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List of Transcripts

Pre-Show[]

MATT: Hello everyone, and welcome to tonight's episode of Critical Role, where a bunch of us nerdy-ass voice actors sit around, roll dice, and play Dungeons and Dragons, while Liam curses at me a few seconds before we start the show to try and throw me off. It's worked once before.

TALIESIN: Cock goblins.

MATT: It'll probably work again. (laughs) Welcome to the show. So yeah, for the returning friends, thank you for coming, and for new folks, welcome to the chaos.

TRAVIS: Get the fuck out.

LAURA: Don't say that.

MATT: It's already so hostile here tonight. So I guess first and foremost, let's see if we can get through these announcements pretty quick. First and foremost, a reminder, me and Marisha will be in Colorado tomorrow at the Colorado Anime Fest. We'll be guests this weekend there, so if any folks are coming out, we'll look forward to seeing you. We'll be flying over bright and early tomorrow morning. Taliesin, you're also–

TALIESIN: I will be in Phoenix, Arizona at the Amazing Comic Con, and if you follow me on Twitter, @executivegoth, I will actually tell you where I will be at the convention at various times.

MATT: So you can stalk him.

TALIESIN: You can stalk me. I'll be very stalkable. E-stalk.

MARISHA: It's like Santa Tracker, but Taliesin Tracker.

MATT: Yeah. Waldo Tracker. Why has nobody done that yet? Give it some time. Let's see. Also, I guess, tonight we're going to be trying out this new table camera here on the side to give you a separate view of the battle. We can switch around as we're finding our way through the amorphous betterment of our program.

LIAM: Can we work in like a Wolf Blizter hologram? Like they have on CNN as well?

MATT: I'll put that on the wish list.

LIAM: On the table, next to all the guys.

MATT: Only if it's actually Wolf Blitzer, though. If we can have him running through the battlefield, it'll be great.

TALIESIN: Just his head, floating.

MATT: But yeah, so you can head to the Geek and Sundry Amazon wish list, the link should be in the chat, for other things they're looking for to hopefully try and improve this experience and bring it to you guys and be even better going forward. So you can check that out, and this camera's our first leap in that direction, so you can let us know how you think it works and bear with us as we still figure this whole thing out. Let's see. Also, next week, most of us will be at Wizard World Portland. That's our first Wizard World, you can check out the website for information about our events and signings and tickets and stuff like that, so go check it out, please, we look forward to seeing you guys, and we'll see you up in Portland next weekend. What else do we have going on?

LIAM: Well, you know, we have an ongoing relationship with Wyrmwood Gaming, which you can find on the internet. They make beautiful boxes for holding dice and stuff, and if you use the code “critrole,” “critrole,” you will get free shipping. They have all different kinds of woods, they're lovely. And then also, hey, this is an impromptu announcement, but Kurtis Wiebe just announced on the Twitters, Kurtis Wiebe is the writer for the comic book Rat Queens.

LAURA: Amazing.

LIAM: We all are addicted to it. He works with Tess Fowler, who's the artist right now, and basically their outfit and our outfit are in love, and Kurtis announced on Twitter today that he is going to be shoving Vox Machina in there in some way, somehow, and we're very excited.

LAURA: We're making a cameo appearance in Rat Queens, you guys!

TALIESIN: Our first cameo.

SAM: I want to be the rat!

MATT: (laughs) You would, wouldn't you? So stupid excited for that. Can't even. I can't even. It's so dumb. So dumb. Life is dumb. Life is dumb. But yeah. So, we got that going on. I can't think of anything else. If anything else comes up, we'll throw it in there in the mid-break, but in the meantime–

SAM: Oh yeah, I want to give a quick shout-out to my charity of choice, the Pablove Foundation.

MATT: Yes!

SAM: I talked to them today. Their minds were blown by all the gifts that people have sent in and donations in the name of Critical Role and the Critter community. They didn't quite understand what the Critter community was, but I enlightened them, and they're so jazzed by you guys. And they appreciate not just the donations and gifts, but also, they said that the Critters have been writing long letters and telling great stories and stuff, and they're super excited.

MARISHA: That's awesome!

SAM: So keep it going to those charities. The Pablove Foundation.

MARISHA: Yeah, should we go off and do a shout-out of each of our charities?

MATT: Sure, go for it.

TALIESIN: First Place for Youth. I'll have a link up to my Twitter in about five minutes. They help kids get through school, they help kids who are orphaned and having issues get their stuff together and become fabulous teenagers like we need in this world.

MARISHA: We do. And of course, Sam is with Pablove Foundation.

SAM: The Pablove Foundation.

MARISHA: Pablove Foundation, which is amazing. I chose the Nature Conservancy. They're great and they protect the lands and the animals that is very important so we can keep having a beautiful green world.

LIAM: I chose the Planetary Society, just in case the green world dies, and it promotes exploration of space, and the stuff like that.

LAURA: I chose My Friend's Place, which is an awesome, very similar to Taliesin's, it's an awesome place for teenagers that are runaways or living on the streets. It gives them a place that they can crash and really help get their stuff together.

MATT: 'Sup, Jewel-face?

TRAVIS: I am the Vision.

(laughter)

MATT: Donate to the Vision.

TRAVIS: Yes, I have Operation Supply Drop, which is a great charity service that delivers fun where there is none to soldiers that are in combat overseas. It delivers gaming systems, games, brings some much-needed levity to areas of high intensity and overall warrior badassmanship, and I'm very proud of that.

LIAM: What a variety of charities.

MARISHA: Yeah, that's a good stretch of charities.

MATT: My charity.

MARISHA and SAM: Oh, yeah.

MATT: I got one too, guys!

MARISHA: Sorry. I sometimes forget about you, because you're on that side.

MATT: I know, it happens.

LIAM: You're god!

MATT: Hey, no, overlooked my entire life, it's nothing new. My charity is First Book, which brings reading materials to underprivileged children and helps people become more confident readers and youth that don't have access to programs to help promote literary adventure and really delving into the amazing thing that is reading. Thank you guys for helping us support that, it's been really fantastic.

MARISHA: All things that are important for the future.

MATT: So important. More than you'd give it credit for. Yes.

MARISHA: And of course, as always, Critical Role always supports 826LA.

LAURA: Yes, continually.

MARISHA: Continually. They are our sponsored charity of choice, and of course look up 826, there might be an 826 in your area. And you should go to their storefronts. They make great date locations, as Taliesin always says.

TALIESIN: Yes, great date.

LAURA: Oh, they really do, that is a really good place.

MATT: Find a date. Take them there.

MARISHA: Find the date first.

MATT: Tell them Critical Role sent you.

MARISHA: Don't try and find dates at 826. That gets– that's bad.

(laughter)

TALIESIN: Wow, you took that to a dark place. You took that–

Part I[]

MATT: Anyway. So. So. Let us go ahead and delve into tonight's game proper, folks. So, to get you up to speed, Vox Machina, the intrepid band of adventurers you see before you, after a series of adventures, had found their way back to their central city of Emon, in the center of the region of Tal'Dorei. After a ceremony in which the leader of their city, Sovereign Uriel Tal'Dorei, was announcing him stepping down, the town was suddenly under siege by a group of extremely powerful and dangerous ancient dragons that call themselves the Chroma Conclave. After tearing the city asunder in many places, three of them flew off into the east under the instruction of the fourth and possibly largest and leader of the group, that has recently been found to be called Thordak the Cinder King, who currently resides in the center of the city of Emon, claiming that his mercy is only for those who worship him and essentially feed his greed and hunger. As such, Vox Machina, narrowly escaping the battle, a couple of encounters with these dragons, including one above their Keep, are housing a number of survivors who have made their way out of the city and are currently residing in Greyskull Keep for protection. You guys went into the city to see if you could find any other allies and friends that may have survived this encounter. You befriended a member of the Clasp, named Garthok, who walked amongst the rubble and proceeded to show you the secret entrance he knows to the Clasp, of which you may be trying to inquire about information. On your way to that area, you passed by Gilmore's shop, Gilmore being a good friend of the group and a powerful magic practitioner and creator of magical items and artifacts and a number of glorious goods. His abode, however, smashed and currently a pile of burnt wood and rock. Looters were currently poring through, and you attempted to get them to leave the area alone. It came to blows, and with many of the looters falling in battle, two of which were kept locked away. You discovered the location of where they were hoarding the massive amounts of gold and artifacts that they had acquired from the rubble. You then found the secret compartment in which Gilmore's teleportation sigil was locked beneath his shop, where the remaining family of Tal'Dorei, Salda and the three children, as well as Gilmore himself, wounded and barely alive, having saved them. You found that Uriel, the Sovereign, did not seemingly survive the encounter with the dragons, and Gilmore nearly fell going back to try and make sure that you guys were okay, barely escaping with his life. You managed to save his, and taking the children, Salda, Sherri, and Gilmore back to Greyskull Keep, some of you splintered off to try and acquire the goods that were taken from his store, however, they apparently had already been stolen from the location they were being stored in, or been delivered already, you're uncertain as to what became of them, but you get the sense that it was probably best that you chose Gilmore over the gold at first glance. Making your way back to the Keep, you've sent Gilmore up to rest for the evening, some of you have then found your way down into the temple of Sarenrae, where a number of the escaped refugees from Emon currently try desperately to cling to their memories, to try and keep the shakes at bay and contemplate what the next step is for survival in this now partially ruined city. That was where we left off. So. What would you like to do?

SAM: Kill all the dragons and save the day.

MATT: Good! Roll for it.

LAURA: Oh, that was a good roll. See?

TALIESIN: Natural 20. No, no.

MARISHA: Good show, guys.

LAURA: I rolled five natural 20s before the show even started.

SAM: That's a great, great idea.

LAURA: So it's all going to be terrible.

SAM: Why are you rolling before the show?

TRAVIS: She feels like she's got to “warm up” her endless army of dice.

LAURA: No, I just have to figure out which ones I want to use that night.

TRAVIS: You have five d20s right now.

LAURA: I know, and they're all useful. No, I've got six out here.

LIAM: Yeah, yeah, definitely all useful.

TALIESIN: This is, by the way, for anybody tuning in for the first time at home, this is how we express that we have no idea what to do.

SAM: Where are we?

TALIESIN: We're at home.

MATT: You're in Greyskull Keep.

SAM: And Gilmore's with us?

MATT: Gilmore's with you, he's been brought upstairs–

LIAM: And did Pike's holy visitor fix the keep, or is the keep still effed up?

MATT: Actually, in the short time in which her visitor, this angelic deva-like entity that was brought forth from Sarenrae's sphere of influence, did manage to repair entirely the damage that was sustained to the Keep from the battle with Vorugal out in your courtyard. So yes, Greyskull Keep is now back to being intact and rather fairly polished. The stained glass is affixed and corrected.

LIAM: It must look so strange next to the ruined city of Emon.

MATT: It's far enough away, but–

LAURA: Little strange.

MARISHA: So what time is it? It was nighttime, right? Or was it midday?

MATT: It's about midafternoon at this point, maybe pushing into the evening.

TALIESIN: Is Kima still around?

MATT: I'm sorry, what was that?

TALIESIN: Is Lady Kima still around, or?

MATT: Lady Kima's been in Vasselheim.

TALIESIN: Oh, not Vasselheim, I'm sorry. Allura. I'm on the wrong page.

MATT: Yeah, she and Drake went.

MARISHA: Remember, they turned into shooting stars and they flew away.

SAM: Is Clarota still here with us?

(laughter)

LAURA: We're off to a good start tonight, guys.

MATT: In your hearts. In your heart of hearts.

TRAVIS: No, not even there. That piece of shit. Where are the majority of the people? Are they in the dining hall and in the–

MATT: They're scattered between the dining hall and the temple to Sarenrae. Partially because, one, there's enough space there, two, it's a place of sanctity, it's a place of hope, and Pike is currently bringing people– not preaching to them, per se, but offering comfort in their current area of misery and worry. So those are pretty much the localized areas. Occasionally one of the kids might begin wandering the halls, a parent might chase after them, trying to draw them back in, but respectfully, no one's wandering the house filling their pockets, they're all still happy to be alive at this point.

LAURA: Well, that's because we don't have anything, because Scanlan's troupe stole everything anyway.

MATT: There's that, too.

SAM: We bought new silverware.

TRAVIS: Sure we did.

SAM: Maybe it wasn't my troupe, maybe it was our new guests, the people fleeing for their lives.

TRAVIS: I was going to say, are there any new people that have come into the keep while we've been away? Can I ask one of our guards that?

MATT: Sure, yeah. Shayne, who's out front, currently strolling through the courtyard, comes up to you, and as you ask her, she goes, “Well, we've had a few other refugees come in and ask for entry, and we patted them down to make sure there were no weapons and tried our best to keep an eye on them since they arrived. Seems like most everyone's keeping either into the city or keeping fairly underground.”

TRAVIS: Nobody's sticking out to you, though, no shady individuals, nobody sweating more than is necessary when being threatened by a big fuck-off dragon?

MATT: “Not yet, but I believe Jarett's keeping a close eye.”

TRAVIS: Jarett–

SAM: That guy. Man-crush?

TRAVIS: No.

(laughter)

SAM: I wonder, in all prudence, should we go around to the 'fugees, the refugees and do a quick–

LAURA: Insight check?

SAM: – scan, alignment check or something?

TRAVIS: Lauryn Hill is shaking her head.

LAURA: Do we have anything that can sense people's alignment?

SAM: Pike might.

MARISHA: Yeah, I can.

SAM: Can you do a mass, a mass sense alignment?

MARISHA: Mass sense alignment?

SAM: Is that a thing?

MARISHA: No, I'm saying I could do some insight checks on people.

SAM: Oh, I'm talking about your magic.

MARISHA: No, I'm not Pike.

SAM: All right.

TRAVIS: Pike's with us, though, right? She could do an insight check.

SAM: Is she with us?

MATT: Pike is with you. She is currently helping folks inside the temple. But you could go ask her to.

LIAM: Use the skull to wish to know everyone's alignment. Problem solved.

TRAVIS: We'll kill everyone. Kill everyone.

SAM: Maybe we should just kill one of them to make an example.

LAURA: This is terrible, what is happening?

LIAM: This isn't the real game, the game hasn't actually started yet.

MATT: So. Glancing about the populace of scattered refugees throughout the general vicinity of Greyskull Keep, I will pick two of you who wish to be the main surveyors of the crew.

SAM: Is this insight?

MATT: This would be insight, yes.

LAURA: I'm on it.

MARISHA: I'm on it with Vex.

MATT: Okay, so Vex and Keyleth, both you guys roll insight checks, please.

LAURA: See, this is why I shouldn't have this many dice, because I don't know what to choose. Okay. 21.

LIAM: Insight?

MARISHA: 22.

LAURA: 21.

MATT: Okay. Both of you guys spend about ten, 15 minutes or so scanning through the crew, asking a few questions, helping a few folks out while keeping an eye on reactions around the general vicinity. No one sticks out to you as being either hiding their intent, shifty. There are a few folks that are aloof from the whole experience, who seem to be either in a state of shock, or discomfort based on their current surroundings, but nothing in a way that strikes you as nefarious or worrisome.

LIAM: And are they all strangers, other than the people we brought back with us?

MATT: Correct.

LIAM: They are strangers?

MATT: Yeah. There's a lot of people that live in Emon, and none of them seem to catch your eye.

LIAM: Yeah. Is anyone still badly hurt?

MATT: Most of them have had their wounds tended to. There are a few that have general scars, some from elements of frostbite on their skin, who were caught in the blast, who were salvaged after Vorugal left. There are a few that have scrapes and bruises from fleeing from the town, from collapsing debris from different buildings and such, but no serious injuries. A few bone fractures here and there that have been set and bandaged.

LIAM: I'm going to spend the first bit of time at home helping Pike, doing whatever she tells me to do, really, to help the people here.

MARISHA: Is there any deceased that need to be tended to?

MATT: Well, there are a number of deceased in the front courtyard, people that were frozen and shattered as part of Vorugal's attack, which at this point, most of them have been taken care of by the guards and given a proper burial on the outside of the Keep, a few yards away, towards the inside of the one of the hills. They haven't been left to thaw, if that was what you're worried about.

MARISHA: That's what I was worried about.

TALIESIN: Red meat. Red.

LAURA: Gross.

LIAM: Way to go dark. Way to go dark.

TALIESIN: I thought that's what we were doing today.

MATT: Cost-effective. A number of the refugees have also helped the guards as well, transporting the bodies of the deceased and making sure that they're properly interred in the nearby countryside.

MARISHA: Okay.

SAM: What are our options here? First of all, do we know Gilmore's status?

LAURA: Yeah, we need to get him settled in, make sure he's all right.

LIAM: Well, he's gone up, he's resting.

MARISHA: Yeah, we put him to bed already.

LIAM: He's in Percival's room, I think. You said you would sleep in your laboratory.

SAM: And when we last left things, there was one plan to go into the tunnels of the thieves' guild and try to see if there's any more–

LAURA: Yes. Actually, Garthok.

MARISHA: Yes.

LAURA: Garthok is waiting for us down in those, so we can go look at the Clasp and talk to them and everything, because he's told them we're on our way.

SAM: And to what end, again? We're going to see if there's any random diplomats left over?

TALIESIN: They're the only functioning organization left in the city at this point.

LIAM: It's true, they're a double-edged sword, though. I mean, they should not be trusted, we cannot trust them, but they are an infrastructure under the city. They may have more of an idea what's going on than we do. I'm the best to speak to them, but I'm not on good terms with them, and I've never really talked to you about this, but you were marked at one point, a long time ago.

LAURA: What?

SAM: For death?

LIAM: Actually, yes.

LAURA: Why? What did I do?

LIAM: I'm sure I don't know. The reason there is a brand on my back is because I interceded. Some other schmoe died instead of you. You might be a bit of a sore point with them. I don't know. They might not remember, but I don't think that's true, I think they'll remember.

MARISHA: How long ago was this?

SAM: What did you do?

LAURA: So many things.

LIAM: Before we met, when Vex and I were on our own.

SAM: Was it because you farted that time?

LAURA: You didn't think you could mention this? All the times we've dealt with the Clasp? You didn't think it was worth mentioning that I almost died?

MARISHA: She's already been down there. She's already been down there! You think they're going to recognize her now?

LIAM: We're going down to talk.

LAURA: We've been down there to talk.

LIAM: Right. All right.

LAURA: That's why you don't keep secrets.

TALIESIN: Well, I say that we organize a group. Let's not get overexcited about the sudden realization that some of us can be a bit iffy. We've all had a moment, probably within the last three weeks. I'm not saying I don't.

TRAVIS: I haven't.

TALIESIN: Yes, oddly, you and Pike seem to be immune.

TRAVIS: It is a virtue.

TALIESIN: But let's organize a group, and let's at least open relations with them at this point.

MARISHA: Well, hang on, hang on. What are we going to say to them when we get down there? What are we going to offer them?

TALIESIN: We are going to offer them our services in getting this city back to a functioning level. They don't want a city ruled by a dragon, we don't want a city ruled by a dragon. It's in their interest to help us clear the city.

LIAM: They're going to look out for themselves, and you're probably– I'm sure you're right, they want these dragons out, but they will do– they will preserve their own existence, and there's a possibility that bowing before these beasts will preserve their existence.

TALIESIN: Not long-term, and these are groups that think long-term.

MARISHA: Wait, are you talking about us bowing to the Clasp, or the Clasp bowing to the– okay. Sorry, there were levels.

LIAM: And yes, we've been down there, we've argued with them, but we're talking about going down there and making an alliance, an ongoing alliance, and shit might come up, that's all I'm saying.

TALIESIN: Let's make it a business deal. We're talking about making a political decision. This is politics.

TRAVIS: What if they leave? What if they leave the city, or what if they turn us in to the dragon to save their own asses?

TALIESIN: They could. I doubt they'd leave, that's a terrible waste of an investment.

MARISHA: You're essentially relying on the underbelly of Emon to restore it.

TALIESIN: I am, I'm relying on greed, it tends to be exceedingly reliable.

MARISHA: In your experience.

TALIESIN: Yes.

LAURA: In all experience, let's be honest.

TALIESIN: Thank you.

TRAVIS: Said the greedy one to the greedy one.

LIAM: This is one option, are we sure we don't want to seek help–

SAM: Yes, what are our other options?

TALIESIN: I'm curious as to other options.

SAM: We know why the dragons are here, right? Ish?

MARISHA: I really feel like it might be necessary for me to also reach out to the Air and Earth and possibly even the Water Ashari. It might be difficult because I haven't been there yet. To see if they've had any other tears through the other elemental planes.

TALIESIN: That would be quite wise.

MARISHA: We can also seek to employ their services.

TRAVIS: Scanlan.

SAM: Huh?

TRAVIS: What about you becoming a spy?

SAM: I've been thinking about that, long and hard.

MARISHA: Have you?

SAM: Yes.

MARISHA: What are your thoughts?

SAM: Most of what I do is long and hard. And my thoughts are still: fuck you, no way, fuck off.

TRAVIS: So what you're saying is?

SAM: Maybe.

(laughter)

LIAM: So you're saying there's a chance.

TRAVIS: Your shining moment–

TALIESIN: Nothing is ever going to top the triceratops, really.

SAM: Maybe the triceratops could kill all the dragons.

TRAVIS: All right. So we reach out to the Ashari.

TALIESIN: Absolutely.

SAM: How's your homeland?

TALIESIN: I don't know.

SAM: Do we need to find out?

TALIESIN: I would love to.

SAM: You can transport there instantly.

TALIESIN: I can. I just can't get back instantly.

LAURA: You need Keyleth.

TALIESIN: And I figure that they would have sent somebody at this point if things had gone– they have an instant transport to us if they need to find us.

SAM: True.

LAURA: Unless they don't know about the stone and the only one with the stone–

TALIESIN: The Council knows about the stone.

TRAVIS: Or there's no one left to send.

LIAM: Yes, if things went south–

TALIESIN: We would've heard.

MARISHA: I can scry twice today.

TALIESIN: That would be lovely.

MARISHA: I can do it two times. So we need to pick where it's most important to check in versus where we might want to pop in and say hello.

TALIESIN: Whitestone is also somewhere we could arm ourselves more completely against something like this. We're going to have to start–

TRAVIS: With what?

MATT: As a note, too, Pike can also scry as well.

LAURA: Oh, good. Because I would like to check in to Vasselheim as well.

SAM: How do you kill a dragon? Do we need a dragon? Can we get a dragon that hates these dragons? Is that a thing?

LAURA: You know, there is the Slayer's Take.

TRAVIS: Wait, what are we talking about dragons? Do other dragons hate dragons?

SAM: Yeah, could we find a dragon who could fight for us?

LAURA: Well, there's metallic dragons.

LIAM: Don't get along with chromatic.

SAM: Do we know any metallic dragons?

TRAVIS: Yeah, where are they?

MARISHA: We would have to go to Vasselheim and maybe–

TALIESIN: My Aunt Edna.

TRAVIS: What?

TALIESIN: She's a dragon-lady, I don't know if that's the same thing.

MARISHA: Like, oh, like she– little ceramic dragons, she likes collecting them?

TALIESIN: I was mocking him, yes.

SAM: So, wait, the Slayer's Take, what?

LAURA: Well, it's an organization made to hunt massive creatures, isn't it?

LIAM: It's a horde of fucking ass-kickers, is what it is.

TALIESIN: We fought a dragon– we killed a dragon for them.

MARISHA: They're also rooted in Vasselheim, which is–

SAM: It's safe.

LAURA: Yes, but– If everything else is under attack, Vasselheim is inevitable.

SAM: Yes, but they're protected.

LAURA: For a time.

LIAM: Allow me to play tiefling's advocate. If we leave now and allow the Clasp to take hold and form some sort of new shadow government, without us having any part in it, it's out of our control completely. It won't be in our control at all. But maybe if we speak to them now, we'll have a better idea of what's going on. I'm not sold on any idea yet, but if we leave now and let things play out, it's entirely out of our hands.

MARISHA: All right, well, how about this? We can scry, between Pike and I, four times. So we can make four phone calls today.

SAM: Not phone calls, just a look.

MARISHA: Yes, look home. No, we can peek through a window. And we can try and go visit the Clasp.

SAM: Okay, well, let's scry it up, then. Who are we calling? Whitestone, Vasselheim, center of Emon?

TALIESIN: Whitestone and Vasselheim, I think. Definitely.

MARISHA: And I want to check in with–

TRAVIS: Can I object to checking the center of Emon, right? Because that's where the Cinder King is?

TALIESIN: Yes.

TRAVIS: Didn't it, like, ruin magic when we did it to the beholder, didn't it see us and laugh and we were like, augh, it hurts my brain–

TALIESIN: He's got a point. You've got a point.

SAM: You're pretty smart, Grog.

MARISHA: We don't need to scry into Emon.

TRAVIS: I remember.

LIAM: We're talking Vasselheim, yeah? Whitestone. And you can do it another two–

MARISHA: You know what, let's go talk to Pike, because Pike might possibly have some sort of spiritual connection with Vasselheim as well that might save us a scry.

TALIESIN: It's possible that Vasselheim might be our next stop after we secure everything here.

MARISHA: Okay.

SAM: Oh, Pike! Oh.

MARISHA: I can also teleport us once today, if we decide to go anywhere.

SAM: Thanks.

MARISHA: Pike!

SAM: Pike! Pikey!

MATT: Comes out, a little bit of dirt on her brow, looks like she's been busy handling some of the folks–

SAM: I reach out and brush the dirt from above her forehead.

MATT: She smiles and pushes your hand away. “Yes, what, yes?”

MARISHA: Pike, do you have any sort of spiritual connection with Vasselheim? Do you feel– you know how–

MATT: “I do. I do. Why?”

MARISHA: Okay, can you check–

SAM: Can you scry?

MARISHA: Can you see if they're okay? We want to scry and check in with a few places.

MATT: “Of course, of course, no worries.” She ushers you guys back into the temple.

MARISHA: Okay.

MATT: And then gets a little nervous when she starts thinking about it and walks up to the central platform of prayer and takes out her holy symbol. Her armor's off right now, by the way, she's in her ceremonial robes. Because it's hard to clank around in armor amongst a bunch of refugees. Sits down and focuses for a second, and pulls out some salt, and begins spreading it into a small triangular shape around her, and then pulls her holy symbol out and closes her eyes, and for that moment, you can see a beam of sunlight come through the roof, the glass roof of the temple, which then refracts into multiple colors that slowly dissipate around her. You can see, everyone else that has gathered in the room falls quiet, and watches on as there is this tiny little visual miracle. And she stays there for a moment. A few more moments. Probably about 30, 40 seconds pass before the light slowly retracts back up through the glass, and she stands up and turns around and goes, “Vasselheim seems fine for now. Untouched from the dragon's scourge, at the very least.”

MARISHA & LAURA: That's good.

TALIESIN: What of Whitestone?

MATT: “Oh. Yes.” She gets right back down into position with an air of begrudging acceptance. Focuses for a second. Spends a few more moments in her scrying ritual before stepping back, and turns slowly to you, Percy, and says, “Whitestone seems fairly overlooked by these dragons as well. The town rebuilds. People seem to be going about their lives. Possibly none the wiser as to what's

"transpired this side of Tal'Dorei.”

TALIESIN: We'll send word, at the very least.

LAURA: It's all over the water. Maybe the dragons haven't gone that far.

TALIESIN: It's far north. I'll make sure to send word.

MATT: “Okay.” One of the kids starts crying, and she goes, “Oh, hold on.” And goes over and starts tending to one of the children who has like a knee brace on, and is currently aching, and she goes to help calm him down. “Shh, shh.”

LIAM: Do you think you could look in on Syngorn?

MARISHA: Of course.

LAURA: Mostly to see, you know.

MARISHA: I step up to the table, and begin my scrying ritual, checking on Syngorn first.

MATT: Okay.

TRAVIS: Shit.

LAURA: Come on.

TALIESIN: We need like cups and string or something.

SAM: We do. Or a walkie-talkie. He's saying, Syngorn is gone.

LAURA: Don't say that.

TALIESIN: Millions dead.

LAURA: Millions. It's very large.

TRAVIS: Remember to shop at Gilmore's Ruined Rubble.

(laughter)

SAM: Oh no, he didn't even get a new franchise before it was–

TALIESIN: For all your reclaimed wood needs.

TRAVIS: Oh. Well done. Well done. That was nice.

TALIESIN: The best was watching Laura go, “Oh what a great i– ooh.”

TRAVIS: And endless supply of pavers and gravel.

SAM: Gilmore's Building Supplies.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: All your home improvements.

MATT: Back to your regularly scheduled D&D game.

SAM: What did you see, Keyleth?

MARISHA: Syngorn is gone. And I don't mean destroyed, I don't mean burnt. I don't mean that it's rubble, I mean it's gone. The city is gone. There's, like, a huge chasm, a huge empty spot in the middle of the forest where Syngorn once lied. Lie.

SAM: Lay. Did it look like it was destroyed to nothing? Or transported somewhere?

MARISHA: Like that. Like transported, like the city was lifted out of its place and was teleported elsewhere.

SAM: Could it have been– I don't know how your scrying works– could it have been some sort of a magical block? Not real, an illusion of some sort?

MATT: I would like Vax and Vex to both roll a history check.

LAURA: Any kind of advantage on that? For growing up there or something?

MATT: Nope, that's– you get to roll this because of that.

LIAM: History?

TALIESIN: Should have stayed in school.

LIAM: Didn't help.

LAURA: Eight.

LIAM: 15.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: Can I take a roll just for being a nerd?

LIAM: All out of luck.

MATT: Are you proficient in history?

TALIESIN: I am proficient in history.

MATT: Sure, I'll let you roll.

TALIESIN: I want a nerd roll. 24. Book reading!

MATT: Okay. Being the astute researcher, the indoor kid growing up. Yeah. There aren't a lot of books that made their way north about pure elven culture, especially wooded elves, that comprise the entirety of the Syngorn nation.

TALIESIN: I speak Elven, so that's good.

(laughter)

MATT: It has rarely come into play, but because of previous wars, terrible devastation, and the need for the elvish culture to protect itself, and to maintain its existence, you do know that there have been instances of large enchantments on places of cultural importance that would bridge between here and the Feywild. And as a defense mechanism, essentially, would cloak and/or shift those locations.

TALIESIN: They've gone into hiding.

MARISHA: How can you be sure?

TALIESIN: I can't, but there's reason to believe so. It's what it points to.

LIAM: What points to what? What are you talking about?

TALIESIN: Historically, elves have, in times of great stress, taken important sites, important places, people, and either cloaked them, hidden them, or moved them into the Feywild until such time as the danger has passed. There is precedence for this. They've gone into hiding.

LAURA: Great.

LIAM: That's one more thing our father failed to impart to us.

LAURA: (laughs cynically) At least he's safe.

TALIESIN: Most likely.

MARISHA: I need to check in on the Air Ashari. I'm going to spend my last scrying.

MATT: Okay. As your vision separates from your current place of origin, you find yourself drifting up into the clouds and speeding through the air. The location itself is blurred, though recalling the origin of where you originally came from, you pass by columns of black smoke to your left, you assume somewhere related to Westrunn's current location.

MARISHA: Right.

MATT: Eventually, the clouds part, and you find yourself thrust down upon the earth amongst the center of the Air Ashari tribe. You can see the thin leather constructs that make up a portion of your people's hovels and buildings. You can see the nearby chasm-based windfall that pours through constantly with a gentle whistling sound that forever is marked as the chorus that guides you all to sleep every evening. There, you can see your people amongst various conversations, going amongst their various daily duties, seemingly untouched, unscathed, and unaware of what recent events had transpired.

MARISHA: They're okay.

MATT: That is the last of your scrying capability for the day.

TALIESIN: You didn't have to know that. Big girls don't scry. Sorry, I saw it on Netflix.

LAURA: Wow. Wow. Hit after hit after hit today, Taliesin.

LIAM: You know, just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

TALIESIN: I know. I know. Coffee hasn't kicked in yet.

MARISHA: All right, they're okay. They seem unaware, which is very disheartening on a few levels.

TALIESIN: Well, they'll know soon enough.

MARISHA: Exactly.

TALIESIN: We are going to need transport.

SAM: To where?

TALIESIN: Ah. I don't think we're going to win this fight staying here, I think we're going to have to rally power, I think we're going to have to rally allies. I don't think there's enough here for us to win.

LAURA: Can we relocate all of the refugees staying in our walls? Can we bring everyone through the Sun Tree? Keyleth? How long does it stay open?

MARISHA: Six seconds.

TALIESIN: We can go in shifts. This is not something that's going to be solved tomorrow. We can take a week, and move people.

LIAM: That's true. And there's 50 to 100 refugees, you said, something like that, right?

MATT: At this point now, in your keep, surviving, you're looking at the 30s.

LIAM: 30s?

SAM: But there's hundreds more inside the city walls. Thousands.

TALIESIN: We're going– we're not going to be able to empty the city.

LAURA: But we can at least get these people out.

TALIESIN: We can get these people out. And we're going to need– and I apologise for the brightness in my voice– I think we're going to need an airship.

LAURA: An airship sounds wonderful, Percy, but–

LIAM: You mean like the one that crashed?

TALIESIN: Like the one that crashed.

LAURA: One dragon attacking it and it's down.

TALIESIN: We're going to need to move quickly, though, from city to city, and we're going to need to get word.

MARISHA: Well, moving quickly from city to city– I don't know.

TALIESIN: We may have to steal an airship or something.

SAM: You're going to steal a plane?

TALIESIN: I'm making a plan. I'm thinking of a plan.

LAURA: You keep thinking, there.

TALIESIN: It's working.

MARISHA: Well, I mean, I've recently discovered that that misty Wind Walk spell that I cast on all of us is not great for battle, but is great for travel. And that lasts for eight hours.

SAM: What does? Who?

MARISHA: Remember how I failed and almost killed us all?

TRAVIS: Shit the bed. Yeah.

MARISHA: Yeah. Thanks, Grog. What I learned out of that was it's not great for battle, but it is great for travel. It lasts for eight hours. We can move 300 feet per second.

LAURA: Wonderful. We get the refugees out, we go to Whitestone, we talk to them there, we use the Misty Walk thingy and go to Vasselheim, talk to the Slayer's Take. This is perfect. Problem–

SAM: Are we going to check in with the Clasp? I really like Percy's idea about stealing a plane. I'm just throwing that out there.

TALIESIN: There is an empty airdock that's currently not being used in the city.

LAURA: Do we need a ship right now, darling? I understand the joy in it.

TALIESIN: We don't need it now, but we're going to be– need to move–

SAM: We could take all of these refugees with us. Don't you understand? We would be helping humanity.

MARISHA: I'm with Vex. You all honestly–

LAURA: – believe a dragon wouldn't notice a giant airship flying out of the city?

SAM: Not if we hide it with some– some smokescreen action of some sort.

LIAM: Guys. This is an RPG, not a JRPG.

(laughter)

TALIESIN: I want to live like Teddy Ruxpin. This is all I've ever wanted.

(laughter)

LAURA: We need to talk to the Clasp first.

SAM: All right, let's go talk to the Clasp. We'll ask them what they think about–

LAURA: Plus Allura and Drake are coming back. We need to talk to them as well. Find out what's going on in Westrunn. And then we need to get everyone out.

MARISHA: I can transport some of us via plants today. I will have to sleep if we want and study to do the Misty Step again.

LAURA: I've got a plan.

TALIESIN: We have time. This is not a one-day plan.

LAURA: Here's a good plan. This is a good plan, though.

LIAM: Here it comes, everybody.

LAURA: Open up the tree. Send a bunch of refugees through.

MARISHA: Shove a bunch in.

LAURA: Shove them through as fast as possible. Percy. You go with them. We keep the stone. You go through. You talk to your sister. You bamf back with the stone.

MARISHA: Let Whitestone know what's going on. Because they're going to freak out if like–

LAURA: And then we talk to the Clasp together.

TALIESIN: I think that's a good plan.

MARISHA: They will freak out if 20 refugees pour out of the Sun Tree. And they have no context.

TRAVIS: Do that first.

MARISHA: Okay. So wait, are you going to go on your mission while we go talk to the Clasp?

LAURA: No, we're going to wait for you. So can we get the refugees together?

MATT: All right, so as you go into the temple and get Pike's attention, you begin to round up the refugees, which as a statement, historically, is already unnerving. You begin to push them all together in a group and tell them what?

LAURA: Well, we comfort them and tell them: all right, obviously Emon is not a safe place to be right now.

MATT: “No, that's true, that's true! It's terrible here!”

LAURA: It's dangerous, and we want to keep all of you as safe as possible.

MATT: “Yes, and thank you for taking us.” Everyone starts cheering.

LAURA: We have a plan.

SAM: We probably can only take a few. It should be women and children.

LAURA: We're going to take those of you who need the most attention first, and we're going to bring you to Whitestone, which is a city that has not been affected by dragons at all. It has much need of people who can do an honest day's labor, and you can earn a wage and find a living there, for the time being, and if at some point in time you want to come back to Emon when all of this is done, of course you're more than welcome to.

LIAM: There is opportunity.

MARISHA: And no dragons!

MATT: Make a persuasion check.

LAURA: I'm rolling the gold one! 20?

MATT: Okay! A couple of folks currently, (muttering) “I've never been to Whitestone! Is it cold?”

LAURA: In the winter.

MATT: “It's winter!”

LAURA: Then it could be a little chilly!

SAM: Bundle up! We'll give you some wool blankets for the trip!

MATT: “Okay?”

LIAM: There's definitely no vampires there. None.

MATT: A couple of kids go, “Vampires, sir?”

LAURA: I like that we're sending to them to the place that's got the orb of death.

MATT: “What was that? What'd you say?”

SAM: No, nothing, she didn't say anything.

LAURA: I said, “You might be able to see your breath!”

MATT: “Winter! Right! Okay, let's grab our things!” And some of the folks start getting their things together. Packing up their things– what they had on their back, essentially, as they rushed here. Shake a few out of their shell-shock, and they all gather up towards the center of the Temple of Sarenrae.

LAURA: Percy– stone. To go through the–

TALIESIN: I already gave it to Keyleth.

LAURA: Oh, okay.

MARISHA: DM question? How many do you think I can fit through in six seconds?

MATT: We'll find out!

MARISHA: If I put them in like a line, and we're like, “Go! Go! Go!”

MATT: That's up to you guys! How do you want to do this?

LIAM: They can't get– no one can get cut in half, can they?

LAURA: Well I assume, as soon as we see it start to shrink, we stop! We cut off the line.

MARISHA: Well, what we should do– here's the thing that I'm worried about. We don't want, like, a kid to go through, and then they get separated from their mom.

TRAVIS: Well, everybody's got to grow up at some point.

LAURA: Anybody with children. How many children are here?

MATT: I'd say you have seven children.

LAURA: Children with their moms go– and families go first.

LIAM: Well, we were saying that the terribly injured, the people with the worst injuries–

LAURA: All right, those people first!

LIAM: Yeah, those people first.

TRAVIS: Yeah, because they'll go through real fast.

LIAM: And then with kids– But they need attention now! They need–

SAM: Hey! We're going to be doing this every day for several days.

TALIESIN: Hey, I've got a weird theory. Let's not send people with injuries yet, so that perhaps Pike can stay here and take care of them for a little bit?

LAURA: Oh! Good call, okay! So the injured can stay.

TRAVIS: Can't we put them on a wagon? Can't we like put them on a wagon, down and like–

TALIESIN: We don't want to lose a wagon to Whitestone.

SAM: This is just how Schindler did it, by the way.

LAURA: What!?

SAM: He debated it for a while, and then– (nervous laughter).

LIAM: No words! No words!

TRAVIS: And the room goes silent, and the mug comes up.

LAURA: Okay. So not the injured.

Families first. How about that?

TALIESIN: We'll count to six, and then we'll put the rope down, and when we hit six, we pull the rope, and it'll hold everybody–

SAM: Wait, there's a rope?

LAURA: As soon as we see it start to shrink, I'll hold the people back.

TALIESIN: Yes, hold the people back.

LAURA: So Percy, you're first, everybody follow through. So any families here? Families?

MATT: Some of the kids raise their hands, some adults go over and they grab kids' hands and stand next to them. “Yes.”

LAURA: Are you really respons– I can tell when you're lying, sir. Are you responsible for that child?

MATT: Make an insight check.

LAURA: 26!

MATT: Ha! Two of those people are definitely just taking a kid's hand in hopes of getting through first.

TRAVIS: I walk in and start cracking my knuckles behind Vex.

MATT: “Well, I mean, I can wait, no worries! Eh–”

LAURA: Child, where's your parents? Do you have one?

MATT: “They haven't shown up yet.”

LAURA: Oh, dear.

SAM: Leave them here, in case the parents come.

LAURA: Okay. Then you would stay and wait for your family, potentially?

LIAM: You can stay with Pike, for now.

MATT: Pike comes over and pats him on the shoulder. They're the same height, so it's easy.

MARISHA: Let's do completed full families who are comfortable relocating.

LAURA: That can move. Here we go.

MATT: Altogether, completed full families, there are two.

MARISHA: How many people?

MATT: It'd be a total of eight people.

LAURA: That's good! That's a good amount!

TRAVIS: Yeah, think about it! One one thousand, one one thousand–

LAURA: And then, any other like single people that can move fast?

MARISHA: Yeah, a couple single people? To bring up the rear?

MATT: Okay. You have about ten more people that raise their hands.

TALIESIN: We can get that many through in six seconds.

SAM: What are you talking about?

LAURA: Get ready to run, people.

MARISHA: All right. So let's go to the tree. Percy, you're going to lead. Percy, you're going to lead. We're going to put the eight up front, with the ten, 15 stragglers behind. I tell them all: all right. As soon as you see that tree start to part, run! Run your face off! I tell that to the crowd.

TALIESIN: And keep running. So that you make room for everyone behind you, we don't want like– it's not the bottom of an escalator. Whatever that is. It's a thing I've been working on, it's going to be great.

MARISHA: Don't stop in the tree, you will create terrible congestion.

LAURA: Everybody comfortable with the plan?

SAM: Can I inspire Keyleth for this?

MATT: Sure.

SAM: Okay, I will perform a limerick for her to inspire her. I know an airheaded young druid / whose plans are more gassy than fluid / when the battle starts / she turns her pals into farts / they see danger and pass right through it!

MARISHA: Thank you, Scanlan. I love it. It's so like me.

MATT: Take a 1d10 inspiration die.

TRAVIS: I hate to be the detail-oriented one about this whole thing, but should somebody be counting as soon as she starts so we put down an arm at six?

LAURA: You count in your head, Grog.

TRAVIS: You really don't want me to do that.

MARISHA: Maybe with my inspiration, I can get a few more seconds in there?

MATT: We shall see. I'll say for the sake of this, go ahead and roll a wisdom check.

MARISHA: Oh boy.

MATT: A d20 and add your wisdom modifier.

MARISHA: Oh, that's not good.

SAM: You've got inspiration if you need it.

MARISHA: Can I add my inspiration to this?

MATT: Go for it.

MARISHA: Ooh, that's good. That helps a lot. What am I adding? Just my straight wisdom?

MATT: Yep, wisdom modifier.

MARISHA: My modifier? 19 total.

MATT: 19 total, okay. So as you all gather around in the center of the temple, Keyleth, you step up to the outside of one of the two front trees to the temple, one of the ones you guys usually use to transport to and from here. As you focus in and reach your hand out and touch the outside of the tree's bark, with a rough tearing sound, the tree bark widens into an oval-shaped doorway that is immediately visible. On the opposite side, you can see before you a lightly snow-dappled landscape that is the central market of Whitestone.

LAURA: We put blankets on everybody, right?

MATT: From what you had.

MARISHA: Go! Go! Now, run, go! Go, Percy, go!

MATT: Who's pushing?

TALIESIN: I'm already through.

MATT: Percy's through. All right, are you guys just letting them go at their own rate?

TRAVIS: (shouting) Move your fucking asses!

MATT: Roll an intimidation check.

MARISHA: It's like a football line.

TRAVIS: 17.

MATT: 17. With that, everyone goes, (startled noise) and starts charging through wildly. The crowd starts pushing through.

MARISHA: I'm trying to hold it.

LIAM: No severed limbs, no whammies!

MATT: Okay. All of the rest– the family people go through, the young folks push through. You manage to get a total of 23 people through.

(cheering)

MATT: Some folks who weren't even planning to go on this were so driven by the sudden shouting Grog voice echoing from behind that they charged forward Black Friday-style, and managed to escape the tail end of the spell tapering the doorway off.

LIAM: “I regret nothing!”

SAM: Well, I hope Percy comes back soon.

MARISHA: I've got the gatestone.

MATT: Percy?

TALIESIN: I'm going to get everybody organized. Everyone, please follow me. We're heading towards the main castle.

MATT: They're all looking around.

TALIESIN: Welcome to Whitestone.

MATT: A gentle snowfall is coming down. The sky itself you can see is covered in light, white

clouds. Just enough moisture to carry the little snowfall that's happening. There are folks in the center of the town that are surprised to see this arrival, but recognize you and cheer a little bit. “Hey! Percival.”

(laughter)

TALIESIN: Thank you for that smattering of applause. Golf claps, please. Golf claps.

MATT: The refugees all gather up behind you, and you guys walk towards Castle Whitestone.

TALIESIN: We make our way to the castle.

MATT: The guards greet you and lead you inside. And within a few minutes, Cassandra comes down from the upper floor. “Percival, you've returned.”

TALIESIN: Things are not going well. Have you heard any news of Emon and what has been transpiring there?

MATT: “No, we've been focused on restoring our city. Why?”

TALIESIN: Yesterday, we were attacked by a group of chromatic dragons. The city is destroyed. There's no simple way to say this, but we're under siege. We were afraid that Whitestone would be destroyed, as well, but it seems that they have passed over you so far, but we fear for many cities' safety. I was hoping that it would be all right if we moved a small number of refugees through to Whitestone for the time being. Less than a hundred, I imagine. These are the first 20-some-odd that we've pulled through.

MATT: And she looks behind you, looks to the crowd, snaps her fingers. Some of the guards step forward, she goes, “Please, if you would make sure to find any of the various unoccupied buildings are provided to these refugees. Thank you.” And the guards nod, and begin gathering the group and sending them back into town, and she gives you a look back and says, “For better or for worse, we happen to have a number of vacancies in the city due to recent events. But–”

TALIESIN: Oh! Well, yes. Nothing I– Anything I should know about?

MATT: “No, just– We've lost many in the struggle against the Briarwoods. But yes, they will be provided for, I assure you.”

TALIESIN: So I will let you know to stop all business with Emon for now. Be very wary, prepare the city for a possible dragon attack. Things are looking dark.

MATT: “Yes, yes.”

TALIESIN: And if it's possible, any research– any energy that can be put forward towards mounting some sort of defense against these creatures would be greatly appreciated.

MATT: “Right, right, well, we had a few individuals that were researching the ziggurat beneath the city. Two left a while back and we had one arrive just the other day.”

TALIESIN: Who arrived the other day?

MATT: “I cannot recall his name– Realm Seeker, Realm Seer– I'm not–”

LAURA: (whispering) Eskil Ryndarien!

TALIESIN: Please bring me to him.

MATT: All right, Cassandra leads you down into the city again, and one of the houses has been provided, she knocks on the door, the door opens and you see stepping out, an older gentleman who you've heard of but not really had an encounter with since– no, actually you encountered him for the final ritual that took the phylactery from Grog's chest.

TALIESIN: Oh my god.

MATT: But this is Realmseer Eskil Ryndarien, the archmage that basically was one of the folks who lived within Westruun and was called to Whitestone as part of research–

TALIESIN: That's some pre-stream stuff, everybody.

MATT: As the door opens, he comes out, eyes adjusting to the light, and you can see the interior is very dark. He's one of those live-in-lightless-territory types of person. Comes out with his round spectacles around his nose, his robe is disheveled, bundled over his shoulders, he goes, “Yes, if I may be of service–?”

TALIESIN: We've met! You look very familiar.

MATT: “Quite! Yes we have. You're with those S.H.I.T.s, weren't you?”

TALIESIN: (laughing) Ah, yes.

MATT: “Unfortunate title you've chosen–”

TALIESIN: Long gone, thankfully, long gone. We're Vox Machina–

MATT: “Good! Vox Machina, glad you took my suggestion.”

TALIESIN: Yes, thank you for that.

(laughing)

MATT: “What can I do for you?”

TALIESIN: Well, first of all, how goes the research into the–

MATT: “Frustrating, to say the least. It appears that this entire–” and he walks back into the house, expecting you guys to follow. As you enter, immediately you're hit with the smell of sage and other burning herbs, and you can see there's a vast number of books that are strewn about the table in front. The fireplace in the back is pouring smoke up into the roof area and soot's starting to gather on the stonework on the outside. Looks like there's two or three different kettles going off with different types of tea. It's complete chaos in here, but he seems to be in control of most of it, at least. He goes, “From best we can ascertain, this is some sort of a magical siphon device. It has prevented us from utilizing any sort of ritualistic endeavors in ascertaining its nature, it's quite perplexing. I'm hoping to either head over to Wildemount, or perhaps return to the Cobalt Reserve and perhaps find some historical information about such an object, but nothing in my current–”

TALIESIN: Well, sir, I have some bad news for you. I hail from Emon, which has been attacked by chromatic dragons–

MATT: “I'm sorry, what?”

TALIESIN: Dragons have declared war on civilization. A group of dragons have destroyed our city, and they have destroyed other cities as well. We are in desperate need of powers to defend ourselves with– So I would be very careful and send forward– Send word ahead of yourself before you travel anywhere, it may not be there by the time you get there.

MATT: “Well, I guess it's good that I moved my tower before I left.”

TALIESIN: Things are looking grim and I would ask while you– If you intend to remain and work on your research on this anomaly beneath our city, perhaps thinking as to how it may be turned into a weapon for our use against these creatures would not be out of the realm of question, and any information you do have of the chromatic dragons would be invaluable. Any research that can be done. We are at war.

MATT: “This is very disconcerting news. I will do what I can. Unfortunately, I'd have to get back to the Cobalt Reserve. That's where most of my research is completed.”

TALIESIN: That's Westruun?

MATT: “Let me see. Jeckt–” And he snaps his fingers, and you can see his manservant, Jeckt, who you've met before, slicked-back darkish red hair, mustache, very prim and proper-type manservant, well-dressed, steps out of the shadows. “Yes, my lord?” “If you would be so kind, prepare me for travel, pack up this–”

TALIESIN: Westruun is no more, sir.

MATT: “Well, that's really frustrating!”

TALIESIN: Yes.

MATT: “Really.”

TALIESIN: Extremely aggravating.

MATT: “Yes. I am unhappy with this circumstance! How am I supposed to do my research without a place to do my research?!”

TALIESIN: Well, we hope that you will find our winters here quite solitary, and convenient on that level. Things are looking grim.

MATT: “Well, you can say that again.”

TALIESIN: I must go. I have other work to do to start preparing–

TRAVIS: Peace!

MATT: “Yes, yes go! Do your thing!”

TALIESIN: Good day, sir. And good luck to you.

MATT: “Should I find anything, how will I– whereabouts– Where are you?”

TALIESIN: We don't know yet, but we will be returning here.

MATT: “That does not help me. I will do my best.”

TALIESIN: Cassandra will be able to get a hold of me if necessary.

MATT: “Ah, Cassandra. All right! Someone of use around here.”

TALIESIN: I am going to go find my sister and make my way to the stone.

MATT: He doesn't even say goodbye to you. He's completely flustered. It's funny. For everyone who's taken completely by the horror of the situation, he just seems really perturbed about the–

TRAVIS: Inconvenience of it all.

MATT: Yeah, it's so inconvenient. That library was very helpful.

TALIESIN: Why isn't the internet working! (frustrated noise)

MATT: Basically. You find your way to Cassandra again. She's waiting outside of the room. “I hope he's been helpful, brother”

TALIESIN: No, he wasn't helpful, but it was very helpful the way he wasn't helpful.

MATT: “Yes.”

TALIESIN: It's a strange, strange–

MATT: “He's a very strange man.”

TALIESIN: Everything's going to be all right.

MATT: “I hope so.”

TALIESIN: Thank you. I will return very soon. We will, again with your permission, hopefully be using Whitestone as a place to regroup and prepare ourselves.

MATT: “Is there worry that these dragons might come here?”

TALIESIN: Yes.

MATT: “How will we stop them?”

TALIESIN: You'll hide. I have thoughts, perhaps of a weapon. I don't know. But we're going to find a way to stop them.

MATT: “We have to.”

TALIESIN: I'm not good at being the bearer of any bad news, but this is very dangerous and I don't know what we're going to do.

SAM: (whispers) Steal an airplane.

MATT: “Neither do I.”

TALIESIN: (whispers) They don't have an airplane.

MATT: “Stay safe, Percival.”

TALIESIN: I shall return soon.

MATT: “I hope so. We'll do what we can in the meantime to see to your refugees and hopefully try and prepare ourselves.”

TALIESIN: There will be a few more through, possibly tomorrow, with word.

MATT: “All right. We'll be prepared. Thank you.” She reaches out and puts her hand on yours, again, and looks you sternly in the face and goes, “Be careful.”

TALIESIN: I will.

MATT: “You're all I have left.”

TALIESIN: And Cassandra, I'm proud of you. You're doing very well here.

MATT: “There's still a ways to go, brother.”

TALIESIN: We'll get there.

MATT: She hands you the gatestone. And with that, there's a slight popping sound as you're in a very soft bit of bluish-purple light. Your body slowly subsides and fades into nothing before it (poof) vanishes out of existence. As you guys are back at the keep, suddenly, who has the gatestone? As you're holding it, it begins to shake in your hand and give off a warm light.

MARISHA: I think our reservation's ready.

SAM: I'm telling the, what, seven remaining refugees?

MATT: You have about eight or nine.

SAM: Sorry you didn't make it through. It doesn't mean that you'll be here forever. We'll get you there tomorrow. No big. Don't worry about it.

LAURA: More food for you guys, which is A+.

MATT: At which point now, there's a slight smell of burnt cedar before the air itself begins to sound like a light hum or vibration as suddenly Percy's form (poof) appears in the center of the room next to your gatestone. Both of the stones you guys are holding all of a sudden become white-hot, and you instinctively drop them before they tumble to the ground.

LAURA: Hey! They work!

TALIESIN: They hurt. Good to know.

SAM: That's great. Did you see your sister?

TALIESIN: I did, everything is fine up there, the research continues. They're happy to take people.

LAURA: That's wonderful.

TALIESIN: So, and they are prepared for more. They're also happy to be a base of operations as we put things together.

LAURA: And you told them to make preparations in case something happens?

TALIESIN: Whatever preparations one can make for something like this, to be prepared to hide. (sighs) For now.

LIAM: In the worst-case scenario they can go underground.

TALIESIN: Worst-case scenario, they can go underground, yes.

LAURA: They need to start hiding food.

TALIESIN: They have to grow food, they haven't really recovered that yet. There's also a–

MARISHA: Hopefully I hooked them up there.

TALIESIN: I have one of those terrible ideas I get on occasion.

SAM: What is it? I love it.

TALIESIN: That thing beneath Whitestone could be a weapon.

SAM: How?

TRAVIS: Ooh, that's true.

LAURA: Anything touching it disintegrates.

TRAVIS: Yeah! Like a dragon.

SAM: Do you shoot it at something?

TALIESIN: I might be able to turn it into a projectile.

LAURA: How would you turn it to a projectile– are you okay, Keyleth?

LIAM: It is a fun idea–

TALIESIN: A long-term idea.

MARISHA: Just choking on Percy's idea.

TALIESIN: I can make an antimagic missile.

MARISHA: What– a magic– a magic missile? An antimagic missile?

TALIESIN: An antimagic missile.

LIAM: One plus one plus two plus one.

LAURA: One plus two plus one plus one!

SAM: That's a great idea.

TALIESIN: I've been– I've been mulling it over.

SAM: Could we fire it from an airship of some sort?

TALIESIN: Yes, I have– that's actually part of the idea.

MARISHA: Percy, when I tried to touch that thing it was like it was sucking me in. I don't think that thing and me touched. How are we going to turn it into a projectile?

TALIESIN: I have thoughts, I'm going to follow them through, and it may require some experimentation in the future, but I think perhaps–

MARISHA: At the cost of possibly your life?

TALIESIN: I take my life into my hands any time I build something. I think that a non-magical approach to containing it might actually work. I think the problem is–

LAURA: Well that's good, because it cancels out any magic–

TALIESIN: I think the problem is that we keep trying to magic our way out of something that denies magic, and maybe I can engineer our way out of it.

MARISHA: Have they found anything out, did you get any updates?

TALIESIN: A little bit of information, there will be more later. I'm going to take a look at all the data and see if it's possible.

SAM: Should we go visit the Clasp?

TRAVIS: Oh, please.

TALIESIN: I'm trying to be more open.

TRAVIS: Yeah, let's go!

MARISHA: What time is it?

MATT: At this time? It's pretty close to dusk, the sun is getting close to the mountain line, you probably have another hour of daylight.

MARISHA: Okay.

TALIESIN: To the Clasp?

TRAVIS: Yeah, they're probably nocturnal anyway. That means they're around at night.

TALIESIN: They're not turtles, no.

MARISHA: Did you learn something new, Grog?

TRAVIS: What?

MATT: All right, you guys heading back into Emon?

SAM: Everyone? Some? All?

TALIESIN: I think Pike should stay behind to take care for–

MARISHA: You seem to have reservations–

SAM: Vex, are you okay going down there? You're marked for death by these people.

LAURA: I've been down there several times without knowing that.

SAM: I know, I feel like it might put you on edge.

LIAM: She's not marked for death, she was marked for death, it's just awkward. It's awkward. I'm not a full-fledged member, they don't like me. I don't like them!

LAURA: Maybe I can become a member.

LIAM: Maybe you can.

TALIESIN: This is politics, you're not supposed to like them.

LIAM: Well, let's go, then.

TRAVIS: Yeah! What he said.

MATT: You guys taking the tunnel or you walking in?

LAURA: Taking the tunnel, we're taking the secret entrance–

TRAVIS: Oh come on, we're never even– we've not even walked in yet.

LAURA: Garthok showed us the secret entrance, he's waiting for us and having them prepare our way, this could get bad.

MATT: No, are you guys walking through your tunnel to the city, is what I'm saying.

LAURA: Oh! That! Yes. Cool.

LIAM: We're not going to walk in the open.

SAM: What are we doing?

LAURA: We're taking our secret tunnel into the city.

SAM: Okay. It puts us in the wrong side of the city, but it's okay.

LAURA: What else are we going to do?

MARISHA: (coughing)

LAURA: How you doing there? You okay?

MARISHA: I'm good. Mm-hmm. Sorry. I got a piece of chip stuck.

TALIESIN: No, I'm going to leave one with Vax.

TRAVIS: What is it?

TALIESIN: I'm giving Vax my gatestone.

LIAM: That's a good idea.

TALIESIN: I'm giving you the other one.

LIAM: For now, it's a good idea, I won't hold onto it forever.

TALIESIN: He's the one who's going to get stuck in a room alone if they decide they don't like him.

LIAM: Can we call this the Jenga stone? In moments of need.

TALIESIN: Jenga stone. Remember, it takes about a minute to work.

LIAM: Do I need to spend a little time with this?

MATT: No. However, it does work only once a day.

LIAM: Once a day?

MATT: After another long rest you'd be able to use it again.

LIAM: All right. Good to know. All right.

SAM: Into the city.

LAURA: In your pants.

MATT: Like you do. Half-elven storage space. You guys find your way back into Emon, utilizing your secret tunnel entrance, coming up through the false outhouse once again. You leave the chain behind, locking it up, and make your way into the city.

LAURA: Cast Pass Without a Trace on us.

MATT: All right. You guys, I'd like you all to make a stealth check.

TRAVIS: Come on, giant blue nut ball dice.

Natural 20!

LAURA: Aw, it fell out of my hand. I don't think it should count if it fell.

MATT: Nope, too bad.

LAURA: Aw, that's mean. Oh, I get advantage!

SAM: Oh, and we get a plus ten, right?

TALIESIN: 33.

SAM: 15.

MARISHA: 35.

LIAM: 38.

LAURA: 35.

TRAVIS: Natural 20.

SAM: Wait. With no judgment, is Trinket coming?

LAURA: Trinket is staying with Pike.

SAM: That's a fine decision.

MATT: Okay.

TRAVIS: Hell hath frozen over.

MATT: Placing Trinket over here.

LAURA: Oh! He's crying! I'm crying.

MATT: So as you guys start dodging between the alleyways, making your way towards the north side of Emon, alongside the ruined interior of the Cloudtop District, you instinctually begin to– and I'd say– who else has proficiency in perception?

LIAM: Right here.

MATT: All right. You guys all start noticing there are what looks initially like flocks of birds moving through the sky. Some of them are heading down into parts of the town in the distance. As you continue to push forward, one set of four in particular start heading overhead. You look up and you can see a small cluster of about five or six flying creatures. Not dragon-sized, by any means, but either a very, very large bird or something of that degree. You can't make out the details, as right now as the sun's beginning to set, a lot of it's dark against a red-orange sky. You keep yourself at bay, waiting for them to pass.

MARISHA: Oh, waiting for them to pass?

MATT: Unless you guys want to do something else.

LAURA: As a dragon-favored enemy, could I guesstimate what those winged creatures are that would hang out around dragons?

TRAVIS: Could you determine if they're wyverns?

MATT: Yes. They are actually indeed wyverns. Wivverns. However you want to pronounce it. Both work in my world. It's fine.

LIAM: It's pronounced 'jif'.

MATT: Yes.

(laughter)

MATT: I will fight you. But yeah.

SAM: They're diving into the city?

MATT: You can see a few that dove into city and stayed there. And one group goes overhead, and continues onward.

MARISHA: Okay.

MATT: Pushing forward, deeper into the city, you make your way through the Temple District, and start pushing through Abdar's Promenade once again, retracing your steps from the day before, dodging through open areas as fast as possible to stay within the shadows. All of you go darting into one of the alleyways. As you turn behind you, you can see your tiny-legged gnomish bard friend, keeping up as best as he can before his foot hitting a divot on the ground and (slam) falling face first on the ground, making just enough noise–

SAM: Sorry. Sorry.

MATT: You hear a little screech in the distance. (screech) And coming up on the rooftop, you can see, perched up there, appears to be one wyvern that is looking over down at the currently toppled gnome, and on top of the wyvern, you see something riding it. Something that is holding reins on the edge, something humanoid is glancing over, just a little enough of a shadow, to see.

SAM: He sees me? I see him?

MATT: He looks down at you, yeah.

SAM: Okay. I will cast Hold Person on him.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: I don't know what he is, but I want him to stop.

LIAM: And Scanlan's the only one– we all see it?

MATT: You all barely see it looking over the edge as Scanlan's there, left in the middle of the main walkway. That is going to be a natural 17 on the will save. That'll be an 18. What's your DC?

SAM: Well, it's 17, but the hand-cone makes it 19.

LAURA: Ah-ha!

SAM: Do you think I had the wherewithal to use it?

MATT: With having you fallen on your face, I'd say probably not. Since it wasn't specified, that would be a DC of 17. So the creature seems to rear back for a second, shake its head, and you get a little bit of a look at the features at this point, too. And it is humanoid, but you can see its outer body is not fleshy, or smooth, it is scaled and bumpy. You can see ridges across the back of the head, and in one of the hands, looks like some sort of a spear. Immediately as it rears back, it puts its head up and goes (guttural gibberish).

LAURA: The creature?

MATT: Yeah, riding on the back of the wyvern.

LAURA: Those are the things that attacked the airship!

SAM: Yes. Possibly.

MATT: I would like you all to roll initiative.

TALIESIN: This is going to be fun.

LAURA: I think you should turn it into a bunny, Keyleth! Turn it into a bunny.

MARISHA: Jesus Christ. I can do that today. Just rolled shitty on my initiative.

LIAM: Not too good.

SAM: (singing) This is the music that plays when we fight!

MATT: All right, so! Scanlan, as you were running across the thoroughfare, you tripped and fell that way.

SAM: That's me!

MATT: The rest of you had come into this alley over here. Currently, looking over the top of this rooftop, is this wyvern and its rider.

MARISHA: I love that the rider is like (derpy noise).

MATT: (imitates derpy noise) It's fine.

MARISHA: Go home, rider, you're drunk.

MATT: That's going to be– 25 to 20?

TALIESIN: 26.

TRAVIS: 20.

MATT: 20. All right, 20 to 15?

LAURA: 18.

MATT: 18, let's see. Vex. 15 to ten?

SAM: Yikes.

MATT: Ten to five?

SAM: Eight! No, seven.

MARISHA: Five.

MATT: (laughs) Okay.

TALIESIN: Wow.

LIAM: Uno!

MATT: Plus?

LIAM: Oh, six, thanks for that.

MATT: So you would be– actually, technically, Keyleth, is next to you.

LIAM: That was so crushing, to see the number on the die.

MATT: Aw, sorry buddy. It happens to the best of us. All righty. So. Currently with this guy up on top of the rooftop, Percy, you are first.

TALIESIN: Quick question, is he in flight, or is he just sitting on the rooftop?

MATT: Just sitting on the roof, perched on the edge. You can't even actually see him, everyone else who's near the front can see, the few that made the check. You've got a little bit of movement up there, but you're just out of view with the building– you're right in an alleyway.

TALIESIN: There's no easy way up onto the roof, is there?

MATT: Aside from a well-placed acrobatics check. You could try.

TALIESIN: That would be my whole movement, too, wouldn't it, though?

MATT: Most likely.

TALIESIN: Nah, let's see.

TRAVIS: And how high is the roof?

MATT: I'd say it's about anywhere from 16 to 20 feet tall. It's two-story, but it's not extremely well-built.

TALIESIN: I'm going to try to get a vantage point where I can at least get where he's only three-quarters cover. So I suppose I'm going to head south down the alley to see if I can get a–

MATT: Pushing to these guys?

TALIESIN: Yeah.

MATT: Okay, so one– You can get to about there if you want to.

TALIESIN: I can get a good look at him there.

MATT: You can see, yeah. He'll have half-cover from there.

TALIESIN: Half-cover's fine. So, if I were to knock him prone, would he fall off the roof, or could I try and push him off the roof? These are my–

MATT: For the wyvern, or for the rider?

TALIESIN: The wyvern.

MATT: You can try. It's hard-pressed, he's sturdy on the side, knocking him prone might fall over onto the rooftop. Who knows if it'll slide or not. It's your call. What do you want to try?

TALIESIN: I'll try knocking him prone, and see if that does it.

MATT: Okay!

TALIESIN: Actually–

SAM: Do it!

TALIESIN: Yeah, it's either that or try and push him off the roof, which could be pretty funny. I'll try and knock him prone.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: All right. So I'm going to use Bad News, because that's funnier.

MATT: Okay. So (whoosh) you whip out.

TALIESIN: Take a shot. That's a 28 to hit.

MATT: That'll hit.

TALIESIN: And that's a wing shot, so you have to make a constitution saving throw.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: Against 18.

MATT: Well, this is the wing or leg shot, right?

TALIESIN: Wing or leg shot. I'm sorry, that's a– Actually, I'm sorry, I have the new sheet.

MATT: Yeah, new sheet on that one. Updated that.

TALIESIN: Strength saving throw. Sorry, strength saving throw against 18.

MATT: Okay. That's a natural 19 plus four for strength, so that's a 23 on the save.

TALIESIN: Motherfucker, but he'll still take some damage.

MATT: Still takes damage though, go ahead and roll.

TALIESIN: I'm going to take another shot at him, too, because eff that. I was not quite prepared for this. 2d12 plus six, four, eight, 14 points of damage.

MATT: 14 points of damage, nice. All right.

TALIESIN: And I'm going to take a– reload, take another shot and try and knock him off the roof.

MATT: Go for it. The same shot?

TALIESIN: Same shot. Ugh. That's a three, so that means I–

MATT: Misfire.

SAM: Clank!

MATT: So, first shot of Bad News, (explosion noise) echoes, the sound of the blast rippling through the nearby alleyways, the blast hits the wyvern in part of its arm, sending a spray of blood as it shrieks in pain. As you can see its rider is moved to the side, and you see a second head behind the rider from the reaction of movement. Looks like there's actually two of these creatures riding on the back of this creature. As you go to reload, bring Bad News up again to fire a second time, you pull the trigger and there's a (thump) sound, and you can see now a stream of smoke pouring out the back of the gun itself, and you're a little worried what this is going to do if you don't fix it soon.

TRAVIS: Look down the barrel!

SAM: Yeah, that'll work.

TALIESIN: I can use my– I actually can't do– Am I going to panic and try and fix this?

MATT: Next turn? That's your movement, that's your three attacks, do you have a bonus? Anything?

TALIESIN: I can– I'm going to, I'm going to throw an action surge and see if I can fix this.

MATT: Go for it. Go ahead and make your tinker check.

TALIESIN: Yes! Yeah, 14.

MATT: So you spend your action quickly trying to fix the gun and get Bad News back. You manage to clear the barrel, get the pellet out, as the rest of the team starts coming up with their turns. That'll be the rest of your action. Okay, finishes Percy's turn. Grog, you're up.

TRAVIS: I'd like to hold my turn until it gets off the roof and maybe comes down to the ground.

MATT: Okay, okay, good to know. Let's see here. It appears that my– Taliesin, could you do me a favor and hand me that box next to the fridge there?

TALIESIN: Sure.

MATT: Thank you. All right, so Grog, as you're doing that, the blasting sound of Bad News that echoed through, you all of a sudden start hearing other shrieks in the distance, like a call to arms of a number of other entities.

MARISHA: Oh boy.

MATT: As you see a multitude of other winged creatures begin to arise in the distance.

TALIESIN: I shouldn't have gotten him that box, should I?

MARISHA: Was that in the box?

TRAVIS: Yeah, we could always run, too.

TALIESIN: Could.

SAM: How far are we from the tunnel system? Far.

MATT: You're a ways. Probably a good 25-minute run. There's another one on the roof over here. And there's one on this roof here. Each one of them with their own riders, as well.

LAURA: Shit.

MATT: Now. All right, so for this turn, this one leaps off and swoops down here to where Percy is while both of its riders leap off to the side. One that leaps off and rushes over to Scanlan on the ground, and this other one that gets right up next to Percy. This one goes flying forward and lands in the center to about there. Two of its riders leap off. This one stays up in the air over this way in a flanking position– or in a visual perspective with two of its riders on its back. Put them there.

LIAM: For clarification, does this count as turns, or are they, since they're coming late to the party, or this is just them in position?

MATT: This is them now entering the fray.

LIAM: Are they into the initiative order, just gameplay talk?

MATT: Yeah. Well, this is the initiative I rolled for them after being called by the guy who was already shouting out into the air.

LAURA: Oh, right, right, right.

MATT: You didn't see them before, given your perspective. These guys leap off over here– over there. Okay. So we have, first the wyvern that swooped down on you, Percy, is going to go ahead and make an attack with its bite and an attack with its stinger as a multiattack. So that first strike, that is going to be a– The bite, 13?

TALIESIN: That does not hit.

MATT: The stinger, however, is a 19.

TALIESIN: I'm going to use my Amulet of the Shield and up my AC for that attack to 23, so.

MATT: Yeah. So that will miss. So that uses the Amulet. Good to know. So the stinger goes to strike you after the bite misses, and as you grasp your chest, you can see now an arcane barrier shines in front of you and completely ricochets the stinger out into the air to the side as it reacts angrily. The other giant humanoid lizard creature that's coming towards you with a giant heavy club is going to attempt to slam you with it.

LAURA: There's so many things!

MATT: Twice. Well, it's going to attack you with its club, that's going to be a 17.

TALIESIN: Nope.

MATT: And then it's going to try and slam you with a spike shield. That is 15.

TALIESIN: Nope.

MATT: So that guy starts swinging at you loosely.

TALIESIN: I'm sword out. Yeah.

MATT: All right. Attacking you, Scanlan.

SAM: Oh. Shit.

MATT: The one that's on the ground there. All right. So it has two attacks against you with advantage.

SAM: With advantage?

MATT: Because you're prone. You're on the ground. That'll be a 24 to hit.

SAM: Yeah, yeah, okay.

MATT: And the spike shield is going to be a 24 again, actually.

LAURA: Oh no!

MATT: So as you're on the ground, it slams you with a shield for 12 points of bludgeoning damage.

SAM: Okay.

LAURA: Why didn't I bring Trinket?

SAM: I know! What's wrong with you?

MATT: The shield slams you for eight points of piercing damage. So a total of 20 points of damage as (whack) slams you into the ground twice.

LAURA: I thought this was a stealthing mission!

MATT: It was until he rolled a 15 stealth.

SAM: Blame me, blame me.

MATT: Those wyverns are too far away for combat. The other guys are just assisting the scenario here.

LIAM: Percy shot at them.

MATT: Okay. There's one fellow over here that is a bit far away who steps off. Instead of holding the same clubs and shields or other various hack weapons, he's carrying a gnarled staff.

SAM: Oh, shit.

MATT: Steps forward and sees the weapon that you fired twice and had been fixing, this large metallic dangerous entity, looks forward and begins hissing under his breath (hissing gibberish).

SAM: Do I see this?

MATT: You do.

SAM: I'm going to release my–

MATT: Though you are being slammed on the ground. I'd say make a perception check, actually, to see if you see this.

SAM: Okay.

MATT: Because you are currently–

SAM: 19!

MATT: Yes, actually, I will say you do see this.

SAM: I will release my Counterspell.

MATT: Okay!

SAM: I assume he's casting something.

MATT: He is, actually–

TRAVIS: Or has a terrible cold.

SAM: And I will– I will sing at him, (singing) And you still haven't hit what you're aiming for!

MATT: That's a second-level spell, it is dispelled immediately. As he'd attempted to Heat Metal on your weapon, you can see as the metal begins to glow for a moment and you could feel the heat welling in your hand, all of a sudden the spell (crack) is shattered, like the sound of thin glass in the distance as Scanlan shouts to intercept its arcane ability. That is going to end their opening turn. That brings us down to the initiative order. Vex, you're up.

LAURA: Oh, I think Grog was before me.

MATT: Oh, right, Grog, you're holding your action first.

TRAVIS: Right. Can I barrel down through the alley now that someone's on the ground, and race towards the one that's nearest Percy?

MATT: I'll say sure. Usually, going forward, if you hold your action, that's just your action, not your movement, you still move to the situation, but I'll let it stand for this, it's fine.

TRAVIS: I'll remember that going forward.

MATT: Yeah. So you're going to tear down to this guy there?

TRAVIS: Yeah. I would like– and I would like to swing twice with Craven.

MATT: Go for it. Still maintaining your bonuses from last game, by the way. You haven't taken a short rest yet.

LAURA: Oh my gosh!

TRAVIS: Yes indeed.

LAURA: He's so strong from the last game.

TRAVIS: Plus– That's 26.

MATT: 26 hits.

TRAVIS: And a 14 on the second one.

MATT: 14 does not hit. This is the Great Weapon Master?

TRAVIS: No, these are regular attacks.

LAURA: You didn't rage yet?

MATT: Did you rage?

TRAVIS: Yeah. Oh! No, I did not.

MATT: Do you want to rage as part of your bonus action to this?

TRAVIS: I would like to rage.

MATT: Okay. Figures. All right, so as your bonus action you go into a rage before you strike. Go for it.

TRAVIS: 12– 22? Oh, wait. Yep, 22.

MATT: 22 damage. All right. The second strike missed.

TRAVIS: Oh, that's right. 22, that's it.

MATT: 22. So you rush forward, slam the sword into the side of the lizard creature. It puts its shield up and it manages to block most of the blow, but it still slides off and slams into part of its neck area. It shoves the blade out. However, it fails its save.

TRAVIS: Yes!

MATT: Take a strength point off of it and add that to what you have now. What's your strength currently?

TRAVIS: 22.

MATT: So it goes up another plus one to attack and damage. If it became 22, it does.

TRAVIS: Yes.

MATT: All right. Grog, that ends your turn. Vex, you're up.

LAURA: Is there anywhere I can stand that I get a good cone shape? Or am I all blocked in?

MATT: You can try to move through. You might get an attack of opportunity from the guy that's attacking Grog.

LAURA: Okay, how high is the roof next to me?

MATT: It's about 16, 20 feet.

LAURA: Could I acrobatics that shit up?

MATT: You could try to. Go for it.

LAURA: Okay.

LIAM: Parkour!

LAURA: Hold on. Oh! 31?

MATT: With that, you look over and see the rooftop up there. You leap off each side, Ninja Gaiden-style. Hop onto the rooftop with a solid view of the entire battlefield before you, including the one flying creature up there.

LAURA: Oh, okay. Then I'm going to Hunter's Mark the magic user.

MATT: All righty.

LAURA: And I'm going to Conjure Barrage in a cone to get as many of those fucks as I can.

MATT: Okay, so it's a 60-foot cone. Right there?

LAURA: Yeah, sure. Sorry, Scanlan.

MATT: You will hit Scanlan, as well.

SAM: Oh, balls! I'm a little man!

MATT: All right, so go ahead and roll for that.

LAURA: 3d8.

MATT: Yeah, roll 3d8 damage.

SAM: 3d8 damage?

MATT: Yeah!

LAURA: It's not that much. 16, and then an extra d6 on that guy. An extra six.

MATT: Okay, so does he make his save? He does not.

SAM: Do I have to make a save?

MATT: Yes, you do.

SAM: What kind of save?

MATT: This would be a dexterity saving throw.

SAM: And I'm on the ground. That's a nine.

MATT: You take 16 points of damage from that. That's a fail, and a success. So 16. The wyvern makes that, so half that for eight. He fails. All right, cool. Got it. So as you go forward, leaping up on top, you mark the one guy, turn around, and release a torrent of arrows that sprays into the center of this open pathway of the city. I believe that ends your turn.

LAURA: Yes, it does.

MATT: All right, that brings us to Scanlan.

SAM: Oh, me?

MATT: Yep.

SAM: Balls. Shit. I'm on the ground. If I stand up, that's my action?

MATT: It's half your movement.

SAM: That's half my movement. Okay, I'll stand up. He doesn't get to hit me, right?

MATT: Not unless you move away from him.

SAM: Okay. Which riders are still on their beasts?

MATT: These two are the only two that are still on their beasts.

SAM: I will ignore the guy next to me and I will Hand Cone it up, and I will– he's got two riders?

MATT: Yeah, they have these ramshackle– you can see now with a closer look, these leather kind of saddles? But they're mostly thrown leathers that are strapped to its back, and there's two of them holding onto these knobs in front to stay on.

SAM: Two riders?!

LAURA: Come on, Scanlan.

SAM: I guess I'll Dominate one of them. The main guy.

LAURA: Can you Dominate the beast?

SAM: He's not a person.

MATT: There's Dominate Person and Dominate Monster. They're two different things.

SAM: I'm going to dominate the guy in front.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: Maverick, not Hollywood.

TRAVIS: It's Maverick and Goose!

SAM: Well, at the end, it was Hollywood.

TRAVIS: No, it was Merlin.

SAM: Merlin?!

TRAVIS: Yeah. Tim Robbins.

SAM: Merlin was the teacher, the guy who spun out. Hollywood was the guy who was his–

TRAVIS: You don't want to do this with me.

TALIESIN: This is the first conversation I've ever been in in this group where I feel young.

MATT: The rider's screeching down while it's holding on, and all of a sudden it shakes its head for a minute and looks down at you, eyes connected, and you know that this entity is waiting for its command.

SAM: Can I only give it one command per turn?

MATT: You can give it a basic command and it will follow it through, unless you wanted to directly control it.

SAM: Well, I've got two things to do. He's got to get rid of that fucker on his back, and also other things. Let's go for the big kahuna. I command him to ride his beast to attack the one below him. The wyvern below him.

MATT: Okay. All right, good to know. And do you want to stay where you are? Do you want to move?

SAM: No, I don't want to move because he'll hit me. That would be bad. Who hasn't gone? You haven't gone.

TALIESIN: Vax hasn't gone–

SAM: Vax hasn't gone? Oh my god.

LAURA: No. because he rolled a one, remember?

LIAM: Yup!

SAM: Okay. I will inspire Vax with my inspiration. And I will say: This is ground control to Major Vax, you've really made the blade. And the papers want to know whose blood you spilled!

MATT: (laughs) All right, take your d10 inspiration die.

LIAM: d10. Yes.

SAM: Rest in peace.

MATT: All right. That's Scanlan's turn. Vax, you're up.

LIAM: So I'm having trouble seeing the battle map. Grog is right against a wyvern, right?

MATT: Grog is against a lizard-like creature–

LIAM: Oh, so not against a wyvern?

MATT: No. That's a little bit away. But Percy is next to it.

LIAM: Oh, so Percy is right there?

MATT: Correct, yes.

LIAM: And Scanlan's next to the magic user, right?

MATT: The magic user's over here, that's been Hunter's Marked.

LIAM: Scanlan's up against a dude, right? All right, so what I want to do is slink up behind Percy, reach over– oh, no, I want to click my Boots of Haste, is what I want to do.

MATT: Did you use them during the battle against the looters?

LIAM: I don't think so.

TRAVIS: I don't remember him doing it.

LIAM: No, I didn't. No I didn't, I definitely didn't, because I remember kicking myself for– I definitely didn't. Okay so, click, everybody starts moving slower around me. I want to– so Percy's against the wyvern, I want to reach over Percy's shoulder and stab the wyvern, and then I want to throw another dagger at the dude standing next to Scanlan.

MATT: On this side there, you mean?

LIAM: Yeah. Well, I can't tell, I can't see shit– is that over Percy's shoulder?

MATT: Because right now you're being blocked, you can't quite get to the wyvern unless you move around the building that you left.

LIAM: But I can go around it, yes, let's do that. I'm going to stab the wyvern in the butt, and then I'm going to throw a dagger from my other hand at the guy standing next to Scanlan– I've got a question for you. Because both of them have somebody who's running interference, do I get sneak attack damage on both?

MATT: You only get one sneak attack damage per turn.

LIAM: Just per turn?

MATT: Once per turn.

LIAM: All right. So I'm going to use sneak attack damage on the wyvern if I get it.

MATT: Go for it! So first strike against it, as you (whoosh) whip around the side of the building, blades out–

LIAM: 25!

MATT: That hits!

LIAM: And then for the dude by Scanlan gets a– word, 19.

MATT: Yep. If you have both blades out, you get a third attack too, don't forget.

LIAM: I do. Oh– yes. So the third stab will go back at the wyvern.

MATT: Okay! So the sneak attack against the wyvern, first strike.

LIAM: Yeah, and the last one was a 24 total, so that hits as well. Okay! So that's two, one, yes. That's 14, 17, 22, 23, 25, 27, 29 into the wyvern.

MATT: All right.

LIAM: And then the jerk over by Scanlan gets seven.

SAM: Yes!

LIAM: And then the wyvern takes another, the Keen Dagger, takes another nine.

MATT: All righty. So, as you rush around, you stab the wyvern on the back of its haunches and you see it shrieks in pain (screeches), looks over its shoulder and starts biting its tail, its stinger swinging about, but you avoid it, fling the other dagger to the side and then jam the other side of its haunches with your other hand. It's definitely aware of your presence now.

LIAM: Did I use up all my movement?

MATT: Nope!

LIAM: Knowing that it can swat at me, I'm going to try to go right back around where I came from.

MATT: All right.

LIAM: And I'm wearing the Cloak of Displacement.

MATT: Okay. It's going to swing at you with disadvantage.

SAM: Just call it cloak number seven.

MATT: That's a two on the first roll, so yeah. That misses you. (whoosh) Its stinger swings out towards you and you duck underneath, it slams to the side of the building, breaking part of the wood, you can see splinters fly out to the middle of the road. That ends your turn?

LIAM: Yeah.

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

MARISHA: Okay. How far away am I from this guy, like– roughly how many feet?

MATT: Roughly–

MARISHA: The guy who's in the air, flying.

MATT: I'd say about 60, 65 feet.

MARISHA: Beautiful. I want to move up and around– here-ish.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: Sorry, I've got this thing in the way. Back a little bit– scoot back. Is that still in your path?

SAM: No, he's my guy.

MARISHA: He's your–? Oh. Well, I'm not going to fuck with him. I'm going to– you Dominated the guy?

SAM: I Dominated the guy.

MARISHA: Should I turn the wyvern into something else?

SAM: I don't know. I don't know.

MARISHA: Should I Polymorph him? Yeah, I guess he's Dom– you are Dominating that guy. Is there anything else that's flying? He's the only one that's up in the air left, right?

MATT: Yeah, all the other wyverns have landed and let their riders off on the sides.

MARISHA: So you commanded him to attack the one below you, right? I'm going to turn that wyvern into a– chicken!

MATT: This one?

MARISHA: Yes!

MATT: Okay. What's the save on that?

MARISHA: Poof! He has to make a wisdom save.

MATT: That is a seven!

MARISHA: Fail!

MATT: And with that– (laughs) The wyvern– (laughs) Twice now–

MARISHA: (laughs) This is my favourite game, you guys!

MATT: The bane of wyverns everyone– (swoop, chicken noise). As both the riders tumble off, slamming into the ground (sound of impact). That would be– Okay, ten points of damage to the wyvern, which kills the chicken form entirely. It turns back to a wyvern on the ground, taking the excess three damage.

LAURA: Yeah– (laughs) Keyleth.

MARISHA: Fuck.

LAURA: Shit! (laughs)

MATT: What?

SAM: Do I keep hold of my guy?

MATT: The riders fall also, they both take an additional 14 points of damage to each of them from the fall.

MARISHA: They all took damage– and they're on the ground now.

MATT: Let's see if it takes damage and makes a new saving throw against the spell. Does not make it, so it is still Dominated.

SAM: Oh. Okay. Thank God.

MARISHA: I didn't fuck it up this time.

MATT: But they are all– all three of them are considered prone for now. They are all knocked prone.

MARISHA: Cool. That's my turn.

MATT: All right, ends Keyleth's turn. At the top, Percy, you're up.

TALIESIN: Okay. Where am I, I can't see–

MATT: You're right here, you're blocked in between the two buildings, the mouth of the alleyway, with a wyvern and lizard creature right there, standing before you.

TALIESIN: Okay, I have no advantage on any of these bastards at the moment if I were to attack. Okay, that's fine. And how would you describe– these are like scaly people?

MATT: This up close and personal, they are humanoid in build, they have, you know, stand up upright, they have long tails, ridges across the head, they're bigger than an actual human and they're very muscular, and the more you look at it, you can see that their clothing, they have tattered cloth and leathers that have been haphazardly dyed in blood and gore to all be a very, very deep red color. And they're pretty uniform across what they are wearing.

LAURA: They're an army.

SAM: Team colors.

TALIESIN: I think you've got that one guy covered at the moment, so I'll concentrate on the–hmm. Tough call, tough call. You know what, I'll have a little fun. I'm going to pull my sword and I'm going to take a slash at the guy who's involved with–

MATT: All right, go for it.

TALIESIN: That's 21.

MATT: 21 hits.

TALIESIN: Oh shit, I forgot to use my bonus action. Can I pop in a quick bonus before that?

MATT: For what?

TALIESIN: Hex him.

MATT: You've already hexed today. You used it in the battle versus the looters.

TALIESIN: Oh, it's–

SAM: Same day.

TALIESIN: That's right. Still the same hour. It can only do it once a day, right? That's all right. That's fine, I can just do a little thing. So, just add to this, would he be described in anywhere on his little D&D card as something with a dragon keyword?

MATT: Nope!

TALIESIN: So I'm just going to do normal damage to him?

MATT: Yes.

TALIESIN: Okay. So–

MATT: Wyverns, however–

TALIESIN: All right, just checking. I'm going to do nine points of damage, slashing damage, to him.

MATT: All righty.

TALIESIN: And I'm going to turn to the wyvern, and take two slashes at the wyvern.

MATT: Go for it.

TALIESIN: First is– ew. 14?

MATT: 14 hits.

TALIESIN: Wow.

MATT: They're sacks of hit points, but they don't have lot of armor to them.

TALIESIN: That's 19 plus– 26 points of damage.

MATT: Nice!

TALIESIN: And second shot– 13, 24, yeah, that hits. Ten, 17, 18, 19, 26 points of damage.

MATT: 26 twice in a row. So with this you pull the sword out, as soon as you see it in the proximity of the wyvern, the blade itself almost seems to shimmer with this gleam of green on it, like the metal almost seems to bend and wave with your movements. And as you turn back around to slash at the wyvern, the blade cuts through it like butter, there's not even resistance, it goes right through its flesh. With each slash of the longsword, you can see large chunks of its muscle coming visible as parts of its body are now being pulled from the muscle and sinew. It shrieks in pain, you can see it angrily now starting to get ready to rake at you pretty heavily. That end your turn?

TALIESIN: That's my turn.

MATT: All righty. Grog, you're up.

TRAVIS: Yeah, I'm going to continue where I started on, shitfucker out in front of me.

MATT: Okay! (laughs)

TRAVIS: But I would like to go Great Weapon Master and I would like to use Reckless Attack.

MATT: Go for it.

LAURA: Wow, wow. Wow.

SAM: Reckless.

MATT: Roll your first attack against him.

TRAVIS: That's a 31.

MATT: Roll damage on that.

TRAVIS: 25?

MATT: 25? He fails his save, so you get another plus one to your strength, and that swing just cleaves it in two. It goes (whoosh) right through its midsection, it (gurgles). It tumbles off, falling to the ground.

LAURA: Oh my god. Grog.

LIAM: Grog is full juicing.

TRAVIS: I told you he'd open up to me!

(laughter)

MATT: You can move in now with your movement and do your next attack, if you'd like.

TRAVIS: I'll go ahead and take care of that wyvern that's next to me.

MATT: Go for it, all right, so now you get your next attack.

TRAVIS: Natural 20.

MATT: Go ahead and roll damage.

LIAM: Does his strength go up to 100 eventually?

MATT: It's double your first dice roll–

TRAVIS: 19– oh, so the 2d6 was nine, plus five is–

MATT: So 18.

TRAVIS: Plus 11.

MATT: So 29, plus two additional die rolls.

TRAVIS: Ten.

MATT: Okay. So we're at–

MATT, TRAVIS AND MARISHA: 39.

MATT: And then one more? Because you roll 2d– it's twice, because of Brutal Critical.

LIAM: Jeez, you got like Tetsuo arm, it's like five times bigger than it should be.

TRAVIS: Four. Four for those two, do I plus five to that as well for the–

MATT: Well, plus ten for your– you already added that for your–

TRAVIS: Yes, 2d6 plus five on each one and the–

MATT: No, it's just the additional 2d6 each time.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

MATT: So yeah, with that you turn around after hacking its friend, leaping forward (grunts), foam at the corner of your mouth, your eyes bloodshot and angry. You take the blade and sweep it down, and it plunges itself right into the wound that Percy had left open with his sword swing, finding no resistance before it comes all the way to the hilt in the body of the wyvern, which shrieks for a moment (screeches) before its breath stops and its body falls limp.

SAM: Yeah, one down!

MATT: Does make its save, though.

TRAVIS: Oh, yeah, and on Great Weapon Master on a crit or killing an extra hit, but I guess I–?

MATT: As a bonus action! For the record, going forward, if you're frenzied raging it doesn't really give you a benefit, but if you're not, it does help. So in theory, you could if you wanted to try and chuck it.

TRAVIS: (laughs) Just throw it? Don't throw it?

MATT: What are you going to do, Grog?

TRAVIS: I'm good, I'm good.

MATT: Ends Grog's turn. All right. Now these guys both get up, currently no longer on the wyvern. Did you want to give it another kind of a thought, if you see it land?

SAM: Get on the wyvern and kill the other one.

MATT: Okay. This guy gets up on the wyvern, grabs its reins, pulls it forward, and jams it with its spear as it leads it inward. It runs forward and is going to take a swing– It's going to take a swing with its stinger at the one behind it. It's confused and figuring out what's– why is it doing this, it's more of like– this might work once. That is going to be a– 17, it hits! That's going to be 11 points of damage, does it make its save? It does not make its save, that's an additional 24 points of poison damage on that one. So that's 35 points of damage, one wyvern to another. (laughs) As this guy immediately whips around angrily.

SAM: You have pleased me.

(laughter)

MATT: Both of these guys go charging forward here.

LAURA: Oh no, Scanlan!

MATT: It's going to pull up its javelin and chuck it at you, Vex.

LAURA: Me?

MATT: Yeah. That is going to miss you at a 12. It (swoosh) throws, the javelin arcs past you. This one over here is going to come forward and it's going to take a javelin as well out and chuck it right at you, Grog.

TRAVIS: Heh, you're dead.

MATT: That is a 20 to hit.

TRAVIS: Hits.

MATT: You take ten points of piercing damage, reduced to five, as you basically (impact)–

TRAVIS: (snapping noise)

MATT: (laughs) Snap it off and grin in its face.

TRAVIS: Let me return that favor in a second.

LIAM: Grog is on god mode.

MARISHA: (laughs) Save game plus.

MATT: (laughs) –now it sees the danger that you're in, looks at you, sees you hack through the center of one of the wyverns, intensely looks at you and begins casting another spell.

TRAVIS: Oh shit.

MATT: Like it is wont to do.

MARISHA: Is it?

TRAVIS: Come on, smart Grog.

MATT: All right. So, Craven Edge, as you're holding it, all of a sudden the handle becomes white hot and you immediately take six points of fire damage just holding it.

SAM: Grip it harder! (groan)

MATT: Fire's biting through. Three attacks against you, Scanlan.

SAM: Oh, God.

MATT: Currently two of which are flanking you, so they're going to have advantage on the attacks. So that's a natural 20 on one of them. This guy is– 18. That hits. And then this guy here without the advantage– still hits with a 17.

SAM: I'm going to use Cutting Words on the last guy.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: I'm going to just– (plays flute badly) to distract him.

MATT: Okay, go ahead and roll a d10.

SAM: d10. Which one's ten, I never remember. This one. Nine!

MATT: Okay! So he rolled a 17 plus seven, that would've been a 24, that brings him to 15, which I believe misses you. So the last strike, as he swings towards you, the shrilling tones, it causes him to reach up and grab one of his lizard-like ear holes and (snarling) the swing goes wildly over your head. However, as you duck down, you look up as you see the shadow come down of two large clubs that (boom boom) over the head of your tiny gnomish form. That's going to be– (groans)

SAM: Oh, that's not a good sound.

MATT: Oh, and they also get bites after this, too. All right, so you take 12, which would double to 24– Oh, no, sorry, 12– 20 points of bludgeoning damage from one. You take 12 points of damage from the other. So 32 points of damage total. And they're both going to attempt to bite you as well, with advantage.

SAM: A bite with advantage!

MATT: That is a 20 on the first one.

SAM: That's the damage it does?

MATT: That's to hit. And that one's going to – double 19, so they both hit. So you take another 20 points of damage total of piercing damage as they both start tearing into your body.

LAURA: 52 points of damage just then?

SAM: (rasping breath)

LAURA: No, Scanlan!

MARISHA: No, you're still up, you're still up! I thought you said you had 55!

SAM: I did.

LAURA: 52!

MARISHA: It was 52 total.

LAURA: You have three points left.

SAM: Ah! That was close, guys. I saw my mother! Then I saw myself at math class, failing.

MATT: I need you to make a bunch of concentration checks here.

SAM: Oh yeah. Okay.

MATT: To maintain control over it, yeah.

SAM: Advantage on concentration checks.

MATT: Yeah, so just roll two at a time.

SAM: Two whats?

MATT: Two d20s.

SAM: Well, I only have one d20.

MATT: Adding your constitution modifier to it.

SAM: How many– oh, for each thing that– constitution modifier. Holy God. Okay. I'm counting both of those, the first one's only 12.

MATT: 12, that'll work, because none of them– only one of them did 20 damage and it's minimum of ten, so as long as you get above a ten with each one, you're fine.

SAM: Okay. So I got to do two more?

MATT: Yeah.

SAM: Yeah, that's 16 plus two.

MATT: Okay. Another one.

SAM: 17 plus two.

MATT: Another one.

SAM: Two plus two.

MATT: You have advantage on these.

SAM: Seven plus two. Nine.

MATT: Nine. Nope.

SAM: No good. No bueno.

MATT: With that, you lose your concentration on the Domination spell. As that fades–

LAURA: That's okay. The other wyvern is still mad at the first one, so that's good.

MATT: So that ends their turn. Vex, you're up.

LAURA: Oh man. Okay.

MATT: You see Scanlan being tossed around on the ground, and then you see streaks of blood in the air as one of them tears a big chunk out of his shoulder.

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: He looks up at you briefly, his eyes half-open.

LAURA: Scanlan! I got you!

SAM: No, no, I know you did. You shot me on the last turn, I remember. Yeah, you got me good! You got me good!

LAURA: I shoot from my Bow of the Sky Sentinel.

MATT: Sky Sentinel, I believe, did you use that last battle?

LAURA: Fuck.

MATT: I'm pretty sure you did.

LAURA: I did, but I only used my burning thingy once, so I can do that. Okay, okay, okay, okay, okay. So I'm going to move my Hunter's Mark to one of the guys around Scanlan.

MATT: Okay. Do you want to say the most wounded of them?

LAURA: Yeah, sure.

MATT: That would be–

LAURA: Or the least wounded of them, actually.

MATT: The least wounded would be this one.

LAURA: Okay. And then I'm going to shoot– I'm going to shoot arrows.

MATT: All right!

LAURA: All right. I'm going to shoot through my Blazing Bowstring on that guy and the guy in front of him.

MATT: Okay. Right there and there?

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: So Blazing Bowstring, and then regular. Go for it.

LAURA: Okay. So I forget how to do that. I roll to attack. Why is this so hard?! Okay, 18!

MATT: 18 hits.

LAURA: Okay, I'm going to roll damage on that one, which is ten plus my normal eight. 12, 14 plus six for Hunter's Mark. 20 plus six for sneak attack, bitch!

LIAM: Did you just call the DM a bitch?

LAURA: No, I was calling that guy a bitch.

SAM: Matt does not deserve that kind of language.

LAURA: 6d6. So that's 25 damage against the first guy.

MATT: 25 damage? That's just enough. Say goodbye to him. That sneak attack was just what you needed, that was the last bit of damage.

LAURA: Yay! Okay, so the second guy is another 18.

MATT: Another 18? That hits.

LAURA: Actually no, that's a 20-whatever. Yeah. Okay. 14, 15, 16. Do I get sneak attack on him, too?

MATT: Can only sneak attack once per turn.

LAURA: Dang it. So 16 damage against that guy.

MATT: 16 damage, okay. So this arrow– The first one hits it in the neck and he gurgles and falls to the ground and bleeds out on the floor next to Scanlan. The other one, the arrow strikes it in the middle of its shoulderblades and it arcs up in pain, but it's still standing. Though it's having to really move around with much pain in its face. That end your turn? You going to stay up there?

LAURA: I'm going to– yeah.

MATT: Staying up on the rooftop, sniping down. Good call. That brings us to Scanlan!

SAM: It's my turn?!

LAURA: Take a potion! Heal yourself!

SAM: Oh yeah! If I had a potion, that would be great! I will do Thunderwave– Thunderwave at third level.

MATT: Thunderwave at third level, all righty.

LIAM: Dissention in the ranks.

MATT: (laughs) Okay, so that is 4d8 thunder damage to all the ones on a failed save. So, their constitution saves here. Is this through a hand cone?

SAM: Sure, man.

MATT: Figured– both fail!

SAM: What is it, 4d8?

MATT: It's 4d8 thunder damage. They are pushed ten feet away from you.

SAM: Did they all fail? Did they both fail?

MATT: Yes. This pushed this way. This pushed that way.

SAM: Ten. 17!

MATT: 17 points of damage to each. Okay! They're blasted backward, barely catching themselves on their feet. And from the impact, you can see what little bit of red-colored leather armor they have on is tattered and destroyed. You can see blood pouring out of the sides of their earholes where the thunderous blast possibly burst their eardrums. And they're both like, shaking their head. All right.

SAM: Bonus action, I will Healing Word myself–

MATT: (laughing) Okay.

SAM: I can do that at higher levels? Yes?

MATT: Yeah.

SAM: I'll do it at a level four.

MATT: (laughing) Okay.

SAM: And I will sing to myself; sadly, pathetically, (breathy) I get knocked down, but I get up again. Ain't never going to keep me down.

(laughter)

MATT: All right! So that is 4d4 plus five healing to yourself.

SAM: Okay, 4d4 plus five– That's 14 plus five.19.

MATT: 19. So you heal yourself 19 hit points. That ends your turn. Up next, Vax.

LIAM: I'm going to scramble up to the top of the building that I'm right next to.

MATT: Acrobatics check.

LIAM: Sure. No problem. Yeah, way high. 20– 33.

MATT: Yeah. You parkour up the side, land on top of the rooftop. Leap across and you're now at the edge.

LIAM: Is that Percy right there?

MATT: That's Percy right there.

LIAM: Okay. Oh, who's right directly in a row, away from me? Yeah, I can't tell. It's a bad guy?

MATT: It's a bad guy, bad guy. Bad guy, bad guy, bad guy.

LIAM: I want to run, actually, and I want to jump off and land next to Percy. Yeah. I want to run straight by and I want to stab the dude. I'm going to run forward, yeah. Stab that guy.

(laughter)

LIAM: Yeah, exactly. That is 20.

MATT: That hits, roll damage.

SAM: Run, run, run. Stab. Run, run, run. Stab. Those are the two buttons on the Vax video game.

(laughter)

SAM: Run and stab.

LIAM: Nine.

MATT: Nine damage?

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: (grunt) You shank him in the side and he tumbles over.

(cheering)

LIAM: Run towards Scanlan, and I want to grapple him. Hopefully he just takes it. No, not that far. One square back. Right there! Grab him. And I'm using my bonus action to dash and then drag him backward, behind Grog.

MATT: It's an action to grapple someone who would be against it, are you letting him grapple you?

SAM: Oh, hell yes.

MATT: I'll say for the sake of the–

LIAM: Right, two actions and a bonus action, mix them around, Matt!

MATT: Yeah, it's fine, because he wants to. You rush forward, you grab him, and you're dragging him back this way?

LIAM: And then back– yeah, right behind Grog, and I drag him behind Vex and Grog, back by Keyleth. (airplane noise)

MATT: Okay. I'll say that's about as far as you get because you have a bit of movement taken away, even though you are hasted, because he's not too heavy, but he's still a gnome.

LIAM: Right. Dash– hasted, I can go very very far.

SAM: Your hands are so rough and masculine.

LIAM: I spank him on the ass and say, you're welcome, shorty.

MARISHA: Okay. I'm going to push my way through the crowd a little bit. Can I have that laser pointer?

LIAM: Yes, you may.

MARISHA: Thank you. Okay. (grandiose voice) And now with all of the rage, thinking about all–

SAM: “I turn someone into a chicken.”

MARISHA: I– boof! Boof! Boof! I want some feather-down pillows for our loft. I channel all of my Fire Ashari ancestors. And I cast my 7th-level Firestorm!

SAM: Oh god, we're all going to die.

MARISHA: So as I concentrate, enraged at the sight of dragons, I have ten–

SAM: (whispers) Did you get me away from– because I–

MARISHA: Yes, you're fine. You're fine. No, he didn't get you away because he knew this was happening, it just happened to work out. So ten ten-foot cubes– They all have to be connected. Exactly, I'm going to start here and I'll work my way over. They're ten-foot– remember, they're ten-foot. But they're attached. So they're bigger than that.

MATT: Three– well, they're ten foot by ten foot, which is about this size.

MARISHA: Okay, okay.

MATT: Right, so it's one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten.

MARISHA: Oh, okay, yeah, get the wyvern.

MATT: You can get all of them there.

LAURA: Oh my god, that guy is going to be so–

LIAM: Grog's going to bite his head off.

MATT: What's the DC on this?

MARISHA: They have to make a dex saving throw or they take–

MATT: Right, right, but what's your DC on it?

MARISHA: Oh, my spell DC? 19.

MATT: Fail, fail, fail, they're not very dextrous. Fail, fail, fail– Fail! They all fail.

(cheering)

MATT: So that's 7d10 fire damage to each of them.

SAM: Why don't you use that all the time!?

MARISHA: I just got it! I just got it when I leveled.

LIAM: You've got to be careful with friendly fire, and we're all out of the way.

MARISHA: So a giant, fiery chasm splits open.

MATT: The ground bursts open, rocks being torn asunder as giant columns of flame– boof, boof, boof, boof, boof– out of the ground, completely engulfing each one of them in this sudden conflagration of red and orange and yellow flames and molten magma.

MARISHA: 24. 24, that was four– 24, that's good, so 27, 36, 30– 42 points of fire damage.

(clapping)

LIAM: Phew. Gingers, man. Gingers.

MARISHA: My hands light up.

MATT: Each one of the lizardfolk-type creatures in the flames, you see them shriek for a second before their forms are turned to ash in these blasts of fire, each sub-woofer-like, guttural impact as the ground cracks open like (explosion noise) scatter amongst–

MARISHA: So they explode? Popcorn?

MATT: Yeah, each one of the wyverns themselves, you can see the flames emerge around them, and as it recedes they have burn scars and their flesh is cracked and peeled against the fire wounds that now tear across the front of their body. They're all looking fairly hurt by that.

MARISHA: And then, I take a bow.

(laughter)

MARISHA: And I'm– exhausted a little bit, little single tear as I think of my ancestors– And that's it.

MATT: All right, end of your turn. Percy, you're up.

TALIESIN: All right. I'm going to start walking towards that wyvern at the bottom there– Yeah, that way, I'm not going to get quite close enough to get into the reach of that jerk over there–

MATT: So you can go here.

TALIESIN: Yeah. While I'm walking by him, though, I'm going to nail– I don't even know if I'm really going to– going to shoot him three times while I'm walking by, because that's funny. With Sharpshooter.

MATT: Okay. So first shot against them?

TALIESIN: It would be seven, 19.

MATT: 19 hits. Go ahead and roll damage on him.

TALIESIN: That's– 1d10, what did I do with my 1d10s, because I wasn't thinking– here we go. That's 26 points of damage.

MATT: (explosion noise) You take his head right off as you walk by, without even looking. (explosion noise, pained squawk) And you can see the lower jaw gets blown off and it falls to the back on the ground.

TALIESIN: Since I've got two more shots, I'm going to start shooting at that one dragon– that wyvern, as I'm–

MATT: Right there? Go for it. Two shots on the wyvern.

TALIESIN: Sharpshooter again.

MATT: All right.

SAM: Pew!

TALIESIN: That's a nine, yay! So that's 16?

MATT: 16 hits.

TALIESIN: And I'll roll the second one, just to have it. That's nine. Nah, nine'll miss. Thankfully will not– that's great. 26 points of damage.

MATT: All righty. This one (explosion noise) the bullet hits inside of its body, you can see a little (splurting noise) of blood squirt out–

TALIESIN: And I'll get as close as I can get to him in this round, also, I'm going to spend my movement walking straight towards him.

MATT: (heavy walking noises) That's the rest of it there. Okay. That's your turn. Grog, you're up.

TRAVIS: Oh! Yeah! I leave one of those to you guys, and I run at the two wyverns on the left.

MATT: Getting in the middle of the fray? Against them both?

TRAVIS: Yeah, against them both!

MATT: There you go! Grog charges, and they're both– There you go!

TRAVIS: Here's hoping these puppies go– That's 24?

MATT: 24 on the more wounded one?

TRAVIS: Yeah.

MATT: All right, that hits him.

TRAVIS: Can I swing at the other guy?

MATT: If you want to.

TRAVIS: Yeah, let's divvy it up, I don't want to give anybody too much love. Five, four, 26?

MATT: Hits, so roll damage on each.

TRAVIS: 11, 22, 32?

MATT: They're both Great Weapon Master? Okay, 32 damage?

TRAVIS: 32 on the first.

MATT: First one, you carve through him with the blade (whump).

LAURA: Nice.

MATT: Makes his save.

TRAVIS: Five, ten, 21, 31, 31.

MATT: 31 damage? Okay. This one you (whoosh) streak across with Craven Edge. Makes its save. You leave a large wound across the front of its jaw and it (choking noise). However, you did kill one, so you do get to use your bonus action for an attack because of your Great Weapon Master feat.

TRAVIS: Do I have to roll for the hit?

MATT: Yes.

TRAVIS: That's 31?

MATT: With the minus five?

TRAVIS: Sorry! No, no, never mind, sorry, what's 31 minus five?

LIAM and TALIESIN: 26.

MATT: Hits, yeah, you're good.

TRAVIS: Okay. Three, seven, 12, 30. Oh, 22, 32.

LIAM: He's covered in ichor.

MATT: 32. This time (whoosh) you swipe through the second time with the blade, this time carving off part of its wing, and you see that one of the wings is half-curled and keeping up to the side, it's hobbling around its legs, looking like it's on death's door, but still keeping itself. All right, is that the end of your turn?

TRAVIS: That's it.

MATT: All right, (wyvern noise) in there, and this one stays there and is going to unleash upon you, Grog. It's going to bite and tail attack against each of you with the stinger against you, Grog. That is a 21 to hit?

TRAVIS: Hits.

MATT: And natural 20 on the stinger, okay.

TRAVIS: Well, I have resistance against poison, so that helps.

MATT: That does help, actually, so it'll just do regular poison damage against you. So you take 11 points of piercing damage, reduced to six from the bite. And the stinger deals– That's 12 points of piercing damage, reduced to six as well.

TRAVIS: Okay.

MATT: The stinger, however, I need you to make a constitution saving throw.

TRAVIS: All right. Ugh, 12.

MATT: That's a failure. Actually, it would have been an additional 12, because it was a critical hit on the pierce, so you take 12– so a total of 18 damage so far, and then, as part of the poison, you take 48 points of poison damage. Because you have resistance, that is reduced to 24.

SAM: Hey! That's nice!

MATT: All right, you have poison resistance from the belt, right? Yes. All right, so there you go. The other one coming up against you, Percy, strikes with its bite. That is going to be a 20– 16?

TALIESIN: 16 misses.

MATT: 16 misses. That is going to be a 22 for the stinger.

TALIESIN: Stinger hits.

MATT: Okay, stinger hits you for six plus four, ten points of piercing damage. I need you to make a constitution saving throw.

TALIESIN: Constitution saving throw. 20.

MATT: 20, you succeed. No poison.

TALIESIN: So I took ten points of–?

MATT: Piercing damage. Correct. All right, it's looking rough on both their ends. They're just fighting to the end at this point. All right, that ends their turn. Vex, you're up.

LAURA: I'm going to cast Hunter's Mark on the one fighting–

MATT: Moving it over?

LAURA: Yeah. Percy.

MATT: All right.

LAURA: And I'm going to first attack the one fighting Grog.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: 16?

MATT: 16– does hit, yeah.

LAURA: Yes! Okay.

MATT: Don't have a whole lot of armor. They just got a lot of hit points.

LAURA: 17 plus sneak attack– 18.

MATT: 18. So Grog, as you're thrashing about with the blade at this creature, eager to get that final hit, you reach back with Craven Edge before an arrow (impact) into its face and it (burble, thump) collapses to the ground.

TRAVIS: Aw!

(laughter)

LAURA: And I shift my attention over to the one fighting Percy!

MATT: All right.

LAURA: And that is 30, no, 28?

MATT: 28 hits, go ahead and roll damage with the extra d6 for Hunter's Mark.

LAURA: Nine, ten, 11– Where's my dex? 17.

MATT: Gotcha. 17 points of damage. Second you (whoosh) pull out the second arrow, (whoosh) release it and it strikes the side of its body, and (pained squawk) it still seems to be standing. It hurt it, but didn't leave it in any dire straits yet. That ends your turn, are you staying where you are?

LAURA: I'm staying where I am!

MATT: Okay, Scanlan, you're up.

LAURA: Actually, I'm going to jump off the roof and rush over to Scanlan.

MATT: Okay. So leaping off, make an acrobatics check.

LAURA: 24?

MATT: 24– Scanlan, at the start of your turn, as you're getting ready, all of a sudden (impact) in front of you, spooking you momentarily, you see Vex lands on her feet and looks down at you with a look of concern and wanting to make sure you're okay.

SAM: Oh, hi, thanks for checking on me. Could you move for a second? I'm going to kill this thing.

(laughter)

SAM: Oh, so I'll– I can't do much, because I'm far away and I don't want to kill Percy–

TALIESIN: It's not going to live through me anyway.

SAM: That's true. I will Wand of Magic Missiles him.

MATT: Okay, using how many–

SAM: I'll use six of my seven.

MATT: Oof! All righty. So go ahead and roll proper damage on that.

SAM: Okay, the first, okay, so is that 6d4 plus one?

MATT: This would be Magic Missile, cast at level six, technically, I'm pretty sure–

SAM: Well, it's weird, because my–

MATT: So it would be– it would be 6d6 plus six.

SAM: 6d6 plus six?

MATT: Oh, I'm sorry. 6d4 plus six. Bleah.

TRAVIS: (chuckles) Heh, math.

MATT: Hey.

SAM: Sorry, it's close.

LAURA: Yeah.

SAM: One more? 12 plus what? Six? 12 plus six. 18.

MATT: 18? Okay. The missiles (impact noises) slamming into the side, arcing off and swirling around Percy to hit it, anime-missile-streak style, hitting it from all sides, you can see chunks of its body being blown off from the force of the arcane casting. It still stands, though it is dripping from multiple wounds and is having a hard time.

TALIESIN: I got this.

MATT: Ending your turn, Scanlan?

SAM: I think so, I mean, I'm okay. I'll heal myself a little bit more with another level one Healing Word.

MATT: Go for it, take your d4 plus five.

SAM: Okay. Seven more points– yay!

MATT: You're up.

LIAM: I'm going to start walking towards it and dagger, and dagger, and dagger.

MATT: Go for it.

LIAM: First is 20.

MATT: 20 hits.

LIAM: Second is 23.

MATT: Hits.

LIAM: Third is a 23.

MATT: Hits.

LIAM: So, we get–

MATT: This is Sneak Attack.

LIAM: Ten for the fir– Sneak Attack? Is it near something?

MATT: Percy is in melee range with it.

LIAM: Okay, so the first is ten plus– wah!

LAURA: Oh no, dice down!

LIAM: Ten plus 16, 23, (growling) 29, 36, 39, 41 for the first dagger.

MATT: How do you want to do this?

(cheering)

LIAM: I will aim for its open mouth as it's going “huah.” And pin its tongue into the back of its skull.

MATT: As you step forward, your first dagger, you pull it out and aim it and over-the-hand toss it as it rears back, ready to bring its fangs out to sink down into Percy, the dagger vanishes into its throat, and you see its face go lax for a second. (wet coughs) It begins trying to cough, and as it does, you can see bits of blood and gore from its throat being hawked across the ground. It takes a few steps. Percy steps out of the way as it heads towards you before it rears back and (choking, thump) and collapses onto the ground. You can see the blade still sticking out the back of its head, towards the back of its throat, before it appears at the side of your belt.

SAM: Sorry I made a noise, guys, sorry.

LAURA: Next time, stealth. We should get inside.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

LAURA: We should hide.

TALIESIN: We should– we should take what we can and we should also hide the bodies.

LAURA: Good call.

TALIESIN: Let's bring everything inside.

MARISHA: I go down to the wyverns and I start going for those stingers.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: If you can do this quickly, Keyleth, because we need to hide these bodies.

MATT: It's going to take you a while to do it.

LIAM: Can I assist with my Keen Dagger, and help her under her instruction?

LAURA: Let's get them inside.

LIAM: We're going to drag the wyverns indoors?

TALIESIN: Drag everything indoors.

SAM: Wait, wait, wait– these stingers are on the end of tails?

LIAM and TALIESIN: Yeah.

SAM: Grog, can you chop off their tails and we'll take the tails with us?

LAURA: No, we've got to get the wyverns inside. If anything flying overhead sees these bodies, they know something's been attacked.

SAM: Aren't half of them burned to a crisp anyway?

TALIESIN: Not crisped, just scorched.

MARISHA: There's some ash. I go ahead and I do a cantrip, Gust, and start spreading out the ash.

MATT: Okay. It still looks like someone emptied a bunch of fireplace ash pits into the center of the walkway where there once were lizardfolk.

LAURA: I'll have the bag.

TRAVIS: What for?

LAURA: Just the Dust of Tracelessness.

SAM: I give us cover. I'll blow my Horn of Fog.

LAURA: I start putting the Dust of Tracelessness down on the ground so it looks like nobody's been here.

MATT: Low fog sound as Scanlan blows the horn. Fog fills the vicinity and you guys begin tossing Dust of Tracelessness around–

TRAVIS: I go grab the humanoid figures and I throw two over my shoulders and then I get one in each hand and I start dragging them toward a door?

TALIESIN: Any– inside. Just inside.

TRAVIS: To an “any inside.”

LIAM: I'll get the door for you. (door creaks)

MATT: All right, you guys pretty quickly manage to move what you can out of the way, we'll say over the next few minutes the fog is there. Under that cover, you begin to drag the wyvern bodies into the alleyway, into the shadows. If you want to go ahead and make some checks here to go ahead and see if you can harvest.

MARISHA: Yeah, okay, let's do different ones. Okay, so first one, I'll definitely take advantage, so, since I have advantage– not that much better– 14. The first one.

LIAM: Would it help if I gave her my Keen Dagger for the rest of it?

MATT: I would say, given the circumstance, all it would do would offer her advantage, which she already has, so it wouldn't make much difference. So the first one, it's been a little too damaged in battle and you aren't able to really draw any poison from the stinger for the first one– what's the second one?

MARISHA: Second one, 15 total.

MATT: 15's what you needed. You manage to extract just enough of the wyvern stinger poison for possibly a single dose, so you can mark down a dose of wyvern poison.

MARISHA: Okay, I'll give it to– I'll give that to Vax. Do you have poison? Or do you– Vax or Vex– I give it to one of the twins. Here, twins. You fight over it. Fight over it.

LAURA: Is it good for you?

LIAM: Yeah.

MARISHA: Two more, maybe I can– 14– Okay, well, the second one I rolled a 25.

MATT: Okay, so that's a second dose of wyvern poison.

MARISHA: That I give to Vex. Last one– I'll take that 15, with– 26.

MATT: All right, so you have three doses of wyvern poison that you've managed to harvest from these creatures; you guys can distribute as you see fit.

TALIESIN: Anything else to loot from these schmuckuses?

MATT: They don't carry much gold, and what they have, you envision, probably went to the entity that rules Emon. And as you're looking over the bodies of the few of the lizard men here, you see they didn't just wander their way in here. And you remember mention from Allura before that there were lizardfolk worshipers of Thordak years ago. Apparently, once the city's been taken, Thordak has, or at least the worshipers of Thordak are also moving in. So, taking this time to harvest poisons, looking over the bodies, you can see the consistency between their red, crimson-dyed leather materials, and you get the sensation that while this was a small skirmish group, this is probably the new policing state of Emon. So. With that, we'll take a quick break for the restroom. We'll pick up here in just a few minutes, guys, if you want to hang tight. And we'll see you here shortly.

Break[]

Part II[]

MATT: Jumping back in– As the party re-gathers themselves after the battle with these lizardfolk and the wyverns in the center of the city of Emon, you slowly make your way back through the streets towards the north, passing through Abdar's Promenade, finding the building that was previously brought to your attention thanks to Garthok.

LAURA: Should we take a short rest, though, before we head down to the Clasp? Because some of us have taken some hits–

TALIESIN: We'll take a breath in the–

LAURA: Okay. Before we head down?

TALIESIN: Yeah. In the basement.

MATT: So you guys find the building that was brought to your attention; you head down into the same cellar, keeping tabs on the external trap that was brought to your attention by Garthok last time. You make your way inside. There's the same barrel in the far corner; you pull the top off and there, indeed, is a ladder that leads down underground.

LAURA: This is why I left Trinket. Because he wouldn't have been able to come down here anyway. Just so you know.

TRAVIS: Hey, search that shit, Vax.

MARISHA: He's very claustrophobic.

LIAM: So we've just got ladder down. That's it?

MARISHA: Well, hang on, let's heal up. I need to hit dice it up as well.

LIAM: Well, I'm fine, so while everybody is–

TRAVIS: I would not like to take a short rest.

LAURA: Oh.

TRAVIS: I lose all my Fancy Feast if I do.

LIAM: Just do some push-ups. Just do some push-ups while I check this ladder out. So I'm going to check for any traps on this ladder or anything.

TRAVIS: Oh, yeah yeah yeah! Can she heal me instead?

LAURA: I'll heal you. I'm going to heal you–

LIAM: 23.

MATT: Okay. Looking at the barrel, there are no traps currently set, and it's not locked. The only traps were on the outside of the cellar, from what you knew previously, and as that mechanism had already been shown to you by Garthok, so that was easily disabled.

LIAM: I'm not going to go crazy, I'm just going to go to the bottom of the ladder– in I go.

MATT: Okay. So while you guys are taking a rest–

LIAM: 30 for stealth.

MATT: You drop down the ladder. As you head down what probably comes to about 15, 20 or so feet into pitch black– it's completely dark down there. Do you have any light source, or do you want to–

LIAM: I have a Flame Tongue Dagger.

MATT: Okay, so you pull the Flame Tongue Dagger. It puts out a very, very low candlelight, opens up the vicinity to you as your feet splash down into very, very shallow, a couple inches, shallow water. Looking around you, you are in a subterranean sewer system. The smell hits you as you hit the bottom of it. This is the entire underbelly of Emon, and there is the slight sound of trickling water that's rushing through this tunnel you're currently standing in. The ladder drops close to about a foot above the floor before it comes to a complete stop. Looking to your right, it descends a little further down on that side, and you can hear– make a perception check.

LIAM: 22.

MATT: Okay. To the right of you, what should be the eastern tunnel, you can hear the sound of trickling water growing louder; it's almost like this stream meets another. As you listen to the left, and the stench is pretty rough in this part, to the left you can see in the tunnel is a very, very faint dim, yellow light that is shifting ever so slightly in the distance as it curves around out of view. It is level to where you are now, actually, slight incline for a little bit.

LIAM: (quietly) Vex'ahlia– There is a long tunnel down here and there is a bit of faint light. I have Percy's fancy rock; I am not planning on doing anything crazy, but I think I should–

LAURA: You don't have the– the rock doesn't work until we sleep. You don't have anything.

LIAM: Well, technically I do still have it. Regardless, I should go ahead and, if there's anyone to talk to, I should talk– I'm not going to go yet, I'm going to wait 'til you guys have rested, and come down to– it's pitch-black down here, I'm not running ahead. I'm better at this shit than you and the rest are, so take a rest, I'm going to sit here–

LAURA: You're better at talking than the rest of us are?

LIAM: Sometimes, Stubby, yes.

LAURA: How will I know if you get into trouble, and your hands are tied–

SAM: Do you need me to come?

LAURA: We can all hear you.

(laughter)

LIAM: Stubby, could you come down here for me?

MARISHA: Hi, Vax.

LAURA: Hold on just a moment. Mind the gap.

MATT: You splash down into the sewer system.

LAURA: Eugh, fuck, it smells down here.

LIAM: Yeah.

LAURA: Do I have to step in the water?

LIAM: Probably. Come here.

LAURA: Yes?

LIAM: All right so, before all these guys– you were being stalked by someone, I don't know for what reason, I don't know who the person was, I don't know what they wanted with you.

LAURA: Stalked?

LIAM: Someone wanted you, and I don't know who. The Clasp was going to get you for them, and I stopped that from happening. I followed you one night, or rather, followed this person following you, and met the Clasp. And I made an exchange for your life.

LAURA: What?

LIAM: I went and got someone else. And–

LAURA: And said it was me? No–

LIAM: Not immediately. You're almost on it. They told me to get a body, I got a body. A living body. A child rapist. And brought him to the Clasp, and they brought out a stick– really it was made of human tongues.

LAURA: A stick. Of human tongues.

LIAM: Yes. They touched it, and he turned into you.

LAURA: What the fuck?

LIAM: And they took that guy. For whatever. And in exchange for your life, I have this, and they are allowed to call on me when they want. So, I know that we've run in and out a couple of times, but we're going in. You can talk my fucking ear off in a moment, all right? Just shut up for a second. We are going to go in and try to form some sort of alliance or working partnership, this is different than running in, smashing some shit and running out, all right? So keep the cloak up, hang back, don't say a lot, and you can talk my ear off later.

LAURA: Okay, I will do that, I want to know that tongue guy, that looks like me– is he dead or is he alive now? They gave him to some stalker, some stalker!

LIAM: I don't know why you were wanted, I don't know what it was about, all I knew is that they were going to take you away and I wasn't going to let that happen and I took some fucking piece of shit and traded him in.

LAURA: So there could be at this moment in time another person that looks just like me parading around the world?

LIAM: Well, if I had to wager on it, I'd say that he's in a dungeon in a rubber suit, but I don't know where, no.

LAURA: Well, thank you. For, you know, doing that– (nervous laugh)

LIAM: I never told you because it's creepy as fuck.

LAURA: Was it the Clasp here, was it the Clasp in Westruun?

LIAM: It was in Westruun.

LAURA: Well, these guys probably don't know me.

LIAM: Probably? Probably.

LAURA: I'll put my hood up–

LIAM: Stay at the back.

LAURA: I would like to find out who the guy was that wanted me, though. That's kind of weird. Thank you. For everything. thank you. You always have my back and I know it.

LIAM: Yeah.

LAURA: And for that, I won't say very much.

LIAM: You do you, Vex'ahlia.

LAURA: Everyone can come down.

MATT: So as you finish your short rest, you all progressively find your way down the ladder and to the subterranean sewer system. The choice is to travel to the east or western side of the tunnel.

LIAM: Sounds like there's, I don't know, drainage or something coming from slightly up in that direction.

LAURA: I'm guessing towards the light, is where they are. Scanlan?

SAM: Oi?

LAURA: Do you have something that can make disguises? Don't you have like, not the mustache, but something that can really change my looks?

SAM: How do you know I'm Scanlan? I could be in disguise, but yes I do.

LAURA: Could I use that?

SAM: You would have to attune it to yourself– is that right?

LAURA: Oh, it takes like a little bit?

SAM: Oh no no no, requires attunement. What do you think?

LIAM: Well, that's not a bad idea, but it means we've got to sit in this stank.

SAM: I can instantly make us, with Seeming, I can instantly make us all look different.

Or just you.

LAURA: Or just me. How about just me? I've got a question, though. Here's the thing: if you think that they know what I look like, don't you think they know what you look like? Because you look just like me. So what difference does it make if I'm there or not?

LIAM: I don't know if the person who wanted you was part of the Clasp. I don't know who it was. It's parading you around in front of the people who made an illicit deal with me.

LAURA: All right, all right, all right. Seeming, how about that?

LIAM: It could be fine. I don't know.

LAURA: Okay! Seeming?

SAM: Yeah, no–

LAURA: Please?

SAM: (smarmily) It's pretty high-level stuff–

LAURA: Scanlan, what if I heal you?

SAM: What if I– ooh! I cast Minor Illusion and give her a moustache. What about that? Is that pretty good?

MATT: A fancy, fancy moustache that you cannot wipe off your face!

TRAVIS: Hey, that's very handsome.

LIAM: I don't think that's going to be enough. It's not quite enough for our purposes.

SAM: All right, I dispel it.

LAURA: How about a limerick as payment, Scanlan?

SAM: A limerick for you?

LAURA: For you.

SAM: Oh! You're going to give me a limerick?

LAURA: I'll give you a limerick. Hold on. I've been preparing it–

LIAM: She's multiclassing a third time.

LAURA: Have you heard tale of Scanlan the Bard? / Or Burt Reynolds, if you look at his card. Always tries to get laid / Sometimes with ladies he made! / But I still respect him, 'cause rhyming is hard.

(laughter, cheering)

SAM: That was excellent.

LIAM: Second firestorm of the night.

TRAVIS: Where's the extinguisher?

MATT: I will give you a d6 inspiration dice for that.

LAURA: Yay!

SAM: Wait– me or her?

MATT: Her.

SAM: Wow. That's impressive. Here's the hat. You can use it–

LAURA: Oh, thanks, Scanlan.

SAM: In about 20 minutes you'll be able to use it.

LAURA: I take off my circlet, I guess, and I put on the hat.

LIAM: How 'bout that smell, everyone? Eh?

MARISHA: Did you live in this?

LIAM: I never lived–

MARISHA: Did you deal with this!? Oh, oh, that's good.

LIAM: I'm, like, a distant cousin to all this.

(laughter)

MATT: In the time it takes for you to take the Hat of Disguise and go ahead and attune to that, you guys are now prepared. What path would you like to take?

SAM: Towards the sounds, yes?

MATT: Well, you have the sound of water rushing to the right, in the darkness, and you have the sound, or, yeah, the view of slight moving light to the left.

LIAM: But did you say, on the right, is it going down, or is it coming down?

MATT: The water is trickling downward; the water continues sloping downward this way. The opposite direction is where the light is. The little bit of light you see in the distance.

TALIESIN: I say we follow the water.

LIAM: Follow the water down or follow the light?

MARISHA: Follow the water towards the light. Right?

TRAVIS: Jesus, what the fuck are we doing here?

LIAM: This is like the Underdark again.

SAM: I abstain.

LAURA: Let's go towards–

MARISHA: Towards the light.

TALIESIN: I'll do whatever they say.

MARISHA: Are we going towards the light or towards the rushing water?

TRAVIS: Light.

MARISHA: All who vote “light,” say “aye.”

TALIESIN, LAURA and TRAVIS: Aye.

MARISHA: All who vote “water,” say “aye.”

TALIESIN: Aye.

MARISHA: To the light.

MATT: So you guys head– left, or–

LIAM: Is there any– I'm sorry, one last question. Is there any Thieves' Cant on the walls at all?

MATT: Make a perception check.

LAURA: Can I look, too?

MATT: You know what, yes, you can.

SAM: With inspiration.

TRAVIS: Is there any poo on the floor?

LIAM: 31.

LAURA: Oh, he doesn't need my help.

MATT: Looking along the walls, you start heading in that direction, you do see a few markings that basically say 'sanctuary' in Thieves' Cant, in the direction of the light.

LIAM: All right. Confirmed.

MATT: You guys continue onward?

LIAM: Yeah, I'll lead the way. Yeah, we sat here for 20 minutes in the stank.

MATT: Yes. (clears throat) So, you guys continue forward up that tunnel. Eventually, as it curves around, the light– you can see– it's shifting, because it appears to be a distant fire light that is the source in this vicinity, and as you turn the corner, as the tunnel slowly curves around, it opens up into a large central sewer chamber, though most of it is dry, and you can see there is a large mound of dirt in the center that seems to rise above most of the water that has collected along the ceiling, and there are a series of platforms constructed out of wooden scaffolding at different levels all throughout this chamber. Some of it looks a little rickety, some of it looks very old, but various states of moisture rot.

(offscreen sneeze)

MATT: You hear a sneeze from the distance from one of the–

(laughter)

MATT: As you look and see a series of small bonfires throughout the room that are currently lit and surrounded by figures. You see a ramshackle tent city, and/or a series of small, wooden hovels that have constructed here. You see a number of figures that are huddled around these bonfires: cloaks, hoods up, generally keeping warm in what is a relatively cold, subterranean area. You guys, glancing over here, as you're first looking, and you can see a few of them appear to be laid up and hurt, and there appear to be at least a few individuals that are heavily bandaged or have slings on. As you guys step into the room, not being very stealthy in your arrival–

LIAM: We could have been, but I use a bit of sign language from the Cant, and let them know that I'm part of the Clasp?

MATT: Okay. A few of them stand up, hands on the side of their hilt, and stop there for a second before one individual steps out of the shadows and puts his hand up, putting it down. You recognize this to be Garthok.

SAM: Garthok!

MATT: He says, “Don't worry, they're with me. I'm glad you made it. It had been a while. I was afraid maybe you wouldn't come.”

SAM: We got held up by some wyverns. I almost died, it was crazy. We're here now.

MATT: “It sounds like it. I'm sorry to hear it.”

SAM: Hey. It's all right.

MATT: “I'm glad you stayed alive.” And as he starts to talk, the group of individuals standing about ten feet behind him separate as another figure pushes past them. Pulling the hood back, you can see a man about six feet in height, average human height, long, blond hair that trails past the middle of his back over a dark grey cloak. Fine features at one time; he looks older, you can see the weathering in his face and the various wrinkles and lines from years and years of living in this atmosphere.

LIAM: You said “human”, right?

MATT: Human, yes. He has a red-tinted monocle over one eye.

SAM: Ooh! I like him already.

MATT: As he steps forward, the rest of the Clasp put their hands off to the side of their weapons. He pushes aside Garthok to the rest of you and says: “So, you are the ones called Vox Machina, am I correct in this assumption?”

SAM: Yes, you are.

MATT: “Hmm! Trusted of Uriel, executors of Modeth the Traitor. One among you is a member as well, "I'm told.”

LIAM: I step forward.

MATT: “Then you are welcome here. I am Spireling Shenn–”

SAM: (whispers) Spireling Shenn?

MARISHA: (murmurs) He's a Spireling!

MATT: “Master of networks and information–”

SAM and MARISHA: Ooh!

MATT: “–of the Clasp of Emon. Excuse the mess, we lost a portion of our territory and are currently caught in mid-adaptation. So, what can I do for you?”

LIAM: Well, you know who we are.

MATT: “And you know who I am, now.”

LIAM: Yes. And you know my spotty track record with the Clasp. But that's all past now. The city's in ruins. You're looking at the right hand of Uriel.

MATT: “Uriel is no longer with us. You are a hand to nothing.”

LIAM: Of course. We're looking for what to do next with this city. I don't think any of us wish to be the pets of the beast that's now roosting in the heart of Emon.

MATT: (chuckles) “No, that does not do any of us any good. Business has ground to a halt, and we've lost a few good patrons in this unfortunate circumstance. We lost our entire northern tunnel structure as soon as the creature attacked the Cloudtop District.”

LIAM: Well, I'll be honest, our first thought was to flee this city.

MATT: “Safer.”

LIAM: But before we make that decision– yes, it is– we know that you're the next best thing to a government in Emon.

MATT: “Hmm.”

LIAM: And we want to know what's left behind.

MATT: “Well, we're seeing to our own. We're going to see how many of our allies still lie within the city. Going to reach out to our friends across Tal'Dorei and see how much of a network we still stand to keep. Then we call in a few debts, reach out to some friends and, ah, we see if we can find some way to supplant this red thing.”

LIAM: Can I insight check?

MATT: Go for it.

LIAM: Not good. No. Nine.

SAM: Nine, you said?

LIAM: Nine. The plan now is to lay low and hide?

MATT: “Well, for now, I have a number of operatives topside who are currently trying to get as much information on the red one as possible. The piles of wealth are growing, and it looks like the beast is building a damn home out of the district.”

TALIESIN: The city's going to need a black market.

MATT: “Oh, I am aware, and we are preparing for that. However, it's still fairly fresh, and individuals aren't willing to release any coin when all of it goes to the pouches of the thing that sits on us. Word has gotten back that Westruun was also hit rather hard in the night. And these creatures have continued eastward ever since– no further word on their whereabouts. So we're put in a reactionary position, which I loathe. We're used to being ahead of the rest of the curve.”

TALIESIN: Well, here's where we could help each other.

MATT: “It would appear that could be a possibility.”

TALIESIN: We need this city to stay alive. We need the citizenry to be fed, and we need people to know where they're going to get their medicine and when they're going to get their food. We understand it's going to be tricky. We need information, we need spies, we need to know what's happening in the city, and you need people like us to stay out of your way.

MATT: “That seems like a fairly top-heavy trade in our direction, if you ask me. There are many ways to get people out of our way.”

TALIESIN: There are ways that we can benefit each other.

MATT: “I would love to hear it.”

SAM: (whispers) I would, too.

TALIESIN: We have safe haven– and please, by the way, stop me if you feel I'm being too broad.

SAM: No, go for it.

TALIESIN: We have our keep that is untouched by the dragon's attack– we have a safe haven.

MATT: “Hmm. How is this keep accessed?”

LIAM: We can get to that.

TALIESIN: There are– options.

LIAM: We also have strong connections to Whitestone.

LAURA: And Vasselheim.

SAM: And to The Slayer's Take– that's what they're called, right? Yes? There could be a formidable force that could come to protect the city or drive out the dragons.

LIAM: We're proposing a short-term solution– you want to get back to a position where you can grease the wheels and make money. That's not going to happen anytime soon. But you can't take care of these beasts on your own. And neither can Whitestone, neither can we.

TALIESIN: But it is very likely that we will be the thing that is dropped upon it from a great height, and the most cooperation we can get, getting into a position of power over this beast, the happier we'll all be.

MATT: “Hmm. Let's say we do this, let's say we go forward with this alliance. You get out of our way, you promise resources from Whitestone, perhaps? They have quite a few unique contributions they could make. The Slayer's Take– I have not had many dealings across the Ozmit Sea, but are you referring to, ah, Vasselheim?”

SAM: Indeed. They are a mighty force.

MATT: “Now, that is a tough nut to crack, that city. If you're connected in Vasselheim, perhaps we can talk.”

LAURA: There's no guarantees you'll be able to get in anywhere.

MATT: “There's no guarantees we'll be able to provide food or medicine– it's dangerous times, my dear.”

LAURA: It is. But the sooner these dragons are defeated, the sooner business can get back to usual.

MATT: “Of course.”

LAURA: Ow. I mean– (fake coughs) eh.

SAM: I know I'm getting a bit ahead of ourselves, but once the dragons are gone and the city's returned to normalcy, what is your ultimate goal? To hold power or to remain in the underbelly?

MATT: “All the real power lies in the underbelly, my friend. I have a proposition for you, then. We will do this. We have many channels and secret tunnels throughout the city, and we could very easily deliver food, medicine, shelter, even, to the wired and poor and downtrodden folk of this town, be the subterranean heroes of Emon. Out of the goodness of our hearts, of course. However, once this creature is toppled, and the city is brought toward, I gather you would have the ear of whoever comes to power in this city.”

SAM: We may very well be the person that comes to power in this city.

MATT: “That is helpful. And I imagine you also have some presumably powerful connections in Vasselheim. We would be interested in beginning a sect of our fair trade in that distant, all-too– how do I put it? Xenophobic cityscape?”

TRAVIS: What?

MATT: “If you agree to be our seed in that stubborn garden of a town, you have our aid.”

MARISHA: Can you give us a moment? (softly) Please?

MATT: “My patience grows thin.”

MARISHA: (whispering) Can we talk about this for a second, guys?

MATT: He adjusts the monocle on his eye.

MARISHA: Do we really need them? Are they really providing us with enough to make this worth our while, to where we essentially want to open up the Pandora's Box of crime in Vasselheim? Do we want to be responsible for that?

TRAVIS: Well, I'm all about Pandora and her box, but I don't think we really need this. It's not worth all of that. Especially if we're going to Vasselheim.

MARISHA: I feel like we just took one pretty top-heavy deal and traded it for an even more top-heavy deal not in our favor.

TALIESIN: Oh no, I'm not– I feel the urge to further discuss this. Also, to be fair, we're not representatives of the Clasp; we couldn't, technically speaking, open– All we can do is– I think, the most fair thing to do– to offer in exchange for this is perhaps some trade with the materials that are available in Whitestone and maybe a promise of keeping a blind eye towards their business until the finished reconstruction of the city. Let them reestablish themselves until the city is properly completed.

LAURA: Don't say that.

TALIESIN: You need an underbelly. Underbellies are function. Underbellies function for this very need: the fact that we can actually get food and medical supplies into the city right now if we need to. Less than 72 hours after such a devastating attack, there's no other system–

LIAM: If the Clasp were to vanish, something else would take its place.

TALIESIN: They're inevitable.

LAURA: But I don't want to introduce them to Vasselheim, no.

TALIESIN: At the cost of people starving or not starving.

LAURA: We're already here, Keyleth.

MARISHA: I'm down for joining them and letting them join our cause, and using their infrastructure, but beyond that–

LIAM: Can I use perception to make sure that we're really private right now?

MATT: Make a perception check.

LAURA: Can I join in?

LIAM: 22– Oh, 22, plus can I use my inspiration on this?

MATT: When'd you get that inspiration die?

LIAM: I got it in the wyvern fight.

MATT: It would've faded by now, unfortunately.

LIAM: Okay, so 22.

LAURA: 33.

MATT: 33? You're far away from the crowd. However, Spireling Shenn has been very concentrated in shifting his attention from each person that is currently speaking in this conversation.

MARISHA: He's reading our lips.

LAURA: I turn my back to him and I say, he can read our lips as well as I can.

TALIESIN: Of course he can, which is why I'm not saying anything that I wouldn't want him to hear anyway. I just don't want to promise anything we can't deliver. I don't think we could deliver Vasselheim; we're going to be busy! We have too much on our plate as it is.

LAURA: I don't think they'd listen to us anyway, honestly.

TALIESIN: I'm going to offer what we can give, and see if that's enough.

SAM: We have to have something to sweeten the pot.

MARISHA: Yes.

SAM: What are you offering, money?

LAURA: Offering to sweeten the pot– we're defeating a fucking dragon! Let them get back to normal.

SAM: We can't promise that! The dragon could very easily kill us!

LAURA: We could say– They certainly can't do it without us. And we can't do it without them. But we'll be bringing in other armies with us.

MARISHA: I agree– it's joined forces at this point, that's all we can offer them. A place to fight at our side.

TRAVIS: You're still assuming he's going to keep his word, too.

TALIESIN: Let me go back to him. (deep sigh) Shenn.

MATT: “Yes, hmm.”

TALIESIN: I propose a counter-offer. I just don't feel comfortable offering Vasselheim; I don't think that we could necessarily deliver, and we, honestly, have a lot to do.

MATT: “All I'm asking is an introduction to a handful of key figures in the city, no more than that.”

TALIESIN: Well, I will not promise that now. What I can promise right now is some access to materials from Whitestone, which– and I show him my gun hilt, which is embedded with the gems. I can see what's still lying around, and we can make a deal. I can also promise that for the reconstruction, once this has been dealt with, which is in everybody's best interest, until such time as there's a functioning government in this city, you will be treated with the respect appropriate of a group of people who are helping keeping the city functional.

MATT: “You act like that hasn't been our treatment for the entirety of this city's existence. You think your council didn't have dealings with the Clasp for many years before this happened?”

TALIESIN: Of course they have.

MATT: “We helped make this city function. All we're offering is this service to other places that maybe don't have the right guidance to achieve their true greatness. All I ask is an introduction. Beyond these other. Far after the fact; don't even need to worry about it now. Who's to say what changes from now to then?”

LAURA: Who would we even introduce you to?

MARISHA: We don't even know anyone.

SAM: Yes, we do. We know some high-ranking clerics. We know the Slayer's Take. We met a bunch of people up there.

MARISHA: In a zealot city? You want to go to a cleric and be like, “Hey. Thought you might want to meet the underground mob boss.”

MATT: “We don't have to worry about that now. Just a simple handshake, and it's all done.”

TALIESIN: I'll put something forward to the group. If they prove themselves honorable, if they prove themselves faithful and capable of keeping this city afloat, then we will speak to whomever they wish us to speak to precisely of what they did. No more, no less.

MATT: “If this is an issue of morality, I would like to remind you that, one, we've let you escape after murdering one of our leaders, only upon learning that he himself was an immoral individual.”

LIAM: You're welcome.

MATT: “Also, we went against our word as an organization by letting you take a war criminal that had already paid his way out of the city.”

TALIESIN: And for that, we are grateful.

LAURA: And we gave you something very powerful in exchange.

MARISHA: And you got to keep that man's money.

TALIESIN: That was business.

MATT: “It was business, but business that was persuaded by the actions of good people, and bringing justice. We want society to thrive.”

TALIESIN: I'm willing to kick this ball down the field.

TRAVIS: What?

MATT: “So. Not wasting any more time, shall we make this a fine, healthy city once again?”

TALIESIN: This feels a fair deal to me, and it means that we can leave knowing that the city will, in fact, still have a populace while we're gone.

MARISHA: You seem used to selling your soul, Percy.

TALIESIN: It is the job of ruling.

SAM: If we come back and learn that you have made a deal with the dragons, you'll be the first to die, not them.

MATT: “Oh. I would only hope that would be the case. I wouldn't be caught dead dealing with such a selfish entity.”

SAM: All right, then let's do this. Keyleth, shake the man's hand.

TALIESIN: You don't have to.

SAM: You've got nice soft hands.

TALIESIN: Vax?

TRAVIS: It should be Vax.

TALIESIN: This is not the worst deal I've ever heard.

MARISHA: You just don't know that yet.

MATT: “I have things to do.”

TALIESIN: I have met the devil. That's not him.

LAURA: Don't do it.

MARISHA: Percy, you make me so nervous.

TALIESIN: Thank you.

MATT: “I haven't all day. My arm grows weary with impatience.”

MARISHA: Vax?

SAM: Would you like me to sing to give you some extra strength for that arm?

TALIESIN: Vax, I will make the deal if you're not up to it, but I want your blessing.

LIAM: You know what? Keep your deal.

TRAVIS: Yeah! Attaboy.

SAM: We're going to leave the city abandoned?

TRAVIS: Yes.

SAM: With no one to protect it?

MARISHA: We are not abandoning it. We already discussed it. There's more than one way to cut through this knot.

LIAM: I don't think you're going to let this city fall, anyway. If this city dies, you've nothing.

MARISHA: I agree.

LIAM: If the parasite hasn't a host to feed on, the parasite dies. No, thank you.

MARISHA: Percy? I'm sorry, but I think our methods of being rulers might differ. I don't think I need to sell myself for the greater good.

MATT: “Very well. Unfortunate as it is. Step forward.”

LIAM: Is this a whisper?

MATT: No, this is him asking you to step forward. He steps really close to you, and he takes you by the shoulders and turns you around to face away from him. Do you resist?

LIAM: I'm going to roll out of his hands forward to my friends.

MATT: Okay. Make an acrobatics check.

LIAM: 28.

MATT: 28. You tumble away from his grasp, and he (grunts). “Very well. I know your face now, at least. And the rest of the Clasp will know you are a false member, now. You are not welcome in these tunnels ever again, and if we see your face amongst our kind, it will be our word that you are to be taken on sight. It's a shame you've marked yourselves our enemy this day. I wish it wasn't this way. But to step up and confront us with such disrespect for all the patience we've shown you in previous years is just– it irks me. Stinks of a lack of civilization. So please be on your way. We'll do as we do. You do as you. Now be gone.” And he turns around, flicks his cloak, and steps back into the group. The rest of them keep their hands on their belts and wait for you to leave.

SAM: I look at Garthok and say, “Even you?”

MATT: Garthok actually gives you a very stern look and pulls his blade an inch from the side of his scabbard.

TRAVIS: I wouldn't do that.

MATT: At which point, you can see 25 more Clasp members step out. Even wounded ones as they are, all stepping up and gathering. There are now 35 to 40 of them starting to form out of the shadows, forming a semicircle around you entirely.

SAM: Don't do it, Grog.

TALIESIN: Absolutely not.

MARISHA: Let's go. Come on.

TRAVIS: A fellow can't smile every once in a while?

LAURA: We'll just back up.

TALIESIN: I take a bow, and I turn my back to them and walk out.

LAURA: I do not turn my back. I walk backwards the entire way out, with an arrow notched.

TRAVIS: I stay next to Vax.

SAM: I say, party on, Garthok. And then we leave.

LAURA: Keyleth? Darling? Could you maybe make a wall of stone and close off this tunnel?

MARISHA: Unfortunately, no.

LIAM: Save a thought for the people of Emon, if you've any room left in your narrow minds. And I back out.

MARISHA: I end with, hopefully, you will realize there is a far greater enemy at hand than the personal squabbles between us small people. And I also step away.

MATT: The Spireling's not even in view at this point. He's disappeared amongst the rest of them.

MARISHA: I'm sure he can hear me.

MATT: Possibly. As you guys exit and find your way back up to the surface, as the last of you makes it outside of the entranceway, you immediately start hearing this slamming and breaking of stone from underneath you, and you gather pretty rapidly that this entrance is being entirely removed for possible entry.

TALIESIN: I would like to point out, since you had such noble intentions towards my position on things, this is your ego at work here. I may be many things, and I may be a deal-maker, but I never forget that when I rule, I rule these people, as well. I'm not better than them. And you may think you're better than them, but this is what it creates. It creates enemies.

MARISHA: No, Percy. The difference is, I don't think I'm better than them.

TALIESIN: They certainly think you do, and they are not pleased.

LAURA: This mark. Is it magic? Can they trace you through this mark?

LIAM: I don't answer. I walk over to Keyleth. Can you still do the thing with your hands?

MARISHA: (fire noise) That thing?

LIAM: I rip my shirt down. I want you to burn it away. Now.

MARISHA: Vex, do you have an arrow?

LAURA: Of course.

MARISHA: I hand it to him. Put this in between your teeth. (sizzling noise)

MATT: (sizzling noise) Searing white pain through the back of your eyes, Vax, as Keyleth presses her palm into the center of your shoulder blades. You can hear the sizzling and cracking of skin, and smell the burning of Vax's flesh in the air in this cellar. Make a constitution check.

LIAM: Seven.

MATT: Seven. You break through the arrow with your grip, and actually give out a very loud, painful scream out of reaction.

LIAM: Like you do.

LAURA: Similar to when you hit me in my arm.

MATT: Kind of. A moment passes. Keyleth, you pull your hand back, and where the Clasp symbol once was, there is a hand mark burned into the back of the shoulders.

TRAVIS: Vecna.

(laughter)

LIAM: It was you.

TRAVIS: Kill her now!

MATT: What would you guys like to do?

SAM: Well, that was a bust.

TALIESIN: That could have gone so much better.

TRAVIS: Vax, I think you made the right call, and I don't think very often.

SAM: Or very well.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

LIAM: Thank you, Grog.

TALIESIN: I think we could have gotten out of there with at least the hintings of an alliance, as opposed to just–

LAURA: Straight up–

TALIESIN: Bitter enemies. This was a disaster.

TRAVIS: Sometimes you have to walk away from a bad deal to find a good one.

SAM: That's not a thing.

TALIESIN: That's not a thing. Where did– you didn't read that–

MARISHA: I got what you were saying, Grog.

TRAVIS: When it rains, the sun is shining.

LAURA: That's deep, Grog. I like it.

TRAVIS: Stew on that.

LAURA: I cast Cure Wounds on–

LIAM: No!

LAURA: I already did it. Too late! I fucking touched you, fucker.

LIAM: Does that take the scar?

LAURA: It just takes the pain away.

MATT: Cure Wounds? What it does is prevents infection. It does heal you for the hit points you would have lost for that. I'll say it nullifies the damage you would have taken from the burn mark. It does not alleviate you from the scarring. It's not as graphic as it would have been, had it been left to heal on its own, but it does muddle the Clasp symbol somewhat.

LIAM: Okay. Thank you.

SAM: Shall we go back to our keep?

TRAVIS: We could just kill them all now.

LIAM: There's hundreds of them, Grog.

TALIESIN: (splutters) No, we can't.

TRAVIS: I saw, like, 40 or 50.

LIAM: Yeah, there were another 160 in the rafters.

TALIESIN: It would do no good. Who would be bringing food into the city in the first place?

LIAM: They're going to go on doing the same thing they would have done with us or without us.

TALIESIN: They're doing it without us, though.

MARISHA: But Percy, do you honestly think that after all of this was done– do you want to be beholden to those people?

LIAM: And I don't believe they are going to bend the knee to Thordak. I don't believe it.

TALIESIN: They're not going to, no. Of course not.

LIAM: And that was all I, personally, was worried about.

TALIESIN: I wanted people on the inside keeping us informed, and we just lost a very powerful spy network.

LIAM: I think the only people on the inside right now have scales.

TALIESIN: Everybody needs something.

LAURA: Can we go back to the keep?

TALIESIN: We are not going to bother. We're going to go and we're going to find a way of killing these things, and we're going to hope for the best in this city. That's what we're going to do.

MATT: As you guys are heading back, I need stealth checks from everybody.

LAURA: Stealth check. Pass Without a Trace.

MARISHA: Fuck! Natural one.

TALIESIN: Oh my god, really?

MARISHA: Natural one.

LAURA: Then what's the point of anybody rolling?

LIAM: 27.

SAM: 19.

LAURA: 37.

TRAVIS: 29.

TALIESIN: We have a plus ten? 33.

MATT: All right. You guys push southward through the city, finding your way. At this point, the sun has set. Night has come in, and occasionally you hear the flapping of leathery wings overhead as a number of sentry groups of wyvern riders go tearing through the city. At one point, you hear a similar (raspy cry) sound, and you hear other ones begin rising up off the rooftops, heading in your direction, Keyleth. What do you guys do?

TALIESIN: The minute we see that, I'm going to push her against the wall, and I'm going to Minor Illusion a shadow right over her.

MATT: Okay. Make a new stealth check with disadvantage.

LAURA: Add ten.

MATT: (chuckles) It's a natural one on their end.

MARISHA: Oh, good.

MATT: As long as you didn't roll a natural one.

MARISHA: No, I didn't, I rolled an eight, plus a seven, plus ten.

MATT: So, at that point, they (whoosh), one swoops down and lands on the edge of the roof, and you see it curling down. And takes off again, and they continue on, out of the way. You wait a few moments before silence takes the night once more, and you press on heading southward.

(laughter)

LAURA: Nice.

SAM: Good job, Percy.

MARISHA: Thank you, Percy.

TALIESIN: One day you're going to stop being afraid of me, by the way, and I hope that day comes soon.

SAM: Before we go to the keep, do you want to swing by the place?

TALIESIN: The place?

SAM: The place with the airships.

TALIESIN: There's no “swinging by,” that's a caper. That's an entire thing, that if we're going to do–

SAM: Just to go there and look?

TRAVIS: The showroom is fucked. It's broken.

TALIESIN: This is one of those things that we're going to have to get everybody on board before we even start talking about it, so probably a good night's sleep.

SAM: All right.

LAURA: We need to sleep. We need to get up in the morning–

TALIESIN: And then we'll talk about an airship. I'm really on board with the airship.

SAM: All right.

LAURA: I think we need to go to Vasselheim or Whitestone.

TRAVIS: Vasselheim.

LIAM: We don't need an airship to do that.

LAURA: No, we don't. But we also need to find out what's happening with Allura in Whiterun. Westruun. All those cities.

SAM: All right. Back to the keep then, I guess. When we get there can we check in on Gilmore and the queen?

MATT: Yes. And as you return to the keep, Pike has been taking care of the rest of the individuals, and she's been seeing to Gilmore's side. Gilmore is fast asleep, dealing with the tail end of a fever that has broken, after the healing from the day before. Earlier in the day, I should say. It also appears that Salda and the children have been in and out, keeping an eye as well. Pike, as you enter, looks up to you with a smile, and says, “He'll be all right. He's going to pull through.”

LAURA: That's wonderful.

MATT: “I should probably stay with him for a bit. Make sure he's okay.”

LIAM: Is he unconscious still, or just sleeping?

MATT: He is asleep, currently, yeah. “He's been conscious throughout the day while you were gone, but he's got to rest a bit more. He's still had a rough few days.”

TRAVIS: It's dead on.

TALIESIN: Just needs headphones.

MATT: I just need headphones, and to brush against the mic occasionally. Especially during really really impactful story moments.

LIAM: “What? What?”

MATT: So you guys find yourselves resting for the evening. You take to a night's sleep.

LAURA: You going to sleep, Grog?

TRAVIS: Yeah.

MATT: Yeah, you got to sleep.

TRAVIS: I got to sleep.

MATT: If you don't sleep you're going to start getting levels of exhaustion for the next day.

TRAVIS: Oh. Okay.

MATT: All right. So you lose the strength bonus. Everyone, you can get half of your hit dice back.

TRAVIS: That's a lot of–

LIAM: As the sun goes down? It's been down and everyone's going to their rooms? I go to Keyleth's door and knock on it.

MATT: Keyleth.

MARISHA: I open the door. Hi.

LIAM: Hi. I don't want to be alone tonight. Do you?

MARISHA: I haven't been wanting to be alone most nights. And I let him in.

MATT: Okay. So, we–

LAURA: Bow-chicka-wow-wow!

MATT: Jump forward to the next morning–

TALIESIN: That wasn't the kind of ship I was hoping to get.

(laughter)

TALIESIN: I don't think we can all fit on that ship.

MATT: So, next morning, you all wake up; full hit points, get back half of your max hit dice that you spent. All your spells back.

LAURA: I give Scanlan the Hat of Disguise back.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: You sure you don't need it?

LAURA: Yeah, fuck 'em.

SAM: All right. Keep up those rhymes. Not bad for a first timer.

(laughter)

MATT: All right, so. What's the plan?

SAM: You know, Vex, I don't want to be alone right now.

(laughter)

LAURA: I take his face and I push him down on the ground.

MATT: All right. What's the plan?

MARISHA: I don't know.

LAURA: Do we have a plan?

TALIESIN: I suppose our plan is the Slayer's Take next?

TRAVIS: Yeah, Vasselheim.

SAM: How do we get there? Wait, we have to get rid of all the 'fugees.

LAURA: Yeah. We need to go to Whitestone, then.

TALIESIN: Well, here's the question is do we want to head towards Vasselheim from Whitestone?

LAURA: Yeah, let's do that.

TALIESIN: So we'll all go. We'll take the last of the– I can't believe I'm going to say this– the last of the 'fugees.

SAM: Yes. Ooh, la la la.

LAURA: Wait. All of our guards, and our servants, as well. I don't want to leave everyone here.

SAM: We're abandoning the keep?

LAURA: I don't know what else to do. If dragons attack, our five guards aren't going to be able to do anything.

LIAM: One dragon crashed in the roof of the building.

TALIESIN: Accidentally smushed.

LIAM: What are the cook and the maid going to do?

TALIESIN: Make it breakfast.

LIAM: Jarett's pretty badass, but I don't think he can handle that.

TRAVIS: Dragons get hungry.

SAM: When we come back, our keep will be gone.

TALIESIN: And we'll be able to build it back up.

MARISHA: It'll match the rest of the city, Scanlan.

LIAM: Percival's the lord of Whitestone. He's got a castle!

LAURA: We find a new keep.

SAM: But my room is just the way I want it.

TALIESIN: I'm sure that some lucky dragon's going to come and shit in your bed. It'll be fine.

SAM: All right, if we're going to leave the keep, I'll need a moment in my room.

LIAM: You'll find another room bathed in self-loathing.

(laughter)

LIAM: It doesn't need to be here.

TALIESIN: It takes a good month to bathe a room in that much self-loathing.

SAM: You look like you're glowing this morning.

LIAM: That's ridiculous.

SAM: I've never seen you quite so chipper.

TALIESIN: Let's gather what we need, make sure that Gilmore is ready to move, as well. We'll bring everybody through to Whitestone.

SAM: All right.

MATT: All right.

LAURA: I guess we should go tell the guards that they probably will have to leave, if they want.

TALIESIN: And that they can come work in Whitestone.

LAURA: Well, I don't want to force them to, but of course they're welcome to.

LIAM: Why don't you go ask the guards? I'll go talk to the kitchen staff.

LAURA: All right.

TRAVIS: I know who she's going to talk to.

LAURA: He's the captain of the guards, anyway.

MATT: We'll say for the sake of brevity, you speak with the rest of the keep's staff, including the guards as well. Jarett for the most part is like, “As long as I'm still getting paid, we're more than happy to go where you need us to be. If it's further away from dragons, I am okay with that.”

SAM: Don't you need your tools?

TALIESIN: I can pack up my kit, and I've also technically got a reasonable workshop back in Whitestone.

MATT: Okay, so you gather your materials, you prepare at the tree in the center of the keep, you say your goodbyes–

SAM: Before we go out there, I go to my room, I take a dump on my bed–

MATT: You've used it at the temple of Sarenrae–

SAM: No, it's not a potion. Just a straight-up poo.

MATT: Just a straight-up poo? Okay. Marking your territory. I respect that.

SAM: I hang a note on the gate of the keep.

TRAVIS: Shitting on your own bed?

SAM: I don't want anyone else to use it. And with a butter knife, I put a note on the gate to the keep that says, “If Kaylie comes, go to Whitestone. P.S. If my painting is delivered, please forward to Scanlan Shorthalt, care of Whitestone.”

MATT: All righty.

TRAVIS: “Mind the poo.”

LAURA: I leave a note for Allura, and tell her we've headed to Whitestone, as well.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: I don't say Whitestone. I say, “the place where we sent you originally,” so she knows where it is.

MATT: Okay. Notes are placed. Spell is prepared?

TALIESIN: I've packed everything that could possibly be used to make anything dangerous.

MATT: Okay. You have your supplies at the ready. You all gather in the center of the temple of Sarenrae. Keyleth?

LAURA: Not yet, Keyleth!

TALIESIN: We'll be back.

MARISHA: What's wrong? Are you ready, Vex?

LAURA: I mean, it's the first time we've had a home in forever, and we're leaving it.

SAM: Can you make it disappear, or something?

LAURA: We can go. It's nothing.

MARISHA: I can put Hallucinatory Terrain over it, that'll last a bit, but not long enough to make it worthwhile.

LAURA: It's just stone.

LIAM: We've done it once before. We can do it again.

TALIESIN: It will be built back better than before. That's what we do.

LAURA: Let's go.

MATT: The portal opens outside of the tree, and all of the refugees start rushing through. You guys give chase, following over to the opposite side, where Whitestone waits. You all emerge from the Sun Tree in the center of the familiar town.

LIAM: Fucking cold!

MATT: It is chilly. Not as snow-dappled as it was when you first arrived. A little has melted, and the clouds are a little bit more open; you can see some of the blue sky above you. It's actually a beautiful day, if a bit chilly. As you emerge, you can see there's a few individuals in the center of the town, including a couple of the original refugees that seem to be waiting for the rest to come through. They greet you as soon as you arrive, and rush up and grab a couple of people that they had met at your keep. Some come forward and say, “Thank you. I'm so glad you made it!” They shake your hands. You've arrived back in Whitestone. So, do you guys want to wait here for the day, and then make your way to Vasselheim?

SAM: Do we need to talk to anybody here?

TALIESIN: Just to set up to make sure that the queen and her children are taken in at the castle.

LIAM: I imagine you'll fill your sister in.

TALIESIN: I will. I'll fill my sister in on how they're to be taken care of. Make sure that Gilmore is taken care of.

SAM: We may want to stock up on potions and stuff before we leave.

LAURA: Yeah, buy as much as we can.

TALIESIN: There's a shop.

MATT: There is, but you guys have cleaned it out.

LAURA: Buy stuff in Vasselheim.

MATT: They have not had an opportunity to restock. Their main providers have been killed.

LIAM: Do you think that with the time that's passed, Cassandra has found any of the belongings of the Briarwoods? They were pretty snazzy.

TALIESIN: We can ask about that.

MATT: You approach Cassandra, who is happy to greet you once you return. "Did you have a question?”

TALIESIN: Vax?

LIAM: We need to kill some dragons, and we are out of everything. You've been here a while. Have you found anything of the Briarwoods? Any store of treasure or potion or anything of use?

MATT: “Well, the personal effects you all retrieved when they were defeated. What remnants of income or gold which they'd kept was put in with the rest of the Whitestone treasury when they took over.”

LIAM: Not so much interested in gold as in means of protection or healing.

MATT: “They weren't really specialized in healing, I'm afraid, and what bits of protection they had, you've already taken. But if gold is what you need, we can probably spare you some.”

LAURA: I mean, I'm not going to say no to the gold.

TALIESIN: Obviously, we'll sieve the coffer a little bit because we're going to need it for the mission.

LAURA: So very generous of you.

TALIESIN: Also, let's re-employ our castle guards as the Emon royal guards in the meantime, and they can serve the queen and her children.

LAURA: I like it.

MATT: “That can be very easily presented. Oh, here we are!” There's a small chest with a lid that she hands it over to you. Actually, puts it out and your hands are already out. “All right. 2,000 gold from our coffers. It's not much, but we have to keep the city running.”

LAURA: Of course.

TALIESIN: And a small amount of the green gem, if that would be possible, that's left over from the mining operation.

MATT: “Of the glass?”

TALIESIN: Of the glass. If possible.

MATT: “Yes, certainly.”

TALIESIN: Thank you. I'm working on something.

MATT: “Very well.” It takes a few minutes for that to be retrieved from down south of the tomb in the mausoleum, but nevertheless, you get four half-dollar-sized pieces of residuum glass.

TALIESIN: Perfect.

MATT: Four shards of residuum glass. “I hope that's of aid to you. Apology for the confusion. We have quite a bit of individuals to find homes for, and get them running.”

TALIESIN: Gilmore will be of great help.

MATT: “Yes, as you've told me.”

TALIESIN: (laughs) I'm sorry to drop this all on you, and I'm thankful.

MATT: “I'm thankful that we even have an opportunity to offer aid to somebody. That's thanks to you, so it's nothing on us.”

TALIESIN: It will not be the end of it, sadly.

MATT: “That's all right. Whatever we can do. Anyway, good luck.”

TALIESIN: I'll be off in the morning.

SAM: How are we getting to Vasselheim?

TALIESIN: We can teleport.

LAURA: Yeah, teleport, right?

SAM: Is that true?

LAURA: Just pop on over, yeah. We sleep for the night, and then we go over to Vasselheim the next day.

LIAM: Let's have dinner.

LAURA: Hang out in Whitestone for the day.

TALIESIN: I'm going to work on that little project.

LIAM: Whitestone and chill.

TALIESIN: The thing I was trying to attach to my gun but wasn't working, I'm going to try to attach it to my boot instead.

MATT: Interesting.

TALIESIN: I can draw you a sketch.

MATT: All right. While the rest of you guys are attempting to rest, I need you to make a tinker tools check.

LIAM: Tinker tools. This goes in here.

TALIESIN: That's better. 22.

MATT: 22. You've affixed it to your boot. We'll see if it works.

TALIESIN: And I've got one working piece? I know each individual build, I have to build the–

SAM: The nubbin.

TALIESIN: The actual device itself has to be built for individual usage; it's not auto. I'm going to try and build one and see how it goes.

MATT: Okay. So total cost for the materials on that will put you at about 300 gold.

LAURA: What?

SAM: 300 gold.

TALIESIN: I'm working on something.

LAURA: Okay.

TALIESIN: Thank you.

LAURA: I mean, it's your city.

LIAM: Are you borrowing 300 of your gold from the money you loaned to Vex?

TALIESIN: Since the day I've met her, I've given her every bloody dime I've made. So, yes. I no longer even think about it anymore.

LAURA: And I love you for it.

TALIESIN: She's practically the royal treasurer. She's just happier that way.

MARISHA: (laughing) “She's just happier that way.”

MATT: All right. You find an evening's rest. The next morning comes uneventfully. You find yourselves refreshed. I'd say at this point, you're all at full hit dice after two nights of rest; you're fine. So, on to Whitestone, Keyleth?

LAURA and TRAVIS: Vasselheim?

MATT: Sorry. You're in Whitestone.

LIAM: We were just here!

MATT: You recall you've seen a number of trees. The largest you've seen in Vasselheim would probably have been on the outskirts of–

LIAM: Where we fought the hydra, maybe.

MARISHA: We camped out in a few trees outside of Vasselheim.

MATT: Do you want to stop outside the city or within the city, is the question.

MARISHA: Whatever's closest.

TRAVIS: No. No magic in the city.

LAURA: No magic in the city, remember?

MATT: No arcane magic. Divine magic is a different thing. There's plenty of divine magic within the city.

LAURA: Oh, is there a teleportation circle? Do we have one in Whitestone?

MARISHA: There wasn't a teleportation circle to Vasselheim.

MATT: There are no sigils to Vasselheim. Part of their defense process is preventing any secret intrusion in that regard.

TALIESIN: We'll teleport to the outside of the city and perhaps sleep at the temple of Sarenrae.

MATT: There's the Abundant Terrace.

LAURA: We always have rooms at Slayer's Take, remember.

TALIESIN: We do always have rooms at Slayer's Take.

MARISHA: What's the Abundant Terrace?

MATT: That's the section that Melora looks over. That is where primarily most of the farming, food–

MARISHA: Yeah, let's go there.

MATT: That's where you know there are a number of orchards and things that are kept in that vicinity. If you wanted to.

MARISHA: That's right outside the city?

MATT: It's within the city. It's one of the five quarters. I won't say quarters. It's one of the five areas.

MARISHA: Sure.

MATT: Quarters.

LAURA: Is Gilmore staying here in Whitestone? Yes?

MATT: Yeah, unless you want to try and bring him with you.

LAURA: No, it makes sense to leave him here, right? Where do you want to stay, Gilmore?

MATT: (laughs) You're approaching Gilmore. He goes, “To be perfectly honest, I'm not quite feeling 100%, and let's just say I'm not a huge fan of the zealot type.”

LAURA: Understandable.

MATT: “Vasselheim doesn't really jangle my dingles.”

LAURA: You've got a whole bookstore devoted to you here.

MATT: “This is true.”

TALIESIN: I would appreciate your help in restarting the economy of Whitestone, to be fair.

MATT: “Well. (sighs) Guess it's not too late to open a new branch of Gilmore's Glorious Goods, since my other, possibly, two no longer exist. (sighs) I was so close to opening. I started from nothing! I can do it again. (coughs) Good luck, you all.”

TALIESIN: You as well.

SAM: So we're going to a tree outside of the city?

TRAVIS: Yep.

MARISHA: Well, it's in the farming district in the city.

MATT: It's in the actual city.

LAURA: All right, cool.

MATT: All right. Using this once again off the Sun Tree, you guys step through. As you emerge out the other side, you are in the thick of a heavy orchard in the Abundant Terrace. There is heavy snowfall that has fallen recently here, and where it was cold in Whitestone, it's cold here in Vasselheim. You can see built-up ice and sleet that has recently been pushed off to the sides of the orchard. Even amongst this very cold weather, all of the plant life in this area is vibrant and springtime green. As you all emerge in the center of this orchard, you can see one of the nearby workers who's tilling the land looks over. “Hey! What are you doing here? You're not supposed to be in the middle of the orchard!”

LAURA: Slayer's Take business. We'll keep moving.

TALIESIN: We were just leaving.

MATT: (groans) “Fucking Slayer's Take. Do whatever the fuck they want.” He drinks out of his canteen. “Fine! Just get out.”

LIAM: Glad that manticore's not in your orchard. That's all I can say.

MATT: “Manticore?”

TALIESIN: That's just cruel.

LAURA: Don't worry. We took care of it.

MATT: (weakly) “Thanks.” He starts looking nervously over his shoulders as he goes back to his work. Eventually, you guys step outside of the Terrace, finding your way to the Quadroads, which is the central network that the four main portions of Vasselheim attach to. This is the Erathis-based center of the town. You have before you, to remind you, at the very northern part of the town is the extremely tall, pointed mountain known as Heaven's Stair. Attached to that mountain on one side is the Silver Talon's Reach. That is the main temple to Bahamut. To the left of it, against the mountain, not actually into it, is the Braving Grounds. This is the area that is geared towards Kord, the deity of war, where you had previously had a conversation with the Dawn Master, the Earthbreaker Groon. There's the Platinum Sanctuary in the Silver Talon's Reach, which is where the Highbearer Vord, the Silver-Touched, the high priest of Bahamut is. You also just left the Abundant Terrace, and there is the Quadroads, which is where the Slayer's Take currently is. And there is the Duskmeadow, which is the Raven Queen's domain. Where do you guys want to go?

LIAM: Remind me, what was the Duskmeadow, again? Was that where we chased the rakshasa?

MATT: That is where the Amaranthine Oubliette resides, which is the prison of the city.

MARISHA: What was the name of the section of the city that has the Slayer's Take?

MATT: That's the Quadroads, the Erathis, deity of civilization.

TRAVIS: So, like, I really want to go talk to the Kung Fu Panda master. I don't think we're going to get a lot of fights in. The guy, I think he was the teacher of Kern. The guy I beat in the crucible.

LIAM: That ripped, chiseled old man?

TRAVIS: Yeah.

SAM: The guy who beat you twice?

LIAM, LAURA, AND TRAVIS: No.

TRAVIS: And nobody beat me twice. He got lucky once, get it straight. I want to go talk to him because maybe we need some more fighters and strong folks and I think he might know where they might be.

SAM: We should talk to the Slayer's Take, as well.

TALIESIN: We should get our rooms.

LAURA: Yeah, let's go post up.

TALIESIN: We have things to put down.

MARISHA: And also only about a day's travel from Pyrah.

SAM: What's that? Pyrah?

LAURA: Her home.

SAM: Oh.

TALIESIN: What's left of it. That will be a trip that will be necessary soon, but not yet.

MATT: You guys hit the Slayer's Take first, or where are you heading?

LAURA and TRAVIS: Slayer's Take.

LAURA: Just to let them know we're here and we need some rooms.

MATT: Okay. You make your way to the outside of the main Slayer's Take guildhall. The dark wood exterior greets you happily. You can see they still have a gathering of various antlers of creatures that are tangled into each other that form this rustic-looking entrance. And there on the front doors, you see emblazoned the Slayer's Take– for lack of a better term, their symbol with the words of their actual guild spread across it, as you saw before. Opening the front door, you can see within the main foyer area, there is the dark iron chandeliers that run across the entire length of the moot hall, if you will. Across the front area, you find the clerk desk. Sitting behind it, a familiar red-haired, tousled, chin-bearded, scarred-up tiny man with his feet up on the desk, falling asleep in his chair.

LAURA: (laughs) Oi!

LIAM: Ta-da!

MATT: “What is this craziness? (laughs) Ah! It's been some time.”

LAURA: It has.

MATT: “So. Hello.”

LAURA: Hi.

MATT: “What's your business? What are you looking for?”

LAURA: Dragons? Have you heard about anything?

MATT: “Other than the fact that you killed one. That is the most recent, but nothing beyond that, really, no.”

LAURA: We're going to need rooms.

LIAM: And we're probably going to need to speak to your lady lord.

LAURA: Your wife.

LIAM: Well, your wife, but I'm talking about the boss, here.

LAURA: That's his wife.

LIAM: Higher still: the sphinx.

LAURA: Oh.

MATT: “Vanessa, she's currently out on a hunt. Should be back in the next day or so.”

LIAM: We've urgent business to discuss with her. For now, we need a place to stay.

MATT: “Well, you're always welcome here. This is your home away from home, so please, take a load off. Pick a room. It's up to you. It's good to see you all so healthy!”

LAURA: Healthy.

SAM: Thank you, Mertin. Right?

MATT: “Yes. So glad to hear.”

LIAM: The only reason I remember that is it sounds like merkin.

LAURA: Is Zahra around?

MATT: “She's actually currently out with Vanessa on a hunt, as we speak.”

LAURA: That's wonderful.

SAM: Perhaps we could see her.

LIAM: Sorry, we're tired. We've been hopping all over.

MATT: “Me, too. I was sleeping when you came in. I don't mind if I get back to that.”

LIAM: Sorry. Any room?

MATT: “If it's somebody else's room, they'll let you know, so please, take your time.”

LAURA: Well, settle in?

TALIESIN: I'm settling in.

MARISHA: Yeah, I guess we all settle in.

MATT: There's a number of empty rooms. Doesn't look like there's a lot of individuals around. As you walk down one of the hallways, though, you do see there is a card table, and the two individuals in there, you see a very scarred, burly, and frustrated dwarf who's throwing down cards on a table. Black, long series of beards, and his hair over his beard. You see Thorbir is sitting there at the card table with another man wearing really beautiful, ornate armor that is well-polished; very short, dirty blond hair, who is apparently owning him at cards, going, (chuckles) “You've terrible luck, friend. I'm sorry to hear this.”

LAURA: (whispering) Aldor.

MATT: It's Aldor.

TALIESIN: Whoa!

MATT: Thorbir's sitting there, and throws his cards on the table. (scoffs, sighs) “They tell me I'm supposed to have the luck of the dwarves.”

(laughter)

MATT: “Oh. I guess it's about time you all showed up. I'm going to get a drink.” And he gets up, away from the table, and walks away from the rest of you, with a half-hearted “hi,” but he's in a huffy mood and walks off. Aldor takes his winnings and scoops the change into a pouch.

LIAM: Aldor, Aldor, Aldor.

SAM: How's Lyra? Have you seen her?

(laughter)

MATT: “Why? Have you seen her?”

SAM: Not in a while, but we thought you guys were engaged to be married. No?

TALIESIN: That's the last we heard.

MATT: He reaches forward and grabs your shirt and pulls you in. “Where did you hear that?”

SAM: Not from a reliable source, I promise you.

TALIESIN: Very sketchy source.

MATT: “Good. You haven't seen her, have you?”

SAM: Not in a long time.

MATT: “Good.”

LIAM: She's still a member of the Slayer's Take, of course, though. Isn't she?

MATT: “I assume. I just run if I see her. She's a bit–”

LAURA: Yeah.

SAM: No! She seems nice to me.

MATT: “Good. You know what, actually, if you want to do me a favor. I mean, she's a nice girl, probably pretty easy if you ask her. Why don't you take her off my hands and go on a date? Take her out for dinner. Distract her.”

SAM: You saw her first. I'm a man of honor.

MATT: “Oh. No. I should go.” He grabs his stuff and leaves in a huff.

TRAVIS: Good to see him.

LAURA: Yeah.

TALIESIN: He's looking well.

SAM: True love.

MARISHA: It's weird being back, you guys.

SAM: Well, I guess we should ask them all if they want to come with us to fight a dragon?

MARISHA: Yeah, do we do that now, or do we do that in the morning?

TRAVIS AND TALIESIN: In the morning.

LIAM: It feels like we were just running screaming from dragons in the sky.

MARISHA: Yeah. We traveled.

SAM: We'll sleep on it. We'll talk to Nessa in the morning.

LIAM: We'll get up in the morning, we'll take some of that gold, we'll put it to good use, we'll wait until Nessa gets back, and then we'll carve out a plan.

SAM: Okay.

LIAM: Percival?

TALIESIN: That sounds just fine.

SAM: Kord's strength to us all.

TRAVIS: Yeah!

LAURA: I wonder if Kashaw is still here.

LIAM: Probably, he works here.

MARISHA: Who?

SAM: Kashaw. That was the one that they went on a–

LAURA: Oh! Right, Keyleth? The guy that kissed you.

MARISHA: (stammers)

TALIESIN: Brooding. Handsome. He was so troubled.

LIAM: He was.

LAURA: He was very handsome.

MARISHA: So we should probably go to sleep, you guys.

LAURA: It's morning, still.

MATT: Yeah, it's maybe 10:00am.

MARISHA: Take a nap?

MATT: It's across the world, so it's technically earlier.

MARISHA: You know, it's jet lag. It's teleport lag. It gets to you.

LAURA: Maybe Nessa and Zahra have seen him. We could find out. We could use another healer, always.

MATT: It would be 10:00, 10:30 in Whitestone. About 6:30, 7:00 in the morning in Vasselheim.

LAURA: Pike, speaking of clerics, do you want to check in with your temple?

MATT: Pike has actually stayed back in Whitestone to help the refugees.

TRAVIS: Yep.

LAURA: Oh. She didn't even come to Vasselheim?

MATT: No, but she did say that she's going to keep an eye, best she can, through Sarenrae. When she can pop in, she'll try and see if she can project her form, going forward.

LIAM: She's led by her conscience.

MATT: She's led by her schedule in New York. (laughs)

TALIESIN: We didn't think to leave her a stone, did we?

MATT: If you'd like to, you could have.

SAM: Would we have done that?

TALIESIN: I would have definitely suggested leaving her with one of the stones.

LAURA: Yeah, we probably should leave the stone with her so she can pop in with us.

MATT: Okay. We'll say that she does that. She keeps a gatestone with her, just in case.

TRAVIS: Trinket stays in Emon, right?

LAURA: Shut up!

TALIESIN: Trinket's going to guard the castle.

LAURA: Trinket is right here, right now! He has been quiet, because he's really well-behaved.

MATT: Trinket's been practicing his stealth. (bear grunts)

LAURA: So stealthy, darling.

MATT: All right, so you've set up your rooms, your stuff about you. You have a full day before seemingly anyone from the Slayer's Take is going to come back. Where do you want to head?

TALIESIN: Individual?

TRAVIS: Individuals? Yeah.

LIAM: Oh, shit, can we buy potions in this city?

TALIESIN: I don't know.

LIAM: Shit! You can't, can you?

LAURA: I'm afraid to start anything. It's 11:00.

MARISHA: I know, it's late.

MATT: All right. Then we will end it there this evening. I just wanted to get an idea of where you guys were going for next week.

LAURA: Oh, okay.

TRAVIS: I plan to go see Earthbreaker Groon.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: I want to wait and talk to Zahra.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: I may want to have a conversation at the temple of the Raven Queen.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: Zahra sounds fun.

LAURA: Right? But I do want to buy potions, as well, and stock up.

TALIESIN: Yeah, that, too.

LIAM: Nothing. I'd probably tag along with Percival.

LAURA: What?

TRAVIS: Old punchy man? You don't want to come with?

SAM: Oh. Yeah, I'll come watch you if you're going to have a fight.

TRAVIS: No, I'm going to have a conversation.

LIAM: You're right. I do want to see Old Punchy Man.

TALIESIN: We can do both.

TRAVIS: Some hand-to-hand?

SAM: Watch you lose again.

TRAVIS: I'm not fighting him!

MATT: All right, so Vax and Scanlan are going with Grog to the Trial Forge.

LAURA: I'm going to stock up on a bunch of stuff.

MATT: Okay. We'll do some shopping.

TALIESIN: I'm going to go to the temple of the Raven Queen. I also want to talk to our mapmaker friend.

MATT: So you're going to the Raven's Crest. Got it.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

MATT: All right, cool. We'll pick it up next week at that point, guys. Awesome. Well done, guys!

TRAVIS: We abandoned Greyskull Keep.

MARISHA: Yeah, we did.

LAURA: Yeah, we did, and it's sad.

MARISHA: It's very sad. We abandoned Emon.

MATT: Damn.

LAURA: We can't help it from there. We have to go somewhere else in order to come back to it.

LIAM: Greyskull Keep is going to be an ancient dragon's kitty litter box.

TRAVIS: I'm allergic to cats.

MARISHA: If you love it, you have to–

MARISHA and LAURA: Let it go.

LIAM: Like our first hometown, or our elven town?

LAURA: Don't say that.

TALIESIN: I was going to say, do you know who says, “if you love it, you have to let it go?” The one who got dumped, that's who! Sorry.

MATT: That's horrible.

TALIESIN: Yeah, you are. I'm a terrible person.

MATT: Well, guys. Thank you so much for watching. We'll pick this up next Thursday. Those we'll see tomorrow in Colorado, looking forward to it, and tomorrow, look for my next episode of GM Tips. That'll be fun, and is it Thursday yet?

TALIESIN: See you in Arizona!

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