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. (yelling)
Before we get into our game tonight, we do have a few announcements to get through, beginning with our fantastic friend and sponsor to the show for all of campaign two--
SAM: That's crazy.
MATT: D&D Beyond. Sam, if you don't mind.
SAM: D&D Beyond! Big news from D&D Beyond. Their brand new Encounter Builder Alpha is now available to all D&D Beyond subscribers. I actually legitimately checked it out earlier today, and it is legit really addictive. There's hundreds of monsters and filters to pore through. It's a super handy tool to craft unique and flavorful fights that fit your current setting and difficulty level. To celebrate this awesome new tool, I've written a genius-level spoof rap song that I like to call "You Down With D&D? Yeah, You Know Me." Okay, guys. Drop that beat--
LIAM: Wait, wait.
LIAM: Stop, no. Stop!
LIAM: I have something to say.
LIAM: Last week you and Marisha dumped your bombshell report. Scandalous accusations about me accepting illegal campaign donations from a foreign agent, Mark Hulmes, from the evil British D&D show, High Rollers.
SAM: Yeah, but these were not accusations, Liam. These were facts, hard facts that have doomed your pathetic campaign, so let's just move on to my rap. ♪ Yeah ♪
LIAM: Not so fast, Riegel! I haven't responded to your little inquiry yet, and I think I know why you don't want me to, because this week I uncovered new facts that will completely exonerate me and my adorable running mate.
SAM: Exonerate? Please, go ahead. Do your whatever you're going to do. Go!
LIAM: (chuckles) You may have hoodwinked this one onto your side, but I too have a secret weapon, a person who, on the surface at least, might seem like an overgrown dullard, a muscular nincompoop, a big old dumb dumb.
Yes, that's right. I'm talking about Travis Willingham. Yes, he's a jock. Yes, he works out too much. Is that right? Yes, he's fascinated by small, shiny objects, but he's also a brilliant forensics analyst with multiple PhDs and degrees from international universities. Dr. Willingham!
TRAVIS: Thank you, Mr. O'Brien. When subjected to rigorous scientific analysis, the evidence Sam presented last week was (sighs) flimsy at best. For instance, that photograph of Mr. O'Brien holding some British money? Easily Photoshopped. And the audio recording Mr. O'Brien on the phone with a supposed British accent, or an agent rather? Well, we all know that Sam himself does an excellent Liam O'Brien impression. Sam?
SAM: I mean, sure. (like Liam) Hi, I'm Liam O'Brien. My voice sounds like sad sandpaper, (like Sam) But that doesn't prove anything. That's just something I do for laughs, for yuks. That's nothing! I have legitimate proof of your client on-camera doing a deal with Mark Hulmes. That is irrefutable!
TRAVIS: Is it? Is it? I brought that video to my lab.
TRAVIS: I loaded it, yes, into a level nine, microflux video meter and scrubbed the footage using a military-grade, series seven vector graphic discombobulator.
SAM: Series seven?
LAURA: Yeah, he just got it.
TRAVIS: I broke out the big fucking guns. You heard me, Riegel. After hours of rendering, de-rendering, and painstaking decryption, I cracked it. The footage had been altered. Roll the actual footage of that meeting.
MARK: Well, after you win the D&D Beyond election, you remember your mission?
SAM: I know what I have to do. Convert the D&D Beyond app to the British system of weights and measurements. But won't that be confusing? I mean, nobody knows what a stone is, or how much it weighs.
MARK: Don't question me, O'Brien.
COMPUTER (VO): Initializing facial recognition scan. Subject identified, Sam Riegel, age unknown. Mouth size anomaly detected. Warning, warning, warning.
SAM: I mean, (stutters) that's... Okay, how about this. If that footage was so easily altered, Dr. Willingham, what's to say that you didn't alter it, huh? How can you prove that you didn't alter the footage?
LIAM: Oh, there is more, Riegel. While Travis did his analysis, I hacked into your laptop.
SAM: No, you can't. That's impossible!
LIAM: Oh, really?
SAM: My password is impossible to crack.
LIAM: Yeah? Uncrackable? You mean the password "$am is awe$ome," with dollar signs for all the S's? I figured it out in two minutes!(laughs)
SAM: No. No! No, no, no!
LIAM: Right there on your messy, skanky desktop I found it, the unused footage from that same Mark Hulmes video. Roll it!
SAM: Yes, sir. Good bye.
MARK: Uh, uh, uh. I think you mean--
SAM: Right, sorry. Pip pip cheerio. You clear, Mark? Marisha, did you get it all? (laughs) Yes, yes! Okay remember, don't tell a soul. Nobody! Not even fucking Max, all right? This is going to change everything. Everything! Yes! (laughs evilly) No, no! I didn't! You weren't supposed to... No! I've never lost anything in my life. I can't be here right now!
LIAM: Thank you, Dr. Willingham.
TRAVIS: My pleasure, Mr. President.
LIAM: Ladies and gentlemen, Ms. Johnson, I rest my case. Sometimes it makes me wonder why I even bring the thunder.
MATT: Why he even brings the thunder.
ASHLEY: Yes, I wonder also.
MATT: Okay, thank you, everyone, and our friends at D&D Beyond.
TALIESIN and LAURA: D&D Beyond!
MATT: Fantastic. 12-step for 5th Edition edition dragons. (laughs)
MARISHA: I plead the fifth till further investigation is had. Oh, not the map.
ASHLEY: Oh, wait. When is Sam going to come back?
LIAM: He's off the show now.
ASHLEY: He's off the show now because he didn't win to be president?
LAURA: That's a bummer.
ASHLEY: Well, when you're in a jam, just call DW.
ASHLEY: Dr. Willingham.
MARISHA: Dr. Who. Dr. Willingham.
TRAVIS: Most doctors only have MD after their name. I'm also DW.
ASHLEY: Travis Willingham, DW MD.
TRAVIS: Down to work.
LIAM: MD DW.
TRAVIS: For you.
MATT: So our other announcements for the night. (laughs)
LIAM: Thanks, Dr. Dissmore.
LAURA: Is he ever coming back?
ASHLEY: That sucks.
LAURA: So sad! He left his phone.
MATT: Did he?
TALIESIN: Thank you.
MARISHA: It is open, too.
MATT: Good call.
MARISHA: Oh, no!
MATT: The VOD for our last episode of "Between the Sheets," which aired this past Monday with our fantastic Ashley Johnson (cheering) is available on our YouTube channel at YouTube.com/CriticalRole,and we'll be back with "Between the Sheets" in August with our next guest, Amanda Palmer. (cheering) So keep an eye out for that. She's awesome. It's going to be a tear jerker. Also, thank you so much for all the Critters who came out to join us at Denver Pop Culture Con this weekend previous. It was amazing. It was so great to meet all of you. Critter turnout was incredible, the costumes were incredible. It was amazing. We took over. I got to drag these assholes to Casa Bonita without context in advance. That was fun.
LAURA: Ah, I should've worn my shirt.
MATT: You should've. Next time.
LAURA: Damn it!
MATT: But yeah, thank you all for coming out. We had a great time. Hope you did, too. Laura, you have some announcements?
LAURA: Uh-huh. I do. Oh my god, I do! This is not my stuff. I don't know where it is, but we do. Yay, thank you. Hey, you guys! We got new shirts in our store. I know that, but I just wanted to make sure I say it right. We've got Baby Got Backstories.
LAURA: Speaking of "Between The Sheets," it's totally great. Then we've also got our Don't Forget to Love Each Other Pride shirt that is just the most beautiful thing ever, and we're so, so happy to have it in the store. For the entire month of June, 100% of the profits will be going to OutRight International, which is a fantastic organization, and you guys should look it up.
LIAM: Happy Pride Month, everyone.
MARISHA: Happy Pride!
MATT: Thank you so much, Laura. And lest I'm mistaken--
LAURA: Oh, and I should let you know, it's all pre-order, so both shirts are going to ship within the next few weeks, just so you guys know.
MATT: There you go. On that note, I think we're good on announcements. Let's go ahead and dive in to tonight's episode of Critical Role.
MATT: Welcome back. So last we left off, The Mighty Nein, after making their alliances in Rosohna and the Dynasty of Xhorhas. You have been seeking an individual you believe is connected to the placing of these various abyssal anchors that have been tearing open portals between the Prime Material Plane and the Abyss. You've encountered it a few times since you've crossed over the Ashkeeper Peaks, or I should say, under, and you've been able to scry and put together a couple of individuals that are involved with this endeavor. You nearly got them in Rosohna, and then they escaped and made their way north, where you've been chasing them off and on, pretty much all on, through the Barbed Fields, not around it, but right through the Barbed Fields, where you've encountered strange oddities and dangerous creatures and gloomstalkers, and eventually a mysterious, majestic, divine tree that sits in the center of this barren, destroyed, desolate wasteland where the final battles of the Calamity took place. You slept beneath this tree for protection. You climbed it, some of you in very unique ways, and stumbled upon a giant nest of some sort of a creature that you later on came to understand to be a roc, a massive bird that was asleep, until it was... rustled from its slumber. In hopes of escaping, a number of you, I believe is was Fjord, Jester, Nott, and Beau, had all leapt from... Or is Nott still being held by you?
SAM: No, Nott and the other humanoids had jumped and we were Feather Falling.
LAURA: That's right, we were mid-fall.
MATT: Right. You're still eagle?
MATT: Yep, so you're still a flying, giant eagle.
MATT: Cruising down, while the other four of you had plummeted down about 150 or so feet before Feather Fall kicked in, and now you're all gently floating to the floor, as tearing out of the canopy of this massive tree is the screeching, hunting, rustled-awake roc. And that's where we left off.
TRAVIS: Fuck. Fuck me!
MATT: As the four of you are are closing down, the two of you who are down at the bottom waiting at the base of the tree can hear the loud (screeches) screech come out across the sky above. You look up and see the shadow of the bird (whooshing) emerge from above.
TALIESIN: Oh, boy.
TRAVIS: We were just leaving.
ASHLEY: Are they coming down?
TALIESIN: I mean, kind of.
TRAVIS: That music's not good.
ASHLEY: Should we try and catch them?
TALIESIN: I guess.
MATT: So while this is happening, the four of you are all floating gradually five feet, ten feet, 15 feet. You're definitely going to be safe if you land, but it's going to be a little bit before you land. What are you doing?
LAURA: I cast Disguise Self. I'm going to make myself look as much like a leaf as I can.
SAM: A leaf?
LAURA: But I know it can only be a person that you disguise yourself as, so I'm like, I'm a big leaf.
MATT: You're a person wearing a leaf costume.
LAURA: Yes, basically. Just kind of floating.
LIAM: Like a third grade play.
LAURA: A really shitty leaf costume.
TRAVIS: Oh my god.
MATT: Perfect, okay. Jester goes into leaf mode. What are the rest of you doing?
SAM: Oh, boy.
MARISHA: How fast are we falling?
MATT: Right now, you're falling... Let me look at what the specifics are of Feather Fall, but if I recall... Let me see here.
SAM: It's 60 feet per round.
SAM: That's still pretty fast.
MATT: It's pretty fast. It's enough where six seconds, 60 feet, so it's ten feet a second. It's (whooshing).
SAM: But you said we're still 250 feet up, so it's going to be--
MATT: About 150 feet up, so you got about three rounds before you land.
MARISHA: Three rounds.
MATT: This first round, you've turned yourself into a leaf costume. What are you guys doing?
LAURA: My hat is a little stem.
TRAVIS: I'm going to use Mask of Many Faces to make myself look like carved up already, and decaying, like decaying zombie Fjord, like rotting meat.
MATT: A rotting balloon. Slowly drifting.
TRAVIS: Like as unappetizing as possible.
MATT: Sure, okay. You look like Taliesin as strawberry in your kids cartoon.
TALIESIN: Thank you. That's where I was going with it.
LAURA: Fjord, you should have made yourself look like a leaf!
TRAVIS: No, you got that covered.
MARISHA: Can I swim back towards the tree?
TRAVIS: Swim? (laughs) Do we know how physics work yet on this campaign?
MARISHA: Oh, I'm trying!
MATT: Okay, you attempt to flail midair.
SAM: While holding a staff.
MARISHA: It's on my back.
SAM: Okay, okay.
MARISHA: I got strappies.
LIAM: You have a deep relationship with free falling.
MARISHA: Yeah, I do.
MATT: You do. You feel you've gained a few inches towards the tree. There's a gulf of a few feet, so it'll take a while. Nott, what are you doing?
SAM: Feather Fall, it's not a concentration spell.
MATT: No, it's not. It lasts for a minute, I believe.
SAM: It lasts until you land.
MATT: Right, or how long?
TRAVIS: Unless you get pinched back.
SAM: That's it. It just says until they land.
MATT: No, duration one minute. It's a minute or they land.
SAM: I will cast Invisibility on myself as I fall.
MATT: (whooshing) Nott vanishes into space.
SAM: Sorry, guys.
LAURA: Oh shit, I should have done that. (laughs)
SAM: That was an option for you?
TRAVIS: Are you fucking serious?
SAM: You decided to be an even more bright, shiny target, something that birds like to eat.
LAURA: Birds don't eat leaves!
SAM: Sure they do.
LAURA: Rocs don't eat leaves.
MATT: You're a leaf on the wind. Nothing bad ever happens to somebody who's a leaf on the wind.
TALIESIN: Too soon!
LIAM: Just a Macy's Day balloon puller falling from the sky.
MATT: Okay, so--
TRAVIS: Please be going after the Wooly Mammoth.
MATT: (whooshing) It turns around, and it's making it your way. It rolled pretty well on perception.
TRAVIS: Which way?
MATT: It's heading in your direction.
LAURA: When it gets within 60 feet of me, I want to cast Command.
MATT: Okay. It's right now about 200 feet away, but it's moving at 120 feet a round.
MATT: (whooshing) Rocketing back towards the tree, you gauge at its rapid speed you're going to have a round before it gets to you and this goes off. So what are you casting Command for towards it? What are you getting it to do?
MATT: To flee, okay. And the DC on that is?
LAURA: 17, wisdom.
LIAM: Turn it around.
MATT: Natural 17. Plus four, 21. (whooshing) Unaffected. It's rocketing towards you as you're all slowly floating down. Everyone else gets something to do on this round.
TRAVIS: What height are we? How many feet off the ground-ish?
MATT: At this point, the second round, you're about, I'd say, 80 feet up. About 80, 90 feet up.
TRAVIS: Oh god. Goddamn it. Yep. (laughs) I had to use all my fucking spells.
SAM: To climb the tree?
TRAVIS: Yep. I will hold my bonus action, Misty Step, from the falchion until the roc comes within grasping distance of me.
MARISHA: How close am I away from Fjord?
MATT: You guys all jumped together, so you're about five feet from him.
MARISHA: I reach out and grab Fjord, and be like: Please don't fucking leave me here.
TRAVIS: It's a one-way ticket.
MARISHA: Please, fuck!
TRAVIS: I only got room for one on this one.
MARISHA: You dick!
TRAVIS: I'm sorry!
MATT: Beau and Nott, you guys are remaining invisible and just holding on for dear life.
MARISHA: Everyone's fucking bailing on me, and I ain't got shit!
LAURA: I'm a leaf, I'm still with you. I'm still with you.
LIAM: Caleb, hearing these two bicker with eagle ears, is going to fly within their reach and just try to stay close to them as they fall.
MATT: Okay. You make your way close nearby to where this is happening. All right.
SAM: I'll just ready my crossbow. That's it.
MARISHA: I make myself tiny to hopefully be as small of a speck as possible.
TRAVIS: Like a small cannonball.
MATT: Okay, next round. (whooshing) It comes right towards you.
TRAVIS: Oh god.
MATT: Just for the hell of it, I want all of you to roll a stealth check for me.
SAM: Advantage, I assume, for me?
MATT: Advantage for you, disadvantage for Beau, and disadvantage for Fjord.
TRAVIS: Disadvantage? Damn it. That would have been better.
MARISHA: Okay, that's still not bad, though. 24.
MATT: 24. (Travis holds up three fingers) Three.
SAM: Natural 20.
MATT: Okay, ten. You're an eagle. You're not really being stealthy, unfortunately. You're just making loud noises and swooping by.
LIAM: I have an intelligence of eight. I know what I am doing.
MATT: Beau manages to scoot along one of the knots of the tree and kick off and push out of the way of its trajectory. It is coming straight towards Jester and Fjord.
ASHLEY: No, no!
SAM: You're going to die.
MATT: It swoops in and actually slams into both of you and the tree, (crashing) splintering the side of its bark. Its beak snatches out towards you, Fjord.
MARISHA: Oh my god.
TRAVIS: Can I do the Misty Step?
MATT: You can.
TRAVIS: Okay. Do I need to?
MATT: You did say you were holding it, so you do. That's a natural 20 that you managed to dodge out.
TRAVIS: I'll shoot 30 feet straight down.
MATT: Okay. (whooshing) Which instead goes to Jester. (gasps)
TRAVIS: (groans) But what if he was aiming towards me and right at the last minute, I (whooshing).
MATT: Right, but the talons go right toward her. It's a different attack roll
MATT: This is going to be 17 to hit.
LAURA: Oh, no, it misses!
MATT: You're lucky. He rolled a four on that one. The talons reach out and try and grab for you as they're going toward the tree. You manage to just put out at him with your shield and dart off, drifting 15 feet radically to the left. Its claws (crashing) dig into the tree impacts, its wings beat once more as it pushes off again. (screeches) It's going to go ahead and go towards attempting to grab somebody the next round.
MARISHA: If she gets pushed toward me, and if I'm by the tree, can I try and reach out and grab her and throw her?
LAURA: Don't do it.
MATT: You reach out and Jester goes.
MARISHA: Oh, this is a trend.
LAURA: But I hold your hand.
LAURA: Don't throw me.
MATT: So you hold Jester's hand. That's your action?
MARISHA: Yeah. I don't really have anything. I'm still trying to be stealthy.
MATT: Fjord, anything? You're at the bottom now.
TRAVIS: Yeah, I'm lower. No, nothing yet.
MATT: This round you touch down.
TRAVIS: Okay, I have?
TRAVIS: I probably took some damage--
MATT: Everyone's going to touch down after this one.
TRAVIS: 40 feet I fell.
LAURA: I have a question.
MATT: No, but you're still Feather Falling, so no damage.
LAURA: It doesn't count as landing if we hit the tree, does it?
MATT: No, bumping into it does not. For the purposes of this spell, it's landing onto a solid surface where there's no more fall momentum.
MATT: Nott, anything?
SAM: I mean, it doesn't see me, so I'm okay.
MATT: You're fine.
TRAVIS: Because I'm 30 feet away, can I use my Hexblade's Curse to just mark the thing.
MATT: If you'd like to, yeah.
TRAVIS: I'll do it.
MATT: All right. You mark the massive bird. And when I say massive, I mean...
LAURA: Did you just burp? Was that you?
TALIESIN: That was me.
MATT: I'm saying about 200-foot wing span.
TRAVIS: 200 feet?!
TALIESIN: Are we anywhere near that little alcove cave, by the way?
MATT: You're not that far from it, yeah.
TALIESIN: Okay, so we can move towards that while this is happening.
TRAVIS: My god, there better be some fucking gopher holes in the ground.
TALIESIN: There's an alcove.
LAURA: The one alcove. Will it fit all of us, that alcove?
MATT: Well, you'll find out.
LAURA: (screams) Maybe.
SAM: We've never fought a roc before.
TRAVIS: You don't want to.
SAM: We just fled.
LAURA: We've always fled.
MARISHA: I got bit by one.
TALIESIN: I'm going to start heading in that direction. I'm also, just to try and distract it, I'm going to use Thaumaturgy to send a sound and a bit of movement as far as I can from us in the opposite direction into the tree line. Just a big, squawking predator of (screeches), whatever it needs to hear to maybe throw it off for a second, get some movement.
MATT: Okay, I'll allow a deception check.
TALIESIN: Okay, those go great. Oh, 17.
MATT: Okay. Doesn't seem to catch its attention, unfortunately. It was worth a shot.
TALIESIN: It was a worth a shot.
MATT: Yasha, anything you're doing or just?
ASHLEY: We're just running to the--
MATT: Trying to catch up where they are. All right. Fjord, you're on the bottom. Caleb, you're still in the eagle form. You're keeping near them.
MARISHA: One round out.
LIAM: We're close to the ground, right?
MATT: Yeah, after this round, everybody's hit the ground.
LIAM: Do I have time to race toward the ground and drop the spell, or are we past that point?
MATT: With your speed, you could.
LIAM: Yeah, so I'm just going to just, now that I see we're close, I'm going to nosedive and then hit the ground and then roll as Caleb in a big pile.
MATT: Catch yourself.
TALIESIN: Guiding everyone to the hidey hole.
MATT: Jester? Beau's holding your hand. What are you doing?
LAURA: Oh, well, we're going to hit the ground anyway?
MATT: You're just waiting to hit the ground?
LAURA: Well, I was going to Dimension Door us, but if we're going to hit the ground anyway then it's pointless.
SAM: Go to the alcove! You can go to the other side.
LAURA: Okay, I'll do that. I Dimension Door as we're falling, the door like right behind us, and as we go through the door, I bamf us into the little alcove at the bottom of the tree.
MATT: Okay. The massive roc that is still clutching the sides, wings ready to take off again, squawks loudly again, shaking you with its proximity now. Your eardrums go high-pitched from the intensity of its scream, and you both vanish out of its sight. You see it get a bit flustered and look down with its keen eyesight, looking towards where you are and where you are, since you are the only ones currently in sight. You're getting close to within its vision, but you were the two that it has its sights on. All right, so it's now going to (whooshing) push off and come down towards you (whooshing) with its talons. That's going to be 23 to hit.
TRAVIS: That hits.
MATT: All righty. You suffer...
MATT: 25 points of slashing damage and you are grappled. It has grabbed you in its talon. You are restrained while you are grappled. It swoops the rest of its movement, dragging you along with him. Its going to beak attack you.
TRAVIS: You got something?
MATT: That's going to be a 20 to hit.
MATT: Shield, all righty.
LAURA: Thunder Step would be super cool if you were stuck in a talon, huh? Thanks for that spell.
MATT: As the beak slams down on you, it actually encompasses your body and it's about to snap shut before (whooshing) the energy pierces out like a bubble around you, and the mouth shuts, shooting you out like a bullet out of a gun, and you go skidding on your shield another 20, 30 feet before coming to rest. It's going to take up and it's about now 50 feet away and up on the ground with Fjord in its talon.
LIAM: Too late to do anything before it goes as an action?
MATT: That's it's turn. Now what do you do?
LIAM: Oh. (stammers)
MATT: Everyone can now take their action.
LIAM: Am I on the ground?
MATT: You are on the ground. You're not knocked prone, I'll say. The shield helped right you.
LIAM: I'm going to move my full 30 feet toward Fjord and the roc, and if it's in range I will pull out my caterpillar and cast Polymorph on the roc.
MATT: On the roc?
MATT: Okay. What form do you wish--
SAM: A larger roc.
MATT: What is the DC on this?
MATT: Okay. Natural 20. (groaning) I'm so sorry.
LAURA: That was so good, though.
ASHLEY: That was such a good idea!
MATT: That was a great idea. Two natural 20s from this roc already. This thing is not fucking around. As you attempt to transmute its form into that of a much smaller bird, it seems to shrug off the magical effect as a brief flicker of its outline before the spell just dissipates. (hisses faintly)
LIAM: Caleb watches. He's got the cocoon. He's going... Oh, Scheiße
TALIESIN: Do beak and talons count as weapon attacks or no?
MATT: They do.
TALIESIN: Okay. Since he's close enough at the moment, I'm going to try and cast Ray of Enfeeblement on the roc.
MATT: Okay. What's the save on that?
TALIESIN: Jesus H. Fucking Christ.
LAURA: Okay, this roc is pretty powerful.
SAM: This is hard roc.
TRAVIS: Can I do something?
MATT: Yes, you can.
TRAVIS: I haven't don't this before. With a bonus action, I will use my Relentless Hex which allows me to magically teleport up to 30 feet to an unoccupied space you can see within five feet of the hexed target. I will bamf out of his claws, and I'm going to appear right on his back, in between the shoulder blades. I'm going to try and wait for him to get somewhere above the alcove so I can ditch.
TRAVIS: I'll just ride the fucking roc.
MATT: As soon as you disappear, you grab the feathers and it's immediately your lips like (flapping) in the wind.
TRAVIS: That was a bad idea! (screams)
SAM: That's Fjord's real voice.
MATT: So Fjord's on the back of this massive bird. Beau, Jester, anyone?
TRAVIS: Help me!
MARISHA: How far away are we from it?
MATT: Right now, you're about 70 feet from it.
LAURA: Oh, god. Well, I'm not going to try to Polymorph it.
TALIESIN: 70 feet straight up, or 70 feet angular?
MATT: 70 feet outward, and about 30 feet up.
ASHLEY: Wait Fjord, he's now on the bird.
TRAVIS: I'm over here, I'm over here!
LAURA: I mean, he's on it.
MARISHA: Unless you try to Polymorph it into something equally as rideable.
SAM: Fjord can take a fall.
TALIESIN: Well, a little late now, but also gets another attack if he does.
MATT: Anyone else? Nothing?
TALIESIN: I've already spent my move this turn.
TRAVIS: All my movement if for some reason it starts to go over the alcove area.
MATT: I mean, okay. It's going away from the tree at the moment, because it was swooping towards and after you and Caleb after it came down. You're just holding on right now. Anyone else doing anything?
LIAM: Yeah. Go, go.
SAM: I think I won't lose invisibility if I use an item, right? It's not an attack. MATT: Depends on the item.
LIAM: Oh, you're invisible.
SAM: I have a potion that I made, a smoke bomb potion.
MATT: You do.
SAM: Would that--
MATT: I'll say you won't lose invisibility. No.
SAM: Okay. I hope that's okay. I'm going to smash that around us, and so we have 20-foot radius of smoke around us.
MATT: (whooshing) Suddenly, the area where you didn't know Nott was is now filled with smoke. There's just a plume of fog smoke that appears in a big cloud at the base of the tree.
TALIESIN: Now we just can't see what's happening.
SAM: He can't see us, or she.
MARISHA: The nearest tree bough was 300 feet, right?
MARISHA: It's like 70 feet. Is it trying to clear under the bough, or is it trying to go up and away from it?
MATT: You don't know. Right now it's just going away. It coasted down to attack and grab Caleb off the ground, and now it's picking up and gaining gradual height as it's about 30 to 40 feet off the ground and about 70 feet out from the base.
LIAM: So bird roc is climbing?
LIAM: Caleb runs right towards Jester and yells get on my back! (whooshing)
MATT: You've already cast Polymorph this round. I'm waiting for everyone else to finish what they're doing.
LIAM: Oh, sure, okay.
MATT: If you're doing anything.
LIAM: Yeah, yeah.
MATT: If not, just tell me.
MARISHA: I can try running back up to the tree.
LAURA: I could try to cast Polymorph.
SAM: Get on my back!
MARISHA: But if he gets away from it.
LAURA: I'm going to try and cast Polymorph.
MATT: You're going to try and cast Polymorph?
SAM: On who?
LAURA: On the roc.
TALIESIN: Go for it.
SAM: On Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
LAURA: I'm going to try to turn him into a bat!
MATT: Okay. That is a ten. (laughs) (gasping)
TRAVIS: (screaming) Fuck!
MATT: You watch as this massive bird... (whooshing) Fjord gets jettisoned at 120 feet per round outward in an arc, like out of a cannon.
TRAVIS: Fuck you guys! This won't help me!
LIAM: All right, if he's coasting, then I'm trying to gauge where he is, and holding a feather and trying to catch him as he gets within range.
MATT: What's the range on Feather Fall?
LIAM: It's 60 feet, isn't it?
MATT: He is so far out of your range of Feather Fall.
LIAM: Isn't he falling though?
MATT: He was 70 feet away from you, and then now got shot even further, another 120 feet out that way.
LIAM: Then if I can do something, I'm turning into an eagle and flying.
TALIESIN: I'll grab on.
MATT: How many more casts of Polymorph do you have?
MATT: It's a 4th-level spell?
MATT: You have three fourth--
LIAM: I have one more 4th-level spell slot left.
MATT: Okay, cool. Just making sure.
LIAM: Yep, yep, yep.
MATT: Okay, so you're turning into an eagle.
MATT: Go for it.
TALIESIN: I'm grabbing on.
LIAM: Okay, I just go (whooshing).
MATT: All right, you guys (whooshing) take off in that direction. The speed of the giant eagle?
LIAM: That's 80 feet.
MATT: 80 feet, okay. You can't get to him, but you're heading that direction.
LIAM: Can I... Yeah, okay.
MATT: All right. Fjord?
SAM: Do something! You got nothing?
MATT: Make an acrobatics check.
TRAVIS: That's it. I got nothing.
MATT: Make an acrobatics check.
SAM: Pray to The Wildmother.
TRAVIS: It's a straight roll. Nine. (groaning)
TALIESIN: You're going to be fine.
MATT: You're not trained necessarily how to best break your fall when jettisoned via a roc.
TRAVIS: Flying? No.
MATT: Yeah. It's a new experience for you. For a moment, it's beautiful, this view and the wind in your hair.
TRAVIS: Quiet calm.
LAURA: Did you get all of his rolling in his hands?
SAM: It's just two. That's two dice.
MATT: Then white hot pain, dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt, soreness.
TALIESIN: Well, we'll see.
LAURA: Oh, god. Did I kill Fjord?
TALIESIN: How far away are we on the eagle?
MATT: Take 44 points of bludgeoning damage.
TRAVIS: I'm okay.
SAM: You're okay? Didn't you take 25 before?
LAURA: Yeah, he's got more than that.
LAURA: He's really tough.
MATT: You're lying on your back, just torn up, rocks and dust and scrapes.
MARISHA: Yeah. (laughs)
LAURA: I jump out of the alcove. Fjord!
TALIESIN: It's going to be fine. Hey, how you feeling?
TALIESIN: Little bit, little bit.
TRAVIS: Make sure it's far away. Make sure it's far away.
TALIESIN: Okay, we're just going to give you a little bit of a pick-me-up, and I'm just going to do Cure Wounds, just to get you back up and running.
TALIESIN: How you feeling, man?
TRAVIS: Just fucking cure me.
TALIESIN: Okay. I'm casting that at 4th-level, so that's a 4d8 plus five.
ASHLEY: An indent in the ground.
TRAVIS: Yeah, just the outline.
TALIESIN: That's terrible. Nine, 14. That's just 20 points of healing, just to get you a little--
TRAVIS: Take it. Thank you.
TALIESIN: Why don't you hop on, and we've got a second where there's not going to be, how long is it just going to be a bat, out of curiosity?
LAURA: I think Polymorph, it's an hour long.
TALIESIN: Actually, this is an interesting question. I can talk to animals. Does that mean that the eagle can comprehend everything I'm saying, since I can talk to animals?
MATT: Yeah, he can comprehend what anyone's saying.
TALIESIN: You want to take a second to drop Fjord off and maybe take a quick look in that nest and see what's up there?
TRAVIS: Yeah. I like the drop me off part.
LAURA: I'm running towards them as much as I can.
TALIESIN: We're flying straight back now.
SAM: Don't worry, Yasha. We're safe in this cloud of smoke!
ASHLEY: (coughs) I start walking out.
SAM: No, don't leave me here!
MARISHA: I follow behind--
TALIESIN: Can we both fit on you or no?
LIAM: I don't know. That's a question for the DM. Can two people ride on a giant eagle?
MATT: One person can ride on a giant eagle.
TALIESIN: Okay, so I'll go back with him, and I think you know the plan now.
LIAM: Yeah, I'm going to fly low to the ground. There's a cloud of smoke and I'm going to look for Beauregard on the ground.
MATT: Okay. You go ahead and make your way over to the cloud of smoke.
MARISHA: I'm following behind Jester a little bit, like 20 feet or so.
MATT: You'd be able to see both Jester and Beauregard emerge from the smoke cloud.
LAURA: Fjord, Fjord, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry!
TRAVIS: Why? Why are you sorry?
LAURA: Cure Wounds.
TRAVIS: Oh! (hums)
LIAM: (screeches) Ooh!
MATT: This little impact on your shoulder. You look and there's this little bat (flapping).
TRAVIS and MARISHA: Ooh!
SAM: It's still trying to attack?
LAURA: No, no! Don't attack it.
MARISHA: Don't attack it!
LAURA: You just healed 25 points.
LIAM: Catch it in a butterfly net.
TRAVIS: Thank you kindly.
MATT: (thwacking) (laughter)
SAM: Any damage?
LAURA: Can we catch him?
MATT: What's your armor class, Fjord?
MATT: (thwacking) (laughter) Just (squeaks) little squeaks, and it's trying to bite through, and it's just pissed off.
LAURA: I take my little cape off and I try to catch him in my hood.
LIAM: Catch him, derry! Catch him!
MATT: You wrap it in there, and you now have this little satchel with a--
TRAVIS: How long's that last?
LAURA: This is an hour long.
LIAM: Fjord's out there pissing himself, derry.
TRAVIS: Can we just put him in the bag of holding?
TALIESIN: No, I don't recommend that.
LAURA: Well, it'll kill him.
TALIESIN: Because magic versus magic, a lot of weird things can happen. You don't want to cross spells.
LAURA: That's true. Plus, we don't know. This could be a mama bird and her babies are up there.
TALIESIN: I think it very much is.
LAURA: She had a nest, after all.
TRAVIS: They're going up and check it out before we go in this cave to hide?
MARISHA: Shut up! (laughter) Fucking, my ear. God.
TALIESIN: Look up there. Grab anything. Don't hurt the eggs or anything. Don't disturb anything.
MARISHA: You want me to go back up there into that nest?
TALIESIN: Well, on top of this guy.
TALIESIN: You might want to take the bag too, might be a clever--
MARISHA: Oh, just leave him up there and then we can fly down?
LAURA: Yeah. Well, yeah.
TALIESIN: You can take the bag and grab anything interesting up there, put it in the bag, and then come on down.
MATT: So you guys take off up towards the tree. Okay.
MARISHA: I'm going to keep an eye out for any more rocs, make sure this isn't mama roc, and there's not a daddy roc somewhere.
TALIESIN: I'm going to try and calm the roc.
TRAVIS: You can't calm the roc.
TALIESIN: I calm the roc.
MATT: Make an animal handling check.
MARISHA: 20 total.
MATT: Okay, you're keeping an eye out as you're flying up.
SAM: We saw the nest before.
LAURA and LIAM: Yeah.
LIAM: I don't know if I did though.
MATT: You got an angry roc bat in a satchel. It's not working.
TALIESIN: Ah, oh well.
MATT: You hear it squeaking as it's constantly fighting against it, but it doesn't have a lot of strength to it.
TRAVIS: I haven't seen an angry roc bat since an Ozzy Osbourne concert.
MATT and MARISHA: Ooh!
MATT: You make your way back up to the top of the tree, stop in one of the lower branches, nearby where you guys had left off. You stop and you're looking around. You vaguely recall where you saw at least the base of the nest. Go ahead and both make a perception check for me if you don't mind.
MARISHA: I rolled a 20 on that first one.
MATT: That's right. You already made a check.
MARISHA: Do I do another one? Okay.
MATT: Well, you were looking for possible other rocs?
MATT: In the tree?
MATT: Yeah. I'll say yeah. Then I'll allow it to stick. What'd you get?
MATT: Okay. You do see the nest. You see the cluster of large branches and leaves and broken wood, and now you're looking up there. You can see there's a wagon wheel and there's all sorts of shit that's just been mashed into this nest.
MARISHA: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Go, go.
MATT: Leaping from branch to branch, eventually--
MARISHA: Looking for shiny. Looking for satchels. Looking for bags. Looking for--
MATT: The first thing you notice when you get up there in the view, one there's carts and looks like a part of a building, like a piece of a ruin, that was jammed in here. It's just been assembling its nest from whatever a giant bird could find amongst the Barbed Fields and the surrounding area. It's very Katamari Damacy, the way this nest has been built. You do see also within there, the feathers freshly starting to come in, a baby roc.
MARISHA, LAURA, and ASHLEY: Aww!
LIAM: Bigger or smaller than Caleb is right now?
MATT: Oh, I'd say a little bit smaller than Caleb, but only barely.
MATT: It's just like they're (squawking).
TRAVIS: Barf in its mouth.
LIAM and MATT: (screeching)
MARISHA: Is it just one?
MATT: Just one.
SAM: The rest of the episode is just this.
LIAM: Would it be so bad?
SAM: I know.
MARISHA: It's cute, I know. It's adorable. I want shiny shit. Is there shiny shit in the nest? Has it been hoarding?
MATT: There might be, but you'd have to go through, because it's--
LIAM: Are we in the nest now?
MATT: Well, you guys are up in the branch above, looking down into the nest. You can go into the nest, if you like. It is a cluster of massive, dried bird guano over these heavy, woven meshes of branch and leaves and other pieces of errant material that this creature has assembled for it. Because it's porous, all branches and whatever else can be found, there probably are shiny things in there probably, but you'd have to sift through it and search for a while to find anything.
MARISHA: That is covered in bird shit and saliva--
MARISHA: -- and egg gunk.
LIAM: Caleb shits. (screeches)
MARISHA: I'm trying to understand your point that you're making.
LIAM: I turn and slide her down, that's it, slide her down along one wing.
MARISHA: Aw, what the fuck?
MATT: (thumping) Into the nest. You stop and you look up at this 12-foot baby bird.
LIAM and MATT: (squawking)
LIAM: Not what I meant, but it's fine.
MARISHA: Hey, buddy. MATT: Is that not what you meant?
LIAM: I meant to set her down here and me go down in, but this is funny.
MATT: We're going for it.
MARISHA: I take out my staff and I'm just like: Scritches? I give him scritches.
TRAVIS: Did you say scritches?
MATT: Do an animal handling check. MARISHA: Oh, fuck me.
LAURA: You can do this, Beau.
LIAM: With advantage because of Dagon?
MATT: Dagon does not exist in this world.
MARISHA: Ooh, okay, okay, okay. 16.
MATT: It starts doing the hungry eye. It hasn't been fed recently. You get the sense that this isn't a classic mama bird eating pellets and stuff. This thing probably eats flesh.
MARISHA: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
MATT: You look like a tasty morsel. As you approach, you take your staff and scratch the side of its face and it's like (squawking and chomping).
MARISHA: Mm, mm-hmm, itchies? Yeah, yeah, okay. I take out... Fuck! What do I fucking have? Do I have a ration? Take out a ration. Travelers kit and just...
TRAVIS: Do you feed it a ration?
MARISHA: Yeah. Throw it away from me.
TRAVIS: Here's a pepperoni.
MARISHA: To him.
MATT: (chomping) Catches it in midair.
MARISHA: Fuck! Fucking faster than I thought. Fuck. Thought it'd go over.
MATT: It's now expectant of more food to come now that you've begun the feeding cycle.
MARISHA: I do the dog fake out thing.
MATT: Of what? Another ration? What else you got?
LIAM: Oh, I thought you were faking it.
MATT: Are you faking it?
MARISHA: I've got some ball bearings. I take some ball bearings.
MATT: Make a deception check.
LAURA: Poor baby bird. Going to eat some ball bearings.
LIAM: -- push through in here as well, or is too hard?
MATT: Yeah, you can make your way down. You're just on a branch right above it, so you can just leap down onto it.
LIAM: Just its little outer circle.
MATT: 15, it like (squawks).
MARISHA: I back away.
MATT: You back away a little bit in the nest. The nest itself is about, I'd say, 45 feet from side-to-side. It's a massive nest and it is lumpy and precarious.
TRAVIS: Let's just adopt this bird. It's no problem.
MATT: Sure. More pets. That goes well with you guys.
LIAM: Caleb moseys up next to Beauregard. (screeches)
MARISHA: Do I see anything, just looking down as I'm running around?
MATT: Make a perception check.
MARISHA: That looks worthy of investigating.
LAURA: Roll a 20, roll a 20, roll a 20!
MATT: You're doing a big old thing?
LIAM: I'm making a little bit of presentation to get attention.
MATT: Okay. The creature is now looking for wherever the ball bearings went, turns back to you and goes (squawks).
MARISHA: Perception is eight.
MATT: (groans) It's hard to tell. You can see part of a vardo. You can see clusters of sacks that have torn and broken inward. There could be. You just don't see anything that's a sign of where things might be. You're just going to have to do a general search over time, and it'll take a while.
MARISHA: Do we want to do that?
TRAVIS: Yeah, totally. It's just you guys. It's not us.
MATT: Meanwhile, the baby's coming up to you.
MARISHA: You entertain the kid.
MARISHA: I'm going to try and do as best as I fucking can with the rest of your Polymorph time, okay? The rest of that Polymorph time. But we need a ten-minute lead time to go, okay?
MATT: It's opening its mouth now in the same expectant feed me kind of way.
LAURA: It's going to take us more than ten minutes to get away from the other one.
MARISHA: That's why I'm saying we need to get down. I'm going to start investigating, going through stacks.
MATT: Make an investigation check.
MARISHA: The more ornate the better.
MATT: We'll say about... Flying to the top, the slow approach, up to here, I'd say roughly about five minutes to go all that, ten minutes for the first search.
LIAM: I'm going to try to make friends and canoodle a little bit.
LAURA: I'm going to shout up when it's been 30 minutes.
MATT: Okay. We'll get to that in a second. Going through, it's precarious in places. At one point you do step across, and part of the nest snaps underneath, but you're a monk and you catch yourself. If you can run up a tree, you can not fall out of a nest from a small break. Slows you down a little bit. You go through and you find small clusters of coins: some copper, some silver for that first ten minutes. You find a couple of sacks that contain what probably would have been some sort of a merchant caravan that was assaulted by this creature a while back, and what comes to about 210 gold pieces and 15 silver pieces, so you can write that down.
MARISHA: 210 gold.
SAM: Down below, I'm going to implore the others. Maybe we should get the moorbounders ready to go.
LAURA: Yeah, that's a good idea.
TALIESIN: Oh yeah. Let's ready everybody.
MATT: You guys go and start gathering the moorbounders, getting them prepped and fed and ready.
TRAVIS: We should wait for night, right?
LAURA: No, remember? Everything's really powerful at night.
TRAVIS: Oh yeah, good call.
LAURA: We should travel during the day.
TRAVIS: Yep, sorry.
MATT: It's still pretty early in the day, too. You guys woke up not that long ago when all this began.
TRAVIS: Sorry, I just got a little scrambled. I'm all right.
LAURA: I'm really sorry, Fjord.
TRAVIS: No, it's great.
SAM: I think I can see your elbow, like your bone, the bone.
TRAVIS: (screams)(popping bone)
(groaning and laughter)
MATT: You start getting close to it to try and befriend it?
MATT: It instinctually reaches out to bite towards you. You got too close. It's a 15. What's your armor class as a giant eagle?
MATT: 13. You take six points of piercing damage.
LIAM: I hop back a few steps.
LIAM: Six points, you said?
MATT: Yeah. It's just they're going (squawks), mouth still open, throat wide. It's expecting its next bit of its meal.
TRAVIS: Feed that bird.
LAURA: Puke in its mouth!
MATT: Make another investigation check for the nest ten minutes. You're pushing on the half an hour mark here now.
MARISHA: Don't fuck me, Gil!
TRAVIS and SAM: (gagging)
MARISHA: Goddamn it. Oh, actually, it's not as bad as I thought.
TRAVIS: Give him that hairball.
LAURA: Stop it!
MARISHA: 20 total!
MATT: 20 total?
MARISHA: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
MATT and MARISHA: That's not bad.
MATT: You manage to make your way over towards the broken vardo and pull open a section of it. On the inside, there are drawers, and you rummage through the drawers and you pull open two of them. One of them contains two sets of very nice silk clothing. The one below that has a small lockbox that is made of iron. You pocket that.
MARISHA: Fuck yeah.
LAURA: Clothes, too?
MARISHA: Yeah. I'll throw them around my belt.
LAURA: You've got the bag of holding!
MARISHA: Oh, that's right! I have the bag of holding.
MATT: You hear Jester shout. You heard Jester shout out from below.
LAURA: Use Thaumaturgy so she can hear me. Hey y'all! It's been a while and this things going to turn back and we need to get away and stuff!
MARISHA: Are you counting with your keen bird brain? You're counting seconds?
MATT: I need you to make three concentration checks as the bat... Oh, and the bat's being held by...
LAURA: The bat's being held by me.
LAURA: In my hood.
MATT: Yeah. It's managed to break out. Every round it's trying to break free.
LAURA: And I haven't noticed it?
MATT: Well, here's what happens. It breaks fee of the bag. It was a natural 20. Every six seconds it gets a try, because all it wants to do right now is break free. It manages to tear out. (fluttering)
So one concentration check as the first hit does get to you.
LAURA: Oh, god.
TALIESIN: I'm going to react to it, if that's okay.
LAURA: What did he roll? What was it?
MATT: A natural 20.
LAURA: Oh, god, to hit me?
TALIESIN: Oh, I would have canceled that natural 20 immediately.
MATT: Okay, it still hits you for a damage.
LAURA: Still hits, so I still got to--
LIAM: It's a concentration check.
MATT: It's fine. You have to roll higher than a--
LAURA: It's cocked. Fuck. Plus my wisdom.
MARISHA: No, it can't be. It can't do that much damage.
MATT: Constitution saving throw.
LAURA: Constitution saving throw. Ten.
MATT: Ten? That's fine. You maintain concentration. The bat is now escaping and starting to try and bite at Jester.
TALIESIN: I'm going to go heck no. I'm going to cast Bane on the bat, if that's okay.
MATT: Okay, the bat is Baned.
LAURA: So he's rolling lower--
TALIESIN: He's rolling lower in general. He's got to take a d4 off of any attack. He's not going to roll well.
MATT: Do you do anything? You're just going to let it keep attacking you?
LAURA: I guess I can try to put him, come on, man. Get back in the cloak. (laughter)
MATT: Make a strength check.
LAURA: A strength check.
LAURA: Oh no.
TALIESIN: Well, I mean...
LAURA: Five? What is it? Five?
MATT: Five? You still beat it.
LAURA: Oh! (laughter)
MATT: It's a bat and it rolled a four.
TALIESIN: And it gets a d4 against that as well.
MATT: That's true, yeah. Yeah, one. It escapes, gets one bite, you're like, "No." It's back in the cloak.
LAURA: I hold it tighter.
TRAVIS: Yeah, time to go.
MATT: It's really angry.
MARISHA: I'm getting nervous. Okay, I'm covered in bird shit. I'm sorry.
MATT: You keep looking? You have 30 more minutes. It's up to you.
MARISHA: Yeah, I'm disgusting.
MATT: You've only looked through about maybe 1/5th of the nest.
LAURA: He's tempting you.
MARISHA: And it's fucking working.
LAURA: He's really trying to... You've got to take ten more-- one more look.
SAM: We've spent hours in this tree. It's been hours.
MARISHA: You know what? I saw a vardo... Not the vardo, I saw a thing over there. Looks interesting. Go over there! One more! Ten more fucking minutes.
MARISHA: We're going again.
MATT: All right, so we're at the 40-minute mark. Go ahead and make an investigation check.
MARISHA: Okay, yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I rolled better. (squeals) 23!
MARISHA: I rolled a 17.
MATT: All right. How long does Bane last?
TALIESIN: Bane, that's a good question, lasts--
LAURA and TALIESIN: A minute.
MATT: All right, so how many spell slots do you have? They just got another ten minutes now.
TALIESIN: Anytime he gets out, I'm going to hit it again.
MATT: Right, but he's not out yet. He's still inside.
TALIESIN: It's a 1st-level spell. I'll keep hitting it.
MATT: All right.
LAURA: He has to be within view, huh?
MATT: Yeah, okay. He does break out of the bag again.
TALIESIN: Knock it off!
MATT: Rolled a natural one. It breaks free and immediately goes to attack you and gets stuck halfway in the cloak that it just escaped from.
LAURA: Okay. (laughs)
MATT: You wrap it up again.
LAURA: I just put it back over him.
MATT: (laughs) Make a strength check.
LAURA: I hold him and I try to pet him as he's in the cloak like: Calm down, bud.
MATT: All right, you have to beat an eight.
TALIESIN: An eight with the negative four?
MATT: With the negative. Well, negative d3. I rolled a three.
LAURA: Oh no! I rolled a one!
MATT: All right, so he's going to attack you again.
TALIESIN: Negative four.
MATT: Negative d4.
MATT: So 16. What's your armor class?
MATT: Yeah, it's fine. (laughs) This bat is really--
LAURA: I just keep trying to put him back in.
MATT: Yeah, roll another strength check.
LAURA: Calm down, calm down.
LIAM: This mighty bird is confused.
LAURA: Yeah, that was good.
MATT: Okay, you capture him. He rolled a six. All right, so--
MATT: 23. In this time period... This is fun to play this out. (laughter)
LIAM: Imagine that you're Rodan and this shit happened to you.
MATT: You come over and you go to the cart, but the cart is empty and broken, but you see wheels pushed and broken and woven into large logs and pieces of lumber that were used for construction that are snapped halfway through the large bars, and there are lots of suits of empty armor, very bloody suits of armor that have been torn open. The metal is, like, bent backward. You can see where the beak tore through. It's like eating a lobster. You just got to get through the shell. You find all this armor with bits of long, decaying dark matter that's just been left on the inside. There's flies everywhere. It's a terrible smell. But you start rummaging through some of these pouches and stuff and you find a lot of really nice jewelry. You find two gold rings and one pearl-set necklace. Probably, you think, they're worth a fair amount. As well as an additional 40 gold pieces.
TRAVIS: Two gold rings, huh?
TALIESIN: ♪ Two golden rings ♪
MATT: Breaks free again.
SAM: Breaks free again!
TALIESIN: Is it in the first minute? Was it further down or?
MATT: No, this is after that Bane of yours.
You cast Bane again.
TALIESIN: Casting Bane again.
MATT: Did you mark your spell slots?
TALIESIN: I am.
MATT: That's 11. It misses you. You going to try and capture it again?
MATT: Strength check!
LAURA: Yeah, nine.
MATT: Nine, no. You don't manage to capture it. (whooshing) It gets away. It's super on-ball! Natural one, minus one, zero! It does not hit you. (laughter)
LAURA: Ha! (mic thumps) Oh, shit!
MATT: Sorry, guys.
TALIESIN: I can't even imagine what that sounded like.
LAURA: I know. (laughs) Ooh, okay, 16.
MATT: Yeah, it's back in the cloak.
LAURA: Okay. (laughs) Hurry up, you guys! Thaumaturgy. Hurry up, you guys!
MARISHA: Okay, okay. I'm satisfied. Let's go.
LAURA: Sorry about the microphone.
MATT: This is amazing.
MARISHA: I jump back.
MATT: You jump back on the back. The baby at this point is slowly making its way over towards you this whole time, and it's been simultaneously expectant for food against the eagle. Do you snap at it?
MARISHA: No, don't pick fights.
LIAM: Not in its face, but--
MATT: No, but it goes for you. 14 to hit.
LIAM: On my bird? I think that hits, yeah. It was 13.
MATT: All right, that's 11 points piercing damage.
LIAM: Ooh, good!
SAM: Are you still up?
LAURA: Run the fuck away!
TRAVIS: Back it up.
MATT: Okay, with Beau on its back, it gets an attack of opportunity on you as you back out of its combat range.
LIAM: I said I wasn't going to-- oh god.
MARISHA: Is it attacking me? Can I do something to--
MATT: It's attacking him, which means you can if you want to.
MARISHA: Can I Sentinel it?
MATT: Yeah, go for it.
TRAVIS: Are you within melee of it?
MARISHA: Oh, I feel so mean.
TRAVIS: Are you right next to him?
LIAM: You better do that.
MARISHA: I'm on him. Okay, 22 for me.
MATT: That's a hit. Roll damage.
TRAVIS: Stun that fucking bird.
MARISHA: Yeah, I guess I could do that.
MATT: That's a natural 20 against you. (gasps)
LIAM: Oh, just now?
MATT: Yeah, when it was trying to snap at you.
LIAM: Oh, I'm sure that hits, right?
MATT: This dice has been rolling really well tonight.
LIAM: Mm, great.
MARISHA: Oh my god.
MATT: 14 points of piercing damage.
LIAM: I am a wizard.
MARISHA: Am I on your back?
LAURA: But you guys have Feather Fall still.
MARISHA: He does.
MATT: You crack it in the head. Roll your damage.
MARISHA: 11 damage.
MATT: (squawks) It pulls back.
MARISHA: I'm sorry!
MATT: It's just a horrible, sad noise when you crack it in the face.
MARISHA: You made me fucking hit a bird!
LIAM: Am I--
TRAVIS: A 12-foot bird. Let's not forget about that.
LIAM: Get to the edge of the nest, please?
MATT: You're, like, standing on Caleb's shoulders as he transforms back into himself.
MARISHA: Let's go! Let's run!
LIAM: Like a piggyback ride.
LIAM: I'm backing up and I'm pulling. I have a 5th-spell slot left, and I'm pulling out the cocoon again. Come on, we've got to get out of here! (screeches)
MATT: One last final eagle call as you leap over the side of the nest from branch to branch out of the canopy. You're pushing 45 minutes now. 50 minutes, dive down.
SAM: They're coming, they're coming! Let's go!
MATT: With a little over ten minutes left of the spell.
LAURA: Oh my god. Just a little over ten minutes left? Holy shit! I thought we had 20 minutes left!
TALIESIN: Yeah, I thought we had 20 minutes left.
LAURA: Yeah, we had 20 minutes left, ten minutes on the search. We should have 20 minutes.
MATT: It was 40 minutes for the search, and then it was them biting and then having to get out, and then recast and get back out to you guys. 45 minutes.
SAM: That's fine.
MATT: To fly back down and get to you.
SAM: All we need is three minutes.
MATT: I've been very kind in some of the allowances I've done here.
LAURA: After they come down, I'm going to... Let me double check this is not a...
SAM: I'm going to mount... What is it? What's your moorbounder's name?
SAM: Jannik, because Caleb can't command it, so I will take the helm of Jannik.
LIAM: Good luck.
MATT: Make an animal handling check.
LIAM: Jannik eats Nott.
MATT: (snorting) And just flings you off backwards. You go flying 20 feet onto your back.
SAM: Yasha, can you try?
ASHLEY: Yeah, yeah. I'll give it a try.
MATT: Take three points of bludgeoning damage.
ASHLEY: I'll get off the one with Caleb and I'll try to get onto Jannik.
MATT: Make an animal handling check.
SAM: You know what, Yasha? Use a German accent. I mean a Zemnian accent. They like that.
MATT: The bat tears free of the cloak. This cloak now has multiple holes in it. It's (fluttering).
MATT: Bane again. Mark that off.
SAM: What'd you roll?
ASHLEY: I rolled a three.
MATT: Jannik actually bites at you. It doesn't see you coming. As you attempt to walk towards it, (barks) instinctually goes and--
ASHLEY: It's not going to work for me either!
MATT: That's a natural one, though. You manage to step and catch its snout.
MATT: It actually gains a little respect for you after you catch its snout.
SAM: I will cast Phantasmal Force on the moorbounder.
SAM: If it fails...
MATT: It can't beat your armor class. It's just (clunking).
LAURA: Hey, I'm not going to fight back. Just keep attacking me.
SAM: It has to beat a DC 15.
LAURA: By the way, is he still... Oh, no.
MATT: Natural 16.
LAURA: This whole time he's been attacking me in a leaf costume.
MARISHA: Yeah, you're still in the leaf costume. (laughs)
SAM: There's no minuses or pluses for the moorbounder?
MATT: I'm looking it up right now.
SAM: You're still in the leaf costume?
MATT: Yep, this whole time. (laughs) Yeah, it resists the Phantasmal Force. I'm sorry. It rolled natural 16.
MARISHA: Are we down yet?
MATT: The bat can't get a hit in. It's trying. You guys have come down. You're down. You've joined the rest of the group as this is all happening.
LAURA: I'm going to cast Command on it.
MATT: It cannot hit you.
LAURA: I'm going to cast Command on the bat and tell it to go home.
MATT: Okay. How long does Command last? For one round?
LAURA: For one round.
MATT: It moves away for a round and comes right back.
SAM: We can't drive your car without your keys. Come on back!
MATT: Yeah, it just (clunking).
SAM: Oh, are you not an eagle anymore?
LIAM: Yeah, I just--
SAM: Oh, thank god.
LAURA: We get on the moorbounders and we start to go.
MATT: Okay, you get on your moorbounders and you just cruise away northward, full speed. You got about, I'll say, ten minutes to travel here after all the faffing and gathering your things and spell casting. The bat is left behind. It cannot catch up.
LIAM: Oh, he can't fly fast enough to catch up?
MATT: Oh god no. The bat? By no means can it.
TRAVIS: Yeah, but he's going to change back in a second.
LAURA: He's going to change back real soon.
ASHLEY: We got to go.
LAURA: And he's pissed at us!
MATT: Oh yeah. (laughs)
MARISHA: Ten minutes, go!
LAURA: Go, go, go, go, go.
MATT: You go full sprint.
TALIESIN: We're looking for anywhere for cover, by the way.
MATT: Perception check.
SAM: We spent so many spells.
LAURA: But hey, we did it!
MATT: As you all are rushing up forward, about nine minutes of that ten crest before out of your sight, you catch a rock formation. It's a small protrusion that curves over and creates like a small hole to pass through. It's like a little mesa with a tunnel in the middle. It's very small.
TALIESIN: We're going to take cover. I'm going to pull everyone. Take cover, take cover!
MATT: You guys go ahead and take Caduceus' lead. You move over and you all cruise underneath. There's maybe about 20 feet of tunnel here that is shielded from the sun, which now the clouds have begun to break. The rains that came in previously are starting to separate a bit, and a little light's peaking through. The ground's still muddy and you're still rushing there. You're still kicking up and leaving this big trail of muck behind you. You all make your way into this little tunnel right as you hear (screeches).
LAURA: Pass Without a Trace on all of us.
MATT: All right, everyone make stealth checks.
MARISHA: Oh, boy.
MATT: Advantage on wisdom perception checks that rely on sight. Okay, what'd you all get?
ASHLEY: One. (groaning)
TALIESIN: Natural one or--
ASHLEY: A natural one.
LAURA: Plus ten.
SAM: Wait, we get plus ten?
MATT: Plus ten from--
MATT: There you go.
LIAM: It might not be in time, but Caleb pulls out his book and starts to ritual cast Leomund's Tiny Hut to make a cork in the end of this tunnel. There might not be enough time, but he's doing it anyway.
MATT: Won't be enough time.
LIAM: Okay, well he doesn't know that, so he's doing it.
MATT: Right, so you begin doing that. Okay.
SAM: Yasha, your butt is sticking out. Your butt!
LAURA: I'm going to prep a spell for as soon as...
LAURA: As soon as he's within-- oh god, it's close-- 30 feet of me.
MATT: Okay. You're all sitting in this thing's shadow. You can see that there's the circular exit that goes out into the little bit of sunlight, and overcast exterior. You can see the pools of rainwater that are still visible across the muck on the outside, and you can see where there's barbs rising.
TALIESIN: Has it noticed us?
MATT: You don't know yet. You guys are up in the inside shadow right now. You're all ten feet back and all you can see is the exit and what little bit of view you have from the portal that leads outward. The moorbounders are getting restless and (growling).
TRAVIS: How big is that portal again? You said it's--
MATT: Well, the whole structure is maybe about 50 feet long, end-to-end, the portal's about 20 feet, 15 feet wide in certain places. You're all crammed in there with the moorbounders, just (shushes) trying to be quiet. You hear (wings flapping). (screeches) (wings flapping)(wings flapping closer) (screeches)
SAM: Oh, god!
(laughter and shushing)
That was in-game.
TALIESIN: 35 minus.
Then it passes. No sound.
LAURA: You're still working--
TRAVIS: Stop it!
LIAM: It takes ten minutes.
MATT: Ten minutes, so you're still working on it. Five minutes go by. (wings flapping)
SAM: I'm just drinking.
We're probably okay, right?
MATT: Seven minutes. Eight minutes go by.
SAM: I've been drinking a lot.
MATT: Nine minutes go by. You complete your hut. (sighing) Now the hole is (clunking).
LIAM: Caleb just lays down on the ground in the mud.
TRAVIS: Nice job.
SAM: That was awesome.
TRAVIS: Holy shit.
SAM: What'd you find up there, Beau? Something that was well worth it?
MARISHA: I hope so. I start pulling out all the loot, including my giant roc feather.
LAURA: That thing is huge, Beau.
TALIESIN: I'm going to keep an eye out while all this is happening. I'm just going to sit at the entryway and just keep an eye out on things.
MATT: Okay, cool.
TALIESIN: For a while.
ASHLEY: What's all there? Let's see.
LAURA: What did you get, Beau?
MARISHA: Okay, I got 250 gold pieces. I got these silk robes and clothes. They seem fancy.
LAURA: Ooh, what are they?
MATT: They're Rosohna make. They are just nice, noble clothing, silks and high tread count.
LAURA: I put them on.
MARISHA: They might be a little smelly.
LAURA: I don't care.
SAM: Because they're free robes?
MARISHA: It's covered by bird shit and dead people. There's also these necklaces.
LAURA: They were folded.
MARISHA: A necklace, some rings. And then--
LIAM: Yeah, what about that lockbox?
TRAVIS: Are they just normal rings?
MARISHA: Toss it to Nott.
MARISHA: No! It's iron. Careful, you might want to check it for traps.
MATT: Okay, so make a lock picking check.
LAURA: I take one of the silk robes off and put it on Yasha.
SAM and MATT: 22 to open.
LAURA: It's so pretty.
MATT: (lock clicking) It opens up!
SAM: (squeaking chest)
MATT: Make a dexterity saving throw.
LAURA: Oh, no!
LIAM: Ya dunce.
MATT: 15, okay. Everyone else in there, also make a dexterity saving throw.
MATT: As you open it up and you see, first you see a nice little pillow that has this beautiful, gold ring with a little opal set into it. You're like oh, pretty. This light little light goes (explosion). The chamber is fireballed. There was a fireball trap in there.
TALIESIN: We may be really bad.
SAM: Do you know have any healing spells left?
LAURA: We might all be unconscious.
ASHLEY: That's so many that he's rolling!
MATT: Okay, hold on.
SAM: Fireball's not too bad.
LIAM: It's like 20 to 30.
MATT: All right, so what'd you roll?
TRAVIS: A 11.
MATT: 24 points of fire damage.
MARISHA: Natural one.
MATT: 24 points of fire damage.
LIAM: 21 with the ring of evasion.
MATT: Okay, so you take 12 points of fire damage.
MATT: You take 12 points of fire damage.
SAM: I will lessen that to zero.
MATT: 12 points of fire damage. Zero.
MATT: 17, all right.
TALIESIN: That's 12 points fire damage?
MATT: Yeah. 12 points of fire damage.
MATT: 12 points of fire damage. Now Marisha, you have Evasion, so even on a failure, I think you still take half damage.
MARISHA: Oh, I thought it was on a... Oh, okay. Yeah, you're right. Success no damage, failure half damage. You're right.
ASHLEY: Now we can see what's in it.
MATT: After the ringing in your ears fades, the inside of the rock is slightly singed.
SAM: Sorry, guys. Sorry
LIAM: Everybody's blacking out.
LIAM: You know, it's just 20 more seconds of time.
SAM: It was just a little box.
LIAM: You just build that one little step in, just one more little step.
SAM: Sorry. That one's on me.
MARISHA: Did you obliterate what's inside?
SAM: I don't know, what's inside?
MATT: It's the little gold ring, which is now on the ground, amongst the rocks. It got blown out a little bit from when the explosion happened.
SAM: Have any runes or gems or anything? It's just a simple gold ring?
MATT: It's a gold ring with a little opal set into it. It looks very pretty.
LAURA: While Nott is distracted, and looking at that,
SAM: Caleb, identify that.
LAURA: I'm going to try to--
TRAVIS: Maybe the other necklace--
LAURA: -- grab her flask--
TRAVIS: --and the rings too, just in case.
LAURA: -- and put it in the haversack.
MARISHA: I divvy out 35 gold.
MATT: (to Laura) Make a sleight of hand check.
TRAVIS: 35 gold to everybody.
SAM: Oh, okay!
LIAM: Good hyping, Fjord.
LIAM: Caduceus, I have not prepared the ability to sense the arcane here.
LAURA: How many gold?
LAURA: 35 gold.
MATT: Nott, what's your passive perception?
SAM: Passive perception. I'm adding gold. Passive perception is ten.
TALIESIN: A short rest would do--
MARISHA: Yeah, a short rest would be good.
TRAVIS: Sure would appreciate a short rest. Can we take a short rest while--
MATT: You can indeed take a short rest.
TRAVIS: The wizard manually identifies-- Short rest. Hit dice, 1d8 plus four.
SAM: Oh, are we short resting?
LAURA: Yeah, definitely.
MATT: You can use your hit dice to heal up if you'd like. Get your spells back. You, and you get to recover from your arcane recovery.
LIAM: Yeah, and I'm going to spend ten minutes ritual casting Detect Magic on everything that was found to see if anything--
MATT: The ring that was in that lockbox does give off a magic aura.
LAURA: Ooh, I definitely want that shit now!
MATT: It is an abjuration-based aura.
LIAM: Okay, and I will spend the next ten minutes casting Identify the same way.
MATT: It is a Ring of Protection.
SAM: A Ring of Protection?
MARISHA: Fucking worth it!
SAM: I got a Ring of Protection for myself. No?
TALIESIN: No, no.
ASHLEY: Sure, if you want it.
ASHLEY: No, of course it's not for me.
LIAM: Beauregard is the one who secured it, so she can decide. Here you go, Beauregard. And I look at it very longingly.
MARISHA: Wait, really? No, I'm sorry.
LIAM: Have we met? Hallo, I am Caleb Widogast.
MARISHA: A new Caleb is here, everybody.
TRAVIS: New Caleb?
MARISHA: Sharing his loot.
TRAVIS: Oh, yeah, that's true. You should take a moment.
LIAM: Actually, I've been giving loot out for months.
MARISHA: I'm just giving you shit!
LIAM: Ow, ow, ow.
SAM: That's the shoulder he had surgery.
LIAM: Two points. Those are weapons.
TRAVIS: Yeah, they literally charge electricity and shit.
LAURA: Both Yasha and Caleb could use that.
MARISHA: Did you already get a ring? Where did we get that other ring? Didn't we have one already?
LIAM: We got it from Waccoh.
LAURA: Yeah, so you already have one on, right? You can't have more than one.
SAM: You can have two, I think. One on each hand. Even so... Caleb is...
MATT: You can have multiple rings. It's about how many things you can have attuned to.
TRAVIS: What does it do? Is it plus to AC?
SAM: It's plus one probably, right?
MATT: Plus one to your AC and I believe saving throws.
LIAM: Give it to Yasha.
MARISHA: You already have one though, right?
LIAM: I have something else. It makes more sense for Yasha.
MARISHA: You have something else?
LIAM: Well, I would love to wear it, but I can only concentrate on so many items at once.
LAURA: Mm, mm, mm-hmm.
ASHLEY: Maybe once I get my bracers and everything, would you want to take it?
LIAM: If I lose something, yeah.
LAURA: If you lose something, you can give it to somebody else and they can use the thing that you don't need anymore.
SAM: Yeah, what other things do you want to get rid of? I think she's saying if you something you want to get rid of--
MARISHA: Here you go, Yasha.
LIAM: No, I don't. I don't.
LAURA: Hey, Yasha.
LAURA: Beau just give you a ring.
ASHLEY: Does that mean what I think it means?
SAM: What finger are you going to put it on?
ASHLEY: I'm going to put it on this one.
TRAVIS: Yeah! (laughter)
SAM: For Beau, that means marriage!
MATT: All right, so you can go ahead and add that to your character sheet, if you want to. Just go to equipment and add Ring of Protection.
MATT: Do it there, and make sure to attune it. All right, so you finish your short rest. You spend your hit dice. It has been a very eventful morning. You're now pushing close to noon in the time that you guys have traveled up and down the tree, across this ten, 15-minute jaunt out into the Barbed Fields. Enough time has passed where you don't necessarily feel like you're immediately being beared down on by an angry roc.
LAURA: (gasps) Caleb, can you sent Frumpkin out and see if the bird is looking at us still?
LIAM: Of course.
MATT: Okay, goes up. Perception check for Frumpkin's vulture.
LIAM: Yeah, vulture. Perception check you said, ja?
LAURA: That's pretty good. I go over to vulture. That's giant eagle. That's the wrong one. Oh, Jesus. I'm just going to make a straight roll, 16.
MATT: 16, okay. I'll say because of the creature's size, it is visible. Frumpkin does see it. It is way off and has no scope of what distance, but it is quite a a ways away, anywhere between 50, 60 miles away.
SAM: Oh, wow.
TRAVIS: (car engine revving)
MATT: Possible 20 miles away. Possible ten. It's hard to tell at this distance with the size of it. It's still looking. It's definitely still present and hasn't given up, it's just in a different direction for now.
LIAM: It's out in the distance. Can't tell quite how much, but we need to go carefully if we are going to go.
SAM: Let's go.
LIAM: Or perhaps we wait till the nighttime.
SAM: Wait, we're losing this fellow. Obann is getting away. We need to move.
LAURA: Yeah, we got to go.
TRAVIS: Let's ride.
TALIESIN: Plus one won't stack.
SAM: You guys okay over there?
TALIESIN: What? Yeah.
ASHLEY: Looking at this ring. Let's go.
MATT: All right. You all get back on your moorbounders, exit the backside of this small, two-way cavern and start heading northward once more. As you're riding past the little puddles and ponds of remaining rain water that haven't quite fully absorbed into the hard-packed earth, you start making your way for the remainder of the day forward. Yes?
TRAVIS: Out where we are, is there any of that grass on the ground that was appearing near the tree?
MATT: Where you are now? Absolutely not.
TRAVIS: It's the wastelands.
MATT: Yeah. Pretty much a hundred feet out from the tree is the extent of where any of that seems to grow, and that's only when night falls, it seems.
MATT: When you first arrived at the tree and when you left the tree--
TRAVIS: It was dead.
MATT: It was all beginning to die away. It seems like about ten, 15 feet from its base is always verdant, and then further out it seems to extend in the night and then retract in the day.
TRAVIS: Motherfucking Pelor.
MATT: Cruising on, are you going fast pace?
SAM: I think slow to start, and then 15 minutes after we'll speed up a little.
TALIESIN: Keep an eye.
LAURA: Enough that we don't get jumped by those things again because we're going too fast. We need to keep an eye out of other monsters.
TALIESIN: Eye on the sky. There's lots--
MATT: Perception check from you if you're taking point from this again, Caduceus.
TALIESIN: Oh, yeah.
TRAVIS: Go on.
TALIESIN: Eh, 11.
MATT: 11, okay. You guys are cruising forward, cruising forward, making your way. You go around this one section where there's a crevasse that begins to dig down. Not like a super deep crevasse, but there's a point where the ground begins to slowly sink between two cliff walls of this small valley, maybe about 23 feet across. You guys want to crest on the upper edge or go through or on the other side? What would you like to do?
SAM: I'm no tactician, but it feels like not down in the middle, right? Because that's ambush point.
LAURA: Yeah, we should go around.
MATT: Okay, right or left?
SAM: Fjord's been rubbing off on me a little bit.
TALIESIN: Where's the sun?
MATT: The sun right now? It's moved past the zenith, so it's about, I'd say, two o'clock in the afternoon, three o'clock in the afternoon. It's starting to push its way a little bit this way in the sky. There are still clouds present, but they're starting to break up a little bit. You have little glimpses of blue sky and the day is getting hotter.
TALIESIN: I'd say left, personally.
LAURA: Me too! I was going to say left, too.
ASHLEY: Me too, guys.
TALIESIN: Then it's unanimous.
MATT: All right, you cruise to the left.
ASHLEY: And we all die instantly.
MATT: You move to the left. As you come up to the edge and crest up to the top there you can see there are a couple of small huts and a tent set up there. Immediately you hear (horn blaring), and a cluster of orc marauders start rushing in your direction and getting arrows ready. (clicking)
TALIESIN: Oh, for god's sakes.
SAM: Good decision, guys.
TALIESIN: Rushing on foot or--
MATT: They rush out and stopped. As you guys are cruising by, they're now starting to pass you on the right.
TRAVIS: Fucking cavalry ride through.
SAM: Just go?
MATT: You guys just pick up. Moorbounders pick up pace. You're rushing forward. (crashing footsteps) Four of them do get arrow shots at the moorbounders. That is going to be a hit. Two hits on your moorbounder.
LAURA: Are orcs considered humanoid?
MATT: Yes, they are. That's a critical hit on Jester's.
SAM: Oh, no.
LAURA: Oh, yeah!
MATT: Undone. Then all four hit, because moorbounders do not have a huge armor class. So two hits on yours because you were the one up front and then one on each of your moorbounders.
SAM: Oh, god.
MARISHA: Can I deflect the one that's hitting Jannik?
MATT: It wasn't unfortunately at you. You'd have to like mark out of the way. You know what? It's fun. Make an acrobatics check. It's going to be difficult to do this, so you have to roll real high to try this.
MARISHA: Look, I just watched John Wick 3 and he said that it was possible. Acrobatics?
MATT: 21? Not quite good enough, unfortunately. You try and reach and you start cruising off to the side and your hand goes for it, but it's just a little bit out of your reach.
LIAM: How far away are they from us at this point?
MATT: At this point, they're about 50 feet. That's going to be 13 points of piercing damage to your moorbounder, which brings him to close to half health.
TALIESIN: 13 points of damage?
MATT: Correct. Just keep tabs on that. Then that's going to be seven to yours.
MATT: And five to yours.
LIAM: Okay, good. Well, when that happens, I clap some bat guano and sulfur together in my hands and throw a Fireball behind them by about 30 feet, 20 feet.
MATT: As they're going after their second arrow, (explosion) they all get thrown forward about ten feet. You see the tent just explode, as well as another half dozen or so orcs that were inside to get their armor on and ready. They just get blown out of it. Go ahead and roll damage, actual damage on this. I want to know.
TRAVIS: Impossible to do.
MATT: Roll damage.
LIAM: Just doing basics.
SAM: (German accent) The basics.
LIAM: Ten, 13, 16, 19, 21. 26 points of damage.
MATT: 26, okay. You watch as about four of them just get thrown about 15 feet (clunking) not moving on the ground. The rest of them are injured, but stand back up and watch you guys just coasting away. They look at each other and realize they can't really keep up, but the one that's holding the horn gives another horn sound, (horn blaring) echoing down into the area, and you can see a little bit of dust gathering on the opposite side of the cavern, the other ridge.
LAURA: How far away is that?
MATT: That would be, from where you are right now, about 120 feet.
MARISHA: Are they also on mounts?
MATT: It looks like they are. You don't know what kind.
LAURA: I'm going to cast... Shit.
LIAM: Would I have made a wisdom save for humanoid orcs?
MATT: Yeah, you would.
SAM: Oh, that's right!
LIAM: Oh, flying colors. 26.
MATT: Yes, yeah. You beat that, no problem.
MARISHA: Jannik just starts to veer off. (quick footsteps)
LAURA: I'm going to cast around in that whole group of orcs that are getting up and out. I'm going to say: Hello, bees! And I'm going to cast Insect Plague on them.
TRAVIS: You're going to cast what?
MATT: All right, so as this massive... You watch as a thousand tiny little flashes of light (fire sparking), like a tiny sparkler goes off.
LAURA: All bees!
MATT: And then a swarm of bees (bees buzzing). These orcs are like, "Hey, come look! (screams)" Then they're just being assaulted by this cloud of bees. They're completely negated. You guys are too fast for them to even consider catching up. What's the range on that one?
LAURA: 300 feet.
MATT: 300 feet. You watch as the ones that are riding on wargs.
MATT: Yeah, the wargs all of a sudden start flipping out and going from side to side. They're going to try and hold on.
TRAVIS: Attack their masters!
LAURA: It obscured their vision, too, of the area.
SAM: Wow, that's powerful.
MATT: All right. Two of them manage to maintain holding on to their wargs. The others get thrown off onto the ground. Their wargs are now trying to wipe their face and trying to get the bees out of their eyes. The shrieking (growls) in the distance. Their attempt to try and catch up has been definitely set back quite a bit. There's still two more that are pushed out of the cloud and are trying to catch up to you, and as you guys move forward (footsteps thumping)--
TALIESIN: I'm going to do a Mass Healing Word with a bonus action at level three for our mounts.
LAURA: For our mounts. Oh, okay. (laughs) I'm like wait, what?
TALIESIN: Ooh, that's nice.
MATT: He's that helpful.
TALIESIN: All of them gain nine hit points back.
LAURA: Woo, full health!
LIAM: I absolutely have more fire to throw, too, if they're in range, then I would.
MATT: Well, over there they're about a hundred feet now. They're starting to try and cruise in towards you, the two that are still around.
LIAM: It's a 50-foot range, so I will finish the job.
MATT: All right, so go ahead and roll your damage for your Fireball for the two that are over there.
SAM: Oh, boy.
LIAM: Not as good there.
SAM: A lot of ones.
LIAM: 11, 12. 17, 18.
MARISHA: (accented) I will finish the job. (laughs)
MATT: 23. (explosion) The explosion hits. You watch as both of the orcs get burned to shit, are still on the backs and still like (growls) pushing through. These are tougher than the standard fare orcs. The wargs are extremely hurt, but still surviving. They skip and tumble a bit. They manage to maintain, I'm going to say... It's cocked.. No, they're fleeing. The wargs veer off to the side, and both war parties seem to, another horn goes off but it's a different tone. (horn blaring)
MATT: Akin to.
TRAVIS: (sad trombone) ♪ Ba, ba, ba, ba ♪
MATT: Calling off the attack and riding on for another minute or so. You look behind and there's no additional chase following you.
SAM: Did we just defeat a whole village in like 30 seconds?
SAM: But it took us days to leave a tree?
TRAVIS: Oh my god. Do you need to check the arrow wounds in case they were poison-tipped or anything?
SAM: Oh, on our moorbounders? Good idea. Clerics?
LAURA: I guess we should.
TALIESIN: I mean, I healed it and it seemed to do the--
MATT: Yeah. It didn't seem they had time to do any sort of poison-based tip on these yet. Yeah, this is an initial assault. You guys came up very quickly on them, and they weren't prepared for ambush. They were just on this ridge before you just rode up and blew the shit out them.
LIAM: Gary, do you see those guys? (explosion)
MATT: (laughs) Essentially.
TALIESIN: Shouldn't have blown the horn, man.
TRAVIS: Down with the razor. (explosion)
MATT: There's an entire page of possible interactions there I can put aside.
TALIESIN: Hey, they were shooting at us!
MATT: Of course they were! I didn't say it was positive encounters. It could have been all sorts of interestingness.
TRAVIS: That was good.
MATT: That was fun. It was interesting. It was very Mad Max-ish. Pressing forward, Caduceus, as you're on point, make another perception check for me, please.
TRAVIS: Come, baby.
TALIESIN: Better than last time. It was embarrassing. Better! 19.
MATT: You do see the emerging shadow of the roc coasting in your direction before it begins to arc. I want everyone to try and carefully maneuver into a stealthy position, probably slowing your speed a bit.
LIAM: So stealth checks?
MARISHA: All of us?
MATT: Yes, all of you, please.
TRAVIS: You still have that?
LIAM: Pass Without a Trace is gone.
LAURA: It is gone.
TALIESIN: Hey! Oh, man.
LAURA: Ten. (laughs)
MATT: Okay, wow. That's actually a good spread.
MATT: Okay. You see the shape grow larger and larger, the dark, winged entity (wings flapping). It just circles off and continues doing a loop just off to the west side, seemingly just barely missing the opportunity to make out your pack heading northward.
SAM: What if it follows us forever?
TRAVIS: It's an evil drone.
LIAM: We get out of the ship to Tal'Dorei and it's just (wings flapping).
MARISHA: Aw, damn it!
SAM: Hello, mama! I am very, oh, my god! (laughter)
MATT: The first true rival of campaign two has been decided. All right, so--
TALIESIN: We can defeat the roc.
MATT: Moving forward, the day begins to come to an end. The sun begins to set against the mountains in the distance. The water left from the rain seems to have mostly vanished into the earth, the mud begins to turn to dried ground and night is coming. You can see Bazzoxan in the distance, but you're not going to make it before the sun hits. You've taken a few breaks today and have slowed a bit of travel, so you could either break for the night somewhere or press on for an additional hour of travel. SAM: I say we press on!
TRAVIS: I vote press.
LAURA: I vote if we fight something else, we are wiped the fuck out and we will die probably.
TALIESIN: We can find maybe a proper-- Bazzoxan's a real town, right? It's a town.
MATT: You don't know.
TALIESIN: I have no idea. I don't know why I would know that.
SAM: It's got a name.
TALIESIN: I mean, does it look like a town?
MATT: It's hard to tell from this distance. It's another hour of travel, full speed, to get there.
TALIESIN: That's turbulent. Yeah, I mean... We're just as likely to have something bad happen out here, I suppose, as if we get a little further. I've got something in my pocket just in case.
TRAVIS: Stay or go? What do you think?
ASHLEY: I mean, of course I would be fine with pressing on, but I know for some of you, that might not be wise.
TRAVIS: Well, let's stop. We've been riding a thin line.
SAM: What, no? No! We have a mission that we have to complete.
ASHLEY: Yeah, but if we all die before we even get to complete that mission...
TALIESIN: Is there anywhere around that looks like a good place to bed in for the night, or no?
MATT: There's no caverns.
LAURA: It's only an hour?
ALL: It's only an hour.
MATT: It's open fields here until you get to the base of the Penumbra Range.
TALIESIN: There's a giant bird. I've got a Daylight spell just in case. I just say we--
TRAVIS: Drive it?
TRAVIS: Let's go. Let's do it. Commit.
TALIESIN: Are we still in the badlands?
MATT: You're in the cusp of the Barbed Fields.
MARISHA: We can also, instead of going full speed ahead, just try and go super stealthy and take extra time.
MATT: You can take two hours and go stealthily if you like.
LIAM: Caduceus, don't waste your reserves. I have that globe, can do the same thing.
TALIESIN: Okay. I've got a little bit of magic left. Not a lot, but a little bit.
LAURA: I have a few. Three spells left.
TALIESIN: That's something.
MATT: Full speed, take an hour? Slow speed, stealthily, take two hours?
LIAM: Full speed or not at all.
TRAVIS: Full speed or not at all
MATT: All right, full speed. Everybody please make a constitution saving throw for me, please.
SAM: For exhaustion.
MATT: You're pushing on the extra hour of full movement.
TRAVIS: Don't fuck me, Gil!
TALIESIN: You get a... Is it a plus one on saves?
MATT: Okay, Jester you're the one who takes a point of exhaustion.
LAURA: Well, I said I was tired. I said--
MATT: Yeah, and potentially you're winded from the travel. The intensity of the day's battles and being weary, the shift in weather from extremely damp to extremely dry. The winds are starting to collect as you're getting closer to the city, and a bit of dust is starting to pick up with them. You guys slowly begin to make your way towards Bazzoxan.
LAURA: Oh, stop it!
MATT: Now as you approach the jagged mountain cliffs along the northern-most point of the Penumbra Range here, flanked to the south by the barren and broken badlands that you've just traversed, your eyes catch dark spots against the ruddy rock as the last bit of light begins to vanish. You see sections of a giant, dark tower, a temple of jet woven into the cliff side, climbing towards the cloudy sky above, entering and emerging from the rock in multiple places like it's been built in and out of the mountain as part of its structure. As you draw even nearer, you can make out the spire-like towers that emerge from this temple, a series of smaller little crests that seem to emerge with their own little platforms and alcoves and balconies on them. It looks like someone took an elaborate stronghold and then merged it with a mountainside, kind of Philadelphia Experiment-wise, and only sections of it are emerging from the rock. You can see some of them appear to be crumbled. Some still stand. At its base, you see what you assume is Bazzoxan. It is a series of scattered structures, a large village. Not a city, but a village, constructed among ruins, similar to the Ghostlands on the outside of Rosohna, but much, much, much smaller. You can see buildings that have fallen and toppled, but amongst them you see newer structures that are in construction or have been built. You can see some that are partially erected with teams that are starting to finish their work for the day. You can see street corners that are marked with large, iron watchtowers that are set on the perimeter of the village. You also begin to see, as you get closer still, the presence of Aurora Watch soldiers from the Dynasty. In fact, most of the people you see here are armored. You don't see a lot of village folk. You don't see a lot of civilians, most a primarily military presence. The wind picks up a little stronger and dust begins to blow through. At that point you begin to see a group of about seven of these armored figures notice your arrival and begin to walk in your direction.
LIAM: Already pulling out. Go for it.
MATT: That's where we'll take our break.
TRAVIS: Already pulling out your--
TALIESIN: I'll throw everything.
LAURA: Travis, where's that bag?
TRAVIS: It's in there.
LAURA: It's in there?
MATT: We'll return here in just a moment with the arrival to Bazzoxan and see what that entails as you approach--
LIAM: Ooh, welcome to Bazzoxan!
TRAVIS: Spires of jet, you said? So black?
MATT: Like just pitch black stone that just... It looks somewhat polished in places, but others are scarred and pockmarked. It looks old. It's ancient.
TRAVIS: Does it match the color of the stuff behind it, the ridge behind it?
MATT: No. The stone is more of a--
TRAVIS: Not obsidian, but like--
MATT: No, it's like a dull maroon-gray mixture. It's the same color as the spires, of the various barbs along the fields, where most of the ground is a deep, ruddy red, clay earth, the spires themselves are more of a deep gray.
TALIESIN: Yeah, no, that's making my spider sense tingle.
SAM: Your spire sense.
TALIESIN: My spire sense.
MATT: Your spire sense. So we have our Wyrmwood giveaway for the break, our fantastic, purpleheart wood tabletop tray.
SAM: I love it.
MATT: We're going to give this away to one lucky winner. To enter, go ahead and, in our Twitch chat here, enter in the word delve, D-E-L-V-E.
TRAVIS and MATT: Delve.
MATT: We want it only once. More than once and you'll be disqualified. We'll have one winner in return. Of course, for US and Canada, excluding Quebec. We'll see you guys in a few minutes.
LIAM: That was a good 90 minutes.
(upbeat music) ♪ You got the perfect warlock ♪ ♪ Her weapons and supplies ♪ ♪ But you need a place to track your stuff ♪ ♪ 'Cause you're so disorganized ♪ ♪ You click open the web page ♪ ♪ You heard about on Critical Role ♪ ♪ And now you're ready to kick some butt ♪ ♪ In that mineshaft full of gnolls ♪ ♪ It's D&D;, D&D; ♪ ♪ Yeah, D&D; Beyond ♪ ♪ Yeah D&D;, D&D; ♪ ♪ Yeah, D&D; Beyond ♪ ♪ You got your stats ♪ ♪ You've got your swords ♪ ♪ You've got your invisible wand ♪ ♪ It's D&D;, D&D; ♪ ♪ D&D;, D&D; ♪ ♪ D&D; Beyond ♪ DANI: Hey, Christina! Package. (angelic music) (tense music) (gasps) BRIAN: Hello, Christina. Tell me your backstory. (dramatic music) Have you always wanted to be a voice actor? (gasps) CHRISTINA: He's here. BRIAN: Who's here? (screams) (bright swing music) BRIAN (VO): Last time on Talks Machina. BRIAN: Travis, Holyflavor wants to know-- TRAVIS: Holyflavor? BRIAN: What is the holiest of flavors? Pepperoni? TRAVIS: Cinnamon. BRIAN: Cinnamon? TRAVIS: You can put it in pasta. BRIAN: Oh, Travis. Does Fjord think the deity in his dream was the Wildmother? If yes, does he intent to tell Clay? BRIAN: You don't have to answer the second part if you don't want to. We don't like questions about what people intend to do. TRAVIS: Well, in the middle of it when he was like you hear a motherly voice, I was like (gasps). Fjord's mom? MARISHA: Oh no! TRAVIS: Nope, not what was happening. MARISHA: Oh. TRAVIS: Yeah. I mean, unless Fjord is Wildmother bae. (laughter) Could be. Could be the babe. No. Think it was the Wildmother, definitely going to Caduceus about it. BRIAN: Okay. TRAVIS: Yeah, for sure. Yeah, I mean anybody that can interrupt that signal or the act of said arcane powers being taken away-- MARISHA: Yeah, that was a big deal. DANI: It was such a big deal. TRAVIS: Yeah, it's a big deal! DANI: It's such a big deal! BRIAN: Huge deal. MARISHA: Then do you just hang out near a giant tree in the middle of a wasteland? TRAVIS: I'll fucking sip some tea. I don't give a shit, right? I'll help him turn dead people into fungus. I'll grow some smurfs. DANI: "Withers without faith," Travis. TRAVIS: Look, I will start wearing pastels, okay? It's worked for Caduceus. I will get fluorescent up in this bitch. (laughter) BRIAN: Our winner for this week was sent in by Stephanie, @Teaandtrials. Nope, @Teaandtails. (laughter) Photo by Jay Villanueva. Let's take a look. TRAVIS: Nope. Oh, yeah! DANI: So good! MARISHA: She's so pretty! BRIAN: A little Vox Machina. Spoilers, this is from campaign one of Critical Role. DANI: Those antlers are huge, too. MARISHA: So good! Love that tattoo work. BRIAN: Then there's a second photo. MARISHA and TRAVIS: Ooh! BRIAN: Wow! MARISHA: Amazing. BRIAN: How did Beau feel about sharing that piece of her story with Yasha? Did she do it because she wanted to comfort Yasha about her past, or did she think of it as an opportunity to share her pain with someone who understands? MARISHA: More the latter. BRIAN: Yeah. MARISHA: Yeah. Beau's not a comforter, literally and figuratively. BRIAN: Was that a joke about her not being a blanket basically? MARISHA: (laughs) Yes, it was. BRIAN: Boy, I've said some bad ones. MARISHA: I was trying to just roll past it. BRIAN: I love it. I wouldn't let you. (laughs) That's my job. No one gets away with shit on this show. Anyway, yeah. MARISHA: Yeah, no, I've been thinking about it for the past few weeks, and I just saw it as an opportunity. But once again, I wasn't going to do it in front of people. I'm just going to wait because-- BRIAN: Because it might have turned into something cool. (laughs) You don't want other people around you have to kick out. MARISHA: Man, that bubble, I bet it's echoey. TRAVIS: Yeah, I mean it's true. Like 65 episodes in we're still making the little personal inroads to each other. It's not full share moments. MARISHA: No. By the time we were Vox Machina, we'd already been playing for two years. TRAVIS: We were like level seven, eight? MARISHA: Seven. TRAVIS: Yeah, fuck. MARISHA: Which is just a little over where we are now. Or we're over that now, so... BRIAN: That's crazy. TRAVIS: Yeah, I mean she saved his life. He was getting attacked by Edward Scissorhands meets Baraka from Mortal Kombat. There was bad stuff going on. BRIAN: And all you could do to repay her was a measly kiss on the cheek? TRAVIS: Well, we were in the middle of a life or death struggle. I figured the nicest thing to do is to be like, "Oh, thank you. (kiss) "See ya. "Let's kick some ass," right? (laughter) BRIAN: Don't look to Dani when I-- DANI: Why are you looking at me? BRIAN: What just happened was-- DANI: What did I do? BRIAN: Travis looks at me and said, "Dad, can I have another cookie?" And I said "Nope," and so you looked at Dani. (laughter) TRAVIS: It's chilly in here, Jeb. Can we turn down the thermostat a wee bit? What is My Little Pony one-shot for $400. (laughter) ASHLEY: Sometimes looking back I'm like, "Oh, "that was not a normal upbringing, but it was fun." My parents, we had a party house. BRIAN: Yeah, everybody tells stories about you kids going to bed and going can you guys keep it down? ASHLEY: (laughs) Yeah. My parents would stay up... I mean, my mom still-- BRIAN: Your mom still stays up and watches-- ASHLEY: She stays up till three o'clock in the morning, and we had people over all the time. We would play music and watch movies, and it was a really fun house. When I look back on my upbringing, I'm not thinking about the projects that I did. It's not measured by "Oh, that's when I was working on this, "or that's when I was working on this." It's more about the life experiences that I had, and I think that's a positive thing. BRIAN: Those are the milestones you remember. ASHLEY: Yeah. (bright swing music) LIAM: Subscribe, or don't subscribe. (sighs) That's not a question. Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to ponder the pros and more pros of Twitch or Twitch Prime, or to take hands and gift new subs to Critters who find they can't afford them, to play, to sleep no more. And by asleep to say the cast and crew of Critical Role might find their naps around the hectic schedule of a live broadcast that we have brought for your consumption, both Critter and fan alike. To play or sleep. (chuckles) No sleep, but just to stream. Aye, there's the rub. For with your subscription, what streams may come. Oh man, oh man, that is a fucking tagline. We got that? That is Twitch poetry. (grunts) Oh, anyway, subscribe to Critical Role. Use Twitch Prime to subscribe. Gift some subscriptions. You got it. (inhales sharply) Mm, wrong soliloquy for the skull, but that's fucking good. (bright orchestral music) (dramatic music)
MATT: Welcome back. We have our winner of the giveaway. The winner is Kmell86. Kmell86, congratulations. K-M-E-L-L 86. We'll get your winning dice box to you ASAP. Laura will be joining us in just a moment. She's finishing up there.
TALIESIN: You cover your own thing.
MATT: As you guys are on moorbounders slowing down the pace of your arrival as you watch these figures approach from the outskirts of Bazzoxan, the daylight now primarily entirely vanished other than the faint glimmer of remaining sunset light on the top of the range. What do you want to do to prepare for their arrival?
LIAM: I am casting Dancing Light so the globules of light are rotating around Beauregard and Nott and me so that this badge can be seen.
SAM: This since Dynasty?
MARISHA: I'll cloak up as well.
MATT: Fjord, anything?
TRAVIS: (sighs) Do I cast Friends on myself? No, but then they know it afterwards. We don't want to do that just yet. I will... Nope, nothing.
SAM: Nothing here either. I'm just going to be loud and proud.
LIAM: Leaving it all up to Jester.
MATT: About 80 or so feet out, six of them all pull out variations of heavy crossbows, longbows, and just go ahead and get them ready.
TALIESIN: They're not aiming, though?
MATT: They're not aiming them yet. They're keeping them at the side. The one in the center, who you can see on the armor has a small, red sash that goes over one shoulder and then dangles across the front of the armor approaches and puts ahead forward to the rest of you, putting a hand up. "(speaks Undercommon)"
LIAM: Please give us a chance to speak. We are friend of the Bright Queen, all of us.
MATT: "Step forward."
LIAM: I slide down off of Jannik and start to walk forward holding the medallion.
MATT: Okay, as you take a few steps forward, some of them get their weapons ready, takes a few steps and meets--
LIAM: My hand up in the air.
MATT: Meets you part way, looks to you. You can see underneath the helmet, the eyes are not trusting. You can see from the chin there's a bit of a heavy, gray chin beard that comes to a gradual point. It's an older drow, weathered, and all the armor here looks like of weathered in comparison to the bright, polished armor that you are used to seeing in Rosohna. There's a general air of... Those who've had to survive on the outskirts of a less than positive environment probably reside in this area and you can see that immediately across the soldiers that are in the area. He looks you over, looks at your symbol. "Might I?"
LIAM: I'm going to remove it from my neck. Is that all right?
MATT: "And how would a human with a Zemnian accent come about the favor of the Bright Queen?"
LIAM: I know, it is a strange thing. We are all a bit of a strange sight. It is not a story that is told quickly.
MATT: "Then don't bother me with it. What is your purpose for being here?"
LIAM: Well, we have been sent north. We work for the Bright Queen herself and are also in league with... Perhaps you have heard of a man named Essek of Den Thelyss.
MATT: "I am familiar with those of Thelyss."
LIAM: He also can vouch for us.
MATT: "Passing through, what is your business in the city, then? What is this?"
LIAM: We are searching for someone, a possible enemy of the Dynasty. We might not look it, but we are friends to the Dynasty.
MATT: Make a persuasion check with advantage.
LIAM: Dynasty dice! Two 17s. Two 17s.
TRAVIS: Comes out swinging with a left and a right.
MATT: Gives a nod. Looks over each of you. His hand that's been up a hold pattern just off to the side and down. The weapons go back, the arrows are released and placed back in their quivers. The crossbows are unnocked. "Well, you are welcome to stay. We are not a place for visitors often, so it is your responsibility to take care of you and your company, but welcome to Bazzoxan."
LIAM: Thank you. We are obviously not from around these parts. Do you have any advice for how to not step out of line or cause any waves? We want to abide.
MATT: "Be quiet, do your work, and leave."
MATT: Turns around and goes back to the other soldiers and they all begin to slowly turn and make their way back to the city. Especially you folks who have darkvision and can see from this distance with a decent enough wisdom, these are soldiers that have seen some shit. (laughs) The reason they're less interested if you is because you seem like less of a threat than maybe some of the things they've deal with in the past.
TRAVIS: A giant, 200-foot wide roc.
MATT: Maybe. Anyway, you can see there are a few lights throughout the city that signify the various towers in some corners, but a lot of the city's in darkness as it seems that many of the folks that reside here are drow and have not an extreme need for that much light. But Bazzoxan lies before you. What would you like to do?
TALIESIN: Let's find a place to turn in for the night, somewhere that the creatures will be safe, because we've got some very unruly friends that we're riding in on.
LIAM: The little pale globules are just sort of bubbling in the air around us in a circle.
SAM: We need a place to stay, but this is probably not where we're going to find Obann, right?
LAURA: I mean, he might be in the mountains if what I saw was true.
LIAM: We're certainly not going to go any further now.
LAURA: You can't find that entrance or whatever it was he was looking for in the dark.
TALIESIN: Mm, we need to rest.
LIAM: Yeah. You have been our best bet in trying to find this Obann, so perhaps we count our losses and blessings and bed down for the night and try again tomorrow, Jester?
LAURA: Sure, yeah, yeah. I'm pretty tired, so I could do that.
LIAM: We made it.
LAURA: Hey, guys! We're not dead.
SAM: We did it!
LAURA: We didn't get killed by a giant bird.
LAURA: Or those things that almost killed Fjord, or those other things that almost killed Fjord.
MARISHA: You were pretty awesome, actually.
TRAVIS and TALIESIN: Yeah.
ASHLEY: I do like this leaf look.
LAURA: (laughs) Oh, this one? I cast Disguise Self again and put it on.
ASHLEY: Yeah, it's good.
SAM: Oh, you're a leaf! Oh, now it makes way more sense.
I didn't what you were! I was like, is she a lizard? Is she some sort of a cobra snake or something?
LAURA: I was falling, so it was hard to make out the details.
SAM: I had no idea. I was trying to think about it all day, but I didn't want to insult you.
LAURA: No, no, no, it's okay.
LIAM: You look a little bit like a snap pea.
LAURA: Oh, (laughs) yeah.
TALIESIN: Like a little sugar pea.
LAURA: They're really good. Ooh! I give Caduceus a hug.
TALIESIN: Got hugged by a sugar pea.
TRAVIS: Do we see any stables or other areas where we might be able to board the...
MATT: I'll say you begin to peruse the exterior. You do see a long row of stable-like structures that are built into this series of expansive buildings that are side-by-side. They're made of stone and clay. They're resembling a roughshod barracks, that is the process of being continuous expanded. There are, on both sides, expansions being constructed, but for the time being the construction is halted. There are soldiers all throughout, and you can see there are sort of the rough Xhorhas horses are set there, a few military moorbounders that are armored are set there. You do see some soldiers do have their own moorbounders and are doing a perimeter on the far outskirts in the city, but it looks like it is directly under the Aurora Watch.
MARISHA: Any sign of any civilians?
MATT: As you get closer into the city and you begin to take in the vicinity, you do see some civilians or at people that aren't fully armored and armed like soldiers, but everyone seems to carry, even in regular clothing, some means of self-defense. I'd say the ratio to immediately-recognizable civilians to immediately-recognizable soldiers is about one to four. There's a primarily military presence in this city.
LIAM: So people are risking their asses to make money out here in hell.
MARISHA: Yeah. There are probably a few bars.
TRAVIS: We should find out what the nightly threats are around here, what they're used to fighting off.
LIAM: Yeah, and why they look so haggard.
TRAVIS: All right, let's see if we can find an empty stable for the kitties.
LIAM: Yeah. That, and then we'll get a nightcap and find out a little bit, and then go the hell to bed.
MATT: With your emblems of the Bright Queen, space is tight, but you can find a place to keep them for the night. You get the sense from the request that they're not happy about it, but they're willing to provide for a short duration. Everyone seems to be very intent in keeping what they have their own. This isn't a very sharing society.
TRAVIS: All right, should we find somewhere to stay?
SAM: Yeah, let's go.
TRAVIS: Do we see anything that looks like it might have extra space, or voices coming from inside, some sort of shared hall?
LIAM: Or is there anyone walking about right now?
MATT: There are a handful of folks. I mean, there are soldiers all over, and there are watches that are doing patrols both through the city and towards the base of the mountain. You can make out the basic shapes from what little bit of moonlight's coming through the broken clouds. The wind does carry through on occasion. There's a bit of dust that picks up and wrecks visibility for a few minutes, but then you look up and you can see where the mountain range carries up the shape of those towers that all begin to build up and emerge from portions of the mountainside above you. You can see faint bits of green lantern light towards the base of it, similar to a lot of the light that gives the glow to the central portions of Rosohna.
LIAM: Fjord, maybe you ask around for a place.
TRAVIS: Sure, yeah. Smart. All right, can I find a small grouping of maybe these soldiers?
MATT: Easy enough. There's plenty of them to go around. You come across a group of four of them. The first one you see, full armor, full set, helmet, approaches you, lighter, reedier voice as you approach. "Can I help you?"
TRAVIS: We're stopping through just for the night before we continue on our business for the Bright Queen. Looking for lodging, somewhere to stay.
MATT: "There is probably a room in the barracks. It's not very comfortable. Or you could try to go for The Ready Room, but it's as uncomfortable. We don't have many visitors that come through."
TRAVIS: Why's it called The Ready Room?
MATT: "That's where most of the supplies for general populace is kept."
TRAVIS: Any other stores that you could make us aware of, or we might be able to restock or upgrade our situation?
MATT: "The Ready Room would probably be the best bet. Everything else is currently in the military set."
TRAVIS: Appreciate that. By the way, seems like you fellas have seen some shit. What's on the watch list for tonight? Threats, terrors, things you see often?
MATT: "Well, there is everything that lives south of this place in the Barbed Fields, and everything that attempts to escape from that," and points towards the northern mountain where the large temple-like structure that you noticed is.
TRAVIS: Escapes from that?
TRAVIS: We've come through the Barbed Fields, so we've certainly seen what's behind us, including a giant bird-like creature. I'm sure you're familiar.
MATT: "(chuckles) Yes. The rocs do occasionally hunt."
TRAVIS: What do you mean escape from up there? What is that?
MATT: "This is the Umbra Gates," and they point off towards the base of it. You can see where the green lantern lights are. There's a large set of gargantuan black doors.
TRAVIS: Umber Gates?
MATT: Umbra Gates.
MATT: "This entire mountainside was a prominent temple to a number of Betrayer Gods long ago. We began to reclaim elements of it, but then uncovered that there was, in the time since the Divergence, quite a number of remaining doorways. We only managed to build part of this city before it was assailed, and now we sit for the better part of a century at a stalemate."
TRAVIS: You mean, things come out of there, you try and fight them off as best you can, and no ground has been won?
MATT: "There has been some ground won, and then it was lost, and then some ground was lost, and then it was won. Unfortunately, we were doing much better until we had to divide some of our forces to the west to deal with the Empire." He looks past you towards the cluster of the rest of your group a little ways off to the side. "We're doing the best we can with what we have."
LAURA: I'm doing the Cabbage Patch.
TALIESIN: That's a funky pea.
TRAVIS: I peek over my shoulder at the group and see Jester doing the fucking Cabbage Patch, and I'm like: They might not look like much, but we're here to help.
SAM: Woo, woo!
TRAVIS: Most of us are here to help. Some of us are here to help.
MATT: "Well, we'll take everything we can get."
TRAVIS: I'm Fjord. We are the Mighty Nein. If you need anything, just holler.
MATT: "I am Sulo, and (sighs) welcome to hell."
SAM: Why would they build a city here?
TRAVIS: The Umbra Gates. I go back and relay all of that to the group. Have any of y'all heard
of something called the Umbra Gates?
TALIESIN: Have we ever heard of something called The Umbra Gates?
MATT: You can make a history check, sure.
TALIESIN: All right, history check. Not a religion check.
LAURA: Natural 20!
LIAM: 23 and a natural 20.
MATT: Very nice. Okay yeah, so Bazzoxan wasn't the name of a village. The Bazzoxan was the name of this temple, and it was, to your recollection, in some of the books that you read. You spent a lot of time alone, and brag a little bit recalling this information because Caleb did not. This in particular was a deep-set multi, multi, multi-leveled temple that was the center of the Prime Material Plane's seat to the Princes of the Abyss.
TRAVIS: Ooh, fuck!
MATT: The Demonic Princes all had some... In a brief period of time in which there was unity between them for the purposes of the agreement of these entities in the Calamity, they all held different seats throughout this temple. This was where the Seat of the Abyss sat in Xhorhas.
LAURA: Oh, Jesus.
TALIESIN: Anti-Rock of Eternity, for all the Shazam nerds.
LIAM: Is this the location on ever Final Fantasy game where you got to max out all your stats?
MATT: Oh, here? No.
LIAM: No? (laughs)
MATT: Well, could be.
MATT: Could be, depending on how long you want to hang.
LIAM: Na, na, na, na, na, na, na.
MATT: But you only have the history of the location. You don't have the history of any of the local politics. You've had no experience of the Xhorhas or the culture of the Dynasty before all this.
TRAVIS: Abyss is demons, Hell is devils.
SAM: Fjord, this Ready Room, does that sound like a hotel?
LAURA: I had a children's book of all the levels of--
MATT: (child-like) Yeenoghu and Orcus!
TRAVIS: It sounds like a co-op really more than anything, but yeah.
TRAVIS: Yeah, you know, drop a little, pick up a little, stay if you need to.
SAM: Is that our best bet, then?
TRAVIS: Sounds like it. Unless you just want to rough it in the barracks.
LIAM: I think we should stay apart from the soldiers here.
TALIESIN: I would agree.
TRAVIS: Yeah, let's see what we can find. We'll head over to the Ready Room.
LIAM: Good name.
MATT: Okay. You make your way there and you gather, based on the conversation the military presence here, this is probably very much like a martial law locale. Eventually, asking a few questions, you find your way towards a massive barn, like a pointed-top barn. It's a gradual curve to both of its sides. Atop there is a sign that has multiple languages written in it, but one of them is Ready Room in Common. You can see there are soldiers out front that are in the process of gathering large spindles of rope and putting them onto the back of their horses. Some people are gathering wood and construction supplies. Some folks are bringing things back, tools they don't need anymore to sell back. This is one of the central barter, trade places of Bazzoxan.
SAM: Is it all drow everywhere?
MATT: I'd say it's about 80% drow, approximately. Yeah, it is 80% drow. Wow, look at that memory. You do some other goblinoid races. There's the occasional ogre, some goblins, occasionally a hobgoblin or a bugbear, but it's primary drow up here in Bazzoxan. You get the sense from here in Rosohna, most of the monstrous races and the waste folk are to the west near Asarius, in the open fields of Xhorhas there. The closer you get to Rosohna, the more that the drow are primarily the presence there. As you approach the outside, you get a couple strange looks as you pass but nobody bothers you as you've casually made your way this far into of the city. You enter the front room and you can see the interior of this large barn, which tip-to-the-floor probably stands about 45 feet tall and about 65 to 70 feet end-to-end. A lot of this is just an open space where there's just stacks and stacks of materials and equipment. You can see lanterns, shovels, pickaxes. You can see basic furniture, ladders, everything you would need for a very basic lifestyle in construction, maintenance, and building of all kinds. There's masonry tools and all sorts of very, very simple adhesives available. Then you can see there's a ladder that leads up into an upper top deck area, and there is a sign that says "Lodging." It looks pretty rough and tumble.
TALIESIN: There's nowhere that looks like it would have some spell components or anything like that?
MATT: Depends on what spell components you're asking about. But you do see on the front, most of the folks that were doing business have left and you see they're gathering and returning things. The interior, for the most part, is empty at this hour, except for you can see a pair of younger drow that are sitting across the far counter on the opposite end. The young female drow you can see has a short, almost bob cut to her hair, is in the process of gathering and marking down materials. The male drow looks similar in age, is in the process of moving boxes up onto the counter then notices you guys arrive and gives a (clears throat). Gives a nudge over to his partner. "How may we help you?"
TRAVIS: We're looking for shelter for the night.
MATT: "Well, we can certainly provide it. It is how many? All of you?"
SAM: That's right, plus for our livestock.
TRAVIS: No, we let someone else take care of that.
SAM: We did? Oh, sorry.
MATT: "For all of you for the night, that would be one gold, two silver."
TRAVIS: I got it.
LAURA: Thanks, Fjord.
TRAVIS: No problem.
LAURA: Is there anybody outside of the building that is watching the outside?
MATT: There are people outside the building currently, yeah, that are in the process of offloading equipment or picking up equipment.
MATT: They're not focused on you, but you can hear them shifting things, the impact of heavy sacks and building materials (crashing) scraping on the ground.
LAURA: I'm going to stand next to the sign to the Ready Room.
TRAVIS: We spoke to Sulo outside. He said to inquire about the sort of encounters you have around here.
MATT: "Oh (chuckles). Thankfully not too many for the ones that are watching the gates, but fiendish creatures sometimes wander past the gates or the tower. Soldiers tend to them as best they can."
TRAVIS: From what you've heard, how long does it take to get from here to those towers?
MATT: "I have not been up there. I do not know."
TRAVIS: I'm sure you've heard them talking about it, though.
MATT: "I don't want to bother myself with this sort of--"
TRAVIS: You don't hear things?
MATT: He gives you a stale look.
TRAVIS: I take out the symbol of the Bright Queen. Don't mean anything by it. We're just here to do a thorough job.
MATT: Make a persuasion check.
LAURA: I cast Bless on me and Fjord and...
TRAVIS: Does that do anything for this roll?
TALIESIN: No, it's just a check.
MATT: 16. Okay, he goes, "(sighs) There are multiple barricades set up throughout the exterior and interior of the various tunnels of Bazzoxan, but things still manage to creep past and the soldiers kill them and try to fill the gaps."
TRAVIS: Are there access to these tunnels?
MATT: "For the Aurora Watch, yes."
TRAVIS: Any food? Do we need any food?
TALIESIN: It would certainly help for tomorrow if we had access to some food.
TRAVIS: We do have some moorbounders outside, and we need some rough rations for them.
MATT: "That can be provided. Prima!" The girl has been listening but trying to look like she's not paying attention. "Yes, brother?" "We have some more guests for the night, if you could prepare us some food for them, and how many moorbounders you said?"
TRAVIS: We have three.
MATT: "Three moorbounders." She goes, "All right, very well. I'll make food for them, you get the food for the moorbounders." "All right."
TRAVIS: I appreciate your help. I know it may not go too far out here, but here's another two gold for each of you.
MATT: "Thank you, it will cover most of the moorbounder food. An additional gold for the remainder of the moorbounder meals, please."
TRAVIS: Not a problem.
MATT: "They are hungry beasts."
LIAM: Excuse me. I know this might be a bit of a long shot for your establishment, but have you any incense here?
MATT: "Prima, do we have any incense?"
TALIESIN: And ivory also, if there's any rolling around. I got some stuff I got to do, too.
MATT: "Or ivory. How much do you need? Like a pinch?"
LIAM: I would take as much incense as you have. I will take it off your hands.
TALIESIN: I need 250 gold worth of incense and 200 gold worth of ivory.
LIAM: You also need incense?
TALIESIN: Incense and ivory. I got a thing.
MARISHA: That is so much.
LIAM: How much do you have?
MATT: You see his eyes get wide. "Prima?" (laughs)
LIAM: We will pay a premium.
MATT: She goes, "Premium, you say?"
LIAM: Yes, 10% more than you are accustomed to charging.
MATT: "Give me an hour. I need to go call in some favors."
LIAM: I can give you that hour.
SAM: Do you have a barrel of peanut butter and 400 meters of wire, and a pound of dove feathers?
MATT: "I can inquire."
TRAVIS: Did you want any of those things, Nott?
SAM: Not really. I want to know what their inventory is. It seems extensive.
MATT: "It's all right. We don't have a lot of trade that comes through, but we have had merchants who came, didn't leave, so the remaining materials were brought to us. Let me go check." She comes from around the counter and passes all of you and exits the complex.
LAURA: While they were all inside talking, I was trying to paint the sign.
LAURA: Ready Room to Ruddy Poon. It's an easy exchange.
SAM: Three letters?
LAURA: Three little lines. It's three little lines.
MATT: There is a ladder on the inside that you can do, because it is high up. It's about ten feet up for the barn door. There are the folks out there that are doing business. Are you still in your leaf costume?
LIAM: That's long gone.
LAURA: Yeah, that would have been gone by now.
MATT: Okay, I'm just asking.
MATT: Make a stealth check for me.
LAURA: Okay. Ooh, 11.
MATT: 11, okay. You go and as they're talking, you grab the ladder off to the side. (items clattering) They all stop working, look at you. You set the ladder by the side and you wait and wait, and they go back to their business. Make a sleight of hand check with disadvantage.
SAM: You can do this. You're blessed, right? Did you use Bless on the last roll?
MATT: Bless doesn't help.
LAURA: It doesn't help with checks.
LIAM: You need Guidance.
LAURA: Oh, wait! Wait, okay. With disadvantage? Sleight of hand with disadvantage. 18.
SAM: Not bad!
MATT: It takes you the better part of about ten minutes or so, doing it one section of a letter at a time, climbing up on the ladder and just waiting and looking out, and a little firefly comes by and you're like, "Oh!" Get down, move the ladder. Eventually, you manage to pull it off, and most everyone seems to be leaving with their materials and you finish up real fast, and that is such, the Ruddy Poon is now a center of goods and commerce here on this side of Bazzoxan.
LAURA: Yay! Thank you, thank you.
MATT: You hear the distance chuckle of a disembodied voice. "(laughs)"
TRAVIS: I'll ask once we've acquired our stuff. I know we're still waiting. We were also waiting to meet one of our fellows, someone who's meeting us here by the name of Obann. Has he come in yet?
MATT: "Describe Obann for me, please."
TALIESIN: Insight check.
MATT: Make an insight check.
SAM: Oh, boy.
TALIESIN: That's 26.
LAURA: ♪ Whispers ♪
SAM: Don't forget, the D&D Beyond Encounter Builder Alpha is now available to all D&D Beyond subscribers. I looked at it earlier. It's pretty tight.
TALIESIN: Okay, okay.
LAURA and SAM: T-T-Tight. Also Dwarven Forge exists. (laughs)
MATT: "Could you please describe?"
TRAVIS: Yeah, well, drow gentleman, ruggedly handsome, you know, can handle himself. I don't know, lazy.
SAM: Just a drow.
MATT: "You literally described most of the people who live here. But I don't believe I know of an Obann. My apologies."
TRAVIS: That's all right.
SAM: I saw Obnan, right?
SAM: I'll cast Silent Image to make an image of him.
MATT: He leans forward and inspects closely.
SAM: Obann's just like...
LIAM: Like R2 and Princess Leia.
TALIESIN: Help me, Obann-Wan.
TRAVIS: Oh, stop.
MATT: "I feel like I may have seen this individual once, but that was months ago. No time recently."
TRAVIS: He is a slow traveler. That's all right. If he comes in in the night tell him we're waiting for him.
MATT: "All right. It can be done." You wait the better part of an hour, and then Prima returns with a small box. I say a small box. It's a one-foot by about a foot and a half. Lifts it up and puts it on the counter. "So you needed how much incense?" (chuckles)
LIAM: We're talking about two different things, but I think yours takes precedence.
TALIESIN: I need 250 gold worth of incense, and 200 gold worth of ivory strips.
MATT: She reaches into a back pocket and is rummaging around this large pack that has a lock on the outside, unlocks it, pulls it aside, and lays onto the counter a bunch of sections of tusk that resembles polished elements of the udaak tusks, the large tusks that emerge from the front of the face. But they're shaved chunks. A lot of times, the large tusks either break down or the interior has to be carved down to get to the solid ivory. Lays out a number of chunks and goes, "All right, that can be done. Incense." She pulls open the crate and immediately the smell wafts out, this extremely strong, pungent collection of spices and burnable materials. It's like a dense Sephora blast to the face. "We can deal with this as well, I believe."
LIAM: What is the rate for this?
MATT: "What, for the entire crate?"
MATT: "Oh, this will run you about a thousand gold pieces, but I can provide an amount of which seems to fulfill your requests."
TALIESIN: My personal need is about 250 gold worth, plus the 200 gold worth--
MATT: "Only request is if anybody asks you, do not say where or how you received this."
TALIESIN: I probably won't even remember, honestly.
MATT: "Perfect, no worries."
LIAM: You need 250?
TALIESIN: 250 will do me.
LIAM: I would take what you would rate at about 50 gold, and we will add 30 to the price of that.
MATT: "We will add 50 to the price, and it will be, say, 350 total?"
SAM: Have we gathered or collected anything, sundries or staples along our journey that we could maybe use in trade for some of this stuff? Have we picked up any weird, 20 pounds of, I don't know, something.
LIAM: Are you in need of anything right now?
MATT: "Gold, primarily."
LIAM: Yes, yes, we're all in need of gold always. Is there any other little thing?
TRAVIS: Gator skins, bloody manacles.
SAM: Yeah, that kind of stuff.
SAM: Gator skins? Need any gator skins?
LIAM: We can afford your price, but we have a lot of odds and ends.
MATT: "Show me this gator skin you have."
TRAVIS: It's in the bag of holding.
MARISHA: Oh. (grunts)
MATT: Now, the gator skin has not been properly tanned, so it's pretty gross. (laughs) You pull it out and it's like phew! Ooh! "Put it back, please. Put it back, put it back."
MARISHA: Are you sure you don't--
MATT: "Put it back, please."
LAURA: Oh, you know what? I bet Yarnball would like to eat that. We can feed it to them.
MARISHA: Is this worthless?
LAURA: Well, I don't want it now!
TRAVIS: Didn't we get some jewelry in the nest?
MARISHA: Yes, I was going to say I have those two gold rings.
LAURA: No, keep those! They're so pretty.
SAM: It's true. They are.
MARISHA: And the pearl necklace.
MATT: "350 gold, and for the ivory, for the batch I have, it's 250 you requested, correct?"
TALIESIN: 200 of the ivory and 250 of the--
MATT: "Ah, so 250 for the ivory. So together, 600 gold. Call it a deal."
SAM: Do you need any money?
LIAM: No, I am good, thank you, Nott. 200 for the incense for you.
TALIESIN: 200 for the ivory. 250 for the incense.
LIAM: That's 50 for incense from me, so 300.
MARISHA: She's putting on a surcharge.
TALIESIN: An extra hundred.
LIAM: Which is 20%. Let's do 15%.
MATT: Make a persuasion check.
MATT: 21? (sighs) "575 and no higher."
TALIESIN: I got that. I'll cover that. 575.
MATT: So deduct 575, but you get 200 gold worth of ivory, 250 of incense, and 50 of incense.
MARISHA: I would freak out if that happened in-game. You just bump into a table and spill a healing potion. One thousand gold! (laughs)
MATT: So the deal is struck. It is paid. The materials are yours. The male drow, who now after this conversation has introduced himself as Delez Demona. (foot thumps)
TALIESIN: I have one diamond.
MATT: He says, "Up top there you will find a series of bunks. Find the ones that are available and take what is at your leisure. It is not comfortable to the highest degree, but it works."
TRAVIS: Windows up there?
MATT: "It has some openings upon the roof, yes."
TRAVIS: On the roof, all right. Let's turn in.
TRAVIS: We sharing one big, open space, like shared bunks in a--
MATT: If you go up the ladder and check the space, you can see there's about seven other individuals that are all sleeping in different beddings. There's bunks that are set up, like small, very basic beds. There are a few that are stacked up on little steps almost, that are little platforms or other bits of empty crates are set up there, where they're filled with sundries or materials. With all of you guys in there, it looks like room is made to fit maybe 12 people comfortably, and you guys are pushing it at 15. There aren't quite enough beds for all of you, but there are sections in the ground where there's heavy leathers and furs set aside for either blankets or secondary bedding. You can find enough to get comfortably asleep.
LIAM: But to bunk, not to do anything else. Caleb came up here hoping to fuck with Find Familiar, but that's not going to happen up here.
MATT: You could, it's just you might draw some attention.
MARISHA: You mentioned windows in the ceiling.
MATT: There aren't windows, but parts of the roof, there are slots that are open for airflow, but arranged so that they're covered on top so that rainfall or any other heavy weather effects wouldn't just pour in over the top.
MATT: It's enough airflow to keep the interior from stagnating too much.
MARISHA: Is there anything like a balcony or--
MATT: Not here. It's a pretty simple structure, unfortunately.
TRAVIS: Only way up into this room is the way we came, right?
MATT: Correct, so a hatch with a ladder.
TRAVIS: I don't feel particularly safe having everybody zonk out at once. We should probably treat this as a--
MARISHA: Take watch, yeah.
SAM: All right.
SAM: I'll take first watch.
LIAM: I am going to stay up with Nott, but use the time to cast Find Familiar, bring Frumpkin up as a vulture. Before I begin, I say: You know, I have seen through your eyes, and that was pretty great, but I did not quite know how great it was to fly, so you have been holding out on me. Would you like to be a cat?
LIAM: I thought so. All right, give me some time. Then I spend the next hour with whoever's watching to draw a circle in chalk on the floor and slowly (whooshing) I have my cat back.
MATT: Yeah, your cat returns.
SAM: I will pass the time sipping on my flask.
MATT: You go reach for your flask and it's not there.
SAM: I freak the fuck out.
TRAVIS: Holy shit!
SAM: Did you see my flask? It's big and platinum, and it's magical and has booze in it all the time.
MARISHA: We've seen it 500 times.
SAM and LAURA: You're asleep.
MATT: It's the two of them are up.
SAM: I'm sorry, I don't mean to interrupt your ritual.
LIAM: You are messing with my flow.
SAM: Oh, okay. But just, have you seen it?
LIAM: I have not seen that flask. Oh, shit. I have to start over.
SAM: I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry.
LIAM: (sighs) No, it's okay. What did you lose?
SAM: Just tell me when the last time you saw it was, because I had it today for sure.
LIAM: You were chugging on it when--
SAM: That seems likely.
LIAM: At the base of the tree, I think. Well, I would know exactly the last place I saw Nott chugging on her flask, because of my damn feat.
LIAM: Liam doesn't remember.
LIAM: I'm asking for Matthew to speak through me, because I don't know.
MATT: I would say it probably would have been probably at the base of the tree, yeah, as you guys were about to take off and head north.
MARISHA: You drank in the cave.
ASHLEY: Yeah, that circle.
MATT: That's right, in the cave.
TRAVIS: Do you lose your flask often?
LAURA: You're asleep.
TRAVIS: Fjord's not asking.
LIAM: That's Travis. Caleb tells you exactly the last place that he saw you have it last, so it was sometime yesterday. Do you think it fell out on the moorbounders when we were racing away?
SAM: I mean, maybe when we were being chased by a bird or something. Maybe I should just retrace my steps.
LIAM: What if? What if in this, our post-military town, we find you some booze?
SAM: Endless booze?
LIAM: I mean, a lot. We could probably get a lot. We have a bag that holds a lot, but we can't go back the way we came to find your magic flask.
SAM: You know what, maybe one of the others has it for safe keeping.
LIAM: That's probably it.
SAM: Yasha is always... She seems a little shifty, honestly. She's always disappearing.
LIAM: She strikes me as pretty straight edge.
SAM: I don't think so. She seems like a--
ASHLEY: Straight edge.
SAM: I'm going to go to my original flask, the non-magic one. Anything in there?
MATT: A little. (liquid sloshing)
LIAM: Oh, that's so sad.
SAM: Okay, okay.
MATT: Take enough for a shot.
LIAM: Nott, it's gone. It's gone! It's out of drips. It's gone.
SAM: I hate this fucking town.
LIAM: Help me do this. Take your mind off of it, all right?
SAM: Sure, sure.
LIAM: Okay, so hold this vulture.
LIAM: Sit in the middle. Don't hold it in your lap, because I don't want you to fuse with him.
SAM: What? (laughter)
LIAM: Hold him out in front of you.
SAM: All right.
LIAM: Okay, plant him on the ground. All right, now just hold still for 40 minutes.
SAM: I'm an alcoholic!
MATT: 40 very, very, very difficult minutes go by before Frumpkin is returned to the original cat form.
LIAM: (sighs) I don't say this out loud, but I tell Frumpkin: Okay, she is very rough. She is missing her booze, which you know she likes very well, so lay on the charm, start purring, and get doing with the kitty biscuits, okay?
SAM: Yes, yes! That's nice.
MATT: All right, you guys finish your watch. Who's taking next watch?
TALIESIN: I'll go next round. I guess I'd see you two going to sleep.
SAM: Do you have my flask?
SAM: I need it.
TALIESIN: I can help with a bit of that.
TALIESIN: Yeah, I'm just going to cast Greater Restoration before I pass out.
MATT: You're fine for the time being.
SAM: Okay, I'll go to sleep.
TRAVIS: I'll join Caduceus on the watch.
LAURA: Close your eye. Close your eye, Sam! Stop! (laughter) It's on your nose now.
LIAM: She's getting you wasted with her fingers.
LAURA: Stop it! Okay, wait. Make a wish.
SAM: I wish you would give me my flask back.
Oh, fuck you!
TRAVIS: Hey, Caduceus?
TRAVIS: So last night when we were sleeping, I had this dream, like I do, and--
TRAVIS: Except unlike the previous times where I've seen an eye and I felt cold and this darkness, I felt warmth and I heard a matronly voice beckoning to me. and I saw this greenery, like these vines reach out, inviting me forward. I can't help but think that might have something to do with the tree that we were near?
TALIESIN: That was hers, and she spoke to me, too.
TRAVIS: Yeah, who is she again?
TALIESIN: Well, do you not know anything of the Wildmother?
TRAVIS: Well, what you've said pretty much.
TALIESIN: What did she say to you exactly?
TRAVIS: Well, she said that his will would find me again, and that she could only intercede for a short bit, maybe because we were so close to the giant fucking tree. But that felt really good.
TALIESIN: That would be her, yeah.
TRAVIS: What do you do to connect with her?
TALIESIN: Well, she's everywhere, so, I mean, honestly the best things to do are to sit still and breathe slowly. One of the things I like to do, although it's harder to do in a place like this, is just slowly count the number of sounds you hear and listen for each and every thing and start to name what it is as it goes by. Slowly you'll see her and feel her in everything that is around, every plant that's growing, every animal that's hunting. While her power may wax and wane depending on where we are, it is something that's always, nearly always, available.
TRAVIS: You said she said she's everywhere.
TALIESIN: We are, I believe, heading to a place of power of hers inevitably. I think this place will perhaps have great importance to you. This is good. This is very, very good. This is another good sign of what's to come.
TRAVIS: It felt good. How did she find you? Or did you find her?
TALIESIN: I was born into it, so...
TRAVIS: Your family?
TALIESIN: Yeah, my family going back several generations we're one of three families of priests who have served her through hundreds of years.
TRAVIS: Any tips you could give to a crash course to service? I'm really anxious to feel that again.
TALIESIN: That's very good. I'm anxious to help you feel that again. I have faith in you, Mr. Fjord, I think that-- I would like to think that you have a shining, beautiful destiny ahead of you, and I know that there is great darkness in your heart, but you have good friends. These are good people. I know that you're going to be tempted sometimes. You're going to follow all the things that you hear, but I would just recommend trusting in us to take care of you. It's all going to be okay.
TRAVIS: Right. Everything's going to be okay.
TALIESIN: You found a giant tree that silenced the evil voices in your head. I mean, how probable was that?
TRAVIS: Any more of those around that you know of?
TALIESIN: Actually, I'm looking for a mountain. Doesn't have any snow, in front of a great salt flat. Find that, I think we're going to be doing okay.
TRAVIS: A mountain with no snow.
TALIESIN: Yeah, if we find that, I think that's a sign that things are going pretty well.
TRAVIS: I need to meditate and count the sounds that I hear and give them a name.
TALIESIN: I find that tends to do it for me.
MATT: You can make a history check if you want for it.
TRAVIS: Thank you.
MATT: Doesn't ring a bell, what he's talking about.
TRAVIS: I will try that. I'll stay up a little longer, try that shit.
TALIESIN: Do some guided meditation tonight.
MATT: Okay, all right. You guide him through breathing?
TALIESIN: No, I close meditation, but yeah, just going to do a round.
TRAVIS: My fucking knees don't bend that way, but... All right, we'll do it.
MATT: The wind is picking up through the night, and through the slats, bits of red dust are starting to plume through a bit. The storm didn't hit as hard up north here, and as things have dried and the wind's picked up, you get the sense that a dust storm is or has been coming. The sound of it (wind) clattering through has been a little distracting, but as you focus with Caduceus, eventually the sound begins to fade in you, trying to find a center, a place. Instead the sound of the wind blowing (heavy winds) begins to become more of a (waves crashing gently) of waves coming onto shore.
MATT: It reminds you of growing up by the waters on the Menagerie Coast in Port Damali. It reminds you of running along the sands of the beach. You find yourself sitting there and you can feel the warmth of the sunlight on you, and looking into the endless expanse of blue waters out at the horizon in front of you. And for a moment, it's different. It's not as strong, but there is a familiar warmth to it. You know he said she's everywhere. Part of that could be the ocean.
TRAVIS: Oh. (laughs)
MATT: You go to sleep very well that night.
TALIESIN: 15 minutes every day. You should download an app. (laughter)
MATT: You guys taking last watch?
MATT: Okay. Jester, are you watching, or are you--
LAURA: Sure, yeah. I'll just get up. (groans) Oh wait, will I get my exhaustion point back if I take a watch?
MATT: We'll say yeah. You guys are trading off in four-hour blocks to keep an eye out, so everyone does it. Your exhaustion point will be gone by now.
MATT: You slept for a straight, long rest.
ASHLEY: (sighs) Hi.
MARISHA: Am I awake too?
LAURA: Yeah, hi.
MARISHA: Hi. Sleeping on the ground. I haven't done that in a while.
ASHLEY: Yeah, it's not very fun to sleep on your back.
MARISHA: Yeah. (sighs)
LAURA: Do you guys want me to go to sleep? Do you need some alone time, or is it okay if I stay up, too?
MARISHA: No, this is cool.
LAURA: Oh, okay.
MARISHA: Are you still sleepy?
LAURA: No, no, I'm awake.
ASHLEY: I'm going to just start looking at some of the other people that are sleeping that's not in our group.
MATT: Okay, which at this point some of them are starting to get up. The morning light has begun to come in.
ASHLEY: I'm standing above them creepily as they wake up.
TRAVIS: Big ass fucking sword out. Morning. Sleep well?
ASHLEY: Good morning.
TRAVIS: Wakey wakey.
MATT: A lot of them appear to be travelers. None of them here are armed like soldiers. A lot of them are folks that are probably passing through, some either bringing supplies, picking up supplies, or have other business here. There are only two drow in here. The remainder are mostly... You saw three gnolls, two bugbears, one ogre, and a few goblins as well. As they wake up, you guys are just keeping watch. They gather their things and look about this troupe awkwardly and then make their way down the ladder.
LAURA: Should I try to scry on the dude?
MARISHA: Oh, yeah.
LAURA: What you think?
ASHLEY: I think so.
MARISHA: I'll watch for these guys.
LAURA: Okay, I'll just sit down on the ground and give a little old scry.
MATT: Okay. You go ahead and you arrange the circle in the space you've now become very familiar with. A little bit of excitement rises in your chest, because each time you do this there's an added benefit of a brief communion directly with The Traveler. As you finish the spell-- okay. The hands reach out and take yours, and your vision thrusts forward into a cloud of white, and finds nothing and comes back. The hands, still against yours, pull back and fade and the voice in your ear goes, "Sorry child, not today."
SAM: Oh no!
ASHLEY: What did you see?
LAURA: Well, did it feel the same as when I was pushed away, or pushed out of the scry? Or did it feel like I just couldn't find him.
MATT: It felt like the target seemed to resist the spell. Made their saving throw.
LAURA: Damn it! I didn't see anything.
MARISHA: Do we have any other way of tracking this guy?
LAURA: I mean, I have my Locate spell. I could try to maybe locate the crest that he had on him.
MARISHA: So the one thousand feet one?
LAURA: Yeah, so we'd have to be closer to the mountains, I think.
ASHLEY: How far are we from...
TRAVIS: Yeah, how far are we from those towers? Hundreds of feet? Thousands of feet?
MATT: You guys are about maybe 700 or so feet from the base of the mountain where the Umbra Gates are and the towers begin. What you saw in your vision was mountain base. You didn't see any signs of civilization or towers, yeah.
LAURA: Yeah. I don't think he was near this town. It wasn't within my vision.
TRAVIS: Why did he say to come? I'm not up there.
ASHLEY: What did he say about Bazzoxan again? The Tomb under Bazzoxan.
LAURA: We could try sending him a message and let him know that we're here. I mean, he told us to come north. Right?
ASHLEY: Yeah, he did. Should we alert him of our presence?
MARISHA: It would be actively using you as bait.
MARISHA: I mean, it could get his attention, but also it could be incredibly dangerous.
LAURA: I mean, if he attacks us while we're in the middle of the city, at least maybe we'll have some of the soldiers to help us.
LAURA: We'll have to go after him.
ASHLEY: I would be okay with that, but I wonder if we should check with everybody else.
LAURA: Okay, we'll wait till they wake up.
ASHLEY: Or does that mess up you using something?
LAURA: Oh, well I already tried to scry, so that's kind of a shitty thing. No, it's okay. That's what I'm here for, you know?
ASHLEY: Okay. Well, we'll ask everyone about it and see if that's what they feel comfortable with, but I don't think it's a bad idea.
MARISHA: The sun's starting to come up. They'll probably wake up soon anyway.
MATT: Okay, you guys finish your watch then? Okay, the rest of you come to consciousness. You're the last stragglers up here in the top of the Ready Room's barn-like hostel situation. You can gather your things and do whatever else you need to prepare before getting to the rest of your day.
MARISHA: I walk to the edge of the door, peek downstairs and see if anyone's lingering nearby.
MATT: There's no one lingering as far as up here, but you do see there are two soldiers inside that are currently just going through and seeing what materials they need, shopping. This isn't a very busy place, but some people are coming in for some supplies.
MATT: Gathering some chain, gathering some nails.
MARISHA: I listen in. What does it sound like they're stocking up for, those two soldiers?
MATT: Make a perception check.
LIAM: (whistling) Soldiers!
MARISHA: Took a few tries for that one.
MATT: You got it out. You got it out!
TRAVIS: Why you drinking out of that flask so much?
MARISHA: It's for Nott.
TRAVIS: That went on a journey.
MARISHA: It did. 16. What did you say, perception?
MATT: 19, okay. You listen in. They're not having a conversation about it. They know what they want and they're just grabbing it. It's more like, "Did you get it?" "Yes, no worry." "Okay."
MATT: Actually, they would be talking in Undercommon too, and even hear what they're saying. But it seems casual and nothing of importance.
TRAVIS: And don't pay attention. (laughs)
SAM: Hey, Yasha?
ASHLEY: Yeah? How's it going?
SAM: Anything I should know about?
ASHLEY: Nothing happened last night at all. We just talked and--
SAM: Do you have any other extra items that I should be aware about over there?
TRAVIS: What kind of items?
ASHLEY: No idea.
SAM: Why you so curious, Fjord? Huh?
TRAVIS: Well, I just figured--
SAM: Do you know something about this?
TALIESIN: About what?
SAM: Maybe I've underestimated you.
TALIESIN: Probably not.
LIAM: Nott has misplaced her drinking flask.
SAM: Someone took it!
LIAM: Yes, she does not remember where she placed it.
SAM: I had it with me. It was on me.
LIAM: Did anyone pick it up?
MARISHA: Wait. I check all my shit.
MARISHA: Have we been pick pocketed?
MATT: You go ahead and check your things and everything is where you remember it to be. (sighing)
TALIESIN: That's good.
SAM: No, it's not good. That means that I was specifically targeted.
LAURA: Maybe you dropped it, Nott.
ASHLEY: Maybe you just forgot, because you got too drunk?
TALIESIN: That is a thing.
SAM: No, I think more clearly when I'm drunk.
LAURA: Do you, though?
MARISHA: We left pretty quickly.
LAURA: Maybe it fell off you when we got blown back by that giant trap you failed to notice.
SAM: There's only one way to find out. We have to go back. Back to the cave.
ASHLEY: Can't you just get a bottle of booze somewhere?
TRAVIS: Yeah, we can get you drinks in the meantime. I mean, your arms look whiter than I've seen them in a long time.
We got to get you some booze.
SAM: They're a pale cream.
SAM: They're a pale cream color.
TRAVIS: Oh, yeah.
TALIESIN: Blend in with the locals.
TRAVIS: Got to get you hydrated. You can see that shit for a mile out. That's just dangerous. (laughs) Super nova.
SAM: It's because I need alcohol to ruddy my skin.
LAURA: I can try giving you a little spell to help out with the withdrawals.
SAM: Is the spell a flask?
LAURA: No, but you can hold your flask while I cast it.
SAM: I can't hold my flask!
LIAM: On the flip side, we are very well off at the moment. We have much coin. I'm sure they have libations here. We could get you traditional booze for now.
TRAVIS: You've made some strong steps without it, right?
SAM: What does that mean? What do you mean?
LAURA: You were doing so well without it before.
SAM: Was I?
LAURA: You were.
LAURA: You were, Nott.
TRAVIS: I actually hadn't noticed that you'd started drinking again.
LIAM, LAURA, and MARISHA: Hmm.
TALIESIN: I had.
ASHLEY: I mean, there is like a smell.
TALIESIN: Things have a habit of just exploding or going a little awry.
MARISHA: A little louder.
ASHLEY: Yeah, it's a little louder.
LAURA: Kind of angry sounding.
SAM: I felt better in the last few days. I think we were making some good headway, and it was all because of me, no?
TALIESIN: No. I mean, there was a lot of--
SAM: From what I remember, we did really good work the last few days.
TRAVIS: Yep, there was like a cloud that was worthless.
TALIESIN: Kind of difficult to deal with, really.
LAURA: You set off a smoke bomb and none of us could see through it?
SAM: I was totally safe, though. I thought that was a very strategic move.
MARISHA: You did cast Feather Fall on us, and that was nice.
LAURA: That's true.
TRAVIS: Yeah, it saved our hides. Big time.
LAURA: Yeah. I do remember you screaming a lot when the roc was coming to find us, and everyone else was hiding really well--
SAM: Can everyone just talk a little quieter, please?
Just a little bit quieter, because I feel like you're all shouting right now very loud. It's hurting my ears, giving me a headache.
LIAM: We're down in the common room right now?
TRAVIS: I'm sure downstairs we can find a bottle of--
LAURA: Well maybe, though, it's nice if you--
SAM: Yasha, if you stole it, I will fucking kill you.
ASHLEY: I didn't fucking steal it, Nott.
SAM: Okay, I'm sorry, I'm sorry! I'm sorry, I didn't mean to speak out of turn.
TRAVIS: Sun's out, guns out. (laughter)
ASHLEY and TRAVIS: (screams)
SAM: I'm okay!
MARISHA: Well, Nott, you've had that flask since the beginning. You got that enchanted when we were dirt poor and just fighting gnolls, so--
SAM: I can go back to my original flask I guess for a while.
MARISHA: Yeah, and you can maybe just give it some time and then--
LIAM: We'll get you some bottles.
MARISHA: If you feel up to it, you can get it enchanted later when we're at--
TRAVIS: Plus, if you really miss it, Jester can just scry on it for you.
SAM: Oh, yes! Don't you have a Locate Object spell?
TALIESIN: I feel like we should perhaps hold off on that.
SAM: Could you do it? Because if it's close, you could find it for me right away.
LAURA: Yeah, I could!
SAM: Go ahead!
LIAM: It would have to be right nearby though, wouldn't it?
LAURA: It would have to be within a thousand feet.
TRAVIS: And we've been traveling for hours.
SAM: Go ahead!
LAURA: I could, but do you really want me to waste that spell slot?
SAM: Yes, I do.
MARISHA: Nott, no.
TRAVIS: We're looking for somebody.
MARISHA: Wow, you got a little crazy eye going. Oh, man.
TRAVIS: That right eye got here a little faster than the left one did.
MARISHA: Yeah, it did.
LIAM and TRAVIS: (gears spinning)
MARISHA: Look, you were number one in reminding us of the task at hand. Damn it!
LAURA: I'm going to cast Lesser Restoration on Nott to try to help calm her down.
MATT: It alleviates some of the--
LAURA: Maybe take some of the headache away.
SAM: That feels better. Thank you.
LAURA: You're welcome.
SAM: Thank you, Jessie.
LAURA: I just want you to feel better.
LIAM: I'm also quietly going to go find the brother and sister that run this place. Do you have any spirits available? Whiskey, fire whiskey, anything.
MATT: "Yes, that can be acquired, yes."
LIAM: Three bottles, please.
MATT: "Three bottles?"
LIAM: Yes, please.
MATT: "45 gold."
LIAM: Say that again?
MATT: "45 gold."
TRAVIS: That's so good.
LIAM: Is it hard to come by out here? That's a yes, okay. One bottle. One bottle.
MATT: "15 gold."
LIAM: Okay, thank you.
MATT: "All right."
LIAM: I store it away.
TALIESIN: How much?
TRAVIS: How much, 15 gold?
TALIESIN: 15 gold.
LIAM: It'll be $800, sir.
TALIESIN: Did you know that what is considered a modest lifestyle is one gold a day? Just saying. That's one gold a day for a modest lifestyle.
MATT: Yeah. A fine bottle of wine costs you ten gold.
TRAVIS: That sand hide kheg thing was 120 gold a bottle.
MATT: Yeah. That stuff was super rare.
TALIESIN: Just putting that out there.
MATT: It's a dark brown glass bottle, about maybe that big or so, corked top wrapped in a rope around the base of it. There's no label, none.
TRAVIS: Jesus, you're going to go blind.
MATT: That's some strong shit.
LIAM: (exhales sharply) Yeah.
MATT: Numbed your tongue on contact. (laughs)
TRAVIS: It's just petroleum.
TALIESIN: Originally called Cast Fireball.
LAURA: Don't set off a fire spell near you.
TRAVIS: Head downstairs where the brother and sister are.
MATT: Anything else you guys want to do? You guys head on down and gather the rest of the group.
MARISHA: Oh, should we mention the plan that we potentially had before we go out into public?
ASHLEY: Well, we were thinking that maybe Jessie would...
MARISHA: Message Obann.
TALIESIN: That feels a little--
TRAVIS: Well, and say what?
LAURA: And say we're here.
LIAM: Yeah, let's think about this. It could be useful, but let's think about this.
MARISHA: He had interest in Yasha, and made it very clear to come and find him. There might be a way that we can sort of use Yasha as bait, and maybe--
LIAM: Extend the invitation.
MARISHA: Then just be super prepared for anything that might arise.
TALIESIN: Well, the trouble with that is that I'm just imagining it from our end of things. If the situation were reversed and we were bringing someone in, probably just (slicing) take them one way. I feel like it would give them an awful lot of time to prepare and make plans, set traps. It's like having an extra day to clean your house when someone comes over.
MARISHA: That's why we do it on our terms, on our grounds.
TALIESIN: This is definitely not our grounds.
TRAVIS: We are lacking in direction at this point.
LIAM: Yeah, we are out of options. He is out of range. We don't know where he is.
MARISHA: He is at the base of mountains. We have been driving by mountains.
LAURA: That was a couple days ago.
MARISHA: There are mountains for miles.
TALIESIN: He's going underneath the temple, if I recall.
MARISHA: But we don't know.
LAURA: We don't know that for sure.
TRAVIS: Tomb under--
ASHLEY: Tomb under Bazzoxan.
TALIESIN: That's where I would check.
TRAVIS: The soldier did say there were tunnels underneath.
ASHLEY: Tunnels, the Angel of Irons delivering a crest.
MARISHA: He also said that there were abyssal horrors coming out of that temple.
TRAVIS: Good thing we're on the case.
TRAVIS and MARISHA: (imitating rock guitars)
TRAVIS: So how about we head underneath the tunnels, or head underneath the city and see where those tunnels lead?
TALIESIN: Maybe talk to a couple people of import in the city, see if they know anything about tombs under the temple and whether or not this character has been around.
TRAVIS: I dig it.
MARISHA: I mean, it sounds like this entire place is a tomb, though. That guy mentioned that it was, or you read it was a multilevel--
LAURA: Temple to the old Betrayer Gods. Yeah, the demonic princes from--
MARISHA: Yeah, that sounds intense.
LAURA: Or something.
TRAVIS: I think he said the Abyss.
LAURA: The Abyss, yeah.
TALIESIN: Maybe someone knows if some particular, if there's a particular tomb. Tombs are very specific. Tombs have people or things in them. That's the whole point of the tomb is to keep something.
TRAVIS: Should I go out and find somebody that knows the entrance to these tunnels?
LIAM: Yeah, ask if it's even allowed for civilians, people outside of the Aurora Watch to go there, and what we can expect.
TALIESIN: We're not civilians to be fair, at the moment.
TRAVIS: I bet it's allowed of the favored of the Bright-- (pen clatters) the Bright Queen.
TALIESIN: Maybe you dropped it.
LIAM: Breaks into three pieces.
TALIESIN: It was chocolate the whole time!
TRAVIS: Somebody else give me theirs.
LIAM: Oh, my Hanukkah coins. No!
TRAVIS: I got this. I walk outside.
MATT: All right, you go outside.
TRAVIS: Do I see any particular soldiers with extra plumage to denote a higher rank?
MATT: Make a perception check.
TRAVIS: Yeah. All right. Oh, 21.
MATT: 21, nice. Well first off, the winds have been picking up consistently, and now you can see there are large, kind of reddish dust clouds that are building up on the eastern side, moving west and blowing this way, both in the Barbed Fields and coming through the city. Pieces of material and flags and various markings that are hanging from nearby roofs are (flapping) whipping in the wind, and a couple points, and the blast gets to you and you cover your eyes a bit. Looking through, you do see on the outskirts of the large expanding barracks, you can see one soldier who's in the process of running a drill for other soldiers that are going through shield and sword practice, moving forward with phalanx maneuvers, shouting out orders. They finish up within a few minutes and they take a break as they walk off. That person walks off to the side and begins eating a bit of, looks like a jerky snack out of a pouch and notices you out in the open.
TRAVIS: Yeah, I approach him. Say you there!
TRAVIS: On business of the Bright Queen. We've been sent to explore the tunnels underneath Bazzoxan. What do you know about, fucking... What do you know about a tomb underneath this area?
SAM: This is terrible.
MATT: Make a persuasion check, first off. With advantage with the badge.
MATT: Because it's on official duty.
TRAVIS: That's not as great. 16.
MATT: 16, he goes, "I don't really know anything about any tombs, but there are old halls."
MATT: "Old halls."
MATT: "Places of dominion for the demonic princes, but no tombs."
TRAVIS: Yeah. We're going to need to get into those tunnels. How do we get there?
MATT: "You're going into the tunnels?"
TRAVIS: That's our job.
MATT: "You are crazy."
TRAVIS: Yeah, well, it's not exactly a reward. Shit detail, you know what I mean?
MATT: "Well, there is a side entrance beyond, to the right of the Umbra Gates. It's been nice knowing you."
TRAVIS: To the right? Any others?
MATT: "That is the only formal one. They've closed off all exits to make sure that anything that comes through is forced through a specific exit."
TRAVIS: Have you seen the tunnels yourself? Are they wide, singular? I mean, any kind of preview you can give me would be much appreciated.
MATT: "I've been no more than maybe 200 feet within. There is a specific main cavernous chamber that splits off into many, many tunnels."
MATT: "They can come from any of them, so we hold it."
TRAVIS: Right. Not a lot of expeditions deep within, huh?
MATT: "None have returned."
TRAVIS: Yeah, good odds. Good story. All right, good shit. What was your name?
TRAVIS: Lianos. Name's Fjord. Nice to meet ya. You keep up the good (inhales sharply) work here. All right, have a good one.
MATT: "Be safe. Light protect you."
TRAVIS: Yeah, light be with you. Fuck! (sighs)
LAURA: So what happened?
TRAVIS: The entrance to the tunnels is to the right of the Umbra Gates. This sergeant-ish fellow had only been about 200 feet within. Most people don't come back.
MARISHA: Oh, wait, that guy? That guy you were just talking to?
TRAVIS: Yeah, that guy.
MARISHA: He's really buff.
TRAVIS: I know. Well, I mean, yeah.
MARISHA: He's a big guy.
TRAVIS: You should see the vascularity in his neck alone. You can tell the guy eats well.
LAURA: Yeah, but we got magic, guys.
LIAM: He's much bigger than you.
TALIESIN: Yeah. Have to work out a lot.
ASHLEY: But he's not bigger than me.
LAURA: You're really big, too.
LAURA: Guys! You're so muscly.
TRAVIS: He says most things that go in don't come back, but it scatters into multiple tunnels.
TALIESIN: I mean, there's a lot of assumption in that.
LAURA: There's tone. You can see the tone.
SAM: I mean, a little bit.
TRAVIS: I push my biceps out. Look, it's not important. What we need to focus on is that he had not heard of any tombs or anything like that. It was just tunnels and that it was real dangerous.
TALIESIN: Wow, that's a--
ASHLEY: Do you have scratch on the back of your neck?
TALIESIN: You all right? Do you need a--
TALIESIN: I mean, there's a lot of assumptions in that, like that they're assuming that none of these other entrances have been recently breached, which they might have been. Have you thought about how we're going to sneak in?
SAM: Why are we going in the tombs again?
TALIESIN: Were going to find--
LAURA: Find Obann.
SAM: You said that when you saw Obann he was outside near the base of a mountain, not in a tomb under the mountain.
TRAVIS: We're looking for someplace.
TALIESIN: Probably not still at the base of a mountain.
LAURA: It looked like he was looking for some sort of secret entrance or something.
TRAVIS: Probably to get under the (humming).
LAURA: Maybe he knows about a way that isn't as dangerous.
SAM: But you said he was searching for it.
ASHLEY: He was delivering a crest for what?
LAURA: I don't know. Maybe the crest was the key.
TALIESIN: The key to a tomb.
MARISHA: Maybe there's another far, not in the city.
LIAM: We are grasping at straws. We have no idea where this person is.
TALIESIN: There's got to be somewhere.
LAURA: I tried scrying on him today, you guys.
SAM: Can anyone else do that?
TALIESIN: I can do Locate Creature, but it only works if he's within a certain range.
MARISHA: How big is the range?
LAURA: You can only scry once a day.
LIAM: What about Caduceus?
TALIESIN: A thousand feet.
LIAM: You ask her questions sometimes.
TALIESIN: That's a thing I can't do right now.
LIAM: Oh. Do you have a feeling?
LAURA: I have a lot of feelings.
LIAM: But Caduceus, do you have a feeling?
TALIESIN: I mean, my feeling is that if there's a big door with a lot of options, if you're presented with a bunch of options and none of them are appetizing, you go get a meal somewhere else.
LAURA: That's what my feelings were, too, but mostly I was thinking specifically about food.
TALIESIN: I'm thinking that maybe there's someone in town that knows something about this place. Maybe we should, I don't know, talk to somebody who actually has a better sense of--
TRAVIS: Somebody who's seen Obann?
LIAM: Knows him.
TALIESIN: Or knows enough about this tower to have an opinion about--
LIAM: He could be in a different location entirely than where we are.
LAURA: I should message him?
SAM: Back up, back up. What information do we know? He was going to Bazzoxan. He mentioned the tomb--
LAURA: He didn't say. He didn't say Bazzoxan to me. He said come north. Bring her.
MATT: Bazzoxan you overheard when the deal was going on in the Overcrow.
SAM: Did you overhear him say something about a crest? Something about Talonstadt? Was that him? Was that from him?
MATT: No, that was the--
MATT: Or the dragonborn that was delivering it travels to and from Talonstadt, and then delivered it.
LIAM: He's curious about Yasha.
LAURA: Yes, yes.
MARISHA: He mentioned following the Angel of Irons.
LAURA: That was the dead hobgoblin that said that.
LIAM: Maybe, then, using you as bait is our best option.
ASHLEY: That's not a bad idea.
LAURA: I can message him and say hey, man. I brought her. Where are you?
SAM: We've got the Orphan Maker.
LIAM: We've arrived in Bazzoxan with the Orphan Maker.
MARISHA: Did we know anything else about the Angel of Irons?
MATT: You can make a religion check.
LAURA: I think we tried to make it before.
TRAVIS: Yeah, but it's been a whole bunch of another days.
MATT: You did try and make it before. I'll say allow you once with disadvantage.
LIAM: I've never even heard of Angel of Irons.
MARISHA: That was pretty good.
LIAM: Until just now.
MARISHA: Ooh! Yes!
LIAM: Not an official one.
MARISHA: It's 17 plus, 23.
MATT: Doesn't ring a bell.
SAM: Well, let's try it. It's all we've got.
LAURA: Okay, what should I say? I've got a limited amount of words.
LIAM: Yes, yes, yes, yes. Let's talk this out please.
LAURA: Okay, I'm going to write it down. Tell me what to say.
SAM: Don't even introduce yourself.
LAURA: Don't even introduce-- no. I'm not going to say--
TRAVIS: The Orphan Maker has come.
SAM: To Bazzoxan.
LAURA: Has arrived!
SAM: Or should we be more specific?
TRAVIS: Naw, you got to be vague.
MARISHA: She has arrived, because we want him to give us information.
MARISHA: We want to trick him into finding out--
LIAM: Where can we find you?
LAURA: Where are you?
LIAM: Where can we bring her to you?
LAURA: Where can we bring her to you? That's a stupid sentence. Where...?
SAM: Where can we find you?
LAURA: Where can we find you?
LIAM: That works, too.
TRAVIS: You can't run forever.
LAURA: You can't run!
LIAM: That seems like it might antagonize.
TRAVIS: Your mother would be disappointed.
LAURA: Your mother.
LIAM: Don't write down everything that everyone says, please, Jester.
SAM: Have you seen a lost flask?
TRAVIS: Also maybe not so important.
LAURA: I can't, wow.
MARISHA: Maybe the Orphan Maker has arrived in the north.
SAM: I feel like we should be more specific. No?
TRAVIS: No, no, no. Got to keep a position of power.
ASHLEY: Then maybe just like, hey, we are here in Bazzoxan and we brought the Orphan Maker.
TALIESIN: Not that I like any of this, that's--
LAURA: This is pretty good.
TALIESIN: That's as good as it's going to get.
ASHLEY: I think it's good enough.
SAM: We could ask about the flask.
LAURA: What if I'm like, hey, what was that crest doing? We can watch you! We're always watching you! Stuff like that.
SAM: We're watching you is good, but I don't know about asking about--
LAURA: Yeah, we're watching you.
TRAVIS: She comes alone.
LAURA: She comes alone. But she comes more with another person.
MARISHA: Truer words.
SAM: It's different.
LIAM: Is it though?
SAM: It's just different. It's still good. It's just different.
TRAVIS: Fucking-- wife, mother of my son.
LIAM: Nobody does it like yourself.
SAM: She can't have come alone, because you're sending the message.
LAURA: This is true. That doesn't make any sense.
ASHLEY: He's going to know if--
LIAM: Do we need to bust out the above the word max, or can we just be--
LAURA: No. It can just be simple this time. What if I just go like, ♪ Do, do, do, do, do ♪
SAM: Don't start with that.
LIAM: Caleb is legitimately laughing at the moment.
LAURA: I'll end with that.
LIAM: What do you mean, though?
LAURA: Okay, okay, I'm going to start.
TALIESIN: Oh, man.
MATT: You cast the spell, reaching out into the ether, sending your thoughts and words forward. You say?
LAURA: The Orphan Maker has arrived. Where can we find you? ♪ Do, do, do, do, do ♪
♪ Do, do, do, do, do, do ♪
TALIESIN: Thus was our fate sealed.
TALIESIN: We're going to die.
TRAVIS: Holy shit.
SAM: ♪ Do, do, do, do ♪
LIAM: This guy is standing with--
TRAVIS: The last five were particular.
LIAM: This guy has got the phone somewhere and Orcus is standing with him, and they're like.
TALIESIN: I'm on hold.
♪ Do, do, do, do, do ♪
LIAM: Here we go. Let a man formulate his thoughts.
TRAVIS: Oh, my god.
MATT: "Expedient and trustworthy. I am impressed. And a performer. Come. Five, six miles west of the village. Look for the hidden entrance. I'm waiting."
LAURA: Ooh. Number one, he said he was impressed with me, so that's really cool. But he also said five or six miles west of here, look for the hidden entrance.
SAM: We have a location! That was brilliant. That was a great idea.
TRAVIS: Hold on.
SAM: Yasha, was that yours?
TRAVIS: Before we get real excited, did he give any description of what the hidden entrance might look like?
TALIESIN: It'll be the one that'll be hidden.
LAURA: We can find it.
SAM: We know he's near mountains. We know he's five to six miles away. We know he's west.
LAURA: As we go away we can start casting--
TALIESIN: I can't believe I'm saying this, but this feels like a plan.
LAURA: --Locate Creature, Locate Object. I mean, we can find him.
TRAVIS: We should definitely go into the tunnels and check out the Abyss before we go though, right?
LIAM: No. No, Fjord, we should not do that.
TALIESIN: I'll tell you what, on the way out. Like a shop. We'll hit the shop. You hit the gift store on the way out.
MARISHA: Anyone else find it ironic?
TRAVIS: Just one tunnel?
TRAVIS: Maybe just one tunnel?
TALIESIN: You want one abyssal?
LAURA: Don't you think--
MARISHA: ♪ Don't you think ♪ All the realms that have been ripped open have been from the Abyss.
TRAVIS: ♪ It's like rain ♪
TALIESIN: I was waiting for it.
SAM: And we're right here next to a gate to the Abyss?
TALIESIN: Just saw Matt check one thing for that joke.
SAM: Have these all been abyssal rifts?
SAM: They've all been abyssal rifts?
LIAM: Yeah, they have. Yes.
SAM: So this fellow is creating them.
LAURA: Yeah, I think so.
MARISHA: We have a pretty strong idea.
SAM: Upon payment from the Empire.
TALIESIN: Quite possibly.
ASHLEY: Maybe he's trying to open the Tomb.
TALIESIN: To let loose a bunch of them.
LAURA: Oh, my god! What if he's trying to bring a demonic prince here?
LIAM: Also, we are going five to six miles to the west. Do we have a plan?
SAM: Let's go.
LIAM: Do we have a plan besides "let's go"?
SAM: Do we ever?
LIAM: Yeah. Yes, we do. Yeah.
ASHLEY: Which way is west, Matt?
MATT: West would be this way. You'd be traveling this way along the mountain range.
TRAVIS: If we don't, I think we know that we're going to be keeping an eye out for the same sort of baddies in the open area.
TALIESIN: He knows we're coming.
TRAVIS: Eye on the ridge for ambush. And other than that, we're walking right into it.
LIAM: Yeah. I don't know if it's a help, but I can make all of us look like anything, like anyone. Maybe if we broke into smaller groups and stagger? No.
TALIESIN: I mean, it's not going to be, I don't imagine, it's the sort of place that random people walk through.
LIAM: No, you are right.
LAURA: What is it, Yasha?
ASHLEY: No, I just... If we get close to there, I could just go in alone or something, act like it's just me, and then you guys could (sighs) be hidden somewhere in case something goes awry.
TALIESIN: We already know--
LAURA: What if you go and then they put you in chains or something and then we don't know, and we can't get to you in time, and then they take you to a rift and then you're in the Abyss. There could be so many things.
TALIESIN: Safety in numbers.
MARISHA: What if in your past life, before you lost your memory, you were an Iron Angel! Were an Angel of Iron.
LAURA: Oh, my god!
MARISHA: You were the Queen of the Angel of Irons, and they're like, welcome home, mother. It could actually be super badass.
LIAM: Super fun, but it seems like an outside chance.
ASHLEY: It feels like a--
TALIESIN: One doesn't know how to prepare for that, really.
ASHLEY: I don't think I'm--
TALIESIN: Don't know what you'd pack.
MARISHA: She's got dope wings, though.
ASHLEY: Yeah, but I don't think that makes me... That makes me a freak, not an angel.
LIAM: What did you say? Did you say that she's going alone?
LAURA: No, I just said she's arrived. Where can we meet you? He sounds like he's placating us, but he also sounds like we may be able to talk to him.
TRAVIS: Let's do it. What else are we going to do?
TALIESIN: I mean, we're here.
LAURA: He obviously thinks we are not very powerful, because--
ASHLEY: But he also did run from us.
TRAVIS: He did.
LAURA: Maybe he had important shit to do.
TRAVIS: Come on. Let's get the moorbounders. Let's do this.
LAURA: Let's do it.
SAM: This sounds terrible.
SAM: This seems like a terrible idea.
TRAVIS: It's this or the tunnels. Either way, I'm happy. Let's go.
LAURA: Or we can sleep one more night here and just go meet him tomorrow, because he knows we're here. And that way I didn't waste my fifth level spell scrying. Oh, no? You guys, what you think?
TALIESIN: Why did you use your fifth? Well, okay.
TRAVIS: All in favor of saddling up.
ASHLEY: Yeah, let's do it.
MATT: All right. You gather your moorbounders from the outside of the barracks, take your cloth and cover your faces as the dust storms kick up heavier and heavier westward in the direction you're traveling, so at least you're not going against it. As your moorbounders take off and continue to push forward.
TALIESIN: Actually, that's a question before we took off. Do they sell goggles here or something like that?
MATT: There are face masking and goggle wear if you want to. This is not an uncommon thing this side of the Barbed Fields.
TALIESIN: It might not be a bad idea if we're going out in the middle--
TRAVIS: We all gear up.
MATT: Okay, all right. That'd be six pairs of goggles, since you have your own, necessarily. That'll run you one gold, five silver for the whole batch.
TALIESIN: Premium price, cool.
ASHLEY: I'll put in, since this is--
MATT: All right.
MARISHA: These have jewels on them.
LAURA: (laughs) Why do mine have spikes along the side?
SAM: Before we go in, I try to buy a bottle of booze.
MATT: Okay. You go ahead and head back to The Ready Room. "Can I help you with anything?"
SAM: Just need to buy a bottle of--
TRAVIS: She's underage. Don't sell to her.
SAM: Any alcohol that you might have?
MATT: He starts looking at the both of you. Both of you make persuasion checks. (laughs)
SAM: It's you, Fjord.
SAM: It's you. Natural one.
TRAVIS: Better than that.
SAM: Minus three.
Oh, no. It's plus one weirdly.
LAURA: Oh, so one!
SAM: It changed.
MATT: "We are unfortunately out."
SAM: What? Oh.
TRAVIS: She likes to buy booze for me. I'll take a bottle.
MATT: "25 gold."
TRAVIS: 25 gold? Mm.
LAURA: (noise of dissent)
TRAVIS: Yeah, no problem.
MATT: There you go, bottle of booze.
TRAVIS: I pop the cork. (sniffs) Does it smell like booze?
MATT: It smells like some of the strongest hooch you've ever smelled.
TRAVIS: Okay, making sure it wasn't water or some shit. All right, thank you.
SAM: Hand it over.
SAM: Hand it over.
TRAVIS: Hand what over?
SAM: The thing that's in your hand.
TRAVIS: This is for disinfecting. What do you want?
SAM: I need...
TRAVIS: Huh? Come on. Let's get out there. Time to ride, hi-yah!
MATT: Mounting your moorbounders, googles on, cloth wraps over the front of the face, you all exit through the western side of Bazzoxan, along with the wind and the clusters of dust that follow, moving past you at a speed that's just beyond the pace of your moorbounders, so the wind and the clouds are slowly shifting past you from behind. Using that, keeping your eye forward, you make your way westward, one mile, two miles. Everybody make a stealth check. I'll say with advantage because you are amongst the dust clouds.
LIAM: Come on, O'Brien.
MARISHA: With advantage?
LAURA: Oh, I am going to give blessing to Caduceus?
TALIESIN: No, I'm good.
LAURA: Well, I already said it.
MATT: Caduceus and who else?
TALIESIN: What does that do?
LAURA: You get advantage. Oh wait, you already got advantage.
MATT: No, no. Blessing doesn't help ability checks.
LAURA: Blessing of the Trickster.
MATT: Oh, I see.
TALIESIN: And we already advantage.
LAURA: Yeah, we already have advantage. I'm dumb.
MATT: That's all right.
SAM: Natural 20.
LAURA: Ooh, 20.
MATT: You feel pretty solid that nothing notices your continuous push to the west. Following the base of the mountain range, you continue on the fourth mile. You hit the five-mile section and now you're looking over to who's keeping point on the watch on this.
ASHLEY: That was Caduceus.
MATT: All right, so Caduceus and--
LAURA: I'm going to, hmm.
MATT: If someone wants to help Caduceus, or you can make separate perception checks, in this dust storm are with disadvantage.
TRAVIS: I'll help. I'll help you. Do it straight up.
LIAM: It's too dusty to even think about looking for a hidden doorway in the mountains at this point.
MATT: Well, that's what he's trying to do--
LIAM: I would like to help him.
MATT: Okay, so you either roll individually with disadvantage or you help him and he rolls just a normal roll.
LIAM: Perception or investigation?
LIAM: I let him roll with advantage.
MATT: Okay, so a single roll for you, Caduceus, to keep an eye out for something that might catch your attention.
TALIESIN: Okay, weird question.
TALIESIN: Would Find Traps help us in any way with this?
MATT: This isn't finding a trap, unfortunately.
TALIESIN: Okay, yeah.
MATT: This is spotting something that is different from the rest of the rocks.
TALIESIN: Just a straight perception check.
MATT: Just straight perception check.
TALIESIN: Come on, come on, no whammies. (groans) 13.
MATT: 13, you get the fifth to sixth-mile range and there's too much dust and nothing is catching your attention here unfortunately, and you loop around.
LAURA: I try Locate Object and see if I can do it.
TALIESIN: That might do it. Yeah, what's the range on that?
LAURA: A thousand feet.
TALIESIN: Wow. Well, I could also do Locate Creature at a thousand feet. You've already burned a spell. I'll try Locate Creature as we pass by again for another...
MATT: Okay, so you pass by the sixth, the fifth mile. At full speed, and it lasts for ten minutes, is it?
TALIESIN: Locate Creature is up to an hour.
MATT: Up to an hour, okay. You cast Locate Creature. You mark off that spell. You move past, nothing.
MATT: Back the second time, nothing. About 20 minutes back and forth. I envision you're casting this on Obann, right?
TALIESIN: I keep an eye out for anything unusual.
LAURA: I mean, can I... I don't know, it was just fucking mountains when I was scrying. Does anything look familiar from the time I was scrying?
MATT: You saw the thing that he pulled out.
LAURA: Well, yeah. I'm talking like the mountain range.
MATT: Mountain range? Make a perception check with disadvantage.
LIAM: Are we tracing the edge of the base of the mountain?
MATT: You guys are riding along the edge of it, yeah, along the mountain range.
LAURA: Yeah, no, nine.
MATT: Unfortunately, it's daytime now. There's more light than when you saw it when you scryed on him. The dust, everything, it's a really rough combination of elements to try and recall directly.
LAURA: All right, I'm going to cast Locate Object on the crest that he had in his hand.
MATT: Okay. You ride on for about ten minutes on and (popping).
MATT: Your brain catches it and you draw a direction.
LAURA: Oop, (stutters). Ho. That way!
MATT: Jester gives a point and you guys start hanging that way.
TALIESIN: All right.
MATT: Bee lining towards up the way, you can feel it shifting to the right until eventually you come up to the edge and the rock begins to look familiar. You can glance and it brings you to a point where there was a small pocket that is hidden in shadow from where the light's coming from above. There, recessed about two inches in the side, about the size of a palm, is a round stone crest.
SAM: (gasps) But he's not here, which is why your spell didn't work.
LIAM: It's been placed into an alcove.
LAURA: He could be on another plane.
SAM: This is the door.
LIAM: I want to drop down and start examining it and see if I can figure out how it works.
TALIESIN: If I were going to spring something on us, it would be here.
MATT: Okay, so as you approach it, you can glance off to the left of it and you can see, about 30 feet from it, a small, six-foot cave on the side of the mountain. As you glance in towards the seal, you can see things inscribed on it. It looks like it has a carving of a simple mouth with teeth, and there are runes both above and below it.
LIAM: Can I read them? Are they arcane in nature?
MATT: It appears to be a language. Do any of you know Celestial?
TRAVIS: (snaps fingers)
MATT: Both Yasha and Caleb, looking into it, make out a phrase that says, "Let lie the king's instrument, deathless and detained, until the world ends."
TRAVIS: One more time?
MATT: Let lie the king's instrument, deathless and detained, until the world ends.
TALIESIN: It's a tomb with an exit. It's the worst kind.
TRAVIS: The entrance to this is just open.
MATT: It is currently, yes.
LIAM: Let lie the king's instrument, deathless and detained.
TRAVIS: Can I look up the ridge line?
SAM: That does not sound good.
TRAVIS: Just do a sweet of everything that's up there.
MATT: Perception check with disadvantage.
LIAM: Is there anything that can hurt us here? In the walls or anything?
TRAVIS: It's not terrible.
SAM: You want me to go check in there?
LAURA: Just on the outside.
LIAM: Look for anything that could harm us.
SAM: All right.
MATT: Nothing catches your eye.
SAM: I'm going to go check for traps around the entranceway.
MATT: Investigation check, please.
LIAM: It's an open entrance?
MATT: Yeah, it's just this open, yeah.
SAM: 15, I don't know. Maybe.
MATT: Doesn't appear to be trapped.
SAM: I can't get a bead on anything. I don't know. Just doesn't seem right. I don't know. Maybe we shouldn't go in. Let's just go back.
LIAM: Are you all right?
LIAM: What do you need?
SAM: You know what I need. But we'll be fine. Anyone else want to try?
MARISHA: I'll look and see if I can find any signs of footprints or somebody passing through.
MATT: Sure, make an investigation check.
MARISHA: (scoffs) Not good. 11.
MATT: 11. This dust storm seems to have scooped through and just covered most of any tracks that would have been. If you want to look inside you can, but from the outside you see no footprints.
LIAM: I cast... No, I can't. I don't have it prepared. Nevermind.
TRAVIS: I don't mind.
SAM: You don't mind what?
TRAVIS: I'll walk up to the entrance.
TRAVIS: I'll just put my hand through.
MATT: The temperature drops based on the difference in light. Nothing else.
TRAVIS: It's cooler in here, but my hand's still attached. I'll step through.
MATT: Okay. Fjord vanishes into the inside. As you cross the threshold, you seem fine.
MATT: Stepping inside--
TRAVIS: That made my butt pucker.
MATT: It continues in, lightless, this steadily descending pathway, about seven-foot high, six feet wide, and just continues on this slow grade before vanishing beyond your periphery. Just a tunnel.
TRAVIS: Looks like a tunnel.
MATT: You can see above you there is some sort of a doorway that is wedged in a stone slab that rolls in to close this off that is part of the hiding mechanism for this entrance.
TALIESIN: It's probably what that key is for, I imagine.
TRAVIS: Yeah. Barricade looks like it's on this side. You can come on in.
TALIESIN: What do you think about maybe we put something across the door so we'll know if someone is following us from behind?
TRAVIS: Oh yeah, a little wire.
LIAM: I need ten minutes.
MARISHA: I go inside.
MATT: Okay, the rest of you make it inside before. It's single file in this. You can uncomfortably-- you can go actually shoulder to shoulder, like two at a time, but it's pretty tight to move through any more than that.
MARISHA: Before too many people get in, can I now do that investigation check to see if I see any tracks or scrawlings on the inside.
TALIESIN: Any writings on the wall.
MARISHA: Yeah, writing on the wall.
TALIESIN: Anything weird.
MARISHA: That's better.
MATT: 19, okay. You don't see any writing on the walls, no runes or anything scribed on it. Aside from Fjord's footsteps and the other people that came in there, you move beyond, and you can see no footsteps.
LIAM: Is it pitch dark in here?
MATT: It is pitch dark. There is no light.
LAURA: Before we go inside--
LIAM: It's fine. A little (bubbling sounds), two floating by my head, and I left on trailing behind the group and one float about ten feet in front. It's dim light.
LAURA: I'm going to grab Yasha before we follow everyone in. I'm just going to grab both your hands.
TALIESIN: I'll do mine, too, just to have it, of course.
LAURA: I don't know what we're going to find in there, but this guy's obviously after you, yeah?
LAURA: I know we were joking about it before, but if anything gets too hard or if you don't want to hear what he's saying, just say the word and we'll all have your back.
LAURA: I don't want you to worry.
LAURA: And I know that (sighs) you lost your family, but we can be your new one, and we love you very much, Yasha, no matter what happened, okay?
ASHLEY: Okay. Thank you, Jester.
LAURA: We can do this.
ASHLEY: We can do this. I have an idea.
ASHLEY: Calm down. I think on the gate it said let lie the king's instrument, and I think it's a rock harp.
SAM: A what?
LAURA: (gasps) I think you're right.
ASHLEY: Yeah. No, Jester was saying-- yeah, it's a joke. It's not a real thing. (laughter) I'm going to step to the side just privately, put my hood up and try as quietly as I can. (sighs) Hello, Stormlord. I just wanted to (sighs) say that, I don't know, maybe we're doing something stupid right now, but I don't know where you are, but maybe you could turn your gaze this way in case we need you. Thank you. Okay. Go back to the rest of the group.
MATT: You step inside and get three steps into the shadows before you hear (thunder rumbling) distant rumble of thunder in a cloudless sky, it seems.
SAM: (sings ♪ Aaah ♪ from Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin)
LAURA: ♪ Aaah ♪
LIAM: May I borrow you for three minutes, right here?
SAM: 30 minutes?
SAM: Oh, okay.
LIAM: Yes. I pull out the pearl and I cast Fortune's Favor on both Yasha and myself, and I also cast Gift of Alacrity on Yasha. So that's basically one re-roll for you, and also increased initiative.
ASHLEY: Amazing. Thank you, Caleb. I'm shaking.
TRAVIS: All right, we'll let the globule lead the way.
MATT: Continuing on. A hundred feet, two hundred feet. You start picking up footprints, faint but recent. You gather these are probably Obann's, hopefully.
SAM: One track? One set?
MARISHA: Yeah, one set or multiple?
MATT: One set.
MARISHA: Just one? Okay.
MATT: It continues at a slight decline one way, kind of hooking to the right before straightening once more and then heading almost back in the direction of Bazzoxan slightly.
TRAVIS: Stone walls around us?
MATT: It's all like a smooth, carved cave. It's a little rough and natural looking, but it's been hollowed out to represent a hall, a tunnel that would function. Continuing in this path for a little over a mile.
MATT: Carefully moving forward, the globes slowly drifting ahead, weapons at the ready, listening for anything. The tunnel just goes on and on and on, and it's silence and it's darkness, and the cooler interior. There's that little thought in your brain that creeps up that's like, how long does this go? Is this infinite? You push nearing the second mile before the walls stop, and it just opens beyond, this hallway opening into some sort of chamber or variation beyond where the walls are on longer there.
TRAVIS: Okay, Caleb
LIAM: (snaps fingers) Frumpkin appears by my feet. Be very quiet, please. (whooshing) (quiet footsteps)
MATT: Stealth check for Frumpkin.
LIAM: I want to use my Fragment of Possibility.
SAM: Do you get one, too?
LIAM: Yeah, one for each of us. Much better.
SAM: Oh, cool.
LIAM: That's 21.
MATT: Okay. Frumpkin shifts into the chamber. Perception check for Frumpkin.
LIAM: Shit, I don't have cat open. I think it's 16.
MATT: Okay, I'll go with that. As Frumpkin pushes in this small--
MATT: Okay. This small, seven-by-six-foot tunnel, this domed tunnel, opens up into a much larger tunnel that is cylindrical, 40 feet end-to-end, 40 feet top-t bottom. It just emerges into it, going to the left and right.
SAM: Is there anything in... it's just a big hall.
MATT: Some tumbled rocks, but it's just a long, cylindrical tunnel, like a big piper tube, 40 feet by 40 feet--
LIAM: Are you saying a T?
LIAM: Entering, and a tube going--
MATT: And a tube going left and right.
TRAVIS: Caleb, what direction have we been traveling this whole time?
LIAM: Can't hear shit.
TRAVIS: Oh, right.
LIAM: I send... I start whispering to the crew. I'm at a T in the road with my cat, and he can go left or right. Any thoughts? Tap me on the left shoulder for left, right for right.
LAURA: I tap him on the left.
TALIESIN: Which way would put us closer to the tower?
LAURA: Oh, it would.
TRAVIS: That would send us back.
LAURA: Tap right.
MATT: Okay. Frumpkin continues on for about another 15 or so minutes, the tunnel curving slightly, winding one way to the next. Little bits of rubble and bits of rock that had fallen in just through time and erosion. Who knows? It's mostly just a smooth cylinder. 20 minutes go by.
MATT: Frumpkin continues.
LAURA: Come inside! Have a nice cup o' tea.
MATT: Come meet the missus.
LIAM: I would be looking through his eyes for anything amiss, any secret worm doors or anything like that, but you would have said. It's a bit far. I'm going to summon him back. He just walked for a very long time, and nothing changed and I'm returning, and I will have him walk five minutes in the other direction and see if it's anything different, but it could be a very long tunnel.
TALIESIN: Well, we'll keep walking towards it anyway.
MATT: Okay, so you guys continue walking, and you walking along with them as you're meeting up with Frumpkin?
LIAM: No, I was going to have Frumpkin come back to the T.
LIAM: Then go a little bit further in the other direction, not as long.
MATT: Okay. About 20 minutes, Frumpkin returns. Frumpkin goes about five minutes the opposite direction before he is met with the end of the tunnel, full cave in collapse, large grated pile of stones and rubble. This side has just fallen in on itself. (flask thumps)
SAM: I moved Matt's camera.
MATT: Eh, it's fine.
LIAM: That decides for us.
TRAVIS: Yeah, it does.
MARISHA: Let's go.
SAM: What does that decide?
LIAM: The left is caved in, so there's only one way to go.
SAM: Unless the cave in is a disguise of some sort.
TALIESIN: Well, we can also--
SAM: Go to inspect it.
LAURA: It was only five feet.
LIAM: Five minutes, but yeah.
LAURA: That's what I meant.
TRAVIS: Let's go check it out.
MATT: All right. You guys continue down the right path.
TALIESIN: Left to the cave in.
MATT: Left to the cave in.
TALIESIN: Just to check it out.
MATT: Okay. You guys head towards the cave in. You finish the path and then you come to the base of it. Stones of all sizes, large bits that have tumbled in, smaller, broken up rubble. It is just fully collapsed in.
LAURA: Touch the rocks.
LIAM: Touch a few places to make sure it is physical and real.
MATT: Okay, it is physical.
TALIESIN: Detect Magic.
MATT: Focus for a second, close your eyes. Nothing.
MARISHA: Does there appear to be any--
TRAVIS: --discernible ceiling?
MARISHA: Yeah, like ceiling that looks like you could potentially peer over the rubbage.
MATT: Make a perception check.
TALIESIN: I'll join on that.
MARISHA: 13, 16 total.
MATT: Okay. You do it as well. You guys have to climb up a bit to get to the edge of it to really see.
MATT: 25, nice. The way the ceiling is, it isn't like just rocks are piled in. The ceiling is actually falling in, and it's this precarious situation where the rubble is holding these large sections of shale and heavy rock from falling in further. It fully collapsed in and is just held by a perfect meeting of both sides kind of holding the weight.
TRAVIS: Not great.
TALIESIN: Can the cat get up there to take a look?
MATT: There is no gap. It is literally like two bits are pushed together, and it is a closed--
LAURA: I back away from it.
MARISHA: Yeah, I think we should be careful with cave ins. Caduceus, catch me. I'm just going to (grunts).
TRAVIS: Yeah, maybe things of the explosive variety we try to limit if we can.
LAURA: Oh, smart.
SAM: The other way then?
LAURA: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
TRAVIS: Let's do it.
LIAM: Let's send my cat ten minutes ahead of us and we'll just walk behind, and the worst happens it happens to him and I'll bring him back.
MATT: Okay, roll another perception check for Frumpkin please.
TALIESIN: Anything watching us?
MATT: Perception check for you as well.
LAURA: I'm going to keep my hand along the wall and see if there's any hidden things along the walls.
MARISHA: I'll do the other wall.
MATT: Okay, both of you guys make investigation checks as you have your hands going, passing by.
MATT: What'd you get?
TALIESIN: I rolled a one.
MATT: One and a one on both perception checks. Great.
MARISHA: We're supposed to be good at this. Nine.
MATT: Okay. You're rocking this, guys.
LIAM: Frumpkin's still out there. Caleb's trailing behind Beau.
MATT: Frumpkin goes on, continues ahead. You guys continue to walk and walk and walk. The tunnel itself at a grade ever so faintly. You're just winding side-to-side, retracing Frumpkin's steps. Continue on.
LAURA: Do we still see the footprints?
MATT: Off and on. This area's less soft earth and more like hard rock, and there's less of a chance to actually witness footprints at this point. You lose the trail, but you recall the direction it was traveling. You continue on. Frumpkin eventually realizes the tunnel is curving at more of a steeper and steeper slope, to the point where it begins to get a dangerous amount of steepness.
LIAM: Is it smooth?
MATT: It's smooth. It's not like super smooth like a slide.
LIAM: It's not "The Goonies."
MATT: Right, right, but it is a carved tunnel that continues to drop down. You guys, being a bit behind Frumpkin, pick up something that Frumpkin missed. There is, off to the right side of the tunnel, an obelisk that emerges from the ground, rising up about 15 or so feet, four sides to it. It comes to a gradual point, like a needle, and it just sits there, different stone, and it just barely comes into your periphery and you all stop.
TALIESIN: Nope, nope, nope.
MARISHA: No one touch it.
TRAVIS: Touch it?
TALIESIN: Don't get anywhere near it.
TRAVIS: What color?
MATT: It's like a slate gray, like graphite almost.
LAURA: Are there any symbols on it that we can see?
MATT: You just came into your periphery. You have to get closer to check.
TRAVIS: How far away are we at the moment?
MATT: Right now you're about 90 feet.
LIAM: We've stopped.
MARISHA: I would talk to you, but you can't hear me.
LIAM: Frumpkin is looking down a hill. It's going down. I'm going to hold because we're holding.
MARISHA: I give him a tap to let him know we're in agreeance.
TRAVIS: Hey, Nott.
TRAVIS: You want to sneak up?
TRAVIS: You can do this.
SAM: I can?
TRAVIS: Just make sure there are no traps. Just try and get close enough to see if there's anything you can see. Don't mess with it.
SAM: All right. Sure. (laughs) I'll walk up to the obelisk.
LAURA: Wait. (laughter)
SAM: I'll go look for traps.
MATT: Go for it.
SAM: Do I have to get right up on it to search?
MATT: Pretty close, within five feet or so.
SAM: Mm. 28.
MATT: Great. You don't see any signs of traps. You do notice two things. One, there is writing along each side of the obelisk, like vertical symbols that look like this.
SAM: Ooh, he's got things printed.
MATT: Beyond that right side where the obelisk is, there's another tunnel, a small ten-foot by ten-foot square tunnel that pushes to the right.
LAURA: Do we underst-- oh, we don't.
MARISHA: Do we know what that is?
MATT: What languages do you know?
SAM: Barely anything. Common and Goblin.
MATT: You do not.
SAM: Oh, and Halfling.
MATT: You do not recognize this script at all.
TRAVIS: You know who does? The wizard that can't hear or see anything. Can I see Frumpkin up ahead?
MATT: No, Frumpkin is too far ahead for you to see.
TRAVIS: That's okay. I'll take an Eldritch Blast and I'll just shoot it down the hallway 120 feet.
MATT: It doesn't go 120 feet because the increasing arc, it does eventually hit the ceiling. From Frumpkin's vision, you do see a (small explosion), a burst of greenish-white energy just behind and above.
LIAM: What is that? Something's happening.
TALIESIN: Oh, good. You're back.
TRAVIS: Question for you. There's some writing on this thing. Can you tell us what it is?
LIAM: Yeah, yeah.
LAURA: Why didn't you tell us there was an obelisk in front of us?
LIAM: We did not see an obelisk.
SAM: It's dark.
LIAM: I'm just doing my best. Ten minutes, please.
MARISHA: Ten minutes?
LIAM: Start casting Comprehend Languages.
TALIESIN: Let's have a quick look to see if anyone recognizes the language.
LIAM: I know Celestial and Sylvan.
MARISHA: Deep Speech.
MATT: You know any languages?
TRAVIS: Orc, baby.
MATT: Got it.
LIAM: What's Orc Baby sound like?
TALIESIN: Giant and Elvish.
ASHLEY: Abyssal and Celestial and Common.
MATT: You can read this.
TRAVIS: Fuck yeah!
MATT: One this to note, the script has been defaced, heavy scrape marks across it. Someone has gone out of their way to try and erase this script or deface it.
TRAVIS: Didn't we see that once before?
MARISHA: Yeah, does it look anything like the carvings back in--
TRAVIS: Yeah there was the--
LAURA: Yeah, yeah, yeah, where the succubus was.
MATT: This is different. What you saw then were them chiseling new markers into stone that weren't there before. They were setting what was to be a gateway.
MATT: This looks like Abyssal symbols that have been defaced, and long ago.
TRAVIS: What the fuck?
MATT: This is what you read.
TRAVIS: Come on, come on.
TALIESIN: Not looking.
LAURA: What does it say, Yasha?
ASHLEY: It says, "Build every bridge, become every nightmare, feast on every heart."
SAM: Nope, nope. (laughs)
LIAM: Building bridges sounds nice.
SAM: What are we doing here?
LAURA: And it's written in Abyssal?
ASHLEY: Yeah, this is Abyssal.
LAURA: The entrance was in Celestial, so it was probably the celestials that tried to scratch this out, yeah?
TALIESIN: That would make sense.
LIAM: Build every bridge. One more time, please, Yasha?
ASHLEY: Build every bridge, become every nightmare.
LAURA: ♪ Become every nightmare ♪
ASHLEY: Feast on every heart.
LAURA: Feast on every heart. These people don't sound very nice.
TRAVIS: Build every bridge.
ASHLEY: Yeah, but build every bridge is pretty positive.
LIAM: That's what it says all around.
MATT: On each side it's the same script.
LIAM: Same script on each side.
TALIESIN: Have all four been--
MATT: All four have been defaced, yeah.
SAM: ♪ Till you find your ♪
LAURA: Maybe build every bridge means open up the doorways between the world.
MARISHA: Yeah, which is what we've been seeing of a lot. This is some cult shit.
TRAVIS: Are there any areas in the obelisk--
LAURA: This is the Angel of Irons.
TRAVIS: --that are inserts, any shapes that would be--
MATT: Make in investigation check.
LIAM: There's a new passage behind this, right?
MATT: There is, a hallway beyond that, which the globes haven't been placed in to get much of a presence.
MATT: 24, good roll. You do a thorough inspection and you feel confident that there is no slot, nothing beyond just it being a marker.
LIAM: The way that we were headed, where Frumpkin was going, it just slopes down--
MATT: Slopes down to a point where it would be--
MATT: Untenable without the help of magic, and who knows where it goes.
LIAM: Yeah. Do we want to push some light in here?
TALIESIN: Let's do that.
LAURA: ♪ Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah ♪
TALIESIN: I think so.
MATT: Okay, the globes go in, and about 50 or so feet down this ten-by-ten hallway, you see a set of doors, stone doors, that are pushed open inward, leaving a two-foot gap. The doors have already been opened, and they're just left ajar. You can see carvings in each door, but you have to be closer to make out the detail with the low light.
SAM: Any fresh footprints leading up to them?
MATT: Make a perception check.
SAM: Oh, perception? Three.
MATT: Three? Can't catch anything.
LIAM: Here. I pick up Frumpkin and I set him on Nott's shoulders. Go sneak up there so I can get a look at that writing, will you? Quietly.
LIAM: Yeah. I take out a rag--
LAURA: As sneaky as possible.
LIAM: --and put it over one of the globules, and it floats, dim, covered.
LIAM: Carefully, please.
SAM: All right. 27 for stealth.
MATT: All right. You stealthily make your way up with the globe.
TALIESIN: Covered globe.
SAM: Globe, light?
LIAM: Dim uncovered, so very dim.
SAM: I'm got darkvision. I don't need it, probably.
LIAM: But I need to see.
SAM: All right.
MATT: You're watching through--
LIAM: Through Frumpkin's eyes, sitting on Nott's shoulder.
MATT: You approach the doors that are partially open this way from your perspective. You can see a chamber opens beyond them, no light either, and as you approach you can see the reliefs on these doors are actually sculptures, humanoid. You see two figures, one on each door, beautiful alabaster, humanoid features, smooth skin, no hair, looks like folded wings on their back, robes, and they're both just blank expressions.
SAM: How far are the figures in there?
MATT: Well, they're on the doors.
SAM: Oh, they're at the doors that I'm just at the cusp of?
MATT: You walk up and you approach and you see these as you approach. You also see, as you get closer, trails of crimson down the front of the statues.
SAM: Sure, sure. These are statues, again, on the door?
MATT: On the doors.
LAURA: So the doors-- Oh, god.
LIAM: That red is painted? It's by design, obviously?
MATT: You'd have to get closer to see.
SAM: I'll touch and see if it's-- Is it wet?
MATT: It is wet.
SAM: Does it taste like blood?
MATT: It tastes very ironlike.
LAURA: Oh, gross!
MATT: You can see it trailing down the front and down at the bottom, at the base of the doors, there's a small pool where they've dragged-- and it looks like this is a recent thing.
MARISHA: This was how they opened the doors.
SAM: I take the little kitty cat and give it a little kiss. (smooches) I love you, Frumpkin. Put it down and go invisible, and I'm going to go in the door.
MATT: Okay. You guys watch as at the core end there's the slight globe. Frumpkin gets placed down and Nott just (exhales) vanishes from sight.
TALIESIN: Oh, no.
LAURA: She's not even drunk.
MARISHA: It checks out.
LIAM: I've relayed that to the group, since they were ahead.
TRAVIS: We can't let her go in there by herself.
LAURA: She's not even drunk!
MARISHA: We don't want to run in. It'll totally fuck everything over.
TRAVIS: I look behind us. Anything there?
MATT: Make a perception check.
MATT: Best to your knowledge, nothing seems to be nearby behind you.
LIAM: I tell Frumpkin to go in behind the door and the wall of whatever is in there, and try to see anything.
MATT: You're still focusing on Frumpkin.
LIAM: I'm not sending the light in, though, because I don't know what the hell is in there, so Frumpkin is sitting in there.
MATT: All right, perception check with disadvantage on Frumpkin. Standard perception check for you, please.
SAM: I don't do perception. 12.
LIAM: 17 and three.
MATT: You enter. There is no continuation of the tunnel. As you walk through the doors, you are in a subterranean courtyard, (gasping) a crescent that if you're standing at the doors opens up around a large, somewhat curved wall, floor-to-ceiling. If you were to imagine a tower was buried and you uncovered one side, there is a courtyard that sits right around this heavy wall. The ground is uneven with rocks and scraps of metal. Parts of it look like a scattered junkyard almost, and there are all of these statues, all humanoid, sitting, all facing this wall, probably a dozen or so. They all appear to be of a white stone, smooth head, no hair, folded wings across the back, robes, all sitting and all facing this structure.
TRAVIS: Oh, fuck!
SAM: This structure is, again, it's a platform? It's a stage? It's a--
MATT: No, it's a curved wall. It's like you're walking to the outside of a tower of some kind.
LIAM: A courtyard outside a tower.
MATT: Correct. There's a courtyard that you're in, and then there's just a wall, like an exterior wall of something beyond.
SAM: Is there a door?
MATT: You'd have to get closer to look.
TRAVIS: Go look, baby.
SAM: Yeah, of course. I'll go look.
MATT: Okay. You walk through and you're looking left to right. All these statues, all these angelic statues, also bleeding from the eyes.
LAURA: Fuck, fuck, fuck.
TRAVIS: (laughs giddily)
LAURA: ♪ We are fucked ♪
MATT: You can see the piles of rubble. You see a broken sword on one side. You haven't even paid much attention to what is scattered amongst the floor here. As you approach this large wall, it looks of almost a deep, black stone, no windows, and there are grooves about every ten feet or so that just striate up the side. You can see a single adamantine door that sits in the center of the courtyard, in the center of the wall, that is raised up about two feet.
MATT: And the path continues below it.
SAM: Oh, it's been lifted up.
MATT: It's been lifted up.
MARISHA: But only two feet.
MATT: But only two feet. Or about a foot and a half.
LIAM: Not enough blood.
MARISHA: Not enough blood. Straight up. Not enough to power the wheel.
ASHLEY: I'm going to walk in.
MATT: You walk in after Nott?
TALIESIN: I'm going to just tap Death Ward as you're walking away. Oh, that's not-- okay.
MATT: So you have Death Ward on you for the next eight hours.
TRAVIS: We're going in with her. Come on.
MARISHA: Yeah, I'm going to flank the doors but let her go ahead.
MATT: Okay. You guys come into the chamber behind Nott.
TRAVIS: Summon the falchion.
MATT: You take in the same scenery around you. You see the large door. The door's like 20 feet wide and about 15 feet tall from what you can see as it's lifted up, and the same scattering of the courtyard around you, the same statues.
TRAVIS: Can someone tell if this shit's evil or not?
LIAM: Just throw up Mage Armor.
TALIESIN: It doesn't look it.
SAM: As I watch Yasha walk in, I am going to stealthily search her pockets for anything.
MATT: All right, make a sleight of hand check.
SAM: Natural 20. (laughter)
MATT: What does Nott find?
ASHLEY: A couple of coins, some flowers, maybe some sunflower seeds.
ASHLEY: Yasha is not one for material items.
SAM: Sorry, it's me. It's just me. I'm here.
ASHLEY: Can I look around the room and perception check to take in the room?
MATT: Yeah, make a perception check.
ASHLEY: (laughs) I just rolled a natural one.
MATT: It's hard to look around. There's an ominous sense here, and you sense this weird tickle, like something is just near you. (laughs)
ASHLEY: Do I-- Is this place familiar to me?
LIAM: I work a lot with substances and materials. If I look at the blood on one of these statue's faces, am I able to investigate it to tell how long ago this was become wet?
MATT: Sure, make a medicine check.
TRAVIS: Ooh, yeah.
MATT: This is to know the consistency and coagulation of a blood-like substance.
SAM: Coagulation check.
MATT: Indeed. This is maybe a day old, to two days old.
LAURA: The blood looks like it's actually coming from the statue?
MATT: As you inspect and get close to the statue and look, it is a very slow, gradual stream. It is actually producing the blood.
SAM: And it's still coming?
MATT: It is still coming.
TRAVIS: I'm fucking wigging out.
MARISHA: In those striations on the wall, do they have blood trickling down them or up them?
MATT: They do not have blood at all on them.
MARISHA: They do not.
LIAM: Just an aspect of the stone?
TRAVIS: The base of the statues, does it look like they've rotated or disturbed the earth at all?
MATT: Make an investigation check to check the floor around them.
TRAVIS: 19, sorry.
MATT: Okay, no worries. No, the statues have not been moved. They are stationary and appear to have been placed there intentionally. But you do look around the base too and find amongst the dirt and rubble that's in the vicinity as you look around, you find ruined feathers of white. You find they've been dirtied with age and dust. You look and can see other shattered swords and broken armor covered in soot that's just been left and dusted over, twisted beyond use. And because you rolled so well, you glance over to one of these suits of armor off to the left side of it, and you see this little exposed flash of white amongst one of the pieces of twisted armor.
TRAVIS: I'll go over and check it out.
MATT: You pull it and it's a bone, but smooth, pure, just covered in a pile of dirt.
TRAVIS: No grime, no-- just--?
MATT: Well, you see an exposed part of it and it's just--
TRAVIS: I pull on it.
MATT: Okay, you tug on it and as you pull it out, all the dirt just falls off of it like it never quite held onto it. You glance down and there's more. There's actually probably a mostly buried skeleton amongst this piece of armor.
TRAVIS: Does the bone look like it's humanoid in size or larger?
MATT: It looks a little larger.
LIAM: Yeah, I want to join Fjord, and I speak Celestial so I've probably studied this. Does it look like an aasimar's bone?
MATT: You've studied Celestial as a language, but you've had-- I'd say go ahead and make a religion check for me.
TRAVIS: While he's doing that, are all these statues in the same pose?
MATT: They are.
TRAVIS: Are they all on pedestals or feet on--
MATT: They're all sitting on the ground. Their hands are just sitting in their lap.
LAURA: Oh, they're on their knees?
MATT: They're all sitting on their knees looking forward, and the blood that's coming down is pooling in their hands and has spilled off into the dirt in front of it.
MATT: 16. Looking through and rummaging around, you can see bones that appear to have been part of wings, and you gather that these entities were Celestial in some degree.
MATT: There's a skull. There's a full skeletal corpse there of this creature.
LIAM: Holding a bone, I just look over at Yasha.
ASHLEY: I go over and I look at it.
MATT: Now that you have this information, you look around. There's probably a handful of celestial corpses buried amongst the refuse here.
TRAVIS: Any non-broken weapons or non-ruined armor pieces?
MATT: You can make an investigation check to try and give the whole room a once-over if you like. It'll take you a little while, but you can do it.
TRAVIS: I'll try.
LAURA: Maybe these statues were the people that fell.
LAURA: You know, the people that died trying to--
TRAVIS: 25. Natural 19.
LAURA: Entomb this guy.
ASHLEY: Maybe they're good people.
TALIESIN: I'm going to help with a Detect Magic while we're in the room, too.
MATT: Okay. Glancing around, all the statues give off a faint magical essence, so immediately the whole room just lights up around you.
TRAVIS: The statues give off--?
MATT: The statues do. Looking around, there are no unruined weapons. All the armor and weaponry here has been sundered in some way a long time ago.
TALIESIN: If it were magical, it wouldn't be sundered.
MATT: Anything of value was probably taken or just disappeared.
ASHLEY: I want to go up closer to one of the statues and just get a closer look, because I haven't quite seen anything like that before.
MATT: They're a little larger than humanoid, their proportions are a little larger, a little bigger than you or anybody else you've come across. What do you inspect? What do you do with the statues?
ASHLEY: See their wings, and-- I kind of want to touch it.
MATT: Okay. You go ahead and reach out and touch the statue, and there's a very faint vibration to it. You run your fingers across it and it just thrums and get stronger and lesser in an inconsistent pattern of vibration as you touch it.
ASHLEY: Nott, did you--
SAM: I'm over here!
ASHLEY: Did you feel something funny when you touched the statue?
SAM: I don't think so.
MATT: You didn't really touch it.
SAM: I just touched the blood.
MATT: Blood, yeah.
MARISHA: What do you mean "funny?"
SAM: I didn't sense anything.
ASHLEY: It vibrates. Probably-- Give it a try.
MATT: You feel another statue and you feel what she's feeling, it's like inconsistent. (vibration)
MARISHA: Like a heartbeat.
MATT: But it's jagged and--
MATT: Then you feel for a second and there is a rhythm to it, like seven or so consistent types of vibration.
ASHLEY: How many are there again? TRAVIS: Repeating?
MATT: There are a little over a dozen. There's going to be 14 statues in here.
SAM: They're repeating patterns?
TALIESIN: Are the statues different at all?
MATT: No, they're all--
TALIESIN: Just the same.
MATT: They're all the same.
LIAM: This door, this gate--
TALIESIN: Not even a slight difference?
LIAM: -- Is connected to these dead--
MATT: Make a perception check.
LIAM: -- celestials, it makes me nervous about his fascination with you.
MATT: 19. They all appear pretty identical.
MARISHA: Does there appear to be a mechanism attached to the door, lifting it up?
MATT: From what you can tell-- Make an investigation check as you approach the door and check.
LAURA: Is the door opening at all, like minimally?
MATT: We'll find out with this investigation check.
LIAM: It was two feet up.
MARISHA: My god, that was almost a natural 20.
ASHLEY: What they're looking at?
LIAM: I thought the door was raised.
MATT: It's raised about a foot and a half.
LAURA: Yeah, I want to know if it's coming up at all, like millimeters, if it's still raising. Yeah.
MATT: Ten. Looking up at the door, you don't see any mechanism for it, but you do see there's a tiny, yellow gem that is affixed to the door.
SAM: The actual door, not above it?
MATT: To the door, and you can see a loose chain that dangles from it.
TRAVIS: Nott, could you tell if there's any footprints in front of that little tiny door just in case that fucker's invisible and in here with us?
TALIESIN: Is that giving off-- I felt the magic. I would have the Detect Magic--
MATT: You walk up to the door as well?
MATT: There is a magical essence coming from that as well.
TALIESIN: From the chain and the gem, or just the gem?
MATT: Just the gem.
SAM: All right, I'll inspect to see if there's any footprints or crawl marks that go into the doorway.
MATT: Okay, make an investigation check.
TALIESIN: I look down there, too.
SAM: All right, 24.
MATT: 24. You do see signs of limbs dragging through and underneath, pushing the dust aside.
TALIESIN: I stare down underneath the door, see if I can get anything with the Detect Magic for the next 60 feet.
MATT: Nothing from the door, no.
TRAVIS: We got to get going here. Yasha, you're in the middle.
MATT: Just then, (vibrating) still holding your hand to that weird--
SAM: Is it like music?
MATT: I don't know.
MARISHA: Yasha. I'm going to go put my hand on the one adjacent to this one that you're touching. Let's see if it's the same rhythm.
SAM: Why don't you guys hum out what you hear?
MATT: Okay, you both feel it. You both look at each other, find a way to find a pattern, and it's identical.
MARISHA: Buzz, buzz, buzz.
ASHLEY: Buzz, Buzz.
MATT: Identical pattern, yeah.
MARISHA: It's identical?
ASHLEY: It's identical. (laughter)
LAURA: I'm going to put my ear to one of the statues.
MATT: Okay, you listen to it, and you hear this faint, almost an oboe-like music track playing these notes repeatedly.
LAURA: Does it sound sad or does it sound--
MATT: It... doesn't sound sad or happy. It just sounds like music.
TALIESIN: Someone's working very hard to keep something inside this.
MARISHA: Let lie the king's instrument.
LAURA: Oh my god, it is a metal harp!
MARISHA: It is a metal harp!
SAM: It's a fucking metal harp.
TRAVIS: Are the statues stone? SAM: How did you guys know?
MATT: They appear to be stone, like a smooth alabaster.
ASHLEY: I'm going to try something. It may be dumb, but I'm going to maybe because of being celestial, I'm going to stand by that door and just look at that thing, and see if maybe it'll be like, "Oh, hey, we'll let you in."
MATT: (laughs) All right, you approach and stand before the door, look it over, look at the gem that Beau pointed out. Nothing.
LAURA: I sing out loud the song, that oboe I hear.
MATT: Okay. No reaction. You're standing amongst a bunch of angel bones and angel skulls.
LIAM: We are going to go in there.
LIAM: Are we walking in?
MARISHA: Can we all fit under?
MATT: You could probably crawl through.
TALIESIN: I don't like it.
TRAVIS: Frumpkin, Beau, me, Yasha, people in for back support. Cleric in the front, Cleric in the back.
LIAM: Just give me 30 seconds to take an initial peek. The globules float outside of the door, so hopefully a little bit spills in and Frumpkin just pip, pip, pip, pip walks in four feet past the gap. And I'm looking.
MATT: Frumpkin moves beyond the doorway and passes immediately into an interior room, about 80 by 60 feet. Best that you can see, lightless. There's a few pillars that Frumpkin can see. Make a perception check, with disadvantage because there is no light in here.
LIAM: Perception? 14.
MATT: 14? Frumpkin can just barely make out three pillars. There appears to be a collapsed corner on the right side where some stones and bits of rock and parts of the wall have fallen in. That's all that Frumpkin can see from four feet in, yeah.
LIAM: Does he smell anything odd?
MATT: With that, there is an odd smell.
LIAM: Advantage for smell.
MATT: Yeah. It smells a bit earthy, but also like a-- like a faint bit of rot mixed with sulfur? It's hard. There's like a mingling of different minerals that's alien to Frumpkin's nose. It's not super strong, but it's just faint and generally relegated around the floor.
LIAM: Okay, so it's very dark in there. I could send in the globules to light up the room, or we could go in.
LAURA: Let's go in.
TRAVIS: How often can you be invisible, Nott?
SAM: I'm still invisible. Another half hour or so, I assume.
TRAVIS: I'd rather do that than light it up, but that's just me.
LAURA: Oh, you can already see in the dark, yeah?
MARISHA: I get nervous that you're some sort of key to Obann's final plan. It seems like some celestial presence worked really hard to lock away something really bad, and this guy's interest in you, I don't know. I think we might be walking the key master in to the gatekeeper.
ASHLEY: Well, if that's the case, then--
MARISHA: We'll protect you at all costs.
ASHLEY: I know that, but if it goes awry and they do end up taking me, you guys know what to do.
TRAVIS: We do. He was always surprised to see you. I don't think this was part of his plan. He was going to do what he was going to do anyway.
ASHLEY: I think you're right.
LIAM: While they're talking, I place my hand on Caduceus' wrist and spend a minute giving him the Gift of Alacrity as well.
TALIESIN: What does that do?
LIAM: 1d8 added to your initiative.
TALIESIN: All right.
SAM: Caduceus! Ah, wait, you can't.
SAM: Fjord, you're pretty tall, right?
SAM: Why don't you look like Yasha?
TRAVIS: All right.
TALIESIN: I can do that.
SAM: You can do that?
TALIESIN: 'Course I can do that.
LAURA: Yeah, but he can sound like her.
SAM: How about you do it, too?
TALIESIN: I mean for a while, yeah.
LIAM: I can do it to all of us if we all wanted to.
SAM: But they're tall.
TRAVIS: Yeah, now there's three Yashas and two of us sound like we've been at a ska concert all night.
TALIESIN: It'll be pretty obvious once the fight starts, but yeah.
ASHLEY: Well, to be fair, he doesn't know my voice, I think.
LAURA: Just lower yours, too, so you sound closer to Fjord.
SAM: Can you sound like Fjord?
ASHLEY: (low Texan accent) Well, hell.
TRAVIS: (stilted) Well, hell.
LIAM: (stilted) Eh-oh-eh-oh.
SAM: Caduceus, how's your Fjord voice?
TALIESIN: (as Caduceus) Well, hell. Yeah, I think we, we have a similar timbre.
SAM: All right, what are we doing? Want me to go in? All right, Fjord, give me the flask.
TRAVIS: The flask?
SAM: The flask that you stole. My flask! I know you did it.
TRAVIS: I don't have it.
SAM: You fucker. I'll fucking kill you. Sorry. I'm really just distracted right now.
TRAVIS: Well, I understand.
SAM: You're dead. All right, I'm going in. (laughter)
MATT: All right. You all stand behind the door.
MARISHA: Oh my god.
MATT: Surrounded by errant scraps and bones and angel skulls amongst statues faced, as Nott climbs low beneath the adamantine door and onward to the chamber within. And that's where we'll pick up next week.
TRAVIS: No! Come on, man!
MARISHA: There it is.
TALIESIN: (rock guitar)
LAURA: Oh my god.
TALIESIN: This is fine.
LAURA: This is fucking creepy.
SAM: Bleeding eyes on statues?
LAURA: Angel statues? Creepy as balls.
TRAVIS: Bro. Yes. Fuck yes.
MARISHA: Rock harpist!
TRAVIS: I don't know what the fuck you're building, but yes.
LIAM: (sings intro to Immigrant Song)
TRAVIS: You sick fuck.
MATT: This is fun.
ASHLEY: What's he building in there?
MARISHA: Maybe they call you Orphan Maker because you had a ton of groupies, and you just made a ton of offspring everywhere you went.
ASHLEY: Had a bunch of kids I didn't know about.
TALIESIN: I was thinking they call you Orphan Maker because when drunk you claimed to have written the musical of Annie.
The Orphan Maker! The sun come out yet? Ha ha ha ha!
LIAM: Fitting for Ashley Johnson.
MATT: So many layers.
ASHLEY: Yes! ♪ The sun'll come out ♪
LAURA: Ah, dreams come true. They really, really do.
MATT: Oh, I love it. All right, we'll pick up from there next week.
LIAM: Maybe you killed a lot of kids' parents.
MARISHA: Or you fucked a lot of people.
SAM: Oh, god!
ASHLEY: Or both.
LIAM: That technically doesn't make orphans.
TALIESIN: Yeah. Technically.
MATT: (as Jester) Technically.
LAURA: (as Jester) Technically.
MATT: Unless you very strongly convince them each time that you were killed, and they assume they're an orphan.
LIAM: You convince the other party to leave that child as well.
MATT: That's true. All right then. We'll pick this up next week. Have a wonderful week, everyone. We love you very much, and is it Thursday yet?