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Pre-Show[]

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

ALL: (hollering) We play Dungeons & Dragons!

MATT: There you have it. Before we jump into tonight's episode, we do have some announcements to get through, beginning with the first of our two sponsors tonight. Sam?

TALIESIN: Thank you, Matt. This episode is brought to you by Elderwood Academy, makers of quality gaming themed gear, including spell books, deck boxes, dice towers, rolling trays and a whole lot more. They specialize in--

SAM: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. What is going on? Taliesin, Elderwood Academy wants me, Sam Riegel, to do the sponsorship tonight, a-heh, and not you, okay?

TALIESIN: What are you talking about? I am Sam Riegel.

SAM: What?!

TALIESIN: Can't you tell by my inane smile and my spongy feeble hands?

SAM: No, no, no, no, nice try, but come on, everybody here knows that I'm the real Sam Riegel, right, guys? I mean...

TRAVIS: Uh. I don't know. I'm actually having a hard time telling who is who. I mean, you both seem really bad at sports.

SAM: Okay, okay. Look, it's me. I mean, look, look at my cow-sized teeth.

TALIESIN: No, no, I'm Sam. Look at my lack of human emotion and overwhelming hubris.

LAURA: Yeah, this is tough. I mean, they're both really annoying.

TRAVIS: Yeah, yeah.

LAURA: Oh, I know. Let's ask them questions to prove which one's the imposter. Okay. Candidate A, how much does a carton of milk cost?

TALIESIN: Well, not very much, somewhere between $100 to $400, I presume.

LIAM: I mean, that sounds like Sam; he's never done his own shopping. Candidate B, what is something you'd say to your pet dog?

SAM: Oh, well, that's a simple question. You run their hand across their, I want to say hair and you call them an excellent canine and then fetch your butler to go disinfect your hands right afterwards.

MARISHA: Yeah, you know, Sam is terrible with animals. So that actually does track. Candidate A, if you could have lunch with any celebrity, living or dead, who would it be?

TALIESIN: Myself, of course. What a stupid question, Marisha.

ASHLEY: Aw, what an asshole! That's our Sam! I'm pretty sure it's Candidate A, but okay, just in case, both of you answer the following question. What is the URL of tonight's sponsor?

TALIESIN: Hold on a second, I've got it right here.

SAM: It's elderwoodacademy.com/criticalrole.

MATT: Oh yeah, that's Sam, most definitely.

TALIESIN: How did you know?

MATT: Sorry, Taliesin. Sam may have no social awareness, sincere feelings and you know, hell, he might not even actually be a really good person, but the one thing he is perfect at is corporate shilling. You can't fake that kind of insincerity.

SAM: Aww, (sniffs). Thank you, Matt, that's really nice. Anyway, Elderwood Academy makes high-end customized gear for all players and characters. Everything's designed to be functional and immersive. Check out their amazing stuff at elderwoodacademy.com/criticalrole and they're offering our audience 15% off when you use the code CritRole2020 at checkout on elderwoodacademy.com/criticalrole. I love you guys. Back to you, Matt.

TRAVIS: What a piece of shit.

MATT: Thank you, Sam. You are a piece of shit. (laughter) Our second sponsor tonight, our returning friends since the beginning of this campaign, our friends at D&D Beyond.

ALL: ♪ D&D Beyond ♪

MATT: They have their new Avrae Discord Bot available, which is designed to streamline playing D&D games on Discord, which is pretty awesome. You can link Avrae directly into your D&D Beyond account and it'll help you run your games online with your friends through the Discord app, features advanced dice, SRD and character sheet integration, initiative tracking. You'll actually never need another D&D bot again, for now. But yes, start playing D&D through Discord today at dndbeyonda.link/avrae, Avrae. Also, it is D&D Beyond's third anniversary, which is amazing. Congratulations to you guys, three years of making awesome stuff easier for people. They're giving away a free dice of healing set to anybody who's a subscriber this month as part of this anniversary, so enjoy and happy anniversary to you guys.

TRAVIS: Amazing.

LAURA: I want it.

MATT: Well, you should sign in and do it.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: Right now if you can. (laughter) We have the technology! Literally, it's in front of you. All right, other announcements we got, in case you guys missed it, Vox Machina: Origins, Volume II is available right now. (cheering) It's so pretty.

LIAM: There's stuff printed on the pages even?

MATT: I know, it's crazy. This wonderful series is written by our good friend, Jody Houser. She does an incredible job with this, original art by our amazing Olivia Samson, who started this series with us, color by MSASSYK. Did I say it right?

LIAM: I think.

MATT: I always get it wrong, I'm so sorry if I got it wrong. Lettering by Ariana Maher and designed by Cindy Cacerez-Sprague, I believe, and sorry if I messed it up, too. We have the trade paperback as you saw and with the wonderful cover art there from our good critter friend, William Kirkby, which you probably have seen his art through many of our galleries and stuff online, he's amazing.

LIAM: @chamonkee!

MATT: Indeed. Available at your local comic and bookstores, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and as well as digitally through Dark Horse Digital and ComiXology. There is also the hardcover limited edition version of Volume II, which sits alongside the Volume I.

LAURA: So beautiful.

MATT: Which is so pretty.

LIAM: Looks demonic, I love it.

MATT: I know, it's pretty intense, works within the story and themes of it.

LAURA: No, I haven't seen that.

MATT: It comes with the foul red cover, the foil stamped cover and slip case, designed by the same Cindy who I mentioned earlier, and lithographic art by Hunter Severn Bonyun and Stephan McGowan. Yeah, they gave me all the names tonight, so I'm ruining them all and I'm so sorry. The limited edition is available exclusively through Critical Role, it's, like, our own program.

MARISHA: You even ruined our own name.

MATT: I know, I know! It's too many names; they're all just falling apart now. We're done, we're done, I'm out.

TALIESIN: A recording session--

MARISHA: Yeah, yeah!

MATT: The limited edition is available exclusively through our US, UK, and Australia online shops and once it's gone, it's gone, so get one if you can. There's that and a big quick shout out to the game Popup Dungeon, which just came out recently. It's a tactical rogue-like RPG video game that was inspired by tabletop games like the ones that we play here. You face incredibly difficult campaigns as you play. You can also create your own abilities, items, heroes, villains and games to customize entirely. It's super adorable. You can check out Popup Dungeon on Twitter for a special giveaway that we're running right now and see if you can hear some familiar voices throughout the game, including myself. So they're awesome folk. They've been working hard on this and it's actually pretty cool, so check them out. Last but not least, Laura, you had something to talk.

LAURA: I did.

SAM: Oh yeah!

LIAM: What is it?!

LAURA: Well, it's just a little thing, but we were off last week, but while we were off, this went on sale and I had to show it off.

TRAVIS: Is that a Frumpkin?

LAURA: It is! It's a Frumpkin little hanging plushy.

LIAM: (squealing)

MARISHA: He's so cute!

LIAM: (squealing)

LAURA: It's the cutest. So this is in the US, UK, and Australian shops and it's designed by Jenny Park. It's available right now. Check your shops, see if it's in stock. It's so cute and it would make a great Christmas ornament, I think.

MARISHA: Oh, yeah, it would.

TRAVIS: Just don't drop it or it goes (poofing)

LIAM and LAURA: Yeah.

LIAM: Don't send him to go looking for anything because he won't find it.

MARISHA: Keep out the reach of guards.

LAURA: You want to see him, Liam?

LIAM: Yes!

LAURA: Then keep him on your desk.

LIAM: Yes, please.

TALIESIN: Good throw.

LIAM: Ooh! I'm a dog person now, but I still love him.

ASHLEY: Look at him. (laughter)

LAURA: So yeah, there's that.

MATT: Awesome. Thank you, Laura.

LAURA: You're welcome.

MATT: All right, I believe with that, it is time for us to jump into tonight's episode of...

LAURA: Oh god.

MATT: Critical Role.

(grunting) (water bubbling) (thunder rumbling) (explosion blasting) ♪ Role ♪ ♪ Critical Role ♪ ♪ Critical Role ♪ ♪ Critical Role ♪ ♪ Critical Role ♪ ♪ Mighty Nein ♪ ♪ Roll the dice ♪ ♪ The adventure begins ♪ ♪ They were always beside you ♪ ♪ Your nerdy best friends ♪ ♪ And the DM to guide you ♪ ♪ And they rise from the flames ♪ ♪ For the battles ahead ♪ ♪ Villains beware 'cause you're 'bout to be dead ♪ (dramatic music) ♪ They got magic and flair ♪ ♪ They got falchions and cunning ♪ ♪ They don't see over there ♪ ♪ There's a monster incoming ♪ ♪ Inspiration is waiting ♪ ♪ Rise up, don't think twice ♪ ♪ Put your fate in your hands ♪ ♪ Take a chance, roll the dice ♪ ♪ Role ♪ ♪ Critical Role (roll the dice) ♪ ♪ Critical Role (roll the dice) ♪ ♪ Critical Role (roll the dice) ♪ ♪ Ooh, ah ♪ ♪ Can you answer the call? ♪ ♪ Dig in deep in your soul ♪ ♪ As the legend unfolds ♪ ♪ Now it's your turn, (your turn, your turn) ♪ ♪ To roll ♪ (fire burning) (dragon roaring)

Part I[]

MATT: And welcome back. (laughter)

TRAVIS: Wow. (firing, explosion) (laughter)

MARISHA: I had to finish it, it was hard to--

TRAVIS: Somebody cover her up in dirt.

MATT: We're already off the rails, and we haven't started. So last we left off: The Mighty Nein, after spending some time on the island of Rumblecusp in anticipation for the coming preparations of Traveler Con. You discovered a people that lived here who had lost their memories over time and some seemingly ancient entity known as Vokodo that had taken residence beneath the mountain. Upon learning about the different mysteries and dangers throughout, you discovered a cavern full of abandoned ships. You fought dangerous creatures around and eventually went beneath the mountain itself to fight this Vokodo creature. You learned, as it was dying, of what it was it seemed to be fleeing from within the Astral Sea. You escaped the boiling waters with the treasure that you had accrued from its hoard, and, it seemed, freed the people of Vokodo from this clouding fog that removed their memories from them. As they returned, many of them realized who they once were and decided to return to their old life. Some chose to stay with the new life they had made here, but nevertheless, a night of final celebration for the villagers of Vokodo as the village that it once was, was brought forth around a large bonfire. You all helped them into this final night, you saw some early arrivals to the Traveler Con event, begin to try and find their place amongst the vicinity. After saying your bits before the next day, you went and crashed up in Vilya's room and went to bed. And that was where we left off. So! As the warm temperature of the temperate island morning begins to creep into the chamber, the seaside moisture in the air itself sticking in a sweaty way to your skin, you begin to wake up one by one within the comfortable interior of the tree where Vilya had taken up residence as Viridian for quite some time. So what would you like to do, Mighty Nein?

LAURA: (sighs)

SAM: Did you have your morning constitutional? (laughter) Or is that just you waking up?

LAURA: This is me waking up.

SAM: Okay, cool, cool.

TRAVIS: Got to love being regular. (chuckling)

LAURA: What should we do?

TALIESIN: I mean, I suppose we should start setting up.

LAURA: Well, yeah, obviously. But the people, can we peek outside? Are there still a bunch of people, like, running around looking worried?

TRAVIS: Are there bodies on the ground?

LAURA: I know, yeah. (laughter)

MATT: It's just a massacre-- no.

TRAVIS: Shit, we slept heavy.

MATT: You glance out from the elevated portion of this tree where you guys spent the evening. You into the main loose thoroughfare of this village that surrounds the central space and you can see there are people walking about, some folks that are going about their common day to day business within the village of Vo, some people that have gathered things and are currently packing. What looks to be a group of individuals that are in the first batch of those leaving for the day. Vilya has already left, woke up before any of you did, and is not in the chamber. You could see now from above that she is currently gathering with those individuals, prepping them and making sure that everyone who is leaving today has everything they need, because it is a one way trip for them.

TRAVIS: Right, and she's going to-- Wait.

TALIESIN: Have we already set up the dispersal for-- we were going to give everyone a little money right before they--

LAURA: Yeah, it was--

SAM: We're going to give them a to-go bag or something.

LAURA: Yeah, yeah, yeah. We were going to give them each 50 gold, everybody that was leaving. So if-- you remember what I gave you guys, right?

MARISHA: Mm-hmm.

SAM: Yeah, of course.

LAURA: Okay. So if everybody gives me back 112 gold and I don't give Vilya any gold but Vilya you'll still get a bunch of platinum, is that okay with you?

MATT: She can't hear you from the side, she's currently conversing. It's not imminent, the people aren't, like, getting ready to leave now, but you gather probably in the next couple of hours or so, they'll probably be shoving off.

LAURA: Okay, if we don't give any gold to Vilya, but we still give her a bunch of platinum and silver and copper, then everybody will get 50 gold that's leaving. That's 60 people roughly leaving that will get 50 gold each.

TALIESIN: Already threw you 112.

LAURA: Okay.

MARISHA and TRAVIS: Same.

LAURA: We'll put it all in little bags. What?

ASHLEY: 112?

LAURA: 112 each.

SAM: I'll also give an extra 50 for Vilya because...

LAURA: So she can get 50 gold, yeah, that's great, Nott.

SAM: Well yeah, I mean she's got a family that she's got to get back to.

LAURA: I'll also give 50 gold to Vilya.

SAM: She needs it, yeah.

TALIESIN: I'll throw in a 50, too.

LAURA: Oh, that's great.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

LAURA: So she gets 150 gold, that's wonderful.

ASHLEY: Why don't we make it an even 200?

SAM: Ooh, boy.

LAURA: Okay.

ASHLEY: Might as well, I don't know what I'm going to do with this money.

TALIESIN: No judgment.

TRAVIS: Don't you fucking, don't. (laughter)

SAM: We're all throwing in, but if you guys don't want to, that's fine.

TRAVIS: I saw that look.

TALIESIN: If you've got needs, I understand. I live very frugally.

SAM: It is an optional donation.

TRAVIS: Eyes just above the tea cup, I saw it. (laughter)

MARISHA: Stop looking at me, Veth.

SAM: I just think you're great.

MARISHA: All right, fine.

LIAM: It's one of those situations where the gratuity is already on the receipt and that's already been taken care of.

LAURA: 250 gold for Vilya, cool cool cool.

SAM: But you get excellent service.

ASHLEY: Who knows, you know, if she has to go home to her family, if she has to take care of her family.

LAURA: Or an entire village of people, you know.

SAM: She definitely does, yes.

TRAVIS: She grew a leg out of plants, I think she's fine.

LAURA: Fjord, did you want to give 50 gold to Vilya?

TRAVIS: Who? (laughter)

LAURA: Did you want to?

SAM: Marisha, you need that flashlight on right now? Is that something you need?

MARISHA: No, I needed--

TRAVIS: How much is she getting right now?

MARISHA: Oh! (laughter)

TALIESIN: I was wondering what that was.

TRAVIS: Beau, turn your stupid gloves off.

MARISHA: I'm sorry, I can't read the menu. It's so dark in here.

LIAM: Give me back my driftglobe. What are you doing?

LAURA: Okay, so 250 gold for Vilya.

TRAVIS: Yes, (mumbling).

LAURA: 300 gold for Vilya. Good job, Fjord.

MARISHA: (laughs)

TALIESIN: She's somebody's mother, I'm just saying.

SAM: Somebody.

TALIESIN: Somebody's mother.

ASHLEY: Somebody.

MARISHA: I mean, she's been here for so long that her kids are grown up by now.

TRAVIS: Yeah, she could be lying through her teeth. "I have a family." We need to do an insight check.

LIAM: Sounds like a good cover story.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Just what she wants you to think.

MARISHA: I gave 50 gold.

LAURA: Yeah.

SAM: That's nice.

MARISHA: Fine.

LAURA: One, two, three, four, five, six--

LIAM: Hold on. One.

SAM: Oh boy.

LIAM: Two.

TRAVIS: Oh boy. Oh no.

LIAM: Three.

TALIESIN: Riveting.

LIAM: Four, five, six.

LAURA: Okay, so 350 gold for Vilya. That's wonderful.

SAM: So while Vilya is organizing the exodus, I mean, should we ask her if she needs any help or anything or do we just turn our attention to--?

LAURA: I mean, we've got to get started setting up for Traveler Con, you guys. We only have, like, six more days.

TALIESIN: Maybe--

MARISHA: What do you need? Go ahead.

TALIESIN: Oh no, I was--

MARISHA: I have no plans.

TALIESIN: Harder for you to give money, so I figured you can talk. You go first, I was very impressed.

MARISHA: Okay.

TALIESIN: Yeah, go ahead.

MARISHA: What do you need from us?

LAURA: Well... I mean, I think we probably need to build a stage, right? We need to have some sort of area where everyone can congregate, right?

MARISHA: Sure.

LAURA: So you can work on that. Something, you know, that people can do for fun, you know, so they're not bored, like, standing around. We don't want people getting in fights; they need to be distracted.

MARISHA: Fights are a lot of fun.

LAURA: Yeah, but--

MARISHA: We should make a fighting ring!

LAURA: We can make a fighting ring!

MARISHA: Or a pit.

LAURA: Yeah, and we can make it in the shape of, like, a circle and we can throw some little balls in there and stuff.

MARISHA: Like a pool, yeah.

LAURA: Yeah.

SAM: Does that thematically connect with-- I mean this is a religious pilgrimage, correct? I mean, does that--

ASHLEY: I feel like chaos and mayhem--

LAURA: Yeah, like, you know.

SAM: Okay.

TALIESIN: Maybe, like, food fighting or something, I don't know.

LAURA: Ooh, that's good, that's good.

TALIESIN: Like something you could throw at people, but it doesn't hurt too much.

TRAVIS: It's like a little cafe, but you have to fight for your food while you're in there.

TALIESIN: That's pretty good.

LAURA: But like, not aggressively, just like pie fighting.

TALIESIN: Oh, maybe a big wall where people can draw stuff.

TRAVIS: (zooming) Pie fighting. (laughter)

LIAM: Where are we right now? Are we still in our digs?

MATT: You're still in Vilya's chambers right now, yeah.

MARISHA: I guess, Jes, what's the overall goal? What is the culminating climactic event of Traveler Con? What are we aiming at?

LAURA: Ultimately, the goal-- and I need to talk to the Traveler about this because, you know, I'm having some thoughts. But-- Feel like Caduceus.

MARISHA: You are sweating so much right now.

LAURA: No. Well, it's warm in here.

MARISHA: Yeah, but--

LIAM: Apple does not fall far from the branch.

MARISHA: Yeah.

LAURA: The ultimate, what we're trying to make people believe is that this Traveler has ascended, like he's beyond the gates and he's a god-y god-god now, and he's no longer going to be able to, like, be right next to everybody. He's as powerful as the Wild Mother or as the lightning guy or as, you know, this dragon or whatever the other gods are, I don't know. So he's got to be seen that way.

SAM: So the ascension rite is the main event?

LAURA: Yeah, that's the culmination of everything.

SAM: Okay, do you know where you'd like that to happen?

LAURA: Well, here's what I'm thinking we could maybe do. So we can't actually rite-- he can't actually ascend because he's not a god.

SAM: Yeah, but he can shoot up into the sky or something.

LAURA: He could shoot up into the sky. I don't know how grand it would be. You know, he can make himself look really really big, there's also that. I was thinking, what if we made people think that they saw the ascension, but they didn't actually. Like, what if I asked people, like, "Hey guys, we need a few human sacrifices." you know? What if, like, a few people volunteered for that? Maybe one of you guys would be one of the volunteers.

SAM: You're going to kill one of us?

LAURA: Listen.

SAM: Okay.

LAURA: Veth.

MATT: "This just got extremely interesting." (exclaiming)

MATT: As you both shift and you go to the source of the voices, in one of the darker corners of the chamber, where the heavy interior woodwork of the tree that has been kind of carved away, the shadow folds in there. The cloaked figure steps out, the hood back with the long, heavy curling batch of lion mane-like reddish-orange hair as the Traveler, Artagan, steps forward. "Terribly sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt."

LAURA: (squeaks)

MATT: "I had a moment thought I'd come in and see how things are going on."

LAURA: I run over and I give him a hug.

MATT: "Jester! Are you excited? I'm excited."

LAURA: Yes, yes. So did you hear what I was saying about human sacrifice?

MATT: "That's about as much as I got and I'm very interested to hear how this has going to work."

LAURA: So we ask people to be a human sacrifice, right?

MATT: "Mm-hmm."

LAURA: We take the volunteers, we drag them off to, like, the volcano or something--

MATT: "Ooh."

LAURA: -- and then we tell them they have to be separated so we can cleanse them or some shit like that, I don't know. However you prepare people for sacrifice.

MATT: "I like it."

LAURA: And then we alter their memories.

SAM: Who can do that?

LAURA: Me!

TRAVIS: Oh, like the witch.

SAM: Have you done that before? Oh, yes.

LAURA: We change their memories and I bet you can do it too.

MATT: "I've altered a few memories in my time."

LAURA: You're the one who taught me how to do it. So we alter their memories and make them think that they were sacrificed and that they saw-- they were brought back to life, watching you ascend into the heavens.

SAM: So not just the sacrifice, but this act brought them back to life.

LAURA: Yeah. So we can do it two ways. Like what if, one, we don't actually make them think that they were sacrificed. We could make it be like, "Just kidding, we just want to see who really loved the Traveler, as a present for really loving him, you get to see the Ascension." There's that one, or we can make them think that they really died.

TRAVIS: Really died and then because of the Ascension they were brought back to life?

LAURA: Yeah, because he's so powerful. And then they go back and they're, like, really believing it so then they tell everybody that they watched him ascend.

SAM: I love it, that's great stagecraft and it's really excellent production value.

TALIESIN: I will say, as someone who has dabbled religiously, the human sacrifice angle sets a dangerous precedent? I mean, is this just going to become a thing that other people do?

LAURA: Well I thought that-- you know, I just figured that might be something that was needed for ascending.

MATT: "This is an interesting point, though, actually. We are dealing with individuals and faith and we have a very different connection than most divinity does. While I don't particularly ascribe to all the ideals of your mistress--"

TALIESIN: That's fair.

MATT: "You do have quite a bit of experience with the fanaticals so maybe you'd be the right partner for this planning endeavor. Would you be interested?"

TALIESIN: I mean, while I'm obviously not a believer, I am here to help. There's room for a lot at the table.

MATT: "Wonderful, you two work together then."

TALIESIN: Oh boy.

LAURA: Okay.

SAM: If I may, just a few things. The people who we get to sacrifice themselves, or--

LAURA: However we do it, if human sacrifice is not the way we can figure something out.

SAM: I love the idea, just a heads up, they may be considered prophets or something afterwards, and they may be praised themselves. Is that okay with both you?

MARISHA: Have you ever met anyone who thinks that they came back from the dead? Remember Molly? He was insufferable. God, the ego.

SAM: (laughs)

MARISHA: I'm just saying, we could be creating egomaniacs.

TRAVIS: Did you just say, "Do you remember Molly?"

MARISHA: Yeah, not like, "Do you remember Molly?" but like, do you remember his shitty disposition?

SAM: Yeah, it was, like, three months ago. (laughter)

MARISHA: Was it? How long ago was it?

TRAVIS: Ish?

MATT: It's been almost half a year.

LAURA: Oh wow.

MARISHA: Six months.

SAM: You're right, you're right.

TRAVIS: We do remember Molly!

TALIESIN: It's been a long time.

MATT: A number of months, at least, a number of months, at least.

LAURA: So maybe it's just like, you know, they don't actually think that they died, maybe it's, you know, they got the blessing because they were so devoted.

SAM: No, I think it's great though, but you know what I really like about that plan, if I may? The only reason I'm speaking with any authority at all is, once in Felderwin I went to see a play and it was called... Peter Fawn, and it was-- there was lots of stagecraft and stuff, but towards the end of the play, they did this thing where there was a fey creature, a little fey pixie creature that died and they were like, "Everyone in the audience needs to clap to bring the fey creature back to life again." So the audience participating in the event, made you really feel for that character so much so what I'm saying is--

MATT: "Strangely, that is an actual ritual that works."

SAM: Oh wow, it's based in fact?

MATT: "Believe it or not."

SAM: That was a documentary.

MATT: "Not that I've seen it. I hate the theater. Go on."

SAM: You hate the theater?

MATT: "Shh. Continue."

SAM: Asshole. Anyway, I was just going to say, the audience doing something to make this Ascension happen would get them even more emotionally invested in it. So if they--

LAURA: They all had to bang on drums!

SAM: That's amazing. Maybe during the week you said something like, "We should all give them a fun activity." Maybe it's making their drum stick or something.

LAURA: And they all look like dicks!

SAM: Yes! And then at the end of the week they all beat their dicks as hard as they can.

ASHLEY: Wait, didn't you carve some?

SAM: Just beat that dick as hard as you can.

LAURA: Yeah, but they're all little. They'd make a little tiny drum roll.

SAM: Then they'll make the Traveler just shoot up.

MATT: "Interesting idea, you're not wrong on that. What if, what if they pray-- beat, whatever-- too hard and it destroys me?"

SAM: Ooh.

LAURA: (gasps)

MATT: "Then it's not my fault. It's on them. They're left with the guilt and I'm home free."

LAURA: Ooh, I like it.

MARISHA: Wait, what?

SAM: Can you beat it so hard that it can kill someone?

TRAVIS: Yeah, make you go blind.

LAURA: I've heard of dicks falling off.

SAM: Wow.

LAURA: They had to be really infected, almost like-- But they've fallen off.

MARISHA: Hang on, though, why that choice? Why leave them with, you know, prolonged and insufferable guilt for something that they didn't actually do when it could be spun a little bit more positively?

LIAM: Perhaps we give them a big party and if it does not reach the climax that they were hoping for, then they have to redouble their efforts and continue their faith and try harder, into the future.

LAURA: No, no, no. I like it better if the Traveler dies, no offense.

MATT: "I'm not actually going to die."

LAURA: Yeah, I know, I like it better that way, because then they can move on to another god and they're not trapped forever believing in something that's not going to help them.

MARISHA: Okay, I can get behind that, but maybe we sidestep the "it's their fault" thing.

ASHLEY: Yes.

MATT: "I suppose so, yes."

LAURA: Oh well, yeah, sure.

SAM: If it was something like it's an ecstatic death, like he is obliterated so that he can go forth into the heavens never to be seen again and that's something that he wanted?

MATT: "You did say worship something else. Is there a way to, like, pass the divine buck, even?"

LAURA: Sure, I mean, what if we said like, "Oh my gosh, you know what? The Traveler has been super buddy-buddy with, I don't know, the Wild Mother or something."

TALIESIN: Moon Weaver.

LAURA: "The Moon Weaver or something, and the Traveler is now telling you like, 'Oh, you should worship this other person,' because they're, like, best friends or something."

MATT: "Interesting."

LAURA: Like you endorse another god.

TRAVIS: Uh-huh.

MARISHA: Yeah, an endorsement.

LIAM: Just to be clear, though, and it seems like this ship has sailed, but there isn't any chance you would want to actually try to be the thing that these people think that you are?

MATT: "God no, there's way too much responsibility."

TALIESIN: Just surprised that there's so much responsibility for what is essentially a chaos religion.

MATT: "Trust me, at a certain point it just becomes untenable. I want to do my things, not their things."

LAURA: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Out of curiosity, what are your things? It'll just help, creatively. (laughter)

SAM: This is the pre-interview?

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: "I don't take you to be a creature of the whim."

TALIESIN: Thank you.

MATT: "That's in all that I am, nothing but whim. Whimsy, if you will."

TALIESIN: Whimsy, I like whimsy.

MATT: "But in the sense that it's whatever I want to do, whenever and I do not want anybody else to tell me not to do it."

TALIESIN: Is there anything you just don't like to do or-- other than the theater?

MATT: "There needs to be a fun element of it, which means a bit of misery to those that probably deserve it and a bit of laughter for those that don't."

TALIESIN: Moon Weaver.

LAURA: The Moon Weaver.

LIAM: So you like to get your hands on life and just squeeze it for all it's worth?

MATT: "Oh, continuously. In fact, there was this-- no. Another time."

TRAVIS: If I may, have you made yourself as available to these people that are arriving as you have to Jester over time?

MATT: "Oh, dear me, no. I think, and it is not your fault at all, my dear, but you've spoiled me. I assumed it would be the same experience elsewhere, but you're one of a kind. Most everyone else in this world is-- well, dreary, boring, aggressively selfish.

LAURA: There's a bitch out there.

MATT: "Which one?"

SAM: What?

LAURA: Like, what was her name? Celia?

MATT: "Celia, yes. (laughs) She found one of your pamphlets actually."

LAURA: She did?!

MATT: "Yes, passing through."

TALIESIN: Oh, they work.

LAURA: Oh, well, sorry about that, but oof.

MATT: "It's all right. Look, she's a bit of a bitch, but that cruelty makes for some fun pranks on occasion."

LAURA: Oh, I bet she does some really mean ones, huh?

MATT: "Yes, maybe not always at the right targets, but she's learning. She's one of the ones I'd like to possibly--"

TALIESIN: Well then, maybe that's the goal, is to remove you from the equation, but see if we can keep everyone practicing what seems to be giving them a sense of joy and completion. It certainly gives you a sense of joy and completion to be going around and spreading a little dissidence and--

LAURA: (whispers) Chaos.

TALIESIN: -- chaos and...

MATT: "Chaos works well."

TALIESIN: And frivolity, I guess, I don't know.

MATT: "The best way I can describe it is I've grown bored with having a religion, or a cult as some have said, I'm more interested in, like, an exclusive club. A handful of chosen individuals. They get cards and everything. It's wonderful."

LAURA: Ooh!

TALIESIN: Sure, but just to set them free to do their own thing and especially if their own thing is kind of what they were doing already.

MATT: "Yeah, and if what they're doing is fun and they want me to come help, maybe I'll stay for some fun."

TALIESIN: Yeah, we can keep you out of it, if you like.

TRAVIS: Caduceus, what does the Moon Weaver look like generally?

MATT: "Yeah, please do tell me. You keep talking about this Moon Weaver. I'm not very up to speed on some of your 'gods.'"

TALIESIN: Mostly what I know about the Moon Weaver is because we have a few followers of the Moon Weaver back home. In the ground, obviously. From what I remember from the few times that we've had to run it, it's not chaos necessarily, but some trickstery-ish stuff, a little bit of a lighthearted disguise and silliness, a little bit of-- oh man, this has been a while.

MATT: "I'm familiar with the Moon Weaver, I'm just seeing what your information is."

LAURA: Oh, you-- what is the Moon Weaver like?

MATT: "Eh. Some similar ideas of trickery, though they're--"

TALIESIN: A little more low key?

MATT: "They're a little more, I don't know, esoteric and mysterious. I like to be a little more present."

TALIESIN: You could make a bit of a heavier subset of that, if you know what I mean, kind of a...

MATT: "Yes, I suppose."

TALIESIN: A little bit of more chaos, less illusion.

MATT: "I'm surprised you're interested in passing followers off to someone who isn't your purview."

TALIESIN: I mean, there's room for a lot in this world and if you have a whole planet of carpenters, then nothing ever gets done. You need a bit of everything and we're fine.

MATT: "That's a rare mindset in religion these days. I respect that."

TALIESIN: Thank you, pleasure.

TRAVIS: I was only wondering, if we are doing this hand off to the Moon Weaver, it might help, only because our means are limited, if you had the ability to, I don't know, create some sort of grand show as the Moon Weaver and officially usher them over, maybe not appearing as yourself, but as this deity, then it might help move things along.

TALIESIN: Or a face of the Moon Weaver.

MATT: "You see, deities are very-- well, sometimes vain creatures that don't enjoy being made fun of in grandiose falsehoods and displays of ridiculousness. In fact, it quite makes them frustrated, so I love this idea." (chuckling)

MATT: "What are they going to do? Be frustrated that we shunt some more followers their way? They'll be fine."

LAURA: I know! We are giving her people to worship her, like she can be that pissed, right? I like it. That's way better than my human sacrifice.

LIAM: And we're planning to frame this.

MATT: "Oh, wait, we're losing the sacrifice element?"

LAURA: I mean, I guess we don't have to.

TALIESIN: I think it's probably for the best. That just leads to--

LAURA: What if we just said, like, Oh, I need sacrifices to be skinned, but you stay alive or something."

TALIESIN: People are going to--

MARISHA: Whoa, holy shit, Jester.

TRAVIS: To be skinned?

ASHLEY: That feels darker than actually dying.

LAURA: Is it? I don't know.

MATT: "But we can explore the idea. Don't throw any ideas off the table yet until we've had a full discussion."

SAM: What if you just needed one human sacrifice or sacrifice, and, I also saw a magic show once and they had an audience plant. What if it's someone who raises her hand as like, "I'll volunteer," and this lovely woman walks out and volunteers to be the human sacrifice and is brought, you know, into the lava pit or whatever and then all of a sudden wings sprout out of her and she shoots up into the sky, like it was a-- like it was planned or some-- I don't know.

LAURA: That would be awesome.

ASHLEY: I-- I mean, I could, but I feel like these are still so new and I feel like I-- I don't want to betray the Storm Lord in any way.

LAURA: Oh, right.

ASHLEY: You know?

LAURA: That's true. What if, like, you brought a bunch of followers to the Moon Weaver and then he was like, "Fuck you, I'm taking the wings back."

ASHLEY: Yeah.

MARISHA: I just want to say, you know, putting the human sacrifice thing, you know, you do it once and it goes on the calendar and then there's going to be, like, a human sacrifice anniversary holiday.

ASHLEY: And they'll keep doing it.

MARISHA: And they'll keep doing it and then 20 years like, Vokodo or Rumblecusp is known for its cannibalism and human sacrifice.

MATT: "You know what? I think, you're right. One Punch Girl and Mr. Prayer Man over there probably have a better idea about this than I expected. No sacrifice."

TALIESIN: I'm literally the descendant of people who buried a head somewhere and this is sort of how we ended up where we are.

SAM: How about this, how about this, how about this? We're spitballing here. There's no bad ideas.

LAURA: I'm ready, I'm ready.

LIAM: Pitch us again.

SAM: Okay, okay, okay. Because we do want them to give of themselves somehow.

LAURA: Yeah!

SAM: What if it's not sacrifice? What if it's not killing, bloodletting, any of that stuff? What if it's, like, a 24-hour sweat lodge sort of like-- fasting--

MARISHA: Like dance off.

SAM: Yeah, a 24-hour dance party-- a 48-hour dance party. where people are dropping and dropping and dropping--

LAURA: Everybody has to dance.

SAM: -- and can they make it, can they make it?

ASHLEY: You have to dance for your life.

SAM: Someone will. And that person will sort of initiate the rites of Ascension by--

MARISHA: Oh no, we're doing Midsommar again. Oh no, oh no.

MATT: "Oh yes!"

LAURA: What if we take all of the dick statues that they made for you and instead of giving them away as party favors, we hide them all around the village--

MARISHA: Dick hunt!

LAURA: -- and you go on a dick hunt!

MARISHA: Oh, that's great.

LAURA: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And then once all the dicks are found, then that triggers the Ascension.

MARISHA: Sure, what if they find the dicks and then they have to do a pilgrimage up the mountain to the volcano and they have to toss their dick in the volcano?

LAURA: Oh, that's really good.

MATT: "I'm not going to lie, this has already unlocked a beautiful, possible benefit to the design of this entire divinity thing. Imagine if, hundreds of years from now, Sehanine themself, out of their control has had to absorb some sort of a dick festival into their worship, starting with this island. The Moon Weaver's religion entirely altered. I. Love. This. Plan."

LIAM: Dick sect.

TALIESIN: How do you...

LAURA: How do you what?

TALIESIN: How do you feel about a human avatar, like, a chosen one? You could always just pass a cloak onto that one and then it would become-- I don't know if you want that kind of responsibility for being a high priest of a god that's wandered off.

LAURA: Well, I mean, I'm not opposed to it, becoming, like, a high priestess, but--

SAM: Like a prophet.

LAURA: The prophet of the Traveler?

SAM: Yeah.

LAURA: But I would be basically-- anybody that came to me, I'd be like, "The Traveler's really cool... worship the Moon Weaver?"

MATT: "And leave them questioning everything."

LAURA: Yeah.

TALIESIN: I mean, it's--

MATT: "There's upsides."

TALIESIN: -- on brand.

TRAVIS: But also every single person trying to connect with the Traveler will then come to you.

LAURA: How would they even find me? We travel around so much.

TRAVIS: Don't you just send messages to some people anywhere they are at any time?

LAURA: Well, yeah.

TRAVIS: Seems like it might be easy.

LAURA: For other people to do it?

TRAVIS: To find you.

MATT: "There are quite a few people here who I've taught the same thing to."

LAURA: Oh no. Why do you teach other people the cool stuff?

MATT: "Not every-- I didn't realize that was such an exclusive gift, my apologies."

LAURA: Oh my god, it's the best. It's so much fun.

MATT: "I can take it away, too. It is but my--"

LAURA: Yeah, take it from them, don't take it from me.

MATT: "All right, done." (laughter)

LAURA: Did you really just take it away from them?

MATT: "Yeah!"

TRAVIS: Somebody got their collect call hung up on.

MATT: "It's that easy."

SAM: Hello, hello?

LAURA: Oh my gosh! That felt really good, but like, you know, I feel bad for them, but I feel good for myself.

LIAM: So what is the plan? (laughter)

SAM: We're making a stage.

LAURA: We're making a stage.

TRAVIS: We're killing everyone and making dicks.

LAURA: We'll have Yasha play music. It'll be a big concert when everybody gets here. It'll be a big show.

SAM: Are we going to have them make drumsticks during the week? Is that a thing?

LAURA: Why not? We can have them make their own. We'll hide all of the dicks around the island, like around the village.

LIAM: Yeah, yeah, yeah and partly I understand--

LAURA: We should do that, like, today.

LIAM: -- and dick drumming, it makes sense, but then how do you segue into freeing him from his fetters?

LAURA: Well, we have to, you know-- everybody throws their dick into the volcano or something.

LIAM: Ja.

LAURA: And then you guys use your big illusions or whatever.

SAM: Sure, sure.

LAURA: And make it seem like the Traveler... Maybe you could make it-- oh! Maybe you can make look like big green flames come out of the volcano all of a sudden.

SAM: Okay.

LAURA: And then you, the Traveler, you look like the Moon Weaver and you fly down and you're like, "Hey, I'm attracted to this green flame." I don't fucking know.

TALIESIN: Or you can fly up into the moon.

MATT: "Eventually. I figured that'd probably be the most likely--"

LAURA: Oh yeah, or to the-- you, uh-- yeah yeah.

MATT: "An evening celebration may have to be important. It's rather difficult to see either of the moons during the midday period. The astronomy of space is a bit strange."

LAURA: I guess we don't have to actually go to the volcano. We can just have everybody throw their dicks into a fire or something.

SAM: No no no, the volcano seems right.

LAURA: It seems like a big thing, right?

SAM: Yes, you want a big set piece here.

LIAM: It's so grand, you want it to be an event. And Caleb pulls out a bit of fleece and casts Major Image and an illusion of the volcano-- in amber, of course-- hovering, you know, like a model in front of us and there are little arches, four of them floating around the top and green flame coming out of the amber volcano. A light show, Jester, is not a problem. We can make this place look like anything you want it to, but I still don't understand the messaging, I suppose.

SAM: Well, if we see the Traveler ascend and the high priestess can sort of ascribe any sort of meaning to it that she wants.

LAURA: I know. "Oh my god!"

MATT: "Indeed. You would be the mouthpiece of the Moon Weaver. That's what you would be. The voice of the Traveler."

TALIESIN: She is blue--

MARISHA: Maybe, you know, in order to pass on, you know that your time as a deity has come and in order to pass on, you have to have, you know, everyone do the dick trials and then that's the final--

MATT: "So wait. A bit of confusion here on my point as well."

LIAM and TRAVIS: Just a bit?

TRAVIS: (laughs)

MATT: "So, is it that the Traveler has secretly been the Moon Weaver this entire time, or is it that the Traveler has decided to just give up to the Moon Weaver? Like, let's clarify the narrative here. I don't want us to cross wires in the middle of this. It would be embarrassing."

LAURA: Let's just say you were the Moon Weaver the whole time. That's easier.

MATT: "All right."

LAURA: Let's say the Moon Weaver has actually been helping us out the whole time and it's all been, like, a big trick. "Oh, ha ha, just kidding. You're the Moon Weaver."

LIAM: Perhaps the message here is like, "Oh, you thought it was the Angel of Irons, but surprise, buddy, it's actually the Chained Oblivion."

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: "My apologies, there's an issue with the ship dealer. There's some sort of a turtle thing. I'll be back shortly. Workshop it a bit. I'll check in a few days. Good luck."

SAM: I think we're almost there.

MARISHA: Tell turtie we said hi.

MATT: And he vanishes.

LIAM: Did he say he has to go do some turtling?

LAURA: He said that-- I think that the dragon turtle is attacking another ship.

MARISHA: Hey, maybe that'll cut down on the attendees!

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: That's already something in our favor.

LIAM: This is so so much darker than I anticipated.

TRAVIS: People die, people die.

LAURA: Okay, okay.

MARISHA: Yeah, you're right.

LAURA: So ultimate switcheroo. You know what? I'm feeling better about this because I'm not going to lie, you guys, I was starting to feel really shitty about duping a whole bunch of people, you know?

SAM: Aren't we still duping a bunch of--

LAURA: Yeah, but this way they're actually getting a god out of it, you know?

SAM: Sure sure, I know that does make it better.

LAURA: The thing that was really shitty was, like, all these people are going to be basically praying to Avocado, you know? Like, stuck in this faith that didn't actually mean anything.

SAM: But now we're pointing them towards a real faith.

LIAM: Well, only the people on this island were praying to Vokodo. There are many more who're only dealing with your friend before coming here. Maybe it is simply saying that this was, we have come to find you to become a follower of the Moon Weaver and that you were, like, a recruiting system and that it was a bit of an illusory front. Clearly you all were yearning for something more in your life and helping others or spreading chaos and you were starting a new sect of the Moon Weaver's faith.

TRAVIS: And they have passed selection.

SAM: Yeah.

MARISHA: Also, considering that there aren't many approved deities in the empire, you could totally just say that you had to--

TALIESIN: Fair point.

MARISHA: -- use an alias in order to protect the Moon Weaver.

LAURA: Oh, right. is the Moon Weaver allowed in?

MARISHA: I don't know. Is the Moon Weaver one of them?

MATT: Moon Weaver, I believe, is not one of the sanctioned entities.

ASHLEY: Okay.

TALIESIN: I'm pretty sure the Moon Weaver isn't--

TRAVIS: Trickery. Probably not.

TALIESIN: I'm 80% sure the Moon Weaver was not allowed, 90, I'm 90% sure.

LAURA: I'm 95% sure.

TALIESIN: I'm sure now. Molly was a follower of the Moon Weaver and hid it, so...

LAURA: Okay.

MARISHA: Okay, that's cool.

TRAVIS: Do you remember Molly?

ASHLEY: But you could also, you could make them feel--

TALIESIN: Remember Molly?

MARISHA: Yeah, remember him?

ASHLEY: You could make them feel super special, you know, like, you are the select few that were so good at practical jokes and things like that, that you were called here and the Moon Weaver wants you.

LIAM: Yeah, and now you see what's behind the green door is the Moon Weaver.

LAURA: The Moon.

TALIESIN: When is the full moon, by the way?

MATT: At this point?

TALIESIN: Yeah.

SAM: Well, there's two moons so...

TALIESIN: The big moon.

SAM: Twice.

MATT: Catha's next full moon is probably going to be in about three weeks, but illusion can probably fix that to a certain localized area. Ruidus is on the other side of the sky right now.

TALIESIN: We wouldn't want to touch that anyway.

MATT: Go ahead and make a nature check for me.

LAURA: Wait, I thought that the...

LIAM: Spill it.

TALIESIN: Ah, uh, one.

TRAVIS: After your mod or natural?

TALIESIN: After my mod. It was a two. After my mod, it's a one.

MATT: Yes, you were saying?

LAURA: No, no, no, I don't...

TALIESIN: I mean, the Moon Weaver is a good pick. It's trickery, but it's romantic and exciting and intimate and also, if I recall, she's blue in a lot of the stories.

LAURA: She is?

TALIESIN: If I recall. I'm a little fuzzy.

LAURA: That's kind of cool.

TALIESIN: That is kind of cool.

SAM: And when she appears or when he ascends, we could all, you know, moon the Moon Weaver as sort of like a final closing.

LAURA: (dreamily) Yeah, I like it.

MARISHA: I'm writing it down. (chuckles)

ASHLEY: There's a lot of solid plans here.

SAM: I kind of feel like this is a good set.

ASHLEY: It's going to be a fun weekend, for sure.

SAM: This was a good brainstorming session.

LAURA: There might be some people that are annoyed that they were tricked, but how can they really be that mad that they were tricked by a god of trickery?

SAM: Absolutely.

MARISHA: They knew what they were getting into.

LAURA: Exactly.

TALIESIN: They were finding meaning in trickery.

LIAM: Maybe we found an angle here. You have invited them here to this place that is safe to form a new, more carefree sect of the faith of the Moon Weaver.

SAM: Yeah, I love it.

LAURA: All right.

TRAVIS: Did you ever ask the Traveler what he's been telling people will happen at this island? Like what people are expecting?

LAURA: I'm pretty sure... No. But you know what? He's probably just been telling them the same thing that he told me which is, "I'm getting my friends together."

TALIESIN: That was a good imitation.

LAURA: Thank you.

TRAVIS: I just hope it's not like, you know, "You'll live forever or lots of money or power beyond your wildest dreams." Because then a deity switch really isn't going to satisfy any of that shit.

LAURA: I don't think-- that doesn't sound like something he would promise. Like, what's the point of that? He might've done that.

TRAVIS: He's generally full of shit, right?

LAURA: No!

SAM: I feel like people know that though, right?

TRAVIS: Yeah.

LAURA: If you're worshiping him, you understand what he is about, so...

SAM: Well, so we have, you know, the sketch of a plan here. Would you like to assign us any tasks or should we just go about--?

LAURA: We should all take some of these dick statues and I pull them out of my bag. Everybody, like, work on hiding these.

TRAVIS: Should we also make people, like, gather wood and whittle their own dicks, so you get, like, a variety?

MARISHA: Or are they making the dick drumsticks? What about the dick drum making?

TALIESIN: You could paint them with fanciful paints.

LIAM: I will save you time. I can build dicks at a great scale.

SAM: How? With magic?

LIAM: Oh yes.

SAM: You have a spell for that?

LIAM: Oh yeah. It's called Fabricate Dicks.

TRAVIS: It's called dickcraft!

LIAM: Well, it depends on what material, Jester, you think would be best. Would you like it to be wood, or stone or...

LAURA: Oh, you mean for people to make their dick drums?

LIAM: I will make you dicks.

LAURA: Well, I think part of the-- it's like arts and crafts, you know, they have to make their own dicks.

LIAM: I see.

TALIESIN: Oh, you can decorate them.

SAM: So we can go gather some wood. We could gather some wooden materials in preparation and when they get here, they can pick a pile from the wood and pick some paints and pick some brushes and go off and make their own thing.

MARISHA: Do we have, like, glue?

SAM: We can find some.

MARISHA: Do we have glitter?

MATT: The weirdest Color Me Mine ever. (laughter)

LIAM: Yeah.

SAM: Yeah!

MARISHA: Okay.

SAM: Yeah, we can come up with that stuff, right? We could boil some ... h-h-horse to make some glue. I don't know how people made glue.

TRAVIS: Boil some horse?

SAM: Well, I don't know, how do you make glue in D&D times? (laughter)

LIAM: D&D times?

MARISHA: Yeah.

LAURA: I don't know.

LIAM: Year what, 1982? (laughter)

SAM: We can figure it out though.

ASHLEY: We could grind down some of the flowers for paint.

SAM: Oh, that's a good idea.

MARISHA: That's great.

LAURA: That's great.

MARISHA: We could maybe-- it would be expensive glitter if you shaved down some of the jewels to make.

LAURA: Yeah, that would be, like, jewel dust.

MARISHA: That's too much for a volcano.

LAURA: Yeah.

TALIESIN: You could just get some oyster shell and--

MARISHA: So I do have a question, though. How long do you want this event, overall? Is it two days.

LAURA: Oh, probably like a day, two days, nothing crazy.

MARISHA: Like a weekend?

LAURA: Yeah, I don't want it to be, like, a week long thing of people, like, beating their dicks, you know, just a couple days.

LIAM: Nobody wants to beat their dick for a week.

LAURA: Not a week straight.

LIAM: Yeah.

TALIESIN: That will tire you out.

ASHLEY: They'll get very tired, yeah.

LIAM: Chafes after awhile.

TRAVIS: Flour and water is how you make glue, flour and water.

SAM: We can do that; we've got a kitchen here.

LAURA: That's easy, that's how you make paste. That's why it's fun to eat paste when you're little. It's just flour and water.

TRAVIS: Did you do that a lot?

LAURA: Maybe.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

MARISHA: Here's all the plans that everyone has tossed out that I wrote down, so this is on the white board in front of us. Make a stage, make dick drumsticks, have a dance off, beat the drums with the dick drumsticks, dick hunt, dick volcano trial, ultimate switcheroo, Traveler is the Moon Weaver, moon the Moon Weaver.

LIAM: Dick Hunt is so much better than Duck Hunt.

SAM: I used to play that. Dick Hunt.

LIAM: Dick Hunt.

TRAVIS: (quacking)

LAURA: Those are all solid.

SAM: I feel like that's a plan.

MARISHA: That's the plan, right?

LIAM: Yeah, yeah.

LAURA: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

LIAM: Well, I can set your stage and the dicks and I can handle any light shows you need.

LAURA: Amazing, I think we'll definitely need a good light show because Yasha is going to be playing.

ASHLEY: Okay.

LAURA: Can you play, like, really upbeat, you know, like rock sort of stuff?

ASHLEY: Absolutely.

TRAVIS: Eurovision touch.

ASHLEY: Yes, yes, all of it.

LIAM: Yasha is so Eurovision.

LAURA: (laughs) Yasha is so Eurovision.

TALIESIN: Very Eurovision.

SAM: Who's in charge of building the stage?

LAURA: Well, I was thinking we could get Kellbast to help us out because he's a furniture maker.

SAM: Okay.

LAURA: If Caleb can make a stage, no problem.

TALIESIN: I'll also say in the interest of doing a little bit more good, we could start talking to some of the people who were planning on staying behind and seeing if they want to participate in getting things together, maybe starting to build some stuff so that when people come to visit there's more things to come and visit with, like hopefully we'll leave the stage for them and put it somewhere reasonable, so that others can come and enjoy it.

MARISHA: Like a permanent outdoor amphitheater?

TALIESIN: Yeah.

MARISHA: I like that.

LAURA: Yeah, that would be wonderful so they can do concerts and stuff?

SAM: And converting some of their old lodgings into more sort of hotels.

TALIESIN: Since a bunch of them are empty now.

LAURA: I've already talked to them about that.

SAM: Great, great.

LAURA: We do need to get some of them to like-- that's probably, like, 200 people. That's a lot of food and we don't want to just serve like cheese sandwiches or anything. So we should get hunting parties together and actually cook stuff. Or we could just Create Food and Water.

TRAVIS: Oh, all we have to do is hunt one of those giant walking lizards that we saw on the way to the volcano. They'll feed everybody.

SAM: Ooh.

TALIESIN: Let's just find out if they're tasty.

MARISHA: Yeah.

ASHLEY: I bet they're-- I mean, I might be biased, but I bet they're probably delicious.

TRAVIS: You're biased?

SAM: You have pretty good taste.

ASHLEY: I feel like I've had one before. (laughter)

TRAVIS: DM, have I eaten a T-Rex before? (laughter)

ASHLEY: Oh, a T-Rex. I thought you meant those other things. That was good, probably not a lot of meat on the arms. (laughter)

ASHLEY: But the rest of it.

LIAM: It's all about the tail.

ASHLEY: It's all about the tail.

LIAM: Ja.

TALIESIN: Tail is a delicacy.

MATT: All right.

MARISHA: So we do want to try and hold this convention in downtown Vo?

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: Not, like, 30 minutes outside the city?

LAURA: No, it should be in Vo.

MARISHA: Okay.

LAURA: It should be in Vo. The thing is, it's going to be difficult if we do make the trek up the volcano with everybody to put it in the volcano. Like, that's a trek, y'all. And some of these people may not be very, you know, physically active. I don't know.

TALIESIN: They made it here.

MARISHA: They might die on the way.

LAURA: Yeah, but they made it here on a boat.

TRAVIS: Yeah, what does happen if they fall into any one of the traps that were out there, the liquid, the beasts, sea? I mean, do we feel responsible for that because they're throwing dicks into a volcano? (laughter)

LIAM: Although conversely, a pilgrimage and some difficulty could make it feel earned and worthwhile.

SAM: Yep.

MARISHA: But we will be escorting, like, 200 people and some will definitely die.

LIAM: Not definitely, probably.

MARISHA: Right.

TRAVIS: Most likely.

SAM: If you'd like, one of us could try to blaze a trail or take some of the V.O. community up there and try to blaze the trail up.

LAURA: That's true. We could spend some of the days prepping that.

MARISHA: Make some water stations along the way, some check marks.

ASHLEY: Oh yeah, good idea.

LAURA: Maybe now that Avocado's gone, maybe some of this stuff will get better here?

MARISHA: Yeah, yeah.

LAURA: I don't know, maybe he was causing it to continue. I don't know.

TRAVIS: I think he only came through a certain way. I don't think he caused it, right? This seems to be a--

LAURA: Oh no, he did. He brought all the shards down with him.

TRAVIS: Oh, I paid really close attention. (laughter)

MARISHA: But the shards are probably still here. It's probably all still--

TALIESIN: They are, as far as I can remember.

ASHLEY: Did we go to the mine?

LAURA: We didn't go to the mine.

ASHLEY: I knew that.

LAURA: But that just led to the Underdark. Scary creatures.

TRAVIS: "Just"?

SAM: Yeah, but they also said they had lots of jewels and stuff there. Some shinies.

TRAVIS: It's hard for the video gamer in me.

LIAM: How important is that glitter?

TRAVIS: I really want to go.

SAM: We can get a lot of glitter.

TRAVIS: Look at that corner.

SAM: A lot of glitter.

MARISHA: New plan: the trial is to the mine, they have to mine some gems, we get to keep the gems, trial done.

LAURA: Then once we get to the volcano, how does everybody get to the top of the volcano? Is there, like, a path so everyone can get up there or do I need to fly every single person up and down the mountain to throw their dick in? That could be really fun; like, we have a couple of big flying creatures. We each grab a couple of people, fly them up, throw your dick in while you're in the air, if you can make it, you win.

LIAM: Dick drop.

LAURA: Yeah. The dick drop into the volcano and fly back down, grab a couple more and go back.

MATT: Caduceus, Beauregard, Caleb, it is this moment you realize that Vilya has been standing at the door for an undisclosed period of time and steps in very carefully. "I don't mean to interrupt."

TALIESIN: It's just dicks.

MATT: "Nor am I going to ask for clarification."

ASHLEY: That's probably a good idea.

MATT: "But I am about to send the first batch."

SAM: Oh, oh, oh!

ASHLEY: Oh, that's right.

MATT: "If you wish to join."

LAURA: How many people are in the first batch?

MATT: "First batch is 13."

TRAVIS: And where are they going?

MATT: "They're heading to the Menagerie Coast."

LAURA: We grab 13 of the little 50 gold bags.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: And we give them to her? Okay. Make sure you hand them to each person as they go. Should we hold them and give them as they go through?

MATT: "I can handle it, unless you wish to come along. That's up to you."

TRAVIS: I think we probably should. We are handing out coins.

LAURA: We should go and protect and make sure that people don't notice that you're doing it because that--

MATT: "Fair enough, good call."

SAM: Vilya, I had a question actually.

MATT: "Yes?"

SAM: Say you do this tree spell and the portal opens up on this end at the tree and the portal opens up on a tree in the Menagerie Coast somewhere. People go one way through, right? If someone's standing at the Menagerie Coast tree, will they see a portal open and if so, can they come back the other way during those same six seconds?

MATT: "They could."

SAM: Huh.

MATT: "Well, they can try. I'm on this end and I have my ways of keeping things at bay." The wind (whooshes) kicks up a bit in the space before dying down.

LAURA: But what if you knew where the tree was and you wanted somebody to come?

SAM: Yeah, I was specifically thinking if I went with one of these groups, could I then come back the next day if you opened it at the same time?

MATT: "It's going to be at different locations. We're breaking them up by whoever's heading where. I'm getting them closest to where they need to be. I mean, I could, perhaps, towards the end of the week. We have it broken down into five batches."

SAM: Never mind. That's good to know, that's good to know.

TRAVIS: And just for clarity, your five locations are the Menagerie Coast and where else?

MATT: "Menagerie Coast. We have on the eastern side of Tal'Dorei. I have outside of Asarius in Xhorhas. I'm having to scry for some of these locations of which I've not visited. I'm finding a tree in the vicinity and choosing that. One that's on the outskirts of Zadash. And then, one that is on the western coast of Marquet."

LAURA: Oh wow.

MATT: "Those are the five locations that have been chosen."

SAM: Wow.

LIAM: What is this eastern location in Tal'Dorei?

MATT: "They said eastern Tal'Dorei, so I'm choosing one place I'm familiar with, far from the base of a mountain range from where I'm from. We'll be leaving soon with the first batch. If you wish to come, now's the time."

SAM: Yes, yes. Let's go say goodbye.

TALIESIN: A little fresh air.

MATT: "All right."

LAURA: Hey, Vilya, how long do you plan on staying here? Are you leaving immediately after the last group is gone? I say as we're walking out.

MATT: “Right (chuckling). I think, once the affairs have set here at the village then I'll probably be on my way. I'll stay to help with whatever you're doing with your event, should you need me. Otherwise, I think once I feel like the village is in a good place, I might be comfortable to return to whatever remains of my life."

LAURA: They're going to be so happy to see you, I'm sure.

MATT: "I'd be lying if I said I wasn't anxious. I don't quite know what to expect."

SAM: Have you made contact with them at all?

MATT: "No."

LAURA: Do you have any way to?

MATT: "I'm not sure. I think I've been pushing the thought off for a while and just focusing on what's ahead of me. I'll deal with that when we get there, for right now. It might be best to tear the bandages off when the moment comes.

LAURA: I can send a message, if you want me to.

MATT: "I appreciate that. We'll wait for now, but thank you. Anyway, come, come, follow me."

TRAVIS: Yes, yes, let's hand out some goody bags.

MATT: You guys join in with this crew. A few people you noticed, they're mostly like the standard villagers here. Two people that do catch your eye are Captain Deramid Thrune or Lukash, as you knew him, as well as Kotho - Terra - and her team are part of this troop.

TRAVIS: They're going to go?

MATT: Yeah. They're all Menagerie Coast locals who are going there directly.

LAURA: Oh wow, so, they don't have to take a boat.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

LAURA: Wow.

TRAVIS: Can I go catch Kotho real quick before they leave?

MATT: Sure, yeah, as everyone's gathering and Vilya is beginning to make everyone over towards where the large tree that she's chosen for the exit would be, you saunter up to next to Kotho.

TRAVIS: I thought you needed a ship to leave the island. I see you've found other means of transportation.

MATT: "It appears there are other means of getting off this rock. So we're taking the most direct, most recent way."

TRAVIS: Right, right. Will you continue on your last search?

MATT: "I don't even know if that contract still remains. I'll check into it."

TRAVIS: Could I ask, how much does a contract with the infamous Kotho go for?

MATT: "Depends on what's requested of the contract. Why, are you looking to be a client?"

TRAVIS: There is someone that I would like found, but I don't know if I feel like dedicating my particular time to. Someone that betrayed my trust a while back and also came out of the Menagerie Coast. I figure, if you're going to our mutual homestead, perhaps I could put a little extra coin in your pocket on your way.

MATT: Kotho, really for the first time since all the times you've interacted, really gives a strong once-over, looking at your equipment, basically summing you up as an individual, based on what you wear and what you have on you and goes, "You seem to be into getting into trouble and have made some acquisitions in the process. Do you just need this person found and brought back to you?"

TRAVIS: I don't even know if I need them brought back. Perhaps just their position relayed, a head start.

MATT: "Do you have any specific means of instruction you would like? In person, by letter, or by magic?"

TRAVIS: That is quite a variety of options. Magic, I think.

MATT: "Variety of payments, as well."

TRAVIS: Right. Magic, as we tend to move quite a bit.

MATT: "All right. We'll put it at... 200 gold down payment with an additional 100 upon completion."

TRAVIS: That is a mighty price.

MARISHA: (whispered) That's expensive.

TRAVIS: You have a deal.

MATT: Hand extends.

TRAVIS: 200 gold.

MATT: Shakes it for a second. Puts it away in her pouch. "So, who am I hunting?"

TRAVIS: There is a half-elf individual named Sabian that was a crew member on my ship, the Tide's Breath. Our captain was named Vandran. He betrayed our trust. I have not seen him since. The last time he was seen, he was in Port Damali. Any information would be most appreciated.

MATT: Okay. Kotho asks for some more details, specifically about what he looked like, general disposition. You give a detailed recounting of Sabian. Eventually, Kotho goes, "All right, I think I have enough to act on. I know a few folks I can ask the right questions to that can probably definitely set me on the right path. Give me a month."

TRAVIS: A month you have.

MATT: "Very well."

TRAVIS: I wish you luck.

MATT: "I don't need it." She turns and you can see now, they've reached the tree. As everyone gathers, Vilya goes, "All right, once it's open, be quick. Single file, do not push, do not dilly dally. I'd hate for any of you to be caught in the tree when it closes. (chuckling) No, seriously, don't do that. It will kill you. All right?" She takes the staff and places it down and like the zipper, you see the doorway open up on the outside of a tree. (whooshing) You glance past her and you can see, on the other side of this, a shoreline. Beach crashing against white sands. You see bits of rock emerging in the nearby rough where waves are smashing and spraying sea mist into the air nearby. You can just see barely in the distance the exterior of a seaside city. As everyone rushes through, the last thing you see is Kotho and her troop making their final steps past before Kotho looks back at you and gives you a nod. (clapping) It closes.

LAURA: Did they get their bags?

MATT: Yes, their bags were part of the process of getting out. (grunting) (laughter) The first batch is done. For the portion of this week that's going by, as opposed to feel like you have to role play every single moment of each at the end of this week, we will go through certain moments you want to do, any interactions you want to have. I'll go day to day and you tell me what you want to do. If it's simple or it's more elaborate, just let me know. For the remainder of this day, is there anything else you would like to do?

SAM: I've mapped out all 21 meals of the seven days that I would like to prepare each individually. No. (laughter) I don't know. We've got to do stuff for you.

LAURA: Yeah, I'll go around and ask the villagers that are staying, like the old lady, if she'll be the chef at the resort and if she'll help prepare food for the con and everything.

MATT: Yeah, that's easy enough. Anola agrees to help out. There are a lot of people here in the village that are staying that are eager to help. Both because you've done them a great service and because they're excited to meet new folk. Some that they believe, maybe they want to stay, too, and take the place of those that are leaving. Since it will feel a partially hollow village, for the time being, with more than half of them leaving throughout the week. Supplies are being gathered and reaped for the stage that's beginning to be built out and constructed.

TALIESIN: I'm going to help with a little Stone Shape to give it a dome back.

LAURA: Ooh, like an amphitheater sort of thing.

MATT: Okay, okay.

LIAM: I can shape, I just need the raw materials. If we get enough wood for me to manipulate, I can create such a stage. I can create such a half dome. It will be fluid, curved, we're not talking a rectangular box. If you want, we can have phallic protrusions in places, if you think that would enhance the--

TALIESIN: I think maybe we just leave it a little decorative so that they can use it for other things, as well.

LAURA: Oh, that's true, because we are leaving it here.

LIAM: Now we're going to fap back on the dicks. (laughter)

MARISHA: Whoa, too much dicks. (scoffs)

TRAVIS: Easy, Caleb.

LIAM: Look, I just like dicks, okay? On day one--

MATT: We've hit critical dicks.

LIAM: At some point, Caleb will take Jester to the main entrance to town and say: Now, I will show you one thing here today. And with every day that passes, under your direction, we will do this wherever you want on the island. And I will cast Programmed Illusion. This is just going to stay here. A huge 30-foot-tall Traveler's gate appears over the entrance to Vo. It is colorful the same way that the Playa at night is. Vibrant, vibrant green gate. Any time a person walks through it, there's a little silent explosion of little hamster unicorns that explode out of the side of it as well as little blue moons, like Lucky Charms. Also, little penises. Very small. You might think that they are butterflies, but if you look close, they are penises.

LAURA: Their balls are flapping?

LIAM: Yeah, yeah, the balls flap.

LAURA: That's lovely.

LIAM: I say: Look, isn't that beautiful? Wildlife is so beautiful. Then also little blue-skinned fairies with tiny little horns. All those things go (blowing) when people walk through the gate. This will be here for the week.

LAURA: (gasps)

LIAM: This is just a test run. This will stay, but if you want something like this at the top of the volcano or where the boats will land. I'm not a party planner.

LAURA: You aren't a party planner? Caleb, you should really be one. This is amazing. You should think about this as a new profession.

LIAM: Okay.

LAURA: (gasps)

MATT: Other members of the village of Vo, seeing this, emerge, start gathering going, "Whoa!" You can immediately see some of the kids, including Treece, start running through it back and forth, back and forth, back and forth just laughing. It's like (blowing).

MARISHA: Get it, Treece.

MATT: Yep, they're just going. They're enthralled by it. The kids are going to wear it out at least for the people who live here.

LAURA: This is really great. Thank you, thank you.

LIAM: Yeah.

LAURA: Oh my gosh.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: This is better than anything else I could have thought of. This is enough. (laughs)

TRAVIS: 30 feet?

LAURA: Great.

MATT: Mm-hmm. The first day comes to a close.

LAURA: Oh wait, we also have to hide all the dicks. We should really do that early before any more people get here because I don't want them seeing where we hide them.

MATT: That's true, okay.

MARISHA: How difficult do you want them to be hidden? Do you want this hard mode? Should I start climbing trees (chuckling)?

LAURA: Yes.

MARISHA: Okay!

LAURA: We want them to be top to bottom. Some more obvious than others.

MARISHA: Okay.

TRAVIS: Are we burying dicks?

LAURA: Um, I want them all to be visible. I don't think they should be buried.

TRAVIS: Okay.

LAURA: But yeah.

SAM: Sure.

LAURA: Yeah, camouflage them. It's the best Easter egg hunt you could ever imagine.

MARISHA: I'll be on dick-hiding duty.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: We should divide and conquer because there's a lot. There's like 200 dicks. That's a lot.

MARISHA: That's a lot of dicks.

MATT: Who all are hiding dicks?

LAURA: All of us should hide dicks.

LIAM: Do you have all the dicks you need?

LAURA: Yeah, we made them all on the boat.

LIAM: Okay.

LAURA: We made so many dicks.

TALIESIN: I may start plotting the easiest way to the top of the volcano. I've also got to Find the Path, so I can start figuring out--

MATT: Oh yeah, you can find the most direct and safest path.

SAM: Do you need a group to go with you to widen the trail, or anything?

ASHLEY: Clear the path?

TALIESIN: Once you're all done hiding the dicks, we'll make a--

TRAVIS: It's like 35 per.

MATT: If I could have everybody roll an investigation check for me.

SAM: For hiding?

MATT: For finding the best locations that you think would be optimal for hiding the dicks.

TRAVIS: This is the first roll of the day and it's to hide dicks.

LIAM: That dick roll is cocked.

MATT: I love role playing games.

TRAVIS: 23. Hide those dicks.

LAURA: Five. Hide those dicks.

LIAM: 19 dicks.

SAM: 27 penises.

ASHLEY: 12.

TRAVIS: No name?

TALIESIN: I'm not in this.

MARISHA: Oh, uh. 15 cocks. (laughter)

TALIESIN: ? Five gold rings ?

MARISHA: 15 cocks.

MATT: There you go.

ASHLEY: Oh I got it. Sorry, I didn't know we were naming them.

SAM: It was 21 Pilots' first name.

TRAVIS: Yasha needs a chance.

ASHLEY: 12 peens.

MATT: There we go. Okay. The circle is complete.

LIAM: ? Four clapping balls ? ? Three small peens ? ? Two little men ?

MATT: All right.

ASHLEY: Pee pees.

MATT: Overall, you guys do a pretty decent job. You're pretty confident that you've hidden the majority of them in places that are attainable, but challenging enough to those that find them will take pride in what they've discovered.

LAURA: (laughs)

TALIESIN: Oh no.

LAURA: Every last dick doesn't have to be found, but everybody at the festival has to find one.

SAM: Yeah, no.

ASHLEY: Wait, wait, wait. Should we make one really special one that if somebody finds that one, they get a crazy prize?

LIAM: Yeah, the golden dick-it.

ASHLEY: The one hidden under the chair type of a thing.

MARISHA: The golden dick-it.

SAM: ? I've got the golden dick-it ? ? I've got the golden dick-it ?

LAURA: Yeah, we totally should.

ASHLEY: I don't know what the prize is, but maybe we paint a gold dick.

LAURA: Yeah, yeah, yeah, we have gold dust.

SAM: Sure, I have some. I gave it away but then, I think I got it back.

MATT: You did get it back.

LAURA: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Let's paint one of the dicks with gold dust.

SAM: I'll take care of that.

LAURA: Okay, okay, okay.

ASHLEY: We can figure out what the prize will be later.

LAURA: We'll figure it out.

SAM: Finding it is a prize in and of itself.

LIAM: Do we want a literal gold dick?

LAURA: Like, a dick made of gold?

LIAM: Yeah, I could transmute some of our coin to--

LAURA: I don't want to waste our actual coin.

LIAM: You're right, too much dicks. I have a hard time knowing when it's the right amount of dick humor and when it's over the line.

TRAVIS: Better to have too much than ask for more. Really. It's not a bad thing.

LAURA: If you want to transmute some gold into a dick for me, I will keep that dick. But I don't want to let somebody else have a golden dick. You know what I mean?

LIAM: We'll think about that.

LAURA: What about if you transmute it into a gold dick and then you hide it and then I'll have to search for it. And if I find it--

SAM: You don't want to waste your time searching. We can just make you one some other time. (laughter) What, are you going to spend two days looking for this? You're supposed to be running a festival here. Don't get distracted!

LIAM: Caleb totally just blue screened. (laughter)

SAM: All right, we're good, we got a plan.

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: All right. As you guys are hiding those, Caduceus, using Find the Path, it takes you the better part of a day, but you manage to make your way from the northern side of the village of Vo, through this little valley area between two of the larger hills that leads to the base of the volcano. Far from the entrances to it, but it does bring you to a bit of a rocky path that you see could be walked. It's still not safe. There is no safe passage to the top of the volcano, but it is the best route to try and take a hundred people or so. There'll have to be precautions.

TALIESIN: Tomorrow, I'll do another round with some buddies and a clearing party and use some Stone Shape and start to reinforce it. Leave some colored stones.

MATT: Okay, cool.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

MATT: First day's work goes through well. Five more days 'til Traveler Con. As you guys bed down for the evening, set yourselves for a night's rest to prepare for the next coming day, we'll say, Caduceus, as your evening winds down and you find a moment to focus on your meditation, you're having a hard time focusing. Your mind pushes to the point of clarity and emptiness that you're used to reaching for. But at that familiar, welcoming precipice, your thoughts wander back to the visions you saw in Vokodo's final moments. You live for the natural order of life. Not just your philosophy, not just your family's legacy, but what you believe to be the deepest purpose of your soul is tied to maintaining and helping the natural order of the world continue and flourish. While many things can dampen or oppose the Wild Mother's wishes, she understands that moral hubris is part of this balance. That where things are built and things then crumble. What you saw in these visions, though, it haunts you in these quiet moments. You, above all else, feel and understand things with an instinctual insight few others can really achieve. What you saw was perversion of all that you hold sacred. You struggle to make sense of the vision, of what you felt as it carved through your mind. But you are only left with a primal coldness and fear. You touched something truly alien and entirely removed from the cycle of nature. Both in Exandria and the natural order of the cosmic weave. You, perhaps, know more than any of your comrades the terror that drove a creature like Vokodo to desperation. When you finally come to a point where you get yourself to the edge of meditative rest, the rest of your friends have gone to sleep and you eventually feel you should follow suit. The morning of day two come to. For the second day of preparation. Five days to go. What would you guys like to do?

SAM: Do we want to check in with our crew?

LAURA: Oh yeah.

SAM: At some point this week. Just to see if they've found the ships and how's it going?

LAURA: Sure. Do you want me to send a message?

SAM: Can you?

LAURA: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'll send a message to Orly. Hey, Orly. Did you find the ships? Did you figure out how to get it out? Are you guys still alive?

MARISHA: Is Marius dead?

LAURA: Is Marius dead? Uh, okay, let me know. (laughter)

TRAVIS: There was an uh in there that was a half-committal.

MATT: That's fine. Orly responds really quickly. "You bet we found 'em." (laughter) "M-M-Marius: still alive, still pointless." (laughter)

MARISHA: Orly with the shade.

LIAM: So pithy.

MATT: "Ships, though, ain't too confident, yet, about exiting." That's where it ends.

LAURA: Man, they haven't figured out how to get the ships out, so they don't break up.

SAM: They're smart, though. They'll keep working on it.

LAURA: (sighing) Yeah.

MATT: All right, any endeavors for the second day you wish to charge through?

TALIESIN: I'd like to take a group and start clearing out the path and marking it as best I can.

MATT: Okay, go ahead and make a survival check for me, if you don't mind.

TALIESIN: 10.

MATT: 10, okay. It takes the better part of the day and you do get a point of exhaustion. But you do, still using your Find the Path spell and now guiding a number of volunteers from the village of Vo, you do clear out a good section of the jungle heading towards the base of this volcano. The volcano ascension and clearing a path there with more of the stones I think you were referring to would probably take the better part of the next few days to do so, especially with you leading it.

TALIESIN: If there's time, I'd like to take a moment at the top of the volcano. Do I make it there? Or it could be the highest point that I get to on day two.

MATT: Day two, you only get part way up. Maybe close to half way because you're slowly moving through with other people and shaping the path as you go. In order to get there, you'd probably have to have somebody take you.

TALIESIN: I'll just go as far as I'm going to go. I'm going to sit and I'm going to use Commune.

MATT: Okay, all right. As the rest of the troop leaves you to do your communion, not fully understanding, but giving the privacy, they step a little ways down and begin taking a rest themselves to snack on whatever provisions they brought with them. As you quietly close your eyes and sit there on the edge of the mountain, the once dark smoke, now a light white and much less violent than it was when you arrived on the island is welcome. But you can still smell the faint elements of sulfurous scent that the wind catches to you. As you take a deep breath and inhale those effervescent vapors and you exhale, you can feel the breath from your nose take color in your eyelids in the dark space. As that color begins to take shape around you, it becomes a faint, warm, light green. As it does, you can see leaves sprout and flowers sprout. There, in the space of your mind, you begin to feel that warm breeze once more and her presence is there to answer you.

TALIESIN: I've had a terrible vision. Something beyond me. Do you know it?

MATT: "No."

TALIESIN: Can you sense it at all?

MATT: Just the slight cold change in the wind that gave you a negative response. Initially, the wind blows back in the other direction, also cold.

LIAM: That's from out there.

TALIESIN: Is it coming for us?

LIAM: Way out there.

MARISHA: Cosmic shit.

MATT: The wind stays stagnant. No temperature, warm or cold, just uncertain.

LAURA: (whispered) Beyond the gods.

TALIESIN: All right, walk back down the hill.

MATT: Okay. Okay, anybody else have business for the day? The dicks are hidden, the arch is made, the stage is built.

LAURA: I'm thinking where the boats are going to dock, down at the beach. Maybe at the entrance, when you first walk into the jungle, you can make, all of a sudden, it look like the Traveler appears in front of them and beckons them with a finger. Let them know what path to take.

LIAM: And passes underneath him, or through him, or he just appears and then vanishes?

LAURA: He'll beckon and then, as they get close, he'll go (blows). He poofs away.

LIAM: And larger than life, yeah?

LAURA: Yeah, super sparkly.

LIAM: Okay.

LAURA: Maybe a little taller than normal just to make him seem--

SAM: Can you have two programed illusions going?

LIAM: Yeah, they are indefinite.

SAM: Wow, cool.

TRAVIS: Fucking A.

ASHLEY: That's so cool.

LAURA: It's really cool.

LIAM: I would have you show me where on the beach you wanted it precisely. So we take a walk to wherever that point is and I can scooch him around a little bit and grow him up or shrink him down and get the tone right.

LAURA: Yeah, he's looking quite lovely.

LIAM: Okay.

LAURA: Yeah. Can you make a little fairy me, again, and make me buzzing around him?

LIAM: Yeah, like Jiminy Cricket, there is a little Jester fairy going (fluttering). Then when he leaves, she's left and (fluttering) vanishes.

LAURA: Make her fly down the path. You know what I mean?

LIAM: Perfect, yeah.

LAURA: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

LIAM: Like a GPS. Okay.

MATT: All right, piece by piece, Caleb is helping Jester turn this into a Disney resort. (laughter)

SAM: Food, lodging, arts and crafts. Who's on what? Come on, come on, help me out here.

MARISHA: I'm going to start building out the dance/fight ring.

SAM: Okay, cool!

MARISHA: I'm going to start gathering some boulders, building it out, making a fight ring. I want to make it a one little dance circle, and then another dance circle, and then a longer dance circle attached to the two other ones.

SAM: A Venn diagram dance party?

MARISHA: Absolutely.

SAM: Okay.

MATT: Where the ones where they all meet are the craziest dancers.

MARISHA: (laughing) Yes.

TRAVIS: That's the mosh.

MATT: Yeah.

LIAM: I'm having visions of Beau doing capoeira.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: All righty.

ASHLEY: I will take care of the arts and crafts area. I'm going to make a nice circle and an archway into the circle made of flowers, and then also the circle. Then, put all the wood in the middle for whittling the dicks.

LAURA: That's great.

ASHLEY: Yeah, just vibrant and beautiful.

MATT: A number of villagers come and help you both gather supplies and help in the whittling process. But they're all following your lead as you're the appointed arts and crafts leader of today.

ASHLEY: Great.

LAURA: Also, you know what else we need to actually have? Our drums, so that once everybody makes their drumstick, then they have something to beat it on. We need to make some drums.

SAM: All right, then.

LAURA: Anybody know how to make drums?

SAM: Sure, yep, I'll take care of that, if that's something you need. Sure.

MATT: Berex, actually, the dwarf who you'd stayed in the first abode, goes, "I can actually help make drums. They're rather rudimentary, but--"

LAURA: That's great.

MATT: "We've got some hides. I can do that."

LAURA: Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's wonderful.

MATT: "How many do you need?"

LAURA: It depends on the size. Multiple people can beat on one.

SAM: We could make a few big ones.

LAURA: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

MATT: "All right, we could probably that. It'd take a couple days. All right, I'll get some folks together."

SAM: That's great.

LAURA: It's all coming together.

TRAVIS: I'll check lodging. I'll see if there are any repairs that need to be done to any of the tree houses.

LAURA: Beautification, yeah.

SAM: Extra cots, maybe? You know what I really like when I go stay at a place? If they have a little kit of stuff, like, an extra toothbrush, in case you didn't bring one.

TRAVIS: A towel folded into a swan and maybe some flower petals.

SAM: I love that.

ASHLEY: I could help with bed flower arrangements. That would look nice.

MATT: Okay. The second batch of Vo ex-pats make their exit. Onwards this way, to Marquet. Do you give out the coin pouches?

LAURA: Yes, yes, yes.

MATT: Imagine again, as the doorway opens, you can see a cluster of tropical trees, not far from a somewhat green and lush hillside that leads to a smaller village with these tall, white, pearl-like towers and an exterior wall. It's beautiful. Some elements of it seem tropical, but there's no sign of an ocean or a coastline. Unfamiliar with the location, but as people pass through (whooshing) it closes and the second batch have left. Second day is complete. Anything else?

TRAVIS: Tal'Dorei, Xhorhas, and Zadash.

MATT: Correct.

LAURA: Is the Traveler popping in and out or have I seen him at all since?

MATT: Not in two days.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: Not yet.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: Unless there's anything else to be done, we come to the third day. All right. Third day comes. The third group gets ready to leave. This one is to Zadash and has probably the largest crew of people. Some that seem to have missed the first day and actually meant to go to Menagerie Coast and either overslept or were still figuring out if they wanted to stay or go and now decided to leave and they're like, "Ah, it's close enough." And other folks who are either Empire or Empire-adjacent returning to what their life was previously. All gather up towards the tree. You divvy out the pouches. As it opens up, you see a familiar sight. It's the edge of a treeline. Just beyond the cluster of trees ahead, you can see the exterior perimeter walls of Zadash. This is probably from the northern, northern-western side. You see the triangular-shaped city laid out and the various spires breaking up towards the distant skyline.

TRAVIS: We've snuck through that bitch so many times. Have a good story ready.

SAM: Look for Dolan!

MATT: All right, anything else on the third day to be done?

MARISHA: Okay.

SAM: Oh boy.

MARISHA: What are we missing off of our list?

SAM: We might need some food, so we were thinking of hunting a T-Rex.

MARISHA: That's right.

SAM: We could do that. Or if there's more fight pit stuff that you want to do.

TALIESIN: Talk to the locals about what actually is good to eat.

LAURA: Yeah, let's ask if we need to hunt anything.

SAM: I'll go talk to Anola about the plan for food.

MATT: Okay. Anola goes, "Well, we had some decent stores before we lost everyone, so. We have enough for us, but with everyone who's coming, hunting would be important. Unfortunately, our lead hunters left a couple of days ago. So all we have at this point now are Pono, or, I'm sorry, Kieren and Ashelyn."

MARISHA: Oh, the bears.

SAM: The bear people.

TRAVIS: Kieren is Pono, or was Pono.

MATT: Correct.

SAM: Kieren is very dry. So we'll-- we'll ask them. I'll go talk to them or rustle them up, I suppose.

MATT: All right, you're assembling a hunting party.

SAM: That's right.

MATT: All right. Who's joining the hunting party?

TALIESIN: Oh hell.

SAM: Literally everyone.

MATT: Okay, okay, good, all right.

LAURA: We'll all take a trip, try to hunt something big.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: Sure.

MATT: As you guys gather your supplies, we're going to go ahead and take a break.

TRAVIS, ASHLEY, MARISHA, and MATT: ♪ (Jurassic Park music) ♪

LAURA: We all die before, like, one day before Traveler Con because we decided to hunt a T-Rex.

TRAVIS: That's a noble cause, you guys.

TALIESIN: Nothing more Traveler Con than being eaten by a T-Rex.

MATT: You're not wrong. We'll be back here shortly. We're going to take a little break and then we'll jump into the next few elements of preparation for Traveler Con, possibly hunting a T-Rex, it looks like, and see what else happens. We'll see you guys here shortly (laughing).

Break[]

♪ You got the perfect warlock ♪ ♪ Her weapons and supplies ♪ ♪ But you need a place to track your stuff ♪ ♪ 'Cause you're so disorganized ♪ ♪ You click open a web page ♪ ♪ You heard about on Critical Role ♪ ♪ And now you're ready to kick some butt ♪ ♪ In a mineshaft full of gnolls ♪ ♪ It's D&D ♪ ♪ D&D ♪ ♪ D&D Beyond ♪ ♪ Yeah D&D ♪ ♪ D&D ♪ ♪ D&D Beyond ♪ ♪ You got your staffs ♪ ♪ You got your swords ♪ ♪ And you got your invisible wand ♪ ♪ It's D&D ♪ ♪ D&D ♪ ♪ D&D ♪ ♪ D&D ♪ ♪ D&D Beyond ♪ (upbeat music)

The Legend of the World of The Legend of Vox Machina We're seeing these amazing designs coming in. Rooms and taverns and courts. Locations and color palettes. It's gorgeous, it's epic. It's beyond all our expectations. To see it all for the first time I went and I sat in my car and I just started crying. 'Cause I was like, I can't believe this is real. (energetic upbeat music) The trajectory of this story over the years is constantly defined our expectations. The size and the scale of it has felt so large and sweeping to us in our minds. And so you think, what could possibly live up to it? And the team at Titmouse, has really been answering the call. Titmouse is one of the best animation studios around period. They check all the boxes. They've got animation cred up the wazoo they've worked on funny shows, dramatic shows. They've done it all. It truly feels like a company made of nerds. Just like our company. We instantly felt a kinship and a shared language. It kind of lowered the barrier to entry. The people at the top who define the culture and the attitude of the studio are themselves huge nerds. Super into this stuff. And not just for me, but for them, this is kind of the dream project because we're sort of living out our dream of finally getting to create this type of property. They aren't wanting to take, something that we've created and turn it into something completely different. They wanna honor what it was that we did. Everyone else seems genuinely as excited to be a part of this as we're excited to have it happening. (energetic upbeat music) I'm proud to count myself among the Critters. I was one of the 90,000 to back this project in the first place. I had no idea I was going to be on it. I remember very distinctly getting my eyes on some of Arthur Loftis, our directors first background pieces, and just being stunned. Not only is he a professional artist and designer, he's also a big Critical Role fan. So, the fact that you've got somebody who really knows the show, who's designing things even down to minute detail, like even Matt Mercer is like, Oh yeah, I forgot about that. But Arthur hasn't forgotten about it. Like he has put it in the show. And that's something you just don't get in any animated series. Usually the executive producer has to explain to the art director, the feeling that he's trying to evoke or she's trying to evoke, but Arthur knows that feeling because he watched it live. A lot of the vision does come from Arthur, but then where I add to it is how to make the world seem really alive and believable. My role as supervising director is to really coordinate work with the story team. We're literally translating idea into visual and finding opportunities that really push those moments to make the world feel that much more integrated. Sung Jin works on all the episodes. And he's got the big picture, the 10,000 foot view about where the story is going over the course of the season, where the story is going over the course of the series. He is so dedicated to making sure that it feels right for "The Legend of Vox Machina." I have never felt more confident in letting other people handle a vision of mine than already seeing what they're doing with the whole team. (energetic upbeat music) We're getting to revisit all these great locations that we explored in the original Vox Machina campaign that we played through live. Locations like Emon. Emon is very much the central fantasy Metropolis of this continent, at least from a human society standpoint. And so, these first episodes really kind of introduce us to that place. The initial sketches that Arthur did of Emon were so striking and so epic in scale and scope that we had to go back and look at Matt's original drawings and be like, is this right? Does this match? And it does. He took what Matt did on a 2D piece of paper and turned it into a 3D world. I think when you think of Emon compared to other fantasy cities that you know, like Rivendell, there's gonna be a certain familiarity to Emon because it's kind of like a fantasy New York. There are elements to it that I think everyone can recognize. Stylistically. We just wanted to give people a nice way to sort of slip into this medieval fantasy world without being too challenged with the weirdness of like all the other stuff that's going to come later. Beyond Emon, there are a few locations that we get to explore in the animated series first season. Early on we get to visit the Shale Steps, which is a place that was not seen in the campaign streamed wise it's a coastal fishing city among a unique looking cliff range. That itself looks like waves frozen in the motion of crashing onto a shore. And then Vox Machina as you know, makes the journey from Emon to Whitestone. And even the journey that they take. Arthur has taken again, early maps that Matt drew up and turn them into real places with transitions, from forest to desert, to jungle, to mountain. We're looking at different landscapes existing in the real world. Taking ideas from each of them and sort of assigning them locations within the Critical Role world. For example, when we get closer to Whitestone, things look a bit more like Yosemite, it's the Alabaster Sierras. So we picked from the actual high Sierras and took those shapes, and the way the trees look, and the way the vegetation spreads across them and assigned it. Our other large location for season one is going to be Whitestone. The architectural language we really wanted to play with and make sure that it felt authentic. He went back into the history of the world and the history of the continent and thought, if people had sailed here via a boat, what would their architecture like? So, all of our buildings kind of have this feeling of like a ship's bow coming out of the ground. All the rooftops have sort of that sloping ships hull sort of shape to it. And that's something that none of us would have ever thought of. Not even Matt, really. You can't really mention the city of Whitestone without mentioning the Sun Tree. The first time I saw the Sun Tree (sighs) It was so epic. I've seen some fantastic iterations of the Sun Tree but what Arthur dropped on us, the first time that we saw the Sun Tree literally made our jaws drop. I'm personally more a fan of the small moments. So, Gilmore's Goods. It's something that we've pictured in our head for so long of what Gilmore's Glorious Goods looks like. There's so much detail. It's very specific. That was another thing that kind of took me by surprise is sort of the work that everyone put in to understand the world that we've been playing in for the past five years. And it's beautiful. It's so good. All of our locations are very unique from each other and we've gone to great lengths to make sure that every element we include in every scene really expresses the world as clearly and takes it further than whatever we were originally seeing in the stream online. You really feel like these are drawings of real places and not just a quick sketch of a random temple. (energetic upbeat music ) All starts on paper, a bunch of just words describing characters in a story. Then we start to try and visualize it with Arthur's team. It's a multistage process. We start with storyboards that we're working off of that sort of give us an idea what the shot is, where characters are gonna be standing and what the general action of the scene is. And then a background designer is going to take that storyboard and just really flesh out the composition, figure out what design elements we want in there. A background painter takes it next adds lighting. That lighting is basically used to enhance the storytelling moment. A really good background by itself without anything else, evokes emotion. It tells you instantly what the scene is going to be like. It's a lot like a DP for live action. You're trying to express what the story is telling you through light and color. when it comes, not even just to animation, but film in general, framing is everything. Wherever you place your characters and wherever you place your action is going to have an intense impact on how the audience feels and how the audience relates to what's happening. It's wild to do all these different things and then have them slowly converge into one final piece of media. We have many, many more months of production ahead of us. We're getting into the nitty gritty of it. It's a never ending circle of work, and creativity, and energy that's going into the series. Finally, all of this work, it's all come to fruition. We're really trying to elevate ourselves to create an animated show that even we've never done before. I think the fans and Critters are gonna be floored by what we've made for them. You ain't seen nothing yet. (energetic upbeat music)

LAURA: (V.O.) Hey Critters, Laura Bailey here. Let's see what's up in the Critical Role shop. (upbeat retro music) Ooh, look at this! Look at the details, ooh! (paper scratches) It's so cute, I can't handle it! (cat meows) (bright tone) Darling, I recommend buying two. One for you and another for you. Let's be honest. (water burbles) You're only like five clicks away from owning this. Maybe more if you have a lot of windows open on your browser, I don't know your life? (thunder rumbles) This is a lot of stuff you guys. We have like so many cool things right now. (mouse clicks) All of this and more now available in the Critical Role shop. (upbeat retro music)

PUMAT SOL: (grunts) (laughs) Would you look at that? I think it worked. You were right Pumat number three. All we had to do was invoke that subscription, cantrip. Pumat number three? Oh boy, well, hello there. I am Pumat Prime. It's good to finally join you here in the Prime dimension. I see this as the Twitch Prime realm I think. Oh, we're on the Critical Role channel, aren't we? Well, would you look at that, you got chat and everything. (laughs) Respectfully, I was looking for the Prime Rib realm, but this isn't too bad. You see, if you already have access to the Amazon Prime realm, you can get a free subscription to the channel of your choice in the Twitch Prime realm. The two realms have a pretty good working relationship after that peace treaty, the Prime minister signed a few years back. You just have to remember to renew your Twitch Prime subscription at the top of each month, respectfully. And hey, if you're already a subscriber, you can spread the joy by gifting a subscription using the gift to sub button, that is assuming the empire hasn't sent a tax man to your shop here recently. (laughs) All right, well, off to find that darn elusive Prime Rib realm. Who knew the Prime dimension had so many pockets, good luck. (chuckles) (footsteps clacks) Pumat three?

TRAVIS: (V.O.) Subscribe, resubscribe. Brian Foster is not a cabbage.

Part II[]

MATT: Welcome back. So. Four days until Traveler Con. You guys have amassed yourselves as the hunting crew.

TRAVIS: Oh shit.

LAURA: How did I forget that's what we were doing?

TRAVIS: We were talking about cereal.

TALIESIN: ♪ (Jurassic Park theme) ♪

MATT: With you guys being the hunting crew, we'll say that Kieren and Ashelyn decide to stay back and help in other elements so I don't have to also control two NPCs in this. Seven people on this hunting crew is enough. They both go, "Oh, oh, you've got this. Oh, it's fine."

TRAVIS: But we can't turn into bears, so...

MATT: "Takes a lot of energy. We have a lot to build here and fix, you understand."

TRAVIS: Yep, yep.

MATT: "Enjoy."

MARISHA: That gazebo better be done by the time we get back!

MATT: All right, who is helming the hunt? Who is actively stalking a Tyrannosaurus?

MARISHA: Who's good at survival? Yeah. Oh no.

ASHLEY: I'm okay in survival.

LAURA: Plus five.

MARISHA: Yours?

ASHLEY: You're plus five?

LAURA: Plus five survival.

SAM: Really?

ASHLEY: You need to take this.

MARISHA: It's your convention.

TRAVIS: Yeah, come on.

LAURA: Let's find this T-Rex.

MARISHA: Are we finding a T-Rex?

TRAVIS: Yeah.

LAURA: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

LIAM: Yes, a T-Rex.

ASHLEY: Yes, a T-Rex?

MARISHA: Okay.

LIAM: Ja, a T-Rex. Nothing else will do but a T-Rex.

TRAVIS: Yeah, we knew this the moment we let it go.

ASHLEY: The moment we laid eyes on him, we were like: That's going to be a tasty treat.

MARISHA: We did want to kill him.

LIAM: Yeah, yeah, yeah, Traveler Con, yeah, yeah, yeah, fine, fine, fine. Where's the T-Rex?

MARISHA: That's true, that's true. (laughter)

MATT: All right. Who's helming this? Are you doing this alone?

LIAM: Caleb, do you want to help Jester because you remembered exactly where we were in the forest?

LIAM: Well, I know where we saw that T-Rex a few days ago.

LAURA: Let's go back to where we saw the T-Rex.

LIAM: Yeah, I will assist.

LAURA: Then we'll look for tracks, or something.

MATT: Okay. Along the way, go ahead and roll a survival check for me. If you're helping.

LIAM: I'm giving it to her.

MATT: Then you have advantage on this.

LIAM: It was somewhere around here, Jester.

LAURA: 18.

MATT: 18, okay. You take--

LAURA: Oh, I should've guided myself.

MATT and LAURA: Too late.

MATT: Pushing forward into the first few hours of your journey, you trek through familiar territory of the jungle. Making your way towards the region where the vegetation begins to wither and gray. The space where you encountered your first undead-type creature. Skirting around it to avoid the majority of the pitfalls that seem to plague Caduceus your first time through. Pretty sure it's not happening again. You feel like you may have found some tracks earlier than you anticipated. You begin to follow them a little bit to a northward direction, diverging from the path you guys first walked to the volcano. Go ahead and roll again for me to see if you can maintain the tracks.

LAURA: Guidance.

MATT: You found a set of tracks, large, heavy divots in the thick, moist mud and underbrush.

TRAVIS: Three-pronged?

MATT: Looks to be.

LAURA: 16.

MATT: 16, okay. You maintain tracking this space. It weaves a bit and you do eventually come upon something in the way. You see a large shape. As you begin to move around to get a look, you see bone protrusions. As you get a closer look, you can see the better part of a mostly-eaten carcass. Some sort of a heavy-furred beast, what could've been an ape of some kind, like a larger primate-type creature, but it is mostly just thick, blood-soaked fur patches and exposed bone that is broken, splintered and flesh just torn off in strips, mostly devoured. The innards of the main chest cavity is just empty. But the tracks continue southward. Go ahead and make another survival check for me.

LAURA: Guidance.

SAM: With advantage, or anything?

LAURA: Yeah, yeah, yeah, because Caleb's helping me, right? Right? Is it still advantage?

MATT: Yeah.

LAURA: Ooh, 21.

MATT: 21.

TRAVIS: Did you roll twice?

LAURA: I have an advantage dice.

MATT: Okay. You notice, where that corpse is, there are actually two sets of prints that diverge. One that continues in a north, northeastern direction and one that's the southern path that you began to follow. Of the two sets, you begin to notice there might have been a pair that were hunting or they came at different times and one scavenged the other's kill. You're uncertain. They seem to be similar. But the southern prints are heavier. They sink deeper into the mud and seem to be slightly larger than the other set.

LAURA: Do you want to go after--

LIAM: Probably more meat on the bones of the bigger one.

LAURA: That's true.

ASHLEY: If it's a heavier foot fall, more meat.

LAURA: Big one, or little one? What do you think, guys?

TRAVIS: Go big or go home, right?

MARISHA: Maybe the bigger one is more clumsy, easier to take down, an easier fight?

SAM: This is for the Traveler.

LAURA: Yeah, yeah, yeah. This all serves a really good purpose, what we're doing right now. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

MARISHA: Maybe we kill the big one and you make the smaller one your mount, and we can offer T-Rex rides.

LAURA: That could be really cool.

TRAVIS: I think we're getting a little ahead of ourselves.

MARISHA: Okay, am I Caleb and the dicks? Too many dicks?

SAM: You Caleb'd the dick on that one.

MARISHA: I Caleb'd the dick. (laughter)

TRAVIS: It was really loud last time, too, right? We should be hearing something.

LAURA: Yeah, we should maybe be a little stealthy.

MARISHA: It was taking down trees.

LAURA: How fresh do these tracks look? Like I would know.

MATT: With that roll of a survival check, you go ahead and get down. An unexpected series of maneuvers from Jester as she puts her fingers in the muck, tastes the moisture level, glances around and inspects some of the nearby splintered portions of various trees and trunks that seemed to have been brushed against as this creature barreled its way through the jungle here at Rumblecusp. Maybe an hour, hour and a half.

LAURA: Ooh.

MARISHA: Why did you eat the mud, though?

LAURA: I don't know, I just thought I heard of people doing that when they were tracking.

MARISHA: It makes you look super cool.

LAURA: Did it look like I knew what I was doing?

MARISHA: It 100% did.

TRAVIS: What does it taste like?

LAURA: Have you ever eaten dirt?

TRAVIS: Not on the reg.

LAURA: It tastes like that.

TRAVIS: Okay.

MATT: However, because of the state that the corpse is in, the kill is not as fresh as the tracks, which leads you to believe the larger one may have been scavenging an earlier kill from another similar creature.

SAM: So he's lazy. This is good.

LAURA: He's a lazy T-Rex.

TRAVIS: (laughing) Yeah.

LAURA: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

ASHLEY: Maybe he's too big to fight.

LAURA: Maybe he's big and he's old and some of his teeth have fallen out, or something, so he has to--

SAM: Senile.

TRAVIS: We're assigning all the shitty attributes. He's an old T-Rex that isn't going to taste very good.

TALIESIN: Gamey, very gamey.

LAURA: I'm going to put my hand on the nearest tree.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: I'm going to talk to some plants.

MATT: All right, talk to some plants, Jester.

LAURA: Hey, tree.

MATT: (old voice) "Yeah."

LAURA: You seen a T-Rex? You seen a big lizard, T-Rexy thing come through here?

MATT: "Yeah, it comes through every now and then. It's real scary." (laughter)

LAURA: Like, how big? Is it bigger than you are? Taller than you?

MATT: "It's hard to really compare mass when you're a tree versus a creature. I'm definitely taller, but it's a little wider. And it moves around. I'm kind of here, so."

LAURA: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

ASHLEY: I love this tree.

LAURA: Have you ever seen it-- does it seem like it's injured at all? Is it old? Does it look like it has its teeth?

MATT: "I didn't get a good look at it because it was scary. But, I mean, it was covered in blood. It might have been hurt."

LAURA: Oh, okay. Yeah, yeah, yeah, that's a possibility. Do you know which direction it went?

MATT: "I think it went south."

LAURA: South, got it. Thank you very much, tree.

MATT: "No worries."

LAURA: Man, that's a lot of fun, it's a lot of fun. We should really find out about those trees that are withering. We said we were going to help them.

SAM: We did say that.

LIAM: We say a lot of things.

SAM: Every tree has a story.

ASHLEY: Didn't we essentially help them because we made the things go away? No?

SAM: Sure.

ASHLEY: We helped them.

TRAVIS: We helped them.

ASHLEY: We surely did.

TALIESIN: We'll double back.

MARISHA: Those trees also lost their tree memories, and now they're thinking about trees that they fucked 25 years ago. (laughter) Having their own tree crisis, you know?

LIAM: Memories of acorns dropping.

SAM: What, I'm not an oak? I'm a birch! I've been living a lie for 25 years!

MATT: These willows weren't weeping before.

TALIESIN: Oh no.

MATT: Are you going after the larger southern tracks?

LAURA: I suppose so?

TRAVIS: Make a confident decision.

LAURA: That seems like what all you guys wanted to do, right, the bigger one?

TRAVIS: Confident decision.

SAM: Anything you want, Jester.

LAURA: Don't put this on me if we all die.

MARISHA: Chief Jes.

TRAVIS: Go.

MARISHA: Jester, Esquire.

LAURA: To me, I feel like--

LIAM: Keep it rolling. Keep 'em coming.

LAURA: A T-Rex is a T-Rex. Why don't we take the smaller one, but?

TRAVIS: Okay!

LAURA: The older one is bigger. The bigger one is feeble. Maybe we should do the bigger one.

TRAVIS: We don't know that at all.

MARISHA: We were really just saying that to make ourselves feel better.

TRAVIS: Just to be clear.

SAM: You are one of the two greatest detectives I've ever met. If you think that the bigger one is feeble, I'm with you 100%. You have a sleuthy intuition.

LAURA: Yeah.

TRAVIS: Oh shit. It could have three heads!

MARISHA: It would be like T-Rexes to try and trick us. You know?

TRAVIS: The fucking T-Rexes.

TALIESIN: What T-Rexes have you met to draw this sort of conclusion?

MARISHA: None.

TRAVIS: Just like an asshole T-Rex.

LIAM: Just the one.

LAURA: Let's do it. Let's go after the big one. I don't know.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: Your call.

MATT: You continue to track the larger set of tracks.

SAM: I'm going to hand Jester my-- I think I have a magnifying glass. Just to help in the looking.

LAURA: Thank you, to look for those. We should all be pretty stealthy, though.

MATT: Okay, you're beginning to stealth.

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: All right, I'd like everyone to go ahead and roll a stealth check, please. A communal party stealth check.

LAURA: Guidance. Yasha, I'm going to bless you.

ASHLEY: Okay.

LAURA: Blessing of the Trickster.

TRAVIS: Natural 20.

MARISHA: Natural 20!

MATT: Nice.

MARISHA: Yeah!

TALIESIN: Hey.

ASHLEY: I had 20, total.

SAM: 29.

MATT: All right, 20 total?

ASHLEY: 20 total.

TALIESIN: 19.

LAURA: You get advantage.

ASHLEY: I get advantage?

MATT: Jester.

LAURA: 16.

ASHLEY: Yeah, 20 total.

MATT: That's pretty solid. You guys follow these tracks, keeping behind Jester for the better part of the next 30 or so minutes. Jester, you follow the heavy footfalls, the smashed, fallen log that appears to have been stepped on, fell through from the weight of the beast. Eventually, you come upon a couple of other tattered corpses of these larger, crane-like birds that are just crushed and thrown. One has been pressed into a tree with such force. It was jammed into that it's been smeared and it's now stuck, partially, against the bark of this tree. You can see its neck is hanging limply as it's slowly dripping. You also hear this sound. (slow, deep, heavy breathing)

LAURA: It's sleeping.

MATT: (slow, deep, heavy breathing)

SAM: It needs to nap because it's so old.

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: (slow, deep, heavy breathing)

LAURA: What is it, where is it? Can we see where the sound is coming from?

MATT: As you begin to make your way over this slight hill, you come to this divot in the jungle floor. There, you see, curled up in this muddier pit, a fully albino Tyrannosaurus Rex that is older and more massive than the one you had encountered previously coming through the jungle. As it's lying there, you can see across its gray-white scaled pallet of skin. There are smatterings of dried blood, of multiple shades of red from multiple creatures that it came across as it was tearing through the jungle. You can see why it was important for Vilya to keep watch on this village. Good luck for the rest of the folks here if she leaves. Maybe hunting this T-Rex was a very good idea. If you survive. But there it is now, snoring heavily post-meal, in the middle of the jungle. What do you do?

LAURA: We could surprise attack it. Everybody hit at once.

MATT: I should set the scene, if you don't mind. (exclaiming)

ASHLEY: He has something prepared?!

ASHLEY and MARISHA: Of course he did.

SAM: This impromptu combat, that somehow Matt was prepared for--

TRAVIS: Sure, always.

SAM: -- is sponsored by Dwarven Forge. The journey out into the Wildlands, Dwarven Forge's eighth terrain Kickstarter is live. Check it out at dwarvenforge.com/wildlands. Matt, what, how?

MATT: Because-- at break.

LAURA: No way. You prepped this at break?

MATT: I build maps during break all the time.

SAM: But we didn't see you do it!

MARISHA: He always has six maps at any point in time.

SAM: Wow!

MARISHA: Yeah.

ASHLEY and LAURA: Oh my god.

TRAVIS: It just occurred to me.

MATT: Because I wasn't expecting you guys to go battle a T-Rex, I don't have an albino T-Rex miniature at the ready. But we'll just say that this is the general size of it.

ASHLEY: Look at that cute boy.

MARISHA: What do you mean you don't have a T-Rex prepared?

MATT: An albino T-Rex.

SAM: Under the light, it looks like it.

MATT: Well, good, look at that. Thank you, thank you, our wonderful tech team.

TALIESIN: Currently prone, I might add.

MATT: What's that?

TALIESIN: Currently prone.

MATT: Currently prone, yes.

LIAM: How far from the albino are we?

TRAVIS: Will we have a way to--

MATT: There you go.

TRAVIS: -- get this back?

MATT: You guys are right among this tree line here. Where would you like to arrange?

TALIESIN: I'd like to head north.

LAURA: I don't want to accidentally wake it up with our movements. Should we all spread out a little bit and then hit it all at once.

MARISHA: A semicircle type of thing.

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: Okay.

ASHLEY: I feel bad because he's sleeping.

LAURA: I do, too. But he'll attack the village if we don't kill it.

ASHLEY: Okay, okay.

SAM: It's a mercy killing, really.

MARISHA: Because he's so old.

ASHLEY: Yes.

TRAVIS: I'll go, if we're starting here, right? I'll flank around this way.

LAURA: I'm going to cast Pass Without a Trace on all of us to keep us as quiet as possible as we do this.

MATT: Okay, I would like all of you to re-roll stealth check to Pass Without a Trace.

LAURA: Oh, like, reroll it, aw.

MATT: Yep.

LAURA: Would we have to reroll it if I hadn't cast Pass Without a Trace?

MATT: As you guys are now approaching and spreading out in preparation for this, there would be an additional stealth check. You are helping.

TRAVIS: 26.

LAURA: Oh wait, no, it's not advantage. Add 10.

ASHLEY: Uh-oh. Nothing to see here?

TRAVIS: Oh, Jesus Christ.

MATT: Natural one, what's your total?

TRAVIS: 10 (laughing).

LAURA: That's 12 plus four is 16.

LAURA: Hey, that's pretty good.

TRAVIS: From a natural one, not bad.

LIAM: 28.

SAM: 34.

ASHLEY: 25.

TALIESIN: 29.

MARISHA: 35.

LAURA: Wow.

ASHLEY: Whoa.

MATT: You beat Veth at a stealth check.

SAM: That's pretty impressive.

MATT: That's really impressive.

LIAM: Because rogues are broken.

MATT: In some ways, yeah. All right, so. What you notice, Caduceus, as well as Beauregard and Caleb, is amongst the carrion smatterings in the space, there are some very small birds that are eating from these corpses. You begin to wonder if there is some sort of a symbiotic relationship between them. These small little creatures suddenly begin to (clicking) and look around as you guys begin to shift.

MARISHA: Those fucking birds are going to blow our cover.

MATT: But do not seem to notice or hear your passage.

LAURA: Wow, because everybody else rolled so high?

MATT: Because everyone else rolled super high.

LAURA: Wow.

TALIESIN: Are they--

TALIESIN: How big are these birds?

LAURA: I'm going to say that I stayed right where I was.

MATT: They're a handful size. They're small, but you can see them. They're all scattered around. They all have blood smattering on their beaks. They're all very nervous and keeping an eye out. You bypass them, luckily. Fjord has set himself up there. Where is everybody else?

MARISHA: Can I make my way, ? make my way ? and flank across from Fjord, almost?

MATT: Over here?

MARISHA: On the other side of the tree.

MATT: Right here?

MARISHA: This one's tough because there's a tree right in my way there-ish.

MATT: Oh, over here, I gotcha.

MARISHA: Yes, thank you.

TRAVIS: Veth, don't you have rouge insta-kill abilities?

SAM: I do.

TRAVIS: You do?

SAM: Yes, I can insta-kill any animal. I just haven't been using it. (laughter)

TALIESIN: I think claws are technically weapons.

SAM: It's a broken rogue thing.

TRAVIS: Yeah, yeah.

MATT: Who else is where?

SAM: I would climb a tree, possibly, somewhere. Pick a tree, any tree.

MATT: Up here?

SAM: Sure.

MATT: Put Veth right here.

TALIESIN: I would like some sort of log cover about 40 feet away.

MATT: Make an athletics check for me, if you don't mind.

SAM: Oh, good call. Yep.

MATT: What'd you roll?

SAM: Oh, (chuckling) you want to know the number. Yep. (sotto voce) Seven.

ASHLEY: Oh.

SAM: It was a seven.

MATT: All right, where are the rest of you?

ASHLEY: I'm going to go somewhere around there.

SAM: I have Spider Climb, too.

ASHLEY: Maybe around.

MATT: Around this side?

ASHLEY: Yeah, maybe a little bit closer. I can't really see. A little closer to Fjord, maybe.

MATT: Fjord, over here?

ASHLEY: Yeah.

MATT: Okay, Caleb?

LIAM: Would I be able to, while we're sneaking about, take out obsidian and cast Resident Echo and split?

MATT: Sure.

TRAVIS: I love the crickets.

TALIESIN: Oh yeah, we have a studio cricket.

SAM: I thought that was Matthew's music.

TRAVIS: I thought it was the soundtrack.

ASHLEY: I did, too.

MATT: No, that is not the soundtrack.

MARISHA: Oh, do we have a studio cricket?

TRAVIS: Yeah, you can't hear it?

MARISHA: No, I can, same thing, I thought it was in the soundtrack.

ASHLEY: We do.

MATT: I think in moving the set pieces over here, I cannot find my Resident Echo mini.

ASHLEY: He's like, "You guys are so dumb, right now."

LIAM: I've got an invisible person.

MATT: I have a little black and sparkle-painted Caleb mini, but I don't know where it is. That's okay. I will instead, I'll use--

ASHLEY: I can't see where I am on here.

MATT: I'll use this guys as your Resident Echo. How about that?

TALIESIN: I have a thought about that.

LIAM: Resident Echo Caleb will go directly on the other side of the big, white dinosaur.

SAM: Moby Dick. Moby Penis.

MATT: Where are you standing?

LIAM: That Caleb could stay put.

MATT: Right there?

LIAM: Yep. Just send Resident Echo directly on the other side.

MATT: Okay, cool, it starts making its way over there. Caduceus.

TALIESIN: Somewhere with a little cover a little distant from everyone, about 40 feet away.

MATT: 40 feet away from?

TALIESIN: From the T-Rex. Behind that stump, right there.

MATT: Over here?

TALIESIN: Is that about 40 feet?

MATT: That would be about 40 feet from this.

TALIESIN: Yeah, so behind that.

MATT: Okay, you're about there, right now. Jester?

LAURA: I'm going to be-- I need to be within 60 feet.

MATT: That's a pretty decent range so where would you like to be within the--?

LAURA: I'll go on the big tree with the mushrooms on this side. On the other side of it than Caleb. The one that Caleb is next to.

MATT: Oh, right here?

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: Over there?

LAURA: To where I have an actual view of him.

MATT: About there.

LAURA: Yeah, that's good.

TALIESIN: Are you doing the ray or are you doing?

ASHLEY: Am I within 50 feet of it, Matt?

MATT: You are within. You guys fan out and start spreading. You cast Resident Echo and the echo begins to run over there. Caduceus, you're making your way to the other side. As you all are very carefully making your way through, you hear (snapping, yelling) as Veth, part way up the tree, grabs a branch that snaps and plummets about 20 feet to the ground.

TALIESIN: I attack.

MARISHA: We attack.

MATT: Taking four points of bludgeoning damage as you hit the ground, the birds (flitting) and go (bird calling). As they do (growling). You guys do still get a surprise round, except for Veth.

LAURA: Ah, man.

SAM: (loudly groaning)

MATT: I do still need you all to roll initiative, however.

TRAVIS: Let's roll initiative! Give me that death music.

LIAM: All about that D?

TALIESIN: All right.

LIAM: Wow.

TALIESIN: This is Traveler Con. (laughter)

ASHLEY: This is Traveler Con.

TRAVIS: Get Seacrest in here to launch it.

MATT: All righty.

MARISHA: Nope.

MATT: So.

MATT: 25 to 20.

LAURA: Cool.

SAM and MARISHA: Yikes.

MATT: 20 to 15.

MARISHA: Sorry, 19.

TALIESIN: 18.

LIAM: 16.

ASHLEY: 19 for me.

LAURA: Whoa, whoa, whoa!

TRAVIS: 19 for you?

LAURA: Wait 19, 19, 18?

TALIESIN: Yep.

TRAVIS: So Beau, Yasha, Caduceus, Caleb.

LAURA: And Jester at the same time.

SAM: And I'm also 16.

LAURA: Oh wow.

LIAM: I'm 16 as well. It's by dex, so you'll probably go first.

SAM: Sure.

LAURA: Oh yeah.

SAM: I'm on my ass, though.

LIAM: What's your dex?

MATT: 15 to 10.

TRAVIS: I rolled a nine. I'm the only one left.

MATT: It's Beau and Yasha at the same time. Caduceus, then Caleb, then what did you get?

LAURA: Caleb, Jester, and Veth all got 16.

LIAM: Veth, Jester, Caleb, if you go by dexterity.

LAURA: Yeah, probably.

MATT: Sure, yeah.

MARISHA: Veth, Jes, Caleb.

LIAM: Veth, Jes, Lebby.

LAURA: Fjordy.

MATT: All right. Cool. Immediately, the beast's eyes shoot wide open. You can see there's this faint, pinkish-white tint to the eye. Right around the exterior of the slanted pupil, there is a deep green coloration. It has this odd, almost bruised transition on the inside. As it shoots open, the nostrils (panting). One leg rights itself and begins to lift up off the ground as Beau and Yasha, what are you guys doing?

ASHLEY: Go for it.

MARISHA: (yelling loudly) Where are you, where are you on the map?

MATT: Yasha's right there.

MARISHA: Oh, we're opposites. I make eye contact with Yasha across from him as we both charge forward.

MATT: All right, you rush in.

MARISHA: Yeah, yeah, yeah, Terminator run.

TRAVIS: Fuck 'em up, T-1000. Blade hands.

LAURA: Is it too late to say I Invoked Duplicity before we started all this?

MATT: Yes.

LAURA: Cool, cool, cool.

MATT: Go for it.

MARISHA: As I'm running, I reach and I pull out my new staff, the Belabor. Do a little Jedi spin around as I run and a big, old jump and slap, pop, pop.

MATT: Go for it.

MARISHA: Right on its face.

TRAVIS: Because it's a surprise round, do we get any kind of advantage or anything?

MATT: No.

TALIESIN: It's still on the ground. Some attacks get--

MATT: It is technically no longer prone because the lack of--

TRAVIS: Stealth?

MATT: The breaking of stealth.

TALIESIN: Damn it.

MATT: But you guys are getting a surprise round on it, which means you get one to go before it gets to go.

LAURA: That's cool, that's cool.

MATT: You still get a major benefit.

MARISHA: 24 and 16?

MATT: Both hit.

MARISHA: And that is... The first one is nine damage, not great. Second one is Stunning Strike.

MATT: How much damage, though?

MARISHA: Nine damage on the first one. For both of them total, nine damage, and then 14 damage.

MATT: All right.

MARISHA: And then Stunning Strike.

MATT: Stunning Strike. That is an eighteen.

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: It's a pretty beefy creature. Like, its constitution's pretty hardy. It doesn't mean it won't work, but it resists the first Stunning Strike.

MARISHA: That's good to know.

MATT: So first two strikes, which also means you do Extract Aspects.

MARISHA: Well, I didn't do Flurry of Blows.

MATT: Right.

MARISHA: But I am now going to do Flurry of Blows.

MATT: Okay, go for it. Two more strikes.

MARISHA: Yeah, that is 27 and... 24.

MATT: Both hit. Go ahead and roll damage on that. Yasha, you're on deck.

MARISHA: Okay. 10 damage and... 14 damage.

MATT: Nice.

MARISHA: And now Extract Aspects.

MATT: Okay. This tyrannosaurus is old, venerable, but not to the point where it's--

MARISHA: He's fucking old! He is fucking old.

MATT: But not to the point where it's affecting its strength. If anything, its mass is quite intense, and it's quite angry, but there are--

MARISHA: But he's one of those super beefy old guys that has a Bowflex, and is like, "Holy shit. You're in your seventies? Fuck, dude." He's one of those guys.

SAM: Used to be a Navy SEAL?

MATT: Old man T-Rex.

MARISHA and MATT: Yeah.

MATT: But no resistances and no vulnerabilities.

MARISHA: Okay, I communicate that with what I just said.

MATT: Is that your turn?

MARISHA: Yes.

MATT: All right. Yasha, what are you doing?

ASHLEY: Okay, as I'm running towards this big T-Rex I'm going into a rage. (cheering)

MATT: We'll say that it's up now since you guys lost the element of surprise.

ASHLEY: And let's go here. (vocalizing) Oops. Oh yeah. Okay. That would be... a 23.

MATT: That hits.

ASHLEY: For the first hit. So let's-- Man, I haven't done this in a while, because I've been rolling so shitty.

MATT: I know.

ASHLEY: That wasn't great, so I'm going to do--

MATT: Savage Attacker?

ASHLEY: Yeah, Savage Attacker. That's exactly the same.

TRAVIS: Warm it up.

ASHLEY: Okay. 16 for the first hit.

MATT: 16 for the first hit.

ASHLEY: Second attack... 19?

MATT: That hits. Go ahead and roll damage.

ASHLEY: Okay. Let's use these little tinies. Ooh! 15 for the second hit.

MATT: 15. You got it. Okay, that finishes your go. Next up is Caduceus with Veth on deck.

TALIESIN: Ray of Enfeeblement.

TRAVIS: Ooh.

MATT: All righty. What's do I have to roll for that?

TALIESIN: I have to roll. It's a spell attack.

MATT: Oh, a spell attack? Go for it.

TALIESIN: That's-- (laughs) That's a 28.

MATT: Yeah, that'll hit.

TALIESIN: So yeah. Half damage, half damage--

MATT: Half damage for strength-based attacks, right?

TALIESIN: Yeah, strength-based attacks.

MATT: You got it.

TALIESIN: And now I'm going to take cover.

TRAVIS: Great call.

TALIESIN: I'm going to take some cover.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: He does half damage on strength-based?

TALIESIN: Yeah.

MARISHA: Oh, that's dope.

MATT: All right and you're running this way for cover?

TALIESIN: Yeah, behind a tree. Yeah.

MATT: This is the closest tree you find. Get you about there.

TALIESIN: All right.

MATT: With your movement at 30. You were running that way, and you're like, "Nope! This way." Ray of Enfeeblement out of your hand strikes it. You watch the creature as it gets up: (heavy steps, snarling) (crackling, grunt of pain) and you watch as its jaw muscles temporarily wither, and darken in the moment as the magic swirls around, and grasps the side of its throat. You see one of his legs buckles momentarily, and it's physically now enfeebled by the magic you've cast. That finishes your go, Caduceus?

TALIESIN: Yep.

MATT: Veth, you're up with Jester on deck.

SAM: All right. I will-- (cry of pain) I'll stand up. (grumbles)

MATT: Yeah, all right. That's half your movement standing up from there.

SAM: Sorry! And I will, as a bonus action, cast Brenatto's Voltaic Bolt.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

SAM: Activate a bolt, and then I will fire said bolt at the creature using Sharpshooter.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: 13 plus ten minus five. Right? 18 to hit.

MATT: That hits. Go ahead and roll damage.

SAM: Okay. And it's engaged?

MATT: Indeed it is. So you do get sneak attack damage.

SAM and ASHLEY: Whoa. I'm going to reroll both of those. Okay. Lots of threes. 20 plus 10 because I Sharpshootered. So that's 30 plus the Voltaic Bolt is another nine. 39 plus one more thing.

ASHLEY: Jeez louise.

SAM: 45.

TRAVIS: Yes!

MATT: 45, nice!

ASHLEY: Dang!

MATT: All right, so as you get back up-- (groaning) you aim your crossbow and fire right as its leg bends from the enfeeblement spell, and it buckles for a moment. As it does, its head flops downward exposing under the neck, and the bolt immediately (impact and pained inhale) and you see blood begin to pour out of the mouth. It was a nice, solid hit to a very sensitive part of its throat.

SAM: Yes!

MATT: That finish your turn?

SAM: Call me Ishmael.

MATT: All right. You have 15 more feet of movement, if you'd like to move.

SAM: I will... Nah, I'm good.

MATT: Okay. Finishing that turn. That brings us to Jester. Caleb, you're on deck.

LAURA: Okay. How tall is the creature?

MATT: The creature is roughly 20 feet tall.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: At its highest point.

LAURA: Okay. I have a question about Blade Barrier--

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: -- would I know? It's a wall that you create. Can I create it at any height? Can it be off of the ground, or does it have to be touching the ground?

MATT: Blade Barrier? Let me double check here.

TALIESIN: Wow.

SAM: (imitates the intense music)

TALIESIN: First in the campaign, if I recall.

LIAM: You know you're fighting a T-Rex if there's electric guitar.

ASHLEY: (imitates the intense music)

TRAVIS: (pained roar)

LIAM: (imitates a T-Rex playing an electric guitar)

TALIESIN: Find it wearing shades. Up here. A keytar.

MATT: Pardon me, as I have to go look it up on D&D Beyond.

MARISHA: Our T-Rex band. Yeah, it's just a keytar.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

MATT: I don't think they can get--

TALIESIN: How-- it's--

LIAM: Yeah, hands have to be real small. (laughter)

MATT: "Within range... Can make a straight wall up to a hundred feet long. It is a wall of whirling blades." I could say... since it is whirling blades, I'll allow it to be at any height.

LAURA: Be at any height.

MATT: Yeah, sure.

LAURA: Okay, cool. Then I'm going to make it 15 feet off the ground. So it doesn't hit any of us, and I'm going to make it a circle around the dinosaur.

TALIESIN: This is so...

LIAM: [inaudible]

TALIESIN: This is just so Jurassic Park.

ASHLEY: I love it.

TALIESIN: Can't get through the electric fence.

TRAVIS: I'm so happy.

LAURA: It can be 60 feet in diameter, so I'll probably make it, you know, 40 feet in diameter.

MATT: Right. So the--

LAURA: I would like it to--

MATT: It's still a ringed wall.

LAURA: Yeah. Maybe... Yeah.

MATT: So you're just lifting it up in the air.

LAURA: Yeah. Lifting it up in the air, but I'm going to make it to where it's like a ring that's touching him right now, so that when he starts it, it's going to hit him.

MATT: Got it. It's a little larger than this, but I'm setting this here as an example. So we know where it is. It's actually bigger than this.

LAURA: Cool.

MATT: It's as large as... Okay.

LAURA: It's only four-- I said only 40 feet instead of 60 feet, so.

MATT: That's fine.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: 40 feet in diameter actually would be that. It's 60 feet in diameter, technically. If you want to make it smaller--

LAURA: You can make it smaller if you want, yeah.

MATT: Okay, cool. So at the start of its turn.

LAURA: Or yeah, when it enters there for the first time.

MATT: Got it. So we'll get to that when we come around to it.

LIAM: Apologies. That's where the ring is on the front half of...

MATT: Correct, up in the air. You watch as Jester takes one hand, and swirls it up, holding whatever your holy symbol is currently. If you're not holding a dick, or you're holding your classic Jester one.

LAURA: It's my Traveler symbol.

MATT: Okay. So you're holding the Traveler symbol there. As you do, you watch it up in the air. The faint bit of moisture coalesces into these small wind blades that (slicing wind) And you watch as this large, semi-ethereal thickened mass of magical blades. Just this horrible crushing, winding arcane trap, you would imagine to see of hundreds and hundreds of these tiny spinning blades, just slightly rotating in the air, above this creature. And you watch as they begin to carve into the side of it as it's starting to stand up, and get ready for its round-- (grinding and shredding) cutting into its body. Do you want to move or stay put?

LAURA: I'll move behind the trunk right there.

TRAVIS: We're preserving its meat very well.

MATT: You've got it.

SAM: Speaking of...

MARISHA: Just hacking into it.

TRAVIS: Skilled hunter.

SAM: After we kill it, how do we get it back?

LAURA: We don't know yet. We'll figure it out.

LIAM: Stop, stop, stop, stop, stop.

TRAVIS: Right before we started, I was like--

MATT: Caleb, your turn. Fjord, you're up on deck.

LIAM: Okay. So it's my echo and me. The echo first will silently pull his hands apart, and a Fireball starts to form in the echo's hands, and he hucks it into the air. 30 feet into the air, so that it's 20-foot diameter hits just the top of our dinosaur friend and nobody else.

SAM: This is a ball of fire?

MATT: Explodes.

LIAM: Fireball.

MATT: Dexterity check.

MARISHA: There is going to be no T-Rex left.

SAM: Nope!

MATT: That is a fail on its dex save. So full damage on that.

MARISHA: Yeah.

SAM: We brought you--

TALIESIN: Pre-cooked.

SAM: -- a backbone. And some feet.

TRAVIS: The bone marrow.

LIAM: 34.

MATT: Okay. The Resonant Echo vanishes with the spell expended.

MARISHA: It's a Looney Tunes cartoon. Just whatever was left.

LIAM: And then Caleb turns into a T-Rex. A Bengal cat mottled T-Rex.

MARISHA: Oh, he's so cute!

MATT: I don't have a T-Rex additionally to add to the board, so you're just going to get a shitty alligator.

LIAM: I love it. (laughter)

TRAVIS: Oh man.

ASHLEY: I love it so much.

MATT: There you go. You are a Bengal cat T-Rex alligator.

TRAVIS: Fuck.

ASHLEY: Mrrow!

MATT: But indeed you have seen a T-Rex, so you can transform into one without an issue.

LIAM: He has some movement, right?

MATT: Yes.

LIAM: Yeah. So I will run towards the ass of our opponent.

MATT: A speed of 50 feet. So you can definitely (thudding).

LAURA: Anything that enters the Blade Barrier will get hit.

LIAM: And the blades are on the on the front. That's why I asked...

LAURA: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

LIAM: It's in the front half of our friend.

MATT: So you have not quite reached the edge of the Blade Barrier as the blades are now-- (revving) this loud, high pitched, screeching, grinding sound of thousands of arcane blades like colliding with each other. You watch as this giant Bengal tiger-patterned T-Rex comes (stomping and roaring) up to the other T-Rex, who at this point is reeling from the blades. His head spins around and goes (roar) towards the now arriving, unexpected creature. All right. That finishes your turn, Caleb. All right. Fjord, you're up.

TRAVIS: I summon the sword and prepare to charge in before a fucking Bengal tiger-shaped T-Rex runs into the fray, and I'm like: Nah, I'm good. I'll cast Eldritch Blast from way back here. (laughter) I'll stay out. The first one is a 23 to hit.

MATT: That hits.

TRAVIS: There's three of these I've learned, thank you. That's a 19 to hit.

MATT: That hits.

TRAVIS: And that's cocked, and 18 to hit.

MATT: Three hit.

TRAVIS: All right.

TALIESIN: Like walking up to the girl at the high school dance. Like: Ah, no.

TRAVIS: Yeah...

MARISHA: As the quarterback comes up and kisses her.

SAM: I was just getting punch.

TRAVIS: 32 points of force damage.

MATT: Nice.

TALIESIN: Back to the sandwich plate.

TRAVIS: And I should have done this first, but I will use my bonus action to-- no, I don't need to do Hexblade's Curse. There's a fucking T-Rex in there. We're okay.

MATT: You going to move, or stay put?

TRAVIS: I'm going to actually step back ten feet. Like--

MATT: (blasting) Perfect. All right. Finishing your go, back to the top of the round. Beauregard, you're up.

MARISHA: Oh shit. It's me.

MATT: This creature is looking hurt. (laughter)

SAM: Poor guy.

MARISHA: Okay. Okay.

LAURA: Now I feel bad for it.

ASHLEY: Me, too. He was sleeping.

MARISHA: Sleepy boy.

ASHLEY: He was asleep.

TALIESIN: Covered in the blood of the creature.

TRAVIS: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

TALIESIN: Keeping him warm.

MARISHA: I'm right by his meaty legs. I'm going to go for the Achilles tendon.

MATT: Go for it. Whack whack. Right to the back of his leg.

TRAVIS: (like the T-Rex) Why?

MARISHA: Pop pop!

TRAVIS: (like the T-Rex) Why?

SAM: (like the T-Rex) I've done nothing wrong!

TRAVIS: (like the T-Rex) I was so old! (laughter)

MARISHA: 27 and 30 to hit.

MATT: Yeah. They-- They hit.

MARISHA: Okay. Wait. Those aren't right. Those aren't-- Or, wait. Oh yeah. Staff's are d8. No, okay. I am doing this right. I am doing this right. Okay. Sorry. New staff.

TALIESIN: New toys.

MARISHA: Okay. Oh, these are both the same, which is 14. 14 and 14.

MATT: 14 and 14 damage?

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: You got it.

MARISHA: So 28.

MATT: You got it. You guys are rolling pretty damn good on this.

MARISHA: And--

SAM: Confidently, Matt.

MARISHA: It's why I went into a creative field. I will Flurry of Blows.

MATT: Go for it. Two more strikes.

MARISHA: Pop pop.

SAM: Pop, pop.

MARISHA: Oof, Oof. Oh, one might not hit. 22 for one. And that's a three for 15.

MATT: 15 still hits.

SAM: Oh boy.

MATT and TALIESIN: It's a big guy.

MATT: It's got a thicker hide, but not terribly.

MARISHA: Okay. So that's 12. And... 13.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: Just then, three baby T-Rexes come back--

TRAVIS: Daddy?

SAM: -- from a slumber party. Papa?

TRAVIS: Run, kids! (screams in agony)

MATT: (like the T-Rex) "This island is terrible!"

MARISHA: But then we'd get T-Rex mounts!

MATT: All right. So that finishes your turn. Are you going to say put, or are you going to move?

MARISHA: I'm going to stay here.

MATT: Okay. Yasha.

ASHLEY: Okay.

MATT: Actually, what is your dexterity?

ASHLEY: My dexterity is 15.

MATT: Yes. You go.

ASHLEY: Okay, okay.

MATT: You guys are actually on the same initiative as the T-Rex.

ASHLEY: Oh, wow. Okay. That hits. That is a 23.

MATT: That hits.

ASHLEY: Okay. So...

LAURA: (sings with background music)

ASHLEY: Savage Attacker.

SAM and LIAM: (sing with background music)

ASHLEY: Okay... 20 for the first hit.

MATT: Nice.

MARISHA: I think I need glasses.

ASHLEY: Second hit.

MARISHA: What's the bottom say?

SAM: It says, "We love to fly, and it Beaus!"

ASHLEY: 15. 15 hits?

MATT: 15 hits.

ASHLEY: Okay. Second attack.

TRAVIS: Applause.

ASHLEY: 15...

MATT: 15 damage?

ASHLEY: 15 damage.

MATT: Great. So after Beau pummels the bottom side of its ankle with the staff, and then a couple of kicks, and a punch to the side, looking underneath the leg, across making eye contact with you, you come up with two heavy swings. (whooshing) And as you cut you can see the blood spray (splattering) against the rock and nearby vegetation. And both of its legs like-- (pained groaning) Now it's its turn. Angrily. After you do the hits, Beauregard, you look up and you see its head. First, it takes-- is it 6d10?

LAURA: Yes. 6d10 damage.

TRAVIS: 6d10?

MATT: So go ahead and roll that.

LIAM: 30 damage. Ish.

MARISHA: It looks at me and dies. That's what happens.

SAM: Maybe it's a T-Rex mage.

MARISHA: Yeah.

SAM: Maybe we're waiting for something bad.

LIAM: (whooshing)

MARISHA: Meteor Swarm?

TALIESIN: 30 point average, right there.

LIAM: (puff of wind)

TRAVIS: Holy shit.

MATT: Burning Hands. (splutter) Only really reaches one of you.

LAURA: 34 points of--

MATT: 34 points of slashing damage. Nice. It goes (grinding sound), grinding up into it. It pulls back a bit and looks down towards its ankle, where it's been taking the impacts. And Beau, as you look up you see its head-- (swoosh) (roar) As its head lunges down towards you.

TRAVIS: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah.

MARISHA: It's going to be great.

TRAVIS: What? Say it.

MARISHA: Is it bad?

MATT: It's a natural 20. (groaning)

TALIESIN: Am I within 30 feet of Beau?

MATT: Yes, you are.

TALIESIN: Cancel.

SAM, TRAVIS, and ASHLEY: (groan)

SAM: I kind of wanted it to--

TRAVIS: What if it did something cool?

MATT: All it would have done was made it do its regular damage, because of the Ray of Enfeeblement. But now it does half damage. Man, well played. (laughter)

MATT: I was so excited I actually rolled a 20.

ALL: Aww.

MATT: No, don't be-- it's fine. It's fine. You're playing your character well.

TALIESIN: That was a sarcastic "Aw." It's all good.

MATT: I know. I figured. (laughter)

MATT: I can be proud and hurt at the same time. Well, nevertheless.

TRAVIS: (like T-Rex) Yay! Aw.

MATT: So as it bears down on you, you try and duck out of the way. And as its jaws close around you, you feel this strange moment as the vegetation around you tugs you slightly out of the way, and you only get a mild series of crushing tooth abrasions to your body.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

MARISHA: Okay.

TALIESIN: It's like a massage.

MARISHA: Ooh. It tingles.

MATT: I got to get my twelves here.

TRAVIS: Fuck 'em up, T-Rex.

LAURA: I wonder what the-- I want to know what the critical would have been.

TALIESIN: We'll find out. It's going to be...

MARISHA: I need a dope scar.

TALIESIN: It's going to be double this, and then double again would have been the critical.

LAURA: Yeah.

ASHLEY: We all need to take a tooth for a necklace.

TALIESIN: Or just double this.

MARISHA: Yeah! Oh, magic necklace.

MATT: You take... 34 points of piercing damage.

LAURA: That's halved?

MATT: Yes.

LAURA: Wait, 34... 68... It would have been a hundred, a hundred and something, DM?

MATT: Yeah. It would have brought you to zero immediately with that crit, if that hadn't gotten there with the cancel. Thank your clerics.

ASHLEY: Oh!

MARISHA: Everyone, tip your clerics.

TRAVIS: We were fucking around.

MARISHA: What did you say? 38?

LAURA: 34.

MARISHA: 34.

MATT: Points of piercing damage.

SAM: So with no enfeeblement and no cancel, it would have been 136?

MARISHA: Yeah. Is it double dice-- Is it minus minus? Or is it just one half?

TALIESIN: It would have been doubled, instead we brought it to single, and then it's halved.

MATT: And it's halved because of the Ray of Enfeeblement.

MARISHA: Wow.

SAM: Nice.

TRAVIS: Okay.

MARISHA: Wow. Respect.

LIAM: I only asked, because I'm looking at T-Rex stats.

MATT: Oh, this is not a normal T-Rex.

LIAM: Right. Oh, okay.

MARISHA: It's an Indo Rex.

LIAM: Well, I grab-- if I bite and it's a small, that enemy is grappled.

MATT: Yes, which is what I'm about to get to. You are grappled and restrained, because it-- You took the damage, and it still has you in its mouth. And you're, like, full on, like we're talking, you know, off the toilet in Jurassic Park. You are just being crunched, and lifted in the air. You guys watch his Beau's legs are just-- (swooshing) flailing about. This muffled scream from the inside.

TRAVIS: Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!

MARISHA: I just say: Yasha! Yasha! Are you watching?

LIAM: (muffled) Yasha, Yasha. Are you watching?

ASHLEY: Clever girl.

MATT: And as it swings around with Beau in its mouth, its tail (heavy swoosh) swings back towards you, Yasha.

ASHLEY: Okay.

TRAVIS: Yep.

LAURA: Oh no.

MATT: That is going to be a 22 to hit.

ASHLEY: Mm-hmm.

MATT: So you, like-- you see this happening, and all of a sudden you look to the side as-- (whump) You just get broadsided by its tail.

TRAVIS: Yes. Yes. Yes.

TALIESIN: Half damage.

MARISHA: Holy shit.

MATT: So it's 33 points of bludgeoning damage, reduced by half because of that. So it brings it to a 16 reduced by half, because of your rage brings it to eight. You take eight points of bludgeoning damage.

LAURA: Oh my god. Wow.

TRAVIS: Fucking barbarians, man.

ASHLEY: Okay.

MARISHA: This is the coolest fight.

MATT: So it hits you, and you actually duck down a bit, and your shoulder and back essentially helps it glide off you. Your hair gets pushed to the side from the blow of the impact and it hurts, but you keep yourself on the ground there. You took the full impact for a moment, and just let it slide off the side. Somewhere a duck barbarian would be proud.

ASHLEY: Yeah!

MATT: End of its turn, it's going to go ahead and... Huh, okay. It's another natural 20 to save against your spell. So it is no longer Enfeebled.

LAURA: Oh no.

ASHLEY: Okay, okay.

MATT: However..

TRAVIS: There's just one monk in its mouth. No big deal.

MATT: It's stuck in this Blade Barrier and surrounded, but you guys both have... It's not smart enough to know that. It's going to go ahead, and try and move out of the battle area here.

TRAVIS: Kids!

MARISHA: Help.

MATT: So it's going to shift around here and head towards Caduceus.

LAURA and MARISHA: Sentinel!

MARISHA: Sentinel bitches. Sentinel.

MATT: Both of you guys get attacks of opportunity on it.

MARISHA: Girlfriend!

LIAM: So do I!

ASHLEY: Yeah.

MATT: It hasn't left your melee range yet.

LIAM: Okay.

ASHLEY: (whispered) Yes!

ASHLEY: 21.

MATT: 21?

LAURA: Sentinel!

MARISHA: Oh wait, do I get to hit it?

MATT: Oh no, no. You are grappled and restrained. You... No, you're in its mouth because you are traveling with it, but that does hit so it doesn't move. So it stays put.

TRAVIS: Wow.

MARISHA: Thank you.

ASHLEY: You're welcome.

MATT: This is interesting. Okay. So yeah, it does not move at all. It is currently still--

TRAVIS: A good thing and a bad thing.

MATT: -- in the space here.

LAURA: Why is that a bad thing?

MATT: Oh, you'll find out. All right, so roll damage on that one, if you don't mind, Yasha.

TALIESIN: What do you think, damage--

SAM: It's a nuclear T-Rex.

TALIESIN: Do we damage it or do we, like...

MATT: Yes. It'll detonate. You watch as the green in its eyes glows. You see the little digit numbers counting down in his eyes. You hear it starts laughing like Predator. (deep laughter) What was the damage?

ASHLEY: 21.

MATT: 21. You got it. Nice.

MATT: So as you hack, you see the area of it, as it tries to move the leg where it had been pummeled by Beauregard, it's already bruised and swollen. And with that, you just take the blade in one swing, (swoosh) cut the Achilles tendon and (crumbling) it buckles and can't move, and it roars, angrily. But the roar's muffled because its mouth is filled with Beauregard. So it's more like (gurgling) With also a little bit of her scream in there. (high-pitched scream) So it's-- it just sounds awful. It's like a horrible goat braying.

TRAVIS and LAURA: (goat braying)

MATT: Yep. All right. Finishing that turn... Caduceus, you're up.

MARISHA: That was great.

SAM: ? Trouble trouble, trouble ?

TALIESIN: How hurt is this thing looking?

MATT: It's hurt. It's not on death's door, but it's showing some wear and tear. You can see from the blows it's taking it's bleeding out in some areas of the heavy wounds. Its head is stuck currently in a giant wall of spinning ethereal blades--

TALIESIN: Ray of Enfeeblement again.

MATT: Okay, go ahead and roll for an attack.

TALIESIN: Ooh. 14?

MATT: 14? Does hit.

TALIESIN: Oh my god!

MATT: 14 is its armor class. It just hits. All right, it's Enfeebled again.

TRAVIS: (groan of sympathy)

LIAM: (elderly) I'm sore.

LAURA: He's so old.

MATT: Not every-- You know, when you get the jump on him like that...

TRAVIS: Yep.

MATT: It's not that hard. Seven players on one creature while it's sleeping.

TRAVIS: I did not think a crit would insta-kill Beau. Or drop to zero, rather.

TALIESIN: I can't throw a Healing Word, can I right now or no?

MATT: No, because--

TALIESIN: It's a bonus action?

MATT: Yeah.

TALIESIN: To the T-Rex!

MATT: Just to even the odds. Make it interesting.

TALIESIN: I'm going to duck back. I'm going to find cover again then.

MATT: Okay. So you dart back behind this tree, then?

TALIESIN: Yeah. I'm good.

MATT: All right.

TRAVIS: Give old Dale a couple of hit points.

MATT: Veth, it's your turn.

SAM: Oh, me?

MATT: Yes.

SAM: I will reload and fire again. Sharpshooter.

ASHLEY: Come on, Veth.

SAM: 12 plus 10 minus five is 17 to hit.

MATT: 17 does hit.

SAM: All right. Still get sneak attack damage? Is it engaged?

MATT: It is very engaged with many things right now.

TRAVIS: Not me!

MATT: Nope!

TALIESIN: You are such a cheerleader.

LAURA: I know! You made us do this!

TALIESIN: You're the kid who took us to the rollercoaster, like, "Nope."

SAM: 38.

MATT: 38 points of damage. Nice.

LIAM: He's delegating.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

ASHLEY: Rogues are so cool!

MATT: You fire again. You wait a second, and you're about to shoot, and then as it turns its head out of the blades, you can see Beauregard's arm off to the side, and you're like, "Nope, not that." You shoot a little lower. It fires, strikes right above the clavicle area, and as the bolt sinks and you could see gouts of blood go (burbling).

SAM: Oh boy.

TRAVIS: Ooh, arterial.

SAM: Ooh, boy.

TALIESIN: How much damage was that again?

SAM: 38.

TALIESIN: Okay. Fuck. I should have...

MATT: Yeah.

TALIESIN: I almost doubled it. Damn it.

SAM: Almost doubled it?

TALIESIN: I can do that, but this is better. This is better.

MATT: This is fine.

TRAVIS: You can double it before it hits?

MATT: Do you want to move or stay put?

SAM: I'll stay put. I'm just starting to feel bad for the creature now.

MATT: Okay. Jester, your turn.

LAURA: Okay. I'm going to Guiding Bolt it.

MATT: All right. You--

LAURA: At 5th-level.

MATT: You can partially see it from where you are, but you can move a little bit.

LAURA: I'll move so I can.

MATT: All right. So at 5th-level--

SAM: Actually, Matt, can I-- can I use my bonus action to just sort of scan to see if there's any other T-Rexes?

MATT: Sure, make a perception check.

TRAVIS: Good call.

SAM: 13.

MATT: 13. At the moment, it seems pretty safe.

SAM: Okay, we're good.

MATT: Birds have scattered. That's all.

SAM: Okay.

MATT: Okay. Jester, what are you doing?

LAURA: Guiding Bolt it 5th-level.

MATT: I hate it.

TRAVIS: Commotion in the...

LAURA: 15.

MARISHA: Yeah.

LAURA: 15 to hit.

MATT: 15 does hit.

LAURA: Okay. So that's 8d6. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. Ten... 16. Oh, that's a lot of ones. 16, 17, 18, 19 plus four... 19 plus four's 23.

SAM: That's great.

MATT: 23 points of damage. All right, nice.

LAURA: And it's advantage on the next--

MATT: On the next strike against it. As Jester comes from behind the tree, and releases the Guiding Bolt, you watch as the swirling, pinkish-purple blast, strikes up, impacts it, and sends these ribbons of divine energy around it that have this pointed, dotted arrow going, "Hit here." Hit here." Hit here."

LAURA: Blink, blink, blink!

MATT: All right. Are you going to stay put, or are you going to move behind the tree again?

LAURA: I'll back up a little bit.

MATT: All right. Get a little bit of space between you, blocking perspective of the very dangerous creature. Finishing Jester's turn. Caleb, you are up. Fjord, you're on deck.

LIAM: So with Jester's advantage, I will bite into his haunch.

MATT: Go for it.

LIAM: That is 27 to hit.

MATT: That hits. Go ahead and roll damage.

LIAM: (high-pitched) Ah! 25, 32 points of damage.

SAM: Wow!

MATT: 32 points of damage.

LIAM: And not because there's anything behind me, but just because I can, I will use my tail attack to slam the ground, because I am a fucking dinosaur.

MATT: Indeed you do. (massive thud) This dirt and dust, and bits of leaf and vegetative matter, just get shot up into the air in this wide spray of whatever was behind Caleb.

LIAM: It was Veth.

SAM: (screams)

MATT: Veth definitely gets spattered with a bunch of it. (coughs) All right. That finishes your go, Caleb. Fjord, you're up.

TRAVIS: Oh yes. I'm just enjoying the view. Three more Eldritch Blasts.

MATT: Go for it.

LIAM: A-one, a-two, a-three.

TRAVIS: A 23 for the first one. That's cocked. It's a natural one on the second.

ASHLEY: You have advantage.

TRAVIS: I do?

TALIESIN: No.

ASHLEY: Guiding Bolt?

TALIESIN: Only for the next attack, which was Caleb.

ASHLEY: Oh, that was you were next.

TRAVIS: And a 22 on the third one.

MATT: Okay, so two hit.

ASHLEY: I don't know where I just was.

MATT: That's all good.

TRAVIS: Nine plus five. 14. That's off the table, but it's a ten. 29 points of force damage.

MATT: Okay, so as all of this is happening, you have that moment where you turn around in slow motion. You can hear the sad Enya music start playing. It's just like-- (sad roaring) Its head in this cloud of blades, Beauregard slowly flailing in its jaws. How do you want to do this? (cheering and laughter)

LIAM: That's just right!

TRAVIS: I'll aim the Eldritch Blast and I'll go: Sorry! (explosion)

MATT: (slow motion impacts)

TRAVIS: No!

MATT: (sad roaring)

LIAM: K.O.

MATT: (impacts)

SAM: It's like Platoon?

TRAVIS: (laughs) The bounce!

LAURA: With Beau in the mouth like--

MATT: Beau's just like, "Ow. Ow. Ow." You take an additional... ten points of piercing damage from its head hitting the ground.

MARISHA: That's fair.

MATT: 'Cause it's fun.

TRAVIS: The Enya music.

ASHLEY: ? Who can say ? (laughter)

MATT: I was hoping it would survive at least to the next round, because at the beginning of Beau's turn with it held in its jaws it would have been holding Beau in the Blade Wall as well.

LAURA: I know, I know!

MATT: Just-- (jet noises)

TRAVIS: (fake scream)

LIAM: There go her feet. (shredding)

TRAVIS: Oh my god.

MATT: But now the creature is down. A silence, a hush falls over this section of the jungle.

TALIESIN: Is anything approaching?

MATT: Make a perception check.

TALIESIN: That's a 22.

MATT: 22. Looking around, the birds haven't returned. It is quiet, and you get the sense that the combative roars of this creature probably sent anything else scattering within a radius. So you feel you may be safe for a little while. As you all settle down, the adrenaline fading a bit. The realization that there is a giant Bengal-striped T-Rex Caleb there--

LIAM: Who looks back and forth for a moment, and then takes a bite of the dead T-Rex.

TALIESIN: That's for later.

MARISHA: Oh, that's for the con, man!

LIAM: (munching sounds)

MARISHA: Where's that even going to go when you bamf back to Caleb?

SAM: Are you still in the mouth? Are you out?

MARISHA: I think I'm out.

MATT: You probably crawled out of it at this point.

MARISHA: I'm bleeding a lot.

MATT: Yeah, just a blood-covered Beauregard, like-- (grunting) pushing out of its jaws.

LAURA: Oh, Beau, you look awful, but so cool at the same time.

MARISHA: Yeah. These are going to be some dope scars, man.

LAURA: Oh my gosh.

ASHLEY: It's going to be pretty cool.

LIAM: Yeah. Those teeth holes that are this wide. All around your body?

MARISHA: Yeah, just-- (placement sounds).

TALIESIN: I'm going to give you a little bit of Cure Wounds.

TRAVIS: How do we transport this?

SAM: Can you Polymorph a dead thing?

LAURA: I was just thinking about that. Can you Polymorph a dead thing?

MATT: Generally, it's reserved for a living creature.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

SAM: Can we heal it back up just to Polymorph it? (chuckling)

TALIESIN: 21 points.

MATT: That's a tough call. Because once the creature dies, it's now an object as opposed to a creature.

LAURA: Yeah. That makes sense. Well, maybe--

TALIESIN: Well, we have another T--

LAURA: Yeah, Caleb--

TALIESIN: Lash it--

LAURA: -- dinosaur Caleb can pull him along.

SAM: For 45 minutes anyway.

LIAM: For a while, yeah. That's what I was thinking.

SAM: All right, let's do that.

LAURA: I can always Polymorph into one after Caleb's dies, and then I can pull him along.

LIAM: Caleb steals another bite.

LAURA: No! Stop!

SAM: No! Caleb, stop it!

SAM: That's for paying customers!

MATT: (laughs)

LIAM: It's a big dinosaur.

TALIESIN: I'll cast something on you.

MATT: All right. So who here has animal handling?

LAURA: Me?

TALIESIN: Medium.

LIAM: Caleb will take it by the tail, and lift the tail up and then look at the group.

MATT: Okay. Do you want to use-- Do you want to try and guide Caleb in his Tyrannosaurus Rex state?

LAURA: Sure. Caleb!

LIAM: (soft growl)

LAURA: Can I climb onto your back?

LIAM: (growly exhale)

LAURA: That's a yes, right?

MARISHA: I think so, yeah.

TALIESIN: There's only one way to find out.

LAURA: (laughs)

MATT: Go ahead and make an animal handling check.

LAURA: I'm going to guide myself as I do this.

TRAVIS: I'm going to put a T-Rex in an internet D&D show.

TALIESIN: I speak T-Rex.

LAURA: Oh no! A one.

MARISHA: No!

LAURA: Oh no!

MATT: That little blue tiefling looks really delicious, but you know better. You know better. But you just-- you're uncertain of their plan necessarily, so it's going to take you guys a little bit of time to try and lash this very large-- like we're talking-- this is... many thousands of pounds of meat here. If you're going to bring the body it's going to be a collected effort. All of you plus this and whatever spells you have at your disposal that might aid this.

TALIESIN: Oh yeah.

LAURA: Could I try to-- if I Polymorph myself, is it going to be another difficult thing of trying to figure it out, too? Or...

TALIESIN: I think once we figure it out--

LAURA: Once I know, I can Polymorph myself.

MATT: If Polymorph yourself anew with the idea-- it's less about like-- you don't lose all memory of who you are, and your friends and such, but for a creature of this intellect, it can be challenging to... to convey complicated ideas. But if you are taking it in, I'll allow you to maintain at least elements of that.

LAURA: Okay, then I'm going to also Polymorph myself into a T-Rex.

MATT: What does your T-Rex look like?

LAURA: Blue?

MATT: I mean, I assumed. I just wanted to--

LAURA: Yeah. No, yeah. Blue, but with like-- Can I make him have purple freckles all over?

MATT: Yeah.

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: So like the-- was it the... The weird Pop-Tarts with the blue and purple icing?

LAURA: Yes, yes, yes, exactly like that.

ASHLEY: J.P. Sullivan.

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: All right, so we now have a Bengal-striped T-Rex, and a blue Pop-Tart T-Rex--

SAM: Dragging a white T-Rex.

MATT: Dragging a white dead T-Rex.

TALIESIN: This is the best Mario Party game ever.

TRAVIS: We all saw this coming.

LAURA: (tiny roar)

MATT: All right. Okay. And since you've only transformed for a short time comparatively. It'll take you the better part of an hour, with the both of your guys help and the rest of the party guiding. We'll say for the sake of brevity and narrative, nobody gets in your way. Any of the other creatures that may have been drawn by the ruckus through the jungle immediately turns around at the sight.

MARISHA: They do the Fjord? Yeah.

MATT: Yeah. Do the Fjord? That's the Fjord?

MARISHA: (unsure grunt)

TRAVIS: Mm-mm! Mm-mm!

MATT: As you approach the outskirts of Vo, you begin to hear shouts and screams from people who--

LAURA: We drop it as we get closer.

MARISHA: Right, yeah.

MATT: People-- they just suddenly see two T-Rexes lumbering towards the village holding a third T-Rex.

TALIESIN: Nothing to see here.

MATT: You watch this as Vilya arrives with a few other folks, and eventually calms them down, and looks up at the T-Rexes. You could see her-- she's an insightful individual. She gauges the color schemes, and knows your various skills from the travels that she had with you on the island and calms everyone, and goes "Well, I'm certainly impressed. Yeah. That'll feed everyone for a while." And she begins assigning troops of people to start helping to carve what they can off the body, and as they approach, they all still carefully keep a wide berth around the two other large T-Rexes that stand there.

LAURA: I'm going to start dancing as a T-Rex. Can I do a couple little kicks, you know, like a kick line?

MATT: Yeah. It's more of a--

LAURA: I mean, my arms are doing this, but I'm doing big kicks with my legs.

TRAVIS: You're doing wings?

MATT: Make a performance check.

MARISHA: The dancing T-Rex emote that we use in Slack.

LIAM: Yep.

MATT: Make a performance check with the Tyrannosaurus Rex's charisma, which is a minus one.

LAURA: Okay.

LIAM: Rachel is so happy right now.

MARISHA: Yeah, somewhere Rachel--

LAURA: Three!

TRAVIS: Three!

MATT: In your head, it's a dance. To anyone else, it feels like a threatening war stomp. And the people that were gathering towards the white T-Rex run back about 15 or so feet, and wait for you to finish.

TRAVIS: Fjord backs up a lot.

LAURA: I see they're scared and I'll stop.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: I take that opportunity to take another bite of the corpse.

ALL: No!

TALIESIN: We whack you off. No! No! No!

LAURA: I'm going to use my-- I'll use my tiny arms, and try to hit to hit Caleb to make him stop.

LIAM: (panting)

MATT: All right.

LIAM: I'm like a dinosaur version of my dog.

MARISHA: Spray bottle.

LAURA: No!

SAM: We did it, guys!

TALIESIN: A little Ray of Enfeeblement.

LAURA and SAM: We killed a T-Rex!

MARISHA: I flag them down, and I say: The teeth are ours. We get the teeth.

TALIESIN: If that'd be all right.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: Please.

MARISHA: Keep 'em from-- Yeah.

MATT: Some of the teeth... They start asking like, "All, all the teeth?"

MARISHA: Yes!

TALIESIN: As many as you can--

SAM: I mean.

LAURA: Well, one for each.

SAM: Probably. We just want one each.

MARISHA: I'm trying to not over-complicate it.

TALIESIN: As many as you can safely remove.

MATT: "Can we just keep a few?" They start talking about making tools.

MARISHA: (grumbling) Yeah, you can keep a few.

TALIESIN: That's fair. Yeah. See what you can pull out.

MATT: So we'll say, for the remainder of the day, the corpse is being prepared for its meat, for its bones. It's going to be harvested, and utilized by the villagers who are staying behind, as well as preparation for the rest of the event, as it arises.

LAURA: Could you make armor out of T-Rex hide?

MATT: I mean, the right person probably could.

LAURA: Would it be like-- it's not like dragon armor? Cool, like tough hide.

MATT: Obviously not. You guys carved it pretty heavily.

TRAVIS: Those bones are crazy though.

MATT: Decorative? It would be awesome.

TALIESIN: Make a nice pair of boots.

MATT: Effectiveness? Eh, questionable.

TALIESIN: You can put one, one tooth on either foot. So you have like, little--

LAURA: High heels?

TALIESIN: Or high heels! That's another way to go. Not on the heel. I was thinking on the toe, but the heel is better. The heel is way better.

MARISHA: And be the douchiest club owner.

TALIESIN: It would be so great!

MATT: Yep.

ASHLEY: Could make the drums out of the hide.

LAURA: (gasps) Ooh. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

TALIESIN: That'd be pretty.

LAURA: Let's do a couple of drums out of the T-Rex hide.

MATT: Okay. Taking some of the T-Rex hide, drums are constructed. The third day comes to an end.

MARISHA: Eventful Wednesday.

MATT: Yeah. Very much so. A successful hunt.

TALIESIN: What a week!

LIAM: Hump day. Hump day!

MATT: Anything else you wish to do for the third day, or lead onto the fourth?

TRAVIS: Was there a large blood trail that was left that dragging this T-Rex from the wilderness back to the village?

MATT: Oh yeah.

TRAVIS: Should we do something about that?

LAURA: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Maybe tomorrow we'll get rid of the blood.

TRAVIS: Tomorrow. Yeah. That's usually where things go well. Okay, yeah. We'll go tomorrow.

TALIESIN: Also, we should check in to see if they need anything for getting the boat up and running.

LAURA: Tomorrow.

TALIESIN: Yeah, tomorrow. Tomorrow.

MARISHA: Tomorrow.

SAM: Nothing else today.

TRAVIS: Okay.

MATT: Okay. Third day comes to a close, an eventful day. You rest for the night. The fourth day is now at your disposal. As you awaken, you see new arrivals are beginning to come within the village, a group of about 20 or so individuals have arrived with their various types of luggage. A lot of them are a variety of individuals from different levels of class, attire that spans a lot of the local Menagerie Coast, the Empire, There are a couple of possible Xhorhasian individuals there. One of which you recognize as an elderly gnoll.

LAURA: (gasps)

SAM: Oh!

LAURA: I run over to the elderly gnoll.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: Hey, you!

MATT: "Oh, right. I remember you."

LAURA: Jester.

MATT: "Yes. Covak."

LAURA: Covak. That's right, that's right.

MATT: "I remember--"

LAURA: Welcome! I'm so glad you're here.

MATT: "Oh. Thank you for having me."

LAURA: Yep!

MATT: You can see he's looking around with his one larger eye at the crowd. "I take it not a lot of folks here hang around with gnolls?" And you can see other villagers are just looking curiously at this, while older, still hunched and towering gnoll figure.

LAURA: Their loss.

MATT: "Well, uh. I'm not going to bite anyone."

LAURA: I know.

MATT: "Yet." Looking at one of the kids nearby. He goes like (gasp). "(laughs) I'm kidding. Well, where should I set up, then? You're the one running this thing, right? That's what they're saying."

LAURA: Oh yeah. Of course. High Priestess Jester.

MATT: "That's amazing. Congratulations."

LAURA: Thank you. You know, I've been a high priestess for quite a while. I just didn't want to say anything before.

MATT: "Oh, uh. Modesty."

LAURA: Yeah. That's one of the descriptive terms that is used often for me. You can just claim any of the empty rooms. You should see if you want one of the better ones (tongue clicking) you should look for-- I forget the dwarf's name.

MATT: Oh, previously? Kellbast.

LAURA: You should-- no, no, not that one.

MATT: Oh, sorry. The one who--

LAURA: BV.

MATT: Berex.

LAURA: Berex, you should find Berex. He's a dwarf.

MATT: He's staying with his family. I think he's going by Doron.

LAURA: Doron. You should find Doron. He's a dwarf. He's helping to run this-- you know, this area and stuff. He'll set you up with a good room.

MATT: "All right, thank you. I'll--"

LAURA: Tell him I sent you.

MATT: "Okay."

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: "All right."

LAURA: It's going to be great! You just wait! We're getting ready for some crazy cool stuff here. (laughs nervously)

MATT: "Okay." (laughs) He goes off to find--

TRAVIS: No, no. This is a lot of confusion, but also some weird, excited energy from the people that are now hosting the newcomers. There's new, fresh blood here in this space. People from all over the vicinity are gathering for a unified purpose, but also are getting to know each other. Some may have met on the ships, and have some rapport built, or don't talk to each other after traveling together, but once again, it's that odd, uncomfortable, excitement and anxiety before an event of everyone being pushed together in a room and going, "Hi, I'm going to go get my hotel taken care of. See you there, I guess." You know. So with that energy, people begin to scatter.

LAURA: How many people are here now?

MATT: Now total? There's probably 25, closer to 30 people.

LAURA: Wow. Did we end up finishing the path all the way up to the top of the volcano?

TALIESIN: It's pretty close to finished, I think. Needs a little-- I think it needs a little bit more-- we know where it is now. We just--

MATT: Correct.

TALIESIN: Still just getting cleaned up a bit.

MATT: Because you went on the hunt, you lost the day of doing that, but you have one more day of clearing up.

TALIESIN: I'll do it.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: I got it.

MARISHA: Did anyone set up the bar?

LAURA: You should do that.

MARISHA: I should do that.

LAURA: You know what you're doing there?

MARISHA: I do. I start to set up the bar today.

MATT: All right.

LAURA: Caleb, maybe we should make something amazing towards the top of the volcano.

LIAM: Right at the peak or on the way?

LAURA: Like, as we-- maybe at the bottom of the volcano, like as you're going up to the top or something. Some really cool...

TALIESIN: Save me.

LAURA: Like a lot of dicks sort of thing. You know, because at that point we're all sacrificing our dicks, you know.

LIAM: Yeah. Here's what we will do. At the beginning of the pathway that Caduceus has created, I will make on each side of the path going 30 feet up a series of floating circular icons, and each one is a crescent moon with a dick pointing through it, creating the look of a bow and arrow combining the Moon Weaver, plus your gentleman, and so that'd be like runway lights pointing up.

LAURA: That's really wonderful.

SAM: It's like a Soviet sort of--

LIAM: Ja, correct, but with penises.

SAM: Hammer and sickle?

LIAM: Ja.

LAURA: Caleb. I think you've missed your calling as an artist. These are really amazing works of art that you're creating.

LIAM: You rub off on people.

LAURA: (giggles)

MATT: As you are setting up the bar, the brief conversation comes around of the villagers there going, "The problem is we don't really have a way to make alcohol. All of us lived without it for this long. We don't have a still or any means of doing that."

MARISHA: Huh. Wow. You do you realize the art of booze making has been around for, like, thousands of years, and it's really not that hard to, like, ferment the fruit you guys have locally?

MATT: "Oh, I'm sure, but we didn't think to do that."

MARISHA: I don't know, like, how that's an afterthought, you know?

MATT: "Well, I mean, I--" and he's trying to explain himself, and a voice behind you goes like, "I'm sorry. I heard someone saying there's a problem with alcohol?"

MATT: You turn around--

MARISHA: Yeah. Who are you?

MATT: You see a middle-aged halfling with this thick chin beard, but his hair is shaved on the sides with this black pompadour that goes to the back looks like a little Keith Richards-esque? Just half the size of a normal person, wearing some darkened studded leather vest over some billowing sleeved cloak, and he has a lute strung over his shoulder and a small cart that he's pulling behind him with a small pony.

MARISHA: You said he's a gnome?

MATT: He's a halfling.

MARISHA: Halfling? Rockabilly halfling. Got it. I like you. You look like you know what I'm talking about.

MATT: "I'd say I do."

MARISHA: What do you got?

MATT: "Well, I came prepared, you see. I brought my own shit to go ahead and celebrate."

MARISHA: You just get off one of these boats?

MATT: "I did. What's your name?"

MARISHA: Jester.

MATT: Make a deception check.

SAM: What?

TRAVIS: Wha- why?

TALIESIN: What's your game here?

MARISHA: I don't know. I don't have one. Deception?

LIAM: You're having fun.

MARISHA: 19.

MATT: He goes, "All right. My name's the Traveler." (laughter)

MATT: "Welcome to my--"

MARISHA: Hang on. Wait, is she that famous? Is she that well known?

MATT: "I have no idea what you're talking about."

MARISHA: Yeah. Me neither. (laughter)

MATT: "Look, I was told there was going to be a fucking party here."

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: "So I brought a lot of things to do at the party. And by that, I mean, this." He pulls the sheet back on the top, and you can see large, dark brown glass jugs of some sort of liquid. He goes, "I've got a lot of rum."

MARISHA: I love you.

MATT: "What's your name?"

MARISHA: Beauregard. What's yours?

MATT: "Kent Plucker."

MARISHA: Kent Plucker?!

LAURA: That's a great name.

ASHLEY: What a great name!

MATT: "Traveling lutesman. I've been here. Been around the world, and you know, seen a lot of things, but this--

SAM: I've heard that name.

MATT: He refers to the village around. "That's fucking weird."

SAM: Yeah.

MARISHA: Wait, what're you pointing at? What?

MATT: "All of this."

SAM: I know who he is.

MATT: "Anyway."

MARISHA: You know who he is?

SAM: He was part of Dr. Dranzel's--

MARISHA: I wondering if he was part of--!

MATT: He was.

LAURA: Oh my god, really?!

MARISHA: Okay, okay. Kent Plucker.

SAM: Uh-huh.

MARISHA: A lutesman.

SAM: Yeah.

MARISHA: Okay.

LAURA: Killer!

ASHLEY: What?

MATT: With your help he starts getting the large, heavy jugs of rum over, and between the two of you and some other aid, you begin setting up a bar area.

MARISHA: Do we do owe you anything for this, man?

MATT: "Oh, this is all part of my own appreciation, and worship of the great Traveler."

MARISHA: Uh huh.

MATT: "How'd you come under his spell, if you will?"

MARISHA: Oh, I am not into any of that bullshit. I'm really just helping a good friend of mine who I actually believe in. How about you? How'd you come into this shit?

MATT: "Honestly, he just listened to a performance I was doing said he liked it. So we started talking music. We wrote a little song together, and then that's when it started."

MARISHA: Wow.

MATT: "Yeah."

MARISHA: You're that easily persuaded. Okay, yeah.

TRAVIS: Oh god.

SAM: Maybe Beau shouldn't be--

MATT: "I can put all this right back in the cart, and just take it to someone who appreciates it."

MARISHA: No, no, no, I'm fascinated by this.

SAM: Maybe she shouldn't be front of the house.

MATT: "Don't get me wrong."

TRAVIS: Customer service, not--

MATT: He leans in and goes--

TRAVIS: The shittiest concierge. "What are you doing here?"

MARISHA: I'm not standing by the gate, and I'm setting up the bar.

LIAM: Is that what you're wearing? Two-- maybe.

MATT: "Don't get me wrong. I respect a hard ass."

MARISHA: Mm-hmm. Oh, are you wanting...? What? Are you wanting me to say something like, "Oh... Traveler's great. You're right. You got me."

MATT: "Enjoy some of the rum."

MARISHA: Thanks, Kent.

MATT: Takes his lute off around his shoulder, and walks away plucking a little bit of a theme to himself.

LIAM: (guitar)

TALIESIN: ? Kent Plucker ?

MARISHA: Got the bar stocked.

TRAVIS: ? Kent Plucker ?

LAURA: ? More than meets the eye. ? (laughter)

MATT: "That's a good solid tune. I'll have to work on that one." All right. As this day progresses, you continue the path up that way. You begin to carry the rest of it to the top of the volcano, you're setting up the signs that make their way up in the symbol of what you requested. You set up a bar area. Fourth day comes to a close.

LAURA: Can I ask... Does anybody else, is anybody else thinking about that vision that Vo gave us?

TALIESIN: Yes.

SAM: That Vokodo?

LAURA: Yeah. I mean, you guys saw it, too, right? That vision before he disappeared. Did you see that city thing?

MARISHA: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Yes.

MARISHA: I thought that was just me.

LAURA: Did it seem terrible to anybody else?

TRAVIS: Well, it just seems so abstract and alien. Like, I didn't really give it much thought.

TALIESIN: I've been thinking about what to do about it, but it's... It's a big question I thought I would let you have your week before I--

LAURA: Yeah, we should probably focus on this first.

TALIESIN: I was going to--

LAURA: I just keep thinking about it.

TALIESIN: I was going to mention, actually... It might be something worth asking the Traveler about.

LAURA: I was planning on it as soon as he gets back.

TALIESIN: I think it's a good idea.

LAURA: Yeah.

TRAVIS: Well, do we think it's an actual threat? I thought--

TALIESIN: Yes.

TRAVIS: -- that creature came from the Astral Sea, which is really, really not here. Right?

LIAM: Yeah. It was an unsettling thing to experience, but...

TALIESIN: I talked to the Wild Mother about it.

LAURA and TRAVIS: Oh.

TALIESIN: And outside of... her... understanding, her ability to see what it is, but it is possible that it is-- it might be coming here. It might-- it might know... it's entirely possible we even may have made too much noise. I don't know yet.

TRAVIS: About what?!

TALIESIN: I've got other questions to ask. It's just my mind has been cloudy.

LAURA: I wonder if when we sent Vo back if... if it gave visions of us to that thing,

TALIESIN: Maybe.

LAURA: I don't know.

LIAM: Maybe, but there are so little that we know. It might've just been vestiges of Vokodo's fears or emotions. It fled where it came from. We don't know that it means anything. Yet.

TALIESIN: It may not.

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: You do believe that they were-- They weren't immediate, you know, visions or premonitions. They were fragments of memory.

LAURA: Memory.

LIAM: Yeah.

LAURA: Okay.

TALIESIN: There's something-- there's a few things in there that do disturb me. I haven't been able to-- hmm.

MARISHA: Like, what?

TALIESIN: Why was it running? Why the eyes? Why run here?

TRAVIS: The eyes?

LAURA: Yeah. Remember there was nine eyes.

TALIESIN: Nine eyes.

ASHLEY: Since we're talking about it, and now that we're realizing that we all had this vision. There's-- I don't know if there's any connection. I'm assuming that there is, but... Molly had nine eyes on him. It was, you know, so I wonder if there's some kind of connection.

LAURA: Molly?

TRAVIS: What do you mean?

MARISHA: His tattoos.

ASHLEY: Yeah, his tattoos.

MARISHA: Beau just turns around and lifts up the replica of her seeing eye tattoo on the back of her neck.

SAM: He had nine of those?

ASHLEY: He had nine of them.

SAM: Is that rooted in some sort of folklore --

LAURA: Do we know anything about that?

SAM: -- or religion or something?

TALIESIN: Not that I know of.

MARISHA: Would either of the Empire kids? The readers?

MATT: If anybody has a proficiency in religion?

MARISHA: I think I do.

TALIESIN: I do, technically.

MATT: Yeah. You guys can both roll.

TALIESIN: This'll be comedy.

MARISHA: Oh my god. This is going to suck.

TALIESIN: (laughs) Five.

MARISHA: Okay. 21.

MATT: 21?

LAURA: It's not terrible.

MATT: Nothing religious stems from-- I mean, there is eye iconography in many religions. The Whispered One who attempted ascension two decades before had very much eye-in-hand iconography. The Knowing Mistress has the three eyes, and the Cobalt Soul. The design itself is based around the three eyes, but nothing in particular with a nine-eyed arrangement or anything similar to Molly's tattoo designs at the very least. You can roll an arcana check, if you'd like, as well.

LIAM: Sure.

MARISHA: Both of us, or just those who are trained?

MATT: Both of you guys, since you're the ones-- Well, the ones who are trained in arcana.

MARISHA: Go Caleb. Get it.

LIAM: Proficient in arcana. 23.

MATT: 23. Nothing catching your attention, either.

LIAM: I mean, I know we like to apply meaning to things, and this might be meaningful, but this thing, this Eye of Nine. We are the Mighty Nein. Perhaps we are just jumping at shadows.

SAM: Maybe, but didn't we also see, like, when we were going around with the whole Uk'otoa business.

MARISHA and LAURA: (whispering) Uk'otoa.

SAM: Wasn't there three things? And there was three creatures? And they each have three, and that's three, and that's nine?

MARISHA: The Worm and the Phoenix.

LIAM: I mean, once you start picking at numerology, you can go forever.

LAURA: I thought Uk'otoa had a whole bunch of eyes?

MATT: Uk'otoa has many eyes.

SAM and LAURA: (whispering) Uk'otoa...

TALIESIN: Greater truths.

MARISHA: Would I know anything from my, like--

TRAVIS: Cloven crystal.

MARISHA: Anything from my... Deep Speech? Abyssal training?

LIAM: I have proficiency in nines.

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: Technically you all have proficiency in Neins. Nothing.

MARISHA: No, nothing.

MATT: Nothing.

TRAVIS: Natural 20. Had to [inaudible].

TALIESIN: Natural 20 into the darkness.

TRAVIS: Yep.

TALIESIN: Perfection. (laughter) You just say, "I killed a T-Rex," and listen for a second. Sorry.

TRAVIS: Silent fart.

LAURA: Nobody knows.

SAM: Well, we'll just... keep an eye out for it, I guess?

TRAVIS: No, it's fine.

LIAM: My impression of that happening was like a-- an octopus in fear. When it flees, it just explodes out a cloud of ink into the water, and I felt like we were just getting clouded with his last fleeting terror, but--

TALIESIN: I've been dreaming of it.

TRAVIS: Repeatedly?

TALIESIN: Yeah. It might just be stuck in my head, but it's... I haven't figured out what the right questions are yet.

TRAVIS: Well, we don't plan on traveling there, and this creature, Vokodo, found its way here through that rift, right? The shard.

LAURA: He created a rift.

TALIESIN: He broke through.

TRAVIS: Right. So are we thinking that's going to be replicated?

LAURA: (uncertain sound)

LIAM: Very, very [inaudible] questions.

TALIESIN: I don't know.

TRAVIS: How did he even do that in the first place?

TALIESIN: How did they do it in the-- How did he do it in the first place? He did.

MARISHA: Why would that--

TALIESIN: Why would do it-- Does he do it in the second places?

MARISHA: Why would that sentient city chase him? To what end?

TALIESIN: Why did you have a friend with nine eyes tattooed on himself?

MARISHA: Yasha. You knew Molly better than any of us. Is there anything he mentioned? Anything that you can recall that he didn't tell us?

ASHLEY: I know he didn't-- he didn't know what those tattoos were.

TRAVIS: He didn't know where they came from?

ASHLEY: No, he tried to cover them, but. It never worked. So he just, became a canvas and added to them.

TRAVIS: What the fuck?

LAURA: Wow.

MARISHA: He had that one in his hand. Remember the tattoo on his hand? And there was the eye in the peacock. And one on his neck.

LAURA: What was his past life?

MARISHA: He doesn't even remember, unless there was something he wasn't telling us.

TRAVIS: All right, let's go get Molly.

LAURA: Maybe we should.

TRAVIS: I'm only half-joking. Later, though. We have so much we're doing here, right?

LAURA: Yeah, Traveler Con, you guys.

SAM: Yeah, it's now. This is it. We got to go.

LAURA: We've got one more day.

ASHLEY: Maybe we circle back to this when this is--

LAURA: How many more days?

MATT: We'll say two full days before the actual event.

LAURA: Pleasant dreams, everyone.

SAM: Good night.

TRAVIS: I feel great about our progress.

TRAVIS: This is very encouraging.

LAURA: I think it's coming along really well, honestly. Thank you guys for everything you're doing and don't forget, you're representatives of the Traveler, okay?

SAM: Is there a thing that we say? Have we decided on that?

TRAVIS: Oh yeah.

LAURA: Oh. Let the chaos enter your heart. Let your chaos be your guide.

SAM: Shorten it. Let chaos be your guide? That's good. Okay, cool.

LAURA: Yeah, okay.

MARISHA: We're supposed to be saying that to people?

TRAVIS: And we've had nothing but positive interactions with the guests coming to the island, right? Everyone feeling welcome and, you know, nurtured.

LAURA: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

MARISHA: So many friends.

LAURA: Cool.

SAM: Also. Don't point like this; that's offensive in some cultures.

MARISHA: Oh, right. You have to do the--

SAM: Like a this.

TRAVIS: Oh yes, gestures to-- never to the food.

TALIESIN: Four finger.

LIAM: I always do the fist over the thumb.

TRAVIS: It's never "Not a problem," it's "My pleasure."

LAURA: Oh, yeah.

TRAVIS: Don't mention the problem.

LAURA: Right, right, right.

TALIESIN: Don't do that if you're holding one of the dicks, that just gets weird. (laughter)

LAURA: Or maybe do do that because...

TRAVIS: You said doo-doo.

LAURA: I did, (laughs).

SAM: Do do that.

LIAM: Chaos reign. (laughter)

SAM: That's, like, this, of this faith.

LIAM: Chaos reign. Chaos reign.

TALIESIN: Best secret hand wave ever. (laughter)

TRAVIS: Oh no. (laughter)

ASHLEY: Okay.

TRAVIS: Let the chaos reign.

SAM: And also with you. (laughter)

MATT: So. (laughter) The next couple of days are eventful in the sense that numerous people begin to arrive ship after ship. Some, not ships, some magically transport, but you have, the day before the actual date of Traveler Con, over a hundred individuals arriving. The village is now more bustling than it's ever been. Personalities are tense and clashing in some places while new friendships are forging around. Many loud voices, boisterous, people excited, talking about and pointing at the various elements that have been prepared here. People looking at the archway above and some artists doing sketches and, you know, element looks like rubs against parts of the iconography that's been sculpted into the nearby wood. The villagers who've remained, look a little overwhelmed, but are trying their best. People are having to room together in groups, because chambers that were once built for one or two individuals, are now having to house four or five, to keep people, you know, comfortably prepared for the day as it arrives. You finish the remainder of your preparations, as the final groups are sent on their way via Vilya, as the, the eve hits before-- let's say Traveler Con Eve is upon you. And you guys are taking a moment to take in the voices, the lights, the colors. People have brought their own decorations, their own outfits, their own, you know, cloaks. (laughter)

SAM: Giant swords.

MARISHA: Yeah!

MATT: All piece bonded.

LAURA: We should definitely have some music playing.

MATT: There are musicians who are here that are playing. It is-- you gather it is the type of chaos the Traveler would be appreciative of. And into the evening-- Actually to that point, I'm going to go ahead and because it seems right for this.

LIAM: And this is Traveler's Eve, right?

MATT: This is Traveler's Eve.

SAM: All Traveler's Eve.

MATT: All Traveler's Eve. (laughs) (festival music)

LAURA: Awesome!

TALIESIN: Yeah!

MATT: As this is happening and you guys are ducked off just out of sight, taking in the space around you, the anxiety building in your chest a little bit, a couple of footsteps arise and a familiar red-haired figure saunters up and goes, "Well, I have to say, this is rather impressive."

LAURA: Are you going to let everyone know you're here or--?

MATT: "No, no. I'm keeping a low profile. Trust me. What was the phrase again?"

ALL: Let chaos reign.

MATT: "Let chaos reign! They don't see me that way." Everyone just waves and goes walking.

LAURA: No one's ever seen you the way you actually are?

MATT: "Well, only you're seeing my true form. I'm putting a glamor up for everybody else."

LAURA: Oh wow!

TRAVIS: There's people killing each other over on the other side of the square.

MARISHA: My fighting pit is working!

TRAVIS: Those numbers are going down now.

MATT: "That was inspired. I'm excited to see what comes out of that. So what's the final plan? We have most everyone here, a couple of stragglers coming in tonight. I've guided most all of the ducks to the event, and I am beyond excited and extremely proud, Jester."

LAURA: I'm so glad. Well, we'll see how tomorrow goes. See how proud you are then. So tomorrow, I figure, you know, we'll start the day off with a big musical concert, you know, get everybody together in the square.

MARISHA: Oh my god. Are you going to do a keynote speech?

LAURA: Yeah, I'll announce the dick hunt.

MARISHA: Okay, okay. Yeah.

LAURA: Oh my gosh. Are people in the craft area? Are they beating the-- are they carving their dicks? Have we been doing that this whole time?

MATT: Oh yeah. No, there are plenty of dicks being carved. There are whole families that are over there, doing it as a communal event. (laughter)

LIAM: A sign out front that just says, "Come whittle dicks!"

MARISHA: A little how-to.

TRAVIS: Come, widdle dicks! (laughter)

LIAM: Yep.

TRAVIS: Jesus. This is totally a kid's show.

MATT: Totally, totally.

TALIESIN: Family fun.

TRAVIS: Man.

MATT: "Well, my responsibilities shall come to a close tonight with all of them being shepherded here, I've done my part until tomorrow's performance. Then when that is done, they'll be free and we'll be free."

LAURA: Just me and you?

MATT: "You and me."

LAURA: I love it.

MATT: "Couple of other people."

LAURA: Nah, fuck them.

MATT: "But you're my favorite."

LAURA: Okay, good.

MATT: "Are you all ready?"

SAM and MARISHA: Yeah, yeah.

MARISHA: Whatever.

SAM: We're all fueled up on dinosaur meat and ready to go, yeah.

MATT: "All right. I guess I should show my appreciation for all the work you've done. Both in being friends and aides to Jester in her journeys and personal growth and to helping myself with this endeavor. I can gather that not all of you are fans of me and that's fine. I get it, few are, but nevertheless, I'm appreciative. You all have cloaks, right?"

SAM: Cloaks?

LAURA: Yeah, yeah, I made cloaks for everybody.

MARISHA: We got them.

LAURA: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

MATT: "Very well. Thank you. Do you need anything of me this evening?"

LAURA: Can I talk to you for just a second?

MATT: "Of course."

LAURA: Can we walk away? (laughs) I love that you guys actually brought yours.

MARISHA: I've been waiting for this moment.

MATT: "See you all around," and walks with you into the village, actually.

LAURA: Oh! Well.

MATT: "Unless you needed privacy.

LAURA: No, no, no, I mean, this is fine. I dunno. I guess I just-- it's all built up to this day and I just want to tell you how glad I am that you're here and that I'm proud of you. I know that, you know, you're saying you are just bored of having everybody worship you, but I think it's really great that you're letting everyone move on.

MATT: (chuckles) "I would say reserve such-- Don't get me wrong, I'm very appreciative of your appreciation. I do have a weak spot for flattery. You're not wrong, but I mean, as much as I've guided you through the years, don't think you haven't guided me. And this is an example of that as well. I'm happy to have found a path, but truth be told, maybe I need a bit of guidance myself. I'm a selfish creature by nature."

LAURA: And I love that about you.

MATT: "I've watched you grow up into something... quite impactful. It's going to change those around you for the better. Well, those that matter anyway. The others you'll leave screaming and kicking and extremely confused, which is how, in my opinion, the best interactions should end."

LAURA: You taught me well.

MATT: "Well, this isn't an end of anything necessarily. This is a new beginning. We've been partners for a very long time. Look how much you've done without me. Right?"

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: "Look how much of a mess I've made without you.

LAURA: (giggles) Yeah.

MATT: "Just know that I'm always around to the best of my ability."

LAURA: I know, and I believe you.

MATT: "But whatever strength I've been giving you, it's just been more of a boost, because believe me, I've given similar gifts to many of these people, and (scoffs) well, look at them." As you glance around, you see a bunch of drunken buffoons and people that are, I mean, not-- they're all messes in the same way that all of you are messes, but they-- I don't know. They lack more of a real purpose, at least in the moment that he's showing them in the throes of a celebration and a party, which maybe isn't the best example, but... Not everyone takes the freedom and the guidance that I offer and I don't know, twists the world with it the right way. There's too much stuffiness, too much self-aggrandizing. Seems that mortality leads people to feel like they're rushing to some end."

LAURA: Yeah, it does. Maybe you should make me immortal.

MATT: (chuckles) "Sorry. I didn't mean to laugh so hard. It was just quite funny to me. But no, very few individuals know how to pull the rug out from under the world around them and still leave them smiling. That's what I want. I don't want to hurt anyone. Not intentionally. And those that I do hurt, well, I do feel a little bad."

LAURA: See!

MATT: "But doesn't tragedy build character?"

LAURA: You're growing.

MATT: "Doesn't tragedy build character?"

LAURA: It does. It does. But still when we first met, you didn't ever feel bad.

MATT: "I still don't feel bad most of the time, but you've grown on me, you're not wrong."

LAURA: Artie?

MATT: "Yes?"

LAURA: You're my best friend. And no matter what you always will be.

MATT: "For now."

LAURA: Can I grab both sides of his face?

MATT: Sure.

LAURA: I'm going to lean in like I'm going to kiss him.

MATT: He looks a bit confused.

LAURA: I'm going to bite his nose.

MATT: (laughs) As it happens, he (grunts) pulls back a bit. "Hmm. What the hell is that?" He looks over your shoulder, extremely worried.

LAURA: Hmm. All right.

MATT: He's gone.

LAURA: Yeah. I knew it.

MATT: You take a step and he kicks the back of your knee out from under you.

TRAVIS: (laughs)

LAURA: (groans) Yeah. Yeah.

TRAVIS: The asshole Batman.

TALIESIN: (Batman voice) Got to turn around.

MATT: "I've lived a very long time. I've made many friends and lost many friends. So I don't expect things to always last. With the time that I have, I've learned to appreciate it. The temporary things. I mean, there's a good chance that even I'm not as eternal as I believe. When things are temporary and you know it and you understand it, you truly savor it. So even we might be temporary. So let us appreciate the time we have."

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: "Well, I'm going to have a drink.

LAURA: Do it!

MATT: "Revel with these idiots for the last time," and he saunters off into the crowd, which is weird from your perspective, because they all worship him and he just walks in the middle, but they all treat him just like another one of the people there, because they do not see the Traveler.

LAURA: I'll make my way back to the group.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: Wow. You guys ready for this?

LIAM: Still not entirely sure what this will be, but--

LAURA: Me neither. I say we start tomorrow, not bright and early. Who wants to wake up after all of this alcohol, bright and early and travel up a volcano? We should do it towards the evening.

MARISHA: No one goes to 9:00am panels.

LAURA: No.

TRAVIS: We didn't really set up a security team, did we? As the night gets a little longer and more crazy, should we be, I don't know, keeping an eye on the frivolity?

LAURA: We'll keep an eye.

SAM: I mean, aren't we supposed to let chaos reign?

TRAVIS: I mean, yeah, but.

SAM: Can't do that safely, can you?

TRAVIS: I don't know if I have the answer to that question.

MARISHA: Safety third.

TRAVIS: Safety third, yes. Then no.

SAM: I guess we can just keep an eye on things. Make sure nobody kills each other.

MARISHA: I mean, yeah, I'm not going to bed anytime soon.

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: I think going to bartend for a few hours, because that's funny.

LAURA: Cool, cool, cool.

ASHLEY: Yeah, I think we should just let it happen.

MARISHA: Also, I gave Treece, like, five more bottle rockets. So that's going to be really funny in about 10 minutes.

TALIESIN: Think people might get violent?

LAURA: They might.

MARISHA: I did build a fight/dance ring.

TALIESIN: I feel like that's at least putting some boundaries on things.

MARISHA: That's true.

LAURA: I'm going to go dance.

SAM: Is Vilya still here?

MATT: Vilya is still here. And actually, as you guys are having this conversation, you glance over and you can see as everyone's partying, sitting at one of the tables in the outskirts of the group, talking to no one, is Vilya, with a cup, just holding it, staff leaning against the table, looking down into it.

SAM: I'll go over and say hi.

MATT: "Oh, hello."

SAM: Hey, what-- Have you finished your--?

MATT: (sighs) "I guess I have."

SAM: Were you going to stick around for tomorrow or do you think you're done? I mean, this is, we don't really know what this party's going to be and you know, we're set. So if you wanted to go, that would be okay.

MATT: Suddenly the area you guys are in get shoved a little bit and you can see there's a younger couple who were here, both laughing and just start making out, leaning against the table before stumbling off that way and Vilya goes, "I'm not sure if these frivolities are really my scene."

SAM: Yeah. Well, listen, I've been meaning to talk to you about this, but, like, you have a kid out there somewhere, right?

MATT: "I think so, yeah."

SAM: And you must be missing her.

MATT: "Very."

SAM: But at the same time, maybe you're a little nervous to go back?

MATT: "How could I not be?"

SAM: Yeah. I don't-- I've felt the same way, many times. Not sure where I fit in, in the world, really. Whether I'm meant to be out exploring and traveling or meant to be home caring for someone else or a little of both. And for you, it must be impossible. You don't even know if you're little one's-- where she is or what she's up to or if she's okay.

MATT: "You're not wrong."

SAM: Do you have a sense? Have you felt anything?

MATT: "I believe-- I feel in my heart of hearts, in my soul, that my husband and daughter are okay. That dread has never crept in, just nerves. Maybe to wait is just delaying the inevitable."

SAM: Yeah. I've been thinking the same thing, too, but you can't delay forever. At some point, you have to-- you have to go home.

MATT: "You're right. Where're the rest of your friends?"

SAM: I think one of them's dance fighting and one's talking to her fake god and I think one's playing her crazy weird harp and one's probably just sort of being sad. You know, normal, normal, nighttime stuff.

MATT: "Well, do you think they'd be angry if I left without saying goodbye?"

SAM: No. I mean, not angry. They'd be sad that they couldn't say goodbye to you, but every one of us has said-- every one of us has left without saying goodbye to someone in our lives. We're sort of used to it. And it's... it's like we thrive on unfinished business. So I think... I think they would understand.

MATT: She sets her cup aside and traces her fingers in the air for a second. As she does, you watch-- at the top of the vines that formed the leg, you watch as these two flowers bloom and a third different colors, one pink, one white, one blue. She plucks them from her leg, takes the pink one and says, "Give this to your tall lanky friend, Caduceus. Tell him that, whether it be just nature itself or the Wild Mother's guidance, he protects the green that keeps those like me alive. Hands the blue one to you and says, And give this to the newbie, Fjord, who is beginning his journey, to remind him that the nature that I myself represent is always there to protect him." And she takes the white flower and goes, "And give this to the quiet one. Yasha. Because I noticed she likes to keep these in a book. And tell everyone else, thank you."

SAM: I will. Yeah, I will. I know you'll be happy where you're going. And I must say I'm jealous of you.

MATT: "Why?"

SAM: You're going to kiss that kid.

MATT: "You're almost done here. I'm sure it won't be long until you get the chance to kiss yours, too."

SAM: Well, when I do, I'll think of you.

MATT: She stands up, takes the staff, walks over to the nearest tree and looks back at you and says, "And thank you, Veth."

SAM: Thank you for helping us find-- finding the way. Do you want 350 gold, because we sort of put it aside for you? Is that--

LAURA: We put a lot more aside--

SAM: Is that anything for you or...? I mean.

MATT: "You know what, if you can go ahead and give that to Anola for me."

SAM: Oh!

MATT: "She's done about as much to guard and keep this place safe as I have. And I think she'll have more use of it than myself."

SAM: We will, promise.

MATT: "Okay."

SAM: Watch out for oceans and volcanoes. Travel safe.

MATT: "Will do." She turns towards the tree, takes a deep, visible breath, marks the front of it with the staff and you watch as the doorway opens up and there beyond it, it's a sunset. Wherever it is, you can see oranges and purples. And the dark blue is taking a sky with bits of white cloud that have been swallowed by the same hues in the air. You see reddish-brown rock, like a mountain side, a precipice of some rocky range. You see over the top of the branches, what looks like cherry blossom-like leaves just framing the exterior of the doorway as there are these long benches, like an amphitheater sort of set up that is arranged around it. A few figures sit, stand up curiously. As you see a female figure about 20 feet away, this heavy mantle of transitioning colors, long red hair and these branching pointed antlers, just turn. As Vilya steps through and into the space, the people back up and the female figure clasps her chest and begins to run for her and the doors close.

SAM: Goodbye.

MATT: And that's where we'll end tonight's episode. (group exclaims)

ASHLEY: Oh my god.

MATT: If I'd have known that was going to happen. That was, ooh!

TRAVIS: Good stuff, Matty.

LIAM: What a lovely little scene.

ASHLEY: (teary-eyed laugh)

TRAVIS: Good stuff, Matt.

LIAM: Lovely little scene.

MARISHA: Got me more than I anticipated.

ASHLEY: Yeah.

MATT: I love you guys.

ASHLEY: That was beautiful.

MATT: All right.

TRAVIS: Wow.

ASHLEY: So lovely.

MATT: So we're going to pick up next week for the actual event. We're finally--

LAURA: We just keep pushing it and pushing it.

MATT: We're trudging on to Traveler Con.

TRAVIS: We're keeping that money, right? We're not giving that to the--

SAM: What money?

TRAVIS: Okay. (laughter)

ASHLEY: Oh man.

TALIESIN: We're the literal worst.

LIAM: Let chaos reign.

LAURA: Let chaos reign.

SAM: Episode title: Dinosaurs and Dicks.

MATT: I think I do have a title in mind: A Tale of Too Many Dicks.

MARISHA: Too many dicks.

MATT: Yep. All righty, well, we'll pick up there next week. Until then, everyone, know that we love you very much, and is it Thursday yet? Good night.

TRAVIS and MARISHA: So good!

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