know the general vicinity that Keyleth pointed at you, it takes longer than you anticipated, but eventually you come– and there are a few small caves and entrances to the side of this mountain, but after you sweep past once or twice, doing a couple loops, one catches your eye. You look at it from this vantage point. It looks like a small inlet, like a cavern. As you get closer, unlike the other rough entrances, this one seems intentionally carved in the mountainside in a triangle. Directly about 30 feet to its peak, there is a triangular entrance to the very very base of this mountain that is recessed into the mountain rock itself.

LAURA: I don't think we should land on the ground, we should just stay above.

SAM: (crow sounds)

TALIESIN: (realistic crow sounds)

LAURA: You can't talk when you're a bird?

MATT: He cannot.

LAURA: Oh. This is really smart, you coming, because we can't do anything. Do you want to pop out of that, can you pop back in? One caw for yes, two caws for no. You can't even understand me right now? This is ridiculous.

SAM: I don't know, can I understand her?

MATT: You can understand her, yeah.

SAM: I'm just fucking with her, then.

(laughter)

MATT: But she doesn't know if you understand.

LAURA: I float down gracefully on the broom and give it a little bit of a closer look.

MATT: Okay. As you pull down to the edge of the tunnel, the cavern entrance, you can see the relatively worn, through time and weathering, the structure of the tunnel, even though it is intentional, it has been there for a long time, and you can see the effect that time has had on it, from what was once a very pristine entrance. Looking inside, it goes dark about 25 feet in. Do you want to step further into the cavern?

LAURA: No no no, I'm still in the air, I'm not on the ground.

MATT: Okay, so yeah, looking inside about 25 feet past, what little bit of daylight that still exists disappears into the shadow of the cavern, you don't know anything beyond that.

LAURA: What do you think, Scanlan? Back up a little bit and shoot a flaming arrow into that?

SAM: (caws)

LAURA: Sweet. I back up a little, far distance away, and shoot a flaming arrow into it.

MATT: Okay, so you pull out your arrow, the shaft ignites as you release it. It arcs forward and it lights up a little bit of the tunnel around it, tunnel continues–

LIAM: Good aim from the broom?

MATT: Decent aim.

LIAM: Okay.

MATT: I mean, it's not a wide target, she's shooting it into an open 30-foot space.

LAURA: And it's not moving, it's not fucking moving right now.

LIAM: I've watched Harry Potter, they always have two hands on the broom.

LAURA: Why are you trying to do this to me right now? Why you got to be a player hater?

LIAM: Because it's fun.

MATT: From the narrative standpoint, it's fine. She could take another shot and it would make it there anyway. You can see it go through, and it arcs and then disappears. You see what looks like an edge, and it vanishes past it.

LAURA: Well. That looks deep. I don't think we should check this out on our own.

SAM: Might be fun.

LAURA: You're a bird, you could probably fly in and fly back out.

SAM: Sure. (caws) Okay, I'll fly in.

MATT: Okay. You head down, coasting into the darkness. Does your form have–

SAM: I have darkvision, I don't know what crows have.

MATT: If you have darkvision. But you, crows–

SAM: I don't know what a crow has.

MATT: I will look it up real fast.

TALIESIN: I don't think a crow has darkvision.

MATT: Hold on, hold on.

TRAVIS: They're dark as night, man, of course they do.

SAM: Are they daytime birds? They're daytime birds. They're not owls.

TALIESIN: They're not owls.

SAM: Shit.

LAURA: Should've been a fucking owl.

TALIESIN: (owl sounds)

SAM: You can do that too? Quick, do a nightingale.

MATT: No, you do not have darkvision as a–

SAM: So I'm just flying around in the dark knocking into things.

MATT: Yeah. Essentially, you coast into the shadow, hitting a couple things. You eventually hit ceiling.

SAM: Ow!

MATT: And coast down and you land harshly, taking three points of damage in your crow form as you hit and land and tumble down a few stairs.

SAM: Ooh, stairs.

MATT: At that point, you're in complete darkness right now, you can see a faint distant bit of light that's barely creeping in from the entrance you came from. Around you, though, nothing.

SAM: I'll break form and come back as Scanlan.

MATT: Okay. You come back as a gnome. Now your darkvision kicks in and indeed you can see there is a smoothly carved tunnel overhead that descends down a long flight of stairs. Make a perception check.

SAM: Natural 18.

(laughter)

MATT: And you have 60-foot darkvision? As a gnome?

SAM: It just says darkvision. I didn't write down the distance.

MATT: Okay, I'm going to look this up real fast. Because this is important to know for this circumstance.

LIAM: By the way, blackbird has a hit point of one, so technically you popped back into gnome form the second you hit the ground.

MATT: Does it actually have one hit point?

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: Then yeah.

MARISHA: Darkvision is 60 feet, I wrote it down.

SAM: 60 feet. I'll write it down for the future.

MATT: There you go. So yeah, your vision just hits the edge of the staircase, which stops, and then continues forward. The darkness beyond there is obscured, or a hint of blue light that slightly shifts and glimmers beyond your vision. It seems like the tunnel ceiling ends as the path continues beyond that, and your vision is cut off beyond that. You cannot see, but you do see a very very faint blue shimmer coming from the tunnel beyond.

LAURA: I float up to the edge of the mouth of the cave and say, (whispers) Scanlan?

MATT: (echoes) Scanlan, Scanlan, Scanlan.

SAM: Wow, I've always wanted that to happen.

MATT: (echoes) Happen, happen–

LAURA: (whispers) Are you alive?

SAM: Can I see down the blue thing?

MATT: You can go down further if you want to.

SAM: I don't want to go to where the blue is, I just want to see if I can peek down there?

MATT: You'd have to descend the stairs to. Because the actual tunnel continues down along with the roof and then as it continues past, it levels off.

SAM: I'm going to die. I'm going to shoot one single Magic Missile into the space.

MATT: (laughs) Okay.

LAURA: What if that's his face?

MATT: All right, so you take the wand, and the Magic Missile, which gives a very faint candlelight glow around it as it is a burst of arcane energy, arcs down and slams into the stonework and filters out. The little flash you see at the base of the stairway, the stonework there is like a tiled square stonework, it looks like the further you descend, the more and more there is a constructed architecture to this place, however, the missile dashes against the stone tile floor at the bottom of the stairway. No other seeming reaction, that same blue glimmer unchanged.

SAM: Okay. I quickly pee a little on the side of the wall, just a little bit, okay. Zip up, turn into an owl and get outta there. At level five, because I'm out of level four.

MATT: Okay, so. (hooting) An owl ascends quickly and spooks you.

LAURA: I stay at the mouth of the cave and say, (whispers) Scanlan, are you alive?

MATT: (echoing) Alive, alive, alive.

LAURA: (whispers) Scanlan?

MATT: (echoing) Scanlan, Scanlan.

LAURA: Wait. Scanlan! Is that you? You were a crow.

SAM: (confused hooting)

LAURA: Okay. That's you. Should we go?

TALIESIN: You're just turning your head 180 degrees back and forth, aren't you?

SAM: Oh yeah.

LAURA: We should go back. One hoo for– I start flying back.

MATT: Vex takes off on the broom. All right. You guys head back to the camp, make your way into the mansion, and rest for the evening. You don't rest for the evening?

TRAVIS: No.

SAM: What?

LAURA: You're exhausted.

TRAVIS: I have one level of exhaustion, I'm okay.

TALIESIN: I'm going to spend a little time tinkering before I sleep, working on the broom.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: I never stopped digging, can I assume that everybody's buried?

MATT: At this point in time, yeah. By the time they've been gone, everyone's been buried, everyone's been taken care of, and you make your way back, waiting at the door for your sister to return.

TRAVIS: What's the second level of exhaustion?

MATT: Yeah, so yeah, for not taking your evening's rest you get a second level of exhaustion and your speed is halved.

TRAVIS: Okay. I want to see how far this can go. I want to push this.

TALIESIN: I've tried this experiment in real life. It never ends well.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: I'm willing to learn.

MATT: Okay. So we'll go ahead and take a break as the party is resting for the evening, we'll be back here in a few minutes, guys, to continue this next chapter of Vox Machina's adventure. All right, see you in a little bit.

Break[]

[break]

Part II[]

MATT: Hey guys, welcome back. So. Kicking into high gear to return to the game as it's going. You guys go through your restful evening, except for Grog, resting up and getting prepared for whatever comes your way, except for Grog. As you spend the night fending off sleep, staring at Craven Edge there on your lap, feeling the cold blade against your fingertips and considering and still feeling the strength that it's imbued upon you pulsing through your veins.

TRAVIS: Yeah, could I ask it one question?

MATT: Yeah, yeah.

TRAVIS: Right, it was a good day, right? Like, superb.

MATT: “Yes.”

TRAVIS: Do you remember your former owners?

MATT: “I do.”

TRAVIS: Do you remember Lord Briarwood?

MATT: “I do.”

TRAVIS: How was he?

MATT: “He was a stalwart champion. He kept me fed. Mostly.”

TRAVIS: Did he give you a goal? You know, before we put him into different pieces, he was, like, trying to build up this god called Vecna. You don't know anything about a god called Vecna, do you?

MATT: “Doesn't interest me.”

TRAVIS: No?

MATT: “No.”

TRAVIS: Just the blood.

MATT: “Just the hunger.”

TRAVIS: Right, the hunger.

MATT: “It's all there is, is the hunger.”

TRAVIS: But look, we did really good today. So I'm not going to go to sleep, I'm going to carry this over the next day, I want to see how hard we can push this.

MATT: “So close to being full.”

TRAVIS: You're close to being full? Hold on, how many more lives do you need?

MATT: “I'm close.”

TRAVIS: Do you know, do you know what happens when you get full? Like, do you get bigger? Do I get stronger?

MATT: “Feed me and you'll find out.”

MARISHA: Oh boy.

TRAVIS: You've got it. Can I insight check the sword?

MATT: Yeah.

LIAM: Yes please!

(laughter)

TALIESIN: I've never been so happy.

TRAVIS: (clears throat) Two.

(laughter)

MATT: It's hard to read the blade, but the disposition doesn't seem to have changed any of your previous conversations, so seems hard to read. It's a sword.

TRAVIS: Outstanding. I tell you what, if you get full, we'll celebrate this upcoming day as your birthday.

MATT: “If you insist, Grog Strongjaw.”

TRAVIS: And that'll do me for the night.

MATT: All right. You all come to, rallying your breakfast, your chicken-filled breakfast.

LAURA: And some boar!

MATT: And some boar, freshly cooked by Grog, who has some dark circles under the eyes from a night of unrestful consciousness.

LAURA: How you doing there, Grog? And I slap him across the face a few times.

TRAVIS: Really good.

LAURA: Yeah?

TRAVIS: Yeah, I slept really hard.

LAURA: That's good.

TRAVIS: Lots of dreams.

TALIESIN: All right. Let's send our friends on their way and make our way to the cavern that you found.

TRAVIS: Yeah, we send them back towards the camp zone, right?

SAM: Yes, and they have a mapmaker with them, so they'll find it without a problem.

LAURA: They'll know how to get back.

MATT: Tyriok's like, “Yes, I can actually find our way back quite easily from this position, as we've already traveled this way and I have a good memory for these types of things. I have to.”

LAURA: Yes. Will you and Cyrus inform everyone else that it's safe for them– oh shit, we're not back, they can't go there. We'll be back, and we're going to send you to Whitestone, where you'll be safe.

SAM: Eventually. But right now, just go to your–

TALIESIN: Well, they were fine rolling around, we already sent the wounded and the young to Whitestone, they're fine.

LAURA: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

MATT: “All right, then, that can be done, and can I take my satchel with me in case I can find some "way to recover it?”

LAURA: Of course, it's yours, darling.

MATT: “All right.” And he takes the stone arm-slash-satchel and tucks it under his arm. “All right. Rest of you.” And Cyrus steps forward. “All right, well, lead the way.” And they all give you guys a thank-you, the little girl runs up, Vanessa, and hugs you and hugs Keyleth, and Cyrus and them pull a couple of the orcish weapons that were left behind and arm themselves. Cyrus actually takes a couple of javelins and is like, (sighs) “I think the proper way to make vengeance with these. All right, you guys stay safe.”

LAURA: You too.

MATT: “Really appreciate it.”

LIAM: Tyriok!

MATT: “Yes?”

LIAM: Could I have my loaner back, please?

MATT: (laughs) “Oh, right, right, yeah, certainly.” He pulls it out and hands it to you.

LIAM: I'll take that carefully. Thank you.

LAURA: You can keep the opal dagger I gave you.

MATT: “Oh, thank you thank you thank you so much!”

TRAVIS: (under his breath) Infertility.

MATT: Puts it back away. “I appreciate that. All right, so we'll be off?” The rest of the people nod, they take some of the supplies from the wagons, they begin making their way back on the already treaded path you guys made that Tyriok knows is safe to get out of the Frostweald.

LAURA: Scanlan, did you see how generous I was just then?

SAM: Nope, missed it.

LAURA: What's wrong, Grog?

TRAVIS: What?

SAM: Did you have trouble sleeping?

TRAVIS: Yeah, no, look, the sand pit was, I think I need to comb it after you use it.

SAM: Sand pit? I have a bedroom for you.

TRAVIS: What? There's a training area downstairs just for me.

SAM: Oh Grog, you have your own bedroom upstairs. It's got a giant-sized bed in it.

TRAVIS: I haven't been using it.

SAM: Oh, for crying– I spent minutes thinking about conjuring that.

MARISHA: Grog, you did sleep last night, right?

TRAVIS: Yep. Yeah, I mean, like, I had my way with a few of those imaginary friends, because, man. No. It was good. Good sleep. Real, a little sore in my back.

LIAM: I'm going to make an insight check on Grog.

MATT: Insight check, go for it.

LIAM: Yeah. 16.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: Whispers!

LAURA: Whispers about Grog?

LIAM: I've never had a whisper before!

LAURA: You've never had a whisper?

LIAM: On the show.

TALIESIN: It's warm in your ear.

SAM: I don't know what products we're selling currently, but I assume there are some.

TALIESIN: We do know that Gilmore's Glorious Goods shirts will be shipping out next week.

SAM: Oh wow! The preorder shirts?

TALIESIN: Gilmore's Glorious Goods shirt, the preorder shirt will be shipping out next week. We'll be using this time to ignore what's happening over here while the Gilmore's Glorious Goods shirts ship out next week.

MARISHA: And of course don't forget to tune in next week for our 50th episode.

TALIESIN: 50th episode. Not anniversary.

SAM: 50th episode. There's going to be special giveaways. I don't know. Is that true? I don't know.

LAURA: What, no, there's not.

MATT: So. What do you want to do?

MARISHA: Shall we? Up the mountain!

LAURA: Wait. So did we already tell everyone what we saw?

MARISHA: I'm assuming you told us when you got back.

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: You guys informed the party of what you saw.

SAM: There's a triangle, seems to be Ioun-based.

LAURA: Blue light.

SAM: Smells of urine inside, it's very weird.

LIAM: Scanlan, maybe not black birds for a while. All right? It's a touchy subject.

SAM: Ooh, sorry. I forgot. Well actually, no, I don't know what you're talking about.

LIAM: Stay away from black birds for a while.

SAM: Okay.

LIAM: Thanks, buddy.

SAM: Sure, no problem.

MATT: All right. You guys make your way southward to the Frostweald.

SAM: The Frostweald.

MATT: Frostweald? Frostwold?

TALIESIN: Frost-vield. What is wrong with– Frost-vield.

MARISHA: Frost-Willem Dafoe.

SAM: Sig-il.

MATT: I will smite you.

MARISHA: Jif.

TALIESIN: Jif. God damn it, you beat me to it.

MATT: All right. You guys continue to head south, eventually following the path that you lead along with Keyleth's directional–

LAURA: I keep an eye out for any enemies along the way.

MATT: Indeed you do, make a perception check, being the scout person for this.

LAURA: I'm going to do that with advantage because I'm in the woods.

MATT: You're in the forest, yeah, that is true.

LAURA: 25.

MATT: 25. With that, you manage to skirt the outside of what appears to be another localized basilisk nest. You catch it early enough and guide the party around it to avoid that on your way.

LAURA: Let's go this way and then circle back.

MATT: You eventually make your way to the outskirts of the forest, the trees begin to thin out, the snow begins to melt, the temperature begins to rise somewhat. It's still cold-ish, but it's less freezing.

TRAVIS: Oh right, the Frost-weald.

MATT: Yeah, there's been a long-term enchantment over this forest that has kept it the way it is, you're not certain as to what the actual reasons are for it. Eventually, as the sun reaches not quite zenith but later morning, you find your way to the outside of this tunnel that you and Scanlan had found the evening before. There before you, you guys see the 30-foot-tall triangular entrance to this passageway deeper into the mountain itself.

LAURA: So this is the place. Technically, Scanlan flew in, so I don't think he had to check for traps.

SAM: I did not check for traps, I just flew in, but perhaps we should this time.

LIAM: Lead me in as far as you went.

SAM: If you'll check for traps.

LIAM: Yeah. Where you flew over, yeah.

SAM: Yes, let's do it.

LIAM: In the entrance and down those stairs.

MATT: All right. So go ahead and make an investigation check.

LIAM: 20. No, 17.

MATT: 17.

SAM: I will also check for traps.

MATT: Okay. Make an investigation check.

SAM: 22.

LIAM: Checking for traps, I should know this, but is that separate from perception for me?

MATT: Perception is to notice various details in here, if you're actually actively searching for trap mechanisms like that, investigation is generally more used. Yeah.

SAM: 22.

MATT: I mean, they're both pretty similar in some ways and it depends on the circumstances.

LIAM: But is it a different roll? Traps? Or is it just perception and investigation?

MATT: Perception and investigation, depending on the circumstance, one or the other. For the most part, perception would be like if you notice something wrong about the room, you'd be like, that stone seems different, then you would do investigation to try to find out what type of trap it is per se, or if you were actively searching for traps, that would be more of an investigation, like knowing where you've seen around, and seeing the terrain to possibly facilitate something like that.

LIAM: It's only my third year doing this.

MATT: I know, it's all good. What did you have again?

SAM: 22.

MATT: 22. All right. As you guys slowly descend the steps, as you get about 25, 30 feet into the tunnel before it lowers into these stone steps, and they're rather large steps. Each spread of your gait is wider than the common step, and these have been around for a very long time. You can see where the corners are, they're rounded. Looks like at points in time there may have been flooding in this area that has caused that type of softening of the stonework at the tip, though the little bit of moisture that's in this area seems to be from blown-in snow possibly or another source you don't currently see. It is pitch-dark in here, if anyone would like to–

TRAVIS: I have darkvision.

MATT: He has darkvision. Darkvision, darkvision. Darkvision, darkvision. Absolutely blind.

LIAM: I'm pulling out Flametongue dagger.

MARISHA: Then I'll light up my hands a little bit.

MATT: Okay, so you guys have a low candlelight, so it gives you a little bit of vision, but it's still very, very dim. You guys make your way down the stairway, step to step, and you can hear each footstep echoes as you continue downward. It progresses deeper and deeper and you begin to see this gentle blue flickering light at the very bottom of the staircase as it begins to approach, and your eyes have adjusted to the darkness at this point in time.

LAURA: Does it look like water reflection?

MATT: It looks like it could be some sort of water-like movement, and as you hit the bottom of the stairway and it evens out into these square stone tiles across the way, you see ahead of you what looks to be a singular circular room with no exits from what you can tell at this point. Just a circular room that loops around, and in the center there is a ten-foot pool of a still, somewhat still surface of water. There is a little bit of movement because there is some sort of a cold breeze that was ejecting out of the tunnel, but there is no real source of the wind that you can pick up at the moment.

LAURA: Can I investigate the walls? Did you already check for traps in this room?

LIAM: I did an investigation check.

MATT: As you entered this room?

LIAM: Yeah, I'll do it again here.

MATT: That was when you guys were going down the stairway, go ahead and make the roll.

LIAM: I'm going to use Luck.

SAM: I got a 24.

MATT: 24, okay.

LIAM: 18.

MATT: 18, okay. The two of you, there is a very, very faint blue glow that is emanating from below the surface of the water that is giving this very, very tiny bit of light to the room. Thankfully because most of you are darkvision-based, it doesn't impede you from seeing all the details in the room. Percy, you'll still not be able to make out the fine details.

TALIESIN: That's why I'm in the back.

MATT: But between the two of you inspecting the edges, there are no seams, there are no doors, there are no other passages. You do, however, see script across the opposite side of the room that is chiseled into the stonework itself in Elvish script.

MARISHA: Oh, Elvish.

MATT: Oh sorry, this is not Elvish, Elvish was the obelisk. What languages do you–

LIAM: Common, Elvish, and Abyssal.

MATT: What languages do you know?

SAM: Gnome and Common.

MATT: It is a language neither of you know.

TALIESIN: Can I take a look at it?

SAM: You can't see nothing.

LIAM: I walk up with my dagger and hold it underneath.

MATT: Run it across?

TALIESIN: Celestial?

MATT: It is Celestial.

TALIESIN: Well, there you go.

MATT: Are you the only one that knows Celestial?

TALIESIN: I had not a lot of friends growing up, this was a lot of quiet time.

MATT: (laughs) That is okay. All right, so. Looking at this, it reads, and you read it out loud, the translation. The thing about Celestial, it's interesting, it's a beautiful-sounding language that even the translation to Common is built into rhyme. It says, “Knowledge dost billow, all realms are the shore. The sky a window, the water a door.”

MARISHA: Wait.

LAURA: Wait. Start at the beginning?

MATT: “Knowledge dost billow, all realms are the shore. The sky a window, the water a door.”

TRAVIS: Yep. So in this room, it's a circle, what's the distance across the room?

MATT: It's about 30 feet across on a side.

TRAVIS: Oh, so it's not that big.

MATT: And it's a ten-foot pool. No, it's a pretty tight space.

TRAVIS: And there's solid flooring and then the pool in the middle.

MATT: Yeah, in the middle, so you move around. So a ten-foot walkway around it.

LAURA: Can I get on the broom? And fly up above the pool of water and look down into it?

MATT: Okay. Go ahead and make a perception check.

LAURA: 25.

MATT: 25. Looking down into it, you see no bottom. You see the glow continues downward and it's almost like there is a very soft, faint source of light in there, but the water obscures it too much to see a bottom. It doesn't disappear into darkness, which leads you to believe that it's not endless, but you can't make out any details of where it would end or how far that is from where you are. You do see what looks to be slow, shifting movement of aquatic plant life that is gathered on the edges about ten feet down and further.

MARISHA: So Percy read this out loud, right?

TALIESIN: Yes, I read it out loud.

MARISHA: Would Keyleth know anything about this as possibly being a portal to the realm of water? Can I do like a check to see if this is something that might be a–

MATT: Make an intelligence check.

MARISHA: Not my strong suit.

TALIESIN: Good, oh!

LAURA: Oh my gosh Keyleth, you're so smart!

MARISHA: I'm so smart. Just straight intelligence?

MATT: Straight intelligence.

MARISHA: 15.

MATT: 15. There is talk of elements here, very plainly in the translation. It's possible. However, usually doorways to the planes have a very prominent magical signature to them, one that is especially, you are pretty sensitive to, being an Ashari, and that is a large part of what your people's charge is. You do not get the feeling that this pool is a gateway to another plane, per se, just a very deep pool.

LAURA: Keyleth! Use the thing to see magical runes!

SAM: Oh yeah, yeah. The chunk, the hunk.

MARISHA: Okay, I pull out my Hunk of Quall. Hunk of Quall.

MATT: Hold it up and concentrate for a moment. Doesn't seem to spark, and there doesn't appear to be a reaction.

LAURA: Really thought it was going to do something, I really, really did.

TRAVIS: Can I take a single gold coin, make a wish, and flick it into the wishing well.

LAURA: I watch it go down.

MATT: Drifts from side to side, drifts down, glimmers occasionally, drifts, and then is out of sight.

LIAM: There's a fairly good chance we need to go down through this. Grog and Keyleth? You're probably the best suited for this, you because your fucking chest is so big and you because you can turn into water.

TRAVIS: I also have two vials of breathing underwater.

LAURA: Hey, that's a good thing.

MARISHA: I also happened to pack Control Water in my bag of tricks today.

TRAVIS: You did?

MARISHA: I did.

TRAVIS: Fricking awesome.

MARISHA: When we go underground there tends to be water, so I tend to bring it.

LAURA: Should we control it, or–

MARISHA: Keyleth walks up and puts her hands in the pool.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: Anything happen when I touch the water?

MATT: Your hand goes in the water. It is cold, it is in line with most subterranean pools that you've encountered. Not freezing, but very chilly. Reacts like any other water that you've encountered before. It's not particularly murky, either.

MARISHA: I dive in.

MATT: Keyleth, (splash). You dive in, pulling yourself down.

LIAM: Grog. Go with her.

TRAVIS: You got it.

MATT: Sinking down, and you can see the tunnel around you, it goes from smoother stone to a little rougher and as you descend you can see the algae and various aquatic plant matter and life that is gathered around, until eventually you go down about 40 feet or so, your feet hit the bottom, and you can see it ends behind you but then before you there is a tunnel, there is a continued walkway underwater forward.

TRAVIS: I come down behind her.

MATT: You feel the impact as Grog lands right behind you. Let me see here. What's your constitution modifier? Keyleth?

MARISHA: Not great. Two. Plus two.

MATT: Two? Okay. Yours is five, right? For the constitution modifier?

TRAVIS: Oh, sorry, no, I'm being a dickhole. It is five, yeah.

MATT: Yeah, so you can hold your breath for five minutes.

SAM: Five minutes!

MARISHA: Is that however long your–

MATT: Yeah, one minute per constitution modifier. For you it's two.

MARISHA: Interesting.

MATT: After you've landed here, you're about 30 seconds in, looking around, Grog's there.

MARISHA: How far does the tunnel look?

MATT: Make a perception check, with disadvantage because of the water distortion.

TRAVIS: Can I look everywhere except the tunnel with my darkvision?

MARISHA: Bad and bad. 16.

MATT: With disadvantage.

MARISHA: 16.

TRAVIS: Don't worry about it, it's four.

MATT: (laughs) It's not hard to see. The tunnel continues, begins to curve upward about 60 to 80 feet ahead of you. It is choked with that heavy algae slowly drifting there, but there is a path you can see to swim through where it wouldn't really stop or halt your progress. But it curves upward.

MARISHA: You want to keep going?

MARISHA and TRAVIS: (underwater blubbing conversation sounds)

MATT: You're halfway through your breath, by the way. You're now at one minute.

TRAVIS: I'll swim forward. Just to where it starts to curve up.

MATT: I'll have both you guys make athletics checks.

TRAVIS: That sucks dick.

LAURA: At disadvantage.

TRAVIS: At a disadvantage?

MATT: No, not athletics.

MARISHA: 15.

TRAVIS: 12.

MATT: Oh, no, you do, because you have exhaustion.

TRAVIS: Oh, that's right. 12.

MATT: 12. What?

MARISHA: 15.

MATT: 15. Okay. You guys aren't having a huge issue, you get forward, you can move about half your movement forward every six seconds or so, so you manage to make your way up into the center of where the plant matter begins to grow darker and more apparent. Grog, you start making your way through. I need you to go ahead and make a dexterity save at disadvantage.

MARISHA: What? What the why? What the why?

SAM: Piranhas, that's why.

MATT: Dexterity at disadvantage because you're swimming underwater, in which movement is much harder as well.

LIAM: Ninja sharks.

TRAVIS: 11.

MATT: 11. All right.

MARISHA: Dolphins with lasers.

LAURA: It's going to be so bad.

MATT: You take eight points of psychic damage as suddenly, out of the greenish plant matter, you see these red tendrils, these red vines of algae that begin reaching out towards you. One of them brushes against your shoulder, and you feel this surge of shock energy almost travel through your nervous system to your head, and it's like you have an instantly pounding headache and you feel your muscles begin to tense up. Make a constitution saving throw.

LAURA: Oh god!

TRAVIS: That's a one.

(gasping)

MATT: You feel your muscles lock up as paralysis takes over. You watch as Grog suddenly tenses up, and the air that's in his lungs escapes in a big heave.

MARISHA: Upon seeing this, I reach forward and I grab hold of him and I cast Control Water and jettison the both of us out of there.

TRAVIS: If it's water.

LAURA: It's got to be water.

MARISHA: I kicked the camera, sorry.

MATT: So do you, you push yourself away, you jet? Okay.

MARISHA: I take a jet, jetting us back out. Waterslide!

MATT: So you pull him back using Control Water to shove you guys. Yeah, the water's basically pushing you forward, like an ice man waterslide, and make your way to the other side. Grog, you, that's the first round to get you to the bottom there, your constitution modifier's five, you have five rounds before you're officially drowning.

TRAVIS: Okay.

MATT: So she pulls you in, grabs you to the bottom. You look up. Using Control Water again to concentrate, this is going to take you two rounds to get to the top because you're carrying Grog's weight.

LAURA: Can I see them coming up?

MATT: You do see the form begin, Keyleth's face begin rising to the surface. Eventually she breaks through the water, carrying Grog, who's too heavy for her, and then dips right back down in the water.

MARISHA: Help!

TALIESIN: Pull Grog.

MATT: You grab and pull Grog out and onto the edge, and he's locked in place, eyes wide.

MARISHA: Can I take the Control Water to see if I can like waterbend it out of his lungs, if there's any water in his lungs?

MATT: Yeah. As you concentrate, you pull this single strain of water out of, it's the weirdest sensation you've ever had, as the water is pumped instantly from inside your lungs.

TRAVIS: It's like a reverse beer bong.

MATT: (laughs) Yeah, it is. And the water scatters across the stonework on the side of the pool. It takes about 30 seconds before your muscles come back and all of a sudden you're–

TRAVIS: (coughing and choking)

LAURA: What the hell happened? What was down there?

MARISHA: Really nasty plants. And I go over. I'm pretty sure my Control Water lasts for a minute, yeah?

MATT: Control Water lasts for up to ten minutes. Concentration.

MARISHA: Dope. I'm going to go over, and can I start clearing the water out of this tunnel?

MATT: Where would you want it to go?

MARISHA: Out?

LIAM: Up the stairs. Behind us is stairs up.

MATT: You can't make water disappear. You can part it, you can do all kinds of things with it, the water still has to go somewhere.

LIAM: Part it. An air tunnel for us.

MARISHA: That's what I was thinking, making like an air tunnel.

MATT: Or you can redirect the flow. Up to you. What do you want to do? The abilities you have to choose from are part water, redirect flow, whirlpool, but that's not really in your realm, or flood.

MARISHA: And how big was this tunnel?

MATT: All the way across, I'd say it's about 25, 20 feet across.

MARISHA: That's a big tunnel. I'll part it.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: So you dive back down? When are you starting to part it?

MARISHA: I yell to everybody else and I say, there's a tunnel through to the other side. Let's go. And I jump in and I'll sink and I'll start parting the water behind me.

MATT: All right. So.

MARISHA: Or, let me see, let me sink to the bottom and then I'll part the water in the tunnel straight ahead.

MATT: Okay. Do you guys follow suit?

TALIESIN: I follow.

LAURA: Yeah.

SAM: Are we diving into water or parted water?

MATT: You're diving into water right now.

MARISHA: And before I jump in, I say, don't touch the plants on the edge.

LIAM: So we're going through water to get to air.

MARISHA: Yeah, that's what I'm hoping for, yeah.

LAURA: Is it a fast drop, or do we float down with that water?

MATT: You float down, because she didn't part the water of the top of the tunnel, you guys float down at a natural pace, eventually touching the bottom of the subterranean tunnel, holding your breath. Keyleth moves her hands this way and the water in the center of the tunnel actually parts almost like a bubble in front of you.

LAURA: Nice!

MATT: You step into that open space now and you can breathe. You all catch yourself–

MARISHA: Let's go fast while I still have this concentration.

MATT: There's still droplets dropping around you. As you're holding it at bay and you push it off to the side, elements, a lot of the water has been forced out of the top for the time being wherever you're going–

MARISHA: Sure, displacement physics.

MATT: Yeah. However, the planet life that was currently drifting freely is all to the ground, and is this giant mass of plant matter on the ground that is soaking wet and there.

MARISHA: Okay. Don't touch the plants, let's go.

LAURA: Go where?

MARISHA: Forward.

LIAM: Is it covering like a rug all in front of us?

MATT: I mean, there is plant matter all over the entire surface. It's thicker on the edges, because a lot of it dropped down on itself.

LIAM: So are we able to pick our way through?

MATT: Yeah, it looks like a bunch of wet fur on the sides. You guys begin walking, what's the marching order here? Who's going first?

TRAVIS: I'll go first because I'm at disadvantage on everything, so.

MATT: Okay. Grog goes first.

LIAM: I'll go behind Grog.

MATT: Okay. Who's after that?

LAURA: I'll go next.

SAM: I'll take Pike and go after her.

TALIESIN: I'll go behind them.

MARISHA: Following up their rears.

MATT: And Keyleth's following up the rear. Okay. Has Trinket stepped back into your necklace, by the way?

LAURA: Yes yes yes.

MATT: Okay. Just making sure.

TRAVIS: Hold it up, show him.

LAURA: He's in my necklace.

MATT: Grog, as you step past, and you're stepping with a squashing sound as your footfalls hit each of the sections of the dark brown-greenish plant matter. It's really soggy, and Keyleth, as you're concentrating, it's a lot of water to part, and you're basically creating this 20-foot tunnel. As you begin stepping across, you can see the red vines begin to pull their way out, but without the water there, they can't support the weight of the vine itself, so currently they're unable to really shift in your direction. You can see them trying, you can see the vines (slithering) in the matted mass, but they can't actually work towards–

LAURA: Can't move quickly.

MARISHA: They're assholes, don't touch them.

MATT: So as you dart across, you guys each individually make your way across the other side of the tunnel where the Control Water spell ends. You can see the curvature leading upward, there is still that barrier of water that's shimmering right there in front of you. You all eventually make it past that big central patch, and as it curves upward, you can look about 35 feet at a diagonal that way, you can see the surface of water that's where it breaks.

LAURA: Oh. Swim up.

MARISHA: Can I take the Control Water and jettison us all up like I did with Grog?

MATT: Yeah.

MARISHA: Hold on!

MATT: So you guys all take a breath as the water wall collapses behind you, rushes up, and like a water jet all of you get jettisoned out and have to catch yourself on your feet.

MARISHA: Three-point landing.

LAURA: I catch myself on the broom and I fly.

TRAVIS: I definitely roll. How does Scanlan land?

SAM: Not well.

MATT: (laughs) Scanlan's more like a waterslide, he comes out the end and feet in the air. It's fun, but–

SAM: Slip-and-slide?

MATT: Yeah! But you hit the sprinkler head you didn't know was under there. (groaning)

TRAVIS: The worst!

SAM: There's a rock.

TRAVIS: We all know what you're talking about. You haven't lived.

MARISHA: Those things are death traps, man. They're the best.

LAURA: And when they're not wet enough.

MATT: So you guys all emerge outside of this pool now. You take a moment to look around as there is no light source in this room either. Those with darkvision, you look around and you see what appears to be a smooth, marble stone floor, very intricately carved, with four pillars surrounding the exit of the pool that you guys came out of. You can see on each of these pillars, facing inward, or not inward, sorry, facing outward of these pillars, what looks to be these stone lion heads. They each face outward. The chamber is also circular, but much larger, it's actually 60 feet across, from the 30 feet of the first chamber you came to.

LIAM: Right where we are, I'm going to take my Flametongue dagger and go in a circle and detect traps. Detect some traps.

MATT: Okay. Make an investigation check.

LIAM: 18.

MATT: 18, okay. As you glance around with the dagger, and now that you have light as opposed to the darkvision that was before, you can see now. The room is a very deep blue cobalt marble, and the edges of each of these intricately carved pillars, where the base hits the rest of the structure, and along the walls you can see what looks like gold and platinum filigree and trim. It's a very beautifully, very elegantly built room. You look around the walls. They themselves are smooth with, once again, no door, no exit, however, you look around the outside of the pool that you came out of, and there is a three-foot-wide gold loop around it, almost like there's a big circular gold plate that surrounds the pool, and inside it is carved a language that you can't understand. You recognize it again as Celestial.

TALIESIN: Oh dear.

MARISHA: What does it say?

TALIESIN: Dagger again?

MATT: All right, this one translates to: “Betwixt the chaos, our order reigns, the ones who made us, refined the planes. As ages die–”

MARISHA: Hang on. “The ones who made us–”

MATT: “Refined the planes. As ages die, their time an ember, the four endure, the four remember.”

SAM: Aren't there four dragons?

TRAVIS: That can't be what this is about.

SAM: Why not?

MARISHA: Because we killed one of them.

LAURA: It could be four sphinxes.

TALIESIN: There's four lion heads in the room.

MATT: As you look up as well, as you glance at more of the scenery, and you put the dagger up, right above where the pool is, there is a beautiful circular mural, the size of the room itself, 60 feet across from end to end.

LAURA: How high is the ceiling?

MATT: The ceiling is 40 feet tall.

LIAM: If it's in Celestial and it says, “those who made us,” I highly doubt that the dragons are the ones that made the architects of this structure.

MARISHA: If you recall, there were also five dragons and we killed one of them already.

LAURA: Yeah, it's four sphinxes.

SAM: Four somethings in the room.

MATT: Glancing up across the mural, this beautifully painted image shows flames twisting and writhing in an arced pattern that then twist into broken rock and soil and earth and mountains that then break once again, sinking into an angry ocean, and that ocean then begins to rise into clouds into the sky, those clouds then dissipating and turning into raw flame and continuing the loop.

MARISHA: It's the water cycle.

SAM: Elements.

MATT: In the center of this loop, there is a single dark hole in the ceiling.

LAURA: I'm flying, so I'm up near it. Can I investigate it?

MATT: Make an investigation check.

LIAM: Careful, please?

LAURA: I'm not poking my head into it, I want to get a closer look.

TRAVIS: That's what she said last time.

MATT: Scanlan, make an intelligence check.

LAURA: Investigation or perception? You said perception?

MATT: What are you looking for?

LAURA: I just want to get a closer look at the circle.

MATT: Make it perception. I'll say sure, why not.

LAURA: 19?

MATT: Okay, glancing at the circle, I mean, it has a similar small gold band around the outside of it, but this mural is built around this central hole. It's about three feet across, it's not very big, and it goes straight up into darkness.

LAURA: It said in the previous room, “the sky is a window.” Does that pertain to this?

TALIESIN: It might.

MARISHA: It could. It said, “the water a door.”

LAURA: Which we came through.

MARISHA: Wait, and the hole is right above the water, correct?

MATT: Correct.

MARISHA: It lines up. It lines up.

TALIESIN: Vax, double-check the gold floor, I'm not–

LAURA: Are there any runes on the gold around that circle on the ceiling?

MATT: Looking around the gold itself, no, but you're looking at the actual mural itself this close up, there is a texture to the painting itself, and you can see embedded within elements of the actual brushwork and where the flames meet the rock, you can see hidden lines. With what appear to be very very faint runes.

LAURA: Is it the same language that was around the–

MATT: It's a language you don't understand. This is not a spoken language. What languages do you know?

LAURA: Abyssal, Draconic, Elvish–

MATT: These are rooted in Draconic. Very ancient, this is the basis of what most arcane runes are created from, as Draconic is the base root of arcane writing. None of them spell anything you understand with your knowledge of Draconic, however that is the base root of this writing, as ancient as it is.

LIAM: Pike? Does this mean anything to you?

SAM: By the way, Matt, I rolled my second natural one of the night for my intelligence check.

MATT: Okay. You have no idea what this is about, yeah.

SAM: I'm trying to get water out of my ear.

MATT: Pike's looking up and says, “This is beyond me, this is very old.”

MARISHA: Does this harken back to anything that we remember about the telling of the Spark, or the Second Spark?

MATT: You know, I'm going to make a religion check with her. Not bad. She goes, “Best I can gather, these represent the elemental chaos, and the center is the prime, our world, that was crafted out of that chaos when the gods came, just like we were told at the Platinum Sanctuary. That's what you told me you found there.”

MARISHA: All of the elemental realms overlap, which create our realm. Which is why there's gateways.

TRAVIS: Can I walk over to one of the pillars?

MATT: Yeah.

TRAVIS: Is it covered with anything?

MATT: They're all the same, and they all have that giant gold stone lion head facing outward from each of the pillars.

TRAVIS: Is there writing or anything fancy on the pillar?

MATT: Make an investigation check.

LAURA: I grab the Hunk of Quall and I float it up to the ceiling.

MARISHA: I gave Vex the Hunk of Quall.

TRAVIS: Hey! 15 with a minus two.

MATT: Nothing really catches your attention.

TRAVIS: Can I knock on it?

MATT: Solid. Cobalt marble.

TALIESIN: The lion heads. Do they have open mouths or closed mouths?

MATT: The mouths are closed. You take the Quall–

LAURA: I take the Hunk up to the ceiling.

MATT: All right. What are you doing with it?

LAURA: How did you make this work, Keyleth?

MARISHA: Just hold it out like you're searching for a signal.

MATT: Okay, you hold it up, and you see the bauble glows ever so faintly, and whenever you drift it over the mural, all the runes that are within a foot of it slightly glow as it passes over them, almost like a blacklight. It reveals them ever so faintly.

LAURA: Does that mean these are magic? I can't remember what this thing does.

MARISHA: Yeah, it means that there's magical essence, it finds magic.

TALIESIN: I'm going to take some of the water from the pool, and I'm going to bring it to one of the columns and dash it on the column and see what happens.

MATT: Okay. You take the water–

TALIESIN: On the, yeah, the water column.

MATT: You throw it on the column that matches the water overhead. You feel this slight grinding shift of stone.

LAURA: Wind blows! Fire burns!

TALIESIN: Really? Really? We had to bring it there? Really?

MATT: You glance around and the lion's mouth has opened.

MARISHA: Good call, Percy!

SAM: Wait, what are the other elements? Fire, air?

LAURA: Yeah, I go over to one of the other pillars and blow on it, the one under the air part.

MATT: Same crumbling sound of stone and the mouth of the lion is now open.

TRAVIS: Ooh, ooh, fire, fire!

LIAM: I use the Flametongue dagger.

MATT: As you brush it across the pillar, once again, the lion mouth opens on the outside of the pillar.

LAURA: How do we do earth?

SAM: She's an earth elemental, or she can do earthy things.

MARISHA: Well, I Druidcraft some earth and start wrapping it around the pillar.

MATT: Okay. You create this little burst of soil, this little knob of wet mud and clay, and you circle it, smear across the side of the pillar. The fourth mouth opens. There's a low rumble. Suddenly each mouth of the lion begins to pour a constant cavalcade of sand. The pool immediately fills up, you guys noticing, this room, as wide as it is, across the way other holes have opened up in the side and sand is pouring in.

LAURA: Oh shit. I fly up into the hole in the ceiling–

TRAVIS: Oh! A fucking hourglass?

(yelling)

LAURA: I fly up into the hole. I drop the endless rope down from the hole as I'm flying it up so there's a rope in the middle of the room; so that everybody can go for, I'm flying up–

SAM: If the sand fills up, we can ride the sand up to the hole.

MATT: So you ride up through the top, you go up about 60 feet to the very top before you get there. You have to take a second to go ahead and rummage and find the rope. The rope is on you at all times?

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: Not in the Bag of Holding?

LAURA: No, it's on my cloak. Rope of Infinite Twine.

MATT: Right, it's a robe. It's–

TRAVIS: It's a robe, it's not a rope. It's from the inside of a robe or jacket.

MATT: A pocket on the inside of the robe.

LAURA: Oh.

MATT: So. You would have to get that from Grog first, it was probably in the Bag of Holding.

LAURA: Fuck! All right, fine, I fly back down– Gimme gimme gimme the rope.

TRAVIS: I give it.

MATT: Okay, at this point the sand has now come up to your knees, waist area, and you're having to climb out and get on top.

LIAM: Scanlan, grab your horn, call out, say that Osysa sent us.

LAURA: I tell him to hold on to one end as I fly up.

LIAM: Don't you have a cone?

MATT: The weight of both of you across it, especially with your weight, the broom (pff).

LAURA: I let go, the rope should be coming out of the robe.

MATT: Right, okay. I thought you were trying to lift him up with you.

LAURA: No no no, I'm trying to let the rope out as I'm flying up.

MATT: Okay. You pull up and you come off the top again into this chamber that leads into it. You can see with what your vision is a tunnel that leads ahead to a set of double metal doors.

LAURA: Is there anything to tie rope off onto?

MATT: No.

LAURA: What about the doors? Are there handles?

MATT: From what you can look over there, no. They are solid metal.

LAURA: Shit.

LIAM: Scanlan, can I borrow your horn? Your cone?

SAM: Yes, I can yell.

MATT: At this point, about half the room is filled now.

TALIESIN: Okay.

LIAM: I grab Scanlan's horn. Osysa sent us, can you hear us?

MATT: You hear that voice echo up through.

MARISHA: Gather close next to me, who's close nearby? I do a Wall of Stone as a pillar and pillar us up towards the hole.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: Elevator time.

MATT: It is a three-foot-wide hole. You'll be able to fit one person through there.

MARISHA: Can I at least rise us up to where we're close and we can get there?

MATT: Okay, yeah, so.

MARISHA: Where we're up and out.

MATT: So you get up out of the sand, now you guys have been climbing up best you can, but as the nature of sand you're still pulling in, as it's pouring in now, you see now, parts of the ceiling are starting to open.

LAURA: Keyleth! Do you have the Immovable Rod?

MARISHA: I do have the Immovable Rod.

LAURA: I fly down and I grab the Immovable Rod.

MARISHA: Here, catch, yeah, take it!

MATT: Okay, you grab the rod. You fly up, you take the rod and you set it in place there.

LAURA: Tie the rope onto it.

MATT: Tie the rope onto it. All right. At this point now the sand's pushed up. You guys are on the last ten feet before it hits the ceiling.

LAURA: Climb it, climb it.

TALIESIN: Climbing, climbing the rope, climbing the rope.

MARISHA: I'm going to go ahead and I'm going to go and turn into a bird.

LAURA: Can I fly back down and grab Scanlan?

SAM: I'm okay.

LAURA: Well I go down and I grab Pike then and I go up on the broom.

MATT: Okay. Pike goes, “Thank you!” You grab her and she holds onto the edge of the broom and you guys make it up that way. No, since the hole is just small enough where you pretty much have to go through single-file, so nobody else can climb while you're doing that. You guys go through, who's coming up first?

MARISHA: I'm flying.

MATT: You fly up after them. Who's going up first?

TALIESIN: I'll go up next.

MATT: Okay. Go ahead and make an athletics check.

TALIESIN: Athletics or acrobatics?

MATT: This would be athletics, because you're climbing a rope, a tiny–

SAM: The hole, is it triangular?

MATT: No, it's circular.

TALIESIN: 19.

MATT: 19, okay. Making your way up. It's a long pull.

TALIESIN: I'm going to Batman.

MATT: All right. Who's up next?

LIAM: I'd like to use acrobatics to ignore the rope and use the sides of this little tunnel to do that going up.

MATT: Okay, okay, go ahead and do that.

LIAM: That is 25.

MATT: 25, okay, that keeps you going. So you guys get up a third of the way, who's after you?

SAM: I guess I'm climbing the rope. There's a rope, yes? Climbing that rope.

MATT: Yep. Make an athletics check.

SAM: Okay. 17.

MATT: 17, okay. You guys are all making it up, you get about a third of the way up, I need the three of you to make your checks again, as it is a very tight space and it's a very, very heavy pull up. You're just like–

LIAM: 25 again.

MATT: 25 again. Awesome.

SAM: 13.

TALIESIN: 23.

MATT: 23. You guys make it up two-thirds of the pathway, now. You can see now the sand has reached the bottom, and at this point, you guys who made it up to the top, you look up as you notice part of the stonework above goes (fwsh) and sand begins to now fall directly on top of you guys, pushing past you. I need you guys to make one more check, with disadvantage because of the sand, because that was what the time limit was going to do.

MARISHA: It's gone, it's gone!

MATT: As soon as the timer went out, that was when the top one went boom, and capped off the top.

SAM: This is an athletics check?

MATT: This is athletics, yeah.

TRAVIS: No, not 27, 24.

MATT: 24. Right, this is you coming up from the bottom. So you make it up a third of the way now. What'd you roll with dis–?

SAM: 17.

MATT: 17 with disadvantage?

TALIESIN: 13.

LIAM: 25 acrobatics.

MATT: 25. You actually have to climb over Percy to get past, because Percy's being held up from the sand that is coming down. Grog, it's starting to catch up to you. You, I need Vax and Scanlan, you guys make it to the top and pull your weight out of the sand that's now pouring down in that tunnel.

SAM: The tunnel on top?

MATT: The top of the tunnel, yeah, you guys emerge from it and you're now inside a chamber along with Vex and Keyleth.

MARISHA: So the only people that are left are Percy and Grog?

MATT: Percy and Grog.

SAM: Pike?

MATT: Pike was brought up by Vex.

TRAVIS: Second roll was 11, 19 total.

MATT: 19 total?

LIAM: I have a regular 50-foot rope and I'm tying a loop and I'm going to throw it down towards Grog and try to get it down so he can hold onto it and help pull while he does what he's doing.

MARISHA: Can I cantrip a Gust against the sand to try and blow some of it?

MATT: It's a lot of sand, you might be able to help a little bit with your cantrip, it's more of a puff of wind than a strong force, and it's a lot of sand falling. It's not going to help tremendously on this circumstance, unfortunately, as a cantrip.

LAURA: Can I use Pike's shield and try to direct it to where some of it isn't coming–?

MATT: Sure, go ahead and make a strength check.

LAURA: Oh, maybe Pike should do it, because she's way stronger than me!

MATT: Okay. Pike's going to step forward.

LAURA: She's got 19 strength now!

SAM: Don't do this, Pike, don't do this.

MATT: “I have to do it.” She steps forward and puts her shield out. All right. She manages to direct some of the flow, which begins to spray onto the outside of the room, begins to fill up one side, however that does give a round of no disadvantage to Grog and Percy. Roll again.

TRAVIS: Except I'm exhausted, right? So I have disadvantage anyway.

MATT: Yes, you do.

TALIESIN: 17.

TRAVIS: 21.

MATT: You manage to make it up the rest of the way. The rope, Percy comes out. Pull him up onto the side. Pike, unfortunately, it's too much and loses it. The sand comes rushing down on top of you. What'd you roll?

TRAVIS: 21.

LIAM: I grab Grog by the beard and pull.

MATT: He's almost to the top, because you made one check, that's your second check now. Need you to make one more check now as the sand's pouring down, it's now come up to you and it's starting to grab the lower part of your legs, and you're starting to feel yourself being buried.

LIAM: I'm pulling on his beard, can I cancel his disadvantage?

MATT: The rope that came down– Roll a perception check, Grog. With disadvantage. What did you roll?

TRAVIS: Perception is four, but I rolled a 24 on my fourth–

MATT: With disadvantage?

TRAVIS and LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: Nice! So you don't even see the rope that Vax dropped. It keeps in the sand. But you, grabbing onto the one that's already up there, you hand-over-hand pull up. You guys watch as the sand eventually stops, and fills the entirety of the tunnel and stops. And then (thud, slam) Grog pulls himself outside, manages to brush the sand off, it's all in his beard.

MARISHA: Grog!

TRAVIS: How about a short rest?

(laughter)

TRAVIS: Anyone feel like a nap? Fucking hell.

LIAM: I start shaking out his beard and getting all the crap out.

TRAVIS: Yeah, thank you.

LIAM: And it's like, fwang!

MARISHA: I cantrip Gust, brush him off.

LAURA: I thought we were doing what we were supposed to do down there.

SAM: I think we did do what we were supposed to do.

LAURA: Jeez, it would've been better if we would've just gone up the hole.

MARISHA: Yeah.

TRAVIS: Fuck, I've never rolled that well in my life.

MATT: That was the time to do it, man. So you guys now see there is a long stone brick hallway before you. It's solid behind you, with a little bit of sand that's now coasted from the corner after Pike had diverted it briefly. Beyond the way, about 30 feet ahead of you, you see two metallic doors that are closed.

LIAM: Traps, I'm looking for traps.

MATT: Investigation check.

LIAM: Yeah, that's good. That is a 27.

MATT: You take a moment, scanning the floor as you approach, coming up to the actual doors, you take a minute to look them over. They are not locked, nor are they trapped.

MARISHA: I never trust that. That's never been good.

LIAM: I'm going stealth.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: 30 for stealth.

MARISHA: What did that riddle say? Something about a name. A name must be earned?

SAM: We're in a room with two doors? Is that it?

MATT: Correct, a hallway with two doors.

LAURA: A name is earned. Yes.

MARISHA: So maybe this is us earning our name.

LAURA: Or his name.

TRAVIS: Wait, so we went through water, we went through sand.

LAURA: Now there's fire.

MARISHA: And wind.

SAM: We haven't gone through fire or wind yet.

LAURA: That was really smart, Grog.

LIAM: Deathwalker's Ward, I'll have resistance to fire.

MATT: Okay, that would take a short rest to go ahead and set that.

TRAVIS: I'm okay with that.

LIAM: Let's sit and let Grog catch a breath, shall we?

MATT: Okay. You taking a short rest or no? Up to you.

TRAVIS: Yeah, I'll take it.

LAURA: Does it cure exhaustion if he takes a short rest?

MATT: No, long rest cures exhaustion.

TRAVIS: Oh, fuck that shit, I'm rolling through.

MATT: (laughs) All right, you guys take a short rest, you take a breather here, if you need to use any hit dice, now you can. All right, so. Finish the short rest, you've reset your armor to fire resistance.

MARISHA: Is there any runes or anything around in this room that look like they would indicate–

MATT: In the short rest, in the time you've taken, while there were no traps in the door, you guys did notice that there is a very, very faint symbol in the metal. Very large, so at first it just seemed like it was part of the door's design, but as you step back and rest, you glance over at the door, Keyleth, looking at it from this distance, you can see the symbol–

TALIESIN: Ooh, he's got paper.

MATT: –like this. This is the symbol of Ioun. This is the ancient original symbol of Ioun. This is what is a relief in each of the doors, ever so faintly, where only at a distance would you be able to really see it.

SAM: Is it the exact same in both doors?

MATT: Yes.

SAM: Not a mirror image, not one blue one green?

MATT: No, it is the exact same.

SAM: Okay. Should we open a door?

MARISHA: Well, do you want to bust out those Ioun stones you have?

SAM: Maybe there's a clue in here.

MARISHA: You also have your Ioun stones.

SAM: Yeah, but what's that going to do?

TRAVIS: In the walls and in the floors and in the ceiling, is it just the same marble and stone, are there any porous openings or–?

MATT: Make a perception check.

LAURA: What was that second line? “Knowledge dost billow–”

SAM: “All realms are the shore. The sky is a window, the water a door.”

TRAVIS: 16.

MATT: Okay. Looking about, the stonework is pretty consistent here. It's old, but unlike the weathered entrance, a lot of this has not seen the elements since it's fairly buried, and even at its seemingly ancient time that it's been here, it doesn't appear to be worn, looks fairly fresh. You don't see any weaknesses, you don't see missing stones.

TRAVIS: It's stone, though, right?

MATT: It is stone, yes.

TRAVIS: Like marble, or?

MATT: No, actually, this is more old, classic granite or other deep-earth stones that are used for various forms of construction. Doesn't have any special properties that you can recognize.

TALIESIN: Well, if no one else is going to, I think it'll be funny.

LIAM: Take 20 paces back.

SAM: And do what?

LIAM: And wait for me to open the door and look in.

TALIESIN: Well, why don't I open the door and look in?

LIAM: All right. I'm a little better at being invisible, but go for it.

SAM: Which door?

TALIESIN: Both of them.

MATT: Both doors (creak) open. You look into what appears to be a, from what you can see, because there is a very, very faint bit of light emanating from his dagger, but beyond that it is pitch darkness. Percy is the one who cannot see.

TRAVIS: What do you see, Percy?

TALIESIN: I see a door that I have conquered.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: That was good.

LIAM: It was great. Do I need to make another stealth check at this point?

MATT: Nah, it maintains.

LIAM: All right, so I'm going to– Just stay back, there's no point in all of us getting with something. And I move 20 feet ahead of everybody.

MATT: You move 20 feet ahead. You enter the room and you can see this chamber is square in size, but it is divided, it seems to be in three halls. There's a path to the right, a path to the left, and a path ahead of you. You can't quite see all the way past, the hallway continues to the very edge of your visual range once you enter the chamber. However, what you can see is to the right and left of you parts of the wall have collapsed, like there's piles of rubbles and stone and earth. Make a perception check at this point.

LAURA: I'm peeking through the door at this point.

MATT: Okay, she does as well.

LIAM: Going to use my second Luck today because I rolled a one. That's better. Perception, you said? 22.

MATT: Looking to the edge of the two pathways you can see, there appears to be a little bit of a shimmer or bit of movement, like light silk, almost like threads shifting, entwined, it looks almost like a large, very, very faint web that is draped over one wall on the right and matching on the left side.

LIAM: Does it remind me of anything I've seen in my dreams?

MATT: I mean, other than the idea of a glimmering thread, maybe, but it isn't glowing, it's not emanating light, and it's very thin, very wispy. And there are a few of them that you can see before the rest of your perspective on the two walls that break it into three passageways.

LIAM: I don't hear any eight-legged friends around?

MATT: You don't see any currently at this position. Ahead of you, in the central chamber, you do see what looks to be a small pit, like a divot. Almost like a cauldron, about ten feet across. Similar in size and circular structure as the first water pool you guys dove into, except for it comes to a convex end with nothing visible in it. There's like stones built around the outside of it.

LIAM: I could be grasping at straws, but I'm getting a bit of an arachnid vibe in here. I'm not sure. There's three passages, there's webbing of some kind to the left and to the right, and some sort of divot or bowl on the ground. I think you can all come in. Quietly.

LAURA: I walk up next to him. Oh yeah, I see what you're talking about. Yeah.

MARISHA: Upon hearing this, Keyleth drops to her knees and does a Locate Creature. Do I sense any spiders?

MATT: You actually do not sense any spiders.

MARISHA: I think we're good on spiders.

TALIESIN: This thread is silk, isn't it? It's actual material. I'm not going to touch it. Conscious of the creation of air currents, I'm going to gingerly put on my mask so that my breath does not move things, and examine.

MATT: Okay. Make an investigation check.

LAURA: Smart. While he's doing that, I want to use Primeval Awareness to sense celestials.

MATT: And that is one of the entities that you can check with that? Okay. What'd you roll, Taliesin?

TALIESIN: I rolled a two. So my investigation is five. Which is how old I'm turning.

(laughter)

MATT: It is a thread and there are multiple– as you get closer, you can see there are many threads that are partway through this 15, 20-foot wide hallway on the far right that you've gone to and inspected. This network of threads appear to be attaching at the halfway point and then draped against the wall, what looks like a spiderweb made of this thread all converges in the center. That's the best you can make of it. You do not sense any celestials.

TRAVIS: The hell's a celestial?

MATT: But do mark off your spell slot for that use.

LAURA: That's not a spell slot, it's just my– Oh! Expend one ranger spell slot! I have never, ever done that.

MATT: I assumed you were keeping track of that.

LAURA: I have never even looked at that bold–

MATT: Well, going forward–

TRAVIS: It is in bold print.

LAURA: Wow. I am sorry about that, Matt.

MATT: That's okay.

SAM: Is there any way to cross the room without touching the web?

MATT: Yeah. Essentially, it's a 15, 20-foot wide thing, the web only starts about partway and encompasses the side of it.

MARISHA: And is there anything behind the webs? Just rubble?

MATT: Behind the webs, the hallway continues and then ends and then continues right. It's almost like it's a square room that has walls here that split it into three different passages and they all converge again on the opposite side.

LAURA: Can we see all the way to the end?

MATT: Make a perception check.

TALIESIN: It's very mini-golf.

LAURA: 16.

MATT: 16? You notice at the end of the two hallways on the sides, beyond the spiderweb in the corner, there are two small five, six-foot-wide pools of water similar to the ones you dove into that are lined with stones and a little bit of gold trim similar to what you guys saw in the previous room.

LAURA: Those doorways?

MATT: So you have the rubble's on the side, you have the spiderwebs, you have the pools at the end there, and you have the empty cauldron in the center piece, but you cannot see, unless you move further forward, you cannot see beyond where those hallways converge on the opposite side.

TRAVIS: Is it just me, or does that one in the middle look like a fire pit?

MARISHA: I agree. I think this looks like a convergence-of-the-elements type of a room.

TRAVIS: We have some boar in the frozen bag.

SAM: You want to start cooking here?

MARISHA: I can light a fire in that pit.

LAURA: Is it far away? You can set my arrow on fire and send it down.

MATT: Nah. It's 25 feet from the doors you guys entered in.

LAURA: Oh. Just don't want to walk down there.

TRAVIS: The last time we did that, shit went down.

LAURA: Let's get in the doorway and then if something happens we shut the doors.

TRAVIS: Well, can we walk over to the cauldron first and see what's above it?

LAURA: If you want to walk in.

MATT: Vax. Okay, as you walk up, make a perception check.

LIAM: 23.

MATT: As they're having this conversation, looking about and floating back, I know your passive as well, but even mid-conversation with him, as you kept an eye out, you see too that to the front of each of these walls that bisects the room, what you thought was just a wall, now as you've had time to study it in quiet as everybody else has been talking during these experiments– Scanlan, you probably would've noticed this too– the wall is, the separator's actually a giant obelisk on each side, just like the one that you saw in the Frostweald on the way in that the basilisks were around. You see they're much newer, they're not as weathered by the ages, and they're these two markers with the symbol of Ioun carved into them.

LIAM: Shorthalt, come here.

SAM: Oi? Oi, yes.

LIAM: Look at this thing. Look there and there. These are like the–

SAM: It's like the one that we saw before.

LIAM: Yeah, do you still have the doohickus?

SAM: Of course I have my doohickus.

LIAM: Do you want us to shove it in the hole?

SAM: You realize that I was born to shove things in holes.

LIAM: That's why I called you over, man.

SAM: All right, so which one?

LIAM: Eenie, meenie, miney, mo. Catch a druid by the toe. If she hollers, let her go, eenie, meenie, miney–

MARISHA: You know, we've always found that very offensive. I just want to say that.

SAM: I'll choose the right one and I'll stick my Ioun stone in it.

MATT: Okay, looking at the base of it, you see there is the same triangular symbol there. You place the Ioun stone into the recess in the obelisk. As you do, it glows faintly, the obelisk itself tends to give off the same teal, greenish-blue glow, the other one also does the same. At which point the darkness across the room is immediately dissipated as two previously unseen braziers across the way burst into flame, lighting the opposite side of the room. You can see what looks to be a series of heavy steps that lead up to a higher platform on the opposite side of the room. You can see two pillars at the edge on the very top of this raised platform that meet the ceiling.

SAM: Well, let's go up there and check it out.

LAURA: Oh my gosh.

TRAVIS: I like it. You want a hand?

LIAM: I push Scanlan a bit up ahead of me.

MARISHA: So this is going over the firepit, past the wispy–

MATT: Yeah, there's all the stuff on the sides and the central room has that pit.

LAURA: Hold your breath as you pass the wispy wisps, I don't trust them.

LIAM: Get that silver tongue of yours ready, all right?

SAM: I don't think anything's going to want to talk to us down here.

TRAVIS: Can we look at the ground for (laughs) for traps as we're walking? Any squares that might move?

MATT: Make an investigation check.

TRAVIS: Yup. Nine.

MATT: Nothing catches your attention.

TRAVIS: No, we're good.

LIAM: Would you like me to do that?

MATT: Are you guys all moving in the different ways, the same way? Which way are you taking?

SAM: If we go to the right or the left, we have to cross these webs? Or no?

MATT: You can move around the web on that, it only covers half the path, you still have about seven to ten feet of clearance between where the web starts and the wall.

LAURA: Just open with a brazier at the end.

MATT: Mm-hmm.

SAM: Why don't we each take a direction?

MARISHA: Yeah, I'll take the left.

LAURA: I'll take the middle.

TALIESIN: I'll take the right.

MATT: Okay. You guys all quietly move forward, stepping through these passages, stepping around, you can see, like I said, the crumbled walls in the far corner, you can see the webbing there, there are the small pools at the far end corners before they converge again into the central chamber where that giant platform is.

TALIESIN: I have my gun in my hand, by the way. And my mask on.

SAM: Wait, I could just bamf over to the other side. Should I just do that?

LAURA: Maybe you should do that.

MATT: You guys are partway across now. Are you stopping?

MARISHA: No.

TALIESIN: I'm going to continue not disturbing the air as best I can.

MARISHA: Yeah, we're moving very slowly, not disturbing the air.

MATT: Okay, you guys keep walking carefully. Scanlan, are you doing anything?

SAM: Yeah, I'll Dimension Door to the platform on the other side.

MATT: Okay. You appear on the opposite side and you look around. What you didn't see from the shadow that was being cast past the braziers, to the right of you, Scanlan, you see a large form that is there, as a pile, a crumpled pile on the top of this platform. What catches your eyes, and you guys see this too as you begin to walk up as Scanlan appears and glances over, as you get closer you can see there is what looks to be a cold, blue marble that is right there, and you see it being turned and held by what looks to be a very faintly lit giant paw. You can see two eyes that glance up, and glance over at Scanlan amongst the shadows, the same color as that blue marble. As it glances at Scanlan, and it is massive in comparison to your tiny gnomish frame, the marble is then tucked deep into what looks like hair of some kind before it disappears, the eyes still glowing the blue color. Suddenly the form begins to move as two giant arms (impacts), and a voice comes billowing out of this entity. “I have watched you come.” The creature now stands on all fours. A good 15, 20 feet taller than you, Scanlan. A body similar and lionlike to Osysa's, only thicker and rippling with muscle beneath the fur. The face is masculine and human-like, cheeks adorned with ceremonial marks, head wreathed in a thick mane of red-brown hair. Two enormous feathered wings stretch out from its back, with a giant whoosh, a whoosh of wind that tends to cause the braziers to shift in place. And it looks at you for a second, expectantly, then to the rest of the others.

SAM: Hello. Osysa sent us.

MATT: It mounts itself there, turns so it's facing both you and the rest of you as you all approach. “You, you seek power, glory, retribution. I know your quarry, and I know your goal. She has told me. I can show you. But all great knowledge should not be given. You must be proven. It must be earned. It must be EARNED.” And as his voice roars, the room echoes and you can see wind begin to whip all around you. Glancing over your shoulder, you guys can see now the empty pit in the center of the hall behind you is now whipping into a whirlwind and what appears to be a small centralized cyclone that's now rising up, meeting the ceiling, staying stationary in place, arcing there. The braziers flame up even brighter now, the flames, you can feel the heat even from your distance at this point. You can see now the sphinx is baring its gleaming white teeth there at the top. “What. Is. My. Name?”

SAM: Fuck.

MATT: Roll initiative.

MARISHA: We have no fucking clue!

LAURA: Oh my god!

TALIESIN: Okay, that just happened.

LAURA: His name, what is his name?

TALIESIN: I'm back, baby.

MARISHA: The golden snitch lives!

MATT: All righty.

MARISHA: I have the worst initiative rolls all the time except for earlier today.

MATT: All righty. So. Initiative roll. Ooh. Okay. All righty. So. 25 to 20.

LIAM: 24.

TALIESIN: 30.

MATT: (laughs) Damn.

LAURA: Jeez Louise.

MATT: All right.

LAURA: Any ideas?

TALIESIN: Very, I, yes? Maybe? I don't know?

MATT: 20 to 15?

LAURA: 19.

MATT: 19.

SAM: 17.

MATT: All right.

LAURA: That map is awesome.

TRAVIS: All the elements are there.

LIAM: Look at the fire. (laughs)

MATT: Oh yeah, we got flickering braziers, guys.

SAM: Whoa, that's lit, it's lit up! How did you do that?

MATT: Dwarven Forge has cool stuff. Thank you guys.

TRAVIS: Fucking Dwarven Forge, man.

MATT: All right, so that brings us to 15 to ten?

TRAVIS: 14.

MATT: Grog. Anyone else?

MARISHA: Seven.

MATT: Oh, and Pike is actually before Grog. All right. Percy, you're up first.

SAM: He hasn't attacked us.

MARISHA: What is his name, Percy?

SAM: Atreyu.

TALIESIN: I hate you. I'm going to pull back to the water pit to my right. Oh, to my left, sorry. I'm going to pull back to that water pit. I'm going to examine it.

MATT: Make an investigation check.

TALIESIN: 21.

MATT: 21. As you rush over, you look down into the pool. The surface itself is disturbed by the wind that's blowing in this chamber. However, looking into it, below the surface you don't see– it's darkness, you don't see a continuation, you don't see anything behind it. The water doesn't seem natural.

TALIESIN: Okay. I'm going to scoop some of the water with my mask, pull the mask off, scoop water, and try and toss it at the flame that's right next to me. That's my move.

MATT: Okay. You put the mask in and your hand moves into it. Your hand gets extremely cold suddenly. You don't see it beneath the surface; it almost vanishes below the water. It's really unsettling. You pull it up and the water is there in your mask. You throw it and the water, it evaporates and the flames flicker slightly, but they's too strong and it doesn't seem to have much of an effect on the brazier.

TALIESIN: Fascinating. All right. That's my move.

MATT: Yep. That's your move and your action. All right, that ends Percy's turn. Vax, you're up.

LIAM: How are we supposed to know your name? Is it Osyso?

MATT: Teeth are bared and it's sitting there looking at all of you, waiting.

LIAM: I'm going to click my Boots of Haste. Can I use a bonus action to hide and then hold? Any stuff?

MATT: You could, yeah, you can move and then hold your action to a trigger point if you want to.

LIAM: Where am I in there?

MATT: You're right here.

LIAM: So I'm going to hide. I'm going to move backward around the corner and hide.

MATT: Around this way?

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: Okay, you can move there. Go ahead and roll for hide.

LIAM: Okay. 25.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: And I'm going to hold for the moment he attacks any of my friends.

MATT: Okay, got you. All right, at the end of your turn, the entire– the wind that's blowing, there's grains of sand that are picked up into it, and you guys feel like there's something out of place, this whole area, like this sudden drift. You feel like the air in your lungs gets butterflies for a second and something, even though this place is stationary, it's almost like the whole place shifts. I need everybody to make a constitution saving throw.

LIAM: Shit.

TRAVIS: Fuck.

TALIESIN: Damn, I'm back.

MARISHA: Nice.

TALIESIN: 26.

SAM: Four.

MARISHA: Saving throw, correct?

MATT: Yes, constitution saving throw.

MARISHA: 23. 22.

LIAM: 17.

TRAVIS: With disadvantage, 13.

MATT: Okay. While most of you guys manage to withstand it, Scanlan and Grog and Vex, the wind feels like it's knocked out of you, and like you were suddenly stretched thin and you can't understand it. You glance– right now, it's hard to really tell. Scanlan lurches forward for a second. Grog and Vex, you're right next to each other, you both glance at each other and you can see, it's like Grog's skin has aged suddenly. His– around his eyes it's grown a little more sunken, his muscles have sagged slightly. He looks, not ancient by any means, but it looks like he's seen about another 15 to 20 years of travels.

TALIESIN: Oh shit.

TRAVIS: What does that mean?

SAM: Me too?

MATT: You also have, although due to your gnome lineage it has less of an effect, and no one's noticed it at this distance, but if anyone gets a quick glance, you'll see a few grey hairs starting to sprout on the side of Scanlan's head.

SAM: I get rid of those.

MATT: All right. Vex, you're up.

LAURA: Oh. Do I feel old?

MATT: You feel like you've been pulled through something, but it doesn't have a mighty effect, although, Grog, glancing at Vex you can see there is definitely a little bit more of a weathered look to her, crow's nests forming, deep-seated frown lines.

LAURA: Oh, jeez. I shout out– I run towards the other water portal.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: And I shout out, Pike, do you know the names of the four ancient gods? Is your name four? That's stupid.

MATT: There doesn't seem to be a reaction. Pike goes, “No, I mean, the gods that were at the beginning, there's–”

LAURA: Yeah?

MATT: “There was Pelor and Melora and, I mean, they're the ones who cast away the elements, the chaos that this realm was first. I don't know!” And she seems– she's bungled and unable to really formulate what you're asking.

LAURA: I wouldn't have any religion, anything to base that off of?

MATT: Make a religion check if you want to.

LAURA: Wow. Wow. Two! That's four ones in a night.

MATT: Wow. Wow. It's the reverse Percy tonight.

LAURA: I've been cursed.

MATT: You try and think back to the conversation you had with Highbearer Vord in the Platinum Sanctuary, and your mind's a blank. You can't recall any of that conversation.

LAURA: I have an advantage on anything having to do with dragons.

MATT: It has nothing to do with dragons.

LAURA: Well, I was just checking.

MATT: This is the creation myth of all of existence. However, you still have your action if you want to do something. You're by the pool, it's right to your right, and there's this sphinx now rearing–

LAURA: I saw Percy dip his hand into the water, so I do the same thing to see what it does.

MATT: You what? You put your–

LAURA: I put my hand in the water.

MATT: You dip your hand in the water. The hand, once it breaks the surface, it vanishes into darkness below the water. You don't even see, there's no visual on it.

LAURA: Does it hurt?

MATT: No, it doesn't hurt, it's cold, it's very cold.

LAURA: Pull it back out.

MATT: Pull it back out. Your hand is wet and it drips and you shake it free.

LAURA: Can I use a bonus action to try to hide? Is there anywhere to hide? Maybe against a wall or something?

MATT: You move one, two, three, four, five, six. You're not going to be able to get completely out of sight. (laughs) Unless you want to jump in the water.

TALIESIN: So there's a whirlwind in the center of the room, there's two piles of rocks, there's two vats of water, there's two torches, and then there's two spiderwebs.

MATT: Correct.

TALIESIN: And the spiderwebs are covering the walls.

MATT: Yeah. All right, so that ends Vex's turn. Scanlan, you're up.

SAM: I will face the sphinx and say: is your name Ioun?

MATT: The sphinx is still there growling at you. “She is beyond me… What is my name, little scrumptious one?”

TRAVIS: Hit him!

TALIESIN: Do you have your earpiece in, by the way?

SAM: Sure, we all do.

TALIESIN: Okay. Good to know.

SAM: I mean, I'm not going to attack this thing if it hasn't attacked me yet, so I'm going to, eee.

TRAVIS: There's spiderwebs, there's stones, there's fire, there's water–

TALIESIN: Working on it!

LAURA: I feel like we're so stupid, we should know this. “The four endure, the four remember.”

SAM: Can I hold my attack until a trigger?

MATT: You can if you want to, yeah.

SAM: Or hold my action until a trigger?

MATT: Yeah, what do you want to hold it for?

SAM: If he makes a move towards me physically.

MATT: Okay. Remember, you guys who are holding your action, you can interrupt and release at anything if it doesn't happen, be aware of that. All right, so it now goes to the sphinx's turn.

TRAVIS: Okay, this should be fun. We're all standing around with our thumbs up our asses.

LIAM: Yup.

MATT: The sphinx takes a step forward to the edge of the stairway and (roars) gives out this earth-shattering roar that shakes– a couple of stones and dust that are loosened from the ceiling falls down. I need everybody to make a wisdom saving throw.

SAM: Is this magic?

MATT: Yes, it is.

LIAM: Is it charm, by any chance?

MATT: It's not a spell, it is a magical effect.

SAM: Do I get advantage on that?

MATT: What do you get advantage from?

SAM: Advantage versus magic on saves.

MATT: From being a gnome?

SAM: It says, Gnome Cunning, advantage on wisdom, character, intelligence, magic saves. That's what I wrote down, anyway.

MATT: Let me double-check here just to be sure.

SAM: It doesn't really matter, I rolled shit on both, so it's okay. Don't bother.

MATT: (laughs) Okay. Against magic, so yeah, you would have advantage.

LIAM: And does it have anything to do with charm or sleep?

MATT: Nope.

LIAM: Nope, okay. 17.

MATT: 17.

SAM: Seven.

TALIESIN: 19.

MARISHA: 23.

LAURA: 24.

TRAVIS: 11. Disadvantage.

TALIESIN: (laughs) You picked the wrong day to stop sniffing glue.

TRAVIS: What the fuck? (laughs) I know. Paint chips.

TALIESIN: You made a bad call.

TRAVIS: I made a bad call.

MATT: Grog. Vex, what was it you rolled, again?

LAURA: 24.

MATT: 24. And you rolled?

LIAM: 17.

MATT: 17. That's right. All right, so. As the roar pierces through the hallway, most of you guys steel yourself. Grog, Scanlan, Pike, and Vax, you feel the sudden reality of how fearful and dangerous this creature is. You stepped into the lair of an ancient, powerful entity and you feel like your very life is at stake. You guys are frightened for one minute.

SAM: Okay.

MATT: Frightened means you have disadvantage on ability checks and attack rolls while you can see it, and you cannot willingly move closer to the creature. So you have to either move adjacent, like same distance from it, or away. You can make a saving throw every turn to try and resist it. It is now going to stay right where it is. That brings it to Pike's turn. Pike doesn't quite know how to deal with this whole circumstance. She is going to cast–

TALIESIN: Text Ashley.

TRAVIS: There's also the obelisks. We got to go start touching the other shit.

LAURA: Obelisks were in Elvish.

MARISHA: Issylra is a continent, right?

TRAVIS: It was all written in what, in–?

MATT: Pike is going to reach forward to you, Grog. Take a step this way. Pike's going to reach forward and cast Freedom of Movement on you. At fourth level.

TRAVIS: Oh. I was going to rage and shake it, but–

MATT: So for the next hour, you cannot be paralyzed or restrained, you can't have your speed reduced via magical effects. You're still feared, but–

TRAVIS: I can shake that with a rage.

MATT: You can shake that with a rage, yes. But yeah, for the next hour. It's not concentration, either.

TRAVIS: Thank you, Pike.

MATT: She says, “Go get him, Grog.”

TRAVIS: You got it, buddy!

MATT: All right. That ends Pike's turn. Grog, you're up.

TRAVIS: I might as well do what Pike says. I'm going to bum-rush the sphinx.

MATT: Straight-up?

TRAVIS: Yup.

MATT: All right. You rush up the stairs.

TALIESIN: Oh god.

MATT: With a precariousness of– we'll say you rush up here for the sake of positioning.

TRAVIS: Sure. Two strikes, straight-up.

SAM: Just going to hit it?

TRAVIS: (laughs) Yeah. I'm not smart, this is all I do. 23?

MATT: 23? That hits.

TRAVIS: His face is awful. Should I roll damage or roll both attacks first?

MATT: It's all against him, roll attacks. You're not going to kill it in one hit.

TRAVIS: No, that's true.

SAM: What if it's a nine-point hit point?

TRAVIS: 24 on the first one.

MATT: 24 damage, all righty.

TRAVIS: Second attack. Holy shit, that's a 28.

MATT: Nice, that hits.

TRAVIS: Something's going to happen to me and it's going to be bad. Six. 11. 23.

MATT: Okay. Makes its first constitution saving throw. Fails its second. So you steal another strength point and the sphinx's strength goes down to that.

TRAVIS: So I'm at 25 now.

LAURA: Down to 79 strength.

MATT: You're at 25 now. Okay.

TRAVIS: And I don't go up again until 26. Right? On the evens.

MATT: Right. But 25 is the max for this sword. It says on the weapon, it should be under ability.

TRAVIS: Oh, you're right, yeah.

MATT: All right. So. You run up and swing two heavy swings after going into a rage to resist the fear effect. You grin and bear it, go over and swing twice, hacking into the side of it. Its hide is very strong and there's almost like this weird resistance on the outside of its body, like its very force of existence and personality is keeping the blade from doing as much damage as it should, but you still strike true, slamming into it twice. You pull the strength from it. As you do, a voice in your head goes, “Yesss.”

TALIESIN: Oh my god.

MATT: At this point, as you look at the blade, the blade now begins to emanate a shadow aura stronger than previously that begins to also form around your upper shoulders, drifting. The blade suddenly extends another foot, the edges of it that were smooth project with a jagged, thorny outside. The blade itself now is longer, thicker, and far more dangerous-looking than it was before. Until your next short rest, all attacks with the sword do an additional 2d6 necrotic damage.

ALL: Whoa!

TRAVIS: (laughs) Super Saiyan, motherfucker! 2d6 necrotic damage? Okay. And I'll stay there.

MATT: Okay.

TRAVIS: And await my punishment.

MATT: All right. At the end of your turn, the sphinx is going to use its three legendary actions.

LIAM: Three legendary actions?

MATT: Is going to use three of them to cast a spell out of order. It's going to go ahead and call down a Flame Strike.

LAURA: We're all going to die!

MATT: Onto the twins.

LAURA: Why?!

LIAM: Can I attack him now, while he's casting, because I held my turn?

MATT: You can, actually, yes.

LIAM: Okay, so I'm hidden and Grog's next to him, which would normally put me at advantage, but he's got me afraid, which puts me at disadvantage, which means it cancels out and it's one straight roll, right? On the attacks?

MATT: Correct.

LIAM: Okay. Good. So I'm going to throw– I'm hasted, I'm going to throw two daggers at him. The first one is, probably hits, where's the freaking page? 23 for the first.

MATT: 23 hits.

LIAM: 18 for the second.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: Do they both hit or just the first? I'm only doing two.

MATT: What was the second one? It was–

LIAM: 18.

MATT: 18 hits.

LIAM: Okay, so the first one is seven, the second is seven. And I want to use the rest of my turn to, as I'm hasted, to run around to the back of that obelisk and start reading.

MATT: Over here?

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: Okay. All right. As you're doing that reaction shot, it calls down the column, hits both of you before you can burst off. All of a sudden, as you look over at your brother, you feel this rising energy before all of a sudden this entire area is (boom) consumed in burning holy divine light. I need both of you guys to make a dexterity saving throw.

LIAM: I'm going to use evasion.

MATT: Yeah, evasion happens automatically as part of your reaction to that, so yeah.

LIAM: Okay.

LAURA: 30.

LIAM: Dexterity, so 14.

MATT: You rolled a what?

LAURA: 30.

MATT: 30 dexterity saving throw?

LIAM: No, eff it, I'm going to use my last Luck of the day. Ugh, barely any better. 16.

MATT: 16 for you?

LIAM: Mm-hmm.

MATT: Okay. Right, so Vex? You take half damage from this. You take full damage, unfortunately. So that's going to be 21 points of fire and radiant damage to you.

TRAVIS: Is half?

MATT: 21 is the half. You, however, have resistance to fire, Liam.

LIAM: Yes.

MATT: So the 22 points of fire damage you would've taken is reduced to 11.

LIAM: With evasion, if I fail, I take half damage.

MATT: Right, so yeah, so you would take, so you would take the same, but a quarter because of halving fire damage to take from that.

LIAM: So I didn't hear the number because I was reading, what was–?

TRAVIS: 21, so half 21 would be 11.

MATT: Well, radiant damage you're not resistant to, so I'd say it would be 17 points of damage. There you go. You rush out of the flames and find your way around the obelisk. However, you have to wait until your turn before you can take a look at that. All right, now it comes to Keyleth's turn.

MARISHA: Okay. I yell out: Issylra!

MATT: It doesn't seem to have any effect.

MARISHA: Okay, that might be a continent.

MATT: It is.

(laughter)

MATT: It's the continent where Vasselheim is, and–

MARISHA: Not his name. And I cast Control Water again and I start pouring the water out of the pools and onto the fire.

MATT: Okay. The water comes out as a column, doesn't appear to be coming to an end, you're not quite sure where it's being drawn from, it's this constant stream, and as it hits the flame (tshhh) but the flames aren't going out. It's all turning to steam and it's filling the room with steam and the more and more it pours into it, the more and more the room is beginning to become obscured and making it hard to see.

MARISHA: Okay, well, I stop that.

MATT: Okay. As you do, the streams stop water. The pools are still completely still where you've pulled it out of, seemingly unbothered other than the little bit of wind that's blowing, and have not lessened in their volume at all.

MARISHA: Good to know. Can I do some sort of check to see if I would've heard anything about this type of a thing in my druid time, is this like a different plane of existence, what is this shit?

MATT: What, this place you are?

MARISHA: Yeah, or would I know of what his name would be from the telling of the Second Spark and any of my elemental knowledge as a druid?

MATT: Make an intelligence check.

MARISHA: Ooh, that's good. 19.

MATT: 19. Thinking back about the stories you've heard, which isn't a whole lot necessarily. Are we good on the stream?

RYAN: (off-camera) Yeah, we're good on the stream.

LIAM: Had a little flicker.

MATT: We had a little flicker. You recall, go through, poring through all the information that was given to you, you don't know a whole lot about the history element, it isn't a part of the druidic training experience, but based on the discussion with Highbearer Vord, no mention of a sphinx, nothing like that.

MARISHA: Fuck. I don't know, you guys!

MATT: I think that's your turn, though. Unless you want to move.

MARISHA: No. I'm good.

MATT: Okay. End of your turn, the shimmering webs on each side flash for a second, and stepping out of them, you can see a slightly translucent, not fully physical spider on each side.

LIAM: Fey spiders, you son of a– oh god, I keep hitting that, we got to fix that.

MATT: This spider immediately (skittering) up to Percy. And this one (skittering) up to Vex.

LAURA: Ah, c'mon!

MATT: Versus you, Percy, rolled a one. Completely missed. It goes and reaches out towards you, out of the way. Vex, however, that is a 23.

LAURA: That hits me.

MATT: That hits. You go ahead and suffer–

LAURA: You go ahead and suffer!

MATT: (laughs) Suffer nine points of psychic damage. The spider, upon biting you, dissipates out of existence. It actually bites you and then its form (shhk) into your head and causes this psychic backlash and feedback in your head. The other spider misses you and remains in existence. Top of the round, Percy, you're up.

SAM: Oh, well if, at the end of the round, have I not gone yet?

MATT: You have not gone yet, do you want to?

SAM: Can I go?

MATT: Yeah.

SAM: Yeah, I mean, I guess I'll attack at this point.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: I'll try something that will definitely fail. I will try and fail to put him into the Resilient Sphere. Which I'm sure will fail. (laughs)

MATT: What is the DC on the Resilient Sphere?

SAM: Well, I don't have my stuff with me.

MATT: I believe if it's through the–

SAM: Through the hand cone?

MATT: The hand cone I think is 20 now, isn't it?

SAM: It's 20 now, yeah.

MATT: Okay, so it doesn't make its dexterity saving throw.

SAM: But I have disadvantage on attack, but that doesn't matter.

MATT: Doesn't matter for this one. That is 21. Yep.

SAM: Okay.

MATT: So. You attempt to create the sphere around it. As you can see it begins to encase the sphinx, and the sphinx just– its head, after staring at Grog, goes (growls), and as it roars at you, the sphere that's formed around it shatters and the arcane essence is scattered about the room and vanishes.

SAM: Can I ask him if his name is Earned?

MATT: He sits there glaring at you.

SAM: Okay, that's a stupid question, sorry.

TRAVIS: Maybe say it in Celestial.

SAM: I don't know Celestial!

LAURA: Say it in Celestial, Percy.

MATT: All right, so that's Percy's turn now, Percy, what are you doing?

TALIESIN: The first thing I'm going to is, I'm going to guess a name, because that's fun.

MATT: Sure.

TALIESIN: I'm going to yell, Lux! Whatever that would be in Celestial. First light.

MATT: Okay. You shout out, and the sound of Celestial being spoken has this echo to it, this, Lux, and it fades afterward. It has no immediate effect, the wind seems to swallow it around you from all the noise going around. The sphinx has no interest.

TALIESIN: That's fine, I'm going to take a slash at that spider with my sword.

MATT: Go for it.

TALIESIN: That's 19.

MATT: 19 hits.

TALIESIN: I don't suppose that there's a keyword dragon in there anywhere?

MATT: A what?

TALIESIN: I don't suppose there's a keyword dragon anywhere in that spider's description, but–

MATT: (laughs) No, there isn't.

TALIESIN: Pissing in the wind.

MATT: It's okay. It is a magical sword you're attacking with, right?

TALIESIN: It is a magical sword I'm attacking with. That's 11 points of slashing damage.

MATT: This spider is scattered into ether.

TALIESIN: With my sword out, I'm going to run down the hall and I'm going to take two more slashing attacks at the web.

MATT: Okay. Go ahead and roll.

TALIESIN: 17, but really, how hard is it to hit a web?

MATT: It's more about finding the right place to do the proper damage, but that works, go ahead and roll damage.

TALIESIN: That's 13 points of damage.

MATT: Okay. You cut through some of the threads, it limps on one side, but it's still keeping itself aloft.

TALIESIN: 19.

MATT: All right, that hits, go ahead and roll damage.

TALIESIN: Ooh. 15 points of damage.

MATT: 15 points of damage. All right. With that, the second strike, the thread dissipates and turns into smoke and vanishes from existence. None of the threads remain, it vanishes.

TALIESIN: Is there anything written on the wall?

MATT: Go ahead and roll an investigation check.

SAM: It says, “That guy's name is Paul.”

MARISHA: Paul was here.

TALIESIN: 19.

MATT: Okay, 19. Glancing at the wall behind–

TALIESIN: Fucking brain! Knowledge is power. For reals!

LAURA: Maybe that's his name. Power.

MATT: It says in Celestial, “Windows and doors.”

LAURA: The sky. The sky.

TALIESIN: Water and sky.

MATT: It says windows and doors.

TALIESIN: I say out loud, windows and doors! Water and sky! And that's–

MATT: That's your turn. Percy's over. Vax, you're up.

LIAM: I'm taking a quick look at the obelisk that I'm right in front of, I think it's in Elvish, isn't it?

MATT: The obelisk in front of you? This actually, aside from the symbol of Ioun, there's no writing on it.

LIAM: There's nothing on it, nothing to do. I'm going to throw three daggers through the web. Is that the one– so Percy's over there? I'm going to throw three daggers through the web over there.

MATT: Okay, go for it.

LIAM: 13. 30. And 17.

MATT: All right, what was it? Sorry, it was?

LIAM: 13, 30, and 17.

MATT: All right, the second two hit, so go ahead and roll damage.

LIAM: Ten and eight.

MATT: Ten and eight. All right. You throw two and it cuts a few threads and the path of it falls limp but the web stays up.

LIAM: And I can't move any closer to the sphinx at this point, right, because of the fear?

MATT: Correct.

LIAM: So I'm stuck here, am I?

MATT: Yeah, you can't move any closer to it right now. But you can make a saving throw at the end of your turn to try–

LIAM: I will do that. I'd also like to take one step to the right.

MATT: One step to the right? All right.

LIAM: This way, yeah. And no, I rolled an eight for wisdom.

MATT: Okay, so you're still in the fear effect. All right. By the way, Grog, go ahead and make a saving throw to resist the effect so it's gone, even though you–

TRAVIS: Oh, at disadvantage?

MATT: Yeah.

TRAVIS: Which saving throw?

MATT: It's wisdom.

TRAVIS: (laughs) Five.

MATT: All right, you're still under the effect. And Scanlan, actually, roll it again.

TRAVIS: Oh, but I'm raging.

MATT: Right, you resist, I mean, it doesn't affect you but it still persists.

TRAVIS: Got you.

MATT: If you stopped raging then the fear would kick in.

SAM: Is this a saving throw?

MATT: This is wisdom.

SAM: And do I still get advantage or no, because the first time it's cast.

MATT: You would, I'd say, sure.

SAM: 12.

MATT: 12, yeah. The fear still strikes in your heart. All right. Vax, that's the end of your turn. All right. I need everybody in here to go ahead and reroll initiative as the time flux in the room all of a sudden flickers and time seems to shift and move. Everyone reroll initiative.

MARISHA: What? Well, that's a better roll.

SAM: Are we time bandits now? Is that what's happening?

TALIESIN: Oh my god. His name is the Doctor.

(laughter)

MARISHA: But Doctor who?

TALIESIN: Doctor whom. That's always bothered me. Doctor whom.

MATT: All right, so. 25 to 20.

SAM: 20.

MATT: 20.

LAURA: 23.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: 22, that's a lie, 22.

SAM: Liar.

TALIESIN: Liar!

MATT: Okay. 20 to 15?

TALIESIN: 18.

MARISHA: 18.

TRAVIS: 17.

MATT: All right, we got Percy, Keyleth, Grog. All right. And then.

LIAM: Ocho.

MATT: Ocho? Pike's before you.

LIAM: Time slippage, man.

MATT: Yeah man, it sucks. All right. That ends that count. It is now its turn. The time shift actually managed to lose your turn, both you and Scanlan. You guys shifted through the top of the order.

LAURA: Wait, but I still rolled a 22.

MATT: I know.

TALIESIN: I hate time travel so much.

TRAVIS: It screws a high roll.

MATT: Basically, Scanlan, you can go simultaneously now. You lose your turn.

SAM: That sounds cool.

MATT: I mean, it's time, it's shitty.

TRAVIS: What's the Celestial word for time?

MARISHA: I know, we were thinking about that time.

MATT: You know what? It doesn't specify. I'll say go ahead. It starts at the top of the initiative round, so you know what? Vex, your turn, go for it. Go for it. Doesn't specify, I could be a dick about it, but you know.

LAURA: I take back my glare.

MATT: It's more fun to not have your turn lost.

TALIESIN: There was a time jump so the glare never happened.

MATT: What you got?

LAURA: Can I look up at the ceilings and see if there's any portals on the top of the ceiling like there were in the last room?

MATT: Make a perception check.

LAURA: 29.

MATT: 29. Nope, solid stone ceiling.

LAURA: Is there anything to tie the Robe of Infinite Twine onto?

MATT: I mean, there's the brazier, but it's pretty close to flame and you don't know if rope will survive that.

LAURA: Do I still have the Immovable Rod from before?

MATT: Yeah, you retrieved it, yeah.

LAURA: Okay, then I put the Immovable Rod, I tie it in, I hold on to the rope, and I jump in the water.

MATT: Okay. You take the rod and you (click) in the middle of the air, you take the rope, tie it around real fast over everything, and the sphinx now looming forward being attacked and flanked by the two of them. You take the rope and jump into the water. There's no splash, you disappear into the water. You guys watch her vanish into the pool.

MARISHA: Vex jumped in the water?

MATT: Yeah.

MARISHA: Cool.

LIAM: The code is “critrole”, and you will not have to pay for any kind of shipment in any way, shape, or form. The wood still costs.

MARISHA: Also, look how attractive that map is. Dwarven Forge, everybody.

SAM: Oh boy. We'll be making an appearance–

TALIESIN: Don't do that. That's weird. Stop that. God, every time you're off camera.

LIAM: Travis is flexing his boobies.

SAM: Guys, we're going to die because we can't think of the name Steve.

TALIESIN: It'll be fine.

MARISHA: Yeah, there's a correlation with blue.

TALIESIN: I have theories. I have lots and lots of theories.

MARISHA: I have lots of theories, too.

TALIESIN: I have lots of theories. There's lots of theories here, we have to be fast enough to try them out.

SAM: Test them out.

LIAM: And then time shifts and we're back in.

TALIESIN: I can only move so fast through the room.

MATT: Do you pull yourself out?

LAURA: Yeah, I pull myself back out.

MATT: Okay, you guys, there's a breathless moment and suddenly Vex comes out from the rope, drenched in water.

LAURA: Oh my god.

SAM: What?

LAURA: K-A. Other door. But make sure there's a rope.

SAM: K-A? What does that mean?

LAURA: Jump in the water. Make sure you can get out.

SAM: What?

TRAVIS: K-A on the door?

SAM: What does that mean? What?

MATT: As you say K-A out loud, the sphinx goes– there's a glimmer in the eye at you, and it continues on, looking over at Grog and Scanlan.

SAM: You got part of the name? Part of the name.

MARISHA: Oh, son of a bitch! All right.

SAM: Which water did you go in?

LAURA: The little brazier that I'm next to.

SAM: Okay.

LAURA: But don't jump in without a rope.

MARISHA: You're on the one on the left. Yeah?

LAURA: Yeah. Make sure you can get out.

MATT: All right, that ends your turn. Scanlan, you're up.

SAM: Well, shit. I want to go diving, but I don't think I'd make it over there. Shit. For now, I'll just– someone else is going to do the water thing, I assume?

MARISHA: I can, I'm close by, I'm close by, I can handle it.

MATT: At the end of your turn, the water that's around you, it's freezing cold and you suffer eight points of cold damage.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: From the process of submerging into it. However, once that damage hits, your body heat manages to recover, and it turns back to normal water temperature, so.

SAM: I'm going to, I will attempt to cast Eyebite on the sphinx.

MATT: Okay. The DC is 20 on that?

SAM: Yeah.

MATT: What is the saving throw for that one?

SAM: Wisdom.

MATT: Wisdom. Eyebite it is. That is a 27. Yeah, it resists the Eyebite.

SAM: What a dick. What a dick. Well, I can't do anything else, so I will– hi. Who's around? Who's about to do something? I'll turn to Vax and inspire him.

MATT: Okay, go for it.

SAM: That's it. I'll say, (singing) You are not throwing away your shot, you are not throwing away your shot, you're just like your sister, you're young, brooding and hungry, and you're not throwing away your shot.

(laughter)

MATT: That's fantastic. Okay. All right, so. You take your d10 inspiration die. At the end of your turn, it goes to the lair count. Lair count's already happened this turn, so I'm not going to keep that going. However, the sphinx does take its turn. It's going to go ahead and loose a claw attack at both of you. Against Scanlan, that is–

SAM: I'm going to use Cutting Words.

MATT: Okay. All right.

SAM: To get out of it. I'm going to blow my shawm. (high-pitched lip whistle noise)

(laughter)

SAM: To distract it.

MATT: Roll a d10. It rolled a 25 to hit, so.

SAM: He's still going to hit me. A d10.

MATT: Yeah, so roll a d10 and that's how much it reduces it by.

SAM: By eight.

MATT: By eight, that brings it to a 17. What's your AC?

SAM: 16.

MATT: So it still hits you. Hits you for 28 points of slashing damage as its giant claw (whoosh) rakes across you. The sheer impact almost throws you off the top of the platform, and you can feel the blood beginning to seep from the wound under your armor. It turns around and rapidly does a full-on claw attack towards you, Grog. That is going to be a 27 to hit.

TRAVIS: Oh yeah.

MATT: You also take 28 points of damage. It is magical damage, however, you don't– doesn't matter for you, being, it's a resistance against slashing, so you take 14 points of slashing damage from the strike. That's going to end its turn. That brings us to Percy.

TALIESIN: Who's that?

MARISHA: That's Ashley.

TALIESIN: That's Ashley?

MARISHA: That's Pike, yeah yeah.

TALIESIN: I'm going to yell at Pike, first thing.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: Look into the wind, look into the typhoon, tell me what you see!

MATT: “What?” She hears you, yeah.

TALIESIN: I'm going to run to the little stone pile, and out of idle curiosity, I'm going to try to shove a bunch of stuff away to see if there's anything in there, look at the stones or anything.

MATT: Okay, so you take your action, you start pulling the stones away. As you rummage through, you pull apart and you begin to see there is– where there was hard rocks, you're starting to find finer stones, until eventually you find sand. Just like the sand that you encountered in the previous room.

TALIESIN: Okay. I'm going to take a handful, I'm going to grab a bunch of that and–

MATT: Okay, you reach in and as your hands disappear into the sand, there's no resistance once they hit the sand, they vanish into the sand.

TALIESIN: I put on my mask and I shove my head in.

MATT: Okay. You shove your head through.

SAM: Whispers.

MARISHA: Whispers!

LAURA: So many whispers!

TRAVIS: You know what this means, right? Jump in the fire.

SAM: Oh my god. Oh wait, we got to jump into all these things?

LAURA: Maybe. I don't know. How long is his name?

MARISHA: Yeah, how long is his name?

SAM: Mississippi.

TRAVIS: Rumpelstiltskin.

MARISHA: You already did water, I'm wondering if there's anything in the other one, or I might try fire.

LAURA: Oh. You're right.

SAM: No, you've got to go for the water.

TRAVIS: The element is going to be a quarter of the letters.

TALIESIN: I pull out my head and I yell, J-I.

LAURA: J-I.

SAM: K-A-J-I?

MARISHA: K-A-J-I.

LAURA: Kaiju.

MARISHA: K-A-J-I. But it could be any fucking order. Wait, wait, wait! Did anyone take note of the order on the cycle?

SAM and LIAM: It was a circle.

MARISHA: Never mind.

MATT: All right, Percy, that's your turn? You going to move?

TALIESIN: I burned a whole turn doing that, didn't I?

MATT: Yeah, that's going to be the rest of it. All right, Keyleth, you're up.

MARISHA: Okay. Seeing Vex jump in and seeing Percy stick his head in a wall, I run up to the fire column.

TALIESIN: Yeah! Yeah!

MARISHA: Right there. And see if there's anything in the fire.

MATT: Percy, you also suffered seven points of damage from the crushing and bludgeoning on your head as it passed through.

MARISHA: And I take the fire hand and I stick it, and I light up my fire and I stick it in the fire.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: Does anything happen?

MATT: You put your hand in and your hand is still– it's hot because of the flame that's on it. As you put it in, it is a scorching hot pain.

MARISHA: Okay.

MATT: You take two points of fire damage just from placing it in there.

MARISHA: Okay, I pull it out and I go fire elemental.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: Yeah!

TRAVIS: Do it, do it.

TALIESIN: You're my hero.

LIAM: Heat don't hurt.

MARISHA: And I stick my head, go into the fire.

MATT: Into the flame?

MARISHA: Into the flame!

(cheering)

LIAM: I think we should stop there. We should not go into the wind.

SAM: Where's the wind one?

LIAM: Center.

SAM: Okay.

TRAVIS: Why? Was that sarcastic?

LIAM: Yeah.

TRAVIS: (Grog voice) It was lost on me. Your subtle humor is lost on me.

SAM: What else can we plug?

LAURA: I don't know.

SAM: Be sure to follow us at @CriticalRole.

LAURA: Hey, we're on twitter, you guys! @CriticalRole.

SAM: @CriticalRole is on twitter.

TRAVIS: Don't miss the beginning of the 50th episode.

MARISHA: I pull my head out and I go, M-A-L. The letters M-A-L.

SAM: Kajimal. Kajimal. His name's Michael Jackson.

MATT: All right, that's going to be your turn there. At the end of your turn, he's going to go ahead and use a point to do a claw attack against Scanlan again.

LIAM: His name is probably Jamal Porter.

MATT: Hm. That's a natural 20.

TRAVIS: Natural 20?

MATT: Yeah.

SAM: No worries. I didn't need to live anyway.

MARISHA: Against Scanlan? Oh, Jesus Christ.

MATT: You take 38 points of slashing damage as the claw grabs you and slams you against the stone, and you can feel the claw actually pierce part of your throat.

TRAVIS: Oh, shit.

MATT: And as it withdraws, you can feel the blood beginning to pour. It didn't hit anything vital, but it's a serious wound–

SAM: All the vital stuff's below the belt.

MATT: All right. That ends Keyleth's turn. That brings us to Grog. This thing is tearing into Scanlan.

TRAVIS: Yeah. I run over to Scanlan. How jacked-up are you?

SAM: I'm all right.

TRAVIS: Are you?

SAM: Totally fine.

TRAVIS: All right. Then I run down the steps and I jump into the tornado.

MATT: (laughs) Okay. You leap into it.

LAURA: Oh no, Grog can't read.

(laughter)

SAM: Oh no, that's true!

MATT: Pike looks over and sees you whoosh into the cyclone and vanish.

TRAVIS: (laughs) There's a couple of lines.

LIAM: Squiggly lines.

LAURA: It's like a–

LIAM: Snake shape and a box.

LAURA: There's a circle.

SAM: Two sticks and a snake.

LIAM: (Grog voice) Six. It said six.

LAURA: (Grog voice) Also ale.

SAM: Cake and a rope.

MARISHA: Good call.

LAURA: Was that O-I?

TALIESIN: This is why I'm the smart one.

MARISHA: You are. You are.

TALIESIN: Arsehole.

SAM: Check out our 50th episode next week, guys, with special guests Vin Diesel–

TALIESIN: It's going to be so fleek. Streets ahead.

MATT: Okay, you guys get the idea of what's going on, we're going to now bring this, because now shit's happening. So. Grog, after seeing this, though you cannot say to anyone what you found yet, you, having no tether, are drifting away from the portal and seeing it disappearing slowly away from you. What are you going to do?

TRAVIS: Can I grab my earring and say what I see?

MATT: You grab your earring, you say it. There's no response. You guys hear nothing.

SAM: He's gone.

MATT: And you're about 15 feet away from it now.

LAURA: Grog?

TRAVIS: Can I take my Chain of Returning and attach it to Craven Edge and throw it through the doorway that I see?

MATT: You can. Go ahead and roll for an attack.

LAURA: What if it hits Pike?

TALIESIN: Should've had a breakfast!

TRAVIS: 23.

MATT: 23. Whoosh. You fling it through, and it catches something. You feel it's taut, you start pulling your way in, pulling your way in, pulling your way in. Go ahead and roll damage.

LAURA and MARISHA: It's Pike.

TALIESIN: Oh.

SAM: God. It's fine.

MARISHA: It's got to be Pike.

TRAVIS: Damage, oh, damage. Sorry, damage. I rolled the wrong thing. Please don't let it be Pike. Nine.

LAURA: Pike.

TRAVIS: 14.

LAURA: Plus 2d6 necrotic.

MATT: Yep, plus 2d6 necrotic damage.

TRAVIS: 30.

MATT: 30. 30 points of damage. Okay. You pull the chain and you make your way to the portal, you put your hands out, pull through, and as you do, the chain in your hand– you look and you can see now, grasping onto the edge of the wall, you see Pike, sweat dripping down her face as Craven Edge has embedded itself into her abdomen. She's holding it, and she looks at you with a gritted face and she goes, “It's okay, Grog. You're back, that's all that matters.”

LAURA: That's the saddest thing ever!

TRAVIS: I crawl through the door. Can I run to Pike? That's my turn.

SAM: Did you get any of his name?

MATT: Doesn't have a chance yet. At the end of this turn, it uses the last two points of its legendary actions to Teleport.

SAM: I'm going to Counterspell that.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: Don't know why.

LIAM: Keep it away from Pike and Grog!

TALIESIN: It's always the right move.

LIAM: Yeah. Instinct, buddy.

MATT: All right. So now we get to go ahead and roll for this, I believe. Let me go ahead and check what level it is, I believe it's a– all right, this is a 7th-level spell.

SAM: Jesus. I mean, I wrote down crazy things, but it says at level four, roll plus five, versus ten plus level. I don't even know what that means!

MATT: Here, hold on. So DC equals ten plus level, so it's DC 17.

SAM: Okay. So I have to roll?

MATT: Using an ability check. Roll d20 and add five, trying to beat a 17.

SAM: Ability check at disadvantage.

MATT: Yes.

SAM: Yeah, that's not going to happen.

LIAM: Yes it is, come on.

SAM: Well, that would've worked. The first one was an 11 plus five.

MATT: 16. One under. You go to Counterspell, but the image of its head, and seeing Pike wounded, it's too much for you and your hand shakes and you can't manage to clarify the Dispel Magic, as the whole sphinx vanishes and appears right next to Pike. All right. That brings us to Vax.

LIAM: Can I try to make my wisdom save before I do anything, or does that come at the end?

MATT: At the end of your turn.

LIAM: All right. Then I'm going to come around the corner.

MATT: It's not in your sight, by the way, you don't see it.

LIAM: I know. Can I walk over, yeah, ten feet that way and see it scowling down at Pike.

MATT: You can, yeah, around the edge.

LIAM: And put three daggers in its flank.

MATT: Go for it.

LIAM: First one misses, it's a 13. 24. And a 15.

MATT: All right. 13, 24, 15.

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: Middle one hits.

LIAM: Eight. Eight points of damage. I'm going to try to shake off the fear.

MATT: Eight points. It does get sneak attack because it's adjacent to Pike.

LIAM: But am I at disadvantage because of the fear? I thought I was at disadvantage.

MATT: Oh, you're at disadvantage to all the attacks, yeah. Wait, I'm sorry. I thought those were your three attacks.

LIAM: I did three attack rolls, but I thought that to get sneak attack damage I need advantage, but if I'm afraid, I don't have advantage.

MATT: Right, but Pike's still adjacent. That's one of the ways you can get sneak attack, is either having advantage or an ally's adjacent.

LIAM: All right. I thought that meant that, sorry. All right, I'll take it. Four, seven, 13, 25. Added to what I said before, which was eight, so 33.

MATT: 33. So one dagger, two of them you throw and they vanish into the cyclone, consumed and thankfully return with magic or they would be gone for good. Third one you throw. It stabs into the shank of the sphinx, who growls, turns back to Pike. All right, is that your turn?

LIAM: I don't know what I rolled, so I'm going to roll again. 20.

MATT: 20. You manage to finally shake off the fear. All right.

LIAM: Can I use the rest of my movement?

MATT: You can, yes.

LIAM: I'm going to run up to the side of the sphinx.

MATT: You're there. All righty. Now produces two spiders. Jump out of the web. Both of them, the only thing they see, rush up to Vex. That is a natural 20 and a two. (laughs) So the second one misses you, first one you take 16 points of psychic damage, and that one vanishes on the impact. All right. That ends their turn. Up to the top, Vex, it's your turn.

LAURA: Grog, what did you see?

TRAVIS: Can I respond?

MATT: I would say make a wisdom saving throw. At the sight of what you've done to Pike and all that is happening, this is to see if you can shake from the stupor of what has happened.

TRAVIS: Nine.

MATT: He's not responsive right now.

LAURA: I guess I– Jesus. Can I bring Trinket out? That's stupid. If I, well, I'm going to go and try to see what's going on over there with the sphinx.

MATT: Okay, so you rush over right there?

LAURA: Can I see Grog?

MATT: You can, you can see Grog. As you rush around the corner, you can see the sphinx there, you see Pike with Craven Edge partially embedded in her abdomen, the chain now lax, as Grog is standing on the outside of the portal holding it in his hand, his eyes wide. The rage has faded now, by the way.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

LAURA: Can I run forward and cast Cure Wounds on Pike?

SAM: She's Pike!

LAURA: She's got a fucking sword in her! Can I help her?

MATT: Yeah, you could cast Cure Wounds if you want.

LAURA: I mean, does she still have a sword through her, can I pull her off of it and then cast it?

MATT: Sword is still inside of her right now, yeah.

LIAM: Don't do damage to yourself.

MATT: You can try and pull it out if you want to. Make a strength check. Roll a d20, add your strength modifier.

LAURA: I know, I– oh, natural 20!

MATT: And for the one who normally can't find the physical strength of activities like this, through the inspiration of seeing–

LAURA: It reminds me of what happened to Pike before.

MATT: Yeah. And that clear image crystallizes in your mind of when that glabrezu snatched her from you once. And with that, you find the strength to persevere, you reach out and grabbing the jagged blade take nine points of necrotic damage in touching the outside of the blade, but you pull, you can see the blood forming at the edge of your fingers as you yank it outside of Pike's body, and it clatters to the ground at the base of Grog's feet. Grog's still seeing this all before you, eyes wide open, mouth agape.

LAURA: Grog, snap out of it! And I cast Cure Wounds on Pike's stomach.

MATT: Okay, what level?

LAURA: Level three.

MATT: Level three. So 3d8 plus, I think it's– what's your modifier for wisdom?

LAURA: Three.

MATT: So 3d8 plus three. And that will end Vex's turn. Scanlan, you're up.

SAM: Can I roll to see if I'm fearful?

MATT: That'll be the end of your turn.

SAM: Okay. Then I'm going to, as a bonus action, cast Healing Words on myself.

LAURA: 17.

MATT: 17? Okay, good to know.

SAM: I'll heal myself at level two. 2d4 plus five. Okay. Seven points, great. And then for my action I'll Dimension Door into the tornado.

MATT: Okay. You Dimension Door into the cyclone. You find yourself on the outside of the wind before it grabs you and pulls you in. You step through a portal and you're now drifting out in an expanse of air and cloud. There's no up, there's no down, there's no left or right, you see various masses of land slowly rotating in place as you see different gusts of wind floating about. You drift by and see a single stone that has carvings on it.

SAM: Dammit.

TALIESIN: You did this to yourself.

SAM: Great.

MATT: However, you have no anchor and you are drifting away from the opening you came through.

SAM: That's my action and my bonus. I have no movement.

MATT: Correct, so you were–

SAM: I'm gonna just do this.

MATT: Okay. You do that. There's, it's air, you're still drifting away. All right. That brings us to the top of the initiative round. Let's see. For this one, I need everyone in the room to go ahead and make another constitution saving throw.

TRAVIS: So ready for a nap. 24.

MATT: 24. Vex, what'd you get?

LAURA: Six.

LIAM: Seven.

MATT: Keyleth?

MARISHA: Do I use my fire elemental constitution? 14.

TALIESIN: 18.

MATT: 18. Okay. Pike makes it.

LAURA: So hard to get these last two fucking letters.

MATT: Okay, so you rolled a 14?

MARISHA: 14.

MATT: All right, so Keyleth, Vax, and Vex, all three of you guys suddenly feel the wind pulled out from you once again, and you all age, and now I'm giving you the specifics here, you're aging each time this happens. Ten years. All three of you. Bones are starting to ache a little bit. Not terribly, but a little more than usual. Your body's now starting to feel the wear of time passage.

TRAVIS: If that's happened twice, they're 20 years older.

MATT: Yeah. 25 for those who got hit before.

SAM: Wait, the first time was 25 years?

MATT: The first one was 15, now it's an additional ten to those who were hit.

LAURA: The first one was 15?

MATT: Yes.

LAURA: Wow. But as a half-elf you have a longer life, so really at age 50, you're not that far in.

MATT: It's not huge, it's not like a major difference. You know, 25 years to a human, to Percy, would be a lot harsher than it is to you guys. It's minor differences. It is now the sphinx's turn, the sphinx is now going to (roars) roar even louder this time. This roar echoes out with a shockwave. I need everybody except for Scanlan to make another wisdom saving throw.

MARISHA: Fuck me.

TRAVIS: Ten.

MATT: Ten? And you were still frightened from previously, right? Because you did not shake that.

TRAVIS: Yeah, I never shook it, still in a rage, but never shook it.

LAURA: But your rage ended.

MATT: You dropped the rage. All right. Pike. All right.

LAURA: Natural 20.

LIAM: 11.

MARISHA: 24.

TALIESIN: 19.

MATT: All right, so. Vax, suddenly as the blast hits, the fear hits you again as the sound vanishes and you can't hear.

LIAM: Mup.

MATT: There's nothing. You are completely deafened.

TRAVIS: Deafened?

MATT: As are you and Pike. However, because you were previously frightened, you find your muscles tense up and you are both paralyzed as well. You cannot move, you cannot speak, you cannot–

LIAM: And I'm not afraid, but I'm deaf.

MATT: You are afraid and deaf. Yeah. All right. Percy, it's your turn.

TRAVIS: We've both seen it, we can't say shit.

SAM: Well, I'm floating to my death, so.

TALIESIN: Bugger all, I got to fix this shit. Oh, what a clusterfuck.

SAM: Don't worry, I still have my lips. (blows whistle)

(laughter)

TALIESIN: Great. Okay. Where is– can you point to Vex in that?

TRAVIS: Wait, didn't I have Freedom of Movement?

MATT: This is Vex here. You do have Freedom of Movement. So you are not currently affected by paralysis. Look at you, remembering your buffs, buddy! So the fear still hits you, and your muscles tense, but you, looking over at Pike now frozen in place, you remember everything that's transpired and that holy divine energy that she imbued upon you glows from the inside, and your muscles return to you and you're still able to function.

TRAVIS: Oh, Pike!

MATT: Percy, you're up.

TALIESIN: I'm going to turn around the corner.

MATT: Around here?

TALIESIN: Grog, say the bloody words!

MATT: Make another wisdom saving throw.

MARISHA: Come on, Grog. Snap out of it.

TRAVIS: Nine. At a disadvantage.

TALIESIN: Okay. All right, all right, all right. What the fuck am I going to do? I am going to hold my turn right here.

MATT: Okay, holding your action.

TALIESIN: Until such time as someone says the fucking letters that we need, and I'm going to be ready to yell them out.

MATT: All right, Keyleth. Actually, at the end of Percy's turn, the sphinx is going to go ahead. It's going to use one of its actions to do a claw attack now against– this is going to be against Pike. That is going to be a 15, which misses. The claw, even though she's paralyzed– actually, no, he has advantage on the attack because she's paralyzed. Rolled a one on the second one. Manages to hit her, but the armor and the shield takes the brunt of it, not dealing any physical damage to it. There's now frustration in the sphinx's voice as it's growling with each one of these screams. Now it is your turn, Keyleth.

MARISHA: Okay. Question: as a fire elemental, I can fly, right?

MATT: Does it say on the fire elemental? It should say movement: flight.

MARISHA: It says that I can, oh, movement? It doesn't really say, it says I can move through a space as narrow as one inch wide without squeezing.

MATT: Well, for the elemental form here, which I have a list of your elemental forms just in case. Fire elemental, speed of 50 feet. No, it cannot fly. It moves as a flame across the ground.

MARISHA: Can't fly. So if I go into that portal I'm going to be in the same fucking situation, I'm assuming.

TALIESIN: Sadly, there is only one of us who can fly, and very busy right now.

MARISHA: Okay, I'm going to drop my elemental form–

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: You still have my Immovable Rod?

LAURA: It's planted next to the water.

MATT: It's over there.

LAURA: But my rope is attached to it and it's dangling next to me. I dropped it when I healed Pike. So it's right next to me, I pulled the robe over to there.

MATT: Yeah, the robe that produces the rope is on the ground right now next to Vex.

MARISHA: Okay, before I drop elemental form I'm going to go pick up the rod.

MATT: What are you doing?

MARISHA: It's so I can move faster. Pick up the rod.

MATT: 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, and then you drop your form to grab the rope.

MARISHA: Drop my form.

MATT: And you're grabbing the what? The rod?

MARISHA: The Immovable Rod.

MATT: All right, so you click the rod off. You now have the rod with the rope on the end of it.

MARISHA: And do I still have movement now as myself?

MATT: No, you– in dropping the form, you've used most of– I'd say you have one more square of movement left.

MARISHA: I'll step forward a square.

MATT: This way or this way?

MARISHA: No, the other way. Yeah, yeah. And say, Vex, catch!

MATT: Okay, so you throw the Immovable Rod to her?

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: Make a dexterity check, easy enough for you.

LAURA: 19.

MATT: Yeah, you catch the rod, no issue.

LAURA: I know, it was really close.

MATT: All right. So is that your turn?

MARISHA: I think so. I think that's all I can do.

MATT: All right, that ends Keyleth's turn. At the end of Keyleth's turn it's going to use another legendary action. This one, it's going to go ahead and reach out and strike at you, Vex, as you're now holding the rod.

LAURA: Of course.

MATT: That's going to be a 29 to hit. You suffer 28 points of slashing damage as its giant claw rakes across the front of your body, almost tossing you off your feet from the sheer force of the blow.

LAURA: 28 points?

MATT: 28 points. That brings us to Grog.

TRAVIS: I look down at Pike. Pike, buddy, are you all right?

MATT: You've gotten your senses back now at this point. You look at her, and she's still frozen in place. She can't move and you can see the sweat's still pouring from her face. The wound has stopped bleeding, the wound is still fresh and visible.

TRAVIS: And I call out, the letters inside the wind are O-R-I.

MARISHA: O-R-I.

LAURA: Maljikaori? Maljikairi?

LIAM: Karimaljika?

LAURA: Kaorimal?

MARISHA: Malkaoriji?

MATT: Anyway. Anyway, before you guys start doing this whole thing, take your turns to do stuff. Grog. What else do you want to do on your turn?

TRAVIS: I turn, I face the sphinx, and I don't do anything.

MATT: Okay.

TRAVIS: Craven Edge is on the ground, right?

MATT: Craven Edge is on the ground, yeah.

TRAVIS: That's it. That's all I do.

MATT: Okay. Ending Grog's turn, it is Pike's turn. Pike cannot move, fails the saving throw, unfortunately is still paralyzed, still frightened.

TALIESIN: I was holding my action for this.

MATT: Okay, what are you going to do?

TALIESIN: Maljikaori?

MATT: No response.

MARISHA: Hang on, wait, before you move it, before you move it, put it back, put it back, put it back. Okay, I want to write it down.

TALIESIN: Maorikalji!

MATT: Nothing.

LAURA: The order was fire, earth, water, air. That was the circle. So it could be in any of those orders, maybe.

MATT: You've got one more try before your turn's up, this is–

TALIESIN: Malkaoriji!

MATT: Nope. That is your turn, however. In the six seconds, you shout out, you come up with and shout out those three things. That ends Percy's turn. At the end of Percy's turn, it's going to use its third legendary action to go ahead and make another strike at Vex holding the rod. 25 to hit.

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: Takes another claw and rakes you for 28 points of slashing damage.

LAURA: I'm unconscious.

MATT: Vex falls unconscious on the ground from the blow, the rod clacks to the ground behind her. That ends that turn. All right. Oh shit, I did that out of order. It's fine. That's my fault. Percy shouldn't have got that turn, but we'll say it happened, it's fine. Vax, you're up.

LIAM: I'm going to use my bonus action to disengage from the sphinx and I'm going to run around the whirlwind, and as I move I'm taking the rope which I already made a loop on, and I'm going to throw the loop over Grog's head on one end, and I'm going to jump into the whirlwind holding tightly– I'm going to, into there, I'm going after Scanlan.

MATT: The rope clenches onto your neck and you feel like you're being choked suddenly. Without even realizing this, as you shout this out, all of a sudden a lasso is thrown around your neck and pulls back and cuts off your air supply.

TRAVIS: (chokes) Okay.

MATT: And you vanish into the cyclone. The rope goes taut, pulling. You come through the portal and you can see, indeed, Scanlan's about 30 feet away and drifting.

LIAM: And I was hasted and I ran at the whirlwind.

MATT: Right. Which is why you're gaining on him, but it's still going to take a moment as you're both still drifting, because he also leapt through.

LIAM: It's really quiet in here. But then again it would be really quiet out of here as well.

MATT: Yep. All right, so. That's going to be the end of your turn, Vax. This spider now is going to leap over as two more, or sorry, three more leap out of this. They all rush up to Keyleth, she's the one visible person there, and all making strikes against you. That is 19 to hit.

MARISHA: Hits.

MATT: Eight.

MARISHA: Miss.

MATT: 23.

MARISHA: Hits.

MATT: And ten.

MARISHA: Miss.

MATT: All right, so you take 12 points of psychic damage as two of the spiders dissipate, leaving nothing but a psychic mist behind. All right. Top of the turn, Vex, I need you to make a death saving throw.

LAURA: Six.

MATT: Six. Mark off one of your failed death saving throws. Scanlan, your turn, you're floating out in space and you see all of a sudden through the portal, Vax come rocketing towards you, hand forward, clutching a rope in one hand, arm outstretched towards you. What do you want to do?

SAM: Well, as much as I appreciate the gesture, I'm going to try to Dimension Door out of here.

LIAM: I deftly roll my eyes so fucking hard.

MATT: You Dimension Door and you appear right at the doorway. You cannot Dimension Door through dimensions. But you make your way to the outside of the door. You are still drifting with the momentum you had going backwards, so you appear back at the door and start going backwards again.

SAM: Can I grab the door?

MATT: You can grab the rope.

LIAM: I don't see or hear him, so I assume he is healing my sister right now, and I feel comforted.

MATT: You see him vanish. There's the rope there that Vax is carrying. You can grab onto that and wrestle through. With that, Scanlan manages to pull himself through the portal, landing onto the side right there. And you're fine now. That's probably going to take your full action, everything to get there, but you're out–

SAM: Bonus too?

MATT: I'll give you a bonus, sure, because your movement.

SAM: All right. Do I have time to assess and see that she's dead?

MATT: She's doing pretty rough, yeah.

SAM: I will heal her.

MATT: All right. Healing Word.

SAM: Healing Word at level–

MATT: What level are you doing?

SAM: I don't have many levels. At level three.

MATT: Okay. So that's 3d4 plus five.

SAM: I roll?

MATT: Yes. 3d4 plus five. Finishing up Scanlan's turn–

SAM: 11.

LAURA: Hey, it's better than zero. Thank you. I'm alive!

MATT: All right. I need everybody in the room to roll another constitution saving throw.

LAURA: (laughs) Oh no.

MATT: Except for you, you're not in the room.

LAURA: This aging thing, is it permanent forever?

SAM: We'll find out later.

MARISHA: Maybe if we ask nicely, he'll make us young again.

LIAM: I probably look really good with ten years on me.

TRAVIS: 16.

LAURA: Nine.

LIAM: I'm not here.

MATT: Oh, sorry. Keyleth?

MARISHA: 17.

MATT: Pike succeeds. 17.

TALIESIN: 24.

SAM: 21.

MATT: 21. All right. So.

SAM: Do I also have to roll for fear?

MATT: At the end of your turn you would, yes. Actually, no, I think that's gone off of you now. It's fine. So Vex, you come to consciousness, and you age another four years.

LIAM: Aw, he softballed you with that one.

MATT: I rolled a four. It's a d20 every time. Yeah.

MARISHA: Shit.

TALIESIN: You basically just got Netflix, that's really all that happened.

MATT: It is now the sphinx's turn.

TRAVIS: We're all laughing and one of us is unconscious.

LAURA: We're seriously going to die.

TALIESIN: We're not going to die, we're doing great.

MARISHA: We're doing all right.

MATT: There. Next to Scanlan and Percy, two claw attacks against you. That is a 28. And 21.

TALIESIN: I'm going to use my shield to glance off the 21. I'm going to use the shield of plus five AC.

MATT: Okay. Which reduces it to a–

TALIESIN: Versus AC of 23. It gives me a temporary AC of 23.

MATT: Right, so the second one would miss. So the first strike hits you for 28 points of slashing damage, the second one scrapes across the arcane barrier that appears before you from the brooch, and resist that. That's the end of its turn. Percy, you got your turn last turn when you shouldn't have, but I'm letting that fly–

TALIESIN: No, because I was holding my–

MATT: Oh sorry, you were holding it, yes.

TALIESIN: It's all part of the plan.

MATT: I confused myself. So yeah. Now it's your turn.

TALIESIN: I said Jamalkaori last time, if I recall.

MATT: You did.

TALIESIN: Kaorijimal.

MATT: Nothing.

TALIESIN: All right. I'm going to, while I'm saying all these things I'm going to be running around the corner back towards the spiderweb. Make another one.

MATT: What have you said so far?

TALIESIN: We said, Maljikaori–

MARISHA: Maorikaji.

TALIESIN: Jimalkaori.

MARISHA: And Kaorijimal.

MATT: Right, okay. So. You have two more if you wanted to do anything, Taliesin.

MARISHA: You should try that one.

TALIESIN: Is that as far as I can move right now?

MATT: You can move up to there, I think.

TALIESIN: Okay, I can't get any closer to the web?

MATT: Not for your full movement, unfortunately.

TALIESIN: Kamaljiori?

MATT: At this point, all of a sudden the braziers flicker out. You notice as the wind cyclone begins to slowly drift to a minor wind curl. At this point in time, Grog, if you wanted to pull on that rope it would be a good time.

TRAVIS: Yeah, I turn around and grab the thing that's strangling my neck like a dog leash and I yank it in real hard.

MATT: With that, you, as you're drifting off, you turn around and see the doorway where the rope goes taut, and the door begins to close.

LIAM: Bye, guys.

MATT: You're pulling yourself in, and suddenly you're yanked through and come shooting out of it on the side. With that–

LIAM: I can't hear you.

MATT: –the angry demeanor of the sphinx has entirely shifted. And now it goes from like this low, feral position to a proud, honored beast, putting its paws forward, its shoulders high. “You have earned a name.”

LIAM: What did you say?

SAM: Oh yeah, they're deaf.

MATT: It raises a paw like this, at which point all the paralysis fades, all the fear fades, all the effects fade.

MARISHA: Are we young again?

MATT: The age is not dispersed.

SAM: Ever?

MATT: Hold on a second, let me see what it can do. Actually, no. It goes forward and looks at you, who's looking the worst for wear comparatively and says, “I can help but one of you.” And his paw goes out and touches you, there's a warm glow, and the age vanishes from you. “However, that is the extent of my magic this day. Perhaps the little one could help a few at this. It is but a rather challenging restoration.” Pike nods. “I can do that. I can do that.”

LAURA: I look at Vax and laugh at him because he's so much older than I am.

MARISHA: That's true, oh my god, you guys are never going to experience this ever again.

MATT: “I apologize for the formalities, but it is a pleasure to meet you, Vox Machina.”

TALIESIN: Hello.

MARISHA: Hi.

LAURA: You too.

SAM: What was his name again?

MATT: “Kamaljiori.”

LIAM: Hahaha, good one, that was a good one. Hazing. Who doesn't love hazing, right?

MARISHA: At about that time, I lift up my shoulder and I show him the Slayer's Take symbol.

MATT: He gives a nod.

SAM: Don't we get something out of this?

MATT: Looks to you and says, “I admire your impatience. The Vestiges that you seek. Some have been destroyed over this epoch. Others lie scattered across the planes. Some are sealed or hidden. Others have found an owner. You carry one now, I see.” The sphinx backs up and turns around on the steps and lays down, crossing its paws, glancing at you all, shoulders high. And a smile, it's warm, it's this interesting contrast to when you first entered. “Well. I happen to carry a Vestige here, if you will take it.”

SAM: I mean, sure, if you're getting rid of it anyway.

TALIESIN: It is most gracious of you.

MATT: Gets up and turns around to the back of the platform. Takes the marble from beneath its fur and holds it up to one of the doorways, which switches–

SAM: What?

LIAM: Dwarven Forge.

LAURA: Secret doors.

MATT: It pulls something from within (shing), and you see this single thin blade that vibrates as he pulls it out. The door closes, it puts the marble away. The blade goes into its teeth, and it steps back down the stairs. Takes the blade from its hand as it stops, and holds it out. It's impossibly small in its hand, it looks very dinky. “Here I keep the Mythcarver.”

MARISHA: Mythcarver?

MATT: “Granted to me by the White Duke himself before his passing. We were friends long ago. It is yours.” He takes the blade and sets it down on the stone. "But you seek the others that remain, yes?”

SAM: Yes, yes.

TALIESIN: Very much so.

MATT: “Fenthras, the Wrath of the Feywarden, a bow that felled Titans. It was lost in the Feywild in the Calamity.”

LIAM: Obviously for Scanlan.

LAURA: Obviously.

MATT: “It now acts as the heart of a cancerous tree, corrupting the verdant land there. The Plate of the Dawnmartyr, beacon of protection to the chosen of Pelor, gathers dust on a wall in the City of Brass, a trophy won by a fire giant in a card game from a Suutan bloodline that once donned it.”

MARISHA: What was that called again?

MATT: Don't worry, I wrote all these down for you guys.

LAURA: Oh, thank you. I know, I'm like, there's going to be a test later!

MATT: I know. I got this for you guys. “Cabal's Ruin, a magic-devouring cloak once used by an assassin to eliminate the unscrupulous den of Druja. It is now worn by a merchant-warrior with a missing eye in the walls of Ank'harel. The Spire of Conflux, a staff born from Melora's very breath, was devoured, along with its previous owner, by a goristro named Yenk in the endless maze of the Abyss.”

SAM: Let's go there!

MATT: “The Titanstone Knuckles were taken from the brutalized corpse of their proud owner, now worn by a terrible half-giant turned tyrant in Westruun. I sense you know this, tall one. I can taste your fear from here. Whisper, blade forged from metal pulled from the Far Realm, was a center to many a dark ritual. It now lies at the bottom of the Ozmit Sea, sunken with the lost ship, The Shrew, in a storm 300 years ago near an island of glass. Know that all life is connected on an impossibly small level, beyond the mind's ability to understand on your level. Ideas transcend distance, language. Many share dreams, thoughts, inspirations without knowing. The fact that you are now aware of these, others too may now be drawn to the search as well. Beware. Now go. You have earned the name, you have earned the knowledge. The race is on.” And with that, sand begins to erupt from the two piles of rubble, swirling in a giant whirlwind of blasted stone and sand, you guys have to cover your eyes as it begins to completely consume the vision around you. You see the sphinx back up towards the top of the platform before the sand consumes even within 15 feet, ten feet, five feet of your vision. You lose sight of your friends around you, and for a second the panic hits you before the sand comes to a stop and drops to the ground. Looking around, you stand at the base of the triangular cavern entrance by the mountain range where you first entered the temple. And that's where we'll end tonight's game.

TRAVIS: Fucking shit.

LAURA: That got so much more intense than I ever thought it was going to.

TRAVIS: I thought it was going to be like a gentle education, like a gentle ribbing.

LAURA: Yeah, I thought we'd go and talk to this guy.

LIAM: Hey, we're friends with your girlfriend, want to give us some stuff?

TRAVIS: Matt, that was–

MATT: Well done, guys!

TRAVIS: A crazy-ass puzzle.

MARISHA: We can look at that list, so I can make some serious notes?

MATT: Yeah. There's a list for you guys.

TRAVIS: I'll make a copy of it, I'll make a copy of it.

LAURA: Do we need to go after all of them? We'll do it; we'll talk about it later.

MARISHA: I think we each need to be outfitted with something. We need our legendary weapons, you guys.

LAURA: We took the weapon off the ground before he portaled us out, right, Matt?

MATT: Yes, actually. In which case I will give this to you as you now have access to its capabilities.

MARISHA: Fenthras? Is that what it was– no.

MATT: No, the Mythcarver. It's a legendary longsword. This incredible silvered blade once belonged to the White Duke himself, and many more master bards before him. It resonates with nearby musical tones. It acts as a plus three longsword, and the weapon deals an additional 1d6 force damage upon a hit. Whenever you use your Bardic Inspiration feature, you gain advantage on attacks with this weapon until the end of your turn.

TRAVIS: Advantage on attacks?

MATT: So if you were to give somebody– use your bonus action before your attack, you would get advantage on any attacks with the weapon.

LIAM: Percy, that was made for you.

TALIESIN: I know, obviously. I'm so excited.

MATT: And whenever you use your Cutting Words feature against an enemy, the target also has disadvantage on its next saving throw.

LAURA: Wow!

TRAVIS: Holy shit.

SAM: Well, I guess I'll have to take it.

TALIESIN: I've got a weird question I'm going to throw out there. Did you pick your sword back up before all this mess happened?

TRAVIS: Yep.

SAM: Hey, the White Duke!

MATT: As Grog looks at his feet, the blade that still laid there before you, tethered to you by chain, still remains at your feet as you see the chain amongst the sand.

LAURA: Oh my gosh.

MATT: Still jagged, still extended, still in its full form. All right. So. Well done, everyone. We'll pick this up next week for the 50th episode, so excited.

(cheering)

MATT: Thank you guys for sticking around for this very long episode.

LAURA: That was long.

MATT: I know it was long, I wanted to try and get through this before we started the 50th.

MARISHA: Oh my god, it's midnight.

MATT: Yeah, sorry guys. So long. Hope we're cool.

TRAVIS: We're cool.

LIAM: (singing) It's the last midnight.

MATT: All right you guys, well, thank you so much for watching. Have a good night, and is it Thursday yet?

LIAM: Yes. Two more minutes.

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