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Pre-Show[]

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

ALL: (hollering) We play Dungeons & Dragons!

MATT: Ah, before we jump into tonight's session, we do have some announcements to get through, beginning with the first of our sponsors, Quip, apparently. Sam, yeah, go ahead.

SAM: Tonight's episode has a brand new sponsor, Quip, the good habits company and their smart electric toothbrushes.

MARISHA: Ooh!

SAM: These awesome brushes have all the guiding features of their original brush. Guiding? With a new Bluetooth smart motor that connects to the free Quip app so you can track your brushing, get tips. I don't know what I'm holding up. (laughter) And daily coaching and earn rewards for good habits, like brushing two minutes, twice a day. Quip has a lot going on, guys, but the one thing they don't have is a jingle.

MATT: Oh no.

SAM: So I came up with some ideas, and before I pitch them to Quip, I thought I'd focus test them on you first. So--

MARISHA: That's a good idea.

SAM: Be honest with your feedback, okay? The first one has a little modern disco beat. So hit it. [fast guitar intro] (high-pitched)
♪ Feeling the beat, Between my teeth ♪

LIAM: Oh no.

SAM: (shrill) ♪ Smart electric toothbrush ♪
(high pitched) ♪ Beep, beep, beep, ooh! ♪
♪ Shake that booty ♪
♪ Take a chance ♪
♪ Open wide and let it ♪
♪ dance, dance, dance ♪
♪ Mouth, mouth disco ♪
(shrill) ♪ Disco with me ♪
(high-pitched) ♪ Mouth, mouth disco ♪
♪ It's a disco boogie ♪
♪ Mouth, mouth disco ♪
(shrieking) ♪ Disco with me ♪
(high-pitched) ♪ Mouth, mouth disco ♪
♪ It's a bristle boogie ♪ (pants)

ALL: Wow!

ASHLEY: That felt so high.

LAURA: It felt very long.

TRAVIS: I loved it!

SAM: Oh, thanks, Travis! But you know what? It's no big. I've got some more ideas. This next one--

MATT: No!

SAM: -- is a fresh country jam to appeal to a southern demographic.

LAURA: Ooh, let's hear it!

MARISHA: Okay.

SAM: Hit it.
♪ Well, I got a big old truck with a four wheel drive ♪
♪ V8 engine on the stack a-grabbing our fishing gear ♪
♪ Off the extra heavy duty roof rack ♪
♪ Pull the flatbed down, put the mud tires on ♪
♪ This truck can really cook ♪
♪ And with 1% APR financing ♪
♪ It ain't going to break my checkbook ♪
♪ Yeah-ee, yeah, yeah ♪
♪ Drive a Quip toothbrush today ♪ (laughter)

MATT: That didn't make--

MARISHA: Did you steal it?

MATT: -- all the sense on it. Yeah, yeah.

TRAVIS: I loved it!

SAM: Thanks, Travis.

TALIESIN: What?

SAM: Yeah, it was getting late last night, so I might've recycled some older material for that one, but it's fine. It's fine. I got one more for you. This one is, it's dark and beat heavy like Billie Eilish or Lorde, right?

LAURA: Oh!

ROBBIE: Okay. (dark synth drum beat)

SAM: ♪ Quip, you vibrate me all night long ♪
♪ Four timed vibrations for each quadrant of your mouth ♪
♪ The first 30 seconds and 30, 30 seconds ♪
♪ And third 30 seconds and the fourth 30 secs, I'm done ♪

TRAVIS: (laughs) I hated it! (laughter)

SAM: Well, maybe I'll try again next time. Anyway, start getting rewards for brushing your teeth today. Go to getquip.com. Where did the other thing go? Oh, you have it.

LAURA: Oh, yeah!

SAM: To save $10 on a Quip smart electric toothbrush or the smart bundle. Maybe this is that. There's a special bonus for every smart brush purchased with code CRITICALROLE. Quip will make a $10 donation to our own 501 (c) nonprofit organization, the Critical Role Foundation! (cheering)

SAM: Check it all out and make the most of this special offer at getquip.com/criticalrole. Terms and conditions apply.

TALIESIN: Oh, wow.

SAM: Full terms at getquip.com/crf. Matt!

LAURA: I didn't know it was going to do that.

SAM: Brush to you. It's vibrating! (yells) (laughter)

MATT: I've lost control. Well, thank you, Sam.

SAM: Thank you, Matt.

MATT: Thank you, Quip, for unleashing him even further into madness. (laughter)

MATT: My god.

LIAM: Plaque to you, Matt.

ALL: Oh!

MATT: Don't encourage him!

ASHLEY: "Plaque to you"?!

MATT: Yeah. This episode is also sponsored by our amazing partner, The Op, makers of amazing games, puzzles, and accessories for Critters around the world. So far, we have released some great puzzles of iconic characters and moments from Campaign 1 and Campaign 2, which include a collectible oversized 20-sided die featuring the Mighty Nein emblem on the 20 spot.

LIAM: Big boy.

LAURA: Yeah!

MATT: It's pretty awesome. Our very own Critical Role: Munchkin card game, which, as a person who's played Munchkin for a long time I loved, based on the adventure of the Mighty Nein, where players relive iconic moments, encounter monsters and allies. And the very fun, Critical Role Rubik's Cube, which also features the Mighty Nein campaign. You can find it all now at bit.ly/TheOp_CR. And as a special offer through the end of the year, you can receive 10% off your purchase when you use the code CRITICALROLE21 and free shipping for orders $39.99 or more. Thank you so much for supporting us and supporting the show, guys.

TRAVIS: (cheers)

MATT: Laura and Liam, you got stuff to talk about it. Go for it.

LAURA: We've had so many cool Vax and Vex items that have come out in the last few weeks with our partners and stuff.

LIAM: You might've heard us talk about Kith & Kin, our first novel with Penguin Random House. It is written by the fantastic, Marieke Nijkamp, and you can get your copy right now wherever books are sold or via criticalrolebooks.com. The audio book version is also available now with narration by the one and only blue boy, Robbie Daymond. (cheering)

ROBBIE: You guys, too!

LIAM: Me and Laura reprising our roles of-- What are they called again?

LAURA: Vax and Vex.

LIAM: Vax and Vex.

LAURA: I said your name first.

LIAM: Vox.

LAURA: Because. I don't know why I said his name first. From our friends at Sideshow.

TRAVIS: (laughs)

LAURA: First of all.

LIAM: Oh gosh.

LAURA: Hold it up, because it's amazing.

LIAM: Get ready for this.

ALL: Whoa!

ROBBIE: Let's go! Woo!

TRAVIS: So gorgeous!

LIAM: This is going in my house. Not the nerd office.

LAURA: Sorry.

LIAM: My house.

LAURA: Yeah, this was the one for the office, but we're stealing it. So you can pre-order-- Oh, this is beautiful and it's by Ian McDonald. He's amazing. You can pre-order the print either framed or unframed, and the art measures 24" by 18", just so you know. And of course, we have the Vex and Vax. I put some of the Quip gum in my mouth.

SAM: And you're loving it. No, don't spit out the sponsor's stuff!

LAURA: I feel bad chewing gum while I'm talking about things!

MATT: It's very disrespectful. (laughter)

LAURA: Which one's more disrespect--? We also have the Vex and Vax statues from Sideshow. There's so many details on them. Be sure to check them out. I wish I had it in front of me to show you because they're beautiful. You can learn more about all of those items at Sideshow.

LIAM: (laughs)

LAURA: At side.show/criticalrole.

TRAVIS: Take a sip of your coffee.

LIAM: We also have three new shirts available at Hot Topic, two of which feature art from our Vox Machina: Origins comic book series, created with our friends at Dark Horse. This is by the wonderful, Olivia Samson. (oohing)

LIAM: I love her designs. You might've noticed we're wearing them tonight.

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: It's awesome.

LAURA: This is actually not planned. We just both wanted to wear them tonight.

TRAVIS: Is that right?!

LIAM: That's right.

LAURA: For real.

ASHLEY: You nerds.

LIAM: That's right.

LAURA: I know.

LIAM: That happens. Happens about once a month.

LAURA: In addition to that, we also have a shirt featuring Trinket! (cheering) It's so good! You might recognize the design by Jenny Park from our Trinket Chibi Pin.

MATT: Yeah.

LAURA: Ow! You can find these shirts-- This is also a deadly weapon. You can find these shirts and other Critical merch and Critical Role merch and select-- I'm so bad at scripts-- in select Hot Topic stores or at hottopic.com.

TRAVIS: Ping!

LIAM: Welcome to Twinsember.

ASHLEY: Yeah! Twinsember.

MATT: All righty. Well, before we jump in, also, Sam and Marisha--

LAURA: We've got extra medium.

MATT: -- got something to talk about, too.

MARISHA: You guys, guess what is about to happen.

TRAVIS: What's happening?

SAM: It's happening.

MARISHA: It's happening. Our new opening title sequence--

ALL: Oh!

MARISHA: -- is coming. Huge shout out to our crew who totally busted their fucking ass to get this thing going.

ASHLEY: Woo!

MARISHA: It's epic. Love them. And Sam, tell them about that sweet theme.

SAM: The music. There's a brand new opening theme song written by myself and Peter Habib, music by Habib, lyrics by me, and sung by the amazing cast of Critical Role. They're all sitting here at this table. So I mean, I feel like we should just show it.

MARISHA: I think so.

MATT: I think we should.

LAURA: I can't wait to see it.

ASHLEY: Me, too.

MATT: Then let's do that, as we go ahead and jump into tonight's episode of Critical Role. (cheering)

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

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

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

MATT: How do you want to do this?

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

LIAM: ♪ From the healer ♪
♪ To the renegade ♪

MATT: ♪ We all share the same goal ♪

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

SAM: ♪ Hold your breath and roll ♪

MARISHA: You can certainly try.

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

Part I[]

MATT: And welcome back. So last we left off, this troop of adventurers, having lost a friend, avenged a friend, and really setting off to discover what the next wave of mysteries before them are worth pursuing, decided to follow one thread that was mentioned by Lord Ariks Eshteross to the Dreamscape Theater, where apparently a series of disappearances he had heard rumored were occurring, or had occurred in recent weeks around the establishment. Gathering your things, you headed further into the Core Spire of Jrusar to the Dreamscape Theater proper. You acquired tickets and found yourself a nice box seat on the left hand upper side of the theater, preparing for a performance of a troupe referred to as Kendra's Flying Lauders. (laughter) Which it's great when you make up stuff and afterward, go like, "I don't know what-- I have to figure that out."

LIAM: Bring in the otters.

MATT: (laughs) But as you all have your seats, it seemed that Dorian was pulled aside. Somebody requested a conversation in which an individual named Cyrus made themselves seen, and a brief intense conversation ensued in the stairwell beneath before you returned to the box seat, as the show was about to begin. So here, within the steadily-darkening interior of the Dreamscape Theater, you have a few moments to prepare before the performance of the afternoon. What would you like to do?

LIAM: And Dorian's rejoined, right?

MATT: I think right now, Dorian is returning.

LIAM: Everything, okay?

MARISHA: Did you go get refreshments?

TALIESIN: Popcorn.

ROBBIE: No, I forgot. Sorry, I just.

ASHLEY: Who was it?

ROBBIE: Hmm?

ASHLEY: Who wanted you to come down?

ROBBIE: Oh, I--

LAURA: Oh, that's right. It was a patron.

LIAM: Yeah.

ROBBIE: Yeah, it was just someone who recognized me from a show and just chit chatted for a little bit. I used the restroom, and I'm excited to see the Flying Lauders, was it?

MARISHA: Hmm.

LAURA: I think it's otters.

ROBBIE: Oh! Like, the--

LAURA: Yeah, I think that's what I heard.

SAM: They just throw them around the stage?

LAURA: I don't know, I don't know how it works.

ASHLEY: Let's hope!

TALIESIN: Quick insight check on that. (laughter)

LIAM: It's l'otters. It's in French; you just say lotters.

SAM: Oh!

MATT: Make deception check, if you'd like.

ROBBIE: Oh, yeah.

TALIESIN: Nine.

ROBBIE: Oh, cocked.

MARISHA: Cocked.

ROBBIE: Oh fuck. Eight.

LAURA: Oh!

TALIESIN: All right.

MATT: Okay. At this point, the last bit of light's beginning to vanish and you can see the small cylindrical devices that are affixed to the far upper right and left of the interior walls of the chamber begin to alight brighter as you see the stage. The curtains begin to steadily open as the music from the pit below begins to pick up a bit. With that, you can see the audience begins to hush as performers begin to come to the stage, you can see a troupe of about six acrobats begin to emerge and bow. The music begins to swell a bit as a few people from the audience are like, “I thought it was going to be otters!" "Shh!" (laughter)

ASHLEY: Shh. Shh.

MATT: But everyone prepares as they begin to release themselves into a flurry of flips and backhand springs and tosses into the air, a brilliant display of physical prowess, back and forth across the stage. You're waiting for the moment they collide and they do not. It seems... [die roll] they do not! (laughter) It goes pretty damn well. There's a few moments where you find yourself clutching the wood on the edge of your chairs, uncertain if this is safe or going to end poorly. But with extreme speed and a practiced capability, you watch as they finish their first flurry of their gymnastics routine. What you thought was a resonant chant that was rhythmic from an unseen chorus, you notice at this point is coming from the performers as they undergo their display. As they finish for their bow, you can see their mouths moving in unison, as this low chant that's being spoken and sung amongst them is the other half of their performance.

MARISHA: Oh, this is weird! It feels like they're summoning something.

LAURA: I'm watching the audience if, I can.

MATT: Make a perception check.

LAURA: Nine.

MATT: What was that?

LAURA: Nine-uh.

MATT: It's hard to see. Really low lights now, at this point, the attention's at the stage. Then you hear the pushing of wheels, as a large seesaw-like device is brought to the center stage. There you watch as they begin to gather from side to side where there are now ladders being placed in the sides. The curtains pull back further, the lights and colors change and shift as they all begin to take their places to the side. One by one, they begin to leap from the sides onto one side of the saw and catch the other and flip and rotate and catch off of bars that you didn't even notice were affixed higher onto the stage. With that, you watch as the energy begins to rise. As they're doing this, the song changes. Now they're vocalizing a harmony. As it progresses, you can't help but feel enraptured by this combination of physical capability and musical prowess. [die roll] And nothing bad happens. It's going great, without issue. (laughter) The audience is enhushed, gasps, and whispers and cheering and shh, and this constant cycling of reactionary sounds and exclamations from the people in the dark shaded space before you. You can see, as at one point, they seem to have stopped on the seesaw. Then three individuals climb up and at once leap off in unison and slam on the one side. The impact of the wood and the stage is so loud that you see people in the front row cover their ears and you sure some of the wood may have cracked, as on the opposite side, one individual is thrown out of sight, up and beyond the curtains. (gasping)

MARISHA: He's dead.

ASHLEY: Where'd he go?!

MARISHA: He died.

ASHLEY: Oh my gosh.

MATT: Off the other side and caught by their friends and placed onto the stage. All their voices begin to come to a close as the one that was caught and landed comes out with this beautiful falsetto. ♪ Ah ♪ Everyone goes, "Okay, that was weird, but good on you." And they cheer. When their third act, they pull away this odd seesaw and you watch as swings descend from above the stage, a set of three trapeze. Utilizing these same ladders, you can hear that falsetto voice that ended the last act is now brought up by the other performers into an angelic chorus. It feels like some sort of odd worship-adjacent musicality that feels the chamber, echoing and swelling in this beautiful sound that feels almost like it requires reverie. But the energy of them climbing is palpable as they leap and swing and grasp and spin. [die roll] Not so great! One of them misses the swing. (thudding) Onto the wood. (gasping) There's a pause. The other performers turn and look. They get up and do a display, arms out. Oh, big cheers. Big cheers. As they're cheering, they bow and bow and quietly exit the stage, holding their back.

SAM: It's a matinee.

MATT: It is. (laughter)

ASHLEY: Whenever it's quiet, I'm just wrestling with a paper bag of some sort. That person in the audience.

SAM: Hard candies.

ASHLEY: Yeah.

ROBBIE: Oh, for sure.

SAM and ASHLEY: (rustling)

ROBBIE: Lots of Werther's in the house. (laughter)

SAM: Werther's! Damn you, Werther's. (laughter)

MATT: The performance picks up into this final act for a moment, but you can see there's a general nervousness amongst them. They seem to come to a close of the performance, the musicality of their voices now introducing an element of discomfort and curiosity amongst them. They end it rather abruptly and then leave the stage. There's some clapping.

ASHLEY: Brava!

LAURA: Is that the end?

SAM: [metal clanking]

LAURA: That couldn't have been the end.

MARISHA: (laughs)

SAM: That's what my hands sound like. (laughter)

LAURA: That's great.

MATT: A few moments pass beyond what would've been roughly a 25 to 30 minute performance. You watch as a half-elf man comes out onto the stage dressed in impeccable tails with broad shoulders that come to an extravagant point that curve ever so slightly at the edges, this deep blue velvet with a leopard pattern interior that drifts past the back of his outfit. He has these tight, faintly striped green and brown pants that go down to these immaculate boots.

LAURA: Striped horizontal or vertically, just for the record?

MATT: Horizontally.

LAURA: Okay.

ASHLEY: Good to know, good to know.

MATT: A large smile and this toothy grin that he wears. He is, have long and chiseled of complexion that looks to be maybe in his early 50s or so but handsome and holds onto it well. You see his dark complexion and amber hair that is slicked back slightly to one side, and this pencil mustache that glides just over the upper lip. He steps out. "Hello, everyone. Thank you so much for joining us for the matinee."

ASHLEY: Hello!

SAM: I don't think you were supposed to--

MATT: "Hello. We hope you enjoyed this performance of Kendra's Flying Lauders. There are no refunds, but have a wonderful night and hope to see you again. Good night," and he exits the stage. There's a few claps, and some whispering.

LAURA: Something happened.

MARISHA: Why did he specify no refunds? Feels like that's very specific.

LAURA: I think the show ended rather early.

TALIESIN: That's a weird way to close a show.

LIAM: Maybe that one performer was hurt.

MARISHA: Very hurt.

LAURA: Can we look down in the audience? Are the lights coming up at all?

MATT: The lights are beginning to come up. You can see the oil lanterns are now being turned up by the ushers. They move through the audience and you can make out the details of people now beginning to shift from their seats, talking. They look a bit confused. Some folks are leaving. Some folks are excitedly talking about what they had just seen. You can gauge their experience.

LAURA: Does anyone look especially distressed in the audience?

MATT: Not in particular. Not running off of your-- The lights are up now. I'd say roll another perception check

LAURA: It's going to be bad.

SAM: Yeah, of course.

LIAM: It's going to be good.

LAURA: Oh! 20.

MATT: Oh!

MARISHA: Hmm.

MATT: You don't see anyone specifically distressed, by any means, just a lot of confusion.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: These are all, you know, paying patrons of the arts, and there seems to be a-- Not unlike some of you up there in the box that you paid quite a decent amount for, bit of frustration at the brevity of performance for the night. But people are beginning to exit and make their way beyond and out of the theater. What would you like to do?

LIAM: Is this standard fare for the theater?

ROBBIE: I think you said it did feel a little short. Yeah.

MARISHA: I think it would've been better with otters, honestly.

ASHLEY: Yes, I do, too.

MARISHA: Yes.

LAURA: Can you imagine them doing that flippy thing?

MARISHA: So cute.

LIAM: And then they're really-- You'd ever see one of them, they smash open the clam shell.

LAURA: They can do juggling. Yeah.

MARISHA: They hold hands.

ASHLEY: I did like when the person fell, though.

LAURA: What if-- Oh, oh.

ASHLEY: It was exciting.

LAURA: Specifically and was caught, or fell and was not caught?

ASHLEY: Just fell. (laughter) Anyway, what were you going to say?

LAURA: What if we could say, you know, having spent so much money on these particular seats, we could say that, you know, we were enamored with the performance and wanted to congratulate the performers in person. A lot of times when people, you know, spend a lot of money on something, they're granted extra perks, right?

ROBBIE: Oh. Backstage pass or something like that.

LAURA: Something like that, yeah.

ROBBIE: I'm sure we could ask.

TALIESIN: We need to go backstage. I smell money.

LIAM: Worst that could happen is they say no, right? Let's give it a shot.

SAM: Yeah?

TALIESIN: Can't we just do it without permission?

MARISHA: How do we do it? Do we just? Do we go up and be like, "Ooh, we paid money."

LAURA: I feel like Dorian should probably say something just because he's the one that asked for the seats, after all.

ROBBIE: I suppose we try to flag down the attendant. All right. I'm going to peek my head out the curtain and look down the hallway. Do I see anybody around, or--?

MATT: It's a little staircase, it leads down just beyond the box where you are because you guys are elevated. Looking over the side, you can there are three ushers that are working their way through, one of which is a Siran, the dragonborn that had previously both brought you to your seats and retrieved you for your encounter before the performance.

LAURA: We could just say we were offered a backstage tour with the box seats.

ROBBIE: Oh. Oh, little fib.

SAM: You're going to lead with a lie?

TALIESIN: Yeah!

SAM: Okay.

LIAM: Pretty harmless.

ROBBIE: Why don't we all go at once if we're going to lie, like a little bit of--

ASHLEY: Give a little pressure.

ROBBIE: Of pressure, that's it.

ASHLEY: I'm in.

TALIESIN: I like that.

ROBBIE: Who's the most convincing liar?

LAURA: I could try.

ROBBIE: Yeah?

TALIESIN: You look respectable.

ASHLEY: I think you do. You look respectable.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

LIAM: I take a quick peek over the balcony's edge. Has it cleared out some? Is it?

MATT: It's cleared out some, but people are taking their time. Some individuals are almost hoping that there's going to be an encore performance. Others probably just have back issues and they're taking their-- I speak from experience, taking their time, yeah, to exit. And then--

LIAM: It's the matinee, I forgot.

MATT: Exactly.

LAURA: Sure. We head down.

SAM: Mm-hmm.

LAURA: Yeah, okay.

MATT: All right.

LAURA: Walk up to that usher.

MATT: Okay. You see Siran in the process of picking up elements of ticket scraps and other bits of, it looks to be now-empty discardable bottles people had snuck in and he just shakes his head for a minute before looking up. "Hi."

LAURA: Hello. We were just wondering what entrance it is we were supposed to use.

MATT: "Oh, the exit is that way."

LAURA: Oh, not the exit. No, the entrance to the backstage.

MATT: "Oh, there isn't-- You're not allowed to go."

LAURA: Oh, we got special permission on account of being such esteemed patrons.

ROBBIE: He said, "Go down the proscenium, walk down the vom, and you'll be right there." Something like that.

MATT: "Who said this?"

LAURA: What was that? The little one.

ROBBIE: The one we first met.

LAURA: Yeah, I can't remember his name.

ROBBIE: Yeah, me either.

MATT: "Describe them. Maybe I know."

LAURA: Smallish.

MARISHA: Oh--

SAM: A halfling.

MATT: "Evaan?"

SAM: Yep.

ASHLEY: Stuvan.

SAM: That's the one.

MATT: "Stuvan."

SAM: Oh no. Stuvan's the--

LAURA: Oh. Oh, do you know what? It might've been him after all.

SAM: Oh!

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: Make a deception check. I would've given you advantage.

LAURA: Aw!

MATT: But a few people chimed in there, as opposed to just the two of you, so.

LIAM: It was the two faces of the group, and suddenly it was the group.

MATT: Yeah. (laughter)

TALIESIN: Fair.

ASHLEY: Oh, that's not--

LAURA: 13. 13.

MATT: 13? "Oh. I apologize. But I should--"

LAURA: Do you need to check with someone?

MATT: "I think I do."

LAURA: All right.

MATT: "Just wait here. I'm going to go ahead and make sure. Was it Stuvan, you said?"

LAURA: You know, I can't be sure that's his actual name, though. He was smaller. You know, she has a bad memory.

ASHLEY: I just, I forget. I jumble letters together and-- It could have been--

SAM: The halfling ticket taker.

MATT: "Oh, gotcha, right. All right. I'll go ahead and check," and he exits past you and begins shuffling off to--

LAURA: If you could hurry, because we're on a tight schedule.

MATT: He exits through the exit into the main area there.

LAURA: Well, that could've gone better.

SAM: Should we just sneak in?

LAURA: Yeah, that's what I was hoping.

ASHLEY: Yeah, let's just sneak in. I'm very sorry. I thought that the name popped in my head and then I realized it wasn't it.

SAM: You did great.

ASHLEY: Thanks.

LAURA: Who's Stuvan?

ASHLEY: I don't remember.

SAM: Stuvan's the fella who just made the speech at the end of the show.

LAURA: Oh, that's Stuvan.

ASHLEY: Oh, okay. Well, that could've worked.

LAURA: That could've worked.

SAM: Yeah.

LAURA: Well.

ASHLEY: Okay.

MATT: So what are you doing?

LAURA: Is there an entrance backstage?

MARISHA: Stage entrance. Is there a stage door?

MATT: From this point, you don't see an immediate entrance to the stage.

SAM: Should we just go on the stage and go?

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: You can.

LIAM: Yeah. You know how it works.

LAURA: Is there anybody in the room?

MATT: Yes, there's probably about 40 other patrons that haven't exited yet.

LAURA: All right.

SAM: (laughs)

MARISHA: Should we make them believe--

SAM: I can create a distraction.

MARISHA: Oh.

SAM: I'm sure we can come up with something we're--

MARISHA: I got it!

SAM: Oh.

MARISHA: And I cast Thaumaturgy.

SAM: Sure.

MARISHA: Then from backstage you hear, "Fire! Fire, everybody leave! Fire!"

SAM: Oh, god!

TALIESIN: (cackles)

ROBBIE: In a literal open theater. (laughter)

TALIESIN: Living the dream.

MARISHA: Then I Thaumaturgy again, you start to smell smoke. (laughter)

ASHLEY: You start to smell smoke.

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: Thaumaturgy one more time, looks like smoke.

SAM: (laughs) Jesus. Thaumaturgy is the greatest spell ever.

MATT: You're stretching the limits a little bit of Thaumaturgy here with this. (laughter) It's a cantrip. But it's enough to get a few people's attention. I take it this is the instantaneous sound.

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: Okay. It's not a phrase, so "Fire," is about as much as you can get out with it, so you hear, Fire!

LIAM: Faah!

MARISHA: Faah!

MATT: From backstage?

TALIESIN: Fire!

MATT: From backstage?

MARISHA: Uh-huh.

MATT: All right. People immediately begin to get up and grab their things and the usher, "Fire. Did you hear fire? I think there's a fire."

LAURA: Faah! (laughter)

MATT: They begin to exit with haste.

TALIESIN: We should move. We should move.

MARISHA: Okay.

TALIESIN: Let's move.

SAM: Onto the stage and backstage?

TALIESIN: Yeah.

SAM: Okay.

MATT: I'd like you all to make a stealth check if you're doing this quietly.

LAURA: God, what're we doing?

ROBBIE: Oh, boy.

SAM: This is worth it.

ROBBIE: Ooh.

LAURA: Is it?

TALIESIN: Nah.

LAURA: 20.

ROBBIE: 18.

MATT: 18?

MARISHA: 21.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: Seven.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: It's that squeaky wheel.

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: We have lift him up.

LAURA: This is a-- Don't use that dice again because I can't tell what--

LIAM: It's a three.

LAURA: No, it's not. It can't be a three. It's backward.

SAM: Why would you use this die ever?

ASHLEY: Because sometimes it rolls amazing!

MATT: I respect that.

ASHLEY: And other times-- There's no in between with it.

LIAM: One out of 20 chance.

ASHLEY: I didn't do well. It's a five.

MATT: Okay, five. (laughs) What did you get, Imogen?

LIAM: 23.

LAURA: Oh, I rolled a 20.

MATT: A 20?

LIAM: 23.

MATT: 23.

TALIESIN: Seven.

ROBBIE: Ooh.

MATT: Okay. Thankfully, there was some distraction in there and overall more successes than failures, even though a few people probably watched you go on stage, they don't necessarily give a shit, because they're either worried about the fire or are like, "How uncouth," and just keep moving. But you do scoot up into the wings of the stage, past the curtains. Immediately back there, you can see there is a stagehand there. Some of the performers are in the process of kneeling and helping get cushions under the one that fell during the performance, who looks like they're injured, but it's not grievous, by any means. They're just like, (pained groans). They don't notice you except for the half-elf man who finished the performance, who as you come through the curtain, is literally standing right there in front of you, as you push through. Who would've been at the front of the pack, leading the charge into the backstage?

SAM: I'll go first. Maybe they lifted me on the stage first, let's say.

MATT: Okay. So as you cruise by the side, you almost run straight into the sternum of this man, who stops, puts a hand on your shoulder, "I'm sorry, what are you?"

SAM: Oh, hi, I'm Fresh Cut Grass, I--

MATT: "You're not supposed to be here."

SAM: Oh, I was very concerned about your performer who had an injury and wanted to come back and offer my services. I'm a bit of a medicine bot.

MATT: "Odd dress for a medicinally-trained individual. Costumes are always welcome, but believe me when I say that we have it under control." You hear a (groan) and you seem them helping the performer up and stretching a bit. You can see someone has administered some numbing agents to the space where they impacted on their butt.

SAM: Oh, I don't want to disagree with you. It seems like you do have everything in hand, but I think I could help that performer feel better much quicker.

LAURA: He is quite a talented medical practitioner.

MATT: Make a persuasion check.

SAM: Sure. 13.

MATT: 13. The person that you've sussed out at this point is Stuvan, gives you a look. "Well, I'm certain it wouldn't hurt, at the very least. Make way! We have a curious self-professed healer, who's arrived," and guides you past and then looks over at you, "I'm sorry, this is not an exit. You have to go to the other way."

LAURA: Oh, of course. We're just with him. We just had to accompany our associate.

TALIESIN: We're with the self-professed healer.

LIAM: We really enjoyed the show, too.

LAURA: Yeah, you're lucky we had such esteemed boxes where we were seated that we could see the view.

MATT: "Oh, is that where you were sitting? Oh, I'm so glad you enjoyed--" He's forgotten entirely about you and the harmed individual and is now engaged in this. "Well, really, any time. There is memberships that you could actually acquire that will allow cheaper seats throughout the season."

LIAM: What else do you have airing the rest of the season?

MATT: "Oh, well, I'll have to get my repertoire out my office here in a bit, but--"

LAURA: We'd love to accompany you.

MATT: Make a persuasion check.

SAM: Come on, come on, just get one--

TALIESIN: I believe in you.

ROBBIE: Come on!

LAURA: Oh, okay, okay. 22.

MATT: Looks at you, looks at Dorian in particular over the dress and goes, "Certainly, that can be arranged. Just a moment, please." In the meantime, you--

SAM: I'm rolling over and I'll just assess the situation. Is this performer hurt badly?

MATT: Make a medicine check.

SAM: 15 plus five, 20.

MATT: Mm! Taking a glance at how they're holding themselves, the physicality of how they're adjusting their weight to compensate, you get the sense that probably this might be a fractured tailbone.

ALL: Ugh.

TALIESIN: Ow.

LIAM: Oh, end the game.

TALIESIN: Not okay.

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: So not serious, but definitely not--

LAURA: But awful!

MATT: -- enjoyable, by any means.

SAM: Oh, I couldn't help but notice that you're injured. Do you mind if I touch you and--

MATT: "What are you?"

SAM: I can only help you, I promise. I'm designed to help you.

MATT: Looks to the other members, and this up close, you get a glance, you can see that there is a familial thread between everybody here. There definitely is. This is like a family of performers.

SAM: Stuvan said that I was welcome back here.

MATT: "All right, I guess if you can help. (grunts)"

SAM: This'll only take a second, but I'll have to touch your backside, if that's all right with you?

MATT: "That is fine."

SAM: Okay. Just turn over a little bit.

MATT: The nerves begin to definitely creep up into their expression.

ASHLEY: You'll be fine.

MATT: (yelps) (laughter)

SAM: I will gently lay my hand on their back and cast Cure Wounds.

MATT: All righty. Go ahead and roll.

SAM: Let's see, d8, not great. Five hit points.

MATT: That's not bad. There is a sound, a (bones cracking) (sympathetic groans)

MATT: They go, "Ah!" You watch everyone else, all of a sudden reach forward and grab for you. Like, "What the fuck are you doing?" Before they go, "Huh, huh, oh my goodness. That's amazing."

SAM: Well, there was just a little alignment issue that we had to fix.

MATT: "Apparently, wow. Thank you small, metal thing. You've been very helpful."

SAM: It was a fantastic show. I'm sorry you took a spill there, but before you were just incredible, flying through the air like that.

ASHLEY: Just remarkable.

MATT: "Well, it is-- This a family affair here. We are only as good as we are as a whole."

SAM: You're all related to each other?

MATT: "More or less."

SAM: Wow.

ASHLEY: I take it there was more to the show?

MATT: "There was, but you know, have to take care of ourselves first."

ASHLEY: So great. How long have you been in the business?

MATT: "Ah, well," and looks over and you can see there's the older woman of the troupe steps forward. You can see she's in her probably early fifties, but fitter than anyone you've seen in their twenties for the most part. Comes forward with a discerning glance. And, at this point now, you can see the protectiveness, the matronly protectiveness kick in, as they begin to look through you and take in both of you with as much of an instant read as they can. Goes, "My name is Kendra, and this is my family. We have been doing this for about 15 years together, and we will continue to do it until, well, I drop or the rest of us do."

ASHLEY: Wow, so you're the head honcho?

MATT: They all look at her, look back at you.

ASHLEY: Cool.

MATT: "I thank you very much for helping my son."

SAM: It's my absolute pleasure. I can't wait to see your next show.

MATT: She looks over and the younger performer that you helped goes, "Maybe sooner than we were discussing?" She goes, "Well, you need to rest, regardless, just to make sure. Anyway, it is appreciated."

TALIESIN: We could actually maybe use your help for something. Since we're back here.

MATT: "I am not sure what we could be helpful for, but tell me."

TALIESIN: We do need a little information. There've been some rumors flying around about people disappearing from the theater. We're just looking into that a little bit.

MATT: They all glance at each other. Kendra goes, "I cannot say I've heard such rumors. We've only been in town for about a week."

ROBBIE: Oh, so you're a traveling show?

MATT: "We are, yes."

ROBBIE: Oh, how long are you in residence of this theater?

MATT: "Only for two more weeks."

ROBBIE: You've only been here a week?

MATT: "Yes."

ROBBIE: Oh, okay.

LIAM: On that note, Orym is going to fade back while everyone's talking to them. Just out of curiosity, check out the house again and see if anyone's lingering.

MATT: You got it. Roll a perception check.

LAURA: Can I also ask where Stuvan is in relation to all of this because I lost track--

MATT: While this conversation and healing is happening, Stuvan was talking with you guys up until the point where you wanted to re-engage. In which case, he would have followed. He wants to stay nearby. He definitely seems invested in these sudden arrivals that are going to possibly drop more money onto the performances.

MARISHA: I'll fade back with Orym. Just be a second set of eyes with him as well.

MATT: Okay. So perception here.

LIAM: 22.

MATT: 22, okay.

MARISHA: Don't?

MATT: Well--

MARISHA: Assistance.

LIAM: I'm always at advantage.

MATT: It's his secret: He's always at advantage.

LIAM: At perception.

MARISHA: No. Bad. (laughter)

LIAM: At perception in the game... and life. (laughter)

MATT: You see most patrons leave, but one. Who in the far, far back, to the side of the exit, you see one, it's hard to see at this distance, but they're wearing a hood indoors, which is--

SAM: Really cool.

MATT: Remarkable.

TALIESIN: Super cool.

MATT: It's awesome.

LAURA: ♪ I wear my sunglasses at night ♪

MATT: It's every online role-playing character from the late 90s.

LIAM: I look up at Laudna. Look off in the corner there.

MARISHA: Ooh.

LIAM: -- creeper.

MARISHA: Spooky creeper.

MATT: It's right about then that they exit, after the other patrons.

MARISHA: What do you think?

LIAM: Eh. Probably nothing.

MARISHA: Shall we follow?

LIAM: When you put it like that, let's go.

MARISHA: All right.

MATT: Kendra--

MARISHA: As we leave, I just go send a message: Imogen, be right back. (creepy whispering)

LAURA: I'll send back, starting a connection: All right, let me know for four minutes, what's going on.

LIAM: ♪ (sings "Hamster Dance") ♪ (laughter)

MATT: Just "Hamster Dance" plays in the background of her messages.

SAM: All of Imogen's messages are accompanied by banjo playing. (laughter)

ASHLEY: ♪ ("Dueling Banjos") ♪

MATT: I'll talk to production, see if we can make it happen. (laughter)

MARISHA: No. No sound effects.

TALIESIN: Apparently, not even funny.

MATT: While that's transpiring and Stuvan is beginning to approach the group, Kendra is talking, goes, "Your best bet in asking about any sorts of recent things would be the owner," and points over to Stuvan, who steps up and goes, "Um, what about me?" Kendra goes, "They're asking about there have been disappearances." Stuvan goes, "That's preposterous. I mean, there are those people that leave the performances early because whether they are unappreciative of the art we present, or drunkards, there have been no disappearances."

LAURA: Is there a particular section where people often leave? Maybe that seat in the house doesn't get the best view or something?

MATT: "Do not worry."

LAURA: I cast Detect Thoughts as I ask that.

MATT: You may.

ASHLEY: Oh yes.

ROBBIE: ♪ Imogen is so smart. ♪

MATT: That is going to be a 16. What's your DC?

LAURA: Ah fuck, 14.

MATT: 14.

ASHLEY: Damn it. That was a good idea.

LIAM: Keen mind.

MATT: You still catch surface thoughts, right? Or is it only-- It's the deep dive--

SAM: I think you only have to roll if want deep.

LAURA: Yeah, you only roll if I'm prying-prying. Yeah, I'll catch surface thoughts. Yes, regardless.

MATT: Surface thoughts you catch there's an immediate bead of recognition, to fear, to curiosity, and a thought of like, "What? Huh." He goes, "Kendra, take your family to rest. You've had a very intense past hour, but well done. Well done everyone, have a good night. We should talk."

SAM: Oh, all right. We'll follow. In your offices?

MATT: "If you don't mind, just follow me, please."

TALIESIN: Do you want me to take care of the other kids, or do you want some muscle here?

LAURA: I don't think we'll need muscle, but it's up to you.

SAM: We should all stick together.

LAURA: Well--

TALIESIN: I hate having two not here--

LAURA: Orym and Laudna are off. Orym's pretty capable.

TALIESIN: All right.

LAURA: Laudna's got things covered.

ROBBIE: Off to where? Where'd they go?

LAURA: They followed someone. I'll just ask Laudna: Where exactly were you going?

MARISHA: I saw a creepy guy in the corner. (creepy whispering)

LAURA: They saw a creepy guy in the corner.

MARISHA: Just giving them a look-see. (creepy whispering)

ROBBIE: What did he look like? Can you ask her what--

LAURA: What did he look like exactly? Laudna? What did he look like, exactly?

MARISHA: He had a really cool cloak.

LAURA: Cloak, what color was it?

MARISHA: What color was it?

MATT: It was hard to see in the low house lights that weren't super bright at this distance, but you did roll pretty high. So you would know. It would have been a dull gray. In fact, now that the question comes up again and you think about it, it's not unlike an individual that you saw when you had a run-in with the Corsairs.

MARISHA: Oh, interesting.

LAURA: Oh, it was something that we saw at the Corsairs?

ROBBIE: Sorry, so when I perceived in the wings, the Corsair in my-- was he cloaked or did he have a hood?

MATT: Mm-hmm.

ROBBIE: Okay.

MATT: Pulled the hood back before revealing themself.

ROBBIE: Okay.

LIAM: Think we got a friend ahead. Not a friend.

MARISHA: I don't know, we could be friends.

LIAM: Could be.

LAURA: Laudna thinks they might be friends, I'm not sure.

ROBBIE: Unlikely, I saw someone earlier lurking in the wings.

LAURA: Oh!

ASHLEY: You saw lurkers?

ROBBIE: I didn't know what to think of it at the beginning. I thought maybe it was part of the act or I saw it and it just sort of-- I don't know, I was distracted. Anyway, I think it was from someone from the Corsairs.

LAURA: Keep us posted, Laudna.

MARISHA: ♪ Will do. ♪ (creepy whispering)

SAM: (creepy whispering) Kill a puppy. (laughter)

LAURA: Man, talking to her always makes me feel so warm and fuzzy. (laughter)

MATT: In the interim, while you two are-- I would like you both, one, to make a stealth check, as you are pursuing this individual.

MARISHA: Don't fail me. All right, all right. 17.

LIAM: 16.

MATT: 16. Okay, got it. While you guys begin to pursue carefully out of the chamber, the rest of you follow Stuvan out of the wings of the theater into a hallway, into a switchback staircase that leads to a second floor on the level of where the rafters would have been. A little further back, you can see there is a nice, dark mahogany door that has these intricate carvings of the comedy and tragedy masks that are mingled in with tree leaves and a relief composition of Jrusar's spires, in a simplistic way. Following into the interior, it's not a massive office, by any means. It's quite cluttered with the furniture that's there. It has a lot of collected antique furniture that has been used to fill most of the space here almost to ensure that anybody that's entering and stepping at the edge of the desk to greet him is uncomfortably pressed into proximity. So the five of you pushing in there, it's very much shoulder to shoulder as Stuvan steps around to the other side of his desk and sits down, crosses one knee over the other, places his hands on the edge. "If you wouldn't mind closing the door for me, please. Thank you."

ASHLEY: You're very welcome.

MATT: "So, you're asking about disappearances. Where did you hear about this?"

ASHLEY: All over, everybody's talking about it.

MATT: Make a deception check. (laughter)

LAURA: Just everybody.

ASHLEY: Mm-mm. 12.

MATT: "Really? Everyone?"

ASHLEY: I mean, I don't know everyone in this city. Just, I mean, I think that was more of a general statement. Where did we hear about it? I can't remember. (laughter)

TALIESIN: It's come up a lot, I mean, honestly. (laughter) The fact that we're even here should have you a little worried.

MATT: "Oh, I'm quite curious as to what your intent is, asking these questions."

LAURA: Only to help you out.

MATT: "Really? Just a few deep-pocketed strangers come and see one of our matinee performances and decide out of the goodness in their heart that they're going to look into some disappearances that apparently have been rumored by everyone."

LAURA: Isn't it--

ASHLEY: Pretty much.

SAM: What are you-- Yeah, wouldn't you be more suspicious if penniless desperate people appeared at your door, wanting to know about this stuff?

TALIESIN: So smart.

LAURA: It is possible there are good people in the world.

MATT: Sits back and thinks for a second. You take in the garish office, you can see all sorts of baubles and posters of performances past that are plastered along the walls. You can see "Esmer and the Child of Light." "Across the Ozmit." "Under a Ruddy Night." "The Calamity: An Interpretive Dance History of Exandria's Greatest Tragedy." (laughter)

SAM: I want to see that.

LAURA: I want to see all of it.

MARISHA: I want to see it so bad.

MATT: "To Kill a God: The Scanlan Shorthalt One-Man Show." (yelling) All manner of various performance posters from throughout the years have been collected and are on display. Some seem to have maybe caught a bit of like moldy corners at the edges. But, nevertheless, there's definitely a collection of keepsakes for one man who is desperately trying to keep this theater what he wants it to be.

LAURA: You've been in business for a long time.

MATT: "Oh, I have been in business for not enough time, but we're working on it. Look, I'll level with you. If you are indeed here to help, it's not like you're going to do any more than the Wilders, Wardens have not done and to just pressure me with questions. Yes, yes, we've had some disappearances. Don't know why. I'm a bit frustrated that anyone I've spoken with has turned up with no answers and a lot of eyes seem to be on me."

LAURA: How long have they been going on?

MATT: "About three weeks ago was the first disappearance of our previous janitor. His name is Usha Brec."

SAM: Say that again one more time.

MATT: "Our previous janitor, Usha Brec, a very nice, older halfling gentlemen who'd been working here for over 10 years. Quiet, kept to himself, but was a good worker. I didn't interact with him too much, but he just sort of vanished. We thought maybe he just quit. Maybe he decided to move on. So we didn't think anything of it. I replaced the position. It was fine. Two weeks ago, we had a performance troupe come through, known as The Diamond Masque. One of the performers, a half-giant actor who played not the lead, but one of the supporting roles, named Sino, then vanished. The troupe began to ask questions. I, of course had no answers, but, you know, performers, they can be flaky."

LAURA: Were these happening during the shows or--?

MATT: "To my knowledge, these disappearances were not noticed until either intermission or some point after the night's festivities. But. Two performances was a little odd, or two disappearances. Within that same week, we had two patrons vanish. Mrs. Eden Callswell and Mr. Emir Lioto. Both, well, often at the same box that you currently took up seats in this night."

LAURA: Wow.

MATT: "But they disappeared. No one noticed until their family came around asking the next day. Their separate families."

LAURA: What was the second gentleman's name?

MATT: "Mr. Emir Lioto. They apparently were last seen here for our performance for the night."

LAURA: This was that same troupe, The Diamond Masques, were performing during that time?

MATT: "They did bring the understudy, believing that Sino, the performer may have just absconded. So they were finishing out their run. That's when these patrons apparently disappeared the night they were seeing the show. One week ago, we had an occasional patron named Yaden, do not know his last name. Not very well off. Occasionally scrounged up the money for one of our backseat tickets. Younger gentlemen. He apparently vanished as well and friends of his began to ask similar questions. So that's when I really began to take notice. My nerves began to fray a bit and I began to do my own internal investigations. But it's very hard to maintain focus while also trying to run a business. It's about this time that word got to the Wardens and they began to poke around and to no avail other than, well, to make very presumptuous statements in and at my presence. Then three days ago, a young woman who was one of our rotating bartenders here at the theater, named Lidney Oseddala, she vanished and she's the most recent. So we're now looking at a total of six people who have disappeared in the period of three weeks and I'm growing anxious and worried. So if you're looking to help, what do you have?"

SAM: Well, first of all, can I just say that that sounds tragic and horrible and I'm sorry that you had to go through all of this, shouldering this burden of guilt and all by yourself. But we can help. We've been pretty good about finding people who either don't want to be found, or have been lost themselves, so far. We're one for one, right?

MATT: "Are you investigators? What is your trade, if I might task? You look a bit, and I mean this with nothing but the utmost respect, in this light, you look a bit... patchwork."

LAURA: We are intentionally, as such. We're a jack of all trades troop. Everyone brings something.

MATT: “Hmm! So what are you looking for? The adoration of the innocents of Jrusar? Are you looking to make a name for yourself? Or are you just wanting a payday?"

SAM: Like many performers, we also have a patron, and he just wants to do some good in the world. So we're here to please him.

MATT: Leans forward, getting a little darker in the face. "So you were sent here by someone. Who sent you, if I might ask?"

TALIESIN: We're not really at liberty to discuss that. I, for one, can say I'm excited to be a patron of the local arts in any way I can.

LAURA: We're not fully under his wing as of yet. So we only take jobs that appeal to our nature.

MATT: "So just out of the goodness of your own heart."

LAURA: That hard to believe, huh?

MATT: "Sometimes. But. We are purveyors of stories of hope here. Even in this old, long-dragged gut of mine, I would like to think there are individuals out here that wish to make a difference. But you also want money, yes?"

LAURA: If it happens, it happens. All of these people that went missing, what type of show was it? A matinee, an evening, was it all sorts?

MATT: "They all seemed to be evening performances, if I recall.

LAURA: All right.

MATT: "Or at least the disappearances were noticed by the next morning."

LAURA: All right. Any particular nights in general?

MATT: "There wasn't a pattern, if that's what you're asking. It's a bit scattershot on which days it happened."

LAURA: All right.

ASHLEY: Just to make sure that we have all of our geese in a row, you didn't have anything to do with it?

MATT: "(scoffs) Absolutely not. I'm too busy to commit anything this foul."

LAURA: Did you build this structure yourself, or did you buy it already after it was built?

MATT: "A little bit of both. I purchased it in a simpler state and expanded it, unleashing its potential."

LAURA: Do you have an underground storage in this theater?

MATT: "We do."

LAURA: Would you mind if we took a look around there?

MATT: Glances back at the five of you again. "You've been rather quiet. What's your specialty in this strange troupe?"

ROBBIE: Humble bard. (chuckles) You know, a few jokes.

MATT: "You're a performer. Are you a performance troupe? Are you trying to use this to get yourself an audition?"

ROBBIE: No, no, no, no. We all come from various backgrounds and found our way together--

MATT: "Because I respect the hustle."

ROBBIE: Well, you know, maybe once we've found--

LAURA: I want nothing less than to be on a stage, no offense.

TALIESIN: Nope.

MATT: "Okay. That clarifies something."

SAM: I wouldn't mind.

LAURA: Oh really?

SAM: It just sounds fun. It looked fun. They were all up there getting clapped at and stuff.

LAURA: Well, maybe after all this is done, we can look at Dorian, and FCG, and Fearne, too.

ASHLEY: Yes, I would love to perform as well.

LAURA: Ashton?

TALIESIN: Oh boy. Nope, nope, nope. Oh no.

LAURA: We'll watch from the wings.

MATT: "Very well. Yes, I will notify the staff that you are here under my business to ask questions and the staff would probably have better answers to your questions than I would since I don't really directly deal with most of these individuals of interest."

TALIESIN: Two quick ones-- Three quick ones, then.

MATT: "Throw in a fourth, while you're at it. What do you want?"

TALIESIN: Four, then. Well, first, do you know about any secret entrances, weird trap doors that may exist in the building connecting to the center of the Core Spire, et cetera?

MATT: No, the only trap doors we have are to the stage, and those are specifically just to go under the stage.

LAURA: We'll keep an eye out, Ashton, for sure.

TALIESIN: Two, is there anyone working here who worked here before you got here?

MATT: "No, I am the oldest one."

TALIESIN: Three, is it possible--

MATT: "Not to point out, but a lot of our employees are also very young, so--"

TALIESIN: Sometimes there's someone who remembers something that's way back then. These buildings are weird. Is it possible to get an address for that janitor that disappeared at some point? That would be where I want to start looking once we've scavenged the theater.

MATT: "If I'm going to be entirely honest, I have no idea where he lives."

TALIESIN: That's fair.

LAURA: We can as some of the people in front. The staff might know.

TALIESIN: Yeah, they might.

LAURA: Also, you might want to let your staff know that we are A-OK to be here.

MATT: "I will do so."

LAURA: Thank you.

MATT: "I'll do it now, actually. Please exit my quarters."

SAM: Before we go, just one quick question for me, just based on what we were talking about before.

MATT: "That isn't a costume, is it? What are you?" You can see that he leans in real close and starts inspecting you, looking over the lens-like eyes and (coughs), pardon me, poking the metallic face. (laughter)

SAM: You know what? I don't honestly know. But I think I was built to be helpful, but I was really curious about what you said before. How do you get into acting? Do you take a class, or do I need an agent of some sort? I'm sure you get this question a lot.

MATT: "I do, please leave."

SAM: Okay.

LIAM: Particularly with the voice. (laughter)

SAM: People say I sound really cool. And I think that's all I really need.

MATT: "Get out!"

TALIESIN: I slowly grab Fresh Cut Grass and drag them out of the room.

LAURA: Also--

MATT: "Out!"

LAURA: No, no, this is actually important. We have a couple of companions who are out right now on an errand, but they will be joining us here shortly, I assume. A small man named Orym, he's a halfling. Very agile, brown hair. And a wonderful friend, her name is Laudna, she is--

TALIESIN: Walking cadaver.

SAM: Partially dead, yeah.

LAURA: She can be intimidating in her presence.

ASHLEY: Dark hair, beautiful.

LAURA: Gorgeous.

TALIESIN: Rotting.

ASHLEY: Has a rat.

MATT: "I will notify the staff. Just leave."

LAURA: Thank you. Orym, Laudna, they're joining. Thank you.

ASHLEY: Wait!

MATT: "Lorym and Gaudna."

ASHLEY: One more. Just for clarification. You said that people wouldn't notice that they were missing until the next morning.

SAM: Or sometimes intermission.

ASHLEY: Or sometimes intermission.

MATT: "Or sometimes intermission. Most of the individuals that disappeared-- I actually don't know the specifics. You might need to ask around."

LAURA: The half-giant, the performer, was that in the middle of a show that he went missing, or at the end of it?

MATT: "That was afterward."

LAURA: Okay. All right.

ROBBIE: Do you have a-- You run the whole ship, but do you have a stage manager, or someone who oversees what's going on?

MATT: "I have two individuals that help me manage the length and breadth of the establishment that are my right hand helpers. There's Tefta. She handles most of the business and financials with me. And there is Ocampo."

LAURA: Ocampo?

MATT: "Previously a performer, but has now become one of my stage managers and helps run the ship."

LAURA: All right.

ROBBIE: Thank you very much.

MATT: "Of course." Reaches over and you can see off to the side, there is an odd conical device that is affixed to the left-hand wall and leans into it. "There is an odd troupe--" and you hear it echoing through and you know notice this is a strange connecting series of audio tubes. "A strange troupe of seven odd individuals that have my permission to wander the premises. Help them if you can. Two of them are apparently scattered about. There is a small, childlike one named Borym." (laughter)

LAURA: Orym.

MATT: "And a creepy lady one." (laughter) "I don't remember."

LAURA: Laudna. (laughter)

MATT: "Please exit." Doors close behind him.

TALIESIN: I leave my headshot on the way out. (laughter)

LAURA: Slide it under the door.

LIAM: Just 17 more questions. Just 17 more questions. (laughter)

ROBBIE: Is your resume stapled to the back?

TALIESIN: Of course.

ROBBIE: Okay, good good.

MATT: In the interim.

LIAM: I put it in an envelope full of confetti, he'll love it!

MARISHA: Yeah-- oh my god.

TALIESIN: Horseback riding is a special skill! Thank you! (laughter)

ROBBIE: I have my own roller skates.

MARISHA: I can drive stick.

MATT: It hurts. (laughter) Orym and Laudna. (laughter)

SAM: Pursue your dreams, everyone watching. (laughter)

MATT: Suffer with the rest of us.

MARISHA: Don't put confetti in your resume. Hot tip. That's the worst.

LIAM: That's the biggest sin.

TALIESIN: No, don't do that.

LIAM: Don't do it. Everything else, give it a shot.

MATT: The two of you have pursued into the entryway of the theater, the holding entrance where you can see the ticket holders are no longer present and there are a few people that are lingering and just having conversations. Maybe a half dozen or so that are left in here, but the doors are partially open and people are exiting and you can see the dragonborn usher is just making sure that everyone leaves. You catch, just fading past into the night air at this time, which it is, a-night.

SAM: Oh boy, buckle up.

MATT: Oh shit. You see a similar figure heading off into the night air.

LIAM: Want to get a little air?

MARISHA: Ah, sounds good. As we're walking through the lobby, too, I just want to keep my ears open and see if I catch any chatter from the audience. If anyone's like, "Where's George?" I don't know.

LIAM: (high-pitched) George?

TALIESIN: Fucking George.

MATT: No talk of George, strangely.

MARISHA: Okay.

MATT: But the little bit of chatter you catch up on seems to be people going, "It was a good show. I just wish maybe it was a bit longer." Somebody else is, "Ah, I remember when I had a body like that. Many years ago, I could climb and leap with the rest of them, but then I married you."

LAURA: Jeez.

ROBBIE: It is a matinee. (laughter)

MATT: You step out into the night air.

ASHLEY: "What did I have to do with it? Exercising. Taking care of yourself."

LIAM: It's the city at night, right?

MATT: It is the city at night. So you can see the temperature has dropped.

ASHLEY: I want to know more about them. (laughter)

TALIESIN: How did it come to this?

MATT: The next hour and a half of the game. (laughter) The temperature has dropped significantly through the night. It is a bit chilly, and there is a faint mist that is starting to apparate along certain elements of the city around you. Make a perception check for me.

LIAM: The little ones. What is that? That's a one. (laughs) That's not much better. (laughter) That's a 19.

MARISHA: That's real good, though. Pretty good.

LIAM: The better one.

MARISHA: Yeah.

LIAM: I rolled two of them. Three of them.

MATT: Unfortunately-- (gasping)

MATT: -- you lost sight of him. (gasping)

LIAM: Wow, with a 19?!

MARISHA: Can I roll?

ROBBIE: Oh boy.

MATT: You know what, yeah. That's true, because you have advantage automatically, so, yeah, go ahead and roll separately.

MARISHA: And I got darkvision.

LIAM: Let's go, dead girl.

MARISHA: Come on. Mm, mm-mm. No.

MATT: (laughs)

MARISHA: No, 12.

LIAM: I think he went...

MARISHA: No, he went that way.

LIAM: No, I was watching him. I jump six feet in the air and try to look over the crowd and then land back down. Shit.

MATT: There is a child about your height, who was holding hands with the mom, who's in mid-conversation outside, who was just staring at you and goes, "Cool."

LIAM: Well.

MATT: (scared gasp) And buries his face into his mom's skirt.

LIAM: Stay away from the theater, kid. You want to go back inside?

MARISHA: I guess. That was short-lived.

LIAM: Yeah.

MARISHA: Fuck.

MATT: Sorry. Rolled really high.

LAURA: You just spend the entire time wandering around the theater wondering where the fuck we went.

LIAM: Yeah. (laughter)

LIAM: I'm going to try the lower men's room.

MARISHA: I'll try the upper women's room, I guess.

LIAM: Cross ways again.

MARISHA: All right.

LIAM: Okay.

MATT: Quickly discover the bathrooms here are unisex.

MARISHA: That's impressive. Good, good for them.

MATT: You wander a bit trying to-- Are you looking for the rest of the troop, or are you doing your own investigations here?

LIAM: I guess we're touring the theater at this point. See what we find then, yeah.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: Yeah. Well.

LIAM: We should go search. Come with me.

MARISHA: All right.

LIAM: I lead us to the spot where I first spotted the person. Just on the off-chance that they dropped their parking ticket.

MATT: Sure, roll an investigation check for me.

LIAM: 17.

MATT: 17, not bad. Didn't drop anything. You feel confident that you're not missing anything, but you get the sense that they were only there briefly.

LIAM: Right. That's a big fat dud.

MARISHA: Yeah, I'm stumped.

LIAM: You want to talk to Imogen? See where they're at?

MARISHA: Yes, I'll check in with Imogen. (sighs) Well, we lost him. (creepy whispering) Whoever they were.

MATT: Right as you guys are pushed out from the chamber of your conversation, you hear the terrifying whispers of Laudna into your mind.

LAURA: Oh, perfect timing.

LIAM: (banjo twanging)

LAURA: Don't do it! Don't start that! (laughter)

LIAM: Yeah, we don't want to decide that you, like, smell bad or something.

LAURA: Hey, I'm not the one who said I was covered in dirt.

SAM: Yeah, you introduced yourself as being covered in shit, Liam, it's true.

MATT: Cross-campaign wounds. (laughter)

SAM: Go back to episode one. (laughter)

LAURA: We are about to tour their underground storage facility, if you would like to join us.

MARISHA: Ooh! They're about to tour the underground storage facility.

LAURA: Meet you by the-- Where are we going? I don't know where to tell you. We'll meet you on the ground level.

MARISHA: Should we come with you or should we inspect other areas while you're distracted?

LAURA: No, we've got the run of the place now. So come with us. We could use all eyes we could get.

MARISHA: All right. Let's meet them downstairs.

MATT: As you gather up in the main theater chamber, is that where you're meeting?

LAURA: Sure, yeah, in the main theater chamber, that's where we're going to go.

MATT: Sure.

LIAM: The donor seats. as you convene there, you see, stepping off the stage a human man in his 30s, a reddish brown skin, wavy black hair that covers over one eye and goes just past the chin. You can see he has all manner of jewelry that are visible peeking through from underneath the jet black baggier outfit that he's currently wearing over his body. You can see he has a hood that's placed over the shoulder. Make a history check for me.

ROBBIE: 10.

MATT: 10? Yeah. You don't pick up anything noteworthy or memorable. The figure steps off the stage. "All right, so we're supposed to be showing you around, I guess. I'm Ocampo, I'm the stage manager."

ASHLEY: Oh hi!

MATT: "What are you looking for?

LAURA: We're looking for clues.

MATT: "About?"

SAM: We know there's been some disappearances around here. We're trying to get a bead on maybe some entrances that we don't know about or exits.

ASHLEY: You know about the disappearances, right?

MATT: "I am well aware, yes."

ASHLEY: How aware?

MATT: "Well, I worked with a couple of them. Three of them, if we include the performer, but it was a temporary time. Yeah. Why?"

ASHLEY: I was just trying to figure out if you had something to do with it.

MATT: "No!"

ROBBIE: Excuse my friend. I think what she means is, do you have an opinion about, perhaps, what's been happening? We always ask such specific questions. We never ask the person's feelings. What do you feel happened here?

SAM: Very, very smart.

ASHLEY: Very nice.

MATT: "Thank you for asking. Look, Usha was a very sweet man. Just kind of kept to himself." Make a persuasion check.

ROBBIE: Mm-hmm. That'd be a 24.

MATT: 24. Okay. Yeah, he opens up to you immediately. "Usha was a very, very nice man. Worked here before I started. I've only been here for about three, four years as a stage manager, I was a performer beforehand and just stuck around, but he was very nice. He was emphatic in keeping everything clean in and outside of the theater, he kept the surrounding streets clean. Just very into his work."

ROBBIE: Nice, like genuinely nice, or nice like, "Boy, I always thought he was such a nice guy, too bad he ate the neighbors," you know?

MATT: "That's a-- Did he eat the neighbors?"

ROBBIE: No, no, no. Never mind.

MATT: "He was very nice. Very nice."

ROBBIE: No weird vibes.

MATT: "No, no. Just kept to himself. Sad vibes, if that makes sense. He seemed a little lonely. I didn't know much about Mrs. Callswell and the other one. You might want to ask Tefta, I know that she had more of a rapport with them. Tefta, in general, had a little more face time with a lot of the patrons here. I just run things from behind the stage. I feel bad about Lidney, though. She was very sweet. She'd only been here for a few months. Bright-eyed young woman. You can see she wanted to be an actor herself, and this was what she thought was her shoe in. She mentioned it a few times and I passed it up the chain. Maybe there was an opportunity down the road to have her in for an audition, and then--"

SAM: So if you wanted an audition, you are the person to talk to about that?

MATT: "No, no, no, no, no. I mean, I can pass it along, but, I mean, all of that goes through Stuvan. He's the one with the eye for talent."

LIAM: We're in basement storage, right? That's what we established?

LAURA: Not yet.

MATT: You guys are walking and talking as you go. You're getting to that space as he's pulling out keys and the key ring and starting to situate.

LAURA: Did you see Usha or Lidney the night they went missing? Do you have any memory of it?

MATT: "I did, yeah. I think I did, yes."

LAURA: Do you remember where they were when you last saw them?

MATT: "Usha was just doing his usual rounds, cleaning the inside, cleaning the outside. It's kind of his business."

LAURA: And Lidney was at the bar?

MATT: "Lidney was at the bar. She was very nice, very quiet girl. Kept to herself on her breaks."

LAURA: Where did she go on her breaks?

MATT: "I don't know specifically. I think maybe outside. I don't know for certain, but you could smell on her clothes sometimes. I think she enjoyed partaking in the burning of various tobaccos."

LAURA: All right.

ROBBIE: Usha, the first to disappear. As janitor, did he have keys, a master key? Did he have access to all of the theater?

LIAM: Who all had keys to the theater?

MATT: "I would be-- Between me, Stuvan, and Tefta would be the only three with access to the entire theater. Usha would have had access to the front door and all of the central chambers, but the offices and the storage basement, he would not have had keys to."

ASHLEY: What type of performer did you used to-- What did you do?

MATT: "Oh, well, I was an actor."

ASHLEY: Ooh!

MATT: "And a poet, depending on what was required of me at the time."

ASHLEY: Wow! Very cool.

LAURA: Impromptu poetry or rehearsed?

MATT: "I was reading other people's poetry. I guess 'orator' should be the specific term. I did not write my poetry, but I was very good at speaking other people's words.

SAM: Like forensics.

MATT: "Sure. Anyway..." (unlocking, creaking) Opens the door and you can see the staircase descends into a lightless expanse below.

LAURA: This is always the creepiest part of a theater.

TALIESIN: Fuck, I've always wanted to do this.

MATT: Reaches up and grabs a lantern and turns. You can see the wick light a bit and pulls the oil lantern down. "You coming?"

LAURA: Mm-hmm.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

ROBBIE: Before we plunge, I would like to hang back as everyone's going down and just take one last scan of the house and anything I can see from the stage and see if I can clock Cyrus.

MATT: Yeah, make a perception check.

ROBBIE: 17.

MATT: Not bad. You do a thorough scan in the short period of time, feeling confident that looking within the inside, no sign of Cyrus.

MARISHA: I get unnaturally close to him. What are you looking for?

ROBBIE: Oh, jesus! (clears throat)

MARISHA: Did you see something?

ROBBIE: No, no. I was just making sure everyone made it out safely from the fire. (chuckles)

MARISHA: We lost that creepy guy really quick.

ROBBIE: Oh good, yes.

MARISHA: Well.

ROBBIE: Oh, no. Oh. He lost us. You lost him?

MARISHA: It's a fascinating way because it depends on how you phrase it, I guess.

ROBBIE: I suppose if he was a threat, we lost him, but if you were after him, he lost you.

MARISHA: Makes you think.

MATT: "Are you coming?"

MARISHA: Yes.

MATT: "Right."

LIAM: I trail behind everyone in the dark and say: Macveth. (laughter)

TALIESIN: I attack. (laughter)

LIAM: (impact)

TALIESIN: (shouts)

LIAM: (splats)

ROBBIE: You doomed us!

MARISHA: How dare you!

ASHLEY: Bunch of theater nerds.

ROBBIE: I whistle a jaunty tune.

MATT: Don't think I didn't think about there being some sort of a curse laid on this theater. So you descend, following into the basement area here. With the light that you can see curling from the lantern, there are large cases, luggage compartments and locked boots that have bits of costumes spilling out on the side of where they were closed. You can see there's cobwebs everywhere. This is the graveyard of performances past, where props and portions of stage decor and flats are just left and forgotten in the far end. It is truly nightmarish without context and still creepy with context to see just this odd arrangement of nonsensically fit together colors, and shapes, and furniture, and masks, and partial creature bodies, and crowns, and weird human faces that are painted over and all lit by the singular lantern as he passes through and over it.

TALIESIN: Never been so comfortable anywhere my entire life. (laughter)

MARISHA: It does make me miss being on stage.

LIAM: Orym is specifically looking for anything that looks like it's been moved, disturbed, not covered in dust and sitting there for 10 years.

LAURA: Is it all right if I help out with that?

LIAM: Of course.

MATT: Okay. (foomph) Your crackling lights begin to disperse throughout the room and you watch as Ocampo turns, and, "Oh!"

LAURA: Keep yours lit as well, by all means.

MATT: "Mm-hmm, so here is where we store the things when they're not being used. We generally keep a central pathway here," and he begins to describe the-- He tries to describe how well-organized it is, but the more he describes it, you can see he's beginning to admit that it's not very well organized, and he's like, "Well, I was meaning to change that out. That needs to be moved. There was a space here, but that fell off the top and we just never got around to-- (sighs) It's not usually like this." (laughter)

TALIESIN: It's clearly always been like this.

LIAM: No insight check needed.

MATT: Make a perception check for me. Perception or investigation, your choice.

LAURA: In general, is everything pushed up against the walls? Or is there openings around where the walls are for fire?

MATT: No, this is very much not fire safe. Everything is pushed up against the walls.

TALIESIN: Woof.

LIAM: 21.

MARISHA: It's not up to code.

TALIESIN: One inspection away.

MARISHA: Oh no.

MATT: Yeah, you can see where certain pieces of equipment have been shifted and moved. It's not like this room is left abandoned the entire time. A lot of things that are put into storage and then brought up for other performances are dragged in and out and you can see certain regions of the room are left to far more dust and decay, comparatively, and the areas that are closer to the door have a lot less dust and you can see are placed specifically there because they get the most use. Those involve chairs and tables, generalized furniture that can be utilized for multiple different types of performances, as well as general costumes. You can see one space where it has outfits that have an Issylra design to them, colder and fur-based. You can see some that look they might lean a little bit towards the Dwendalian Empire. You can see the reds and golds. They're all these different, cheap versions of different cultural locations from around Exandria that have all been just left off to die in the shaded corners of the chamber.

TALIESIN: There's a two-person bear costume here. What the fuck is that about? (laughter) Fuck. Hate to be the back.

LIAM: But no-- No signs of rock scatter from shade creeper holes--

MARISHA: Yes.

LIAM: -- anywhere along the edges.

MATT: Do you want to do a thorough inspection again?

TALIESIN: I want to start tapping the walls with the hammer, just to see if anything gives a sound, things like that.

MATT: Okay. Okay.

LIAM: If a crate has been (shifting).

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: Okay. Going throughout the room, you do not see any signs of such holes or exits or anything that would be akin to what you had previously encountered dealing with the shade creepers.

LIAM: I try on a hat.

MATT: It's a little big on you. It falls past your eyes, but it still looks good. You guys see this wide-brimmed dark hat, not unlike what you commonly see Robbie wearing.

ROBBIE: Once. (laughter)

MATT: It drifts past his eyes like a child trying on his dad's Woody costume.

LIAM: Guys, look how handsome I am.

LAURA: You look great.

ROBBIE: Mm-hmm.

TALIESIN: I'm going to try and gently injure one of the tables or chairs, just to see if it reacts. (laughter) It's not like it wouldn't have helped before!

ROBBIE: You were really traumatized.

TALIESIN: That's my world upside down.

ASHLEY: "See if it attacks."

LIAM: "Injure it gently."

MATT: (scraping) It scrapes across the ground. The table that you smack on the side, you can see it leans one way and where the table is nailed in, or the leg is nailed in, it's now bent slightly to one side, but it doesn't seem to react otherwise.

ASHLEY: Is there a prop chest or a prop shelf?

MATT: There are a handful of prop chests around here, yeah.

ASHLEY: I want something.

MATT: Okay, go ahead and roll a d6 for me.

LIAM: Let's go, klepto.

ASHLEY: Okay.

MARISHA: Laudna mends the table that was just injured by Ashton.

MATT: Snaps back into place.

ASHLEY: Five.

TALIESIN: If it would've freaked out, you would've been really happy.

MARISHA: That's true, thank you.

MATT: Okay. You open up a chest and immediately glancing down inside, you can see just piles and piles of white lace dresses.

ASHLEY: (gasps) (laughter)

TALIESIN: What'd you find?

MARISHA: It's Ashley's closet! (laughter)

MATT: They appear white, and then you get a little closer and look at it, and they've yellowed with time slightly, but they look to be designed in a way to exhibit nobility, not of Marquesan nature or history, but from some further off land in Exandria. Definitely theater decadent, where it looks beautiful, and the closer you get, you're like, "Oh, this is meant to function as a costume to be seen from a distance."

ASHLEY: This is the most beautiful dress I've ever seen. I'm going to take it.

MATT: Roll a sleight of hand, yeah.

TALIESIN: It's got Velcro all over it.

ASHLEY: Probably not. Nine.

SAM: Uh-huh, uh-huh.

MATT: You notice that Ocampo has the lantern facing the other way and is like, "I'm not entirely certain what you're looking for, but you know, take your time."

LAURA: It's like on you.

MATT: Doesn't notice anything.

ASHLEY: Looking in a mirror.

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: Does not notice at all.

LAURA: Oh wow!

ROBBIE: Nice!

LAURA: He is not very good at seeing things.

MATT: He rolled very low.

SAM: Nicely done.

LAURA: Wow.

MARISHA: I'm going to go up to Fresh Cut Grass. Did you learn anything when I was gone? Any info?

SAM: We learned that-- Oh, oh, that's right! You weren't with us. We learned there's been a series of disappearances and there's about six people missing.

MARISHA: Six?

SAM: They have no obvious relation to each other.

MARISHA: No obvious relation.

SAM: Other than the fact that they all disappeared here either during or after a show. Also just learned that there's a whole stack of cat costumes back there.

MARISHA: (gasp)

SAM: Yeah! They look very jellicle. (laughter)

MARISHA: I grab one.

LAURA: Why do they all have little buttholes sewn onto them?

SAM: They look added later, but then some of them look like they were taken off.

MATT: "That was not my artistic vision! That was specifically Stuvan's interest to try and rebrand the show. It's not great. I do not recommend it."

MARISHA: Look, this one wears Converse. So weird, interesting choice!

SAM: Sporty.

MATT: "Well, have you found what you're looking for?"

SAM: No, not at all. We were looking for some sort of entrances or exits down here, but there are none.

MATT: "No, that's where we came in."

LIAM: Does this cover everything? This is the only chamber down here, there's no other levels? No other chambers?

MATT: "No."

LIAM: Okay.

MATT: "This is not like a Quorum fortress. We're a theater troupe."

ROBBIE: Are there other rarely used areas, fly space, other areas?

SAM: Yeah, sometimes, I'm told, in the theater, two performers might become amorous with each other and maybe sneak off to somewhere unseen so they can canoodle.

LAURA: How would you know that, FCG?

SAM: Oh, this isn't my first day rolling around, it is? (laughter)

MATT: "To go off your question, you're in that room."

ALL: Oh.

MATT: "By the way, don't touch that table."

LAURA: That's why it was so wobbly.

TALIESIN: Oh. It looked suspicious.

MATT: "But as far as other spaces, there are rafters above the stage. There is, I mean, Tefta is in her office, probably for the next hour or so."

SAM: We should go talk to Tefta.

LIAM: We did want to do a full investigation.

MATT: "Of course, of course, yeah."

LIAM: Start with Tefta and then fan out through the whole theater?

LAURA: Yeah. Is there a staff break room at all, or?

LIAM: Green room?

MATT: "Kind of, it's in the backstage. Sure, I'll take you there." Leads you back up, closes and locks the door behind, and leads you to a pathway, a hallway that you didn't see that is to the backside of the theater that leads to the backstage. You can see there is a green room that is literally just the back part of the stage. And there, Kendra's Flying Lauders are all there with a glass bottle of some sort of Brandy in the middle that is half drunken and they're all laughing a bit and telling stories and having drinks, and they're just winding down. You get the sense that most of the space in this Dreamscape Theater is for the patrons and everyone else backstage just figures it out with what space they got. It's not bad, but as you approach, some of them raise their glasses over towards you, on the opposite side of the chamber and keep talking amongst themselves. "So this is our backstage. This is where the ladders go up to the rafters this way. This is where we control the curtains and any sorts of, well, you know, for their performance." He points over, you could see where the trapeze hanging swings and all the various elements there, you can see where the ropes attached and let them down. “I handle these, along with Teena and Evaan, who, after taking tickets, come and help me with everything backstage. What else can I show you?"

LAURA: Is there an area that the staff would be able to access to get to a back alley or anything?

MATT: "Oh, there is, yes. Yeah. That is--" and walks to the back hallway that led you into the backstage and you can see there is a door that exits out into the back alleys. "This leads into-- There's an alley that runs entirely around the building to the front here." You recall there's the large wall of the spire. Not immediately butted against the alley, there are some buildings in between, but there's a lot of dense buildings in the vicinity and the theater just stands out in the middle of it all. It's carved its own little kingly space in this neighborhood.

LAURA: Can I look around the alley and around the door and see if I can find any areas that-- I see little cigarette butts or anything dropped to the ground?

MATT: You can, yeah.

SAM: Guidance.

LAURA: Oh, thank you.

MATT: Make a perception or investigation check, your choice.

LAURA: Okay. Why do I suck? That would be a-- oh, Guidance-- well, it's not going to make any difference, that's a four.

SAM: Okay, well then.

LAURA: We'll try it anyway. Five plus four. Nine.

MATT: Nine, you got it.

ASHLEY: Isn't that a nine?

LAURA: No, that's a two. (gasp) That's a nine!

ASHLEY: That's a nine.

LAURA: Eyy, that's nine plus three is 12 plus four is 16.

SAM: Whoa, that's way better.

MATT: That is-- That was an emotional roller coaster there, okay. Stepping out--

ASHLEY: You don't suck!

LAURA: Thanks, Ashley!

ASHLEY: You're welcome.

MATT: The heavy door has a few locks on it, and Ocampo opens it and it leads you out into the alleyway behind. You can see there's a bit of a street divot in the center so that any rain can run itself off into the main road. Brick side elements of the alley. It smells a bit musty, but like any other alley here in the city, you can see there's some discarded bits of refuse and some construction materials that have been left abandoned from unseen projects there. It looks like any alley. Looking around the space, you don't see anything directly around the door that would resemble any sort of--

LAURA: Tobacco.

MATT: Paraphernalia or leftover materials from a person who was smoking.

LAURA: Okay.

SAM: Let's go talk to Tefta.

MATT: "All right, I'll show you to her office." Ocampo brings you up on the opposite side of what you can sense, as far as the structure is for the main theater itself, the opposite end of where Stuvan's office is. There is a secondary office. Ocampo knocks on it. (knocking) "Uh, Tefta? I have those visitors that Stuvan said are to ask questions about?" The voice inside goes, "All right, let them in." Door opens. Immediately as the door opens, you smell this strong flowery perfume like a punch of Sephora hits you as a wave. The door opens up and on the inside there is an office that is decorated in garish pinks and yellows. You can see on this, not even a desk, but a curved table and an older gnomish woman, who looks to be what would be the human equivalent of her 50s or so, later 50s, in this curled beehive hair that looks like it's bright, bright, vibrant red, but you can see it's graying at the edges that you can't tell if that's natural or the dye is fading. She has these elongated glasses that come to horned edges and the makeup is glorious in the extravagant use of blush and reds to match the hair tone. The dress is flappertastic in the tassels that hang from it. You can see there's a bunch of books and pages and ledgers and other things around and a collection box of coins. You can see gold and silver that immediately shifts underneath something before turning. "How can I help y'all?"

SAM: Oh!

LIAM: Evening.

MATT: "Oh, hello. Handsome little boy, come here. I'm Tefta."

LIAM: We're the-- We don't have a name. We're doing--

LAURA: We need a name!

SAM: We need a name.

MARISHA: We really do need a name.

LIAM: That's a side issue.

MATT: "That is a Branding 101 mistake, I say. But go on."

LIAM: Well, we're patrons of the arts and also concerned citizens. We understand that there's been some, and I'm sorry if this is a sensitive subject, but disappearances around the theater.

MATT: "Indeed, indeed. Very sad, very sad, very mysterious."

LAURA: Can I Detect Thoughts?

MATT: Certainly.

LAURA: I didn't see--

MARISHA: There's some good options in there.

ROBBIE: I know, they're actually not that bad.

MARISHA: I know.

MATT: You catch waves of curiosity upon the first bit, then sadness, then an aroused curiosity. (laughs) She leans forward and says, "Well, we're very lucky to have a bunch of handsome helpers coming through here to discover what mysteries might unfold."

SAM: I see the theater, it's full of randy people.

LIAM: It's true, you're not wrong.

LIAM: I apologize, I imagine that everyone who works here has answered these questions tenfold, but we're really trying to uncover every last stone in the place.

MATT: "Of course, honey, of course."

SAM: You've got this.

MARISHA: You've got this!

LAURA: In your head, I'm going to say: Keep it going.

LIAM: (banjo twanging) (laughter)

LAURA and SAM: ♪ Why are there so many-- ♪ (laughter)

LIAM: Yep. Can you take us back to the beginning of all this? Does anything stick out in your mind? Does the owner here or anyone have any enemies?

MATT: Make a persuasion check.

LIAM: Not great. 10 even.

MATT: 10? She goes, "Well, I mean, Stuvan has made a number of enemies through the years. Usually performers that made promises they couldn't keep and were paid accordingly. You know, no matter how nice some folks try and present their skill, maybe they hold grudges? But anyway."

LAURA: Is it possible to try to probe a little bit deeper?

SAM: Ooh!

LIAM: She's thinking the same thing.

MATT: You probe deeper and the thoughts within her mind go to, "This is a strange looking crew, but if I can pry a little companionship out of it, I'll say whatever they want me to." Plenty of enemies."

LIAM: That doesn't sound like enough to push to violence.

MATT: "I certainly hope not. I mean, something like that for this long takes talent and honey, let me tell you, none of them had any."

MARISHA: What did you do?

LIAM: Punches Imogen's thigh.

MARISHA: Did you-- I mean you just--

LAURA: I'm just giggling.

MARISHA: You have such a performer essence.

MATT: "Oh me? No, I am not a girl for the stage. I got a mind for business and coin, honey."

MARISHA: Oh, oh. But you're so theatrical.

MATT: "One does not have to be, and I mean this without offense, but--"

MARISHA: She keeps looking at you.

MATT: "Oh, I can see a performer when they walked before me, honey. But you don't have to be pushing for talent to be talented. That does not mean you have to push yourself upon other people with your persona to be effective. I'm a shrewd business woman, I look past the lies of others and I know how to get contracts situated and set. I make this place money and I keep it afloat."

MARISHA: I'm so intimidated by her! She's amazing.

MATT: "And now you know why I work how I do. Hmph."

MARISHA: I didn't know what to do!

SAM: You're flustered.

MARISHA: I am!

SAM: It's okay.

MARISHA: It's weird.

TALIESIN: Two missing patrons, that's got to be a problem.

MATT: "Mm, yeah. Well more than two."

MARISHA: More than two?

LAURA: Three missing patrons.

MATT: "Yaden, well, he's a curious fellow, but-- if you ask me, it's not entirely unknown that Miss Eden Callswell and Mr. Emir were carrying on an affair."

SAM: Miss Eden and who?

LAURA: (gasps)

ASHLEY: Eden and Emir?

MATT: "Mm-hmm."

LAURA: Is it possible they went off to have a rendezvous in the middle of the show?

MATT: "I mean, it wouldn't be the first time. This is where they came to meet up. In fact, often during intermission is when they would go ahead and go someplace no one will find them."

ASHLEY: Have sexy time somewhere?

MATT: "No, I assumed it was going to get a drink and talk about their day."

ASHLEY: Oh.

MATT: "Of course sexy time!"

ASHLEY: Oh, okay, okay, okay!

LAURA: I thought sexy time usually happens (clicks) in the storage, not--

MATT: "Oh, they can't get to the storage. They don't have a key."

LAURA: Oh, well, then where would they go?

MATT: "I don't know, some place where no one will find them."

SAM: On the premises, you think, though?

MATT: "I imagine, or not far from it."

LAURA: We got to find out the secret spot.

SAM: So we got to find the place that even the actors didn't know to go to bone.

LAURA: All right, so we got to think about-- We got to get in the headspace of people that need to-- need to--

LIAM: Bone.

SAM: So we all just need to think randy thoughts for a while?

LAURA: Please don't, please don't. Like, I don't want to know.

SAM: Around Imogen.

LAURA: No.

ROBBIE: We have to find it, we have to find the bone zone. For sure!

MARISHA: And you mentioned this Yaden. What was their deal?

LAURA: Eden?

SAM: No, there was another.

MARISHA: The other one.

MATT: "Yaden, he's a younger man."

LAURA: Yaden, is that what his name was?

MATT: "He generally picked up whatever the cheapest tickets were and negotiated his way to a dirt poor seat, but popped in every here and there. At first, we weren't sure if he was just an enjoyer of the arts, and I think part of it was, but also he got in trouble twice because I caught him selling some kepper dust to some of our patrons."

SAM: Keppa dust?

MARISHA: Kepper?

MATT: "Kepper dust, yeah."

MARISHA: Kepper dust.

ROBBIE: For those not from the streets, what is kepper dust?

MATT: "I mean, I never had the stuff myself, but from what I heard, it's just something that-- it's like a snuff that takes you on a trip for a while."

LAURA: And what does it look like?

MATT: "I don't know, I've never seen it."

MARISHA: All right.

SAM: All right, so, Yaden was here buying or selling kepper dust?

MATT: "Selling kepper dust, but he got in trouble. We told him he had to take it off the premises, so--"

MARISHA: Where would he go to sell?

MATT: "I don't know, wasn't selling it in here."

SAM: So three of the vanished were into sort of elicit sneaky things. What about the others? The performers and the janitor?

LIAM: Yeah, what do you know about Sino, who came through?

MATT: "Sino... Look, I don't mean to be a receptacle for so much hearsay, but it does keep me interested amongst business. Sino was a bit of a drunkard, if you ask me. Showed up to a few performances a bit high on the sauce and caused a few arguments when they first set up their performances. It was a bit of a scuffle, I won't say a scuffle, but a loud confrontation the night that they finished his final performance before he drunkenly wandered off. Last anyone ever saw of him."

ROBBIE: Confrontation with who?

MATT: "The rest of his performers."

LIAM: He left the theater that night?

MATT: "Possible."

ROBBIE: The Diamond Masque, what was the name of the crew?

LAURA: Theater troupe? The Diamond Masques.

MATT: "The Diamond Masque, yeah."

ROBBIE: So they were in residence when these disappearances, when Usha left.

MATT: "Mm-hmm."

ROBBIE: They were here?

MATT: "They were."

ROBBIE: Did they move on to another theater, or?

MATT: "They did, they packed up their things and left. They figured that he probably left and after the argument maybe went and found his fortunes elsewhere. They had an understudy, who, to be perfectly honest, was far more talented than that Sino fellow. Fit the costumes better, too. But once he was gone, they seem to move on quickly, and I don't know where they found themselves here in Marquet ever since."

LAURA: And Lidney?

MATT: "Yeah, Lidney, sweet girl. Didn't make friends often, just did her thing. She was good employee, you could tell she was still coming out of her shell before she disappeared. Sad."

LAURA: We've got to find that secret spot.

MARISHA: It sounds like everyone was loners.

LAURA: Right?

MARISHA: Everyone--

LIAM: Sounds like people leaving the theater.

MARISHA: Yes.

LAURA: To find something...

LIAM: We got a lover's tryst, an entrepreneurial spirit, someone going out to smoke, and an actor who left in a huff.

SAM: Is there a rooftop or a balcony or a--

MARISHA: There's got to be a--

TALIESIN: At least there's an alley. But the access to that is backstage, so it wouldn't--

SAM: Yeah.

MATT: "The alley itself runs around the building. People can access it, and you can exit from that point. We do have a rooftop, but that's inaccessible to anyone who doesn't work here either."

TALIESIN: Empty rooms, offices that aren't used.

MATT: "Everything here that's not in use is just the open space for the patrons. It's my office, backstage, Stuvan's office, and the storage facility. Everything else is just meant for the performance air."

LAURA: And the restrooms?

MARISHA: The restrooms.

MATT: "Oh and the restrooms, too, but--"

TALIESIN: Where did Emir and Eden sit, traditionally?

SAM: Didn't Stuvan say that they sat in our box?

MATT: "Oh, you're some box spending patrons, thank you!"

MARISHA: Well, I feel like we should just look around.

LAURA: We should look around. I think we should check out that alley more, I didn't really get a good look.

SAM: I feel like we should look near the box.

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: Look near the restrooms.

LIAM: Is it okay if we give a thorough look around and really put this to bed?

MATT: "Anything you want, honey. Anything."

MARISHA: Where would you go in here if you want to (clicks) you know, engage in a little hanky-panky with someone? Where would you go?

MATT: "You mean where have I gone?" (gasping)

ASHLEY: Oh!

MARISHA: Yes, but you can't say the basement! Because that's a given.

MATT: "Oh, honey, how do I narrow it down. I've left my mark up and down this theater."

MARISHA: Oh!

TALIESIN: Cast blacklight. (laughter)

MATT: Do not do that!

MARISHA: Where would you go? Or where would it make sense to--

MATT: "Well, I have access to everywhere, so I go everywhere."

MARISHA: All right, but meaning if you were, you know, Emir or Eden, where would you go?

MATT: "I mean, likely either the restrooms or elsewhere. There's not a whole lot of places of privacy around these parts."

MARISHA: In the restrooms, right?

SAM: Yeah, yeah. That's a good place to look.

ASHLEY: So Yaden, Iyod, what is it?

MATT: Yaden.

LAURA: Yaden. Why didn't I write that down?

ASHLEY: I heard that he came here a lot. Was there a specific place that he would sit?

MATT: "Yaden? He would just take whatever seats were available and he would negotiate it down. Take the leftovers, if you will. Wasn't a young boy of much means."

ASHLEY: Okay.

TALIESIN: Going outside and buy or sell product, though, is not insane.

LAURA: Selling in the restroom, also not insane.

TALIESIN: Also not insane.

SAM: Should we split up and go scour the theater before the next show starts?

TALIESIN: How long do we have before the next show starts?

MATT: She glances over and you can see there's a glass sphere on the edge of her table that you can see it turning to a darker tint to it. "Say you got about an hour and a half before we start opening the doors."

TALIESIN: Good enough.

MARISHA: One more question.

MATT: "Mm-hmm?"

MARISHA: One word. First word that pops into your head when you look at us.

MATT: "Lucky."

MARISHA: Lucky.

LAURA: That's a good word.

MARISHA: Just feels like we're getting further and further from a name.

SAM: I think you're right.

MARISHA: We're just getting steered in every direction.

LAURA: Lucky and trouble.

SAM: Lucky trouble.

ASHLEY: Lucky trouble.

SAM: Truckle.

MATT: "Anything else I can help y'all with?"

ASHLEY: Tucky.

TALIESIN: Nah, we'll-- We'll get out of your hair, let's just go.

LIAM: Tucky loubles.

MATT: "Well, good luck and if you ever curious about some of our special memberships, there are arrangeable pricing on certain seats."

ROBBIE: We'll be sure to keep that in mind. Thank you so much, you've been very helpful.

MATT: "I know I am. Well, good luck, hope you figure it out."

MARISHA: Toodle-oo!

LAURA: As we leave, I'm just going to go: Turns out you don't need to cast Detect Thoughts to understand what the fuck she's thinking.

ROBBIE: It was very thinly veiled innuendos.

LAURA: But if you do cast it, you get a far more detailed explanation.

SAM: Oh really?

TALIESIN: Were the membership tiers-- is that sort of thing available?

SAM: She's very sexually confident.

LAURA: Yes, she was. You know, that's admirable!

SAM: Yeah.

LAURA: Honestly.

ASHLEY: It's very healthy.

SAM: Absolutely!

TALIESIN: Bathroom, bathroom, anybody? Bathroom.

LAURA: I saw things I've never seen.

SAM and ASHLEY: Really?

LAURA: Really.

LIAM: What's one? One specific. (laughter)

LAURA: It was a general idea of a position, you know what I mean. Limbs in places-- I'll tell you later, Orym.

LIAM: Okay.

MATT: Gnomish compatibility gets real creative.

MARISHA: Limbs in places.

MATT: Yeah. You thought the acrobats were doing some leaps earlier. All right, where to first?

SAM: Are we sticking together? Are we splitting up? I feel like, well, we only have 90 minutes now.

LIAM: I'm going to check out the rafters.

SAM: I'll go near the box.

TALIESIN: Bathroom?

MARISHA: I'll check the upstairs restroom.

LAURA: All right.

TALIESIN: I'll check the other one.

LAURA: How many restrooms are there in this place?

MATT: There's two.

LAURA: All right. I guess I'll go with you to the box or I could check out the alley. Maybe get a better idea of the alley.

SAM: Didn't you have-- Okay, sure, yeah. Whatever you want.

TALIESIN: Actually, let's do both. You're-- I feel like a stiff wind will knock you over and it worries me.

MARISHA: Oh, thank you!

ROBBIE: Is there a pit, is there an orchestra pit?

MATT: There is an orchestra pit.

ROBBIE: I'll go down to the orchestra pit.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: ♪ Let the bodies hit the floor ♪ (laughter)

ASHLEY: I'll help him check with the different boxes.

SAM: Who's going to the bathrooms?

MARISHA: Me and Ashton.

MATT: So, all right. So you're going to which bathroom first?

TALIESIN: Upstairs first.

MATT: Okay. You head up to the restroom.

SAM: I will cast Enhance Ability on you for, let's see here, intelligence.

TALIESIN: So I get--

MATT: You have advantage on all intelligence checks.

TALIESIN: Advantage on all intelligence checks.

SAM: Including, I assume, investigation?

MATT: Investigation would be an intelligence check, yeah. All righty. You feel this sudden surge of energy within you and, for a moment, your already fairly clever mind is crisp and picking out details that you didn't initially see.

TALIESIN: Red Bull, all right.

MATT: Not entirely wrong. Are you heading to the top or bottom restroom first?

TALIESIN and MARISHA: Top first.

MATT: Okay, you head to the top restroom, which is off in the corner on the secondary floor. And like a lot of the restrooms here, you enter and there is a seating arrangement, but it is largely just a hole and a tube with a seat built around it. Effective and polished, and there are some flowers in here, but if you would like to inspect, you can make an investigation check with advantage.

LIAM: Poop with advantage.

TALIESIN: It's been a while, okay.

MARISHA: ♪ It's been a while ♪

LAURA: Uh-huh. Mm-hmm.

ROBBIE: I need to see it again.

TALIESIN: Oh that's-- yeah, thank god I had advantage, 10.

MATT: 10.

MARISHA: Ew, what? No.

MATT: Glancing through, it's a small roll-- It's a small chamber as well. Nothing catches your eye as out of the ordinary. It's fairly well-kept, this one, for a restroom, looks like this one's probably utilized by more of the upper crust patrons as the direct line from here is the upper boxes.

MARISHA: It's just a single chamber, like a single room?

MATT: Correct.

TALIESIN: Nowhere to hide.

MATT: No, it's four walls, a door, and the pot.

TALIESIN: No vent?

MARISHA: Vents? Yeah.

MATT: No vent above, which is unfortunate.

LAURA: Yeah, woof.

MARISHA: I look down the hole.

TALIESIN: What do you see?

MARISHA: What do I see?

MATT: What do you think you see?

MARISHA: Shit. (laughter) (laughter)

ASHLEY: A dagger from Ren Faire. (laughter, groans)

MARISHA: Deep cut!

MATT: Never forget, never forget.

MARISHA: I think I can get it.

LAURA: Lost forever.

MATT: Sorry, Laura.

LAURA: It's all good.

LIAM: Throwing the sword back to the Lady of the Lake. (laughter)

MARISHA: Nothing, nothing. Just a shit hole.

MATT: Yes!

MARISHA: All right.

SAM: Cool.

MARISHA and TALIESIN: Downstairs.

MATT: Downstairs, this one is not as well clean and well-kept. This is the general public area. This one does have a vent. It does have a-- It's two different slits in the wall that just open up to the outside. They're about an inch wide. The paint here is cracking a bit, but similar structure, similar general interior of the two, of the second room as the first.

TALIESIN: Oh, that's a little better. 13.

MATT: 13, climbing the ranks.

MARISHA: Oh, my investigation's shit.

TALIESIN: Okay.

MATT: It seems to have been recently repaired to a certain degree, but beyond that, it is a bathroom.

MARISHA: Recently repaired in which ways?

MATT: Meaning it looks like you can see there's fresher sealant on the bottom of where the seat hits the ground.

MARISHA: How fresh? Would I know?

MATT: Make an intelligence check.

MARISHA: Just straight intelligence.

MATT: Yeah.

MARISHA: Ooh, I should've been doing this the whole time. 20 total.

TALIESIN: Whoa.

MATT: Wow. It's maybe a couple of months old. Looking at around everything else around here, has a layer of age to it and groadiness but the sealed base around where it is, whatever substance was used to seal the hole to whatever the seat is there is a bit lighter than the rest and you can see it's a bit fresher.

MARISHA: I don't know.

TALIESIN: Going to tap the walls, see if anything sounds weird.

MARISHA: Going to check the vent.

MATT: Nothing catches your eye, nothing catches your ear.

TALIESIN: I'm going to look in the hole, it's my turn.

MARISHA: Yeah.

SAM: Of course.

MATT: You find what you expect.

ROBBIE: A tiny assassin.

MATT: No. (laughter)

ROBBIE: (gasps) I knew it!

MATT: This is the worst Ghoulies remake! (laughter)

LAURA: Ashton, Laudna, out! [Inaudible]

MATT: Yeah.

ASHLEY: Tiny assassin.

MATT: I mean, yeah, it is just a hole. Like most of the restrooms here, they are just holes that progress deep into the rock and vanish.

TALIESIN: Literally shit out of luck.

MATT: While you guys are doing that, who's going to the box?

SAM: I'm going to the box! You're coming?

ASHLEY: Yeah.

MATT: You've step back up to the box where you stayed. What are you looking for?

ASHLEY: Okay, so, I'm going to look in the curtains, I'm going to look under the chairs, I'm going to look just every possible place.

SAM: Yeah, I'm going to look for false panels in the wall or curtain poles that open secret doors. Or even if you tilt a chair back, it opens a secret door.

MATT: All righty.

ASHLEY: Up above even.

MATT: Totally. Make either a perception or investigation check, your choice.

SAM: I'll go for perception.

SAM: 23. (oohing)

ASHLEY: Perception or what?

LAURA: Investigation.

ASHLEY: Oh, okay, let's do this. 15.

MATT: 15, okay, very good. You do not pick up any sort of sliding doors or interesting panels. It seems like it's a fairly solidly built box. What you do pick up is where you sit and face outward, along the railing, it looks like there is scratches in the wood, in the interior. But you can see one of them sits between the set of four chairs that are normally arranged here. They had to bring more chairs up to get you guys situated for this box for your group size. Normally, you can see they've taken those away and it's just the four chairs that sit in this box normally. You can see between the two sets of two to each side, where the scratches are, you get close and one of them points outside.

SAM: One of the scratches points out?

MATT: It reads "outside."

SAM: Oh, it says outside, the word.

ROBBIE: Whoa.

SAM: In Common?

MATT: No, it'll be in Marquesian.

SAM: Marquesian. Outside.

ASHLEY: Wait, can either of us read that?

SAM: I can read Marquesian.

MATT: He can.

ASHLEY: Okay, great, what does that say?

SAM: It says, "outside."

ASHLEY: Okay. (laughter)

SAM: Wow, touch it, I guess?

MATT: I need you to make a-- No, I'm kidding. (laughter)

ASHLEY: I just trace it.

MATT: Yeah, it's gently carved into it and it's hard to make out unless you're really looking to see what it means. You know what it means, but you don't actually read the word, but it's just gently carved, but you can see where it is, it's very good handwriting. It's not a hack job like you see on a park bench or anything. It's a quick carving.

MARISHA: Booty call.

SAM: Someone left a message for someone else to receive, maybe? Okay, outside, so maybe--

ASHLEY: This could be where Emir and Eden-- maybe one of them left a message for the other.

SAM: So they went outside.

ASHLEY: So they went outside.

SAM: So from here, let's figure out how they would have gotten outside maybe not through the front door, maybe there's another way from here to get to the alley.

ASHLEY: Okay, so if I sit here.

SAM: Get into the headspace of Eden Callswell.

ASHLEY: I'm unhappy in my marriage.

SAM: She is an upper cruster, she's unhappy in her marriage. She's been trying to go on a diet and so it's making her really cranky all the time.

ASHLEY: It's not working because as you get older, your metabolism slows.

SAM: Yeah, she just has to accept that, but she's not. She wants to stay young longer and so she wants a little spice in her life.

ASHLEY: All right, I'm watching the show.

SAM: She sees the note from Emir.

ASHLEY: Someone's scribbled a note on the railing.

SAM: She was Marquesian, she can read that it's Emir telling her where to go.

ASHLEY: It say's outside. Okay, if I look to the outside, which way is the outside?

MATT: Well, there is off the balcony to the right, there's the entryway into the main theater, where most people walk in. From where you are, there is the spiral staircase that leads down. It does connect to the hallway that heads towards the back into where the backstage area was.

ASHLEY: Back, and to the left?

MATT and MARISHA: Back, and to the left.

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

ASHLEY: Let's go that way, that feels like it's discreet.

SAM: We're going to retrace those steps.

MATT: As you guys are making your way there.

ASHLEY: Come on, Emir, let's go have an affair. (laughter)

MATT: You are going where?

LAURA: To the alley.

MATT: To the alley. All right, from which direction are you coming in?

LAURA: I was going back through the door that we had gone through before and I was going to try to walk around the alley outside to see if I could find any grates or entrances into the lower level the sewers or anything.

MATT: Okay, and you're looking into the--

LIAM: You had described ladders and ropes going up into rafters, so I'm going to get a little bit of a running start and sort of start flea jumping my way higher.

MATT: Easy to do. Like in the time that they've been doing their searching and stuff and you all have looked though the box, you've begun heading to the alley. Actually, we'll get you in just a second. You begin to head up into the rafters and begin your process of searching around. What are you looking for?

LIAM: Can you give me a little bit of light up here?

LAURA: Oh, sure. It's not going to hang out very long if I'm not around it.

LIAM: Yeah, I just need a minute, I think. I'm going to look for-- Is there any kind of platforms or catwalks like there would be in some theaters?

MATT: There is. There is two different catwalks that go across the open stage above. You can see a number of ropes that are tied across them. You can see where the trapeze swings are currently held off to the side and latched to the edge with hooks and all manner of various slideable ropes and sandbags and the general theater arrangement.

LIAM: Okay, so I'm just going to, I'll scan the catwalks for anything odd. I don't think I'll find anything, but I still will. But I'll also look for any trap doors in the ceiling of the theater that lead up and out.

MATT: Good call, go ahead and make a perception check or investigation.

LIAM: That is 17.

MATT: 17. You glance about. You don't see anything that looks out of the ordinary, necessarily, that would pertain to the narrative that you're pursuing currently in this. You do see there is one wooden ladder that descends on the far end of the catwalk that goes up to a hatch.

LIAM: I'm definitely going to. I'm good! And then I jog over to it and start climbing.

MATT: Okay, you start climbing up. All right. It slams over with a little bit of a (ping) sound, and you shake for a second, but you can look up and you can see the stars of the sky above.

LIAM: (noise of exertion) I'm up on the roof.

MATT: You are on the roof.

LIAM: I'm just going to look at the streets, and get the lay of the land from up here, and watch for Imogen to appear, because I know where she's going. I'm just going to perch up here and keep an eye.

MATT: You got it. All right, and you are--

LAURA: Heading out to the alley.

MATT: Okay, so go to the door that exits into the alley, step out into the space. It's about 20 feet across from side to side with a little divot in the road where you're looking out, it heads to the right, and then you can see it curves out of sight in that direction, and then to the left, a little bit closer since you're not-- If you're looking to the theater from the front door onward, you're a little bit to the left-hand side from that perspective, and that curves maybe about 15 feet or so to your left around to the alleyway that way.

LAURA: Okay. I'm just going to-- It all seems very private.

MATT: It seems fairly private, I mean, it looks like there's just a square alley. From what you can see right now, you just have visual on one portion of it but it curves off and then flanks the two sides of the theater before connecting with the open road.

LAURA: Are there any areas that have stacked crates leaning up against the wall or any like that?

MATT: It's a small end, which way are you glancing?

LAURA: I'll look to the right first.

MATT: Okay, so you look to the right and walk down a little bit and look over. Make a perception check.

LAURA: 19.

MATT: 19. Glancing down that way and taking a few steps in that direction, you can see there are some small, long-rotted crates that have probably just been left to fall apart, splintered wood and bits of rusted iron. But other than that, nothing that would be sizeably barricade of any means.

LAURA: Are there any sewer grates on the ground or anything?

MATT: The sewage system here doesn't operate like some other standard cities since it all runs like a--

LAURA: Directly from the building?

MATT: Yeah, into the spire itself and not unlike a-- I hate describing it this way, a terrifying gutter system, it all runs through the spire and then is left out into the forest floor.

LAURA: What about if it rains? Where does the drainage happen there?

MATT: From what you can tell, it drains down the center of the city or I'm sorry, the center of the alley, and then drains out into the main road and at the very edge of the lips, you can see all the districts that are along the outside of the Spire are at a very faint angle. There are areas of the roads come to walls and there are sections where, yeah. When it rains heavily in this city, from a distance, there's just hundreds of tiny waterfalls pouring down the sides of each spire.

LAURA: That's really fucking cool.

SAM: Mixed with shit. (laughter)

MATT: Those are interior, but yeah.

LAURA: In that case, I will check the other direction. and look for--

MATT: You glance over there and you can see immediately as you come around the corner, the alley continues to the street but there is a secondary alley that offshoots and heads inward, like a slightly smaller alley that goes about 60, 80 feet back and then comes to a cul-de-sac end.

LAURA: Ooh. I'm going to send a message to Laudna. I found a dead end here in this alleyway. Could be something?

MARISHA: Sounds promising.

LAURA: I'll light up my orbs and walk down that direction.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: Ashton, let's get out of the shitter, head to the alley.

TALIESIN: Fuck yes.

MATT: What are you doing?

ROBBIE: Oh, I'm down in the orchestra pit, creeping, sneaking, looking for stuff. I've got my scimitar out and trying to see if I see anything.

MATT: Okay. Glancing around in the pit here, you can see there are a number of chairs that just pushed off to the sides. It's not a vast orchestra pit. It can comfortably fit maybe six people, and can uncomfortably fit 10, depending on how much they're being paid and how much they need the money. But there is an initial glance, no sort of trapdoor, hidden exit that goes under the stage. You remember when you sat down for the performance, the performers actually entered from another space and then stepped into the pit and then sat down there. So they didn't emerge from underneath the stage or anything. You're glancing around, getting a few-- If you want to make an investigation or perception check to look for any specific details.

ROBBIE: Yeah, let's do that. Let's creep around. Are there still instruments and stuff around, or is it pretty cleared out?

MATT: No, the instruments were taken by the musicians, yeah.

ROBBIE: Man, poopoo. Eight.

MATT: Eight. You give it a pretty thorough sweep, and you hear this heavy sound, this (crashing) up above and you glance up and you can see up in the rafters, just past where the curtain is. You can just see the shape of Orym stopping for a second before climbing up onto the roof and vanishing from sight.

ROBBIE: I'm going to look around, pretty confident I didn't see anything, and I'm going to hoist myself up onto the stage and I think I'll make my way up to Orym.

MATT: ♪ Makin' your way up ♪ All right, you head over, find the ladder quickly, and begin climbing up into the rafter and following suit from that point. All right, so you head down the alleyway. With lights out?

LAURA: Mm-hmm.

MATT: You're walking, and as you're approaching, you see this refuse and piles of rubble and building materials that have just been left there. Some look fresher than others. The alley in front of you is immaculate. Everything looks very messy in this space here. Just initial glances, as you begin to enter it, it looks very clean.

LAURA: I'm going to stop where I am and just open up my mind and see if I can feel anybody around me, hear any thoughts close by.

MATT: Okay. Are you using the Open Mind ability, as opposed to the spell?

LAURA: Yes, I am.

MATT: Okay. Let me see here, this would be.

MATT: Imogen's over there, I can see her doing her thing.

ROBBIE: Oh yeah, it's so cool from up here.

MATT: You do sense a presence. A mind, though-- From where you stand, you're not certain where it is, there's just something. You're not picking up anything specific. It's like it's just static, almost. You're not certain how to even interpret it.

LAURA: I've never sensed anything like that before?

MATT: No, you know.

LAURA: I'm going to stop. I'm not going to go down this way without Laudna.

MATT: Okay. Laudna? Where are you and--?

TALIESIN: We're heading in that direction.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: As are we.

MATT: Right around this time, you both step out into the alley. You can see now, the faint pink glow to the left, where Imogen has stepped off to the side alley and right about that time, Ashton and Laudna catch up to you.

MARISHA: Oh! Impeccably clean alley.

LAURA: There's something weird.

TALIESIN: Who keeps an alley this clean?

MARISHA: Especially since the janitor's been gone for weeks now.

SAM: It's very romantic. Maybe?

ASHLEY: Yeah, maybe, maybe.

SAM: I mean, what's Eden thinking right now?

ASHLEY: Oh, Emir, my husband is just such a bore and I need some sex.

SAM: It's all about the sex with her?

ASHLEY: I don't know.

MARISHA: You should get into acting, oh my goodness.

ASHLEY: Oh, really?

MARISHA: It was so well done! I'm so convinced.

ASHLEY: Well, thank you, I've been really trying to get in the mindset. Okay.

SAM: I mean, you are a Caldwell, right? So you want--

ASHLEY: I am a Caldwell. Okay, let's look at this clean alleyway.

SAM: All right.

MARISHA: Oh, what's going on, Imogen? What did you find?

LAURA: I don't know, I mean, obviously seeing the same thing you guys are, but I can hear something, it's just-- I don't know what it is. It doesn't seem normal.

SAM: You can hear something?

LAURA: You know, like, thoughts. Yeah, can't you do it, too?

SAM: I can. Do you need help doing it?

LAURA: No, I mean, you can. See what you feel, maybe you can make it out.

SAM: All right, I will cast Detect Thoughts.

ASHLEY: So, we're in a-- It's like a dead end?

LAURA: It's a dead ended alley, like a cul-de-sac.

SAM: I'm going to cast Detect Thoughts and see if I can hear or sense anything more than she can.

MATT: Just some odd static, not unlike you. You don't know if it's from a creature. There's just a presence that's odd.

SAM: We've got to find the source.

TALIESIN: All right, let's do this.

ASHLEY: What do we see in front of us?

LAURA: Where's Orym, where's Dorian?

MATT: At which point, you guys have met up now on the roof.

LIAM: We're at the lip, looking down, watching the performance from above.

ROBBIE: What do you think they're talking about?

LIAM: Definitely cracking the case.

ROBBIE: Oh, do you think they've got it figured out?

LIAM: They're probably close.

ROBBIE: Yeah, probably.

LAURA: I look up.

LIAM: I'm going to give a quick look in every direction for any creepy creepers or strangers.

MATT: Make a perception check.

LIAM: Before coming down. Dang, 16.

MATT: 16. Nothing catches your eye.

LIAM: Okay, I mean, I could probably hop my way down. Is it easy for you to get us there?

ROBBIE: I mean, I suppose, yeah. Would you rather hop, or we could-- Once a day, I can.

LIAM: Oh, no, save it.

ROBBIE: Okay, yeah, just in case something happens, How high up are we?

MATT: It's almost two and a half stories up from the roof here for the full height of the theater. It's a two-story building, but some of the stories are extended just to house the interior of the theater itself. So you're looking at about 25, 30 feet to the floor.

ROBBIE: I think you could make it, I would probably twist an ankle.

LIAM: I'll go with you. We'll be down in a minute. Don't go anywhere.

MATT: What you see in this alley before you, it's about 70, 80 feet, it just comes to an end. You can see there's the stone building walls and there's the cul-de-sac end where the drain comes to an end with a little divot in the alley. But it's clean, that's it.

LAURA: There's nothing, really?

SAM: There might be some secret hidies.

LAURA: Yeah, let's look around for secret hidies. Hollow areas in the walls or the ground.

SAM: False stones.

ASHLEY: Touch the walls.

MARISHA: I'm going to go to the very end of it.

MATT: You're going to go to the very end?

MARISHA: Yes.

MATT: Okay. You going to roll an investigation check?

LAURA: Is it like a warmer-colder sort of thing? Does the static get louder if I go to a certain area?

MATT: Get to that in just a second.

MARISHA: Roll better than I did.

TALIESIN: I did, I rolled a 16.

MARISHA: I rolled a six.

MATT: Okay. So you both head to the edge. The both of you are inspecting the sides.

SAM: I'm just stepping back and scanning the area to see if I see anything with the wrong color or shading.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: If there's something weird in the gutter.

MATT: Okay. As you all move forward, Imogen, you step in with your mind still open, the static gets a little louder as you begin to step deeper in the alley, and flex your eyes for a second and glance up as you see Ashton and Imogen both inspecting the far back wall. As they're inspecting it, you see the striations of the stone on the wall back split. (gasping) Where an eye appears in the space. Another section opens up slightly where you can see jagged points with tendrils. And that's where we're go to break. (groaning)

SAM: Eyes and tendrils! Eyes and tendrils!

LAURA: It's just a fucking wall that's been sucking people in. (laughter and groaning)

LIAM: It's a mimic wall!

MARISHA: It's the sequence in the Death Bed that eats people.

MATT: It is the death wall. The wall that eats people.

LAURA: That's awesome!

LIAM: Wow!

MATT: So we'll come back and pick up there in just a minute. We'll see you in a few minutes. (groaning and laughter)

Break[]

LAURA: Hey Critters! Laura Bailey here to guide you through what's new in the Critical Role shop. Glorious! Oooh! Look at this! Look at the details! Oooh! Can you put donuts in this? Only one way to find out! These holidays you know, they're just around the corner! You need this? You probably need this. I mean The Traveler always says impulse purchases are a good decision. The cuteness! It's overpowering. It's so cute. I can't handle it. And hey, if you want you can head on over to the Critical Role shop right now.

(whimsical music)

(typewriter clicking)

(whimsical music)

(swelling piano music)

ANNOUNCER: We now go live to a special address from the President.

ASHLEY: Hey dweebs. Now as your president, I've been kinda killing it lately. I gave global warming an atomic wedgie. I balanced the budget by selling my Pog collection, and I saved the Queen of England from that octopus! But my kick-assery is far from done. According to this chart that I made, an estimated 35% of you are still a bunch of nasty goobers, but don't worry, I have a plan. Operation: Gag Me With A Spoon. It's easy sleazy. According to this study that I wrote, if every citizen subscribed to Critical Role on Twitch, we could reduce maximum goobage by a metric buttload. Twitch is the only place where you'll get a live and moderated chat and when you subscribe to Critical Role, you instantly get access to all their shows as soon as the live broadcast ends. So while you're oogling those Critical Role dorks with their sick goof-em-ups and their nerdy voices, think of me, Gale, the current president of whatever. Now I gotta go make a fresh batch of spitballs, but I guess I have some time for your boring questions. You.

Reporter: Gale, is it true that if you subscribe to Critical Role through Prime Gaming, you have to resubscribe every month?

ASHLEY: Uh, yeah. I do it right after my monthly prank call to Pee-an O'Brien. Next question.

Reporter: Does Critical Role have exclusive emotes for their subscribers?

ASHLEY: Uh, doy. Of course they do. I like the hello bees one, 'cause bees are cool. I replaced my whole security detail with a bunch of bees that think I'm their queen. Last question.

Reporter: Yeah, with all due respect, is Operation: Gag Me With a Spoon a real policy, or are you mad goofin'?

ASHLEY: Am I mad goofin'? What, do you see me scarfing Milk Duds while doodling ding-dongs in the SkyMall catalog? Listen, I know I'm new to this. And I admit that when I made the wish to be the boss of everything, I did not know the witch that works at Woolworth's was listening. Well, Faustian bargain or not, I am the president and I have an obligation to lead this country. So to answer your question, no, I am not mad goofin'. Security, take him out. (bees buzzing) (Gale laughing) Later, chudruckers!

Part II[]

MATT: And welcome back. So. Jumping into this scenario.

SAM: Yeah.

MATT: Let me go ahead and get the battle map ready. (cheering)

SAM: ♪ It's been so long since we had a battle map ♪

ROBBIE: He announced it, so I know it's going to be good.

SAM: Quip, guys!

ROBBIE: Oh my goodness gracious.

SAM: They sent stuff. This maybe is what they want me to show.

ASHLEY: The packaging is, you know, great.

SAM: They got this!

LAURA: That's cool!

MATT: So we have--

SAM: Whoa, wait, oh, there's the alley.

LIAM: Got to use-- Yeah.

MARISHA: It's a roper?

MATT: It is. Laudna and Ashton right there.

ROBBIE: Oh no!

LAURA: I can't see.

SAM: Yeah, got to look on the screen.

MATT: Shift this a bit out of the way so you can look on the screen, if you want to. Does that help?

LAURA: Yeah. Yeah!

MATT: There you go.

LIAM and LAURA: No. (laughs)

LIAM: It's fine. We're good.

LAURA: We can just-- We got it. It's fine.

LIAM: Leave it for the people to see.

SAM: Don't destroy your amazing creation.

LAURA: Yeah, it's too pretty.

ROBBIE: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

LIAM: Great, perfect, that's good.

MATT: There you go.

ASHLEY: Look over here. Yeah.

TALIESIN: So glad we painted--

SAM: Theater of the mind.

MATT: And then we have--

LAURA: Ooh!

MATT: -- Fearne checking the walls on this side.

ASHLEY: Lickin' the walls, as ush'.

MATT: Laudna, you were back here a bit.

MARISHA: Yes, I am back there.

MATT: Sorry, Laudna, you're there, Imogen's right there. Fresh Cut Grass.

SAM: I said I had stepped back to see colors and stuff, so I'm probably at the-- Yeah, right at the threshold to the--

MATT: Threshold, and just joining at the back of the threshold would be Orym.

SAM: Mm-hmm.

MATT: And Dorian, right there. So. Because this creature was unseen in its direction and the attack was sudden, it does get a surprise round.

LIAM: Surprise, motherfucker.

MARISHA: Fuck.

MATT: In which case, it is going to attack twice with its pseudopods. One against you. That is a natural one.

ROBBIE: Whoa!

MATT: You like, it swings out toward--

TALIESIN: The fuck?!

MATT: You glance up and just now notice right above you the wall itself is shifting and quivering and you can see the mouth is opening. I got it right this time.

MARISHA: Quiver and shit?

MATT: Yep. And that is going to be an 18 against you, Laudna.

MARISHA: Yep, yeah. Oh, wait, 19?

MATT: Yeah.

MARISHA: No.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: Because AC meets, right?

MATT: Yeah.

MARISHA: No. I'll take it.

MATT: Well, the pseudopod whips out and slams into you like a hammer, and you're like, bah! But you're adhered to it.

LIAM: Oh, shit.

SAM: Sticky fingers.

MATT: You take 11 points of piercing damage.

MARISHA: Yikes.

MATT: Sorry, sorry, no. This is the wrong one, I'm sorry, that's my bad. You take 11 points of bludgeoning damage.

SAM: Ouch.

MARISHA: Okay.

LAURA: Completely different for you, Laudna.

MATT: You are grappled.

MARISHA: Yeah. Yeah.

MATT: As you are currently held by it.

MARISHA: Do you think walls feel fear? Probably not.

SAM: Well, they do get nails nailed into their--

ASHLEY: They may be scared of earthquakes and stuff.

LAURA: Yeah, that's true.

MARISHA: Afraid of earthquakes, yeah.

MATT: And it is going to hit-- It missed you with a pseudopod. It's going to try and bite you. That is going to be a 24 to hit.

TALIESIN: Yeah, that hits.

MATT: Yeah. You take-- Ooh. 14 points of bludgeoning damage.

TALIESIN: Fuck off.

LAURA: 14?

MATT: Plus (sharp inhale) 11 points of acid damage.

LAURA: Whoa!

ROBBIE: What is happening?!

MATT: As the mouth chomps into you and you feel your shoulder and your neck--

TALIESIN: That's 25 points of damage.

MATT: -- get completely consumed. You try and pull yourself out, and as you pull your arm out, you can feel the teeth breaking away, and you watch as the teeth shatter and then more form behind it from where it was. As you pull away, you're like, "That kind of hurt." Then the saliva from the creature is now burning into your--

TALIESIN: Kind of hurt my ass, that really hurt, so.

MATT: Now I'd like everyone to roll initiative.

LAURA: (shouts)

SAM: Are they within 30 feet of me?

MATT: They are, but you do not have a reaction because this was a surprise round.

SAM: Damn.

MARISHA: We have no reactions, that's what I was about to ask.

MATT: And when Laudna took her bludgeoning damage, there was no acid from the whippies?

MATT: Correct.

ROBBIE: Okay, just the mouth.

MATT: Just the mouth.

TALIESIN: All right.

MATT: Now everyone, please roll initiative for me, please.

MARISHA: Come on!

ROBBIE: Let's do the big one this time.

ROBBIE: Ah, doody poo-poos.

ASHLEY: "Doody poo-poos."

MATT: 25 to 20.

TALIESIN: 23.

LIAM: 22.

LAURA: 21.

ASHLEY: 20.

MATT: What is--

LIAM: Bing, bing, bing.

ASHLEY: Dink, dink, dink.

TALIESIN: Ashton, then--

LAURA: Oh, the order that we're in!

MATT: That's awesome.

ASHLEY: That's pretty cool.

ROBBIE: Oh, the wall?

MATT: Fearne.

TALIESIN: Wow, that really hurt. (laughs) I think that, yeah, that would've-- yeah. That was a lot of damage.

MATT: All righty.

LAURA: Gotcha.

MATT: 20 to 15,

TALIESIN: Nobody?

MATT: 15 to 10.

MARISHA: Nine.

SAM: Nine.

ROBBIE: 13.

MATT: 13, okay. What's your dexterity, by the way?

ROBBIE: 16.

MATT: Okay, there we go.

SAM: What's your dex?

MARISHA: 14.

SAM: Then you go.

MARISHA: Okay.

SAM: So it's the order over here.

MATT: That's kind of trippy.

LIAM: Does it? Wow. (like Owen Wilson) Wow.

MATT: All right.

ALL: (like Owen Wilson) Wow.

MATT: You now see the semblance of the wall at the end of a hallway is shifting away and bending, and there is actually more alley behind it. This creature had positioned itself near the edge and had prematurely become the end of the alleyway. You see edges of the wall are starting to curve away and peel as it begins to--

LAURA: Oh no!

MATT: -- slither, you see, it's actually able to shift slowly in your direction, but the top of the round goes to Ashton, with Orym on deck. What are you doing?

TALIESIN: I am raging.

MARISHA: Help.

TALIESIN: That is not going to be a very helpful rage.

MATT: You're on the gravity train?

TALIESIN: Orbital Decay, which is not really useful here.

MATT: Not in this circumstance.

TALIESIN: That's okay. And I am going to-- I assume that there's a tongue between, or a thing between Laudna and the mouth that's just connecting right now, like a--

MATT: Like a pseudopod that's lashed onto her and pulls her close, but she's now right next to it. Like, they're adjacent.

TALIESIN: Oh, so-- Well, where am I on the overview? I'm so sorry.

MATT: You are right there.

TALIESIN: Yeah, okay. So we've got--

MATT: You're about 10 feet from Laudna.

TALIESIN: Okay. I am going to try and go over and smash that tongue. I'm going to walk over and give it a good whack and see what happens.

MATT: Okay, so are you just doing damage to the creature, or are you trying to free her from grapple?

TALIESIN: Trying to free her.

MATT: Gotcha. Okay, go ahead and make an attack with disadvantage.

TALIESIN: Okay. Let's see what happens. Nope. That was a natural one.

MARISHA: Oh.

MATT: Yeah, that's a miss.

TALIESIN: So I'm going to back up.

MATT: You actually and go and swing and you hit it, and it gets stuck to it. And you're trying to pull it away, and you have to put a foot up to try and pry it away, and you pull it away, but now your foot's stuck, and you look over at Laudna, and eventually manage to tear your foot free, but your turn is wasted.

TALIESIN: I'm going to back up a bit, then.

MATT: Going to back up a bit?

TALIESIN: Yeah.

MATT: How far back?

TALIESIN: Like 10 feet, I guess, in the corner.

MATT: Okay. It's going to take its reaction--

LIAM: Ugh.

MATT: -- to hit you--

TALIESIN: Sure.

MATT: -- with a pseudopod. That's going to be a 12 to hit.

TALIESIN: Nope.

MATT: It whips out towards you and you duck just out of the way as it hits the wall, and you can see where it hits, some of the stonework next to you cracks and the stones that it impact pulled away and now the part of its tendril's covered in broken stone and brick. All right, is that your turn?

TALIESIN: That's my turn.

MATT: All right, Orym, you're up, with Imogen on deck. Orym, you are back here.

LIAM: Having a little trouble seeing the battlefield, but I think if I run on a--

MATT: I can pull this away.

LIAM: -- on a diagonal. That doesn't help. If I run on a diagonal towards Fearne, can I get within about 20 feet of it?

MATT: Diagonal of Fearne?

LIAM: If I can just get to her left. To your right.

MATT: 20, you can get there.

LIAM: Is that within 20 feet of monster?

MATT: That is within 20 feet.

LIAM: Okay, so I run, I grab a dagger out from the back of my boot and run, get in front of Fearne. Does it have eyes, or is it all mouth?

MATT: It has one central eye right now that you can see that's peering out somewhat, and then it vanishes, but it's mostly this massive mouth now that's just (growl).

LIAM: So I shout: Hey! And I chuck the dagger and aim for the eye, and I'm going to make a goading attack.

MATT: All righty.

LIAM: That hits, that's a 23 to hit.

MATT: That definitely hits.

LIAM: So damage first. It's just eight-- Oh, no, eight damage plus the superiority die. 10, and it has to make a wisdom save.

MATT: All right, so how much damage was that?

LIAM: Eight. 10, 10, 10.

MATT: 10 damage to it. And a wisdom save. That is a 12.

LIAM: So it fails. Any attack on anybody except for me is at disadvantage.

MATT: You got it. Sounds good. Awesome. That finishes your turn, Orym?

LIAM: That's it.

MATT: All right, that brings us to Imogen, with Fearne on deck.

LAURA: Can I build off of what Orym just did? As I see him fling the dagger at the eye, I'm going to, at the same time, try to cast Blindness on the eye.

MATT: Okay. Yeah, yeah.

LIAM: Bad day, that wall.

MATT: All right. That and it's a--

LAURA: 14 save. Con save.

MATT: Con save? 14 exactly. (groaning)

MATT: Sorry. Good call, though, on that one.

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: So you try and you watch, as you're about to release the spell towards an eye, and you watch as the eye, the attack that Orym completes impacts it, and you see the eye close up, the spell doesn't impact, and a secondary eye opens up further up the wall and vanishes again into the weird, shifting, flesh-like stonework. Are you going to stay put, or would you like to move?

LAURA: I'm going to back up a bit, yeah.

MATT: How far back?

LAURA: Just behind FCG?

MATT: You got it. All right. Finishing up. Fearne, you're on deck, with Dor-- Oh, sorry. Fearne, you're up, with Dorian on deck.

ASHLEY: Okay. So I'm going to put my hand up and shoot Scorching Rays.

MATT: Okay.

ASHLEY: At this thing, at this wall. It's three shots.

MATT: Three attacks, yeah.

LAURA: I'm going to use my--

ASHLEY: First one does not hit.

LAURA: My bonus action to convert some sorcery points into a spell.

MATT: You got it. What'd you roll for the first attack?

ASHLEY: 10.

MATT: 10 misses, unfortunately.

ASHLEY: That would be 20.

MATT: That does hit. Roll for a third one.

ASHLEY: Natural one.

MATT: Oh!

ASHLEY: So one hits.

MATT: But when does hit, so that's 2d6. You can go ahead and roll for that. 2d6 fire damage against it.

ASHLEY: Ooh! Okay. Is that plus anything? No? Eight points of damage.

MATT: Eight points of fire damage to it. So you lob one and it just scatters off the side of the wall, second one, you throw (whooshes) the mouth, (growling). Third one, you try and throw, but as you release, you release it too late and just hits the ground in front of you.

ASHLEY: (groans) (laughter)

MATT: All right, as it hits, Mister's on your shoulder and just goes (screeching).

ASHLEY: I know!

MATT: (screeches)

ASHLEY: I'll get you in the game, just a second.

MATT: All right, that finishes your turn. You want to move or stay put?

ASHLEY: Yeah, I'm going to back up a little bit.

MATT: How far are you going to back up?

ASHLEY: Just back up around that corner.

MATT: Around there?

ASHLEY: Yeah.

MATT: You got it. Okay. That brings us to Dorian's go.

ROBBIE: Cool. I can't see around the corner. How far is Laudna from the creature? She's grappled, right?

MATT: Laudna is right up against it.

ROBBIE: (groans)

MARISHA: Help.

TALIESIN: Help.

LIAM: Halp.

MARISHA: Help. Halp.

ROBBIE: Man, that's tough.

MATT: Right up on the-- Want to give you a-- I know this is a-- The camera placement I thought it would be more helpful.

LIAM: No, it's gorgeous. Leave it.

TALIESIN: No, we actually love it.

LIAM: Could we get overhead?

TALIESIN: Hey!

ROBBIE: Hey, there we go.

ALL: Enhance! (laughter)

ROBBIE: Is there any point that I could aim at around the creature that's within a 10-foot sphere that wouldn't also hit Laudna?

MATT: Unfortunately, no.

ROBBIE: No, the alley's that tight?

MATT: It's a pretty tight alley, yeah.

ROBBIE: Okay. Oh, man.

MATT: I mean, you could hit right next to it here in a 10-foot sphere that explodes outward and maybe dodge, but then you have to go in a far back corner to do that.

ROBBIE: Yeah. Okay.

MATT: Which is doable.

ROBBIE: Ooh, I'm going to run right in. How far am I from the creature?

MATT: You are about 35 feet from it.

ROBBIE: 35 feet. Oh no. (laughter) I can't do a lot! (laughter) All right. I will run over. I'll go to Fresh Cut Grass, actually.

SAM: Hi! Smiley day to you.

ROBBIE: Hi, smiley day to you, too. I've got a feeling we're going to be doing a lot of healing and I'm going to give them Bardic Inspiration.

SAM: Who, to me?

ROBBIE: As a bonus action first to you.

SAM: Oh!

ROBBIE: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

SAM: Why, thank you!

ROBBIE: And then I am going to-- I'm going to run up behind Orym. Is that who's-- It's so hard.

MATT: Yep, Orym's right there.

ROBBIE: Run up behind Orym and then I'll hold my action, I think.

MATT: What are you holding?

SAM: H-h-h-Orym.

ROBBIE: I know.

MARISHA: Whorym? (laughter)

MATT: Slip of the tongue. Or is that Whorym's thing? (laughter)

LIAM: Where's that gnome?

ROBBIE: I guess an attack, I guess.

MATT: All right, so you're holding an attack for when something comes into reach?

ROBBIE: Yes, I think so. Yeah, like a defensive position and--

MATT and ROBBIE: Okay.

MATT: You got it. All right, that finishes your turn. It is now the creature's turn.

TALIESIN: Goddamn it.

MATT: (slimey slithering) And it slithers upward into the space holding Laudna there as the wall moves forward.

SAM: Travis is ruining the game.

MARISHA: I know.

MATT: Oh no. Stop it, Travis. (laughter) Its pseudopods pull back into its body. The mouth closed. You hear (gurgling).

SAM: Uh-oh.

LAURA: Oh no.

MATT: You watch near the mouth begins to swell.

MATT: (gurgling)

LAURA: (gasps)

MATT: (hocks ball of spit) The mouth opens and sets forward this large globule of greenish clear liquid that explodes a little ways in front of it just past you. I need Orym, Dorian, and Ashton to make a dexterity saving throw.

TALIESIN: I have advantage on dexterity.

LIAM: Let's go, Keyleth die. Nope.

ROBBIE: Aw, fucking poop.

MARISHA: No, I've got to be in it, right? Am I in it, or no?

MATT: No, it is right over there.

SAM: This is a short radius.

LAURA: Wow, it's like an aimed globule.

MARISHA: Okay. Bleh.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: Cool.

TALIESIN: 17.

MATT: 17. You take 14 points of acid damage.

TALIESIN: What the living fuck?! Okay.

LIAM: Nine.

MATT: You take 20-- sorry. 28 points of acid damage.

TALIESIN: Oh my fucking god.

ROBBIE: Six.

MATT: Six, you take 28 points of acid damage.

ROBBIE: What the--

SAM: I'll take seven points of Ashton's damage.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: Right?

MATT: Mm-hmm.

SAM: I will absorb, I will absorb, (screams) Seven points.

LAURA: Oh my gosh!

TALIESIN: Gets anybody, oh my god. Well, I mean, that might--

ROBBIE: Ay ay ay.

TALIESIN: Okay.

MATT: And keeps shifting forward, its tendrils now emerging from the front and its biting mouth. (chomping) That finishes its turn.

LAURA: Does it have a mind? If I can do psychic damage to it.

TALIESIN: Fuck a duck.

MATT: Laudna, you're up, with Fresh Cut Grass on deck.

MARISHA: I'm up.

SAM: Who's got a better AC?

MARISHA: Wow, all right. I don't quite know what's going on. Fuh-huck me. I'll-- I'll-- Bonus action, Form of Dread.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: To primarily get the temporary hit points here. Cool, cool, cool, cool, cool. Shit, shit roll. Okay.

MATT: Form of Dread kind of comes out.

MARISHA: (groans)

MATT: (laughs)

MARISHA: So trapped.

MATT: Form of Discomfort.

MARISHA: Form of Discomfort.

MATT: (laughs)

TALIESIN: Holy shit, this thing has done a lot of damage.

LAURA: We haven't done anything to it.

TALIESIN: Nope!

LIAM: Yeah. Am I attracted to this? No. Am I?

MARISHA: Don't know what to do here.

LAURA: Do I want to fuck this wall?

LIAM: No, do I? No.

TALIESIN: That's, oh wow.

MATT: What you got, Laudna?

MARISHA: I will-- Am I near its mouth?

MATT: Its various portions of its form shift around. Right now, not necessarily, but you can hope to.

MARISHA: All right. I guess I'll just Eldritch Blast it and see what happens.

MATT: Okay, you have disadvantage on the strikes because you are grappled.

LAURA: Come on, Laudna!

MARISHA: I rolled two on my disadvantage die, so probably not.

MATT: You go ahead and release the blast, and as you do, it's shifting forward, and tugs you with its adhesive tendrils dragging you behind it, and in doing so, the blast goes wide and hits near a window up above, which the shutters close at the impact.

MARISHA: Right. All right. Help?

MATT: Finishing Laudna's turn, Fresh Cut Grass, you're up, with Ashton on deck.

SAM: To swap out my hand and attach my bolt thrower, is that an action to do that?

MATT: It would be an action to do that, yeah.

SAM: Okay.

MATT: It's not advanced.

SAM: I will spend my action to do that. (squeaks)

MATT: Okay.

SAM: (squeaks) (bolt loading)

MATT: All righty.

SAM: Ready to throw some bolts next time. Then as a bonus action, I know y'all are both low, but to prevent any further damage, I think I'm going to cast Shield of-- Not Shield of Faith, but Shield of Help on Ashton, granting them a plus two to AC.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: That's good.

TALIESIN: Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

MATT: All right. So plus two to AC, and you are currently concentrating on that shield.

SAM: And at the end of the turn, I take seven points of damage.

MATT: Yes, you do.

LIAM: Marisha.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: (pained shout)

TALIESIN: Single digit or double digit? Okay.

MARISHA: Double digit.

LAURA: Did it go before Dorian or after Dorian?

SAM: After.

MATT: It went just after Dorian.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: All right. Do you want to stay put, or do you want to move?

SAM: Oh. Boy, I think I'll tuck around. Well, ooh boy. I want to stay within 30 feet of everybody. So. Laudna's 30 feet from me now?

MATT: Laudna is about 30 feet from you, yeah.

SAM: And if I tucked around that corner, would I still be within 30 feet of folks?

MATT: I mean, probably around that corner just slightly, but you would not have eyes on Laudna.

SAM: I will half-cover. Can I half-cover around the corner or not really?

MATT: I think you can do that. I think you could do that.

SAM: All right.

MATT: So shift around to that space there?

SAM: Yeah.

MATT: Okay. Got it. Finishing your go. Ashton, you're up. Orym, you're on deck.

TALIESIN: Oh, fuck. I'm going to run in and try and get you loose again.

MARISHA: Okay.

TALIESIN: So I'm taking another swing. I think I might make it a reckless attack, so I don't have disadvantage anymore.

MATT: You can do that, yeah, I'll allow it.

MARISHA: Come on.

ROBBIE: Come on.

TALIESIN: Because I don't remember my numbers anymore. 17?

MATT: 17 does hit.

TALIESIN: Thank god.

MATT: It is a wall. (laughter)

TALIESIN: You say that.

LAURA: Well, we haven't hit it yet.

TALIESIN: But I haven't hit it yet.

MATT: You guys are rolling pretty shitty, I don't know what to tell you.

TALIESIN: I'm going to-- Fuck it, I'm just going to pump a Chaos Burst into this in a desperate attempt to get it to work. So let's do some psychic damage and see how that goes.

MATT: All righty

TALIESIN: So let's--

MATT: Since it did not move into melee with you, you can still throw, if you don't want to waste your action. Your call.

ROBBIE: Would it help the cause of--

TALIESIN: I don't know what wouldn't, at this point.

ROBBIE: Yeah, let's do it, yeah.

MATT: Okay, so we'll run his attack and then we'll get you.

TALIESIN: Fuck! That's 10 points of bludgeoning damage.

MATT: All righty.

SAM: Tripled.

TALIESIN: I wish. Six points of psychic damage.

MATT: Okay, 16 points to it, you got it.

TALIESIN: I still have a little bit of movement, I think, or-- What would I have needed to--

MATT: You do have movement.

TALIESIN: Can I grab Laudna and start booking the other direction?

MATT: So as you go ahead and slam your hammer down onto the pseudopod that's currently holding her, you would have to move around here to do so, since she is, as you backed up, the creature moved forward and is between, so you had to move around 15 feet to get to her, slam and destroy it, and I'll say like with that much damage, I would say it's just enough to destroy the pseudopod, which means you are not currently grappled.

MARISHA: (gasps)

MATT: It does take lesser damage because you were focused on setting her free than doing maximum damage to it.

TALIESIN: I rolled terribly, anyway.

MATT: You do have, what's your speed?

TALIESIN: 30.

MATT: 30, you have 15 more feet of movement, and it's I would say half movement to drag her away, so you could move her five feet at most. Your call.

TALIESIN: I'll fucking take it.

MATT: All right.

TALIESIN: Anything we can goddamn do.

MATT: You pull back to there, and--

MARISHA: My hero.

TALIESIN: Working on it.

MATT: No longer grappled, Laudna. You are now--

LIAM: It's the only way I can tell what's going on.

LAURA: Yeah, look it up.

LIAM: All right.

SAM: Hey, in a way, everybody, we all have metaphorical walls that we put up.

MATT: If you'd like me to remove things now, we've had them there visually, now, but--

LIAM: Nope!

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: If it was possible to shift her behind me, I would take that, too, but--

MATT: Unfortunately, no.

SAM: As a growth exercise!

MATT: Not enough movement for that.

TALIESIN: All right.

MATT: Yeah, this was meant to establish the visuals, but anything you want me to remove away for it. L

LIAM: You would have to take like boom, boom, boom for--

MATT: Yeah, I can do that.

LIAM: -- us to see around the side. But it looks pretty.

TALIESIN: It looks so pretty.

LIAM: For the audience at home, it looks great.

TALIESIN: This is fine, this is fine. This is fine. This and the upstairs.

MARISHA: We got it, we got it, it's good.

MATT: Okay, well, that finishes Ashton's go, Orym, you're up, with Imogen on deck.

LIAM: Orym is totally burning--

SAM: Why is Matt so bad at--

LIAM: -- with acid everywhere.

MATT: It's a lot easier when we're all at the same table and over it.

LIAM: Plants his hand on the wall and just goes (groaning), and I'm going to use-- (laughter) He poops, he poops. He nerve poops.

MATT: The alley's so clean, though!

LIAM: Second Wind as a bonus action.

MATT: You got it.

LAURA: He toots.

LIAM: 11.

MATT: Good.

TALIESIN: Oh, thank god.

LIAM: Well, hmm. And I shout out: Little help here! And I'm going to step directly in front of this thing and just start attacking it. So.

MARISHA: All right.

LIAM: That's a natural one, which I will reroll. I miss, but I'm going to action surge and go again.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: That hits, that's a 19 plus stuff. This is a goading attack. Again. So that is-- Sorry, everybody. Come on, six plus, low roll, six plus, okay. 12 damage and it has to make a wisdom save again.

MATT: Nice, all right. 12 damage, wisdom save. 15?

LIAM: I think you just matched it. Yeah.

MATT: Then it succeeds.

LIAM: Yeah, succeeds.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: And that's it. And I'm just standing right in front of it.

SAM: Oh god.

MATT: As you smash it and look up, shield in front, you just see the mass of it shadowing you as it-- (growls) Begins progressively shifting forward and threatening to push all of you forward with it. All right.

LIAM: That's all right.

MATT: Finishing Orym's go. Imogen, you're up, with Fearne on deck.

LAURA: I'm going to look towards Laudna and see how fucked up she is and my eyes are just going to flash white and I'm going to flare up my hands and hit it with a Witch Bolt.

MATT: Okay. Level one, level two?

LAURA: Level two.

MATT: Level two, go ahead and roll to attack.

LIAM: Witch Bolt will you use?

LIAM: Cocked.

LAURA: Cocked.

SAM: Ultra cocked.

LIAM: Super cocked.

SAM: If you didn't have 14,000 dice on your tray.

LAURA: Shut up, 19 plus six.

MATT: That definitely hits. Go ahead and roll your 2d12.

MARISHA: Yes. Yes. That's my best friend.

LAURA: Woo, a 12, what is this?

ROBBIE: Whoa, hey.

MATT: Nice, 18. 18 points to it. As it's shifting forward-- (blasting) (snarls) You see as you're concentrating and the black energy and purple sparks are (buzzing), that little cluster where it's emanating is just focused and holding. You got it.

SAM: Nice.

MATT: All right. Staying put?

LAURA: How far can I get from it? You've got to stay within 30 feet. So I'll stay within 30 feet.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: Am I within 30 feet?

MATT: You need to be a little closer to get within 30 feet.

LAURA: I would've stepped up, then. There you go.

MATT: Put you there.

LAURA: And I'll stay right there.

MATT: All right, you got it.

SAM: Imogen, no!

MATT: Finishing your go, that brings us to Fearne, with Dorian on deck.

ASHLEY: Okay. What size creature is this?

MATT: This is a large.

ASHLEY: Great. Okay. So-- I'm going to put my hand out and I'm going to cast Telekinesis with my Stonky's Ring. (laughter)

ROBBIE: Yeah!

MARISHA: Yes, okay.

ASHLEY: It's a strength--

SAM: But that's good.

ROBBIE: The Stonk.

ASHLEY: (mumbling) Make an ability check-- The creature's strength check. So it's my--

SAM: Uh-oh. ♪ Broken Matt ♪

ASHLEY: ♪ I've broken my DM ♪

MATT: You can target only objects that aren't being worn or carried. You cannot target a creature.

ASHLEY: Says creature, you can try to move a huge or smaller creature.

SAM: But isn't he a wall?

ASHLEY: "Make an ability check with your spellcasting ability contested by the creature's--"

MATT: That is the spell Telekinesis, correct? But the item, Stonky's Ring, says "You can cast the spell Telekinesis at will, but you can target only objects that aren't being worn." (groaning)

ASHLEY: -- we had in ExU. That's right. Okay, an addendum, an addendum. Okay, okay, okay, okay, okay.

MATT: That is the balance, otherwise that would be a 5th-level spell at-will, that would be super powerful. It's all good, it's all good.

ASHLEY: So what I'm going to do, then.

MARISHA: Curse you, Stonky. (chuckling)

MATT: Whoever you are.

ROBBIE: We trusted you. We trusted you, Stonky! (laughter)

ASHLEY: Okay, this is a little wild.

MATT: I like wild, I like wild.

ASHLEY: Let me just double-check on this.

LAURA: Stonky bells.

MARISHA: "Stonky bells."

SAM: Stonky [Inaudible].

MARISHA: Stonky bells.

ASHLEY: Okay. Let me just figure something out real quick.

SAM: She's improvising, guys.

ASHLEY: Improvising, improvising. Okay.

SAM: Give her some space.

MARISHA: Your hair looks really cute.

SAM: Back off, Laura.

ASHLEY: Oh, thank you.

SAM: Give her some space.

ASHLEY: All right.

LAURA: Sorry.

ASHLEY: I'm going to peek under my cape. Hey, Mister.

MATT: (monkey chittering)

ASHLEY: Are you ready to hop in?

MATT: (screeches)

ASHLEY: Get in there. Okay. As an action--

MATT: You can see the flame in the back of the chest, burning and ready to go.

ASHLEY: Oh, he's getting ready! Okay.

MARISHA: Yeah.

ASHLEY: So, nope, that's not Wild Shape, that would be Summon Wildfire Spirit.

MATT: Yes, indeed.

ASHLEY: So sorry, I-- Okay.

LAURA: It's okay, you had a plan--

ASHLEY: I had a plan, and it didn't work.

MATT: That's okay.

ASHLEY: I'm improvising here. All right, so. I'm going to have him throw a Flame Seed.

MATT: All right, so as an action, you--

ASHLEY: Summon him.

MATT: Correct.

ASHLEY: Is that just the action? "You can spend one use of your Wild Shape feature to summon your Wildfire Spirit--" (mumbling) Sorry.

MATT: That's okay.

SAM: No, it helps it be read out loud, but in a mumbly way that no one can understand. (laughter)

ROBBIE: It adds to the drama.

MATT: Yep.

LAURA: What is she saying?

ASHLEY: (mumbling)

ROBBIE: It could be great!

ASHLEY: Okay, so--

LAURA: What's great is when you're reading like that, you're not actually reading, you're just going, "Hum."

LIAM: I swear I'm doing something.

ASHLEY: No, that's what was happening. I was doing that and I'm like, "I'm not taking in any information right now. What am I doing?" Okay.

MATT: Where would you like to--

ASHLEY: All right. So I would like him to get, you know, just a little bit in front of me.

MATT: Up there?

ASHLEY: Yep. And he's just going to take his Flame Seed.

MATT: Mm-hmm.

ASHLEY: He's going to chuck it into the mouth, the eyeball of the fucking wall.

MATT: Is it a bonus action for you to tell him to throw Flame Seed?

LAURA: I don't know!

MARISHA: She just wants to throw a pile of shit, man!

ASHLEY: I might only be able to command-- Okay. "In combat, Wildfire Spirit shares your initiative count." Great. But it takes its turn immediately after yours." Okay, it doesn't matter. "The only action it takes on its turn is the dodge action, unless you take a bonus action on your turn to command it to--"

LAURA: There, so you can do it!

ASHLEY: Okay! Great, great, great!

MATT: Yeah, so action to create it, and then bonus action to give it.

ASHLEY: He's going to throw a Flame Seed!

MATT: All right, so you watch as Mister leaps off of her shoulder. As it does,--

LAURA: Good job, Mister!

MATT: -- you watch this tiny monkey--

LAURA: How do you want to do this?

MATT: -- that at this point, aside from those who traveled here with Fearne, has been just this little furry monkey that stays hidden in her hair and underneath the cloak and occasionally emerges and screams. Now, you watch as it leaps off of the shoulders, suddenly it bursts into flames around it, and is now this elemental burning monkey on the ground that (screeches), reaches back--

ASHLEY: Big boy!

MATT: -- grabs a chunk of... monkey... flame--

LAURA: Oh!

MATT: and (screeches)--

ASHLEY: Flame seed!

MATT: -- (whooshes) throws it over at this giant, mouth-covered wall. Go ahead and roll an attack for him.

ASHLEY: Okay.

SAM: That's unsanitary.

LIAM: Flamin' dook.

MARISHA: Just going to throw shit at the wall.

LIAM, SAM, and MARISHA: See what sticks.

MATT: Oh my god, yes, that's exactly what she's doing.

ROBBIE: Come on, Mister.

ASHLEY: Oh, lame! That's, uh, eight.

MATT: Eight misses.

LAURA: (pained) Oh!

MARISHA: Why can't we hit this wall?

TALIESIN: This is going very poorly.

MARISHA: What is this?!

ASHLEY: This is a journey.

ROBBIE: What's more stationary than a wall?

MATT: A door.

ROBBIE: Oh yeah. The secret enemies.

TALIESIN: The next enemy is the ground. We're just not going to be able to hit it.

MATT: It does manage to hit the wall, but this one, unfortunately, was not charged with the elemental fire and is literally just a smear of dookie.

LAURA: Aw, just dookie dukes.

ASHLEY: Okay, I give him a little scritch on his head. It's okay. It's okay. You'll get it next time.

MATT: (monkey chittering)

ASHLEY: We'll kill something later.

LIAM: He diarrheas in his hand.

ASHLEY: As a bonus action, can I bring to life my staff?

MATT: You used your bonus action to let him strike.

ASHLEY: That's what I just did. Never mind, I'll stay.

MATT: Are you going to stay there?

ASHLEY: Yes.

MATT: Okay. You got it. Finishing your turn, Fearne. Dorian, you are up.

ROBBIE: Oh my god!

ASHLEY: That was something else!

MATT: You didn't throw your axe last time, if you wanted to, so go ahead and throw it now if you want to before your turn.

ROBBIE: Yeah, yeah. I think after-- I see Mister fail, and I'm like: I'll try to throw something. Sure! It's okay! It's 18!

MATT: 18 hits. Go ahead and roll damage.

ROBBIE: Sweet!

LAURA: Hit that wall!

ROBBIE: 2d-- 1d6 plus three, let's go faster! ♪ Not great, but okay ♪ It's a five.

MATT: Five damage?

ROBBIE: Yes.

MATT: You got it.

MARISHA: Well, it's more than most of us have done.

MATT: The axe (whooshes) (impact) It's stuck in the wall now.

ROBBIE: Okay, I'm feeling all right about myself. ♪ All I want to do is go help Orym ♪ ♪ But I can't because I'm fucked! ♪ I am going to... I'm going to run around-- Oh, that's so cowardly. I'm going to run around the corner over by Fearne and I'm going to-- Oh fuck, this sucks. It sucks so bad.

LIAM: Why is D&D so real, right?

ROBBIE: It sucks! I'm going to cast... I'm so hurt, I'm going to cast level two Cure Wounds on myself.

SAM: On yourself!

ASHLEY: Do it.

MATT: Do it. Do it, man.

LAURA: Don't die, Dorian!

ROBBIE: I'm so hurt.

SAM: Selfish!

ROBBIE: It's eight plus three. 11.

MARISHA: That's good!

MATT: Heal yourself for 11.

MARISHA: That's not bad!

MATT: Little bit of respite there. Not a problem.

ROBBIE: That'll end my turn.

MATT: All right, it is now the wall's turn.

TALIESIN: Fuck me.

MATT: Let's first see-- It does get its spit back. (groaning)

LIAM: Oh boy.

SAM: That's not good for anyone.

LIAM: Oh boy, oh boy.

LAURA: Uh-oh, who's over there?

LIAM: I'm directly in front of it.

LAURA: No!

MATT: It's goes...

LAURA: I wonder how far it can shoot.

MATT: It's right there and it goes-- (groans) (slimy explosion) Onto the ground right in front of it.

LAURA: Oh no!

MATT: Splatters out.

MATT: I need Laudna, Ashton, and Orym to go ahead and roll a dexterity saving throw.

MARISHA: Dex saves?

MATT: Yep.

MARISHA: Yeah, I'mma die.

LIAM: Aren't you dead?

MARISHA: Well...

ASHLEY: Where are you?

TALIESIN: That was a lot of dice I just heard roll.

ASHLEY: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

SAM: I agree.

TALIESIN: We are not doing well.

LAURA: Save some Cure Wounds.

SAM: 16, how many points do you guys have?

LAURA: You've got bonus--

MARISHA: I do have 10 hit points.

TALIESIN: 20.

MATT: 20? So you take 11 points of acid damage.

TALIESIN: Okay!

LIAM: Also 20.

MATT: Also 20. 11 points of acid damage.

MARISHA: 12.

MATT: 12? You take 23 points of acid damage.

SAM: Fuck.

LAURA: Are you done?

TALIESIN: Are alive?

LIAM: Just burn the dead girl.

SAM: I would take half of that, but I'm not allowed to, right, Matt? Only allowed to take up to...

MATT: Only attacks, right?

SAM: No, no, no. You said it was limited to a certain number value.

MATT: Well, no, you can prevent any number value, but you only get temporary hit points equal to your level plus your wisdom modifier.

SAM: Oh, is that right?

MATT: Yeah. That's how I have it written now.

MARISHA: Can you do that? Are you good, though?

SAM: I'll take half of that shot.

MARISHA: Okay. All right.

SAM: Right? Is that how it works?

MATT: Yep.

SAM: So I will take the hit points, but I can't dish out that many hit points?

MATT: Well, she takes half damage. Then you up to, and it should say in the ability, up to I think it's your cleric level plus your wisdom modifier.

SAM: Which is seven.

MATT: So you get seven temporary hit points.

SAM: So I only take seven of her hit points, or I take 11 of her hit points?

MATT: She takes half damage from the strike.

SAM: Okay.

MARISHA: So I-- Okay.

MATT: So you take half damage from that.

MARISHA: So I get 11 hit points back.

MATT: Correct.

SAM: And I take seven temporary hit points.

MATT: You take seven temporary hit points. You cannot get higher than seven.

SAM: Okay.

MARISHA: Thank you. Kept me from rolling death saves.

LAURA: So you get hit points?

SAM: I am currently possibly suffering the effects.

TALIESIN: We'll find out.

SAM: I've absorbed some damage.

TALIESIN: But we'll see what happens.

MATT: 23 to 11.

MARISHA: Half damage, essentially?

MATT: Correct. Yeah.

MARISHA: Let me just make sure this is right. Hang on. Hang on. Let me reset my shit.

MATT: It went from 23 damage--

MARISHA: I know, I know, but I had temporary hit points and it's weird. So I'm going to take 11 damage. Right. Okay. So I have 10 hit points.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: All right. I have 10 hit points!

SAM: Thank you!

ROBBIE: What does that mean?

MATT: You have seven temporary hit points that are just festering around you, waiting to either protect you or harm you. All right. That is your reaction. With that, the creature's going to go ahead-- Can't really push forward with you in the way. I mean, it can. I'll say for the size against your size being a small creature, go ahead and make a strength saving throw for me.

LIAM: That'll go well. That's a two plus two. So that's a four.

MATT: As it begins to push forward, you try and get your shield in the way and hit it and hold your ground, and you feel your feet just sliding against it. So it's going to push you forward as it goes.

TALIESIN: Are we all on top of it again, or--?

LAURA: Or is it leaving you guys behind?

MATT: It leaves Laudna's melee space, but it's still within yours. You're not currently attached to it because it has not struck you with any of its pseudopods, it's just used the last couple rounds to blast the ground with its acidic spittle. But that finishes its turn. You all begin to see the tendrils. You see Orym being pushed back, shield in front, partially adhered to the front of it. There's a little part of you that worries you're not going to able to pull yourself free of it now that you've met it, but you haven't reached that point yet. Finishing its turn, it's now Laudna's go with Fresh Cut Grass on deck.

MARISHA: All right. It's left my melee range, so can I move back?

MATT: You can.

MARISHA: I'm going to get back to the back of the alley. Now fully embracing my Form of Dread.

MATT: You now realize that its pseudopods have a reach of 15 feet.

MARISHA: So what do you mean?

MATT: Meaning, if you want to completely leave that reach, it will get one attack of opportunity on you with its pseudopod. Up to you, if you want to risk it.

MARISHA: No.

MATT: No?

MARISHA: No.

LIAM: No.

MARISHA: No.

LAURA: Well, those things hit really hard.

MARISHA: I mean, I want to move back away from it. I want to move back, but I don't want to leave its melee range.

MATT: That's about it. You can move five feet, then stay within the reach of its pseudopod, otherwise it'll still strike you on the way out.

MARISHA: Fuck, fuck! Fuck!

ROBBIE: Do it, do it!

MARISHA: I don't want to die or get grappled! All right, I'm going to stay here. Hex!

MATT: Hex it, you got it. Without issue.

MARISHA: My bonus action, and then Eldritch Blast. I'm just going to take the shadows from around me and gather them up, and the energy, I'm going to blast it down on top of its head.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: Fuck me sideways. Why? Why? 13.

LIAM: That's what it's trying to do. 13?

MATT: 13? 13 just misses. (groaning) I'm sorry.

TALIESIN: This is going so poorly.

MARISHA: It's not, right? Should I get rid of it?

LAURA: Do you keep using that one?

ROBBIE: It's that same one.

MARISHA: I do keep using this one because it's pretty.

LAURA: It is really pretty.

MATT: It is very pretty.

ROBBIE: Pretty fucking mean.

MARISHA: Pretty fucking shitty! (laughter)

MATT: You move around, spin, Hex it, and then as you throw the Eldritch Blast, the creature seems to shift with part of its physical movement forward. As it does, the blast just misses it and just arcs off into the sky.

MARISHA: It's a wall! How is it that dextrous?! All right. That's it, I'm done.

MATT: Okay. Finishes your go. All right, that brings us to Fresh Cut Grass, with Ashton on deck.

SAM: What I'm saying is we all carry emotional walls, and by breaking them down we can become more spiritually whole.

LIAM: I'm melting!

SAM: Sorry! All right, I'll lean out and I will fire... I will throw a bolt from my bolt-thrower.

ROBBIE: Yes!

MATT: Okay.

SAM: And try to strike it with said bolt.

LIAM: Crossbow bolt.

SAM: 18 plus two to hit, that's a 20 to hit.

MATT: That hits.

SAM: Awesome! That's a 1d8, which is five. Plus, I'll pump in the seven temporary hit points!

LAURA: Nice!

ROBBIE: Yes!

MATT: So 12 points of--

SAM: I don't know how to do a southern accent.

LAURA: (southern accent) Points.

MARISHA: You don't lose vowels; you extend them!

SAM: Hit pits.

MARISHA: No!

MATT: There's a burst from the impact of the harpoon-like grapple point as it hits and you see the holding of some sort of strange magical energy (explosion) at the impact as you release the temporary hit points into it. It is a large creature. If you wanted to, you can pull yourself to it. If you wanted to.

SAM: I don't know about that. Oh, no, this is the bolt-thrower. This is not the-- I have a lot of hands.

MATT: A bolt-thrower. Gotcha, gotcha. So yeah, so you just go ahead. This is just a bolt.

SAM: Yes.

MATT: You hit it with that. You got it.

SAM: Then with my bonus action, since that was just an action-action, I can cast a spell. Looking over my friends over here, who is dying more?

TALIESIN: I mean, actually technically me. Actually technically me.

LIAM: We're two away.

TALIESIN: I'm in single digits.

SAM: You're both in single digits?

TALIESIN: Barely. Almost, just barely in double, and I'm in single.

SAM: Boy, oh boy. I will throw a Healing Word at Ashton. Yeah. Let's see. It's a d4 plus three. Three plus three, six.

TALIESIN: I'll take it!

ROBBIE: Sheesh.

MATT: All right. Heal up six that way. Are you staying put?

SAM: Oh, the wall's getting close, but I got to stay close to all my friends. I'll stay put and rock right back around the corner again.

MATT: Okay. So you shift back over to this spot. You got it. All right.

SAM: Let's all just think of this as a metaphorical teaching healing moment for all of us.

TALIESIN: We need all of it.

MATT: All right, Ashton, you're up. Orym, you're on deck.

TALIESIN: I am-- This is going to take another-- How far away am I from this thing?

MATT: You're within five feet. You're off to the side of it. It started to move past you, but it hasn't moved entirely out of your melee range.

TALIESIN: Okay, I'm going to take a fucking swing at it. See what the fuck happens.

SAM: Take a fucking swing.

TALIESIN: Maybe I'll actually roll decently. Ey, 18!

MATT: 18, there you go. That hits.

TALIESIN: And because everything sucks, I'm going to throw a Chaos Burst before I go unconscious.

MATT: You got it.

TALIESIN: All right. That's cool.

MARISHA: Don't die.

MATT: What type of damage?

TALIESIN: You know, I'm trying. Fire.

MATT: Fire? Good job.

TALIESIN: So let's just do-- Let's do--

MATT: Can't always roll max damage like you did the first four episodes of this campaign.

TALIESIN: Let's do nine points of bludgeoning.

MATT: Nine points bludgeoning.

TALIESIN: Which is great.

MARISHA: He was so upset.

TALIESIN: And... four points of fire damage.

MATT: 13 points of damage, all righty. You slam into it with the hammer from behind. You hit, but it's a glancing blow off of what is mostly a wall, and then the flames burn and streak across, but you hold the hammer back. Travis, stop it.

LAURA: Travis is such a troll.

MATT: Travis, stop it!

MARISHA: Aww.

SAM: Travis is the worst person in the world.

ROBBIE: Travis is the other wall! (laughter)

MATT: All right.

TALIESIN: I guess I'm--

MARISHA: We know we look distressed.

TALIESIN: -- going to back up another five feet. I'm going to try and be another-- I'm going to try and get some distance from everybody so that there are--

MATT: Five feet puts you right in front of Laudna.

TALIESIN: Right in front of Laudna?

MATT: Yeah.

SAM: Can we have a second Twitch stream that's just Travis shitting on the episodes? (laughter)

LIAM: Travis commentary?

SAM: Yeah. (deep voice) "Look at these fucking--"

LIAM: (deep voice) "Look at these assholes."

TALIESIN: Yeah, sure. Yeah, I'll be right in front of Laudna.

MATT: Okay, you got it. That finishes your go. Orym, you're up. Imogen, you're on deck.

LIAM: I assume I'm affixed with the shield. Is that accurate?

MATT: I will allow you a strength saving throw right now.

LIAM: Nah. Let's say it's affixed. I'm going to use a superiority die to feint to the side and make it look like I'm running, but instead, I'm going to grip the shield and swing around and try to stab. Swing in an arc and try to stab into its mouth, so that's at advantage because it was a feint.

MATT: Hell yeah.

LIAM: Aw!

LAURA: So close?

LIAM: It's two fives! I rolled two fives!

LAURA: Oh.

LIAM: That's a-- That's a... 12. That's not going to hit.

MATT: 12 misses. You pull back on the shield and you go to swing towards the mouth, and as you do, it closes. The blade hits when the teeth come down and actually catches the blade halfway through and momentum stops. You try and pull away and your blade's now affixed to it. You have your shield stuck and your blade stuck.

TALIESIN: For fuck's sakes.

LIAM: My feet are pressed on it and they feel stuck? (pants) I'm going to die? I'm going to die. Yeah, I'm going to die.

TALIESIN: I've been accidentally doing my math wrong and I should have four extra damage at this point against this thing, because I forgot my plus two rage damage.

MATT: You got it.

TALIESIN: I believe I've hit it twice.

MATT: You have.

TALIESIN: So that's four fucking points. Remember, learning! Learning!

MATT: There you go. All right, that finishes your go, Orym?

LIAM: I'm like a fly on fly paper.

MATT: Yeah, you are.

TALIESIN: Four more points.

MATT: Imogen, you're up. Fearne, you're on deck.

LAURA: This is never going to work, but it's getting closer to me, so I'm going to try to use my bonus action and shove it back telepathically while I burst some more lightning flare into it.

MATT: Does it affect large creatures?

LAURA: It's all creatures.

MATT: Okay. It's a strength save, you say?

LAURA: One creature I see within 30 feet of me, strength saving.

MATT: 21.

MARISHA: Oh, oh, wait, wait, wait! Because Hex--

MATT: Does affect ability checks, not saving throws.

MARISHA: Never mind.

MATT: But good looking out. Good looking out.

MARISHA: But it's strength. It's going to be strength.

MATT: Okay, got it. So strength ability checks.

MARISHA: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

MATT: Which means any sort of contested rolls to try and break free from the adhering is now a disadvantage on its end, so it still helps, just not in this instance. But it still helps.

MARISHA: I'm here!

MATT: Good looking out.

LAURA: Is it within 15 feet of me? Does it seem within--

MATT: He is within 10 feet of you, actually.

LAURA: (nervous chuckle) Okay.

MATT: You're within the reach of its tendrils. It's coming towards you.

LAURA: I'm going to burst some lightning into it.

MATT: Okay, it just hits automatically. So go ahead and roll 1d12.

LAURA: Just one?

MATT: It only does the level two at the initial impact--

LAURA: You've told me that so many times.

MATT: It's all good.

LIAM: Orym just turns. Wait, what?

LAURA: Why couldn't I have used one of those rolls from before? But I rolled again and it was a one.

MATT: A one. Takes one point of damage.

LAURA: I'm scared right now, y'all. I'm scared!

TALIESIN: I'm so terrified. This is going so poorly.

LAURA: It's real close, and I feel like being closer to the mouth is scarier than not. So even though it could hit me, I'm going to try to back up as much as I possibly can.

LIAM: You could run around to the outside.

MATT: You try to move back. It's going to go ahead and--

LAURA: I'm going to try to stay within 30 feet of it, so I don't break the--

MATT: 30, that would be it, but it's going to go ahead and try and use its reaction with the pseudopod. That is going to be a 16 to hit?

LAURA: It hits.

MATT: All right. You take... Ooh, okay. 14 points of bludgeoning damage. You do not get that far, because as soon as you try and move beyond it, the tendril hits you and you are grappled.

LIAM: Get over here.

MARISHA and LAURA: No!

ROBBIE: It's getting everybody sticky!

LAURA: I'm about to die. Y'all, I'm about to die.

ROBBIE: This is bad.

LIAM: All three of us are about to die.

MATT: All right, that finishes your turn. Fearne, you're up, with Dorian on deck.

TALIESIN: If you got big shit, use it now.

LAURA: Use all the shit you have.

MARISHA: I'm trying, but I keep failing!

LIAM: Hey, Fearne!

ASHLEY: Okie dokie.

SAM: I'm a healer!

MATT: "I'm a healer." (laughs)

TALIESIN: Well, we're going to need--

MATT: (like Ralph Wiggum) I'm in danger!

TALIESIN: We're going to need a lot. Every time somebody goes unconscious, you're going to need to pick them back up.

ASHLEY: What we're going to do here is...

TALIESIN: Clearly, they're going to get their acid fire back.

MATT: You have a flaming monkey.

ASHLEY: Okay. This is an idea, and I just need you to tell me yay or nay.

MATT: Of course. Yeah, yeah. What you got?

ASHLEY: So with the Wildfire Spirit, I can sometimes do Fiery Teleportation and teleport in 15 feet to an unoccupied space with my boy, Mister.

MATT: Any creature within five feet of it, which can include--

ASHLEY: Which would include Dorian and--

MATT: Orym, if you wanted to.

ASHLEY: Orym will take damage. Okay, let's scratch that. I have another idea.

MATT: Okay.

ASHLEY: Okay. I'm going to-- Oh, I don't want anybody else to take damage here. Is there a way I can sort of get to the left of Orym? Your right?

MATT: Right here, you mean?

ASHLEY: Yeah.

MATT: Yeah, you can move over to there.

ASHLEY: I'm going to do that. Then I'm going to clap my hands together and cast Thunderwave. Try to do it that way so it tries not to hit Orym.

MATT: No, actually, there's just enough space here to not hit Orym or Ashton. There is a 15-foot cube right there.

ASHLEY: Okay. That was the plan. Okay, great.

MATT: Constitution saving throw on its point, right? If I recall?

SAM: Sounds right.

ASHLEY: Yes, constitution saving throw.

MATT: That's a 13. What's your spell DC?

MARISHA: Come on, come on.

ASHLEY: My spell DC is 15!

MATT: 15! Okay, yeah! (cheering)

MATT: So it fails.

ASHLEY: Oh boy, oh boy!

MATT: So go ahead and roll damage on that one.

ASHLEY: Okay, okay, okay.

MATT: You casting at level one or level two?

ASHLEY: Right, right, right?

LAURA: 15.

ASHLEY: Okay, okay.

MATT: What level were you casting it at?

ASHLEY: Two!

MATT: All right. Go for it. Go ahead and roll damage for 2nd-level.

ASHLEY: I don't got any 8s. Okay, all right.

LAURA: Okay.

SAM: I see you.

ASHLEY: Eight. (counting)

MATT: So that's 3d8 damage.

ASHLEY: Okay. That would be 15 points of damage.

MATT: 15 points of damage, nice.

ASHLEY: And then, now Mister gets to sh--

SAM: It can move them back.

ASHLEY: It moves them back 10 feet.

MATT: It moves it back 10 feet? Yeah.

SAM: Does it pull our friends with it?

LIAM: I mean, I'm on it.

MATT: Orym does get pulled with it.

LAURA: And what about me and the-- Am I grappled, too?

MATT: Yep. So it drags them back, but pulls them with it.

ASHLEY: Okay. Now Mister gets a turn. He's going to shit in his hand again and throw that Flaming Seed!

MATT: Go ahead and roll an attack.

ASHLEY: Okay. 12.

MATT: 12 does not hit.

ASHLEY: Damn it!

TALIESIN: Oh my god.

ASHLEY: I knew I shouldn't have used this one!

MATT: There's a lot of rough rolls this battle, guys. I'm sorry.

MARISHA: Really is!

ROBBIE: Man.

MATT: It throws another one. This one actually goes wide and splatters on the wall behind and it's just this flaming turd that's on the actual wall. Mister's just like (angry screeching).

LAURA: I'm going to die.

MATT: All right.

LAURA: Are you going to die, or am I going to die first, or are we both going to die?

LIAM: Let's go down together.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: Is that your turn, Fearne?

ASHLEY: I mean, oh.

MARISHA: ♪ We all go down together ♪

ASHLEY: Yes.

MATT: Okay. Finishing Fearne's go, Dorian, you're up.

ROBBIE: All right. I'm going to use my movement to break backward all the way up against that back wall. Sort of right down the middle of the alley, as far away as I can go, yeah. Then I am going to--

MATT: While your friends are being dragged back by the wall, which is now doubling its force to push back against the nature fury that is Fearne.

ROBBIE: Oh fuck. Straight down the chute, I'm going to cast-- I'm going to cast Chromatic Orb.

SAM: Ooh, okay, okay.

MATT: Oh! That's right, because you took that feat.

ROBBIE: I took that feat!

MATT: Go ahead and roll an attack.

ROBBIE: Please! Let's go, natural 20! (cheering)

ROBBIE: 25, let's go.

MARISHA: Praise the Rollies gods.

MATT: So you roll first to see what the damage type it is?

ROBBIE: Do I roll or do I pick?

LIAM: I think you choose it.

ROBBIE: I think I choose it.

MATT: Oh, you choose it? Yeah, yeah.

ROBBIE: Yeah, I'm going to choose-- I'm going to choose lightning.

MATT: All right.

ROBBIE: All right.

MARISHA: Bro, fuck yes!

ROBBIE: That's all right. 16.

MARISHA: Got a sad one there, but it was--

ROBBIE: I think the way I cast is I have to have a diamond, so if you were to look closely at my chest plate right in the center, you'd noticed a little princess cut diamond. I flick it into my hand and catch it. It turns into this orb of electric energy. I just give it the old MLB throw as hard as I can, straight down the center.

MATT: Fantastic. You rolled 3d8, right?

ROBBIE: What?

MATT: You rolled 3d8?

ROBBIE: I did, and it gave me-- I said 16.

MATT: So 16, that's with the double?

ROBBIE: What'd you say?

MATT: You rolled eight?

ROBBIE: No, no. I got seven, one, eight. So 16.

SAM: But you can then double it, because you rolled--

MATT: You rolled a natural 20, so it's double the dice.

ROBBIE: Oh! So 32?

ASHLEY: Ooh!

MATT: How do you want to do this? (cheering excitedly)

ASHLEY: What?! (cheering)

MATT: Its turn was next! I'm so pissed.

ASHLEY: It's your second one!

ROBBIE: (yells) Well, just like I said, except 10 times cooler!

MATT: Yeah, so as you flick up the diamond and grab it and then release the orb, what happens?

ROBBIE: Ooh. As I throw it, it just goes from this tiny little thing and gets a little bigger until it looks like a tiny little orb. As it shoots forward, it just gets faster and faster until it's like a fucking bullet, and it just goes right in between, right in the fucking iris of its eyes, and buries its way into its eye slowly. (oohing)

MATT: Okay, okay. As the wall is standing there, the friends being dragged and its mouth open, you can see it's in the process of getting ready to stuff Orym into its giant toothy maw.

ALL: Yeah! (laughter)

MATT: As everyone has this look of despair and fear on their face, you watch as it just spins and crashes right into its eye. As it impacts, the wall seems to lock and freeze and you watch time everywhere else slows down except for the one slight spin of this arcane bolt that begins to just corkscrew in and burrow into the eye. As it does, it tries to close the lid, and as the lid closes, you can see the blue glow behind the flash of the light that's getting brighter and brighter. At which point, (crackling sounds) arcs of energy begin to shock through it as blue lightning begins to tear open gashes and sores across its body. The bits of wall-like texture and brick you see begins to just turn into this odd, gray, sundered flesh, and the wall begins to just (retching) You see, as it begins to just vomit a dark bloody ichor out of its mouth, other mouths begin to appear in the spaces and then go slack and vanish. The eye closes, tries to open elsewhere, but the pupil has disintegrated. As it begins to take a step forward and then another step forward, your friends begin to push away, you managed to free yourself from the wall, and as you all stepped back to join Dorian at the end of the alleyway against the wall, you watch as it-- (stomping) (wet groans) (impacts) And collapses onto the ground.

MARISHA: Don't you feel sad for that fucking wall.

SAM: (sad deep groaning noises)

MARISHA: No, don't make it sound sweet! No! (laughter)

ROBBIE: "I have a family."

SAM: It's the Wailing Wall. (laughter)

MARISHA: Aw.

MATT: There's a brief moment as you're all just catching your breath in the silence of the night, you hear all of your friends around you breathing hard. (panting) And Dorian, you stand there clutching the diamond in your hand.

ASHLEY: Holy shit.

TALIESIN: Fuck, I hate acid.

ROBBIE: Scary wall.

LIAM: That acid.

SAM: Nice.

ASHLEY: Wow.

SAM: Nice renovation.

ASHLEY: Yeah.

ROBBIE: Thank you. Is everyone all right?

ALL: No.

SAM: Wow. Y'all took some damage.

TALIESIN: I think I'm going to sit down.

MARISHA: How are you, Fresh Cut Grass?

SAM: Oh, I'm dandy.

MARISHA: Oh, good, glorious.

SAM: Who would like a little bit of healing? Anyone?

TALIESIN: The-- hmm.

SAM: I don't got much.

ROBBIE: I'll join you, yeah. I'll go over to Ashton.

LIAM: Maybe we could just sit here for--

TALIESIN: I'm good, I'm good.

LIAM: -- a minute or 60.

TALIESIN: Let's just sit.

ASHLEY: I'll go over to Imogen.

TALIESIN: How far down does this alley go?

SAM: Oh, yeah, did that leave a hole?

MATT: You go and look and there's about 10 more feet of alley behind it before it comes to the actual end of the alley.

TALIESIN: Is it filthy?

MATT: No, it is entirely clean like the rest, except for remnants of dissolved bone.

SAM: Oh, it ate these folks.

ASHLEY: 10 points of healing.

SAM: Can I look around--

LAURA: Thank you so much.

SAM: -- the bone fragments to see if there's any sort of identifiable jewelry, or--

MATT: Sure, make an investigation check.

LIAM: Loot?

SAM: No, I just want to identify the bodies for their families.

TALIESIN: Show us anything that identifies anything.

SAM: What am I doing?

MATT: Investigation.

SAM: Oh, it's terrible. It's five.

MATT: Five. It takes you a long time. You manage to find some coin, you find some bracelets, and mostly metallic-based accessories that survived whatever process this creature--

ASHLEY: Oh, do you need help?

SAM: Probably. I'm going to gather whatever I can find as some sort of identifying--

MARISHA: Here, just sift all the bones into my hands.

SAM: Oh, okay.

MARISHA: There you go, thank you.

LIAM: You going to be okay?

TALIESIN: Yeah, that was-- Fuck. (laughs)

SAM: Wheaties.

LIAM: What about you?

TALIESIN: That was fun.

LAURA: I feel better after Fearne, thank you, Fearne.

ASHLEY: You're welcome.

TALIESIN: We should do that more often.

LAURA: That thing was terrifying.

ASHLEY: What the--

LIAM: It's okay.

ASHLEY: What was that?

TALIESIN: Inanimate objects. It's a conspiracy of inanimate objects.

LAURA: What is going on with this city?

MARISHA: That's the second inanimate object we've fought.

TALIESIN: Tables.

ASHLEY: We've got walls, we've got chairs.

TALIESIN: A fucking wall.

SAM: Holes in walls?

ASHLEY: Gosh, this place is weird.

MARISHA: Imogen, are you all right?

LAURA: Yeah, Fearne--

TALIESIN: Gotten weird.

LAURA: -- helped me out so much.

ASHLEY: Every once in a while I can.

LAURA: How are you, because you were right up there on it.

MARISHA: Okay, yeah. That hurt. I thought I would die.

LAURA: It really hurt. I thought we were dead.

MARISHA: This little one helped me. I thought I might die--

MATT: (monkey screech)

MARISHA: -- again.

MATT: You look over and Mister has climbed up onto the body, and looks back at you and goes, (screeches). And then takes a flaming poop on him directly.

SAM: Nice.

TALIESIN: Where was that initiative?

LAURA: I'm glad you finally hit it.

ASHLEY: Yeah, good boy. You eat it, too. Eat all of it.

MATT: Comes and climbs back up onto you as the flames disappear and you see the fuzzy Mister behind clutching onto the side of her hair. (chattering)

SAM: He's an attractive animal.

ASHLEY: I give his little roly stuffed tummy some scratches.

LAURA: I'm going to scratch it from the kneeling position I have on the ground, reaching up.

TALIESIN: You should not be first anywhere.

MARISHA: No, no, this keeps happening.

TALIESIN: I've noticed.

MARISHA: I'm really good at a distance, and not been relevant.

MATT: Ocampo rushes around the corner, right, and looks to you, Dorian, and goes like, "What's with all the noise?"

LAURA: Who is this?

MATT: Ocampo.

SAM: Our stage man.

LAURA and MARISHA: Oh.

ROBBIE: Oh. I think we might've found your patron gobbler thing. It was hard to explain.

TALIESIN: A wall that eats.

ROBBIE: Okay, not so hard to explain. It was a wall, it was a scary wall.

MATT: Looks over and it's still there. It still has its wall form in places. It's just dead.

SAM: We broke the fourth wall. (laughter) (exclaiming)

ROBBIE: How dare you.

LIAM: It all led to this. It all led to this.

ASHLEY: A-plus.

SAM: The theater!

ROBBIE: Oh, man.

MARISHA: Very experimental.

LIAM: Oh my fucking god.

TALIESIN: Amazing.

MATT: Ocampo looks at you and goes, "Fuck you." (laughter)

MATT: "That's actually pretty good."

SAM: Maybe I'll use it in auditions.

MATT: "What the fuck is that?!"

LAURA: I don't know.

MATT: "I'm going go get Stuvan. Everyone okay, you okay?"

TALIESIN: No.

MARISHA: Do you have refreshments?

MATT: "I'll ask."

TALIESIN: Beer, wine, medical attention, anything, good heavens.

LIAM: Orym is full-on planking face down on the cobblestone. I just need... an hour.

MATT: "Hey, what's going on down there?"

SAM: Oh no, who's this now?

MATT: You look over, down the other side of the alleyway that leads to the road, you see two armored figures walking up, wearing the familiar colors and garb of the Wardens of the Wild.

ASHLEY: Oh, great timing!

SAM: (laughs) Oh, shit.

MATT: "What's that supposed to mean?"

ASHLEY: It means--

LAURA: We were attacked. Sorry.

ASHLEY: No, it's true.

MATT: "My gods, what the hell?"

MARISHA: It was the wall, bricks. Bricks in the wall.

TALIESIN: Should poke it. We're pretty sure it's dead, but there's only one way to tell.

MATT: They both pull their weapons out. One of them has this nice curved saber, the other one has a rather spiked mace in the other hand. They go up to it and start poking it and jumping back.

TALIESIN: (growls) (laughter)

MATT: "Don't do that! Don't do that! Stop, you." (laughter)

MATT: "I know you."

TALIESIN: Yeah, you do. (laughter)

MATT: Go over and start prodding it, at which point, Stuvan comes by and is like, "I'm sorry, I'm being notified that you've apparently-- Oh my goodness. Is it?" He looks over to the Wardens. "Is it?" They're like, "Yeah, it's dead. Mm-hmm."

LAURA: Good job. (laughter)

SAM: Thanks.

MATT: (as Stuvan) "So this is what?"

SAM: What we suspected. I'll hand over the personal effects that I found. Do you recognize any of these from maybe Lidney, or your janitor, Usha?

MATT: You can see the male halfling ticket-taker emerges, Siran emerges, all the different employees that are still there that were in the process of prepping for the next show all begin to slowly emerge and gather to go look at this spectacle just beyond the walls of their theater. The wardens begin to ask questions about the disappearances that they've been looking into" for awhile. And Stuvan's all, "Of course, you've all been extremely helpful, but it looks like we had things taken care of here, have we not?"

SAM: Sure, yeah.

ROBBIE: Yeah.

MATT: "So this is it? All right."

LAURA: I mean, it is--

SAM: We think so.

LAURA: But how does a thing like this--

SAM: Yeah, someone or something may have enchanted it to do this.

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: "How do you know that?"

SAM: I don't.

LAURA: A creature like this can't just wander through the streets.

MATT: "That is true."

MARISHA: Do you have any rogue set pieces, any flats that have gotten really-- have you scorned any flats?

MATT: "The ones that would be worth feeling scorned by were because they were destroyed, so I don't think that's quite it."

MARISHA: Well, I meant the opposite direction.

SAM: Is there a former set builder or something that was disgruntled?

TALIESIN: I feel like this would have been a stone mason, but yeah.

SAM: Yeah. Or just someone who was trying to sow chaos around these parts.

MATT: The male halfling who is the ticket-taker steps forward a bit and goes, "Well-- I mean, there was a few weeks back that general street repair that was being done here in the alley."

SAM: Oh?

MATT: And you look around and you can see the leftover bricks and bits of construction equipment that's been left in sections around the alley.

TALIESIN: Those could be evil bricks.

LAURA: Who was that, who did that?

SAM: Yeah, who was doing it?

MATT: "I don't--" He looks over to Stuvan and Stuvan's like, Wardens, do you know who's responsible for doing any sort of construction work in the neighborhood as of late?" They look at each other. "No, any sort of official construction done in this part of the spire is overseen by the Treshi House Mason's Guild."

MARISHA: Treshi?

LIAM: Treshi House.

MATT: "Treshi House Mason's Guild."

LIAM: Treshi.

TALIESIN: I don't have--

SAM: It's an influencer house. (laughter)

MATT: It's the worst.

TALIESIN: Like, share, and subscribe. There we are.

ROBBIE: Did these renovations occur around the same time as your first missing person?

MATT: You see Stuvan looks over at the ticket-taker and goes, "Evaan, is this true?" (as Evaan) "Well, I guess so, yeah, but I didn't-- I didn't--" And Stuvan goes, "It's fine. Well. Regardless. Appreciate your time in helping us figure out where these missing individuals may have gone. Wardens, I think we have this handled. If you wouldn't mind writing up a report or do whatever it is you do when you take other people's credit, and let your masters know that things are taken care of and to stop peering into my personal effects. I am not responsible for this." They go, "Who's to say you didn't put this here?" Stuvan's like, "Are you-- Bring 'em by, do your investigation. I have nothing to hide. In the interim, let's have a conversation in my office." As you all exit and the employees begin to scatter and head back into the building to prepare for the next performance.

LIAM: Wait, I got to get up?

TALIESIN: I'm going to pick you up. Come on, come on.

LIAM: Ow!

TALIESIN: Yep, no, it's going to hurt.

SAM: Why don't you ride on my back?

LIAM: How does that work?

SAM: Just get on, I'll wheel you over.

MARISHA: Oh my god.

LIAM: I step up from behind and I--

MARISHA: It's like riding a unicycle.

LIAM: -- put my feet-- It's a Segway-- Feet on the side of the spokes of his wheel and I hold onto his shoulder.

TALIESIN: There you go.

LIAM: Okay, go slow. I'm really ginger.

TALIESIN: I'm letting go.

SAM: (zooming)

LIAM: Ow, ow, ow. (laughter)

MATT: You all-- Now even more of you are here, cramming into Stuvan's office. A couple of you have to wait out in the hallway. You can't quite all fit in there in that space. But Stuvan turns around in his desk. "Well, this has been a strangely eventful night, hasn't it been? Well, for one I guess, thank you for your curious minds and for being forthright in your intent. A rarity, it seems, in some spaces these days. I would hope that you are willing to speak on what transpired and defend the honor of the Dreamscape Theater for our lack of involvement directly with the deaths of these individuals?"

MARISHA: Sure. What are you going to give us in return?

SAM: We don't need anything, really. We're fine.

MARISHA: Memberships.

MATT: Reaches behind and pulls a small case that is currently closed and sets it on the desk and scoots it across.

MARISHA: I open it.

MATT: It is filled with a smattering of gold and platinum. He says, "Consider this appreciation for your hard work, and an offering of friendship in, once again, ensuring that those responsible for this are taken care of by the authorities and not my humble business."

SAM: I don't think we can accept this at all, can we?

MARISHA: Yes, we can.

SAM: Okay.

ASHLEY: Wait, but I thought we would also maybe, like Laudna said, get free memberships as well for box seats anytime we want to go.

MARISHA: Box seats for the season.

SAM: Like season tickets.

MARISHA: Season tickets!

MATT: Both of you, make persuasion checks.

MARISHA: Come on! Come on, Fearne!

ASHLEY: Let's go to the theater!

MARISHA: Persuasion, let's go to the theater! 20 total.

LAURA: Ooh!

ASHLEY: 15.

MATT: "Done." (gasping)

MATT: "I'll have Tefta draw up a membership contract for you over the next week or so, just come by in that time to fill out paperwork. We'll just need to make sure that each one of you signs appropriately, because we need your information to ensure memberships are maintained."

LAURA: Individually, privately, with Tefta, each one of us.

SAM: Oh boy.

TALIESIN: I hope so.

MATT: "Regardless--"

SAM: I don't think I have a hand for that.

ASHLEY: We can make you one.

MARISHA: Not yet.

MATT: Not. Yet. (as Stuvan) "Thank you. Also, would you please not let any of the patrons coming in for our next showing tonight aware of this. I consider that part of this reward exchange."

LAURA: Of course, it's over.

TALIESIN: We'll go out the back.

LAURA: What's done is done.

MATT: "Thank you, I appreciate that. Have a good night and get out." (laughter)

ASHLEY: Whew.

SAM: That was exciting.

MARISHA: That was awesome.

LAURA: And we didn't die! I really thought we were going to die.

ASHLEY: Oh yeah.

LIAM: I love the arts. I love what you do. Maybe the theater's not for me.

ROBBIE: We weren't in the theater.

TALIESIN: You know, one bad show really is not enough to make a judgment by.

SAM: First show jitters, that's all.

LIAM: That's fair.

MARISHA: Matinees.

SAM: Matinees.

TALIESIN: No more-- Let's just agree no more matinees.

MARISHA: No more matinees.

MATT: Are you guys exiting through the back alley?

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: Okay. All right.

TALIESIN: Another wall approaches.

MATT: Are you passing by the fight you just had on the way out?

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: Okay, as you all carefully exit out the back, you can see there's now four Wardens, Wilders, that are in the process of inspecting it, holding up parts of its weird skin flaps to see the stonework texture and the weird combination of masonry and creature that this is. One of them looks over and notices as you pass by and gives a nod. You recognize as one of the ones that approached. Continues--

LAURA: Could we, sorry.

LIAM: I'm sorry. That's mine, and I pull a dagger out of a seeping wound.

TALIESIN: Did you get your--?

ROBBIE: Oh gosh, in all the, yeah, thank you, thank you so much. I'll go right behind Orym and retrieve my handaxe.

MATT: Okay.

ASHLEY: Oh, I forgot. I'm going to go pull out a tooth.

MATT: Okay. (laughs)

ASHLEY: I meant to do this.

MATT: In a really odd display, you expect resistance, but it slides out in your hand. (sounds of disgust)

LAURA: I take all the teeth.

ASHLEY: Well, I mean, can I take more?

TALIESIN: Otherwise, they just pop out.

MATT: If you want to.

ASHLEY: I'm going to try to take as many as I can.

MATT: Roll a sleight of hand check, because there are four Wilders that are currently in the process of inspecting it. (laughter)

LIAM: Bringing it back to the sponsor.

ASHLEY: 18.

MARISHA: Yeah. (laughs)

MATT: I'd say you get-- [die roll] You get seven teeth before one of the Wilders goes, "Hey, hey, hey, hey, this is a crime scene."

ASHLEY: Yes, a crime scene that I made. (laughter)

MATT: "Right, but we need to make sure that all evidence is returned to our superiors."

ASHLEY: You don't need the teeth. You don't need to identify it, you already know what it is.

MATT: "That's not entirely true. We have no idea what the fuck this is."

ASHLEY: I'm leaving.

LAURA: There's plenty of teeth left. (laughter)

TALIESIN: You are magic.

MATT: So as you guys begin to exit the alley towards the--

MARISHA: Before we leave.

MATT: Yes?

LAURA: Yes, same.

MARISHA: One quick thing.

ROBBIE: Oh shit.

MARISHA: There were repairs that happened, things were replaced. Can I see if there were new bricks, old bricks, what the fuck?

MATT: Yeah. Make a perception or investigation check.

LAURA: What the fuck was up with that?

MARISHA: What the fuck is up with that?

LAURA: And I want to know how much of the creature, could we tell when we were fighting it, was actually flesh disguised as stone and was any of it actually stone masonry?

MATT: If you want to inspect it, you can go ahead and make an investigation check on the creature.

MARISHA: 15 total.

MATT: 15 total. Looking around the interior here, there is no fresh masonry.

MARISHA: No what?

SAM: There's no fresh masonry.

MATT: There is no fresh masonry. All the materials that are around, are there, but there's nothing new within this alleyway.

MARISHA: Oh no, they died.

SAM: Who died?

TALIESIN: Or didn't.

MARISHA: The contractors.

TALIESIN: Or didn't do the work.

LAURA: They didn't do any work, they just put the thing here.

MATT: What'd you roll?

LAURA: 11.

MATT: 11?

TALIESIN: "Contractors."

MATT: The best thing you can figure out while you're looking it over--

TALIESIN: Or they could've just been contractors, I don't know why I did air quotes.

MARISHA: "Contractors" or contractors.

ROBBIE: They're just contractors.

MATT: Just to reiterate, you've never seen a creature like this in an urban environment. You do see-- (laughter)

TALIESIN: Sorry, sorry.

MATT: Shh. Trying to keep the crosstalk to a minimum.

TALIESIN: I'm sorry, sorry.

MATT: You do see, affixed to two sides of the creature, small devices that are attached.

SAM: Here we go.

LAURA: What do they look like?

MATT: They look like half orbs that are pressed with little parts that dig into the stone-like flesh of the creature.

LAURA: Have the guards-- Have the guards noticed it?

MATT: You're uncertain.

LAURA: Can I try to take one of them?

MATT: Make a sleight of hand check.

LIAM: Come on, come on, blanket.

LAURA: (laughs) Come on, blanket. 11.

MATT: Rolled a three.

SAM: Oh!

ROBBIE: Whoa!

MATT: The Wilders are still poring over this and keeping an eye on most of the crew and you manage to find the right moment, maybe it's a hint of the extension of your consciousness that blurs-- puts the blinders briefly on before you grab it and pull. Once again, it looks like it was meant to heavily dig in and hold in place, but it gives no resistance as you pull it away. It's rather disturbing, but you pocket it.

LIAM: It comes away with a shivering queef. (laughter)

MATT: I'll never live that down, you motherfuckers. Keep taunting the DM, man. (laughter) A lot more things can spit acid.

LIAM: It gets worse than that?! (laughter)

MATT: But yeah, you do find that.

LAURA: I'll pocket it and walk away.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: Pocketa walketa.

MATT: You all walk down--

LAURA: Pocket it and walk it.

MATT: -- the rest of the alleyway. The streets, this part are starting to get a little busy. People you can see crossing the path. There's a shadow at the edge of the end of the alleyway, a figure leaning against the wall.

LIAM: Same figure as before?

MARISHA: I was going to say, does it look familiar to Orym and I?

MATT: Make a perception check, both of you guys.

LIAM: Yeah, 25.

MARISHA: 17.

MATT: 17. You both glance past, and though it is mostly in shadow with a little bit of rim lighting from the moon that is coming through from the main street, no, this is not the figure you saw. This is a humanoid figure, but much smaller. Maybe about Orym's size, even shorter. You see a faint hunch to it as it sits there arms crossed, waiting.

MARISHA: I don't trust it.

LAURA: Can I send out a message to it? Ooh, was that stupid?

MATT: If you'd like to. You can see it.

LAURA: Do you need something?

MATT: Travis, you want to come to the table? (cheering)

ROBBIE: Let's go! (cheering)

LIAM: Shit!

SAM: What's happening? He just died! He was trolling us on text all night!

LIAM: Oh my god, he'll finally stop texting us.

ASHLEY: I know, I was like, "Where'd he go?"

MARISHA: No more screen grab.

MATT: If you'd like to ask the question once more to the target of your message.

LAURA: I don't even remember what I said.

MATT: Do you want something?

LAURA: Do you want something?

LIAM: Need something, want something?

LAURA: You want something?

TRAVIS: Ooh. (elderly voice) Who is that?

TALIESIN: Oh no.

TRAVIS: Who's speaking, please?

LAURA: It's-- oh no.

LIAM: Oh no.

LAURA: And I just wave. Over here.

TRAVIS: How do you do that?

LAURA: The same way you're doing it to me. Mind powers.

TRAVIS: That's nifty.

LAURA: No, but do-- Are you going to-- I just walk over to him.

MARISHA: Imogen?

LIAM: I jog along.

SAM: Who's that? Do you know that fella?

LAURA: He's just some old guy.

MARISHA: I power walk next to Imogen.

MATT: If you would like to describe yourself, Travis.

TRAVIS: Yeah, you see posted up against the wall, cloak and hood pulled over his head, you see tufts of silvery-gray hair shooting out over his ears, some silvery-gray hair shooting out of his ears, and a nice little knit beanie cap pulled tight with little ear straps. He's got a leather chest harness, and some pretty muscly sinewed arms along with some, looks to be woodworking tools from his hips and waist, and some nicely pointy-toed boots. (laughter)

MATT: What's his lineage?

LIAM: He's a gnome. He's a gnome.

MATT: Roughly what age-ish, from a visual perspective?

TRAVIS: Oh, probably somewhere around 100, 120, a hundred-and-something years old.

LIAM: What kind of height are we talking about?

TRAVIS: I'm short, motherfucker.

LIAM: Shorter than me? (laughter) I'm 3'3". Where you at?

TRAVIS: I think I got you by an inch or so. I'm looking down.

LIAM: Oh yeah?

LAURA: Oh, you're taller than him.

TRAVIS: I think so, I'm not sure.

LIAM: Okay.

MATT: You're not sure?

TRAVIS: I might be on my tippy toes. (laughter) Got to put out a different vibe for these strangers.

MATT: Fair enough.

SAM: He's wearing lifts? Wait, just shoes with a quarter under it?

TRAVIS: I'm up against the wall so the heels, I lift them up and then rest them against the back, so my calves don't cramp.

ASHLEY: Who are you?

TRAVIS: Who are you?

MARISHA: Are you one of the contractors? I see you have woodworking tools.

TRAVIS: Yeah, I am. I like working with wood very much. No, I saw, around the corner, all of you handle whatever that was.

ASHLEY: You decided to just stand there and not come help?

TRAVIS: Well, fuck yes! That thing had tendrils and all of a sudden you were there and you (screams) got pulled in, and you got spit back out, and then he's fucking face down in the middle of the street.

ASHLEY: Fair, fair.

TRAVIS: Do you do this regularly? Are you looking for work? No, I'm just kidding. (laughter)

SAM: Do you know a patron?

TRAVIS: No, actually, I could use some help.

SAM: Oh, you need something.

TRAVIS: Well, yes. I need help finding someone.

LIAM: What's your name, friend?

TRAVIS: My name is Chetney.

SAM: I'm sorry, say that again. It sounded like you said Chuh?

TRAVIS: Chet, Chetney. Chetney Pock O'Pea is my name.

ASHLEY: Chetney Pock O'Pea?

SAM: Pock O'Pea?

SAM: Chetney Pock O'Pea.

ASHLEY: Chetney.

TRAVIS: Chetney.

ASHLEY: What a great name.

LAURA: Okay.

TRAVIS: Thank you.

SAM: A little unusual.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

MARISHA: Who are you looking for?

TRAVIS: A friend. I'm sort of new to Marquet, but I'm sort of all on my own now. It would be very, very helpful if you could help me locate him.

MATT: (thuds) You hear, in the back part of the alley, one of the creature's larger portions of his body sloughs forward onto the ground with a heavy impact and the guards rush back.

TALIESIN: Get food and a nap first.

LAURA: Why do I already want to roll an insight check, because I don't really-- (laughs)

TRAVIS: Well, you're in my head. Shit, I should roll an insight check on you! Insight check! (laughter) (laughter)

TALIESIN: I can't.

TRAVIS: Yeah! (laughter) Take a peek, see what you like. (laughter)

SAM: Clearly we're upsetting you, old timer. Are you okay?

TRAVIS: You're very kind. What's your name?

SAM: Fresh Cut Grass, pleased to meet you!

TRAVIS: The whole thing's your name?

SAM: Oh, no, just the Fresh Cut Grass part.

TRAVIS: Oh, that's fantastic. What a fucking name. I would actually love to come with you, if that's all right. You all seem to be fairly-- Are they okay?

SAM: They're injured.

TALIESIN: We're not okay, but we will-- Oh yeah, that's fine. That's a whole-- That's a story that requires drink--

TRAVIS: Oh.

TALIESIN: -- and games, and sleep, and we have to sleep, because I'm going to fucking die.

MARISHA: Fire By Spire. Fire By Spire?

SAM: Spire By Fire.

MARISHA: Spire By Fire, fire spire spire fire.

TALIESIN: Come to the--

LIAM: You hungry, Grandfather?

ASHLEY: Come get a drink with us and we can see what you're about.

TRAVIS: That would be most kind. That would be very, very kind of you, yes.

TALIESIN: All right. Whatever gets us there faster. Let's just go.

LIAM: Tag along for dinner.

SAM: You walk first, I don't want to trip on your booties.

TRAVIS: You see me (pattering). (laughter)

MATT: As the older, gnomish, odd companion begins to dart out into the night before you, as your tired, wounded, bruised selves follow suit to make your way towards the Spire By Fire, we're going to finish tonight's game there. We'll pick up there next week. (cheering)

ROBBIE: He's back, baby!

MARISHA: He's back! (laughter)

LIAM: I don't know, we'll see. Maybe he doesn't mesh with the group. We have to find out.

ROBBIE: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

SAM: He could also die in three episodes.

MATT: Yeah!

SAM: We don't know the plans. Anything goes in Campaign 3!

MARISHA: All bets are off.

LAURA: All bets are off!

MATT: All righty, well.

SAM: Travis is like a drummer for Spinal Tap. (laughter)

MATT: Totally!

LIAM: -- characters in three years.

ASHLEY: Oh my god.

TRAVIS: Such range.

MATT: Oh my goodness.

LAURA: Chetney.

ROBBIE: Chetney with an 'n'.

MATT: Excited to have you back, Travis.

TRAVIS: (as Chetney) My pleasure to fucking be here.

TALIESIN: You're going to be Chet in about a week.

MATT: Yep.

SAM: Wow.

MATT: All right.

TALIESIN: I love it.

MATT: Well, thank you all so much for joining us.

TALIESIN: Thank you.

MATT: Have a wonderful night, we'll see you next week. We love you very much, and is it Thursday yet? Good night. (cheering)

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