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List of Transcripts

Pre-Show[]

MATT: Welcome to tonight's episode of Critical Role, a show where a bunch of us nerdy-ass voice actors play Dungeons and Dragons. So sorry for the tech delay. We had a few technical errors, but we've pushed through them. Let's go ahead and get this show on the road. First, with your announcements.

ZAC: Yeah, three really quick announcements. Number one is tomorrow we're going to be starting early for some special programming because you guys tweeted at us and told us that you wanted us to, so Erika and Josephine are going to be playing Tomb Raider at 1PM tomorrow; that's not on our schedule, but you guys wanted us to do it, and Amy's going to come out and join them, because Amy's really excited about the game, too. So, those wonderful ladies will be playing that at 1:00, and then we have Taliesin joining us for Group Hug tomorrow.

(cheering)

ZAC: Sure you guys heard Hector yelling at you in that nice little ad that we had, and the last announcement that I have is that we will be a sub-only chat tonight. This is not something that… we tried holding off as long we possibly could, but we've had a lot of requests from people to try it. So we're going to try it out tonight, see how it goes; if it goes well, we might end up staying with it. But we really didn't want to, because we wanted to keep this as open as possible. But we've been getting a lot of requests to, so we're going to give it a shot and see how that goes, and just wanted to let you guys know that was up.

MATT: Thank you.

ZAC: All I got!

MATT: So I guess the show was a grand experiment and now tonight's chat room will be a grand experiment; we'll see how things pan out. So definitely let us know how that works for you guys after the show. We'll pass that feedback on or let Zac know, so… Anyway, welcome to our crazy show. We have some announcements to give at the top of this, too. First, well I guess first I could say, tonight we have a special guest Skyping in from New York as she finished shooting early. We have Ashley Johnson will be joining us tonight as Pike.

(cheering)

MATT: She's almost to scale as Pike right now. It's fun.

(laughter)

ASHLEY: Yes.

MARISHA: How's the weather in New York?

ASHLEY: Oh, you know, it's just really cold and rainy, but it's good. It's good. I've missed you guys so bad.

LAURA: We missed you, Ashley.

MARISHA and LIAM: We missed you, too.

ASHLEY: So much!

(laughter)

MATT: I'm so glad you could join us tonight. You guys are in for a treat, watching how a dungeon master incorporates a character suddenly in the middle of a story.

(laughter)

SAM: Or fails at it.

MATT: Or fails at it; we'll see.

ASHLEY: He told me five minutes ago, and he told me what was going on, and I was like, “I'm back, can I play?” He said, “Yeah you can play. Let me plan real quick.”

MATT: Yeah. So. Appreciate your understanding of the delay.

LIAM: If you can survive the Extra Life game…

MATT: Yeah, that's true. Maintaining a narrative, that's the hard part.

MARISHA: Never can forget.

MATT: It's true.

MARISHA: Never forget. The Deck of Many Things.

MATT: The Deck of Many Things ruins everything. Oh my god. All right, so, next announcement, as part of our Spotify playlists being put up on the website. Each person has been creating Spotify playlists around their character. This week Keyleth went live on the website.

(cheering)

MATT: Had good feedback on it so far?

MARISHA: Yeah!

TALIESIN: I like it.

MARISHA: Yeah. Go listen to it. It's like what Laura said last week; it's like weird because it's kind of like a vulnerable soft spot, but yeah.

TALIESIN: I like it.

MARISHA: Journey songs. Go check them out.

LAURA: Goodness.

TRAVIS: Where do they go to do that? At the Geek and Sundry website?

MARISHA: Geek and Sundry website.

TALIESIN: Or you can, if you follow Geek and Sundry on Spotify, you can find all of our Spotify playlists on there.

MARISHA: Right. But you should go to Geek and Sundry's website because we each wrote little descriptions.

LAURA: Thanks, Taliesin.

TALIESIN: I'm here to ruin everything.

MATT: And we've had people spoil themselves.

TALIESIN: Yeah, you should read our notes. We have liner notes.

MARISHA: And we also each picked out some of our favorite fan arts that we've gotten.

LAURA: Yeah, we picked those ones out.

MATT: Travis is abandoning us; he had to go.

LAURA: He's done; he's out. Travis is creating his playlist right now.

MATT: Travis is like, “No!” We lost a Grog, gained an Ashley. I'm okay with that. All right, cool, so next up, Wyrmwood has their Critical Role stuff for you guys who want to buy really awesome, nice and pricey upper-tier geek stuff.

LAURA: There are some affordable ones. There's definitely affordable options on there as well. It's not all pretty expensive.

MARISHA: And it's Christmas coming up, man.

LIAM: It's a wide spectrum. Their website is Wyrmwood Gaming, and the code that will get you free shipping on an order is CritRole. CritRole, all one word.

MATT: Awesome. Couple other things. Also, we tonight are putting– we don't have Pike's because that was a kind of surprise, but we have new art by our official artist Kit Buss for all the character portraits we'll be using tonight.

SAM: They're really good.

MARISHA: They're up? They're below us?

LAURA: So you can see them?

MATT: You can see them.

LAURA: I'm so excited! I'm looking down at it right now.

MATT: Thank you so much Kit.

TALIESIN: I have sideburns!

MARISHA: We look hot.

SAM: Pink and proud.

TALIESIN: I'm a little scruffy. I've seen some shit.

MARISHA: Yeah, Grog has a beard. Look at Grog and his beard over there.

LAURA: Grog looks good with a beard.

MARISHA: It's over there.

TALIESIN: It's down and to our left.

MARISHA: Yeah, they have it in order as to what we're sitting.

LAURA: Oh really? I can't see it.

SAM: Well it's not there, either.

TALIESIN: It's underneath the tables.

LAURA: Oh, right. That's Ashley. What am I doing?

SAM: All screens have our show on them.

MATT: (laughs) Everything. We take over. Great. Next announcement is for all you waiting for the Critmas episode; I know that they divided the recent upload into two different parts, the Critmas being its own kind of individual upload. I've been told that goes up tomorrow. So, those of you who are, “Where has the episode?” It'll be up there tomorrow for you to watch. And you get to see all the amazing things that a bunch of fans made and sent out and all the lovey-dovey awesome connection stuff that we stayed here until midnight last week having fun with, so check it out tomorrow. It's a lot of fun. All right, also, let's see, reminder we have awesome t-shirts online like the one that Travis is wearing– it's been one of those days– Taliesin is also wearing it. And the newer one that Laura is wearing. Those are available. We also have the keychains and the necklaces, too, so those are cool; those are up. Games that came out this week? Fallout 4 came out this week, as I'm sure many of you are aware.

MARISHA: And we've all been playing it. Foaming at mouth!

MATT: Exactly.

SAM: Who's in it? Matt, you're in it. Is it just Matt? Is that it? Who else is in it?

MARISHA: Yeah, who else is in it? Anyone else?

LIAM, LAURA, SAM, and TALIESIN: I'm not in it.

MARISHA: Just Matt?

LAURA: Are you in it?

TRAVIS: I'm the dog.

(laughter)

LIAM: I did enough voices for Fallout: New Vegas.

SAM: Yeah, I was all over New Vegas, as well, so they cut me out.

MARISHA: We recently found you, though.

MATT: Yeah, in the game.

MARISHA: And what's funny was, his character, McCreedy, he starts bitching at you for picking up a lot of junk, which Matt does to me in real life. Yeah, Matt was like, “Do I really?” And I was getting it from two fronts. I'm like, “God damn it.”

LAURA: I'm a straight-up hoarder in Fallout.

MARISHA: I'm a hoarder. I need more toy cars. I don't have enough screws!

LAURA: I need screws!

MARISHA: Screws are fucking hard to come by.

LAURA: Because that's the only way you can upgrade your guns!

SAM: (shushing noises)

LIAM: This is the entertainment you subscribed for.

(laughter)

ZAC: I don't have to do this on this show almost ever, but let's go, guys. Come on.

MATT: So anyway, I play McCreedy and Z-114.

TALIESIN: BlizzCon, oh yeah.

MATT: Oh yeah, I'm getting there.

TALIESIN: Okay, you're getting there.

MATT: Also, a bunch of us went to BlizzCon this past weekend, which had a lot of fun, fun panels and stuff, and we met a whole bunch of Critters that were there as well.

TALIESIN: So many Critters.

MATT: It was really cool. We had kind of an impromptu signing for a while, and we had a bunch of very positive conversations with a bunch of you cool people, so those who came out and said hello: hello! It was great meeting you all.

MARISHA: Thanks for seeing us.

TALIESIN: Nice to see you.

MATT: We had a good time. It was fun, and Liam was all over BlizzCon.

LIAM: Yes, I was prom queen at BlizzCon this year.

MATT: (laughs) It was pretty rad. All right, couple last things. Oh, today, a few of us went with other fantastic hosts on our Twitch channel network to the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles and handed over our donation from the Extra Life charity we've been doing for the past month or so that you guys made happen. It was incredible to see the outreach everyone put into it, and we ended up handing over pretty much $115,000 dollars to the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles.

LAURA: Congratulations, you guys!

MATT: Congratulations, you guys. It's a wonderful facility.

MARISHA: And the hospital was amazing.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

MARISHA: It's a good hospital.

LIAM: Yeah, it's such a great tour. They have so many creative things that I've never seen in hospitals– I got kids– or would've thought they had a room for teenagers; it was cool and had teenage stuff in it. It was awesome.

MARISHA: Oh yeah; they have a giveaway library, where they give a book to a kid every day.

TALIESIN: With little toadstools.

LIAM: Give out 32,000 books a year.

MARISHA: Yeah.

LIAM: Not lend, give books to kids.

SAM: That's a lot!

MARISHA: So we're actually going to be talking about that later, but they apparently have a book wishlist, so we're going to be getting that from them and sharing it to you guys because these people need books.

ASHLEY: Wait, what the heck? How much money?

(laughter)

MATT: $115,000.

ASHLEY: What? I saw the check on my iPad, and I thought it said 15. I was like, “Wow, that's so much money. Holy crap!” There's an extra one in front of that.

(laughter)

MATT: That's you guys. You guys are incredible. And last but not least, we have an announcement, do you guys want to handle this one?

TALIESIN: Oh god. Yeah! I forgot about that!

MARISHA: Yeah, high five! We're high-fiving and no one knows about what we're high-fiving over. So we have a fun new announcement for everybody. Aren't you excited?

SAM: I'm ready to announce it.

MARISHA: You're so ready.

SAM: What is it?

MARISHA: Okay, so, Critical Role is finally getting a weekly comic strip.

SAM: Is that true?

MARISHA: Yes!

SAM: I'm famous!

MARISHA: Yes!

(laughter)

SAM: I did it!

TALIESIN: You've made it.

SAM: I did it!

MARISHA: We're getting a comic, you guys. It's starting off as a comic strip. So it is going to be coming–

SAM: In newspapers everywhere?

MARISHA: In newspapers everywhere online if the website is named GeekandSundry.com. So, everywhere. Yes, and so it's going to be starting next Wednesday. They're going to be releasing weekly on Wednesdays.

SAM: I love it.

TALIESIN: We've got work to do.

MARISHA: I know.

TALIESIN: I know; it's crazy.

MARISHA: The first run that we're going to do– they're going to be semi-episodic, I guess, like loose story line little vignettes.

TALIESIN: Like a comic strip. Like a Doonesbury, so you get little segments that all lead up into a larger thing.

MARISHA: And the first storyline is going to be our Winter's Crest festival. So it'll be thematic. It will go all the way up until Christmas, and our first artist is the amazing Wendy Green, wendydoodles.

(cheering)

MARISHA: So we're going to be switching out artists as we go through different story arcs, and Wendy's our first one.

TALIESIN: She's going to be telling the story of our very first winter festival, which is– should we tell them is also mixed with other events in Critical Role history?

MARISHA: Yes. You'll see

TALIESIN: You'll see. It be fabulous.

TRAVIS: Much to come.

LAURA and MARISHA: Much to come.

MARISHA: But definitely go check that out because–

SAM: Not yet, though.

MARISHA: Not yet, next week.

LAURA: It's up next week? Holy moly.

MARISHA: Next week. The first one goes out on Wednesday. So the more people who go and look at it, the more we may get later.

TALIESIN: Go check it out because the more people who check it out, the more likely they are to say, “This deserves to be an entire comic book.”

SAM: Big dreams, Taliesin, big dreams.

TALIESIN: With animation and craziness and hyperlinks and all sorts of things.

MATT: Yeah, we want to make more content for everyone, so if you like the content, then go look at the content that shows that we could possibly do more content.

LIAM: We enjoy doing this.

MARISHA: Yes. We want to see how far this ship will sail.

MATT: So yeah. I think that's all our announcements.

ASHLEY: Maybe it'll ship to New York?

(laughter)

ASHLEY: Hey, I had to try.

(laughter)

LIAM: It's so good to have you here.

MATT: I know, I'm so glad you could be here, Ashley.

ASHLEY: Oh yeah, I wish were there in person.

LAURA: Me, too.

ASHLEY: But soon.

MATT: Yep. Have you got your dice and your character sheets ready?

LIAM: You got your gear, Johnson?

MATT: You ready?

ASHLEY: I got all my gear. I'm so nervous and so excited. I feel like I don't know how to play anymore!

TALIESIN: It's like falling off a bicycle; it's easy.

ASHLEY: Yeah.

MATT: So, with that, let's go ahead and kick back into the mood of the current venture into Whitestone.

LAURA: Oh no.

TRAVIS: Make the beat drop.

MATT: Now.

SAM: Okay, here we go.

Part I[]

MATT: The party of Vox Machina, having traveled across Tal'Dorei to the city of Whitestone to seek a pair of seemingly vicious and evil individuals known as Lord and Lady Briarwood, members of the past that Percy's family fell to oh so many years ago, leaving what he thought was the sole survivor to the de Rolo family. Upon coming to Whitestone, finding its people downtrodden and oppressed by the Briarwood rule as well as the cutthroats and mercenaries that they had brought along with them when they took the city, now given lordship and plots of land and rule over this entire town. The word began to spread of possible new rebellion as you charged through the town, leaving burned marks, burned houses, and very slaughtered people in the process. Very bad people. As these murmurs continue to roll and coalesce, you spoke to a number of individuals in the city that were involved in previous failed rebellions and seemed to build up what may be the last chance for Whitestone. As part of this information was revealed that Percy's thought-dead sister Cassandra still existed within the castle and had been what people thought the only living de Rolo and bastion of hope in the city. Now there were two. Upon triggering the initiation of this, the party split, Scanlan Shorthalt running to one of the nobles while the rest of the party went to the other to set a diversion at the same time. (laughs) It may not have worked out as intended, but it definitely worked, as we had an epic bard versus goliath rainstorm rooftop showdown. The rest of the party made their way into Count Tylieri's home, destroyed his vampiric self, and got some information out of the guards before escaping into the town, which has now gone into chaos. Many of townsfolk have become the militia that they've been preparing to be. Armored with whatever they can find, they've managed to take down a number of the large, hulking zombie giant guardians throughout the city. Many lives were lost in the process, and the battle is ongoing. As you rushed towards the center of the town to check in on the Sun Tree, finding all the previous bodies that resembled members of Vox Machina cut from its boughs, you saw swarming in towards the center of the city a large horde of skeletal undead, clattering forth into the dark. As the sun has now set over the horizon, the rain beginning to pour heavily into the center of the town. There was efforts meant to keep the army at bay as you all rushed towards the west to escape the immediate fray, and that was where we left off last session.

SAM: Shit.

TRAVIS: We fucking run.

LAURA: Are we still running? Are we still running away?

SAM: We just got to the tree line, right?

MATT: You guys haven't gotten to the tree line yet, no.

SAM: Oh, Jesus.

TALIESIN: We are still running.

LAURA: We're heading out of town.

TRAVIS: There's a shit-load of skeletons behind us.

LAURA: Are they right behind us? I'm still riding Trinket?

MATT: At this time, you are on Trinket. The rest of you are running through the muddy streets. Your feet are slick against the ground, and you have to catch yourself every now and then from not tumbling forward.

TRAVIS: Dust of Tracelessness?

LAURA: Are the skeletons still behind us? Can we see them?

MATT: As you glance over, they're just now starting to pour from the town square itself, and it was hard to see the exact number, but from your perspective in the darkened kind of just post-sunset light, you didn't see the end of it.

TALIESIN: Whoa, triple digits.

MATT: Possibly. From what you can tell in the middle of the chaos from rushing. There was a zombie giant behind you that did manage to finish off some of the villagers before coming after you. In your haste in escape with the help of a few of you individuals who managed to tear it down, slaughtering it as it gave chase through the city street. As you guys are now looking behind and seeing this undead horde pouring into the central road that you're traveling along, you hear a voice ring out from the other direction, toward where you guys are running. For a second, it's hard to make out what it is, but the voice is suddenly readily familiar; it says, “There! Run! Aid them!” And as you guys glance away from the army and back towards the path where you were traveling, you see what looks to be about ten armed villagers, various pieces of armor, some nicer than others, some have seen some use over time, but nevertheless serviceable and functional. You see at the front of them, Brother Yennan. Sorry, Keeper Yennan is at the front of them armored up, shield at his side, holding aloft the holy symbol of Erathis in his hand, and they're all just running towards you guys (heavy footfalls).

MARISHA: We can't leave.

LAURA: Can I trail behind on Trinket and try to cast Conjure Barrage at the incoming skeletons?

MATT: You'd probably have to slow down to do that, because you're a good, like, probably 50, 60 feet away from them, if not a little further. You guys are moving faster than them, so, that even the chase, they're not very quick entities.

LIAM: So we're 50 or 60 feet away from the skeletons, and how far are we away from the villagers that are coming in the other direction?

MATT: They're about a hundred feet from you and closing.

TRAVIS: I would advise bringing them with us instead of stopping.

LAURA: But all the villagers that aren't in armor are still in town.

TRAVIS: Shit happens.

MARISHA: I'm running back. I'm going back towards the skeletons.

LAURA: I was carrying you. You're on Trinket with me, aren't you? Can he carry both of us?

LIAM: No, I was pulling her by the arm.

MARISHA: I break from Vax's grasp and start running back

MATT: Go ahead and make– this is technically breaking a grapple.

LAURA: I do want to trail back a little on Trinket and try to cast Conjure Barrage as we're running.

MATT: Okay, so, so Trinket begins to turn around. You're fighting. It would be either acrobatics or athletics versus your athletics.

MARISHA: Athletics. Ooh, I rolled an 18.

SAM: Five!

MATT: With that, the slick rain across her forearm (swish) she squeaks her arm out from your grasp, and with that moment, you feel her disappear as she rushes back towards this undead onslaught.

SAM: You never could keep a lady.

(laughter)

LIAM: I immediately pivot around and follow.

TALIESIN: Ditto.

MARISHA: I start conjuring up a 4th-level Flaming Sphere.

MATT: Keep in mind you still have Call Lightning coming, so you would be losing the Call Lightning at this time.

MARISHA: Flaming Sphere.

MATT: Okay. So with that, the darkened clouds that had gathered begin to slowly disperse as you begin to focus, running forward. As you are charging, using the momentum, the air around you begins to slowly grow and ignite before a ball of flame bursts into your peripheral, and you can control it at will.

MARISHA: Okay, how far away is the horde?

MATT: At this point now, they're about 30 feet away. Since you went right back towards them as opposed to running away.

LAURA: Am I in front of her?

MATT: You're now, because you gave chase shortly after she ran off, so you guys are about tandem.

MARISHA: Okay, here's my question. Are they funneling down one main street? How wide is that street?

MATT: About 20 feet.

MARISHA: Okay, with my flaming sphere hovering above me, I'm going to throw up a wall of stone.

LAURA: Okay wait, not before I shoot my Conjure Barrage, because I said I wanted to fucking do it before you did that.

MARISHA: Conjure a barrage first.

MATT: All right, so Conjure Barrage.

LAURA: (laughs) Don't fucking block my arrows.

MATT: What, what's the distance on Conjure Barrage?

LAURA: I think it's a 60-foot cone.

MATT: Okay, then yeah, you can definitely attempt that. Okay. So, as you create this sphere, and it's rolling to your side as you begin to concentrate and look over your shoulder, and you see Trinket (heavy steps) running up, with just mud slung as each one of his claws begins digging into the earth, pulling him forward. (bear roars) On his back, you see Vex pull out an arrow, pull back, and concentrate. The arrow itself seems to split and shatter in her hand, almost like the wood itself divides into five or six different shards. As you release the arrow, it bursts into a funneling cloud of sharp wooden splinters that fires out from the front of you. What's the DC on that spell?

LAURA: It would be 15.

MATT: 15 DC, and is that dex?

LAURA: Dexterity, yeah.

MATT: Dexterity. All righty.

LIAM: He's just got to roll for a hundred skeletons.

LAURA: I know, no problem.

MATT: The ones that are in range would be about 12 at that point.

MARISHA: (scoffs) Only 12.

MATT: Okay. Given the average of rolls there, the explosion of splinters just shoots outward, just completely disintegrating the first row of about five or six of them. About five or six past them get a bunch of splinter in their bone, their rib cages shatter open, and they (skeletal gargle) try and move forward before they collapse in on their own structure and (clatter) scatter into the mud. Let's say you destroyed ten of them.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: You can still see about 50 or 60 slow pushing towards you at this point in time. Keyleth.

MARISHA: Okay, I throw up a wall of stone. Am I near the Sun Tree again?

LAURA: We've left the Sun Tree.

MATT: You guys left the Sun Tree, and you've gone westward, it would be from your perspective. Westward across the city, towards the treeline.

SAM: And now we're doubling back.

MATT: You're now doubling back. At this point, however, the undead horde has filtered into the town square and is currently between you and the Sun Tree.

MARISHA: Okay, so what I'm going to do is, I want to conjure it from underneath me, so as I see them filtering up, I want to pop it up right from underneath me to where I'm on top of it.

MATT: Okay, and the width of it's going to cover the entire street? Okay. (swoosh) The wall of stone lifts you up at its maximum height. What's the maximum height of that spell?

TRAVIS: Keep that cast hand feeling firm.

MARISHA: Ten feet.

LAURA: The hand went down, the spell went away.

MARISHA: Ten foot by ten foot panels.

MATT: Can you repeat that? I lost my phone for my app, so I'm going to use this book here. So, ten feet?

MARISHA: Ten feet.

MATT: All right so, (whoosh) you're lifted ten feet up into the air. You can now see, about to crash into the wall, what looks 70 or so skeletons just (crashing noise) scraping into it. You guys can all of a sudden hear through the rainfall in the distance this scratching of metal shields and blades and bones scraping at the stone wall, and (skeletal hissing) hissing and clattering.

MARISHA: So I'm going to take the fire sphere, and just start funneling it right down and start cleaning house.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: Beyond the wall?

MARISHA: Just yeah, right into the thick mess of them.

MATT: Okay. The flaming sphere begins to move over the wall. You've done your action, and you begin to push that forward, because the sphere moving through you would get to about your space. So next turn we'll get to that. You guys have caught up to the wall now. The rest of you have turned around with her.

SAM: Yeah, I ran for a few more feet, and then I looked around and no one else was running with me, so I turned around and restarted running back with my little gnome legs. (panting)

MATT: Okay. Percy.

TALIESIN: I'm climbing the wall.

LIAM: Climbing the wall.

MATT: Okay. You guys get up on top of the wall. It's about four or five feet thick; it's a little precarious, but not too much to really bother you guys. You get to the top and you look over and you see this sea of thrashing about skeletal entities, some looking fresher than others, and all intent on trying to find some way– and you start to see some of them starting to climb up over each other to get to the height of the wall.

TALIESIN: I'm just going to hold and anybody who gets too close– I'm just going to take a shot at anything that gets too close.

MATT: Okay.

TRAVIS: Can you see any giants from up there?

TALIESIN: Can I see any giants from up there?

MATT: Make a perception check.

SAM: While he's doing that, I'm yelling at Grog, “Grog! Throw me up over the wall! At least to the top!”

TALIESIN: I rolled a perception of ten.

MATT: The rainfall is too thick. Right now, your vision is so obscured that even beyond 50, 60 feet it starts getting a little hard to make out details.

TRAVIS: Are you sure?

LIAM: I turn back towards the villagers, who are probably running up at this point and yell, “Fire! Bring fire!”

MATT: The Keeper says, “Fire won't help, but I can.”

SAM and LAURA: Oh.

TALIESIN: Whoa.

MATT: “And so can she.” As he looks over his shoulder, you can see the villagers are parting, and there is, running behind them, this form of a small humanoid armored entity, but glowing. Her actual form is comprised of glowing, radiant energy, like an actual avatar of Sarenrae in the form of a tiny gnome cleric, just charging through the rain, each droplet of rain that hits her body (sizzling) just immediately evaporates on impact, and she comes charging towards you guys.

TALIESIN: I'm reaching down to help her up on the top of the wall.

MARISHA: Oh my God. Keyleth thinks she died. Keyleth thinks she's dead.

LIAM: I'm grabbing Percy's arm and lowering him down lower because she's short.

MATT: All right, as you guys reach down and she runs up, Keeper Yennan reaches up and grabs on the arm as well as she gets up and the two of them together lift up on top, and as you grab her arm, it's strange. It's warm to the touch, warmer than a natural arm, and it doesn't have full physical essence to it. It's almost like she's partially an apparition of her physical self. There is purchase. There is an actual form to it, but it doesn't feel fully solid.

SAM: She's lost weight!

(laughter)

TALIESIN: You look so thin!

MATT: With that, you lift her up, and she's lighter than you recall, and almost like a gentle feather of herself, she (light footfall) lands onto her toes on the top of the wall.

LIAM: She was light already.

MATT: I know.

LAURA: Pike?!

ASHLEY: Hi!

LAURA: Hi!

MARISHA: Pike, did we die?

ASHLEY: No, you're still alive.

LIAM: How did you get here? What are you doing here? How did you get here?

ASHLEY: Oh gosh. It's a long story. I don't know if we can talk about it right now.

(laughter)

ASHLEY: Do we need to fight anything right now?

LAURA: There are lots of skeletons!

MATT: Yeah. As you look down before you, and there is a horde of skeletons that are right now about to crush the wall. You see two right now that are lashing out. One reaches for your leg.

TALIESIN: I'm taking a shot.

MATT: Okay, go for it.

ASHLEY: Let's talk later.

LAURA: Can I have Trinket lift me? Stand up on his hind legs, and up against the wall so I can climb up?

TALIESIN: I Percy'd.

SAM: You broke the gun?

MARISHA: No, he critted.

TALIESIN: I didn't Wheaton, come on. I Percy'd.

MATT: All right, go ahead and roll damage.

TALIESIN: That's a 20.

MATT: Whoever sent in that d20.

SAM: It's weighted.

TALIESIN: It must be. Oh, it's hollow! Nine. 15 points of damage.

MATT: With the rocketing (blast) sound, the Pepperbox fires, and the skeleton in front of you just explodes into splinters of bone, just… being scattered amongst the crowd of skeletons behind it. However, the moment that that one is gone, another one seems to already be crawling into its place.

TALIESIN: Whatever you're going to do, do it! I'm firing again.

MATT: Okay, fire again.

TALIESIN: 24.

MATT: What is it, 24?

TALIESIN: 24. 11 points of damage.

MATT: 11 points of damage? (gunshot) It fires and blasts off most of the skull on the skeleton, and you can see its jaw hangs open, but it still (skeletal hiss).

TALIESIN: Firing one more time at it! That hit. 15, 27. Seven points of damage.

MATT: Okay, that one you clearly destroy the top of its skull. The rest of it just crumples into the pile and disperses amongst the chaos. The horde, though, is now as almost like a wave. There's so much of it that's pushing up against the wall and beginning to swell up to reach the top of the ten-foot wall. The flaming sphere rolls over the top and slams down into the front of the group. As it hits and impacts, go ahead and roll the damage.

MARISHA: I cast it at 4th-level, so it's doing 5d6 right now.

MATT: All righty. And what's the–

MARISHA: They have to make dexterity saving throws.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: Oh, really?!

TALIESIN: Wow.

MATT: One, three, nine, 20. One. I'm doing general rolls for this. It pushes through ten of them. Seven of them are destroyed, the bone cinders and burns, and then crumples into itself. A few of them manage to push out of the way, kind of (growls) watching as it rolls past. You can hear this constant pattering of rain evaporating against the flaming sphere (sizzling) as it pushes through, the mud boiling, left in its wake. As that's happening, you get up to the top. Trinket pushes you up on the top.

LAURA: Yeah. I want to shoot Lightning Arrow down into the core of it that I can see, just a big group of them.

MATT: Okay. Go for it.

LAURA: Okay.

SAM: I want to go up there. Pike's up there!

LAURA: 16?

MATT: 16? 16 definitely hits, yeah.

LAURA: Okay. And then that's– sorry, 2d8. I can't add. 4d8. There we go. 19.

MATT: 19 damage?

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: Okay, so the first one takes full damage, (impact noise) explodes as the lightning arcs through the air, the arrow hitting the central skeleton. You see the light actually burst into the back of its skull, causing this blueish-green glow to shoot out of its eyes and mouth as it explodes and detonates.

LAURA: Everything within ten feet.

MATT: Exactly. Ten feet total? That would be… wow.

TALIESIN: 16.

MATT: Yeah. (laughs) General saves on this. I'm rolling for shit.

TALIESIN: Yeah, you are!

MATT: All right, so with that (blast) the shock wave blasts outward, and you see skeletons being thrown– pieces of skeletons. Arms and weapons and pieces of shield and armor being flung in the air. As you see 12 of them immediately disintegrate and explode around it. In that moment, though, the horde pushes again and fills that gap almost instantly. You do see the end of it now, at this point. It looks to be probably a total of 65 left in this section. Roll a perception check.

LAURA: Aw, that looked like it was going to be awesome. 11.

MATT: 11? Okay. Don't worry about it.

TRAVIS: I look at Scanlan and I say, go get her, and I grab Scanlan by the back, and I throw him up onto the wall.

MATT: All right.

MARISHA: Cheerleader boost.

MATT: That's easy enough for a ten-foot wall, oh, and for a gnome, so with that, Scanlan leaps up, and you land next to Pike.

SAM: Hi, baby! It's been so long. Man, you look good. Aw, man, I'm so distracted by your beauty. Hey, let's kick some ass together, shall we?

ASHLEY: Kick some ass! Come on, let's go!

MATT: And with that, both Scanlan and Pike, what do you guys want to do?

SAM: Ladies first.

ASHLEY: Can I jump off of the wall?

MATT: You can.

LAURA: Into the group?!

MATT: You can, yeah.

ASHLEY: Yeah. I can? Okay. I want to try… I want to see what happens if I cast Turn Undead.

MATT: Or Destroy Undead. You have access to both.

ASHLEY: Oh man. Okay.

MATT: It's a 30-foot radius.

ASHLEY: Let's do it. I want to see it. I want to see what it does.

MATT: All right, so I need you to go ahead and make an athletics check to see how far you can jump, if you don't mind.

ASHLEY: What check was it?

MATT, LAURA, AND TRAVIS: Athletics.

MARISHA: This is going to be so badass. So badass.

LAURA: Don't jinx it. Don't jinx it.

ASHLEY: What do I roll, again?

MATT: Rolling athletics.

LAURA: A 20 and then add your athletics.

ASHLEY: I rolled a seven.

MATT: (laughs) And what's your athletics?

LIAM: Can I pick her up by the armor and throw her?

MATT: (laughs) It's a little late for that, unfortunately. What's your total?

ASHLEY: Okay, hold on.

MATT: Okay, just get in the swing of it, first.

ASHLEY: I'm so sorry, you guys. I roll a 20? And I rolled a ten. I rolled a ten. Hold on.

MATT: It's all good.

ASHLEY: Natural 20!

LAURA: Oh!

SAM: Hey, what is she rolling, huh?

MARISHA: She accidentally rolled a d10, so she was re-rolling for a d20, and she rolled a natural 20.

MATT: That's pretty fantastic.

TALIESIN: Thank you for the translation.

MARISHA: Yes. Oh yay!

MATT: Okay, then. Given that circumstance, you in this sunny, radiant form, you reach back and leap into the air, and for a split second you see with a flash of light, almost like these momentary feather angel wings, burst out of the shoulders of Pike that (whoosh) flap once and then disperse into sparkling feathers that vanish under the rain. As Pike leaps out, landing 35 feet in the center of this on top of a skeleton. You slide down its body as its shield pushes you off to the ground, and you land on your feet, and as far as you can tell from your eye-line, all you see are chattering skulls and blades around you for all visual perspectives and a little bit of the skyline above you, a little bit of the clouded night sky. So Pike, are you going to use your action to Destroy Undead?

ASHLEY: Yeah!

(laughter)

MATT: Okay. Wow.

MARISHA: Come on, Pike.

LAURA: Oh my gosh.

MATT: What's your spell DC? Be on your spell page.

ASHLEY: It is 16.

MATT: 16? Good to know. That's wisdom. They're minus one wisdom.

MARISHA: There's, like, 80 skeletons he has to roll for.

LAURA: Yeah, he's rolling a gajillion times, Ashley.

TALIESIN: Roll.

LAURA: Oh, goodness.

ASHLEY: I just keep hearing a thud.

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: Yeah. (laughs)

ASHLEY: Thunk.

LIAM: It's going to be like a knife through butter.

LAURA: I can't believe he's rolling this many times.

MARISHA: I know.

(laughter)

MATT: Okay. So, as you see all the skeletons begin to reach for you, and their blades come pulling down towards your armor, you curl into a ball, clutch your holy symbol of Sarenrae, and through the connection that has allowed you to be here in this moment, you feel this welling of radiant energy just burst out from you in this shock wave of glowing radiant force just (explosion noise) blast outward. For that entire blast wave radius, which would be the entirety of this road leading back for about 60 feet, you end up turning to ash roughly 36 of these skeletons.

ALL: Whoa!

ASHLEY: What?!

(laughter)

MATT: Just (explosion noise) the rain itself is disintegrated by the sudden wave of heat, and there is just a cloud of ash that turns to mud immediately against the rain and slams against the nearby buildings, slowly dripping down the sides. Pieces of metal armor just go slamming to the ground, rolling (clanking) into piles and piles of currently unused weapons.

LAURA: Our jaws are just–

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: As you look up, you can see the remainder of the horde, which you're looking at probably about at this point 20 or so skeletons still pushing forward at this point, just mindlessly rushing towards the closest thing they can see, which is this glowing beacon of a gnome in the center of the street.

LAURA: Oh my god.

MATT: All right, so Scanlan, what do you want to do?

SAM: By the way, can I just say, that's my girlfriend who just did that.

(laughter)

SAM: I have to go to her aid. How close are the skeletons that are approaching her right now?

MATT: They're going to be acting after this, so they're about 30 feet away from her, so just outside of the radius of her spell.

SAM: Okay. I'm going to– she jumped 35 feet out there?

MATT: She did, yes.

SAM: Can I do that?

MATT: If you want to try.

MARISHA: She rolled a natural 20.

LAURA: She rolled a natural 20.

SAM: Jesus, that was hot.

ASHLEY: I can't believe I rolled a natural 20 on my first roll.

LAURA: That is amazing.

ASHLEY: So happy, you guys.

SAM: Man.

ASHLEY: It won't happen for the rest of the game.

SAM: Yeah, I'm going to try to jump to her.

(laughter)

MATT: Okay.

ASHLEY: Do it! Do it!

SAM: Got to limber up first, stretch out the calves.

TALIESIN: This is going to go so poorly.

LIAM: Natural 20 for love.

SAM: For love? Yeah, four.

(laughter)

SAM: Is this acrobatics or athletics?

MATT: It's athletics.

SAM: Ooh, that's a nine.

MATT: The wall itself is slick, and as you push down, you lose your traction on the front. It doesn't cause you to fall, per se, but you manage to get ten feet off the actual wall, landing (boof) with a thud in the dirt, and Pike still 25 feet away from you.

SAM: Okay, do I still have a move, or is that my move?

MATT: I'm going to say that's going to be your move.

SAM: Okay, shit. (laughs) How many are in my line of sight?

MATT: The 20 or so that are left are currently 55 feet from you and beyond.

SAM: And are they clumped together by any chance?

MATT: They are; they're very clumped together.

SAM: Oh, great.

MATT: All their friends just turned to ash, and they're now starting to climb over the armor to find their way towards Pike.

SAM: Okay, then I'm going to cast Lightning Bolt on them. Will I hit Pike? Is she in my line of fire?

MATT: Not if you angle it towards the edge.

SAM: I will angle it, then.

(laughter)

MATT: All right.

SAM: Oh, and also, Lightning Bolt comes out of my body?

MATT: Out of your body in a straight line.

SAM: Can it come from my cock region?

MATT: If you would like to.

SAM: I would like it to just spew forth out of my gonads, just at them.

LAURA: Of course you do.

SAM: I'm trying to impress Pike! I've got a lightning dick!

MATT: An arcane display of virility, if ever there was one. Scanlan does a singular, classic, ancient technique, the arcane thrust, and with such (boosh) a bolt of energy goes firing out just barely arcing around Pike's form and slamming into a row of skeletons. Go ahead and roll your 8d6, and what's the DC on your spell? I will say because you're doing the thrust, you do not get the cone on this one.

SAM: Oh, well it's not a– it's 17.

MATT: 17.

LAURA: (laughs) He just put the cone down in a lower place.

LIAM: There's no 1d6 for cube damage.

(laughter)

MATT: Not for skeletons.

SAM: (counts quietly) No wait, that's 14, 16, 20, 22!

MATT: 22? All right, so the bolt (electric spark) arcs through and slams into seven of them. What was the total damage there you said?

SAM: I'm sorry?

MATT: The total damage was?

SAM: 22.

MATT: 22. Okay, yeah. So two of them survive. You can see their kind of burnt, charred forms, and one of them's missing an arm now, and the armor itself is still (electricity noise) arcing little bits of energy. Five of them, however, just explode into black, burning bone chips.

LAURA: Bone chips.

MATT: At which point you can now see, bolts of lightning are (lightning strike) coming down from the storm in the distance, too, as the thunderstorm itself is reaching more of a fervored pace, the rain itself getting harder and harder on you guys. So, with that, you can see looking over your shoulder on the other side of this wall another bit of skeletal horde is starting to come down one of the nearby intersections, and it's starting to come around the other side of you guys.

LAURA: Oh, we're getting trapped.

TRAVIS: Oh, shock. We should have fucking run.

MATT: You do see, however, that the ten villagers and Keeper Yennan are currently rushing towards that group to hold them at bay and Keeper looks back over his shoulder and says, “You! Don't worry! We've got this! You do what you must. It has begun. Finish it!” And goes charging forward, holding his shield forward, rushing towards the group of skeletons. The skeletons, however– you have to do something at this point.

LIAM: I'm going to hold my turn.

MATT: Hold your turn? Okay. The remaining 13 or so skeletons use their full movement to get up, only three of which can actually get into combat range with Pike, since their speed is only 30. That radius really messed them up, man.

ASHLEY: Yeah!

MATT: Glad you could make it tonight.

(laughter)

LIAM: Are they closing in on Pike?

MATT: They are, yes.

LIAM: Oh, then I'm going to leap off the wall and run towards Pike.

MATT: Okay, so you'll get there simultaneously; you'll be doing your action simultaneously. So, you run off the wall (running steps) and make it up, not a problem at all with speed. Pike, as you see the rest of the skeletons zoning in on you, Vax suddenly just rushes to your side, daggers at the ready. Three skeletons are going to take swipes at Pike. That is a 17? Nope? Oh, it's a seven. Oh, skeletons. And that is a 12. Yeah. Two of them try and swipe, and you just knock it out of the way with your shield. A third one does hit you in the front of the chest, but the armor deflects it entirely, and the blade actually sinks a little bit into your form, but the radiant energy that holds your position there just pushes it off, and the blade itself seems to almost dull from the impact.

TALIESIN: Up yours, Harryhausen!

MATT: You're up.

LIAM: How many skeletons are in range right now?

MATT: Well, the final seven that are currently there are within range if you wish to attack any of them. There are three that are currently in melee with her.

LIAM: I'm going to take my blades and spin around, pommel out, and I'm going to start punching. I have no idea if this will do anything. There is a symbol of Sarenrae sewn into this glove right here. I'm just going to start– I don't have the Boots of Haste on, so I can just take two swings at–

SAM: Punching?

LIAM: Yeah. Two skeletons. One skeleton. Whatever skeleton is closest to Pike.

MATT: There's a skeleton right next to both you and Pike.

LIAM: Yeah, all right. He's getting it in the dusty jaw.

MATT: Go for it.

LIAM: All right, I have no idea how to do this. I've never done anything without a dagger. That's not good. I don't know what to add to this.

LAURA: You still get sneak attack if you're in back of them.

LIAM: That's true, but I have to hit.

(laughter)

MATT: So, if you're just physically punching, this is strength-based. So roll a d20. Add your strength modifier and your proficiency– although it's unarmed strike, so I don't know if you're proficient with unarmed strikes…

LIAM: No, that's fine. so the first one misses entirely.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: And the second one is– oh, this is probably fine for skeletons. 12, 13, 14.

MATT: What did you roll on the dice?

LIAM: 11.

MATT: Yeah, you hit.

LIAM: Okay, that's the right hand with the symbol.

MATT: The symbol of Sarenrae, okay. Go ahead and roll 1d2 plus your strength modifier damage.

LAURA: 1d2? There's no 1d2.

MATT: Roll a d4 and divide it by two.

LIAM: It's a one, so it's a one.

MATT: What's your modifier for strength?

LIAM: Two, so it's a three.

MATT: So you do three points of Vax fist damage right to the skull (crushing sound).

SAM: She killed 36 of them!

MATT: It hurts at impact, and you feel like the bone wobbled as the skull (bone ratchety noise) back towards you.

LIAM: This symbol does nothing for me. I'm here to soak up damage for you, Pike. Let them hit me in the face.

TALIESIN: It looks great.

MARISHA: Good craftsmanship.

MATT: But well done, that was a fun round.

LIAM: That was a test. It's better now than against Sylas Briarwood.

MATT: (laughs) True enough.

TRAVIS: Can I make it around the wall?

MATT: If you want to make an athletics check to leap up and use that to jump off, you– mister athletic movement and high speed.

TRAVIS: 19?

MATT: Rolled a 19?

TRAVIS: 12 and seven.

MATT: I'll say you leap up on the wall, use that as kind of a stepping point, and jump as far as you can. You get 20 feet forward beyond the wall (heavy landing) land with your hammer to your side, (flames ignite), flames flickering off the edge of it. You still have– I'd give you 20 more feet of movement at this point because you're a crazy-fast barbarian.

TRAVIS: Can I reach them?

MATT: You'd be able to reach two of them, right on the other side of Pike.

TRAVIS: “Tee time!” And I rush up with the war hammer and swing.

MATT: Okay, go for it.

MARISHA: Tea time?

LAURA: Tee time. I was picturing tea; he probably meant golf.

TRAVIS: Like Happy Gilmore.

TALIESIN: Fist full of crumpets.

TRAVIS: Tea time. That's a 26.

MATT: 26, that definitely hits. Roll for damage on the first one.

TRAVIS: Okay, I don't know…

TALIESIN: Mister Cobblemitts, I do declare.

SAM: Get your doilies out.

TRAVIS: Okay, 11. 12?

MATT: 12 damage? How much is the war hammer? Of that? Not the fire damage.

TRAVIS: Oh, just 11.

MATT: 11? Okay. As you smack into it, you can see the bones themselves are brittle by nature, but the solid slamming force of a thick piece of honed metal into the side of this bone-brittle creature just sends it shattering to the side. You get the feeling that these entities are particularly fragile against bludgeoning weapons. So your first strike just scatters one of the skeletons across the ground. You have one more in your reach if you want to go for your second attack.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

MATT: Okay.

TRAVIS: 20.

MATT: 20. Go ahead and roll damage on that one.

TRAVIS: (laughs) 16. 22.

MATT: (explosion noise) The second one just explodes up into the air. You can see one of its shields goes flying off and lands on one of the roofs, almost like Walter White's pizza.

MARISHA: I dodge a femur.

ASHLEY: I give Grog an air-high-five.

MATT: As great weapon master, I believe if you kill something, you also can use a bonus action to get a third attack. Outside of your frenzied rage. So, I mean, nothing's in– right now in melee range for you, but if you wanted to throw your hammer, you could.

TRAVIS: I'm also not raging.

MATT: Correct. I'm saying, as part of great weapon master, you can not rage, kill something, and then get a free attack with your weapon.

TRAVIS: Well let's throw some shit, then.

MATT: (laughs) So with the Chain of Returning attached to your hammer, you go ahead and (propeller noise) send it swinging towards one of the further skeletons.

TRAVIS: 25.

MATT: 25 definitely hits. Go ahead and roll damage.

TRAVIS: Ten… 14.

MATT: 14, doubled due to the bludgeoning vulnerability on the initial impact. The hammer slams into its rib cage, causing it to cave inward. Its entire upper body just falls into itself as the hammer, not meeting any resistance, goes beyond and (impact) splotches into the mud. Go ahead and make your athletics check to try and pull the hammer back.

LIAM: Like you're attacking ribbon candy.

MATT: Kind of, technically.

TRAVIS: 13.

MATT: 13. You just (sucking noise) pull it out with a sickening sound (thunk) catch it in the air, the blood dripping– the mud dripping off of it, but you see it burning away as the flames begin to burst through the actual mud.

LAURA: You're licking the mud off?

TRAVIS: Yeah. Never know a place until you lick the mud.

MATT: Burns some of the taste buds as the searing hot edge of the hammer reaches your tongue.

TRAVIS: (pained noises)

MATT: All right, that ends that round. There are now currently four skeletons on this side. We'll say for the sake of brevity, you manage to, in the next round or so, just destroy them, the flaming sphere itself can just bash through them. So you're on two sides of the wall. The rain's pouring so heavily (lightning crash). There's a flash in the distance of lightning. I want everyone to roll perception.

TRAVIS: Now I know what we're looking for.

TALIESIN: Have to have a conversation soon.

MARISHA: Have to have a conversation. Oh, fuck.

SAM: 16.

TRAVIS: Two.

LIAM: 20.

TALIESIN: 17.

LAURA: 19.

MARISHA: One.

MATT: So you got 20? You see in the flash of lightning in the distance. You can see just barely on the other side of the town square what looks like the outline of a giant currently slamming into something, and out of the corner of your eye, you see a second one to the south side of the city. There are still a few of these giant sentinels out there. They don't look too terribly close, but they're still on the rampage.

LAURA: Should get out of here.

SAM: Or kill them.

TRAVIS: Or kill them.

LAURA: That's a lot of giants to take on.

SAM: There's two.

LIAM: We need to go kill those giants right now. We have a holy gnome right now. I don't know how you came to us Pike. We need to go to them, and then we need to go to the Briarwoods now. Now.

LAURA: I'm out of spells! We can't go to the Briarwoods now. I am out of spells.

LIAM: Granted, we're going to the giants now.

MARISHA: I don't think we have a choice.

LIAM: Giants now.

SAM: Giants. Let's go get the giants.

TALIESIN: Yennan! Can you hold until morning?

MATT: As you're shouting this over, he is currently about 40 feet away right now, slamming into a front line of skeletons, grabbing his own holy symbol, and you see another similar burst of energy to the one that Pike let out earlier. (explosion) That same dull, bass-y impact sound. You feel a shudder in the ground beneath you as a series of more skeletons are immediately disintegrated in his proximity. Looks over his shoulder. “Until morning? Why wait until morning? "We're fighting now!”

TALIESIN: We'll do what we can.

SAM: Hold that thought.

TRAVIS: I'll go.

LIAM: Giants, now.

SAM: Giants, yes.

LAURA: I can shoot an arrow.

LIAM: Better than the Briarwoods plus giants; let's go get those giants right now.

SAM: Are the two giants together or are they coming from opposite sides?

LIAM: No, there's one over there, and there's one off in that direction.

MATT: One to the east, one to the south.

SAM: Let's split the party.

MARISHA: Split the party! I say we do it; fuck it, let's split the party. One take east, one take west.

LIAM: All right, weight it more heavily to the group that does not have Pike.

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: Okay. Who's taking whom?

SAM: Oh, I'm with Pike.

(laughter)

MARISHA: Spellcasters should split up. I'll go without– what did you just say?

LAURA: I said Percy, you, me, and Vax go on one, and then these three go on another.

ALL: Yes.

TRAVIS: I'll take the gnomes on my shoulders.

(laughter)

LIAM: Ah, it's adorable.

TALIESIN: Give you a big hug.

MATT: All right, so we have Grog and the two gnomes, and the rest of you?

MARISHA: Hey, we started something; we can't stop.

MATT: Who's going which direction?

TRAVIS: Grog and the two gnomes will run south.

LIAM: Are they to the south and west?

MATT: Currently to the south and east.

LAURA: Why are we splitting? This is the stupidest!

SAM: Everything we've done in this fight is the stupidest. Let's go.

MARISHA: Let's go!

SAM: All right, big and smalls are going south.

TALIESIN: We meet to the west!

MARISHA: We'll go east.

TALIESIN: We're going east, but we meet to the west when we're finished.

TRAVIS: The treeline.

TALIESIN: Listen to your ears.

MARISHA: Although remember, the signal's a little weak.

TALIESIN: Once we get back to the western wall, we'll be able to hear each other.

MATT: All right.

TALIESIN: Oh god.

MATT: Grog and gnomes, you guys are going to the south, all right. As you guys dart off, making your way around the still very ominous and creepy Sun Tree to your left, you can see all the various muddy prints of all the scraping skeletons that came through here, and in the distance you can still hear echoing shouts, combat shouts, commands being sent throughout. There's still very much an aggressive presence of the resistance in this city. You have no idea whether or not it's on the winning or losing side at this moment, but it is still active. You guys divide at this point. Starting with you guys. Grog, holding both the gnomes, and you can feel Pike is lighter than normal, and you know her weight quite well, as you're used to putting her up on your shoulders from growing up with her, and in recent years. But there's also this strange kind of vibration to her body, like it's not physically there, but yet it does feel like there is physical presence. As you're rushing through the rain, acknowledging this, you make your way to the bottom of the square. Charging through, you almost slip at one point and catch yourself, head past one street, a second street, and to the left as you glance off, you can see there is another patch of skeletons and currently about five villagers that are just trying to tear through them. You see a couple of bodies of villagers that have recently been killed. There's one that's actually still partially alive on the ground. It's like dragging itself through the mud in your direction, like (gasping, grunting) Rain pouring down, there's a big trail of mud and blood currently behind him as he's making his way towards you guys. (gasp) “Help!” What are you doing, Grog?

TRAVIS: Pike, do you want to help him?

ASHLEY: What did you say it was?

LIAM: There's a person wounded, pulling themselves through the mud, saying, “Help me.”

ASHLEY: Yeah, I do. I always want to help somebody. I don't know; what do you think?

SAM: Yeah, let's do it. Let's help him.

ASHLEY: Okay.

TRAVIS: All right, we stop and let Pike down.

MATT: Okay, so you rush up to this guy. As you get up to him, you see his face is half-covered in blood; his side is very heavily wounded. It looks like he took some sort of a spear wound that then tore through his midsection. He has been bleeding out pretty heavily at this point and probably doesn't have much longer to him. As you bring Pike down below him, Pike, what are you going to do?

ASHLEY: Okay, I'll Cure Wounds.

MATT: What level?

ASHLEY: I'll do 3rd.

MATT: Okay, so go ahead and roll for that.

SAM: She's the best.

(laughter)

SAM: Look at her, Grog. She's helping an innocent bystander. She didn't have to!

TRAVIS: Going to step on his throat after she's done.

SAM: She just is a people person!

MATT: All right, 3d8 plus five.

ASHLEY: (garbled) 23.

TRAVIS: 23?

MATT: 23? Okay, so as you reach forward, he looks up at you like he's seeing an angel walk towards him and looks scared. He's like, “No, not yet. Not yet!” And as you reach forward and touch the sides of his face with your smile of mercy and understanding, your warm hands touch the sides of his head, and the energy of Sarenrae's blessing pours through his body. You can see the insides of his armor begin to give this soft glow from where the wounds are as they close up. You can see the large gash in his side begin to stitch itself up magically, and at that point he takes a deep breath for a second and kind of turns over and is now in sitting position, breathing heavily, looking around himself, confused. “You… you're an angel. A bloody right angel.”

ASHLEY: No, I'm not, I–

MATT: He reaches out for you with his hand forward. “Thank you.”

ASHLEY: I help him up.

MATT: He gets up and he still seems sore and bruised and there's still wounds across his body, but he's no longer on the path to terminal loss of his life. He stands up. “Okay. Okay. Thank you.”

TRAVIS: Run. Now.

MATT: “Oh, I intend to.” And he reaches over in the mud and finds his sword, wipes it off from the side, (war cry) turns around and rushes back in to the rest of his allies.

TRAVIS: I like him!

SAM: He's a good guy.

TRAVIS: I pick Pike back up, put her on my shoulder, and we keep running.

MATT: Okay, you guys go charging back into the storm from the south side.

(Skype sound)

ALL: Oh no!

MATT: We've lost Pike!

LAURA: Oh no!

SAM: It's okay, it's okay.

LIAM: Keep telling the story.

MARISHA: Oh god!

MATT: Technology. As you guys continue running forward, you go past two city streets. The whole city's dark now, it's closed down in preparation for what this evening is going to entail. So you go past these two streets to the left. Immediately, you hear the familiar sound of a large, heavy mass slamming into the ground, and as soon as you turn the corner you can see there are three people left in this one resistance brigade. There is a pile of wounded and/or killed soldiers around its feet, and it looks like it's been nearly untouched. This one apparently got the drop on them or at least they weren't fully prepared for what they were up against, and it's just swinging this giant club in the air around towards them. They're all kind of keeping their distance, not knowing if they should run or keep fighting. As you just turn around the corner, I want you guys to roll initiative.

SAM: Initiative, Ashley, initiative.

ASHLEY: Okay. Wait, I cut out right when you said, was that guy bad?

SAM: No, he was a good guy. You did good, kid.

ASHLEY: Okay.

MARISHA: He picked up a sword and went running back into battle.

LIAM: Back to the fight.

ASHLEY: Okay, good.

TRAVIS: Boss.

SAM: 16 for me.

TRAVIS: Yes! Me too.

MATT: Fantastic.

SAM: We'll go last.

LIAM: Ooh, he's got houses.

LAURA: Oh, wow. This one is very, very rolly. What did you get for initiative, Ashley?

ASHLEY: I got a six.

LAURA: Aw.

SAM: She said six?

LAURA: Yeah.

SAM: Aw.

MATT: Should be fine there.

MARISHA: Fine, fuck it.

LIAM: Oh, look at that!

LAURA: Whoa, he's huge! Grog is almost as big as him. Almost.

MARISHA: You ready for this, Grog?

MATT: She is turned this way right now. They're all keeping their distance at this point. All right. So. Initiatives for that. Oh. All right.

LIAM: Blood of the giant, you can do this.

MARISHA: Oh man, I'm so excited.

LAURA: Horrified.

MARISHA: Yeah, me too, a little horrified.

MATT: All right, so. Initiatives are?

SAM AND TRAVIS: 16.

SAM: Six for her.

MATT: All righty.

MARISHA: Does Trinket– where's Trinket?

LAURA: I'm riding Trinket.

MARISHA: Oh, we're riding Trinket.

LAURA: I'm riding Trinket.

MARISHA: You're riding Trinket, okay.

MATT: All right. Grog and Scanlan, you guys are up first.

SAM: I'll go first. I'm not going to do much, but I will take out my Wand of Magic Missiles, because I've got to use everything I got. And I will shoot, fuck it, six missiles, I'll use six of the slots. So it's three plus another five.

MATT: Okay, and how many total do you have on there?

SAM: Every day it recharges and I rolled and it's back up to seven.

MATT: Okay, got you. So seven is the max you can hold for that. Okay. So you're using the last of yours for this, this is the last.

SAM: I am using six of the seven.

MATT: Okay, got you. Okay. Got you. Then go ahead and roll for that.

TRAVIS: Put the stank on this guy.

SAM: What do I do? 11. I don't– what am I adding to this?

MATT: Well, for Magic Missile, you keep firing–

MARISHA: It just happens.

MATT: Yeah, you don't have to roll, they all hit automatically, that's the good thing about Magic Missile, it just hits. All right, so you create three darts, so it's 3d4 plus three, and then if you're casting it at 6th-level, you said?

SAM: Yeah.

MATT: All right. That'll be an additional five darts. 8d4 plus eight.

SAM: Okay. Three, five, eight, 12. 14, 15, 17. 17 plus eight. 25.

MATT: 25 points of damage to the giant. As you jump off Grog's shoulder, pull out your wand, it all of a sudden glows for a second, and from that point like a swarming anime missile storm, these unerringly hitting arcane missiles slamming into the sides of the giant. (growls) You can see bits of its flesh unfolding and spilling off to the side, exposing some bone underneath, as all of a sudden its attention shifts, looking over its shoulder at the three of you. As it begins to right itself, preparing being flanked on each side, a little bit of undead intelligence within its brain knowing how to defend itself. (growls)

SAM: As my movement, I'm going to– where am I?

MATT: You're right here, on the side of Grog.

SAM: I'm going to move just in that thing. Where's the laser?

TALIESIN: Oh, the thingie?

SAM: I don't know. I'm going to move to my left into that little alcove there.

MATT: Okay, so you're kind of hiding around the wall of the one of the buildings, and as you dart to the side, kind of glancing around the corner.

SAM: And I'll sing a song of inspiration for Grog.

MATT: All righty.

SAM: (sings) Well now Whitestone's got problems, and now we really can't solve them, unless we make really deep cuts, so baby show me that Grog blood!

(laughter)

MATT: Take your d10 inspiration.

TRAVIS: Wow.

MATT: Grog, you're up. Hearing this beat in the back of your head as Scanlan's stomping his foot–

TRAVIS: This is my jam!

(laughter)

TRAVIS: I go into a frenzied rage and I rush the stone giant from behind. And I take aim at his right–

MATT: You guys are almost in the same position, there.

TRAVIS: At his right leg, yeah–

MATT: Oh, you're spooning.

TRAVIS: I aim at the back of his right knee.

MATT: Go for it.

TRAVIS: 17?

MATT: That hits.

TRAVIS: Should I roll damage first? Or all three.

MATT: There's no other current combat target, so you can roll all three, it's fine.

TRAVIS: 26?

MATT: Hits.

TRAVIS: 24, sorry. And 19.

MATT: Hits. He's very slow-moving and a very large target, he's very easy to hit, thankfully. So as you rush up, first, what you got?

TRAVIS: 22 for the first one.

MATT: 22, nice.

TRAVIS: 13 for the second one.

MATT: Nice.

TRAVIS: 15 for the third one.

MATT: Nice! (whack) You slam the hammer into the side of one of its calves. It buckles for a second and you can see the muscle itself kind of snap and a piece of bone is now jutting out of the side of its leg.

TRAVIS: (singing) Now we got Grog's blood.

(laughter)

MATT: With that, you swing the hammer around and slam it into the bone, actually jamming it deeper into its leg.

(all yell)

TRAVIS: Yes, yes!

MATT: As you pull back, these slow flames kind of burning the outside, you can see the flesh sizzling with the impact of the burning hammer. Swing it once in your hand, whack! Onto the other side, this time the actual leg bursts out that side and it falls almost a little bit, it's sort of walking on this stump of a leg now, you pretty much destroyed the bottom half of its middle of its calf to its foot, it's just slumping over, the toe's still kind of wiggling on its own. It's now half on part of its leg as at this point it kind of rotates in place towards you now, using one hand to get around as it brings this club up. Looking up into its face now, as you haven't really had a close-up on this, it's strange to see, you see there are similar features, you've encountered stone giants this up close and this personal, there is where your brethren, your blood comes from. However, half of its face is torn off by some sort of large claw mark. Where there would be an eye is just this sunken socket and there are these streaks of dried blood that long before the rainstorm came are just smeared across the face, and part of its jaw is broken open and you can see jagged broken teeth underneath, its tongue lolls out the side and it just (undead groan) reaches up with its club to come on down. (laughs) All right, so the first, it's going to come down and strike you with this giant club-like piece of heavy wood and metal. That's a natural 20.

LAURA: His face as he said it.

MATT: That's an 18 plus nine, so it's–

TRAVIS: 27, halved.

MATT: Well no, that's to hit.

TRAVIS: Oh, the hit. Got you.

MATT: All right, so. First strike comes at you for 16 points of bludgeoning damage, halved to eight. The other one comes to you at 14 points of bludgeoning damage, halved to seven. It looks very, very angry and very frustrated with the current circumstance. But you take each blow to the chest, showing off that strength you normally would do to something of your kin and ilk, even though it's not really living, old habits are hard to break. Finishing its turn, three resistance members rush into its side, as it's now turned to face you with its broken leg. Rushing in, strike it. Hits, hits, hits. All have short swords out and they're just stabbing it in the side of its body now that they have this opening and this distraction in the current moment. Five, five, five, which is 21 points of slashing damage.

TRAVIS: Damn.

MATT: From all three of them just stabbing it with a blade in the side. That ends its turn, bringing it to the top, Pike, you're up.

LAURA: Go Pike!

ASHLEY: Wait, I rolled a six!

MATT: Yeah. Now it's your turn.

ASHLEY: It's already my turn?

MATT: Yep, everyone else went. It's your turn.

ASHLEY: Okay. So I'm going to Guiding Bolt.

MATT: Okay.

ASHLEY: That guy. Or wait, is anybody– where are you at?

SAM: He's right there, but go ahead. Go ahead, Pike.

ASHLEY: All right.

SAM: Light him up.

MATT: You got this.

LIAM: Friendly fire just turns Grog on.

TRAVIS: Yeah, I'm just getting a warm-up right now.

MATT: So go ahead and make a ranged spell attack. Roll a d20 and add your spell attack modifier.

SAM: Most of his damage comes from behind.

ASHLEY: 17.

MATT: Okay, are you casting it at 1st level or a higher level?

ASHLEY: I'll cast it at a four.

MATT: Okay. All right. And what'd you roll?

TRAVIS: 17.

MATT: 17 definitely hits, so go ahead and roll 7d6 radiant damage.

MARISHA: What?

SAM: Wait, what?

LAURA: How did we not have Pike with us this whole time?

MATT: 7d6 radiant damage.

TRAVIS: Vaporize this motherfucker. (laughs) Cross the streams!

(laughter)

SAM: Oh no, Grog, that means you're going to get that much damage.

TRAVIS: But I'm a good person.

MARISHA: Yeah, it's radiant, it should do more against him.

MATT: Actually, this is a single-target spell, there's no radius to this.

MARISHA: Single attack. All right.

MATT: What's your total damage?

ASHLEY: 24.

MATT: 24 points of radiant damage.

ASHLEY: Yes.

MATT: Okay. So as you stand there for a second, you pull your holy symbol up, kind of putting your shield to the side, and as you release your hand out in front of you, this beam of divine energy streaks out, slamming into the zombie giant. As it hits, it continues to burn like a stream into its body, searing the flesh in a path as it does. As it impacts, it leaves this glowing, pulsing divine symbol across its chest of Sarenrae. The next attack against it has advantage.

SAM: From Pike or from everybody?

MATT: No, the next person to attack it gets advantage.

TRAVIS: Did I take any damage?

MATT: No, no, she was very precise with her impact on the giant. All right, do you want to move on your turn at all, Pike? Stay where you are, or do you want to move close to it?

ASHLEY: Where am I, sorry?

LAURA: Oh, can you not see? You're far away.

ASHLEY: I can't see very well. I'll stay.

MATT: Okay, you'll stay where you are. Okay, you keep your distance from it, let Grog do his thing. Okay, that brings us to the top of the round. Grog, Scanlan, you guys are up again.

TRAVIS: Would you like to go?

SAM: Next attack has advantage, I defer to you. I'll hold my roll.

TRAVIS: Sweet. If he's starting to lean down, I want to take his head and turn it into a tee-ball target.

MATT: (laughs) Okay.

MARISHA: Don't forget about your weapon master thing.

TRAVIS: Yeah, but then he gets advantage.

MATT: The thing is, you can use the minus five to hit plus ten to damage.

MARISHA: Yeah, that one.

MATT: It's what he's been doing.

TRAVIS: I didn't do it on the last one. Let's do it! Why not? Okay. We'll do great weapon master. We'll use it on that one.

SAM: Oh, you have advantage too.

LAURA: Yeah, you have advantage.

TRAVIS: That's even worse.

MATT: There you go.

LAURA: No, that was better.

TRAVIS: 16?

MATT: 16 hits.

TRAVIS: Oh good, okay.

MATT: Once again, big target, not very hard to hit, just has a lot of hit points.

TRAVIS: 16 again.

MATT: 16 also hits.

TRAVIS: That'll work. 26.

MATT: All right. All three hit.

TALIESIN: Kill it with fire.

TRAVIS: Kill it with fire. Sorry. Ten, 11, 21–

LAURA: Plus another ten for great weapon–

TRAVIS: I did it, yeah. That was 11 plus ten.

MATT: Okay.

TRAVIS: 15, so 25.

MATT: 25, all righty.

LIAM: Can these actors do addition?

MARISHA: I know. (laughs)

TRAVIS: 18, 23, 33.

MATT: 33 points of damage.

MARISHA: Holy shit. Nice!

MATT: All right. So as you swing the hammer upward, (whack) it hits along the side of its skull and you can see its skull actually cave in and crack a bit, bone and flesh scraped away. Where it cracks, you can see a bit of black brain mass begin to leak through. Using that, you spin the hammer around and hit it again the same place, (whack) finding the weak point, this time. Just the anger to smash through. (impact sound) It caves inward, and you can see bits of bone jam into its one semi-functioning eye. Its head now loosely pushed in on one side. The jaw hangs a little bit loose. The third strike, you come down, (whack) hit it from the other side. The jaw dislodges and goes flying off.

TRAVIS: Dibs!

(laughter)

MATT: But it's still standing.

LAURA: Without a head?!

MATT: His head's still there. His jaw is dislodged. The lower half of his jaw is missing. It's just this open part. His tongue dangling loosely out of the bottom. Part of its head caved inward, just (deep zombie groan).

TRAVIS: Shove my hand up your skull and work you like a sock puppet!

(laughter)

MATT: Are you going to stay where you are, Grog?

TRAVIS: Yeah.

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

SAM: How far can I move?

MATT: You can move 25 feet, so five squares.

SAM: 25? That's it?

MATT: You're a little gnome, dude. You have little legs.

SAM: Can I get next to Grog? Can I get near Grog? Can I get at an angle where I won't hit Grog with lightning?

MATT: You can, but at pretty much every angle, you're going to hit somebody aside from the giant.

SAM: Oh, I don't care about those guys.

(laughter)

SAM: I guess I should. Pike's with me. I've got to do this right. Damn it! (groans) If only you weren't here, Pike. Pike, don't look!

MATT: What are you doing?

LIAM: You shoot it at an angle up at his head. Up into the sky.

SAM: All right. I will try to hit him with a Lightning Bolt, but miss as many people as possible.

MATT: He's tall. He's down a little bit because of the impact that Grog gave, but at a higher angle, you could probably hit him without hitting the other guy.

SAM: Okay. I will angle up. This time, I would like the lightning to come from my ass.

MATT: You're William Wallace-ing it.

SAM: Yes. And I'll just lightning him at normal lightning damage.

MATT: All right, so 8d6 damage. Does not make its saving throw with a three.

LAURA: How can you even aim like that, Scanlan?

SAM: Oh, I have practiced aiming things with my ass in this campaign.

MATT: Very true. Sadly.

SAM: (counts quietly) 28.

MATT: 28 points of damage. All right. (lightning crash) The bolt of lightning shoots off into the sky, arcing through its body. You can see where part of its neck muscle was torn, it fuses into its shoulder from the impact of the bolt. (moans) Almost falls over from the blast. However, it catches itself and (grunts) gets right back up. It's looking pretty rough, but it's still keeping itself there, yeah.

SAM: What? I just farted lightning on him!

MATT: That ends your turn?

SAM: I'll inspire Pike. I'll turn to her and I'll say, (sings) I wish they all could be cleric gnomian girls.

(laughter)

MATT: All right, Pike. You get a d10 inspiration dice from Scanlan, a voice you've longed to hear for some time, as your friendship has been so far away. Take your 1d10.

LAURA: Hear that, Scanlan? Friendship.

SAM: Friendship? Aw, man.

MATT: All right, so on the zombie giant's turn, it recovers from the bolt of lightning, looking at this large target in front of it, it sees this tiny little morsel and you see it brings up its leg that's partially destroyed and (heavy footsteps) begins to move forward just to there, to get you within range. It's going to move a little closer. It gets two attacks of opportunity from the guards behind it.

SAM: Two?

TALIESIN: I was about to say, the guard is there.

LAURA: Against it. Against it.

MATT: That somehow actually misses with a two. That does hit, though, so it takes– oh, nice– eight points of slashing damage from one of the guards that, as it runs by, just swings out and slashes across its thigh. As it comes up towards you, it (zombie groan), its tongue dangling out, this horrible gurgling sound coming out of what is now technically its open throat. As it brings its club upward–

SAM: As my reaction, I bring up my shawm– it's a horn– and I blow the note. The note is like Dumb and Dumber, the sound he makes? (off-key horn noise) That most annoying sound. (off-key horn noise) And mash all my fingers down.

MATT: Okay. Is this your–

SAM: This is my trying to– Cutting Words!

MATT: Cutting Words? Okay. All right, well it rolled a 21 to hit. For Cutting Words, you roll a d10 and subtract that from the attack roll, right?

SAM: What is this?

TALIESIN AND MARISHA: That is a ten.

MARISHA: Big money, no whammies.

SAM: One.

MARISHA: Fuck!

(laughter)

MATT: So, 20. Does that hit?

SAM: That hits.

MATT: All right, so (off-key horn noise, ping).

(laughter)

MATT: (laughing) Horrible shrieking sound.

SAM: Oh, my shawm!

MATT: You take 20 points of bludgeoning damage from the first strike and your shawm is bent and (weak horn noise) not quite– you'll probably have to buy a new one or get that repaired. You almost lost a tooth in the process. As you're like, (groans) from the impact, you pull back and you can feel already, the pulsing of the blood from the veins that have burst. It brings up its club one more time. (roars)

SAM: Oh, god.

MATT: That is going to be a 13.

SAM: That misses!

(laughter)

MATT: This time as it brings its club up, you see the arc, and you–

SAM: I'm ducking down to work on the shawm.

(laughter)

MATT: (whoosh) The swing is completely out of your view.

(laughter)

MATT: All right, that ends its turn. The guards are going to rush forward, now. They technically have advantage on it because they're flanking with you. A two and a three. Guys, you're killing me. Four and a six. The six actually still hits. Six and a 20. There we go. And a critical, so miss and then a hit and a critical.

TRAVIS: Nice natural 20.

MATT: So that's seven points of slashing damage from the first one, and then the critical. Ooh, nice. And a six on that one, so that's 12, 14 points of slashing damage from the other guy. So both of the guards rush up. One of them misses entirely. One jams the blade to the hilt in the middle of its body and pulls out. The last one actually jumps up onto its back and takes the sword and slams it into its spine and drags it down. A really decent wound for anything not this big. On this size, it's a little gash, still, but it left a nice sizable wound and it opens up and this horrible smell comes reeking out. The guy almost vomits as he backs up, just (groans). The rot escaping from the wound. That ends their turn. Pike, you're up.

TRAVIS: Put some hurt on this undead bastard.

ASHLEY: Okay. Where are you at, Scanlan?

SAM: You mean physically or mentally? Because I'm in love with you.

(laughter)

SAM: But I'm right next to Grog. Grog and I are right in front of the giant.

ASHLEY: Health-wise, where are you at?

SAM: Oh, I'm fine. Don't worry about me, baby.

ASHLEY: Okay, so I'm going to go up to the giant, where the open wound is, where that guy just broke it open. I have Sprinter's Boots, if I can't get all the way up to it.

MATT: Yeah, you'll have to use those to get up to him.

ASHLEY: Okay, I'll use Sprinter's Boots.

MATT: All right.

ASHLEY: I'm going to use my mace, and I'm going to start ripping where that wound is.

MATT: Actually, the open wound would be around here, but with Sprinter's Boots you can get there just fine, yeah. So you actually get around. All right, and you're technically flanking with Grog, so you have advantage on these attacks.

MARISHA: Nice.

MATT: So go for it.

ASHLEY: Okay, so I roll–

MATT: Roll to attack twice and take the higher of the two. I know you've been filming for a while.

ASHLEY: Roll the d20 twice?

LIAM: Roll two times, take the higher of the two.

ASHLEY: 17.

MATT: Okay, that's the higher of the two?

ASHLEY: That's the higher of the two. I had a seven and a 17.

MATT: Yeah, that definitely hits. Roll for the second attack because you can use your bonus action to strike because you're a war cleric.

ASHLEY: Nine.

MATT: A total of nine?

LAURA: Did you add it to anything?

ASHLEY: Wait, am I supposed to add something?

MATT: Add your attack bonus. Next to your weapon on your character sheet.

ASHLEY: Shit. Sorry, guys!

MATT: It's okay! You're out of practice, girl. It's all good. You've been too busy being in someone's Blindspot.

LAURA: You're busy being in the lab.

ASHLEY: Oh, 17 again!

MATT: 17 again. There you go. Both hit. Go ahead and roll the damage for the mace plus, if I recall…

ASHLEY: I think it's 1d6 plus three. Plus seven if it's an attack hit.

MATT: 1d6 plus three, yep. You also have a Mace of Disruption, don't you?

LIAM: Disruption. I think so, yeah.

MATT: What was the effect on that one? Do you have the item with you?

ASHLEY: I do. Shit. No, I don't have the papers.

SAM: Stolen on the subway on the way home from work.

ASHLEY: Guys, someone took it from me.

MATT: You also add an additional 1d8 damage to the first strike.

LIAM: 2d6 radiant damage. DC 15 wisdom save.

MATT: It's not going to make that. It didn't make that.

(laughter)

LIAM: It's now frightened of Pike until the end of her next turn.

SAM: Ooh.

MATT: Awesome. All right, so you're rolling 1d6 plus three, plus another 1d8, and how much did you say for that?

LIAM: 2d6 radiant damage.

MATT: Okay. So 3d6 plus three, and then an additional 1d8 for each strike.

SAM: Wait, what?

ASHLEY: Wait, so one more time?

SAM: Why is she so goddamn powerful?

MATT: Undead, man.

LIAM: Cleric vs undead.

ASHLEY: You said 3d6?

MATT: 3d6 plus three, plus an additional 1d8 radiant damage.

MARISHA: For every roll.

MATT: For both attacks, yeah.

MARISHA: For both attacks.

LAURA: Per attack.

ASHLEY: Fuck.

LAURA: This is the best.

ASHLEY: Okay.

MATT: Undead.

LIAM: We needed her from the get-go.

SAM: Matt, while she's rolling, can you describe her hair at this moment? Is it whipping around? Is it in her face? Is it covering her eyes in a sexy, sweaty way?

TALIESIN: Matted with jam.

SAM: He's ignoring me.

ASHLEY: Can I use my d10? An additional d10 from Scanlan, for the inspiration?

MATT: Not for damage. That was just to hit.

ASHLEY: I'm getting carried away. Okay. 23.

MATT: 23 on the first hit?

ASHLEY: Oh, shit. I forgot the second hit!

MATT: Yeah.

ASHLEY: Sorry!

MARISHA: 23 on the first hit.

ASHLEY: Sorry, guys watching. Sorry.

LIAM: Bring the holy retribution.

MARISHA: They'll understand.

LAURA: Oh, I've missed Pike so much.

MARISHA: Me, too.

ASHLEY: Oh, I've missed you, too.

MARISHA: I like your headphones, too, by the way.

LIAM: Kill, kill, kill.

ASHLEY: 21.

LAURA: Yay!

LIAM: All right, 44.

MATT: All right. The Mace of Disruption actually has a different effect. It's not about a frightened thing. If it has 25 hit points or fewer after taking this damage, it has to make a DC 15 wisdom saving throw, which it fails.

SAM: Which means?

MATT: So, as you rush up along the side of it, your Sprinter's Boots carrying you, this blur of divine gnomish energy. You see, through her somewhat shimmering, radiant form, the hair itself glistens against the rain. It almost doesn't even touch. Somehow immaculate in the middle of combat. You find it slow motion in your head, and for that brief moment, you remember how much it hurt to see her go and how happy you are to have her here. However, you, in the middle of your battle trance, Pike, rush up, shield ahead. You take the mace and, seeing the open wound, slam the mace in there once (wham). As you hit, the actual undead flesh burns away from the impact, leaving this ashy swath of missing flesh in its body. The creature gives out this weird, gurgly bellow (roar). Using that moment, as it rears back, how do you want to do this?

(cheering)

MARISHA: She's gone. She ran away. She took her headphones off and did a lap.

ASHLEY: Okay, I'm back. Oh my gosh.

MATT: The magical power of this is essentially destroying the creature, so describe this however you want to, in your radiant cleric form.

ASHLEY: Okay, I want him to just explode with a radiant glow.

MATT: Okay. As he reaches back, you see this foothold on its knee as it's trying to keep itself aloft. You leap up, using your Sprinter's Boots, onto one of its knees. Jump in the air, dropping your shield and two hands on your mace, you leap in the air, slam it downward. As the mace impacts on the front of its chest, there's this brief moment of pause as it cracks into its flesh. Its head looks down at you, and there's a burst of divine energy as his entire torso (explosion) rips open. What would be organs within that exposed, however, are all also turned to ash as the body (death rattle) dissipates and disintegrates, falling into a puddle of liquid, messy, muddy ash and bits and pieces of remaining giant there. As Pike lands on the ground, three-point landing, mace in one hand. Walks over and picks up her shield and looks over her shoulder at Grog and Scanlan.

SAM: Can I faint?

MATT: Yeah.

(laughter)

SAM: Oh.

TRAVIS: He's always doing that. Welcome back, Pike.

ASHLEY: (laughs) Oh boy. What the heck?

MATT: The three soldiers who are now there, looking dumbfounded at this moment, step forward and– you look like fighters, except you have this glowing, divine entity amongst the three of you. He steps forward. “If I might ask, who are you, and how did you do that?”

TRAVIS: We're the deliverers of this town. Go. Spread the word. It all comes down tonight.

MATT: “You're with the de Rolos?”

SAM and LAURA: (quietly) Not tonight!

TRAVIS: Tonight, tomorrow, tit for tat. Whatever.

MATT: You're not there.

LAURA: He is! He's there!

SAM: I'm just waking up. “What? What's going on?”

TRAVIS: It goes down in the next–

SAM: 24 hours.

TRAVIS: Don't put a timeline on it. These things– it takes a little time.

MATT: “You're with the de Rolos?”

TRAVIS: Aye, with the de Rolos.

MATT: “Then let it be done. Thank you for the save. We're going to gather our wounded and prepare for the next attack.”

SAM: Prepare. Wait for our signal. Spread the word.

MATT: “All right. Men! Come!” And the three of them rush off. They gather up a few of their friends who are further down the road, all groaning and wounded, getting up and putting their arms over their friends' necks. Gathering the dead and pulling them off the middle of the road. You notice as they're pulling them off the road, each one of their dead friends, they're actually pulling out torches and lighting fire to their corpses.

TRAVIS: Yeah, they don't want them to come back.

SAM: Should we loot? Should we loot them, first? (laughs) That would be in poor taste.

MATT: So what are you guys doing?

TALIESIN: Check the body for secrets.

TRAVIS: Do we want to stay, or do we want to head back towards the other three?

SAM: We should start heading back. We probably won't get there in time. Wait, Percy said to meet in the west.

TRAVIS: That's right. We should head to the west, to the wall. To the city wall.

SAM: We'll head west to our appointed meeting spot.

LAURA: Wild, wild west.

MARISHA: Vaguely west.

SAM: As we go, I'm looking at clotheslines for any sort of beret type of a hat.

(laughter)

MATT: Roll perception.

TRAVIS: Can we roll hit dice at any time during the day?

MATT: Only during a short rest.

TRAVIS: Got it.

SAM: 13.

MATT: 13. Not in this weather. Not in this city.

SAM: A yarmulke? Anything?

MATT: Nope. Whitestone? Not really a beret kind of people.

SAM: I'm a little thing. I have a little head. Maybe it could be just a shoulder pad.

MATT: Like a sock. Sure! There's also no laundry left out during the middle of a rainstorm.

SAM: All right, fine.

TRAVIS: Maybe they're terribly irresponsible.

MATT: It could be. Unfortunately, at this moment, no. You are unable to see any sort of a beret or could-be-fashioned-into-a-beret-type clothing piece.

TRAVIS: No Dust of Tracelessness this time as we head to the western wall.

MATT: Oh, Grog's getting bold!

TRAVIS: We're getting bold!

MATT: All right, so as you guys go rushing towards the western side of the city to meet up with the rest of the group, the rest of you, rushing past the center of the town square, you go running through the rain to the far side. You can now see the form that you originally saw, Vax. One of these giants has been pushed back. As you get all the way to the eastern side, you're actually outside the city now; you're pushing into the forest on the outskirts. On the raised hill amongst this part of the town, just outside the wall, there is the temple of Pelor in the center of the large graveyard. You can see that this zombie giant has been pushed back. You can just barely see the crest of him currently slamming some sort of large metallic weapon around, right over the treeline, as you approach the outside gate of the graveyard itself.

LIAM: I'm going stealth.

LAURA: I Hunter's Mark him.

MATT: Okay. What's the range on Hunter's Mark?

LAURA: That's a good question. It doesn't say.

LAURA AND TRAVIS: 90 feet.

MATT: 90 feet. You're probably going to have to get a little bit closer.

LAURA: Okay, I Hunter's Mark him as soon as I can.

MATT: Okay, good to know. You guys all going stealth right now, or are you all rushing in?

LAURA: I'm just going to rush in.

MARISHA: Yeah, let's run. I'm just running. Keyleth's running.

MATT: Okay. The gates are slammed open; part of the metal's bent inward, like whatever was pushing the giant back at this point had slammed through the gate.

TALIESIN: Hey, Vax?

LIAM: I'm gone, man.

TALIESIN: Oh, you're gone.

LIAM: Well, I rolled a 23. Am I stealthed?

MATT: You feel pretty stealthy.

TALIESIN: You have an earring, though. If he's on his ass, you have a better chance of hitting him, correct?

LIAM: Yeah, that sounds good.

TALIESIN: Good to know.

MATT: All right, so as you guys all rush into the center here, looking about, you can see, this hefty graveyard that you visited about two days ago: all of the graves are open. All of them are excavated and open, and you're starting to see where they're pulling a lot of these undead from.

TRAVIS: That's just rude.

MATT: However, many of them being armored and armed means it wasn't a direct transition. They were probably pulled from here and given weapons elsewhere. But that's the first thought that catches your attention as you rush in here. Rain pouring down, the clapping of thunder in the distance. You can see, there are six of these soldiers that are currently hacking away at this one giant that's being pushed up towards the edge of the temple right now. It looks like it's cornered, but it's lashing out like a wild animal. Roll initiative, folks.

SAM: Initiative, initiative.

MARISHA: Damn it! It's the second one I've rolled in a row.

TALIESIN: I am a monster. I am a monster!

LAURA: I've got to retire this one for a while.

TRAVIS: You literally are a monster.

TALIESIN: I have really high initiative.

LAURA: Did I already Hunter's Mark him now?

MATT: You can now, yes.

LIAM: And Matt? As we ran, I wanted to split off from the group and go up along the side.

MATT: Along the side this way? Okay, so you'll be over here.

LAURA: I leap off Trinket as we get close.

MATT: Oh. (chuckles) All right, so 20 to 25? Anybody? 20 to 15?

LIAM: 19.

TALIESIN: Oh, I'm sorry. 26.

TRAVIS: “Oh, I'm sorry. 26.”

LAURA: “I'm sorry, I wasn't paying attention. 26.”

SAM: “Oh, I was reading a book. Sorry.”

TRAVIS: Come on, Shadow Turd.

TALIESIN: This is going to be hilarious.

LIAM: That's what they call me.

TALIESIN: I'm going to do something I've never done before.

MATT: That brings us to– Keyleth, what did you get?

LAURA: Oh no! Ten.

MARISHA: Yeah, I'm distracted.

MATT: All right. The image of this whole thing– even though it looks like it's currently surrounded, its giant form, barely damaged at this point, is still a very ominous thing that strikes a bit of fear in your heart, causing you to hold back on your initial assault. And also worrying about not knowing how the rest of your party is doing. Percy, you start this off right now.

TALIESIN: Pull out Bad News.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: I'm going to take aim, and I'm going to wait for it to raise its club hand up. It's holding a club?

MATT: Actually, from this view, you can see it's actually a very large morningstar.

TALIESIN: It's a very large morningstar? Drop that. I'm going to have him drop the morningstar. Aimed shot.

MATT: All right.

MARISHA: Come on, Percy roll! He's got shitty AC.

TALIESIN: Thankfully, it's got shitty AC. 16?

MATT: 16 does hit.

TALIESIN: Drop it.

MATT: All right, so as you get down to the ground, (gunshot blast) the echoing explosive shot fired from the Bad News slams up as it lifts its morningstar in the air. Two of its fingers get blown off its hand, and the morningstar tumbles (boof) onto the ground, nearly crushing one of the guards nearby, who barely manages to sidestep as it (boof, boof) lands on its side right outside the temple of Pelor. Well done.

TALIESIN: Next shot, I'm taking a sharpshooter shot. I'm reloading.

MATT: Yep, reload with your second attack.

TALIESIN: Taking a sharpshooter shot.

MATT: All right.

TALIESIN: 15?

MATT: 15 hits.

TALIESIN: And this is also an aimed shot. Sorry, I spent another grit. So sorry for not saying that. I'll do my damage and then tell you. It was an aimed shot to the legs, so that's– oh my god. 16, 26, 32 points of damage, and it needs to make a constitution saving throw.

MATT: Okay. What's the DC on it?

TALIESIN: Oh my god, this is insane. DC equals eight plus your proficiency modifier plus your dexterity modifier?

MATT: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Proficiency modifier is four, dexterity modifier is–

MATT: So, 18.

TALIESIN: Yeah, 18.

MATT: All right. It rolled a 16 and has a plus four modifier on constitution, so it makes the save.

TALIESIN AND MARISHA: Damn it.

MATT: Sorry.

TALIESIN: That's okay. I still did a ton of damage.

MATT: Yeah. (explosion) The blast took a chunk of its physical form. Splatters against the side of the temple. That ending your turn. It, having no hand at its disposal, it glances over with this slow turning head. (groans) Reaches over and grabs a big piece of the stone rubble that was destroyed from the corner of the temple. Picks it up over its head (grunts) and lobs it at you across the way. (whoosh, whoosh, whoosh)

MARISHA: (groans)

MATT: That's going to be a 21 to hit.

TALIESIN: Oh, that hits.

MATT: That hits? You take 28 points of bludgeoning damage and have to make a strength saving throw.

TALIESIN: Just strength saving throw?

MATT: Yep.

TALIESIN: No, I rolled a one.

MARISHA: Fuck!

MATT: So it slams into you and knocks you off your feet, prone from the sheer impact. It rests on part of your arm and you have to (grunts) work hard to push it off. That will end its turn.

TALIESIN: How much damage did it do to me?

MATT: 28.

TALIESIN: 28?

MATT: 28 points of bludgeoning damage. That ends its go. Vax, you're up.

LIAM: I'm watching everything unfold. I see my sister roll up. I hold.

MATT: Okay. Vex?

LAURA: I say, brother. You remember that giant a few years back?

LIAM: I remember that giant.

LAURA: You're up. And I shoot two arrows for my two attacks. One into his thigh and one into his breast, right here.

MATT: Okay, go for it. Roll for two attacks.

LIAM: Ooh.

LAURA: I don't know which ones to go with!

SAM: They both fail.

LAURA: They both hit. They're both 24s.

MATT: Both 24s?

LIAM: Identical.

MATT: Both hit, yeah. Roll damage for each.

LAURA: All right. That's so crazy!

TRAVIS: Same thing.

LAURA: Yeah. Plus 14 is… 26? 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, plus Hunter's Mark for both.

MATT: 2d6 on top of that.

LAURA: 33, 37 points of damage.

MATT: 37 points of damage. (arrows flying and landing) It slams into the knee itself, pushing out the kneecap a little bit from the side of its softened flesh. The other one (boof) sticks and disappears into its torso. You don't even see the impact. It pushes through the flesh and vanishes into its very large–

LAURA: Wait, the whole arrow goes in? I wanted to leave some of it out.

MATT: Okay. We'll say for the piece of impact here. Okay, roll a strength check.

TALIESIN: I believe in you.

MATT: This is control over your strength on this one.

LAURA: 21.

MATT: 21? What did you roll?

LAURA AND LIAM: 19.

MATT: What's your strength?

LAURA: Oh, that's saving throw. Wait. Wait, yeah! Oh, damn it. 17.

MATT: 17. I was going to say, you have minus two strength. I know that.

LAURA: Sorry.

MATT: It's okay. That's still enough. Gauging, pulling back on what little bit of focus you have as far as restraining. You're good at aim; restraining is something you have difficulty with. But you release the arrow, hitting at a very defined mark, shattering part of its rib there in the front, and the arrow sticking out by about a good six inches or so.

MARISHA: Nice.

LIAM: I start running. Am I within 30 feet? It's hard to tell from here.

MATT: You are not.

LIAM: All right, so I hit one ankle against the other on my boots and everything slows down around me a little bit, and I double my speed and run towards it.

MATT: Did you use your Boots of Haste at the end of last session?

LIAM: I don't know.

SAM: It's been a long day. We've had three sessions.

MATT: I feel like you used it.

LIAM: If there's doubt, then I can't do it. All right, I still run at it.

MATT: You could use a bonus action to dash, don't forget, as a rogue.

LIAM: That's what I do. He's surrounded by people, right? So, I'm going to run up to him and I'm going to start swinging up the arrows on his chest and get up to his head.

MATT: Okay. So you run up, planting a foot on its thigh, leap in the air, grab onto the arrow that Vex left in its chest, whip upward, and while you're in the air towards its face, go ahead and make your attack.

TALIESIN: Yeah, Legolas.

MATT: You only get one attack because you used your bonus action to dash.

LIAM: Yeah. Never mind. Nine is a 20.

MATT: You do have advantage on this, if you wish to roll. You technically have him flanked with the other guy.

LIAM: That's a 26.

MATT: That hits, definitely.

LIAM: Yeah, because he's surrounded. All right, so I'm up on his shoulders at this point. One plus seven is eight, plus ten, 11, 16, that's 21, 23.

MATT: 23 points of damage?

LIAM: Yeah, with Flametongue.

MATT: All righty. So as you leap into the air, you bring the blade, slam into the center of its face, over one of the eyebrows. It slams into the skull, and using your weight, you tear down, dragging the blade across its face. The bone is brittle underneath its flesh, and it hacks part of its face open. The bone and teeth immediately become visible. Its jaw clenches and actually clamps onto your blade as it reaches the bottom of its face and you catch yourself there for a second, the horrible scent of its rotting flesh hitting your body. You manage to take your foot up, push off, pulling the blade out from under its toothy grasp, and you land on the ground right beside it. Big old jagged gash in the side of its face.

LIAM: Right.

MATT: Cool.

LIAM: That's it.

MATT: All right. Now the rest of the guards are going to go.

TRAVIS: Guards.

TALIESIN: Guards.

MATT: Oh, natural 20. These are the resistance members.

TRAVIS: I haven't had a natural 20 in the game.

LAURA: Ever?

TRAVIS: In a long time. Except when I head-butted a fomorian.

TALIESIN: Would you like to borrow my die and see if it does anything?

TRAVIS: No, you keep your Golden Snitch.

LAURA: I think it's just you.

SAM: Keep your cheated die all for yourself, there.

TRAVIS: Harry Potter.

MATT: 21 points of damage for the non-criticals.

TALIESIN: It's hollow.

LAURA: What is he doing? What's happening over there?

MATT: So, all the guards now seeing this opening and these sudden heroes rushing in to attack it use this opening. Some have shortswords, some have spears. They start jamming them into its sides, beginning to take chunks out of it and basically scraping away its form, its mass that is keeping it aloft through this necromantic enchantment. That ends their turn. Keyleth, you're up.

MARISHA: Okay, so you're on him.

LIAM: I'm not.

MATT: Landed beside him now, after he pulled the blade out of its face.

LIAM: I'm right below his undead dinger.

MARISHA: But there's a ton of people surrounding him.

MATT: Correct.

SAM: So light him up.

MARISHA: Okay. I'm going to kill everybody if I start bringing down bolts of lightning. So I'm going to move up a little bit, to where I'm within 30 feet of him. Over here or something?

MATT: That'll put you just at 30 feet.

MARISHA: Can I see Vax?

MATT: Yeah, you can barely see Vax. Vax is hard to see, period, but you can barely see Vax at this point.

MARISHA: Okay.

LAURA: It's night. He's in black.

MARISHA: So, looking at the giant and realizing that if I bring lightning down, I'll just start electrocuting everybody around, I meditate for a second and go super calm and start casting Heat Metal, and I start meditating on Vax's daggers.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: So your daggers are going to do an extra 2d8 damage. And he's up against a wall, correct?

MATT: He's currently up against the edge of the temple, yes.

MARISHA: Okay, I'm going to use my bonus. I'm running fucking low on spells. Fuck, I don't want to do it. I'm going to do my bonus action to cast Grasping Vine.

MATT: Just so you're aware, Heat Metal does 2d8 damage to him for holding onto it. It doesn't do additional damage.

LIAM: I say we move forward.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: You're going to just take it?

LIAM: It's done. She cast it. Let's go on.

MATT: Just letting you know for future reference.

MARISHA: Okay. It's because it worked that way in Pathfinder. I used to do that with Grog's axe all the time.

SAM: Stupid Pathfinder.

LAURA: But you also had to touch his axe.

MATT: So Vax, you immediately take 2d8 points of fire damage.

LIAM: Yes sir.

MATT: And you have to make a constitution saving throw vs her DC, or you drop both of your daggers.

LIAM: (weak laughter) Okay.

SAM: It's fun.

MARISHA: Thanks, Sam.

TRAVIS: I'm laughing.

LIAM: What am I doing?

MATT: Make a constitution saving throw. What's the DC on your spells?

MARISHA: My spell save DC? 18.

LIAM: Fuck a duck, that's hot!

MATT: Both daggers just drop to the ground. As they both slam into the mud, (sizzling sound).

MARISHA: I'm like, yeah. We're going to hurt this motherfucker so bad.

MATT: She's not even watching. She's just concentrating on it. And then with your bonus action?

MARISHA: Bonus action, I'm going to wrap him up with a Grasping Vine and try to restrain him.

MATT: Okay, so you open your eyes.

MARISHA: I'm like, man, I'm such a fucking badass right now. What am I doing?

MATT: So you're going to restrain him with a Grasping Vine.

MARISHA: Yeah. I think he has to save against it.

MATT: Yeah, make a dexterity saving throw or be pulled. It doesn't restrain, it just pulls them towards the vine. Since he's already against the wall, you can pull him away or toward.

SAM: Nothing you do does what you want it to do.

MARISHA: Fucking fail.

MATT: Read the spells! The information's right there!

SAM: So you're pulling him towards you?

LAURA: You can pull him towards the ground, can't you?

MARISHA: Yeah, can I pull him towards the center of the earth?

MATT: Because of his– sure.

SAM: That's a no.

MATT: All right. He fails on the DC. That's a total of ten. We'll say for the time being, he is considered grappled.

SAM: Nice!

MATT: You did something.

MARISHA: Thanks, man.

MATT: You're welcome.

MARISHA: Man, I'm so cool right now. I'm concentrating so hard!

MATT: You finish concentrating, you release the Grasping Vine, it pulls a little hard to the ground. You see its form go (groans). It doesn't look very happy, and you see Vax going, (gasps). There are these little cylinders of steam rising up from the ground where his daggers are currently (sizzling noise).

MARISHA: And she's like, well, deal with it! It's going to be awesome!

MATT: That ends your turn. We're back to the top of the round. Percy, you're up.

TALIESIN: I'm pinned and annoyed. I'm shooting him in the face.

MATT: Okay, so you're prone.

TALIESIN: Am I prone?

MATT: You're prone. The boulder knocked you prone.

TALIESIN: Okay, can I use my movement to get up?

MATT: You can. You get up and use half of your movement.

TALIESIN: (grunts) I get up, shake it off, pull up for another shot. Shooting at his face. I'm reloading, shooting at his face.

MATT: You're reloading and then shooting.

TRAVIS: Bad News or Pepperbox?

TALIESIN: Bad News. I'm doing the same thing I was doing before, so that's eight plus seven. 15 to hit?

MATT: 15 does hit.

TALIESIN: 15 hits, so that's… ugh. That's 20 points of damage.

MATT: All righty.

TALIESIN: And now he has disadvantage on his attacks for the next round.

MATT: Okay, so this is the headshot?

TALIESIN: Yeah.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: And just because I'm feeling like a jerk, I'm burning an action surge. Forget it. Reloading– oh, I've actually–

MATT: You've already used your action surge for the day.

TALIESIN: No, it's a short rest.

MATT: Oh, it is a short rest? Yeah, go for it.

TALIESIN: I checked. I'm being good. That's 11. That hits. I'm out of grit points.

MARISHA: Kill something.

TALIESIN: 32 points of damage.

MATT: All right.

TALIESIN: Reload, fire again. That also hits.

MATT: His AC is eight, by the way. It's a big heaping pile of hit points. It's not hard to hit.

TRAVIS: Pile of undead goo.

MATT: You've attacked it enough that you gather it's pretty easy to hit.

TRAVIS: Yeah, there was a 12 and I was like, what?

TALIESIN: 14, 24, 30 points of damage. And now I'm going to use my bonus action to heal.

MATT: All righty. Go for it.

TALIESIN: Heal myself. That's 19 points healed.

MATT: All right. Now the giant, pieces missing out of its body, looks around and it reaches down and grabs– yeah, it's going to use one of its attacks and grab the morningstar, and with its second act it's going to swing over towards you, Vax. You just slammed into its face with the dagger.

TALIESIN: Disadvantage.

MATT: Yes.

MARISHA: And he's grappled.

MATT: An 11 and a one. Grappling just prevents movement, but yeah, he goes in and swings wide and you just duck out of the way, dodge off to the side. (boosh) It slams and gets stuck in the mud and there's a (sucking noise) horrible sucking sound as it has to pull it out of the ground with all of its might. That ends its turn. This giant's in a bad place. You're up.

LIAM: What position is it in?

MATT: It's currently kneeled forward, just pulling its morningstar out of the mud.

LIAM: (pants) I reach down and I grab the scalding-hot daggers again, and I lift them up, and lunge and sink into its ribs.

MATT: Okay. You take 2d8 points of fire damage. Roll it, Keyleth.

MARISHA: So does he, right? Because that's kind of badass. Seven points of damage.

LIAM: Oh, you roll? Seven or eight, yeah.

MATT: You pick up the daggers, take the damage, lift them up to go in for the attack. Roll for the attack.

LIAM: The first one hits. That's a 30. And the second one is 17. And he's still surrounded, so the first one is going to sneak attack his ass. Two plus three, nine, ten, 11, 12, 15, 16, 17.

MATT: All right.

LIAM: 17. On the second attack, Flametongue gets seven.

MATT: Seven, okay.

LAURA: Plus 2d8 for your fire damage.

LIAM: Oh, plus 2d8 for the fire damage.

MARISHA: Does he also get the fire damage?

LIAM: That's a yeah. If I get burned, he gets burned, right?

MATT: I'll allow it. That's not usually how the spell works. I'll allow it for this circumstance. Since you're taking the damage to do the attack, I'll let it happen.

LIAM: All right. 14.

MATT: Okay. So, as you're holding the daggers with the searing pain, you reach up, slash both daggers down into the front of its body and you drag across, you can see its chest breaks open and it (groans) stumbles backward, the air expiring from its throat. (roars) It pushes up against it, holding onto that shred of undeath that it currently has in its body, not falling to your measly blows. That ends your turn. Do you want to move at all?

LIAM: I didn't move. Can I use a bonus action, at this point?

MATT: You used a bonus action for your second attack.

LIAM: Second attack? Okay.

MATT: Yeah, because you're not hasted. All right, go for it, Vex.

LAURA: Okay. I'm going to shoot him two times through my Blazing Bowstring, which I still have one left of.

MATT: First strike will be the Blazing Bowstring?

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: That hits. Second one hits, too.

MATT: All right.

LAURA: Okay! What's the Blazing Bowstring, again? 1d10, okay.

LIAM: You've got a lot of papers in there.

LAURA: I know. I do have a lot of little papers. Six plus seven is 13, 14, 15, plus fire damage. 21, plus Hunter's Mark. 22 for the first hit.

MATT: Hold on.

LIAM: Get it.

MATT: How do you want to do this?

(cheering)

LAURA: Oh, that feels so good. As he's bent over, I want to–

LIAM: You're wearing the shirt, even.

LAURA: I know! I'm wearing the shirt! As he's bent over and I just saw my brother attack him with fire, I hit him with fire again, straight through the eyeball that's remaining, through the back of his head.

MATT: Okay, so as you release the arrow itself, you can feel the warmth licking the side of your face as the arrow heats up. Release it. It shoots through the air like a tracer dart, just (arrow whizzing). The giant, which is currently reaching back– it has a palm out like it's going to try to palm Vax after the attack. As it reaches up, (groans) it just (arrow whizzing) into the back of the eye, and as it sinks inside its head, (thud) there's this dull thud sound, like the fire burst on the inside of its head. Its other eye (explosion) plumps out and hangs out the side as fire darts out from that open socket. Its jaw goes slack, and it begins to lurch forward towards you and the guy next to it. Both of you guys step back out of the way as it (moans, thuds) onto the muddy ground in front of you.

LAURA: (pants)

MATT: Everyone takes a breath for a second.

LIAM: I start sticking my hands in a puddle.

LAURA: I run up with Trinket to the guards.

MARISHA: I go up to start seeing if I can salvage anything from this giant.

LIAM: Like my hands?

MARISHA: Do I see Vax with his hands in the mud?

MATT: Yes, you see him currently putting out his hands.

MARISHA: What did– what?

LIAM: Could you fix these?

MARISHA: Oh. Did it work, though? I'm sorry.

LIAM: Yeah, it worked, it's good, but they sting a little bit.

MARISHA: Okay. I put my hands in his hands and cast Cure Wounds.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: I'm going to use it from my ring. My spell-slot ring.

MATT: What level?

MARISHA: I'll do level two.

MATT: Level two? Okay, so 2d8 plus six.

MARISHA: 12.

MATT: So you heal 12 hit points.

LIAM: I heal. I also hold her hands for a second.

LAURA: I walk through and bust through their hands.

TRAVIS: There you go.

LAURA: I want to talk to the guards.

MATT: The guards who currently are checking to make sure it's dead. They're stabbing its body.

TALIESIN: Putting the guns away and walking over to the guards, as well.

MATT: Okay. You notice, they look like guards at first glance because the armor they're wearing is the same type of armor that the guards you've encountered here wear, but they're all, underneath the armor, wearing rags, farmer's clothing, whatever's available. It's still uniform armor and weapon design to anyone who's worked in Whitestone.

SAM: Are any of them in berets?

MATT: You don't know because you're not there.

SAM: Damn it!

LIAM: Are they unsullied?

MATT: (laughs)

LAURA: I put my hand on one of their shoulders and say, you showed great bravery here.

MATT: “Thank you. Thank you for coming and helping. That got a little hairy there, for a minute. We didn't lose any of our men, thankfully, and that's thanks to you.” He reaches up for a second and wipes this black blood stuck to his chin from the fight. “So. What's next?”

LAURA: Now we rest up. You heal, and you get ready to attack tomorrow.

MATT: “All right. What time?”

TALIESIN: Tomorrow at dawn, we take the castle.

MATT: “All right. Men.”

TALIESIN: Spread the word.

LAURA: Dawn.

MATT: “Dawn. Dawn it is.” Sheathes his weapon. The other men stand up, and one of them makes one final stab into the body of the zombie, like, “Yeah. Take that.” They begin to walk back towards town.

MARISHA: Before he runs off, I tell him, “Tell everyone to look for the sign of Pelor in the sky.”

MATT: One of them goes, “Pelor. Right.” Three of them run back to the doorway of the temple, and they all stop for a second and give a silent prayer to themselves, and then join the rest of their crew as they go walking back towards the city.

MARISHA: What time is it right now?

MATT: Right now? It's hard to tell.

LAURA: Hopefully, it's a while until dawn.

MATT: It's about two hours past sunset.

LAURA: Oh, good. We've got time! That's good.

LIAM: I pull out my Flametongue dagger and just look in two or three graves. I don't know if there's anything in there.

SAM: Are you trying to grave rob right now?

MATT: Make an investigation check.

LIAM: They're empty, man. That is a 15.

TALIESIN: You're literally going to steal from my great-grandfather?

LIAM: I'm just looking.

TALIESIN: All right.

MATT: Glancing about, you notice that the coffins are still there at the bottom, but they're all open. The lids are off, and they're empty entirely. Whatever body is gone. Best you can glance about, the most that you can find, most of them are just laid to rest. One of them seems to be laid to rest with what looks to be a nice ornamental dagger of some kind that's left to their side.

TRAVIS: Fucking do it.

LAURA AND LIAM: (laugh)

MARISHA: It could be cursed.

TRAVIS: Do whatever you want. I'm not here.

LIAM: Are you giving me morality lessons?

TRAVIS: I'm not even here.

TALIESIN: I'm going to check my family grave. The family crypt.

MATT: There actually is an undercroft in your castle.

TALIESIN: Oh, that's right!

LIAM: I want to drop down. I'm going to take a look at that, yeah.

LAURA: You're going to go get the dagger?

LIAM: I'm going to look at it.

LAURA: That ornamental dagger?

MATT: So you leap down into the grave…

LIAM: Tell me more about that dagger?

MATT: From what you can see from up there, it just looks like a fairly nice dagger, it has a little like gold sheen to it, and looks like there's gems encrusted in it from this distance.

LAURA: All right, go get it.

(laughter)

LAURA: It looks shiny.

MATT: So you leap down into the grave, drop, your feet hitting against the wooden bottom of the coffin. Smells musty and it's been rained in heavily, so it's not as bad as it could be. It looks to be a pretty dagger. You reach for it and pick it up and look at it, it's lightweight, it's ornamental, it's not actually more of a functional–

LIAM: I want to make an arcana check.

LAURA: It's ornamental.

LIAM: I just want to make an arcana check.

MATT: Go for it, go for it.

LIAM: It's a 20.

MATT: Natural 20?

LIAM: No. 20.

MATT: Okay. Take a look at it, there doesn't appear to be enough of a rune structure even on this dagger to give it like a formal enchantment. It looks ritualistic and ornamental. It's probably worth a pretty penny, but it is not a–

LIAM: I put it down and I pat it and I–

MATT: Climb back up out of the grave.

LAURA: He doesn't know!

MARISHA: Can I salvage anything from the stone giant?

LIAM: Tourist, I'm a tourist.

MATT: Go ahead and make a wisdom check, just roll a d20, add your six to it.

MARISHA: Just a wisdom check?

MATT: Yep.

MARISHA: 12 total.

MATT: 12. Looking over the body, this entity and anything that would be functional on the stone giant's body is far rotted and necrosis has taken hold on a lot of the body parts. Nothing here would be of use in any way, shape, or form. Plus stone giants don't really have any magical components to their body, they're just larger humanoids. What small trophies you could take from it, you could sell here and there for a little bit of change, are also rotted and corroded by its undead form that it wouldn't be worth it.

LIAM: Their teeth are good for 1d8s, though.

MATT: (laughs) This is true. All right, so what's the plan?

LAURA: We should head west.

MARISHA: Head west, meet up.

MATT: All right. So you guys–

LAURA: I take the little bit of Dust of Tracelessness that we had taken from Grog and I try to sprinkle it on our tracks as we go and cover up our tracks.

MATT: Okay. As you pull the dust out of your pouch, you look at it, and it's turned to just sand. It seems that the Dust of Tracelessness is effective when only pulled and used directly out of its pouch–

TRAVIS: By its designated flower girl.

MATT: If taken out remotely and left on its own for a while, it becomes magically inert.

LAURA: Well then, I use my ranger skills to try to make it look like our tracks are hidden.

TALIESIN: I know the city well enough to take us through a relatively–

MATT: Yes. This is one of those few circumstances where Percy's almost more helpful than you are as far as making your way through. The two of you together? Very helpful. You guys have been making your way through the city, making westward to meet up with the rest of the party against the wall on the western side of Whitestone. And with that, we're going to go ahead and take a quick bathroom break, bring in some snacks. So hang tight, guys, we'll be back here in just a minute.

LAURA: I love you, Pike!

Break[]

[break]

Part II[]

MATT: Welcome back, everyone. So. Picking up where we left off, eventually, the longest-traveling group would be the one that went all the way to the Zenith, the temple of Pelor. Eventually, the rain still heavily coming down, you guys keeping warm and out of the way to the far, far western wall, kind of keeping behind a bush. The rest of the party arrives, the gnomes and goliath barbarian waiting for you as you approach.

(laughter)

LIAM: Taking your pee break now.

MATT: So. The rest of you guys gather, what are you doing? What's your plan?

TRAVIS: We're against the wall? Should we stay in the treeline?

LAURA: We need to hide.

SAM: How is everyone? Did you defeat your giant?

LAURA: Totally did.

SAM: You know who defeated ours? Pike, because she's the fucking bomb.

MARISHA: Pike, we've missed you so much.

SAM: Pike, come here and give me a hug! I give her a hug. What happens?

MATT: Okay. (laughs) You go and hug her, and it's one of those things where because her form, it feels like you're grabbing almost a warm, energetic gelatin in a way, like her form isn't purely physical.

SAM: Just how I remember you! Warm gelatin.

MATT: And there is this hot wind that wraps around her and her hair is drifting a little bit. There's something, her physical form is very strange here.

MARISHA: How did you get here, Pike? How did you know?

ASHLEY: Well, as you guys know, I've been working at the temple and it's been very hard work. (laughs) And I, I just, I think about you all constantly, and every day, I felt a heaviness, and I've had these visions of terrible things, and I felt a disturbance in the Force.

(laughter)

ASHLEY: But today, it became too much.

MATT: You had received a letter from Allura, from Emon, if you recall.

ASHLEY: I received a letter!

(laughter)

ASHLEY: I received a letter from Allura, and I felt that you guys– are you guys making a decision or something here in Whitestone?

SAM: Many decisions. We've decided to take down this horrible foe, and Percy's been grappling with a lot of decisions as we've gone.

LAURA: Pike, maybe you could help him.

MARISHA: Yeah, can you take a look at him, Pike? I believe it's out of my realm of understanding.

TRAVIS: Actually, Percy's just fine. Maybe she looks at him after the Briarwoods.

TALIESIN: Well…

MARISHA: There was a long pause.

ASHLEY: That was a very long pause.

TRAVIS: Percy, how are you feeling?

TALIESIN: Honestly, if Pike weren't here, I'd say fine, but… (sighs) How do you think I am, Pike?

ASHLEY: Well, most of my… my heaviness and visions were about you.

TALIESIN: (sighs)

ASHLEY: I've been in deep prayer and meditation, and I know you guys were in a very dark place, and I prayed that Sarenrae would send me to you. And so here I am, sort of as an avatar, but I'm here, and I want to help in any way that I can. I just know something's off, and I don't quite know what that is yet.

MATT: Her form shimmers for a second, almost like the energy that keeps her corporeal in this location for a moment flickers, and then she is restored to her form. You get the sense that–

MARISHA: This isn't going to last long.

MATT: That she's not actually physically here. This divine projection is a channeling of Sarenrae's power keeping her here for the moment.

LAURA: Damn, Sarenrae is really freaking powerful.

MARISHA: Yeah, I have a feeling she's probably using a lot of energy to do this, too. Pike, do you know how much longer you can stay in this form, that you can stay with us?

ASHLEY: I don't know. This is the first time that I've ever done this, so I'm hoping that it will last a long time, at least to see you through.

TRAVIS: Oh, us, too.

LAURA: Us, too.

ASHLEY: (fake crying)

TRAVIS: Hey, Pike. Do you want to take Percy's temperature?

LAURA: Should we find a place to hide first?

ASHLEY: Yeah. We're still in the open, right?

TALIESIN: There's a secret entrance to the castle to the west, in the woods. I think perhaps if we made our way there, we could–

MARISHA: Get inside?

TALIESIN: Camp out, perhaps. It would be a roof over our heads if we got there, and we could take care of anyone–

SAM: Percy's thinking very clearly. He's fine.

LAURA: He's rubbing his eyes a lot.

MARISHA: He's had this weird cough for a couple of days now.

SAM: He's allergic to cats or something.

TALIESIN: I'm not allergic to cats.

LAURA: Pike, he has black smoke coming out of his body all the time.

SAM: I have lightning coming out of my ass.

LAURA: Yeah, well, you choose to do that.

TALIESIN: Let's make our way to somewhere quiet.

MARISHA: We'll have her look at you there. I do a Gust to do that air umbrella thing around all of us.

MATT: That really terrible one that doesn't work well?

MARISHA: Yeah, the really terrible one. I'm doing that to help keep us shielded from the rain.

MATT: Okay. Are you guys coasting within the city's walls, or are you moving outside of the city's walls?

LAURA: Outside of the city.

MATT: Okay. So you find your way a little bit southward–

LAURA: Stealthing.

MATT: Stealthing, to make your way outside of the city, into the forest surrounding the outskirts of Whitestone. Make a stealth check, guys. This is without the plus ten bonus because you don't have any more spells.

LAURA: I don't.

TRAVIS: Yeah! Oh. Really? I get plus two to stealth?

MATT: Grog?

TRAVIS: 18.

LAURA: Ooh. 20.

LIAM: 23.

SAM: 12.

MARISHA: 17.

TALIESIN: 15 with disadvantage.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: And Pike?

LAURA: Pike, what did you roll for stealth? She's an apparition!

ASHLEY: I rolled a ten.

MATT: You rolled a ten?

LAURA: Clang!

ASHLEY: Ten.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: Clang, clang, clang.

MATT: All right. As you guys move into the forest, the boughs of the trees do help offset some of the rain, but there is still some rain making it through, and there is a heavy drip through the leaves you start pushing through. You make your way out, I'd say a good five minutes to the west of the city before you start heading northward, both Percy and Vex taking lead on this. You, being the natural stalker. You, knowing these lands quite well. As Percy presses along, coughing and keeping his eyes peeled, you press on for about 30 minutes to the north. The rain begins to subside a little bit, and you can hear the occasional (cracking noise) sound of these strange growling, cat-like noises. You know that some of the indigenous creatures of the Sierras–

TALIESIN: Do I know what this sound is?

MATT: You've heard this before. It's nothing terribly dangerous. They're just natural cat-like creatures that live in the trees. Ocelot-like. They're indigenous to this region; that's them communicating. It's initially off-setting, but you keep pushing forward. I would have both of you guys make survival checks.

LAURA: (whispering) Survival checks?

TALIESIN: I don't think I've ever rolled that before.

MARISHA: Come on, city boy.

LAURA: Oh! I have advantage.

MATT: That's true. And you would have advantage, actually, because you know this area.

LAURA: Really? Did that just happen?

LIAM: Wow. She rolled two threes in a row.

LAURA: I've got to retire it. It's so beautiful, and I keep trying it.

TRAVIS: It's certainly the die, and not you in any way.

LAURA: It's just been punishing me, as of late.

TALIESIN: 14.

MATT: 14? Okay.

LAURA: Ten.

MATT: The two of you, working together on this– it takes you an hour or so before you eventually get further enough north and out of the outskirts of Whitestone where you begin to see the rising platform, the small central forest mesa that the castle Whitestone is built upon. You can see, through the heavy cloud cover, what little bit of torch light is visible from some of the castle interior in the distance. It's this ominous dark shape outlined against the cloud cover above you.

LIAM: On that walk, while they're leading the way, I quietly walk alongside Pike and fill her in on everything I have seen happen with Percival: the smoke coming out of him, the darker turn in his personality, the way that he branded that man. Everything that I am worried about.

SAM: The cough.

LIAM: The cough. Everything, so that she's filled in on his darker turn.

MATT: Okay. Did you get that, Ashley?

ASHLEY: I did.

MATT: So, pressing on, eventually catching the edge of that mountain. That, to you, is the inclination; you know this area very well, spending most of your time living around this castle. You gesture for the rest of the group to follow you up towards the edge of this central mountain platform that the castle's upon. Eventually, coasting along the side– I want you to make an investigation check, Percy.

TALIESIN: 16?

MATT: 16? Okay. Pushing forward, you spend a good 20 minutes walking back and forth. You're pretty sure that this is where the entrance is, and looking along this area, you make your way to the northern side of this mountain. No entrance seems to be appearing to you. There's no opening. There's no doorway. It was a cavern exit that was loosely hidden by a series of bushes that were clustered around it.

TALIESIN: It should be around here.

LAURA: Can I start taking a look around and see if I see anything?

LIAM: All of us, yeah.

TRAVIS: We should be very careful. These two are good at using their brain muscles. Could be an ambush.

LIAM: 26 on perception.

LAURA: That's way better than mine. 17.

MATT: Okay. About ten minutes of you guys searching as you travel southward among this… okay. You guys watch along the wall, and nothing seems to be catching your eye. You notice that there's a portion of the mountainside that is looser rock. Everything here is solid, long-eroded through weather and time. There is one section that appears to have more of a crumbly, loose rock that forms the lower portion of the wall.

LIAM: Big guy, come here.

TRAVIS: What?

LIAM: This is new. These haven't been here long. I'm not very strong; do you want to start hucking rocks?

TRAVIS: Wait, say that again?

LIAM: I am extremely fast and nimble and could totally fuck you up, but I can't lift that much, including door jambs. Could you help me move these rocks?

TRAVIS: I suppose. I go and I start moving rocks.

LIAM: You look very handsome in that beard.

MATT: Okay. Make an athletics check.

MARISHA: (laughs) Oh shit.

TRAVIS: Never forget. 18.

MATT: 18, okay. You go over and start pulling the rocks away. A lot of the ones at the very surface are pretty small and you're pushing them aside and rolling off. Eventually, you start getting to the base of this area and you can see now, there are a cluster of bushes that have long died and are crushed under these rocks.

TALIESIN: Does this look familiar to me?

MATT: This would be similar to the placement of where the bushes were that originally obscured the crawlspace that led into this tunnel.

TALIESIN: I think this might be it.

LAURA: Well, what happened here?

SAM: Did they blow it?

LAURA: Does it look like a cave-in, like somebody did it on purpose?

MARISHA: Can I do a nature check to see if this is natural or man-done?

MATT: Sure. Go for it.

SAM: “Man-done.”

MARISHA: I think that's a 21.

MATT: 21?

MARISHA: Yeah, 21.

MATT: Inspecting this, the pattern in which it fell was very localized, which leads you to believe–

MARISHA: I think this was blasted down.

MATT: Yeah, this was blasted or was intentionally done to demolish this exit as opposed to a natural fall. At this point in time, you've pulled through a few of the larger rocks, and you roll them over and you do reveal a small tunnel.

TRAVIS: Hey, look! I found a hole.

MARISHA: Good work, Grog.

MATT: About 15 minutes of pushing this stuff out of the way before you eventually find it, and it's probably a good ten feet inward.

SAM: Can we get in it?

MATT: It's tight, but you can start moving in there.

LIAM: Scanlan, squish in there.

SAM: Well, we have two gnomes with us.

LIAM: She'll light up the hole.

SAM: I hope so.

(laughter)

SAM: I will shimmy in, just to see what's down there.

MATT: Okay. You make your way into this lower tunnel. A bit sharp in there. Black as night; no light source. The ground itself is very dry, which is a nice change from the rather wet exterior awaiting you outside. It generally smells musty and seems disused. And very dark.

LIAM: I lean down and say, does it look like somewhere that we can rest for the night?

SAM: Oi! I can't see anything.

(laughter)

SAM: You got a torch up there, or something?

LIAM: I flip my Flametongue dagger over backwards and hand it to him through this little hole.

MATT: Okay. You take the dagger.

SAM: This feels so cool. It's like a shortsword for me!

(laughter)

MATT: With the flickering light along the blade, it lights up the area. The tunnel widens up to roughly eight to ten feet wide and seems to curl forward before disappearing around a gradual edge about 50 feet ahead of you. It's about six feet tall, so the taller of you folk are going to have to crouch in, but it's about six feet tall, about eight to ten feet wide, and that continues to curl deeper in towards the mountain.

SAM: No one down here, but I don't know how far this thing goes, and I don't know how well it's guarded.

TRAVIS: Are there trees around us?

MATT: Yeah. No more than maybe five feet off this mountain line, the forest grows immediately dense.

MARISHA: If they've blasted in the entrance, I have a feeling–

TALIESIN: I don't think they're expecting anyone from here.

MARISHA: They're not expecting people.

LIAM: This was taken care of, in their minds. I say we squeeze Grog and Trinket in here.

SAM: And camp in the tunnel?

LIAM: Yeah. I'll go ahead a bit and take a quick peeky-poo.

TRAVIS: You don't think they'll patrol this area?

LIAM: No.

LAURA: Does it seem like there's cobwebs? Does it seem dusty and disused?

MATT: If you crawl inside to look…

MARISHA: Are we inside? Let's all crawl in.

MATT: As you guys all may your way inside, glancing about– make an investigation check.

MARISHA: I light up my hands.

SAM: I put Vax's dagger in my back pocket. Cover it up with my shirt.

MATT: Okay. Make a sleight-of-hand check.

LAURA: 20.

MATT: Okay. Yeah, there's been no footsteps in here for quite some time.

SAM: Seven.

LAURA: This has definitely been disused. Disused? Is that a good word?

TALIESIN: Abandoned.

LAURA: “Abandoned” is a better word.

MATT: As she's saying this, you look over and Scanlan almost looks at you directly and goes like– He grabs your wrist and stops you.

LIAM: I use the other hand and I tweak his nose as hard as I can.

SAM: Not in front of Pike!

(laughter)

MATT: Dagger's retrieved.

TALIESIN: Pike, can you take a look at this cough before we take a rest?

MARISHA: Yeah, take a look at him, Pike.

TRAVIS: Are we in the tunnel?

MATT: You're in the tunnel right now.

TRAVIS: I grab some of the boulders and cover up the way we came in. Or just a boulder, and move it to the mouth of it. Or is it too big?

MATT: You can move a few. There's no boulders quite large enough to fully close it off. You can do it; it will take you a little bit of time, but you can do it.

TRAVIS: Yeah, just to cover it up a little.

MATT: Okay.

ASHLEY: Are there two openings? The one that we came in, and then the rest of the tunnel?

MATT: The tunnel continues and curves out of sight, about 50 feet in.

LAURA: But we blocked up the one we came through.

TRAVIS: Oh, Keyleth? Can you make a fucking bush grow in front of this thing?

LAURA: Or can you put up a wall to where we don't have to worry?

TRAVIS: So if whoever was going by with those dogs while we were up in the trees the first night we got here comes by and sees a hole in the wall…

MARISHA: Okay.

TALIESIN: How many spells do you have left?

MARISHA: (sighs) That's the question. It depends on if we're going to decide to–

TALIESIN: I think we should take a rest.

LAURA: We have to rest, yes.

MARISHA: I'll think about it.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: Okay.

ASHLEY: Could I put a Guardian of Faith above us before we make our–

SAM: Of course you can.

MATT: Let's see how long that lasts for.

TRAVIS: A what?

LAURA: A what?

MATT: Yeah, it lasts for eight hours.

LIAM: We came to a land of evil without–

MATT: Yes, you can.

LAURA: I can't believe we came without Pike, ever.

ASHLEY: I'm sorry.

LAURA: Pike, stay with us forever.

ASHLEY: Okay.

LIAM: Or at least through next week.

MATT: All right, so as you guys are having this conversation, Pike grabs her holy symbol for a second, closes her eyes, and focuses, and the energy around her, that slightly drifting, ethereal divine energy, seems to shift away from her for a second and then coalesce into what looks like a floating, ghostly, armored entity that apparates in the air beside her. Her form once again becomes whole, and she looks towards it and gives it a nod, and the armored entity seems to acknowledge with a strange head nod and then turns towards the inner side of the tunnel and begins patrolling a small section of the tunnel on its own.

LAURA: Wow. Well, there you go.

ASHLEY: Okay.

LIAM: I think to myself, oh, that is badass.

(laughter)

LAURA: I smack her on her little gelatin back and say, good work, Pike.

ASHLEY: (laughs) I go over to Percy. Percy, how are you?

TALIESIN: I don't know. I've had a cough, and I'm… complicated.

MARISHA: I did a check on him, Pike. His cough doesn't seem to be anything natural or disease-related, so it's nothing like a fever. Not a real one, anyway.

ASHLEY: Oh boy. Okay. Can I do any extra check on him?

TRAVIS: Yep. Drop your pants.

MATT: You can make a medicine check on him.

LIAM: You're getting the radiant digit.

ASHLEY: Did anybody already do a medicine check?

MATT: You haven't made one.

ASHLEY: All right. I'll give it a go.

MARISHA: (quietly) Come on, Pike.

ASHLEY: 17.

MATT: 17? Okay. You take a moment to inspect Percy, looking at his features, checking his pulse, and generally getting a sense of his life force in general. His eyes are sunken, his jowls are shadowed. From what you recall of Percy, he was always a seemingly-healthy, if on the thin and pale side, individual. Doubly more so than you've ever seen him. There is an unrest to his energy, and there is no physical, natural illness or discernible disease, but there is something unsettling about his presence that you've never sensed before.

ASHLEY: (sighs) Okay. Lesser Restoration, would that do anything in this situation?

LAURA: What about Greater Restoration?

MATT: You can try it. Lesser or Greater Restoration.

MARISHA: If you have a Greater Restoration, Pike– I don't have it on me.

ASHLEY: Okay. I can try it. Can I try it?

MATT: Yeah, if you want to.

ASHLEY: Okay.

MATT: So what are you casting? Lesser or Greater Restoration?

ASHLEY: I'll do Greater. Do you mind, Percy?

TALIESIN: No. (sighs) No.

MATT: Okay, so Pike reaches up. You grab his face again, and you close your eyes and concentrate. Her hands begin to glow with an extremely bright vibrance, even moreso than her gently luminescent form right now. It's almost like there's a blowtorch of radiant energy right around his jaw. The rest of her form almost seems to put so much energy into it that her legs begin to dissipate and vanish, almost like she's putting all of her energy into this moment, the rest of her body fading into the grasp. You feel this warmth wash through your entire body, and for a brief moment, for the first time in a number of weeks, there's a moment of serenity to you. Your eyes instinctually close, and for a second, you feel like you're standing next to Pike in a void of darkness. As that warmth hits, Pike, you sense something there. You sense a seed of darkness. There's something in him that you can almost reach out and grasp, and in that imaginative space, you do. You thrust your hand out and grab onto it, and it's taut, and it's fighting, but you pull and wrest it forth, and as you do, you feel it burn and dissipate. At which point, both of you guys open your eyes, breathe in succession with each other. The energy fades from your hands and your form goes back to its full, radiant physicality. You can remove a corruption point from yourself.

SAM: Ooh!

LAURA: Yay!

MARISHA: A corruption point?

MATT: Yes.

SAM: He had two.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: He's still looking a little sickly, but definitely improved.

TALIESIN: Did I heal, as well?

MATT: No, you just lose a corruption point.

MARISHA: So does that get rid of one of his weird ailments?

SAM: He still coughs.

TALIESIN: I do feel better.

MATT: The cough is still there.

LIAM: I watched all of that, and when I saw him lean back into the earthen wall, I quietly back up and I'm going to go down the tunnel, like 50 feet, and see–

MATT: Roll a stealth check.

SAM: Pike, that was incredible.

LIAM: 23.

ASHLEY: What is a corruption point?

MATT: You have no idea what a corruption point is, but you removed some point of corruption in his body.

TRAVIS: Can you do me next? My neck has been hurting for weeks.

ASHLEY: (laughs)

LAURA: I do that to Grog. How's that feel? How's that feel, big guy?

TRAVIS: Oh, it's much better.

MATT: Almost like a small seed of sentient tumor, you removed from him.

TALIESIN: Should I randomize which corruption point vanishes?

MATT: It's a compounding thing.

TALIESIN: Oh, it's compounding.

MATT: Yeah. They're not specific.

ASHLEY: How many do you have?

MATT: You don't know. You have no idea.

ASHLEY: Sorry. I'm asking too many questions.

MATT: Yeah. How dare you? No, it's fine.

ASHLEY: How do you feel, Percy?

TALIESIN: I feel better. I feel more like myself. (coughs)

LAURA: But he's still coughing.

TALIESIN: I'm still coughing, but I feel much better. Thank you.

MARISHA: What did you just do to him, Pike?

ASHLEY: I just tried to find out what this is. This is going to sound like a very weird question, but does part of you want to hold onto some of this?

TALIESIN: It could be. I'm not quite finished yet. We'll see where we are tomorrow.

ASHLEY: Okay.

MATT: While this is happening, Vax has vanished ahead into the tunnel on his own. You guys look around and realize that he's nowhere to be seen.

TRAVIS: Fuck him. I go to sleep.

(laughter)

MATT: Okay. Vax, pushing ahead. Thankfully, in the darkness, you have a little bit of vision, limited as it is.

LIAM: From the glowing gnome?

MATT: Make a perception check. As you turn around the corner, you lose the light source.

LIAM: 20.

MATT: Okay. You continue around the edge, and the tunnel evens out for a bit and then goes straight, and then curves again to the left. Following that, it curves again to the right. You can keep going, or you can head back. You've traversed about 60 or 70 feet in this tunnel.

LIAM: 60 or 70 feet? I'm going to go another 60 or 70 feet.

SAM: Yeah!

LAURA: Where the fuck are you?

MATT: You keep pushing towards this tunnel and turn to the right. You travel a bit further forward, and as the tunnel makes another sharp right turn, you see all of a sudden where the dirt stops and there is solid, smooth stonework: a broken portion of what looks like the back side of a wall of some kind. You see nothing beyond it. It looks like there is a piece of stone something pressed against it, and looks like some other things are stacked, basically covering this entrance.

LIAM: I would like to just sit down on the ground and close my eyes and listen for a full minute and see if I hear anything.

MATT: Make a perception check.

LIAM: 21.

MATT: 21. You take a minute, close your eyes, and take in all audio you can. Stillness. Quiet. Nothing.

LIAM: Pretty good. I quietly walk all the way back, and walk behind the group, and I go, goosh! Look at that.

LAURA: I swear to Pelor, if you would have gotten us killed…

MARISHA: Where did you go just then?

LIAM: I was like ten feet around the corner.

SAM: He was right here the whole time.

TALIESIN: I'm going to take care of a little business outside, and then we'll seal up the opening.

SAM: Excuse me? What are you doing outside?

TALIESIN: I'm going to charge the Diplomacy glove.

MATT: It's already sealed. Grog already sealed it.

TALIESIN: Grog already sealed it?

MATT: Yeah. He pulled rocks into it and closed the exit.

LAURA: I glare at Vax and I lay down to go to sleep.

SAM: Can we do it here?

TALIESIN: We can't do it in here because it would make too much noise.

MARISHA: This room won't fit my storm cloud.

SAM: Wait. Pike, do you have any sort of Cone of Silence, or anything? Do you have a Cone of Silence?

MARISHA: Why?

SAM: He's going to make noise.

MARISHA: No, it's not going to work.

LIAM: I've got this. I pick up two small, roundish, oval-shaped stones from the ground, and I slide them into Grog's nostrils, plugging them up.

MATT: Make a sleight-of-hand check. Grog? What's your passive perception?

TRAVIS: Oh, ten.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: Where's passive perception?

LAURA: It's under all your other attributes.

LIAM: 14.

MATT: Okay. As you step away, there's a (snort) as your nostrils are stopped up now, and the airflow is impeded partially from the way you're used to. You begin breathing heavily through the mouth in reaction.

TRAVIS: (loud snoring)

LAURA: I wake up to the terrible– Ugh! What is that? Grog!

TRAVIS: And I cough, and the stones shoot out of my nose back at Vax.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: With a high velocity.

LIAM: I'm removing one hit point from my–

MATT: Yeah. One beans you in the side of the temple.

TRAVIS: Covered in Grog “boge.”

(laughter)

TALIESIN: I'm sleeping.

LAURA: And the guardian that Pike conjured is guarding us?

MATT: Is there, just keeping ever vigil for the next eight hours.

ASHLEY: Chilling.

LAURA: Let's fucking rest!

MARISHA: Who's still awake?

TRAVIS: Be careful when you go to sleep. Shit falls in your nose.

MATT: Are you guys taking shifts, or are you leaving it to the guardian?

TRAVIS: Leave it to the guardian.

SAM: The guardian's got this.

MARISHA: I look at Vax before we go to sleep, and I say, not going to pull any more jenga moments, are you?

LIAM: No. No, I'm not.

MARISHA: You sure? Because you just did that secret walkaround there. We notice when you sneak off. You do know that, right?

LIAM: No. My rolls are too high; you really don't notice.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: This is true.

LIAM: But I'm not going anywhere.

MARISHA: Okay. Hey. I was the only one who didn't give you shit for that. Just keep that in mind.

TRAVIS: I did. You can fuck off and get yourself killed.

LAURA: You're asleep.

TRAVIS: (snores)

(laughter)

LIAM: I'm going to go sit down by Percy, and what I'd like to do is watch everybody nod off, and in 20 minutes, nudge him awake.

TALIESIN: (groans)

LIAM: Hi.

TALIESIN: Yes?

LIAM: I want you to get some sleep, but I want to talk for a minute.

TALIESIN: I don't know if I can do both of those things, but okay.

LIAM: That's all right. We can separate them. This thing.

TALIESIN: Yes?

LIAM: What do you really know about it? How do we know that this thing isn't whispering in Sylas's ear? What do you really know about this thing?

TALIESIN: I don't know anything about this thing, except that this last time… this last time was different than the first time. This last time didn't… (sighs) This last time, I felt more like me, and less like I was being drawn somewhere. I wasn't entirely me, but it's hard to describe. I felt like I had contained it, a bit. I feel like, maybe, maybe I can keep it under check. I don't know.

LIAM: I want to tell you something. We're almost like family now, and I've seen you do many great things, and you have earned my trust, but if you hurt my sister… If you hurt anyone else in this group inadvertently–

TALIESIN: I would expect no less.

LIAM: All right, then.

TALIESIN: Vax? I have a sister!

LIAM: It's pretty cool, isn't it?

TALIESIN: I'm hoping.

LIAM: Well, hold onto that.

TALIESIN: I shall.

TRAVIS: I let out a little sleep fart.

LIAM: Can I borrow just a pinch of your black powder?

TALIESIN: No, I'm running really low. No.

LIAM: Just a finger dab?

TALIESIN: No. Oh, god. Yes.

LIAM: I lick my pinky and I put it in, and I slowly draw a big ballsack on Grog's forehead.

MATT: Roll a sleight-of-hand check.

LIAM: Sure.

TALIESIN: I'm going to sleep before this happens.

LIAM: That's a 23.

MATT: Grog, roll a perception check, just for the hell of it.

TRAVIS: 18?

MATT: Deftly blended in with the tattoos, unless those who are aware, there are strange new series of markings across Grog's face that he may not notice for quite some time.

LIAM: I did do little hairs on them, as well.

MATT: Oh, how detailed.

LIAM: Well, it grows here, so it grows there.

MATT: You don't know. (laughs)

LIAM: I don't know. Or do I?

MATT: Oh! All right. You guys go to sleep?

LIAM: He goes to sleep. I'm going to do my duty with Keyleth for a watch.

LAURA: No, Keyleth went to sleep.

LIAM: I thought we were both staying up.

MATT: You look back over at Keyleth, and she's asleep.

LIAM: All right. I'll watch everybody.

MATT: Are you going to sleep at all?

LIAM: I'll stay up for two hours.

MATT: You stay up for the two hours. There doesn't seem to be much incident whatsoever. There's that gentle draft coming through from some of the cracks in the stones that were set up to block the entryway. It was not a perfect hole, of course, just enough to not arouse suspicion. There is cold air seeping through. You can hear the rain muffled in the distance, and there's a little bit of a leak coming through from where the stones were set up to block the entrance. Eventually, sleep comes to you. It is a strange lulling sound. Everyone sleeps, relatively comfortably for being in the middle of a stone tunnel. You have dreams again. Dreams, images, flashes. Flashes of your family hanging from the Sun Tree. It never happened, but your mind creates the image for you. You see flashes of your sister screaming out to you as the arrows take her in the chest. You see a flash of what looks like a skull, a skull face. The skull brings itself to where you focus on one of its ocular sockets, and blood begins to pour from the socket. Flash to black. A familiar voice rings out again: “Do not forget our deal.” Cold morning air comes to you as you all slowly come to consciousness. Uncomfortable, kinks in your back. It's not the best place to sleep, but the bare minimum of the long rest is achieved throughout the evening. As you all eventually come to and check and make sure everyone's okay, you awake, a little unnerved.

SAM: I look around for Pike.

LAURA: Is she still here?

MATT: Pike is just waking up. She's still there. Her image, you can see, in her sleeping state, is diminished. When she comes to consciousness, it almost flares up again. Her presence here is purely a force of will, and that connection is a very tenuous one. I would like everyone to make a constitution check.

LAURA: Constitution?

MARISHA: Corruption, man.

LAURA: Yeah, you're right. I'm going to go sparkle stone.

LIAM: Natural 20.

MARISHA: Son of a fuck. Natural one. My third of the evening.

SAM: Five.

MATT: Five.

TRAVIS: 17.

LAURA: 16.

LIAM: 20.

TALIESIN: 22.

MATT: All righty.

LAURA: You rolled a one, Keyleth?

MARISHA: I had bad dreams.

MATT: The DC on this is not as high. Everyone but Keyleth passed. Keyleth, as you wake up, there's a general cold sensation within your body, and you feel like there's really no way to keep warm, no matter how hard you try and bundle up. You even use a bit of Druidcraft to create a bit of sparkling warm fire that you use to keep your hands set, and the cold doesn't seem to go away.

MARISHA: I keep my hands aflame and kind of rub myself.

MATT: Okay. Your hands are shaking unnaturally, and there's a general chatter to your teeth. You have disadvantage on any dexterity ability checks.

MARISHA: Glad I don't use a bow.

MATT: Skill checks. Wouldn't affect attacks. I will say it doesn't really affect initiative, per se, but if you were to try to do any delicate handwork, you would have disadvantage.

LAURA: Should we, before we get this shit going, have a feast? A big fucking feast?

SAM: We should have a feast.

MARISHA: That sounds good, yeah.

LAURA: We still have a couple of feasts left.

MARISHA: I will say, if we choose to feast, I will not be able to Sunbeam.

SAM: Well, that is a problem.

LAURA: Should we have feasted last night?

MARISHA: I couldn't. I burned my Sunbeam. We couldn't have done it.

SAM: Pike can't help in any way?

MARISHA: I don't know if Pike–

ASHLEY: I don't have that ability.

MARISHA: Does she have access to sixth-level spells? We haven't leveled Pike up in a while.

ASHLEY: I don't know if I've–

MATT: You've gained a modicum of experience while you were away from the party, just at a slower rate, so you are at a lower level than the rest of the party. Not by a terrible amount, but you'd be level 11 by now, probably.

MARISHA: So she would have a sixth-level spell.

LAURA: So she has Feast.

MARISHA: It depends on if clerics have it.

MATT: Clerics do have access to Heroes' Feast.

ASHLEY: Let me check.

MARISHA: But that would also mean Pike burning her 6th-level spell slot.

MATT: Correct. So you would have one 6th-level spell. If you wanted to, you could prepare that as your prepared 6th-level spell for the day. That is your choice, Pike.

LAURA: We get saves on all wisdom throws, which might come in handy when we're fighting against things that control our minds.

ASHLEY: Oh dang. I haven't even looked through these yet.

LIAM: While the fancy people are talking, I walk over to Grog and say, big man. You've got mud or something on your face. Come here. And I take my hand and I wipe across his forehead and smear out what I did.

TRAVIS: Don't fucking touch me!

LIAM: Sorry.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: You're all cuddly in the morning and shit. God, get it together.

LIAM: Sorry.

TRAVIS: I lean over to Vex and I go, how do I look?

LAURA: You look lovely, dear.

TRAVIS: Damn right.

SAM: I have questions for us, while Pike is looking up her spells. First question is: how on earth are we supposed to send a signal to the rest of the town when we're in a tunnel?

LAURA: We can open it up.

SAM: From where?

LAURA: From here.

TALIESIN: Once we're inside the castle, we'll be able to–

MARISHA: I can Skywrite again.

LAURA: You could Skywrite right now, as soon as we decide to start moving.

MARISHA: I just need to move the boulders a bit.

LAURA: Yeah. Open the rocks up. People start attacking the castle; we come from the other side, from within.

SAM: Is that our plan? We're going to say, “Rebels, go,” wait a while, and then attack?

TALIESIN: Not even wait a while. We'll go in.

LAURA: Go in at the same time.

LIAM: We throw the signal to the sky and go up this tunnel.

SAM: Shouldn't we wait a little?

LAURA: Wait like five minutes to let them rabble up and start running.

SAM: Remember, last time I was supposed to create a diversion…

LAURA: Yeah, but then you took down a whole house.

TALIESIN: Well, we had a Grog.

SAM: Believe me, I was amazing, but maybe we should incite the rebellion, wait a half hour, and then go.

TALIESIN: Let's see if we can keep civilian casualties to a reasonably small amount.

MARISHA: We're the most capable people in this town right now.

SAM: Well, that's another question. We are. Does one of us need to go out there and lead the rebels?

LAURA AND TALIESIN: No.

TALIESIN: We're fine.

SAM: What do you mean, no?

MARISHA: They've got Yennan. He's awesome. He was a badass cleric.

SAM: If he survived the night.

TRAVIS: What if they don't take the rebels seriously because we're not with them? Maybe one of us should go.

SAM: Maybe Pike should.

TALIESIN: I think it's going to take all of us to defeat the Briarwoods.

LAURA: I think we all need to go together.

TALIESIN: Once the Briarwoods are gone, I think a lot of this will get a lot easier.

TRAVIS: We could meet in the middle.

SAM: I'm just saying, if Pike is fading on us, it might be best to send her out to lead the rebels.

LAURA: No, she's not fading on us, you dick! She's coming with us.

LIAM: Scanlan, we're going to make a leap of faith that Pike can stay.

SAM: And if, in the horribly unfortunate scenario where she can't. Pike, can you leave us anything?

LAURA: A Heroes' Fucking Feast.

SAM: A potion. A spell. A prayer. A symbol. A “siggle.” Anything?

MATT: A sigil.

SAM: Oh. Oh, a sigil. I said it wrong.

LIAM: Oh, prepare to be GIF'd, Mercer.

MATT: (laughs) Yeah.

ASHLEY: Wow. There's some amazing– just a side note, there's one called Heal that can heal a person 70 hit points.

MATT: True.

ASHLEY: Just like that.

LAURA: That's pretty awesome.

MATT: So, Heroes' Feast, Heal. You've got to pick one.

LAURA: Heroes' Feast!

SAM: Heroes' Feast raises all of our hit points higher.

LIAM: Way to humble-brag, Pike.

LAURA: It makes us more badass.

ASHLEY: Yeah, let's do the Heroes' Feast, then.

MARISHA: We're going to eat up? Fuck yeah.

MATT: All right, so mark off your other thousand gold chalice that you had purchased beforehand. I think you're out now, aren't you?

MARISHA: Yes, I believe we need to go shopping.

LAURA: You needed one more. You had one more, I thought.

MATT: She has one more. It's being used right now. She'd purchased two before you left.

MARISHA: Pike, you wouldn't happen to have a thousand gold-worth chalice on you, would you?

LIAM: Only astrally.

MARISHA: Never mind.

MATT: I would think probably not.

MARISHA: Don't worry about it.

MATT: You hand over the chalice to Pike. Pike, you take the chalice and you set it down before you. You mark a symbol in the dirt in the center of this tunnel in the shape of a giant rectangular table. You take your holy symbol, remove it from your neck, and thrust it into the ground at the head of the table. With that, dust kicks up as seemingly out of nowhere, this giant table and feast just (fwoosh) rises.

LAURA: Oh my god, is it a holy feast? Do we all do holy damage now?

MATT: No, but holy shit, it's delicious.

TRAVIS: (laughing) “Holy shit, it's delicious.”

(laughter)

MATT: It is very good.

LIAM: Best line of the night!

MATT: Benches around and available. You all sit around it and dig into the most delightful mid-tunnel, cold sub-castle breakfast you've ever had.

LIAM: Ice cream.

LAURA: Give me that pencil.

MATT: So you guys all, for the next 24 hours, have advantage on wisdom saving throws, and I believe it's 2d6? Is that what it was, Marisha?

MARISHA: 2d10 or 2d8.

MATT: I'll look it up right here.

TALIESIN: Wisdom advantage.

LAURA: I think it's 2d12.

MARISHA: 2d12?

MATT: Heroes' Feast. Nope, 2d10. Everyone, roll 2d10 and add that temporary hit points to your HP value. That includes you, too, Pike. So roll 2d10 and that's temporary hit points on top of your regular hit points. Meaning once those go away, they cannot be healed back.

LIAM: Still not cracking a hundred.

TALIESIN: Nice!

SAM: And advantage on wisdom saves.

MARISHA: And we're immune to fear.

MATT: Yep.

SAM: Seriously?

MARISHA: And poison, I think.

MATT: Yep. You're immune to poison.

MARISHA: Immune to fear, immune to poison, and immune to what else?

MATT: And you get advantage on all wisdom saving throws. Heroes' Feast, motherfucker!

LIAM: Immune to fear, and what was it?

MATT: Immune to fear and poison. Oh, such a good spell. Very expensive, but damn if it hasn't been clutch.

MARISHA: I'm going to move out some rocks. Just enough where I can peek out. Are we ready to go?

SAM: Go? Go where? What?

LAURA: To do this!

MARISHA: I'm just going to start this. We can talk as we go.

SAM: You've got to go outside first.

MARISHA: I'm going outside.

SAM: Okay.

MARISHA: I'm going outside. Is it still rainy?

MATT: It is not raining, currently. The sky is still cloudy and dark.

MARISHA: Still cloudy?

MATT: Yeah.

MARISHA: Okay, so I take the clouds and I darken them and do a giant de Rolo crest that expands over the whole city.

MATT: Okay, so with Grog's help, you move some of the rocks out of the way. You get a visual of the sky. You lean out, focus, cast your Skywrite spell– mark that spell off– and as you coalesce the clouds to be extremely dark and to form the de Rolo crest symbol in the sky. As that happens, you begin to see, about two minutes later, little beacon lights begin to ignite across the city: lanterns and torches being lit. It looks like, as it is probably an hour past dawn, that the surviving remainder of the Whitestone rebellion is raring itself to attack.

LAURA: We should have sung “One Day More.”

SAM: Well, we still can. (laughs) Before we do this, I love you all, and I wish us all the best of luck today. I especially love Pike, and I'm so happy she's with us for this. If some of us don't return, I think that the glory of what we're doing today, and the justice of what we're doing today, has been worth it, and Percy, I hope you get some sort of redemption in all of this.

TALIESIN: (sighs)

MARISHA: To the de Rolos.

SAM: To the de Rolos.

MARISHA: To Whitestone.

TALIESIN: To Whitestone.

LAURA: To Vox Machina.

MARISHA: To Vox Machina.

MATT: You may raise your glass and drink if you'd like, Ashley.

ASHLEY: Oh, thanks!

MATT: There we go. (laughs)

MARISHA: Do that Ben and Jerry's pint.

(laughter)

MATT: As you guys finish your drink, the Heroes' Feast slowly sinks back into the dirt, leaving the empty tunnel before you. The slight cold sound of drifting wind through the now freshly barricaded rock exit of the secret passageway begins to reach your ears. What do you wish to do?

TRAVIS: Do we want to check the wall?

LIAM: I'm taking point. I want to check out that wall that I sat right in front of.

SAM: Let's all go down the tunnel.

LIAM: Yep. Come on, everyone.

MARISHA: I light up my hands for light.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: Very quietly down the tunnel.

MATT: Using the veritable torchlight from Keyleth's burning hands, you guys press down the hallway, Vax taking point. Eventually, you get to the end of the hallway. There's a portion of the stone wall that has been chiseled out. It's not very smooth; it's rough in the way it was constructed, but there is definitely about a foot-thick wall that would go to the right and left of you in the dirt that has been chiseled and broken through to reveal this passageway that you guys are traversing. Immediately on the other side of this opening, now that you have a better look at it, it looks to be some sort of stone sculpture or statue of some kind.

ASHLEY: (sneezes)

LAURA AND MATT: Bless you.

MATT: You see what looks to be the back side of some armored soldier, but it's all carved from some sort of marble. At a closer look, too, Percy, you see it's carved from the white stone that is actually mined in this–

TALIESIN: Do I recognize this part of the passage?

MATT: You do. This statue is one of the large things used to hide this exit, and it is normally shoved out of the way. There are a few other boxes immediately adjacent to it, and from what little bit you can glance past it, it looks like this section is used for storage of some kind and is filled with whatever random crates and whatever needed to be placed down here to keep it out of the way.

TRAVIS: Can someone check to make sure that it's just a statue?

MARISHA: Can I do an arcana check to see?

MATT: Sure.

MARISHA: If it's magical? Magic trap?

LIAM: I'm going to perception it. 20 on perception.

MARISHA: Natural 20. Making up for those fucking ones.

MATT: There you go. As you step up and inspect the back of the statue, the stonework is very well done, and there is a very, very faint magical essence to this statue. It's so miniscule, and the only reason you're able to pick it up is you're so fine-tuned to seeking out that presence. It doesn't have a specific form; it doesn't have a specific school of magic applied to it. It just has a general, faint magical aura.

MARISHA: Is it carved out of the rock?

MATT: It's carved out of the white stone.

MARISHA: Got you. But it's not magically trapped?

MATT: Correct. It doesn't appear to have any sort of strong magical presence for a specific purpose.

MARISHA: And if we touch it, we're not going to be possessed or something.

MATT: You don't think so.

MARISHA: I don't think so.

LIAM: I silently signal to everyone, and I slowly stealth around the statue to check out the room.

MATT: Okay. It's all pressed against the wall. The widest gap is about that wide. You're going to have to push or shove things out of the way. All the crates are pushed up against it, blocking the whole exit.

LAURA: Is it too big for you? Do you need maybe somebody stronger?

LIAM: I reach out past my sister and pat him on the shoulder.

TRAVIS: Yes?

LAURA: (whispering) I think you're up.

TRAVIS: Where? Up where?

LAURA: I think you need to move the fucking statue.

TRAVIS: Oh!

LAURA: Quietly.

TRAVIS: (whispering) Oh. And I gently start to push the statue out of the way.

MATT: Make a strength check.

LAURA: Oh no! Really?

TRAVIS: That's a one.

MATT: Natural one?

MARISHA: I'm sorry.

MATT: Grog cracks his fingers and grins, stepping up. Goes to push the statue, and then pop! Something in your lower back gives, and (groans).

LIAM: Peacock a little more for us, please.

MATT: The air escapes your lungs, and it's been a long time since this injury has crept up, but you threw your back out a little.

TRAVIS: I slide down and go, you know, I'm so tired of (groans) taking all the glory. Why don't you guys–

LAURA: Trinket? Trinket tries to–

MATT: Trinket, who, at this point in time, by the way guys, takes up a large portion of the tunnel–

LAURA: Yeah, he wants to get the fuck out of here.

MATT: Pushes past you guys and turns around and puts his rump against it and starts backing up into it. (moans) Go ahead and roll a d20.

TALIESIN: Please defeat this door.

MARISHA: Fucking doors!

LIAM: (whispering) Can you please fix Grog's back?

TALIESIN: Doors of Whitestone.

LAURA: Doors of fucking Whitestone! Oh god.

MATT: Add two to the roll.

LAURA: Only two?!

MATT: Yeah.

LAURA: I don't add his full strength? It doesn't fucking matter, because I rolled a three.

MARISHA: Doors.

MATT: (laughing) Perpetually defeated by passageways and entrances.

TALIESIN: Curse you, doors!

SAM: I've got this, guys.

LIAM: Wait, before we use– listen. This could potentially be humiliating for all of us. Before we expend any of our arcane abilities, please let us all at least try and fail before you take out the Hand.

TALIESIN: Let's all push.

LAURA: As much as we can.

SAM: Wait, why are we pushing this thing?

LIAM: Let's do the one and a half elf push, shall we? You, you, and me.

LAURA: And Percy.

TALIESIN: I'll join.

SAM: I will push, as well.

LIAM: All the average-shaped people.

LAURA: I'm rolling my giant foam dice for this.

MATT: All right. Everyone but Grog can help in this. Grog, you're out for this one.

SAM: I'm helping.

MARISHA: He's helping.

SAM: I am not helping.

MARISHA: Ooh, I rolled a 19!

LIAM: One, eight.

SAM: 11.

MARISHA: Wait, is this just a strength check?

MATT: Yeah, adding your strength.

MARISHA: Straight strength?

LAURA: One.

MARISHA: 21.

TALIESIN: 12.

MARISHA: (grunts)

MATT: As you give it a good solid try, the force of you guys combined; there is just a lot of weight pressed up against this statue with the crates on the other side. This storage room is very full, and you find Vox Machina, for all of its journeys, battles, victories, and celebratory events, bested by a room of clutter. Pike, did you want to give it a shot?

ASHLEY: Yeah.

MARISHA: I turn around and I'm still pushing.

SAM: Wait, Pike's going to do this?

MATT: Okay, Pike. Roll a d20 and add your strength modifier.

LIAM: Come on, Pike.

SAM: Doors, man.

MARISHA: Charge at it.

LAURA: This is like the lid of a jar; everybody's loosened it up, and Pike's going to–

SAM: What?

ASHLEY: 19.

MATT: Plus your strength modifier?

ASHLEY: I rolled an 18 and my strength modifier is one.

MATT: All right. As you guys all take a moment to have this discussion, Pike steps forward, her hair drifting behind her, buoyant in the air.

LIAM: Somebody draw it. Please draw it.

MATT: She steps up and centers herself. Sets her shield to the side, puts her mace down, closes her eyes, puts her hands on the statue and just (grunts) begins to shove and push. As she does, you guys hear (stone scraping noise).

LAURA: Seriously?

TALIESIN: I could have done that.

MATT: The crates begin to push and move out of the way, and she pushes the statue a good six feet ahead, pushing some of it out of the way, leaving a little bit of opening and a visual walkway into this basement area.

LAURA: Look at that.

MARISHA: It must be nice to have the strength of Sarenrae.

LAURA: Pike, you saved the day. Again.

SAM: Mrs. Shorthalt, you are amazing.

ASHLEY: Whoa, Scanlan.

TALIESIN: Well, fine.

MATT: Trinket gives a (grumpy grunt).

SAM: Pike, will you carry me over the threshold?

(laughter)

LIAM: Wait! I fistbump Pike, pop my hood up, and then quietly go into the room.

LAURA: Not yet!

LIAM: Yeah! I'm the best person to do this.

TRAVIS: Can I have Trinket step on my lower back, please?

LAURA: Trinket's really good at that.

MATT: Trinket is really good at massages. Trinket begins going, (grunts) stepping on you (cracking) and you hear–

TRAVIS: (groans) Thank god.

MATT: I'm going to have you roll a stealth check–

LIAM: 29 for stealth.

MATT: With disadvantage.

LIAM: Disadvantage?

MATT: Because of Grog's moaning at the massage.

LIAM: That's fine. That balances out, and my first roll was a 29 total.

MATT: (laughs) Okay. All right. You disappear in. It's very dark in here; there's one sconce that appears to be giving a bit of flickering light across the way. As you step out of this chamber into what looks to be two paths that go to the right and the left and then curve and disappear. Right across from you appears to be a central room or space. You can make a little bit of visual around you, but best you can see is there are a series of bars. Like cells, arranged across some of the walls here. You appear to have stumbled upon the subterranean Whitestone dungeon or prison.

LIAM: Can you help me understand the makeup of it again? You said two passages– one to the left, one to the right– and a chamber directly ahead, between them?

MATT: Correct.

LIAM: I know we've got two paths, but he said there's a room, as well.

MATT: Here, this will be a good perspective for you.

SAM: Oh, you just happen to have the room drawn?

MATT: That's where you guys came through.

LIAM: Yeah?

MATT: And see this path here?

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: And here. And there are cells on this side.

MARISHA: Is there anything good in the storage room that we're in?

MATT: Oh, you're in the storage room?

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: Make an investigation check.

LAURA: Yeah, I start opening up crates.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: That's not great. Eight.

MATT: There's a lot of broken building materials.

LAURA: 18.

MATT: 18? Okay. Looking around, you see there's work materials. There's pickaxes, there's crowbars, there's things that are used in various tool-based means throughout the uses of a castle. Most of them are for grounds repair and things like that; nothing particularly interests you. There are a few crates that have residual whitestone in them, but it appears that most of it has been used or taken elsewhere.

LAURA: Like whitestone dust?

MATT: Like dust and small rocks here and there.

LAURA: Can I gather some up in a bag?

MATT: Sure.

MARISHA: Yeah, I pick up a few pieces too.

MATT: Okay. You, seeing both of those paths–

LIAM: So both paths, and there's a room closer to me, right?

MATT: Yeah, around the way to your left, you see that's the source of a little bit of sconce torchlight.

LIAM: All right. Into my little earring, I say, (whispers) I'm not doing anything fucking crazy, I'm just going to go ahead. This is the only thing I can do. And I move quietly into the close chamber.

MATT: Okay, as you're moving forward, you hear behind you the sound of crates shifting, lids moving, because searching through a room of large clutter and crates makes noise. You take a few steps and that happens and you're like, and you hear echoing from around a corner a voice go, “Hello? Is someone there?” This really crackly dry voice.

LIAM: I stop moving entirely and I just wait.

MATT: “Hello?”

(laughter)

MATT: Silence.

LIAM: And can I hear anything besides that? There's nothing else I hear besides that in this room?

MATT: From what you can tell, no.

LIAM: There's no dim light or anything?

MATT: The only dim light is coming from around that corner, from the source of where that sound seemed to come.

LIAM: Okay. I should be able to see, then, if there's dim light. Up to 60 feet.

MATT: Right. Nothing immediately in your visual perspective. If you go all the way to the edge, you can look past the corner if you want.

LIAM: Okay. I slowly back up away from that and creep up the hall and stop at the corner before it turns and I just lean my head out and I listen.

MATT: Okay. Perception check.

LIAM: 27.

MATT: Okay. Listening for a second, you hear what sounds like some shifting, like a body shifting over some sort of low crumbling. Sounds almost like grasses or hay or some sort of soft bedding is being shifted a little bit. You hear a clink of metal of some kind, you're not sure quite what the source is, and a couple of other small shifting and grinding sounds of metal. Comes to a halt.

LIAM: Got it. So I tiptoe all the way back to everybody and say, listen. Stop doing that. Stop. There's two passageways up the way. I think we're in some sort of dungeon–

TALIESIN: I could probably confirm this.

MATT: Very much so. This is where you woke up, where Cassandra pulled you–

TALIESIN: This is absolutely the dungeon.

LIAM: I had surmised as much. There's possibly an old person in one, and then sounds of something, so both of the chambers are occupied. I came back to confer with you instead of going off on my own because that gets me in trouble.

LAURA: Hey, thank you so much.

LIAM: One time only.

SAM: Let's go talk to the old prisoner.

LIAM: What do you want to do?

MARISHA: Are we sure they're prisoners?

LIAM: Do you want to talk to the possibly old person with the crazy eyes thing?

TRAVIS: Shouldn't we ask Percy what he wants to do?

MATT: You right now are staring off into space, because you recall the last time you were here you woke up in a cell next to a cell that contained a pile of bodies of previously related members of your family before Cassandra ushered you out.

TALIESIN: I would like to start making my way in that direction.

MATT: Okay. So as you guys are having this conversation, Percy just starts walking–

LIAM: Percy, you probably want to take out one of those contraptions of yours.

LAURA: Wait, before he goes I cast Pass Without a Trace on everyone.

MATT: Okay. Everyone who wishes to be stealthy can be stealthy.

LIAM: I'm rolling along with Percival.

TALIESIN: I'm being stealthy.

MATT: Okay. Everyone roll stealth.

ASHLEY: Me too, I'm super stealthy.

MATT: We'll keep with your consistent roll, currently.

SAM: 15.

MATT: Okay. With plus ten?

SAM: That's with plus ten.

LIAM: It's 30 this time.

MATT: All right.

MARISHA: 21.

LAURA: Add ten! Because I cast Pass Without a Trace.

TALIESIN: 21.

LIAM: Oh, 40 this time. Only with her.

MATT: Only it would be like (whoosh) what'd you get, Grog?

TRAVIS: 26.

MATT: Okay. You guys all move as a group forward. Pike, what'd you get? Yeah, roll your stealth, girl. Plus ten to it.

ASHLEY: (laughs) I have three.

LAURA: But plus ten!

LIAM: Can I give her seven of mine?

MATT: No. You guys push down the left hallway or the right one?

TALIESIN: I'm heading towards whichever cell had been mine.

MATT: The cell that would've been yours would be kind of on the opposite side of the room from you, on the other side. The fastest way would be taking the left path towards the light source.

TALIESIN: The left path.

MATT: Okay. So you guys head that direction, kind of following Percy–

SAM: That's not the direction of the voice.

LAURA: Yes, it is.

SAM: Oh, it is?

MATT: Yeah. You move towards the light. You guys turn around the corner and look. Not in the cell you were in, but across the way, because there are six cells, three on each side of the hallway facing each other, and on the far cell on the outside-wall side of it, you see there's a torch sconce that is lit and just slowly crackling. It's almost reached ember period, like it's about to be changed out, probably. And inside you see, sitting just squat on the ground, in a cell by herself, this woman facing away, back up against the bars and that's all you can see.

LIAM: Drawing a blade just in case.

LAURA: As I approach I put my finger over my mouth and look at her. Can she see us?

LIAM: Looking away.

MATT: She's facing away from you guys, her back is up against the bars. She's kinda–

SAM: Psst. Oi. Hello.

TALIESIN: Shh.

MATT: Turns her head and looks over, and it's the first time you see her face. Much older woman, probably in her early seventies or so, but seventies living in a not very– seventy years in a hard life, so very deep, sunken wrinkles. The skin is very weathered. Her hair is mostly whitish-gray with a little bit of you can see remaining reds and browns in it, at some point she might've had much brighter-colored hair. Her clothing is pretty ragged, and she leans over and looks to you guys, squinting her eyes in the darkness.

SAM: If you want to get out of here, don't speak loudly.

MATT: “All right. Who is this?”

LAURA: Who are you?

SAM: We're here to help.

MATT: She's still kind of looking out into the darkness. She can't see you guys really. She just hears your voices.

LAURA: Who are you?

MATT: “Who are you?” She's being very guarded right now and very spooked.

LIAM: In the darkness, I hand, stupidly, my Flametongue dagger to Scanlan again and push him forward with it.

SAM: I hold it up to my face. I grin a big grin to her and I say, hello. We're friends. We're here to bust you out of this place. Will you tell us who you are?

MATT: “I'm Gloria. Gloria Cyn.”

SAM: Gloria Cyn?

MATT: “How'd you find your way in here?”

SAM: We are ninjas.

MATT: She looks very confused at you. “Are you friend or foe? Do you work with the Briarwoods?”

SAM: No, we are against the Briarwoods and all they stand for. We're here to save you, the prisoners, the village. Everyone we can.

MATT: Do all of you step forward at this point, or is it just you?

LIAM: Just him. Mr. High Charisma.

SAM: I am not alone. I have friends with me. Some of whom look quite scary, so don't be alarmed if a bear stands right behind me.

MATT: “A bear?”

SAM: It's a good bear. It's the best kind of bear.

LAURA: He's the cutest.

MATT: “Who is that?”

SAM: That's my friend Vex. Vex, come forward.

LAURA: I walk up a little bit behind Scanlan and I insight check her to see what the fuck is going on.

MATT: Okay, roll insight.

LAURA: I don't know, they've all been betraying me! Don't you. Oh, that's good! 24.

MATT: 24, okay. I mean, she's in a cell in a dungeon and looks to be fairly spooked but also guarded. Not much to read beyond the fact that she's an old woman in a dungeon.

TRAVIS: No?

MATT: I mean, she's definitely staying guarded in the circumstance, but you're not picking up any sort of strange animosity.

SAM: Why have you been locked up?

MATT: And all these voices are coming out of the darkness, she's like, “I came up from Dryna to ask why the waters are growing brackish. Fish float downstream, dead, and taste of ash these days. Delilah laughed and threw me in here, saying I'm a fair better offering than a fisherman. That's the last I know. I've been here for over a week.”

LAURA: A week, that's it?

TALIESIN: I would say it's almost safer for her down here for now.

LAURA: Yeah. So here's the thing.

SAM: We're great with old people.

TRAVIS: They don't take prisoners.

LAURA: There's a lot of violence that's going to happen.

SAM: We should unlock that, maybe we should unlock this cage.

TALIESIN: No.

LAURA: No. We should keep her in here for now.

TRAVIS: Yeah, they don't take prisoners, they don't take prisoners. Why isn't she fucking dead? Or undead?

SAM: She can run out the tunnel that we came in.

MARISHA: Yeah, why don't we unlock her and just let her book for it?

LIAM: Wait. If we destroy the Briarwoods, it will be no trouble to come down here and let anyone out who's down here. If she's who she says she is, we don't know.

SAM: Madam. Good madam. When you were brought into the castle, can you tell us anything about where you were brought? Were you brought before the queen– she is a queen, right?

LAURA: No, she's a lady.

SAM: Lady. Were you brought before the Lady, and if so, in what room? Where was it? How big was it? How many guards were in there?

MATT: “They brought me into the main grand throne chamber to speak with the lord and lady. They ushered me through the halls and we waited about an hour for them to arrive. Apparently they were busy elsewhere. There was a brief discussion. They laughed at me and threw me in here.”

SAM: You have beautiful eyes. Did those eyes see anything in that grand throne room? Entrances or exits? Large windows? Anything?

TALIESIN: I know all of them. I did live here.

SAM: Oh, fuck. Never mind, Matt. “Were there any guards? Many guards? Lots of guards?”

MATT: “There were many guards. I'd heard of dark things happening in this castle, but when I was escorted through, I saw things in the courtyard, shambling things, things that should not be alive. Tens, dozens. I did not feel right at that moment, and then, well, my fate was brought into this terrible cell.” She kind of looks about.

LAURA: Has anybody been coming down and feeding you?

MATT: “Every now and then.”

LAURA: Not on a regular basis?

MATT: “Every day or so they bring enough to subsist on.”

SAM: As she's talking, I'm going to see if there's any sort of arcana or magical incantation on her, or any sort of possession. Is that something I can check for?

MATT: Do you have the Detect Magic spell?

SAM: No.

MARISHA: I do.

SAM: Can I just do an arcana check, or is that not–

MATT: I mean, what are you–

SAM: I don't know.

MATT: Arcana's more inspecting a close area to see if there is the nature of an arcane enchantment or something on it, you don't actually like sense it.

SAM: All right. Then I do nothing. I sing a little song.

MATT: What are you doing, Keyleth?

MARISHA: Nothing.

LAURA: Can't detect magic?

MARISHA: I can dispel magic.

LAURA: Try it.

TALIESIN: No, because that's a spell.

MARISHA: It's a spell. It's a 3rd-level spell.

SAM: She's fine. Let's leave her.

MARISHA: I mean, I can do it.

TRAVIS: Why is she not dead? Why is she not undead?

TALIESIN: They were going to feed her to something.

MARISHA: Yeah, they were going to eat her.

SAM: Let's feed her to Trinket and go on.

LIAM: They're not much, but I have rations and a waterskin. I toss them through the bars of her cell.

MATT: She grabs them as soon as they come through the cell and grasps them to herself.

TALIESIN: We'll be back.

MATT: “You're very kind.”

MARISHA: Do you know if anyone else is in the dungeon down here with you?

MATT: “I have not seen or heard anyone else. Occasional wails, soft, mournful moans, but I stay quiet. I stay very still.”

LAURA: Hide in the corner. Stay quiet.

MATT: “Would you please let me out?”

TRAVIS: No, you're fucking staying in that cell, and if things go bad upstairs it won't matter if you're in there or not.

SAM: If you please.

TALIESIN: There are things upstairs that we can't protect you from that we are going to deal with first.

LIAM: And there are creatures on the road and in the woods and quite frankly you're safer right now. If we do what we have come here to do, we will come back for you.

TALIESIN: There is war outside right now.

LAURA: Don't you worry.

MATT: “If there is war, then that's the time to leave, when there is distraction.”

SAM: Can you raise a blade? Can you fight?

MATT: “I can run. I made it up here north, didn't I? I've lived in these lands for quite some time, I know how to survive.”

LIAM: We can come back for her.

MATT: “Please. Please don't leave me. I don't know what's going on.”

LAURA: This is awful.

TRAVIS: Is it? Leave her.

MARISHA: Vax, you're the only one who can pick the lock. We don't have keys. I'm assuming she's locked in there, right?

MATT: You can check the cell door.

SAM: Let's leave her. Ma'am, you must believe me when we say you are much safer here than above.

LIAM: Her fate is intertwined with our own. If she leaves, she has a very good chance of being killed. If we go forward and succeed, we come back and she lives. If we go forward and she dies, she's where she is. This is the best place for her.

MATT: “At least take the fate into my own hands. I don't mean any wrong here, but I have no reason to really trust you, either. How can I show my trust, how can I–”

LAURA: You can be quiet.

MATT: “I can be quiet. Do not leave me here to waste and die. What if you don't succeed? What if you fall in whatever folly you're making away into this castle for and I waste away down here myself? Please.”

LIAM: I've just given you food and water. We'll be back within 24 hours. Come on. We're going.

TRAVIS: Hold up.

MATT: “Please.”

SAM: Ma'am. Here. I'm giving you a magical whip. It will protect you against anyone who comes down here. Just hold it up and it will chase away any demons.

MATT: You're the only one who's out of the light now?

SAM: Yeah.

LIAM: He was the first one out of the light.

MATT: Right, but everyone else is still in the shadow, all these voices coming at her.

LAURA: She can see me because I went down towards Scanlan.

MATT: Okay. She steps a little closer to you as you're holding the whip out, and she grabs your hand with her left hand and kind of pulls it in and goes, “Please. Don't leave me here. I can fend for my own. Just don't leave me here.”

TRAVIS: I step forward now behind Scanlan. Super fucking intimidating. If things go well upstairs, we'll be back. If when we leave, you make a peep, you won't ever again.

MATT: Make an intimidation check.

TALIESIN: Damn, Grog.

LIAM: Roll intimidation.

TRAVIS: 14.

MATT: She shrinks back. She still hasn't looked away from you, and she kind of looks at you for a second and (heavy sigh) sits down, frustrated, at the bottom of the cell and just, “Then go. Leave me. Useless.”

TALIESIN: (whispering) Let's check the other side.

LIAM: Eat that lembas bread.

SAM: I take the whip back.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: Was it a magical whip or just a rope?

LAURA: No, it was just his whip.

TALIESIN: Let's check the other side.

MATT: Anything else you want to do?

LIAM: No no no, there's something, I don't know what, I couldn't make out what I was hearing, it sounded like hay or grass moving, so I don't want to mess with that.

MARISHA: Someone's sleeping.

TRAVIS: I think it was the straw on the bottom of her cell, right?

LIAM: No, that was her passage. There's another passage to presumably another set of cells. So I will skip along quietly 20 feet ahead of you all. Try to see.

SAM: Old people love us.

LAURA: We're the worst.

MATT: You skitter around the corner. Go ahead and make a perception check.

LIAM: 21.

MATT: Okay. Looking about the cells, they all appear to be empty. You do catch a couple of rats skittering through some of the brush. Nothing that really is the source of that scraping metal sound.

LIAM: This is the second room?

MATT: You go around the way and there's another set of cells.

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: Nobody else in the other cells.

LIAM: This is where I heard something before.

MATT: You heard it echoing around the other hallway, so it could be amorphously from the same source that she came from, or near the cell.

LIAM: And my perception. Vex, come up here and look around.

LAURA: I sneak up.

LIAM: I don't see anything, but I feel like something's here.

LAURA: Can we sense anything?

SAM: By the way, how long has this all taken?

MATT: Since you left the symbol up there?

SAM: The tunnel, left the lady, the tunnel. Since we've incited the rebellion.

MATT: 20 minutes.

SAM: Jesus. We've got to start cooking, guys.

LIAM: Pike, do you, is there anything here, do you sense anything in this room?

ASHLEY: (sighs) No, I feel weird about this old woman.

TRAVIS: Yeah. Me, too.

LIAM: All right, so there was dungeon and dungeon, set of cells and set of cells, but you said–

MATT: Yeah, there is, past her cells, a–

TALIESIN: Yay, map.

LAURA: We're not getting to see it yet.

MATT: Now that you've been through this whole thing, you can see now–

LAURA: Ta-da!

TALIESIN: Let's memorize where we're all going to die.

MATT: She's in this cell over here. You've come around here and you can see there are two cells this way, a cell this way, and then these sets of cells. There is a stairway that curves upward–

MARISHA: Yeah, which one was the old lady in?

MATT: This one right there.

LAURA: I think we should let her out.

ASHLEY: Did you guys give her something to eat?

LAURA: Yeah, we gave her food and water.

LIAM: I gave her food and water.

ASHLEY: Did she eat it?

LIAM: She scrabbled at it.

MATT: She brought it to her, but she didn't eat it immediately, no.

TRAVIS: Because she's not hungry, because she hasn't been in there for a while.

ASHLEY: We didn't see her eat it?

LAURA: No.

MARISHA: Is there, do we see anyone else in any of the cells?

MATT: No.

LIAM: At this point, I grab my sister and I say, Come on, we're going to check the cells. And we look at every single one of them.

MATT: Okay, you go through every cell. There is nobody living in them. You do see a few of the cells have long-decomposed corpses. Piles of bones, mostly picked clean by the rats or whatever creatures live in here. But from your best knowledge of decomposition through your experiences, nothing fresher than like the past year, maybe.

TRAVIS: I walk back up to the old woman. Not hungry or thirsty, I take it?

ASHLEY: I'm going to go with Grog.

MATT: (laughs) Okay. She goes, “I was fed naught but this morning, I have to make this last.”

TRAVIS: Keep you well-fed here, do they?

MATT: “No. But if you eat it all at once, you have nothing to keep you over until the next time.”

TRAVIS: Yeah, have a little nibble.

MATT: She gives you a strange look.

TRAVIS: Have a little nibble.

MATT: Takes some of the rations and breaks it off.

TRAVIS: It's good.

MATT: “It's not the finest of stone fish, but it'll do.”

SAM: Cooking with Grog!

(laughter)

TALIESIN: Old people love us.

LAURA: Yeah, we're just the worst to old people.

MATT: “Why are you so spiteful, giant man?”

TRAVIS: Because I don't trust you, old woman.

ASHLEY: Can I quietly prick a little hole into my palm, just so I can start bleeding a little bit? Just very tiny?

MATT: Could I ask what for?

ASHLEY: What was that?

MATT: Could I ask what for?

TRAVIS: That's a great idea.

MATT: Unfortunately, your form here is incorporeal, there is no blood flow from your current body.

ASHLEY: Fuck. I just want to see if she's a vampire.

LIAM: In Vasselheim there is.

MATT: Back in Vasselheim there is, yes.

ASHLEY: All right, Grog, maybe?

LIAM: Grog, do you get any ideas watching her do that?

TRAVIS: Yeah, I fucking bite into the meat of my hand because I see what she's trying to do.

MATT: Okay.

TRAVIS: Just (chomp).

MATT: “What's wrong with you?”

TRAVIS: Drip a little. Oh no. Some nice type AB. Right here. On tap.

MATT: She turns her head curiously and looks disgusted and disturbed by this display.

TRAVIS: No?

MATT: Very confused.

TRAVIS: Clean blood. Feel yourself tempted?

MATT: “I know not which madness has taken you.”

LAURA: Let's get the fuck out of here.

LIAM: We're making asses of ourselves.

MATT: “Please. Please, I implore you, just open these gates. Let me fare for my own fate.”

LIAM: Yes, the answer to that is no. We'll be back, I'm going to go creep up the stairs.

MATT: “She. You. You, please.”

LAURA: I can't pick a lock. I mean, I can try.

LIAM: I'm moving towards those stairs.

MATT: Okay, Vax walks towards the stairs. The rest of you guys?

SAM: Doors and old people.

LAURA: I'm going to act like I'm trying to pick the lock and help her. But I'm going to not try very hard. I'm putting on a show for her. Oh, this is a really difficult lock.

MATT: Okay, as you're going for the lock, she rushes up and helps you with it and is holding, like, “Yes, yes, please, just like that. All right.”

LAURA: And then what?

MATT: “You turn it this way. You don't have the proper tools for this–”

LAURA: I snap the thing into the lock. Oh no. I knew I shouldn't have done that.

MATT: “Foolish girl!”

LAURA: I just don't know what I'm doing, but I will be back with someone who does.

MATT: Make a perception check.

SAM: Perception?

MARISHA: Perception?

SAM: Oh shit, because she's going to turn into something.

LAURA: Oh, that's really good. 26.

MATT: 26. When she went up and grabbed the lock with you, her hands grabbed the lock. You only felt one hand.

MARISHA: Oh my god, it's Ripley! Oh my god, it's Ripley! Sorry.

MATT: You're not there.

MARISHA: I'm saying that as Marisha. Not as Keyleth. Saying that as a person.

MATT: The worst.

MARISHA: I'm sorry.

MATT: But anyway.

LIAM: Shush, you don't know anything, shut up.

MATT: We are going to leave it there–

(shouting)

LAURA: Oh my gosh.

ASHLEY: Wait, who's Ripley?

(laughter)

LAURA: Oh my gosh.

LIAM: They mostly come out at night. Mostly.

LAURA: Ashley, we're going to have to tell you so much.

TALIESIN: Oh my god.

ASHLEY: I'll try to catch up, too.

MATT: So now Whitestone Castle has been infiltrated, the real path to the seeming end is on. We will continue this next week Thursday.

ASHLEY: Wait, we're stopping?

MATT: Yeah, we're stopping.

SAM: You've got to go to sleep.

LAURA: You've got to get picked up in like an hour.

MATT: When do you have to be on set, Ashley?

ASHLEY: My pick up is at 5AM.

MARISHA: Oh my god, Ashley.

TALIESIN: So what time is it there right now?

MARISHA: It's one, no, 2AM there.

ASHLEY: It's almost 2AM.

LAURA: Ashley!

MATT: Ashley… See that's, that's a true friend player right there, guys.

MARISHA: It's just pick-ups, right?

MATT: I know. Well thank you, Ashley, for joining us. Thank you so much. Really appreciate it.

ASHLEY: Ah, shit.

LAURA: Ashley, we love you.

TALIESIN: Love you so much.

ASHLEY: All right, I love you guys so much.

MARISHA: We love you, Ashley, please come back next week.

MATT: Yeah, let us know if you can make next week, please.

ASHLEY: Okay. Bye!

MARISHA and LAURA: Bye!

TALIESIN: Bye, darling!

LIAM: Can that astral connection hold?

MATT: Yeah.

MARISHA: Can that astral connection hold?

ASHLEY: I know, hopefully, hopefully.

MATT: Have a good night. Good luck.

ASHLEY: Love you guys.

LAURA and MARISHA: (air kisses)

MATT: And you guys, thank you so much for coming and watching our craziness every week. Once again, blown away by the generosity of all the Critters and folk from our Critmas last week. That episode will be up tomorrow, and for those who didn't get a chance to see the ridiculous generosity and absurdity that is you guys in all of your amazement, check it out. And thank you for giving to charity, thank you for everything you guys do, and thank you for watching us be silly and rolling dice every week.

MARISHA: And comic comes out on Wednesday.

MATT: Yeah.

SAM: Oh wow, Wednesday?

MARISHA: This coming up Wednesday.

TALIESIN: And your Spotify went up today.

MARISHA: And yeah, go check out all of our playlists.

MATT: Rock it out.

MARISHA: There'll be a fun playlist next week.

LAURA: Oh, and I'm joining Monday Melee for Team Coco on Monday.

MATT: What?

LAURA: Yeah.

TALIESIN: What?

MATT: That's awesome.

LAURA: So I forgot to say that at the beginning. But yeah, it should be at like 11AM on Monday. 11:30, something like that.

MATT: That's awesome.

LAURA: Check it out.

MATT: Check it out, follow her on Twitter.

LAURA: Yeah, I'll put something out there.

TALIESIN: On the Twitters.

MATT: Indeed. Well, guys, we'll see you next week, and is it Thursday yet?

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