BRIAN: Hello, New York!
Wow! I would ask how everyone’s doing, but I can already tell.
Who’s ready to get turnt up tonight?
You know, I talked to Taliesin a couple weeks ago and I said, “How in the world do we top what you did for me for Gen Con?” He said, “I have five words for you, Brian. The Goth of Wall Street.”
[laughter and cheering]
Well, we have a great show planned for you guys. I am really interested to see how this is going to go. Given the last few episodes, I’m sure you are. I have a couple of bad cop announcements, it’s what I get paid to do. Up first, and you know, we’re all really waiting to see what Sam’s going to do, am I right?
(sighs) Hide your kids, hide your wives. First of all, feel free to engage along with the show tonight. Some of the ways you can engage along with the show is clapping, which you seem to do very well, wonderful.
You can definitely cheer.
This one’s going to be hard, you can cry.
That sounds good. Sounds genuine. The one thing that we do ask that you refrain from during the live shows is shouting out any rules, suggestions, things like that. “Use Feather Fall!” Shit like that’s not going to fly. “You have two spell slots left!” Nobody cares what you have to say. Especially no jokes that you think are going to either get a reaction from the cast or from the rest of the audience. Take it from someone who knows, sometimes you think you have a great joke and it’s a fucking terrible one. At Gen Con this year, some people decided to rebel against the rules and nothing made me happier than hearing someone yell out a joke and it bombing. I was up in the balcony leaning down going, “Welcome to my Tuesday night, every week.” I guarantee you guys Matt and the cast are going to put on a fantastic show for you tonight.
Yep. Despite the fact it will not contain any of your bad jokes. Up next: we will be broadcasting at an hour delay tonight, so there is an extremely strict no spoiler policy in the house tonight. After Sam comes out and sits down, there’s really no need for you guys to have your phones out tonight. Please do not spoil it for all of our Critters watching literally around the world. Don’t get on Twitter, don’t get on Tumblr, don’t get into Twitch chat and say shit, don’t be a dick. Please, please, please. Ultimately, there’s more of them than there are of us, so we got to be careful, if you know what I’m saying. I don’t want people coming after us. Okay, if you’re at New York Comic Con this weekend, please check out our schedule at CritRole.com. We’re going to be busy. How many people are going to Comic Con?
Wow. That’s going to be awesome. Let’s see. Oh yeah, introduce the cast, okay. Without further ado, I would like to introduce the cast of Critical Role.
[Critical Role theme]
Motherfucking Laura Bailey!
Ladies and gentlemen, on your feet for Mr. Matthew Mercer!
MATT: Well, if that isn’t a rush, I don’t know what is.
TRAVIS: Oh yeah. Mainline that shit.
MATT: Oh man. Hello everyone, and welcome–
MARISHA: He said two words!
MATT: Welcome to tonight’s episode of Critical Role, where a bunch of us nerdy-ass–
MATT: Where a bunch of us nerdy-ass voice actors sit around dressed as pirates and play Dungeons & Dragons.
MATT: Now before we make our way into tonight’s episode, we got a few announcements to make, so be patient, please. First and foremost, the second episode of All Work No Play debuts tomorrow.
MATT: With our fantastic Sam and Liam, they learned how to tap dance, loosely. That’ll be debuting tomorrow at 7:00pm Pacific. For those of us here on the east coast right now, that’s going to be 10:00pm. That’ll be at Twitch.tv/CriticalRole. Check it out, it’s really funny. We watched the episode earlier; I hope you enjoy it. Between the Sheets, our new episode airs Monday at 7:00pm Pacific, 10:00pm here. Our guest this week is the fantastic Liam O'Brien over there on the side table.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: We love you, Liam!
MATT: Check that out on Monday at twitch.tv/CriticalRole. Also, we do not have a Wyrmwood giveaway this week, because instead, all of our live attendees tonight at the show, when the show is over on your way out, you’ll be receiving a $25 Wyrmwood gift card.
MATT: Our amazing friends at Wyrmwood have been so kind to help facilitate this for all of you amazing Critters out there. On your way out tonight, make sure you grab it, don’t forget it, you’ll regret it. Whew. Man, my heart is going (quick pounding). Never get used to this. A quick little thing before we get started on the game. We mentioned it earlier this year, we have our fantastic continuation of the Vox Machina: Origins comic book with Dark Horse that we’re in development on. The next six issues are currently– we’re in the process of getting them going. Currently, the planned date is the summer of next year. We’re happy to announce that our original artist, Olivia Samson, a fellow Critter from the community, who’s done an amazing job, is returning to be the artist for this. We’re going to reveal a couple little art pieces here to show you some of the new characters you’ll meet next summer, including our very own Pike and Percy. If you want to give a quick view of that up there.
MATT: Some of these characters you may have seen in our pre-stream recap video from years ago. You also get to see– I think some of these cast hasn’t seen them until tonight now. We’ve got Abjurist Noja, we’ve got Wilhand Trickfoot up there, we got Pike when her hair was still dark, before her first death.
LAURA: Stonejaw Strongjaw!
MATT: We have casual prison Percival in his true Whitestone, pale-ass self. We got Drez Vina, we got a temple keeper who was working for Lady Kima in Westruun. We have Realmseer Eskil Ryndarien, who you saw a few times throughout the first campaign, as well as Nala the dryad, who you got to meet– the nymph that you got to meet later in the campaign. You get to see her first interaction with Grog. A couple other fun characters that you’ll get to see throughout the story. Anyway, really excited about that. More information will become available as it does, but hopefully you guys get to enjoy it next year.
MATT: So. Without further ado, my friends.
MATT: We’ve got a few quick announcements again. Like how I did that?
SAM: Yeah, yeah.
MATT: Pull those heart strings. We have our fantastic sponsor for the evening. Since the beginning of the campaign, our good friends at D&D Beyond.
SAM: Yeah. D&D Beyond, guys. You know them, you love them, and to celebrate Critical Role live in New York, D&D Beyond has set up a discount code, just for a limited time. It’ll get you 25% off digital books on the D&D Beyond marketplace, but you got to use this code, and I’m not making this up, it’s SamIsOurHero.
[laughter and cheering]
SAM: Go check it out. In fact, I’m so flattered that they named their code after me that I wrote a little Broadway song. Can’t even hear the pitch. (singing) Da. (spoken) Okay, about their discount code, SamIsOurHero. Okay. I’m going to sing it a cappella. (clears throat) (singing to the tune of “Dear Theodosia”) SamIsOurHero is the code to use. To buy your books at steeply discount rates. When you go to D&D Beyond, just mention me.
ASHLEY: (singing) Sam is our hero and he’s handsome too. Look at that smile, and such a boyish face. Oh my god, these lyrics are so crappy. Why did I agree?
SAM: This crowd is loving my song!
ASHLEY: They think it’s slightly too long.
SAM: I’ll win a Tony Award after all! I’ll do whatever it takes–
ASHLEY: This was an awful mistake.
SAM and ASHLEY: I cannot wait for our curtain call! Sam is ruining Hamilton. I hope the audience knows that Ashley told him no. And we know that we should start the game now, but it’s such a pretty song for D&D Beyond, so we sang it anyway. Bidet, bidet. Sam is our hero, yeah. Bidet, bidet. Okay, Matt, take it away.
MARISHA: Oh my god.
MATT: Thank you, Sam and Ashley, and thank you our friends at D&D Beyond. And thank you Hamilton for hopefully enduring that terrible butchering of a wonderful piece of music.
SAM: I think when Lin-Manuel wrote the song, he thought that it would be used in a D&D Beyond ad eventually.
MATT: I think it was hard to avoid down the road, yeah. Well, all right guys. Let’s go ahead and bring us in to tonight’s episode of Critical Role.
SAM: When do I change into my sailor outfit?
[click, TV static] [groovy Critical Role theme]
MATT: And welcome back. Do we have the mic working now?
MATT: Perfect, there we go. Welcome back. Last we left off, The Mighty Nein, in following a thread of information that may tie into some aspect of Fjord’s curious history after he chest-vored a sphere, discovered that, apparently, a group of individuals were hired to retrieve this and bring it to a Captain Avantika. Upon following this thread, you found your way to the city of Nicodranas on the Menagerie Coast, outside the Dwendalian Empire. You met up with Yasha once more, you happened to take care of a man who was bothering Jester’s mother. Very thoroughly. Upon coming upon this character, Marius LePual, who you’ve been following, you got into an altercation at the docks and accidentally took their boat. However, you managed to sneak your way back to Nicodranas the following day before it seemed there was much of an uproar searching for you. You stealth hired a crew, including bringing Orly the tortle bard on as your navigator, and made your way out to sea towards this island called Urukaxl that you believed may have been the one, based on this piece of a map that you had recovered within the ship, The Mist. You changed the name of the ship to The Mistake. You became Captain Tusktooth, was it?
MARISHA: Yes, own it, yes.
TRAVIS: I mean, yeah.
MATT: Following the map, you made your way through the reef, taking on a bit of water briefly, but thankfully through some ingenuity, some quick repairs, and the tenuous use of a magical tent, you kept it from sinking, and going towards the shoreline of Urukaxl, there appeared to be another ship, a larger ship, waiting in the nearest bay. Upon attempting to possibly make your way around it to run it aground, the ship seemed to be cutting you off, and fired a warning cannon shot across the bow. You decided it was best to stop, and began to gather yourselves as two small rowboats were making their way towards the outside of The Mistake to whatever ends that may come to. Caleb, are you still below deck holding onto your spell?
MATT: Good. Because I believe that is where we left off. Mighty Nein, as you see these two small boats slowly rowing their way towards you from the far side of the bay, what do you do?
MARISHA: Is this like one of those, like a parfait? What’s it called?
SAM: Oh, with the yogurt? Those are really good.
MARISHA: No, not that one, when you talk with other people who know how to sail.
MARISHA: That one.
TRAVIS: Yeah. I think it will be a parlay, unfortunately.
MARISHA: Oh, parfaits are bad?
LAURA: Why unfortunately?
TRAVIS: Well, I don’t know who these people are, what kind of ship they’ve come in on. I mean, this can go one of two ways, either very amicably or we all die.
LAURA: Do you think it’s the Captain Avantika?
TRAVIS: Oh, I don’t know. Do we have a spyglass onboard this ship? Lead, anything?
MARISHA: Ooh, oh! Caleb gave me his Frumpkin. Frumpkin–
TRAVIS: I said a spyglass and you pulled out a bird.
MARISHA: Frumpkin, go spy on the ship.
MATT: Thankfully the intelligent creature managed to swoop up before hitting the surface of the ocean there. Frumpkin continues to head off towards the other ship. At this point in time, the rest of the rowboats travel, just about to reach the bottom of The Mistake.
TRAVIS: Oh, they’re that close?
MATT: Well yeah, as you’re waiting here. If there’s anything else you want to prepare in the meantime, I know you had said you changed your form to look like the previous captain.
TRAVIS: Yeah, so I’m going to look like the half-orc captain. Was I close enough to hear him talk when he was on the dock?
MATT: No, you were far away.
TRAVIS: Shit, fuck, balls, ass! Okay, so I’m going to make myself look like him.
MATT: Yeah. It was less that you were far away and more that you were in the water, and then made a thunder strike, and then were far away, and then he was paralyzed–
TRAVIS: Yeah, I know, we don’t have to relive it.
LIAM: From down below inside the bubble of Leomund’s Tiny Hut, I pull out the wire and I cast Message up to Fjord and say: I have plugged the bottom of the ship, so I think our troubles are behind us now.
TRAVIS: Can I reply to that message?
TRAVIS: We’re about to be boarded by fucking pirates.
[applause and cheering]
SAM: Tell him they might have yogurt with them.
TRAVIS: Can I make myself look like the Captain Jawgrasp, but can I put like, a bloody bandage around my throat, as if I suffered a wound, and I’ll talk like this.
MATT: You can certainly try, yeah.
LAURA: Fjord, do you want us to look like anything along with you, or should we just look like ourselves?
TRAVIS: Well, I mean, not that you’re already really super dangerous-looking, but maybe you could like, menace it up a little bit?
LAURA: Okay, I look like me, only menacing.
SAM: What, your eyebrows just go like this?
LAURA: Like that, and like I put a lot of cool tattoos on my arms, and like, I make my fangs even longer.
MATT: Okay. I envision like the anime girl, where like all of a sudden the eyes are covered in shadow.
MATT: Yeah, perfect.
LAURA: My dress is like, tight now.
MATT: All right.
MATT: Anybody else?
TALIESIN: I don’t even know how to interpret this kind of input, god. First of all, I want to see how many people are in these boats coming in, are they–
MATT: Make a perception check.
TRAVIS: I’m going to roll a perception check.
SAM: First roll.
TALIESIN: It’s terrible, but I’m pretty perceptive, so that’s, where is that, 12.
MATT: They’re getting pretty close, so it’s not a terrible DC at this point in time. There are two figures in one boat and a very large figure in the other, alone. One of the boats is like, sinking in the water, or not really sinking, but is definitely pushing towards the boundaries of buoyancy. The other boat, however, seems to carry two figures, one looks to be a female, a little older, maybe in 50s or 60s, the other figure seems to be the one that’s rowing.
LAURA: What does her jacket look like? I mean, sorry.
MATT: I will say you cannot quite make out that detail from this distance.
TALIESIN: Looks like a jacket.
MATT: Are you lowering any of the rope ladders, or?
TRAVIS: Yeah, no, hold on, I know the name.
TRAVIS: Yeah, I’m going to tell Beau to go activate the windlass and lower the anchor.
MARISHA: I go over and I smack Yasha’s ass. Is that– Wait, that’s what you said, right? No, nope.
TRAVIS: The windlass!
MARISHA: The wind lass.
TRAVIS: Yeah, and we’ll make sure that flag is nice and high that had the gray–
MATT: You got it. Yasha?
ASHLEY: Am I in your way, Beau?
MARISHA: Oh, I don’t know how to sail, so. That’s all.
MATT: At this point you hear the two dull (thuds) of the two other small rowboats hitting the bottom of the ship, and you hear the climbing up the side of the boat. Eventually emerging, the first thing you see is one giant meaty hand come over the top of the side of the ship, and rising up, you see a haggard female ogre. You see stringy, greasy hair that’s peeling in front of the face, obscuring part of one eye, the other one looks to be a bit clouded. You can see these like streaks of dark, what would’ve been possibly makeup, and beyond that, a leather tunic and these thick, rippling, muscular arms. She eventually gets over the side of the ship and then puts her hand over and helps the other two up. One of them appears to be a gentleman, probably in his late 30s, mostly bald, a little bit of hair on the sides, a light blond, and he seems to be a little more demure compared to the two. Immediately his gait and presence seems to be more of at least a lower position on the hierarchy of the other ship. The last one that comes up is the woman that you saw. This woman, she’s a tougher-looking middle-aged woman, thicker, heftier body, weathered face. She’s wearing tattered robes, but beneath that there is a set of leather armor, there is a cutlass to one side, and she has this small amulet that’s dangling from a heavy chain around the neck.
TALIESIN: Oh, before they even come up, I’m going to look like the ship’s cook, I am not looking aggressive for this. I am putting on a chef’s outfit and getting small and human with awful red hair, so, yeah, I’m out.
MATT: As they step up, the ogre looks around at the rest of you and grins with this broken, toothy glare. (snarls) The woman clears her throat and addresses you. “You are requested to the bows of The Squalleater immediately.”
SAM: It’s the ship! That’s the ship that she owns!
TRAVIS: (pigeon cooing)
MATT: “It is recommended by the captain that you immediately make your way across with whatever boats you have available. There’s a space for some with us, but should you decline or make any move outside of complete and utter compliance, you and your ship will sink.”
TRAVIS: (rasping) Actually, funny you mention sinking our boat. Sustained some damage, so if I could request of the captain, perhaps some grace while we go into shore. I’m afraid if we try to make it to her ship, we might be on the bottom of the ocean.
LAURA: His throat was slit, you can probably see. So he has a hard time talking.
MATT: She turns to you with like an intense glare and goes, “Jawgrasp, you seem to have sustained some sort of terrible wound.”
TRAVIS: Yes, my throat, it’s all fucked up.
MATT: Make a deception check with advantage.
MARISHA: Oh yas, queen.
MATT: “If you come with whatever your most immediate crew is,” and she looks about and says, “And it would appear that you’ve lost most of your previous crew?”
TRAVIS: Yeah, heavy casualties. Yeah. The butcher’s bill was very steep, yep.
MATT: “So you bring unproven individuals into our plans?”
TRAVIS: It would seem that way.
TRAVIS: But these are battle-hardened men and women, every one of them.
MARISHA: Ah ha!
SAM: Yo ho! Ho?
MATT: The woman glares back and forth across the troupe of you and goes, “Well then, some of you come onto the ship, the rest, take it into shore with Bouldergut. Points to the ogre, and the ogre goes, (grunts) “To shore.”
TRAVIS: Jesus. Do you think you can accommodate seven of us on your two craft?
MATT: “Do you not have a ship of yourself?”
TRAVIS: Do we?
LAURA: I mean, we have this boat.
SAM: We have a rowboat.
MATT: You have a rowboat.
TRAVIS: We have a rowboat.
TRAVIS: We will accompany you to The Squalleater.
MATT: “Then come, please.” She immediately starts to climb down with the help of Bouldergut the ogre. Down into one boat, the helper that she was with goes down with her, and there are now the two rowboats and the rowboat that you have at your disposal. It looks like the ogre is staying onboard to help whoever’s behind take The Mistake to shore.
TRAVIS: I’ll turn to the rest of the crew and be like, just do whatever, she– he?– she says.
MATT: (snarls) Big, big grin. The rest of the crew, who has known you for three days, goes like, “Huh.” They start getting the ropes ready, start pulling the anchor up.
TRAVIS: Nott, make sure that Caleb comes with us. He’s awful grumpy below decks. He needs to be on the part of the boat with us.
SAM: You want me to go get Caleb?
TRAVIS: Yeah, go get fucking Caleb!
SAM: Okay, okay!
SAM: I think in addition to your throat getting slashed, you might’ve sustained a bump on the head or something. I’ll go get Caleb. I run downstairs.
TRAVIS: He’s a terrifying fighter. Just make sure he’s on the boats!
SAM: I’ll go get Caleb.
MATT: Okay. As you’re sitting there concentrating with all this going on, the tension of what we were just told by Fjord a moment ago, you watch as Nott runs down to grab you.
LIAM: Yeah, I’m inside a giant sphere of glass, basically.
SAM: Can you keep it going, but not be here? Because we have to go. We have to go.
LIAM: No, I cannot do that. I have to stay here in this bubble or the boat will sink, presumably.
SAM: Will it sink quickly or slowly?
LIAM: Well it lasted between ten and 20 minutes while I got this going, but I am not a boat expert. That’s Fjord’s MO, so I can’t say for certain how long this will stay afloat, no.
SAM: Listen, we’ve got to make this decision on our own. He’s entrusted me to come get you. We have to go on this boat with these pirates, or else we’ll all be killed. Can you just temp it in, just like, rough it in? Just sort of close the wound as much as you can.
LIAM: Nein, I cannot do that, but I could walk away from this. Are we all leaving? There are actually pirates above?
SAM: There are real pirates. We’re going to get on a boat with them and go to another, to see other pirates, but everything’s okay. Everything’s going to be fine, because Fjord has convinced them that he’s the guy that we killed before, except with a massive throat laceration.
LIAM: Okay. I am trying to process this as quickly as I can. I’m glad that I spent all the time making this. Let’s go, fuck it. I walk out of Leomund’s Tiny Hut. It goes (whooshes), gone.
MATT: Okay, you watch as this sphere immediately vanishes as you exit the exterior of it, and what brief repairs were placed against there seem to hold for the time being. There is a slow leak. You do see it is taking on water, but it is, at the moment, a trickle.
LAURA: Is Gallan still down there fixing it up?
MATT: In the rest of this journey when you came out of the reef, Gallan had done his best to repair it, but there’s only so much you can patch something like that. It may hold for a while, who knows? Gallan literally as this is happening sees the leak and goes like, “Okay, you know, this is– it should work. As long as we don’t stay out here for too long, I think we’ll be okay.”
LIAM: Yeah. As we go up topside, I say quietly to Nott: You know, I did not allow for Gallan to go inside the bubble, so it’s all the same to him, let’s go.
SAM: All right, let’s go.
MATT: “Great, perfect. Have fun wherever you’re going.”
SAM: Oh yeah, you’ll be fine down here. We’ll send word soon.
MATT: “You said something about pirates?”
SAM: (clears throat) No. High rats. There were rats on the top of the mast and we took care of them.
MATT: Make a deception check.
TRAVIS: No good at these.
MATT: He goes, “Oh, I mean, I hate fucking rats.”
MATT: “I’m glad you took care of them. That gets real bad as far as the food stores down here in the cargo hold. Thank you for that.”
SAM: Aye aye.
MATT: “All right, toodaloo!” Sits down and gets himself an orange, unaware.
TRAVIS: That poor bastard.
MATT: All right. You guys make your way back to the deck of the ship.
LIAM: Yeah, and going up also, I grab hold of that leather thong that’s tied around my thigh and I cast Mage Armor on the way up.
MATT: Okay, good to know.
LAURA: Ooh. Leather thong!
MATT: I hope that’s written in your inventory.
MARISHA: Hey Caleb. I took Frumpkin and I threw him overboard to go spy on things. If you do that thing where you get all hazy, we might see shit. Don’t do it right now! Wait till we’re on the– yeah.
MARISHA: Your bird’s spying on pirates.
LIAM: Tally ho.
MATT: All right, so are you all getting in the boats, or are some of you staying behind? What’s the plan?
LAURA: Let’s all get in the boats.
TALIESIN: I think better together than not.
MATT: All righty. All of you make your way down into one of the three boats, and begin rowing your way across this gulf to the ship. Now as you approach this ship, you can see it’s a massive, tri-mast ship. You can see where those doors were open, there are large, heavy cannons facing your direction.
TRAVIS: Coming out of the gun port?
MATT: Yeah. I’m so proud of you.
LAURA: Travis, you look really hot.
LIAM: Ha ha. You’re so pretty!
MATT: From the gun ports on the gun deck or the tween deck, as it’s sometimes called.
MATT: Anyway, so, as you make your way towards this massive ship, the large rope– I want to say a ladder more than a giant net-looking ladder, is thrown over the side that hits and breaks the surface for a bit so that it floats. The boats come up to the side and the older woman is inside the boat, gives a look to the rest of you and goes, “After you.”
TRAVIS: I’ll go first.
SAM: I think it’s women and children first that are supposed to go, actually.
TRAVIS: No, that’s not right at all.
MATT: All right.
SAM: You’ll go first, Fjord?
TRAVIS: Sure. Yep, I mean, yes.
MATT: As you guys are climbing, you see The Mistake is now being led over towards shore. You make your way to the top of the deck, and as you come across, one by one, you see there waiting for you is about ten figures, all in various scattered bits of seafaring attire, leathers and billowing cloths that seem to have seen many a journey out here on the open Lucidian Ocean. Immediately, your attention is grabbed by the central figure, a female elf, with light brown skin, with red, wild hair that falls in clustered strings around her face and down the back. You see she’s wearing a long, sleeveless gray coat with a high collar that bends at the edge of the shoulders, with a thick scarf around her neck. You see she has heavy elbow-length gloves and knee-high boots that look weathered with use and probably brutality. They are stained in places where that could only have been acquired by meeting the face of somebody else. As you step up, she has her arms crossed in front of her, cocks her head to the side and looks to you specifically and goes, “Well hello, Captain. You have returned from your journey, Jawgrasp?”
TRAVIS: We suffered heavy damage and casualties, but we have returned, successful.
MATT: “Successful? Well wondrous. Please, give me the item requested.”
MARISHA: Sorry, when he means successful, he means unsuccessful.
MATT: “Who are you?”
MATT: “Captain, it would appear to me that you have brought The Mist all this way across our specific route through the reef with a crew that I have not met, please introduce me.”
TRAVIS: Oh, yes, we actually came under such heavy heat we had to rebrand the ship as The Mistake.
MATT: “This surprises me not at all.”
TRAVIS: Yeah. Yep. We came across some new crew. May I introduce–
MARISHA: Tracy the bowman.
TRAVIS: Tracy Bowman. Next to Tracy you will see…
LIAM: Oh, Phillip.
LIAM: My name is Phillip. Bone-jour.
TRAVIS: Phillip is a talented bosun. May I also introduce the tall and powerful–
ASHLEY: Hello, my name is Janet.
SAM: What’d she say?
SAM: Oh, Janet.
ASHLEY: I do various things on the ship for him, and you know, so many things. Just all of the things that need to be done.
MATT: She nods along, with a very confused look on her face.
MARISHA: That’s good. She’s great.
LIAM: We’re all going to die.
TALIESIN: Cornelius, and I apologize for the way I’m dressed right now. I was in the middle of– well, it’s obvious I was making a stew, this really nice vegetable stew, and everything went topsy-turvy so quick, I don’t even–
ASHLEY: It was so good.
TALIESIN: It’s very good stew.
ASHLEY: He’s very talented.
TRAVIS: He’s a talented cook, that one. What was your name again?
TRAVIS: Corneli– yeah, the food just blows your mind.
TALIESIN: Sometimes they call me Stew because I–
MATT: “Cornelius. Very well, I look forward to seeing what you are capable of cooking up, Cornelius.”
TALIESIN: Oh, I’m very excited.
MATT: “This one?”
LAURA: I’m a pirate!
LAURA: I’m Pirate Sapphire.
MATT: “She’s adorable.”
LAURA: Argh, thanks.
MATT: “What about this little runt you brought on?”
SAM: I’m Gilligan.
SAM: I was told this was only going to be about three hours long. To be honest with you, I thought we were going on a pleasure cruise. But you know, I’ve met some people, and we’ve had a great time, and yeah. Really nice boat you got here.
MATT: She turns back to you and begins to walk a circle around you, arms behind her back now. Folded. “Jawgrasp, so you come to me with a new crew, and you tell me that you are successful but yet you are not. Describe to me what transpired to prevent you from acquiring this thing you have paid for.”
TRAVIS: Well you see, we now know the location of the artifact you seek. It’s as good as ours.
MATT: “How did this terrible, terrible thing happen to you?” She reaches up and touches the side of your neck.
TRAVIS: Oh god.
MATT: Her hand passes through–
TRAVIS: It’s real sore.
MATT: –the illusion, and she steps back and goes…
LAURA: Shit, shit, shit.
TRAVIS: All part of the plan.
MATT: “I must commend you, it has been a very long time since someone has been so bold with such massive balls to come onto my ship. And I think that perhaps I got where I am today not by seeing through a few paltry illusions.”
TRAVIS: Well, I must commend you on your perceptiveness. My balls are quite large.
TRAVIS: I will drop the mask.
MATT: You drop the Disguise Self, okay. As you say that and the Disguise Self drops, you hear a series of sounds that you hadn’t really heard in succession before. (clicking)
MATT: As you see most of the crew now wielding some variation of the firearms you had seen both in Hupperdook or the traveling armies of the Empire eastward towards the boundaries of Xhorhas.
MATT: Have them trained on the lot of you. The captain still now has her hands crossed in front of you and goes, “Well, I guess now that we are out in the open, who the fuck are you and how did you come in the possession of The Mist?”
TRAVIS: That is a wonderful story. One that I would love to share. You have the honor of being in the company of The Mighty Nein.
MATT: “But there are only seven of you.”
TRAVIS: It’s a long story, but I’m afraid we won’t be able to tell it or further converse unless we have an atmosphere of equal exchange here, and this hostile act is not a step in the right direction, Captain.
MATT: “So you are the captain of that ship. Are you suggesting that we parlay?”
MARISHA: Yes. Say yes, Fjord. Say yes.
MATT: “Very well. Well, since you’ve been so forthright, Tracy, Phillip, Sapphire, Cornelius, Janet, and Gilli-gone?”
TRAVIS: (laughs) Gilli-gone? Hon hon.
MATT: “Welcome aboard the Squalleater. I am Captain Avantika. Now, the fact that you are here, that you’ve made your way across the reef, that you managed to best our sister ship and the crew on board, which I assume have all been dispatched?”
LIAM: Just out of curiosity, if I look back over my shoulder, do I still see a boat?
TRAVIS: Oh, yeah!
MATT: You do, you do.
MATT: It’s noticeably lower. In maybe a short ten minute period, it’ll be finding its way onto the beach.
TRAVIS: It’s also got a giant fucking ogre on it now.
MARISHA: Can I look around real quick and see if I see Frumpkin?
MATT: Make a Perception check.
MARISHA: Sleeves are so big. Shit. I think that was an eight?
TRAVIS: Get your hat out of the way.
MARISHA: This is not a good dice for this lighting. 11.
MATT: You look around real fast and you see a few birds are perched up in the sails, but you don’t know which one’s Frumpkin, if Frumpkin’s up there. One of them does look small, might be him.
MARISHA: I lost another fucking owl, goddamn it.
LIAM: I hear her say that, and for ten or 15 seconds, jump into Frumpkin’s vision to see what I see.
MATT: Right now you look up and you can see through Frumpkin’s vision, down on the deck, Frumpkin has a view from above and is present. The captain continues. “Well, then my next question is, what are you planning here? Why have you gone to all this trouble to kill my crew, to bring the ship right back to me and then, to be perfectly honest, prostrate yourself before us.”
TRAVIS: Well I imagine there must be a hefty reward for the item that you seek. We went through great troubles just to acquire it.
MATT: “Do you know the purpose of this item?”
MATT: She looks at you with an eye that has tore through a thousand lies, and gives a surprising smile of acknowledgement. “Interesting. Well, you’ve proven that you are talented, at least, to have survived this far. But I’m a bigger fan of loyalty. Talent and loyalty, well, that is obviously my birthday. As it stands, The Mighty Nein, there are two paths you can walk. You, one, could live under the crew and proves yourselves as both skilled and as trustworthy as I hope you may be, if our goals are indeed aligned. Perhaps even join us, if the deeds please me. Or two, we weigh your corpses down with rocks and leave you here amongst the reef.”
LAURA: Those are the only only options there?
MATT: “I’m afraid so, little Sapphire.”
MATT: “Captain, what was your actual name?”
MATT: “Captain Fjord. What’ll it be?”
TRAVIS: It’s actually Captain Tusktooth, but– (clears throat)
MATT: “We’ll stick with Fjord.”
TRAVIS: Cornelius, what say you in this highly delicate matter?
TALIESIN: I don’t know, I’ve got some very specific burial needs, if we’re actually going to go that way.
[laughter and cheering]
TALIESIN: I’m unhappy with everything at the moment. I would really like to negotiate some base points of this deal.
MATT: At the moment you say this, you feel this cold sensation in the back of your skull as one of the cocked rifles is now pressed up against the base of the head.
TALIESIN: Do I know what a rifle is?
MATT: You have a no idea.
LAURA: You know what a co–
TALIESIN: Ah, that’s cold. (laughs) Oh, that’s really cold. Oh, ooh.
MATT: She goes, “There is no negotiation. I’m sorry, but the choice you make now, that is–”
TRAVIS: That is not necessary. We would absolutely love to prove our loyalty in your service.
SAM: I would say this, though. Just as a curious tourist, if you were to kill us you would not find the location of the item.
MATT: “Well, based on the fact that you brought yourselves this far to tell me that you have it, I would assume that it’s somewhere either on your ship across the way that I currently am in possession of, or it’s on your person, so we could rummage through your bodies to find it afterwards.”
MARISHA: How far would that rummaging entail? Just curious how far you would look.
LAURA: Have you ever seen The Fifth Element?
LAURA: It’s a really popular play, I don’t…
MATT: “I’m afraid I’m not as involved in the arts as some, perhaps.” She puts her hand up and raises her fingers twice, and you feel the pressure of the barrel back off, and all the guns eventually, they stay trained on you, but they pull back a bit and go lax a little bit. “Do you agree?”
SAM: We don’t have a choice, so yes, yes.
TRAVIS: It’s a resounding yes, of course.
MATT: “Well then, Mighty Nein, welcome to the Squalleater.” (claps) All the guns pull back a bit. Everyone stays present, and they’re keeping an eye on you. As much as this agreement has happened, there’s still a sense of careful watchfulness from the crew, but Avantika seems to drop that intensity and reaches forward a hand to shake yours.
SAM: Do we pick our quarters first? Or do we get assigned roles? Or is there a uniform that we need to wear?
TALIESIN: Does the yogurt come before or after? Really looking forward to that.
MATT: “If you’re hungry, there are plenty of fruits that have dropped from the trees on the island. First order of business, some of my men are going to work to begin repairing my other ship. In the meantime, you relax, bring your things aboard. I would like to question some of you about what you know.”
TRAVIS: By all means.
LIAM: Hey guys, let’s steal a boat. It’ll be so much fun.
MATT: As the captain turns to the older woman who accompanied you and goes, “Vera. Let me introduce you to your charges for the evening.”
TRAVIS: Oh, Jesus!
LIAM: Caleb died!
LAURA: Which one of us was shot?! Caduceus has been shot!
SAM: Sorry, guys. We’ve never been on stage before. It’s a learning curve. We’ll figure it out.
MATT: The captain, “I will return in just a little bit, but in the meantime, Vera can answer your questions. Don’t do anything stupid.”
MATT: “Good.” The captain steps down into her quarters, and Vera approaches and looks you all over with a very intense glare. “All right, so. Welcome. Are you hungry?”
SAM: Always, yes, of course.
TRAVIS: Yeah yeah.
MATT: “With me.” She turns around and begins to leave. You begin to see in the distance another boat. One of the boats that you guys had taken to the ship has made its way in the direction of The Mistake. What would you like to do while you’re here on the ship?
TRAVIS: I’ll make my way over to Janet– Yasha and take her by the arm and say, you okay with this?
ASHLEY: Well I don’t know if I trust her, or what she wants with the sphere. Maybe you should ask her if she knows what it does?
TRAVIS: If I ask her about it. Let her know that I don’t know anything.
TRAVIS: Oh, you don’t think she’d believe me?
LAURA: Well, what if one of us asked her what it does? Like you won’t tell us or something.
MARISHA: Yeah, yeah.
TRAVIS: That’s a fine idea. Yeah, like I hoard the information?
LAURA: Yeah. I like that you brought Yasha aside and then all of us just–
TALIESIN: Jumped right in.
LAURA: Sorry, I couldn’t help but hear what you–
TRAVIS: Very small ship. Yeah. Work your magic.
LAURA: Okay. We’re going to ask Avantika if she will tell us.
SAM: If she’ll tell us?
LAURA: Yeah, because he won’t.
SAM: But why would she tell us?
LAURA: Because we’re very charming.
SAM: We are that. That’s true.
TALIESIN: How long are we going to hold these disguise?
LAURA: Well, I think I look really good, so as long as it lasts.
TALIESIN: All right.
LAURA: Then I might make my dress like this permanently, ‘cause of how sexy I am.
LIAM: Are we off on our own a little bit from everyone training guns upon us?
MATT: They’re still watching you. You’re still on the deck, but you have some time to discuss or anything you want to do.
TRAVIS: Not making any movements to move the ship, it’s just staying?
MATT: At the moment, nothing.
LIAM: What is our plan here? I’m trying to move my lips as little as possible. We go with this for the time being? Then when the moment is right, we get away? Or are we just pirates now?
MARISHA: I second that question.
TRAVIS: Yeah, I third that question. So what I have worked out is that we have what she needs, we got to try and find out as much as we can about why she wants it and what it does, where does she want it for herself or is she taking it somewhere. That’s about all I got.
MARISHA: Well, I want to figure out if she’s just another matchmaker or keeping it for herself if that is a thing.
TRAVIS: Yeah. Oh shit, is Marius LePual back on the other ship?
MARISHA: Aw, we forgot Marius!
TRAVIS: That poor bastard. Oh shit, our fucking tortle!
MARISHA: We’re not leaving though, we’re not leaving anywhere. They’re going to fix that ship.
TRAVIS: They better not sink!
LAURA: No, she said we could go back and get our things. They’re our things.
TALIESIN: They need to crew that ship.
TRAVIS: I like Orly. Yeah, okay.
LIAM: I would warrant a guess that we are stuck here for the time being, but I think at a certain point we are going to want to go, and if that happens, all of you, if you see a window in which we can get away, tell Nott or myself, and we will start a snow chain.
TRAVIS and TALIESIN: A what?
LIAM: We will tell our friends that it’s time to get out of here. Just find you or me, and we spread it quickly, so we don’t leave anyone behind like we almost fucked off without Caduceus, from the docks.
LAURA: Sorry again about that.
TALIESIN: No, that’s okay. I wasn’t that worried.
TRAVIS: Fair enough. I feel like we can make some ground without fighting if we have to, I feel like we can find out what we need and maybe slip away, I think that’s a great idea.
MARISHA: Well, okay, but still, why would we run if we don’t know what this thing is inside of you? I’m assuming you want it out of you, right?
TRAVIS: No, I kind of fucking like it, actually.
MARISHA: So we just need information and then we run?
TALIESIN: Well, they’re also fixing the ship. At some point, there’s two ships.
LAURA: So we’d steal both of them.
TALIESIN: That’s pretty cool.
TRAVIS: How about, in the meantime, keep an eye on the people around right? Watch what they’re doing. The things they’re doing on the mast. Rigging, right? Try and familiarize yourself with working a boat.
MARISHA: Shit, we’re supposed to learn from these people?
TRAVIS: If you can.
LIAM: I think for the time being, we are in fact pirates, and that Fjord, you’re absolutely correct, learn as much as possible, and when the opportunity is right we leave, but for now, we have to swiff them, they are our new best buddies.
TRAVIS: Sure, yeah, our partners.
LAURA: Captain Tusktooth.
TRAVIS: Yes, Sapphire?
LAURA: Could you maybe make some more of those Idiot’s Guides and spread them around through the rest of us?
TRAVIS: More of the what?
LAURA: Those guides that you made, the sailing guides.
TRAVIS: This is mine. I earned this. And it’s not actually in the game!
MATT: Within a short time of you guys having this conversation, Vera returns to the deck of the ship and goes, “The captain would like you to please join her in the quarters below, please.”
LAURA: All of us?
TRAVIS: It’ll be our pleasure.
MATT: You guys follow Vera down below to the dark, and it takes a second for your eyes to adjust going from the bright daylight to the darker quarters in the deck below, but you’re led to the captain’s quarters, this beautiful open room with a mismatched patchwork of old carpets that have all been laid over each other from various designs from around Exandria. There’s a desk that has a bunch of carve marks into it, there’s some papers laid out, and there you can see Avantika, sitting with her legs up on the desk, currently eating on some sort of a tropical fruit, watching you all enter with a bit of a grin on her face. “Please, fill the space.”
TRAVIS: Yeah, mind if we partake of your beautiful spread here? Is there food in this bitch?
MATT: Make a perception check.
MATT: Yes actually, on the right side of the room, there is a small pack of freshly collected tropical fruits, there’s some nuts, a cheese that’s been designed for longer travel and will keep well. “By all means, please.”
TRAVIS: That’s a candle, that’s a candle! Stop eating the candle.
TALIESIN: Paring knife.
TRAVIS: No, put it back.
SAM: It’s a candle bar.
MATT: The doors close behind you, but before the doors close, all the rest of the crew that were armed are essentially right nearby waiting to storm in at any given point in time.
TRAVIS: Outside the door?
MATT: Right outside the door.
TRAVIS: Is it essentially us and the captain?
MATT: It’s just you and the captain, from what you can tell. It’s just you guys.
MARISHA: Are there like portcullis windows? Is that– no? Are there windows?
MATT: You see a couple of windows and a doorway behind her that leads to a balcony that looks out the back of the ship.
MARISHA: Does she have papers and shit everywhere?
MATT: You see a couple of papers. Actually, you see a familiar-looking map.
MATT: Akin to what you guys were supposed to have last week, but the mail service decided not to have it. We have the map of the Menagerie Coast and another map that has a similar layout to what you found mostly burned in The Mist. As well as a few other pieces of paper that appear to be tucked away into portions of the desk.
MARISHA: While they’re having a conversation, I want to do a scan and see if I can see any floorboards that look like they can be popped up, maybe marks on the floor from chests, anything that looks like it could be a secret compartment.
MATT: Make an investigation check. Actually, this would be a perception check. It’s just a glance, but it’s going to be a higher DC. Investigation, you’d have to actually physically rummage through the room, so make a perception check.
LIAM: Also glancing around for books.
MATT: Both of you make a perception check.
MARISHA: Yep, that’s balls, big balls. Fjord-size balls.
MATT: You rolled balls?
MATT: Going to get you a d20, that instead of a one, it has a pair of balls. Right there, yeah. An eight? The room looks pretty solidly made, and the floorboard, while there are scuffs to it, there’s nothing that gives you the idea that there would be any hidden compartment or any sort of small cubby that would be out of view. What’d you get?
LIAM: Big 11.
MATT: You do see two books that are laying on the shelf to your left amongst a set of candles. There’s a small lantern. You see a set of navigation tools that are barely poking out of a small wooden box. Yeah, there are two books there. You can’t quite see the binder, or if there is anything written on the sides. It’s pretty plain-bound. Anyways, the door’s closed. The captain looks to you and goes, “All right, so now that you’ve agreed to become our friend, I would like to see the first test of you proving your loyalty. You have this item I require? You have it here? Where is it?”
SAM: It’s very dangerous. Before we tell you anything about it, we want to make sure that you know how to handle it.
MATT: (laughs) “Little goblin girl, trust me. I have a decent idea of what I’m doing.”
SAM: A decent idea? We’ve seen it do things, scary things. We’ve seen someone melt while touching it.
MATT: Make a deception check.
SAM: That’s a 12. Oh, minus three. A nine.
MATT: She goes– *nein*– “Oh my goodness, that sounds terrible. Well, obviously we cannot have you touching it, then.”
TRAVIS: If you don’t mind my asking–
MATT: “Please, cut through the bullshit for me, please, Captain Fjord.”
MATT: “Will you tell me if I call you Tusktooth?”
MATT: “Then, Captain Tusktooth, please tell me.”
MARISHA: Don’t fall for it, don’t fall for it. She’s trying to use them titties. Don’t fall for it.
TRAVIS: I know. If I could, you seem so anxious. When was the last time the item was in your possession? I’m so excited to reunite you with it. I feel like if you tell us your story, we’ll share in that sense of triumph.
MATT: “Respectfully, you’re not in a position, once again, to negotiate. You tell me and I’ll tell you, a little back and forth. Honestly, the one who has to prove their loyalty right now is not myself.”
TRAVIS: You’re correct. I have it on very good authority that an island that is surrounded by the Deeprow Reef is housing the item you seek.
MATT: “I wonder how it found its way there?” Make a deception check.
MATT: “You know precisely where it lies in the reef?”
TRAVIS: I do.
MATT: “Show me, and she pushes forward the map, the same similar map to what you were given.” You have it with you?
TRAVIS: I do. Fuck, I picked the one reef that doesn’t have any goddamn islands. She doesn’t know that, and I’m not saying this out loud.
MARISHA: Secret island.
TRAVIS: Yeah, yeah. Oh, uncharted islands! Let’s not do that.
TRAVIS: If you make your way to the Deeprow Reef, right off the shores of Vide Cay, you’ll find an unguarded, old, ruined fort. There the item is being protected and held.
MATT: “So you stole my ship and came all this way to tell me that this item was not in your possession and is another place. Why were you coming to the island? I’m very confused.”
TRAVIS: Well, you see, Marquis LePual let us know that you were in dire need of it, and that there was heavy coin and glory in its delivery. Now, as you can see, I lost my original crew and found these bunch of fuckwits. You see, I do owe them a little bit of coin for their trouble, and I sure would hate to leave them empty-handed. Plus I want to see what happens when you’re reunited with your treasure.
MATT: “Well, first off, *Marius* LePual is merely a bullshit messenger, but I’m glad at least he could bring you to us. Is that all you know about the actual sphere?”
MATT: She’s looking right into you, lids half-closed, this dagger stare of trying to read any sort of give.
TRAVIS: Captain, I hope you understand that this is not my first rodeo. If I were to tell you everything that I know right now, why would you need me alive?
MATT: “Very well, let’s trade a bit. The object I have not seen before, but I know of it and am hoping to bring it to this island for a purpose. I had recently hired an individual known as Jamedi Cosko, a very well-established adventurer, delver of dungeons. Cosko is a–” Not Costco.
TRAVIS: That’s what I heard.
MARISHA: That’s what I heard, too.
MATT: C-O-S-K-O, Cosko.
TRAVIS: Great pizza place.
MARISHA: Yeah, you can get your crew in bulk.
TRAVIS: No, no, no, take it easy!
MATT: “To spend a few days across the jungles of the island to see what there is to be found there. You see, this object, this sphere, it needs to return. There is a temple in there that is from long ago, and has been since refitted by its current denizens. Something at the very bottom of that temple requires to be reunioned, reunited with this thing I seek. So–”
LAURA: What is it, at the bottom of the temple?
MATT: “Does the name Uk'otoa mean anything to you?”
TRAVIS: It sure as fuck doesn’t. Could you say that again slower?
LIAM: Yeah, I’m sorry, you have a very thick accent. Sometimes it is–
LIAM: I’m losing a couple of things here and there, no offense.
MATT: She throws a quick dagger in the direction of Caleb that drags the cheese from his hand and sticks to the wall.
LIAM: Was I eating cheese?
MATT: You were.
LIAM: My perception is so low!
TRAVIS: Stay away from the captain’s cheese!
LIAM: I thought that was a metaphor.
MARISHA: That was a triple-aged Gouda!
LAURA: No, but really, what did you say? What was the name?
MATT: Uk'otoa. Spelled U-K apostrophe O-T-O-A. “Uk'otoa, the great leviathan.”
MARISHA: Gate of the leviathan?
MATT: “The great leviathan.”
MARISHA: Oh, the great leviathan!
TRAVIS: Do you know what that means?”
LIAM: I have a good sense of it!
MARISHA: It’s a fucking leviathan!
TRAVIS: I don’t know what the fuck that means!
SAM: It’s in your book!
MATT: Her eyes are trained on Fjord as she says this. “Well, you see, I am the chosen of Uk'otoa.” She pulls the scarf down from under her neck, and in the sternum, there is a tattoo of an eye.
MARISHA: Wait, what tattoo was it? You’re Uk'otoa?
TRAVIS: No, she is the chosen of–
MARISHA: You’re the chosen of Uk’o– sorry. The sound–
MATT: “You see, this great serpent once ruled the Lucidian Ocean.”
TRAVIS: (high-pitched) Serpent?
MATT: Your reactions are killing me, Travis. “Shortly after the Calamity washed this land clean and Zehir, the Cloaked Serpent god, was banished long away, one of his greatest creations was left to rule this ocean: Uk'otoa.”
LAURA: (whispering) Uk'otoa!
MATT: “The indigenous people of this series of islands, the Swavain Islands, called the Ki'Nau, were granted the blessing of Uk'otoa.”
LAURA: (whispering) Uk'otoa!
MATT: “Nothing and no one could stand before them. However, the surviving worshipers of this once-powerful god, now banished, grew jealous, and sealed him beneath the rocky depths of the ocean, defaced the temples built in their name. I will bring him back, and with their blessing, these seas will be mine. Let me tell you, you’ve put in with the proper lot.”
TRAVIS: So say we all. Yeah.
MATT: She puts the scarf back up to hide the tattoo. “So I’ve shown you mine. You show me yours.”
LIAM: Caleb is in the background, pulling cheese from the wall.
LAURA: Are we all supposed to get naked now? I don’t–
MATT: She doesn’t flinch.
TALIESIN: Actually, if we’re going to be getting ready for some trouble, I better change into my trouble gear, if we’re going there. I’m going to drop Disguise Self.
MATT: Which puts your head pretty much right into the top.
TALIESIN: I try not to frighten people, but I figure if we’re getting messy–
MATT: “I love this color palette.”
TALIESIN: Thank you so much. I really like this whole room. I think you’ve done a really good job with it. This is great.
MATT: Back to Fjord.
TRAVIS: Just a moment.
MARISHA: You have some secret tattoos that we haven’t seen yet?
SAM: Fjord, maybe we should come clean and form an actual partnership with this person. If we keep lying to her, we’re going to lose.
TRAVIS: Nott, I’m pretty sure you’re not playing this out all the way. That shit’s in my body, okay?
LAURA: You guys, you realize she’s standing right here.
SAM: We’re whispering.
MARISHA: We’re stage whispering.
LAURA: I turn around and I start dancing to distract her from what we’re doing.
MATT: “Yes?” Make a performance check.
LAURA: Oh wait, oh my god, that’s good. 20.
MATT: You can tell the captain’s, “Yes?” but is also peeking out of the corner of her eye at this strange display.
MARISHA: Hold on, let’s take advantage of this. Is there anything else we need to talk about?
LIAM: Well, clarifying question, did Avantika just watch Fjord yell at Nott, “That shit is in my body”?
MARISHA: No, no, no.
LIAM: I want to know.
MATT: You don’t know if she’s heard it, but you guys are in a very enclosed space and she sees you all deliberating about something that you’re all deciding whether or not to reveal. She’s not like, “Oh, everything’s fine.” She knows something’s up and she’s waiting for someone to come out with it.
MARISHA: How can you be certain that you’re the only chosen one of Uk'otoa?
TRAVIS: Bless you.
SAM and LAURA: (whispering) Uk'otoa.
TRAVIS: Did you all do that together?
TALIESIN: Slow but there.
MATT: “Well, I’m not certain, but I’m the one who has the dreams.”
TRAVIS: The dreams?
MARISHA: Do you see why we did that?
SAM: Okay, she said dreams. She had a dream.
LAURA: You have wet dreams, you have wet dreams, too!
SAM: You do, you have dreams!
TRAVIS: I have dreams.
SAM: You have dreams!
MATT: This big smile curls across her face, and you watch her go a little flushed. She goes, “What kind of dreams?”
MARISHA: Do you often wake up vomiting salt water? Do you have wet dreams?
[laughter and cheering]
MARISHA: You don’t have to be embarrassed.
LIAM: You beat me to that by like 0.2346 seconds.
SAM: She beat you to the wet dream?
MATT: She looks a little confused, but says, “No. Unlike some, I can hold my brine.”
TRAVIS: She’s not looking at me, right? I’m a (vocalizing). You have dreams? I’ve had dreams of being deep underwater. There’s a giant eye that sees me. I hear a voice speaking to me, but I can’t reply. Does that ring any bells?
MATT: Her smile grows wider. “So Uk'otoa has spoken to you as well.”
TALIESIN: What are we supposed to be doing?
SAM: (whispering) Uk'otoa.
MATT: “Perhaps it was not some strange coincidence you found your way here then, Fjord?”
TRAVIS: Perhaps not. Perhaps this is destiny. I must tell you, I am very eager to see what this leads to. I haven’t been entirely honest.
The item you seek does not lie on Vial Coa– what the fuck was it called? Vide Cay. It does not reside there. I have it protected in an alternate dimension. I’ll use Minor Image to show the sphere, and make it disappear.
MATT: All right.
TRAVIS: If we can work together, I would like to accompany you to this temple you speak of. I would like to see it find its resting place.
MARISHA: Also, we’re not some dumbass crew we hired. We totally murdered all of your guys, so.
SAM: You know what the craziest part is? We don’t really know why we did it.
SAM: We’re *loco*.
MATT: Avantika is– it’s almost a palpable passion behind her. The excitement and adrenaline is pumping through her body, and you can see her now leaning forward in her seat. Her feet are off the desk and her hands are grasping the sides of it in her gloves. She’s looking across, most of you, but focused on Fjord, and says, “Well, I’m very curious to see where this leads as well. Then perhaps let us stay the night onboard. Let’s wait for Jamedi to return, if he’s plotted out the course to this temple.”
TRAVIS: If who’s plotted out the course to the temple, who?
MATT: “Jamedi Cosko.”
MATT: “If this is indeed the kismet you speak of, what better way to prove your loyalty to me and my ship than to be the ones to go into this temple with me?”
LIAM: Yeah, absolutely, this is an advantageous moment for all of us. If we can help you and your hentai cult achieve your goal–
We’ll all come out as winners. This is true if my name is Philip.
SAM: It is.
MATT: She looks around to the rest of you, claps her hands twice. The door opens behind and Vera enters. “Captain, you summoned?” She looks about to the rest of you in the chamber and turns to her and goes, “Please clear out some quarters for our guests. Tell Zoen and Waldok to sleep on the deck tonight. Give them comfortable rooms and bedding. Please, keep a close eye for Jamedi. Any day now, I can feel it. We are very close.”
MARISHA: Jamedi, is that Cosko? Is Jumanji–?
MATT: That’s Cosko, yes.
LIAM: Yes, Jumanji Costco, clear as day.
TRAVIS: Oh no, no, no!
MARISHA: He makes a note every time.
LIAM: The tradition continues!
MATT: Somewhere the spirit of Purvan sits next to Vax'ildan, looking down and going, “Come on!” Vera nods and looks a bit curious. “Well then, follow me. I’ll lead you to your chambers as the captain wishes.” She looks confused and taken aback by this sudden burst of generosity. What are you guys doing? Do you follow?
SAM: Yeah. Absolutely.
LAURA: I shove a bunch of the fruit in my pockets on the way out. I shove a bunch of fruit in my pockets on the way out, is that better?
MATT: There you go.
TRAVIS: As we turn to leave the cabin, the captain’s quarters, a quick look of anything that looks like info about where this temple is, in case she decides to fucking slit our throats in the middle of the night.
MATT: Make a perception check.
MARISHA: Come on.
TRAVIS: Ugh, a ten.
MATT: You don’t see any indication of the temple or anything, but you see now above the door as you’re exiting, there is a small shelf. You can see a tiny little black iron shrine that looks to be an ouroboros serpent that’s eating its own tail. About every inch or so, there’s an eye across the length of its body. In the center of it you see a single metal sphere with a similar cloven line down the center of it.
LIAM: Also, if we’re leaving the chamber and there were all those people outside with the Percy sticks–
MATT: Below deck, a lot of them have put the rifles away and they have their hands on the side of their various cutlasses and longswords and shortswords.
LIAM: Yeah, if there’s any out, maybe there’s not, but the thing I’m going to do leaving is to try to subtly get a good look at size, what I think they are capable of.
MATT: Roll an intelligence check. You can definitely instantly with your feat, the DM’s bane feat.
MATT: You get a quick glance at it. From a superficial level, you have a good idea of how it looks. You’re not entirely certain of the components required.
LIAM: Can I see at least, is it this or this?
LAURA: It depends, is it a fully-cocked rifle, or–
MATT: You see about three of them are longer barrels. They’re a two-handed piece. There are a handful that are a simple– Laura Bailey, ladies and gentlemen.
TRAVIS: Everybody drink, yeah Laura!
TALIESIN: Sorry, sorry, sorry.
MATT: A few of them that have some sort of a flintlock. One of them has a multi-barrel spinning piece.
LIAM: Oh, okay.
MATT: Familiar to some.
TALIESIN: Strange to others.
MATT: Is there anything else you guys wish to do as you’re being led to the chambers?
MARISHA: Is he saying that like we’re supposed to be doing something?
MATT: No. As you walk and you are led, Vera tells two of the various deckhands to grab their shit and leave for the night. They confusedly do so and look a bit put out by it, but you guys are led to these two chambers that are more comfortable than at least the area you slept in The Mistake.
TRAVIS: As we’re moving through, can we clock sort of what’s being kept on the ship? Are there cells, are there barrels, are there packages of things?
MATT: That would be down in the cargo hold, which you’ve not been led to. You guys are currently on the main upper decks now. You’re led to your chambers. There are still guards posted on the outside. There isn’t a complete trust in this regard, but it’s not having weapons trained on you the entirety of your stay now, at least.
TRAVIS: Did we previously see what the flag they were flying was and what it looked like? I can’t remember.
MATT: You didn’t pay a very close attention to it, but you can go and check if you’d like.
TRAVIS: Can we do that now?
MATT: Sure. You head up to it and the flag actually is an exact, or is close to a replica of the tattoo that she has on her sternum.
TALIESIN: (impressed whistling)
TRAVIS: That fucking eye.
SAM: The guards posted at our door, do they have guns or just like knives and stuff?
SAM: Oh, both!
MATT: They have blades sheathed for close combat. You know, when you’re below deck, generally you want shorter blades and things that are good for close quarters. The firearms are more for if they have to do something at a distance.
LIAM: So most everyone here is packing, then.
MATT: You’ve seen at least seven or eight of the crew with some form of firearm. Their make, from a quick glance, you saw a lot of their make and construction varies. They seem to have been plucked from different sources.
LAURA: Captain Tusktooth?
LAURA: Doesn’t your weapon have an eyeball on it?
TRAVIS: It does.
LAURA: That’s cool.
TRAVIS: But I don’t want her to know that.
LAURA: Oh, but– Oh! because she would also swallow, so she would know that her weapon would have it.
TRAVIS: I can’t know that for sure, but I know that as soon as she has it, there’s very little reason to keep us around.
TRAVIS: Would you mind telling me, did you feel anything coming from the captain?
TALIESIN: Like what? I don’t really–
TRAVIS: Well, I don’t know. You seem to make these strange comments about how people feel and stuff. I’d have thought maybe you were like a mind-reader.
TALIESIN: I was really just listening for that word because I wanted to play the speak along game. I wasn’t really paying that much attention, I’m so sorry. I got a little distracted in there. That was really fun, though.
LAURA: Yeah, it was a fun game.
SAM: Yeah, it was.
TRAVIS: Let’s pay attention next time, shall we? Cool.
SAM: Fjord, if I may. I’m sorry, Captain Tusktooth, if I may, when we find this Uk'otoa–
LAURA and TALIESIN: (whispering) Uk'otoa.
SAM: You have this thing inside of you, is your goal to get rid of the thing inside of you, to commune with it, to bow down and serve this monster?
LAURA: Or are you going to become like a god or something?
LIAM: I feel like we are learning a lot about you right now, and not from you. Are we alone?
MATT: It’s funny you ask that question.
SAM: I thought we were in our chamber.
MATT: No, you’re in your chamber. You’re alone, but you don’t know how thick these walls are. You know there are people stationed right outside of your door.
LAURA: Can I look around and see if there’s any peepholes in the walls or anything?
MATT: Make an investigation check.
TRAVIS: Oh, good call.
MATT: You take a moment to glance around the space and feel along the walls. You don’t notice anything that catches your attention.
LIAM: I pull out the wire in view of everyone, and cover my hands and say to Fjord: Is there anything that you maybe want to tell us about that you haven’t already?
TRAVIS: I mean–
SAM: Wait! Before you talk out loud, can’t you use your magic to make some sound or something to muffle what’s happening in here?
LAURA: Um, no.
SAM: Okay, good. Go on.
LAURA: Wait, wait! Caleb, what if you use your anti-sink bubble?
LIAM: Well, I would have to ask the DM. I don’t know about this. That bubble, I don’t know if it is soundproof at all because I just got that spell.
MATT: Let me check. I do not believe it is.
LIAM: I don’t think it is.
MATT: But I will check real fast while I’m here.
LAURA: I can use Thaumaturgy to make it sound like there’s ominous whispers all around.
SAM: Yeah, that would, that’s good.
TALIESIN: Actually, if we both do that, maybe it’s like going to be white noise.
SAM: Yeah, it’ll be like a white noise machine.
LAURA: Can we create white noise?
MARISHA: Yeah, white noise.
SAM: Yasha can fall asleep.
MATT: It prevents creatures from entering and exiting, outside of the ones that you choose, but it does not shift, alter, or stop any sound passage.
LIAM: Yeah, I would–
MARISHA: That means everyone heard Beau and Keg bone, is what you’re saying.
TRAVIS: Well, if–
LIAM: Well, you were upstairs, so only if you’re screamers.
LAURA: Well, some of us actually saw it.
MARISHA: It’s a good night.
TRAVIS: No shame.
MARISHA: No shame. No regrets.
LAURA: Can Caduceus and I use our Thaumaturgy to make ominous whispers all around us so that it’s like white noise so that we can whisper inside?
LAURA: Yeah, that’s what we do. Constantly. We’ll trade off so it’s like–
TALIESIN and LAURA: (whispering) Krakatoa. Krakatoa.
TALIESIN: All my whispers are just saying that in different pitches.
MATT: Right, okay. I’ll allow it.
LAURA: All of mine are just playing the penis game.
TRAVIS: I’ll tell you what I know, and that’s that I see visions, sometimes, it’s been a long time since. There’s a giant eye, and I hear a voice speaking to me. I don’t know where it comes from, and I don’t know where I am, if it’s the past or my future. But I feel like it happened that night when the ship exploded, and before I found myself on the shore with the sword. I feel like those things are all connected. When I saw the sphere, it reminded me of that eye.
LIAM: You have, I’m speaking very quietly amongst Jester’s whispers.
TRAVIS: I am, too.
LAURA: (whispering) Penis, penis, penis.
LIAM: You have been having–
TALIESIN: Krakotoa, Krakotoa, Krakotoa.
LIAM: This is an ongoing dream that you have been having?
TRAVIS: I wouldn’t say ongoing. It’s happened like three or four times.
MATT: Yeah, sure.
TRAVIS: Sure, three or four times. Three.
LIAM: Three or four times, you have had a dream with a thing that has a giant eye like the one on your sword, and like the inner motifs of this woman’s office?
MARISHA: You know, there were several eyes in that ouroboros.
MARISHA: I wonder if that’s how many other chosen ones there are.
LAURA: Oh my god, what if there’s that many other eyeballs? You can like, swallow them all, and then you become like ultra powerful.
TRAVIS: Or I can summon the dragon.
LAURA: I think you get a wish!
TRAVIS: I have been having them, but I wouldn’t think to comment on them because they’re just fucking dreams.
LIAM: Yeah, okay. Were you able to summon a scary transparent tentacles before that explosion on the boat and those dreams happened?
MARISHA: Yeah, that shit ain’t dreams, man.
LIAM: Were you vomiting seawater before you had those dreams? Or making a sword come out of the palm of your hand before that explosion?
TRAVIS: Not to my knowledge.
LIAM: No judgements here, but is it safe to say that you have been under-sharing with us?
MARISHA: I don’t know, he’s told us all that before.
LIAM: Every single thing?
MARISHA: Yeah, I think so.
TRAVIS: Did I? No, you’re right, I have under-shared, and I’m sorry. I just didn’t think it was relevant.
LIAM: Seems pretty relevant.
TRAVIS: Well yeah, fucking now.
MARISHA: Well look, I mean, Jester gets visited by the Traveler.
LAURA: I do.
MARISHA: Yasha, has thunder–
ASHLEY: Dreams and visions. I do.
MARISHA: She has dreams and visions, maybe you guys are just special or whatever the fuck they tell people.
TRAVIS: Yeah, Yasha, I mean, do you vomit after you talk to the thunder?
ASHLEY: I only vomit if something upsets my stomach. So I don’t wake up from dreams or visions vomiting anything.
TRAVIS: Me, neither, it happened one time, so.
TRAVIS: Just the once.
TRAVIS: Look, I feel like if we can get on land, at least, and some sort of landing party, we’ll have a better shot. Nott, you’re terrified of the water. I mean, we’re on unfriendly ground. I don’t mind trying to slip away or forcing our way out of this situation, but I sure would like a resolution and at least a better place to stage some sort of action than on an enemy boat.
SAM: What the–?
TRAVIS: Ship. Ship, it’s a ship.
TALIESIN: How many, how many, how many?
TRAVIS and TALISIN: Three masts.
TRAVIS: Mizzenmast, mainmast, foremast, I got it, ha ha ha!
SAM: But our goal right now is not to run away, right?
LIAM: Yes, this was my next question. I, personally, was thinking about getting the hell out of here, but.
SAM: We’re here for Fjord.
LIAM: We are here for you, and you want to understand what is happening to you.
TRAVIS: No, I just want to know where the temple is. I don’t care if these people die.
SAM: No, but thing inside of you–
TRAVIS: No, yeah, no that’s what I meant. I know you want to leave, I do as well, but we need to play this game a little longer, yeah?
LIAM: Yeah, I think we are, you know, we’re friends. I think we’re trying to figure out where we–
SAM: Caleb! We’re friends, don’t say it like that. Don’t say we’re friends, like a question. It’s downward, we’re friends.
LIAM: We are friends.
TRAVIS: That’s back up.
SAM: That was a question, it’s a down.
LIAM: Addendum: now we are friends with a giant squid being with a giant eye, so I’m just trying to–
TRAVIS: Where’d the squid come from?
LIAM: Ouroboros, giant eyes, lots of tentacles.
TRAVIS: I heard serpent and leviathan. Is leviathan a giant squid?
MARISHA: Well, no it’s like a serpent.
LIAM: I mean we’ve all read stories of sea creatures. I’m just vibing here, go with me. The point is–
SAM: The point is we’re here to support you in finding out what’s going on inside.
LAURA: In your heart.
SAM: What’s going on in your past, and if that means we have to go fight some shit, we’re with you, and if it means you say, “Let’s run,” we’ll run, but we got your back, big guy.
LIAM: That is the point.
MARISHA: I mean, look.
SAM: As long as I don’t have to swim.
MARISHA: Avantika seems like she’s had this gift and these visions for quite some time. Maybe you could learn something about yourself. Talk to her a little bit.
LAURA: (gasping) Does that mean she swallowed one, too? I mean, like really though, does she have one inside of her?
SAM: She might.
LAURA: (gasping) If there’s multiple ones. What if she has more than one, and she’s more powerful than you? (gasping)
SAM: How, how do we get to look at her belly? Should we go swimming, hope she wears a bikini and check for scars?
LAURA: What if I, what if I’m walking along and I fall, and I accidentally go like, on her stomach?
SAM: That’s not bad.
TRAVIS: I don’t know if you can feel–
LAURA: Lift your armor up, Fjord. I’ve been trying to find out for a long time if I can actually feel a lump.
SAM: Lift it up!
LAURA: This is important, I need to know.
TRAVIS: Yeah, I’m not comfortable doing that.
LIAM: I think we are past the point of secrets here.
LIAM: We need to know what is what.
LAURA: Exactly, I need to feel your abs.
MATT: Make a medicine check.
LIAM: Not straight charisma?
LAURA: Oh, I’m proficient! 18.
MATT: Having a fair understanding of the half-orc body, while Fjord is generally a little more lithe and trimmer than most more burly half orcs, still a decent build, but you don’t feel any particular strange lumps.
SAM: Maybe lower, go lower.
SAM: You know, the V.
TRAVIS: If you could be succinct, I’m a little fucking ticklish, okay?
MATT: You don’t feel anything, unfortunately.
LAURA: I don’t feel any lumps.
LIAM: The hunt for Fjord’s third ball continues.
TALIESIN: It’s technically fourth ball at this point, I think, isn’t it actually? Sorry, that’s the face I wanted.
TRAVIS: Are we okay to play this out, see how it goes, at least get on land and see if we can find this temple this crazy bitch talks about?
MARISHA: Hell yeah, man.
LAURA and SAM: Yeah, let’s do it.
MARISHA: Yasha, you look trepidatious.
ASHLEY: I feel like we should ask her more questions.
TRAVIS: Of her?
ASHLEY: Yeah, like maybe she knows if there are more spheres and how to find them, if they’re in the temple.
TRAVIS: Yeah, I think that’s–
SAM: Well she’s coming with us, right? We can ask her on the way.
SAM: Maybe, Yasha, you can intimidate her with your girth and darkness.
TALIESIN: No, that’s–
LAURA: And piercing eyes.
TALIESIN: This is not an intimidatable person. I mean, you can just look–
MARISHA: I disagree.
TALIESIN: I think, from what little I gleaned, I imagine vanity is the way to play this one.
TRAVIS: Vanity, you say?
TALIESIN: Yeah. I mean, some people just want to talk, and I think she just wants somebody to talk to. That’s the vibe I get.
MARISHA: Yeah, we did say we were going to get better at that.
SAM: Or, we can murder everyone on the boat!
TRAVIS: We’re trying to do less of that.
LIAM: Yeah, this is too simplistic, it could be both.
LIAM: For now, we are allies.
SAM: All right.
LIAM: For now, we work together to figure out his problem.
LIAM: If we have to eventually (throat croaking).
SAM: No, not you!
SAM: I mean yes, if you turn evil and bond with Rikatoa.
LAURA: (whispering) Krakatoa.
MARISHA: Chick ah, chick ah.
SAM: Is it night time now? Are we going to sleep?
MATT: It’s like late afternoon. It isn’t quite dusk yet, but whenever you want to. Essentially, you’re ready and prepared for an evening’s rest, we’ll go do that.
TRAVIS: Do it.
MATT: You go ahead and find yourselves settling in best you can for the evening’s rest. As–
SAM: I’m going to sneak down into the cargo hold.
MATT: Make a stealth check.
SAM: With my cloak on, so that’s an advantage-y thing?
MATT: With your cloak, yes.
SAM: Okay, stealth. 26.
MATT: I’m not even going to roll.
LIAM: Is that a stealth on all of us, too? You snuck out on us?
SAM: I probably told you that I would be right back. I had to go to the little girls’ room.
MATT: All right, for one thing, as soon as you, because there’s only one exit to the chamber.
MATT: There’s only one exit to the chamber. The door that leads out, as soon as you (door creaking) you see the guard is posted right there. You feel pretty quiet, and you’re pretty, you feel that you’re in the groove where you can get through pretty quickly without being seen, but you have to get past that one guard that you can see stationed right outside of the door.
SAM: Okay, I’ll use a spell, then. I’ll take a little bit of– I think it’s a cloth, fleece– as Caleb taught me, and I’ll create a Silent Image down the hall. Can I peek out the door a little bit?
MATT: I’ll say because of your stealth check, yes. You very carefully nudge the door open enough to get like an inch of viewing space between. That both reveals the guard and the hallway further down.
SAM: I’ll make it look like Cosko is walking by the hall. Then walks back.
SAM: Back again.
LIAM: Is it a guy in like a Costco T-shirt?
MATT: Keeping a tally.
SAM: Well, we’re in New York, I don’t know if they have Costco. Sam’s Club.
MARISHA: That’s good.
MATT: You create the image of him walking back and forth. The guard notices. (spluttering) Pats another guard that you don’t see on the upper side of the door. Guard’s like, “Is Cosko back? Go get the captain.” The other guy goes and walks away, and the other guy stands there nervously looking back and forth. “Jamedi?”
SAM: I’ll have Cosko moonwalk across the hall.
MATT: “Jamedi? Jamedi!” He goes and starts walking in that direction.
SAM: Okay, I’ll make my run away, my getaway. (trilling)
MATT: Okay, you get by, you get outside of the door. Are you running to the right or the left?
MATT: You run to the left. You go running down the hallway, and you’re now not that far behind the other guard, who was rushing off and heading up a small set of stairs that leads up to the captain’s quarters. You remember this before. You’re actually heading away from the cargo hold this way now. You’re heading up.
SAM: Oh. I don’t want to do that.
SAM: I’ll turn around and go the other way.
MATT: Okay, you go the other direction, and the guy who’s now walked up towards Cosko, towards Jamedi, is now rushing up to it and goes and is talking to him like, “Sir, hello?”
SAM: I’ll have Cosko, is there a stairs or a ladder near here?
MATT: Make a perception check.
SAM: Okay, oh, that’s a four.
MATT: You’re not sure, you see a couple of chairs, a card table that’s currently empty. You can see the hallway continues past where this illusion is happening.
SAM: Card table that’s currently empty? Cosko’s going to sit down at that card table and start dealing two hands.
TRAVIS: Oh my god.
MATT: As he does so, the guy’s like, “Jamedi, the captain will be right here– What?” Just looks really confused.
SAM: Is there a way to slip by?
MATT: Your stealth check, yes there is. You dart past.
SAM: Slip by the back, yeah.
MATT: Right at that moment you look over your shoulder, and you can see the captain is now heading down the hallway in your direction.
SAM: Okay, I’ll make the effect disappear.
MATT: He goes, “What? I don’t?”
SAM: Oh, but I’ll leave the effect of the cards still there.
MATT: You run to the end of the hallway. You see those stairs ascending down into the cargo hold below, and you hear over your shoulder, “And where is he?” “No, but Captain, he was right– Look at the cards.”
MATT: You hear the argument, and the guy desperately trying to explain what he just saw, as you disappear down into the cargo hold below.
SAM: I’m going to look around for boxes and interesting stuff. Bullets, black powder, any books.
LIAM: Also, in your ear, very quiet, you hear: Oh hey, is everything okay? Going well?
SAM: Ah yeah, just going number two! It’s going to be a while. That hardtack is hard coming out, too.
MATT: On the way down the stairs, there is another floor that is the gun deck, that you do pass by and you can see the back end of these large cannons that are all situated. They’re all angled up a little bit, but there are these doors that lead outward. There are a number of cannon balls, and some bits of black powder in small barrels, set up in that region. If you can continue down to the–
SAM: Sure, keep going. Looking for interesting stuff.
MATT: You head down to the cargo hold, and you see one source of lantern light. There is one of the various deckhands is down below, keeping watch. Has a single oil lantern on a crate. It is this small, handheld jug of some sort of, you assume, a liquor, and he’s sipping from it. Leaning back and stretching. Just keeping an eye out.
SAM: I will use Mage Hand, and he’s just got the one lantern down there?
MATT: Currently, yeah.
SAM: I will use Mage Hand to try to snuff out the flame.
MATT: Easy enough to do. (whoosh) Goes dark. “What?!”
SAM: I’ll keep going, using darkvision to look around and see things.
MATT: Okay, so you start making your way around. As you do, you start seeing sparks. Of a flint.
SAM: Oh, he’s trying to light it again.
MATT: He’s trying to relight the lantern. He’s like, “Ooh, fucking shit, stupid little lantern.” Make an investigation check if you wanted to look into the cargo hold.
SAM: All right, investigation, 22.
MATT: How thorough do you want this search to be? Because it’ll take you a while to go through the entire cargo hold.
SAM: Looking for interesting boxes. I don’t want to spend more than five minutes down here, if possible.
MATT: Okay, you’ll probably have to snuff the lantern one more time, and really frustrate the hell out of him.
SAM: Sure. Maybe I can, can I grab it out of his hand?
MATT: The flint?
SAM: Or the lantern?
SAM: Make him drop it?
MATT: Okay, all right. He lights the lantern, holds it up, and you knock it out of his hand?
MATT: Hold on a second, I got to make a roll here.
TRAVIS: We all go down in a blaze of glory.
MATT: There’s a lot of gunpowder on this ship.
SAM: Well, they shouldn’t be using candles, then!
MATT: Yeah, you’re fine.
TRAVIS: You fucking fuck.
MATT: The lantern hits the ground and tips over, and a little bit of oil spills out, but it doesn’t like scatter and ignite. He’s like, “Shit!” and he quickly goes and picks it back up again. While you’re investigating, the first couple crates you can get to without making any sort of noise that gets his attention, you can tell, you lift up the top ones. The first one you come to is filled with hardtack.
MATT: The second one you come to, a smell gets your attention immediately, and you lift it up, and it does have a similar smell to that gunpowder type material that you encountered on that pistol.
SAM: Are they in bags, pouches, boxes? Is it just loose?
MATT: You see small kegs that are currently closed off.
SAM: I’ll take a keg.
MATT: Okay, it’s about that big.
MATT: You’re going to pull it out, you got one.
SAM: Okay, next box.
MATT: Okay, he’s now picked up the lantern again because you’ve looked through two crates now.
SAM: Okay, shit. I’ll use that Mage Hand again. This time, I’ll unbuckle his belt.
MATT: He’s clutching that lantern with a death grip now, and is now scanning the room, and suddenly his pants (whoosh) to the ground. He’s like, “Whoa, shit!” and he’s reaching down with the other hand trying to pull it up, and he’s got like the lantern in one hand, his hand on the outside of the pants in the other. He’s tripping a bit and bumps into one of the crates. You manage to get to a third crate. You open it up and look inside, and it looks like it’s a bunch of coiled rope. It’s a lot of repair materials for the ship. There’s a thick tar-like substance. It’s probably used for some form of repairs.
SAM: Okay, well can I get to one more box?
MATT: Okay, he gets his pants up.
MATT: He’s now in the process of walking through the room. Is there anything else you’re going to do?
SAM: Ooh, I have things. I have things! I have some shards of shiny pottery. I will throw them across the room.
MATT: Make a dexterity check.
LAURA: Oh my god.
SAM: You said dexterity?
MATT: Yes. Something you’re good at.
MATT: Okay! It (whoosh) (clattering), the small shatter. The guy’s like, “Who goes there?” (grunting) He goes walking in that direction. You get one final crate that you get to. You pull it open. Looking inside, it looks to be– I’m sorry there isn’t a whole lot more to find, but most of the cargo here is food. You find a lot of an older set of fruit, maybe various things that were brought from their last destination. The smell immediately hits you, of like fermenting orange and other types of various sweet, or at least now sweet, and fermented fruit.
SAM: Yeah, I’ll grab some of that, too.
MATT: Okay. You quickly fill your pockets. It’s squishy to the touch. When they put it in there, it (squish) on the inside. You feel it, the cold wetness of it, spilling against your shirt. You get some pockets filled with fermented fruit.
SAM: Okay, so I got an armful of gunpowder.
SAM: Armful of rotting fruit.
SAM: That’s a success.
MATT: You make your way back?
SAM: I’m going to head back, yeah.
MATT: Okay, make another stealth check.
SAM: Oh boy, with advantage, I hope?
SAM: Not needed. 29.
MATT: That’s money well spent for you guys. Thank Mr. Pumat Sol for getting you that ability.
SAM: That’s right.
MATT: You make your way back. While this is happening, you guys can hear the argument outside from the other guards, and the captain lambasting them for pulling her out of her quarters, for telling ghost stories, and getting her excited that Jamedi had returned, when he actually hasn’t. Then they go quiet, you hear the footsteps come by your room, and the door opens. The captain looks inside and goes, “Captain Fjord, care to join me?”
TRAVIS: But of course.
MATT: “Right this way.” She walks and heads towards her quarters.
LIAM: Caleb’s Alarm spell is going, ding a ling a ling.
MATT: Yep. You follow her?
TRAVIS: I do.
MATT: As you follow the captain, quickly behind, Nott, you make your way into the chamber.
SAM: (quick footsteps)
MATT: Close the door behind you.
LAURA: Oh, what is that smell?
SAM: Oh, I got some old mango and papaya. These, I think they used to be oranges. I got this. This is a keg of black powder. It goes boom. It’s like a bomb.
SAM: Yeah. We can use it to blow shit up.
LAURA: That’s amazing. Are we going to blow up the ship?
SAM: We could. I found out that there’s lots of black powder downstairs. If we wanted to make a getaway or something, we could go in, set it off, blow it up. Everyone would die, yeah!
LIAM: Would you do me a favor, just as a rule, maybe keep that ten feet away from me, please?
SAM: Oh sorry, Caleb, yes. Of course.
LIAM: No, it’s useful, just you know, oil and water.
MARISHA: You are a walking hazard right now.
SAM: I just had the itch.
MARISHA: No, look, I’m not shaming you for that. I’m just saying maybe we should put the black powder in the haversack.
SAM: Oh, good idea.
LAURA: Oh yeah, give it to me, that’s smart.
MATT: There you go. While that’s happening, Fjord, you make your way to the captain’s quarters.
MATT: Walk behind and close the door. And that’s where we’re going to take a break.
TRAVIS: Oh, motherfucker!
SAM: I think we’re taking a break.
LAURA: We’ve got to figure out the code word.
MATT: We’ll be right back here in a few minutes. We’re going to take a quick break. Be patient, but yeah, we’ll see you here shortly, guys.
MATT: No giveaway, yeah.
BRIAN: All right, everybody find their seats. Everybody find their seats, please. Hey. That’s your seat? That looks very comfortable. No, I don’t want to watch that. (laughs) How you guys doing so far?
BRIAN: Man, this is fun. There’s trash. Oh no, these are– Oh, someone wrote a letter, how sweet. Okay, this is for Ashley. I thought Sam just threw shit off the table and, like, whatever else. Okay, let’s see. Oh no, that’s a subpoena. We’ll just put that there. All right, guys, I can’t hear what you’re saying. I’m so sorry. Later on tonight, I’ll think, “What was that, hmm?” Guys, before we bring the cast back out, we have a very special guest here tonight. This person is no bigger fan of the show or of you, the Critters, none other than the person who we have to thank for Mr. Sam Riegel, it’s Momlan.
BRIAN: Look at this. She’s got her dice bag. Oh my god.
LENORE: I’m ready to go here.
BRIAN: Say hi to everybody.
LENORE: Hi, everybody, I’m so excited to be here.
BRIAN: Momlan and I have been watching the show from upstairs, and it’s so much fun. Are you having a good time?
LENORE: I’m having the best time of my life.
BRIAN: Are you– yes! Are you so happy to see so many great Critters in your home of New York?
LENORE: I love all Critters, and I feel the love.
BRIAN: I love it. Okay, why don’t you welcome back the cast.
LENORE: Okay, great, wow, I’m glad to say this. Welcome back, the cast of Critical Role!
BRIAN: Okay, let’s go over here, and we’ll do that part over here.
BRIAN: Hmm, hmm, hmm. Okay, before we get started, Momlan told me backstage that you have a question that you’ve always wanted to ask Matt Mercer since you’ve been watching the show.
LENORE: Yes. I want to ask Matt a question. Matt.
LENORE: What time is it?
BRIAN: Let’s go, wait.
MATT: Only because it’s you.
BRIAN: What’s that?
MATT: (as McCree) It’s high noon.
BRIAN: Oh man. You’re welcome, New York! You’re welcome. Take a bow.
MATT: That was the Momlan free pass. Enjoy it while you can.
BRIAN: Oh man! I told you–
TRAVIS: Oh my god.
SAM: Are we back, are we on?
MATT: I believe we’re back.
SAM: Hey, before we go, can I just say, there was one special Critter here who got the farthest back seat in the entire theater, someone who is in balcony, row K, seat 32. If you look next to your seat, I left you a little present. That’s you, way back in the back corner right there, you.
LIAM: He shit under the chair.
SAM: Just look to the right of your seat, balcony row K, seat 32. Okay, good.
MATT: Look at this.
SAM: It’s the wrong person. It’s that person up there. They’ll never find it. It’s going to be found in like six years from now.
MATT: Look at this theater of beautiful faces. This is absolutely surreal.
TRAVIS and MATT: (groaning)
AUDIENCE MEMBER: We love you!
MATT: You guys are amazing. I love you too!
But it is not the time for loving. Well…
MATT: It is the time for Dungeons & Dragons.
LIAM: Why not both?
MATT: Picking up where we left off. Fjord.
SAM: They finally found it.
MARISHA: You got this.
MATT: You walk into the Captain’s chambers.
MATT: Closing the door behind you, it’s dark lit, the back door is open to the balcony out there, and you can hear the waves crash against the ship. There are a few candles lit in the room where they were before.
SAM: Bow bow bow!
MATT: The captain is standing in the doorway and looking out over the ocean, and as soon as the door closes behind, turns around and goes, “I would like to talk with you about how you’ve been reached out to, how you are touched by–”
SAM: Code word.
MATT: “This magnificent entity, Uk'otoa. There’s been a very long time since I’ve met anyone else chosen, so please, tell me how this happened.”
LIAM: Before this goes any further, because I’m fascinated–
LIAM: I would like to attempt to go into Frumpkin, the one-ounce elf owl, if possible.
MATT: Yep. Frumpkin is still up on the deck.
LIAM: Yeah, I remember where that room was, so Frumpkin is taking a little fly around.
MARISHA: (owl hooting)
SAM: It’s better when somebody’s watching.
MATT: Frumpkin goes and perches on the outer balcony of the Squalleater.
TRAVIS: Captain, I admit, I too am very encouraged to find someone that seems to have gone through the same sort of visions and trials that I have. You said it’s been a long time since you’ve met another chosen. Are you saying you’ve met previous? I found myself feeling I was the only one that was experiencing this vision.
SAM: (coughing) I thought you were going to say something else.
MATT: She leans her shoulder against the doorway, looking over at your eyes, distantly reaching for memories, and goes, “There has been one other. It’s been many years. This came to me through a series of unexpected–” You see her searching for the right words and says, “I’ve always considered myself a very lucky person. At first I thought this was a terrible portent, when this beautiful Uk'otoa spoke to me. It was a purpose that nobody else in Darktow was going on, and with that I began to gather my crew. It took a while, but each of them began to believe as well. All of them support, and when this is done, the blessing is high. Nay, he is unstoppable behind me as I am on the sea.”
TRAVIS: The blessing, you say? I haven’t heard speak blessing. I’ve heard words of encouragement. And your crew believes as you do?
MATT: “They have now, yes. I’ve read the books, I’ve looked up about the Ki'Nau. I’ve learned of the history. As they once were the masters of the Lucidian Ocean so too will be I. So too can be us.”
TRAVIS: I look forward to this very, very much. I noticed, as we were leaving your quarters, that beautiful iron piece above your doorway. A snake circling back upon itself, the eye in the middle, but it seemed there were small eyes all around the body of the snake.
MATT: “They say that Uk'otoa is an infinite length entity, a serpent that entwines the entirety of the water. That is but eyes across its body to see what else it must conquer.”
TRAVIS: That sounds–
TRAVIS: Exactly the word I was searching for. Speaking of beautiful.
TRAVIS: I was so taken by that marking, that tattoo you had, I was wondering if you might show it to me again?
LIAM: I think they’re about to get naked.
MATT: Make a persuasion check.
TRAVIS: I’m uncomfortable with what’s happening. Natural 20.
MATT: She tugs down the scarf to reveal the tattoo without breaking eye contact and goes, “I’ll do you one better.”
MATT: Removes the glove off of her right hand, and in the palm you see a familiar yellow eye emerging from the center. “This is the blessing. It leaves the first stage. I have been chosen to be one step to his unsealing.”
TRAVIS: Like, a fucking eye or a tattoo of an eye?
MATT: Make a perception check. 16.
MATT: You hope it’s a tattoo, but the way the candle light hits it looks smooth and somewhat glassy.
TRAVIS: Oh god. Fuck, that’s getting weird.
TRAVIS: That’s some Pan Labyrinth’s bullshit going on. (clears throat) My, my.
TRAVIS: Fuck it, I feel now you and I are more connected than I could’ve ever imagined. I’ll summon the sword.
MATT: With a flash and a scattering of ocean water across the far wall of the chamber, the falchion emerges in your grasp.
MATT: It’s what it’s always done!
MARISHA: Wait, which sword, what do you mean “sword”?!
LIAM: Caleb can’t hear any of this, but in the middle of the room he says: It is getting very kinky in that room.
MARISHA: Goddamn it.
LAURA: Jester’s just pacing back and forth.
MATT: She immediately takes a step forward, like holding her palm forward still. Not even looking at you, just looking at the sword and specifically focusing on the eye in the center of the hilt. She’s speechless for a moment, you hear her breathe in suddenly, “Perhaps it was destiny.”
TRAVIS: Perhaps it was. Do you know what will happen, if we–?
LAURA: (suggestive clicking) Sorry. I’m sorry, I’m sorry!
TRAVIS: Do you know what will happen, if we take this sphere to the place of its choosing? Have you seen what’s unleashed or have you only heard?
MATT: “I’ve only heard. As far as I know, when these survivors of Zehir, this long sealed god grew jealous, that they are the ones, who put Uk'otoa away, below the ocean.”
SAM: (whispering) Uk’otoa!
MATT: “If I’m correct, and this is one of the original temples, then I think we can bring him back.”
TRAVIS: I admit, I find myself very curious.
MATT: “This is but one, there are three I know of.”
TRAVIS: Three temples?
MATT: Three temples across the Swavain islands.
TRAVIS: All of the same construct, all looking for the same, what do you call it?
MATT: “I don’t know if there’s a name for it, I just call it the sphere. The eye.”
MATT: “I’ll be honest, the dreams, that I have, it’s mostly just feeling and an occasional word, like he’s being held back. I feel that if we can, one by one, release him from these bindings, he can be more direct with us. Be more direct with his blessing. He will bequeath the sea unto us.”
TRAVIS: My god, the sea.
TRAVIS: What does the eye say to you? Anything you remember?
MATT: “Tells me to, to watch, to learn.”
TRAVIS: To consume?
MATT: “To consume.”
[cheering and laughter]
MARISHA: Oh my god.
SAM: Oh my god, Matt and Travis are going to make out.
LIAM: It’s just so much, you guys, it’s just so much.
LAURA: What is happening?!
TRAVIS: I confess, having spent so much time on the water, the command over it seems like too great a gift to receive, but I crave it.
MATT: She steps around the desk.
TRAVIS: Oh, fuck.
MATT: Just places her fingers on the hilt of the sword, where the eye is. “Then you’ll need your rest.”
TRAVIS: We will all.
TRAVIS: I will put my hand on hers and say: We will all need our rest for the trials to come. Thank you for sharing your story with me, I don’t feel quite as alone in this.
MATT: “Thank you for your honesty, eventually.”
TRAVIS: It’s like an onion, you got to peel it, you know.
MATT: “Understood. Anyway,” and she pulls her hand away, “Go, and may sweet dreams find you.”
TRAVIS: I turn and I head towards the door and as I get there, I look back.
TRAVIS: And I walk away!
MARISHA: That was fucking awesome.
LAURA: Oh my god.
LIAM: I thought they were going to make *bumsen*, but it did not happen.
LAURA: They didn’t, they didn’t, they didn’t?!
MATT: At this point, the door opens and Fjord returns to the room.
MARISHA: We weren’t listening to anything at all, we know everything. Can you please fill in the details?
LAURA: What was going on, what did you guys do? Huh?
SAM: Want a seven-day-old banana?
TRAVIS: No, thank you. Where did that even come from? That’s okay. Not much actually. She is far more under the influence of whatever this is than I initially thought. She took off her glove and there was an eye in the palm of her hand. And not another tattoo, I think it was like a fucking eye. Ah!
TRAVIS: Yeah, I know. So she showed me hers and I showed her mine.
TRAVIS: Eyes! Our eyes! On the sword.
SAM: Did you tell her the orb was inside of you?
TRAVIS: I did not.
LAURA: Well, I’m assuming, if she’s got the eyeball on her hand, she has an orb inside of her, Fjord?
TRAVIS: I didn’t even think of that.
LAURA: I mean it’s got to be, right?
LIAM: Question. I am still watching her.
TRAVIS: What the fuck do you mean “still”?
LIAM: I know it’s confusing; I like to stay inside this Zemnian accent so much, but I did not say that out loud. That was for the DM.
TRAVIS: Oh, shit.
MATT: Question, Caleb?
LIAM: Yeah, I did not stop watching her after he left.
LIAM: What is she doing?
MATT: Make a perception check.
TALIESIN: Roll well.
LIAM: Just a ten.
MATT: Okay. You watch as she takes her glove and puts it back on, looking at her palm as she does. Looks out over the ocean and steps out to the railing, where she has to move away to get out of the visual perspective, and spends a minute or so looking over the water. Then turns back, goes and closes the door, walks over to underneath the main doorway, where that shrine is. She pulls a stool up to stand up to about eye level to where the shrine is. Then she pulls her glove off once more, makes a small cut on her finger, and drops a few pieces of blood onto the small iron shrine. It’s maybe about that big and then puts the glove back on, mumbles a few words beneath her breath, though Frumpkin might not able to see from this perspective. Then goes ahead and snuffs the candles.
LIAM: So she did some arcane shit. Did she also look very hot and bothered?
MATT: With that perception roll, I’d say you don’t know.
TRAVIS: Yeah, but you know.
MATT: I don’t know, man. Not for me, I’m real bad at seeing that.
MARISHA: So eyeball, hand, you showed her yours.
MARISHA: Was she, I don’t know, did she say anything else about–
TRAVIS: Yeah, no, you’re right. She actually said there was one before, that was also chosen.
LAURA: What happened to him?
SAM: Yeah, when you asked what happened to him, what did she say?
TRAVIS: Where was that fucking pigeon? We didn’t get to that part, but I feel like, because I saw my former captain Vandran with the same sphere, that he might be the one that she was talking about.
LAURA: (gasping) Wait, wait, wait, wait.
LAURA: What if Vandran had a different sphere? What if there was like a whole bunch of them?
TRAVIS: There’s a chance. She said that this temple that we’re about to visit was one of three.
LAURA: There’s three. What if Vandran and you and she have them?
TRAVIS: Yeah and they’re all keys to the temple?
LAURA: What if Vandran had one and then she knew it and she killed Vandran. And now she’s going to kill you and she’s going to try to take your orb?
TRAVIS: Jester, I don’t think she killed Vandran. He was on the ship when it exploded. I don’t even–
LAURA: How did the ship explode, Fjord?
SAM: She has a ship with cannons.
MARISHA: Also, Nott said that there’s like a fuck ton of gunpowder under the ship, so.
TRAVIS: No, I understand. Sabian, my crewmate, he went down and sabotaged the ship. He set off an explosion. That has to be what happened.
LAURA: Who was Sabian working for? Avantika?
MARISHA: If she has a sphere and can talk to the serpent gods, I’m assuming she has some sort of magical powers, like you have magical powers. She has cool robes and is wearing an amulet; that just screams magic.
LIAM: Yeah, well, so after you, you know, made the flirt talk, that I was watching.
MARISHA: The flirt talk?
LIAM: Oh, they were both pouring it on pretty thick.
TRAVIS: Well, I think we were being pretty respectful.
LIAM: That’s a subjective thing, my friend. Anyway, she is very interested in you and after you left her room, I watched a little bit longer and she did some cutting. She dropped a little bit of her blood on a miniature altar or something. Do you do this?
TRAVIS: I do not. Altar, the little iron piece above her doorway?
LIAM: Yeah, she stood on a stool and she did a little.
TRAVIS: I saw that on the way out. I don’t do anything like that. I don’t know what that would–
ASHLEY: I have a question. She said that there was somebody that was before her?
TRAVIS: She did; she said there was one other chosen besides herself and now me.
ASHLEY: Did you look at her other, did you get a closer look?
TRAVIS: I did, the tattoo.
ASHLEY: Did that look familiar?
TRAVIS: Have I seen that anywhere else?
MATT: To you I would say no, not in the time that you saw it.
TRAVIS: Didn’t Molly have–?
TRAVIS: Did he have any tattoos that had eyes in them? Like the peacock feathers?
ASHLEY: He had nine of them.
TALIESIN: She’d know.
TALIESIN: This one.
SAM: Nine eyes?
MARISHA: I mean, he also had that all-seeing eye on his back, right?
LAURA: I mean you roomed with him, Fjord didn’t you see him naked?
TALIESIN: Don’t be a bad roommate. He was a bad roommate, don’t be a bad roommate.
ASHLEY and TRAVIS: Could be nothing.
MARISHA: I mean, eyeballs. We all have two. There’s a lot of eyeballs around. Just saying things have eyes.
TRAVIS: Yeah. Right.
MARISHA: Just trying to be skeptical.
TRAVIS: Yeah, I know.
TRAVIS: She said we should all get some rest. I feel like we’ve earned some trust. I feel like we’ll be in good hands. I don’t know if I entirely trust her, but I do feel like she is motivated to see where this leads.
LIAM That’s one way of putting it, *ja*.
TRAVIS: I will say she seems a bit on the fanatical end. She spoke of acquiring powers that I can’t even begin to comprehend. Control over the oceans and seas.
TRAVIS: Or other follow–
LAURA: What? It sounds cool.
SAM: That’s a lot, yeah, that’s a big power.
TRAVIS: But doesn’t that sound like too much?
TALIESIN: I mean, what would you even do with that? What’s the point of it, really?
SAM: Well, I know what I would do with it.
TALIESIN: What would you do with it?
SAM: Get rid of the seas.
SAM: Tell them to go away and go somewhere else, and have more land.
TALIESIN: See, and that just a point of a higher motivation for something. I mean, there’s got to be a step two.
LIAM: She seemed very maniacal, is the word that I would choose. She seemed very driven.
MARISHA: Deuce has a point, there’s got to be a goal at the end of all those powers, right?
SAM: Well, we’ll find out tomorrow, I suppose.
TRAVIS: We will and in the meantime, I would suggest that we acted like we are as interested and motivated to see this through as her followers. Otherwise, I think we’ll stick out.
MARISHA: Did she say anything else about what she wants?
LIAM: I mean, it sounded like she wanted power and a lot of it.
TRAVIS: She does. Unleashing things that are too terrible to talk about, but you can use your imagination.
SAM: Was that a dick joke?
MARISHA: Jessie, are you all right?
LAURA: I mean.
MARISHA: You’ve just had this like really angry face in the corner for a little bit.
LAURA: Oh, I don’t know what you’re talking about I’m just sitting there with my sketchbook, drawing Captain Avantika with daggers. Sticking into her like a voodoo doll.
TRAVIS: You’re not drawing like this, you’re drawing like this?
LAURA: Yeah, aggressively. I don’t know what you’re talking about, I’m happy over here.
MARISHA: No, it looks like the third pencil you’ve broken so I just wanted to– Just curious. Fourth.
LIAM: Fjord, if we venture into this sticky wicket, do you share even in a small way similar desires as this woman? Do you want to control the sea?
TRAVIS: It’s the first time I’ve heard of it. I mean, it sounds incredible, but I can’t even begin to fathom what that would be like. That responsibility, I don’t know who I would be if I could wield something like that.
LIAM: Well, you are grappling with a great deal of power, we have watched you do it. Are you trying to understand this thing better, be free of it, master it?
TRAVIS: Understand it would be a start.
TALIESIN: You can’t know what to do until you understand it. I mean, that’s step one and once you understand it, we’ll try and help you make a reasonable decision about what to do with it.
LAURA: What if the closer you get to it, the weirder you get? What if you start feeling those urges, like she has and stuff.
TRAVIS: What urges?
LAURA: Like the powerful urges.
MARISHA: That’s a good question.
TRAVIS: Well, I’ve asked Beau to check me and I’ll check her on areas of aggression. If I start controlling the oceans and shit, maybe we’ll talk about it.
TRAVIS: Until then, I can only tell you I only want to know more about this and find out about what happened to my friend. That’s as far as I’m thinking.
SAM: Let’s do that, then.
TALIESIN: I’m into it.
MARISHA: Let’s get some rest.
TRAVIS: Try to sleep.
MATT: You guys all get yourselves to sleep.
LIAM: Yeah, I place the elf owl back on Beauregard’s shoulder and go to sleep.
MATT: Okay, as you guys all find yourself to rest. Is your mic not working?
ASHLEY: Oh, no, it’s not working.
LAURA: No, it’s not.
SAM: We’ve lost Ashley.
TRAVIS: Share with Tal.
MATT: You share with Taliesin.
SAM: No, it’s gone.
MATT: We’ll share, that’s fine. So as you all go to sleep, finding yourself into an evening of rest, Fjord–
TRAVIS: No, goddamn it!
SAM: Should we leave the stage, do we need to leave the stage?
MATT: You don’t need to. That was more helpful earlier in the campaign, when everything was a super mystery. You spilled all the beans recently, so it’s fine. You walk in darkness, your eyes trained on a barely visible horizon of faded blue. The lightless midnight horizon that breaks this endless void. The ground is soft beneath your feet and your slow gait bounces slightly with each step. Like time is crawling in this buoyant space. You look down at yourself, obscured by a shadow, until a faint yellow light bursts from your sword. The light of a yellow eye now open from the hilt like a lantern, lighting a tangled forest of kelp before you. Bubbles escape the corner of your mouth, but you breath the waters calmly, like a thick vapor. “Learn.” You search through the mass of shifting slick sea vines eventually coming upon the base of a staircase going up. “Grow.” What do you do?
TRAVIS: I climb those motherfucking stairs.
MATT: As you ascend the cold stone stairs, the beam of the eye lighting the way, your passage is suddenly blocked by something. A statue; humanoid, but featureless. “Provoke.”
TRAVIS: I’ll fire two blasts of Eldritch Blast at it.
MATT: The statue breaks apart, its various shards emerging from the detonation and slowly sinking in what is now the thick waters around you. As the head tumbles past the light of the edge of your sword, the face is recognizable in a flash: Sabian. You push beyond, continuing to ascend the stairs. You come upon another statue, larger and looming more than the last. What do you do?
TRAVIS: Witch Bolt, right to its chest.
MATT: As the darkened energy arcs from the hilt of your blade, hitting it you watch as the cracks spider up the stone before it detonates into hundreds of shards of dark stone. You see half of the face slowly hit and clatter onto the stone before falling off to the side. Vandran. Do you continue up?
TRAVIS: The stairs, are they staying the same, is there anything at the foot of the statue after they break apart?
MATT: Looking down the statue itself is now immaterial. You’ve entirely annihilated it and you glance over the side, and what few shards still remain, slowly drift beyond your view into the dark abyss below.
TRAVIS: I’ll move forward.
MATT: Continuing to ascend these steps one by one, they grow more and more narrow. You think you see an approaching surface of some kind. You’re clear of the water, suddenly breaking the surface and you’re standing in a dark stone chamber. You’ve managed to get all the way up standing within the ankle high water in the middle of the stone chamber and you watch, as all the liquid begins to drain. Until there’s no more water around you. Revealing in the center of this chamber, an intricate circle in the ground, maybe two feet across. Beautiful ancient craftsmanship, detailed to depict a serpent body coiled. Carved eyes emerging from the creature’s body every few inches. The center of the water is a circle of water, like a well. “Watching.” What do you do?
TRAVIS: I’ll summon the sword and hold the eye facing the circle.
MATT: As you hold the blade up, you see the light hits the water and is absorbed by it. You don’t see anything beneath it. It seems to be just a void that eats the light.
TRAVIS: Void that eats the light. Can I walk into the center of the circle?
MATT: You step into it?
TRAVIS: Well, I definitely do now.
MATT: Well, is that what you want to do?
MATT: Okay, you step into the circle, it’s only a few inches deep of water and your feet feel the bottom. It is shallow. You’re now standing above it, it’s only about two feet across, so it’s basically you standing over the small pool.
TRAVIS: Is there a ceiling, are there walls, are there statues in this space?
MATT: Looking around you, you can see stone walls and you could see a ceiling above you. It is almost plain featureless room, aside from the very edges of stone stacked upon itself.
TRAVIS: Watching. Can I look into the eye of the sword, do I see anything?
MATT: You look towards the hilt and the eye stares back at you. The light temporarily blinding you for a moment, as you adjust.
TRAVIS: What the fuck? Can I try and take the edge of the blade and press it into the floor?
MATT: You press the blade in through the water and it hits the stone.
TRAVIS: Jesus. (English accent) I don’t know what you want from me!
MATT: No response. Then you hear once more, “Watch.”
TRAVIS: I’ve stared at the eye. Fuck. I have no idea.
MATT: Make a perception check.
TRAVIS: Ooh, 19.
MATT: The handle of the sword is somewhat slick in your grasp from the water you’ve been traveling from before and you feel the blade almost trying to turn in your grasp, turning the eye away from you.
TRAVIS: I’ll let it go where it’s leading and point it towards the floor.
MATT: It slowly finds its way resting facing down towards the pool.
LAURA: Put your face in it.
TRAVIS: Sure. Can I put my face in the water?
SAM: (pigeon cooing)
MATT: You place your face down into the water, and as opposed to the stone surface you’ve seen there, it is this vacuous black void. There, you see in a sudden instant, the eye opens up before you, the bright yellow light enveloping you. Suddenly, there’s searing heat and you pull back out of the pool and the entire chamber is filled with blazing hot steam. It hurts at first, but then, it begins to feel nice. This burning sensation crawling across your body, going instead from pain to a surge of strength. Of control, of purpose. The voice again says, “Reward.” As you look up around you the stone falls away and on the distance you can see that horizon once more. Now an endless ocean. You can see the faint ripples of waves across a sourceless bit of moonlight. There you see dozens of ships coming towards you. What do you do?
TRAVIS: Can I look behind myself real fast?
MATT: You turn behind you and it is just darkness. Inky, infinite.
TRAVIS: A shit load of ships coming towards me. Cool. Are there any pigeons in this dream?
MATT: Make a perception check.
TRAVIS: Can I reach my hand out and try and control the ships?
MATT: As you concentrate, looking towards the right of you, where it looks like four or five vessels are in a localized portion of this black, endless ocean. As you concentrate you see the water begin to boil beneath them.
TRAVIS: Yeah, we’re going to go ahead and grab whatever the fuck that is and pull it up.
MATT: You watch as the ocean fires up like a spire, a pillar of solid ocean water. The ships are scattered in different directions, as it slams them down once more, scattering them into thousands of pieces of splintered wood.
TRAVIS: Can I take both hands and do a *coup de grace*, two big (crashing) over the top?
MATT: The center of the ocean parts, giving this slight vacuum. This dual-sided, abyssal crevice in the center of the ocean. On the opposite ends of where your hands rise, you watch the waves rise up and in one fell sweep, two solid crystalline walls of water slam together and then even out. As the ripples subside, all you can see are the thousands and thousands of glittering shards of what once were that armada.
MARISHA: Moses shit.
TRAVIS: Don’t wake up, don’t wake up.
MATT: “Reward.” And you wake up.
SAM: Wow, another dream with seamen scattered everywhere.
MATT: It’s somehow worse with that outfit.
TRAVIS: (laughing) Yes!
SAM: That’s my people.
MATT: As the rest of you come to consciousness in the morning, Fjord seems to be sleeping in a little bit before suddenly shooting up with a gasp.
LAURA: Did you have a dream?
TRAVIS: (English accent) What? (regular voice) No, no, I didn’t.
MARISHA: You’re drenched in sweat. Just throwing that out there.
MARISHA: Real soggy.
TRAVIS: Yeah, no, we were fighting crazy beasts and monsters and all this talk of serpents, I feel–
LAURA: Fjord! Are you lying?
MATT: Make an insight check. Make a deception check.
LIAM: Also, why did you talk so funny for a moment?
LAURA: Ah, come on!
LAURA: I rolled a fucking one!
MATT: I mean, he seems perturbed by something, but you don’t disbelieve him. Caduceus, however.
TALIESIN: I just woke up, I don’t actually know what’s going on right now.
MATT: Fair enough. Oh, but looking at passive insight for Beauregard and Caleb.
LIAM: You sounded like you had a different accent for a moment there, Fjord.
MARISHA: I’m not going to say anything.
TRAVIS: I don’t know. I’m so used to copying people, I get all sorts of stuff mixed up in my head.
MARISHA: Let’s go.
TALIESIN: Did I miss something, I don’t–?
ASHLEY: You sure you don’t want to talk about it?
TRAVIS: Talk about the dream?
TRAVIS: I mean, it’s just a dream. What’s there to talk about?
SAM: Nobody likes to hear other people’s dreams. It’s really boring.
TRAVIS: First thing in the morning, you’re like, “Oh, I know, it was amazing. Tell me more. “
SAM: Yeah, that’s true.
TRAVIS: I mean, wait, you guys didn’t have any dreams of a similar nature, did you?
MARISHA: No, we didn’t.
TALIESIN: What kind of dreams of a similar nature?
LAURA: I had this dream that I was walking in this field and then there was this banana tree right in front of me and I climbed it and I got some bananas and then they turned bad really fast.
LAURA: Yeah, so I think it had something to do with that.
LAURA: Then the grass was purple, and then this guy came up to me and he was like, “Whoa, I just heard–” but then his face turned into an eagle and he flew away. What do you think it means?
SAM: You should write those down, they’re really important.
MARISHA: Look, as someone who still doesn’t have any type of dreams, whatever’s going on, it’s not normal, I just want to point that out.
SAM: She just wants you to know that you’re not normal. Should we go off to our adventure now?
MATT: You guys head your way up to the deck.
LIAM: Except that I pull Beau back while everyone proceeds upstairs.
MATT: All right.
LIAM: Speaking as a massive liar, I think he is lying to us a little bit.
MARISHA: Look, we can know, just like I know about your shit, we can know about Fjord’s shit, and we can just keep that on the down low, right? I’m interested in knowing about people’s shit, not exposing it.
LIAM: Sure. One eye open.
MARISHA: One eye open.
LIAM: I don’t think he knows what he wants yet.
MARISHA: Oh, and you think you do? You the authority on knowing what other people want?
LIAM: No, I’m the authority on knowing what I want, Beauregard.
MARISHA: Yeah. Me neither.
LIAM: He spoke with a different accent for a split second.
MARISHA: We’ve heard Fjord speak with a lot of different accents.
LIAM: Yeah, to a purpose, not when he is waking up instantly.
MARISHA: He clearly had some sort of fucking dream. We know that.
MARISHA: He’ll tell us when he wants to tell us, all right?
LIAM: I walk upstairs.
MATT: Okay, you guys have made it to the deck. It’s early morning. The sun’s only really been up maybe an hour or so. There’s still a mist across the ocean and you can see the distance where the reefs encapsulate the surrounding area of this island. The mist is so heavy that you cannot see beyond other than a few other signs that you recall when you first passed through that reef. Looking off the way of the shore, you can see that The Mistake is currently grounded and looks like there’s a small crew trying to do repairs. You’re not quite sure to what extent and how long it’ll take, but the ship seems to be at least the time being out of commission.
TALIESIN: Hopefully we can fix our Mistake at some point. That’d be nice. Thank you, sorry, carry on.
MATT: You can see Vera, Captain Avantika and a few of the crew members are currently in a conversation with a man that you hadn’t seen before. You see a gentleman completely bald head, very dark brown skin. A heavy leather coat with like a few belts or bandoliers attached to it. He has a satchel on the side and a few blades that are sheathed and hanging. He looks like an individual who’s ready to travel. In case anything happens, he’s prepared. Maybe a little cleaner than Caleb, but definitely a little ramshackle in appearance. They’re in the middle of a conversation and as soon as you approach the deck, the Captain notices your presence and goes, “Good morning! Come, it seems that our destined journey is just around the corner. Please, The Mighty Nein, may I introduce you to a good friend who is hoping to be arrived soon, Jamedi. Jamedi, this is The Mighty Nein. He turns to you all and goes, “It is a pleasure to meet you all. The Captain has told me that we are to be traveling to the island together, yes?”
TRAVIS: That is correct. It is a pleasure to meet you as well.
MATT: “I will tell you it is very dangerous. Bring what you think is necessary. The island itself is indeed cursed for the creatures that call it home.”
MARISHA: Well, if you’ve explored it, why don’t you tell us what’s necessary to bring?
MATT: “I was about to give you that before you so rudely interrupted me first thing in the morning.”
MARISHA: Okay, well, then go on. What?
MATT: He gives like a look to the Captain, the Captain’s like. “There are a number of lizard folk that patrol the outskirts of the island calling it home, hunting. I could not quite suss out the source of where their society is, but they seem to live on the exterior of the island. Further in, I did find the temple, but it is not abandoned. There are villages of snake men that surround this stone shrine. Their mutations are various and strange. I managed to avoid being seen and I made it to the initial interior chambers of this village, of this stone obelisk of a temple, but I surmised it would be best if I went further with aid of those who were capable of defending themselves. So I came back. I do have a path that I think is of, how you say, least resistance, so I would say bring what is important to perhaps deal with lizards and snakes.”
LAURA: These lizard and snake people.
LAURA: Did they seem nice?
LAURA: Did you see any snake and lizard woman and children?
MATT: There were various of both sexes and perhaps between. I do not know the full idea of these creatures’ physiology.
LAURA: All right.
SAM: That’s all you wanted to know, just–
LAURA: I just wanted to know if they had happy families, that’s all, you know.
TALIESIN: Did they have feet or–?
MATT: I did not look too closely into the–
LAURA: But what do they do for fun?
SAM: Jester, we’re probably going to kill all of these people. Maybe we don’t care what they do.
MATT: “I would not suggest trying to kill them all. Trying to avoid them, expediency, using the shadows, and travel without being found I think is our best bet at survival.”
TRAVIS: I would agree. I think they’re quite territorial. We would do best to remain unseen.
LAURA: Have you run into these people before, Fjord?
TRAVIS: No, I haven’t, I’m–
LAURA: Have you had dreams about them or something?
TRAVIS: No, what was your comment?
MARISHA: Is this not ringing a bell for any of ya’ll’s? Snake people, temples, the naga. We already fought them. Done this once before. Think that’s where we got the little sphere thing that went in Fjord’s thing, had a little circle with like a pool in it and you could see shit?
TRAVIS: They were like fish people, not like snake people.
TALIESIN: I don’t remember any of this.
LAURA: Yeah they were like–
MARISHA: All right, but hear me out. Because we fought those people in the swamp, they were the merrow people, right? Maybe they’re still worshiping the same type of serpentine deity.
TRAVIS: I see where you’re going.
MARISHA: A lot of different people takes a lot of different types.
LAURA: What if we were already in one of the temples that we’re looking for? You said there were three, right?
MARISHA: That’s what I just said.
LAURA: What if that was a temple, right?
LAURA: That’s what you were going for.
MARISHA: That’s what I was totally going for.
LAURA: I understand.
MARISHA: Thank you.
TALIESIN: I thought it was like metaphorical that we were still in the temple and just having some elaborate, like a dream of life and we’ve all been in this temple all along and, I mean, that would have been really cool, although really convoluted the more I’m thinking about it. Doesn’t make any sense.
SAM: Before we go stealthing in, Fjord, do you want to look at the dodecahedron or anything? Would that be good?
SAM: Yeah, you, you’re the–
MATT: The Captain goes, “What is a dodecahedron?”
TRAVIS: It is a sigil of our group that is sometimes viewed just to focus one’s energy.
SAM: Like a pep talk.
TRAVIS: But I don’t think I need it. I’m very focused on the fucking job at hand and perhaps someone needs help with like stealth, you know?
SAM: Not me.
TRAVIS: Oh, plus zero. All right, I’ll look at it.
TRAVIS: Should have looked at that first.
MATT: The Captain claps her hands twice again, to get everyone’s attention. “Vera, look after the ship. Look after our men, their men. Jamedi, lead the way. I am excited to see what we uncover together, huh?”
MATT: “I hope you slept well. Come. To the boats.” The rope ladders are let over once more. You all descend into these row boats. Between the two of them, most of you can get onto it, a little awkwardly, but enough to at least make your way the few hundred feet to the shore. You eventually come upon the beautiful, white beaches of Urukaxl. You see the occasional shard of driftwood or a glimmer of a smooth abalone shell scattered amongst the sandy beach. The jungle line begins about 40 feet before you and immediately grows dense and tangled with vines, root and various jungle, tropical trees that choke the sky above. Jamedi turns to the rest of you and goes, “Now you must be quiet. Move quickly, as the island has many denizens that would find us exotic meats. Are we ready?”
MATT: “Then come.” He begins to lead the way in and Captain Avantika looks to us. “This will be fun, yeah?”
TRAVIS: Should be.
MATT: As you all slowly begin to duck in towards the tree line of the jungle, we’ll pick up there next week.
[cheering and applause]
MATT: That was fun.
TALIESIN: Some Treasure Island shit.
LAURA: Oh man, oh man!
TRAVIS: Take a bow?
MATT: Thank you guys all so much for coming and being a part of this fantastic live show. Our first time doing a live show here in New York City.
MATT: Thank you to all our fantastic Critters at home that are watching this live or on VOD– We love you too! This is perpetually such an incredible experience that continues to build on itself and the fact that we get to do it together is so amazing. A huge thank you to D&D Beyond for being our wonderful sponsor this week. Thank you to Momlan for being an amazing appearance. Thank you to my wonderful players for dealing with my crazy bullshit. Thank you all for just being you and making this so special for all of us. This is incredible.
SAM: We love you guys!
MATT: Everyone have a wonderful night. We love you and is it Thursday yet? Good night.
MATT: Step around. We’re doing this. Thank you, guys. This is so fucking surreal! Oh is it still on? My mic’s still on, oops.