Critical Role Wiki

This wiki contains spoilers for the entirety of Critical Role and The Legend of Vox Machina. Proceed at your own risk!


Critical Role Wiki
Critical Role Wiki

List of Transcripts


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

TRAVIS: Dungeons & Dragons!

MATT: Or that. We also do that, I guess.

TALIESIN: That's the same embarrassment that you feel about us; the way we're feeling about you now.

MATT: What the fuck was that?!

SAM: Where we play Dungeons & Dragons!

MATT: Oh my god. Welcome. We're already loopy, what could possibly go wrong? So yes, welcome! Before we jump into tonight's game, we have some announcements to get through real fast so hold tight for just a moment. First and foremost, continuing tonight's sponsorship with our friends at D&D Beyond. Our now long-term partner. We're super excited to be working with them for the foreseeable future for the time being with the show. Sam, you have some words, I believe.

SAM: To plug our good friends at D&D Beyond, I need my fellow cast mates to help me. Can we practice? Can you all say, "Boo?"

ALL: Boo!

SAM: Can you all say, "Yay?"

ALL: Yay!

SAM: Okay, the official digital tool set for Critical Role is D&D Beyond.

ALL: Yay!

SAM: A great service to organize everything D&D. Rules, spells, character sheets, and more, all with a pesky pen and paper?

ALL: Boo!

SAM: No! You can access it digitally on your computer, mobile, or tablet.

ALL: Yay!

SAM: The cast is using D&D Beyond every week, except for Taliesin.

ALL: Boo!

SAM: Just kidding, he is!

ALL: Yay!

SAM: I have to use both the boo and the yay or else it doesn't make sense. He can do cool stuff like activate Critical Role content in his character builder and create a blood hunter.

ALL: Yay!

SAM: And do you think they charge an arm and a leg?

ALL: Boo!

SAM: No, they don't!

ALL: Yay!

SAM: D&D Beyond is offering a discount of $10 off any digital book in their shop. Use code “beginnings” at checkout.

ALL: Yay!

SAM: So check them out at Is that D *and* D Beyond?

ALL: Boo!

SAM: No, is that D N D Beyond?

ALL: Yay!

SAM: And this spot was written by Sam Riegel.

ALL: Boo!


MATT: Thank you so much, Sam. And thank you, D&D Beyond for being our partners for this new campaign.

LAURA: Marisha, you yayed, good for you!

MARISHA: I did! It was a little complacent, but I yay'ed. I gave him one.

MATT: Oh man. Talks Machina, of course, our after talk show about this episode will be on next Tuesday, as it is every Tuesday, after the show at 7:00pm Pacific here on Twitch and Project Alpha, with our host Brian W. Foster. (burp) I always burp when I say his name. I wonder what that says about him. I don't know why.

LAURA: It's that cabbage smell.

MATT: It's the cabbage. So check that out. Merch, Laura.

LAURA: So, you know, we talked about those posters last week. They're still in the store on pre-order. Some of them are getting shipped out right now, so you should be getting them soon.

ALL: Yay!

LAURA: We are going to leave them on pre-order until Monday night, so if you're watching this on YouTube after it has aired live, you've got until midnight to put in that order.

ALL: Yay.

LAURA: Then they're going to be gone. Well, we might have a small overage that remains in the store. But the pre-orders will be done. You know what I mean. And then hey, check out that other stuff like shirts, hats, and dice. We should be getting some more Vox Machina d20s. I know a lot of people have been asking about them. They're going to hopefully be restocked in the next week. More will be coming soon if those sell out. You know how it goes.

MATT: Great, thank you, Laura. Podcast. Episode one of this campaign is already up. So those of you following in podcast form or have friends who have been waiting to listen to the podcast on their commute; it is available, the first episode. Every Thursday morning, we'll have the episode of the previous week available and we'll be keeping those up consistently as the campaign progresses, and we also have the entire story of Vox Machina currently available on podcast. Makes me happy. Once again, we are firmly in support of our longtime charity partners, 826LA. They do awesome work teaching creative writing classes for children that normally wouldn't have the opportunity to get involved. They do phenomenal work. I recommend that you research them and if you can, either help with a donation or actually, you can donate your time as well to help teach and be part of the program if one is near you. Go check it out.

MARISHA: We were talking to one of the heads at 826LA over the break, Joel, and he was saying that they would love to do D&D, but no one on their staff knows how to DM or do D&D. So if there's an 826 in your area, and you're like, "I know, I'll start a D&D club," I'm sure they'll be open to it, just go talk to them and go teach kids D&D!

MATT: Yeah. Run a game for a bunch of cool teenagers and show them how awesome this game is.

MARISHA: Or cool eight-year-olds who are equally into it.

SAM: Or dorky eight-year-olds or teenagers.

MATT: Those are the same, Sam.

MARISHA: Nerd is chic now.

MATT: I like to think I was always cool. No, it's not true at all. I'm still trying to get there. All right, cool! Appearances. Laura and Travis will be at Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle, March 2nd to the 4th. If you're up in that area, go over and say hi to them. I will be at Lexington Comic and Toy Con in Lexington, Kentucky March 9th to the 11th. As well as Otafest in Calgary up in Canada, May 18th to the 20th and Akon in Texas, June 7th to the 10th.

SAM: Calgary is like the Kentucky of Canada.

LAURA: Is it?

SAM: I don't know.

MARISHA: I'll take that as a compliment.

LIAM: I am also going to Bak-Anime, not to be confused with SacAnime, on February 3rd and 4th.

TRAVIS: How do you spell that, B-A-K?

LIAM: B-A-K, that's real soon. So I'll be there.

MATT: Beautiful. And I believe--

LIAM: Wait! Comic book next week. Issue four. Comic book.

MATT: Issue four on the 24th, I believe it is?

TALIESIN: By far the most fourth of all of these books. It's easily the most fourth.

TRAVIS: Like the blue in your hair.

TALIESIN: Thank you, this is new. Just went for this, it's going to slowly darken over time.

MATT: Into pure shadow.

TALIESIN: It's going to be keyframed and photoshopped, I'm aware.

MATT: The invitation is there folks. Screencap and photoshop away.

TALIESIN: I've already been told that's it's going to happen.

MATT: On that note, that concludes our announcements, thank you for your patience. And I believe it's time for us to begin tonight's episode of Critical Role.

[upbeat music]

Part I[]

MATT: And welcome back. Last we left off, our slowly gathering band of adventurers had begun to have their stories intertwine in the city of Trostenwold, on the southern reaches of western Wynandir on the continent of Wildemount. Here we had Nott and Caleb who had been traveling southward coming and meeting, in the center of the tavern, the Nestled Nook Inn, with Jester, Beauregard, and Fjord. They were invited to a nearby carnival that had begun preparing for their performance later that evening, in which they met Yasha and Molly. After swapping some stories, earning and losing some gold, they began to gather at the outskirts of the Ustaloch, the lake right on the eastern edge of Trostenwold, for the first opening performance of the Fletching and Moondrop Carnival of Curiosities.

TALIESIN: Traveling Carnival of Curiosities.

MATT: Upon entering the tent, they saw a number of performances. However during a musical performance by this young dwarven girl whose voice was this mysterious, magically enchanting experience, a member of the audience rose up and began to transform into a terrible, undead creature, that began to lash out, killing another member of the audience, who then began to become one of these same creatures. You all, grabbing your weapons from Yasha, who had been keeping them stashed away, leapt into the fray, slaughtered both of these terrible beasts, just in time for the crownsguard to rush in, and ask you what the hell happened. After information had been gathered of who was immediately available and responsible for this carnival, Gustav, Bo the Breaker, and Molly were marked to be arrested. One of the guards was escorted outside of the tent by Yasha, who was going to show him where this young dwarven girl was currently resting, and upon being lead astray to the wrong tent, she just ran into the distant hills and vanished. And that is where we left off.

SAM: So we're still at the carnival?

MATT: You're still in the tent.

LIAM: With Crownsgaurd?

MATT: With the Crownsgaurd and with Watchmaster Jossyd. The crownsguard that had left not but a moment before comes rushing in, his breath huffing, sweat dripping from his brow, his eyes wild. He goes, "Watchmaster! The big woman is gone! She's gone!" The Watchmaster turns to him and says, "You three, go with him. Search for her." They all immediately run out back out the performer's flap and he turns to the rest of you in the group, "Shackle and drag those three down to the stockade." About five guards approach and begin to press Gustav, Bo, and Molly to the ground and begin to put chains and shackles on them.

TALIESIN: I'd like to make a counter offer?

MATT: He's in mid-speech, "The rest of you keep an eye on the performers here. Ask around, see what you can find. As for the others, don't go far."

LAURA: The innocent patrons, you mean?

MATT: "You may be innocent, in which case you have nothing to worry about. However, we have an investigation to complete, so I would ask that you stay in the city and wait until you are called in. You will be questioned, and when this investigation is completed, regardless of how long it may take, you are not to leave Trostenwald.

LIAM: If I could just contribute one word, the 40 or so people who are outside and the rest of us will vouch for this one, the colorful one. He saved many people's lives. Don't take my word for it. There's everyone outside.

MATT: All the rest of the crownsguard glance to each other, he goes, "Well, unfortunately, that is not for me to decide. The Lawmaster would have to be appealed to. If you wish to come with us, we can bring you along with us to the stockade and you can speak with her. Then, perhaps, she may grant you leniency, but I can give you no guarantee."

MARISHA: Why don't you just question us right now? I'm confused on why you don't just do that now.

MATT: "Well, we could do that instead. We could have you arrested, put you in the stockade as we question the rest of you."

LAURA: No, let's go to the stockade.

TRAVIS: Yeah, we'll all be in one place.

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: Jails are not my favored terrain. Just want to point that out. Not this go around. No.

TRAVIS: Good to know.

LAURA: I would have guessed that.

MARISHA: Not really comfortable with that.

MATT: "We're leaving. The rest of you, stay here. Watch over the performers. Make sure nobody leaves. Come if you wish. Otherwise, we'll be in touch." The Watchmaster gathers alongside the other five crownsguard, lifting up the shackles of the three that had been arrested and begin to drag them outside of the tent and into the night air.

LIAM: I send Frumpkin to follow.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: Can I double back into the performance area and see if I can find that little girl that they're looking for? Before they do?

MATT: You may, if you want to. So you send Frumpkin just follow them. Are you guys staying behind, then?

TRAVIS: Are there three regular crownsguard that are going with Molly? Or is the Watchmaster going with them as well?

MATT: The Watchmaster is going with them, or at least he's exiting the tent with them. There looks like there's five crownsguard attending the three of them that are shackled.

TRAVIS: I'll go out the front exit of the tent just to see if the Watchmaster goes with Molly.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: I'll follow Fjord.

MATT: Okay, so the two of you are following. Anybody with them? Currently, it's you two and Frumpkin.

SAM: Are we going with them or not? Should we stay here? This is not our affair, right?

LIAM: I don't know. I'm having second thoughts about being here at all.

SAM: Well, you sent the kitty, didn't you?

LIAM: Yes, and we're not going to leave without him. Why don't we just--?

SAM: Follow behind a bit?

LIAM: That's right.

SAM: Okay. Sounds good.

MATT: All right, so as you guys exit, keeping apace behind the crownsguard, watching the crownsguard guiding the current prisoners towards the actual city, Frumpkin keeping a zig-zagging distance behind and following.


MATT: Yes?

LIAM: Is it possible for me, if Nott is holding my hand and leading me, to go full third eye and walk blind and deaf here looking through Frumpkin's senses?

MATT: I would say yes, but you are purely like-- because all you're doing is walking forward and you need someone to guide you.

LIAM: Right.

SAM: And he can't communicate to me either so--

LIAM: I can talk, but I can't hear you. I can talk and hold her hand so she can stop me from prat-falling all over myself.

SAM: Yes. But you can talk?

MATT: He can talk but he can't hear you.

SAM: Got it. Okay. Great.

LIAM: But we've done this before so you know to squeeze my hand really hard if I should pipe down.

SAM: Sure.

MATT: All right. So, first off, Beauregard.


MATT: As you back out of the performer's exit of the tent into the center of their encampment, the immediate exit, there are already four crownsguard currently searching around and setting up a watch perimeter around the different tents. They're gathering and making sure none of the other performers have fled and a lot of them are being brought out into an area where there's a number of tents all facing towards a large campfire in the center. There's a couple of chairs set up there, it's kind of the common area for the performers of the carnival and it looks like they're all being put out there so they can get a beat on it and make sure they know where everyone else is.

MARISHA: I'm going to try to be aloof, stealth a little bit. I don't want to make myself completely known.

MATT: Are you trying to stealth out of sight or just trying to not draw attention?

MARISHA: No, just try not to draw attention.

MATT: Okay, all right. Go and make a stealth check just to see if--

SAM: Wait, did we just all ditch Marisha?

LAURA: She just walked out.

MARISHA: I ditched you. That's cocked. That's better. 17.

MATT: 17. Okay. As you kind of dart through the flap of the tent and move behind one of the large carts that currently is still affixed to a horse that is currently just chewing on an apple, and you hear the crunch in its teeth, you glance over past the edge of the immediate near tent and you can see this group gathering there and it appears that no one's immediately aware of your presence.

MARISHA: Do I see the little girl whose name was-- what was her name?

MATT: Toya. You do not see her yet. The guard just got out there and they're just beginning to pull people out. You do see the fire dancer brought out there. You then see the two-- Yeah, Ornna. The Knot sisters are brought out and pushed out there and they're all looking very frustrated.

MARISHA: Are people being amicable?

MATT: Yeah, they're not shoving them around, they're just calling them out to the front so they know where they are.

MARISHA: Okay. When I look around do I see any type of movement in the shadows, anyone looking suspicious?

MATT: Make a perception check.

MARISHA: Ooh yeah! Natural 18. 21.

MATT: 21. Okay, as you glance about, you don't see anything lurking in the shadows. What you do notice though, is one of them bring Toya out of one of the tents that's on the southern side and as he brings her out there's a heavy thud sound and you see coming out from behind the tent the large form of-- you heard the name Kylre once, but the "devil toad." The obese lizard man who's stomping up behind.

LAURA: Is he a dude or is he a creature?

MATT: It looks like a lizard man, so scaled, humanoid, but extremely thick, bulbous belly, large, almost frog like legs--

TRAVIS: Bipedal or on all fours?

MATT: Due to the size of his form, mostly all fours and lumbering forward on all of them but sits back on a bipedal situation.

MARISHA: So they're bringing the both of them out?

MATT: The toad is hiding behind the tent and as soon as Toya comes out, comes up to the guard and puffs up its chest. The guard spins around and goes for the blade and pulls it out just carefully.

MARISHA: Am I still next to the horse?

MATT: The horse is currently still up on the cart, but is about 30 feet from you.

SAM: Beast Shape!

MARISHA: I'm going to take my staff and give a really nice whack to the horse to get it to run.

MATT: You know what? Let's go ahead and make an animal handling check on that.

SAM: We never get to make those!

LIAM: First of the show!

MARISHA: Oh my god, I'm so nervous right now.

TRAVIS: You're good, you're good, you're good.

MARISHA: That's not great. 11?

MATT: 11 will do. It wasn't a hard DC but it was more knowing where to hit it to where it would cause it to bolt verses just get angry.

MARISHA: Get pissed, sure, kick me.

MATT: So going for, not to actually hurt the creature but just enough to spook it, you hit it in the right place towards the back of its hindquarters to cause it to suddenly rear up (neighs)(cart clattering noise) and go into a sprint. The cart begins to bounce and smash onto the ground. You can see the wheels clattering into the rocks and the stone between the bits of--

MARISHA: Can I go in the opposite direction and try and loop around to the south side of the tent?

MATT: Make a stealth check please.

MARISHA: Big dice, big dice. Okay, 19!

MATT: Okay. You dart around the north side of these tents and you're pretty sure you weren't seen. As the cart begins to bolt off behind this horse, you see all the crownsguard turn. The one that was currently staring at the devil toad glances off to the side. As he glances off, the devil toad takes Toya and just pulls her to him protectively and the guard puts his sword away. "Check!" Points to them and then bolts off to go after the horse. The other three stay, watching over the group.

MARISHA: Okay, can I loop around, kind of come up behind them?

MATT: I mean, they're scattered a bit but there's--

MARISHA: The devil toad and Toya.

MATT: Oh yeah. Make another stealth check. You're running through open areas each time you're doing this.

MARISHA: Yep. (yells) Did you see that?! It leaned to a four. Ten.

TRAVIS: That is a bastard die right there.

MARISHA: That sucked.

TRAVIS: That's a tease.

MARISHA: Laura, put him in the dice jail.

LAURA: I don't have my dice jail out yet. It's okay, he'll chill there.

MATT: As you come up around the back of the devil toad, the guard that runs past doesn't immediately notice you because he's focused on where this cart is running off and you can see another guard that was far away from this encampment that's circling back with him. The two of them are now bolting in the direction as the cart begins to slow. It's not just going forward forever but it spooked him and it's starting to slow down. They're just going to inspect it. However, as you slink up behind the devil toad's head curls back towards you and you hear this deep, guttural (growls).

MARISHA: "Okay. It's okay. Toya?" And I look at Toya. "Hey, come on, let's get out of here, let's go."

MATT: At which point a voice says, "Excuse me?!”

MATT: And you can see the three guards are there staring at you.

MARISHA: Fuck. You didn't say there were fucking guards.

MATT: I did say there were three guards. The three guards watching them.

MARISHA: I thought you said they left.

MATT: One of them left.

MARISHA: One of them left. So wait. Oh shit.

MATT: It's a bad stealth check, I'm sorry. But there's now three crownsguard right there and they're like, "Can I help you?"

TRAVIS: Time to go to jail.

LAURA: Ooh, this is so exciting.

SAM: Kill them all.

MARISHA: Ey! I was actually just looking for the loo?

MATT: The guard that's closest to you glances to the other guys and goes, "She was with the group, right?" They recognize you, and they look at each other. "You're going to the stockade, my dear."


MATT: The three guards slowly approach and they begin to take out chains and manacle you up.

SAM: In an effort not to go to jail, you went *to* the jail.

MARISHA: I'm trying to get the girl. I was trying to free the damn girl.

MATT: I know.

TALIESIN: You'll be fine.

MATT: So you're shackled and begin to be dragged toward the stockade.

MARISHA: It's just the two guards, right?

MATT: It's the two guards now. As you're being brought back you can see more guards are coming from the city to the carnival. They're keeping it under surveillance.

MARISHA: So are they taking me away?

MATT: They're taking you to the city, yeah.

MARISHA: What are they doing with Toya? Anything? Are they leaving them behind?

MATT: They're leaving them behind currently with the guards that are there. They're not arresting anybody from the carnival but they're not letting them leave. But they're keeping them there.

MARISHA: Okay. I'm going to do a quick--

SAM: Kill them all.

MARISHA: I'm in shackles?

MATT: You are.

MARISHA: Okay. I'm going to do some monk shit here. I'm going to elbow one of the guards. Right in the ribs. And take the other one and bash the other one in the face and then I'm going to turn to Toya and I'm going to say "Run! Run! Go! Run!"

MATT: Okay. Go ahead and--

SAM: Make all kinds of rolls.

MATT: First, go ahead and make an athletics check.

MARISHA and SAM: This is a terrible idea.

LAURA: To not drag any attention towards her, you are completely shoving her into the limelight.

MARISHA: Trying to distract these fucking assholes. That is a six. Ten.

MATT: As you go back to elbow, you get halfway there before your chains go taut. They're both holding the chain at each side, and you see the tension of it; you can't even get him from behind. You imagine in your head; you go over it two or three times. As you go through the first step-- (grunt) doesn't go anywhere.

TRAVIS: Tried to do the Sherlock Holmes.

MARISHA: Do I at least get the "Run!" out to Toya?

MATT: No. I'm sorry.

MARISHA: Is she just standing there? Waiting for a guard?

TRAVIS: She sees you having a seizure in the chains.


MARISHA: What is she doing? Is she running?

MATT: No. Honestly, the devil toad and her seem pretty close. He is grabbing her in a protective manner.

MARISHA: No, they can both run. Run for your life! Fine, whatever. She wants to get arrested at this point.

MATT: Two bad rolls in a row. I know. Level two.

MARISHA: I go join my friends.

MATT: You will shortly. Ahead of her, along the way, Gustav is just quiet. Bo the Breaker, Bosun, as you know him by his full name, is grumbling under his breath and is trying to out loud piece together thoughts on what may have what transpired, saying things like, "I don't know, you think it is done on the inside? Or is this someone trying sabotage it?"

TALIESIN: I think maybe it has nothing to do with us. I think maybe we were just caught in the crossfire.

MATT: It is quite possible.

TALIESIN: Sorry sir. Trying to keep my mouth shut.

MATT: One of the guards tugs on both of your chains and says, "Quiet now! Save it for the lawmaster." They bring you in. You go in through the Lochward into the Hillsward, which is the southern portion of Trostenwald. You are brought to the outside of the stockade, which is a large single story, tall, rectangular building of large stones and masonry. It is built for function. It is not a very beautiful building, but it is defensible and it seems fairly well made. However, there are the banners of the crowns guard marking the double door entrance. As you are brought within, you can already see there are two central chairs where two current watch sit just watching the front door. Beyond the right you see is an office that you guys are dragged to and the rest who eventually catch up to the group. You are all brought inside this darkened office. Inside, relatively simple. This isn't a library type study office. This is very much for function. There is a couple of small crates that contain materials that are too far shattered to see the details of it. Look to be pieces of paper, probably gathered evidence or weapons that have been reclaimed. There is a stone desk on the far end, and there, within this office, already accompanied by a messenger dressed for immediate travel is a tough looking dwarven woman in her middle years rapidly scrawling on parchment. Her black hair is streaked with silver, tumbling past her red and gray leather armor. She finishes writing on this parchment, rolls it up, and hands it to the messenger who immediately darts out of the room, without a word, past you guys, giving you a brief look as he continues on whatever his business is. As soon as your eyes pass off the messenger you hear a loud slam and you glance back. She has put her hands on the table. She glances up, "All right, what riff raff have you brought in to me this day?" The watchmaster takes the chains of the three of you and pulls you to the front of the group and says, "Sorry to be a bother, but we have three individuals arrested in connection with, as you have heard so far, the deaths at the carnival performance this evening." She rolls her eyes. "All right, bring them forward." They go ahead and pull the chains up. The watchmaster bows his head and then leaves the room. She steps forward and goes, "I am Norda. It is my job to keep this city safe and keep shite like what happened tonight from happening. I approved your second time on the outskirts of our town and you have killed two of my people. What have you to say about yourselves?"

TALIESIN: Exactly how did we kill them, exactly?

MATT: She glances over at you. Glances over at Gustav, "I have been told by my guard that you gave performance and as part of this performance you released two beasts into the midst of the population."

LAURA: Well technically, he wasn't part of the performance, technically he was saving everyone. Technically.

TALIESIN: Thank you. Yes, you see--

MATT: Gustav interrupts you and says, “I'm so sorry, my liege. Please, I take full responsibility for what happened this evening on myself. These people around me had nothing to do with this. They are not part of the carnival, they were just merely helping. It is my carnival, and whatever judgement there lies, I take upon myself and my head.” At which point Bo the half-orc steps forward, against his chains and goes, “Gustav, what are you doing?” He's like, “Shut. Up. Please, whatever judgement there is, put it upon me,” and he bows his head low. “Is that the case? Is he the only one?” She takes a good, hard look at you and Bo the Breaker.

TALIESIN: Oh, are you waiting for me to speak? Yes, he's the only one.

MATT: Make a persuasion check.

TALIESIN: Natural 20. About fucking time, you little shit!

MATT: She gives you a look. Looks over at Bo the Breaker. Shakes her head. “Keep these two downstairs. This one let go. He seems to be free. We'll be talking to you very soon.” At which point, the crownsguard drag the chains back and Gustav gives you a quick look under his eye and goes-- as they're pulled out of the room, out of sight. She glances to you, “Well, you're out of chains! That's great. Doesn't mean you're absolved of the investigation. So, where are you staying? You and your compatriots?”

LAURA: Well, technically we just all met, technically.

MATT: “Well, technically, as far as I'm concerned, you're all together as part of this investigation.”

LAURA: We're a group you guys!


MATT: “So we're going to have our investigators come to wherever you're staying, which--,” and she looks down at some papers here, “-- looks to be the Nestled Nook?”

TRAVIS: That's correct.

MATT: “All right. Don't leave the city. We'll be in touch.”

LAURA: Great, I really like it here so that's good that we get to stay so long.

MATT: “Do you have something to say?”

TALIESIN: No. Just shocked to see someone die in front of me not more than--

TRAVIS: I can assure you, we're here to cause no trouble. We will be as compliant as we possibly can be.

MATT: “Good. Dismissed!” She claps the edge of the table. The remaining crownsguard, who's left there to keep watch, escorts you out off the stockade, escorts you onto the street.

LAURA: Her accent is really strong! It's hard to not match her accent!


TALIESIN: It's the one accent that I really have trouble with.

TRAVIS: Would you call it infectious?

TALIESIN: Bastard.

MATT: Sorry.

TALIESIN: The one that we know is a problem.

LIAM: I'm going to call my cat back to me and I drop the telepathy and I just start tugging you back to the Nestled Nook. Come on, we have to talk about this. We have to decide what we're going to do.

SAM: Right away.

TRAVIS: Excuse me--

LAURA: They're not with us.

TRAVIS: Oh, I thought you were right behind us.

LIAM: My cat was in there, but not I.

MATT: Yeah, but you'd have to stay within 100 feet to maintain that.

LIAM: Well, we would've walked up to the building, the cat would've scurried around, if possible. So I'd like to think that I heard all that, which is why just I said all the things I did.

MATT: You did hear all that. Okay, and I'd say, as they're making their way out, you can probably duck around without them seeing you as they left. Yeah, you can do that. So, you guys are jettisoned into the street. It's now probably just past midnight.

TRAVIS: Mollymauk, I don't mean to pry into your business, but has this ever happened to you before?

TALIESIN: This has never-- anything like this has ever happened before. And thank you. For the record, I don't owe any of you anything--

TRAVIS: Oh, I don't know about that.

TALIESIN: --I swear, but thank you, and I'm ready to help with this.

LAURA: Do you think it was the little girl?

TALIESIN: No! That's an act, that's not anything. It's just a show!

TRAVIS: Right, the large toad that was with the girl, what's the story there?

TALIESIN: It's nothing special, it's just a guy making a buck, all right? He's fine!

MATT: You hear the footfalls of guards approach and the rattle of chains as you see Beauregard--

TALIESIN: By the way, where's the obnoxious one? The really loud--

MATT: As opposed the rest of you who are gingerly brought up, you see Beauregard being pulled forward but now the chains around her are being pulled taught on two sides. She's being brought forward like a wild animal almost.

MATT: And she's just being led towards the stockade.


LAURA: What happened?

MARISHA: Help. Help help help. Help help. Help help help.


MARISHA: Help. I'm with you, I'm with you. Help help.

LAURA: Oh, I thought you didn't like jails.

MARISHA: (clears throat) Help.

TALIESIN: Is this part of the show by the way? I was just curious.

TRAVIS: Unfortunately, no.

MATT: Which is the last thing you see as she is yanked into the stockade and out of sight.

TALIESIN: I'm going to be very helpful and not go in there with the two of you while you try and get her out.

LAURA: So should we go in and try to get her out?

TRAVIS: Well, yeah!

LAURA: Okay.

TALIESIN: I'll stand guard.

LAURA: We'll follow her in.

TRAVIS: Don't. Leave.

TALIESIN: I have nowhere to go.

MATT: You walk in behind her. You watch her being pulled to the stairs. She's bypassing the office of the Lawmaster right now and is being brought to incarceration before being questioned. They bring her to the stairs and a torch-lit, subterranean basement area. As you begin to approach and follow behind, you can see one of the guards who is currently on watch. He sees you guys just exit and then walk back in, following another prisoner. And stands up and goes, "I'm sorry, where are you going?"

TRAVIS: It was a busy day for us. Unfortunately, we're partially responsible for this one as well. Bad luck.

LAURA: She was also helping to save a lot of people. Big misunderstanding.

MATT: "Welp, see her into her cell and please exit the vicinity."

TRAVIS: Fair enough.

MATT: "Appreciate that." He follows behind you guys. They're on high alert and they're a bit scattered. You get the sense right now that they have a lot of their initial stock of guards off-site right now. So they're doing the best they can to hold on to what they currently have in the stockade.

TRAVIS: To the side I say to Jester, I say: This does not really fall in with keeping a low profile. We talked about this.

LAURA: I know isn't it so weird?

TRAVIS: Yeah, it is.

MATT: You guys follow down to the basement portion of this. Which there's a heavily locked door immediately that is opened from the opposite side. You hear a couple of keys turn and the shifting of wood against metal before the door opens and reveals the rest of a long hallway that is flanked by two rows of cells. Iron bars about maybe two inches apart going across the entirety of this long hallway. You can't quite see the end of it until you step down to where the door frame is. And there is probably a total of ten cells to each side. As you walk through, you can see in the off shadows in the corners a few huddled bodies hunched or asleep. Keeping to the shadows and out of the light. The smell of mildewed wet compost and piss hits your nose like a wall.

LAURA: It smells like Caleb down here.


MATT: You get about five cells in where you can see the guard that was previously in there just finish off closing the cell that contains both Gustav and Bo the Breaker. They move to the cell just beyond that, open that cell, and then go ahead and put Beauregard into that one.

TRAVIS: Are they not going to take her to see the Lawmaker?

LAURA: I know, why doesn't she get to talk to the Lawmaster?

MATT: As he closes and locks it, "Because she decided not to come helpfully."

LAURA: What do you mean?

MARISHA: Ah, oh, no you misunderstood. See that was just, I have this spasm that has this twitch. It was an injury from, like, a childhood thing.

LAURA: Oh no, are you guys making fun of her because of her spasm?

MARISHA: Yeah that's actually-- (fake crying) it was very sensitive for me. I had a really tough childhood. I was just trying to find a bathroom.

MATT: The three guards walk away, not caring. Who were there previously and--

SAM: Spasm shaming.

MATT: At this point, a man who is on the far end of the hall walks up. And you can see him, he's a man with a heavy, bushy beard that obscures a lot of a dark leather mantle, over a general cloth tunic. He has burly arms, heavy torso, super scrawny legs, a widow's peak, and he looks to be the jailer. He walks up and puts his hand on the bars and goes, "Oh well, if you want to be patient, I'm sure the Lawmaster will be here sometime in the morning and you can discuss whatever this business is. But if you want to say goodbye, now's the time."

TRAVIS: Actually, we were just upstairs and it would really help us if we could, perhaps, expedite the process. Perhaps there's an arrangement we could come to if she could see the Lawmaster now.

MARISHA: Yeah, I'm looking injured, man. I show him my eight hit points of damage.

TALIESIN: How many kittens is that again?

MATT: That's sixteen kittens. Kittens have half of a hit point, I don't think kittens have more than that.

LIAM: That's eight Frumpkins.

TRAVIS: An audience is all we're asking for. No favors.

MARISHA: Yeah, this is just a wrong time, wrong place thing.

MATT: Make a persuasion check.

SAM: Use it.

TRAVIS: God bless. 16.

MATT: He gives you a look and says, "All right, but if she gets angry, it's not on me."

TRAVIS: I understand. Thank you for your understanding.

LAURA: She's a very calm person. I've never seen her angry, ever.

MATT: He gives a whistle. Another crownsguard comes up and approaches him and he goes, "I'm sorry. Could you go and fetch the Lawmaster? They are requesting an audience. If she gets angry, just add it to this one's sentence." The guard exits and a brief time by, you can hear the slight muddled cursing of a dwarven female descending the stairs. You can see she has an overcoat on, was halfway out of the stockades finishing up her evening in her office.

TRAVIS: Beau, remember your little sister.

SAM: Oh, what? Little sister? What?

LIAM: We're not there.

MATT: So, as the Lawmaster approaches, now pulling the coat over herself, she goes, "Okay, so you've returned, apparently, needing to poke into what business now before I go off and get some food?"

TRAVIS: I do hate to trouble you again, twice in the same evening. It's incredibly inconvenient.

MATT: "I hate being troubled twice in the same evening."

TRAVIS: If we may, this sweet girl here was also part of our party and she is quite the protective one. I'm afraid that she was also providing aid to our fellows in that tent. I'm afraid her younger sister was attacked in a similar way. I feel it's only prudent to acknowledge that she was trying to protect this young dwarven girl that performed in the circus. She means no harm.

LAURA: It was an adopted sister.

MARISHA: I practically raised her. It's a sensitive subject.

MATT: Okay. I would like a deception check.

TRAVIS: Oh, yeah baby. 24. Natural 18.

MATT: Modified by their answers.

LAURA: I was helping!

TRAVIS: I'm new at this stat! Don't fuck it up!

MATT: She gives a narrow look through her eyes, looks to one of the other guards that you can see standing in the back, a familiar one to you, Beau, and goes, "Is this true?" He goes, It appeared to us that she was attempting to escape upon us trying to bring calm to a very tense situation, but I'll leave it in your realm, Lawmaster." She looks back. "So your sister, apparently, is part of this scenario as well?"

MARISHA: Adopted sister.

MATT: "Okay. Well, your sister's under investigation."


LAURA: She's staying at the same place that we are.

TRAVIS: Indeed. And we can be found at any hour. The Nestled Nook Inn is where we are.

MARISHA: And I'm more than willing to be compliant with the investigation. In fact, you can see the injury the beast left on my ribs, so if you want to test it for any type of specimen samples, feel free. It's very painful, but I'm willing to do it for the cause.

LAURA: Do you need me to heal that?

MARISHA: (through gritted teeth) No! For the cause! Do it for the cause!

MATT: At which she looks to you now and goes, "Are you saying you might have been infected by this beast?"

MARISHA: No. It's a separate issue. There was two things going on. There was, like, the big angry toad beast and he got a swipe at me. And then there were people who were getting attacked.

MATT: "Theeds!" And she looks over to the jailer, who goes, "Aye?" And she goes, "Could you have a look at this wound for me real fast? I want to make sure this isn't something that's going to spread."

MARISHA: Yeah! Yeah. Uh-huh.

TRAVIS: A great idea indeed. And thankfully there was no flesh-to-flesh contact.


LAURA: Yeah. The big zombie beast especially was using a lot of, like, sticks and stuff to attack people more than any kind of mouth.


MATT: The jailer, Theeds, takes a quick look at the wound and he goes, "No, it appears to mainly be just bludgeoning. I mean, we'll keep a close eye on her." You can see now the Lawmaster is rubbing her eyes in frustration and goes, "I just want to sleep."

TRAVIS: Indeed. It would give us no greater pleasure than to get out of your hair.

MATT: "Fine. We'll have guards posted at the outside of the inn. You're not to leave until this investigation is complete. It may take days. Until we find out who's responsible for these deaths and bring them to justice, you are not to leave the tavern."

TRAVIS: Understood.

LAURA: Like, at all during the day, even? Just a question. If we wanted to shop or something. Not okay?

MATT: "Not until this is done."

LAURA: Cool.

MATT: "Because otherwise, you're welcome to stay here, instead."

LAURA: It is really beautiful here, but I think I'd rather stay at the inn?

TRAVIS: Indeed we would. This is most gracious of you, Lawmaster Norda.

MATT: "Get them the fuck out." She turns around and sighs heavily as she stomps out of the chamber. The jailer opens the cell door and allows Beauregard back out, and he looks a bit confused but amused at the same time. The guards that had originally arrested you escort you out, not leaving any element of their sight off of you. They escort you guys to the actual inn itself, to the bottom floor of the Nestled Nook Inn, watch you enter, and then post up right outside the main entrance to the tavern.

LAURA: You should have spasmed a couple times on the way here.

MARISHA: Aw, shit.

LAURA: Yeah. Opportunity missed.

MARISHA: My little sister? What the what?

LAURA: She's a dwarf! She's human!

TRAVIS: What? No, I was trying to say she had a little sister that had a similar incident and that made you try to protect Toya. I was trying to throw you a bone.

LAURA: Oh. You didn't make that clear at all.

MATT: Are you guys up in your room, or are you in the tavern?

LIAM: Yeah. We're having a talk.

TRAVIS: We're under watch.

MARISHA: I was just trying to go with what you said.

TRAVIS: Yeah. You did all right.

MARISHA: All right. I mean, it kind of worked. But you're not entirely wrong! I was trying to go get the stupid little girl, who seemed to be stupid.

TRAVIS: Did you see anything?

MARISHA: I tried to save her. I was like, get the hint, what's going on?

LAURA: Why would you save her? She turned those people into zombies.

MARISHA: (stammers)

TRAVIS: We don't know that.

LAURA: I mean, she could have.

TALIESIN: She didn't.

LAURA: Oh, hi! You're here.

MARISHA: Yeah, if anything, we should be looking at this guy. Why are we putting our neck out for you?

TALIESIN: You're putting your neck out for Toya for some strange reason and I don't know why, she's perfectly capable of handling herself.

TRAVIS: Have you been to this town before?

TALIESIN: Not that I can remember. They all look the same after a while.

MATT: You've come through once, but that was a while back and you weren't really paying attention.

TALIESIN: Busy, yeah.

TRAVIS: And you've never seen conditions like this affect any other carnival goer before?

TALIESIN: Nothing like this. Hundreds, possibly thousands of shows. Yeah, thousands of shows. Nothing. Never. It's not us.

LAURA: So great! We're stuck in a city that has zombie issues, that's all.

TRAVIS: Where are the other two?

TALIESIN: Which other two?

TRAVIS: The stinky one and the little one.

TALIESIN: Oh, your friends!

TRAVIS: Yeah. Can we look around and see if we spot Caleb and--

TALIESIN: You call them Stinky and the little one? All right.

MATT: You spot around the interior of the tavern. They don't appear to be nearby.

TRAVIS: I wonder if they came back.

LAURA: I'll go up and ask the tavern keeper.

MATT: Okay. Yorda?

LAURA: Yeah, Yorda.

MATT: "Oh, hi! Everything all right? You had a few bruiser types leading you in here, some of the crownsguard, huh?"

LAURA: Oh my gosh, there was this big trouble at the carnival, did you go?

MATT: "I heard about that. I didn't go in there, but people are coming in here saying--"

LAURA: Somebody turned into a zombie and then--

MATT: "I heard that! That's incredible!"

LAURA: Yeah! And then we're all under investigation because we saved them! These guards are weird. Hey, did you see the wizard guy, the stinky guy and the little halfling?

MATT: "Yeah, they came in not but a few minutes before you did. They went upstairs."

LAURA: Oh, great! They're here!

TRAVIS: They are?

LAURA: Yeah.


MATT: Meanwhile, the two of you are upstairs in your own chambers.

LIAM: During all of that, I would have dragged you back here, brought you upstairs. And I whip off my ratty coat, throw it on the bed and sit down on the ground so that I'm eye level with you, Nott.

SAM: Hi.

LIAM: Nott, you and I have to make some decisions right now, okay?

SAM: Now?

LIAM: Yes.

SAM: Why?

LIAM: Well, I know why we said we were coming here.

SAM: Get some booze, got some books, find a little taste of civilization, maybe some better food.

LIAM: Yeah. I didn't say, I also had the idea-- you know, you and I meeting and teaming up has been a good thing.

SAM: Oh, yes, very good. I know everyone else makes fun of your smell, but I don't smell nothing.

LIAM: That's what I like about you. I have been thinking, and yesterday just furthers that thinking, that I don't think you and I are enough. I had the idea that we would come here maybe and find others that we could tag along with, or meet up the way you and I did. But now I think that is a terrible idea! The people we spent the day with are lunatics. I don't think that we can do this. I've changed my mind entirely, and I think we should go, but we can't now because we are stuck here for the moment.

SAM: Under sort of holding arrest or something? We can't leave the city.


SAM: But I was thinking about this. The people we met down there and spent the day with: they are lunatics, but they draw a lot of attention to themselves, leaving us free to sort of slink back into the shadows a little bit. It might be sort of the perfect camouflage. No one's going to be looking for a little goblin girl anymore, because they'll be looking at the crazy people, the tieflings running around smashing shit.

LIAM: You know, I had not thought of it quite in that way and that is a good point, but I am not convinced. I'm not convinced. And perhaps we're better off-- maybe I was too ambitious.

SAM: Well, let's give it a day and if things seem a little bit, you know, skinky-doodie tomorrow, we can fritter away in the middle of the day or something.

LIAM: All right. Well, we'll wait and see. While we're here, one thing, okay? No Money Pot. No Rat Food. None of those plays. I have silver, we don't need it right now.

SAM: But we need to replenish the healing potion you used. If we don't have that, then what happens the next you get, in trouble?

LIAM: We're sealed here, and they are watching. We're with a couple of tieflings, a little person in a doll mask, and a dirty ginger. We've got people staring at us every second of the day. We need to dial it back a little bit.

SAM: All right, but how on earth are we-- all right. We can cool it with the cons for a couple of days. But I can't promise that I won't get the itch again.

LIAM: You just talk to me. You hold Frumpkin. Just keep your hands full with Frumpkin, okay? Hold my cat, okay?

SAM: All right.

LIAM: And then this is going to blow over because we didn't do anything! We did something good.

SAM: No! I didn't do nothing, we just went to a show.

LIAM: That's right.

SAM: It was a pretty good show. Up until, you know, the dead people part.

LIAM: But it was a good show, wasn't it?

SAM: Yeah! Well, we'll lay low. Should we pretend that we're still friends with these people?

LIAM: I was going to suggest the same thing. In fact, I think we should go downstairs. They're going to be coming back. We don't want to cause a stir with them, either. We just want to leave if that's what we're going to do.

SAM: Don't worry! I'll turn on the charm.

TALIESIN: Thank God.

LIAM: Okay. Let's get a drink.

SAM: Thank gods.

LIAM: We head downstairs.

MATT: You guys head down. You get to the bottom of the stairs just in time to see Jester, Beauregard, Molly, and Fjord looking across the tavern, making their way in your direction, and you guys notice them meeting you in the tavern room, as well.

SAM: Oh, thank God you're here and safe! We missed you! Somehow we got separated! Friends.

LAURA: That happens, yes.

MARISHA: Can I insight check him?

MATT: Sure.

SAM and MATT: Her.

MARISHA: Her. Sam. Natural 20.

SAM: I'm lying!


MARISHA: Front butt?! You just saw that, too?!


MARISHA: You guys peaced out pretty quickly.

LIAM: We did, I did not come to Trostenwald to go to jail.

TRAVIS: What did you come to Trostenwald for?

LIAM: We are tired. We've been traveling a long time. We've been saving. Wanted to take it easy for a few days.

TRAVIS: Sure, I'm not trying to pry. I was just curious where you were going.

MARISHA: Just curious why you have a mask.

TALIESIN: If I'm going to listening to somebody's life story I'm going to need a drink. You, gorgeous, what's your name?

MATT: You look over and see a woman with darker hair, the general barmaid. "Adelaine."

TALIESIN: Adelaine, I would like a round for all these terrible people and one for myself. What's the difference between these three beers? I've honestly got to admit, they all taste the same to me.

MATT: "Go with the von Brandt."

TALIESIN: Let's get a round of von Brandt for everybody.

TRAVIS: Actually, if it's all the same I'm not really an ale fan. Do you have any fire whiskey?

MATT: "We can get you some liquor, aye."

LAURA: Can I have some milk?

SAM: Two, please.

MATT: "All right." She walks away.

LAURA: You think she heard that I wanted milk?

TALIESIN: I don't know. I'm going to ask for one of each of these beers because I want to have a tasting competition. I'm not going to be drinking alone.

LIAM: I wander away from these two with their questions and I sit down with Molly.

LAURA: Caleb, you want to see something cool?

LIAM: I would love to see something cool.

LAURA: I show Caleb where I etched the dick in the table a couple nights ago.

MARISHA: Yeah! Bring it back.

LIAM: That's pretty good.

TALIESIN: How'd you etch a deck in the table?

LAURA: It's a dick.


LIAM: Have you always been an artist?

LAURA: I have actually, I've been an artist since I was little.

TALIESIN: I think that's what they look like.

LAURA: I've seen a lot of dicks. That is what most of them look like.

TALIESIN: I'm already in my cups.

LAURA: What?

LIAM: So where do you two come from?

LAURA: Us two?

LIAM: Yes, you two with the horns.

LAURA: Well, I don't know where he comes from. You think we all come from the same place? That was really inconsiderate.

LIAM: No, you are very different it's very clear

LAURA: He's purple

TALIESIN: She's blue.

LAURA: Which is pretty rare.

LIAM: He's every color.

TALIESIN: It's very true.

LAURA: I'm from Nicodranas.

LIAM: Remember when we started the first campaign and all those places came in a split second and all that history. I'm from Shrev`nam Chicago. Oh yes.

TALIESIN: I'm from the circus.

LIAM: So you're a traveler then?

TALIESIN: Oh yeah. Quite a while.

LIAM: Since childhood?

TALIESIN: Long as I can reasonably remember at the very least. It's been a while. It's nice. I like it. They're good people. Work hard.

LIAM: You have a lot of scars.

TALIESIN: That's a very funny story, actually.

TRAVIS: I like funny stories.


TRAVIS: You did some crazy shit with that sword of yours.

TALIESIN: Thank you. These swords-- you buy a drink and we'll see.

TRAVIS: You polish off that one already?

LAURA: Wow, that's a lot-- okay.

TRAVIS: Can we get another round? For the--

TALIESIN: How much I owe you for the first round?

MATT: They are keeping a tally of the table.

LIAM: Frumpkin scrabbles up onto Nott's shoulder.

SAM: Hi Frumpy, nice to see you again.

TALIESIN: Mother always told me to never give a story away for free.

TRAVIS: Wise words.

LAURA: My mother said don't give away other things for free.

TALIESIN: I already like your mother.

MARISHA: My mother always said nothing in life is free.

TALIESIN: I can tell.

MARISHA: None of this absolves the dodgy goblin who slinked past that first question. Where are you from? What are you traveling from? Why the mask?

TRAVIS: Only because we seem to find ourselves in quite the predicament.

SAM: We're just a couple of friends, strolling around the countryside looking for adventure.

MARISHA: Sure you are.

LIAM: Do you see many goblins walking around cities here?

MARISHA: It has nothing to do with that. People who move from place to place frequently tend to have other stories as to why they're doing it.

LIAM: Well, let me make it clear: goblins are not typically welcome in any cities, that is why the mask.

MARISHA: Well, you're going back to the goblin thing. I'm more curious about the travel thing.

SAM: We have a string of bad luck. We tend to get in trouble in places for various reasons. Some of which is my fault. Most of which is my fault. I have sticky fingers. I can't help myself sometimes. I'm fascinated by little bobbles and fancy pieces of jewelries and *I love trinkets so much!* I just have to take them, and have them with me, and put them in my pockets. It's gotten us in a few scrapes a couple times. Caleb, he is fantastic. Very patient with me, understands. But really it's my fault; it's not him. He's a smart man, a brilliant magician! Have you seen? Some of his tricks are phenomenal, really.

TRAVIS: No, I'd love to.

SAM: I feel bad to because we never stay in one place for him to have a decent shower.


TRAVIS: It's a moving story.

MARISHA: I immediately check my pockets after that to see is Nott has lifted anything. Is everything still there, all my coin?

MATT: Make an investigation check.

TALIESIN: I'm going to join you on this one.

MARISHA: Not great. Not great at all. Six.


MATT: 16? Everything seems to be in order for you.

MARISHA: Wait that was a 15! Right? That was the dice I rolled? 16.

MATT: Everything seems to be in order.


SAM: Anyway, that's the long and short of it.

LAURA: What do you do with the things once you steal them?

SAM: Well the nice ones I keep. I have a little--

LAURA: Do you have a collection?

SAM: I collect a lot of things, but in the last place we hunkered down, it was all taken from me. We were in one of those prisons before-- Am I sharing too much? I'm sharing too much, aren't I? We were in a prison, they took all of our belongings. I lost all of my collections. I has a lovely rock collection. I had a rare coin collection. I had a stick collection. Yeah, it's all gone now.

LAURA: What about shiny things, though?

SAM: I love them. I just don't have any right now.

LAURA: Because I think if you have sticky fingers for sticks and rocks, I don't think that will get you in trouble.

SAM: True. But they were like people's canes and things.


SAM: I mean I call them sticks because I don't need them. But I suppose they really needed them.

LAURA: Yeah, that makes sense.

TALIESIN: There's only one way to find out.

MARISHA: Wait, I'm sorry. I think I need clarification. If sticks mean things like valuable canes, what do rocks mean to you?

SAM: You know those rocks that humans wear on their fingers and around their necks and stuff. They're really nice rocks.

LIAM: We don't have many of those at the moment.

TRAVIS: Would it be fair to say that the more someone desires something, the more you're interest increases?

SAM: Oh I don't care about the people who have them. I just like pretty things. Toys, anything really.

LAURA: I'll keep an eye out for things that you would like.

SAM: Okay! Can you help with that?

LAURA: I can if you want me to. Or I can point it out.

MARISHA: Is it the joy of taking the things or do you just like gifts?

SAM: No, it's the collecting.

LIAM: It's like a nervous tick a little bit.

TRAVIS: Are you good at it? Do you get caught very often?

SAM: Well, would you like a demonstration?


TRAVIS: Now, Jester, if I may, we are already in a little bit of a pickle.

LAURA: Steal something from me! Do you want me to close my eyes?

SAM: Sure! That'll make it really easy. Are they closed?

LAURA: Yeah.

SAM: All right. Out of practice here. I'm going to do a shot. Crack my knuckles.

LAURA: Just don't take the thing on my waist, because he'll be pissed.

SAM: He'll be pissed? What?

LAURA: Yeah.

SAM: He?

LAURA: Yeah.

SAM: What's on your waist?

TALIESIN: I'm looking at her waist. What's on her waist?

MATT: What's on your waist?

LAURA: My symbol to the Traveler.

SAM: Oh. All right, I'll go to her left buttcheek pocket and fish around.

LAURA: I'm in a dress. I don't have a pocket on my buttcheek. But you can try.

SAM: What pockets do you have?

LAURA: I would have pockets on the front of my dress, and maybe a little pouch on my hip.

SAM: I'll do the hip pocket.

MATT: All right, make a sleight of hand check.

SAM: Three.


MATT: You close your eyes and feel a tug and a shake--

SAM: Plus eight.

MATT: What's your passive perception?

TALIESIN: I'm going to guess ten.

LAURA: No, it's 13.

MATT: So, yeah, you totally feel--

LAURA: You're doing great!

SAM: This is not how it usually works! The person is not really expecting it. This is embarrassing, really. I have the one skill and I failed at it.

LAURA: It's okay, you can keep practicing.

LIAM: There is that one magic trick that you're able to do. Would you like to show them the magic trick that you can do? I pull out a small red clay ceramic bowl. Then I pull out a copper piece. Here, you know the trick, right?

SAM: Yes, I know the trick. Takes a little bit of time, doesn't it?

LIAM: You're good.

SAM: Okay. (clears throat) I do know one piece of magic. Feast your eyes on the sacred money pot of school. If you place a copper piece into this pot and say the magic words-- what's the magic word, again?

LIAM: Fibulous.

SAM: Fibulous! It will turn into a silver piece.

LAURA: Should I say it?

TALIESIN: I want to hear you say it, anyway.

SAM: Only I can say it.


SAM: For everyone has their own magic word, and it won't work with you. By the ancient order of the school, fibulous!

LIAM: That is a silver coin right there.

LAURA: Oh my gosh. Wait a minute. Does this mean the silver I won from you was actually copper?

SAM: No, it only works up.

LAURA: Great! Thanks for the silver.

SAM: Well, no, we weren't giving you the silver piece just showing you a bit of magic. This pot is actually quite powerful. It can do that once a day, so if you'd like to purchase it.

LAURA: Can you turn this into a gold piece?

SAM: Well, it only works once a day.

LAURA: Well, tomorrow can you make it gold?

SAM: I think it only does the copper to silver?

LIAM: The magic is not that strong.

SAM: Yes, it's a mild magic pot. But if you'd like to purchase it from us, we can sell it to you for five gold.

LAURA: Five gold for one silver a day? That doesn't add up.

TRAVIS: By the end of the week you made your money back.


SAM: At discount for friends, three gold.

LAURA: Three gold.

SAM: And for that, we'll teach you your own magic word.

LAURA: That's pretty good.

TALIESIN: That's 40 days.

LAURA: 40 days?

SAM: You can do it once a day forever, you have it for the rest of your life.

LAURA: Yeah, but I have lots of money. I don't need it.

SAM: But this is free money, that you don't have to work for.

LIAM: Also, you know, they basically helped us out today. You can do it for one, for them.

SAM: All right, one gold.

LAURA: One gold. That's a really good deal. Did you hear how much he gave me a deal? Okay!

MATT: Do you give him the gold?

LAURA: Yes, I'll give him the gold. Hold on, let me make sure I have it. Where's my--?

TALIESIN: It's the second button.

LAURA: Oh, currency! Gold. Okay, one down.

MARISHA: Do I notice anything shifty about that, while we were looking at his hands?

MATT: Perception check.

LAURA: What's my magic word?

LIAM: It can be whatever you want it to be. You have to agree upon it and you have to focus on that word for one full day while you are in possession of the pot.

MATT: You watch that copper piece become silver, magically.

LAURA: How about skinky doodie?

LIAM: Skinky doodie, that is unique. I'm sure no one else possession of that arcane power word. I could consider it yours if you focused on it all day tomorrow. But you really have to focus.

LAURA: Okay, I will. Super a lot of focus. Skinky doodie. Thank you for this.

SAM: It's a pleasure doing business with you. Does that answer your question? I've got some for you.

MARISHA: You have questions for me?

SAM: Yeah! How does someone like you -- you're human right?

MARISHA: Yeah, I am.

SAM: How do you come by learning Halfling?

MARISHA: My parents were in the winery business. The wine making business. And halflings really like wine.

SAM: Everyone likes wine!

MARISHA: That's true.

TRAVIS: Some people more than others.

MARISHA: Some halflings just deal in wine a lot, and a lot did in the town that I'm from and then my parents wanted me to keep up with the books and all that stuff so it forced me to learn halfling. I was around it a lot.

SAM: What town was that then?

LAURA: It's close by here, right?

MARISHA: It's a bit aways. It's Kamordah.

SAM: Hmm, haven't heard of it.

MARISHA: It's a small farming town, it's no big deal. It's whatever.

SAM: Nothing shady there!

MARISHA: Nope, just a wandering traveler just like the rest of y'all.

TRAVIS: Well I mean I was really impressed with the little trick, I sure would like to see a big trick.

LAURA: I use Thaumaturgy to open all the windows!

MATT: Being about one o'clock in the morning at this time, and the energy in the tavern has come to a quiet crawl, those who are keeping their cups are either snoring or in the process of preparing to go to sleep, you watch as the Adelaine, the barmaid is walking around cleaning up tables and suddenly all the windows in the room slam open with a heavy impact and there's a burst of wind that comes through. The two crownsguard that were outside flanking the opening doorway suddenly rush and look in and look about at the lot of you.

TALIESIN: Sorry! Drinking! I did order two extra. Two extra?

MATT: They both just slowly curl back to their perimeter.

TALIESIN: You're no fun.

MARISHA: Yeah, circus! Woo, circus coming to town!

TRAVIS: Jester, I meant a trick from Caleb.


LIAM: You want to see a trick?

TRAVIS: I would love one.

LIAM: I am well into my second trost at this point. I can show you a trick. Young lady, if you would assist me please. Step up onto the table.

SAM: Absolutely!

MARISHA: Just don't break anything.

LIAM: Adjust your minds. I begin to weave one hand in a slow circle around the other, and a globe of golden light poofs out.

SAM: I put my hands and feet out in an akimbo pose.

LIAM: A second little globule of light comes out.

SAM: I feel it coming! Hit me!

LIAM: Then two more at the same time come out of my hand. Then they amass upon my little companion and form a similar sized little humanoid of light that then coincides with my little friend. She is glowing golden on a table in the middle of the Nestled Nook.

SAM: (sings)

LIAM: The Goblight, ladies and gentlemen. The Goblight!

SAM: Thank you!

MATT: There's some claps in the back rooms. You see one of the drunken gentlemen has come to semi-consciousness and goes, “That's impressive!” then passes back out on the table.

TRAVIS: How did you learn to do that?

LIAM: I could always do that a little bit, as a kid. I was always good with magic. I had a knack for it. That one's easy.

TRAVIS: That's impressive.

LIAM: Well, thank you.

MARISHA: Aw buddy.

LAURA: Maybe he can teach you how to do that.

TRAVIS: Is it something that can be taught to others?

TALIESIN: Are you trying to learn magic? Is that a thing?

TRAVIS: Well, I'm just a little curious about it. How people use their magic.

MARISHA: I've seen you have a few tricks up your sleeve. You seem like you're not totally magic inept.

TRAVIS: No, it's relatively new for me though, so I'm just trying to learn.

LIAM: Are you reading a lot?

TRAVIS: No, I wonder if maybe I should be?

LIAM: Well, it could be helpful. Although, I'm a bit of an amateur teacher. I taught Nott the one trick you saw, but other things. We've been working together, I suppose I could try to help you.

MARISHA: Have you had your abilities your whole life, like a kid?

TRAVIS: No. Again, fairly recently.

MARISHA: Something happen?


LIAM: Oh, I'm sorry, do you two not know each other super well? You seem like you do.

MARISHA: We got a good 24-48 hours on the rest of you.

TRAVIS: Yeah, we're not super deep.


SAM: Where did you come from then?

TRAVIS: Well I came up from the town of Port Damali.

LAURA: That's where we met!

TRAVIS: Yeah, I met Jester a while back and after Ieft town, coming up to the northeast, I ran across her. I'd seen her do some of her magic before. That's what I'm trying to learn about.

LAURA: If you need anymore displays, you just let me know.

LIAM: We've seen that window thing a couple times. It's good.

MARISHA: Can I request a display? I think I have a broken rib. It might be getting more purple.

LAURA: Oh yeah, I mean I can ask, but I think I'm tapped.

MARISHA: I'll sleep it off, it's fine.

LAURA: Yeah. I can try! I'll put my hand out. I'll try to cast Cure Wounds. I got shit. I got nothing. It's not happening.

SAM: It's past midnight!

LAURA: Oh, no. I've got to sleep.

MATT: You concentrate for a moment. Make a medicine check.

LAURA: Okay!

SAM: Natural 12!

LAURA: That's 17.

MATT: 17. You focus on the bruised area, exposed out of her monk robes. You watch as the slight bruising turns like a sickly green.

SAM: Is that good?

MATT: In a very unhealthy way.

LAURA: You know what? I think this might be worse than just like a bruised rib. Can I poke it? Does it seem infected?

MARISHA: Does it hurt?

LAURA: I'm not going to poke it with my finger, though, I'm going to poke at it with a fork.

MARISHA: Don't poke at me with a fork!

MATT: Right now, she's inspecting it. You take a fork off the table and poke.

MARISHA: No, you don't!

LAURA: I'll use the blunt end, don't be such a baby!

MATT: She pushes it in and the bruise hurts a bit. You watch as this sickly pus liquid begins to pour out, with a thick viscosity and a lot of it. You all of the sudden feel like you've punctured a balloon that's beginning to erupt and you feel awful. Then you blink a few times and it's just a bruise. You hear this distant (cackling).

LAURA: Oh, motherfucker, he's such a dick!

SAM: What? Who? What? What's going on?

MARISHA: My bruise is in the shape of a dick?

LAURA: That would be really cool.

MARISHA: That would be fun!

LAURA: I'm just going make sure, I'm going to push on it a bit more. I think it's okay, you're fine.

MARISHA: All right. I'll sleep it off.

LAURA: I think I need some sleep, you guys.

LIAM: Gustav, the person who runs the circus, is he your friend?

TALIESIN: He's family.

LIAM: He's family?

TALIESIN: We take care of each other. He's a good man.

LIAM: So what's your play tomorrow?

TALIESIN: Well, they have all my things and they have all family. I'm going to figure out what is going on. Try and find out what's actually doing this. I assume since it's none of us, it's going to happen again.

LAURA: But how can we because we can't leave this tavern?


SAM: Were Caleb and I not instructed not to leave the tavern? We received no formal instruction.

MATT: No, you weren't part of that formal instruction. The rest of you were told not to leave the tavern until further notice.

TALIESIN: I'm sure if we sleep on it, we'll think of something.

LAURA: Fjord! You and I could leave in the morning the same way we got in.

TRAVIS: That's true.

SAM: How'd you get in?

LAURA: With magic. I would show you now, but I'm out of spells!

SAM: The fork trick wasn't very fun, was it?

LAURA: No. I was making sure she wasn't a zombie. I thought she might be.

TALIESIN: That's fair.

LAURA: She got clawed, right?

TALIESIN: A bit, yeah.

LAURA: All right. Hey bitches, I'm going to go to bed.

TALIESIN: Where exactly am I going to be sleeping, by the way? I mean, I can sleep down here, but it might be nice.

TRAVIS: Molly, if you would like to share my room, you can.

TALIESIN: Excellent. You don't mind? I'm going to pull the swords off finally and start getting comfortable out of the performance clothes.

MARISHA: I'm in Jester's room, still, I think. Sleeping on the floor on my bedroll.

LAURA: As she starts to go to sleep, I want to draw in my sketchbook and tell the Traveler about all the cool things I saw for the day. I'm going to draw the red faced guard as I pretended I was a zombie, and I'm going to draw Molly's horns all full of jewels and stuff! I'm going to draw the stack of books.

SAM: The monster attack?

LAURA: And I'm going to draw like a zombie, but like as an old man but as he's biting his dentures fall out and he's not no teeth!

MATT: All righty. Fairly decent sketches, actually. You eventually find yourself to sleep. The rest of you, go to your respective rooms and find yourselves falling into a night's rest. As evening comes to a close and the morning brings you to consciousness, you are rested. You are healed up, your spells are restored.

SAM: I can use the Long Rest feature of D&D Beyond!

MARISHA: You hit a button!

LAURA: And all my spells back!

TALIESIN: There is a button for it.

SAM: Whoa, nothing changed! No spells. I lost ten hit points?! What the fuck?! I've done something terribly wrong.


TRAVIS: D&D Beyond's watching going, “Fuck you, Nott!”

LAURA: Wait no, you're putting temporary hit points on! What are you doing?

SAM: We'll work on this during the break.

LIAM: Self destruct in 10, nine.

MARISHA: He just throws the iPad.

MATT: Coming to consciousness in your respective rooms, cold morning air. It's a bit frosty. The windows to each of your rooms have a bit of that curled bit of frost on the outskirts of the glass. It's probably 8:00 or 9:00 in the morning at this point in time and the day is yours. What do you wish to do?

MARISHA: As I wake up, I sit up and I go: Jester?


MARISHA: Were you laughing to yourself last night? I just kept hearing giggling. It was obnoxious.

LAURA: I'm sorry.

MARISHA: Uh-huh. I just get ready.

MATT: As a note, too, for all the drinks you guys drank last night, that probably put you back about one and a half gold.

TRAVIS: Molly, that's your tab, right?

TALIESIN: All but the one you bought me.

TRAVIS: Yeah, except for that one.

TALIESIN: To be fair, I didn't give you that story.

TRAVIS: That's true.

TALIESIN: I very carefully start unfolding my robe and it has my swords very carefully laid out in there from the closet. I do a little prayer and put everything back on.

TRAVIS: Are you praying over your swords?

TALIESIN: I am, of course.

TRAVIS: Is that part of your thing?

TALIESIN: You seem honest.

TRAVIS: I try to be.

TALIESIN: Well, the swords are magic. According to my mum, they go back in our family generations to a very unusual rare line of tiefling that came from a demon of ice that lived inside a volcano. Our family, and I take this with a grain of salt, were royal guards, were entrusted with these magic swords and these swords can only be activated by the blood of the royal family. So in honor of any fighting I ever do with them, I make sure my blood is at least drawn once.

TRAVIS: That's quite the story. Can I insight check him?

MATT: Sure.


TALIESIN: What am I fighting against?

MATT: This would be deception.

TALIESIN: That would be deception. All right. I'm lying like a motherfucker.

TRAVIS: Well thank you for sharing that honest story with me, it means a lot.

TALIESIN: I walk downstairs.

MATT: All right.

LAURA: Can I go knock on Fjord's door?

MATT: Sure.

LAURA: Ey oh ey, good morning!

SAM: She's a morning person too? Jesus.

TRAVIS: Ey oh ey yourself.

LAURA: Hey, do you want to get out of here?

TRAVIS: Yeah, we said we were going to do that, didn't we? What did you have in mind?

LAURA: Well, we sneak out and then we go find out why there are zombies.

TRAVIS: That's a detailed plan.


TRAVIS: I like it. Are we taking anybody with us?

LAURA: Well, if they can make themselves not look like themselves, then sure.

TRAVIS: Fair enough. Do you want to ask any of them?

LAURA: Hey, Beau.


LAURA: Do you have anything you can do to make yourself not look like you?

MARISHA: I take my robes and I flip them inside out and I take some dirt and dirty it up a little bit and take my hair down and I steal a scarf off of Jester's stuff and I do a bandana around my head.

LAURA: No, you look like you with a bandana around your head.

TRAVIS: Yeah that's not going to cut it, not quite like what we had in mind.

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: What are you guys doing? You guys leaving? Are you guys fucking leaving? You're not leaving without me are you?

LAURA: No, of course, we're coming back.

MARISHA: You're skipping town.

LAURA: No. Oh, but we could.

TRAVIS: She's right here.

LAURA: Okay.

MARISHA: I could skip town with you, though. Do you want to skip town?

LAURA: We'll be back.

TRAVIS: Let's see if Caleb and his little friend are downstairs first. He has tricks after all.

LAURA: Right.

MATT: Okay, the two of you come to consciousness. What are you up to?

SAM: Get some breakfast, I guess?

LIAM: Yeah, we're already down there.

MATT: You've already gone down there?

TALIESIN: I've already gone, I'm having breakfast. I'm leaving a note with the barkeep for Yasha if she comes back.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: I guess I go down and have breakfast as well.

MATT: As you guys wander down you find Caleb and Nott already at a table and Mollymauk returning from the bar after delivering that note.

TRAVIS: Y'all are downstairs?

SAM: (messy eating noises)

LAURA: Can I try to pick a piece of bacon off your plate?

SAM: (growls) Sure, for you.

LAURA: Thanks.

TRAVIS: It's like a little dog. The little back foot creeps up. (growls) If we could we're-- did you just fucking? Shit. We were thinking of maybe finding our way outside of the inn for a bit. I don't want to presume anything, but do you have the ability to change the way you look?

LIAM: To change the way I look?

TRAVIS: Yeah. You know

LIAM: To leave the inn?

TRAVIS: Yeah, assume a different form.

LIAM: Why would I do that to leave the inn?

LAURA: So we can find out why there are zombies.

LIAM: Why wouldn't I just walk out of the inn?

LAURA: Well, because we were told we can't leave the inn.

SAM: We weren't told that.

TRAVIS: Right.

LAURA: Huh. Well, that's convenient.

SAM: But I can change my appearance.

LAURA: Wow. I would never know it was you.

SAM: Yeah.

TRAVIS: Molly, what about you?

TALIESIN: Well, I mean look at me. I go into my bag. I do have a disguise kit. Don't I? I think I do. It's so weird to just have things now. Yeah, I have a disguise kit.

TRAVIS: Fair enough.

SAM: What does that mean?

MATT: It means he can use to try and disguise himself. Hide features.

TALIESIN: It'd be a little tricky for me, I'm going to look like what I'm going to look like. But the rest of you could do a little work.

TRAVIS: Beau, I don't want to leave you behind, but I--

LAURA: It's true, I have a disguise kit, too. I could help you out.

MARISHA: Would you do my makeup for me?

LAURA: I'm really good at makeup.

MARISHA: Are you?

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: Let's do that.

LAURA: I'm really shit at makeup.


TALIESIN: We could just shower this one that would be enough.

LAURA: He can leave, apparently.

LIAM: Yeah, we could. But not town, we were told to stay in town.

LAURA: No, no, we're going to stay in town.

SAM: What are we doing again?

LAURA: We have to find out why there are zombies so we that don't get arrested for being zombies.

SAM: So we solve the case to clear our own name.

LIAM: Why shouldn't we just wait for it all to blow over? We didn't do anything.

TALIESIN: I tend to find these things don't blow necessarily as more they just eventually decide someone's guilty and take their revenge on them.

LIAM: Do you find yourself in situations like this often?

TALIESIN: Not this particular one, but yes.

MARISHA: I mean, look at him. No offense or anything.

TALIESIN: None taken, really. A little taken, but that's fine.

TRAVIS: He makes a point. I think that the sooner we find the cause of this, the sooner we can get out of here.

TALIESIN: She's right, immediately the two of us are going to get hit with this.

SAM: If we solve the case we would be absolved. It's not a terrible plan.

MARISHA: And you're so concerned with your goblin friend. I mean he's in the same boat as the tieflings.

LIAM: That's a girl.

LAURA: I know it's hard to tell.

MARISHA: I said your goblin friend.

LAURA and LAURA: You said he.

SAM: Listen, we've all had a rough night. I know that my features aren't necessarily the most feminine. Among goblin kind, I understand. It's hard to tell.

LAURA: I can tell.

LIAM: Everybody can tell.

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: I'm working on it.

TRAVIS: Let's get out of here. Can I walk back into a privy, washroom area?

MATT: Yeah, upstairs at the very end of the hall is the communal washroom.

TRAVIS: Can I use my Mask of Many Faces to cast Disguise Self on myself?

MATT: Sure, what form so you want to take?

TRAVIS: Older, white-haired, with a beard. Just very simple peasant's clothes. Maybe a bit of a farmer or a land worker.

MATT: Okay, easily enough. Basic browns and tans and general farm worker's tunic and supplies.

TRAVIS: Smudges, dirt on the fingernails.

MATT: Yeah, easy enough.

LAURA: I'm going to help Beau. You know what I'm going to do for you? I'm going to use my disguise kit I'm going to give you a beard.

MARISHA: Oh, yeah!

LAURA: Yeah and I'm going to turn you into a dude, that's a good disguise, right?


LAURA: Yeah, and a mustache. And a hat.

MARISHA: Love it.

SAM: You really have to sell it though, and act like a dude.

MARISHA: I think I can do that.

SAM: Oh yes!

MARISHA: I'm going to go a step further and tape down my boobs, bandage them down all the way, you know wrap them. Stuff my crotch a little bit.

MATT: All right. Go ahead and make a dexterity check.

TALIESIN: Do you want assistance with this?

LAURA: Was he helping me?

MATT: If you want to.

LAURA: Sure.

MATT: So take it with advantage.

TALIESIN: Oh, with advantage.

LAURA: Good. Okay, with the advantage. Dexterity. 15.

MATT: 15, okay. You actually manage to sell a decent disguise.

MARISHA: Do I have some five o'clock shadow?

MATT: At a distance, at like three or four feet would be passable and walking quickly by. Upon close inspection, you could see through it.

LIAM: Is it like one of those old kids toys where you use the magnet to pull the little filings up?

MATT: More or less.

MARISHA: Mr. Woolly?

MATT: A medieval version of that.

LIAM: Herr Woolly.

MATT: But impressive. Using the kit and using whatever scraps of clothing you can find and amass you manage to get a relatively top-knot Silverlake hobo version of Beau functionally ready to go.

MARISHA: Wait Fjord how do you sound? Say words, you're manly.

TRAVIS and MARISHA: Manly words. Mirror image. I got nuts.


LAURA: And I'll cast Disguise Self on myself, as well, and turn myself into a human with blonde hair and she's going to be very clean-looking.

SAM: Angelina.

LAURA: Yes! With big lips, and a couple jewels on her fingers.

MATT: Okay. Just double-checking here, Disguise Self lasts for, is it an hour? Yeah, I thought it was an hour. So while they're doing that, are you using your disguise kit on yourself?

TALIESIN: I assume I've just got some very basic black robe that just--

MATT: Yeah, with a cloak and hood and make-up, you can probably pass for human as long as you keep the hood up, and keep most of your more ostentatious garb hidden.

TALIESIN: I'm sure I've got a set. - MATT: Go ahead and make a dexterity check for your disguise kit.

LAURA: Do you want help?

TALIESIN: Yes please, this is a lot of work. It's a natural 20, that'll do it.

MATT: All right. Between making your skin tone more of a natural tan, peach humanoid color, bring the hood up. You actually pull some of your hair forward and adhere it a bit around the horns so that it looks almost like a cluster of hair in the front. You manage to tuck in and tie your robe behind you, your usual clothing, and then using an over-robe to hide most of the material, and you look like a dude passing through. So with that your disguises are complete, your spells are cast.

MARISHA: Is that your human face?

LIAM: While they're doing all that, I want to stroll outside and see if there's crownsguard outside, or what. I'm just going to get a breath of fresh air and see what's on the street outside of this place.

MATT: Okay. As you exit, there are two gentlemen in full crownsguard gear. One is standing outside, the other is currently sitting in a chair, and as soon as you walk past, they both scan you up and down, continue to watch you pass by.

LIAM: Good. There's only just the two at the door?

MATT: Just the two that you can see at the front, yes.

LIAM: Okay, all right. So I just take a minute or two. I go back inside. And-- on Nott's shoulder and say we're good, yeah, I think we're good.

SAM: Excellent.

LAURA: Should we try to do this, then?

TRAVIS: In twos, or singles.

LAURA: Yeah, of course, not all at the same time, that's obvious.

TRAVIS: Level two, trying to get out of a fucking inn.

MARISHA: It's so hard.

TALIESIN: Now I'm kicking myself.

MARISHA: So anxiety-inducing.

TALIESIN: No, never mind, I didn't do it at the time, I can't do it now. No retconning, never mind.

LIAM: I'm going to squat down over with you, privately. I still think that this is a bad idea, but I can tell that you want to.

SAM: Well it's just that-- listen, there's no offense, I enjoy our talks and your schooling and everything, but I haven't talked this openly and freely with other people in months. It's amazing.

LIAM: It really is pretty nice, isn't it?

SAM: Yes!

LIAM: Still, if this goes south, we leave.

SAM: We're the first ones out the door.

LIAM: Easily.

SAM: Yeah. They'll never know who we were.

LIAM: Caleb and Nott.

SAM: Well, don't say that too much. I mean, yes, they do know that we're Caleb and Nott, yes.

LIAM: All right.

SAM: Okay.

LIAM: So we're doing this?

SAM: Yeah, let's just go with, and see where it leads.

LAURA: Can I walk up to Nott?

SAM: Hi! Yes, we weren't talking!

LAURA: (high-pitched) Do you like my outfit?

SAM: Oh! What are you? I'm sorry, I'm just a young girl from the village.

LAURA: And I'm just a young girl from town.

SAM: I don't know anything. I should go get my father.

TRAVIS: (high-pitched) New York is where I'd rather stay!


LAURA: Nott, it's me! It's Jester!

SAM: But you look like--

LAURA: I know! This is how good I am at magic! Check me out. Are we leaving here or not?

SAM: Are you afraid you'll be propositioned on the street?

LAURA: I am really attractive right now.

SAM: Those lips are very big.

LAURA: I came over here to give you the blessing!

SAM: What is that? What does that do?

LAURA: It helps you with your stealthing!

SAM: Oh, the stealthy thing, yes, thank you so much, I'll accept it.

LAURA: You're welcome. Okay, that's it. But I'll see you outside at some point, okay? Don't be scared, come up to me.

SAM and LAURA: Okay.

MATT: Okay, in what order are you leaving?

TRAVIS: Should I go first?

LAURA: Sure!

MARISHA: Are we going out in pairs? Like you said? (Deeper) Are we going out in pairs?

TALIESIN: Has Adelaine noticed any of this?

MATT: I imagine you guys have been using your disguise kits in your own rooms and chambers. Other than that, no one immediately seems to be noticing. Make a perception check.

TRAVIS: Not command ops in the tavern hall.

TALIESIN: Let's call that a--

LAURA: 14!

TALIESIN: 14, thank you.

MATT: You do see Yorda, the barkeep, in the process of wiping out some glasses at the end, she's occasionally giving a glance over to you guys as you're walking around.

LAURA: (whispering) You go first!

TRAVIS: You want to come with?


TRAVIS: Don't do anything stupid. Mouth shut, eyes forward. Show me how you walk. Maybe a little less. That's nice. I also assume a little limp, slight.

MATT: I'll say for the purpose of this, each of you make a performance check.

LAURA: Oh, god.



MATT: Okay. The both of you exit out, holding your breath. Out of your peripheral you can see the deep reds and golds of the crownsguard armor flanking you as you breach the outer porch of the tavern, stepping down into the dust to the main street. You curve to the left and see nor hear any reaction from either of them.

TRAVIS: Just keep moving to the other side of the street.

TALIESIN: I go single just a little bit after, and I rolled a natural 20.

SAM: Is that three for the night?


SAM: Oh my god.

TRAVIS: What color is that die?

TALIESIN: It seems to be iron, like my will.

MATT: It may not have been the snitch after all, you asshole.

TALIESIN: Me and my magic swords.

MATT: Apparently. All right, you saunter by without an issue. By saunter, I mean you stumble through. You hear a cough at one point, and it causes you a moment, but you just continue on without notice.

LAURA: Oh, everybody's leaving and I didn't have a partner!

MARISHA: It's fine, don't worry about it.

SAM: You can come with us, if you like.

LAURA: But I feel like you guys are noticeable and why would I be this really beautiful woman leaving with the stinky guy?

SAM: It's quickly becoming canon that you just have shit smeared all over you. You could travel with me! I could be your daughter.

LAURA: You're my daughter!

SAM: Yes! We're a couple, and he's our guard or something, I don't know.

LAURA: Yeah! You leave after us Caleb, okay?

LIAM: Isn't it simpler for you to walk on yourself like a beautiful woman?

LAURA: No, me and Nott are going to go together. Okay, come on, Nott!

SAM: I'm sorry, she's very forward.

LAURA: Come on sweetie, let's go.

SAM: Yes, mommy!

LAURA: And we walk out.

MATT: You guys don't have to make a performance check because you've exited before, and you're completely visually a different individual, so you guys pass through without an issue. Caleb, you can follow up behind, as you are not currently under direct guard in the tavern. They do notice you exit, and they're aware of your presence, but you are not confined to the tavern. So you guys all manage to slowly come together a few blocks down and out of the sight of the crownsguard guarding the Nestled Nook Inn, and where are you off to?

LAURA: We did it! Where should we go?

TRAVIS: Let's just keep walking for now.

LAURA: Okay. Should we walk toward the carnival where the zombies were?

TALIESIN: Who was he, would be my question.

LAURA: Oh, right. We should find out where he's from. How do we do that? Should we ask around and say hey, anybody know where the old guy came from that turned into a zombie?

TRAVIS: That's a good point.

TALIESIN: Seems to be the most appropriate thing to ask at this point

LIAM: Well, we could find some public places and just gossip a bit, see if anybody has heard of him, if a friend has died at the circus last night.

MARISHA: I mean, you mentioned no sick people. If he was sick, sometimes that word gets around.

TRAVIS: Maybe there is a morgue, maybe they recognized him.

TALIESIN: These small towns, most everyone knows everyone else.

LAURA: Let's go to, is there a market area?

MATT: They don't have a large bazaar, but there is an area that is generally where a lot of the simple wares and vegetables and meats and people who sell small things that they craft their own at, it's a small market. If you want to make an investigation check.

LAURA: 16.

MATT: Okay, by going around asking questions and inquiring and trying to prod people to talk about what transpired the night before, the information you gather involves the man who passed away. His name is Enon Brinjay.

LIAM: Brinjay?

MATT: Brinjay. He's a standard human being in his early 80s. He's old, but healthy, it seemed.

TRAVIS: Was he in good health?

MATT: Seemed to be in good health for his age.

LIAM: So the war against the old continues.

MATT: Apparently.

TALIESIN: We're the Logan's Run of D&D.

MATT: He seemed to have been retired for quite some time, but had been making little bits here and there, helping the fishermen move fish to and from the outside of the lake. He wasn't really well known. The reason people are talking about him now is because the word is gotten around and gossiped about, but for the most part, he was one of the many faceless people that live in the town. A handful knew his name.

TALIESIN: Retired fisherman?

MARISHA: He was helping.

TALIESIN: Do we know where he was retired from and where he was staying, maybe where he was drinking? He had to go somewhere.

MATT: Actually, he was known often to be drinking at The Old Mud Hole Tavern.

TALIESIN: Is that with the weird "e" spelling?

MATT: No, just "old."

TALIESIN: I'm always a fan.

MATT: I know.

LAURA: "Ye olde."

TALIESIN: "Ye olde" It's pronounced "the" when you see the ye.

TRAVIS: I should point out this is the second connection to the Ustaloch.

TALIESIN: The what?

TRAVIS: Well, before we met up with you two, we fought off a wicked, sick water snake.

LAURA: It came up out of the lake for some reason.

TALIESIN: Is this a metaphor or is this actually a real thing?

LAURA: It really happened. I almost died.

MARISHA: I punched a snake to death.

LAURA: She did.

SAM: There were the snakes in the circus last night, but it wasn't related to the attack, I suppose.

LAURA: A little different.

LIAM: How long of a snake are we talking about?

MARISHA: Oh, it was a giant water snake, then the little girls were complaining about more and more instances of these snakes coming out of the lake.

SAM: And this fellow who died worked with the fishermen in the lake?

LAURA: Well, he took some jobs with them. Did anybody see him the day of the carnival? Was he working with anyone that day?

MATT: You don't find any of that information. That would be an intense investigation. You would have to go beyond asking questions around a market.

SAM: Is the lake within the city limits?


MATT: It's technically considered part of the city. It might not be an issue.

LAURA: Where's Ye Olde Mud Hole Tavern at?

MATT: The Mud Hole Tavern, you've been to before.

TALIESIN: I was doing my rounds.

MATT: Yeah, when you first entered the city, so you can--

MARISHA: The Lochward, is that what we're talking about?

MATT: The Lochward is where the Old Mud Hole would be at. The Lochward is to the eastern side of the entire city. The Lochward is the central one.

LIAM: The wards border the lake.

MATT: So you make your way to the Old Mud Hole. Entering inside, this is a dark dive of a bar, you've been there once before. It smells heavily of old, wet wood, ale stains, and peanut. It's a very small area and of the four tables that are there, they are mostly empty, except for one old man who is sitting there in the process of playing a game of solitaire with his cards and a man in his 30s thumbing through a book, who would be the barkeep if there were more patrons at the moment. He's flipping through and glances up and gives you a look as you enter. "Can I help you? Are you looking for drinks? Can I get you anything?"

LIAM: Yeah, I would really love a drink and I sit down next to him. What do you have? I need something heavier than a trost. I've had enough trosts to last me a lifetime.

MATT: "We have liquor."

LIAM: I will take your liquor.

MATT: "I will get some whiskey for you then. Whiskey, everyone?"


SAM: Two please.

LAURA: It's okay. She's my daughter. She loves whiskey. I don't even remember what voice I was doing.

MATT: Make a deception check.

LAURA: I let her have any whiskey she wants. Oh, that's pretty good. 17.

TALIESIN: We've been doing a pub crawl.

MATT: He goes and lines up a few small containers, fills whiskey for all of you. "All right, that will be eight silver for the batch."

LIAM: I have that. I pull out eight silver. Oh wait, silver, did you say? I do not have eight silver.

LAURA: It's okay. I have it.

LIAM: You do?

LAURA: Sure. I mean, sure.

MATT: He takes the silver and puts it away, slides the drinks to the rest of you and goes back to his book and starts thumbing through again.

LIAM: Honestly, it's been a terrible 24 hours. We were at the circus last night and I did not know him well, but old man Brinjay fell.

MATT: He looks up and goes, "Enon, it's sad to see him go and many of us were wondering what day it was going to be."

LIAM: Did you know him?

MATT: "He came in here most every day to drink. He's a lonely man."

LIAM: It was a terrible way to go. I'm sorry.

MATT: "Doesn't bother me one way or the other. Just sad to lose a patron."

LAURA: Do you know who was talking to him the day of the carnival?

MATT: "I don't recall. Sometimes he would tell stories to whoever was willing to listen and not most were willing to listen."

LAURA: Was he here that day?

MATT: "Yesterday?"

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: "I think he came in briefly for a drink before the carnival, but that was it."

MARISHA: You know, we should drink to old stories of Brinjay.

TRAVIS: (shushes)

TALIESIN: I down my shot. What did the man drink out of curiosity? What was his final drink? I'm a bit of a macabre person myself.

MATT: "It's this very whiskey you just had."

TALIESIN: I'll take one more, and I'll get one of my own.

LIAM: I heard he was sick, too.

MATT: "I don't believe he was ill. I hope not. He seemed to be rather wasting away. You shouldn't be doing so much manual labor at that age."

SAM: What labor was he doing?

MATT: "He carries stuff around from small tasks to--

SAM: Down at the docks?

MATT: "The docks, up at the North Ward. He carried crates, boxes. Just odd jobs, ways to get by til the end of his days, which now that they've come, may he rest and not have to do odd jobs ever again." He pours his own bit of whiskey.

ALL: Cheers.

LAURA: Do you know who he was doing odd jobs for that day?

SAM: Your lady voice is worse than mine.

MATT: "To be honest, if he did, I wasn't paying attention."

LIAM: I'm sure his family will miss him very much.

MATT: "There's nobody nearby. He had a son about 35 years ago, but he got married and went up north."

TRAVIS: Did he work for any of the particular breweries somehow?

MATT: "I don't know. Maybe."

MARISHA: Brinjay.

LAURA: Where did he sit in here?

MATT: He points over to the not the table the guy is playing solitaire on, but the empty table to the right of him. "Usually right there in the corner."

LAURA: I go sit in the corner. I'm going to look if I can find that looks like an old man was touching it.

MATT: Okay, make an investigation check.

LAURA: Okay. I'm really good at this. 12.

MATT: 12. It looks like probably old person touching has been all over here. Yes. The table is very old and warped in places, stains all over it. It's not a very good table. It's seen some rough days.

TRAVIS: If we were to go down to the docks and ask after a few people he worked with, is there anyone you know that we should speak to, familiar of his?

MATT: "I apologize. I served him drinks and pretended to listen to him many times, but I wasn't really paying attention."

TRAVIS: Right, I understand.

MARISHA: Is there anyone who did? That wasn't hypothetical.

MATT: "Maybe. I apologize. I spend most of my days reading." He lifts the book.

MARISHA: What's the book?

SAM: You read!

LIAM: Subtle, guys.

TALIESIN: We got a reader. While they're doing this, I'm going to saunter over to the card player.

LIAM: Can I see what's on the spine of that book from where I am?

MATT: At a glance at it, it's in Zemnian, which you can read. The translation would come about to The Rosed Embrace.

MARISHA: A romance novel.

MATT: Probably.

LAURA: Is Fabio on the cover?

LIAM: How's your trashy novel? It's a good one. No judgement.

MATT: "It's not trashy. It's very tasteful."

LIAM: Oh no, I'm fluent in Zemnian. I've read all of his works.

MATT: "Have you?"

LIAM: Mutual fan.

MATT: "I didn't realize there was another Samuel fan in here. Which is your favorite?"

LIAM: I love the Farthing's Embrace.

MATT: "I haven't read that one."

LIAM: It's an early one. He actually did it under a pseudonym. He did a whole series under that pseudonym, short stories.

MATT: "What is it again?" He goes over and grabs a piece of chalk in the back and starts, "It was?"

LIAM: Farthing's Embrace.

MATT: "Mein Gott, I did not know about this. I may have to send out Zadash and see if we can find some of those books. Thank you.”

LIAM: You're a big reader or just Samuel?

MATT: "Just recently Samuel. I read on occasion. It depends on what you can find."

LIAM: I read a lot, but all I've been able to find in this town is that parchment place.

MATT: "The parchment place is good for trash. If you're looking for unique stuff, there's a few places you can go."

LIAM: Here in town?

MATT: "Here in town, yeah. If you're having a hard time finding a specific book, I would recommend going to Burnished Bibelots."

LIAM: Burnished Bibelots. Which ward is that in?

MATT: "That is in the North Ward, just on the outskirts of the main market street. It's a bit of a cluttered mess, but Oglen would be happy to help you.

LIAM: Oglen?

MATT: "Oglen."

LIAM: That is good to know. Thank you.

MATT: "Not to worry."

LIAM: Those are hard to find, the Farthing's Embrace.

MATT: "I imagine so. It can't be that bad."

LIAM: He wasn't as proud of them. Early work and all that.

MATT: "Of course. I have a contact in Rexxentrum. If I cannot find it in Zadash, I will get it from Rexxentrum.

LIAM: That would be the place.

MATT: "What's your name?"

LIAM: My name is Caleb.

MATT: "Caleb. Pleasure to meet you. I am Vosna.”

TRAVIS: Thank you for the drink, Vosna. I'll be taking my leave now.

MATT: "Of course. If anybody else is a reader as well, come by and talk sometime."

TALIESIN: Not there at all.

LIAM: This has been quite a day.

LAURA: Is there pictures?

MATT: "Pictures are up in here."

LAURA: Oh. Sounds exciting.

LIAM: I sneak my undrunk whiskey to Nott.

SAM: I take out my flask from my leg, unscrew it, and pour it in.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: What do you guys think? Should we stay here? Should we go somewhere else?

TRAVIS: We got to get Molly.

TALIESIN: I just sat down for a moment with this solitaire player.

MATT: Correct.

TALIESIN: They say that solitaire is the game for the death-obsessed. There's inevitability to every hand, most of them are doomed from the start no matter what you do. Any interest to buck fate and try your hand at an opponent for once? No money, just friendly. I slide the rest of my whiskey over.

MATT: "Are you a devil?"

TALIESIN: I've been called worse.

MATT: "I don't play with devils."

TALIESIN: I'm just a man who saw another man die yesterday. It's been heavy on my conscience and I was just wondering if there was anything you could tell me about Enon.

MATT: "Enon wanted to go to that bloody circus."

TALIESIN: I'm regretting it myself.

MATT: "I told him not to go. Stupid, it is for the common folk and the young. He's always had his head in the clouds."

TALIESIN: Has he? That's not what other people have said.

MATT: "Other people are stupid."

TALIESIN: Why do you think he went? Why do you think that happened to him?

MATT: "He's lonely. Don't trust the carnival. Nothing but spooks and magicians and things that want to take your life and take your money, take your family, whisk you away. Fuck the circus."

TALIESIN: Fuck the circus. So that's what you think happened to him, then? I feel like there's something evil afoot.

MATT: "Says the devil."

TALIESIN: Again, I've been called worse. Sure you have in your time, as well.

MATT: He takes the drink, sips it. "Don't come 'round here no more."

TALIESIN: I take my cup back. Down it. I love small towns.

MARISHA: Shithead.

TRAVIS: We head outside. Well, that was revealing.

SAM: Was it?

MARISHA: We learned a few things, actually. He's a prime target. Perfect victim, perfect candidate. No one really paid attention to him, he was old, he had no family, his son's gone.

TALIESIN: Awfully convenient.

MARISHA: Awfully convenient. Still awfully convenient that your little circus doesn't allow the elderly, which you never fully explained, and he happened to be one of the oldest people in that circus. Where did that rule come from? The sick makes sense, I asked you that before, but why elderly?

TALIESIN: That rule's been around for as long as I can remember because it makes people think the show's dangerous. Gives them a thrill.

TRAVIS: You're worried about them having a heart attack or something?

TALIESIN: We're not really worried about people having a heart attack; we want people to be worried about having a heart attack, because then they're more excited to come see the show. This is how these shows work.

MARISHA: Do you know who implemented that rule?

TALIESIN: Before my time.

LAURA: In his defense, every carnival I've gone to has said no sick people, no old people.

TALIESIN: It's a boilerplate.

MARISHA: Still a good candidate.

TALIESIN: If you were trying to hide doing something to someone it's a great candidate. If I was trying to get away with something, terrible idea.

MARISHA: Or if you were trying to frame someone. Seems to be a lot of pretty bigoted people in this town who don't like tieflings and other strange lots. Jester, you actually said one of the smartest things of the night, which is-- you did, yeah. Which is, guard's really weird.

LAURA: Right?


TALIESIN: Wait, what?

LAURA: The guards are really weird.

MARISHA: The Crownsguards. As you were saying, the Ustaloch?

TALIESIN: What kind of weird?

LAURA: Like, you know, they-- What kind of weird?


MARISHA: They seem to be the one connecting through-line. Also, what's her name, Norda? Mentioned that she didn't want to let you lot in, but made an exception. I don't know, if I wanted to do something, and if I already knew a bunch of people were upset and angry at a circus and strange people coming in, it's easy framing, in my opinion.

TRAVIS: She makes a valid point, actually.

LAURA: Oh. If people are scared of carnivals, they won't want them in the future.

TRAVIS: Bingo.

MARISHA: That, or if you're up to no good and you don't want to get caught, blame it on the easy frame. The weirdos who just rolled into town.

LAURA: Great, so we just need to investigate the guards.

TRAVIS: That might be harder to do. Maybe we go down to the Lochward.

TALIESIN: Start at the docks, but I'll keep that in mind.

MARISHA: I don't know, it might not be the guards. There might be another through-line that we're missing.

LAURA: Do we need to question the guards?

SAM: That sounds terrible.

LAURA: Maybe we should tell them they can't leave town.

MARISHA: Ooh, that's a good idea, yeah! Maybe when they question us--

LAURA: We turn it around!


MARISHA: I like that.

TALIESIN: I was about-- nope, nevermind.

LAURA: What?

TALIESIN: I was about to be very impressed, but I take it back.


TRAVIS: How far is it from where we are to the Lochward?

MATT: You guys are technically in the Lochward. It's a quick jaunt over to the edge of the Ustaloch.

MARISHA: So the Ustaloch is the docks? It's what they called the ward, or it's the lake?

MATT: It's the giant lake that the docks are up against. The city is built against this giant, kidney bean-shaped lake.

MARISHA: What does "usta" mean? What does "usta" come from?

MATT: Do you speak Zemnian?

MARISHA: You speak Zemnian.

LIAM: I do speak Zemnian.

TALIESIN: What does "usta" mean?

LIAM: It means--

MATT: Do you know?

LIAM: Do I know?

MATT: I just wanted to fuck with you.

LIAM: It's been a while, but osten means lake. No, it's not Lake Lake.

MATT: Essentially, it just means "an east lake."

LIAM and MARISHA: East Lake.

TALIESIN: Very good.

MATT: Not too complicated.

MARISHA: All right.

TALIESIN: I'd like to avoid the guards for as long as possible.

MARISHA: Agreed.

TRAVIS: Let's head down to the docks. Keeping an eye out for crownsguard.

MATT: As you guys make your way towards the Ustaloch and the Dockward there, we'll go and take a break. We'll be back in a few minutes. We'll continue to unveil this mystery.

SAM: This is exciting. Gripping.

MATT: Indeed. I suppose. Little low level mystery here. We'll see where this goes. All right guys, back here in a few minutes. We're going to take a quick restroom break, pick it up from here. We have video at the break for this week's contest, so if you're watching on Twitch, feel free to go ahead and pay attention to get the password and enter this contest, and we'll have the victor at the end of the break. We'll be back here in a few minutes, and we'll see you then.



Part II[]

MATT: Welcome back, everyone. Before we dive in, real fast, we do have a winner from the chat. Thanks, Sam. Congratulations to AvilynRain, AvilynRain in the Twitch chat! You won the awesome Wyrmwood prize package. Danoba will be in contact with you to get your contact information and get that sent out to you. Congratulations.

MARISHA: I love how we just went through every rain song in about 30 seconds.

MATT: Yeah we did! Most of them. As you guys make your way across the streets of the Lochward, you find yourself to the docks, which are about five or six main dock structures that protrude anywhere from ten to 30 or so feet into the loch itself. There are no major ships. The biggest river that exits the loch heads towards the mountains, so there is no direct path to the inlet. All the boats in here are small fishermen's boats; they're designed specifically for the lake, for freshwater fishing and whatever needs to be transferred from bank to bank. As you approach, you can see a good amount of the boats are still out on the water. You can look out and see the outline of them against the horizon. You see a couple of small landmasses in the center of the loch, that are barely out of view. You approach, and the first couple of fishermen that walk past you both look to be hardened in their years. Their skin is very battered by the sun, it's wrinkled and dark from constant beating of the sky upon them. They glance over at this unique-looking troupe as they approach. They stop and don't say anything, they just look at you like "What are you doing here?"

LAURA: Do we still have Disguise Self up?

MATT: You have it for maybe ten more minutes.

MARISHA: Oh shit.

TRAVIS: Do we see any King's Guard? Crownsguard?

MATT: Crownsguard? Make a perception check.

LAURA: 11.

TRAVIS: 11, same.

MATT: Glancing about, you don't see any crownsguard in the immediate vicinity of the Lochward. You've seen them, they patrol the town and walk through, ward to ward, but you don't see any at the moment, no.

LAURA: Looks like we're ahead of them in the investigation.

MARISHA: Hey, Jester. Do you happen to remember the name of that guy whose daughter we saved from the snake?

LAURA: Oh shit.


LAURA: Let's see if I wrote it down in my sketchbook.

MARISHA: Yeah, because I didn't write it down.

LAURA: King Bertrand?


LAURA: Okay. What about-- no, I know that guy. Nope, I didn't.

MARISHA: Damn it.

MATT: You remember where he lives, mostly, because you were there.

MARISHA: That's true.

LAURA: We could go by there.

MARISHA: We could go by. He seems to like us.

LAURA: He worked out there, right?


MATT: You guys make your way along the edge of the loch to the outside of the fisherman's house. The house is currently being repaired. You can see in the main doorway, the door is off the hinges, and there's a large pile of ruined furniture and cabinets that have been shifted out of the building. You can also see a *long* serpentine body that is currently being skinned by a younger man, probably 14 or 15. He's in the process of carving the skin off of it. This thing is about 20 to 25 feet long.

MARISHA: That's the snake I punched.

LIAM: That's your work? That's impressive. You took it all by yourself?

MARISHA: Well, no. They helped me. I'm not an egomaniac. They fucking helped me.

LIAM: But I saw your guns last night. You probably took the lead.

MARISHA: Give credit to the whole damn group, move on.

TRAVIS: Flattery got you nowhere.

TALIESIN: I'm comparing the snake to the snake that's tattooed on my hand to try and get the heads to be the exact same size.

LIAM: We have been in the woods for too long. I've forgotten how to talk to people.

SAM: Your game is really suffering.

MARISHA: Thanks for the damn compliment.

MATT: As you approach, the young man with this large, sharpened knife-- it looks like it may have been a heavy butchering knife that he's using to fillet and pull the skin off the snake. Looks back at you guys and doesn't know what's going on. You hear a voice go, "Hey!" You look up and you see the fisherman that you saw before, the one who came to you guys in the tavern. He's up on top of the roof, and he's currently boarding some portions of it. It looks like a part of the roof had been damaged in the fray. He goes, "Hold on," gets up, and comes down the ladder on the side and approaches. You can see he's sweating. "I'm so sorry, I didn't know you were coming. What can I do for you?"

MARISHA: Sorry for dropping in.

LAURA: Do we look like ourselves yet?

MATT: No, actually. This is an interesting point.

TRAVIS: Damn it.

SAM: Wait. None of you look the same.

MATT: That's right, no, thank you for reminding me. He comes out and he goes, "How can I help you?"


LAURA: It's us!

MARISHA: Yeah, it's me. I pull the hat off and pull my hair up. It's Beauregard. We killed your snake?

LAURA: (in normal voice) Pretend that I don't talk-- (in human accent) Pretend that I don't talk like this.

TRAVIS: I drop Disguise Self.

MATT: He goes,"Ah!"

TRAVIS: I'm sorry to deceive you.

MATT: I'm very confused.

MARISHA: Oh no. Don't worry about it. What was your name, friend?

MATT: "Rinaldo."

MARISHA: Rinaldo! That's what it was. I knew it was an R! Okay, Rinaldo.

TRAVIS: Rinaldo, this snake that was in your house is not the only strange occurrence that's been happening. We're trying to find out the cause of it. Have you seen anything else like this in the time that's passed?

MATT: "No, we've been doing repairs on the house and getting everything underway. This is the first thing that's come on this side. Most of them live toward the center of the lake and stay underwater. It's been two in the last few months that have come up. It's a bit of a nuisance."

LAURA: Have you seen any zombies coming out of the lake?

MATT: "Zombies? What are you talking about?"

TRAVIS: We're asking after a man that helped down at the docks, named Enon. Have you heard of him?

MATT: "Enon?"


MATT: "Yeah, I worked with him a couple times. He comes through, looking for work, asking to see what's available."

LIAM: You obviously have not heard the news from the traveling circus in town. From last night.

MATT: "No. That's the big blue tent, right?"

LIAM: That's correct.

MATT: "No, what's going on?"

LAURA: (whispering) Enon turned into a zombie.

SAM: What?

LAURA: (louder) Enon turned into a zombie! (whispering) And was killed.

SAM: What?

MATT: "I'm sorry to hear that. That's terrible. Wow, that's really terrible. I'm sorry."

TRAVIS: We were trying to see if he might have worked with people that might have known what he was doing that day, earlier.

MATT: "I haven't seen him at the docks in a while. Not for a week, at least."

TRAVIS and LAURA: Really?

LIAM: Is there anything out of the ordinary from the past week or two that comes to mind? Anything off about the run-of-the-mill stuff?

MATT: "Other than a giant fucking snake ruining my house, but not that comes to mind, no. Circus coming into town, that's a little weird."

TRAVIS: I see you're skinning the beast. Can I ask why?

MATT: "I'm not going to let it go to waste. That's some good meat. Some good skin."

MARISHA: You mentioned the circus coming to town as weird. Why?

MATT: "Because there's a circus in town."

LIAM: He just means out of the ordinary, yeah?

MATT: "Yeah. We don't get many shows and traveling folk. Last time this was here, a year ago, it came and went in a week."

SAM: You said you hadn't seen this-- hi. You said you hadn't seen this person in a week? Was that unusual?

MATT: "No. I didn't keep up with him. He came through every now and then. I had a little cash and needed some help hauling things around. I asked for his assistance. He was an old fella, and it was less that he was helpful and more that we wanted to help when we could."

TRAVIS: If we went down to the docks where he worked, is there anyone that we should ask for, to speak to, who might have known him better?

MATT: "Your guess is as good as mine. To be fair, although we're a community, we're also relatively competitive. You understand."


TALIESIN: You think anyone would have wanted him marked or harmed in some way?

MATT: "I don't think so. He's an old man. I haven't seen or heard anyone-- his disposition seemed positive enough, if a little sad and lonely."

TRAVIS: If you think of anything, or if you hear anyone speak about him, you can find us at the Nestled Nook Inn. We'd appreciate anything, if it happens to reach your ears.

MATT: "Of course. Let me finish up here with the roof and I'll ask around, see if anything comes up."

TRAVIS: Much obliged.

MARISHA: How's your little girl doing? Sorry, I cover my beard.

MATT: "It just wasn't expected."


MATT: "No, she's doing great. She's been a little spooked, but she slept well last night. She's doing fine. Thank you again for what you guys did for me."

LAURA: You're welcome.

SAM: What? For what?

LAURA: We saved a little girl!

SAM: Oh yes, that's right.

LAURA: If you see any zombies, please let us know.

MATT: "I will. You were so kind to help me when I saw a snake, I figure if I see a zombie, you'd also be helpful."

LAURA: We would, definitely. We already killed a zombie too!

TALIESIN: This is just a snake. This is a big, weird snake I'm looking at?

MATT: You can inspect it if you want.

TALIESIN: No, I've been looking at the snake this entire time.

LAURA: Oh, we have one of its fangs. I pulled it out.

MATT: Make a nature check.

SAM: Ooh, don't do those much either.

MARISHA: I have a fang too, right?


MATT: Nine? You don't know much about snake biology. It's hard to tell if it's out of the ordinary. It's just a big snake.

TALIESIN: Looks like mine.

LAURA: Only bigger.

TALIESIN: Much bigger.

TRAVIS: Shall we?

LAURA: Fuck. Sure.

SAM: We are the best detectives ever.

LAURA: I feel like we are really doing bad at this detective thing.

TRAVIS: We should probably wrap up whatever we're doing. I imagine they're going to come by the inn soon and try and speak with us. Not you two.

SAM: We didn't leave any sort of Ferris Bueller-y thing?

TRAVIS: Nope. No stuffed beds, no recordings on the old VHS.

MATT: What are you guys doing? Where are you going?

SAM: Is there anywhere else that we need to inspect? The carnival or more docks stuff?

LAURA: I feel like going back to the carnival is probably a bad idea.

TALIESIN: I'd say the docks are his home, if we could figure out where he lived.

SAM: Where he was last seen.

TALIESIN: He was last seen at the circus!

LAURA: Rinaldo!

MATT: "Yeah?"

LAURA: Do you know where Enon lives?

MATT: "I can't say I do. I'm sorry. My apologies. Wish I could be of more help."

LAURA: It's okay.

TALIESIN: You don't happen to know what happened to his son, by any chance?

MATT: "I didn't even know he had a son."

LAURA: See? We're better investigators than this guy.

SAM: But he's not trying to investigate!

TALIESIN: I take the compliment. I'm putting it my pocket. I'm keeping it for later.

MATT: He climbs back up the ladder to the roof.

MARISHA: I'm starting to think that following Enon's story isn't necessarily going to lead us here. He seems like a random victim.

LAURA: Hey, 14 year old kid!

MATT: He has this puffy red 'fro going on. He looks pale, fresh to this, scrawny. He's stopped drawing his blade across the snake. "Yeah?"

LAURA: Do you live here?

MATT: "No, I live about three houses up."

LAURA: Did you go to the carnival?

MATT: "Last night? Yeah, I was there."

LAURA: Okay, where were you at the carnival?

MATT: "I actually snuck in under the tent after it had started.”

LAURA: Right, that's a good thing. Were you close to Enon? In the show. Were you on that side or the other side? Did you see the zombie?

MATT: "I saw him a little bit. He was in the front and I had people in front of me, but I think I saw some of it. It was pretty cool."

LAURA: It was kind of crazy, right? Have you heard any ghost stories around town lately? About scary things happening?

MATT: "My grandma told me a ghost story years ago about these giant badger creatures that live on the hills of the Ashkeeper that can stand up on their hind legs, and they come down and they eat kids that don't go to bed in time.

LAURA: Oh shit. Those guys are scary, I've heard of them. You should be really careful. Have you heard anything about zombies?

MATT: "No, not since that."

LIAM: What's up?

LAURA: Caleb has seen some shit.

MATT: "I have to finish the--"

LAURA: Hey, listen, if you hear any other ghost stories, you come and find us, okay?

MATT: “Okay.”

LAURA: All right.


MARISHA: Are we just going from person to person in town telling them to come find us?

SAM: We are really terrible at this!

TALIESIN: Well, she's making friends with everybody. I don't see any of you making friends.

TRAVIS: I'm a little concerned that we've been gone for a while.

MARISHA: Yeah, maybe we should get back.

TRAVIS: Maybe let these two, that aren't under house arrest--

SAM: Continue the investigation? Or go back?

TRAVIS: No, continue. I mean, if you're up for it.

SAM: Yeah, yeah, We'll be a regular--

LIAM: Yeah, we've done nothing wrong. We're not sweating it. I'm not sweating--

LAURA: Yeah, I believe you completely. That was very believable. I'm going to give you another blessing before you leave, okay?

LIAM: What are you talking about? None of us did anything. None of us! We protected the people of this town!

LAURA: It's true.

LIAM: It is true.

LAURA: I know.

LIAM: That's easy. Let's go solve a mystery, Nott.

SAM: All right.

TALIESIN: Were you being sarcastic-- oh, no you weren't, okay. Catching up on that.

MARISHA: So, kids don't know anything about this, old people don't know anything about this--

TRAVIS: Tavern-keeper doesn't know anything about this.

TALIESIN: Only the pure of heart make their answer out of riddles. Back to the tavern.

MARISHA: But pure of heart! Still going back to the guards thing! Back to the tavern, let's go.

SAM: Were we just on the docks?

MATT: Yeah, you guys were at the docks.

LIAM: We came up with bupkus.

LAURA: We didn't ask anybody, we went straight to the house.

SAM: Okay, we'll walk around the docks and look for--

TRAVIS: We'll see you back at the inn.

SAM: All right.

LAURA: Should we run back, or should we saunter back?

TALIESIN: You're going to probably, you know, poof.

MARISHA: Yeah, how much time does she have?

LIAM: About a minute?

MATT: Yeah, it's about to fade.

LAURA: Yeah, I figured it had already happened probably midway talking to the kid.

MATT: Probably.

MARISHA: Maybe super stealthily back?

LAURA: All right. I put my hood up.

TALIESIN: I can maybe put a rope through the window.

MARISHA: Yeah, that's a good idea.

LAURA: Is it a two-story?

MATT: It's a two-story. You guys are up in the second story.

TALIESIN: I got rope.

LAURA: Let's do that, yeah. We'll sneak around the back of the inn, and try to climb up the upstairs window.

TRAVIS: I can keep them busy at the front door.

TALIESIN: I'll go through the front like a proper person.

MATT: All right, so you guys are setting up a rope to climb up the back? You go in, on your own, up to the top, you put a rope through--

MARISHA: Fjord's distracting.

LAURA: In the front. Then we're going to try to sneak--

TALIESIN: Right, and then I'm going to drop some of the rope out the back window for them.

MATT: Easy enough to do, so those of you who want to wait and can take the rope up, you wait for a moment where nobody's watching and climb your way up into the inn safely and get to your rooms. You two, what are you doing?

TALIESIN: (singing) 50 feet of hemp rope, it's a standard!

LIAM: Hey kiddo, do you want a piggy-back?

SAM: Sure, that sounds like a good idea.

LIAM: Scramble up, let's go talk to some people.

SAM: All right, I'll jump on Caleb's back.

MATT: All right.

LIAM: I'll wander down to where people are working. Where people are moving crates around.

MARISHA: He's on Caleb's back!

MATT: Okay, that would be probably closer to the Northward.

LIAM: Okay, so that's the plan, is to look for people moving crap around, the same way that Enon is said to have. So that's what we'll do.

MATT: Okay, make an investigation check.

LIAM: All right.

SAM: Shall I help, or no?

MATT: If you want to.

LIAM: Not that great.

MATT: You aiding him would give him an advantage in the roll.

LIAM: Oh! That didn't help. 12 for me.

MATT: You take a couple hours wandering through the Northward, asking questions, and most of the information you get is, they have no idea who that is, or like, "Ah, he died? It's about time."

LIAM: And there's no point even asking questions because we've asked them all for two hours, yeah?

MATT: I'd say yeah, based on that roll.

LIAM: Okay, well that's a big zero. You want to go book shopping with me?

SAM: Sure!

LIAM: Okay. I believe that gentleman said that the Burnished Bibelots was in the Northward, correct?

MATT: I believe you are correct. Yeah, it's in the southern portion of the Northward by where it borders the Lochward.

LIAM: Okay, so I'll start asking questions to get us there.

MATT: Easily enough. You eventually are led to it, and you come to a closet that's affixed to another building. The wood used are almost driftwood and heavily weathered, and the front door is closed as you approach. It looks like a glorified storage shed that has been bolted and put up against another structure.

LIAM: All right, well I will walk up to the door and knock on it.

MATT: Okay. (knocks) No response.

LIAM: Is there any breaks in the door or the building or cracks that Frumpkin could fit into?

MATT: Visual glance, there look like there's the space underneath the door. Probably not big enough for a cat to slip into.

LIAM: Are there any windows or anything or is it all a big, dirty, dingy mess?

MATT: There are windows, but if you look at the back of the windows all you see is scraps of material, stacks of books, piles of boxes and crates, it's literally blocked out with things stacked up against it from the interior.

LIAM: How busy is the front of this place?

MATT: Not busy at all, it's just the two of you, right now, standing at the front door.

LIAM: No one's around us, though?

MATT: It's not on the main street, it's a little pushed back, recessed about ten or 15 feet from the main road so there's no one immediately around you. But there are people walking back and forth on the road behind but you're out in the open, per se.

SAM: And no one's coming to the door?

MATT: No one's come to the door yet, no.

SAM: Want me to break in?

LIAM: Yes. No.

MATT: Okay. A moment passes and you hear, "Hold on!" The door opens. It was open. There's the sound of heavy sacks go tumbling down to the interior of it and you glance around and you hear a voice go, "Can I help you?"

LIAM: Hello?

MATT: You look down, and there's this crotchety-looking scrawny old gnome who's sitting there in the doorway. He's got this vibrant puff, like a cotton ball, of hair around his head. But it's this perfect “U” of bald on top. No glasses, eyes are very small and beady, and he has this bulbous, round nose at the front with this little bit of a tuft of chin white hair that matches the cotton ball tuft on the sides. He's sitting there clutching the top of the knob on the inside which is actually affixed shorter on the door and he goes, "Well come in."

LIAM: Yes please, you're open for business I take it.

MATT: "Always open, come on in."

LIAM: All right.

MATT: Turns around and musters his way inside. As soon as you step in the door and look around, this place looks like an episode of Hoarders. It is just floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall, stacks of anything and everything: knick-knacks, small stuffed animals, toys, books, glasses, and goblets. It is the biggest, crammed flea-market into a small shed-like space you've seen.

SAM: I start unscrewing my flask.


LIAM: Frumpkin climbs back up onto Nott's shoulder and nestles in.

MATT: (meowing)

LIAM: I am scouting the city for books, I am starved for books.

MATT: "Well we've got books here."

LIAM: Yes sir, I'm sorry what is your name?

MATT: "Oglen. Oglen Hornsblower."

LIAM: Oglen Hornsblower.

MATT: "And welcome to my collection. You want to buy something, let me know."

LIAM: Well I see you sell a great many things in here, books included. This is just things you've collected throughout your lifetime?

MATT: "Right. Boughten, traded for, found."

LIAM: I don't know what you just said, but I am interested in books. Particularly in the arcane realm, but any kind of book. Do you have anything that you just outright know is out of the ordinary?

MATT: "I'm sure we've got a few. Look around! See what you find. It's half the fun, half the journey."

LIAM: All right, friend, let's-- It's like Winter's Crest morning for me and I'm scanning the shelves.

MATT: Make an investigation check.

SAM: Can you give me something to look for? To distract me and give me a mission to go on, please?

LIAM: Yes. You want to find some sort of tool that helps you do what you do best.

SAM: All right.

LIAM: Investigation check, that is a 21.

MATT: 21?

SAM: I rolled a 21 investigation check.

MATT: All right.

SAM: I'm just looking for baubles to steal.


MATT: All right. In thumbing through, there are plenty of books that, within a first glance this is not interesting to you. You have to move things out of the way and push things aside. The smell in there is dusty and moldy and you do find there is some subtle water damage and some mildew growing in one far corner and you're like ugh, put that back. However, you rolled really high. Two things catch your eye. One, there appears to be the remnants of some sort of notebook, a sketchbook that is written in a language you do not understand-- What languages do you know?

LIAM: Well, off the bat, I don't know where that is in D&D Beyond yet. But if I open up my binder I bet I have a paper version that I can verify with. I speak Sylvan, Common, and Celestial and I also can Comprehend Languages as a ritual spell but I think that takes some time.

MATT: It does take ten minutes.

LIAM: Ten minutes.

MATT: But you glance through the book, and while you cannot read the text you do recognize that there are elements at the back of the book that have a hint of arcane nature. That's one of two books you find with that roll.

SAM: It's like the adult section for him.

MATT: I know. The second book you find is written in Zemnian, which you can read.

LIAM: That's correct.

MATT: The title translates to Fiends of Folklore.

LIAM: I'm so happy. You have quite a shop here.

MATT: "I know I do!"

LIAM: You have some real treasures. I'm particularly interested in both of these books.

MATT: "Good choices."

LIAM: I don't know though, I don't think that-- I mean I'm rather tight on coin at the moment so--

MATT: "That's too bad."

LIAM: Maybe my eyes are too big for my stomach.

MATT: He's pulling the books away from you.

LIAM: How much would you part with these for?

MATT: (sniffs) He holds of the Fiends of Folklore book, "Three gold pieces. This one, (sniffs) ten gold pieces."

LIAM: Which one is which?

MATT: The Fiends of Folklore is the three, the other tome.

LIAM: The arcane, weird one.

MATT: You're not quite sure what's in it.

LIAM: Okay. Would you have any interest in a magic cat?

MATT: "I'm sorry?"

LIAM: Frumpkin disappears from on Nott's shoulder. Reappears next to the little man.

MATT: (yelps) He like throws the books and grabs nearby this large sack and starts angrily beating the cat.

LIAM: I'll take that as a no!

MATT: He does hit Frumpkin. Frumpkin takes one point of bludgeoning damage.

LIAM: That might be it, I don't really know. I didn't think that this would happen so quickly.

LAURA: Frumpkin point two.

MARISHA: Yeah, he updates overnight as long as he's plugged in, right?

LIAM: Hold on, I have to see if Frumpkin is still here.

TRAVIS: Must be plugged in and connected to Wifi.

MARISHA: Type in your passcode if you agree to the terms.

LIAM: One hit point of damage?

MATT: Yes.

LIAM: He's still here.

MATT: There you go. Frumpkin immediately darts off jumps on your shoulder, turns around and (hisses).

LIAM: So you don't like cats, I understand that.

MATT: "Sorry, it caught me off-guard."

LIAM: Well I was trying to sample the merchandise for you. Because if it was just a cat it was just a cat, but this one-- changes to my other shoulder-- he's a magic cat.

MATT: "Okay."

LIAM: You can roll him in mud, he comes back clean. He disappears, he reappears, he brings you things.

MATT: "Can you make him go away?"

LIAM: Gone.

MATT: "Thank you. Now we can continue to talk money."

LIAM: Here's what I propose. I do not have ten gold at the moment. But it doesn't feel like you get a lot of thoroughfare here, so I'm going to come back to purchase this later. That's it. That's the end of my spiel; that's all I've got. I'm interested, and thank you for giving me the time.

MATT: “Of course. Sorry about your cat, friend.”

LIAM: It's okay. Nott?

SAM: Have I heard all of this conversation?

MATT: You've been hearing all of it, but you've also found, amongst the chaos, a brass baby bottle that's fairly dented, but it's very shiny and polished, you can already see on the inside. You find a new flask, actually. It's very tarnished, but you spit and rub it a little bit. It looks to be of very fine metallic material. You're not entirely sure, you'd have to clean it, but it looks like very nice quality material.

SAM: All right. I'll try to trade my flask with that flask.

MATT: Make a sleight of hand check.

SAM: 22!


SAM: Wait. More. No, that's right. 22.

MATT: Now, your flask, which still has liquor in it, is left behind for the empty flask you receive. However, without an instance of anyone even paying attention. It is yours. You can write in your inventory you are now the owner of a platinum flask.

ALL: Ooh!

SAM: Shit! Okay! It's a baby bottle, or maybe a rattle? What'd you say?

MATT: Baby bottle. Looks like it was used as a bottle for a very upper-class family.

TALIESIN: You're already so ahead, though!

SAM: I know. But I can't resist. I'll try to take one more look and pocket that as well.

MATT: Make another sleight of hand check, please.

SAM: 20.

MATT: It just vanishes into your cloak! It's the craziest thing! It was there and it's gone!


SAM: Are we going to leave now? Should we leave? I think we should leave. Maybe we should go. Do you need some money? I could lend you some money, if you want.

LIAM: Maybe we'll come back tomorrow.

SAM: All right. Lovely place you got here!

LIAM: Piggyback?

SAM: Yes, please!

MATT: “I'll hold these books for you! Come back when you can!”

LIAM: Within the week, I promise.

MATT: “All right. Have a good day, little girl!”

SAM: I will!

MATT: You guys exit the building.

SAM: I'm sorry! I did it again, I couldn't help it. I took some things. Do you think he noticed? Do you think we're in trouble? Maybe we should hurry back.

LIAM: I don't think he saw.

SAM: All right. Are you cross with me?

LIAM: No. Just wait one moment, okay? Wait for me here?

SAM: Okay. I heard you talking about money, by the way, I could lend you some, if you'd like.

LIAM: Wait right here. I cast Detect Magic just before I walk back into the store. I look all around. What are your hours, here? As I look to see if there is anything besides that book, anything.

MATT: You glance throughout the interior, and you don't sense anything magical, unfortunately, within the piles of rubble.

LIAM: Besides the book he put down?

MATT: The book's not radiating any magical aura. But he answers. “Oh! All hours! I don't really close. I don't really sleep.”

LIAM: Middle of the night, even?

MATT: “Sure!”

LIAM: All right. Business is business. Thank you!

MATT: “No worries. See you then!”

LIAM: Bis später.

MATT: “Bee shimter!”

LIAM: That guy does not speak Zemnian!

MATT: No, he does not.

LIAM: Let's go back to the hotel, shall we?

SAM: Let's do it.

MATT: While they're away, you guys wait there for a bit, getting stir crazy in the process of waiting in your room. Jester and Beauregard, there's a knock at your door.

LAURA: Hello?

MATT: “Please open, it's Crownsguard.”

LAURA: Hold on, I'm naked! Yeah, I don't know. Do you want to put clothes on? Should we take our clothes off?

MARISHA: Did you say that because you wanted to tell me something?

LAURA: No, I just wanted to make them wait. Okay, I'm dressed now!

MARISHA: I like that. We're giving them-- authority. Got the upper hand. Okay.

LAURA: It's a power play.

MARISHA: Do we invite them in or are we going to--? You open the door. I'm going to sit, unassuming, on the bed.

LAURA: Sit! Come in, please.


MATT: The door opens, and there are two crownsguards there, standing, shields to the side.

LAURA: Oh hello, I wasn't expecting you.

MARISHA: Oh, yeah, hi.

MATT: “We're here to notify you that the investigation is ongoing. You will not be needed today. Please remain in your premises. Be back tomorrow.”

TRAVIS: Jury summon.

MARISHA: Bullshit! Jury duty shit! Goddamn it!

TALIESIN: We are at D&D Jury Duty.

MATT: Yes you are.

MARISHA: Seven dollars a day? What is this shit?

LAURA: Can I ask you a question before you leave?

MATT: “Yes, what is your question?”

LAURA: Are you guys going to be the same people coming back tomorrow?

MATT: “Possibly.”

LAURA: What is your names?

MATT: They look at each other, look back at you. “I am Jonas.” The other guy pipes up, he's a little younger, he goes, “I am Lucas.”

LAURA: Jonas and Lucas, very good names.

MARISHA: You guys should start a band. Like a boy band or something.

LAURA: Yeah, that'd be good. Girls would go crazy. If you guys want to play some games tomorrow, we'll just be here!

MATT: “Very well! Have a good day.” They look at each other like, “What?” and close the door.

LAURA: I shouldn't have offered the game. What if we want to leave and then they want to take us up on the game thing?

MARISHA: I thought you enjoyed games.

LAURA: No, I love games!


LAURA: But what if we leave and then they want to *play* games?


MATT: Onto Fjord's door.

TALIESIN: I'm sitting playing with the cards.

TRAVIS: I open it.

MATT: Same two guards there. Lucas and Jonas. Jonas and Lucas. “Hello. The investigation is ongoing. You'll not be needed for today. We will return tomorrow.”

TRAVIS: I shut the door.

TALIESIN: Any progress?

MATT: There's a pause and then you here the subtle shifting of greaves against the wooden floor as they slowly walk away.

TRAVIS: Go take that game in the other room, why don't you?

TALIESIN: That was a power move right there.

TRAVIS: Thank you.

MATT: You guys return to the inn.

SAM: I guess we do.

MATT: Yes you do.

SAM: Well. That was terrible. No one found out anything. It was a waste of a day. We're all terrible at this. Goodnight?

LAURA: What time is it?

MARISHA: That's not true! I still say that some of the best information that you can get can be in the information that you don't find.

SAM: That is nonsense.

MARISHA: I'm just saying! Sometimes the lack of information can be a process of elimination.


MARISHA: It's super broad!

TALIESIN: No, you know what? I'm going to take it.

MARISHA: I'm trying to be fucking silver lining, so I don't feel like a piece of shit for waste a day, and you guys are shitting on that, but it's fine.

TRAVIS: You found nothing at the docks, zip, zero?

LIAM: We spent hours there, no one knew anything about the old man.

MARISHA: See? No one knew anything about him. That means, prime candidate, someone's little experiment. Little Frankenstein. I'm telling you.

LIAM: I don't really understand what she's saying.

LAURA: I don't either. I'm going to run up and down the stairs for a while.

MATT: (quick footsteps)

TALIESIN: How long have you known this one?

MARISHA: Who are you talking to?

TALIESIN: Anybody who's watching this happen.

MARISHA: About 24 hours longer than you have.

TALIESIN: That explains a lot.

MATT: At one point, Adelaine the barmaid comes up. “I'm sorry, can you *please* stop?”

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: “Thank you!”

SAM: Hey, Dungeon Master?

MATT: Yes?

SAM: The other night, when Nott was out carousing a bit while Caleb was asleep. He saw some figures in cloaks dash by. Was there any distinctive anything about these three figures that dashed by?

MATT: Not that you noticed, unfortunately.

SAM: Damn it. Okay, I will share that information with the group. I saw some weirdos running around.

LAURA: When?

SAM: The other night, when he was asleep.

TRAVIS: How late?

SAM: Two in the morning?

LIAM: You were out that late?

SAM: Sorry.

LAURA: Maybe we should go out at two o'clock in the morning and see if we can find them.

MARISHA: Ooh, that's a good idea.

LAURA: Follow them.

MARISHA: You guys notice that it's weird that no one's actually really talking about this? This is a small town. I come from a small town. Small town people gossip.

TALIESIN: I feel like there should be some more gossip then there is, that's very true.

MARISHA: Someone is talking about this, we just haven't found them yet. 2:00AM field trip!

LAURA: We can always leave through the window this time.

MARISHA: Mm-hmm, I like that.

TRAVIS: I can be down for that.

TALIESIN: I leave the rope tied in here. Can we use your cat? Reel it back up in so that there's no trace of us until we need to get back there.

LIAM: Are you asking for my cat to haul up our rope?

TALIESIN: No, I'm telling you that your cat is going to haul up a rope.

LAURA: How is a cat going to lift up a rope?

TALIESIN: It's not that heavy of a rope, it's just hemp.

MATT: Hemp rope can be pretty heavy.

TALIESIN: Well, if I throw it back up there then I imagine you cat can knock it back down at the very least.

LAURA: There, that would work, maybe.

MARISHA: Oh, is he like an asshole cat?

TALIESIN: I assume he's an asshole cat. Aren't all cats asshole cats?

MATT: This is true.

LAURA: It might be down before we come back, is the thing.

TALIESIN: I assume he's going to-- that's fair.

TRAVIS: Where were you when you saw these cloaked figures?

SAM: I had gone out to do some window shopping.

TRAVIS: At 2:00AM?

SAM: Yes, I wasn't very successful. I had walked by the general store--

LAURA: Oh, we went there.

MARISHA: Yeah, we did.

SAM: I passed by a place called Natural Remedies, herbs and medicinal things. I went by a spot named Jackalwere, it's a smithy.

LAURA: Okay, but where did you see the cloaked guys?

SAM: It was between-- I don't remember.

MATT: It was one block north of the Natural Remedies.

MARISHA: Natural Remedies. What was the other one? Jackalwere?

SAM: I think that was what it was called.

MATT: Yeah, Jackalwere Smiths.

SAM: We could do a little stakeout!

TRAVIS: We could.

MARISHA: That's true. How do people send messages in this town? Have we figured that out?

SAM: Probably by foot or by horse, right?

TALIESIN: Not that big of a town.

TRAVIS: Should someone stay up? Well, I was thinking someone should keep a lookout on the roof of the inn in case someone comes for us while everyone else is out.

LAURA: How would we let anybody know?

TRAVIS: I don't know. Can you conjure those golden orbs up into the air as like a signal?

LIAM: It's pretty limited. They don't go that far.

TRAVIS: Maybe we just risk it.

SAM: Yeah!

LAURA: Let's risk it.

TRAVIS: It's 2:00AM, I'm sure everybody will be asleep. Let's risk it.

MARISHA: Before we leave-- is there a window in the hall? Or are there only windows in our bedrooms?

MATT: There is no window in the hall, only in the rooms.

MARISHA: Okay, that's fine. On our side of the room--

MATT: You have three rooms between you.

TALIESIN: There's three rooms and they all have windows.

MATT: Correct.

MARISHA: On our side of the door, I'm going to take out my healer's kit. Do I have any bandages or medical tape or anything like that?

MATT: Not medical tape, but there are clean strips of cloth and some adhesive bandages, basic general--

MARISHA: I'm going to tie a bandage ever so lightly around one side of the handle onto something on to the other side of the door. If there's something like a lamp or some kind of pipe or something I can tie it to.

LAURA: So that we'll know if someone tried to come in the room?

MARISHA: Correct.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: You can pull one bandage out and affix to one of the chair legs nearby. You could do that.

TALIESIN: Oh for god's sake. I pull out a big thing of string.

MARISHA: Okay, yeah. I'll take some string and just some twine and--

LAURA: What are we going to do? Leave through our window?


LAURA: To their window?

MARISHA: Well, I figured we're all in the same room at this point.

LIAM: What are you trying to do?

MARISHA: I'm trying to make sure that if someone tries to come in our room we'll know if they come in.

LIAM: I can take care of that.

TALIESIN: Oh, well then, I'm taking my string back.

MARISHA: What can you do?

LIAM: I have some magic for that.

SAM: Yeah, he has a magical spell that alerts you when someone tries to break in your room.

LIAM: That is correct. Yeah. I will take a moment to do that and it will let me know.

SAM: Best part is, it doesn't alert him when I sneak in or out.

LIAM: That you know of.

SAM: Wait. What?

LIAM: One mile of the warded area.

SAM: Ooh!

MARISHA: That's better! Let's do that.

LIAM: I just need ten minutes. And I pull out a little spool of silvered thread and stretch it out. Where did you want this? Over the window?

MARISHA: Well, I was going to say in the door, but if there's maybe a place in the hall.

LIAM: Well, I can do the entire room really, I can go doorknob to-- The funny thing about this thread, there's no end to it. So I start looping it all the way around the room and tie it off, and take out one of my books from the holster, the one on the left side, and I open it up. You guys watch as I spend ten minutes referring to the book and tracing symbols on the floor. Along, underneath the thread, and about ten minutes of time, nothing happens, but that's taken care of.

LAURA: Nice.

SAM: See, he's really good.

LAURA: Yeah..

TRAVIS: Didn't really look like much.

LIAM: Yeah, either that or I'm really bullshitting you and nothing happened.

LAURA: Either way, I liked it. Let's sneak out.

TALIESIN: I'm going to do one last thing before we leave, which is just tussle the room a bit so it looks like it's been robbed. Just in case they do come in.

MATT: Okay, so you toss the room a bit, muddle up the space, and you guys, one by one, climb out the back of the window, down the rope, and into the alley behind the inn. Looking about, you're waiting until about post-midnight, you said?


MATT: Okay, so it's dark. The various lanterns that dangle on the hook poles at different intersections of the street are lit. Other than that, you have a faint bit of moonlight that's coming through the sky. There are some clouds, but they're a bit broken up, so every now and then the moon cover can vanish and then return, but for now you have moonlight in the city. Where are you guys going?

LAURA: Towards the north end.

TRAVIS: I ought to be leading the way, I reckon.

SAM: Yeah, I'll go to where I saw the three cloaked figures.

MATT: A little ways north of Natural Remedies? Okay. I would like everybody to make a stealth check, please.

SAM: Stealth check. Do I still have the blessing? No, I don't.

LAURA: No, you don't. But I can do it to everybody, one by one, if we get to an open area.

SAM: 21.




LAURA: 21.

LIAM: 40. 12.

SAM: 42.

MATT: You guys, following Nott, dodge between alleys, there are a few patrols of the crownsguard that you see passing by, and you wait for them to just cross paths, and then move on. Eventually finding your way to Natural Remedies, seemingly unseen. It's quiet, you can hear the sound of crickets in the distance. The cold night air is causing your breath to show every time you exhale, you all bundle your cloaks as you move on. The moonlight fades a bit, things get darker, but you follow Nott's lead, travel from place to place. You finally get to the outskirts of Natural Remedies, and to the northern alleyway where you'd originally seen those figures pass. You're there.

SAM: Should we fan out a bit? Cover a couple corners, so we can still see each other?

TRAVIS: Good idea.

LAURA: Yeah. I'm going to go with Fjord.

SAM: Are you two like an item?

LAURA: What?

SAM: You and Fjord, are you like a thing?

LAURA: Why, are you interested in him?

SAM: No, ugh, no!


SAM: You travel together.

LAURA: Well yeah, he's a good friend. He watches out for me, I watch out for him, you know. We're a good team. Like you and Caleb.

SAM: Not at all like that, but yes, all right.

MATT: As you guys fan out a little bit, everyone make a perception check.

LAURA: Natural one.

SAM: 19.

LAURA: I don't see shit.

MARISHA: Perception?




LIAM: Ten.

MATT: Okay, so all of you, except for Jester, manage to get a clear view of your vicinity. Jester, you somehow get an eyelash caught in your eye and spend the next hour trying to get it out, but it's in the eyelid.

LAURA: Can you see it?

TRAVIS: Look up. Yeah.

MARISHA: To the left.

TRAVIS: Let me get it--

LAURA: No, no, no. Okay, okay, okay.

MATT: Occasionally, you can hear the crownsguard approaching, and they carry their torches with them. You can see the light crawling forward, so you all duck out of the way and let them pass. About an hour passes. Two hours pass. Around the third hour, you get the sensation that whatever you saw the other night is not arriving on a clockwork time or not arriving at all. It's about three in the morning, in the center of the city by yourself. What do you wish to do?

MARISHA: Three in the morning?

MATT: Yeah.

MARISHA: I turn to Caleb. Any tingling from your alarm system?

LIAM: No, I wouldn't have brought it up if something had happened.

MARISHA: That's a good point.

TALIESIN: I'm just going to try to meditate on the strange death and see if I can feel anything.

MATT: Okay. Make an intelligence check.

TALIESIN: All right. 17.

MATT: Pouring over the details of what has transpired and what you guys have done so far to find information, there are still things to inquire about. There are still things to wonder and discover and there are a few places you haven't been to. A few places you haven't returned to. A few people you haven't even inquired about closer to the investigation.

LAURA: Oh, we should talk to the girl.

SAM: Toya?

LAURA: Yeah.

SAM: Let's go wake her ass up.

MARISHA: Is she under arrest? We don't know.

TALIESIN: Maybe we have to go back to the circus.

LAURA: Maybe it was Yasha.

TALIESIN: It's early enough maybe we should just--

TRAVIS: We have a few more hours and the cover of darkness.

SAM: Yeah, go wake her ass up.

MARISHA: Maybe we should go back to the circus. Scene of the crime? That whole thing?

TALIESIN: I hate to admit it, but maybe-- it's not us.

TRAVIS: Who's *real* stealthy?

MARISHA: I'm all right.

TRAVIS: Maybe we don't *all* need to go. Maybe just a few, and the others will hang back.

SAM: Hang back close by though, right? If something goes bad--

MARISHA: Or if you see something. How far are we from the inn?

MATT: From the inn? About a 15 minute jog.

SAM: So we can go to the circus?

TRAVIS: An hour and a half.

LAURA: While we're still trying to figure this out, I'm going to pull out my painter's kit and draw like a little piece of poop on the side of the building that we're next to SAM: Tagging? That's good.

MARISHA: A little tagger.

TRAVIS: Is it like a mound of poop or like a single--?

LAURA: No it's like a mound of poop.

TALIESIN: It's like an emoji.

MATT: Make a performance check.

LAURA: Oh I rolled really low on this one. Four!

MATT: It takes a little convincing to have them see the poop in the drawing. You can see it, but you've seen better.

TRAVIS: Is it a worm? It's a snake.

LIAM: That's an *oval*.

LAURA: I should have drawn a *pile* of poop. I draw a pile of poop next to it.

MATT: It helps, but--

LIAM: That's a triangle.

TRAVIS: Yeah, I thought it was like chocolate frozen yogurt.

TALIESIN: Is math or something?

LAURA: It's dark okay?! I can usually paint much better than this. It's really dark and my hand feels a little numb.

SAM: Let's move then.

MATT: Who's going where? What are you guys doing?

ALL: We're all going to the circus.

TRAVIS: *Stealthily* to the circus.

MATT: All right, I would like for all of you to roll a stealth check.

MARISHA: Is no one staying behind or--?

LAURA: Fuck it!

SAM: Some are staying *away* from the tent.

TRAVIS: Yeah, going in danger close.

SAM: 13.


MARISHA: Oh not great. Nine!


LAURA: 19.

LIAM: 15.

SAM: 13.

MATT: Okay, you guys make your way through most of the Docksward on your way to the large blue tent that still stands ominously in the distance. Thankfully, the moon has come out and cast this rimlight against the structure, so it's easy to see. As you guys are making your way outside of the Lochward, you immediately see the approaching torchlight of crownsguard. One of them you just faintly hear 40 or 50 feet ahead of you, “Who goes there?”

LAURA: Oh shit.

SAM: Is there only one guard?

MATT: It's two guards, side by side. They watch as they patrol in pairs.

MARISHA: Are we in like an alleyway, or in the street?

MATT: You guys are keeping off to the side. You're all on the outskirts of the lake and almost made your way out of the city towards where the--

LAURA: Go in the lake. Quick, go into the lake!

TRAVIS: I cast Disguise Self, and I turn myself into a crownsguard.

LIAM: Disguise Self and follow suit.

MATT: You do as well?

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: All right. So you both become crownsguard. You've all of a sudden are adorned in the goldish brass and red armor.

TALIESIN: I'm in my black hood. I've got my hood up now.

SAM: Anywhere to hide?

MATT: There are some small alcoves, but you guys are out in the open, now. They've seen you.

MARISHA: *All* of us?

MATT: You don't know. They've seen *you*. They've called *to* you, and then both of you guys disguised yourselves. What are you doing?

LAURA: I walk into the lake and crouch down?

MATT: Jester walks up and wades in about six inches of water and just-- gives her best duck impression.

SAM: I will take off my mask and start attacking Caleb in a convincing fashion. Not to draw blood but-- yeah.

MATT: Make a deception check.

SAM: Deception check?

MATT: Yes.

SAM: Oh.

LIAM: Can I start going (groans) Oh get off, you little beast! To help with the illusion?

SAM: (snarling noises)

MATT: Sure, make a deception check.

SAM: Oh, my deception check was a three minus three.

LIAM: But roll with advantage.

SAM: At advantage?

LIAM: I'm helping you, you little--

SAM: Seven minus three!

LIAM: Oh no!

MATT: Okay so as soon as these two crownsguard see this, they go “Shit!” They pull their blades and they start charging you, Nott to try and protect their other crownsguard--

LIAM: I take Nott and slam her into a wall as hard as I can and say: Down you beast!

MATT: All right, as you rush up in a jog, blades drawn, one of them is going to go ahead and attempt to strike.

SAM: Oh god! Sure.

MATT: That is going to be a 14 to hit.

SAM: Miss!

MATT: So you manage to (squeaks) and narrowly dodge the blade as it strikes through the back of your cloak and pins it to the side of a wooden pole that is on the outside of an overhang where some of the fish are being left out to dry and turn into fish jerky. It holds you in place as you're snarling and looking scared. The other one pulls out his blade and says “Where did this thing come from!?”

LIAM: I have it! And I punch Nott right in the face.

SAM: Oh!

MATT: All right, you take one point of bludgeoning damage, Nott, and blood just (flowing noise) from the nose.

LIAM: I have this we're taking these people across to jail.

TRAVIS: (Regal voice) Indeed, stay our blade, please, obviously he can handle this.

LIAM: Don't you fucking move you little green piece of filth.

SAM: (spits)

TRAVIS: Right in your face! Haha, incredible.

LIAM: This one is mine, thank you. Beat her within an inch of her life.

MATT: I need you to make a deception check on that one.

TALIESIN: We are just the worst. This is just terrible.

MARISHA: Oh man.

LIAM: Natural 20.


SAM: We've practiced this before. We got this routine down.

MATT: You see a look of disappointment come across the two crownsguards' faces in their inability to help you skewer this small, feral creature. They both put their blades away. “All right if you see anything else, give a shout. (spits)”

SAM: Ugh.

MATT: They both continue their walk past the rest of you.

LIAM: The rest of you lot fall in line. I drag the little one off.

SAM: (snivels)

MATT: They look over at the tiefling-- partially crouched in the water.

SAM: She's taking a shit.

LAURA: I really had to pee!

MATT: “Hey! Not in the Ustaloch!”


LAURA: Okay. Oh okay. I get out. I stand up and slowly dredge out of the water.

MATT: Your legs are soaked from thigh to foot, and they both eye you warily and slowly walk past.

LAURA: (sigh of relief)

MARISHA: It's real cold out.

LIAM: Have they cleared the way?

MATT: Eventually, they pass beyond a point where you feel absolute dread of their presence.

TRAVIS: Is that a natural thing for you guys to just attack each other in moments of stress?

LIAM: Are you all right? I am so very sorry, I'm so sorry--

SAM: No, I'm fine that was good acting. You were perfect. I panicked, I didn't know what to do. I was trying to create some sort of distraction.

LIAM: Let me see your teeth. Okay. You look all right.

SAM: They're all over the place.


TRAVIS: Oh, I can't tell if that got worse or better.

MARISHA: You fixed them a bit!

LIAM: Okay. Who wants to go to the circus?


MATT: All right, you guys are make the rest of the path to the outskirts of the circus. You see at the very front flap of it you see a crownsguard who's like (yawn) sitting there, his arms crossed to the front keeping an eye out, he is doing late-shift. You do see the faint distant flickering glow of firelight from the back side of the circus.

MARISHA: What is that? Do you guys have like a nightlight?

TALIESIN: It's where we camp.

MATT: Yeah, you saw it earlier, you saw the campfire.

MARISHA: Oh sure.

TRAVIS: If you want to make your ways around, I could distract them for a moment, have a conversation with them.

MARISHA: Do they still look like crownsguard?

MATT: Yes.

TRAVIS: For an hour.

MARISHA: Okay, yeah.

LIAM: You want to go with them? I'll go with Fjord.

SAM: Sure, but will you be watching me or no? You don't have to.

LIAM: Frumpkin will.

SAM: All right. I'll go with you and-- who else is going? Are you stealthy?

LAURA: We'll take care of you. Don't worry!

TALIESIN: They're not going to talk to you without *me*, so I'm coming, too.

LIAM: I'm a little jittery, do you want to be a front man for a little while?

TRAVIS: Sure I got it, yeah.

LIAM: Okay.

MATT: All right, so what are the groups here?

SAM: The girls and the boys.

TRAVIS: Caleb and me--

LAURA: And Molly.

SAM: And whatever Molly is.


TALIESIN: I'm fabulous.

MATT: Molly, who are you going with?

TALIESIN: I'm going with the girls, because the circus kids won't talk to them without me.

MATT: All right, so the three of you are going forward. What are you doing? I guess I should ask.

TRAVIS: I walk up to the guard (regal voice) It's a late night, not much action this evening. See anything unusual?

MATT: “Eh, nothing yet. Mostly I hate this. Ugh, I just wish this whole fucking circus would just go. I need to sleep. Regular hours.”

TRAVIS: Yeah I heard, how long are they supposed to be here?

MATT: “Until they finish this fucking investigation. They keep bugging people for information, but they're all just clammed up and not saying shit.”

TRAVIS: At least you're by the tent, they've had us walking the perimeter of the lake the entire time.

MATT: “It's bullshit. I wish they would just go ahead and execute them. That carnival master or whatever and get it over with.”

TRAVIS: Did they find anything inside, today? Tell me, *something* interesting, please.

MATT: “They investigated the corpses and found nothing yet. Still in there if you want to take a look at it.”

TRAVIS: Would you mind if we popped in?

MATT: “I mean I suppose so.” Make a deception check.

MARISHA: Something good?


LAURA: Oh Jesus.

TRAVIS: Oh! 13.

MATT: Okay. He thinks a second on it. “Oh I suppose so.”

TRAVIS: We'll be quick, super fast.

MATT: “Please, get it over with.” He stops you. “If there's any way to expedite this, if you can pin it on any of them, we can just kill them and take care of them. Let me know.”

TRAVIS: Let's go. (as Grog) That worked way better than I thought. Like we should-- I mean-- (as Fjord) should we look around for stuff or what?


LIAM: You are very good with voices.

TRAVIS: Well you know, I do a little mimicry here and there. We should look, come on. Check the grounds. Maybe we can see where the bodies are laying.

LIAM: Yeah, let's have a look around.

MATT: You guys look inside, the tent is dark. There's no light inside.

LIAM: I take a rag out of my side satchel and I cast-- what the hell is it called because I've only been a wizard for a short time-- one Dancing Light underneath the rags so it's only dim.

MATT: All right, so you have this self-made hooded lantern with the hood you have over it.

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: That's dope.

LIAM: What the fuck are we looking for in here?

MATT: And Nott, you're going with them? 

SAM: I'm with the girls.

MATT: Oh sorry, you're right .

TRAVIS: Where did the bodies fall? Over there, didn't they?

LIAM: That's right, yeah.

TRAVIS: Well let's search the grounds.

MATT: You make your way inside, the smell is pretty bad. You can smell the flesh beginning to decay.

TRAVIS: Have they moved the bodies or are the bodies still there?

MATT: With a bit of looking, the bodies are still there where they left them. They have not moved, you can see a couple of remnants of notes and sheets that have been crumpled, but the bodies have been left where they are.

TRAVIS: Can we check the bodies for anything?

LIAM: Is there anything arcane? From all my studies, does anything here ring any bells? I have a photographic memory.

MATT: Go and make a religion check.

LIAM: All right. That is a ten.

MATT: Unfortunately, you don't have a lot of research on the undead, or whatever might be the essence of this creature's creation, and the more you look at it, you're like, “This is not my specialty.”

LIAM: Okay. What about the perimeters of here, where all the people were? There was a swarm of people. I spend five minutes seeing anything was dropped of interest.

MATT: Make an investigation check, both of you.

TRAVIS: That's better.

LIAM: I miss the twins.


LIAM: Big ten.

MATT: Glancing about, you can see the track marks of everyone fleeing. You can see the spatters of blood. You can see the place where the transformation occurred. There is a horrible shedding of certain layers of flesh. You can see previously existing layers of flesh and muscle that were shed as whatever this undead thing was fell to the ground. Once again, you make a religion check as well.

TRAVIS: Okay. Roll high. I did not. Ten.

MATT: Yeah. This is not your specialty. You have little experience with the undead and this type of magic.

TRAVIS: We can't spend that long in here. Maybe we just take a bit of it with us. Do you have a pocket?

LIAM: I have many pockets, of course I have pockets.

TRAVIS: Like a jar? I have no pockets!

SAM: You designed a character with no pockets?! Why would you do that?

TRAVIS: There's no pockets! All right, but I'll check.

LIAM: He's just in the Blue Man Group unitard and that's it.

MARISHA: I'm sure Rob Liefeld just got a nosebleed and he doesn't know why.

LIAM: So this dead thing is here in front of me?

MATT: Two of them. There's the main one, the ground zero one, which is where you were putting all your attention, and then there's the woman, who was transformed as part of the first.

LIAM: I will take my dagger, and I will slice a little bit off of the woman, and it's going to get dark in here and I will snuff out the light and use the rag to roll it up and I'll put the little piece in my pack.

MATT: With a squishy sound you place it within your pack.

LIAM: Let's get out of here, I'm going to be sick.

TRAVIS: Agreed.

MATT: All right. The four of you, I need you to roll stealth checks, please.

MARISHA: Not that one. I don't feel good about it. Oh not bad! 21.


LAURA: 18.

SAM: 25.

MATT: Without issue, you guys quickly dart around the side of the tent and make your way right towards the central area where the multitude of tents to this back encampment is placed. There is a single campfire. The embers are burning out. It has not been kept up. You do see two crownsguard who are currently keeping watch. One of them is slumped in a chair across from the fire and is nodding off. The other is doing a basic patrol and looking around. Other than that, you don't hear any sounds, you don't see anybody else. Just the two crownsguard.

TALIESIN: Which of the tents is currently occupied?

MATT: There are four main tents. There are two very large ones, one of which generally contains Toya and Kylre, the devil toad. That's on the south side. There's the north largest tent, this one contains the Knot sisters and Ornna. Then there's a very small tent to the south side that would be Bo the Breaker's tent, but he's not here. Then there's a medium sized tent on the north side. Who would be in that one?

TALIESIN: Toya and Kylre share a tent, that's right. It would be Desmond.

MATT: Desmond would be the other one. It would be Gustav staying there as well, but Gustav changes between the tent and the cart.

MARISHA: The cart?

TALIESIN: We have a wagon.

LAURA: Molly, I have a question. What made you guys set up your tent here?

TALIESIN: We were told to set it up here, if I recall.

LAURA: In this specific area?

TALIESIN: That sounds right. If I recall, we were specifically told to set up tent right here.

MARISHA: And it's by the lake, right?

MATT: Maybe 150-200 feet away from it.

MARISHA: That's pretty close to a lake.

LAURA: What if they set up their tent on a cursed land or something?

MARISHA: It's the lake, it's common?

TALIESIN: What's the easiest tent to get to without--

MATT: Do you want to go to the north side or the south side of the main tent?

TALIESIN: I want to go with whatever's furthest away from the guards.

SAM: Shouldn't we just go to the Toya tent?

MATT: The Toya tent's on the south side, that's the opposite side, you guys would have probably come in from the north end.

TALIESIN: What's the easiest to get to without--

MATT: That would be the one that contains Ornna and the Knot sisters.

TALIESIN: I'm going to go back there and do our traditional (bird call)

MATT: Okay. There's actually no response.

LAURA: (bird call)

MARISHA: I had Mona and Lena, but maybe it's Lolie.

TALIESIN: Yuli. It's Mona and Yuli. I'm going to try one of the other tents. Am I getting the sense that any of them are in?

SAM: Look over here!

TALIESIN: Over here!

MATT: The other tent you get to and you make the same sound? This would be the one that Desmond usually is in, too. There's a pause, and then you hear a very faint (bird call).

TALIESIN: I'm going to very gently lift the back of the tent up and not go in through the front. And just--

MATT: Okay. You glance inside and you can see, leaning up from a bedroll, Desmond who is half-awake, and glances over and sees you. He's out of outfit, out of makeup, and he gives a nod.

TALIESIN: (whispering) Do you know what's going on? (switches to normal volume) Assume we're whispering, because this is bullshit.

MATT: Yeah.

TALIESIN: How is it? What's happened?

MATT: "They've come around asking a few questions, we're trying to figure it out ourselves. Are you okay?"

TALIESIN: I could be worse.

MATT: "How's Gustav? And Bosun?"

TALIESIN: They couldn't be worse. And then Yasha Yasha'd. I don't know. Did Toya see anything? Did she say anything?

MATT: "We're still trying to figure this out ourselves. Are you alone?"

TALIESIN: No, I've picked up a few scragglers. They're idiots, but they're helping.

MATT: "Well bring them in."

SAM: We come in.

MATT: You guys all enter the tent and you see Desmond. Previously you saw him in these very colorful outfit with the frilled neck piece and the full facial makeup. Now you see a man in his late 30s with a very scarred left side of his face. It looks like it was shredded at one point in his youth, that the makeup hid during the performance. As soon as you enter, even upon greeting him, he has a very sad presence to him. Even though you're all under the cover of night and having this conspiratorial conversation, he has this melancholy about him that permeates the space inside the tent. He says, "So you're all the ones that helped earlier. Thank you. It would have been far worse if you hadn't."

LAURA: No problem.

TALIESIN: What do they think happened? What are they asking?

MATT: "They're thinking something about the show. They're thinking Gustav made this happen. I don't think it's Gustav, he's a good man. He makes poor choices and it's plagued him his whole life, you can see it in his brow. But good intentions have grave consequences. No one that good comes out of Shady Creek Run without some mistakes behind them, but I don't see him doing this."

TALIESIN: What would be the point?

LAURA: Has it ever happened like this before?

MATT: "No."

LAURA: Anything weird ever happened before?

MATT: "Weird things? All the time. We're a bunch of weird folk, work with a lot of weird people. Bunch of strange freaks gathered at this show."

MARISHA: Was there anyone new here recently that you haven't worked with a lot?

MATT: "Yeah, she apparently ran off."

TALIESIN: Yasha's the newest, but she can be flighty.

MARISHA: What about Mona and Yuli?

MATT: "The sisters are bitter, but it's no fault of theirs."

MARISHA: Why are they bitter?

MATT: "Because the world is cruel."

TALIESIN: You've never met it-- Well, nevermind.

MATT: "I wish I could help them, but it--"

MARISHA: (stutters) What happened to them?

LAURA: Are you drunk? What's going on?

MARISHA: No, I'm trying to hear and whisper at the same time.

LAURA: You can talk at a normal volume.

MATT: Magical whisper. Cone of Whisper.

MARISHA: Matt Cone of Whisper!

TALIESIN: Oh God, that's a new thing now.

MARISHA: What did they say? Why do they think that? Why is the world shitty?

MATT: "Have you been around? Have you travelled to see anything?"

MARISHA: Yeah. Listen. The world has its own brand of shitty depending on whose eyes are looking at it, right? So what is their brand of shitty?

TALIESIN: Circus shitty.

MATT: "I don't know. Ask them."

MARISHA: Where are they?

TALIESIN: In a tent over there.

MATT: "They don't seem to take much of a liking to me anyway, so I can't really tell you myself. I'm sorry."

SAM: They don't like you? Why?

MATT: "There's a lot of people that don't like me."

LAURA: I like you, Desmond. I think you're great.

SAM: Why? What did you do?

MATT: He looks at you and goes, "Same reason folks probably don't like you; you're different."

SAM: Hmm.

TALIESIN: Is everybody still here? They've not taken anyone away other than--

MATT: "Other than those two, everyone else is here. We're just keeping under watch until their investigation is complete."

MARISHA: Molly, why did you laugh when I asked about the sisters?

TALIESIN: We're carnival people, we've all got our issues. You don't end up here unless you're a little weird.

LAURA: Can I try something? I want to try to cast Detect Good and Evil.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: Cleric shit!

LAURA: Right?

SAM: On?

LAURA: On the area. It lasts up to ten minutes, so it's within 30 feet of me.

TRAVIS: You ever cast this before?



TRAVIS and TALIESIN: First blood!

MATT: So you cast it. You concentrate. You reach down and grasp the bottom of your symbol that hangs around your belt, and there's a faint rush of divine force given to your consciousness. You don't sense within 30 feet of you any fiendish, or celestial, or fey, or undead, or aberration.

LAURA: Nothing that's been desecrated?

MATT: Nothing from this tent or within 30 feet.

SAM: Does it follow her?

LAURA: Yeah, it follows me.

MATT: It's like a radial thing.

SAM: That's pretty cool, let's keep going then. Maybe we'll see something?

LAURA: Yeah. Am I close to the edge of the main tent?

MATT: There are two tents to the north. There's a bigger one, and a medium one. The one that you're in right now is the larger one to the north, and as such contains-- Actually no. The one that you guys are in right now is the medium one. The one that contains Desmond. The larger one contains both of the sisters and Ornna.

LAURA: Okay. And they're closer to the big tent? Where is the big tent?

MATT: Correct. The big tent is about ten to 15 feet from the one you're in right now.

LAURA: Okay, cool. Yeah, let's leave. I'll get up to the edge of the big tent, and I want to see if I can feel anything weird in that area.

MATT: Okay. Is everyone else staying inside or are you going with her?

SAM: We're going with, but before we leave I'll ask Desmond: From one outcast to another, are there any questions that are bugging you about all this?

MATT: He thinks for a second. "I don't want this all to fall on Gustav. He's done a lot of good for all of us, and the way they're talking about the investigation, they're looking to make a scapegoat of this."

SAM: Well, thank you.

MATT: "Thank you."

SAM: (mimics bird call poorly) That's how they talk to each other. That's how carnival folk talk to each other.

TALIESIN: Oh, for fuck's sake. I'm going to do my best.

MATT: "Thank you."

TALIESIN: I'm going to quietly sneak out the back of the tent again and sneak into the--

MATT: Another stealth check, my friends.

TALIESIN: Oh god, I hate all of this.

LAURA: I'm going to give Molly Blessing, so you get advantage.

SAM: 21.

MARISHA: 13. Not great.


MATT: With advantage?

TALIESIN: With advantage.

LAURA: 12.

MATT: Okay. You guys make your way up to the edge of the tent.

TALIESIN: I'm not going to make the noise I'm just going to--

MATT: Right. As you make your way over to the edge of the tent where the sisters and Ornna are, you focus and concentrate. Nothing, from the radial thing. One of the guards, who's standing up and making a patrol, looks over right as you duck behind and you hear a "Huh?"

SAM: Uh oh.

LAURA: Quick, go in the tent.

TALIESIN: We're going to go in the tent.

LAURA: We all duck under the tent go and act like I'm sleeping.

MATT: You guys all dodge under the tent just as the guard begins to pass around. You hear the footsteps around. As you step in you watch as the two Knot sisters--

TALIESIN: (shushes)

MATT: They both curl into a ball and stay really quiet. All of the sudden Ornna comes to consciousness and the footsteps finish the circle and then go back towards where the fire is.

LAURA: That was close.

MATT: Ornna leans in, goes like, "Okay, what is going on."

TALIESIN: That's what I'm trying to figure out, what the fuck is going on. They're with me, it's been complicated. Gustav's in deep. Bosun's in deep.

LAURA: Tell us you know something.

MATT: "What do you want to know?"

TALIESIN: What did you see? I don't know.

SAM: Who did this? What was it?

MATT: "I don't know. I looked and I saw what you saw."

TALIESIN: This is Ornna I assume.

MATT: This is Ornna, yeah.

TALIESIN: Ornna is the fire dancer.

MARISHA: Right, okay.

TALIESIN: For fuck's sake, they're going to kill every last fucking one of us unless we figure this out.

MATT: She's like, "Right."

TALIESIN: What do you think?

MATT: "Well the sister's over here think it's a hit job, but this isn't a hit job with zombies? Are you fucking kidding me?

TALIESIN: I don't know. I think that they're trying to cover something.

MATT: "That's not surprising."

MARISHA: Can I insight check the sisters? What are they doing right now?

MATT: They're both just quietly curled up and watching you guys talk.

MARISHA: They're not saying anything, though?

MATT: Not yet. If you want to ask them something you can.

MARISHA: Do they look nervous or are they just being shifty?

MATT: Make an insight check to find out.


LAURA: While she's doing that I'm going to try and sneak out the underside of the tent to go to the big tent.

SAM: I'll go with her.

MATT: This is a bit of a leap. This goes about 25, 30 feet south of where you are around the campfire that's open.

SAM: No problem.

MATT: Go ahead and make your stealth checks, guys.

TALIESIN: Oh god. I miss Pass Without a Trace so much.

SAM: 23.

TALIESIN: That's a number.

LAURA: Nine.

MATT: Okay. What was your insight check?


MATT: 15. They both look nervous, but just untrusting of the scenario. You can't read anything deeper than that. There is definitely a, hmm, but you can't quite get a full beat on them. You guys, as you curl around the outside, there's the one guard that's sitting in the chair by the fire that goes like (snores) and opens his eyes a little bit and looks over in your direction, Jester, and there's a brief moment where he's just looking right at you. Do you do anything?

LAURA: I freeze.

SAM: Oh god.

MATT: Stands up.

LAURA: Can I use-- oh shit. I'm going shitballs, shit.

SAM: I'm just tucking around, getting ready.

MATT: You're around, you don't see anything.

SAM: I don't see this?

MATT: Sorry, he doesn't see you.

LAURA: I'm going to cast Charm Person on the guard that sees me.

MATT: Okay. As he stands up, he goes toward you and he goes for his blade and he has to make a saving throw.

SAM: Oh boy.

MATT: Which he does not make. I don't think so, it's like a six.

SAM: No, it's like 13 or something.

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: So he goes like--

LAURA: Hi, I'm not here.

MATT: "Okay."

LAURA: Okay. Sit down. Go to sleep, this is a dream.

MATT: Make a persuasion check.

TALIESIN: That's so good.

LAURA: (That's so close. This is so bad. Five.

MATT: He doesn't seem to buy the dream thing, but he's like--

LAURA: You want it to be a dream.

MATT: He doesn't go to sleep but he knows you're there and he's keeping an eye, but he's not doing anything.

LAURA: Okay, well it's good enough, I guess.

MATT: But he's definitely aware that you're there.

LAURA: I'm going to go towards the big tent just so I can see if I can sense any evil.

MATT: Okay. Really quickly, just to check because it's-- That's right, Charm Person is not--

LAURA: It's not, yes.

MATT: Okay. It's at this point that you turn your attention to the tent and focus. There is a hefty, radiating warm fiendish source from the inside of that large tent.

SAM: We found something!

LAURA: I can sense something. Let's go in the tent.

SAM: Go in? But if it's bad, that's bad.

LAURA: What if it's just a dead thing?

SAM: Oh god, will we have to fight a dead thing? Should we get some help? I turn to Caleb's cat and I say go! Go get Caleb! Shoo! (hiss) Go away! (hiss) I can't speak Cat! Go away!

MATT: The cat goes, (angry meow).

SAM: Go away! Go tell Caleb we're here!

MATT: (hiss)

LIAM: Yes!

MATT: Turns around and sprays you and then keep walking.

SAM: Okay, I've sent for help.

LAURA: Okay. Let's go under the tent.

SAM: All right, let's go.

MATT: You guys carefully maneuver under the tent. As soon as you curl into the interior of the tent you hear a very heavy (snoring).

LAURA: This the big tent that you guys were just in?

SAM: No.

MATT: No, it's the one on the south side of it.

SAM: It's a different one.


MARISHA: Toad guy.

MATT: You see the slowly expanding and contracting form of Kylre from the back side. You see this giant, scaly, somewhat oily exterior of the body.

SAM: That's why you detected him, because he's a fiend.

LAURA: Maybe he's a good fiend, can fiends be good?

SAM: I don't know, you detected--

LAURA: Is he still sleeping?

MATT: (snoring)

LAURA: He's still sleeping.

SAM: We can wake him up and ask?

LAURA: And ask if he's good or bad?

SAM: Yeah?

LAURA and SAM: Eh.

SAM: Is anyone else in the tent?

MATT: Make a perception check.

SAM: One.

LAURA: Oh no, we suck at this.

LIAM: This? Everything!

LAURA: 17.

MATT: Okay, that's better. You just stare right at the body of this toad going, “Nope.”

SAM: This looks really big, it's scary.

MATT: You glance and see a faint bit of a whitish material from the crook of the arm. You take a few steps forward and glance from the side and you can see asleep, cradled in his large, lizardman arms, Toya, dwarf girl is curled up and asleep peacefully.

SAM: We should talk to her, but if we wake her up he's going to be mad. I guess we have no choice, we should talk to her. She's a dwarf? Do you speak Dwarvish?

LAURA: No, I don't.

SAM: Maybe she speaks Common. We'll be fine. She's a circus person.

LIAM: I have that ability, it lets you know exactly which thing is the fiend. Which of those things is the fiend?

LAURA: Which of the things is the fiend?

MATT: It's the large source.

LAURA: It's definitely the large fiend.

LIAM: It could have easily been the little girl.

MATT: It could have been, yeah.

LAURA: It's the big guy.

SAM: Let's wake her up!

MATT: The radiance is around the large creature.

LAURA: And her name is Toya?

SAM: Toya. Singing dwarf.

LAURA: Let's sit down on the ground and look non-threatening. So we sit down cross-legged. Just casual. Like we're having a tea party.

SAM: Lift up my hair.

LAURA: And then we go: Toya! Toya wake up!

SAM: Wakey wakey!

MATT: The breathing stops and there's this stillness in the interior of the tent.

SAM: We should light a light or something? Otherwise we're just in the dark.

MATT: You hear this faint sound of squeaking as lubricated folds of lizardman flesh twist over each other as the devil toad's head kind of curls back to look at you quietly, the mouth slightly ajar. You can see rows of teeth and this bit of drool down the edge of the chin onto the ground. “What. you. want?”

LAURA: We're here to talk to Toya.

MATT: At which point the little girl (yawn) begins (grunt) (thumping) and rotates in his space. He takes up almost the entirety of this tent. And slowly rotates around inside. Surprisingly quiet for his size. And still clutching Toya, Toya sits up and is like “What's happening? (yawn)”


MATT: “Hi!”

SAM: Sorry to disturb your slumber.

MATT: She takes her braids and holds them with her hands, it's almost a safety blanket she curls into herself. She looks about 11 or 12. This close you can see she looks younger than she did from that distance. Whether it be the presence or the mature voice. But she seems pretty young. But she's not childlike.

LAURA: Oh hey! What's going on.

MATT: “ Well?”

SAM: Do you recognize us from the other night? Last night?

LAURA: Last night.

SAM: Last night?

MATT: “I don't remember, I got scared.”

LAURA: It was scary. You have a really pretty voice.

MATT: “Thank you.”

LAURA: Did you notice how when you sang that a dude turned into a zombie?

MATT: She begins to chuckle. And the big toad (laughter). “I did. It was really scary! I didn't like it at all. I didn't do that, did I?”

LAURA: Probably not.

SAM: Has it happened before, or was that--

MATT: “No. The guards are saying I probably did that, they're saying I might have done that.” It's interesting, you notice now listening to her, she has this beautiful voice but her speaking voice is very crackly. It sounds almost damaged.

LAURA: Do you sing all the time, Toya?

MATT: “I sing a lot. It's what keeps me alive, it's what gets me money.”

LAURA: Right. I understand that.

SAM: Was that the same song you always sing?

MATT: “Yeah. It's the one song I know.”

SAM: Did it feel the same coming out of you or was it different?

MATT: “It felt the same.”

LAURA: What language is it?

MATT: “It's an old dwarven tune. My mother taught it to me before she passed.”

LAURA: What does it mean?

MATT: “It's a tale of the angels and how they came from the realms beyond of the gods. They granted each to us our sparks of life.”

LAURA: Granted sparks of life. Does that sound like a familiar story that I've heard before?

MATT: It sounds vaguely religious, but--

SAM: When you were singing, did you hear any other sounds or words that someone else was saying?

MATT: “No, not beyond the ordinary. Then I saw that poor man just start tearing through people. I got scared and Kylre helped me.” She puts her arm up and pats and (grunt).

LAURA: How did you and Kylre meet?

MATT: “They brought me into the circus. I was up in a city north of here, far north of the Marrow Valley and I was just on the streets singing. And this carnival came by and I met Gustav and he invited me to join and that's how I met Kylre and I met all these wonderful people.”

SAM: Has anyone new come around and talked to you?

MATT: “No.”

SAM: Asked you to do anything? It's so strange.

LAURA: Man, we suck at this.

SAM: No, we're really good.

MATT: “The newest people we've had are Mollymauk and Yasha.”

LAURA: They're new?

MATT: “Comparatively. Mollymauk's been here almost two years now.”

LAURA: Oh. Okay.

MATT: “He came after I did. We both found our voice together. I was very scared and he wasn't talking and together we helped each other learn to have fun again.”

SAM: And yesterday before the show you didn't notice anything weird, anyone creeping around the carnival, setting up anything?

MATT: “No.”

SAM: Snooping around?

LAURA: Anybody in weird cloaks?

SAM: Cloaks, cloaks!

MATT: “I didn't see anything.”

LAURA: Okay.

LIAM: DM, on a minor note, I put my hand on Fjord's shoulder and say I'm going to be blind for a second, give me a little slap if anything goes wrong. And I turn into Frumpkin who should still be--

MATT: At this point in time you notice (laughter) Nott going “Shoo! Cah! Go find help!” and you hear a (hiss) (grumpy meow). Yeah.

LIAM: And then Frumpkin takes off?

MATT: Frumpkin starts heading back around towards you.

LIAM: So I'm looking at myself after a moment.

MATT: Briefly, as you keep concentrating, Frumpkin finds his way under the tent and comes up to you.

SAM: Is there anyone you think would want to destroy the carnival or hurt Gustav? Does Gustav have any enemies?

MATT: "I hope not. I know him and Ornna argue a lot, but--"

SAM: Him and Ornna? It's Ornna! Ornna's the one. Thanks very much, we're out of here.


SAM: Hot lead!

LAURA: Let's go! We've got it, we've solved the case!

TALIESIN: I'm going to have a tiny bit of conversation with her.

MATT: Yeah. So while they're gone, the two of you are in the other tent with the sisters and Ornna.

MARISHA: I would like to talk with the sisters while that is going on.

MATT: They're both sitting there, knees tucked to their chest.

MARISHA: I go and sit down next to them, putting my knees up, too. This whole thing is really messed up, right?

MATT: "Yeah, you're telling us."

MARISHA: Yeah. Man. Like, why would we do anything like that? I feel like we're all being needlessly persecuted.

MATT: "I'm sorry, who are you?"

MARISHA: Oh, sorry. I'm Beau. The other Bo, but I helped fight the zombies the other night. I'm under house arrest. We're under the same situation, just separately. Not really. I don't want to compare myself to you, because that would be rude.

MATT: The two halfling twins look at each other, and back at you.

TALIESIN: Her name's Beau. She's helping, she's awful, you have a lot in common.

MATT: "Okay, well, I mean, whatever you want to know."

MARISHA: He's such a dick. Why is he such a dick?

MATT: "Molly's great, why are you such a dick?"

TRAVIS: Reversal!

MARISHA: Oh, sorry, he's been talking shit about you this whole time, I don't know, I just--

MATT: Make a deception check on that.


LIAM: Stirring the pot.

MARISHA: It's okay. 15.

TALIESIN: I'm going to walk by the two twins, because I'm circling the tent, trying to get a look, and be like, I've absolutely been talking shit. You're both terrible. I give them both a kiss on the head and keep walking.

MATT: Okay. They both, "All right, so what are you trying to do?"

MARISHA: What am I trying to do? I'm trying to figure out who's behind all this so that we can keep moving on with our lives.

MATT: "All right, well, get it over with. Soon as this is done, we're out."

TALIESIN: They may not let us leave. They may be killing us all.

MATT: "They're not going to kill us all!" The other goes, "They're not going to kill us all."

TALIESIN: They're weird out there. They're very weird out there.

MATT: (sighs)

MARISHA: Your guys' performance was amazing, by the way.

MATT: "Thanks."

MARISHA: I loved it.

SAM: We're stealthing over to that tent, by the way.

LAURA: I thought we were stealthing over to the main tent.

SAM: The one with Ornna in it.

TALIESIN: Ornna's in the tent with us.

MATT: Oh, you guys are going to the main tent.

LAURA: I wanted to get to the main tent to see if I could sense any evil in the big, main tent.

SAM: Oh, you want to swoop by the main tent?

LAURA: But if it's really far away.

MATT: Not too far away from where you were, because you're backing out the side of it. So you can go ahead and stealth around. Make a stealth check.

LAURA: Oh, god. Please no one, please no whammies.

TALIESIN and LAURA: Big money.

SAM: I'm fine.

LAURA: Natural 20!

MATT: Nice, and what did you get?

SAM: 22.

MATT: The two of you, without issue, make your way around towards the large tent without being seen.

SAM: Any evil?

LAURA: I'm sensing it.

MATT: Nothing.

SAM: Goddamn it.

LAURA: No fucking evil!

SAM: It's Ornna! We know who it is! We know who the killer is!

TALIESIN: While you're talking to the twins, I'll be talking to Ornna. Oh, for fuck's sake.

MATT: "To be honest, if it's any easier, it's probably Gustav."

TALIESIN: It's not fucking Gustav.

MATT: "It probably is, you shut up. He's a prick, he doesn't know what he's doing, he's going to run this whole carnival into the ground. I don't want to take the fall for it, we all get away on this.”


TRAVIS: Little feet.

LIAM: (snarling noises)

TRAVIS: Eats and shoots the same way. (snarls)

MARISHA: So wait, it's probably Gustav? What makes you say that?

MATT: "Because he's in prison, he's the leader, he's fucked this whole thing by letting this happen."

MARISHA: Oh. Wow. You have interesting perspectives. Hey, weird question, how do you guys come up with your acts? Is that something that you guys create yourselves, or do you guys workshop it?

TALIESIN: It's like she's never experienced boredom. It's very weird.

MATT: "Yeah. It's impressive."

TALIESIN: Hey, Ornna?

MATT: Ornna goes, "Yes?"

TALIESIN: (sighs) I mean, I know your feelings on all this. What do you think?

MATT: (sighs) "I'd say Bosun's a stand up guy, if a bit of a self-absorbed dick at times. And we all knew Gustav was going to shit the bed sooner or later, I mean, this is his karma. I just don't know how, or why, but I can guarantee you, if this was my carnival, this shit wouldn't have happened."


MATT: "Mm-hmm."

TALIESIN: What exactly would you have done?

MATT: "Well, first off, I would have made sure that we had better support from the guard before this ever happened so nobody else got killed."

TALIESIN: They were useless.

MATT: "Secondly, I would have made sure that there weren't any old folks that made it in to fucking turn into shit."

TALIESIN: Well, that's on me and-- That's on me.

MATT: "I don't know."

MARISHA: You feel the same way, Knot sisters? Feel like this is karma on Gustav?

TALIESIN: They would.

MATT: At which point, the flap of the tent opens up and it's Jester.

LAURA: It's Ornna!

SAM: Ornna, you have a lot of explaining to do!

MARISHA: Shut up!

SAM: We've talked to Toya. She knows it's you who did this!

LAURA: We know you guys are in a fight all the time.

SAM: You're the one behind the whole plot! You did it!


MATT: The two Knot sisters immediately go, "Ornna? Is it you? Did you kill that guy?" Ornna's like, "I don't know what you're talking about. What the fuck is this? Who the fuck are you!"

LAURA: Why did you turn that guy into a zombie?

SAM: Who do you work for!

TALIESIN: Ornna, Ornna.

MARISHA: Insight check on the Knot sisters!

MATT: Go for it.

SAM: They've got Nazi in their name!


SAM: Knot *see*sters

MARISHA: Natural 20!

LAURA: The first whisper!

MARISHA: Give me that sweet whisper!

SAM: Guys, I don't know about you. But my stats are so neat because of D&D Beyond tonight.

LIAM: There's no pencil smudges.

SAM: No, I know right now I've got 14 of 15 hit points.

TRAVIS: It opens, it closes, you can see your spells when you need to see them without flipping.

TALIESIN: I've got a little iPad button on the back of my pen, it's quite nice.

SAM: Start talking, or this gnome-- nope! Goblin! Starts biting.

MATT: Ornna goes, "To be perfectly honest, I have no idea what's going on. Y'all just came in here, started throwing accusations at me. Gustav got arrested. Boson got arrested. *Molly* got arrested, I'm glad you got off that. But to be perfectly honest, this whole thing's a shit show. And the circus is probably not going to be the same after this."

LAURA: Insight check on the--

MATT: Insight check on Ornna.

LIAM: My cat is on patrol because we've been standing with out dicks in our hands for a long time.

MATT: Yeah, I'm sorry.

LIAM: No! I'm not complaining, but I would have sent the cat out.

LAURA: Seven.

MATT: Kind of hard to read. She seems genuinely frustrated and caught off guard by this.

LAURA: I think she's telling the truth.

TALIESIN: Ornna, you might as well come clean, this is classic you.

MATT: She looks at you. "Molly."

TALIESIN: I'm just trying to--

MATT: "Fuck you."

TALIESIN: Oh, fuck you, too. It's no secret that Ornna and Gustav have their differences, but this ridiculous. I mean, she knows damn well that half the circus would leave if he got fucking arrested and died.

MATT: "You're for real worried about this? You really think who it could be? Let's play. Gustav: he's an idiot. But he's not a murderer. Bosun: bit of a dick. But he's a stand up fella. Toya: absolute doll. Couldn't hurt a fly. Mona and Yuli: They're cunts. But they're not going to kill anyone. Desmond's a weird fellow. There's something dark in his past; you can see it in his melancholy.

TALIESIN: But this is not his style.

SAM: It's Desmond. Let's go to his tent!

TALIESIN: I just grab--

MATT: "There's some untrustworthy intelligence in those lizard eyes of that devil."

LAURA: I did get a very evil kind of vibe off him.

TALIESIN: What do you mean evil kind of vibe?

LAURA: Well, I mean, he's a fiend.

TALIESIN: He's what?

LAURA: The devil toad guy. He's a fiend.

TALIESIN: That's just a name. It's not actually, like real thing. That just--

LAURA: You guys know he's a fiend, right?

MATT: There's this moment of silence, like, “He's supposed to be lizardfolk.”

TALIESIN: What do you--

SAM: It's the lizard man!

TALIESIN: I grab and push you down into the ground and hold you. (shushing sounds) Not yet.

MATT: You guys, what are you doing?

LIAM: I mean, just because we're standing here so long, I would have been nervous and again held on to this guy's big bicep and sent the cat out.

TRAVIS: Why are you going all catatonic on me?

MATT: (laughs) Nice. As the cat darts under the tent and makes its way through, you glance over to the fire and sees a large dark shape step out from one of the tents and you watch as one of the guards who's sitting in the chair stands up and crumples onto the ground without a sound. You see the other guard look over, go over to around him and start to check around. You guys hear a voice in the back start saying, “Damon?”

LIAM: Fjord, something bad is happening.

MATT: You watch as the dark figure spins and two flashes of red in the shadow nearby and you watch as the other guard suddenly grabs his head and grasps for his chest and falls on his back as his legs curl up.

MARISHA: What the fuck!

LIAM: Do I know where in relation to Fjord and I this is?

MATT: It is to the east of you, about 150 feet.

TRAVIS: Can you talk to me when you're looking through the cat?

LIAM: I can talk, but I can't hear anything when I'm doing this.

MATT: Correct. You watch as the shadow bounce like a giant frog--

LIAM: The frog is on the move. Frog is on the move.

MATT: --northward.

LIAM: Away from us? But I don't know where the eyes are.

MATT: You guys hear the name calling, and then silence once more.

LAURA: (whispers) Can we peek outside of the tent and see what's going on?

MATT: You guys go ahead and you look just as the guard on the ground is like (gurgling) and just stops moving. You see all the veins bulging.

MARISHA: I run up to the guard and check his pulse. Is he still alive or is he paralyzed?

MATT: As you come out of the tent, you watch as the flesh on his neck and throat splits and a very familiar transformation begins to take place as both of the guards begin to (growling).

LAURA: Oh no. We have to fight them.

MARISHA: Yeah, but get under the tent! We can get the drop!

LIAM: I come out of it and I: Zombies. I start running towards the tent that I saw Jester peek out from under.

MATT: As you guys rush underneath the big blue tent, you watch as the two that are quickly bulging and mutating, bits of their flesh dislodging from their body and falling. You watch now, up close, similar to the last time, but now that you are looking intently for this, you can see where there should be blood, it's almost like dust and sand begin to spill from the wounds. Something you had noticed a little bit in the body of the old man before, but you didn't know if it was decomposition or just general dirt.

TALIESIN: Girls, we're not supposed to be here. Can you help us handle this?

MATT: You watch as the two halflings were like, “Fuck no!”

TALIESIN: (sighs) We'll do what we can. If something goes wrong, nudity usually works.

MATT: The two mutated guards now, their armor bulging and broken in places, turn to the noises in the tent where you guys are.

SAM: Are we in the same tent or are we in two different tents?

MATT: You guys are all in one tent with the other girls. You are all jammed into the space. The two of you make your way outside of the large tent as you watch these two bulging, zombified creatures making their way towards the tent. And that's where we're going to pick up next time.


MATT: Because it is 11 now.

TRAVIS: But we're not supposed to be there! We'll get framed for it!

MARISHA: Exactly, we can't get framed!

SAM: Can I just say, Laura and I busted the case *wide open*!


TRAVIS: That is true!

SAM: We solved the case. Easy.

LAURA: Totally.

SAM: Couple inquisitions. Following the clues

LAURA: That's right.

TALIESIN: Just one more question.

TRAVIS: When that demon frog leapt, how high and how far, approximately, did it look like it went?

MATT: It looks like it leapt about 20 to 25 feet in the air and traveled about 40 feet with the leap. It was a large arc.

LAURA: So we definitely can't fight that thing.

TRAVIS: Sure we can.

LAURA: Oh my god.

TRAVIS: Oh god.

MATT: You saw it escape northward from where you are.

MARISHA: And did it look like the same figure?

MATT: Yasha ran north, northeast.This is just straight north of where you are. Towards the Ustaloch.

MARISHA: Towards Ustaloch! It's the fucking lake!

TRAVIS: Oh man, this is good, dude!

MARISHA: See, here's my thing. Does anyone else notice that the zombie transformations seem like a serpent shedding its skin? Because they always slough off their skin?

TRAVIS: It's also done without any contact.

MARISHA: Wait, what?

TRAVIS: It's done without any contact. He never touches him.

LAURA: Yeah, he touched him, didn't he?


LAURA: I thought he did.

MATT: No, they just suddenly began to erupt in--

LAURA: Hey, bonus news, though. The charm spell guy isn't going to turn me dead!

MATT: Look at that silver lining!

TALIESIN: This season got dark. Season got dark.

LAURA: Whoa. Tight tight tight tight.

TRAVIS: Good shit. Little damaged voice, fuck yeah.

MATT: That'll be fun.

LAURA: I wanted to cough for her.

MATT: We'll pick up there next week. The chase is on, apparently. Thank you guys so much for being awesome. Thank you guys for coming along and watching with us. We'll pick this up next Thursday where we left off, right in the middle of this campsite. Until then, have a wonderful week. See you guys then. Is it Thursday yet?