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List of Transcripts

Pre-ShowEdit

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. Tonight is going to be interesting based on where we left off last time, but before we get to all of that, let me get through tonight’s announcements for you guys so we can get to the game proper. For those of you who are drinking: first shot, there you go. First and foremost, tonight’s episode is brought to you by our good friends at Loot Crate!

ALL: Loot Crate!

MATT: Sam, did you want to take us away?

SAM: Guys! Loot Crate has a brand new theme for December, Revolution! They’re always watching, they’ve designed a system to keep you down, they’re meddlesome, it’s time for a revolution! Here’s the thing. Every week I do these sort of funny bits about Loot Crate. This week, it’s going to be hard for me, because– to get real with you guys for a second– my son, this morning, at his preschool they found that his pre-school’s bunny has deceased.

(sympathetic noises)

SAM: And so they wanted me– I talked to some of the kids. Some of the kids are actually– they like the show? And they asked if I could bring the bunny in a Loot Crate to pay tribute.

LAURA: I do not believe you. You’re not–

SAM: So it’s here. Because this makes the bunny sort of part of the show. And the kids and the parents helped a little, they wrote a little something to commemorate the bunny and I’m going to read that for the kids. For the kids! What can be said about Dennis the Hopper? The bestest bunny the Little Explorer’s classroom ever had, the way he always jumped left paw first, or nibbled on Olivia’s Yo Gabba Gabba backpack? The way he pooped whenever Maddie picked him up. We’ll miss your floppy ears, your soft fur, but most of all, your inner beauty. Love, the Little Explorers: Maddie, Olivia, Salinger, Paris, Justice, Woodley, Appalonia, DeGrass, Garvey, Barack, Sashimi, Neptune, Sevigny, Coachella, Aaliyah, Walnut, and Kevin.

MARISHA: To be fair, that sounds like a southern California school. Silverlake!

SAM: And now to honor their request to make the bunny part of Critical Role forever, I’m going to–

TRAVIS: Don’t touch it, man!

SAM: We’ll miss you, Dennis.

TRAVIS: How long has that chicken been sitting in that box?

SAM: Little long.

(laughter)

LIAM: Hi to PETA, by the way.

TRAVIS: Fucking hell. We have these amazing Loot Crate DX boxes!

MATT: Go to lootcrate.com/criticalrole and use the promo code CriticalRole, one word, you get 10% off your first month of Loot Crate. Sam couldn’t say that because his mouth is full of bunny. But let’s go ahead and open.

MARISHA: The DX boxes aren’t the clothes boxes, are they?

LAURA: No, no no. That’s Loot Crate Clothes. But wait!

MATT: That’s actually really cool.

LAURA: Is there Gears of War stuff in here? I thought there might be.

MATT: All about the Harry Potter blanket.

LAURA: Shut up!

TRAVIS: I’m a Baratheon, man, this means a lot to me!

MATT: Look at this blanket, guys: Wanded, and Extremely Dangerous.

MARISHA: It’s going to take me the whole unboxing to get it open.

TRAVIS: Holy shit!

TALIESIN: There’s a Witcher Wild Hunt medallion paperweight.

MATT: I need more of these medallions, by the way.

LIAM: Is that an Eye of Acomodo for my shirt?!

LAURA: What’s the Harry Potter thing?

TRAVIS: It’s a Hogwarts book clip.

MATT: You’re slowly becoming more and more your character.

LIAM: Yeah, he talks just like this!

TALIESIN: This is not kidding around, this is kind of intense!

SAM: Does that go on your car, what is that?

TALIESIN: It’s a paperweight. You could brain somebody with this.

MATT: This will be a murder weapon in some case over the next year.

TRAVIS: This is so legit!

TALIESIN: That’s a bottle opener right there.

TRAVIS: Since 1963, drawing what acid does to your brain.

LAURA: Thanks, Loot Crate!

MARISHA: This is my further transformation to actually becoming Melisandre in School of Thrones.

SAM: Did we show this yet?

MARISHA: Yeah, if anyone doesn’t know, Matt produced, and I helped him in it, we were in this web series called School of Thrones, like four years ago. You make a cameo in it.

TALIESIN: Yeah, I have a cameo in it.

MATT: It’s ridiculous.

MARISHA: It’s basically Game of Thrones in a John Hughes film. Just watch it.

MATT: Watch it!

LAURA: I really like this.

TALIESIN: I’m stealing some of this stuff.

TRAVIS: I’m a Slytherin prefect, you need to go to bed, Mr. Mercer. I apparently have an accent for some reason.

SAM: Guys, I’m going to keep the box in case the preschool’s parrot dies.

TRAVIS: Yeah, you going to start a pet cemetery?

MATT: Awesome. Thank you, Loot Crate. As a heads up, guys, next week on December 6th from 6:00 to 7:00pm, they’re doing a Puzzle Quest special stream here on Geek & Sundry, and a number of us are going to be there with Ivan. Big thank you to Magic the Gathering Puzzle Quest for putting this together. You guys probably remember back in September a few of us showed up for Game the Game Goes Critical, and thanks to you guys supporting that show, they’ve come back to have us go ahead and do this again. So we’ll be here next Tuesday from 6:00 to 7:00, leading right up into Talks Machina, messing around. You can check out their game, Magic the Gathering Puzzle Quest, on iOS and Android devices, and we’ll see you guys hopefully next Tuesday.

(air horn)

SAM: Whoa!

TRAVIS: Wow. That’s so appropriate.

LIAM: That’s my butt!

MATT: I approve now. If that happens during the game at any given point in time, that’s disadvantage.

(air horn)

MATT: Unless it’s really funny.

LIAM: Sound the horns.

MATT: Choose carefully, Liam. Choose carefully. It’s like telling a kid he can choose his own punishment, it’s dangerous. Also, we’re helping support the amazing charity, Worldbuilders, with Patrick Rothfuss and a number of other great authors. You can find out more at worldbuilders.org. They bring the power of readers and writers and all that type of creativity together, to raise money to help make the world a better place. Go check it out, it’s a wonderful group and we’ll hopefully be doing more things with them coming up in the near future. Those announcements will come as we go forward, but Patrick Rothfuss, who’s a friend of the show, was a guest on Critical Role–

LIAM: I’m not really very familiar with Patrick Rothfuss–

MATT: You should read some of his stuff, it’s pretty good, he’s a good writer. And apparently is now making a show with Lin-Manuel.

MARISHA: I hear they’re besties. He’s actually my new bestie.

MATT: That’s right, yeah, you got a cool ring.

MARISHA: Yeah, he gave me a ring, yeah. My new best friend.

SAM: He put a ring on it?!

TALIESIN: It is the six degrees of Lin-Manuel now, isn’t it? Kevin Bacon has been unthroned.

MATT: We’re all slowly making our way towards getting him on the show. That’s the goal.

TALIESIN: Lin-Manuel, on the show.

LIAM: I’m willing to wait for it.

MARISHA: Lin-Manuel, on this show. This one.

MATT: Next up, this next Monday, actually, we are doing the final wrap-up episode of Force Grey: Giant Hunters live at the Egyptian Theater here in Hollywood from 5:00-8:30pm next Monday. We’ll also be streaming it. The tickets are free, by the way, so if you’re in the vicinity, go ahead and get some tickets, come join us. We have a great cast, a couple of new members are joining in for this. It’s going to be a lot of fun and a great finale for the Force Grey series. Those who watched the Acquisitions Inc series and their PAX game, there might be a few fun little nods in there as well. So, anyway, much love to you guys if you can make it, if not we’ll see you on Twitch on Monday regardless! And last but not least, here on Geek & Sundry there is coming up the Dick and Johnson Ultimate Christmas Special, with lots of familiar faces. Zach Carr is DMing this, it’s a kick ass and chew bubblegum game, I’m sure you’ve seen it probably on Game the Game before, it’s a great game. It’s been on a few other projects here. But Hector and Keller, they’re going to be playing through your favorite BFF duo to save everything in the world. There might be some cameos, a bunch of rapid-fire cameos throughout the show, so check out the Dick and Johnson Save Christmas special at December 12, at 4:00pm Pacific here on Twitch. It’s going to be fun.

TRAVIS: That is the best name.

MATT: Might be showing up off screen, just to heckle people. Or more. We’ll find out. All right, any other announcements?

LIAM: Yeah, she’s trying to keep it on the down low, but Laura doesn’t have any of her dice, really. She has three sets instead of the usual ten.

LAURA: I brought my bag of dice home for the holiday and then I didn’t bring it–

SAM: Why did you bring it home?

LAURA: I maybe was going to give some of our dice to our winners for the costume contest.

SAM: But instead–

LAURA: I just left them at home.

SAM: I have a bag of dice in there that I’ve never used.

LAURA: I have a lot of dice, I just don’t have all my dice, you guys. I still have a bunch up here.

TRAVIS: She literally has 300 over here.

LAURA: I do, I have a lot. But thank you!

TALIESIN: We’re doomed.

MARISHA: Speaking of charities, before we go on. Speaking of charities, I would still like to give a shout-out to 826LA, who we so love and support. They’re great. People will send us tweets being like, “Hey, do you guys still support 826LA?” Always, I don’t think you can stop supporting 826LA.

TALIESIN and MARISHA: I don’t know, they know what they did.

TALIESIN: And they have their own shop also, and if you’re interested you can go and shop at 826, and they have super cool posters and books. And buttons, and all sorts of stuff that you can get that they put out that are super super cool.

MARISHA: And I’ve seen people take you up on your suggestion that it’s always a great date place.

TALIESIN: It is such a good date place.

MARISHA: We’ve had people tweet at us and be like, we took you up on that, and it is a good date place, because they have cute store fronts, so you should go.

TALIESIN: Yeah. The actual quality of the date is not guaranteed, but the quality of the venue–

MARISHA and TALIESIN: No. That depends on you.

MARISHA: And we can’t help that.

SAM: Could you do a wedding there if you wanted to?

TALIESIN: A very small one.

SAM: Or a bar mitzvah, or maybe a bris?

TALIESIN: A very small wedding, or a wedding with small people.

SAM: All right.

MATT: All righty then. On that note, unless anyone else has anything to say we are going to dive into tonight’s episode of Critical Role.

[dramatic music]

Part IEdit

MATT: Welcome back, everyone. Including my party. Who need to calm the fuck down.

(laughter)

LIAM: Party!

MATT: So, picking up where we left off last time. The group of intrepid adventurers known as Vox Machina have been making their way through their quest to take down the Chroma Conclave, a group of chromatic dragons who have been terrorizing the countryside in Tal'Dorei under the rule of Thordak the Cinder King, a great, powerful, and seemingly elementally charged ancient red dragon who sits in the center of the city of Emon. After gathering the rest of the artifacts you guys have been seeking, called the Vestiges of Divergence, the last one being found in the City of Brass upon the Fire Elemental Plane, you traveled back to Fort Daxio, a northern fort north of Emon, where you were planning a trap of some kind for Thordak. Upon arriving with two charges of yours, two previously enslaved celestial-blooded boys that you found in the City of Brass, you all traveled across the planes, with the help of Keyleth, back to Fort Daxio to find the landscape scarred with recent flame and apparently a battle raging at the outer gate. That is where we left off. So, you guys, looking northward, you can see the large plumes of black smoke billowing up from the direction of the fort. The outer wall seems to have sustained some damage. You can see a number of flying entities swooping in. Dozens of them, while you can hear the distant sound of combat, shouts and battle. You guys, as you land and realize this, you can see the two slaves, who have now been freed and taken with you, both look immediately wide eyed and freaked out and closed off. What are you guys doing?

TRAVIS: This is fine.

MARISHA: So much safer here, kids.

LAURA: We need to get them safe.

SAM: Who safe? The place is on fire. They’re not safe.

LAURA: I take off on my broom and fly up in the air.

SAM: Ah! Wait! You forgot your hat!

LAURA: I want to see up and over the wall and see what’s going on on the inside.

MATT: Okay. So you fly up and head up over the front wall.

LAURA: I don’t want to go in, I just want to look.

MATT: Right. So you fly up and get a vantage point to see what’s going on over the wall.

LAURA: Yes.

TRAVIS: You’re going to get seen.

MATT: As you crest up in the air, you notice that there are a number of soldiers currently battling possibly a hundred or more lizard men that have swarmed into the fort, as well as a number of– and go ahead and make a perception check actually to see if you can make some good detailed elements out.

TRAVIS: First roll of the night.

LAURA: First roll, first roll, first roll. Here we go. 27.

MATT: 27. All right. These are wyvern riders. This is a group of wyvern riders, with lizard men, that have swooped in. You can see a number of the siege elements that have been built by Percy over there, some have been firing off on the inside or at least ones that were installed in the actual fort base. You also see a distant explosion, a flash of light on one of the walls on the inside. There is the outer wall, and there is a courtyard in the actual fortress itself. The front gates to the inner courtyard have already been breached, and most of the battle is happening inside the main courtyard.

TRAVIS: Are we outside the courtyard or inside?

MATT: As you’re noticing this, you watch as two wyverns are now swooping in your direction from the outside of the outer wall.

SAM: Because they saw you.

MARISHA: So we’re on the outside of the wall?

MATT: You guys are far south, probably a good quarter-mile south of the fort, on the outside of the wall.

TALIESIN: I say we starting making our way and deal with this.

LAURA: Yeah. I draw– are they close enough to shoot them?

MATT: You can wait until they’re close enough. They’re a little bit out of your range right now.

TALIESIN: Is it possible they’re out of Bad News’ range or is that even humanly possible?

MATT: You know what, as of right now, you could probably hit one of them with Bad News.

TALIESIN: All right. I double check. Speak now or forever hold your peace, I’m doing this.

MATT: What’s the long range on it?

TALIESIN: 1,200.

MATT: Okay. You bear down and you–

TALIESIN: 1,200 feet. 1,200 feet.

MATT: Yeah. Go for it. And Laura, you still have to wait at this point. You’re readying your shot.

LAURA: Yeah. But I Hunter’s Mark one of them.

MATT: Okay. Aiming for–

LAURA: Oh wait, it’s probably a ranged thing too.

MATT: It’s okay. You’re currently selecting a wyvern or the rider to fire at?

LAURA: The rider.

TALIESIN: All right. Taking a shot. Oh, that’ll do! 30.

MATT: The explosion from the front of the muzzle of Bad News fires off, the spark and flame and smoke billowing forth. The shot has no impact. It looks like, from gauging at this distance, it was just outside of the range.

LAURA: Oh, they’re 1,200 feet away, they’re that far?

MATT: It’s hard to gauge really, at that distance, whether or not they were there, but apparently the bullet lost momentum by the time it reached their position.

TALIESIN: Okay. Reload.

MARISHA: Let’s move in.

LAURA: Can I shout down and yell, get the boys safe! But I don’t know who I’m shouting it to, just one of you guys–

TRAVIS: More impassioned.

LAURA: (yelling) Get the boys safe!

SAM: Oh my god. We have to get these boys to safety.

TRAVIS: Do we?

MARISHA: Why don’t we have them run? Have them run. Yeah. I grab them and I say, run that way. Don’t die. They’re good.

LAURA: Seriously?

TALIESIN: Actually, I’ve got a better idea.

MARISHA: What?

TALIESIN: Hand them one of the stones.

MARISHA: All right, yeah, sure. I hand them a gatestone.

TALIESIN: We’ll find you when it’s safe. Hide wherever you need to. Stay away from the castle. We will find you when it’s safe.

MARISHA: Hide in the bushes, don’t go far.

SAM: Or go anywhere.

MATT: They nod and they take the stone, and they start running off towards the western edge of this valley, which has the two cliffsides that come into the valley here. A lot of the nearby brush appears to have been burned on the way.

MARISHA: Oh, fuck. I say, try and stay unseen!

MATT: They go darting off, keeping low, and you get the sense that they’re used to fleeing, so they dart off, arm in arm, rushing off towards the side of the valley wall.

SAM: So they’re gone forever.

MATT: You have time to reload before they get close enough for her to fire, so if you want to take another shot.

TALIESIN: Sure. I’ll take another shot.

LAURA: Should I hang out and wait or should we–

TALIESIN: Actually, let’s head as a group towards this. I say we run and we take everything that’s heading towards us. I’ll wait until they’re close enough that I can get a good–

MARISHA: We all charge for the gate.

MATT: Okay, so you guys are all charging towards the outer gate. What are you doing, Vex? You watch the rest of your party darting–

MARISHA: I Message to Vex, and I say, what do you see? How many wyverns are there? Do you see any dragons?

LAURA: Do I see any dragons?

MATT: Currently you do not see any dragons at the–

LAURA: I don’t see any dragons, but it looks like about a hundred enemies.

SAM: Hundred! Is that true? I missed that one.

MATT: Yes.

TRAVIS: That’s a lot.

SAM: (laughing) That’s more than two.

TRAVIS: Is it?

LIAM: What do you sense? Do you sense dragons?

LAURA: Well, that’s going to take a minute.

LIAM: I’d work on that.

SAM: All right, let’s just charge in blindly! There’s no cover out here, right?

MATT: There is no cover.

SAM: Let’s take out those fucking riders.

MARISHA: We have an Avengers moment. We’re running. Like Guardians of the Galaxy!

TRAVIS: That’s like Chariots of Fire. You’re doing the wrong music.

MARISHA: Okay, you know what, any movie where they run in slow motion toward something, which happens a lot.

MATT: There you go. As you guys are charging towards the blown-open gates to the outer courtyard of Fort Daxio, with Vex swooping down on her broom with the bow out, you watch as these wyvern riders come swooping down in your direction. Their claws extended, their tails and stingers out forward, they come swooping down. Go ahead and take a shot. You can take a shot as well.

TALIESIN: I’m taking my first shot. I’m also making it a wing shot.

LAURA: So I Hunter’s Marked them as soon as they were close enough.

MATT: Yes. Hunter’s Mark. There’s two, and a third one has joined, a little behind now. They’re coming upon you. Which one do you Hunter’s Mark?

LAURA: The one that’s biggest?

MATT: Hard to gauge at this distance.

LAURA: The one that’s closest.

MATT: Okay, there you go.

TALIESIN: Wing shot, first one.

LAURA: And I am a third level rogue now.

TALIESIN: 30.

LAURA: So I get advantage on my attack, if they haven’t attacked me yet, right? If they haven’t taken a turn?

MATT: I believe, looking at the specifics there–

LAURA: As an assassin? At your third level, you get advantage if you get the drop, if they haven’t taken a turn yet.

MATT: Technically–

LAURA: They’re moving?

MATT: They know you’re around. This is less like they haven’t acted yet. They’ve been acting. Every round, they’ve been dashing toward you. So you do not have the drop on them, as they’ve been making a beeline since the beginning. Apologies.

LAURA: Well, all right. I guess I’ll just have a 32 attack, then.

MATT: Okay, I want you and Percy to both roll damage on those attacks, as these are both guided at the same individual.

TALIESIN: Okay.

LAURA: 21, and then– That is awesome.

TALIESIN: 26 points of damage, and he has to make a strength save against becoming prone.

LAURA: Do I get sneak attack on this?

MATT: No, you would not, unfortunately.

LAURA: Okay, so it’s just 21 damage, with four of lightning.

MATT: Okay! So, as you hear the explosion at the front of the muzzle of Bad News take off, the arrow whizzing through the air, both impacting into each side of the wyvern, you watch as one of its wings tears open. It tumbles forward, the rider thrown off its back and clutching onto its reins, flipping over the side as it corkscrews and slams into the ground about 150, 200 feet behind you, skidding across the dirt.

LAURA: Oh, I didn’t do Hunter’s Mark damage!

MATT: Go for it.

LAURA: An additional three.

MATT: Okay. Effectively slammed and left behind in the dust right now, it’s going to have to get up and rush to try and catch up to you guys. The other two are swooping down now and have managed to get up–

LAURA: Do I get my second attack?

MATT: You do get your second attack, yes. You could as well, for your round.

LAURA: 21.

MATT: Hits.

TALIESIN: Same thing, with a drop.

SAM: Can I extend my arm, with my Wand of Fireballs ready to shoot?

MATT: Yeah, actually.

LAURA: 18 damage.

SAM: How far are they?

MATT: At this point, they’re maybe 150 feet from you.

TALIESIN: I don’t crit on a 19 yet, do I?

MATT: No.

MARISHA: Do you ever get that?

MATT: At a higher level.

LAURA: Trinket crits on a 19.

MATT: Trinket’s cool like that.

MARISHA: Why can’t you be Trinket? We love the bear more than you, Percy.

TALIESIN: Oh, I know. 32 to hit.

MATT: And the save? What’s the DC, again?

TALIESIN: I believe it’s–

MATT: You have to write down your DC, man.

TALIESIN: I used to. Oh, 19. It’s there, I just couldn’t see.

MATT: There you go. This one now, as you guys both– you pull back and release your second arrow, and you take Bad News, reload it, and then fire again– you watch as this time, one of the wings breaks at the hinge. It folds under itself. The rider, this time, as opposed to holding on, is thrown and plummets the rest of the distance, hitting the ground with a very heavy (splat) against the stonework, his head scattering. The wyvern ends up slamming into the ground and skidding off into a big cloud of dust behind you as well, as you guys continue pushing forward. However, that does complete your round. The last one does swoop down and is going to– You’re making the loudest noise and got the most attention, so it’s going to swoop in your direction, Percival. It’s going to come on down, it’s going to make two attacks on you, and then harry and lift up. That’s with its bite. That’s going to be a miss. It goes to snatch at you with its bite, and you duck out of the way. However, the stinger comes up from behind. That is a 19 to hit.

TALIESIN: That just barely hits.

MATT: Just barely hits? Okay. As the stinger slams into your shoulder, that is ten points of piercing damage. I need you to make a constitution saving throw.

TALIESIN: One of those again, okay. Ten points of damage and a constitution saving throw.

TRAVIS: (singing) Roll high, you blue-haired motherfucker.

SAM: It’s, like, blue and purple.

TALIESIN: I’m going to do a Resolve.

MATT: Okay, to take that saving throw again? Go for it.

TALIESIN: That’s even worse. Do I have to take the worse one for the Resolve?

MATT: It’s whatever you rolled the second time, I think.

TALIESIN: Can I burn another Resolve, just to fuck it, because this is annoying me?

LIAM: If it’s like Luck, it’s a no.

MATT: Let me double check, just a moment.

LAURA: Does it petrify you?

TALIESIN: I’ll find out!

MATT: All right, so. This is your Indomitable? Not Resolve, your Indomitable. You must use the new roll.

TALIESIN: Okay, that’s a 12.

MATT: A 12? No. All right, so, as the poison courses through your body, the stinger itself pulling forth, you see a bit of black-greenish liquid spill out as it pulls itself out of the wound. You suffer 24 points of poison damage as it then lifts back up out of range and is going to circle around. You guys all still running? You see Percy get hit.

SAM: Can I take my Fireball shot?

MATT: You can now. Because it was coming very close before you had the opportunity to hit, it swings up past and you can now, reaching behind, get a Fireball wand shot if you want.

SAM: I will take my Fireball wand shot.

LIAM: How high in the air is it?

MATT: At this point now, as it swooped past, it’s about 40, 45 feet away? A safe enough distance for the Fireball to not blow up his own party.

SAM: It’s got a DC of 15, that wand.

MATT: That is a no. It rolled a three. So go ahead and roll damage.

SAM: Can I fire more than one charge, or should I have said that already?

MATT: You should have said that at the beginning. It’s a basic.

SAM: Never mind. So, it’s 8d6, right?

MATT: 8d6, you got it. And what are you doing, Vax?

LIAM: If I can attack, I’m throwing daggers.

MATT: Yeah, you can do that, as it sweeps past after getting the rapid stinger into the chest.

LIAM: First gets 26, second is a 19.

MATT: Okay, both hit.

LIAM: Okay, dagger, dagger, dagger.

SAM: 33.

LIAM: 14 for the first, and the second is eight. That’s it. It’s within 40 feet, you said?

MATT: Yeah, as it swoops past.

LIAM: I am going to Channel Divinity and use a Vow of– oh, I can’t. Can I ditch the second attack?

MATT: Nah, you’ve already confirmed it.

SAM: Also, Matthew, I don’t know if this affects anything. I am exhausted. Does that change anything?

MATT: Correct. You have one point of exhaustion, which means that your ability checks are at disadvantage. Keyleth, Grog, do you guys want to do anything while it passes overhead?

MARISHA: You go first.

TRAVIS: No, please, ladies first. No, I insist.

MARISHA: Okay. I run to Percy and I grab and pick him up and keep running, and I say, let me know if you’re poisoned.

TALIESIN: Do I feel–?

MATT: It was a burning pain through your body, but it subsided after the original poison coursed through your body. So you fought it off sufficiently afterward.

MARISHA: Okay, I help him up and I say, come on! And we keep running.

MATT: Okay, you guys keep running. Grog?

TRAVIS: The one that Vax shot that hit the ground–

LAURA: I’m Vex.

TRAVIS: Yeah, whatever.

MATT: Yeah, that’s 200 feet behind you.

TRAVIS: Oh, it’s 200 feet.

MATT: You guys have been running this whole time as it went overhead and crashed into the ground behind you.

TRAVIS: Oh, I’m good.

MATT: Okay, you guys just keep running? Okay. So, as you guys continue to run forward, it swings around after the Fireball detonates, and you see it wobble in the air for a second. 33 points. The rider has turned to ash, blown off the top of it. The wyvern, however, has still found its target and turns around and on its own is swooping back towards the group of you guys. You’re now about halfway towards the front gate of the keep, of Fort Daxio. You guys, both Percy and Vex, with ranged weapons, you can take your shot now as it’s turning around and returning to you guys, still charging forward.

LAURA: Hunter’s Mark!

MATT: All right, so you move your Hunter’s Mark over to that guy? Go for it.

LAURA: 25.

MATT: That hits.

LAURA: 23.

MATT: All right. 23 damage, nice. All righty.

LAURA: On the first arrow.

MATT: Yes. Second one?

LAURA: That is, what, 23? Yeah. 23.

TRAVIS and LAURA: 22.

MATT: Right, so there’s five plus three for this, and it’s plus eight damage– Oh, to hit! Okay. Both hit. I was like, that’s really high damage for arrows! My apologies.

TRAVIS: Two ones in a row.

LAURA: Shut up! Ugh! 13.

MATT: 13 damage?

LAURA: Three ones in a row!

TRAVIS: I guess you’ve got to throw those dice away! Only 900 left.

MATT: So running forward, you turn around behind, over your shoulder. You switch your actual direction of arrows you normally fire with and turn the other way. Both arrows sink into it and you see it wobble in the air. Percy.

TALIESIN: I’m going to take, on the fall-down, I put Bad News away and I pull Animus out because it’s closer now. So I can take easier pot shots at it. 31.

MATT: Hits.

TALIESIN: How many shots, can I take a full round of shots, or–?

MATT: You can if you want to.

TALIESIN: I’ll take a full round. 31. 26.

MATT: 26 hits.

TALIESIN: And 33.

MATT: All three hit. Go ahead and roll damage.

TALIESIN: Where are my d10s at? That’s not a d10. There we go. That’s three shots, it’s 17–

SAM: So much math!

TALIESIN: I’m making sure I do this right because– 24 points, 34 points, 41 points of damage plus–

MATT: Not on one hit. That’s all of his attacks.

TALIESIN: Three, it’s three, yeah. 41 points of damage plus ten points of psychic damage.

MATT: Nice.

TALIESIN: That was three shots.

MATT: All righty, so all three shots pelt it in the chest. You can see giant sections of its meaty chest blown open and it’s streaking dark wyvern blood behind it. However, it’s still flying. The fervor on its face as it’s near death is causing it to get more intense as it swoops down toward you. Streaking out, the tail ends up curling beneath. It’s going to take a shot toward you, Percy, as you were the one that most recently hit it and did the most damage. With the bite, that is a 24 to hit.

TALIESIN: Oh, that hits.

MATT: And the stinger is at only a 13 to hit.

TALIESIN: That does not hit!

MATT: So, the stinger, seeing it coming this way, you duck out of the way. However, its giant wyvern jaws clamp down and streak across your shoulder as the momentum pulls it past, dragging it across the back. For that, you suffer ten points of piercing damage.

MARISHA: That’s not too bad.

MATT: As it comes down at that point, it’s back in range for any of you melee folk that want to take a swing at it. Grog?

TRAVIS: Can I rage, and can I take a swing at Falcor, please?

MATT: Yes, you can!

TRAVIS: Okay! Lovely.

LIAM: We have no initiative, so I don’t know who’s where. Am I close enough to go after Grog?

MATT: Yes. I’m keeping tabs because this is more of a flyby as you guys are running.

TRAVIS: Could I make it a reckless attack, please?

MATT: Sure, yeah. A lot of these are happening simultaneously.

TRAVIS: 25.

MATT: That hits. Go ahead and roll damage.

TRAVIS: Nine, 22, plus two points of necrotic, 24.

MATT: Okay, as it swoops down and bites into Percy’s arm as it drags up in the air, you watch as a very fast-running Grog, who’s been ahead of the group at this point, his speed is higher than anybody, spins around, axe in the air, and carves right through the front of its chest to its back. It (screeching) and slides into two pieces that then scatter into the ground, smearing black darkness across the dry, desert floor. You guys continue to run forward. Currently, all your harrying wyverns are way too far behind and damaged or not paying attention, before you guys are just now reaching the outside of the busted Fort Daxio outer wall, where the front gates are collapsed inward and slightly burned.

TRAVIS: Didn’t seem like that big of a problem. That was not so tough.

LAURA: There’s a hundred more guys inside, Grog!

TRAVIS: I know, you keep saying that number, like I know what it means, so let’s get it on.

MARISHA: Grog, Grog! 100 needs three hands to make.

TRAVIS: How many hands?

MARISHA: It needs–

TRAVIS: How many?

LAURA: Keep running!

MARISHA: Okay. Keep running! Keep running!

TALIESIN: It’s not helpful.

MATT: You guys all go into the front gates?

LAURA: I’m on the broom, so I’m up and over the wall.

MATT: Okay. You come up over the top of the wall. As you get up over the top, immediately you see they have two large ballistae. The number of ballistae installed throughout the walls here, two of them have already been torn apart and whoever was manning them is lying on the ground, torn open and dead. But you do also see other dead lizardmen. It looks like a fight has been going on for a short time here and has been a back and forth. As you guys come into the main courtyard, you find the ground is charred with small flames that are still burning on bushes, and elements of piles of broken wood and things that were part of the encampment that just caught fire. You can see groups of lizardmen battling various soldiers, some of them still screaming and the sound of lizard-like battle cries as they charge in, slamming weapon against weapon, shield against face. This is an actual small-scale war happening inside here. It’s hard to tell which side is winning. A lot of the soldiers are better-trained, but occasionally you watch as a wyvern swoops down and picks up a soldier and throws them off the side, and slams into the ground, no longer moving.

MARISHA: Do we see anyone we know?

SAM: Where’s Elle?

MARISHA: Do we see Allura?

MATT: Perception check.

MARISHA: Come on, opal dice. That’s not bad! 26.

SAM: Oh, disadvantage.

MATT: Disadvantage for you, buddy.

SAM: Oh, okay. 14.

MATT: Okay. So the two of you, as soon as you dart inside and glance over, you can see nobody that catches your familiar eye. Everyone who is in armor is in full armor. They’re all in the actual Fort Daxio defense regalia and they are covered in blood, they’re covered in soot and they are not paying attention to you because they are fighting for their lives right now. You can see there are a number of tents to the side, dried trees that have burnt out entirely. You can see a number of the trebuchets that you have repaired earlier that have already torn down, or at least have suffered partial damage from fire or other elements, bludgeoning.

MARISHA: But there doesn’t seem to be any tabards from Emon, or any tabards from Syngorn or anything like that?

MATT: No. It looks like when this began, currently only Daxio’s army was here. And is here currently.

MARISHA: I mean, that still sucks. But okay.

MATT: Yeah. You do watch and see as currently, there is no tension toward you because the battles happening right now are still happening. You see multiple soldiers gathering around wyverns that have been dragged to the ground with chain or have nets thrown over them, and soldiers are gashing, running up and slashing and stabbing as they can, while the lizardman carves its way through, and takes its spear and starts piercing out with its shield. As you look around, nothing but insanity going around. What are you guys doing?

LAURA: Are there any clusters that look like not a lot of our soldiers around, just lizardmen? Or is it all mixed in together?

MATT: It’s all mixed in right now. It’s a free-for-all. There’s no group of lizardmen sitting around and waiting out for a target.

LAURA: Are there any wyverns in the sky that don’t see us?

MATT: There are a number of wyverns scattered that are currently swooping down and being part of the chaos.

MARISHA: About how many wyverns?

MATT: Currently not engaged on the ground? I’d say about seven.

TRAVIS: Can I go full murderhobo status and find a group of people on the ground that need help?

MATT: Yeah, totally.

LAURA: I want to try to get a sneak attack on one of the wyverns.

MARISHA: I’m going to also go for the wyverns.

TALIESIN: I’m going to activate my spider-climbing boots and going to reload and I’m going to start walking around and pot-shotting anything on the ground that’s giving trouble. If I see somebody, I’m shooting until they stop.

MATT: Okay. There are masses of lizardmen in this area that are in the middle of the fray. As soon as you guys storm in and start making noise, making your presence know, a number of them who are waiting for a way to pierce in and get their weapons into the last of these soldiers that are fighting off, as best they can, the last stand they have here at the outside of Fort Daxio, some of them turn over their shoulders and see you and start rushing in. You guys, with ranged weapons, you go first. Go ahead and roll attacks on this.

LAURA: I get advantage because the wyverns don’t see me, right?

MATT: The wyverns have not seen you.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: Actually, make a stealth check, just to make sure you’ve made your way in carefully. They’re not paying attention to you, but they may or may not see you out of their peripheral.

LAURA: 19.

MATT: Okay, yeah. The one you’re aiming at has not seen you.

LAURA: Okay. 33.

MATT: 33 hits.

TALIESIN: I am going to cast on whatever the biggest one is, and I’m going to cast Hex, which I still have. And I’m taking my first shot. 28.

MATT: 28 hits.

TALIESIN: Gun jam!

TRAVIS: Damn it!

LAURA: 31. 31 on the first hit.

TALIESIN: I take five points of damage.

MATT: Okay. What was that, the first one?

LAURA: 31.

MATT: 31, nice!

LAURA: And the same, it’s another 35 attack.

MATT: That hits.

TALIESIN: Before I went down, I do 15 points of damage plus four points of psychic damage before the gun jammed.

LAURA: 25 on the second.

MATT: 25 damage? Great! So that one you’re aiming at had already taken some damage in the battle. Its rider had already been torn off of it and it’s basically on automatic tear-and-destroy mode. Both of your arrows– one finds the side of its throat. As it whips its head around to look at the direction it came with, this one finds the eye at front of its snout, sinks in, and it slowly, limply falls out in the air and smashes into the ground, maybe 25 feet to your right.

TALIESIN: It also would have taken six points of necrotic damage to it, so.

MATT: Okay, cool. You’re aiming at the same one as her?

TALIESIN: Yeah.

MATT: You guys (impact). This poor wyvern gets torn asunder.

TRAVIS: Poor, my ass!

LAURA: Poor your ass!

MATT: (laughs) Poor Travis’ ass!

SAM: Tall cup of Travis’ ass.

MATT: You watch as a number of these lizardmen, six to be exact, all start rushing in towards you guys as they were firing at the wyvern in the air. What are you guys doing at this point? You just have a wave of them coming at you right now.

LIAM: I’m following Grog to get his scraps.

MARISHA: They’re coming at us?

MATT: Yeah, you guys are still clustered together.

MARISHA: Is it a group of– how many?

MATT: Six. They’re just charging straight at you. Some have swords, shields, and spears like

(snarling).

MARISHA: Before anything crazy happens, I’m going to go ahead and pull up the Spire of Conflux and I’m going to Fireball right where they are.

MATT: As they’re charging in, you watch the staff slam into the ground. As it slams into the ground, you can see at the very tip, there’s a small piece of crystalline energy that begins to go from a dull greenish-blue to a bright red. And as it hits the apex of its glow, a single beam of red energy streaks forward towards them as they’re all charging. What’s the DC on that?

MARISHA: 19.

SAM: 19 on the Spire?!

MATT: Well, it’s whatever her spell DC is when she cast it.

SAM: Damn!

MATT: And no, none of them make it! So go ahead and roll the damage on that.

MARISHA: Wait, Fireball. I don’t know this damage.

SAM: 8d6. Radius 20.

MARISHA: Give me two. I get to reroll ones, too, because it’s fire damage.

MATT: Yep.

MARISHA: And I got three ones. So those will all get rerolled.

SAM: Is that true?

MARISHA: That is true.

MATT: It’s an ability of the Spire.

TALIESIN: That’s nuts.

MARISHA: Ten, 15, 25 points.

MATT: 25 points of damage?

SAM: There’s another six up there, the red one.

MARISHA: One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight! 25, 30 points of damage.

MATT: 30 points of fire damage.

MARISHA: Thanks, Sam!

MATT: As you guys are getting your weapons ready, you have both your daggers out at the side. You have your axe at the batter-up position. You watch as suddenly they burst into red flame and a number of their charred, burning bodies tumble to the ground, motionless. As the fire subsides, all six have been destroyed by the blast from the Fireball.

TRAVIS: That’s what we were going to do, right? Yeah! That’s basically what we had in mind.

LIAM: This knife does the same fucking thing.

TRAVIS: I thought so. I’ve see it happen. Really, I have. Impressive, Keyleth. Impressive. Yeah. Point it towards the enemies, okay?

MATT: As the chaos is still happening, you watch as another blast of flame explodes on the top tower that is the front of the fortress itself, and you hear what sounds like dual Wilhelm screams as two guys who were situated on the top, running to of the ballista, get blown off and both slam into the ground, faces and necks snapped from the impact on the floor. Looking up in that direction, you watch as another streak of bluish-green arcane energy shoots up a few hundred feet into the sky, and it (poof), as a sort of signal for them.

MARISHA: No, no, no!

MATT: You look up top as you see one wyvern is curling its way, perched up on the edge of it. And there, jumping onto its back, you see an elf. An elf with longish, blonde hair. Robes that are bloodied. It gets up and holds onto the reins.

SAM: How far?

MATT: At this point? He’s probably about 80 feet from you. You guys are halfway across the courtyard to the actual fortress.

LIAM: He’s up on the wall?

SAM: Can I shoot him with lightning?

MATT: If you want to get close.

SAM: I mean, that’s a 100-foot range.

MATT: So, yes. You could.

SAM: He’s a bad guy?

LAURA: I don’t know!

MARISHA: He’s on a wyvern, so I’m going to say maybe.

LAURA: Can I shoot him with a Bramble Shot?

MATT: About 45 feet up.

LAURA: I want to try to shoot him with a Bramble Shot.

MATT: Shoot him?

LAURA: Yeah!

MATT: Okay!

SAM: He’s on a bad wyvern, right? This is a bad guy.

LAURA: I think so.

MATT: For the purposes of this, guys, we’re going to go ahead and roll initiative.

LAURA: He’s a bad guy!

MATT: Well, you don’t know if he’s a bad guy or not! But he’s on the battlefield.

LAURA: That’s why I’m Bramble Shotting him. Because I’m trying to tangle him up.

MATT: Pike has been having a hard time keeping up with everyone with her tiny, short legs.

LAURA: Pike!

MARISHA: Come on, Pike! Come on!

TALIESIN: I’m rolling really poorly.

TRAVIS: Yeah, me too.

LAURA: Do you have your snitch?

TALIESIN: Yeah. It’s just rolling poorly.

LAURA: Do you want one of mine?

TALIESIN: No, no.

TRAVIS: Take your clothes off, Taliesin, reset.

SAM: I’ll take my clothes off. If it’ll inspire us.

LAURA: Oh, no. What is it? Do it, Sam!

TRAVIS: Do it slowly. Do it.

(yelling)

TRAVIS: Holy fuck!

LIAM: Triple disadvantage for the night!

TALIESIN: We’re dead, we’re going to die.

SAM: It’s on.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: For the rest of the game, you’ve got to look at that–

LIAM: May the odds be ever in your favor.

(laughter)

MATT: Forgot to mention the new GM Tips episode is out this week, talking about how to deal with Player Character deaths.

(laughter)

SAM: Oh, man! If I died in this shirt, it would be the worst way.

(laughter)

MATT: Oh my god! Sam! Sam!

LIAM: We’ve never seen the picture at that size. And it makes me want to Goonies-style cut a hole in the mouth.

MATT: No one should ever say, “I want to cut a hole in the mouth of a picture of you.” I do want to say that is pretty much life-size, which is really creepy.

SAM: I wish I could do what Travis can do with his pecs, but I–

(laughter)

TRAVIS: You’re there, you’re there.

MATT: With you guys on the battlefield, let’s roll initiative.

ALL: We did.

TRAVIS: We have to do it again?

TALIESIN: I’d love to do it again.

MATT: (sing-song) Sorry!

MARISHA: That was funny.

MATT: You guys.

SAM: He’s a bad guy, right? I mean, we can kill him, right?

TRAVIS: Kill him anyway. And find out later.

TALIESIN: We can also take out his ride.

LAURA: Yeah, we can take out the wyvern.

MATT: 25 to 20?

LAURA: 25.

LIAM: 22.

MATT: Nice. 20 to 15?

MARISHA: 15.

MATT: I need someone to roll for Pike, by the way.

LAURA: Eight. I don’t know what Pike’s initiative is.

MATT: I think it’s plus one, so add that– Nine. All right. So 15 to ten?

TALIESIN: 13. Oh, go ahead.

SAM: Oh, 11.

TALIESIN: I don’t have my sword working.

MATT: Grog, what did you get?

TRAVIS: Eight.

LAURA: Aww, you and Pike fighting together.

MATT: Top of the round, as you see this figure get onto the wyvern up top. Bloodied, grabbing on to the reins, looking over the top, Vex, you’re up first.

LAURA: I’m going to shoot a Bramble Shot at him.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: 20?

MATT: 20. Hits.

TRAVIS: This man, this man is an elf, right?

LAURA: 16. And then the DC is 16.

MATT: 16 damage and DC of 16. Is it strength?

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: No, that’s a 15.

LAURA: Oh! Then he’s restrained!

MATT: Does he take additional damage from the Bramble Shot?

LAURA: Yeah, he takes 16 damage.

MATT: 16 total from the shot, okay.

LAURA: 16 damage from the shot, as far as I know.

MATT: It’s your normal arrow damage plus whatever it tells you to roll on that.

LAURA: I get another of my arrow damage?

MATT: It’s your arrow damage, and then that on top of it.

LAURA: What?! I didn’t know that! That’s so cool!

LIAM: How far is he from us at this point?

MATT: At this point, he’s–

LAURA: Is it sneak attack?

MATT: He did not see you, so yes.

SAM: What are you restraining?

LAURA: The thing on top. Hopefully he doesn’t have a hold of the reins, so– Now I’ve lost track. 28 damage plus the 16 from the Bramble Shot.

MATT: Gotcha. As you reach out and fire the arrow, you watch him glance over the wall. His eyes go wide as the arrow (impact) pierces his chest and sprouts into 20 to 25 tiny bramble-like vines that wrap around him and wrap around his body as he gets pushed back and falls off the back of the wyvern, out of sight. Make a perception check.

LAURA: Okay. 21?

MATT: Okay. As you see his expression as he falls back, it jogs your memory a little bit. You do recognize him. This is Gatekeeper Xanthas. He was the gatekeeper at the Traverse Junction in the Emon Alabaster Lyceum, the place that had the Teleportation Circles, the guy who was always at the desk waiting for you every time.

LAURA: Oh, that guy! That was annoyed with us every time we–

MARISHA: He hated us?

MATT: He was annoyed with you.

MARISHA: He hated us. What’s his name?

MATT: Xanthas. Gatekeeper Xanthas. You watch him just get thrown off the back of the wyvern, slammed past, out of sight.

MARISHA: Hey, wonder why we hated him, we can’t remember his name, Seeker Xanthas.

SAM: Huh, why is he here? Odd.

LAURA: I don’t know.

MARISHA: Well, if he’s from Emon, and Emon is currently under Thordak’s reign–

LAURA: Yeah, he’s probably working for him.

TRAVIS: I think we should trust him.

LAURA: We should definitely trust him.

TALIESIN: He’s currently a veggie burrito at the moment, let’s keep him that way.

LAURA: Should I fly towards him?

TALIESIN: I dunno. Why are you asking–?

LAURA: I’m going to fly. I’m going to try get towards him.

TALIESIN: I’m having my own problem.

MATT: So, at full speed on your broom, broom speed is what again? It should be on the broom.

LAURA: I don’t have a broom paper. I never got a broom paper because I kind of stole it. It wasn’t given to me.

MATT: I’m sure it does have one. I’ll look it up right now, but you need to keep in mind what your movement is on your broom.

LAURA: I think it’s like 120.

MARISHA: It’s, like, exactly what I need to get there.

How far away is he? It’s that much.

MATT: It’s like, ten

TRAVIS: It’s 40. I’m saying it’s 40.

LAURA: No. It’s, I’d say, 50.

MATT: Flying speed: 50 feet.

TRAVIS: Don’t raise your hand like you got it right.

LAURA: I did! I said 50, right before he said it.

SAM: Yes, you also said ten, 120, 180 and 50.

TRAVIS: It’s playing Rock-Paper-Scissors and going– Got it!

MATT: As you rush in on the broom and look over, the wyvern still has its claws up on the edge of the walls, (snarls), looking around. You can see it’s taken a few hits, a few arrows sticking out of it. However, from the explosion that happened, the two ballistae up there don’t appear to be damaged. But you have no current view of Xanthas.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: So, that ending your turn, that brings us to Vax.

LIAM: Jeez. How far away is that little rock right at the bottom of that platform that you’ve got Vex on? How far is that from me?

MATT: That rock? It’s about maybe 40 feet?

LIAM: And how high is the wall?

MATT: Up here? Probably about 30 feet tall.

LIAM: Okay. Do I see any wood or anything, a barrel or anything besides stone sticking out?

MATT: No. Not in that rock, no. It’s a piece of stone that’s sticking out.

LIAM: I am going to hold everything until the rest of the party goes this round.

MATT: Okay. Keyleth?

MARISHA: Okay. Is there anyone else coming at us?

MATT: Currently, no.There are a number of the wyvern riders and– going to place these guys over here so I go and do that– You do see lizardmen off to the side that are in the middle of a struggle. A soldier over there, and a number of lizardmen that are currently bashing at the front gates, trying to get through the main door into the–

MARISHA: Okay. Where did you say where the wyvern riders were, again? Roughly, in the air?

MATT: You have three that are on the ground right now that have nets thrown over them or chains pulled across, holding them down. And there are a number that are high up in the air right now, circling, looking for a way to swoop down and grab somebody. A few have their eyes on Vex.

MARISHA: Are they clustering together?

MATT: They’re maybe 40 feet apart right now.

MARISHA: Oh, yeah? They’re each 40 feet?

MATT: At the least.

MARISHA: Fuck. Okay, you know what? And how far away am I from them?

MATT: From the closest one to you? About 80 feet.

MARISHA: Jesus.

TALIESIN: We have to start moving in a direction.

TRAVIS: Towards the door, right? And then try to get the–

MARISHA: I was going to try and get these guys out, but okay. How many are busting through the door? How many lizardmen?

MATT: There are currently six pushed against it. And there are a few that are moving off in this direction to go join them.

MARISHA: To bust through. Those are bad guys?

MATT: Yeah. They’re currently slamming into the door and hitting it and trying to find their way through.

MARISHA: Well, let’s Fireball them again. That was fun!

MATT: Okay!

TRAVIS: Will it set the gate on fire?

TALIESIN: Not if you place it right.

MATT: From what you can tell and what you remember, the gate itself is mostly stone and iron.

MARISHA: So let’s blow that shit up.

MATT: All right. So keep track of the charges you’re using. They all fail.

MARISHA: I can see both of them.

TRAVIS: They all fail?

MATT: Yeah, they all fail. Rolling nothing tonight.

MARISHA: Oh, I have another eight. All of them? All six of them? I’m drunk with power. It’s 6d8?

SAM: No, 8d6.

MARISHA: 8d6! (counts)

TALIESIN: Reroll.

MARISHA: Yeah, I get to reroll ones.

SAM: Cocked.

MARISHA: That’s also cocked. That one bumped it from what it was–

SAM: It was a four.

MARISHA: It was a four, okay. So six, ten, 18, 20, five, 30 again. No, 31!

MATT: 31. (explosion) This one seed of arcane red energy that shoots forth from the staff slams into the door, and you watch as they’re all thrown backwards, screaming through the air, the blast incinerating their bodies and scattering them to the four winds.

LAURA: Fucking shit, Keyleth!

LIAM: Fire walk with me, Red.

MARISHA: I feel like this thing should come with a child warning. Oh, jeez.

TRAVIS: Wait, that smoked all of them?

MATT: All of those there, yeah. You see groups of wyvern riders that are currently fighting off the guards. Keyleth, do you want to move or are you staying there?

MARISHA: We were all running towards the door, right? We’re all trying to get in?

MATT: That’s up to you.

MARISHA: We’re all trying to get in?

TALIESIN: I’m heading that way.

MARISHA: I start heading that way.

MATT: All right.

MARISHA: Why’d you say it so nonchalant?

LAURA: Oh no, oh no!

MARISHA: It’s always like it’s a bad idea.

MATT: I’m asking if you’d– Vax stayed there. Up to you.

MARISHA: Well, he held his turn.

LIAM: Yep. I can’t do anything now. I have to wait until everyone’s done.

MATT: Yeah. You are staying here. All right, ends Keyleth’s turn, Percival, what are you doing?

TALIESIN: I’m going to use my action to try and clear my gun.

MATT: Okay. Tinkering check.

TALIESIN: Tinkering check, so that’s nice. It’s 18! It’s fine!

MATT: All right. You get the gun to function.

TALIESIN: I take six steps forward.

SAM: (sings) I take six steps back.

TALIESIN: And then I use my bonus action…

LIAM, LAURA and SAM: (singing) We go together because–

ALL: (singing) –opposites attract! And you know–

MATT: It’s not your turn, Scanlan.

SAM: Oh, sorry.

(laughter)

TALIESIN: I’m going to use my bonus action to move my Hex to one of the wyverns that is currently under the net.

MATT: Right here? The wyvern or the rider?

TALIESIN: The wyvern. Yeah. It’s fighting everybody too, right?

MATT: Correct. It’s thrashing about.

TALIESIN: Okay, it’s going to make life easier for everybody.

MATT: Cool. So that finishes your round then, Percy. Scanlan, now it’s your turn.

SAM: Oh! I’ll move forward with the rest of the gang, if I can. I don’t know. I’ll Lightning Bolt the wyvern up there who was holding the elf. Not knowing what he is or if he’s good or bad.

MATT: You’re rushing forward on your tiny, gnome feet, arm out in front, release a bolt of energy that slams into the front of the edge of the tower itself. And as you coast it upward, it burns a dark spot across the stonework before slamming into the wyvern itself. The wyvern tries to dodge out of the way. What is the DC on that?

SAM: That would be 19, since I didn’t call it.

MATT: That’s true.

TRAVIS: (sings) That’s true.

MATT: (sings) That’s true. (speaking) No, it does not succeed!

SAM: Okay.

MATT: It has no dex bonus, so it’s a straight 15.

SAM: 8d6? Wow! 37!

MATT: (explosion) It hits the wyvern, who’s already taken a few blows. It shrieks back, looks down, its eyes zeroed in on you, its wings out, looks like it’s about to go into a jumping dive. Okay.

SAM: Oh, I will also inspire Vax with a dirty limerick.

LIAM: Give it to me.

SAM: So, this is a random– There was a young lady named Spruce/ whose favorite thrill was a goose/ Just the sight of a thumb/ made her tuchus all numb/ and her bowels got excited and loose.

TRAVIS: Oh god! (groans in disgust)

TALIESIN: Why? Why?!

TRAVIS: Where did you? Where?! What?!

LIAM: I feel so brave.

(laughter)

SAM: Let that story inspire you, Vax! Don’t be loose like her bowels! Be firm like a mighty oak!

(laughter)

LIAM: I stand a full inch taller now.

MATT: You do. And take your d12 inspiration die.

TALIESIN: This is not what this book was meant for!

LIAM: It’s from the frogurt shop.

(laughter)

MARISHA: His ability to weaponize things–

TALIESIN: I’m going to get a volume for next Christmas.

MATT: All righty. And with that, ending your turn, the wyvern up at the top swoops down, right up to you, Scanlan. Mouth open, stinger out to the side.

SAM: I’ll Cutting Words this one.

MATT: Okay. Well, its bite goes to strike you and I can almost guarantee you it misses with a 14. The stinger, however (whoosh).

SAM: Oh wait! No, no. That hits.

TALIESIN: You have a plus two.

SAM: No, I think I only have a plus two if I– No, I think it’s a straight 14 because I don’t wear anything anymore.

MATT: That’s true, you didn’t– All right, so.

LAURA: You took off all your armor?

SAM: Yeah.

LAURA: If you have the armor on, it doesn’t have to be attuned, you still get some–

SAM: I think I’m at 12, plus the armor that I’m wearing is plus two, so.

MATT: So it’s 14. That does hit you exactly, yeah.

SAM: But I said I was going to Cutting Words it, which probably should help.

MATT: Go for it. So go ahead and–

SAM: Eight.

MATT: Eight. Okay. The bite goes to clamp down, and as you–

SAM: Oh! As I look at him, I– shit! I– Ah! I just show him my chest hair. I tuft it out into a quick little ponytail.

MATT: The wyvern pulls back its head, confused, and the jaw snaps shut as it rears, its wings out, strangely. Its tail comes back, angrily. How many bardic inspiration die have you spent since your last battle, by the way?

SAM: I only spent one on the last battle. I did a bunch of reactions last battle, but I only used one inspiration last battle.

MATT: Right. Cutting Words also uses a bardic inspiration, I believe–

SAM: Oh, it does? Then this is five.

MATT: I believe… Let me check.

SAM: I used three Cutting Words last time, and one inspiration.

MATT: Yeah, you have to use your bardic inspiration dice. So that’s five.

SAM: So this is five. And I think I have six total? No?

MATT: You get as many as your wisdom modifier– I’m sorry, your charisma modifier.

SAM: That’s six. So yeah, I have one more.

MATT: One more. So the stinger comes swooping down towards you, and that is a nine! It rolled a two. The tail whips past your head, no impact.

LAURA: You’re just so teeny, Scanlan.

SAM: I am.

MATT: Pike’s turn! Pike rushing forward as (panting). Looking around, who here looks pretty rough, if anybody?

LAURA: Percy.

TALIESIN: I’m a little rough, I could use some love.

MARISHA: And I could use some love.

TALIESIN: Yeah, either of us. I’m a little lower than you. But you’re–

MARISHA: I’m running with Percy.

TALIESIN: Yeah. We’re together.

MARISHA: If she wants to give us a group hug?

MATT: Well, she can only get up to you right now, Keyleth, at the moment.

MARISHA: Oh.

MATT: Because of her stumpy legs.

MARISHA: Sorry.

TALIESIN: Stumpy legs.

LAURA: They’re slender and fabulous! All right?

SAM: Yeah. They’re muscular. Svelte.

LIAM: Monster calves.

MATT: Fucking stumpy!

(laughter)

MATT: She’s going to use her 3rd-level Cure Wounds on you, Keyleth.

MARISHA: Aw, thanks, Pike!

MATT: Two eights and a five. This is 16, 21, plus five. You heal 26 hit points. That was a really good healing roll for a level three. All righty. That ends Pike’s turn. Grog, you’re up.

TRAVIS: Yeah! So, I’ll run up, because nobody fucks with Scanlan when I’m around. So I run up to the wyvern. Yeah. And I would like to take my axe and swing it in its stupid face.

MATT: Go for it.

TRAVIS: Reckless Attack. Great Weapon Master.

SAM: Frenzy. Rage.

LAURA: All of it. (growling) All of it!

MATT: He’s not frenzied yet.

TRAVIS: 28 minus five is 23.

MATT: That hits.

TRAVIS: Okay.

LAURA: How’d you do that, Grog?!

TRAVIS: Shhh!

SAM: Doing the math?

TRAVIS: 25 plus ten is 35.

MATT: Okay. Second strike, you want to do it? As you rush and slam the axe into its side, it buries a good three inches into the chest, and as it’s pulled back, its tail is still recoiling from the attack on Scanlan. Looks back to you and you see its attention’s geared on you, but it’s pretty rough.

TRAVIS: Pretty rough? Yeah! I just want to finish off this little meat popsicle.

MATT: Okay, go for it.

TRAVIS: Same thing.

MATT: Okay.

TRAVIS: 19 plus a million. 33. No! Minus five. 28.

MATT: 28. As you pull the axe out this time, as it’s rearing back and looking angrily at you, you chuckle to yourself as you throw the axe up in the air. It spins once and you catch it, and you jam it right in the center of its skull. It goes from rearing angrily to lights out. And it hits the ground instantaneously, collapsing into a heap as you wedge the blade out from the center of its forehead.

TRAVIS: Amazing. Can I use my–

MATT: You still have about 20 feet of movement, by the way.

TRAVIS: Can I– Yeah. I’ll move towards the group on the left.

MATT: That side?

TRAVIS: Yeah.

LAURA: Don’t you get an attack again if you killed something?

TRAVIS: Oh! Oh! Yes! Thank you! Very good point! With my bloodaxe, if I kill a creature, I gain ten temporary hit points.

MATT: Yeah. So you now have ten temporary hit points on top of what you had.

TRAVIS: Beautiful. And I don’t think I get another hit. It’s only criticals that I–

LAURA: Oh! Okay. Well, still.

TRAVIS: But still, yeah, yeah.

MATT: All right. So that ends your turn, Grog?

TRAVIS: Yeah.

MATT: That’s the end of the round.

LIAM: Do I have a go? Do I get to go?

MATT: That’s right. You held to wait until everybody else has a go.

LIAM: Question: can I call out, Vex! Catch!

LAURA: Huh?

LIAM: And softball-pitch Whisper up to her?

MATT: Okay. So you– go ahead and roll an attack roll.

LAURA: It just stabs me.

LIAM: Sure. 26.

MATT: 26. Okay. As the dagger whips up past you, you look down and see the thrown dagger. Do you want to try and catch it?

LAURA: Sure.

MATT: Okay. Go ahead and make a dexterity check.

LAURA: Okay.

LIAM: This should be pretty good.

LAURA: Where’s my thing?

LIAM: This does involve me. Can I use my Luck for her to re-roll that?

LAURA: 21.

MATT: No, unfortunately. You reach out and catch the blade and it cuts across your hand a little bit. Which at that point, if you want to–

LIAM: Bamf!

MATT: As your turn to travel with it, it’s the damage that needs to happen, it’s the impact. So you do take four points of piercing damage, as you try and catch it from the front of the blade in your hand, and the speed at which it’s thrown is– you feel the impact–

LAURA: And then I brace the broom to catch him–

MATT: At which point, the blade, all of a sudden, swirls with dark, shadow energy and your brother appears at your side.

LIAM: And I would like to use my bonus action to cast Lay on Hands and give her four hit points.

LAURA: Aww, buddy! (laughs) That’s so great.

LIAM: That’s it, just four. I get to choose how many

LAURA: Thanks! I catch him on the broom and hand him the–

LIAM: And I’ll use my movement to scooch my uncomfortable crotch onto this stick you ride all over the place. (groans)

MATT: All righty. Your movement is now, on the broom, reduced to 20 feet, with two people on it.

LIAM: Cool.

LAURA: What are you going to do?

MATT: At which point, you see the wyverns and the riders start thrashing about. Some of them have spears that’re jamming out from the middle of the net. You watch as this guy spins around and takes out three out of the guards that all just collapse to the ground. One takes a stinger to the face, another one gets bitten and has its head broken in the process, while a third one gets a spear to the front of the chest.

MARISHA: This wyvern asshole did that?

MATT: Over here, yeah. He’s hurt, but he’s been taking out a lot of the guards along the way. The rest of these lizard guards do a full double dash this way past that guard there, who’s giving chase. These guys all rush up to try and make their way to the front door again. They can’t really do anything yet to the door, but they can get there. At this point in time–

SAM: Oh boy.

MATT: Vex, Vax.

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: From your vantage point, up at the top on the broom, you hear this distant echoing horn sound, this (low horn noise).

LAURA: Shit.

MATT: It’s echoing through the valley. You glance over your shoulder and you see a bead of burning red light making its way in your direction. Wings flapping. It’s closer than you think, and as it comes closer and closer towards you–

LAURA: Thordak comes and kills us all, right?!

MARISHA: Yeah, this is– Happy 2016!

MATT: You feel the blood rush from your face as your immediate instinct is, “Oh god. The Cinder King is here.” While there are flames involved, the size is not as immense as you would expect from Thordak. Instead what you see is a large, red, winged bird with flames trailing off the edges of its wings flapping in your direction, coming over the wall on the outside of the fortress. On its back you see a humanoid, but much larger than anyone of your size, armored with dark black and grayish-silver-trimmed iron armor, a giant maul in one hand, itself reddish flame-like hair. This is a fire giant, similar to the ones you encountered in the City of Brass, riding on the back of this ember-roc-type creature. As it comes cruising over the top, you hear it, holding a horn in its other hand, start shouting out, “The Cinder King calls for swift execution! I deliver his hate with absolute strength.” And it swoops into a dive toward the front side of the gate. At a full speed at this point, it coasts right beneath both of you, swinging the hammer in the air. I need both of you guys to make dexterity saving throws.

LIAM: Would evasion work for this?

MATT: No. Well, evasion is against any spell.

LIAM: Spell, that’s what I thought, I just wanted to check.

LAURA: Do we get advantage for anything?

MATT: Let me check quick. (laughs) You do not get advantage for anything.

LAURA: (laughs) Why, though?

MATT: But I admire you checking for any given possibility.

LAURA: 16 for me.

LIAM: I’m going to use my last Luck.

SAM: You have inspiration.

LIAM: Oh, I do, and I can add it to that save, right?

SAM: Sure.

LIAM: Good. Oh, then I’m 29. I rolled 11 off of that. Thanks for the limerick.

MATT: What’d you roll?

LAURA: 16.

MATT: 16? Okay. So you manage to lift up onto the broom, almost doing a complete handstand to get out of the way, however, the bottom of it catches your sister in the side of her leg, causes the broom to lurch, and begin to lose control of it. You both manage to hold on to the broom.

LAURA: That’s good.

MATT: But you, from the impact of the hammer, do suffer 16 points of bludgeoning damage. As the bird, now in a full dive, slams in a giant fiery crash into the front two gates of the keep.

LIAM: How close was it to us? If it hit us?

MATT: It swooped right underneath you.

LIAM: Can I do an attack of opportunity?

MATT: No, because you were trying to get out of the way.

LIAM: All right.

MATT: To do that, you would have been fully off the broom and you would fall.

LIAM: Understand, understand.

MATT: As it (swoosh) into this full dive, slams into the two front gates which explode into a cloud of dust, broken rock, masonry, and iron. You watch as the dust settles briefly. Now the giant is stepping off of the back of this giant flaming bird and looks around, clutching its hammer in its hand.

LAURA: Fuck.

(yelling)

SAM: That’s large! That’s like from a different set of action figures.

TRAVIS: I think the scale is wrong, Matt, I think you accidentally put things that are bigger than us on the map.

LAURA: This is like when I made my Barbies date my G.I. Joes.

(laughter)

MARISHA: Why is G.I. Joe so much shorter than Barbie? Damn it!

TALIESIN: Did the lizard man take damage, by the way?

MATT: Actually yeah, as the dust clears, the lizard men that were at the gate were all destroyed in the impact, crushed, their bones broken, and you can see one arm twitching out of the center of the rubble. The doors are currently blown open and off the hinges, there.

LAURA: Fuck.

MATT: All righty, and then–

SAM: We need some sort of miracle here! What we need is some sort of miracle!

MATT: Fresh off the airplane.

ASHLEY: Hello, everybody!

LIAM: Divine Intervention!

SAM: (singing) We need a hero!

MATT: That is awesome.

ASHLEY: I’ve lost my voice a little bit, but you know what? Fuck it! Der-n-der!

MATT: I want a shirt that says that. “Fuck it! Der-n-der!”

TRAVIS: They’ll get that in the store as soon as possible.

MATT: Indeed. All righty, so, bringing us to the top. As they both stand there, the flames still emanating out from the impact, the lizardmen scattered and broken at the gate, the battle still waging on in the vicinity, you see as two other battles over here, the wyvern rider on this wyvern is stabbed in the head and is killed. The wyvern is still around, but it takes another guard out behind it. Over here, this guy continues to fight and takes out two of the guards, but there is still one behind that is holding strong. Top of the round, Vex. What do you want to do, as you just barely gather control over the broom again?

LAURA: Is that within range of you, to throw something at it and bamf there, or–?

LIAM: Ish. We’ll find out.

LAURA: I’m going to try to fly over. Am I able to get to the roof above him?

MATT: Over here? Yeah, you can.

LAURA: Okay, I’ll go there and land.

MATT: Okay. So you both make your way over, landing on the roof. There you can see Xanthas is still bound by the vines, his eyes wide. He’s like, “What are you doing? Release me!”

LAURA: I’m going to ignore him and Hunter’s Mark the giant, and then try to hit him from above.

MATT: Okay, so, getting right up to the edge, arrow off to the side, go for it.

LAURA: 21 on the first one.

MATT: 21 on the first one? Hits.

LAURA: Yes! And that’s Hunter’s Mark and sneak attack, right?

MATT: Technically, he went past you, saw you, impacted you with him– or she did, sorry– It is well aware where you went and knows that you– There’s no sneak attack. I’m sorry.

LAURA: Damn it! Fine, fine.

MATT: You’d have to hide somewhere to try and get sneak attack.

LAURA: Oh, and that’s a bonus action, right?

MATT: Correct. Which you used to move your Hunter’s Mark.

LAURA: Which I did, yeah, so don’t worry about it.

MATT: Vax, you’re up on deck.

LAURA: 18 plus four lightning damage.

MATT: 18 plus four, nice.

LAURA: Oh, and then again! I attack him again!

MATT: Go for it! One arrow–

LAURA: And it definitely hits him! It’s, like, 30-something.

MATT: Sure, that hits! Go for it.

LAURA: Argh. 17 plus four lightning damage!

MATT: All righty. Both arrows (impact). One slams into the armor and sticks into it about three or four inches, and you can see the giant female fire giant glances at her shoulder angrily and looks up over the top, at you.

LAURA: Oh, and I want to back up away. I want to back away from the–

TRAVIS: I will woo her.

LAURA: So she can’t see me no more!

MATT: At the full movement it would’ve taken you to get there, with your brother on your back, that’s as far as you can get.

LAURA: Can I crouch? Is that within my movement, to crouch?

MATT: You’re crouching, but you’re not hiding. You do have some cover because of the edge of the wall. She sees you, but you have a little bit of cover. Vax, you’re up.

LIAM: Is the giant within 60 feet of me?

MATT: The giant may or may not be. You currently have to get over to the edge to see it.

LIAM: All right, so I’m going to move up to the edge. I’m going to use my bonus action to cast Hunter’s Mark.

SAM: You can’t do that! That’s not one of your spells!

LAURA: We’re twins, you guys!

TRAVIS: Oh my god, I’m going to barf.

MATT: That’s from being a vengeance paladin?

LIAM: Vengeance paladin, yes. Level up! And then I’m going to throw Whisper at the back of her head and hope that it hits.

MATT: All right, go for it.

LIAM: Jeebus. Let’s try that again. That is– I’m going to use–

LAURA: No, that’s a good hit!

LIAM: Mm, yeah. 22.

MATT: 22 hits.

LIAM: All right. Okay. So– and I’m going to bamf there.

MATT: Okay. No sneak attack on this.

LIAM: No, I know. And the damage is 12 plus psychic damage is eight! 20. And then I want to use my movement, even though I can’t disengage–

MATT: Did you roll your Hunter’s Mark on that?

LIAM: Oh, no, I– Thanks, Mattie!

MATT: You just used it!

LIAM: 21. Just one.

MARISHA: Now people are going to scream “Hunter’s Mark!” at you on the internet!

LIAM: I can’t wait! I love you internet! I love you so much! And then, even though I’m not using disengage, I’m going to use my movement to back the fuck up into that doorway.

MATT: Okay. As you back up into that doorway, she swings around, the giant maul arcing in your direction. A great maul, actually, specifically. That is 24 to hit.

LIAM: I’ll use Uncanny Dodge.

MATT: Okay, in order to take half damage? All righty, so, that comes to– oof. This is going to be fun for you.

LIAM: So much fun.

MATT: All righty, let’s get the dice out for this. Oh, I have the wrong dice. There we go.

LIAM: Guys, I have 105 hit points. I am swole.

MARISHA: Welcome to triple digits! Congratulations, you joined the rest of us!

MATT: You take 31 bludgeoning damage, halved to 15. It– whack!– slams you into the shoulder. You dodge out of the way and the momentum actually hits you and the inertia shoves you into the side of the doorway. You catch yourself.

LIAM: Thank you! (grunting)

MATT: All right, that ends your turn? Keyleth, you’re up.

MARISHA: Okay, I am going to Tidal Wave these motherfuckers. Yeah! Still have that packed from the Fire Plane, what’s up! So I don’t have a– do we have a laser pointer in the house?

TALIESIN: It’s not in your bag?

MARISHA: You know, it’s funny. We bought, like, ten laser pointers, forever ago.

SAM: You know, it’s fine. Matt will just point at random until he finds the spot that you’re looking for.

TALIESIN: Warmer, warmer, colder, colder, warmer.

MARISHA: I had a laser pointer.

LIAM: Here’s one, here’s one.

MARISHA: Hey, I think this is mine!

TRAVIS: Yeah, sure it is!

LIAM: Use it!

SAM: Tidal Wave!

MARISHA: Yeah, 30 feet long, ten foot wide, ten foot tall. Everything must make a dexterity save.

MATT: So you’re trying to do it this way?

MARISHA: That’s exactly what I’m doing.

MATT: All right, so it comes bursting through. All right, they both need to make a dexterity saving throw against a DC 19, correct?

LAURA: 19, yes, right?

MARISHA: Yep!

MATT: That is a 17 for the giant, no. And that is a seven for the roc. So no, they both take 4d8 bludgeoning damage.

MARISHA: And they are knocked prone, and if they are flamey, then all unprotected flames are distinguished.

SAM: Extinguished.

MATT: It is the creature’s nature–

TALIESIN: They’re very distinguished. They have little fun mustaches.

MARISHA: They’re dapper!

MATT: They both fall prone, but the nature of their flames is natural. It is part of their actual physicality, so the flames do not get extinguished.

MARISHA: So they don’t take extra water damage? So 4d8?

MATT: No, but the water does slam into the bird. You see steam rise up as it impacts. The flames darken a little bit and subside briefly. Both of them are knocked off their feet into the ground as you watch the tidal wave curl up, slam into both of them, and then spill out and spread across the ground, putting out this fire here, actually.

MARISHA: So 21 damage, and they’re knocked prone. 21 damage.

MATT: Yep, great. That finishes your turn, Keyleth, or do you want to move?

MARISHA: I’ll stay where I am, actually.

MATT: Okay. That brings us to the general, as she stands.

LAURA: Oh god, she’s a general!

MATT: At half of her movement there. She, extremely angry, gets up. (growls) “Oh, that’s not playing fair!”

MARISHA: You looked like you needed a bath!

MATT: Looks back at a piece of the rubble, grabs it– actually is going to use her Flaming Anger, which is an ability she has. She gets extremely furious and tenses up. You can see muscles bulging in her forehead. She grabs a big chunk of the nearby rubble. You watch as the rubble, already on fire from the impact, the fiery impact of the site, begins to heat up. Lobs it at you.

MARISHA: Oh!

MATT: That is a natural one. As it goes whoosh, and tumbles past–

MARISHA: Can I watch it, be like–

MATT: Yeah, it goes off and actually impacts one of the wyverns flying through the sky and hits it. It goes down over the outer wall.

LIAM: Echoing from in the gate, you hear, woo!

MARISHA: You’ve got a good arm!

MATT: Using her Flaming Anger, however, she angrily grabs another piece, this one even larger. Both hands over the head, the great maul hanging at her side, and throws it at you. This time, that is a 19 to hit.

MARISHA: Heh, uh, yeah. That hits.

MATT: Okay. You suffer 33 points of bludgeoning damage from the impact, plus ten points of fire damage from the heat, as it slams into you, almost knocking you onto your back. You manage to catch yourself, but the pieces of it hit you and then break apart and fall to the ground around you. You find your whole front side charred from the impact. With the rest of her movement, is going to– let’s see, she only has 20 feet. One, two, three, four, in your direction, picking her great maul up with her hand and swinging it. Thank you, boyfriend glasses delivery. Ends the general’s turn. Percy, you’re up.

TALIESIN: Okay!

MATT: Scanlan, you’re on deck.

MARISHA: She throws rocks!

TALIESIN: Okay, now that this is happening, I’ve decided– I’m already committed to this wyvern and rider over in the corner that have not ceased to be a problem. I assume that they have not ceased to be a problem at this point.

MATT: They’re not currently harrying you, no. They’re fighting off guards.

TALIESIN: But they’re going to become a problem if they kill those guards.

MATT: Possibly. If they kill the guards.

TALIESIN: Okay, that’ll do! So I’m going to take three shots at that wyvern. I’m going to start shooting at the wyvern. So, first attack. He’s held down by a net?

MATT: He is, but two of the guys who were holding the net have died off, so it’s almost negligible at this point. He can’t get the wings going, but if the net is removed or he manages to get the net off, it’ll be fine.

TALIESIN: All right, I’ll take a sharpshooter shot at him. So, that’s– oh, for the fuck’s sake. That’s a gun jam.

LAURA: Oh no!

TALIESIN: Yep, that’s another one.

SAM: How many guns you got?

TALIESIN: I’ve got a lot, but I keep– Ugh, god, that hurt. Okay. That really hurt. Took ten points of psychic damage, because that’s funny. I’m irritated. I’m putting that away and I’m pulling out Bad News and taking a shot with Bad News at him because I’ve got just enough of a round to do that. Another sharpshooter shot, because I’m irritated. Come on. Oh, for fuck’s sake.

LAURA: Oh no!

TRAVIS: Did you die?

TALIESIN: Yeah, I died. I’m dead.

MATT: In a terrible round for Percy, as you walk forward in the center, you turn to the side, fire at the wyvern, get one shot that immediately locks up. You feel the reeling feedback, psychic feedback from Animus, course through you. You put it away, pull out Bad News, take aim. As you fire, that horrible silent click sound as you pull back. You hold it away from you, just in time, as the flame backs up in the butt end of the weapon just flares outward. You can see, this is going to need a little work to get it working again.

TALIESIN: Oh yeah, but this is getting stupid. You know, it’s almost worth– It really does suck. That legit sucks.

MATT: You want to move, or anything else you want to do on your turn?

TALIESIN: Oh yeah, no, I am. I’m paying a deadly price for this shit right now. I’m going to run toward the– that’s some sort of bastille weapon over there? Is there a– No, to your– yeah, right there.

MATT: Right there? That is a crate and a chest.

TALIESIN: What’s the thing in the circle?

MATT: Oh, this right here, you mean? Oh, that is one of the trebuchets that you had repaired and one of the ones that isn’t damaged yet.

TALIESIN: I’m running toward it.

SAM: Oh yeah, use the battlefield!

MARISHA: Press ‘x’ to use!

MATT: There you go. It is loaded. It has not been used. It looks like the men that were currently fighting the wyvern across the way had loaded it up and then were assaulted when they threw the net over. So it currently is ready for use.

TALIESIN: Okay!

MARISHA: Hot.

MATT: It is a difficult thing to aim. That ends Percy’s turn. Scanlan, you’re up.

SAM: I’m going to move over to the right, towards Grog, a bit. Just to get away from everybody else. And I will– We need to hit this giant, right?

LAURA: Yeah! Kill it!

SAM: So I will (sings) Bigby’s Hand! But I have very few spell slots left, so it’s going to have to be at level seven.

MATT: Okay. 7th-level Bigby’s Hand.

SAM: I will punch him in his giant solar plexus.

MATT: The giant?

SAM: Her! Her giant solar plexus. It’s a she.

MATT: Yes it is.

LIAM: It’s ten feet above your head.

SAM: Okay. With my hand cone, if that helps.

LIAM: Fuck, that shirt.

MATT: With your hand cone.

LIAM: Hold the hand cone to the shirt.

LAURA: Just, like, right here.

(laughter)

MATT: All righty, so Bigby’s Hand appears, goes into a Clenched Fist. Go ahead and make a spell attack.

SAM: Oh! Because it’s a melee attack– spell attack?

MATT: Correct.

SAM: 21.

MATT: 21 hits! And so it’s cast at seventh level.

SAM: Yes, it’s 8d8.

LAURA: Whoa!

LIAM: So handsome!

SAM: Do you have any d8s over here?

TALIESIN: I do. There’s another d8.

MARISHA: Here’s some more.

SAM: Okay. Oh wow! That’s all of them. That’s eight.

MARISHA: It feels better that way. Ooh! Those are good rolls!

TALIESIN: Those are very nice-looking d8s.

MATT: Oh, Vax? I also need you to make a constitution saving roll.

LIAM: Great.

SAM: 40.

MATT: 40! Ooh!

LIAM: For what?

MATT: You have a concentration check for your Hunter’s Mark?

LIAM: Oh, awesome! I love– I know all about spells! It’s a one.

LAURA: Oh no!

LIAM: But I have Luck, so I’m going to roll again

MATT: Okay. Go ahead.

LIAM: I have Luck! It’s within the rules, yeah. Concentration, straight–

MATT: No– constitution, yeah.

LIAM: Constitution, straight 16.

MATT: Okay, you maintain concentration, you’re fine. All right, so, as you conjure Bigby’s Hand, you see the purple energy trail off your fingers, and as your bring your hand back into an uppercut motion, you watch as the air in front of the giant, and she begins stomping forward in the direction of Keyleth and Pike, the energy forms into this giant purple fist of smoke that just sucker-punches her right in the gut. She looks down, confused and angry, at this fist that turns into a middle finger immediately.

(laughter)

ASHLEY: Yeah!

SAM: You know me well.

MATT: You’ve moved ten feet that way. You still have–

SAM: Is anyone within range of my Healing Words?

MATT: You have, looks to be Pike, Keyleth and Grog all within range.

SAM: Keyleth’s hurt, right?

MARISHA: I am hurt.

SAM: Okay. I will give her some Healing Words.

MATT: Second level?

MARISHA: Heal me. With your words.

SAM: I will heal you with my words. So that’s 2d4 plus six, right? Wow, awesome. Eight.

(laughter)

MARISHA: All right. I’ll take it.

MATT: All righty.

MARISHA: Yeah, 71 hit points.

MATT: There you go. That ends Scanlan’s turn. All right, so. Vex, I need you to make a wisdom saving throw, if you could?

LAURA: Oh, that asshole that I’m standing next to. Fucking dick!

ASHLEY: Get him.

LAURA: That’s a seven.

MATT: It’s a seven. As you, looking off the side, getting your arrows ready for a second round, you can hear a couple of whispers off to your side. As you glance over, you make eye contact with Xanthas, who has managed to shrug off the bramble vines around his body. As soon as he finishes talking, he points a finger towards you. And you’re listening. You snap to attention.

SAM: Oh no.

MATT: And he goes, “Why don’t you take a walk off the edge of that tower right there?”

ASHLEY: No!

SAM: (whispers) Wait a second, you can’t do that!

LAURA: But when I’m doing it, I’m also still intelligent, right?

MATT: You’re still intelligent, oh.

TRAVIS: Oh, and you look good doing it. You look good walking right off that edge.

LAURA: I’m going to walk off of it. I look at him, I walk off it. Can I pull out my broom as I walk off the edge and land on the broom? Because I did what he told me, technically?

MATT: Yeah, so he’s a–

ASHLEY: But he didn’t say to not use your broom.

MATT: Just double-checking to make sure I could make him do this.

ALL: (singing) Off the catwalk.

SAM: I don’t think you can command someone to hurt themselves.

MATT: It doesn’t say that you can’t.

SAM: Really?

LAURA: Really?!

MATT: Each time it takes damage, it gets to retake the saving throw.

TALIESIN: Once you complete his instructions, you can do anything you want.

LAURA: No, that’s what I mean. I’m going to walk off the edge and pull out the broom.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: And just fly.

MATT: Okay. Yeah. So you come up and you go off the edge. And you have the broom there. All right. And you’re coasting there with your broom.

LAURA: And I give him a thumbs-up. Thanks, Boss!

MATT: And he darts down the stairs into the building. And as he’s rushing off, he’s like, “All right. Shoot your friends!”

(laughter)

MATT: He shouts it over his shoulder as he goes.

(laughter)

LIAM: That was awesome.

MATT: So now it is Pike’s turn.

ASHLEY: Okay. So, getting up to speed here. So Percy’s kind of low?

TRAVIS: Percy!

TALIESIN: Yes, I’m low.

ASHLEY: Okay. I have on my Sprinter’s Boots.

MARISHA: You’re next to me.

ASHLEY: I’m next to you?

LAURA: And Percy’s over by the trebuchet in the corner.

ASHLEY: Can I make it to the trebuchet in the corner with my Sprinter’s Boots or even without?

MATT: Not without, you couldn’t. You could, but it would take your whole turn.

ASHLEY: Okay, then I will use my Sprinter’s Boots.

MATT: All right.

LIAM: You sound like you’re an actual gnome.

LAURA: Yeah, you really do.

MATT: You get over there at the trebuchet.

ASHLEY: Okay. So I’ll cast Cure Wounds– Percy?

LAURA: Taliesin, you guys are talking so loud.

SAM: Controversial spell use over here– Controversial! It will be addressed on Talks Machina!

TALIESIN: He’s trying to argue that you’ll be taking damage and I’m trying to show him that he’s wrong.

LAURA: Oh.

TALIESIN: Sorry.

LAURA: Thank you, Percy.

TALIESIN: You’re welcome.

LAURA: Damn you, Scanlan.

SAM: If I were DM-ing–

LIAM: (air horn sounds)

(laughter)

LIAM: Is that okay?

MATT: I’ll allow it.

LIAM: It was on them.

MATT: Pike?

ASHLEY: No, because now I can’t do it to Scanlan. Okay, so what are you at?

TALIESIN: I’m at 59.

ASHLEY: Okay. So let’s do a 3rd-level Cure Wounds.

TALIESIN: That’ll do.

MATT: Okay. by the way, you used one earlier. So you have one more 3rd-level spell slot after this.

LAURA: Matt did a 3rd-level spell.

MATT: Before you got here. Just so you know.

ASHLEY: Okay. Maybe I should do– I’m going to do a fourth level. Because we need you.

TALIESIN: Okay. I’m not very– I’m not being very useful at the moment, but yeah. I’ll get back there.

ASHLEY: Well, you’re at the trebuchet now. Okay.

MATT: Grog, you’re on deck, by the way.

TRAVIS: Can I ask you a question while she’s waiting?

MATT: Sure.

TRAVIS: A prone enemy. Do you get advantage on them? If they’re prone?

MATT: If they are prone, with melee attacks in the vicinity?

TRAVIS: That’s a natural crit, right? No, that’s–

MATT: No, it has advantage if you’re within five feet of it.

TRAVIS: Got it.

ASHLEY: 23.

LAURA: 23, Percy!

TALIESIN: Yay! Thank you!

ASHLEY: And then– shoot! I was going to do something before I moved, but I forgot. So now, for my bonus action, I’m going to create a beautiful, divine sword, Spiritual Weapon, and put it up to the belly of the giant.

SAM: Ooh, yeah!

MATT: All right. At what level are you casting this?

LAURA: (whispers) Cast it really high.

MATT: You’ve already used your 3rd-level– 4th-level spell, so you have to use your 2nd-level.

ASHLEY: I have four 3rd-levels, so I think I actually have an extra 3rd-level. Because of the necklace.

MATT: Okay. You have an extra one, then. But do keep in mind, you’ve already cast a 3rd-level spell this round– a 4th-level spell, so if you’re doing a bonus action, it can only be 2nd-level or lower. So it would be at 2nd-level.

ASHLEY: All right.

SAM: Can you use four 3rd-level spells to be one 12th-level spell?

(laughter)

MATT: Sure. Why not?

(laughter)

MARISHA: Because I want to do a Fire-transport-via-plants-ball.

ASHLEY: Okay, I’ll just do it at second.

MATT: That would be messy.

ASHLEY: I’ll just do it at second level, then.

MATT: Okay. All right, that ends your turn, Pike? All right. Grog?

TRAVIS: I’ll run up to the bird-fire creature. And taking advantage of him being on the ground, I would like to go into a frenzied rage! And I would like to whale on this piece of shit.

MATT: Go for it.

TRAVIS: At advantage, right?

MATT: Yes.

TRAVIS: Not as a– I don’t have to declare Reckless?

MATT: Correct.

TRAVIS: Great! I will do Great Weapon Master. That and minus five is 22?

MATT: 22 hits.

TRAVIS: Nice! Second one is 14, 28 minus– that is 23?

MATT: Hits.

TRAVIS: Six minus– 21.

MATT: Hits.

TRAVIS: Nice!

MATT: All three hit.

TRAVIS: All three hit.

LIAM: Get him, Grog.

TRAVIS: 18. Necrotic, four points. Oh god! 21. 31 for the first one.

MATT: Nice.

TRAVIS: 33.

MATT: Okay.

TRAVIS: And the third one. 20, 30.

MATT: 30. All right, that’s 64 points of damage in one round against the creature.

LAURA: What?!

MATT: As you rush in and start whaling on it, you almost don’t notice the proximity of it. The heat is so hot that you suffer ten points of fire damage just being that close to it. Your skin starts to burn and the edges of your beard begins to singe and curl in.

TRAVIS: Hey, hey! That sucks! Ten points of burning damage.

MATT: Correct.

TRAVIS: “Burning” damage.

MATT: All right. That ends your turn?

TRAVIS: It does.

MATT: All right. With that, it goes to the large ember-roc’s turn.

TRAVIS: (laughs) Hi!

(laughter)

MATT: All righty. It’s going to go ahead and use an action to attempt its Inferno.

TRAVIS: Its what?

MATT: Its Inferno. It begins to beat its wings extremely heavily. And as it does, the heated air and the flames begin to billow up from around it. I need you to make a dexterity saving throw, Grog.

TRAVIS: Do I get advantage on these when I’m raging? I do, because I have Danger Sense.

MATT: You do.

TRAVIS: Natural 20.

(cheering, air horn sounds)

MATT: All right. Oh, that’s– good thing, too, that was six, six, five, four on the d4 roll. That was nice. All right, so that is 21 points of fire damage, reduced to half. So ten.

TRAVIS: Okay.

MATT: Ten points of fire damage, again. And you are not blown back.

TRAVIS: How’s the beard doing?

MATT: It’s burning a little bit, you’re starting to smell the hair singeing, it’s making you angry even in your– angrier

TRAVIS: Just like Hagrid’s, with the dragon egg?

MATT: A little bit, yeah. You’re like, oh god! However, you do not get pushed back, and as it’s taking off with its wings, as part of the maneuver, you do get an attack of opportunity at it, if you want to take it.

ASHLEY: Get him.

TRAVIS: Reckless. 21.

MATT: 40. It doesn’t get all way over to them, it gets–

ASHLEY: Go away.

SAM: Go away.

TRAVIS: It’s a 21.

MATT: 21 hits. Go ahead and roll damage. It swoops in the air, as you smash your axe in the air towards–

(crash offscreen)

Like that.

(laughter)

MATT: How much damage?

TRAVIS: 23 with one point of necrotic.

MATT: Nice. 23. And you smack it, it shrieks in the impact, but its wings still (whoosh), it arcs over and lands on the ground, right behind Pike and Percy. You guys feel the impact.

TRAVIS: We were just starting to talk! Come on!

MATT: All right. Top of the round now. This fellow over here, who’s now been loading up the ballista, is going to go ahead and fire it at the bird.

TALIESIN: Yeah!

SAM: It’s our guy.

TRAVIS: It’s a bird.

MATT: That actually hits.

(cheering)

TRAVIS: Percy!

MATT: That is 12 points of piercing damage.

LAURA: Good job, Percy! Good job!

TALIESIN: I had a whole crew of people. I’ve got people.

MARISHA: I got friends.

MATT: All righty. And over here, during this fray, this guy manages to destroy the last guard, dispatch him and get the rest of the net off.

LAURA: Oh no.

MATT: So that takes his full turn, but now that is available over there.

MARISHA: He’s available, yo!

MATT: These three guards, one of them dies but in the process, they do manage to hack down the rest of the wyverns, the wyvern does die.

LAURA: Yay.

MATT: This wyvern does dispatch the last guard, however, and manages to take off its chain, which is currently lodged into the back of the wyvern. It pulls it forth from the wound with a spray of blood, and now the wyvern is no longer bound. So you now have two wyvern riders on the battlefield.

TRAVIS: Oh, so much fun. Awesome.

MATT: Vex, it’s your turn. You have to attack your friends.

LAURA: I don’t get to make a saving throw?

MATT: At the end of your turn, you do.

LAURA: Fuck!

MATT: Actually, Dominate Person, I don’t think you do! It’s when you take damage. Let me see. Yeah.

LAURA: Maybe he has to tell me who to attack.

TALIESIN: It’s take damage.

LAURA: It’s when I take damage?

TALIESIN: You have to take damage, you have to complete all of your actions.

LAURA: Oh, shit! I should have just fallen off the fucking roof.

MATT: That was your choice.

TALIESIN: You can’t do that now, though.

MATT: Nope. You are on your broom, and you look down, and the person who’s closest to you of your friends is Grog. And so you’re like, “Well, I’ve got to attack my friends.” Make two shots against him.

LAURA: I’m sorry, Grog.

TRAVIS: I don’t believe you.

LAURA: Oh! Natural one!

(laughter)

TRAVIS: It’s true!

LAURA: And 20!

TRAVIS: Oh. That’s a 20– Oh. I thought you meant natural.

LAURA: No, no, no.

MATT: 20 hits. So go ahead and roll damage against Grog with one arrow. Grog, as you angrily finish slashing as the ember-roc flies overhead, one arrow hits the ground next to you. You’re like, “What the hell?” And then you feel the pain right in the back of the neck as an arrow has embedded itself about two inches into your meaty goliath throat.

LAURA: 15 piercing damage.

TRAVIS: Halved to seven?

LAURA: I didn’t even Hunter’s Mark you, Grog! I’m sorry!

MATT: Remember, you don’t halve the lightning damage it deals.

LAURA: I don’t?

MATT: No. Because the lightning damage is different beyond the piercing. So how much is–?

LAURA: Oh. It was four lightning damage.

MATT: Okay.

TRAVIS: So, total four– and then the other half–?

LAURA: It was 11 piercing damage.

MATT: So you take five plus four, so you take nine points of damage total from that shot. All right.

LAURA: Sorry.

TRAVIS: That’s okay, I’ll get you later.

MATT: You’re going to stand there for a moment and–

LAURA: That’s it? That’s all I do?

MATT: I mean, you can move around if you want to. You’ve just got to attack your friends when it comes to your action.

ASHLEY: How do we get– we have to–

TRAVIS: Punch yourself in the face!

MARISHA: Yeah.

LAURA: I can’t. I don’t know to punch myself in the face.

TRAVIS: I’m going to punch you in the face.

SAM: Vex is working with them! Kill her.

(laughter)

SAM: I knew this day would come.

LAURA: I’m not aware of what I’m doing. I just think, “I need to kill my friends.”

MATT: Yeah, it’s an impulse. It’s like, “Okay, no worries.”

LAURA: Okay. I’m just going to be up here! Shooting you guys!

MATT: Okay. That ends Vex’s turn. Vax?

LIAM: If I go four down diagonally towards the giant, I’ll be within ten feet, yeah?

MATT: This way?

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: Three, four, five. You can get within ten feet, or you can get right up to it if you want to.

LIAM: I don’t want to.

MATT: Okay, so you can get within ten feet of her.

LIAM: Yeah. I am going to use bonus action to cast Vow of Enmity against her.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: That sounds awesome.

LIAM: With the feathers bristling in my armor. And then I’m going to use the rest of my movement to back straight back towards the wall, another two or three squares, I think.

ASHLEY: Dang it, you’re so cool!

LIAM: And I’m going to chuck– well, we’re good. We’ve got Bigby’s Hand right in her private area. But I’m now going to throw Whisper at her back.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: And I should have advantage because she’s busy.

MATT: Well, advantage because she’s busy–

LAURA: And your vow.

LIAM: Well, and the vow. Either way. It doesn’t stack.

MATT: No, you have advantage on attack rolls against the creature for one minute.

LIAM: Right.

MATT: Yeah.

LIAM: That or Bigby’s.

MATT: Well, Bigby’s isn’t threatening, technically. So it’s–

LIAM: So 26 to hit.

MATT: That hits.

LIAM: So four. That’s the dice before I add anything. And then– Does psychic damage get damage? It’s a die. I don’t know, I haven’t done it.

LAURA: Doubled? You double all your dice.

LIAM: All your dice.

MATT: Yeah.

LIAM: Okay.

MATT: Was it a critical hit?

LIAM: No. Sorry.

MATT: Yeah, you don’t double the dice.

LIAM: Ten, and then. Don’t message me, internet. Ten, 14, 19, ‘cause I don’t care, 22, 27, 33, 34, 37. Plus Hunter’s Mark. 38, plus my plus eight to the dagger is–

LAURA: Wow.

MATT: Rogues, man.

LIAM: 42.

MATT: 42. Nice.

LIAM: And that’s it.

MATT: 42 points of impact. Are you staying back?

LIAM: I’m out of movement, aren’t I?

MATT: I mean, you threw Whisper at it.

LIAM: But the bonus action was for the Vow of Enmity, I believe.

MATT: Right. I’m saying, when you threw Whisper, you weren’t travelling with it.

LIAM: No, no, no.

MATT: Okay, good. Just making sure. That ends your turn, Vax?

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: Keyleth, you’re up.

MARISHA: Okay. So we have a giant bird, and another giant bird, and they’re all really angry at us, right?

MATT: It’s one giant bird, and then angry wyverns.

MARISHA: And then tiny, tiny dragons with wings. Okay. Where’s the wyvern?

MATT: That’s a wyvern there, and there’s a wyvern over there.

LAURA: There’s a wyvern, and there’s a wyvern.

MARISHA: (singing) Kill the wyvern, kill the wyvern!

ALL: (singing) Kill the wyvern!

TALIESIN: We’re a little weird tonight.

MARISHA: That happened. Yeah, we kind of are, aren’t we?

TALIESIN: This is a musical episode.

MATT: I will fight you, Sam.

MARISHA: Man, I’m going to go ahead and cast Call Lightning, I guess?

MATT: Okay!

MARISHA: And I’m going to bring it down on the wyvern that’s fucking shit up next to Percy.

MATT: All righty. So dexterity saving throw to that wyvern right there?

MARISHA: Yup, that’s the daddy.

MATT: That is a six! That is a very failed saving throw. So that is–

MARISHA: 3d10.

MATT: Correct.

MARISHA: That’s not a great roll. Ten points of lightning damage.

MATT: Ten points of lightning damage to it. So, to the wyvern, right?

MARISHA: To the wyvern.

MATT: Yeah. So the wyvern rider barely pulls out of the way as the bolt of lightning from the slowly conjured storm in the sky strikes out and slams into the back of the wyvern. You see the energy arcing through its body before it dissipates, and the wyvern shakes from the impact, looks around angrily. The rider pulls the reins and gets it refocused.

MARISHA: Well, technically, doesn’t Call Lightning: every creature within five feet of that point must make a dexterity saving throw?

MATT: It is every creature! Which the– that’s a natural one.

MARISHA: So he also takes the ten points of damage.

MATT: Yes. So, they both get hit. While he dodges, the arcing energy actually travels through his body, grounding himself to the creature. So they both take damage.

MARISHA: And then I’m going to use my bonus action to go– let’s go air elemental.

LAURA: Looked like she was smelling her armpit as she did that.

MARISHA: (sniffs) Pit check is good!

(laughter)

TRAVIS: Kentucky.

MATT: Perfect.

(laughter)

MATT: All righty. You are now an air elemental. You can move in your elemental form. You haven’t moved yet. So you can still move in your form if you want.

MARISHA: Can I levitate a little? Get in the air a little bit?

LAURA: It’s fabulous in the air. It’s really good.

MATT: You’re ever-so-slightly levitating.

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: All right, there you go, Keyleth.

MARISHA: Thanks, bruh.

MATT: All right, now it’s General (inaudible)’s turn.

TRAVIS: General what, did you say her name?

MATT: I didn’t. You don’t know it.

TRAVIS: Use your consonants, Mercer!

SAM: General Grievous.

MATT: I said too much. No. That would be so hackneyed.

TALIESIN: General Chaos. General Calamity?

MATT: So, after taking the blow to the chest, is going to go straight for you, Grog. You’re a big old target who came forward and slammed and has dealt a crapton of damage.

TRAVIS: Be honest, she is attracted to me as well.

MATT: Probably. As she turns with the floating hand and the floating sword, waving it by the hammer, watches as its ember-roc slams over towards Percy and Pike. Feels pretty confident, sees you, a little more of a heartier target. Points the hammer at you and says, “You will be my charge tonight!” and starts walking to you.

LAURA: No, no, no.

ASHLEY: Get away from him. Get away from him!

MATT: See if it recharges. It does not recharge Flaming Anger, unfortunately, but will take two great maul attacks against you.

TRAVIS: Okay.

MARISHA: You’re my charge. Yeah, boy.

MATT: That is a 21 to hit.

TRAVIS: It hits.

MATT: And a 23 to hit.

TRAVIS: That hits, too.

MATT: All righty. So you take, for the first hit, 40 points of bludgeoning damage, reduced to half to 20.

TRAVIS: Okay.

MATT: And the second strike, not as good a roll.

TRAVIS: Blinks with frustration.

MATT: I know. 29 points of bludgeoning damage, reduced to–

TRAVIS: 14?

MATT: 14. So brings the hammer back, right into your shoulder, and it sends you off your feet. You catch yourself from the impact of the blow as the hammer spins around and catches you in the other side, right at the solar plexus, almost knocking the wind out of you. You feel your feet skid into the dry sand and dirt beneath your feet, and a little smile curls in the corner of your face.

TRAVIS: Ooh, Miss Piggy! That tickled. Can I use Retaliation to give her what’s good for?

MATT: You’ve already used your reaction this round.

TRAVIS: Oh, you’re right! I did! Damn it!

MATT: Sorry.

TRAVIS: Good call.

MATT: But next turn I’m sure you’ll be able to give her what for. Percival, it’s your turn. As you’re standing there, the presence, the heat of this creature near you, you immediately suffer four points of fire damage just from being in the proximity of this entity.

TALIESIN: Okay. I’m cool. I’m going to try and– Okay, out of curiosity, is that little trebuchet there, is that more-or-less pointed at the wyvern right now?

MATT: More or less, you’d probably have to rotate it a little bit. There is a large crank that has to be rotated to shift its direction.

TALIESIN: I’m going to– is it possible that I can get this shot off in one round?

MATT: It is possible, if you make a strength check to get it to move to its place right now.

TALIESIN: It’s not like I’ve got a lot of options here. Like, everything’s going pretty iffy as it is.

MATT: So you’re ignoring the bird for now and you’re going for the trebuchet against the wyvern?

TALIESIN: There’s honestly not a lot I can do about the bird right now.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: If I try to run from the bird, is it within striking distance of me?

MATT: You don’t know.

TALIESIN: Okay. Well, hardly matters. All right. Let’s– ‘It Hardly Matters’ is the name of the

game. I’m going to see if I can get this– I guess I’m going to make a strength check to try and–

MATT: Okay. Go for it.

TALIESIN: Standard strength check?

ASHLEY: Come on.

LAURA: You can do it, Percy!

MARISHA: The adrenaline kicks in! Oh!

TALIESIN: Wait, wait, wait. I’m burning my Resolve.

MATT: That’s saving throws.

TALIESIN: Is it just saving throws? It’s not–?

MATT: It’s only for saving throws, not for ability checks.

TALIESIN: Oh! Okay, so I’m not burning that, then. Then that does not do anything.

MATT: What did you roll?

TALIESIN: I rolled a two. So I got a three.

MATT: Yeah. You go and grab the ratchet and it’s stuck. It begins to shift a little bit. You’re not sure if it’s going to line up.

TALIESIN: Then I’m going to jump over that thing and run into the tent, 'cause I’m goddamn useless right now.

MATT: Okay. You leap over and make your way inside the tent.

TALIESIN: Now I’m going to burn an Action Surge.

MATT: As you rush away, the creature reaches out with one of its claws and rakes towards your back.

LIAM: He’s keeping you humble tonight.

MATT: It’s going to be a 20 to hit.

TALIESIN: That hits.

MATT: Okay. The claw streaks across your back. You feel the pain and the sudden rush of adrenaline hit you at the impact. That’s going to be 14 points of slashing damage to your back.

TALIESIN: Okay. I’m 64.

ASHLEY: 64. Okay.

MARISHA: Question.

MATT: Yes?

MARISHA: Are we inside the fort walls?

MATT: You’re inside the outer walls. This is the actual front of the fort itself.

MARISHA: We’re inside the outer walls. So the ones that were trying to go through that door were trying to get through the inner walls?

MATT: Into the actual fortress itself. Yes.

MARISHA: Okay. So we’ve gotten through one layer of wall?

MATT: Correct.

MARISHA: And we’re trying to get through the other layer?

LAURA: Well, they’re trying to get through the wall.

MARISHA: Everyone seems to be. Just clarifying. Continue.

MATT: Yes. Percy. You said you’re taking your Action Surge?

TALIESIN: I’m going to burn a bonus for a heal, so I’m going to–

MATT: Second Wind?

TALIESIN: I’m going to burn a Second Wind, my only Second Wind, and take 16 points back. And then I’m going to burn my Action Surge to try and fix the Pepperbox. The Animus box.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: Thankfully the difficulty is not horrible. Okay. And that’s fine! Again. So the Animus is back in action–

MATT: Okay, as you duck inside, clear your mind for a second, focus, pull out your tools with your Action Surge and quickly find the one section of the barrel that had somehow sprung off and was loose. You click it back into place, look up, it spins. Functional, clear and fine.

LIAM: Did he blow on it like an NES cartridge?

MATT and TALIESIN: Yeah!

(laughter)

TALIESIN: Boy! That took a lot. But I’m now hiding in that tent. I’m definitely hiding in that as far back into that tent as I could have got.

MATT: That ends your turn.

(laughter)

ASHLEY: Right at the door. Just in case.

MARISHA: It’s made of polyester. It’s real bad.

MATT: All right, that brings us to Scanlan. You’re up.

SAM: I take a few steps towards Grog, if I can. Over to my left a little bit, just so I could get a clear shot– Sorry, other left. So I get a clear shot on the fire giant. With Bigby’s Hand, I’m going to do the Sugar Ray Leonard thing where it’s going round and round and round, but before he punches, I’m going to fire a Lightning Bolt at it.

MATT: Yes, not a problem. All right. That will–

LIAM: So in love!

MATT: It might singe a bit of the fur on the side of your skivvies there, Grog, but a bolt of lightning coasts right past you.

TRAVIS: Skivvies all right. Beard not so much.

MATT: Yeah. Fair enough. This is a dexterity saving throw. That is a 17 dex save. That does not make the DC, the giant gets full damage.

SAM: 8d6.

LAURA: Grog’s poor ass.

(laughter)

LIAM: Grog, is that an extra mace over there?

MARISHA: Oh, god.

TRAVIS: Kashaw, somewhere, goes “Ah!”

MARISHA: Gets a nosebleed.

SAM: 24.

MATT: 24. Okay, so you release the bolt of lightning, and then just as the lightning hits the front of the giant’s chest, as it was focusing on Grog, it looks over and sees where the lightning bolt came from just as the (whack) across the chin. Go ahead and roll a–

SAM: So, the initial spell was level seven, but subsequent actions–

MATT: It maintains the level you cast it.

SAM: Really? So it’s another 8d8?

MATT: Yeah, well, you have to roll to hit to see if you hit it first.

SAM: Okay. Oh yes, roll d20, right, this is a spell attack. Whiffed.

MARISHA: What’d you get?

SAM: A natural one.

ALL: Oh no!

MATT: You watch as it swings towards the giant, staring at you, at the last minute glances out and she sees the fist and ducks back, slow-motion passes past her chin. As the jaw clenches, the teeth grinding underneath, you see the jagged broken tops of the giant teeth as the eyes (whoosh) right back to you.

SAM: Oh boy. That was less Sugar Ray Leonard and more just, like, Sugar Ray.

(laughter)

MATT: I’m going to put Bigby’s Hand on the other side now for that.

SAM: (singing) Every morning when I wake up.

(laughter)

ASHLEY: Oh my god.

MATT: I almost want to give you inspiration for that. Sure. Take back your bardic inspiration for that, sure.

SAM: Oh! Great!

MATT: Scanlan, you want to stay where you are or you going to move? You still have ten more feet of movement if you want it.

SAM: I mean, she’s coming for me, so I’ll just back up ten feet.

MATT: All right. There you go, all right.

TALIESIN: Run!

MATT: Now, darting from out from the side here, Xanthas runs out, looks over the wall, sees you floating above. “Keep attacking your friends!”

MARISHA: Fucking dick. Can we take him out? He was always an asshole. Come on.

LAURA: Obviously he’s a bad guy. Obviously he’s a bad guy now.

ASHLEY: Would you consider him a friend?

MARISHA: He was always annoyed by us.

LAURA: Oh yeah, do I like him so much now?

MATT: Oh he’s great.

LAURA: He’s my friend?

MATT: Well, I mean– You are considered charmed by him, so yes.

LAURA: He’s my friend, cool.

MATT: Yep. Seems like an ally at this point. Focusing on that, keeping you informed–

MARISHA: But Vex, he never had any redeeming qualities.

LAURA: I love him, he’s my best friend.

MARISHA: This is the first time we’re hearing of this!

LAURA: Xanthas is my best friend forever!

TALIESIN: You don’t know him like she does.

MARISHA: (chuckle) They spent a lot of time together.

MATT: Okay. Is going to look down and points his finger across and a beam of reddish energy comes coursing to the ground and explodes right there in the center of this area, actually right in the center with the fire elemental, so I need Grog, Scanlan, and Keyleth to all make dexterity saving throws.

TRAVIS: Cool!

ASHLEY: This guy’s the worst.

TALIESIN: This is technically a magic–

MATT: This is a Fireball.

TRAVIS: (singing) Natural 20.

MARISHA: Ouch, jeez, I rolled a two.

SAM: Disadvantage on ability checks, not saves.

MATT: Correct.

SAM: 11.

MARISHA: Seven.

MATT: Okay, that’s full damage to Keyleth and Scanlan, half damage to Grog, as this is a 5th-level Fireball.

MARISHA: 5th-level Fireball?

MATT: Yeah.

MARISHA: Who did this?

MATT: Little punk over here that was on top and went down inside and came out the other side.

MARISHA: Wait, is that Xanthas?

MATT: Xanthas, yeah.

TRAVIS: Does that break his–

MATT: It’s not concentration, no.

TRAVIS: I know a lot about magic, you guys.

MATT: 33 points of fire damage to Scanlan, 33 points of damage to Keyleth in her elemental form, and 15 points of fire damage to you, Grog.

TRAVIS: Yay.

MATT: And after firing, he ducks down to the side, and he doesn’t do much 'cause he still has partial cover while he’s behind the top of that wall right now.

ASHLEY: He sucks!

MARISHA: What a doucher.

LAURA: I like him, you guys, I think he’s great.

MATT: That ends his turn. Pike, you’re up. At the beginning of your turn, due to the proximity of the heat of the bird behind you, the giant ember-roc, you would take eight points of fire damage, but it’s reduced to four because of your armor’s fire resistance. So that’s four points of fire damage.

ASHLEY: So, I have a quick question.

MATT: Yes.

ASHLEY: So the thing that Percy was trying to do with the trebuchet. Did it not work because it wasn’t–?

TALIESIN: Because I’m weak.

ASHLEY: You’re weak, okay. I want to try and give it a go.

MATT: Okay. By the way, your sword should have attacked last round when you summoned it, so go ahead and make a spell attack with it just because I totally forgot about that.

ASHLEY: Ugh, what do I roll?

MATT: Just roll a d20 and add your spell attack modifier. You’re up next, Grog.

ASHLEY: Ooh, 28!

MATT: That hits! Go ahead and roll the damage for your spiritual weapon.

ASHLEY: 2d6?

MATT: That is 1d8 plus five.

ASHLEY: Eight.

MATT: All right, so that’s an additional eight points of damage to the giant. Okay, so, continuing your turn–

ASHLEY: Okay, so I’m going to try to–

MATT: Winch it? All right, so as you see Percy run off, you reach up, go ahead and make a strength check.

ASHLEY: Okay.

LAURA: You got it.

ASHLEY: 12.

MATT: 12? Okay, that’s fine.

(cheering)

MATT: You grab it and (grunts) and it takes a second, but you begin getting the winch to move around. As it does, does it begins to rotate. How far are you rotating it? Who are you aiming it towards?

ASHLEY: I’m going to point it right at the fire bird.

MATT: Okay. As you pull the winch around, and there’s a little trigger underneath as you get it in place that’s kind of holding it.

ASHLEY: (bink)

MATT: As Pike (bink), the trebuchet, the sudden momentum of the direct inertia to momentum, the device spins over top and lobs this large boulder within this giant sling over and slamming right towards the face of the ember-roc. That’s an 18. Go ahead and roll 4d12 damage.

SAM: Heavy duty. d12s!

MATT: It’s a siege weapon, man.

LAURA: That’s 4d12 right there.

MATT: It’s meant to destroy walls.

SAM: Wow.

ASHLEY: 27!

MATT: 27 points of bludgeoning damage to the ember-roc’s face as it slams in, the rock breaks across its skull. And its head rears back from the impact and it stumbles back a bit, shaking its head. You can see part of its beak is cracked now from the impact. Blinking its eyes and shrieking.

MARISHA: Oh, Buddy.

MATT: No, it’s trying to kill your friends.

ASHLEY: Wait, aren’t we attacking him?

MATT: You can still move if you’d like, and you have your bonus action to move your sword over if you’d like.

ASHLEY: Okay, bonus action, is there only one charge on that thing? Can I keep doing it, or no?

MATT: Every round, it lasts for a minute.

ASHLEY: Okay, I guess for my bonus action I’m going to cast Shield of Faith on Percy.

MATT: Okay, for the Spiritual Weapon, just so you know–

LAURA: I’ll bet that’s concentration.

MATT: Well no, it’s not concentration. But you can choose to use your bonus action to have the sword attack, or cast a spell and the sword just does nothing.

ASHLEY: I guess it’s not going to help you. I’m going to use the spiritual weapon.

MATT: Okay, so the bonus action is the sword toward the giant, or the bird?

ASHLEY: Toward the giant.

MATT: The sword swings out of the way, arcs through the air, roll another spell attack.

ASHLEY: 16.

MATT: 16 does not hit.

ASHLEY: I’m going to use Guided Strike to add ten.

MATT: Okay!

ASHLEY: Oh but no, I don’t want to, is it too late to retract that?

MATT: If you want to.

ASHLEY: I wanted to use that for something bigger.

TRAVIS: Something bigger than the fire giant?

LAURA: Something bigger than the spiritual weapon.

ASHLEY: It’s not going to do that much damage.

TALIESIN: Yeah, something that does more damage than the spiritual weapon.

MATT: Yeah, I mean you don’t have to, it’s up to you.

ASHLEY: No, it’s okay. I’ll wait for something bigger.

MATT: Okay so the blade arcs over and slams into the armor of the giant and the giant kind of shrugs it off. No damage. You just couldn’t quite impact against the creature’s flesh. You still can move if you want to.

ASHLEY: I’m going to stay.

MATT: You’re going to stay there?

ASHLEY: Yeah.

MATT: Okay. The trebuchet is expended, by the way, it would have to be loaded. And to load that thing, it takes quite a few people. Just so you’re aware it’s probably not going to be useful again in this battle. There are other weapons in the field.

LIAM: Everybody to the trebuchet.

MARISHA: All hands on deck!

MATT: Heave ho! All right, Pike, that ends your turn?

ASHLEY: Well, I’ll move out a little bit then, I didn’t know it would take so much. Towards the giant.

MATT: Okay.

ASHLEY: I don’t know why!

MATT: That’s about as far as you can get there.

ASHLEY: All right!

MATT: Staying in melee range of the creature or do you want to leave its melee range? It will get a strike at you if you do. Actually, it will not because it already stuck at Percy so you can go there, you’re fine. All right, that ends your turn. Grog, you’re up.

TRAVIS: I see the giant eyeing Scanlan and I’m like: I thought you said I was your charge. You are not cheating on me this early in our relationship. And I take both of my attacks at general hot fire giant’s face. Reckless. Great Weapon Master.

MATT: Go for it.

TRAVIS: 30 minus five is 25!

MATT: Hits.

TRAVIS: 26 minus five is 21?

MATT: Hits.

TRAVIS: Awesome! 34 for the first one, with six points of necrotic. 41.

MATT: 41 points of damage on that one.

TRAVIS: I rolled a d12 plus 13.

MATT: Oh, a straight 12 on that one? Oh, that’s nasty. All right. You still have your bonus action.

TRAVIS: I do! I would like to hit him again!

MATT: Okay.

TRAVIS: Not that great. 21.

MATT: That hits.

TRAVIS: 26, with five points of necrotic.

MATT: 26 points of damage.

ASHLEY: Jeez.

MARISHA: Let’s take this bird down.

MATT: You did over 100 points of damage in one round of combat.

ALL: What?!

ASHLEY: That’s so much, Grog.

TRAVIS: Look, I am a one-fire-giant kind of guy. I get very upset about these things.

MATT: So with Bigby’s Hand floating on one side and a glowing sword on the other, the giant focusing on Scanlan, you get angry and just release this torrent of strikes. Pulling back, from the blade you can see dark blood begin to pour from the plates and the giant is wounded, but it’s grinning. And its attention swings back to you.

TRAVIS: I told you I was worth a date.

MATT: All right, that ends your turn, Grog?

TRAVIS: Yeah. That’s it.

MATT: All right. The bird, who has watched Pike run past, after being slammed in the face by the trebuchet, angrily steps forward here. First let’s see if it regenerates that. It does recover its inferno ability, however, it is going to unleash a bite and two claw attacks on you. That is a natural 20 on the bite.

TRAVIS: No, Pike!

MATT: That is a 19 to hit on the first claw attack.

ASHLEY: No.

MATT: And that is a 23 to hit. So a bite and a claw attack. The bite is a critical, unfortunately. So as that one comes to strike you, that is 19 plus 2d8 fire damage. So you take 30 points of slashing damage.

ASHLEY: Okay.

MATT: Plus ten points of fire damage reduced to half, so five. Actually, it would have been 20, so that’s ten points of fire damage.

ASHLEY: I have resistance to fire.

MATT: Right, it would have been 20.

TRAVIS: Okay.

LAURA: But then, because he did a melee attack on you.

ASHLEY: Yeah, he did a melee attack so the attacker suffers 2d6.

MATT: Is that fire damage?

ASHLEY: Yeah.

MATT: You watch as there’s a burst of flame but it seems to have no affect on the creature.

ASHLEY: Okay.

MATT: This creature is fire by nature.

TRAVIS: Naughty by nature?

MATT: Possibly. All right, and it’s going to begin flanking around you.

LAURA: Damn it.

MATT: After it does its strikes it– (stomps). That brings us to the top of the round. Now, this guy is going to spend his turn loading up and then taking another shot at the bird there. That one unfortunately goes wide. It fires and slams into the ground and a big cloud of dust and rock gets thrown into the air as the large bolt jettisons into the floor, wasted shot there. This wyvern over here is going to fly up.

LAURA: And attack me!

MATT: No, he’s going to go after Keyleth, the air elemental form there.

MARISHA: Bring it.

MATT: This wyvern here is going to rush over to Scanlan. And these guys are going to rush in and try and aid Scanlan against this.

MARISHA: Hoping to get hit. Hit me, come on, hit me!

MATT: So we have the wyvern against you, Keyleth.

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: Bite attack is a two! No, that is not going to hit.

MARISHA: Negatory.

MATT: The stinger is going to be an 18 to hit.

MARISHA: Oh yeah.

MATT: So you take 11 points of piercing damage. Are you immune to poison?

MARISHA: Huh? No, I’m immune to poison. Elemental.

MATT: That’s what I figured. So you just take 11 points of piercing damage from that strike.

MARISHA: I’m good. I’m good.

MATT: The other wyvern is going to swing down. I forgot, the wyvern rider is going to take an attack at you.

SAM: Oh shit.

MATT: I forgot, he’s on there too. He swings down with his giant club. That’s going to be a 21 to hit.

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: You suffer nine points of bludgeoning damage from the wyvern rider. You Scanlan, the wyvern is going to strike at you with both its bite and its–

SAM: I would like to Cutting Words the first one.

MATT: Okay. You can decide whether or not to Cutting Words, I’m just giving you this because you’ve seen them fight. The bite is painful, the stinger is where the poison is.

SAM: I’ll save it for that one.

MATT: Save it for that one, if you’re going to.

SAM: Sure.

MATT: But that was a 23 to hit.

SAM: That hits.

MATT: And the stinger is a 21.

SAM: Well, I Cutting Words that one.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: So I’ll sing at it: (singing) I don’t want to die! Get your wings off me baby, get your wings off me baby. I don’t want to die. All around the world! Only a seven.

MATT: 21 minus seven is 14.

SAM: That’s my AC.

MATT: Ooh.

LIAM: You’re being punished for using that song.

MATT: Yeah. So you take 11 points of piercing damage for the bite. And you take 11 points of piercing damage from the stinger, and I need you to make a constitution saving throw.

SAM: No problem.

TALIESIN: High.

SAM: High. Constitution?

MATT: Yes.

SAM: 18.

MATT: 18? Okay. You manage to– you take 12 points of poison damage.

SAM: In addition to what you already said, 11 and 11? So 12 more.

MATT: Correct. And I need you to make constitution saving throws for each of those for your concentration. You have advantage on these. Because of your Warcaster feat.

SAM: So wait, that’s two concentration rolls?

MATT: Yeah, advantage on the– you make two of them, yeah.

SAM: 17 plus something.

MATT: Yeah, you’re fine. Next one with advantage.

SAM: Natural 20. Two natural 20’s!

MATT: All righty, and the wyvern rider is going to take a swing at you.

SAM: Sure, sure.

MATT: That is a 22.

SAM: Yeah, it hits.

MATT: You take nine points of bludgeoning damage as it smacks you over the head with a giant club.

ASHLEY: Are you okay!?

MATT: I need you to make another constitution saving throw with advantage.

LAURA: Oh my god.

MATT: Because you’re being hacked like crazy here.

SAM: Another natural 20.

ASHLEY: Shut the fuck up.

SAM: The other one was a three. Three and a 20.

MATT: There you go. Warcaster, man. Warcaster is a great feat. All right, that ends their turn, it is now Vex’s turn.

LAURA: Yes, can I attack my best buddy?

LIAM: Who is that?

LAURA: Xanthas. He’s my best friend.

MATT: It’s more of a telepathic thing.

LAURA: Motherfuck!

MATT: You know what he’s referring to.

TRAVIS: Have you been writing his name and your name in your notebook?

LAURA: With hearts around it and everything.

MATT: You are such a lawyer. No, for this you’re going to keep taking shots at Grog.

LAURA: Fine!

TRAVIS: Now, there are lots of people to choose from. She doesn’t have to pick the most handsome.

LAURA: Hey Grog, what’s your AC?

TRAVIS: Why, what did you do?

LAURA: Because I got a 26 and a 29.

MATT: Yeah, you get hit. And the first one gets sneak attack damage because technically you’re working on–

LAURA: You!

LIAM: She just Boromir’d your ass.

MARISHA: Oh no! Not Boromir!

ASHLEY: Oh, are we going to die?

TRAVIS: Nope.

MARISHA: Boromir was my favorite.

ASHLEY: Scanlan, run in the tent.

LAURA: 17.

TRAVIS: What, damage?

LAURA: Piercing damage.

MATT: With the sneak attack?

LAURA: Halved. Huh? Yeah, that’s with the sneak attack.

MATT: Okay, so half of that it puts you at eight points of piercing damage.

LAURA: And then, oh, four lightning damage.

TRAVIS: So four total.

LAURA: Oh, that’s just the first attack! Oh no! I’m sorry!

TALIESIN: Has no one noticed that she’s doing this yet, by the way? No one has commented that she’s doing this.

TRAVIS: Well, now I’m going to catch on.

LAURA: 20 on the second attack.

MATT: So ten.

LAURA: So ten damage on the second plus three lightning.

MATT: Okay, so 13.

TRAVIS: 25. I’m keeping track of this.

LAURA: Oh shit.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: (singing) I’m going to go because we don’t get a break because we’re fighting.

LIAM: And stay down!

MATT: Okay Vax, you’re up.

LIAM: All right, I want to a little mini curve and go two squares this way and on the way I want to throw, as a bonus action, throw my Flametongue Dagger at my sister.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: Yeah, so here we go. That hits, that’s a 29. So she takes a total of seven points of damage.

MATT: Okay, go ahead and mark that on her sheet for her.

LIAM: Okay. Minus seven awesome points. And then I want to walk up to the back of the giantess and stab her in the calf.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: She has a small cow?

LIAM: A natural 20.

MATT: Go ahead and roll damage on that.

TALIESIN: Wait, is that with sneak attack?

MATT: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Ooh! What! What?!

SAM: It’s going to be like a million points of damage.

TALIESIN: You’re going to carve a Christmas animal out of her.

LIAM: There are no numbers as high.

MARISHA: Yes. Get it. Get it! Big money, no whammies!

SAM: This is a fun game.

MARISHA: This is great.

ASHLEY: I love Dungeons & Dragons.

MARISHA: We don’t know the damage on the inside yet, but this is fine.

LIAM: Plus Hunter’s Mark. Shit.

MATT: Which is also doubled, technically.

LIAM: Yeah I know. Did I– yes I did. I forgot just my straight-up bonus that doesn’t get doubled. That is 64 points of damage.

MATT: How do you want to do this?

(cheering)

TRAVIS: Yeah!

ASHLEY: Kill it!

MARISHA: Kill it!

LIAM: I want to to walk up and jab Whisper into the back of her calf and then slide it up the back of her leg, up the ass, up the small of her back as high as I can reach. Probably around the tailbone, I don’t know.

MATT: Okay, as you jam it into the back of the calf, the armor plates give way to the impact of the blow. And she looks over her shoulder and tries to swing the maul out backwards. You’re too low at this point as she pulls backwards, exposes further up and you just drive the blade upward. As you do you catch some sort of heavy vein as blood begins to just gout out of the wound. And you keep pushing upward, it won’t go much past the thigh at this point, but she turns around and starts going unconscious from the rapid blood loss based on the wounds she’s already sustained. She takes her hammer up to deliver a death blow down upon you and as she goes to reach for you, her fingers lack the strength to hold the blade and she tumbles forward. You pass to the side, sidestepping as her form slams into the dirt, knocking up dust around her on the ground.

(air horn)

(laughter)

MATT: Vex, I need you to go ahead and roll a wisdom saving throw.

LIAM: Because I stabbed you.

LAURA: Roll low, roll low! Oh, I mean roll high! Roll high! Wisdom saving throw. 15.

MATT: 15 does not make it. However, technically, and this was my fault before, you do have advantage because it is a person who is not your ally. Or they’re fighting your allies.

LAURA: That’s even worse.

MATT: Yep, so you’re still dominated. Sorry.

LIAM: But at least you lost some hit points.

LAURA: Yay…

LIAM: Seven.

LAURA: I saw.

MATT: All right. So that ends Vax’s turn, Keyleth, you’re up.

MARISHA: Okay so, I have the wyvern in my face?

MATT: You do, yes. And the wyvern rider.

MARISHA: And the wyvern rider? I’m going to do two slam attacks.

MATT: To the wyvern or the rider?

MARISHA: What looks worse?

MATT: The wyvern.

MARISHA: The wyvern, then.

MATT: The wyvern rider hasn’t really been hurt.

MARISHA: I’m going to take out the wyvern.

MATT: Okay go for it, roll two strikes.

MARISHA: Okay. Okay, what am I adding? Hang on. Sorry, I’m the worst. Oh, plus five, okay so the first one is 18.

MATT: 18? Hits.

MARISHA: And the second one is not as good. That’s a 14.

MATT: 14 also hits.

MARISHA: Really?

MATT: They don’t have a high armor class.

MARISHA: Aw, so they each take…

MATT: They’ve got a fair amount of hit points for their size, but their armor class isn’t huge.

MARISHA: Okay cool, so the first one is good. 13 plus five so 18 for the first hit.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: And four plus three is seven plus five is 12. 12 for the second.

MATT: Gotcha. All right.

MARISHA: And then I’m going to use a bonus action. I have never done this before. I’m going to use a bonus action, as a Circle of the Moon druid, to use one spell slot to heal 1d8 hit points.

MATT: Okay, go for it.

MARISHA: Ooh, seven! That’s good!

MATT: All righty. So, as you slam the wyvern twice, whack! Whack! You can see it’s being buffeted. The wings are trying to keep up from the sheer amount of wind that’s swirling around it. The blows are almost knocking the rider off, and he’s spent most of his round trying to hold on to it. It’s looking pretty rough. It’s barely keeping itself up in the air, but it’s still standing in front of you.

MARISHA: Awesome.

MATT: All right. That ends your turn, Keyleth? All right.

MARISHA: I’m going to keep him locked down.

MATT: Okay. It is not the general’s turn, because the general is currently dead. Percival.

TALIESIN: I’m going to peek out the tent, just one step. I can see that the wyvern– I take a look at the field and I see that–

MARISHA: Sorry, sorry! Sorry, Jesus!

TALIESIN: Okay, so that’s happening, but I can see that we have a problem with Scanlan. So I’m going to take some shots at the creatures that are attacking Scanlan. I’m going to attack the wyvern, not the rider.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: First shot– actually, you know what? I haven’t tried this yet, and this could be fun. I’m going to try a piercing shot and see if I can hit the rider and the wyvern.

MATT: I will say that yes, you can, because they occupy the same space.

TALIESIN: So, starting with the wyvern, and then– all right. Come on, don’t be an asshole. Eh, that’s not terrible. 19?

MATT: 19 hits. So roll also for the–

TALIESIN: Oh, for the rider? That’s 25.

MATT: Also hits, so with a single shot, it shoots through the neck and actually pierces the shoulder of the rider at the same time.

LAURA: That’s sick.

MATT: Roll damage once, and it’ll go for both of them.

TALIESIN: So that’s okay. That’s 11 points of damage and three points of psychic damage.

MATT: Okay, so they both take a total of 14 points of damage. It hits them both. The rider is looking really messed up from the impact. It looks like it hit something on the neck and is now bleeding onto its chest. It looks a little dazed from the impact. The wyvern is hurt, wounded, and the other guards are still stabbing at it with their weapons. So it’s not quite at death’s door, but it’s looking pretty–

TALIESIN: I’m going to take another double shot at the two of them. That’s a 26 to hit.

MATT: Hits, all right.

TALIESIN: And then the second one, which jumped, is 30 to hit.

MATT: Okay, so roll damage and then they both take the next hit.

TALIESIN: Better. 15 points of normal damage, three points of psychic damage.

MATT: So 18 total? This time, as the wyvern rears up from the damage from the first impact, the pain causing it to put its wings out and puff up, it goes through the wing and takes out the temple of the rider. The rider is immediately killed and falls off the back.

TALIESIN: Which means I still have one shot left.

MATT: The wyvern is now in the process of trying to get its wings up. It’s realized how badly it’s hurt and is going to attempt to flee.

TALIESIN: That’s fine. I’m going to take one more shot. I’m going to do a sharpshooter shot at the wyvern. I’m also going to, just to be an asshole, I’m going to do a push shot at him. I’m going to do a torso push. So that’s, double-checking, okay. That’s fucking terrible. God damn it. Again.

MATT: Again? He’s going to aim and the same mechanism– You’re having a reverse Percy day. Wow! There is balance!

TALIESIN: And another ten points of psychic damage.

LIAM: This is just balancing for the Thordak fight. It’s all right.

TALIESIN: And I’ve lost that grit point, because I burned that grit point on the bird. So, ow! Run back in the tent. God damn it.

MATT: All right, that finishes Percy’s turn.

TALIESIN: And deep into the tent. Like, halfway into the tent.

MATT: Scanlan, you’re up.

SAM: I’m up?

MATT: Just curled up and shaking.

SAM: Okay. My Bigby’s Hand is still working, right?

MATT: Yeah, you didn’t break concentration.

SAM: I can move it, how far?

MATT: You can move it–

SAM: Move it up to 60 feet. Is that going to get back to me in time?

MATT: To you? Yeah. You can get it to anything in the battlefield.

SAM: I want it to do a 60-foot punch on the wyvern in front of me.

MATT: Go ahead and roll.

TRAVIS: Hadouken!

SAM: Okay.

TRAVIS: Tiger!

TALIESIN: I did well, and then I jammed again. I’ve done, like, 30 points of damage to myself.

SAM: Oh wait, I have to do a spell attack first.

LAURA: I’ve done more than that to everybody else.

SAM: No! 15.

MATT: 15 hits. Armor class is low on the wyverns.

SAM: So then, oh, it’s a lot. It’s already up to 26. Oh. 42.

MATT: Okay. The wyvern begins lifting up in the air, trying to escape now. It’s sitting here, whipping out. The guards are backing up, afraid to get too close. You see Scanlan concentrating. As the wyvern gets about 15 feet off the ground, Bigby’s Hand swoops up, grabs it, and then plants it right onto the jagged rock behind it, piercing it–

TRAVIS: You made wyvern juice!

MATT: It weakly goes limp against the bladed rock.

LAURA: Sick.

MATT: That was your bonus action. You still have your action and your movement, if you like. The two guards next to you are like, “We’re at your aid, sir!”

SAM: I might need it. Flank me! We’re going into battle!

TRAVIS: “Flank me.” I don’t think that means what you think it means.

SAM: So I’ll– I still have an action, right?

MATT: Action and movement, yeah.

SAM: I should probably heal myself, right? Nah. I’ll run toward the fight. Oh wait, there’s a wyvern right there, isn’t there? Ooh, I don’t want them to kill me.

MARISHA: There’s also a wyvern on my ass.

SAM: All right, I’ll attack the wyvern next to Marisha’s ass. I mean, Keyleth’s ass. With another Lightning Bolt.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: I have one more level three spell.

MATT: All righty, so the wyvern makes a– Not with a two, it doesn’t. And for the rider. The rider does get a natural 20, so it does take half damage.

SAM: Okay. So 8d6. I got it.

LIAM: What’s it like looking at this shirt-mare all night?

MATT: I’m trying not to.

LIAM: Hey, my eyes are up here.

MATT: It’s a great exercise in focus.

SAM: 23.

MATT: I hate you so much. With that, the rider takes the impact of the Lightning Bolt and whips its head back around angrily. However, the wyvern beneath it gets blasted by the bolt of lightning and throws it back. The rider gets just enough back, and the wyvern falls to the ground, unconscious and slowly dying.

MARISHA: You got that wyvern on my ass! Thanks, man!

SAM: And then I use my movement to grab both of the guards and cower behind them. Close them like a door in front of me.

MATT: Okay, so you move behind them, guarding you right there. You now have two bodyguards flanking you at that moment. All right. It is Xanthas’ turn, now.

LAURA: (groaning) I mean, he’s so cool, but I mean, he sucks a little bit.

MARISHA: He’s not that cool.

LAURA: No, I mean, he’s really cool, you guys. He’s the coolest.

MATT: He sees the giant fall, but the firebird is still in combat. There’s other wyverns floating around, some being taken down in the distance from other guards. It looks like the tide of battle is shifting, now, at this point. You guys, in helping out the guys around you, both gave a morale boost and shifted the tide. You can see, the other wyverns, the lizardmen, have been for the most part dispatched within the courtyard around you. However, Xanthas, looking down and seeing the circumstance, kind of, “Uh, um, argh!” Releases his hand. This is going to be against you, Vax. This is going to be a Chain Lighting.

LIAM: I will use Evasion, of course.

LAURA: That’s good, that’s good.

MATT: That’s a good call on that one. All right. Chain Lighting’s a little bit of a bitch, here. Let me pull it up. There we go. Sixth level. All right, so, I need Vax, Grog, and Pike to all make dexterity saving throws.

LAURA: Roll so high!

TRAVIS: Danger Sense!

SAM: Ashley Johnson!

LAURA: Ashley Jenkins!

ASHLEY: 15.

LIAM: I didn’t do too well. I only got 14.

TRAVIS: 17.

MATT: Okay, both of you fail. What did you get?

LIAM: 14.

MATT: All three of you fail.

LIAM: Half damage for me.

TRAVIS: What’d you have to roll to succeed?

ASHLEY: I was just going to take my turn!

MATT: I know! Well, that is 50 points.

TRAVIS: Five zero?!

MATT: Five zero. 50 points of lightning damage to Pike, Vax, and Grog. It’s a 6th-level spell, and he had a pretty damn high roll, actually.

ASHLEY: I hate him!

MATT: So yeah. You take half that damage.

LAURA: (gasps) You’re alive!

ASHLEY: Oh, that’s true!

LAURA: You’re wearing your armor!

ASHLEY: If you’re knocked unconscious by an attack or spell, a blast of healing flames surrounds you! You immediately regain five hit points and are lifted to your feet. All hostile creatures within 15 feet of you must make a dexterity saving throw.

LAURA: Or take fire damage.

MATT: Or take fire damage, yeah. It doesn’t affect the creature. You guys watch as the lightning streaks out from the top of the wall. Slams into the back of Vax, who– You arc up, your whole body seizing at the sudden burst of electrical energy, which then bursts outward into Grog and Pike. Grog, it hits you and your muscles tense and you drop the axe for a second. You reach down and push through the pain and pick it back up. Pike, it slams into you and you watch as the light shines up around you, the smoke emanating from underneath the plate armor. You fall to the ground. There’s a brief moment of silence, and then suddenly, this bright reddish-orange energy bursts out from beneath the armor, through the neck, through the sides of the plate, and you lift up about three or four feet off the ground before landing back on the ground, restored with a little bit of health. This burst of flame arcs out around you.

TRAVIS: Jean Grey! That’s amazing!

ASHLEY: I growl!

MATT: Xanthas then goes, “Okay!” and darts back inside.

LAURA: I hate him!

ASHLEY: He’s the worst!

MATT: All right, that brings us to Pike.

ASHLEY: Okay! I sound so puny with this voice! I’m going to try my tried and true pal, Guiding Bolt! I’m going to Guiding Bolt at fifth level, right in the belly of the beast.

MATT: So you’re going to turn around to this giant, angry ember-roc and Guiding Bolt it into the stomach. All righty. Let’s get over here for that assault. At fifth level, you said? All righty, that would be 8d6 radiant damage if you hit. You make a ranged spell attack. It is right up against you in a ranged format, so you’re probably going to have to step back because it is ranged. Or it’s disadvantage to hit. Up to you.

LAURA: Don’t take a step back, he’ll hit you!

ASHLEY: Maybe he’ll fail!

MARISHA: Would he get a strike of opportunity on her?

MATT: He might. It’s your call. Or take disadvantage on the strike, because it is a ranged attack.

MARISHA: Wait, wait. Is it the big bird? He might have reach. It might not be out of his range.

MATT: If you’re still within melee with him, you’ll have to step out of melee to not get the disadvantage. In doing that, he might get an attack of opportunity on you. It’s not just within five feet, it’s getting out of the creature’s ability.

ASHLEY: I’ll do the disadvantage.

MATT: Okay, go ahead and roll twice, adding your spell attack.

MARISHA: Big money, no whammies.

ASHLEY: Adding my spell attack? Okay. So, 14.

MATT: Okay, roll again.

LAURA: No, that was with disadvantage.

ASHLEY: I rolled two at the same time.

MATT: Oh, with disadvantage? That does hit, actually.

ASHLEY: It does?

MATT: Just barely. It doesn’t have a high armor.

ASHLEY: Ooh! Okay, so 8d6? Okay, so how many of these, (counting). Oh, these were bad rolls. Well, that’s a– (counting)

SAM: No break tonight, guys.

MATT: Nope, sorry. We’ve been off for two weeks.

ASHLEY: Do I add anything? It’s just those? 22.

MATT: 22 points of radiant damage against it. As you blast it, this giant flash of divine energy bursts around it, causing this glittering beacon. The next attack against it has advantage, period. You can see the creature itself, its flames are starting to flicker. It looks angry, and it looks wounded. That end your turn, Pike? Are you going to move? Oh, you can bonus action with the sword toward it and attack it if you want. So go ahead and make another spell attack.

ASHLEY: Okay. Guh.

LAURA: That hit, because you needed a 14.

ASHLEY: Oh yeah.

MATT: So, 1d8 plus five, if it’s higher than what you last rolled.

ASHLEY: 1d8 plus five.

MATT: Grog, you’re up next.

TRAVIS: Yep.

ASHLEY: 11.

MATT: 11? To hit?

ASHLEY: No, 11 damage.

MATT: Oh, damage, sorry. 11 damage to the creature. So, as the blade arcs past, striking again, you can see another flash of divine energy. Technically that would’ve had advantage, I just realized, because that’s the next attack against it. So roll again.

ASHLEY: Roll that again?

MATT: Roll the d20 again.

LAURA: Oh, because if you get a critical–

ASHLEY: Ooh, yeah, that hits.

MATT: Okay, so it’s fine. I was seeing if it was going to critical or not.

ASHLEY: So another? Oh, oh, sorry.

MATT: Yeah, because the Guiding Bolt gave advantage on the next attack, and the next attack was the sword. So the beacon fades. It is now Grog’s turn.

TRAVIS: Stupid big bird! I run over and I would like to hit the giant flaming piece of shit. Reckless, Great Weapon Master. All the lasagna. 31 minus five is 27.

MATT: That hits.

TRAVIS: No, 31 minus five is 26.

LAURA: It doesn’t matter, it hits.

MATT: You have to roll a 14 or higher to hit.

TRAVIS: That’s good to know. That’s a 17.

MATT: 17 hits. That’s higher than 14.

TRAVIS: And I’ll do all three. 14.

MATT: 14 hits, yeah. So, all three hit.

SAM: Kaboom, kaboom, ka-blow.

TRAVIS: 20, 21, 31. 31.

MATT: 31? All righty.

TRAVIS: Eight, 21, 24, 34.

MATT: All right, 34?

TRAVIS: Yeah. Six, 19, 21, 31.

MATT: Okay. How do you want to do this?

TRAVIS: I hit it twice with my axe, and with the third one I pick up Pike and I use her to slice the bird open! Come on, Pikey-poo!

MATT: Wielding Pike like a two-handed gnome, you drop the axe on the first two strikes, the creature stepping backward. You jump up in the air and, getting about neck-height, you swing Pike with all your strength. Pike, you feel your jowls get pulled from the g-forces of the sheer strength of the arc. What weapon are you using in the battle?

ASHLEY: Oh, I’m using my Mace of Disruption.

MATT: So as the mace comes through, it slams into the side of the skull of the ember roc. Your hands go numb from the impact as the vibration shivers through your body. You watch as the beak and the side of the skull crack and cave inward. With a little (squeak) sound, it just falls over on the ground.

ASHLEY: Yeah! Grog, it felt like I did it!

TRAVIS: You did do it! Monstah! Give me a growl!

ASHLEY: Arrr! I’m a monstah!

MARISHA: That was the cutest thing!

TRAVIS: I turn around and I look up at Vex and I say, fucking cut it out!

LAURA: I say, good job! I’m going to hit you in a minute!

ASHLEY: Oh, that’s right, we still have him and her.

MATT: All right, so we go back to the first round. The two soldiers that are guarding you are like, “What would you like, sir? Where are we going?”

SAM: Is anyone out there who wants to kill me?

MARISHA: There’s still the guy on the ground. Right under my face.

SAM: You two go kill that guy, I’ll go somewhere else!

MATT: Okay. They both, using their full–

LIAM: Just killed a pit fiend.

MATT: They get all the way up to it. They don’t have a chance to attack, but they’re surrounding it with their weapons drawn. They’re going to probably brutalize it pretty badly next round. All right. For the purposes of this round, too, you hear a sound from up in the hallway, where Xanthas was. (pained shout) You watch as Xanthas goes flying out a few feet and lands on his back. You watch as a small, brown bit of hair races across, a giant, gleaming Holy Avenger goes across the air–

TRAVIS: Yes! Platinum greatsword!

LAURA: Who was it?! It’s Kima?

MATT: It’s Kima.

(yelling)

MATT: She says, “Bahamut strike you down, you knife-eared son of a bitch!” The blade coming down–

SAM: Defenestrated.

(laughter)

MATT: Here we go. That is a 15 to hit. That hits against his armor class. And a natural 20.

MARISHA: Get it girl.

TRAVIS: End him. End him.

LAURA: Does he need to make a constitution check?

MATT: Oh, he will. It is a concentration spell. Ooh, double sixes on the first one.

TRAVIS: Don’t you wanna shoot me again?

LAURA: I’m pretty sure. No, right now I definitely want to shoot you again.

TRAVIS: Oh, okay.

MATT: 21 points of damage on the first strike. On the critical, that is 25. Oof, that’s rough. So, having to make a concentration check on both on those. The first one is a 15, succeeds on the first hit. The second one does not!

LAURA: Yes!

MATT: It’s half damage, he rolled a ten, he needed to roll 13 or higher.

MARISHA: That was on the critical, right?

MATT: Yeah, it was on the critical. So the concentration spell ends, you have control of your mind again.

LAURA: Tell me it’s my turn.

MATT: After that and Kima unloading on him, yes, it is.

ASHLEY: Yeah, get him.

TRAVIS: How many points of damage did he take?

MATT: From that total round, with the Divine Smite from her strike, he took 62 points of damage from her.

LAURA: I’m gonna fly right above him and shoot directly down onto his face.

MATT: Okay.

(laughter)

MATT: You coast over, looking down at him on the ground. He is prone currently, so you have disadvantage on the attacks.

LAURA: (triumphant laughter) And Kima’s standing next to him?

MATT: Yeah.

MATT: Disadvantage.

LAURA: Oh, he’s prone?

MATT: He’s prone.

LAURA: Why do I get disadvantage because he’s prone?

MATT: It’s ranged attack, so when things are on the ground, they’re a little harder–

LIAM: If Kima’s next to him, as a rogue, does it cancel out and she gets advantage from her ally?

MATT: You don’t get advantage from an ally being adjacent. You get to sneak attack them if they’re adjacent.

LIAM: Thanks.

MATT: No worries.

SAM: You got this.

LAURA: Psh. Six– no, 18?

MATT: Hits. His armor class isn’t very high. He’s a little mage dude.

LAURA: 18, and the other one definitely hits. 20.

MATT: Yeah, both still hit with disadvantage.

TRAVIS: Nice!

MATT: And you get sneak attack–

LAURA: And I Hunter’s Mark him because he’s a fucking dick!

MATT: All right. You do get sneak attack on the first hit because Kima is adjacent to him.

LAURA: Well, all right. 18. Where’s my dice? 28 on the first hit!

MATT: 28 on the first hit, nice.

ASHLEY: He made a mistake.

LAURA: 13.

TRAVIS: He made a mistake.

LAURA: 17 on the second hit.

MATT: 17 on the second hit?

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: How do you want to do this?

(cheering)

MARISHA: He was always an asshole! Always.

LAURA: That’s right. I’m gonna say, I always thought you were a dick back in Emon. Don’t fuck with me! Then I shoot him straight through the face.

MATT: As he’s on the ground–

TALIESIN: His heart breaks before the arrow hits.

(laughter)

MARISHA: He always had a crush on you!

(laughter)

MATT: He puts his finger up as you nock the first arrow, and he goes “Wait, I–” and the first arrow hits him in the shoulder. He’s like “No, (nervous laughter) we can–” and he gets that far into the second sentence before the arrow (impact) through his face. (whimpers, trails off) And the finger goes limp as his eyes go a little dead in the face.

LIAM: Slightly sad.

LAURA: I turn back round and I go, sorry, Grog.

MATT: Kima looks up and you and goes, (frustrated noise) “He was mine!”

LAURA: No, Kima. He was mine.

(laughter)

MATT: She takes the blade and (impact) stabs him anyway.

(laughter)

MATT: You see some of the wyverns, the few surviving now, are starting to scatter and head back towards Emon. It looks like the ranks have broken and the tide has definitely turned at this point. As you all begin to gather yourselves, the last lizard man on the ground over there is just being repeatedly stabbed by the guards until it’s no longer moving, and bludgeoned by the air elemental that’s lording over it. You begin to gather yourselves to consider the next course of action. We’re going to take a quick bathroom break–

LAURA: At ten o'clock, a bathroom break?

MARISHA: Quick bathroom break.

SAM: We need a pause.

MATT: There’s a little more in store here. We’ll be back here in a minute guys, we’ll see you in a sec.

BreakEdit

[break]

Part IIEdit

MATT: Hello, everyone, and welcome back. We have returned from our break. Real fast, we had two winners. We had one winner from last week since we had no episode, so we did two this time in the chat. The winners are Super Gimpo Man, who won a flamebox elder hero vault from Wyrmwood. And we have a second winner, is Southern Dragon 22, won a purple heart dice box.

SAM: That’s the one that I have.

MATT: It’s that color right there, for one of the deckboxes. So Super Gimpo Man and Southern Dragon 22 congratulations, well done.

MARISHA: It does grant you cock lightning, that’s true. It’s like a 5th-level spell.

MATT: All right, guys, so, the dust of the battle settling, the plumes of smoke slowly beginning to dissipate as the fires burn out from the previous struggle. The remaining living soldiers begin to gather their dead and wounded. And you guys begin to reconvene as allies towards the broken front doors to the outside of Fort Daxio.

LAURA: I search Xanthas’ body.

MATT: You search his body?

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: All righty.

SAM: I’ll search the giant.

MARISHA: Can I scavenge from the ember-roc?

MATT: Sure, if you want to.

TRAVIS: Could I ask Pike to heal me a little bit, please?

ASHLEY: Oh, yeah. Where are you at?

TRAVIS: Oh, you know, like a two-digit number.

LIAM: What?

MATT: How many points do you have, Grog?

TRAVIS: 25.

MATT: 25 hitpoints on Grog.

SAM: I got nine.

LAURA: Oh no, he asked. Does that mean that something’s going to happen right now?

MATT: I don’t know.

LAURA: We need to sleep, let’s all sleep. Let’s go to sleep right now.

MATT: Right now? It doesn’t work that way. All right, so as you guys are looting, the giant has giant black iron plate mail on, which is very heavy, it is– it’s going to take a few hands to pull off.

TRAVIS: Not if we tagteam.

MATT: As well as her great maul, which is also very large.

LIAM: Gauche.

MATT: And about 812 gold pieces.

LIAM: I’ll take those.

TRAVIS: Like so big that I couldn’t even wield it?

MATT: You could hold it, but you couldn’t wield it, yes. Sizewise, it’s maybe about three feet taller than you, from head to pommel. And the weight of it is unwieldy for your size.

TRAVIS: 30 points.

ASHLEY: I heal him 30 points with my last…

MATT: Okay. You find on Xanthas– you find 1,098 gold pieces.

SAM: I’ll take that.

MATT: You find a potion of superior healing that he didn’t have a chance to use. And there appears to be a wand that is shattered.

MARISHA: Take it.

LAURA: I’m taking it, of course I’m taking it.

MATT: It looks like it has broken, and there’s a little bit of a burn mark on the wood the wand was crafted from.

LAURA: Okay. I inspect it. It doesn’t do anything when I inspect it.

MATT: Okay. Make an arcana check.

LAURA: Okay.

LIAM: Take a look, Hermione.

LAURA: But I’m doing it because Grog told me to, and he’s brilliant.

TRAVIS: I know.

LAURA: 11.

LIAM: Check out the brain on Vex.

MATT: Definitely busted. And it was once a wand.

LAURA: Cool cool cool.

TRAVIS: Are you sure it’s not a twig?

MATT: I hate you so much, Sam. Nothing, continue.

TRAVIS: He never saw the bottom of it. Until now.

MATT: No, not until now.

SAM: Oh, is that true?

MATT: Yeah. I’ve been focused on… other things.

SAM: I printed some extras for you, Matt. Like, sign them for fans… it’s high derp.

MATT: I blame you, internet. You’re partially responsible for this. Oh boy. Some things never die.

LIAM: That’s a legacy.

MATT: It is a legacy, it’s true. It’s pretty great. One of the downsides of having hundreds of hours of video of you on the internet is those are everywhere.

LIAM: We’ve all made awful faces and said stupid things.

MATT: It’s wonderful. I’m glad you guys have come to enjoy it.

MARISHA: They’ve all seen us pick our noses.

MATT: Probably, yeah. Somebody do a supercut, please.

TALIESIN: Don’t.

MATT: Too late, guys.

TALIESIN: You’re a horrible person. I have two guns to fix at some point.

MATT: Okay, go ahead and make some repair checks while you’re working on that.

TALIESIN: Okay. Do I get a bonus if I’m not in the middle of combat, or is that still the same tinkering check?

MATT: Same tinkering check.

TALIESIN: So number one, yes! That goes well, that’s a 17. That was on Animus. And then Bad News, which is slightly easier to fix, does not fix.

SAM: Bad News.

TALIESIN: Bad News is broken.

MATT: Yeah. Bad News, you’re going to need supplies to fix.

TALIESIN: Yeah, I’m going to need to sit there with some money and spend some time with it.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: Hey, Mom? I cleaned the dishes.

ASHLEY: Did we loot the giant?

MATT: Yes, the giant was looted. You’re trying to carve something out of the ember-roc?

MARISHA: Yes I am. Nature check?

MATT: Go ahead and make a nature check, with advantage.

MARISHA: Gil, don’t fuck me, Gil. Gil, god damn it, Gil.

(laughter)

MARISHA: But with advantage, it is a 25.

MATT: Okay. It’s hard to pull a lot from the body, because the nature of the ember-roc, as it passes away, parts of it begin to turn to ash, but you do manage to pull from a portion of its torso what’s called ember-roc oil. It is a flammable liquid that burns like a napalm.

MARISHA: Like napalm?

MATT: You get about roughly a gallon of it to extract. Because the rest of it’s ruined for it. It’s worth about 750 gold, if you were to try and sell it. It’s very volatile, depending on how you store it, just so you’re aware.

SAM: Cool, man.

LIAM: Oh man, drop some Mentos in there.

MARISHA: Percy, do you have any vials left?

TALIESIN: In theory, I should have some vials left.

SAM: Can it hold a gallon?

TALIESIN: Not a gallon’s worth.

MARISHA: Not a gallon, but I just want a couple, and I hand a couple to Vex and Vax. Just a couple vials of the–

MATT: So you guys have a vial of ember-roc oil.

MARISHA: Yep, nitroglycerin.

MATT: Kind of. In a way.

MARISHA: You can either make a really great molotov cocktail, or maybe some flaming arrows.

MATT: You’re not certain. The book that you have that details some of these creatures, the thing that you had found earlier in the campaign, it doesn’t tell you details of how the actual liquid is triggered, it just says that it is fiery and burns very hot.

TRAVIS: It’s like the goo from Ghostbusters 2. “Talk angry.”

LAURA: “Talk sweet.”

MATT: Sure. As you guys are taking this moment to figure this out, eventually you hear what sounds like the crumbling of stone, and a few rocks tumble out of the broken open entrance to the fortress, and you watch as a couple of guards begin to come out, their eyes wide. They look like they were in armor and ready to make the final stand. Among them, you see General Elle Gorgofon, the female head of this particular regiment of Fort Daxio, and Kima.

MARISHA: But what about Allura?

MATT: You see them all emerge from it. Elle looks out to them. “So, you’ve done well. Little late, but thank you for the assist. We’ll begin to gather our dead.” She walks forward and gives you all a nod as she puts her helmet back on. Puts her blade aside and begins helping their soldiers begin to gather the dead in a pile. Kima steps up. You can see her teeth are clenched, and there’s still a shaking of rage in her fists, and what looks to be streaks of dried tears across her cheek. “Xanthas betrayed us all. He arrived alone, bloodied, asked for aid and protection. Since Allura recognized him, we let him in. Stayed here for a short time, saying how bad things had become in Emon, and spoke with Allura alone. Something sensitive. We found her ten minutes later. Come with me.”

TRAVIS: Are you serious?

MATT: She steps over the stone and leads you inside of the fortress. She turns the corner, stops, staring into the room. As you guys approach, motions for you to follow her. You walk up to one of the small meeting chambers, the one that you met Elle with when you first arrived here. And as you begin to approach, Kima turns back and says, “It’s okay. Friends are here.” And you walk in and you see Allura sitting really scared in a corner in her robes, sitting in a chair with her knees pulled to her chest. Her eyes widen as she sees you all, and she gets up from her chair and runs over, and the person who’s probably the first to walk in there would probably be Keyleth, at this point, and just wraps her arms around you and just holds you for a second and shakes.

MARISHA: Are you okay? What happened? We thought you were dead for a second.

MATT: She backs away. (distressed sounds)

MARISHA: Oh, fuck. Oh, fuck. What’s your name? What’s your name? She’s been Feebleminded. I turn to Kima. Was it Feeblemind?

MATT: “I– I don’t know what that is, I don’t– Can you help her?”

MARISHA: Yes. It’s a restoration spell.

ASHLEY: Yeah. I’m going to cast a Greater Restoration on her. I have it. Can I– well, I don’t have any 5th-level left yet– wow. I don’t have any 5th-level left, but I have a seventh. Can I cast it at a seventh?

MATT: You do have a seventh.

ASHLEY: Yeah, can I cast it at that?

MATT: Oh, you can definitely cast it at a higher level. It doesn’t affect it, but you can.

SAM: No, no, it doesn’t affect the power of the spell. It doesn’t make it a more powerful spell.

ASHLEY: This is so stressful.

MATT: It’s all good. So as you approach– Kima, as you begin to walk forward, your hands begin to glow as you reach out, your holy symbol beginning to burn with a bright whitish-orange color that mingles with the red and gold of the armor across your chest. As the glow sparks in your fingers, she goes (gasps).

ASHLEY: It’s okay. It’s okay. I’m going to help you.

MARISHA: I try and calm her as best as I can to help Pike. Any assistance I can provide.

MATT: She reaches forward, slowly touches and grabs your hand, and as it does, you watch as the light transfers from your hands and gauntlets into her arms and upper sleeves. She winces from it, but you keep holding her tight, and as it passes up through, reaches her mind, her face, the glow passes through and lifts off her, like this gentle steam that lifts off her. Eyes roll back for a second and close. “You are a godsend, my dear.”

ASHLEY: Oh, I grab her and hug her.

MATT: She pulls you in for a big hug and lifts you up off the ground for a second before– “You’re heavy now.” Puts you back down.

ASHLEY: I just have so much armor on.

MATT: “That you do, that you do.” As she pulls back, she looks at you all, and immediately, Grog and Vex, you feel yourselves pushed apart, as Kima rushes up and just grabs her around the side and says, “Don’t do that again!” Holds her for a second. Allura just rubs her head and says, “I’m sorry. I should have been careful. We needed allies, I didn’t know–” And Kima says, “You shut up,” and she reaches up and gives her a kiss. She takes her and holds her to her chest. Allura holds her, and you hear Kima quietly sobbing for a moment, and she goes, “I– well. It seems that things have moved a bit quicker in your absence. I think it’s time to find what we have at our disposal and do what we can to finish this before it comes on us.”

LAURA: Did you receive any word back from the armies?

MATT: “They’re about a day south of Emon. Syngorn has returned. Mikael is leading them northward. I haven’t checked in. I’m sorry, I wanted– I should have let you know. I couldn’t, I didn’t–”

MARISHA: Allura, I’m sorry. We should have been those allies, here by your side, and we weren’t, and I’m sorry.

MATT: “It seems you found what you went for. Let’s hope it makes the difference.”

MARISHA: Yes. It seems it already has.

LAURA: That’s true.

TALIESIN: We have something else. Where’s the body?

SAM: What body?

TALIESIN: We can interrogate him.

LAURA: Xanthas?

TRAVIS: Oh yeah, we can!

MARISHA: I believe he’s still on the wall.

LAURA: Get that fucker!

TALIESIN: Just because he’s dead doesn’t mean he doesn’t have to talk to us now.

TRAVIS: I’ll go get him. I’ll go get him. I go up and find the corpse of shitbag and bring it back.

MATT: At which point, Kima pushes away from Allura, her head still down. She sniffles back tears, looks up, punches her in the shoulder. Allura bumps back and rubs her shoulder. “I know.” “You know.” Kima turns around and walks out of the room in a little bit of a huff, her lower lip quivering. Allura now smiles for the first time since you came in. “All right. If you can, do your thing.”

ASHLEY: Okay.

TRAVIS: Should I put him on the ground or just hold him? I’ll hold him up.

MATT: So you bring back, dragging this bloody body, leaving this trail through the Fort. There’s bits of rock and rubble around, and you’re like, “Oops!” Drag him over them as you go.

TRAVIS: Whoops, sorry, ooh, that’s pouring out.

MATT: All right. So that is a 3rd-level spell.

ASHLEY: Because of the necklace, I have one 3rd-level spell left. Because I’ve used three.

MATT: Okay. So this would be the one. If you had it prepared, it has to be prepared. All righty. Great.

SAM: What are we asking this guy?

TRAVIS: How many questions do we get?

LAURA: We get three questions.

SAM: What are we asking?

MATT: Can ask the corpse up to five questions.

LAURA: Why are you such a dick?

MARISHA: You were always mean to us. Why?

TRAVIS: You’ve been working with Thordak. What are his weaknesses?

MARISHA: What did he want?

TALIESIN: The defenses of the city.

MATT: Just be aware of the rule, too. The corpse is under no compulsion to offer a truthful answer if you are hostile to it and it recognizes you as an enemy.

ASHLEY: So maybe just face it towards me?

LAURA: Yeah, 'cause you’re nice.

MATT: You can also discern lies, if you get a high enough insight. This is still– this isn’t free answers. This is still an interrogation.

TRAVIS: What if we put a bag over his head?

LAURA: I don’t know.

SAM: Who would he trust?

LIAM: Lizard-skinned man.

LAURA: Oh yeah. Could you make yourself look like a lizardman?

SAM: Yeah, sure, or I could make someone who we know talk–

LIAM: But you’re so good with words.

SAM: No, but I mean, I’m saying– who would he trust? I can make that person, and I can make that person talk.

MATT: Well, technically, it’s Pike asking the questions, since it is her spell, so whatever questions you ask have to go through her.

MARISHA: We have the Hat of Disguise. Can you give her the Hat of Disguise?

TRAVIS: What if you made yourself one of the lizardpeople, and then you had her down and you were using her to get info for Thordak?

TALIESIN: I think he’ll know that he’s dead.

MARISHA: You think he won’t care?

MATT: Yeah.

TALIESIN: So the trickery, I think it may be– I would say it’s probably either an appeal or a threat.

LAURA: Let’s try the appeal.

SAM: Let’s build a game show set. He’ll think he’s on a Japanese game show.

(laughter)

MARISHA: Wipeout!

LAURA: Let’s try to make him like us.

ASHLEY: Let’s try to make him like us. Like we were a friend, we’re sad that he died.

LAURA: Yeah, we’ll all back out of view. Especially me.

ASHLEY: God, okay.

SAM: Do we know anything about his family? Because we could always play bad cop, too, and threaten his family.

MATT: You guys have not engaged him beyond a brief fuck-you-type conversation in and out.

TALIESIN: I can threaten him. I can threaten him. I will threaten him if necessary, but we can try the carrot before the stick.

SAM: All right, so what are we asking? What are his weaknesses? Has Thordak had a visit from Greenie? Raishan?

TALIESIN: How did they find out where we were?

TRAVIS: Are there secret entrances into Emon?

LAURA: Yeah, that’s a good one!

TALIESIN: What are the strengths of their army? What are their weaknesses?

MARISHA: What does Thordak ultimately want?

LAURA: Who does Thordak trust the most?

TALIESIN: Who in the city, especially.

LAURA: Yeah, who in the city does Thordak trust?

LIAM: Do we want to ask him what he knows about the Clasp’s activity?

SAM: We’re up to 20 questions, now?

LAURA: Four, we’ve got four!

TALIESIN: Also, other questions may lead to other questions.

LAURA: Okay, so that’s good. Let’s start with this, and then we’ll see where it goes.

MATT: All right, what are you doing? Casting the spell?

ASHLEY: Yeah.

MATT: All right, so as Grog throws it on the ground, skids for a second, you begin casting the spell. As you’re casting it, Kima walks up and kicks it one more time and then walks away. You finish– it takes you– it’s a very quick action, but as you finish, you watch as the air itself seems to form this mist around the corpse, and the mist absorbs into the body. All of a sudden the jaw opens. Air fills its chest and the head leans up, the eyes still staring off into the distance, but it seems to be addressing you, Pike.

ASHLEY: Okay, so I’m going to walk over to him, and I’m going to put my hand on his face, and I’m going to say, my friend, I am so sorry that you’ve fallen in battle, but I had to bring you back to ask you some questions. I just got so nervous.

(laughter)

LIAM: Where’s the beef?

ASHLEY: So we know that you’ve been working with Thordak and I have some questions. Has Thordak had a visit from Raishan?

MATT: Make a persuasion check.

SAM: (quietly) Persuasion check!

ASHLEY: 22.

MATT: The head creaks a little bit as it tilts upward. You can hear the unnatural puppeteering of the body trying to speak, not the spirit but the body’s memory. “He’s had no visits. He speaks through his crystals.”

MARISHA: Okay, we knew that.

TALIESIN: (quietly) How did they find out where we were? How did he find Fort Daxio?

MARISHA: Well he speaks to his crystals.

TALIESIN: But we don’t know, like–

MARISHA: Well, some dickhead ratted us out.

TALIESIN: Who?

ASHLEY: I just have a couple, or four more questions for you?

(laughter)

ASHLEY: And then I will let you go in peace. How did you know that we were at Fort Daxio?

MATT: “Naught but two days before, maybe less, a scouting party left Emon. Saw activity at the fort. And when they checked, they saw you. And you were marked.”

TRAVIS: Can you insight check a dead person?

LAURA: Yeah, can we insight check him?

MATT: Sure.

MARISHA: Vox Machina, I’m assuming, considering you left our–

MATT: You get the sense that might be what he’s referring to, and you get the sense that long ago when you guys were high up on the broom looking out towards Emon, you missed seeing something that was possibly–

LAURA: I remember that, we didn’t roll high enough on perception. I rolled a 24 on insight.

MATT: Okay. So far none of the questions seem to be probing too deeply and he seems to be on the level with Pike.

ASHLEY: Do you know of any secret entrances into Emon?

MATT: “Secrets. Just the Traverse Junction.”

SAM: Traverse Junction. We’ve heard of that before.

MARISHA: Yeah, we have.

MATT: That’s where he used to work. That’s the–

TRAVIS: The teleportation circle.

MATT: “Or the tunnels beneath. But those are where the Clasp reign dominion.”

TRAVIS: Two more.

TALIESIN: Who within the city still fights– who within the city still fights against the dragon? Who will be our allies, who can we trust?

LAURA: That’s a whole lot. Who within the city fights against Thordak?

ASHLEY: Are we looking for allies, like who doesn’t–

SAM: Well we want to know who Thordak trusts and we want to know who Thordak doesn’t–

LAURA: We’ve only got two questions left.

TALIESIN: Thordak doesn’t trust anybody.

MARISHA: Well, the Clasp is clearly working for him now.

LAURA: What?

LAURA and TALIESIN: No.

MARISHA: Well he said the tunnels the Clasp “reigns dominion,” so–

TALIESIN: That’s where they– that’s theirs.

LIAM: But they might still be resisting. I mean the question– asking this shithead who still resists within the city will answer a lot of questions.

LAURA: Yeah. Yeah yeah yeah. Ask that.

ASHLEY: Who still in the city resists– I have one job! I feel so–

(laughter)

LIAM: Can you understand a word coming out of my mouth?

ASHLEY: Computer! Who still in the city resists Thordak?

MATT: “There are a few groups. But beneath the city the resistance builds. We’ve tried to smoke them out but they keep moving.”

LAURA: (whispers) So the Clasp is still resisting.

LIAM: Could be.

LAURA: Can I insight check him?

MATT: Sure.

LAURA: 18.

MATT: Kind of hard to read for a dead body, but seems to be legit.

LAURA: On the up and up?

ASHLEY: We have one more question, but is there anything else?

SAM: Anything else? Allies?

LAURA: Like, who does Thordak trust the most?

TALIESIN: Or what does Thordak fear?

TRAVIS: Yeah, yeah. I like that one.

LIAM: Probably, probably. What about Greyskull Keep? Because there was a tunnel from Greyskull Keep into the city.

TALIESIN and ASHLEY: He might not know about that.

ASHLEY: Is there anything or anyone that Thordak fears the most?

MATT: “Thordak has no fear. Thordak rules all.”

LIAM and TRAVIS: Insight check.

TRAVIS: One.

(laughter)

LIAM: Two.

LAURA: Wait wait wait.

MATT: You can’t all make insight checks to cover for the last person failing.

TALIESIN: Four.

LAURA: No, but I’ve been insight checking the whole damn time.

MATT: I know, I know.

LIAM: But I get plus two so it’s actually four, Matt, so spill his secrets.

LAURA: 25.

MATT: 25. Seems to be telling the truth from what he knows. You get the sense that in a strange way, while he was an intelligent fellow, he was also kind of a sniveling patsy. And the way that Kima’s talked off the cuff since this began to happen, since you began to prepare for the corpse, she seems to have a history, or at least her and Allura both have a history with him in the city, and he was basically a spineless coward.

MARISHA: Well, I mean, it makes sense, to a certain point. When you have a big enough ego you don’t have any more fears, I guess.

LIAM: Are we done with him?

LAURA: That’s it.

SAM: I don’t think he’s going to talk anymore. We should kill him.

MATT: The spell at this point has subsided and the last bit of energy and mist that had entered the body slowly drifts out of the open mouth and nose, (gasps), and the corpse goes cold.

LIAM: You guys can fill me in, in a bit. And I grab his collar and drag him outside with the rest of the bodies and start overseeing the burning of the bodies.

MATT: Okay. And there are large pyres for a lot of the lizardmen corpses and wyvern pieces, they’ve all been thrown. All the rest of the dead soldiers have been rounded up and have blankets and cloth, whatever’s nearby, to haul them over the wall and begin to recount who fell among them.

LAURA: (gasps) Can I fly up in the air and see if I can spot the boys?

TALIESIN: We have the stone, you can find the boys with the stone. If you would like to use the stone to pick up the boys–

MARISHA: Here. I give the stone to Vex.

MATT: Okay. You concentrate on the stone for a minute. Your form begins to shift. Your physicality begins to almost liquefy and then swirls and vanishes from view. You open your eyes, and you’re in shadow. You’re in shade. You’re in this little nook at the side of the rock crevasse, and you hear two voices go (surprised gasp). And you look immediately to your left and you see Hunin and Kyor are both there. One of them has dropped the crystal on the ground–

LAURA: Don’t drop it!

MATT: “Sorry! Sorry!”

LAURA: No, no. That’s okay.

MATT: “It started glowing and I got scared.”

LAURA: I put it in my pocket. I’m just so glad you’re safe.

MATT: “I’m glad you’re safe too. Is everything okay?”

LAURA: Everything is wonderful. Do you want to come back to the fort? All the bad guys are dead.

MATT: They both look at each other. “Okay.” And Hunin takes Kyor by the hand and they both walk after you as you make your way back towards Fort Daxio.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: The rest of you–

LAURA: I bamf Trinket out and let them ride on Trinket.

MATT: Okay! They both climb up after an awkward five minutes of trying to convince them that it’s okay. Trinket nudges them a little bit and they get up on top.

LAURA: He’s got a taste for the celestial blood.

MATT: They’re both riding on top of him and he’s proudly walking. (bear grunts)

LAURA: Yeah.

TRAVIS: Babysitter Trinket.

TALIESIN: I say we sleep here for the evening. We also can go through whatever materials the invading army left behind. Cannibalize them for our own. I suppose we can eat.

MARISHA: I talk to Allura, I guess.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: Is she there?

MATT: Yeah, she’s nearby. She was helping gather the dead, and she was talking with General Elle and getting the ideas of what the next course of action is and as you approach her she turns to you and as she recognizes your approach and goes, “Looking to probably make a jaunt to Whitestone shortly and see what we’ve gathered on that end. I can bring everyone with me if you’d like. You can stay here if you like, but…”

SAM: We should not leave them again.

MARISHA: I would feel terrible leaving everyone again after we gathered everyone. Who cast that spell on you? Feeblemind, that’s very high level magic.

MATT: “It is, and it was beyond the capability of that… man. But he pulled out a small wooden trinket in front of me which shattered and sent me into my stupor.”

MARISHA: It was Xanthas?

MATT: “Yes.”

SAM and LAURA: He had that wand that shattered.

MARISHA: Ah.

SAM: Did anyone escape the fight to go report back to home?

LAURA: There were a couple wyverns that got away. That’s why I don’t know if it– whatever.

SAM: So does the plan stay the same?

TRAVIS: I mean we can come back and stage here but we can’t leave anybody here.

LAURA: Say that again?

TRAVIS: We can stage here, but we can’t leave anybody here.

TALIESIN: No, we can’t leave anybody here. But it’s interesting. If we’re lucky, he’s going to send more troops to attack and we can be long gone by then.

MARISHA: Be long gone? What happened to using this as our base?

LAURA: They know about it!

TRAVIS: We can stage here. We can rally here. We can’t leave anybody here now.

TALIESIN: We can’t leave anybody here. We either abandon or we rally at this point. And now that we know there are forces underneath Emon, that is good news. That is very good news.

MARISHA: Was it only the wyverns and the lizardmen that attacked?

MATT: “Initially. It seemed to be some sort of a shock force. Apparently, that fire giant was their reinforcements or a general, I know not. From what you’ve told me, at the very least. There weren’t any powerful entities here at the get go, either. I don’t think it was sent as a full-scale assault more than it was, at this stage, just enough to harry and see what was here.”

MARISHA: Who was in contact with Xanthras? Xanthras? Xanthas? Xanthas. Who was in contact with Xanthas?

TRAVIS: Oh my lord.

SAM: Zenith.

MARISHA: Zenith. Who was in contact with Xena the Warrior Princess?

MATT: Xanthas. “None of us were in contact with him. I hadn’t seen him, probably in the better part of a year.”

MARISHA: Then how did he know?

TALIESIN: They saw us.

SAM: They said the scouts spotted us.

LAURA: Yeah. They spotted us with scouts.

TRAVIS: You had your hood up, it’s okay.

LIAM: What of the elves? Did I hear correctly that Syngorn has sent forces?

MATT: “As far as I know and the information I have received from Syngorn, they’ve taken the rest of the troops under General Mikael Daxio as well as the forces of Syngorn and they’re marching towards Emon, one day out.”

LIAM: One day out.

LAURA: (groans) Oh my god.

TALIESIN: We could meet them at Emon.

SAM: Wait, what?

TALIESIN: They’re marching towards Emon.

SAM: No. Wait, what?

LAURA: Yeah. So they’re a day away.

SAM: Is that true?

MATT: “They’re making their way northward, towards Daxio.”

SAM: Yeah, to us.

MARISHA: Oh, to Daxio.

MATT: “They’re a day out from Emon, but they have to– it’s in the pathway.”

SAM: That’s fine.

TALIESIN: We want them here.

MARISHA: That’s not okay.

SAM: Well, where else are we gonna meet?

MARISHA: Well, if they have to go through the battleground–

SAM: They don’t have to go through, they can go around it; they’re not idiots.

MATT: “They will, and in doing so, it’s about a four-day journey on foot for those troops to make it here to Fort Daxio.”

LAURA: Okay. So we have four days.

TALIESIN: We don’t have four days.

TRAVIS: I would volunteer that we should head south and meet them where they are.

SAM: On the outskirts of Emon.

TRAVIS: Yep. Better than being here, 'cause we let people get away.

MARISHA: We’re sitting ducks here.

SAM: So we’re gonna march all the troops out of here.

LAURA: All the troops, which is like, 20 people left.

TRAVIS: You gotta reposition once you give your position away.

MATT: As you as that, Elle pulls forward, her helmet under her arm. “Last count, looks like we have 55 strong surviving.”

TRAVIS: Yeah, we’re gonna march all 55.

MARISHA: Out of 200 that were here?

SAM: Remember that the original plan was for Thordak to know where we were, and send Raishan to kill us.

MARISHA: Where the fuck is Raishan? Where is Raishan?

LAURA: Well, we sent Raishan back to Whitestone with Asum and then we left, so for all we know Raishan’s there.

MARISHA: Allura, you were talking about going to Whitestone.

MATT: “That was my plan, yes.”

MARISHA: And what were all of your goals, again?

SAM: All of your goals?

MARISHA: All of Allura’s goals.

MARISHA: What did you want to do in Whitestone?

MATT: “That’s a very broad question.”

SAM: We need to meet up with Raishan. We need to find a rally point.

ASHLEY: Open a magic cafe.

TALIESIN: 55 men in a broken citadel is not a plan. It was a plan before, it’s not a plan now. These things have to change.

LIAM: We’ve an army close to Emon. We do have to talk to Raishan, though. I think we should go to Whitestone immediately, talk to her, and figure out if there’s any news with her.

SAM: She was coming back there, right?

TRAVIS: Yeah, is that where she is?

LAURA: Potentially

LIAM: But be ready to move to the army from Syngorn, quickly. It might be our best shot, our only shot?

SAM: Should we march these 55 blokes to the south while we go to Whitestone? I’ll stay and march the troops while you guys go back to Whitestone.

LAURA: No, we need to rest!

MARISHA: Okay, hang on, hang on. What time of day is it?

MATT: At this point it’s probably a little later afternoon; you’re maybe an hour, hour and a half from sunset.

MARISHA: All right. We can gather our most elite.

LAURA: It started really strong.

MARISHA: I can get a decent amount of people through if we Teleport Via Plants very quickly, but not all of them.

LAURA: No.

SAM: I think the 55 will be okay if we send them off into the wilderness.

MARISHA: Here’s the thing, 55 people walking near Emon is not very covert. And it’s clear that there are scouts everywhere; Fort Daxio was off the map until we showed up. No one was watching it until we showed up.

LIAM: But we are out of time.

MARISHA: But we are what Thordak is watching.

TALIESIN: So we have to be very careful of where we go and what we do.

MARISHA: We put everyone at risk no matter where we are.

SAM: No matter what, there’s not gonna be another attack on Daxio in the next 24 hours. So we can go back to Whitestone, we can spend the night here and then go back, or go back now and spend a night and then bamf right back before there’s any attack.

TALIESIN: Or we can send half the troops, as many as we can, tonight, stay here, and in the morning send the rest, and we can go with them.

MARISHA: To where Syngorn’s army is?

LAURA: But we’re gonna have to bring those guys back out here, right? I mean, we’re gonna have to march with the 55 guys. So why send them through to Whitestone? Why not sleep tonight, deep within the fort, wake up in the morning?

LIAM: They rest up, we go–

SAM: To Whitestone? Get info, come back tomorrow if we need to.

LAURA: Yeah, but we need to rest now.

TRAVIS: You can’t get 55 guys in the mansion, right?

SAM: The mansion, sure.

LIAM: But the mansion can’t travel.

SAM: Unless we spend the night here first before going to Whitestone bright and early in the morning.

LAURA: Well, maybe we should do that.

SAM: We need to rest anyway. I’m at nine hit points.

LAURA: Can you use the mansion tonight?

SAM: No, I can’t.

LAURA: So we sleep within the fort. Deep within the fort.

SAM: Yeah.

MARISHA: What’s left of the fort? What’s undestroyed?

MATT: The fort’s actually holding pretty well. Other than the front doors, which need to be repaired, and right now there isn’t anything beyond just putting things in the way because of the impact of the giant. The outer wall’s taken quite a bit of damage, but the fortress itself, for the most part, is standing.

SAM: We’ll be okay for eight hours of sleep, and then we can go to Whitestone, ask around, come back if we need to. Let’s go to sleep.

MARISHA: Maybe we should have someone on watch.

TALIESIN: Well, it is a fort.

LAURA: We’ll put the guards on watch.

TALIESIN: They have a system.

MATT: General Elle says, “I can do that; don’t worry. And don’t make fun of my horns!”

LAURA: I’m not, I’m not! I’m just saying that’s the sound they’ll make if they come.

MATT: “It’s a very specific sound my soldiers are trained to hear.”

ASHLEY: Of course, if you need us, you do blow that horn.

MATT: “Of course.”

ASHLEY: 'Cause we will hear it.

MATT: “Yes you will.”

TALIESIN: I need to sleep.

LAURA: Let’s find a bedroom and lay the fuck down.

MARISHA: Are we sleeping in the fort?

ASHLEY: Is there a room with a big fireplace in it, and we can all just have a sleepover?

MATT: If you want to, there is a hearth in one of the common-room areas.

LAURA: Is there somewhere to clean up?

MATT: They do. There are a few bathrooms that can be…

ASHLEY: Are there hides and things, like, fluffies we can lay on?

MATT: There’s nothing terribly comfortable, but there are blankets. It does get cold this far north. It’s not in the winter months anymore, but just south of the Cliffkeep Mountains in this area, it does get kinda chilly, so there are blankets, there are hides, there are things to keep warm in.

LIAM: I mean, you just got used as a weapon; you might want a shower.

ASHLEY: Ah, I like the dirt.

LAURA: I’m gonna go soak.

MARISHA: I’m gonna crash as soon as I find something fluffy to fall on.

MATT: Okay. All right. The rest of you guys find yourselves to rest for the evening? Okay. Those who care to, you clean up, and find rest as well. The food is meager but serviceable, and you all find yourselves an evening’s rest. Unperturbed, a good nine, ten hours pass of intense sleep as you all are sore, you are all exhausted– although you do recover your point of exhaustion, Scanlan, that’s gone– as do you, from your frenzied rage– You all come to consciousness shortly after daybreak, I’d say; you got to bed probably right around sunset, or a little bit past sunset, so it’s just starting to get the sun over the mountains. The day is yours.

LIAM: Well, we said what we were gonna do; we’re gonna go to Whitestone.

LAURA: Then let’s fucking go to Whitestone. Yep. That’s what we said we were gonna do.

LIAM: Kiki, set us up.

MARISHA: Sure.

SAM: We have any trees here?

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: Allura raises her hand. “I can still take us there.”

LAURA: Fuck, yeah, that’s right!

MATT: “That was the plan, but… I mean, it’s up to you; we could find a tree, I suppose.”

LAURA: Okay, but I have two extra guys with us right now.

MATT: “Oh… I cannot do that, unfortunately.”

MARISHA: Okay, you know what? I can get us there, and Allura can get us back on the same day.

LAURA: Okay, yeah.

MARISHA: What are we getting at Whitestone?

LIAM: We’re gonna talk to Raishan.

LAURA: See if Raishan’s there.

MARISHA: Is Raishan there?

LAURA: Potentially!

MATT: “I haven’t seen Raishan. We’ve been at the fort this entire time, waiting for your return.”

MARISHA: And she was getting Asum. You know what? Yeah. Let’s go. All right!

MATT: All right. You find your way out to one of the slightly charred trees in the main courtyard area, you open the portal. (whoosh) as it opens, your two celestial-blooded children guide you through, as well as Kima and Allura, into Whitestone. You emerge from the Sun Tree in the morning hours there as well. The city is quiet. You can see that a lot of the guard has been gathering arms and armor just in case they were ever called to be part of this fray, and the city just seems to be on high alert. But everything is intact, Whitestone appears to be fine, and the castle looms northward from your current position. You guys make your way towards Whitestone Castle; the guards greet you and lead you inside. Within minutes, Cassandra has been summoned down and says, “Percival, thank God you’ve returned.”

TALIESIN: 'Thank God’? All right, why? What’s happened?

MATT: “You’re alive, that’s–”

TALIESIN: Oh! Yes.

MATT: “Look, the last time you left, you did not come back in the best of places! I’m just beginning to think–”

TALIESIN: I just assume that everything is going to be bad news for the next– Just assume that I’m going to assume everything is terrible every time I see you for the next two months. Yes, we’re alive.

MATT: “Speaking of Asum.”

TALIESIN: Oh, no.

MATT: “Come.”

LAURA: Oh, Cassandra, are there rooms for these new guests?

MATT: “Who are these?”

LAURA: They’re the sweetest! This is, um… Keurig and Human.

(laughter)

MATT: You’re the best foster mom ever!

LAURA: I have them written down somewhere, but I can’t find it in my notes!

LIAM: We met them at Booty, they’re totally celestial–

MARISHA: They’re totally great, man!

SAM: Pumpkin latte…

MARISHA: They can just crash on our couch for a few months.

MATT: You watch their noses scrunch a little as you entirely butcher their names.

LIAM: They have, like, angel blood!

(laughter)

LAURA: What are their names again? I can’t find it.

MATT: Hunin and Kyor.

LAURA: Hunin and… Kyor?

MATT: Yes. K-Y-O-R.

LIAM: Do you see all of this?

LAURA: Got it. Angel babies. Writing it down.

MATT: “Yes, we can find them a room; that’s fine. Not to worry.”

TALIESIN: We’ll put them to work. They will be useful.

MATT: “Fine.”

SAM: I mean, not right away. They’ve been slaves. Why don’t we give them a day off?

ASHLEY: How old are they?

MATT: They’re in their late teens. Mid- to late teens.

SAM: Why don’t we just give them some schooling?

LAURA: I guess they’re about the same age as Cassandra, then, huh?

MATT: Cassandra’s a little bit older. Though she doesn’t act it. She acts, like, fifteen years her senior. And always has.

TALIESIN: Yes. All right. Asum?

MATT: All right, you guys head upstairs with her; she leads you– oh, no. She does not lead you upstairs. She leads you downstairs, through the tunnels, towards the ziggurat. And as she’s walking along, she says, “Well. We’ve managed to relocate the meeting room. And it required a bit of careful discussion as to our current allies. As well, the transport was a bit awkward for Asum and his companion, and the dragon cannot maintain her usual form around the ziggurat, so just be ready.”

TALIESIN: I assumed.

MATT: As you guys make your way into the ziggurat chamber, you can see already there’s the platform on the outside of the central area where the new situation is set. And you see there’s a table, and you can already hear discussion off that way, and there are a few servants that are bringing food and drinks up there as part of the morning breakfast for those who are in their meeting. And you see there, right on the outskirts of the table, wrapped and curled up, a gargantuan green dragon with its head resting on its claws that is listening in on part of the conversation.

LAURA: Oh, damn.

LIAM: Hey, little guy.

TALIESIN: Well, things have not been going well on our end; how about yours?

MATT: To Cassandra?

TALIESIN: Well, to the room.

MATT: To the room? Okay, so as you head up to the platform, everyone pauses and looks over. Asum stands up– you can see now, this being the real Asum– acid-scarred across the face, just as Raishan’s form arriving was, and sitting on the opposite end of Raishan, and you can see there’s this very much kind of– especially as a master of spies and information, understands the importance of, you know, strange bedfellows, given the circumstances in war, but is still not at ease and doesn’t seem to keep– always has one eye on the dragon at all times, but gives a nod. “It’s good to see that you’re all alive. And we have much to discuss. Please, come sit. You’ve met Brom before.” And you look over and you can see Brom Goldhand, the same square-jawed, shorter, black unkempt hair, the cleric of Ioun that was and is part of the council. However, the skin is covered in burn scars. Like, the face, some of the features are kind of missing. All the exposed elements beyond the armor are just burned. But he stands and bows to everyone. “It is good to see you all alive.” He sits down at the table, Cassandra takes a seat. Raishan has said nothing, is just watching you all as you sit down, gives a nod. Allura flanks behind you. Kima has been asked not to attend. (chuckles) Allura sits down on– there’s a few stools, whatever chairs were available were brought in here, so it’s a ramshackle meeting room, given how many butts have to sit around this area.

LAURA: I’ll stand.

MATT: But you are all here. “So. I’ve been told that you were at Daxio and gathering other allies about. Please, let us know what the circumstance is from your end of things. Things are not as well from ours.”

TRAVIS: That sucks to hear.

TALIESIN: Daxio was discovered and attacked prematurely.

MATT: “Wonderful.”

TALIESIN: A group has already– a small strike group came and attacked the fort, did damage– I wouldn’t necessarily call it significant damage–

LAURA: But wiped out a large percentage of the force there.

TALIESIN: Decimated it.

TRAVIS: 75 percent.

LIAM: Grog?

TRAVIS: I mean, whatever those words mean.

(laughter)

TALIESIN: Broken clock. That’s a very good guess, Grog. I’ve completely lost my train of thought.

TRAVIS: Approximately.

MARISHA: The problem is that we’ve summoned many of our allies to Fort Daxio and they are currently in transit to that current location.

MATT: “But Daxio’s been attacked.”

MARISHA: Correct.

MATT: “Then I would not recommend taking folks to Fort Daxio, especially if it’s sustained damage. Well, we’ve been busy in Emon.” The eyes glance over at Raishan. “And, well, needless to say, things have gone a bit strange. We’ve been working with Spireling Shenn and the Clasp, and we’ve been able to smuggle thousands of denizens of Emon beneath the city. Those that were not directly enslaved or gave fealty to the Cinder King out of fear and other interests we’ve been able to keep safe, and we’ve moved through the tunnels as often as possible. There are still many, many, many wyvern riders that patrol the city; the townfolk have run out of offerings and are now being sent out in slave groups to pull goods from nearby cities to bring at the feet of the dragon. We also have a rising volcanic mass rising up beneath the city that has consumed a number of the underground Clasp tunnels and has been slowly pinching off our mobility beneath the town, so our intent to hopefully find some sort of retort or vengeance and eventually take down the dragon… that clock is definitely ticking. Now. We’ve been keeping as best an eye on Thordak as we can. Brom, bless him and his sacrifices, has been our front man for this. And we know the creature has been shedding scales in places where jets of ever-burning flame now spark and burn the city itself. Wherever each one of these scales falls, it seems to be a beacon or source of its own white-hot fire. So the city is now a pitfall of its own right. The creature itself, the dragon, it has these jets that now burst from underneath its armor, fire that licks beyond it. It has a crest of red crystals now that begin to twist behind its horns and head, its eyes are like white-hot stars from the sky, it’s… It’s still dragon-like, but something more primal and elemental. (sighs) I’m not entirely certain what we’re dealing with here. But Brom, you’ve made some headway.” And Brom clears his throat. “(ahem) Myself and a few devout have been doing our best to prepare surviving warriors and guards, and mages who were ousted from the Lyceum; we have a few strike teams that have been effective in harrying the outside of his defenses, learning information we can, knocking down the guardians. Since the fire giants have arrived it’s been a little more difficult, so we’ve been reduced to stealth missions, quick in and out. We don’t have the muscle to assault head-on. Up until recently.” His eyes pass over to you. “You say there are armies making their way to the city, and we have you, all the strength that you’ve gained and the stories I’ve heard from people here at Whitestone. If we’re going to do something, we need to do it soon. Now, the Lyceum has fallen to those that have sworn fealty to the Cinder King, so we don’t have use of those artifacts anymore. We’ve been trying to break through to the inner sanctum of the Cloudtop, what the dragon now calls its home, its lair. It’s burrowed this deep, underground basin where it resides now. It only emerges when summoned or called to, or when it decides to make a proclamation, drawing what little bit of children or families that it sees as a fun bit of play to watch them bow and quiver in the street before asking for someone to prove their strength and their worship of himself and strike them where they stand. Some days he’s angry, some days he’s laughing; this dragon is completely insane, we can’t really gauge. Red dragons are known for pride, and you could count on that, use it against them, but sometimes his jaws quiver as he cries and shakes and yells out laughing into the sky, a terrible laughter, one that can induce the worst of nightmares. I don’t know what we’re dealing with anymore. However. We did have one team, a very brave team, that provoked the dragon to leave its lair, and held it long enough for us to move past it and pierce the inside of its sanctum. Now, we passed the wards, and the pools of fire. The beast returned before we could get too far, and I lost most of my men, myself barely surviving with my life, and the scars to tell of it. But the beast is building something in that lair. Something it is guarding fiercely. And something that it will not leave. Something that I think it has come to hold more dear than the city it now presides over. If there is a key to piercing its pride, or if there is a reason to take it down, I begin to fear what it’s holding below the city. Now, by the might of the Wounded Mistress of Knowledge, Ioun, in the channels in which we speak, that is all the information I have. I hope it’s helped in some way.” And he sits down in his chair and clutches his holy symbol.

LAURA: Oh, my god.

TALIESIN: This changes much.

MARISHA: Yes, it does.

LIAM: Dragon. You’re awfully quiet. We need to act. What do you advise?

MATT: Raishan’s head slowly turns towards you and the nostrils kind of, (snort). Not in an aggressive way, but in acknowledgement. The bright yellowish eyes, you can see the blackened veins that curl up past the scales, some of the scales actually splitting and pulling open what you can see would be some sort of a contagion-based wound that, while not infected, does not look positive. Raishan’s lips curl up, and the voice billows forth, a low, curling growl. “Well. If the madness continues to spread, and our recent conversations confirm this, you’ve gathered your allies. Distraction. Attack. Confusion. Chaos, striking towards the center of the city is the best chance we have. If we have a way in, to break the Cloudtop, we can battle it there, draw it from its lair. Force it to possibly rescind within, and have our final battle there. Or, if luck is with us, finish it on the streets itself, and discover whatever it is it’s keeping while it lies dead and burning in the street.”

LIAM: You say “we”?

LAURA: You’ll fight alongside us?

MATT: “What have I to gain by watching you do this yourself?”

MARISHA: I imagine whatever he’s building. What is he building, do you know?

MATT: “I have no idea. He lets nothing within his sanctum.”

MARISHA: Insight check!

MATT: Make an insight check.

TRAVIS: Come on, high insight.

MARISHA: What was that? That’s okay, 23.

MATT: 23?

SAM: (gasps) Whispers… The promo link is lootcrate.com/criticalrole, promo code criticalrole for ten percent off your first month and remember, you’re doing this to support the show, and to support my kid’s pre-school class. And the memory of Dennis.

LAURA: And Coachella.

LIAM: Coachella needs capoeira classes.

(laughter)

TALIESIN: We should also probably tell them about Xanthas, that we did have…

SAM: Tell who about Xanthas?

TALIESIN: The room.

SAM: Oh. Well, there was a guy named Xanthas, we killed him, he was a dick, what’s there to tell?

TALIESIN: There is worth telling, is that he had already turned and was working for the Cinder King.

SAM: Keyleth.

TALIESIN: And he is now no longer with us.

LAURA: Brom? Do you know Osysa? The sphinx?

MATT: Thinks for a minute. “I do not know of this sphinx. I am sorry.”

LAURA: There’s a temple to Ioun in Vasselheim.

MATT: There is a temple to Ioun? In Vasselheim?

LAURA: There is.

MATT: “That is good. Many temples have fallen and hidden through the years since our mistress was wounded.”

LAURA: You would have no way of contacting it?

MATT: “I can beseech my mistress for information. But short of travelling to Vasselheim which I have not been to, I cannot help you. I apologise, since the Calamity, during the struggle with Tharizdun, my mistress was grievously wounded in the struggle, and since then has been diminished. And in this time many of those that seek to lessen her hold on the world and the spread of the information and knowledge that we wish to share have then hunted and persecuted those of us that follow in her wake. So the temples have been buried or kept in distributed information through anonymous channels. Only a few of us in positions of protection can speak out so strongly. This…” Surprisingly, he turns back towards the ziggurat. “This was one such temple.”

MARISHA: What?

LAURA: Yeah, that’s right, this was a temple to Ioun, we knew that.

MARISHA: Right, right, okay. So wait, Tharizdun?

MATT: “Tharizdun, the Chained Oblivion.”

MARISHA: Is that another god?

MATT: “Yes, a very evil one. Sealed, chained away. Nothing you need to worry about. Not in the midst of this.”

TALIESIN: We’re going to have to go to Emon.

LAURA: Well, yeah.

SAM: Sure. We’ll rally all the troops outside and maybe go in through the tunnels? I guess when we rally the troops we can form a more specific plan.

TALIESIN: There will be several armies, we will have allies. There will be troops to create distractions, there will be troops that go into the tunnels, there will probably be a group of troops that go in to try and pierce the lair. We will create chaos.

SAM: Ooh, did the airship ever show up?

MATT: Cassandra says “Yes, the airship has been told to make its way towards Fort Daxio.”

SAM: Oh that’s good! Oh wait. Well, you know.

TALIESIN: It could actually pick up the people there.

SAM: Sure, yeah.

TRAVIS: Do we want to do a last trip to Vasselheim to talk to Osysa or… since we got all the Vestiges?

SAM: To do what? It’s not all the Vestiges in the world?

LAURA: No, all the ones she told us about.

TRAVIS: She was like, if you get these then I will help you.

SAM: Oh really? She said that?

LAURA: Did she say that?

TRAVIS: Did she say that?

MARISHA: Did she say that?

LAURA: Do we remember her saying anything like that?

MATT: Well you didn’t learn about the Vestiges until it was–

LAURA: It was from her hubby, her boyfriend.

MATT: Yeah, Kamaljiori, it was, yeah.

TRAVIS: Yeah, that name.

LAURA: The one that said a name is earned.

MATT: Yes.

LAURA: Do we need to go to him?

TRAVIS: It’s a sphinx.

LAURA: Was there anybody that said they would help us once we got all the Vestiges? I feel like they said that once we got all the Vestiges we’d be like extra awesome.

SAM: We are extra awesome.

LAURA: Well, yeah, yeah, yeah.

MARISHA: I mean, there’s some– I feel like there’s not some sort of Voltron thing considering there are more vestiges in the world.

TRAVIS: You lack imagination.

SAM: Quick, let’s try to fit all of our Vestiges together right now.

LAURA: Okay, let’s do it.

SAM: I just stab at Pike.

LAURA: Ow ow ow ow.

ASHLEY: I don’t feel anything.

TRAVIS: Does anything happen when they’re all touching?

(laughter)

MATT: You take all the Vestiges and and smush them into a pile on the central table and all the rest of the council kind of–

LAURA: Oh, it’s not magic down here

MATT: –look curiously and they all gather around as you begin to place them all into the central area, kind of overlapping in almost the shape of a person who is built of Vestiges. You put them each one down, their kind of magical essence clinging with the surface of the stone table.

LAURA: There’s no magic down here!

LIAM: I just lie down across the entire table.

MATT: All right, the sound of them impacting. They all sit there on the table.

LIAM: They don’t stick to my armor somehow?

MATT: No.

TRAVIS: You gotta say a word.

MATT: Everyone’s kind of standing there watching quietly as nothing happens, and then Asum goes, “All right then, um.”

SAM: Maybe you should put your armor back on, Pike.

ASHLEY: I mean, I have underclothes.

SAM: Okay.

MATT: Yeah, we had that discussion. You need things beneath the armor or it’ll cut you to shit.

ASHLEY: Just like bareback armor.

MATT: That’d be a bad idea. You’d get pinched in all the wrong places.

TALIESIN: We do have– Well, we do have our own tunnel into the city that we can show– Is anybody using our tunnels into the city?

SAM: The Clasp? Oh you mean our specifically? Last time I scryed there, there was someone in the keep.

LAURA: Can you scry there now?

SAM: No.

MARISHA: Wait, weren’t they–

LAURA: Oh yeah, Keyleth! Can you scry? Not down here. We have to leave the ziggurat.

MARISHA: I’ve got the Scrying Eye.

TALIESIN: If the keep is clear, that does give us access. Possibly clear access.

LAURA: We could bamf into the keep.

SAM: Yeah, that just gets us inside the wall. That doesn’t– that’s it.

LIAM: That’s not nothing.

SAM: The sewers is where we need to be.

LIAM: It connects. That’ll get us under the wall. What about– What about Cashew? What about Shaun? What about Zahra?

MARISHA: Cashew’s kinda mad at us.

LIAM: Yeah, I’m sure he is, but this the end of times.

MATT: Cassandra kind of raises her hand and goes, “Kashaw and Zahra, they are ready to go whenever you are ready.”

LAURA: Sweet.

LIAM: Shaun?

MATT: “Shaun we’ve – we’re trying to decide if it is best to keep someone here to maintain the barrier, or if we are going all in on this, if we just send everyone out there and leave the city defenseless.”

SAM: I think it’s best to leave him here, especially since that was his plan all along, because he is a dominator of all worlds and a god among men.

MATT: Allura raises her hand and goes, “Either I or Shaun can run the barrier; you can decide. I don’t mind staying back or going to the forefront. It’s your choice which one of us to take.”

TRAVIS: Can Gilmore transport people like you can?

MATT: “I believe he can, yes.”

TRAVIS: I like Gilmore.

LIAM: For what? For keeping him alive or taking him?

TRAVIS: No, bringing him with. Dude, he turned that guy into a little pretzel dough ball. Just because he fucked with him.

MARISHA: But Allura can teleport us back and forth.

TRAVIS: Yeah, so can he.

MARISHA: Can he?

TRAVIS: That’s what he just said.

TALIESIN: Allura signed up for this fight.

LIAM: Yeah, Allura, what do you want to do?

MATT: “It’s interesting. I have a lot of personal history with Thordak. I feel a deep sense of responsibility for all of this that still eats away at me. And because of that a part of me really longs to be there with all of you, putting this dark and fiery chapter to rest. On the other hand, having already faced him, and having an inkling of what he is now, every part of me wants to run away. Screaming.”

LIAM: But you have faced him.

MATT: “I have.”

LIAM: And that’s invaluable.

MATT: “I lost many good people in doing so.”

TALIESIN: And we’re going to lose many more.

MATT: “Most likely. So the choice is yours, Vox Machina.”

TRAVIS: Gilmore.

(laughing)

TRAVIS: No offense. You’re lovely and very strong.

MATT: You watch her audibly (sighs).

LAURA: Is that relief? That was relief.

MATT: It’s both. It’s a lot of things. It’s an emotionally conflicted exhale, but it is a relief of tension regardless.

LIAM: I disagree. You fought this fucking thing before. You know him. That is invaluable. You have more experience than we do. You’re wiser than us.

MARISHA: Scanlan? What do you think?

SAM: I think we should decide this the way we always do.

LIAM: Coin toss?

SAM: Talk about it for a long, long time.

(laughter)

MATT: That’s D&D, man.

SAM: Let’s put it to a vote.

LIAM: Experience. Experience.

SAM: A voice vote. All in favor of Gilmore, say, “Hell yeah.” All in favor of Allura, say, “Ah, sure, sure.” Right?

SAM: Gilmore?

SAM, ASHLEY, TRAVIS: Hell yeah!

SAM: Oh, just us. Allura?

SAM, TALIESIN, LIAM, MARISHA: Ah, sure.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: But that was three and three. What’d you vote?

ASHLEY: I voted Gilmore.

TRAVIS: That’s four.

LIAM: I don’t know what would happen. So: Gilmore, Gilmore…

TRAVIS: Four and three.

TALIESIN: Gilmore doesn’t want to go either.

ASHLEY: Neither of them want to go, but she’s so scared now.

MARISHA: Allura. Hang on, wait, I’m talking to her. I’m not voting; I’m talking to her.

(laughter)

SAM: “Allura! I vote for Gilmore.”

(laughter)

TALIESIN: Unless Gilmore feels like volunteering.

MARISHA: Allura, I have had destiny pushed upon me since birth. What do you feel is right? Because I’m not sure what to believe anymore.

LAURA: Make this decision for us!

MARISHA: Make this decision for us!

SAM: Hey, let’s leave it to the dice!

MATT: Allura turns to you, kind of takes the side of your head in her hands and says, “And in becoming a leader, you’ve been put in a position to make very difficult choices. As you grow as a leader, you’ll have to make many more. This is not my choice to make.”

MARISHA: But in many ways you’ve been our leader–

(laughter)

SAM: We already voted, people! And Gilmore won!

TALIESIN: No, actually, Allura won.

MATT: “Who do you choose?”

TRAVIS: Yeah, it’s four to three.

LIAM: Well, then, it’s covered. Then it’s done.

MATT: “Keyleth.”

TALIESIN: All right.

LIAM: Unless you do what Laura and Marisha did and do the exact opposite after the vote. Right? Come on, Allura.

MARISHA: Wait, are you trying to use this as an allegory?.

LIAM: No. That’s just a throwback to, what episode…?

MATT: At this point, Raishan picks up and goes–

MARISHA: Oh. Clarota?

MATT: “Oh, god, at the rate this is going, I think perhaps neither of them are going to make it.”

LAURA: Yeah. Sorry about that.

SAM: Trial by combat.

(laughter)

MATT: The survivor goes to Emon!

LAURA: I mean, is Gilmore strong enough?

MARISHA: Yeah, is he strong enough? Is he all right?

TRAVIS: We’ll rest him up; he’ll be great. Pretzel dough ball. It’s gonna be amazing.

MATT: “Last I checked, he’s handling the barrier, but he’s a capable man. May need a bit of rest, but so did you.”

SAM: Quick stop to get his parents’ permission, then we’re on our way.

MARISHA: Allura.

SAM: Wait, what? What happened?

LIAM: She’s talking to her.

MARISHA: Fucking god dammit, you guys. I’m not making votes here! In many ways, I feel–

(laughing)

MARISHA: What?

TRAVIS: We’re taking Gilmore.

LAURA: No, she’s talking to her!

LIAM: She’s not trying to take her. She’s talking about something else.

MARISHA: Jesus Christ.

MATT: There are a few chuckles at the table now, as everyone is just dumbfoundedly watching you all argue over who to take for five minutes.

LIAM: Vox Machina.

MATT: Vox Machina.

MARISHA: In many ways, I feel we are walking down the path you’ve already walked. In that case, I feel it’s time for new blood, and we’ve been with Gilmore since the beginning. We need you as an ally back here, we’ll keep you on the sidelines as an oracle, and we’ll take Gilmore to be by our side.

LAURA: Yeah, yeah, yeah, that’s what we said already.

MARISHA: Look, he set me up to make the call, okay! I was trying to follow through, Jesus.

ASHLEY: You got it, Keyleth.

LIAM: Smash cut to Gilmore saying, “No fucking way!”

MATT: “I’m not going, what are you talking about?! No! That’s suicide! They make me baguettes every morning in Whitestone. I’m staying here.”

(laughter)

Allura kind of nods and goes, “Very well. I’ll send Kima as well. All the strength that we have in your direction. I’ll stay here and play guardian of Whitestone, as I have for quite some time.” She looks to Cassandra, looks to Raishan, everyone else, they all kind of nod and Cassandra stands up, holds her collar and– it’s interesting in moments like these that such a young girl still carries the weight of a room like this, of such giants by comparison to her and still can command attention so quickly with a subtle physicality. And then she adjusts her collar a bit and raises her chin. “And so it is. Vox Machina, we gather our forces. Put your minds together. Decide on your plan of action, your means of attack. Soon we begin the assault on Emon.” And that’s where we’ll end our episode for tonight.

SAM: At dawn, we vote!

MARISHA: I demand a recount! In Pennsylvania and Florida specifically.

LIAM: You know, Gilmore won the popular vote.

(laughter)

MATT: You guys, thank you very much. We’re on the home stretch, it looks like.

LAURA: Oh my god.

MATT: Man. All right. You guys have a week to plan amongst yourselves what to do next time.

MARISHA: Are we assuming that we’re sleeping after this? Because god damn.

ASHLEY: We already just slept.

MARISHA: That’s right, because we bamfed to Whitestone. Never mind.

MATT: Correct, yes, you’ve only used your spell there. We will unfortunately not have a Travis Willingham next week, or Ashley Johnson.

LAURA: Oh fuck. It’s going to be an empty bench over here.

MATT: However, based on the gathering of allies just for this battle, we may have a guest or two.

(gasps)

SAM: Gathering?

MATT: You guys are gathering all your allies.

SAM: As in, like, the Insane Clown Posse is coming?

MATT: Yeah man! The Dark Carnival’s here!

(laughter)

SAM: Next week on Critical Role.

MATT: Just start spraying Faygo all over you guys.

LAURA: Wait, it’s happening next week? We’re going into battle? We don’t have Travis and Ashley?

TALIESIN: Shit’s happening.

LIAM: Dude, that city’s probably like the nine circles of Hell, we’re not just going to get there, fast track to Thordak.

LAURA: Okay okay okay.

TRAVIS: If you got Lin Manuel next week, I will kill you.

LAURA: No, it’s not, don’t say– no it’s not.

MATT: I wish, I wish, that’d be great.

TRAVIS: I’m just putting it out there, I don’t want to have to kill you.

MATT: All right, cool.

TRAVIS: Thank you, Loot Crate!

MATT: Thank you Loot Crate, again, for being a great sponsor. Thank you guys so much for watching tonight, we’ll see you Tuesday at Talks Machina, and Thursday for the continuation of this climactic downwards spiral into ancient red dragon territory.

LIAM: This bullet-proof think-tank.

MATT: Yeah, what could possibly go wrong? (laughs) Anyway guys, have a wonderful week, a wonderful weekend, a wonderful evening, and is it Thursday yet? Good night.

[music]

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