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Pre-Show[]

MATT: Hello, everyone, and welcome to tonight's episode of Critical Role, where a bunch of us nerdy-ass voice actors sit around and play Dungeons and Dragons. Before we go ahead and jump into tonight's story, we have some announcements to get through. First and foremost, tonight's episode is sponsored by our fantastic friends at Marvel Puzzle Quest.

(cheering)

LIAM: We love Marvel.

MATT: Indeed. Returning to be awesome fans of the show and friends and Sam do you have anything to say about that?

SAM: We love Marvel Puzzle Quest and they love that we love them. In fact, Puzzle Quest had a bunch of critters come up to their booth at Gen-con to say hi, and they wanted to thank the community for being so awesome and welcoming. The game is legitimately awesome. It is so awesome, it is so epic that me talking about it doesn't do justice. Really it needs another artform. One that is an amazing theatrical experience and expression of joy and emotion. It needs opera.

MATT: Oh no.

SAM: So combining Puccini and Marvel Puzzle Quest, I give you an opera advertisement. Add music.

TALIESIN: Wait!

SAM: No, it's okay. This is going to be terrible anyway. (singing) The new SHIELD clearance level nine lands today, bro. Better rewards and challenges you can recruit Lockjaw the inhuman doggo. For more chances to summon Black Bolt, other Inhumans, and Kamala Khan, and boost the power of your superhero squad. Last but not least, for a limited time you can also recruit the Silver Surfer and Thanos and Star-Lord and the comic legend pack. (speaking) Oh shit, I forgot my props. (singing) From now on until the 30th of September. Marvel Puzzle Quest. Marvel Puzzle Quest!

(cheering)

MATT: Wow! Well done! Thank you, Sam, and thanks, Marvel Puzzle Quest. It's available for free on the Apple App Store and Google Play. Next up. Merch, what have we got?

LAURA: We got these.

(cheering)

SAM: Hey, how do you say it? Is it Dalen's--

LAURA: It's Dalen.

SAM: Thank you. Jesus.

LAURA: Yeah, because you said it wrong. Speaking of Talks Machina, though-- No, that wasn't Talks Machina. When I announced these shirts on Talks Machina. My brain. There's a new shirt for Talks Machina. You should check it out in the store. It's got "Stay Turnt" on it. It's a thing for Talks Machina.

TRAVIS: Yeah, man. It got Foster in front. Stay Turnt.

LAURA: 8-Bit Foster!

LIAM: It's cute.

LAURA: Have you seen it, Ashley?

ASHLEY: I have, and I may have one. I almost wore it tonight, but it is in the dirty hamper.

MATT: It's a good reason.

LAURA: Also, there's all the other stuff that I always say.

MATT: Also, Ashley, we miss you.

MARISHA: We miss you so much!

LAURA: Look at that pretty face!

MARISHA: You in your little pink hat! We just love you.

MATT: Okay, next up. (laughs) I regret everything. No, issue one of Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins is out. Super excited. I'm really proud of it. Matt Colville did an incredible job.

LAURA: He did such a good job with the dialogue.

MATT: I know. Encapsulated the characters, especially the characters early in their arc. Olivia Samson's art captures the mood and the feel so well. Chris Northrop's color and his lettering. Everyone did an amazing job on this. If you have an opportunity check it out, it's available on the Dark Horse Comics app. Through our friends at Dark Horse or ComiXology and other avenues from there. Super proud of it, super excited.

LIAM: Can I get it on my Zune?

SAM: It's on your PalmPilot.

MATT: You can get it on Kindle, Nook, iBooks, Google Play-- I should have read the list.

TALIESIN: I made that list specifically so you could reference it. That's fine. I do these things. It's okay. I don't mind.

MARISHA: Also, all of these things are on Geek and Sundry right? Don't tweet the same question 30 times to every member of the cast. Don't do that. Just look it up on Geek and Sundry. You're going to get a quicker answer, though, if you look it up on Geek and Sundry.

LIAM: We knew we picked the right people for the job, but even so, it far exceeded our expectations. It came together really well.

ASHLEY: It's so good.

LAURA: We've been freaking out.

TRAVIS: Maybe we've read it out loud. Pretending it's true.

MATT: Yeah, Sam hates it, though.

SAM: I love it.

MATT: Needs more Scanlan.

SAM: It does need more Scanlan. It's a good start. It's like season one of The Office. Pretty good, but it gets way better.

MARISHA: American Office or British Office?

SAM: American.

MATT: All right, of course we have Talks Machina next tuesday 7:00pm Pacific Time here on Twitch and Alpha to discuss tonight's episode. So you can check it out then with our fantastic host Brian Foster.

Laura and Travis, you're going to be at Anime Weekend Atlanta.

TRAVIS: A.W.A. next weekend. Probably saturday and sunday in Hotlanta. Come see us.

LAURA: We're going to say hi. What are we doing there?

TRAVIS: We've got panels. We got autograph sessions. We got chances take pictures, and eat food, and we're going to run through the squad streaking.

LAURA: Yeah, he is. I'm going to take pictures.

TRAVIS: Tequila. Yeah, so that stuff.

MATT: Fantastic. It is Subtember on Twitch. If you haven't enough cash to throw towards subbing to your favorite Twitch channel for the month of September, you get half off for doing so. If you're interested in doing that, then this is the month to do it. Go look into it.

Last but not least, as many of you were in this string of natural disasters that keeps hitting. There was a terrible earthquake in Mexico City and the surrounding areas in this past week. We want to implore people to whatever you can to donate and help those who are currently recovering and the relief effort in the areas that were heavily hit by this earthquake. Having lived through a number of earthquakes in my youth, it's a very scary and very dangerous thing, and nothing on the scale what they're undergoing there, so if you have the opportunity, we want to promote UNICEF and Oxfam México. The links will be in the chat soon but if you can, please give. It all helps and people who are in the middle of that scenario will be very grateful. Thank you very much.

All right, on that note. Let's go ahead and dive in to tonight's episode of Critical Role.

[dramatic music]

Part I[]

MATT: Hello, and welcome back. You guys can discuss this in a minute. Last we left off, Vox Machina had been climbing their way through the bowels of an undead risen primordial titan. Previously having found information about the history of Vecna from the Knowing Mistress regarding his ascension, the avatar form, and the drive he needs to create a miracle before he can truly embody and begin to grow the power to really exemplify the abilities of the god that he has now become. You began to make your way through the interior where you battled corrupted earth elementals that existed in him naturally. You began to battle undead skeletons and undead trolls. Eventually, after making your way towards a series of key-trapped rooms, one of which seemed to be some sort of mirrored incinerator, you made your way towards an upward tunnel and encountered a number of disciples, cultists of the Undying King, Vecna.

In this confrontation, you encountered face-to-face a Sphere of Annihilation, and through some clever uses of short-range teleportation and losing one's face, you managed to stop them before, one, they destroyed your party, or managed to escape to alert others of your presence, and last we left off, you all were resting within that hallway thinking about what the next course of action is.

So Vox Machina, what would you like to do?

TRAVIS: Cry? Hold each other.

MARISHA: So we were going up the tunnel?

LAURA: Yeah, we need to keep going up. Oh, somebody needs to heal Scanlan.

TRAVIS: I think it was the other side of your face last week.

LAURA: No, it was the same side.

LIAM: I palm Scanlan by the face and cast Lay On Hands. How bad are you, buddy?

SAM: You know, medium.

LIAM: Medium?

LAURA: I think it's more like when your toe was missing. I think it's like that.

LIAM: I'm dumping 29 hit points of paladin power into your face.

MARISHA: Isn't that most of your paladin power?

LIAM: Yes, it's all but one.

MARISHA: Oh dear god.

LAURA: But what if you needed that?

MARISHA: We've got other people who can do healing spells.

MATT: As he reaches out and his fingers touch the side of your face, you feel the muscles tighten and skin begin to reform. As he pulls away, there's still a little bit of reddish rash or irritation of fresh skin, but the scarring seems to have subsided and your face is intact.

SAM: Am I handsome again?

LIAM: We like you handsome.

TRAVIS: I liked the new way. This is old "I know this" face.

SAM: Yeah, I'm sorry. I'm boring. I bore you now.

TRAVIS: Just a little bit.

SAM: I'll get a tattoo.

TRAVIS: Okay.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: What are we doing now?

LAURA: We need to keep going forward. Either try to make it up this tunnel, or we can try going down that path that the Sphere was forming. I don't know what that is.

TRAVIS: It didn't go all the way. It just started. I looked.

LAURA: Oh, okay. Then we keep going forward.

TRAVIS: I think it's a chunnel, actually.

LAURA: A chunnel?

TRAVIS: Yep. Small difference.

LAURA: What's a chunnel?

LIAM: That's a tunnel that goes under English Channel. Wherever that is.

LAURA: So forward then, huh? Where's everybody at health-wise? Are you solid?

LIAM: I'm pretty good.

TRAVIS: I guess I'm all right.

LAURA: Pike? How are you?

ASHLEY: I think I'm okay.

LAURA: You got hit a couple times in that last fight.

ASHLEY: I did. I think I'm okay, though.

LAURA: All right.

MARISHA: Is this a short rest that we're doing?

MATT: That's up to you guys.

LAURA: That's up to us. We could take 30 minutes or just keep moving.

TALIESIN: Let's keep moving forward.

TRAVIS: Look, I know I haven't said it much, but Pike, I am glad you are here. I just felt like saying that.

ASHLEY: Me, too. We have been here this whole time, but thank you for instilling confidence in me yet again.

TRAVIS: Yeah, no problem.

ASHLEY: Love you, Grog.

TRAVIS: Love you, Pike!

MATT: All right, so you guys are continuing up this staircase?

TRAVIS: Yes. Sneaky fucks in front.

MATT: Marching order? All right.

LIAM: Sneaky fucks in front.

LAURA: Should I cast Pass Without a Trace, because they might have some inkling suspicion that we're on--

SAM: How many more of those do you have?

LAURA: Well, I've got one level two spell left and all my level threes. I can cast it at high level, because most of my spells are pointless at this point.

TALIESIN: I'll go behind the twins.

SAM: I'll go behind Percy.

LAURA: I'm going to cast Pass Without a Trace. Everybody's got plus ten to their stealth.

TRAVIS: Pike and I got the rear.

MATT: Trinket is in your necklace or out now?

LAURA: I'm bamfing him back out.

TRAVIS: But we are being sneaky.

LAURA: Yeah, but we have got Pass Without a Trace.

SAM: Famous last words.

MATT: Is Trinket being stealthy?

LAURA: Yes.

MATT: Perfect. As you continue up the stone stairway, you said you were looking for traps? I figured.

LIAM: Always.

MATT: Slow moving up the steps as you slowly are looking for-- okay, go for it.

LIAM: For traps, for investigations, that is 18.

MATT: Okay. You continue up the staircase, the steps being wider than the previous ones you've seen before. Eventually, you pass through the carved tunnel of a cave-in up the steps. The next chamber reveals itself not but 25 feet upwards. It opens up. You find yourselves standing within a small building ruin, but the walls have fallen around. You can see the bare structure around you. Elements of the base floor, rubble and broken slate. You see around you what must have been a once-colossal courtyard or a commons for the dwarven city of Thomara, with varying levels and paths and platforms holding rare types of now petrified leafless trees scattered amongst this thoroughfare, climbing up dozens of feet like frozen bolts of lightning forever reaching in vain. You see dead-littered paths, weaving between stout multi-leveled buildings of Thomara make, corpses that have been torn apart and are twitching, shifting on their own, an occasional hand pulling its way across. Whatever bits and pieces of undead here remain, they are not functional. They have been so sundered through the ages or other sort of confrontation, and yet are cursed to forever twitch and wander.

Your eyes, as they focus in on this interior, you glance to the opposite side. You see the ghost of this past beauty of this city surrounding you is now currently defiled on a mass scale. Over half of this 300-foot-wide cavern appears to have collapsed or is currently crushed under an invading mass of black earth and rock, unlike the rest of the titan's interior. The familiar smell of wet earth and ancient decay is now mixed with another familiar scent of cold ash and iron dust, the smell of the Shadowfell.

At this distance, you can see the rough shape of three carved archways at the base of this inverted mass of earth that curves down and collapses half of this cavern. About 40 or so feet apart. You can see at each of these entrances, there are some figures, some shapes. They are too far from you at the moment, hundreds of feet away from you, to make any sort of clear vision, but you see a few bits of torchlight in a distance and shifting shadows near those entrances.

LAURA: Are we in a dark tunnel? They can't see us, right?

MATT: Currently, you guys are emerging from underneath and into this small rubble. There is no light here. The only bit of light you can see is some of that bio-luminescent fungus that you had in that previous tunnel and the torchlight across the way.

LAURA: Should we put out your hands? So that they can't see us? Well, there's a bunch of people off in a distance.

LIAM: Want me to go take a look? You've dusted me. I'm pretty quiet.

LAURA: Yeah, but you have to stay within *30* feet of me--

SAM: 30?

LAURA: 30 if you want to keep Pass Without a Trace. 60 to stay within the ring.

LIAM: I'd probably be good without it. And we can go together about 50 feet away from the group, and then I can go a little bit further and see if I can get a better look.

LAURA: Let's stick around to the sides.

TRAVIS: Vast space? Big, wide open?

MATT: It's a wide space. As the cavern opens in this large, dome-like interior path, loosely kidney bean shape or a wide oval, half of it is currently crushed and occupied by this darker mass of Shadowfell earth.

LAURA: It's sitting on top of it? That's the city? The roots of a city crushing down--

MATT: That's the roots of the city crushing down into this chamber.

TRAVIS: Could be a Rick and Morty portal to the Shadowfell.

MATT: Where the titan ends and Thomara begins would be this particular threshold.

LAURA: So we can go up from here? This is where we go up. You can get that sphere again and tunnel up.

SAM: I have the sphere.

LAURA: I know, we go straight into the city.

MATT: Well, the sphere is back at the tunnel with you. You can concentrate on it and bring it with you and it moves at a very slow speed.

SAM: We haven't moved very far.

LAURA: We've only gone a little bit.

SAM: Sure, I bring it as far as we've gone.

MATT: Okay. Cool. So what's your intelligence modifier, again?

SAM: Now, it's three.

MATT: Three? So you can move it 15 feet a round. It's slower than any of you.

SAM: Sure, but we are just walking here.

MATT: As you make your way up the tunnels this hovering ball of dense death and destruction is (humming).

SAM: Simon Three.

MATT: Humming ominously, Simon Three makes its way.

MARISHA: Does it make that sound?

LAURA: Is it noisy?

MATT: It does give off vibration and a noise to it. You do hear the subtle hum.

LAURA: How far away from it do we have to be in order to not hear the hum?

MATT: About 80 or so feet.

TRAVIS: It's further than I thought.

SAM: It's going to reveal our position, isn't it?

MATT: It's very faint sound.

TRAVIS: They are a couple hundred feet away.

LIAM: You still have Silence?

TALIESIN: We still have some cloaks.

SAM: We can put one on the Sphere?

LAURA: No, put them on us.

SAM: Disguise him! Put him in a hat, gloves.

LAURA: I'm going to instantly throw a robe over top of Scanlan. You've got a robe on you now. I put a robe on, too.

MATT: Okay, so you put on a robe and Scanlan puts on a robe.

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: All right.

TALIESIN: They know that the orb was with two of the others, so as long as we keep the distance, everything should be fine.

SAM: Oh, so now we're legit.

LAURA: Yeah, we look like we're with them.

TRAVIS: Hey, twins? What do our flanks look if we move forward? Is it just trees. Is it buildings?

LIAM: I was about to ask. We see flickering light far away, but I don't trust anything. I want to specifically see if anything besides twitching fingers and toes are hiding closer to us.

MATT: Make a perception check.

LAURA: And I'm listening for voices. Do I hear anything?

MATT: Perception check.

LIAM: 24.

LAURA: Oh, 19.

MATT: Okay. Between the both of you focusing in the still silence, you can hear very faint distant muttering of the conversation, briefly, on the left archway. But around you, aside from from the small skittering of an occasional hand that is crawling itself forward, you don't see any full-bodied undead. In fact, in comparison to the chamber you'd exited more than an hour ago, which had hundreds and hundreds of wandering undead, this is mostly vacant of anything that isn't directly at those archways.

LIAM: Which are how far away from us?

MATT: They're about 150 or so feet. They're right at where the center part of where the chamber would be, where the earth of Thar Amphala's current resting place begins.

LAURA: We are not within the distance of 80, so they wouldn't be able to hear the orb.

SAM: Okay, great. Send it straight at them, then.

LAURA: Definitely.

TRAVIS: (laughing) Super slow.

(laughter)

MATT: Austin Powers it.

TALIESIN: It could in theory collapse the arches, if you were so inclined.

TRAVIS: Yeah, but we're in here.

LAURA: We could collapse all the rest of the tunnels and we go straight up into the city.

TRAVIS: It's a tiny ball.

MARISHA: Sounds a bit like bringing the city to us.

TALIESIN: How big is the ball, again?

MATT: The ball is about two feet in diameter.

TALIESIN: Grog is not going to fit in that hole.

SAM: It could curlicue up.

TALIESIN: I don't trust you as a Sphere artisan.

SAM: But with you by my side, your engineering wits and my ball-handling skills, we'll be fine.

TALIESIN: As legendary as your ball-handling skills are--

TRAVIS: Make a ball-handling check.

TALIESIN: Roll 2d6.

LIAM: I volunteer as tribute!

TALIESIN: I don't see how I could possibly help with this.

MARISHA: I'm afraid it might slow us down.

TALIESIN: Here's a question, if you start thinking of it going in a particular direction, does it keep going in that direction?

SAM: Or does it have a radius where it stops listening to me? Let's give it a shot.

TALIESIN: We could send it in a direction?

MARISHA: Yeah, that's fun.

LAURA: Yeah, let's send it off towards one of these torches.

MARISHA: Destroying everything in its path for forever.

SAM: Let's find out, right?

TALIESIN: Or we could send it straight up.

SAM: I'm going to concentrate on Simon Three and send it back the way we came. Not hitting anything. Just to see how far it goes before I loose telekinetic connection with it.

MATT: It continues until it's out of sight. So it starts digging and burrowing--

SAM: Is it still going?

MATT: As soon as you send it downward at an angle, it hits the floor and begins carving its own path, tunneling lower and lower--

SAM: How far away is it now?

MATT: At this point? I'd say it's about 70 feet.

SAM: Okay. Come back!

MATT: It begins to slowly come back in your direction.

TALIESIN: You finally found worse pet than Trinket. Well done. I love Trinket.

LIAM: By the way, what direction is Vecna from us now?

MATT: Sourcing it would be upwards, at an angle, from where you see the base of Thar Amphala. It's in that direction, at an upward angle. You get the sense that this is near the edge of the city.

LAURA: Can we see any light from above us?

MATT: Other than the very faint bio-luminescence left by the little patches of dull orange here and there that to give you a sense of the overall scope and enclosure of the chamber, no other light source. There's no opening.

LAURA: So the option is really to keep moving forward and find our way out.

TRAVIS: Same option as ten minutes ago.

MARISHA: The figures in the distance. Can we tell by scale how big they are? Do they look humanoid or bigger?

MATT: Make a perception check.

MARISHA: Don't fuck me, Gil.

TALIESIN: To control the Sphere, is it just will?

SAM: It obeys me because I asserted my dominance.

MARISHA: 21.

MATT: The left archway, you see two torches being held by two human-sized figures, humanoid. Hoods are down, but you can't see at this distance anything beyond the size. They appear to be surrounded by five or more dwarf-size skeletons that are shambling in unison around them in one uniform movement as they pace around the opening to the archway.

The middle archway, you see another humanoid figure, but armored. You can see the sharp edges of plated shoulders and a helmet. And a few other skeletal figures wandering around, but one. At the very very edge of the one torch that it holds you see one large hulking figure, about ten or so feet tall. But you only see the very edge; you don't actually see the rest of the body. All you see is the edge of the shoulder or the beginning of the side.

SAM: That's one way, right?

LAURA: There's three ways.

MATT: And then there's the right archway. You can see three small-ish looking humanoid figures. Two that are very hunched, on hands and legs. Still have that humanoid silhouette on the head and shoulders, but they're down on the ground, almost like a dog. Between the two of them, there is one humanoid figure that's still hunched slightly, but still standing upright, hooded and cloaked.

MARISHA: Do they appear to be looking for something? Or are they wandering like a patrol?

MATT: As you watch them for a moment, you see that they do move a little bit, glancing around the area, keeping a watch, but they appear to be stationed there with a minor patrol in the vicinity.

SAM: Can they see each other?

MATT: For the most part. They are about 40 feet from each other. As there is a curve, the right and the left archway probably have a hard time seeing each other. The middle one has a view of each. Occasionally, they'll interface; they converse a bit between the two of them. But for the most part they're definitely keeping a look out. They're very vigilant and looking out into the empty space before them.

LIAM: The same way Keyleth is looking, Vax stands a bit on tiptoe and puts his chin on her shoulder and looks in the distance, and sees the armored figure. Are we close enough to tell if that armored figure has a sword?

TALIESIN: I can lend the scope of my gun, if that helps.

MATT: Okay, that would probably help. Make a perception check.

TRAVIS: What is that?

TALIESIN: Scope?

TRAVIS: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Just a series of lenses--

LIAM: 26.

MATT: So this is the central figure in the armor?

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: It's wearing similar armor, not to the knight you have encountered with Vecna, more the blackened armor knight that you would battle at the ziggurat on Marquet.

SAM: Wait, what?

MATT: When you first encountered Delilah Briarwood and you found the pathway into the Shadowfell.

MARISHA: Is that the same guy?

MATT: Well no, you murdered that one. But it's similar set of armor, yes.

TALIESIN: I let Grog look through the scope.

TRAVIS: (gasping) They're right here!

(laughter)

TALIESIN: I regret nothing.

MARISHA: (laughing) Ashley's face. Oh no.

ASHLEY: Are you scared?

TRAVIS: Look through the *scoop*. Look through it. What do you see?

ASHLEY: I just see big guys. But I guess everybody looks big to me.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: Pike's so brave. So brave.

LIAM: Through Skype, it's like my niece sat down at the table to start playing.

LAURA: Can we scry on the death knight or on Delilah to see if they're with Vecna right now? Because if they're separate from him, then what if they're in these chambers?

MARISHA: Yeah. I will use a 5th-level spell to scry. As opposed to the Scrying Eye. Does my Scrying Eye use my spellcasting ability? No, it's 15.

MATT: It's 15. It's that for the item.

MARISHA: I'm going to scry on--

TRAVIS: Death knight.

LAURA: He probably would be less aware. If you scry on Delilah--

MARISHA: She'll alert people to our presence. Yeah. That death knight that seems to be the right-hand man.

LAURA: We can scry through the ring, right?

MATT: What's the ring say?

LAURA: Hold on. I have to find it.

TRAVIS: I didn't even think about that.

LAURA: Band of Shrouds. While attuned, all creatures and their belongings within 60 feet of the bearer are immune to most divine magics that would locate or reveal the whereabouts of the creature.

MATT: You can scry outside of it, but you cannot scry into it.

MARISHA: Yeah, let's do it.

LAURA: Most divining magics. It doesn't mean we're immune to everything.

MARISHA: I want to scry on that big guy that was with Delilah when I saw them walking out.

TALIESIN and MARISHA: Armor bro.

MATT: With your spell?

MARISHA: With mine.

MATT: Okay. Hold on.

TALIESIN: Matt's finding his murder sheet.

LIAM: How are your magical reserves?

MARISHA: They're all right. I'm using my last 5th-level spell for this.

MATT: You slip back up in the hallway to find a space that isn't immediately visible and begin to build the circle of incantation. The rest of you keep watch in case anything begins to make its way toward you. As you complete the ritual, your vision expands, and you feel your essence being pulled up through the earth and rock. Changing from gray and brown to black and dead, until eventually, for a brief instant, you see a burst of the city of Thar Amphala, matching precisely your memory of the inner sanctum of the city.

In an instant, there's a rush of momentum and energy, and you see footsteps. You see before you the death knight that you have previously encountered in the struggle is stepping up these dark, ruddy stone steps. One, two, three, you can hear the echo surround you in this slightly curving staircase.

MARISHA: Do I see Delilah?

MATT: You do not. Unfortunately, you see a very vague image of a room that's disappearing behind him as it curves around where you can see two other armored figures similar to the one that's in the center archway. They're standing watch in that chamber. They vanish as he curves around, and you watch as he steps up the step.

MARISHA: Can I get any other details on where he is? Can I see any other identifying landmarks?

MATT: Currently it's a windowless stairway that curves.

MARISHA: Is he going upwards?

MATT: Yeah.

MARISHA: Oh he's in a tower.

LAURA: Well, maybe. What else does she see?

MATT: You see a sudden swelling of greenish-blue light as he reaches the apex of this staircase. You now see the top of the tower exposed where three large hooked, stone spires curve inward to a familiar top of the tower.

MARISHA: He's trying to do it again!

MATT: Out of the corner of your eye, you see-- the sky itself, from this perspective, it has this weird sickly blue-green tint to it, and as you try and focus beyond the proximity of the knight, you get a glimmer of some shape currently gliding in the air above. Then a voice says "No," and--

LAURA: You were scrying on the death knight, not Vecna!

TRAVIS: He doesn't know who it's from.

MARISHA: Or where.

TRAVIS: He probably detected it, but he doesn't know who. Or where. Said the barbarian about the god.

MATT: Knowing, as you've cast the spell before, a creature that can see invisible objects sees the sensor as a luminous orb about the size of your fist. Creatures that can see invisible can see the source of a scry spell.

SAM: Can see the source?

MATT: Not necessarily, but they can see that something is scrying on the space. As soon as you kick back you're like, "Shit. That's probably what it was."

MARISHA: Shit, that's probably what it was.

LIAM: He knows we're coming.

LAURA: There was that moment where you two were falling to your deaths before we entered the titan. You were away from me, so it's possible that he knows.

MARISHA: I'm sure he knows we're around.

TALIESIN: Do we want to deal with these people or get around them?

LAURA: Do we see any other tunnels that aren't guarded?

MATT: Make a perception check.

LAURA: No. That's a big fat no.

MATT: It's real dark, and you have to travel deeper into the actual cavern space to try and see any other tunnels.

LIAM: There's no feeling around the sides of this? There's too much rubble and shit? This huge space that we're in.

MATT: No, it encompasses the entire opposite side of this. This was at one point maybe a 250- to 300-foot-long cavern, but half of it is entirely occupied by the base of Thar Amphala.

TRAVIS: Couldn't Scanlan look like one of the mages we killed and walk up and be like, "All clear, everybody. Go home. It's all done."

LAURA: We can totally try that.

TALIESIN: What was his name?

TRAVIS: He had a name?

LAURA: He did have a name. What was his name? You wrote it down.

SAM: The names of the people we killed? We know their names?

LAURA: Yeah, you wrote it down.

MARISHA: Odell.

LAURA: Odell.

MARISHA: Tell Viscon we have visitors. I wrote that in quotes.

SAM: I could be one of them. I have an orb of destruction next to me that would seem like his.

TRAVIS: Yeah, you could walk it up real close and be like--

LAURA: We're going to tunnel in this one now, so move.

MARISHA: Do you remember what Odell looked like?

SAM: Sure. We just killed him, right?

MARISHA: Odell seemed to be more like a more high-ranking member of Vecna's forces.

SAM: Which is the one controlling the orb, though?

LIAM: Wait a second. Scanlan could do that, but he can't go by himself! We have to creep along with him, or be found out.

SAM: I won't be alone. I'll have Simon with me.

LIAM: We all have to go together so we don't fall out of range of her ring.

LAURA: This is true. We're going to be within 60 feet of you, very stealthily.

LIAM: We're all stuck together, unfortunately.

TALIESIN: Can you send them down there?

SAM: Send who down where?

TALIESIN: The rest of them to help the other-- We tell them they need help down below, in the cavern where we murdered everybody. You're Odell. Viscon might be one of them. Send them down there to see if there's a problem, then cave them in when they all go.

SAM: How far are they from us?

MATT: They're about a 140 or so feet.

LIAM: Send who?

TRAVIS: The people who are guarding the archways. We trap them with explosives and shit.

TALIESIN: How is it that Grog is following me right now? Am I making that little sense?

TRAVIS: Always the tone of surprise.

MARISHA: How many robes do we have? Are we going to claim that we're there to relieve them of their shift? Is that what you're pitching?

LAURA: No, we're going to say that we're going to tunnel in that area now, so they have to clear out or else they'll be caved in.

TALIESIN: We send one of us as Odell to tell Viscon there's a problem down there and we need everybody to help because we found something.

TRAVIS: Yeah, we heard rumblings down there.

LAURA: Not people, don't let anyone know there's people, but there's definitely something interesting.

SAM: But you people have to be near me when I do this. How is that going to happen?

TALIESIN and LAURA: We're going to hide.

SAM: Is there anything to hide behind?

MATT: It's dark, and there are a number of dwarven buildings in various levels of disrepair and collapsing.

LAURA: As we get closer, I can use Hide in Plain Sight and camouflage all of us to where they can walk by us and they won't see us.

LIAM: Additionally, we can play monkey in the middle as long as Vex is in the center you can be 50 feet or so ahead, and everyone else can be either with Vex or back.

TRAVIS: Oh, this actually sounds like a plan, which means it will go terribly.

LAURA: They're 120 feet from us?

MATT: They're about 140 to 150 feet.

LAURA: Okay, we'll move forward a bit, and then I can camouflage all of you.

SAM: Wait, an actor prepares. Who am I? What's my motivation? Am I Odell? If so, why does Odell have this sphere?

LAURA: Because he's going to tunnel in that tunnel.

TRAVIS: Look, Odell went to Vecna because his wife left him because she's like, "Oh, you're not very powerful." And he's like, "I will find and show you power." So you went to Vecna and you gouged your eye out. But then your depth perception is off now. So then you're like, "I'm going to work my way up through the ranks."

MARISHA: But you went back and she was like, "Now you're hideous. Now I'm not taking you back at all!" And you were spiteful, so you went back and turned to a life of crime and deceit.

SAM: Sure, I'll show her. I'll show all of them! I like this. Good backstory.

TRAVIS: Pike, smack Scanlan. Let him know.

ASHLEY: I smack him on the butt. Go get them.

SAM: Wait. Who's Viscon? Which one is he?

LAURA: Odell was the one holding the sphere, right?

MARISHA: Yes. Because one of the other minion guys was like, "Odell, go tell Viscon."

SAM: Yeah, but he was running away. He wasn't the one holding the sphere.

LAURA: Odell wasn't holding the sphere.

SAM: It was the green robe guy.

MARISHA: Who's the green robe guy, then?

LAURA: Gray. Yeah, it was gray. Hold on, I pull it out and look at it. Yeah, it was gray.

SAM: Wait, we have the actual robe. Just give me that.

MARISHA: Are they written on the tags like a school play?

LAURA: Yeah, does it have his name written in it anywhere so we can keep track of it?

MATT: Roll an investigation chek.

SAM: Property of Jimmy.

LAURA: Oh, this is pretty good. 24.

SAM: "If found, return to--"

MARISHA: "Property of--"

MATT: This is which one?

LAURA: This is the gray robe.

SAM: I thought green!

LAURA: It was gray, the guy that was controlling the orb.

MARISHA: You know these people have anal-retentiveness issues.

LAURA: No! The red guy was holding the orb. The green guy put up the force wall and ran away.

SAM: So we want the red?

LAURA: The red robe. I'm looking at the red robe.

MARISHA: Because the red robe was Odell.

LAURA: I don't know! We don't know.

LIAM: Vax starts quietly praying to the Raven Queen in a corner right now.

MATT: Odell is the one that ran off.

LAURA: Okay, so that's not the one we want; we want the one in red, who was controlling the orb.

MATT: Viskorad.

SAM: Did we ever hear his name?

MATT: Yes. "Turn back and tell that Viskorad found sneaky prey."

SAM: Viskorad. My name is Viskorad.

TRAVIS: Do you want to know his backstory?

(laughter)

SAM: I'll just use the same one.

MARISHA: Viskorad and Viscon are two different people?

MATT: I might have mis-said it at the moment. I was on painkillers.

MARISHA: So there is no Viscon, there's a Viscorad.

MATT: Viscon I believe is the name of an island elsewhere.

(laughter)

TALIESIN: He's looking forward to vacation when this is all over.

SAM: We know the other one was named Odell and he's dead. So I can go over there and say, "They've killed Odell."

LAURA: No, don't say that there's anybody that they need to watch out for. Don't set them on alert! No, tell them you found something interesting and Odell was investigating it.

SAM: So they need to go get what?

LAURA: They need to go down into the tunnel to help him.

SAM: Okay, but what is the thing that they found?

TALIESIN: Anything you'd like.

MARISHA: Your long-lost wedding ring from your past marriage.

TALIESIN: Not that, but yeah. We found something interesting. It's strange, possibly dangerous, possibly useful.

LAURA: You definitely need help for it. Vecna's going to be thrilled! Everybody's going to get promotions.

SAM: Odell is still down there. He needs some help. I'm going to go talk to Vecna while they go help Odell. Right? I'm going to put on my Hat of Disguise and become as close to that man's form as I can. Wait, was he a human? Was he an elf?

MATT: He's human.

SAM: He was human?

LAURA: So we sneak forward. Trinket's going back into his necklace. It's too dangerous, buddy.

SAM: Moles and trolls. Red leather, yellow leather.

LAURA: So as soon as we get a hundred feet of them I'm going to do Hide in Plain Sight on everybody and camouflage everybody so that they--

MATT: Okay, so Hide in Plain Sight and camouflage.

LAURA: On top of Pass Without a Trace. Hide in Plain Sight.

TRAVIS: We could hide in a house, one of the rooms.

MARISHA: We've got camo paint and camo clothes, while carrying a bush.

MATT: Hide in Plain Sight is the camouflage you're referring to.

LAURA: Just to disguise everyone so that they're super hidden.

TRAVIS: Pike gets on my back.

MATT: Camouflage you can really only do on yourself.

LAURA: I can use my ranger skills to cover people!

MATT: Sure, you can Arnold-Schwarzenegger-in-Predator this for other folks.

LAURA: We're keeping within Pass Without a Trace.

MATT: I'll say make a wisdom check.

LAURA: To see if I can actually do it?

MATT: To see how well you're able to mask the terrain near by.

LIAM: I stand ten feet away from her and give her a plus two. Oh, that's so low.

LAURA: I know. Eight.

LIAM: Plus two!

LAURA: Oh, a wisdom saving throw or a check?

MATT: A check. It looks like, unfortunately, the shale and broken rock in this vicinity, it's hard to find anything that would actually help hide them, beyond their natural stealth roll. So you're going have to rely on your Pass Without a Trace.

LAURA: So we have to stay within 30 feet of me.

TALIESIN: We'll stay in there. We're going to get into the ruins and have our guns trained in case anything goes wrong.

LAURA: Scanlan, stay within 60 feet of me.

MARISHA: Keyleth finds some black dirt on the ground and gives a war paint.

TALIESIN: Remember, if anything goes wrong, it's been a pleasure working with you.

SAM: Wonderful. We have the jenga. We can do the jenga!

TRAVIS: You're the only one who'll be saying jenga, pretty much.

LAURA: Yeah, you can do the jenga. What do we do if it's jenga?

SAM: We kill everyone.

TALIESIN: We think well of you and move on.

LIAM: I'm going to stick close to Vex in case she needs backup, but also if Scanlan needs backup. Ready to run in.

ALL: Okay.

MATT: The only person going forward is you?

SAM: Yes.

MARISHA: Wait! Before he goes, I grab him, and I cast Freedom of Movement on him. You can't be grappled.

LAURA: Can you cast something to help his charisma and his persuasion?

MARISHA: Yes, actually, I can, because Freedom of Movement is not a concentration spell. So I'm going to burn my last 2nd-level spell and do Enhance Ability to give you--

MATT: Advantage on charisma checks?

MARISHA: Peacock's Charisma or whatever the fuck it's called.

MATT: Note you have Freedom of Movement. How long does it last? Is it an hour?

LAURA: An hour.

MATT: So you have Freedom of Movement for an hour. Everyone else who's not going forward, make a stealth check, please.

LAURA: It's plus ten!

MARISHA: Let's do it in the druid dice. Oh yeah, that's good!

LIAM: Natural 20. 47.

SAM: You're going to be in triple digits soon.

TALIESIN: He appears in another game. Somewhere in Deep Valley.

MATT: You go back and watch previous episodes, and Liam's not there. It's really weird.

LIAM: Somewhere in the future, there's an Acquisitions Inc. game going, and my head pops in from the side, and then pulls out again.

MATT: I love it. Perfect.

LAURA: I got 43.

LIAM: That's pretty good.

TRAVIS: 22.

MATT: Pike?

ASHLEY: 20!

MATT: Keyleth?

MARISHA: 32.

TALIESIN: 34.

MATT: Wow. That's some pretty solid rolls, guys. You all stay as quiet as possible, moving along the exterior of Vex's ability to move forward. You move forward slowly while keeping Scanlan in sight. You slowly begin to move forward, with Simon Three humming slowly in front of you.

SAM: I am going to limp as I go.

MATT: Interesting character choice.

SAM: Strong choices, commit to them a hundred percent.

MATT: You guys are quietly stepping through, and you hear his footfalls echoing, and immediately you see some of the torches shift, and there's some talk and some whispering back and forth and a small shout. You watch as some of the skeletal entities at two of the entrances shift and look in that direction, and begin to shamble slowly. The two torch-bearers on the right begin to move forward as the armored figure in the center watches on, arms crossed. What are you doing? You have three archways.

SAM: I go to the one that had that knight near it, right?

MATT: That's the middle one.

SAM: I'll go to the middle one. I'm going to keep the ball in front of me to obscure me a little bit. Not dead in front of me, but it's up here, just in case. Hanging my head a little bit. I'll go up and say: Power! So much power! I've never experienced anything like it before! Come! I need aid!

MATT: Make a deception check with advantage.

SAM: Okay, first one was better. Ten, plus-- what is this?

TALIESIN and MATT: Deception.

SAM: 28.

MATT: The shambling skeletons to the left of you, you can hear the scraping and clacking sound as their bones rattle and shift across the stone floor, pieces of rock being pushed as their feet drag across the stone dwarven walkways. The two torch-bearing, cloaked figures you can see approaching, and they're talking among themselves. One of them is currently holding some sort of a holy symbol in their hand, and they're starting to glow a bit. They're glaring forward. The armored figure with the arms crossed puts a hand out like this. They both look over and stop and hold in place. The armored figure steps forward. You can hear the armored footfalls across the stone. The rot behemoth, which you now see emerging behind. Rot behemoth, the entities you saw patrolling Thar Amphala and two of them stormed into Sprigg's house, begins to follow behind him.

SAM: So far it's going great, guys.

MATT: Every minute or two, you have the vibrating footfall of the titan, and a few of the rocks fall and tumble from the ceiling, and a bit of dust begins to get knocked free from the high-up ceiling of the cavern.

The armored figure approaches, gets within about 15 feet of you and stops. You see no face. This is Magneto-style; there's space for the eyes and the mouth, but it's too shadowed for you to make any features out. It's this dark void. You can see the hooked, spiked shoulders and the horns built to come out of the sides of the helmet. Arms still crossed before. "What did you say?"

SAM: We were tunneling with the orb, and we found something. An ancient, dwarven artifact. It bends reality. It changed things. It changed my voice! It changed my whole world for a moment. It's still down there. Odell needs help!

MATT: There's a pregnant pause, a stillness that causes the back of your neck to grow warm. The nerves begin to creep up the back of your spine. Instinctually, your eyes begin to glance at the two at the archways as you see shapes shifting. The armored figure gives a subtle chuckle, "Very well. Lead us to this find."

SAM: I have been injured. Take the orb, go down to where we were, down that way. I will go get help for myself. Odell needs you to help him contain the power.

MATT: The head retracts slightly, confused and a bit worried. He takes one step onto the back foot, almost like it's not sure if it should be close to you or not. It raises its hand back towards the two other torch-bearing, cloaked figures and goes, "Vislal, take the orb." One of the hooded figures steps forward and takes a moment and concentrates. The orb jolts towards him immediately and he yelps. He's going to try again. Okay. With a second try, you can see the sweat on his brow as he begins to step backward, like, "I'm not really good with this." Are you relinquishing your control over it?

SAM: Yes.

MATT: So then he focuses for a moment, and the orb-- you can feel the slight bit of will that you had imposed over it has pulled back. The orb begins to push forward slowly in his direction of choice. You can see a smile come across his hairless, older face. He nudges the other figure, which you can see is a female half-orc who looks heavily scarred across the chin and the side of the neck, and they're both missing the corresponding eye.

They both begin to move forward and slowly push the orb past you. The vibration you hear getting louder in your guys' direction as the armored figure begins to follow suit behind. The rot behemoth begins to follow, and the armored knight goes, "Keep watch." The skeletons begin to move backward with the rot behemoth. Now you have the heavy footfalls of the large, looming rot behemoth in the center walkway and a handful of skeletons for that approach, blockading that, as the knight, with the two other hooded figures, begin to make their way towards the entrance where you guys rose up.

LAURA: You shouldn't have given them the Sphere.

SAM: What am I going to do with a fucking Sphere?

LAURA: Yeah, but we have to cave it in, and they're going to see.

SAM: Wait, we're supposed to cave in shit?!

LAURA: We're going to cave it in after them.

SAM: Goddamn it, why didn't you tell me this plan?!

LAURA: We did.

MATT: So they begin to walk forward and slowly make their way towards the staircase that you guys emerged from.

SAM: I'm not the best at this game.

LIAM: So we part, like the sea.

MATT: You guys part a bit, move around the sides. Okay. You guys keep as quiet as you possibly can. There's a brief moment, Pike, where your arm is on the side of one of the stone walls, and a piece of rock snaps and breaks to the ground. One of the figures with the hood back stops for a second and goes to look, just as one of the titan footfalls impacts and the whole area shakes sending other rocks tumbling around. It seems to be just enough to distract. They continue walking forward. You hear the hum of the orb as is slowly makes its way past you, faint hint of a Doppler. You watch them descend into the ruins that you emerged from, down into the tunnel.

TALIESIN: So they can only move at the speed of the orb, since they have the orb with them.

SAM: Well, they can move faster, but they won't have the orb with them.

LAURA: Should we still cave it in, though, behind them?

TALIESIN: How many creatures are left guarding us?

MATT: Currently, you still have the cluster of eight skeletons on the left one. There are four skeletons and the rot behemoth in the middle, and on the right, you still have one humanoid figure flanked by two hunched humanoid figures.

LAURA: We can definitely take the skeletons out, though, and sneak through, potentially, in that one tunnel. We should still cave this shit in, and it'll seem like a natural cave-in, right?

MARISHA: Skeletons we can handle pretty easily. So wait, it's 12 skeletons, one rot behemoth, and two--

SAM: Don't you think the thing that the big thing is guarding is the better path?

LAURA: Probably.

MATT: There are eight skeletons on the left path, four skeletons and the rot behemoth in the center, and then one humanoid figure with two crouched humanoid figures on the right.

MARISHA: One humanoid, two crouched figures. Okay.

LIAM: How spread out are those three groupings?

MATT: They're about 40 or 50 feet from each other around a curved outcropping. From your perspective, it's around this. The center can see both; the right and left probably can't see each other too well. It's dark and there's a vanishing point around the curve where the far ends can't make eye contact.

TALIESIN: Humanoids are the big problem.

TRAVIS: But they can both see the middle?

MATT: They can both see the middle, yeah.

MARISHA: Out of all of these, the human with the two crouched things is what I'm most worried about.

TRAVIS: Because we don't know what it is?

MARISHA: Well, and humans have common sense.

TRAVIS: Do we have a way to alienate these three that are walking to go see Odell? Do we, or do we not?

TALIESIN: We have the gem.

TRAVIS: But we don't know what it does.

TALIESIN: It may make the undead move towards it.

LAURA and MARISHA: That's true.

LAURA: But should we cave in this fucking tunnel so that they can't come back through?

MARISHA: How wide are the tunnel entrances?

MATT: They're about 12 feet wide and about ten feet tall. And when I say they're arches--there's simple stone placed and then built around to maintain an arch, but they've been fairly recently constructed and it's more like the very basic beginnings of a mine shaft. It looks like these tunnels were carved probably once Thar Amphala arrived above the titan. So they're not extremely stable, but they're stable enough for passage in and out.

SAM: The guy who talked to me, is he still here?

MATT: He went with the orb.

SAM: Okay. Which archway did he come from?

LAURA and MATT: The middle.

SAM: Okay, I'm going to go up to the middle one and say: Excuse me, big fellow. I have to get by.

MATT: Make a deception check. With advantage still.

LAURA: Don't go too far from me!

SAM: 25.

MATT: 25? The rot behemoth glances at you. You see its large metal cage-like helmet that guards its sunken head that rests squarely in the center of its chest at this point. The smell emanating from it is this awful combination of rot and long-putrid milk. You can see no face behind the mask, just glowing red coals for eyes. As it watches you as you pass, it doesn't make any motion.

SAM: I'm going to go in through the archway.

LAURA: Don't keep walking fucking away from me!

SAM: I'm going to go a few feet in. Do I see anything?

MATT: You can see it seems to curve upward.

SAM: It's stairs?

MATT: It's not stairs. It looks like the interior of this was made with a Sphere of Annihilation, like someone had taken a while-- because there's no dirt, there's no mounds of dirt around it. It looks like someone had been carefully carving this path. You get the sense this sphere has been a utility object since they arrived.

SAM: How far can I get before I'm away from 60 feet?

MATT: You have no idea where she is.

SAM: Well, I must have gone with them and then gone forward.

MATT: Well, they have to follow you.

LAURA: Every time you move forward, I have to move forward.

SAM: Well, you better fucking move forward. No, I'm at the threshold of the entrance.

MATT: You walk about three feet past the behemoth and stop.

SAM: I take a knee. (groans)

MATT: It slowly turns towards you.

SAM: I'm okay, I just need a second. (whispering) What's going on?

TALIESIN: Move the behemoth away.

SAM: What's going on with my brain? (groans) What's the plan?

TALIESIN: Move the behemoth *away*!

SAM: Okay, you can do this, man. Stand up. (whispering) Lead him away? Where?

LIAM: Convince it that the people we sent away need it.

SAM: I'll start back. I go back through and I say: No, it's too dangerous. They need help down there. I fall down to one knee again, and say: Ugh! Damn these legs! You must go help them! They'll die down there! Can't you see it's getting worse?! The pain!

LIAM: Is that the DM's face, or the creature's?

MATT: Probably both.

(laughter)

MATT: Make a straight charisma check. You have advantage because of the spell. You would.

SAM: Just charisma?

MATT: Just charisma bonus; charisma modifier.

SAM: 23.

MATT: Okay. That's all you're going to leave it at? 23?

LAURA: You can inspire yourself!

SAM: Wouldn't it seem odd if I started singing to myself?

LAURA: What if you're crazy?

TRAVIS: You're in a fever dream.

TALIESIN: I can assist in your inspiration.

SAM: How? You're 60 feet away from me!

TALIESIN: Can I assist in his inspiration?

MATT: Anything you do to assist will reveal you from stealth.

TALIESIN: Including casting a spell?

MATT: Oh yeah.

SAM: Sure, I'll inspire myself. Why not? Oh, I get to roll something.

MATT: Roll a d12 and add that to your 23.

SAM: Ooh, another eight!

MATT: Eight onto that? So a 31. There's another long pause. Generally, an entity like this is tethered to the will of one creature. In most circumstances, it would not take any orders from anybody outside of it. But somehow, your words get it to consider in its simplistic, undead mind that if its master is in danger, then obviously the master would want help.

SAM: That's robotics law one, right?

MATT: Somehow, your force of words circumvent the tethered command, and the behemoth begins to hulkingly make its way, with four of the skeletons, walking with the skittering of the skeletons, away, towards where its master disappeared.

LAURA: I'm going to wait until it passes by me to whisper into my earring. (whispering) Maybe if we all go down the middle tunnel, then we can collapse *that* tunnel behind us.

MARISHA: Instead of collapsing three tunnels?

LAURA: Yeah. We make a run for it and then collapse the tunnel. Because the other two tunnels are going to see us once we get in the middle.

MARISHA: Okay. Yeah, I'm into this. Do people have abilities to make sure these people stay back and don't rush us while we get through?

SAM: They're idiots. Just go!

MARISHA: But there's a person thing.

LAURA: We stealth around the other side.

MARISHA: Yeah. Because the skeletons are better to deal with.

TRAVIS: Are you talking about collapsing the middle tunnel?

SAM: That we're about to go into.

TRAVIS: Should we entertain the idea of collapsing the tunnel that we sent everybody to? But all the danger, the majority of it, is behind us.

TALIESIN: We can stealth-kill these humans super quick.

LAURA: Can you collapse the one they went down? Then we'll collapse ours, too. Because the thing is a Sphere that can--

TRAVIS: Even if you can just get the one. All of them coming back or chasing us is going to be a bitch. Even if it just slows them down.

MARISHA: This is all pretty much unworked stone for the most part? Since you said it was all self-carved. It's pretty rough.

MATT: Yeah, it's natural earth and stone. As natural as the Shadowfell's slate and rock is. It's unworked, for the most part.

MARISHA: I could go earth elemental, go into the walls, collapse tunnel A. You guys make a run from it. I can earthglide through the walls, get to the middle as soon as you guys get through, and collapse second tunnel. But it might take a little bit. I don't know.

SAM: What about the 60-feet thing?

TALIESIN: We have to wait for the first wall to collapse, then we may run.

TRAVIS: Make a run for it?

MARISHA: And I'll collapse tunnel one?

LAURA: Collapse tunnel one.

MARISHA: How far away is tunnel one right now?

MATT: Tunnel one, the one with the eight skeletons--

MARISHA: No, the one we came from.

MATT: Oh, that one! With you guys having to keep at the 60-foot radius with Scanlan, it's about 80 or so feet behind you.

LIAM: Another option: you said that these three passageways, they curve this way, and that the two on the sides don't have a really good look at each other, right? On the left is a bunch of undead fuckers, right? And on the right we've got a humanoid and two little crunched over guys, right? So you've got that Silence doohickey, and us. So we could bet it all on stealth-kills, and creep in and go. Leave it all behind. One in the middle's now empty. One on the left over around the corner is undead.

SAM: Who are you going to stealth-kill?

LIAM: Humanoid and two creepy-crawly guys. If it pans out, we take them out, and the skeletons over there can't see over here. If we are quick, and then we go!

TALIESIN: Well, I would say collapse the tunnel, then go.

LAURA: We still have to collapse the tunnel.

LIAM: All right. But kill them, and then make a loud noise. Because as soon as we start shit rumbling, everybody gets paranoid and upset.

TALIESIN: We'd have to be lucky.

SAM: They're probably getting down to Odell at this point. We should hurry!

MARISHA: I can throw up a wall of stone to block the tunnel we came from, and then we go and we do the other stuff.

LAURA: Let's do it and go!

MARISHA: *Okay*! I'm burning the last of my shit! 6th-level spell Wall of Stone!

LAURA and MARISHA: The tunnel we came from.

MATT: So you create a stone over that entrance?

LAURA: Yes. Once they're all in there, we block them in.

MARISHA: We block it up completely.

TRAVIS: If they're all in there.

MATT: Yeah, they've all been in there for about two minutes, at this point.

LIAM: Can we say that the twins and Freddie have been ready to go as you cast and make our move on these three on the side?

MATT: Sure. Are you going for the three humanoids?

LIAM: Yes.

LAURA: Are you sure? Those seem like the most powerful ones.

TALIESIN: That's why we stealth-kill them now.

LIAM: Stealth-kill them and get the drop.

LAURA: So after that's up, we all move as a group in that direction so we're within 60 feet of each other.

MARISHA: Well, my spell is going to make noise, right? Should you guys stealth-kill first?

TALIESIN: We could go for surprise kill if we want.

LIAM: That's what I'm saying.

MATT: So you're waiting for them? You hold off. You talk. You guys move over stealthily.

MARISHA: I stay with them as far as I can.

MATT: They don't seem to notice your approach. Just the two of you?

TALIESIN: Yeah, I'm at great distance.

LAURA: What do they look like from this distance?

MATT: You see there's one hooded figure, hood up, holding a torch with one hand, but the torch is up above, so the shadow cast, you're not really able to make out any features or so. You can see the faint side of an older female face. That's all you can make out. And you see two shadow ghasts, the creatures that you saw leaping from rooftop to rooftop in Thar Amphala, and one of them you captured briefly at Spriggs' house. They're both on chained necklace-like chokers, being held in the other hand of this individual, like dogs.

LAURA: So we should kill her.

LIAM: I guess I'll start with her, then the ghasts. I'm going to assassinate this woman. Hopefully. Flick-flick on her.

MATT: Roll an attack. Both of you guys.

LAURA: Wait, is it an automatic crit because it's surprise?

LIAM: Yes.

LAURA: Sweet! So 30 for attack.

MATT: 30? Awesome. Why is my music not working? 30 definitely hits. For you, Vax?

LIAM: That's 25 and 23.

MATT: All hit.

LIAM: Here we go. I'm going to dump a smite into it, as well.

LAURA: 19 times two is 28 plus eight is 36 damage on my first arrow.

MATT: All righty.

LAURA: Second attack.

TRAVIS: 19 times two? Is what?

LAURA: No, 38. 19 times two is 38 plus eight. 46!

MATT: There you go, 46 damage.

LIAM: First dagger to strike does 88.

MATT: So the humanoid figure in the center holding the torch. All of you see is them drop back to the ground as the chains clank to the ground. The torch clatters, and you see the light shift and flickers. The two shadow ghasts immediately look in your direction.

LAURA: Yep. That was one, so for my second arrow--

MATT: Then the wall of stone goes over and covers the top. And you start catching up to the rest of the group? Grog, Pike? You're running to catch up with Vex and Vax? You're making the second strike?

LIAM: Yeah, I threw two daggers as part of the surprise.

MATT: Go ahead. This is to which guy, the left or right?

LAURA: I'm going left.

LIAM: You fired? To the left or the right?

MATT: You don't know.

LIAM: I'm going to fire at the same one that my sister does.

LAURA: So 31 to hit.

MATT: All right, that hits. What'd you roll, Vax, to hit?

LIAM: It was earlier I did it. They both hit; it was 20-something.

LAURA: 19 on the left.

LIAM: Just seven for me, though, and that's all I'm going to do.

MATT: All righty. Then you are shooting?

TALIESIN: First one is 32 to hit.

MATT: That hits.

TALIESIN: Second shot is 28 to hit. First shot is terrible! It's 12 points of damage. I don't have surprise bonus at all, do I?

MATT: No, because as this point they've already been made aware.

TALIESIN: Second shot is.-- oh my god, what a terrible roll! 10 points of damage. Nope, I'm so sorry! That's not nearly as bad as I thought it was. 16 points of damage. That's way better. That seven looked like a one.

MATT: Yeah that's enough. Second shot destroys most of the upper body of the shadow ghast on the left. The loud gunshots going off in the cavern echoes, and you see the skeletons beginning to shift from the other hallway toward the direction the gunshots came from.

TALIESIN: I'm booking it.

MATT: As you guys are rushing up, you manage to catch up to the rest of them as the final shadow ghast (snarls), and it sees currently the two of you. It's going to run forward and it's going to move here. Even at its full distance, it gets right up next to you, but it's not going to be able to attack unfortunately. It uses its full movement and runs toward you with an unnatural speed and it leaps and lands on you with its claws grabbing your chest and you begin to fall back and start to catch yourself.

LIAM: Stab! Stab! Stab!

MATT: Go ahead and make your attacks. The rest of you manage to catch up to the group.

TALIESIN: Running up to the center tunnel.

MATT: Everyone else running up to the center tunnel?

MARISHA: Center tunnel. Go!

MATT: As you guys approach, you hit the tunnel and begin to move inside as eight skeletons begin to curve around the corner.

MARISHA: Are we all in?

MATT: No, currently she's still being assaulted by a shadow ghast.

SAM: I'm still at the door, and I'll say: No! Get away from me, you interlopers! Evil -doers! That's right, you infiltrator! (screams)

MATT: Perfect! You're stabbing at the guy that's got her?

LIAM: 40 for the first. Second one is a seven. No, it's 17 for the second one, and the last is a crit, and that is eight.

MATT: That'll do it, actually. As you repeatedly jab your dagger into the back of it, its tongue is lashing out and its claws trying to sink into her armor. Can't seem to find any purchase on her flesh. The horrible smell of its breath is on you as you watch as dark blood spatters out of its mouth on you as it's being stabbed to death on top of you. The weight pushes you onto your back, and you crumple onto the ground as it goes limp. You have to shove it off of you.

LIAM: I take whisper and the venom dagger and lift it by the head off her.

LAURA: Thanks.

MATT: As you guys are getting up to do this action, the rest of you made it up to the tunnel, and you can see as the eight skeletons begin to turn around the corner and begin hacking at the slowest who's there, which is going to be Pike. So Pike, you get four skeletons that are able to attack you at this entrance way.

ASHLEY: That's okay.

MARISHA: She's got this shit. She's a cleric! She's a monster.

MATT: 13 misses. Misses. Misses. They all miss! They're scratching at your armor.

ASHLEY: I'm almost there!

MATT: You guys run past the skeletons?

LAURA: Yeah because we're going to tunnel this shit anyways, right?

TALIESIN: I think we're going to all get in and then, Grog, I'm going to have you punch the darkness.

TRAVIS: Sure.

MATT: All right so you guys all continue to run in. As you guys run past, Pike, four attacks of opportunity on you from the ones that were attacking you.

MATT: 15. No. No. 17 no. What's your armor class?

ASHLEY: 23.

MATT: 19, it rolled naturally, plus four equals 23. One has managed to finally get to you. It swings up with its shortsword at you, and you take eight points of piercing damage. One of the skeletal short swords glides across the back of your armor. It glides off and catches you in the edge of the ear and you're like (yelps). But you guys continue to run into this. Are you running with them?

ASHLEY: I want to attack them so bad, but I know we need to go.

SAM: I'll run, but I'll say: No! No, don't take me with you. I need to stay here.

TALIESIN: You're our hostage now!

MATT: As you're shouting this to skeletons, you glance off over the back of your shoulder and you see a bit of torchlight emerge as a black orb burns through a stone wall.

MARISHA: Let's go!

TRAVIS: I wait until everybody's through, and do I see a crack or nice weakened part in the archway that I can smack?

MATT: Make an investigation check. You put your hand through to find a specific place--

TRAVIS: Hold onto your butts. 13.

MATT: 13? Maybe.

TRAVIS: I like the maybe. I rear back and hit the fucking shit out of it.

MATT: All right, go ahead and roll.

TRAVIS: Reckless. That's nice. 24.

MATT: 24, that hits. Go ahead and roll damage.

TRAVIS: What do I roll? 1d4?

MATT: 1d4 with the gauntlets then add your strength modifier.

TRAVIS: Oh, that's a one. Nine.

MATT: All right, as you slam your fist into the wall, part of it breaks and cracks and you can see earth begin to fall and filter in and it's not enough to take it down. You can hear multiple skeleton voices and you see a bunch of them rushing up the hallway at you.

LAURA: Can I shoot the skeletons that are approaching?

TALIESIN: I'm going to shoot, as well.

MATT: Okay, both of you guys take fire. Throw your second punch.

LAURA: 26 and 27 to hit.

TALIESIN: 25 and 28.

MATT: All hit.

TRAVIS: 12, 24.

MATT: 24 points of damage? Right. As you guys all fire and begin to prepare your weapons, you strike with your arrows, with your gun blast, with your daggers as the top of the cavern caves in, swallowing whatever projectiles you were throwing, as well as closing off the entranceway. You can see now, as it falls forward, parts begins to shift.

MARISHA: Run!

TRAVIS: I pick up Pike, and we start running.

MATT: Okay. So you're grabbing Pike by the back of the armor and you guys are rushing. It is starting to collapse and fall behind you. At that moment, you feel the low and sudden vibration of another titan footfall. At that point, it send the rest of this cavern into a more rapid collapse. As you can hear the cracking sound of the rocks behind you, Grog, make a dexterity saving throw.

TRAVIS: I have advantage on those. It's okay.

LIAM: If we're all running together he gets plus two from me, if he's within ten feet.

MATT: You guys are probably a little bit higher up than him.

TRAVIS: 17.

MATT: 17? As you're moving forward and you're rushing, some of the rocks begin to slam into you. Both you and Pike suffer seven points of bludgeoning damage. The impact of rocks-- make an athletics check.

TRAVIS: 23.

MATT: Yeah, the rocks begin to collapse around you and they begin to pin your body, but the physical strength you have manages to break through and you are not held in the collapsing tunnel beginning to push forward. You all begin to rush. Slowly the sound of the collapsing tunnel subsides as you begin to glance upward and see the color of green-blue light approaching.

SAM: Approaching us? Or we're approaching it?

LAURA: We can see the sky and we're causing the collapse behind us? We're up at Thar Amphala? Can we slow down at all, or do we have to keep booking it to avoid the cave-in?

MATT: Make a perception check.

LAURA: 18.

MATT: It sounds like the crumbling noises have begun to subside, and all you can hear now is the slow resting and easing to existing loose rubble and rock, the slow clattering behind you.

LAURA: So we can slow down.

MATT: You guys can slow down. You're about 15 feet from the surface at this point.

TALIESIN: Very carefully see what's up there and find some cover.

LAURA: I still got Pass Without a Trace because I didn't cast Hunter's Mark.

SAM: Who are you people? What do you want with me?

TRAVIS: I reach over to Scanlan, and I rip his hair off.

MATT: You reach out, and your hand passed through nothing.

TRAVIS: That is a great hat.

LIAM: I got a new 45 stealth check, so I'm going to go peek. We're level 19. I'm level 19, y'all.

MATT: You peek up past the edge. The sky above you glows a sickly teal color as the darkened storm above is obscured by the crackle of the arcane barrier that encases the city. Glancing at the sides of the barrier and the points of origin, you can see that only the inner portion of Thar Amphala is here. The inner wall and everything within. The outer regions were left in the Shadowfell when it was transported.

Peppered shifting shapes of winged, black clusters of creatures scan the sky above. Dozens and dozens of gloomstalkers seeking any sight of intruders across the enclosed atmosphere of this arcane dome. In the distance, you can see the terrible spire of Entropis standing once more. A web-like network of greenish energy fork like veins across the exterior to hold the structure firm.

A muffled boom is heard. You glance up, and see from the outside of this dome an explosion burst across the magical barrier. Harmless, then dissipates. Squinting hard, you can make out obscured shapes of wyvern riders. Swarming and circling the outside of the barrier.

LAURA: Is there any city on the way to Vasselheim?

MATT: Well, you traveled with wyvern riders. You don't know how many there are. But do note that you've traveled with wyvern riders. Tossing occasional weapons that bounce off and shatter with sparks across this barrier. Nothing is coming through and they're trying to find a weak point somewhere of what is encasing this. Currently, no help to you in your circumstance.

You see a massive skyship hovering far above that's unable to do anything and is staying far enough out to not unfortunately fall.

LAURA: We have to get these shields down.

MATT: You catch a flashing glance of a huge winged beast streak across the top of the barrier: a glittering brass dragon. An arcing blast of arcane energy fires from the barrier, striking J'mon Sa Ord, who briefly jolts from the impact, but barely changes course to curve away and out of sight.

As your vision now begins to focus down to the city around you, you can see the mostly intact buildings you recall from your last jaunt through Thar Amphala. The interior of the city is less war-damaged from past history frays.

Here you stand, and here's where we're going to take a break. We'll return here in a few minutes. We have a video at the break to get you guys ready for the Wyrmwood giveaway. Once again, help out with the earthquake recovery in Mexico if you can. And we'll see you guys in a few minutes.

Break[]

[break]

Part II[]

MATT: Welcome back, everybody! And welcome back, Ashley! Welcome back! We have our winner of the Wyrmwood giveaway: Pharadar! P-H-A-R-A-D, possibly an A or an O? Possibly an E? R! You are the winner! Danoba will contact you and get your information so we can send you your awesome signed Wyrmwood piece of accoutrement! Congratulations!

All righty. Coming back into the game, folks. As you all are waiting in this tunnel that emerges into Thar Amphala proper, Vax has taken a visual scope of the surroundings and the current circumstance. What do you do?

LAURA: Vax? Does it look like anyone has noticed the noise coming from this tunnel?

LIAM: I was about to assess that. Couple of questions: One, how far is the tower from where we are right now?

MATT: You guys are maybe 150 feet or so from the edge, so you're toward the side of the city. The tower is in the very center, so it's maybe half a mile from you. It's not half a mile; half a mile is ridiculous. No, it's maybe 400 feet from you?

LIAM: Am I able to tell, if this is a giant, domed-in city, are we in a little corner of it, or are we coming up somewhere mid-range?

MATT: If you were to look out at it from an overhead circle view, from the center, you're a little ways near the edge.

LIAM: Okay, so not right against it?

MATT: Yeah, you're about 150 feet from the edge.

LIAM: How close are the nearest of the gloomstalkers flying around?

MATT: At this point, looking up, you see about three or four that are maybe 70 or 80 feet above you. But they're doing passes. They're not being stationary and they're constantly circling through. As you glance up and look and nudge away, you can see their yellow eyes piercing from their black, lightless form. Their wings, as they expand and shift, you can see that faint glance that beams up their vision, scanning across the rooftops. They're all very intent on seeing what's going through the city.

LIAM: And do I see any motherfuckers on the streets?

MATT: Make a perception check.

LIAM: Yeah. Use the Colville die, the meteorite. It's pretty good. It's 29.

MATT: 29? Okay. Couple things. One, as you glance through the streets, you can see now why the top chamber of Thomara was so bereft of undead. They've all been moved topside. You see, glancing through the bits of street that you have in visual range, maybe 35 to 40 dwarven undead that are wandering through open spaces, mixing with the various soldiers from battles long past, when Thar Amphala still existed in the Shadowfell. You've encountered those undead already.

You also glance around past the gloomstalkers as you're keeping an eye. As you're scanning through the crowds, you see something different: larger, flying through the skies on the opposite end of the dome. It appears winged, with a tail, but porous, like a tattered sail or a ladder. A skeletal beast of long neck and tail makes a baneful circle over the city with burning green-blue eyes.

LIAM: Is it dragon-shaped?

MATT: It's kind of dragon-shaped.

MARISHA: It's Daenerys' dragon!

MATT: It appears to be skeletal. There is no flesh. With what little bit of look you can see, you can see the light behind the dome is--

LAURA: How is it even flying?

LIAM: Is there any color to it, other than dead?

MATT: Not bleached-white bone, but yellowish, off-white bone with various shades of rot to it. It's coasting around and you get one view of it as it begins to spin. You get a faint, distant glance at it. You only see one, but it is apparently also making its path over the city with the rest of the gloomstalkers. It does have stretched bits of broken, leftover flesh and leather that are tattered in places.

LIAM: Do me a favor and stay down there. It's a real party up here, and everybody's dead.

TRAVIS: I like parties.

LIAM: There is a dead dragon in the sky, and there's a lot of dead dwarves and other various types, and those things that Scanlan charmed a few days ago. It is really shitty up here, so stay put.

LAURA: Do any of them seem to have noticed this tunnel?

LIAM: I don't believe so.

LAURA: Then come back down here.

LIAM: I back slowly the 15 feet that I traveled.

LAURA: So what's the plan here, guys?

TRAVIS: I don't know how much further we have, but we really need that sword, right? We still have not seen the Sword of Kas?

TALIESIN: I've been thinking about that.

TRAVIS: Oh. Good.

TALIESIN: I haven't come up with anything. No, we could try and find the object. There are legends that say that the sword was lost somewhere near the city. We are, for as much of a moving, still in the earth somewhere near the city. We could find the sword.

LAURA: Potentially.

MARISHA: Yeah, maybe it's in the dirt that we just came by!

TALIESIN: I really hope we don't have to go back down there, but maybe. That might have been what they were searching for.

LIAM: You can scry on people. Can you scry on things?

MARISHA: I can. I don't currently have Locate Object with me.

LAURA: I have Locate Object.

MARISHA: I can give my Scrying Eye to Vex.

LAURA: So that we can see it, so we can locate it.

TRAVIS: Oh, because we haven't seen it yet?

MARISHA: I don't know what it looks like. Unless we have seen it, in which case I still don't know what it looks like.

TRAVIS: I think the Death Knight was holding the Sword of Kas.

LAURA: Well, we'll find out when we scry on it, won't we?

MARISHA: I pull out the Scrying Eye, toss it to Vex.

MATT: Have you scryed before?

LAURA: I haven't.

TRAVIS: Oh shit, you about to ride the Matrix, girl! You about to plug in!

SAM: Your first time's always disappointing.

MARISHA: You can have these rushes, you know? It can get a little intense. You'll be great. Yeah. Try and focus real hard, though.

LAURA: I focus on the Sword of Kas.

MARISHA: Yes, and try and keep your mind clear and on the sword, or else you'll get other weird interference.

LAURA: I'm thinking of so many other things, but I'm really trying to focus on this sword, okay? Penises, dicks. No, Sword of Kas! Sword!

MARISHA: It's very phallic, but *sword.*

MATT: All right, so. As you glance into this crystalline sphere, your vision begins to go dark at the edges. Tunnel vision begins to slowly swell and take your view. Your breath quickens. It's a really uncomfortable and unfamiliar feeling. But as your vision goes tunnel into the sphere, the coloration and the diffraction of the little bit of light and vision you have in this tunnel go cloudy and blur. The tunnel vision withdraws. It gets darker and darker, and you can see before you a hilt of some sort of black blade. It's beautiful and hooked in places. It's surrounded by muck. It's surrounded by what you get a sense of, but there's no open space around it. It is in some thick, molasses-like silt.

LAURA: It's buried. Does it seem like the dirt that surrounds the Shadowfell? Is it that kind of dirt?

MATT: It's the same color. There's no light in the vicinity. You can sense it's there, but you do sense that the earth around it is not super hard. There is a dampness. When I say silt--

LAURA: Oh no, now I'm thinking dicks again! Hold on. Sword!

MARISHA: Focus, Vex! Focus.

TRAVIS: Big black sword.

(laughter)

TALIESIN: We're going to die.

MATT: It seems to be submerged somewhere.

(laughter)

SAM: Children.

LAURA: I'm focusing!

MATT: So you see it somewhere, but because it's seemingly buried in this area of damp rock and silt, you have no other idea of where it is.

LAURA: Okay, but I did get a good look at it, at least?

MATT: As much as the Scry spell can employ, yes.

LAURA: Okay. All right, thanks, stone! It was not being held by that knight. No. It was buried somewhere.

MARISHA: I told you it was where we just walked by! I don't know if that's true.

LAURA: I'm going to give Vax a super detailed description. I don't know if it helps, but I know we can both cast Locate Object.

LIAM: Yeah, but you saw it.

LAURA: Yeah, but I'm giving you a really detailed description!

LIAM: But I didn't see it.

LAURA: We're twins! Look into my mind!

LIAM: You have the spell, yeah? So you should do it.

MARISHA: Can I have my Scrying Eye back?

LAURA: Have you scryed on any of us, without us knowing?

TRAVIS: You can admit it. It's okay. Come clean.

TALIESIN: She's a terrible liar. We'd know.

MARISHA: I wanted to scry on Scanlan, but then Grog wouldn't let me.

SAM: Why would you want to scry on me?

LAURA: Oh, when you were missing and we didn't know if you were safe or not.

SAM: If you did, you would've seen this: a big black sword.

TRAVIS: Is that what you call big?

SAM: I'm a little guy. Look, it's bigger than my mug!

MARISHA: Did you really paint Mythcarver black? Why would you do that?

SAM: For a joke.

LAURA: Okay, I'm going to cast Locate Object and envision the Sword of Kas to see if it's around us. I cast it at 3rd level, though, because I used up all my 2nd.

MATT: Okay. Within a thousand feet of you. Okay.

SAM: Is it a roll? No, it's a thing that happens.

MATT: In a brief instant, you close your eyes, recite the incantation, snap your fingers. As you do, from behind your closed lids, you immediately feel this draw, this sense, this direction. It is not moving. It is stationary. It is--

MARISHA: 3,000 miles away.

MATT: No, it's within a thousand miles. Let me see. Sense the direction. So you know the direction of it at all times. You don't know quite how far from you it is. You sense it's lateral and down from where you are. Deeper toward the city, but at a downward angle.

LAURA: So underground. So we don't have to go above ground to find it. Do you guys want to spend time getting this sword?

TALIESIN: It would be advantageous.

TRAVIS: Do we really need it?

LAURA: It's super important to fighting Vecna.

TRAVIS: We had the ability to tunnel through earth, but this guy let it go.

SAM: Who are you people? Let me go! I'm innocent!

MARISHA: Your wife left you!

SAM: Oh, that's true! (fake sobbing) That is my backstory!

LAURA: What about the earth elemental thing that you were going to do? Can you still do that and tunnel with that?

MARISHA: That lets me glide through earth. It doesn't let me tunnel. I can do a Move Earth spell.

LAURA: You can't take me with you if you glide through the earth, can you?

MARISHA: You would die. You would suffocate and be crushed from the pressure of the earth.

TRAVIS: Unless you wanted to hop in the necklace and give it to her in the elemental form.

SAM: But you wouldn't be able to help her find it in a necklace.

LAURA: It's that direction.

SAM: Is it the direction that we came from, or the direction that we are going, but down?

MATT: The direction you're going, but down.

TALIESIN: Like hopping Earth orbit.

SAM: We don't know if there's even any catacombs or anything down there. It could be buried in solid earth.

LAURA: Which is why Keyleth is clutch.

SAM: And it could be a thousand feet down.

TRAVIS: That's probably what they were looking for.

TALIESIN: It's probably what they were digging for.

TRAVIS: But they were going the wrong way.

TALIESIN: I can keep blowing his mind like this. It's quite nice.

MARISHA: Okay, all right, shit. Do you know how close it is?

LAURA: It's within a thousand feet. Right? Yeah, no, I only sense things within a thousand feet.

TALIESIN: How much of a problem is the Move Earth, and how far can we go? A thousand feet, with the Move Earth?

LAURA: What if I point Keyleth in the direction? Can you glide as an earth elemental and find it that way?

MATT: Do consider, once you do find it, the sword cannot earthglide with you.

LAURA: Oh, it can't?

SAM: If only we had some sort of sphere!

LAURA: If only someone hadn't sent it away! Which is, by the way, chasing behind us still.

MATT: Yeah, probably.

SAM: Shit. But when it catches up to us, we'll take it back!

LAURA: Maybe see if you can sense it right now. See if you can take it back right now.

SAM: Simon? Answer your master. I can't.

LAURA: Keep trying.

MATT: The spell only lasts for up to ten minutes, by the way.

TALIESIN: We have to move quick.

MATT: So you've got to move quick.

LAURA: I'm going to have to keep casting it.

MARISHA: All right, here's the thing. I have an 8th-level spell left, and I have a 9th-level spell left. I want to save one of those. I can Move Earth and make 40-foot tunnels for up to two hours as I go.

LIAM: Do we have the Gate Stones? Both of them?

SAM: Yeah. Gate Stones? They're not Gate Stones.

LAURA: Whatever, but yeah.

LIAM: Do we have them?

SAM: I have one.

LIAM: I have a great idea, but it'd take a little time. I have a little tub of oil that makes you ethereal, and if one of us-- you, me, whoever-- travels through the ethereal plane and walks down to the sword and waits with it and then pops back into the material plane--

SAM: Underground?

LIAM: Finds it and then waits somewhere.

LAURA: I've got another idea. But your idea led to this idea. It's a building process. What if Keyleth took one of the Gate Stones, glided down there as an earth elemental, grabbed the sword, and then bamfed back to us.

MARISHA: Would that work?

SAM: She'd have to become a different form.

LAURA: An earth elemental.

TRAVIS: In your ethereal idea, do you leave your physical body and your stuff?

LIAM: No, I'm on a different plane parallel to this one.

SAM: She'd become an earth elemental in solid earth.

TALIESIN: It takes a minute to activate the stone, though. You would be down there-- that's the problem.

LAURA: That's why Keyleth could do it.

MARISHA: Yeah, but the voice from above said I can't glide the sword with me, but I should be able to grab it and then concentrate--

SAM: And change your form into an earth elemental.

MARISHA: Well, I'll already be an earth elemental, and I'll have the Gate Stone.

LIAM: Do you have any sense of if it's buried very deep? Or is it sitting in a puddle of shit?

LAURA: I can send her in a direction.

LIAM: We don't know, though.

MARISHA: All right, this is a good plan. What if we combine plans? Because etherealness can let you glide through your plane, right? It's a glidey thing, but for all things. Right, so can you take the potion, piggy-back on me, we glide together, get the sword--

LIAM: She would not be able to hold onto it.

LAURA: But I would help her find it.

SAM: But you would be a mist. How would you tell her anything?

TALIESIN: She would follow her.

SAM: How are you going to see?

MARISHA: We've got our awesome telekinetic earrings.

MATT: You still have to whisper in the earring.

LIAM: They're two different dimensions. It's two different planes. But if you or I, with Locate Object, douse ourselves in this oil and we locate the object, we know exactly where it is, and we move toward it and then go down there. It might be encased in a ton of stone or something. We don't know. We could go toward it, find it, and then go sit 20 or 30 feet away from it, wait to pop back into this plane, go grab it, Gate Stone up here.

TRAVIS: That's not a terrible idea, if your stuff works that way.

SAM: And if you can find a place to pop back into existence 30 feet away.

MARISHA: And I can make tunnels, though, as long as I go with you. I can't find it alone. I can get close.

TRAVIS: It's also super loud and moves a lot of stuff, and shit collapses--

LIAM: Also, I should try to do it, because if I come back in a wall of stone, it doesn't matter.

TRAVIS: All in favor of the ethereal idea, raise your hands.

LAURA: How long does it last?

LIAM: An hour.

TRAVIS: All in favor of the earthglide elemental, raise your hand.

MARISHA: Wait, I thought we had to have more or less both, though.

LAURA: We have to have both.

LIAM: Why? We have the Gate Stone. Ethereal will take me down toward the thing. I wait by it, pop back into material, pick it up, Gate Stone back--

TRAVIS: Is Gate Stone immediate?

LIAM: It takes a minute to do.

MARISHA: That's not how earth works, though. You can't wait down there and then switch back and then think you can grab this.

LIAM: We don't know that we're going through solid earth. It could be sitting in a foot-deep puddle of muck in a cavern somewhere. It's not like it was teleported into a solid mountain.

MARISHA: If it was sitting under a foot deep of muck, someone would have found it by now.

LIAM: We've been stealthing for not too much space. I think that I could get pretty far.

SAM: But *she* knows where it is.

LIAM: Well, I could do the same thing that she did.

SAM: All right, do it.

MARISHA: But she knows what it looks like.

LIAM: If you hand me that bauble again, I can do the same thing.

MATT: Unfortunately, it's already been used.

TRAVIS: You've got to let Vex go.

LIAM: That is hilarious.

MARISHA: It's got to be a Vex and Kiki. That's the thing: it's got to be both of us.

TALIESIN: Can you follow her?

SAM: No, she cannot. She won't be able to see her. If you're ethereal, you're in a different plane.

MARISHA: You're stealthy as fuck. We can get there, get close enough, get above it, and then--

TRAVIS: You're talking about going in the open air? Risking the open air to get closer?

MARISHA: She's stealthy as fuck, and I can glide under the dirt.

TRAVIS: Leaves a lot of room for a bad roll.

TALIESIN: Or we make a tunnel and we all go.

SAM: Why don't you go find it and come back and tell us?

LIAM: Let's try your idea. You thought that I would be able to locate it by you telling me about it, so what did it look like?

LAURA: I explain exactly what it looked like.

LIAM: Awesome. I'm going to cast Locate Object right now.

MATT: Okay. As you cast the spell, you close your eyes and snap your fingers. It can't find anything. Unfortunately, you have to have seen the object for the spell to have an effect.

LIAM: No, I'm not upset at you. I'm upset at Laura, because this was my idea on the break, and it got yanked from me, but what are you going to do? I'm not upset. It's fine. I'm taking my marbles and going home!

TRAVIS: So how long can you tunnel? And how long in each tunneling thing?

LAURA: Plus, If I give you a direction, you can tunnel in that direction, you can earthglide in that direction until you find the sword, grab a hold of it and try to bamf back. Let's try that.

TRAVIS: Or tunnel back.

MARISHA: With you telling me where it is?

LAURA: I'll point you in a direction.

LIAM: What's the range on the earring?

MARISHA: Yeah, can she guide me through--

LIAM: Wait, the ring. Within 60 feet of each other. All of this was a waste of time.

TALIESIN: Tunnel!

MARISHA: All right, I tunnel, then! Fucking hell!

MATT: This was so much DND right there. All the DND. Everyone who's ever played DND is right now going "yep, I've been there." All right, so what's the plan?

LAURA: We tunnel towards the fucking sword.

TALIESIN: We collapse the tunnels behind us.

TRAVIS: Pike and I charge out of the tunnel.

TALIESIN: You lead us, we go straight there. Less than a thousand feet.

SAM: Okay, let's go.

TALIESIN: I know that this is burning, but we've got no choice.

LAURA: We know the direction. Go in that direction.

MARISHA: Are we going to try and go above, or are we tunnelling all the way there?

LAURA: In the direction that I'm pointing. Tunnel that way.

MARISHA: I'm going to burn my 8th-level spell on Move Earth. I still have a 9th, and then this is reaching the end of my shit.

MATT: All right, so this lasts up to two hours, concentration, and you can move a 40-foot space to create a tunnel every ten minutes.

SAM: Every ten minutes? That's useless.

TALIESIN: Under a thousand feet.

SAM: The Locate Object only lasts ten minutes.

LIAM: It's within a thousand feet.

LAURA: And then I can cast it again twice. I have two more times to cast it.

LIAM: A thousand feet is not that far.

TRAVIS: Did you say 40 feet?

SAM and MARISHA: Every ten minutes.

TRAVIS: And we've got three of those, so we're going 120 feet?

LAURA: No, she can keep going that direction and then I'll cast it again in a little bit.

TALIESIN: That's assuming we hit no pockets.

SAM: 240 feet. That gets us 480 total feet possible in two hours. Halfway.

LIAM: It's more likely that this thing is sitting in a pool of stilted water. It's probably not encased in a passageway of stone, because how did it get there?

MARISHA: If that's the case, we have to move on foot above ground quickly and get close, and then I can tunnel us down. I think that's the only way. Other than that, we're taking several hours to get there at a very slow pace.

SAM: And we might not get there.

TRAVIS: Two dozen plus things flying around. Pike and I are going to roll some stealth checks. It'll be great.

TALIESIN: All right, fuck.

MARISHA: Wait!

ALL: Wait.

TALIESIN: (laughs) Does anybody know that joke outside of this room? Wait, that's right. We Instagrammed it.

MARISHA: Scanlan, you still have a mansion?

SAM: I do.

MARISHA: We could break this up. Scanlan casts the mansion, we split the party, and we have a stealth team go get the sword and come back--

LIAM: And Vecna knows where we are.

MARISHA: If they're in the mansion, though--

LAURA: You can't sense anybody in the mansion.

MARISHA: He can't sense anyone in the mansion, so we cast the mansion while you're still here. Half the party goes in, team Stealth Sword Recovery Plan goes out, gets the sword, while the rest of the team camps in the mansion.

TRAVIS: If there's anything around that sword when you get there, you're on your own.

LAURA: Then we go away. We don't try to fight it.

MARISHA: Unless we all want to decide, right here and right now, to try and get closer to the sword than the thousand feet we are potentially away from it right now, together as a team, and then cast the mansion. Or not at all.

TRAVIS: (laughs) This is craziness. I think there is an upside to Pike and I not having to roll those stealth checks, even with Pass Without a Trace, but if there's anything around that sword, it's going to be up to you to either fight it and get the sword, or get the fuck out.

LAURA: Avoid it, yeah.

TRAVIS: You want to do that?

SAM: Stealth team is not me, right? It's you two.

MARISHA: It'd be us two and maybe Vax, as well.

TRAVIS: Corner three.

LIAM: I'm not that stealthy.

LAURA: Let's do it.

MARISHA: Does anyone have a better plan? Is this what we're going with?

ASHLEY and TRAVIS: Do it.

MATT: Okay, then.

SAM: We're also committing that this is where the mansion is going to live for the night? Is this a good spot for it?

LAURA: The sphere is coming out soon.

MATT: Keyleth, Vex, you feel a very faint vibration in the ground.

MARISHA: Does the sphere fuck up the mansion?

TALIESIN: It's a Disintegration spell.

LAURA: Probably. We need to get out.

SAM: No, the mansion can't be seen. They would have to know that it's there.

TRAVIS: Even if it accidentally hits it, it's toast.

SAM: Well, we can hide it behind a closet or something.

TALIESIN: There's no closet. We're in a tiny tunnel.

SAM: I always carry a closet with me.

TALIESIN: We know.

MATT: What are you doing, guys?

LAURA: Let's peek up. Is anything near us right now?

MARISHA: And whatever the closest building is closest to the sword.

MATT: All right, so you guys all emerge out into the open light--

LAURA: No, we don't! We peek up first to see if anything's near us.

MATT: Make a perception check.

MARISHA: Who, all of us?

MATT: No, just the ones who are looking.

LAURA: 27.

LIAM: 31.

MATT: Okay, the two of you glance off as you're emerging. Your exiting point looks to be a hole in the middle of a street that has been dug down. From this point, you can see there's a nearby building, maybe 20 feet from you, that is a two-story building that is partially collapsed, but still mostly intact.

LAURA: Is there anything around?

MATT: Yeah, there's a gloomstalker at any given point in time within a hundred feet of you. They're all keeping a net of movement around.

TALIESIN: I'm going to walk up to Grog and Pike.

MATT: You hear rocks beginning to emerge--

TALIESIN: I grab Grog and Pike. We're going to run together. I activate my Silence spell. You two are in my Silence spell.

TRAVIS: I've got Pike in my hand.

MARISHA: And you still have Pass Without a Trace.

LAURA: Still Pass Without a Trace.

MATT: No, because when you cast Locate Object, that stopped.

LAURA: I recast it! It's okay. I recast it.

MATT: Okay, mark that off. So as you guys all emerge topside, rushing this 20 feet distance, I need you all to make stealth checks. Grog, you make it with advantage; you're still visible--

MARISHA: That doesn't take up one of your Locate Object spells, does it? Then let me cast it. I'm casting Pass Without a Trace, not her.

MATT: Using what spell level?

MARISHA: 2nd.

MATT: Sorry, I misheard. I thought you only had a 9th-level spell slot left.

MARISHA: No, I'm talking about my big mack daddies in order to still cast other things.

TRAVIS: I had to roll for both of us.

TALIESIN: But you have advantage.

ASHLEY: You had to roll for both of us?

TRAVIS: But I had advantage. I think we're okay.

MARISHA: For everyone paying attention, I have three 1st-level spells left, no 2nd-level spells, two 3rd, one 4th, and then an 8th and a 9th. And that's it.

SAM: You have advantage on this?

TALIESIN: Do I have advantage? Well, I might have advantage also. I'm in the Silence spell also. Not that I need it, though.

TRAVIS: That advantage saved that whole thing from going tits-up, because that first roll was (explosion).

SAM: 25.

TALIESIN: Natural 19, so 29.

MARISHA: 18 plus nine plus another ten. 38.

LIAM: 37.

LAURA: 46.

TRAVIS: 24.

TRAVIS: Wait, don't high-five shit yet! Why are you high-fiving? What the fuck? What's wrong with you people? Jesus!

SAM: What did Pike get?

MATT: Pike was being carried. His roll was dependent on both of them. So as you guys dart through the open light, the first time you've seen light since arriving in this titan. The sky outside is super dark; most of the light here is actually emanating from the barrier. It's creating its own false twilight sense over this entire city. As you rush into the room, you all dart into the nearby doorway. There's a half-ajar door that's broken, and you push through, being careful not to slam into it or to break it and cause any noise, but you all rush into this chamber. Immediately, the smell wafts of old decay, and glancing around, you can see long-dried bits of flesh or nondescript innards that have long withered and turned to partial dust.

You all come into the shadow of the chamber and take a minute to breathe. You hear the distant sound (screeching, flapping, crunch). You hear one perch on one of the buildings about one block down (screeching, flapping) and continue off. It does not appear that you are currently being stalked or noticed.

TALIESIN: They can't hear you.

SAM: It is visible, so is there a closet in here or some sort of alcove?

MATT: If I recall correctly, the entrance is only visible to people that you signify.

TALIESIN: People who see invisible things can see it.

SAM: The entrance shimmers faintly and is five feet wide and ten feet tall. You and any creature you designate can enter.

MATT: Okay, it is visible, but only creatures you designate can enter. That's the difference. So it is a faint shimmer.

LAURA: We have to hide it, yeah.

MATT: Make an investigation check.

LAURA: Can I help him find a place that would be hidden?

SAM: Investigation, I got a 23. 22.

MATT: Okay. You go to help him. Most of the furniture in here is destroyed and withered. You go upstairs, and there is a double-door cabinet. A cupboard.

LIAM: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe!

MARISHA: I thought the same thing!

SAM: Harry Potter lives there. I started reading Harry Potter.

LAURA: Oh, I'm so glad!

TRAVIS: Started?

SAM: Yeah, I'm on chapter three!

LIAM: Greetings, time traveler.

MATT: I can't wait to take you to Universal.

LAURA: It's going to be so great.

MATT: All right, so you cast the mansion in the cupboard. The shimmering purple hue, the familiar vision of the door of Scanlan's magnificent mansion arrives. Who's going and who's staying? Pike, Grog, Percy, and Scanlan staying? The three of you going?

TRAVIS: I hold out my hand to Vax and I say: Good luck. I hold out my hand to Vex and I say: Take care of him.

TALIESIN: Just in case, is it wise to leave one of the Gate Stones outside the door? You take one so if you need to port back to it, it's here.

LAURA and LIAM: That's a good call.

MARISHA: Does someone have to be holding it?

TALIESIN: Nope!

LAURA: Put it in a cupboard.

TALIESIN: I'm going to leave it in the kitchen.

MATT: To transfer to a Gate Stone? No, you have to activate it and hold it on one side, but it brings you to wherever the Gate Stone is.

TALIESIN: So I'm going to put one of the Gate Stone in a corner, so it's not so obvious. Yep. And then you guys have the other one.

MARISHA: I have the other one, yeah.

LIAM: You can get back on your own pretty easily, yeah? Tunneling through stone, do you have that left? Or that's done?

MARISHA: No, if I'm an earth elemental, I can earthglide. I do still have that.

LIAM: I feel like maybe Vex should carry the stone, then. She has less of a chance of getting back on her own.

MARISHA: Yeah. Hopefully we're together, though, but yeah. I toss Vex the Gate Stone.

MATT: Okay. You pocket it. You sense you maybe have three more minutes on your spell, by the way, Vex.

LAURA: All right, it's that direction.

TALIESIN: All right, we're in the mansion.

MATT: Okay, the rest of you head into the mansion quietly.

SAM: If we drink wine tonight, it will only be in remembrance of you. Or to get snookered.

LAURA: If we don't come back, save Vasselheim on your own and the entire world.

LIAM: (singing) Empty chairs at empty tables…

MARISHA: Team stealth is stealthing as far as we can, yeah?

LIAM and LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: Oh my god. Team half-elf! Yeah! This is me saying this, not Keyleth.

MATT: Okay, good to know. So as you all vanish in the mansion, you are outside of the need to utilize the radial portion of the ring. The three of you with the spell quickly waning, you begin to make your way outdoors. I need another stealth check from you three.

LAURA: Another one?

ASHLEY: I love you guys. Please come back.

MARISHA: All right, don't fuck me, opal die. That opal die fucked me. Wait, do I have advantage? No.

LAURA: You have plus ten.

TRAVIS: (laughing) Right out of the gate?!

MATT: What did you get?

LIAM: Does my luck transfer to anybody? No.

MARISHA: Can I do anything else? Okay, let's go! And I run into a door.

MATT: So as you guys rush outward into the open way, you begin to head across the thoroughfare, following Vex, who's currently leading the charge, and you can sense it down below. At this point, based on the trajectory of it, make an intelligence check.

MARISHA: They covered for me, right?

LAURA: Intelligence?

MATT: Yeah, roll plus your intelligence modifier.

LAURA: 12.

MATT: 12? Okay. You're not sure of the distance based on the angle, but you know it's getting closer. So you guys begin darting from building to building. Keyleth is straggling a bit behind and ends up stubbing her toe and instinctually lets out a yelp sound. At which point, you hear a distant shriek.

MARISHA: (shrieking noise)

TRAVIS: Wow, make it worse. That's a one.

LAURA: Go underground!

MARISHA: Earth elemental!

(laughter)

MATT: Okay. Thankfully, because there is an old ancient cobblestone walkway here with loose stone, but portions of it have been destroyed and broken, and you can find loose earth easy enough and you can dart in. You Scrooge McDuck dive into the stone.

As you guys dart off to the side and you watch as two gloomstalkers land where she was (screeching) and begin to scan over and look through, and they're walking forward on their large, hefty, muscular hind legs, walking past where you guys are hiding off to the side. They stop and then turn around, and one of them scans past and you both barely duck out of the way.

They both take off, one after the other.

LIAM: Fuck a duck.

MARISHA: Goddamn it.

SAM: Does that burn your spell? Are you done?

MARISHA: No, I'm beast shaped. I'm my earth elemental right now, okay? So I have tremorsense, right? I sense the twins.

LAURA: I'm going to cast Locate Object one more time. Oh, that takes me out of stealth, doesn't it.

MARISHA: No. Oh. But I have Pass Without a Trace, which is still going.

LIAM: Do you vaguely remember the direction it was in? So maybe we go vague for a minute?

MARISHA: So I pop my head out, Jaws in.

LAURA: And I point in the direction and have her keep following it.

MARISHA: And I'm going to be like-- I'm going to follow their footsteps with my tremorsense.

MATT: And as such, you don't have to make a stealth check. You're down below, and you follow their footsteps underneath. You guys continue on your current stealth run. You get forward about another 150 or so feet. Do you want to keep going or do you want to cast?

LAURA: Is there an abandoned-looking building or anything I can duck into?

MATT: There's a handful. Most of the city has been long abandoned.

LAURA: Okay, then I'm going to duck under something so I can cast the spell and then re-stealth before I come back out so I don't bamf in the middle.

MATT: Right. Okay, so you duck into a small alleyway. You guys are keeping out of view and waiting for the swarms of undead in the street, and as you come around the corner you immediately see about 12 or 13 zombies clattering past. As you're waiting for them to pass by, eventually they get quieter and quieter. You take a minute and you cast the spell Locate Object, and it's a much steeper angle now. You're getting much closer to it. So do you want to keep going?

LAURA: Yes. I want to re-stealth and move until I'm directly over it.

MATT: Roll another stealth check. Both of you, actually, because we've gone partway through. Not that I have to worry about Vax.

LAURA: 33.

MATT: Yeah, because you still have Pass Without a Trace from underneath.

LIAM: 40.

MATT: Okay. The two of you, making your way through, ducking between streets and passages. Eventually, you get to a point where you sense and almost--

LAURA: Did she just yawn?

TRAVIS: No, she just *breathed*.

MARISHA: She stress exhaled.

ASHLEY: My hand, and it made a farting noise, sorry.

MATT: You're fine. You get about another 85, 100 or so feet, and it's nearly directly below you. You're about halfway between the edge of the wall and where Entropis, the tower, is.

LAURA: Okay. I'm going to tap my foot on the ground and point directly down to you, Keyleth.

MARISHA: Directly down. Doing this as I go.

MATT: Okay. So you swim down.

MARISHA: Yeah, swimming down.

MATT: Okay, and you're feeling through earth. Make an investigation check.

MARISHA: Not my strongest suit.

MATT: With disadvantage because you are currently blind in the earth.

MARISHA: No, I'm awesome.

MATT: You can glide through it. But you can't see through the earth.

MARISHA: I'm an earth elemental.

MATT: Give it a shot.

TRAVIS: Come on, you got this. Let's go.

LIAM: Just roll high.

TRAVIS: Just drop it out your hand and watch as--

ALL: Yeah, okay.

MARISHA: Do I count the ones out? Can I roll it again on the inside?

MATT: That's not how it works.

TRAVIS: Is it cocked? It looks cocked.

MATT: What did you roll?

MARISHA: Are we sure with disadvantage? Five.

MATT: Five. Okay. You swim around for about a minute or so, and you're finding nothing.

MARISHA: Yeah, I'm wise; I'm not smart. There's a difference.

MATT: So yeah, you're swimming around in there. You're not finding anything.

LAURA: Oh, does she still have the earring on? Any luck?

LIAM: She can't talk.

MARISHA: Actually, I can. We recently ruled. because it's mental, yeah. Oh, wait. No.

LAURA: You don't know where it is?

MARISHA: No, I can't find it.

LAURA: Can I give her an idea of how deep down it feels, how far away it is?

MATT: You don't know the distance, just direction. You failed your intelligence check, so you're not quite able to consider the changing angle for distance.

MARISHA: But maybe that etherealness thing, and now I can literally come up and drag you down.

LAURA: Would I be able to see the sword, though, if I was on another plane?

MATT: Make an intelligence check.

LIAM: I think so, yeah. You just can't interact.

LAURA: Do I get your thing of plus two because I'm standing next to you?

LIAM: It's for saves, not checks.

LAURA: 13.

MATT: Okay. You don't know much about how etherealness works or what the effects are. You don't know if it will help or hinder. You're not entirely certain what the effects will do.

LAURA: Great!

MARISHA: But you still have Locate Object, and then you rub some on you, so you can still maybe sense it?

LAURA: And I would know when it's right on me because I can sense that much, at least.

MARISHA: Maybe?

LIAM: And you can still see everything. Yeah, you just can't interact with anything.

LAURA: Put that shit on me, then.

LIAM: Okay, so I start slathering her up.

MATT: Okay. As the oil slathers around you, your vision of the world becomes dark gray and colorless. It's very similar to when Frodo puts the ring on. There's a flickering sense, and the world itself seems to be immersed in shadow and not quite there. You watch as all the skeletons that are swarming through the streets and your brother all become translucent and almost not there, like these ghostly visions of them.

LAURA: I don't know. Is it like Sauron? Is he going to be able to see me?

TALIESIN: Hush. Ignore him.

LAURA: Okay. Can I sink into the ground?

MATT: The ground's hard.

MARISHA: What?!

LIAM: Wait.

LAURA, MARISHA, and TALIESIN: Wait.

LAURA: The ground is hard.

LIAM: No, we've forgotten about the 60 fucking feet again.

LAURA: She's not 60 feet away.

MATT: You ignore objects and effects that aren't on the ethereal plane.

LIAM: If you take the ring further than 60 feet away from me, we're blown.

MARISHA: But it might not be 60 feet away.

LAURA: I'll stay 60 feet within the surface of the earth.

MARISHA: Do we still have another one of those potions? You can come with us?

MATT: Actually, no, this is a point of order here: ignores all objects and effects that aren't on the ethereal plane. This is complicated.

MARISHA: This is one of those stupid DND, now we have to interpret what they mean.

TRAVIS: It's a DM call on him, I think. Or how he wants to translate it.

MATT: So here's the thing. Here's technically what happens: as the oil begins to be pressed along your body, you begin to look around and notice as your vision goes gray and everything begins to fade, *everything* begins to fade. As in, on the ethereal plane, Thar Amphala, this interpretation of this space, is not at this location.

LAURA: So I would disappear? I would fall?

MATT: Let's see here. This is getting really wonky.

LAURA: Can I cancel it once it starts getting on me and I'm like, this does not seem right?

TALIESIN: Shit might get really weird now.

LAURA: I might just be gone.

MATT: Allowing you to move through objects you perceive-- no, that's true. It's not there on the ethereal plane, it's only there on this plane. I'm sorry. This got really confusing. Welcome to DND. Thar Amphala, there is no version of it on the ethereal plane, however, which means that currently you can pass through the ground.

LAURA: I can?

MATT: Yes. My apologies.

LAURA: I'm on another plane of existence, though?

MATT: The ethereal plane overlaps this one. It layers it in a similar way that the Shadowfell does.

TALIESIN: You are actually perceivable? But only to the things that can perceive.

LIAM: But the proof is in the pudding because if that ring were gone from my presence, Vecna would be bending me over a barrel right now.

MATT: Which--

LIAM: He's doing.

MATT: As you dissipate in the ethereal plane--

SAM: Poor Ashley.

ASHLEY: This is so stressful!

MARISHA: Wait, though. Come on.

LAURA: I didn't think about the fact that it works in a different fucking plane.

TRAVIS: That makes sense.

MATT: So as you vanish into the space, a little whisper curls into your ear, Vax'ildan. "Ah, there you are. I've been looking all over for you and your friends. Welcome." And that's it.

LIAM: Everybody back to Chicken Town. Chicken Town! And I click the Boots of Haste, and I start booking back.

SAM: You're abandoning your sister?

LAURA: No, it's okay! I've got the thing.

MARISHA: It's me and you now; we got this. We're good. Go!

LIAM: You're staying?!

MARISHA: I'm getting the fucking sword!

LIAM: I'm hearing this over the earring. I just heard that. I heard it. Vecna whispered to me, and I said that to everybody through the earring. She shouted back at me.

MATT: But they don't hear you because they're not in the same plane with the earrings.

LIAM: Does she still hear me?

MATT: No, she doesn't.

LIAM: But I heard that, so: You're not going to go?

MARISHA: I'm getting this sword. I'm here now under the fucking ground!

LIAM: I can't talk to you anymore.

LAURA: I'm just floating downwards.

MARISHA: I reach up. Can I grab your shin?

LIAM: I realize Keyleth's not going anywhere and I plunk down.

MARISHA: Hang on, wait. Can I hear you, can I see you? Nothing with her?

TRAVIS, LIAM, and MATT: No.

MARISHA: Why did we do this, then?

TRAVIS: I don't know. Keep going. Keep doing it.

TALIESIN: Because it's late and this is what's happening.

SAM: Back in the mansion, we're all sipping wine and I'm saying: I know our friends will come back to us, and I know that they won't ever lead anyone here.

MATT: Okay, make another check.

LAURA: Can I float or am I stuck on the surface of the ground?

MATT: Let's see here. You can move up or down.

LAURA: Okay, I'm going to go down towards where the sword is.

MATT: You glide through the ground.

MARISHA: Is that 12? Okay, all right, that's actually not too bad. 14.

MATT: Okay, was that with disadvantage?

MARISHA: Seven.

MATT: Okay. You're still floundering around. You have Vax dart off and Vex has vanished.

LIAM: If she screamed, I stopped once I realized she wasn't leaving. I stayed.

MATT: Okay. So are you darting back?

LIAM: And nobody replied and I stopped because I doubted it, and I'm waiting.

MATT: Okay, are you going to stealth?

LIAM: Yeah, of course, but Vecna's whispering in my ear. 33 and Pass Without a Trace, so 43.

MARISHA: Go. You should go. I come over the ear piece and I say: Vax, you should really go because you could compromise all of us by staying here. You should go.

TRAVIS: She's currently in ethereal form drifting down; we should see what happens with that.

MATT: Your movement speed, at double movement, would be 60 with the double dash. You're moving 30 feet per round because when you're moving through the ethereal plane through solid objects and matter, it does slow you to half speed.

LAURA: Can I sense Keyleth at all? I can't see her, right?

MATT: You can't see her, you can't sense her, but you do sense the sword. You sense the direction still, because Locate Object is still in effect, and you're drifting down, down, down. About a hundred feet. 150 feet. And then as you head down to that point, you suddenly emerge and you can see a small cavern, maybe ten feet in diameter. Looks like there's a bit of rubble. Looks like there may have been a path that led to here that long crumbled and was either intentionally collapsed or naturally collapsed by the movement of the titan. And as you come into this ten-foot little cavern space, half of the floor is coated in this brackish green fluid, and the other half is solid rock.

LAURA: Okay. I keep going towards the sword.

MATT: Okay. It then takes you at a slight angle down into the liqui,d and now you can see the tunnel continues downward. There's a small basin that changes shape as you go down into this murky greenish fluid, down where there's no light. It is normally pitch black here, but the etherealness allows you to take a little bit of the space in. Looking around, you can see that there is a thick residue that is gathered along the edges, and there at the bottom, you can sense, though you cannot see it because it is actually a few inches beneath the muck, you assume, the sword.

LAURA: I can't touch it.

MATT: Correct.

LAURA: But I know where it is. Can I come up into the cavern, and you said there was rock outcropping that I can stand on? Can I get this shit off of me, the oil off of me, or am I stuck as an ethereal form?

MATT: This is going to be an interesting question.

TRAVIS: It's like LSD, isn't it? It'll take eight hours to go away.

(laughter)

MATT: How long does it last on the oil?

LIAM: I lost the paper, but I'll look it up.

MATT: I feel like it lasts for an hour. Let me double check.

LIAM: Yeah, I think that's what it is.

LAURA: It lasts--

LIAM: One hour.

SAM: Shit. (laughs)

LIAM: We've got to bail on it and come back for it later, if at all.

LAURA: No, not necessarily.

MATT: Let's see.

LAURA: I have the stone.

LIAM: It's ethereal.

TALIESIN: That's cool.

LAURA: This could work.

MARISHA: It could still work.

LAURA: You guys are in the mansion.

MARISHA: We're cool.

LAURA: Yeah, we're good. I don't know if there's anything wrong, so you keep tunneling down and I'll wait.

MATT: All right, make another check.

MARISHA: Investigation?

MATT: Yep.

LAURA: Come on.

MARISHA: At disadvantage?

MATT: Yep.

MARISHA: Oh, that better! 13.

MATT: 13? Okay. You begin to eventually find a tunnel that appears to be completely packed with collapsed loose rock and earth. It's been long collapsed.

MARISHA: It's heading downwards?

MATT: Seems to be at an angle, yeah.

MARISHA: All right, I'll keep being like, this seems like a path of least resistance. I'll glide through that for a bit.

MATT: Takes you a little bit. Eventually, your spell dissipates.

LAURA: It's been an hour?

MATT: Well, no. The spell lasts for up to ten minutes.

LAURA: Oh, the Locate Object, right.

MATT: Vax, what have you been doing?

LIAM: I'm paralyzed; I don't know what to do, so I'm hiding, not doing anything. But how far away have we traveled from the building we started at with the mansion in it?

MATT: How far have you traveled from the building? You're about 120 feet, maybe?

LIAM: That's fine.

MATT: As you're waiting there paralyzed, the voice creeps in once again. "But where are all your friends? Why are you alone?"

LIAM: I don't say shit.

MATT: (chuckles) You eventually break through the edge and come into the same small cavern that she encountered, and you can see the dark green fluid there.

LAURA: Keyleth!

MARISHA: Vex?

LAURA: Keyleth! I'm right here! Keyleth!

MARISHA: Vex?

LAURA: Keyleth! Over here! I'm over here!

MARISHA: Vex?

LAURA: Yes!

MARISHA: Vex?

LAURA: Yeah!

MATT: Nothing.

LAURA: (laughing) How long has it been?

MARISHA: Can you throw a rock or something?

LAURA: I can't do shit! I can't interact with anything! I'm just fucking standing here! 15 minutes. This is the best.

MARISHA: It's been 15 minutes?

MATT: Since she took the oil, yeah.

TALIESIN: So you found a cavern.

MARISHA: I found a cavern.

LAURA: I described where it was to you, so I described that it was murky water. Muck is what I described to you. It's surrounded by silt, is what it felt like.

MATT: Okay. So what do you do, Keyleth?

SAM: We need Whoopi Goldberg.

TALIESIN: Don't we always.

SAM: "Molly, you in danger, girl."

LAURA: Keyleth, it's right here! It's right here! It might be poisonous water; I'm not sure what it is. Can you hear me? It's right here.

MARISHA: I'm going to try to investigate this cavern, I guess, as much as I can. Am I still at disadvantage now that I'm in a cavern? That's cool. That's better. God fucking hell.

TALIESIN: That's a terrible roll. I'm so sorry.

MARISHA: Nine.

MATT: It looks like a cavern, filled partially with fluid.

MARISHA: I come over and I say: Vax, where is your sister?

LIAM: She is on another plane. She's in the ethereal plane. We did the oil thing. We didn't think it through.

MARISHA: What do you mean we didn't think it through?

LIAM: Vecna's whispering in my ear. By the way, where is he?

MATT: Still on Entropis.

LIAM: Still in his spot?

MARISHA: So she's not with you?

LIAM: No, she slipped down into the ground. She's probably near you somewhere?

MARISHA: What? Vex?!

LIAM: We lubed her up in ethereal oil, and she went down your direction.

LAURA: Vecna can probably hear him.

MATT: Vax. You begin to hear loud wings flapping louder and louder outside and above, a different sound than the wings of a gloomstalker.

LIAM: Keyleth, you know where to go. I have to run. And I click the Boots of Haste and I start bolting towards the mansion.

MARISHA: I'm not going to leave without your sister! Bye.

MATT: So are you moving stealthily or are you bolting?

LIAM: I'm going to stealth.

SAM: And here's cucumber salad, everyone.

TRAVIS: Why is it always green?

TALIESIN: Is it considered a salad if it's mostly cucumber in there?

SAM: There's some dill.

TALIESIN: How is this different than a sliced pickle?

MARISHA: I really like dill.

TALIESIN: You're in a cavern. You can't have any dill.

MARISHA: I'm speaking as myself right now. Marisha really likes dill.

TALIESIN: What does Keyleth think of dill? We don't know, do we?! We'll never know.

MATT: All right. Vax.

LIAM: Sorry. I'm freaked out. 35. Am I still Pass Without a Traced at this point? 35.

TRAVIS: He's an astronaut without a ship.

TALIESIN: God fucking damn it.

MATT: Okay. As you're stealthing, moving along, you can glance over or keep focusing forward.

LIAM: No, I'm going to keep going.

MATT: All right, you keep going. You move, move. You can hear the wings; you can hear this horrible raspy, sounds like a whetstone being slid across steel, slowed down with bass. It's this (croaks).

LIAM: As I'm probably getting farther away, I say: Kiki, stay underground, please. And keep going.

MATT: Okay. Eventually, you find your way back to the household, seemingly not directly followed, but you hear the wings are circling, more localized to where this house is. Keyleth, what are you doing?

MARISHA: I'm in a cavern alone?

MATT: Yeah.

SAM: "That's my turn. "

(laughter)

MARISHA: Vex! Vex, give me a sign? Vex! Throw a pebble. If you can hear me, throw a pebble!

LAURA: I sit down on the ground Indian-style.

MARISHA: Okay. I'm also working this out as me and Keyleth. Vax told me: stay underground; made a bad call; sister's underground near me; I know where to go. He thinks I know where to go. I go over to the muck, the greenish liquid, and throw a rock in. What happens?

MATT: It's a little syrupy, but it definitely splashes.

MARISHA: Does it look like acid? Does it look like what we're used to with acid?

MATT: It looks brown, green, sludgy. It doesn't look like the typical acid you've encountered, but it looks like a liquid.

MARISHA: I just dip in my toe in the cold water. Just dip my toe in.

MATT: You take two points of acid damage. It is a caustic liquid.

MARISHA: It's acid.

LAURA: It's acid.

MARISHA: It's acid. No one can hear me, but I'm confirming it's acid.

LAURA: I can hear you. It is definitely acid.

MARISHA: I feel so alone.

LIAM: I've stepped in the door, by the way, of the mansion.

MARISHA: Two points of acid damage?

SAM: How's it going outside?

LIAM: Not well. Not very well. It's fucked. He knows we're here. He doesn't know where you are or where I am right now, but he knows that we're here.

SAM: He knows where you are?

LIAM: No, not anymore.

SAM: Did he know where you were?

LIAM: He did.

SAM: And did he know that you came over here?

LIAM: Probably.

SAM: So he knows where we are, so we have to leave now.

TALIESIN: Well, we're at least relatively safe here for a moment until they figure out a way to find us and then get rid of us.

SAM: Yep. But then we have to leave or be ready to leave at a moment's notice. Or we should maybe leave right now.

LIAM: No, we wait a little bit. I think that they can get back.

SAM: And then what? Then we all have to leave.

MARISHA: I go deeper.

MATT: Okay. So you dive into the liquid?

MARISHA: Not into the liquid! Just through the stone, going deeper.

MATT: Okay. You coast along the outside and you can sense that you're traveling on the outskirts of this descending tunnel where the acidic liquid is encased, and eventually it rounds out.

MARISHA: I do another sword check.

MATT: Make an investigation check.

MARISHA: Am I at disadvantage again?

MATT: No, because you know what you're looking for.

MARISHA: That's good! Don't fuck me, Gil! 16.

MATT: Okay. You reach out and you grab forth, and you feel a few things that you grab and as you sense them. You poke your head through, which in the process of doing, you do suffer six points of acid damage, and your hands find bones. And glancing through a little bit into the space, you can see the entire bottom of this basin is bones. Probably a good four to five feet of stacked bones. This has been used as a means of disposing of unwanted things.

MARISHA: Disposing people. I keep looking. I can't leave without a Vex.

LAURA: I'm fucking sitting on the ground; there's nothing else I can do.

MARISHA: Eight.

MATT: Four points of acid damage, and you're finding nothing, but rummaging through.

TALIESIN: Keep rummaging.

MARISHA: I'm desperate. I keep going. Can I go around and deeper? Can I follow this path a little bit?

MATT: Yeah, you can. On the bottom of it or another side? What do you want to do?

MARISHA: I'm going to try and go under it. I'm going to think, if there's a pit of bodies that have been thrown away, that maybe a sword is somewhere buried under this pit of bodies.

MATT: Go for it. Make another investigation check.

MARISHA: Fucking hell. This is so nerve-wracking. Six.

MATT: You take ten points of acid damage.

TRAVIS: You could just wait it out.

MARISHA: Yeah, but Keyleth.

MATT: Make another check if you want to.

MARISHA: Every few minutes, I go: Vex? I'm constantly, Vex? Vex? *Vax*? Vex? Still looking under this pit of people. 12.

MATT: Suffer eight points of acid damage, and you reach through and your hand finally hits something hard and cold within the silt. It's stuck in the muck, but there's something there that is not like the rest of the bone. It feels metal.

MARISHA: Okay. I try and earth clear.

SAM: Earth clear? (laughs)

MARISHA: Earth clear! Clear eyes!

MATT: Make a strength check.

SAM: Everclear.

TALIESIN: Wow, it's been a long time.

MARISHA: This is stressful.

MARISHA: Oh! Natural 18. 23? Wait, no. 24!

MATT: Okay. You take seven points of acid damage.

MARISHA: Seven?

MATT: As you reach out and you grab, and you can now glance through and see this is the hilt of a blade, and it's stuck in the muck. You yank it free; you pull it out of the muck, and it's free at this point. You're surrounded by skeletal bones, and you feel the fingers pulling at you and tearing, and you look around you as a wall of these corpses, these broken corpses, all begin to grasp at you--

MARISHA: I go up to the cavern! I'm out! I'm bailing with this.

MATT: You can't pull this into the rock with you.

TRAVIS: We discussed this.

MATT: It's metal; it doesn't come into the rock. It doesn't earthglide with you. So you have to glide up with your hand out.

MARISHA: Okay, yeah. I'm beating as I go upwards.

MATT: Make another strength check to see if you can break the grapple of the undead hands that are now grabbing and trying to hold you there at the bottom of the basin.

LAURA: Can I see any of this happening?

MARISHA: Okay, 21.

MATT: No. 21? You do manage to break free. You suffer another five points of acid damage and begin to earthglide your way up. You get about halfway up and suffer another nine points of acid damage.

MARISHA: 84, 70, 76. Okay. Yeah, still going.

MATT: And you eventually emerge from the top as you suffer another seven points of acid damage and manage to earthglide. You watch as all of a sudden the water separates and bursts, and you watch as her earth elemental form emerges, its hand coming up through the water, clutching a blackened blade.

MARISHA: Vex!

LAURA: Okay. Shit. Trinket's still in my necklace. I wonder if I bamf him out-- he wasn't covered in oil-- if he'd be in the regular plane or if he would be in the ethereal plane.

TALIESIN: You may never see your bear-- nope. Playing devil's advocate. Cosmic bear.

MATT: (laughing) Cosmic bear?

MARISHA: Does he become a constellation after that?

TALIESIN: He'll look like Eternity from Marvel Comics. He'll be this star bear--

LAURA: Would he be an ethereal bear, or would be bamf out in the regular plane?

LIAM: That's a big risk.

MARISHA: How much time has it been?

MATT: It's been about 30 minutes.

LAURA: I don't know how this shit works. I'm going to bamf Trinket out of the necklace.

TALIESIN: *What*?!

LAURA: I don't know how this fucking shit works. I'm going to try to bamf Trinket out of the necklace.

MARISHA: Come on, Trinket. Come on. Keyleth sees Trinket. Keyleth sees Trinket!

SAM: Best episode ever.

MARISHA: Come on, damn it!

MATT: As the cold sense of worry comes over you, you clutch the necklace and there's a flash as you watch Trinket's form burst from the necklace, gray and shaded. And *you* see as Trinket pops out of nowhere. By the way, between the two of you, you guys are pretty crammed into here to not be in the acid right now. You're both like (grunts). (confused bear noises)

MARISHA: (bear noises) Where's Vex? Vex?

MATT: He's sniffing around.

LAURA: I was basically trying to let her know where I was.

MARISHA: I saw him appear suddenly, right? Okay. Vex? Okay, I pet Trinket for an indeterminate amount of time. I wait.

LAURA: Can you chill? Right here. Because this is where I am. Can we wait it out?

MATT: You can. How long can you hold your form?

MARISHA: Half my level.

MATT: Yeah, so you're here for a while. Okay. So you guys sit and wait, carefully thinking, contemplating. Over the next 30 minutes or so, eventually you begin to watch as Vex'ahlia's form begins to emerge once more into this plane.

SAM: She's back!

LAURA: This was the stupidest idea we've ever--

MARISHA and LAURA: (sobbing in relief)

LAURA: Trinket, get back in the necklace.

MATT: Trinket is licking your face intensely.

LAURA: You're such a good bear. Okay.

MARISHA: I want to drop my form. Is this it?

LAURA: That's it. But here's the thing, should you glide back to the mansion, I stone back to the mansion with the sword? Okay, give me the sword.

MARISHA: Okay. I give her the sword. I have the sword. Is it the sword? It is the sword.

MATT: It's what you saw, yeah.

(cheering)

MARISHA and LAURA: Okay!

MARISHA: I know where the mansion is, right? Vaguely?

LAURA: You can glide back to the mansion.

MATT: It might take you a little while, but you can find your way back.

MARISHA: Okay, go? Okay, I'll see you soon.

LAURA: Okay. Good luck. And I'm going to think of the stone. I already put Trinket back in the necklace.

MATT: Okay. You concentrate for a minute as the stone's energy fills you. You flash and all of a sudden you're standing over the other stone--

MARISHA: And before she leaves, I say: Do a little tap dance, so I know, on the outside where the mansion is. I know where the mansion is, though.

MATT: Yeah. You know where it is.

MARISHA: Okay, that's fine. Okay.

LAURA: Okay. All right, I pick up the stones and go in the mansion.

MATT: Okay, you grab the stones and go in the mansion.

MARISHA: I doggie-paddle back.

MATT: As you make your way slowly in that direction, you hear a little voice whisper in your ear. "It's not going to help you."

(laughter)

LAURA: Oh, he would've--

MATT: Eventually, you slowly make your way to the building, and as you emerge from the inside, you can hear the loud flapping of wings nearby, jumping from rooftop to rooftop.

MARISHA: I go in the mansion as fast as I can.

MATT: All right. You dart into the mansion. You guys watch as Keyleth's elemental form bursts into the mansion space with the rest of you.

LIAM: Oh my god.

LIAM: I run forward and hug the big fucking stone giant like a cat.

LAURA: This was really stupid. We were so dumb. This was so dumb.

SAM: Is she back? Do you have the sword?

LAURA: I have the sword, yeah.

MARISHA: I drop form.

LAURA: There you go, Grog.

LIAM: We are blown.

SAM: We have to move. The safehouse has been compromised.

LAURA: Okay, so here's the thing. He knows we're here.

LIAM: He can't see us anymore, but he knows--

LAURA: He knows that you two are here. He doesn't know the rest of us are.

MARISHA: He knows we're in this vicinity. I think once we get into the mansion, he doesn't know an exact place, so as long as they don't figure out the mansion?

SAM: He doesn't know we're in here, but he knows where the mansion is and he will come to dispel it. So we have to get out of this mansion and either make another mansion somewhere else or go to somewhere else from inside this mansion right now.

LAURA: We can Plane Shift.

MARISHA: I can Plane Shift us.

LAURA: Will you be able to get us back here, though?

MARISHA: If we rest.

SAM: To this exact spot?

LAURA: Or to Thar Amphala?

MARISHA: If we leave from a mansion, I can teleport us back to a mansion with some pretty accurate-- it'd be the difference between the spa or the kitchen. But if it's gone, then it's gone. But then I could still bamf us back to Thar Amphala or whatever other city that we came out of.

TALIESIN: Worst case scenario, we can leave the gate stone outside.

MATT: There's a moment with a faint, whining, high-pitched sound and this sudden thrust. There's a sudden thrust of vacuum as the mansion around you dissipates and you're all plopped onto the ground outside of the cupboard where across, crawled upward partway into the building, you see a skeletal dragon standing there, its claws jammed into the inside, its wings open, and you see standing on the back of the dragon, finger forward--

MARISHA: Plane Shift!

MATT: I know. Finger forward, finishing the Dispel Magic she had cast, Delilah Briarwood, with behind her, darkened armor, arms around: Sylas, grinning. As she goes, "Oh. Glad you could make it. No, wait!" As soon as you gather, she's going to attempt to Counterspell.

LAURA: Oh god.

ASHLEY: No, don't do it!

LAURA: Don't do it!

MATT: (chuckles) So Plane Shift is 7th-level, right?

MARISHA: No, but I am doing it as an 8th-level because I'm out-- I'm doing it as an 8th-level.

MATT: Okay, good to know. So where are you Plane Shifting to?

MARISHA: Feywild.

MATT: Feywild, okay.

MARISHA: Do we have a city in the Feywild that we know of that's safe-ish?

LAURA: Go to the pond.

MATT: That's a natural eight.

MARISHA: The pond! Fuck you! The pond!

MATT: As she attempts to counter the spell, even at a higher level, it fizzles, unable to break through. And all of you, as you watch her hand extend and Sylas about to dismount--

TRAVIS: Say it.

MATT: (whoosh)

(yelling)

MATT: You find yourselves pulled out of Thar Amphala.

(yelling)

TALIESIN: Fuck the Briarwoods!

MARISHA: Why did we do this?!

LAURA: That sword better be the most amazing sword.

TALIESIN: We're practically gods. Let's be fair. We're so fucked.

TRAVIS: Oh god. Jesus.

MATT: You guys all plop down, your feet hitting the somewhat wet, grassy ground of the swamp where you-- You said the pools where you first emerged last time?

LAURA: Yeah, where the water elemental is.

MATT: Yeah. Where the nymph was. You guys all land in these pools. Looking around, you can see the darkened wood over you. The sound of crickets and nearby insects fill the air, and for the first time in a long time, though your blood pumping would not tell you, a stillness and a peace in the vicinity around you.

TALIESIN: Oh god, we should turn off our cell phones more often. This feels really good. Oh god.

LIAM: Really cool.

TRAVIS: Immediate perception check around us.

MATT: Make a perception check.

TRAVIS: Oh, 17!

SAM: Music just got supes loud.

TRAVIS: 17.

MATT: All right. Glance about your vicinity. You see nothing that has noticed your presence or seems to be of interest to you at the moment.

TRAVIS: You all figure out what we're doing next. And I put the blood axe away and I start concentrating on this giant greatsword.

LAURA: Are we fucked?

MARISHA: Did we leave behind a gate stone? Did someone say we were leaving one?

LAURA: No, I took all the gate stones.

TALIESIN: We thought about leaving one as a marker for us.

LAURA: Yeah, but it doesn't go through planes.

MATT: As you concentrate on the cold metal of the weapon, a different but still familiar sense creeps in.

MARISHA: Oh no.

MATT: "I get the sense this isn't the first time."

SAM: Wait. What?

TRAVIS: Well. You always remember your first.

MATT: "I also sense we have a similar goal."

TRAVIS: Could you be a little bit more specific?

(laughter)

LIAM: We all see this, right? He's not snuck off, right? I'm going to come and sit next to him and watch. What's up, buddy? Just keep doing your thing. I'm ten feet away. I'm not breathing down your neck. You all right?

TRAVIS: Are you hearing anything? Aces.

(laughter)

MATT: "The lich must die."

TRAVIS: The witch?

MATT: "The *lich*."

TRAVIS: Oh, the lich. Yeah. Are you talking about Vecna?

MATT: "Yes."

(laughter)

TRAVIS: Then yes, we do share similar goals. I don't know if you can hear me very well. Your voice is *barely* there.

MATT: "Oh no." So are you inspecting it, or are you attuning to it?

TRAVIS: I'm attuning! I'm locking it in.

LIAM: I'm going to assume I have deduced somewhat what is going on here.

MATT: Yeah, he's talking to his weapon. You have all seen this before, and it's as disconcerting now as it was last time.

TRAVIS: Hey. Hi.

LIAM: Hey, man, you do you.

TRAVIS: I'm not even trying to hide it this time.

LAURA: You can definitely hear the sword?

TRAVIS: Yeah. Anybody else?

ALL: No.

TRAVIS: What?

ASHLEY: What's it saying?

TRAVIS: Oh! It was saying that we have similar goals and that the witch must die. The lich is Vecna. Lich. The *lich.* It's very emphatic about the lich, meaning Vecna, and it's going to die.

MATT: "His secrets, his followers, all of it must topple. You will be my instrument."

TRAVIS: Apparently, I'm going to be an instrument. He's going to play me to topple the followers and his secrets.

ASHLEY: What does it want from you in return?

TRAVIS: That's a good question, Pike! (whispering) What do you require from me in return?

MATT: "Just wield me. Spill blood for me. Bring me to the Undying King and cut his throat with my blade. That's all I ask. That's all I need."

TRAVIS: He really doesn't ask much. Just average run-of-the-mill fight stuff. Be true to thy friend. This one is nothing to worry about.

ASHLEY: Okay.

MATT: It's still currently embedded in its scabbard.

TRAVIS: Oh. Reception problems. Hold on.

LAURA: I like that you grab it by the blade.

SAM: Weapons training.

TRAVIS: Yeah, I'm proficient.

MATT: You hear the sword go: "It's been so long."

LIAM: I'm going to bless Grog right now. It's all over you, buddy.

MATT: Make a charisma saving throw.

LIAM: Plus two from me, plus 1d4 from Bless. Plus two, plus 1d4.

TRAVIS: Yeah, but minus two for my fucking curse.

LAURA: So it's balanced.

TRAVIS: 12.

MATT: 12? Okay.

TRAVIS: It's great.

MATT: Oh man.

LAURA: Oh no! Did we just lose Grog?

MATT: We'll say, for the purposes of this, that the attunement is successful.

TALIESIN: That is the most frightening thing--

MARISHA: Does it have to be, though?

SAM: He's getting dice. A lot of dice.

MATT: All right.

SAM: A lot of dice.

MATT: You suffer 38 points of psychic damage. Your vision goes cloudy. You guys watch as his skin color goes from his general stone gray to more pale white. You watch as his physical body becomes more gaunt. The jowls sink in slightly, and his eyes turn a little red around the iris. Your vision goes a bit dark, and the sword goes: "Blood. I need blood. Give me blood. I'm so hungry." You find yourself standing up with the blade out in front of you.

TRAVIS: Guys, I don't feel so great.

MATT: Make two attacks against Vax.

TRAVIS: That's whato I was going to attack.

SAM: Vax or Vex?

MATT: Vax. He's the closest one.

TRAVIS: I didn't say reckless. Would he make him reckless?

MATT: Not at the moment, no. He's not familiar with your capabilities yet.

TRAVIS: 21.

LIAM: Yes.

MATT: It's a longsword, so roll 1d8.

TRAVIS: 1d8. Not raging.

LIAM: Wait, I'll use my last luck of the day to make him reroll that.

TRAVIS: The damage or to hit?

LIAM: To hit.

TRAVIS: It's worse. 18.

LIAM: Doesn't hit.

MATT: Second strike.

TRAVIS: That's way worse. That's a 16.

MATT: You dodge both blows as Grog goes and swings at you twice with the longsword.

LIAM: I disengage and jump back 15 feet.

LAURA: Grog! What are you doing?

TALIESIN: Give him some distance.

TRAVIS: I'm going to be totally full front right here. The sword needs blood.

LIAM: We can get that for you, just not from inside us.

TRAVIS: I feel like it's trying to take it from me.

MATT: Who's closer to Grog right now, between the two of you?

TRAVIS: You jumped in front of him?

MATT: Two attacks on Vex, please.

LAURA: (shouting) Wait, Kas! Is this Kas? Are you Kas? Kas, this is counterproductive. This is counterproductive! We're all going after Vecna! This is so stupid! You are ruining your chance of killing Vecna by attacking us.

MATT: What was it?

TRAVIS: 27.

MATT: Roll 1d8. Add your strength modifier.

TRAVIS: Ten.

MATT: So you take ten points of slashing damage. As the blade arcs across the front of your sister, you see a spray of blood. Make a second attack.

TRAVIS: That hits.

MATT: Roll another d8.

TRAVIS: Oh, that's only a nine.

MATT: Nine damage. As she reels back from the first strike, the second one cuts across the shoulder and clavicle area, down the arm. As another spray of blood hits, you pull back and watch as the blade is now currently drenched in Vex's blood.

TRAVIS: It's actually ten because I had to reroll ones and twos.

LAURA: You're a fucking dick.

MATT: There you go. As the second attack comes to a halt, you guys are watching him carve into Vex. The blood on the edge of the blade seeps into it, and your tunnel vision subsides, and you take a breath. You hear this audible (sigh) from the blade, as you have control of yourself once more.

TRAVIS: Déjà vu.

LAURA: Your sword is a dick. Tell him he's a dick.

TRAVIS: Now, listen. This is an ally. You're all right, yeah? You're okay.

LAURA: I punch Grog across face.

MATT: Okay, make an attack. Add your strength modifier.

LAURA: With my strength modifier? 14.

MATT: So she (crack) hits you in the jaw.

TRAVIS: Is it minus?

LAURA: It's minus.

MATT: It goes, (quiet punch).

LAURA: Act like it hurt, you fuck!

TRAVIS: (mocking) Ow.

(laughter)

LIAM: Why are you not attacking us anymore?

(shouting)

TRAVIS: What?! This is the biggest card *ever*!

LIAM: That's a novel!

TALIESIN: That's a fucking dice tray. That's not a card!

MARISHA: That is the biggest blackest sword!

(laughter)

LAURA: Oh, the sword is a dick! That's funny.

MATT: It all came full circle. It's the episode title there. The sword is a dick.

SAM: Swords and dicks.

TRAVIS: Oh shit.

LAURA: Good? Bad?

TRAVIS: Good. Totally good. As with all good things, *comes with a bit of risk*.

TALIESIN: What are we if not risk-conscious?

TRAVIS: Yeah, all the time. Even Pike would say this is worth it.

LAURA: Pike, do you think it's worth it?

ASHLEY: Desperate times come for desperate measures. Call for desperate measures, rather. Here's the thing: if it comes down to it, it gets bad, I can pull you out of there, hopefully. It's not up to a good start. You slashed up Vex.

LIAM: Big man, why did you stop attacking after you cut my sister?

TRAVIS: I got the feeling it needs to be fed blood often.

MARISHA: Look, it doesn't have any blood on it anymore. It sucked it all in.

TRAVIS: Funny thing, this is what Craven Edge used to do, as well. Oh, what do I call you?

MATT: There's a long pause before it thinks. "I've not taken a name but the one that's been given. But in honor of my last master, just call me Kas."

TRAVIS: Vox Machina, meet Kas. Kas, try not to hurt them.

MATT: "I make no promises."

TRAVIS: He makes no promises. He's very forthcoming. This is really nice compared to the last guy.

MARISHA: Hi, Kas!

TRAVIS: He says hi. He's like: I like your freckles, Keyleth.

MARISHA: Aw, thanks, Kas.

MATT: "Take me to the lich."

TRAVIS: Okay, can I put you back in your scabbard?

MATT: "Are you taking the scabbard to the Undying King's innards?"

TRAVIS: Oh yeah. We're going to rock that body real hard.

MATT: "Very well."

TRAVIS: Holy shit. I mean, there's motivated people in the world, and then there's this totally rocking motherfucker. He's of a single purpose. It's incredible.

SAM: Just wants to kill Vecna?

TRAVIS: Just wants to fuck him up, Swiss cheese style. And his whole family.

SAM: What else is he into?

LAURA: He's into slicing us up.

LIAM: Blood. He wants blood?

TRAVIS: It's good that you have me here, Vex. My experience with these sort of weapons. They are fueled by various-- I need a big word-- various fuels, and I feel like he needs blood to be good.

LIAM: Could you do me a favor, then? Do you think, instead of attacking my twin sister next time-- and I take Whisper and I go-- can I feed him for you?

TRAVIS: Yeah.

MATT: You take 1d4 points of damage.

TRAVIS: That was my plan, but we could do it right now. Just to be careful. You want to drip some on the blade and see if he likes the flavor?

LIAM: I already started. (dripping)

MATT: It seeps into the dark, almost pitch-black metal. You hear the inhale of the blade as it takes in the blood and seems to devour it.

TRAVIS: Guess he digs the other white meat.

MARISHA: Does he ever get full?

TRAVIS: No, I've asked that before, man. You don't want to go that way.

LAURA: It went bad before.

TRAVIS: Yeah. It went all anime.

LIAM: Goddamn it, Travis. Then you and me have an agreement here, rather than wait until he comes knocking. In the meantime, could I feed him once an hour or so?

TRAVIS: Yeah. In fact, any time I take him out of the scabbard, why don't you hang real close. I might have to plunge him into your thigh or something.

LIAM: That seems extreme.

TRAVIS: I don't know how hungry he is.

MATT: Just a note, this conversation is strange, since you're staring at Grog and his eyes are burning a little red. The visual change is still that way.

LAURA: Are you always like that now?

TRAVIS: Do I need some eye drops?

LAURA: Grog, you need to eat something. You look really gaunt.

TALIESIN: Let's get him a steak or something.

SAM: You look like a methhead.

MATT: You're still muscular. All the skin is pulled tight against the bone.

LAURA: I'm really glad that we're here in the Feywild, and it's great.

LIAM: Vasselheim is fucked royally now, or real soon.

LAURA: What are we doing?

SAM: I want to see one of those before-and-after meth photos of Grog.

(laughter)

MARISHA: This is Grog. This is Grog on Sword of Kas.

TALIESIN: Sword of Kas, not even once.

(laughter)

LIAM: The straightest edge.

MARISHA: Just say no.

LAURA: (singing) D.A.R.E to keep a Grog off Kas!

TALIESIN: Wow, way to bring that back.

MATT: So what's the plan?

SAM: What is the plan? We're in the Feywild, where there's werewolves and pixies.

TALIESIN: And your father.

LAURA: No, not anymore.

MARISHA: I've been thinking about this, just a little. The Feywild, as you know, when we've left before and when we go back, sometimes time gets a little wibbly-wobbly.

SAM: I don't know that. I aged but didn't know why.

MATT: That's true, you didn't.

LAURA: Time gets a little wonky here.

MARISHA: There were some things going on with you at the time.

TALIESIN: Can we pinpoint when we get back?

LAURA: Is there a way to control it?

MARISHA: No.

TALIESIN: I was about to say, you've been thinking about it, and the answer is no.

MARISHA: We can't, but do you remember Garmelie-slash-Artagan?

SAM: He was not our friend. He was an asshole.

LAURA: No, he was great!

MARISHA: He was cool.

SAM: Wasn't he the guy who sketched us and was creepy?

LAURA: Yeah, he was funny, and he also helped us, and he also enjoyed us because we were weird.

LIAM: Basically, it also describes you, so I feel like you should be understanding.

SAM: I just lost my house today, all right? So go easy.

LAURA: You can get it later, right?

SAM: It's insured.

LAURA: Okay.

TALIESIN: We can also maybe have a second to breathe and have a second to maybe identify that stone we took.

SAM: We took a stone?

TRAVIS: Yeah, we got this blue crystal.

LAURA: Maybe Artagan can identify it.

TRAVIS: I take out the blue crystal. Is it still pulsing?

SAM: Wait, why are we finding this Artagan fellow?

MARISHA: Well, he's an archfey. He told us he was an archfey. They more or less control this realm, or at least have strong dominance over it. He might be able to help us make sure that we're going back in minutes as opposed to years.

LAURA: You think he could do that?

SAM: He can control the land? The powers of the land?

LAURA: I don't know if he's going to be able to control time, though.

TALIESIN: It's entirely possible that we could return to where we were with only a few minutes having passed.

LAURA: It's also possible that we'll return and years have gone by and Vecna is already a god.

MARISHA: We have to talk to Artagan.

TALIESIN: Plead our case.

MARISHA: I bet he can help us. I don't know, though.

TALIESIN: I don't think it's in anybody's interest to have Vecna controlling any of the planes.

LAURA: Oh, that's true. Maybe he'll want to help if he can?

TALIESIN: Yes. Perhaps.

LIAM: It's too much of a risk to go back normally anyway. We might as well find him.

MARISHA: If he can help us, might still be able to take a rest.

TALIESIN: Sleep. And return minutes later.

LAURA: (gasps) I'm going to cry. That would be so wonderful.

MARISHA: (whimpering) I need to sleep so bad. I'm so tired.

TALIESIN: You definitely have been sleep cranky.

LAURA: (stuttering) It was a thing. I'm so sorry that Vecna found us. The ethereal thing was a backfire.

LIAM: A series of bad decisions.

MARISHA: (whimpering) I felt so alone. Let's not split the party, you guys.

TALIESIN: No, never again.

LAURA: How do we get a hold of--

SAM: Garmelie?

ASHLEY: I could send a message.

LAURA: To Garmelie?

LIAM: How do you mean?

ASHLEY: Well, I could use Sending.

TRAVIS: Oh yeah!

ASHLEY: Yeah. And we could write a little something and say hello.

SAM: You don't say it, you have to write it down?

ASHLEY: Well, I have it. Let's look at this.

TRAVIS: Yeah, you want to? And spray it with perfume?

ASHLEY: Yeah, put a kiss on it.

LIAM: He also might like a naughty doodle.

LAURA: Yeah, draw a little naughty doodle, Pike.

ASHLEY: Do a naughty doodle? Okay.

MATT: Sure, I'll allow it.

SAM: Ashley, will you draw something and show it to us on the camera?

ASHLEY: Okay. I can't draw, but all right.

(laughter)

MATT: I'm so excited.

TALIESIN: This made everything worthwhile, right here.

LIAM: The New York Yankees? That's terrible.

(laughter)

ASHLEY: Oh my god. This is already going bad.

LAURA: Is it boobies? Is it penis?

SAM: I think it's a vag.

TALIESIN: Travis, are you going to be reading that weapon for the next week, aren't you?

LAURA: It's a novel.

SAM: Is this thing going to kill you? Can you read it?

TALIESIN: Not all of it. That's the rest of the show if he reads it.

MARISHA: Can it actually kill Vecna, even though Vecna said it won't do us any good?

TRAVIS: It's going to put me a lot closer to doing that.

LAURA: To killing Vecna?

MARISHA: Because Vecna was all like, "Oh, you can't beat me!"

TRAVIS: The only weapon that does as much shit as this does, the closest thing to it is your staff. Your Vestige. This thing is bonkers.

LAURA: Let me see it!

ASHLEY: Okay.

LAURA: Okay, what did you draw? What did you draw, Pike?

ASHLEY: I can't draw, and if only one of the amazing artists were here. So okay, it's a penis.

(laughter)

SAM and TALIESIN: "Cum see us--"

MATT and ASHLEY: "--4 a good time."

TALIESIN: "Time" circled.

MATT: "This is Vox Machina, by the way."

(laughter and applause)

LAURA: He's a happy penis! Oh, it's so great!

MARISHA: It looks like a condomed penis.

MATT: It's not too bad. As you suddenly hear a voice behind you, Vex, and you turn to look and Artagan is right there behind you.

SAM: He came that fast?!

MARISHA: Don't tell people that, Artagan.

MATT: "I'll keep it a secret best I can. Best I can." He stands up before you, his yellowish-green attire with the high collar and his wild, orangish hair framing his face like a lion's mane. His pale, elfin, fey complexion. Smiles as he puts the hands together. "Well. Show me a good time."

(nervous laughter)

LAURA: Okay.

SAM: I unzip my pants.

(laughter)

MATT: He doesn't flinch.

LAURA: I shimmy.

LIAM: Give me 12 and I'll have this armor off.

TALIESIN: I am legit out of sheer panic going to take off all of my clothes and dive straight into that lake. That little pond? I'm washing. I have had a nervous breakdown. I am like, yeah, no, we're naked into the water.

MATT: "Well, that is considered good manners, definitely."

LIAM: 11 minutes from now, I'm going to be joining you, Percival.

TALIESIN: I'm in there, yelling into the water right now because it's been too much.

MATT: "How have you been? What's going on?"

(yelling and laughter)

LAURA: It's been a little crazy, actually. We were hoping that maybe we could seek your aid? Please?

MATT: "Define the request, please."

LAURA: Okay, so you know how time is weird when we go back to the other plane of existence?

MATT: "Weird? Time is *fun* when you go back."

LAURA: Exactly. It's so much fun. We're in dire straits over there. The world is about to be taken over by an asshole that wants to be a god, and we're trying to kill him, and we're here now, and we're hoping that we can hang out here and rest and go back and only a few seconds have passed? Maybe a minute or two?

SAM: Is that something you can control?

MATT: (chuckles) "Are you telling me that you would stumble into this space unannounced, summon me here under the pretense of a good time, and then request me to bend the very essence of time passage between my plane and yours?"

MARISHA: We can show you a good time first.

LAURA: We definitely do want to show you a good time about it.

LIAM: And what is your idea of a good time? Unbutton, unbutton.

TRAVIS: And we certainly don't expect that to be accomplished without something given in return. Of course.

MATT: "Now we're talking. I could help."

LAURA: You can do that?

MATT: "More or less."

SAM: And what would you request?

MATT: "Well... You all dress very differently than the last time we met. You're doing well for yourselves, then?"

LIAM: It's been a hard day.

LAURA: We have a bakery.

MATT: "That's quaint."

MARISHA: In comparison to the world events--

SAM: I'm pretending to be a mage right now, so.

TRAVIS: We fought of a bunch of ancient dragons. We've established order back in our realm.

LIAM: I'm unkillable for a while.

MATT: "*That's* fun."

SAM: Oh no. I'm a crime lord. I can get you really good discount furniture.

TALIESIN: Coming back sopping wet and naked I'll say: And we've got this weird thing that we're not entirely sure about.

LAURA: We found this ball of light. Crystal.

MATT: "Tell you what. I'll help you under two conditions. One: should you go back and defeat this wannabe god thing you speak of and all is well and you're heroes and you have all of this influence and money and everything's grand, we can discuss maybe creating a doorway for me that allows passage. I'll come visit and see what strangeness your world seems to have whenever I'd like."

MARISHA: I don't know if you'd like it.

MATT: "Oh, I'm sure I can figure out a way."

LIAM: It's real dicey at the moment.

MATT: "But I'm sure if you succeed, that won't be a problem, and if you fail, well, then I guess the deal's off, anyway."

TRAVIS: Very true.

LAURA: Good point.

MATT: "Second: I wish to strangle you until death."

(laughter)

SAM: He's into autoerotic asphyxiation?

TRAVIS: (laughing) Amazing! Oh my god!

LIAM: Wait, Grog. I'm sorry. Come again?

MATT: "I wish to put my hands on your throat until you expire. If you say you're unkillable, well, that's a new experience entirely."

LIAM: Okay.

LAURA: Will you come back? Have we tested this?

TRAVIS: Vex, be quiet.

LIAM: I have one further request on our end. Can you send us backward in time?

MATT: "I'm afraid it doesn't work that way, but I could give the mere passage of an hour."

SAM: Mere passage of an hour? That's good, yeah.

MATT: "Day for an hour. I think it's a fair trade, yes?"

MARISHA: Can you give us a full day in order to make sure that he does come back?

MATT: "Sure. Day for an hour. 24 hours are yours to do as you like."

MARISHA: You would come back in 24 hours, right?

SAM: Can I ask one question first? Will you be pleasuring yourself during this?

MATT: He actually laughs at this and goes, "I think the process will be enjoyable enough."

SAM: Oh. I respect you so much.

TALIESIN: Since we're making a deal, I want to make sure of a few things, because I love making deals. First of all, as perhaps a token of friendship, do you have any idea what this is? I am still apologetically naked and wet.

MATT: "It's a pulse stone."

ALL: A what?

MATT: "A pulse stone."

LAURA and SAM: What is that?

MATT: "It's meant to distract undead.

SAM: How do you activate it?

MATT: "It just does."

TALIESIN: Thank you. Second question is: when we do return in an hour, where are we going to reappear?

MATT: "That's up to you. I'm just altering the time flow. Do you not have a means of returning? You found your way here."

SAM: The place that we're meaning to return to is moving. Could you send us to a moving place?

LAURA: It's Keyleth that's sending us back, and she can.

SAM: Can you send us back? We have to send ourselves back?

MATT: "*I'm* concentrating on the passage of time. That's a large enough endeavor in itself."

MARISHA: I can get us back to Thar Amphala on the Material Plane and specify that, but it doesn't specify where we're going to land in Thar Amphala.

TALIESIN: This is great.

MARISHA: I got a question, Artagan. Do you know if--

LAURA: Is it *Ar*tagan or Ar*ta*gan?

MATT: "Take your preference. I'm just happy to have friends."

SAM: Garmelie?

MATT: "If you must." And he winks, and for a second you see his form shimmer and you see the small satyr image for a moment before it restores to his grand visage.

TALIESIN: Another strange question: have you ever had access to our world before?

MATT: "A long time ago."

TALIESIN: Have I read about this cat?

MATT: Make an intelligence check. Just the intelligence modifier.

SAM: I don't remember being in the Feywild at all, or meeting him.

LAURA: You don't?

SAM: Right?

MATT: Well, it was restored via spell.

SAM: Oh, that's right. But does that restore memories?

MATT: As part of the actual effect, yeah.

TALIESIN: Nope.

MATT: You have no idea who he is.

TALIESIN: Nope, no idea. None, nope. I have no idea.

LAURA: You've had access, but you were blocked?

MATT: "Things rearrange every eon or so, and the ley lines that guide the paths shift, and I haven't been able to get back since."

TRAVIS: That seems most unfortunate.

LAURA: You're not going to become addicted to strangling people because you've tried it on him.

MATT: "I don't know. I haven't tried it."

TALIESIN: How long does he have to be dead in your hands before you decide that it's worked?

LIAM: Can I tell if he's lying?

MATT: Sure, make a deception check. Sorry, an insight check.

LIAM: 18.

MATT: Lying about which one?

LIAM: Never strangled someone before.

MATT: You have no idea. He's slippery. He's mercurial.

TALIESIN: This is the problem with fey. They don't tend to lie, they tend to tell just most of the truth.

LIAM: All right. With a couple of provisions here, all right? One: you cannot say shit while you're doing this.

LAURA: He's not allowed to talk?

LIAM: That is correct.

MATT: "Fair enough. I think it would spoil the moment, anyway."

LIAM: Two. And this includes the rest of you lot: everybody leaves, except for Scanlan and Grog, and they stay.

MARISHA: What?

TALIESIN: No, I'm all right with that.

LAURA: I don't want to see it.

TRAVIS: I think that's a fair request.

SAM: Can I pleasure myself?

TALIESIN: I whap Scanlan on the head.

LIAM: I don't know how to feel about this!

LAURA: Let him do it. You'll come back, right?

LIAM: Oh, Vax is okay. That was Liam just now.

(laughter)

MARISHA: This is so weird. Okay, wait. Keyleth pulls Vax aside.

LAURA: I'm grossed out.

TRAVIS: It's like a dog, you got to pull him off your calf!

MARISHA: Are you sure about this? Are you okay with this?

LIAM: I'll see you soon.

MARISHA: We can ask if he wants something else!

LIAM: Ask him. I don't think he does.

MARISHA: And you'll be back, yeah?

LIAM: Probably.

MARISHA: In 24 hours or so?

LIAM: I'll be back.

ASHLEY: Wait, but how do we know for sure?

SAM: Yeah?

LIAM: Guys, go. Go on.

SAM: We have no choice, Pikey.

TALIESIN: This is what's happening.

TRAVIS: We got an eye. We'll keep the rule of law.

SAM: Do you want to stay, too, Pikey?

LIAM: Percy?

ASHLEY: I'm not going to stay if he doesn't want me to stay.

LIAM: Take Keyleth out of here, please.

TALIESIN: Absolutely.

MARISHA: Wait, no! Wait! I try to give him a kiss before we leave, before getting dragged out.

TRAVIS: Vax, I want you to know I've never been more proud of you than I am right now.

LIAM: I want you to laugh your fucking ass off, all right?

TRAVIS: I might. I'm just saying, you're about to buy the ticket and take the ride of a literal fucking lifetime.

MARISHA: This is fucking weird.

TRAVIS: You're not here anymore.

MARISHA: I'm saying as myself: this is fucking weird.

SAM: This is weird. This is like a weird snuff film.

MATT: I don't know where this came from?

TRAVIS: How do you feel? Are you nervous?

MARISHA: What?

LIAM: You keep an eye, have him drag me somewhere safe, and keep an eye on me.

SAM: Sure.

TRAVIS: Can I put my hand on his chest? Is the heart still beating?

MATT: Yeah, slow.

TRAVIS: Is it beating any faster? Because he's nervous.

MATT: A hint.

TRAVIS: Still pretty chill.

TALIESIN: Do you still have advantage on death saving throws because of that thing that we did a while back? Or is that long gone? Never mind. Carry on.

TRAVIS: Do you want us to hold anything? Do you want to wear your clothes?

LIAM: Let's stop talking, folks. Could you look after Keyleth, please?

LAURA: Of course, darling.

LIAM: See you tomorrow.

LAURA: See you in a bit.

ASHLEY: Don't you do anything else! You just strangle him until he dies, and then you leave him alone.

(laughter)

MATT: "I wouldn't dream of trying, little one. Don't worry."

TALIESIN: Well, this may be the weirdest thing. This is not the worst thing.

LAURA: Artagan, this is weird as fuck.

MATT: "Welcome to my world."

LAURA: All right. I slowly walk away.

MATT: Okay. Pike, have you left as well?

ASHLEY: Yes. I'm going to honor your wishes, Vax. I'm going to go swim.

LAURA: Yeah, I'm going to swim.

TALIESIN: Everyone's backing off.

LAURA: We're swimming naked while my brother is dying. No big.

MARISHA: Oh my god.

LIAM: Hey, Grog. All he gets to is strangle me to death. That's it.

TRAVIS: All right. What about after you're dead?

LIAM: No.

TRAVIS: No touch at all, no pickle?

LIAM: Neither Artagan or Scanlan are able to do anything to me once I'm out.

TRAVIS: Oh! Oh, okay. Yeah. Right.

LIAM: And then make sure he doesn't lose me in the woods or something, okay?

SAM: You'll be fine. This will be harrowing for you, but you'll be fine. We'll bring you back.

LIAM: It's been so much fun until now.

SAM: This is a sacrifice.

TRAVIS: Yeah, everything in your life has been leading up to this point. This is the pinnacle. This is great!

LIAM: Don't speak.

TRAVIS: Fair enough.

LIAM: I walk up to Artagan. All right, fucknut, let's do this.

MATT: "You believe this? You really believe you're going to come back if you die?"

LIAM: (clicks tongue)

MATT: "Fair play. To the immortals." And he takes your throat and begins to squeeze, his eyes locked in, and he keeps watching you.

LAURA and MARISHA: This is so dark.

TRAVIS: I step up behind Vax in case he has an involuntary reaction to reach up to his arms. Just to keep his arms down.

MATT: He locks in.

LIAM: No fear, remember.

MATT: Yeah. Without making any other noise, continues to apply pressure. Eventually, your vision begins to go dark.

LAURA: I'm so glad we can't see this.

TALIESIN: Yeah, no. Underwater.

MARISHA: I'd be freaking out.

SAM: I look away.

TRAVIS: I don't.

ASHLEY: I'm peeking out of the pond.

TALIESIN: I grab her and drag her right back to the pond.

MATT: This is so weird.

TRAVIS: This is your head, man.

MATT: I know!

LIAM: You could have asked for a magic wand or a unicorn, a pony.

MATT: It was a fascination with something different and new and you said "cannot die," and that immediately piqued his interest. Even the nicest of fey are weird and have their dark sides.

LIAM: Preach, David Bowie.

MATT: Yeah. You watch over the next minute or so as he strangles the life out of Vax.

LAURA: Oh my god!

TRAVIS: Are you hungry right now?

(laughter)

MATT: This is so fucked up!

TALIESIN: This is quality internet.

MATT: I know. Limp in his grasp, Garmelie eventually pulls one hand back. Still holds him now; his feet are dangling, and goes like: "Satisfying, but not what I thought it would be." At which point, you watch as the body and flesh of Vax begins to burn to ashes out of the armor, and the armor falls to the ground in pieces.

TRAVIS: Oh god. Okay.

MARISHA: Well, last time he got disintegrated, so we didn't really see him evaporate. But that makes sense.

TRAVIS: I'm going to look at Scanlan. Were you expecting this at all?

SAM: No, not at all. What the fuck is this?

TRAVIS: I'm going to grab the armor, if you don't mind.

MATT: "Of course. It's yours."

TRAVIS: Oh, thank you.

SAM: I'll scoop up everything.

TRAVIS: Let's go away from the group, into the trees. Hopefully, that won't kill us. And we lay it down.

SAM: I'll make a little circle of rocks.

MARISHA: Oh, stop it! I kick the rocks out of formation.

TRAVIS: You're not there!

MARISHA: Oh, I thought he dragged it outside.

TALIESIN: They're in the woods. We're in the pond.

TRAVIS: I wanted to shave half of his head because he shaved my beard that one time, but there's really nothing left of him right now.

SAM: I don't think that that would be a good time to do this.

MATT: As you guys are swimming, the water breaks and you see the still dry hair as it emerges from the pool of Garmelie, though he is now undressed in the water, as well. "Ah! So that's one deal done. Where do you wish to rest?"

LAURA: Oh. Is it safe to rest?

MATT: "While I'm here, yes."

LAURA: Okay. (whimpers) Should we wait? We need to wait 24 hours to bring him back. It takes 24 hours?

LIAM: Nobody knows that.

SAM: I don't know that.

MARISHA: Somewhere in that time? How long did it take last time? It wasn't a full 24 hours, but it was the next day.

LAURA: It was that night.

MARISHA: I don't want to leave.

TALIESIN: Might be a dawn thing. We moved and he appeared.

TRAVIS: That's the thing about dawn. It takes a while out here, doesn't it?

TALIESIN: Dawn doesn't really exist out here. It's just a rest.

LIAM: It's like a Vegas casino: it's always the same twilight.

LAURA: All right, well. Okay.

TALIESIN: Is there somewhere else that we could go to recuperate?

TRAVIS: Wasn't expecting the ashes part.

LAURA: Yeah, this is crazy.

TRAVIS: I expected the crash test dummy. Weekend at Bernie's. I had a whole fucking theme park lined up.

(laughter)

ASHLEY: Is it bad if we set up camp right here?

LAURA: Yeah, let's set up camp here. We know this area.

MATT: "Of course! Please." And he points over and you look back to where you were on the edge of the pool, and you can see there's a bunch of stumps that weren't there before that seem to have elongated into chairs and couches and bits of furniture.

LAURA: Oh shit. Nice.

MATT: "Thank you."

LAURA: (sighs)

SAM: Are we going to rest here?

LAURA: Yeah, but we need to do a feast before we go back. Well, the thing is, it uses a spell, so it has to be within the 24 hours.

TALIESIN: That will be the last thing we'll do before we go to sleep.

LAURA: Okay, but I want Vax to have the feast, as well, so--

MARISHA: Can we save him leftovers?

SAM: Do we have to wait a whole day before he comes back?

TRAVIS: We don't know.

LAURA: We don't know how long it takes. We can try to wait and see how long it takes and then rest?

MARISHA: Maybe.

TALIESIN: We have a little time.

LAURA: Let's give it some time.

MARISHA: Besides, Garmelie gave us his word.

TALIESIN: One day.

MATT: "One day."

MARISHA: So we might as well wait a few hours, at least, right?

SAM: Anything else we can accomplish here?

MATT: "We can play."

LAURA: This feels weird to play.

MATT: "Oh, do about yourselves. You seem disturbed by my presence."

TRAVIS: I do have a question.

MATT: "Yes?"

TRAVIS: Are you familiar with the werewolves that roam these lands?

MATT: "I am familiar with the werewolves that now roam these lands, yes."

TRAVIS: Right. Are they around this part?

MATT: "No, not at the moment."

LAURA: You can sense them?

MATT: "I have an idea where the might be. I know when they're not near me."

TRAVIS: That's all. I'm just saying. Just curious.

LAURA: Hey, Artagan. Does killing a wannabe god sound fun to you?

MATT: "Sounds interesting."

LAURA: It would be much more fulfilling than strangling a person that didn't fight back, right?

MATT: "I don't know."

LAURA: Would you want to come through with us?

MARISHA: Give a little tour of our land that you so desperately want access to.

TALIESIN: There's currently a giant city walking its way towards another giant city.

TRAVIS: Some sweet action with some stuff maybe you haven't seen before.

TALIESIN: A skeletonized dragon. A gold dragon.

MARISHA: Undead dwarves.

TALIESIN: Cannibal undead dwarves.

TRAVIS: One-eyed prick named Vecna.

MATT: "I mean, that'd be great but I *can't*."

LAURA: Oh. You have to have a specific doorway.

MATT: "Once you have the door, I'd be happy to join you."

LAURA: Okay. And that's a time-consuming sort of thing?

MATT: "Depends in how long you can build a doorway, I suppose."

MARISHA: Sounds like a time-consuming thing.

MATT: "Most likely. No offense to any of you if you're carpenters."

TALIESIN: No, we've had an enormous amount of trouble with doors in our time.

(laughter)

TALIESIN: Very tricky.

MATT: "Well, take your time! Rest. Food is prepared. You can go amongst yourselves. I'll be here, splashing away." And he splashes into the water.

TRAVIS: That guy knows how to relax.

MARISHA: Is that how he lives all the time?

TRAVIS: Don't think so. Yeah, probably nude. Probably put clothes on to be nice around us.

LAURA: Sylas is alive.

TRAVIS: What did you say?

SAM: Sylas. She said Sylas is alive.

LAURA: Sylas is back.

TRAVIS: Briarwood?

LAURA: Yeah, didn't you see him right before we left? He was right in front of Delilah.

TALIESIN: I'm watching to see if anyone eats the food.

TRAVIS: No. I was eating all the food in the mansion.

MATT: Plenty of food on these small stools here and there.

MARISHA: Remember what?

SAM: I don't know what I was going to say.

TRAVIS: Didn't you evaporate him with a Sunbeam or something? And then we like killed him in a coffin?

LAURA: We killed him.

MARISHA: Sylas? Yeah.

LAURA: Wasn't it Pike who killed Sylas or was it you? It was you. Oh, that's right, and you said "eat a bag of dicks."

MARISHA: That was the bag of holy dicks moment. Bag of holy dicks.

TALIESIN: It's been a long time.

MARISHA: Yeah, I shot the beam off of Pike's shield. It was actually pretty dope.

LAURA: Great, so he's back.

ASHLEY: I'm going to go over by Vax's armor and stuff. Just sit there and flop it around.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: Armor fluffer?

MATT: Is there anything you guys wish to accomplish in this time, or do you want to take time to wait to see if your friend returns?

LAURA: What can we accomplish? What can we do? There's got to be something we can do.

SAM: I need to accomplish something.

LAURA: What do you need to do?

SAM: I don't know. I have a spell, and I can use it before we rest, but I don't know what to use it on.

LAURA: What is it?

SAM: Well, I can do a few different things before we sleep. We can go out into the woods and find an animal, a big animal. I could turn it into something, like a flying thing that we could give to Grog so he could fly. Fly with that sword.

LAURA: Like a mount sort of situation?

SAM: Like a wyvern.

LAURA: You can turn an animal into a wyvern?

SAM: Sure.

LAURA: Any animal?

SAM: A big animal.

LAURA: Bigger than Trinket?

SAM: I would love to turn Trinket into a wyvern.

(laughter)

LAURA: Is it permanent?

SAM: Yes.

LAURA: Oh, never mind, then.

TRAVIS: Is it a big spell for you?

SAM: Yeah.

LAURA: Trinket? Would you want to be turned into a wyvern?

SAM: Forever.

MATT: (questioning bear noise)

LAURA: Hold on, let me see if I've got Speak With Animals. I don't think I have it. It's 1st-level, I can still do it! Trinket?

MATT: "Yes?"

LAURA: Would you want to be turned into a wyvern forever? (whispering) Say no.

MATT: "What's a wyvern?"

LAURA: It's like a lizard that's really big that's got wings. Not so much? Okay. Just checking. I just wanted to make sure. It's your choice, darling.

SAM: Did he say yes?

LAURA: No, he said no.

SAM: I knew that. I can speak with animals, too.

(laughter)

LAURA: You haven't been saying shitty things to my bear, have you?

SAM: All year.

(laughter)

LAURA: Trinket, don't ever listen to him. He's horrible.

MATT: (spits)

(laughter)

SAM: Or--

TRAVIS: Or?

SAM: Or I could do other things.

LAURA: Like what?!

SAM: I could do other things. I could make another compatriot for us to have in battle.

LAURA: Like another Artagan?

SAM: Like another Scanlan. Or another Pike.

LAURA: Would they be fully capable to cast all your spells?

SAM: Yes.

LAURA: Oh shit!

LIAM: Spells.

SAM: Or I could do other things.

TRAVIS: Actually, that last one is pretty dope.

LIAM: Yeah, two Scanlans.

TRAVIS: Get all your turns, all your everything? Two times whoever you make?

SAM: I don't know. Never done this before.

LAURA: Oh my god, what kind of spell is this?

SAM: It's a crazy spell.

TRAVIS: Do that one. Fuck the flying thing.

SAM: But if you could fly--

TRAVIS: Yeah, I know he hovers and flies, but.

SAM: Yeah. You could bring that sword to his neck.

LIAM: Could you give Grog wings?

SAM: It's a real thing. Magic would not stop it from flying. It would be a *real* thing.

LAURA: A real thing that could be killed right out from under him, though.

SAM: Sure, but it couldn't be dispelled with magic.

TALIESIN: Could be disintegrated, though.

LAURA: And then Grog would fall.

LIAM: Right.

TRAVIS: Can you cast Fly on somebody?

SAM: No. I can turn you into an eagle.

LAURA: Not with that sword.

TRAVIS: No. The option of having a second caster like you is way bigger than making me fly.

SAM: Another Scanlan who could easily be destroyed.

LAURA: Well, but so could one of us.

SAM: Well, it'll be a magic thing that could be dispelled.

TRAVIS: If they know it's magic.

MARISHA: But you just said the other thing couldn't be destroyed.

SAM: That thing couldn't. That would be a different spell altogether.

TRAVIS: I still like that idea better.

SAM: There's other things, too.

LAURA: Like what?!

(laughter)

SAM: I could cast a spell on one of us that if you died, it would active, and it would heal you.

LAURA: Completely?

SAM: No.

LAURA: Oh, Death Ward. Pike can cast that.

MARISHA: Whatever you do, I can get me plus eight other people through with Plane Shift. Eight willing creatures.

SAM: But my Death Ward would last for ten days.

TALIESIN: There are not going to be ten days. We don't need a ten-day Death Ward. We need a one-day Death Ward.

LAURA: Plus, we all have our blessings-- not all of us. We have some blessings from gods that will activate, hopefully, right before.

MARISHA: Can you do a one-day blessing on ten of us?

TRAVIS: Can you cast Haste?

SAM: No. I mean, I could, but it seems like a shitty use--

TRAVIS: If there's two of you and you could cast Haste on me, I'd take that over the flying creature.

SAM: If there's two of me.

TALIESIN: Well, you with Haste would be horrifying.

TRAVIS: It's nasty. It doesn't get me off the ground, but at close speed. I'd have a hundred feet of movement.

LAURA: And another attack.

TRAVIS: Yeah. Plus an action surge.

SAM: I can't cast Haste. I don't know it.

LAURA: You can't? Hey, Pike, do you know Haste?

ASHLEY: No. It's not a cleric spell.

SAM: Who does?

LIAM, LAURA and TALIESIN: None of us have it.

TALIESIN: Just the boots.

LAURA: Okay.

TRAVIS: You've got a decision to make. We've got sleep to get.

MATT: You've got time to think. We'll say for the purposes of the time you have been waiting. Hours pass. You're not sure how much time has passed. You've plotted, you've thought, you've napped, you've contemplated this weird bubble of time that now exists, this brief respite, but where it leads you is unique and strange. As you all begin to question and wonder, is he going to come back? Does he come back here? Last time you saw him, he arrived with you in the Feywild.

TRAVIS: Oh, and he died in the Material Plane? (gulps) Oh shit.

MATT: And you carried the ashes with you then. As soon as these doubts begin to emerge, you turn at the sound of a footfall and around the corner, hand on the side of a tree, you see for the second time in this grove a nude Vax'ildan.

SAM: Oh!

MARISHA and ASHLEY: (sighs of relief)

TRAVIS: (cheers)

MATT: And that's where we'll end tonight's game.

TRAVIS: For the second time: butt-naked ending!

MATT: Because it is past 11. Man, a lot of weird shit happened that game!

TRAVIS: Fuck!

MARISHA: I have to go home with you.

MATT: I'm sorry! It made sense for him in the moment!

TRAVIS: No, that was--

LAURA: Awesome.

MATT: It was a weird, dark shade of the fey you don't see.

TRAVIS: It was the best thing I could have ever hoped you said.

LIAM: I didn't expect it.

LAURA: It certainly made us opening a doorway so he can get into the real world a little bit more questionable.

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: But that's the fun of it. How much can you trust any fey?

TALIESIN: No. They're monstrous. I'm so excited.

MATT: Man, I'm sorry the etherealness went bottoms-up.

LIAM: Oh my god.

TALIESIN: No, it was great.

LAURA: We still did it! We still got it!

LIAM: We came close to fucking up that ring proximity thing seven times, and then finally we did fuck it up.

MATT: It was probably an eventuality. (laughs)

SAM: Can the episode title be "Dicks and Dicks?"

(laughter)

MATT: I'll see what I can do.

TALIESIN and MARISHA: Dungeons and Dicks.

MATT: But anyway, thank you guys. We're going to get some rest. Thank you guys for going with us through this very interesting episode.

LAURA: Ashley, your drawing was amazing.

TRAVIS: Ashley!

LIAM: Post that shit!

MATT: Yeah. We'll return next week, and I think we'll have a special guest next week.

SAM: What? Is that true?

MATT: Yeah.

TRAVIS: Thank you, Marvel Puzzle Quest.

ALL: Thank you, Marvel Puzzle Quest.

SAM: Show them support, show them love, guys. They really appreciate it. Tweet at them, follow them on Facebook, add them as a LinkedIn friend. Sext them.

LIAM: Check their Myspace.

MARISHA: Sext them? Yeah, send them a bunch of porn links.

LAURA: No, don't do that. Please don't do that.

MARISHA: That was a joke!

(laughter)

MATT: Anyway, rest well, see you guys in a week, and is it Thursday yet? Good night.

[music]

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