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Pre-Show[]

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

ALL: (discordant yelling) We play Dungeons & Dragons!

MATT: Like that. (high-pitched laughter) Whoa. Daffy Duck over there. So before we jump into tonight's episode, we do have some announcements to get through, beginning with the first of two sponsors, Hit Point Press. Sam.

SAM: Today's sponsor is our friends at Hit Point Press with an important rebranding and launch of their site. To celebrate the new launch, for the month of March, customers who spend over 100 bucks at hitpointpress.com, that's hitpointpress.com, will get a free hardcover Humblewood advance reader copy and free packs of their animated spells. That's free random animated spell cards free. This promotion is live now until the end of March. Quantities are limited, so their advice to you, don't miss this deal. And speaking of good advice, we've got someone with us who gives amazing advice. As we know, Gale was a sitcom icon and movie mainstay of the 1980s, but as it turns out, since then, she has been writing one of the most successful advice columns in America, so thanks to Hit Point Press, Gale is here to answer some fan letters.

ASHLEY: Hello! (laughter)

MATT: Oh wow.

SAM: I'm going to read this first letter right here. Gale, my ex-boyfriend started dating my sister. How should I handle it?

ASHLEY: First off, boyfriend? Ugh, grody to the max. Do you, like, kiss and rub cooties on each others' stinky bods? Ugh, barf in my mouth. My advice, let your dumb sister have that dumb dork, and while they're frenching in your dad's Geo Prizm, just slingshot a (laughs) (laughter) flaming bag of dog poo into that nasty love nest, and walk away from those losers knowing you just caused maximum carnage. As if! (laughter)

SAM: Thank you, Gale. That was great advice. We have another letter here. Dear Gale, I have gophers in my lawn. How do I get rid of them?

ASHLEY: Aw, easy sleazy. Smack those gophies in the mouth! Let 'em know that's your dirt, baby, and if they don't like it, gag 'em with a spoon. Ha-ha-ha-ha (blows raspberry) (laughter)

SAM: And one more letter from fans. You can send these in to our P.O. box whenever. This one says: Dear Gale, My boss gave a promotion to someone else less qualified than me. Do I say something?

ASHLEY: Man, don't know why you'd be bummed out about some dumb work thing, but whatevs. You know what, when I'm down in the dumper, I grab a six pack of RC, pop a box of Runts, and laugh my butt off at the movie "Amadeus." (laughter) That wigged out piano dude kills me, the way Mozart always mad goofing, driving Salieri to plot the young prodigy's downfall until, ultimately, Salieri realizes that, in destroying his mortal enemy, he's actually depriving the world of an unwritten oeuvre (laughter) of unparalleled musical genius. Ha ha ha ha ha ha. Old-timey people are so weird. Anyway, the best advice I can give you is go to hitpointpress.com, check out their new site, and let them know what you think, and don't forget that promo, gag me with a spoon.

SAM: Thank you, Gale, and thank you, Hit Point Press. Matt, back to you.

MATT: Ho, ho, ho. Yes, thank you, Hit Point Press, for allowing all of that to transpire. Oh, I'm in pain.

TRAVIS: Oeuvre. (laughter)

MATT: Okay.

TRAVIS: Goofin' hard.

MATT: (clears throat) And thank you to our second sponsor for the night, friends since the beginning of campaign two, D&D Beyond.

ALL: ♪ D&D Beyond! ♪

MATT: The official digital tool set of our show. At D&D Beyond, you can create your own encounters, characters, makes all your game prep super easy as a dungeon master, and keeping all your stuff cataloged as a player without having to spend a lot of time looking for everything scattered around. Check it out at dndbeyond.link/builder to check out what they got. Also, thank you all for joining us live on Twitch and YouTube now, which is awesome, but to join our live and moderated community chat, please head over to our Twitch channel, where all of that glory happens. Laura, you have announcements.

LAURA: Mm, mm-hmm! I would like to introduce all of you to our brand new Hello Bees long-sleeve shirt! It's white. I hope you can see what's happening here, because it's super cute, and there are super cute things on the sleeves, and I love it. (laughter) It's available in the Australian store right now. Congrats, Australia. (laughter)

SAM: This is what they've been waiting for.

LAURA: This is the thing. It will be coming to our other stores very soon, so just keep checking in on the store so you can see when it happens. And a reminder, our Vox Machina T-shirt is available now in the UK store, our Mighty Nein lightweight hoodie is available now in the Australian store. I... And be on the lookout (laughter) for the-- I already said that part.

SAM: Congrats, Australia!

LAURA: Congrats, Australia! (laughter)

TALIESIN: Got something first.

MARISHA: So I know it's "Sorry, Quebec" and "Congrats, Australia," oh no.

MATT: That's the spectrum we've created. Oh no.

TRAVIS: It's a headache, but it's good.

LIAM: I know that it's high key terror that's feeding us right now, but that was really fucking funny.

TALIESIN: That was really good.

TRAVIS: Easily top three, easy.

ASHLEY: All Sam, baby.

SAM: No, no, that was Gale, 100%.

ASHLEY: And screaming, I guess. (laughter)

LAURA: Wait, I forgot to say that this shirt is designed by Jordyn Torrance.

SAM: Oh, thank you.

MATT: Yeah, Jordyn!

TRAVIS: Yeah, Jordyn Torrance!

ASHLEY: Yeah, hey.

MARISHA: Get it, Jordyn.

ASHLEY: I wish you could get close in on it, because it's so darn cute.

LAURA: Look and see, because this is the cutest little detail.

ASHLEY: It's really cute.

LIAM: Yeah, that's cute.

LAURA: Yeah, look at that little face.

MARISHA: Need some tie-dye on that T-shirt.

SAM: Oh, yeah!

TALIESIN: Yeah, I'm going to tie-dye the heck outta that.

LAURA: Hey, Marisha, if I give you one for me, can you tie-dye one for me, too?

MARISHA: Yes, I would love to! (gasps) I'll tie-dye some for all of you. We can match.

MATT: And on that note. (laughter)

ASHLEY: What else can we to do delight you?

MATT: Yeah, no, no, no, we're jumping in, we're jumping in, because I think it's time for us to go ahead and jump into tonight's episode of--

SAM: No, no, no!

LAURA: (yells)

MATT: -- Critical Role.

(water bubbling) (thunder rumbling) (explosion) ♪ Role, Critical Role ♪ ♪ Role, Critical Role ♪ ♪ Role, Critical Role ♪ ♪ Role, Critical Role ♪ ♪ Role, Critical Role ♪ ♪ Role, Critical Role ♪ ♪ Roll the dice ♪ ♪ The adventure begins ♪ ♪ They were always beside you ♪ ♪ Your nerdy best friends ♪ ♪ And the DM to guide you ♪ ♪ And they rise from the flames for the battles ahead ♪ ♪ Villains beware because you're about to be dead ♪ ♪ They got magic and flair ♪ ♪ They got falchions and cunning ♪ ♪ They don't see over there ♪ ♪ There's a monster incoming ♪ ♪ Inspiration is waiting, rise up, don't think twice ♪ ♪ Put your fate in your hands, take a chance, ♪ ♪ roll the dice ♪ ♪ Roll the dice ♪ ♪ Critical Role (roll the dice) ♪ ♪ Critical Role (roll the dice) ♪ ♪ Ooh, ahh ♪ ♪ Can you answer the call ♪ ♪ Diggin' deep in your soul ♪ ♪ As the legend unfolds ♪ ♪ Now it's your turn (your turn, your turn) ♪ ♪ to roll ♪ (flames whooshing)

Part I[]

MATT: Welcome back. So last we left off: The Mighty Nein, after gathering some elements from their allies and preparing for the journey back to the ruins of Aeor in hopes of cutting off and ending the slow climb the Tomb Takers are making towards the center of some part of the ruin, it seems, you wanted to try and protect yourselves from the ever-prying vision of Lucien, and as such, reached out to Astrid, Volstrucker, from Caleb's past, and requested if there was any opportunity to acquire more of these devices, these magical items, these amulets that could protect from divination. Astrid was able to locate where they were kept, though it was beyond her realm to grab at the moment, as they were currently being held in a basement on the grounds of the Vergesson Sanatorium. Now, traveling to the outskirts of the Pearlbow Wilderness on the outside of the sanatorium, you encroached upon it and made a plan. Dividing into two groups, two groups that were curiously named, one of which made their way into the far distant structure, while the other waited on the out-squirts, out-squirts, the out-squirts of the forest, guys.

TRAVIS: I got the out-squirts.

LAURA: Yeah, I think all of us do, right?

MATT: We've all, yeah.

TALIESIN: It's a problem.

MARISHA: Oh no.

MATT: As that group began to make their way through the basement, encountering guards that they then crushed, searching about, and eventually getting into the basement, where a magical barrier prevented their continuation. Jumping magically to the other side, Jester and Veth grabbed their quarry, a container that seemed to hold exactly what they seek, and upon returning to the interior of this basement chamber, as they were about to leave, giving the call to the rest of their group that it was time to go, the teleportation didn't function. The spell seemed to dissipate, and as the three of them, Jester, Veth, and Caleb, looked back up the staircase, the only exit from the room from which they came, they were met with the face of Trent Ikithon. Meanwhile.

SAM and LAURA: Oh!

TRAVIS: Meanwhile?

LAURA: Ooh! Shit!

MATT: Beauregard has been on top of the tower, keeping an eye out as more and more guards swarm inward towards this location, and the rest of the group remains hidden by a fog cloud in the nearby forest, trying to acquire the last member of their troupe before, themselves, evacuating the premises.

TRAVIS: Real humid in the trees.

MATT: Yeah. And so, as the three of you, Caleb, Veth, and Jester, look up the barely lit staircase, stepping down comfortably, you see the sallow, jaundiced face of Master Trent Ikithon.

LIAM: DM?

MATT: Yes?

LIAM: Looking at Veth and Jester, Caleb takes Allura's staff, and grinds it through phosphorous in his hand, and casts Wall of Fire between them.

MATT: Casts Wall of Fire between them?

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: Between us and Trent.

LIAM: Between us and Trent, damage side facing Trent.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: There is just enough room for that.

SAM: Is Trent in the room with us?

LAURA: He's coming down the steps.

MATT: He's coming down the staircase now.

LIAM: So it would be sheer against me.

LAURA: And then we'd be up against the barrier.

LIAM: And radiating out, damage side toward Trent.

MATT: So as he looks to you, and says, "Interesting," your first reaction is to create this Wall of Fire.

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: Well, I guess let's roll initiative, guys. (laughter) Okay!

SAM: Oh no, oh no.

TRAVIS: Just the three of them, or everybody?

MATT: Just the three of them right now.

TALIESIN: Okay, thank god.

SAM: You got a 20?

SAM: One.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: That's not a good start.

MATT: So 25 to 20.

MARISHA: Oh, yikes.

MATT: 20 to 15.

LIAM: 19.

SAM: Ooh!

LAURA: That's good.

LIAM: Or, 21, sorry.

TRAVIS: It's okay, get it out, get it out.

MATT: 15 to 10.

SAM: 18 over here.

TRAVIS: Get a little arm shake. There you go.

ASHLEY: I don't know why I wore a turtleneck. It's a little hot.

MATT: And Jester, what'd you get? Five, okay.

MARISHA: Not in it.

MATT: So as the wall of fire (flames whooshing).

LAURA: That's a big wall.

MATT: Immediately fills the chamber (flames whooshing). Trent goes first because he rolled pretty damn high on his initiative there. And the wall (flames whooshing) disappears.

SAM: Okay, okay, okay.

LAURA: Okay, okay, okay. Okay, okay, okay.

TRAVIS: You got to use your things. They were pretty.

MATT: Yeah.

LIAM: Did we hear him speak?

MATT: You couldn't hear it through the (flames roaring) of the flames around you, but you assume, as you've seen happening before, many times before, that the wall has been dispelled.

LIAM: Okay.

MATT: As he continues to nonchalantly walk down the stairs in your direction, the flames (flames whooshing) vanishing around him, as he comes into the very, very top of the chamber, "I am quite curious as to what brings you here."

LIAM: I don't know if we're still in the order, but I throw Fire Bolt at him.

SAM: Oh god.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: As soon as the wall is down. I'm not done.

MATT: Okay, so, yeah, so, that would be his turn was dispelling, and then walking down. You take your turn. Go ahead and roll an attack on him.

LIAM: Yeah, Fire Bolt.

SAM: Maybe we should talk. (laughter) I think we should maybe talk. He seems like he wants to talk. No?

LIAM: But does a 17 hit?

MATT: 17 does not hit.

LIAM: Does not hit, okay. Smashes into the wall behind him.

MATT: So as the bolt goes flying, you can see, like, you react out, and as you fling it forward, he puts a hand up for a second, and it seems like it should impact, and then it just glides off to the side and hits the stone staircase behind him before dissipating.

SAM: Oh god.

TRAVIS: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

MATT: Are you staying put?

LIAM: Yes.

MATT: You are all there.

LIAM: I will back into Jester and Veth.

MATT: Okay, so the three of you are clustered there. (footsteps)

SAM: My turn?

MATT: Now it is Veth's turn.

SAM: I will-- I will watch Caleb's two spells just get totally bungholed by this guy. (laughs) And I'll be like: Taste my magic! (laughter)

TRAVIS: Good call out.

SAM: And I will cast Phantasmal Force on him.

MATT: Okay.

TRAVIS: Yeah, yeah.

SAM: Because I'm a high-level magic user!

MATT: It's true. What's the spell DC?

SAM: 16 intelligence.

MATT: And it's intelligence saving throw?

SAM: Yes.

MATT: You got it.

TRAVIS: Modifier.

LAURA: No, did he roll a one?

TRAVIS: Say it!

MATT: Natural 20. (groaning)

LAURA: That was not a critical fail. (laughter)

MATT: His eyes just shift over to you.

LAURA: Oh no, my heart is beating [inaudible].

SAM: Bonus action, hide.

MATT: Behind?

SAM: Caleb.

MATT: Yep, which you can do. (laughter)

LIAM: She can as a halfling.

MATT: Which you can do. Roll a stealth check.

TRAVIS: Steal some stuff. (laughter)

SAM: Stealth. Ooh.

TALIESIN: It's a lot.

SAM: Oh wow, 24.

MATT: 24, okay. You feel like you've-- you might be hidden behind Caleb, perhaps.

SAM: They'll never find me here. (laughter)

MATT: But you get the sense he knows where you might loosely be. (laughter) Jester, what are you doing?

LAURA: I am going to reach down, and grab Veth's shoulder, and reach forward and grab the back of Caleb, and I'm just going to try to Word of Recall again. My last big spell.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: He tasted my magic.

TRAVIS: I'd look, but I believe you.

LAURA: Was that a Counterspell?

MATT: It was a Counterspell.

LIAM: Counterspell, to you. You have to say Counterspell so I can Counterspell you.

MATT: Right, I'm getting to it.

LAURA: Oh god.

MATT: All right, so, at what level do you Counterspell?

LIAM: Third.

MATT: 3rd-level? Go ahead and roll.

SAM: Oh boy.

LAURA: Oh no, he rolled a 20. Did you roll a 20 again?

TRAVIS: He did.

LIAM: I rolled a natural 20. (shouting)

MARISHA: No way!

SAM: What happens now?!

MARISHA: What happens?!

SAM: I think we broke Dungeons & Dragons. We've broken it.

LAURA: It's broken?

MARISHA: Oh no, we have to restart the game. (laughter)

MATT: Pull it out and blow on it?

ASHLEY: Let's just [inaudible] and start over.

SAM: What happens?

ASHLEY: Better choices.

LAURA: What happens?

MATT: So natural 20. He rolled a natural 20 to Counterspell yours. Interesting.

TRAVIS: What is the ruling on it?

LIAM: What's the protocol?

MATT: So.

TALIESIN: The Counterspell--

MATT: Order of operations here.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

MATT: As he steps down, you attempt to cast a spell, and it dissipates. He looks over. You begin to make your incantation, grabbing your friends, begin to finish casting the spell as the energy begins to gather around and this green cloak of the Traveler begins to swoosh around to grab all three of you, and Trent, looking over at you as this is happening, he goes, "Now, this is extremely rude. I'm just asking some questions. This wasn't expected," and as he puts his hand up, you see this blur in the air, the striking spear of unraveling arcana just jutting from his hand that's reaching towards the spell as you react and (whooshing) counter with your own. As they both hit, it's like two waves of similar energy hitting, and then canceling out, nothing, absence. Everything that he released fails, and as the cloak begins to swirl around to grab both of you, he goes "(clicks tongue) Good luck."

LIAM: You taught me well.

MATT: Is the last thing you say before (whooshing) (relieved yelling)

MARISHA: Oh shit!

TRAVIS: Holy buttholes. Holy shit. Tell me you took a picture of that dice, homie.

LIAM: Yeah, I got to send it around.

TRAVIS: Okay.

LIAM: Oh my god.

MARISHA: Feel like I've been doing calisthenics.

LIAM: It was actually a three, guys. (laughter)

SAM: We've been lying about the dice rolls for, like, years.

MATT: That's wild. Yeah.

TRAVIS: That's wild.

MATT: Legitimately, on this dice, rolled two 20s in a row, and then you rolled a 20. That's fucking crazy.

TRAVIS: Yeah, save it for the annals of history.

LIAM: Oh my god. I can feel the roots of my hair. (laughter)

MARISHA: I was about to say, Laura, your hair looks very bed-tossed and amazing right now.

LAURA: Yanking it. Oh my god.

SAM: Whoa.

TALIESIN: Oh man.

SAM: That butt-clenching combat was powered by Dwarven Forge, by the way.

LAURA: We have to do Nicodranas. We're on the balcony of Veth's apartment.

SAM: Oh, is that where he sent us?

MATT: Well, we'll get to that.

LIAM: Yeah, we'll get to that.

MATT: Because you're one half of the equation.

LAURA: Yes. I just want to say, the minute that we bamfed out, the minute we landed, I want to send a Sending spell to them to let them know we bamfed. But however that happens.

MATT: But there's been a moment, as this element has happened. So while the three of you currently sit in the edge of the forest, lost in the cloud, you are on the top of the tower. What are you doing, Beauregard?

MARISHA: We technically entered the game with me sliding down, and I was by the trap door that Jester had painted.

MATT: That's correct, you are right, you are right.

MARISHA: And I was looking in that direction, prepping my sprint to dart towards the fog cloud.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: Do I see any guards? Are they pretty distracted? Do I have a pretty good, straight B line before I?

MATT: Make a perception check.

MARISHA: Before I bounce? Whew. Oh my god, okay, 15 total.

MATT: 15 total, okay. You can glance forward and see amongst the dense forest floor in front of you, there's a very localized fog cloud. You have a pretty clear idea of what's there. There is a fence in your way, but it should be a simple attempt to leap over it. You will likely, if you're sprinting, will not be able to do it stealthily, which means it may draw attention depending on if they're still preoccupied with the giant illusory dragon, which is still roaring and clawing at the gate.

MARISHA: Which I'm sort of banking on.

MATT: So yeah, do you dart across?

MARISHA: I sprint, I haul ass.

TRAVIS: It's 25 feet from the tower to the gate, right?

MARISHA: It's not far.

TRAVIS: And another 25 from the gate to the trees.

TALIESIN: And we're watching, going to drop the second that she hits the wall.

TRAVIS: Mm-hmm.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: I'm going for it.

TALIESIN: We're all together?

MATT: You dart, you rush up at the side. As you leap to try and make your way over the high iron fence, go ahead and make an acrobatics check to see if you can manage to scale it without issue.

MARISHA: 22.

MATT: 22, yeah. Utilizing foot plants against the sides of the somewhat rusted iron exterior, you can get just enough traction, using dope monk shit, just darting up the side, grabbing, and spin over the top as you do this slow motion handstand over (whooshing) looking the pointed tops of it.

MARISHA: Very long Lara Croft.

MATT: Yeah.

MARISHA: Yes.

MATT: As I call them, poodle 'palers. The pointed tops of--

TRAVIS: Is that what they're called?

MATT: That's what my mom called them. (laughter) It's fucked up. My mom's dark.

TRAVIS: A little bit.

MATT: (laughs)

MARISHA: Your mom is dark.

MATT: She's dark.

MARISHA: It's the best.

LIAM: I understand that half of your personality.

MATT: Foomph, you land on the opposite side and go rushing in towards the fog just as you hear voices go, "Don't, it's an illusion, go, go!" And you can see probably about a dozen or so guards rushing towards the front of the building. One of them glances over, and sees you land, and points, and starts yelling as well, but they're a good 50, 60 feet from you.

TRAVIS: As soon as they see her drop on our side of the fence, I'll drop the Marine Layer.

MARISHA: Caduceus!

TRAVIS: With her running towards it.

MARISHA: (grunts)

TRAVIS: Do, do, do.

MATT: Okay. (whooshing) You vanish.

LIAM: (vomiting noises) (laughter)

TRAVIS: How many texts? How many texts?

SAM: A lot of texts.

TRAVIS: 137?

LIAM: All week, all week, all week, all week, all week.

TALIESIN: Well, that went off without a hitch. That's exactly-- We have no idea what happened in there, but, from our end, perfection.

TRAVIS: Well, we'll see.

ASHLEY: Yeah, we did pretty good.

TRAVIS: We'll see.

TALIESIN: It was very solid.

MARISHA: I super murdered a guy.

ASHLEY: You did?

MARISHA: Yeah, it was like, I don't know if I want to ever do that again.

TALIESIN: Kind of par for the course.

MARISHA: Yeah.

ASHLEY: Sometimes, you need to do what, you know, you have to do.

TALIESIN: Things happen.

MARISHA: Do we know if the others are here?

LAURA: I'm going to send a message to Fjord. Get out of there, Fjord, Fjord, we're in Nicodranas. Tell Caduceus to send you to Nicodranas.

TRAVIS: Oh shit, I just got a message saying that they're in Nicodranas. They had to leave. Are we in Nicodranas?

LIAM: I guess that's what you heard.

TALIESIN: We're at the lighthouse, right?

MATT: Yep.

TALIESIN: Yeah, we're fine.

LAURA: Yeah, that's all I got back.

LIAM: (as Travis) "I guess we're in Nicodranas." (laughter) I don't get sent a lot of messages, I forgot you could reply. (laughter)

TALIESIN: I was actually really expecting the, "Oh no, ah, ah!"

MARISHA: When your mom thinks she's hung up the phone.

MATT: Right.

TRAVIS: There's no macaroni.

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: With the adrenaline still pumping in your ears and your eyes, you can have the immediate scent of fresh sea spray, catches you, and you glance around, you can see the ocean splashing onto the rocks below as you're on the outside cusp of the Wild Mother Lighthouse overlooking the harbor of Nicodranas.

TALIESIN: (exhaling)

TRAVIS: Right.

TALIESIN: Well, that was a lot.

TRAVIS: They made it out, so did we. One, two, three, four.

ASHLEY: Wait, were we all meeting here?

MARISHA: Yeah.

ASHLEY: And they left before us?

TRAVIS: But I think they went somewhere else in Nicodranas.

TALIESIN: Two different teleportations. We can't have the same one.

MARISHA: Isn't Jester's connected to the chateau? Should we head there?

TALIESIN: Oh, it's connected to, yeah, Veth's house, if I recall.

TRAVIS: Is there any way anyone could follow us from that?

TALIESIN: Yes.

TRAVIS: Oh, really?

TALIESIN: Oh yeah. We should probably get cloaked as quickly as possible, so let's move.

TRAVIS: Which means we have to find them, okay. Veth's place? Veth's, yes?

MARISHA: Sure, Veth's.

LAURA: While that's happening, as soon as we land, and I send the message, I'm going to start digging out the necklaces from the room.

MATT: Right, so, as you three arrive, which was marked inside Veth's Nicodranas abode.

LAURA: Yeah, up on the balcony.

MATT: Mm-hmm, so you're still on the balcony, the warm air hits you, a nice little change from the colder region on the northern side of the Dwendalian Empire, the tension still crisp, and you can see Caleb on the verge of hyperventilating in the midst of that chaos.

LIAM: Yep. I see Jester rooting in the bag, and I stop her for a second, and Caleb pulls them both into a very fierce hug, and says: I'm sorry. Thank you, I'm sorry.

SAM: No, no, no, no sorries. I'm sorry that I got a little greedy at the end. That was probably on me. It was my fault. I shouldn't've--

LIAM: It was dangerous to go in there.

MATT: Veth's voice, as she's talking to you, almost seems to echo and fade as a voice fills your mind.

SAM: Oh.

MATT: (as Trent) "Now, Bren, that was uncalled for. Conversation. See, now I'm worried."

LIAM: Is that the end of it?

MATT: That's the end of it.

LIAM: You can sit and cool off. I don't know if I'm ready to talk to you yet.

LAURA: Oh okay, well, we can go down. If you want to be up on the balcony--

LIAM: Sorry.

SAM: I'll just sit here then, I guess.

LIAM: He was talking to me, like you do.

LAURA: Oh.

LIAM: I think. Let's get these on.

LAURA: Veth, put it on.

SAM: What is? Oh, oh, whoa, we stole them. This is why we did it! Oh, yes! You know, I don't really like it. It doesn't go with my--

LAURA: No, put it on!

SAM: Well, I mean, it's just a little tacky.

LAURA: Put it on.

SAM: All right, fine.

MATT: All right.

LIAM: Yes.

LAURA: How many did we get? How many are in the box?

MATT: Inside the box, there are 12.

LAURA: Ooh!

TRAVIS: Oh.

LAURA: That's great.

SAM: I can use them like earrings!

LIAM: (exhales) These stack. (laughter)

TRAVIS: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Double can't see me.

MATT: But you do have to attune to them to be functional.

LIAM: Yeah, yeah.

SAM: Oh no.

LAURA: You do?

LIAM: Yes.

TRAVIS: Half hour.

LIAM: Yep.

MATT: So you have to take a short rest to attune, and you have to choose what you un-attune to have it on.

SAM: Aw.

LIAM: I'm un-attuning the Ring of Evasion. (fake sobbing)

SAM: What? (grumbling) No!

TRAVIS: Go for that ring, but think carefully.

SAM: I like everything that I have.

LAURA: I'm not attuned to it.

TRAVIS: Don't fucking say that.

LAURA: You're not even here. I'm talking to Fjord in my brain.

SAM: What is the item called?

MATT: It's called Amulet of Protection Against... Detection and--

LIAM: Yeah, just search "amulet of."

SAM: Got it. Got it.

LIAM: Got it.

TRAVIS: Amulet of Pooping.

LIAM: We're on a mission from God.

LAURA: Can you send-- Do you think they know to meet us here? Should we have them meet us at the Chateau?

LIAM: I think they probably know here. Your mother is famous.

LAURA: I wonder if he's scrying on us right now. Oh, what if he's scrying on us right now?

LIAM: Are you able to--

LAURA: We should just get really close to Caleb. Get really close to Caleb.

LIAM: Are you able to talk to our friends anymore out of this house?

LAURA: Hold on, let me see how many spells I have left.

LIAM: Maybe we should just leave.

SAM: Can I just peek in the curtain? Is anyone home? Because we're on the balcony?

MATT: You are on the balcony, yes. So you look inside.

LAURA: It's a big balcony.

MATT: From as brightly lit as the exterior is, the inside looks very dark by comparison, even just having to adjust your eyes to it, but on the inside, you can see the furniture as you left it. You don't currently see anybody moving on the inside.

SAM: (grunts) It's locked. I'll try to pick my own lock.

MATT: (laughs) Go ahead and roll. Use your thieves' tools.

SAM: 21.

MATT: Yeah.

SAM: (clicking)

MATT: You go ahead and find your way in. (creaking)

SAM: Check for traps.

TRAVIS: You got to break into--

MATT: Go ahead and make an investigation check.

TRAVIS: If you haven't broken into your own place, you're missing out.

SAM: Okay, yeah, 23.

MATT: 23. It does not appear to be trapped.

SAM: I've got to talk to Yeza about that, it's a risk. He should put traps.

MATT: (laughs) But yeah, it does not appear that anybody's home at the moment. As you all step inside, Caleb, a voice of Trent once more finds its way into your mind. "If you wanted anything, all you had to do was ask. This was unnecessary. And now I have to explain this to the rest of the Assembly. You don't know what you've done."

LIAM: I am aware of the strings that are attached. Go off and tell your tales. (exhales)

LAURA: Is he talking to you still?

LIAM: Ja.

LAURA: Is he using all of the 25 words? He's really wasting some spells there.

LIAM: I think I've forgotten how to count and I have the Keen Mind feat.

TRAVIS and LAURA: (laughing)

LAURA: Do you want me to send him a message back?

LIAM: No! No. I want this to start working.

LAURA: Well, yours was already attuned. Yours is working just fine. Oh, your heart or your necklace?

LIAM: Yes. It takes time, it takes time.

LAURA: Yeah.

LIAM: To turn it back on.

SAM: There wasn't much in the icebox, but there's some baby carrots and hummus.

LAURA: Ooh!

SAM: And Yeza had some warm Pabst.

LIAM: I start to absentmindedly eat a baby carrot.

LAURA: So, you guys. I, um-- (laughter)

LAURA: I didn't know we were going to be murdering everyone in there.

SAM: Yeah, I sort of felt badly about it as well.

LAURA: I think things escalated very quickly.

SAM: It wasn't just the killing, but we were really savage about it and crushing their bodies and sort of, you know, defiling them as we went.

LAURA: Yeah.

SAM: But they're bad people, right?

LAURA: They're bad people, they did horrible things, Caleb. They deserve it, obviously.

LIAM: I regret that we did not flesh out that step of our endeavor before we embarked, but I-- There are bad people in that building. I was not about to risk your lives, taking too much time. The very thing I was afraid of happening did and I am shocked the three of us are standing here now. That said, I hope you and they can forgive me.

SAM: Of course we can forgive you. It's just ourselves, you know?

LAURA: Yeah.

SAM: Do we even know if our friends are okay? Did they respond to the message?

LAURA: I heard Fjord talking. I don't think he realized he could, but he was saying, "Oh, they made it. We made it."

SAM: He said we made it? Why would he say that to them?

LAURA: I think he asked if we were--

SAM: Why would he say that out loud to his friends?

LAURA: He said, "Are we in Nicodranas?"

SAM: Oh, okay, okay.

LIAM: But he didn't say where they were?

LAURA: No. He didn't.

SAM: Where is Caduceus'--

LAURA: Caduceus' was over at the-- How much should we say out loud? Because Trent could be scrying on us right now.

LIAM: Let's just-- Why don't we take a walk?

LAURA: Spell it in baby carrots. Just sort of--

LAURA: That's a long thing to--

LIAM: I think you can see baby carrots.

SAM: Write it in the hummus.

LAURA: He could still see that.

LIAM: Yeah, I don't think baby carrots are immune to that spell.

LAURA: Oh, tell you what. You-- No, that won't work.

TALIESIN: Everyone knows you can only scry on adult carrots.

MARISHA: (laughs)

LAURA: I got nothing. We'll do it after we can talk--

LIAM: I cast Locate Carrots.

LAURA: -- after, you know, an hour. After an hour, but oh my gosh! You should definitely tell your family not to come back here!

SAM: How? I don't know where they are.

LAURA: I'll send a message. (laughs)

SAM: To them, but not our friends. But yeah, sure, go ahead.

LAURA: I already sent a message to our friends.

LIAM: Jester, today, how many more times can you do this?

LAURA: Just one time.

LIAM: Just one time?

SAM: Maybe, I mean--

LAURA: Two times.

SAM: Okay, okay.

LAURA: But if things go to shit--

SAM: Then send, yes, please.

LAURA: -- this is all my spells.

SAM: No, no, no, if it's two times, then yes, please tell my family.

LAURA: Okay.

LIAM: I feel like I'm reliving our first visit to this place.

LAURA: I'm going to send a message to Yeza.

MATT: All right.

LAURA: And say--

SAM: Yes.

LAURA: Hey! You and the boy should not come home. I'm just letting him know! It's dangerous.

TRAVIS: I'm not counting, sorry.

LAURA: I know.

LIAM: Ooh, make this one long. Make this one real long.

LAURA: Avoid it for a while, we'll contact you soon. Go to my momma.

SAM: You're doing the spooky voice. You're scaring my husband.

LAURA: I don't know why I did the spooky voice.

MATT: The first thing you hear is--

MATT: (yelping) "Oh, hi. We're in the market. Do you guys want sandwiches? Wait. Not to go home? What? I don't-- Oh no." And that's the last bit you hear.

LAURA: I wonder if he heard to go to-- Oh no.

SAM: They're in the market, you said?

LAURA: Well, I don't want to say it out loud!

SAM: Oh, then you didn't tell me.

LAURA: No.

SAM: Where are they?

LAURA: They're shopping.

SAM: Oh, at the market?

LAURA: Yeah.

SAM: Okay. (laughter)

SAM: Well, I can go there and get them.

LAURA: Wait an hour!

SAM: Oh, because they can track our location?

LAURA: Yes, they can see you. He can be watching us right now. Anything we say will give him a clue as to where we are.

SAM: You mean, where we are...

LAURA: In--

SAM: In Emon?

LAURA: In Emon!

SAM: Where we are?

LAURA: Over in Tal'Dorei.

SAM: I love it here.

LAURA: Yup.

SAM: Capital city.

LAURA: It sure is nice in this city.

LIAM: Just a nice, temperate 68 degrees.

SAM: Mm-hm.

MATT: The rest of you, you were making your way towards--

SAM: ♪ Making my way ♪

ALL: ♪ Making my way ♪ We were making our way towards Veth's.

MATT: Yes.

TALIESIN: Briskly.

MATT: At a brisk pace with them in the process of trying to attune to these necklaces and then taking a breather from this, at around this time, you all begin to arrive at the exterior door of the chambers.

ASHLEY: (knocking on wood)

LAURA: (gasps) Who is it?

MARISHA: The Boogeyman? What?

LAURA: Okay, good, it's them. Come in!

SAM: Oh, you're okay!

MARISHA and ASHLEY: You're okay.

SAM: Did anyone die or get hurt?

TRAVIS: No, we were just hanging out in the trees. I made a dragon.

LAURA: Necklace. Necklace for you, necklace for Yasha, necklace for you. Put it on, attune to it, let's sit here an hour, don't say anything about our location.

LIAM: You have to meld with it, I'm sorry.

MARISHA: Oh man!

TRAVIS: How many of these did you get?

LAURA and SAM: So many.

LAURA: You guys, Trent showed up.

TRAVIS: What do you mean? Trent showed up?

MARISHA: I saw him walking in.

TALIESIN: Whoa.

SAM: Why didn't you tell us? Oh, you don't have--

MARISHA: Yeah.

SAM: -- Message, like me and Caleb and Yasha.

LAURA: You really should learn how to do that, Beau, it's super useful.

ASHLEY: I can tell you how.

MARISHA: Okay.

ASHLEY: I think I can only do it with her, but--

MARISHA: Anyway.

TRAVIS: So he showed up, because he was walking and then he disappeared, and we just thought he left. What happened?

SAM: It was real touch and go. We got the items.

LAURA: And also some other things.

SAM: We got some other stuff. And then he showed up and was like-- there was a little sorcerer-on-wizard-on-sorcerer battle. Is he a wizard or a sorcerer? I don't know, he's a wizard.

LIAM: He is one of the most powerful wizards on the continent.

SAM: Wizard-on-wizard shit, it was crazy. And we almost died, but Jester got us out of there lickety-split.

TRAVIS: Did he try to kill you? Eviscerate you? Tear you limb from limb?

LIAM: No.

LAURA: More try to talk to us.

SAM: He just talked.

LIAM: Honestly, we were a little trigger-happy. I was a little trigger-happy for five minutes or so.

ASHLEY: It's a stressful situation in a place that stresses you out and--

TALIESIN: You going to be all right, Caleb?

LIAM: Y-y-yes.

SAM: There were some casualties on the excursion.

TRAVIS: Casualties?

LIAM: I killed a few people.

SAM: We killed a few people. I did as well.

LIAM: You might not have if I had not led the way. I take responsibility for it.

SAM: It's okay.

LAURA: They were bad people.

SAM: They were bad guys.

LAURA and SAM: They were bad guys. We had to do what we had to do, for the betterment of--

MARISHA: I mean, I sort of killed a guy, too, and I wasn't with you, so there's that.

LAURA: Oh, you did?

TRAVIS: You killed a guy?

MARISHA: Yeah, it was real brutal.

TRAVIS: But you were up on the tower. Oh, someone was up there?

MARISHA: Uh-huh and didn't see him.

TRAVIS: Did you give him the quick neck snap?

MARISHA: Nope.

LIAM: Beat me to it.

TRAVIS: Did you give him the old shove off the tower, quick death?

MARISHA: Thought about it.

SAM: A garrote around the--?

MARISHA: I think I should buy one. Yeah.

TRAVIS: Did you punch him in the solar plexus and cause his heart to explode?

MARISHA: Oh fuck, I can do that and I didn't. No, I-- mm.

TRAVIS: Which way did you go?

MARISHA: You know those vials of acid you gave me a long time ago?

SAM: Yeah, they're a low-grade acid, yeah.

MARISHA: He was kind of-- like an open-mouthed snorer, type of a thing, so I just-- (clicking)

LAURA: You fed him the poisons? The slow acid?

TRAVIS: In his mouth?

TALIESIN: Wow, I was really hoping that visual wasn't going to be true.

TRAVIS: You put the acid in his mouth?

MARISHA: Yeah.

TRAVIS: And then you snapped his neck to mercy kill him?

MARISHA: I did after about 60 seconds because he wasn't dead yet.

SAM: That acid is good for taking rust off of a blade after four or five days of soaking.

TRAVIS: You poured CLR in his mouth and let him suffer?

LAURA: Oh!

MARISHA: Apparently good for killing guards, too.

LIAM: I walk up to Beauregard and I'm not looking, I'm just thousand-yard staring at the ground, but I just sort of pat her on the shoulder.

LAURA: (gasps) Oh my god, what if you two got real murder-happy because of your eyes?

MARISHA: I didn't want to kill him, he just woke up and I didn't see him and he happened to be there.

TRAVIS: He was sleeping?!

MARISHA: I didn't kill him until he started to wake up and I felt the tower shake! It was the tower shaking that woke him up.

TRAVIS: All right, all right, all right. Everybody made it out.

LAURA: We made it. Everything's okay. We're going to get Trent. We'll go back, we'll get him. Just not now.

MATT: About this time, a familiar voice creeps back into your mind.

SAM: Oh my god, this guy.

MATT: "Traces of dunamancy left in his wake. I have my theories on where you might have learned this."

LIAM: Well, now we're both double-dealing.

MATT: "Why do you run, as opposed to talk? If you're worried about DeRogna, well, she's not much of a worry anymore."

LIAM: In every barrel of apples, there is one with a rotten worm in it. I am that worm.

SAM: You guys, he's probably talking to Trent right now.

ASHLEY: I was going to say.

MARISHA: He's talking to Trent?

SAM: Yeah, he's been doing this all afternoon.

TALIESIN: Maybe we need to go somewhere safe.

SAM: What is that?

LAURA: What did he say?

LIAM: Caleb's not having a good time, guys.

LAURA: What did he say?

LIAM: I think he has implied-- I'm a little worried for Essek.

SAM: For Essek?

LIAM: Yes.

SAM: How? I mean, Essek's half a world away.

MARISHA: Do we need to go somewhere?

SAM: Surrounded by troops.

LIAM: I have-- Essek-- I have learned some of their magic in Kryn, and I have since reverse-engineered a little more of it and I may have used some in Vergesson. And now I think he has connected the dots.

LAURA: He can tell what kind of magic you used?

LIAM: He's the most dangerous man that I think exists in the Empire, Jester.

LAURA: Why does the most powerful guy have to be such a shithead? Why can't he be a nice powerful guy?

TRAVIS: Very good point.

TALIESIN: Why bother being powerful if you're nice?

LAURA: Think of all the people you could help.

TRAVIS: I don't think I used See Invisibility today. Should I?

LIAM: Yes.

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: Maybe while we attune to these?

TRAVIS: Right. Do we want to be in the house where your husband and child live?

LIAM: No, we do not.

TALIESIN: We had an alternative suggestion that we mimed. Did you get the mime that I was giving?

LAURA: I did, I got where you were miming.

TALIESIN: I love miming.

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: So where is it?

TALIESIN: Well.

LAURA: Well, after we attune, so we'll sit here for another hour, that's the only thing.

TALIESIN: Or do we go there and then attune?

LIAM: I think somewhere remote or somewhere unimportant is a better place for us to go be right now.

TALIESIN: So if something happens and we're not here, we could be there, which would be a lot safer.

LAURA: We should see if they're scrying on us right now, though.

TRAVIS: Okay.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

TRAVIS: I'll summon the sword. Have it pulse. Cast See Invisibility.

LAURA: I guide you.

MATT: Make a perception check for me.

LAURA: I'm going to guide him so that he can see better.

TRAVIS: Thank you. Natural 20. (gasping)

LIAM: ♪ Yeah! ♪

MATT: Damn.

TALIESIN: You can see space and time.

MARISHA: When is the other shoe going to drop?

LAURA: Hey, you guys remember the last game we had, where we all rolled really well for the first half, and then it turned to shit?

MARISHA: Yes, I do.

LAURA: Cool.

TALIESIN: Top load.

MARISHA: That's kind of what I keep thinking about.

TRAVIS: Plus three, plus two, so 25.

MATT: 25. As you all sit there in the darkly lit interior of the Brenatto abode here in Nicodranas, you summon the sword, focus the magical energies from it to instill your vision and glance up right in the center of the room, to see there, looking straight down upon the space, a glowing arcane sphere, a node of vision from afar, locked into your location.

LIAM: Balls.

TRAVIS: Yep.

TALIESIN: Let's do this.

TRAVIS: Right there.

SAM: Man.

LAURA: I can dispel it.

SAM: It'll just come back.

LIAM: I can dispel it.

LAURA: Huh?

SAM: It'll just come back again. Damn it. They know where they live.

TALIESIN: Let's go where we're going to go.

LAURA: They got to move.

LIAM: I do dispel it.

SAM: He just closed on this place.

LAURA: They got to move.

SAM: They just, I mean--

LAURA: I know it's shit, but--

SAM: It's been like a month and a half.

MATT: What level?

LIAM: 3rd.

MATT: 3rd? Go ahead and roll a d20 and add your intelligence modifier.

LAURA: What are you trying to do?

LIAM: Add what now?

MATT: Your intelligence modifier.

LIAM: Oh, okay, 15.

MATT: 15's enough.

LIAM: Okay.

TRAVIS: The pay stubs.

MATT: As you're glancing up, Fjord, you watch as Caleb brushes his hand through the air and the orb dissipates and is gone.

TRAVIS: Got it.

TALIESIN: You know, while we're clear, tower?

LAURA: Yeah, we can go to Yussa.

TALIESIN: Right, right now.

SAM: Are you okay? Which part are you not okay with? The Trent talking to you part? Or the killing people part? Or the endangering Essek part?

TRAVIS: That's a fair question.

SAM: For the endangering my family part or--?

TRAVIS: (cackles)

SAM: Listen. Listen, bubby, come here, come here, bring it in. This was a win! We got the things that we need to save the fucking world! This is good!

LAURA: Yeah. Essek is already on-board, you know? And he knew what he signed up for when he got involved in all of this. I can send him a message and tell him to be aware, but you're not responsible for that. We did what we went in there to do.

LIAM: But I am responsible for your family. And yours. And you. And I worry that I am the very thing he told me I was.

MARISHA: Not yet. Not yet.

TRAVIS: And you did good. We got what we needed.

LAURA: Those guys probably tortured a lot of people, you know what I mean?

TRAVIS: They probably had kids. We should move. We really should get going.

TALIESIN: Can we process and move at the same time?

TRAVIS: Mm-hmm.

TALIESIN: I think walking will help.

LIAM: Yeah, walk and talk.

TALIESIN: Walk and process.

LAURA: Yeah.

LIAM: Oh, that doesn't rhyme as well, though.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

LIAM: Let's talk.

LAURA: And your perception stays up for an hour. Your See Invisibility.

TRAVIS: I will keep it up. If I need to roll another one. Yeah, for an hour, yeah.

MARISHA: Process and progress?

LAURA: Do I have the-- let me see. Oh.

TRAVIS: As we're leaving the premises, does another orb reappear?

MATT: You do not see another one appear.

TRAVIS: Okay. So far, so good.

MATT: All right, where are you off to?

SAM: Are we just going to walk around for a while?

TALIESIN: No.

LIAM: The beach?

TALIESIN: Tower.

LAURA: I mean, we could go to Yussa's tower.

TALIESIN: Go to Yussa's tower, we'll be safe there.

MARISHA: Beach walk to the tower. That sounds nice.

TALIESIN: Tower will be safe.

SAM: I've got to go to the market at some point.

LAURA: Although, Yussa might be real super pissed at us for bringing it there.

LIAM: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Well, we've done a lot of, honestly, sketchy things in the last day, but let's remind ourselves that it's worth getting a few people pissed off because there's something bad coming and we need to stop it.

TRAVIS: I'm with you.

LIAM: We could do that, but I worry that bringing that to his doorstep might just end that relationship.

LAURA: We could walk around the marketplace until we find your family, tell them not to go home.

SAM: Yep.

TRAVIS: Does our casual walking count as a short rest?

MARISHA: Yeah. Does our--

TRAVIS: Or do we need to sit and--

MATT: No, a short rest is you have to sit, tend to your exhaustion, drink water.

TRAVIS: Beach.

TALIESIN: Beach.

MATT: You know, it's generally a sitting circumstance.

TALIESIN: Beach.

LAURA: I'll help look for your family in the market if you want.

MARISHA: De-stress and stroll.

TALIESIN: (gasps) So good.

SAM: After or the same time?

LAURA: Same time?

TALIESIN: Yes.

ASHLEY: Where do we tell them to go, though? If they can't--

TRAVIS: Do we want to fight on a beach?

LAURA: Tell them to go back to my mom's house?

TRAVIS: I really don't.

TALIESIN: Beach is, at least we can see things coming from every direction.

TRAVIS: Yeah, that's true.

LAURA: They'll probably-- Oh god, it'll probably lead back to her eventually. I was talking about, (groans) I talked about the Ruby of the Sea!

SAM: To whom? When?

LAURA: To what's his name?

SAM: Trent?

LAURA: No!

SAM: Yussa?

TRAVIS: Joshua? Whatever his name was?

LAURA: The guy. The guy that I charmed.

SAM: The guard that you were charming? You were telling him details of your personal life?

LAURA: I don't know what I was, he just-- he was looking at me with these puppy dog eyes and I just started talking.

TRAVIS: He was looking at you with puppy dog eyes?

LAURA: Oh my god, Fjord, he loved me so much.

LIAM: Okay, so maybe we need to give three of these medallions to your mother and your family.

SAM: Sure, that's three.

MARISHA: I mean, to be fair, everyone knows our connection to Nicodranas, they already know our connection. Anyone who would want to hurt us already knows your mother is Marion.

LAURA: That's true, that's true, that's true, Trent already knows all those things.

LIAM: But maybe they need to take a vacation right now, with these medallions.

LAURA: Oh my god, my mom. (gasping)

MARISHA: Vacation could be good.

LIAM: Yeah.

LAURA: Oh my god, my mom.

SAM: What?

LAURA: I know where we can send her!

SAM: (gasps) To The Gentleman? Parent Trap?

LAURA: Yeah!

SAM: Sorry, guys, you have to stay together for your own safety!

TALIESIN: I feel like we've done enough damage today. (laughter)

LAURA: Perfect.

LIAM: Well, I'm kind of into it, but that's Liam.

TRAVIS: What if she asks why she has to leave?

LAURA: We have to tell her.

SAM: Tell her she's in danger because of us, I mean.

TALIESIN: Yeah, the truth.

MARISHA: Yeah.

LIAM: And then, if we f-f-fail in our pursuits, it won't matter anyway. For anyone.

TRAVIS: Well.

MARISHA: So, how many of these medallions we have?

LAURA: 12.

MARISHA: Eight for us. One for your mom.

LAURA: One for Essek.

LIAM: One for Essek.

SAM: Eight for us?

MARISHA: Sorry, seven for us.

LIAM: Well, there's nine of us.

LAURA: (laughs)

MARISHA: How many? How many?

SAM: We need seven at least, we should keep a couple handy.

TALIESIN: If we have a few, we can bring more people with us.

MARISHA: Exactly.

SAM: We can give one to, I mean, your mom, my husband, maybe my son if--

LIAM: Yes, your son. Those three for sure, then we have two spares. One for Essek, one for miscellaneous.

LAURA: Okay.

TRAVIS: Just on the off-chance that we don't get the chance to short rest, are we sure we want the beach? I know we talked about it, but line of sight is so key in a fight.

TALIESIN: What is better than line of sight than a beach?

TRAVIS: Something with walls.

SAM: We don't even need seven of them, we only need six. We already have one.

LIAM: Oh, yeah, because we had one. Yeah, so three extra.

MARISHA: That's true, that's true.

TALIESIN: Best just to have a few extra, though. That means more people we can bring with us.

SAM: Sure.

ASHLEY: Wait, there's 12 total?

SAM: Dagen.

LAURA: Mm-hmm.

ASHLEY: Plus, we have six.

LIAM: Now 13, including the one that Caleb originally has had since the start of the campaign.

SAM: Okay, so we're going to the beach?

TRAVIS: Do we want to go to the beach? Do we want to have something that has some cover?

TALIESIN: Do you have an idea?

MARISHA: There's the cliffs with the woods. We could do the cliff side.

TALIESIN: Cliffs is just an opportunity to fall off.

LAURA: Water on one side. Cliffs on another.

MARISHA: I don't think they're going to jump us on the beach, you guys.

SAM: Who's they?

LIAM: We could find a Zuma Beach situation.

SAM: They're 1,000 miles away.

TALIESIN: So were we, an hour ago.

LAURA: He can teleport, just like we can.

TALIESIN: And they have that ability.

SAM: Not all of them.

LAURA: But he can, and he can bring how many people?

MARISHA: I say we go to the beach, put our back to the water.

SAM: Okay. You don't like it, Fjord?

TRAVIS: I wouldn't put the President on the beach with his back to the water.

SAM: Who's the President?

TRAVIS: Put him in a building with walls.

SAM: Are you just scared of getting close to Uk'otoa?

TRAVIS: Well, these are wizards, right? Line of sight.

MARISHA: But they just came from a basement with a bunch of walls. If they teleported there, that would suck.

SAM: My god, we can't even decide where to sit for an hour.

LIAM: Honestly, I think maybe--

SAM: We suck at this.

LIAM: The reverse might be true, Fjord, because if we can see in all directions, at least we can see something coming.

TRAVIS: Okay.

LIAM: These people that we're dealing with can just show up next to you.

TRAVIS: It's true.

TALIESIN: Room to scatter.

TRAVIS: Okay.

LIAM: I need to feel the sand under my feet.

SAM: (whispering) Uk'otoa.

MARISHA: To the beach!

SAM: To the beach!

MATT: All right, so you're heading to the shore side beaches.

MARISHA: Ooh, can we pick up some of those, some cocktails along the way, some of those coconuts? I'm sure there's got to be a kiosk, right?

LIAM: It's time for a pub crawl!

MARISHA: Just while we're walking!

MATT: With the right questions asked and enough money paid, you know, I'd say for about five silver a pop, you can ask any of the nearby tavern keeps to try and put together some sort--

MARISHA: Do it to-go?

MATT: -- of a drink for you like that, yeah.

MARISHA: Yeah, I order a little to-go round.

MATT: Okay, there you go.

MARISHA: Just while we're walking, to unwind. It's important.

MATT: All righty.

SAM: Do we pass the market walking there or no?

MATT: The market would probably be on the western side. It's a little bit out of the way from a direct line, but you can go ahead and pass through if you'd like.

LAURA: You can try sending a message if it's within 100 feet.

TALIESIN: Can you hold a concentration spell through a short rest or no?

MATT: Only if it has a duration longer than an hour.

TALIESIN: But at the end of that hour, it's okay. I can take a short rest while concentrating on a spell?

MATT: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Okay.

MATT: If the spell has an hour duration, it'll last for as long as the short rest is.

TALIESIN: Perfect.

SAM: Do I see my family in the marketplace?

MATT: Okay, make a perception check.

SAM: Oh, I'm good at this. Are you with me?

LIAM: I'm going to assist.

LAURA: Guidance.

MATT: Okay.

TRAVIS: "Do I see my family?" (spell casting)

SAM: Ooh, I think that's good. Guidance is another four?

TRAVIS: Buff, buff, buff! (laughs)

SAM: Ooh! 22!

MATT: Nice! You see by one of the exterior fountains, underneath this shaded archway, flowers and a little bit of ivy on the edges of it, and you've been to this fountain before in the marketplace, it's a beautiful, little central area. On the side, you can see a little boy with a little boat, floating in the water, and he's tugging on it on a string and you see him, he is wearing a big hat, a hat that you've never seen him wear before, but looking at the physical behavior, you can already tell that it's Luc. And about three feet from it, you can see another man that looks about Yeza's build, comes up and just starts talking to him and ushering him away from the fountain.

SAM: Okay, so without getting too close, I will send a message to Yeza. Yeza! It's me, I can see you. I'm glad you're okay.

MATT: He stands up straight.

SAM: Turn. Behind you, like five o'clock.

MATT: (panting)

SAM: But don't look at me!

MATT: "Oh."

SAM: New spell.

MATT: "Can I talk back? Like the other one?"

SAM: You can reply to this message, yes. New spell. All right, so you can't go home, it's been compromised.

MATT: "Oh."

SAM: And I can't tell you where to go, in case they're watching. New spell. You go to the place where Bluud works.

MATT: "The big, furry, horned guy?"

SAM: Yes. (laughs) You can reply to this message.

MATT: "Okay. I'll go ahead and gather up Luc and we'll head there. Everything all right?"

SAM: Everything's fine. Just the house, we might have to move. Don't look at me! (laughter) It's too suspicious. Also, you need to restock the icebox, but we're going to burn the house anyway. Doesn't matter, just go to Bluud's. (laughter)

MATT: "One thing at a time, I'll go to Bluud's. Are we going to meet you there?"

SAM: I will meet you there when it's safe, which will be today. Very shortly.

MATT: "Okay."

SAM: Oh! I love you.

MATT: "I love you, too." And he goes ahead and grabs Luc and picks up his stuff. Doesn't point you out, because he knows that chaos will ensue, and he starts talking to Luc and takes his hand and they both begin circling a wide arc out of the middle of this side of the marketplace.

TRAVIS: Any orbs circling above?

MATT: At this point, make a perception check. You're towards the very end of its duration, I'd say.

LAURA: If you tell me you're looking, I can help you.

TRAVIS: 19, 20 total.

MATT: 20, nice. You don't see anything.

TRAVIS: Clear.

LAURA: Okay.

SAM: Okay.

MATT: And now you head to the beach?

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: Now, how far outside of town are you going to? Are you just going to the beach at the south side of Nicodranas? There's some areas that aren't directly on the dockside landscape that are a open beach, but they're a little bit out of the city and to the south. Is that where you're heading?

LAURA: How long of a walk is that?

MATT: From where you are in the marketplace, about 20 minutes or so.

LAURA: Yeah? Yeah.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: If there's a nice, little location that's up against the cliffs, you know. That's got--

MATT: Okay. 25, 30 minutes.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: But you all eventually make your way to the sandy edge of the shore in this space. You can see these heavier rocks, familiar as to where a previous meditation was taken not but a year or more before. You can hear the waves crashing. (waves crashing)

TRAVIS: Pretty good.

MATT: Wind blows in a nice breeze, good temperature. A welcome disparity between the location to the north, where you had previously been and plan to return. But it's just you and one beachcomber, this older fellow with deeply tanned, leathered skin, walking by in faint clothing. It looks like he's poking through with a stick and he has a little bag on his side and he's just picking up bits of things that have washed up on the shore and looking them over and putting them in the bag, and he looks over at the rest of you. "Hey."

SAM: Metal detector guy?

MATT: Keeps walking, yep.

TRAVIS: Kill him!

MATT: (laughs) Roll initiative.

TALIESIN: I'm going to take a minute to--

LIAM: I'll do it, too.

TALIESIN: Are we staying here?

SAM: Yes, this is our short rest.

TALIESIN: I'm going to take a minute and Conjure Celestial.

MATT: Okay?

TRAVIS and LIAM: Oh?

SAM: Aroo?

LIAM: (mimics Scooby-Doo)

TALIESIN: A couatl, is that what they're called?

TRAVIS: Quetzalcoatl?

TALIESIN: C-O-U-A-T-L? I don't know how to pronounce that.

MATT: Yeah, couatl.

TALIESIN: Couatl.

LIAM: Quetzalcoatl.

TALIESIN: It's like a little serpent dragon. I say little.

ASHLEY: Like those little--

TALIESIN: It's bigger than that.

ASHLEY: Smiley?

LIAM: Feather-winged serpent?

TALIESIN: It's a winged serpent. It's also invisible to scrying, which is nice.

LIAM: Ooh!

ASHLEY: Ooh.

TALIESIN: So.

LIAM: Sassy, I like it.

TALIESIN: Yeah, it's got some, and I'm just going to tell it to quietly play in the water until someone hostile comes towards us, and then defend us.

MATT: Okay. As you all settle in there, once again, Caleb able to find some of the sand between your toes if you pull your boots off a bit.

LIAM: Yeah, I pull the leaden boots off, yeah.

MATT: Yeah. As some of you aren't paying too much attention, suddenly you hear this faint crackle in the air and you glance over as Caduceus finishes the smile and it seems like a slow-moving lightning bolt (electricity) crackles through the air, and as it does, it forms into this large, elemental serpent that then scoots around in the air, directly around Caduceus, before he guides with his hand over towards the ocean. You watch as it dives into the water and just stays there, coasting through the shallow waves.

TALIESIN: Having a little fun. Just, I said have fun until something happens.

MATT: It's not going to argue.

LAURA: Can I try, while we're resting-- I want to try Divine Intervention with The Traveler.

MATT: Okay. What are you attempting to do?

LAURA: Well, I want to see if it works to see if I can ask him.

MATT: Depends. Go ahead and try it and see if it'll function, roll for it.

LIAM: Trickster domain!

LAURA: Oh god, no. (laughter) 99. (laughter)

SAM: Your god dies.

TRAVIS: (pained grunt)

LAURA: So no.

MATT: Get a of hint of what you were attempting to ask?

LAURA: I was going to help him-- ask for some help with Modify Memory.

MATT: Gotcha. As you reach out to grasp his attention, he's like, "I'm sorry, it's a bit of interference at the moment."

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: "A bit predisposed, but next time."

LAURA: You don't want to hang with us on the beach?

MATT: "Leave a message. Beep!"

LAURA: Oh, he's--

SAM: What's he doing? What is he doing?

LAURA: He left me-- What?

SAM: What was he up to?

LAURA: I don't know. He's predisposed. He's probably, you know.

SAM: That sounds intriguing.

LAURA: Strangling some people, I don't know.

SAM: Jeez, does he do that?

LAURA: He does some freaky shit.

SAM: You seem proud of that.

MATT: All right. So what's everyone doing? Is everyone--

TRAVIS: Sitting, attuning.

SAM: Resting.

MATT: Resting and attuning.

TRAVIS: And I am using the rest of, what, like 20 minutes left of this hour?

MATT: All right.

TRAVIS: To try and just keep an eye out for orbs or anything.

MATT: Okay.

TRAVIS: That catches the eye.

MATT: You got it.

LIAM: Caleb is very much in shellshocked mode, similar to how he was at the beginning of the campaign in a way that he hasn't been in a long time, and he just plants himself next to Veth on the ground, and is just staring out at the water while he mashes his toes, scritches his toes in the sand, slowly.

SAM: I'll just hug, hug, or stay close to cuddling distance, for Caleb.

MATT: Anyone else doing anything during this rest? Or we'll move from there?

ASHLEY: I'm going to walk just along the coast, away from everybody, and-- Hey, uh, Storm Lord, it's me, Yasha, your old, uh, pal. Um-- I-- We're in a bit of a pickle. Um-- I just, I-I-I-- Well, for starters, I went on a date with Beau. I don't need to tell you these things. Um-- I think I need your help. Um-- I-- That dream. Um-- I want to be able to help my friends, and I-I think I-I've given away one of my swords to this woman named Kima, but she gave me one that seems very cool. Um-- I don't know what I'm trying to say. I just, I don't know if you have a purpose for me, but-- I would like to be your-- I would like to be your champion. Anyway, um, I'm not used to being able to have conversations like this with you, this is very different than how Jester or Caduceus talks, but-- Please, I-- I would like to be the avatar of the Storm Lord, whatever that even means. I'll walk back to the group.

LAURA: Did it seem like Yasha was having a talk? Could I see that she was chatting to somebody that wasn't there?

MATT: At your passive perception, I'd say likely not, but you did watch her walk a little ways off and just take a little time on her own.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: Before returning.

LAURA: I'll stop with my French braiding of Fjord's hair. I'll finish this in a minute.

TRAVIS: But how did you--

LAURA: I'll tie it off with a little piece of leather.

TRAVIS: It feels like it's going to hurt.

LAURA: I'll walk up to Yasha.

MATT: Okay.

ASHLEY: Hi.

LAURA: What were you talking about? Is everything okay?

ASHLEY: Everything's okay. I just-- I don't know how you communicate with your god, and Caduceus with his, and I-I-- I figure we're going to need all the help we can get. And I don't know-- I tried to communicate. You have such a different relationship, but I tried to communicate with the Storm Lord.

LAURA: Oh. Oh!

ASHLEY: And just say, "Hey, I'm here if you need me." Is that what I do?

LAURA: I mean, I don't know how it works with everybody else. Caduceus and Fjord, they talk to the Wild Mother completely different than obviously I talked to Artie, but, um, I may be able to help you. I have this-- Okay, look. I don't know if this is going to work.

ASHLEY: Okay.

LAURA: But, here, sit down with me, sit down with me.

ASHLEY: Okay.

LAURA: And I sit cross-legged in front of Yasha.

ASHLEY: Okay, I'll sit cross-legged in front of her.

LAURA: And, I don't know, this might be like a little jumpstart. I mean, if you really want to dedicate yourself to the Storm Lord, is that what you're asking?

ASHLEY: Yes. I-- I mean, he quite literally saved my life. I think it's only appropriate that I act as a champion for him.

LAURA: Okay. I'm going to try to cast. I'm going to do Ceremony.

SAM: Whoa.

ASHLEY: What is that?

LAURA: So I'm going to put my hands out and hold my hands in front of you, and close your eyes.

ASHLEY: Okay.

LAURA: I've never done this before, but I feel like this is going to work.

ASHLEY: Okay.

LAURA: And I'm going to do Ceremony: Dedication.

SAM: Whoa.

LAURA: And I'm going to say: I know you're a little busy, Artie, so if you could just maybe help send a little power my way. And I'm going to say: Oh, Storm Lord.

ASHLEY: Should I repeat after you?

LAURA: Oh yeah, that's good.

ASHLEY: Oh, Storm Lord.

LAURA: Yasha is here for you!

ASHLEY: Yasha is here for you. That's me.

LAURA: Oh god, you're repeating me!

ASHLEY: Well, I could be saying--

LAURA: No, yeah, that's good. That's good.

ASHLEY: Yes. I am here for you.

LAURA: I want to be dedicated to you!

ASHLEY: I want to be dedicated to you.

LAURA: Make me your champion!

ASHLEY: Make me your champion!

LAURA: Bless me with your dedication!

ASHLEY: What did you say?

LAURA: Bless me with your dedication.

ASHLEY: Bless me with your dedication!

LAURA: And I'll bless you with mine.

ASHLEY: And I will bless you with mine.

LAURA: Yeah, that's good. And I'm going to send my power into her hands. And cast Dedication.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: Which is not quite the same thing, but I thought it would be a good starting off point, and it's, you are-- I'm giving you the power to be dedicated to your god's service. So it's technically for the next 24 hours, whenever you make a saving throw, you roll a d4 and add that number, it gives you a boost.

ASHLEY: What?

LAURA: But I thought it could give you that connection that maybe he'll be able to hear you and see you a little bit stronger right now.

ASHLEY: Jester, thank you so much. This is such a great way to learn.

LAURA: Yeah.

ASHLEY: I mean, I don't think I'm going to be besties with him like you are with Artagan.

LAURA: You don't know, you don't know.

ASHLEY: Who knows? I'd be up for it.

LAURA: Maybe he needs a bestie.

ASHLEY: Maybe he does. I think I would be a really good bestie to him if he really wanted it.

LAURA: And he can probably hear you saying all of it now, because you're dedicated.

ASHLEY: Yes. If you need just a best friend, someone to talk to, I'm here. I'm going to, in the sand, just take my finger and make a little lightning bolt.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: That's beautiful.

ASHLEY: Thank you.

LAURA: You're an artiste.

ASHLEY: The last time I-I-I think I prayed to him, I drew a dick, because that's what you did, and then I realized maybe I should draw his symbol.

LAURA: Yeah. Yeah. That makes sense, too.

ASHLEY: He probably doesn't want a dick drawing.

LAURA: I'll draw a dick with lightning shooting out of it. Just to give it a little extra.

ASHLEY: A little flair. Yeah.

LAURA: And Yasha, (whispering) just so you know, I'm available for other ceremonies, too, if you ever wanted to do any.

ASHLEY: Oh, what on earth do you mean?

LAURA: I don't know how everything went. We haven't talked, but I'm letting you know, if it went really well, and things keep going really well, I'm here for you.

ASHLEY: Thank you, Jester. Things went really well. Just side note. A very wise friend once told me that to kiss and tell would be very uncouth. So, um, I'll just keep it inside.

LAURA: Okay.

ASHLEY: Maybe one day we'll talk about it, I don't know. Thank you, Jester.

MATT: As you continue your rest here, at a certain point, once you have a moment to yourself, you glance over to the side and you can see Artie's sitting there, his feet in the sand as well, looks to be, himself, looking up. Eyes closed, sunbathing for a moment, and without opening his eyes, just goes, "I did the best I could. I don't really have a extensive relationship with the actual pantheon."

LAURA: Oh yeah. But you have a better way of communicating with them than we do, right?

MATT: "Well, I've only really interfaced with one, and you were present for that, and it didn't really go my way. But the very least, I let a little, I don't know what you would call it, a divine spotlight on our friends. Hopefully it's enough."

LAURA: I lean over and I just pull his eyelid open. Hi. Do you want a coconut alcoholic beverage? Beau bought a few.

MATT: "Please."

LAURA: Beau, B-Beau, B-Beau, Beau.

MARISHA: Yeah?

LAURA: Do you have any extra coconut drinks? I just offered one to Artagan. The Traveler, to the Traveler.

MARISHA: I bought two extras to go.

MATT: Hmm. As you're holding them up to Jester, you look over to where she's looking towards Artagan, there's nobody there, look back and one of your drinks has gone, within an instant, like you glanced away and then you look over and look behind her and you can see the green cloak billowing. Like this epic shot of the wind just blowing the cloak as it flaps the hood up, the sea shoreline underneath it, the distant horizon as the sun's coming down in the sky, and you just see this little-- (slurping) straw start slurping, before it (whooshing) disappears into the wind.

MARISHA: He'll never not be unsettling, just a little bit.

LAURA: He's the best, isn't he just the best?

ASHLEY: He's growing on me, I will say that. He's growing on me.

MARISHA: Yeah, he's growing on me.

LAURA: I am hoping if we give him enough alcoholic beverages, someday he's going to help me with that Divine Intervention. He'll be there in that moment that really, really, really counts, you know?

TRAVIS: Hammered.

LAURA: Wasted, just totally drunk.

MARISHA: I mean, some of Nott's best moments were when she was trashed.

LAURA: That's not true, Nott.

SAM: It is true.

LAURA: Your best moments are when you're sober and present.

SAM: I'm worthless without alcohol. Thank you for pointing that out. (laughter) I'm just kidding.

MARISHA: You're Veth now, it's fine.

SAM: I'm fucking with you. I don't really have a taste for it anymore. It's good, it's good. It's just I like the sweeter stuff.

MARISHA: Sure. Yeah. Little dessert cocktails.

SAM: Yeah! Some sherry.

ASHLEY: With the fruit and the flowers, and the umbrellas and stuff.

SAM: Yeah, white wine spritzer.

LIAM: White wine spritzer.

LAURA: Oh, he's off.

SAM: Oh no. Oh god, I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to say a vaguely German word. (laughter)

TRAVIS: Spritzer.

LIAM: Wolf Blitzer.

TRAVIS: No Z's. No Z's.

SAM: Oh no. Spritzer means something in Zemnian. It means patricide, oh no!

MATT: All right.

LAURA: I'll finish braiding Fjord's hair, once all that's done.

MATT: Okay.

TRAVIS: Ah!

LAURA: It's a nice, cute little French braid up where your man bun is, and then it just ties up. So it still is very masculine.

TRAVIS: You keep it out of my face?

LAURA: Yeah. But now, yeah.

ASHLEY: It looks really good.

TRAVIS: Nice.

MATT: All right. With your attunement complete, your short rest coming to an end, what's next?

SAM: What is next? Now we can talk, freely.

LAURA: Now we can really talk, right?

TALIESIN: Pat the couatl.

SAM: So these things protects us from all scrying?

LAURA: I don't know. I haven't--

TRAVIS: Divination, Scrying, so.

SAM: Fucking awesome.

LIAM: Unless Lucien is of demigod status, which doesn't seem entirely impossible, we should be fine.

SAM: This is great.

TRAVIS: In theory.

LIAM: In theory.

SAM: I got these other things, I got these vials of--

LAURA: Oh man!

SAM: -- were they vials or crystals?

LAURA: Crystals or something.

MATT: Crystals.

SAM: Crystals in something, or just hanging out?

MATT: They're just a loose cluster of crystals.

SAM: A loose cluster of crystals.

MATT: As you pull them out, you recognize them immediately, and your forearms begin to itch.

MARISHA: Oh, shit.

LAURA: Is it the bad stuff?

LIAM: He holds up and you see all the little semi-invisible lines on his arms.

TRAVIS: Those were what they put in your arms?

LIAM: (whispering) Yeah.

LAURA: To make you more powerful.

SAM: Are they that residuum stuff?

LIAM: Yeah, but you'll notice my friends, uh-- “my friends." They're tattooed up.

SAM: They're what?

LIAM: This is where he did his work. It was primarily on our arms, because of somatics. But, um-- I left before whatever his plan was could be completed, and they did not. So these-- somehow led to that.

SAM: Do you have some in you right now?

LIAM: No. I can still feel them though. A little bit.

LAURA: How many did we get?

MATT: It was a quick grab, probably two handfuls worth.

TRAVIS: And they are green residuum?

MATT: Like a green-blue coloration, you're not entirely certain what material they're made of.

TRAVIS: Green-blue.

LIAM: I always imagine them as rough hewn little rubies. Almost just a little jagged shards.

LAURA: Can we Identify it for sure?

MARISHA: Yeah. Yeah. I pick one up and just look at it. Do I get any type of recognizing the stone in any way, history-wise?

MATT: Make a general intelligence check.

MARISHA: Okay. Ooh, that was a natural 19. So 23.

MATT: 23. It's no natural stone that you've come across, and you're not deeply versed in the ways of natural gemstone, beyond the ones that you've encountered in your lifetime, but something about this coloration, and when you hold it up to the light in front of you with just the horizon and the cloudless light finding its way behind the side, it looks ever so loosely refracting through its color, you can see the imperfections in the center of it, but it does have a weird, almost unnatural pattern within the depth of the crystal. You get the sense it's probably, to certain degree, synthetic, from magical origins. Make an arcana check.

TRAVIS: Come on, big stat, big stat for you.

MARISHA: Yep, you know me. Know my magic. Rolled a 14, so 18 total.

MATT: 18.

TRAVIS: You got a plus four in arcana?!

MARISHA: I do. It's because it's my intelligence. Yeah, just my base intelligence.

MATT: It has similarities to the... the top of the tripod setup that you saw in Yussa's tower, that Jester used when she was attempting to scry, not that long before. So you get the sense it has some sort of amplification, which means it does have elements of residuum in it, which gives it that greenish tint when the light goes through it, but it's not pure residuum, it's almost like it's a--

MARISHA: Battery, almost.

LIAM: It's crystal meth.

MATT: More or less, yeah. It's a heavily refined and... cobbled element based in some way with residuum and something else.

ASHLEY: How many vials are there?

SAM: Well, they're shards, crystal shards, and there's, I don't know, 18, 20, 16?

MATT: We'll say 22 shards of differing sizes. Two quick Veth hand grabs full.

SAM: What do we do with these?

MARISHA: Should you grind them down? Get the residuum out of it? Utilize it as a component?

SAM: Probably, but they might be more valuable as-is.

LAURA: Yeah, we could potentially use them like Orly gave us all of these. We could make tattoos out of them as well.

LIAM: Please, no.

LAURA: We don't have to.

LIAM: I would like to keep at least one of them as evidence.

LAURA: Oh yeah, that's smart.

TALIESIN: Very smart.

ASHLEY: He would put these things into your system?

LIAM: Yes. We would spend a night-- They're not always there, but he would, sometimes on our own, sometimes the three of us together, he would insert them into incisions he made, and it was a lot to tolerate them being there, and then we would try to cast, to see the difference. It was quite painful, but we did it gladly. For the greater good.

TRAVIS: Evidence to show whom?

LIAM: I would like to think that someone in the government, or outside of it, would care that this has been done to me and others like me, and likely is still being done to children. Like we were.

MARISHA: I'm sure of it.

LIAM: I would hope, anyway.

LAURA: The Cobalt Soul, maybe?

MARISHA: We could start there.

TRAVIS: Doesn't the Cerberus Assembly dictate governmental matters in the Empire?

LIAM: Well, it's a negotiation between them and the king. They advise him and he makes the decisions. That's the official story. You know, we've talked a lot about the people who run our country and maybe it could be salvaged, maybe there is a way to improve it. Maybe there isn't.

SAM: Well, Yussa might like to look at these, if we go visit him, but we should keep some as evidence, and we can't be seen now, so we can go see your mom.

LIAM: Yeah, we should actually do that right away. We should make sure that the three of them are safe and figure out where we are going to send them.

LAURA: I think we should send them to The Gentleman. (giggles knowingly) For reasons outside of just, you know, obviously, they'll fall back in love. He's used to keeping things very secret, very safe.

SAM: He's great with kids, I'm sure.

LAURA: Yeah. Obviously.

LIAM: And no one knows about them other than you.

TALIESIN: Well, there is a problem. One other person knows about him.

LIAM: Cree.

MARISHA: Cree.

TALIESIN: Oh, Cree. I was talking about The Gentleman.

LAURA: Oh, yeah, The Gentleman is where we were going to send them.

TALIESIN: There's one other person who knows about him.

LAURA: Who?

TALIESIN: Eyes of Nine. All of them.

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: Right, Cree.

LAURA: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Cree knows. My brain, what just happened? (laughter)

TRAVIS: Whoa.

TALIESIN: I'm getting feedback.

TALIESIN: Wow.

MATT: I was like, "Wow, he's leaning into the role play for low intelligence." (laughter)

TALIESIN: Sleep deprivation.

TRAVIS: Who else knows about them?

LAURA: Don't ever give Caduceus those coconut drinks, ever again.

TALIESIN: They are liquored, aren't they?

MARISHA: Oh, I might've accidentally switched up your virgin one. I'm sorry.

SAM: Yeah, but just because they know about The Gentleman doesn't necessarily mean they know that we're sending some of our family to go to be with The Gentlemen for safety, because we're worried that the Empire might track them down.

TALIESIN: The only ally we have that they really know about, though, or one of the few, it's the only reason I bring it up.

SAM: I mean, I think they're in Eiselcross doing their Eiselcross thing. I don't think they're--

TALIESIN: That's fair.

TRAVIS: Plus you said Trent wanted to talk. It wasn't like he was trying to kill you outright. Though it seemed that way. What does he want?

LIAM: I have theories, only. Maybe it just as he says, maybe he wants me as a successor, but I find that-- It's what I'm scared is the case, but I find that hard to believe. Part of me wonders if there is not some similarity between my old teacher and Halas.

TRAVIS: Yes, definitely picking up that vibe from both of them.

LIAM: He's old.

MARISHA: You're a valuable asset now. Especially if he knows that you know magic that he doesn't in the dunamancy realm.

TRAVIS: And that you've survived where Vess DeRogna hasn't.

MARISHA: Yeah.

LAURA: Wow.

MARISHA: No one feels good about the one that got away.

LIAM: And all of this discussion of them, their colluding with people on the inside of the Dynasty, and their research and knowledge of the Luxon, and maybe he means for me to be a vessel.

LAURA: Maybe.

LIAM: Stray idea.

TALIESIN: I'd want to know why you would take that risk, to go there and get what we got. I mean, if I was in his position. That's a big red flag.

LIAM: Why I would go there?

TALIESIN: Well.

SAM: Or anyone.

TRAVIS: He knows how dangerous it was for you. He knows it's a risk. Why risk it? Why do you need it so badly? And what did you need it for?

TALIESIN: Thank you.

LAURA: I bet he's so curious.

TALIESIN: I'd be.

MARISHA: If he keeps hitting you up and he keeps sending you messages, that feels like he's real pissed.

LAURA: I mean, I can always send him another message. See what he wants to say. In 25 words or less.

TRAVIS: You can't backtrace a message spell, right? I don't know these things.

MATT: Not that you're aware of. Make an arcana check.

TRAVIS: You're asking the sailor? Cool. Plus two. Natural one! Are you fucking kidding me?!

LIAM: ♪ Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? ♪ (laughter)

TRAVIS: Fair. Accurate.

MATT: You got no idea.

TRAVIS: Nope!

LIAM: Oh boy.

ASHLEY: Wait, I'm sorry. Probably you all know this, and I'm sorry for bringing this up, but when you would put that into your system, would it make you stronger? Is that essentially what it does?

LIAM: For-for-for the duration of its, you know, its entry into my person. It was not terribly long for me.

LAURA: And they would remove it, or it would dissolve?

LIAM: No, they would remove it, and replace on another day.

SAM: I'm not suggesting this at all, but going up against Lucien, would it maybe give you an advantage in the fight?

LAURA: No.

LIAM: Respectfully, those are not coming anywhere near my person again.

SAM: Of course, yeah, of course.

LIAM: Let's go find your family.

TRAVIS: Yes.

SAM: All right.

TRAVIS: Close shave.

MATT: Okay. You gather your things, abscond from the beach and head back into Nicodranas proper. You're bee lining to where within the city?

LAURA: The chateau.

MATT: All right, so the Lavish Chateau. You head into the open doorways, the entryway just left in its casual, anyone-may-enter presentation, the welcoming warm inside where the gentle smells of incense and perfumes greets your nostrils. Stepping within, you can see some of the lanterns set on the tables, with a soft glow to light the darkened interior. You can see the staircase that leads up to the next floor, and there to the left you can see the wide bar, where I would say right now, Carlos would be currently at. There are, it looks to be about eight patrons, scattered amongst the tables. What do you want to do?

LAURA: I'm going to go-- Did I see Bluud?

MATT: Make a perception check.

TRAVIS: Peck.

LAURA: 22.

MATT: Glancing across the room, you do not see Bluud. You do not have to roll very high to notice that a minotaur is not currently present in the room. But not down here on the base floor, though.

LAURA: I'm going to head upstairs.

MATT: Okay. Everyone else following?

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: Is that okay?

LAURA: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Any of the customers checking us out as we go upstairs? Are we getting any--?

MATT: Make a perception check.

TALIESIN: That's a natural 20 plus--

TRAVIS: Wow!

TALIESIN: 30, 30. 30's what we got.

ASHLEY: Whoa!

MATT: A 30. I mean, most of the people at the central tables are all in the process of having made conversations and you're an eclectic bunch as you walk through, as people notice as you pass by. Some individuals may recognize you who have been patrons of the establishment for a protracted period of time. I hate that I can't whisper from this distance and I look forward to--

TALIESIN: You can text.

SAM: Just FaceTime!

TALIESIN: Text, just text. (laughter)

TALIESIN: Text.

MARISHA: Hey, you have your ear pods in, right?

SAM: Just hold up your phone.

TRAVIS: This whisper is brought to you by Dwarven Forge!

LIAM: You mean like how I FaceTimed all of you from my butt this morning?

TALIESIN: That was amazing.

SAM and TRAVIS: Twice!

LIAM: Twice in five minutes.

TRAVIS: We jumped on to have a conversation with your butt, but your butt wasn't there.

TALIESIN: This is what we used to do at the home table.

LIAM: He's more of the silent but deadly type. (laughter)

TRAVIS: Oh, shit.

SAM: Yep.

TALIESIN: Don't mean for it to get quiet while this happens.

SAM: We've regressed in technology to writing letters to each other at the table.

MATT: Yep.

LIAM: Caw caw!

LAURA: I want to know!

MATT: That still took too long for my liking.

LIAM: Yeah, I miss the whispers. I miss people. I miss hugs.

MATT: Yeah. I miss you guys.

LAURA: I miss-- yeah.

SAM: Nah, this is fine.

ASHLEY: Me, too.

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: But yeah, as you head up the stairs there at the next landing outside of the door, you do see Bluud is currently there, sitting, finishing the crust end of a heavy sandwich and has a small plate, daintily placed on his massive lap. As you begin to step up the heavy wooden stairs, Bluud begins to sit up for a bit. "Oh. Can I help you, Jester?"

LAURA: Is Mama inside?

MATT: "She's taking a nap."

LAURA: Did Yeza and Luc show up?

MATT: "Mm-hmm."

LAURA: Are they staying in one of the other rooms?

MATT: "They're down this way." And he points to one of the other guest rooms towards the end of the hallway, just next to the bathroom which has a new bathtub installed in it.

TALIESIN: Another quick question, friend. Who are those two over there? They're giving me the heebie-jeebies. Over by the door.

MATT: "I don't know. Should I go talk to them?"

TALIESIN: I'm trying to keep it low-key, but we're probably being followed and they're giving me a weird vibe.

MATT: "Fair enough."

TALIESIN: Thank you.

LAURA: Bluud?

SAM: (yelps)

LAURA: When he says we're being followed, things could get real hairy, real soon. So it might be smart to shut down the downstairs for a while.

MATT: "I don't understand."

LAURA: It could be bad.

MATT: "How long?"

LAURA: I don't know. But we should clear it out at least for the day so nobody wanders in.

MATT: "Hmm. I'll go talk to Carlos after I see what's up with these strangers." Makes his way down the stairs to the bottom floor. I mean, your mom's chamber door is there. It's not locked, necessarily.

LAURA: Do you guys mind if I go in? She's sleeping, I'll just get her up.

TALIESIN: That works fine. I want to keep this in eyeshot.

SAM: My peeps, too.

TRAVIS: Does someone need to go with--? He seems very capable.

SAM: You should go.

LAURA: If you want to go make sure Bluud says the right things, sure.

TRAVIS: I'll tag along with Bluud, but I'll use Mask of Many Faces to change my appearance.

MATT: Into?

TALIESIN: I'm going to give you Resistance just in case.

TRAVIS: Great. Humanoid. Shoulder length, black hair, black beard. Look like I work here.

MATT: Okay.

TRAVIS: Low-middle security type.

MATT: And you're just hanging to his side, or keeping back or helping him with--

TRAVIS: Actually, yeah.

MATT: What are doing?

TRAVIS: I'll stay within earshot, but I'll look like I'm busing tables or wiping things down, but just keeping--

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: I'm going to shift into my human form too while I'm out of sight, just so I can walk down and keep an eye on things from a long distance.

MATT: Okay. You got it. You go ahead and (door creaks) make your way into your mom's room and there you can see the doors are closed to the outside balcony, a window is open and a little bit of a breeze is blowing through the silks hanging from her bed. They sway ever so gently and you can see her with a book still partially open across her chest and shoulder as she's curled up for a midday nap.

LAURA: I'll go and lay down in bed next to her and lay my head on her shoulder.

MATT: Doesn't wake her, but she instinctively goes and grabs you and pulls you in for a cuddle while she-- (sighs)

LAURA: Mama?

MATT: Her eyes flutter open a little bit.

LAURA: Hi.

MATT: "Just a second. My Sapphire?"

LAURA: I missed you.

MATT: "My Sapphire!" And her eyes shoot wide open and she just gives you a big, big hug and pulls you in closely. "Oh," the book crushes a little bit before it tumbles off to the side. Pulls you away and looks at your face, her thumbs right there on your cheeks. "I didn't know you were going to visit today."

LAURA: I didn't either. (laughs)

MATT: "But it's good to see you."

LAURA: You, too.

MATT: "Everything okay? Are you safe?"

LAURA: Yes, everything is-- Everything's not okay. Mama, I have to tell you. I'm going to pull out the one of the necklaces. I want you to wear this, okay? Don't take it off.

MATT: "What is this for?"

LAURA: It will keep you safe. It will keep people from being able to spy on you for now.

MATT: Her eyes dart towards the window.

LAURA: It's okay, just wear it.

MATT: She puts it on, holds it for a second, looks at you. "Jester, I hate seeing you like this. What's going on?"

LAURA: I don't know-- There's a lot of bad things going on right now. A lot of them, in a lot of different ways. But-- You could be in danger here. There's some really awful people, some really powerful, awful people that are coming after us and they know that I'm connected to you. And it scares me and I know how hard it is for you to leave. But I think you should. At least for a while, I'll let you know when it's safe.

MATT: "Jester, I-- It's difficult for me to think I could be safer anywhere else."

LAURA: I know.

MATT: "I've been here most of my life. Everyone here knows me."

LAURA: I know.

MATT: "If anyone wanted to come and harm me, they'd have to go through a lot of very powerful people here in Nicodranas."

LAURA: They wouldn't have to do any of that. They could just literally appear next to you. They're really powerful people, Mama. More than anything we've ever come across.

MATT: Her eyes dart back towards the window again. And back to you. And you can see that familiar look of shock and anxiety in her face. (sighs) "I don't even know where I'd go."

LAURA: Look. (laughs) This is so stupid and you're going to think I'm trying to do something here. But I think you'd be safe-- I think you'd be safe with The Gentleman. I think you'd be safe with Papa. I know, I know, and I haven't even asked him, I haven't talked to him at all, but he has an underground safe house. He's secret, nobody knows about it. It's the safest place I can think of.

MATT: "Um."

LAURA: W-w-we'll probably be staying here tonight, I think. I don't know, I haven't talked to everyone, but--

MATT: "Okay, I can have rooms prepared. I need some time to--"

LAURA: I know.

MATT: "I need some time to think." And she cups your face again and just gives you a little kiss in the nose and-- (sighs) "What have you done?"

LAURA: I'm sorry.

MATT: "I'm not angry, I just-- Just worry about you."

LAURA: Yeah. I just want to keep you safe, okay?

MATT: "That's all I've ever wanted, was to keep you safe."

LAURA: I'm growing up. Now it's my turn.

MATT: "Oh, don't tell me that; you'll make me cry."

LAURA: (laughs)

MATT: (sighs)

LAURA: I love you.

MATT: "I love you, too."

LAURA: I'm going to go talk to everyone and see what the plan is, okay?

MATT: "Okay." She grabs the book and closes it and goes, "I will finish this some other time." (laughs) She puts it on the edge of her bed stand.

LAURA: If you want to get some things together.

MATT: "Yeah, yeah, I would like to do that, yes. Have Bluud fetch me one of our finest wines for the journey."

LAURA: Of course.

MATT: "I don't think I can make it sober."

LAURA: (laughs)

MATT: "You are growing up."

LAURA: I hold onto her hands.

MATT: "You are growing up, aren't you?"

LAURA: Too fast! (laughs)

MATT: "But-- More proud than I could ever think. And maybe there'll be a day where there won't be people chasing you."

LAURA: That would be wonderful. We found this wonderful little island. Maybe at the end of everything we can go there and have a happy tropical home.

MATT: "I look forward to you showing me one day."

LAURA: I will. I'll be back, I'm just going to talk to everyone, figure out the plan, okay?

MATT: "Okay."

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: While this is happening--

SAM: I've gone to see Yeza.

MATT: So you make your way to the chamber on the side.

SAM: Probably had a very similar conversation. And that is why you must always wear these. (laughter)

LIAM: That made me want to DeNiro cry. (laughter)

LIAM: (sobbing)

MATT: "Well, I just-- I'm--"

SAM: It's-- I've-- I've done real bad, Yeza. I've messed up, you know?

MATT: "W-w-what did you do? What's going on?"

SAM: Well, it's not just what I've done, it's-- I've brought danger to you and that's inexcusable. I thought that I could do both, you know? That I could have a fun life of adventure and also have a family, but I can't. I can't do both, so--

MATT: "Look, you haven't brought danger to us."

SAM: I have!

MATT: "Danger has been finding its way into our lives before you did any of this."

SAM: But this danger I brought. And it's unforgivable and I know that you'll forgive me for it and you're stupid for doing so, because it's really-- it's unforgivable.

MATT: He just kisses you.

SAM: I mean, that's pretty nice.

MATT: "Veth. I mean, I'm not going to lie, I have spent so much of my life just trying to-- trying to be something for you. To start a business, to try and focus on my work and, you know, make you proud. In the long run, I mean, it got us ransacked. It got you killed just from being near. Then you came back and then the Assembly got involved, I mean, how much danger has the choices I've made brought into our life? I carry that guilt with me, too. But... since you've gone off and met your really impressive and intimidating friends, I've had a lot of time to spend with Luc. And I never thought myself as a stay-at-home dad, but--"

SAM: You're really good at it.

MATT: "I kind of really like it."

SAM: And you're fantastic with children, you're fantastic with me, but it's just not fair anymore, so, what I'd like to do very much, if it's okay with you, I'd like to fix this and help end the immediate threat. And then I want to come home and just be with you and the boy. And if I can do that, if I can manage to do that, I will not go away again and I will not bring danger anymore. We'll find some way to have adventures together, and we'll have adventures together at home, wherever we decide to make our home. But unfortunately, I have to fix this. Or help fix it. And then that's it, all right? Can you hold on just a few more weeks?

MATT: "I'll hold on as long as you need me to. I know what you're doing is important. Not just important to the world, but I mean--" And he grabs both your hands and pulls you in and puts his forehead against yours and says, "I know you can't see yourself, but I've watched you glow and smile in ways I've never seen since you've met these people. Since you've gone out and struck down dangerous beasts and swindled those who deserve to be taken down. Every story you come back with fills me with a burst of anxiety and worry, but also a pride that I can't express. Part of what's really been an unexpected joy for me is realizing that so many years of trying to be the man of the house-- I'm much better being the support of it. I could never do the things you do."

SAM: I didn't think I could either, so. I'd be very curious to see what you could do, and what we could do together. You're right, I feel much better about myself these days. And I feel like I'm almost happy with myself. But if I can just get that last step, we'll have a great time and a great life together. So thank you for waiting for me and for keeping the boy happy. I mean, he seems like he doesn't know what's going on, which is great. Keep it that way.

MATT: "I'm deflecting left and right."

SAM: You're really great at that. Anyway. I think we have a plan, we're going to move you to a place that's safe. Heads up, it's weird. It's a weird place. Wait, you've been there! Oh, we just took you there recently, actually. You waited outside.

TRAVIS: That's right.

SAM: We're going back again. It's a nasty, seedy bar, but-- it's also run by a criminal, but it's really, it's very safe. We think? We think it's very safe.

MATT: "We're taking Luc?!"

SAM: You're going to live there. In this bar, I guess. But you know, this is a bar too, right? So.

MATT: "Okay."

SAM: Just for a little bit. I gave you that thousand gold a while ago. Is it back at the house? Should I just go get it?

MATT: "Maybe, yeah."

SAM: Okay.

MATT: "I don't carry that kind of change with me on the streets."

SAM: Okay, yeah. I'll go, just give me a list of what you need from the house, I'll go get it.

MATT: "Okay, I'll put together a list."

SAM: I'll pack it up. We'll go stay at this seedy bar for just a couple weeks.

MATT: "Okay."

SAM: And then I'll come home and we'll figure out what the next step is together.

MATT: "Look, I've been dragged through the tunnels under Exandria. I've seen the heights and depths of Xhorhas, I've no reason to believe that spending a little time in a seedy bar is going to be anything stranger than this past year has brought to us. I'm excited to have you back. I know you have to do this, but please, please be safe. You don't have to be the hero. Not for me, you already are."

SAM: I know. I will do my best. No. I promise you, I'll be safe. I'll come home.

MATT: "I'll hold you to that." (yelps) And he ducks out of the way as a stick rod flies by--

SAM: Nice! and Luc's like, "Oh! Sorry!"

SAM: No, it was a good sneak up! Good stealthing! Good stuff.

MATT: "You promised you were going to tell me about the craziest thing that you killed?"

SAM: Well, there's been a few new ones since then.

MATT: "What?"

SAM: Oh boy, I mean, there's baby monsters. Baby monsters was pretty-- baby monster was probably pretty bad. Pretty gross. It wasn't a real baby; it just looked like a baby, but it was big. Had these razor-sharp teeth. And it was going to kill all my friends until I jumped in front of it and sacrificed my body to protect them!

MATT: "Wow!" As this conversation's happening, Yasha, Caleb, Beau, what are you guys doing?

MARISHA: I guess we're waiting outside for these guys.

ASHLEY: Yeah.

MATT: So you're just hanging in the hallway upstairs?

ASHLEY: Yeah.

LIAM: I trailed her to her home. To Veth.

SAM: Oh, I'm here at the Chateau.

LIAM: They're here? Then I trailed you to their room and I'm waiting outside the door.

MATT: Okay. Got it. All right.

MARISHA: So we're awkwardly waiting outside of people's doors.

MATT: On the second floor, yeah.

MARISHA: Being pretty useful.

MATT: For a handful of minutes as these conversations are happening.

MARISHA: Yasha and I just make out in between people walking by.

ASHLEY: Just ping pong down the hallway.

MATT: Right.

MARISHA: Just making out.

MATT: Right. The horny teenager, not wasting any moment.

MARISHA: For sure.

MATT: Yeah, I got it.

ASHLEY: Messing up all the picture frames

SAM: What about this weird staircase? We'll be safe here.

ASHLEY: Staircase will be fun!

MARISHA: Go under there!

ASHLEY: Let's try it. It's kind of uncomfortable, but it's kind of fun!

MARISHA: Yeah, no one's in here until after the ball team leaves, it's fine.

MATT: That poor teachers' lounge, man.

MARISHA: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Oh no.

LIAM: If this has wound down, then when you open the door, you find Caleb standing really at attention with two books in his arms and he says: Ah, good evening, Mr. Brenatto.

SAM: Oh, hi!

LIAM: I'm here to speak to young Master Brenatto. Is he at home?

SAM: Oh! He's here, if you can find him!

MATT: At which point you hear--

LIAM: Hello?

MATT: (thumping)

LIAM: What was that sound?

MATT: With your perception, you easily see this halfling boy jump over the bed, almost like a 70s action movie sliding over the car hood, just jumps over the bed, folds with it and then ducks underneath the bed and is quietly sitting there with this little toy crossbow there, waiting in shadow.

LIAM: Careful, I do not have my Ring of Evasion on anymore. Mortal peril around you. I've come looking for you. May I borrow you for a word?

MATT: "Dang it, I thought he couldn't see me."

SAM: He's a wizard, he can see through walls.

MATT: "That's unfair."

SAM: Yeah.

MARISHA: Yeah.

LIAM: But pertinent to our conversation. I go and I kneel down in front of him. Listen to me. We are going to borrow your mother for a little bit longer. But I have a bit of homework for you. If that's okay? I hope this is not too presumptuous, but I have taken it upon myself to bring you a gift. This book is a collection of Zemnian fairy tales.

SAM: Oh, not the creepy one.

LIAM: Well, only some of them are creepy. Some of them are quite joyful.

MATT: "Cool!"

LIAM: I thought you would like them.

TRAVIS: "Quite joyful."

SAM: Zemnian joy.

LIAM: I was raised on these.

MARISHA: You get food.

LIAM: So that will pass the time in the place that you're going to be. Your mother will tell you. But this book is-- it's probably a little too old for you, maybe in a year or two or three you will be ready for it--

SAM: Tusk Love.

LIAM: But this is the book that I first started-- (laughter)

LIAM: -- to understand magic.

MATT: "Mom, can I?"

SAM: I mean, of course!

MATT: Yeza's like--

SAM: I'll leave it-- we'll leave it-- When Yeza says it's appropriate, then you may take a peek.

MATT: "Exactly. Indeed."

LIAM: I hand it down to Yeza, too, and say: Yes, this is in your father's care and when he deems you ready--

MATT: Yeza leans in and takes the book and goes, "Then once you've earned the ability by being a good boy and keeping your things clean and not shooting me in the rear end when I'm not paying attention or trying to get work done, then maybe in time you can look at this magic book."

LIAM: And then I really laser in on the boy and say: Yes, that is right. Your mother and father are very skilled individuals and a credit to the Empire. And you have a lot of potential. Just like your mother. So what I want you to do is study. And one day, if you like, if it's okay with you-- looking at the father-- If you want to learn, I hope you will come and find me.

MATT: Make a persuasion check.

LIAM: Where's the one? 18.

MATT: 18. For as much as he is an easily distracted child, he is entirely honed in on what you're saying and just nodding. "Okay."

LIAM: And the first thing I will teach you is how to see little scamps like you the way I found you today.

MATT: "Okay."

LIAM: You be a good boy, you listen to your father. Your mother will join you soon.

MATT: "Okay."

LIAM: You're a family of the Empire, we have to keep you together. That is what matters. (laughter)

MATT: Now he starts getting a little fiddly.

SAM: Go hide, go hide!

MATT: "Ah!" And he jumps off the bed again.

LIAM: Where did he go?

SAM: He's just too good.

LIAM: Oh well. Hopefully I imparted my wisdom.

MATT: You can hear him giggling under the bed.

LIAM: I will see you someday!

MATT: All right.

SAM: All right.

LIAM: Then the act drops and I'm a heap again and I walk away from the room.

MATT: Fair enough. While this is transpiring, the two of you have carefully coasted downstairs behind Bluud, blending into the environment. You're looking like you're helping bus tables which, as you're doing that, Carlos from behind the bar glances over and goes-- puts it down and starts walking over towards you.

TRAVIS: Oh shit.

MATT: (laughs) Which-- Hang on, there we go. "Hey, excuse me. Who are you?"

TRAVIS: Oh, I'm new. I'm new here. I'm just sort of--

MATT: "I'm responsible for all the hires of the establishment, I have not met you before. If you are going--"

TRAVIS: Right, right.

MATT: "I need you to leave." (laughter)

SAM: Just some weirdo who started busing tables.

MATT: Yeah, this dude just walks in and he starts cleaning tables and taking shit.

LIAM: Did you even fill out the application?

TRAVIS: Are you hiring? (laughter)

MATT: "What? Not anymore, you can't just walk into an establishment and start pretending like you work there! Who do you think you are, Steven Spielberg?" (laughter)

TALIESIN: Deep cut. Well done.

MARISHA: Deep cut, yeah.

ASHLEY: Deep cut.

MARISHA: Good story.

TRAVIS: Yeah. How did I get in here? And I'll just start walking the way I came from.

MATT: (scoffs) "The nerve of some people!" (laughter)

LAURA: (laughs) Back towards the stairs?

MATT: You head back to the stairs, or you head out?

TRAVIS: Yep, I'm totally fucked.

MATT: As you head to the stairs, he goes, "Ah, ah, ah! The front door?"

TRAVIS: Oh, yeah. Get turned around so easily. (clears throat) I start walking towards the exit.

MATT: All right, as you start walking that way, are you finding a seat?

TALIESIN: Yeah, I'm trying to stay within maybe hearing distance, but definitely keeping a watch on everything.

MATT: Okay. Now, as this is happening, Bluud is walking through the tables, getting an eye on everybody. Glancing back at you. Subtly walking around and walks towards the outside edge. And there's the main exit doorway, which you are being ushered towards as you see Bluud arcing around the side of it. And there's two individuals sitting, hoods up a little bit, tossed scarf around the side. You can see them both. From what you can tell, the light in here, nobody you recognize. They're both just-- have two drinks on the table, arms crossed and they're just settling there quietly, occasionally talking to each other and as Bluud approaches they glance up and look at him. Bluud leans in. Make a perception check. Both of you, actually.

TALIESIN: 19.

TRAVIS: 20 flat.

MATT: With the 20 and your proximity to the door, you can just make out some of the conversation as you're making that way. Bluud leans in, says, "Haven't seen you round here before. What's your business?" And one of them goes, "Oh, we're just passing through. This is a place of drinking and sitting, right?" Bluud goes, "Yeah, but some of my patrons don't take kindly to your stares. So I ask again, do you have any particular business or do you need to find drinks elsewhere? We have patrons all over, we don't need to take kindly to people who unsettle our usual clientele."

TRAVIS: Do I recognize that accent from those two gentlemen?

MATT: It sounds loosely Marquesian, maybe? Make an intelligence check. Actually, no, sorry, this would be insight.

TRAVIS: That's a natural 20.

SAM: Whoa!

LAURA: What?

TRAVIS: For a 22.

ASHLEY: My god!

MATT: For a 22.

SAM: Marquesian?

MARISHA: What is happening?

MATT: You have a little bit of experience with Marquesian and Marquesian-adjacent dialects and accents, as there is a strong element of that throughout the history of the Menagerie Coast and the cultural sharing of that space. And there are traders that do travel occasionally to and from Marquet that make their way to Port Damali growing up. This is a weird accent. It's Marquesian, but it's a little off.

TRAVIS: Hmm.

LIAM: Interesting.

MATT: As Bluud begins to muscle in, arms on the table, and goes, "I'm going to ask you both to leave." And they both look at each other and one goes, "But we just want another drink." And Bluud leans up and goes, "Well, sorry to bother you. Enjoy the rest of your day." And begins to make his way back to the stairs.

SAM: Uh-oh.

MATT: As you see Carlos over there going, "Go on!"

TRAVIS: Sorry.

MATT: "Shoo!"

TRAVIS: Yeah, you sure you don't need any extra? (laughter)

MATT: "Look, you already made a bad impression. And I hate to have to make a scene in front of all of my customers, but this is a fine establishment, so."

TRAVIS: The proper channels? All right.

MATT: "Yes."

TRAVIS: I appreciate your time, thank you. Good day. I don't have a hat. (laughter)

TRAVIS: And I'll go to the door and just sort of-- (laughter)

ASHLEY: How nice outside.

TRAVIS: Look at the weather. Turn around and see if I can make eye contact with Caduceus at all.

MATT: It's a little hot, when you step out into the blaring the light of day, the light adjustment hit you kind of hard. You glance back into the interior while out in the daylight and it's very dark in there.

TRAVIS: Fuck!

TRAVIS: Dark bridge at 60 feet. (laughter) Cool.

TALIESIN: I didn't see what they said, but I saw them do the fingers.

MATT: With your perception roll, you saw the change in physicality and you saw something. And you are very familiar with subtle, magical gestures, and while this itself was not implicitly a spell. This was a very practiced, nonchalant gesture that seemed to carry some sort of arcane connotation to it.

SAM: I love Johnny bus boy Appleseed, who just goes around busing tables in various restaurants. (laughter)

MATT: One day someone will-- (laughter)

TRAVIS: Yeah, I'll--

MATT: Just hear Incredible Hulk--

TALIESIN: Wherever there are sections to be bused--

MATT: -- TV show music as he leaves.

TALIESIN: -- he's there.

TRAVIS: ♪ (hums Jurassic Park theme tune) ♪

SAM: Some say he still buses today. (laughter)

TRAVIS: I'll make my way out of the doorway, and just out of sight around the corner. And I'll just shift back into my form and I'll-- I'll stay just outside of the entrance.

MATT: Okay, all right. So you sit back up against the edge there. You've got it. All right. Caduceus. You watch them both sitting.

TALIESIN: They're not looking at me, though, are they?

MATT: At the moment? No. But you also don't look like yourself either.

TALIESIN: Yeah, just checking.

MATT: They're both looking towards the stairs. At no point are both of them not trained in the direction of the staircase. Occasionally, one'll glance off and take in the surroundings. But they seem to be, for as casual as the clientele are here, they are focused.

TALIESIN: And I can tell they definitely did some sort of magicky thingy.

MATT: It seems to be. Bluud was getting very much in that "I don't want to have to throw you out physically, but I'm about to" physicality, leaning over the table. And immediately after that gesture stood up, nodded and walked away.

TALIESIN: I'm going to-- I don't even think I got a drink, did I?

MATT: No, you just sat down.

TALIESIN: I think I'm just nonchalantly going to walk back upstairs.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: Once he walks up and I see him out of the corner of the eye, I stop: Oh, it's Caduceus. What's up?

ASHLEY: Hey!

MARISHA: What's up?

TALIESIN: We've got a problem downstairs.

ASHLEY: What's wrong?

TALIESIN: There's two guys down by the front door.

MARISHA: Weird guys?

TALIESIN: Yeah, they've got magic and they are waiting for us to come downstairs.

MARISHA: Weird guys with magic.

TALIESIN: Weird guys with magic by the door and they are getting some bad vibes.

ASHLEY: Should we just take care of it right now?

TALIESIN: I am thinking-- We're all kind of exhausted. I'm just thinking maybe we just shouldn't go downstairs. Fjord is outside, too, it's kind of complicated. I'm really not sure what to do about it, he tried to bus the table. I'm not entirely sure what happened. He kind of got thrown out.

ASHLEY: Was he trying to be undercover by busing?

TALIESIN: Yeah, it was not a-- It was a bad call. (laughter) Really. (laughter) (laughter)

TRAVIS: You're not wrong.

TALIESIN: Kind of in an establishment it's the least inconspicuous thing you can do. It's the one person everyone recognizes, really, but he's learning. Aren't we all?

ASHLEY: Yeah, yeah, yeah. (laughter) (laughter)

TALIESIN: We should form some kind of plan because there are definitely people waiting for us downstairs.

MARISHA: Do you think that they're related to the Assembly?

TALIESIN: I've got a little bit of magic left, I've got some Hold Person. If we want to get at them from the front door, if we can get down there without using the stairs, we can just find out who they are and what they want.

MARISHA: You didn't get any good visuals on what they look like, what they were wearing?

TALIESIN: Well, what I saw was-- You didn't actually give me a good--

MATT: Right, fair enough.

TALIESIN: Guys in cloaks?

MATT: Two gentlemen in cloaks. With heavy scarves around the shoulders with a hood that seems to be of a similar material to the scarf. Wearing casual, baggy, sleeveless, tunic-type attire that's belted in the center with some baggier pants, and some knee-high boots with some tie straps around the top of it. They're both similar attire, but the designs and patterns, and wearing is not uniform, if you will. But they're nobody you recognize, necessarily.

MARISHA: Doesn't sound like anybody from the Empire.

TALIESIN: Well, it's not like we haven't pissed off an awful lot of people.

MARISHA: Where are they sitting?

TALIESIN: Right by the front door on the right side of it. If we're facing the front door, they're on the right side.

MARISHA: Is there a way where I can get down low and just peek around the stairs, get a visual.

MATT: Make a stealth check.

MARISHA: That's okay. 18.

MATT: 18, okay. You glance down, spider crawl down to the edge where the base part of the second floor and the opening at the top of the rail begins to peer down into the main area. And you peek in there. You can make out, based on what he's specified, the direction of the individuals, though they're a bit far to make out too many details. You can make perception check if you'd like to see.

MARISHA: Are they talking?

MATT: You'll find out.

LAURA: Or are they looking straight at you.

MARISHA: At me. Oh yikes. Eight.

MATT: Hard to see in here any specifics from this distance. Yeah.

TALIESIN: I feel like we've burned ourselves out a bit. My thought is to come around the back and maybe try and have a contained conversation. I'd rather know who's trying to keep track than squash it at this point. Honestly, if they wanted to tell somebody where we were they've probably already done so.

MARISHA: I really hope that this isn't related to a third party separate situation that we've pissed off along the way. It's just something else to deal with.

TALIESIN: It feels inevitable, though, at this point that there's just not nearly enough moving parts to our current situation.

MARISHA: Absolutely, and we should just add more layers to the cake of complication.

TALIESIN: Do we owe somebody money or something, was it something about the boat? I'm not sure.

MARISHA: Probably. You said they were wearing different, would I recognize where they came from? We didn't catch Marquesian, did we?

TALIESIN: No.

MATT: Especially not at your perception check.

ASHLEY: I mean, they know we're here, we could just go down there and--

TALIESIN: That's why I was thinking we could go around.

ASHLEY: Go around.

TALIESIN: Have a little bit of a surprise, "Hey friends." So it doesn't have to be a thing, but let's have a talk.

MATT: About this moment you both emerge.

MARISHA: I was about to say let's alert the others. Hey. Perfect timing.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

MARISHA: Fjord got kicked out of his disguise.

LAURA: Wait, what?

MARISHA: Well, he got kicked out in his disguise, because of his disguise.

TALIESIN: It was a terrible disguise.

LAURA: So where is he now?

TALIESIN: Outside.

LAURA: He's outside?

TALIESIN: Yeah.

ASHLEY: I think they just were looking at him, and then they were like, "Who's this busboy, he's not here-- he's never been here before."

LAURA: He was a busboy?

TALIESIN: More of a server.

ASHLEY: More of a server?

TALIESIN: It was class. He had a thing so it was very serious. You don't want to go down and get into it with one of the--

ASHLEY: Oh.

MARISHA: Beyond that.

TALIESIN: Not without an apron. If he had given himself an apron.

LAURA: Can I look over the side of the--

MARISHA: (stammering) Go ahead, go, wait.

TALIESIN: No, no, no.

LAURA: Wait, what?

TALIESIN: They're looking at the stairs.

LAURA: They say, as I walk over to the stairs and get pulled back.

SAM: How many of them are there?

TALIESIN: Two, they are magic users.

SAM: Let's just go fuck them up.

TALIESIN: Let's not fuck anybody up right now. (laughter)

SAM: I'll call out my son.

LAURA: What is happening? What?

TALIESIN: We are not starting a fight in your mom's house.

LAURA: So wait. There's still people downstairs, Bluud didn't close the bar down.

TALIESIN: He seemed to get enchanted into leaving them alone.

ASHLEY: Oh.

TALIESIN: That's the vibe I got. He was in their face and then suddenly everything was fine.

LAURA: I'm going to turn myself-- I'm going to back up against the wall and turn myself invisible.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: Oh, I'll do the same.

LAURA: And just after I do that I'm going to walk over to the edge and look over.

TALIESIN: I think if we can get outside and come around the front door, maybe we can talk to these people. Without having to start anything in your mom's house.

LIAM: I don't know where you are, if your mother is ready. Do you think she'd be ready to go out the back and we could just leave?

SAM: Oh, you mean without causing a ruckus?

TALIESIN: It's a shame. I'd like to know who's messing with us.

MARISHA: I would, too.

SAM: How can we get out of here that fast? Can you teleport 10 people?

LIAM: Not today.

SAM: Then we got to get rid of these people, or find a new place to sleep.

TALIESIN: Yeah, we can't sleep here.

MARISHA: I didn't get into--

LIAM: Card tricks. (laughter)

MARISHA: -- any scuffles.

SAM: Huh, what?

MARISHA: I didn't get into any scuffles, I am actually pretty great. So is Yasha.

TALIESIN: I'm pretty medium.

LAURA: Yeah, my invisibility only lasts for six seconds, so I'm literally just walking up to the edge of the banister and looking over as fast as I can. And looking down, and seeing what I can see.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: I want to see if Bluud is at least talking to Carlos, and I want to get a look at the people that are looking at us.

MATT: Bluud, right now, is not talking to Carlos, and is actually now heading back up the stairs.

LAURA: What the fuck?! What about the two dudes watching us? Are they just staring up the stairs?

MATT: Yep, they're just watching.

LAURA: Can they see me invisible?

MATT: Make a perception check.

SAM: Very fast one.

TALIESIN: Do something crude.

LAURA: 11.

MATT: 11, hard to tell.

LAURA: I don't know what this was, but.

TALIESIN: That would make me do something if I were watching.

LAURA: I back up.

LIAM: Invisible panic.

ASHLEY: They would've seen that.

SAM: Why don't we get Fjord back in here? By the way, I'm over here, guys. I'll be invisible, I'll just go down there and hang out in case shit goes down. But you, or Fjord or Jester can go talk to these gentle folk, and try to usher them along their merry way. And if it doesn't go well, shit goes down.

MARISHA: All right, how about this? Is there a window on the side that I can scale down go around and get Fjord?

SAM: I could just message him.

MATT: Up the staircase there is a small window, that's on the upper left-hand side of the wall that it hugs along this side, or there is the window in the balcony in the Ruby of the Sea's room. In Marion's room.

LIAM: Do you want to talk to Fjord? Is that what you're wondering?

MARISHA: I just figure we might as well have people flanking the situation. I can go around and meet up with Fjord, we can man the front, come in that way, if you guys want to come around this way.

LIAM: Just in case, I mean, I pray we don't start a fight in the middle of Jester's home.

LAURA: Please, let's not.

TALIESIN: Hopefully not.

LAURA: We really-- It was rough in there, okay?

MARISHA: I don't want to start a fight, but I do want to know who is following us. If there's another third party group, or entity, or someone else who wants us dead, I'd kind of like to know.

LIAM: I would recommend that Fjord and Caduceus go talk to them, because, between his insight and this one's silver tongue, I think maybe we can have the best chance of learning.

MARISHA: Let me go get Fjord.

TALIESIN: You can sit by the door in case things get weird.

MARISHA: Exactly.

LAURA: Can you send a message to Fjord and let him know that Beau's coming?

SAM: I can't, I will lose my Invisibility, but he can.

LAURA: Okay.

LIAM: I pull out the wire. I hear that you are a busboy, I don't know what that means, but we are sending Beauregard out to talk to you.

TRAVIS: Sounds good, the two people at the table had Marquesian-ish accents, they charmed Bluud.

TALIESIN: What?

LIAM: I relay that to the group, he said something about the people downstairs. Marquesian accents and they charmed your minotaur friend.

LAURA: Does that sound like anything that would sound familiar to us?

MATT: You've come across many different people of Marquesian background, doesn't strike anything directly. You'd probably have to get closer and converse with them, before you'd able to pick up anything like that.

MARISHA: All right, give me two minutes and then we can walk up on them at the same time.

LIAM: Sarsaparilla.

TALIESIN: I'm going to open with talking.

MARISHA: Open with talking.

TALIESIN: All right.

MARISHA: I'm going to slink out one of the side windows, slide down, loop around, and grab Fjord.

MATT: Okay, easy enough to do that with your crazy monk skills. But yeah, you manage to scale down the wall, drop down into the outside pseudo-alleyway, and then scoot around to find Fjord waiting on the outside of the front.

TRAVIS: I got kicked out.

MARISHA: I heard. Sorry, man. That's rough, buddy.

TRAVIS: I was very polite.

MARISHA: Yeah. It wasn't a bad idea, it really wasn't.

TRAVIS: I know it doesn't really count, but I feel rejected.

MARISHA: Well, you were in, you know, a few ways.

TRAVIS: I can make it-- Carlos and I, we'll come to an understanding.

MARISHA: It's fine. So the rest of the group wants you to be the front man, the face, maybe talk to these--

TRAVIS: Sorry, what, I was still thinking about Carlos, what'd you say?

MARISHA: Wow, I've never seen you so dejected about this whole situation. Wow, it really messed you up.

TRAVIS: Slap me.

MARISHA: Pop! Ooh sorry, I didn't have to go so hard.

MATT: Nose is a little to the left.

TRAVIS: Yeah. It's good. What was the plan?

MARISHA: They want you to talk to these guys, they want you to be the face.

TRAVIS: Yes, I'm down.

MARISHA: Okay.

TRAVIS: Who else is in the room?

MARISHA: I don't think-- I think-- well. the guy who kicked you out, Carlos.

TRAVIS: No, of our group? What, just you and me?

MARISHA: No, they're going to flank, we're going to--

TRAVIS: Oh, converge?

MARISHA: Mm-hmm.

TRAVIS: Yeah!

MARISHA: Come out of the shadows.

TRAVIS: I like it.

MARISHA: Cut 'em off.

TRAVIS: Do we have a go word, or are we just going now?

MARISHA: Apparently it was sarsaparilla, but I don't know if I'm waiting for that cue. Because they keep separating people who can't send messages.

TRAVIS: Yeah, we can't send anything.

MARISHA: I can't send shit, this keeps happening. I keep pointing it out and it just keeps happening.

TRAVIS: Do you want to count to 20 and then we go?

MARISHA: Sure.

TRAVIS: One, two, three, four.

SAM: I'm going to start making my way down the stairs.

MARISHA, LIAM, ASHLEY, LAURA: ♪ Making my way downstairs. ♪

SAM: Uh-huh. Hiding.

LAURA: I'm going to cast Disguise Self.

SAM: 34.

MATT: 34, all right.

LAURA: And I'm going to look like my mom.

MATT: Okay.

TRAVIS: Okay.

TALIESIN: All right.

LAURA: In her casual, coming down, midday, you know, attire.

MATT: All right. So you're stealthing down; what'd you roll?

SAM: 34.

MATT: 34, all right. Ever so quietly. And you begin to stroll down as Marion A handful of the patrons, "Oh!" and whisper at each other. And straighten up in their seats, and give a nod as you make your way down the stairs.

MARISHA: 18.

MARISHA and TRAVIS: 19, 20. All good. We go in.

MATT: All right, you both enter the chamber. As you're walking down, you're stealthing in there. What are the rest of you doing?

TALIESIN: I'm walking down as well.

MATT: Okay.

ASHLEY: I'm walking down.

LIAM: I'm staying at the top of the stairs, out of view, just listening because I'm fucking tapped.

MATT: Okay. As both of you enter from that side-- And you were just looking like yourself, right?

TRAVIS: Mm-hmm.

MARISHA: Same.

MATT: Both of the figures stand up.

TRAVIS: Stand up from their chairs?

MATT: Mm-hmm.

MARISHA: I just clench my fists, go on guard.

TALIESIN: I'm going to walk down. What are they drinking?

MATT: You don't see, just two-- It's like clay mugs of some kind.

TALIESIN: All right, I'm going to walk down and-- May I?

MATT: As you're approaching, because they've stood up as these two entered and over that space. And so as you guys are all walking in you can see them both standing up. They both began heading towards the door.

MARISHA: I step in front of the door.

TALIESIN: Thaumaturgy.

LIAM: (whispering) Yes.

TALIESIN: Doors shut.

MARISHA: I reach behind me, click, click. Just lock the door.

TALIESIN: Just want a conversation. We are very-- Anything I say is going to be threatening, it's been a lot today, and I'm frankly tired of hurting people.

MATT: Some of the other patrons are like, "What's what's going on? And start talking. "What's going on?" And Carlos is like, "May I ask why the door is closed?"

LAURA: (like Marion) Carlos, dear. Don't worry about it. Come, I need to talk to you. It's important.

MATT: Make a deception check with advantage.

LAURA: Ooh, okay.

SAM: So many dice.

LAURA: I know, I was looking for my advantage dice. Oh, oh! Ho, ho, ho, ha, ho, hih! Mmkay.

MATT: That was a ride.

LAURA: 25.

MATT: He's looking confused over there, but begins to walk with you.

TALIESIN: Can I get you a drink? Do you need a refill?

MATT: "No drink," and the other one looks to the other figure, you see that they're different heights. And the smaller one just leans forward and goes, "Look, there is no conflict to be had here. We are just trying to convey message to Bren."

TRAVIS: To Bren?

MATT: And it's this point you recognize the voice. Speaking in a Dwendalian Zemnian accent.

LIAM: There it is.

MATT: A female voice. Something you've heard before at a dinner table.

LAURA: (gasps)

TRAVIS: Mm-hmm.

MATT: "We have been dispatched to cut you all off. We are here to let you know in the short time we have that you need to go."

TRAVIS: Where?

MATT: "Anywhere but here. If there's anyone important to you, leave with them." They both look a little nervous, and the other one, the bigger one is looking a little impatient. “(frustrated grunt)" The smaller one goes, "Trent is... frustrated. And beyond this brief little straying, it's the most we can help you with without putting ourselves in too much danger. We were never here. And I hope we don't meet again."

TRAVIS: You weren't sent by Trent?

MATT: "We were. But we haven't arrived yet."

TRAVIS: Understood. Just Nicodranas? Or is he coming here?

MATT: "Oh, he has a conversation to deal with, a break-in at the sanatorium to explain away what was done without drawing too much suspicion."

TRAVIS: You know, it was odd. It was on your advice that we made the attempt that we did at the time that we did. Yet, there he was.

MATT: "I don't know what went wrong. I didn't set you up, if that's what you're insinuating."

TRAVIS: Do I believe her?

MATT: Make an insight check.

TALIESIN: I'll take that as well since I'm sitting there.

TRAVIS: It's a 16.

MATT: 16.

TALIESIN: 20.

MATT: 20. Through the illusion, which is its own unique layer of adjusting to the circumstance. It's a little hard to tell, but it sounds like there is a ring of truth to what she's saying.

TRAVIS: You came here, in this place.

MATT: "One of the surviving guards had said there was a connection with those that broke-in. And so it was assumed this would be a likely place of arrival."

TALIESIN: We do appreciate the warning. Would you be willing to let us, I don't know if we can even do this right now, but if we can wipe us ourselves from your mind would you be willing to let us do that?

MATT: At this point, you see the other one steps back, and goes, "I apologize, no."

TALIESIN: Just a precaution for you, to be honest.

MATT: "There's nothing you could wipe from our minds that would absolve us of anything."

TALIESIN: We never saw them come in.

TRAVIS: I understand your apprehension. You, your motivation, the one that sounds like Astrid, I understand. You, however, why are you helping us?

MATT: "I'm not helping you. I'm helping him," and she just gestures up towards the rest of the building.

TALIESIN: For what it's worth, his intentions are good, and if things were different, we would be asking for your help.

MATT: (as Astrid) "But they aren't different, and our intentions are not good. So you have to go."

TALIESIN: Thank you.

MATT: They both begin to muscle their way past you, Beau, to try and open the door.

MARISHA: I shoulder check them a little bit as I step aside.

TALIESIN: I'm going to just head upstairs.

MATT: Okay, they exit out the front.

SAM: I'll trail them in my invisible form. Just to see which way they go.

MARISHA: Yes.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: Get it.

SAM: Keeping distance.

MATT: Fair enough.

TALIESIN: Gather everyone, we have to leave right now. We go right now.

LIAM: Yes, okay.

MARISHA: I look at--

LIAM: I go and collect Veth's family.

LAURA: I finish telling Carlos some bullshit about the bathroom decor that I'm wanting, and I make my exit as well.

MATT: "We will do our best to make these arrangements for you. I mean, we just had it redone. We'll take care of it."

LAURA: Carlos.

MATT: "Don't worry."

LAURA: I-- Maybe we should close up tonight, I'm feeling tired, I don't want to entertain.

MATT: "As you wish." He seems a bit confused by a lot of what's happened in here. And just kind of-- He seems unsettled, but begins to go through the motions of cleaning off spaces and talking to some of the patrons at the tables. Letting them know that they'll be shuttering up. You guys are gathering your things. Your mother is still packing in the room. They have whatever's on them and they had the market. All the rest of their main things are still at your house, including the money. But you are currently following the two of them. As they exit, they make their way through the Opal Archways. You can see heading in a northwestern direction to a familiar district. Actually, I don't know if you were present for the event, the party that took place.

SAM: The party?

MATT: Yeah, were you--

SAM: Yeah, I was there.

MATT: You were there?

SAM: Yeah.

MATT: I was trying to remember which-- part of members of the group were dist--

SAM: I locked somebody on a balcony.

MATT: Yes, you did.

TRAVIS: True Sight.

MATT: Yeah, not that--

MARISHA: Saw magic fish.

MATT: Yes.

MARISHA: That's right.

MATT: Not that house, but that same region. There is one building that looks somewhat officious, but also quite elegant. And they both head to that area, and as they step through an alley you watch as the illusions fade. And it's back to Astrid and Eadwulf. Though their attire is still a similar presentation as to what you saw in the Lavish Chateau. As they begin to approach the exterior of this you see the door open. And another individual, though wearing a similar attire, but having the same volstrucker tattoos across their arms. It looks to be an older woman. Looks to be half-elf, possibly in her late 40s or so. And to the right of her, a familiar, red-robed Trent Ikithon.

SAM: Oh shit.

ASHLEY: He's here.

LIAM: Fuck.

MARISHA: All of our suspicious, neurotic beliefs were real.

SAM: And we're three blocks away.

MATT: Three blocks away.

SAM: Oh!

MATT: Or, yeah, about a--

TALIESIN: It's not paranoid if they're really looking for us.

MARISHA: We're not paranoid.

LAURA: What was it?

SAM: Trent is three blocks away.

MARISHA: Trent is here!

LIAM: -- safe house or something three blocks from the Chateau.

MARISHA: Wait, who's the other woman, also an older member?

MATT: You've never seen this woman.

MARISHA: Never seen this woman.

TRAVIS: Another volstrucker, female elf.

MATT: And you see as they come bolting out of the structure, you can see some other members of Concordian guard following behind hurriedly, looking confused. As he just rushes by and heads towards the gate, raises his hand, the gates open. And you see the two of them approach and give a bow, and they begin having a conversation rather rapidly.

SAM: Okay. I will--

MATT: You're still in the alley. They just left the alley to head in towards the front courtyard, fenced-off area at the front of this larger, officious structure.

SAM: Okay. I'll go back a block, getting away from them.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: I'll just run back as fast as I can.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: I assume we're already halfway out the door at this point.

TRAVIS: With who?

TALIESIN: Everybody.

TRAVIS: Everybody.

MARISHA: We've got a split up.

TALIESIN: What if we meet at the tower? Meet at the tower.

TRAVIS: Anyone in that building in five minutes is dead or tortured. Everybody has to come. Okay, so we're heading to Yussa's, taking different ways to get there. As soon as I get back: Trent's here, he's going to be here in three minutes. We have to go now. Everybody out.

TALIESIN: Can you message?

LAURA: To who?

TALIESIN: People.

LIAM: Sending, Message, Message.

LAURA: I have one Sending left. Who am I sending a message to?

TALIESIN: Just so we have one with both groups.

MARISHA: Splitting up the people who can message each other.

LAURA: I'm just grabbing mom's stuff, and grabbing her bags. And we have to go, we have to go now.

MATT: "All right." Are you guys exiting through the front?

TALIESIN: If there's a back, let's take it.

MATT: There is a back.

LAURA: Yeah, let's go down back.

MATT: Scooting by, rushing past, Carlos is like-- you can see now most patrons are in the process of leaving at this point. And Carlos and Bluud are both closing the doors, and it looks like--

LAURA: Leave now, run, go.

MATT: (as Carlos) What?

LAURA: Go.

MATT: (as Carlos) "What is going on?"

MARISHA: Just to listen to her and go, please. We don't have time to explain; you'll be dead before we do.

MATT: "Fine."

LIAM: The building is compromised, you will hear from us in the coming days. Go, please.

MATT: (as Carlos) "All right, let me finish closing." All right, you guys head out through the back door, out into the street. I would like you all to make a stealth check, please.

TALIESIN: Not my best.

MATT: With? A mother, a father, and a child.

MARISHA: We got to split up.

MATT: All right, so we have?

TRAVIS: Two.

LAURA: 16.

LIAM: 17.

SAM: 34-- 33.

LAURA: I'm going to give the Blessing Of The Trickster to my mother, to try to help her stealth.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: This is where our luck fails us.

ASHLEY: Seven.

TALIESIN: 20.

MARISHA: 26.

SAM: Shut up, Marisha.

ASHLEY: Okay, two of us rolled low.

LIAM: Damn it, Ray.

MATT: All right, you are now darting through the streets, holding onto the hands of the stragglers, pushing through alleyways. And darting through individuals that seem to just watch you as you brush past their shoulders, abruptly confused.

SAM: I just whisper to Luc: Remember what we practiced?

MATT: "Yeah, yeah."

SAM: Do that.

MATT: "Okay." Until eventually you work your way towards Tidepeak Tower. You can see the peak of it coming closer and closer into view. The sounds of the streets of Nicodranas begin to fade, until once again the sound of your heartbeat, in your throat, and in your ears. Your eyes crisp, looking around constantly paranoid just seeing any sort of familiar sight of the volstrucker and/or Master Ikithon himself. As you make your way closer and closer to the tower. That's where we're going to take a break. (groaning)

LIAM: Oh my god.

SAM: Oh, you bastard.

TALIESIN: (groans)

SAM: It just won't stop.

MARISHA: It just won't stop!

LIAM: We've been playing this for years, it's make-believe. I am so scared!

TALIESIN: My cardiovascular disagrees.

ASHLEY: Me, too.

LIAM: This is what I've worried about since the first day we set foot in Nicodranas, and it is happening.

MARISHA: Yeah. Yeah.

TALIESIN: At least they can't magically track us.

LIAM: (scared noise)

LAURA: Yeah. Yeah. We have, well-- Was it long enough? Was it an hour? Did they have long enough with the necklaces that they--

SAM: Well, they don't know who they are.

MATT: For who? As far as?

SAM: Family members.

MATT: Your family members, no.

LIAM: The Brenattos.

LAURA: Okay. Cool, cool, cool.

SAM: I don't know if they know who they are. They might not know who they are.

TALIESIN: Well, we'll see.

MARISHA: They know who they are.

LIAM: They know, because Astrid and Eadwulf said that they talked to the guard left behind in Vergesson who linked us to here.

TRAVIS: Oh my gosh, let's go to a break; I got to pee so bad.

TALIESIN: Break!

MATT: Yes. We'll go to a break; we'll be back in a few minutes. We'll see you guys shortly.

LIAM: Oh. Shit.

Break[]

Hello, everyone, I'm Todd Kenreck, and I'm very excited for a new live play show that my friend B. Dave Walters is dungeon mastering. I spoke to him about how this is kind of unique. It is going to be a trans-media series in the sense that the events of the show are going to directly affect the video game "Idol Champions," and vice versa, not just a voting component, but literally the actions the players take on both sides of the screen are going to connect and affect how it all plays out. Should be pretty interesting. We've been working hard on it. Every week, we're going to have an opportunity to vote on some things, and pending how some other in-game events shake out will affect the stream itself. Things from, literally, certain items some of the cast will get to possess, certain characters that may or may not show up, the names of certain characters that may or may not show up, the intensity of some of the enemies that we will fight on the stream, or they will fight on the stream, all are gonna be dictated by the audience. I think they know I'm specially qualified for this, because, if the audience votes, like, rocks fall and everybody dies, everyone knows I will do it. Yeah, it should be a great thing, hopefully. You can catch this brand new show from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Codename Entertainment's very own Twitch channel every Monday. Thank you so much for watching. (eerie music) (logo bangs)

Marisha, tell us about your thought process behind planning this date, and what it was like receiving Caleb's help in executing it. You know, much like many of Ashley and I's first dates, they were narrated by Liam. (woman laugh) Did he narrate your proposal too? Yes, he was there in the booth next to us at the Mexican restaurant we like to go to. At this point, he will attempt to hold hands with her, and she will say, mm-mm, too early. (women laugh) Too soon. Too soon. He will then cower away into the bathroom for 25 minutes, and slap himself. Slap himself? (whimsical orchestral music) (typewriter clicks) (bell dings)

LAURA: Hey, critters, Laura Bailey here. Let's see what's up in the Critical Role shop. (bees buzz) Oh my gosh, it's so amazing. I mean, the traveler always says impulse purchases are a good decision. Go ahead, darling, treat yourself. The cuteness, it's overpowering. It's so cute, I can't handle it. (mouse clicks) So click on over to the Critical Role shop. Don't worry, there's a few more minutes in the break. You still got time.

LIAM: Subscribe, or don't subscribe. Oh, 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. (Liam huffs) No sleep, but just to stream. Ay, there's the rub, for with your subscription, what streams may come. Oh, man, oh, man, oh, man, that is a fucking tagline. Do we got that? Oh, that is Twitch poetry. (Liam grunts) Oh, anyway, subscribe to Critical Role. Use Twitch Prime to subscribe. Gift some subscriptions. You got it. Hm. Wrong soliloquy for the skull, but that's fucking good. (lively classical music)

Part II[]

MATT: And welcome back. So as you all are rushing through the streets, worried of being in pursuit of Master Trent Ikithon of the Cerberus Assembly, your semi-inconspicuous crew is pushing past street after cobblestone street, pushing into the Open Quay, or "key," or however else you want to pronounce it.

SAM and MARISHA: The k-huay.

MATT: Remember that again?

SAM: The quay.

ASHLEY: The out-squirts of the--

MATT: Exactly.

MARISHA: The out-squirts?

MATT: You begin to approach Tidepeak Tower now, still standing high above. You watch, as you get closer and closer, the shape itself seems to adjust with your proximity, and as you get closer, it is impossibly tall.

LAURA: Are we all still together? We didn't split up, right?

LIAM: We didn't work it out.

MATT: You didn't.

LAURA: Okay, then I am going to send my last message of the day to Wensforth.

MATT: Wensforth, okay.

LAURA: And say: Hey, it's us. Open the door, we're coming to the tower. We're at the bottom. Come and open the door, please, really fast. We're here. Thank you!

MATT: "Oh, okay. Give me just a moment."

LAURA: (nervous vocalizing) I'm saying that as we're running up, so hopefully, as we approach, the door will be--

MATT: Right.

TALIESIN: Pass Without a Trace, Pass Without a Trace?

LAURA: ♪ I don't have any more Pass Without a Trace. ♪

TALIESIN: That's fair.

MATT: As you all approach and get to the base of the tower. You impatiently look around, and there are some vendors that are watching this group rush into the middle of this open space around the tower. Anybody approaching Tidepeak Tower, it's a rare enough circumstance where people tend to be a little nosy, so some people are just looking over, and as you notice them, and glance about to where they are, you look back to the tower, and the door is there where it was not previously.

SAM: Oh, yes.

MATT: At which point, the door opens up, and you can see the goblin face of Wensforth poking through. "Come on in, come on in."

SAM: Out of the way.

LAURA: Run, run, run, run.

LIAM: Yes, and also, please remove the door as soon as we're in.

MATT: "Oh, course, course." As you all step inside, he's kind of, "Oh, oh. Oh! Milady." Gives a bow to Marion. He's just looking in. Because you are carrying the Ruby of the Sea through the streets with you, which, in its own right--

LAURA: Yeah, it's probably noticeable.

MATT: A lot of people are, "Whoa, is that--?"

LIAM: That's quite a thing for Marion.

MATT: Which, at this point, you do notice, as she comes in, she is shaking.

MARISHA: Aww, sweetie.

MATT: There is sweat pouring down her face, and her complexion is much paler.

LAURA: Just look at me, Mama. Just look at me, okay?

MATT: (panicked breathing)

TALIESIN: Would you like some help? Magical help?

MATT: "Certainly."

TALIESIN: I'm going to cast Calm Emotions. Should help.

MATT: (sighs, exhales) And it does. It actually does have a very positive effect on her, and she immediately slumps into one of the nearby sofa-like arrangements in this bottom floor of Tidepeak Tower, and looks like she'd been through a marathon, is just exhausted. She's still clutching your hand tightly, and then, eventually, looks up at you with a soft smile, and goes, "I did it."

LAURA: You did it.

MATT: "Where are we?"

LAURA: We're in a tower! A magical tower. Yussa!

MATT: At which point, Wensforth, let me see here. Says, "So can I ask you what your business is here with the master?"

LAURA: We would desperately like for Yussa to help us transport somewhere.

MATT: "Okay."

LIAM: It is actually quite tense, so, if he's doing something, it is really worth interrupting.

MATT: "I understand that. He's not reachable at the moment."

LAURA: Is he in the ball?

MARISHA: He didn't go back in the ball, did he?

MATT: "No, no, no. After your previous conversation, he was going to go on sort of a, as he put it, an information-gathering excursion into the astral plane."

SAM: Oh, wow.

TALIESIN: Oh boy.

MATT: "So..." And you see him going up the stairs, and giving a "follow me" motion.

SAM: Does he have a teleportation circle we can use?

MARISHA: But Caleb, do you still have enough energy?

LIAM: No.

MARISHA: That's the problem.

TALIESIN: Oh boy.

SAM: Wensforth, we don't want to endanger you, but is this place safe, magically speaking?

MATT: "I think so."

TALIESIN: We have somebody who's-- I mean, we need to tell him what we're running from.

LIAM: Is there any chance you have the ability to work the circle at the top of the tower?

MATT: "Oh, (chuckles) any sort of magic I know is extremely rudimentary, sorry."

LAURA: What about the amplification circle? Do you have that?

MATT: "I could probably access that. Let me see if I can wake up the master." And he goes and starts heading up the stairs, arcing up. Do you follow?

LIAM: Yes.

TALIESIN: Yes.

MATT: Okay, heading up to the secondary floor, you come to his first base laboratory, where you had previously spent some time with him, and where the ball of Halas, the Folding Halls sphere, the Happy Fun Ball, is up on the counter right there. Curtains are closed, and you can see there's some general incense that has burned off. The vaporous scent of it is fading over time, but in the middle of this chamber, you can see a lot of the tables and shelving elements have been pushed to the sides. In the middle, there is a comfortable, reclined chair, and there, laying in it, hands folded in the front, lying back, eyes closed, is Yussa. And Wensforth goes up to him, grabs the arm, shakes. "Master. Master, we've got company. Master?"

MARISHA: (like Wensforth) Master.

MATT: "I don't know how to wake him up. I'm sorry. He's been here for about a day on his journey."

TALIESIN: Can we get ahold of anybody else from here? Can we contact, I don't know, Allura?

LAURA: I have no spells to contact anyone, okay? I'm out, I'm out.

TALIESIN: Or even, is there an object? We were talking with a mirror, if I recall.

LAURA: That was Allura's mirror.

TALIESIN: She took it back?

LAURA: Do you have any magic left, Fjord?

TRAVIS: I have all my magic.

SAM: He can hit things.

TRAVIS: I can look like a busboy. (laughter)

SAM: We can just stay here and hope that we're... safe?

LAURA: I'm going to cast Command on Yussa.

SAM: Oh.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: I'm going to touch him and I'm going to cast Command, and I'm just going to say: Wake up!

MATT: No effect.

MARISHA: (sighs)

MATT: Whatever influence he seems to be under, it is extremely powerful, and the will of his mind seems to be beyond the contact of such a rudimentary spell.

SAM: Should I electrocute him?

TALIESIN: I think that may be a dangerous path to walk up.

TRAVIS: Well, unless anyone has any idea of how to contact someone outside of here, or to get us out, we should probably try to fortify this place. Yes? Or move.

SAM: No door, so.

TRAVIS: With a bunch of wizards coming, though. I bet they could make one.

MATT: "Who's coming?"

LIAM: Wensforth.

MATT: "Yeah?"

LIAM: Some of the worst people from the Dwendalian Empire are on our tail, and they may come here.

MATT: "Yussa doesn't like that. He hates when politics gets involved."

LIAM: I beg your forgiveness. Is there anything in this tower that can help us defend it?

MATT: "I mean, most of its defenses are tied to the master here."

LIAM: Is there any room that is off-limits?

MATT: "Oh, there are a couple that are off-limits, but to everyone but the master."

MARISHA: Maybe we should leave.

SAM: Wait, we've been in some of these rooms. We've seen magical items and artifacts in his study, right? Should we at least peruse? See if there's something there?

TALIESIN: Just see if there's something to get us out of here.

SAM: Are we in his study now?

MATT: You're in the study, yeah. He's still lying in the middle of the chamber.

SAM: Let's just do a quick look-see.

LIAM: We'll scan the room for anything that looks--

SAM: As will I.

LIAM: -- like it could remotely get us out of here.

SAM: Or help defend.

TALIESIN: I'm going to give you a d4 on that, too.

LIAM: Looking at artifacts, objects.

MATT: Okay, so this is perception or investigation?

LIAM: Investigation.

MATT: All right.

LIAM: You're giving me what, Caduceus?

TALIESIN: I'm giving you a d4.

LIAM: d4. Good. Investigation, eight-- 32.

SAM: Ooh, oh, whoa.

MATT: All right, and you're helping, you said?

SAM: If he gives me a task to look for, I can look for something, but I don't know--

MATT: I'll say, for the purposes of that roll, you wouldn't be the only one searching throughout the chambers, but all of you begin to go through, and Wensforth begins to kind of, "Careful with that! Oh, well, there's sort of-- Oh, this is a sticky situation. Mm."

SAM: It's going to be fine. Maybe you should calm his emotions.

TALIESIN: Actually, that would give you an excuse of how you guys weren't involved, because we gave you a whammy, so then you would have a very true story of how things went down.

MATT: "What's a whammy?"

TALIESIN: I'm just going to make you feel a little better about what's happening right now.

MATT: "Okay."

TALIESIN: Calm Emotions.

MATT: "Ooh, that's much nicer. Okay."

TALIESIN: So yeah, if you can think of anything that might help. Honestly, even if touching something would trigger an alarm that would wake him up, maybe? I don't know.

MATT: "Well, you haven't been too specific. Are you just trying to defend the tower, or are you trying to go somewhere?"

LAURA: Well, ultimately, we need to get out of here.

LIAM: Yes, best case scenario.

TRAVIS: Out of than Nicodranas.

LAURA: Yes

SAM: First priority, get out, and if we can't find anything that can do that, then defend.

MATT: "Uh." And with your investigation roll, he begins to help you go through some elements, and you get the sense that, for one thing, a lot of the text in a lot of the books here, everything seems to be empty, just blank pages, but the books are all old, and you get the sense that a lot of this is hidden intentionally. But Wensforth gets an idea. He goes, "I remember one thing I was cataloging maybe, like, five years ago. Might've been used, though. Here, see if you can help me look for it."

LIAM: Of course, of course.

MATT: And you head up to one of the side, additional towers. It comes at an odd angle. It's like a spiral staircase that gets wider, and then shorter, then wider, and shorter, like you're climbing at an odd angle, and then up for a bit, that you don't recall seeing from the outside. And as you head up into this area, it's like a musty attic. There are sheets, and tapestries, and blankets that all smell of old dust and mothballs, and pulling through some of the areas there, you can see there's a glass case that has a little metallic emblem. Make a history check for me.

SAM: Come on, Caleb.

LIAM: Nah, not as good as anything I've done tonight. 15.

MATT: 15? You do not recognize the emblem at all, but within this glass case next to the emblem, you see a cylindrical, silver, or at least polished metal case about that long. Looks almost like a cigar, if you will. And he goes, "Ah, this was a gift to the master from the Pansophical. I think it might help." (glass shattering) He just throws it on the ground. The glass case shatters open, the emblem scatters across the ground in the middle, then rolls and stops against some of the broken glass, and he, "Ah."

LIAM: Do you have any knowledge of what this is?

MATT: "You did that."

LIAM: Yes, yes, it was all me.

MATT: "Maybe." Hands it to you.

LIAM: Can you tell me anything about it? Or is it up to me?

MATT: "I know it was given to him by someone who jumped from place to place. The master said it was sort of an emergency."

LIAM: Think we have 10 minutes?

SAM: Maybe.

LAURA: You can try.

SAM: Can you just look at it and see if you glean anything just from first sight?

LIAM: Eh.

MATT: It's a metal case, but you do see it has a--

LIAM: Is it a scroll case?

MARISHA: Scroll?

MATT: It looks too small for a scroll case, but you see, it's not a solid cylinder. When you pick it up, you can see lines along the edges that do make you believe that it could be opened.

LIAM: Okay.

SAM: Let's open it.

LIAM: No time.

MATT: You don't quite see where to open it.

LIAM: Oh, I see, I see, I see, I see.

SAM: Give it to me.

MATT: Make an investigation check, or you can do it, either one.

TALIESIN: d4.

LIAM: (fake crying) 15 again.

MATT: 15. You have no idea how this works.

SAM: Gimme.

LIAM: You two, come.

SAM: Gimme! All right, I will try to see if I can use some thieves' tools to find an edge, and pry a side, or see if I can--

MARISHA: I backseat driver over Veth's shoulder, and give her advantage.

MATT: Okay, if you're helping have advantage on the investigation check, the DC is higher since this is another attempt, but go for it.

SAM: Can you also bless me or something?

TALIESIN: Yeah, I'm giving you Bless.

LAURA: Guidance.

MATT: Or Guidance.

TALIESIN: Guidance.

SAM: Guidanced. What am I doing? Investigation?

TRAVIS: With advantage.

LIAM: And advantage with Bless.

SAM: Mm-hmm, 29.

MATT: 29. The two sides of it, you realize, have these very faint little pinhole buttons, and as you discover them, you push in both, and it (clicking) snaps open, and on the inside, you see a piece of vellum that is wound very tightly in a very, very compact scroll of some kind.

SAM: I'll unfurl it?

MARISHA: A baby scroll.

LIAM: Caleb leans over.

MATT: As you unfurl, it's-- what languages do you speak?

SAM: Just Goblin and Halfling.

MATT: Okay, yeah, so you do not recognize the language.

LIAM: Sylvan, Celestial?

MATT: Nope.

MARISHA: Deep Speech, Undercommon, Halfling, Dwarvish.

MATT: Nope.

SAM: Thieves' Cant.

ASHLEY: Abyssal, Celestial.

MATT: Nope.

TALIESIN: Elvish, Giant, and Sylvan.

MATT: Nope.

LAURA: Infernal?

MATT: Nope.

SAM: Fjord, come on.

TRAVIS: Nuh-uh. (laughter)

LIAM: Shit.

SAM: You never learned a second language?

LIAM: I sit down and start working on Comprehend Languages, which will take me 10 to do.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: All right.

LIAM: I might pass.

MATT: As you're unrolling it still, it is very long. Like, the text continues, and as you reach this lengthy, three-and-a-half-foot element, it comes to an end, something falls out of the final bit, a long metal rod that (clanging) hits the ground, and has this gentle, fiery, reddish ember glow to it.

MARISHA: Is it a tuning fork?

SAM: Do you know how to use this, Caleb?

LIAM: I'm busy making sure that I can read it, but I have a suspicion, and it doesn't seem fun.

LAURA: I'm just going to show it to my mom, and see if she knows the language. Do you know what it says?

MATT: "I, unfortunately, do not know this. It's very nice handwriting."

LAURA: It is very beautiful, yeah.

SAM: Bluud, Bluud, what languages do you speak? Is Bluud with us?

MATT: No, he did not come with you. (laughter)

TALIESIN: Is there a window in this tower?

LIAM: Luc, what does it say?

MATT: There are numerous windows in this tower.

SAM: 3P0.

MATT: The room that you're in right now, no. It is like a compact attic, and by the way, the fact that you guys are all in there, except for you, it's pretty cramped in that space, but now that you found what you're looking for, it seems possibly, or something that might help, you can bring it back down into the main laboratory.

LAURA: I'm going to just hover over Yussa, and keep poking him in the most annoying sort of ways, like, try to tickle him under his armpits, anything to try to wake him up.

MATT: Okay, does not seem to be reacting.

LAURA: I'm just going to keep going.

SAM: Draw a dick on his face.

LAURA: Well, I don't think that will wake him up, you know, but it'll be really funny.

MATT: Okay, so as you finish your Comprehend Languages, you get it immediately as Draconic, or a variation of Draconic, and it is a spell scroll.

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: It is a Plane Shift spell scroll.

LIAM: Plane Shift, that's what I thought, and this tuning fork, I think, is going to take us someplace hot, but not quite as hot as this place, so who wants to go to Hell, or the Plane of Fire, or I'm not entirely sure.

SAM: Can it take all of us? Can you tell by the scroll if it can take... There's more than 10 of us here.

TRAVIS: And if we rest, someone can get us back?

MARISHA: Yeah, that's an excellent point. We are with Yeza.

TALIESIN: We have the tuning forks, right?

LAURA: We do have-- yeah, we have a thing tuned to this plane.

SAM: We have 10 people, not including Bluud.

LAURA: Bluud isn't with us.

SAM: Carlos.

LAURA: Bluud ran, they ran.

SAM: They ran?

TRAVIS: Yeah.

SAM: So it's just 10 of us.

LIAM: It's just three plus us.

SAM: That's 10.

MATT: Correct.

SAM: We're the Mighty 10.

MATT: "You and up to eight willing creatures." (groaning)

MARISHA: I mean, yeah, is it a good idea to take Luc into the Plane of Fire, too?

LAURA: Well, we're not going to leave Luc here at this tower.

MARISHA: That's what I'm saying, so we would be taking him someplace hot, and potentially very deadly. Wensforth.

SAM: We're not going to leave him here alone.

MARISHA: I'm not suggesting that at all. I'm suggesting we have to find another solution that's not teleporting to a plane made of flame.

SAM: Can two of us go elsewhere?

LAURA: Who was it that gave this to you?

MATT: (as Wensforth) "It wasn't given to me in particular. It was given to the master."

MARISHA: Wensforth--

MATT: "It was the Pansophical, I think."

TRAVIS: The priorities are the family members, right? Your husband and son, your mother, that's key. There are so many of us that can change our appearances, we can't be scryed on, we should split and scatter, and the family should be taken care of.

MARISHA: I agree. Wensforth, is there an entrance to the sewer from here? Or nearby? Because we've actually had pretty extensive journeys in the sewer beneath Nicodranas.

MATT: "I mean, likely. I haven't been to it."

MARISHA: No secret access in this tower?

MATT: "No, why would we go in the sewer?"

MARISHA: Fair.

TRAVIS: Do you have a shitter? (chuckling)

MATT: "I mean, yeah."

ASHLEY: Is it just like, an open--?

MATT: "No!"

SAM: You have to poop onto the ground?

MARISHA: We got in last time by taking a gate through the docks. Maybe trying to travel underground and getting out of city.

SAM: Who's fast and-- you and Fjord are pretty fast. Are you fast? You're fast. You're a fast runner.

TALIESIN: Not quiet, though.

SAM: No.

ASHLEY: 50 feet. And also--

SAM: I don't know, but I'm just trying to think. We would need Caleb to come to this other plane to get us back. And I want to stay with my family.

TALIESIN: That's a day. We would have to be there for a day.

MARISHA: We would have to sleep there.

LIAM: I-I-I have an idea.

SAM: What is it?

LIAM: You all walk away from here and I wait outside.

SAM: To talk?

MARISHA: Why?

TALIESIN: That seems like a terrible idea.

MARISHA: We went through--

LIAM: What's the other idea you have?

SAM: We split up.

MARISHA: Take the sewers. Get out of town, you know? Get out of town on foot, the old fashioned way.

LAURA: Caleb, if they take you--

SAM: What do we do?

LAURA: We can't even get back to Eiselcross without you.

SAM: Unless Yussa wakes up. But even if we got there, we can't do anything without Caleb. He's our--

TRAVIS: It's true. It's a noble thought. But we literally--

LIAM: Maybe I convince them that they are needed. Maybe I convince them that there is something bigger than their petty grievances.

SAM: And, what? They walk away and say, "Okay, you're right"?

LIAM: Maybe I trade your, um, safety for my obedience?

TALIESIN: There is no safety without you. One week.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

MARISHA: If they take you away, it means the next thing we're doing is a jail break.

LAURA: Who knows how long that will take.

TRAVIS: That's super hard. I appreciate the notion.

LIAM: They could send you. They could send you.

TRAVIS: Or kill us, or pick us off one at a time.

MARISHA: I don't think we're there yet.

LIAM: I don't know what the other solution is yet.

SAM: The other solution is four of you go to the sewers.

TRAVIS: Yep. I'm one. You're two.

MARISHA: I'll go.

TRAVIS: Who's three and four?

SAM: Or just three.

ASHLEY: I can go.

TRAVIS: We have message spells. You can reach out and find us later. We'll disappear. I'm from the Menagerie Coast. I can get us on a ship. No problem. Go to Port Damali, whatever we need to do to hide out. Just make sure the family members are taken care of. You with your mother, you with your husband and your son.

TALIESIN: I'll go wherever I'm needed.

MARISHA: We can smuggle them out. If you guys want to stay here. Is that more or less your suggestion?

TRAVIS: Yeah. Use the spell. They don't want us. They want you. And they want your mother and your family to squeeze.

TALIESIN: And they can't find us.

SAM: If we-- If we go with us and Jester, we won't have a healer.

MARISHA: (laughs)

SAM: Just kidding. (laughter)

TALIESIN: I'll also say, how long have we been here?

LIAM: Probably 20 minutes at this point.

TALIESIN: Let's say 40 more minutes, and they will have attuned. Since they haven't really been doing anything.

LIAM: They might know where we are right this moment, though.

SAM: They might be outside. Are there windows?

TRAVIS: That is fair. Is there any way to see outside of this tree? Arcane means would be preferred, rather than sticking my head through a window.

MATT: "Um, well, the windows generally can be shifted by the master, but he's not here."

TALIESIN: Oh no!

MATT: "But there are windows you can look through."

TRAVIS: You don't have a spoon you can look into and see outside, on a rotating, 180-degree axis?

SAM: That'd be a cool item.

MARISHA: That is a really cool item.

MATT: "I don't, but I'll ask the master when he comes back."

TALIESIN: I have a terrible idea.

MARISHA: It better be a good, terrible idea.

SAM: Blow up the tower?

MATT: "What--"

TALIESIN: We can hide them in the one place we know they won't be able to find them.

SAM: In the ball?

TALIESIN: (sighs) Just for a little while.

MARISHA: Caduceus!

SAM: Wait! Wait! What if some of us went in the ball, and then we could carry it as an object through this plane-shifting thing.

TRAVIS: (laughs) That's actually-- Both of those are good ideas.

SAM: I don't remember how to get out of the ball.

MARISHA: And the problem is, is that--

TRAVIS: You had to make it to an exit.

SAM: Is there time-bending stuff?

MARISHA: The time-bending stuff.

SAM: Ooh, yeah.

ASHLEY: Yeah, but you go in the ball and can't, like, two years pass?

MARISHA: Weeks. It could be weeks.

MATT: Well, if you're in the ball, time passes quickly.

ASHLEY: Time-- it feels normal to you. How it's passing?

MATT: Correct. If you're out of the ball, it goes quick. So a person who's clutching the ball and trying to hide it out, in this theoretical circumstance, for them, what would have been 30 minutes could be, like, 30 seconds to a minute--

MARISHA: Eight hours? Oh.

MATT: -- for whoever's in there.

LAURA: So really only a couple people need to go in the ball, so that we can carry those people through to the next thing. And then we can get those people out of the ball? Do we know how to get people out of the ball?

MATT: You know how to get out from the inside, so somebody would have to, would either have a spell to get them out, or to find one of the exits that you're aware of.

SAM: Oof!

TRAVIS: Yeah, it drops you in the study. And then it's a thing. Right?

SAM: You can't just get out.

ASHLEY: Is the happy fun ball safer than going to the fire plane?

LAURA: Well, we don't know if it's a fire plane, it could be-- it could be the fey realm, it could be any plane.

SAM: Dalen's Closet.

TRAVIS: I love little, shiny things that are red.

LIAM: Does the scroll indicate where the tuning fork is?

MATT: No.

LIAM: No?

MATT: The scroll's just a spell.

LIAM: And the turning fork, is the tuning fork.

MATT: Yes.

LIAM: Sweet.

MARISHA: You were going to try-- identifying it would take too long?

LIAM: Take me 10 minutes.

MARISHA: Try and identify it.

TALIESIN: Roll it.

TRAVIS: I'll go to one of the windows. (fart noise)

ASHLEY: Sorry.

SAM: Is that a nervous hand fart?

ASHLEY: That's something I do when I get nervous.

LAURA: I think we should just get out of here. I think we're giving it too much time, and they're going to figure out how to get into this tower.

LIAM: I do, too.

TALIESIN: It's going to be hard to get into here, but yeah, let's wait till we know that they know where we are.

TRAVIS: Quick question, is the tuning fork instantaneous, if you read the scroll?

LAURA: Yeah.

TRAVIS: Okay. That's the fallback.

ASHLEY and MARISHA: Yeah.

TRAVIS: If they breach this tower, you motherfuckers run. No questions.

LAURA: Well, we have to be able to read the scroll. Right?

LIAM: I can read the scroll.

SAM: For the next hour.

LAURA: Oh, okay.

TALIESIN: We're good.

TRAVIS: Let's check the window and everything else we were saying we were doing.

SAM: Oh shit.

MATT: Okay. So make a perception check as you glance out the window.

TRAVIS: Okay.

LIAM: And I begin to identify the tuning fork.

TRAVIS: Caduceus, as well. Yes, please.

TALIESIN: Yep.

MATT: Okay. Taking--

MARISHA: So family would go in the ball, right?

TALIESIN: 19.

LAURA: Or, no, family wouldn't go in the ball because they-- whoever's in the ball has to know how to get out of the ball. So we wouldn't want the family to be in there. The family would travel with Caleb and the tuning fork. And then--

LIAM: Yes.

MARISHA: And hopefully this tuning fork takes us nowhere bad that might kill the family.

LAURA: Correct.

SAM: If anyone goes in the ball, it has to be the most well-rested individuals. Who can get out safely.

MARISHA: But that's also bananas because you might need the most well-rested people to defend in whatever plane this is.

LAURA: I feel like the exhausted people go in the ball and they just sit down and rest, because it's going to be weeks.

MARISHA: An eight-hour rest.

SAM: Unless a golem comes and kills you in the ball.

LIAM: Well, I can't go in the ball.

MATT: Man, this is a pickle. (laughter)

LIAM: Caleb can't go in the ball because Caleb needs to cast the spell.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

LAURA: Yeah.

LIAM: I think you, Beauregard, has the most history and access to knowledge of arcane shit, other than Caleb.

TALIESIN: Without actually being arcane, which is a disadvantage in there.

MARISHA: But I'm fresh. Figure out where this tuning fork goes.

LIAM: You should go in with the families to protect them, and to have the knowledge to get out if Caleb can't be there to lend his advice for magical bullshit.

LAURA: I don't want the families to go in the ball! The families can't go in the ball!

MARISHA: Figure out where this tuning fork goes!

SAM: Your mom hasn't even been out of her house--

TALIESIN: Keep figuring out where we're going.

MARISHA: Yeah.

TALIESIN: What do we see by the way?

MATT: Well, you glance out from the edge of the window. You look down into the courtyard. This one perspective of the courtyard, a little bit south of where you came towards the tower, but you can make out the alley that you poked through to get here. Nothing that resembles the individuals that you--

TRAVIS: Worried about?

MATT: Are worried about at the moment.

SAM: Are there other individuals--?

MATT: But you do hear-- (banging)

SAM: What was that?

TALIESIN: That's the door.

LAURA: Somebody's at the door.

SAM: Okay.

LAURA: We just need to go. We just need to go. I'll go in the ball.

SAM: We're doing the ball? Or we're doing this splitskies go in the sewers?

ASHLEY: Or do we just talk to them?

LAURA: Nope.

ASHLEY: No, we're not talking to them. (laughter) Just throwing it out there, just in case.

TRAVIS: No, we ain't talking, we ain't talking.

LIAM: Who's going in the ball?

LAURA: I'll go in the ball.

SAM: We're doing the ball?

LIAM: Yeah.

LAURA: Mama is not going in the ball. Be safe. I don't remember how to get that on the ball, but--

TALIESIN: We need someone who knows how to get out of the ball.

MARISHA: Well, everyone who's been in the ball knows how to get out of the ball, right?

MATT: You hear from downstairs the voice of Wensforth go, "Who is it?"

MARISHA: Fucking Wensforth.

LIAM: Beauregard.

TALIESIN: Don't let them in.

LIAM: Don't worry about fighting. These people can fight. I need your mind inside the ball. You have to go in.

MARISHA: I think the exhausted people should go in, man. Everyone who's been in the ball knows how to get out. Especially if you just stay in the study and rest.

LIAM: You're not the only one who is somewhat rested. I need your mind in there.

MARISHA: Eight people can go in this teleport spell. No more people need to go in the ball then needs to go into the ball, as long as we have people who know how to get them out.

TALIESIN: Was it the dragon room? Is that how we got out?

SAM: Oh my god.

TRAVIS: That was one time.

TALIESIN: There's no dragon anymore.

TRAVIS: Nope.

SAM: Maybe?

TALIESIN: Probably.

MARISHA: All right, all right, I'll go in the ball.

TALIESIN: Oh, this is such a bad idea.

LIAM: We just need to move now.

SAM: This whole day is a bad idea.

ASHLEY: Who all's going in the ball? You're going in the ball.

TRAVIS: If you go in the ball, you'll get dropped in the study. There's one room. It's just the dragon exit. That's it.

MARISHA: That's the way out.

TRAVIS: It's just one room.

ASHLEY: There's one way out?

TRAVIS: You just have to remember which one goes to the drag-- here, take the map! Who's going in? I've got the map.

SAM: Are you going in? Where are you going?

ASHLEY: I'll go in with Beau.

MARISHA: All right.

SAM: Oh, you guys are just going to fucking make out.

ASHLEY: Yeah, obviously, but it's fine!

TRAVIS: You need at least one magic person to charge those glyphs in the dragon exit room.

ASHLEY: That's not me.

TALIESIN: Oh.

LAURA: Fuck.

SAM: Duecy.

LAURA: I'll go!

TALIESIN: Are you sure?

LAURA: I'll go.

SAM: You don't have any magic!

LAURA: It's going to be days in there!

ASHLEY: She can rest.

SAM: Okay.

MATT: At this point, you hear Wensforth saying, "I understand. But the master's not currently available. Can I take a message?"

LAURA: We have to open up the fucking ball.

SAM: How we do that?

LIAM: I open it.

TALIESIN: We're going to give you one day. If you're not out in one day.

SAM: If it's one day for us, is it like a week for them? Or is it the opposite?

MARISHA: What is it, Matt? Will you explain that again?

MATT: The time dilation, time goes by quicker when you're inside the sphere than it does outside.

SAM: So if it's a day outside, how long is it inside?

MATT: It can be many, many days.

SAM: Okay. So can bring them back in 30 minutes, and maybe that's a whole day.

MARISHA: On the inside, it could be many more days.

MATT: Correct.

LIAM: Long time passes on the outside, while less time passes--

MATT: The times you've been there, you've been like, oh, I've been here for like a day or so. Then you left and everyone's like, you've been gone for two weeks.

LAURA: Oh, that's the reverse of what I'm thinking.

MARISHA: That's bad.

LAURA: Oh, then I'm useless in there because I've got no spells, I shouldn't go.

TALIESIN: We need someone magical.

LIAM: I thought it was the other way around. So then we can't do that.

TRAVIS: We could just, teleport and scatter.

MARISHA: Because then we'd be fucked in there for weeks. And then we miss everything.

MATT: Well, no, no, no. No. Sorry to clarify this. I feel like there's miscommunication. Time passes faster when you're in the ball. Meaning, in the real world. So what should be like an hour, or a couple of hours inside the ball, is a day outside of it approximately. I've looked the math again.

MARISHA: Right.

MATT: So whoever's outside of it-- the people inside the sphere, time goes by quicker. So in theory, you could get a short rest, or a long rest in the inside of the sphere, for an hour outside of it.

ASHLEY: And I don't think anybody would. If you were inside, I don't think you would miss what's going on outside because we could bamf you out.

LAURA: It's the opposite of what you're saying, Matt.

SAM: If an hour goes by outside, how many hours go by inside?

ASHLEY: Could be days.

MATT: No! Many more.

SAM: Okay.

MATT: That's what I'm saying. Yeah.

TRAVIS: So a long rest inside the ball.

MATT: Yes, time is going faster inside the ball.

TALIESIN: Gotcha.

MATT: So-- sorry. Time is going fast-- It's just one of those weird things to describe. Because the way the architecture on the inside of the sphere is currently set, and nobody's found the device that controls the passage of time in there, currently it's set to accelerate the passage for anybody inside the sphere. That's why Halas basically wanted to skip through history.

LAURA: Right.

MATT: For a period of time, if he wanted to keep it in that forward momentum.

LAURA: You would get--

MARISHA: -- a short rest.

LAURA: Yeah. It would be like an hour inside the ball would be a day outside of the ball. So whoever goes in is not going to be able to--

MATT: Correct. Sorry.

TRAVIS: If you take a long rest in the ball, it'll be days outside.

MARISHA: Because I remember Yasha thought we were dead because we went inside the ball for, like, two days. And she was like, you were gone for a week.

MATT: Correct. Sorry. I was thinking of the idea of-- if you're using the ball to try and get people out of harm's way. As long as people are outside, necessarily, they can help them out. But it depends on how quickly the people on the inside can make their way to the exit.

TALIESIN: How many spells do we need to activate the dragon room?

LIAM: If you can go into the ball, and beeline for the exit--

TRAVIS: Two.

TALIESIN: Any level?

LIAM: You don't rest. You go as quick as you can to the exit. That means that a day or so will pass for us.

TRAVIS: I just used Eldritch Blast on both of them, and they charged up and it fed to the middle.

LAURA: You should go, Fjord, you remember how to do it.

LIAM: Yeah?

LAURA: Fjord should go.

MARISHA: Okay, and then you guys are going to go to fuck-all and rest for a day?

SAM: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Yes.

TRAVIS: I've got the map. I'll go in with you.

LIAM: Yes.

TRAVIS: You three.

TRAVIS: Okay.

MARISHA: Okay. And we're taking the family members?

LAURA: No.

SAM: No!

LAURA: They're staying out.

SAM: Do not take my son into that ball!

TRAVIS: Put us in the ball!

MARISHA: Better hope the ball isn't as bad as wherever we're going.

LAURA: He's been opening the ball the whole fucking time this whole conversation is happening.

SAM: Ball, or hell?

MARISHA: I mean, yeah, yeah.

LIAM: So it's you three and four, right? Jester, Fjord, Beau, and Yasha going in? Is that it?

ASHLEY: Only two need to go in.

MATT: You hear, "Excuse me! I'm sorry. You have to go! You can't come in here!"

LIAM: I'm opening it. I'm retracing my steps with the operation of the ball.

SAM: I'll send a quick message to Wensforth saying, Wensforth, thank you so much for this. We will make this up to you. And then, I guess we go.

MATT: Make an investigation check.

LAURA: (stressed yell)

LIAM: That is a 24.

MATT: 24.

MATT: Actually, you would have advantage on this, because you had done this before.

LIAM: Yeah.

SAM: Oh, this is the ball.

LIAM: Less, less.

LAURA: -- but I'm guiding you.

LIAM: Guiding me? Well, if I'm allowed the Guidance, the highest roll will be 27.

MATT: 27. Okay. Normally you have to say that in advance. Because you trace the elements here, and there are multiple solutions to this in some degree, but the one that you know, that at least will bring you to a familiar space. You go ahead and start shifting the things. Eventually the ball clicks in and at that point, and you would know that it is a radial thing, from what happened before. So for those who are not going into the sphere, you would know as he's doing this to step back.

SAM: Oh.

LIAM: Do I need to step back from it?

MATT: Well, step-- whoever-- it's a radius around the sphere.

TRAVIS: Hand me that fucking thing.

LIAM: I toss it to Fjord and say: Turn that dial on the end and then press in on the bottom.

TRAVIS: Ready?

LAURA: Be safe.

MARISHA: Us three, right?

TALIESIN: Boom, boom, boom.

ASHLEY: Them two?

MARISHA: All right.

SAM: Luc, watch this.

TALIESIN: One, two, three.

LIAM: Yeah.

MARISHA: You.

TRAVIS: (crushing) Just us.

LAURA: Bye.

ASHLEY: Us three. Us three?

LIAM: Yes.

ASHLEY: Okay.

TALIESIN: All right. Do it, open the--

TRAVIS: I did it.

TALIESIN: Open the door. Open the door.

LAURA: I grab the ball, I'm holding onto the ball.

SAM: The ball? Oh yeah.

LIAM: I will use the scroll instantaneously to open the gate.

ASHLEY: (sighs)

MATT: Okay. It is a six-second casting time.

LIAM: Okay.

MARISHA: Oh my god!

SAM: I think I can steal a few things from the room.

MATT: So as you complete the final bit of the puzzle, it clicks in. The light brightens up. And there is a sudden flash, and everyone who was in the proximity of Fjord, who had chosen to go into the sphere, are gone and the ball just-- (clanging) onto the ground.

LAURA: I run over and grab the ball. I'm holding onto the ball.

MATT: All right. And you are currently going through the scroll?

LIAM: Yes.

MATT: Reading and reading it. As you're reading it, the fork is heating up, and heating up, and heating up. And it almost begins to burn your hand, as you're pulling it down. But it's a pain you're familiar with. And as you go to complete the spell, the door entryway opens up, and you see there, darting in, you see Astrid, who looks over and kind of, hand out. You know the presence here. This is the at-the-ready for a Counterspell. You finish reading. The rod begins to glow brightly. And-- (whooshing) All of you feel yourselves being pulled from this reality, as her hand goes limp.

TALIESIN: (sighs)

SAM: She let us go.

TRAVIS: Again.

SAM: It's like Rolf in Sound Of Music. (laughter)

MATT: And, because that's a fun cutting point, I'll go ahead and leave it there for tonight.

SAM: No, Matt, no!

MARISHA: No, where are we?!

MATT: (laughs)

MARISHA: Where are we all?

LIAM: Find out in a week?

MATT: Yeah.

TALIESIN: I know where you are!

TRAVIS: We'll figure it out live. Cool.

MATT: Yeah, good to figure it out as we go.

LIAM: Yeah, it's better to find out live.

MATT: That's what I figured. I was like, I could keep going, but I think we're right around the three-hour mark.

LIAM: Oh, that's cool!

MATT: And I think it's a fun beat to pick up on next time.

LIAM: Oh, yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

SAM: My bowels!

MARISHA: I know! My back is hurting from clenching.

TALIESIN: We've been ran our butts off today.

ASHLEY: Yeah.

LIAM: So intense from start to finish.

ASHLEY: This was high octane. (laughter)

LAURA: That was such a fun idea. I hope it pays off.

TALIESIN: I hope we don't lose three members of the party to the astral plane.

MATT: I'm not going to lie, it's pretty fucking clever. I was like, huh. We'll see how it pans out.

MARISHA: Sorry, not to get too in the weeds about that time-passage thing.

MATT: Oh! No, no, no.

MARISHA: Wanted to make sure we weren't going to get fucked.

MATT: It's important, yeah.

LIAM: That was out of story.

MATT: That was entirely out of story.

TALIESIN: I'd like to think we were all arguing amongst ourselves like, no time moves fast. Don't remember time moves fast?

MATT: Yeah. I feel like we were arguing the same thing. And then, because we kept arguing about the same thing, I felt like I was explaining it wrong. And it turns out I ended up explaining it wrong while trying to re-explain it. Yeah. Anyway, we got there eventually and that's what matters.

LIAM: (stoner voice) If you think about it, is time even real?

MARISHA: It's a construct, man. Just like this golem over here that's about to eat our face.

MATT: This all started with one errant fireball. (laughs)

LIAM: (sighs)

MATT: Man, wow.

TALIESIN: So you guys just book towards the exit now, and it should be more or less fine.

MARISHA: Theoretically.

SAM: Sure, yeah.

LIAM: That shit probably moves around.

MARISHA: Yeah.

ASHLEY: There's a lot I didn't get to see.

TRAVIS: I've really wanted to see the crystal mines. Maybe one stop wouldn't hurt. (laughter)

MATT: So to clarify, to clarify the notes here so we have it, who went into the happy fun ball?

TRAVIS: Beau. Yasha.

SAM: Beau. Yasha, Fjord.

LIAM: It's that fish date.

MATT: You got it.

LIAM: Part two.

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: And then everyone else traveled to wherever it seems that rod is attuned to. All righty. Child and mother and Yeza in tow.

LIAM: Rock and roll.

MATT: Fantastic. Well, we'll pick up from there next episode. (laughs) Thank you all for joining us. We love you very much. And is it Thursday yet? Good night.

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