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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 nerdy-ass voice actors sit around and play Dungeons & Dragons. Travis is in-transit, don't freak out. He'll be here in just a moment. He's making his way here from--

LAURA: He's busy this week.

SAM: He couldn't stand to face Laura.

LAURA: That's right.

MATT: Well, if he knew what was good for him. Before we get into tonight's episode, let's go into some quick announcements. First and foremost, our fantastic returning sponsors for this campaign, our friends, our dear family at D&D Beyond. Sam.

SAM: Everybody, our trip to the UK changed us in a lot of ways. We were exposed to the European culture and that area of the world. We fell in love with it. Tonight, there's so much to talk about that I'm going to need some help. Everyone knows Matt's Scottish accent is top notch, but I've been studying with a dialect coach that I found on Craigslist and I think I'm ready to unveil my Scottish brogue. Now, because it's so accurate, Matt's going to translate what I'm saying.. I'm going to be saying things in traditional, accurate Scottish about D&D Beyond that he'll translate into American English.

TALIESIN: I'm weirdly on-board.

SAM: Okay, here we go. (exaggerated Scottish accent) Hallo, ya bonnie lassies and laddies! Don't be a *wee dafty. Ma kelly ann's* been *haverin* how D&D Beyond is the *maest braw app up tae hae though.*

MATT: D&D Beyond is proud to announce the continuation of the Waterdeep campaign. Dungeon of the Mad Mage is out tonight at 9:00pm Pacific.

SAM: *Nae! I cannae be aff ma heed!* It's *Taps Aff cos eh* D&D and Magic: The Gathering, *ya numpty!*

MATT: The long-awaited Magic: The Gathering / D&D crossover, Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica, also drops tonight at 9:00pm Pacific time.

SAM: *Haud yer wheesht* and *nick it now or yer fit to be getting skelp, ya herpuin jobbie.*

MATT: You can get both at dndbeyond.com/marketplace.

SAM: (regular voice) Oh, it's my turn! Oh no, that's your line. Wait, that's my line. Okay. (exaggerated Scottish accent) What ya doin the weekend? *Jings!* You're a right *hoodie dobber,* ye are, pure walloper--oot yer nut!

MATT: D&D Beyond is hosting a two-day streaming event this Friday and Saturday at Gamehole Con to benefit Extra Life.

SAM: Ach! Where are *Jock Tamson's bairns?* It's quality! I'm pure *scunnered*. (regular voice) I looked these words up! They're real.

MATT: Both days will feature three, four-hour sessions from 7:30am-- 7:30pm to 10:30--

SAM: a.m.!

MATT: All? Wow! From 7:30am to 10:00pm with special guests raising money for a special cause.

LIAM: It's throwing him that badly.

MARISHA: Yeah.

[hat plays high-pitched “Scotland the Brave”]

SAM: Okay. (exaggerated Scottish accent) Call me *doonie*, get on yer trolley and *heed* over to twitch.tv/get-fooked-ya-clatty-radge-wee-shite!

MATT: Be sure to tune into twitch.tv/dndbeyond to check it out.

[hat music continues]

MARISHA: That was not what I was expecting!

LAURA: Does it ever stop?

SAM: (regular voice) I don't know when it stops!

LAURA: Help! Make it end!

SAM: Don't press it again; it'll start again! Maybe it's winding down. Ah!

LAURA: Yay!

MATT: Thank you, Sam.

SAM: Well, you know. We love London, we love UK, we love it all.

MATT: My distant ancestry is extremely pleased with your performance. Thank you, D&D Beyond, as always.

LIAM: What is “to high doh?”

SAM: “To high doh,” to high, though. It means something? All these words are real. “Up to high doh” means a lot? I don't know!

MATT: Guide to Ravnica. The next episode of All Work No Play will debut this Friday at twitch.tv/criticalrole at 7:00pm Pacific. This week, Liam and Sam are building a custom MAME cabinet with Felicia Day and our fantastic Director of Events, Brittany Walloch. MAME cabinets, something I've been chasing my whole life, and finally there is one in my vicinity.

SAM: Felicia joins us.

MATT: Awesome. Check that out Friday. Also, through the month of November, and in celebration of Veterans Day, we're raising money for Travis' favorite charity, Operation Supply Drop. We've talked about it before. We put up the account, you guys have already raised a tremendous amount of money for this. As much as we can get the word out before the donation period closes, continue to help them. Operation Supply Drop has already helped over 750,000 members of the military community since its inception. It continues to support active military members, veterans, their families. It's amazing, the work they do. We're big fans of everything they do. Check out all the information to donate now at critrole.com/osd. Also, both the standard and deluxe editions of our second art book, The Chronicles of Exandria, Legend of Vox Machina, will be on sale via pre-order this coming Monday, November 12, at 9:00am Pacific. This art book contains art from our fantastic, beloved community of critter artists. They've all put it together with love and joy and I'm super proud of it. These guys, like, died to get it done. The number of artists-- you guys did incredible work. We're excited for you guys to check it out, and super excited to announce, for our European critters, the art book will be shipped out to our brand new fulfillment center in the United Kingdom that we just set up! A lot of hard work to finally get a fulfilment center that side. This will drastically reduce shipping costs and delivery times for our European family out there. Super stoked to have this finally functional. We'll have more details to that available on Monday morning when all this goes on sale.

SAM: Should I translate what you just said for our Scottish audience?

MATT: Do I have a choice?

SAM: No.

LIAM: I'm going to show off an image from inside the book. This is the standard, by the way. Matteo Scalera, an artist that I fell in love with reading the Black Science comic book. He's fucking amazing and the cover is--

SAM: That's the standard?

LIAM: This is the standard.

SAM: Holy shit, that's good.

LIAM: This book is so beautiful. Show that thing off and I'm going to find a picture.

TALIESIN: Yeah, this is the beautiful deluxe edition which comes with a little ribbon and you can see this wonderful cover art with Vecna in the center and the four gods depicted in the corners all cowering before his might.

MATT: The four major deities that were involved in that final arc.

LIAM: I'm going to show off a little Ioun. Look at this!

LAURA: Oh my god!

TALIESIN: Who are these lovely kids right over here?

LAURA: Oh my god!

TALIESIN: It's right there.

MATT: Just like that, it goes away. Look forward to the information about that this coming Monday at critrole.com. I believe those are all of our announcements, and with that, let's go ahead and jump into tonight's episode of Critical Role.

[TV static, click]

[groovy Critical Role theme]

Part I[]

MATT: Hello everyone, and welcome back. Last we left off: The Mighty Nein, after making a daring escape from the Temple of the False Serpent on the island of Urukayxl had managed to nearly drown in the escape, make their way through the jungle being chased by both yuan-ti and the lizardmen denizens of this island. Making their way to the shore just in time to have the actual pirate ship, the Squalleater, there to defend you. Firing various heavy cannonballs towards the creatures which had given chase and allowing you to escape on the boats to safety. Upon reaching the top of the ship you found that the Mistake has been repaired enough to be seaworthy, though it does need some more intense repairs. Your supplies are relatively low, and it looks like the current is goal to find your journey westward to the island of Darktow which has been wiped-- from your knowledge-- wiped from the Clovis Concord's control many years ago and currently resides as the center of all piracy in the Lucidian Ocean. As you all went to rest for the evening, Fjord-- who will be here shortly, so I can continue to embarrass him-- had an evening's conversation with Captain Avantika, in which it was discussed his past history with his childhood father figure, who also seemed to have a history with Avantika as well and is somehow rolled in with this strange Uk'otoa phenomenon. It also came to light that this shipwreck which gave Fjord his powers might have a connection, based on the Captain's intuition, with where this third and final sphere may lie, and it was decided between the two of them that this may be the next goal, beyond Darktow, to pursue. After which, they fucked.

LAURA: (screaming)

MATT: While that era of the story is transpiring, I want to ask you guys, since we have a moment here--

LIAM: While they're fucking?

MATT: Or in the loose, wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey period of figuring things out as you recover from the intense return to the ship. What would you like to do? Is there anything you want to check up on? First of all, everyone leveled up to seven.

LAURA: Did we get a long rest after?

MATT: This would be the long rest-- for everyone but Fjord, I guess.

SAM: Nice. This isn't the next few days of our sailing adventure, this is that night?

MATT: This is that night. We will then begin to embark on what that journey will be, but if there's anything you wish to do before the evening's done.

TALIESIN: I already gave my shade, I'm done. Honestly, that was all I needed.

LIAM: I would try to locate Caduceus on the boat, actually. I don't know if he's hiding or not.

TALIESIN: Oh, I'm in my room because I was-- is this before Fjord came back?

MATT: We can say this is while Fjord is out.

TALIESIN: Okay, so I'm in my room.

LIAM: I will go to where he is on the boat and-- (knocking).

TALIESIN: Hey, Mister Caleb. Good evening.

LIAM: You look--

TALIESIN: Battered.

LIAM: Tired as I feel. Do you have a moment?

TALIESIN: Sure. What can I do for you?

LIAM: May I come in?

TALIESIN: Oh, yes. Of course.

LIAM: (throat clearing) I feel a little poorly for the time you have been having, traveling with us. It was not a very good day. It's been a string of bad ones, in fact, and I am grateful to have you along with this group because we get hurt a lot and stick our noses places maybe we shouldn't. You have been very helpful.

TALIESIN: I think I'm coming to the realization that perhaps I was not entirely clear on what I signed up for, but I don't think that means that it's the wrong path. I'm getting used to the idea that it wouldn't be a test if it were easy.

LIAM: Is it your intention to continue on with us?

TALIESIN: I joined your group of friends-- I guess our group of friends, now-- as a testament of faith, and it would be a disservice to that faith to turn around because it's hard. If it'd have been easy, I suppose I wouldn't have been needed to be called to it. I've been thinking a lot about it. Jester gave me a lot to think about, to be honest.

LIAM: Well, sometimes acts of good faith deserve to be rewarded, when they can. I wanted to give you something that will make your time with us a little bit easier, I suppose. I start to pull the periapt out and untie it. This-- you know, I'm always so far back away from-- I hear you, Laura, in my peripheral, I hear you. I'm always very far back anyway, this isn't doing me much good, and it's better that you stay up more than I stay up because if you go down, that's it. This is a little bit of extra protection-- anyway.

TALIESIN: Mister Caleb, do you believe in fate? There are lots of different kinds of fate, I know that's a heavy question, but do you believe that we are driven towards something by things that are greater than ourselves?

LIAM: I don't know. I would like to think not, but I don't know.

TALIESIN: There are times that I think about the cruelties of the world and the things that have been put upon me and my family, and I would hate for that to be a plan, and there are times when, like today, I'm very grateful for being in the right place at the right time to make sure that the right people are becoming strong in ways they need to be. I don't think that excuses the pain, I don't think that you have to-- I don't know, I don't think that you have to not care about it or fight it with everything you've got, but I think the world is shaping you into something important, and I want to make sure that you get to wherever you need to be.

LIAM: That's a pretty big matzo ball.

TALIESIN: You won't have to work very hard at it, I imagine. I think just being you wherever the world puts you will do just fine.

LIAM: If you have this-- this is magic, by the way.

TALIESIN: I can tell.

LIAM: Here you go.

TALIESIN: Thank you.

LIAM: I help you, that makes it easier to help all of us.

TALIESIN: I promise I will continue to help you all. Even when we're not the best of people, I feel like we're still moving towards something that's good and worthwhile, and I'm feeling the struggle's in my way to bring us to where we need to be.

LIAM: Welcome to the Nein.

TALIESIN: I'm honored.

LIAM: Okay, I feel like shit, so I'm going to go to bed.

TALIESIN: Thank you for this, I won't forget it.

MARISHA: Just like Fjord.

(laughter)

TALIESIN: Meanwhile, one hour later.

LIAM: Rolling them double ones.

MATT: You get to remove that item, and you get to add it to your--

TALIESIN: I'm adding which item?

LIAM: Periapt of wound closure. It just feels right that it's with you.

SAM: What does it do?

LIAM: Makes it harder for him to die. It was Molly's.

MARISHA: I'm going to go to Caleb when he gets back. (knocking) Caleb! Caleb! Caleb!

LIAM: Where's my owl?

MARISHA: Oh, right! It doesn't drown, it's amazing. It's like it's magic or something. We had good times.

LIAM: You have three or four more days, if you want.

MARISHA: Do I?!

LIAM: Yeah, I--

MARISHA: Can you do me a favor?

MATT: Pocketed.

MARISHA: Pocket owl. Right next to my bacon.

LIAM: iOwl.

MARISHA: I got this red feather from Nila-- and I don't know, when she handed it to me, she was like-- very deliberate on how she handed it to me. Will you just see if it's magic?

LIAM: You want to know if this is something? Do you have a moment?

MARISHA: Yeah.

LIAM: Okay. I will cast Identify on this.

MATT: It is not magical, it is sentimental.

LIAM: *Ja*, that's a feather. That's just a feather. It's good looking, though.

MARISHA: Tie it to my staff. I'm not disappointed.

LIAM: Okay.

MARISHA: I'm not disappointed!

LIAM: Are you good?

MARISHA: I'm-- bye. I'm going to go to bed.

LAURA: Can I pull out Sprinkle?

MATT: Okay. As you reach back into your waterlogged hood of your coat, you hear this tiny little (coughing) and there you pull out this extremely waterlogged and unhappy crimson weasel. (chittering and coughing)

LAURA: You're so tough, Sprinkle. I'm going to squish his little cheeks.

MATT: He pees in your hand.

LAURA: Oh, thank you. Okay, go right to your-- stay there. Don't drown, okay? Then I'm going to look for Beau, but she's not around, so then I'm going to go look for Nott.

SAM: I'm drinking.

MATT and LAURA: Where are you drinking?

SAM: I don't know where. Are we all staying in the room or do we have a couple of rooms?

MATT: There are three rooms between the group, I think, that have been given to you and the people that have been moved to the Mistake.

SAM: Let's say that I'm drinking on the deck of the ship.

LAURA: Oh good. I was on the deck of the ship, too. How perfect. Hey, Nott.

SAM: Hi.

LAURA: Hi. Are you super wasted?

SAM: I've got a good buzz on.

LAURA: Okay. I have a question for you.

SAM: Yeah?

LAURA: Have you-- I mean, I think you have because you said you were like into somebody before. Have you ever kissed a boy?

SAM: Hmm.

MARISHA: That was the cutest.

LIAM: It's pretty cute.

SAM: I've kissed a boy.

LAURA: Yeah? What was it like?

SAM: Excuse me?

LAURA: What was it like when you kissed him?

SAM: Have you never kissed someone?

LAURA: No, well--

SAM: You're related-- your mom is a master of sexuality--

LAURA: I was asking what it was like when *you* kissed someone. That's all!

SAM: Because you haven't done it.

LAURA: Well, I didn't know if it counted.

SAM: Oh. Well, what was the situation?

LAURA: I was drowning.

SAM: Oh, you mean today? Oh!

LAURA: Does that count, though?

SAM: Okay. Well, I mean, let's take a look at this. Your lips pressed against each others'.

LAURA: Yes.

SAM: It meant something.

LAURA: Yeah.

SAM: How did it make you feel?

LAURA: Like I wasn't dead.

SAM: Yeah. Alive. That is the feeling. Did it make your heart beat faster than, you know, being completely stopped how it was.

LAURA: Yeah, I think so. I mean, it's not dead.

SAM: If I had to do my first kiss over again, I would want all of those things.

LAURA: Really?

SAM: Yes! That's the best first kiss. It's someone you care about--

LAURA: Well, I didn't know if it counted.

SAM: It means something. You'll remember it forever.

LAURA: I will. I will remember the after part of it, you know?

SAM: Oh yes.

LAURA: I was a little struggling in the beginning part.

SAM: Well, yes. Afterwards, I don't know if you felt this way, you just can't stop thinking about it and you just feel the soft pressing against you and almost taste him just for a little bit and it doesn't go away for a while.

LAURA: I think his tusks are growing back.

SAM: You felt a little--

LAURA: Just a little bit of tusk!

SAM: Ooh!

LAURA: Yeah! What was your first kiss like, though?

SAM: It wasn't as romantic. It was just a dare.

LAURA: Oh, really?

SAM: Yes.

LAURA: With who?

SAM: I don't know. Just someone. I don't even remember too much.

LAURA: That's weird. You said you never forget it.

SAM: I sure did. It was just-- you know? I was pretty young and kids just saying like, "Oh, you kiss each other and you kiss each other now." Just one of those types of games.

LAURA: I think kids do that sort of stuff a lot.

SAM: I think so too, but I don't remember his name.

LAURA: Oh. Do you remember the softness of his lips?

SAM: I do. Yes. It was a good day.

LAURA: Yeah, today's pretty cool too.

SAM: Well, do you think things will change now between you?

LAURA: Oh, no. I mean, he might have a big crush on me now, you know?

SAM: Are you interested?

LAURA: Oh, I don't know, you know?

SAM: Well. Sometimes, boys like-- Why am I telling you all this? Your mom's a lady of the night!

LAURA: Yeah, I know!

SAM: Sometimes boys like it if you are a little bit aloof. A little bit cold to them afterwards like maybe they did something wrong and they don't even know what it was.

LAURA: Really?

SAM: Yes!

LAURA: Like, the play the games?

SAM: Yes! Just a little bit of like-- just keep them guessing like "Did I say something? Did I do something? Was I a bad kisser?"

LAURA: Okay.

SAM: That would put him on the defensive where you want him.

LAURA: That's right!

SAM: Then you cut his throat and fucking kill him! I'm just kidding about all that. I don't know.

LAURA: Okay. Because I don't want to do that--

SAM: No! Of course not! He's our friend.

LAURA: Okay. Well, all right! Have fun with your flask, okay?

SAM: All right, I will.

LAURA: I'm going to go write in my journal.

SAM: Have fun drawing.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: As everyone concludes their evening activities, the journey, looking at the map and the distance, is about 800 miles to Darktow from Urukayxl.

TALIESIN: (intones theme from Pirates of the Caribbean)

MATT: Yeah, essentially. The ship normally--

LIAM: Jesus Christ!

SAM: We should solve this at some point, right? We should get some bean bags or something?

LAURA: We should probably just rotate it. Maybe if you would roll it the other direction, it straightens it out. Did you know that?

MARISHA: Put in under my-- okay.

MATT: Now it's not centered. Whatever. It's fine. You guys deal with your map. It's not mine. It's your map. Do what you want. Not my responsibility! Your ship is actually traveling faster than it normally was as part of the blessing that Avantika received. It can achieve about 55 miles--

SAM: An hour?!

MATT: No. An entire day of travel which is a bit faster than a general sailing ship which is why the Mistake can go faster, but they're a pair. You're looking at about 14 days of travel.

MARISHA: To Darktow?

MATT: To Darktow, yeah.

MARISHA: 14 days?!

MATT: Welcome to being on the open seas, man.

MARISHA: Oh shit!

MATT: They don't have bullet trains in D&D. You have 11 days of supplies. There will have to be some sort of supply stop or a way of handling that.

TALIESIN: I have a thing called Create Food and Water.

LAURA: I do too.

TALIESIN: We can mix it up with the normal food so it doesn't taste as bad.

MATT: That is going to make this journey not an issue when it comes to supplies. Look at that. Divine magic.

TALIESIN: Teamwork!

MATT: You don't have to stop then. All right, great!

TALIESIN: So sorry. We just burned an entire encounter like, "Yeah! Fuck whatever Matthew made."

SAM: Is food and water the only thing we need? Do we need any other supplies to make this trip? I don't know.

MATT: Not to get to Darktow. At Darktow, there will be repairs made to the other ship and possibly some small repairs to the ship for its journey and any other supplies you would need while there. It's a 14 day journey at full speed. During this time, a couple of things. One, you guys can decide to, if you want to, learn how to run a boat.

MARISHA: I would like that very much.

MATT: That being the case, we get to decide what types of skill sets you want to pick up on out here in the ocean. That being the case, we have the quartermaster. Quartermaster is the one who has the most authority other than the captain of the ship. They take over if the captain is unable to. They divvy up plunder or whenever you board a prized vessel, they decide what to take and what to leave. They generally helm that whole process there, as far as pirate ships are concerned. There is the navigator or the sailing master.

LIAM: Dibs.

MATT: You do have Orly hired to do that for you, but Orly can also train one of you to be a backup in case Orly--

TALIESIN: I was about to say anything like being able to go by the stars or otherwise is something I might be able to do very well.

MATT: You can both train under him if you want to. You can overlap.

LAURA: You do have memory--

LIAM: I know which direction is north at all times. I don't forget anything. I'm real smart in-game.

TALIESIN: Fair.

LIAM: Just in the game.

TALIESIN: Just lording that rap battle over me. Okay, that's fine.

MATT: We have the boatswain. Boatswain is in charge of the ship itself. You know, keeping it in top shape for travel and battle. They handle looking over the wood, the canvas, the ropes, making sure that everything's solid and functional. They lead shore parties for supplies and repairs and oversee activities like dropping and weighing the anchor, setting the sails, cleaning the deck, things like that. Start thinking of things you might be interested in. There's the cooper, which makes and maintains barrels for storage, food and water. There's the carpenter, which is the one that actually repairs the ship's structural integrity when it takes damage. They answer to the boatswain. They keep the hull, the masts, and the yardarms functional. There's the master gunner who organizes the placement of shot, powder, the fuse and aiming the ship's cannons. All right, so, Nott's going to want to train as the master gunner. And, of course, powder monkey, which is the next one below who basically runs all the stuff.

SAM: Powder monkey?

MATT: Powder monkey.

SAM: Maybe I'll apprentice as that first?

MATT: Apprentice as powder monkey and, should it be needed, you'll become, hopefully, a good master gunner. Those are the most important aspects. Everyone'll learn a little bit about sailing as you go, but start getting an idea, if you want to right now, which one of those you'd want to specifically begin to focus on.

LAURA: What does the boatswain do again?

SAM: Manager of the ship. Like the office manager, right? Keeps it running?

MATT: Yeah, makes sure that all the canvas, the ropes, the wood, everything's in good condition.

TRAVIS: I have experience being a quartermaster, so I'll do that as well.

LAURA: Oh, okay.

SAM: He said quartermaster, no boatswain.

LAURA: I guess I'll do the boatswain stuff? I feel like I'll be really bad at it.

MATT: We'll find out. Train as the boatswain. Which, actually, to that point, the next morning, as everyone begins to go about the first real day out here in the Lucidian Ocean, clear blue sky with dappled bits of cloud around you, the smell of sea salt and foam and spray making its way as it splashes across the front of the bow, Avantika catches up to you with Vera being called up to the side. She goes, "Vera, if you'd be so kind, I would like to call-- let's say the utmost members of the crew, please, to the deck. Maybe some of your friends as well."

TRAVIS: Of course, I'll bring them up.

MATT: As you all gather on the deck, Avantika goes, "I appreciate all of the hard work you've put into this, my crew and yours. As we are making our way back it is important that we properly balance as we endeavor here and make sure that both training that has been inquired about is properly disseminated, and, out of curiosity, and with no disrespect to you Vera, I will be replacing you as the ship's quartermaster until we return to Darktow with our Captain Tusktooth." Vera looks taken aback and briefly offended, and then, "But of course, my captain." "Quartermaster, time to start paying attention."

TRAVIS: Indeed.

MATT: She begins to divvy out responsibilities to the rest of you in the various positions that you requested to start learning. Some elements of the journey have you moving over to the Mistake, some have you moving back, especially for the repairs elements, whoever decides they want to be the carpenter. Unless none of you want to. That's up to you.

SAM: You're strong.

LAURA: I'm strong, maybe I should be the carpenter!

SAM: Do you have any--

LAURA: I've got no.

SAM and LAURA: Nothing.

MATT: It's up to you.

MARISHA: What was that cooper position? Barrels?

MATT: Makes and maintains barrels.

SAM: Hey, you've been around barrels your whole life!

MARISHA: I already know how to make a barrel.

LAURA: Do you want to be the boatswain?

TALIESIN: I was thinking the one where you actually have to go out and find supplies. I might be really good at that. MATT: That is the boatswain.

TALIESIN: Yeah, I'll take the boatswain.

LAURA: Okay, then I'll do the carpenter.

MATT: There we go. Note that somewhere on your character that those are the positions you're training on this journey. All right, cooper, got it.

MARISHA: Making barrels.

SAM: I'm the gunner! Well, the powder monkey.

MATT: Powder monkey for now.

SAM: For now. Working my way up.

MATT: A few days into this journey, we'll say because you're training as the carpenter--

LAURA: Yes!

MATT: Jester, the Mistake is keeping in time with the Squalleater and you're brought-- it slows down a bit and you're brought over to the opposite side and there, looking around, you wander under the deck and find, at one of the tables, Waldok, who's one of the deckhands of the ship. He's currently sitting at a table with a large tankard of really rough grog or ale, biting his lower lip, and he has his sleeve pulled up and you can see Orly has this unique bowstring of some kind that's wrapped between two fingers, an inkwell, and a needle that's tied up in it, and he's currently halfway through doing this really good-looking, elaborate tattoo across the arm of this deckhand.

LAURA: Whoa!

MATT: He's got his patch over his eye, right up against one of the portholes where the light's coming through and he's using it for perspective, and he's lording over this smaller, thin human, and glances over, "Oh, hey there."

LAURA: Can I go stand over his shoulder and stare at what he's doing?

MATT: Yeah, you keep watch and he's doing this curled mermaid that is coming up and, on one hand is holding on at the hip and the other is picking a fruit off of a tree. You begin to question the design a bit and Orly says, offhand, "It's what he requested."

LAURA: Why are you having a mermaid pick fruit if she's in the water?

MATT: He's sitting there going like, "(grunting) Well, I had a rough fight with some scurvy a few years back and a few things I like the idea of ladies in the sea that can save me from scurvy."

LAURA: Oh, that's really smart. It's very meaningful.

MATT: Orly chuckles under his breath. It's very well done, and you can see now the other tattoos that are across his body were probably done by him on himself.

LAURA: Hey, Orly, I'm training to be a carpenter, did you know?

MATT: "I wasn't aware, actually, but m-m-maybe you should ask around for the man who's doing the repairs around this place."

LAURA: Yeah, I will definitely do that, but I also want to learn how to do tattoos. Can you teach me that?

MATT: "I can try and teach you some of--"

LAURA: I'm a really good artist, Orly.

MATT: "-- m-m-my skills. However, I got a specific talent with some of this here."

LAURA: Yeah, it's a thing that you wrap around your fingers and then you go like this?

MATT: "Kind of. Here, do you m-m-mind?" The guy's like, "Uh."

LAURA: I'm a really good artist, don't worry.

MATT: "Sure?" Orly helps show you how he threads this and gets the needle set up. Go ahead and make a performance check.

TRAVIS: Oh god.

LIAM: Oh jeez.

MARISHA: Performance?

LAURA: Performance. Oh no, performance!

MATT: We'll say dexterity, if you really want to.

LAURA: Yeah, I'll do dexterity. Oh, 17!

MATT: 17. Picking up where the initial partial ink sketches were, you actually continue to fill in the rest of the upper torso. You do a very good job. You can see where the style does shift in the art, but it's not abrasive, it just continues, and it is rather nice.

LAURA: Do you think maybe your mermaid would want some googly eyes?

MATT: He goes, "Um, no. I appreciate that, but no."

LAURA: Are you sure? I think it'd really make her look really good.

MATT: He starts to pull his arm away from you. Orly puts his giant tortle hand on your shoulder and goes, "I don't recommend m-m-messing with the artistic vision."

LAURA: I understand. I don't want people messing with my artistic vision, either.

MATT: "There you are."

LAURA: You and me, Orly. We're going to be fast friends.

MATT: "I like the idea of that. Point of order--"

LAURA: Did you say "porn of order?"

MATT: "Point of order."

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: "You don't happen to have any sort of gem dust, do you?"

LAURA: Gem dust. Like a gem that's been powdered?

MATT: "Yeah."

LAURA: Or like ink?

MATT: "Oh, I have plenty of ink. It's m-m-more--"

LAURA: Wait, are you trying to make a sparkly ink?

MATT: "M-m-more or less."

LAURA: I mean, I don't have any powdered gems, but I could probably powder some gems.

MATT: "I picked up this technique years ago from some of the individuals that spawned from the legacy of the island folk. It allows me to instill a m-m-mighty ink spot." As he does that, he flexes his arm and the tattoo shimmies every so slightly and his muscles bulge a bit.

LAURA: Oh my god. Will you teach me how to do that if I give you some dust?

MATT: "See, it's not so much something that can be easily taught; more that it's something bequeathed by an elder."

LAURA: Do you want to bequeath me?

MATT: "No."

LAURA: What if you really like me, though?

MATT: "We'll see how time goes by. For the time being, just let me know if I can be of service." He talks to you about it and he gives you an overview of his capabilities. For different types of gem dust, he can imbue somebody with a series of tattoos that can alter elements of their physical self. It's not inexpensive, and each person can only have it once ever, so it's not like you can have multiple. For 2,200 gold worth of a ruby dust he can imbue a permanent plus one to strength.

TRAVIS: What?

MATT: For 2,200 gold worth of emerald dust he can do a permanent plus one to dex. He runs down the stat sheet there. The most expensive one's constitution; that's 2,500 worth of diamond dust. There are all the different gem types there. He can also imbue certain resistances. Those are more expensive, those are 5,000 gold worth of fire opal dust for fire resist and 5,000 gold worth of black sapphire dust for cold resist. He has the capability of imbuing essentially magical, permanent tattoos.

LAURA: That is amazing.

MARISHA: I have a jeweler's kit. (pigeon cooing)

LAURA: Oh my gosh.

MARISHA: Beau made jewelry. (pigeon cooing)

TRAVIS: That's a shit-load of jewels.

MATT: Yeah, that's something.

LAURA: That's a lot of jewels.

SAM: We have some, though.

LAURA: Yeah, we have some.

TALIESIN: Some stuff that we don't want to get rid of.

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: I want some magic tattoos!

LAURA: Oh my gosh, do they shimmer, though, do look sparkly on your body, do they look shiny?

MATT: You can see aspects of, based on what enchantment it is-- like on Orly, his is specifically an aquamarine dust. It has this faint, aquamarine, light blue shimmy to it; as soon as the light hits it, it glitters across.

LAURA: (gasping)

TRAVIS: Oh, fuck.

MATT: Aquamarine dust being the one that boosts charisma.

LAURA: Orly, you're so charismatic.

MATT: "M-m-many folk have said that."

LAURA: I would definitely want to learn this from you, and I probably, once I get a little more rich and I have some powdered gems, I'm going to have you do it to me.

MATT: "Well, looks like you're just going to have to keep me employed for quite a while."

LAURA: Yeah, don't get hurt, okay?

MATT: "Don't get me hurt." He goes back to finishing up the tattoo on the individual.

LAURA: Okay, what was the guy's name that was getting a tattoo?

MATT: That was Waldok.

LAURA: Waldok. Well, Waldok, I'll see you later.

MATT: “(grunts) Okay.”

LAURA: I'm going to go carpenter some stuff.

MATT: All right.

MARISHA: Holy shit.

MATT: Roughly eight days into this journey, you've moved about 100 miles off the shore of the southern island of Bwuali when a small horn sound goes off on the Squalleater. (horn call) It's a small horn. It's very horn.

LAURA: I had a flashback.

MATT: I know. This wasn't meant to be an epic horn that I totally failed on. This is intentionally a small horn. Glancing at the top, you can see Avantika has climbed to the center of the mainmast and towards one of the crow's nests up top, and, looking down, points to you, Fjord, and goes, "Quartermaster, call two of your compatriots that you trust to the top with me."

TRAVIS: Will do! Jester, Deuce.

TALIESIN: Yeah?

TRAVIS: Up top.

TALIESIN: Oh, yeah, I like it up there.

MATT: You guys climb up the mainmast to the crow's nest, and there you see Avantika with a spyglass, and she leans in to the three of you, directing mainly towards Fjord, and goes, "Now that we are at sea, I want to show you something." She pulls out the spyglass and holds it over to you and helps you point it in the direction. Here you see a vessel, a little ways off on the horizon. A little bit north of where you are, a northwestward direction. She whispers over your shoulder so the rest of you can hear. "Glancing at this ship ahead of us, it appears to be a Concord ship. A shipping vessel probably carrying trade goods. It appears to be equipped for rapid travel, but we could head it off. As my quartermaster, I ask you for your opinion. What should we do?"

TRAVIS: Well, I'm sure it's a ship of innocents. We don't want to stray from our path, correct?

MATT: "Take a look. What do you see?"

TRAVIS: I'll use the spyglass.

MATT: Make a perception check.

SAM: They're torturing orphans on the deck.

TRAVIS: 20.

MATT: Okay. Glancing at it, it's a pretty well made ship. It's meant for speed. It doesn't appear to be heavily manned. It's not carrying or transporting people. It doesn't seem to be a transport ship of any means. You see a handful of small sailors on board with a hand crossbow or a saber that's sheathed at the side. You see on the deck a handful of crates that were not kept beneath, which means it's probably pretty well-packed. It does appear to be Concord colors. Since it's traveling southward, you gather it's probably recently finished-- especially with your experience as a sailor-- finished stocking up on all its materials, travel supplies and its goods. Based on the path it's heading southward, it's either going to arc around to Tal'Dorei or be heading in the direction of Marquet or possibly, if it's feeling risky, the Shattered Teeth.

TRAVIS: Captain, are you in a habit of intercepting said vessels in your time at sea?

MATT: "Depends if we can do so quickly without losing any sort of momentum, perhaps? Not all ships are boarded and there is a loss of life. Most, I'd say probably 80 percent of encounters out here, is just intimidation. Most let us take what we want and continue on our way. They don't want to die."

TRAVIS: It's important that you know in my previous life I had encounters with pirating vessels as well and most of those experiences I did not enjoy.

MATT: "Well, to be fair, there are plenty of assholes on these waters, so it does not surprise me. But it is your choice, I say. You may talk amongst your friends, but there is opportunity."

TRAVIS: You say no need for a loss of life?

MATT: "Not unless they-- how do you say-- they are stupid?"

TRAVIS: Or stubborn.

MATT: "Either or."

TRAVIS: Well, my fellow boatswain and navigators to be? Nope? Boatswain and carpenter? Yeah.

LAURA: I'm a carpenter, Fjord. I'm learning to be a carpenter.

TRAVIS: Okay, carpenter and--

LAURA: And a really good tattoo artist.

TRAVIS: What are you?

TALIESIN: A boatswain.

TRAVIS: Oh, well, I had that completely fucking backwards.

TALIESIN: You did. I take real good notes. What say you on such a dangerous expedition as this?

TALIESIN: May I?

TRAVIS: Oh yes, of course.

TALIESIN: I'm going to take a look at this thing.

MATT: Make a perception check.

TALIESIN: 22.

MATT: Okay. You make out the same details as he does. Nothing catches your attention. Nothing about it seems out of the ordinary per se, but it does seem to be a vessel that is filled with its payload and making its way south.

LAURA: Let me see!

MATT: Make a perception check.

LAURA: Only because I would totally do it if they were both looking and I rolled like shit. I think there's a ship!

TRAVIS: You're not wrong.

TALIESIN: Obviously the decision is yours, but we are low on supplies which means we have more to lose. If something goes wrong, we lose vital members of our crew or burn through magic ability. We're going to be without food where as I'm sure they're probably very well stocked and prepared for these sorts of eventualities. I feel like we would be coming in from a place of weakness. That's my initial thought.

TRAVIS: Jester?

LAURA: Oh man, I don't know. I'd be okay with it, I guess.

TRAVIS: You're up for a scrap on the seas?

LAURA: Well, it doesn't have to be a scrap like Avantika said. It could be, you know, go in and take stuff but maybe we could also give them something!

TRAVIS: What would we give them?

LAURA: I don't know, like new names or pretty drawings?

TALIESIN: Fine art.

LAURA: Yeah, we could just make it a fun time for them.

MATT: "An aggressive trade. Interesting."

TRAVIS: Very well.

MATT: "What is your decision?"

TRAVIS: As long as we abstain as well as we can from violence and as long as your men in the crew understand my disgust at such tactics, I think we can make our way towards an intercept.

MATT: You watch as this playful look on her face as she watches this discourse turns into this extremely intense, Joker-like grin and she goes "Well then, welcome to piracy my friends. Come." She jumps off the side and heads the ropes down and begins shouting off commands to people on the ship.

TALIESIN: I think that escalated rather quickly.

LAURA: She made me question what we just did. I thought it was one thing and then her face made me think it's a whole other thing.

TRAVIS: Well, you said we need supplies right?

TALIESIN: Well, I said that we were in a position of disadvantage.

TRAVIS: I felt like your words were different before. Listen, we're going to not use violence all right? I'm not--

MATT: The sails shift as the ropes are being pulled--

TRAVIS: Do me a favor. Spread the word amongst the rest of us and make sure the rest of the crew hears as well. I don't want innocent blood shed if it can be helped.

LAURA: I mean, whatever, Fjord. I guess we can do that if you want to. I don't care.

TRAVIS: Thank you, Jester.

LAURA: I'm already down. I'm not there anymore.

MATT: All right.

TALIESIN: I feel like this is somehow connected to your previous bad decisions.

MARISHA: Aw shit.

TRAVIS: Nope. Is the big ogre--

MATT: Bouldergut?

TRAVIS: Yes, that name.

MATT: Yes, Bouldergut is on this ship. She has been moved from The Mistake partially because Bouldergut acts as a bodyguard to Avantika and because the other ship itself is in serious need of repairs. They assume probably don't put the giant heavy ogre on it.

TRAVIS: Can I find Bouldergut?

MATT: Sure enough. Bouldergut is down there currently getting ready with a giant great club that is carved from an older masthead.

TRAVIS: Bouldergut?

MATT: "What?"

TRAVIS: I'm sure that is just for show, yes?

MATT: "Right. For show."

TRAVIS: It's important you understand I have an agreement with the captain. No unnecessary bloodshed. You will make sure that the rest of the men know this.

MATT: She looks back and Avantika goes, "Oh don't worry. You are the quartermaster. You are the one who is to be boarding any sort of ships that we encounter so you choose your people."

TRAVIS: I know. Making sure you know. That is all.

TALIESIN: In my imagination that felt vaguely like a threat.

MATT: At this point you watch as Ipess, who is the second mate of the ship, this sunburned gnome begins scurrying up the rope to go ahead and put their flag on display. Ipess. I-P-E-S-S.

TALIESIN: What does the flag look like?

MATT: The flag on this is a dull gray purple color and it has a similar sketch of the same eye tattoo that Avantika has on her chest.

TALIESIN: All right.

MATT: As that goes up and the ship begins to move to intercept, glancing through the eyeglass in the distance you can see the other ship noticing the approach and there is now a bunch of chaos as they all begin running up and down the ship notifying everybody else on there. What are you doing to prepare, guys?

TRAVIS: I'm running to find Nott, our master gunner-in-training. I'll say: Nott? I need you to keep an eye on those guns we're not looking--

SAM: (shouting) All right you motherfuckers! I need hollow charges loaded! I need extra fuses on every motherfucking cannon! Get me hollow shells loaded with extra charges. I want four cannonballs on every cannon! Move!

TRAVIS: Nott! Oh my god! Look. Again, we're not looking to sink this ship, okay? We're going to try and board, get what we need and let them go. I don't want unnecessary violence.

MARISHA: I run in with a keg of black powder that I've building. (shouting) Are we fighting?!

SAM: (shouting) Yeah!

MARISHA: (shouting) Is this a fight?

SAM: (shouting) Light them up! Load them up! Put the charges at the ready!

MARISHA: (shouting) Who's trying to punk our ass?

SAM: (shouting) Short fuses!

MARISHA: Okay!

MATT: The angry, tough red-bearded dwarf that actually acts as the cannon master of the ship that goes by the name of Ophiscan Duth. "I'm interested in possibly getting involved, but this is too much fun to watch. Keep going, goblin, I'm liking it."

SAM: (shouting) If you're not going to help stand out of my way!

MARISHA: All right, I've got five pounders, eight pounders, 12 pounders, short fuses and a 20 pound keg.

MATT: Two of the other deckhands who act as powder monkeys are also helping get things organized.

MARISHA: What are we doing? What's going on?

TRAVIS: We're doing great. Beau, you're going to join me as we pull alongside the ship.

MARISHA: Okay!

TRAVIS: You're part of the boarding party. Go up above.

MARISHA: Okay.

TRAVIS: Nott? I pull Nott close and I say: If you fucking fire on that ship before they fire on us you will never get into the Academy. Do you understand?

SAM: The Academy?

TRAVIS: Yeah.

MARISHA: So we're not fighting?

TRAVIS: The letter that I have that grants me access?

SAM: Oh.

TRAVIS: If you want that for Caleb--

SAM: Oh, I see.

TRAVIS: So act real tough and yell real loud. Don't fire on them unless they fire on us, you understand?

MATT: "Though I would recommend if you're going to fire do a warning shot. Tends to get them a bit spooked in their boots and slowing down."

SAM: So a warning shot's okay?

MATT: "Across the bow, not at the ship. In front of it, away from it but just enough to show a little bit of power."

SAM: To me it seems like the closer the more intimidating. Right?

MATT: "There's a bit of a range of error with these weapons. They're not a perfect art."

SAM: So “don't fire at them?”

TRAVIS: As long as you don't hit the ship.

SAM: All right.

TRAVIS: I'm sure you'll--

SAM: (shouting) Come on you, motherfuckers! Get ready to fire!

MATT: At this point, the sails are fully unfurled. Speed is picking up. The other ship was trying to gain speed, and it is a very fast ship, but as it tries to move away it ends up putting you at a parallel pace. At which point, the master gunner leans into you and goes "Ahem. About now would be fine, I think."

SAM: To fire?

MATT: "We want them to slow down, eh?"

SAM: All right. I'm so excited. I'm just going to take a swig.

MATT: He gets behind you and-- not quite like making the vase in Ghost, but is trying to help show you exactly how to set things up and get the cannon ready and aim it.

SAM: Are you with us?

TRAVIS: I'm going to leave you to it. I'm going back upstairs.

SAM: Okay I'll cast a quick Message and say: Fjord I'm about to fire my warning shot. Good to go? You can respond to this message.

TRAVIS: At your will, yeah.

SAM: All right. I will light the fuse? I don't know how you do it.

TALIESIN: Powder, ball, make ready, fire.

MATT: Powder, place the shot, put the fuse in, aim then fire.

SAM: Okay. Do I have to roll for this?

MATT: Yeah. Go ahead and make an intelligence check.

SAM: Okay, that's a natural one.

LAURA: Oh no.

TALIESIN: I'm so excited!

LIAM: What the fuck.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: Ready! Aim!

TRAVIS: The cannon goes (creaking).

MATT: You light the fuse.

SAM: Fire!

MATT: (sizzling)

SAM: What happened? What's going on?

MATT: "What order did you put them in?"

SAM: I put the fuse in first and then I put the powder in and then one of the balls? Is that right?

MATT: "I don't think that's how--"

SAM: Maybe I did them--

MATT: "I think you fucked it up."

SAM: I think I did the ball first and then the powder.

MATT: "I think that's-- right, we're going to have to clean that cannon."

SAM: Shit!

MATT: "You're going to have to clean that cannon."

SAM: Let's go to another cannon!

MATT: "All right, we'll move over to this one." So you begin setting up the other cannon.

SAM: Uh-huh.

MATT: So you put the powder first, put the ball, get the-- (explosion) The other cannon goes off.

TALIESIN: At least you weren't looking in it.

MATT: There's a shaking sound with splintering wood and a bit of smoke in the vicinity. You glance over and that cannon is fucked.

LAURA: I come running in. Do I need to fix a hole?

SAM: It's not wood, but sure.

LIAM: Caleb runs up from under the deck with sulfur in one hand and bat shit in the other one. What is going on? What is this?

SAM: Sorry!

LIAM: What are we doing?

SAM: Technical difficulties.

MARISHA: Can somebody please tell us what the fuck is going on?

TALIESIN: We are apparently committing an act of piracy.

MATT: At this point Ophiscan sees this and knowing your skill set goes, "Go back upstairs. There's a lot of powder in this room."

LIAM: Aren't we--oh. Oh!

MATT: "Upstairs."

LIAM: You're good?

MATT: "Fireboy. Go. Go get."

SAM: I was born to do this.

MATT: "All right, so you owe us a cannon. Try again."

LAURA: I use the cantrip Mending.

MATT: We'll see if that would help a destroyed cannon.

LAURA: Probably not.

MATT: That's a lot of material.

LIAM: I could fix it.

MATT: A single break or tear-- no. That cannon's fucked.

LAURA: One little thing goes (squeaking).

MATT: All right, try it again. The DC is lower this time because now you've fucked up.

SAM: I've got this. Are they getting away?

MATT: You've managed to head them off. They're managing to get speed and they're curving this way and you guys are curving to meet them.

TRAVIS: They're curving fast because there was a detonation.

MATT: Yeah.

SAM: Okay, that's better. Intelligence check, 20. Couldn't be more different.

MATT: Without issue this time, proper order with a rapid pace. Halfway through, Ophiscan's like, "Eh, sorry."

SAM: Hey, back off old man.

MATT: You set it, light the fuse. (explosion) The whole thing lurches back about two feet and there's a large wooden platform that catches it from the impact. The room shakes for a second and you glance through the little side of the gunport and you watch it hit the water maybe about 40 feet out from the front of the other ship. You hear shouting from the other ship and you watch as it starts to slow and come to a slower crawl. It begins to give up its chase.

SAM: I cast Message. Fjord, mission accomplished. Board at will! You can respond to this message.

TRAVIS: Well done, Nott.

LAURA: Oh my gosh.

SAM: Oh boy.

MATT: This is more for just a visual perspective.

MARISHA: Just for visuals.

SAM: You guys, if you live in the UK, you're going to get some faster, cheaper shipping.

MARISHA: Way cheaper.

SAM: Of the art book.

MARISHA: Uh-huh. Because books are heavy.

SAM: Which going to be available what day?

LAURA: Monday at nine.

SAM: This is exciting, but also D&D Beyond.

LAURA: Whoa, Matthew Mercer! So cool!

SAM: You made those?

MATT: Well no, this was sent to me by fans of the show who actually make these, and then this I had custom made a while back in case this ever came around.

SAM: Does this ship have a grid printed on it or carved into it?

MATT: Yeah, lasered in. Just to give you perspective, as you guys pull up from the side of this, eventually the two ships are brought in, anchor is dropped.

LAURA: Which one is ours?

MATT: This is yours, here. This is the Squalleater. On the opposite end, the crew has all moved up to the deck. They have weapons at the ready, but not necessarily ready to fire. They're in the process of realizing they don't have much recourse at this moment. The rest of Avantika's crew, or at least a number of them, have come up on the deck in support. But you're the one who's helming this. What do you do?

TRAVIS: I look over at Caleb. Caleb, have you any desire to intimidate some folks?

LIAM: Do you need that? Yeah, okay.

TALIESIN: Do we have a name of this ship?

TRAVIS: Beau's going with.

MATT: The Squalleater. Oh their ship?

LIAM: She is intimidating.

LAURA: Hey Fjord? You know, sometimes you can be nice to people, too. And make them think that they are friends.

TRAVIS: Yeah, I don't know. That's not where I'm going. Beau?

MARISHA: Yeah?

TRAVIS: Team up with Bouldergut. I want you to go on the opposite ship and find me the captain.

MARISHA: Okay.

TRAVIS: Can I see how many men, now that we're close, how many are above deck?

MATT: Yes. To give you kind of a brief perspective here, what you see on deck, off to the side. Those are the people you see. Some of them appear to be deckhands and aren't armed aside from a small shortsword on their side. A couple of them appear to be a little better dressed, but none of them are warriors. They don't appear to have a very visible guard on the deck of the ship.

TRAVIS: Okay. Sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt.

MATT: No, go ahead.

TRAVIS: I'm coming with you, just keep an eye out and make sure no one is doing any shifty biz.

MARISHA: And you want no violence here whatsoever?

TRAVIS: Not unless-- Rules of engagement apply. Do not fire or attack unless fired upon.

TALIESIN: Do you want me to make an announcement, maybe?

TRAVIS: Yes.

TALIESIN: Thaumaturgy, I'm going to project my voice very loudly onto the other ship.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: Fellow friends at sea, we wish to have a parlay with your captain and we hope to keep this entire confrontation as bloodless and reasonable as humanly possible. We will do our best to be civil and not encourage anything inappropriate over the next several minutes. We would appreciate your cooperation in this direction. Then I'm going to try and make all the doors open and available to us from the other ship with Thaumaturgy as well. I'm going to pop all their doors open.

MATT: Soon as that sentence comes to an end, you hear a rapid clattering of heavy wood against wood. It's all of the various ports and doors in the interior of the ship all manage to slam open at once. All the members on the opposite side look at each other. Make an intimidation check.

TALIESIN: What number is that? I have a number in that, let's see what it does. That's a 22.

MATT: A 22?! They all look at each other and begin to back even further away from the edge. One of them rushes down and goes deeper into the ship and a moment later returns with one figure which appears to be better dressed than the others. You see very bright blonde hair and a relatively well-dressed leather tunic over decent captain's clothing. He comes to the front and goes, "I am the captain of The Stormcap. Who am I to be parlaying with?"

TRAVIS: I'll step forward and reach for gloves that aren't there and not do that. My name is Fjord. I'm a representative of The Squalleater here. If you will but humor us for a few moments, I'm afraid we're very short on supplies. We need to replenish our stores and perhaps enrich our pockets. If your men behave, I'm sure we will all get out of this very little worse for wear.

MATT: "I am Captain Jules Errog of The Stormcap, and I would very much like the lives of my men spared. What supplies do you need? Perhaps there can be a trade organized."

TRAVIS: Indeed. Deuce, food? Water?

TALIESIN: Definitely food and water. We are also in the need of some gems if possible. I'll also say that if they require any healing at all, for anybody that might be sickly on the ship. I'd be happy to offer my services.

TRAVIS: Oh indeed yes, the well being of your men obviously, was something that we would easily tend to.

MATT: His expression gets really confused. It's like, "Okay?"

MARISHA: What's Captain Avantika doing right now?

MATT: Avantika is on the other ship just leaning against the opposite side watching this happen, just keeping an eye on everything.

TRAVIS: Now in exchange for our good will in this interaction, I'm sure you won't mind if we peruse below decks and see if there is anything of interest.

MATT: Looks across to the rest of his men, looks over towards you again.

TALIESIN: I'm, by the way, human looking right now.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: Smeed.

MATT: The intimidating Thaumaturgy-casting Smeed. "Okay. Do as you will."

TRAVIS: Fantastic. Bouldergut! I'll call the ogre up to just board their ship and stay on the gangplank between ours and theirs.

MATT: Bouldergut takes a step towards the gangplank and goes "Grrr." Looks over at Avantika who shouts, "Perhaps not having her on the plank is a good idea?"

TRAVIS: Oh no, I'm sorry, on their ship, on that side of the gangplank.

MATT: Bouldergut backs up and does a running jump and hits the other side and you watch the ship shift in the water from the impact and the weight of this ogre. So now you have that.

TRAVIS: Our friend here is going to play chaperone and ensure everyone stays nice and happy up here. Beau, would you mind coming with me?

MARISHA: Yeah, absolutely.

TALIESIN: Let us know if you need anything.

TRAVIS: Will do. Again, I must emphasize, no tricky business. We're in good moods. It would be smart to keep it that way.

LIAM: I fire off a Fire Bolt straight up into the sky in an arc over and let it land in the ocean.

MATT: A Fire Bolt?

LIAM: Yeah, a Fire Bolt. You don't want us to be unhappy.

MATT: Make an intimidation check.

LIAM: 11.

MATT: Okay. The captain thinks to himself and nods. He turns and steps aside from the doorway that he's been standing in.

TRAVIS: I motion to a third so it's not just Beau and myself. One of the other crew members of The Squalleater to come with us downstairs.

MATT: Okay. At your disposal right there would probably be Vera, who is the previous quartermaster, but she is a bit older, not quite geriatric, but is in her older years.

SAM: (cooing) Yasha!

MARISHA: We're trying to go with Squalleater people. Waldok?

TRAVIS: Vera, Ipess?

MARISHA: Ipess or Waldok?

MATT: Vera, Ipess, or Norgul. Vera Norgul is her name. Who are you calling?

TRAVIS: Yeah, let's have Ipess come.

MATT: A giant bushy bearded gnome comes by and he has his shortsword drawn. "All right. Let's do it. Lead on!" The three of you make it across the gangplanks and now the group is four of you including Bouldergut. The large opening that leads down into the ship, the rest--

MARISHA: Where is the captain's quarters?

MATT: The captain's quarters is underneath in the back.

MARISHA: Be right back. I'm going to go into the captain's quarters.

MATT: Okay. As you head down, almost everybody who's on the ship is up top. You see a few figures that are deckhands cowering in rooms. They're scared shitless and when you begin walk past you hear (shushing). They're trying to stay quiet. You're in the captain's quarters. What are you doing?

MARISHA: I'm looking for any type of important paperwork, correspondence, what these guys are, traveling logs.

MATT: Make an investigation check.

LIAM: Also, when you are down there, you hear in the back of your skull: Books!

MARISHA: And books! Frumpkin, what are you doing? I put Frumpkin on my shoulder. I rolled a natural 19, so 24.

MATT: A number of shipping ledgers. There are books keeping tabs on payments to the crew and how long they've been hired. There is one paper you do find that is hidden in a locked compartment beneath, but you manage to find underneath this little bit that you can slip your fingers through, and pull a sheet of paper out on the opposite end of the shelf. This is a list of the supplies on the ship.

MARISHA: Anything of interest?

MATT: There is food and water for the journey. There are Clovis Concord spices, Menagerie Coast specialty dried meats, tropical fruits that are specifically frozen and brought so they're slowly thawing through the journey to get them as fresh as they can where they're going. This looks like this journey was intended to go to Marquet, to Port Damali, The Bay of Gifts. Amongst all the various bits of general supplies, cloths, clothing, and silks that are specific to the Menagerie Coast, there are some elements of Empire goods as well that are put in there. But the thing that catches your interest: there is one last addition. Everything else seems to be written in one type of handwriting, and there is a different type of handwriting in the final entry, and the final entry says, “Requested package: guarded,” and the amount that was paid for that was 1,800 gold. That was received by the captain on this ledger to keep on the down low.

MARISHA: I'm going to immediately look around. Do I see any of the safes where you would hide a guarded package in here?

MATT: In here? You do not, not within this chamber.

MARISHA: All right. I go meet Fjord and Norgul. Nope! Ipess. That's who's with us, I go meet them.

MATT: Okay. While you're looking, are you waiting for Beau or are you heading out?

TRAVIS: Yeah, we go together.

MATT: Beau joins up with you guys.

TRAVIS: What'd you find?

MARISHA: Oh, an entire inventory of the ship. That looks interesting!

TRAVIS: Oh, yes, indeed it does.

MARISHA: Who wants to ask about that?

TRAVIS: Oh, I believe I will.

MATT: Actually, as high your investigation check was, and you continued investigation into the room in search of any sort of thing, you do not find this package, but you do find underneath under the small, tossed, somewhat mildewed rugs that mark the floor, there is a section of floorboard that pulls open, and there is a small chest that is locked. When you pull and shake it a bit, it's filled with quite a bit of coin.

MARISHA: I grab the whole chest. Is it heavy?

MATT: It's pretty heavy.

MARISHA: I grab the whole chest. (grunting)

TRAVIS: Nice! First room!

MARISHA: Yeah, that's pretty good. Feel pretty proud of that.

TRAVIS: Yeah, that's real good.

MARISHA: Do you think this is the shipment? Think this is that? Would I deduce this is that, or no?

MATT: As you are moving and shifting it, it sounds like it's filled with a lot of coin.

MARISHA: There's a different package here.

TRAVIS: Well, I'm going to find out one way. I'll call over Bouldergut. Bouldergut, do me a favor and lob this over onto the other ship, would you?

MATT: Bouldergut grabs it with one hand and walks over. As Bouldergut makes her way onto the deck, you can see the captain notice it and sigh loudly.

TRAVIS: I know, Captain. I hate to be more of an inconvenience than this already is, and I want to get The Stormcap on its way as quickly as possible. Would you do me a favor and have all of your men come down here and assemble at the bow of the ship, please? This is getting too interesting and I can't have you spread out all over the place.

MATT: "Men, please, to the bow of the ship." They all begin to shift and make their way that direction. As the captain begins to move, goes, "All I ask, please, is leave enough supplies for us to make our journey."

TRAVIS: But of course, Captain. What are we, monsters?

MATT: Does not break eye contact with you and gives you a serious dark glare.

LIAM: I start lobbing Fire Bolts into the sea like I'm skipping stones every ten or 15 seconds.

MATT: It certainly keeps the other side nervous.

LAURA: I'm waving at them. Hi.

TRAVIS: We'll make our way below deck to see what we can see.

MATT: You go past into the cargo hold, which is below here. On the level where the captain's quarters are and just below, there's the rest of the cabin quarters for the rest of the crew, and then below that is the cargo hold. As you make your way past the various hiding other members of the deckhand crew, down in the lower cargo hold, there are a series of crates and barrels that contain all the supplies that were on the ledger, you would assume, all the different trade materials.

TRAVIS: I'll peek my head into one of those rooms where the crew is hiding. I'll say: You, you, and you. Get your ass up. I want these crates taken above deck and put on our ship. Do it quickly, do it quietly.

MATT: "Which ones?"

TRAVIS: I'll point out the ones with the food, some of the water and some of those frozen fruits as well for scurvy needs.

MATT: "Okay." They're all trying to keep a distance from you, scurry down and begin lifting things, at which point a voice below goes, "What's going on?" and they go, "Shh." They begin to move things back up to the top.

TRAVIS: I'll grab one of them before they-- I heard that.

MARISHA: I crack my knuckles behind Fjord.

TRAVIS: You know, if you were on the sea long enough, you would know that I'm the type that only asks a question once. Who else is down here?

MATT: Make an intimidation check.

TRAVIS: 23.

MATT: Eyes wide, the pupils gyrating in a very quick, shaking motion. "I don't know his name. He came with one of the pieces of cargo. He just stays down there."

TRAVIS: That would be it. You can go on.

MATT: (panting) and continues to grab and pull the crates up.

SAM: I'm going to cast Message. Fjord, we are reloaded and ready to fire. If you want me to fire, literally reply with any word. You can reply to this message. Fuck.

(laughter)

TALIESIN: Don't get greedy.

TRAVIS: Well, I don't feel like we need reinforcements for this, right?

MARISHA: I feel deeply capable, but…I feel deeply capable!

TRAVIS: Yasha?

MARISHA: Yo, Yasha!

MATT: From across the other side--

MARISHA: Oh sorry. (shouting) Yasha!

MATT: "Yes?"

MARISHA: Come here.

MATT: Bounds across the gangplank on the other side. "What do you need?" She heads down to the ship with you.

MARISHA: Think the secret package is a person. Think there's a person, think he's the secret package because he's on this ledger and it's different handwriting. Anyway, let's go find the person.

TRAVIS: Yeah, we'll make our way further into the hold and try to find the source of the voice.

TALIESIN: Just because everyone's on the deck, I'm going to do a quick Detect Magic and scan the boat.

MATT: The whole boat?

TALIESIN: Everybody in the boat.

LAURA: While he's doing that, I'm going to say: I need a volunteer!

SAM: From the other crew?

TALIESIN: I will also say I'm going to take it and that chest they just threw out as well.

MATT: Okay. The chest does not emit a magical presence. In order to really check the other ship, you have to go across onto its bow and scan and walk across it. It's a 30-foot.

TALIESIN: It's 30-foot. Okay, at the very least, I'm going to get close and walk the-- Oh, yeah.

MATT: Okay. As you begin to make your way over towards the bow, concentrating on the spell, a tiny little magic source below you, deep in the ship, catches your attention.

LAURA: In the other ship?

MATT: In the other ship, yes.

TALIESIN: There's something magic down below.

MATT: While this is happening--

SAM: I say that all the time to my lady friends, by the way.

MATT: You guys head down into the cargo hold.

MARISHA: Super on edge and guarded.

MATT: Make a perception check.

MARISHA: Darkvision goggles. Okay.

TRAVIS: I will aid you.

MARISHA: Thank you. I will take it. Oh my god, I rolled a three and a four. Seven.

MATT: Okay, looking inside, it is lightless and appears to be empty aside from the series of crates and shipping containers that are in here, other than the ones that you've had moved up to the top. Between the three of them, they've done two quick up-and-downs. They've brought a fair amount of supplies so far, and they'll continue if you tell them to.

MARISHA: I can't see shit, but I don't trust it.

TRAVIS: I can.

MARISHA: You know, maybe if I readjust. Let me just close my eyes for a second. Okay, why don't you try?

TRAVIS: Yeah, can I give it a better look with my darkvision?

MATT: No, because you spent your turn helping her.

TRAVIS: That's right, I'm helping her. Of course.

MATT: Ten feet is both of you looking.

LIAM: Okay, Caduceus aired the fact that he is a little nervous, so I place my hand on Caduceus' shoulder and then look through Frumpkin's eyes to see what's going on.

TALIESIN: I'm getting a little bit of magic down there, I don't know what it is, but it's making me nervous.

MATT: Okay. Looking through Frumpkin's eyes, make a perception check.

LIAM: Oh, I wasn't trying to do a perception check. I'm not searching for anything, I'm just checking in.

MATT: You're just keeping an eye? Okay. So you're just keeping tabs on the situation.

LIAM: That's exactly what I want to do.

LAURA: I just want to let it known that I'm asking for a volunteer from the other crew.

TALIESIN: Oh god.

LAURA: I need a volunteer!

MATT: They all look at each other.

LAURA: It can be anyone, but there should be at least one!

MATT: The captain steps forward and goes, "For what?"

LAURA: For a special present! It's a treat!

MATT: Make a persuasion check.

SAM: That sounds awful.

TALIESIN: That sounds like the worst thing ever. Oh man.

LAURA: 17.

SAM: A treat.

MATT: "Go, Lieb. That way."

LAURA: Liam?

MATT: Lieb.

LAURA: Lieb.

MATT: I know, so close. One of the deck hands looks and he goes, "What, me?"

LAURA: Come on!

MATT: Onto The Squalleater?

LAURA: Yeah. Come sit next to me!

MATT: He comes across the gangplank over next to you.

LAURA: I bust out the tattoo stuff that Orly's been teaching me. I'm going to give him a tat while all that's going on!

(laughter)

TALIESIN: This is the darkest timeline. Oh.

TRAVIS: Unmolested, except for--

TALIESIN: And that's how I got this!

LAURA: Where do you want it?

TALIESIN: I'm having bad flashbacks.

MATT: He's just like, "I-- what?"

LAURA: It'll be so good. It's going to be so beautiful.

SAM: This poor guy!

MARISHA: You've got to test on somebody.

LAURA: Ooh, I like it! Let's get your clothes open. While everything's going on, I'm just going to spend--

MATT: While you're prepping, he just looks over at the captain very mournfully, and the captain's like--

LAURA: It's just going to be one smiley line with two tusks sticking out of it.

SAM: Oh!

TALIESIN: Vampire.

LAURA: You've been abducted-- no, by Captain Tusktooth.

MATT: Make a dexterity check.

MARISHA: Like, you've been abducted, congratulations.

LAURA: Ooh! 19!

MATT: So over the next ten minutes or so, you'll be able to provide a fine tattoo of that simple design.

LAURA: Yeah, just like a smiley face, but with tusks.

MATT: You got it. He's biting his lip (groaning).

LAURA: Just deal with it, it's going to be good.

TRAVIS: I'll make my way forward into the hold even though we haven't seen much.

MATT: Okay. You move ahead into the hold about ten feet or so. There's a small pathway that's built between all the different elements of crates and barrels, making sure that you can get to the back of the hold.

MARISHA: Plug! Sorry.

MATT: They're not a sponsor.

MARISHA: Actually, not sponsored.

MATT: As you move around the corner, in a flash, you hear (grunting). You see this quick arc of steel as suddenly, from around the corner, a fairly well-armed man with sun-darkened skin, short hair pulled into a tight top-knot or a bun of some kind, holding a longsword two-handed, swings at you, three strikes. That is 24 to hit.

TRAVIS: Hits.

MATT: That is 18 to hit.

TRAVIS: Hits.

MATT: And, ooh, that is a 26 to hit.

TRAVIS: Misses.

MATT: Three hits there. That is 16 points of slashing damage, 13 points of slashing damage, and, oh, 18 points of slashing damage.

TRAVIS: Amazing.

LIAM: I call out up there: Captain, your quartermaster is under attack.

LAURA: How do you know that?

MARISHA: He's looking through Frumpkin.

LAURA: Oh, cool.

MATT: Avantika listens and goes, "Ah, I trust he can take care of himself, eh?"

TALIESIN: You want to send me down?

LIAM: We'll see.

TALIESIN: All right.

MATT: Now I need you to roll initiative, you to roll initiative, and roll initiative for Yasha, and I'll do for Bouldergut.

MARISHA: Oh my god, I don't know if I trust Gil. I'm sorry, Gil, but I don't trust you. 18. I'll take that 18.

MATT: 25 to 20? Beau, you're 18?

TRAVIS: Yasha rolled a 19.

MATT: Oh, so Yasha's up first.

TRAVIS: I rolled a six.

MATT: Okay, good to know. Yasha is up first. Seeing this flashing of blades across Fjord, Fjord gets knocked back, careening into some of the nearby crates. They shift from the impact, you hear the cracking of wood. As soon as the figure pulls back, getting the blade into defensive position, backing up against a corner with that was set with a table and a chair, and this is essentially the guarding post of this figure below. There's a very faint bit of light in the corner from a hooded lantern that's been faced towards the inside of the crates so it wouldn't give any sort of light that revealed his location. You see him going into a defensive position. Yasha's up first. Yasha?

TRAVIS: Does he look armored?

MATT: Armored? Yes, half-plate.

TRAVIS: With her bonus action, she will rage and she will make two attacks with the Magician's Judge.

MATT: Go for it.

TRAVIS: That's not good. That's an 11.

MATT: 11 misses. The blade scrapes across his armor, no impact.

TRAVIS: And a 12.

MATT: The first one scrapes across the armor, causing a couple sparks to fly and briefly lighting up his position. The second time he actually pulls the longsword up and manages to parry and cause the blade to completely miss, impacting and getting stuck about an inch into the wood before she draws back angrily, gritting her teeth. That ends Yasha's turn. Beau, you're up.

MARISHA: Okay, I'm going to come up and I'm going to parkour off of one of the crates and I'm going to try and come down and I want to nail him in the temple and try and do a stunning strike. First, I'm just going to try and hit him.

MATT: All right.

MARISHA: While I'm doing this, I'm going to be like: Frumpkin, help! Okay, 19?

MATT: 19 hits.

LIAM: I actually want to ask Frumpkin to do something from on deck.

MATT: All right, roll initiative.

LIAM: Okay.

SAM: Does she get advantage on barrels because she's a cooper?

MARISHA: I'm using my elbow. Fucking balls, why does this keep happening to me? Five points of damage on that first one, and I'm going to do a stunning strike.

MATT: Stunning strike on him? That's a con save. That was out of the box there.

MARISHA: It needs to be garbage.

MATT: He has a pretty decent con, but he only rolled a 15.

MARISHA: Nope.

MATT: What's the DC?

MARISHA: 14.

MATT: 14, yeah, he saves on that one.

MARISHA: Hang on, wait. It's my proficiency bonus plus my-- because I was afraid that I had been fucking this up-- plus my wisdom, which is--

MATT: It's eight plus your proficiency bonus plus your wisdom.

MARISHA: (counting) 14. Nope, it's still 14.

MATT: Yeah, so the first strike hits him across the head, but he manages to resist it. He pulls back (grunting), teeth gritted.

MARISHA: Pop, pop. Do it again. First hit, 20.

MATT: 20 hits. Roll damage for the second strike.

MARISHA: Bullshit damage. Six.

MATT: Six points of damage.

MARISHA: You said his con was good?

MATT: You don't know. It seemed to be pretty decent; he rolled a 15 on that one. But you can try it again.

MARISHA: One more time. Ki point.

MATT: Another ki point. That is a 12.

MARISHA: He's stunned!

MATT: First strike, no impact, he pulls back. He's rearing to try and deflect, or at least keep you at bay. The second strike, as you crack right across the side of the head, he goes down onto one knee. You see him, his eyes go wide as they're rolling a little bit in his skull, and he's currently trying to shake-- You rung his bell. You still have your bonus action.

MARISHA: My bonus action--

MATT: With advantage, if you're--

MARISHA: Oh wait, he's stunned! Yeah, that's an 18 to hit, a natural 18. And another goddamn one! Five.

MATT: Five points of damage. He's stunned and on his knee.

MARISHA: I'm going to look at Frumpkin again and be like: Caleb, if you're watching, I don't trust Avantika? That's probably all I can say.

MATT: Okay, that brings us to Bouldergut's turn. (laughter) Bouldergut. There's not a lot of space here, so I'm going to give her disadvantage on her attack because she has to try and swing this large greatclub in this enclosed space as an ogre. Charging by, (roaring), comes down to do an overhead strike. Actually, it would have advantage because stunned, so it's just a regular roll. Let me try that again. Yeah, that's a natural 14, that hits. For that, he takes 13 points of damage on that hit. The other attack-- 17, that hits. Another 15 points of damage. Nice. As he's on one knee, Bouldergut comes around and she slams. He almost falls to the ground again. The giant impact slamming into the back of the metal-- You can see that actual armor dented inward from the impact. She pulls up for a second strike down on top. This one actually sends him down on the ground. He's trying to get back up from that impact. The back of the armor is pushed in. It's limited some of his mobility within his shoulder blades from the way the metal's pushed towards his upper shoulder. That's going to end Bouldergut's turn. It's now Frumpkin's go.

LIAM: Frumpkin is going to fly over towards this gentleman and try to, with talons, rake across his head. With advantage because he's stunned, yeah? That's a 15 or an 18.

MATT: 18 hits.

LIAM: I cast Vampiric Touch through Frumpkin's touch, and he takes 3d6 necrotic damage.

SAM: Frumpkin can attack?

LIAM: Through me. Me through her. Him. Damn it. That is eight points of necrotic damage to him.

TRAVIS: You can wifi suck HP out of somebody like that?

LIAM: Mm-hmm.

TRAVIS: Yeah!

MARISHA: I just turn to Fjord and go: Frumpkin listens to my commands!

MATT: That ends Frumpkin's go. Fjord, you're up.

TRAVIS: I will stand up after having getting the holy fucking shit knocked out of me from those longsword shots, and say: Friend! You better be real sure this is something you want to die for. I would suggest you drop your sword. You're outnumbered. I will take a step back.

MARISHA: Nice.

MATT: Make an intimidation check. Because he's stunned and beat to shit, I'll give you advantage on it.

TRAVIS: First one was a 24.

MATT: Okay, that ends your turn. Yasha's up.

TRAVIS: Yasha will walk up and attempt to grapple him into a bear hug.

MATT: Okay, make an athletics check for her with advantage because she's raging.

TRAVIS: 21.

MATT: Okay, he fails strength and dex saving throws. Doesn't say anything about abilities-- I'll say, yeah, she grapples him, that's fine. Beau, you're up.

MARISHA: He's grappled?

MATT: He's currently being held by Yasha and looking right over at Fjord, who's backed away, hands up.

MARISHA: I'm going to say: Look, me and this guy have been trying to be better about not hurting people. You know, we're trying to watch out for one another. The truth is, we want to talk to you. We're going to get answers from you. It's your choice if it's going to take us beating them out of you, or if you just want to give them to us. So I'm not going to hit you. Just know, if I feel like you're lying to me, I'll punch the living shit out of you, and then you're going to tell me what I wanted to know anyway. Understood?

MATT: That's your turn?

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: Okay. It comes to his turn, he's being held by Yasha, and he shakes off the daze. Grits his teeth, and just throws his sword to the ground.

MARISHA: We're not murder monsters!

TRAVIS: Our dark-leaning thing goes tick.

MATT: Four points renegade, one point paragon. Yasha's still clutching him there. Yeah.

TRAVIS: Friend. Ow! Second, we saw a little manifest that said there was some guarded parcel down below. I can only imagine that they were talking about you. Now, my friend was correct. She can punch the shit out of you. Also, we can see how well you want to swim. Or, we can just make sure that you're on this boat, healed up a little bit, and sent on your way. And you can create whatever story you want. But I do need to know what you were protecting.

MATT: He's still being grappled by Yasha, without saying a word. There's this look of defeat and acceptance of one's pride. He's just trying desperately not to engage more than he has to, and glances over towards a crate that is across from where he was sitting that would still be in his visual perspective. But it's an unsuspecting crate pushed in a cluster of others. He looks in that direction and gives a head nudge.

MARISHA: I move to it.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: Before I open it, I'll look at him and go: Is there a trap in this damn thing?

LIAM: Frumpkin lands on his head.

MATT: "No."

MARISHA: If you're lying to me, I'll slit your throat.

TRAVIS: Do I think he's lying?

MATT: Make an insight check.

TRAVIS: Eight.

MATT: Hard to read. He's a pretty grim fellow. What did you say?

TALIESIN: I'm going to start heading downstairs to see what the commotion is.

MATT: Okay. All right.

LAURA: Would you like googly eyes on your tattoo? Or would you just like smiley face?

MATT: "Whatever you want. Please, just let me go."

LAURA: Googly eyes it is. Thank you very much.

MARISHA: I open the crate very carefully.

MATT: You lift it up. Looking inside, there's a few heavy sacks of rice or grain or sand. You can't really tell. But they're all lining it for weight on the crate. In the center, there's a pillow or a piece of folded fabric that's folded in place in the center. You pull the fabric back, and there you see a very intricate, wooden box. It's about maybe that big. It's about the size of a shoebox, if you will, but it's really well-scrolled and carved wood. Like a whittler or a carver spent a lot of time to make it look very beautiful and presentory.

MARISHA: I pull that out of the crate.

MATT: It has these chain handles on the sides that dangle on the edge. It has a little latch on it, and it's locked.

MARISHA: It's locked.

MATT: Yeah. It's pretty light.

MARISHA: Hey, Frumpkin, if you're listening, can you have Caleb tell Nott to come down here, please?

LIAM: As soon as Caleb felt Caduceus walk away, he dropped Frumpkin's sight because he didn't want to be smacked in the face.

TALIESIN: Yeah, he'd pat you a couple times.

LIAM: But Frumpkin will listen to you.

MATT: The captain on the stop says something like, "Are we done yet?"

TRAVIS: Nearly there.

MARISHA: I look at the guy. Is this trapped?

MATT: "I don't believe so."

MARISHA: What's your name?

MATT: (spitting)

TRAVIS: Oh, I really wish you hadn't done that. I can't guarantee her reaction to that will be a positive one.

MARISHA: I'm trying real hard right now. Like, so hard.

TRAVIS: Yeah, you are. You've done really well.

MATT: You've already guaranteed I lose my job and my wage. What more can you take from me?

TRAVIS: Are you being paid to protect this?

MATT: I was.

TRAVIS: How much?

MATT: 150 gold upon my return.

TRAVIS: I'll give him 70 gold.

MATT: You just slip it into his pouch?

TRAVIS: I'll walk up and put it in his pouch as Yasha's holding him.

MATT: He looks confused and untrusting, like he's caught off-guard by it.

MARISHA: We're trying real hard, man. Like, actively trying real hard.

MATT: "Soma."

MARISHA: Soma. See, now was that so hard? Did that take you being fucking rude?

MATT: He just glares at you.

TRAVIS: Are you coming down under?

TALIESIN: Yeah, I probably am getting down.

MARISHA: Oh, hey, Cad! Will you go get Nott?

TRAVIS: Actually, while you're here--

TALIESIN: Whoa. Wow. Someone did a number on you.

TRAVIS: Sorry. Would you mind helping this fellow out and giving him a little love?

TALIESIN: I might do both of you. Hi. It's a pleasure to meet you. I get the feeling you're having a really bad day.

MARISHA: Oh, jeez. I'll go get Nott.

TALIESIN: I'm going to do a little healing spell down here so everyone's feeling a little better. I'm going to start doing a little healing on both of you. Take a few minutes while you guys figure this out.

TRAVIS: Thank you. He rocked me. I miss raging.

TALIESIN: Prayer of Healing on both of them.

MATT: Okay, there you go. Nott, Beau catches up to you on the other ship.

SAM: Hold!

MARISHA: Nott!

SAM: What? What is it?

MARISHA: Come here.

SAM: Stand down, men. Are there any men standing near me?

MATT: There are two of the other powder monkeys that are currently playing cards.

SAM: Stand down. At ease. Wait for my signal.

TALIESIN: 14 points up for you. 14 points up for him.

MARISHA: I think Frumpkin really likes me. We had a bonding moment. Frumpkin took care of me and protected me.

LIAM: I know that it is true because I think his thoughts and he thinks mine. We are the best of friends. He's the best cat that any man could ever have.

MARISHA: Okay, bye. And we go.

SAM: Where are we going? What's going on? Oh my gosh. Is Fjord dead?

MARISHA: No. (whispering) But we found someone and something.

SAM: Okay, let's go.

TRAVIS: While we're waiting for them, can I pick up his longsword?

MATT: Yeah.

TRAVIS: Can I look at it?

MATT: It's pretty well-made.

TALIESIN: I still, by the way, have my Detect Magic up. Am I getting anything?

MATT: Is Prayer of Healing concentration?

TALIESIN: So I would have had it when I came in.

MATT: When you came in? Yeah. The source of magic was that box.

TALIESIN: Oh, is that box glowing?

MATT: Yeah.

TALIESIN: By the way, I suppose I would have said: That box is definitely magic. I'd be very careful with that. Yeah, let's be gentle with it. Was it Soma? Mr. Soma?

MATT: "Soma."

TALIESIN: How did you get this gig? I was just curious.

MATT: "I'm a hired protector."

TALIESIN: I mean, do you work for anybody or do you have a deal with somebody? Do you like who you work with? Seems kind of a rough gig.

MATT: "It is when people like you come in here and ruin it."

TALIESIN: That's fair. This is just odd. I mean, I imagine being sent with something I didn't know anything about by god-knows-who, that will leave a mind to wander. I don't know.

MATT: "You'd be surprised how much of an industry revolves around just that."

TALIESIN: Yeah, you know, I would.

(laughter)

MATT: He's taken aback even more. "I will say, you are definitely the strangest pirates I've ever heard of."

TALIESIN: Sort of a reluctant piracy at the moment.

TRAVIS: You don't know the half of it.

MARISHA: We like to have fun at our job.

TALIESIN: We like everybody to walk away feeling as okay with everything as possible.

TRAVIS: We're going to let you go now and be on our way. I'm going to keep this as a memento. I would advise you to stay below. If you pop up, I can't guarantee the same good will be extended. I'm sure you understand.

MATT: He nods begrudgingly.

MARISHA: Nice plate armor, by the way. (clicks tongue) It looks expensive.

MATT: "It was." He looks over at the back part of it that's been smashed to shit by the ogre's greatclub.

MARISHA: I toss the box to Nott. Catch!

SAM: Ah! What is this? What am I doing?

TRAVIS: Careful with that.

SAM: What do you want me to do?

MARISHA: We want you to open it.

SAM: Me?! Oh, jesus.

TRAVIS: Do you want to take this on our ship and let them be on their way?

SAM: What if it blows up? I don't want to blow up our ship. I already did that once today.

LIAM: (pigeon cooing) Magical traps.

TALIESIN: Yeah, obviously it is magical, by the way.

SAM: All right. Step back. Are there any alcoves or closets or chests around here or anything?

MATT: There are a number of crates in the vicinity.

SAM: Okay, I'll open a crate and put it inside and then move back and use Mage Hand to try to open it or check for traps with it.

MATT: Checking for traps, you have to get close and inspect it.

SAM: Oh. Well then I will check for traps first.

MATT: All right, go for it. Make an investigation check.

SAM: That is a 20!

MATT: It is trapped.

TALIESIN: How trapped is it?

MATT: It's a fairly complex trap.

SAM: Mechanical or magical?

MATT: Mechanical.

TALIESIN: So is the magic not coming from the box? Or what was inside the box?

MATT: You gather it's probably what's inside the box. You could attempt to disarm.

SAM: Can I attempt to disarm it with Mage Hand?

MATT: Yeah, that's what Mage Hand can do.

SAM: Okay, so back up, everyone.

TALIESIN: Let's get some distance here.

SAM: Cover your eyes. Cover your ears.

TALIESIN: I mean, you got to admit. I bet you're pretty curious what's in there.

MATT: As Yasha's still clutching him there, he's like--

TALIESIN: Keep everybody okay. I'm going to get a little distance and I'm going to go outside the room, just in case. Mr. Fjord, I would recommend you get some distance as well.

TRAVIS: I will take that advice and join you.

MATT: Make a thieves' tools check, please, with your dexterity.

SAM: 28.

MATT: As the gentle Mage Hand, clutching the thieves' tools, begins to do this weird ghostly finger dance across, you see it go (clicking) Ting! You hear a spring break. As the Mage Hand shockers the box, sure.

LIAM: (as Nott) Almost got it!

SAM: One in the pooper!

(laughter)

MATT: You hear the spring break on the interior and it seems the trap has been disabled.

SAM: I think it worked.

MARISHA: Fucking open it.

SAM: Open!

MATT: That was disabling the trap. Now you have to open it. Roll to unlock it.

SAM: Oh, it's still locked. With thieves' tools? 27.

MATT: There are three locks. There's one lock in the front, and two on each side. Rapidly, they come open.

SAM: Wow. I want to go look.

MATT: Okay. You go to open it up and the inside, it's soft, velvet interior of the case. There you see a small ceramic pot of some kind, roughly about that big, that has a lid on it, and it is enclosed. Then above it, mashed in there, a paintbrush. About a foot long.

SAM: A foot-long paintbrush and a little pot of paint.

MATT: A little pot of paint, it looks like.

SAM: We're not going to touch this. We're going to take these to our friends who know what to do with it.

MATT: The guard glances over and goes, "This is bullshit. This is fucking bullshit."

MARISHA: What, that you were--

MATT: "Yes!"

SAM: You were paid to carry this around? Do you think it was a prank? Were you pranked by a friend of yours or something?

MATT: "I don't want to talk about it."

TALIESIN: Mr. Caleb is going to maybe want to take a look at that later. I would recommend hiding it.

TRAVIS: In a complete attempt to capitalize on your disgruntled feelings, would you mind telling us who paid you to guard this, or where it came from? This paintbrush?

MATT: "I've already given you too much. Let me go amongst my pride swallowing.”

TALIESIN: I feel really bad about this. Can we throw him any money or something?

MARISHA: We already threw him money, which means you're going to tell us who paid you. Come on, man, don't make us do this the hard way. We're trying to be good. Who paid you?

MATT: "I don't know."

MARISHA: (deep breath) Come on. What was the agency you sub-contracted from? I know how this shit works.

MATT: "I do mercenary work out of Port Damali from time to time, and other places along the shore. Normally, some of the higher-paying jobs are a don't-ask-type scenario."

TRAVIS: Fair enough.

MARISHA: Thank you.

TRAVIS: I think we've taken up enough of his time. You've been more than flexible with our questioning.

MATT: "That is very true."

TALIESIN: I think we won't mention to anybody that we threw you a little cash. I mean, obviously, that doesn't need to travel, and, you know, whatever you need to do to maintain. I understand dignity is a thing.

MARISHA: As well as the fact that you spit in my face. I'm going to leave that here. We're going to cross out these doors. None of it happened.

TALIESIN: Actually, if you like, we can walk out of here being very irritated, like: Ugh! That guy. Too much.

MARISHA: Oh, yeah! Do you want us to do that? Like: Ooh! Ah! You got me in my kidney!

MATT: He's just giving the thousand-yard stare into a shadowy corner.

TRAVIS: I actually do feel that way, so let's just head up. We'll head up above.

MATT: All right. Bouldergut stops and turns around toward him and pats him on the head, and then follows up behind you guys.

TALIESIN: I feel like we should leave these people with most of what we-- I think this has been enough. I don't want to, you know, cause any more trouble than we have.

TRAVIS: I agree. Do you want to make sure everyone's feeling all right before we--

TALIESIN: Anyone else need some healing? Anything real quick?

MATT: Captain Jules Errog says, "No! Would you please leave us, if you have everything you need?"

LAURA: Lieb! Get back over to your ship! You're going to miss it!

MATT: (panting and whimpering)

LAURA: Go go go!

TRAVIS: Jester, what are you doing?

LAURA: Oh, nothing!

MATT: He runs back across like, (panting).

LAURA: I made a friend.

TRAVIS: Can I reach over and-- Come here. I pull his shirt aside. Did you do this?

LAURA: He has been marked!

MATT: (laughs) (whimpering)

MARISHA: That's rare.

TRAVIS: Thank you for your hospitality. I am glad that we could complete this transaction peacefully.

MATT: The captain gives a nod. "Thank you for sparing the lives of my men."

TRAVIS: I wish you calm waters and safe journey. We will take it back over to The Squalleater.

MARISHA: As we're walking over, I whisper to Fjord and I say: Avantika's going to want the paintbrush.

TRAVIS: What?

MARISHA: Avantika's going to want to know about that paintbrush.

TRAVIS: Not yet.

MATT: As you guys come across, the rest of Avantika's crew pulls over the gangplanks. They pull up anchor. Avantika, looking over the opposite side, goes, "Do not pull up your anchor until we are beyond your sight. if we see you shift beforehand, we will turn right back around." The other crew nods. Sails unfurl. Wind picks up. Ship begins to move. You begin continuing to head westward. Once you're a little bit out of earshot and Avantika's keeping an eye off the edge of the ship, looks back to the rest of you and (slow clapping). The rest of the crew begins to clap and there's a bit of applause. "With that, my friends, welcome, truly, to what it means to be free on the sea. I'm proud of you. So! Let's see what you found." They go to start opening the chest, and we'll take a break there.

SAM: Boysie. I'm hiding the little pot-thing, by the way.

MARISHA: Yeah, but Bouldergut was there.

SAM: Yeah, that's true.

MARISHA: Bouldergut saw everything, so unless we want to bribe Bouldergut--

MATT: We'll get to that when we come back from the break!

MARISHA: I have to pee, too.

TALIESIN: I know, I'm dying.

MATT: We'll be back here in just a moment. In the meantime, we do have our Wyrmwood giveaway for the evening. For this, you need to head over to the Critical Role Twitch chat, that's twitch.tv/criticalrole, to enter. Tonight's keyword is reef. R-E-E-F. Enter it once. More than once, you'll be disqualified. Once again, this is only available for people in the US and Canada, excluding Quebec. Tonight we have our fantastic figured myrtlewood dice vault, which is a new wood offered by Wyrmwood, which has actually really cool texture to it. It's got a weird shimmer. It's quite pretty and one of you is going to win that when we return! Enter in the Twitch chat and we'll see you guys here in a few minutes.

Break[]

[break]

Part II[]

MATT: Welcome back, everyone. The winner of our fantastic figured myrtlewood dice vault.

TRAVIS: Myrtle!

MATT: Myrtlewood! It's really pretty. Ironically, well-named CaptainCupcake!

(cheering)

MATT: Congratulations, CaptainCupcake!

MARISHA: That's so cute.

MATT: (pirate voice) We'll get that sent to you right rickety-split.

LIAM: (parrot voice) Captain Cupcake!

TALIESIN: (parrot voice) Captain Cupcake! (realistic cawing) Sorry, too much! Reeling it in.

MATT: Having now made your way on the Squalleater from, as far as I know, all of you, your first real bit of piracy. Pulling away, the chest that was brought on-board is currently being picked and opened by some members of the crew. (thudding) As it folds open, looking inside, you can see it is a mass of gold, silver, copper, and an occasional glimmer of platinum coins. This is quite a bit of change. At which point, the captain looks over to the quartermaster and goes, "Well done. This will be divvied up appropriately. What else was found? We've got some--" and then begin to point out the food, the thawing tropical fruit that was placed there.

MARISHA: Where's Bouldergut to me?

MATT: Bouldergut's sitting there with the rest of you, looking around and listening to the captain, looking off into the distance. Maybe ten feet from you.

MARISHA: Okay.

SAM: (stilted) I have to go check on the cannons downstairs. I'll be back later.

TALIESIN: Wow.

MATT: Make a deception check.

SAM: Minus three. Ten.

LIAM: I rolled a 12 on insight.

MATT: The captain glances past and goes, "Eh, why don't you stay here, at least until we're finished divvying up all the findings."

SAM: Of course, Captain. I am at your beck-and-call.

TALIESIN: So weird.

MATT: "You're telling me. All right, anything else? What transpired below? You have not told me what happened. Apparently, there was some sort of a scuffle?" and Bouldergut goes, "(deep chuckle) Yeah. Tiny man in armor." You begin to realize, at this point, not a whole lot of timbre difference between the male and female ogres that you have encountered in your time. It's generally just more hair on the top of the head-- stubble's about the same.

TRAVIS: Indeed, there was a man in full plate armor who got quite a few shots in.

MARISHA: One less pirate and one less shipper trying to prove himself a hero. Thought he could stand up to the lot of us.

MATT: "That is impressive. Did you finish him off?"

MARISHA: Well, we didn't kill him, but we definitely embarrassed him thoroughly-- something that I find some men find worse than death.

MATT: "I'm impressed, you are all very strongly adhering to this not-killing aspect of piracy. I can tell you from experience, it does not last very long, but I respect the intent. Anything else?"

MARISHA: I heard there were some very good tropical fruits, super rare, in this crate. Based on what I found, (clicks). Good meal later on.

TALIESIN: Did we keep the sword? I don't remember.

TRAVIS: We did, yes. I kept a memento. I hold up the longsword.

MATT: She looks at you, "Hmm, not bad." Bouldergut leans in, right over your shoulder, Beau, and goes, "What's the--"

MARISHA: I slip her 30 gold.

MATT: Make a sleight of hand check.

SAM: Bribing the crew in front of the captain.

MARISHA: I'm not-- I'm trying to-- Oh my god, are you serious?

LIAM: It's a seven.

MARISHA: Oh, is it?

LIAM: Yeah, it's a seven.

MARISHA: That's still not great.

LIAM: No.

TRAVIS: That's a one.

MARISHA: That brings me to an 11?

LAURA: Is it a one or a seven?

TRAVIS: That's a one.

LIAM: Oh, it is a one!

MARISHA: It is a one? Nope, it's a one!

SAM: Clang, clang-clang.

MATT: As you reach back, your coins slip from your grasp, and (clattering coins) all across--

MARISHA: Fucking hole in my pouch. Shit, how did that--

MATT: Bouldergut goes (grunts) and starts helping you pick them up, but fumbling with her giant fingers.

MARISHA: Thank you. Good show everybody, everybody great time. Just wanted a round of applause.

LAURA: (cheering)

MARISHA: Captain Tusktooth!

LAURA: Go Captain Tusktooth!

MARISHA: Sorry. Quartermaster Tusktooth, formerly captain for us.

MATT: "Indeed."

MARISHA: Anyway, it was a good day.

TALIESIN: Start doing a little more healing on you.

MATT: Avantika gives a keen look towards Beau, nods.

LAURA: Captain Avantika?

MATT: "Yes, Jester?"

LAURA: Would you like a tattoo?

MATT: "I already have plenty, but thank you, I appreciate the offer."

LAURA: If you want any more, or if you want any of the ones you have improved, just let me know.

MATT: "I will keep that under consideration. Anyway, regardless, well done. Impressive work. Let's continue on to the Dragshallow Reefs. Come on.”

SAM: (running feet pattering)

LAURA: What are you hiding? I chase after Nott.

MATT: You catch up to Nott. Are you going as well, or is it just you two?

SAM: I'm going downstairs.

MARISHA: What are people doing?

MATT: That's what I'm asking: what are people doing?

MARISHA: We act casual.

TRAVIS: I stay up to entertain Avantika.

MARISHA: I, sensing my biff, casually I turn to Ipess and say: Hey man, great work down there. How great was that?

MATT: "You as well. It was very impressive."

MARISHA: So impressive, right?

MATT: "You beat the shit out of that man."

MARISHA: I fucking-- right? Saw that adrenaline pumping.

MATT: "I could tell that. It was very nice, well done."

MARISHA: Anyway, good day, man. I go downstairs.

MATT: "You too. Goodbye."

TALIESIN: I'm going to head down, obviously tired, and just go follow you guys to take a nap.

MATT: Anyone else doing anything?

LAURA: I'm following Nott.

MARISHA: I'm trailing them.

TRAVIS: Bring that fucking wizard down here with you.

MARISHA: I try to find Caleb. They do that.

MATT: Okay, you find Caleb. Caleb, if you haven't left the top of the deck--

LIAM: No, I've been exactly where I was. Do you want to know more about my cat? Because you walked off before. The funny thing about a cat is that they are very persnickety but with the right person, they are not. Frumpkin with me, we are just so.

MARISHA: Genuine question: have you been telling this story the entire time I've been gone?

LIAM: No, that would be-- I'm a very intelligent person. That would be foolish. I don't talk to thin air. Also, some people say that they have nine lives, which is funny, because we--

MARISHA: That's great. You know what? I have something I think that you would be deeply interested in, maybe.

LIAM: Did you find books?

MARISHA: I didn't. Fucking, goddamn it.

TRAVIS: I forgot to look too. I did too.

MARISHA: I didn't find fucking books.

LIAM: It's a long shot. We are on the--

MARISHA: Okay, books, cats, I get it, that's so good. Love your fascination of both the most boring things that I can think about, including books and cats. But let's go look at something awesome.

LIAM: You thought it too, didn't you?

LIAM, MARISHA, and MATT: (singing) Books and cats and books and cats and books and cats...

LIAM: *Ja*. You're telling me your love of higher learning, I understand. Did you need something? Because you clearly don't want to hear about cats, so we could end this now.

MARISHA: Just keep your mouth shut for like 30 damn seconds.

LAURA: What'd you find?

MARISHA: Follow me.

LAURA: What'd you find?

MARISHA: We bring him to them.

LAURA: What'd you find? What was it? What are you hiding? I want to know!

SAM: Where are we? Let's get into our rooms. We're going to go into our cabins.

MATT: All right, you go to your chambers.

SAM and MARISHA: Hi.

LAURA: Oh, hi! Nott's hiding something.

TALIESIN: I'm keeping a close eye on what's going on, this is very-- they're being so sketchy.

MATT: Yasha pulls in, "What is going on?"

MARISHA: Shh, come in, Shut up. Did anyone follow you?

MATT: "No."

SAM: The captain can be invisible. She might be in this room with us right now.

LAURA: (gasping) Let's all walk around, walk around the whole room.

SAM: Just do this.

LAURA: Oh, that's you. That's you, Nott. Okay, hi.

TALIESIN: (laughter) That tickles.

SAM: Do we feel anything?

MATT: No.

TRAVIS: (laughter) Taliesin claps.

LIAM: That would have been so awesome.

TRAVIS: (impact) (gasping)

TRAVIS and MARISHA: Shank shank shank!

(laughter)

MARISHA: (wailing)

SAM: Here's what I got! It's a magical paintbrush!

MARISHA: Do the thing. Figure it out.

SAM: Identify it.

LAURA: (gasps) Should I draw with it? Should I do something with it?

SAM: Not yet.

LIAM: I can talk now? Okay.

MARISHA: Yes. Just not about cats and books.

LAURA: What is it?

LIAM: I will still help you. I need a moment, so I set it down and start scrawling on the floor around it, and about ten minutes later I have--

MARISHA: In the meantime, I'm like: Oh my god! So, what happened? Is it like a tattoo?

LAURA: Yeah! It was amazing!

MARISHA: When are you going to do a tattoo on me?

MATT: The full box? Are you inspecting the full box?

LIAM: No, because-- well, I guess I wasn't there. No, I mean, if they put the box down in front of me.

MARISHA: I opened the box. This is the paintbrush and the ink.

SAM: Is it a big box?

MATT: The box is about shoebox size.

SAM: But it's the size of the item contained within.

MATT: Correct, yeah.

SAM: It's not giant or anything.

MATT: No.

MARISHA: Caduceus detected magic, and it was glowy.

LIAM: That's a lucky find.

MARISHA: That's what I'm saying, so I need to figure out what it is.

LIAM: You, shush, now, give me a moment. (mechanical noises) Ten minutes later, after I transform into an Autobot, I cast Identify through the ritual spellcasting feat.

(gasping)

TRAVIS: Ooh, that's a big old thing!

TALIESIN: That's a novel.

LAURA: What is it, Caleb?

LIAM: Any time it's a long piece of paper, it's a lot of knowledge.

SAM: Long spell.

LIAM: So you talk amongst yourselves for one minute.

LAURA: What do you want a tattoo of?

SAM: What do you think it-- Oh, a tattoo, if we could pick any tattoo?

TRAVIS: Trecorum Satis Dee?

TALIESIN: Trecorum Satis Dee. You're welcome.

SAM: You mean, what physical attribute would we increase, or what would you want the tattoo to be a picture of?

LAURA: Yeah, no, what do you want a tattoo of, like a picture of.

MARISHA: I've had an idea.

LAURA: What is it?

MARISHA: For just a little bit. So this is going to be stupid.

TRAVIS: Probably.

MARISHA: You're not, fucking--

TRAVIS: (high-pitched) Not there!

(laughter)

MARISHA: The Not There Fairy? Not there!

TRAVIS: Flying away!

TALIESIN: (singing) Not there.

MATT: Cousin of the Metagaming Pigeon, the Not There Imp. Not There Fairy, there you go. Don't forget, Nott, you still have that marble, silver shield thing.

SAM: Yeah, can he do more than one Identify at a time?

MATT: You can take time to do it a few times.

LIAM: It's endless, but it takes ten minutes.

SAM: Oh. You mean, the shield?

MATT: The shield, yeah.

TRAVIS: Oh, fuck yeah.

LAURA: What?

MARISHA: I have this idea, because Molly, on the back of his coat, his neck, his tattoo?

TALIESIN: He had it in the tattoo and the coat, yeah.

MARISHA: On the back of his tattoo, he had an all-seeing eye, and I just, I don't know, I thought it was really cool, I feel like it could be cool to have it on my back, right below my neck.

LAURA: I think Molly would like that.

MARISHA: Yeah.

LAURA: I mean, I don't know, maybe it was really sacred to him and he would be really super offended by it.

MARISHA: Oh, yeah, maybe it would, like I stole it from him?

LAURA: But it's fine, I'm sure.

MARISHA: Yeah, you know, he's dead, so, what's he going to do?

ALL: Wow.

TALIESIN: I was about to say, you can roll a d20 and if you roll a 20 I'll tell you what Molly would have thought.

MARISHA: We'll do that later.

SAM: Any news, Caleb?

LAURA: What is it?

LIAM: Sit down.

LAURA: Okay, okay!

LIAM: This is your lucky day. This is very dangerous to give to you, but you are the perfect person to have it, so of course, well, here it is, it is yours. This will allow you to paint things and they become *real*.

MARISHA: Yes! I was so hoping for this!

TRAVIS: What do you mean?

SAM: Anything?

LIAM: Almost anything. Nothing too fancy.

MARISHA: Isn't that an old Chinese folklore, a magic paintbrush?

TALIESIN: This is some Bugs Bunny shit.

MARISHA: It's the magic paintbrush.

TRAVIS: Like the "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" warehouse?

TALIESIN: This is, literally.

TRAVIS: Singing sword, and black hole?

LIAM: This will allow her to paint a door and there to be a door.

MARISHA: Black holes!

LIAM: This will allow her to paint a sword and there will be a sword.

TRAVIS: What?

LIAM: All you can eat, Fjord.

SAM: Wait.

MATT: It does eventually use up the paint over time.

LAURA: It can do a thousand square feet of surface? I mean, I learn from you in a moment?

LIAM: I explain it all in about a minute.

SAM: When you walk down an alley and paint dicks--

SAM and MARISHA: There'll be real dicks!

LAURA: (yelling)

SAM: Just dicks everywhere, dicks and dicks!

TRAVIS: Dicks hanging out the walls.

MATT: (laughter) I didn't think this through!

TRAVIS: (laughter) "I didn't think this through?"

SAM: Just a wall full of dicks!

TALIESIN: How did you not think this through? This was inevitably where this was going.

MATT: No, in hindsight, it occurs to me.

SAM: If someone falls asleep, you could paint a dick on their head, and they'll have a dick on their head!

LAURA: (shouting) Oh my god!

SAM: (yelling)

LAURA: This is my favorite thing in the entire universe.

TRAVIS: (newscaster voice) A rash of wild dicks have appeared in Wildemount and through the Dwendalian Empire. No one can explain the huge dongs protruding from walls, sculptures, and holy places.

LAURA: This is the most amazing thing in the entire universe.

TALIESIN: Fields of phalli.

LAURA: I won't lose it, I won't! Caleb!

LIAM: So just don't create a penis on my head, okay? And we're square.

LAURA: I promise I will not draw a penis on your head.

LIAM: Excellent.

SAM: Can it make living things?

TRAVIS: A finite amount of ink, or what?

LIAM: No, it cannot do that.

SAM: Not living things.

LAURA: Inanimate.

LIAM: It cannot create fabulous jewels, and it cannot create piles of gold.

MARISHA: Haha, dick joke.

LAURA: But it can get us an escape from somewhere, it can--

SAM: If we wanted to spirit ourselves away from this boat in the middle of the night, she could paint us a boat.

MATT: She would need a surface to paint it on.

SAM: Oh. Paper?

TALIESIN: It would be a really big-- you would have a tiny boat.

SAM: Not a ship, I'm talking about a raft, she could just paint a little raft and we could (boop).

TALIESIN: Then we'd be a raft in the ocean.

LIAM: You could, in theory, paint a small boat on the deck of the ship if no one was watching, but that would be a difficult thing to do.

TALIESIN: That would take a long time, though.

MARISHA: This is a real conversation we actually need to have, with the entire group present, speaking of.

SAM: We're here.

MARISHA: Except for Fjord.

SAM: Oh, Fjord.

TALIESIN: We're heading to port regardless. I figure at some point--

MARISHA: Yeah, I feel like before port. We need a plan before port.

TRAVIS: Before port.

LAURA: Oh my god, this is the most amazing thing in the *entire* universe.

TALIESIN: I figure things don't change regardless, as long as we're on the ocean.

TRAVIS: Before port (clicks fingers).

MATT: You only had to actually be pirates and fucking roll a ship to get it, so live with that.

LAURA: I'm okay, I can live with that.

TRAVIS: Does it say how much paint it comes with?

LAURA: It comes with enough to cover a thousand square feet of surface.

TRAVIS: Wow, okay.

MARISHA: I don't want to waste that.

LAURA: So if I made a ship then it would use a lot of it.

MARISHA: We could just steal a ship.

LAURA: But I mean, lots of things that are little, oh my god.

SAM: Or one pretty nice-size apartment.

LAURA: Just think about how many dicks that is! If it's like a five-inch dick, that's like 2,000 dicks.

TRAVIS: What if you painted a 500-pound diamond?

LAURA: No, you can't do that.

TRAVIS: Okay.

LIAM: It would create a facsimile of that, but it would be worthless.

TRAVIS: Got it.

TALIESIN: The things it makes are not--

SAM: Quick, Caleb, Identify this in ten minutes. I give you the shield to Identify.

LIAM: What? (see-n-spell voice) This is a Formica table, green is its color.

TALIESIN: I have good news: your favorite chewing gum--

MARISHA: Fjord.

SAM: What can your imagination make? Keys. Ladders.

TRAVIS: (singing)

TALIESIN: Rope.

SAM and TALIESIN: Outfits.

SAM: Clothes?

LAURA: If you want, they're non-magical items.

MATT: Yeah.

SAM: Catwoman outfits.

MATT: Technically.

LIAM: This is good, this can blast an enemy with a bit of arcane oomph.

SAM: A shield that can fight?

LIAM: A little bit, yeah.

SAM: That's so cool. Who can use a shield? Do we have any shields?

TRAVIS: Well, Caduceus.

LAURA: I have a shield.

LIAM: You have a shield?

SAM: Caduceus?

TALIESIN: I have a shield. Do you need a shield?

TRAVIS: My AC's 17.

LIAM: Did we bring him down here yet?

MATT: No.

LIAM: Go to hell.

MARISHA: Oh, I was going to say: I go get Fjord.

TALIESIN: Can I take a look at that thing, maybe?

MARISHA: Casually, but like I don't want to interrupt, like a cocktail party.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: I do the: When you're ready, just (clicks tongue). Just where we are.

LAURA: Maybe because it's up-close and personal with Fjord, or it could be good for us.

TRAVIS: Why don't you protect the clerics?

LAURA and TALIESIN: Well… (laughter)

TRAVIS: Aw.

TALIESIN: What's your AC again?

TRAVIS: 17. (pause) No, you guys have it.

LAURA: It's pretty cool.

TALIESIN: Yeah, I really like my shield, though, but this is interesting.

SAM: Can I use a shield? No.

TALIESIN: No.

MATT: I don't think you--

LAURA: (laughter) "No!"

MARISHA: Technically anyone can *use* a shield, but if you're not proficient in it--

MATT: Technically anyone can use a shield, but you're not proficient you get a bunch of bad things.

TALIESIN: This would push it to 18. All right.

MARISHA: Because we've just covered this in our Handbooker Helper episode.

SAM: Oh! Light armor.

MARISHA: Uh-huh.

TALIESIN: All right.

MATT: Correct, no shields.

TRAVIS: Consider it a gift, after nearly dying.

TALIESIN: Fair.

TRAVIS: In the past, well, now eight days.

TALIESIN: I may just, for my own personal aesthetic, try and mount my beetle wings onto this, but I like it. I'll do that later.

MATT: All right.

SAM: What do we do now, Fjord?

MATT: I'll have to add it to there myself.

TALIESIN: You'll have to add it?

MATT: It's a custom item.

TRAVIS: I'm not here.

SAM: She went to get you.

TALIESIN: Oh, well.

MARISHA: I told him, "When you're ready, this is where we are."

TALIESIN: In the meantime, it's just plus one to my AC. How many attuned items can I have at this level?

MATT: For any level it's three.

TALIESIN: Three, all right.

LIAM: Let's get Captain Tusktooth down here, because that was an interesting afternoon, but it was not what I want to do with the rest of my life.

MARISHA: I have a lot of ideas.

TRAVIS: Yeah, I'll find my way back down to the rest of them.

MATT: Okay, there you go.

TRAVIS: What'd we get?

SAM: Nothing.

TRAVIS: Shit.

LAURA: Just some paint.

TRAVIS: Weird that they would have an armored guy with a longsword protecting a paintbrush that does nothing.

MARISHA: How do you feel about floating dicks?

TRAVIS: I'm not opposed.

MARISHA: All right.

SAM: It's a floating dick-making paint.

TALIESIN: Better than sinking dicks, I suppose.

LAURA: I mean, should I try it, just to see?

SAM: Don't waste any paint, but yes!

LAURA: I'm going to paint on the floor the teeniest of dicks. Like, this big.

MATT: Okay. You take a little bit, you do this little dick, and suddenly--

SAM: A flaccid penis, or an erect penis?

LAURA: An erect penis.

MARISHA: Of course.

LIAM: That's the go-to.

MATT: Okay, and you paint it, and finish it, and you look at it, and take the edge of the paintbrush and nudge it, and it rolls a bit.

(surprised laughter)

MATT: It's like a stone sculpture; it's not fleshy, it's not made of flesh.

TRAVIS: You didn't Frankenstein, make that triumphant bastard into life.

MATT: Yeah, you're not turning this into Second Life, with all the different fucking floppy dicks flying everywhere.

TRAVIS: It's not the dick brush, it's the paintbrush!

LAURA: Wait, I have a question, then. If I make a tree, if I draw a tree, would the tree be made of stone or would it be made out of-- would it look like a tree?

MATT: You'd have to find out and try.

TALIESIN: This may actually give you-- wait, what is your AC bonus to your shield?

TRAVIS: Just plus one.

TALIESIN: This would actually-- this doesn't give me an 18, this just keeps me at 17 because I was already at a plus two with my shield.

TRAVIS: Oh!

MATT: No, it's plus two and then plus one on top of that.

TALIESIN: Oh okay, so right now it's only giving me a plus two.

MATT: Hmm, I'll double-check that.

TALIESIN: Maybe I haven't-- oh, never mind, now it's working, there we go. I hadn't attuned it.

MATT: Ah, there you go.

LAURA: I pick up the little stone penis. Who wants it?

TRAVIS: So we found a paintbrush that you can paint things and they will come into being? Is that what it is?

SAM: That's right.

TRAVIS: Wow, and the shield?

TALIESIN: A little gaudy for my tastes, but I'm going to do a little work to it.

LIAM: Will hurt your enemies, not just protect you.

TRAVIS: Can I just ask how everybody-- humor me-- feels after today?

MARISHA: Wow.

TALIESIN: Prefer not to make a habit of that.

TRAVIS: Yeah, me neither.

MARISHA: I mean, it feels like a bucket list item checked off the list, but, there were several times that I might have questioned everything that we were doing.

TRAVIS: Wait, bucket list as in “hijack a ship before you die” kind of a thing?

MARISHA: I mean, we just had the full pirate experience that a travel agency could not provide. It was very authentic, and that was amazing.

TALIESIN: You're hard to follow sometimes, you know that?

MARISHA: Huh?

TALIESIN: Ah, nothing, just--

TRAVIS: Nott, I'd ask if you have any reservations, but you seemed very enthusiastic about today's--

SAM: I was born to be a cannoneer.

TRAVIS: Uh-huh. I can't promise there will be a lot of that but at least I know that you're DTF, cool. Caleb?

MARISHA: Down To Fire!

TRAVIS: Yep, fire. Caleb, how you doing?

LIAM: I mean, this is a matter of survival. If we don't cooperate, she's going to kill us. I'm not opposed, per se to what went down today, but it's not what I want to do with my life. I would prefer to break away from this woman, but we're here for you right now. You are trying to figure out, you know, your thing. I think I'd like to hear from you what the long-term plan is. Are we on the ship, in the sea? Is that what you're after?

TRAVIS: Yeah, actually I do have some news to share. Avantika apparently has come across my old mentor, Vandran, before. She knew him. Apparently he carried the same sword that I have, it's called the Sword of Fathoms. Has a name. She's of the opinion that he always carried on him the sword and another one of those spheres, an eye. She asked me if I knew where the ship that I was on went down. I did recall the area and she believes that if we were to search that shipwreck we might find this third sphere. She has the ability to mess with water now, and in some of the dreams I've been having, I believe there's quite a bit more where that has come from.

MARISHA: Still having those dreams, then.

TRAVIS: Not all the time. I admit, I've been very excited about all of this, but the things I see are world changing. Scary.

MARISHA: In a good way or a bad way?

TRAVIS: I don't know.

MARISHA: Or is it dependent on the operator?

TRAVIS: I don't know that either.

LIAM: What is the good scenario, the good version, of releasing a massive serpent onto the Menagerie Coast?

TRAVIS: Well when you say it like that.. I don't know. I meant only the power that might come before that happens.

LAURA: Does the serpent get released if the little orbs are spread out amongst other people or do they all have to be in one person?

TRAVIS: I--

TALIESIN: Or three?

TRAVIS: I actually don't know. I'm just assuming that because she placed her sphere at the bottom of that well in that temple, there are two other temples which we have to do the same thing and that might lead to the release of that serpent.

MARISHA: But you think that one of the other's spheres is at the bottom of the shipwreck. Not necessarily a temple.

TRAVIS: Right, the third sphere, and I have the second.

MARISHA: But you--

LAURA: But doesn't she have two spheres?

SAM: No, she had one, but she got rid of it. Fjord has one.

MARISHA: Fjord and he traded it for power.

SAM: So it would good for us to get that last one so that she can't.

LAURA: What if she does get the last one?

SAM: Then we would have failed.

MARISHA: Well, at least she would be twice as powerful as Fjord is one.

TRAVIS: It would be a lot for one person.

MARISHA: I mean there's also--

SAM: She would want the third.

MARISHA: Which is inside of you.

SAM: Which means she would want Fjord's body.

TRAVIS: Correct. Can I just take a second and ask Caduceus to check the door?

TALIESIN: I've been paying very close attention and listening in to the hallway and trying to keep a very--

MATT: Make a perception check.

TALIESIN: (blows raspberry) 15.

MATT: Okay. It seems to be fairly clear.

TALIESIN: Haven't heard any footsteps or--

MATT: No.

SAM: Look at the port window! Is there a port window?

MATT: In the room you're in currently, there is not a port window.

TRAVIS: Without saying too much more, I think it's best that we all listen to Caleb's words and play along.

MARISHA: Uh-huh.

TRAVIS: We'll be making our way to Darktow.

MARISHA: Yeah.

TRAVIS: And then we will reevaluate.

SAM: But the overall mission is to get-- Don't say anything?

TRAVIS: Just feel like-- and I'll try and be subtle as possible that only the people in the room would hear. (whispering) There are people that we can't see. I just don't feel like this is the best place to converse.

SAM: We've been feeling around the air.

TRAVIS: It's not our ship.

TALIESIN: I feel like for the time being, it just might be best to-- be the best we can be here and be as helpful as humanly possible. Our goals are relatively aligned and as long as we don't have to hurt anybody, I'm all right. But the rest of these people--

MARISHA: Do we (whispering) need more information?

TALIESIN: Always.

MARISHA: (whispering) To find your ship?

TRAVIS: I think I would know the location based off the trade route.

MATT: You know the general vicinity of where it would have happened. It would take a little bit of searching and a little bit of-- you know.

TRAVIS: At the bottom of the fucking ocean?

MATT: Yeah. Depending on what you have at your disposal, like definitely narrow the search, but if it's just based on your memory it would take a while to find it, but you know the general area where it went down.

MARISHA: Sotto: I was debating heavily in watching Avantika to see if, with a distraction of trying to board the pirate ship today, that I can maybe sneak into her office with the distraction. But I noticed she was very adamant holding back and watching the entire scenery. It was not safe to go into her quarters. If we need to get into her office, I think it's going to have to be an important enough and big enough distraction.

LAURA: Maybe, Fjord, you can, like, go seduce her or something. Then, you know, with the seduction, then (whispers) you can sneak into her office.

SAM: Some people give up information when they've been seduced as well.

TRAVIS: Mm-hmm.

SAM: Is that something you could do?

TRAVIS: All good ideas.

LAURA: It just seems like she's into you, you know?

SAM: I noticed that as well.

TRAVIS: Trying to use that to our advantage.

MARISHA: (whispers) You're doing great!

TRAVIS: Thanks, I appreciate it. I'm trying to keep her close. If she starts to suspect us, we'll be in trouble. If anyone feels uncomfortable with how things are going, please, let me know. My curiosity is not worth dying for or doing something you feel like you'd regret. I value what everyone thinks here.

MARISHA: I think if we don't do anything, it means your eventual demise.

TRAVIS: Well, that's just fucking dark.

SAM: No, I think she's right.

LAURA: Yeah, I think you're fucked.

MARISHA: Unless we beat Avantika to the punch.

LAURA: If you don't fuck, you're going to get fucked.

SAM: Ooh!

TRAVIS: Now, Jester, where would you learn a phrase like that?

LAURA: I lived--

SAM: She lived in a brothel.

LAURA: Yeah.

SAM: Do what you need to do to get all the information out of her that you can. If we see you cozying up with her, we'll know. We'll know that it's just an act.

TRAVIS: Cool, yeah. Caleb said something similar last night-- or, a couple days ago. All right, well, enjoy the paintbrush.

MARISHA: Oh is that it? Is that our meeting? Okay, yeah.

TRAVIS: I mean, we're going to find our way to Darktow.

LAURA: Does it make you uncomfortable? Do you want someone else to seduce her?

MARISHA: Yeah, because I volunteer.

LIAM: She's made her interest pretty clear.

TALIESIN: Well, when we want to find the ship, I think I might be able to help.

TRAVIS: With the seducing?

TALIESIN: What? No. I mean, no. Definitely not.

TRAVIS: I mean, Caduceus, if you want to teach me a thing a two about wooing a woman--

TALIESIN: Yeah no, I really don't think I have anything to add to that. I think you've been doing just fine.

TRAVIS: Yes to what you said, and yes to what you said.

TALIESIN: I think I might be able to help you find the ship.

MARISHA: You want me to help seduce Avantika.

TRAVIS: You just do you, girl.

MARISHA: All right.

TALIESIN: I don't understand what any of this is anymore.

TRAVIS: Yeah, I think that will be very valuable when the time comes.

TALIESIN: I thought-- Oh, about finding the ship, that's all.

TRAVIS: About what time of the day is it?

MATT: At this point, it's later afternoon.

MARISHA: Oh! It's early.

TRAVIS: Time to break out the banana margaritas! It's only afternoon!

MARISHA: It's four o'clock!

MATT: It's like five or so; you're like an hour or two from dusk.

MARISHA: Okay.

SAM: Let's just do our jobs. I've got a cannon to fix.

TRAVIS: Sounds good.

MATT: All right.

MARISHA: I'm going to make some barrels?

TRAVIS: Caleb, can I speak to you for a moment? Above deck?

LIAM: Of course.

TRAVIS: I'll go up.

LIAM: I will follow.

MATT: The rest of you go about your business?

LAURA: I will follow.

TALIESIN: I'm going to take a nap. Taking a short rest.

MATT: Yasha does the same.

LAURA: I'm going to stand at a distance looking over the rail.

MATT: Okay.

TRAVIS: How far away are you?

LIAM: How far away is she? We're in broad daylight.

LAURA: I'm like, you know, far away.

SAM: Six, seven feet.

LAURA: Just looking out, looking, drawing, I'm very distracted.

LIAM: Just dicks dropping into the ocean.

TRAVIS: (splashing)

(laughter)

MATT: How far away are you, Jester?

LAURA: I think 15 feet.

MATT: 15 feet.

LIAM: Not far.

TRAVIS: Seeing where Jester is, I'll pull Caleb aside. May I ask you a frank question?

LIAM: Of course you can. I scan around for Avantika.

MATT: Make a perception check.

LIAM: Okay. That is a 22.

MATT: Looking about, across the deck, you do not see her currently near or visible.

TRAVIS: I had to admit I found myself a bit surprised. My initial impression of you was someone a bit timid and maybe reserved; meek even. Your tone, your opinion of what to do with Avantika in order to make sure that we're okay, it seemed very... calculated. Very... risky. Do you mind me asking if you've-- Have you ever sacrificed anything in order to achieve a greater goal? Because I feel like I am swimming in the deep end and I don't quite know what I'm doing.

LIAM: You are dealing with very large responsibilities right now. I don't envy your position. You know, my father was a soldier and he expected a lot. I learned a lot from him. I've tried to live up to the man that he was and I've largely failed, but I've picked up what I could. Used my wits, understand my surroundings. I wish I had half the courage he did. I don't know. You know, I think traveling with all of you has emboldened me some. I was alone for a long time and ran from everything. I like this group and I enjoy traveling with you, Fjord.

TRAVIS: Likewise. You don't miss much, do you?

LIAM: I've always been like that; I have a very good memory. I remember everything.

TRAVIS: You have a very shrewd sensibility as well. You seem to be able to weigh pros and cons in an equation, a scenario.

LIAM and TRAVIS: Math brain.

LIAM: I feel like a fool much of the time. I'm glad you think so highly of me.

TRAVIS: I do. I don't mean any of it as a critique, but more as a compliment and I'll add with it a request. Keep that eye of yours on Avantika for me. I don't entirely know what her intentions are, but I feel like there are only a few that I could ask to exercise quick judgment in a moment of need.

LIAM: I start nervously twiddling a wire in my hand absentmindedly.

TRAVIS: I think you know what I mean, but in case this thing gets out of hand, can I count on you to right the ship if need be?

LIAM: Keep the group safe?

TRAVIS: Of course.

LIAM: As always, I will do my best.

TRAVIS: Thank you and thank you for talking with me.

LIAM: I cough very hard into my hands and cast Message to him and briefly, quietly say: I think that woman is going to try to kill you, I really do.

TRAVIS: Yeah. Just so. I'll turn and walk off.

LIAM: (coughing)

LAURA: You need some water, Caleb?

LIAM: Yeah, do you have some?

LAURA: Uh. (pause) I create water in my hands.

TRAVIS: Wait, you can do that?

LIAM: I receive it. There's not much left. Most of it spilled.

LAURA: I'll keep creating it in your hands as you drink.

SAM: You can create water?

LAURA: Yeah.

SAM: When did that happen?

LAURA: I've always been able to do it.

TRAVIS: What do you mean?

LAURA: Shut up.

LIAM: Is this a custom?

LAURA: Yes. Just keep drinking. Keep going.

LIAM: It's good.

MATT: A few more days' travel to Darktow. A couple of moments here. In one night that you are in your room sketching your book, testing out some of your new paints, you feel a hand on your shoulder. You glance over and you can see the pale, soft fingers and a dark greenish sleeve resting there. You glance over to the side and you can see the draping hood and the slight curved smile across the angular chin of the Traveler protruding from beneath the cloak.

LAURA: Hi.

MATT: "Hello. I see you found a new toy."

LAURA: I have magical paint!

MATT: "Well I'm quite excited at the things you're capable of, Jester. How are things?"

LAURA: They're pretty good. Did you want me to make you something with the paint?

MATT: "Surprise me."

LAURA: Okay. Um, Traveler?

MATT: "Yes, my dear?"

LAURA: Are you having fun on our trip?

MATT: "Yes, I've been... pleasantly surprised."

LAURA: We're pirates!

MATT: "I know, your tenacity is impressive."

LAURA: We stole things, but they gave something back just like you always teach, you know?

MATT: "Maintain that balance. That seed of chaos."

LAURA: Traveler, how do I make a boy like me?

MATT: "Well there are many different enchantments that could achieve the goals you seek."

LAURA: I don't know if I want to do it with an enchantment.

MATT: "Trickery?"

LAURA: Maybe?

MATT: "Listen. Listen to what piques his interest. And then happen to be the source when he needs it. If that fails, there are plenty of enchantments that can sway his mind."

LAURA: I mean, right? You'll help me out with that.

MATT: "I'll do my best."

LAURA: You're not jealous, are you?

MATT: "No."

LAURA: You'll always be my number one love.

MATT: "I know. So what are you making me?"

LAURA: I want it to be a surprise for you, I can't tell you.

MATT: "I'll wait."

LAURA: Okay. I'm glad you're here.

MATT: "I'm never far."

LAURA: It's a surprise!

MATT: (laughs) What are you making him?

LAURA: Oh gosh. Oh my goodness. Okay, with my magical paint-- Oh gosh. I was planning on fucking up some other things, but right now I will make a little shrine, like a little statue of the Traveler, that way I can pray to him.

MATT: As you finish painting it, it takes gravity. It almost seems to fall a centimeter and center itself. It goes from a two-dimensional shift, it's almost like blinking--

LAURA: I want him shimmery green.

MATT: Sitting up from the edge of the bed, the cloaked figure walks over and lifts it and inspects it and places it back down.

LAURA: What do you think?

MATT: "You're getting better."

LAURA: I could leave these around other places? What do you think?

MATT: "Preferably where it would be the least expected."

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: "And the creepiest to find."

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: "I'm excited."

LAURA: I've got to get to work.

MATT: "Yes."

LAURA: I can make so many of these.

MATT: "Make me proud, Jester."

LAURA: I will.

MATT: "The time's coming soon, we'll meet the rest of your brethren."

MARISHA: What?

LAURA: Right, I wrote it down! It's soon, right?

MARISHA: What does that mean?

SAM: (whispering) The rest of your brethren?

LAURA: Yeah, in like less than a year.

TRAVIS: What?

MATT: "Soon, my dear."

MARISHA: Is there like an Advent calendar?

MATT: As you look up from your notes, closing your book, you turn to look and the Traveler is gone.

TRAVIS: That's the first we heard that, right?

MARISHA: Less than a year?

LAURA: Yeah! I wrote down the date somewhere, I know it.

TRAVIS: We heard that before, right?

MATT: You guys don't know anything.

LIAM: Private conversation.

MATT: Fjord.

TRAVIS: Yeah?

MATT: Maybe two days out from the reefs you go to bed that night.

TRAVIS: (whispering) Oh shit!

MATT: As sleep takes you, you find yourself kicking through the thick sludge-like waters that surround you. Sluggish in your movements, the darkness all-encompassing, yourself alone in these shadowed depths. A faint green light is visible in the distance. You push and swim towards it, light glowing brighter. Closer. As that grows closer, a second light, even further, impossibly distant but you can acknowledge it, rests on the horizon. As that first light gets brighter, you can see this source taking shape. It's a figure. Female. Nude, also swimming. Avantika, emanating this strange green glow. Swimming ahead of you, her body wreathed in this faint greenish-yellow aura. She looks and points to you. The waters around you seem to glow the same color light. You look down at your body and you see that you are now the third glowing source of this green energy. Suddenly, the waters are easy to traverse. What was once sluggish and difficult to Fjord is second nature. A voice comes through. "Watching." The distant light you see suddenly dives with incredible speed. Nearly out of sight, Avantika dives down after rocketing down below you. Breakneck in her speed, you dart after her to give chase, moving far quicker than you anticipated. You realize the water is becoming thinner and thinner, like air. You're falling. Three shooting stars plummeting through a dark sky. "Learn." Glancing down below this endless void you plummet towards, you make out the details from a surface rushing towards you. You plummet towards an ocean. The faint distance endless glittering of moving shifting waves of some sourceless moonlight, just barely giving the shapes below with three large masses beneath you like a misshapen triangle of land masses of incongruent sizes. One, two, three. You rocket downward towards the space between the three, the center of this triangle. Hitting the waters of the ocean with tremendous force, impact but no pain. You sink. The light of the other two figures glittering through the lightless waters. Down, down, down, you sink. Until you see a structure coming to view from down below. A tilted tower, wrapped in sea vines, the hollow center providing a wide tunnel further within. You peer inside this empty tunnel of the tower's depths and watch as a sudden bright, yellow light shines from within: a gleaming yellow eye. "Reward." As the two other lights seem to try and drift towards you, behind you, you fall into darkness and the dream ends.

TRAVIS: Fuck. I wake up and immediately grab the map.

MARISHA: Yes, queen, yes.

LIAM: The wettest dream.

MARISHA: Fucking triangulation shit.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Blow me into Bermuda.

TRAVIS: Okay.

MARISHA: Because we were over here, right? In the reefs? Uk'otoa?

TRAVIS: Well, Urukayxl, and we've been heading towards Darktow, so we've been coming across-- did we pass the wall? Coming in this direction, did we pass--

MATT: You did, you passed south of it. Your piracy stunt hit right at this trade route there.

TRAVIS: Okay.

MARISHA: I mean, if it's a triangulation--

SAM: Why would there be one there?

MARISHA: Well, this is where we're going, technically this is the shipwreck.

SAM: That's where we're going, yeah.

MARISHA: Right? This was where we were.

TRAVIS: That's where we were.

MATT: That's where you were. The three masses were not even in shape and size, and they were clustered.

MARISHA: There's another reef here.

TRAVIS: There is.

MARISHA: Then there's Torrid Reef here.

TRAVIS: There is, and then dead center is a lot of space. You could say that this is the center, but-- okay.

LAURA: Are any of those places close to your shipwreck that you know of?

TRAVIS: Well, the shipwreck is here.

SAM: What is this triangle of? Where the three objects are, or where the three temples are?

TRAVIS: Well, in the vision the three land masses are in a triangle.

MARISHA: Do you know in which direction the ship was heading?

TRAVIS: At the time?

MATT: At the time, from what you recall, the ship was heading outward.

TRAVIS: Yeah, so it'd be heading west.

MARISHA: Maybe he knew where to go, and he was heading there to get his gift.

TRAVIS: Mm-hmm.

MARISHA: Said Beau in a morning breakfast conversation or something.

MATT: Yeah. Anyway. Contemplate this.

TRAVIS: Yeah, I'll be doing that later.

MATT: In the next few days that pass, eventually the fog rolls in and the blue, cloudy skies you have become familiar with on this journey give way to gray, rainy, and cold, this marine front rolling in as you begin to come upon the outskirts of the Dragshallow Reefs.

SAM: Matt? Before you go on, can I just real quickly steal a bunch of gunpowder, while I was learning how to be a powder monkey?

TRAVIS: You did have days.

MATT: Okay, you do know that the current master gunner is keeping a very close eye on you after you have exhibited--

SAM: I'm talking like a pinch here.

TRAVIS: Shawshank style?

SAM: Yeah, little pinches at a time. I don't want tons, I'm not trying to steal a barrel, just enough to make one of those bangy arrows again, just enough for the tip of an arrow.

MATT: Okay, make a sleight of hand check.

SAM: That's a natural one.

MARISHA: Oh my god.

MATT: Okay. You steal, over time, a pretty decent amount of this powder. You're pretty damn proud of it, yeah. Write down on your inventory you have a handful of pepper.

TALIESIN: Black pepper.

SAM: I'm going to be trying to construct a explosive arrowhead at some point.

MATT: Awesome, go ahead and roll for that.

LIAM: You've successfully secured deez nuts.

SAM: What am I doing? Tinker's?

MATT: This would be tinker tools, yeah.

TALIESIN: You could make a sneeze arrow, in theory.

SAM: What is it, dex?

MATT: With this one, it would be, yeah, dex, since you've already made one.

SAM: 15.

MATT: 15? Yeah, you manage to construct a pepper arrow.

MARISHA: If someone's allergic, they're fucked, yeah.

MATT: Pepper bolt, there you go.

LIAM: When life gives you pepper, make pepper arrows.

MATT: The ship skirts around the southern edge of the reefs. You can now see the tangled graveyard of destroyed ships and gathered driftwood marking the shallow spots across this jagged cluster of reef. Curving around a southwestern passage, a channel, that opens. The channel beckons you entry as you turn to head northward to what would be the center, the heart of this cluster. No more than maybe 20 minutes into entering this channel, Avantika shouts up at the rest of the crew, "Raise the colors!" at which point the massive ogre, Bouldergut, tosses the gnomish second mate, Ipess, high up to the central mast, to the crow's nest, where he swaps out the flag to a new one, one that is straight purple. As it begins to push its way in, make a perception check.

MARISHA: All of us?

TRAVIS: Is the flag just solid purple?

MATT: Make a perception check.

MARISHA: We've seen this before.

LAURA: Natural 20.

MATT: This is a different flag than the one that was raised during piracy.

MARISHA: Okay.

MATT: Natural what?

LAURA: Natural 20.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: 14.

MATT: 14, so what's the total?

SAM: 19.

MATT: Nice.

LIAM: 14.

MARISHA: 20, not natural.

TRAVIS: Ten for Fjord and 19 for Yasha.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: Natural 20 with a total of 24.

MATT: Okay. Jester, it's a couple of things. You pick up on the detail of the flag. It is straight purple but there is something different about it, you're not entirely certain. It looks like a straight color, but there's, sometimes, some of the way the light hits it, you can see a sheen in parts of it. That's the best I can describe. The rest of you also look around and you can see amongst these reefs, not only are there the jagged bits of it that come forward and bits of rock that jut out the ocean amongst the rest of the rubble around, and it looks like a lot of it has been placed both as a communal barricade on top of the reef, and as a challenge to anything that wishes to come in, but you can see in areas where the rock itself is a little more sturdy and above the surface, there are watchtowers, and there are bolt-throwers and catapults, and there are defenses all across elements of this reef that you imagine are one of the many reasons it's not been taken back by the Clovis Concord in what you would know to be the 40-plus years that Darktow has belonged to what is known as the Revelry.

TRAVIS: The Revelry?

MATT: The Revelry is the communal band of pirates that work together to maintain some internal order. Make a history check, Fjord and anybody else proficient with history.

TRAVIS: 17.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: The Revelry?

LIAM: 25.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: 11.

MATT: Fjord and Caleb, you know that this began as a dispute with the heads of the guilds in the Clovis Concord. They own and run a majority of the trade routes that come in and out, but a lot of the smaller shipping businesses and various other side-industry leaders were being over-taxed, repeatedly, in an attempt to close them out of the business and essentially completely own all means of shipping in the vicinity. This pissed off a lot of people, and eventually, in moments of combined desperation and frustration, they banded together, and where Darktow was previously a very important repair and stopping station this far out from the Menagerie Coast for long-distance shipping, they ransacked it and took it over. They killed those that defended themselves, and any those who did not want to raise arms would be absorbed and be allowed to become a member of what was now called the Revelry. As such, they have since held this location and continued to be the source of piracy both for their own wealth and continuation of well-being, but also as a continuous source of aggression and destruction of the otherwise very prosperous trade that the Clovis Concord runs. You do know also that the Revelry is run by what's called the Plank King.

MARISHA: That sounds super inviting.

MATT: The previous one was killed 15 years ago by the current Plank King, who challenged him. The Plank King is known as Wyatt Marinas, and all you have heard is he is a giant of a man. As you move deeper through this channel, the day goes on, begins to get somewhat dark as you begin to see the glittering lights of the southern edge of Darktow Isle. The cold pulls through, and a light rain begins to fall as you approach. This island, unlike the jungle islands that you've come across and a vast majority of the Swavain Islands here off the Menagerie Coast, is mostly rock and cliff. In fact, from what you can see, most of this island from this perspective is jagged cliff face and probably a few hundred feet up is where the island's even surface even begins. At the base around this cliff face you can see a scattered web of a shipyard, just tangle the docks that manoeuvre around containing dozens and dozens of ships. Across that you see numerous torches that mark various intersections where they all meet, and built into the base of this cliff face, you see a number of buildings and windows, all slowly being lit as the night grows darker and darker. This mass of natural-looking, hive-like pirate city there stands before you. Welcome to Darktow.

SAM: Darktow!

MARISHA: Dope.

TALIESIN: Beautiful.

MATT: As the ship makes its way to the docks and eventually comes to a stop, you can see a few figures up there at the edge, one of them that rings a bell as it comes in, and a couple that come out to meet Avantika. Steps out, and there's a couple of hands raised, and go, "Hail, Avantika!" She goes, "We have returned! I know it has been quite a while, but success and celebration, I believe, are on our lips tonight." A few of the men come up and look over the crew and look over a few of you and take some notes, and then dart off.

TRAVIS: Guess we're part of the island now.

SAM: Are we off the ships yet?

MATT: The ship now has docked, they're beginning to take remains of the supplies, the Mistake is pulled off onto the other side and Orly and your other hired crew are looking very wide-eyed and confused about what the fuck is going on. You literally hired a bunch of guys out of--

TRAVIS: They didn't sign up for that shit!

MATT: Nicodranas that have now been brought into a--

TRAVIS: A month-long journey?

MATT: Yep.

MARISHA: Wow. Okay.

MATT: As you begin to step off the ship--

TRAVIS: Kill those guys.

MATT: Jamedi steps off with the rest of you.

MARISHA: Oh no!

MATT: Looks to Avantika, and goes up to her and goes, "You still owe me 50 more gold. I counted what you gave me." She goes, "Oh, my apologies, I thought I had correctly counted that.” She pulls a few coins out of her purse and hands it to him. Counts it himself. "Our business is concluded." Looks to the rest of you. "Be careful around this one. Be safe." He turns and walks into the city.

LAURA: I liked him.

SAM: Dead man walking.

TALIESIN: Complicated feelings.

SAM: I'm going to get on my hands and knees and kiss the ground.

MATT: It is salty with sea splash and cold to the touch because of the nature of the stone.

SAM: I love it.

TRAVIS: I thought for sure Caduceus was going to give Jamedi a little--

TALIESIN: He got away quick, yeah, that was not a good time.

MATT: No one talked to him over the journey.

TALIESIN: Nope.

LAURA: I thought he was on the other ship. I guess we were switching back and forth between ships?

MATT: There was a lot of back and forth over the journey. Avantika turns to the rest, "Crew! It has been a good journey. You have all been very kind. You have been resolute and Uk'otoa will be proud."

LAURA and MARISHA: (whispering) Uk'otoa.

MATT: "Tonight we drink! Come. Let us be off to The Bloated Cup. The rounds are on me."

SAM and MARISHA: The Bloated Cup.

LIAM: (whispering) Uk'otoa.

MATT: Marius comes around the edge of the--

TRAVIS: Oh god!

SAM: (nervous voice) Hi Marius.

MARISHA: Oh my god, Marius!

MATT: Of the docks. Yes, remember Marius?

LIAM: Yes.

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: Yes. He's like "Okay, don't mean to make this really-- Where the fuck are we?"

TRAVIS: We're at the end of the world, my friend.

MATT: "Okay."

LAURA: You're a pirate. Ta-da.

MATT: (nervous sighing)

TRAVIS: It's going to be time for you to toughen up a bit. Do you have a pirate face?

LAURA: It's really good. That's good.

TRAVIS: Is that a pooping face or--

MATT: "Both, really."

TRAVIS: Okay, well, until you find a better one, that'll do. What's your pirate name?

MATT: "What should it be?"

MARISHA: Marius the Mariner. *LePual*.

MATT: "Got it."

MARISHA: Le--

MATT: “Oh, there's more."

MARISHA: LePain.

MATT: "LePual LePain."

MARISHA: LePual LePuain. I don't know. That's all I got.

TALIESIN: That was really good. Do me.

MARISHA: Oh. Caduceus the... Juices?

TALIESIN: I like juice.

MATT: Orly's big turtle hand clasps on the back of your left shoulder, Beau, and goes "Oh, I kind of like that one."

MARISHA: How do you mean?

MATT: "Well, I like juice."

MARISHA: Okay. Yay. Yeah.

LAURA: Orly the Swirly.

SAM: Yeah, that's good.

MATT: (unsure, uncomfortable humming)

LAURA: Teach me how to do tattoos that are fancy.

MATT: "Wait, what?"

LAURA: Make me your apprentice. Make me your-- bequeath me.

MATT: "I'm going to need a drink."

MARISHA: I guess we'll follow?

MATT: The rest of the crew, looking confused amongst themselves stick together and they come over. One of them, his name would've been-- oh. Actually no, at this point, this is Gallan. Gallan, who has recovered and is--

LAURA: Fellow carpenter!

MATT: Yes. Who has become loosely the-- because he's the only one who was originally on the Mist and knows it well-- he's become the den mother of the other hired crew you've brought into this wiley adventure. He comes up and goes, "So. All these ones."

TRAVIS: Yeah?

MATT: "What's the plan?"

TRAVIS: Did we say there was a plan?

MARISHA: Mm, do we live with plans?

TRAVIS: I'm not sure. Did we have a plan?

MARISHA: We had a vague idea.

SAM: We hired them for a certain amount of time.

LAURA: Yeah. We should probably let them go home eventually.

TRAVIS: I don't even really remember who they are.

TALIESIN: I mean, to be fair, we should let us go home eventually.

LAURA: Yeah. Maybe they should stay on the boat.

SAM: After it's repaired.

LAURA: Yeah. Then we will take them home eventually.

MARISHA: Don't we need to pay them more?

TRAVIS: No. I think we've brought them to a port of great business. If they choose to stay here, they certainly can. Otherwise, they'll have to wait until we're leaving again.

MATT: "I'll ask around." He doesn't seem bothered by it. He's been here before. Gallan left this port on the Mist. But he seems genuinely-- Over the travel, he's gotten a little bit concerned and seems somewhat invested in the new crew you've hired. He goes and relays that message to the rest of them.

TRAVIS: I'm just scared.

MARISHA: Whoops.

MATT: In the meantime, the rest of the crew seems to have followed suit with Avantika, leaving a few crewmen that are just a part of the docks to keep watch.

TRAVIS: How guarded or patrolled or monitored are the docks?

MATT: Pretty damn well patrolled and monitored. This is the bread and butter of their business.

TRAVIS: In this area, are there uniformed patrols or do you just see well armed--

LIAM: Muscle is obviously everywhere.

MATT: You get the sense here, and based on your history checks, everyone who resides in Darktow is a member of the Revelry.

TRAVIS: Is packing.

MATT: By the way, you guys are members of The Revelry.

MARISHA: So by touching down on the island, you become a member.

MATT: Well, by becoming part of Avantika's crew, coming into port, and having a few individuals mark your presence, you imagine that's probably the case.

MARISHA: We're a part of The Revelry.

MATT: Well, what are you guys doing?

TRAVIS: We're going to follow.

LIAM: We're going to be following the people who have been here before.

TALIESIN: Let's make sure the crew knows that they should be repairing the ship and we need to be ship-shape at some point.

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: I don't know if that was the easiest membership I've ever obtained, or the most difficult membership I've ever obtained. It's kind of hard to say.

LIAM: Following up on Fjord's question, or Travis' question, the muscle that we see around us, does it look like it's-- are we in Deadwood, or is there a strong police force of sorts that is making sure that shit is not going down constantly?

TRAVIS: Something they would wear that would identify.

LIAM: Yeah, is there anyone in charge, or is it just a saloon with cowboys everywhere?

MATT: It's more the former than the latter, from the first part. There is no uniformed guard, there is no--

TRAVIS: They're not wearing a hat or a sash.

TALIESIN: This is golden age of piracy Barbados, basically. We're in the thick of it.

MATT: Yeah, the heavy realm of piracy has only existed for 40+ years, on this coast.

TALIESIN: Oh wow, okay!

MATT: It's still, in some ways, finding its footing.

TRAVIS: Oh lord! We all going to die! We'll tell the crew they can have the evening. They can have the evening, we've just been at sea this whole time, but in the morning, we expect work to continue on The Mistake.

LIAM: Probably the only rule here is “Talk shit, get hit.”

MATT: Winding through the docks, following the rest of Avantika's crew, the docks and bridges, it's this labyrinth to find your way beyond that to the stone and rock where you had kissed earlier. The city itself is a series of switchback paths and carved caverns and cave entrances that have since been outfitted with pieces of wood, with windows. Now, at this point, it's pretty much pitch black in the sky. What little bit of light there is from the nearby torch and lantern light gives just a hint of the mist that's rolled in across the outskirts of the island. The only light sources you have are those you keep on you, or the distant glowing smattering of hundreds of fire-lit windows, lit from the inside the warm buildings that make up the city. As you make your way to what you assume to be the tavern, The Bloated Cup, if you will, Avantika's currently standing outside talking to somebody. There you see this burly, rough-looking human man, probably a week and a half unshaven, this thick five o'clock shadow. Grayish curled hair that goes right about shoulder-length. It's slicked back, probably with his fingers to one side, but it's oily enough where it stays in place. Looks like he's wearing an officious coat, and they're currently in the middle of a discussion, and she looks over her shoulder to the rest of you and goes, “Ah, my apologies. There is one bit of business we must attend to before we can celebrate. The rest of you continue on. My new compatriots, it seems,” and the human figure pipes up and goes, “Word has reached the ears of the Plank King that you've brought new blood here to Darktow. I imagine these are the new blood based on,” and he looks at a sheet of paper that's handed to him and looks at the description that was written, “and he would appreciate you bringing them to The Throne Roost and have an audience.”

SAM: Who, who are you?

MATT: “Well, I'm the assistant of the Plank King.”

SAM: What is your name?

MATT: “James Tybalt.”

SAM: James Tybalt. Assistant to the Plank King. Do we need to bring any presents or anything to the Plank King when we meet him?

MATT: “I'm certain he wouldn't argue.” He smiles now. This is the first time you've seen his grin and there's, maybe, six or seven teeth. Most of them are blackening. “I'd recommend y'all follow me.”

SAM: Yes, sir!

MATT: “You too, Avantika. He wants to check in.” She sighs but gives a smile. "Ipess, bring like 500." He starts counting out gold from one of the chests they had brought with them.

TRAVIS: We never divvied up that box.

MATT: No.

LAURA: No, we didn't.

SAM: That's for her to do.

MARISHA: That's for him to do.

TRAVIS: No. For me to do?

LAURA: It's the quartermaster.

MARISHA: It's for the quartermaster. He said divvy up treasure.

MATT: That's what quartermasters do.

SAM: Balls.

TRAVIS: Yeah, it was intentional, guys. We're fine.

MATT: It's all good. The coin is passed over to a smaller chest and Avantika carries it up under her arm. You guys are led to the western side of this city and then begin climbing up this precarious set of winding stairs carved out of the rocky cliff.

LAURA: Whoa!

MATT: Above the city, slick with mist and recent rain. It looks like the way the wind's hitting, the rain isn't hitting the cliff side, but you can see it passing maybe 15, 20 feet in front of you.

LAURA: This is precarious, you guys!

MATT: Partway up this climb, the occasional torch is now replaced with a wooden pike holding a skull or a head at varying stages of decay.

SAM: I hear rain.

LAURA: I'm going to put my metal, scary mask on.

MATT: Okay, you put your metal scary mask on.

TRAVIS: You feeling at home there, Deucy?

TALIESIN: This is nice.

MATT: You're led up further, maybe 250, 300 feet up this cliff face. Leading you with some of the bursts of wind to lean against it to pull across. The stone stairs themselves vary from two feet wide to maybe a foot at times. Looking down over the edge, you can imagine a few folks have found their end with an odd misstep. The stairs finally stop at a wide stone shelf that overlooks the town at about 200 to 300 feet above, the furthermost edge ending just above the rocky waters of the inlet. A cave mouth greets you against the cliff, warm with firelight. Two watchmen notice you and they stand there keeping an eye as a cloaked man pushes past you to descend from where you came. He just pushes past you. Avantika nods to the guards and shows the chest.

TRAVIS: The guy that pushes past, what's he look like? What's he wearing?

MATT: He's a little ways past you now. Make a perception check.

TRAVIS: You can't just let these guys go by!

SAM: It was just a dude!

TRAVIS: Nine!

MARISHA and LAURA: Nein!

MATT: It's too dark and there's too much rain. It's hard to make out any details, unfortunately. Avantika continues in after showing the chest, the offering. The rest of you follow?

LAURA: That is our offering, too. It's all our offering.

MATT: As you follow inside, the smell of fine cooked meats and sauces mingles with wet leather and stagnant water. A soft fiddle and squeezebox duet dances through the evening air, the bardic sources atop stools next to a large stone chair carved from the surrounding rock. Sitting atop the throne is a giant of a man; half giant, to be precise. His dull, gray skin marked with scars, his coat long and velvet blue, tattered at the edges. Plain breeches and boots shift as he stands, his eyes cold, shifting with his smile. Long black curls toppling along the sides of his head, past his shoulders, framing his face to about mid chest. Now, you know this through your research and some of you had experiences, for the most part male goliaths don't have hair, let alone such luxurious locks.

MARISHA: European, British giant shit.

MATT: As he stands up, a servant enters and leaves a bowl of somewhat bruised feet-- somewhat bruised fruit at the feet of the throne. The large figure claps his hands once loudly and the music stops, coming to a halt. "Deep guests. Avantika. You bring guests. Welcome, friends, to the Revelry. Come, sit a spell." Two servants all of a sudden come behind, you hear the scraping of wood against stone as two long benches are pressed behind you. You find yourself awkwardly having to sit on them as they creak with your weight. Another bowl of nuts and somewhat mushy berries is placed in Caduceus' hands, a bottle of wine is opened and handed to Caleb. "My manners, where are they? (chuckles) I am Wyatt Marinas, the Plank King of Darktow, master of the Revelry."

LAURA: All hail the king.

TALIESIN and SAM: All hail the king.

MARISHA: Hear hear.

MATT: "And you are?"

SAM: Oh, yes. We are part of Avantika's crew, but humble servants in her adventurous adventures. I am-- some call me Gilligan, others other names. I present to you this dried meat of the harpy as a present for you. Harpy jerky.

MATT: Sets it awkwardly on one of the arms of the stone throne. "Okay, Gilligan. So, Avantika, it seems you took all of these under your wing." She nods and takes her chest and puts it forward and goes, "That is true, and I believe the rest will introduce themselves here in another moment."

LAURA: I'm the Little Sapphire. I lift up my-- I'm the Little Sapphire.

LIAM: Oh, my name is Philip.

MARISHA: I'm Beau. Some call me Tracy.

TRAVIS: I'm Fjord Tusktooth, quartermaster of the Squalleater.

TALIESIN: They call me Clay.

MATT: Yasha just goes, "I'm Yasha." "Well, you've all come under the banner of the Squalleater. What draws you to a life of piracy? What drives you?"

SAM: So much!

TRAVIS: What drives any of us? Necessity. Urgency for a better life.

MATT: "All right."

LAURA: Ships are really cool. We like to steal things.

MARISHA: Disdain for organised crime in the Empire.

TALIESIN: I serve nature. I'm a maker of fine graves.

TRAVIS: (laughs)

SAM: I just love water so much!

(laughter)

SAM: Can't get away from it! Ooh, doggy.

LIAM: Oh, is this required? Refugee from the Empire, looking for better life.

MATT: Looks to Yasha. "I like to punch things?" Kind of smiles. Looks back over his shoulder, "You've got all that, Linus?" And you see off to the side, in an alcove you weren't looking, you see a man, hunched over, who's currently writing everything down in a book, and sketching, and he's paying really close attention to everybody, and is listening.

MARISHA: He's like a, what are those things? A courtroom--

LAURA: (gasps) You draw too?

TRAVIS: Stenographer.

MATT: “Yeah.”

LAURA: Do you want to show me some of your drawings?

MATT: "No."

(laughter)

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: He's feverishly taking notes and sketching. You recognize, he's drawing as well as making notes.

LAURA: I'm going to, definitely, every time he looks over at me, pose differently, so that he gets the best.

MATT: Okay. "Well, if the captain here vouches for you, then I trust you won't go causing any trouble. Only law here is no trouble coming between pirates while within the reef. You cause trouble on land, I judge you. You've seen a few judged on your way up here."

MARISHA: Oh yeah.

TALIESIN: We did? Oh, yeah.

MATT: "Trouble outside the reef, well, you'll either return to explain your cases, and I decide what's fair, or in need of punishment, or if you don't return, I just assume you're guilty. Them's the big ones, you understand?"

LAURA: Does this just include harming other pirates, or stealing from them too?

MATT: "Depends on what the other one thinks. If the other one doesn't want to be harmed or stolen from, well, that's breaking the law."

LAURA: Got it.

TRAVIS: What if the other one isn't around to lodge a complaint?

MATT: "Well, hard for me to hear that you broke it. Now, Darktow means protection, means family. And family shares its good fortune." He looks to Avantika, and she now kicks the chest across, and scrapes. He stops it with his foot, and kicks open the lid and the coins are there now, visible, a couple spilling out. "I accept your tribute. Welcome back. We'll get your ships up and fixed real soon. Welcome to the Revelry. (laughs)."

(uneasy laughter)

MATT: "You all sorry lot, you've certainly shacked up with one of the craziest lasses of the Swavain Islands, that's for sure."

LAURA: She's crazy all right.

MATT: "A damn dream-chaser, she be. So be warned where she leads you: she's crazy. Fucking nuts."

LAURA: I thought that the entire time.

SAM: Yeah.

MATT: She looks up at him and goes, "You are quite the peach yourself, there, master." Squints to himself. "Well, thanks, that's it, shove off. Get the fuck out of my room."

SAM: May I just ask, this Linus person over there, are they just writing everything down that we say?

MATT: "Yes."

LAURA: Balls tits mother-bitch, I love dogs and poop.

(laughter)

MATT: He's glaring over at you.

TRAVIS: (gibberish)

(laughter)

TALIESIN: We should take our leave.

SAM: I guess so, we're going to go just enjoy your fine place now, thank you for having us.

MATT: "Of course."

MARISHA: Do you have a favorite cocktail at the Bloated Cup?

TRAVIS: Or a favorite spot.

MARISHA: A brew, or--

MATT: "No, I have my drinks brought up here."

MARISHA: Right, course you do. All right, bye.

MATT: As Avantika leaves, the rest of you are leaving. Takes his arms and pushes you out, leading you to the exit.

TRAVIS: Just the Plank King and Linus in that room, outside from Avantika?

MATT: Make a perception check.

TRAVIS: 17.

MATT: 17. Couple of things you notice. One: you glance in the vicinity, you look and notice the Plank King. Right where the hairline is, it's a duller, paler white. In that moment you remember the first Plank King was definitely known for his longer, darker locks.

(groaning)

TALIESIN: That's metal.

TRAVIS: It puts the lotion in the basket.

TALIESIN: That's some metal shit.

MATT: Looking around the interior of the chamber, because the way this is carved inside the mountain, it's this nice arched cavern top and there are number of alcoves and hidden spaces, and you glance around it and first, at just a quick glance, notice at least six or seven other figures that are hidden in the alcoves, just watching.

TRAVIS: Creatures?

MATT: Figures. Seem to be either human or--

MARISHA: Roof snipers.

TRAVIS: (whispers) Statues.

MATT: As you're all being ushered out of the chamber and pushed to the side, the Plank King is like, "Anyway, off with you! Enjoy your night, drink well. We'll take care of that," and there's a little tug on your arm, Beau. The Plank King comes and whispers in the side of your ear. He says, "You've a keen ear, right? Avantika ever does anything untoward to our little community here, you let me know. There's some grand coin in it for you."

MARISHA: How much?

MATT: Just backs away.

MARISHA: I yank away from him. Move on.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: She's a snitch.

TALIESIN: Can tell you're a snitch. Can tell at 50 feet. Of course you're a snitch.

(laughter)

MARISHA: Am I that transparent?

TALIESIN: You are.

TRAVIS: You said, "How much?"

TALIESIN: You sit in the bathroom stall with your legs raised, with a notebook.

MATT: With that, you make your way out, back to the stone steps. Avantika sees you all exit and goes, "Well, that was harrowing and necessary, but over. Now for drinking, yes?"

TRAVIS: Indeed. He seems like quite the benevolent leader.

MATT: "He's certainly a series of adjectives, yes, I'll give you that."

TRAVIS: How long has he been in a seat of rule?

MATT: "Well over a decade, probably."

MARISHA: How much on average do you pay him to not kill you?

MATT: "Oh, well, it's not paying him to not kill us, it's sharing in our spoils to better the community."

MARISHA: And if you didn't share your spoils?

MATT: "I don't know. I've never tried."

MARISHA: Right.

LAURA: He has beautiful hair.

SAM: It's awesome, yeah.

TALIESIN: Very. It's lush.

TRAVIS: Yeah, it's something.

MATT: "Nevertheless, I'm going to get drunk. Who's with me?"

SAM: Hear hear, let's go.

TALIESIN: I will follow.

MATT: "All right, come on." She smiles and turns around and you all begin to make your trek down the somewhat slick stone steps to the darkened city of Darktow, the glittering firelight, the open windows below leading you to whatever revelry the evening has in store. And that's where we'll pick up next week.

TRAVIS: (yells) Oh god, we're on pirate island!

SAM: How did this happen?

LAURA: It's so cool, though.

MATT: You a stole a ship and followed the path!

TRAVIS: We're surrounded by a reef and artillery and pirates!

LAURA: We were going in a completely different direction and now we're pirates!

TRAVIS: He's wearing somebody's scalp, you guys.

MARISHA: There's a war on another continent, and we're not a part of it.

TALIESIN: I am so proud of you all.

SAM: I will say this, though: In comparison to these folks, we're not so bad. We're not that bad.

MATT: It is a point of comparison, this is true.

TRAVIS: We're in the main of other creatures.

LIAM: Guys, we're the heroes here.

LAURA: Yeah, yeah. Wow.

TRAVIS: Good shit, Matt, good shit, Matt!

MATT: Well guys, this is a very unique flavor of campaign.

TALIESIN: The Plank King is cool.

MATT: "He's a fun one." On that note, folks, we're going to pick this up next Thursday. Look forward to the art book coming on sale Monday morning, the final chapters, the second half and end of Vox Machina's campaign, as created and presented by you, the fantastic art community. Yeah, other than that, have a wonderful weekend, we love you, and is it Thursday yet? Goodnight, guys.

(wolf whistle)

TRAVIS: Oh, the fucking hat!

[music]

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